Saturday, December 31, 2011

Frugal Living Challenge



Just found this wonderful challenge on another blog!! Check it out!

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I consider myself, my husband, and my children to be fairly frugal people, and sometimes I admit we take it too far; for example, our couch has a hole in it and we still refuse to buy a new one, I used my old running shoes until the soles were bare, and our truck has 140,000+ miles on it but he still runs like a charm.
In no way am I recommending this to others. Nor am I saying that you have to live with holes in your furniture! However, I will suggest that there are many other ways to scale back spending and live a more frugal lifestyle.
Join me in a 23 Day Frugal Living Challenge!
Why attempt a frugal living challenge?
  1. First, because living frugally allows for you to spend less than you earn. And the benefits from this are endless. You can use the difference to: get caught up on late payments, pay off debt, save, and potentially invest.
  2. Second, because the less you spend, the less is required for you to earn. The benefits of this one mean: you and/or your spouse have the potential to work less, you obtain freedom from a wage, you may have the opportunity to pursue your true passions, and you may be able to retire early.
Frugal living is not suppressive! Quite the opposite, it means breaking free of the chains that bind us to unfulfilled lives.
It means spending more time with the people that mean the most. It’s having conversations, reading for leisure, growing in knowledge, enjoying nature, doing things that you think are fun, exercising, being a slave to no one, and focusing on what truly is important. The good life is waiting!
So…together let’s see how many people we can get to commit to living frugally for 23 days!
We could change the tide of society! Or, at least encourage each other along the journey. Obviously, there is a broad array of things that could happen!
The Ground Rules:
You are not committing to the implementation of all 23 ideas for living frugally. I should admit that I do most, but not all, of the tips that will be recommended and discussed. My commitment to you is to be honest with you as we move along.
I ask no more from you that I ask of myself.
Simply commit to the process and to openness.
Be willing to change, take baby steps, or jump on the path of frugality for the first time! Where ever you are on the journey, don’t be afraid to join in. We will challenge ourselves to:
  • Redefine “enough”
  • Learn how to use a 30-day list
  • Stop the impulse buys
  • Grow a garden
  • Cook ahead
  • And much more…
Let’s do this!

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Anybody want to join me?!?!   Its a great way to start a new year!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas Cards

I had a little trouble deciding on Christmas cards this year!  I loved so many designs!  Since we send soooo many, I made various cards!    The photos of the girls at the waterfall were taken by me. The photos of the girls in their purple dresses were taken by Christina Lundeen.   Enjoy!!!


For Unto Us Religious Christmas Card
To view our unique Christmas card designs, click here.
View the entire collection of cards.



Hand Drawn Joy Religious Christmas Card
View the entire collection of cards.




Child Is Born Religious Christmas Card
View the entire collection of cards.



Rough Edge 5x7 folded card
Create personalized greeting cards and invitations at Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.




Shine Upon You Religious Christmas Card
Send Christmas cards personalized with your favorite photos.
View the entire collection of cards.



Oh Holy Night Religious Christmas Card
Send Christmas cards personalized with your favorite photos.
View the entire collection of cards.





Thursday, December 29, 2011

Good Bye Elfie!

Wouldn't you know Elfie would make his final day with us a memorable one?!  What a surprise it was when Kennedy woke up and was TrApPeD in her room!!!!
And Kennedy was not too thrilled about it either.   She wasn't really sure she was allowed to break through the barrier.  Unfortunately Quinn had been sick with the flu all night long so Mommy and Daddy were very tired and not feeling so hot either.  We all just kind of sat there for a bit.  Kennedy peeking at us through the streamers and the rest of us in the hall, half asleep.  By the way, do you see Elfie in the bottom corner with a gift for her?!

Finally Kennedy got the courage to run through her door!  I wish I had had the energy to get a photo of that!  Elfie left the girls 2 nice notes.  One about how well behaved they had been all year and how he would miss this so so so much until he returns next Christmas.  The other was a reward for their good behavior - they were allowed to hold Elfie ALL DAY!!!!  Do you think Quinn enjoyed that??

