It is only the beginning of January and already his check is almost gone. It is amazing to me how fast his paycheck can disapear. I am well aware however that a thousand of it is going to credit card bills. I need to pare them down fast. My goal is to pay off all but the Am Ex right away and then sock money onto it but not use it for the rest of the year. I will be putting the tax refund on it as well. It will probably take me till April to pay off the other. There really is only one that carries a balance but there is another that I use when I buy online. I am going to stop using it too. Now if I can keep DH from buying anything!
I always have but I now have another reason to believe. On Saturday my little screamer turned 4. I had been telling her that she needed to stop that screaming and tantrums if she wanted to be a big girl (lots of wonderful things happen around here at 4, you get a twin bed, you get an allowance, you don't have to ride in the front of the cart...) In fact she screamed so much we threatened to cancel her birthday party if she didn't stop. She didn't stop and it broke my heart but we had no party. We talked about it and explained we would still be going to lunch with playgroup but no crafts, no games and no party stuff. We did make favor bags for the kids. She understood. She had no party. We gave her presents as usual (3 just like Jesus got). She never screamed or threw a tantrum all day that day or today. She started to get upset at one point and I said remember you're 4 now and she controlled it. She has cried when unhappy or her way was thwarted but no tantrums. I am so relieved!!! I admit I don't expect we are done with them forever after all big brother age 5 has one from time to time but at least I have a respite. i don't think we will spend the day going form one to another either!
1) To read my Bible more and set a better spiritual example for the kids.
2)To be more financially secure, including get out of credit card debt, not using credit cards, only paypal or debit cards, save for emergencies.
3) To lose the weight and develop better eating habits.
4) To traverse through at least 4 more belts in Karate.
We are home from our few days away. Did anyone miss us? Don't answer that ok? Anyway when I made the reservations and DH took the time off we were told we could swim till 9 the day we arrive (Sunday) and from 9 to 12 and 4 to 9 on Monday and till 3 Tuesday the day we check out. They also have a cool game room where I planned on letting the kids waste a couple bucks each. Well when we got there we were told they aren't open (waterpark) on Tuesday till 4. That pretty much blew that day for us and I called the manager and politely (even nicely) explained that that misinformation messed up our plans. i told him I doubted there was something that could be done but I wasn't happy. He offered to do something for us but wasn't sure what. I suggested dinner at their very nice restaurant if they could figure out what to feed us and my husband said if that was too hard then a free day pass for a later time. He gave us the dinner, 5 free day passes and each child got $4 dollars worth of tokens for the game room. I was amazed. I was also quite grateful. Needless to say we'll be back there every year we live here. Made for a fun trip that didn't cost as much as we thought it would.
Had to change back to my old number of minutes for another 20 bucks a month. Seems that I only get one free number to call if I go down to 500 minutes. In order to only use 500 minutes a month I need at least 6 free numbers so I upped to the 900 plan that gives me 10 mumbers free. Everyone I call is out of state. My DD uses the same service so she is free but my DIL doesn't and I actually talk to her more since my DD and I can IM on gmail. Ah well at least I don't have the extra 25 dollar charge for tethering anymore. That saves some.
WE are going away for the first couple days of Hanukkah. There is an indoor water park near us that the kids love. It is a log cabin "theme" and really fun for them. I am so looking forward to cuddling and playing with my two. Of course we are taking schoolwork so we don't get out of practice on that! Since I cancelled the tethering I won't be able to get online either although for what we are paying a night, they should give us wireless service but sometimes DH's computer won't work with that.
Sometimes you have to spend money to make money! My cell phone keeps going on the fritz so I changed phones. In the process I decided to down grade my account. I went from 900 minutes to 500 minutes (I rarely use more and now can be careful)and I cancelled the tether. If my DH needs it again we can add it for 30 a month so can't see spending that when we weren't using it. I probably dropped our bill by half.
Hubby's work not mine. He was told no raises in 2009 and very little bonus. Some folks won't get any. he makes good money and it is our own fault we are in debt but we were hoping for the bonus and raise to get us out of it. Oh well, we can conserve more I'm sure. I have been doing a bit of saving, not much with the holidays but a bit and I can do a bit more. I want an emergency fund that is healthy. Then I want to pay off debt. I am actually putting the same amount in the fund as I put on the credit card. The income tax return will help with the credit card pay off I'm sure and at least there will be some bonus.
