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Archive for August, 2007

EF Udate

August 31st, 2007 at 05:23 pm

The interest for the month of August was available from ING, though it won't post until tomorrow, I don't think. It was $2.63. But since I won't be looking there again until next Thursday I'll add it in now.

$1098.31 Old Balance
+ 2.63 Interest added
--------
$1100.94 New Balance

I don't have all of my ING in EF or the interest would be higher, but I like to have some money available locally in case of some emergency where I need to get at it quickly.

Does anyone keep any money on hand at home for emergencies? I am thinking of putting $200 in a little firesafe combination lock box to hide in my house in case an emergency happens on the weekend. Although maybe not, if it were a true emergency I could use a credit card and just pay if from the EF on Monday. I'm not sure I'd feel comfortable having that much money in the house with DH coming and going like he does, even in a safe and with a home security system. I just don't like the idea of using a credit card like that.

That Homeschool Thing

August 31st, 2007 at 04:49 pm

I was also reading in the forums about the homeschool thread and all I can say is that there are a lot of generalizations going on there. I've homeschooled and I've had kids in public schools and some of the stuff about public schools being said is wrong, some of it is right.

But really it is the parent that makes the children social, polite, involved in the community, regardless of whether or not they are in public school or homeschooled. I can take my kids to the grocery store and teach them how to pick out produce and how to use coupons and how to calculate a unit price, and in fact, I do. I can teach my kids about saving money, writing a check, balancing a check book, and the proper and improper use of credit. It has nothing to do with their schooling, it has to do with my parenting. And I think that is what so many homeschooling parents forget, that sometimes public school kids learn just as much as homeschooled kids do because their parents make sure they do. I was a public school kid who learned because I wanted to.

Homeschooled kids aren't better than public school kids, they are simply luckier than public school kids because they have one parent who is able to be more involved in their schooling. And that is what makes a better kid, an involved parent. As a SAHM, I am able to be as involved in my children's public school education as I want to be. If I don't like what I see I would not hesitate to pull them out, or talk to the teacher or principal.

And just as an aside, I have seen so many posts on homeschooling forums and sometimes this one, even in this latest thread, by homeschooling mothers who spell or use so many words incorrectly it makes me cringe and it scares me. Spelling is huge in how you present yourself to the world and if yew kan't speel proporly howse ya gunna teech yer kidz two dew it? Or tell the difference between there and their, bear and bare, accept and except, effect and affect, to, too, and two? There certainly should not be an arrogance about homeschooling in the same paragraph as words that are spelled or used wrong, because it completely undermines the point. Not that there should be arrogance anyway in regards to homeschooling.

The whole thing reminds me of the blown out of proportion SAHM/WAHM debate. It doesn't matter whether you work or don't work, it matters how you parent your child.

Grocery Shopping and Random Babbling

August 30th, 2007 at 09:21 pm

My third entry for today.

I stopped at Freddy's today to get organic milk and use my coupon. So I got another gallon of organic milk for $3.58 a gallon. And guess what printed out at the cash register? Yet another coupon for $3.00 off 2 half gallons of Organic Valley milk.

They also had turkey legs on sale for 79 cents per pound so I got two packages. I ended up with 9 very large turkey legs. My daughter is an extreme turkey lover so this works out well. It's been a while since I've seen them for 79 cents a pound. They are usually 99 cents a pound now.

I also took Rose for a haircut today. We had the girl wash it, too, which I usually don't do, but Rose's ears still hurt from being pierced and she bumps them so much when she washes it herself, we decided it would be worth the $3 extra to have someone else do it for her. So it ended up costing $16. Now that she is eleven she no longer qualifies for the children's haircut, even though all they did was give her bangs, trim the ends and put a little layering around the face. Took all of ten minutes, if that to do the actual cut. It wasn't some fancy adult style or anything. Of course, I forgot my $2 off coupon for them, too.

Five more days until school starts and it can come none too soon for me. The kids were picking at each other for most of the day. But they managed to finagle a two night stay at the lovely Casa Grandma so I get some time to destress.

