Wednesday, April 30, 2008

What's Been Happening

First off, a few creations from the past couple of days..............I got the idea for this cute card in the latest Paper Crafts magazine. I just thought that little bird was the cutest!
Michael being his normal silly self...singing 'Hakuna Matata...What a wonderful Phrase...'

And last, but not least....Alli with her 'Barbie Church' singing 'Empty hands held high....'
Let's see now, Monday was Chris' last day of classes & therefore yesterday was a LAZY day for us. Well, lazy in the fact that we all got to sleep in without having to be up & out anywhere early. I did take Ashley to the library, but that was about it....other than the usual stuff like laundry, etc. Clay on the other hand, had to head off to Lowes to get us a new hot water heater. The old one certainly served us was here when we moved up here 10 years ago & I'm not sure how long it had been here before then. But anyway, we realized the other evening that it had a leak in it. Just bad enough to make a HUGE mess on our back porch!! So, off to Lowes to get a new one. Of course, it ends up being right smack in the middle of supper preparations when he gets back...& as most of you know, nothing is ever just a simple fix in this old always has to be a pain in the butt! Anyways, after much fiddling & fuming & running to the neighbor's to borrow this & that we had hot water again about 10:30 last night. I had a pile of dirty dishes from supper & all the preparations, plus mopping & cleaning up after Clay's mess. At least it wasn't too late when I headed up to bed...about 11pm. Then it was up & at 'em EARLY this morning as Chris had to be at school at 8am for final exams. He'll be there til 4:30 this afternoon. A long day, but once he's done, he'll be DONE for the year. HIs first year of college behind him! Yay!!

Monday, April 28, 2008

National Scrapbooking Day

National Scrapbooking Day is coming up this weekend...Saturday May 3, 2008 & we are going to celebrate!! As some of you know, the scrapping site where I hang out all the time has been crashed forever now it seems, but thanks very much to JoJ & Jules...we are now back up & running again. And we are combining NSD with a Grand Re-Opening cyber crop starting Thurs. night & running through Sunday night. Sure hope y'all will come join in on all the fun....there will be lots of challenges & prizes. Check us out here:

Sunday, April 27, 2008

How I spent my Sunday Evening......

After supper this evening, Jon & Michael headed off down to the pond to do a little fishing. In a few minutes Michael came busting through the back door saying he had a hook in his foot! Now, I really didn't believe him at first because he wasn't crying or acting hurt or anything.....just his normal goofy, silly self. But then he showed me......thank goodness it was just a tiny little brim hook, but still..........stuck in the TOP of his foot! I grabbed the phone & called Clay real was 10 minutes before he was supposed to get off work & I wanted to catch him & tell him in case he thought I needed to bring him to the ER....he could just meet us there. Some of you may remember that this happened to Jon a few years back. But when I told him it was a brim hook, the CRAZY man told ME to just pull the hook out! Yeah right. So we hopped in the van & went over to Mari's house (my cousin). Praise the Lord her hubby is an EMT (comes in handy some just don't know the times we've made a run over to their house or called him to come here.) After much praying & jiggling & icing it down to make it numb & Michael throwing up his chicken & dumplings over their porch rail, David was finally able to get it out! And he couldn't get over how calm Michael was the whole time......other than puking that one time, he sat perfectly still through the whole thing. That's the way he was when he was 4 years old & had to get stitches in his chin. Clay said the Dr. & nurse just couldn't get over the fact that this little kid wasn't freaking out, but just lay there so calmly. All is well now & he is tucked into bed none the worse for wear. And of course you folks KNOW I have the hook in a ziploc bag all ready to go on his scrapbook page about the incident. Now he will have a fish hook story to match Jon's.

Soggy Sunday

Kind of a Soggy Sunday morning around here. Not actually raining at the moment & there is only a 20% chance of showers this afternoon, but it sure POURED here last night!!Here's a quick layout I did last night of Michael's new birdie. As you can tell, Michael finally decided on Sylvester for his we now have Sylvester & Tweety. ;-) And if you look closely at the little black Dymo labels you will see that the boys wanted to make sure I included 'Sufferin' Succotash' on there somewhere!! Ha!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

What I've Been Working On...

