Category Archives: Finances

Ch-ch-ch-changes….

Our fluffy, fatty learned to climb and jump and last night he decided to pull an all-nighter. Cats. Dirty little stay-out!!

Back-to-school always brings a new routine with it and, try as we might, it ALWAYS takes a couple of weeks of tweaking and a TON of patience as we all get in to our new groove.  I’m a structured person and change is rarely easy on me, however, God’s grace can carry us through…..if we let it and so far……so far…..a fairly successful week.  We only have a few binders to purchase and some extra loose leaf paper…not bad, not bad…

1.  Oldest son started high school.  New faces, new classes, taking the bus for the first time EVER and so far….so far…..he only got on the wrong bus the first day (coming home).  Aside from that, it appears his transition–especially the waking @ 5:30 a.m. change, has gone pretty well.

2.  Youngest son’s academic brilliance overshines his common sense on occasion and had a little lapse of such during a rainy afternoon resulting in major miscommunication with Dad.  All ended well, its times like these that I have to keep repeating to myself……he’s only 13, he isn’t using his full brain yet…he’s only 13….it’s painful though.

3.  Oldest daughter forgot her backpack one day BUT remembered her lunch.  Dad to the rescue which meant getting snagged in morning school traffic….GRRRRr…..tweak, tweak, tweak….must get in the habit of remembering all that’s to be remembered…

4.  With rain ALL week long the girls FINALLY had practices last night, so we’ve had mostly all family dinners this week!  Which I love.  And which will also be the biggest challenge for me with these evening practices messing up our dinner schedules, but see how good God is??….he eased me into it this week.  How often do YOU have family dinners??

This puppy is on sale now and has some GREAT dinner ideas….a lovely addition for our weeknight dinners…save money….save time…eat well….I like it, I like it!!

5.  Hubby has taken on the coupon challenge and is in the researching phase (and accumulation phase) of coupons and how to work the sales.  He is a detail guy and has infinitely more patience than I in these matters and I look forward to him steering this ship AND saving us some cash!!!  We’ve reigned in our grocery bill for our family of 6 (2 teen boys included) to roughly $600/mo…but I know we can go lower.  What’s your average??

6.  I finally broke down and bought new sneakers.  My work ones are shot, so I’ll swap out my walking ones for work (not my favorites) and use my new ones for walking.  Broke them in on the track at practice last night….3 miles!!  Nice.  Add to that 2 days at the gym (3 today) and I’m feeling pretty good about this week.  Woop woop!!  Definitely helps to manage the stress level!!

My feet liked these….on sale@ Kohl’s…

7.  Having dinner and a night out with one of my oldest girlfriends tonight and several other high school friends. She’s in town from California and it’s going to be a min-high school reunion!  She and I have been friends since 7th grade!!  It will be fun…but with an early game tomorrow morning this Mama will be home early-ish so I’m not so grumpy tomorrow.  That leaves Hubby on practice drop off/pick up, etc, etc….he’s the Bomb and a Blessing.  Balance.  All Balance.  A constant work in motion, isn’t it??  Have  a great weekend!!

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Summer time….work ethic in progress

Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho, it’s off to mow we go….

He’s not always this happy to get going….but there was a nice breeze that day!

Gassing up to get it done!

Companions to the workhorse lawn mower

Big Blue. Crucial accessory to summertime outdoors activity, whether it’s cutting the lawns, skateboarding or hitting the beach. HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE!!

Our boys’ summer.  Once a week they have 4 lawns to take care of.  3 they actually get paid for in cold hard cash or check.  The other is paid for in food, lodging, love, laundry, food, privileges, hugs, food, guidance, boundaries, kisses, security and food.

Hubby helped them to procure the jobs last year and though they don’t always enjoy the work aspect of the jobs (please, I’m grumbling every Monday so I can’t exactly fault them here…who REALLY loves work versus recreation), they DO enjoy the payment aspect of the jobs.  (They do these jobs year-round, not just summer)  They are learning the value of a dollar, taking pride in a job well-done, interacting with the public, working for a difficult boss, honing their communication skills, team work, and it passes the time at least one morning each week during the summer.

