Thursday, November 3, 2016

A letter to our unborn child

When my husband and I first started trying to have children we got pregnant faster than we expected. We were both so excited. As I took that pregnancy test I remember feeling like my heart was going to pound out of my chest. In just 3 little minutes we would find out if our lives would change forever. Much to our surprise it was positive.




photo credit: Daquella manera Dos rayas via photopin (license)

We barely had time to get use to the fact that we were going to be parents. We told only our closest family and a few close friends. They were so excited for us.

I wish I could say our story ended happily, but a short while later at just 11 weeks I lost the baby due to a miscarriage. The hospital called it a "spontaneous abortion". I despise that word,  I would never have an abortion. I had a miscarriage, and to call it an abortion on any level is just wrong in my book.

It has taken me many years to even type these words, but I wanted to publicly write a letter to our unborn child. Why publicly? Because I want other moms to know that they are not alone! You are not alone!

Dear Baby,
Hello, I am your mom. Unfortunately, soon after we found out we were expecting, we lost you. I am so sorry we never got to meet.

I want you to know that you were wanted very much. You are missed each and every day and you are loved.

 I often wonder if you were a boy or a girl; I wonder who you would look like; what your voice would sound like. I wonder what your personality would be like. 
 I wonder what your hopes and dreams would be. I bet you would have a kind and caring heart. I often wonder if you would have played sports or been in band. Who you would have dated and who your friends would have been. 
Would you have been a girl who loved pink, hair bows and ballet? Or would you have been a boy who loved to play sports, play in the dirt and mud, ride bikes and collect bugs?

I think about you ALL the time!  
When we lost you, you were so tiny you could fit in the palm of my hand, but I could see where your tiny eyes would be, your tiny arms, and where your tiny little legs would soon grow. 
We never got to hear your heartbeat, or see you on the ultrasound screen. 

You were born into heaven. I imagine Jesus holding you and saying "Do not be afraid, you are safe here and will meet your mom someday soon." 
I know that you are safe and will never have to experience any pain that this cruel world causes so often. 

I love you baby and I can't wait to meet you someday soon!

Love always, 
                                   Your mommy 


Thursday, August 11, 2016

Things I wish my kids knew

I'm sure you have a list of things you constantly tell your kids. Turn off the lights when you leave a room. Be kind to others, always. Money doesn't grow on trees.... etc.
There are some things I feel like I am constantly telling my kids. Things that I wish would stick and I would have to constantly repeat them. These are the things I wish they knew.


  • Electric actually does cost money. If you can use natural light instead. Turn the lights off when you leave a room. Don't leave your tv or games running when you're not using them. 
  • Germs really are EVERYWHERE!!! Yes, you have to wash your hands before touching food. I don't care if they don't look dirty. Always Always Always wash your hands after using the bathroom, even if you didn't touch anything. (This must be a boy thing, I don't know?) Handwashing slows down the spread of germs and think about the person after you who has to touch the same doorknob you just left germs all over. 
  • Mom does NOT mean maid. I will do what my kids are incapable of doing for themselves. However, at a certain age, they need to learn to do it themselves. Even a 2-year-old can pick up toys. 
  • You don't know everything! (This is for my tween boy who has recently become a know it all and not in a good way.) 
  • Who cares about the latest fashion trend? BE YOURSELF!! If you like the fashion trend that is one thing, but don't let peer pressure or fear of not fitting in make the decision for you. 
  • How much I love them! (This one I don't mind repeating many times a day) I encourage you to tell your kids how much you love them. Parents no days don't say it enough. Tell them how you feel! 

Some other posts you might be interested in:
Mom's on a budget
When you feel like you can't go on
Cheap or free family fun
10 ways you can help someone who is sick
How I clean with kids

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Mom's on a budget

I get asked all the time about how to budget. I've been married now for 11 years (As of August 5th) and a mom for 10 years (This September) While I'm no expert, I do have a few pointers and tricks up my sleeve that I've learned over the years.  

Mom's on a budget


Image courtesy of pazham at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
(This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.) 

  • Start off by figuring out what your total monthly income is. (If you tithe' take 10% of your total income)
  • Next add together all of your monthly bills. (Don't forget to add bills that may be every 3 months. For us this is water.) 
  • Subtract your monthly income minus your total monthly bills. This way you have an idea of what will be left each month. 
  • Decide how much you will need for groceries.
  • Decide how much you will need for gas.
  • How much will you need for car repairs, regular car maintenance; such as oil changes, new tires, brake pads, etc.   
  • What about birthdays, anniversaries, etc.
  • Do you have a savings account? If so how much will you put in it, and how often? 

Once you set a budget stick to it!   

You have to expect that gas and the price of groceries will rise and fall. But how do you plan for that? Here are a few ways.....  