I got to talk to my son this morning. He is home from Iraq. This second tour seemed to take forever to be done. I didn't realize how big a weight it was till he talked to me and the heavyness floated off. I am soooooooooooo hoping he gets a different job so he can be home for awhile. It is so hard on his kids and my DIL when he is gone that long. Should have heard the cheering around here when the kids found out the person on the other end of the phone was their big brother!!!! My DH was shouting at the computer and the kids were yelling. For once the noise didn't bother me. i seem to recall adding to it a bit!
When my DH was a teen he lost almost all the hearing in his right ear. His left was so so. He was left with a constant ringing in his ears. That was decades ago. He tried a hearing aid but it didn't help. He was told it was nerve damage and untreatable. Well he is sick several times a year with a sinus problem that is apparently uncurable and not very treatable. Maybe i should say he is healthy a couple times a year. Anyway we finally got a referral to an ENT yesterday. I was holding a Simply Fun Party at the same time (which had been planned for 3 months) so couldn't go which made him unhappy but we couldn't make him suffer another week so we reviewed what the Dr needed to know and off he went. When he came home he said they had scheduled him for a CT scan to see exactly what was going on. Then he dropped a bomb............Seems the Dr thinks he can fix his ear. This Dr doesn't think it is nerve damage but fused bones. He says the ear drum is fine and sees no reason why he can't operate and solve the problem. Needless to say we are reeling from the news. DH just looked at the DR and siad that would be nice but I've lived with this for years, and while annoying it isn't a big deal anymore, can you fix the sinuses!! The Dr was a bit surprised but understood when DH told him how many days a year he is sick with it. WOW he could hear again!!!
On another note my son comes home from Iraq tomorrow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
i have 3 extras today. A friend has to take her youngest for all kinds of tests today so dropped off her 5,8,& 9 year old here. We had school for 5. My 3 year old wanted to show off but settled down. My 5 year old buckled down after a couple minutes and worked really hard cause the other 5 yr old is his best friend and he wanted playtime as soon as possible. I was amazed at the small amount of work they did in a school day. Maybe it is because they came here but 4 division problems seems pretty low to me. Oh well guess I am a slave driver!!
My DS2 read to me last night and it was wonderful!! He did an awesome job. He is sounding out so much less than he was. I taught him to sound it out in his head and that goes so much faster for him. I am a very proud Mom!
We had the first decent snowfall of the year last night. My first clue was waking up to the little voice of my 5 year old when he asked, "Mom is it winter?" I groggily said no go back to sleep and after a couple minutes it hit me why he must have asked. I checked and yep lots of white stuff out there.
I am having a Simply Fun party tomorrow afternoon during our normal playgroup time. I traded parties with her. I really hope this is worth her while. I don't have many people coming. Most people seem to hate these things but I honestly like them. I am in the minority I guess. Her Usborne Book party (my business) went well so I hope I can do as well for her.
I said yesterday that I was going to try to turn over a new leaf, both health wise and financial. So far so so! I have no motivation right now, for anything. Mornings are pretty good but afternoons aren't.
I have been keeping up with Sparkpeople but not here. Guess I figure my finances aren't great so what do I have to add. Of course neither do I really have anything to add on Sparkpeople (a weight loss site) since I am not losing weight. So I am making some resolutions. I intend to blog here everyday and on Sparkpeople (actually I don't blog there I comment on the loving your husbands forum). More importantly I intend to have something to blog about!!
As in I intend to do something about our financial and health challenges.
Right now we have very little savings other than retirement stuff. I have some I have been saving for when we can take a really nice trip but that is out of my allowance and investments so am not counting it. We save 15% for retirement every month from the gross so will not be changing that. We have started saving another 10% for an emergency fund but only last month. We need to put a great deal away so we can visit family every year and last year did it on credit too much. We had to go, our DIL was having some health crisises and our DS was in Iraq. This year we hope to head East in July, and November. It is a long way off and we are unhappy about that but it gives us time to save. I'm sure our DD and DIL won't like the long time till they see us but can't be helped. DH is in a time crunch at work too which if we do this right may lead to a move closer to the kids so we can go alot more often. It will cut the drive from 3 days to 1 long one. That of course cuts the costs.
No not everything just kind of shaking the house up and seeing where everything falls! I have moved several pieces of furniture in the dining room and now am onto the living room. Put the dog crate in the kitchen now. I put a large board on top and am using that to fold and sort laundry. I have lots more to do in there but am content if I make a visible difference every day.
