Reader Survey 2017:  Let’s Improve Medium Sized Family Together!

Reader Survey 2017: Let’s Improve Medium Sized Family Together!

This blog exists for one reason: to serve my readers.  I work to become a better blogger every day, and I can really only do that with your help.

It’s been over a year since I last surveyed the Medium Sized Family readers, so it’s definitely time to do it again!  Tell me a bit about yourself.  Whether this is your first visit to Medium Sized Family or you check in often, I’d like to know how I can help you out.

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15 Cheap or Free Things to Do For a Birthday

15 Cheap or Free Things to Do For a Birthday

Inside: Looking for things to do for a birthday that don’t cost an arm and a leg? Get a few new tricks to spring on the birthday boy or girl this year!

After 8 1/2 hours of pitocin induced, unmedicated labor, I was finally holding my first born baby boy.  My Hubby and I examined him and beamed at each other.  We weren’t quite sure what we’d just gotten ourselves into, but we were ready to give it a go!  And we knew that this birthday would always be special to us.

Over the years, we’ve kept the birthdays of every family member special.  There are so many things to do for a birthday without spending a ton of money!  You can make the birthday boy or girl feel special with a few touches that don’t have to empty your bank account (or take a ton of planning!).

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5 Ways We’ve Saved Money This Week 77

5 Ways We’ve Saved Money This Week 77

We are winding down the last days of school.  This is always such a crazy time of year and I can hardly keep up.

There may be a slow down on new blog posts for a few weeks while I juggle everything.  I’d rather write when I can put my heart into it than slap up anything just to get a post out there.  But never fear, I’ll still have one or two new posts every week!  Keep visiting, my very favorite readers!  🙂

This week we celebrated a birthday, and (by some miracle) had all four of our ball players playing a game on the same night on our home fields!  That will probably never happen again!  Unfortunately, our daughter had a migraine and wasn’t able to play.  But I did get to see 3 of my boys playing as I ran from field to field.  It was so much fun!

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How to Decide The Things You Don’t Need After All

How to Decide The Things You Don’t Need After All

Inside: Advertising makes you feel like you need one of everything! So how can you decide which things you don’t need after all? With these mind tricks.

I read a chapter from Little House on the Prairie to my daughter like we do most nights, when there’s a little extra time before bed.  In the book, Pa was recovering from malaria.  Since he couldn’t get out to work, he decided to hand make a rocking chair for Ma.  It was just a fun side project for the Ingalls family.

Aside from the fact that Pa’s skills were pretty amazing, I’m often struck by the stark contrast between wants and needs in the “Laura books”.  Most of us stop by the store if we run out of salad dressing.  Pa didn’t even go when he ran out of nails for building the house!  He just made pegs from wood and worked a little slower.  On their shelter.  Even the most frugal people I know would put “shelter” on their short list of needs.

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The One Thing This Mom Does At The End of the School Year

The One Thing This Mom Does At The End of the School Year

Inside:  Looking for a special way to mark the end of the school year? Try this awesome low cost idea…but you better be good at keeping secrets!

My high school graduation was certainly memorable!  The staff member in charge of seating made arrangements so that couples were seated by each other, so I got to share the day with the man I’d later marry.  (So thoughtful!)  Later, I had a graduation party and received special gifts including a nice flute that would improve my playing abilities as a music major.

But the most special gift I received was a copy of Dr. Suess’ “Oh! The Places You’ll Go!”  Inside was a special note of encouragement my Mom had written just for me.

I never forgot about that book (in fact, I still have it!).  And as my first born son was wrapping up his kindergarten year, I decided to go ahead and buy the book for him, too.

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5 Ways We’ve Saved Money This Week 76

5 Ways We’ve Saved Money This Week 76

After lying in bed for hours, tossing and turning for a few nights in a row, I finally made a change.  Life is so stressful right now with end of the school year things, birthdays, blogging, and real life that I can’t seem to turn off my brain!  So I got up, found a book to read, and sat on the couch for a while.  That finally calmed my swirling mind enough that I could sleep.

May is a stressful month every year, but I’m finally realizing that I need to make it a point to add some self care to my days.  When life is at its busiest, that’s the most important time to add a buffer into your day for a nap or just some time to zone out and not think about anything!

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May Check In: Our SMART Goals and Big Debt Payoff Plan

May Check In: Our SMART Goals and Big Debt Payoff Plan

I am not a fan of hot dogs.  But you wouldn’t know it if you ate here last week.  We had corn dogs one night and beanie weenies another.  I’m pretty sure kids ate quick hot dogs on their way out the door to a game on other nights.  And more than one concession stand dog was consumed.

What can I say?  It’s baseball season!  This isn’t a way I want to eat long term.  But if it keeps us out of the fast food lane, I’m all for it!  We made a “quick stop” for some food after a crazy night once this month, and for ONLY fries and drinks we paid $20.

That’s crazy.

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4 Lists To Look At Every Day to Run Your Crazy, Beautiful Life

4 Lists To Look At Every Day to Run Your Crazy, Beautiful Life

Inside:  My to do list feels never ending, and I bet yours does, too! I run my family of 7 more smoothly when I keep up with these 4 lists every day.

My phone beeped with another text and I gave it a quick check.  With four kids playing baseball and softball, there’s always something to add to my to do list.  A last minute practice, a rained out game, concession stand duty (just to name a few).

This time it was a note that one of our games was rescheduled for this Thursday.  Which was good, I guess.  We needed to get these games in!  But it also meant that we now had to be in four different locations at the same time.  Yikes!

It’s hard to keep track of everyone’s schedule, especially once your kids are school aged.  Everyone has products due, places to be, and it’s never easy to remember to schedule appointments and meetings.  Most Moms can’t keep it all together without some type of system in place.

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5 Ways We’ve Saved Money This Week 75

5 Ways We’ve Saved Money This Week 75

Our school is doing Penny Wars this week.  Have you ever done one?  Each class brings in money of different denominations.  Pennies and dollars count towards your class total.  But silver coins take away from a class total.  So if the class next to you has way more pennies than you, that’s ok.  You can bomb them with silver coins and bring down their total!

It’s a fun way to raise money.  But it really highlights the fact that small amounts of money add up quickly.  That’s a lesson I hope the kids at the school remember for a long time!

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3 Ways My Ugly Pink Shoes Changed How I Think About Money

3 Ways My Ugly Pink Shoes Changed How I Think About Money

Inside: Learn why I wear these shoes whenever I can…even though I’m not a fan of this style of shoes and I HATE pink!

We were at our county fair, stinky and sweaty after a long week of showing animals and enjoying 4-H activities.  It was the last day, which is always hard.  Some of our animals would go home with us.  Others would be sold at auction.

Even though my son wasn’t particularly fond of this set of lambs (they’d given him a lot of trouble!), he was having a hard time sending them on.  He’s old enough to understand the food chain.  And while our whole job was to pass a good product on to the consumer, selling animals is tough.

And even though I’m a no mom, and even though I know he needed to work through the process, I couldn’t say no when he asked if we could bring a bunny home.  So after working out a deal with a 4-H rabbit shower, we needed a cage.  That meant a quick trip in the pick up truck to Tractor Supply Company.

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