Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Frugal Friday Explained

Well, since I only got 2 votes (slackers!) on the title, we're going with Frugal Friday, and since a few of you said "tell me what to do and I'm in", I'm telling you what to do =) Also, for simplicity sake, I'll do the hosting for the time being. Now, to go into more detail about all the fun and excitement you can expect.
Who can join?

Anyone! If you don't have a blog, hop around and read all the participating blog posts. And comment...we like comments. If you do have a blog then feel free to join in, no purchase necessary. What do you blog about? I'm glad you asked!
What do I post about?
Anything and everything that has to do with saving money! Here are a few ideas:
Tips -
How to lower your heating bill
How to make the gas in your car last longer
Recipes -
You know you have them...we want them too!
Beans and rice, rice and beans
Bargain Hunting -
Do you know when Target marks down their clearance?
Find a great coupon, freebie or sale? Like free Polly Pockets. That was a great one.
Victories -
Did you have $10 left in the grocery budget at the end of the week?
Find some great deals at the thrift store? Share them!
The Rules
There aren't really rules, just a few things to help it all run smoother.
1. Link back: At the beginning or end of your post, link back to the hosting blog post. For example, if I'm hosting for that week you would do something like this:
"This post is part of Frugal Friday. To read more posts like this or to add your own, visit (enter the link for the current Frugal Friday post on the hosting blog)". Just make sure the link is the actual FF post for the week and not the homepage.
2. Mr. Linky: The hosting blog post will have a little widget at the end of the post (called Mr. Linky) where you can come and enter in your name and link to your blog post. This helps to keep all the participating blogs listed in one place. Again, make sure you're linking to your specific post and not your homepage.

Frugal Friday images are available here.

That's about it! I'm looking forward to what you all have to share! Oh, and feel free to "advertise" our little carnival on your own blog and link back here for all the details. The more the merrier!

My April Snow GUEST GIVEAWAY!!!!

My April Snow GUEST GIVEAWAY!!!!

Wordless Wednesday (Video Style)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Blog Carnival

If you read a lot of blogs, you may have seen a blog carnival. If not, they are basically a collection of blogs that all write a post on a predetermined subject. These posts are then listed in a post on the "hosting" blog, which usually rotates every week. They are a great way to connect with other bloggers. So, I was thinking I should start one =) After yesterday's post about my thrift store trip and reading some of the responses, I think it should be something related to saving money. After all, our economy stinks, right? No matter what our living situation, most of us are trying to pinch pennies here and there, so why not share our tips and ideas? What do you all think? Wanna join me? Next, we just need to come up with a catchy name. Here are some ideas:
Tightwad Tuesday
Thrifty Thursday
Frugal Friday
Any other thoughts?
If you're interested, leave me a comment letting me know! Also let me know if you want to host so I can get a rotation set up. And, please, help me decide on a name by participating in the poll to your right!

If you want a better idea of what it would mean to "host" you'd basically put this at the bottom of your post:

People would then come and enter in their post URL. Each of the individual posts would also link back to you for that week. Make sense?

10 Things Tuesday

Ten reasons why I should move to Greece (in no particular order):

1. Feta cheese
2. Olives
3. Olive Oil
4. Gyros
5. Hummous/homous/hummus - If I lived in Greece I'd know the authentic spelling
6. Tzatziki
7. Melitzana Salata
8. Lamb
9. Baklava

And, yes, 1-9 are all food items.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Thrift Store Fun

I love thrift stores. Today my wonderful husband took me out to lunch and then we hit up thrift stores. This is our new plan. We are going to hit up thrift stores regularly and stock up on cheap clothes for the kids when we can. And of course if we find fun stuff for ourselves, all the better. As much as I wanted to take a picture of every item we purchased and let you know exactly how much we paid for said item so that you can ooh and ahh over the bargains we got, I'll save you that experience. I'm thoughtful like that. So, here's the short version (I apologize in advance for the poor pictures, the lighting isn't very good in our living room):

Matthias scored a couple of frog chairs for $1.50 each

A pile of clothes for the kiddos, all priced between $.50-1.00 apiece.

A nice little educational puzzle. They were very thoughtful and put tape over the pieces so that they don't get lost. The problem is that the tape comes off like string cheese. And it takes some of the paint. Any tips?

A pile of books for Kelsi (birthday!) all $.25-.50 each, a couple of games at $1 each, and The Shack on audio book because Daniel wants to try and sell it on Amazon =)

A cute little glass pitcher ($1), a set of oil and vinegar things ($1), a puzzle mat ($1), and a nice polo shirt for Daniel ($3).

There, now doesn't your day feel enriched? I thought it might.


