Monday, December 2, 2013
So before anyone asks about this pie and where is the recipe? You can find it here This is the first pumpkin pie since going dairy and egg free that has turned out. OH and using my own pumpkin. It did take an hour to cook. Normally when I get the 90 minute mark I normally give up.
On the flip side Tucker ate every single bite of this pie. I kid ya not.
So my kids have been counting down to Christmas since we were at the 50 day mark. We are now at 23 days and I'm not freaking out. In fact today we got Christmas all set up. Because we keep it simple in under an hour it was all brought in, set up and empty totes taken out. I love how simple we keep things. When I was growing up it would take a whole weekend and then some. I don't understand the point. And even when my mother moved she didn't downsize her shed and attic full of Christmas. Nope she took it all with her.
So why I'm I not freaking out? Well because I started shopping months ago. I watch things, I wait for sales, I use coupons, store credit, and swagbucks. I have spent very little on Christmas. Although don't get me wrong, my kids do not get a big Christmas. Nor do they need one. They will get 2-3 things each. BUT they get something they really want, verses me just getting something to fill under the tree and over load their bedrooms.
And this will led us until our very simple year next year. No extra buying, we will make do, we will save every penny and pay down the house. If we can hold on for a year to a year and a half and make this work, then we are really setting ourselves up for a great future. Well and if not, then we could use a serious butt kicking. BUT I have to remind myself not to be like my parents. I never want to put my kids through the hell of loosing a house.
Although I have a worry of something major coming up to detour this. Like last year and a broken arm. So anymore broken bones and we will use duct tape and make do (I'M JOKING)
Friday, November 22, 2013
It's a very coooooooooooooooooold week. A lot of curling up and staying warm.
This was in the goats water one morning.
And this is the mess it made.
And this child. This baby of mine finished up first grade math. This is the child you can not leave alone with math because he will keep going and going and going. He wears me out at times. So before starting second grade math we are taking a break. We will finish up the DK first grade math, So I am sure he understands what he is doing. We will probably start second grade after the first of the year.
This is also the child where I will ask Ethan what is the square root of 16 and Cole says 4. WHAT? Where my husband is like what is a square root?
Yeah, someone has mommies math brain.
This is also my child who WANTS to read. He reads to me for about 30-60 minutes a day, on top of that me reading to him. But that is ok if he is reading my life is easier!
So math break next week and this will allow Daddy to catch up. Daddy has dropped the ball a bit as we've been hit with all sorts of things. We've had two window guys. Errands. Neighbors moving. This and that. And Ethan and I have some serious pie making to do!
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Well this week we got hit with a curve ball. So we made a plan and waited to see how the curve ball would pan out. See we live in a really, small house. With three growing boys and canned goods to store. Currently have 4 dogs (one is on loan well neighbor moves) 3 cats and one blind bunny.
Well this house popped into my inbox and normally I look at the address and delete, just because they are 20-30 minutes from us. Which means it would take hubby an hour to get to work. Not doing that. But this one was ten minutes from us right off the freeway. So really depending on traffic he could hit freeway and go straight to work. Do-able. The house is bigger and lots of land. hum? So after some back and fourth we contacted our agent and some talking with her because you can't finance the house. We went and looked just to rule it out.
Oh how I liked that house. The land all beat up was dreamy. BUT it would take money to move in as the floors are really slanted. We were missing one very important room that we need in a house. And you can't raise teens in bedrooms that small. And you can't buy a house just for the land.
So we moved on to Plan B. Wait for our neighbors house to go up for auction and see if we had enough cash to buy that out. Use it as a rental to pay off the loans we would have to get. We would take the back half of the land for the garden. But we know the septic needs replacing. The house is small and really do we want to be land lords? Maybe one day but not this year. So last night after much talking we have moved on to Plan C.
