Thursday, December 31, 2009

Goodbye 2009

It is the last day of 2009. I can't believe that it was a decade ago that we were ringing in the new millennium. I was sixteen that year and I went to a youth group party at swan lake resort. It was my first new years I could drive. I went on a subway run and I got lost somewhere in Amish country for almost 2 hours trying to find my way back to the hotel. I almost hit a buggy, and we never did get subs, but that sure was a memory. That was also the last New Years I spent without my husband. The next year I had a party in my parents basement Dan was absent because he was with the Purdue marching band, but we had fun with a Karaoke machine just hanging out at home. Then there was New Years of 2002. I went to the youth party to show off my engagement ring. By 2004 I was married. 2005 I was expecting our first baby. 2006 Isaac was here. 2007 Asher was here. 2008 we were pregnant with #3. J

So that brings us up to now. Funny how fast ten years goes. So much has changed. In 10 years I went from high school to wife and mom of 3. It has been a wonderful and eventful 10 years. This year alone has been eventful. There were goals that I wanted to reach, new additions, friends that have moved away, and lots of stuff in between.

It has been a big year for Isaac. He has accomplished potty training, a task that seemed impossible for so long. He started Tuesday school in September, which is a free once a week preschool. He is in 5t clothes because he is so tall. Yesterday I had to loosen his jeans because he is starting to fill out. That is a huge blessing after a month long scare with illness. After lots of testing and a long string of yucky sickness all is fine and he is very healthy.

Asher is at a very challenging age. The terrible two's has reared its ugly head in my sweet boy. He is my most emotional child, and at time that is wonderful we have to learn how to channel this emotion for good. He is so smart and I think he may have his Daddy's brain. He loves blocks and can build towers that are very cool. Anything with wheels appeal to him, and of course his love for football is unchanging. He and Dan will sit on the couch mesmerized. It is funny to watch. I think he is almost ready for potty training. He has started taking off his diaper…here we go. In a strange turn of events I had to tighten, bubba's jeans the other day. He is getting tall and thin now. He is still in 2t, but shirts he needs a 3t. It will never cease to amaze me how different they are.

July 29 we welcomed Levi Brian Robert to the world and our family. He is now five months old. He is such a joy. I love this age. They are smiley and so much fun. He has been a struggle to nurse, but now that we are mostly on bottles I feel like he is happier so I am ok too. He is quite the spitter upper though. That is a stage I look forward to moving out of. He is getting so big so fast. I love that he is so cuddly and sweet. I know it won't be long until he is running around with his brothers.

Dan is the most amazing husband ever. He is consistently wonderful. I love to watch him be a dad. He does an amazing job. He is such an amazing example to us of Christ's love and I am so thankful for him. He also had a big accomplishment this year. After months of studying he passed the professional engineering exam and is officially state certified. Passing on the first try is a huge thing. I'm so proud of him. He never ceases to amaze me as to how well he balances everything and does all aspects of his life well, and to the glory of the Lord.

Then there is me. I feel like so much of my accomplishments are wrapped up in that of my family. God has been teaching me so much through my job as a mom. I'm learning that my selfishness so often affects how I parent. I am working hard to train the hearts of my children, but all too often I don't take the time to do it. I have started homeschooling for preschool (when Isaac isn't at Tuesday school). I am at this point about 99% sure we will be starting out homeschooling. I am so excited for the opportunity to teach my children and train them in the Lord. I am blessed that I am surrounded by several friends who also home school so I will have mentors along the way.

I'm looking forward to seeing what 2010 holds for our family. I know that the Lord has big plans and I am excited to see them played out. Happy New Year every one.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Living on less

As is the custom I have been looking at what goals I'd like to accomplish in 2010. I feel like I have some lofty goals to accomplish. I will later post about all of those goals, but for now I want to talk about my grocery list.

One of the ways I keep my weekly shop so low is because I stockpile. I've talked about that in the past. I have been so blessed this year that I have an over abundance of food. Even after giving away some to needy families over the holiday I have quite a bit left. So for the month of January I will be attempting to eat out of my stockpile. I'm not sure exactly what this will look like. I know I will have to go to the store for things like milk, eggs and produce. However, the main portion of my meals will be from what I have on hand. I'm hoping to get creative and have fun with this. I'm not sure that this will change a whole lot of how we eat, but we will see come the end of the month if I still feel that way.

I'm hoping to only spend $75 this month on groceries. We'll see how it goes. The rest of my budget I'm hoping to put in savings. We have some big savings goals this year so we will be trying to cut back in a lot of areas.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I'll be home for Christmas

We will be heading to South Bend tomorrow. I'm so excited to go home. I haven't been there since one of my best friends got married back in May. It will be great to spend the holiday with family.

We are starting our festivities tonight with Christmas with our immediate family. Open our presents to each other and have birthday cake for Jesus. Then tomorrow we will do gifts with Dan's parents. Then on Thurs we will spend time with his mom's side. Friday we will spend time with Dan's dad's side. It will be a long week, but so much fun.

I'm hoping everyone has a wonderful Christmas as we remember that Jesus came down in the most humble of ways to save us all. What an amazing gift our God has given us. That is a true reason to celebrate.

