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Happy Anniversary!!

May 20th, 2007 at 05:42 pm

May 17th was my wedding anniversary. I WOULD of been married for 21 years this past week. It is also the anniversary of my BLOG! It has been ONE YEAR!! Thank you for having me around and for reading what I post. I enjoy writing and I LOVE reading everyone's blogs as well. What a great group of bloggers! Thanks again--

Spending Less

May 20th, 2007 at 05:39 pm

Hello frugal friends! Since I am back to working part time I sense that my budget may be better off. Yes I am earning, but I feel somehow that in turn I am spending less. I am not sure why. I am not in the grocery store as much or running little errands. I seem to be saving on gas as well. Working one mile away sure helps. I take my lunch everyday and never buy out of the vending machine. Usually my lunch is pretty humble and not too exciting. I spend nothing on my work clothes. So far I am preplexed but I do think I am saving somehow somewhere. I am still enjoying my job. I have met more folks in management and that has been nice to enlarge my circle of faces around the complex.

I have learned a few lessons as well.
Keep things simple in your house. Some of these seniors have way too many knick knacks and furniture. Some have so much stuff I worry how they might fall. Throw away junk mail and newspapers. Lots of the residences will not throw away old papers and mail--cluttered tables and counters are messy. Smells matter. If you have a pet....take care of it properly and maintain things. Put unopen cat food cans away---it is simply gross. Fresh air is cheap and does a world of good for everything. Open a window now and then. Fresh air never hurt anyone or anyone's home.
Life is what you make of it. You can walk around all grumpy and mad at the world or your circumstances or you can look at things with contentment and joy---the choice is YOURS! Happy people are fun to be around grumpy people are a BIG turn off. Everyone can use a smile or nice words...they are free and easy to share.

I have alot of graduations coming up which means lots of cash flying out the door. I will have to decide the amount and make that cash amount the gift I give across the board. My dd has her birthday in the begining of June so I will hosting a sleepover party for her and her buddies and of course buying her some gifts. She will be 15! So far I have no idea what to get her. I know she has some ideas, I know she wants a purse she has had her eye on. June is tax time for me. I have to pay my taxes soon. It is a pain but I have to do it. The IRS is not something to mess with. So that will be a chunk.

I have my trampoline coming on Tuesday. I cashed out my CD so I have cash to pay the balance, instead of throwing it on a credit card. The kids seem really excited to get it. I hope they have fun with it. It will be takng up valuable yard space in my smaller backyard.

I have been keeping dinners super simple.
It seems to be fine with everyone. I feel less stressed and we eat very well.
My weight seems to have slowed down a bit. I still feel great and have tons of energy. I am glad my job is physical. I just have to watch and eat healthy. I was told this is normal as my body adjusts. My hair is not falling out as much either. I am so glad. It was pretty scary for a time. Things seem to be getting normal as far as hair loss goes. I am still careful whan I wash it and comb it.
My skin is very clear and I have no other major issues as far as health is concerned. I hope to hear about my insurance soon. I re-applied and asked for a cheaper rate. I hope it does not come back higher. I feel I should get a better rate with all the weight I have shed.

I need to look for a dress and shoes for graduation. I absolutly hate to shop.
I hate to try on clothes....even with an 85 pound weight loss.....I still do not have much luck with clothes really looking great on me. I am not sure why. I need someone from the style channel to help me I guess. I will have to grin and bear it----otherwise I will have to show up to the ceremony in shorts and a tee shirt and flip flops!

Have a good Sunday!

Hello Friends

May 14th, 2007 at 12:57 am

Oh my--I am not too good at writing on a regualr basis. I apologize. Just so busy now that I am working a bit. I am still liking my job and find it very interesting at times. Saturday I had to train to do many jobs as I am the only one around on Saturdays. It was fun ---yet hard work. I felt very responsible to have been given so much so quickly. So far so good. I am looking forward to getting my paycheck with my name on it. I know that might sound lame or silly but it is important to me.

Shopped at the WalMart super center on Friday. I liked it but then I found it was so large it almost overwhelmed me. They have the best prices in town...no doubt...I just felt over over overwhelmed by how large it was for some reason! I got my oil changed while I shopped...that was easy and really helpful. Do you do your regular shopping at WalMart? I am on the fence right now if I am going to keep on going there. I will see. The prices were great....maybe the trip will be better next time.

I have to go to a funeral this week. My friend with cancer passed away on Weds. I am glad she is heaven. I was glad I saw her last week and glad they published a beautiful photo of her in the paper. She was a stunning lady with a pretty face and smile.

I hope you all had a nice Mothers day. We went to the mall and purchased outfits for my sons graduation. Shoes, dresses...you name it. We ate in the food court. For the most part we had a nice day. It felt great to get some things purchased and checked off my list.
It is like preparing to go to a wedding. Just lots of details.

I filled up my van this weekend with gas. It cost me around $75. I am so glad I work so close to home. It is awfully expensive anymore. Everything seems expensive to me and at times it is depressing. I feel grateful for what I have. Yet it seems scary to think too far into the future. Being frugal is so important. I tend to spend on the kids and not so much on me. Isn't that the way it is?

It has been a good weekend....have a good Monday!

I am back!

May 9th, 2007 at 02:11 am

Sorry for not writing for so long.....not exactly sure why but just busy! Hello to all!

I did start my job and so far so good. My first day I was pretty nervous. I seem to be doing ok because the first day I trained under another lady....then the next day I was on my own! I must of done OK. I really like it and enjoy being on my own to complete all my jobs. It is a very physical job.....I am never sitting down for too long. I have been making things work in my home as well. So far so good. It sure is different but it motivates me to be very on top of things and to get things done when I can. It is nice to be busy---time flies when I am working and I never seem to dwell on problems or difficulties. My kids seem Ok with it all as well. One day at a time.

