Tag Archives: family

Budgeting for food for your family

IABM_1437409961 am asked all of the time… “How much do you spend on groceries a month?”

$600 (ok, pick your jaw up off of the ground) Yes, for our family of 10, I only spend $600 a month. Do you know why? Because that is all that is in the budget anyhow! So I make do!!!

My kids do not go without EVER! They just don’t get filled up with processed foods.

Every month, I take $600 cash out of my account. I DO NOT use my debit card for groceries EVER! I would tend to spend as much as I want if I do not budget out cash. I always take a calculator with me to the store or use my cell phone in order to budget better. And I know exactly what I am buying before I walk in the door. A list truly helps.  In this budget, we do buy gluten free bread and occasionally GF pasta. Although, Zucchini makes REALLY YUMMY pasta noodles.

Let’s do a breakdown. 

  1. For starters, I don’t buy eggs, I have chickens, ducks, geese and quail. They give me sufficient eggs and then I sell what I have left for money to go to chicken and quail food. We eat eggs about 4 times a week. And I sell enough eggs to cover their feed.
  2. In the summer, I grow my own veggies, including lettuce that I eat at every meal. We have a 1/4 acre garden and an aquaponics system. We plant lettuce, spinach, kale and Swiss chard for salad greens as well as tomatoes, egg plant, peppers, tomatillos, zucchini, onions, etc. If you don’t have a lot of time, you can plant spinach and lettuce in big pots on your back porch and grow the base of your salad.
  3. I buy in bulk every chance that I get. I buy bulk meat. I buy bulk fruit. Heck, I buy bulk rice too!
  4. We do not buy hamburger helper or rice-a-roni. I used to, but then I realized how bad those foods are for me. So, we make our own. It may be cheap… but… Try mixing cheese in with hot quinoa. Or some ranch dip mix(we make our own dip mix too) in with pasta and a little milk.
  5. I don’t clip coupons anymore because the foods on the coupons tend to be the processed foods that are full of artificial EVERYTHING that I don’t want my kids eating anyway. I do however watch the sale flyers for my local Sprouts and Safeway stores for meat and veggie deals.
  6. I make a menu for the week. I do not always stick to it, but I do make it so I know what we “plan” on eating and what we have in our cabinets.
  7. Figure out your staples in your household. We eat refried beans and ranch beans several times a week for a side. I make my own by buying dried beans in BULK!!!  We cook in a pressure cooker to get the beans going. We also cook chickpeas in the pressure cooker (that I also buy in bulk) to make hummus as a snack. We buy rice in 50 pound bags, and beans in 20 pound bags. I buy several pounds of quinoa when it is on sale and I fill up 1/2 gallon jars for storage.
  8. If I am buying chicken, I only buy boneless chicken breasts on sale ($1.77/pound or cheaper) and I buy a lot of them and fill up my freezer. I do NOT buy ground chicken even though we use that often for tacos and burritos.  Ground chicken costs $3.99/pound so instead I invested in a meat grinder to attach to my kitchen aid and grind my own.
  9. My kids LOVE dehydrated fruit! I have 2 of the big Excalibur dehydrators, that I have running all of the time. If I find a great sale on strawberries, then I buy a lot of strawberries.  They go great in homemade instant oatmeal, granola snacks and even fresh yogurt. We get our fair share of strange looks from people when I purchase 25 watermelons – you should try dehydrating watermelons… they are SO YUMMY!
  10. Costco and Sam’s Clubs are great… But know that your will not get out of there without spending several hundred dollars or more. Every month, I stock up on certain items that I know that I will use like canned goods as a go-to meal add in like corn or green beans or even green chilies. Again make a list.
  11. If you are worried about budgeting, try pre-making freezer meals for later use. 10 meals can be put together in a single afternoon with no problem. Meat and veggies go a long way in a stew. Honey mustard chicken and pineapple chicken can be prepared ahead of time and then put in a crockpot in the morning to cook all day. If you premake the meals, it is as simple as defrosting and pouring in. (All of the veggies are already cut for you.) My secret is to put on a movie and work while that movie is on. It keeps my mind going and then I have set my limit, so I need to work.
  12. Use what you have in your pantry. You bought it at one time for something! Rotate!
  13. Making bread from scratch only takes a few minutes of prep time. We make dough just once a week and I put that in the oven after dinner or when I am getting kids up and going in the morning. We even buy bulk wheat seeds and grind my own wheat for the kids who can eat gluten. Pitas and tortillas are simple to make too.
  14. Water can and should replace kids drinks like koolaid. We drink water and iced tea rather than Koolaid and soda in our house. Tea bags are inexpensive. Juice is a rare thing here, because of juice rotting teeth and we do not buy soda. For tea sweetener, try liquid stevia. A jar lasts forever. Or slice up fruit and add to pitchers of water.
  15. Try buying a pig from a local farm to send to the butcher. Better meat! Try you local 4H or FFA groups, they will often have animals ready to go. This actually helps local and allows you to use all different cuts of meat. Or, you can raise your own. (Not for everyone!)
  16. Find a fruit and veggie co-op. Bountiful baskets offers awesome produce weekly.
  17. I do not buy laundry detergent… I make my own. Fabric softener… Yep, make that too… When my kids were little, heck, we even used cloth diapers. I buy theives cleaner in concentrate and mix my own.

