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Friday, August 31, 2012

Life Without Facebook

Tomorrow will be two months since I've deleted my Facebook account.  Several people have asked me in person how "I'm doing" without Facebook - almost as if I'd suffered a horrible loss.  That makes me laugh a bit - inside, of course.  I was obviously very consumed by it and I think most people assumed I'd go through a horrible withdrawal (did you know this word was spelled with an extra "a" at the end??? Not until just now did I know.  Thanks spell check!).

But it's actually been quite the opposite.  I haven't missed it once.

And I have been able to focus on this sweet face more


And this one

And I've realized how my girls are becoming two very different people.  And how it's possible to still love them both with the very same love.
Now when I'm outside with my girls, I'm not constantly on my phone.  I'm more engaged with their play.  I'm physically AND emotionally there with them.
I'm learning my Ri has quite the imagination.  And my Cakester is very determined.


So I guess it's clear by now.  I believe I made the right decision.  I haven't regretted it, not one time.

Although, in the age of technology in which we live, I feel there will always be something pulling me away from what I should be focused on.  Anything on my phone could become just like Facebook - Instagram, texting, Craigslist, email, etc.  What I really have to keep in check is my attitude.  When I lose my joy - the joy in the little areas of motherhood like cleaning crumbs off the high chair or helping Ri go to the potty for the sixth time in one day - that's when I can find myself "running away" to my phone to escape; even if just for five minutes.

I wanna be joyful in even the mundane.  I want my kids to know that they're not just loved, but cherished.  So I hope and pray that God will renew this joy in my heart each and every day.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Ways to Save Money

Just the other day, I was trying to figure out other ways our family could save money.  I've been tracking our spending using an app the past two months (AceBudget2) and it's been very intersting where our money is actually going. 

So I wanted to write out a list of the things we do to save money:

1.  Use cloth diapers
  • I know what you're thinking.  Probably something along the lines of "eww", "gross", "I don't wanna 'deal' with poop", etc.  Do you know anyone who cloth diapers?  Because before I started, I knew several - and not one person didn't like doing it. Plus, honestly, poop doesn't scare me.  But if it's scary to you, there are liners and sprayers to help you out with that.
  • It really does save money - here's a breakdown (even if your child is out of diapers before estimated, the cost is a big difference!).  Plus, when subsequent children use the same diapers, savings increases!  AND, you can resell them when you're finished.  Cloth diapers hold their value pretty well if you take care of them!
2.  Use cloth wipes for diaper changes (baby wash cloths work great)
  • I use these for my babies when they're exclusively breastfed for every diaper change and then once solids are started, I use them only for wet diapers
3.  Use cloth wipes for toilet paper - WAIT let me explain!
  • We only use them for, well, #1.  I'm not that dedicated, I suppose.  But this cuts down on A LOT of toilet paper since there are TWO, soon to be THREE, girls using the potty. Plus, it's only a few drops anyway.
4.  Use prefold diapers (or more commonly referred to as a burp cloth by Gerber) for tissues
  • If you wash and dry your "burp cloths", they come out so fluffy and soft.  It feels great on your nose and there's no chance of it tearing and you getting snot all over your hand.
5.  Use wash cloths for paper towels
  • As much as I have to wipe hands and mouths and tables after eating with my girls, this saves tons!
6.  Hang clothes to dry in the sun (as much as the weather will allow and my schedule)
7.  Buy clearance meat
  • I'm sure you've noticed grocery prices have sort of increased.  I usually go to two different stores to browse marked-down meat that has a sell by date of a day or so.  If I won't use it right away, it goes into our chest freezer
8.  Use baking soda and vinegar to clean
  • It's pretty effective. And very cheap.  Oh yeah, and a lot safer than chemicals ;)  I dare you to try.
9.  Went down to basic TV package
  • We got rid of our satellite service (but replaced the cost of that with Internet - although we're now paying about $15 less a month for both Internet and basic cable than we were for a bunch of satellite channels and no Internet). 
  • We'd been without Internet at our house for almost 7 years until this past year.  Turns out, basic cable and Internet combined was the same price as just the Internet.  So we basically only get local channels.  But we also have a Roku player.  There's also PlayOn.  And there's plenty online to watch. 
10.  Eating at home
  • I've recently joined an online meal planning website and it's really helped me with my stress level, not wasting food, as well as not going out to eat last minute because nothing is planned for dinner.
So there ya have it.  There's probably a few I'm forgetting.  What are some of your money-saving ways???

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

All-Time Favorite AFV Video

I used to watch America's Funniest Home Videos a lot.  This one is one I've always remembered - cracks me up every time!!!  

Hope it made you smile!!!  :) :) :)

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Today...

This is how my day started:


And ended with an evening outside and hearing a fun story told by my very dramatic almost-three-year-old.  

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Little Susan

Meet little Susan Steenback - who would later become Susan Sene.  She is in first (maybe second) grade. 

She loves to teach her dolls and animals.  And, apparently, one decided to skip class this particular day.

I'm pretty sure she's teaching from the most important book you can teach from, the Bible. 

Susan has a very bad memory and doesn't remember much of these young years.  She's living in Hendersonville, NC at this point.  But that bathing suit on the floor?  Oh, she remembers that very well.  It was her favorite....Rainbow Brite

There's a silver Snoopy bank on the dresser beside the lamp.  Maybe you can't see it.  But grown up Susan has that same bank, still, on her dresser.

Susan's dressers and most flat surfaces are, to this day, a struggle to keep decluttered.  Yet, now - and even then - things are rarely lost or misplaced.  Organized chaos?

And yes, that's a Cabbage Patch doll on the dresser.  Maybe that's hard to see too.  She went everywhere with little Susan.

There's a lot ahead of Susan at this point in her life.  But right now, things are pretty simple.  So carry on, little Susan, carry on.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Lovie

We got a lovie for KayK while at the beach when I was 8 months pregnant. After she was born, we put it in her bed every night and now she LOVES it.

She loves it so much, we bought a back-up. We had a hard time taking it away long enough to wash.


I didn't realize HOW dirty it was until the new one arrived.

This is after the wash - original one still on the left but lookin MUCH better!  :)

Monday, August 6, 2012

Fun for Free

We wanted to take the girls out this morning.  Septtro has started football but hasn't started school yet so sometimes he's still at home for a while.

Frankies Fun Park is where we ended up.  And because both girls are still so young, we didn't have to spend a dime.  And they had a BLAST!  

Septtro found a basketball game that was abandoned so he finished that up.  He's so nice! Ri went from game to game with a huge smile on her face and KayK tried to keep up with her sister, pointing at every stuffed animal she could.

We found 4 tickets someone forgot at a game and Ri cashed them in for 2 smiley face erasers.

And we hit the jackpot on two candy bars for a "claw" type game that gave you two tries.  Except, once again, people apparently don't know how to read and didn't realize you got TWO tries!  We were happy to help out.

I'm sure we'll return soon.  Maybe this time we'll actually pay for a game or two.  :)