We made a big purchase...a trampoline. I decided to spend the money I had stashed last May. Since we are not going anywhere as far as a trip goes.....I decided to make the plunge and purchase it. So we are looking forward to it. It will be fun and entertaining for everyone. I got a pretty nice one and it is the safest one you can get. I should have it by Memorial Day weekend.

As far as money goes and budget.....I have been staying on track. I hope to keep socking some cash away each month. I am working on lowering my health insurance. I just filled out some health questionnaires, so we will see.

I have lost 85 pounds so far. I feel good. I am going to Goodwill to get a few items as I get skinnier. I taught my youngest how to ride a two wheeler....so I am back riding my bike again. I like it. It is fun and I feel like a kid. Good way to burn off calories.

A dear friend of mine is losing her battle with breast cancer.
She was doing great and then boom....she went downhill. I went to see her Sunday and was basically tramatized at how bad she looked. I tried not to cry at her bedside but did. I was too overwhelmed with grief. It was really hard. I am now trying to remember her when she looked healthy and so full of life. She was a dear. I always liked it when she said to me...."I love you" and she would say it with such meaning it felt so special to have her say that to me. She really meant it too. She leaves behind a hubby and two boys who are still young.

Sunday we are going to hose off the front porch and get all the furniture out there. Soon flowers will be purchased and we will be well on our way to enjoying all things on the front porch! There is no better way to relax!

"a wise man should have money in his head, but not in his heart"

"love is a short word but it contains everything"

"he who does not economize will have to agonize"

"opportunities are seldom labeled"

Menu for the week

April 23rd, 2007 at 03:43 pm

Sunday-Chix drumsticks,rice,corn, strawberries or applesauce

Monday
Breakfast-bisquits and jelly
Dinner-slow cooker chix and stuffing, fruit , green beans, corn muffins

Tuesday
Breakfast-hash browns
Dinner-kids eat with dad, no cooking

Weds
Breakfast-waffles, sausage
Dinner- Rigatoni, meatballs, texas toast, sliced apples or salad

Thurs
Breakfast- Bagels or cereal
Dinner- small Pork loin, mashed pot and gravy, freezer bread, corn or beans.

Friday
Breakfast-whatever
Dinner-soup, grilled cheese sandwiches and pizza crescents

Saturday--re-shop!

Great Weekend

April 23rd, 2007 at 03:18 pm

Well we had our last dance weekend and it was fun. Nice time! It ended up being frugal beyond my expectations! Saturday-we ate lunch at the place where we performed.....$16 for two. Which is not bad at all for catered on site food service. We had huge salads, waters, a huge fresh fruit cup and a huge cream cheese brownie. My daughter ate her fill. Free program to track dances. Usually these cost around $10 at most events we go to.
Saturday night we ate out for dinner and the wonderful diner we ate it had HUGE protions. So lunch was "free" so to speak as we took home about four boxes of leftovers to recycle for lunches and snacks. I also parked for free as the parking lot had no attendant. I also got free coffee at the hotel because the hotel manager was kinda being nice to us! So I really squeaked by on not much cash outlay.

I grocery shopped on Sunday morning and got that done. So my menu is planned for the week including breakfasts.

My financial planner sent me a confirmation he received my check to invest into my account. So that is handled and taken care of......the money is gone and I can not touch it easily. I feel so good about that. Major accomplishment.

Today I have a physical. My "big" news is I landed a part time job at a beautiful high end local assisted living place near me. I already measured and it is exactly 1.3 miles from my driveway to work! I could walk or ride my bike if I wanted to!!I have had the drug test and now I have to have a physical. It will take a few days to complete the paperwork. I am working in the laundry area...and doing light housekeeping for residents. It is not stressful and the part time hours work with my life. I am nervous and excited to earn a paycheck on my own. For me it is a huge deal and undertaking emotionally. I have not worked for pay since 1989. So a new challenge for me. If it works out great! if not I guess I can give my two weeks notice. I have to now tell my kids. My oldest daughter knows and she was not too happy. No one likes change so I understand her feelings. I work three days 9-2pm and every other Saturday morning. So far I think it should work and again if not....I can always reconsider. My therapist thinks the timing is right and that it may help me to get involved in something beyond my home and four walls. I also have just enjoyed getting to meet new people. It is all good therapy for me. Plus this job is a job involving moving and walking......that is great for weight loss.

The weather is so nice.....a strong breeze is occuring right now. It was very peaceful outside and now some neighbor is using a blower and the whole area is filled with noise! It really irritates me all the yard equipment noise it seems constant! One pet peeve I have around here. I have my clothesline up and running with two loads of laundry whipping in the breeze. They will be done drying in no time. If you don't use a line...get into the habit. It is so wonderfully simple. Last night we went for a walk. I found a wonderful old farm tin bucket with a dent and a tiny bit of old rust in the neighbor's garbage. I brought it home and put an assortment of left over silk flowers in it. It now graces my porch and looks like it is from Country Living Magazine. One man's trash becomes a cute front porch treasure. My porch swing is back to swinging along with the front yard hammock which rarely hangs quietly when school is over for the day. Spring is full of changes!! It is very nice and so welcoming. Change is refreshing. I am looking forward to the many changes and new directions life is taking me.

Have a good day everyone.

A Sad Day

April 17th, 2007 at 11:49 pm

What a terrible event that has happened at VA TECH. My sister teaches in the engineering department at VA TECH. Thankfully she was not on campus on Monday. Our hearts go out to the whole college and town. It sure makes one pause and reflect how fleeting life is.

Not too much to report. I was able to mail off a large chunk of savings to my financial advisor on Monday. That was a relief to do that. Less temptation on my part. I also am re-newing my health insurance. The paperwork seems complicated and yet very vague. I am simply renewing. I am asking for a reduced rate since I had the gastric bypass. I know the rate went up a few months ago across the board.

I had to weigh myself for the paperwork. I have lost 75.5 pounds. I am very happy with my progress. My hair continues to a be a problem for me. It is falling out like I am having chemo. I have been eating as much protein as I can and I am supplementing myself with medication. It is nothing new and many weight loss patients go thru this transition. Overall,I am feeling so good. It is wonderful and I am so glad I did have the surgery, despite the hair loss.

