Thursday, February 28, 2008

Gas Prices Stink!

Everyone is well of aware of how expensive gas is these days. It makes it almost impossible for anyone to afford anything. Because of the price of gas it makes everything else go up, especially groceries.

My husband has a good job, especially for our area, and considering he has no college education. He makes good money and has very good benefits, especially retirement. But his job is one hour away, I'm not exactly sure of the mileage but its alot. He has a fourteen year old chevy truck with over 220,00 miles on it. We have put alot of money into it this year to keep it running. It has been a very good truck but its just starting to wear out. We figured roughly that he has paid out nearly $12,000 in gas in the three years that he has been at this job. That makes me completely sick. We thought we were saving money by not buying another vehicle and we thought we couldn't afford it. But after seeing that figure we defiantly have to something. I've heard that gas will be up to $4.00 a gallon by July. What in the world is anyone to do?

I'm still trying very hard to stick to my grocery budget. Last week I went over a little bit, but still less than I used to spend. Most weeks I have been spending between $50 to $75. We haven't starved yet, even though my husband and kids don't like everything. They like more junk food and convience food and that just isn't allowed on my new budget. It seems like everyone is trying to cut back these days and I have seen lots of other bloggers, writing about it.

Check out:

If you have any tips to help. Please leave a comment.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Winter Blahs!

Do you ever have those weeks, where you are absolutely useless? That was my week. It may be a case of the winter blahs or just plain laziness( remember I said I was going to work on that). This computer is not a good thing for me. When I get online, I could stay for hours and then I feel horrible about it because I don't get anything else done. I wonder how some people with very detailed blogs do it. Maybe they are controlled enough to get online and just blog and not do anything else. Thats not me.

We were supposed to get a big ice storm last night, but thank the Lord it missed us. I just knew we would have no power for a couple days. I was really dreading it. There was one, little boy in my house that was very disappointed this morning. Colton got up and said is school closed today and when I told him no, he was really mad. I remember those days. When you couldn't wait to have a snow day. We used to get out of school for snow a whole lot more than they do now. The winters around here just keep getting milder and milder. Of course as adults we don't mind that at all, but I do feel sorry for my kids. They really need a big snow to play in. But not to big.

Hopefully next week I will have more energy and get more done. I need to bad. Have a great weekend:)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Simple joy of a balloon!

On Monday Emma and I went to the grocery store. We went to the local family owned grocery store in town. I like going there because I feel as if I'm supporting local people from our community. But they don't have as good of selection as the larger chain store in town. That's a good thing for me though because I don't spend as much money on premade, convience foods, but sometimes I need those things. Anyway this store is still very much into taking care of their customers such as carrying the groceries to your car, asking if you want paper or plastic, and giving kids balloons. Normally my kids are allowed to get a piece of candy at checkout time if they have been good. But Emma didn't even ask for candy when she spotted the balloons. That is totally out of character for her because she loves candy.

She picked out a purple balloon because they didn't have pink. When the cashier tied it on her hand, her face lit up like she was given the most expensive toy ever. She held on as tight as she could to the ribbon when we went outside, to keep it from flying away. When we got in the car she had to buckle up her new best friend, that she named "Balloonie". She talked to it and carried it around everywhere, and then when the air started to go out and it didn't stay in the air anymore it became more fun. Her and Colton played for hours trying to keep it from touching the floor and when Colton was at school she played it. She sat on the couch and watched t.v. with it and pretended it was a baby. For two days she had the most wonderful toy she had ever had and then today it popped. She was dissappointed, and kind of sad. So I guess next week we will be going to that same store just so Emma can get a balloon.

Maybe as parents we need to remember sometimes entertainment for kids can be as simple as a balloon.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentine's Day!!

Happy Valentine's Day!!

This year Travis and I have decided not to do anything for Valentine's Day for each other, not even cards. It seems like it was just Christmas and we haven't quite recovered from that yet. We usually try to go out for a nice dinner just the two of us, but this year funds will not allow for that, so we are just staying home. Travis has to work tonight anyway. We got the kids a little box of candy (which they do not need, they got too much candy).

