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Archive for December, 2007

Mommy can I buy you this?

December 31st, 2007 at 12:13 pm

This is an actual conversation I had with my son.

GMC: (holding up some sort of sugar concoction shaped like some TV character) "Mommy can I buy you this?"

Me: "No, it is shaped sugar and prolly tastes like crap, but thanks"

GMC: (holding up a marshmallow snowman with sparkle sugar decoration) "Can I buy you this?"

ME: "No, honey why do you want to buy me this stuff?"

GMC: "But it is spice thing"...(he thought the snow man would be like a spice gum drop, which he knows I do like)

Me: "No actually it is marshmallow (pointing to words on package), But very cool remembering I like spice drops. Now why do you want to buy me something?"

GMC: "I just want to get you and Daddy some junk food."

Me: "Ok how about I help you out, Would you like me to tell you what kind of junk food I would eat?"


Me: "Here, I love peanut butter and chocolate, you can buy me this ornament and I will get junk food and an ornament for the tree. And you can get Daddy the MnM kind"

Now on the one hand, I have an adorable son who wanted to buy me something. Very proud of him.

On the other hand,I still don't know why he picked junk food to treat us with, nor do I know why he felt like doing it in the first place.

Not to mention the kid can read, but didn't bother to do so at all! I am still not sure he knows what he bought me.

So far birth costs about 3000

December 29th, 2007 at 11:17 am

so long as you skip the hospital, and hospitals do not want you calling them to find out their portion of the bill.

Remind me again why I am not going with a home midwife? Right because they are illegal in NC so I cannot find one that is certified, tested, has a legal file on them to show weather they have a good or bad past record. I have to just take a shot in the dark and trust that a woman willing to break the law to help me deliver my kid, knows what she is doing.

Tell me again how these laws are protecting me? How can it possibly be safer to force a service underground?

On a side note, finances are so good due to well responsibility and some decent planning that if the delivery was only 3000 we could swing it, clear out the EF, but currently doable... it is the hospital portion that is the trouble. That and the unwillingness of Drs and hospitals to let me cut out all the medical stuff I don't want. (like a stay in the hospital..I can't rest in a hospital)

So what shall I do in 2008?

December 28th, 2007 at 09:20 am

At the end of the year I read tons of articles on new years resolutions, and well being the tortoise I am, I kinda don't get it.

I do have goals, I just don't start them at any particular time, and like a lowly tortoise I work on them piecemeal.

Not that I haven't tried to jump on the whole bandwagon of new year new goals (big or small) just that I never succeeded. And I think I am finally ready to admit that.

Having denied the new year goal system, I am now ready to put down in print a few of my current goals Smile (that just happen to coincide with the year 2008)

But I have no intentions of waiting till January 1st to start on any of them! In fact all were started on earlier (some last month, some yesterday, some last week)

1. Have enough money in savings to pay for this baby's birth. (due June -been working on this by not paying extra to the car anymore)

2. Pay off the car, this will be revisited depending on just how expensive the baby is. Which reminds me, I need to call around and get quotes for delivery.

3. Be more organized!

$. eat healthier!

I couldn't resist adding the same health and life goals as half the world. I do have some concrete ideas though.

For organization, I need to work on accomplishing tasks for Cub scouts, and the church nursery schedule in a more timely manner, and keeping track of what I did/who I asked. So I set up an excel sheet that can keep track of who is willing to work, who has worked, and who I asked to work. I think I need to add when I asked, so if no reply is found in a certain time I can ask someone else to do it.

For cub scouts, I need to set a specific time and list what I need done..I am trying to figure out a way to get some of the administrative pestering on an excel sheet so I know what I need/have done..but so far not sure how.

