Thursday, June 19, 2014

June...and Roses


It's June...oh my...and what a lovely June it has been so far! 
The flowers are in full bloom...


...and so is my squirrel's smile. Nothing makes her happier then a fist full of flowers. 
June has brought us...

~ afternoons of crafting
~ a not so rigid homeschool schedule (not that it usually is)
~ mosquitoes that are DYING thanks to my new bug zapper. I got one that works for 1.5 acres...that ought to do it boys. 
~ afternoon thunderstorms and gorgeous evening lightening displays
~ an amazing deal on some blackout curtains
~ tornado sirens and awesome cloud formations


~ snacky lunches on the couch
~ the kids first viewing of Honey I Shrunk the Kids!
~ watermelon and more watermelon
~ Costco's awesome blueberries


~ Ice Cream!


~ You Scream!


~ We ALL scream for ice cream!!!


~ inventions
~bare feet
~ shaving cream smearing with sticks
~ pool time! 


~ roses... lots of roses
~ starting the mornings off the right way...with coffee and my Bible
~ David Nevue and his gorgeous piano music filling our home
~ loving our church more and more
~ new books
~ finding ways to give


~ enjoying today but smiling at the future
~ anticipation of meeting the cousins in July!


~ sundresses
~ sunscreen
~ long runs on the treadmill


~ cereal just because we are bored of oatmeal
~ ponytails...even for all of our boys!
~ bonding as a family
~ Papa John's Pizza of course


~ shades of pinks and reds and cream
~ rearranging our house as usual
~ mowing the lawn weekly
~ monarchs flying through our yard


~ Father's Day!
~ Big packages!


~ The WORLD CUP!!!
~ guacamole
~ soccer in the yard


~ ladybugs
~ learning about new things
~ seeing friends that we haven't seen in ten years


~ canopies in the yard


~ soccer goals made out of leftovers...one creative husband
~ bubble chasing


~ gnomes
~ fresh mint
~ chugging water on a constant basis
~ feeling content because I am loved and know the One that created me and mine
~ loving my husband more than ever
~ knowing that my kids are beautifully and wonderfully made and feeling hope for them and their future

Sunday, June 1, 2014

FOF


I'm a few days late with my FOF post - my apologies. 
I finished my two week "no grocery store stops" successfully. My husband gets paid bi weekly so I made a goal to grocery shop on his pay days, then also put money on a gift card to pay for fuel for the next two weeks. I'm happy to report...we made it the two weeks with only one ice cream run (we simply couldn't help it... it was raining and we needed gelato and waffle cones) and we actually still had a third of our set aside fuel money left over! 
Last Thursday I scoured the internet for coupons and sales flyers, made up my two week menu plan (I make a list of meal ideas...and am flexible on which day I make which meals) and then took the stores with my envelopes of papers. When I go to the store I most definitely look like a "woman on a mission" (or a completely crazed person.)

Other ways I saved and spent this past week...

~ lined dried our clothes on all of the sunny days
~ ordered Zac's Father's Day using a coupon code
~ printed out my blog from January of this year until the beginning of May using a coupon code (I've been wanting to do this for awhile but have always been overwhelmed by the cost ... I decided that if I break my blog down into 6 month increments then I can make a way to afford it. I don't want to miss out on the opportunity to save precious memories for my children.)


~ Trinity finally had enough allowance saved to buy her first "amazon wishlist item." We have started giving our kids a small allowance each week so that they can learn to give and to save. I helped Trinity find something that she would like to save for...and she has worked extra hard the last 7 weeks to save up. I was proud of her accomplishing that goal!
~ we helped a family with a small grocery item purchase, donated our used stuff at the church thrift store and then also purchased some books and some children's clothes there (100% of our church's thrift store purchases go towards helping widows and orphans and is ran completely by volunteers. We LOVE knowing that we can donate our belongings to a really awesome cause. It's just a simple way to give when our wallets are rather empty.)



~ we stayed home almost all week and made crafts with what we had on hand
~ used a red box rental code for a free movie night
~ I ordered some supplements for the boys to try .... they were rather pricey but I found a way to get free shipping on them and also use my Citi points to help pay for them. This was one of those iffy things where I felt a little guilty about buying it from a cheaper source rather than the distributor. I had to pray about it honestly because I wanted to do the honest thing...but also what was good for our family. I love to support local businesses and try to buy handmade as often as possible...but this was one of those times I really needed to save as much as possible. I feel comfortable with our decision (I talked to Zac about it probably more than he would have liked haha.) I hope that the supplements will work well for our little dudes along with their gluten free diet. 
~ I included picnic foods in my grocery list for the next two weeks so that I would have easy lunches to pack if we are going out...that way we aren't tempted to stop off places for a bite to eat
~ Found Trinity her backpack for her "one day a week" of school next year... I got it 50% off and thankfully it has no "character" on the front so she should be able to use it for years 
~ uploaded some free children's apps
~ printed off free homeschool worksheets

That's how I did .... I also forgot to mention that Zac had the opportunity to work a lot of overtime this last week so God provided for our savings account. When he works overtime it is kind of hard on our family but I try to just tell the kids "daddy is a hard worker and we pray that God will provide for us and extra work is one way He does that!" The littles are being real champs about it. 

To link up to FOF go to  Rebecca's Blog ....it's a lovely place. :) I guess this is her last FOF post...I'm not sure if I will continue or not. 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

You are...