Plan C. is to pay down the mortgage as much as possible. At the end of the week any cash in the bank will be pulled and put into a pile. Once we have 1-200 dollars it will be sent off to money lady. We will build up that account so we have cash on hand. So that when the right house comes along we have cash and we can sell the house and use the proceeds. Pay cash for the house and be Mortgage Debt free. Now lets say in 2-3 years nothing comes along, we might just stay here and expand out the house. But that is Plan D.
Also part of Plan C. We found out about how much our house would sell for today. Relief. We have been bobbing between underwater and a bit over water. Right on that borderline. But house prices have risen and if we sold today we would walk with 5-6k. Boy was that math nice to do. We wouldn't have to come up with money to sell. So "if" we can stay on track with my paying down the Mortgage idea. At the end of the year we will have 20% in the house. We can then talk to a Mortgage person and talk about our final re-fi, I only want to re-fi if we can drop mortgage insurance. Of course with all the ever changing rules we may not be able to do this. But it's why we will talk before doing any paperwork. It also gives us time to work on credit score and more medical to drop off.
But a re-fi would put more money into our budget which would allow us to pay down the house faster and save more.
So we dodged this curve ball. We are not moving and trying to sell and come up with cash before the end of the year. RELIEF. This did kick our butt and we got our thoughts organized.
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
I know I know, you don't hear from me for awhile and BOOM three posts in one day.
Anywho this past Summer I came to the conclusion I really don't like my front yard garden. OH how I love to garden, but honestly it's ugly. It was make shift, it was found wood. The beds are way too far apart. The lay out isn't logically. I can't get my head around the brick walk way.
So lots and lots and lots of thinking and it finally came to me.
So we decided we are tearing out the front yard garden.
We will have a blank canvas.
The beds will be closer together which will add two more more beds.
So say bye bye to the old make shift, make do garden.
I'll keep you posted as winter goes by. We have a plan and I'm soooooooooooooooo excited.
I made three sets of these and sent them to a friend for her to sell for her charity. I hope they sell well. As much as I love this pattern. They are ever so small and the fox was a pain in the butt to do. It was the stuffing of the little legs. If you want the pattern you can buy from here https://www.etsy.com/shop/littlehiboushoppe
These were so easy to do (well except the fox) that my ten year old did a set for himself. With very little help from me.
Friday, November 8, 2013
So after much debate, starting on 1/3/14 we plan on restarting the Mortgage Challenge.
I have re-worked the numbers so many times over. It will be tight, it will be painful BUT I think we can do it. To go from 122,999. to about 109k would be a dream.
There was a debate on rather to send our tax return to Mortgage. BUT I think we will put that in the bank as a back up. So the next time the brakes go out we are not freaking out. The next time a BB goes through the window we are not cursing. The next time we are 5 dollars short on gas, we will be ok. Take it day by day and hope for the best? Just 365 days right? Just 8,760 hours right? Just 525,600 minutes right? we can do that right? IDK either, But it's worth a shot. It will put us in a much better place money wise. It will be a relief, it will just help. "if" we can get to under 100k we will look into re-fing to get rid of pmi and to have a smaller payment all around, but who knows where the rates will be at that time?
I'll keep you posted as we go. Although I worry now that I've thrown it out into the world something again will stop us? But I'm working hard now to pay off medical, so we shall see?
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
And I don't mean the water version. I mean the life version.
So I got 21 pillowcases down and will be heading south here soon. They are going to some kids.
The Girl finished her quilt. I'll get back to The Girl later.
And Vader is here for a visit. I can not believe how BIG he is compared to our other dogs. Holy Crap Batman. I just call him Big Foot. He will be back and fourth as mommy had to move to a rental that only allows two dogs and he is third man out. So she will sneak him in and when she gets caught he will be back for awhile. It's fine. Her other dog is older and it's a matter of time, until he is second man out. But in the meantime it's interesting having four dogs during the rainy season.
Where does one start on life? Hannah got out last night as fate would have it, Hubby and the boys walked up to the corner of the road. to check out some work being done and who do they find? But Hannah. Mind you Hannah minds like beans. We are talking about finding her a new home. Maybe someplace she can run wild with 5 acres? We don't understand the breaking out? Because the neighbor dog is in our yard? Sitka and Vader stayed in the yard.
