My husband is a great gift giver but…

My husband is probably the best gift giver I have ever known ( I AM lucky!) but he is the WORST at waiting or keeping the surprise a secret!!!

So…. I know all of my Christmas presents already. Some actually showed up on Friday, so I have already started to enjoy them! .. This year I actually came up with a Christmas list, which did make his job a little easier. I like practical every-day items.  And the fact he saved us some money but making the purchases over the Thanksgiving holiday. extra win! (more…)

Thanksgiving weekend recap

Thanksgiving turned out wonderful. We traveled to PA and I didn’t have to cook a thing!

My grandma and aunt made all the traditional Thanksgiving foods with a few extras and it was a hit. I think all the kids had seconds or thirds!

We got to visit with my grandma, dad and step mom, all my sisters, aunt and uncle… lots of laughs and stories!

The kids did really good traveling but were quite tired, as was I, throughout the trip and since we’ve been home!

It was a quick 2 day trip but much needed. We snuck in some pictures since we were all together and I still need to get them emailed to everyone .

When we got home Calvin and I snuck off to do some Christmas browsing and a had a little date while discussing Christmas gifts and purchased our Christmas tree .. I’m usually ahead of the game, but not this year! I have only purchased two presents so far!

Christmas decorating in progress!!

Monday was good to me

The time change was suppose to give us an hour, right? Well something happened and my kids LOST 2 hours!?!?!!. Which means I have been getting a 5:30 am wake up call.  Ah, well. The kids are currently drawing at the big table and I have water heating on the stove for my coffee.

My husband is the early bird, he always has been. I do have to agree when I get up early I get more things accomplished. Yesterday I had everything done before lunch (except one load of laundry I chose not to fold that is currently in the dryer). And Mel took a morning nap instead of her afternoon nap which was a big help also. And I got to have a little midmorning rest:

new slipper socks from Muk-Luks – so soft and warm, perfect gift for Christmas!

It really is good for me though. I got to play a game with the kids, we watched one episode of Chopped on Netflix, and I read them a book. Dare I say I’m starting to like these early mornings? Haha. 3pm rolled around and I felt like it should have been 5 or 6 o’clock!

I am also realizing I’m on my phone a whole lot less these days which means I’m “finding” pockets of time to read a book myself, play with the kids, or just sit down and enjoy watching the kids play.. or them play with baby brother. I have seen the awe in the ‘big’ kids’ eyes on seeing a new baby(mel) but I cannot wait to see Melanie. She loves to shake my belly and tell him to ‘wake up – breakfast” as she says. I want savor these moments forever!  I’m sure she’ll be excited to ‘play’ with him!

Oh, and early bedtimes are my jam! … I have read before that the more hours you get to bed before midnight the better you sleep?! I don’t know if that’s true, but when 9 p.m. hits, my body makes me feel like it’s midnight! But I really am sleeping better, even with my pregnancy aches and baby boy’s nighttime party kicks.

I think I may keep this routine 🙂

25 weeks with baby #4!

Ah, those first 20ish weeks seem to fly by and now the weeks seem to be crawling!!

Scarf: Old / Sweater: on sale here / pants: Old

Overall I am feeling pretty good. My only complaint is that I literally wake up at night from being kicked from the inside out!

I’ve had to buy some more maternity clothes, a lot of which can be worn next spring post-baby! I like to be frugal 🙂 Most of my old maternity had been through at least 2 pregnancy so it was time to throw it out.

My cravings are pretty healthy and/or minimal. Salads and smoothies have been staples! Comfort food is being cooked a lot (chili, chicken and noodles over mashed potatoes) but I can’t say that is all pregnancy, I think some of it has to do with the change of season.

Weigh gain:  I think I have only weighed myself at home less than handful of times. I’m right around 15 lbs gained. But honestly I don’t worry to much when I know I am eating right.

I am looking forward to a thanksgiving trip to see family and a bit bummed we can’t really plan a mini vacation for Christmas with being 6ish weeks from DD.

My next DR apt is the glucose test (YUCK). I have yet to fail it, so I am not worried.

Baby was breech at my gender reveal ultrasound but I am pretty sure he has changed positions since. And he is the size of a cucumber and around 1.5 lbs (according to my app).

My anxiety is lessened now that we are farther into the pregnancy (and lots of praying!) and everything seems completely normal, but I feel like I still can’t breathe until I hold him in my arms.