We have never made a big issue out of Valentine's Day anyway. Of course when we were dating Travis always bought me roses and we would go out to eat, but things change when you get married and children come along. He spoiled me so much when we were dating and he still would buy me anything he could if we could afford it. He really loves giving, he's so great to me. I love him so much. I don't think we need a special day to show each other how we feel, we should everyday. But it's still nice to do something if you can.

I'm going to fix a really nice dinner for Travis tonight to show my love. I'm making grilled salmon, roasted potato wedges, and salad. He really likes salmon and we don't have it often because of the cost, so he was excited to find out we were going to have it tonight.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Valentine's Day and show the one you love how much you love them. Remember to make everyday Valentine's Day, not just one day a year. Have a great day!!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

My favorite t.v. show!!

Whats your favorite t.v. show?

I know that I blogged recently about trying not to watch so much t.v. and I am doing pretty well, but there are some shows that I still watch on a regular basis. I have to watch the morning news everyday, to keep up on all the happenings, and I love The View on ABC, even though I don't agree with them on most topics I just love that type of show and to hear the way other people think and see things. I really try not to get hooked on a series show, you know one that you have to watch every week to know what is going on. I haven't watched a sitcom since Everybody Loves Raymond, that was mine and Travis' favorite show, now I try not to get so involved in a show like that.

My new favorite show is Jon and Kate plus 8 on tlc. If you have never seen it, its a reality show about a couple that have twin 7 year old girls, and then sextuplets that are 3. First of all they are my heroes, I have no idea how they do it. Kate is so cool, she is totally organized and a clean freak, and she fixes very healthy, organic meals for her family and does it on a budget. I have no idea how in the world she does it but I'm envious. I only have two kids and a husband and can't seem to keep it together at all. My favorite thing about the show is that its real and they do not act, you see the fights, melt downs, whining and tantrums (and thats just the parents), just kidding. You actually get a real look into a real family with lots of kids and they aren't putting on an act and trying to be perfect. I just wanted to let you know my dirty little secret, I love Jon and Kate plus 8. Be sure to check it out sometime.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Ripped Clothes!!

I have had an issue with my seven year old son lately. Actually since he was about four. It may be a boy thing but it is very irritating. He really likes to rip his clothes. For being a boy he usually takes very good care of his clothes, no stains and spots (like his sister). My mom and sister say he doesn't get dirty because I chased him around with a wash cloth when he was a baby (first child, didn't happen with the second).

Well anyway he has ripped the knees out of numerous pairs of jeans, on purpose, what starts as a little wear or a small hole ends up to being the whole front of his jeans ripped. They are usually ripped so bad that I can't patch them. He has also poked a fork through one of his shirts making tiny little holes, and then picking at them until he has a huge hole.

The most recent incident was the other night. He had on a pair of socks that he recieved for Christmas. The heal on one of the socks was starting to get a little thin and he sat there and completely ripped his sock until there was only two little threads holding it together. I was unaware of him doing this until he brings the sock to me and says, "Do you think its time to throw this away?" I was so upset. I know it was just a sock, but its the whole point of:
1. this is not the first item of clothing he has completely destroyed
2. we don't have money coming out of our ears
and most importantly
3. the lack of respect for his things.

We have tried many forms of discipline in the past and nothing has worked. We have spanked, lectured until we were blue in the face about the importance of taking care of his things and about the fact that his dad works all the time so that we can have nice things and he shouldn't tear them up on purpose. We also made him take 30 dollars from his savings for vacation last year and buy himself a new summer wardrobe from a childrens consignment store. None of these punishments seemed to work. I hated to make him spend his own money on clothes, but we felt that was the only way he would learn...Wrong.

I must say that my son is not a terrible kid. He is the absoluted cutest little boy, with big blue eyes and he always has a huge smile on his face. He has the biggest heart and would do anything for anyone, he's also very sensitive and sweet. He doesn't get in trouble very often, so this is totally out of character for him.

