Dive in.

If there is one thing I know all my kids have in common it is this…they love the water. Bath time, showers, pools, hot tubs. Doesn’t matter. They could spend hours. (Just like their momma.) They soak it up!

Every time we take swimming lessons they have the opportunity to jump off the diving board at the end of every lesson. It’s so much fun to be sitting in the gallery and watching all the little kids (and big kids) timidly jumping off the side of the board, with a noodle around their waste, into the open arms of their instructor. Of course, some are not so timid and are thoroughly enjoying themselves. Others are brave and jump (or attempt a dive) straight out, completely independent. And others like my kids, walk up to the ladder and don’t even want to make the climb. Too risky. Too high up. Continue reading

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Christmas Budget?

christmas presents

Those two words just don’t go together…or do they?

This Christmas the Starks family did something that they have never…NEVER… done before.

We stuck to a budget. A small one. We had to. We didn’t have a choice. There were no resources to pull from to make the Christmas any bigger than it was. Oh, we’ve had years in the past where we’ve set a limit and stuck close. We’ve even had years in the past where we determined that we would only spend cash and did so. This year was different. We had limited cash available (our van broke down and had to get fixed and my hubs and I are both full time grad students…well, technically I just graduated two weeks ago, thank you very much…) which limits our spending capabilities on any given day let alone during Christmas for four kids.

And guess what…it was good.

Did I just say that? Continue reading