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Archive for June, 2006

Happy Friday

June 30th, 2006 at 06:50 am

It is hard to believe we are heading into the Fourth of July weekend! Not too many plans. My ex has the kids all day Monday thru Tuesday morning. They are going to a carnival in the town next door. They go each fourth. I think they are cooking out and maybe playing golf. My ex lives on a golf course. I am helping out at my church on that Monday evening. The fireworks are near my church and lots of people park in our church parking lot to watch them. So we hosting a small carnival and providing restrooms at our church. I am helping sell snacks and pop. It is a way to reach out to the town and just show we are friendly and welcoming. I hope it goes well. It is the first time we have done this. We used to meet in a school for church but two yrs ago we built a simple church building. We are right across from a large new shopping center. We built it on an old farm. The owners of the farm were elderly. Their dream was to sell the land to a church.....it was pretty neat how the whole deal worked out so nice for everyone.

I have to think of some fun things to do on the fourth with my kids. I keep asking them and they seem to not know.
I want to do something that everyone will like...together! That seems like a tall order!

I am going to make a chore list for the family today as well....my kids have become lazy as of late. My son really is the one who needs to see he has to help around the house. He does mow....every weekend but he needs to do way more. I hope to get some time to think thru the idea and develop a plan of attack.

Have been spending money it seems. Needed to buy bathing suits for three girls. My oldest needed a more modest suit. It was hard to find...and when I got it I realized it was not on sale...it was pricey but I had to get it. We did get pizza last night. I did Dominos....3 pizzas for 15.00. That is such a deal. There are two pcs. left...that is it! My kids love pizza!
So I told the kids that was our treat.
I hope to slow down in the spending department. I told the kids they are suited, shorted, and flip flopped for summer.......I am done with purchasing.
I have to start thinking about back to school. I have started a stash to help pay for the baby shower I am hosting. I also have my one daughter's friend birthday party she is having. It should be fairly reasonable. Part of the party is going to the playground for games and gift opening. So hopefully the weather will be nice that day.

If you like to pray...please lift up a little boy who is three named Issiah who has cancer. The parents just found out he has a tumor in his tummy and it is in his bones. The dad is a teacher at my children's school. They are a young family with two other little boys---finances are tight as well.

I was so devastated to get this news. Please feel free to pass the info along to others. Thank you.

Spent Money!!

June 27th, 2006 at 10:02 am

Gee whiz....I had to pay for summer dance classes for my two daughters--
about $300.00. There a few things I did not put into my budget when I was mediating my divorce. Like summer dance classes. I also am having to take down my huge rusty old basketball pole. My dad offered to do it but it is so top heavy!! My ex paid a fortune for this thing. It is so rusted that the backboard is no longer adjustable.....we never adjusted it anyway. That was a toy my ex had to have! Now it is a hazard.....it is very shaky and I just worry with a windstorm or heavy rain like we have had...it could fall.
Now I have to pay $200 to get it removed and take out the concrete that is hazard now. My dad says he can do it but there is NO WAY! He is much older and I can just see him falling or having it crash on someone. So I now have to pay to have that removed. I know it is worth it and I will be glad to be rid of my ex's toy that he left behind!

I am trying to not get discouraged. Expenses are part of kids....and part of running a household.

I went to walmart and they had the water we like on sale! It was so cheap ...much cheaper than the grocery store...I bought 14 --8 packs! My poor daughet pushed the cart and it looked like we were planning for a terror attack. I saved a boat load money wise. My kids will drink that water and it is better than soda or other junk. It is worth it. Plus my daughters glasses that I bought at Pearle Vision-- which by the way was huge rip off.....are never tight and are constantly falling off her face. Whata disappointment! So the guy at walmart did it for free. Plus they are so much closer so I saved some gas. I bought two new tee shirts for me.....I live in tee shirts. White and Hot pink. I do not have a great wardrobe.....but at this point I do not care. We did look at the clearance area....but it was still all marked pretty high. We did buy two
card games. I love to play card games on the porch with the kids...it is such a nice, fun way to spend the evening. I tend to loose game parts.....sometimes .......so card games work for me.

I am tryng to look at the good in everything and not get too worried.
I just cut back where I can to cover the costs elsewhere. I think when you don't get back elsewhere...that is when you get stung!

I have the a/c off again and we are hunting around the basement for garage sale things. I do not have that many items....I tend to not let clutter pile up too much. My two young daughters are playing with the Barbie house and Barbies.....they are having some fun.
Cheap entertainment! They were doing their dance stuff they learned yesterday too....It is so wonderful when the kids play nicely and really have fun together. Sometimes I guess it is more fun to argue and disagree.

Have a great day everyone.

Sunday evening

June 25th, 2006 at 07:08 pm

Today I helped me neighbor the one with all the junk a bit. She has made some progress. I took some things for my garage sale. I also took one big box of trash out to the curb...that was major. A friend of hers came by with a UHAUL and bought some furniture from her....large pieces. I was sitting on my porch when her ex drove by and started to dig thru her trash! I watched it and it was so strange to see this man with a nice golf shirt and shorts and decent car dig thru his own trash! He took a blanket. In a way I pitied this family....and this man.

