Friday, December 12, 2014

The Bug

I caught the bug, the gardening bug that is. Who can think about Christmas when spring is right around the corner. OMG gardening season is COMING. 

OK so I'm running about two months behind on life. So I don't even have garlic in the ground. Come this Sunday that will be fixed, But try ordering garlic in December? It ain't happening. I finally found one. And it arrived today. What I want to do is remove the store bought garlic I planted last year and only grow Heirloom kinds of garlic. So I guess that is a next year sort of thing?

Finally gave up on Garlic and went into onions. We plan on playing with our onions. Hubby wants to grow really big onions. We will probably do a bed of just Alisa's and some tubs to see how they grow. Really space them and fed them and tons of water and just play. So that order came in today. See I'm ahead. HA tricked myself. I plan on planting probably end of Jan? Need to think on things.

Seed catalogs are starting to arrive. Just in time for Christmas....

(Guess who is still processing squash?)

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Weekly Update & Mortgage Challenge

Another sewing project done. Hubby told someone at work that I could make a 3 foot tall penguin. Well ok then. It was for money and we need money so I whipped one up. This pattern is from Carol's Zoo, I just blow up the penguin to make her up to 3 feet.

My youngest got up from the table tonight and announced he wanted all his hair chopped off. After my heart attack, we compromised. I didn't cut it all off, and he got it cut short. I think it was starting to weigh on him and hitting his eyes and such. He was done. 

We lost power today for a few hours. So we had school work by window light. Got my seeds sorted and the rest of my tomato seeds put into storage.  Little stuff. Would have kept going but the energy company finally showed up and turned back on the power.

So had a VERY nice surprise this week. Our refund check from HUD that is two years late finally came in this week. Not of course for the amount it should logically be. But hey anything helps right now. My first thought was boy that would buy a LOT of seeds, but then we got logical and we sent the Mortgage a 1,000. So that dropped us to the 112k range. I am now tightening our belts and I'm actually sending Mortgage more this week, then we will be spending on food and such. Out of our paycheck. I also did the math on doing the re-fi verses not doing the re-fi. If we stayed on our track we would have the house paid off in under 10 years. If we did the re-fi, we are looking at about 8 years and a few months. So it's something to think on there. Right now our only focus is to get the house down to 110k before the Mortgage guy calls. 

Went from 113,778.55 to 112,625. A very nice drop this week. If only every week could be like this?

Friday, December 5, 2014

Weekly Update & Mortgage Challenge

Another crazy week here. I got a few projects finished up. I LOVE how the felt boards came out. These are for the neighbors grand kids. If you google Mr. Potato head felt board the pattern will come up, the dinosaurs came off pinterest. I'm always on there looking for felt ideas. 

I stapled the felt to painting canvas. I got the canvas at Michael's at 67% off.

The bunnies are for someone at hubbies work. Now I have trained hubby to say NO to gift swaps. We can't afford it and the crap we get in return is not worth it. BUT the managers did this on his day off, without asking him and when he found out who he got, OH you can make something for her, she LOVES bunnies. OH I have one that is blind and near death I can give her? Hum he said no, but had to think about it. 

So I had a McCall's bunny pattern that has been sitting on my desk I have been wanting to do. So I made a mock up and really liked how fast it sewed up and no real issues. Well except I sewed the head spot together. oops. But you see the big bunny? that is the size they gave me. So I shrunk down the pattern to make the babies. 

And I will tell ya they are so flipping adorable. I LOVE the cow print one. Makes one wonder what his dad looks like? 

So this actually costs me nothing, I bought nothing to make these. All fabric was on hand. 

On the Mortgage front, we dropped a lot this week. It was the monthly payment time, and the extra we pay every week, so we had a nearly 500 dollar drop. Oh how I wish I had that weekly. Oh well. 

Currently sitting at 113,778.55, yep under 114k.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Weekly Update & Mortgage Challenge

So Turkey day here. The kids ate and ate and ate. They were still stuffed the next day. We cook and eat here. So much better for the boys and they LOVE it.

So LOTS going on of course. Should be sharing a sewing project next week, they are so stinking cute. In fact I need to go and finish them up tonight so I can start a new present tomorrow. 

