Friendly Reminder…i.e. looking for my long-lost readers!

If you like to read about me and my family….be sure to follow us over at

Three Little Birds!

And update any links you may have on your blog!  I miss my readers…seems my stats have dropped a lot since I “moved”!

Auf wiedersehen

Thank you Heidi Klum for teaching me not only about what is fashionable but also how to say goodbye in German!

I am saying adios to Counting My Pennies.  It’s been a fun 2 years here but I have decided to make the switch back to Blogger.  Honestly, I like WordPress better for the actual blogging part but I LOVE blogger for the ability to “prettify” my blog!  I still have a LOT of work to do on it and it’s a slow process as I relearn the Blogger format!

I hope you all will follow me over to Three Little Birds.  I’ll be back checking back on this blog for comments and such but the majority of my blogging will now be family-related and will be on Blogger.

And if you are wondering, “Why Three Little Birds” . . . well it’s all about Bob.  Bob Marley that is.  And the fact that we have three little girls.  And the fact that the song says, “don’t worry . . . about a thing.  ‘Cause every little thing, is gonna be alright”.  I find my self singing that when I am stressed.  Me and the girls do LOVE some Bob Marley!  The name just seemed like a perfect fit.  

Thank you to all my wonderful readers here.  I REALLY hope you will all follow me to the new blog and will click that little button over there that says “follow”.  I know there are lots of you lurking out there that I don’t know but would love to meet!

A New Year….A New Blog

It’s true what they say about having kids.  With the first you remember, document and scrapbook everything.  At almost 8 years old, I can still tell you exactly what time Annagrace was born.  How much she weighed and how long she was.

With Madalyn,well I remember her weight and the time she was born.

Layla was born 2 months ago and I had to look up the time of her birth today because I forgot.

The same goes with scrapbooking.  Annagrace has beautiful books to document her first 4 years of life.  Then came Madalyn and according to my scrapbooks, she is stuck at about 6 months old.  The rate I am going, I’ll be lucky if Layla ever has a scrapbook at all. So I have decided to change my philosphy on scrapbooking.

I am going to do a blog scrapbook this year.   Did you know you can print your blog?  I have known this for awhile but have never taken the time to research it.  I have decided that this year–2010–I will blog about our family more.  I’ll blog about the kids more and what they are doing.  I’ll take (and post!) even more photos.  And at the end of the year I will have the blog printed x 3 and given to each child.  If this goes well then I’ll continue to do this each year and when they are 18 and move out they will have a book documenting every year of their lives.

I’m excited about it.  I still love scrapbooking.  And I will still do special scrapbooking projects.  But honestly between having 3 kids, working (soon to be full-time again) and homeschooling there just isn’t enough time in the day to keep up with it all.

So look out for changes around here.  I am considering starting a new separate blog just for the kids stuff.  Or keeping this blog up and running but change my focus.  Not sure yet.  This blog started as a way to keep me accountable regarding my fianances and saving money but it has switched focus and is now more or less a family blog .

I do want to try my best this year to blog something everyday.  Even if it is just a little blurb about what we did that day.  Some things may seem boring now but in 20 years it will be neat to go back and read about how we spent our time in the year 2010!

Last Year’s Resolutions Reviewed

I found my resolution post from last year and I thought I would see how I did with sticking to them!

1)  Life a healthier, greener life.   

I did fairly well at the greener part.  This year I stopped using papertowels, started recycling, started using cloth diapers and reuseable baby wipes.  I am much more conscious now of what I buy and whether it is the best “green” option.  My sis-in-law laughed at me in the grocery store once because I was honestly torn between buying “green” biodegradable paper plates and the much much cheaper (but horrible for the environment) styrofoam.  Kermit was wrong….it’s not always easy being green!

The healthier part needs some work.  I let that go when I found out I was preggers (and then had horrible morning sickness throughout my pregnancy).  This year will be better! 

3)  Reduce my consumption.  Recycle more.  Reuse more.   

 Did very well with this as I mentioned above.  I am also much more cognizant of what I throw away.  I simply can not throw an empty spaghetti jar in the trash anymore.  What a waste!  If I can’t find a use for it then I recycle it! 

5)  Focus on my word for the year–Simplify–and will be content with what I have. 

Did well with this one although the last few months have been harder for me as far as the contentment part. 