Just trying to balance things as far as my money goes. It seems to be another tight month. I think alot of bills have hit me like renewals and such. It is just not too fun. I have two more travel weekends for my daughter. Once the travel season is over I should be doing better. This weekend is local so no hotel...in two weeks we have an overnighter out of town. So we will just do our best.

Next big purchases will be summer clothing. We did some over Easter break but need to buy some shorts and tees and then bathing suits. My middle daughter needs tennis shoes. My budget for my own clothes is on hold. Nothing I need to buy.

Have a good evening

"No person is so poor that he cannot give a compliment"

"Don't ask for an easier life, ask to be a stronger person"

"If you can't have the best of everything, make the best of everything you have"

Greetings!

April 10th, 2007 at 01:29 am

Hope everyone had a lovely Easter. I visited my family and we stayed overnight and drove back on Monday morning. We had a nice visit. My son stayed with his dad. It all worked out very well. It was last minute as I was not planning on going and staying overnight,but my sister was visiting from 5 1/2 hours away. I do not get to see her and her boys too often, so the trip was really a good way to connect.

I had an interesting appointment today. One that in the future I will share but not right now. You'll have to come back and visit my blog to find out.

My kids are home from school all week and then they go to dad's on Friday evening for the weekend. I will miss them! I have had them for so long....I enjoy my time but pine away for them as soon as they leave.

Nothing too new in the finance department. I have had a ton of bills. Things that are re-newals and what evers. So I am trying to balance it all out. I will probably have an expensive week as I am eating out two times with girlfriends and twice with my kids. I keep teling myself it is cheaper than a trip to Flordia! Not to worry. Soon I will have to begin the process of purchasing spring and summer type clothing for my kids. Not my favorite thing to do.....going clothing shopping. I tend to grin and bear it alot. They like it of course.

Have a good evening everyone.

This and That

March 31st, 2007 at 12:49 pm

Had a busy week with Dr apts for my kids...nothing big or terrible, mostly check ups and follow ups. My son was diagnoised with some allergies and some asthma. So that proved interesting.

I have our school auction today. Last night I spent time setting up the sale with the many donated items. We had been asking families for weeks to donate things. Some families did and some did not. As we set up a family was helping us. They own a farm. The dad promptly spoke up that he would offer an October hay ride for ten people and apple picking and snacks-kinda of a day on the farm package. It was nice to get that fun donation. There are ways to give right under our noses....things that seems simple or maybe mundane but yet offer a world of difference to some one else. We all have gifts and talents that are perhaps being wasted without use. Something to also be pondering. What gifts or talents do you have to donate or give away? Just a thought I had as we were setting up the auction.

I cleaned out my fridge yesterday. Wiped everything down. I had some expired food which just makes me nuts! I then went shopping which also drives me crazy. Loaded up for the weekend. I planned my shopping differently. I made menus for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the weekend. An experiment of sorts. I have the kids with me this weekend. I enjoy feeding them and making meal time as nice as possible.

My tax person called to say the IRS bounced one of my returns she e-filed due to a SS #-----I am not sure what the problem is. My ex says he did not use any of the children's numbers so we will see. Hopefully this can fixed quickly. I already sent them my tax money.....so I am square as far as money goes.

I bought some rubbermaid organizer boxes this week. Ususally we keep art supplies handy in the family room for school homework. I store things in shoe boxes. Well they are not working out so I splurged on nice boxes with lids and handles. They are stacked in a cupboard neatly and have made things nicer to deal with and store. It was worth the money.

My basement was very very neat for a while...now I got lazy again...so I need to stop down there and put things away before it gets bad all over again. How are your dumping zones doing?? I dump down there. It is a bad habit I cannot seem to totally break. Next on my list when the weather warms up for sure is the garage. I like a neat and very tidy garage. When things are neat I can find things. That means I spend less money buying things I can not find! I have noticed more homes this year with Christmas decorations still up and proudly displayed.....that is another pet peeve of mine! UGH! I am really into making my house look nice on the outside as well as the inside. Right now I have a spring/Easter wreath on the door, easter eggs and a cute little ceramic bunny on the porch chair. It looks freshand colorful. I can not imagine having a dead pine wreath and garland hanging out there. I will be bold and say that is plain lazy to not deal with simple stuff.

Off to make breakfast for my kids. It was nice to sleep in today for a bit. Taking care of myself and getting the proper rest helps me think clearly and be on my best as a mom. As I have aged I find it very critical to be properly rested and not to feel like I have to be supermom. That is why a simple life is often a most rewarding life. Who needs a nap today??? Have a good day everyone!

Wonderful weekend

March 26th, 2007 at 01:39 am

Had a great weekend with my daughter dancing and doing her National History day stuff. She won for NHD and so we get to drive to our state capital and present it again with other state finalists! What a thrill for her. Lots and lots of work and preparing and it really felt great to see her win. Her dancing went well too...loads of fun.

I enjoyed myself a ton. I was able to talk with other women. I really do no have that much opportunity and it was so worth it. Being part of a group of women is very uplifting and refreshing for me. It is great therapy. The dance moms I travel with are all so nice...it really was great to just have some girl time!

I spent about $100 this weekend. All in all not too bad. Dinner for me and daughter last night and tonight. Two lunches for daughter and some coffee. Valet parking and parking garage fees. Dance program and some candy for dancers. Really....I can not complain.

Ok....I do have one complaint........
My ex never called his daughter to see how her dance went or to see how she placed in her big history presentation. Yes we had fun but I still have a hurt daughter. I refuse to call him....that is his job to call. Sad. Very sad.

How is meal planning going and savings?
I am going to cut a check this week to send off to my retirement fund. It is not tons but it is a large amount to me.
I really want to do this. The less I "see" of it ...the better. So I am looking forward to sending off the money and working my savings account back up again. How do you eat an elephant....? One bite at a time. Sounds simple enough!