Here is an average day of meals for us.  (Remember too that we homeschool so kids are not getting a school lunches either) The kids ages are 3, 7, 7, 9, 9, 11, 13, and 17.

Breakfast: Eggs and sausage with a slice of fruit or a stir-fry of veggies.  Or an egg bake of eggs, spinach and feta cheese. Homemade oatmeal and dried fruit and milk. Or Rice with butter and brown sugar.

Lunch: PB and honey sandwich with yogurt and carrot sticks. Chicken salad lettuce wrap with coleslaw, or quesadillas with sour cream and salsa with apples and peanut butter.

Dinner: BBQ-ed chicken with BBQed Zucchini,  enchiladas and rice, tacos and beans, or spaghetti and french bread. We offer salads at every meal for the kids. Another favorite in our house is shepherd’s pie. Every meal is cooked from scratch because I want to know what my kids are eating.

Snack: Carrots or Hummus and pita chips, or homemade granola bars, apple or pears, or string cheese (the only thing that I buy that is individually wrapped.)  I always have carrots available for snacks as well as apples, bananas or oranges. I buy all of those in bulk too. Carrots come in 25 pound bags from my local grocery store for only $7. It lasts us about 2 weeks unless the bunnies or goats get it first.(and by that I mean that the kiddoes are feeding them!)

This season, we began raising our own meat in rabbits (we have our first litters to butcher in about a month)  and chickens (we have 23 meat birds that will bulk up in about 6 weeks for my freezer). We also have 4 goats that next season will start giving us goats’ milk for drinking and making cheese. Our budget will go down even more next season with meat and milk. Yea! We have a neighbor that gives us 2 gallons of goats milk a week from her goats and we exchange some veggies and yard work for her. Look into purchasing bulk meat from Zaycon or even from Sam’s Club.  Here is my Zaycon link for bulk meats: http://www.zayconfresh.com/refer/zf52795

Know that you too can budget down you grocery bill if you just follow those simple

Sad news… sad, sad news

Steve, Larry and Earl, September 13, 1997
Steve, Larry and Earl, September 13, 1997

It is often hard to decide what to share on my blog. We try to keep it upbeat and with things that we are working on here. This is one of those times where I am not certain how to put in words what I need to say.

Monday, my husband received two back to back calls from his dad and brother, Steven. Larry had taken a day off to just “be” family. Little did we know that he was going to need this day off anyhow. Larry came out of the bedroom after listening to the messages and told me that we needed to talk. OH MY! I knew that something was up. That is never a good sign.