Target has cheap Pepsi

If you are a Pepsi drinker it looks like Target has a pretty good sale right now. Check it out here. I would jump on this, but we are going to be working hard to lose some weight starting Jan 2. So having pop in the house won't help. But, I hope some one can get some use out of this deal.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Amazon: Shake n go speedway

So, I have found some decent deals on amazon lately. I just got Isaac his birthday present. Hip to save has details here on how to get the shake and go race way at a pretty good price. I know Isaac will be excited.

Monday, December 14, 2009

I love Melissa and Doug!

So I just took advantage of this awesome deal on Amazon. This see and spell puzzle set from Melissa and Doug is marked down to $9.99 from $19.99. Plus, it qualifies for Supersavers shipping. I added a few things I was going to get anyway, but I see this being helpful with some of our home school activities.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Menu Monday

So, I figured out my weekly menu and then I looked at the store ads...nothing is jumping out at me. I think this will be a good week to just use what I have on hand. I only need a handful of things so I may just do a quick trip for milk and produce and wait and see if next week has anything better for me...I'm feeling a little down in the coupon dumps lately. I haven't been overly amazed by grocery deals. I've stayed with in my budget, but I've mostly just been eating down some of our stockpile. Which is good because it was getting a bit too full (if that is possible).

I'd love to hear about anyone else getting some good grocery deals. I need some motivation.

Fun deals for the day

Here are a few fun things I've found around the blogoshpere that I thought you might enjoy.

Have you seen BK's Christmas promo. So, funny! You pick a card and they stick a $1 bill in it for a 1/4lb cheeseburger. But the cards are awesome. If nothing else you should look just for a laugh, but it only costs a dollar and they mail the card with cash in it. I actually did a few just for fun. Click here for a good laugh.

Also, I just ordered a LeapFrog Didj gift set for only 27.99 shipped! All the info is in this post. It would be an awesome Christmas gift if you had a little one who is into star wars. Isaac isn't quite old enough, but this was a great deal so he will get it next year.

Also, today is the last day for SeeHere's 50% off promo. You get free shipping too. Use the code 2day and get 50% off all photo books and gifts. Get the mini books for only $2.50! I did a few of these for Christmas presents.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

sounds like fun

So Isaac is starting to vocalize a lot more of his thoughts. It is really funny to hear. Yesterday Dan was browning some meat in a pan. I was nursing Levi. Isaac came into the living room to tattle on his dad.

Isaac: Mom, Daddy won't let me touch the handle of the pan...
Me: That's because it is hot. Daddy loves you and he doesn't want it to burn you, that would hurt.
Isaac: Well...that's ok. Hurt is only for a minute. Then things stop hurting. So if it hurts it will only be a minute. Hurt is ok.

Here I am thinking 1) How profound of a little guy. Then he adds.

So, I still want to touch the pan cuz it will only hurt for a minute and it sounds like fun.

2) Ok, you are just a boy, and for the rest of my life I will be trying to keep you from doing things that could hurt you, but you will try them anyway because, well, it sounds like fun.

Friday, November 20, 2009

I'm dreaming of a cheap Christmas...

Chistmas time is upon us. I love Christmas! I love the smells, the lights, the food, the music, the decorating. I love all the festive stuff. I love seeing family that we don't get to see often. I love hearing my kids talk about baby Jesus. It is so cool to hear them learn about our savior and know it is being hidden in their little hearts. LOVE IT.

I also, love the gifts. I love finding presents for people that i know they will enjoy. I love finding a great deal on these presents... This year is no exception. We will be trying to spend even less this year because we have put most of our extra cash into getting our home ready to sell.

Dan and I will be making a list of who we have to buy for and setting our budget accordingly. I have been buying for my kids throughout the year so hopefully I will be done with all their gifts very soon.

A few highlights I have seen working are the toy coupons on One of my favorites is the $5 off Mr. Potato Head Spud bud. At Target they have a Santa Spud for $5.99. (I found him by stocking stuffers) After coupon he is only $0.99!!! I was able to print 2 coupons from each computer we have and so I bought four.

I'm keeping an eye out for any other great deals on toys. They ball popper was marked down at our Target to $17. With $5 coupon it was only $12. This is a really fun toy that my kids LOVE.

Have you found any awesome deals we shouldn't pass up? Keep me posted and I will let you know if I find anything worth doing a happy dance for.

A month of chaos

First off, here is an updated picture of my boys. Aren't they cute in their Purdue gear. I love them!

Ok, so I haven't been on in forever it feels like. When I last posted Isaac had just come down with a tummy issue. Well, the issue lasted over 3 weeks then turned into seeing a specialist and a whole slew of other things that made my life feel upside down. Combine that with the fact that Dan has been working crazy hours and you have a very flustered me. My house is not in good shape, my coupons are a train wreck, and I have just altogether been unorganized and all over the place.

So, now I'm back to life. We are pretty sure everything is ok with Isaac. Praise the Lord. Now, I need to get my house back in order and some organization back in the works. With all that is going on right now that could be a major thing. So, I'm trying not to get overwhelmed. I'm trying to take things one at a time.

We leave for FL on Monday to visit a few of our friends for Thanksgiving. I'm so excited. On the way down I hope to get my coupons clipped and sorted, Christmas cards ready, and spend some time with Dan talking about Christmas budget and upcoming financial goals. I love road trips because it gives me time to just talk to my hubby. I LOVE to talk to my hubby.

