Christmas Eve Piano

Aside

We are very fortunate to have an awesome piano teacher who understands my love of everything Christmas. At the end of October, Lily was ready to progress to the next book in her lessons. I found Christmas music in this teaching series for each of the girls abilities. So for the past 2 months, piano practice has been Christmas songs. The girls both wanted to share with you there favorite pieces. Both girls have been taking lessons for about 18 months. Enjoy each of the 3 videos below, sorry the sound is low, so turn up the volume,┬ábut we are learning. First is Kendall with “We Three Kings of Orient”


Next Kendall is playing “Away in a Manager” and “Silent Night”


Lily chose to play “The First Noel” and “Up on the Rooftop.”


 

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

The “Hits” of September

I can honestly say that September has been a difficult month on us so far in all aspects of the word. It seems we are getting same hits from all sides. So I thought I would share a few of the highlights here with one request…if you read these…please pray for us.
1. Our dryer was on it’s death bed. It was taking 2-3 hours per load, the final straw was the HORRIFIC sound that gave me a headache. But it has been replaced with a new to us dryer that works get so far. Cost $150
2. 2 flat tires within 3 days of each other. First was one on the car which Matt was able to get repaired at Walmart for $10 and the second on the van which cost $45 to purchase a new one from Costco. We have learned that the car is in need of tire in the next month or so so that should be another $500. I am praying that we can at least wait until Mid to late October for these.
3. Oral surgery is on the horizon for me . I was informed at the dentist that 2 of my teeth are abscessed and infected, with one actually draining in my sinus cavity. I have an appointment with the oral surgeon on Tuesday. The initial cost is $200 and then I will get an estimate at that appointment. I honest don’t have a clue what the final cost or where we will get the money for this expense at.
4. The closing of Angel Food Ministries. This alone does not sound like a big deal but when we really started looking at our budget, we have been heavily using Angel Food as our source of meat for the last 2 years. I have started a price point list for meat and hope to be able to maintain our grocery budget at its current level but to be honest I am not sure this will be possible.
5. The exhaust system on the van messed up. We needed up having it towed and fixed in one day. But I can not describe the stress this added to our life this one day. Cost of the repair was $170
6. Zach had his 2 year old check up this month and despite the fact he has gained weight and it on the growth chart, the doctor is still really concerned. To add to our concern is the possibility of a heart murmur. The doctor told Matt that it sounds like a “mild one.” This is one concern that I am giving over to God. I mention it here just so that I can have a record but I have peace and really think the doctor needs his hearing checked.

Add to this hit list that school is back in and we are all trying to adjust to the new schedule and that I am adding more hours at work then it all equals A LOT OF STRESS!

The Good, the Bad , the Crazy Week in Review

I knew that this past week would be busy as normal and so when I thought about posting for this week, I came up with this list format. Hope you enjoy…

The Good

-Lily has had a blue or purple light/dot all week, so she got a prize. I had lunch with Lily on Thursday and Matt meet briefly with her teacher Thursday night. Lily is very well-behavior and is exceeding in reading and writing! We don’t have a good reading level on her yet but at the end of first grade, all students should be reading on a Level I, currently Lily has passed Level E with plans to test at Level F this week.
– I got to have a meeting with my supervisor at work this week, so I am feeling alot more at ease about my position and there is a chance that by the end of the year, I may only be working 1 job which still will keep us on track financially.
-After a somewhat rough start to the Bible Quizzing year, Haley has joined a team from the church in Greensboro. We had our first competition on Saturday. Haley did awesome and is currently 6 out of 27 quizzers. This also was an awesome event for me. I came home not exhausted and I really enjoyed interacting with the quizzers.
– We are still gathering peppers from our Square Foot Garden
-I was able to make several good trips to CVS this week, including today (Sunday) where I spent $10 and saved $36 or 78%. I was also able to bring home 3ECB which is only 1 less than what I started with. I hopefully will be able to do the same transactions on Amanda’s card later on in the week. One of the big sale item is Diet Coke cans!
-Kendall and Zach are both enjoying “preschool” at least once a week!
-God has supplied all our needs. See the bad to understand more.

THE BAD

– Haley is currently grounded from the computer and the phone.
-On Wednesday night our dryer developed a sound that could give anyone a headache and it sound like it could stop at any moment, add to this it was taking 2 hours or more per load. We knew we needed to buy a replacement. Matt was able to locate and purchase a dryer for $150. After bringing it home it is much better than we expected. It is a higher end “digtal” dryer that is quiet and dries even a full load of towels in an hour. This was a huge answer to prayer so that we can hopefully purchase the new windows and start our debt snowball next month.
– On Saturday, about an hour prior to leaving for Greensboro, we discovered a flat tire on my car. Thankfully, my parents came over and help Matt with the little ones so he could get the tire fixed and back on the car.
– We discovered late Friday night that “Angel Food Ministries” will not be disturbing food in September. This is one of the main ways we have been purchasing meat over the past year. We are both shocked that after 17 years that have stopped. Our prayer is that they will be able to reorganize and begin again before the end of the year but we have no information to go on so at this point it is very doubtful.
The Crazy Hairstyle

Haley is entering the Crazy Hairstyle contest at Youth tonight and she really wanted to win and to have it posted here! This leaves a smile on my face after a long week!

