Thursday, October 30, 2014

Life Unscripted

I guess if life came scripted it would be predictable and boring right?

Today is Thursday October 30th, and well the week has been interesting, my daughter needed a visit to see the doctor for a pretty nasty ear infection that was causing her to cry and scream at bed time.  I only by God's grace discovered this morning that we met our financial goal, I can pay the current rent, old landlord etc, and still have a few bucks left over.  This is so the Lord's provision.  We have had unexpected prescriptions and doctor's appointments, another unexpected 80.00 bill automatically deducted from my checking account, and my husband's paycheck was short 180.00.  ( His employer is working on fixing it but as of yesterday morning, I was 150.00 short of being able to pay everything.)  Yesterday morning I resolved not to worry about it and simply prayed and admitted that I am at the end of me, worrying all month did nothing.  I told myself I really don't care anymore...That there are worse things, that i would just go to each person I needed to pay with what I had.

To my surprise, I got a final paycheck from my previous employer, and it was more than expected.  To my unpleasant surprise this morning I discovered that my big dog had an accident in her crate, it was just urine but wow was it smelly so I have been mopping and cleaning a crate this morning.  Contemplating doing the dishes (again) I hate doing dishes.  I have become exhausted and overextended this week trying to take care of everyone and working on my own to prepare meals for 11 people.  Now some of you do this everyday and you don't bat an eye, and I say wow to you, keep up the great work.  I told both my nephew and his wife this morning, that I am taking the next couple days "off" so to speak.  I am not cooking.

My husband and I may sneak away with our kids tonight and eat a little Caesar's pizza at the park or something...and tomorrow if the fall festival doesn't have food, then we are doing .50 corn dogs at Sonic....that is their special for Halloween.  I will take our own bottled water and we can eat dinner away for 1.50. (((SHHHH I AM GOING TO BE WASTEFUL)))))))

I did do some thinking and reflecting as well, and my husband and I did some more talking this morning.....I said I think it was a mistake to take in our nephew and his family, that while we were working to live within our means, that is all that we have, is enough for us to live within what we have (and as alot of you who live like that you know it takes work, and sacrifice) and we took on another family and we just are not able to support them.  We are only a little more than a year into really looking at what living within our means is exactly for us.  We were not strong enough to do this.  Looking back over the years though, we always want to help someone and play rescue ranger and I think we have to stop.  Whether it is taking in homeless or financial struggling people in or lives or animals.  We have to stop saying yes. 

We also talked a little about money, and he says that despite what living within our means with his income only means we have to do or not do....he is happy that I am home.  He says when I went back to work, he learned he needs me here.  I make a difference.  That is nice to hear, and I will have to come back and read this on a day I struggle with depression and think I don't make a difference.

So if you are struggling thinking life is difficult or mundane, or too full of surprises, what you are doing does make a difference.  You are important to the people in your life.  You are important to me.  Just an encouraging thought.......and a nice warm fuzzy....

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Sharing ways we save

is really short and sweet this week....

I participated in a local church's bread basket program again....we get left over panera bagels and some other goodies stores couldn't use or sell before they go bad, but those bagels sure do fill 11 hungry tummies with a side of eggs on Sunday morning!

While at the bread basket a lady had stuff in the back of her trunk asking everyone to look and see if there was anything anyone wanted.  She gave me a dress that had some funky colors and a pair of nine west heels that match.  I tried on both today, they fit, with the dress being great but would be better if i work on my waist line, in the mean time i plan to wear it with a sweater or dressy jacket!

I stayed home.

Unplugged things and turned off switches for things when not in use.

Found what my daughter wants for her birthday on Craigslist with the help of my nephew and can get everything for 40.00 instead of $100.00.  (don't worry i wouldn't have really spend the 100.00 we were just pricing things.)

Frugal Flops:

My husband bought his lunch out one was only 5.00 but still it was supposed to be a no spend week.

One more week and I will total up everything hoping to find that I have enough to pay both my rent and the bill to the old landlord.  One more week.  Stay home...and save.

What are your budgeting plans....

Friday, October 24, 2014

Life Unscripted....the green eyed monster

I have officially been the green eyed monster....otherwise known as jealousy.....