Thought I'd go ahead & share what I've been working on two LOs that I finished up the other day & just haven't posted yet. So, here goes...........This is an altered playing card which I tunred into a book mark. This is for a challenge over at 'Salt' using the verses from Phil. 4:11-13 about being CONTENT. I know you can't see it here...but the print paper is a snippet from the dictionary & the little bird is 'pointing' to the word CONTENT.
This Birthday card is for Korin's challenge (Inkydoodle) to make a 'Male' card. Again, I used an old playing card & distressed it. The little stamps are from the dollar bin at Michaels.

Wasn't exactly thrilled with this....but,'s done. I rearranged & rearranged....tried all kinds of different patterned paper & different sketches & was just getting SO stressed with these pictures. Not sure WHY really, but anyway....I finally just gave up & called it done!
Ashley took these cute pics of Daniel 'reading' with Jon downstairs at Maw's house. They were looking at Jon's Nintendo Power magazine & he was getting Jon to tell him the names of all the characters. Such sweet moments. ;-)

Some Savvy Scrapping Tips

Since I am in scrapping mode today I figured I'd share a couple of my favorite thrifty scrapping tips.

1. I buy the sticky photo tabs to adhere my stuff....they come in boxes of 500 for $2.49. I ALWAYS cut mine at least in half (sometimes even into thirds if I need a really skinny piece). They still hold my pieces just fine & I get twice as many tabs for the least 1,000 for $2.49. ;-)

2. Save cardboard ( cereal boxes, pop tart boxes.....whatever) & make your own chipboard embellies.

3. Letter stencils are a good investment because they can be used over & over again & with such varying results. Pair them with the above chipboard & paint them or cover them with patterned paper to match your project. The sky's the limit!

4. Also, image & alpha stamps are a good investment. Reusable & oh so versatile!! Let your imagination run wild!

Now......before you plunge into your scrapping projects for the day.........share with me some of YOUR favorite thrifty scrapping tips!!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Fabulous Friday

Yippeee....the weekend is officially here! The boys got up & went fishing this morning while I dropped Chris at class & then did the grocery shopping. Picked Chris & I some lunch up at Chickfila (our Friday tradition.....which this is the last Friday of, it's kind of sad. I know, I down a rabbit trail...I seem to be good at that! :-P Came home & put everything away, put a load of clothes in to wash & then sat outside for a while reading. Until I got too hot & then I came in & did a few more chores inside...rotated laundry, hung a load of shirts on the line & here I sit. Totally enjoying having the windows open & the breeze blowing in. Ahhhhh! Need to get up from here though & start on supper. We're having home-made pizzas tonight....just Chris & I & the girls since the boys won't be home til dark, I'm guessing. At least AFTER supper anyway. Need to do something crafty later.....Ashley & I got a pile of pictures printed off the other day, so we have plenty of fresh inspiration to scrap. I also need to sit down with the calendar & start working on making my May BD/anniversary cards. But for's off to make pizzas!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Newest Member of our Family

For ages now, Michael has been wanting to get a bigger cage for Tweety AND a boyfriend for her. So.......yesterday afternoon Clay took the boys shopping. Took Jon to the bow shop to get a new bow string for his bow & some new arrows. Then they headed to the pet shop to look for a new cage AND a new companion for Tweety. They came home with this pretty little yellow & green male who doesn't have a name yet. Clay keeps insisting that he needs to be called Sylvester.....because Slyvester just goes with Tweety. BUT, Michael says he wants to name him Forrest....Forrest Gump. Ha! So, since the name thing is still up in the air...I've been calling him 'Bird'. Sounds like a good name to me. ;-)
Tweety & Bird

The boys got up EARLY this morning & headed out turkey hunting 'round the mountain here with my cousin David. They saw some & David tried to shoot too soon....spooked 'em. So, they came on home a little after 8am & rested for a while. Then, by the time we got home this afternoon, they had decided that it was a good night to go Striper fishing. So, after supper they headed out to Smith for some fishing.

