Thursday, June 30, 2011

Father's Day

Ryan is an amazing father. I am incredibly blessed to have him as my husband and our children's father. Our journey to parenthood was less than easy but through the journey I have seen a transformation into the selfless, passionate father he is today. Tomorrow, July 2nd will be 6 years from the day we got engaged. Never would I have imagined that God would have sent us to Africa for our first child and give birth to our 2nd son just months after returning home. It all is joyful and I am so thankful to have Ryan leading our family. Ryan is a man of God and is a wonderful example for our boys to follow. Seeing Ryan have a heart for orphans has made me fall even more in love with him. I can only imagine how God is going to use Ryan for his glory.
Ryan, thank you for your love and sacrifice!
Our first babies:

Ryan's 1st Moment as a father:

1st time feeding Easton a bottle:

1st time bathing Easton at our Guest House in Addis Ababa:

Maternity Pictures:

1st Picture of Ryan with both of his boys:

1st picture at home with Easton and Preston:

Baby Bjorn with Preston:

Baby Bjorn with Easton:

1st Christmas:

Nap time with Preston:

Helping Easton walk:

Easton's 1st time on a swing:

Easton's 1st time on a slide:

Sleeping Easton:

Ryan's mini-me:

Easton's 1st time on a horse:

Playing chase:

Ryan's 1st Father's Day:

Joy, Pure Joy!!!

Beach Picture:

1st time in Pennsylvania to meet Ryan's extended Family:

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The more you save, the more you can GIVE!

Just thought I would put this out there for those of you who are trying to live on a tight budget. Now that Ryan and I are living off of one income we have to be intentional about our spending and saving habits. Here are a couple things we do:
#1. Cheap Diapers- The cheapest diapers I have found are about $.14 each (Sam's Club Member's Mark Brand). The key with buying diapers is to ALWAYS price them out PER diaper. It doesn't matter if they are on sale or if you have coupons. Simply divide the amount per box by the number of diapers to find out how much your paying for each individual diaper. If you can find them for less than $.20 your doing good. Honestly, I'm on my second box of Sam's Club diapers and I haven't had a single leak!!

#2. Cloth Diapers-Even better than $.14 =) I use Bum Genius diapers for Preston~ Every time I use them I am saving $.14-So, if I use them 10 times a day for 1 week I save $9.80. That would be a savings over $500 for the year!! Not too shabby huh?

#3. Buying Food- well, I'm not into couponing and here's why: *I'm not a hoarder *Most things we buy and eat don't have coupons *I simply don't have time. I do participate in our grocery store's buy one, get one free sales. I keep our shopping and eating pretty simple. I purchase Salmon, Tilapia, Chicken Breast, and Meatballs or Ground Beef at Sam's club each month. I use these staple meats for all kinds of dishes, including Raspberry Balsamic Salmon, Chicken Cordon Bleu and Lemon Coconut Tilapia filets.
To save money I am VERY selective with my fruit and vegetable purchases. Literally, we were throwing away money when a fruit or veggie would spoil. It was happening ALL the time!! I would throw away a rotten peach or clean out the crisper drawer and toss unused lettuce and carrots. I'm curious, does this happen to other families?
So now I only buy the following produce items because they are guaranteed to be consumed:
*Bananas-I buy 2 green ones and 3 yellow ones, just to give us a little time.

*Avocado-Easton LOVES avocado and they are super healthy and yummy!
*Blueberries-The magical fruit!!! We never waste a blueberrie! Easton adores them and if there are any getting too soggy they are perfect for blueberry pancakes on Sunday morning!

