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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

How he's growing....




Just thought I'd post a couple pictures of my sweet son. He has wanted to go out and get the mail for so long. His big sister decided she'd take him out and show him how to get it along with how to be careful and watch for traffic. He was so excited that she helped him. In the other picture you'll see him "cooking". It doesn't matter what we're making, he's always there wanting to help. His daddy was making peanut butter and oat chocolate chip cookies. Jon was pretty excited to be helping with those for sure. It's amazing how it seems like just yesterday it was Allysha doing all these things. My how time flies. She's the perfect big sister for her brother and I know she will be for the next one too. My, how they grow.

My kids singing:)

I heard my little ones singing this the other day and thought it was so cute. I decided to post so you can enjoy it too. It's a song on a Bob the Builder movie that has two parts.
video

Saturday, April 25, 2009

6 Month picture and a fleece cover for Joshua



Just thought I'd share an updated picture since I hit the beginning of my 6th month and a picture of a diaper cover/soaker I made for my son Joshua out of fleece. I had so much fun making it. I can't wait to make more - Matt just has to fix my sewing machine. All in good time.

I also just calculated how far the kids and I walked yesterday and it was exactly 1 mile. Lyshie was pretty excited about that. I hope to do more later but that's good enough for just starting out. I'll still keep up with my pg exercises - it feels good!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Baby Sewing Links - Diapers, bibs, etc...

Here are the ones I've found lately that I like the most. They are easy for someone like me;) I have tried Rita's Rump, and the Sweater Pants and love them both. I also added a bib pattern. It works much better than other store bought bibs because it covers more. We even take extra long tea towels and just tie a loose knot around the back of their neck. It works great. Enjoy the links!

Sweater pants/longies and soakers:
http://www.borntolove.com/frugal
-column2.html


http://www.cafepress.com/thatski
ndacool/864331


sewing all kinds of dipes:
http://fernandfaerie.com/frugald
iapering.html


fleece soaker pattern:
http://katrinassqs.blogspot.com/
2007/10/free-soaker-pattern.ht
ml

http://www.geocities.com/Heartla
nd/Oaks/1126/sewfleece.html


Bib:
here is a bib pattern - http://sewing.about.com/od/sewingf
orbabychildren/ss/towelbib.htm


Rita's Rump pocket pattern - http://handmadebyrita.blogspot.com
/2007/10/classic-rrp-ritas-rum
p-pocket-pattern.html


Here's a youtube that I used to figure out how to sew the Rita's Rump Diaper. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sh8
4LK19VNE


Wipes - I've done these two different ways. One way is to use flannel where the edges have been cut with pinking shears. I put two layers together, right sides facing out and just top stitch closely to the edges of the fabric. The other way I've made them is getting microfiber towels and flannel. I'd put wrong sides together - 1 of flannel and 1 of the microfiber towel. I'd sew them and turn inside out (so right sides are showing), then topstitch around the edges for a finished look. I like making smaller wipes about 4x4 and then long ones that look like diaper inserts for bigger messes.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Joshua's First Diaper Sewn by Mommy



Ok so I have a few things to learn. I precut the shirt which was bad. The Hulk was supposed to go on the back instead of the front but I did not have enough material to do that with the way I cut the t-shirt. By the way, I'm using t-shirts (100% cotton) to make these pocket diapers. I still have to top-stitch around it and make inserts to put in the pocket (for absorbency) but here's what I have so far. I know not at all perfect, but it is my first one and I usually suck at sewing. lol. Enjoy!

Oh yes, the pattern I'm using is Rita's Rump. Just google it and you'll find it very quickly. I also do not have the insert in it yet.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Thrifty Finds...




Today while out and about I ended up going to a Mom 2 Mom sale as well as Goodwill. I got all the below items for a total $18.50 and $2 of that went to enter the Mom 2 Mom sale. Below you will find 0-3 month clothes for my soon to arrive son, Joshua. I needed little outfits in size newborn and 0-3 months for summer. I found some adorable little outfits. The next picture was purchased for my son, Jonathan. He wears size 4t. Among the clothing, he also got a nice pair of sandles. Last but not least is a fairy nightgown for my Lyshie as well as a ball glove. It's a Franklin and while used, it seems in pretty stinking good condition. This will of course get passed down to my sons when she's done with it:) Oh yes, and Lyshie is now wearing girls size 16/18! Crazy! I just love thrifty finds:)

Our first park day - 2009!








We had such a wonderful time today. The weather is over 70 degrees, we had a great picnic lunch and the kids had so much fun at the park. Jon was constantly running and smiling and Allysha made a little new friend. Enjoy the pictures!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Jon with his bike helmet...




