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Monday, February 25, 2013

Happy 10 Months Ellison!

IMG_0295-001Ok, I give up trying to take pictures of my 10 month old wiggle worm. I may try one more time this week, but this is already overdue by a week. So don't mind the crazy pictures. She would NOT cooperate. :) IMG_0286-001There’s not really a whole lot to report about this month besides her movement!  She is crawling up on all 4’s, pulling up on everything, cruising furniture, and watch this:
Yep, I think we'll easily have a walker before her 1st birthday. She get's SO mad if she's not standing up or moving.
She’s a pretty good eater, but LOVES baby food (purees) way better than finger foods.  Unless it’s veggie straws.  She loves those things.  I tried a few pouches where she sucks up the food and she adored them.IMG_0259-001Not going to lie, this hasn’t been my favorite month.  I’m in complete sleep deprivation, but have been hesitant to really make her cry it out because of all the new teeth she’s been getting.  She has 4 and we’re days away from #5 and 6 popping through.  And she’s been so so grumpy and whiny.  I know this often happens before this hit a new milestone, so I’m just praying that these teeth come in and walking starts happening.  Because I want my sweetie back. IMG_0319She seems to know the exact toys to take from Owen that will cause the biggest meltdowns.  And she has eyes like a hawk for his snacks or water cups.  Hers just aren’t good enough for her. :)IMG_0265 But the sweet things still outweigh the bad.  She plays peek-a-boo, blows kisses, waves goodbye, and gets SO excited when William comes home from work.  She’s still a great 2x’s a day napper and I adore picking her up after naps.  She’s all smiles.
IMG_0306 IMG_0275
And peace I'm out of here:IMG_0303


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

sweet girl

Ellie was not cooperating again for her 10 month pictures today, so hopefully I'll get that post up tomorrow.  Here's a few pictures of my sassy lady from this past Sunday before church.
goofing around with Owen
such a sweet grin
ohh those cheeks
one of their favorite activities

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Valentine's Day

This is a pretty pathetic post, but we were pretty pathetic on Valentine's Day. :)

I feel like I've been such a slacker blogger lately but really it's because we've been holed up in our house.  Anyone else ready for spring and being outside?!
Back to Valentine's Day.  The kiddos were up bright and early and they got to open their packages from Grandma!  Owen got a bible (one of mine from when we were little), some candy, some awesome shirts, new jeans, and of course some cars.  Ellie got some of the cutest clothes I've seen.  Thank you Grandma and Grandpa for the fun goodies!

We surprised William at lunch time by taking him lunch to his work.  Owen also delivered a rose to the 2 ladies that work in his office.  We also brought daddy some girl scout cookies I had bought him and hid.  Hopefully those cookies will stay at the office.  We did get a babysitter on Friday night and enjoyed a dinner out with a gift card we had received awhile back.   Hope everyone had a nice singleness awareness day!


Why we use a cash envelope system (and a fun God story)

