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Haven't read this, but remembered the discussion here a few weeks ago about cutting grocery spending and thought someone might find it useful (I haven't done an actual budget recently to confirm, but am pretty sure our typical monthly grocery bill is in line w/ the "target" so didn't bother reading to see how she gets there).  I've found some great recipes on the hillbillyhousewife site over the years though, and generally like what she has to say. Anyway, here's the link:  http://www.hillbillyhousewife.com/half/
Or something . . . http://www.celebrity-babies.com/2008/07/twins-jolie-pit.html They actually just pulled the quotes from the article I wrote about wearing twins back when the girls were still babies, so it's not real up to date, but oh well . . . still fun to see my name in print :) 
One of the lessons God has been working on teaching me over the past year is to remember (and obey) 1 Thess. 5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

So, in the spirit of that text, here are some things about living in a small house that I've found to be thankful for:

  • I can vacuum each entire level w/o changing electrical outlets. I even went ahead & vacuumed the kitchen w/ the Dyson instead of using my little rechargeable because it was easier to just keep going. It's amazing how quickly I can vacuum the whole house now, woo-hoo!
  • I don't know if I've mentioned it here before or not, but we use cloth wipes instead of TP (for pee). One of the things that frustrated me about the whole system was trying to figure out how many wipes to put in each bathroom so that one bathroom didn't run out before the others. Now I only have one bathroom, no need to divide them up :)
  • I posted awhile back about the whole zone cleaning thing I'd set up. It occurred to me that I'd need to "tweak" that for a new house. And then when I sat down to do it, I realized that smaller house means smaller zones! I wanted to stick with 8 zones because somehow for me doing it every 2 months is more . . . routine" than if I was on a 6 week cycle. So that means that my zones are as follows:
    • Living Room & Entry
    • Kitchen
    • Master Bedroom
    • Dining Room
    • Bathroom (that's right, all by itself! Though there's a furnace room/storage closet off the bathroom so some months I may declutter the boxes that are stored in there as part of that zone)
    • Basement/Laundry/Storage Building (storage building won't be cleaned, but I'll use this zone to purge & organize it sometimes
    • Playroom/Hall Closet
    • Girls' Room
  • Every nook and cranny of the house is utilized space. I love that!
This cracks me up! I'm sure it DOES work too!! http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2008/04/29/how-to-keep-men-from-missing-the-toilet.aspx?source=nl
How in the world did that happen? Anyway, because I'm lazy, I'm just linking:

Birthday Fun
Pictures of the madness are here. At least the madness captured on my camera LOL. The girls spent most of the day hyper, but overall, a good day. Weather was nice enough for them to play outside for awhile in the afternoon (and Papa & Mama were nice enough to take turns being out there with them, so they could be outside).  As you can see from the last few pictures, the men were an energetic bunch LOL.

Lexie proved to be very much her father's daughter by immediately figuring out that Jr Monopoly is all about collecting money, Daddy was so proud . . . Ashlyn was thrilled to find that her new coat has a zipper (starting a zipper is a recently acquired skill), and that Grandmom got her purple crocs (Mommy's too cheap for "real" crocs, and the fake ones we got for last summer didn't come in purple, so Ashlyn had to make do with blue).

When I was throwing crumpled tissue paper at my brother for a smart remark he made, Lexie told me not to throw paper, when I said "but he was mean to me!" she looked at me & said "Mommy, don't you remember the Golden Rule!" ROFL.

And I think today I'm going to scrap my initial ambitious ideas of starting to declutter in our bedroom, and just veg with the girls for the day :)
It occurs to me that I haven't posted in awhile. Here are pictures from the last month or two. Including trying out the ATVs when dh got them in at the shop, playing in the snow we had a few weeks ago, and just playing here at home.
We got home yesterday afternoon from a week at Disney World & Sea World. We're all exhausted (how unfair is it that dh lost 4lbs from all the walking & I lost nadda?) but the girls had a blast!!! Watching their faces as they got to meet their favorite princesses was beyond priceless! They were obviously burning out by the end of the week but handled the overload incredibly well overall. After refusing to go on the roller coaster at Sesame Place last summer, they got over that on this trip & would happily have spent all day on the shamu coaster at Sea World (4 times was my limit though, too jerky) and loved the Mine Train at Disney.

Anyway, pictures are here.

Question for others who've gone to meet the 3 princesses (in Toontown), do they normally do a picture of all 3 princesses together? It seemed like abit of an afterthought, so I'm thinking they just decided to do it for our girls for whatever reason? Regardless, it made for a cool picture, although the over zealous photographers made it hard for me to get a decent picture.
We went to Summer's Farm this afternoon. I'm exhausted and will never go into their corn maze again without some other adult willing to take total responsibility for getting us out, but the girls had a blast and are already asking when we can go back. So I guess that's what counts LOL.

Pictures of it (and our trip to the zoo this past weekend) are at the end here.
Ashlyn's currently doing "crafts" that, as far as I can tell, involves cutting pieces of paper into small pieces and then taping them back together. As she was working on this, she told me "I like doing crafts, especially at home where the teachers at Sabbath School don't tell me how to do it" hee hee. Now we'll see if she "loves crafts" quite as much in a few minutes when I remind her that she promised to clean up her own mess when she asked for the scissors :)