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Sunday, August 23, 2015

Baby Welborn's Gender Reveal Party

Well, my second grandbaby is on the way! We are over the moon excited! We just did a gender reveal party and I thought I would share it. This was seriously the easiest, most stress free party ever. We had it at StorkVision. This place provides sneak peek ultrasounds for new parents and even early gender reveal ultrasounds. They took care of everything all we had to do is show up. Easy Peasy!

Team Pink! We were very sure it's a girl!

Team Blue! They were just as sure it's a boy!

Ashley and her new husband Trent in front of the decoration. None of which I had to set up or provide. 

They had a little play area to keep the little ones entertained!

And even provided snacks. Kyle was a great sport entertaining Joshy.

Ashley and Trent let Lily bite into the first cupcake to reveal whether it's a boy or girl. We were all so excited to find out!!

It's a Boy!!!

Some love and cuddles to celebrate!

I loved the little details the place provided, such as this placard. Super cute!

Then it was time for the sneak Peek! 

We listened to his tiny little heartbeat! There were several wet eyes. This was most of our first time to hear his heartbeat. 

Several people there had never seen an ultrasound so it was pretty special. The 3 little girls were really exited to see him move and kick, he was so active! We even got to see him suck his thumb. 

And this was the first time I had ever seen a 3D ultrasound! I admit I got a little teary eyed. 

This was such a bonding experience for all of us. It was so cool to have all our family and friends be able to be apart of this special moment. I had never heard of doing a gender reveal like this but it was really, really awesome! I'm more anxious than ever to hold this little guy in my arms.

After the ultrasound they recorded his heartbeat on a recorder and put it into a stuffed animal for Ashley to take home as a keepsake.

They had bears, rabbits, elephants, puppies, turtles, giraffes, owls and lambs. They chose this sweet little lamb. When you squeeze the lamb you can hear the baby's heartbeat!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Pot belly Pigs Are The Pits!

Well, let me start off by saying that God sure has a way of teaching lessons I obviously need to learn. It started out with me and my sister deciding that we want to be more self sufficient. I've been on this kick for a while and I guess I finally convinced her to join me in this little adventure. I've been reading lots of blogs about farming on an acre and backyard homesteading. Me and Becca got to talking and we were like Hey yeah we could do that! We figured it'd be soo educational! The kids will love it (and it will get them out from in front of the T.V.), what could go wrong? So she decided to raise rabbits. Supposedly rabbits are excellent for small farms because they produce an awesome amount of meat with very little work (yeah right). And I found some potbelly pigs super cheap. I did a little research, you know read all of two articles, and I learned that pot belly pigs are raised for meat by the Vietnamese. I figured hey if they can do it so can we! Donna's house has a cyclone fence around it. It's even divided into different yards. She has a front yard, back yard, a seperate side yard and a little chicken pen. She was cool with us throwing the pigs in her side yard. Now let me take a minute to explain my reasoning, OK? I figured pot belly pigs are kinda like medium dogs right? I mean they are kinda small like a dog? And if you can raise a rabbit to eat well a pig would have more meat than a rabbit. It wouldn't be a lot of meat but it would be enough and it won't cost any food cause I  can feed them slop. Between Donna , Becca and me we should have PLENTY of slop to feed them. It all sounds so reasonable. No. Not so much. We got  3 pigs, a momma, daddy and baby. a sweet little family, awwww. No! Right off the bat we had to separate them because the dad and baby was fighting. The baby of course was a male. Then we learned the momma pig was probably pregnant. Well we couldn't keep the momma pig in with the baby because apparently he will kill the babies. We also can't put the momma in with the papa pig for the same reason. And we can't put the baby pig in with the papa because they will fight. So after alot of reasearch we decided to get rid of Baby pig. No problem. Everyone wants a baby pot belly pig. Baby gone. Now I start to notice these pigs look a little weird, I mean Papa looks like he has tusks, is that normal? And their hair looks like I don't know weird and kinda wild. These don't look anything like the pictures of potbelly pigs I've ever seen. Then I find out you gotta keep the babies almost a year before you can slaughter them out. So not worth the hassle for that little bit of meat! And then they start digging under the fences and getting out. And they seriously are rooting up Donna's whole yard! This IS NOT what I had in mind! So I decide to sell them. $20 bucks apiece and they are gone! Easy Peasy! Nope, not so much. Nobody wants them so after a week or two of them steadily tearing up her yard and getting out and driving me crazy I decide to just give them away! I just want them gone! Any takers? NO! Seriously! I listed them on like 10 Facebook groups! FREE Pigs! Come and get them! Please! Nope. Not one call! So then a cop shows up at my door, "Hey Lady you got some pigs out?" Yes officer I do. He tells me he is gonna call animal control and get them. Now I guess he thought I wouldn't be happy about that but I tell him that's great I been trying to get rid of them. Please call animal control. Please come get them. So he tells me well, if they get them they are going to fine me. Ok this may still be a good idea, at this point I'm willing to PAY to get rid of them so I say ok, how much? He kinda looks at me then says "I'm not gonna do that, go get your pigs". Well! Bummer! There goes that! So we jump in the van just like we know exactly how to catch pigs and drive down to Donna's. We actually get them pretty easy. Kyle just jumped out with the pig bucket and they follow him right into their pen! Yeah! Piece of cake! Um... NO! While I'm going to get Becca and her husband because now I've gotten the brilliant idea to turn them loose on Becca's hunting land They get out AGAIN! I come back with Daniel and Ricky ( her husband and son) and we spend the next 3 HOURS chasing these 2 pigs all over the neighborhood. The kids are now hot, thirsty and tired and haven't even had breakfast yet. Ricky and Daniel are aggravated and decide to just shoot them. By now even the little girls are agreeable to this. Anything to just stop having to chase them. But Becca who hasn't been chasing them for 3 hours brings reason and sanity back to the group, and we call Animal control to find out seriously how much is the fine . I will gladly pay it! Please, Please! And they say... wait for it.... it's FREE! Free if you let them have the pigs! Seriously? Really? You couldn't of mentioned that 3 hours ago before we chased them 80 miles in the 150 degree Texas heat!? Let me think? Yes please come get them and you may certainly have them for your trouble. Ya. Turns out "Animal Control" is a 70 year old man and his grandson with a few pig traps in their pick up. They have a bunch of land to turn them loose on. O well. At least they are gone. And what do I find when I get home? At least 10 different people, emailing, texting and messaging me begging for the pigs! Now for the lesson that I learned. When I got the pigs Shane told me it was a bad idea. We aren't supposed to have pigs in the city. I'm gonna regret it. It's a hassel. Now I could of said "You're right dear, lets take this money and go to Rancho Grande instead, or even hey, let's go buy some pretty flowers. I never heard of flowers tearing up a yard. Did I say that? Did I listen? Nope. Will I next time? Probably not. No seriously, I have learned my lesson! Sometimes husband does know best! I seriously am done with animals, I may even get rid of my fish. I'm. Just. Done.

