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Archive for May, 2006

Kitties or Doggies----take your Pick!

May 30th, 2006 at 07:12 pm

Took the little kitties to the vet for shots. Oh my goodness! I got the estimate for the surgeries to have front claws removed....and the procedure to not have more cute kitties. WOW! Pretty hefty! I now know why my vet drives a beautiful new car! Thankfully it will not happen till July--so I have some time to save. One of the kitties is twice the size as her sister! She is still small but getting much larger!

I stil think kitties are cheaper than dogs. I have never owned a dog....I am a cat person. My friend complains about her dogs endlessly--I never hear boo about her cats digging up the flowers or escaping down the street in the rain.I do like the idea of taking the dog for a walk. Having a buddy of sorts. Cats do not do that very well. Plus I only see wives walking the family dogs around here as I sit on my front porch. My teen son wanted a dog for a long time....I said I never ever see 16yr old boys walking the dog or going to the vet...or picking up p**p in the yard....only the moms it seems.

That is why I never caved into the whole "A Boy and his Faithful Dog Routine". Yes I never let him get a dog. I guess I am a mean mom or maybe a pretty smart mom. He does like the kitties....he will not admit it out loud but I think he is very fond of their very furry faces! Pets can be really wonderful. It can be really comforting to cuddle with a cat or yes...OK....a sweet old dog.

Summer Camp Fun

May 30th, 2006 at 02:50 pm

My middle daughter is going to sleep away summer camp in July. She was going with some school friends. The weeks have gone by---I have asked the other moms who are involved over and over which camp week was decided....not one mom would decide or figure it out. Since I only have one camper I was the tag along. Two of the moms have 6 children each to organize the summer calendar. I finally called one mom who said no one can go now only one of the girls can make camp, she already registered and it may be too late for your daughter! Needless to say I was not very happy! I still was not sure the right week.....so I decided to call camp directly...long distance of course. A nice gal helped me figure out which week I needed to sign up for.......she then said I needed to have my application in by Weds. or there would be no camp for my daughter.

I had to rush her camp paperwork to the UPS store and mail it overnight....$22.00 to mail!
I was so shocked. I learned a lesson.....that sometimes I can not rely on others for the info I need. Because those moms were not including me in the conversations.....I had to act fast in order to get my sweetie to camp with her friend. I would of had a very sad girl if I could not send her to camp and my only excuse was....well I did not know what was going on!

I have to be much more pro-active in my life. I have lived my life waiting for others to decide things for me. I have to be better at finding out for myself.
Like investments, savings, retirement.....I have to look on the web for info ....read my books and ask questions. I have to erase the tape that soemtimes plays in my head......that of my ex....being a nay sayer. I think he thought I would fail and be at his mercy for help. I am learning thru some hard lessons.

I am so excited for my daughter to try something new! I really hope that she enjoys going to camp and experiencing some new and wonderful things.....just like me! What a summer....and it has only just begun!

A school and a Life like no Other.

May 30th, 2006 at 10:26 am

Today I stopped by the local credit union and opened my CD account with $1000-I hope to put money away each year and in the future purchase a used car that someday I will need. It felt great to do something on my own.

Still very hot here. I think it is about 90. My son is home from school today with heat exhaustion fatigue. He worked out in the yard alot and at his grandmothers' house too. So I think he is very drained with a headache.

I had to stop at my children's school and drop off a bathing suit my daughter forgot for a birthday party she is going to after school today.
I dropped off the old balls I had cleaned out of the garage...the playground lady was thrilled to get such a stash! It is so nice to be able to give things away we can't use anymore.
Alot of our school is donated....as far as supplies, landscaping, whatever. Our school does not recive any gov't money. Most folks think it is not humanly possible to run a K-12 school with around 250 students and a full staff-not having any federal or state gov't funding whatsoever---We pay for it all on our own. It is most amazing. We have a brick three story buildng and brand new gym. The parents volunteer where they can. This also includes many grandparents and alumini. Our school is wonderful in that all families work together for the common good. We are spokes in the wheel....so to speak.
When there is a need...the school lets us know and somehow it gets filled. We do things our way and when we want to do them. We have liberty without being tied to others telling us how and which way to educate. Unusual-by today's standards!! WE are making a school of our own choice!