  • When you grocery shop, don't be afraid to shop around. Make a list of what you need. Check sale ads for the best prices. There are a few websites that will actually put the coupons and sales together for you. How simple is that? They do all the work and you just shop. You can print coupons here!

     http://www.shoppingwithshana.com/
               http://thekrazycouponlady.com/ 
                http://www.krogerkrazy.com/ 
     
  • Match sales with coupons! (See above)
  • Stock up when you have rock bottom prices and coupons. When you stock up you won't be forced to pay high prices when you run out.
  • Menu plan. When you have a menu plan, you're not scrambling at 5p.m. wondering what to cook. You're also more likely to cut down on fast food which is healthier and saves you money.
  • Crock Pot meals. Save times when you can simply put everything into your crockpot and walk away. You could get so much done while dinner is cooking without having to babysit it. 
  • Freezer meals. This goes hand in hand with menu planning and crockpot meals. You can simply take something out of the freezer and pop it into the oven and it frees up more time. Same goes for crockpot meals. (NOTE: thaw meats and poultry in the fridge first to keep from causing any illness). 
  • Shop at thrift stores or second-hand stores.
  • If you sew you can mend or patch your clothes to help them last longer. If you're really good you can even make your clothes. (I'm not that talented)
  • Hand-me-downs are great, not only for kids but adults too!    

If you have no idea how to set a budget and can't afford a financial advisor, maybe you could ask a friend or mentor for help.

Check in once in a while and let them know how everything is going and don't forget to thank them for their help.
You might also read these books:
  • Dave Ramsey The total money makeover.
  • Crystal Payne The Money Saving Mom's Budget .
You can buy them or see if your local library has them and borrow them for free!
  
 
 

 

Here are some other posts you might enjoy

Benefits of a Sam's Club membership                           Cheap or Free family fun

Cheap or Free family fun night ideas                            At home date ideas 

Date night on a budget                                               Ways to make money from home 

Ways to save money                                                  How to earn money for the holidays

 

 

   

 

 

 


Saturday, July 30, 2016

Keeping kids busy during the summer

Schools been out for a while now and it's inevitable that your kids are going to get bored. In our family we have three boys and they can really get on my nerves easily if they are cooped up in the house all day long. (Please tell me I'm not alone in that.)

When I knew school was about to end I started doing some research and putting together a list of things we were going to do this summer. We have done quite a few of them, however summer is not over yet, so we still have some we are planning on doing. Some of them cost money, but some of them are FREE!
 Photo by Stuart Miles at freedigitalphotos.net

I did a google search for free or cheap family fun near me. I also use Cincinnati Parent Magazine, and Cincinnati Family Magazine for free and cheap family fun. Sometimes if you're lucky you can search your local city or townships webpage and view their events page or calendar. I happened to get lucky there and my son went to a fire academy provided by our local fire dept totally FREE! How awesome is that? (I scored major mom points for that one!) (This post may contain affiliate links in which I receive a small commission at no charge to you.)

Here are some other ideas:
  • Lazer Kraze - Or some other Lazer tag near you. 
  • museum (you can go on free days, most museums have them during the summer)
  • Some movie theaters have free or cheap movie days.
  • Zoo (we actually bought a family pass and have definitely got our moneys worth.) However most Zoo's have half price day or dollar day admission.
  • Explore your town and see what it has to offer. When we first move somewhere new we like to drive around and "get lost" or see what we can get into. You'd be surprised what free fun you can find. 
  • Park- The park is always a great place to have some free or cheap fun. 
  • Camping-  As long as you already have a tent, sleeping bags, and a few other necessities; camping really isn't that expensive. Sometimes there is a small fee for the camp ground. If you camp in your own back yard it's FREE! No it's not exactly the same but hey beggars can't be choosers. 
  • Some bowling alleys have free bowling for kids during the summer. Check out kidsbowlfree.com   
  • If your church has a VBS (although most have this at the beginning of the summer)
  • Home Depot has kids workshops you can sign your kids up for. http://workshops.homedepot.com/workshops/kids-workshops?cm_sp=vanity-_-Kidsworkshops-_-DEC13
  • Lowes has their build and grow program. https://lowesbuildandgrow.com/
  • Some parks will have local bands that play free concerts. 
  • You might also be able to find a park that does nature programs free or cheap. Our local park has a "Meet a reptile day" etc..... where the kids get to touch lizards and snakes and learn hands on about them. 
  • Last but not least don't forget to check out your local library. They have many programs for all ages. Our library had Lego time, a summer reading program, and summer lunch program where the kids can eat free every day, story time, toddler time, play groups, movers and shakers (a music and dance fun program for little ones) and so much more!
  • Baseball games. If you get tickets online or at Kroger you can get them cheaper usually. Park further away and walk to help with the high parking prices, skip concessions if you need to. I highly recommend bringing something for concessions if you have kids who are constantly hungry like mine. 
  • We love to get the fire pit going out back, roast marshmallows and make s'mores. Try to catch lightning bugs as the sun goes down, then bring out the telescope and start gaze, look at the moon or what ever planet is visible that night. 

Here are some other posts you might enjoy:
Cheap or free family fun                   
 How I clean with kids
My favorite things about fall 

Friday, June 3, 2016

Friends & Family Event 15% Off Site Wide at PetSmart.com


Buy Milk-Bone Original 24oz in small or medium for $2.99 + Free Shipping on $49+ at PetSmart.com! Valid 5/31-7/5.
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Suprise dad with these super cool tech gifts



Father's day is June 19th. Are you prepared? Don't forget to show dad how much you care! 









