Kettlebell, Advent and the kitchen sink

Well hello there! It’s nice to see you again too. Yes, I seem to be the queen of sporadic lately and I apologize. I am still learning how to budget my time and get everything done that must get done. This blog is CLEARLY lacking priority and as much as I am disappointed about that, it’s really okay. Just like you, I am learning I only have so many hours in my day so I have to choose how I use them.

{Disclaimer about being a slacker blogger done. On to fun stuff.}

I have had in my head information I have wanted to share on here for months.

For starters, we decided to take a break from our YMCA membership. It’s costly and we haven’t been going since summer was over (we used it a lot during the summer for the outdoor pool). It’s certainly nice to have that $85 a month back in our wallets, that’s for sure. Just an example of an intentional decision on money spent. Since I’m a kettlebell lover (and need to work on the doing truth be told), I have decided that I don’t need no stinkin gym. I can buy one of these babies…

kettlebell-workoutsAnd the thought goes something like this. Cancel gym membership, buy kettlebell, do kettlebell workouts from comfort of home. But you know what…I’m a slacker and my crazy home distracts me and so the kettlebell has functioned more like an expensive paperweight than a tool for a more fit core. But buying one of these was a quarter of the monthly fee for the gym so it’s still worth it. I promise I am going to post about this progress. Or at least that’s what I keep telling myself.

I still have the knack of not following my own advice with regard to “dumpster diving” (Mary Cummings, I blame you entirely!). I have two wonderful cane wooden chairs that I’m working on. My love for free on Freecycle overcomes my practical side that says to stop acquiring. Yet, I still do it. So let’s just say that I am working on this one.

Back in December, our kids did something really awesome to help us celebrate Christmas with purpose, focusing on the birth of Jesus. It’s called Truth In The Tinsel. Have you heard of it? If not, you should check it out here.

truth in tinsel cover

I heard about this on Facebook (yes they have a Facebook page too…shocker, right?…Check it out here) A friend had posted it last year (2011) and we tried it then and really liked it so we did it again this year with various degrees of success. Some days we skipped because we have obligations called “homework” now (eek). Below is an example from their website of how it works. Basically you read a verse or passage from the Bible, do the craft and then talk about it, trying to connect the craft to the story to help our little ones remember it better. Having never really focused much on Advent growing up this little gem of a book has taught me a lot as our family has been able to read the stories leading up to Jesus’ birth all through the month of December. Very precious…

truth tinsel example page

We used another little book called The Jesus Storybook Bible (to help supplement on days when the crafts were too complex or we just didn’t have time). You can purchase a copy on Amazon (click here for a link). Believe it or not someone else had already put together an advent reading list using this book so I stole borrowed it for our readings and even joined up with another friend/fellow blogger and tried reading it every day with the kids right before bed.

Jesus-Storybook-Bible-reading-plan-for-Advent-free-printableFound this handy-dandy reading list at Adriel Booker’s blog The Mommyhood Memos. We printed it out and stuck on one of those photo holder doo-dads (yes that’s the technical term) that has a weighted base, long wire and a clip at the top for the photo. It goes day-by-day through the first 24 stores of the Bible, ending at the story of Jesus’ birth. Perfect.

Now we are thinking of picking this up and continuing on learning about Jesus life leading up to the story of his death and resurrection as Easter approaches.

Switching topics now to finance, we decided to go with a different credit card (we are all about the cards with the perks and rewards since we use our card like cash and pay it off every month). We searched for and found lower homeowners and car insurance, saving us close to $900 annually (woohoo). And just in general we are moving into a “don’t spend and save as much as we can” mode. It’s more for me because I am the one that has trouble saying no to the fab deal at the store even though I really don’t need it. And lastly, it was kind of nice to find a few forgotten gift cards in my purse and was able to use them and get things we needed at a few stores without spending any of our real money. It was kind of like a second Christmas.

So that’s what we are up to these days.

The next post will be an update on our bathroom (no…we aren’t done with it yet). Promise.

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