Monday, October 20, 2014

This Week's Goals: 10/20-26/14

Goal Line

Last week's goals:

Classroom Goals
  • Work on lesson plans
  • Practice our new RTP Classroom Management expectations
  • Attend Parent/Teacher Conferences
  • Manage to stay calm while surrounded by the chaos of Parent/Teacher Conferences
Household/Family/Mommy Goals
  • Continue our Total Money Makeover by following our October budget
  • Continue to organize the basement by filling my new storage shelves (ongoing - my goal is to have a pseudo living room in the basement even though the walls aren't finished by the end of winter)
  • Look up how to remove mold from wooden hope chest (advice anyone???)
  • Install patio stones (ongoing)
  • Continue planning holiday season events, menus, wish lists & budgets
Marriage Goals
  • Make a point to spend at least 1 solid minute cuddling with hubs each evening when he gets home
  • Write a love note to hubs <3 My sweetest day post counts right? 
Personal Goals
  • Exercise at least twice this week
  • Journal at least once this week
  • Continue listening to Kat Lee's Podcasts (How They Blog & Inspired To Action)
  • Read Lean On Me by Anne Marie Miller (review post upcoming)
  • Read Money Secrets Of The Amish by Lorilee Cracker (seriously, it combines my love of Amish culture and Dave Ramsey. I'm hooked already!) 
  • Paint my nails
Blogging Goals
    This Week's Goals:

    Classroom Goals
    • Work on lesson plans
    • Practice our new RTP Classroom Management expectations
    • Finalize term 2 project rubric
    Household/Family/Mommy Goals
    • Continue our Total Money Makeover by following our October budget
    • Continue to organize the basement by filling my new storage shelves (ongoing - my goal is to have a pseudo living room in the basement even though the walls aren't finished by the end of winter)
    • Look up how to remove mold from wooden hope chest (advice anyone???)
    • Install patio stones (ongoing)
    • Check yard for baby grass showing signs of life (cross fingers!)
    • Continue planning holiday season events, menus, wish lists & budgets
    Marriage Goals
    • Make a point to spend at least 1 solid minute cuddling with hubs each evening when he gets home
    • Write a love note to hubs <3
    Personal Goals
    • Exercise at least twice this week
    • Journal at least once this week
    • Continue listening to Kat Lee's Podcasts (How They Blog & Inspired To Action)
    • Read Lean On Me by Anne Marie Miller (review post upcoming)
    • Read Money Secrets Of The Amish by Lorilee Cracker (seriously, it combines my love of Amish culture and Dave Ramsey. I'm hooked already!) 
    • Paint my nails
    Blogging Goals
    Wish me luck! What's on your schedule this week?



    Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate marketing links that compensate me for sales.

    Sunday, October 19, 2014

    Mom To Mom Sales: Black Friday Shopping For Moms On A Budget

    Have you ever heard someone talk about how expensive raising children is? In our experience, the most expensive part of raising children as a family with both parents working out of the home full time is daycare. I imagine the majority of parents would follow that up by diapers, formula and the "stuff required" to raise a child. As a cloth diaper & breast feeding family those first two don't really apply to my family much. (I've shared about the money we save using cloth diapers before - check it out if you're interested!) Since the cost of daycare is (for the most part) out of our control - we focus on saving our money with the 'stuff required' category. The good news is... for frugal moms on a budget, like me, we have a fantastic alternative... buy used! 


    Ever since discovering the Duggar Family on TV in college, I've admired their quote "buy used and save the difference," but not until more recently has that quote really hit home. (Check out their first book for more frugal ideas. They were Dave Ramsey 'weird' before 'weird' was cool!) 

    We address the "stuff required" to raise children rather frugally.

    Is this stuff actually required? In my first 6 months as a mom there were only a handful of items I actually felt I "needed" (you can read my post about them here) - and looking back I'd exchange #5 for a Fisher Price Rock 'N Play Sleeper - but realistically you don't "need" much to raise a child

    Thankfully what you do "need" can be purchased second (or third) hand for the most part. There are very few things you "can't" (or shouldn't) buy used. That makes garage sales, consignment shops & mom to mom sales the best trick for mom's on a budget! 

    Instead of spending $12-$30 on a pair of toddler jeans - I spend between $1-$3 per pair. Over time that really adds up to a lot of savings. 

