It cost an arm and a leg, but it kept my daughter warm even when we had a river in our tent.
The rest of the kids fared marginally better in their bags and ours was I guess ok considering how soaking wet it was when we finally got up in the AM.
Between the bag and the food for camp, we might not make paying the CC off just yet. Rather annoyed about that, but at least one out of the 5 kids was warm.
Our next big purchase, before March of next year, will be a tent that doesn't leak!
It cost an arm and a leg, but it kept my daughter warm even when we had a river in our tent.
I have completely paid off the dental bill as of...well however long it takes ing to pay a bill once you tell it to do so...
Which is cool, sadly the CC will not be paid off this week. Most but not all. Prolly in two weeks. Not sure because I am not the one who pays it, I could be, but every time he shows me the info I forget.
Bad news for the week. I went camping with my daughters sleeping bag, it sucked, she needs a 20 degree or even a zero. a 40 degree bag means you wont die in 40 degree weather, since we camp down to 30 ish we really need to be a bit warmer when we sleep.
So birthday present for my younger son, Birthday party for both him and his sister, sleeping bags for the two of them, and.....tennis shoes for my oldest son. He keeps ruining his shoes. Not cheap, and this is why the CC will wait another two weeks.
While I frequently counsel my kids, friends and anyone else who wants to listen, that counting chickens is best done after they hatch (actually after they mature and manage not to die of diseases...)
I still like to waste a bit of time dreaming about my 'chickens'. That being a metaphor for money that may or may not ever appear.
So here it is, Of course 'regular bills' need paid first, and right now they are, debt needs gone (looks like end of Oct), and the EF needs restored....
but then....after we take care of real health insurance, like for the whole family. Then we want real retirement savings, Not sure how much that would be, but more than current.
And THEN...my dream of dreams...a maid.
I am currently putting a maid before a bigger house, what good is more space if I can't spend any time enjoying it because I am constantly vacuuming, mopping and cleaning bathrooms?
I really really hate cleaning, and I hate being in a house that needs cleaned......
Unfortunately with how many folk we have here, and all being way to messy by nature, we would need a daily maid.
After the maid, then yeah, sure a bigger house would be lovely, or an addition to this one? But really I would rather live a bit closer to all the 'stuff' we do.
My husband had a chat with my one son today about cheap vs value.
They were in the store buying groceries, saw an item with a $40 price tag, and a similar item right beside it for only $6.
Happened to be wine.
Both wines were rated the same or nearly the same from several magazines. So they talked about how, while there is a chance the expensive one tastes better, it is more likely they are both good, and we can save a good deal of money by sticking with the $6 stuff.
I love how many lessons can be learned while shopping. From discussions of how 'having' money and being free to spend it are not the same to talks of health (why buy the expensive bread?) And conversations on value, we really learn more at the store than most other places.
Now if I could only get a free night to relax and enjoy that wine!
I work very hard to keep the initial cost of scouting in both my troop and my pack low.
But I am failing miserably to keep MY costs low. Between the enormous amount of printing, the last minute nuke a dinner, and the constant outflow of food or supplies for den meetings, I am going broke.
Not that we didn't have scouting last two years when I Was broke, just that this year is far better than those. Things are just easier with enough money that I don't have to ask for donations, money to pay for he camping supplies/printouts/food/whatever.
This year the GS is really making it even harder, they have upped the book requirements and made every rank need to do a journey for their badges. I really don't know why they went with such an expensive model. In cubs you can avoid paying anything for a book, all the information is online. We do still buy some, but not nearly as many as the GS is asking for.
Why would you choose to make the program so inaccessible to girls? The point shouldn't be about making money, it should be about helping girls grow strong and responsible.
Before I got married I held down 3 jobs to pay the bills. (and before that I had two, but lived in my car). I wouldn't call that spoiled. Yet I really in many ways was, what I really wanted I got, every time.
After we got married I worked with kids, he worked with computers money was just fine, not dealt with the smartest way, but it was fine. I have no recollection of the total income, but it covered the bills and left too much for being silly (dinner out every night, really?) Though since I couldn't drive I still packed lunch every day!