Earl, the oldest of the 3 brothers had passed away… Officials had just notified my father-in-law. It took them a week to find next of kin. WHAT?!? How can I respond? Larry and I sat for several hours trying to figure out what to say to our children. We sat holding hands, crying and praying. We are in disbelief. HOW could this happen?

Berlyn especially has such a strong bond with Earl. This has hit him really hard. Many times on Tuesday, he would just sit and wail, uncontrollable sobbing.

Earl’s passing comes with a bit of surprise, although Larry and I had talked about it before, years ago. Earl had struggled in the past. He had gotten help. He was on an up and up or so we thought. He unfortunately hid a lot from us and the rest of the family. Addictions can come in all different forms, whether legal drugs, alcohol, illegal drugs, etc. For our Beloved Uncle Earl, it was legal ones. Ones that were prescribed to him for a back injury that he received many years ago while in the army. He had done everything that he could to tame the pain, to live a normal life. This was the only thing that he had control of… and he knew that.  We would like to think that his passing was peaceful, it was in a place that he love with a view of a lake out in the wilderness. All day yesterday and today, I have asked the “why” and I know that that answer left with him. The tears have not stopped and that is OK. This is not anyone’s fault and I hope that no one in the family blame themselves for this. This is just something that happened. And nothing could have changed it.

What have I learned from this? I have learned that we never know the demons that our loved ones suffer. I have learned that our veteran’s need more… more attention… more love and more medical / psych.

Hug your loved ones. Check regularly on them. Make sure that you get them help if you notice anything. Tell them that you love them and that you will always be there for them. Be honest!

I will always remember him taking me to a movie on an evening that Larry had to work while were all living in Ely, NV. I will remember his goofy “voices” that he would make at the kids, how he would torment my cats, how he and Larry would have 2+ hour phone conversations about NOTHING!  I remember him holding and loving each of my children for the very first time. I remember how much he teased Larry about dating a “younger girl” in high school when he was home on leave and the incredible hug that he gave me on my wedding day to his brother telling me how much he loved Larry and I. I will always remember the phone call that we got from him to tell us that he was going to be a dad. And all of that Mountain Dew he used to drink.

I can’t get over how he will never see his grandchildren or mine, how we all won’t grow old together and how he will never again log into the online game that he and Larry would play for hours because even living far away, they could still have brother time. I will never hear that voice again.

I have stories, Oh, do I have stories and I will pass them onto my children and to his daughter. I will make sure that his grandchildren know who he is!

Godspeed my brother,

Earl M Fullmer

August 31, 1973 – June 22, 2015

Recap of the last month on our homestead

Today is the last day that my baby is a baby. Shelby is graduating high school. 9 years of homeschooling and 2 at Chino Valley High School. She is graduating 2 years early at only 16 years old. Thursday, she has a job training at a local fast food restaurant. My baby has grown up and it seems like it has been overnight. Off to Yavapai College in the fall! Her goal is to become a music teacher and I am 100% behind her decision.

After 16 amazing months the little girl that had been living with us went home to be with her parents. We miss her so very much but hope that she continues to grow into the amazing little lady who we know she will become.

Baby Sage at krisandlarry.comThis last month we were lucky enough to find a new little purebred Nubian goat that was born at a fellow homeschooler and friend’s home. We had made so many inquiries and received another call in May to get a second baby doe Nubian from a different local family. So welcome Baby Sage and Baby Clover to our homestead. They have joined our current herd of Pepper, our adult doe, Mor Dubh our breeding buck and Frankie, our wether St Croix hair sheep.

Baby bunnies at krisandlarry.comWe also have bred our rabbits in the last month… And have babies born in the last week. So exciting for the kids to learn about farm life. We have 5 breeding does and 2 bucks. It looks like we had 4 and 11 babies born. And we have another litter that is being born today.