    Not convinced yet? Check out my major haul from a local mom to mom sale this weekend:


    My son is all set for the Michigan winter ahead of us. I was able to purchase six pair of jeans, three pair of pants, two pair of shorts, seven footed pajamas, seven sweatshirts/sweaters, five shirts, a jacket, a winter coat and snow boots from local mamas. But that's not it...


    Christmas is covered too! I got 4 puzzles, a sequencing game, a Thomas book, a race car with gas station and a Bob The Builder floor puzzle with stickers. These will be wonderful under the Christmas tree this year.

    (Side note here... we don't see the need to shower our son with tons and tons of presents this holiday season. We don't want to raise an entitled child, but more than that we already know he'll receive presents from many family members. As an added side benefit this helps with over cluttering around our house and living more simply overall.)


    Last but not least, there was a little money left over to buy a few adorable items for our niece's birthday party. (Please excuse the disgusting beautiful maize and blue headband - her daddy likes that terrible wonderful team so I had to appease both parents with our gift giving. Lets hope she gets her smarts from her mommy both of her sports loving parents! LOL)

    Ready for the grand total? All of this - all 44 items - for only $93! That's an average of $2.11 per item - sure beats the price tag for the same item at the Children's Place or Target. :)



    Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate marketing links that compensate me for sales.

    Saturday, October 18, 2014

    Congratulations to our Hallowe'en In Greenfield Village Giveaway Winner....

    Thank you everyone that entered our Hallowe'en in Greenfield Village Giveaway and Greenfield Village for sponsoring the review & giveaway. It's time to announce the lucky winner....


    Congratulations Dawn V! You're the winner of a family four pack of tickets to Hallowe'en in Greenfield Village. 

    Thanks again to everyone that entered. Check out our October eMeals October Giveaway while you're here!

    Happy Halloween!





    Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate marketing links that compensate me for sales.

    Your Marriage Is Worth Fighting For: And Other Lessons Learned From Other's Failed Marriages

    In honor of Sweetest Day... a post about the most important person in my life - my loving husband! 


    From as early as I can remember, I've always dreamed of true love. I've been a hopeless romantic since the time boys had cooties. I enjoyed sappy love stories, and fantasizing about a romantic date where the man of my dream would sweep me off my feet.

    Enter - the man of my dreams - my wonderful, loving husband, Josh. In the completely cliche stereotype, I tell people "I wasn't looking for love - it just came knocking at my door one day." But, it's true. Josh is the yin to my yang, the Antony to my Cleopatra, the Ethel to my Lucy. He walked into my life, and immediately filled a hole I didn't know I had. I'm blessed to have found a man that makes me laugh on a daily basis, but also challenges me to continue being the perfect woman that I am to grow and become a better person. (LOL - sorry I couldn't help it!) He truly is an amazing man and I don't know what I would do without him.

    But before I lose you, and you leave this blog post behind because you just can't read one more disgustingly romantic statement, its important that you know, that for all of his great qualities, there are things about him that frustrate me to no end on a regular basis. How can a person fail to get dirty clothes IN the hamper - as opposed to directly beside the hamper? Why is there an accumulation of cups in our master bedroom, when he has perfectly good feet that carry him DOWN the stairs every morning?

    Far too often we focus on the negatives. We vent to a good girl friend about how annoying our spouse is (Yes, me too! A very dear friend of mine, whose name shall not be mentioned to protect the innocent, is all too familiar with the complaints I find in my husband.), or we go straight to the root of the problem and tell our spouse every last aggravating thing about them to the point of complete blood bath within our home. But as most of us have figured out - dwelling on the negative, makes it incredibly difficult to be happy in your marriage or find peace in the not-so-perfect of real life.

    One of my all time favorite photos of us -
    at our Engagement Party!
    This week we received the very sad news that friends of ours have lost the battle to maintain their healthy marriage, and have separated. These are friends we've had for many years. We attended their wedding, and they ours. We have been to birthday and celebration parties for many milestones of their family's life. They seemed to be the perfect, crazy match for one another, and yet their marriage failed. What has happened to modern society, that when you marry in the United States you are more likely to get divorced than remain together for life? Something is wrong. Our society is riding a speeding train headed straight off a cliff, but only the brave are willing to jump off before its too late. The brave ones are less than 50% of married couples. I don't want to be in blissful denial about the state of my marriage. I want to take it by the reins and tell it where to go. I want to put in the hard work and effort a good marriage requires. We're worth it. Josh is worth it

    As with all major life moments, our wedding came along with a whole slew of well wishers AND those offering their advice - wanted or not. Five years later there is one suggestion that has always stuck with me - your marriage is worth fighting for!