So how many of you went out for Black Friday? Turkey Thursday? I don't. I do think stores should be closed Thursday. For Black Friday there are some things, first they bring out the cheap electronics. These are crappy, and not worth the price listed. Second, if you really priced out an item you can usually get it cheaper on a different day. Third have you ever followed an item. Are you buying something for a person just to buy something? have you followed the gift trail? do you know how many gifts end up at goodwill? returned? stashed in a closet? Where is that gift you gave a month later? 

I have been given so much junk over my life, normally from my mother. Two years ago I didn't bother returning any of it, it all went to goodwill. Two years ago she gave me a plastic wine bucket. Hum I don't drink, she also gave me a cheap fleece blanket. Hum I can't stand to touch fleece. But she bought just to bought because I MUST have something to open because giving cash is so cheesy. Really? because cash in May when it's gardening time. OH BOY.

There was one year we returned so much stuff to Wal Mart they brought over an officer to talk to us. I'm sure making sure it wasn't all stolen? We had receipts for most of it, I snuck into the parents house and found her pile of receipts. 

I also like to plan the gift per person. And keeping it simple. My youngest niece, she is into barbie. So she will get a new barbie and I will make some clothes. I almost thought of doing a barbie clothes of the month? where I would make her an outfit or two a month and send it to her. But with my gardening schedule I thought good luck? This year she has requested Ken clothes. 

I also shop all year round. I found something perfect for my mother this summer well we were off camping. It's also a good way to spread out the money that Christmas costs. So come December our budget will not take a hit. We've been saving for my gift for months, and heck it went on sale and Joann's did their black Friday on Wednesday, but the catch is I had to go up and get it. But there was no crowd, since there was no crowd I got some fabric as well and got in and out and saved 50 bucks on my gift. 

Today with the sun out and it being freezing outside, I went out front and finally covered all the frozen beds. Nice to get that all done. Hoping Wednesday after school to run out and do the back yard. I have Pineberries being delivered tomorrow. (White Strawberries) These are real and come from a real gardening place. They put them on sale for about 80% off and I jumped. Been wanting to add them to the garden and now I get too. 

Can't believe Christmas is right around the corner, and then it's time to plan the garden. I'll be ordering Elderberries. So much planning to do. 

On the Mortgage front, sitting at 114,230. Next week I'll be paying the monthly payment and the extra, so we will drop into the 113's. Love seeing it drop.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Weekly Update & Mortgage Challenge

Another crazy week under our belts. Ethan finished up English 3 FINALLY. Gave him a break until Monday and then full force into English 4. Now that we have a schedule, and so far sticking to it, he should be done with English 4 by the end of our school year. And brace yourselves, Cole will be done with second grade math before our Christmas break.

So never, ever, ever show your child Pinterest. OMG. Ethan and I talking about what he wants to make for Christmas and of course I saw all these ideas, why don't you look at them. It was all I could do to rip that child away and get him back to school work. My felt stash is really low, so we will go this weekend and get a few yards to bulk it up and then get busy. 

I have started a new stitching project. It's free hand, which I'm LOVING. I've had this idea brewing so nice to get it out. I just don't know yet if it will be a wall hanging on it's own, or part of a quilt.

Other then that, just a lot of doing. Trying to get projects done, and other projects started. Ethan reminded me today just 37 days until Christmas. After my breathing attack, we started to make plans. But after Christmas, we have planting season. ARRRRRRRR Time is just flying so fast right now. Just awaiting the first of the seed books to start rolling in. We are adding Pineberries, they went on a deep sale and I jumped. I wanted them last year, but refused to pay that price. I all ready have plans on where to put them. So exciting. Pineberries are white strawberries, that taste like Pineapple.

On the Mortgage Front, throwing every dollar we can at the Mortgage to be at 110k before we try the re-fi again. Math wise I don't see us being there. But I'm going to give it my all, because the less we re-fi the less the payment, and we were all ready looking good with the last re-fi, this will just make everything better. Sitting at 114,380. Racking my brain to scrap up 380, but just can't do it. Keep hoping something will come up to get us into the 113's and then the 112's. Oh well, looking good right now, just need to keep on track. 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Mortgage Challenge & Weekly Update

I know for the most part we are lucky. With the current cold storm hitting most of the nation. All we got were cold temps and some ice. So today the boys went out and found all the ice and played with it. How exciting. (ok no not really)

They then tossed it off the deck and broke everything into pieces.