I also had some trouble with Christmas cards this year and managed to make a list of addresses that if I can find it next year I can print on sticker paper cut apart and use quickly. Hopefully redoing some of the changed addresses and updating the list this year will help next Christmas. (no I can't use labels, the printer is always off kilter, more stress than cutting a flat sheet of stickers)

On healthy eating, I want to up the portion of vegetables and fruit, I have finally gotten to a point where almost all meals have one or the other, now I want to up the amounts...As well as working on snacks being less junk more healthy..adding an apple to a spoon of peanut butter, or oranges to my chocolate.

I know I know...but I well, don't know.

December 27th, 2007 at 09:05 am

The things I know or could take a test on, I must not really know, because I don't act on them. For example, I know I should eat more fruits and vegetables, I was raised Irish meat and potatoes, or at least the potatoes. So adding a veggie is not to hard, but to remove any of the meat or potato? Now that is tough! But I know the portions are a bit upside down. Just try telling my brain when it is craving 'something good'. I certainly never crave veggies!

This idea was sparked by a health and fitness magazine, sorry I don't get any money mags, too boring... But I think the idea translates into many areas.

Since this is a finance forum, I guess we should talk about financial things we 'know', but don't follow.

For example I know that I could save on the grocery bill by buying more of whats on sale, and less of what I am craving. I even know that veggies, and beans cost less than meat..and provide protein needed. But I don't do it.

I bet in a given day I could read tons of notes about finance and say plenty of "I knew that' yet if I looked at my actual budget/finance plan, how much of those tips would I use?

A quiet, wonderful Christmas..until midnight

December 26th, 2007 at 07:13 am

Yesterday was wonderful...My early bird woke up at about 7am..asking to climb up with a stocking, we talked her into waiting for her brother thankfully. About 8:15 GMC came in and we had to wake up UE. Hey it's Christmas! I wanted to do stockings too.

Of course there was plenty of playing with the gifts, some art, some computer games and breakfast, model building, lego building, lunch, glue 'stickers' made, a nap, stories read, a movie finished, steak dinner, and a few games played.

In all that fun (and I do mean fun) we never even thought about calling family. I know we are anti social, but..well we were busy, with our family.

After the kids were in bed, we watched the extended scenes and deleted scenes, and documentaries that came with the special edition of Serenity. and then we talked about Christmas, and kids, and us, and talked some more. Really we aught to have gone to bed, but around about midnight there we were sitting on the couch talking and the doorbell rang!

A bit of confused swearing (sorry, we really are working on that bad habit) We checked to find the brother standing at the door in the rain, looking mighty agitated at having to be there.

It seems MIL called a few times to talk...6 and was quite certain something terrible had happened seeing as how we didn't answer the phone. This is not a rare thing, I have a cell phone, but I am not always accessible. It is on buzz so that I don't get interrupted during nap time, or feel pressured to rush out from helping kids in the potty. (UE still needs lots of help). Though having the poor guy come out at midnight on Christmas is rare. As in never before happened. I felt so bad for him, but fortunately we all decided we were in a laughing mood. Well not the MIL.

Having no commitment to go anywhere or see anyone we all stayed in PJs all day. Which means Daddy never put his phone in his pocket. And I left mine in my backpack from Church the night before. Now normally I can hear my phone buzz when the backpack is in the room. This time, UE had managed to put it on silent mode so there was nothing to hear.

I am sorry we scared her, I just wish she would relax. And I imagine BIL does too!

The gifts were a hit...at least for the kids

December 24th, 2007 at 09:34 am

Either that or they were good actors.

Yesterday after church, and the kids Christmas pageant, we headed to the Bro-in laws to trade gifts.

The one niece was very 'ooooh cool' about her gift, the other played with hers right away. And the boys played with their laser game most of the evening. They tried to run downstairs to test it out before we even gave them the second present!

Hopefully the 31st and the 2nd my husband will take them in pairs to the arcade, to use up the second half of their gift. (we have done that for birthdays and they seem to really enjoy it)

Unfortunately we are not sure if the parents liked what they got at all. I really am so ready to not give to adults at all. I would be more than happy with a no gift obligation or reception from the adults. I might try to talk my husband into at least testing the waters on that for next year...