I went to the Pursue woman's conference at church this weekend. The funny thing about it is that there were two major things I took away from it...neither of which had anything to do with what the conference was about. I'm going to share with you all one of those things. Lucky you, you get to read my blabbing.
For several months I've been struggling about going to church. I didn't want to go. I always had some excuse why I couldn't go, Matthias was usually that reason. What it really came down to though was that it just wasn't worth going to. It was such a hassle to get the kids fed and loaded up, drive all the way to Post Falls, get them signed into their classes and then actually get them to their classes. All this just work and then I'd have to go to worship. To be honest, I hated that part. Why? Two reasons; one, I hate singing. Two, I really don't like modern worship songs. They always seem so shallow and repetitive, and often times aren't really even worship. Exhibit A: "Come now is the time to worship". That's not worshiping, that's singing about worshiping. Often times I'd try and linger in the cafe so that I'd miss most of this. Then it was time for the sermon. At some point I started thinking that I was somehow above the sermons. They seemed to be mostly directed toward new believers, therefore there was nothing in there for me. So I'd tune out.
Then at Pursue this weekend, they handed out a paper with the discipleship chart on it. Those of you who go to Real Life probably are familiar with this (I heard there was even a sermon about it this past weekend!). Those of you who aren't familiar with it, it is basically a chart showing the growth of a Christian. I sat there looking at it for a while and started to realize something. Instead of growing and maturing as I though I was, I had begun to slip backwards. I began to see everything through my own selfishness.
Now that I had begun to understand that I'd been looking at church wrong, how am I supposed to look at it? Daniel and I have been talking through all this the last couple of days, and God has started revealing things to me. I've realized church isn't about me. Crazy, I know. So what is it about? Why do we go? Church is first and foremost about God. Church is where He draws people to him. Church is where we connect to other people. It's OK if the sermons are geared toward "infant" Christians. We began looking at how Jesus did His ministry. He spoke to the mob, he spoke to thousands at a time. How did he speak to them? He spoke in stories, he spoke to them on their level, he used things they were familiar with in their daily lives to reveal Himself to them. After, he went even further with his disciples. He used these same basic sermons geared toward "non-Christians" and new believers and revealed the deeper truths of them to his disciples, the "mature Christians". This is how we're supposed to do church. As we mature as Christians, we use the relationships we build, we use our small groups to go deeper. Church isn't designed to be our only food for the week. It's an appetizer. It gets us started. I also began to see that I'd been closing myself off. This selfishness that had begun to take over left no room in my heart for the Holy Spirit to work. How could He whisper Truth to me when I wasn't listening? If God's Word is living and active, we should always be able "get something" out of a sermon that is based on Scripture. When did I decide that I was above hearing God's Word? When did I decide that it didn't apply to me?
So, now I've begun to see that it's ok for church services to be geared toward "infant" Christians and non-believers. That's how God works. Bring the people in, teach them and get them connected. So what about those who are connected and being discipled and maturing? Why do they go to church? They go to minister. Whether it be in an "official" capacity like serving communion or teaching the 3 year olds or an "unofficial" way like praying for those near you during service or starting up a conversation with the person that looks alone and lost in the crowd, there is a way for everyone to minister to the ones God is bringing in. That's the next step.
So, that's about where I am right now. God's transforming my attitude and my thoughts on church. Hopefully by doing this I'll be able to regain some of the ground I've lost through my selfishness and I'll be able to mature the way God intended and maybe even *gasp* start doing some kind of ministry during service!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Lego Fun

We've been rearranging our house during Daniel's vacation, and it's left our living room rather bare. So, last night we pulled out the legos, dumped them on the floor and went to town. Technically, Matthias is too young to play with legos, but since he doesn't eat every toy he picks up, we figured he'd be ok. We started playing as soon as Kelsi got home from school and then played right up until bedtime...with a small break for dinner. And there was only one fight. Amazing.

Matthias took over the house I was building.

Kelsi's working hard on her house/observatory.

Look at that cute little hand!

He thinks he's pretty cool playing legos with all of us.

Kelsi's house/observatory being built. Notice the stairs that lead up to the bedroom. She was rather proud of that.

This was Daniel's contribution. It's actually an upgrade from the "helicopter crash site" he put together.

More shots of Kelsi's house.

Look how nicely they're playing! Legos are great. Kelsi is pretty excited because there is a Lego club starting up at the library. If anyone wants to come join us we'll be there next Thursday at 4!

Also, thanks everyone for all your encouraging comments on my last post! If anyone wants to go here and enter my other website feel free =)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Problem Solved

Since I know you're all waiting on pins and needles to hear what I did about my owl mittens pattern, here it is. OK, really most have you probably forgot about it, but let's pretend you didn't. A few days ago, I heard back from my tester (Daniel always laughs at me because I have a "tester". Gotta be professional about these things though, right?) who let me know that she found no mistakes, so the pattern was good to go. I decided to offer the pattern for sale at an introductory price of only $.99 for 2 weeks, then raise the price a bit. So, that's what I did. I posted the pattern approximately 48 hours ago and have sold 26 so far. Pretty nice, eh? The only bummer is that after fees, I'll only get about $.60 per pattern sold. But considering I'm making a residual income off of a pattern that I was going to make anyway (Christmas is coming up after all)...not bad! Plus, 26 people currently have it in their queue on Ravelry which means they're planning on buying it (if they remember) and I'm starting to see several forums and blogs posting about it. So, I'm thinking the sales will continue pretty steadily throughout the next couple of months as Christmas approaches and people start looking for gift ideas that don't take up too much yarn! I'm thinking a matching hat is in order.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Just Testing

Just testing out my new toy while waiting for Kelsi to get out of school =) Matthias had just woken up from his nap, so he was not very cooperative.

