Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Laundry

Posted by Tracy Wainwright at 6:24 AM 2 comments
I never knew how much laundry would dominate my life! With a household of five I do between 6-8 loads a week. I'm learning to combine things a little better and stuff loads, which helps with the actual number, but doesn't change the amount to fold, hang, and put away. I've tried various methods - one a day, only putting an extra load in when the one out of the dryer is put a way - but right now I've settled on the laundry day, where everything gets done in one (or two) days.

That isn't always enough, however. For added fun this week I decided it was time to switch out my youngest's clothes. She's 23 months and starting to potty train herself, so there really was a slight need. She's growing out of some of her 18 month clothes and I needed to find the training panties I knew were with the 24 month/2T clothes. In the meantime I found several bags of clothes where I had thrown items as the girls have grown out of them. That means there are a few things of every size (from 12 months to 6) all jumbled together. I hate finding a cute outfit that wasn't with the right size after it's been grown out of (and it's easier to make the switch if everything's together.)

So now my den has been taken over by clothes. It's very overwhelming looking at the mountains of clothes everywhere, but I sit down and take it piece by piece. It's something that needs to be done, and I thank God for the more than generous supplies we have for our children. I know with baby number 4 on the way I'll start the every 3 month clothing turn over again soon, and will probably be overwhelmed with laundry again with tons of baby clothes (little, yes, but there's so many with babies that cover outfits with spit up and/or have a blow out at least once a day), summer laundry (towels, swim suits, etc.), and all the regular stuff. When that happens I'll just have to come back to this post, and remind myself that it doesn't last forever - and one day they'll be old enough to do it all on their own! (yes, they are in training.)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Throwing a Child's Birthday Party Under $100

Posted by Tracy Wainwright at 9:08 PM 0 comments
I’ve been to a couple of Birthday parties lately that have cost (to my best guestimate) between $300-$400. One was a location party and included ordered pizzas. The second had Cinderella come visit. In between these two parties my husband and I threw a party at home for our two oldest children (who’s birthdays are conveniently 3 days apart.) We’ve never gone all out or spent a lot on Birthday parties and the children always seem to have a blast. This year I decided to try to keep the spending to a minimum. We threw two parties, one for our children’s friends and one for family. Both were held on the same day. Our goal is always to stay under $100, including providing dinner for the family. This year we came well under our goal, with the total expenditure being about $86. Here’s how we did it.
First, we hosted the parties at home. I created post card invitations on my computer and hand delivered as many as possible. We only blew up balloons for decorations (no helium – kids like it better if they’re within their reach to play with anyhow.) We bought minimum numbers of paper products and made the drinks from scratch. I didn’t put out any other food, as we had the party at 2:00 p.m., right after lunch. The cake and icing were home-made, decorating and creating is part of the fun for us and the kids to see what we’ll come up with next. We get cake ideas from coolest-birthday-cakes.com (we also have one posted there under Thomas – Island of Sodor.) I also got party game ideas from partygamecentral.com. We played the spoon race using potatoes instead of eggs (they’re usable even if they get dropped) and the spin until your dizzy game.
I’m not a big fan of gift bags of plastic trinkets and candy for giveaways for guests. Last year I bought dollar books and made paper crowns for each child. This year I bought small clay pots, a bag of seeds and some soil (of which I could use the remainder for my plants I start inside for my garden.) We used paints, glitter glue, and paint brushes that I had in my craft collection for the kids to decorate their pots after they planted their seeds. They loved the craft and fortunately it was warm so we were able to do this outside and let the pots dry while we continued with the party.
The kids party went very well and we stayed right at $50 with everything included. Later in the day we hosted the family party and provided dinner for everyone. We grilled chicken, made a home-made salad from fixing I had around the house from what we normally by at Costco (also where we got the chicken), and made two box rice mixes (just because I forgot to put the real rice on to soak and cook early enough.) There was enough cake left to feed the family as well as some left over. Everyone had a good time and was well fed. The kids had a blast and each had a personal gift take home. I’m sure someone may be able to come up with an even more frugal party, but we’re very happy with our full day of celebrating for under $100.

