Sunday, June 30, 2013

This week in review.

So it was an interesting week.  We came home Tuesday night to my Uncle Bill riding up on his bicycle.  He is the one in our family who knows everything has done everything., you can't tell him anything, and he is completely unteachable.  He has been living with his mother, my grandmother and claims to take care of her, but other eyes see him just living off her.  She is in her 70s with a limited income and unable to afford to feed him.  She has asked him to leave her property after several years of no change on his part.  A gentleman in our church runs a home for AT RISK men which Bill would be considered as he hasn't taken care of himself in at least 10-15 years but after speaking to the man who runs the program Uncle Bill said no thanks and says he will just move into the woods.  Idk.  All I can do is pray.  Bill didn't like the program rules, in by 10 couldn't take his dog or scooter..and he would have to attend church.  I am going to pray for his heart.  My personal progress in this matter is I stepped back and didn't try to meddle and fix it for Bill.  In the past I would have tried to give him a place to live or something regardless of how my husband felt or something.   I am just praying over the matter.  While Uncle Bill was here though, we did finish cleaning up all the leaves in front of the house.  There is just a small pile back by the hot tub but the mosquitoes were out in full force so we stopped working.

We had Wednesday off together as a family.  I scored a free air conditioner that will be delivered to us on this coming Tuesday (we have central air in part of the house) but in the other part there is nothing so when the unit comes it will help there.  While Uncle Bill was here we also treated him to breakfast at IHOP since we know he doesn't get to do stuff like that often.  (unfortunately he was kind of a complainer but all in all we had a good time)  We also picked up a plastic pool from Walmart for the kids  and I am calling it the peace keeper.  The hubs and I talked this week and we were evaluating was this whole me working thing is working for us etc.  He asked me if I liked it and I told him the job isn't's just that the kids get grumpy sometimes because they get bored despite all the things we take or make with us for entertainment at work.  So this was our solution it has gotten very hot during the day and this is working out great

Something else we did this week was make the DIY Lego board game featured here

we played it at work and probably will throughout the summer and beyond

and we made the applesauce muffins featured here    
making the muffins and letting my son help with spooning it in was an awesome connection for us.  And i was able to make a breakfast we could take with us from ingredients I already had in my kitchen.

Many thanks to the creator of Blissful and Domestic, Danielle.  I have learned much since discovering the add on Yahoo that talked about the family who lived on 14000 a year.

Someone very near and dear to me purchased a nook HD for our family as well....So far I have downloaded a free game or two for a little entertainment too.  I also reconnected with the kids by reading them a story one night.  It was so nice to really connect this week.  Do things together.  Sometimes I feel like as a family we just co exist but aren't really participating in each ohters lives.  One watches tv or plays games here while another is working in the house, while another is watching tv in a different room.  So what did you do this week to connect with your kids.  Did you have any unexpected surprises come up? or maybe visitors?

I am ready to start working on some more beautification projects for the yard and try out some more home made stuff this coming week.  This week I made a loaf of plain white bread...and I am guessing it must have been good because i had packed it in the truck to eat for lunch but when i put the dog in to go for a ride i came back around the truck to find her wolfing down practically the entire loaf.  An onlooker suggested that now i have an excuse to make another loaf.  Didn't really make me happy with the dog but it is what it is..

The other revelation I had this week was that my budget goals don't have to be exactly like everyone elses.  In alot of books i read the goal is to get out of debt, and I do want to get there eventually, our debt consists mostly of old medical bills from the last three years.  Our budget plan does include monthly payments to pay it down.  We honestly just ignored it before.  Our budget plan at this point includes getting what we spend under control, being prepared for possibly unexpected expenses, and preparing to pay for winter expenses.  We have begun month two officially and it has been good changes, but I am taking the pressure off us to make our goals everyone elses and except the progress we are making.

Biggest thing i need to work on :my attitude...i do not enjoy all things domestic yet, and better meal planning especially for hot weather days when my energy is zapped from being so hot at work, I do not want to come home and cook over a hot stove.  I have to get researching solutions.  What will you be working on this week? 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A little home made success!