I admit it I am a tortoise, not a hare.

December 22nd, 2007 at 10:33 am

Yesterday my husband was discussing a friends from resolution to not eat any processed sugar (or drink it). While I heartily agree in such a wonderful goal. I wonder at how long he will be able to keep up a no consumption resolution.

I myself have spent the past 7 years working toward less and less refined sugars, less high fructose corn syrup and less white flour, both in purchased and homemade products. Did you catch that 7 year part? I am a terrible dieter a terrible person for change. Now that might seem strange to many who have known me, I have changed my eating habits, my sleeping habits, my spending habits, cooking, cleaning, even my teaching habits. But I took a LOOOOONG time to do it all.

I didn't overnight go from diet Mt Dew drinking, sugar hyper, all night partying DINK, to a water chugging, whole wheat eating, 'typical' sleeping, frugal non working mom.

It took me about 18 years to formulate all my 'bad' habits (and a few good ones) and I think my slow tortoise change of almost reversing some in 7 years is pretty good.

I often wonder about folk with dramatic resolutions. Do they work? Can you stick to them? And if so, please don't expect me to! Not all folk can handle overnight change.

The 'Santa' myth, fantasy is fine, deception is not

December 21st, 2007 at 08:21 am

I find the 'Santa story' to be cute, I like watching old Christmas specials, I like hearing different stories of how 'Santa' got started. We read "the night before Christmas" every year with the kids. The kids have a Santa hat and regularly grab and old pillow throw it over their shoulder like a sac and 'play Santa'.

BUT at no point have I lied to them, I do not deceive them into thinking he is real, I do not suggest Santa brings the presents that I lovingly picked out, and carefully wrapped for them. Nor do I center my holiday traditions around him. At no point do I interfere with their imagination, nor do I try to alter reality. Imagination is a wonderful thing, but it is NOT reality. At an age where children are learning the difference between fact and fantasy, I do not hold back one fantasy as reality.

Which leaves me having two kids old enough to talk and understand others are convinced Santa is real, not understanding how they could be so ... dense. Which is putting my sons opinion of them mildly.

How on earth can anyone truly believe that Santa is real? The answer is deception by mom, dad and others, the only way an intelligent child would believe in Santa is due to deliberate and constant deception by trusted adults. Without nearly everyone a child encounters perpetuating the story, Children would fast discover he is just that, a nice fantasy story.

But many parents feel compelled not only to hide their own part in choosing gifts but also to find inventive ways to keep them believing. Leaving boot prints for a kid with baking soda might make for a cute face on a 2 or 4 year old, but is that cute face worth having a 12 year old that is afraid to admit he knows the truth, for fear you wont give him anything? Does our gift giving have to be tied to belief in a fantasy?

Now I know plenty of parents do drop the fantasy when the toddlers and very young grow out of it. But I also know many who fear visiting my house at Christmas time...with there 8, 10, 12, 14, or even 16 year olds! (BTW my children are under strict orders not to argue religion.. including the religion of Santa, so you can visit, we wont try to talk you out of it)

Why force a cute story about how being different can be an advantage, by trying to convince kids that one little red nose can light the way on a stormy night? Why twist the idea of a kind fellow with a giving heart, one worth emulating, by refusing to admit to the children who most look up to you to learn how to act in the world, that you yourself give freely?

What is so wrong about learning from stories without trying to make them real? Elmo is a puppet, controlled by more than one person, Dora is a drawing, who's words and actions are designed by a team. Santa is a story, retold and retold in many ways, with many lessons. Why can't we appreciate the lesson of freely giving without having to lie to children?

The last 2 gifts

December 21st, 2007 at 07:31 am

We generally keep our eye out for Christmas gifts all year long, but this year. Maybe due to less shopping in general, or just bad luck. We were short many gifts come Thanksgiving. Add to that a bad couple of weeks due to new pregnancy and you have us in a last minute crunch.

