Tuesday, July 5, 2016

We've Painted

My arm is about to fall off, but three sides of our house is painted. We are taking a break and probably try and pick it back up this weekend? Here are some before and after's. I adore the blue. It's called Crater Lake. There are times you look at it and it's blue, and other times it's green. It's a great color and a BIG change. But we needed a BIG change.

Friday, July 1, 2016

The Wall

Remember these?

The Before.

The After

These are stained cedar boards. Took many, many stain colors before we settled on these. First project in the dining/kitchen make over Done.

Thursday, June 16, 2016


Crazy busy weeks, of course what week isn't crazy busy right? Our water system is in. YEAH. Got the timer on the front yard and it works great. YEAH. Just put in the back yard timers so hopefully I wake up tomorrow to sprinklers going? Tell ya it will free up a ton of my time. I can actually leave the house during the day. I will still have some hand watering to do. But it should take me ten minutes, not hours on end. 

I often find these two like this. Nose to nose sleeping. 

So I FINALLY got my birthday present. So hubby missed the birthday, no happy birthday, no nothing. Just another day to him. It does hurt, but frankly after 15 years he won't ever remember. So the other day we run to Home Depot and checking out he picks up an ad. Told him not too, but he did. Well cooking dinner he looked at the ad. A lot of OMG what a great deal, and before we knew it we were heading back to Home Depot after dinner to pick up something I have been wanting for years. Granted I had to pay for half of it. Do you all know how much trouble I can get into with a nail gun? You all have no idea the amount of trouble I can get into now. 

This is a project I have planned after we return from camping in a few weeks. I have been buying samples of stain, trying to find the right ones for this project. I finally found the right mix of about 5 different colors. Just wait until you see what I'm doing with these samples. And I get to use the nail gun.....

Tomorrow we are building a picnic table for the neighbors, she is getting a picnic table and two side serving tables. Like buffet tables. After a stain/paint debate, I took over some samples of my light stains and she fell in love with Honey. SOOOO excited to finally be able to use Honey on something. 

Monday, June 13, 2016

Debit Card Fraud

I'm sure many of you remember a few years ago, we got hit with check fraud. The bank cleared a funny looking check and it cleaned out our bank account. Which sucked at the time because of the timing, the day before Mortgage was to be taken out. 

Well since that day, I check the bank account at least daily, but some days I'm checking 4-6 times. I'm always checking. Also since that day, our checks are cleared by a person, not a machine. Yet on the other hand, I maybe write 4-6 checks a year. We are cash only people, but sometimes we use the debit card. 

Like to reserve come camping sites coming up, and this and that. I don't use it often, because weekly we go to the bank we pull out our weekly money and pay cash for everything.
So the other day I'm checking the bank account and there is a weird charge. Hum? Thinking I did something odd, I did just order from ebay, so checked that out and no that cleared two days prior. It's not an amazon thing. In fact I don't remember the last time I have touched my debit card. So I debate all day, and nothing came to me, so I googled the name. Tagged. Come to find out they find cc numbers and charge them 9.99 a month. Oh I think not.
I called the bank the next morning. It was my card, my card was cancelled and two days later the pending charge was removed. So I didn't loose 10 dollars. Because to us ten dollars is a lot of money. When one makes about ten dollars an hour, it's an hours worth of work.
So it's important to keep your eyes on your bank account. Check every charge and question things. If something is odd, call your bank.
So yet again, we've been hit, But luckily it wasn't bad. Grateful for that. 

Friday, June 10, 2016

Part Time Work

So we've (my hubby and I) work part-time for the neighbor, she wants her house just re-done. If we can't do the work we tell her. But right now she picks a project and we take a week to work on it. She pays us by the hour. Some projects take 4 hours, some take over 12.
This is how we are saving for a second car. Had to pause that for a wee bit and we are putting in a watering system in the back yard. Something we can't afford, but have been wanting to do it for years. Hopefully before our trip it will be all done and on timers????? We shall see.
So this has been a three part project. It started with painting the fire place. She will be getting a new insert so we didn't paint that. 

Part two was building a mantel. At first she wanted it painted gray, but I took stain samples over and they fell in love with a stain. It's Jocobean. It's a brown/black. very interesting, but it works well for this project. 

This is the trim she picked. 

Part three, she wanted shelves. These suckers took forever. From ripping them, she wanted a special paint job on them the distressed look. She saw it on something we did on our house, but she wanted a gray distress. Ok then. 

This is how it looks now. I would have stained the shelves. But it's her house. We just finished the shelves this afternoon. 

The paint job. 

Trim doesn't show up well, but it's the same as the mantel, just a smaller version. 

This was a past project. She wanted beds for her grandsons. Although now she has exchange students coming in. OY. Well at least she has beds for them now? 

