Monday, May 24, 2010

Gifting for Children

A word of advice for any of you contemplating the no-shopping experiment - Save your old containers!  I mean the big plastic juice containers  - these can be turned into banks or any kind of mysterious creature you can create out of them.  Keep food boxes that can be covered and made into very lightweight building blocks, buses, cars, robots, etc.  I am thinking instant oatmeal boxes, cereal boxes, snack food boxes, etc.   If you have little girls, you can make keepsake boxes out of these, little 'purses' if you really get creative and even dollhouses - depending on the size of your boxes and your creativity.  Some containers, if plastic, like coffee containers could be made into critter keepers for the little guys and gals that like to collect snails, crickets, frogs and such.  A little paint and decoration can transform anything!  Will post more ideas when we come up with them.  In the meantime, we are happy to take your suggestions.

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Coop

Hey - we have finally finished the coop building!  We still need to put up the pen, but the little house is done!  We will have baby chicks in it tonight - so excited.  And, we only had to spend money on three pieces of siding - EVERYTHING else was either salvage or donated including the vinyl flooring my dear husband installed.  Beautiful old boards from a 50-year-old chicken coop made up the siding for the front of the coop, and the door is also from the vintage coop.  The 2 x 4s were donated from the folks housing their chickens in the coop, and the little boxes inside were also a donation.  We had friends donate windows and wire, as well.  We are truly blessed with people who are very giving.  So, thank you everyone that helped us out!  I have posted a pic for your viewing pleasure.  :)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Well is Dry

My Avon money is all gone!  We attended a Homeschool Curriculum Fair in Nashville this past weekend and I spent all my Avon earnings on hotel accommodations and homeschool supplies/books, etc.  I have also given up my Avon business to pursue other interests so there won't be any extra money around for a while.  That's okay - it was fun while it lasted, and the little bit of money I made really helped out at the right time for the right thing - my son's education!  It also gave me the confidence to pursue our no-shopping experiment because it was like a security blanket.  If I really needed something - really, really needed it - I knew that I had a little extra something just in case of an emergency.  I never did 'need' it for any trinket I couldn't live without.  I never needed it for clothes or shoes.  I never needed it for a CD or DVD.  I am glad I had it for school books, though - not to mention the dissection-grade frog and crayfish we purchased.  Boy, I am sooooooo glad we were able to buy those last two items - what would we have done without that Avon money?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day

 I hope everyone had a great mother's day.  I had to come up with something crafty this year. I have included a pic so you can see the flower on top of the bag, but the stuff inside included a bottle of bath salts (they will deplete completely because they dissolve), as well as a bag of specialty cookies.  Quade had the idea of including some type of teas in the bags so I made decorative boxes out of thin cardstock and we put flavored teas and relaxation teas inside the box and included this in the bag.  The flowers on the tops of the bags are simple tissue flowers - I already had the tissue paper.  You may be wondering why there are three bags - one for my mom, one for Quade's mom and one for Quade's step-mom.  We love them all and grateful we are blessed with three mommas!  

Friday, May 7, 2010

Cleaning on a Dime

What?  You are tired of paying all that money for expensive household cleaners?  Well don't.  There are plenty of cheap, cheap, cheap cleaning solutions.  You can start with vinegar, baking soda and lemon juice.  In my suggested reading box to the side of the blog, you will see books listed, one of which is all about using vinegar in your home.  It's a great little book that will save you lots.  Another fantastic cleaning product is Basic H by Shaklee. You will read a lot about the uses of Basic H anytime you look through an Amish home remedy or farm remedy book.  They use it a great deal for all sorts of things.  I bought one 16 oz bottle of the concentrated Basic H.  With it, I have made up window cleaner, all-purpose cleaner and degreaser (each 16 oz) many times over - I purchased that one single 16 oz bottle over a YEAR ago and still have enough to make many more bottles of all the above listed cleaners.  It breaks down into pennies per bottle for all the cleaners I have gotten out of it.  If you want to know more about Shaklee (they carry tons of 'green' products) and Basic H (which is safe to use around your children and pets), then go to  I highly recommend their products to anyone.

The Big Rotten Truth

I take it all back - the previous post, that is.  It turns out my little decay was actually a great big decay - now supposedly I need a root canal.  Do you know how much a root canal and crown cost these days?  Over a thousand dollars.  The money we have been saving is going to be stuffed into my teeth, plus some.  The storms will come - that much we all know from our recent experience with flooding around here.  I suppose how we respond to them is what really matters.  I am not the type to just chalk it up to 'oh well'.  I like to rant and fuss and try to go into denial for a while first, but then realization will settle in.  I will deal with it.  I won't like it, but I will deal with it.  I'm still a work in progress - and progress is slow.

Saturday, May 1, 2010


One thing can be said about this experiment - we are going to the dentist more - which is a good thing since we are supposed to go for cleanings every six months and were not doing so before.  But now, we are getting our toothbrushes from the dentist so we have this little incentive!  Our insurance pays for these cleanings so that works out pretty good.  They did find a cavity or two in mine, but I guess that needed to be addressed before it got worse.  I suppose you could say our need for free toothbrushes saved us from further decay - so maybe it pays to be cheap.