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Friday, June 12, 2015

Frugal Friday- Update

It's been so long since I posted about our families journey of getting out of debt I thought I'd post a little update. We are doing so much better than we were two years ago.Back then were living paycheck to paycheck, a lot of times we were already into our check before we even got it. It took a LOT of work, sacrifice, and patience but it is so worth it! Both of our vehicles are paid off and we hope with maintenance to keep them a very long time.  We ended up having to buy a new washer and dryer and that was a huge expense that we didn't count on. And we bought Ashley a car which we paid cash for (using our tax refund). We were so tempted to go to a dealer and get under a note but we stuck to our cash on the barrel plan and paid it straight out. Unfortunately she ran the car with no oil and blew the motor up! So we went back on our plan and borrowed the money to fix it. We have been very aggressive about paying it back and only owe about 9 more payments. Even with these setbacks though I'm very proud of our progress. We still use the envelope method of budgeting. I am really amazed how well it works! We have adapted it a little bit though. Now I try to only pull out the bare minimum that I need for bills and leave as much as I can in the checking account. Then the night before payday I check our balance and transfer whatever is in the checking account to the savings. By doing this we finally have money in our savings account for the first time ever. It's not a lot yet but it is slowly building up. And the kids all opened a savings account and we even opened one for our grandson. I took a tip from The Automatic Millionaire and called our mortgage company and did two things, first I set up our mortgage payments to be paid every two weeks instead of once a month, Second I set up to pay a little extra each time to go straight to the principle. Just by making those two small changes we will knock almost a year off our mortgage which means our house will be paid off in a little over two years! Yeah! I have to admit since money isn't as tight we do eat out a little more often, but try not to eat out more than twice a paycheck. We were able to reduce our phone bill nearly to half but ended up getting Hulu and Netflix (less than $20 for both) so we still came out ahead. Ashley graduated so we were able to save $70 a month on her school. I think the hardest thing is not making any new bills. It's so tempting to just go buy it on credit, but it is so nice not to worry every single payday how we are going to pay everything when we have more going out then coming in. We were even able to use some of the extra to start a retirement fund! So that's where we are, It took along time and we aren't where we need to be yet, we still have set backs, and Shane's job is so up and down but at least now when he gets a low paycheck it's not such a stress it usually means there won't be any left over to save instead of there won't be enough to pay all our bills.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Poetry by Edgar Albert Guest- On Quitting

On Quitting

How much grit do you think you've got?
Can you quit a thing that you like a lot?
You may talk of pluck; it's an easy word,
And where'er you go it is often heard;
But can you tell to a jot or guess
Just how much courage you now possess?
You may stand to trouble and keep your grin,
But have you tackled self-discipline?
Have you ever issued commands to you
To quit the things that you like to do,
And then, when tempted and sorely swayed,
Those rigid orders have you obeyed?