I got this new in the package at Goodwill last year sometime. We just got it out and put it on him. He's so super excited. Here's some pictures.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Baby Kaake Updates...

Well, this is more of a me being pregnant with baby Kaake update. lol! The morning sickness has finally almost completely subsided. It's still here now and then but I'm doing much better. I am able to totally cook now which is so wonderful! I can also eat most anything now as well. Man that took awhile. I'll be starting my 6th month Wednesday so this has been a long time coming it would seem. My energy is not what I would hope for it to be but it could be my fault too. I feel better so I way overwork one day, then am worthless the next. And so the cycle continues. I've grown so much it's crazy! I've gained 11 pounds so far which is just a hair high from what Babyfit.com says I should be gaining. I think the baby had a growth spurt though this past week. My food intake wasn't really more than usual but I gained a few pounds. So it goes, so it goes. All in all I'm feeling pretty stinking good. I've been making wipes for the baby and collecting clothes at resale shops here and there. I also got some lovely clothes from a friend of a friend the other day. I was in awe of the kindness of this stranger to our family. What a blessing it was indeed. I just told my husband today I'd be shocked if I went to my due date this time. With my son I was a day early and with having 2 kids already and having lots to do in the summer, I see myself on my feet even more. That and my bedroom is upstairs as are the children's so I'll be up and down stairs several times per day. I guess only time will tell;)

So there you have it, the update for now. I'll have a belly shot next week to commemorate the beginning of our 6 months! Yeah!!!!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Saving hundreds of dollars yearly.

You've heard it said, if you currently drink a $2 every day, you could save a huge amount of money simply making it at home instead of purchasing it. After all, a coffee at that price daily would come to a total of $730 per year. Keep in mind, that's just the coffee, not bagels, muffins, etc.... What if you're like our family and don't go for the average American frills such as morning coffee, cable tv, 2 vehicles, etc.... We do save a lot of money, but is there more we could be doing? Here is a list of things we do currently to save money. Please feel free to post your ideas below in the comments section.

First thing first....make a note of items you truly need and things you can do without. Almost any financial adviser would say to make sure you have something special or a little thing here and there that you don't give up - a frill. That way you don't go on spending sprees. If you need to do that, make sure this is a low cost item not done on a regular basis.

I'm sure I'll miss several but here goes....

Household items:
We make our own household cleaners, detergents, body care products, etc.. There are a couple things we still purchase such as drier sheets and dishwasher soap. That said, we save a huge amount of money per year on these items. For instance, our homemade dry laundry detergent soap is $4 for well over 150 loads of laundry. Not only is it an eco friendly recipe, it's cheaper. Below is your list of household items we make ourselves or do in a less expensive manor.
- homemade laundry detergent
- using vinegar for a fabric softener
- baking soda, vinegar, essential oils and lemon for many household cleaners
- baking soda and vinegar for drain cleaner
- baking soda and essential oils for carpet freshener
- peroxide for carpet stains
- washing all but whites and towels in cold water
- shutting off lights we aren't using at the time
- unplugging unused appliances, and other electrical items
- purchasing energy star appliances
- changing furnace filters regularly
- not overusing heat or air conditioning

Saving on Purchases
- purchasing "oops" paint at stores such as Lowe's, Home Depot, etc...
- shopping at closeout stores such as Big Lots
- shopping resale stores such as Goodwill and Salvation army for clothinog and household items.
- using freecycle. This is an online group to keep items out of landfills. We've gotten several wonderful items from here as well as given many away. Visit freecycle.org to find a local group.
- craigslist.com is a great place to find local free and used items anywhere from toys to cars and houses - plus anything in between.
- trading - I've done a lot of trading on online mommy forums. We've saved oodles of money this way.
- swapadvd.com and paperbackswap.com are great ways to get rid of unwanted books or dvds and get some you've been hoping to have.
- shop at stores such as bread outlets, save-a-lot, aldi and others like these. You can save a lot of money on food items. Many have asked me if this is outdated food, no it is not. It's cheaper food that tastes just as good as brand name.
- shop gfs and sams club - just remember, some of the deals are not that great. Make sure if you purchase a membership, that you save at least that much money throughout the year without purchasing things you normally wouldn't.
- shop sale ads - even if you don't get fliers in the mail for your favorite store or grocer, you can still access their ad online. make your meal plans for the week or couple weeks from items that are on sale.
- vitacost.com has great prices on health products as well as herbal remedies and vitamins. they have a flat rate shipping of $4.99. Order with a friend and pay virtually no shipping.
- bottled water - if you like bottled water like we do, purchase a few cases of bottled water such as nestle and keep in the car for trips. When it comes to drinking water at home, reuse your own jugs and fill up at places such as Walmart or Meijer with their reverse osmosis filtering system by Culligan.