Took the girls to town for day of shopping & piddling around today. We hit Target, Sams(to rpint some pictures), Michaels, AC Moore, Barnes & Noble & the mall. Had lunch at Subway & then for dessert later, we shared a caramel coffee milkshake from Chickfila.

Came home this afternoon & swept/mopped all the downstairs floors, then sat outside with Ashley for awhile reading. Asked Clay if it might be possible to let Vito's do the cooking tonight for we splurged & ordered pizza. Hadn't done that in AGES & it was really yummy! Then after supper, I mopped AGAIN....this time the back porch & wiped down the washer, dryer, frige, back door, etc. Jon was getting some canned drinks to take with them tonight & accidentally dropped a Pepsi can & it exploded EVEYWHERE!!!! Anyways......sent the guys on their way fishing, watched Idol with the kiddos (was SO shocked with tonights' results!!), got Alli tucked in bed & now I'm headed up myself so I can read for a while.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Let My Lifesong Sing to You.............

Alli has been playing 'church' with her Barbies here lately. She's got the head set, microphone, etc. for the praise leader & little plastic benches from my old Barbie camper for the church pews. They even have all the 'church' music queued up & playing on the computer. And last night she was busy making them all Bibles. Too cute!
Here, they are singing 'Lifesong' by Casting Crowns...'Empty hands held high, Such small sacrifice...'

Ashley & Jon stayed up late night before last setting ALL Alli's Barbies up in & around her 'Hot Tub Party Bus' for her to find the next morning. If you notice all the ones lined up & sitting on top of the bus...........they're all nekkid! ;-)
Alli TRYING to hold ALL of her Barbies.....38 all together....not counting Baby Kelly dolls.

My lilac bush FINALLY bloomed again this year. It hasn't bloomed in a couple of years & I've really missed it.

My ribbon & button jars.....I stole this idea from Tara Whitney.....saw it on her blog & loved the idea.

My Thrifty Bargains from Good Will yesterday. I paid .35 for each one of these. The two smaller dishes are now holding some of my tiny alpha stamps.

Sunday, April 20, 2008


This is a card I did for Korin's challenge over at use 3 different embellies. I used flowers, buttons & a brad.
Just a few pics of the daffodils around the house & in the field earlier this spring. I found this quote in one of my magazines & KNEW it would go perfectly with these pictures. It says: 'God writes the gospel not in the Bible alone, but on trees & FLOWERS & clouds.' --Martin Luther.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Thrift Shop Thoughts

More from my 'Tightwad Gazette' reading.................

1. There are 4 basic sources of used clothes:
a. Someone gives them to you...We LOVE hand-me-downs!! Talk about a bargain when either Danielle or I buy something for one of the girls at Old Navy for $1.97 & then pass it on down....For instance Danielle buys it for Cori, then it's handed down to Alli the next year & eventually on down to Anna. Now THAT'S a bargain. Alli is even wearing some tops right now that were Ashley's (from the thrift shop) & had been handed to Cori & now have made their way BACK to our house again!
b. Garage Sales. These are the cheapest places where you BUY clothes...about half price of thrift shops.
c.Thrift Shops. They charge more for clothes but have a better selection.
d. Consignment Shops. They offer the greatest selection but have the highest price.

2. Change your method of shopping. If you're used to retail you expect to find clothes in your size & your color wherever you shop. You can't shop a Thrift store with that mindset or you'll be disappointed. Instead of thinking about what the store DOESN'T have, look at what it DOES have. You might be looking for a pair of pants, but instead find a great top you can use.

3.Develop a notebook for your needs, especially if you are shopping for a large family. Record sizes & measurements for each family member. Carry your notebook & a little tape measure in your purse.

