Mama Martin

quilting, gardening, sewing, motherhood….

Not Spending A Penny November 27, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — janelmartin @ 9:19 am

Earlier this week Dean and I went to see a house. We weren’t planning on looking for a house until spring, but this one came up so we decided to go see it. (If we decide to try to make this house our home I will tell you more about it.). Last night we sat down to discuss finances. We decided that we want to pay off as much debt as possible and increase our house savings account before we put an offer on a house. I thought I would share what we are doing. Maybe it will inspire you. And you can hold us accountable…

Our plan for reducing debt:

– not to spend ANY money on non debts: this means no eating out and buying no more Christmas presents
– spend $50 on groceries this month. I know this sounds crazy, but we have two full freezers and lots of canned items in the basement. Now the challenge is for me to be creative with my meals:)
– no more credit cards
– use only cloth diapers. We were still using disposable diapers on Wesley and Nathaniel at bed time. No more.
– use cloth toilet paper
– turn lights on as little as possible

Our plan is then to focus all this money towards paying more on all our debt payments.

Our plan for putting more money in our house savings is pretty easy. Every month we put a set amount from the money we receive for rent into this account, so every month that goes by this account will automatically grow. We will also be adding the tax refund to this account.

Thanks for joining us on this journey. Please post any money saving/ earning ideas that you have!


School with Daddy July 2, 2012

Filed under: Homeschooling,Uncategorized — janelmartin @ 7:57 am

When we first decided to homeschool Dean said that he would teach something to the boys on Saturdays.  We have been discussing our vision for why we are homeschooling and what we want homeschooling to look like in our home. A couple of weeks ago Dean decided he would like to do science and art activities with the boys.  And so it began….

ImageThe first lesson was about primary colors and secondary colors.  Besides introducing a new concept it also reinforced colors which Calvin has a hard time remembering.

ImageMixing red….

Imageand yellow to make orange!

After mixing colored water they mixed paint and painted pictures. I missed that part because little Nathaniel was hungry 🙂

ImageWhen bath time was done Calvin poured in the blue colored water, followed by the yellow colored water  to make green water.  He loves green, so this was all very exciting to him.



Reading Together February 24, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — janelmartin @ 8:28 am

I didn’t realize until a few years ago that all parents don’t spend time reading to their children.  This kind of shocked me since reading to my kids is something we do everyday, several times a day that adds up to a good chunk of our time spent together.  Both the boys love looking at books on their own.  I am excited to see their interest in books develop.  Reading is such an important skill and to enjoy reading is a blessing.


Valentine’s Day February 17, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — janelmartin @ 7:01 am

We didn’t really do much for Valentine’s Day this year.  Dean and I decided to buy each other a spice cabinet- very romantic, huh?  Calvin and I did make the traditional heart shaped cake.  I remember making this cake with my mom growing up.

The icing was a little runny and I didn’t have any more sugar to add to it.  Calvin enjoyed watching it puddle on the bottom and adding marshmallows to it!


Snowy Day January 26, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — janelmartin @ 11:31 am

Snow is not my favorite weather condition but when it happens on a Saturday I am happy to see the white flakes falling from the sky.  The whole family can go outside.


Dean can do most of the shoveling, which makes both of us happier about it.  Calvin can help shovel.

Dean can stay outside longer with Calvin who likes to play in the snow.  Wesley and I go outside briefly because we would both rather be inside looking at the snow through a window.  When we come inside we can get out of wet snowy clothes for dry warm clothes, snuggle up under blankets and drink hot chocolate.

Dean dug two tunnels for Calvin to crawl through.

Last Saturday was a wonderful day spent with family and snow!


What do you do with too much ice? September 15, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — janelmartin @ 2:24 pm

Well make ice cream, of course.  We had bags of ice in our freezers because I had been saving up ice for Wesley’s birthday party.  Since there was a chance of a storm on his birthday we kept the drinks inside and didn’t need all the ice.

My cousin, Bunni suggested that we make ice cream.  What a great idea!  She loaned us her ice cream maker and we made a batch of vanilla ice cream.  It is so delicious 🙂 We were planning on making mint chocolate chip today, but the rain isn’t letting up outside and we like to make our ice cream outside.  We’ll see what it’s like by the time Daddy gets home!


Railroad Museum/ Choo Choo Barn September 5, 2011

Filed under: kids,Uncategorized — janelmartin @ 10:35 am

in the train outside the Choo Choo barn

Our two train stops on vacation were the Choo Choo Barn and the Railroad Museum.  They are both located in Strasburg, PA.  We went to the Choo Choo Barn on our first day of vacation.  We spent about 45 minutes walking around the miniature world that they have created.  It is amazing to see all of the details that they put into this train display.  My favorite part is when you hear the fire siren.  One of the houses is on fire!  A fire engine comes out of the fire station and drives to the house.  Firefighters emerge from the fire engine.  One climbs a ladder and starts using an axe on the roof.  Another fire fighter aims a hose at the fire and water shoots out.  The last fire fighter emerges from the house carrying a person.  The fire is put out, the fire fighters return to the engine and the engine returns to the station.

an Amish barn raising

a circus

the train Calvin called Emily

Our visit to the Railroad Museum took up most of our day on Thursday (of our vacation.)  The building is filled with trains from days gone by.  Calvin was especially fond of the train that resembled Emily from the Thomas the Train series.  It was a green steam engine with big wheels.  After checking out the many trains inside we headed to the train yard to see even more trains.  The highlight of this section for me was seeing the turn table.  The rest of the hours that the museum was open was spent in the educational section.  Calvin, Dean and Wesley played with the six train tables.  Calvin’s favorite was the big LEGO version that had Thomas trains to build.  Dean enjoyed playing with the set that had remote controls to move the trains.  Wesley liked playing with any pieces that he found on the floor.  I sat back and enjoyed watching my boys play with the trains.