Archive for the ‘life’ category

Found- New Favorite Website!

October 20, 2008

OK- the title isn’t completely true.  Nothing beats cakewrecks.  But, earlier today I went to the blogger choice awards site to see if my beloved cakewrecks won the best humor blog.  Of course itdid!  While I was reading the list, I was overcome by the amount of votes for the winner of several other awards- including best blog about stuff, and best blog of all time.  The blog is about a guy who is married to a woman with cystic fibrosis.  It tells about their daily life, including their new miracle baby who was born when just over 1lb.  I just started looking at it, but at first glance the site is very well done.  And, I predict it to be a daily must read in the near future!  For people like me who are just finding it, there’s a recap to get us up to speed on everything from the beginning of the site.  So, you don’t have to go back and read the whole thing.  But, after reading the recap, I’m even more tempted to go back and read it all.  It seems inspiring and sweet, although I’m sure sometimes scary and sad.  But, the response to the site is amazing and helps to let me know there are good people out there caring for others, praying for others, and are generally good people.  And, if we think we have had a bad day, there are probably others out there who have had worse- and who don’t feel as sorry for themselves as we do!

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Coming Home

October 10, 2008

I posted this on my Fresh Choices Daily food blog.  But, I thought I’d post it here, too, for anyone who doesn’t go to that one.

Frugal Friday- Coming Home

Lately, you can’t go a day without hearing about the economy.  I can hardly watch the news because it can be so depressing.  But, because I’m an optimist, today let’s take a look at the brighter side of life!

We live in a fast paced world.  Usually, both parents are working and the kids are involved in sports and clubs or even working just to pay for gas to get to school or activities.  Then, adults go out for dinner and drinks with friends, kids are hanging out with friends.  It seems that when one family member comes home, another is about to leave.

But, with the economy heading in the wrong direction, people are starting to head in the right direction.  They are going home!  Families can’t afford to go out for dinner all the time.  So, we are cooking and eating at home.  The reasons why this is a great thing are unmeasurable.  Home cooking is much healthier.  Therefore, we are feeling better- both physically and mentally.  And, we all know that restaurants aren’t usually the quietest places for lots of conversation.  So, now we have more opportunities to share with each other.  We are spending time around the dinner table- eating a great meal, talking, and laughing.  That’s the stuff great memories are made of! 

Still having restaurant withdrawals?  Well, that brings me to my Frugal Friday tip!  One night a week, let someone in the family pick a restaurant.  Then, get their menu- they can usually be found in the phone book or on-line.  Pick an item off the menu and have it for dinner!  You can have as much fun with it as you want- or have time for.  Create little menu’s, have someone “play waitress’, (even better- have one of the kids “play dishwasher”!).  If you’re really ambitious, you can even go on-line and try to find the “secret recipe’s” for your restaurant of the day.  I know I’m always looking for something new for dinner.  This just might be a great way to add some fun to dining in!

CBS Homeschool Segment

September 17, 2008

http://www.cbsnews.com/sections/sunday/main3445.shtml

Check out this link to watch the segment CBS just did about homeschooling.  I have seen some positive press lately for homeschooling.  It’s good to see that people might be losing the idea that homeschooling is a bad thing.  As more and more people turn to homeschooling, more and more people have friends and family that homeschool. They see the great things that happen when children are homeschooled and they realize it’s not something bad or scary.

Saving Over $120 a Month- And Counting!

September 10, 2008

     The economy has been on the minds of many Americans lately.  Either it comes up in campaign speeches and television ads or it hits closer to home with many families feeling the pinch.  Because I am one of those feeling the pinch, I got to thinking about what I have been doing to compensate for the change in lifestyle for our family.  And, then I started wondering what others are doing to help during this time of economic struggle.  Maybe someone else has done something that I can do to save a few dollars here or there.  And, maybe something I’ve done could help someone else.  So, here are my ideas.  Please share yours, too.  And, hopefully, together we’ll all get through it!

     I took a look at every bill I pay each month.  There were some things I really didn’t need- one organization I paid fees for that I had never used.  So, that got cancelled and saved $10 a month.  Then, netflix had to go.  Thank goodness we have a wonderful library that has anything i ever wanted!  That was another $10 a month.  Yesterday, I found a car insurance company that was $30 less a month for the same coverage I had before.  So, yes, I must say, I switched to Geico! 

     In April, I got a new car.  Although that sounds like spending instead of saving, I actually broke even.  Because I drive so much, gas and my new car payment is actually the same- or less- than what I was paying in gas every month.  So, I got a better car that will eventually save me a ton of money!  When I have an errand to run close by, I really try to walk or ride my bike.  Of course, as it gets colder that will change because I hate being outside in cold weather!  But, for now, it gives me some exercise and saves on gas.

