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Archive for November, 2008

I shopped black Friday!

November 28th, 2008 at 10:56 am

Folks who know me, know I dislike shopping in general, and wouldn't dream of shopping on Black Friday.

I have often mentioned how ridiculous it sounds to get up early to fight crowds for yet another thing to add to the pile of stuff already cluttering up the house..or did before I was told it was tactless.

Anyway, this year was different, I got up..well not really too early, ate breakfast and then went shopping. I didn't even stop to take off my Pajamas! (don't get excited, cold house, I sleep in sweats)

OR rather my husband did the shopping and I made him put half of it back...from the living room floor.

It seems that some websites had 'black Friday' deals. Ones you could take advantage of from the comfort of your own home!

Dont go crazy with it

November 27th, 2008 at 05:41 am

When we bought the fridge we got a card for the store to use on it, because it offered some sort of deal. Dunno what sorry, not the memory in the family, but suffice it to say it worked out cheaper.

When we received confirmation that we were approved the gal said something like "umm so you are approved with a 10 thousand credit limit, but you don't have to use it all, don't go crazy or anything, we aren't trying to add to anyone's debt."*

Now as a family with cash in the bank to buy the freezer, and then some I could be offended, but truth is I thought it was sweet. Sure she lumped me in with most of America assuming I debt, but she meant well. No need to get mad at her.

If I hadn't been busy corralling all the kids I might have mentioned our financial state.

For one thing that is like the lowest limit we have on a card, we have enough credit cards to buy a house..in CA or NJ. No need to worry a high limit will send us on a spree, those thing expect you to pay them back...with interest!

New fridge

November 25th, 2008 at 01:13 pm

Well we did it we have a new fridge, spent a bit more than I wanted, and boy do I hope my memory is correct that freezers on the bottom are better?

I already love not having to lean all the way down to the floor for my favorite item..chocolate.

I could do without the ice maker, but apparently it is standard these days.

Now on to figuring out how to fill it back up, when husband is at work, and we have scouts tonight...I hope the regular stores are open regular ours tomorrow.

Might put a damper on baking but thankfully I only signed up for fudge and pumpkin pie...I can do the fudge, and if I must skip the pie...need an egg I think.

busted fridge and no babysitting

November 24th, 2008 at 10:25 am

Well we returned home from PA to find the fridge is busted, all the stuff in it ruined, and a puddle on the floor.

Not a happy return, but it was a good trip.

At least we made it in one piece anyway.

I realized wile there how much I need my kid free time.

UE had major trouble falling asleep the first night (he doesn't like nights and strange places make it worse) so I sat up with him, online, but still not free to do as I liked. As I finally fell asleep (I think before him) I realized how much I need that evening to myself, normally all the kids are asleep by 9 or at worst 10 (El stays up later than the other 3) and I have one or two hours to be 'free' or quietly free anyway.

All that nightly time ads up to why my husband and I don't really have a major urge to get babysitters to often.

In fact the last time we had one was while UE still didn't sleep (seriously for like 2 years the boy didn't sleep) poor babysitter was surprised when I told her I don't care if he is up when we get home, so long as he isn't screaming. That was over a year ago.

Not that I wouldn't mind being able to do more, but no not much. I am getting a babysitter so we can go to the dentist without kids next month.... yeah some kid free time and I am using it to go to the dentist!

I gotta balace the good with the bad, besides JC still isn't working

November 20th, 2008 at 01:55 pm

-My kids do 'worksheets' in all sorts of places so we have a few clipboards, one is the old kind with the big silver 'clip'. And GMC thought it was loads of fun to tilt it up and down and goof off while he should have been working on writing.

So why is this a good part of my day? because learning about 'fun house' effects is more useful than knowing how to write neatly in today's computer world, besides it made us smile.

-I do let my kids in on mathematical shortcuts, but they don't always remember them. Today the whole simple fast way to multiply by 100 was forgotten by GMC for some reason.

So I told him to multiply the old fashioned way (write it down) Of course you aught to know, no one in the house likes to write things down, his math is always a problem number beside a final answer, with the occasional barely legible scratch work somewhere else on the paper.


I said "multiply by 1"

him-6.2 but..." more whining

Me- "now multiply by 10, write it down
10
* 6.2 (stacked)

and do the work"

him- ....62..

Me- "OK now "

Him interrupting- "Never mind I can do it now."