Neighbor came over tonight and said we MUST do the paint job and trim on all future projects. We have this shoe tree project thingy to do, and shelves in the bathroom. OK if you like it that much. Although our next project for her is a picnic table and two side serving tables. But that will be in about two weeks, as we are pausing she is having septic issues and so she is working 12 hour days to pay for that fix coming up next week.
So this pause allows me to work on my own projects. I have a lot of things in the works, so stay tuned. 

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Weekly Update

We are painting the house....We narrowed it down to four colors. We have picked one....We'll show you later, we won't be painting for about a month or so. 

Got the garden planted. FINALLY. only running nearly two weeks late. 

Blogger will only let me upload four photos. so....But the garden is planted. have to do a garden post later. 

We are in the midst of putting in a watering system in the back yard. Like we have in the front yard. Nearly have part one done, it's broken down into 3 parts, well maybe four. Would love to get it all set up and on timers to free up my summer. I have a house to paint. A kitchen to re-do (more on that later). Mucking to do and a clean out of the goats. A play area to clean up. Plus a list a mile long from next door. We just built a mantel, we are close to installing it, either tomorrow or Tuesday, depends on how dry it is.
About 99% of the garden is planted. Tomorrow it should be 99.50% I have one tray left and a few odds and ends. Tomorrow starts the first round of fish poop, we will stake the ones that need staking, and next week work on staking the rest. Now that the heat wave is over, well one more day, it's time to get the garden in shape. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Burnt Out

Do not know where to begin here. Sometime last week hubby came home from work sick. LOVELY. He is hacking all over the place and touching things and finally I was done, STOP TOUCHING, don't cough into your hands, Like Seriously? Your not two anymore!
Then Wednesday night hit and it hit hard. I sent hubby in for a nap, I went next door to paint a fire place. Came home dinner, shower and then BOOM. I was in bed, with every single muscle hurting. I moved I screamed because it felt like I was breaking bones. Thursday, could not get out of bed. The sweats the banging head, these poor kids were on their own. Hubby comes home from work and BOOM a call from his father saying his mother is in the hospital. So I was on my own. Dying sick and I'm on my own. LOVELY. Tell ya the last time I was this sick I was in labor with Tucker, throwing up and screaming with labor pains.
Friday I had to pull it together. Why? because now I have three kids sick. Got to see the husband briefly who looked like hell, so dragged him to urgent care, make sure it wasn't worse then the flu. It wasn't. Just take a nap. Oh yeah, not happening. I see hubby again on Sunday where I sent him to bed early so he could get 8 hours before work. That helped a lot. Although I went down again over the weekend. Well trying to take care of three very sick kids.
I fell so far behind on the garden. On the work for the neighbor. On school. Hubby has been gone more then he has been here. I think I see him tomorrow? It's all me.
And yesterday no one remembered my birthday. Some friends did, but what about the hubby? The mother? I think I"m done with birthdays. Just done.
I don't know but honestly I could use a break. I haven't been out of the house alone in over 6 months. ALONE! In thinking hubby and I alone have not been out to dinner since Cole was a baby. He is currently 9 years old. I'm drained. I'm tired. I'm wiped. But yet I have to somehow get up tomorrow and keep going. Because three very sick kids depend on me.
This week has tested something, I'm drained, I'm tired and frankly just flat out broke. We don't have extra money at the end of the week. On payday every penny is accounted for. We gas up once a week and that is it. We've had to gas up three times this week, with me pulling money from the second car we are trying to save for. Not complaining, at least it's not like a few years ago, when we had to borrow thousands from retirement, just for gas, it was so bad had to pull the kids out of school. Because by the time you drove to the rehab place, then to their house, any errands that had to be done, back to rehab. We were spending hundreds a week in gas. Forget about taking the kids to school and picking them up.
Just burnt out right now. 

I'll do a post later, but Mr. Lincoln and Night Owl got together and made me a new rose. Need to deal with her. 

This one snuck ahead of Cole and finished math first. 

Cole said what the hell? and he started doing a lesson daily until done.
Ethan is not done with math. We are not done with History. I have tried hard over the last two days to get the garden in. Tomatoes were begging to go out. I have maybe one more trip to the neighbors and the fireplace will be done?
I still need to get some dirt. Finish planting, so much to plan for our trip. well if we get a trip. Hubby has about 5 more vacation days he can take, after that we are not getting paid if he has to take a day off. We are toying with cancelling the trip, well except everything is paid for. I would loose money in cancel fees. Yet on the other hand we need to eat, and no one understands, if hubby doesn't work and there is no vacation to take, we don't get paid. Which means we don't eat. Or we really struggle with paying the mortgage or something has to give.
Family doesn't understand that if hubby doesn't work he doesn't get paid. OH you can just call in and take another day off. No, he can't. The pay cut alone hit us hard. Try living on 10 dollars an hour, and then not get paid.
Lots of stress, lots on the plate. And I'm close to loosing it.
My night ended tonight, with Tucker throwing up in the toilet with a nose bleed. My toilet looked like it had been through a war. No hubby to help.
Not complaining (much) but need things to calm down, need some sleep without coughing up lungs. Need kids to get better, need the garden planted. And honestly could use some time away from the kids. Maybe in 11 years?
GOD have you tested me enough yet? 