So, that is where I have been for a month. I hope I am back now...we'll see what happens.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Project one : Defrost and organize freezer

I decided it would be as good a time as ever to defrost my freezer. It was long over due, and I needed to find something on the bottom. So I pulled everything out.



It was in serious need of being defrosted. So I boiled water and poured it down the sides. It went pretty quickly. Then I took inventory. It's always good to see what you have. I realized I have a lot of baking chips… I tried to organize it so like items were together and items I access often were easy to get to.


I found that I had a pretty good stash in my freezer. I shouldn't need meat for awhile. My goal now that I know what is in there is to make and freeze some meals. It felt good to accomplish a project. We'll see how the rest of the week goes. I have big plans, but I may not have all the energy.

What a week

This week is going to be interesting. Dan is taking his PE (professional engineer) test this week so he will be gone all week studying. He will be home for about an hour a day to help tuck the boys in and get things ready for the next day.

We are also sick here. Isaac has had a yucky bug for over 2 weeks now. I took him to the ER yesterday (he ended up being fine). But I picked something up there. Asher is a little cranky and I think we all getting cabin fever.

So to keep myself busy I have a plan to take on a project a day. I will try posting to let you all know how I'm doing. If nothing else just for me to feel connected to the outside world.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Visit from AZ

My grandparents made a long drive to the midwest from AZ just a few weeks ago. They stopped by to see us which was a lot of fun. Grandpa and Max bonded, Bayley tried to make sure he got attention also. It was so nice to see them.

Yummy new cookie recipe

So, this doesn't help my diet, but I love love to bake. I found this recipe and it is delicious. It is for Cranberry oatmeal cookies. I subbed out the raisins and cranberries for Crasins, and it worked, but I would like to try it according to the recipe next time. I love white chocolate so this was pretty much amazing. Hope you enjoy.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

baby shoes

There are lots of great baby giveaways going on at The Deal scoop this week. Here is a chance to win some free baby shoes. I love me some baby shoes. Just thought I'd share.

Lots of give aways

If you have a little one this may be worth checking out.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Meal plan for the week

We made a trip to Sam's this week which cut a portion out of our monthly budget. So my weekly budget this month is 33.75/week. However, I don't think I will need to buy much since we are well stocked.

Here is my meal plan for the week.
Mon- Tortilla soup
Tues- Chicken alfredo green beans garlic toast
Wed House Church
Thurs- Salad bar
Fri- Home made pizza, peas, salad, baked apples
Sat- left overs
Sun- youth group

french toast

hopefully lots of leftovers

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Goals and excuses

Ok so this is one of those just for me posts. The kind that doesn't provide any good to any one else. Not an update on my kids or our family, but a selfish spilling of the guts. :) I've decided I need to lose some weight. Now that I Levi is almost 11 weeks it is time to start thinking about getting healthy.

In the past I've wanted to lose some weight to be cute, fit into clothes, and all that good stuff. While that is still the case the bigger deal now is health. I have had 3 babies in four years. I have gained a lot of weight and not had a whole lot of time to get rid of it in between . Unfortunately I'm not one of those women who loses the weight just by breastfeeding either. In fact, I gain weight while breastfeeding. (Not fair, I know.) Obesity runs in my family. So does diabetes, heart disease, and lots of other yucky stuff. I want to be around for my kids so I want to work on being healthy for them.

First though, I'd like to get off my chest my list of excuses as to why it will be hard. Then I can move on. :)
1. I'M TIRED!!! I'm not getting much sleep so I feel tired all the time, and when I'm awake I am constantly taking care of kids which is exhausting.
2. I don't have time. Not to mention my busy schedule I have a baby attached to me almost 6 hours a day. He is a slow nurser and he eats 7-8 times a day still. Then when he isn't attached I'm taking care of the other two.
3. It is hard to work out with the kids around. I'm afraid to get on the eliptical machine when they are awake because they hang on my ankles and i don't want them to get hurt.
4. I'm hungry...enough said.

Ok now that we have that out of the way. I think I'm going to get moving on losing some weight. I am looking into joining the gym so that should help with childcare while I work out. (now to find the time and motivation.) I also will be attempting to work on my diet quite a bit. I really love sugar. A lot. So I will be making my first food goals to eat only one sweet treat a day and drink 50 oz of water a day. I don't drink nearly enough so this is a good starting goal.

Anyway, this is where I'm starting cheer me on. I know I will need it.

Free stuff!

I'm a huge fan of free stuff in my mailbox here are two awesome links I signed up for today that look like fabulous offers.

If you are like me you go through a lot of pregnancy tests. :) Here you can get 10 free or you can opt for ovulation tests or any combo. Awesome!

Also has the scoop on how to get some free homeopathic kids medicine if you have a blog. Check it out here.

Just thought I'd share. Have a gorgeous fall day!

Sunday, October 4, 2009


I was sick today with a tummy bug. So I was laying on the couch. Asher climbed up with me and crawled under the covers. Then he wanted to watch football. So I sat and watched football with my boy. It was so fun to cuddle him and watch him love football.


Tonight Isaac told us that when he wakes up at night, and he is scared of the moon. He just prays and then he isn't scared any more. I love him.