Maybe we should talk about problems more

November 20th, 2008 at 08:04 am

I keep hearing "I don't have patience to homeschool". Which is the funniest thing, I have no patience yet I homeschool!

Maybe I should let you all in on the big secret...my day isn't all cooperative kids or ingenious ways to get them to cooperate.

In fact this whole week my daughter has been a royal PIA. Seriously, between forgetting how to write double digit numbers (81 and 18 are not the same) and ignoring work entirely, I am not sure one productive activity has occurred without punishment in days!

Right now I am escaping dealing with her sitting on the floor talking instead of sweeping. My first response would be yell, then punish, along with a lot more yelling. I have no patience for this sort of thing, I figure the simple concept work first then play aught to do the trick, but nope we have to have a battle over cleaning up the food she dropped. (and that is why I am online ignoring it till I work up the strength to speak with her sans yelling)

But, 'this too shall pass'. Last week GMC was the one not working. Kids take turns so far as I can tell. Not that GMC isn't driving me batty right now, he seems to have forgotten how to divide this week. Something he has been doing for eons.

Again 'this too shall pass'. He learned then forgot then relearned how to subtract with borrowing (I was so surprised at how easily his sister picked that one up!)

And UE simply will not memorize his alphabet...I know he is young yet, but really after all this time, I am a bit bored repeating it! Not to mention he STILL pees when asleep (nap or night).

I think 'this too shall pass', I know it took JC forever to learn her alphabet (they all knew the letters long before the order) On the PTing.... well I have heard some boys bladders take awhile o mature?

Little El, on the other hand is adorably content, patient, and gives me a perfect excuse not to yell, mainly that she is nursing right now Smile. Unfortunately....'this too shall pass'!

So please don't tell me you have no patience, all parents have enough, relax, type a blog post or something, then go back to the repetitive life that is the job of raising kids.

"This too shall pass.....I hope"

Utilities cheap here?

November 19th, 2008 at 04:48 pm

Either our utilities are cheap, or we are good at conserving.

My electric only rises to $100 in August (major AC use that month), and my gas only $100 in January (Maybe a rare February).

This is with lousy attention to shower lengths (truthfully that is the one splurge I would hate to cut) and multiple computers on for many hours a day.

Yet I often see gas and electric averages of 100, or much higher.

We do have high tolerance for high/low temperatures (might be keeping us trim..again bad language

And we 'power strip' most big items to keep down the 'phantom' power use.

Plus we have mostly CFL lights. which we are fairly good about only using wen needed.

But other than that we are pretty normal. using dryer, dishwasher, and other electronics to our hearts content.

I did it because I could

November 18th, 2008 at 11:25 am

I have this very old shirt, blue button down, soft fake denim.

I also have a red flannel given to me by my brother.

The blue one has holes in the sleeves so the cuffs are nearly a separate item, plus holes by the pocket so I had to button the pocket flap to the collar to keep it sorta up, and a few other holes to boot.

The flannel had a huge rip up the back rendering it into two separate sleeves, not worth wearing.

So I took the two and started stitching the flannel to the blue one...why on earth I would rescue this shirt when I really can afford a new one (and/or new to me) is...well because I can.

Or rather because I wanted to know if I could.

Can't very well knock something until you try it right?

So far the shirt is half fixed, and yes I think I can do it. I only hand sew, machines bring out the worst in me, by hand is a bit soothing, so I had a relaxing evening fixing some fond memories...but I sure will get some funny looks if I ever wear it out of the house.

I wonder just how much I save over the years repairing things rather than buying new...I have patched pants, 3 pair for GMC this year alone, and pillows, and bedspreads. I don't have a clue how to do socks though, that certainly would have saved me money, GMC is terrible with holes in socks. Should I add up the cost of new pants or goodwill price? just how much is a pair of pants anyway? Most all of our kids items come as gifts or hand me downs, I really don't know the cost of dressing a kid.

Rather fortunate that way. I actually usually have more clothes for the kids than dresser space...the only trouble is all boys tend to wear holes in their pants Smile.

cheap entertainment

November 17th, 2008 at 02:52 pm

The kids heard of "Miss Mary Mack" and wanted to know how to 'play'

Seeing as how I never played I had to turn to the wonderful internet for help.

dltk Mary Mack

Now we have a pattern and the words, kids killed an hour practicing, and I forever have Mack Mack Mack burned in my skull.

Fortunately research shows rhythm is good for babies, so we have a new way for the other kids to keep El happy while I work.

