Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Weekly Update & Mortgage Challenge (plus new garden bed)

So I did it again. Hubby and I were out working in this herb bed. Remember this guy? Well my Fever View has spread like crazy. Tuckers plant is having babies everywhere, and my Lilac's are buried and not being treated with the love they should have.

So this bed is for the lilac's. I will move the Fever View into the bed. I will this spring find all of Tucker's babies and put them into the bed. I plan on getting some Wintergreen and that will be placed in this bed, because it's also a spreader. Just kinda a catch all bed. 

So I bought a bunch of brick, this is four yards of dirt. Holes in the brick will hold Lavender. 

If you are wondering about the post and well. This is an RV parking site. We unhooked the electric long ago and the well is not working at the moment.  But we want to keep everything in place, until we decide if we are ever selling or staying?

And then yesterday our neighbor surprised us. She ordered ten yards of gravel, and now we have to rearranged our weekend in nearly 90 degree heat and work on the road. A bit surprised because we chatted about picking a day a wee bit later into fall to dodge the heat. But nope. And hubby can't take the day off. So he is working on road and then going to work, to finish off Sunday. All neighbors are working. 

Fall is coming, tomatoes have tanked, so now it's time to tear apart the garden. It's not just me on the tomato front, after talking to a few it's everyone in town. So it's more weather then anything. Just sad. 

Our Mortgage has dropped to 115,792.31 With each drop it's much easier to breath. I can't believe how close we are to 115k. That will be an exciting day.

About it here, just crazy busy with school, and garden. Tough money week ahead, but we will breath through it and be ok.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Weekly Update and under 16k Mortgage Challenge

The garden is slowly coming to an end. But there are still a few things to take photos of! The light was just right for Teddy the other day. Oh how pretty he is. This is a Teddy Bear Sunflower

An awesome sunflower.

How pretty is this mini rose? I'm not a fan of pink but crap this is pretty!

And finally, a photo of what I picked up in OR. A Prickly Pear. Hubby talked me into it. I really need to stick to NO. Because this was a pain in the ASS to bring home. A prickly pear is nothing to mess with. You don't touch this unless you are fully gloved and clothing. We actually lost a few paddles coming home, but it's still a pretty thing. 

A bumpy week. We are on day 8 of homeschooling. We've had bumps, the other day we got so far off, I couldn't figure it out. But today went so smooth it wasn't funny. But taking it one day at a time here. We are taking off Friday, as Tucker has an eye appointment and then stay in town to do errands and save on gas. Daddy had an eye appointment on Monday and needed new glasses. So as daddy was looking, Tucker picked out a pair. Oh he is all set if he needs glasses. He is really struggling so I think it's time for him. But he looks so good, so we shall see. Glasses are not paid by insurance. so we've been saving for this. 

Our Mortgage is under 116k. YEAH. Currently at 115,924.31, working hard at keeping on track. Just hope there are no more mortgage bumps.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Weekly Update & Mortgage Update

Oh how I LOVE these tomatoes. I think I will have to do these every year. These tomatoes are very tiny. BUT I bought some seeds this year that are suppose to be smaller? we will see. These are Matt's Wild. And they just melt my tomato picking heart.

Not a great tomato year, this year. I think it's more of a weather thing then a me thing? Too wet, not enough sun, they are turning brown and dying off on me. I've lost one whole bed so far. Although Siberia is doing well. These are new to me this year. Seem to be a study stream of tomatoes for me. A bit larger then a cherry. We have a week of sun ahead so I'm hoping for a bunch of red tomatoes. I'm watching the weather. Hoping to give everything a few more weeks before we are talking frost? 

We started school on Monday. There are a lot of wrinkles this year. We are slowly ironing them out. We are trying some online things this year. After Monday we realized it's more of a guide. It's good for science, history and art. Not sure on the spelling. But trying it for now. The math SUCKS. So I'm still doing Saxon, We realized the English sucks so we will keep with Bob Jones for English. We have expanded reading. This week it's 20-30 minutes in a week or two it will be a strong 30 minutes each.

Money wise, things are going from tight to tighter. Oh boy. You add in Christmas is coming. It's scary. We lost a LOT of food money this month. No idea why as nothing money wise has changed, but we were hit hard. I went over every number when we got the paperwork and they didn't input any wrong numbers so IDK. But it will really hurt. We are barely getting by as it is. But then you think that is the government for ya, never wanting to help, keep ya poor. Because you we would be ok if we were not paying down the house. 