I helped her go thru three drawers in her bathroom and boy was it bad! I told her I was proud of her and she kept dumping....tons of old gross and used up makeup maybe from the 80's. I told her alot of funny stories that kept her going. I also saw her attic today...filled ...filled...filled!!! It is terrible!! I got bummed out for her...so much waste and junk and dollars of stuff sitting there doing nothing but causing stress on top of more stress. My two daughters bubble wrapped alot of china dolls with inches of dust of them. I was proud of the girls for putting up with her detailed instructions. They were patient and attentive. I was proud of them.

I did not do a lot today. Took out the trash and did some more grocery shopping. We needed bottled water. I did not buy alot of food...we will make due.
We read on the porch.

We went to church this morning. The gentleman who prayed said this neat quote...."try to see the good in everything" I liked that....no mater what my finances look like....we have to look for the good things and not complain. I have a good friend. I noticed today when I said something she right away said a complaint in repsonse to what I said. If I said...I need to run some errands she would say I am sick of running around. If I said I have some yardwork to do she would say it is so hot and she gets tired from all the work she has to do. After a bit the conversation got off track and filled with lots of negatives. I learned that I have to watch my tongue and be on guard. I can make my conversation a list of grumbles.

No matter what the budget says or the bank account there is room to be thankful. When we can't do this or that because there is simply no money for it....rejoice in what we do have. Tribulations make us better people and better parents, neighbors and friends......better everything. We never ask for them or desire them but they will and do occur.......some of us get troubles evey day it seems...others get them in waves. So we need not grumble but try to see the good in it all. That can be a tall order somtimes....I find it is easier to complain and vent and let it rip!!!! Good abounds all around us....the trick is to focus on it and not the grumbles. I hope I can model this for my children and be faithful to do it consistently.

Spending money this weekend....!!

June 24th, 2006 at 02:56 pm

1. Take kids to the local carnival Sat. evening and let them go on some rides.
2. Buy some porch items....$20
3. Go to the grocery store for things....
$40

How Will I Save Money this Weekend

June 24th, 2006 at 07:47 am

1. Hang two loads of towels and sheets on clothesline
2. Not run the a/c
3. Eat birthday party leftovers
4. Try not to turn on many lights tonight
5. Take some books to the half price book store that are brand new
6. Put pennies in penny jar
7. Look thru all my greeting cards and oganize so I do not have to buy cards for a long long time
8. Begin to organize school supplies I have on hand so I do not re-purchase for new school year
9. Get to the library
10. Be thankful my ex took the kids to see Cars....he paid for the movie and all the snacks.
11. Enjoy front porch.....free and relaxing!

Baby shower musings

June 24th, 2006 at 06:53 am

I am hosting a shower for a friend who is expecting a "surprise baby" in Sept. She has a bunch of kids her youngest being in fifth grade. This is a blended family. She is in her mid forties. At first she was not too happy about things---but after a month or so got very excited about it. She is a teacher and the baby is due on her first day of school!

I think most of her family was not too happy and thought she had flipped her lid. I am pretty sure when she announced her news they kinda scowled at her. To lift her spirits a bit I offered to host a baby shower at church on a Saturday afternoon in July. At first she was kinda embarassed and said just a few people and please keep it low key! That would be easy enough. I would budget and save up for the shower.

I just got her guest list and there are at least 75 church moms,family and friends and young daughters. I was kinda shocked. I am not sure about that many people! Thankfully I did reserve a room at church in which to host this event as there would be no way I could do it at home. Thankfully I found a gal at church who is going to help me by preparing the food and bringing it all and cleaning it up for a reasonable...I mean reasonable price. She is doing drinks and cake and a few small finger foods. I am trying to not get bummed out with my friend as I did offer to host the shower for her.
I guess I thought low key meant low numbers of attendees!

I am not doing shower games...just talking, eating and opening gifts.
I think that is OK....the gift opening alone could take awhile.
I guess I better start getting the invitations organized. I bought some $1 packs of pretty notecards at Michaels....so that was a wonderful savings!

I guess being a thrifty person at heart I am fighting an internal battle of how much stuff does a baby need?? And is that practical??? I guess I just better try to not get too caught up in it and just be the host. I will say it does cause me to re-think things when my girls get to be brides and new mom's to be on how showers and such might be handled. I guess I can only try to be a good role model in being practical and thrifty.

I think I will be Ok and all will be well.....maybe I am just a little nervous about hosting such a big event all on my own so to speak. By the way it is a girl!

What a day or so--

June 22nd, 2006 at 01:42 pm

Last night we had terrible thunderstorms. My little one will not go to bed when it storms...I was up so late. Same for tonight--more storms! I am not looking forward to tonight. It is raining. So we are stuck in the house.
I am pretty tired from her sleeping with me. I know it will happen again tonight. The girl had three flashlights with her in my bed last night!! I love her but she is driving me a little buggy right now. I am cranky because I am so darn hot too. I am not using the a/c.....it is 90 and humid. I am not sure how much I can take. I am trying to not turn it on till 6pm. I hope I make it. Trying to save anyway I can at this point.

