Tuesday, February 9, 2016

No-Spend Adventure: Week 1

This picture has nothing to do with anything, but I took it last week and wanted you to see these cuties.

We're doing a no-spend month again!  It's been a while since we've tried this (I don't remember the last time we tried to do this for a whole month, but I remember we had to buy diapers. So it's been a while), but I wanted to do a month-long spending fast.  February's a short month, and it's a nice break before all the birthdays of March and April.  We're back to $0 with our emergency fund, and I'd like to build it back up. 

Regular bills, medical things, and gifts don't count. I usually try to base our weekly spending on this family's, with around $70 a week for groceries and gas.  We spent a little more than that this week, and that was with a teeny bit of grocery stockpiling beforehand (I've been doing most of our grocery shopping lately and I tend to stock up on basics that are on sale).

Week 1: $107.02

Gas: $26 to fill both our tanks, which is actually pretty great
Groceries: $66.24 at Kroger and $9.78 at Whole Foods (my knitting group meets there and so I either buy dinner there or do a little grocery shopping after seeing friends.  They have good apples!)
Other: $3 in overdue library fees

So we spent more than I wanted on groceries, but we have crackers and coffee for the rest of the month.  We also bought vegetable oil and cake mix and icing for Evelyn's Valentine's Day party at school. We probably could have done without some of the snack foods, but it's nice to have some of these things to pack in her lunch box.  Next week's grocery bill will be a lot lower because we have all the Cheez-its, oatmeal, and bell peppers we need.  (We like our staples.)

What we didn't spend money on:
-Haircuts. Cody bought a new trimmer (I honestly don't remember if it was this week or not! I'm not going to look it up) and I cut his hair.  Then he trimmed my undercut.
-Um, love?  I don't know.  We watched some library DVDs and Evelyn is still very heavily invested in Barbies/baby dolls/Calico Critters with a bit of coloring and reading on the side.  We can usually keep ourselves pretty entertained.

Monday, February 8, 2016

An anniversary post for Mom

Mom's been cancer-free for 13 years.

That's nearly the length of time of Dallas.  That's longer than we've known our husbands.  It's even more than the ages of her three grandkids combined.

It's a good long time.

I gave her a pair of handknitted socks.  She looked a little surprised, because I've done a lot of complaining about how much I dislike knitting socks in the past--both online and out loud.  But I've found a recipe I like, and she's easy to knit for in a few important ways.  First of all, this is a big anniversary and we like to celebrate it in a pretty big way.  How better than with thousands of small stitches?  (Okay, so my dad always takes her to dinner some place nice and sometimes the siblings send flowers. Those are good ways to celebrate as well.)

Also, she's a cold person who loves presents.  The minute I give her something I knitted she has to stop everything and try it on, rearrange it, check herself out in the mirror, get the washing instructions, etc.  She's a crafter's dream gift recipient.When Evelyn told her I crocheted her some socks, Mom corrected her with "They're knitted" at the very same time I did.  The next day she made sure to point at her feet during church and whisper "I'm wearing my socks!"

Lastly, she's my size.  Socks can be a tricky thing to make for someone, especially if you want them to be a surprise.  Our feet are pretty similar, so it was easy for me to try them on at important intervals.  This detail isn't the most important, but it's worth mentioning. 

So.  Another year of Mom.  A big gift like that calls for a big gift.  Or one as small as some Size 6(ish) socks.  Really whatever she wants.  I'll be happy to make it.  Happy anniversary, Mom. I love you! 

(We should maybe take a picture of just the two of us some time, because this is the most recent one I could find.) 

Sunday, January 31, 2016

January 29

An afternoon at the creek with my girl. We saw animal tracks. I carried her across the creek.  She climbed rocks.  We looked for rocks and sticks and sweet gum balls to throw in the creek. 

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Barbies and BFFs

Evelyn had me ask Sara over for a play date.

Mom gave Evelyn a Barbie car a few weeks ago, and she was elated. Sara was a little indignant and took the moment to remind us that she's always wanted one.....to which Evelyn replied, "Yeah, but you never got one."

Um. So.

Friday, she thought it would be a great idea to have Sara over for a play date so they could both enjoy the Barbie car and Barbies.  I texted Sara, and then Evelyn was trying to type things out on my phone, and then they were both pretty much talking through me.

Sara came to play on Saturday morning, and she came bearing gifts.  A new Barbie, a Barbie puppy, and some accessories.  They played with everything, switched some outfits around, and then decided to go have lunch and run some errands--just the two of them.

Oh man.

They went to Olive Garden and had pizza and breadsticks.  They made plans to have a sleepover where they would bake cookies and watch movies.  They went to the mall and bought lip gloss at Claire's. 

They got manicures!

Evelyn had to wear workout clothes because Sara was wearing workout clothes.

I think they'd been out of the house for maybe 5 minutes when Cody joked, "You know she's going to want to have another play date with Sara tomorrow, right?"  I waved him off dismissively and ran about half a dozen errands unfettered by a sick husband or a squirrelly  little girl.  I got home maybe two minutes before the stylish ladies came back.  I think they spent around 3 hours playing, and then Evelyn spent the next 4 hours of the day telling us about it. 

She didn't mention inviting Sara over today, but I did have to take a picture of the Barbies all lined up with my phone and text it to Sara to let her know the Barbies have accepted the new one into the fold.  And I have to email her some pertinent information on Evelyn's behalf in the morning.

Laine joked that neither of us will ever be the favorite aunt, which wasn't even something I thought we were trying out for.  Mom aunts just pass down old clothes and toys.  Fun aunts and uncles like Sara and Levi, though...there's no competing with them and I'm way too tired to try.  Besides, everyone needs an aunt like Sara and I'm pretty pumped that Evelyn has her. I think Sara and Evelyn are pretty happy, too.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Our snow day

Evelyn cooked us breakfast--toast with syrup. She was primly disorganized and excited to surprise us, even though I had to get down the plates, pull the syrup out of the fridge, take the lid off, etc. She made us close our eyes while she set the table. In this picture she's exclaiming "My cookiiiiing!"

She's getting over some crud, but we went out to the balcony just for a little while.

It had stopped snowing before we even woke up, but she wanted me to take a snowflake-catching picture of her anyway.  She initially wanted me to take the picture inside.

Here's our snowblob!

She wanted to go outside again a little before dinner, so we bundled her back up and watched through the window as she ambled around and ate a lot of snow.  She chucked a few handfuls off the balcony and climbed on top of her kiddie pool.

We watched a bunch of movies, and played some games, and worked some puzzles.  I cooked a little, and Cody slept a lot.  Evelyn pulled out toys, called and texted people (through me mostly), and mostly goofed around.  We had power, a fridge full of food, an apartment full of entertainment, and nowhere to be.  It was a really great day.