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Life updates: a new job, it's graduation week (!), plus SO many pictures! (And I may be trying to read too many books at once?!?)

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moneysavingmom.com

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crystal@moneysavingmom.com

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Mon, May 20, 2024 10:48 PM

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Iconic shows, savoring vs. surviving, Maycember, freebies, and more! = Hi, Friend! It’s a BIG w

Iconic shows, savoring vs. surviving, Maycember, freebies, and more! = Hi, Friend! It’s a BIG week here! Silas’ team won their weekend travel ball tournament (!), so we didn’t get home until after 10 pm last night. Kathrynne started a new job today. Silas gets his learner’s permit tomorrow. David has his last day of school on Tuesday. Kierstyn has her last day on Wednesday. Silas has his last exam on Thursday. And we have lots of extended family coming into town because Kaitlynn graduates from high school on Saturday!! Whew! Right now, life is full. I’m guessing many of you can relate. In fact, all over the internet we hear people referring to Maycember and talking about the crazy overwhelm that is the end-of-school season. But I don’t want to just survive this month; I want to savor it. And so, in order to prioritize savoring this month, I’ve proactively purged my life down to the essentials. How? Here are a few examples: 👉 I said no to pretty much any extra business commitments this month (interviews, speaking, projects, etc.) 👉 I stopped posting our grocery trips (this takes me a few hours each week to do the videos/post) + am not on IG at all as much this month (many of you have noticed and asked if something is wrong… no, it’s just that IG is on the back burner this month! I’ll be back to normal posting in June likely!) 👉 We upped our grocery and eating out budget for this month (so I spend less time on food prep and planning) and we’re catering the food for our little grad party on Saturday. 👉 I’m only picking two business projects + two home projects for each day. (I’m thinking I’m going to keep this pace for my planned Slowed Down Summer.) Another thing Jesse and I did at the beginning of this week was to go through each day and talk through the logistics to make sure we’ve covered our bases and have a good plan in place! This was so helpful to make sure we were on the same page and knew who was in charge of what. Want to join me in savoring instead of surviving? What can you let go of, ask for help with, or make easier right now? Let’s proactively purge down to the essentials so we can be more present with our people! = Kathrynne spent last week in DC and got to have some really amazing experiences! She was invited to be part of a leadership training cohort a year ago and has gotten to go to two different training weeks -- one in Nashville and one in Florida -- in addition to weekly training and engagement online with peers and mentors. The week in DC was the culmination of their year of training and they had the opportunity to spend time meeting a number of political leaders and learning from them. They also spent time at an Embassy and visited a number of different area sites. She has loved how much she's grown and been stretched through this program and the different relationships she's developed, the doors it has opened, and the opportunities that have come from it. I mentioned her new job earlier... that was a direct result of someone she met in this group! They connected her with some people at a firm in DC and they ended up hiring her for a paid summer internship that she can do remotely. And get this: it's in the exact field that she's really interested in!! Speaking of our kids getting jobs and learning leadership skills, did you see that there is a [FREE Life Skills Now Online Summer Camp](=) you can sign your kids up for? [#LifeSkillsNow is a unique, online summer camp]() with over 100 fun and engaging workshops and skills for kids of ALL ages + parents. And I'll be sharing a workshop with keys to develop better communication with your kids that I don't think you're going to want to miss! Did I mention [it's FREE](=)? The online camp week is June 24-28 and everything is free. It's a great way to keep your kids busy and productive in the summer. Plus, they can earn prizes for completing missions!! Here's what you'll get: - Over 100 video workshops teaching life skills to kids 5-18 (plus parents) - Content from 70 different experts joining your parenting team - Secure password-protected dashboard with NO ads or “next playing” videos - Printable handout with every workshop (recipes, checklists, reminders, follow along guides…) - Instant access to 13 workshops as soon as you register - Over $8,000 in prizes that week for completing “missions” and being active in the real world! - Use the workshops on your own schedule, 13 immediately and then for 24 hours each during camp week. [#LifeSkillsNow summer camp](=) is all about kids building confidence, learning real-world skills, and taking ACTION off screens with full minds-on, hands-on experiences! [Sign up for FREE here!]