Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Snow Day!

I love snow days!  I love getting to sleep in and the extra time with my son!  However, my house does not love snow days.  Wednesdays are usually my day to catch up on house cleaning and organizing, but instead I enjoyed a leisurely breakfast with my family (fun-shaped pancakes) and then visited some friends who live about a mile away and went to lunch with my husband while the kids stayed and played at their house.  Today I am remembering that although I love a clean house, I love my kids more and it's important to build fun memories with them whenever the opportunities present themselves before it's too late and they don't want to hang out with us anymore.  Our son, who recently turned 7, is already starting to choose hanging out with his friends over doing things with us whenever it is an option.  It won't be long and I'll miss all these times.  In the meantime, I'd better go finish the laundry and figure out what I'm making for dinner while both of my kids are taking a nap.  I hope you all are having an enjoyable day too!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

I'm sorry!

I want to apologize for missing quite a few posts recently.  I called last week to make an appointment with my doctor because I have been extremely tired (even though I've been sleeping more than usual) and having some strange episodes of confusion lately.  I'm hoping it's just a problem with my thyroid, since those are two of the common side effects and after pregnancy you are at a higher risk for thyroid dysfunction.  Unfortunately for me, my doctor is on vacation for 2 weeks so it will be the middle of March before he can see me.  Hopefully I'll get some answers then and get back to feeling like myself.  Spring Break is next week and I'm looking forward to it to hopefully have some time to relax.  I got very lucky that my school and the school I teach at have the same break this year so I don't have anything to worry about during that time.

On a good note, I'll recap some of our recent family accomplishments...  Our son finished his main wrestling season.  He didn't make it to states but placed 5th at regionals, which is really good for a first year wrestler.  We are so proud of him!  He still has 3 more tournaments to go for a different league but even if he doesn't do as well as he hopes at those, at least he has found his new favorite sport.  :)  Our daughter (who turned 9 months old yesterday), is now crawling all over the place and started to pull herself up on furniture.  Yesterday was the first time I'd seen her try to stand up, but my husband was off work all last week and said he saw her doing it then.  She also got 4 new teeth in the past week as well, so he had his hands full while I was very busy with work and school.  My husband is busy studying for his upcoming fire exam and I just keep praying he does well because he is very nervous.

Thanks for all of your understanding as I have not been keeping up my blog very well!  I hope you still enjoy reading when I am able to post.  :)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Bills & Budgeting

So, after finishing the book The Money Saving Mom Budget recently, I have realized that I need to do a better job of managing our finances.  I used to be very organized about our budgets and bills and had a very nice system in place, but ever since baby #2 arrived, I have let everything slide.  I spent 2 hours this morning purging my office area of bills and other paperwork.  Many of them were bills that I had duplicate copies of because I had forgotten to pay them, or worse yet, used the "shut-off" notice as a reminder to pay my bill when the money had been sitting in my bank account the entire time.  I know that this is not the way that I want my finances to be, so today I decided to make one small step towards making the change.  I got rid of any duplicate bills and only kept the most recent copy so that I know exactly how much money I owe to where and was able to pay off a good part of the bills this afternoon.  The other thing that I did to help with organizing our finances was to put a new calendar next to the computer (where I keep all of our bills and do all of our online bill paying) and put all of the dates of auto withdrawals for different bills on it.  I hope that with time I will be able to get my old system back in place because it did function so well for us.  I have spring break coming up in a few weeks so I am hoping to spend that time off from school and work reorganizing a lot of things (finances included) while I have a good amount of time all together to start and actually finish some project.  Any tips on how you organize your bills and bill paying?  I'd love to hear it!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

How menu planning can save the day...

So, I have missed a few posts recently because of the sickness continued to go around our house until today and the fact that we had 3 wrestling tournaments in 3 days this weekend, which involved a night spent out of town.  But I'm not going to complain about all of that.  Instead, I'm going to tell you that I like menu planning all the time, and I especially like it after the past week when without it we probably wouldn't have ate very well at all.

I don't do your traditional meal planning, but what I do works tremendously well for our family.  I simply write out everything we have on hand in the house (whether fresh from the grocery store or in the freezer and pantry) and then work off of that to decide what we're having on any given day.  Because of our well-stocked pantry and freezer and the menu ideas already written out, I didn't have to worry about grocery shopping in the middle of a crazy week.  it was easy for me to tell my husband what to make when I was too sick to get out of bed and I was able to whip together some quick and easy meals when I was taking care of everyone else.  Although this system works for us, it may not work for you.  I encourage you, however, to find a system that does work for you.  If you need some other ideas, just search for it online and I'm sure you will get a ton of new ideas. 

Meal planning takes a small amount of time to do, and can save you a lot of frustration, time, and money. 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Sickness has hit our house...