Here's the expense break-down:
Kid Party (10 young guests)
12 Clay Pots $9
Bag of Seeds $1
Soil $4
Art supplies $0
Invitations $0
Stamps $2
Plates, Cups, Napkins $12
Game ideas/supplies $0
Balloons (bag of 24) $2
Cake (4 boxes, ice cream cones) $9
Icing (home-made) $6
Ice Cream (generic, 2 cartons) $7
Drinks (tea, lemonade, water) $0
Thank You’s (home-made) $0
Thank You postage $4
Total for Kid Party $56

Family Party/Dinner (15 adults)
Chicken Tenders $13
Marinade/oil $2
Rice Mixes $3
Salad fixings $9
Thank You postage $3
Total for Family Party/Dinner $30

Grand Total $86

Sunday, March 15, 2009

What I never knew...

Posted by Tracy Wainwright at 9:23 PM 8 comments
Things I never knew about being a mom before I became a mom:

How much bodily fluids and functions would be a part of my every day life, conversation, and concerns.

What real exhaustion was.

How passionate I could be - both positively and negatively.

How many words I would eat, most of them beginning with "I'll never..." or "my child will never..."

How difficult it would be to not give in, especially when they're super cute.

That laundry, cooking, and straightening up would make up the majority of my time.

That I can function fully at a moment's notice after being woken up out of a dead sleep.

That I'd begin to look forward to 3:00 a.m. awakenings because once the child went back to sleep, the house is quiet and I can get things done.


What did you never know?

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Getting crowded?

Posted by Tracy Wainwright at 12:13 PM 0 comments
This is a comment I posted in response to saving space/not doing a nursery for a new baby on moneysavingmom.com - a website I recommend to all moms.

We have plenty of space, but have always chosen to have our newborns in a bassinet right beside our bed to make night nursing work better. Each of my three moved to their rooms between three and five months, depending on how long my husband could tolerate the night wakings and they could still comfortably fit in the bassinet. We never decorated a nursery - we had two spare rooms, one somewhat girly and one somewhat masculine. Our first girl when into the girly room, our first boy went into the masculine room, and our second girl joined her sister when she left our room. Now expecting our fourth child and third girl, we're looking at this one joining the girls after her stay in the bassinet. We are looking into adding on another bedroom so that the three girls dont' have to share a room forever (the "stuff" of girls is more crowding than the girls themselves.) But because we are looking at doing most of the work ourselves, it will most likely take up to two years. In the meantime, my husband's making a loft bed for the oldest to help her cope with the younger two in her room. We expect some transitional issues, and most people think we're crazy for even planning on keeping the younger two together after the addition, but know that it'll all work out. It's good to know how room-sharing works for other families

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Matchless Grace

Posted by Tracy Wainwright at 9:42 PM 0 comments
Do you ever have a grumpy day? I know some people who make grumpy a way of life. For most of us grumpy is just a mood that occasionally happens, and generally is associated with something going on around us. I have to admit that it is truly a rare occasion for me to be grumpy. I t happens a little more frequently when I'm pregnant, but still not too frequently. I'm more prone to have down days than grumpy ones, but yesterday the grumpy grouchies had fully invaded.

Nothing really was going on to cause it. I'd had an overall good week - I'd felt good, gotten lots accomplished, and had a good doctor's visit. There was a lot I wanted to get done before having guests that evening, but my mother-in-law had whisked the kids away for the day and I could work uninterrupted. Yet, I was grumpy.Fortunately there wasn't anyone to really interact with most of the day and I had plenty to keep me busy. Thorughout the day I continued to put a break on my grumpy, negative thoughts by redirecting them and praying for a new attitude and Godly thoughts. Although I never experienced a dramatic mood change, I continued to plug on through the day. The housework got done, our company came, we had a lovely evening, and I got a good night's sleep.

As I went about my routine this morning I kept catching myself humming. This is not unusual, but the fact that there were no words in my head along with the tune was. Then suddenly the words came: "Wonderful the matchless grace of Jesus, Deeper than the mighty rolling sea; Wonderful grace, all sufficient for me, for even me. Broader than the scope of my transgressions, Greater far than all my sin and shame, O magnify the precious Name of Jesus. Praise His Name!" (okay, not every single word came, I looked up the lyrics for the exact words - but there were enough for me to know what song it was.) The prominent words that came were "the matchless grace of Jesus."

It was a new day. I had a new attitude. And I was having Godly thoughts. God was faithful, once again. And He also reminded me of His matchless grace. What a blessing!