It is a wonderful way to run a school and a wondeful way to run our lives. To think ahead....like opening a bank account and actually saving some money for future needs. Yet not getting too far ahead of ourselves. Living simply one day at a time. Meeting the needs of others when we can, giving away time and energy to school or church or in our town. Not worrying about next week if we can.....we are human and prone to stress and worry. Taking each day as it comes.
I always tell my daughter to enjoy her day and take it as a gift. Tommorrow.....God willing- she will get another gift of a brand new day-

Living simply is a challenge at times....but it seems so worth it. I have seen the fruit of it at my children's school. Not being a slave to the lender is a good feeling. Liberty and freedom is a precious gift. I am challenged by thinking ahead, to be frugal and live more in a simple style. I am enjoying life --one day at a time. Some how these simple days get strung into an amazing necklace of time. Time moves quickly. I have had my share of wasted time. I regret that now. I believe in being faith-filled and having hope. I hope you are challenged as well.

It is SO HOT!

May 28th, 2006 at 06:38 pm

I HAD to put on the A/C.....before I lost my mind!!! I am sick about it. I was actually getting a headache form the heat in the house......I felt just awful!
We were going to picnic..yeah right! Forget it. We did our picnic inside!!
So I was bummed out about not making the day too exciting. We had subs,macaroni salad, pasta salad, chips and pop.
The pop was a treat for my kids. They could have as much as they wanted. I had bought some 7up, orange and root beer.
SO that was fun.

I did take the three girls to the development pool. I like to go. I sat and did a some light reading. It was pretty crowded. I am not the skinniest person so I do not wear a bathing suit too often. I sat under an umbrella.

I cleaned the garage tonight. It needed to be blown out and just organized a bit. I am very weird I LIKE VERY NEAT GARAGES! We did load up a huge trash bag of older balls for school....for recess. The lady who does playground likes the older stuff so if it gets lost or destroyed....it is no big budget deal.

My yard looks so good. Simple mowing, weeding and bush trimming, makes the difference. My son painted the mailbox...the one that the neighborhood assoc. wants me to replace and I WILL NOT DO IT! That was thoughful of my son who did it without me telling him to please do it. He volunteered. I put the birdhouse out and
my windmill in the backyard. I have a windmill...I am sure the neighbors around me hate it. I adore it!

So my house looks good! I like to keep it looking good and ship shape--not only for my satisfaction --but to make sure my ex sees how I have managed so well without his help. Deep down I love it!
I am so bad sometimes! Lord please forgive me. Sometimes i just can not help myself.

Having a neat and well groomed home does not have to bust the budget. Keeping things simple and maintaned is always in order. My neighbors around me have the most complicated landscaping designs.....simply because they pay these landscapers tons of money and they make it complicated to make more money!
My neighbors bought a new patio set and all the trimmings. Yet these poor folks and their 2.2 children and Lexus are never home! They are travelling around the city for sport teams Monday thru Sunday. Their children play every sport and go to every camp and every enrichment thing. They are too busy for chores or paper routes like my kids. My kids tell me they feel sorry for those children. They equate it to child abuse. How silly to have that very expensive patio and lovely expensive furniture and never ever use it. Keep it simple---keep your life and yard simple.

I have a hamock in my front yard. When I first got it and put it up...all the children in my cul de sac were amazed at this new fangled object of fun! All the parents rushed out to get one and not one family in the cul de sac ever put it up...they were too busy I guess. So they still stare at ours. My two little ones can spend hours taking turns on it and playing all sorts of made up games on it. So simple. We have to keep our lives and our homes simple. We must use what we have or donate it or make due. We need to stop buying so much silly stuff.

One of the gals in my divorce group at church came up to me at church this morning and said how much my words and encouragement in class has really blessed her each week. Boy was I touched! She was so sweet and that really uplifted me...not in a prideful sinful way ---but just that I have come so far and I am turning some major corners. Not too long ago I thought I could never make it as a single mom...that I would fail and be terrible at it....so much to learn and do. I was a wife for about 18 years and i was not used to having to be in charge and doing so much alone. But some how I have managed. Reaching out to others feels so good and it is so healing for me. I will say a special prayer tonight for G and hope she has a blessed week and that many wonderful blessings cross her winding path.