    ***********************

    I remember when, I discovered the book 'The Surrendered Wife' by Laura Doyle (available for purchase on Amazon) based on the recommendation of a treasured author. I borrowed my local library's copy & began reading right away. Wow - Laura Doyle had a few terrible shocking ideas that almost made me put the book back down. "Which do I want more: to have control of every situation or to have an intimate marriage?" she asked. (Darn it Laura Doyle - I want both and I'm sick of people telling me I'm a control freak!) This probably won't shock you, but it turns out she was right. My husband is capable of making good decisions on his own while keeping the welfare of our family at the fore front of his mind. He is capable of making decisions without my input, period. It's a work in progress (honestly, I think my husband would tell you I still struggle with this regularly), but the point is I'm trying. My marriage is worth fighting for.

    A few months after having read 'The Surrendered Wife' - which I hadn't told my husband about based on the author's advice - I downloaded a free e-book recommended by a blog I enjoy, also about marriage. This habit seemed like a Marriage 'Best Practice' 101 idea: read books about marriage & absorb wisdom of those that have walked before you & in return you will see your marriage blossom. Turns out I never shared this thought with my husband, because a few weeks later when he turned on my iPad and there on the screen was a marriage advice book, he was worried. "Are you unhappy with me? Is there something wrong with our marriage?" he asked me. Lesson learned... tell husband when you've had a revelation that reading about marriage experiences from successful marriages will be a positive experience BEFORE he has minor freak out that something is wrong. My husband's peace of mind is worth the conversation. My marriage is worth fighting for.

    While distracting my mind jogging running, I've been listening to Kat Lee's podcast 'Inspired To Action,' as I try to convince myself I enjoy running. I'm new to the Inspired to Action blog & podcast - so I apologize if you're a regular listener, and you heard this like a year ago when it originally aired - but episode 18 was new to me and POWERFUL! Amanda Carroll talked about how she has struggled since her divorce, and would give just about anything to have back the things that used to drive her crazy - like her ex-husband leaving cups on the bedside table (eerie parallel to my life made here). It really drove home the idea that although there are things that drive me crazy about my husband - the ability to have someone to feel that frustration about is a gift that I need to appreciate. He is here & he is committed to this marriage - that's what matters. So I will continue my Surrendered Wife journey, because... (you guessed it!) my marriage is worth fighting for.

    When we started our Total Money Makeover journey about two years ago, we were gifted the Financial Peace University (FPU) class, after having called in to the radio show to ask a question about my student loan debt compared to our monthly budget. It was at week two, of the nine week class, that we learned a major lesson about marriage. Healthy marriages are on the same page about money. According to Dave, most failed marriages blame financial issues as a reason for their divorce. We had thought we had similar goals and ideas about money - but it turns out there had been a few major differences. The fight that resulted from that particular class was pretty monstrous. We had a lot of mixed emotions & expectations to hash out - but miraculously that experience hasn't really been repeated since. For the most part we agree on our financial plan & goals and any issues are resolved fairly quickly and painlessly. As a rule, I usually regret and feel bad about the fights we've had as soon as they're over, but in this case, I don't regret our FPU Week 2 fight. It has resulted in one of the most amazing changes to our marriage - we're on the same page about money. At this point, it goes without saying - but I'm a creature of habit, so  bear with me please - my marriage is worth fighting for. :)


    And just when I thought I'd learned enough lessons to last me awhile, my son taught me the greatest lesson about my marriage of all. View your spouse through the eyes of your child. My son looks at his daddy with the most loving eyes. From my son's perspective, my husband is the most amazing man to ever walk this planet. It doesn't matter if daddy got frustrated when he spilled his orange juice last week or if his daddy wasn't super excited to run around the house while home sick from work last week - to him, his daddy is his whole world. We should all be so lucky. I will continue to improve my role as a wife and mother. I will continue to learn from my mistakes and move forward to make better decisions. I have to. My marriage is worth fighting for.