Even though we both had jobs, we combined the money and spent it together.
Then when we had kids - I stopped working to take care of them. I haven't really had money to call my own since.
It is our money, if I wasn't here to take care of the kids, he wouldn't be able to go make the money. Conversely if he wasn't out making money I wouldn't be able to stay here. I can't possibly see how we could separate it into 'his' or 'mine'.
Most of the money goes to bills (including debt, and savings), then way too much for the volunteer organizations, and after that a bit of splurging I don't think either of us keeps track but all told we both splurge about the same amounts, though not at the same time. He gets more junky chocolate or pops, I get big stuff less often. When he gets big stuff he waits for the amazing deal, and even then doesn't always take the plunge.
All in all though it averages out, and the basics are all taken care of.
It is our money, it has to be how can we possibly claim to be deeply in love if we are not interested in looking out for the others best interest, monetarily and otherwise.
So about that windshield...it is awfully hard to pay someone to fix it if they wont come fix it!
First they said they would be here on Monday, then when I didn't answer the phone the figured we weren't here and didn't come. I know I should have been holding the phone close all do to make sure I could answer, but...somehow 5 kids got in the way.
Then when I call them the said it was too late so they would try again today. (my first free day)
Apparently they called again yesterday, of course I didn't answer, I never answer the phone! I was prolly in a meeting anyway. I called them three times this morning - no machine! How do you run a business with no answering machine!
When I finally get a hold of them to confirm they will be coming he tells me he wont get to it till after lunch time. Now I am glad you have a lot of business, but this is starting to get on my nerves!
Monday I had all day to wait, today I HAVE to be back at church at 5:45pm (preferably earlier)
Sheesh buddy, come take my money! (and fix the windshield)
Someone commented on an old post of mine from 2007 (not the reading addict one). I was trying to remember what was going on at that time, so I peeked at the rest of my posts that month.
It was a lovely walk down memory lane. The Thanksgiving we were all puky (and wonderful friends brought us food).
I was pregnant, but the rest of the house was sick.
That was also the first Winter I realized we had nearly halved our electric bill. (partly with reducing the temperature, partly with minor changes in curtains and such)
One of the neat things about blogging is the joy of looking back, seeing how far we have come, and how much has stayed the same.
I don't know that I would ever do this if it weren't for a few readers though. Some how keeping a journal or diary just for me never really seemed worth it. Between all the effort involved in spelling things actually using a pencil, and bothering to find the same book I wrote in last week was all just too much work! I know I am lazy.
But you give me an audience, and all of the sudden I am desperate to share! Though in my partial defense, some of my audience is family, and it is sorta the lazy way of keeping up with them....
Question: "Why are we keeping a bunch of broken chairs?"
Answer: "Because I don't have a welder to fix them."
Really? Because we do not have the means to fix something we must save it? I don't have room for more chairs, I don't exactly have a use for more chairs, and I really can't see why I aught to use up garage space so that I might someday fix these broken chairs!
Now I do save something things, I have a broken skateboard, that the kids use as a balance tester.
We also have several old peanut butter containers, just so the kids can dump and fill. Lots of other spare pieces of wood or whatnot for the kids.
I just can't justify 5 broken chairs.
So I get up early, lots of plans of getting things done, since time is what I am always short on I figure all I have to do is get up a bit early.
Well since I was holding my phone with the alarm I figured I would take a quick peek at my email, it is right there only one click. TimeSuck! 10 minutes later I actually roll out of bed.
Then I threw a load of laundry in the washer, tossed the few cups randomly around the house in the dishwasher ran that and made a healthyish smoothies.
So far so good. Then WHAM TimeSuck, I sat down to drink the smoothies, and thought I could peek at FaceBook while I drank, I have to sit still to drink don't I. Way later than I want to admit I dashed out the door for a quick walk before the kids woke up.
Now here I am much later in the day, and trust me, between Wikipeadea, Reddit, and Pinterest I am hopelessly behind!