Does anyone else have this problem.  Everywhere I go lately I see ladies dressed nice, hair done, nails done, and the family that is staying with us was just awarded 1675 in child support so they will be bringing in over 3000 a month between that and my nephew's working income.  I find myself jealous and coveting wishing we brought in that much money a month.  (I mean it's a good thing because they should be able to move out of our house soon.)

This week has brought and outbreak of lice in 4 of my nephew's five kids which brought on head lice a day or so later in my daughter, and my son was emotional because he feels like my nephews kids have different rules, and there came arguments about bed times etc.  We have had talks about how doing the right things whether or not someone else does can at times be difficult.  My nephew also has a point in that he says just because they don't do things our way that it does not mean that their way is wrong.  There have been arguments about what shows are allowed to be watched in the house etc.  We do not allow horror shows etc and that is what my nephew and his family like to watch despite the fact that in my opinion his kids are too young.  So they want to stay up late in our house and watch them.  This is making it difficult for two families to live together.  I guess I just don't have the loving heart Christ would want me to have when it comes to helping others right now.

So now a second tent is being put up in the yard because my nephews older kids do not want to go along with our rules, so my nephew is moving them out to a tent in the yard. 

A bright spot in the week was that my daughter did not have to get a cast, but just a brace that we can actually take off at bath time and she only has to wear it for three more weeks!  She is much happier with the arrangement.  I had a picture to share but I have satellite internet and I advised our house guests it was not for streaming but they streamed until I have no more data left and I cannot load a picture.  I barely have dial up connection speed because of the streaming. (I think that is my  husband's problem, it isn't so much the sharing of our stuff, it's the stuff being taken, used, not replaced, and used without the courtesy of asking......)

 ( I know I need to start making that list of things I am thankful for, we are healthy, we have a home, my husband has a job)  Sorry I just needed a moment to reprogram my thinking......  Everyone has bad day...days when we are selfish right?

I talked to my husband about how I was feeling and he said he would rather have exactly what we have then to go through whatever someone else has to experience to get what they have.  It was a good and comforting point that is pulling me out of my grouchy state.  So I guess I have an ugly heart, but at least I am honest, and I am not pretending to be something that I am not today.

“Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. ”

Carrie Fisher

and so I am giving up that resentment :0)

How has your day or week been?  Do you have "Debbie Downer," moments too?

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Sharing Ways We Save

It has been a while since I have shared, or maybe even taken in account anything we did to save money.

Now to reign it all in.

This week we were able to glean some hay from a local feed store.  As long as you pick it up off the ground or clean off the stairs it was free.  We got 4 walmart bags full of it, and will use it for the chickens to lay in and maybe our dogs (if we ever get a pen built.)

I was given a free pair of very nice dress shoes with Dr. Scholls inserts in them by my nephew because they don't fit his daughter.

Aunti L gave me a shopping bag full of hand me down clothes for each of my kids.

We decided not to order school pictures for my son, but experiment and take some of our own or find a way to get nice pictures done for less.

I also participated in a local church's bread basket giveaway and took advantage of a food bank that another local church offered.  With 11 of us in the house, we were not prepared quite enough to feed everyone and this will help us become better prepared.  The local schools have been sending home a sack of  snack items for each of the five children that live in our house that are considered to be homeless. 

We worked on our budget, and I tried to help my nephew with his using what I have learned in the past year and a half.  I know he payed his bills for the week, but blew what was left on a night out at a local bar instead of socking it away so they can find another place to live.  Then they realized they have a couple more bills they forgot they have to pay, and my nephew feels he needs to budget in for new shoes, but they must be name brand.  I am not sure how to help him.  My husband is feeling overwhelmed and like his home is being taken over by the other family. 

Sorry, got off track.  We (my family of 4) personally ate every meal at home. 

I made some dog food in the crock pot.  We have worked very hard to make sure no food is wasted or ends up in the trash.

I have unplugged items when they are not in use.  We have regulated how many loads of laundry can be done.....1 load per family each day if needed.  I have also ensured all lights are turned off when not in use.  That is all I can think of.  My financial software finally says we are living within our means again.  (We probably have not been since my husband's brother passed away.)

