Sunday, October 30, 2011

New Blog

I have started a new blog page over on It is more geared towards holidays and decorating. With me still working full-time (3 years now) it is harder to keep up with the ever changing world of freebies and coupons. Please be sure to check out my new blog at if you enjoyed the Mom is Broke web site. You know me, my holiday decorations will be thrifty for all to try!


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Cool Calendar Web Site

I wanted to tell everybody about a cool calendar web site that I have been using for over a year now. It is called Vertex42. I started using it at work because I was looking for a calendar to print out and use at work. They have sense updated their web site and now have tons of different calendars to use.

They are simple Excel spreadsheet that you can open and add your own information to. They couldn't be simpler.

Different templates that they have are:
Invoice Templates
Timesheet Templates
Home Mortgage Calculator
Debt Reducing Calculator
Savings Interest Calculator
Regular Calendars
Photo Calenders
Schedulers and Planners
Christmas Gift Spending Budget
Packing Slips
Moving Checklists
Sign Up Sheets (for potlucks and such)
Meal Planners
Weightloss Charts
College Savings Checklist
New Baby Checklists
Gift Certificate Templates
Immunizations Schedules
Blood Sugar Tracker
Goal Trackers
Baby Feeding Schedules
Blood Pressure Charts

They literally have every type of chart, template or planner that you would need to run your life in an organized fashion. I have been using their yearly calendars for awhile now, and have now started using their monthly calendars to organize the kids activities. I now print it out and have it hanging in the mudroom. The kids can check every morning and know what is going on that month. The one I use also has goals, and a To Do list on the calendar which helps me plan out things I want to accomplish that month.

Feel free to go check out this web site. I am not affiliated with them at all, but have found it to be an extremely useful tool in my life, and I just wanted to share it with all of you.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Three Kings Day on Tech-Free Thursdays

Epiphany - Three Kings Day January 7th 2011
The Epiphany just happened to fall on a Thursday this year, so that was the theme of our Tech Free Thursday this week. I did some research to find some good ideas, as I didn't have any gold, frankincense or myrrh laying around to show the kids. I found a great blog Motherly Loving that had some great ideas that we used. She included blessing for your house and the blessing for the piece of chalk that you use in the blessing. I remember back in Grade School doing this blessing throughout the school classroom doors. I had forgot about it. I remember dressing up as "kings" with two of my friends Kit and Jean and going around to all the classrooms with the chalk and blessing the doors. I know I have a picture of us three dressed up somewhere in my house, and searched for it, but was unable to find it. When I do, I will scan and post it. I think it would have been fun to show my children too.

Here is Ali doing the blessing over the front door of our house. I went onto and found more Epiphany ideas including making your own crowns. I printed the ones that you can download from their site, but was not the happiest with it. So we cut them out and covered them with tinfoil and added our own decorations to them.

Matt did the blessing over our mudroom door, which lets face it, is the most used door in our house. We tried the Lamb's Wool recipe on the Motherly Loving blog, but I have to admit, we didn't care for it very much. But it made the house smell real good with the baked apples.

Timmy, being a little shorter than his brother and sister, got to bless our patio door to the deck. He was not tall enough to write above the door, so he stood on the chair and blessed the side of the door. We kept telling him that this is the only time he will be able to write on the walls. Other Epiphany ideas I read about were spice cakes. I just happened to have a box of spice cake in the house, so we made that up also. We hid a Hershey Kiss in the cake for the prize. When cutting it up the boys were so excited to see who was going to get the chocolate, because that person is blessed with good luck throughout the following year. Jeff ended up getting the chocolate, and was hoping that the good luck would start right away.
This was a wonderful night filled with many different activities all centered around the three kings finding the baby Jesus. This is a tradition that we will be doing every year from now on.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Electronic Free Thursdays - Sledding

What do you do after over 16" of snow falls the weekend before? Why you go sledding on your Electronic Free Thursday!

We were lucky enough to finally get a good snow fall in the Twin Cities over the past weekend. Sure everything came to a stop for awhile, but it made for great sledding conditions. My daughters Girl Scout troop was planning a family sledding adventure, and we went to enjoy the crisp 12 degree night.

All the kids had a great time on the lit sledding hill in the neighboring town. We even ended up the evening with a bon fire, smores and hot cocoa. Little chilly at the end, but my kids said that they had a blast. It was nice to do a physical activity rather than a Christmas craft during the month.

I have attached a video for you to see just how crazy some of the kids are. What a great time, but the snow won't stay around too long. After a good snow fall everybody heads out to the hills, and it gets warn back down to the grass pretty quickly. Glad we had the opportunity to get our sledding in.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Electronic Free Thursdays

We finally got into a groove of doing our Electronic Free Thursdays!

We planned to start at back to school time, but with two boys in football and my daughter in tennis, there wasn't a free evening that we were all home at the same time. So in comes December. What a perfect time to get Christmas crafts and projects done around the house!

This past Thursday we did paper ornament crafts:

These are the finished projects, Origami Paper Wreaths and Paint Sample Balls.

Paint Sample Balls what you need:

8 Paint Samples (large & solid colors)

Large circle punch, or a circle cutter

Tacky Glue

Clothes Pins

Start by cutting all eight paint samples into the largest circle you can by either using a punch or circle cutter. Then on the back sides take a dull exacto knife and score a triangle into the back of them. I did not measure, which is why ours didn't match up perfectly, but I didn't mind. Fold the triangle parts up to make flat areas for gluing. Start gluing one flat section to the next clothes pinning along the way. We found that two clothes pins per side worked the best. Glue four sections together to form a bowl, then do the other four sections together. It is then easier to just combine the two bowl shaped pieces. Let them thoroughly dry and glue in a ribbon for hanging, or just place them on the branch. Each one will be unique depending on the paint colors that the kids pick out.
Origami Paper Wreaths what you need:

2 sheets of 12X12 scrap booking paper


Paper cutter

I didn't take individual pictures of how to make these, but they are basic origami triangles. I learned how to make these from Martha Stewart with On Demand Programming. You can also see how to make them from this You Tube video. She very nicely shows you the same fold that I taught my kids. I was unable to find the directions on Martha's webiste, but be sure to check OnDemand if you have that service.

These were the favorites of myself and the older kids. My youngest found it to frustrating and ended up just cutting our leftovers into smaller pieces, keeping him busy.

Mom is Broke

A blog about living within your means in todays world, while being married, raising three kids, working full-time, and trying not to go crazy in the process.