Sunday, February 22, 2015

31 Days Spending 0

I read about the 31 Days of Living Well and Spending Zero back in October thanks to someone posting it on Facebook. For one of my new year resolutions I discussed (and begged) for Dave and I to do this in January. We decided to do it and I am SO SO glad we did! It was an experience I wouldn't change for the world. First I will explain exactly what we did...then I will explain all I learned! 

First, the idea is that you don't spend anything except on essentials. Each day you are given a task to do and that you are supposed to follow. Day one for example is to read the ground rules and basically just commit to doing the challenge. Each day that follows gives you task to help you along with your goals. Week one is mostly about food and meal planning, week 2 was cleaning and organizing, week 3 was getting creative, and week 4 was finding ways to make money. I can tell you that we DIDNT do all the activities. We mostly focused on the spending zero part of it, but I loved some of the ideas she gave and actually did read the ideas everyday. As far as the no spending we actually went the whole month only buying milk, cheese, eggs, bread, fruits, and veggies plus bought a few birthday gifts that we previously knew about. We used only what we had on hand for meals and got creative with activities with the kids. Some days were definitely harder then others, but all and all I would do it again! 

For more information go here.

So what did I learn?? Where do I begin? I never thought this month would teach me so much! So here we go.......

-I found that I had enough in my pantry to make at least 24 days worth on meals! Glad that without shopping we could do that in case we needed to live off of that for awhile.

-Leftovers became gold! We ate everything we had because we couldn't take anything for granted.

-I learned to become resourceful. When we ran out of paprika I looked online for a substitute. In fact I found a lot of substitutes for things I never thought of before. I also learned how to make homemade tortillas that were so good and now my kids won't even ate store bought!!! 

-I learned what my weaknesses (and Daves) were with our spending. Donuts for the kids while shopping, chocolate and candy for me, soda runs for Dave. Hitting fast food when tired instead of just going home to make food. All things that add up quickly and made us very aware what we need to stop spending on.

-The kids learned to be grateful for what they had and were given. They hated hearing "not this month we aren't spending money." But really did learn to enjoy the treats give at school and even enjoy the snacks they did get even if they were carrots :) 

-A night at home playing board games with the kids and having popcorn is better then anything that requires spending money! 

-That no matter how tired I can go home and cook for my family and its alway better food then fast food. In fact after this was done fast food simply didn't sound good anymore.

-We saved 800 dollars!! And this could not come at any better time since we needed earnest money for the house just the next month.

-We could do hard things and survive! The last week meals got not quite as good and we were dying for some chocolate/ soda, but we did just fine. So proud that we did it and proved to ourselves that we could be disciplined.

So go check out the link before the picture and try to do this if you really want to save some money for one month! So grateful to whoever put it on Facebook and so glad I was able to convince Dave to do it! GOOD LUCK!! 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Valentines Day

February 14, 2015
We didn't do much for Valentines this year (not that we ever do), but this one was more mellow then most. I ended up with strep last week and Dave followed with a sinus infection. Luckily the kids all just got small colds and were over them quickly. For valentines day we did our annual heart shaped lunch and I gave the girls there little valentines. That night I got to go with my mom to see Swan Lake and it was AMAZING! We are looking forward to our annual Sweetheart Day with Daves family in a few weeks though!

For school valentines this year the girls picked some great ones and I loved working on them with them, sick and all. 

Kylies- heart shaped bookmarks

Paisleys- bubble gum holders (though we couldn't find bubble gum)

And Lilys we didn't get a picture of for some reason. They were cute little bags with starburst jelly beans that had a sign reading, "hope you valentines is bursting with happiness."

On another note Lily had her first valentine this year. She went up and asked a boy at the end of January and he said no. She then asked another one and he said yes. So they hung out every day until valentines day and Lily used her own money to get him this....
To bad he didn't get her anything :( Though I did warn her that might happen. She didn't seem to care, she was just happy to share the love with someone! So cute! 