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Catching Up

Seems like all I ever do is catch up here.
So went to the chicks sale, saved and saved for it, and then again I couldn't find what I wanted. So came home and used scrap wood and made what I wanted. A really, really big bird house. It's over 5 foot tall. With three separate houses. We may go in and add a few more holes. and floors. 

Remember this drama? two computers dead. so googled because I thunk about a computer place to take them. But found another guy. Called and took in two computers. Within days, kid ya not, he took two very dead computers, put in new hard drives and they are up and going. In utter shock. I was for sure I was going to have to bury them. I now have a computer guy. So excited. It was the fourth of the price that Staples wanted just to fix one. 

I have a recipe for chocolate ice cream coming....It's Cole approved. 

Catching up, basically life is beyond nuts. And really it won't be slowing down any time soon. This weekend it's full on planting, my tomatoes are begging to come out of the green house. Some even have flowers on them.
Been working on the current neighbors project. Tomorrow we are installing the last bed (twin beds for the grandkids). And then we move on to a living room shelving project. so in spare hours we are working next door. When we are not next door we are mucking the goats, or hauling dirt. There is weeding and watering to do.
School is winding down for us. Tucker is done with math. Cole is now pushing through to get math done, hopefully over the weekend. Both Tucker and Cole will be doing math facts over the summer. But they can do that on the kindle. Ethan has full on summer school. We are debating other summer projects. Hoping to be done with history next week.
Lots going on, lots coming up. I fall into bed every night so very tired. I feel scattered as so much is going on. I work hard every day to pick a project and finish it through. So it feels like things are getting done, there is just so much to get done. 

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Pay Cut

Isn't he the cutest thing ever?
Still in pain with the back, but I'm moving, this was probably the worse one yet. Wish insurance paid for an x ray so I know what is going on back there. But called for a quote last year and the cash out of pocket would have been more then we made in a week. Not happening. So I live with the pain, but this one nearly did me in. To add to it, I can't take pain killers because my kidney's do not like them and that is worse pain then labor. I've had three kids I can tell ya the pain is worse. So....
Any who, we finally saw our pay cut this week. Cracks me up, they remove hubby from the position but yet took many, many weeks to find someone to fill it. No one wanted it. Hubby wanted it. But he likes his new hours. Well if one likes getting up at 3am go for it. I do not enjoy the alarm going off at 3am.
Pay cut hurts, shocking right? Looked at the amount verses past couple weeks of budgets, we are not going to make it. Even through I have cut here and there, we not going to make it. But grateful we finally got through the re-fi on the mortgage, that really helps. Looks like we will be back to robbing Peter to pay Paul sort of thing. On the weeks where it's super tight the van won't get money, but should be able to pick it up at the end of the month if we can keep the energy bills low.
So 15 dollars an hour would be a dream. Although what many do not understand is once we finally get 15 an hour we will need 20. Just don't understand how one works in one place for well over 20 years and makes well under 15 an hour?
So I have two kids in braces coming. Tucker starts in June, Ethan will be a ways behind him, still waiting for the referral. But Tucker has appointments lined up. So as those bills roll in pay those asap, try hard to stay up on medical/dental bills. But after that we are still saving for a second car, and a newer van. I hope that once we get a second car the van will last another 2 years, giving us time to really save. Once those are saved for, it's a matter of saving for a new house and paying down this house.
The pay cut makes me want to work even harder to pay down the house. My biggest fear is a job loss. We are not in a position for a job loss, so need to work towards that. But really I want a new house. 5 people in this house, we are on top of each other, the Lego room explodes nearly daily. Cooking dinner some nights just suck, no counters, it's tight in there. And the land, I want land and space.
So I think with a mix of paying down the house and saving I would love to pay nearly cash for the next house and just be ok? But that is a ways a way. Saving for a second car is first. And staying up with the dental payments.
To save for the second car, we have been working next door. The neighbors want work done, it's odds and ends. This week we are putting on cabinet doors that we designed last week, we were just waiting for the stain to dry. And then we picked up wood for two twin size beds so start on those. We get paid by the hour. There is a list a mile long for next door, but only one thing a week, we do it, we get paid and she picks the next project. So I'm hoping to have the second car saved for sooner then later....
I so love stories like this those who finally get it, and do all they can to pay down debt and have that feeling of being free. Our feeling won't be for a long while. I know it's coming.