( = Right now, Prime members can sign up to get a [FREE 3-month subscription](=) to Kindle Unlimited! And the best part is that you can take advantage of this deal even if you’ve signed up in the past! Since Kindle Unlimited is usually priced at $11.99 per month, [this is a fantastic deal and a savings of $35+](=)! And it’s just in time for summer so you can read some books completely for FREE! By the way, even if you've signed up for this deal in the past, [you should be able to sign up again!](=) [See some of my favorite reads included in this freebie!]() I mentioned in the last enewsletter that Silas turned 15. The same day he also had his Rising Freshmen meeting at school and his 8th grade Breakfast & Blessing (a tradition where the teachers speak words of blessing over each student as they get ready to launch into high school. The seniors serve at the breakfast, so Kaitlynn got to be there, too!) Having a teen boy has been such a different experience than having teen girls. I’m learning and growing along with him in what it looks like to walk with him well and encourage him through this new chapter of life. (I highly recommend [Raising Emotionally Strong Boys]() by David Thomas for practical insights into helping boys become men of character who are also in tune with their feelings and know how to process them in a healthy way!) Silas, you are a gift to our family! And I’m excited to see what God has for you this next year as you start driving, start high school, and continue to play your heart out on the baseball field and the basketball court! We love you! = [Myquillyn Smith](=) was my very first in-person guest to ever have on the show — back in 2018! (Listen to [episode 12.]() And because I loved the in-person experience so much, we decided to ultimately only have in-person guests on the podcasts! She’s also someone I’ve known for years and years through blogging — back before social media was even a thing! She has a brand-new book called, [House Rules: How to Decorate for Every Home Style and Budget.]( It’s a fun and very visual book with lots of practical inspiration (and pictures of her house!). I underlined and dog-eared so many pages in the book and loved getting to ask her to share more about some of my favorite parts of the book. [Listen in as Myquillyn shares about why she wrote a book on rules](=) (you’ll breathe a sign of relief to know it’s not going to be a rigid system but rather simple guidelines!), the importance of authenticity, and the power of starting with what you know. She also teaches us about the “Homey Trinity” and the significance of proper lighting and decor scale. And you’ll be encouraged as she talks about how limitations can actually lead to creativity in unexpected ways. Plus, we discuss the concept of clutter and how to navigate the fine line between cozy and chaotic. We close this episode with me asking Myquillin what the hardest rule is for her to follow — you might be surprised with her answer! Throughout the conversation, Myquillyn reminds us that our homes should serve us, not the other way around. I hope that this episode helps you to see and approach your home and decorating in a brand-new light! [Listen to the episode here.](=) = Want some fresh and fun ideas for things to do this summer with your kids?! (And, all on a budget?!) Download our brand new [FREE Summer Bucket List](=) that has 100 ideas of free & cheap things to do! With this list of activities in-hand, you’ll be able to have a memorable, fun-filled summer as a family without spending tons of money! When you [sign up](, you’ll get TWO versions of the bucket list: - [Checklist Version]( — Display it in a common area and check activities off as you go! (This is a fun way to keep track of what you’ve done AND see what to look forward to!) - [Print & Cut Version]( — Trim into strips and place in a jar where your kids can draw a surprise idea each day! (And, with this version, you can pick and choose which ones you want to put in the jar!) Take the stress (and expense) out of making summer special and use these ideas to create fun memories your kids will love! [Click here to get your FREE Summer Bucket List of 100+ Fun Activities!](=) Jesse and I are planning to watch some movies we've not seen this summer that are kind of considered "iconic" by many. We're starting with watching through the Spiderman movies (there are 11 movies if you count all of them!) I've seen a few of them, but neither of us have watched all of them. So that's our first goal. It may take us all summer at the rate we're going, but we'll see! What movies/movie series would you consider "iconic" and that everyone should watch? I'd love to know! Books I Finished