Tuesday, July 31, 2012

What these kids are doing

My kids are so different.  Right now I have one reading

One is trying to nap:

Two are playing Star Wars on the Wii

Tyler isn't even here.  He is at a friend's house.  Emma loves technology and Natalie really doesn't care.  The others are inbetween.  It is so funny how different some kids are.  I have raised them all about the same, yet some are so different.  I guess that is what makes everyone who they are.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Braves Game

We went to an Atlanta Braves game yesterday.  Boy was it hot.  We were in the direct sun and it was about 95 degrees.  After about the fourth inning we moved to some seats in the shade.  No one said anything to us so we just stayed there.  That was much better and then we enjoyed it.  Don't we look cute!
It was an adventure.  The company gave us each $5.00 to spend at the concession stand.  We all bought a frozen lemon aid and then we only had enough money left for one sprite for all of us to share.  We had brought in our own water and then refilled them at the water fountains, so we didn't spend too much.  We ate lunch in the van on the way and then we stopped at Subway and got four footlong subs. 

So, today Ashley had band camp again this week from 8 to 12.  I need to go get another phone for the kids to have at the house since we have no home phone and Ashley is going somewhere all the time.  We also need to go to the library and at 4:30 we are praying at one of the schools with our church.  Busy busy.  We only have two more weeks and then I start work.  Boo for work but yeah for the money!

Well, I have to get Ashley up and going.  Have a great day!

Saturday, July 28, 2012


Sorry to have been MIA.  The kids spent last week with their Aunt, except for Ashley who had band camp.  I really didn't get anything done except I did relax and shop some.  I bought some clothes for work and some comfortable shoes.  I am going to be a teacher's aid for special ed and I will float to whoever needs me.  I figure that I will be on my feel alot and I just love tennis shoes, but I didn't want to look like I was wearing tennis shoes.  I went to the Sketchers outlet and bought two pair that feel like you are wearing bedroom slippers, but they don't look like tennis shoes.  I also dug through the clearance section at Belk and bought four shirts and a pair of pants.  I plan to wear pants every day except on Fridays we can wear jeans.  If I am working with older kids (4th or 5th grade) I might wear some skirts, but if I am working with Kindergarten then forget it.  I figure that they aren't paying me enough to buy a whole wardrobe.

I did have to go pick up the kids a day early because Natalie had a fever.  It turned out to be a virus and today I think she is almost over it.  She has had no fever today and feel lots better.  She still is running to the bathroom, but she is OK.

We are going to a Braves baseball game tomorrow.  Steven's work gave us ticket and $5 to the concession stand.  We are going to pack a cooler lunch and buy some dinner on the way home.  I will be hot, but hopefully fun.  We have never been before and we love family outing so we will have fun.  We always have fun together.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Cabin Fever

I feel like we have a little cabin fever here.  I know in other places people get it in the winter, but around here I feel like we get it in the summer.  The heat index gets above 100 everyday and I can't get the kids to go outside.  I don't blame them, I don't like to go outside.  I try every few days to take them swimming, but some days we have thundershowers that start early and we can't even do that.  Yes, I know they can get out first thing in the morning, but some aren't even up until 9 and by the time we are dressed and have breakfast and do morning chores it is after 10 and already getting hot.  Yuck!  I want my own pool again!  We had one when we lived in Albany and I loved it.  I know it was expensive to have, but I felt like it also saved us money because there was always something for the kids to do with friends and we had all of our birthday parties out there.

So today I am taking them swimming at my moms and taking my little nephew with me.  The older girls are still at the beach with their grandma, so we are down by a few.  Right now I can only take one friend anywhere with us in our mini van.  I am hoping to get a larger SUV later this year.  We will see.

Well, I have to go finish canning tomatoes and get these guys some breakfast.  They are watching too much TV, but like I said they have cabin fever.  I will turn it off after breakfast and make them do something else, and tonight is church so that will take care of today.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Good Morning

I got up early this morning.  Not really because I wanted to, but because Collin is coming this morning which is always  a good thing.   Everyone loves him!  He is so sweet and has the most pleasant personality.  My sister just has a doctors appointment so we won't have him all day.  We will probably go swimming at my mom's in the afternoon.

I went and did a big monthly shop last this weekend.  I spent $75 at Aldi, $25 at the bakery outlet and $185 at Sams.  Now, I will have to make a few small trips throughout the month, but that was the bulk of my shopping.  I say another $100 for the month.  Not too bad for a family of seven.