And that is something I'm torn about daily. How can one pay down a house with a budget like this? But yet paying down the house will help the budget in about a year or so, and set us up, to look good. And the feeling you get every time you log in and see the total going down and down. If all goes well we will be below 113k at the end of the year. I would LOVE to be at 100k at the end of next year. I will run the numbers closer to the end of the year to see if that is possible? 

IDK I am taking things day at a time. I'm hoping to use swags for most of the Christmas. We may have to get creative on food here. I just hope the hit doesn't hurt us too bad. 

Mortgage is currently at 116,056.31

Thursday, August 21, 2014

I HATE my pantry, weekly update, and Mortgage Challenge

Been working on the pantry now. I picked an orange that has brown tones. Well this is ORANGE with no brown tones. And I really HATE it. BUT it's a pantry and when all is said and done I can shut the door and not see it. So I'm not spending money to repaint. So we are currently working on the floor. Hoping to gosh next week we are putting back the pantry and cleaning the heck out of this house. Because I'm soooooooo TIRED of living in this mess. My house has not been clean since July, so tired of tripping over things and moving things and you should have seen me cook dinner tonight.

So I need to start tearing apart the garden. So I brought in this guy tonight. Get him canned and go and pick another. I thought for sure he was 20 pounds. Nope 12.5 pounds. Found this one by accident. I went to pick a few red tomatoes, and nearly stepped on him. Now this squash is the squash they use to make canned pumpkin in stores. I really can't wait to grow these again.

Was out taking photos of the garden. The yellow sunflowers sure took their time blooming. They just popped this week. Crazy, but they all popped on one day, yellow everywhere.

Red velvet has been open for awhile now.

Grapes are going NUTS.

Bees, lots of bees in the garden. And as long as you leave them alone they leave you alone. Just don't accidentally get one in the crease of your arm because they will sting you. OUCH. 

Borage. I'm adding White Borage next year. How exciting. 

Yeah, hum crazy times here. Need to start tearing apart the garden. Tomatoes are just now starting to turn red. I'm dicing right now. Might have enough for a pot of sauce in a day or two? I just hope i'm not picking green tomatoes and bringing them in. Been working on herbs and getting then torn down, cut back. Moving as fast as I can. But it seems so slow!

Praying we can get the pantry done this week. Start to clean up the house, and I plan on being brutal. I would love to take another trip to goodwill when everything is done with. Hubby has next week off and my to do list is long and horrid. I'm hoping to also start school next week???? Speaking of school I finally found an online school I think I like? We will sign up Ethan first and get him started. If we like it we will sign up the other two. But then there goes my mornings. Been saving my swag money, just in case we do like the school, then we will need another computer actually two. But one for now. My computer runs slow, and needs to be restarted often. But it's the only one that can print. Well when they talk? 

Thinking of getting a geek in here when we get our tax return. Get my computer running faster? get all the computers hooked to the printer. Get the printer on the new router. I'm just not a computer person. Would love to have everything talking to each other!

Been doing good on the Mortgage front. We fell below 117,000. YEAH. Every time we fall a thousand it's like we can breath easier. It's easing the pain. Currently sitting at 116,623. Shouldn't be long before we are in the 115's if we keep going at this rate. Need to look ahead at some numbers. We've been slowly, really slowly building back up the savings, and that feels good. Just needs to keep adding to it. Very slowly. A lot of me putting off things, we can get it later, we don't need it. Or using swag money to buy something. And saying NO a lot. 

Well if you don't hear from me the pantry or garden has swallowed me whole!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Weekly Update & Mortgage Challenge

And it has been a week. So in the midst of cleaning out the playroom, and getting it ready for painting. This happens. Honestly it sounded like a freight train had hit the house. I actually thought the playroom wall fell down.

Three shelves of jars. I lost a lot of herbs, chicken and such. Glass everywhere. With the playroom going on (photos later you won't want to miss it!) The pantry is still a mess. Most of the glass is picked up, but I have jars everywhere, waiting for us to deal with the pantry. 

Thought I would share some garden photos. Because honestly I can't believe my garden this year. Judy is doing amazing. 

