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Archive for September, 2007

Yesterday was Busy

September 30th, 2007 at 02:53 pm

Yesterday DH and I dropped the kids off with MIL and then went to Costco to buy the kids their new mattresses. That came to $303.50. I had budgeted $302 for it, but I think I must have added up the tax wrong or its gone up another .01 percent. Still, it was a good price for two twin mattresses and the kids are very happy with them. They slept very well last night.

Since we had FIL's truck we took a big load of stuff to our storage unit, which is starting to get quite full. Next time DH comes home we'll do some sorting and rearranging in there, but since he's only home for a few days this hitch we're not going to do it now.

Afterwards we went back to MIL's house and our neices were there playing with our kids. We hung out for quite a while so DH had a chance to visit with his mom. His dad was at work.

My SIL showed up with her new boyfriend a few hours later to pick up her girls. I haven't met him before, even though its been a couple months now. He seems like a very good person, he's kind and respectful to her and her daughters and my first intinct was to trust him. He's head over heels for SIL.

Now with her almost ex-H my first instinct was to run as far and as fast away from him as I could get and never ever leave my kids alone with him. I was proved right there. So I am very happy for her. She deserves this second chance after shaking off that abusive, child molesting felon.

I see a huge difference in her daughters as well. They are blossoming into two very different children. And its a very nice thing to see.

Money Out Today

September 27th, 2007 at 06:11 pm

Finally got a new car stereo installed today, that comes with CD player, MP3 player adapter and a place where you can plug in a flash drive and bought a S-cable to hook the computer up to the TV so we can watch streaming video on TV. Cost just under $250.

We went out to breakfast at Shari's, which was $27.30 and left a $6 tip (she did a really good job).

Also bought a gallon of milk and two bottles of nasal spray. Nasal spray is getting ridiculously expensive, it was almost $8 per bottle. And the milk was $3.59. Could be worse and often is.

While we were waiting for the car we walked over to the mall and looked around FYE and Walden Books. Didn't buy anything though I would have if they had the CD I wanted. I haven't bought my September CD yet and I'll have to order it online. I think its an important, so this may count as both my September and my Ocotober music purchase if its too pricey.

Today was also the day of the auto deposit to savings of $10, so I sent that off to ING.

$1891.33 Old EF Total
+ 10.00 Deposit
---------
$1901.33 New EF Total

Just $98.77 to go to hit $2000. Slow and steady wins the race. And I want to win.

Whoops, sorry about that

September 26th, 2007 at 06:09 pm

I got shanghied by another website www.whofic.com called A Teaspoon and an Open Mind and have been off playing with them all week, since I had a cold and didn't want to think about reality. But reality is back and 20,263 words of fanfic later, and an empty spot in my head where a story used to be, I'm back to reality and blogging again.

Oh, I'll still play over there, but it won't be as time consuming. Anyone into Doctor Who and Firefly there is an amazing crossover story called Out of Joint. I usually don't like fanfic crossovers but this one is just done so amazingly well. Especially River and the Doctor, though there was a good bit between mechanic Kaylee and the Doctor's TARDIS. But I digress.

So, bills so far this week:

$1000.00 to medical debt
$1000.00 to Chase (last card)
$ 129.50 to BoA (leftover interest, but now its clear)
$ 9.58 to Citi (leftover interest, now clear)
$ 100.00 to the gas card
$ 200.00 to groceries and toiletries
--------
$2439.08

Otherwise its been a pretty low spend, low key week. We haven't done much since I was getting over the cold.

DH comes home tomorrow, finally. I haven't seen him in a month. There will be some spending as we are going out to eat at a nearby restaurant while we get a new car stereo installed.

I am starting to settle in to this new payraise DH has and I feel so much better about everything. Life has gotten a whole lot easier in the financial ring, but I really want to make sure we maintain our focus on getting out of debt and building up the EF. I am so close to $2000 and then after that I want to build it up to $2600 and that will be half a month's wages saved.