We did some shopping and found a few things for my porch. Alot of my candles were no more and a few were not good anymore. So I bought a new candle ... (blueberry scent)....and a new latern. I also got a new ironing board for $4.99 the kind that is small and sits on top of a table plus two cookie sheets. Mine were so bad.....I was so glad to get new ones.

Gas shot up in price to 2.79 or more around here. Oh well...it was nice while it lasted! I got some medical bills and my new insurance I have just for me I think is terrible....it seems like nothing is covered. I got a bill for a mamogram for $300...I thought that was covered! I better call or look at my plan better. I got a few bills from spring for my son from the orthopedic DR.as well. I am praying my son does not get hurt in fall High School soccer. He is expensive when he gets hurt. I have to pay the out of pocket medical items. My ex pays for the childrens' insurance. It sure adds up.

Tomorrow my first born DD is having her birthday sleepover party. We are going to swim for part of the party but it looks like more rain. Thankfully these girls can talk and entertain themselves.
We have some games planned and have a few prizes. We will watch a DVD. They are going to do makeovers too. And EAT of course!!!
I pray I survive. I hate to lose sleep....between giggly girls and a girl who hates thunderstorms!

I did clean out my little ones book case. I have about 100 kid books for the garage sale....I have plenty left to read. When I was a new mom I bought books like a nut! So I have a nice collection! Some books I am saving so when I am a grandma....I will have some great old books that my kids loved. My mom did that and it was a treasure to get some books I had as a child. That is the best gift to give....books.

I need to get working on laundry. The clothesline is out because of the rain....that stinks.

There is a carnival in town. I mentioned it to my ex. I am hoping he takes the kids to it this weekend. He is taking them to see CARS too. He does all the outings that cost money. He can afford no problem. Sometimes it seems unfair....but for the most part I roll with things and try not to complain.

I dreamed last night my ex and I were visting..he and I were being so nice and we decided I think to be great friends. Then I saw myself hugging him. I am not sure what that meant. I guess being a single parent can be a lonely job sometimes. Especially when you are trying to be a good role model in so many areas. Maybe I wanted him to approve of the job I was doing....or maybe I miss things the way they used to be....I am not sure!!!

I salute each and every single mom and each and every single dad who is trying to do the right thing as much as possible. It is not easy at times.....yet sometimes things DO click and wow......harmony and blessed peace abound! We see that all our efforts to raise our kids and do things that may put our goals and dreams on hold is best. Giving instead of getting. Seeing things with new eyes. So hugs to all of you!

Dollar Store

June 20th, 2006 at 05:52 pm

Greetings! Yesterday I spent around $39 at the dollar store. I was purchasing birthday party suppplies for my middle daughter. We got candy, paper plates and napkins, cups, balloons, and goody bags. Qtips, 3 bottles of shampoo my teen daugher loves, a brush and sun tan lotion. We got a few other things that I can not remember. I like the dollar store for certain things.

Today I took my friend to see my other friend(the pack rat lady) She has so much furniture and her daughters are going to get an apt this fall at college so they need things cheap to set up housekeeping college style. I have never been in her basement and MAN WAS IT EVER HORRIBLE!!!! the girls did get a neat IKEA type chair, old wood dresser and two brass and glass tables. There is couch they are thinking about. I could not believe the junk in that basement. It will take a month alone to rid that basement of stuff. Again my girls were along with me and they got another valuable lesson on why we do not hoard! They saw the mountains of stuff. A huge amount of boxes were filled with empty toy boxes! It was sad all over again.
It encouraged me to get ready for our school garage sale I am hosting in July. We need to raise some money for my daughter's freshman class...so we are hosting a sale. I did it for my son's class last year and we made $500 at my house. It was alot of work but fun. My daughters love to set it all up.

I got out my porch furniture finally!
It is such a chore but so worth it in the end. It provides great free entertainment! My daughter wants me to buy some more flowers. I have decided to be stingy this year and go with less flowers. They are costly. So the porch looks pretty good--- the furniture is holding up pretty well. It is worn but not too awful. Few pillows I had to toss they were mildewy....

We went to the pool and packed a lunch. It tastes better at the pool. Grapes, chips, salami sandwiches, cookies and pop. I was glad I had plenty of lunch things on hand.

We may go pick strawberies on Weds. I have alot of house work to do so we may go for a short time and then work around here. There are tons of places to pick. I enjoy it but not for a long time...too hard on my back!

