Friday, August 28, 2015

{around here} Week 34/52: Week of 8.24.15


A collection of our ordinary days, recorded every week.  At the end of the year, I'll publish them into a keepsake to treasure.

Around here, I have been:


taking an unscheduled break from my camera and the blog.  Last week was so good, but intense and I guess I needed the time off to re-energize!  Looking back on the photos, though, I'm so glad I participated in the project and I'm sure I'll do it again.  I love the idea of creating visual time capsules.  

preparing for a busy fall schedule.  I'm holding my breath and getting ready to hold on tight!  Our days will be full with soccer, church commitments and a homeschool co-op, but I'm hoping organization and communication will help make the days less frantic.  This week, I focused on meal planning and ordering what I need on Jet.        

reading The Journey of our Love.  I also finished See You Later, Gladiator as a read aloud with the kids.

loving sweet Sophia as she held her drawing behind her back and said, "Close yours eyes, mama!....Su-prise!"

working just a little on Big White Farmhouse.  With school back in session, I'm still struggling to figure out how to fit everything in and BWF has unfortunately taken the back burner the past few weeks.  This week, I was able to get a handful of sewing drawers up and I'm hoping to catch up with the rest of my vintage finds this weekend.

listening to the McNeely's at His and Her Money.  After a long conversation about dreams and goals for our future, Mark and I are more committed than ever to pay off our remaining student loan debt and start aggressively saving.  I've been staying motivated by watching their YouTube videos and listening to their podcast.  Their enthusiasm is contagious!

watching TJ turn into a toddler right before my eyes!  His birthday is in three weeks and I just can't believe how fast the time went.  He is walking, babbling up a storm and loves his Daddy fiercely.  He is such a blessing to all of us.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

{saving our pennies} 5 Reasons We Love Jet.com


Back in July, I learned about a new website called Jet.com.  To make things sweeter, I even won Cristina's giveaway for a free year-long membership.  I was intrigued by the idea of an alternative Amazon and couldn't wait to try it out.  I specifically was interested in their grocery section because...have you been to the store with five always hungry children? 

Well, after about five orders in a one month span, I can honestly say: I LOVE JET.  Linking up with Jenna to share my five reasons why I think you should try Jet too:   

We Don't Have to Leave the House
Like almost everyone, we're on a budget here and taking all five kids to the grocery store is a major battle of wills.  Despite telling them that we're only there for the items on my list, I always have four little voices who can't help but ask, "Do you think we can get this?  Oh mama, these are my favorite!  We've been meaning to make this for awhile, mom."  Exhausting.  With Jet, I don't have to leave my house and the groceries come to me!  The kids cheer when they see a purple box on the doorstep and can't wait to see what surprises I bought.

Ordering Online Prevents Impulse Buying 
Right now, I am in full-on fall preparation mode.  Our days will be packed the next few months, so I've been brainstorming easy dinners and ways to keep us from frantic fast food stops.  Buying on Jet keeps me right on track.  I jot down my meal plan, then head online.  I love to look for pantry items in bulk; I actually just got a case of pinto beans because we make lots of chili around here!  A good tip is to always check the price per ounce/can/pound to see whether it really is a good deal.  (It's a plus to have a general idea of what your favorite things cost at your local grocery store just to compare too.)  After I go through my list, I double check before I hit Order in case something unnecessary found its way in.  Jet really keeps me right on budget.    

Savings, Savings, Savings
My favorite part of Jet's system is seeing their real-time added savings.  Jet takes Amazon's prices and then saves you even more.  Sometimes that is as little as 10 cents, sometimes it can almost be $10!  I always take that amount into account as I'm calculating whether a product really is the best deal and from my experience so far, it has been (for a family living in northern Virginia) nine times out of ten.

When We Do Go Grocery Shopping, the Trips Are Really Fast

After purchasing all of my pantry items on Jet, grocery trips take much less time!  We can buzz around the perimeter of the store and get in and out quickly.  Mark sometimes picks up a few things, like milk or fresh fruit, on his way home from work too.  And double bonus: when you look at our cart, we look super healthy, hah!

The Purple Boxes Make Great Ships and Forts
If you ask the kids, the best part of Jet is the big boxes!  I can't tell you the amount of hours the kids have spent making forts, ships and castles.  

From now until September 1, if you use my referral code, you can try Jet.com and receive $15 off your first order of $50 or more.  I also get $15 in credit‚ so it’s a win–win for both of us!  My code is 37C7BFB.  Let me know what you think! 