Oh, and I am a huge emotional mess so there’s that. Thankfully hubby has been through this 3 other times so he just knows how I am. 🙂

Our $25 anniversary date

Last Friday was our anniversary! 8 years together and 1 year married and today I wanted to share our $25 anniversary date!

Pin it HERE

Thanks to Nana we got to head out Saturday for a day date while the kids got to have some quality time and play out all their energy!

We drove to a nearby town and found a locally owned coffee shop to grab a little lunch and coffee. We were going to grab it to go but she brought it out on a little plates so we just enjoyed our sandwiches there and saved our coffee to go.


Then we headed to the state park. Originally I thought hubby had asked for me to bring the camera to take pictures of the fall leaves on our walk but instead we did a little photo shoot! how sweet is he to think of that!? And we (I mean he) figured out how to set the self timer.

We also took a few pictures of the bison to show the kids.

We walked and talked and just really enjoyed each other. Before kids {and broke} we always did outdoor stuff together including summer canoeing and winter walks (are they considered hikes, cause it sure feels like a little more work than just a walk?haha) … The weather was amazing on Saturday and we sure enjoyed it. We lucked out because Sunday was dark and rainy all day.

It may be too simple of a anniversary date for some, but to me (us) it was a perfect date and took us down memory lane! We normally go for day dates because we like to be home to put kids to bed and lunch/day dates tend to be less crowded and cheaper !

Coffee and sandwich lunch:  $16.85
State Park entrance fee: $7.00
($9 for out of state residents)

Our total spent: $23.85!

Now I just need order some prints!


Deep cleaning, decluttering, and debt free journey

I don’t know if it’s the fall weather or the nesting has already kicked in. But deep cleaning and decluttering the house is my jam right now!

Deep cleaning and decluttering:

-swapped out summer clothes and bought majority of fall/winter clothes
-went through my clothes that don’t fit now, summer clothes and donated stuff I didn’t love. which left me with less to pack away for next year.
-scrubbed bathroom grout with baking soda, perioxide, and a toothbrush. Hubby didn’t seem to think it was a big deal but I think it lightened the floor a lot! ha. still need to finish doing the small bathroom.
-cleaned out the majority of our”catch all” closet.
-went through baby boy clothes and have a good 0-3 month wardrobe, and will fill in beyond that when it’s time.
– finish signing up for paperless billing so I can get rid of my file box and downsize to a thin binder.
-hubby and I went through the vitamin/medicine shelf. wow, much needed!
– I had a few random piles that I kept saying I was going to take pictures and try to sell, but instead I just took them to the salvation army so I can be done with them.

I haven’t picked up a paintbrush in over three weeks and didn’t renew my etsy shop listings. I do have my printables up, but I just have so much on my plate I was feeling guilty. And I also had time guilt – putting hours each week and neglecting other responsibilities without a steady financial return, so I freed myself and when I feel inspired it’s on my terms. .. instead I have read 3 books, started my 4th book and of course, lots of cleaning!

We are still working on house projects. We put up some trim and crown molding *heart eye emojis* and a bit of work done in Ashton’s room also. I finished sanding the bathroom door and still need to prime and paint it. (hopefully this week!)

Debt Free Journey

I follow many blogs, youtube channels, and listen to Dave Ramsey. And although we have loosely followed his plan 2/3ish years we finally recommitted this summer and I am so excited on the progress we have made over the last three months.

Our biggest reason we’ve made so much headway is because hubby has been working lots of long hours and working through weekends. If I remember correctly last month he was only home 6 days! And he’s on track to do the same this month. Thankfully he is working close enough we went and saw him during those long weeks and brought him food and did his laundry!

I am starting Rachel Cruze’s (Dave Ramsey’s daughter) clip system. It’s where you take out money for your categories but instead of envelopes, like Dave says, you use mini clips to sort your money. I’m only take out 3 categories: eat out, groceries, and my “allowance” money (aka blow money).  I’ll be using my bank card for gas, and few other things,  and will transfer on payday to savings for the sinking funds. I’m so excited ! #nerdalert

Happy Tuesday!

Pregnancy Update: 21 weeks

Over the halfway mark, wow! The first 12 weeks went slow due to the constant sick feeling, all day nausea, throw-up-at-any-moment looonnnnggg days. And now they seem to be flying by!