I haven't done much in the survey area this week. Too much time spent writing and reading instead. But I'm pretty close to cashing out again with Global Test Market for a $50 check. I think I need just 50 points to do so. So time to refocus and get on with it.

I've missed being around here and now I need to go and get caught up with you folks!

Not Much to Blog About

September 22nd, 2007 at 10:46 am

I haven't spent money in awhile. I never went in and got the new car stereo, I was so tired from fighting of my kids' colds. Sometimes I hate the germ factory (school) and dream of homeschooling again, but I don't have the patience with the younger one and the older one doesn't want to.

Yesterday was payday and $1000 of this check goes to the remaining credit card and $1000 goes to the medical debt. Next week's check will mostly go the remaining credit card.

Big (for me) Deposit to the EF

September 20th, 2007 at 03:14 pm

In today's mail I got a refund from the orthodontist, so I took that to the bank along with DH's boot reimbursement check from work.

$1444.53 Starting Balance
286.80 Orthodontist refund
+ 160.00 Boot reimbursement
---------
$1891.33 Ending Balance

So I've blown right past my goal of $1500 in the EF and am well on my way to the next goal of having $2000 in the EF.

AWOL

September 20th, 2007 at 09:06 am

I didn't realize I hadn't posted since the 16th. The kids have been sick and whiney, I haven't been feeling great either, I haven't spent money because we haven't gone anywhere and I've been playing in the Whoniverse. Found a fan fiction website for Doctor Who (see sites I frequent for more info on what that is) and have been having a grand old time reading and writing. And it's free entertainment, my favorite kind!

But its time for the real world to impinge once again. So, today is the day of the automatic deposit of $10 to savings. I transferred that to ING, bringing the amount in the EF to $1444.53.

DH sent me a reimbursement check for his work boots that arrived in the mail yesterday. I will try to get it in the bank today. That will be an additional $160 to the EF. But I won't add it in until I do it.

One of Those Days

September 16th, 2007 at 08:31 pm

I'm having one of those days where its hard really to know what to post. I suppose I should get around to posting what I did with Friday's paycheck, but I'm not really in the mood and I'm not quite done paying all the bills anyway. I'm doing one tomorrow in person than I'll be done.

I'm going to go in tomorrow and see about getting the car stereo replaced also. I have the money for it and for the sake of family harmony it really needs to be done. I figure I can get it installed well before school is out. And since it is in a shopping district I can wander around a bit.

Macy's home store is right next door to the place I'm going so I can go and try out furniture. I'm not ready to buy anything but we are looking at getting a recliner soon and the couch is on its last legs so maybe in a year or so for it. I would never buy anything at Macy's anyway as it is even more overpriced now than it was when it was the Bon Marche home store before the buy out. But I can see what is out there and look for similar styles later at more affordable furniture stores.

Bed, Bath and Beyond is right there as well and I want to see if they have couch covers, I forget what they call them, but its a fabric sort of blanket that is fitted and gives the couch a new look. Ours is so faded and stained and it would be nice to spruce it up a bit.

I can also wander around Office Depot, Costco or head down to Michael's craft store. Not to buy, just to waste time. Hopefully it won't take a lot of time. I'm not much of a shopper generally, I like to go in, get what I need and get out ASAP. But if I'm actually looking for something its not too bad.

I do want to check out the schedule of classes at the craft store, though. I'm thinking of taking some acryllic painting classes again. It's been years but I have all the supplies and I'd love to get back into it. Landscapes were always my favorite.

Or take an intermediate knitting class. Or maybe learn how to make beaded jewelry. I have had an interest in making jewelry for awhile now, I have a good eye for color and design, and I might even be able to generate a little side business. I'm particularly interested in necklaces and bracelets. I suppose it could become a pricey hobby, though.

Oh, I'll have to think on it once I see the class schedule and fees.

Car Repaired and EF Update

September 14th, 2007 at 08:28 pm

Today was a long day. I dropped the kids off at school a bit early today so I could take the car in to the dealership on time. They had estimated that the work would cost $679 but it cost $559, so I added that extra $120 to the EF, along with the GTM check and $2 I had in my purse. I'm coming up pretty fast on my goal of $1500 for the EF.