We have baby poultry everywhere! Baby turkeys, baby quail, baby duck, baby chicks and even baby goslings that our older geese hatched on their own. I looked out in the goat barn and 2 of our broody hens hatched baby chicks. I am not sure how many as of yet because when I went to look, the mama pecked at me. We also have 40 adults hens and 4 roos.

Shelby and baby CharlotteAnother several additions added to our homestead are new piggies. We have a new KuneKune hair pig and a meat pig. We will be picking up a female KuneKune in the future so that we can breed them.

Griffen has also worked really hard on his aquaponics system. It is up and running and going through it’s first cycling to add all of the good bacteria into the system. I can’t wait to show you more info on that system as our plants get bigger and we begin to harvest from the system.

Pepper and Frankie…welcome to our homestead

Pepper, our newest Nubian goat2015 is the year that we transform our home and gardens to a self-sustaining homestead. Our first step is adding goats for milk and meat.  I know… Some think that this is strange. But it is our way of life.

On December 27, we got to bring Frankie home. He is a neutered St. Croix sheep and the companion to Pepper, our new Nubian goat. Pepper was taken to our friend, Jessi’s homestead for breeding. ( www.westcreekfarmstead.com ) she got to come to her new home on December 29. Frankie cried and cried for Pepper. You should have seen him when we got Pepper home! He pranced around!

What a sweetheart Pepper is, too.  The kids are loving every minute of having them both here.

Frankie, our new St. Croix sheepWhat is our goal with goats? With Trystan’s severe intolerances to both gluten and lactose, we hope to add milk back into our household and want to make our own cheeses.  Don’t get me wrong, we do have some milk and cheese In the house, I just want more! We want to make our own soap as well. We should, keeping our fingers crossed,  have a baby or two born at the end of May.  We know that Trystan’s tummy can handle goat milk too.

Over the last month, the kids and I have put up a fence, built and installed 4 gates. We had many of our amazing neighbors drop of supplies while we working. We had a chicken coop and a wooden goat feeder were also given to the kids. We are truly blessed!

Ending 2014… Grateful welcome to 2015

What a year it has been, full of love and hate, full of amazing feats and full of disappointments. I am glad to see 2014 go. We have discovered that sometimes those who are blood are not really family…and those who are not blood are truly our family. One thing that I tell the kids is to give thanks with a grateful heart.

Having a thyroid tumor removed, and Shelby having tonsils out, made for an interesting year. But, by having these 2 surgeries, I was able to join an amazing essential oil company where we transformed our everyday living with all of our children. We have found oils to work with Berlyn’s autism, Trystan’s ADHD and even making it easier on headaches and heartaches.

We are continuing with our journey as biological parents, as adoptive parents and also as foster parents. Days are both easy and hard. We enjoy every minute with our children, although we are still working hard everyday to make sure that our boys are members of our family and don’t take on the habits from their past life. This doesn’t always work and it is really difficult at timimagees. Tonight included.

We have altered our way of thinking by adding goats to our homestead. Welcome to Pepper and Frankie into our family.  We hatched some chicken of our own this year and are truly thankful for our friends who gave us some as well.

Some of the kids and I have bonded in a whole new way, building fencing and gates. We are planning on making our homestead, just that during 2015.  We hope to add rabbits to our mini-ranch as well this next year. We already added a fodder system to feed our critters and Griffen is working really hard on his aquaponics system to get that up and running this spring.

So I say this with thanks…welcome 2015! We look forward to what you bring and thank God every day for what we have and what we strive to become.

Organizing Kids – Writing on Sliding Glass Door

ABM_1406832284We are always coming up with new things to do with 8 kids… mixing it up a bit. Last night, I wrote all of their chores for the next day on the sliding glass door,….. It worked. Something different that our normal chore chart and it kept the kids interested and working hard on their morning chores…. Afternoon is free for fun (Only a few more days before my public school kids go back to their classrooms… and a week before my homeschooled kids get started on their work.)

Try to mix it up every once in a while… A white board marker works GREAT to write on a window…. I recommen Red or black however as they are easier to see!