I know what it's like to have thousands of dollars of medical debt, tens of thousands of dollars, and where is the money going to come from? From working 80-100 hours a week and neglecting the kids because you have to take calls or do this or that. And there is no money for a sitter. From staying up until 2 or 3am to make food for lunches for kids and going to bed and getting up at 6am to do it all again. From getting a commission check to putting it in the bank and coming home and picking up one bill at a time and making that call, that call over and over until you run out of money. Panic attacks and sleepless nights.

We are so much better from there. New insurance which mostly covers the kids, good luck finding a doctor for us. Cut our every day expenses, cut school, cut driving, cut this, cut that. We don't need anything new, or we save for it until we can afford to pay cash for it. We don't have credit cards, we don't have cell phones, well ok we do, but they are the cheap over the counter phones, mostly so hubby and I can chat with each other, or if something happens when we are out. Costs us about 20 dollars every 3 months. We haven't eaten out in well over two years.

We will get there, but it will now be even slower going with the pay cut.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

It's been awhile

Well it's April the annual throw your back out week was here. I tossed it out good this time around. I did nothing, it just goes out every single freaking April. Wish I knew why? But insurance won't pay for anything, and we don't have the money for x-rays and such. So I live with it. I slow down, I don't stop because it's better to walk then sit, but can't lift. I also think my back knows it's dirt moving season and it doesn't want to move dirt.....So I'm still in recovery.
These two are so freaking cute. Buddy likes to sit on Sitka, it's really cute. 

This one has learned how to mow the yard. It's practice because he is now mowing for the neighbor. Any money made is split between savings and spending. 

This one is doing drawing on Thursdays instead of math. With all school on me now, it helps my Thursday, I have one off doing this and one off doing that and I'm fighting math with the big one. Cole is also so far ahead in math so he can have a day off a week. 

A gardeners nightmare, A tomato plant and an empty tag. Sigh. 

I made a quick quilt. I wanted to do more detail, but with the back out, this is as far as I got. I was on a time limit, well ok not really, because the project has been sitting here for like ever. But I wanted to get the project off my table. 

We were gifted a computer. Oh how I'm ever Thankful. Not easy to do school on one computer. Now our old computer the battery is dead. We were hoping it was just the cord, but it's the battery itself. So if you bump it, you are dead. Need to fix that. Ethan's been on the new computer a few times, and I found Cole on it once (a Lego site). OK then, probably go full force on it next school year. I'm also swagging when I can, just bought Ethan's birthday gift, A relief to get that two months early, And a great price.

And then the canning fairy stopped by. About 17 boxes of jars and a lot of odds and ends. I should have enough jars for about another year (JOKING) I probably shouldn't need another jar. But who says no to adopting another jar? At least I adopt jars and not cats?

So where do I start on the catching up. Things are just crazy daily. We finally made it through a re-fi. We changed up the Mortgage Lender, thinking after two fails, that may be the problem. Sure enough it was nearly stress free. She was on top of things and it was all smooth. After years of trying, it was nice to finally get through one. The main problem was our credit report was full of medical bills. They say medical doesn't count on a report, but it does. There is nothing on that report but medical.
 What I would do is every 3-6 months pull the credit report. I had a semi form letter all set, I would take each debt, tailor a letter to it and send it off to the credit agency, basically asking them to remove the medical debt. What in turn the agency is suppose to do is ask the person I owe the debt to, to prove I owe the debt, if no answer they have x amount of days to remove the mark off the report.
So everything I pulled the report it was interesting to see what was removed and what wasn't. Then the letters went out again. At the height we had a 10 page credit report. When we went through this re-fi we had 3 medical debts left. Our credit score went from 400 to over 700. But the whole process took over three years. We can now afford our mortgage and hopefully all medical bills. I have two with braces coming. Tucker should get his notice soon, and Ethan should be running roughly 6 months behind him.
In the mean time we are saving hard for a second car. We can not afford a loan. Plus I don't want a loan.
We've been semi working next door, small projects, but that money go towards the second car. If hubby isn't working next door then it may be time for a second job. After the second car, we have a van to save for. Hoping my van will hold out about two more years. But take it one day at a time. Hubby's pay cut isn't helping much either.
We've been working on a back yard project. scraping the play area ground, we are hoping to bring in about two yards of dirt, make it all smooth and put down grass seed and just make it all pretty back there, it's a wood chip mess out there, nothing is smooth it's horrible. So that is our current project. We are hoping to paint the house this year? I need to bring in some dirt. We are kinda waiting for my back to heal up some more.
I planted my last seed today. Yeah. Now to try and get everything out to the green house, I have ten trays left in the house. The tomatoes I have in the green house are doing well. So hoping to have the racks down by mid April. I got some of the onions planted, will do another round of planting in a few days.
Just a lot going on it's all me for homeschooling so I have that. I'm making lunch, I'm tending to the seedlings. You name it I'm doing it.
So hopefully do some garden updates soon?