The book escape

November 15th, 2008 at 10:52 am

Maybe I am wrong, but I have great difficulty stopping my kid from reading.

Last night while preparing for company I was grabbing a few last minute things out of the living room, I turned to GMC...and just couldn't interrupt his book over a piece of paper.

I put the paper in the recycling myself. Sure fire way to get out of helping mom...be engrossed in a book!

Then later noticed some clothes of his and did have him put those away...only to watch him read while he walked. Just like I used to do.

Oh thats mean

November 14th, 2008 at 12:02 pm

While surfing and wasting my time today, I came across an ad for some hotel or another.

"It's your turn to host the holiday events"

Then the words were covered with photos of cranky folk you prolly don't want in your house.

Now I know relatives can be difficult but are they that bad? isn't it a good idea to deal with them once or twice a year to remind you how lucky you are to have escaped?

actually there might be some science behind why you need some disagreeable folk in your life...language is terrible, but message true

I just have to say...

November 13th, 2008 at 12:51 pm

I have heard folk think it is safer to have two incomes, but financially I feel better with one.

We have friends with two incomes, both are having their hours cut, rather stressful. Having one income be reduced is stressful enough but two at once?

My one income household can't have that problem, cutting my zero income is impossible Smile.

But if my husband were to lose hours I can go get a job..no not a great job, but I am certain I could get 'grunt' work. Child care and fast food both have high turnover, and are always looking for folk to work.

Aside from the fact that we don't use all of our income for living, we don't even use all of our earning power. Which is why this economy doesn't really bother us much.

Some might argue that earning power could have been making money all this time to store away in case of his job loss. (in the mattress I guess since stocks are so terrible Smile.) But remember what I do with my skills all day is 80% for the kids (and 20% wasted here online!) Not all decisions are purely financial.

This does not mean folk who like to work should quit, Whatever floats your boat folks.

You have got to be kidding me

November 12th, 2008 at 11:04 am

"Make $1000 a day, free software, CC required"

Why would you need a CC if it is free?

The gullibility of some rare folks leave ridiculous ads like this one.


Veterans day parade

November 11th, 2008 at 10:24 am

Actually the parade was Saturday. Because there is apparently mail service on Veterans day and it isn't a holiday.

Now I am not that enamored of the war nor am I all fired up about Veterans at any time, not even the holiday. But it seems to me that of all the things to support with a day off...I kinda think Veterans deserve some respect.

At least the schools were off.

We marched in the parade Saturday with both the GS and the BS, which having two younger children was interesting. I 'wore' EL in the sling and husband had the wonderful job of 'walking with' (meaning carrying) UE. Now UE really can walk quite a bit, but between the wait of an hour and the parade of a mile, he was more than tuckered out. Not to mention the pace!

The GS were chanting during the parade and if we had gone any faster I wouldn't have had the breath to keep up!

I dunno if parades are always walked that fast (the JROTC folk marched, we just race walked) Or if it was just this one, but man I found it a challenge myself.

Next year we plan to use the troop/den meeting before hand to make posters and talk up why we are marching. We saw some really nice displays while waiting.

treat for great sales

November 10th, 2008 at 12:28 pm

We need to pick a fun event for the Scouts, since they did such a great job selling popcorn. Trouble is I don't know exactly how much we can spend, nor do I know what much of anything costs.

My best understanding of the finances suggests between 100 and 200 is doable.

So I am doing some net searching compiling a list of half a dozen options with prices for all boys then when we have the amount I will narrow it down, then at the pack show we will let the boys vote and set it up, hopefully for Dec, or Jan.

Seeing as it is winter and does get chilly we are thinking indoor..maybe with saving half the money for outdoor spring event?

Kids we will pay for adults prolly not depending on cost of event...

looking at zoo (too cold) Discovery place (to expensive) and bowling (expensive)...not sure where else to look

Any ideas? (Charlotte NC)

the corner store

November 7th, 2008 at 10:58 am

Well more like a door way store. Even more precise, in my way store.

The older two (non napping) kids have set up a store between my kitchen and living room, which if I were not sitting on my duff wasting time I would be walking through to do dishes and laundry.

It seems one grape is 10cents or a box of 20 for $2 (no bulk discounts)

There is also blue cheese, "no one usually buys it because it isn't very good, no one really likes it so we upped the price"

Or the 20lb chicken for $100 (half is $50, 5 lb is $25).only available in 20lb, 10 lb, or 5 lb, sizes.