    *************************************

    What lessons about marriage has life thrown your way? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below!



    Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate marketing links that compensate me for sales.

    Monday, October 13, 2014

    Hallowe'en in Greenfield Village


    This weekend my family and I were guests of Greenfield Village for their "Hallowe'en in Greenfield Village" holiday event. (I'd like to start out by giving them a huge thank you for my complimentary tickets to write this review, but also for supplying a family four pack of tickets to giveaway to one lucky reader!)


    Hallowe'en in Greenfield Village was an absolute delight - and well worth the drive to Dearborn. For those of you like me, that require a small road trip to get here, have no fear - the reward will be well worth the drive. Fellow Michiganders & Northern Buckeyes this post is for you! Halloween at Greenfield Village is a holiday gem whether you're a young family, veteran family well oiled machine or a couple in love. The Henry Ford never ceases to impress both young and old alike. 

    My 'Little Chicken' was SO excited to put
    his costume on a little early this year!
    First Impressions

    I've shared about our love for Greenfield Village on the blog before, but even for a seasoned village family like ourselves, seeing the village illuminated by Jack O' Lanterns and full of youngsters in their Halloween finest was a wonderfully spooky sight. More than 1,000 hand carved pumpkins illuminated our path as we explored all the Halloween excitement Greenfield Village had to offer. 


    Making The Most Of Your Experience

    Entering the village with hundreds of other families at your reservation time, you may feel yourself getting swept away by the crowd. Normally being at the front of the pack is considered a good thing, but not here. Take an extra few minutes to enjoy the sunset over the corn littered fields as you watch the Grim Reaper pick his next victim as he paces his fire. 


    Allowing the initial rush of people to pass you by will allow you to slow down and enjoy all the festive details and creative displays the Greenfield Village has to offer. In between Trick-or-Treat style candy stations and costumed actors you'll find a wide range of carved pumpkins to meet anyone's fancy.


    They even have Model A & Model T carved pumpkins snuck in among scary faces and traditional holiday themes.


    At the 'Taste Of History' grab a hot cider, caramel apple or doughnut to enjoy - but skip the busy and well lit seating area inside - instead head back outside to enjoy their adorable outdoor patio, where you can soak up the sights and sounds of Halloween at the Greenfield Village and relish in the crisp autumn air of Pure Michigan. 


    Details You Won't Find Anywhere Else

    From classic Mickey Mouse Black & White Cartoons being displayed like a vintage drive in, to dancing skeletons. A trio of vampires performing the monster mash in true 'Transylvanian' style, to a hearth side retelling of the Tale of the Headless Horseman. If you get swept up in the crowd, you might miss the magic and wonder that Hallowe'en in Greenfield Village has to offer. Instead take a romantic stroll through Sleepy Hollow, hand in hand with the person you love and watch the spell of Halloween come to life.


    Hallowe'en in Greenfield Village is a true holiday delight with fun for all ages - both young and old - but to enjoy this exciting event for yourself you'll need to act fast. There are only a few weekends left to enjoy the bewitching experience for yourself. To purchase tickets and make your reservation visit the Greenfield Village website. Space is limited, and time slots fill up fast, so take advantage of their easy online reservation center to experience Hallowe'en in Greenfield Village for yourself.


    Last but not least, we've saved the best for last - the Greenfield Village has graciously offered a family four pack of tickets as a giveaway to one of my lucky readers. You'll need to act fast, this is a short term giveaway. You only have until Friday to enter to win! Good luck & please please consider sharing this post with friends and family  - it is because of YOU, my lovely readers, that Wife.Mother.Teacher. continues to grow - THANK YOU!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway



    Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate marketing links that compensate me for sales.

