Friday, June 19, 2009

LOTS of randomness, sorry!

Hello, my name is Nicole Martin. I am a blog slacker.

It has taken me some time to get back into the "swing" of things again. Taking 2 weeks off to lay in bed, and then all the family drama that has went on in our lives the past two months has really slowed me down. So here are some updates on all of us.
I started a babysitting job on Monday, that will be 3 days a week. I am so thankful for the opportunity to tend this precious 8 mo. old baby girl, and I can't begin to tell you even in the short time I have had her- the joy she has brought or home. My kids LOVE her. Kash jibbers like a mad man when he is around her. This will be my first Friday having her, and they are longer days from about 1:30-midnight or so. She is such an easy going baby; I am amazed by her and her little personality. Also, I finally got a medical transcription job... my equipment will be here this week, and then I will be on a trial/training basis. I really feel comfortable that I can do the work to the employers satisfaction, but it is still nerve racking to not HAVE the job for sure. So, I have now added two extra things onto my plate, but I am so so blessed to have gotten these jobs to help us make some extra money.

Kade's job, like all oil field jobs here, are not stable at all right now. We knew this time was probably coming when lay-offs and pay cuts would occur, but it still is hard to be right in the middle of it all. Kade is a manager and a very good machinest, so his job right now is pretty secure, but we have no idea what the next few months will bring. My biggest fear, more than the lack of money, is not having health insurance if he does get laid off. It has been good, to take a step back and look at our lives, re-prioritizing the things that really are important and the things that absolutely are not.

Also in April I started couponing and really sticking to a budget, and I have to tell you... I am sick to think how much I have spent foolishly over the last 7 years, because I didn't realize all the ways to cut money. If you don't coupon clip, sale watch, plan meals, price match, and build your food storage you are wasting money. I have saved from April 29th to now $817.18. AND my storage has doubled, and continues to grow weekly with only like $5 extra a week. I don't have the money to put into my food storage right now, but I can scrounge up $5-$10 right now to build up on things that we will use when they are dirt cheap and that is the key! I also have started doing a few other things to make money... after a few times of trial and error, I have found a couple dependable survey sites, I use a different search engine called (use my widget on the side to be routed there and sign up for FREE) which is super easy. How many times do you google for something? Well swagbucks is the exact same thing as google only on a random basis you earn swagbucks (or get paid) to search. Then you can redeem the bucks for gift cards. My goal is to save them up all year long and redeem them for gift cards to pay for some xmas presents. I have almost earned my first $5 Amazon gift card, and it hasn't taken me long at all. Some people do the searches for the codes to earn the money I haven't done that, I just use that search box to open any website I get on to.

Do you ever get a pop-up that says earn a $500 Visa Card or $1000 in gas etc. and you just exit out because you think "oh yeah I bet!" Well thats how I was too. However I have learned from others that some of these offers are actually legit. Wednesday I finally worked up the courage to try my very first one. I will keep you posted on how it goes but I really feel confident that it will work out. I did a $500 Visa card one... I had to sign up for 8 offers and I have $27 into it. This is how they usually work. 5 of the offers are trial ones so you just have to keep track of the dates when the trial ends so you don't get charged. You cancel before then. 2 of the offers were for kids books. One for Disney books, and 1 for Dr. Seuss. One of my trials is Netflix, that one wasn't too hard to do.. 2 week trial. I figure for 3 hrs of my time, $27 of my money out of pocket.... $500 will be worth it. Like I said I will keep you posted on how it turns out... and if you want more info on any of these offers let me know. I have some great links and info. on what are legit places and what aren't.

Also, I am preparing a 3 night workshop on Frugal Living for my Relief Society ladies as an enrichment activity. I am so excited about it, but it has taken LOTS of time to gather and put together info., so its not so darn overwhelming. I have the July presidency talk in RS so I am going to do my talk on some of the articles in the June Ensign in regards to "Stretching Your Dollar" etc and that will be how we kick off our workshops for the fall. Anyway, there will be a couponing class, a planning your meals around the ads class, and a build your food storage while you budget class. There are a few people that want this information that aren't in my ward. Since I will have all the info. and handouts and the classes prepared, I was thinking maybe I would take another night and teach a class to the community. I want so much for people to save and be wise about their shopping! Also for Utah residents there are TONS of amazing resources to you and places you can get the info already put together for you. Us Wyoming people have to do it all ourselves. :) There will be a very minimal cost maybe $10 just to cover the cost of all the copies and handouts etc. , and if I have to rent a building to meet in. If you are interested I have a list going and when the time comes, probably September sometime, I will let you know the date and time so you can come. You can comment here or email me at and put Classes in the subject line please. Thanks.