What a wonderful day today has been-
so much in this country to be thankful for. Please remember to fly your flag if you can and thank a veteran.

Applebee's

May 28th, 2006 at 01:46 pm

Friday I ate out at Applebees's. If I called a number and took a short survey....I recived $3.00 off my next meal there. I then had to write a special code on my receipt. I am going to save it and use it when my kids are away with their Dad on a summer vacation in FL. I am going to try and accumulate different deals so I can have some fun treats and dinners without busting the bank!

I used to just never call or think-what a waste...now I think differently!

Holiday Shananigans

May 27th, 2006 at 09:51 am

I had to go to the grocery store and get a few things. It was funny to see what people had in their carts. Red, White and Blue Napkins and paper plates. Cups with stars. Cupcakes with little flags.....all costing a small fortune!
Pallets of pop that filled the entire front of the store. Special this for the picnic ...special item for this cookout.....Shopping carts filled to the brim ...some over flowing!

AM I a bad mom cause I am not buying all this stuff? Perhaps my cookout will not be up to par cause I do not color match!
Such trappings we can fall into!
We really have to be on our guard 24/7 or we will get caught in the same trapping of having to look and be and entertained like everyone else.

One time we were invited to our youth pastors tiny...And I MEAN TINY apt. His new wife and him were brand new to the area.
They wanted to give us lunch and get to know us...I kept thinking as we entered this TINY TINY dwelling...how would they feed and seat 6 people in this
closet of an apartment along with the two of them? I mean I think I saw two chairs and and bed and maybe a small coffee table. They served a wonderful bountiful fondue and we sat on neat cushions she had sewn. They had some sort of snake in a small cage....the kids got to feed it and watch it digest it all....my kids were in awe of this fun entertainment for about an hr or so. My KIDS LOVED IT!!!!!I still remember that meal and that tiny apartment. The neat way these two made it their own space and were so proud of all of they had done to decorate their little place. I had so much fun and it was so different!
I thought so highly of them to open their home and share what they had. It made me realize that we can be ourselves and be thrifty and yet be wonderful hosts and have fun. We can be great and thoughful and loving moms and dads without falling into hype and trappings. We CAN live a simple frugal lifestyle and be so content and so happy in our lives. We simply do not need all the trappings to go along with it.

Sometimes simple means keeping it real.



Found Money

May 27th, 2006 at 05:48 am

In the mail yesterday I got a letter from a well known university to participate in a survey for a health related issue. If I decided to do it....$100 is my gift from them!
I think it may involve on online quetionaire because the university is in another state.

I need to re-read it again.
I hope it it true and not some scam.
Money for the credit union!

Went to bed super early last night(early for me)...around 10pm. So no TV or lights. I was so beat I could not even read one page in my book!
I was exhausted as I always am on Friday night. Daughters were sleeping at their dad's house. Son was at a soccer game.
Kittens curled up with me and both were purring like a car engines!

I hope to clean out my van a bit and clean and organize the garage a bit today.
We are hoping to go somewhere and picnic on Sunday. I am at a loss as to where to go. I need to keep that stirring in my mind all day as to where to go. I am praying my son will go and not give me a hard time.....he thinks family stuff is nerdy sometimes. He is a teenager.

Sunday and esp Monday are going to be very hot!! I do not want to turn on my A/C, but I hate the heat so very much!
I would rather be a little cold in the winter and use less heat...than melt-- with windows open in the summer with little relief! I am not sure I could live in FL or TX. I guess you get used to anything. I am glad summer is here but not the heat and humidity. That is my little complaint for the day!

Great Appointment

May 26th, 2006 at 01:04 pm

This morning after my son drove himself and his three sisters to school, I grabbed my van keys and headed east for a two hour drive to meet my Dad and our financial planner. He has worked with this gentleman for a few years. He has been so pleased. My dad speaks so highly of this F.P.

After my divorce was final on Valentines Day 2006 ( nice day huh!)I decided to hire this gentleman as well. He and I met with my Dad(of course) and I really liked what he had to say. He asked me some great questions and explained things to me in language I could understand. Plus he totally understood my goals and my confort levels as well.

Today we meet to go over some specific details. I have a nice easy to understand conservative plan...that can be adjusted in time if I choose to do so.