Levi is getting big. I love his little personalitly coming out. He has a great smile and talks all the time. So cute. He is such a good baby. We are really blessed.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

This weeks groceries

This week I made two trips to Meijer. The first trip I purchased two family packs of chicken. This is enough chicken to last us at least 3-4 weeks. I took advantage of a few of the sales, but my coupons were not in good order so I only got a few things on the freebie list. Some of the deals for free this week are the Green Giant steamers, chex mix, and warm delights. Pizza rolls ended up .60 a box. There was a catalina deal on the yeast that you got .50 off your next order. So after coupons they were .95/3 and I got $1.50 in coupons. My first order ended up being right around $35

My second trip was pure coupons with the exception of the pudding. I was a little frustrated because several of my coupons that should have doubled didn't, but I had all three kids and my cashier wasn't willing to just double them. So all in all I spent $7.70 and saved just under $57.
I got 13 bags of chex mix which should have been free, but I think I ended up spending about .50/bag for about 5 because the coupons didn't double (grr there should have been free).
6 free bags of frozen steamer veggies
8 free warm delights
4 boxes of fruit snacks at .40/box
3 cans black beans and 1 guacamole seasoning for free

Altogether I bought 50 items and came out with $4 in catalinas and a $5 $50 or more.

So I stayed under our $50/week budget and still got quite a bit, but I wish all my coupons would have doubled to make it even sweeter. Oh well.


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Where I get my coupons

Local Newspaper- We found a deal to get it delivered on Thurs and Sunday. It was cheaper to do this than to buy a weekly paper at the store.

Online sign ups and samples- I watch these blogs for mailing sent out from companies. If you have a favorite brand they will probably send you coupons. I signed up with all the formula, diaper, and baby companies when I found out I was pregnant (each time) I get sent samples and really good coupons. Other companies have this too. Check the web site of your faves.

Printable coupons- There are several sites that you can print great coupons from. A few of my faves are, Redplum, and smartsource. Also, the blogs will often post special deals. Another site with printables is I will give the detailed instructions further down.

Catalinas- These are the coupons that print at the grocery store check out. These can be high dollar or not worth it so you have to pay attention

E Coupons- Sites like and P& have e coupons you can load on to your loyalty card (Kroger) These are nice because they are stackable which means you can use them with manufacturers coupons.

Meijer Mealbox is a website that is hosted by Meijer with coupons to use only at their store. These are store coupons which mean you can stack them with Manufacturer coupons. These can result in some good deals and freebies.

  1. Go to
  2. In the box on the right click specials
  3. Scroll down and click "add to shopping list" on the coupons you want.
  4. When you have all your coupons click "shopping list".
  5. Then click "Print List"
  6. Check the "coupons" button.
  7. Print as many copies as you need. There are no limits to how many you can print to my knowledge.

Note: When checking out at Meijer be sure to watch your total to make sure the correct amount is being deducted. We have had trouble with these scanning. Just save them until the end and ask the cashier to go slowly.

Blogs I heart! Awesome ideas for how to save money, recipes, and being a Godly wife. She also home schools. Realistic busy mom with 3 boys. Lots of great ideas for moms who are just trying to keep it all together. Lives in Cinci. (So for me) Great for grocery match up, local activities, good freebies. Mom of five with lots of great deals. I did most of my Christmas shopping online with all the ideas through her site.

I follow several blogs. To keep it easy and make sure I don't miss anything I use google reader.

Tips for keeping your grocery bill low:

Make a meal plan/menu- Don't buy food that will expire before you use it. Just because it looks good doesn't mean you have to buy it. Have a plan for all perishables.

Have a realistic budget- If you spend $100/week on groceries don't set your budget at $20/week right off. You will be frustrated and give up. Also, know what your budget includes. Do you use the same amount to buy groceries, diapers, formula, cleaning supplies? Be realistic about what your family needs.

Use cash- This is something I used to be a lot better at. However, after a year of a cash budget I don't typically go over budget. When you know you don't have a credit card to fall back on you are much more careful about what you buy.

Stockpile- When an item you know you will use (but won't expire before you will use it) goes on sale stock up. For example: if you can find a kick butt sale on cereal for say $0.25/box and it is something you know you go through quickly buy 10 or more if you can. Then the next week you aren't stuck buying it at full price. Once you have a good stockpile it allows you to only buy those items for rock bottom prices. Some weeks all I do is stockpile (and milk and produce). I have enough food that really aside from some perishables my family could eat for at least a month. This also allows us the joy of being able to give at times to others in need.

Coupons- A huge part of saving money is to use coupons. When doubled and matched with sales you can find great deals, free stuff, and sometimes they even pay you to take it home. I watch several blogs to help with match ups and I collect coupons from everywhere I go. It is a game to me to see how little I can spend.

Monday, September 21, 2009

kroger gift card give away...

I follow several blogs to keep up on all the good deals. One of them is, and she is doing a giveaway for a $30 Kroger gift card. You can check it out here. I could use a free gift card for groceries how about you?

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Asher is two!

Two years ago today our little Asher came into this world. We are so blessed because of him. He is such a joy and a handful. God is so good to us to have given us such a smart, fun, and cute little boy. Happy Birthday Asher.

