Quick crafty post…

I made a couple of signs for a silent auction, though I will probably only take one of them.   I started the project and then in true form I waited to finish it until nearly the last possible minute.  Because I was waiting until the last-minute, I was rushing and made a mess and then made another mess trying to fix it.  Story of my life!

The signs!  I think I am taking the green one.  I messed up on the red one so I’ll probably keep it here.


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Happy Valentines Day!

I have been a crafting fool lately (and that isn’t going to stop anytime soon – so prepare yourself). I just finished the kids’ Valentines (a total of 130 between the 4 of them) and since I did that much I figured I should at least take a picture and show them off. I *think* this may have been a cheaper nice option for Valentines cards. We have in the past done the cheap boxes that come with a sticker or a tattoo and called it good. But I’ll be real honest and tell you that I’ve been bothered more than once in the last few years by what I thought was rather tacky and at times downright inappropriate messages on the cards in the packs.

Last year, I found some cute printable cards on pinterest. Problem solved!

This year, however since we needed over a hundred Valentines (and printer ink is expensive) I decided on a cheaper route. Cardstock hearts, traced and then cut out by yours truly and then Happy Valentines Day!! written on the front. I had the kids sign the backs of the cards and then with a hole puncher I punched a couple of holes in the hearts and inserted a pencil from the dollar store. The cardstock was $2.50 (50% off at Hobby Lobby and I still have 1/3 of the pack left) and 7 packs of 12 pencils at the dollar store were $7 so total spent was $9.50 (total per Valentine was 7 cents!!). We did 80 pencil Valentines and 50 no pencil Valentines (for the Monkey to give out). The pencil Valentines were about 10 cents each and the plain Valentines were maybe a couple of cents each.


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Bringing out my Crafty Side…

We’ve been dealing with heavier issues in life lately and I needed to refocus my thoughts.  Last year, I did a great job of keeping my focus on the positives and blessings in our life (even when it seemed like life was completely upside down).   I told myself often, There is always something to be thankful for.   There are blessings in every trial.

Anyway a few weeks ago, I finally pulled all my supplies together and in a couple of hours on a rainy afternoon, I had my focus project completed.

I am really happy with the way it turned out and it’ll make a great daily reminder that “There is always something to be thankful for.”


For now, it sits on the fireplace mantel out of the way until hubby can mount it over the door to our den.  I was linking back to show the fireplace with the mantel from the early months of blogging but the fireplace hadn’t been completely trimmed and the mantel isn’t there.

I found the original idea on pinterest.

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We bought a truck!!!

We bought a truck! No worries it is the same truck we’ve been paying for the last few years but we did finally finish paying for it. It is covered in no less than 3 inches of mud right now and there is a cow nose print going down the side. Apparently one of the cows didn’t recognize it on its last trip through the pasture so the cow decided to sniff it. Considering the less than glorious state of the truck, I’ll spare you and not post a picture. I thought about loading all the kids into the back of the truck with a big “Paid” sign in celebration of the accomplishment. The mud (and the “not mud”) that is covering it stopped me. You’ll just have to imagine the picture.

We accomplished our first goal of the new year and we paid for the hubby’s truck (bought it in September of 2009). Thankfully, we now own both of our vehicles!

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I never thought my kids were perfect…

Really, I didn’t think my kids were perfect but maybe I did expect them to act that way. Seriously, how hard is it to act perfect for just a few hours in a nice restaurant while your daddy conducts a meeting? Come in kids, rein it in we’ve got an image to uphold!

Clearly, No More Perfect Moms is needed in this house. It was probably very good that I read Chapter 3 – No More Perfect Kids – today. I already had the answers when 2 hours into our meeting they started to misbehave. (Misbehave is code for acted like monkeys in a cage at the zoo.)

The answer was right there in front of me. “Unrealistic expectations keep us perpetually disappointed – in ourselves and in our kids. Thats not a healthy way to live. It is not healthy for us personally and it does not contribute to a healthy family environment for any child.” Jill Savage, No More Perfect Moms.

I set my kids up to fail with unrealistic expectations. Sure, my almost 11 year old should be able to hold it together during the meal and during the meeting afterwards and she did until everyone else started to misbehave. Was I expecting too much of an 8 year old with ADD, a 5 year old boy and 3 year old running on too little nap? Yes, I probably was. We’ve done this before (with the same results) and I have never ever considered that I had expected too much.

Don’t misunderstand me, the point of the chapter isn’t to accept misbehavior and chalk it all up to unrealistic expectations that is just where it hit me tonight. Nothing like God to give me such a vivid reminder of the chapter that I had just finished.

No More Perfect Moms

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I kept a secret…

No More Perfect Moms
I kept a secret for even longer than I had too.  This blog is filled with little successes and at times my big ‘ol failures.  My ability to handle our finances shows that I am not perfect.

What this blog often does not show is that I often feel like I don’t measure up as a mom, a wife, a friend or a housekeeper.  I have days that our home, our family and our life just doesn’t measure up.  Measure up to what, exactly?  I don’t measure up to the Perfect Moms that are in some of my circles.  I don’t measure up to the moms who never get their kids to soccer practice late or never miss a game because they were sure it was Thursday instead of Tuesday.   I don’t measure up to the homeschool moms doing great science experiments with their kids because I can’t teach my child to read.   I don’t measure up to the other stay at home moms that can maintain their homes without piles of laundry everywhere or those moms that can have drop in visitors without having to run outside so the visitors can’t see the inside of the house.   Surely, none of those perfect moms have ever had to have a birthday party in the park, in the rain, in December because there isn’t enough room in the house.

