July, 2013 Toggle

How Do They Do It?

How Do They Do It?

Well the family has come and gone, the county fair is over, both parties I hosted at my house are past, and I’m exhausted. The fear that my house is going to fall back into shambles is looming over my head. I worked for a week to get it in ship shape and another week maintaining it until all was said and done, and once my siblings pulled out of the driveway Sunday afternoon I collapsed. I was done. The last two weeks had caught up with me and my body would do nothing else. There was no nap though because baby girl slept through lunch at the pizza place and was now wired, though Joel offered to watch her I had a new laptop to check out (Joel surprised me with a new one on Friday!) Now I have spent my whole week playing catch up and I feel like I’m not gaining any ground. It seems like the only time I can get ahead is if the girls are out of the house and I can just plow through.

The problem is, I want to be able to maintain my house without having to send my kids away. I want to be able to spend time with them and have fun and still have clean clothes and dishes to eat our meals on when we need them instead of washing them as we need them. I want to be able to blog, and volunteer, and read, and nap, and garage sale, and sell things online, and make my own bread, and garden  without feeling like the house and the laundry goes to hell in a laundry basket. I don’t expect a perfect house, I have three girls five and under after all.

So my question is “How do they do it?

How do these mom’s manage to keep their house running, enjoy their kids, homestead, and work from home and still sleep?  This isn’t a pity party, I’m just trying to be real. I’m searching for answers. I know if I started reading some blogs and such I could find the answers but let’s face it, I don’t have the time to just sit and search. I really don’t have the time to be writing this blog post right now but I’m doing it anyway because I need to get out of my own head space for a little bit.

I’ve thought about what I can cut out but most of what I’m doing is just life. I’ve just added in getting up early and walking in the mornings because my new midwife informed me that the best way to induce labor so I don’t go so long ( Lucy was 43 1/2 weeks) I needed to be walking 4-5 miles a day by the end of the pregnancy! Obviously I can’t just jump into that at the end when I’m huge and tired, so I’m starting now with 20-30 min or about 3/4 of a mile. It’s something I NEED to do and I’m enjoying the alone time in the morning before the girls get up, but it’s one more thing.

I sometimes wonder how mother’s back in the day managed to wash all their clothes by hand and hang them out, tend the animals and the garden, churn the butter, grind the wheat and bake the bread, preserve all the food, make their clothes, and so much more, all while caring for their small children and no technology to entertain them. I’m sure their children became involved, even responsible for some of the smaller chores at a much younger age then we would with our children, and I’d like to start involving my girls more, but the question is how? And since I don’t have time to stop and create a game plan, the cycle continues.

What’s going to have to happen is the girls are going to need to go away for a couple of nights so Joel and I can regroup before the fall and get some bigger projects done that are much harder to do when you have children interrupting you ever 2 minutes. We need a breather with each other. We don’t need to go away, just feel some sense of accomplishment and get on the same page. We need a new game plan before this baby comes and we need some time to pray and seek God as to where He is leading us next. Hopefully that can happen next month, after VBS is over.

Now it’s your turn. You can either post a question in the comments below or you can generously share with the rest of us a tip or two (or three, or four, or five), big or small, that helps make your life less crazy. Any and all suggestions are welcome!

July Frugal and Money Making Update-Wk 2

I’m a little more on the ball this week with my July frugal and Money Making Update so you’re getting this the first half of the week instead of when I’m nearly a week behind. It was an interesting week, and at first I didn’t think I did much, but the more I thought about it I realized that I was doing things that were frugal without realizing it! This encourages me to take more time to think outside of the box and find other ways that are not so conventional to save money.

July Frugal and Money Making Update

July Frugal Update

  • We were able to have the a/c off for one day last week which was a nice surprise. I actually got cold at one point because we still had the fans going and since it was raining all day it had stayed quite cool outside.
  • I didn’t use the dishwasher all week. The plan is for this to become a regular thing, only using it when we have a lot of company. Though the dishwasher was new when we moved in, it doesn’t clean very well, takes FOREVER to run, and I have to pre-clean everything that goes in without the guarantee it won’t need to be cleaned again when it comes out. Now that all the dishes are caught up, I’m having a much easier time staying on top of them. I’m using the dishwasher as a drying rack!
  • I borrowed my in-laws carpet cleaner and used solution leftover from when we clean the carpets of our house in Omaha to put it on the market. The dining room needed attention before I had two parties and house guests so I was thankful to be able to get that cleaned.
  • I picked up some closeout and manager markdown items at the grocery store to add to our pantry. I’ve already used some of the milk and a bag of the mixed organic berries!
  • For one of the parties I used a free jar of cheese dip for a snack that I got with an e-coupon.
  • The girls played in the water outside on one of our hot days with the neighbor boy. I used the well water by the garden instead of the city water, so we only had to pay the little electricity to run the pump.
  • I dehydrated some basil from our CSA box. This was timely, because I was running low on dried basil.
  • We got more free mulch for our garden and the yard from the city.
  • We’ve started harvesting yellow squash, zucchini, and we picked and shared our first tomato of the season!