Organizing my life

Well, this week was overall successful. I was able to organize my fridge and freezers, garage storage, and pantry. It all still looks very full, but I know where everything is and what I have. Which was really my goal. I realized while cleaning my deep freeze that it is in bad need of being defrosted. So this week we are going to work on eating down some of the contents and then defrosting. I've never actually done this so it could be interesting. I'll keep you posted. :)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Free clothes?

I've seen several other blogs posting this almost too good to be true coupon. But apparently it works. It is for $10 off any juniors clothes at Sears. Click here to take you to the PDF. This is good until November and if you watch clearance could probably result in some free clothes. Who doesn't like free clothes?

Coupons in the mail

Proctor and Gamble have a coupon book available right now with over $35 worth of coupons. Go here to sign up for it. This is one way that I get extra coupons is registering for them online. I've gotten this book before and it is worth the two minutes it takes to register. Just thought I'd pass that along.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

OCC boxes

Every Christmas our family joins our church in putting together Operation Christmas child boxes. We fill shoe boxes with toys, school supplies, and hygiene items and send them to children in extremely poor areas of the world. It has become a habit at school supply time to stock up on crayons and other school supplies while they are super cheap.

Last night I was browsing the clearance at Target, (so dangerous for me) and came across lots of clearance supplies. I try to fill the boxes with as much as possible so the less I spend per item the more I can buy. I was able to find calculators for .25, kits with zipper pockets, scissors, pencil sharpeners, and a ruler all for only .37, a large pack of pens for .30, and some fun pencil cases to .60.

Also, some of the dollar spot items were 50% off making them only .50. So I stocked some stickers, and small toys. This past Sunday's paper had coupons for $1/1 Johnson's product. One of the things I like to add to our boxes are the buddies soaps. They have a washcloth already wrapped around them and they usually retail for around $1. So with this coupon these will be free. I can find toothpaste for free most of the time at CVS too. I find that with a little planning ahead we can usually fill these boxes pretty well.

Does anyone else participate in the OCC program? Do you have any inexpensive ideas of things to add?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

We went to Possum Creek the other day. They are a park with a working farm. My kids love the animals and all the fun of the farm. I love that it is free. :) Isaac and Brady were trying to feed the donkey and horse. Asher and Austin liked driving the car.

First day of school (on the second day of school)

Isaac had his first day of Tuesday school last week. I'm just a little slow getting the pictures up. He had to be potty trained to go, and about a week and a half before his first day he started going on the potty full time. For those of you who I talk to on a regular basis you know this is a huge praise. I never thought I would pray for my kids to go to the bathroom on the potty, but I did. And Praise the Lord, God is good. Isaac is officially potty trained and in preschool.

One of my friends told me about a ministry one of the local churches does called Tuesday school. It is a totally free preschool that meets once a week. What a huge blessing. I don't think Isaac would be going to preschool if it weren't for this program. He loves it. They have art, music, gym, and class time. It is once a week for 2 1/2 hrs a week. Anyway, these are the best pictures I could get. He at least looked at the camera, but he is not a huge fan of getting his picture taken. We pick up Isaac's friend Brody every week. They are in our house church and the boys are in the same class. I just can't believe how time flies. I still feel like he is a baby.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Meals for the week

Here is my menu plan for this week. I'm excited to try a few new recipes.

Mon- Eggs
PBJ, yogurt, fruit
Broccoli cheddar soup, chicken salad sandwiches

Tues- cereal, yogurt
soup and sandwiches
Chicken broccoli Casserole, rolls

Ravioli, garlic toast
House church finger foods (French Fries)

Thurs- cereal
chicken nuggets, tater tots, and green beans
Taco pie, tortilla chips, spanish rice

Fri- Cinnamon rolls
cheese, crackers, applesauce, peas
Asher's Birthday party.

It will be a busy week for us, but I'm looking forward to some new recipes.


If you don't get the paper today would be a good day to go buy it. There are five inserts today. That should be the same for most areas. I do get the Sun paper delivered, and I'm still going to buy one today because there are some awesome coupons. I love lots of coupons.

Getting organized!

I've decided I need a little organization in my life. In the midst of all the craziness that is my day a few things have gone by the wayside. So, I'm looking forward to taking the next few weeks to do a little organizing. This week I'm going to hopefully get all of my food storage organized.

I'm a stockpiler. Which means when an item we use goes on sale I stock up. That ensures that I only have to buy it when it is at a low price. I have found it to be one of the most useful tools in saving money. Next to planning so that we don't waste. Because I stockpile we have a lot of food that needs a place. It is important that I know what I have and use it in a timely manner to insure not to waste it. So, this week I will be working on organizing my freezers, fridge, pantry, and garage shelving. Last week we worked on the garage a bit so most of that project is done. I am going to be working pretty slow right now due to the limited time I have with the boys. But my goal is to know what I have, what I need, and what I can give away.

I'm hoping to do six weeks of organizing including working on our schedule, toys, paperwork, all closets, and meals and recipes.

I'd love some accountability. Plus, this is way more fun to do with a group. So let me know if you have anything you are planning to organize and we can all watch our progress together. It may take awhile with littles running around, but I'm excited to have a cleaner, more efficient, more organized home.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

falling for fall

Ok, I know it is cheesy, but I love fall! I can't believe we are in September already! I love when the weather can't make up it's mind as to what the temp should be. I love waking up to a cool breeze in my room and snuggling under the warm covers. I love a hot shower on those cool mornings. I love wearing a T shirt and sweatshirt because you aren't sure if you are going to be hot or cold, but either way it is rarely too hot or too cold.

