Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The ULTIMATE List of Christmas Printables!




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I hope you enjoy your time here.

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Which means that if you purchase from an affiliate link, 
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Looking for some fun activities for your children
to do over the holidays??

Then look no further. 

Today, I'm sharing a list of top notch printables
for you to peruse.

The only problem will be in limiting which ones you want
to have!





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Sunday, December 11, 2016

5 Tips For SAVING MONEY At Christmas Time!




Welcome to my blog today.
I hope you enjoy your time here.

This post may contain affiliate links. 
Which means that if you purchase from an affiliate link, 
we receive a very small commission. This is at NO cost to you.

Thank you for supporting our family :)











Christmas time is when our budgets are already

under so much pressure!

Usually, year end, there are extra bills, and

with all the shopping for kids, parents, in-laws,

teachers, spouse, friends, bosses, work parties, you name it...

It can really add up!




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5 Tips To Save Money
At Christmas Time


1) Simplify Things.

The biggest money saver is to
stop trying to buy it all and do it all...you can't anyway!

As a family of nine now, I find that Christmas time
is super busy no matter what, however, there are ways
we can streamline our lives.

Here are two examples:

Keep your shopping list simple & limit who you buy for.
Focus on relationship building get-togethers over gift-giving.

Why complicate the holidays with uber long gift lists & trying
to buy for everyone you know??

Have people over. Go to the parties.
Host the dinner(s).

BUT, at every occasion, try to keep it as simple as possible.

I.e. potluck style OR appetizers instead of a huge elaborate feast!



2) Plan Ahead of Time.

Last minute shopping typically puts you under the gun,
and makes the entire experience altogether stressful.

& MORE stress = more likely to spend more!

I've done it the stressed out way, and let me tell you,
planning ANY shopping excursion out beforehand
can save your dollars and sanity.

Try mapping out your total purchases needed (via a list) & then
plan where you'll peruse.

I try to shop for my major purchases online while still searching out the bargains.

I also like to have things like candy boxes, chocolates, teas,
spices, etc. on hand for teachers, last minute hostess gifts,
or a gift prize game (love those at our ladies' small group party!!)

Sites like Groupon, WagJag, and swap groups
can also be unconventional places to scour...

Just do it ahead of the game.





3) Shop Online.

This doesn't always work out, but by quickly
comparison shopping at a few major sites, you
can indeed snag some good deals.

For me, it saves us the time & gas of having
to lug our kids out OR get a sitter.

A few weeks ago I heard about a major
toy warehouse event being held in our area.

Some major deals were going on!

However, I simply searched out their website, found
what I was looking for, and boom-done.

I had to pay shipping, yes, but the time it took me to
buy the gifts (and for SO cheap!), it was worth it
for this busy mom.

Always remember that time is really like money....
you only have a limited amount of it, and it can
usually be used on better things than spending oodles of it
shopping for the holidays.


4) Consider Combining Gifts

If you're buying for a family with children, consider
something that the whole family can use (and save yourself
some money in the process!)

What about a fun movie & popcorn snack pack?
What about a pass to the local recreation center or children's museum?
What about a gift card to put towards something the family is saving for?

Consider combining couples (depending on their relationship of course),
or groups of people that could mutually benefit
(i.e. like covering the coffee run one morn for your co-workers)


5) Check Out Less Popular Shopping Venues

Thrift shops often (surprisingly!) have new items stocking their shelves
for much less.

Holiday "bazaars" (depending on vendors/locations) are known for their
fantastic bargains.

Liquidation shops have been my FAV go-to for many a year when I could
get out more easily. You'd be surprised what you find there!

Swap or online purchasing groups.

Sometimes simply stating what you're looking for on Facebook
can solicit PMs with people willing
to part with new stuff they never ended up using.

PLUS, many times people will mention affordable shops off the
beaten path...






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Question on the blog: 
what is your number one
money saving time at Christmas?


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Sunday, November 27, 2016

10 Signs You May Have A Larger Than Average Family!





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I hope you enjoy your time here.

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we receive a very small commission. This is at NO cost to you.

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Did you know that the average size of a household worldwide
is just above 2??

Here's the link if you want to see for yourself: DATA

In our house, we know that we are clearly above
the worldwide median.