Throughout the day I continued to think about and process all this and God revealed something else to me. We weren't just hosting any guests, we were hosting a couple who are in training to be missionaries and will be out in the field in just over two months. They are actively doing the work of God and we were doing His work by blessing them. So there was a reason for me to be grumpy - the devil was trying to steal our blessing. But because I relyed on God instead of myself, the theif and liar was unable to so. And not just that, but I got a double portion of blessing through seeing God work in me. His grace is truly matchess, all sufficient for me, and I will magnify His precious name!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Laundry

I never knew how much laundry would dominate my life! With a household of five I do between 6-8 loads a week. I'm learning to combine things a little better and stuff loads, which helps with the actual number, but doesn't change the amount to fold, hang, and put away. I've tried various methods - one a day, only putting an extra load in when the one out of the dryer is put a way - but right now I've settled on the laundry day, where everything gets done in one (or two) days.

That isn't always enough, however. For added fun this week I decided it was time to switch out my youngest's clothes. She's 23 months and starting to potty train herself, so there really was a slight need. She's growing out of some of her 18 month clothes and I needed to find the training panties I knew were with the 24 month/2T clothes. In the meantime I found several bags of clothes where I had thrown items as the girls have grown out of them. That means there are a few things of every size (from 12 months to 6) all jumbled together. I hate finding a cute outfit that wasn't with the right size after it's been grown out of (and it's easier to make the switch if everything's together.)

So now my den has been taken over by clothes. It's very overwhelming looking at the mountains of clothes everywhere, but I sit down and take it piece by piece. It's something that needs to be done, and I thank God for the more than generous supplies we have for our children. I know with baby number 4 on the way I'll start the every 3 month clothing turn over again soon, and will probably be overwhelmed with laundry again with tons of baby clothes (little, yes, but there's so many with babies that cover outfits with spit up and/or have a blow out at least once a day), summer laundry (towels, swim suits, etc.), and all the regular stuff. When that happens I'll just have to come back to this post, and remind myself that it doesn't last forever - and one day they'll be old enough to do it all on their own! (yes, they are in training.)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Throwing a Child's Birthday Party Under $100

I’ve been to a couple of Birthday parties lately that have cost (to my best guestimate) between $300-$400. One was a location party and included ordered pizzas. The second had Cinderella come visit. In between these two parties my husband and I threw a party at home for our two oldest children (who’s birthdays are conveniently 3 days apart.) We’ve never gone all out or spent a lot on Birthday parties and the children always seem to have a blast. This year I decided to try to keep the spending to a minimum. We threw two parties, one for our children’s friends and one for family. Both were held on the same day. Our goal is always to stay under $100, including providing dinner for the family. This year we came well under our goal, with the total expenditure being about $86. Here’s how we did it.
First, we hosted the parties at home. I created post card invitations on my computer and hand delivered as many as possible. We only blew up balloons for decorations (no helium – kids like it better if they’re within their reach to play with anyhow.) We bought minimum numbers of paper products and made the drinks from scratch. I didn’t put out any other food, as we had the party at 2:00 p.m., right after lunch. The cake and icing were home-made, decorating and creating is part of the fun for us and the kids to see what we’ll come up with next. We get cake ideas from coolest-birthday-cakes.com (we also have one posted there under Thomas – Island of Sodor.) I also got party game ideas from partygamecentral.com. We played the spoon race using potatoes instead of eggs (they’re usable even if they get dropped) and the spin until your dizzy game.
I’m not a big fan of gift bags of plastic trinkets and candy for giveaways for guests. Last year I bought dollar books and made paper crowns for each child. This year I bought small clay pots, a bag of seeds and some soil (of which I could use the remainder for my plants I start inside for my garden.) We used paints, glitter glue, and paint brushes that I had in my craft collection for the kids to decorate their pots after they planted their seeds. They loved the craft and fortunately it was warm so we were able to do this outside and let the pots dry while we continued with the party.
The kids party went very well and we stayed right at $50 with everything included. Later in the day we hosted the family party and provided dinner for everyone. We grilled chicken, made a home-made salad from fixing I had around the house from what we normally by at Costco (also where we got the chicken), and made two box rice mixes (just because I forgot to put the real rice on to soak and cook early enough.) There was enough cake left to feed the family as well as some left over. Everyone had a good time and was well fed. The kids had a blast and each had a personal gift take home. I’m sure someone may be able to come up with an even more frugal party, but we’re very happy with our full day of celebrating for under $100.