We went out two weeks ago and bought over half of what we needed in one trip, then we struggled thru the next few gifts. Last night we left at around 2pm to find the remaining 4 gifts. At 7pm after finding two we gave up and went home, UGH!

Today on his way home from work my husband is stopping to hopefully pick up a gift for our nephew (he has a plan, just needs to find it in the right price) Leaving us with just one more gift to get... For UE, you would think the hardest gifts would be for extended family! But nope, we are struggling on a gift for UE. We always have trouble with the youngest.

On a positive side last night my son picked out a gift for his sister and Daddy and wanted to find a specific item for his little bro (plastic bugs) And I got some traditional junk food for my husbands stocking. Plus he bought himself a slinky. His sister found one item for Daddy, but nothing for either brother. Seeing as they are young and it is late I just don't think the gifts will be bought.

We might go out again tomorrow to try one last time.

The 'big' gas bills are starting

December 20th, 2007 at 09:02 am

Every year we have really really low gas bills until December, then they climb and January February are terrible. But with all the changes we are making/have made every year they are slightly less terrible than last.

Apparently in 30 days last December we used 36 therms. This December we used 34 therms in 32 days, both months had an average temp of 50. So we used a smidgen less in a smidgen more days. That is better than using more!

I love those little graphs the gas bill has showing usage over the last year, but I almost wish I could get a usage graph for multiple years. I know we payed more when we first moved in, before all the cost savings went into place (I know that from the checking account records that I do keep) but I don't know by how much, and looking at a smidgen drop isn't as cool as if I could look at the huge difference from 2002 to now.

Let ING do the work, and save a smidgen

December 19th, 2007 at 09:15 am

We live with an HOA, for us it means a pool pass in summer, for them it means they get to waste money reminding me I have a terrible lawn.

Every December we get a booklet of 5 payment slips scheduled for the first of the month Jan - May. Now at first I tried to send in one a month on time..but well, truth is I am the least organized person I know, I hate clutter and disorganization, but I am not any good at it. Leaving me hating myself Smile

A friend suggested I pay the full amount for the year in January and then forget it for a year, at the worst I would only pay one late fee! While I kinda thought that would be wasting my money letting them earn interest on it before it was due, but I also thought, given my organization disabilities, it would be better for us. So off went several yearly checks in early January.

Well this year I have my little book in hand, and my secret weapon...INg, I can schedule a payment right now for Jan, Feb, Mar, April, and May..and leave the money sitting in my savings account (or use excess OT) earning interest instead of paying early!

I love ING Smile

The chicken was GOOD!

December 18th, 2007 at 08:56 am

Last night we had my mother and father in law over to celebrate Christmas..I made BBQ chicken, and it was good! I actually liked it, I usually complain that the chicken is too dry...and I usually ruin some part of it anyway. Though no one else complains the way I do when I cook! Thankfully they have manners.

This time I loved the chicken, not to dry, not to overpowering BBQ either. The only trouble, out of 8 pieces of chicken, the one I served my mother in law was still pink in the middle! ACK. The rest were done, this s why I hate cooking bone in chicken unless it is a roast...the pieces are never uniform in size so you either dry out the little ones or don't cook the big ones, or just plain ruin them all!

Fortunalty it was just the one piece.

I like OT but this is rediculous!

December 17th, 2007 at 09:15 am

Thursday my husband started his on call rotation, I knew we were in for Overtime, but I had no idea what the holidays at a store were like.

He is a computer guy, he keeps servers running and helps trouble shoot registers, printers, desktops and the like.

Well Thrusday he has to be in the office at 5am...and didn't get home till 5pm, at which point he proceeded to be back on his computer for most of the evening, and had a scheduled 'reboot' or whatever at 8pm.