I told my daughter no more eating out if possible till next dance weekend in late April. I hope I can really stick to that promise. My son comes home from High School choir trip Monday night....then it is back to lots of eating and grocery shopping with my son back home in the house.

Did everyone clip out the Sunday coupons?
I have been eating so much fresh stuff that the coupons are not too helpful. I still will cut them out as one never knows when they could use a coupon!

I have received alot of free samples lately. I love it! My kids are even into it now...what came in the mail today mom??? It is silly fun that is better than finding a bill in the mailbox!

Need to clean out the conversion van this week, with the shop vac and get in a good car wash in my driveway. Everyone needs to spring clean their cars now. I hope to own my van for many many years. It is big, roomy and I love to drive it! I am trying to really take care of her.

Starting to think about Easter and making an Easter dinner for my children.
I am looking forward to it. It is already blessing me to think we can have such a lovely day together at church and at home around my humble table. It really warms my heart.

"Regret nothing, breathe in the rich blessings of each new day and forget all that lies behind you. Man is so made that he can carry only the weight of 24 hours----no more"

Keeping busy

March 24th, 2007 at 03:32 am

This week I paid all my taxes for the start of the year. I make some more payments in June. It was both exciting and scary! I was glad to have completed my taxes with the help of a pro and scary writing those checks out! I am downtown all weekend for a school event my daughter won and a dance competition. Very busy with all that. Since we are local...there is no hotel charges or expenses. So that is good news for the savings meter! I did get called this week for the first time by a store demo company. The date was at a WalMart near me demonstarting diet coke. The date and time were not good for me. So I had to pass on the money. I did tell them to call again. So that was kinda fun.

I had to buy some clothes for my dd as she needed a suit of some sort to do her speech in. We went to TARGET and found a practical outfit for her. It will work for Easter and spring and all summer. I need to do some birthday shopping as well perhaps next week. I will be keeping things very simple and very modest. I know "dad" is going over the top so I am trying to balance the hype.

I need to finish many little items before the weekend starts....I will try to blog more next week.

Weight Loss Update

March 18th, 2007 at 12:02 am

Not to bore anyone but I wanted to update you all. As you may or may not know, I had gastric bypass surgery on Dec. 7th 2006. I weighed myself today and I have lost a total of 67 pounds since surgery. I have no regrets and am happy with my weight loss so far. I need to excersie more. I am hit or miss it seems. I am being honest. I just have this mental mountain. I know when I do workout I feel 600% better. As far as pounds gone, I am happy with my efforts.

I have no "set" goal except to keep being a loser. My son graduates from High School on June 3rd. So I want to look as good as possible on that date as my ex and his new wife and my old in law family will be attending so....I guess in selfish way I want to look good and not frumpy. I want to be able to walk in that church with my head held high!

I think I am doing well as far as eating right. I still can not eat bread....which is really OK with me. I used to eat too much of it so a change in the bread department is really OK in my book.

Well so much for my update. Thank you to all those who have asked or inquired. I feel blessed that I can share a bit with all of you. I have learned that we are all on some sort of journey. It is nice to share and nice to encourage someone else along the way.

Success at the Doctors

March 17th, 2007 at 01:43 am

Today my youngest dd and I went to see an alergist. After two hours of testing and procedures it was ruled that she does have asthma. I just had that mothers gut feeling and I was proven correct. I now have some better health information and more to work with to help her. Next I am taking my son who displays alot of the same symptoms.

I had a busy day with the Dr and helping at school. Then rigatoni, meatballs and salad for dinner. It smelled so wonderful. Yum....unfortunalty I ended up getting sick. I have been getting sick again around the dinner meal. Not sure why.....I guess I am still working on getting food choices right for my tummy.

It is so cold and snowy here. I am trying to not get too bummed out that winter is here. I am looking forward to turning off the furnance. SOON!!!!

Laundry on Saturday.....and more tidy work. Even though it is cold I need to do some organizing in the garage. Right now my son's car is parked out of the garage...it is too cold for that.
I am trying to use up or make do as much as possible. I still need to find that table around the house for the family room chair. I love to hunt and search!

I stopped by our Sears Grand tonight. They have such lovely items. My son wanted help buying some new shoes. The store was not busy so we had a fun time looking at guy things like the big TV's and DVD's. He found some nice shoes and they were way cheaper than the major sporting goods store....way cheaper!

Have a good night everyone and stay warm!

Happy St Patricks Day!

March 16th, 2007 at 01:33 am

I have some Irish in me so I wanted to wish everyone a nice St. Pat's Day and weekend. My kids get to wear green to school on Friday. Awhile back I purchased some hair ribbon that said "Irish Blessings" all over it,in green and white. It is simply darling. So I hope to have each of my girls wear some in their hair to school. It was way too cute to pass up.

Menu

March 16th, 2007 at 01:33 am

I did not blog about my menu this week for some reason. I did make one and I am sticking to it. I will post one for next week. Stay organized everyone on your dinner menus and be sure to use up the leftovers somehow. Keep your pantries and fridges organized and cleaned. Good Luck!

Yes..more spending

March 16th, 2007 at 01:27 am

In order to finish the science fair board for Friday we needed more glue sticks! So off to Walgreens we ran tonight! We purchased two packages. I did use cash all day today. That made me feel better in a small way. Gosh-I feel very nickeled and dimed a bit here. It is good to be aware of small purchases and how they really add up over time.

I need a small table for my family room as the one I had in there I placed a few days ago in my laundry room. It is a wood TV tray table I needed for my radio. So the hunt is on to find something to use in my family room by the arm chair. The trick is I have to find it in my house somewhere! A fun challenge for Friday! I like silly challenges like this.

I have alot of reading and homework to do as well, I hope to get some done over the weekend.
1. Read newspaper from the country
2. Work on Friday Bible study lesson
3. Work on correspondence Bible study and mail back for grading to get a new lesson.
4. Read some of my book that is just for fun
5. Watch son's LUTHER DVD--I know this is not reading. It is on my to do list here. I tried to watch it and fell asleep after 10 mins. a few months ago.

