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Archive for January, 2013

So proud of DD3

January 31st, 2013 at 06:52 pm

DD3 is doing so good in Alaska. I am really proud of her. She is working long hours without a day off- but is plugging along. After 3 and a half weeks, she has brought home $5800. For a 21 year old with hardly any job experience, thats not too shabby. She has already completely paid us back the $5k she owed us, and now is building her savings and paying off her small student loan. She has no other debt. If all goes as planned, she has at least 3 more months to work- and then pans to come home, get her CDL and then go back up and work full time. Again, I am so proud of her.

But....I am a little sad too. With my son and his family in California, the hub gone at least half the time to Alaska, and now DD3 gone for such a stretch...my empty nest feels deserted. Well, not totally, the two older girls and their families are still here.

Work continues to be super busy with no slow down in sight. The days fly by, but I am so, so tired at night when I get home. This week, I have managed to forget to eat breakfast, overeat at lunch at my desk and come home not very hungry...so much for my mealplan. I will spend time this weekend working on a food plan. If I dont get my stuff together, I am not going to lose weight and feel healthier for the vacation time I have planned. AND THAT IS NOT OK.

Tomorrow night my middle grandson, age 4, is spending the night. I am going to buy us the Hotel Transylvania movie to watch (Ive never seen it). His splurge for dinner.....McDonalds. At least it wont be exspensive. When you are 4, I guess that is the IT place to eat. I have snacks, including popcorn, and breakfast stuff here...Looking forward to having him over. He doesnt often get to go without his big sister (7), so I am hoping he enjoys a night all about him.

Pooped, but still so blessed. Life is good.

Meal plan

January 30th, 2013 at 09:28 pm

The meal plan for the next couple of weeks.

Breakfast and lunch will be oatmeal, bagels, sandwiches, eggs and canadian bacon or leftovers.

Leftover steak/bread/salad

Friday - Grandson's choice

Saturday - Awards Banquet - Free

Sunday- Superbowl Party at DD1s - taking cupcakes for dessert

Monday - Rosemary/garlic/lemon chicken + quinoa

Tuesday - Leftovers

Wednedsay - Bean burritoes (with chicken if any is leftover)

Thursday - Teriyaki Chicken, rice and pineapple

Friday _ Grand daughter choice

Sat Leftovers chicken/rice

Sun - eggs, canadian bacon and cheese

Mon - at coast, job pays

Tues - at coast job pays

Grocery store FAIL

January 30th, 2013 at 08:25 pm

The hub headed back to Alaska today. He is on a four week rotation again..so I am home alone for a month.

I planned to go to the store tonight and spent some time on my break at work looking at sale ads and clicking on the online offers and coupons. The store has been asking me each time I go in if I am taking advantage of the online app and special offers..so I thought I would give it a try.

Lucky for me...along with this being the first time I used this program - the store completely changed their shelving system since I was there last week. HUH? Talk about totally disconboomerated...They changed the location for everything except the perimiter items(Meat, produce, bread and some dairy)..everything else was in a completely new location...

I also had to pick up my prescriptions.

What an experience.

I was looking at my list, my online app for the store on my phone, trying to figure out where everything was...

Well...to make a long story short-

They filled the prescriptions differently this time- instead of one month supply they gave me 90 days, so the price was different. (however, when I got home, one of the bottles only had 30 pills, even though the bottle said 90..and then when I looked at the receipt, they failed to charge me for the prescription)

Some of the online offers discounted, some did not. ARGH. I was watching as they rang up, but the clerk explained that some of the discounts "come off at the end"...

So...I am not a fan right now. I will have to go back to pick up the rest of the pills, pay for the prescription I didnt get charged for and try to get reimbursement for some of the discounts I didnt receive. Way too much effort...Store FAIL.

I did save 31%- but I should have saved at least 10% more off of my $81 bill if items had rung up correctly.

Anyway, I am well stocked on groceries for the next couple of weeks.

This weekend is our awards banquet at work, which means I will receive my bonus. Big Grin That is something I am really looking forward to. It should b e enough to pay off one of the smaller debts that we have.

Missing the hub tonight, but life is good!

Is time off worth it?