Don't boast of your grit till you've tried it out,
Nor prate to men of your courage stout,
For it's easy enough to retain a grin
In the face of a fight there's a chance to win,
But the sort of grit that is good to own
Is the stuff you need when you're all alone.
How much grit do you think you've got?
Can you turn from joys that you like a lot?
Have you ever tested yourself to know
How far with yourself your will can go?
If you want to know if you have grit,
Just pick out a joy that you like, and quit.

It's bully sport and it's open fight;
It will keep you busy both day and night;
For the toughest kind of a game you'll find
Is to make your body obey your mind.
And you never will know what is meant by grit
Unless there's something you've tried to quit.

Edgar Albert Guest

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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Raising Business Minded Kids

It started with a desire- a need really to get my own finances in order. But it has grown into a desire to help my kids get ahead start on their finances. I started out with a few Bible studies me and my husband did together. Then I moved on to books by Robert Kiyosaki. I read Rich Dad, Poor Dad, and Guide To Investing. I bought Cashflow For Kids the game, which the kids LOVE. And I found a really great show on Hulu called Biz Kids. This show is really awesome, It's very informative, easy to understand, each episode is pretty short and it's really, really funny. The kids really get a huge kick out of it. Anytime I go to Goodwill or another resell store I look around their book section to see if they have any books on finances, whether it's about getting out of debt, or making budgets, or stock markets, or even kids books, I buy them. I've found several really good kids books on finances and money. Then I just sort of strew them around. I leave some on the coffee table, maybe stick a couple in their book basket and the kids find them and flip through them. I think it's really working! They are already learning the language and I hear words like income, paychecks, taxes, interest, and bank accounts sprinkled into their conversations. We sat down and counted the money in Lily's piggy bank tonight and she had over $40.00!! In about a year she has already saved up almost $200.00. That is not bad for a 7 year old. Kyle has saved almost $150.00, and Lacey has saved almost $70.00 ( she is obviously the spender of the group). This is all money the earn or change that we put in their piggy banks. I try to clean my purse out every few days and divide the change between, Lily, Lacey, Kyle and Joshy. Donna and Shane also help out by giving their spare change. I discourage the kids from taking money out of their piggy banks, their spending money goes into their purses or wallet, but ultimately it's up to them if they want to tap into their piggy banks they can. They don't get a very big allowance Kyle get $10-$20 every 2 weeks and Lily and Lacey get $5 every two weeks. They sometimes earn extra money by doing extra chores either for me or for their sister, Donna.  They get money for Birthdays and sometimes for Christmas, and sometimes if we go to a garage sale or flea market I will give them a few extra dollars which they can keep, spend or save. I hope just the experience of saving now will encourage them to become lifelong savers.

I am costantly looking for blogs and articles about finances, investing or introducing economics to kids, so if you have and artice or blog to recommend please leave a link in the comments!

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Monday, April 6, 2015

Always Ice Cream Review- A Great Resource for Homeschoolers!

I stumbled on a another online program for home school and it is really, REALLY awesome! Let me start off by saying that I wasn't given anything to do this review, I just love sharing when I find a great resource. Always Ice Cream is a site for girls only that is full of games and education videos. It is a christian site which I love.  The girls can add friends (kinda like a Facebook for kids, that is completely safe and moderated). They can even join groups and email or send messages to their friends and the girls in their group. Girls can build and decorate their house and even design decorations and furnishings and clothing and open a store. Then they set the price of what to sell their items for and sell them to the other Always Ice Cream Girls! I love this because it goes along with the business stuff we are focusing on right now. In their store they have to pay for the item they design, like say they are going to design a couch they have to choose the couch and pay for it. I'm not sure what the costs are but then they customize it with different colors or fabrics, So if they pay $25 scoops (they pay with Ice Cream Scoops instead of money) for it then they sell it for $30 they only make a $5 profit. They can buy pets and food and accessories for their pets. All this is just the bonus extra stuff. The best part of the program is that to earn the scoops to buy and do this stuff you have to play the games or watch the videos, all of which is educational! And not just educational but really fun! You can set the grade level that the kids are playing at so they aren't just playing way below their level. There are games and videos that teach, Math, Language Arts, History, Science, Life Skills ( my girls love the Cooking Class and Cooking Show games!),Foreign languages, Geography and Bible (I'm pretty sure you can set your account to Christian or Jewish and maybe Secular). They also have just for fun stuff but you can't earn scoops for that stuff. This program is so full of inceitives! Some of the things you can do is play against your friends, earn medals when you level up in a game and they have a top earner contest each month, where if you are one of the top earners that month you get limited edition stuff for your pets! The site is for either Kindergarten or First grade to Eighth grade. Now I bet you are thinking WOW! All that must be pretty expensive! Nope! All of that for less than $9.00 a month! And they offer a FREE trial! Oh and each week you will receive an email with a report of everything your child learned and did that week! All the games they played, any medals they earned and what videos they watched. If you have a boy that you think would just love something like this you are in luck, they have a boy's site called Clever Dragons! This isn't just great for homeschoolers, it would be awesome to play after school or during the summer.

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