Awhile back, I posted about making these cute budget envelopes and shared that use a primarily cash system around our place.  budget envelopes Someone asked if I would share why we use such a system.  This post is an answer to that.  :)
When I was pregnant with Owen, we decided to take Financial Peace University at our church.  I cannot say enough good things about Dave Ramsey’s class.  Seriously, if you want to get your finances under control, take this class (WITH your spouse if you have one) and do the homework!  Ok, enough of a plug.  We wanted to get a better handle on our budget and where our money was going.  We followed the principles closely, but only used envelopes for a few areas and just tracked things in our excel document.  But this last year, we really needed to overhaul our budget and get our spending back on track.  There had been too much swiping the card even though it might not have “been in the budget.”  So here’s what we did:
  1. Budget each paycheck.  We sat down and had several “family meetings.”  Yes, they were painful.  But very necessary.  We budgeted every penny that was coming into the house. 
  2. Decide on your categories and amounts.  Since we had been keeping track of most things in excel, we had a general idea of what we were spending in most areas.  We decided which things would be paid via automatic payments.  We also decided to keep using our debit card for gas, since I didn’t want to have to run into the building with kids to pay.  Everything else was turned into a envelope category.  (Ours are currently: babysitting, adult clothing, emergency, Emily spending, gifts, going out, groceries/toiletries, hair cuts, home, kids clothing, kids expenses, postage, William spending).  
  3. Fill Them Up! After you've decided all your categories and get a paycheck, fill each envelope with the money allotted for it in your budget. Since William gets paid twice a month, we also decided how much would go in at each paycheck.  For a few of our categories, all the money goes in at the beginning of the month (spending), but some other categories, we put half in each time (groceries).IMG_9117
  4. When it's gone, it's gone. Now you can spend your money. :)  The one thing that I really love about a budget is that I don’t feel guilty about spending the money.  Before the cash system, I was never really sure when I swiped if we had the money for said item.  But now, if I want to buy a cute dress for Ellie and the money is there, I can get it and not feel bad.  Same with my crafting supplies or some new fancy frozen Greek yogurt.  But when the money is gone, it’s gone.  No going to the ATM or pulling money from a different envelope. 
  5. Give it time. We’re still tweaking this as we go each month.   Getting the money right for each category will take a couple of months of trial and error.  But we’ve already started to see extra money in our bank account each month!  Yay!   We can now put that money towards something we are saving up for, like our future fence or basement finishing!
And if you’ve made it this far, I’ve got a fun story for you from yesterday.  I went to Aldi and then Wal-Mart to get all our groceries for the week.  I lost my debit card last week and I only brought our grocery envelope with me.  I was already humbled that I had to use 3 of WIC coupons.  But I must have miscalculated what I had put in my cart, because I was about $25 over what I had with me.  I apologized profusely and then started to pull a few things out of bags to give back.  There were a few things that I didn’t really need.  The cashier took off the items and I was still hunting through my purse for about $4.  All of sudden, the lady behind me handed the cashier a $10 bill.  I said I would just find a little more to take off, but she insisted.  I thanked her and finished up my transaction.  But as I was walking away, she said “ma'am, please wait.”  And then she bought all the items I had given back.  And dang, I’m crying again as I write this.  She bought them, and handed to me quickly.  She gave me a hug as I started crying and saying thank you. 

I cried the whole way out of the store, cried putting my groceries in the car, cried driving home, and cried telling the story to William.  We have had times in our life when we were on her side of things.  But now I am humbled and grateful that I was the receiving end.  God cared about the little things I had wanted to get.  I’ve just prayed God would abundantly bless that sweet lady for doing what she did yesterday.  I also pray my humbled spirit will remember this long after I'm (someday) done being on this side of needing the help.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Happy birthday sweet girls!

This week I got to do some crafting for 2 of my friend’s girls.  The first was for Natalie’s 6th birthday!  Her request was a sock monkey hat!IMG_0115Picture 522The next day was sweet Nola’s 2nd birthday.  What?  Where did that time go?IMG_0149Picture 523And lastly, my friend Mandie is due with a little girl in May.  She ordered my set of bows called “A Year in Hairclips.”  It features a bow for every holiday throughout the year.  :)  IMG_0133 And a few headbands as well:IMG_0134 I love making projects for friends and being able to pray over the recipients of them.  And thank you ladies for helping me fund my kiddos’ birthday party!

Pinned It, Did It Monday {heart painting}

pinned itIt’s Monday.  How the heck did that happen?  How do days drag by so slowly sometimes, but yet the weeks fly?  I have one measly little thing to show you that was inspired by Pinterest this week.  I’m speaking at Mom2Mom tomorrow, so this week has been filled with prepping for that a a little crafting which I’ll show in my next #1I’m not a huge celebrator of Valentine’s Day.  I suspect I will love it more as Owen reaches the age where we can make adorable valentines inspired from Pinterest, but this year I’m kind of. . .ehh about it.  But when Sam comes over, I’m always trying to keep the two 2 year olds from killing each other and ripping apart my house, so we did this cheap and easy project.
Source: Stamped Heart from Hands on House
My Pictures:IMG_0145 IMG_0139 IMG_0141 IMG_0143My review: I mean, how easy is squeezing a toilet paper tube and dipping it in some paint?  Cute and effective. 
But to make this post a little less pathetic, here are two more links you might enjoy.  I plan on making these teething biscuits for Ellie this week.  And here’s a great list of things you can freeze.  Great way to stock up when things are on sale!
Have a great week everyone!
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