I paid my bills and will deposit my money I got unexpectedly on Weds. I will put some in checking and some in savings. My savings has reached a goal I wanted. I am proud of myself. I am really putting alot away. I do not mean that in a prideful way.....I have seen that slow and steady is perfeclty fine. I also tithed...... 5% to my childrens school and 5% to church. It is so important to me. I think my parents would kill me if they knew I tithed. They feel that is not a good thing and God has enough---thank you very much. I feel I can not afford not to tithe. I also gave to my little ones' Adoption agency. They are trying to buy bouncy chairs for Chinese orphanages to stimulate the babies who are not held enough. I had to give..that one tugged at my heart. I can not imagine a baby not being held or cuddled. It breaks my heart if I think about it too long.

Today -thru my church--I was asked to phone call a dad about handling his divorce in regards to his children. I was able to call him and give him some wisdom. It is heartbreaking to hear of families breaking apart. I gave him some book suggestions as well. He seemed surprised I called him. I was glad I could encourage this guy. Maybe God will change her heart and they will not divorce. I will say I prayed for that for one year.....I do not think that prayer was ever uttered by my then husband of 18 years.

I had a dream about my ex MIL and SIL. They showed up at my house...boy did I scream and give them the business! In the dream I was so hot with anger.....it felt great to yell and get it out in my dream. I have not spoken to them in about three years. At first I was saddned but now I am not so sad about it. I do sometimes wonder how they can embrace my ex's lifestyle and his new ways. It does baffle me. I am in a different place morally and that is just the way it is. I simply can not relate to them anymore. They are of THIS world and I am not. Plain and so very simple.
But that dream...How weird.

I filled up my son's car for him-gas is still $2.61 around here.....that seems like a deal. How weird.

Have a good evening out there.

Nice Weekend-so Far

June 17th, 2006 at 08:29 pm

My two youngest are off on a weekend trip with my ex and my 16yr old son went for the weekend to visit my parents so my dad could take him along to the car races. So just my oldest daughter and I were here for the weekend. We have had such a blast together. We watched a video we rented on a Blockbuster gift card she had.... and ate out on Friday. I had my Applebees coupon so that helped. Today we went to the antique show. My daughter spent her birthday money. She bought a little estate ring in silver and a pearl like necklace....both very reasonable. It was so very hot I think the dealers were ready to deal and get in the cool shade. We had a picnic lunch at the show...pulled pork on a bun and cokes. It was so tasty and reasonable!!! I bought a neat old fashioned booklet on the Bible. It was from 1935. It has some great old fashioned pictures and drawings. It cost $1.00! We saw lots of people--- but hardly anyone seemed to be buying large big tickets items like in the past. I think the economy has hurt the annual antique show. It was still nice to get out and stroll and listen to the barbershop singers. We then hit some mall type stores my daughter wanted to go to. I did not see much....she found some shoes and a new wallet. Both very reasonable...she knows how to look for deals...I taught her pretty well...We then ate Mexican and it was so good! We came home and rested. I did call my mom to see if my son had been using his manners--- and he had been. He made his bed this morning and was having fun. I guess he played cards with them last night and this morning after breakfast. What a blessing all the way around.

Tommorrow is 9:30 church and then grocery shopping. I promised my daughter at her request we would eat lunch at the local hot dog place.

I miss my two girls. My ex has turned off his cell phone so I have not been able to talk to them. He is not too considerate. I hope they are OK. He is with his honey and they are "introducing" the girls to "her" parents. I have such mixed feelings. It is certainly strange for me. I hope my girls are OK and not too stressed by it all. I am sure they will want to share it all with me. My little one packed a small heart stone I keep on my dresser. She took a photo of the kitties too. When she left with her dad she was very teray eyed and upset. I had to smile and re-assure her...yet I wanted to keep hugging as well.It was hard to wave good-bye.

I had to go Fathers Day shopping last week with them...boy I hate that job. It is hard to pick out gifts and help them with things.
I am not sure if they are spending Fathers Day with him or not as he forgets to tell me his plans.

I finally turned on my a/c late today.
It got too awful for me. I did have all the blinds down. That really really helps. Gas was cheap so I filled up my sons car for him $2.61. I think that is a miracle! I will do the big ol' conversion van on Sunday. I have been driving his car because the gas mileage is so good. I have been faithful to wash clothes each day and hang them. The clothesline is a blessing! You can save...save...save....so much!

I did get some " bonus" money on Friday.....some stock money my ex had with a stock club he was in with some friends...I got to get out of my share...so that goes to the bank on Monday. My husband had a knack for buying too much stupid stock and losing the money over and over.....I am thnakful I even got some money out of the deal. I am also signing up and applying to be a grocery store demo person. I have the applications almost filled in. I will mail on Monday. I really hope they take me. I have to send a photo and I am nervous . I am not thin....and not great looking so maybe they will not want to hire me. I can be neat and tidy in appearance. I am nervous. I would like to work in the fall now that my little one is in school five days a week full time in first grade. I can pick and choose my schedule it sounds like....so the extra money will be great. Plus I can be home if someone is sick or I can still help at school if needed. I am nervous since I am not great looking and I have not worked at a "job" since 1989. If God opens the demo door...I will walk thru it.

Blessings for a nice Sunday and a Happy Fathers Day!

Packing up all the Insanity!