 One bed of tomatoes, but notice all that space in front? I had to move the fence because goats were just leaning over eating tomatoes. 

Everything is so tall and big. 

Pumpkin patch. 

You can't tell the size of this on screen, but it's probably a close 40 pounder right now. I have another right behind this one. Probably sitting at about 30 pounds, hard to see because he is buried.

Leo says HI. He misses his brother something awful. 

So as for our week. The truck went in, yet again, and me freaking out held back the extra house payment last week. Because we have no money. And the truck always costs us something. Sure enough 200 dollars later, so we had to scrap up some money. We also had hay delivered, two more rounds, or marshmallows. Should take the goats into September. So had to scrap up money for that. Just plain OUCH. 

So hopefully back on track this week? I paid the Mortgage, and the extra payment for this week. We are now below 117....Sitting at 116,914.59. So nice to be under the 117 mark.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Weekly Update & Mortgage Challenge

Yeah, it's been more then a week since the last update. Tell ya the garden has opened up and swallowed me whole. So went out of town to a family reunion. We thought we would head south and roast in southern Oregon. I'll show off my new goodies later. All in all, not the greatest trip and my mother and I may never speak again before she passes. She needs rehab and I don't see that happening. She has chosen not to speak to me anymore, but that is what drunks do, they kick out the ones that care. Her loss. But either she smarts up and goes to rehab and get on her feet or she will mix pills and alcohol and pass on. 

Came home to 12 pounds of cucumbers and suddenly canning season has begun. I'm now picking 20 pounds of cucumbers daily to every other day.

One should not turn a blind eye to zucchini....We went out and picked 15 today. Gray Zucchini is new to me this year and very dreamy. Not only the coloring, but the insides. Oh how lovely it is. One I will grow every year from now on.

Got home and got a wild hair to gut our house, starting with this room. You tell Tucker and Cole to clean their room and this is what you get? We gutted the room, took everything out but the bed.

Tell ya about 70% of it left the house! two loads went to goodwill, not all from the bedroom, some from the playroom as well.

Just not pretty.

So asked the boys about painting their room. Oh they wanted it painted, but I was out voted. Do you see the changes? We also put in closet length shelves. It was a great idea.

See they have a floor.

Pulled this from the playroom. It holds all their stuffed animals. 

Next up is the playroom. Doing this on a very tight budget so it's slow going. The only thing I bought for the bedroom was a gallon of paint. For the playroom, we plan on getting a new carpet remnant, and about one gallon of paint. Also we will go to surplus and get a kids table, they run about ten dollars. So the whole play room should run under 100 dollars. So stay turned for that. But nice to refresh the house a little? Declutter and take a few loads to goodwill. 

So after a rough month and missing a few extra Mortgage payments. I have been sending a few dollars here and there to play catch up. I'm currently short 298. Now our payment went down by 20 dollars so I will have that. But I will make an effort to catch up and stay on track. The last two weeks have been good. We are currently at 117,340.35 should be in the 116's by the beginning of next month. Exciting. 

If you don't hear from me, I'm canning, drying, or doing something. Just wait until tomato season!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Weekly Update & Mortgage Challenge

Crazy, crazy week. So much going on in the garden. Our up coming camping trip. And my dreamy herb dryer died on my yesterday. No idea what I'm going to do. I'm using my excell right now, but it has a fan in the back, not great for everyday herb use. 

We are picking pounds of blue berries, raspberries, and strawberries daily. We harvested half of the turnip bed the other day. Now giving room to the other half to grow, harvest those after our trip and replant. 

We scored a free chest freezer the other day. Which is so needed since I'm filling up our other two faster then expected. 

When we get back from our trip it will be nothing but garden, garden, and garden. We are adding two semi big beds. If we can cut down an area we kinda let go, then I will add beds there? I plan on expanding at least one bed. 

Thought I would do updated photos on the hydroponics. My lettuce never took off. Did new seeds and kept them in a cool dark place and still nothing. Re-did the seeds for a third time and put them in the green house. And BOOM they took off. Hoping another week or two and I can put them back in the pipe. 

The strawberries finally took off, they apparently went into a shock for a few weeks, but finally came out of it and started to grow green, and bloom flowers. 

