Sunday, December 28, 2008

Drastic Times Call for Drastic Measures!

Well....these are some tough financial times. Eric will be having to take a mandatory five day furlough between now and May. This will basically equal out to five days of unpaid salary. The state agency he works for has determined this drastic measure will save about 75 jobs and save a lot of money. Then in May they will have to determine again where things stand financially. We are just thankful that he has a job, as there are so many who are out of work. The other wonderful thing about his furlough is they are spreading the deduction over each pay period beginning in January and going through to May. It probably would have been a much harder burden to lose a large chunk of income directly from one pay period. Needless to say, God is good, and all the time, God is good. He always provides for our needs.

This brings us to yet again, thinking of all the ways to cut spending and be frugal. We have eliminated local and long distance calling plan from our land line. This helped save about $30 a month. Then the other night we were watching that show on TLC about the Duggards. It really peaked our interest to learn some of their savvy financial tactics! I mean anyone who has that large a family and lives in a house mortgage free is is obviously someone to gain a lot of wisdom from. I'm not ready to go start buying used shoes at thrift shops......but....I am ready to start making my own laundry detergent!!! And that is just what we did today!! Supposedly the breakdown is about a cost of .77 cents per batch of detergent. It makes about a little over 2 gallons of laundry detergent. We have yet to see how far the batch goes. It seems if you have large loads or heavily soiled clothing you need to use about 1 cup of detergent. On regular loads it should only take about 1/2 cup. I did our first load in the stuff and I have to say it seems to work just fine!! So I am excited!! Just in case you want to check out how to make some of your own detergent....check out this link!!

I kind of did a variation of my own.....I used baking soda along with about 1/2 cup of borax....and then added some fragrance oil that I had left over from a previous project. So we have some great smelling sweet pea flower detergent!! So that got me to thinking about all the other cleaners I could make myself....the only thing I was actually out of was glass cleaner....and yes I found instructions for how to make some of that will be in my next post.

And here is a little more motivation to save money and buy fewer things!!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Merry Christmas!

I'm posting our Christmas card here. I have had some challenges this week with both Wes and myself being sick. I started to run completely behind on getting all my cards out!! So.....I decided this will be the safe way to make sure everyone at least gets to see the card before Christmas. Sometimes life just throws curveballs at ya! We hope everyone has a blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year from our home to yours!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Getting Ready for a Round of Birthdays!

Well...over the next week we will be getting ready for a round of birthdays. My brother's birthday is the 16th followed by mine on the 18th, and ending with Wesley's who also shares the same birthday with my late great-grandmother! For some reason December is a popular birthday month in our family! The birthday I'm most excited about is Wesley's! He's just at that age where he's really beginning to understand everything! He's so enthusiastic and comical! He has picked out SpongeBob Square Pants as the theme of course. We really aren't getting crazy with the theme or anything other than a tablecloth and some cupcakes. I am excited about the cupcakes though!! I found some cute little SpongeBob candies and some crabby I plan to get fully creative with the cupcakes! I really enjoy making I'm going all out! I think I'm going to give it a go at making oreo flavored cupcakes with vanilla creme frosting! Wes has given his approval at my flavor suggestions, so we are running with it! Then instead of goody bags....and also to really stay budget friendly...the boys and I are going to make Christmas sugar cookies to put in goody bags! Making sugar cookies is a fun family activity! We are going to have a busy week in the kitchen! I wish I lived close enough to make cupcakes for my little brother!! I can hardly wait to see if he likes the gift we picked out for him! He's been driving my parents nuts about wanting his present already!! We picked out a really funny gift for him! But, it's a I'll post more about that after his birthday! It makes me a little sad that we can't always be together to celebrate family members birthdays. But, I'm so thankful for technology of computers and web cams that make it possible to be there virtually!! :) We will be firing up the web cam so that we can chat with family on birthdays and Christmas!! Still can't believe my baby boy will be turning 3! I was playing with photos on PS tonight. I thought this one looked cute as a black and white picture! My oh my how fast they grow!! I'm so thankful to God for the blessing of being a mother! He has given me the most wonderful boys! They bring such joy to our lives! I love thinking about how God created every part of them! He picked the color of their hair and eyes and even where to place a freckle or two. He designed them with different personalities and gifts! I am reminded of the important job we have as their parents to teach them about having a relationship with God. A task I prayerfully ask God to help me with because I know I fall so short. But, I am so thankful for the unfailing grace He shows me on a daily basis. It's that same grace I try so hard not to forget to show my own children!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Charlie Brown Christmas Tree!

Well. . . this has been a challenging week! It feels like we are in the full swing of the Christmas rush! But I'm happy to report I think we have completed our Christmas shopping. We have really downscaled and tried to keep it simple. We have even decided to go green on the Christmas tree. We decided to buy a cheap little mini tree that is an actual plant instead of a chopped down Christmas tree. So we will actually be able to plant this one in the backyard in the spring. I think it will be neat in the years to come to look at this tree growing in the back yard that was formerly our Christmas tree. You can't beat a $12 Christmas tree. It might not be as big and beautiful as the traditional tree, but it's cute in a Charlie Brown sort of Christmas way!

So I had a challenge with getting the boys picture done for a Christmas card. They are such silly little monkeys! The pictures are either blurred from movement, or only one of them is looking at the camera. Then Petey decided he wanted to be in the picture too, well because he is Petey, and he thinks he's people, or actually I think he thinks he's the third child in the family! I really wanted to use this picture for our card, but it just wouldn't work right in the layout....So you'll be pleasantly surprised when you get your cards because it's going to be a completely different picture! This picture is just too great to go to it's my
blog-worthy Christmas greetings photo!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Our Trip to FL for Turkey Day!