My brother in law bought me a huge box of tomatoes that I have to do something with this week.  He said that it was only $10 and we weighed it and there are 22 pounds in there.  I am going to make another batch of salsa since I do have peppers and onions.  I will have to get some more cilantro and tomato paste.  I will probably peel and chop today and cook and can tomorrow.  It is tiring, but in the winter we are always grateful!  I guess I will just can the rest of the tomatoes to use in sauce this winter.

Well, I guess I will go.  I will let you know how canning goes.  I have already done one batch of salsa and 20 quarts of green beans for winter.  Some tomatoes will be nice to have.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Frugal Vacations

Yes we are in the midst of summer and everyone is going on vacation.  You would probably think that we would hardly ever go on vacation because of the size of our family, but we try to take a regular vacation a few times a year.  I just think that we only have these children for a few years and I want to make memories with them, so here are a few things that we do:

1. Rent a cabin in the mountains.

The last few years we have rented mountain cabins in North Georgia for spring break.  The last one was $99 a night and the third night was free.  It was a two bedroom with a loft and a pull out sofa and two bathrooms.  It had a full kitchen, living room, and deck with hot tub.  It was in a community where we could fish and canoe.  We took advantage of mountain hiking trails that were free and cooked it.  We did visit an apple orchard and get fried pies.  Everyone had a great time and it was relaxing.
2.  Share a beach house with another family.

We usually use a family beach house when we go to the beach, but I know many families who go in together and get a beach house and share it.  While renting a house is somewhat expensive, we go to the beach most of the day which is free and then we buy local seafood and cook it ourselves.  I found a local guy in Florida that sold shrimp right off of the docks for $5.00 a pound.  For $10.00 the kids were stuffed full of shrimp.  That same meal out would have cost us over $100.00.

3. Go camping.

Now I know that tent camping is not everyone's favorite thing to do.  I don't really enjoy the bugs and sleeping on the ground, but my kids love it and we always make the best memories.  We have no TV and no electronics, so they usually enjoy nature.  If we travel we may take in a local attraction.  Around here if you aren't going to swim all day we camp in the fall or spring.  Summer is too hot unless you stay in the water all day!

4.  Save for the big trip.

 Every few years we take a nice vacation somewhere like Disney.  We just set up a fund and continue to add to it until we have enough money.  We usually rent a condo so we can cook in and take backpacks in with water and lunch and snacks.  We might eat out somewhere cool that we can't get around here, but the rest in eaten in.  Lot of fun and loads cheaper.

I am sure there are some others.  What do you do for cheap vacations with a large family?


Well, today starts some new in my house.  A new boy is moving in.  He is my nephew and he is 15.  He has been living with his grandparents.  We asked last November if they would like for us to have him come live with us for high school.  We could tell that they were getting older and were struggling with teens, so we offered to help.  At first we were told no.  They were afraid that he would have a negative impact on our family and the two families definitely don't agree with the way to raise a child,but over they last few months things have changed and they have agreed for him to come here.  They left the final choice up to him, so all is in agreement.

This will be a change in lifestyle for him.  He has been the only child over there for the last few months and was only there with his older sister for the past year and now he has four younger brothers and sisters.  He has been home schooled and now will be going to high school.  They rarely went and did anything, had no TV and no Internet, and we are constantly busy and have satellite TV and Internet on many devices.  The biggest change might be with church. We are active in our church and my husband is a deacon and while they are believers they do not go to formal church.  Alot of changes, but change can be good!

We pick up Ashley and Natalie from youth camp tonight.  They have been painting houses for the less fortunate all week and I am looking forward to hearing about how God has shown up this week. I hope they will be changed!  Well, their are dishes to do and I have to run to Wal- Mart.  Fun fun!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Drugstore Games

Do you play the drugstore games in which you buy products and get coupons or vouchers to spend on future products? The main ones to use are Rite Aid, Walgreens, and CVS.  My sister-in-law gets great deals from Rite-Aid, but it is out of the way for me so I rarely go.  I mainly use CVS.

In the small town near me we have a CVS and during the school year I go by it twice a day, so it is easy for me to pop in and get a few things (as easy as it can be to shop with 5 kids.)  I normally get our soap, shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes, feminine supplies, razors, etc for next to nothing and usually get cheap toilet paper and paper towels.  With us now having teens and preteens we go through lots of hygiene items and that is good.  I want them to smell good.