June 14th, 2006 at 03:18 pm

I did help my neighbor today who got "evicted" out of her house due to divorce and bankuptcy. Not a good idea on my part.....I tried but had to leave after one hour. I helped by going thru JUNK...and pitching it. I made a huge dent in one area. But then my friend wanted to weed thru it all "just to be sure" nothing good was pitched. We are talking junk here. Pure trash! I am about as thrifty as them come....but she is really not seeing and thinking straight. Poor thing. I saw a huge stack of Bed, bath and Beyond store Coupons...like 15. I went to pitch and she yelled. My friend is BROKE....I told her you can NOT go shopping there. Then she had a stack about 12 inches high of pizza coupons.All expired from 2005.

There was dog hair everywhere. I decided I had to get myself and my three girls out of there.....I felt bad but I told her we had a dentist apt. I did feel badly...but she was acting so strange-it was not good for my girls. Her and her daughter were fighting over a $500 cell phone bill. How does it get that high????That is when I said to myself...I need to remove myself from all this anger and craziness.

I hope she lands on her feet. I feel her situation is almost dire becasue she has so much stuff it is insane! She needed to pack up about two years ago....As I was leaving the UPS man stopped and I got a package for her from him...it was from QVC! I was shocked....she told me she bought some space bags! I then knew no amount of space bags would help this situation. Sometimes we have to get deep in the pit ourselves so we can figure how to climb out and that can be a good and valuable lesson. I truly pray that she finds some peace and her life can be much more simple in the future.

Free Plants to my Friend

June 14th, 2006 at 09:52 am

Today my friend stopped over. I gave her a huge patch of Iris plants and two huge boxes of lush Ivy. It was so nice to rid myself of them and give her some things for her new flower beds around her new porch. I felt so satisfied that I could do that. Plus I gave her a perfectly good umbrella stroller for her soon to be born new baby girl. We have to look for opportunites to give. I believe at times when we are needy blessings will occur for us. I do not give to get but give because it feels right in my heart and spirit.

Today is Flag Day. If you have a flag please fly it. Just yesterday the news reported that a young man who was 24yrs old came home to be laid to rest not too far from our town. I felt so sad when they showed his father and mother on the TV news. I thought of my own children. NO matter your stand....fly your flag today.

Hung more laundry last night and am washing DD sheets today to put out the line. Dinner is a simple recipe called Hobo dinner, which we love!
House is in good shape. I just have to a little each day and not stop doing that.
It is still cool here....no A/C which is great. Such a money saver!!!!

The kids told me dad bought a basement full of furniture and a huge plasma type TV for "entertaining" purposes. How sad.
Money and things can not bring contentment and inner joy. He is hoping to to look good and "cool" to friends and family. I love my live of simple things. It fills me with peace. One day he will see how tiring that race can be to run. Some days I feel sorry for him. It is hard to think I was married to him......he has certainly changed. I guess that is what happens, when we go our seperate ways.

Have a good day everyone.

Free summer things to do

June 13th, 2006 at 07:37 am

With four kids I am always looking for fun easy and cheap thngs to do---here are
a few we will do or have done thus far-

baked a cake
cleaned our bedrooms....re-arranged a bit
puzzles
badmitton
swing on hamock
wrote thank yous for birthday gifts
ride bikes
made home made pancakes
hung school art work on garage walls for color and fun!
planned two birthday parties
organized garage
ran thru the sprinkler
planted a garden
watch world cup soccer
work in workbooks from school
play with dolls and play house
play with kitties
read books

enjoy this summer day and be blessed---

Birthday Gifts Returned

June 11th, 2006 at 04:47 pm

I went to Kohl's and got a $18 gift card back. That will go towards paying for a bathing suit for my daughter.
I did stop at Burger King and get a small chocolate milkshake. I could not constrain myself! They are simply the best as far as fast food places go-

Kids are with ex's family celebrating my daughters birthday...she was born on my 30th birthday! Every birthday is celebrated by my ex's family whether you want to or not with a big family party that is overkill and over-rated. The poor females in the family are constantly entertaining each other with elaborate dinners and cookouts. I do not miss it because I had to spend a huge amount of money on gifts all the time...for not only children and teens but all the adults as well. It got to be utterly ridiculous that family members turning 42 or 27 had a big party! Yes.....I love my simple life in many many ways.
It is very peaceful in my home. The children should be back in about 1 hour. I hope my daugther had a bit of fun--- she was not looking forward to it at all. I understand...it is not easy for her either. Big parties can be over-rated. No...I do not miss the hoopla.

Just Checking In

June 11th, 2006 at 03:31 pm

What a weekend! All the rehearsals ( 6 hours worth) and dance recitals went well for my two duaghters. It was a lovely two nights of dancing...the shows was really wonderful. My two girls do jazz, tap, ballet, and pointe. So it is so much fun to watch, esp in sparkly costumes!
My parents drove in to see Friday's show.
We enjoyed our short visit. My daughters were thrilled to see them. Everything is more special with grandparents to watch.
They sure dote on my kids! I am blessed!

