Weekend Work~10/20

I literally spent most of the weekend working as I was attending the state Occupational Therapy conference in Winston-Salem on both Saturday and Sunday. I did gain knowledge from the educational class so it was not a complete waste. Matt on the other hand was really productive. He finished up with the “tower” today.  Just to recap this is what it looked like off the truck.FullSizeRender (2)The extreme makeover included a bridge, a steering wheel, periscope, canopy top and climbing wall. The rest was pressure washing and repainting.  Zach spent some of his birthday money to purchase both the steering wheel and periscope so in total we have spent about $120 for the materials including the new items. It is awesome and I am sure will be played with for years! Enjoy a picture overload…

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Low Spend/No Spend Failure

I knew it would happen. Every time I decided that I am going to try and keep our spending to a minimum  something always seems to come up. This month it was shoes.

All three of the little kids needed shoes this past week. So we ended up spending most of last Sunday, shopping for shoes. We were able to find 4 new pair of shoes, Kendall was the lucky recipient of two pair, for $95.  I don’t think that our shoe problems has been entirely solved but at least they have been pushed back for the moment. I anticipate that both Lily and Kendall will need new boots this year but for now they are fine wearing what shoes they have. I will also need to buy a pair of new shoes for work  but my plan is to wait till we are in Michigan and attempt to go to the Nike outlet for those.   The other unexpected cost this month are directly related to home repair and upkeep. As a home owner, things wear out and need to be repaired and updates as is the case with our house this month. So I am going to declare that I am a failure at this low spend month.

However I am thinking in the long range, I may actually meet most of our set financial goals for the month.  We currently have spent $320 of our $600 grocery budget. This  does include our Costco membership that I thought I had paid in September. I don’t see any other large purchase for this month so I expect to stay around $350 total for the month. In other good budget news, gas prices have significantly dropped in the last week. I saw prices today at less than $3 a gallon. This should allow us to stay under our $400 a month gas budget. Anything left for the month will be used for our Michigan trip, which will also be reduced if gas prices decide to stay at this level.

In some  other good budget news, we have been able to increase our income for the month by selling a couple of items, a $20 rebate from P&G, a refund of $70 for my weight loss challenge and Matt has picked up some additional work as well.


Crazy Busy Weekend- Outside toys!

FullSizeRenderThis arrived at my house on Friday night, the kids were so excited! They even got to stay up late (after 9pm) to watch it get off the trailer! Thankfully no one got hurt!  In the future aka when my brother has time, it will be rotated so the porch and window will be facing outwards. Saturday morning  was spent nailing and cleaning/prepping the outside for a fresh coat of paint. This was given to us by my BFF, but it is in serious need of TLC.

The list of things to do with this house include 1. Rotate and level
2. Paint the outside. We were given some paint and I have already purchased a quart of red for the porch and windows
3. Windows will be filled with screen and casing placed around the inside and plastic on the outside for the winter.
4. New roof
5. Door handle and new latch added.
6. Quarter round placed around the inside walls
7. Finish cleaning out the inside and move out kitchen and laundry room toys into it.

I will update pictures as we cross things off the list.

We ended up picking up this on Saturday afternoon. It again is a gift but needs some refurbishing to make it awesome. Zach has purchased a steering wheel and periscope. We will attach this to our deck with a cool bridge with rope handrail, add a climbing section to the side, add new cover for the top and connect the slide. I hope to post pictures of this completed project in the next couple of weeks.

As you can imagine these addition took a lot of time this weekend in addition to a major shopping trip to Lowes and a very full Sunday.  I can actually say I am glad the weekend is over  because I need a break!

Sermon Notes

I have some very strong opinions/beliefs about children and church. But sometimes my opinions and reality don’t quite go together. Matt and I have talked at length over the years regarding church and at what age a child should be expected to not only sit in church but actually listen and gain something from a message. One of the things that we both agree on is that unless you expect a behavior and facilitate the behavior then it is not going to happen.