So it all went well.
My dad then took me out to lunch at a beautiful and oh so lovely lunch spot.
I had a half Asian chicken wrap with some sort of peanut sauce....and roasted tomato soup...it was so good!
It was wonderful to talk and chat without the grandkids for a change.
It was a really nice time. When the bill came...I wanted to pay and my dad snatched the bill away from me! My dad is so sweet. I feel so blessed to have both of my parents not too far from me and the kids.....it is wonderful!

Then I drove back in the absolutly most horrible rainstorms! Again...so glad I have a big van....I felt so safe next to those 18 wheelers!

Now THIS evening I am meeting a friend whose daughter dances with my daughter. They have a dance clinic together tonight so we are heading to Bob Evans for a girls dinner out! She was divorced too but is now re-married so she seems to be filled to the brim with wisdom on single parenting, being thrifty and saving money. She is pretty funny as well.
I feel twice blessed to be going out twice in ONE DAY!

So far.....a great Friday!

Credit Union

May 25th, 2006 at 12:20 pm

There is a small credit union in town. I called to see if I could set up a simple savings account...and if I am eligible to join. Since I live in the town where it is located, I can join no problem. If I do set one up I get two free movie tickets. I called and the CU lady was pretty friendly and easy to talk to. I want to keep this simple. I can earn 4.75 there if I start with $1000.
I am going to do it I think.

I have a savings account in a bank about half mile down the street. I will keep that operating. I like the credit union because it is not that near to me, on the other side of town. I hardly drive by. So it is more of a hassle to stop by and get some cash! I am thinking of saving all my change money, found money etc there. I have never dealt with a credi union. I like to support the home town businesses. Plus they are a not for profit organization.

Plus I DO like the free movie tickets!
I am going to go over there on Tuesday and perhaps open an account. Hopefully I am headed in the right direction of saving by any means I can!

A $2 Lesson

May 25th, 2006 at 10:40 am

What are some things I have done to be frugal today-

*hanging laundry on drying rack
*eating lunch at home
*not driving anywhere thus far
*dinner is what is on hand-so no trips
to the grocery store, can't be tempted
to puchase things
*not putting on any lights-windows are open for fresh air.

New lesson I learned.
Stopped for washer fluid yesterday it was on sale at the drug store. Purchased that and a few other items. Got home and looked at the receipt to check if I got a coupon on the register tape. Well I noticed right off the bat the girl over charged me $2. Now do I drive back and get a refund or save the gas and not bother? I really do not have any trips planned that way for at least a week. it is about 6-8 miles from my house. What would you do??? I am always trying to balance what is a waste of gas...waste of money...waste of time...etc for the sake of being frugal.

Lesson learned is pay better attention when you pay and check the receipt BEFORE you leave the store!!!! A good $2 lesson learned.

Coupons

May 24th, 2006 at 10:17 am

Did my stock up shopping and boy I only used like three coupons. They did not have the size or they did not have what I wanted.....so it was kinda frustrating. I will probably need to keep at it, carry my coupons when ever I am out and about and not give up saving money.

It is hard to stay focused as well....
I kept getting distracted at everything. Ineed to have better tunnel vision I guess. Plus I figured I need to shop without kids.....esp when trying to do alot of couponing. My DD #3 esp. she loves to want things!!! I think it is from too many shopping sprees with her daddy.

I found a hand painted simple vase that is smaller and it has flowers painted on it for 99 cents. I also found teacher gifts.....$3.99 each---each is a nice spa set with four products. So the vase was a small splurge.
Have a great afternoon--




Today

May 24th, 2006 at 05:08 am

I have an assortment of things to do today-
hit the local discount store with coupons and do some moderate stocking up-get some frugal dinner items.

go to the dance store to get tights for DD--that is a major budget hit...but she needs them for her tryout on Friday and Saturday.

get gas since it has been so "reasonable"-since maybe the price will go up because of the holiday--

tidy up the entire house-use a timer and set it for 10 mins per room. Throw away bits of junk or kid debris that is not needed.

laundry

run dishwasher

call DD's Dr for a referal

go to divorcecare at church tonight with two DD's and their school friend.

run an erand-stop by Lisa's house on the way to school today.

Balance checkbook

gee--I hope I got it covered!
Have a good day everyone!