Ofcourse I'll buy salad, potatoes or squash when I am planning a meal. For the most part I stick with my grocery list, knowing that we won't waste money!
#4. Consume Less- Before spending 2 months in Ethiopia I didn't give much thought to my personal consumption. One time in Ethiopia I remember throwing away a small bottle of orange Metamucil (it wasn't helping me and I was mad at it). Later that week, I saw the bottle in the kitchen of our guest house by the sink. I'm not exactly sure what happened but I believe the housekeeper found it in my trash and basically recycled it. Maybe they thought it was to flavor water, I'll never know! Again this happened when I threw away a plastic diaper wipe container. I saw one of the workers with it and inside was her lunch! She was using my trash as a lunch box! This has had a lasting impression on my lifestyle. I want to consume less, so I can give more! Before Ethiopia, I would use several pumps of shampoo for my hair, now only 2 pumps will do. Before Ethiopia I would spray windex abundantly, now I try to use 1 or 2 sprays. Before Ethiopia, I would use bottle waters for my convenience, now I'm happy to fill my Tervis Tumbler up with ice water from our Brita. One pump of hand soap, one drop of dial dish soap, one square of paper towel. All of these simple lifestyle changes help save us money!!

#5. CANCELLED CABLE! Just do it!!! Honestly, we have a digital antenna that gets all of the broadcast shows and we use Hulu to see any shows we missed. We have the basic Netflix package, for our movie night and we utilize the "instant watch" movies and shows through our Blueray. We can totally live without cable and we save every month!

Ways to save money that I'm ready to try:
1. Homemade Laundry Detergent! Please don't judge me =) You have to check out this site! It's AWESOME!! It makes me want to head to Walmart right now to buy the ingredients! Definitely look at her experiment with the mustard stain! She used her homemade laundry detergent and Tide with Bleach-The results are almost identical:
The Simple Dollar

Please let me know your best money saving ideas!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Ashlie Fulmer Photography- Back in Business!!

Help support our family and orphans at the same time!

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I'm happy to announce that I'm back, as a photographer that is!
Here's is my business plan- A photo shoot will include one location for a photo shoot. I'm happy to do families, engagement pictures, or children. You will get an unlimited amount of high resolution images on a DVD, with simple photo editing, all for $80.00. *Please contact me about special pricing for Senior Pictures and Weddings =)
Here's the BEST part-50% of the proceeds will go to organizations that help protect orphans!! I have selected these four worthy causes to support with the proceeds from your photo session:
#1- Because Every Mother Matters: This organization is working toward saving birth mothers so children are not left as orphans. Did you know 1 in 11 mothers die in pregnancy related causes in East Africa? The BEMM organization is providing sterile birthing kits, setting up childbirth centers and conducting a mother-to-mother sponsorship program in East Africa!
Because Every Mother Matters
#2- 147 Million Orphans is an organization started by 2 Moms out of their passion to be the voice for the voiceless. Here is where they give:
**Helping FEED children in Uganda, Haiti, Honduras, China and Ethiopia with each product purchased (Donating 50%+)
**Educating and encouraging families about the HIV+/Aids crisis along with financially supporting several ministries that care for these children.
**Offering Adoptive Families wholesale products to sell (100% profit from fundraising for families)
**Helping Local African Refugees earn a sustainable income from handmade products
**Working with Ugandan women in Africa on sustainable income from their handmade necklaces
**Encouraging other adoptive families on their journey
**Partnering with churches to help grow their Orphan/Adoption Ministry
147 Million Orphans

#3- I will personally choose adoption families to financially support!! I'll use the My Crazy Adoption website to locate families in the adoption process~

$4- Visiting Orphans is the Mission Trip Organization that I used in the summer of 2010 to lead 20 people to Uganda and Ethiopia! They are sending teams of loving Christians to be Jesus' hands and feet to the fatherless. Their teams visit hundreds of orphans around the world to love on them by painting their fingernails, rocking babies, playing soccer, providing donations and most importantly sharing the good news of Jesus Christ.

Here are some of the images I have captured in the last month~ They are simple, fun, and frame-worthy, just what every family needs! Email me at or Facebook Message me to schedule your shoot!

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*FYI- the other 50% of the proceeds will go to meeting the needs of my baby boys! =)