April 30, 2010

Tips for saving money

Today is Show Us Your Life Day at Kelly's Korner - tips for saving money

Show Us Your Life with Kelly's Korner

I was excited to see this topic, because the best way to save money is to talk to those who are good savers and are not in (or getting out of) debt

Naturally, most of us want to save money, but might not put the time and effort into doing so...whine, whine, whine.  

1) First of all, when it comes to money, if you are a Christian, you are commanded to give a tithe (10%).  I learned this at an early age and have always done this, even when the income was peanuts or unemployment.  God has always provided for us financially, and has surprised us with unexpected blessings.  I believe tithing reminds us of Who Is in charge...
Some might say "I will tithe when I make/get more money"  Do you really want to wait for the blessings you will receive by showing God you trust Him to take care of you?
Tip - we use online banking for our bills, and also have our tithe automatically sent as soon as each paycheck comes in 

2) Budget, pay cash, no debt.  You can't save and be wealthy if you always have debt.  If you have never taken Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University classes, we highly recommend it!  This is not just for people wanting to get out of debt.  You learn how to work with your spouse (money is #1 reason for failed marriages), learn about budgeting, insurance, investing, college, etc.  You can go to his website www.DaveRamsey.com to find a class near you. 
If we had paid more attention, we could have paid off our house before having kids and not have a mortgage payment. (hand smacking forehead)
Tip: Don't let the cost stop you, some churches have FPU scholarships available.  Maybe you don't completely agree with him, but if you are in debt, what do you have to lose?  

3) Make a list and stick to it, and don't window shop when you are bored.
I print out a blank calendar and fill it in with dinner plans for each night for a month, then I make a grocery list for each week.  I take all 4 lists with me to the grocery store (just in case I see something I need on sale).  We also buy all the meat for the month at once and freeze it. 

Making a calendar like this prevents having to figure out what to cook later and wondering what ingredients you have.  This has been great for us because with church 2 nights a week, school for me 2 nights a week, martial arts for my husband 2 nights a week, whoever happens to be home can start cooking dinner and not waste time. Also, if you have meals planned, you are less likely to go out to eat, which saves a ton of money.

4) Coupons = free money 
There are great coupon sites such as southern savers, the coupon mom, etc. that tell you what's on sale and where to take your coupons.  Of course, only buy what you need and will use.  

5) skip expensive cleaners - white vinegar and water will clean and disinfect, and the smell evaporates as soon as it is dry.  It cuts grease better than anything.

6) don't buy many new clothes, especially for kids - shop consignment sales for clothes.  Clothes are really marked up in stores! click here to see how much I spent last time.

7)Cancel your satellite/cable service.  We did this last summer and watch most of our shows online on hulu.  The kids love PBS.  Saves $50/month, $600/yr.
If you are thinking you could never do it, you might be a couch potato.  Seriously, get moving.  There is more to life... :)

8) Don't buy new books, dvds, or cds - check out your local library and used bookstores.  My personal favorite is paperbackswap.com.  On this free website, you can post books you don't want or need, when someone requests the book, you mail it to them.  You can even pay the postage online and print out paper to mail the book in.  In return, you get credits and can request books from other people.  I got rid of books and old piano books this way, and got some of my college textbooks this way.  big savings!!  If you don't want to get rid of any of your books, you can buy credits to use, and this can be cheaper than amazon or ebay.  There are sister sites too for trading DVDs and CDs.

9) Another way to save money - keep yourself organized.  If you are constantly losing things, then you spend more money to replace what you cannot find.  We are still working on this in our house, but we do keep a file box that has a folder for each month.  Any paper bills and correspondence about insurance goes in there.
If you struggle with staying organized, check out FLYLADY.  When I follow her advice, I FLY, but often I am fluttering.  I sometimes get easily overwhelmed and/or spend too much time working on cleaning up.  She says to set a timer for 15 min, and when the time goes off, quit.  My favorite quote "you are not behind, just jump in..."
If all else fails, watch an episode of Hoarders.  If that doesn't inspire you to clean up and organize your house, you should probably be ON the show...

April 27, 2010

curly bear graduated

to a big girl bed a week ago.

 She has done a good job sleeping there at night, but we are still working on staying in bed at naptime.  I caught her playing the other afternoon, she hid her face in her hands when she saw me.

When we ask her where she is going to sleep she says "big girl!"

Goldilocks wants to know when she and Curly Bear can sleep in the same bed!

April 23, 2010

Military Brat meets Civilian

Show Us Your Life with Kelly's Korner

Today it is How you met your Husband day over at Kelly's Korner

Once upon a time there was a military brat who lived all over the country and the world until his father retired. Meanwhile, there was a civilian girl who grew up in a middle TN suburb, in one house, went to one Christian school, went to the same church until she left for college.  

Girl hangs out with friend (Emily) she met at youth camp, met Emily because her youth minister was from girl's home church and attended same Christian Univ. Girl goes home with Emily to attend Halloween hayride at her church, sees more camp friends, meets new pastor, his wife, and daughter.  
Boy transfers to TN in January to be close to his family who has landed in the state of his birth. Boy's father happens to be Emily's new pastor. 