$1262.53 Old Balance
50.00 Survey Check
2.00 in ones
+ 120.00 car less than estimated
--------
$1434.53 New Balance

I can feel a real difference in how the car is driving now. It accelerates better and doesn't buck when it goes through the automatic gear changes. It makes it feel much smoother, like it used to be when we first got it. Definitely money well spent if we can keep it going for another year or two while we save up for a hybrid.

I'm glad to have this taken care of before winter hits. I really should have the other vehilce repaired before winter, too, but I'm not sure if we can swing that. I suppose I can take money from the EF if I have to, but I'm not sure I should for this. We just don't drive it that much with gas prices so high. And with Humberto and the Mexican gas explosions, it's only going to go up again.

EF Update

September 13th, 2007 at 03:32 pm

Today was the automatic deposit of $10.00 to savings. I sent that, plus an additional $12.50 off to ING today.

$1240.03 Old Balance
+ 22.50 Deposit
---------
$1262.53 New Balance

I haven't deposited the $50 check from Global Test Market yet. I will do that tomorrow when I do my banking and send it off to ING.

Cut my Bangs

September 13th, 2007 at 03:18 pm

I trimmed my own bangs this morning, cutting off about two inches. I am getting better and better at this as the years go by. It only took me three minutes and there are no scraggly pieces or uneven lines. They look great!

The local cheap salon charges $8 for a bang trim. Used to be $6. Before that $4. No way am I paying $8 for 3 minutes (if that!) of work.

I only get my hair cut 2 to 3 times a year and not at the cheap salon, either. I go to mid-priced Regis. Since I was not ready for a full cut, but I was sick of bangs down past my eyes, I just had the urge.

Saving $8 when I can do a good job is great. Now, if I couldn't do a good job, that is a whole other story.

Disneyland

September 12th, 2007 at 05:59 pm

DH is talking about Disneyland. I said no way for next year unless his extra weeks continue for past what is currently expected, but its doable for 2009. I have started saving $100 a month. And if I can add the 2008 tax return into the vacation fund, then there will be no problem going in 2009. We only have to pay for food, park fees, and lodging. Airfare is always free from the miles DH racks up flying up to work and back.

We might not even have to pay for lodging if we can get Mom's condo. That can be hard, but planning it over a year in advance makes it possible. It's not within walking distance but they do provide a shuttle, so it would be worthwhile to do.

We tend to go for 10 days, though, which also might be hard to reserve at the condo. Even if we could do one week at the condo and 3 days elsewhere it would save a bundle.

Now that Disney and some of the less expensive surrounding restaurants offer healthier food choices, like salads,kale, asparagus, celery and broccoli as sides or for sale at food carts, we won't have to get a hotel with a fridge and microwave, either. That has always added to the expense.

I have to be very careful how I eat because of my past health issues and so does Rose who also has postprandial hyperinsulinemia. Which involves eating a lot healthier than the normal Joe and balancing protein (devoid of any fillers, growth hormones, additives or preservatives) with low glycemic vegetables and being extremely careful with the complex carbohydrates we do choose (no corn since I was recently diagnosed with a corn allergy, no white flour, no barley, no white sugar, no white rice, no processed cereals, and very minimal amounts of fruit which is the hardest). In the past we've had to really work hard at it on vacation if we didn't have a full kitchen and access to a grocer. My last trip there alone proved it can be done easily now.

I'd really rather wait until 2010 but DH says that is easy for me to say because I just went this year without them. LOL He does have a point. I just think it will be easier when Tobias is almost 10 than almost 9. But if the money is there, I will probably get overruled.

Breakdown for Extra Pay

September 12th, 2007 at 05:12 pm

So it is official, DH is working 28 days straight, then will come home for a week and then he may have to work an extra week again after that. But the two extra weeks are guaranteed now. So I won't see him until the 27th, when normally he would have been home today.