Not a ton, but enough to really keep me busy. Better to read than watch TV as I sometimes find myself doing mindlessly-too much of the time!

Will continue to try and keep spending down as best I can. I got a small but worthy education this week!

I already spent money!!!!

March 15th, 2007 at 07:04 pm

Ok I decided to come clean! I already spent about three plus dollars. I stopped by the Pep. Farm outlet and bought two packages of milano cookies....$1.25 for two. I also spent $2.13 on 16 plastic hangers. For some reason alot of my hangers are gone. I need them for my drying rod to hang clothes. So I stopped by the good ol' Dollar Tree for the purchase. I WAS going to stop at Wal Mart but decided that was a potential budget blower, so I went right away to the Dollar Tree. A better choice for me.

I was also very mad at myself today. I had to buy a new phone charger awhile ago as mine was MIA. I did buy one finally at the Verizon store. Today while unloading laundry out of laundry baskets from like last week....I found the original MIA phone charger!!!! I probably threw it in the basket to stay "ORGANIZED".....now I have two. What a waste. I tried to be organized and yet I cost myself a purchase that was not really needed. That is maddening in my budget book.

I hope to not spend on Friday but I already know I will.....my youngest dd has an alergist Dr apt and I already promised her a happy meal on the way back to school as a treat.

Have a good afternoon everyone.

Trying not to spend

March 15th, 2007 at 12:26 pm

I am trying to not spend. It sure is not easy. I am not doing this for a specific time frame....just trying to think out things before hand and not venture into any stores. How is your savings account doing? I was having a chat with a mom at school. She was telling me how she was going to spend her and her husband's tax return. I was kinda bummed that they would not try very hard to save it. Her thoughts were on spending. I did tell my investment person that after I pay my taxes I am going to send him some money to sock away....far away into my account. The farther away the better!!! That feels good. It has not been easy to save but it is vital to my future.

My son needs to be at his college in April to sign up for his classes. We are all planning on going and seeing his college and shopping for sweatshirts. I am very excited to make the trip. I am already gearing up for college dorm and supply shopping. I am looking forward to it and making some memories come summer.

I did a big shopping trip this week. I spent alot on bottled waters. I stocked up for awhile. I hate doing that, but it encourages my kids to drink pretty much nothing but water. My kids never drink pop.....it is worth it and I do not mind the cost. My kids seem healthier. If they do get sick it lasts a short time. I think the water really helps.
Hopefully we can eat well for awhile. Like I said I am trying to not spend and use what we have on hand. Yesterday I made cookies. My kids love little treats like that. I enjoy it. I think they appreciate it.

Gas around here is around 2.31. We seem to have it the cheapest in my town for some reason. I can not figure out why that is so but I am glad we have the good prices.

I am still gathering items for our garage sale in June. It is a fundraiser for my dd's freshman class. We are hosting it at my house. Last year we did it and made $500. It goes towards graduation costs. I have some boxes that when I find items I place it in the box in the basement. I am helping with an auction at our school on the 31st. So far we have a nice selection of items. I hope it goes well. We have never done this before in the gym. Usually we have auctions in nicer settings with everyone dressed up. I am expecting alot of farmers and menfolk on the 31st. We have alot of items men would like---tools, machines and sports items. We have an antique sewing machine. That sounds neat. I had one but it was shipped to Africa via some Amish missionaries some years ago. I was glad to donate it. It was was just sitting in my house looking pretty. I often wonder if it made it to Africa and if it is sewing up a storm. I was so glad I donated that. It was something I had to dust and really it was going to be used for a better cause. It is best not to hold on to things with too firm of a grip.

Well time to do some housework. Yesterday it was around 68 degrees and sunny. Now it is 29 degrees with heavy snow. What a weird spring. Have a good day everyone.

Small Goodwill deal

March 10th, 2007 at 10:48 pm

Today I stopped at Goodwill. Normally I never go in on a Saturday. Today I had two daughters and we decided to stop by for a quick peek. Nothing too great. I bought a cute little purse...brand new. It is a fabric purse style in very bright pink. It has black accents, in perfect never used condition for one dollar. It reminds of a Lands End tote bag....you know in a canvas material. It is small-ish. I decided it would make a great makeup travel bag or a great bag for shampoo and tolietries when I travel. I think after I looked at carefully it was a freebie for when someone bought a special type of medication. It is very cute and it was very cheap! Who knows what you may find. It is also good to look at things with different eyes. It would be a very dumb purse for me...but a great something or other...still useful.

Today we:
Cleaned out the fridge
Went grocery shopping
Changed front door wreath for a more spring look.
Did home work
Worked on Science Fair Project
Made a nice home made breakfast with older, drier leftover bread (french toast)
Made dinner
Ran dishwasher
Paid monster pile of bills
Made donations to two ministries and mailed them
Cleaned out fish bowl

Girls are playing CLUE

I hope to clean my bedroom
Do some laundry

Alot of my friends are complaining how busy they are with all their children's activities. It seems to be the topic of many conversations I have had as of late. That is something I try to really watch, with myself and the kids.
I run into parents who complain and are so frazzled. That is an area to always be watching. It is very sad to see so many people complaining when half the time it is their own doing. I am vowing to watch the complaining in my own life
and to really keep an eye on that. Sometimes parents get so overwhelmed and then they can not say no. My son told me he quit the HS baseball team. At first I was very mad at him, as all the other guys and the families I know are involved. Some of the parents rely on my son to bring their son home from practice or home from games. Then he explained he only wants to concentrate on his first love...soccer. He wants to do more clinics and special classes to prepare for College soccer. He saw all the trips and baseabll games so far away and made a choice. I then was proud of him. He made a choice that was not easy but one he had to make. Baseball was going to be a huge drain on him, and on me. After prayerful thought he decided to drop it. We have to make choices in areas of time and money. Every day we must decide. I hope to always make good choices or to really think long and hard. Some choices are not popular, but so be it. If it means less complaining and griping it is a good thing.