Then on Saturday he had to wake up at 3am to do some more remote stuff from home, then drive in for a 5am call, and didn't come home again till 5pm...at which time he immediately ran to his laptop and began fixing yet another problem...he came to bed at 1AM! that is 20 hours of work!

Don't get the idea Sunday was easy, he was up and on the laptop at 7am, and still there at 8:30 (when our church service starts) he had a short break to drop us off at Sunday school and was back online again! UGH! (this morning I don't know when he got up, but he was gone at 6:30 am, and I doubt he will be home before 5pm)

Don't get me wrong, the money is going to come in handy with Christmas and a root canal this month...but 20 hours in one day?

Please as a favor to all who are serving you at Christmas time DON"T SHOP! Or at least know the harried person serving you may very well have been working for over 12 hours...along with plenty of support staff behind the scenes. All so we can buy last minute gifts! (self included I still need about 6 things)

Things I wish I had known when I was house hunting

December 15th, 2007 at 09:21 am

Well first one thing I did partly know.

1/2. Don't use the whole loan offered! We were offered twice the loan we used for this house, and even this one had us scrimping and barely managing until my husbands last raise! If we had taken the full loan and bought a bigger house, we would be in deep trouble still!

Ok Now on to what I failed to do right.

1. Even if you plan on homeschooling the school district might be important. I forgot two important things...the kids who are in the nearby schools are also the kids who are around at non school hours (or not, in our case I hardly ever see a child under 13 except on weekends..daycare of course) the other that my kids may one day want to test out the schools, and I will not allow them in the Charlotte/Meck system...there are daily reports of guns, knives, lock downs, drugs..I left the city of Pgh I don't need to go back to that. so check your schools even if you don't have kids.

2. The shape of the street makes a difference, if you have kids My kids like to ride bikes, but they can't on our street at all, it is curved, but the most often used street next to the entrance (and yes we live at the back!) The curves lower the visibility, but not the speed of drivers. If I had known I would have aimed for a house further down the road where it is a cul-de-sac, and rarely used by thru traffic (or turnarounds)

3. Hills don't mow, but homeowner's associations want them done. Our back yard is a gentle slope for about 15 feet, then it is a steep drop down to the lower path. I couldn't mow it if I wanted to myself, yet the HOA thinks I should hire someone to take care of it..personally not living in times needing a clear 'killing zone' I see no reason to stop the natural vegetation from taking over (there is now a tree taller than me halfway down, should help keep the dirt from eroding better than grass)

4. Speaking of HOAs, they like manicured lawns! I might still live here had I thought of that, I do like the pool within walking distance. But at least I might have started with a better commitment to the lawn...or an earlier commitment to getting registered as a nature lawn.

5. Your cute kid will grow..and wont like kiddie walls If I was interested in repainting or re-wallpapering this would be no big deal, but I am Lazy. Once was enough. Not to mention the time. So now I am stuck with a blue room the exact shade that will clash with my sons bedspread. Fortunately we moved him to the blank room and put my girl in there, purple and this shade of blue look fine, though she is unhappy with the walls. The next time I do a room for kids I will pick very neutral colors, something that cannot clash no matter what decorations or blankets my kids pick! (actually the paint was done after we bought the house, but many folk paint first, so I figured it fit here)

6. The whole house prolly wont be (nearly) perfect, but the most important room should be I looked at several houses that were ok, many had great layouts for living rooms or dining rooms, or kids rooms. Many had amazing closets. The house I picked I didn't know it at the time, but it had the most important room perfect (or nearly so) The kitchen. For me the kitchen has to have room for all the kids to 'help' me cook and room for all to eat (with nice easy clean floors!) For someone else the requirements might be different. My Grandma for example designed her kitchen to have only enough room for herself, and not to much moving between stove fridge and sink. Many others find the living room or bedroom or those closets more important. Of course I would love all the rooms perfect, but for that I would have to hire an architect!