These markers also work on mirrors to leave love notes or notes of encouragement!!!

 

I am sad that summer is coming to an end!

Yes, I know that it is only July 19. (It is actually my beautiful mommy’s 60th birthday) But, I tend to see that Summer is ALMOST DONE! (I say that only because kids in Arizona go back to school at the beginning of AUGUST!  As most of you know, I do homeschool some of my kids, but I also have several in public school as well.

Shelby is going back to Chino High as a Junior! Griffen is off to the local middle school as a 7th grader. Both Breckin and Berlyn are entering 3rd grade at a local Elem. School. I do have Elwyn at home as a 6th grader and both Trystan and Rowan at home as 1st graders. After a lot of prayer and consideration, we decided to enroll them into an online school this year. Trystan still needs that little extra and I want them to get back into a routine this year.

What are some of the activities that you have been doing this summer?

Our summer bucket list projects is getting longer and longer!!

  • We picked up a tie-dye shirt set along with 2 5-packs of kids tee-shirts (you know the ones in the boys undies section.) What a FUN project for the kids! (The whole project was less than $30 and we made 9 shirts!!)
  • We have gone camping.
  • We have planted a garden.
  • We have been to the library for their library program every week.
  • We have painted the picnic table in the back yard(It is now an AWESOME Pea Green!)
  • We watched a movie outside on the back patio and roasted s’mores.
  • We finished out solar oven cookbook.
  • Grif and El learned how to BBQ.
  • Shelby got her driver’s permit.
  • We sat outside on our back patio and watched the bats catching bug and caught toads the size of hamburgers as they were hopping around our feet.
  • Bought and restored a high-school locker for our front hall to organize kids.
  • Redecorated the little girls room (in a French Parisian theme – using mostly yard sale items) and cleaned out Shelby’s room – got her organized for the new school year!
  • Went to the movies 4 times so far this summer as a family.
  • Slip’n’slided and launched water balloons in a war (kids against big people)
  • We made snowmen out of marshmallows.
  • Danced in the monsoon rain.
  • Made about a hundred different bath items using essential oils.

We have so many other things to share with you!!! And more things that we plan on doing.

tie-dye
tie-dye
Library Program, too.
Library Program, too.
Library Program
Library Program
TOMATOES!!!
TOMATOES!!!
Painting the Table
Painting the Table
Outside fire pit
Outside fire pit
Camp Out
Camp Out
Outside movie time
Outside movie time

Happy 2-year anniversary GOTCHA DAY!

 



HAPPY GOTCHA DAY!!!!


WE.ARE.A.FAMILY!
  
2 years ago today, my little boys moved into my home through Arizona Foster care. At the time, we did know the path that we were going to end up.  And had no idea that these were going to be our children at the time.

They were blue from top to bottom from bruises and lash marks, had broken noses and cracked other bones. They were severely under weight and have both put on OVER 20 POUNDS in the last 2 years. They are both now right where their weights need to be!!

I feel that I need to continue telling others our story of our little boys and of Larry and I. It is not an easy job to be a foster family or as a family who decided to adopt older children who are in foster care (when I say older, I mean any child in the system over 2 because they start to have memories of their past at that point). We have our ups and downs. Thank GOD that the ups out-number the downs 10-fold.

Breckin and Trystan were 6 and 4 years old. They came from a transient family who was just passing through this area again (settling for only a few months at any location.)  They arrived at 11pm on July 10, 2012. They got here and inhaled an entire bag of “GoldFish” crackers and 1/2 of a gallon of milk.

I will not sugar coat how difficult a journey it has been for them because that wouldn’t be fair to them or to anyone reading who is interested in foster care and adoption through foster care. Each child is so different with their biofamilies and backgrounds. I don’t wish what my boys went through to be brought down on my worse enemy. We work on behavioral issues EVERY DAY! And although sometimes Larry and I don’t see it getting any easier with them, I know the progress that we made so far. I remember several of my friends bringing clothes over to my home to help us get ready for them and the tears in their eyes after seeing how bruised they were.