Some Not so Frugal Moments

  • We rented a Redbox movie using a $1 off coupon (Yea!) but we forgot to return it for several days (Boo). I love Redbox but we don’t have one nearby making it sometime hard to get it returned in a timely manor.
  • I had a load of laundry I didn’t get out on the line quick enough and I had to rewash it.
  • I didn’t make a very good grocery list and didn’t write down the estimated price. This lead to me ending up spending FAR more then I planned. Some of that was the closeout items and markdowns I talked about, which I didn’t mentally plan on finding.

Financial Goals

Not much to say here. I spent most of the week cleaning and prepping for the parties.

Blessings

I wanted to share with you some things that are helping us save money, but are nothing we are doing ourselves. They are God using others to bless and encourage us and in someways save us money as well.

  • I was fortunate to have a large enough party that as the host I got $100 in free product, which blew my mind! And since we don’t use paper diapers (which is what mom’s at our church are given when they have a new baby) the women’s ministry at church gave me money to spend at my party which allowed me to get some organizing items to help our house run smoother! We are, after all, going to be a family of 6 soon enough and I can use all the help I can get staying organized!
  • My in-laws invited us to dinner twice last week! This allowed me to shift those meals to different days and stretch our food budget further.
  • My friend brought me cookies as a thank you for hosting the party for her business. Boy did I need them that day! Sweets don’t get very much of our budget so this was a wonderful treat!

 

That’s it for this week’s July Frugal and Money Making Update. What have you done lately to save or make money to help your bottom line?

 

I’m linking this to Homestead Barn Hop and Homemade Monday!

Monday Mommy Confession #55

Do you ever let your kids get a toy that you are sure they are going to lose interest in literally days after they get it. You know this, but you do it anyway because, well you need them to be entertain TODAY. I had one of those toys find it’s way into my home at the beginning of summer when we were out garage sale shopping. It was a stuffed dinosaur, and Sammie had her own money that was burning a hole in her pocket. She was determined to find SOMETHING to spend her money on and that dinosaur caught her eye. At $.50 I felt it well worth it, though another stuffed animal was the last thing we needed in our house. I knew, just knew she was going to forget about that thing within days of it entering into our house.

Here’s a picture Sammie and the dinosaur. As you can see it’s really nothing special.

Mommy Confession

But to my great surprise, two months later, she is still playing with that thing, even sleeping with it at night. It has risen ranks over beloved teddy bears and kitties, and even baby dolls. Can you believe it?! What a lucky dinosaur!

So here’s my mommy confession for the week: Mommy isn’t always right. Sometimes our kids see something that we don’t. I didn’t find that dinosaur special in anyway. My daughter found it to be quite huggable.

 

What’s your Mommy Confession for the week? Have you ever given or let your kids have something you were sure was going to be making it’s way back out the door in short order only for it to become a prize contender for your child’s attention?

July Garden Update-2013

July Garden Update

It’s already July and I haven’t told you anything about our garden this year. Shame on me! So here is my July garden update. Come take a tour with me!

July Garden Update

We planted five Zucchini plants, this being the largest of them! Thus far we’ve harvested 5 zucchinis and I can’t wait to use them!

July Garden Update

We planted 7 potato plants and they are doing great! I’ve never had potato plants look so healthy. It will be interesting to see how the potatoes turn out.

July Garden Update

These are our bell pepper plants. They aren’t very big and has only produced a funny shaped bell pepper. We did get them planted late and I saw quite a few blooms today so I still have hope for them. They haven’t withered away yet so that’s something!

July Garden Update

These are our cantaloupe. They are looking healthy as can be though they haven’t produced anything let, though when they do I think its going to be great! We are training them to grow towards the corn so they are all going one direction.

July Garden Update

Our corn isn’t as far as everyone else’s but it’s doing ok. This was the last to be planted and we had “help from Emma so a couple of the places have two stalks coming up instead of one. I also think the squirrels helped themselves to a few kernels as well as we had at least five spots where nothing came up. It will be a late harvest but I’m still excited to be growing corn. There is sweet corn and popcorn shown in the picture.

July Garden Update

This is our yellow summer squash. I harvested our first  one yesterday morning and there are several growing. I think they are not going to disappoint!

July Garden Update

These are our green beans. We didn’t order enough netting and keep forgetting to order more so they are all over the place. Every time I go in to weed the girls seem to create some crisis and I have to stop. You can’t get much weeding done when you’re only at it less then 10 minutes. We’re working on it though and despite the way they look they are healthy!

July Garden Update

These are our cucumbers. They are just starting to grow babies, so give it another week and I think we’ll be harvesting cucumbers. I believe I planted pickling cucumbers so I guess I better get on finding a good recipe for pickles!

July Garden Update

These are our Pinto beans. They are doing amazing! It’s been wonderful watching them grow and yesterday when I was watering them I found beans growing along the bottom! These are experimental. We use a lot of pinto beans in our house so we are curious to see how many beans we get and figure out if it’s worth it for us to grow our own right now with out limited space or if we should just buy for now.