Well, after the sock incident, I think I finally found a fitting punishment. He does pretty well in school but he hates to write(doesn't get that from me). So I decided to do the old school punishment and make him write "I will not rip my clothes" 30 times. You would have thought I beat the child or something worse. He cried for 10 minutes before writing anything down, and then when he did start writing he screamed that I was the meanest mommy ever and that he was going to die before he got that done. Well what would only have taken about 5-10 minutes took my little man 45 minutes, but you know what he didn't die and his hand didn't fall off. He did have a tear soked paper when he was finished.

Hopefully he will think about this before ripping anymore clothes. By the way I think my punishment must have been pretty good, I won the Meanest Mommy in the World Award, but I was loved again 10 minutes after he finished. Doesn't that mean I did something right.

His daddy won the Meanest Daddy in the World Award, yesterday for making him write "I will not touch the t.v." 30 times. Let me just say so far this has been the only punishment that he has hated so much, not even the taking cartoons away for 1 month was this bad to him. This will probably not work with every child. Hopefully it will not only teach him a lesson for the crime, but also help him with his writing....or maybe just add to his hate for it.

Parenting is always an adventure.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Thinking about my life?

This week has been one of those weeks. I've had a sick kid, so I haven't got very much accomplished. I have been doing alot of thinking about my life. I have come to a conclusion that I already knew but sometimes forget. I am very blessed. I have a fantastic husband(even though he scared me so bad yesterday that I cried, I'm so easy to scare). He is so good to me and the kids, he works so hard so that I can live my dream of being a stay at home mom. Then I have two beautiful, smart, sweet, adorable kids. I have wonderful parents, sister, niece, in-laws, friends, and lots of other wonderful people in my life. But above all these listed I have the love of my saviour Jesus Christ. I feel so unworthy at times to be so loved by him. I know that I don't deserve his love and forgiveness, but I'm so glad that I have it.

I am on the road to try to change not only myself but my family. I know I need to start with myself first. I need to read my bible more, which I don't do nearly enough, pray more and let God take over in my life, not try to fix things on my own. One big thing that I need to do is work on contentment. I am always wanting more. I would love to have a bigger home. Our home is really small, two small bedrooms and one bathroom for four people is very small. But I know that we will not be able to afford to add on to our home for several more years and I need to be happy with what I have. So in this year of my trying to get thrifty, I'm also changing other things. I'm striving to be a better child of God, to be a better wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend. I'm going to try to be happy with whatever I have and thankful for all that I have. I'm going to try to do more and be less lazy and TURN THE TV OFF MORE.... I 'm the queen of my castle, no matter how small my castle is. I'm going to cherish being a homemaker and take my job more seriously, just as I would if I worked a regular job outside the home. This is my job and as everyone knows this job is neverending, no Monday-Friday 9-5, no holidays, sick days or vacations. But this is what I have always wanted, since I was young to be a housewife and have children and take care of my home and husband and kids.

I was just telling my mom about watching Little House on the Prairie with my kids and how much they loved it. My son said that was the best show on t.v. I would have to agree with him on that one I love it and the Waltons. Of course I know that everything wasn't easy, they had no electricity, running water, washing machines, dishwashers, cars, and lots of other things that we take for granted every single day. I know that I wouldn't like to go back to everything like that, especially no electricity and indoor plumbing, but it would be so nice if times could be that simple again. Not worrying about how big your home is, which car to drive, having the nicest clothes, sending your kids to the best schools, going on fancy vacations, and having what everyone else has. They never worried about more than making sure their family was fed, and clothed and loving their family and God. I'm ready to stop trying to have what everyone else has and focus on what we do have. I'm so tired of living paycheck to paycheck and always feeling so stressed about money, when the only reason we do is to have things that we really don't need. I know people say well if you went back to work you wouldn't have to worry about money and they may be right, but I feel that God has given me this opportunity to stay at home and care for my family, and I will do it for as long as he will provide.