Long ago I stopped buying clothes. While I enjoy the fun of buying things, and feel the lure of adorable kids clothes. I also know that my kids have plenty of clothes that fit, and plenty to grow into.
I don't even save most of the stuff they outgrow for the next kid. I know my friends and family will buy or pass down plenty of clothes.
I have a few sentimental items in each size, but other than that too small stuff goes out the door.
Someone can enjoy the clothes for years before I would need it again.
Once I made it known we loved hand me downs, we were flooded with clothes, and continue you to be each season.
We still buy underware and socks, plus the occasional coat, but other than that the kids are clothed for free.
We got a crack in our windshield somewhere in the middle of our unemployment. At first it stayed up, but as it grew it slanted down into the passenger side field of view.
I have grown to barely notice it, but it does stop us from getting inspected.
And nowadays you need to be inspected before you can re-register your plates.
So with all our extra money we have been paying off the debt...not getting the windshield replaced, because it isn't bothering us.
Apparently it bothered the cop that pulled my husband over today.
So I guess we will be replacing the windshield this weekend, and then inspecting the car, and then dealing with the plates, and then dealing with the ticket.
Today is one of our super busy days, we have this to do all afternoon and evening, and not all in one place.
We flu ally figured out a sequence of events that squeezes the errands in between. And has all the right kids at all the right places.
And one of the biggest obsticals is food. We all eat a lot and eat constantly, food is the key to my kids behavior. Well fed they are not half bad, underfed or an hour away forms avoid and they are royals PIAs.
Toaday I packed dinner, I am staying home, so my husband has to cook. I made it easy on him. Chicken nuggets veggies, fruit, and some snacks. We can use the microwave at church, which is very nice.
It has been a long time since we were caught needing to eat out. Ihave become rather good at quick foods, or cooking the day before. If all else fails I throw PB and bread plus apples in the bag.
I am often surprised at the number of folk who think packing dinner is too hard. Don't get me wrong, my memory is lousy, I am lazy, and really I hate PB sandwiches. But that doesn't stop me from doing what has to be done to save money regardless.
We still eat out once in awhile (less often when unemployed). Just it is usually a planned event.
Not that I am one of those 'forever alone' types that only reads. But that as a homeschooler I visit my library constantly and use it for all sorts of curriculum.
Right now we are working on biology, so I looked up books on cells, ecology, food webs, and a few random 'biology' topic books. At the end of two weeks the kids have learned a ton all for free. The kids pulled out a few experiments from one of the books, pulled out the microscope and watched a few Khan videos.
All in all I am quite happy with what they have learned, and all for not one penny spent.
I also borrow videos for my 3 year old, long since given up on nap, she hasn't yet learned how to be quiet for the 2 hours of nap (that I need even if my baby doesn't) so a bribe of an educational movie helps each day. The movie doesn't last the whole time, but it covers the most important settling in time for the baby, for the rest of the time she practices the oh so important 'shush' skills.
History is another great place to utilize the library. Right now we are working on colonial history. A story book about Abigail Adams, or a story of Ben Franklin, and George Washington is far more helpful than a text book, or workbook.
I also use the library to find books related to scout projects, 4H, and FLL. I could never manage without my local library.
Funny thing, the library I use isn't even local! We travel 20 minutes cross town to get to it, still in county though.
I have seen this type of thing before, and I often wonder if it will ever make an impact in anyone's life.
Do young teens and college students ever see this sort of thing and really consider what they want, or is the shortsightedness of youth - well part of being young.
Link to jpg: http://i.imgur.com/wxKB5.jpg
Sadly I no longer remember how to put URLs in my posts, I need to go look that up again.
Now on the one hand google has a ton of information about me, between my browser, calender, my email, my docs, my searches, and my opinions on plus; Google has just about all they need to know about me to create an AI replica.
Which could be a bit scary if they were a government. in fact maybe they are, truth is all that free stuff they do...I need it. My life is infinitely easier due to all of it.
And who cares if they know I am an overworked, underpaid, cranky, opinionated, forgetful, libertarian, poor spelling, homeschooler. Even if they had the tech to make an AI/Android of me with all that information, how could it possibly help them?