Last chance to save




Nobody likes to miss out on a great deal! Don't miss these deals, check them out before they're gone!

Get a Sam's Club Membership and Save - Join for $45 per year!

Torin 36-inch 8 Drawer Tool Chest and Cabinet Set

















Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Celebrate dad with these Sam's Club sales

 Father's day is right around the corner. Celebrate dad with these amazing deals from Sam's club.
(This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.)



 Photo by photostock at freedigitalphotos.net


White Glove Delivery Included The Treyton Bar Set's decorative front panel design in a stylish black finish makes a wonderful addition for entertaining in your home.

Complete drill set with carrying case 18V of cordless power LED work-light for darker conditions Includes two batteries to help get the job finished

Whether you've lived in the same house for years, or call an RV or apartment home, this compact work table is perfect for you. The plastic sawhorse makes it easy to work in your yard, at the worksite, or in the garage. It's quick-opening system and lightweight aluminum legs allow our sawhorse alternative to unfold in just two seconds so you can start the task at hand with no delay.

Luxurious and accurate timepiece Quartz movement made in Switzerland Quality timepiece put through series of 60 tests and inspections Battery life indicator feature

Secure storage for up to 24 rifles or shotguns Electronic lock and 1.5" locking bolts Convertible interior has 4 shelves and door storage Fire rated at 30 minutes for up to 1,400 degrees to protect guns, papers and other valuables
 

Benefits of a Sam's Club Membership

 I've heard a lot of different opinions about buying in bulk. There are pros and cons to anything.
(This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.)

If you can look past yearly membership fees Sam's club really has a lot to offer. Also depending on what plan you go with you can sign up for as little as $45 a year.

Buying in bulk can really save you money. That being said, if I have a coupon to match a sale else where and make that price cheaper, I'm all over it. The following is a list of supplies we normally buy at Sam's Club (unless there is a sale & coupon to make the price lower else where.)

  • diapers (we use cloth a lot at home, but on the go and at church it's easier for us to take disposables.) 
  • diaper wipes
  • diaper genie refills
  • pull ups (we have started buying smaller packs now that our middle child only wears them to bed and when we are away from home.)
  • sugar
  • flour
  • ground beef (without coupons other stores can't beat these prices. 
  • chicken breast
  • pork chops (I cut them in half because they are so thick and we get twice the amount.)
  • toilet paper
  • tide
  • bread
  • monster energy drinks
  • cooking oil
  • canned chicken
  • pancake mix
  • pop tarts (We use these on busy days when we have to rush early in the morning. We eat them for breakfast in the car, or sometimes as snacks on trips.)
  • cat food dry and canned
  • cat liter
  • Mr. Clean magic erasers
  • Clorox wipes
  • furniture polish
  • cascade
  • Gatorade
  • bottled water
  • printer ink
  • coffee creamer
  • trash bags
  • cereal
  • fruit (it's generally always fresher and lasts longer.)
  • We have even bought home school supplies (workbooks, etc.)
This list is just an example of some of the items we get (not every month) and please remember if I can combine a coupon & a sale for less I'm going to do that instead.
If you would like a membership you can sign up here.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

When you feel like you can't go on

Have you ever dreaded each new day? Have you ever simply just felt hopeless, lost, empty, sad, angry, depressed, idle, worthless, desperate and defeated? You feel alone and afraid. You wonder if anyone could ever understand.




Maybe there was a recent tragedy in your life that caused you to feel this way. You have have experienced a bad break-up or divorce. You might have been hurt or abused by someone you loved dearly or someone you didn't know at all. You may have lost your job. For what ever reason you feel like you can't go on PLEASE know that you have a Heavenly Father who loves you so much that he sent His Son Jesus to die for your sins, so that you might be forgiven.

John 3:16 English Standard Version (ESV)

16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

Photo by Stuart Miles at www.freedigitalphotos.net

  • Cry out to God. He knows your pain. He can carry your burdens and take the weight off your shoulders. He can mend your broken heart if you'll trust in Him.                                    

    Matthew 11:28-30 English Standard Version (ESV)

    28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

    Image courtesy of graur razvan ionut at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
     
  • Know that you are NOT alone! 

    Deuteronomy 31:6English Standard Version (ESV)

    Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”
          
  • Things in this life (including pain) are temporary. 
  • Call a friend and have a heart to heart. Friends are great to talk to, they listen, they pray with you and for you, and they can give great advice. 
  • If you're married, talk to your spouse. You should always communicate to your spouse your feelings. 
  • If you keep a journal or diary write down how you feel. 
  • Lastly if you think you might hurt yourself  Please don't wait, get help NOW!! Have a friend or your spouse take you to the ER, or call the national suicide prevention at 1-800-273-8255.


God doesn't want us to feel hopeless. He sent Jesus to save us from our sins and give us hope. Have faith in Him and hold on to His promises.