January 28th, 2013 at 04:04 pm

I am on hour #8 today and am not much closer to finishing any of my to-do list or projects as when I started this morning. Coming back to work always means so many interruptions - even keeping my door shut and avoiding eye contact. (I know, very anti-social of me). And I came back to so much work. I have to wonder if that time off was worth it. This afternoon my memories of relaxing last week are vague and fleeting. bleh.

The hub is two more days, then he will be gone for another month.

By the end of his time home, I am always plotting ways to regain my frugalness. It seems like we spend so much more and so much more easily when he is home. Am I a closet enabler? Possibly...but my heart is in the right place. hmm.

One of my co-workers went to get pizza for lunch today. I failed to plan ahead and didnt want to leave at lunch, so I bought lunch since she was kind enough to go out and get it. $15- out of my allowance $$.

We never used the tri-tip this weekend, so I am hoping the hub is bbq-ing that up for us for dinner tonight and we dont spend anymore money. Thankfully, the house/grocery fund still has $43 to last until Friday and we have left overs that should get us through until he heads back north. Otherwise, I will use allowance for groceries that are bought beyond the $43.

Im pooped...and I still have an hour to go. And my brain is on fry mode. - But yes, I would do the week off again- even if it does mean long days this week.

DH made amazing homemade chili tonight!

January 24th, 2013 at 10:38 pm

The hub made chili for dinner tonight using the leftover bbq steak from last night. He had beans, green peppers, tomatoes, and seasonings and just made up the recipe. It was so yummy! He also made cornbread. Our friends arrived shortly after 5pm and had dinner with us and also loved the meal. Kudos to the hub..

Tomorrow is the friends day to cook and clean for meals, our day is Saturday. The rest of the weekend should be a no-spender for us, as we have all the food we need for meals on Sat. We might go to see one more movie..Django. Our friends really want to go see it, and it looks like a good one to see, so we may splurge one more time.

I booked the Disneyland trip last night and came up with some ideas for saving money on food and other activities DD2 wants to do with the kids. Glad we have some time to plan this out..

Enjoying out vacation so much. We have two full days left here..and plan to enjoy the whole time! Life is good!

Snow, movie and the hot tub! Life is good!!

January 23rd, 2013 at 07:25 pm

Today has been such a great day. We are at the vacation/rental house and it is gorgeous. There is snow everywhere, but the weather has been mild. Today we went to the movies and saw Argo. Such a good movie - I remember when the hostage situation happened in 79, I was a senior in high school- but of course, we never knew this part of the story. We both really enjoyed it. It cost more here than at home...a matinee was $7.50 each.

Tonight we are grilling steaks and having baked potatoes and salad. Tomorrow night, our friends will get here. Like all vacations, time is flying by! The hub is grilling extra steak to add to some homemade chili tomorrow.

We have used the hot tub several times, and planning on enjoying it again tonight...and lots while our friends are here.

Another fun, memorable week for us- we are so blessed. Life is good!

Today would have been my dads 80th birthday...its been 5 years since I had one of his dad hugs...sure do miss him. Happy birthday papa!

Eating out..its been expensive

January 21st, 2013 at 07:53 pm

When the hub comes home, he enjoys going to the restaurants that he misses while he is on the slope. We have ate out a few times since he has been home, Olive Garden (we took DD2 after her massage, $65), mexican ($32), and the first night we went to a little sports bar with friends ($45). Today, we went to Costco at lunchtime to pick up a few things for our trip tomorrow and I had a $1.50 hot dog, he had two pieces of pizza. Gotta love the $7 price tag for their oh not so healthy food...lol. Dinner was leftovers from the meals out. We bought a tri tip, thick cut bacon, salad fixings, snacks, etc. We still have to go to the grocery store in the morning to get the items that we didnt want to buy in bulk. We spent some time making a list today and packing what we had on hand to avoid buying extra.

We are pretty much packed and ready to go tomorrow. We cant check in until 4pm, which means we have no need to leave much before noon.

Today I worked about 5 hours keeping important balls rolling at work. I will spend at least 3-4 more hours working this week. Since DD2 has asked me to go with her and the kids to Disneyland, I will 'comp' out a day there.

The meals that we have at the rental house will primarily be stuff we make at the house, so meals shouldnt be too expensive the rest of the week. We come home next Sunday, which is Dd1s 31st birthday and so we will do something with her family for dinner.