I know this is a day late, but the norovirus that has been going around struck our house yesterday.  It was the worst illness I can ever remember having and I wouldn't wish it on anyone.  Luckily, the baby hasn't seemed to get it.  I can't possibly imagine what it would do to her little body.  I will be spending the day spraying down and cleaning every possible surface in my home with Lysol.  I will post more tomorrow afternoon.  Have a happy and health day everyone!

Monday, February 6, 2012

No, I don't actually live in my car...

So, this post is a day later than I had planned, but I literally have not been home long enough to type anything, only long enough to sleep the past few days.  Friday we headed up north for my son's wrestling meet.  We would have been home around 5 pm on Saturday afterwards, but we ended up hanging out at some friends' house when we dropped off their daughter who rode home with us.  It was about 7:30 pm by the time we arrived home, with our son's friend in tow, and we were surprised to find a new 43" tv and entertainment center to match in our house when we arrived.  (My parents and grandpa had bought it for us!  Thank you!!!)  By the time we got that set up I was worn out and went straight to bed while my husband and the boys stayed up to watch some pay-per-view fight they ordered.  We went to church the next morning and then stayed afterwards for the potluck and helped clean up after that.  We were planning to be home by noon but didn't get home until about 1:45 pm and had to leave my 2:30 to go to our new friend's Superbowl party so we could meet her husband.  As we rushed around to make our food to take, my mom showed up for an unexpected visit.  We dashed out the door about 10 minutes late but luckily the drive was shorter than we thought so we still arrived on time.  When we got back home, we realized that our son's friend had left his favorite stuffed animal at our house so we thought we would take it back really quick (they only live about 2 miles from us), but we ended up staying until about 10:30 pm.  We would have stayed longer but I told my husband I had to be up at 4:30 am and I was leaving so I could get a little sleep.  I was up and at it early this morning, teaching clinical all day, and then we had a meeting with our financial planner late this afternoon.  We finally made it home for a quick spaghetti dinner and now I am typing this before getting started on my paper that's due tomorrow.  The topic is stress.  Do you think my professor would accept a copy of this blog as enough proof that I can define stress?!? 

Friday, February 3, 2012

Running Behind...

So today's post will have to be short and sweet, since I am running WAY behind (as usual).  We are leaving for my son's wrestling tournament as soon as he gets home in an hour and I have not packed a single thing yet.  Because I had been sick pretty much all week and the baby has been teething, my to do list today seemed never ending.  Top priorities including paying bills, packing for this weekend, and writing the 8 page paper I have due on Tuesday.  Normally, I can whip together a paper at the last minute when I have to (as much as I don't like to do that), but with the Super Bowl being on Sunday and my husband's uncle not expected to make it through the weekend (I hate cancer!), I'm just not sure I'll have the time to work on it at the last minute.  I guess I will be hauling my weekend up north with us this weekend so I can get it done.  Here's hoping you all have a blessed weekend!  See you next week!  Now, off to find some clothes for us to wear and hope that his wrestling uniform has been washed already...

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Goals for 2012

In my last post, I talked about committing to spending time once a month hanging out with my son.  That got me motivated to finish figuring out the rest of my goals for 2012.  They included main goals of things to accomplish, books to read, DIY projects to try out, and recipes to make.  Here are a few of the highlights....

Overall Goals:
  • Commit to reading my Bible daily (In the past I would skip it if I didn't get to it in the morning before the kids get up, but this year I'm going to read it before bed if I haven't gotten around to it yet.
  • Schedule a monthly date night with my husband.  (It's usually more like every 3 months around here and I really do like hanging out with him.)
  • Attend family game night at church at least 4 times this year.  (We always say we'd like to go check it out but never get around to it.)
Books To Read:
  • Heaven Is For Real (I just finished this book and highly recommend it!)
  • The Money Saving Mom Budget (I'm currently reading it and it has been good so far.  If you follow her blog, there are still new things to be learned from the book.)
  • Building Your Mate's Self-Esteem
DIY Projects:
  • Plant green peppers.  (My family loves these and I've heard they are fairly easy to grow.)
  • Start my own blog.  :)  (Done!)
  • Try to re-sell my outgrown children's clothing.  (I haven't decided yet how I'm going to do this so if anyone has any suggestions, I'd love to hear them.)
Recipes To Try:
  • Homemade Taco Seasoning
  • Ice Cream Cake (I've never made one before, but found a really fun recipe that involves Malted Milk Balls, which are my mom's favorite, so maybe I'll make it for her.)
  • Lemon Buddies (A chex mix made with white chocolate chips and lemon flavor that's supposed to taste like a lemon bar.  I hope it's as good as it sounds!)
How about the rest of you?  Any goals for the coming year?  And lastly, always remember... 
"Progress, Not Perfection!"   
It's important that even if we aren't meeting our goals entirely to keep working towards them.  Good luck in whatever you are trying to acheive right now!