My New Toy

A week or two ago I decided to sell my little laptop. It was fun and cute and small...and a pretty brown, but I just didn't use it. In our new place, our PC is conveniently located in the center of the house so I ended up using it all the time. I wanted to use the money from the laptop to buy something big rather than just let it slowly dwindle away. Today at Costco I found that "something":Isn't it pretty (Sadly the picture on the front of the box lied, so I got a white one rather than a silver). It's a little HD camcorder. Now I can post video of the kids everyday for all of you to see! Aren't you excited? OK, I promise to try to not be that bad. It's charging right now and Matthias is taking a nap, but soon I will be testing it out and posting some video. Yay!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Owls say "hoot"

Ok, so I have a dilemma. Maybe you all can help me. As most of you know, I design and sell crochet patterns. Usually they're just fun little patterns of play food that, honestly, don't take a lot of effort to design. Well, I recently made a pattern for gloves that I can't decide if I want to offer for free or for sale. First, let me give you a little background.

In the "crafting community" online, there is an owl craze. They are all the rage. No matter what craft you're looking at, you'll find owls. Specifically in knitting patterns. There is a specific cable technique that, when finished, looks like an there are about a million patterns that incorporate it. Something like this:
Cute, huh? I really like all the owl stuff, but I really don't like knitting. I'll do it, but it's not my preference. So, I decided to see if there was anything comparable in crochet. Nothing. Zilch. So, I set out to see if I could recreate the cute little owl in crochet form. Not an easy task. I did however, finally manage to figure out how to do it. So I made cute little fingerless gloves.
Really, they're even cuter in person. I really need to learn to take proper pictures. Anyway, now I just need to decide to sell the pattern or make it free. I put quite a bit of time into making these (I made a pattern for both fingerless gloves and mittens) so that makes me think I should sell them. On the other hand, I know that these could be quite popular (because of the whole owl thing and since it'd be the only crocheted version) and I'll get some great exposure and traffic if I offer them for free...especially with Christmas coming up. The other option is to just offer them for free for a certain period of time and then make them for sale. So, what do I do? My future is in your hands...or something.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Playin' Games

Since I'm attempting to ignore the fact that the dryer is finished drying and the sink is full of dishes, I thought I'd post again =) Daniel and Kelsi decided to play a few games a couple of weeks ago (it was the night after Daniel's b-day bbq) and of course Matthias though he'd join in. I took up the role of photographer.

That's a rather devious look.

Matthias got his "friends" set up to watch.

Shaking the dice.

Apparently it was bothering Kelsi ;)

Kelsi let Matthias use the yellow guys.

Counting the dots to see how much he gets to move!

The highlight of the evening is that we let them eat up all the leftover tomato slices.

Oh, and Kelsi beat Daniel both times they played the game!


Matthias and I started doing preschool this year, and he thinks he's pretty cool. He has his very own desk, just like Kelsi, it even has his name on it! The name is conveniently located right above the strip of masking tape that says "table not for sale" that was placed there during a yard sale and never came off. It also has some drops of chocolate.

And then we have his little white board (found at a thrift store for .99) with our letter of the week along with our key words. Matthias apparently thought I didn't write them out properly.

And our calendar (blurry picture!) to help Matthias learn his months and days. Today we learned that is not, in fact, July. It is September.

His pile of library books and poetry books.

His lovely educational wooden puzzles.

His workbooks and the all important box of coloring supplies.

Now, I get to show off some of his "work". I apologize in advance for the bad photos...I was just really lazy.

We're mainly focusing on his writing skills, since he has the alphabet down. So first off, we have this lovely page:

He did it twice. The first shot apparently wasn't good enough.
The apple (A is for apple!):

And the lemon...getting a bit trickier!

And finally, learning to draw straight lines:

I would have taken pictures of Matthias along with all his stuff...but school got cut short early today because he needed a nap!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Open House

Tonight we went to Kelsi's open house at school. Kelsi of course gave us the grand tour:

Then she showed off her classroom and the newspaper she made.

Her desk.

Her locker.

Enjoying the quality hot dogs.

Matthias went for the cookie first.

Good times, good times.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


When we last went grocery shopping, I saw a nice bag full of pickling cucumbers and I couldn't resist =) So today Matthias and I made pickles.

He thought he was so cool helping me chop the dill. Just don't tell him that plastic knife won't do anything!

Next, he got to put the dill in the jars.

Close it up and we're ready to go! Ok, it was a little more work than that, but he thinks he did all the hard stuff.

I've never made pickles before, but it seems pretty straightforward, so hopefully it works! Thankfully, I had my fancy little crinkle cutter from Pampered Chef, so I was able to chop them all up fancy like. The big, fat pickles I sliced up to make spears.

And there are my pretty pickles.