One day after yet another Christmas party in a perfect home, with a perfect hostess, with her perfectly behaved children and her perfect washer & dryer (yes, really I was so jealous of the laundry area)  I received an email saying that I had been chosen for the Launch Team for Jill Savage’s new book “No More Perfect Moms”.

As a part of the Launch team, I received a PDF copy of the book before Christmas but life just kept happening and I didn’t get it read.   I got my pre release, autographed copy in the mail at the end of the last week.   I have decided that the book should come with a high lighter attached to it.  Only a few pages in the book so much had resonated with me!

Did Jill write this book just for me????

This is not a review of the book.  I’ll have many more posts with my thoughts and a real review later.  One short, quick synopsis of this book could never do it justice.

A quick note about the release of the book (and you do need to buy this book) –

Do NOT Buy it yet!  Wait to Order/Buy it Feb 4-9.  Hearts at Home and Moody Publishers will be teaming up that week to offer $100 worth of additional resources.  Hearts at Home hopes to concentrate as many sales as possible during this limited time period in an effort to get the book on the New York Times best sellers list and ultimately into the hands of more moms that need it.

“There are no perfect moms – just imperfect women who will fall off the pedestal of their own expectations more often than they care to admit.”  Jill Savage – No More Perfect Moms

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Making some progress….finally!!

We are really making some progress on our “little” goal, which is actually a pretty big thing!  We are inching our way closer to paying off hubby’s truck and freeing up our largest debt payment for something else (hopefully more debt but realistically it’ll go to orthodontia for LiLo & Lala). 

I pulled all our change together and came up with $40.  I cashed in 2 savings bonds (anybody else’s grandparents buy savings bonds for every birthday and Christmas) & 2 of my paychecks (very part time work that we never count on in the budget) and was able to make another big payment on the truck. 

We are down to $637.46!!!  I think we can do this!! We can make this happen!   

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I do well with little goals….

I have an insanely short attention span.  Long term stuff is just not my thing.  Hence, my constant struggles during this very long term journey towards to being debt free.  I do well with short term goals, focusing on one small goal, reaching it and rewarding myself works well for me. 

We paid off our smallest credit card the first week of the new year.  Don’t pat me on the back to hard, because I added some debt with Christmas on a different card so we really just did a little better than breaking even.   I’m a work in progress.  *big sigh*

The smallest debt we have now is actually hubby’s truck.   I’d like to be rid of that payment ASAP.  On Jan 1st, we owed $1751.46 and I’d like to send our last payment in by Feb 15th. 

Won’t be coming up with all that out of regular budget, in fact most of won’t come out of the regular budget (because there isn’t enough to pull it out that). 

I made our regular payment and an extra payment with hubby’s overtime check and brought it down to $1212.46 and that is where we are now. 

I’m planning to raid the change jar and cash 2 savings bonds.  I’ll apply both to the truck and see where we land.  So here we are I’m working on paying off the truck, the very messy, muddy truck. 🙂

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I quit…..

What a grownup way to handle our finances, huh? I didn’t like the way it was going and we weren’t making any progress and I was tired of trying to swim upstream so I quit.

In August, I quit.  I quit balancing the checkbook, I quit writing anything down our checkbook register and I quit keep up with our progress (or complete lack of progress).  I also quit blogging because it made me feel guilty (really the whole reason I started the blog to guilt myself into staying accountable).

We didn’t make our goal of being debt free by the end of the year.   I haven’t even thought about goals for this year.  I’d have to know where we are to do have any goals for the year.


I spent the better part of today pulling myself up by the bootstraps and recording every transaction for our main account since August.  I’ve started balancing the account and tomorrow I’ll be able to pay our bills with complete knowledge of our situation.  (I have been paying our bills. I just didn’t know what we had in the bank when I did it).

I’m a quitter (we’ve probably established that before) but I am restarting.  We do better (Big Surprise!) when I am fully aware of our financial situation.

I’m going to pull it together and we’ll start making progress soon.  I’ll even start blogging again because I need the accountability.

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Clothes, clothes and more clothes

It is that time of year again.  Time for me to dig through everything the kids own so that I can get rid of most of it (that is always the dream anyway) our clothes seem to multiply in the night).  I’ve been buried under piles of clothes while I prepare for the BIG consignment sale.  I’ll drop off everything next Monday and I am not even close to ready.  NOT. EVEN. CLOSE.

The spring sale was a basically a flop.  I just wasn’t pleased with my check (or the amount of stuff I had to bring back home) but it was a much shorter sale than normal and I’m sure that effected sales.  I am hoping for a much better sale this time around.  In fact, I am shooting for a pretty specific number for this sale.  $530.20  is the magic number.  It is only about $40 less than my highest consignment check ever (so it isn’t really an unrealistic number, I hope).   $530.20 will pay off our lowest credit card balance.   (Although because it’ll be Oct 18th before I’ll actually get the check I am hoping to get it paid off before then.)

I’ll get the August goals update up soon and the update on Plan B.

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