Spring is near!

March 10th, 2007 at 01:22 am

Today was a rather nice and warm day here. We were out and about. My dd got a new cell phone, we ate at Burger King and we went shopping for jeans for the other dd. All in all kinda of a spending day. It was all looked upon as a treat and also we did buy items that were needed. We did stop at the bookstore too. I bought a recipe keeper binder. I hope to take the bits and scraps of paper and write out things neatly in a nice binder. I used to buy cookbooks. I never purchase them anymore....there are so many resources on line and at the library. So I hope over spring to get my recipes in order.

I went to a new Bible Study today. I really enjoyed it. I also liked seeing someone's home and how others decorate. It is always interesting to me. Everything was done a la Pottery Barn colors with loads of dark woods. I felt so welcomed and her home was very neat and tidy. I enjoyed just being somewhere different. My kids were home as we had no school, so I was able to get out and they puttered at home during the morning.

I have been sticking to my dinner menu for the most part. I need to shop on Saturday. We have two sleepover guests coming over so I need to plan a kid friendly type fare for Saturday.
I also need to clean the fridge a bit....it is getting disorganized and when that occurs we have wasted food. I am really trying to stay on top of leftovers. It is not so easy with fickle children. We have alot of projects going all over the house. A fifth grade science fair project and a huge National History day project is back for more work ...it stands over 6 feet tall in my living room. I do not like all the mess and disorganization, but it cannot be helped. This is how we learn.....hands on projects, which the school teachers love to assign. So my house looks like a classroom of sorts. At times I am glad I have the chaos, as I will someday miss it and perhaps I will curse the neatness of an empty nest.

Enjoy your evening everyone.

"Simplicity is an exact medium between too little and too much"

"Debt: you take your hand earned money and just hand it to someone in exchange for nothing but instant gratification"

Frugal purchase

March 7th, 2007 at 03:23 pm

I stop by the Peperidege Farm store outlet each week. One package of large deli style hoagie rolls and two packages of Milano cookies....$2.50 for it all. Not too bad of a deal.

Menu for the Week

March 7th, 2007 at 03:20 pm

Monday-out to dinner with Dad

Tuesday- angel hair pasta with chicken and brocolii, french bread

Weds-meatloaf, instant mashed pot. gravy, green beans, cornbread

Thurs-Baked zita, salad

Friday-no school
Lunch-grilled cheese...soup
Dinner-meatball sandwiches,left over angel hair pasta

Sat--lunch is homemade pizza

Winter Again!

March 7th, 2007 at 03:06 pm

Just as all our huge piles of snow had melted alot we got more snow last night! What a bummer. It is very pretty outside. It is very cold as well. Hurry spring.

Had a nice weeeknd away for our dance competition. I ate out two times and did fine as far as not getting sick. We packed alot of food and snacks which really helped to keep costs down! I did get a hotel fridge and that was wonderful to store yougurt, drinks, milk and fruit. The other mom and daughter we travel with are very frugal....so it works out so nicely. Some of the moms and daughters spent the afternooons shopping like crazy at a local upscale mall. We watched the dancing instead. I was glad as my daughter enjoyed that. Lunch on Sat. was cooked by the seniors at the High School we were at. I had a wonderful bowl of chilli for $1.00. That was nice. The rest of our group went to Panera's. I am so glad we stayed behind and did things simply. Our girls did not mind in the least.

I saw my tax gal yesterday. I was very nervous as I was not even sure what all she needed. I am thankful I had some clue and was prepared. I did not want to feel dumb or look stupid. She walked me thru everything and explained it all to me. She will complete my return and then I will stop by to review and sign it. She is going to deduct my bills from my surgery and see if the IRS will go for it. She is not 100% but we are going to try.

My son is getting closer to a college choice. Today he leaves school early to visit one school one last time. He is seeing the soccer coach. My son was considering Bluffton a few weeks ago. He was accepted into their school and soccer program he was welcomed so very warmly. I was so sad to see about that horrible bus crash. I know when I heard it on the news my heart broke! It made me realize that my son is leaving this safe nest and it will be so much harder to protect him from harm. I felt terrible for all the parents getting the phone call and then bad news.

Not too much else to report. I got my VISA paid and I think it went in on time.
I took a small risk and I hope to never cut things so close again. I have my menu planned for the week and have shopped frugally as well. I usually spend about $100.00 a week for the five of us. I have alot of weekends with the kids and that will be more food expense for the next two months. So I have to plan a bit more carefully. I am trying to use up leftovers better as well. That is an area of waste at times.

My son is back to driving which is good but we will spend more money on gas. I hope he does not speed. That is my prayer.

My ex wants to do an expensive BD party for my youngest. It will be held at a jumping place with inflated jumping items...you have to rent the entire place and have lots of children. They supply all the food and trinkets I guess. In the past I did the parties...now he wants in on the action. Part of me got hurt, part of me knows I have to let it go, part of me does not want these kids spoiled....part of me feels like I can not help what the dad does. it is basically frustrating to have the kids living two different lifestyles at the same time. I am the Frugal Queen Bee and my ex is the Disney Dad. I just have to remember to do my best and live up to my job as the mom. It still is hard at times. I know my two youngest are confused as to what to do. I am trying to not have an opinion as far as parties goes,so they can decide on their own. It is awful to put kids under pressure to choose between parents at times. My ex does not seem to think from the child's point of view only what makes HIM feel good. It drives me nuts.

Have a good day--

So glad it is March!

March 1st, 2007 at 02:49 am

Yes....glad Feb is over. It was long and way too cold and snowy. I noticed spring is not to far off on the kitchen calendar. I am so glad. I am ready for a change.

I paid my VISA yesterday and was at the bank today depositing my spousal support. I was down to around $200.00.
That is a little too close for my comfort level as far as the checking account goes. My ex paid for a few things he normally does not. I am sure it was because he was not thinking correctly when doing his checks. Who knows.