6)  Take a photo or document something in our lives everyday. 

I totally screwed this one up!  I had really good intentions to use my 365 Scrapbooking kit to accomplish this.  But when it came THREE months after I ordered it I just didn’t have the desire any longer. I have something in mind for 2010 along these lines but I think it will be more manageable.  And I’m still going to use that scrapbook even though every single day may not have a photo!

7)  Participate in the Weekly Photography Challenge. 

Forget it.  I got way too busy with moving and all so I gave up on this one.

8)  Read one book each month.  

I read way more this year than usual although I didn’t read one book a month.  I did read the first 3 books of the Twilight Series, and a few other books here and there.  Probably maybe 6 books total.  But I read tons to prepare for homeschooling and to prepare lesson plans so that should count for something, right?! 

Still thinking about my resolutions for this year.  I can’t believe another decade has passed.  Wow.  10 years ago I was still in nursing school.  Aaron and I lived in a little apartment in Eliazabeth City.  We were BROKE but happy.  It’s hard to believe that in 10 years from now I will have a 10 year old, a 14 year old and an almost-18 year old.  Yikes.  I just want to take it one day at a time and enjoy every minute.  Time is passing so quickly now!

20 Questions–

Warning!  LONG post ahead!

Aaron and I were recently discussing resolutions.  We have never really made any together and he thought that this year we should try to come up with some that would involve our entire family.  A few that I immediately thought of were:

  • Have a date night one night a month.  Even if it is just out to grab a cup of coffee. 
  • Work with the homeless shelter or the Little Willy Center (center for kids).
  • Spend more quality time together as a family.

We haven’t “officially” set our resolutions in stone yet.  Still thinking on a few.  I found these 20 questions over at Simple Mom that help you to reflect on your year and to think about for the new year.   My answers are in red!

Vision Questions for 2010

1.  What skill do you most want to learn this year?  Sewing….I know how but would like to get a new machine and improve on my skills!

2.  What is one skill you already have that you’d like to improve this year?  Photography.  There is always more to learn about my favorite hobby!

3.  Name three books you most definitely want to read in 2009.  Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyer (have started but not finished yet).  She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb (been sitting on my shelf for 2 years and I haven’t got to reading it yet) and the Little House Series by Laura Ingalls Wilder (with the girls). 

4.  In what specific area do you most want to encourage your spouse?  What are some ways you can do this?  In his work and in his desire to build relationships with new people that do not know Christ.  I can PRAY more for him because I don’t do that nearly enough.  I can try not to get too possessive and jealous of my time with him! 

5.  Think of one of your major life goals.  What will you do this year to make you one step closer to reaching that goal?  Wow.  A major life goal.  Well one of them is to raise my 3 girls to know and love Jesus.  This year I need to focus more on teaching them about what it means to BE like Christ.  I need to be a better example of that to them. 

6.  Name your kids’ biggest strengths.  What are some ways you can specifically nourish those strengths?  Annagrace is very smart and very helpful.  She is also very caring.  Madalyn is very intuitive.  She can sense when someone is having a bad day and she loves to give hugs and wants to make things “all better”.  Layla…well…her biggest strength is she sleeps through the night now….sometimes!  I want our family to do more for the poor and less fortunate this year.  Some changes are coming with my job that will give us more “wiggle room” in our budget.  This will give us the abiliaty to give money to the homeless man at McDonald’s.  We can buy groceries for a family that is struggling.  We can do things for others and in the process nourish our children’s caring natures. 

7.  Name your kids’ most prominent weakness.   What are some ways you can encourage their ability to overcome it?  Annagrace is way too sensitive at times.  Madalyn can be very stubborn and mean at times.  I want Annagrace to grow up to be a strong, independent woman.  I don’t really know how to make her tougher because she gets her sensitivity from me!  As far as Madalyn….I think we really need to work on the “good girl” chart more this year!

8.  What is one of your strengths?  Think of some specific ways you can exercise it this year.  I really care about the less fortunate.  And in this economy the lines between the “less fortunate” and the “well off” have really become blurred.  I’ve already mentioned that I want us to get involved in some type of charity work such as the homeless center or the local kid’s center.  Beyond that I am not sure.  