The last two weeks of this month are no unnecessary spending weeks for us.  We have some serious goals to meet with having to pay my old landlord.  I did end up resigning from my job, we realized we really weren't losing that much money after paying for gas and the babysitter.  My  husband feels like I am needed more at home.

Do you live a frugal life you ever have times that chaos still reigns and realize you stopped doing some of the things that save you money?

How was your week, what did you do to save money?

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Life Unscripted

It is that part of the week again when I share about things that happen in a typical day around here.  This week, I will share about the events of Monday October 13, 2014. 

I got home from work at about 1:00am, had trouble getting to sleep, and my daughter thrashed around all night long in my bed because she had fallen earlier in the afternoon and we wonder if she has broken her hand.  It looks swollen even in the dark.  I lay in bed, and pray over her arm, believing the I should do nothing without praying about it first.  I am unsure where to take her for treatment if she needs it in the morning, should I taker her to the pediatrician, will they just refer us to the E.R anyway for exrays, or should we do an urgent care facility because they can xray there can't they? That would just be the cost of a doctor's visit copay and would include the xray.  I ask the Lord to heal it, and should he choose not to, I ask that he would show me where to go for treatment.

Once all the kids are on the bus and out of the house, and it's just me and my little one, it looks like the swelling is gone.  I am praising God, and she is saying it doesn't hurt.  My husband and I discuss whether or not we should have it checked out just to be sure, then my daughter does something in her movements that indicates she is hurting, and she eventually reveals she doesn't want us to know it hurts because she doesn't want to have it looked at.  The change in events lands us here...

with this being the end result.  CareSpot has splinted her wrist for protection and correction until we can see an orthopedic doctor because it looks like my daughter has broken something in her wrist.

There were some struggles in the office, she didn't want to do the xrays, or let the doctor look at her arm it was tough. (i am not sure why she is so scared of the doctor now, i know she has had a few illnesses where one turned into a hospital stay, and she has ended up in the E.R. a few times, but i can't identify a specific incident that may have brought on this fear.)  She wants a princess dress, and it is not in the budget, and her birthday is just in a couple weeks, so we compromise and take a quick trip to the dollar tree and buy three pieces of dress up style items.

Care Spot gives us information for following up with an Orthopedic doctor to determine how to best treat my daughter's wrist.  I get home realizing there is not much time left for me to get ready before I have to pick up my son from the bus stop.  I had planned soup in the crock pot, but there is not alot of time left before I have to leave again for work.  I throw in two lamb chops that were in the freezer, some seasonings, and all the bagged veggies scraps from the freezer, and put the crock pot on high in hopes that dinner will still be done by the time everyone gets home to eat it. 

I get a call to set up my daughter's orthopedic specialist, and it takes 15 minutes to get her registered.  We will have to wait 10 days for her appointment.  It's going to be fun keeping a three year old from getting her arm wet.  My husband realizes I have not had much sleep and in a telephone conversation says he feels I should take the day off and stay home with our daughter with everything that has happened.  He doesn't want me falling asleep on my drive home later on Monday night.

I take the day off, and my husband and I begin to evaluate if now is the right time for me to be working, he is feeling like now is just a time that my family needs me, espeically with all the people in the house, there is chaos, and he tells me how much he enjoys me being home when he has had a tough day. My babysitter's mom (grandma Joan ) is also struggling in her cancer fight, and not doing very well.  While I know that Aunti L (my best friend and babysitter) would do anything for me, we consider also that maybe she could use the time she spends babysitting my kids, to be with her mom.  There is alot to think about.

The soup does end up cooking and getting done in time for dinner.  I dice up the lamb chops and put them back in the soup, we serve it with some rolls we had in the freezer, and it ends up filling all 11 bellies in the house.  I am not good at cooking for large bunches.

Monday night we end the day watching some tv together, the whole house has a discussion on how the 7 kids in the house, can help with dishes or at least wash the ones they use.  The two smallest girls may need some supervision or help.  There is constant disagreeing on housework, and bed times, and keeping the lights off.  

That was our was yours?

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Life Unscripted

It's that day of the week share parts of my unscripted life with you.  I will be sharing about this past Wednesday 10/08/2014.  I didn't plan to share about another Wednesday, that is just the way it happened.