Realistically, we can’t provide for their every whim and fancy.  We have four children.  We work full-time.  Their little whims and fancies are getting progressively more expensive as they age.  Out of necessity comes valuable life lessons in work ethic, saving, tithing and communication.  We hope to add volunteering to their summer plans to further grow their hearts and spirits to a spirit of serving others and taking the focus off of “self” (a lifelong effort for us all, isn’t it?).

And so, coming across this quote on Facebook yesterday by John Talpene (though I’ve not been able to fully verify it is from him–the message is SPOT-ON!), I feel even better about encouraging their lawn business because maybe, just maybe, we are on the right path….and THAT is encouraging!!

John Talpene quote, image from HERE

This quote has been running around Facebook for a few months and though I can’t actually verify if this principal is the one who quoted it, I must say the message is OUTSTANDING!!  I fully plan on printing this out and sharing with out kiddos.  The crux of the message is old-fashioned values don’t go out of style (much like Audrey Hepburn’s LBD).  You can’t go wrong here, in fact we’ve often gotten so far from this message in our “instant gratification” society that it’s not so difficult to see the difference of the fruit born of the polar opposite styles in parenting of the message below and today’s “I-want-it-all-but-I don’t-want-to-work-for-it” generation.  A generation that WE are cultivating.

Proverbs 22:6

Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.

Week 7, the gym is FINALLY thinning out..thank GOODNESS!!

Here it is, Week 7.  Ta Da!!  Drum roll please!!

First of all.  The GREAT news….my laptop is back. Mostly.  Still need to reload some software, but, Praise the LORD, “my precious” is back up and running.  I love the Geek Squad.  And my husband.  Since he is the one who basically did all the running around and back and forth to get it taken care of.  I hate that crap.  Anyhoo….Coming soon…a photo upload of missing stuff.  Tonight I just want to get in bed and read the Hunger Games.  I just started book one and I am GLAD tomorrow is a cardio day because it will be just me and the kindle on the treadmill, I should get LOTS read.  Provided I get out of bed in the morning.  That’s always the hard part, isn’t it?

Progress update:

Quiet time:  coming along.  Seems my time without “my precious” as well as my new book is helping me to focus my prayer time and Readings a little more, therefore….a solid MAKING FORWARD PROGRESS in that column.  Woop!  Woop!!

Finances:  in progress.  I wouldn’t say any major progress has been made other than just the awareness of what is being spent instead of guessing.  Hubby and I are on the same page with the same goals.  That says something.  Still working on putting it all in one space, something is ALWAYS going on during the weekends.  However, it will get there.  Being aware is certainly an important first step anyway.

Finally.  Fitness/Health:  Week 7.  Still at it.  Gym and weight work 2-3 times a week.  Walking for 30-45 minutes 2-3 times a week.  Snacking FAR less.  Healthier choices.  Still lots of room for improvement (always is, right?) BUT….my arms are beginning to possibly show some muscle and my legs are definitely gaining strength, especially in my poor atrophied right knee and quads (surgery x 4…long story, perhaps another blog post) and best of all, my jeans were COMFORTABLE this weekend.  Now, sadly the scale shows ZERO change.  Tomorrow I see my MD for my annual check up and I’m sure she and I will have a chat as I am certainly up about 10# from last year…but I can look her in the eye and honestly give a good account for this  past 7 weeks!  We’ll see how it goes from there, but for now…I’ll keep on keepin’ on, because something HAS to give.  Eventually.  I just can’t buy this Over 40 nonsense…I feel like something is going to kick in at any moment if I just.  stick.  with.  it.

Carry on!!  God is good and thank goodness His ways are NOT my ways!

 

 

Week 6! It’s here, it’s here!!