Saturdays show was harder for me. I went with some other dance moms. Since we were helping at the show,we got great front row area seats. I then realized my ex has chosen to sit directly 7 rows behind me with is honey. I just could not emotionally handle it. I decided to move my seat. By the time I could sit down after collecting tickets and handing out programs....there was no seats left so I had to stand in the back of the concert hall for the entire three hour show. Maybe I am a coward but I wanted to watch the girls dance and not be bothered all evening knowing "she" was there right behind me checking me out. I know some awful day I will have to face her------but not this weekend. There I have said it....I am not too interested in meeting one of the reasons my husband left our family.

So this weekend I spent so much money it seems---pizza deleivered last night, flowers galore, my dad's birthday gift, fathers day gift,lunchie things I normally do not buy, film, batteries, it seems endless!!!
Today I am cleaning the kitchen really well...tossing out things and getting rid of some clutter. I am doing endless laundry as well. My son needed socks-his are awful and full of worn spots and holes..... so I gave him my TARGET gift card I got for my birthday. I just do not want to spend anymore "money" so to speak. So he will get his socks on Monday morning.

This is the first full week of summer vacation. The kids are thrilled to be out of school We looked thru all the leftover school items and saved what we can use again and threw away all the broken things or used up things. I already have the supply list so I can begin to watch for sales and clearance aisles to replenish.

My neighbor gave me a Birthday gift..she is so sweet. She bought it at Kohl's. I never ever keep things for myself. So I will return it. My daughter needs a modest bathing suit for a mission trip she is going on this summer......so that is where the gift money will go.

It is cool but sunny today. I put up two new clotheslines...and have them full of sheets, a quilt and washcloths. Remember I am not allowed to use clotheslines.....and remember I am a rebel.....sometimes I am a coward too....
We talked about going thru hard times in church today- I thought of myself and what I have been thru. For the most part. I have done pretty well...but then things like seeing my husband at the recital make me shutter and hurt all over again. I guess things take time and I need to remind myself that I am not a perfect person and I am human with feelings and emotions. It is OK to feel what I have felt. Feelings are never right nor are they wrong...they just are.

I am sorta glad all the hoopla is over....have a good Sunday everyone.

Keeping on Keeping on

June 7th, 2006 at 04:44 am

Today I am babysitting my neighbor's grandchildren who are from St Louis. They are here for a week long visit.
Grandpa had to go to work along with Grandma till lunch time....so they asked me to babysit. These two little ones are very sweet. They always have a little smile on their faces. I am also keeping a single mom's daughter overnite tonight and taking her to school along with my daughter...my friend works and there was a job conflict. So she asked if I could please help her. I know it was hard for her to ask--but I was glad to know she felt Ok asking me.....as we both have been thru a divorce and she and I are developing a kinship of sorts.

I have been a stay at home mom since my son was born over 16 years ago. I am very thankful I can be home. I enjoy it and have been happy here. I am glad I can be here for others today, it truly blesses me. I see how hard all mothers work period.....whether in the home or at the work place. It is incredible! I see also how hard fathers work as well. Such heros they are. Many working two or three jobs without much of a break. Families doing what ever it takes to make their families work and thrive! It is very nice to be around a community of folks who are trying to make wise money choices with their lives...it really encourages me each day to keep on keeping on. I am often amazed at how some families do so much with sometimes very little. Some of these families I know thru our school....they also seem to be the happiest people you would ever meet. Contentment and inner peace fill their lives. I almost never hear a complaint from them as well. Always seeing the bright side of things.....walking graciously thru storms and tribulations. They truly inspire me and make me feel very humbled at times. They help point out the times I am ungrateful and negative. It is a lesson I need to keep on learning over and over again.
God Bless you all and have a wonderful day.

Narrow Summer Paths

June 6th, 2006 at 02:42 pm

I am feeling so overwhlemed today---
it must be the end of school chaos???
I feel like I keep cleaning up the house and I turn around and it seems terrible again....I just do not get it. I try to get rid of clutter and junk as I go along each day but with four kids.....I am not sure why but things get rough around the edges so quickly.

Hopefully things will get better next week.....we just seem to be off schedule a bit....which is adding to the sense of chaos.

I am heading to the grocery store.....I have to make things work budget wise.
I will be shopping alone, thank goodness so I concentrate. The kids are eating steak and chicken and burgers at my ex's house tonight. She tries to cook but I always hear it is not too good. Oh well....I can't control that one bit.
Hopefully I will shop quickly and be very thrifty. My neighbor took my littlest one swimming today with his grand-kids, that was fun for her.

I have to keep on top of free things to do. I got my fifth grader to help at our church for vacation Bible school. She will help make crafts with her best friend and her mom. That is going to be a great week of fun entertainment for her. She told me today she is very happy to be helping! I was disappointed to see my church is charging $10 to go to VBS this year. I guess it covers snacks and supplies for 5 days. The other church in the even nicer neighborhood is charging $20! That is really steep--maybe I am old fashioned but churches never seem to charge for VBS.

