Mary Mary and Martha · My world

The Simple Woman’s Daybook – August 4, 2008

he Simple Woman’s Daybook
is hosted by Peggy at the Simple Woman.
Thank you Peggy.

FOR TODAY : August 4, 2008
Swimming lessons, sourdough and a bunch of organising.  

Outside My Window… Another lovely summer morning.  The sky is blue, the trees are green the flowers are blooming.
I am thinking… About how much I need to do this week.
I am thankful for… Swim lessons.  The children have such a great time going to swim lessons.
From the kitchen… Sour dough bread today. 
I am wearing… brown pants and a olive colored shirt.  
I am creating…  I got my knitting back from my Mother in Law’s so I will have something to work on while I am appointment hopping this morning.
I am going…  I have a Dr appointment this morning and then we have swim lessons.
I am reading…  Laundry, and A Mother’s Rule of Life. 
I am hoping…  For so many things.
I am hearing…  My oldest son got up early and is playing with some toy in the living room.  “Jump!. Roll!   Dodge!”  a battle maybe? 
Around the house… I am preparing a new garden bed almost done there. 
One of my favorite things… My Stand mixer.
A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: I have some work, swim lessons, sewing maybe and a lot of organizing.

Here is picture thought I am sharing…

Blogs I Know · Fun · Homemaking · Simplicity

$100 a week for groceries

I found this article over at Old Fashioned Girl and read the original MSN article

A family of four eating on $100 a week for a month I believe.   I agree with a lot of what Amandasaid.  The woman in the story is spoiled and it shows.  She also knows this is an “experiment” not a way of life.  I  had to wonder what their normal diet is like when I read  “By midweek, we were all a little sick of rice and potatoes. By the end of the week, I never wanted to see another raisin, carrot, pretzel or piece of puffed rice again. ”  Seriously?   What kind of snacks do they normally have?  It seemed odd to me.  The article is worth reading at least for the “welcome to the real world” factor.   Nothing ground breaking or even inspiring to me, but it did make me giggle.

Blogs I Know · Fun · Homemaking · My world · Simplicity

Tightwad Tuesday – bulk fun in more ways than one.

Big families mean big fun. But going fun places can be hard on the budget.

Tightwad Tuesday is hosted by Mary at Raising 4 godly men.

One thing we do is invest in memberships to our favorite places. 

For me to take Ashley and the four younger children to the zoo is $40 and it is almost $50 if Kyle comes too.
A year long membership to the Zoo at the lowest family level costs $69.  It is a cost savings of nearly $30 if we use the Zoo twice in a whole year.

For the art Museum it would cost  the kids and I $24 and $34 if Kyle is with us.   The membership is $65 with $40 tax deductible.   Here we only need to go 3 times and the whole year is paid for.

The children’s Museum is $48 for one trip for the kids and I $54 with Kyle and a membership is $80 but only covers four children so we might spend $8 out of pocket each visit, but the pass is still covered after two visits.

Oregon Museum of Science and Industry breaks down like this:  $49 for the kids and I, $60 if dad is with us,  the family plus plan allows for four child and one guest (the other child can be the guest) and costs $115 but comes with some nice perks.  Again two visits and we are covered.

Even our local pool/community center is a deal.  It would cost the children and I $16.75 to go swimming once, the annual pass is $38.25 a month which includes the fitness center, drop in activities and roller skating.   It makes for a good deal considering we love swimming and the center has a lovely indoor pool which we use year round.

The real payoff for these passes isn’t just that they are cost savings, but that they are also incentives to use our favorite places more.  We don’t mind going to the zoo for a couple hours for a picnic dinner after Kyle gets off work when we just have to flash the pass and walk in.  

These also make great gifts.  My parents have given us zoo passes for  Christmas each year and we love getting them.   If your parents are the type to ask for “hints” memberships are a wonderfully easy solution for the whole family.  Check with your employer (or husband’s employer) to see if the company has a discount arrangement with the institution – some do.  Some institutions also offer discounted rates for lower income families.

The only warning I would like to offer is to check the membership restrictions to make sure that your family membership will cover your family and that there aren’t “black out times” or other restrictions which diminish the usefulness of your membership. 

But next time you are considering a fun outing for your family consider purchasing a membership instead of tickets.

Blogs I Know · Homemaking · My world · Simplicity

The Simple Woman’s Daybook – July 21

he Simple Woman’s Daybook
is hosted by Peggy at the Simple Woman.
Thank you Peggy, this is so much fun!

FOR TODAY : July 21, 2008
This is going to be a busy week.

Outside My Window… I  can see the moon.  I love a “Children’s Moon”.  The summer is wearing on and there are lots of apples in the tree.  The berries will be ready before much longer.
I am thinking… That I am starving.  I really am not starving I am just fasting before this morning’s blood draw, but I feel like I might waste away in that time.  Silly mind tricks.
I am thankful for… My Sister in law who gifted us about a ton of clothing.  I think I just got about 12 bags of stuff in my living room.  More on this later today.
From the kitchen… I am a moron and forgot to buy milk when I went to the store yesterday.  I also can’t eat at the moment. 
I am wearing…  Brown slacks and a brown/white sweater-t thing.  
I am creating…  Apple sauce.  The neighbor lady generously allowed me to denude her apple tree.  We will make a big batch and freeze some.
I am going…  To my blood draw this morning.  Just a routine metabolic screening to see how diabetic I might be.
I am reading…  Laundry, Jonathan Strange and Mr Norell and It’s All Too Much. 
I am hoping…  That  the draw isn’t bad, that the apple sauce turns out well and that my adventure through “gifted clothing land” goes quickly.
I am hearing…  The evil crow.  This bird looks evil and I think he is bugging Mr Fluff-Butt the backyard Squirrel.
Around the house…Bags of clothing.
One of my favorite things… Breakfast (giggle).
A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week:  We are going to a wedding this Saturday so I need to get everything together for that.