Then, the hub leave a couple days later and will be gone another month.

But for now, I am looking forward to our get-away. Should be lots of fun. Life is great!

How hard can it be to buy rosemary, really?

January 20th, 2013 at 06:31 pm

I went to two different stores today that carry plants and seeds. Neither had a rosemary plant or rosemary seeds. I tried last summer to get a plant, and was told then that they were sold out...Is there something special about rosemary plants and seeds that I dont know? I use it so often in my chicken, that I thought it would make much better sense to have a plant, rather than buy every few weeks in the produce section...but wth?

I will keep an eye out between now and spring, I cant imagine that picking up either a plant or the seeds can be this hard...and I know growing my own will be much cheaper than the $2.50 - 3 per package that I have been paying..not to mention more convenient.

Today, I spent $45 today on two new king size pillows, two standard pillows and 4 pillowcases to fit them. Our pillows were getting so old. I bought different firmnesses so that hopefully the hub and I can both mix and match to make them comfortable.

Grammas going to Disneyland...

January 20th, 2013 at 05:29 pm

Im the slowest learner on some things. I have lost so many posts by not saving before I hit save and publish. Youd think I would learn eventually.

Take two..

The hub arrived safe and sound Friday night and our weather has been gorgeous all weekend, hardly any fog.

Yesterday we took DD1 and her two kids (7 and 4) up to the snow for the 7 year olds girl scout outing. It was such a pretty day. The sun was out all day, but it was cold and perfect weather for grilling hotdogs on a campfire and enjoying hot cocoa. DD1 had all the food, we just paid the $5 for the parking permit and had such a wonderful day. The kids sledded all day and then slept all the way home.

DD2 asked again if I would go with her and the older two kids to Disneyland. DD2 is a single mom (8 and 4) and also is the daughter who has Z, the little foster guy. DD2 is a hard working single mom who juggles her own responsibilities, plus those of being a foster parent. She doesnt have the money and resources to do disney on her own. So I am going to go with her. Z just turned two last week, so he is a little to young to appreciate Disneyland and the 10 hour drive each way to get there, so we will leave him here. I am checking into hotels and ticket prices for a good deal. I hope to keep the budget under $2000 for the four of us.

DD3 is doing awesome in Alaska. She loves it up there and is really enjoying her experience.

The hub and I will be home tomorrow and then on Tuesday we leave for 5 nights up at the rental home we reserved at the resort. We got a great deal...rent three nights, get two free..Our frinds will be coming up on Thursday night to join us for the weekend.

Enjoying vacation so far..life is good!

Still waiting on the hub...

January 18th, 2013 at 01:18 pm

The hub is STILL NOT HOME. and I am not sure we wont have the same problem with flights this afternoon. He is about to board to fly to Portland, and is booked on the 5:30 flight to come home. However, that flight was cancelled yesterday due to the freezing fog and visibility...Right now, the sky is clear, but I can see the fog layer hovering on the horizon, almost like its lurking and laughing. Evil fog.

Our friends have offered to drive up to Portland to pick him up if the flight is cancelled again. We will know when he lands in Portland what the plan will be.


So, day one of vacation is being spent doing laundry and housework and waiting. So far, the added expense of this fog is Almost $200 (hotel and meals)..and if we have to drive to portland and back it will be another $200...or more.

This is feeling a little deja vu from my vacation last August in Alaska when it took the hub almost 3 days to meet up with me...Honestly, this trip and that trip are the only times weve had a problem getting him home. Feeling like my vacations are jinxed. :/

Oh well, a day off is always a welcome day. Enjoying it in spite of that evil fog lurking on the horizon. Dumb poo poo head fog.

Vacation...sort of...Hub home, not yet....

January 17th, 2013 at 06:43 pm

Today I was not as successful at getting my workload completed for vacation. There were simply too many roadblocks. So, while I am officially on vacation, I will be toting my laptop from work and working off and on to keep some important balls rolling this next week. It is simply unavoidable. But, that comes along with being exempt.