Hey one thing at a time

December 14th, 2007 at 09:18 am

GMC my oldest was talking about Tiger cubs and how many 'yellow' elective beads he was able to earn. For no cubers you have to have the Tiger badge first then you can do 10 electives to earn one bead. There are a total of 50 electives in the book, for a total possible of 5 yellow beads. Though you are sortof allowed to repeat if needed (but shhh)

Anyway, point is he seemed disapointed that 5 was the max, so I told him he was only going to a be a Tiger till May (9r is it June?) then he would be a Wolf..immediatly he wanted to know what he had to do to earn the wolf badge and just how many parts, and started planning his next year!

Wow, Dude, slow down, one step at a time. He is so like his mother and father..we have trouble slowing down and taking things one step at a time. I love planning...I hate to admit that, because I only like the planning part, making sure it all goes according to plan is not fun!

Financially I want to jump into being done paying things off and done with this EF buildup, and move on to bigger better things. I can plan it all I want, but if I forget to focus on what I am doing right now, I will fail at this step and never need the future plans! (or rather I will need a whole nother set)

I don't live in a museum...

December 13th, 2007 at 09:28 am

I often see something cool or neat and might play with it at the store if it si a toy, or I might just oooh and aww if it is s knicknack or painting, or fancy pretty thing a majig.

But usually I do not buy it. The reason...I do not live in a museum. I live in a house. My kitchen doesn't have pretty nicknacks..it has cooking pots and frequently used appliances.

My living room is NOT a sitting room...yeah we sit in it, but we also 'live' in it...my kids bounce, jump (we hae a step..like the kind for people to work out, solely so on rainy days the kids can jump...) play, goof off, build castles and contraptions. It is a well used room. If I had to worry about them breaking some valuable china or glass pretty thing all the time, when would they play? Besides I am klutzier than they are.

No room in my house is safe from klutzy, bouncy, curious kids..or mom. So no room is cluttered with knicknacks.

On the other hand I like to go to the science center to play with odd ball expensive toys that take up tons of room (build an arch out of blocks bigger than the kid? or a water pipe maze?) and museums to look. That is where the fancy art vase belongs (make sure you pronounce that all hoity toity!) My house is not. Sorry.

Not that I wouldn't mind some nicer walls..so long as they are out of reach of the kids Smile. I just see no reason to buy twenty million pretty things...not when the art over my desk is totally kid made, no rembrant could ever make me as happy as the adorable pirate ship with pirates taller than the main mast. or the pretty princess with three fingers, or the scribble by UE - with echos of his "I did that, I cribbled!"

I guess that means I cheat on the low spending front..the paper is usually scratch paper, the crayons were gifts. and the tape is pretty cheap. Someday when I paint or paper the living room I will have to invest in some sticky tack or something to save the paint.

Dental insurance

December 12th, 2007 at 06:16 pm

Well I researched a bit..mostly I am lost in a sea of quasi information.

I found several plans that are around $30 a month that cover any dentist, and a discount on everything..maybe..depending on what the asterisks mean.

Plus a few that seem to be discount cards, where local dentists may sign up for. I can't get the fine print though... I need that before I am willing to pay for what may or may not save me money!

The one good thing is while hunting up what Dentists might take the discount card I found our old dentist! We loved him, yeah he still did root canals, but he was GOOD at them...very quick, little pain after and his staff was excellent at knowing what to hand over to make the whole thing seamless and quick. Today..was the opposite. I got in the car after mumbling "I want our dentist back" over and over and over again.

So I will be calling him tomorrow to get quotes and ask if he knows something about the discount plans.

(I just googled dental insurance..please if anyone else has better info let me know)

Well that will kill the EF..sortof

December 11th, 2007 at 12:05 pm

I have a tooth that has been bothering me on and off for about two months, mostly I can deaden the nerves with mouthwash and some creative distraction, but last night nothing worked, I was up all night..well until 4am, then I managed a bit of sleep till 8.