I think I might go to a matinee movie tomorrow if Hairspray is still here. It is tonight, but they change out on Friday mornings and I have a feeling it will be gone. That's okay if it is, I'll just stay home and watch a movie I taped instead. As long as I get to unwind. Then I'm going to get started on The Outback Stars by Sandra McDonald. Starts out set on the Australian planet Kookaburra. Should be interesting. Plus its military sci-fi, which I love. Looks like she may be as good as Elizabeth Moon at that if it is even possible.

EF Update

August 30th, 2007 at 09:08 pm

Today was the auto deposit of $10 to savings. I also deposited $26 in ones from my coin jar. I then sent that $36.00 off to ING.

$1062.31 EF Old total
+ 36.00 Today's deposit
---------
$1098.31 New EF Total

Interest for this month is going to put it just over $1100, but it is not deposited until tomorrow or Monday.

Don't ever tell me little bits can't add up to an EF. I'm living proof they do. Just have to keep at it.

Wasted Effort Bugs Me

August 30th, 2007 at 03:06 pm

I am so glad I am not out in the workforce. I don't think I'd ever be able to hold my tongue if some of the things that happen to DH happened to me. Well, this one didn't really happen to DH, but he is the one most affected by it.

The guy he spent nearly 3 weeks training to cover his old position quit. I know this work isn't for everyone but you ought to know going in what you're getting into. It's not like they don't tell you that you work so many days straight and you work 12 hour days.

So now DH is having to cover the old job and his own job. Sorry, two 12 hour a day jobs add up to 24 hours and that doesn't work. Fortunately he is paid at the higher rate for both jobs. But now the company they subscontract for is getting all snippy, thinking the job should be three weeks ahead of where it is. If it hadn't been for this other company, this position would have been filled months ago and with a different person.

Anyway, they've put up another JVA (job vacancy announcement) for the position. The woman they hired to be the first guy's alternate does not start working up there for 2 more weeks. Meanwhile they look for yet another alternate. DH does not get paid extra for training, either.

I told him to be careful and not allow them to overwork him. He needs to make sure he gets enough sleep for his health and is able to eat right and get into the exercise room before it is closed up.

Of course, we may end up with scads of extra weeks worked during this time period which means the remaining credit card will be paid off that much faster. The only possible silver lining in all of this. Only any extra work weeks means time he won't be at home with me and the kids. Trade offs suck sometimes. At least school starts in five more days. That will help immensely.

I'm so glad we have free long distance. We're going to be using it a lot.

Debt Consolidation Update and the Car Will Have to Last

August 29th, 2007 at 02:13 pm

Well, we've done it. We have transferred all of our Bank of America credit card balances and our Citi credit card onto the debt consolidation loan and they are now reading with a balance of zero. We have one credit card left with a balance on it and it is at 1.99% until October of 2008.

We are going to aggressively pay this credit card down now. DH and I decided we will not start saving seriously for a new car until after this card is gone. We think we can have it paid off by March or April if we throw everything at it as hard as we can.

As soon as it is paid off we will start saving for that car. We will be putting enough aside though to get our current primary vehicle in tip top shape so it will last another two years. And we will do some repairs to the Blazer and try to sell it. I don't know if anyone in their right mind would buy a vehicle that gets an average 16 mpg. It is a luxury version (and no we didn't buy it new) so its possible some dumb 16 year old out to buy his first vehicle might plunk down a few thousand for it cause its pretty and status-y.

Over all it is in decent shape, but the air conditioner needs to be refilled and the 4 wheel drive needs $200 in repairs and I think a new serpentine belt soon.

The only reason we bought a 4 wheel drive was to get out of the mountains when it snows bad, but we've come to the conclusion over the years that when it snows bad it is better to stay put until you absolutely must go out and by then the roads are plowed and the regular car is fine. So it really isn't needed.

I don't even remember why I ever thought it was so urgent to get out of the driveway and out of the mountains to begin with. I don't have an outside job and DH works in Alaska. There really is no real reason to leave during bad weather as we have a good store of food laid up especially in winter time.