The hub is enroute tonight, but I am not sure if the heavy freezing fog we are experiencing will allow his plane to land or not. (Update...his flight is cancelled. He wont be home until tomorrow...poor guy.) He will arrive in Seattle in a couple of hours, and then we will find out if the connecting flight is happening. If it doesnt, the poor guy will sleep in the airport on one of those comfy (not) benches. He has been working 20 hour days and so I know he is exhausted already.

DD3 received her first full week paycheck. Her bring home, for one week = $1717. She was ecstatic. She will have all debt (she just owes $ to the hub and me and a small student loan) and have a nice big savings account to come home to.

Since she is paying us back, and we arent supporting her, my debt repayment will accelerate nicely. In all, she started out owing us just over $5k, but she will be under $3k tomorrow after only two weeks.

So happy to be on vacation..even though I have to work some, it is nice to know I can just do it on my time. So looking forward to our trip to the vacation home next week!!

Great eval and raise!!

January 16th, 2013 at 06:20 pm

This has been a good week.

I received my eval on Monday, and it went way better than I expected!! Not that I thought it would be bad, it is just the first time Ive been evaluated by this boss. My raise is 5.75% which is really good! However, the scale raised and even with this increase, I am lower on the scale than where I was before the increase. hmmm. So, I asked for that to be corrected. I am on the list that will be re-evaluated after evaluations are all done and the budget is finished. My argument has been acknowledged as valid and so it is very likely that the additional increase will happen.

Tomorrow is my last work day before vacation. I have been going full throttle since December with the changes we have had at work, and so I am ready for a break...however, my calendar that first week I go back is already booked solid. There isnt an end in sight for a while..so I plan to unwind as much as possible the next week and a half.

I mentioned that I bought new clothes and a new pair of shoes last weekend. My oh my...those new shoes are WAY comfy and were a good investment. Smile My feet feel soo much better at night now. And the new clothes have put a bounce in my step. It has been great having a few new things to wear.

Z turned two this week. He is getting so big. Still no new word on what his future holds, but for now, he is safe, happy and loved.

The hub is supposed to come home tomorrow. But as Lucky Robin described in her blog today, there are extreme conditions on the Slope and it is questionable if he will actually get out and all the way home or not tomorrow. We dont leave for our get away until Tuesday morning, so we have a little wiggle room for travel delays.

DD3 is doing wonderful at her job up north. She is learning so much and aside from all the snow and extreme weather this week, she has really enjoyed being up there.

Monday and Tuesday were no spend days, I stuck to the food plan and ate leftovers. Today I went to lunch and had grilled salmon and rice pilaf ($15). It was so tasty and it was soooo nice and relaxing to get away from the desk for an hour.

Tomorrow will be super busy getting everything ready for being gone next week..but knowing when I leave work tomorrow night I have the next 10 days off will make it worthwhile. Big Grin

Life...is really good. I am so blessed.

New work clothes...

January 13th, 2013 at 09:21 pm

DD2 came over this morning with Z. DD2 needed to study and take some exams to recertify for her phramacy tech license. We had a great day.

I DID scoot out for a while today to finally get some new work clothes, loooong overdue. I took advantage of the end of season sales and got two pair of slacks, two jackets and a really pretty blouse for $114. Then, I got a new pair of really comfy shoes for $99. This is my second pair of expensive (in my book) shoes. They are so comfortable. With my salary, and the new work I am taking on, I needed to update the clothes that I wear. I have been rotating everything for so long, I know my wardrobe is looking tired. The new clothes are very nice and should last for a while. I lucked out and one of the jackets I got matches a shell I already had perfectly- as well as a neclace...so I have a complete + accessorized out fit and it cost under $40 + shoes. the other jacket and the other blouse will each make a new outfit with one of the pair of new slacks...so I can mix and match for 3 days.

DD2 called while I was out and asked to go to lunch. I decided this would be a good treat for her...so we met at olive garden. Our meals were big enough to also feed us dinner.

The new caseworker for Z has told DD2 that she is most likely going to lean the same direction as the former one...which is to place Z permanently with her. SHe just wants to make sure 'mom' has been given this last opportunity so that she cant come back on the decision down the road. That is reassuring...Z turns two day after tomorrow. This afternoon, he and I layed down for a nap. He patted my cheek and told me "wuv u gramma"...and then he fell asleep.

Tomorrow is eval day...and I hopefully find out my raise. I am excited to finally find out this information. I hope all goes well!