9.  What is one of your weaknesses?  Brainstorm some ideas on how you can overcome this deficiency.  Like Annagrace, I am highly sensitive.  I get my feelings hurt way too easily.  I cry too easily.  I sometimes dwell on things too long that others would let roll off their backs.  I have always been like this.  I honestly have no idea how to “overcome” this deficiency.  If any of you out there have any tips, feel free to send them my way.

10.  Think of an important relationship aside from your spouse and children.  How will you nurture that relationship this year?  I have made some new friends since we moved (hello Gina and Frances!) and I want to spend more time with them and their families in 2010.  ‘Cause we love those Browns and Dunns.  🙂

11.  Name a few ways your physical health could be improved.  Only a few?!  I definitely need to get back to eating healthfully.  That went right out the door the month I found out I was preggers.  I also need to start exercising again.  We got the Biggest Loser Wii game for Christmas and Aaron and I both plan to use it.  We also have talked about the entire family becoming more active.  We have bikes that we love to ride and we plan to take lots more walks this year!

12.  Name a few ways your family’s financial health could be improved.  Well it is ALMOST official.  Starting in January I will be changing positions at work to a full time salaried position.  I will be the weekend on-call nurse from Friday at 5pm until Monday morning.  I thought all day about the pros and cons and the pros are too many that I can’t turn the offer down.  So financially we are going to be in a MUCH better place.  In addition to that, we will continue to forego cable and a home phone.  I will get back to my couponing and CVSing.  We will stay on a budget.  We will pay off our medical bills.  We will put a major DENT in our car loan.  Just because we have more money, does not mean we will live like we do.  I want to continue to be frugal and to become even better stewards of our money!

13.  In what way do you want to draw closer to God?  I want to talk to Him more.  I want read His word more.  I want to become more like Jesus.  I want to think more like Jesus.  I want to act more like Jesus. 

14.  What is one area of home management that frustrates you?  Think of some specific ways you could improve your attitude about it.  I don’t know about home management but my home in general is frustrating me.  I have closets that need to be organized.  Bins of clothes thrown haphazardly in the attic.  A shed that is overflowing with junk and toys and tools.  Kitchen cabinets that are a nightmare.  I want to do a major Spring cleaning/Organizing overhaul of the entire house.  I long for the day when there is a place for everything and everything is in it’s place.  My stress level is much more manageable when things are organized and labeled.  Weird, I know. 

15.  Have you ever created a family mission statement with your spouse?  If so, why not do one for this year?  No.  But this is a fabulous idea!  Last year I chose a word for myself (“Simplify”).  I’ll have to talk to Aaron about this and come up with something!

16.  Name one specific thing you could do with your spouse this year that will deepen your intimacy.  Spend more time together without the kids.  We don’t go on enough dates.  We don’t spend enough time just talking to each other.  We both know we need to improve in this area!

17.  What is something that is continually undone in your life?  What will you do to fully complete it this year?  Well this is sort of along those lines….our bills are always late.  Not like, 2 weeks late.  But for instance the car payment.  If I pay it on time and mail it in then I don’t have to pay a processing charge.  If I wait until the last minute (which I do almost every month) I have to pay a $12 fee to pay it over the phone.  I hate that stupid $12 fee.  This year I will be more responsible in paying our bills on time!

18.  In what ways will you be involved with your local community?  Already mentioned several times above!

19.  What is one thing you’d like to accomplish by your birthday this year?  I would like to finish painting the house.  We still need to work on the kitchen, dining room, living room and our bedroom.  I hope to get all that done by July 10! 

20.  Think of three words you’d like to describe your 2010.  Happy.  Healthy.  Peaceful.   

Christmas…is it really already over?!

Wow how this year has just flown by!   I hope to get some more Christmas photos edited and uploaded tomorrow but for now here is just one of our Christmas tree taken shortly after Santa arrived at or home on Christmas Day!  We had a fantastic Christmas and I hope you all did as well!