July Garden Update

And finally the tomatoes. We are growing three kinds of tomatoes, though don’t ask me specifically what since I don’t remember at this moment. We didn’t get tomatoes or peppers started in the house this year and due to the weather staying cold longer this spring it was too late for us to start them from seed outside. So we hit up the farmer’s market and got some plant at a pretty good price. I prefer putting our money into the local farmer’s whenever I can. You can’t see them very well but they are doing pretty good. The tomatoes in the center are paste tomatoes and are determinate, though when we bought them we thought the were indeterminate. The tomatoes and either side are determinate and are vining up the twine we ran for them. I didn’t do a great job of suckering or wrapping them around the twine in the beginning so some of them got a little unruly, but over all they are doing good. There are several tomatoes starting and yesterday I found our first ripening tomato!

There you have it folks, our garden in all it’s glory. We are using the Back to Eden method which I will get around to blogging about one of these days. In the mean time you can go here to learn more.

I’m linking this to Homestead Barn Hop!

July Frugal and Money making Update-Wk 1

July Frugal and Money Making Update

So I know that we’re almost through the second week of July but I really wanted to give you an update for week one to help keep myself accountable. If you want to keep up with my progress throughout the week you can like me on Facebook. I’m combining both my July frugal and money making updates for this week. I may or may not do it next week we’ll see. My computer is going out after serving me faithfully for three years. Considering when my husband bought it for me for mother’s day he was happy to get a year out of it (it was a cheap model) we are both happy that it lasted this long, however I find it ironic that the month I’m trying to cinch the belt tighter and bring in a little extra money (which requires me to have a computer) is the month that my computer bites the dust. I am so thankful I have a husband who does IT for a living and can diagnose the problem for “free” so we can know what our next step is. For now, if I speak sweetly to it and keep the cord just so it is working. Aaaannyway, moving on to the July Frugal and Money Making Update for week one.

Frugal Update

  •  We went the first 6 days in July without running the A/C! It got a little warm towards the end of the day, but we would just remind ourselves that it would be just a couple of hours until we could open the windows again. We might have made it Sunday as well, but we forgot to close the windows before Church and when we got home our thermostat was maxed out at 90 degrees! Yuck. So the A/C went on. We’ve been keeping it up around 78-80 degrees during the day, and 76 degrees at night. The ceiling fans are a HUGE help as well as the box fan we brought in from the garage.
  • The dryer has remained unused and all the laundry has been hung outside or on the rack inside.
  • I’ve been working to keep lights off and at least three days last week the entertainment center was unplugged.
  • I’ve been taking pails of dish rinsing water and water from dirty cups out to the garden and watering some of the sagging plants.
  • I bought a target gift card with my Dillon’s plus card and got fuel points for it. I knew I would be shopping at Target later in the week so I planned ahead.
  • Joel only ate out for lunch once during the work week, We did eat out on Saturday when we met up with an old friend of mine, but we had purchased a gift card last month for the restaurant during Dillon’s 4x the fuel points so it didn’t come out of this month’s budget.
  • When I shopped at Aldi I tried to buy everything we would need from there for the whole month so I would only make one trip and thus save on gas.

Money Making Goals

  •  I have posted the dryer on Craigslist with no bites. I’m thinking I might take new pictures and reduce the price. As much as we want to make some on it, ultimately we want it out of our garage.
  • I made a list of things leftover from the garage sale that would be worth selling on Craigslist or ebay.
  • I started the process of opening an Etsy shop.  I haven’t taken any pictures or posted anything yet. That will have to wait until at least next Tuesday once I’m past both the parties I’m hosting in the next few days.
  • I checked into swagbucks, Jingit, and mypoints emails everyday last week to add to each tally.
  • I also entered a few giveaways. I’ll see if I end up winning anything. Since I started entering giveaways last November I’ve won a “Cars 2” Lego Duplo set, a lipstick, and a blueray copy of “Return to Nim’s Island. I gave the girls the legos for Christmas and the Blueray made for a great family movie night!

That’s it for last week that I can think of.

 

What have you been doing this week to save or make money for you and your family?

 

I’m linking this to Homestead Barn Hop!

Monday Mommy Confession #54

Monday Mommy Confession #54

Here it is, I’m baring it all for you guys in today’s Monday Mommy Confession.

Have you ever said something completely harmless only to realize you spoke completely out of turn or said something that could be seen as directly applying to someone in the conversation in a negative way. There’s that split second when you run a check on what your about to say (or type. Can we say Facebook, Twitter, or even email) and for some reason your brain gives you the green light. It feels as though there is no amount of apologizing that can make up for what’s just come out of your mouth.

This usually comes about because by nature I try to be helpful or informative. I work on the general assumption that people know I’m well intended. The majority of the time this works for me. Pair it with the fact that in most cases I usually error on the side keeping silent, and when I do speak I try to choose words carefully. But then there are those other times when all of it goes out the window and I end up with my foot in my mouth, sick to my stomach, and a massive headache.

Hopefully this will all blow over soon. I don’t know how much more my pride can take right now. I’m trusting that God will sort it all out and I’m trying not to assume the worst, which is something I have an uncanny ability to do.

It’s your turn. Do you have time when you said something without even thinking that became a huge deal once it was said?