So I have been struggling in my home made endeavors not everything always turns out and I am just learning and am attempting to perservere.  Well earlier this week I had some success.

I made some fruit dip from what I had in the house.  We usually buy the cream cheese fruit dip from the produce section at the store and eat it with our apples.  Well I found this recipe  I made it and everyone loves it!!!! Even though it doesn't look like the one we buy from the store it has been a huge hit with everyone but my son, but he never ate it before either.

I also found this make up brush cleaner recipe at
because for the make up I use it does require brushes, they are caked up because I had just been just rubbing them on the towel and they need some love I have been using them for about a year without using cleaner, but I really didn't want to drop the 10.50 on a bottle of cleaner from the beauty shop especially since we are on a new budget plan. 

Someone also shared a homemade airfreshener recipe on facebook   and I set it up in the laundry room where the kitty litter box is.  I had already ordered some essential oil from ebay because I didn't know where to find it in the area I live in.  I only paid maybe 3.00 with shipping and I have used it so far to do the home made fabric softener with conditioner and also this air freshener and there is plenty left in the vial.

I am still researching and choosing recipes to find ways to have breakfast ready to go for the family in the morning. That is proving a challenge for me.  The weather suddenly changed here and it is hot sticky and muggy and humid so I am not wanting to use the oven...So I am trying to use it later in the evening.  But hopefully tomorrow we will get an air conditioner to run on the end of the house where the kitchen is because there is no complete way around using my oven this summer.  In an effort to be frugal I have used up the strawberries I had to make a strawberry short cake.  Will bake the cake part tonight. 

I am struggling with being responsible for a lot of things in the home and around it. Hubs just feels like he doesn't have the time to help.  I tried to talk to him about it but he feels like he is doing his part...even when I suggested there were different ways he could use his time, or lead us, or pray with the kids or teach them biblical things, but I guess his heart just isn't receptive yet, So I am still praying and working through my bible study and sharing with my 7 year old when I glean something from God's word.  Anyway I tried to talk to the hubs told him I feel like I carry the weight of everything for the family.  All I can do at this point is pray and wait for my heart to be changed while I wait to see if hubs changes I guess.  He is extremely loyal and I know he loves his kids, I just try sometimes to encourage him to be more interactive.  I sware lately if I see him sitting his feet are up and it does drive me a little crazy.

As far as the house goes, the living room is looking great.  My bedroom is this weeks project it is a disaster I tried to take a picture and post it but something went wrong.  Maybe I will try again tonight. Wanted to do a before and after kind of thing to mark progress.  The cleaning part I can do alone but I will probably need the hubs to help with moving furniture.  Tomorrow is our day off, I hope anyway....I know I have one errand to run.  I really wanted to hit the scrap yard but I can't load it all without the hubs and he has already pretty much said he won't be helping tonight or tomorrow.  And the landlord wants the yard finished but my bestie and her son backed out on me now with whatever she is going through so it is up to me.  So I had a bad day under the weight of everything yesterday and hubs says I am not being happy. I tried to explain to him why.  You can't always wait for what you think is the perfect time to do something...sometimes you just have to do it.  (but for his help I have to wait till he thinks its the perfect time which is usually six months from now) 

At least some of the home made stuff turned out!

Friday, June 21, 2013

don't know where this is going

So I have not decided exactly what the purpose of this blog is except to say we can really be different from what we know or have learned, it is possible to change...even if it feels impossible.

I don't have any neat or thrifty posts to post yet, no projects...but there is one in the works.  We are still making changes and this Friday will be the end of our first official budgeting month!!!!!  We have been following our own adaptation of the Economides plan from,  "America's Cheapest Family"  I am excited we did make a mistake in week two but we did not touch any bill money as we might have in the my budget was uncorrupted :) that is progress for us.  My hubby decided to adjust his goal a little....with wanting to go away in October for our anniversary it meant we couldn't do anything at all projects or anything.  It was hindering me trying to do things homemade etc because I don't really have any supplies built up.  So now we are shooting for January 2014 instead and he has agreed to drive and stay at a hotel outside of Disney which saves like 40.00 a night at least and breakfast is included at the hotel we are looking at now.  So this will basically be Christmas for the kids.