     Lately, I have been making a huge effort to make a menu and shopping list for the week.  This saves me money and also keeps me from having to think at the end of the day!  The hardest thing to do for dinner at night is decide what to make.  So, this works well in several ways.  I’ve been able to stay under our $30 a week budget and make some tasty, well balanced meals! 

     We don’t go out to eat now.  We joined the $5 club at the theatre.  But, we very rarely go.  There’s always fun things to on weekends during the summer that are free.  When winter comes, we’ll probably have to work a little harder to find things.  But, I know they’re out there.  So, I cut out our $18 a week entertainment budget.

     On the homeschool front, I’ve had some luck- I call it God!  A friend has a daughter about the same age as my ds.  So, we’ve combined some classes, shared some curriculum, and been able to save money.  I also have some other people in my homeschool group that I am swapping curriculum back and forth with.  I think this is a great thing for homeschoolers to do- either as part of a homeschool group project or just as individual homeschoolers that know each other.  It can get expensive and most people use it and then it sits on a shelf or in a box and collects dust.  I’d rather see someone else get some use out of it.

     On the good side, evaluating how we spend our money has made me become much more aware of where it’s all going.  I have always thought of us as very frugal.  But, now that we are forced to live on my income alone- and are still eating with a roof over our head- I see that we could really save a lot of money away when my husband does find a job.  So, hopefully, this will all be good for us in the long run.

     I’m sure there are other things.  But, those are the main ones off the top of my head.  What have you done?  What are you planning to do?  How has the economy effected you?  Let me know your thoughts!

Quote For the Day

August 17, 2008

     I went to church this morning and heard something I thought would be good to share.  “Today may be the worst day of your life, but it won’t be the last.” 

     So, with all of the awful things going on in life, the bright side is that it will not always be this way- at some point, it will be better.  And, this all goes right along with my motto in life- “everything happens for a reason”.  I may not always like what’s going on while it’s happening, but it never fails that somewhere along my life journey, I always look back and realize that I would not be where I am if it hadn’t been for the path I took- twists, turns, bumps and all.

     I could babble on about all of this.  But, I think I’ve said all that really needs to be said- the rest would all just be babble.

Craigslist

August 12, 2008

A few months ago, I planned the garage sale I was going to have a year ago.  Actually, I didn’t really plan it.  I just decided that’s what I was going to spend my Saturday morning doing.  So, Friday night I gathered all of the old treasures (junk) and went through a couple closets and went to bed.  Early Saturday morning, I got up and set it all outside.  Around 8 or so, I sent my son on a mission to make signs and post them around the neighborhood.  Now, I realize this is past peak time for garage sales since most of the good stuff is gone by 8.  But, I figured it would be better than nothing.  Well, a few hours later, I realized that was not the case. 

Since I had to take care of my grandma starting that afternoon, the sale only lasted until about noon- maybe 1.  And, I made a grand total of (drumroll please) about $3.  Yes, the money I was hoping to get for gas since I was using so much going back and forth to my grandma’s did not even by me a gallon of gas! 

It wasn’t that I had useless or bad stuff.  I had the key items- kids clothes, books, furniture, along with household and nicnac items.  I simply didn’t have anyone driving by to see my wonderful sale. 

That leads me to today- months later- when all of my garage sale items are still sitting in my kitchen waiting for a new home.  My dh told me he knew of people who had great success on craigslist.  So, I was excited to try something different.  OK, I admit it.  I was excited for HIM to try something different.  But, mmonths later and still no craigslist selling.  So, I decided to check it out for myself.  And, I’m just warning you- if you don’t see me blog for awhile, I may be getting addicted to it!  It looks like you can find anything on there!  I’d love to write more, but I have to get back to craigslist and see what else is there!

Family Blog

August 7, 2008

With the unfortunate deaths in our family comes the fortunate time of seeing people who haven’t been together in years- sometimes from childhood.  Today was one of those days.  Some of us jokingly said nametags would have been helpful!  People change alot in 20 years or so!  Still, it was good to be with family, to see their families, and share stories.

The other wonderful thing that has happened is by getting together we have begun to share the pictures of the past.  There is an abundance of pictures from my grandma and now from my great aunt.  The question is, who gets them all?  The answer?  Everyone!  My cousin started a site for our family to put pictures, stories, geneology, and even family recipes on!  http://hinearchive.blogspot.com/  It’s really a great way to share everything with everyone.  And, if someone wants a picture all they have to do is print it.

It’s amazing what the world of technology lets us do!  There are things that date back to the 1800’s.  Can you imagine what our ancesters would think if we told them of all of the possibilities of the times now?  It kind of makes me wonder what the future possibilities are!