    This Week's Goals: 10/13-19/14

    Goal Line

    Last week's goals:

    Classroom Goals
    • Work on lesson plans
    • Practice our new RTP Classroom Management expectations
    • Type up my PGP goals for this school year
    Household/Family/Mommy Goals
    • Continue our Total Money Makeover by following our October budget
    • Continue to organize the basement by filling my new storage shelves (ongoing - my goal is to have a pseudo living room in the basement even though the walls aren't finished by the end of winter)
    • Look up how to remove mold from wooden hope chest (advice anyone???)
    • Install patio stones (ongoing, but I did make major progress this weekend - only half left to go!)
    • Start planning holiday season events, menus, wish lists & budgets
    Marriage Goals
    • Make a point to spend at least 1 solid minute cuddling with hubs each evening when he gets home
    • Write a love note to hubs <3
    Personal Goals
    • Exercise at least twice this week
    • Journal at least once this week
    • Read Lean On Me by Anne Marie Miller (review post upcoming)
    • Read Money Secrets Of The Amish by Lorilee Cracker (seriously, it combines my love of Amish culture and Dave Ramsey. I'm hooked already!) 
    • Paint my nails
    Blogging Goals
      This Week's Goals:

      Classroom Goals
      • Work on lesson plans
      • Practice our new RTP Classroom Management expectations
      • Attend Parent/Teacher Conferences
      • Manage to stay calm while surrounded by the chaos of Parent/Teacher Conferences
      Household/Family/Mommy Goals
      • Continue our Total Money Makeover by following our October budget
      • Continue to organize the basement by filling my new storage shelves (ongoing - my goal is to have a pseudo living room in the basement even though the walls aren't finished by the end of winter)
      • Look up how to remove mold from wooden hope chest (advice anyone???)
      • Install patio stones (ongoing)
      • Continue planning holiday season events, menus, wish lists & budgets
      Marriage Goals
      • Make a point to spend at least 1 solid minute cuddling with hubs each evening when he gets home
      • Write a love note to hubs <3
      Personal Goals
      • Exercise at least twice this week
      • Journal at least once this week
      • Continue listening to Kat Lee's Podcasts (How They Blog & Inspired To Action)
      • Read Lean On Me by Anne Marie Miller (review post upcoming)
      • Read Money Secrets Of The Amish by Lorilee Cracker (seriously, it combines my love of Amish culture and Dave Ramsey. I'm hooked already!) 
      • Paint my nails
      Blogging Goals
      Wish me luck! What's on your schedule this week?



      Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate marketing links that compensate me for sales.

      Sunday, October 12, 2014

      Have You Heard About Dave Ramsey's New Book?


      Exciting news from the Dave Ramsey team... Dave's newest book The Legacy Journey will be coming out in just a few days - October 21st! In case you've missed it, I'm kind of obsessed with Dave's teachings and am so excited to spread the word about what an amazing change it has made on our family. This fall I had the privilege to attend The Legacy Journey Live in Grand Rapids, MI where they were taping the event for an upcoming movie. :) 

      If you've ever listened to Dave Ramsey's radio show or attended one of his classes you know he's a faith based teacher, but The Legacy Journey will be his first book that focuses entirely on his teachings from a biblical stand point. This book is sure to be a gift giving hit this Christmas and right now you can be one of the first people to read the book. 

      You can pre-order on Amazon where they have the pre-order price guarantee (if Amazon decreases the price of the book between your order time and the day of the release date, you'll receive the lowest price), but for just a few more days you can pre-order on Dave's website and you will receive two great bonus items - the ebook version of The Legacy Journey and the audio lesson "Pride, Poverty & Gratitude." 


      Excited to hear more? Here's the description of the book available on Amazon:
      What does the Bible really say about money? About wealth? How much does God expect you to give to others? How does wealth affect your friendships, marriage, and children? How much is “enough”?
      There’s a lot of bad information in our culture today about wealth—and the wealthy. Worse, there’s a growing backlash in America against our most successful neighbors, but why? To many, wealth is seen as the natural result of hard work and wise money management. To others, wealth is viewed as the ultimate, inexcusable sin. This has left a lot of godly men and women honestly confused about what to do with the resources God’s put in their hands. God’s ways of handling money caused them to build wealth, but then they’re left feeling guilty about it. Is this what God had in mind?
      In The Legacy JourneyNew York Times bestselling author Dave Ramsey takes you deep into God’s Word, revealing His perspective on wealth, your personal and family legacy, and how He wants to use you to further His kingdom work around the world. You can truly live—and leave—a legacy. The journey starts today.
      Are you excited yet? I can't wait to read this book & I'm sure its going to be a great success. Join me! Pre-order your copy today OR request it at your local library and continue growing in your financial future.


      Happy Reading!





      Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate marketing links that compensate me for sales.
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