That will give us an extra $5250 net this month. I am planning on spending in this order:

$5250
- 700 car repair
-----
$4550
- 302 2 new twin mattresses for the kids
-----
$4248
- 400 new car music system
-----
$3848 to remaining credit card debt

I don't think it is going to cost $400 for the music system, though. The simple CD player/radio I want is around $100. I am allowing $300 for installation fee, but I don't think its anywhere near that. But whatever is left will go to the EF.

DH may very well get 2 or 3 more extra weeks between now and Christmas. There is a huge backlog of work due to the first guy quitting. So he is doing his own regular two weeks in the field engineer position and then in his extra weeks he is either training or helping with the backlog in his old position, but at his new rate of pay. Works for me. Especially if it means this card might be paid off by year's end and not with next years tax return. Sure would love that.

Check in the Mail

September 12th, 2007 at 04:09 pm

I received my 2nd $50 check from Global Test Market today. 4 days past the 6 weeks it was supposed to come in, but better late than never.

That will go to the EF fund. I am going to town tomorrow so I will make the deposit then and shoot it off to ING. I'll use the main account so I don't have to wait the week for the check to clear at podunk CU before I transfer it.

I need to earn between 100 and 150 points to cash out again for another $50. Some surveys don't credit immediately, though most do, so I think I have 50 points floating around out there in limbo still.

An Expensive Day

September 11th, 2007 at 06:21 pm

I took my car in to the dealership this morning for an oil change and for them to put it on their diagnostic machine to see why the engine light is coming on. It's been on for a year. Midas had put it on their machine a year ago and couldn't find anything so didn't charge for it.

I thought that maybe the machine at Ford would be better at diagnosing a Ford, so gave it another try. They found the problem. It is not a safety issue, but it will not be good for the engine if I let it go too much longer, especially if I want to keep the car running another two years. They used a lot of initials and said something about a whosit and a manifold thingie (yes, my knowledge of car bits is astronomical), and needing to order a part.

Anyway today's visit cost $135.12. I made an appointment for Friday to have the rest of the work done. It needed to wait until the next payday anyhow. The estimate is $679 and that includes tax. Well, we have an extra paycheck this cycle that was all supposed to go towards paying down debt. Now a big chunk of it will go towards fixing the car.

I am going to be positive about this, though. We have the money to do it, when we might have had to use a credit card a year ago. And even if we didn't have the money coming in I have over $1100 in my emergency fund. So we would have been able to cover the car cost with the EF without putting it on credit. And that is huge. Not having to use the EF is even bigger. It feels really good.

Glad This Day is Over--Major Whine

September 10th, 2007 at 07:44 pm

There was no school today. It's beyond me why the school district thinks there needs to be a day off when there have only been 4 days in the school year for us so far. I understand having teacher work days in any of the other months, except December. They had two weeks before school started to do their planning, so why so soon? Seems silly.

All this to say that I am glad there is school tomorrow so my two little sniping, picking, poking, annoy each other to death children are away from each other. It's like someone turned a switch and turned them into brats overnight.

We went to the chiropractor and to tae kwon do so we did get out of the house some today. Nothing financial today other than I mailed out some of the bills that I should have mailed on Friday. Well, nothing will even be close to being late, so it doesn't matter that I didn't get them off sooner.

I am so tired. Barking dogs last night interfered with my sleep. If I had a dog and it was barking its fool head off all night long, I'd be out there seeing what they heck he was yowling for after about ten minutes. And telling him to knock it off. I wouldn't let it go on and on all night.

Neighbors got an earfull when they got home from work today. I was cranky and not really in the mood to be nice about it either, but I held it in and was polite. Their excuse? I didn't realize anyone else could hear them. Umm, hello? And also, DUH! Everyone else can hear them. My point was proven by another set of neighbors coming by to complain about the dogs as well.

Supposedly they will keep the dogs in the house tonight. We'll see if they really do. This house is clear across the street from me, but closest to my bedroom window. Those dogs are loud. I hope they do what they said, because I don't take well to irresponsible pet owners.