Saturday, August 22, 2015

{around here} Week in the Life 2015 | Friday



Total photos taken today: 66



I want to remember... a beautiful, full day.  Wrapping up school for the week.  Catching up on chores.  Exercising with the kids.  Visiting with my mom and my sister.  Going out to dinner with my sister, just the two of us!  Relaxing at the end of the day with Mark and a movie.  Today was a good day. 

Friday, August 21, 2015

{around here} Week in the Life 2015 | Thursday


Total photos taken today: 73


I want to remember... cloudy, dreary days that make it hard to get going in the morning.  We all started slow today.

I want to remember... our little game we played for history.  It was called Tiger Hunt and it was based on ancient India's practice of kings hunting tigers for fun (which also led into a good discussion about killing animals for nourishment vs. entertainment).  One child was the "king" and wore a crown, while another was the tiger.  The king counted to ten and then tried to chase and tag the tiger before he jumped into base.  It was a big hit and even I got in on the fun!


I want to remember... the importance of showing real photos of our home, in all its imperfection.  Someday the kids will look back and remember our makeshift "gate" to deter TJ from slamming toys on the television.  They'll see their favorite games and guys "put away" (ie. crammed) into the playroom shelves.  I'm sure I'll remember how no matter how hard I try, there are always dishes in the sink.  It's not magazine-worthy, but it's ours and it's good.    


My Week in the Life so far:
Introduction  |  Monday  |  Tuesday  |  Wednesday

Thursday, August 20, 2015

{around here} Week in the Life 2015 | Wednesday


Total photos taken today: 92


I want to remember... how much the kids love it when I throw their sheets "overboard" from the second story.  They try to catch them, but end up all tangled up underneath.  Thank goodness for their laughter and happy squeals or I'd be a little worried!    

I want to remember... how every time we wash the boys' sheets, they choose which bunk they want to move to.  This time around, M is moving down to the bottom and the other two boys are back on top.  I'm sure it won't always be this way, but musical bunkbeds is working for us right now.


I want to remember... poor J's legs after exploring in the woods with his friends during our playdate on Monday.  He is all eaten up and says, "Oh mama, they are SO itchy!"  I had to cut off the Band-Aids at six.  

I want to remember... how much time I spend in the laundry room.  While I'm so grateful to have a room at all, I'm feeling the need to make the space work better for us.  My brain was buzzing today as I worked.  


I want to remember... that we're on day three of solid Playdough playing.  All four of the kids have taken a turn at the table, adding in their "guys" and pretending all sorts of adventures.  I think I have swept the floor at least ten times today, but worth it.

I want to remember... big squeezes around the neck from my best girl.


I want to remember... following Mark's flight as he flew home from California.  He's been on a business trip since Monday and we've all missed him so much.  It's been almost ten years of marriage and I still get butterflies anticipating his return.  M made welcome home notes for the garage door.  

I want to remember... the soothing sound of an evening rain storm.  Thankful that we're tucked safely in our home.  


My Week in the Life so far:

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

{around here} Week in the Life 2015 | Tuesday


Day Two.  Total photos taken today: 96 


I want to remember... heading straight to the coffee pot after a difficult night with TJ.  After chugging down a cup, I felt ready to take on the day.  M and I made breakfast for the crew; I was in charge of the bacon, biscuits and fruit and he made the scrambled eggs.    

I want to remember... our current routine of easy-going mornings.  We meet for breakfast and then go our separate ways throughout the house for an hour.  During this time, there is Lego building, reading and lots of imaginary play.  The house is calm and I'm able to enjoy my second cup of coffee, check in on Big White Farmhouse and get prepared for the school day.


I want to remember... how much TJ loves the window and hiding behind the dining room curtains.  If we can't find him, he's typically sitting there happily, waiting for someone to find him.

I want to remember... Sophie's gentle reminders to spend a little one-on-one time together.  With school back in our days, I'm not as readily available to play with her, but we're figuring a way to fit it in.  Today she pulled out Jenga and said, "You help me make this, Mamma, so we can play?"


I want to remember... that my daily T25 workout is a family affair.  M hasn't missed a single workout and I love that we are finding a new way to bond with exercise.   Sophie watches the videos and pops in here and there too.  At the end, we do our secret handshake and make protein shakes.  

I want to remember... picnic lunches in the tray while watching Lego Movie, one of their favorites.  Hearing Sophie bashfully sing "Everything is Awesome" is one of my favorites.


My Week in the Life so far:
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