Flowers and Ramblings

May 23rd, 2006 at 03:27 pm

Every spring I plant alot of geraniums.
Pink ones. I am not going to plant that many this year in order to be more thrify. My mother, God Bless her, every fall takes out her gernaiums in her flower pots and places them in brown paper bags and stores them all winter in the basement. Then she basically re-plants them and most of these dead looking plants grow back splendily! I am going to try to do this bagging of spent flowers this year. I tried it one yr. and they died. So I got discouraged.
I love flowers. Pink ones. So I am going to be very choosy and shop for deals. I mean you can not have a front porch and not have a few flowers! I am going to use some silk plants I have as well on my porch near the sitting area/parlor side. I can have some color yet not spend as much.

Antique show is in four weeks. I am going to save some money here and there to buy one small fun thing for the porch.
My DD number one wants to go for her birthday. She is just a young teen yet she loves anitques and old charming things like me.

Time to work on the vegie garden as well. I am not sure I am allowed to do that in my neighborhood. Well too bad.
I already got a note from the neighborhood assoc. that my mailbox is now not the style and I do not match the others. I have taken great care of it and it looks like it did 15 years ago!! It is wood and painted white. It is very simple in design, tasteful and it holds all my mail without fail. This mailbox never lets me down. It has performed well. My mailman has never uttered one complaint about it.
Why should I get a new one to simply match! Again..I am being a rebel and I am refusing to comply. I am sorry but what is this world coming too???? Why must my mailbox look like everyone else's? It is not an eyesore like I have 2 feet of weeds growing in my yard or that my house is painted bright purple with yellow polka dots and the doors are falling off the hinges.

Maybe I do need to move to the country where I can have a vegie garden, a clothesline and a mailbox of my choice.

I would love a big red barn too----filled with hay and chickens and a great old tractor. Maybe even a rope swing from the hay loft. I love barns and the simple life it represents. I can dream can't I??

The Blessings of the Town Library

May 23rd, 2006 at 10:25 am

Just a reminder to get to the library this week. Our library is closed on Sunday AND Monday due to the Holiday. So stock up on CD's, DVD's, magazines and books for the long Holiday weekend. Our library is fantastic! It is so user friendly and just chock full of goodies...all for free (so to speak)
I love it!

I will hopefully be heading out to the old front porch swing to read a bit this weekend.

Another reminder to please fly your flag as well for the Holiday if possible. I have one on the porch with a solar spot light on it and a flag pole near the sidewalk. I also place flag bunting all over my porch railing. I so LOVE to see my flags flapping in the spring breeze. It sure makes my heart happy and full.

Speeding ticket story

May 23rd, 2006 at 04:54 am

My Ex and I attended my older children's school concert last night. I loved it...it was really wonderful, but a bit on the long side. My Ex drove seperatly and left a few minutes before us to "beat the rush". I gathered up the four kids and we left soon after him. As we were driving home I saw the flashing lights down the road. It is near a turnpike so I thought maybe there was an accident. I slowed down to pass safely. I kept looking at the huge SUV and thought it looked like my ex's truck. Sure enough it was. My kids were shocked but again...sadly not surprised. I tried to act very Christian as best I could but in my mind I was sorta chuckling a bit. I told the kids that dad made a mistake and now he has to pay. He broke the rules.

I think he did see my big van drive by a bit slowly so I am sure he will get an earful tonight when he picks them all up to take them to dinner. I kept thinking "How would I feel if that was me" ?

It was hard to take the higher road in front of my kids...but I kept thinking about having those long range glasses on. I needed to act in a certain way and explain things in a manner that did not denegrate their father. It was very hard to do that. I am not a perfect person and at times I do say things that maybe push the envelope a bit. Part of me is still hurting and mourning my loss. I am human, Same with our finances. We sometimes spend and overspend and get in hot water. We mess up just when we were going great gangbusters in cleaning up a mess with our credit cards or our budgets. We are human and it is hard to always be on top of your game. When we fall and make a mistake we need to pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off. We need to pay our speeding ticket fine and begin to drive much more slowly, carefully and by all means,take the higher road.

