Monday, October 21, 2013

Money Troubles and Mini Adventures

We vacationed a bit hard this summer, which would've been fine had our renters continued to pay their rent (the mortgage on our second house), but you know how it goes, which is rarely the way it ought; thus, we've had to slow way down.

We've cut out the eating out, also all shopping save that of the responsible, grocery variety, including thrift-store and (almost all) yard-sale shopping. I've stopped driving into town except on the days Charleigh has gymnastics (the one luxury to which I'm still stubbornly clinging, along with Clementine's dance).

And, you know, I don't like it, but I feel surprisingly happy, anyway. The house is cleaner, the laundry more caught up, than it's been for awhile. I switched out the girls' warm-weather clothes for cold-weather ones. I'm expecting some out-of-state company over the next couple weeks: so, so excited about that. Excited about halloween and Chippy's first birthday.

I've been studying--and learning!--my camera and photography with determination and wonder, and I've been writing offline. Fiction. Just a little bit.

I love autumn. I love my husband and how, without so much as a word, we've agreed to treat one another more kindly since the money troubles started (because life's hard enough). I love my children and how, really, they just want Jim and me and our attention. I've raised them to go and do, and they love it, but they're just as happy to hang out at home in our log cabin or yard.

Clementine's learned the dinner-time prayer that hangs in our dining room, the same one Cade used to pray:

Thank You, God, for this food
for rest and home and all things good.
For wind and rain and sun above,
but most of all for those we love.

My eyes well up at that last part every, single time. I really am so thankful for all of it, including the mini adventures we've managed to squeeze in, over the last two months, on a tight-tight budget.

Wizard of Oz kids' event at the mall. (We already had the dresses.)

Watching Jim play softball. (Doesn't he look great?!)

Day at our state park with Sarah Beagle and the kids for whom she's a nanny.

Wizard of Oz 3D (a huge extravagance, admittedly, even though it was a matinee).

Fall festival at church. Cade, Samwise, Phillip.

Fall festival at church. Trunk-or-treat (our minivan). My girls with Zach and Lydia.

Fall festival at church. Chip and Rachel. This photo totally makes me cry.

Day at the zoo. (We have an annual membership.) This is Rachel's son Zach.

Aubrie and Chel at the zoo.

Chel's son Camden at the zoo.

but most of all for those we love.


  1. Great story - and we've been there with the renters who couldn't (and in a few cases, wouldn't) pay. Happy looking family, Brandee - you're doing it right :)

  2. Love this entry. My favorite part of this particular one is the dinnertime blessing, it is so sweet, Brandee.

  3. Great post Brandee! Nice to see that your priorities are in line the rest (money) will follow!

  4. SO LOVE THE PHOTO OF RACHEL and CHIP! OMG...... perfect........ love you

  5. It is amazing how when we slow down the kids seem to really go right with it and really enjoy it. Every time I homeschooled this was my goal to stay home and be THERE doing. They always embraced it. Simplify, it is a good thing.

    I'm sorry about your renter, I've been praying about it

  6. Sorry about the renter troubles. Thankful to see you living life to the full in spite of the budget constraints. And, your hubs is, indeed, looking great, and as always, your kiddos are adorable.

  7. Your pictures are so good girl. And he does look great!! Can't wait to see you tomorrow.