Saturday, April 20, 2013

An update from Easter to Now.

So like many other people I got lost during and after Easter and Spring Break. It's been pretty crazy around here and what should just be normal every day has taken a bit of a twist and I haven't found the motivation or the energy to write another blog. I know I'm being bad! So I'm doing a massive update but you'll have to excuse me this is still a little forced because I'm so out of the swing of things.

First let's cover Easter.
Good Friday started Spring Break for my kids and also for my niece and nephews of one of my husband's brothers. It rarely falls that the kids all have Spring Break together and also that same weekend my mother-in-law sold her house here in Kentucky so she was bringing my brother-in-law with his VERY young son (a couple weeks old) and his other two children to Kentucky to help move the last few things out of the house my mother-in-law sold, out. I had his older son and daughter for a sleepover that Saturday before Easter. Since things were so busy around here I hadn't dyed eggs with the kids yet so that night we all dyed eggs and had some great fun.
Of course I thought I had a bunch of dye kits but I only had ones where you painted the coloring on so I didn't want to do that and I sent Peter out to get some traditional dye kits. He picked up all sorts of things not knowing what we'd want because apparently the traditional dye kits are getting harder to come by.
I think he did a pretty awesome job of finding neat things like those chicks that he kids loved! I didn't use white glue though that seemed messy and it would take awhile to dry so I pulled out my handy dandy hot glue gun instead and helped the kids out.

The kids then decided that my fridge should be taken over by the chicks. Don't fall over my fridge was not meant for people to see the inside of! LOL

Earlier that day before my niece and nephews arrived I had also taken the girls to a friends house for an Easter Egg hunt. We didn't do any of the other Easter Egg hunts because with Brielle being 12 she couldn't participate in any of them.
He lives out in the country which means there were lots of places to hide eggs and he does this every year so that all the kids that come are split up by age groups.
The girls had fun and it was funny to watch the youngest group when they went and were just trying to figure out what is this whole egg hunting thing.

Easter morning the kids woke up to an egg hunt in the house and lots of goodies left out for them. The Easter Bunny didn't bring a lot of candy but instead brought some toys, bubbles, jump ropes and the like. After that we got the phone call we were going to church in a town about 40 minutes away so we all rushed to get ready and packed because after church the kids were leaving with the grandparents to spend spring vacation in Cincinnati.

Peter and I had a pretty uneventful week as we worked through it. It was strange working through Spring Break because I normally always take that weekend off. Though with my cousins wedding in June I'm glad I have a few extra days of vacation because it's a long trip. 

We ended up having to drive to Cincinnati because one of my mother-in-laws brothers had died (my mother-in-law was one of 14 children). He put off procedure that needed to be done on his heart to go fly out to one of the sister's birthdays, her 70th I believe, and after he got off the plane he complained of problems and died shortly after. To make things easier on her because we knew that now that she didn't have the house here she'd have to arrange some place to stay and we didn't think she needed to drive two times that week (it's about a 4 hour drive if you make good time) we offered to go get the kids. 

When we got there we found out that both the grandparents had a stomach virus. Brielle got it for about a day, Peter got it for about a day and then Katherine went through two spouts of it. Here's a picture of Katherine Peter took this past week when she was sent home from school. 

I ended up hiring a friend right at the end of spring break to clean up the kids rooms because I didn't feel up to it and she needed the money. So since I did not have to worry about that I started on re landscaping the front yard a little. Though it was a lot of work, so much that when the kids got home there was still work to be done! 
I got the kids to help me a little but they quickly ran off.... Ah kids... I should hang them by their toes! In any case I did make progress now if I can just work on cleaning up the rest of the yard and house I'll be doing good! 