I love all the things that fall brings. I love the color. Deep reds and oranges. I love when the leaves change. The drive down a long windy road that the tree hang over when you look all around and see all the gorgeous colors of fall. That is just truly God's art showing off. I love raking leaves and jumping in them (bagging them up not as much). I love hot apple cider, bonfires, pumpkin patches, hayrides, corn mazes, smores, caramel apples... fall just smells good.

I love taking pictures of my kids in fall. The scenery is adorable. Nothing is more perfect than a toddler in a cute sweater and cords trying to pick up a pumpkin twice his size. My fave pictures of my kids are usually in a pumpkin patch. They just scream awesome memories. I love to decorate for with leaves and wreaths. I love the cinnamon smells that come with candle for fall. I love making soups and chilis to eat on the chilly evenings.

This has always been my favorite season. There is something beautiful about the change of season. The expectation of something new and fresh. I can't imagine living in an area where year round everything stayed the same. I love the anticipation of what happens next. When fall ends the excitement of the first snow kicks in. Then we long for the new life spring brings. The break of summer is anticipated by every school aged child. Then back to fall with all the joy it brings (at least to me). I know I'm a dork, but I just thought how good our God is. He knows we need that constant movement to keep us going. Some days we complain, but all in all it is good. God is good.

Monday, September 7, 2009

This week on the cheap

I'm trying to get back in the swing of things now that Levi is almost six weeks old. I finally finished transfering my coupons to the binder system. I'm really liking it so far. Dan and I sat down to figure out our financial goals and timing for them. Which, led us to realize we need to be working like crazy to save more. So this month we are hoping to only use cash and try to spend less than normal. So I challenged myself this week to see if I could get all my groceries for under $30. I did it and here is what I got...

Meijer was running some great sales this week. I like to most of the deals are posted at If you want a complete list.

They are running a 10 for 10 event get the 11th item free. These are always nice because with coupons I get a lot of freebies.
2 Easy Macs free w/ coupon
4 Green Giant steamers free w/ coupon
4 pizza rolls .60/ box
1 can fruit 11th item free

Barilla pasta was on sale with coupon ende up being .39/box so I went ahead and got 4.
Campbell's soup 8 cans @ .50/can (cream soups)
2 cans Select harvest soup .45/each
3 loaves whole wheat bread B1G2 $3.19 total
2 rolls breakfast sausage $1.80/each
2 packs cookie dough $1/each (buy 2 get $1 off milk)
2 gallons milk $2.20
2 heads broccoli .79/each
Family pack of chicken $1.79/lb
lunch meat $1.50
Leaf lettuce
Garlic toast

I ended up with 45 items and spent $27.26. I saved $56.70. I bought food for the week and some for the stockpile.

Menu for this week: (these are just dinners)

Mon- Free Chick fil A (bought large fry to share $1.98)
Tues- Church meeting Dinner provided
Wed- Chicken casserole times 2 for house church
Thurs- Brinner (Breakfast for dinner)
Fri- possible date night (child care at church for $10 fundraiser + gift card for dinner= cheap date)
Sat- homemade pizza, sweet corn, salad
Sun- Homemade soup

Also, this week one of my goals is to organize our stockpile of food. We are so blessed to have so much. So, I'm hoping to put together a box to send to the local food bank, and get an inventory of what I have for my family. I'd like to prepare to defrost my freezer either this week or next also. I'm hoping over the next six weeks to do some major organization. So this weeks goal is food.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Just another Manic Monday...

It was 7:15 this morning when my alarm a.k.a. Levi started screaming. After a relaxing 5 hours of sleep I knew I wasn't going back to bed. I fed the baby which I was half grateful for because for some reason I was abnormally full and a little sore.

By 7:45 I heard the pitter patter of a tiny stampede of toddlers coming down the hall, then down the stairs, then I heard a loud crash, then I knew for sure I wasn't going back to sleep. Next was my wonderful husband trying to escape from the toddlers who by this point realized Daddy was here and they didn't want him to get away. I tried to distract with cereal and a possible cuddle on the couch. Luckily today it worked with no major issues.

Isaac crawled up in my lap and snuggled me.
"I love you, Mommy." He tells me, and I realize that being a mom for is worth it for all the fuss for moments like this.
"Jesus gave you your boys, huh, Mom...He's a great guy." At this point I can't help but giggle at the description of our Lord and Savior as "a great guy", but out of the mouth of babe.

After this brief but adorable moment I move on to my to do list for the day. I have:
12 loads of laundry to process through.
lots of coupons to sort
A meal plan to make
A grocery list to make
Sheets to change
Phone calls to make
Clean the bathroom
Clean the refrigerator before going to the grocery

May parents are coming in Wed night to meet Levi and spend the weekend with us so I have a lot of cleaning to do to get ready. Also, I've started homeschooling Isaac for preschool so we take about 20 mins a day to work on his stuff. Tomorrow we have an open house for his Tuesday school which is essentially a free preschool on Tuesdays. I'm so excited for him. I have a phone date planned during nap time to talk to my dear friend Meghan. Maybe we will try to skpe with the kids because I miss seeing them. They are like my little neice and nephew and i love them and miss them now that they live in FL.