Here's the expense break-down:
Kid Party (10 young guests)
12 Clay Pots $9
Bag of Seeds $1
Soil $4
Art supplies $0
Invitations $0
Stamps $2
Plates, Cups, Napkins $12
Game ideas/supplies $0
Balloons (bag of 24) $2
Cake (4 boxes, ice cream cones) $9
Icing (home-made) $6
Ice Cream (generic, 2 cartons) $7
Drinks (tea, lemonade, water) $0
Thank You’s (home-made) $0
Thank You postage $4
Total for Kid Party $56

Family Party/Dinner (15 adults)
Chicken Tenders $13
Marinade/oil $2
Rice Mixes $3
Salad fixings $9
Thank You postage $3
Total for Family Party/Dinner $30

Grand Total $86

Sunday, March 15, 2009

What I never knew...

Things I never knew about being a mom before I became a mom:

How much bodily fluids and functions would be a part of my every day life, conversation, and concerns.

What real exhaustion was.

How passionate I could be - both positively and negatively.

How many words I would eat, most of them beginning with "I'll never..." or "my child will never..."

How difficult it would be to not give in, especially when they're super cute.

That laundry, cooking, and straightening up would make up the majority of my time.

That I can function fully at a moment's notice after being woken up out of a dead sleep.

That I'd begin to look forward to 3:00 a.m. awakenings because once the child went back to sleep, the house is quiet and I can get things done.


What did you never know?

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Getting crowded?

This is a comment I posted in response to saving space/not doing a nursery for a new baby on moneysavingmom.com - a website I recommend to all moms.

We have plenty of space, but have always chosen to have our newborns in a bassinet right beside our bed to make night nursing work better. Each of my three moved to their rooms between three and five months, depending on how long my husband could tolerate the night wakings and they could still comfortably fit in the bassinet. We never decorated a nursery - we had two spare rooms, one somewhat girly and one somewhat masculine. Our first girl when into the girly room, our first boy went into the masculine room, and our second girl joined her sister when she left our room. Now expecting our fourth child and third girl, we're looking at this one joining the girls after her stay in the bassinet. We are looking into adding on another bedroom so that the three girls dont' have to share a room forever (the "stuff" of girls is more crowding than the girls themselves.) But because we are looking at doing most of the work ourselves, it will most likely take up to two years. In the meantime, my husband's making a loft bed for the oldest to help her cope with the younger two in her room. We expect some transitional issues, and most people think we're crazy for even planning on keeping the younger two together after the addition, but know that it'll all work out. It's good to know how room-sharing works for other families

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Matchless Grace

Do you ever have a grumpy day? I know some people who make grumpy a way of life. For most of us grumpy is just a mood that occasionally happens, and generally is associated with something going on around us. I have to admit that it is truly a rare occasion for me to be grumpy. I t happens a little more frequently when I'm pregnant, but still not too frequently. I'm more prone to have down days than grumpy ones, but yesterday the grumpy grouchies had fully invaded.

Nothing really was going on to cause it. I'd had an overall good week - I'd felt good, gotten lots accomplished, and had a good doctor's visit. There was a lot I wanted to get done before having guests that evening, but my mother-in-law had whisked the kids away for the day and I could work uninterrupted. Yet, I was grumpy.Fortunately there wasn't anyone to really interact with most of the day and I had plenty to keep me busy. Thorughout the day I continued to put a break on my grumpy, negative thoughts by redirecting them and praying for a new attitude and Godly thoughts. Although I never experienced a dramatic mood change, I continued to plug on through the day. The housework got done, our company came, we had a lovely evening, and I got a good night's sleep.

As I went about my routine this morning I kept catching myself humming. This is not unusual, but the fact that there were no words in my head along with the tune was. Then suddenly the words came: "Wonderful the matchless grace of Jesus, Deeper than the mighty rolling sea; Wonderful grace, all sufficient for me, for even me. Broader than the scope of my transgressions, Greater far than all my sin and shame, O magnify the precious Name of Jesus. Praise His Name!" (okay, not every single word came, I looked up the lyrics for the exact words - but there were enough for me to know what song it was.) The prominent words that came were "the matchless grace of Jesus."

It was a new day. I had a new attitude. And I was having Godly thoughts. God was faithful, once again. And He also reminded me of His matchless grace. What a blessing!

Throughout the day I continued to think about and process all this and God revealed something else to me. We weren't just hosting any guests, we were hosting a couple who are in training to be missionaries and will be out in the field in just over two months. They are actively doing the work of God and we were doing His work by blessing them. So there was a reason for me to be grumpy - the devil was trying to steal our blessing. But because I relyed on God instead of myself, the theif and liar was unable to so. And not just that, but I got a double portion of blessing through seeing God work in me. His grace is truly matchess, all sufficient for me, and I will magnify His precious name!
 

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