Where we are at with homemade:  Looking into what is needed for food storage and checking to see what kind of space we have.  I made some jewelry pieces this week for the first in years but I need one or two things to make em just right. I did make my own homemade fabric softener with is not as fragrant as I would like so I am still tweeking that.  It all seems overwhelming though, I get upset when something doesn't turn out perfect the first time but Winston Churchill says this "Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts."

So I am not giving up.  That big old tree branch and its buddies are finally off the house so I can begin slowly moving forward with some yard enhancement ideas.  And I can get in my shed!!!!!  It was a couple of 70 year old neighbors that took it down.  The electric company etc had given us all warnings not to mess with it...but the guy who owns the property the tree was on was like ...ain't nobody gonna tell me I can't do was funny...I felt bad though that we didn't get to help. It was just done when we got home from work.  I just have to finish cleaning up the yard which should happen Saturday if the rain stays away.  So I am busy researching all the things I know nothing about like plants and gardening.  I had some free plants lined up but I think that ship may have sailed.  My bestie and I aren't really talking right now...I think she is having a midlife crisis and she won't talk to me because I know and she knows some of the things she is doing are wrong.  So she is avoiding me mostly because I call her out on it....

I am still reading my first place for health bible study....trying to work through some each day.  I have not been brave enough to step on the scale this week.  Oh but I did find out my A1C is 6.4 down from 6.9   so I remind myself while I have not lost weight it is progress :) and my avg sugar is down from 151 to 137.  We doubled my metformin dose for now and I am working on my eating habbits.  I have been trying some hungry girl recipes.  If you have not heard of them  check em out at  I had the craving CapnCrunch shake this morning for breakfast.   I make there version of mashed potatoes too and my whole family eats em!!!!!!!

Have a good one!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

And my hubby sets a goal

That i think is crazy but we are in this together. so the whole family (even the lil ones) are on board to try and meet this goal.  In October hubster and I will be married 15 years.  Something i noticed over the last week or so is that our budget didn't really have an anniversary or christmas category in it.  Well I was looking for home made pinterest type ideas for our anniversary.  Most years we really do everything homemade anyway...or dont spend much.  Well i was just thinking of purchasing some nice hand stamped jewelry and it would have been maybe 60.00 along with a nice dinner out, and i wanted to get some romantic photos...I was thinking 100.00 tops. So i was gonna incorporate that into the budget.  Hubby gets it in his head today that he wants to go with the kids to DISNEY for our 15 years...

Seriously we only have like 4 months to save up the money and it comes to like 3000.00 (that includes hotel tickets and airfare) but seriously....we are just getting to our feet sort of...i feel like it is too big of a goal, but he wants to give it a real try.  I also have a small trip to take with my kids in July with a friend to Rhode Island (we are accompanying her on a business trip) so there is no hotel cost for me and the kids cuz i will be taking care of her daughter during the day.  So i will need money only for half the gas which is about 70.00 and then money for two outings with our kids....its my son's birthday so i want to take him out at Dave and Busters and then we are going to Build a bear cuz there isn't one around here and he really loved it when he was little and his sister has never been. (yes i know none of these are necessities) i will have the gas money set aside in the small vacation budget i made by the time we go, and my outing money is going to come from some scrap metal i need to take to the dump the motorcycle shop guy i work next to even gave me some to take :) i dont know how much money i will get for it yet because all the stuff is trapped in the shed by the tree that fell on the house and in the side yard (not sure when that will be resolved. ) We offered to cut it up ourselves but we are not given permission because it fell over a small power line.  The last trip of the summer is a small camping trip that we are splitting the cost of with two friends in August.  So the whole trip will cost us like 40.00 and it will be "dad" Mr. B will let me use his camper for free which is cool.

