Thursday, October 30, 2014

Trying yet again

Trying yet again to get organized.

I am one of those freaks that love lists - I have them electronically, on paper, in my head, hanging on the wall, refrigerator, etc.  They work a little but not great.

I use/d the Franklin Covey system, but with my hatred of carrying around a purse all the time - it fell by the wayside and is currently marked on September 15th.  The last time I picked it up.  Not good.

I have used a spiral, but in just ONE of my spirals, I have 25 lists alone.  CRAZY!  Plus it makes me feel scatterbrained.

We have used Cozi for an on-line/mobile calendar so my husband could have access to all the kids appointments and mine as well.  I do ALL the family appointments and I do not want to know the micro-management of his workday.  He just puts in his appointments that would affect our schedule - like traveling out of town or a class outside of his normal hours.

I knew about the to-do lists, but I never really used it fully.  They also have a meal planner with ideas and recipes as well.  A birthday tracker, contact list, and journal for sharing rounds out the benefits.  There is a messaging app, but I highly doubt I will use it - we will see.  Texting is much easier.  All this is at the Gold level - no ads, monthly views, etc.  For $29.99 per year - not too bad.  Much cheaper than the planner I was using!

Now, my first order of business is to get birthdays and anniversaries.  I am determined to be that person!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

When you make more a lot

Today my sister texted me and was asking about some laundry detergent we make - how cheap it was etc.  That they needed to cut expenses even further due to child care costs and medical expenses from a child that has difficulty breathing at times.

I really feel for them, but how much do I help?

We paid for 1/2 of their wedding, when they moved, we payed to have their house cleaned and the movers, we then bought them a washer/dryer, lamps, a rug, and other small misc. home goods.  When they were having their son, we bought the crib (which converts to a double bed), bassinet, highchair, diapers galore, lots of baby goods - I cannot even think.  Recently, we bought a lego table for him.

We gave out of love - not expecting anything in return.  They have not directly asked for anything, but there is an implication.

How much do you help, when you know they will never really be on top of it?  

We make about 4 times as much as they do, but we also have 3 more kids than they do.  What happened is they kept spending after the baby was born like they did before the baby and charged up all their credit cards - I think 2-3.

Now, what have they done?  They sold a truck.  They are down to one car in a city that does not have public transit.  They cut out cable and have stopped eating out so much.  -D and I think they could do so much more - things that we currently do.

For example - negotiate car insurance costs, stop using a Keurig and make a full pot of coffee (much less expensive), cut cell phone costs with Republic, no name brand shopping at all, cook rather than buy convenience foods (utilize crock pot), use points to get discount on gas, shop Goodwill stores for baby clothes (cut way back on clothing expenses), negotiate electricity plans - we currently pay less than they do for the same size house, contact drug company for discounted prescriptions, utilize 3-month plan for on-going scripts.

I would love for them to start with the Dave Ramsey plan.  I know there are a lot of objections to his plan, but for them, it would work! 

I have never told them this.  I don't feel it is my place.  I have told her about Dave Ramsey though in more of a passing conversation.

There is this pressing need in me to help everyone I can - it is killing me that I cannot do this for them, but just like my kids - they have to learn on their own.  Sometimes, that 6 year difference, feels more like 20 years.  Their dealings with money are not much better than my 18 year old's.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014


When I was much, much younger, my then alive grandmother I called Meme, told me the story of a woman she worked with at the breakfast shop inside Sanger Harris in downtown Dallas.

This woman was a Holocaust was her husband.  They vowed, when reunited to never spend another day apart.  Too much had happened to them.

As far as I know - they upheld that vow.  The only time they were apart was when they worked, but even then, it was for the same company - her in the breakfast shop and him in janitorial services.  Never a night apart - no separate vacations, no girls night out, no boys night out, nothing separate but work.

I know that a catastrophic event forged this vow between them.  However, I wondered, why it would take something like the Holocaust to make this bond between a man and wife so strong.

I don't think of it as co-dependent in the negative way.  Yes, we rely on each other, yes, I absolutely adore spending ALL my extra with him, because honestly, with 4 kids, a job, a business and life - we don't actually get that much time together. 

So, no, we do not take vacations separately.  Yes, we do have friends, but I never go anywhere overnight with them.  We have separated a small handful of times apart for family and some work.  The total nights we have spent apart since we have gotten married is maybe 30.  We have been married for 15 years and 5 days and we have spent 30 days apart. Worst days ever.

We are adding 2 now - which is why I am sad.  He is off on a business trip and I CANNOT STAND IT!  I am depressed, finding it hard to do anything, my chest is heavy.

Because I had the wreck on the bike, I am in a LOT of pain and it is difficult to do anything - even typing is labored because I sprained both wrists severely.  I am sure this is not helping my mood any at all.

When the kids are grown and gone, it is our vow to not spend anymore days apart.  I will have the freedom to go with him and we should have the financial aspect down then as well.  

I know this is different from most people now, but I am ok with that.  We just like each other - more than anyone else.  If it is not healthy to be a person that adores you and makes you feel that good, well, I vow to be the most unhealthy person in this world!

55 hours and counting.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Weekend Fun

So, -D and I got away this weekend and enjoyed the hot tub immensely.  It was fabulous!

We went hiking at Perednales State Park on Saturday, but I did not take pictures.  The area around here is not very striking in appearances AND wait until you hear what we did.

So, we have our hiking boots on - which I absolutely love my boots.  I will be sad when I have to buy a new pair.  We get to the park and decide we are going to make this a thing and bought a year pass.  It is only $70 and the average cost to get in a park is $6 per person, so it only takes a few times to go as a couple and only 2 times as a family.  Worth it.