It's Wednesday morning, my son has popped in to tell me it is 7:30 for some reason this week, my alarm is not working.  I have checked and rechecked it....don't know what the problem is, but thankfully we have not missed school at all this week.  I drove him to the bus stop, come back home to start cleaning up my room, because my nephews wife and I did quite a bit of work on the rest of the house yesterday, I now want my personal space to look just as nice.

I realize that I have not gotten a recent electric bill when as I am cleaning I pick up the old one.  I call the electric company to find out how much the new bill is and why I have not received it.  To my shocking surprise the bill is a whopping $360.00.  I have no idea why. I have never had an electric bill that high before.  It is only for one month.  We have some adjustments to make.  I am already going to be tight with having to pay the old landlord, it is also our anniversary this weekend and my husband's birthday.  I temporarily think about cancelling any plans we have but know he won't go for it.

Our additional guests have moved in and we are still adjusting.  I know he wants to take our tiny get away.  My nephew did not get up until 10:30 so the budget meeting we were supposed to have to help him figure out how to "stop the bleeding" in his finances did not happen.  We tried several times to get him up to no avail.

By 12:02 I am eating frozen pizza and my little girl is in the shower now that she is done eating.  I have told everyone that we must work together to conserve power.  No lights during the day (use the natural light) and so on.  If there is a tv on when I get home in the evenings I will ensure that it is shut off.  We talk about getting a timer for the hot water heater to see if that would help. I make a mental note to do some more energy saving research.  Dinner is in the oven baking because I don't know if my nephew's wife will be here to cook dinner, she is considering going to the ER because her leg is swollen and painful.  I threw some chicken legs in the oven smothered them with garlic, thyme, and cumin and let them bake.  I have also thrown together a pot of mashed potatoes.  If the 11 of them needs something else, I hope they can work it out and fix it for themselves.

I make one jug of gatorade, realize I have not fed the six hungry dogs that are roaming our property right now, (3 are mine and 3 are my nephews)  If he isn't going to be more responsible then they may have to make other arrangements.  You can't sleep till 10:30am and have to be to work at 1:00pm and still get everything done, and just ignore the really important things that you don't get done like feeding your pets. (end rant)

I did say we are all still adjusting to each other.  I too was once just living life and letting it happen without purpose or direction.  I need to be patient while I wait for my nephew to get focused. I hope that will be soon.

 I have a load of my own personal laundry finally in the washer (it seems to always be in use by the other family now) and I am relieved when I smell the towels that were in the washer, they don't still smell like the back up that happened in the guest bathroom yesterday when the toilet clogged.  A little bleach in the water did the trick.  We began a two wipe, flush rule to hopefully avoid future problems with the toilet. 

At 2 I will hit the shower, get ready for work, pick up my son, and we will head to my best friend the babysitter's house.  I will start work promptly this afternoon at 4:30pm provided the car gets me where I need to go.   I should get home by 9:30 pm.  My room will not be totally cleaned today, there is just too much in there for me to get in order in one day, now that I have caught my daughter's cold, after previously spending five days in bed with what may have been the flu.  (all I know is it was bad)  I have to admit though,  I would rather have the cold/sinus issues then whatever I had for the few days before.  I also think of two women in my life that I love right now struggling with symptoms that are much worse, as they each fight a different type of cancer. This immediately stops my pity party thoughts, and I take a moment to thank God for those women, and still continue to ask what I can do to be a blessing to these women.  I don't know what the answer is to that yet.

This could count as a little throw back thursday picture I is Easter of 2013. Mom Mom Bella (my step mom, kids call her mom mom) was diagnosed with ovarian cancer just before Christmas 2012. Here she was feeling well enough to go to church with us.  She has never gone into remission, she is still fighting, and some days are better then others.  She always tells everyone I am her daughter, and she loves my kids as her own grand-kids when she doesn't have to......She sure is something special. 

I don't have a picture of Aunti L's mom who we now call grandma Joan.  I thought I had one from a recent breakfast date, but it is MIA.  I hope each of you are having a great week.  Feel free to share your weeks events if you would like.......

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Life Unscripted.......