Speaking of which tomorrow is Father's Day.  I do not speak to my biological father despite the fact that I lived with him for 10 years of my child to teenage life.....but i do have a wonderful man in my life that i call my step dad,  Mr. B...he was married to my mother when she passed, and although he was not able to be part of my life from like 10 to 17...when i graduated high school i called him, he came to my graduation and hasn't missed being part of my life since.  He is a wonderful grandfather to my children.  (my biological father has never met them even though we live within like a half hour of each other)   I am having a dinner for Mr. B and my hubby tomorrow night...chicken bacon and cheddar all baked together with homemade mac n cheese along with succotash and a home made eclair dessert.  (i wasted alot of previous years wishing my biological father would come around despite the horrible ways he treated me i still craved his approval, but i realized i just couldn't see and appreciate what I do have in my life which is my husband and Mr. B) So I am making a conscious effort to change that.  Chances are I bet you have someone in your life too that you might be overlooking or under-appreciating...Its never to late to begin again :) and stop and show some love :)

Anyway I plan to show some appreciation to the men in my life tomorrow...very excited.  Dishwasher is running after we had a end of the school year party for my baby boy who got a straight A average for the year.....this was his first year in public school (we homeschooled before) so he got to have a pizza party (i cheated and bought Dominos) and we had a sundae bar.  Unfortunately there are so many dirty dishes that I will have to run a second load but it was worth it! 

Last note for the a call from the doctors office, I am being called in to go over that blood work I had done to earn that incentive from my health insurance company......I will see Wednesday what is up.  And I had my eye exam far I have earned 90.00 of the 130.00 offered....the class to earn the last part of the reward is not being offered in my area...we will see what happens.......

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

too much at once

Hubby is telling me to do one thing at a time. I am finding all the changes I am trying to make overwhelming...hubby is telling me to calm down.  To pick one thing and focus on it.  That is soo hard for me.......I am randomly active i bounce around from thing to thing.

So in effort to take his advice though, We are still making progress with the budget but i have discovered some things to be difficult and hubby says it is a work in progress. (i sware around every corner seems another loose end to tie up)  However at least we have had the funds to take care of those things as they have come up and we aren't completely that is a nice not have an empty account from pay day to pay day.

 He has also told me to focus on only one homemade thing at a time.  So this week I made home made cinnamon bread in my bread machine.(my kids usually eat the pepperidge farm cinnamon swirl bread) was wonderful i should have taken a picture...cuz when i attempted to make a second loaf it was a total flop...can't figure out what i did wrong....except maybe forgot to add the butter...but would that make that much of a difference...idk.  No more attempts on homemade bread until i can go grocery shopping...I am almost out of everything.  No money till the 15th for groceries i am trying to research and be creative with what we have in the cupboards. 

Oh and after the landlord letter and all the emotions that go with it we worked really hard to make progress on the you know what happened a tree...very large tree branch fell on the house and onto the side the yard...the side we cleaned up! 

We are still waiting for the property owner to find a company to clean it up...but i was so you know how much debri will be in the are we cleaned up first i was so upset and was like see this is why i don't do anything i try and something goes wrong...but i was able to turn off that same old record playing in my head....and decided it was time to "change the music" and instead give God thanks that no one was hurt and it appears that there was no structural damage to our roof...however it did motivate me to get that renters insurance we had never had but i made room for in our new budget.  I also switched insurance companies and saved about 15 a month between renters and an auto i felt that was an accomplishment.

I also ran for the first time in a long time...that's right all 261 pds outside at 530 am flopping hurt pretty good that night though so i didn't run today...i may try tomorrow morning.  I feel like i am trying all these things and not getting anywhere...Oh well....hubby is trying to tell me not to give up...but in our history that is always the easier thing to do......Tomorrow is another personal day off and hubby and I get to take it we are both getting bloodwork done and I am having an eye exam (dilated) taking steps towards knowing where exactly i stand with my diabetes...etc...and working my way toward that 130.00 reward card my insurance is offering for getting those tests done..woot woot!!!!