I am planning on hitting garages sales and snagging lots of craft things or just getting some ideas to spark my mind.
Last summer we got a huge box of ribbons and laces...tons and tons...! We made so many things and we are still using all that fun stuff. It is fun to get ideas and make things....my girls love it!

Summer goes fast.....there is a need for down fun relaxing time and a time for some planned structure. I am very glad I do not feel pressured in the least to have my children busy every second. Then I hear all the moms in late August complaining..."where did summer go?" I shake my head and want to say look at your calendar and check book. You paid for your kids to be all over the place doing about everything possible under the sun....you ran them around --from early morning swim team practice, to baseball games, to soccer camps, to baseball games, to art class and summer tutoring, to football conditioning, you squeezed in a trip or two because you have to go see the aunt and uncle....and then you paid for all of it...and now you complain?

We have to be thrifty on where we spend our summer time.
Summer is a fine dance between busy and bored. It is dance between contentment and needing the next vacation high. It is trying to not fit in with the Jones's or compete with them. It is all about walking down a new narrow almost un-noticed path. I am hoping I find that new path...perhaps it has a prickely but sweet blackberry patch along the way and some lovely looking daisies. In the distance perhaps a small creek with the gold sun dancing and sparkling upon it. Maybe I will slip off my worn flip flops and walk in the cool water and feel very refreshed as I feel the moss covered stones. Refreshed in body and in my soul. Then I hear it in a distance thru the trees----- the faint sound of four joyful children, laughing in the heat of a lazy summer afternoon.

Mortgage

June 5th, 2006 at 06:47 pm

My only debt is my house. I am wondering if those out there think it is a good idea to really attack this debt aggressivly and pay off the house.I go back and forth. I did put extra money on the principal last month...... the first time I have done that. Part of me wants to get it paid down as fast as I can. My mortgage is ridiculous as far as monthly payments. When I say ridiculous I mean vey very reasonable. My ex is in the motgage industry so we had the best deal possible. He was very shrewd and knew how to get the best rate going. I just think I would like to try to sleep at night knowing that the house is paid for.
I have read many web sites and blogs and I see that half the folks say pay it off and the other half say.....stupid idea.I know as a single mom I watch for tax issues too----again...not sure what to do.

I was curious to know what your feelings were on this. I don't want to bore you with details....maybe I am intersted to see what people think about house payments in general. I also do not mean pay it all off on Saturday......I am thinking ----adding a little extra money here and there when I can.

My youngest one graduated from Kindergarten tonight. It was a nice ceremony. There are only about 14 kids--we have a small school.The teacher is retiring....so of course she as crying a flood and so were the parents. The kids thought we were all strange I guess!
Eveyone enjoyed the ceremony and all the special words of love and encouragement. My daugher looked cute in her cornflower blue dress. Her sis (Happy 14th Birthday) did her hair....curled with a rhinestone barrette. What a wonderful night of memories.

This Week-

June 4th, 2006 at 07:37 pm

I have a very hectic and nutty week coming up. School lets out. My kids are studying for finals, doing last term projects, term papers, book reports...you name it...! We have kindergarten graduation on Monday night, Monday is my DD's birthday, we have dance recital rehersals and two long nights of dance recitals on Friday and Saturday. Busy weeks I tend to have to spend or buy things I would not normally do-I really dislike that!

I have some teacher gifts, recital flowers......making a desert for Monday night, birthday cake....gifts.....it seems endless and well...a bit overwhelming. It seems like I am getting ahead and then boom.....I am back to spending all over again!

After this week....things should get much more calmer and more sane. I dislike being overwhelmed with so many little details. I need to really focus on having the meals organized for the week, including snacks and drinks.

Tonight we had sloppy joes, apples, watermelon and chips-it was pretty simple but satisfying. My cooking has gone down hill a bit since becoming a single mother. I always cooked lots and made everythng very nice and detailed. I baked alot more too. Now I have to keep it simple. I think I used to try to bake and cook so my husband at the time would love and appreciate me....well it did not work I guess. So simple is so much better for me. I've learned that kids like simple far better than fancy any day of the week!

Today I was doing some spot weeding and two ladies were going for their evening walk. I weeded away when all of a sudden the one lady shouted to me from the sidewalk that my yard looked very beautiful. I shouted back a big thank you!!! Boy did that feel good. I told my son right away since he does all the mowing. It really cheered me up and encouraged me as a single mom. It was nice to have my yard noticed. It just felt plain...well....good. It really encouraged me to get the porch washed/hosed off and get out all the white whicker furniture, throw pillows, candles, worn quilts for the swing and the throws for the rocking chairs....lining the other side of the porch. I adore my porch as it is a simple and treasured respite sanctuary for me and my children along with guests who may come by.

The flags are flying and the birdhouse on the tall pole is tucked in the flowering hydragena bushes......it looks very nice and it has a nice start.
I just need a few pots of pink geraniumns and then I will be set.