The second trimester is so refreshing! My energy is back, I can pretty much eat normal again, and my belly is finally getting some pregnancy shape! My only ‘complaint’ is literally getting woke up in the middle of the night from kicking and squirming around!

If you missed it over on IG, we took the kids with us to our big ultrasound and found out we are having another BOY!  We were so excited! He is measuring right on track and all his stats and measurements look great! Daddy thinks he will come out looking just like Ashton did (granted, the girls looked very similar at birth, so it wouldn’t be too much of a shock).

It’s so fun to stop referring to him as “the baby” and call him by his name! Gosh, I love it.!

                                                                      top from PinkBlush Maternity

I’ve only gained 4 lbs so far. I’m craving salads (homemade is ALWAYS better) and lots of fruit. I’ve started to buy some maternity clothes. Depending on the shirt fit I can sometimes buy one size up in regular shirts and I can get more use out of them post partum. I think my fall/winter wardrobe options are going to be mostly one of these two options :

tank, cardigan & leggings / via Pinterest                    tunic & pants / via Pinterest

I’m so looking forward to fall, cooler temperatures, the chore of raking leaves, and soup season!!

Homeschool Field Trip: apple picking!

We had such fun day yesterday at a local apple orchard.

One of my homeschool goals this year is to go on a field trip with the kids every month. I wanted to take the kids apple picking last year but I kept putting it off and then we never ended up going.

We met our friends at the orchard for a picnic and apple picking. Not all of the apples were ready to pick but we picked a whole bushel of Jonathan, Gold Delicious, Fuji, and Cortland. The trees were all short enough that the kids had no problems picking… and eating along the way 🙂

When we went to check out I saw a pile of “funky pumpkins.”  <— that’s what the sign said! There were ones that were white, and some were all bumpy, and the ones I fell in love with where called Cinderella pumpkins. Have you heard of or seen these? The are silver-y blue and oh, so gorgeous. I should have went back and took a picture!! I cannot stop thinking about them! I’ll definitely be going back next week and getting one or two of those pumpkins to decorate beside the front door!  Fall officially starts tomorrow so I need to get decorating, am I right?

I did however let the kids pick out three little $1 pumpkins to decorate our homeschool table, a jar of apple butter for hubby (it’s a favorite) and a half gallon of apple cider. I was a bit bummed they didn’t have a fresh cider stand set up because I really wanted to show the kids how it was made, so I may youtube search it for them!

It was so fun I think I will keep this on the Fall to-do list from now on!!

No Spend September thoughts & my meal plan

Have you heard of no-spend September?

I came across a blog posted written about it and then I went and youtube searched it: so many people do this! It’s genius really, lots of people have just spent money on getting their kids back into school with new clothes, supplies, and school fees and this helps get family’s back on track before the holidays come rolling in!

Everyone does it a bit different, but from what I saw mostly people:
-still pay all of their normal bills
-still put gas in their vehicles
-either lower their monthly grocery budget by $100 (say, $400 vs the normal $500) OR they only buy $100 worth of groceries every week.

and DON’T do the following:
-no drive through or eating out AT ALL the WHOLE month. (anyone else guilty more than they’d like to admit) *raising hand*
-no “fun” activities that COST money, of course free doesn’t count.
-no going to target (for us it’s Lowed!)  without a list and buy $150 worth of stuff you really, truly didn’t NEED at this moment.

I cannot remember who now that I’m writing this, say they do this twice a year now. They do a no spend  September and also one in January .. SO smart!

Although we aren’t necessarily doing a no spend September we are focusing on getting some debt paid. The Mr. has been working some overtime so we are making sure that isn’t just spend on random-ness! .. and I have made it a goal to spend $100 a week on groceries this month. I plan meals, but I really don’t stick to a “Monday is this” “Tuesday we are having this” strict schedule.. it’s more of a list and then I make what I feel like having, or cooking 😉


banana muffins and smoothies
pancakes with PB and bananas, milk
egg sandwich- egg, cheese, ham on an English muffin
baked oatmeal

sandwiches (usually PB& jelly)
homemade ham and cheese hot pockets

tomato soup and grilled cheese
beef stroganoff, roasted carrots
nachos- beans, rice, lettuce, greek yogurt, black olives, avocado, salsa
chicken, rice, and a veggie
pizza – homemade

Happy Monday friends!

have you heard of no-spend September? if you’ve done it let me know how it worked out!?!!