Okay, well...as I mentioned in the post "Calling Large Families" we dropped the temperature in our house last month in hopes of saving on our electric bill. We HAD been keeping the house at 74, but decided to drop the thermostat down to 68 during the day and 65 at night. It was cold! Yes, we are wimps. We wore extra clothes, drank hot tea, covered in blankets and stayed committed to our plan to save. For the first time, probably ever, I could not wait to see our electric bill. Certainly we had to have made a considerable dent in the overall bill. Uh, nope! Would you believe we only saved $9.00!! Insanity I tell you! I really don't understand. It really didn't seem like the outside air was that much colder and many times the house was already warmer than our thermostat setting so the heat didn't even need to come on. I don't know what to think. We stopped dropping the heat at night and are leaving it set to 68 all day, all night. Maybe we will save $2 this month.
Here's a great and exciting development in our savings....although I really wouldn't know how to calculate how much, being that I never really paid close attention to the unavoidable cost aside from trying to find a sale or use coupons...but Marni is daytime potty trained! Yup, for the past few weeks she has been sporting her brand new Sponge Bob panties. She wanted those fancy pants and earned them. She's been doing amazing and has had VERY few accidents, without having had any in quite some time now. So no more spending money on pullups to get her through the day. She is still wearing them at night but what's one pullup a day/night compared to 5 or more? We are absolutely thrilled and so very proud of our sweet girl.
More savings came in our gas budget. Our Corolla had broken down last summer. Having the minivan and the 12-passenger van, we weren't in an emergency situation to get it fixed. However, when we finally got it to the shop they took MONTHS to fix it. So ridiculous! In any case, that meant Dan was driving the monster van 45-minutes to work and back again. Talk about a gas hog. Well, we finally got the Corolla back before the first of the year. That means Dan drives it everywhere he needs to go unless it is necessary to have a larger vehicle. It also means that I drive the mini-van unless the whole family is headed out together. I estimate that this has brought our gas cost down by at least $200-$300 a month!
We have not started using our homemade laundry soap but for under $15 I have probably 3 months worth of laundry soap ready to go. I have also quit buying fabric softener sheets and have begun using distilled vinegar in the fabric softener dispenser of the washing machine. No, it does not affect the smell of the clothes. I can't put my finger on it exactly, but there is something fresher and cleaner about the clothes coming out of the dryer since I've made the switch.
Obviously we have been blessed with the opportunity to save some money to put towards our adoption expenses; THAT is a wonderful feeling and accomplishment. Of course, I'm always looking for new ways to save. I also see that we were blessed with another donation, thank you!! I'm telling you, it's as if my heart smiles each time I see another donation has been added. In addition to that, our tax return should be a great help towards our adoption AND we have amazing friends who feel the Lord leading them to contribute some of their refund as well. We are so blessed! We still have approximately $15,000 to go but we are trusting the Lord to provide. We are also believing that we should move forward with some fundraisers to help (not help the Lord, because He doesn't need our help lol ).
The Serial Adopter shirts are still available, I hope you all will consider purchasing one for yourself or for a friend (perhaps you aren't a Serial Adopter but know of one...of course you could always purchase an Accomplice shirt for yourself). Just click on the blue tab above the Starfish Story on the left that says SERIAL ADOPTER in order to see the shirts. We are also working on an online silent auction. I'm so excited, we've had a very generous donation of approx $1000 value!!
It is a 5-day stay at mountain resort in TN!! We are talking nice! Not a dingy little room but a 2-bedroom townhouse that comfortably sleeps 6 people! More about that later. I will keep you posted on the auction date and any other exciting details.
Thank you for your continued prayers and contributions! Alyssa and Piper will be so blessed by your love!