Well, laundry is ready to be switched and the boys just finished their cereal so there are dishes to do and diapers to change. So here we go with another Manic Monday.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

My boys

Here are some pictures from this weekend of my wonderful little men (and big man).

Cheap grocery week

This week was a fun week for grocery shopping. The nice thing was I really didn't NEED a whole lot so I could just look for good deals and a few fun things. First I decided to try Walgreen's. I used to do a lot of CVS, but I feel like their deals haven't been worth going in with three littles so I've skipped it for a few months. I have noticed Walgreen's seemed to have some good deals. I think I like it and will go back. Tonight I got 3 rolls of scotch tape, a 8x8 scrapbook page, and 2 packages of Tylenol for $1.41. Not a ton of stuff, but super cheap. Plus, they were things I actually need now.

Then I went to Kroger. They are running their Mega Event where you buy 10 items and get $5 off instantly. So I came home with:

4 cresant rolls(.50 each)
2 cinnamon rolls (.50 each)
3 packs of kids yogurt (My kids LOVE these Trix and Diego)
1 box Trix cereal (.50)
1 King size Reese's(free with coupon from this past sun paper)
box of Kashi cereal (free coupon from Vocal Point)
2 Breyer's ice cream (these were a great deal with coupon $1.65 each!)
2 gallons of milk ( this was the only thing I couldn't live without this week)
a tomato
some fresh green beans

total= $15.53
I saved 28.09 for a 64% savings

I am excited that at this point I am under budget for the month. We try to stay at $50 a week. Last week I went over a bit, but I have been under the other weeks so it made up for it. Plus, last week I bought Asher his birthday gift so that took $15 off the top...The good news is that his present is a little tikes baseball tee we have watched all summer and it finally went on clearance. I'm bummed because the golf set we wanted had been clearanced too, but it was gone... Oh, well.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Levi Brian Robert is here!

Ok so better late than never. We had our little man on July 29. He was 7lbs 10 oz and he is adorable. His brothers love him. Asher won't stop kissing him. He is an easy going little dude. So here is our newest addition, Levi Brian Robert.

Monday, July 27, 2009


Today Isaac is sleeping a little long for his nap. Which means I get some time with just Asher. He is just so cute! I love watching his little walk and his little talk. He is in a baseball phase right now and everything can be a bat and ball. While usually this is a pain. today I'm watching and just adoring my cute little man. He won't be the youngest for long...He is at such a defiant but adorable age. Ah, the joy of toddlers.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Homemade = less expensive.

I found something I'd love to try. I've never personally made homemade laundry soap, but I've heard it is amazing. A friend posted this recipe and it looks easy enough to make. Right now I have about six months worth of detergent stockpiled, but when that is used I'm hoping to try this. Here is the recipe for any one else who is interested. Let me know what you think.

Laundry Soap Recipe: 2 bars Fels-naptha soap (you can buy at Kroger laundry aisle),
2 cups Arm & Hammer Soda Wash (also at Kroger in the laundry aisle),
and 2 cups Borax.
Grate bars of soap into small pieces (I use my blender on "ice chop" setting to shred - washes up great!) and put into 2 quarts boiling water and stir occasionally until melted.
Put Soda Wash and Borax into clean 5 gallon bucket (I used a kitty litter container, well rinsed). Add 2 1/2 gallons hot tap water and stir until dissolved.
Add melted soap mixture and stir. Cover. Use 1/4 cup to 1 cup in each load (depending on load size and dirt amount). It will become gel-like. Sometimes a little like jello.

Another money saver is home made baby wipes. I've done this since Isaac was a baby. It is quick and easy. I really like these for newborns because they are very sensitive and there are minimal ingredients.

Cut one roll Bounty paper towel in half. In a tupperware pour 2c. water, 2T. baby oil, and 2 T. baby shampoo. Set half the roll in tupperware for a few minutes to soak. Turn roll over until entire half is wet. Gently pull out cardboard from the middle. Wipes will pop out like a wet wipe roll. Each roll makes two tupperwares full.

I love doing this. It really only takes a matter of minutes. Plus the boys like to help pour in the ingredients.

I really like finding "recipes" for homemade items. If it saves money and is better for us and the enviroment then why not take the extra couple of minutes. :)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Free Parents Magazine

Click on the link below for a free two year subscription to Parents magazine. I've done them before you are never billed. I love free stuff.

eyes closed

Isaac is working on going poop in the potty. Today he was sitting in the bathroom. We had read a few books and he was not getting anywhere. So I told him to push and see what happened. He started grunting and closed his eyes. Then he opened one eye and kept the other closed tight. He stopped for a minute and said, "did you see me close my eyes, Mommy? One eye is for pooping, but two eyes are for sleeping..."
I thought is was funny, but I am his mom.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