I ordered rugs for the living room and dining room finally. I have been waiting till I found some I really like. I even got one for the bathroom. One is a second so it was like 40 % off and I had a 15% discount on all of them. It was more than I would have paid at a garage sale but I love the rugs. The site is rugheaven.com if anyone wants to check it out.
Our garden hasn't produced alot yet. We got one pepper that we gave away (first fruits and all that). Yesterday I was surprised to find a fully grown cuke. My DS2 (age 5) said let's pick it and eat it Mom. So that is what we did. DH was home sick and he was delighted when he found out it is one of ours. We have a teeny eggplant forming and a couple more pickle size cukes as well as lots of green grape tomatoes and many little green butternut squash. May not get any more peppers but the carrot tops look good. The broccoli and cauliflower doesn't look like we will get much if anything.
We joined a farm share and it has been producing a little here and there. Yesterday I froze 6 quarts of mixed green and yellow beans, 3 of green and 3 of yellow. I also started two large bowls of pickles, 7 day and a new kind (freezer pickles). Today I have alot of zuccini waiting for me to freeze them. We use that instead of lasagna noodles. The jury is still out as to whether it was a good investment or not. We'll see if it gets more productive as the summer goes by. Up top now we have gootton some peas, 3 lbs of green beans (besides the ones I froze) 3 lbs of purple beans, some very small zuccini, a half pound of rhubard, and several things of radishes. I had to give most of that away since we were getting ready to go south but now we are home and I want to freeze a good bit of what we are getting. I still give some away, I know a family that needs it.
Yesterday I was writing about the birthday party we had for my DS2 and computer shut down on the last couple sentences! Frustrating! Sooooooooooo here we go again. He is turning 5 on Saturday but we will be on the road so we had the party early. He picked the "Pirates Who Don't Do Anything" from Veggie Tales for a theme. I ordered a cake topper from ebay a couple months ago and it worked pretty well. We also had cheese curls (the pirates favorite food) pizza, ice cream and chocolate milk. For the treats to go home I found treasure chests at the dollar store to unfold and make. They were 6 for a dollar. In them I put a top, car, couple little tootsie rolls, some fake coins and stickers. When the kids got here they put their name on a card and every time they did an activity they earned a pirate sticker. When they had 10 they earned their treasure. We made "hats " actually visors, (dollar store 3/$1 and foam stickers from there too), took newspaper crumpled it and used masking tape to make "rock monsters" (the parents got to help and had a blast) Then we went outside and threw "coins" at containers. No one not even my DH was able to get a coin in. We only stood 3 feet away! The coins were about 3 inches across (8/$1) We helped each child into a paper grocery bag and then player pirate says (simon couldn't make it!) We use nautical words and the last command was overboard. While the kids were tossing my DH "kidnapped" one of the Moms and took her off to the castle. I armed her kid (s) with swords and off they went to rescue her! It was so cute to see the sword fights. We earned a medal for walking the "HERO highway" They had to go to 4 stations and collect a letter in the word. To earn an H they had to say their ABC's, E was count 1 to 20, R was walk the plank (balance beam), and O was scale the rigging (climbing rope ladder on jungle gym). We played Tic Tac Toes. I made boards on paper and x's and O's out of foam and they had to play with their toes. After that we put shoes back on and jumped off of the trampoline onto ............................... cheese curls. There is a song the pirate sing about never going to Boston in the fall. One of the lines is "I've never thrown my mashed potatoes up against the wall" You guessed it, none of these kids can ever sing that song again!! I made a wall out of a big piece of cardboard and cut a hole in it. my DH put his face in the hole and the kids took dairy queen spoons with mashed potatoes on them and flung em at him. Couple of the kids were pretty good at it! I made sure there was plenty, cooked up a big box of instant mashed potatoes. I am convinced that my DH is the best sport in the world! The kids had a blast and the clean up was minimal since we did the really messy things outside. It rained later to wash away my mashed potatoes and the chipmunks have been busy with the cheese curl crumbs. Lots of fun for not much money. You never know what is going to happen at my parties. My DD can't wait for her birthday in January. Wants horses as a them.....hmn what can I do with that!?
We went to Perkins tonight (kids eat free on Tuesday with Adult entree) As we were finishing up the waitress came over and said that our meal was paid for and we each got a piece of pie (adults). We must have looked totally confused cause she sent the waitress of our benefactor (who had left) over to explain. It seems that our little ones age 3 and 4 had so impressed the couple with their good behavior that they paid for our meal!!! We were soooooooooo proud of them!