Both boys were feral. They were dirty and showering was a new concept. Simple things like forks and napkins were like talking Greek to them. There was no concept of living in a home or owning anything. It is almost as if I need the general person to see them as little “Tarzan” children. They arrived in nothing but a pair of sweatpants each and were filthy from top to bottom. As a matter of fact, we didn’t know that Trystan was blond until the 3 rinse on his hair!

The anniversary of our adoption was in May. And our journey continues. Their bio-dad was on the run last year for over 6 months last year and was finally caught and sentenced this last March.

We now have a relationship with their bio-mom who was not in the picture when all of this was going on. We email at least twice a month with videos and photos and scripture to help her on her journey in Christ as she heals like they need to. We praise God that she is on a different path!

We are thankful to try a non-medicated approach to their behaviors. Breckin’s nightmare have finally stopped after 20 months and with the help of essential oils. The side-effects of the meds on Breckin were not worth taking the medication to begin with.

We do still have to lock the refrigerator and the the pantry because food tends to disappear if I don’t. We still have to turn an alarm on their door at night to prevent sneaking out. And OOOHHH the adventures that we have had with potting in their room, or tearing up toys, clothes or even their curtains. Breckin still at times doesn’t understand what a family is for and will hit himself as if his brain hurts and Trystan who will be homeschooled this year due to his food allergies (unfortunately from being a meth baby), he still tries to eat gluten any chance he gets.  But those issues are immensely small compared to the progress that we have seen.

Learning how to bathe on their own, and eat with a fork. Saying please and thank you, progressing in school and enjoying children’s church and learn about Christ. Trystan is READING!!!  We have finally started to eat slower so we don’t inhale foods quite as bad. The favorite times that I do have is when I hear the name MOMMY from one of them and the I LOVE YOUs that I do get and the cuddles and hugs. Some progress this summer: Each of them have had their tennis shoes last more that 4 weeks… we are going on 14 weeks!!! YEAH! They LOVE their family and each other. Breckin LOVES Shelby and always wants to do things with her.

We have become a family. They are my children. On most occasions, I refer to Trystan and Rowan as my twins (because they are only 3 weeks apart in age) and they are now a true brother and sister. Breckin is starting to play with others regularily and can sit through a whole board game now!!!

WE.ARE.A.FAMILY! I will never give up on them and I hope that they know this! I LOVE YOU BOTH!

I am so thankful that I GOTCHA in my family!

Be strong and of good courage, fear not, nor be afraid . . .  for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. – Deuteronomy 31:6

 

Happy 2-year anniversary GOTCHA DAY!

IMG_20140317_162008253HAPPY GOTCHA DAY!!!!

WE.ARE.A.FAMILY!  2 years ago today, my little boys moved into my home through Arizona Foster care. At the time, we did know the path that we were going to end up.  And had no idea that these were going to be our children at the time.

They were blue from top to bottom from bruises and lash marks, had broken noses and cracked other bones. They were severely under weight and have both put on OVER 20 POUNDS in the last 2 years. They are both now right where their weights need to be!!

I feel that I need to continue telling others our story of our little boys and of Larry and I. It is not an easy job to be a foster family or as a family who decided to adopt older children who are in foster care (when I say older, I mean any child in the system over 2 because they start to have memories of their past at that point). We have our ups and downs. Thank GOD that the ups out-number the downs 10-fold.

Breckin and Trystan were 6 and 4 years old. They came from a transient family who was just passing through this area again (settling for only a few months at any location.)  They arrived at 11pm on July 10, 2012. They got here and inhaled an entire bag of “GoldFish” crackers and 1/2 of a gallon of milk.