Weekly update, IDK just a lot going on. Still working on the squash. One hopes I can have it done by Thanksgiving? Although still have carrots to pull and can. ARRRRR I have a penguin army going on here. More on that later.

Did finally find a turkey today. So the boys are happy. 

With the current cold snap, we have had all animals in the house 90% of the time. Which makes for a very, very small house. 

Still recovering on the Mortgage front. Started back this week paying the extra weekly money. After some thinking, I think we want to be at 110,000 when we try to re-fi again. So we have decided that every spare penny will go towards that. No idea if we can get there. But hey, we can try. That would help in a lower payment which would in turn help us in the long run paying down the house. Currently at 114,570.00

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Paying For Christmas

So Christmas is about 46 days away. Most of the time by now I would be FREAKING OUT. But this year we have a plan. Last year as budget allowed I would get one thing a week and we did ok. We don't go over board, but I'll tell ya Lego's are expensive! By the time you buy a few sets each, you could have paid your mortgage payment. Add in the fact that my youngest has been begging for a kindle. Well actually an XO tablet, but after all the issues with Ethan's. No way. Who can just flat out afford a kindle, and well a case, and a kindle protector. 

Well actually I can. Actually Christmas is nearly all done and paid for an in the closet. Whoa, hold the phone, WHAT? 

Tell ya my little secret. A few years ago I discovered swag bucks. Back when I was working and would try and do about 100 points or so a day. No big deal, just had it on when I was on the computer. And then as we sat down and made some money goals last year, I was asking myself how can I help? Logically money wise it would costs us too much for me to work. So I needed something at home. And it's not like we need a lot of money, just a little something. And I thought again at swag bucks, if I really sat here and did it I can do about 360 in points a day, which is 25 dollars a week. And in about 6 weeks I had enough for a kindle. I had all that saved and tucked away and then amazon put the kindles on sale, oh how I jumped on that. I was able to buy a kindle, case and everything all for 150. I paid nothing out of pocket. I have been cashing in 5 and 10 dollars in amazon money for Lego's. As I get enough for the next set on the list I buy it. 

I have spent probably 400 dollars so far, and the most out of pocket I have spent is 6 bucks. (I forgot taxes one time) Oh well, I got a 115 dollar set for 6 bucks. I'm not too worried about that math.  Mind you I have been really swagging hard since our trip in July. Yes, I have been Christmas shopping since July. And no the kids are not getting a lot, but have I mentioned Lego's are expensive? 

After I'm done with Christmas, I plan on getting more off our Amazon list. But I won't be aiming for the 360 a day. It's a lot. 

Swag bucking is easy, it's so easy my husband does it when he is home. If you buy something, you may want to see if you can do it through the site and really earn some swags, but really I just do the videos. I search, I watch the TV, on the site. If you go up to the Discover button and hit encave there are all your videos. Really easy to put one on and cook dinner or such. But if you are looking for a little something extra. Play around with it. Once you earn some swags, go up to the rewards and cash them in. I always cash them in for amazon money. OH last spring I used the paypal option and bought a lemon tree. 

I will tell ya I have never bought anything through swag bucks. I always just watch the videos, or search or some days I just sit here and play around. 

It's not a lot, but it adds up and it's helping me stay on track for paying down the house. I do not have to take money from the "extra" Mortgage payment to get this Lego set or that one. 

So if you want to try it out for yourself, here is the link.   or click here


Thursday, November 6, 2014

Mortgage Challenge

Well its' been a day here. After lots of going back and fourth with Mortgage guy. Mortgage guy back and fourth with appraiser guy. And we are just not going to get the appraised number we need to move forward right now. We've had a rush of short sales in the area, which has tanked our market in my area. Lovely. So we decided to wait 3 months and look at comps and maybe try it again?

So before I got off the phone with him, I was logged in paying my payment. I am never late and was very close to being late, thinking we should be closing this week? Although the appraiser took well over a week to get his report in. 

So next week we will, start back up on the weekly payments again. And when we talk again we should be in the 111k range.