4. Examine all clothing carefully for defects. Don't be put off by small flaws. If an item is cheap enough, it may be worthwhile to restitch a seam....I just bought a pair of pants the other brand....but the button was missing. To me, that's no biggie.....can't beat it for $3....I'll just dig in my scrapping button jar & find one I can use.

5. Many of the same rules apply to used clothing purchases as new: Buy classic styles. Learn the signs of quality clothes. Learn which name brands hold up well......Old Navy, Aeropostale, Dockers, Gap, Levis

6. When buying for kids, buy a few years in advance & develop a storage system.

Saturday Recap

Resized a bunch of pics this morning & updated my blog * folded 3 baskets of laundry & put them away * Switched out all Alli's winter clothes & put what needed to be kept in the wardrobe & the rest is bagged to give to Anna * Washed two loads of clothes & hung out a bunch to dry on the line today since it was so pretty * Sat outside with Ashley & we read & enjoyed the sunshine * Came in a scrapped for a two layouts done...Yay me! * Began to cloud up & sprinkle, so I started the grill about 4:30 & got started on supper.....burgers & dogs on the grill with ronis & deviled eggs * Clay got home a little early....about 6pm * He's so tired from getting up about 4am & has to do it again tomorrow, so he's already in bed * Have started the bath rotation & will send Michael & Alli to bed in about an hour * Might piddle around doing something scrappy or may watch a movie....Chris has been wanting to watch 'The Guardian' so I'll probably just watch with him while I knit. Ran across this quote in one of my magazines & thought it was perfect for these pictures...'No matter how long the winter, SPRING is sure to follow.' Alli was enjoying the sun & I just couldn't resist snapping a few pics! Love how the border down the side with the stitching resembles the patchwork quilt.....which by the way, was made by my Memaw. The felt flowers with button centers tied with floss add to the home-spun feel.
This two-pager was a Becky Higgins sketch from the latest CK magazine. Kind of simple, but it worked well for these pictures from our Easter photo shoot. There was no way to crop any of these pics & I really wanted to use all four of them....SO...sometimes simple is best.

Pictures & Layouts & Ramblings, Oh My!

Just needing to add some pictures & layouts & ramblings from the past couple of days. Ashley & Alli took these pics of each other the other day when they took a walk. They can always get the BEST pictures of each other!

This is Jovi's official birthday photograph....Ashley took this yesterday evening. Notice his new heart tag with his name on it.

Jon's birthday present FINALLY came yesterday while they were out fishing! He 'bout had a fit to get home & try it out.

Crappie caught yesterday at Smith Mountain Lake.

And of course Jon HAD to get in one of the pictures! Such a goof...Ha!

I did this layout yesterday afternoon. Love how it turned out! The little journaling spots say: Jon thinks its great that he's STILL taller! I LOVE seeing the two of them with their arms around each other. Too sweet!!

These last two layouts are what I got done at Maw's house the other day. The top one is just a silly one of Anna, Alli, Jon & Daniel making goofy faces on Easter Sunday. And the bottom one is our Bunny cake that we made. He sure was Yummy!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Brick