So today I called the dentist and got a quote for a root canal..yeah I know self proscribing, but I have been thru this pain before. Only last time I went for a good many more sleepless nights before I called the Dentist. For one root canal the cost is around 800 dollars. plus the Xray and exam, plus a buildup and cap..or is it crown?

All told this little painful episode will cost us 2000 dollars...not really my favorite way to spend money at Christmas time.

But on the upside, it was there, sitting in the savings account...nice to have put it there for this sort of thing.

Having the money and being willing to spend it are two different things.

December 10th, 2007 at 07:47 am

Boy Scouts wants me to register as a member. I am the unofficial secretary/nag of the pack. Mostly the nag part. And I am supposed to fill out a form and pay $10 for the joy of doing this job. Umm No. I am not going to pay money to work...sorry.

Now my husband has paid, he is insured as a leader, BSA covers him, because he registered. And he needs that, he is the Tiger den leader, nominally in charge of 7 boys each week. (though their parents are mostly there)

I on the other hand, am never in charge of kids. Well my own, but never any others. So I don't need insurance, I don't want the responsibility.

It was suggested that $10 is a small amount, and I could 'save up for it'. The point isn't that I don't have $10 the point is I am unwilling to pay to work.

On the other hand we spend at least $10 every month on healthy snacks for the Pack meetings. Not to mention the food for each den meeting. plus misc. craft supplies, we have never asked to be reimbursed, and don't plan on it.

We have the money to spend as we see fit. (that is a nice feeling, wasn't always the case, so I am very thankful that we do have it) I simply have better places to put my money. I would rather buy food or crafts for that $10 than a card for my wallet that says BSA on it.

I need to bake..

December 7th, 2007 at 11:54 am

Cause I am cold Smile. Last night I made coconut macaroons..only I was short on coconut, and no almond flavor. I decided to use lemon, sounded good lemon coconut.

Then since there wasn't enough coconut, I decided to try some flour, just a bit. It didn't help. So I went for chocolate chips.

It actually turned out quite good! I had to bake them a bit longer than the recipe called for, but the end result was quite edible. Nothing to write home about, doubt it will be added to holiday favorites, but at least it was good.

I also realized after trying to write down some dinners we commonly eat for a friend who doesn't like to cook...I have a bad habit of just throwing spices at food and hoping it works. Which 75% of the time it is ok, 10% is terrible, and the other 15% rocks! I suppose if I were smart I would learn how to do the 15% more often Smile

Had to use escrow money to pay

December 6th, 2007 at 09:04 am

I automatically transfer 1/12th of the yearly bills like insurance and the like. I debated on using the 'escrow' or extra funds many times this year. and previously I always used the extra and figured the escrow already sitting in my savings would pad our EF. which is rather in need of padding.

This month however we just paid insurance and tax on the car and had one week of no OT followed by one of less than 40 for DH being sick (no vacation no sick pay) So there just isn't any extra right now.

I had to use the escrow from savings and transfer it over to the checking to pay. Not to happy about having to do it, but at least it was there sitting and waiting for this.

"God can't make people be good"

December 5th, 2007 at 09:32 am

That was what my son said to me while I was doing his hair. We were talking about him controlling himself..Monday I wasn't feeling good and he and his sister were ... bratty. So Tuesday we started with yet another talk about how he has to control himself without waiting for the big mean mommy to force him to behave. For one thing I do have limits, I cannot make him behave, I can just ban him from fun until he does.

And that is when he said "God can't make people be good". Well...Truthfully I believe God can, but I don't want him to do it, even though I would like to find being good easy, I don't want all my decisions made for me. And I can't very well ask to be the one and only exception to the rule! I asked GMC if he would like life as a sim..never even deciding what to wear, or when to read a book, or if GMC would even like it if I made all his decisions for him. I could choose his clothes if I wanted, or choose what he can color or all of his reading.

He decided he wanted to make some decisions and figured having to make all of them was a small price to pay.