Living off stock on hand this week...

January 13th, 2013 at 11:15 am

The ...Packers....lost last night *sniff*. I guess that means I can be more focused on other things until next August.

I have Z today. I didnt expect to but DD2 just realized that she has to get in 20 hours of study for her pharmacy tech certification renewal by the 20th. So, she is studying and I am playing. Z turns two on Tuesday.

I havent grocery shopped for the week- and plan to challenge myself to live off of what I have on hand. I have tamales that SIL sent home with me last night. I have one chicken breast, that I can shred and make enchiladas and I have pasta and sauce. For breakfast, I have oatmeal. Lunch will be paid by work Mon - Wed as we have a guest visiting, and I am their host, so I will be taking her to lunch on the corp card. Piece of cake.

Tomorrow is my evaluation. This is my first eval with this boss. I am eager to see how she scores me and learn what my raise will be. Big Grin I work really hard at my job, but I am so blessed to have the position that I have- I am doing what I love and getting paid for it. I hope to do this 8 more years, and then retire at 60. The hub supports this idea, I just have to stay financially focused. Any raise I get will be added to the 401k contributions.

Today is an kick back day of laundry, housework and playing with lil Z. Life is good!

My soapbox rant - and then an update.

January 12th, 2013 at 03:38 pm

It is frustrating to read some of the blog responses on certain blogs lately. I have always valued this site because it encourages our community to post whats on your mind- the good, the bad and the ugly..in return, it is the readers choice to read or not and if they choose, are welcome to respond. If a blogger chooses to take or to ignore advice, so be it- we all learn something here everyday and some people just make changes in their own time. Live and let live.

Are we enablers, then? I dont think we are. I think we encourage, support, and leave it up to the blogger to do with as they will. My philosophy is.. even small changes are good. Why this seems to irritate some of the non-members is beyond me. But to keep picking at someone who blogs here is ridiculous to me. If you dont like the blog, dont read it.

*stepping off the soapbox now*

Last night was GS's (age 8) turn to stay the night. We had a good time. I worry about this little guy...I suspect he may be autistic...but DD2 is having a hard time getting a diagnosis. Right now he is being treated for ADHD, but I am not convinced it is a completely accurate diagnosis. Anyways, we had such a fun night. We had popcorn and watched a movie..and he made me his 'special' of the night....rootbeer with whipped cream. lol. It was actually not bad- and he was so proud. This morning, we met DD1 and my ex-brother-in-law J(kids uncle) for breakfast- is is J's birthday. I treated- $36 for the four of us.

Then, I took GS home. DD2's house was showing signs that she is a single mom with 3 small kids (GS-8, GD-4 and Z- almost 2), and is working lots of hours to try to make ends meet. So I stayed and helped clean for a couple of hours- I could tell she really appreciated the help and the clean house.

This afternoon, I am going to DD1s- SIL made me homemade tamales (yum!) and we are going to watch the Packers/49ers game. I offered to bring chips and dip, refried beans and drinks. I spent $24.

Tomorrow, DD2 is coming over with the kids so that we can work on her budget. Hopefully, we can come up with a plan that will work a little better for her..right now, she struggles from paycheck to paycheck and some of her benefits are about to get cut because she worked extra in December.

Payday allocations

January 11th, 2013 at 04:41 pm

Today was payday for both the hubby and me. My paycheck include the 10% rebate that employees get on interest paid and earned on accounts for the year...and also had the higher social security taxes taken out. My net was still higher by $110. The hubs paycheck was a little over $700 more than budgeted. This week I paid the utility bills, deposited for the birthday account for the year, paid $1000 to debt, paid off the small cc that the hub uses for airline and hotel expenses and deposited the monthly vacation and christmas amounts. Checkmark.

DD3 also received her first paycheck- $678, and that was for four days. She is seasonal and will work about 5 months. She is paying us back for expenses for getting the job and because I paid off her truck so that she could register it in her name before she left...so for a while, $500 from each paycheck will come to mom. He future paychecks should be much higher, and so even after the $500 ding, she should come home to a nice savings account.