A young and successful executive was traveling down a neighborhood street, going a bit too fast, in his new Jaguar. He was watching for kids darting out from between parked cars, and slowed down when he thought that he saw something. As his car passed, no children appeared. Instead a brick smashed into the Jaguar's side door. He slammed on the brakes, and backed the car up, to where the brick had been thrown. The angry driver jumped out of his car, and grabbed the nearest kid, and pushed him up against the nearest parked car shouting, 'What was that all about and who are you? Just what the heck are you doing? That's a new car, and the brick you threw, will cost a lot of money. Why did you do it?' The young boy was apologetic. 'Please, Mister...please, I'm sorry, but I didn't know what else to do,' He pleaded. 'I threw the brick because no one else would stop...' With tears dripping down his face and off his chin, the youth pointed to a spot, just around a parked car. 'It's my brother, he said. 'He rolled off the curb and fell out of his wheelchair, and I can't lift him up.' Now sobbing, the boy asked the stunned executive, 'Would you please help me get him back into his wheelchair? He's hurt and too heavy for me.' Moved beyond words, the driver tried to swallow the rapidly swelling lump in his throat. He hurriedly lifted the handicapped boy back into the wheelchair, then took out a linen handkerchief, and dabbed at the fresh scrapes and cuts. A quick look told him everything was going to be okay. 'Thank you, and may God bless you,' the grateful child told the stranger. Too shook up for words, the man simply watched the boy push his wheelchair bound brother down the sidewalk, towards their home. It was a long slow walk back to the Jaguar. The damage was very noticeable, but the driver never bothered to repair the dented side dooor. He kept the dent there to remind him of this message: "Don't go through life so fast that someone has to throw a brick at you to get your attention!" God whispers in our souls, and speaks to our hearts. Sometimes when we don't have time to listen, He has to throw a brick at us. It's our choice to listen or not.

One Fine Day

One fine day* You'll look at me* And you will know our love was* Meant to be* One fine day* You're gonna want me for your girl!* The arms I long for* Will open wide* And you'll be proud to have me* Right by your side* One fine day* You're gonna want me for your girl!! Spud meets Sanjy

Baby Sanjy

Alli with the new baby kitties.

Checking out the Great Outdoors for the very first time!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Saving Money When You Have No Time

'The Mad Hatter lifestyle gave me a new respect for those who have asked, "But what if you don't have time to do all those thrifty things?"'

Purchasing a marked-down toy in January for a May birthday requires the same amount of time as paying full price at the last minute............I'm always picking little things up here & there when I find a super bargain & tucking them away for BD or Christmas gifts.

If you plan meals a day in advance you will not have to thaw a frozen piece of meat in the microwave.............My meals are usually planned out a week in advance, so I hardly ever use the microwave for thawing. Like the other day....I had bought two chickens to do rotisserie chicken....I try to plan so I don't have to freeze/thaw them. I season them the night before, place in ziploc baggies in the frige overnight to marinate & then cook the next day. I even go so far as to plan for special days like yesterday when I knew we'd be gone most of the day & would need something quick & easy for supper. So Manwiches were on the menu for last night. Pulled the burger out before we left for Maw's house & then all I had to do was heat that up, throw in some tater tots & baked beans & we had a quick supper BEFORE 7pm last night!

**again, these excerpts were taken from 'The Tightwad Gazette'

Scrappy Day

And he said unto them, "Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while:" for there were many coming & going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.
---Mark 6:31
In our busyness of life it sure is nice to just have a FUN day set apart to visit & enjoy each other's rest & recharge. And that's exactly what we did yesterday!
We had a really nice time at Maw's. Chris didn't have any classes & so the guys had a nice, restful day at home while the girls & I went to Maw's for a visit. We had lunch & then scrapped the afternoon away while Alli, Anna & Daniel played outside. Anna picked this little boquet for Maw. I thought it looked so pretty sitting in the middle of all our 'Scrap Crap'.
Our Creative Chaos!

Sarah's working on Myrtle Beach pictures. I was really pleased that I actually got TWO LOs done along with all our chatting & visiting! Will scan & post those after a while.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Hakuna Matata

Hakuna matata! What a wonderful phrase. Hakuna Matata! Ain't no passing craze. It means no worries for the rest of your days. It's our problem-free philosophyHakuna Matata!That's what Michael was singing here when I snapped this picture. He's such a goof.....he can keep us entertained for hours!! Notice the dog collar around his neck?
Jon's tire swing that he put up the other day. They have had a blast on this thing!

Bunny snoozing away at the foot of my bed.

The Tightwad Checklist

Taken from the 'Tightwad Gazette'.....

'Just how does one distinguish the practitioner of lifelong frugality from those drifting with the current fad? When visiting homes of individuals in question use this handy checklist to record the telltale signs of a classic tightwad.'

