Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Best Things in Life Aren't Things

Feeding the ducks (Altus skyline in the background :P)
Sweet happy baby
I love this little boy!!!
"Daddy, I hold you!!"
Our Growing Family

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Yep, Another Tax Write Off

Well, it's official, come Mother's Day of 2009, we will have another tax write off! We recently found out that we are expecting Baby Tolle number three. (Right after I finally got used to two!) I am ten and a half weeks. We thought 16 months between babies were close, 14 and a 1/2 months is even closer! Yikes! (On a side note, I am surprised by the countless friends I have all due around early to mid-May. What was going on in mid-August?? :))

We are still in shock and until our first appointment today, were pretty much in denial. There's something about seeing the little peanut on the sonogram and seeing his heart beat that just really puts it in perspective and pushes you into reality.

Here are the answers to some questions we've gotten from previous pregnancies that I'll go ahead and knock out now...

1) Yes, we were *surprised*. We have yet to "plan" a child, but Nate and I both know that children are a huge blessing from the Lord, and who are we to deny a blessing? Even if he comes to us a little sooner than expected.

2) Yes, I'm feeling good for the most part, just EXTREMELY EXHAUSTED. Let's just say, our house is a pig sty right now.

3) I know that I know that I know that I know that it is a boy. We just work that way apparently. And yes, he will have a "C" name.

4) Yes, I think we are finally catching on to "what causes this".

Thanks for celebrating with us, and for those who can, drink a glass of wine for me!

Monday, October 13, 2008

This made me happy today!

We paid $2.59 per gallon for gas today...wahoo! There is at least one good thing that comes out of a troubled economy.

Nate and I have been trying to pinch pennies these past few months (even more than usual) due to the rising costs of living life...though our nation doesn't even know the meaning of the term "discomfort" (i.e. we are not forced to ration bread, sugar, gas, meat, etc...we really don't have it that bad!). Here are a list of 10 things we've done recently to save money.

1) We keep our thermostat at 76 degrees during the day during the summer and 78 at night. (I know, I know, no menopausal women will want to come hang out with us!)

2) We are eating at home more...not sure if this is necessarily to save money or if the options in Altus just aren't really worthy of our hard earned money, but hey the result is saved money. We do however, look up recipes online to restaurants we miss and make them at home. We've made PF Chang's Mongolian Beef, Johnny Carino's Spicy Ramano Chicken, and Olive Garden's Zuppo Tuscana to name a few.

3) The water is nasty here, even when filtered, so Nate and I drink more bottled water that we stock up on at the commissary case lot sales. And when we drink pop, we take advantage of Sonic's Happy Hour for half priced drinks and slushes. We'll be in big trouble if/when Sonic ends this deal!

4) We shop at Walgreens for their rebates and coupon sales. Just this past month we got over $85.00 in free health and beauty products and stocked up on some really cheap Huggies diapers. I'd never shop at Walgreens for something full price, but they have a great rebate system that you can score some great freebies and can submit the rebate form online and you don't even have to remember to mail it in.

5) We buy only used clothes and toys. Seriously, not even Corban's birthday presents were brand new. We get all their toys at garage sales, Goodwill, and off craigslist.

6) As previously posted, we are Dollar Tree fans.

7) We don't go to movies (no baby-sitters and a crappy movie theatre), and we don't have cable. Our family entertainment thrives off of Netflix, parks, walks, our backyard, the internet, playgroups, books, Wal-Mart, and each other. I know, it may sound pathetic, but we are in a *small* town in the middle of nowhere, remember?

8) We don't eat hot dogs. That really really has nothing to do with saving money, but I just had to throw it in...we have a Bar S Factory (the makers of Bar S Hotdogs, Bacon, and other meats) about a half mile away from our house and some of the smells that come from there are just gross enough to turn a person away from hot dogs for awhile.

9) We plan our meals. I make a loose, semi flexible menu for the week based on what we have already and shop for what we need to complete the meals. We base our meals on what's on sale, what we have, and what sounds good to us. Just this step alone has saved us a ton of moolah by not throwing out spoiled, rotten food.

10) We mooch. :) Not in an annoying way, but we borrow stuff if needed. For an example, I hosted a party last week and didn't have enough pitchers or a nice ice bucket. Though I could buy them so I'd have them for the next time, I asked a couple of friends if I could borrow their nice crystal pitchers and ice bucket, and ta da, I was set.

Really, I am frugal more out of desire than out of necessity. I like the challenge of living for less. Nate doesn't call me his "Bargain Bloodhound" for nothing!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Operation Hydration

It's been a long week here in the Tolle house...with two sick kids and a husband with the Rotavirus. I'll spare you pictures of the nastiness that has entered our walls, but let's just say it hasn't been fun. I have lost track of how many poopy diapers I've changed, sheets I've changed, loads of laundry I've done, and Pedialyte bottles I've bought.

They seem to be healed by day... I'll think they are all better, than inevitably at night, the fun begins. We are trying to keep them hydrated, but who knows how much is actually staying in. The internet says it could lasty 7-10 days. We are on Day 9 right now, so hopefully it will end soon. If you think about it, say a prayer for us...we need it!