Same with the cucumber after a few weeks of shock I noticed the other day it was finally growing and taking off. 

Max is still with us. I bring him out twice a day to feed him grain. He is on the weaker side and has lost a few pounds. But still going strong. I just have to shake the food dish and he comes a-running.

Well not much going on, on the Mortgage front. I need to do my monthly payment. But this week and last I didn't make the extra payments. So last week hubby's work messed up his check so bad it wasn't even funny. We finally got paid, but they didn't want to pay him for sick. But his check came in pieces, we had to take the van in to get ready for the upcoming camping trip. Had to buy a battery, and other things piled on. This week it's all about the kids. Went through Tucker's and Ethan's clothes. Guess who has no summer clothes? Guess what I'm buying Friday? 

What I figure is our Mortgage payment is dropping by 20 dollars. I will keep paying the same amount so that is an extra 100 dollars. And between now and the end of the year I will try hard to find another 160 to make up the difference so we can stay on track. Find 5 here and 10 there it will add up and we will get back on track. 

OH our Mortgage payment is dropping by 20 dollars. Complete shock because the Mortgage payment always goes up and up, this is the first time ever it went down. So can't wait for the re-fi to really drop the payment!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Well Hell

Look who is now riding a bike? Mr. Tucker. I realized he was close yesterday so we loaded up the kids today and went to the park, got about 1/2 way around the track and I felt he was ready, so we put the peddles back on the small bike and let him go. Oh good gravy. BUT he finally got it and took off. Finished that lap and stopped at the van for a water break. And that is when Buddy took Tucker down. I put this crying kid on the bike and told him to go.

I know I could have easily been called mean mom, but he wasn't thinking about the peddling he was thinking about the pain and off he went. Nearly around the track. Oh look Tuck you can ride a bike. So back to the van and we put him on Cole's bike and off he takes. He does have an issue with starting and stopping. But after dinner we ran up the road and worked on that. His first breaking he landed in a bush. Had to fish him out and I put a crying kid back on his bike and told him to go! He now gets a bike of his own. 

Tell ya Cole is right behind them. Another day or two and I may have three bike riders?

Welcome a new family member. I want to do sauerkraut and I wanted to get a crock, so we ran south to a place that sells a lot of canning stuff. This was half price compared to Amazon. It will be the first of many. But I didn't plant that much cabbage so this is just a starter. Work on it and see how we like it and go from there. If we like it, then lets go cabbage crazy next year.  I just wanted a 2 gallon, hubby talked me into a 3 gallon. who I'm I to say no? See if we can add a 5 gallon next year. Go from there. I'm super excited. 

Speaking of hubby, probably won't be a weekly update this week. Work isn't paying him his sick leave. So right now our check is laugh-able. Of course there is an email now and a phone call tomorrow. Hoping tomorrow to have an answer and a pay date! But this is why I don't allow him to take days off. It's a fight to get paid. He gets sick leave but good luck using it and collecting on it. If he is sick he goes to work if his back is hurting he is going to work. It shouldn't be like that. But crap if there is something to fix, this would be it. If you get sick leave allow people to use it without jumping through 15 billion hoops!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Weekly Update & Mortgage Challenge

YES! I know it's been a few weeks. I'm trying. But that massive garden I have is demanding all of my time right now. The boys are out giving it some time every morning, moving it forward. Making great strides.  Should be harvesting turnips later this week.

Boys goofing off!

Bunches of Oranges on the orange tree. Exciting.

This marshmallow. OH this marshmallow, we got it rolled into the goat pen, then my awesome husband tried to lift it without me. To turn it upright. Well you try lifting 200 plus pounds, it didn't go well. He throw out his back so bad he thought he was dying. Just dying. I tried to calm him down, but nope he was dying. Wanted me to call 911, he was dying. So I called 911 and they came and took him away, I finally found someone to watch the kids so I could go and sit for hours on end in the ER. No x-ray nothing you just pulled it really good. Two rounds of hard drugs and 4 very long hours we were headed home. Doctor telling him he wasn't dying. Just too much pain for your body at the time.

I got the joy of dealing with everything. Had to go and pick up the kids, run by his work because now he gets a week off. I was so burnt out after getting home, but no had to water, and do everything. Tell ya after two days he was done and ready to go back to work. He is now back at work and doing just fine.