“Six weeks is a critical time to acclimate to any new exercise regimen so that you can set long-term fitness goals,” says exercise physiologist Dr. Robert Lampman, Ph.D.

Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/134939-6-week-work-out-plans/#ixzz1lmtIUjcf

My girlfriends and I have been keeping it fo’ realz ya’ll with our workouts and food choices (at work, anyway) and we have been looking forward to this:  WEEK 6.  Something about, HOLY COW!  Are you serious??? We’ve been doing this regularly for 6 WHOLE.  WEEKS?!?!  Methinks I see a  little muscle in my arm.  Oh, snap.  Lookout, Mama’s got guns.  Sorta.  C’mon, use your imagination here, K?

And this week, is a crazy week.  My normal lunch time workouts are challenged with our oldest daughter’s birthday at the end of this week and my mom in town at the beginning.  Life is getting in the way.  Move over bacon, here comes Sizzlean…I have a Plan!  That plan is:  I’ve had to resort to the dreaded 5 a.m. workouts.  Ugh.  Ugh.  Ugh.  Once I’m there it’s “fine”, but crawling out of my cozy bed?  Not so “fine”.  However, as I type, I’m all  jacked up on the adrenaline rush, so YAY 5 a.m.!!  Plus, what with all the “New Year’s Resolution” people—ahem, me, too….the crowds are huge in the afternoon.  Probably because they are all still sleeping at 5 a.m.  Either way…2 days down, 2 to go. And I’m getting my walks in also.  ShaZAM!!  (good thing since the Girl Scout cookies came yesterday…hey,  you’ve got to live right?)

Progress on other goals:

Finances:  going well.  ish.  on task, anyway.  baby steps, baby steps, baby steps.  The silver lining is it won’t always be this way and every step forward is just that…FORWARD!  Onward, ho!!

Quiet time.  If you read yesterday’s blog post you will see my laptop is currently out of commission, so my Quiet time has seriously improved this past week, although steady climb in the right direction over the past 6 weeks.  Yay, God! 

Time to wake the house and get this party started.  Blessings to you all for a “forward motion”  kind of day!

**Still no pictures due to laptop down and stubborn will joining forces..carry on with your imagination, but seriously, you wouldn’t want a picture of my 5 a.m. bedhead anyway.

On goals and progress..

Week three is generally a pretty good waning time.  The thrill of new “goals” has subsided, the work portion is showing its necessity and the motivation is taking a vacation as the mind processes what in the world is involved in attaining goals.

True.  True.  True.  Sort of.  Though my “get healthier” goals are not showing progress as I would like–since I DO love instant gratification–I am finding my new groove and routine in regular gym attendance and walking.  And it feels GOOD!  I am sore.  Right where I should be.  And I am making better choices during the day as to what goes in my mouth and this week I started tracking to see where I can make improvements.  (yes, the brownies I made last night are one of those….but it’s all about moderation and living life, right?).  Today, again, I will pack my lunch and snacks for the day, my gym bag for lunch and my notebook for tracking.  (Sparkpeople is a good motivator, however, it requires online time and when I get home I just prefer to hang with my family, so time will tell where that goes….).  One day at a time.

Quiet time.  Today I added in some reading after my daily Readings.  5 Conversations you must have with your daughter by Vicki Courtney.  The first chapter is on body issues and how society has completely changed how women/girls have gone from worrying about virtue and inner beauty to vanity and Photoshop perfection.  Oh how timely a chapter.  Followed by todays Old Testament reading from 1 Samuel on David’s battle with Goliath.    Oh how timely a chapter.  I am beginning to see a pattern here.  There is nothing too big for God.  Personal body issues.  Societal expectations.  Food for thought.  I think I’ll be chewing on that all day.

Finally, finances.  Plugging along.  Cash is king.  blah, blah, blah.  With the exception of a major car repair last week, we are doing well.  Again with the baby steps.  Rome wasn’t built-in a day and with a goal in sight, we will get there.  It’s a marathon not a sprint.

Carry on, people.  Keep your eye on the prize!