Simple....simple....simple....
I wish my week was going to be simple.....but I know it is going to be nutty!!! I will sit on the porch next weekend and relax! Everyone needs a sanctuary.....that place needs to be discovered and cultivated. That is a wonderfully simple gift to give yourself. The gift of being alone and having time to think ...to plan....to dream------how heavenly.

Quick Update

June 2nd, 2006 at 07:34 am

My daughter is not going to camp after all. Her buddy is now not going at all. Her family is going on a very long trip for most of June and part of July. her mom decided it was too much family overload.....so camp is cancelled. My daughter will not go alone....so I will THANKFULLY get a full refund of my money.
We decided we will do next summer and all of us will communciate better and make it happen then. So no harm done.

I have to clean up the house today--it is sorry mess....I will admit it here in the blog world. My home-keeping got overwhelmed this week. I was overwhelmed and so were my kids...so no one got chores done and the ship fell apart a bit!!! Just way too much going on...too much of everythng....too many end of year school BIG projects that needed mom's help...too many little forest fires to put out. Hopefully we will get her back in tip top shape here soon!

Kids are at Dad's tonight....so I am planning on getting it all done by 6pm tonight and then RELAXING!

I know I have to clean the fridge and organize all over the place it seems.....and get grocery shopping BADLY!!!!!!!! I have been neglectful.
So time to load up for the weekend.

I am behind on laundry too----my kids wear uniforms to school but they are now in dress down mode. They earned it thru some different challenges so they get to wear shorts and tees. I love uniforms. Ours is actually a dress code. So they don't look like exactly the same...but the kids at school look fresh and clean and crisp. I like the look and the hassles are non-existent. Now we are about ready to put the school clothes away for good till September. I am feeling kinda melancholy.....my children are growing up so fast. They have been my life and I can see how they slowly are maturing and needing me a little less each year. Even my little firecracker 7 yr old...she has grown so quickly..it seems like yesterday we were flying home on the airplane from Guatemala! She was 6 months old sucking on a bottle! Now she is just a fireball of personality and style! Time flies....

The kids get excited to get promoted to the next grade....it is hard for me. I wish I could freeze time for a bit....or maybe press the rewind button. I have to keep remembering that is my job--to give them wings to fly out of the nest....but they will never fly out of heart....they are forever knitted into my soul. That is a promise we have...to be knitted forever.I have to try to remember that when I am picking up smelly soccer socks
and backpacks.....and when I wave goodbye to them when they leave for school. Each birthday ...each new school year....each momement....we only have a short time.

Ok---off to find my broom and run the dishwasher......

The trouble with STUFF!!!

June 1st, 2006 at 06:02 am

Well it is now official...my neighbor and friend who is still going thru her divorce (almost for three yrs) and who lost her house got the dreaded letter she has to be out of her house by July 5th. She knew this was coming for a very long time.

Yesterday she told me she was hoping to contact a lawyer and see if it can be extended. Maybe the bank worded it in a way that she may have more time. I was pretty dumb-founded to hear that from her mouth! I finally had to make a choice...to tell her well...maybe the tooth fairy, santa claus or prince charming would rescue her and make it ALL BETTER and I could help her live in denial for a little while longer....or be the better loving friend and tell her the HARD TRUTH!!!!!

I choose to tell her the truth of the matter. I probably preached to her about 10 mins or so. She basically then had a panic attack. She has known for months and many many months she needed to get rid of trash....hold a few sales...donate things and pack up. She did have a sale last yr...but she did not make too much money or get rid of all that much. She refused to sell things for garage sale prices because she felt insulted. She had that sale in June of 2005 and it is still set up in her garage in June 2006. She has basically done nothing. Yet my friend...who I do care about--- acts like all is well. Now the pressure is on. She told me how she can't part with her childrens' teddy bears....dolls.....(her girls are in their mid twenties) her stacks and piles and all that furniture! It is a sorry mess. She does not want to let go of her things. I understand there are many raw emotions flying around....I understand completly......since I have been thru the same thing as far as getting divorced.

I now really see how STUFF can take over our lives, our credit cards, our garages, our many rented storage units....it creates chaos and panic attacks.....it takes over peoples' lives!!! It keeps people beaten down and unable to move forward with life. Stuff drags divorces thru years of litigation and lawyer fees, it ends up destroying relationships over family fights over objects and items when someone dies....

WE can put our hope and faith into our things and stuff. Stuff will not bring us lasting happiness. It does not give us the feeling of contetnment and peace. It is very sad about my friend and her losses....she has had many. Stuff can not fill up empty hearts or make people love us more. It can not make a marriage better.

Too much stuff has ruined too many lives.

I plan on helping my friend the best way I can...be it encouraging her, packing up things, or taking over a big box of trash bags....

Stuff can take over our senses and dull us---we need to always be on our guard as far as what stuff we get attatched to and entangled with. This is a valuable lesson we must teach our children and a lesson we must keep on re-learning ourselves. Being frugal and careful with our money helps us to make wise stuff choices. Less can be more in many ways.