Our current church offers Sunday school classes for all ages  and Children’s Church (which occurs during the regular services) up to middle school age.  there is also a separate program for kids on Wednesday night that all three of the little kids love. Matt and I agreed long ago that middle school  was not the right time to begin training a child to listen and learn during a sermon so we had discussed with Lily that starting in September, since she is in the fourth grade, she would no longer be allowed to go to Children’s Church. Lily is very smart and she didn’t complain about the idea. As I watched her last Sunday, she was doing nothing wrong in fact she had me help her find the passage that the message was from; however I quickly realized that shortly after this she was no longer listening to what was being said.  This lead to a discussion between us and a post of Facebook for questions that we could expect her to answer about the sermon. A friend, who is both a teacher and principal, shared an awesome idea about allowing Lily to choose questions to answer.  I am excited to say that for a first attempt, it worked and worked well. Lily was given a composition book this morning before church and on the first page was this…


It is a tic tac toe board, with a different question in each square. The question from left to right are : Who are the main characters?  Reference? Who preached?  (2nd row) What emotion did the sermon make you feel?  Name three things you learned today from the sermon? How can you apply to your life? (3rd row) What was the topic? Did another Bible reference get used? what was it? and Does this connect to last week’s sermon? How?

Lily is allowed to pick which three question she is going to answer as long as she gets 3 in a row.  This morning she paid much closer attention to the sermon.  I did realize that she does not know what the word Reference means so I will help her learn that this week.  Overall I am very pleased with this and hope it will lead us into some good discussions as well as teach her to listen and apply not only sermons but information from lectures in the future.

Can you think of any better or different question for us to use?

Small Projects Saturday

Here are a couple of pictures of the small projects that we were able to complete this weekend!

I have really wanted to decorate our front door area. I am really pleased with the results and will be able to change out the flowers in addition to things hanging up as I have time and the holiday changes as well.  I did purchase the planter and flowers and one piece of wood for the letter A.  The pumpkins were made by the girls last year and seem just perfect to start with!

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Matt made this picture frame. I was able to get the picture for the cost of shipping so I definitely did not want to spend over $20 on a frame, total cost less then $5.

FullSizeRenderThis is above our bed.  We had the canvas picture made in the spring but have been waiting until we could agree and complete the rest to make it look finished.  Matt was able to locate both pieces of wood and did the work himself.


Next we plan to tackle a slightly bigger project of fixing up a playhouse that we have been given.  The current plan is to bring it here next Saturday and start the make over.



CVS Shopping

I made a couple of stops at CVS this week and am super excited to share what I was able to purchase for $9!

I guess the first thing to explain is why I made 2 separate trips. I usually on Friday go ahead and check out Southern Savers to put together and print out my shopping list for CVS. Because of my attempt to stay on budget for September and October, I decided to wait until at least Wednesday before shopping. I just added the list and coupons in my purse. I ended up with a little bit of extra time on Wednesday so I decided to stop at a different CVS.  The first thing that made this a great trip was that quarterly ECB printed on Wednesday as well. I was able to save an additional $6 by using the ones that print for the fall quarter. I also did not realize that Twizzlers were part of the printable deal for the week so I had not found any coupons for them on Wednesday when I stopped.  I was able to locate several excellent coupons on Wednesday night. Twizzlers are Matt’s favorite candy so once he found out that I was going to be purchasing Twizzlers he was ok with making a quick stop during our busy Thursday.

Now to the fun stuff! I spent $9, and saved $53 or 86%.  I was able to purchase 9 bags of candy including 3 bags of Twiizzlers and 2 pack of Listerine Pocket pacs!   I have hidden most of the candy so that we can use for Halloween at the end of the month!  I just could not pass up a deal for candy at less than $1 a bag!

Unfortunately I have already looked at the list for CVS starting on Sunday and don’t even plan a trip this week. But since we are stocked up on candy it is not a loss!

October Budget Challenge

I have decided to join Carla in her October Budget Challenge. One of the reason that I so enjoying reading Carla’s blog is that she is real, she does not try to pad number or just say hey I am going to do this and then forget to tell us what is up even it is ugly.  So now on to me… I have already talked about how we are trying to save money so now I am going to put some numbers to the challenge.

My big goal for the month will be to have $600 in our Michigan trip fund by the end of the month.   I am hoping to do this mainly by saving money from small areas such as gas, groceries and utilities. In addition, I have placed several items up for sale and will be receiving the cash for these as well. I am also hoping to get a small bump in income from Matt this month.

So my goal for the week is very similar to Carla’s…… stay on budget. Currently as of today, I have spent $265 of our $600 grocery budget, so my goal is to definitely not spend anything else on groceries for the week.

I will be updating on Thursday/Friday of each week as this is usually payday.