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Archive for March, 2007

This and That

March 31st, 2007 at 05:49 am

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 25th, 2007 at 06:39 pm

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 23rd, 2007 at 08:32 pm

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 17th, 2007 at 05:02 pm

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 16th, 2007 at 06:43 pm

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 15th, 2007 at 06:33 pm

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 15th, 2007 at 06:33 pm

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 15th, 2007 at 06:27 pm

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 12:04 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 05:26 am

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 02:48 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 9th, 2007 at 05:22 pm

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 07:23 am

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 07:20 am

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 07:06 am

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--