I would like to make a public service announcement that you should see a doctor if things feel wrong and if you are scheduled for an important procedure then don't put your body under any additional stress!
With that in mind I move on to the next story.
A friend of mine has always had a few heart problems. When she was younger she had a small hole in her heart and then come to find out she has a 3rd nerve on her heart when normally there are only two. This past week she came by to pick up some stuff from me and as we were laughing and joking she started feeling short of breath and complained that her heart rate was up. She asked for some water and then went home. I really didn't think a lot of it because we had been laughing and also I know she suffers from severe anxiety that puts my anxiety to shame. The next day I end up taking her kids for a little while because she went into the hospital that morning after her heart wouldn't settle down and come to find out she had a small heart attack! So here in a couple weeks the are going to go in and do a procedure to kill off that 3rd nerve because apparently that was the main culprit and I'll be helping out with some of her family on watching the kids for her. Needless to say though until she goes through the surgery (and a little after I'm sure) I'm going to be worried for her. I pray that everything goes well. 

(Have you noticed the overlapping of time periods between stories yet?)

The week after the kids got home from spring break they started swimming lessons at the YMCA every Tuesday and Thursday so it's made especially Tuesdays very busy because I'm still in my dance classes those evenings too. 

My newest little project is a fairy door for outside. I wanted to do one around the tree like I saw on pinterest but sadly it looked like it was going to take more time and tools to try and figure out how to make one so instead I bought a premade one and we are going to put it outside along the house. This is the unfinished product. I sadly didn't have black paint to make a gray for the stones so I will have to finish it up later.

Well that's pretty much it. Had company over most of today letting the kids play and my friend and I just sat around and griped about our husbands, money and society. It's always nice to have someone that is on the same page as you so you can vent off a little steam. 

I'll try to be better about my posts but here was a general update.

Side note: I've also been very stressed they've started working my husband and the other people in his department most Saturdays and soon it may be Saturday and Sunday getting ready for the new hospital to open in June. 

Monday, April 1, 2013

Budget Numbers Fudged

So I've been lying to myself recently about my budget. Have you ever done that? You wanted to make the truth sound prettier so you fudge a few numbers and forget you need to add other numbers? Well that is what I've done with looking at my food and household budget. My ideal budget is $400 per month to cover food, pets and household items. Sadly this seems to be a pretty unrealistic goal but that doesn't mean I should stop what I'm doing. I decided to take a realistic view of when I started this challenge and then compare it to previous months and then thinking to myself, "Oh well those were holidays and that month just was really busy," I went and compared this past March with March of 2012. I may not have made as much progress as I was hoping but I definitely should NOT stop this experiment. I kept stressing out because we were eating out more than planned just between stress and time and things getting messed up but even with that in mind I'm still doing better.

March 2012        -$790.01
November 2012  -$810.96
December 2012  -$844.59
January 2013      -$766.55
---Challenge Start---
February 2013    -$618.10
March 2013       -$657.45

The interesting thing is that during March of last year I was couponing and playing the drug store game. Our pantry was probably quite a bit fuller than it is now. I stopped doing major couponing in September. I still print a few off and receive coupons in the mail but as I never had time to really read the news paper I didn't see where it was worth it to make someone leave the house Sunday morning and pray there were coupons in the paper (many times the newspaper would not put coupons in their papers unless you had a subscription) or paying for a 3 day subscription only for what I want in 1 days newspaper. In September my free feed of Newspapers stopped working Sunday nights because I used to get 30 papers dropped off Monday morning. It was kind of a good change though because there is such thing as being too stocked up!
In February of 2012 I decided to cut our family down to 1 lb of meat. Yes, we used to eat 2lbs +! We used to make 2 boxes of hamburger helper, 2 lbs of hamburger for tacos and other foods. Oh we'd always have left overs but seriously we didn't need to do that and since it was there it'd prompt us to eat a LOT more than we needed to. Now some things we still make 2 lbs of meat up for (cheesy chicken, pulled pork, etc.) but for the most part we have dramatically cut down.

Anyways my other numbers may have looked prettier but this is the reality and the faster I'm ready to face reality the faster I can do something about it. I still have made a positive turn around and I'm glad to see that.