Last week The Girl had a "Friend" over. Now I'm not one for teens and those under 13 running around with fireworks and guns. Nope kid ya not. The Teen and The Girl was out shooting fireworks. In doing that that dogs went though the back door, smashing the heck out of my foot. I have bruises in colors I have never seen before. Now fireworks are one thing, but when you see them with guns. You tend to move the kids away from all windows. Me freaking out I took photos and such and called hubby and whined.
Because I believe Parents should be watching kids with fireworks and guns? Just a thought right? But hubby is like don't worry a BB can't go through the window. Really? Needless to say we were fighting. Until the next day I wake up so cold. I kept getting up and putting on layers. My feet were so numb from the cold in the morning. We couldn't understand until I'm in the midst of teaching school and hubby is cleaning up the bedroom and pulls back the curtain to find a BB hole in our window. Went right smack through our bedroom window.
Tell ya the steam coming out of his ears. Kinda fun to watch, After a debate was it a rock a BB shot? Honey when was the last time you mowed the yard? Oh Yeah. so we looked and looked and sure enough found a BB. He scooped it up and ran to the neighbors with the steam coming out. Needless to say the window guy will be here next week and the neighbor will be paying for it. In the mean time I'm FREEZING. Mind you we live with one space heater right now. Hubby put plastic on the window and we covered it with a blanket on the other side so that helps.
So here is what I think happened? I think "The Boy" saw that I was watching him do target practice right outside the boy's window. As it was getting dark he went to the front of the yard. Where I couldn't watch him. I went to serve dinner and he saw a dark room and shot at it to teach me a lesson? So hubby ran into him that night and he asked what happened? Well we lined up pumpkins and was shooting at them. And one must have bounced off.
Hubby came home saying what could I say? You can't argue stupid! Told them window guy will be here at 9am be here and pay the bill!
Mind you there are no pumpkins lined up anywhere. Mind you I gave them all the pumpkins. And this is how they want to treat them? So utterly tired of parents not supervising their kids. First who the hell is "This Boy" why was her daughter age 11 out following "This Boy" around shooting off fireworks and shooting at things? And why the hell were they allowed so close to my house?
Next time, I'm done, the police will be called.
OH and that night "The Girl" showed up wanting to play. Hum NO we are done. Kills me I put in so many hours teaching her how to sew, and quilt and such, and this is what I get in return? No utter respect and a hole in my window?
You add in the fact I'm Pissed at my husband, don't ever doubt my gut feeling. I tell ya they are going to shoot a BB through the window don't tell me that isn't possible!
TV is totally out tonight. Not only are we b/w but the lines are now sideways and moving all around. We can't afford a TV, we need tires. We need to pay off medical. Got an updated arm bill and it's like we can't make a dent. I'm paying and paying and I owe more then when I started. CRAP. I want to have it paid off by the end of the year. So we can restart the mortgage challenge but who knows?
A bunny finally died on us. And not the one we were expecting. 1 down 2 to go. OK it's not that bad, these bunnies are older then dirt. They are so spoiled no wonder they keep right on living. Hell one is blind and living in our living room. The cage is left open because he is blind he isn't going anywhere. When his bowl is empty he puts it outside the door and we fill it for him. Talk about spoiled.
Cole will be out of first grade math by the end of the month. We will finish up the DK math book in December and start second grade after our Christmas break. He wants to read so bad we are spending 30-60 minutes a day reading. He is cruising in English. He wears me out. Tucker will be done with part one of third grade math on November 13th. Talk about excited. Ethan is cruising, Just Thank God he has a math brain and I only really struggle with one in math. Ethan and I are so much alike I can often read the listen or just do it and he is like OHHH and takes off.
