Thursday, December 9, 2010


yesterday i was going to blog about what i did on tuesday. but then i got the flu. yes i did. and did you know that when mom throws up so does the house all around you? no kidding, the laundry threw up all over the floors, the cupboards threw up all over my counters, even the kid's back packs threw up take home papers all over my kitchen table and kitchen floors, not to mention that my bed looks like it had a hang over with how bad it looked after me just rushing back and forth from the bed to the bathroom and then being the hub (after i quit throwing up) for kids to come and check in just to say that so and so was doing so and so, and what was i going to do about it...
so if ever you want to feel good about the things you do all day everyday, just don't do it for a day and see the disaster you don't let happen. i'm just sayin.

okay so onto what i did on tuesday before all hell broke lose in my stomach, i made little gift tags for family members using stamps, paper doilies, and a sewing machine. super easy and kind of cute and totally dirt cheap. my kind of craft.
my absolute favorite one is this doily one. i can just envision it on light brown plain paper wrapping and cut long strings of fabric. or if i get around to it buying some of this baker's twine
totally plain and simple.

that's what i'm going as this year's christmas motto, plain and simple.

we as a family we decided (okay it was me and jake and we told the kids this is what we were doing) that this year only one toy was going to be given to them by us, one from santa, and the rest of the presents under the tree were going to be needs of clothes for the rest of the school year. my kids who already, i feel, know the value of a dollar because i make them pay for their own wants through out the year, were totally okay with it and don't think it's wrong that they are only getting the one thing that we all went to the store together and each one of them picked out that one thing. they also saw how much it was. we got thanked for actually spending the money on that one want. that makes me feel like i may not be a total failure of a parent. now some of you may think i'm harsh when it comes to making my kids pay for things throughout the year...but i personally feel like my kids need to have some kind of knowledge about money and what it takes to actually have things they want and to see that there are a lot of needs that come in to play before those wants can come into play. and mainly i want them to have knowledge that even if the bank account says you have money...that doesn't mean it has to be spent right there and then. and especially not on wants.
now don't get me wrong, i know i have a lot of things. i know i do, but we don't get into debt for them. we council and hmmm and haa over our purchases every single one of them that we feel is more of a want. we've had this mentality since the first day we called our lives "together". and i hope to instill this feeling about money into my children.
am i really wrong for being so tough with them on money?
so i'll get off my soap box now.

okay a few things:
some of you have asked me where i was getting my polaroid looking found obsession turning my pictures into polaroids using this site.
give it a shot it makes a lot of your plainer not so cool pictures look kind of cool.

some of you want to know of homemade goodness for christmas:
check out this site for a whole workshop of homemade goodness for the season.

some of you keep pestering me to show you more of the new house. okay i will but just know that i've not really done too much to it as i've moved into a bigger place...and well...i've been saving pennies for things i would like to add to walls and such things. but just know that yes more pictures to come.

okay with that. katie and i are going to sew a little bit more. yes, katie and i. she's been in my lap every single time i've been on my sewing machine when she's around. she's actually getting kind of gutsy and saying "i do it by myself now, mom." okay maybe i'll let some of the control issues go aside and have her make her own thing.
comments closed


lera said...

I know how crazy my house gets when I'm down for the count. Glad to hear you're recovering.

I wanted to tell you where I bought my bakers twine (except I bought it via eBay, but they seem to be off eBay now): It's a HUGE spool. I'm still using mine two-three years later.

Amanda Joy Petersen said...

*Long Comment Alert:)*

I am glad that you are feeling better. I have a cold that keeps coming back every two weeks and it is driving me nuts. If it keeps on happening I might have to have my tonsil out again! That's right, when I was four the Dr. left part of one tormenting piece of tonsil to haunt me.

I don't think you are being tough on your kids. I think it is a great idea. With us there are three sets of grandparents not to mention great granparents and great great grandparents to spoil the kids. It makes for a lot of "stuff" at Christmas time.

We decided that it was time to cut back while they are too young to remember the switch (3yrs. & 1yr)Our kids are going to get something to Watch, something to Read, something they Want, something they Need.

Santa brings three little stocking stuffers, a family game, a family book, and a Nativity. Anything homemade is an extra bonus and doesn't count toward the other gifts. We take care of everything for under $100 per kid. It helps to keep us under control, when it could easily get out of hand.

This year they are getting piggy banks to learn more about tithing and spending, so thanks for this post. It reaffirms what I have been feeling:)

Sorry for the long comment

Merry Christmas!

Simply EC said...

That's actually really cool that you teach your kids about the value of money. Do they get an allowance or do they have chores they have to do and to earn money do things outside of their normal chores? I'm interested to hear more about how you do that!

Tennjenny said...

You're my hero about Christmas. Don't ever second guess it. People go crazy about Christmas, my mom included. Christmas was always so overdone, and by the time you got to the last presents, you didn't even really want them. (That sounds so terrible, but it's true.)

V and Co. said...

my kids have to do a daily chore. that's just expected, but they can do extra chores not on the chore for the day list for money. it's up to them how much money they want to make, the more and harder they work the more money they get given to them and then they have to pay 10% to the church, 10% goes to savings and then they can spend the rest...normally my kids don't spend everything they make, seeing that they want to see bank account go up in dollars.

Pat S. said...