Then I have this turkey. Well all my kids are turkeys. So I got in a mood a few weeks ago. Here Ethan is nearly 11 and doesn't know how to ride a bike yet. Mostly our fault, we live on a dirt road, we never have any money for a bike. So for three weeks I saved up and we got Cole a brand new bike. Figured Ethan and Tucker could learn on that then they can get a bigger bike. So we got a bike and training wheels and off we went. Well except the training wheels didn't fit. So we returned them. And in me thinking there has to be a better way. I was on You Tube and let me just say OMG. 

So you take off the peddles and you let them get balance, once they have balance and are keeping their legs up, you put the peddles back on and let them go. So this morning we took off the peddles and went up to the park. For a good hour the boys were walking their bikes around the park (we had a small old bike, Cole's new bike, and a borrowed bike), Ethan finally got it and took off. So after dinner, we put the peddles on the bike and off he went. In under two hours that child was riding a bike. So we moved him up to Cole's bike because it's bigger then the tiny old bike we had and started him on. He took off on Cole's bike. 

So after some more practice on that he can get his own bike. Now Tucker has the smaller bike, it's his turn, he thinks he will be riding by the end of the week. Forcing mommy to find money for two new bikes before our camping trip. But it was so exciting to see him out riding. Can not believe it was that easy for him to learn. He did not want to come in tonight, just all over the place. Although he is sore in the behind area....Two hours on a bike will do that.

On the money front, we seem to be doing ok. I've been cutting back on food and a lot of no's and saving money. Which is how we got a bike. Found out about Mortgage Recasting. Basically you send them a large sum of money, and a fee and ask for a recasting. And they shake up your loan and you get a smaller payment, but your rate and loan time stays the same. Been thinking on that. If I were to put the 132 aside for the next 18 months and send them that and ask we could drop our monthly payment by a lot. But I don't think we qualify because we normally go FHA, I am not sure we did that last time, we streamlined, but did we streamlined FHA? And would it remove PMI? On the flip side I like seeing the house amount drop every week. We are now under 118k which is exciting. Currently 117,971.00 We are thinking on the recasting and may call with our questions.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Weekly Update & Mortgage Challenge

And it has been a week! First off Mr. Vader, the BIG dog has left. His momma came and got him. Boy has he missed her. She came over to tell me she was going to pick him up later. He sat at that front door waiting for her.

And this little one has missed him something awful! Very depressed over loosing his brother. Although I didn't realize how big Vader was until he was gone. The house feels so empty, I don't have a big dog under foot. Just everything so quiet.

We got the hydroponics set up this week. These are just test tubes. We are in the midst of building an A-Frame that will house the tubes. But until then they are on saw horses. I have lettuce in one and strawberries in another.


I'm testing a cucumber in a bucket. I saw someone do cucumbers on You Tube, BUT the guy had nine plants in one hole. HELLO. You can't put nine in one hole and expect it to work well. I have one in this hole. We will see what happens?

Trying lettuce in a tub. I plan on doing tubs in the green house over the winter. So we will see?

So much going on this week. My mother is retiring. Oh yeah. She says she plans on spending more time down here. Oh Lord help me! 

Max the goat is really sick. It's like one of his stomach's has stopped working. It's the oddest thing. Hay will go down and come up, but not go down again it gets stuck. Mind you this goat hates me, so it was something when he wanted in the house so I brought him in and gave him some grain, and realized something just isn't right. So we got the joy of pining him down and removing everything. Oh after that he felt great. Ate some grain and back out. But he won't eat hay and he lightly grazes. So I bring him out once a day and fed him grain. He may be grain fed for the rest of his life. He is nine so he is getting up there in years. We will just see how things go. At least he stopped running from me and is letting me treat him or he would have passed on by now. 

Spent the week planting, planting and more planting. Have 181 tomato plants in the ground. Yeah, went a wee bit over board again? All the beds are just full. I still have 7 flats left in the green house. 3 are just tomatoes. No idea what to do if they get tall enough to plant? I have a lot of fine tune planting to do now. 

On the Mortgage front. Went from 118,634 to 118,235.62 had an issue with our numbers. Finally got them in order. Made no sense as nothing was off, but something was just off. So it took me a few extra days to pay the mortgage. Had to be sure the money would be there.