Signed up for health care, Don't know if I have covered that yet? I believe I did? When the medical bills are all paid off to have that money and the weekly insurance payment we make, back into our paycheck it will be interesting. I can't wait to start the mortgage challenge up again. OH Mortgage we are now .69 cents under 123k. That is exciting. Getting closer and closer to 120k. And once we reach that we will never be over 120k again. "if" we can stay on track we will be close to 110k by the end of next year. "If not" well then we won't will we?
Neighbor moved. It's been hard. Hate to see her go. My other neighbor can just go, but this one. Crap it's killing me. I'm glad she en-trusted me with her dog. This was a great idea so she doesn't have to get rid of him. And really I don't mind. At some point we will help her finish moving. Waiting on weather to clear a bit.
Going in to talk to our money lady soon. Mind you we have no money. We do have 3 months of Mortgage payments now saved up. We will have no lights or heat, but we will have a house for 3 months of anything happens? Of course we want to save more. But it's hard on what we bring in. We need to start to really work on our retirement. So we are opening Roth's. Putting a whopping 50 in them a month for the both of us. But hey it's a start?
I have a list a mile long of things to fix around this house. First up is the window of course and well the window guy is here we will get prices on other windows. I'm hoping to have tires by the end of the year? And then work down the list. We need to replace the house heaters. We just did Ethan's. So now my kid is no longer cold.
Boy I could whine all night long. And it's nothing compared so some others I know. I know it's my time to take some hits. And I"m taking them and hoping I duck the ones I can. But I'm tired. I would love some good news? Maybe a little money falling from the sky? Not much?
Friday, October 25, 2013
So we know October was going to kick us in the butt. We prepared ourselves. But it was a butt kicking that is for sure. First we were preparing for a strike at work. As hubby would not have been on strike, but would have to work 12-15 hours to cover those on the line. We didn't want a strike, as much as the extra money would have been nice, we know them all and we don't want anyone to go without a pay check.
With two hours to go, strike was called off. No details for awhile. Although because we are non union we don't get what they get. But like if they get holiday pay, we get holiday pay. If they get something cut we get something cut. The difference is in things like health care. They have really good health care. Well we have really crappy medical care.
I had to deal with our health care. NOT something I was looking forward to. As hubby's work is HIGHLY recommending that we don't sign up for ACA. But honestly I can't take another year with work insurance. People we have a 10,000 deductible per person. So not only am I paying nearly 30 dollars a week for this crappy insurance, I'm paying 50-100 a week on medical bills. It's killing us. When Cole broke his arm I honestly thought about NOT taking him in. It's scary to have those thoughts. Thinking crap how much will this be costing us. In case you are curious it's about 2k without surgery. All out of our pocket.
So anywho, curious and in a really bad mood, it was either go and curl up in bed and have a good cry or do something on my long list. Yeah, lets figure out health insurance when you are in a mood? So curious I went over to our WA ACA site. And hum we don't make enough to get onto ACA. Apparently in our state you need to be making about 39k a year. Well that isn't happening here. BUT WA expanded medicaid. And we can now get on that. So the kids are all ready signed up and we (adults) have coverage at the first of the year. So I can tell work to shove it's horrible insurance. Well except work might be telling me where to stick it? I came across a story that work is dropping spouses. Really? Talk about sticking it to us. So we won't get contract details for awhile, by then work insurance sign up will be closed. I can't get on ACA. Geez good thing I signed up with the state.
Happy to be done with work.
We put up 40 pounds of chicken. Zaycon chicken is awesome. Between jars of chicken, chicken soup and meals. I'm excited. We get hamburger next month. Math wise it's cheaper then the store. It's better then the store. So tired of recall after recall to find out about the crap the animals are fed.
We got the joy of a major allergic reaction here. We went gluten, dairy, and soy free for Ethan and Cole, but it turns out Tucker is worse then anyone. In laws took us to Red Robin for lunch. I went through my speech how they are gluten, dairy, soy, corn free, and how we do their food. NOW I don't remember saying not to season the hamburgers. BUT others at the table said I did. We believe Tucker ate a seasoned hamburger. Now rather it was a mix up and it was meant for hubby? or a cc issue or what. We will never really know? By the time we got home, Tuckers eyes were so swollen. He had a rash from head to toe and itching.