We already miss our elf friend to pieces! But we know he is working hard with Santa in the North Pole, preparing for Christmas 2012!!!  Thanks for following Elfie's adventures with us this season!

Mr. Elfie Strikes Again

Today Elfie left ELF DONTUS for the girls to eat!



Today Elfie hid in a cup in the cupboard and left a note!!!


On this day Elfie hung out with the snowman Mom made last year!!

Hmmm...we aren't so sure what Elfie was doing today.  Possibly bungee jumping??

Elfie + Marker = ?

Note to self...do not leave markers out where Elfie can reach!!!!













Wednesday, December 21, 2011

More Elfie Adventures

Day 11
Silly Elfie!  He TP'ed the bathroom!!!



Day 12
Who knew elves could drive cars?!?!  Elfie must have gone for a joyride in the minivan last night!  I hope he drives better than he parks!!!


Day 13
Today Elfie kept watch over us in the kitchen!

 Day 14
WOOAAHH!!  This was one of the craziest things he has done yet!  He put Post-It notes ALL OVER THE PLAYROOM!!!!
 (Please don't mind my empty frames and the mess of toys.  Our house is very :lived in!")


Day 15
You will NOT believe this, but Elfie didn't move today!  We were a bit worried that someone had touched him without our knowledge and lost his magic.  But the next day we breathed a huge sigh of relief when he found a new place!

Day 16
Elfie knew that he had made us so worried!  So he stayed by Kennedy's bed. He left her a sweet note and a little present!!




More to come!!!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Limo Ride with Santa

 Oh boy!!!!!!!!  I love surprises, don't you?!?!?


Along with two other families, we made the best memory a few weeks ago!   We split a limo ride tour of the Christmas lights in the city!  Looking at lights is a tradition for our family as I know it is for many others.  But this was just above and beyond!  My friend, Stephanie, decided we adults should wear ugly Christmas sweaters to add some fun!  Only, we couldn't find many! :(  So the men all wore t-shirts from the movie "A Christmas Story".  The gals found one for me and adorned it with additional gaudy ornaments and a big red bow!  I need to see if they got a picture of me!  All of us got Elf hats or reindeer headbands! And I made shirts for the kiddos.  You can see them in THIS POST.



Jeff and I hadn't told Kennedy about ANY of it!  We told her that morning that we had a BIG surprise for her after school!  After school we dropped Quinn off at Mema's house.  Mema accidentally mentioned a limo ride and Kennedy said "Umm...I don't think you were supposed to tell me that!"  But it was fine - Kennedy didn't know what a limo was!  I was giving her tiny hints on the ride to the plaza to meet up with our friends.  I told her things like: It holds 10 people.  We won't be in a building.  Two of your friends will be there.  I have only done this one time before, etc.  She loves surprises like me!

Well, my friend Stephanie had an additional surprise up her sleeve too!!  She was able to get Santa to come from the North Pole and take the limo ride with us!!!!!  I wish I could have seen Kennedy's face when the limo pulled up, the driver walked around and opened the door, and Santa bellowed "Ho Ho Ho Kennedy!" 

 Oh, and Santa brought gifts for everyone!  How cool is that!? Here is Nate opening his!

We ate some yummy homemade treats, drank hot cocoa, sang Christmas songs and saw some fabulous light displays!  We made a stop at Santa's Workshop.This is a spectacular display that a KC man has put up in his yard for 40 years!!  Here is a link to a website about it!!  Mike Babick's Display
So here are the kiddos in their festive shirts in front of the Grinch!
 There is even a sleigh in the front yard for photos!!!!!
 Here Santa is teaching Jeff to chuckle in a low "Ho Ho Ho!!!"
 And a last photo of  my little elf with Santa!
It was a truly awesome time!  I hope we can make it a yearly event!!!

In case any of you readers are in the KC metro area, here is a great resource for holiday lights in the area!
http://www.kansastravel.org/kansascitychristmasdisplays.htm

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