I will not sugar coat how difficult a journey it has been for them because that wouldn’t be fair to them or to anyone reading who is interested in foster care and adoption through foster care. Each child is so different with their biofamilies and backgrounds. I don’t wish what my boys went through to be brought down on my worse enemy. We work on behavioral issues EVERY DAY! And although sometimes Larry and I don’t see it getting any easier with them, I know the progress that we made so far. I remember several of my friends bringing clothes over to my home to help us get ready for them and the tears in their eyes after seeing how bruised they were.

Both boys were feral. They were dirty and showering was a new concept. Simple things like forks and napkins were like talking Greek to them. There was no concept of living in a home or owning anything. It is almost as if I need the general person to see them as little “Tarzan” children. They arrived in nothing but a pair of sweatpants each and were filthy from top to bottom. As a matter of fact, we didn’t know that Trystan was blond until the 3 rinse on his hair!

The anniversary of our adoption was in May. And our journey continues. Their bio-dad was on the run last year for over 6 months last year and was finally caught and sentenced this last March.

We now have a relationship with their bio-mom who was not in the picture when all of this was going on. We email at least twice a month with videos and photos and scripture to help her on her journey in Christ as she heals like they need to. We praise God that she is on a different path!

We are thankful to try a non-medicated approach to their behaviors. Breckin’s nightmare have finally stopped after 20 months and with the help of essential oils. The side-effects of the meds on Breckin were not worth taking the medication to begin with.

We do still have to lock the refrigerator and the the pantry because food tends to disappear if I don’t. We still have to turn an alarm on their door at night to prevent sneaking out. And OOOHHH the adventures that we have had with potting in their room, or tearing up toys, clothes or even their curtains. Breckin still at times doesn’t understand what a family is for and will hit himself as if his brain hurts and Trystan who will be homeschooled this year due to his food allergies (unfortunately from being a meth baby), he still tries to eat gluten any chance he gets.  But those issues are immensely small compared to the progress that we have seen.

Learning how to bathe on their own, and eat with a fork. Saying please and thank you, progressing in school and enjoying children’s church and learn about Christ. Trystan is READING!!!  We have finally started to eat slower so we don’t inhale foods quite as bad. The favorite times that I do have is when I hear the name MOMMY from one of them and the I LOVE YOUs that I do get and the cuddles and hugs. Some progress this summer: Each of them have had their tennis shoes last more that 4 weeks… we are going on 14 weeks!!! YEAH! They LOVE their family and each other. Breckin LOVES Shelby and always wants to do things with her.

We have become a family. They are my children. On most occasions, I refer to Trystan and Rowan as my twins (because they are only 3 weeks apart in age) and they are now a true brother and sister. Breckin is starting to play with others regularily and can sit through a whole board game now!!!

WE.ARE.A.FAMILY! I will never give up on them and I hope that they know this! I LOVE YOU BOTH!

I am so thankful that I GOTCHA in my family!

Be strong and of good courage, fear not, nor be afraid . . .  for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. – Deuteronomy 31:6

 

Here is a link to my 1 year anniversary Gotcha Day Post. 

Pool Noodle "Stick" Horses – Summertime activities

I love Dollar Stores!! I found $1 pool noodles… I don’t have a pool… What am I going to do with them?

I am going to make pool noodle HORSES!

My little LONE RANGERS need these!!! These were so easy to make.


We ended up making 15 of them for our house (and for the motorhome to take with us camping!!)

krisandlarry-poolnoodle ponies

 

 

These are so simple to create! Here’s what you need!!

  • pool noodle
  • large, thick rubber band
  • twine or ribbon
  • felt  – cut to create hair. (fold the piece in half long ways and cut strips towards the folded section but not all the way through to make fringe)
  • sharpie marker
  • low temperature hot glue gun or gorilla glue – school glue didn’t hold well. (The high temperature WILL melt the noodle!)

Directions:

  1. Fold the noodle about 12 inches from the end and place the large rubber band around both pieces (see, it needs to be a large this one!).
  2. Tie the ribbon on the horse around the “nose” and the body and make a rein.
  3. Glue the Felt Hair on the pony and draw a face with the marker…

krisandlarry-poolnoodle ponies2