Today marks a special occasion in our family.
Jen over at Beauty and Bedlam is hosting a Frugal Fashionista Fashion Show today. She has been doing a series on putting together a fabulous wardrobe inexpensively by shopping for clothes at yard sales and thrift stores.
Over the past several years, I have been able to find items at thrift stores and consignment stores for the girls, pieces that usually look new or still have the original store price tags on them. As my daughters have gotten older, I have not found quite as much in their sizes at yard sales and what is available is usually in a more worn condition.
When I shop at Good Will or another thrift or consignment store, I look for quality name brand items. I find that I am usually able to get store brand items just as cheaply by watching for sales or hitting the clearance racks. I do believe that it takes a little more time to shop at resale stores since many times clothes are only divided by gender or color. You often have to look through a lot of “junk” to find a “jewel,” but to me that’s part of the hunt – finding a really great deal on an item you can use.
Here are some of the clothes I’ve been able to get for my daughters.
I found this dress for my six-year-old at a consignment store. It was new with the tags still on it and I paid $3.50.
This cherry skirt, which my six-year-old has been able to wear for two seasons, was 50 cents at a yard sale. I usually have her wear it with a white or pink top.
These two Children’s Place skirts were at my favorite Good Will and look nearly new. Most importantly, they have the adjustable waist which I need for both my girls. Picked these up for my eight-year-old for around $2.69 each. They are a nice cotton twill so can be worn for summer or winter.
My older daughter loves long, flowy skirts, even for play. I got the brown one at Goodwill for $2.69 and the blue one at a consignment store for $1.50.
Lest you think I never buy tops, I found this Limited Too spring hoodie with the tags still on it at a consignment store for around $3.
I also love buying clothes for the girls in larger sizes when I can and putting them in the back of the closet until the appropriate season. I picked up this dress, which will fit one or the other of them this fall, for $2.69 at Goodwill a couple of weeks ago. It’s so much fun (and cheaper!) at the end of the summer to pull out these finds rather than run to the store to replenish their wardrobe.
I typically don’t find as much for myself at resale stores (although Jen’s series has inspired me to spend a bit more time looking!) I usually try on a variety of things, but don’t walk out with much. Occasionally, however it’s worth it. I recently found this great classic Gap dark brown skirt which is great for church and can be worn with a variety of tops. It looks new and I paid just over $4 for it.
Clothing can take up a huge chunk of your budget, so by shopping wisely for quality items at a good price you can really keep costs down. I still watch for store sales, regularly check the clearance racks at my favorite stores, and sign up to receive retailer coupons, but I also make it part of my routine to stop by a couple of thrift and consignment stores once or twice a month. You never know what treasure you may find!
I thought for today’s Teaching Tuesday, I would list some of the gross (large) motor skills that our young children develop over the years. Most of these come naturally and are fun to acquire because they’re practiced outside with mom and dad as well as other children.
In our family, my husband is in charge of helping the girls with any athletic skills as I am somewhat deficient in that area! He also ruled the “riding a bike without training wheels” process that our six-year-old just mastered (as I am sure he will one day lead in their driver’s training!)
Children are able to master these skills at various ages and with differing degrees of success. A large open area for play and an encouraging attitude is all that is needed to practice most of these activities.
- rolling out dough
- jump roping
- bike riding
- hitting a ball with a bat or racket
If you have any ideas for helping a child learn these skills, please let us know in the comments section.
Homeschoolers may want to check out the Carnival of Homeschooling, hosted this week at Walking Therein.
- The sky that lightens a bit earlier each morning behind the tightly shut window blinds
- The pastel colors of young girls’ dresses on Easter Sunday
- The first tinge of green showing through the dull brown soil
- Dust flying from fast-moving rags as spring cleaning gets under way
- A mom, surrounded by boxes, tucking away sweatshirts and jeans, pulling out tank tops and shorts
- The first bouquet of flowers picked for mom by tiny fingers, clutched tightly in a small fist, given a place of honor in a paper-cup vase
- Bright green stalks of asparagus and ripe red strawberries putting in an appearance at the farmers market
- A load of newly washed laundry swinging on a clothesline in the light breeze
- Burst of blooms on a Bradford pear tree
- An elderly lady kneeling in her garden, shovel in hand, dreaming of a bounty of summer produce
- Thick layer of pollen on the hood of the car
- Azaleas in full bloom, glorious to behold
- Neighbors chatting in the yard, catching up on the news after a long winter-induced hibernation
- First crank of the lawnmower for the season
- Soft spring rain, pattering on the windows
- Allergy-induced sneezes
- Soft bleating of a newborn sheep
- Children, released from winter jackets and snowboats, calling to one another as they traverse the neighborhood on shiny new bikes
- The “thwack” of a baseball hitting a glove; the whiff of a bat, just missing contact
- Squeaky windows being pushed open to admit soft, warm spring air
- Water from a hose hitting the roof of the car as it receives a long-awaited bath
- Early morning calls of birds as they greet the morning together
- The long-awaited silence of the heat pump – no heat or air conditioning needed
- The dull thud of a shovel being thrust into the ground, making way for a new rosebush
This is spring, warm and welcoming, a feast for the senses.
One of the girls thought to bring a bucket, so we were all keeping an eye out for pretty seashells as we went down the beach.
I am very thankful for the family that God has given me. Our girls are growing up so fast! I truly want to be the best wife and mom that I can be for them and pray that God will give me the wisdom and strength to do so.