Let's see.... My kids are doing great. Kash is still on a healthy streak, and is his happy go-lucky self. Kadence is still amazing me every day with the things she remembers and observes. I can't believe both their birthdays are coming up soon, and then they will officially be a year older! Speaking of my kids, I have been contemplating for a while seperating my personal blog from my kids's and making a family blog that is private. I keep hearing of stories where people get on other peoples websites and blogs and steal their pictures and create their own stories and lives with them. I really don't want anyone else to have MY Kadence and Kash hanging on their walls or a store window in another country as Holly's story goes. Also, I liked Holly's idea of a blog for each kid, then thought I could just print it off at the end of the year and add their joural/blog to their scrapbook. Perfect. So that is now added to my list of "to do's".

We are enjoying the rain..... as you can see. :) She gets her style from me.

I have been taking more pictures... I am LOVING it. Another thing I would like to do before the end of the year is start a website or blog or something where you can view what I have done and to help advertise. I have 2 baby shoots and hopefully (crossing fingers) 2 family shoots coming up in July, it is such great practice for me!! If you are needing/wanting pictures please give me a chance to do them. I am cheap right now because you are doing me a favor, by giving me practice. I have been only charging $50 and that is for the sitting fee, and ALL the picures, and the hours and hours of editing. I have just been taking them, then I edit them all and give you the copywrite AND the cd full of pics for you to develop where you like. So, Keep ME in mind!!

Kade and Nicole married for time and all eternity on June 6, 2002 in the Jordan River Temple.

Happy Anniversary to us! I honestly can't believe its been 7 years. Some days just drug on and on, but for the most part time has really flown. Its sad that I am getting old enough now to look back at these pictures.... we look younger. :( Before I didn't think we looked much different, now we are fatter and older. I thought that would never happen!!!

We didn't do much to celebrate, Friday we went to Ogden for Kade's Dr.'s appt and went to dinner after with just us and Kadence. She thought she was so big to be by herself but kept getting a sad face and we would say "whats wrong?" she would then reply "I miss my brudder". Then it would pass for a while. Saturday I cleaned all day and Kade worked on the ranch, then that night we went to the Series rodeo that started and stayed long enough to watch the nephews rope... then I ran in Walmart. Woo Hoo, we are party animals. :)

Are you prepared?

With Jeremy's death it has made me extra sensitive to having our paperwork all in order, life is fragile and you just don't know when your time is up. We have a lot of stuff set up already, but need to change some things and finish others.
Suze Orman has a great freebie right now to help you get yours in order all online. I have worked on mine the last two nights and it is so easy and straight forward. Go HERE to begin and use the code : PEOPLE FIRST to get it FREE.

Also get a free photo notebook and 50 free prints when you register with Snapfish HERE. Today only. They are so cute and I LOVE snapfish.

Summer Free Days from HP Snapfish! Get your FREE product of the day! New freebie every day from now until July 17th!
RECALL: Carters Fall 2007 clothes

About 4 months ago, Carter's put out a "recall" of their "tag-less" labels in their Fall 2007 clothing line. The labels were causing an irratation (even burn) to babies skin. They are taking back your appropriate clothing items for the Suggested Retail Price. For example - that means if you got a onesie on sale (that is on the recall list) for $3, they will take it back for the SRP of $18 (if that was the SRP.) Most of Carter's clothes are tag-less so realize it is not every Carter's item in your closet. Go to THIS LINK to see if you have any of these items.

8 People Had Somethin' to Say:

Brooke said...

You are amazing girlie!! We have been really trying to budget our money better-especially with the food area, and trying to build up our food storage too. I would love to know a bit more about how you use coupons and plan around ads, ect. Brad's mom cuts coupons for us every week but I'm not very good at using them...I think I just need a crash course. :-) How do you get so savvy on all the stuff you do/know. I want to be like you!

Brooke said...

ps. Would you mind emailing me some of the resources that are available to people in UT. I would LOVE to see what is out there!

chick_a_dee117 {at} hotmail {dot} com

Nancy said...

O my gosh you are so old. But I loved looking at the pictures. Tell Kade I LOVE the mustache:)

Brynn said...

I am glad you found a transcription job. I hope to see you this weekend ;)

Meggie said...

Wow! Thanks for all of the information! I would love to learn more about budgeting and cutting coupons, so if you do a class let me know. I would also like to know what the resources are for people in UT. Could you let me know?
I couldn't get the Suze Orman thing to work either. I was wondering if you could give me some more information about it.
Congratulations on 7 years! I really don't think you've changed that much.
Have fun with your new jobs.

Audrey said...

How do you have enough hours in the day? You are a rock star Nicole. If you don't mind, I would love it if you could email me your money saving handouts. I would love to try to do better.

Dena Moon Clinger said...

I have been meaning to get a hold of you! I need to get your number. I am coming once a week (sometimes for 2 days) to Evanston (and surrounding area).
Also, we'd love you to do pictures for us!
And I still need to send you this little something.
And I wanted to say how sorry we were to hear about your brother in law, if you guys, or your family need anything and we can help please let us know!

Pierce Clan said...

I would also love to know where I could go for Utah. If you could email me, that would be great.