I think you're giving your children a much more valuable gift that they'll value for a lifetime. I wish my own parents had taught me the value of "living below your means" so I wouldn't have had to struggle most of my life learning it the hard way. :-(

Here's a really great article about giving your children fewer toys that really makes sense:

Ellen said...

Hope you're feeling better. I'm not a parent, but for what its worth I like your Christmas plan. Learning the value of money is an important lesson, and it sounds like your kids won't be up to their ears in debt as adults. I can't imagine a better legacy. Personally, I measure non-essential purchases in either car payments or the cost of my favorite bacon bluecheeseburger ... 'is that really worth 3 cheeseburgers' or 'is that really worth half a car payment?' May sound silly, but it works to put things in perspective.

I adore that your tags don't say "to" and "from", they say "to" and "love." Very cool. Because that is what Christmas is all about, isn't it? Love.

Merry Christmas to you & yours!

Cheryl said...

First off, sorry to hear you have the flu. It's no fun when momma is sick. I think we have all been there and can relate to the whole house threw up comment you made. Hopefully you will be feeling better soon.

love the tags. we too are doing plain and simple. We started doing that over five years ago. each child gets three gifts just like baby Jesus. However, things are tight this year and I so love your idea of one gift. something they really like and want and the rest socks, undergarments, clothes, etc. the needs.

I admire you for teaching your children so young about money. You are only helping them. So many young children who don't learn at a young age grow up into adults that end up in debt. So, kuddos to you and the hubs.

Anonymous said...

had that horrible puking thing last week, too. blah. hope you're feeling back up to par very soon if not already.

yay for teaching your kids about money. =) the only debt we have is student loans, and i still think that kids don't know what they're getting into when they're signing loan papers for college. i know i didn't. *sigh*

Mama Gone Green said...

Hope you are feeling better!

bethanndodd said...

The flu sucks!!! Happy to hear you are feeling better though :)

I LOVE how you are doing Christmas with your family. I have 3 sons and they get WAAAAAAAY too many presents. There are just too many people that get them things so even when I feel like I toned it down, they still get too much stuff. This year I tried to give people the idea of "activity" gift cards so they aren't just going to the store to buy more crap (oops, stuff). Movie gift cards and a local mini gold/go kart/edutainment center are sure to be a hit with the boys. We also adopted 2 Grandparents and 2 kids. HOpefully, they learn something about Christmas other than thinking they just get presents!!

TheBackPorchQuilters said...

I laughed so hard when I read this post! That is exactly what happens in every household across the country when Mom is sick! I can so relate.
The Back Porch Quilters

Love your blog!

AshleyAnn said...

GORGEOUS. I love those gift tags!!

Morgan Moore said...

Feel better soon, friend!


p.s. love the cards!

catie said...

ooh! those are so cute! hope you are feeling better.

Tiffany said...

I don't think you are being to harsh at all! I think it is a great value to instill in your children. I grew up that way (hubby did not) and I hope we can pass it on to our kids because I think it is very important.

Unknown said...

I do not have kids of my own yet, having only left my parents home a year ago, but I completely agree with you. Our parents did a similar thing - we were each given an allowance and that was all we had for stuff we wanted. When we got older, we even contributed to stuff like summer activities and camps. If we wanted something more expensive, like a camera or a laptop, we had to save money (or borrow it from parents and then return it!). We did not have much money, that is true, but I think it made me value money more and not waste it on stuff I do not need. And it also made me more creative!
Actually, I admire you for doing what you did and for bringing up your kids in such a way that they accept it!

Hannah said...

I wrapped a bunch of Christmas gifts yesterday and spontaneously made "To/Love" tags instead of "To/From" ones. and I thought "This is cute. I can't believe no one else has done this." Too funny.


Lmbo on the mom throw up and so did the laundry and the rest of the house lol!! I love the idea of one want and one from santa and the rest school clothes, may have to do that. I too have my kids buy things throughout the year and plan to stick with it so that they can value the $$$ earned!! love ur blog and hope ur feeling better!!

Anna said...

love the tags vanessa. :) very sweet and modern at the same time.

Mystica said...

Nice tags!

I am having my first giveaway on my blog. A gift card sponsored by CSN Stores. please do enter

Heather at Happy Chippy Junk said...

Love the tags so darn simple and so darn darling!! I got strep last night..I feel your pain!

Mrs. Jacobson said...

Thank you for sharing this with all of 'us'. I hem and haw over all of our purchases and have been at a bit of a loss about what to do about christmas when we have children. Buying for all of our family members seems enormous right now. I think the husband and I will put this into practice when we actually have children. I think it will help them be more mindful of money and appreciative. Thank you again for sharing, it does help.

April (Polkadot Sparrow) said...

1.) Gift tags: perfect.

2.) You are supermom when it comes to teaching your kids about money. Thanks for sharing about how you do it because I am determined to teach my child(ren) about the value of a dollar, too.

One thing I'm intend to do is to have each child pick a gift for an underprivileged child each Christmas and to give it to a charity of choice. They can choose and wrap the gift and see how good it feels to give. :)

Rachelle said...

Thanks for the awesome tag ideas!

Monika Wright | I Love It All said...

I'd like to recommend baker's twine from The Twinery {I'm on their Design Team} and they even have a sampler pack available here:

The colors are so luscious and the quality is amazing!

Wishing you and your family the best of holidays!

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