Stop I Want to Get OFF!

This is my exact feeling this week. I have been intending to post since Tuesday when the plan was to do a random post but that didn’t happen and yesterday was Wordless Wednesday that I missed so I am going to share what I have been up to this week.

Monday, Amanda had a doctor’s appointment and we stopped by the store for some veggies to make Tacos with. That evening we moved everything out of our old bedroom, pulled up the carpet and set up a “temporary bedroom.” in the Addition. We started sleeping on the air mattress and so far it is about the same as our old bed.

Tuesday- I spent the entire day except for an hour driving Amanda around while she purchased/leased a car and got insurance. I did go to a job interview, where I accept a PRN position with the hope that I can pick up an additional 10 hours a week this summer to catch up!

Wednesday- I worked 5 hours, came home and went to bed. A summer cold knocked me out and I slept around 12 hours. I do feel better today but not great.

Thursday- I took Angel Food orders at the church while organizing my coupons that I have not worked with since April. I also went to an IEP meeting as a parent advocate for a patient of mine at the hospital. Lily actually sad to me that she “needed a lazy morning to stay at home could we please have one on Friday.” I agree.

Stop world I want to get off and stay at home!

Monday Menu Post 3-22

I know I have not posted in 6 days but man have we been busy! I am planning to catch up with several post today as well as a very special post tomorrow in honor of Haley’s birthday! But first is the Menu Plan for this week. Angel Food arrived on Saturday so we have A LOT to chose from. Most likely things will change this week as it goes along but at least now I can say that I have a plan. I am planning on using some of Haley’s favorite food this week as well! The goal is to have a fruit and veggie with each meal to keep us a little bit health.

Monday- Grilled chicken, slaw, potato salad, pasta salad and a new fruit dish( secret apple salad)
Tuesday- Chicken nuggets, mac and cheese, applesauce, birthday cake and ice cream
Wednesday- Spaghetti, garlic bread
Thursday- Bacon wrapped Turkey fillets (angel food) Not sure of the veggies to add in yet. Maybe a broccoli rice casserole.
Friday- I am working ALL DAY! So I am thinking either we pick up pizza or we could have the frozen pizza or pizza bites depending on what the girls have for lunch as well!

Couponing- The Beginning

One of the reason that I feel a strong “push” to start this blog to share how I am saving money. I don’t make New Year Resolution but this year I did set several goals:

Get out of debt except for the house and car.
Finish the addition. (This will be a whole blog of it’s own, I got to
have something to write about)
Go on a week long vacation to the beach.

All of these involve money. At this point both DH and I agree that I NEED to be home. So me working more is not an option for my family right now so saving money is the way that I am helping in achieving our goals. So couponing and shopping sales,consignments,and ebaying all help me save money. There are a couple of “catches” for me using coupons. First I HATE going to the grocery store. Second is DH’s pay schedule. Third trying to get all 3 of the little one in a car and then shopping well that is just impossible by myself. So I am working to make this as easy as possible and to use as little time as possible. Looking at our expenses for 2009 on average we were spending $579 a month on food. This was our largest bill except for the house payment. So it made sense for me to start working on reducing that bill. I was shopping sales but not using coupons. I “tried” to only go shopping twice a month.

So now that I have written where we started, here is what has changed. First we began ordering Angel Food. If you are not familiar with Angel Food, check out their site (www.angelfoodministries.com) I budget $100 a month to purchase food this way. Angel Food has no income requirement and it is a nation wide program. The site will help you find something close to you. The food is AWESOME! We regularly buy a signature box and a fruit and veggie box. Most months, we also purchase one or more of the meat/chicken boxes. Now for the coupons. I started by going through my mother’s Saturday paper, there is no Sunday paper in this town. I clipped all the coupons I “thought” I would use. I organized them in a notebook using baseball card holders into categories. I daily check these websites, (www.budgetsavingmom.com , Southernsavers.com and Caringwithcoupons. I prints lots of the coupons, but only ones I know I will probably use and have signed up for anything free that is useful!
So far I have shopped at Food Lion, CVS and one trip to Harris Teeter for “super doubles.” At budgetsavingmom, she has a guide on how to get started. This is an excellent way to start. I did save up my coupons for about a month before really starting but I don’t see any need in buying multiple papers to get the coupons. I am trying to have the smallest expense up front so I have not bought anything extra. This is the start, my plan is to post another post on my actual shopping this week!