How do they make money on me? I never click the ads in my email, or anywhere else (are they anywhere else?) I guess they get information, and that is power in some ways, but I just don't get their business model.
Which is prolly why I am broke, and just slogging along doing other folks work. I have no vision nor understanding of finances beyond money in, money out (preferably less of the latter than the former)
Apparently we are selling the ipad. Which is fine, I will miss the toy, but really getting money for it is smarter. Though I just might turn around and spend that money on a laptop, or a tablet with flash capabilities.
Really if you are thinking of getting a tablet, don't get an ipad, it really isn't worth the money. Between the fact that google docs doesn't work properly on it, the lack of flash capabilities and the constant fingerprints due to having to type on the screen, it really isn't worth that much money.
Though for free, it is a cute toy. Sniffle sniffle, I will prolly never again have such a cute toy .
We just got paid again, I had totally forgotten what it is like to have money.
I sent a bit of it off to various bills. And tomorrow I will find the paperwork to pay off another. Then we are off to the grocery store to spend the rest of it. So it isn't like the money is sticking around long, but still, it was more of a surprise that it is there again.
And another piece of fun, my husband won an ipad! He went to a conference at work spent the day getting fed for free, and then came home with a new toy!
I cannot see why anyone would pay full price for it. I mean it is cute, checks email and the internet better than my phone, but not as cool as a computer, and too big to just tuck in my pocket.
We thought about selling it, but for all it does it is kinda nice with 5 kids and two adults all fighting for computer time. I can check my email and deal with some documents while the kids use the laptop. Though for the price this thing is supposed to be worth we could have bought a new laptop and dinner out.
I have a wonderful husband he came home from the conference early just to be with his kids, and rescue me from my migraine. He really is wonderful.
This past weekend we had a scout luncheon. Someone forgot to grab the cups, napkins and plates. So on the way out the door I grabbed what plastic 'stuff' I had around.
Most was re-usable. I rarely use 'paper' for parties, so I rarely have much around. What little disposable I had I packed up, after that I went for the tupperware, and the cheap kiddy decorated plasticish plates and bowls.
We survived, we did run out, but there were around 50 folk present, so I am not to surprised. I was slightly surprised at the lack of complaint when folk were told to use a napkin to hold their hotdogs.
Folk were very understanding.
At the end of the event, I had the plates and bowls rinsed off, stacked them in a bag, brought them home and put them in the dishwasher.
It took maybe 10 minutes between rinsing, loading and unloading all together. I am struck wondering why with lovely modern dishwashers we don't use washable plates for more simple events?
Surely we can handle the few minutes to save some trees.
I have noticed that while most folk are willing to be helpful, only a handful can see the work that needs done and totally step up into it.
I love all the help I get with scouts, I really never turn away help. Though I sometimes have to use brainpower to figure out a volunteers skill set and where it would be best used. At least I try.
I hate being the person in the spotlight when there is work to be done. If I am up front directing events, leading a game, or making announcements, then I am not directing folk to refill food, correcting children who's attention has wandered, or collecting paperwork. Besides, I get all discombobulated and say things all wrong.
My favorite helpers are the ones who see a pile of food and trays and start setting up. Or they see the baby wandering up the stage so they find a teen and assign them the task of entertainment so they can get other work done. Or they see the kid in the back distracting others and they encourage them to listen, or move them to a quieter spot. Or they see the crowd of kids totally not engaged and they organize a game. These folk are so rare, but oh so wonderful. usually it is a different person based on who is really having a good day. No one can be that wonderful all the time .
My second favorite are the ones that will do literally ANYTHING. Hand em a baby they entertain it, hand them a group of 15 girls they organize a game or song, hand them a stack of paper and they alphabetize it, file it and remember where they put it, or pass it out whatever they get it right off the bat. Whatever it is they dig in and get it done. Or even the folk that can handle all but the crowd control, these folk are my right hand at all volunteer events.