Risks or Roads not taken

May 22nd, 2006 at 09:44 am

My Sister and her family are going to Costa Rica in June to visit her husband's father who owns a beautiful estate of sorts over there. They are very excited to go somewhere where they have never been. They want to take their boys on some great adventures and really explore this new place to the fullest!
My mom is scared and worried about this trip fearing the worst could maybe happen! What if you get hurt, what if you get robbed? What if? What if?

My little caboose daughter is adopted....I wanted to adopt at least one child in my lifetime. God placed that desire in me long ago. She was adopted into my arms (and my ex's)in November of 1999. It was a risk to adopt in my mother's mind. She was actually very put out with the whole idea that I wanted to mother someone elses child. Over the years she has been OK with it but not 100% OK with it. Yes..it was a risk many times along the adoption journey. It required alot of faith, but in my heart it was perfectly planned and all went well and I could not imagine life without my little firecracker!

Same with our money! We have to take risks and do things differently from all the rest of the nay sayers. Sure everyone has Credit Card Debt-but does that make it OK???? We have to take a risk and do things against the grain!
Like not eating out every weekend or buying the hot new DVD's and iPods.
We have to say things like" No I have to save the money first" or " That is not in the budget this month"

Taking risks can be scary! Sometimes... we do get hurt or make a mistake. But how else do we grow and learn?? In a way I feel a bit sorry for my mom as she has lived her life without taking much risk. She has travelled on a well worn path that others have gone down.
Some folks have to do things like everyone else. How exciting is that my friend? BUT....How rewarding it is to color outside the lines a bit and run your own race. Risks and roads not taken can be a very good thing and something that empowers us. Good things CAN come out of risk and doing things differently.

What's for Dinner Mom?

May 22nd, 2006 at 08:15 am

Hopefully you have it figured out by now. Most thrifty folks I know plan their menus and such with great care and precision. I decided to use up what is left in my kitchen freezer. So Pork is on the menu. What can you use up today?
So much food can be easily wasted. I had to throw some yougurt away and I was sick about it. I just hate to throw food away! What is lurking around that you can serve tonight?
Here are some things I HAVE LURKING--
5 pcs of left over pizza
1/2 can black beans
some tomato sauce in a can
small bowl of leftover pasta
browned and bagged ground beef
very, very ripe banannas

Time to get creative today and not waste food.

Gas Prices---Driving The Family Room on Wheels

May 22nd, 2006 at 08:03 am

What is the price of gas out your way?
WalMart today is 2.69--- for me it is 2.66 since I use my WalMart CC (which I pay off each month). I think all in all that seems pretty good as far as price.
Has it been a budget buster for you??

I try to group errands and not go out as much. I own a huge full size Ford van.
My ex and I bought it right before he left me. We paid for it with cash. I keep thinking should I trade it in and get something smaller? I might of not bought this big of a van if I knew what my future was holding at that time. On the other hand-I love it that it is paid off....has tons of room for four kids....runs great and has not had any major problems at all! I love it for travel as it feels so safe and it makes long trips bearable.

Have you traded your car in for something more gas friendly? Have you even considered it? I was just curious.
Sometimes I think I have so much going on in m life right now and every day-I just do not need the hassle of getting a different car. Maybe that sounds lazy---




Life as a single mom

May 21st, 2006 at 08:03 pm

Today was a long day. My girls had dance recital photos done.....I had to pay for 5 different costume shoots. I tired to keep it low cost by picking simple photo packages. I think I did OK. I just had so much to do! My son was giving me a headache over some behavior issues. He is not listening to me and perhaps I am not hearing him. These are the times it is so hard to be a single parent. I have to do so much parenting alone. The days seem long and hard. I have to keep telling myself it will be all worth it....in the end.

The same with money, saving it and budgetting it, making due and not getting
what you want when you want it....
It is knowing the difference between needs and wants. I like to say I have my long term glasses on much of the time. I want to Live life and parent with a long lens so to speak. In the end we know there is a reward for those who do. I think it makes one more at peace and secure. Maybe you get less wrinkles.
Maybe our eyes twinkle more because it is like we have a hidden wonderful secret. We know that in the long run being thrifty brings untold rewards....some we can not even see.

