Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Overheard in the Backseat

"She's going to go get her hair done..."
I look back and the girls are playing with their Disney Princess felt book.
Cinderella, you've come a long way from cleaning the drapes.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Phipps Reunion 2010

Today we chose to spend time with family. We had a great reunion with all of our Phipps aunts, uncles and cousins.
In loving memory of our dearest Granny.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Saving Money: choice or necessity?

For most these days, saving money is a necessity. For us, it has become a lifestyle! Long gone are the days when we had extra cash to freely spend on whatever tickled our fancy, but even then, I tried to find the best price. Now clipping coupons and matching sales is a weekly event, one I could not do without some of my favorite money saving sites. Most of these sites have price match-ups, drug store deals, links to free samples, and the best current deals and sales. Here are the sites I check regularly:

Hip 2 Save
Mama Cheaps
Frugal Coupon Living

Group buying sites are also growing by the day, offering daily deals on everything from dining to spa services to golf! They often have half price savings and some up to 80% off, so you can get some great deals, just be sure to read all the restrictions and fine print. Here are some of my favorites for the DC area (also NoVa and Richmond since we're in between):

And Deals for Deeds which lets you choose from 3 charitable organizations to which 5% of your purchase will go.

In addition to online deal scouring, I also frequent my local Goodwill stores. Admittedly, most of the good stuff I find is for the girls since kids grow out of clothes so quickly, but I have also happened across a few good items for myself or my husband or the house. Some of our best finds:

  • This Step 2 play kitchen in perfect shape, which was an upgraded version of the one we already had. For SEVEN DOLLARS! So what did we do? We upgraded!
  • A like-new Columbia coat for $9
  • A pair of Pottery Barn shelves for $5 each
  • A super cute J.Crew dress for $6 that sadly did not fit me, so I sold it on ebay for $30
  • and tons of Gymboree clothes for the girls, books and home school curriculum
So now you know all my secrets when it comes to getting stuff on the cheap. Okay, maybe not ALL, but I have to save something for next time. Like yard sales and Craigslist!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

On Becoming My Mother...

I grew up in a house with a strict, Christian mother and a father who was a little more lenient but usually just went along with my mother to keep the peace. We had all sorts of rules growing up that I never thought I would impress upon my own children. But now, it's happening. Now that my oldest is beginning to pick up song lyrics that I'd rather her not know and attitudes that I could definitely do without, I'm beginning to impose the guidelines from my own childhood into our household.
The day when I heard my 4-year old daughter singing Britney's "Womanizer" is when I really knew it had to start. No more listening to my own top-40 in the car; we have since then switched to the Christian radio station. Which is probably what I should have been listening to anyway - using my time to praise my Savior instead of Lady Gaga. This also goes for tv and movies. No more watching "big people" shows with the kiddos around. Who knows what they would pick up and say to me in public!
This year has brought us to a bigger decision to make: public school, private school or homeschool? I'll admit that for the first 27 or so years of my life, I would not even consider homeschooling. Mostly because all of the homeschooled kids I knew growing up were "sheltered" or not socialized or just generally dorky. And also because my mother has been trying to persuade me to do it (maybe out of guilt since she didn't homeschool us). Since having children of my own, I had hoped that we would be able to just sent them to a Christian school, but alas, we cannot afford it. So here I am, getting ready to start homeschooling. Partly because she's such a smart cookie and she already knows so much, so why not continue filling that little sponge and letting her be ahead of the gang? And since she's a sponge, I want to fill her with all the wisdom and grace and knowledge of God's love in hopes that she will be salt and light in the world. After all, she is just like her daddy - already a chatty, "people" person. :) And an obvious perk is that we get to spend more precious time together; I'll get to watch her learn new things and see her eyes light up as she figures something out. The decision I have to make now is what support group to join, what extra classes and activities she'll be taking, and how many extra cups of coffee I'll be needing to get me through the end of the day.
So even though I thought my mom's rules were sometimes ridiculous, I know (and deep down knew then) that she was just trying to do what was right for us. Which is exactly what I'm trying to do now.