Thursday, June 24, 2010

Cheap Shoes!

Our oldest boy, Kelby, is pretty hard on his shoes.  He had a pair of flip flops - they broke.  We had to buy a pair ($2) because he was absolutely down to one pair of tennis shoes and they are for wearing to church.  The 'new' pair broke while we were in Wal-Mart yesterday.  Luckily, he had some of his own money that he earned for doing chores and he bought himself another pair. We are big believers in earning one's keep.  Yes, they are our children and we are responsible for their welfare, but that doesn't mean they can't make a contribution.  At Kelby's age, he is also expected to tithe a portion of any money he earns and save a portion of any money he earns. 

Father's Day Gifting

Father's day came and went without much hoopla.  My husband wanted to go out for dinner and that worked in perfectly with our plan.  Our dads were another story.  I make cards, so cards were made.  The gift was a bag filled with their favorite candies/cookies.  After all, what do you get the men you borrow everything from to start with?  They have it all and they need nothing, but they still like to eat.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Summertime Fun

Yes - it's hot out, the humidity is rising and summer is upon us. We want to have fun like anybody else in the summer, but we have to stick to our shopping rules.  What can we do to have a great summer and not spend money on 'stuff'?  I saw an idea on a Facebook post by a friend named Lisa.  She was asking for suggestions for fun things to do within a day's drive of our town of Camden that is free or nearly free.  She received several ideas, which I think I shall employ.  Instead of spending money on toys, water sprinklers, and other 'junk' to occupy the kiddies in the heat, I think we would be better served by visiting some places in the area.  Most of these places have areas that are air conditioned or provide their own fun water source.  Not to mention, they might actually learn about something unique in the process.  One idea is a visit to local 'museums.'  There are several of these in the area.  If planned properly, at least 3 of these could be visited in a day's time. I'm not talking about big museums, mind you, but the smaller ones that focus on local culture and history.  I know of ones in Brownsville, Jackson and Milan - all free and air conditioned!  Other ideas might be a nearby water park.  These aren't terribly expensive but provide hours of enjoyment.  Our City Pool is very cheap entertainment, as well.  Of course, as I have mentioned many times, our library here in Benton County offers wonderful programs in a very cool setting.  It's too tempting to sit around and watch TV and play video games when the sun is high in the sky.  So, when it's too hot to send the kids out to play, get out and do a little exploring together - cheap exploring!  Other ideas for staying home and having fun coming soon.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Dirty Floors No More

Yippeeeeeee!  My mom got my vacuum cleaner fixed.  It's one of those bagless kinds and has a lifetime filter on it.  She took it completely apart - undid screws that normally wouldn't be undone and pulled out some trash that was stuck way up inside the filter.  Bless her heart - I am so grateful, especially since vacuum cleaners are not on the list of items we can buy.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Much Ado About Mulch

Here's one you might can use.  Do you have an over-abundance of trash at your house?  Do you like to eat fresh vegetables?  Do you want to contribute to recycling? Would you like a garden without weeds?  All of these things can be accomplished through the simple act of lasagna gardening.  What is it, you ask?  It's a method of layering (also called sheet composting) organic materials on a sunny spot in your yard.  These things will break down and create rich soil and you never have to break the dirt up to get started.  You will reduce the amount of trash you are taking to the landfill because a good deal of your garbage will go to the garden spot.  You won't have weeds in this garden because you will be covering the ground in materials such as cardboard and newspaper first and wet these down.  This will begin the process of killing out the grass and weeds underneath.  On top of this you add grass clippings, leaves, junk mail, tea bags, coffee grounds, fruit and vegetable scraps, etc.  Over time these things will "cook" in the sun, layered together, until the soil is just right for planting.  The idea is to actually 'layer' the brown stuff with green stuff.  I really love this idea, too, because we cannot go out and buy mulch.  In using this method of gardening, we are simply recycling the things around us that would normally go to waste, thereby creating our own mulch.  Keep in mind that any cardboard/paper products can be used in the garden such as snack boxes, used paper towels, used coffee filters, etc.  For more info on the subject and how you can apply it to your household, simple type in the words 'lasagna gardening' in any search engine (my preference is Google).  You will find a wealth of information on the subject.  And, thanks mom for turning me on to this idea!

Coming Clean

Confession time - we have made a couple purchases we were not supposed to make - We bought badminton rackets for a Sunday School Party and we bought sandals for our boy Kelby.  He was down to one good pair of tennis shoes and his play boots and that was it for shoes.  The other item we bought was 2-3 sheets of plywood for the chicken coop.  So, yes we have found that there are moments when the rules may get broken, but we are back on track and sticking to our guns for the long haul.  The sandals I got for Christmas have torn and unless I can repair them myself, they won't be replaced.  Our socks are beginning to look a little worn, so I will need to break out the needle and thread for those.  And, my vacuum cleaner just quit working out of the blue - every, Every, EVERY attempt will be made to fix it.