Beside groceries, you could easily suspect that clothing is one of our bigger expenses. Especially given the fact that prior to last fall, I wore scrubs four days a week. I probably spent less than $100 total on work clothing in those 12 years. Matt also has transitioned from wearing jeans and t-shirts to a more traditional work outfit. However, we have definitely been blessed over the years in the areas and we continue to receive blessing.
The girls often, at least once every 3 or 4 month have received bags of hand me down clothes over the years. Zach, since starting school has been gifted with clothing over and above any wants he could have. During the past several weeks, I began to notice that Kendall’s jeans were getting shorter and shorter and then ankle short. Lily has also been complaining about not have any “public” long sleeve shirts or sweaters to wear. Last Sunday, in fact, she ended up borrowing a sweater to wear to church from Kendall. Matt and I decided that we really needed a trip to Goodwill and that we also need to take a good inventory of what clothing we had and what we needed.
At Goodwill, Kendall was able to locate a pair of jeans and a pair of capris that she really liked and Lily found 2 sweaters that she could use for layering. The total spent was $14. We were also blessed by one of Lily’s friend who after hearing Lily says she borrowed a shirt decided to clean out her closet and passed two huge bags of clothes down for the girls. I have been working on cleaning out my closet over the past several weeks and am actually at the point were most if not all the clothes that are left are unstained and something I have worn in the last year. The kids all spent last Sunday afternoon and some time this week, going through and cleaning up their closets. I am so happy to report that each of the kids has enough clothes not only for the rest of winter and spring but also the summer. Kendall “found” 3 additional swim suits in her closet that were the perfect size for Lily to finish out our needs list.
Matt and I have also been slowly, replacing some of our more worn out clothes, and updating some clothes as well. He needs mainly pants as his shirt collection is huge and I need more “professional” clothing as t-shirts are only allowed on Fridays. I receive lots of advertisements from multiple clothing stores on a daily basis. Today, I noticed that Old Navy was running a sale on dresses and jeans. I have been saving my Verizon rewards for the past couple of months and had two $5 gift cards from them. I even remember to shop via Swagbucks. I am super pleased with the outcome. I purchased a pair of jeans for Matt, a pair of Khakis for Matt, 3 simple long sleeve dresses for me and a pair of bike shorts for either Lily or Kendall. I added the shorts for $2.08 in order to receive free shipping. I used $10 gift cards and spent a total of $45. I did receive $20 in super cash and another $5.69 from Swagbucks!
I have already shared how we spent much more than anticipated in the month of January. So far we are starting the month of February off with a bang as well. On the way home from work, Friday afternoon. I get a text from Kendall that said “I broke my glasses at school today.” I asked for pictures and got the followingAt this point, I knew four things. 1. These probably were not fixable. 2. Kendall’s prescription for her glasses expired in March. 3. I did not plan to take the kids to the eye doctor til at least July, when my new vision insurance starts. 4. Kendall only has one set of glasses with her current prescription.
I did some quick research and called Matt to have him meet us in Winston- Salem at the closest Vision Works store. I was very fortunate that Vison Works currently had two specials. The first is a Buy One Get One Free and the second was 2 pair of kids glass for $99. Unfortunately the $99 special was for frame that cost $69 and did not include transition lens. We decided to purchase two pair for Kendall with the transitional lens for $299. Ouch but at least now we should be able to make it to July or later without new glasses. Kendall is also requesting contacts so this may be a very long term pair of glasses.
Lily and Zach both have multiple pair of glasses but they both located $69 frames they LOVED and did not need the transition lens since they already have several pairs at home. I did purchase the additional pairs for $99.
$400 and 4 pair of glass later… all I could say is welcome to February!
Lots of pictures!
First Christmas Eve
To be honest, I have a love/hate relationship with Shutterfly. I LOVE pictures and I LOVE products made out of pictures. Shipping cost is the problem with Shutterfly. I should not have to paid $7.99 shipping for a book that cost me $15.99 to make. I knew I wanted to get a couple of books made, a couple of calendars and of course some prints made from our family photo session last week. So off to Shutterfly I go. I am so excited and pleased that I was able to get free shipping! The code is SHIP49. I also had a “free” book code from Coke rewards that I had stored on the account. Their current sale of half off books also made this a much better deal. I was able to purchase a total of 3 books, 8×8 size, and 2 11×14 prints and 1 8×10 print for a total including shipping of $53! Two of the books were of this handsome guy!And the third was a book of the best pictures of our family session. Including this one
I am hopeful to be able to get a couple of calendars made in the next couple of weeks!
This past Saturday prior to the huge, historical, massive snow storm we had family pictures done. I scheduled these several weeks ago. Here are some of the tips I have learned and a peek at some of the pictures.
#1 I have learned over the years that we need to have these done at home or someone’s house we know to save stress and headache. We had an awesome photographer who was as happy as we were to do pictures inside and outside the house.
#2 Prepare food that can be eaten the entire time, no one makes good pictures when you are hungry.#3 Coordinating outfits make awesome pictures. I was luck enough to find us all coordination outfits at Old Navy this year. Unfortunately, Zach decided he did not like the “feel” of his matching shirt but I also had matching ties for him and Braxton which he liked better.
#4 Some times you need causal pictures just to keep it real
#5 Christmas pajamas are a must
#6 Babies make awesome pictures when they are asleep
#7 Black and white pictures make me look better
And finally this is my absolute favorite picture so far
Fair Warning- Picture or Kid overload depending on how you want to look at it!
The kids start back to school on Monday, so we wanted to make today fun and relaxing! One of the ways to have fun that is usually not crazy expensive is community days. Our community day was “Big Toy Day”. This event was held at the small county airport. Cost was $5 for everyone over 10. Matt was working so it was $10 for Lily and I. Amanda and David met us but they covered their own cost!
The highlight of the day for everyone was the airplane ride. This was free for children between the ages of 8-17. All three of the kids got to ride in the same small plane.
Also present was a variety of different trucks, airplanes, equipment and race cars.
Fearless Kendall- She danced to the top and back down!
Everything was free except for food. Kendall and Zach enjoyed a turn in the bouncy a house.
I ended up purchasing 3 waters, 1 diet coke, two hot dogs and chips for a total of $7. The kids had taken their own chore money. Kendall bought a soda with caffeine, and a small shaved ice ($4), Lily a large shaved ice ($5) and Zach a soda with caffeine.
After eating, we headed home to meet Matt and head to the pool for a relaxing couple of hours. I packed a cooler and our pool dues are paid yearly so total cost for the afternoon was $0.
In some ways, I wish that summer would not end!