Anyway, so if we can get two or three thousand for the Blazer and drop it from our insurance we can throw that money at the last credit card as well. And that is also where our income tax return will go.

It will be nice to get down to medical debt, mortgage, and debt consolidation loan.

Meal Planning

August 28th, 2007 at 10:41 pm

We have been really lax about eating out too much. Now that DH is gone for 3 weeks I am going to do my best not to eat out again until he returns, or at least keep it to the minimum, like once. With that in mind I'm making menus for the rest of the week.

I am making all meals from stuff that is on hand in either the freezer, fridge, cupboard or garden, or that I will be picking this week (blueberries at Mom's, blackberries from behind the chiropractor's office).

Wednesday
beef chuck roast, crock pot (freezer)
new potatoes, sliced and steamed (garden)
green beans, boiled (garden)
canteloupe (on hand)

Thursday
roasted turkey legs (freezer)
broccoli/cauliflower (garden)
new potatoes roasted (garden)
blueberries (garden)

Friday
fried chicken (freezer)
homemade gravy
new potatoes, fried (garden)
blackberries (wild picked)
green beans (garden)

Saturday
Roast beef hash (made of leftovers from Wed)
raw carrots (garden)
any leftover berries
salad greens (garden)

Sunday
Turkey sandwiches (made from Thurs leftovers) on 100% whole wheat buns that need to be used up (in freezer)
soup (cupboard)
leftover broccoli and cauliflower
canteloupe (on hand)

Lunches tend to be soup and sandwiches anyway, so Sunday's lunch will probably be some TV dinners I need to get rid of before they get freezer burned.

Breakfasts will be a combination of eggs, homemade sausage, waffles, pancakes, toast with peanut butter and jelly (blackberry, strawberry or apricot) or French toast. Maybe some bacon if I can find some in the back of the freezer.




Not much of Anything

August 28th, 2007 at 08:28 pm

Today was a bit of a boring day, really. I bought an 18 pack of organic eggs and put $100 on my Costco card for gas, and filled up the tank.

I took DH to the airport. I wrote 3 pages on my book. I received the earrings that I ordered in the mail, and that's it, really.

Now I'm just waiting for Eureka to come on the telly.

Long Day

August 27th, 2007 at 11:32 pm

My day was long. We did clothes shopping for Tobias, and Rose got a pair of dress shoes, so we are now all finished with back to school shopping. Great big Hooray! Spent $137, $14.08 was for Rose's shoes. Didn't have to spend nearly as much on T for school clothes as I did for Rose.

My massage therapist called in sick today so I did not get my appointment. I was not very happy but since quite frankly I believe she caught the cold from me in the first place, I guess I can't complain. That real nasty one I caught in Victoria. Hopefully I can get in before school starts, because that is eight days away, but who knows with Mom's schedule if she can watch the kids right now. And
DH leaves tomorrow so I have to have someone.

I've been going to the chiropractor 3 times per week since my hip went wonky and it doesn't seem to help for more than a couple of hours. Now the other hip is starting to hurt, maybe overcompensating. Oh, well. I did spend a lot of time walking around today, so that may be part of it.

The kids started back at tae kwon do today. They have been out of it for almost a year and a half. They seemed to do okay. Rose got right back in the swing of things and Tobias started over at the
beginning, since he's now in the older class. Since he was only in the Little Tiger class before he only ever learned the kicks and punches and basic hand techniques, how to say yes, sir, no, sir, and not any of the poomses or older skill level things. They gave us free uniforms, too, which I wasn't expecting. It was nice since they cost $50 and they've both outgrown their old ones, but Tobias hasn't grown into the one Rose started with yet.

We also spent a couple of hours out at DH's Mom's house. His great granddad was over, too and his sister and her girls. We did a birthday cake for DH with our meal from Wendy's.

Yeah, bad habits rearing their ugly heads. The frosty has corn syrup in it. Not high fructose but still corn syrup and that was enough to set off my system, so no, won't be doing that again.

DH's birthday isn't until the 30th but since he leaves tomorrow we celebrated it early. I gave him the DVD's Blood and Chocolate and the latest James Bond movie. That's what he wanted.