There are steps I can take if I have to. First with the homeowner's board, because it is against CC&R's to let dogs bark all night and they can be fined. Then with SSC which is animal control, that also has the power to fine nuisance dog owners. And if neither of those work than with the sheriff as they are violating the county noise ordinance.

Hopefully it won't come to any of that. Especially since the board isn't too swift on cracking down on the roaming dogs, which are also not allowed. We have a leash ordinance in our CC&R's and a leash law in our county, but dogs are always roaming around sans owners out here trying to get hit by cars and using your lawn or flowerbeds like they were their own personal litter box. Most of the board are dog owners and one of them has a roaming dog. Sigh.

Dogs have their place and it isn't in my yard. If I wanted a dog in my yard I'd own one. And some day I even may have one. But it will be trained, fixed and not allowed to run all over tarnation.

End Rant.

Paying the Bills

September 9th, 2007 at 10:39 pm

Okay, I finally got everything entered into my spreadsheets of what was paid out of Friday's paycheck. Balanced the checkbook, too. Anyway, here's what went out.

$ 20.00 Garbage
56.00 Water/Sewer
100.00 Medical
61.00 Auto Insurance
37.50 House Insurance
150.00 Tae Kwon Do
87.50 Property Tax/Dues
25.00 Athletic Fees
100.00 Vacation Fund
100.00 Education Fund for DH
36.00 Netflix
109.00 Storage
110.00 Power
120.00 Cable/Phone/Internet
50.60 Propane
72.00 Cell Phones
100.00 Emergency Fund
50.00 Water Delivery (2 months)
30.57 Life Insurance DH
400.00
+ 34.00 Security System
---------
$1819.17

That leaves me with $222 which will be split between groceries and gas.

$867 of the above went into my temporary savings accounts for things that aren't paid monthly or things that get lumped together when the payment is actually made.

No Spend Day

September 9th, 2007 at 02:10 pm

Today is another no spend day. I'm not going anywhere or buying anything. This makes 5 no spend days this month so far. That's over 50%, so not bad at all.

Today I have to balance the checking account. Yuck. My least favorite financial chore. I should also get around to listing all the bills I wrote out yesterday. If I don't procrastinate it. And I need to make up a weekly menu plan as well. So let's see if I can get all that accomplished today instead of being totally lazy and only doing laundry and dishes today.

Spending Journal and Coin Jar Update

September 8th, 2007 at 09:17 pm

Today I spent $5.82 and added $4.18 to the coin jar.

$12.69 Old Balance
+ 4.18 Added in
-------
$16.87 New Balance

Kiddie 401K

September 7th, 2007 at 10:24 pm

As some of you know, I make my kids save part of their allowance. They are paid every four weeks. Of their allowances, they must allocate 20% to long term savings. This works out to $4 for Rose and $3 for Tobias.

Of the amount they put into long term savings, I will match them 25%. If they want to put in more than 20% of their allowance I will continue to match them up to $8 (so I'd put in 25 cents for every dollar saved up to $8, the most they can get each month from matching is $2).

I have done this so that they have an idea right from the start of their earnings what a 401K does and how it works and to get them used to always contributing to one. I've explained a bit how it works in the real world and that Daddy's work has a 401K that matches 50 percent up to 6%. The only comment I got on that was could I match theirs up to 50 percent. Umm...no. Why not? Because in the real world the employer makes that decision, they don't. They seemed okay with that awnser.

Rose does not save anymore than the $4 that I make her save. Tobias saves the $3 I make him save plus $1 more so that his savings account can be equal to his sister's.

So far neither of them has wanted to save more than $4 despite the Mommy Match. They are not yet ready to max out. It has been fun watching them accumulate the extra money, but neither one of them have cottoned on to the fact that they could be earning more by saving more. Or else they aren't willing to give up any more of their spendable income to their Kiddie 401K program.

Sounds like some grown-ups I know, LOL. It is certainly a fun experiment. This savings account is untouchable until they are 18. They can then use it to pay towards college or a wedding or a car or a house downpayment or maybe open a retirement account when they are working a real job. So its not necessarily a true retirement account, it just works like one until they can access it.