1. a scrubber made from a mesh onion bag.
2. A squirt bottle of homemade window cleaner.
3. A new soap bar with a soap sliver adhered...I thought that was the only way to do it!
4. A bundle of old socks(or towels)in the workshop to be used as grease rags...old shirts or socks make great dust rags & cleaning cloths too!
5. A jug of vegetable broth in the frige.
6. A 20 qt. box of powdered milk......or in my case, a 32.5lb. box of laundry detergent!
7. A roll of paper towels cut in half.
8. Any overturned bottle in the process of draining the last bit out....again...I thought everybody did this?!
9. A pencil less than 3" long!
10. Any item repaired with a twist tie, paper clip, or hanger....duct tape is the cure-all in this neck of the woods!! Skippy & John Ed can fix ANYTHING with duct tape!!! Ha!
11. An impressive stash of one of the following items: egg cartons, styrofoam meat trays, TP tubes or frozen juice lids....used to have boo-coos of egg cartons when we had chickens. And I even collected the juice lids too for ages.....made some really cute frige magnets & Christmas tree ornaments with them!
12. A started shopping list on the back of a utility bill envelope.
13. A stockpile of .44 per can tuna....I've got a stock pile of .50 boxes of mac & cheese.
14. An indoor clothesline or wooden clothes-drying rack....My wooden clothes rack sits at the top of the wonders during the winter when the wood stove's going!

Ok, so now it's YOUR turn......confess how many of these tightwad tips you practice & share with us any others you might do that weren't on this list!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Home Sweet Home

Just a quick layout that I finished up this afternoon. For those of you who might not know....this was my grandmother's home....the house my mom, her sisters & brother grew up in....the house that we now call HOME.Not much going on here for lunch & then we just kind of hung out this afternoon...the kids played outside on the tire swing that Jon put up yesterday afternoon (will post some pics tomorrow) while I finished the above LO & spent some time reading.

Saturday, April 12, 2008


Was talking to Danielle this morning about my 'tightwad tips' that I posted & she said she thought we were 'Savvy Shoppers'. I told her I REALLY liked how that sounded......just SOUNDS better to say I'm Savvy than to say I'm a Tightwad. ;-)

The definition of savvy is:
shrewdly informed; experienced & well-informed; canny

I then looked up canny & found:
frugal, thrifty, very fitting!

So from now on....I'm going to refer to myself as a 'Savvy Shopper' & I'll share some of my 'Savvy Shopping Tips'.

One savvy tip that I noticed this morning when I was making coffee......I've never been one to drink strong coffee. I learned from Clay because he was the coffee drinker before me. I just always did what he taught me without ever referring to the directions on the can. I was surprised at what I found out. The directions on the can say to use 1/2c. coffee (8 Tbs.) per each 10 cups you're fixing. For me, if I was making 10 cups of coffee, I'd use 5 tsps. I always use half the amount of teaspoons to the amount of cups I'm making....for instance...12 cups-6 tsps, 8 cups-4 tsps, etc. break that down....there are 3 tsps in a they say to use 24 tsps compared to my 5 tsps! That's a savings of 19 tsps. ;-) Not to mention the reduced amount of caffeine that we consume.

If any of you reading this have any savvy tips you'd like to share....please feel free to leave me a comment! I'm always open to new thrifty ideas!!

Friday, April 11, 2008

The Virtuous Woman

I've been doing alot of reading here lately on different blogs about being frugal & thrifty; the homemaker that God wants us to be. I like this definition that I found online:

1. economical in use or expenditure; prudently saving or sparing; not wasteful: a frugal manager.

Here's what Proverbs 31 has to say~
'Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her. She will do him good & not evil all the days of her life. She...worketh willingly with her hands. She is like THE MERCHANT SHIPS; she bringeth her food from afar. She openeth her mouth with wisdom; & in her tongue is the law of kindness. She looketh well to the ways of her household & eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up & call her blessed; her husband also, & he praises her...a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.'