So nice to have that stress for now off of us. Now to dive into Christmas stress. We have a lot going on between now and the end of the year. After the new year we have a garden. And here I am still harvesting.ARRRRRRRRRR

Current mortgage at 115,000

Sunday, November 2, 2014


ScareKid was born today. Isn't he just so Awesome? As you can see daddy has grown a pot belly. May have to start walking him around the neighborhood!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Money, Money, Money

Yep, Money, one of my favorite topics. Well it is now, it sure wasn't when we had over 50k in medical debt. Back then it was find money and work and pay, pay, pay down debt. Where looking at the stack of bills made ya sick. Working 60 plus hours a week made me sick!

But lately I can't believe what a 360 money has taken in our lives. We have one debt and that is the house. Two years ago we cut our lives down to nothing. Freeing up money, no longer paying 125 a week in gas to get the kids to and from school. No longer paying for school. No longer paying all that extra weekly school stuff that would come up, from photos to birthdays, to raising money for this or that. 

But it really wasn't until about a year ago, we got to see the savings from cutting our lives down to nothing. We had some left over things to clear up, we had some things to fix up. Life

And so when we saw that extra savings, we made a plan. To pay down the house so we can re-fi and get rid of pmi. Well in the 18 months since the last re-fi we have went from 126,982.42 to as of Wednesday to 115,000 a big difference of nearly 12,000. 

After some chatting last week, hubby and I realized we should try to re-fi now as rates are dropping again and math wise we should be able to drop pmi? 

So after some chatting with mortgage guy. Yes, we can re-fi and drop pmi, but our rate is about the same. CRAP. But math wise our payment will drop to about 800ish a month, giving us breathing room. And if we keep on our same road, we would be paying our mortgage down by about 1,000 a month, verses the about 800 we are doing now. So math wise this works out better for us. 

So about 220ish principle payment, add in the 135 weekly, add in the 189ish difference in pay, as we save 1000 a month for Mortgage and if we have a payment of about 800-811 we send the difference to mortgage. Comes to nearly 1000 a month. When the final numbers drop we will have to see if we can come up with the difference so it's an equal 1000 towards principle every month. Then watch our mortgage drop. 

We talked about other money goals. We have a house fund, this fund is so we can buy some land down the road. We want to pay cash for anything in the future. This was just started a few months ago, and really it's a few dollars here and there. So hubby is taking that over, and he is on the hunt for money. Any extra money at the end of the week, we just cashed in our change jar, and that went in there. There is money, we just need to find it. 

Then we have an Emergency fund. Our money lady holds onto to that. Right now we have about three months saved up. I would love to double that and have 6 months saved up. This might be a hard goal to hit.

How are we able to do all this and live on one very small income? Well lets see, bills are down to bare basics. If we don't need it we don't buy it. I make a grocery list every week, I stick to a menu. If it's not on the list I don't buy it. If we want something we save a little something a week until we can afford it. We don't just run out and buy something. We don't go to stores just to walk around. We do things ourselves. Why hire someone when you can do something yourself? I have taught hubby that there is someone on youtube showing someone like him how to do something. It's how we fixed (and then replaced) the front faucet. Last year when Hannah hit the back faucet and sent water flying. We did hire someone to come out and fix that, because A. I was busy under the house cleaning up water. And B. it's a very used faucet, it needed to be fixed right. But that costs us over 300 dollars and wiped out our savings at the time. The front faucet costs 7 dollars. Big difference. And best of all, we say NO a LOT.

Yes, I do garden and save all the food I can and that off sets the food budget. But we also keep track of every single penny. And with keeping track of every penny and only using cash, it's very hard to let that money go to buy something that is just silly. I often find myself in a store, going off a list and crossing off this or that because I just don't want to spend money on it right now. 

So if mortgage guy is right we will miss our November and December mortgage payment. With the November payment we plan on buying loads of meat. I'm nearly out of hamburger and one more package of chicken and I may be set for a year? We plan on going and buying a few bags of flour, with winter coming it's hard for us to get out to the flour store. I need to get my sewing machine in for a tuning. Yes, I know I can do this myself, but it's been 12 years and I'm afraid the second I start to remove screws on what I will find? And the rest will go into savings to boost that up. December will go into the house fund.

And then come January, make a mortgage plan and stick to it and watch our mortgage drop. 

So I believe for now the Mortgage updates are done. We will know more later this week when we sit and chat with Mortgage guy. But in the end it's exciting. It's breathing room, and I like to breath. Just can't wait for the day we are under 100k. And I can now see that day coming.