Not much in it yet, it's only been half a year or so they've been getting an allowance but its the lesson, and the principle of it that I want them to learn.

$100 Pillow

September 7th, 2007 at 05:09 pm

Yesterday I got one of those $100 Tempurpedic pillows...for free. My mother had bought it a couple of months ago, slept on it for a couple weeks and decided she didn't like it. For whatever reason she didn't try to take it back, like she did the bed when she decided she didn't like it. I've used it a couple times when I took a nap at her house when I wasn't feeling well and I liked it.

Anyway, she offered it to me. Last night I slept on it and had what was probably the best sleep of my life. Combined with the new mattress, I may never have serious back, neck or hip aches again.

I have been wanting one of those pillows because I have just never found a regular pillow that I really liked. But I really didn't want to shell out $100 when that money could go to so much better use elsewhere.

I am a happy camper. My insomnia is almost completely gone now.

My next agenda in the bed department is to replace the children's mattresses. Neither one of them has ever had a new mattress. Their mattresses are garage sale finds that had been used but kept in plastic. Neither mattress is that comfortable (in my opinion) just to sit on.

Costco has some really nice twin mattresses for $139 (boxsprings are extra). I don't need boxsprings since Tobias has a Captain's bed that used to be his Daddy's and Rose's boxspring is in good shape. With tax it should come to $302. So we will get those with part of the extra money from DH working extra weeks.

Coin Jar Update

September 7th, 2007 at 03:30 pm

I did some shopping at a few different places today. I had to buy DH some new underwear and ship it up the slope. Don't know why he can't think of these things when he's home! Spent almost as much for shipping 2nd day air. Picked up a few groceries as well. So I ended up with quite a bit to add to the change jar.

I added $6 in ones and $2.82 in change. I won't, or shouldn't be, spending any more money like that this weekend, but I do have to pay some bills, so I'll get around to that this afternoon and post it later on.

Total in the coin jar is $12.69, 1 bus token, 1 button, 1 washer, and one big paperclip (tee hee). I was able to roll one roll of pennies out of that, but nothing else is close.

Added to EF

September 7th, 2007 at 09:05 am

Today was the first paycheck in the first full paycycle that DH gets at the new pay rate. So I am able to start sending $100.00 a month extra to the EF now. This is in addition to the $10 a week I already send. Also when I added in the interest last month, I did it a day early, so it actually earned $2.72 instead of $2.63.

$1139.94 Starting Balance
.09 Adjusted interest
+ 100.00 Deposit
---------
$1240.03

My check from GTM should arrive tomorrow. It would be nice if it came today so I could dump it into savings before the weekend. But I doubt it will come even one day early.

Coin Jar and EF Update

September 6th, 2007 at 01:17 am

I added $4.80 to the coin jar and will be making a deposit tomorrow.

I will be putting $19 in the Safety Net account and depositing $10 in the CU connected to ING, and will be sending that off with the regular $10 Thursday deposit.

$88.31 Old Safety Net Total
4.00 ACOP check
5.00 dimes
+ 10.00 quarters
-------
$107.31 New Safety Net total

$1100.94 Previous Full EF Total
19.00 Safety Net Deposit
+ 20.00 ING Deposit
--------
$1139.94 New Full EF Total

See How it Goes

September 6th, 2007 at 01:03 am

Well, I found a new research panel to sign up with tonight. It looks legitimate. It pays in gift certificates, but they are to places I would use, so I decided to give it a whirl. You have to build up $20 credit before you can cash out though. Hopefully it is one with some frequency. I could use some Amazon GC's for Christmas.

I'll keep you updated as to the legitimacy of this one when I am able to cash out.

Just Read It and Laugh

September 6th, 2007 at 12:43 am

And then think how scary it would be if it actually came true.

http://www.theonion.com/content/node/29758

Survey Updates

September 5th, 2007 at 08:07 pm

Things are going slow in the survey world this week. I've finally got my points level to 752 at Global Test Market. Just 248 points to go and I can cash out again with them for a $50 check. It has been forever since I've qualified for a survey with them. Okay, maybe a week, but I was so used to qualifying for several in a week. I should be receiving my most recent check from them on the 8th. They do get every single bit of their 6 weeks in before the send that check out!