With baby number seven on his way, (HE'S HERE!)
we feel that we're now officially a "large family".






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Ten Signs You May Have A Larger 
Than Average Family!




1) You are never completely "DONE" with the laundry.

Laundry is no longer a once a week chore.
It's not even a once a day chore for us!

Laundry multiplies like rabbits around here,
and when something breaks down (like our dryer did two weeks ago),
then it means a big trip to the laundry mat to catch up :)


2) Eating a meal or two may utilize your entire cupboard's worth of dishes.

Even though we own quite a lot of dishes,
it doesn't stop us from being able to dirty them all
in one day!

Cutlery usually goes first, followed by the cups...
and the bowls, then the plates.

In times of crisis, we skip using real dishes altogether & improvise
with some fine dining paper plates from our local Dollar store.


3) Grocery shopping is an all out affair.

No one can throw down grocery shopping quite like a large family.

Whether it's a fairly large Costco run...
Or a full week's cart of menu items.

And we cannot forget the small runs during the week
for the things that always seem to run out!






4) Your very presence in public invites unsolicited comments on birth control...

I am not sure why some people feel the need to inspect our private lives in public.

What if us large families reciprocated??

"So, you just decided to stop at two...was that part of the plan?"

"Too much TV for you guys eh, and not enough time together?"

"You guys sure do well at that birth control thing."

Sounds pretty rude, doesn't it?

No worries; I've forgiven anyone who has done this unknowingly :)



5) Going out is a special affair complete with planning, packing & executing your mission.

Most evenings, I am already planning my next morning...

Most Sundays, I am mentally plotting out our upcoming week...

A few times per week, I am writing on & checking out
 our large family calendar on the fridge.

A large family cannot thrive, or in my opinion SURVIVE, without taking the 
time to plan...

Although with some of us it's only a mental plan, but trust me, it's happening.



6) Your children always, always have someone to play (or argue!) with.

My children don't often get bored. 

From the time the first one arises in the morning (usually around 7am or earlier),
we have a loud amount of noise until the last ones (usually the teens)
hit the sack in the late eve.

It is non-stop action for our whole household!

Although the typical sibling arguments are commonplace in our home,
more often than not I hear them playing, talking & laughing.

Right now one of them is singing and trying to make their younger siblings smile...




7) Multitasking is no longer an option for you. It has become a way of life!

Nursing a baby, listening to a teen share their peer problems, thinking about the next meal, and
trying to text hubby about when he is going to be home this eve.

I find there is almost always someone that needs my attention, and
something that needs doing...

It's actually a reality for ALL of us Mamas (& Papas!), but, as you can imagine,
it's usually multiplied in a larger family.








8) Shopping "thrifty" is not simply an environmental trend.

Thrifty is great for the environment, of course, but for us,
it's become a way of life!

I used to buy lots of new clothes for myself as a young teen/adult.

Now, I find great joy in pursuing the "deals" for everyone. It's not that
we don't purchase new (for special situations we do, say like family pictures, or
dance classes, etc.), but $100 at a thrift store (especially when
they have those 50% off days!!) goes much farther
then at a new store, even a "Walmart"...




9) You may not have your whole entire family invited to all the "things"

This one makes me sad, sometimes, but honestly, I get it.

Who wants to invite 9 people into a teeny home or apartment??

Usually, when we get our entire family together with another family, we opt 
for a neutral location (say a park or McD's), or we have them here.

However, some people aren't able to OR aren't comfortable making the accommodations.
It hurts for any person to feel left out, but I've learned to be thankful for the friends
that we do have. Lifers :)


The reality is, not everyone will support your choice to have a large family.
They may not agree with you, or your life's journey.

We have to be okay with that.



10) You'll be living the wildest, most joy-filled rewarding adventure you could ever imagine!!!

More than you could have ever dreamed of.

Life will definitely be full.


"Children are a gift from the Lord..." ~ Psalm 127:3

Life has definitely become FAR more interesting since
adding more children to our brood.

I am challenged in ways that I never thought possible,
yet I find peace in knowing that He has a far greater purpose
than simply surviving the chaos :)


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Question on the blog: 
which point can you relate to the most?


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