Oh and here is my little tip for the day.....all the books and blogs i read talk about research your research....well when doing that online I try to use the swagbucks website at

and i earn what they call swagbucks sometimes after i have done a search and can use them to redeem bucks for merchandise or anything else in the "swagstore"  I usually get Walmart e gift cards....I haven't used it as much as I could have this year and I have still made about 20.00 in e gift cards in the past six months.  With all my research though I intend to start earning more regularly.  You can also earn swagbucks by taking surveys and a bunch of other might be worth your time to take a look at it.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

at 32 I have learned it just ins't true!

You know I am just here doing a bible study and I was reading Psalm 139 13-16. And I spent a lot of my life being told I was no good no one would ever love me etc etc..(by my father of all people and the family and others I grew up with)..I lost my mother at a very young age and have had much difficulty holding on to personal memories of her, but as an adult others that loved her have shared with me glimpses of her life etc....I wish I had got to keep my mother but God made her and I know she did have Jesus in her heart and must be with him in heaven now...but as I am reading this verse I am reminded of a recent conversation with a woman named Rosa who was an old friend of my mom's  and found one of my uncles who in turn directed her to me on Facebook and she shared with me a story about my mom. I am someone's miracle.  My mother really wanted me and was thrilled when I was finally conceived (my mother had severe health issues her whole life)  between that story and God's word it just washes away so much of that brokenness created by others in my life that caused me to carry heavy baggage of feeling no good and unloved ...... .     Oh and the icing on the cake is I have wonderful people that love me...some family I was born into, some family I was not born into.....and some were born to me and despite the differences we sometimes have I have had a wonderful and loyal husband for 15 years (almost).  So all those things those mean and spiteful people said...just weren't true.  I wish it hadn't taken me until 32 to realize it just was never true.
And I have no doubt that you too are someones miracle...whether you know it and can see it or not!  I highly recommend finding the song by Britt Nicole called Gold on you tube...
that is all I have to say for today >>>>

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Woohooo Wednesday!!!

Had a decent day today.  It was mine and hubby's first day off together since we both started working.  His first official whole day off since he started back in February!  We headed to Salisbury to see some family and ended up getting treated to breakfast at the Golden Corral by my wonderful Uncle John.  Our son had school but our princess was with us and she got her very first official hair cut today!!!!

I am not sure if it was harder for her or her daddy....he loves long hair and thinks it is gorgeous...she is about 2 and a half and hubby has been the only one to ever cut her hair and even then it was just her bangs.
The Hair Cuttery did a great job and when she was done they gave her a certificate for her first cut with some of her hair on it that i will frame for daddy later.  

I also got a new summer do....

I plan to touch up the color myself later this week.  I wear red in the back and have seperated the front to be blonde.  It cost me like 8.00 to do it myself.....the color that is.  I ended up having money for the haircut because i had paid for my son to go to a ballgame this past Sunday and the girl who took him refused to use any of the money i gave her and she gave it back to didn't have to touch my budget to get the cut...and daddy paid for the princess....(when we started the budget plan he wanted to keep his tips for himself) being a tow truck driver he may not get them alot...but i agreed to let him keep them and do what he wants with them....

So our first trip to the mall on a budget wasn't bad...i did see things i wanted but for some of it i was able to see it and say i already got something i can use....or i was able to admit i really don't need it and the desire passed. Hubby even saw something he wanted apparently had enough money for it with his tips he tried it on walked around the store....and really thought about his purchase and decided NOT to make it...I think it is at least progress.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

New beginnings and set backs.

Well this is it...we got our first paychecks in June, and for the first time hubby and I sat down and did a real budget to include all the expenses we could think of.  It was nice that he sat down to crunch the numbers with me. (i don't feel as if we work on alot of serious matters together)  It was a headache to seperate everything into all these categories and keep a balance sheet but I am sure as we go along it will get easier and take less time.  I think we have over 20 expense categories.