I was hoping I'd be able to cash out again with them by the time the check came as normally it takes me six weeks to build up enough points to cash out. Oh, well. At least GTM gives you 5 points for the surveys you don't qualify for, unlike so many others.

ACOP has been super slow, though they have sent out a couple qualifiers that looked like I should qualify, so hopefully I'll be getting something from them.

Still nothing from Pinecone. I haven't qualified for any of the lately rare Lightspeed ones. Your2Cents is MIA and so is NFOMySurvey. Feels like a regular drought in survey land.

Greenfield keeps sending ones that don't pay anything. Yeah, if I wanted that I'd have stayed with SurveySpot.

SurveySavvy is sending them out once a week, but I've only ever qualified for one of theirs and it takes like 8 weeks before they even credit the money to your account and then you have to cash it out and then you have to wait for it to arrive.

Zoomerang I haven't qualified for anything in a long time. They don't pay in cash anyway, they pay in merchandise. But there is something I want, so hopefully that will change soon.

That's surveys in a nutshell.

Oddz and Endz

September 4th, 2007 at 10:25 pm

I'm doing pretty good for the month of September so far. That makes 3 no spend days.

I used the pre-paid cash card to buy gas today, but that was paid for last week so I don't count that. as spending. Filled up the tank for just under $40. Costco gas is still at $2.559 a gallon while everyone else but one ARCO is upwards of $2.799. I know Costco can buy wholesale and get a better deal, but that much better just seems suspicious to me. The other places have to be doing some gouging.

The wait in line for gas today was ridiculous, though. I didn't even go at a busy time. I suppose it was the after holiday fill up.

School went great for the kids today. I am always happy to hear that. They also did tae kwon do class today. Tuesdays aren't a normal class day for us but the dojang was closed yesterday so we made up that class today. Rose doesn't want to do tae kwon do on Tuesdays and Thursdays because she has 72 minute long P.E. classes those days. Can't say I blame her!

We came home to another crockpot beef roast, tender and delicous. Both kids were whining about wanting nuggets on the way home. Tough. I'm not taking them out to eat for a good while, and especially not when there is a meal waiting for them at home.

Tomorrow will be a spend day as I have a 1.5 hour physical therapy appointment. $75 for that. My hip is pretty much back to normal so this will most likely be my last visit. I'll see what the girl has to say, but I think she'll agree with me.

My appointment is at 10:30 and the school bus leaves at 8:46, which means I could get to Curves by 9:00, workout, and still get to my appointment on time. I think my hip is well enough now to do that. Though maybe I should wait until I see what the girl says about it. Oh, who knows?

Mom gave me 20 pounds of red potatoes from her garden so I'm going to have to start working those into meal plans along with all the green beans and blueberries. They are a very good tasting potato so it shouldn't be a problem.

Pass the Boot

September 4th, 2007 at 09:22 am

I forgot to mention on Saturday or Friday, I don't remember which, the fire department was doing its Pass the Boot fund raising effort. Pass the Boot is when they come to one of the busiest intersections in town and while the light is red they walk around with a fireman's boot. If you want to donate you just put your window down and call them over. Then whatever money you want to donate you put in the boot.

They also have a firetruck and a "triage" set up in the Walgreen's parking lot off the intersection and you can talk to them and ask them questions about firefighting and basic first aid.

Anyway, so I donated $5 to that and forgot to list it in my spending journal.

School Starts Tomorrow

September 3rd, 2007 at 10:40 pm

Well, I am looking forward to school staring tomorrow. They posted the monthly lunch menu on the school site today so we went through it and it looks like there will only be two days this month they don't want hot lunch.

Hot lunch prices have risen from $1.90 to $2.00 and milk costs 50 cents now instead of 40 cents. But milk comes with the lunch price, its only if you buy it for your own sack lunch that it costs. 85% of their school is on the free or reduced price food program. Not us, we certainly don't qualify.