We drive to the far back of the park - closest to the waterfalls - that were not existent because of the drought Texas has been in for years now.  We decided to take a 4 mile trail that ran along the river, so we could catch some good views.

We start out down the road and come to an unmarked trail.  It is common in these state parks, so we follow it.  Come to find out - it is a restricted equine trail.  It was over 2 miles long - in full sun, so we were kind of beat when we got back to where we started, but I wanted to see the falls area.  It was only about 3/4 of a mile there and back, so I said let's go. 

The first part of the trail is down hill to the falls at a steep grade.  The people coming up look horrible.  We decide, after stopping at the falls area, to sit down, have a drink, eat a little granola, take a break.  Then we would head up the other side of the trail, maybe the grade would not be so steep.  WRONG!  It was in full sun as well and slightly longer - making the total trail 1 1/4 miles.  I started getting heat exhaustion, because sun on this white Texas limestone is tough on your body.  It did not help that there was no wind and very low humidity.  I made it back with LOTS of breaks and we started driving some back roads to see what we could find.

We found a wonderful little olive farm, so we had some olive oil, balsamic vinegar - meats and cheeses, wine - it was wonderful.

Went back home on Sunday, decided I wanted to go for a bike ride. So we set off in our neighborhood.  Rode for about 4 miles - I was about 1/2 mile from home when I stood on my pedals to take off fast - pumped a couple of times and my foot slipped off the pedal and I crashed into the road - the middle of the road with traffic.  I got up, pulled my bike to the side and sat there for a few minutes.  My bike was still ride-able, so I rode home to assess the damage.

Very bad road rash on my elbow and knee, 2 sprained wrists, a wrenched knee, and very bad bruise on my inner thigh.  I am sore all over.  Like everything was jarred.  Yep, it was. 

Cannot wait to go cycling again though - I love it!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Weekend Hiking

I love to hike.  Seriously - LOVE IT!  I am not an all night hiker, but I could go all day.  I like to storm through a hike and I like to slowly walk as well.  I stop in wonder and I miss so much.  Doesn't matter to me - I just love it.

It has never been a focus in my life - well, not true - it was before kids and we hiked all the time when my boys were with their father.  It stopped when I had our daughter and went really downhill with our last son.

Thing is though - I still love it and want to get back to it MORE than ever.  Do I drag my nature-hating kids along with me? 

My mind boggles at the thought that I love nature so much, so does -D, yet NONE of our kids do.  They are all city - take them to a restaurant and an amusement park and they love you to death.  Me, I cannot get out of it fast enough!

This week was our 15th Wedding Anniversary and we are celebrating this weekend kid-free with a long hiking day, ending with a hot tub!  My kind of living!

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Five Things Friday

I will join Carla today!

1) I finished my husband's crochet quilt!  After 2 1/2 years - just in time for our anniversary!  He knew about it, so I already gave it to him, but I only finished last night!  It is a basket weave - so gorgeous and thick!  It is more for a northern temperature, but this man runs COLD!
I love the texture

2) My daughter has a better attitude today.  I came down on her harder than I ever have yesterday AND Dad gave her the right act.  It seems to have done something.  She is involved and smiley, not mopey and sullen.

3) I have 5 orders just waiting to be picked up!  It has been a very busy week and luckily - it is slowing down for the weekend.  I am so glad.  My hands are not doing so well today.  Probably from over working them this week!

4) Our son's homecoming is this weekend.  He decided to go anyway with a group of friends.  I think he will have more fun that way even after all the drama.

5) Since this evening is busy, I actually decided to pre-cook dinner!  We are having baked ziti, so I pre-boiled the pasta and made the sauce.  All it will take is dumping it in a pan and baking.  I feel better already!

Hope you have a great weekend planned!  So far, it is looking doing a little shopping for our fireplace and attending a UIL band competition.  Then cleaning the house, mowing the lawn, and laundry. 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Last Infusion of Money

Today is payday.  It is also the last of the money infusion from the job change.  We are excited to get so much paid off and sad that this is the end of the large chunks, as well as there being some debt.  Sidebars are updated.

However, good things:

- Another credit card was paid in full.  We are down to ONE!
- The last credit card got a $4,000 chunk.  Our estimation is 4-5 months for pay-off.  Let's hope we can stick with it through the holidays.
- This last card is at 0% interest, so we should have it paid before any more is calculated.

 Our talks are more and more about what to do when we get OUT of debt.  They all seem to be long term goals - only one short term.

1) Vacation to Universal Studios.  I know, I know - my daughter wants this with all her heart (although she is on my bad side today).  We are currently saving about $200 a month and we expect to go sometime next fall.  It will be my first and last time.  I do not enjoy amusement parks.  We are going to go air boat riding though!  I am excited about that!

2) A new car - I know, we just bought a Jeep, which I love! - this is for our other car, the one my husband drives and one that will serve as a family travel car.  No rush, his car is still working, it is just getting older and may not last but a couple more years.

3) A Class C RV.  This one is long term.  We do not plan on buying it until the kids are grown and gone, but we can slowly save for it since we know without a doubt this is what we want.

4) Emergency Fund - 1st on the list.  We hope to have this fully funded within a year of paying off debt.

5) Pay off mortgage.

6) Fully fund 401(k), and two Roths.  Ouch - this takes quite a bit from our cash flow, but sorely needed.  We plan on doing the 401(k) to 6% in January (his company will not let him start until after 90 days of employment), then up to the max when debt is gone.  His company matches 100% for the first 6%, so that is WONDERFUL!  Then, when the emergency fund is complete, we will contribute to the Roths.

7)  Start purchasing properties.  When this house is paid in full, we plan on renting it out and buying another one.  Hopefully, continuing this up to four properties.

8) Build a house on our land.  This is so far into the future, it is not even in my realm of reality, but a girl can dream.

So, that is it!