This Friday Favorite Five is in honor of my sister, who is twenty-two weeks pregnant. Today she has an ultrasound and plans to find out the gender of the baby. Remembering back to those days, here are the five things I used most in those early days of parenthood.
- The On Becoming Babywise book by Gary Ezzo. As I’ve mentioned before, since I’m a “schedule” person anyway, this book helped me lay out from the beginning how our typical day might look.
- Baby Activity Floor Mat. We actually had two versions of these and it was so much fun to see the girls lie on them and bat at the toys hanging overhead.
- Swing. Neither of my girls cared for the bouncy seat, but both enjoyed being in the baby swing.
- Exersaucer. Once they got to be about four or five months old, the girls could hold themselves up and be put in the exersaucer. I think they liked it so much because they could look around and see all that was going on.
- Pack and Play. We used this in the living room as a play pen and napping spot and it made many trips to motel rooms and to visit grandparents.
Did you have favorite items you used when your children were babies? Let us know in the comments section. To all Moms, a very happy Mother’s Day weekend!
I just finished reading the book The Principle of the Path: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Bewritten by Andy Stanley, published by Thomas Nelson publishers.
I like reading books that challenge me to think, and this one did so. Andy Stanley takes the idea of a road, which always leads you somewhere, and applies it to our lives.
The main premise of the path principle is that direction, not intentions, is the key to where we end up in life. While we all desire certain outcomes in our relationships, careers and finances, we have to make decisions today that will lead us to those ends. He delves into the emotions that tend to distract us and our tendency to give attention to things that don’t coincide with the path we should be taking. The author also encourages readers to seek wisdom from others who have traveled the path before them.
The book contains many current cultural references and personal stories and is written in an easy-to-read style. I am only slightly familiar with the author and doubt that I would agree with him on all issues, but feel that I can nearly always learn something from others.
There were two thoughts that most resonated with me. The first was the admonition that we never accomplish the will of God by violating the principles of God. Secondly, near the conclusion of the book, he asks what story you would like to tell with your life. What a great reminder, that every day we are adding pages to the volume that we will look back on one day as the story of our life.
When I first began the book, I wondered how Andy Stanley could possibly write an entire book on such a simple principle. I think he did a fine job of explaining and developing the principle of the path.
At our church on Wednesday night, my eight-year-old daughter played the hymn When I Survey the Wondrous Cross for the offertory.
It is amazing to watch her and see how much she has grown and progressed over the last couple of years. She sits and plays very calmly, while my stomach is churning.
Afterwards, she told me that she thinks about the words of the song while she is playing – and I hope that those words are sinking into her heart. This is why we budget that chunk of money for a piano teacher, drive her to weekly lessons and make sure that she practices her twenty minutes every day – so that she might learn to love and enjoy music and use it as a way to worship and serve God by ministering to and blessing others.
My girls are in an American Girl mood at the moment and got the following books from that series, most of which they have read before and enjoyed:
Addy’s Short Story Collection
A Molly Mystery: The Light in the Cellar
Happy Birthday, Molly
Really Truly Ruthie
They also checked out these books from other series they like to read:
A to Z Mysteries: The X’ed-Out X-Ray
The Cul-de-sac Kids: The Upside-Down Day
We had previously checked out A Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson. I want my girls to develop an appreciation for good poetry, so was happy when my older daughter requested that we get this book again. I’m hoping to find a used copy of it that I can purchase for ourselves.
A couple that were new to us this time were The Secret Soldier: The Story of Deborah Sampson by Ann McGovern and The Cricket in Times Square by George Selden. I skimmed both of these; the latter is a Newbery Honor book and looks quite entertaining and age-appropriate.
As for myself, the bookshelf located by the library exit that contains used books for sale got me again! Here’s what I bought for my own reading:
If Mama Ain’t Happy, Ain’t Nobody Happy by Lindsey O’Connor
The Birth Order Book by Kevin Leman. I have actually read this one before, but wanted to re-read it and add it to my own collection.
The Perfect Wife: The Life and Choices of Laura Bush by Ann Gerhart
Ronald Reagan in Private: A Memoir of My Years in the White House by Jim Kuhn. Ronald Reagan is one of my favorite Presidents and I enjoy reading books about him.
I’m also currently reading The Principle of the Path by Andy Stanley. Look for a review of that book coming up soon!
See what others’ have in their book basket by visiting The Happy Housewife today.
- Her will. My mom willingly submitted to my dad as the leader of our home and set a great example for my brothers, sister and I as to how a good marriage should operate. She taught us to love and respect my dad by the way she talked about him and responded to him.
- Her needs and wants. Mom would put our needs ahead of her own. I know there were many times when she could have bought things for herself, but she would rather one of us children have a new outfit or follow some new interest instead. She always made me feel like it truly brought her joy for us to have the best rather than herself.
- Her time. She always met our physical needs, making sure our laundry was done and our meals were prepared. No matter what activity we were involved in, we knew my mom (and dad as well) would be there to support us. While I didn’t participate in sports, my brothers and sister did and they could count on mom being at every game and cheering enthusiastically, being there to comfort if they lost or congratulate if they won. I’m sure the hours are countless that she spent praying for each of us and, now that we are grown, our children as well.
- Her ambitions. I believe that my mom loved being a stay-at-home mom. She totally dedicated herself to us and laid aside any ambitions she may have had for herself to devote herself to rearing us children.
Proverbs 31:28 says “Her children arise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.” Today I call my mom blessed and thank God for the mom He gave me.