Considering the cost of cold lunches, though it is not that bad of a deal. We've got a really good lunch program that is high on nutrition. It was devised by the university food science department and everything is made on site and without the usual additives and preservatives, which is pretty cool. They get to play with our elementary school because it is the poorest county school in the poorest county school district and there is a huge effort to help the poverty stricken with proper food nutrition.

This is great, really, because the lunches are wonderful. My favorite is the roasted chicken leg, blue potatoes, glorius greens (mixed green salad), and apples. If a parent wants to go down and eat lunch with their child they can. An adult lunch is $2.50. A lot of the food in the food program is grown in county and much of it is donated from one of the organic farms in our school district.

The kids have bowls of fruits and vegetables in their classrooms for anytime snacking as well. It amazes me just how much this little public school does for these kids and how much community support it gets.

Over half the students in this school speak English as a second language. About 50 percent are Russian or Ukranian immigrants, 1 percent German immigrants, 10 percent are from our closest native tribe, 10 percent are from our originally migrant Spanish population who end up sticking around and working the dairy farms in the non-summer season because the kids are all back at school. 1% are East Indian and run most of the gas stations out here that the tribe doesn't (not the poor part of the population), 3 percent children of the kids I went to school with that came over with the vietnamese boat people in the 70's, and the rest are regularly born American kids. All that diversity and there's only 3 black kids, though. I guess they are still mostly up in Seattle. I only had 5 in my high school and that was in the biggest city of my county.

The school offers free language classes at night to parents who don't speak English as a first language. This is also a university program. So far they have always been able to get someone out for whatever language they need.

I love what the community has done for this little school. It is one of the nicest elementary schools I've seen, they got some nice grants for equipment from certain WA state foundations. And these kids are really getting a leg up. It shows in our test scores, too, the older the kids get the better their scores, to the point where the high school just got 97% on the reading part of the WASL and 93% on the writing part in 10th grade. Not bad for kids who so many of did not learn English first.

Math's at 73 but that is still a big improvement from past years. Things are working here.

Sorry, guess I went off on a tangent, but I love our school district and our school. One of the reasons I feel comfortable not homeschooling. This was supposed to be an entry about how much I was going to have to shell out tomorrow for the lunch program. $40 buck each for the month this month anyway. But considering cold lunches are made with organic bread, organic turkey deli meat, organic fruit and usually cucumber slices, it is probably a difference of $30 a month from what I'd buy. Not so awful and I seldom will have to stress about making lunches.

Which is good because school starts a half hour earlier this year, though it doesn't get out any earlier, and bus pick up will be at 8:46 instead of 9:19. Oh, well, at least the closest bus stop is our driveway, because I'm one of the moms who can monitor it.

Broken

September 3rd, 2007 at 04:48 pm

I forgot to mention the CD player in my car is broken. It was working just fine and then it wouldn't turn on. This wouldn't be too bad but the radio is also part of the CD player and so is the clock. Fortunately the car does have another clock its just never been set, so I had to dig out the manual and set it.

If we didn't spend so much time in the car it wouldn't matter that much but I think I'll have to get a new one put in before I go insane with the kids and their constant backseat bickering. Whoever said music soothes the savage beast wasn't kidding. Not talking about me here. Big Grin I'm talking about the kids.

First I'll talk to DH about it though and make sure it isn't a fuse. I don't think it could be and the CD player is 8 years old. The place that installed it doesn't even exist in our county anymore. It of course has a CD in it, too. Annoying especially because it is one of mine and not the kids's.

I'll price them on Wednesday when I come in for physical therapy. Hope its not too pricey. All I want is a simple one CD player with a radio. No 5 disc changer business. No MP3 adapter. I'd even settle for a tape deck.

Meanwhile, I have my tape recorder and I guess I will bring it and my old tapes along. That should be a hoot. Have to be careful. My taste in music in high school and college ran the gammut between Paula Abdul, Heart, Howard Jones, David Bowie and Alice Cooper. Can't be playing Alice Cooper in front of the children. Ever.


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