This was my little rant for the day, but I felt I needed to say it. If you agree with me or have some ideas on how to simplify my life and live more for my Lord please leave a comment.

Hope you have a wonderfully, blessed day!!

Hebrews 13:5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." (NIV)

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Sick kid!

It has been a really rough week here. My four year old daughter Emma has had the flu this week or at least thats what we think. I didn't take her to the doctor. It's so hard to know when to take them to the doctor. I have took my kids before and they make you feel so stupid for coming and then you hate to risk them picking up something else while there. As a parent there is never any easy decisions.

Emma has been very tired, run a low grade fever, coughing, complaining of headache and stomachache and not eating anything(which is very unusual for her). She is starting to feel a little better, but still not back to herself. I hope she will be better soon and that Colton doesn't get it.

Travis has been sick with a cold for about a week too. His symptoms weren't like Emma's, just coughing and sore throat. He has still worked through it though. He's such a hard worker, he works usually 12-16 hours of overtime every week. It is great money and helps us out a lot. I do wish that he didn't have to work any overtime and could be here more with me and the kids but I'm very greatful for all that he does.

I have been pretty lazy the last couple of days. I did manage to get all my floors mopped on Monday and did lots of laundry yesterday. Today I need to try to do more. It's hard to get very much accomplished when you have a sick kid.

My mom got me a sewing machine for Christmas. I am really excited about learning to sew. My mom and sister sew a lot. They are very talented and crafty. I was never interested in sewing until here recently. I really need to start practicing with my machine. I'm a little intimidated by it. I need to start working on my log cabin quilt block that we will be making for our farm girl meeting. We are making a quilt block every month and the first is a log cabin. I still have to figure out what colors I want to do and get my fabric. I also want to make me an apron and Emma some dresses. Easier said than done:)

The last couple days the weather has been beautiful here in VA. It was close to 70's both days and supposed to be in the 50's today. I am really getting spring fever. I wasn't able to get outside and do anything because of Emma being so clingy but it was nice to have some sunshine and warmth. We didn't have to have a fire in our woodstove for a couple days which was wonderful. I can't wait for spring to plant my garden. Last year was the first year that I took any interest in gardening and canning. I had a nice vegetable garden and I canned a lot. I had never canned anything before so I was pretty proud of myself. I made two different types of pickles: bread and butter, and sandwich pickles. I also made a lot of salsa from my sisters recipe. It was wonderful I was able to give some as gifts for Christmas which was very good too. I also canned some tomato juice and tomatoes and canned some apples in the fall. This year I'm hoping to have a better garden and to be able to can a lot more. That will help on my mission to get thrifty.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

first post

This blog stuff is all very new to me. I love checking out other peoples blogs, but wasn't too sure of starting my own. My mom and sister finally convinced me. I just got my computer for christmas from my sweet hubby. If he would have known how much I stay on it, he probably wouldn't have gotten it for me. We finally got high speed last week, its sooooo much better than dial up.

Well I'm on a mission this new year (as you can tell from the name). I'm on a mission to get thrifty. I have stayed at home for four years, since Emma was born and the deal was I would stay at home until she went to school. Well she will be starting school in August (so sad) and I really don't want to go back into the work force. My family is my life and I don't want a job to take away from that. So I have decided with the rising cost of everything, especially gas, that we have to make some changes. I have started by trying to spend less in the grocery store. Thats very hard, but I'm learning some new ways. I was in the mind set that to feed a family of four that I had to spend $120.00 to $150.00 a week on groceries. Thats a lot of money and we still would eat out at least one day a week. Now I'm trying to spend less than $100.00 every week and so far so good. I also have been making my own laundry detergent for the last few months and using natural household cleaners, such as baking soda and vinegar. I hope that I can be successful at becoming thrifty at least to help our family out some, so my DH doesn't have to work so much.
I think I'm going to like this blog stuff. For now I have to go fix some supper for my family.
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