And we also stopped by Mom's and I sat in the massage chair for 15 minutes and then she ran one of those hand held massage thingies that does the kneading motions over my sore lower back and hips for 30
minutes, which gave me some relief. I am so tired of hurting but I don't want to be taking pain pills. I had to do that in the beginning of this and it threw me for a loop. Or it made me loopy, not quite sure. Maybe both. Generic percocet will do that.

I am glad to be home now and about to go to sleep on my wonderful new bed.

200,000 Hits!

August 27th, 2007 at 12:19 am

Wow, will you look at that. 200,000 hits on my little old blog. That just kind of blows me away. 16 months of blogging and you guys haven't gotten tired of reading me yet. So thanks to all my readers. I sure do appreciate all of you!

Survey Updates

August 26th, 2007 at 04:57 pm

I just checked my accounts and I should be receiving my $50 check from Global Test Market on the 8th of September. I wish it didn't take six weeks for them to send out a check. They're in California for Pete's sake! But I shouldn't complain as they are the best paying survey site I use. (Real surveys, none of this paid to try business). As for points I am currently at 577, so a bit past the halfway mark to being able to cash out again. So far I've cashed out again right around when the check comes, so hopefully they'll send out a bunch of surveys in the next two weeks.

Lightspeed has been slow, ACOP has been slow, Pinecone after spitting out one survey in my direction this month has gone dormant again, NFO has been slow, though I did do a free product test with a 100 point follow up survey for them. I've done a $1 and a $2 survey with Your2Cents (but have to hit $5 to cash out there), and SurveySavvy has been hit or miss. I haven't heard from Mindfield in months! Oh, well. You win some, you lose some.

I wish the paid to clicks hadn't gone down after that earthquake in the Asian islands. I was making a good amount with those just clicking while I watched something. Can't have everything I suppose. I'm saving up my MyPoints for Christmas time. I've got over 3000 at this point.

Free Shoes!

August 26th, 2007 at 04:23 pm

A long time ago my friend gave me a box of boy's shoes that her son had outgrown and we have been waiting and waiting (there is a seven year age gap) for Tobias to grow into them. Well, last night we were cleaning out his closet in preparation for new clothes and I had him try the shoes on and two pairs fit! So that means no new shoes need to be bought for him.

They were in really good condition, too. One pair canvas sneakers and the other leather hiking boots. He can still wear one pair of tennis shoes from the end of last school year so he'll have a pair for gym class as well. One more thing I can scratch off my list.

Now I just have to get caught up with the laundry so I can see where Tobias stands on clothes before we go out and buy him new school clothes. I think plenty of his older clothes can make the transition into play clothes easily. Oh, and we found two sweatshirts and a pair of shorts in the closet that fit him great. They are faded and in the play clothes category, but it will be nice to have two sweatshirts for the upcoming autumn after school play time.

Coin Jar Update

August 26th, 2007 at 01:23 am

I've added in some money to the coin jar the last couple of days. Totals now are:

$21.00 in ones
10.75 in quarters
5.40 in dimes
1.05 in nickles
.37 in pennies
------
$38.75 New total

Clothes Shopping

August 25th, 2007 at 10:20 pm

Rose and I went back to school shopping while DH, his dad, and Tobias picked up the new bed and brought it home and set it up. It is heavenly. I'm typing on it as we speak.

Anyway, we started off at J.C. Penney and spent $45 there for $85 worth of clothes, then went to Target and spent $35 on $70 worth of clothes, then went to Kohls. We spent $105 there, but besides clothing we got 3 clunky bracelets that will go with several of the outfits we bought.

We were going to go to Old Navy but decided to skip it when we kept setting off the Kohl's alarm even though they demagnetized us four times. Sigh. Our last stop was at Fred Meyer. where we spent $90 for $100 worth of clothes. I had a $10 off coupon there. Things are awfully expensive this year, even with the sales. She still needs two pairs of pants. Fortunately the 3 pairs we bought go with at least 3 outfits each. And we did get two pairs of sweatpants, so hmmm, maybe we can get away without any more.

That's about it.