I am leaving town for a dance competition this weekend. That can spell trouble for me as far as costs go. I am packing alot of my food this time around. I like to have healthy snacks and drinks, so this is so much better than fast food and eating junk. Planning ahead always works best. I hope we are busy but it looks like we have alot of down time. I am bringing a book and some word puzzle books. My dd will do home work and read as well. I will pack some cards as well.

Things seem hectic around my house...just keeping up with my kids. My son starts driving on Friday, my ex will pick up his DL from the judge. I am ready to have him drive. I just pray he learned his lesson and will not get any speeding tickets.

I did finish cleaning the basement. I am enjoying the clutter free zones and using my treadmill. I am trying to work out for 30 mins each day....at least 30 mins for maybe five days. I think it is best to do something as often as possible. I saw my dr and I have lost 62 pounds! My BP is still a concern. I am on the edge as far as needing meds so the dr put me on them again. We will re-check in three months. That seems fair.
There is a chance I will get a better rate on my health insurance as well, my rep is checking into that. I told them any savings would be a blessing.
So I am doing-----I think---pretty good in the weight loss department. I am still highly motivated and feel so much better.
It is a good thing as Martha would say!

My son is narrowing his college choices down and should have his choice in two weeks. I am excited for him. I know he is excited to be college bound. He needs a job asap....that is his next step.

A gentleman from my church just came home from the hospital today. He had a heart transplant! If you think of it please keep BOB in your prayers. He is a wonderful Sunday School teacher and an all around good guy. I can not imagine how blessed he feels, yet we all ache for the person who passed on and their family. What a hard time for them. Bob's wife is named SUE. She has been under alot of stress taking care of her hubby BOB and being his encourager. Just an outstanding older couple who are wonderful examples of marriage partners. Thanks a bunch---

My sister and her family leave for Costa Rico early Friday for a week of relaxtion. She just completed her Doctorate in Engineering. She did it in record time and did an outstanding job. This trip was well earned after so much hard work on her part. If you ever need a new place to try for a vacation...try Costa Rico. It sounds wonderful and they sure enjoy it there. Have a great trip sis!

I wish I had more to report but I do not, so --- have a good evening everyone!

A Cheap Wonderful Workout

February 20th, 2007 at 11:47 pm

Today was a hectic day. Cleaning up the house and laundry. Then running to return those jeans we just bought...too long after all. Tutoring for three periods of school. Taking son's car in for repairs. Going to the Dollar General. Helping with homework. You name it!

I did decide to fit one more thing in my day and that was going to the mall and excercising by mall walking! I know my parents do it and I thought why not??? I was so in the mood to try something different for myself. So I did throw on my tennies and went walking. I walked pretty briskly for 50 mins. It was nice to go on a weekday as it was not so crowded and the folks there were either walking with a toddler or pushing a baby stroller or older people. It worked out really great. I was kinda tickled I went.
My parents walk their mall and well the idea sorta hit me to do it as well.
It was fast, cheap and required very little equipment. Also with so much snow and slush...I was protected from the elements.

I did go to Dollar General as my mom found some great warmup suit type clothing itmes. I went to mine and there was really nothing I saw that was what she described. I did find ---
4 greeting cards....$1.00
Archway cookie pack...$2.00
5 gift bags with matching tissue...$2.45
pack of 10 sympathy greeting cards...50 cents
Tin foil....69 cents
everything was on sale since they are closing. I may go back on Weds and see what other small deals I can get.

I hope my son's car does not cost too much to tune and repair. We will see. The mechanic had loads of grease on his hands when I meet him for the first time today. At the dealership they seem to have very clean hands. Funny---

I have to come up with a two dinners for this week and then no cooking for three days. Kids are with dad. I am sure they will have fun. he is the Disney dad so he always has tons of plans and big ideas...places to go and things to do! I am more boring I guess. We are usually too busy with general life stuff.

I have lots of filing to do with papers on my desk and I need to get kinda organized with my tax stuff. I see my tax person in two weeks. This wil be the first time I have had to handle tax return business all on my own. Either my dad had it done for me or my ex. This is one area of my life I am not too comfortable with. Lots of little jobs to do this weekend so I hope to get lots done and do some relaxing as well. I have numerous books started as well...need to read and enjoy some down time getting refreshed.

Cleaning the Basement

February 19th, 2007 at 02:51 am

Today my girls and I cleaned and organized the basement. We are about 80% done. Still have some things to clean and organize. I got rid of four bags of kids clothes that were.....well....very old and not too stylish. I had held on to them forever. My kids made me get rid of them...not even that good for Goodwill. We have some bags for the garage sale. That freed up alot of space for Christmas do dads that needed to be put away. That was wonderful to get that stuff put away finally. The surgery put me way behind in getting things shelved from Christmas.

We threw out alot of boxes and storage containers that were really torn or broken. That was nice. We did box up some toys for the garage sale...puzzles, games and small toys that we just do not need. My girls set up an area to play house and do dress up also an area to play baby dolls. We also added some better lighting, it made things look so much better. We had the lamps but added brighter bulbs.

I also found some wonderful books. They are going to school for THEM to shelve and organize. We can check them out from there. So those are bagged up for school on Tuesday. I also went thru all the gift wrap supplies. It looks so much better and is easier to see things for gift wrapping.

All in a great day in organizing and cleaning. I feel great with what we accomplished!

Many hands make light the work! That was such a blessing to have that extra help! Also to have a large supply of large black trash bags. Monday is our trash day---that was a good thing too. Get it out and be done.

Have a good evening and if you are off work on Monday-enjoy your day! We are off to the mall for a pair of jeans for my oldest dd. Wish me luck! For some reason I am pretty sure it will not be a fast trip in and out.

I made thru Saturday!

