<< Back to all Blogs
Login or Create your own free blog
Layout:
Home > Archive: September, 2011
 

Archive for September, 2011

You are saving what?

September 27th, 2011 at 07:24 am

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.





Time Suck!

September 26th, 2011 at 10:27 am

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!

Quit buying clothes

September 24th, 2011 at 11:55 am

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.

Might have missed a step in there

September 23rd, 2011 at 11:13 am

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.

Dinner 'out'

September 22nd, 2011 at 11:09 am

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.

My library is my best friend

September 21st, 2011 at 11:45 am

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.

Cute jpg

September 20th, 2011 at 06:01 pm

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.

Google is everything

September 19th, 2011 at 12:33 pm

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)

Say goodbye to the new toy

September 17th, 2011 at 10:04 am

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 Frown.

There's money in there!

September 16th, 2011 at 05:43 pm

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.

So how hard is it to wash plates and cups?

September 13th, 2011 at 10:14 am

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.

See what needs done

September 12th, 2011 at 10:40 am

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 Smile.

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.

Don't put the todo list on the phone!

September 9th, 2011 at 12:56 pm

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.

sigh.

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!

Guess you don't want my money

September 8th, 2011 at 10:07 am

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)

Picked a bad time to turn off the AC

September 7th, 2011 at 10:22 am

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 Frown.

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.

Argh! Field trips

September 6th, 2011 at 02:54 am

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?

Maybe a little crazy

September 5th, 2011 at 11:44 am

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:

http://pinterest.com/pin/128278020/

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!

Trust is a wonderful two way street

September 3rd, 2011 at 12:56 pm

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.

PayDAY!

September 2nd, 2011 at 11:20 am

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!

Don't get crazy....

September 1st, 2011 at 10:21 am

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?