For months I have been trying to teach my DD2 (age 3 and a half and has CP) to take her shirt off. It has been rough. She would rather I help her. So as I advise her how to do it she screams and cries and in general tries to wear me down. It hasn't worked yet but she keeps trying. Once in awhile she gets her Dad to help so she keeps trying to appeal to me. It is hard to resist "but I love you Mommy" Anyway today I sent her up to get dressed and she came down sans pjs with her new shirt on her head stuck on her chin, no tears or screams. I told her how to fix the new shirt and she went happily back up to finish dressing. She still needs some help with tights but can do socks herself. Try to do things one handed sometime you'd be amazed at how hard it is. I have had to learn to do lots of stuff one handed so I can advise her how to do it.
We needed a new table, actually the table was ok but we needed new chairs. The other ones were collapsing. Did teach my 3 yr old not to wiggle so much, every time she did on of the legs fell off. Anyway I wanted a bench type this time to fit in the space I have better. I was planning on getting one at Aldi's if they ran their sale again. It was around 2 hundred last year. Not the best table but it would do for several years. As we were driving past my neighbors shop I saw a great rectangular table with benches in front of it. The table had been 369 and the benches were 119. (each) I got all three pieces for 299. I was delighted, especially when they agreed to deliver it on their way home!! All I have to do is cover the seats with plastic (little kids) The table will last the rest of our lives I am sure. It is wood, solid tree trunks about 3 or 4 inches in diameter for legs and the sides of the bench and the plank part of the table is at least 1 and 1/2 inches thick. A great table.
It was a long trip East but the prize at the end was worth it. I got all my children and their children in the same room at the same time. I was allowed to take a picture of two grown children with my two little ones. I was also allowed a picture of my grandchildren, all of them! Of course that will change in a couple weeks when the new one is born. I wish I could be there for that. The curse of having to earn a living I guess. Only job seems to be 1500 miles away from those I love. DIL keeps begging us to find one closer but at our age it is difficult. We are sticking with this company in the hope they will move us after the transition is complete and then the distance will be cut in half. In the meantime we only get to see them a couple times a year.
Our debt is a Yoyo. We are trying to eliminate it but the trips East are adding to it. Still wouldn't give them up for anything. I love my kids and grandkids. Just reduced it quite a bit tho. We have two cards that we are carrying a balance on. We also have one we use online and pay off every month. The goal is to get it back to 1 that carries a balance and then drop it to zero and use it for trips only, paying it off when the bill comes.
Hey the IRS gave me more money! Guess when they said early May they meant it. I promptly put it on a credit card along with DH bonus. He got a raise too so things are looking up. Now to set up things so we can save it. Have to wait till we get back form our trip East but it will be set up the day after that.
My 3 year old is not feeling well today. She crawled in with me about five thirty this morning and has been whimpering on an doff ever since. I keep putting her back in bed when she falls asleep and 30 minutes later she is staggering up to me. She then lays on me and falls back asleep. I feel so bad for her. No fever, just "my tummy doesn't feel good" as I was writing this she called and I ran up. She gagged a couple times and fell back asleep. Sometimes I wish she'd just throw up and get it over with!! Ah well, with 4 kids for the last 6 weeks I guess I am blessed that this was the first time any of em got sick, now if we can just contain this!!
I got an IM from my DIL telling my that my DS1's mid tour leave had been canceled. They were on a mission and would be unable to contact us for up to 2 months or more. In my DS1's words, they were going into "hell" I was to put it mildly terrified. Two days later I got a phone call telling me th emission was canceled because it was too dangerous. While I am VERY glad his leave is back on it has made me think of what others are facing. While I worried about him it didn't occur to me that others are in even more danger. Time to step up my prayers.
Somehow pipes are just not where I want my discretionary income to go. However after calling a plumber to put in an outside faucet and being told that all the pipes in the crawl space need to be replaced and that he found several leaks (he showed them to my DH) I guess that is where it is going, now to decide copper or PVC. The paper he gave me lists prices for each, PVC is of course cheaper, but only by 250 (only?) but i have to research how long each will last.
but taxes on it arent
DH got a nice bonus. Uncle Sam took half of it! What is cool is that we will get it all back at the beginning of January when we file. It was nice to sign into our account and see twice what I expected. Of course it has to pay off some credit cards from the traveling but at least it is there to do that.