Poor Sick Baby

My sweet little 2 month old (wow, really?  2 months old already?!) is sick.  She has thrush in her mouth.  And on her bottom.  And now she is hoarse.  Her little quiet cry is so sad.  What a way to spend her first Christmas.  😦

Rough (but strangely productive) Day

Despite spending the entire day at home (very unusual for us) with a grumpier than usual 2 month old and a defiant and sassy 4 year old I still managed to accomplish a few things today.  Not as much as I was hoping but at least it’s a start.  In between tending to Layla and her constant crying and arguing with Madalyn about her messy room I was able to:

  • Clean out the upstairs hallway closet and label the shelves.  I do love my labeler.  And it really helps me to keep things in their place!
  • Sorted through Madalyn’s clothes and took the too small ones out of her closet.
  • Almost got Madalyn’s room clean.
  • Hang a different shower curtain in the upstairs hallway bathroom.
  • Switch the dining room curtain with the master bedroom curtain. 
  • Washed about 4 loads of clothes including a load of diapers.  Have gotten 3 dried and folded.
  • Cooked supper.
  • Cleaned Annagrace’s room.
  • Changed the sheets in Annagrace’s room and our room.
  • Scrubbed about 1/4 of the kitchen floor (getting ready to go and finish that now).
  • Cleaned our bedroom (though it is not nearly done).
  • Wrapped one present and helped the girls wrap two presents. 

I honestly don’t know how I got all that done today.  Annagrace was a really big help and I wouldn’t have gotten half of that stuff done without her.  Layla was soooooo fussy today.  At one point I just laid her in the crib and let her cry because I was starting to lose my patience.  I hate hearing her cry and I KNOW she doesn’t feel good because of the thrush but I just couldn’t handle it.  Lots of mama tears shed today!

Yucky thrush

My poor baby has thrush. As upset about that as I am I am glad to know what has been causing her to be so incredibly fussy the last few days. I feel awful because I thought her tongue looked white a few days ago and I thought, “Hmmm…that sorts looks like thrush. Nah. It’s probably just leftover milk.”. Today I was holding her in her sling while I was cooking because she just wouldn’t calm down any other way and she yawned really big while we were standing by the window. That’s when I saw her tongue covered in white patches! I looked in it again this evening and it is also on the inside of her cheeks. That explains the increase in spit up, the fussiness while nursing, my sore breasts. All things that I had attributed to other things. I feel so stupid. I think she may have had this for awhile because of the timing of all the symptoms.

Anyway. I called her doctor and she has called in a prescription for her for Nystatin drops and also a script for Nystatin cream that I am to use after nursing. I will have to get it tomorrow since the pharmacy was closed when we went tonight.

I hope she gets feeling better before Christmas! I want my sweet happy baby back!


Today I am grateful for:

  • Good books, including this one that I have almost finished:


  • Finding one of my favorite movies in the $5 DVD section at Wal-mart.

  • Pearl Jam.  Yes, Pearl Jam.  I’ve loved them for so long.  Hopefully I’ll see them live one day. 


  • Blogs by creative people like this one.  And this one.  And especially this one
  • My Aunt Tinker (yes, that is really her name…well, a nickname that stuck) and her homemade fudge.
  • Good days that are had by my 92 year old Granny.  It was nice to visit yesterday and know that she knew who I was (even if she couldn’t remember my name!). 
  • Homeschooling my kids.  I love it.  Most days. 
  • Little girly Christmas dresses worn by Layla and Madalyn tonight.  And “big girl” sweater dresses and black boots (worn by Annagrace!). 
  • My mom’s scheduled knee replacement surgery.  I tell ya, when I see her get up without a walker, pick up Layla and carry her for the first time…I will just CRY.  
  • Payday.  And I’m not talking about the candy bar.  Although they are pretty good too. 
  • Christmas surprises.  And my kids are getting a BIG one this year!  Can’t wait!!!
  • Cloth diapers and the ability to breastfeed my child.  Not that money is the main reason I do it but it is amazing to think that those two things have already saved us roughly $250.  And Layla is not even 2 months old yet!
  •  My parents and their love for their grandchildren.  They never hesitate to say “yes” when I ask them if the girls can spend the night with them! 

  • My new niece or nephew who will be making a debut next summer!!!  Annagrace became the first grandchild in 2002.  In 2004 Taylor joined the bunch when her mommy married my brother.  In 2005 our family was blessed with both Brayden and Madalyn, in 2008 Zachary arrived, in 2009 Layla joined our brood and now next year another little Cutler will join the family! Yippee!  My mom said she never dreamed she would have 7 grandchildren!

So many more things to be grateful for.  This is just the tip of the iceberg!

April 2021