Monday, February 16, 2015


Lily recently found a princess cookbook at school and she was so excited about it. She insisted on making the recipe from the book by herself (with small input from mom here and there). She did a great job and the cookies turned out supper yummy! Cant believe how big she is getting :) 

 They also celebrated the 100th day of school and were supposed to dress like they were 100. 
This is Lily :) 

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Tate Update

This little guys is coming up on 6 months and I can't believe it! Its gone by so fast! He is a very sweet, mellow addition to the family and is just as happy as can be. Here are a few things going on with him.

 About 3 1/2 months he started rolling. We still could keep him on the blanket, but then he started doing this a few weeks ago. We would twirl himself around it until he was stuck then I would unwind him and he would just laugh and laugh! 

 He is officially on the move. Although he is not fully crawling he can get himself wherever he wants to go. He does this army scoot, fly forward thing. He never sits still anymore....

 Started him on solids this last week, because this kid is an eater! We needed something to help get this kid through then night because my milk just wasn't cutting it anymore. He loved it and had no problems eating a lot of it right away. 

 He is starting to sit. This is a bad picture of it, but he pushes himself all the way up by himself. He doesn't stay that way long though! 

Love this little guy and can't wait to see how he is doing at his six month check up this week! 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Kylie and the violin

January 10, 2015
For almost two years our little Kylie has been wanting to play violin. With so much going on and how hard it was for Lily to do the piano I have been hesitate to let her play until she was old enough to do it on her own. Well the asking has gotten more frequent and finally we decided for Christmas we would let her start to learn in January. Now that we have gotten back in school she is going to start this Thursday so yesterday we went to get sized for the one we would rent. As the guy brought the violins in out of the case her eyes lit up. She had been waiting since Christmas to come and do this. Unfortunately they didn't have the right size and we had to go somewhere else. We walked out and she said, "don't I get one?" Then we headed to the next place. As they fit her she glowed with an excitement that only I can recognize from Kylie. She doesn't tend to be loud with it, but I can see it all over her. She insisted on carrying the case out, then she buckled the violin in to the seat belt next to her. The whole way home she asked if she could get it out and I told her she had to wait. As soon as we got home she wanted to hold and look at it and even try to play a little. She did this three different times throughout the night. Today she even asked to practice! This kid is so excited and I am glad that she is looking forward to learning something new! 

Monday, January 5, 2015

Other Christmas Break Activities

December 30, 2014
Dave walked around the corner at the Dinosaur Museum and found us like this....

Now you might be wondering....why are they leaning up against a railing looking at the wall? Well the Dino Museum has Gnomes hide throughout the museum. Some our actually little ones (like smaller then the size of Oakleys pinkie finger) and some are painted into the wall murals. So ever time we go we search for them. Kylie thought she saw one so we were trying to confirm it. Sadly we didn't find one there. We did find 4 that day out of 13. They are really hard to find, but hopefully one day we will find them! 

January 3, 2015
We took the kids sledding over by the hill at Kmart. Grandma Tatum offered to watch Tate which was really nice so we could just enjoy being with the girls. They all loved sledding. Oakley was fearless and went down with anyone that would take her! We only had a few injuries towards the very end, but all and all it was a great time. I will say I ended up being very sore going over all those bumps and helping kids up and down the hill. Guess I'm not that young anymore! 

We had a great time over the break doing different things with the kids. Sadly its time to go back to school and normal life. My goal is to try and focus on family and although we have things that need to be done to find time to relax and be a family. Hopefully that will happen! 

Sunday, January 4, 2015

New Years Eve

December 31, 2014
For New Years Eve we stayed at home. We had friends come over later that night, but until they arrived we entertained the kids with some games. We started by teaching them Yahtzee...

Dad and Oakley were on a team...she was so funny when she rolled the dice

Lily took it all very seriously....

Then we did some minute to win it games...first get a cookie from your forehead to mouth without hands..

 I was the closest

Then we tried to balance a plate on our head while loading blocks without letting them fall

Dave killed us all! 

We also played so Just Dance and then when Jared and Amanda arrived with the kids we eat yummy food, chatted, and hung out until midnight. Oakley made it until 11pm and the older three girls all rang in the New Year at midnight! We had a blast and our all looking forward to a New Year with new adventures!