I love that phrase...Like Merchant Ships....if you notice over to the right in my blog links there is a great blog entitled 'Like Merchant Ships'. She has some awesome advice & sure & check it out!!

Along with all my blog-reading, I also checked out a book at the library the other day...'The Tightwad Gazette' by Amy Dacyczyn. I've only gotten so far into it....trying to make notes as I go along....stuff I want to share here. But what I've been amazed at so the stuff that we already do & just take for granted. For's a list from her book of '10 Painless Ways to Save $100 This Year':

1. Purchase 10 articles of clothing at a thrift store/yard sale.........No that ALL the time anyway!

2. Hang 4 loads of laundry per week....Also very Do-able for me. I hang as much as I can out anyway. Smells so nice after it's been on the line.

3. Once a month, make a pizza from scratch instead of ordering out.....Ashley laughed out loud at this one...we do this on Saturday night every other week & HAVE for ages now.

4. Write a good letter (or email) instead of making a long distance phone call......I added in the email part because this is what we do. I chat with mom every day online & also my best buddy, Danielle. Both of which would be long distance calls if we talked on the phone.

5. Reduce your soda consumption by at least 4 cans per week......The only SODA (us southern folk drink COKE) consumed in this house is what Chris takes to each day. I hardly ever bought Cokes before then. Unless we just happen to pick some up on special occassions....but it's NOT an every day thing. And of course, what I DO buy is on today....stocked up at Food Lion for the last couple weeks of school & the guys' fishing trips they take. Pepsi products were 12 pk cases.....4/$11....that's $2.75 per 12 pk.

6. Bake one batch of bread per week......OK, so ONE thing off this list that I DON'T do. ;-P

7. Save $50 each on 2 kid's BD parties by making homemade decorations, cake, wrapping paper, etc.........DUH!***See notes below***

8. Reduce your smoking by 3 cigarettes per day......Ummmm.....we don't smoke.

9. Reduce your whole milk consumption by 2 Gallons per week...........I can't even remember back to a time when we ever drank whole milk. Maybe for the babies when they were little, but we've always drank skim.

10. Pack 4 inexpensive lunches per week..............Chris most always takes a lunch & Clay tries to. Pretty easy for him having access to a frige & microwave, etc. I usually just pack him leftovers from supper the night before.

***As to the birthday parties......I ALWAYS bake my birthday cakes. Don't ever think I have gotten them a store-bought cake. As for the wrapping paper....we do alot of gift bags & of course you MUST save them & reuse them. We have this one blue gift bag with polka dots & sparkly blue fingies around the edge....I don't even know who gave a gift in it first.....but that bag has been around & around & around.....between Sarah, me, Ella & Maw. I have the bag right now & it's so sad...ripped down one side & I was just going to toss it....thought we had certainly gotten our money's worth out of it, but the kids had a fit & said we COULDN'T toss the blue birthday bag. So, in true 'hill-billy' fashion....I whipped out the duct tape & fixed 'er right up! Ha! Here's a little run-down of how much I spent for Jon's BD today. (which doesn't include the bow he's IS his 13th BD after all!)

~3 Old Navy Tshirts-$1.99 each ($5.97)
~various little tools-$4.60

~cake mix-.78
~candles- already had some in my drawer
~ice cream-2/$4.99

+ 7.15-cake/ice cream
For a Grand Total of $21.72! Not too bad at all!

And BTW, the wrapping paper this year was .84 from the clearance bin at Target!

BD pics

Here are a few pics from our birthday celebration this evening. After supper, Jon opened his treats....some new Ts from Old Navy & some tools for his tool box.....and like I said, the bow will get here next week. ;) Then we had cake & ice cream.

And who could resist this adorable face? This is little 'Sanjy' & he looks just EXACTLY like Bunny did when he was that size! I need to scan that older pic of Bunny & put it up next to this one. The likeness is amazing!