Reusable Items
- use reusable napkins. If you don't want to purchase them, make some out of dollar walmart fabric or other fabric you may have laying around.
- not "paper towels" - in place of paper towels we use old cut up cotton sheets to use in place of paper towels.
- dishes and glasses/cups - stop purchasing paper/foam dishes and start using what you have in your cupboards. Saves money and waste.
- cloth diapers - these have come a long way. You can save lots of money, take better care of your babies bottom and keep diapers out of landfills. Check out Diaperjungle.com if you are wondering about these new changes in diapers.
- family cloth and mama cloth/diva cup - here is something we don't and won't do because it's just not for us. However, some people use/do it and love it. Look online for a more specific explanation.
- re-purpose clothing - you can make jeans into skirts, sweaters into diaper covers or toss bean bags, t-shirts into diaper inserts or breastpads, etc... We love re-purposing items in our home.

Make It Yourself
- Make your own muffins, pancakes and waffles. In fact, make lots and freeze some for later meals.
- Make your own desserts. They contain less artificial ingredients and of course taste better.
- Use your crockpot often. It's easy to use and if you have something already cooking, your less likely to go out and eat.
- Make your own cleaners like I mentioned above. I have several cleaning recipes that I posted awhile back. I think the name of that post is something like Do you know what's in our cleaning products.
- Make your own clothing. Granted, depending on the price of the fabric and other materials, you may be spending more. I purchase $1.00 yard fabric from WalMart and make my daughter peasant style skirts. Super, super easy to make. If you want the link for instructions, just ask:)
Basically, make most of your food homemade. I had someone tell me once prepackaged foods are cheaper. They might seem like it initially but once you pare up the cost pound per pound, they usually aren't. Plus the health benefits of fresh foods FAR outweigh that of prepackaged items.
- Make your own body care products. Very fun and easy to do.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter weekend 2009






It was so nice to spend time with my brother with all he's been going through lately. It's so hard being so far away from him. We were able to spend Friday and Saturday in his new apt. Sunday, we left to go to the church I grew up in since 9 years old as well as go to my Grandma Good's house for Easter dinner. It was so nice seeing family. Those who don't have to travel to see family have no idea how hard it can be just to get together and you appreciate it that much more. I had not seen my grandparents since last summer. This time together was WAY overdue. It was a lovely Easter and time spent with the family. Enjoy the pictures!

Oh yes, before I forget, here's what we had for Easter dinner. Perfect and I did not have to cook!

Ham
Turkey
Mashed potatoes and gravy
Carrots
Creamed peas - grandma's famous for these
Biscuits and homemade strawberry jam
Salad
Cinnamon pickles - another thing grandma is famous for.
Cake - all i have to say is "wow" and I usually don't like sweets. Great job mom!
Lemonade

Everything was absolutely wonderful! Gotta love great food and great company.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Baby Kaake week 21 - Gender Update;)




Yesterday at 3:45 was the time of my ultrasound appointment. I was going crazy just waiting for it. The time finally came and Allysha and I headed off to the office. It was there we found out little baby Kaake is 13 oz, very healthy with more movement than they've seen in awhile (just like Jon) and guess what, It's a boy!!!! We are so super excited. Now we can call our dear sweet baby by it's name. It's so cute to hear Jon say "baby bruder Joshua". Lyshie wanted a girl pretty bad like her father and I, but her father and I got over it quick. It's just something about seeing a healthy baby. I LOVE it! Lyshie is doing better and realizing this is what God has for us. I just can't tell you how happy I am with the news. We went to Salvation Army today to try to find a few summer outfits for this little guy in size 0-3 months since Jon was born in the winter and Joshua should be here sometime in August. The ultrasound pictures are a little fuzzy, but I hope you can see them well enough. One is of the head, belly and legs coming up around the belly making the belly look huge. lol. The next picture is of his "manhood". You can see where it is because there is a little star there beside it. Lyshie took the picture of me getting ready to walk out the door to the appointment. Welcome to the family, little Joshua David:)

Jon's 3rd Birthday



I know I posted a bit about celebrating his birthday on the actual day but I better put pictures up here too of his actual birthday. Matthew and I got home on Sunday after being gone in a hotel the night before. Grandma Shannon and Grandpa Allen were both at our home watching the children for us. When we arrived home we celebrated little Jon's birthday. Grandma Shannon made the best chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. Little Jon is just like his Grandma Sandi, he LOVES chocolate. He got several wonderful gifts and enjoyed himself being around family. A huge thanks to Shannon and Allen for making the party possible. Enjoy the pictures!