Look up little boy, I have a secret to tell you....


You are beautifully and wonderfully made - a pure delight. So what if your words aren't perfect , if your mouth has a hard time saying what is on your mind and in your heart - you are perfect at communicating love. You will go far, you will be a blessing to others - you are sensitive and kind. 


Hear me my little baby, you are smart. You are creative, you are funny, you love to jump and climb ... you will climb mountains some day. I can't wait to watch you. 


You are fast, you are sharp - you conquer obstacles ... sometimes you are scared but you are ALWAYS brave. Listen my oldest little, my heart, you are big stuff. Don't let anyone ever tell you anything else. You are perfect. I believe you when you say "someday mom, I'm going to be a world traveler." I would love to see the light in your eyes when you discover buzzing Tokyo, when you eat your first helping "bangers and mash" , when you see the white sands of the Caribbean. Take me with you...I have to see your eyes. 



 Listen my children, you are all exactly how you are suppose to be - in the family you are suppose to be in. Life can be a challenge, autism or not. Life can be messy, autism or not. Life holds sadness and happiness, things are given and things are taken away...sometimes we dance, sometimes we cry...sometimes we say hello ... sometimes goodbye. 



Either way, we always have each other...and an iced coffee and black bean brownie. We are fine. I'm so glad that you are mine ... forever. 

Love,
*~ Mom~*

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Oh For Joy


Oh for joy, a sunny day, a plate of goods....happy snacks that turn into a geography and cultural lesson because I have...well...


This guy. The wonderful brain, the curious cat, this simply hilarious boy. Oh for joy ....


Friendships, sibling hood, bright blues and butterflies, smirks and long hair - oh for joy!


Beauty is ordinary yet unique, simple yet extraordinary. Beauty is plain, is perfect. Beauty can abound in anything as long as you see it as beautiful. Beauty is definitely in the eye of the beholder... and that is something to be glad for. Joy. 


First rosebuds of the seasons, symmetry and asymmetry (I looked that up) , pink and greens and clear and white...bumpy and smooth, closed in darkness and  far away light. Oh for joy! 


Sprouts, beginnings....


Purples and blooms...endings. Purple is happy, is daring...is rich.  


Angels all around me...across the dinner table, in the bathtub, in the crook of my arm, under my feet, on my shoulders....running in my backyard - joy!


Children dancing, twirling, giggling angels - full of acceptance, full of grace, full of love .....


...full of energy, light on their toes


...singing, tagging, dancing, tiptoeing through summer grass, feeling happy, feeling free, feeling loved and funny and creative and blessed, brimming bursting with one simple yet complicated thing...


JOY

Friday, May 23, 2014

FOF


So for this week's Finances on Friday - I attempted something I've never done before. I made a grocery budget for two weeks, made up a day by day menu ... went to the store and ONLY bought what I would need, and am going to try and stay out of grocery stores for two weeks. 
At first I was a little worried about how I would have fresh produce, but decided that for the first week we would eat fresh, the second week we will eat frozen veggies and fruits. I bought some organic chicken at Costco and baked it up, shredded it up and have just added bits of it to meals for the kids. I've been eating black beans or wild salmon ( the frozen variety.) So far so good, but holy moses, being yeast free is no joke and I miss pizza. 
I also put designated "fuel money" on a King Soopers gift card so that we would have set budget for fuel. I figure if we run out gas, we will quit running and stay home. This is a trial run, mind you ... we will see if it works. We are one week in, however, and I think we are on track to meeting our goal. 


 Some of the little ways I saved money :
~ we made up our five gallons of 2 dollar laundry detergent. I had a lovely bar of almond soap from Italy that Zac bought me for Mother's Day so I donated it to the cause. The soap smells beautifully.
~ The before mentioned grocery budget and having to peel off chicken skin. Gag me.
~ I didn't spend on cent at any stores this entire week
~ I only went to one place this whole week, and it was ten minutes from our house. 


~ made a baby gift out of things I already had on hand
~ used a coupon to get a gift for Tristan ( I'm starting to collect his gifts for next month)
~ cashed in my "points" for a Amazon gift card to help pay for my hubby's father's day


~ Went to Old Navy and used up all of my points from my incredible sweater deal a few weeks ago. I also signed up for their card just to get the points and for paperless bills and got points that way. I was able to get myself 6 pieces of clothing for absolutely free. It was a good day. 
~ had my kids help me around the house...free labor right? That counts for something
~ cut off jeans for Trin to have some shorts
~ made salt dough with the kids
~ crafted with what we had on hand
~ made all of our meals from scratch
~ skipped the coffee from Starbucks even though I WANTED it
~ made an extra payment on our credit card

And now for my confession...the way I DID spend money this week....the only way...it was necessary. Zac and I both are having incredible back and neck pain every day...we have for weeks and we are realizing it's our mattress. We can't afford a new one...but I could afford a very nice memory foam topper. So, after much investigating I ordered one for our bed (free shipping.) It came today, we made the bed...let's just say it's my favorite place on earth at this moment. It's so amazingly wonderful. I told Zac that I feel kind of terrible ordering it, but as usual, my sensible husband said "we were able to pay for it, I don't think we need to be in pain for another year because we don't want to pay 100 bucks for something that will help us sleep well every night." The man is right. 

Oh! And we were able to SAVE our goal amount this week.
Feeling blessed,
Alyssa

if you want to link up to Finances on Friday go here