Emily helps Boy get oriented on campus, which leads to boy meets girl in the hallway outside the cafeteria.  Boy follows girl out of dinner the next night, but girl wasn't really interested because someone else had asked her out.
The next night, boy and girl talked on the phone for several hours.
Friday night, sat next to each other during college night at the movie theater. Sunday night - She ate all of his french fries at O'Charleys on their first date  - February 1997.
Boy and girl committed early on in the relationship to not waste each others time if we thought the relationship wasn't working.
Boy and girl spent many weekends driving to see boy's family an hour away, and they never listened to the radio, only talked.  We ate a lot of home cooking on the weekends to make up for the cafeteria food during the week! ;)

We knew there was something special

fast forward to 1999

The proposal happened one Friday evening when boy picks up girl for a date night, using girl's favorite candy.
Of course I said yes!
Soon, we graduated from college and got ready for a new life.


We have had lots of fun together and are blessed!
Our 10th wedding anniversary is this summer!!!

We plan to take a trip (alone!) this fall after I'm done with school for our anniversary.

Love you Papa Bear!!

April 22, 2010

While I was writing the last post

my children were finishing up a snack of cheese and crackers in the kitchen. When Goldilocks came into the living room and said that she was done, I went to get Curly Bear out of her high chair and was greeted with this smile.
Her face, her teeth, her white dress, her hand, her tray, were all a nice shade of orange.

have you figured out was she was eating?

April 21, 2010

coffee, rocks, and crayons

Today, the girls and I went and met our friend Kathy for some coffee (and hot chocolate for Goldilocks).  It was fun to catch up on what our families had been doing.  We used to go to church together, and taught a 3 yr old class together for several years. Now we live 45 min apart and go to different churches which makes it a little harder to see each other.  I forgot to take a picture so I'm stealing one from a friend's facebook page.  Pretend we sitting on the patio of the coffee shop, and the girls are coloring, eating snacks, and playing with rocks.

 Kathy is a dental hygienist, so Goldilocks decided to talk teeth with her for a minute.  Here's the general gist of the conversation...
Goldilocks:  I haven't lost any teeth yet
Kathy: yes, but you will one day
Goldilocks: Its taking TOO LONG! (using hands to emphasize, then sighs)
This hot chocolate is really good.

April 20, 2010

The other day, Curly Bear got into a fight

we can't figure out who won the fight, please vote below. ha!


April 19, 2010


Wednesday night, after church, Goldilocks showed me the puppet she had made. One side was happy, the other was sad.

Goldilocks: This is you momma! (shows me the happy face)

Me: oh! that's nice Goldilocks
Goldilocks: (turns it over) and this is Curly Bear, she's very sad.

Me: poor Curly Bear, why is she so sad?
Goldilocks: She's sad because she wants to play outside, and you're happy because you are playing outside.
Me: hmmmm (wondering why I'm playing outside without kids, ha!)

Eventually, she told me there was a sad man and Jesus helped him be happy.

April 18, 2010

at our house,

when its time to vacuum, one runs away and the other I try not to run over.
She's like a dog with its tongue hanging out of the car window...

April 16, 2010

Show Us Your Life - Teacher Gifts

Show Us Your Life with Kelly's Korner

figured I could do this - I've been a teacher and now a mom

Most teachers don't really need/want teachery knick-knacks

1. handwritten notes of appreciation from parents - I've kept everyone I've received
2. gift cards - stores, restaurants
3. school supplies for classroom - especially sticky notes

4. childrens books/bookstore gift card
5. baked goods - have your kids help in some way with this. We've taken sugared pecans, homemade croutons (heart shaped), and rosemary bread made in our bread machine
to my daughter's teachers.

6. A big shiny apple - or apple bread, etc. :)
7. inexpensive accessories for the teacher's hobby - maybe a card for camera, gardening supplies or plants, cake decorating supplies, quilting/knitting stuff, cookbook, etc. If you aren't sure about the teacher's favorite hobby, your kid knows!

April 13, 2010

Today at lunch

Goldilocks and I were discussing everyone's first, middle, and last names in our family. She kept getting confused and finally confused me.

G: does Curly Bears have any gracebucks?
Me: what are gracebucks?

(repeat the above conversation about 4 times, with several variations of tone, inflection, and hand movements.)

Me: I don't understand what you are asking, I'm so confused.
G: Momma, we'll talk about this later.


G:is it later yet?
Me: (hand smacking forehead)

April 12, 2010


Please consider donating to CureSearch, this is near and dear to our hearts.
Some of our dearest friends had 2 girls who had AD/RT, a very aggressive childhood cancer.
We know another family whose son has ALL.
That's TOO MANY kids!!
Below is the link to our friend Natalie's donation page, she is helping to organize the first walk in New Orleans.

Click here to donate and see more info and a video

April 8, 2010

Bed Head

This is what happens when Papa Bear doesn't take the ponytail holders out of Goldilocks hair before bedtime...

April 6, 2010



Aftermuch better

speaking of hair....

April 5, 2010

Little girl pictures

After the family portrait fiasco, I decided to try to get some pictures of the girls. I neglected to get one of them together, but probably wouldn't have gotten a good one...

Goldilocks posed very sweetly for about 30 seconds.

Curly Bear wouldn't stand still and pose, she was too busy getting ready for
baseball's opening day and rubbing the hem of her dress in the dirt, sigh...

Curly Bear! Come here please!

Curly! Come here and say "cheese"!

here I am! "CHEESE!"

mmkay, batter up!