January 25, 2010

Money Saving

I married a man who is the poster child for saving money. He takes thrifty to a new level. A level I've never actually wanted to visit. He enjoys it though, so I don't pester him. I'm such a dear, wonderful wife.

A few months ago we devised a budget. I guessed on what I spend for groceries. I guessed way off and not in a good way. In the months that I've tried to make my budget, I've gone over by (cringe) $150 on one trip to the grocery store--for a week of groceries. ONE WEEK. That blew the whole month. The next week I only went over by $100. For the first time I started paying attention and realized (duh) that getting the kids isn't the only expensive part of having a big family. When you have five mouths, five doctor bills, dentist bills, bodies to clothe...it can get pricey. I just didn't realize that we were spending so much on our bellies. One morning I was doling out cereal and noticed that each of the big kids ate three bowls. That added up to 14 bowls of cereal in one morning! Even buying the cheap stuff could add up.

A very good friend (and Momma to a pretty sizable brood herself) called me one afternoon and told me that she just found out about an amazing money saver.


In a way you have never seen them before. Since I'm far from being a guru I thought I would just pass the good word along. And let you know that I spent a mere. One. Hundred. Dollars. On groceries last week. I have more than enough stocked in the basement to avoid leaving the house for weeks. That's the beauty of saving money--gives you more leftover to share. When I find a great deal on cereal (who knew I should never pay more than a dollar a box?!), I buy a few extra for my fam and a few for the church's food pantry. It's brilliant!

Here's an intro to the gurus, but be ready to be very overwhelmed.

January 9, 2010

Elijah is Seven!

I can hardly believe that Eli is seven. For some reason seven is a biggie around our house. The boys get their first pocket knife on this birthday. I guess seven is the appropriate age for sharp objects to be introduced into a boy's life. Everett has developed his stick whittling over the past two years and can produce a pretty mean 'bark shaved everywhere but the handle' sword. Eli has watched his big brother with envy for two years and his day has finally come.

We celebrated at *sigh* Chuck E Cheese. There are only so many places you can do a January birthday. My nephew is almost exactly one year younger than Eli and the two of them were thrilled with the idea of sharing their parties. I keep expecting one of them to decide that this year they want to party alone. Not this year.The 'double party' rocks except for the complications that arise when one boy is way into lego guys and the other is way into Wolverine. Party theme? Lego guys vs. Marvel Comic heroes on a cake. My amazing cake building skills are not for hire. But I thank you for your compliments.

Happy Birthday to both of these amazing boys!!

Sponsoring an Ethiopian Child

I felt compelled to share something our family is doing, hoping that many of you will join us. The group who traveled to Ethiopia with Children's Hopechest identified a group of children who need sponsors. I have been anticipating this opportunity since mid-summer and I'm thrilled that the day is finally here. The easiest way to get involved (or to see what its all about) is to visit Karen's blog. Her recent posts will tug at your heart and perhaps you'll find that you can part with $34 a month to support one of these precious children.

From Karen's blog:
please contact me at kjwistrom@yahoo.com if you are interested in sponsorship, $34/month ensures a child has food, clothing, medical care, education and Christian discipleship - and a hope-filled future). Kind Hearts has capacity for about 110 children, and I am sure that once the kids begin getting nutritious meals every day, we will begin to see an immediate increase in the number of children being served at Kind Hearts.