As one of my 2013 goals, I am having one grandchild spend the night on Fridays. Tonight is my oldest grandsons turn- he is 8. This means, I will need to pick up steak on the way home..he is a true carnivore who loves his meat and potatoes.- Well, mostly just the meat. Smile We will play Jenga, watch a movie with some popcorn and he will want to play something on the ipad. Should be a fun night.

Tomorrow my SIL is making homemade tamales and we are watching the Packers/49ers game. Im a Packer fan, everyone else that will be there is a 49ers fan. Should be fun.

Z...the disappointing saga will continue 6 more months...

January 10th, 2013 at 09:57 pm

I cant get my profile picture to update. Not sure why, but Ive tried several times in the past year or so and always get the same pic, no matter what I upload. Nate? Jeff?

DD2 heard from the case worker tonight about Z. Unfortunately, this is a new lady who just got the case about two weeks ago. :/ Her decision is to give 'mom' six more months to get it together. I hope she does...but lil Z will be 2 1/2 by then and has no idea who this 'mom' is. She is rehabilitating in another state..so she wont see him until closer to the next court date. My poor daughter is so frustrated, knowing she and her own children will have six more months to continue bonding with Z...and that he still may be moved out of the house. sigh. Such a broken system...the prior case worker was 100% on board with placing Z permanently, she knew the case inside and out...but she got promoted and relocated..so now it is in the hands of the new case worker. DD2 is more discouraged than ever tonight.

DD3 is getting her first paycheck tomorrow for her Alaska job. It is $687 for 4 days....from now on paychecks will be for 7 days. SHe was pleased to learn how much she had earned. Smile

Will update on the hubs check and budget tomorrow. Too pooped tonight.

Coffee in Seattle in August...

January 9th, 2013 at 07:05 pm

I booked the airline tickets today for our cruise in August. I arrive in Seattle about 4 hours before the hub does. That leaves at least a couple of hours to have coffee with SA friends in the area...hmmm.

My job posted the calculator function today for our rewards bonus. It is based on salary, goals and evaluation. I plugged in my best guess on my eval and was very pleasantly surprised to see the results. After taxes, and with all the other 'extra' end of the year money I have received, I will have about $4k to pay on debt at the beginning of Feb. Now that we have our emergency fund funded, I want to focus earnestly on this weight around our shoulders called consumer debt. I have disclosed before that the debt was made during time I had taken off work for two year...primarily with my sons business that failed and on home repairs on our older country home. It will take 3-4 years for us to pay it off, but there is light at the end of this very long tunnel.

I DO want to balance paying this debt off with enjoying this stage in our lives and traveling. The hub and I both want to explore a little now that the kids are raised...but I want to also be a good steward of our money and make sure debt is paid as much as possible along the way. My goal is to plan one bigger vacation and a few mini vacations each year. But extra money outside of the vacation budget, will go towards debt.

Tonight, I enjoyed the marinaded teriyaki chicken breast, onion and pineapple over rice. Uh, YUM. The chicken was left over...so the meal was pretty cheap. One way I can help with our budget is to live frugally while the hub is in Alaska- which I try to do. Thankfully, I have several QUICK meals that can be fixed, baked and on the plate in 30 minutes or so...which helps when youre tired- it just takes planning. I have leftovers for lunch and dinner tomorrow.

Tomorrow I find out what the hubs check will be. Also, it should be DD3s first payday this week. She had to borrow quite a bit to pay off her truck and get all her gear and get to her her job, so a portion of her checks will pay us back for a while. I always look forward to seeing what the check is...its budgeted up to a certain dollar amount, the rest is extra to put towards debt, or unexpected expenses. This week, we havent had any unexpected stuff, so it can all go towards the debt. My longer term goal is to retire in 8 years, so paying off the debt and maximizing savings is a priority now.

Feeding 15....

January 7th, 2013 at 06:02 pm

In the end, I decided to buck up and make dinner for the kids tomorrow night...all 15 of them. They get enough pizza, I just couldnt do that to them.

So, I went to my fall back recipe and ran to the store...spent $36 and 30 mins later I have 6 lbs of lemon rosemary chicken breast, and 7 lbs of seasoned, baked red potatoes, green beans, rolls and peanut butter cookies to deliver tomorrow night. The chicken and potatoes have about 10-20 minutes left in the oven and poof Im done. Thats $3 per person for a much healthier meal than pizza and a savings of probably $40 to me. Big Grin


AND...I have teriyaki chicken, sweet onion and pineapple marinading for tomorrow night.