I found myself relating this idea of behavior to the recent money tree article on pfadvice
What if money was all taken care of for us..what if someone else got to decide just where and when we saved and how much we spent and exactly on what. Wouldn't leave much room for variety...

That is one reason I am very much against govt control of money. Oh sure they need some for some things, but I don't think they are even good at controlling any money! At least if God decided to remove free will I believe He would be only making the best decisions for us! The govt on the other hand can't even handle it's own debt! The only thing saving the USofA from retirement downfall is that it doesn't get to retire! Somehow asking the govt to take over as Big bro for anyone is like asking your in laws who can't pay the bills to come tell you how to pay yours!

Even if the govt was good with money, "Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day, teach him to fish and he will eat for life."..Govt should stop handing out fish without fishing poles.

Allergic to fake food...

December 4th, 2007 at 09:19 am

So we have been trying to nail down the trigger for hives in UE. We think fake food is the culprit. We had been eating some pre-made breaded chicken patties..easy to make when the rest of the house is sick. Plus a few other convenience foods that all prolly have food coloring in them. And we already have a very good idea that he gets hives from bright red food coloring (like in colored goldfish, or red punch).

So we stopped eating convenience food...until we went to GA. There he had some American cheese, and the Japanese steak house food. Next morning new hives... so we really think it is fake food...I hope it wasn't the soy sauce, we like fried rice and the like. American cheese on the other hand we don't really like anyway.

I feel like a silly overprotective mother when I tell teachers and friends no food coloring but I worry that one day instead of just hives it will be something bigger...

Nifty voting, and why I write

December 3rd, 2007 at 01:43 pm

While meandering through someones blog I saw the nifty new stars for voting on contest entries..it looks really neat!
And of course thanks to all who voted for mine Smile
I checked out all the most interesting titles and did a little voting myself.

I remember reading a tale of a writer who credits his skills to a childhood assignment to write 100 words on nothing once a week. The fellow recalling this was of course an excellent writer..but you know every kid in his writers class had to do the same thing...and most of them were never heard from again. But were they better writers for the practice?

I have no idea, not having a class list or a before and after writing sample to test this, but in theory it makes sense. Which is why I blog every day. Not that I have any desire to be a writer, just that when I do have an opinion I wish I could write it better. So I blog every day, and I make it a personal goal to blog for the contests. Just to have a forced topic to practice on.

I dunno if it is helping my writing skills at all, but I do type faster!

Sorry dude you cannot get the lobster...

December 2nd, 2007 at 12:57 pm

We were taken out to dinner last night and I had a conversation about our former (pre kid) wasting days..two things that made me realize I am inherently frugal..

First I realized even when we used to go to Nakato (Japanese steak house) 3 or 4 times a week...I ordered water. Not that I didn't drink pop then, on the contrary we had a case of diet a case of regular and a box of wine in the fridge at all times then. But I refused to pay 2 dollars for a drink when I had a case of 12 at home for 2$! I would pay for the cooking and the show, I couldn't replicate that, but I would not pay for the pop (or the rum...)

Then at dinner I asked my son what he wanted (another Japanese steak house) and he pointed to a lobster shrimp and something else platter for twice the cost of other meals...I immediately pointed to the price and said no...I wasn't paying, and I didn't feel right about asking someone to pay that much for my kid. (he did get shrimp and steak)

The drinks last night were not free refills unless you got sweet tea...which of course my husband did (He was driving and needed caffeine) when water wont do we will pay for the 2$ drink...but with no free refills? Nah we will take the tea!

Then there is the kid meal vs real meal..we get three meals, one for each adult and one for the three kids to share ... of their meal there was 3 pieces of shrimp left..and rice..Even Daddy had rice leftover! (lunch today)

We just can't see the point of paying for a kids portion that is usually half sized..but not half the price. Now sometimes it is a good deal, so this isn't a hard and fast rule, depends on the restaurant. Plus kids meals don't have the variety of adult meals.

So apparently some frugal habits are hard to break!