Giving back

May 21st, 2006 at 08:14 am

My child support finally started. I have it directly deposited to my checking account. Last month I got a windfall of sorts from a small real estate deal my ex did a few years ago. Thankfully it was included in our divorce agreement that I get half. I needed to now give. I tithe 10% to my church. I decided to do it in a new way. I tithed 5% to church and 5% to my kids' Christian School. The school is struggling a bit. They do OK but because they keep tuition as low as possible, they rely on some occasional fundraising.
I feel it is great ground to sow seed into. Giving to me is Biblical and well...common sense too. There are many ways to give and yet stay frugal. I never want to be "cheap" in the giving department. I love to make meals for people who have had a baby or just need the help in a time of great need. Many times over in other ways people have blessed me. What are ways we can give this week. I love to write notes to people. I had a huge stationary addiction many years ago. So I have a wonderful supply of nice notecards and papers. Simple acts of giving make our hearts less selfish even for a moment.
I am going to challenge myself to write some old fashioned notes this week and mail them. I will look for ways to give and bless.

How about a new sofa?

May 21st, 2006 at 06:47 am

My mother asked me this question this past week. Going thru a divorce I have slowly made a few changes around my home. I painted my bedroom and bought a new quilt for the bed last year and re-arranged it.
I made a space for my book shelf and a place for my wicker desk-all purchased for a song at garage sales. I love them becasue they fit with my shabby chic look I love. My house looks like me now.I did get a new couch and love seat last year as well for the family room since our set was so bad no charity would take it ....again I purchased the new set at a ridiclous price.

I have a perfectly fine couch in the Living room. It has a beautiful slipcover that is white and simple. My mom thinks for my birthday I should "treat" myself to a new couch she saw on sale this week. A new couch sounds great, but truly is it practical with my new thrifty ways?? My mom is NOT always thrifty...she loves to re-decorate. She does find deals....but she finds them ALL the time. I have to figure a way to tell her I am perfectly happy with my basic couch and I would rather not treat myself to a couch.
It is hard..... becasue I know her heart.
Mothers--for the most part mean well.

On the other hand my ex and his live in gal/fiance have furnished their entire new home in Pottery Barn straight out of the catalog. I am pretty sure they do not go to garage sales, or stop by Goodwill like me. I do like my old couch. I liked my old married life as well, but I am starting to like this new life even better. I think I am going to keep my couch. It is comfortable like my life right now.

Great Quotes for Today

May 20th, 2006 at 02:33 pm

I keep a wonderful journal going at all times with thoughts and quotes....helpful article snippets....poems. Here are a couple I wrote down I found as of late.
"When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on." Franklin Roosevelt

"If your ship does not come in....swim out to it."

"God brings men into deep waters not to drown them but to cleanse them."

The last two the source of who wrote them is unknown.

If you do not journal I encourage it!
I love to re-read it for encouragement.
Do you need encouraged when money is tight? Or the bills are out of control?Keep coming back to these blogs....others are paddling in the same river! It is refeshing to be among other folks who are doing their best. Trying to be perfect just makes one depressed.
Stay encouraged to kick debt out the door and to make wise money choices.

Watch it out there

May 20th, 2006 at 09:40 am

Today I was driving my DD -number one to dance class. I noticed a man driving in front of me down the road. He was driving really fast. The next thing I saw way down the road was the flash of the red and blue lights. A town police officer had pulled a huge U turn and went after this guy with a purpose in mind. He pulled this man over and well you know the rest of the story. The driver looked pretty mature in age. He looked like..... well...he should know better. It reminded me to get a speeding ticket is a total budget buster! My ex used to get them all the time. He was a poor role model to my son who is a new driver as far as driving the speed limit. It also is bad for good gas mileage. Watch the speed limits and drive safely. A good lesson to remember.

Kids are hungry for lunch. I was going to go to the store but we are making due with english muffin pizzas cause I have things on hand to create and carrots and dip for a side. I also have some fruit.
Use it up and make due. I am going to get the sewing machine out and make some capris for DD number three. The jeans I have as hand me downs are super long but fit in the waist. So crop pants it is. I am not a great seamstress but with kids clothes I do just fine.I am going to organize my sewing basket...it is a mess like the coupons. Sewing and making repairs, it really helps to make things last longer. Plus my girls sewed some kitten toys with some scraps. Again...cheap entertainment. I did have to buy kitten food and two little cages to transport them to the vet for visits. I used my picnic basket in the past with the old, now deseased cat, but they are too big for the basket....hence I spent money. I am not a great cat wrangler so I need those two little kennels. I think it was worth it for my little darlings!