Now to pull it all out, transfer to the disposable pans, wash the dishes and call it a night. Big Grin

Work from home day..

January 7th, 2013 at 02:02 pm

Bleh. Sometime between yesterday, when I said I felt much better and this morning, when I woke up...the cold returned with a vengeance. Luckily, I am able to work from home once in a while. I could have went to work...but the reason I got sick in the first place was because someone else decided to go to work when they were sick. I have been working since 7am in my comfy clothes, have gotten so much done, and havent contaminated anyone. In spite of feeling mighty crummy, its been a productive workday.

Unfortunately, I am supposed to cook for the teen shelter tonight and drop it off tomorrow. Not a good idea really. So, I will most likely have pizza delivered to them. I hate doing that- but otherwise, I run the risk of making someone else sick. It will cost more than Id planned, but I really dont have the energy to make food for 15 tonight.

One of the things I did for work today was my self-evaluation. I really dont like doing self evals...but at least its done. We will see if it matches up with my bosses review of me. I will know next Monday. Either way, my raise should be significant this year. I asked to have my salary adjusted to mid-point of the scale- and have been told that will most likely happen. That is about a 7-8% increase before the scale adjustment is made for the year. Considering we just made all of our goals and assumed several locations, and my department is about to grow by 2-3 people, mid-point should adjust higher too. I am eager to find out- I will be raising my 401k to absorb most, if not all, of the raise- which is exciting!!

DD3 was transferred to the remote location today. (Alaksa)...so there may not be cell reception and I may not hear from her for a while. I sure miss her.

Since I am homebound today, it will be a no-spender. However, tomorrow and pizza/salad for 15 will be a fairly big spend for the week. At least I have a plan B for the kids.

Today's accomplishments and the week ahead-

January 6th, 2013 at 08:07 pm

I love days like today. I didn’t leave the house. Didn’t spend any money. Got so much done and the week ahead will be easier because of it!!

Here is my list of accomplishments today:
• Calculated budget through August
• Washed sheets/made bed
• Made teriyaki chicken and quinoa- enough for 4 meals
• Deep cleaned the kitchen
• Boxed up all Christmas decorations
• Washed & readied worked clothes for the week
• Made oatmeal for week

I budgeted for the next six months without calculating any OT for the hub. This will ensure that the bills are all paid and any OT is extra to go towards debt or savings. I also didn’t calculate a raise for me- but I will be getting one in February. I will add my raise to my 401K plan. Right now I am sending 8% to the 401k and my job matches that (8% is the max they will match).

Last year we paid off $5k in debt during the winter. This year my goal is to pay an additional $5k in debt while paying for the cruise we will be taking in August.

This should be an inexpensive week since I have meals all preplanned. I may need gas by the end of the week, but otherwise just anticipate the budgeted bills and no other expenses.

Big week for Z....could use some positive energy!!

January 6th, 2013 at 12:50 pm

Tuesday is the first court date for determining Z’s permanent situation. (Z has been in foster care, living with DD2 since he was 5 months old and turns 2 in a little over a week.) The scales have tipped recently in DD2’s favor for being able to keep him permanently. The ironic thing is that DD2 didn’t sign up for foster parenting, it was an emergency intervention, she was asked to take him for two weeks…and now almost 2 years later, he is fully engrained in our family. Please pray, send good thoughts, cross your fingers…that Z is allowed to stay with the only family he knows…it would break our hearts to have to see him go.

This month, it is my turn for cooking dinner for the homeless teen shelter on Tuesday. (I rotate with two others for one night each month- so every three months) I am defrosting some chicken breast and have supplies to make enchiladas and rice- so that is what I will be making. Last time there were 15 at the house…I will have to call tomorrow to find out how many to cook for.

Today I am catching up on housework and thinking about 2013 goals. Because work has been so busy since the end of the year, I haven’t had a chance to do either. Our budget is planned through March, so I need to finish the budget for the rest of the year. I want to plan things to do myself when the hub is in Alaska- and also plan things to do together when he is home. Seems like I had several things I thought about that we never got around to…I find we are much more successful when I WRITE IT DOWN somewhere that I can see.