In the end we had 38.25 to go into our paycheck witholding (talked about in the America's cheapest family book)  Toughest thing so far....seeing something you really want admitting you don't really need it and walking away.  Oh there was the cutest pair of heels on a facebook second hand site I wanted in the worst way, and another friend making beautiful hand made art, and while i wanted, i walked away.  I also really want a hair cut.  Hubby and I had a deal about our hair (he usually shaves his head) but when he stops shaving his head i stop getting mine cut.(he loves long hair, but i started getting a short cut years ago)...well he shaved his hair down today (but didn't go bald this time) and he was able to take care of his for free.  Me not so much luck.  So I think i have a credit from a few months ago at our local cosmetology school for a free haircut.  They were closed today so I could not confirm this.  And there is not enough money in my health and beauty expense account for a hair cut :(


Well it's more emotional then anything.  I think I have spoken before in a previous post about being undisciplined in the area of keeping the house, and taking care of my body etc.  Well I was taking steps and getting godly counsel from a fellow christian believer online and beginning to make baby steps to make some corrections in terms of keeping the house.  I was super excited about some outside trying to get an old hot tub working so we could have free entertainment basically and a nice romantic relaxing spot for me and hubby and a place for the kiddos to splash sometimes.  I wanted to create planters and grow some of my own plants etc and put up some lights for evening barbeques with friends.  Well our property owner came by and was disappointed that there were leaves and things in our yard.  He said we were not keeping a good testimony in how the property appeared.  I cried almost all afternoon over his message.  I feel i carry the responsibility of doing the yard work, keeping the house and caring for the kids along with whatever everyone else thinks they need from me.  So for me the wind was sucked out of my sails.  My hubby has his list of reasons that he is often unable to assist...and i just don't understand how to get everything in....anyway we don't get to use the hot tub per our landlord to discourage anymore laziness from us.  We didn't have a clear written agreement about what exactly was expected and the time frame that leaf removal had to be done...i just put it off till better weather and it has started being nice here.  There are so many leaves on our property that its really hard to get the work done quickly...but the landlords note came on a day after i had worked really hard with my bestie's kid and my kids on the yard...we shoveled and raked leaves for a couple hours and made little headway because there were so many. And now i cant plant or make yard changes without permission so all my creative ideas are on hold.

(i wanted to tell my landlord he doesn't understand my circumstances, he knew we had no money so i couldnt afford to take the leaves hubby was too embarrassed to take them and dump them in the landlords yard (with the landlords permission of course, they live in a really nice neighborhood he didn't want to mess up anything) and hubbys job does have him on call 24/7 so he is struggling with balancing personal responsibilities with work ones, my daughter was sick and in the hospital twice within a months time, and has he ever tried doing yard work while watching the little ones to keep them out of trouble too?  Not to mention because of the financial issues i took a part time job with the hubby(thankful for it...its one of a kind for me cause i get to take my kids) but that really threw me into a tail spin with balancing my issues getting 4 people out the door with enough stuff (food etc because we wouldn't just be at home where we could grab it) for a whole day was a challenge to me.  And now the job turned into full time.) 

So now that I worked 47 hours last week i need to find a way to feel like having an in home date night tonight and a physical relationship with the hubby after he is done patrolling the parking lots taking care of illegally parked cars down by the beach.  Where do you guys get the energy to be wonder women?

Also I had a really high fasting blood sugar again this morning a whopping 170 highest i have ever seen fasting.  so i am just thinking to myself what am i allowed to eat...lettuce and water.  I guess I am trying to make alot of changes at once and any reproof and rebuke is not being recieved well by my heart right give me a couple weeks to get really good and going then tell me what i am doing wrong so i can correct it...don't slam the door in my face just as soon as i opened it.  

Okay done venting now....on a positive note i scheduled my medical tests and an eye exam...i want to know where i stand and evaluate my treatment if the doctor does not help  and guide me i will search for a new one.  Plunging forward trying not to feel discouraged and filled with the desire to quit.