Saturday, November 5, 2016

Announcing Kolbe Vincent

Kolbe Vincent was welcomed into the world on October 30. This adorable little dude is the perfect addition to our crew.

Yes, I decided to keep rather quiet about being pregnant this time around. I chose not to share with folks not living near us this time. While I realize this decision is not popular and many people don't understand my thinking, it was the best choice for me. Pregnancy is truly a sacred time. This time can be easily ruined by the negativity and lack of respect we pretty  much always get in huge numbers when announcing pregnancies. I needed peace, calm, and quiet this time around. I needed the chance to truly enjoy and embrace this baby without the negativity, gossiping, and lack of respect for our opinions that we have received every time I have been pregnant.

In this age of oversharing, people seem to have decided they have the right to know everything about someone else no matter what. When I back off on what I share and the response is "I'm going to keep asking until you tell me what I want to know," that shows a huge lack of respect. When the gossiping starts in with rude, horrid comments, I start to rethink things. No, we are not crazy stupid breeders. No, we are not too poor to care for our children. No, our child did not die because God was telling us to stop having kids. No, I don't care to hear the opinion of someone who doesn't know us on my husband, home, or marriage. So yes, I kept quiet this time. And loved the peace. My emotional health needed to be the priority for a change. Especially with Alan gone all summer.

Putting myself first in regard to this decision is not one I regret. It made things much easier this time around and allowed me to focus on the gift that pregnant is, even when the pregnancy is hard.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Using Amazon to Save Your Budget

It is no secret that I have managed to become rather skilled at finding new ways to save our family money in as many ways as possible. It is one of those things that goes along with living on a budget and raising a large family. And, no, budget is not a bad word nor does it mean we are poor. It just means we live on a budget, something that used to be considered a good and responsible thing.

Most people realize by now that Amazon Prime provides you with some wonderful benefits. We use it for streaming tv shows and movies, free kindle books, free music, and free 2 day shipping. Our college kids also have used their own free college prime memberships. Not necessarily because they need to but because that way they can get away with watching things on their computers that we don't allow them to watch around the younger children. Yes, we are fairly strict about what the younger children can watch and what the older ones are allowed to expose the younger ones to while at home.

Two other services that Amazon offers that I use on a regular basis to pinch pennies are Amazon Mom and Amazon Subscribe and Save. The Amazon Mom program provides you with 20% orders of diapers and baby food. combining this program (free to join) with other sales allows me to get some killer deals on baby products. In recent months I've been able to buy cases of diapers for around $15. Yes, cases of diapers. We do use primarily cloth diapers but there are times when it is nice to have a back up. The prices are also low enough to allow regular donations to a pregnancy center or low income Mom in your life.  Now that Charlie is actually able to eat real food, I've started watching the prices on baby food. Using Amazon Mom to buy baby food and getting 20% allows me to get cases of organic baby food for less than conventional prices. Yes, using coupons at the grocery store can sometimes be cheaper but this option saves me from going out of the house and delivers more at one time. And I do realize that skipping baby food is even cheaper but for right now, Charlie cannot eat the stuff I would normally feed a baby her age since her mouth is still healing.

Subscribe and Save is another program I've started using recently. To get the most out of this program, you have to order 5 different items each month. With an order of 5 items, you get 15% off every item. Combing this 15%, free shipping, and sale prices allows me to find some incredible deals. Not every item will be worth ordering but if you keep track of prices, you can find some good deals. Typical items that I order each month are deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes, and dishwashing detergent. The orders change every month since I cancel the recurrent orders as soon as the box arrives. In recent months, I've found great deals on oatmeal, pasta, baby shampoo, and cereal.

Everything is shipped directly to our door which is rather convenient.And the kids get giant boxes to play in. I do think that is their favorite part.  Even if you aren't looking for savings, if you are dealing with an illness or a time when you can't get to the store regularly, Amazon can make your life so much easier when used properly.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Meal Plan

breakfast options for the week are yogurt, bagels, eggs, cereal or oatmeal

snack options are fruit, popcorn, animal crackers, string cheese or fruit leather

M: grilled cheese, fruit (L), pulled pork over baked potatoes, veggies (D)
T: bean and cheese quesadillas, fruit (L), chili with corn bread (D)
W: corn dog muffins (L), pasta with meat sauce, salad (D)
T: leftovers (L), spicy chicken soup with cheddar muffins (D)
F tuna sandwiches, fruit (L), spinach tortellini soup, rolls (D)

Monday, October 17, 2016

Congratulations Robert!

Robert celebrated his first confession tonight. He said it went rather well other than being a bit scared because he did not know the priest. Next up is his First Communion in December.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Meal Plan

Breakfast options for the week are bagels, frozen pancakes/waffles, yogurt and granola, or eggs and toast. All served with fruit.

Lunch options are sandwiches or leftovers. Burritos if I'm able to convince one of the children to help me make a batch for the freezer.

Dinners for the week:
S: beef teriyaki over rice
M: tacos
T: buffalo chicken and potato casserole
W: cheeseburger soup
T: leftovers
F: fish
S: not sure yet

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Surgery Update

Charlie had her second surgery on Thursday. She came home on Friday and is doing relatively ok. Given that the surgery was in her mouth and you need to use your mouth to eat, she will likely have a very painful recovery. I see lots of snuggle time in her future.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Meal Plan

Breakfast options for the week are eggs, cereal, and oatmeal, all served with fruit.

Lunches for the week are sandwiches, quesadillas, or leftovers.

Snack options for the week are fruit, baby carrots and cucumbers, fruit leather, string cheese, or popcorn.

Dinners planned for the week:
M: chili and corn bread
T: chicken, broccoli, and rice casserole
W: pasta, salad
T: crockpot beef stew, rolls
F: fish, vegetables