What I do is get the coupon inserts out of our local paper, and the usually get 2-4 extra of the Atlanta paper if I see there are good coupons that we can use.  I will cut them and put them in my binder if I have time, if not I just clip like inserts together and write the date they were put out with a sharpie.  I then go to a website that tell me what is on sale at CVS and what coupons to match.  I almost always buy stuff that gives back extra bucks and use extra bucks from my last purchase.    Extra bucks are like cash that take money off of your next order.  When I get them at the end of my receipt, I put them in my wallet with my cash for the next time.  Here is an example.  My kids love Aussie shampoo.

The Aussie was on sale 2/$6.00 and gave a $1.00 extra buck back with purchase.  I had a coupon for $1.00 off of 2 which made it $5.00.  I also had a $4.00 extra buck from my last purchase, so I used that and my price became 2/$1.00, and then I got back $1.00 extra buck to use next time.  See how that works?

I don't do extreme couponing.  I don't have the time and we don't eat most of the foods that you can get coupons for, but I do get small stuff from CVS and we almost never pay full price for toiletries!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


There have been some issues in our extended family in the past few months. Most of these have been due to misunderstandings, but some of these are due to feelings of resentment and unforgiveness.  I have been a party to some of this and I feel terrible about it.  I have asked family members for forgiveness but they have refused it.  This is what the bible says about forgiveness:

Colossians 3:13
Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
Matthew 18:21-22
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.
Matthew 6:14-16
For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
Mark 11:25
And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins

As I read it, we are commanded to forgive if we are Christians and if we don't we are in sin.  It doesn't mean that you have to spend large amounts of time with them, but you do have to forgive them. 

I hate that members of the family are harboring bitterness and unforgiveness and I pray that their hearts will soften, because in the end they are only hurting themselves.

School Supplies

I went to Staples yesterday to take advantage of all of the back to school deals and here is what I got:

I paid $32.00 but I am getting a $12.00 rebate back on the paper, so that comes to only $20.00 for all of that.  The pencils were the best deal because they are mechanical and only .25 a pack with a limit of 4 per customer.  I just sent two of the kids through with pencils and $1.07.  We go though mechanical pencils like crazy.  Tomorrow I am going to Wal-Mart because someone told me that they had folder for cheap and I know Emma and Evan need folders.  In the past I have spend almost $50 per kid for school supplies which would put me at $250 this year with 5 kids.  This year I plan to spend $100 total for everyone (I just hope one of my high schoolers doesn't need an expensive calculator).

Tonight is date night and I might make Steven go with me and get more mechanical pencils.  Ha ha, he won't mind.  He is more frugal than me!


My older two girls are away at youth camp this week.  They put them on crews and they either paint someones house or reroof someones house.  We are in central Georgia and the temperature gets up to 95 everyday and the heat index is usually above 100, so working out in the heat is really giving of yourself.  They also try to share the gospel with the homeowner and the people in the neighborhood.  I love that they do this for church camp. I love that they are serving and not just having a good time.  They do have fun, but the service comes first.  I pray for safety and lives to be changed.

I am babysitting today, but not until 12:30 then Steven and I will go out to dinner and my mom is letting Emma and Evan spend the night.  I bought a Groupon last week to a Japanese restaurant in which you pay $12 and get a $25 gift certificate.  When Steven and I go out we almost always use a coupon or a special.  We almost never go out with the whole family for dinner.  What I will do is take them out for lunch in the summer or sometimes take one kid with me when I go shopping and we will get some food or a treat.  It is just so expense to go out with 5 kids and the food is usually not that good.  We usually try to get food that I can't make at home like Japanese or  Chinese.  I can make fried rice at home, but forget sushi or anything else.

Tyler is moving in this week and we are still changing around and rearranging rooms.  We still have work to do so I better go.  I also want to work out on the wii so I need to do something else.  Have a good day serving the Lord!

Monday, July 9, 2012

New Circumstances, New Blog!

I have just started a new blog because our life circumstances have changed.  I called my last blog affording 4, but now I have 5 kids because my nephew is now living with us.  I also am not going to be a stay a home mom much longer.  I am going to be a para (helper) with special ed in my kids school this year, so we will no longer be living off of one income.  I still want to talk about saving money, but I also want to talk about my family, my church, and Jesus and whatever else I decide.