My credit union gives out several versions of calendars- so I have a year at a glance on my fridge, and a month to month hanging in the bedroom. This should help keep me on track. Now to get the lists of to-dos ready….

Packers game and money musings

January 5th, 2013 at 02:16 pm

Got the pork ribs cooking ($6) in the crockpot and will make some red potatoes ($1.50) to go with them- and then, got an invite to a friends to watch the Greenbay/Vikings game. I will take the food over to share with the friends- she is making pork and a salad too, so we will have a fun, inexpensive night 'out'. I am a big Greenbay fan...and so tonight is a big playoff game that I am looking forward to. GO PACKERS.

Ive heard from DD3 a couple of times today. She said she is learning lots and making friends..everyone is being very friendly- makes me feel a lot better since she is so far from home.

Yesterday's payday refilled the food and allowance budgets for the month. I still have allowance left over from last month, so I just deposited mine into my savings account. DD3 wont be using my car (gas) or helping eat the food, or needing any emergency money...so I may not have to use much allowance this month- well, except for a haircut and occasional treats for grandbabies.

Next week, the hub and I both get paid. He has been working 15-20 hours a day- so it should be a big check. Poor guy- he is working so much, but really is enjoying that he is in charge of 'his' road this year. The extra money is earmarked for paying down debt that we incurred a couple of years ago helping DS with his business startup and numerous repairs on our 50+ year old country house. It will take us a couple more years to pay off the debt...then we will start focusing more heavily on retirment savings.

Dd3s $400 polite moment

January 4th, 2013 at 06:22 pm

This week was insanely busy. On Wed and Thur, I was in the car 5+ hours each day, worked 8+ very busy hours and got very little sleep in between. Unfortunately, several of the people at the new locations were sick...and I have managed to pick up the bug. I did get to take most of today off because of all the extra hours this week and last weekend. I slept in til almost 10 this morning, which I never do..got my grocery shopping done ($60) worked for about 2 hours and cleaned house.

One of my New Years resolutions is to spend time with a different grandchild each week when the hub is in Alaska. So tonight, my 7 year old granddaughter is spending the night. I plan to rotate each week and let one of them spend the night each Friday night.

Today was the hubs payday, and his check was $600 more than budgeted. A good thing because we had unexpected expenses this week.

DD3 left on Wednesday morning for Alaska. Bless her heart, she didnt want to cut in front of anyone when they were announcing last call for luggage...there was a long line, so she called me after a few more minutes and I said YES, get up there and get your luggage checked in...
Unfortunately, it was too late. She made the plane, but the luggage had to be sent overnight Fed Ex...at the tune of over FOUR HUNDRED DOLLARS. ouch. I paid for it, but she will be paying it back. I dont think she will hesitate about getting checked in again. Poor kid.

It is very lonely having DD3 gone. I dont even know how many thoughts Ive started off with..I should call her to go to lunch, or figure out what we will do for dinner, or....just to remember that she isnt here to buddy up with. Frown But she did make it safely and starts her new job tomorrow- she is pretty excited...but it may be 5 months before I see her again...

The hub received a $75 gift card from his job- hopefully he will want to use it on massages when he comes home at the end of the month. Big Grin

The week ahead I have planned to rotate chicken and pork ribs for dinners and lunches.

Tonight- Chicken and rice - granddaughters choice
Saturday - Pork ribs in the crockpot
Sunday - Rosemary chicken and quinoa
Monday- Pulled pork sandwiches (left over from Sat)
Tuesday - Left over chicken and quinoa
Wednesday - Enchiladas with shredded chicken
Thursday- Leftover enchiladas
Friday- TBD - Date night with 8 year old grandson (may have to buy steak, that is his meal of choice usually)

Tomorrow I will fry up a lb of bacon and I got a tube of cinnamon rolls- (granddaughter request)...they were on sale for $1.69. Leftover bacon will be used for breakfast the next couple of mornings with oatmeal or eggs.

Lunches- sandwiches, soup or leftovers.

This weekend I need to go look for a few new work clothes and a new pair of work shoes- maybe try to get my hair cut. Something easy..the ends are really showing that its been7 months since Ive had it cut/trimmed.