33 1/2 weeks...and counting

We are nearing the end...I'm getting more and more anxious. I am feeling huge and it is VERY hot. I haven't ever experienced the swelling I am this time, but I hear it is normal with the heat. I get another ultrasound on 7/7 which is really exciting. Our 20 week ultrasound showed us a very shy little guy who kept his legs crossed and his face covered which didn't give us very good pictures. We have been hitting the pool quite a bit more lately. I love the pool. In the heat it just seems like my happy place. The boys really enjoy it too. Isaac especially. I love the feeling of being weightless in the pool. I instantly feel pressure off my feet. It is soo nice. Isaac seems to be getting really excited for the baby too. He keeps talking to my belly lately. I LOVE it. He will say "Hi, baby, you are so cute." I'm excited to see how he reacts to the new guy once he is out. I think he will be a much bigger help this time around. Asher however, does not like to share his mommy and daddy. We'll see how he does. He likes being the baby. Oh, the suspense of what a new person will bring. Well, I'm going to head to bed now. Good night.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Prayer request

Last night at our house church we talked a little about praying very specific prayers. We talked about how Abraham was confident God had a wife for Isaac and how his servant was very exact with his prayer. So I was thinking about a few things that I really want to pray for. If you wouldn't mind joining me in praying for them that would be great.

I am really praying that Isaac potty train before the baby is here. If he isn't fully trained he can't start school that he is registered for. Also, it would relieve some of the financial stress when the new baby comes. 3 in diapers would be hard. I'm also hoping that Asher will follow his brother's example and train soon after.

I am praying that if it is God's will our house would sell quickly and for the price we need. I'd love to have a home where we can have guests, a playroom, a bigger yard, and just more space for our growing family. I know God knows what we need and if we are supposed to move I just pray he has the perfect house in his perfect timing. I'm not good at waiting, but God is so faithful.

I haven't had a lot of time to think about the third little boy who will be joining us very soon. I'm really praying God makes the transition smooth for our family. Asher is very used to having mommy and I'm a little nervous when he is not the "Baby" anymore. I want to be able to be a mom and wife without too much stress. All this will possibly be in the midst of having the house on the market. So, I just want to pray I handle it all with God's help and not try to do it all on my own. (I never do very well, but I seem to try to do it on my own too much).

Those are just a few things I want to be in specific prayer for. So often I think I generalize my prayers. I don't bother to take time to be specific. Then I remeber I'm his child. I think how sweet it is when Isaac tells me about his day. Even though i was there. i already know what happened I love to just spend that time with him. I love to hear him verbalize his perspective. It is amazing how much more I understand my relationship with God my father now that I have my own kids. And how much more does the heavenly father love us. God is so good.

To Do

Do you ever just feel like you have so much to do it consumes your thoughts. That's why I love a list if I can get it out on paper I feel like it is out of my mind at least for a time. So I thought I'd type out a few of my to dos. Just to get them out of my head. Not a whole lot exciting just what I want to accomplish in the next few days.

Clean all glass surfaces
Finish laundry
Clean out fireplace
Organize desk (never ending)
vacuum and shampoo carpets

Main Level:
Clean glass surfaces
Clean fridge
Clean oven
Clean kitchen surfaces

change all sheets
Shampoo carpets
Organize closets
sort magazines next to bed

Write birth plan
Get together phone chain
Line up babysitter and backup for kids
Narrow down baby names
install car seat (37 weeks)
Go through garage to find misc baby items (pump, swing, pack n play)
Find a homecoming outfit for baby
Start to pack bags
Review labor terms
Get a gift from the baby to the boys (I want them to feel special even if the new guy is getting extra attention)

I'm sure there is more, there is always more, but that is a good jumping off point.

Monday, June 15, 2009


Today we went to story time at the library. The theme this week was dads for Father's Day. On our way home I asked Isaac what we talked about it went like this:

Me: Isaac, what did we read about today
Isaac: Daddys and Dinosaurs
Me: Oh, yeah. You have a good Daddy don't you?
I: Uh Huh
M: What do you love about your Daddy?
I: Jesus!
M: Does your daddy talk to you about Jesus?
I: Yep, I love Jesus and Daddy.

I thought that was cool. The first thing my 3 year old says he loves about his Dad is the fact that he shares Jesus with him.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

My boys

Today was a pretty boring day. We went to the mall to play for a bit since it was raining. Then the boys took a short nap. Once they woke up we just seemed to hang out and do a lot of nothing. I was sitting at the desk trying to do some paper work. Isaac sat on the couch to keep me company and Asher played under the desk at my feet. So it will be interesting to see where the next one will hang out on rainy days. :)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Toy Tester

Awhile ago I sent an email to parenting magazine saying I'd like to be a toy tester or product tester. It had been awhile with no answer, so I didn't think a whole lot about it. Then the other day I received an email saying we would be getting a toy in the mail to test. We just got it and it is for Isaac's age. I'm so excited for him to wake up and try it. I'm not sure if it is something he will get into or not. He will be playing with the Zap and Learn Why Writer from Super Why (a PBS show). However, it seems like it may be out of his skill level. It requires some reading, and Isaac is still working on recognizing his letters. I will be interested to see how he does with it.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Here is a little of what we've been up to.

We had such a crazy May! We traveled every weekend! My best friend, Meredith, got married so we were back and forth from IN quite a bit.

Isaac broke his thumb at church. So we spent mother's day in the ER this year. After having the splint for 2 1/2 weeks the Dr. said he was ok to take it off with no cast. Praise Jesus!

Asher went to Kiddie Kuts for his first official hair cut. We have had lots of fun just playing and enjoying summer.

I'm officially in my third trimester of pregnancy now. So that means soon our family will be adding another little boy! That's just a few things that we have been up to.