What amazes me, isn't the imagination or the desire to buy things...it is that they have the patience to sort out all the grapes (purple scraps) from the blueberries, from the chicken (white paper) meal after meal after meal, so they can buy them again!

Regardless I am very glad they not only have the time to waste on this, they also already did a weeks worth of 'schooling'.

No off my duff to work.

This has got to be a dentists nightmare!

November 6th, 2008 at 12:37 pm


candy toothbrushes

At first glance I thought maybe it is a special toothbrush to get off candy? but no if I am reading correctly it appears to be a toothbrush made of candy...

Am I the only one who things this is a bad idea?

On a related note, husband just had his teeth cleaned, and was told his crown is not seated right allowing too much room for food, not toothbrush...so we have some fancy work to pay for coming up.

I showed the bill to my son and suggested he save his shekels if he wanted to skip brushing ever again.

Cloth diapers take two

November 5th, 2008 at 10:46 am

Well we tried them when UE was a baby, and found I am just not cut out to wash poopy diapers, plus the covers didn't fit right, and they leaked half the time.

At church the other week we met a cloth diaper enthusiast who sells as well as uses them. So I asked about what she had, some sort of wrap with an insert, and most importantly a flush-able liner for poop.

Seemed like I might try again, so I bought two and some liners to try. So far no leaks, they fit rather well, and I have no idea on the liners, the one time EL pooped in the cloth I forgot the liner! but that at least all washed out easily.

I still can't see me using cloth in PA, but at home, I think I might be able to handle them, depending on the liners effectiveness.

Looking at cost, a dozen diapers would be the same as 6 months of disposable. Assuming EL is PTed at 15 months like her big sister (not counting on it, but making an early estimate to see if I save on cloth) and I would be saving 4 months worth of diapers...

factor in some flush-able liners, and the travel disposables, laundry costs...and it would come out even at worst.

If we have any more kids though.. we would save money.

I could certainly do with less stinky garbage. I think we will prolly go for it.

Rewriting stories

November 4th, 2008 at 10:17 am

My son does have a very active imagination, but when it comes to writing them down...in coherent format. HE tends to stick with rewriting stories he has heard, it bothered me till I found an entire English program that has rewriting stories as part of the package!

So for your amusement, the three little [igs as written by GMC:

Once upon a time, there were two knights. The first knight built a wooden house. A dragon came along and burned the house down. The knight ran to the second knight, who had just finished his stone castle. The dragon came to the castle and tried to burn it down. He could not burn it down! The dragon ran out of breath and left the castle alone.

This time I tried getting them to decide on a character, a problem and a solution before they started writing. JC had a short and simple story:

Susan wanted to be a witch. But she didn't have a robe. So she used her blanket.

So wheres the moon?

November 3rd, 2008 at 10:26 am

In general I ignore the moon. It doesn't help me keep track of anything, and I can't see it from my house most of the time, so why bother.

But my son has developed an interest in it.

Did you know 'almost full is actually gibbous? (waxing or waning depending on if it is going full or shrinking)

Well after a bit of reading last night GMC wanted to see the real thing, so I took a peek outside, no moon visible from either the front or back yard.

According to this site, the trouble seems to be the moon 'rose' around 11 am, and would 'set' at 9ish, I should have been looking behind trees or houses for it, instead of up.

But then checking this site I would have been looking at a 'new moon'...new being astronomers term for 'no moon to see'...

Though I cannot seem to find if that site knows where I live or not.

Regardless we shall make another attempt later in the week. Just have to figure out which way to look.

Halloween fun

November 1st, 2008 at 11:44 am

Last night we went to the church Fall festival and Trunk or Treating instead of around the neighborhood.

Our neighborhood is half folk who don't participate, which is fine, but makes for loooong walks between houses. And the church has games, a bounce 'thing' and no walking with heavy babies..I know I am getting lazy in my old age.

but still it was fun.

We gave out little toys, bracelets, bat rings, bubbles, erasers, and miscellaneous small items, plus the candy acquired from trick or treating at the ren fest.

Several folk came back for seconds, so that means we must have had something good.

There were prizes for best decorated car, the lost boys forest won.

And for best costume, best couple, plus tons of others (we didn't win, nor deserve anything)

GMC was a skeleton- glow in the dark bones painted on black hand me downs, JC a ballerina fairy- homemade tutu last years wings own tights and turtleneck, UE a pirate - last years shirt and accessories own sword, EL superbaby PJs owned since GMC was little.