Then there are the helpful, but not skilled folk. You point them to food and trays they start asking which food goes on which tray and haven't the experience to know you don't put the drippy watermelon on the same tray as the crackers. Helpful, but needing direction. Generally I find out which tasks they are good at and which to give to others. The parent who is great at clean up but not so good with passing out papers, or great with singing songs, but not good with games. Or the one who can handle boys but not girls and vice versa. I love these folk, especially the ones who keep coming back regardless of how often we come up with a job they aren't good at.
Then there are the rest of the parents. The ones who run and hide when it is time for clean up, or the ones who come late leave early and get annoyed when they have to wait on paperwork, or miss out on events because they didn't hear all the announcements (nor read their facebook, nor email, nor the newsletter we sent home)
In my opinion working in scouts will provide amazing experience for my kids for their future jobs. They know who makes a good worker, they know we are always grateful regardless of what work folk give us, and they know in the end, we have to do all the work, with or without help. We always have to have a smile on, always have to 'make do' no matter how many things go wrong.
I thought I was being smart. I have lots of things I need to do floating around, but I generally remember them while I am drifting off to sleep, or in a car, or worse elbow deep in dirty diapers, dishes, and dimples.
So I took to the habit of writing a cute little note on my nifty smart phone. Once or twice it worked, I would sit down at naptime to deal with computer work, and check my phone.
More often than not, I would skip the phone, do everything I had in my inbox, or remembered while doing the inbox work. Then close the computer feeling all accomplished and head off to other more fun, less time affected chores. Like baking, or crafting with the kids.
Only to remember, after we have begun our fun, and messed up the house, the REST of the the TODO list. It is still sitting there patiently waiting on my phone.
I have finally hit upon a solution, I email myself from my phone (ain't that fancy) so I still use the phone, and I have the todo list when I turn my computer on each day.
Only one problem...forcing myself to actually DO the items on my list!
This year I took on the task of getting shirts for my cub scouts and girl scouts. Previously I left the task to others, and well we don't have any shirts.
Anyway I solicited contact information, received 2 business recommendations, and one volunteer to take over for the GS.
The GS volunteer found a perfect company, managed to get a quote and started the ball rolling. We are now waiting on having the kids drawing be 'vector-ized'. for screen printing. I am so excited, and I barely had to do anything.
For the Cubs I debated on just using the same company, but thought it best to get alternate quotes. I sent off emails to the two recommended sites, and the company working with the GS.
Only the one company responded. I guess the other folk don't want our business? Admittedly I was looking at about 2 dozen shirts (since expanded to 3 dozen) But still, a few dozen shirts is more than none, and being scouts we tend to have fairly standard requests, not like I wanted something hard to do.
Ah well, We should have shirts for both groups by the end of the year, I hope to use them as early rewards for participating in the fall sales. (magazines for girls, and popcorn for boys)
Every year I try to turn the AC off about Labor Day. We turn it on for July 4th, and off for Labor day.
Generally we have had pleasant weather for Labor day and find it not to hard to do without the AC. Of course several days before the heat comes on (Thanksgiving is the goal) We find ourselves wishing for cooler weather, but mostly September isn't too bad.
This year Labor day weekend was rainy, and hot. two things that do not make folk comfortable .
Part of me wanted to 'be a little crazy' and leave the AC on, but I figured if I gave in a little I would prolly keep on giving and at some point that money has to go somewhere far more useful than comfort.
One of the greatest things about being a homeschooler is the time. We have SO much more time than school kids which we can use to sleep in, laze around, get chores done, or take field trips.
I love the extra time I have over the schooled kids (I work with a lot of them through scouts, so I really get to know their time crunch problems)
Now you might not think I have any time if you looked at my schedule, because I have filled ALL the time! But I get to fill it my way, with some wonderful opportunities, education, some cleaning (blah) and lots of cuddling time.
The hardest part is the field trips. Their are so many wonderful opportunities here that we have trouble deciding which ones we want to test out. And worst of all, you have to pay for most of them. Or at the least have to drag the husband along, which takes time away from work. (I don't drive)
It was actually easier with no income, we just had to say no to just about everything. Now......well which ones are worth the money (and time)? Is it really worth delaying building the EF by another $20 (with this many kids most places are at least $20) Do we really need to go with the group now to get the discount?