February 18th, 2007 at 02:43 am

Oh my it is still snowing around here. It was supposed to be a dusting, but it turned out to be so much more. I had to drive pretty much the entire day! Getting children here or over to there! CRAZY! The snow made my van skirt all over the place. So more shovelling on Sunday, either before the big race or after! I ended up relying on my ten yr old dd to complete the rather elaborate dinner. She did fine. My son's plane was delayed from Chicago.....so I was helpless as far as getting dinner done. Luckily she has some basic skills and got the job done. It was very yummy.

We did stop by Dollar General for a birthday gift my dd needs for a children's party, NEXT Saturday. We got a cute "girlee" assortment for about $7. Our store is going out of business. It IS in a terrible location. I hope to head back on Tuesday and poke around for a few deals. Everything is now 20% off- all sales final. So I will see. They had loads of Christmas wrapping paper...not sure why. Not my favorite store but with some browse time I may find some good deals....we will see.

Have you rented a DVD lately? I just never do that...same for my kids. They never bug me for renting movies. Some families are into that for entertainment. I guess we are boring or are easily entertained! We do have cable TV. My son likes sports or the History channel and the girls like Disney, Style, travel or HGTV in general. Sometimes we play a game or the girls just play. I bought my daughter a paint by number kit. She loves it. She works on it a little at a time. It was worth the 5 dollars. It is very entertaining. We hardly rent, in fact the rental store called recently and offered us a rental for free.....we never went to pick out a DVD! I almost never pass up free. Just not too interested I guess.

How are you doing with leftovers? With the weekend here be sure you are eating them for lunch or re-using for dinner somehow. I bought some crab salad for a treat for me. It tasted very average. I hate to throw stuff out ...but it was terrible tasting. Live and learn! I try to limit waste as much as possible. No one can be 100% in this area, but we can all strive for doing better. I am trying to really stay on top of leftovers. Keeping dinners simple helps....simple food can be re-purposed easier. Again ---it is a challenge that we can all do better at.

My son has my DISCOVER CC and I have a VISA. I decided to switch cards with him as DISCOVER offers the cashback. My son only uses the card for gas purchases. So if we switch-- it will mean a larger cashback. I do use Credit cards here and there. I pay them off every month....and have for over 24 years. I own three....the other one is the Wal mart credit card. I am too afraid of balances to ever have one. My parents were pretty good teachers as far as money is concerned. The only debt I have is the house. I am very careful with credit cards.

Have a good evening and a good Sunday.

Menu-partial

February 16th, 2007 at 09:58 pm

Friday-meatball sandwiches, salad, fresh fruit

Saturday-(dinner)Briskett, mashed pot, cole slaw, bisquits, corn
(lunch)-soups, tuna fish

Sunday- (dinner) burgers and fries, fruit (lunch) homemade pizza, apples

Monday-no school (dinner) kilbeasa, bakes beans, corn muffins, vegies (lunch) leftovers

Tuseday-kids eat with dad

New shopping Technique

February 16th, 2007 at 09:51 pm

Today I tried a new way of shopping. Not sure why! After I wrote out my list I went to Wal Mart first. Our store is not a super center. It does have about 8 aisles of basic food products. So I went thru the aisles and purchased all the items I could there. Then I went to the grocery store and bought the rest like fresh vegies, fruits (limited amount) and meats. I think it worked out pretty well. I eye balled alot of prices and feel like I saved a hefty amount. It seemed not too bad as far as time goes. They are fairly close by. It was a small experiment in saving. I did not use any coupons this time...I did take them. I bought generics and WalMart brands, so no need for coupons. I also went thru Wal Mart very quickly as to not linger and spend!


By the way I did unload all those flowers this afternoon at school. The delivery went well. I had to take the back seat of the van out in order to fit 12 buckets of flowers in! So things around my house look a tiny bit better.

This weekend is tons of running around, laundry, cleaning, tidying and cooking. I hope to stay home as much as possible. My son is in Chicago looking at a college. He flies back on Saturday, so I have to run to the airport for him. This is his first time travelling alone. Hopefully he is having a good time and using his manners.

School basketball game is is off tonight as my daughter is sick with a cold...so she is not cheering tonight. I am glad, I want a evening to chill a bit.
Enjoy your evening! It is brutally cold here.....it is just awful.

Coupon Organizing

February 15th, 2007 at 12:14 am

Do you use coupons? I am pretty faithful to use them, as our store gives double coupons each and every day. How to organize those slips of color paper has always been a small challenge for me. I ended up using a cheap and very easy method. I use about 5 photo album pages torn out of an old photo album. They have slips and divided slots on clear pages. I use a clothespin to keep them all together. I also have a clothespin on my purse to clip together coupons I will be using when I check out. I like that I can visually see the coupons. I flip thru them as I shop as well. I use maybe an average of 4-8 coupons per trip. I usually buy generic or store brand but sometimes a name brand wins out. I try to use the coupon but it has to really be worth a savings of course to use the coupon or even purchase the item.

How do you organize? I think most shoppers do not even try to use those coupons. Some really use them alot....at times I watch these shoppers and I am amazed how talented they are at saving. Our store will not take any computer coupons.....I never even knew that. The sales clerk told me there are way too many fraud sites and bad coupons that are not "legal".

Coupons are a good thing if you can get organized in some small fashion and take them with you to the store. It takes a little effort but it can be a profitable habit.

I also do not belong to a warehouse club. When I was married I used to belong to one. I used to entertain my ex's family all the time, it involved large amounts of food and beverages. It was a good way to buy in bulk. Now that I entertain rarely I stopped going years ago. I did always spend extra and felt like I went overboard. Each time I left I felt very guilty. For me I do not miss that type of shopping experience. I have friends with 5 and 6 kids. This warehouse club works great for them.
I will say these clubs are clever and savy. They do have a method to get you to spend. You have to have a plan of attack and some sense of discipline, or you can walk out broke!

Still lots of snow....our street is still blocked. I am unable to get out of my driveway since the street snow is deep with snow and drifts. It was very pretty outside today with blue skies and sunshine. I am now out of bread!!! Time to get out the frozen bread dough and bake.

Have a good night everyone.


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