Here is picture thought I am sharing…

Homemaking · My world

What a deal.

I took Hannah to summer ballet today at the parish and walked out with a Jonti Cart Storage Island — free!  I almost feel badly because it is such a fantastic deal.  I mean how can you beat free?  It is in great shape, but I will have to replace some of the bins.  All I can say is WOW!  We really needed it too.  One of those things to be thankful for.

here is what it looks like:


Blogs I Know · Homemaking · Simplicity

Works for me – Simple White Dishes


I find that simple useful things usually have a great deal of beauty to them. Today I am singing the praises of simple white dishware, the kind you can find almost anywhere, stoneware, solid, usually creamy white in basic shapes. It is inexpensive, easy to clean, usually dishwasher and microwave safe and sometimes even oven safe. The essence of kitchen simplicity

But, its boring. Yes, sort of. If you are the type who has to have something colorful and exciting then I suppose they are sort of boring. Fiestaware or something might be your choice. But for me I like the simplicity of white.

Since you can find them anywhere they are very easy to replace. The five year old dropping a plate will not be a tragedy. White also makes for easy cleanup. Even a young child can learn to wash a dish. Unadulterated white makes it easy to see that a through job has been done.

On the flip side I love fine china. There is something really nice about having dinner on fine plates. I have three patterns that I collect when I have the chance. These are items that bring a good deal of pleasure to me, one set has been handed down from my father’s mother and the other are just two sets I love. My hope is that my daughters and granddaughters will also love them.

But for everyday use nothing beat those nice little white stoneware dishes.

You can find other great “Works for me ideas” at Shannon’s blog Rocks in my Dryer.


Blogs I Know · Homemaking · My world · Simplicity

Tightwad Tuesday~Painless Ways to Save… ~

I saw this over at Happiest at Home.  So I had to join in.  Tightwad Tuesday is hosted by Mary at Raising 4 godly men.

I have two almost painless ways to save. 

The Magic We Need List –  I keep a list in my day planner of things we need or would really like.  Not things like groceries, but things like “a new 24″ bike”  or  “A china cupboard” .   This helps me keep from impulse buying and helps me plan major purchases.   I also keep a list of the “specs” of items we need infrequently, like the children’s shoe sizes, the size of the light bulbs in the office, the printer cartridge numbers in my planner so I can pick them up when I see them on sale without having to wait to be sure I have the correct item.

Craig’s List– We have found so many great deals on Craig’s list.  We got a cargo carrier for the van at a sixth of what it would have cost us.  My brother got a new oven – my friend found a bunch of life-vests for her kids.  It is just a great way to find items that we need (things on The Magic We Need List). It is like the never ending garage sale.

Homemaking · Mary Mary and Martha · My world · Simplicity

Today’s To Dos

Here is my “to do” list for Monday, July 14.

Andreas Achenbach – Morning In The Potinian Marches

Lucky room of the day: The kitchen
Special project: Simple Summer Fling

Laundry… as much as I can
Unpack from camping
menu plan
work on “room by room” checklists
work on homeschool plans
go to the library & park
work on new blog roll
work on website project.

Blogs I Know · Homemaking · My world · Simplicity

The Simple Woman’s Daybook – July 14

he Simple Woman’s Daybook
is hosted by Peggy at the Simple Woman.
Thank you Peggy, this is so much fun!

FOR TODAY : July 14, 2008
We got back from camping yesterday so today is definitely a little different than normal.

Outside My Window…  I am hopeful that today will not be as hot as yesterday.  I was wilting by the late afternoon.  When we upgraded our heating system we decided NOT to get air conditioning as we only really need it a few days out of the year.  SO for about a week two or three times every summer I regret that we didn’t do it.  This is probably going to be one of those weeks.
I am thinking… About the fantastic time we had camping.  I will post more on it later today, but it was such a great trip and I am SO happy we went.  (Thanks Jennifer for encouraging us to go!)
I am thankful for…All the wonderful people in our homeschool group.  They are such good parents and they have such great children.  I am so glad that my parents are here in town too, they took care of my dogs and plants.
From the kitchen… Nothing yet.  IF it isn’t too hot I will make some bread.  If it is I will restrict myself to cucumber salad.
I am wearing…  A black and white floral dress.
I am creating… The revised camping list.  I am also  working on some new plans for the fall.
I am going…  To take the children to the park this afternoon
I am reading…  One Man’s America, Laundry, Jonathan Strange and Mr Norell and It’s All Too Much. 
I am hoping…  That the heat subsides at least a little.
I am hearing…  The fan.
Around the house… I have camping gear everywhere. Just like last week only now I am trying to get it all put away.
One of my favorite things… My embroidery threads.  They look so pretty in their box.
A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week:  Recovering from the camping thing.  Ordering butterflies.  Finishing the homeschool plans for the fall and doing a good bit of reading.

Here is picture thought I am sharing…(coming later today)