See here is another medical issue. I was only going to take him in if he started to have trouble breathing. He never had trouble breathing, even through I was up most of the night checking on him. But round after round of benadryl. Ethan who had a few bites of Tucker's hamburger, by day two was doubled over in pain dying in the bathroom. When he finally got out of the bathroom he laid on his floor for awhile just dying.
The joy of allergies.
So after much talk, it was decided we will never go out to eat again. We just can not trust someone else with my boys food right now. I was really hoping they would semi grow out of things by now. But just a sprinkle and it's scary. If Tucker were to get full blown soy we would have been up a creek. I've cancelled everything for the year. I'm just staying home, I'm cooking for the kids. I'm done. I can't trust right now. It's scary if something were to happen on my watch. I think not. Speaking of my watch, I sent Tucker out with scissors, and a brother to cut free a goat, who really isn't too friendly. No, idea what I was thinking there? It seems the goat saw Tuck and ripped the tarp off and went running. So after dinner Ethan and I went out to play catch a goat. Well in the process of catching the goat, I went flying through goat poop. BUT I caught him! I got the tarp off. The joy I have with goats.
Even through October is not done yet. I'm ready for November. Although I'm not ready for Christmas. 2 months. scary. The boys know it will be small. And that is just fine. They know I have an arm to pay for. Told Cole if I pay for the arm then they won't come and take it away. After much thinking, he just gave me a look. And it's not about gifts. I think they are looking forward to a school break. They are doing good with school and so far we are on track. If you leave Cole alone he just does his math. Dang kid will be done with first grade around Christmas.
All those pillowcases I'm posting. I'm thinking of doing a batch and throwing them on etsy. Not looking to make a bunch of money. But a little might be nice? As we've lost money here and there and we are tittering on the point of I might have to go back to work. My hours would have to be in the middle of the night. Which craps me as I've been working on my sleep. I am now asleep by 2am and up by 9am. It's still a work in progress. Can't seem to find a magnesium that works for me. I think that is my missing link. But I'll keep looking.
But working on the budget hoping to find more money. Not paying weekly insurance will help. If the state covers the bills then that will loosen up that money as soon as bills are paid off. It's not like we go to the doctor a lot, or will now that we have insurance. But if a child breaks an arm, I won't have thoughts about not taking them in?
But will it be enough of a difference? Our 401k loan will be paid off in 19 weeks. As much as that would help we will be turning that around and putting it into the 401k, as our retirement is just crap and I need to work on building it up. So it's a matter of finding more to cut and bringing in a wee bit more.
So I hope it all balances out. I'll know more as time goes on. It's been a really tough month and I'm tired.
I'm loosing a great neighbor at the end of the month. She is giving her house back to the bank. Bank refuses to work with her. Surprise, surprise. But she had until Feb. But finally found a rental that will take 2 of the 3 dogs. So we are getting a dog until she can sneak him in. Although well he is here I'm fixing him! I highly believe in fixing animals. And there is a program that helps pay for it. I've sent all my animals through it. And thanks to my other neighbor not fixing her dogs. We are getting a puppy in December. Who will be fixed within weeks of coming here. I'll just do both at once. HA. I'll call it her Christmas gift. Although its something she wants so.
Yeah, we are getting a puppy. So not what we need. Puppy will be staying in Ethan's room. He will be paying for food and everything out of allowance. I will fix the dog as part of his Christmas. Ethan has made a list and slowly getting things from goodwill as we go. He will be cage trained and sleep there at night or of we leave the house. I am so not a fan of a puppy and the lovely chewing stage!
So yeah a very busy October. It just seems to drag on and on. I still have some pumpkins and carrots to deal with and then the garden is done with OH and parsnips. I'm closing down the garden as I can and covering beds. Cutting things back. Getting things planned for next year.
Here is hoping November is much better then October!