Recently: [Fighting For Family](=) -- I loved having the authors on the podcast and thought they had some really valuable insights to share there. The book was okay, but I thought the podcast was better! [Tired of Being Tired]( -- This book has some great encouragement if you are exhausted and yet you feel like there are no solutions to alleviate your constant weariness. It's full of hard-hitting conviction and practical truths and I found it to be a great book to read as I get ready to kick off my self-proclaimed Slowed Down Summer. (Would you be interested in me sharing more on that in a future email? If so, hit reply and let me know what specifically you'd love for me to share!) What I'm Currently Reading Car Line Mom Now and Not Yet Win at Work Unlimited Motherhood House Rules Becoming Elizabeth Elliot Sunlight Burning at Midnight Farmer Boy (reading aloud to the kids) Kaitlynn’s Senior Blessing Dinner = The countdown to graduation is on!! One of the traditions at the school our older kids go to is Senior Blessing Dinner. This is a night to pause in the midst of a sometimes crazy last semester and really call out the gifts and qualities in each student and give them a verbal blessing as they launch into this new chapter. Each senior is given a blessing publicly by a teacher or faculty member and then each senior also is given a blessing at their table by the parents. The parent blessings are then printed and given to the seniors (this year, they printed them on bookmarks!). It’s a special memento for them to keep to remember this year of their life. This year, the seniors surprised the parents by writing a blessing for their parents that they shared at the table, too. Kaitlynn wrote some of the kindest words (in her words, “I cooked up quite the blessing for you!” 🤭🤭) and it was deeply meaningful. We are so proud of this girl and how much growth and maturity we’ve seen in her these last few years! We’ve watched her step out in faith, make difficult decisions, choose what was best longterm over what seemed good in the moment, make deep friendships, serve well, excel academically, and finish well! She is officially DONE with high school and in Florida with her class on her senior tripl!! 🎉🎉 She'll be back on Wednesday and then it's graduation on Saturday!! (That’s my $3.88 dress that I got from Altar’D State off the clearance rack. I had to sew up a hole on the sleeve, but otherwise, it was good as new for a tiny fraction of the original price!!) Links You Should Check Out: - I got to share about [our journey to adopting David](=) and what we've learned and how we've grown as a result on the Conquering Your Clownfish podcast. [Listen in here.]( - Looking for [budget-friendly family dinner ideas](=)? Check out this [list of 70 different simple ideas you can make for under $10!](=) - If you’re looking for summer reading programs for kids, we put together a [comprehensive list of all the completely FREE programs!]() - Here are [the top 10 most popular deals from last week]( -- most should still available including a hot deal on towels, Finish Jet Dry, an Amazon book sale, camp chairs, and more! = I recently shared a [blog post on How to Graduate College Debt-Free.](=) This post sparked so many discussions via comments and messages on my blog and through social media that I wanted to explore the topic [more in-depth with Jesse on a podcast.]( This is not a podcast saying that every single person should go to college with zero debt, nor is the purpose to heap shame and guilt on anyone who has college debt. Instead, our hope is just to challenge you to think outside the box a little and to share some strategies and inspiration for ways to save money on college. In this episode, we not only share personal experience from Jesse going to college and law school debt-free, but also from recent things we’ve learned from our girls. We discuss how it begins with mindset. If you don’t believe you can do something or think something is not possible, there’s a good chance you’re not going to be very motivated to try. We then get really practical and dig into tips and ideas for spending less on college, how to plan ahead for college expenses, how to leverage scholarships, and ways that you can significantly lower college costs just by going a nontraditional route. I hope this episode inspires you with ideas, insights, and inspiration — whether you are thinking of going back to college, have a child who will be starting college in the not-too-distant future, or you are just curious how it might be possible to get a college degree without debt. As always, we’d love to hear your feedback, ideas, and thoughts after you listen to the episode! [Listen to the episode here.]( _______________ Here's to a week of savoring instead of surviving! -Crystal [Unsubscribe]( Money Saving Mom, LLC 2020 Fieldstone Parkway, Ste. 900 #313 Franklin, Tennessee 37069 United States

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