Book Jackpot

May 19th, 2006 at 06:48 pm

Stoppped at the half price bookstore-I got 3 books on finance for a super LOW price. One was Dave Ramsey's book. I was so excited to purchase this for a song!I kinda felt bad as the book was signed by someone and given as a Christmas gift to another someone two yrs ago. Hopefully that person is not in debt and wishing he would of kept this treasure.
I am hoping these basic books --all three are written from a Christian point of view- will help me get a better understanding of all things money related.

My younger kids had a school concert tonight. Free entertianment! I splurged and got them each a McDonalds treat off the dollar menu after the concert. They seemed glad and happy to have an unexpected treat. We saw a cute family of ducks crossing the road. We stopped to watch this simple sight..... the proud mom and her darling row of well behaved children. How sweet and simple.

Indoor Drying rack

May 19th, 2006 at 10:01 am

Since it is so wet out and the rain seems to want to linger forever, my clothesline is off duty....here is way to make your laundry area a drying center of sorts. Hang a shower rod between two areas and hang laundry on hangers.
I had a spare rod and placed it between an over the dryer shelf and an open cupboard on the opposite side of the room. Viola! Instant sturdy rod to hang lots of kid-o clothes on hangers. Also an old bulletin board goes over the laundry room wash tub to create more folding space. I have seen this to purchase in catalogs for over ten dollars! Silly! I also keep all four of my kids socks stored in the laudry room....each child has a sock basket--- is so much easier! It is great to find new uses for things and stay organized to boot. Give your laundry room a quick overhaul and you may even find some change for the change jar or another "interseting item." Plus you feel more cheerful in a pleasant work environment. Oh I have not turned any lights on despite it being so gloomy out!

Handy Man Bill

May 19th, 2006 at 07:57 am

Well I needed a new gutter. My son mangled the old one beyond repair. While here Mr Handy Man fixed the fences with broken pickets. Total bill $100.
Hmmm.....I guess it is fair. Not really sure. This guy is a Christian so we chatted about church and where we attend.
It is still raining here, so I am glad I fixed the gutter. Hopefully it stays up and "running". My two new sister kittens are running around the house like mad chasing each other and their tails! Two kittens:free Entertainent for the family: Priceless! My girls love to cuddle them so I am thankful they know how to run! They never seem to use their legs since they are always in a lap or in someones embrace. Actually that sounds nice to always be getting hugged!.

Putting pennies in the penny jar and trying to not to spend much more today.
The kids are at their dad's on Saturday-so I do not have to make dinner for them or breakfast. Of course I miss them but enjoy the time to tidy the house or do small tasks. I am working on organizing my coupons, they are usually in a mess pile. That is a good project to work on this weekend. If it ever stops raining I will hang clothes on the clothesline. I live in a nicer neighborhood development. We are not allowed to use clotheslines! Too bad....I use one and do not care. Iam the neighborhood rebel.It is hidden for the most part behind lots of shrubs. Sometimes I wish I lived in the country.

A new adventure

May 19th, 2006 at 06:37 am

Today I start my Blog. I have been blessed with so much info and encouragement from the other blogs, I had to jump right in and join! I am newly divorced after 18 years of marraige and learning to start my life all over again. It is not where I wanted to be but where my ex----- wanted to be. Isn't that how life can be sometimes...not in our control? With money- I find that there are MANY areas we CAN control. Most of my friends hate that....they would rather pretend words like budget and saving do not exist.
I love challenges, so in all things money related I have been challenged. Basically when my ex left he told me to handle all the bills and such...something I am embarrased to say I never once did. So I had to learn quickly, I had no choice in the matter.
Today I have to pay a handy man to re-attatch my gutter my son broke due to his soccer ball and his powerful kick. I would try to fix it but alas I do not own a ladder that would reach that high.
I have learned to be handy as of late.
Investing in basic tools and using the internet you can fix many things without calling the handyman. Hopefully my son will not aim for the gutter again. I can only hope!

This week I hit the thrift store and found a darling purse for $5, a LL Bean jkt for $4 and some tupperware for $6.
All items in perfect shape!