I thought on Thursdays I would start sharing a day in the life of me, because well, i thought it might be fun.  Some days are hum drum, other days, unexpected events happen and I feel like who needs to watch reality tv, when it feels like there is plenty of drama naturally occurring here in my every day life, unscripted.

The day I am writing about will be the events of Wednesday 10/01/2014.  I got up at 7:08 am when the alarm on my phone went off, and thought, oh crap, I have to get up, and get in the shower, my son has to get ready for school, and I have to be at the State's Attorney's office at 9:00 am (and i have no clue where that is.)

Up and at em, I am now, having gotten my shower, picking out dressy clothes, for my appearance with the State's Attorney, and it will be what I wear to work when I go in at 4:30.  Dogs, are out, I am dressed, my son is ready, I throw a dress on the princess, and try to convince her to wear shoes.  She puts on her hello kitty rain boots with a sparkly dress, and I decide who am I to argue with your fashion out the door we go.  I take my son to the bus stop, and the princess and I head to my best friends house, because she will keep my daughter while I go to my hearing.

Once at my best friend's she asks me if I need money to pay the State's Attorney....I said isn't it backwards that the babysitter is offering me money to pay my fee when i already owe her money....She gives me $41.00 and I stop to Winn Dixie to purchase a Money Order for the State's Attorney.

I have to see the State's attorney because my previous landlord is suing me for a month of unpaid rent.  I did not pay that rent because I used the money to put towards a deposit on our new home, after the previous landlord refused to make proper repairs to her home. (there was black mold growing, continuing water damage, and my son has asthma.)  Since I did not follow the proper channels to withhold my rent, there are consequences, and I now have to pay my old landlord $660 plus the 40.00 that will go the the State's attorney.  I have one month to pay the money or an arrest warrant will be issued in my name.....and my only recourse with the former Landlord is a civil suit.  ( I make a mental note to obtain a free legal consultation)  I am a stress eater, and I am depressed over what has happened inside my little meeting but relieved that I have a month to come up with the funds, and I will pay them to the State's Attorney directly to avoid me getting in trouble and running into the old landlord and say maybe punching her in the face or something.)  She outright told the state's attorney she doesn't care about the condition of the place, she wants her money...but there is nothing he can do, I have to pay it.

Getting back to being a stress eater, I stop and waste money at McDonald's on a steak bagel, and an iced coffee...telling myself I just need some time to myself.  (I have desperately got to change my method of thinking.)

By 12:00 pm I have picked up the princess, promised to pay my bestie all of the money I owe her for last weeks' babysitting and the State's Attorney fee tomorrow.  Tomorrow is pay day.  I am upset with myself for the lapse in budgeting within our home that has happened with moving, me working part time at night, and my brother in laws funeral and the expenses associated with traveling.  There is nothing I can do now, except move forward with better plans.

The princess is in the shower, I have decided to get rid of the shirt i wore this morning, I have spent half the day pulling it back down where it goes, so I have chosen a new shirt to wear to work, not caring at this point if my clothes will match tonight or not.  I am tired, I have prepared tonight's dinner because the hubby does not cook, and my babies gotta eat and so do I.  Let's face it, preparing a meal at home is cheaper then eating out.  Dog's have been fed, we have baby chickens, and I still have to clean out their little box, provide fresh water etc.  I walk by the sink seeing that apparently there has been a lapse in the household agreement of everyone washing their dishes as they use them, but I refuse to wash them today.  They will have to wait until Friday.  Yes Friday, because I have errands to run tomorrow before work.

At 2 I realize that the princess dumped what looks like 3/4 of a box of multigrain cheerios all over the couch...she says it did it by itself.  I ask her to try to put them back in the box, when i realize that attempt is futile, I decide to let Buttercup, our golden lab mix in the house to eat them.  What a time three I will pick up my son from the bus stop and head back to my bestie, the babysitter's house.  Then I will head to work...stop at DD for a caramel iced coffe (best ever...doesn't hold a candle to McD's) to use up the last 3.00 on a gift card I have and feed my addiction.  At 4:30 I should be pleasantly seated at my work station ready to start helping customers.

How was your day.....? That being said...see you later alligator :)