Yesterday we happened to be at Ikea, and we happened to find out that kids eat free, and we happened to grab some food for ourselves, and we happened to stop by and see a couple little items we kinda had been putting off acquiring for a long time.
So we kinda spent about $30.
Only a little crazy right?
We did not get the big black table that would be almost perfect. Nor did we get the scratched black cabinet that would match our living room perfectly.
Only part I am cranky about is not finding some kind of small hanging basket to put in my pantry to use the wasted wall space. I really need a smidgen more room in there. Well actually I need a TON more room, but I see a way to use a smidgen doing something like this:
BTW speaking of pinterest, what a great site to keep track of things I need to try, things I want, and waste hours looking at other folks crafty things!
For some strange reason I wanted to look at a house recently. Now you may have read the past few posts and noticed we are not supposed to get crazy, we have a small debt, and no emergency fund.
So why on earth would I look at a house? Just to get the bug out of my system. While some husbands might have ranted and railed at my apparent stupidity, my husband just let me schedule the viewing drove me there, and listened to me babble about how more room would be sooo nice.
I was 100% certain that if a new house could work, it would, all I had to do was see the inside and either love it and start brainstorming how to get it, or hate it, and move on.
I didn't exactly hate it, but I didn't feel it was worth the effort of moving, and really the way it was set up it wouldn't feel like much more space.
Besides the backyard bordered on two houses with above ground pools, and no fences. Not that my kids are idiots, but one is a very proficient climbing one year old. There is only so much one could ask of her. While I will leave her with her big sister watching for a minute here, I wouldn't trust her around a pool.
Anyway, my point is I have a wonderful patient husband who trusted me not to go crazy. and I didn't, only a little daydreamy.
On the other hand, he wants to buy a new router. For $25 it will be 'so much faster' Actually he gave exact numbers and some letters and more details, but I mostly let all that zoom over my head. After all I have no objection to how my internet works now, why pay to make it faster.
But in the end my real fear was that saying sure go for it on one reasonable router would lead to more and more and more computer things. Or worse game systems.
I aught to know better, my husband is no more stupid than I am. So I told him to get the router.
We are still paying the debt really quickly, we are still turning the air off on Labor day, and we will still be just fine. Not too crazy.
Not that we can do a thing with it...Payment is pending in the bank. So we have money, we can see it, we can almost taste it!
But we can't really spend it.
Though thanks to Ings bill pay set up we can arrange payment for a future date after the the 'pending' period.
I love the ease of electronic bill pay. I am far to lazy for stamps, envelopes and writing with a pen -ugh!
So now that we have this new job, we have money. Of course I mentioned that reasonable amount of debt we have to take care of.
Well it is hard to not spend the money we have. I mean it is there and we have been so 'good' for so long....
Shouldn't we have a reward?
But the smart thing to do would be to stay smart, and pay off all the debt ASAP. and then keep being smart and save up.
First the debt
Then the EF
Then ??? maybe then we get to be a little crazy?
I got tired of guessing which bills were coming out of the bank on which week, so I put them all on the calender.
And of course having about a billion other things on there, I needed a new color for them.
I picked yellow, figured it was a 'important' color, but not a 'stop' nor a 'go'. So slow down take a look and proceed with caution seemed appropriate.
Now when I want to know if there will be money coming in before it has to go out, I can click the 'bills' tab on my google calender.
I love my google calender.
Well, we survived the unemployment. Actually quite well. For the most part unemployment paid the bills. We took on a few odd jobs, received several gifts from anonymous (a real sweetheart). And ended up with a small CC bill, plus a small interest free dental bill.
Both should be paid by the end of September.
Sadly we have no savings left, hope to have that back by the end of December.
The new job pays better than the old, though it is only guaranteed through November. If it gets renewed it should be for another year.
All 5 kids are doing well, still homeschooled, and still as frustrating and adorable as always
You can check up on them at my homeschooling type blog.
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