At least for Mom! I had to send a little one to bed early. They were saying bad things. Why is the potty so funny for a 4 year old? To make things worse, I had to put nasty stuff (worcester sauce) in my 3 year olds mouth for lying to me. It was so hard! I like giving rewards much better! We did have a great school "day" today. We are reading about Pontiac and reached the 4th chapter. Today we made a wigwam, bow and arrow (he got one when he was 6) canoe, net to catch fish and basket of fish. It was fun and the kids learn so much more that way. WE also did several worksheets but those aren't as much fun. WE are going to a movie today. Nim's island. DH went yesterday and I get to take the boys (age 4) today.
We had so much fun yesterday and all it cost was a little gasoline for the drive to a friends house. We spent the morning outside playing in the snow (yeah in Wisconsin that Spring thing hasn't quite gotten here yet) and then we went to a friends and played games all afternoon. The 2 and 3 year olds napped so we could concentrate on the gaming. The boys had a blast with the other 4 boys that were there. Then when we came home we watched a couple episodes of the rifleman on DVD. It was fun and the show has a good message. On one of them the father told the story of Job from the Bible.
We have started a ticket brigade. When you do certain things you earn tickets. It is a more visible reward system for the kids than allowance day once a week for a 3 and 2 year old. The 4 year olds love it too. It is amazing how fast a 3 year old in a screaming fit can calm down when all I say is "do you want to lose a ticket?" WOW. At the end of the week they get to spend tickets on prizes I pick up at the dollar store or computer time. I do believe in good behavior being its own reward but when they are that close in age you need a little more ammo! I wonder how the pioneers did it! You also earn tickets by answering questions pertaining to hard stuff like electricity or adding, depends on what we learned that day in school and on what you are having a problem retaining! Questions are asked at meals when I have a captive audience and since I have a couple of finicky eaters (unless a growth spurt is looming) it makes them eat up cause no food gone means no question and that means no ticket! I realize this is way too lenient to some but it works for us. I like seeing the kids try to help each other without answering (cause that would lose a ticket too) and learning to accept a time out gracefully (cause screaming is a big ticket loser at our house.)
I now have 4 students in my home school. Two of our grandkids have joined our household for a while. Not sure how long yet but at least a month. Lets see when we adopted out little girl my DH said I shouldn't have to do dishes anymore cause I was doubling my work and he took them over (believe me I am grateful, lots of dishes right now) So now that I have doubled again, wonder what he will take over!!
Just invited him to read my blog, and he started laughing, wonder what that means!?
4 little letters that are a big relief right now. We drove from GA with 4 little ones ages 4,4,3,2 with stops in NC, PA, OH, MI, IN, IL, and WI. It was a long long drive. We have been gone for almost 4 weeks. I am really looking forward to my own bed tonight.
We are on the road,left at lunchtime yesterday after finalizing our youngest's adoption. We got pretty far yesterday, below the windy city anyway. That includes an hour and half stop at a curriculum fair for home schoolers where I enjoyed having some hands on with stuff I had been reading about. I picked a phonics curriculum for my older two (age 4) because they can both work out of it even if it is in different workbooks. I also found a reading comprehension book to challenge my 4 year old. I found copies of several of the biographies I have been searching for to read to my 4 home schoolers and was delighted to do so. the funny part is that the lady who was displaying them lives within a half hour drive from us in WI. I am looking forward to getting more of those books after we get home. We drove as far as south Bend and then settled two kids and two dogs for the night. This morning started early, DD2 was up at 4:19 WI time and never went back to bed. Of course it woke up DS2. So we were on the road before 6 AM. We drove as far as we could and then had to stop because of the bad storm that was predicted. It wasn't a dream of some weatherman. It is several inches of white cold vision disrupting road blocking trip destroying mess. We are stuck here till Monday. I am sure Sandusky is a nice place to visit however I wanted to be in PA by now. My family was planning a nice lunch tomorrow which had been canceled. We were then going to NC to see my DD1 and may have to cancel that as well. In all fairness it isn't just the storm, our car has started hesitating every so often and we are concerned. I am hoping it is due to an accumulation of snow. It could signal the abrupt end of our transmission. We are taking it to the dealer on Monday. They were closed due to snow today. We will see what they have to say. We will get to see DD1 at some point this trip. It may be after we pick up the grandkids though. Depends on how long the car is tied up. Ah well, we have a room, (there are others stranded when the road was closed), we have food(snacks for the road are plentiful at the beginning of the trip), so that makes 4 walls that are closing in rapidly, two kids ages 4 and 3, two large dogs and one husband who want sto take a nap. Good thing he has a hearing problem!! The hotel even has an indoor pool. I didn't bring swimsuits but maybe walmart when the snow clears tomorrow. or if?
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