...is what happens when you're busy making other plans. (John Lennon) And isn't that the truth! I've been so wrapped up it trying to plan for vacation, plan a surprise birthday celebration for my sister, trying to figure out couponing and getting the best deals, and taking care of the girls, that I wasted my whole "vacation."
I got a three week break from grading packets as that area of the ministry was closed for staff vacations and training. I had so looked forward to those weeks. Although it would mean a significant gouge in our income, it would also mean a chance to go to bed before 10pm because I didn't have to stay up and grade after settling the girls down. It meant an opportunity to catch up on scrapbooking, make some cards, do some crafty things, catch up on around-the-house projects, catch up on Shutterfly and my blog, and be able to spend my evenings with Nathanael rather than he sit on the computer and I sit at the table grading. Let's see....nope! I didn't accomplish ONE of those other things that I had wanted to do in my "time off." Instead I spent my entire day and night (and sometimes even in my dreams!) looking at sales ads, clipping coupons, organizing coupons, reading blogs on how to best organize and use coupons, going to the stores and pulling blinkies, making shopping lists and menus, and getting excited about saving money! And I believe my work has paid off. I haven't finished totaling up this past month, but I do know that we saved a TON of money! It won't necessarily reflect that way in our bank account this month, but we should start seeing the savings reflected over the next few months. The big idea with coupons and sales is to stock pile and create a build. Then to maintain that build. Now I have a build of some items, and still need to create a build for others. But at this point I haven't bought peanut butter for several weeks, and still have enough for a few more weeks. I have 6 weeks worth of milk in the fridge, and by buying with the sales I paid less than half of what I would have paid at full price if I'd waited til I needed the items. So, overall, I'm pleased with my progress. Even though I know I still have some more work ahead of me before I really feel successful.
Now, today, I sit at home on yet another rainy day with two sick little ones. I think the toddler has allergy issues, and the baby has teething issues. So it's been a dark and dreary, mopey and whiny day around here. I'm trying not to get frustrated, but I have thought several times how nice it was as a kid that my sister was at school when I stayed home sick so that I had mom's undivided attention, rather than her trying to pamper two sick kids. I know there were times we were sick together, but my memories of being sick are always of me home alone with my mom.
So, what are some things we have done recently? We've volunteered at a local Christian camp the last few weekend helping with camp transportation and registration. The girls have enjoyed playing outside in the sprinkler a few times. I set up the beach umbrella along that back porch, put the baby in the walker (with shoes on, which she doesn't like) and we sit in the shade. But she does like getting wet, too! Yesterday the baby got her first (and last for a few more months!) taste of solids when she swiped a lettuce leaf off of my plate and started sucking on it. She is very grabby, and very quick! We haven't been to the beach in a while as the oil has come ashore. But my oldest keeps begging for the beach. We took the girls blueberry picking a few weeks ago, it was also my husband's first time going picking. He enjoyed the experience, but we all much better enjoyed the gallon of free berries that we were able to get at Publix! We plan to do a bit more picking so I can make some freezer jam. Much of what we already have in the freezer will be used for baking, and some will be for baby food. (I'm very excited about making my own baby food with this baby!)
Well, the baby's waking up, so time to sign off!