Home > Archive: December, 2012

Archive for December, 2012

Happy New Years! Stay Safe

January 1st, 2013 at 01:44 am

Today was certainly a day of rest here. I was plum tuckered and slept in...then just relaxed most of the day. I did go grocery shopping and picked up the fixings for chicken piccata for DD3 for tomorrow night, which is her request for her last meal here before she leaves for Alaska. I will have plenty of left overs for a couple of days and got supplies to make some enchiladas for the rest of the week.

I booked our cruise tonight. We have never been on one, but always wanted to go one one. We will be going to Alaska in August. I am so excited. We will be in Seattle for a couple of days before the cruise, so I hope to see some of the sites there too. We opted to go for a room with a balcony. Having never been, we opted for this option, so that we could have a quiet spot to enjoy the trip, if the business gets too much. (The hub will just be getting off a three week rotation, so too many people with no plan b is not a good thing)..


I will be home again tomorrow...and then back over on the coast all day Wednesday...then back here Thursday and this week will fly by.

I am working on goals tonight and tomorrow. Will post them when I have it all figured out.

Happy New Years friends. Stay safe tonight!

No spend weekend on the coast!

December 31st, 2012 at 03:39 am

I am back from my working weekend. It was such a great opportunity. I stayed at a wonderful hotel on the coast and was on a team that audited a company that has recently was assumed by the company I work for. Very busy, but also a lot of fun, great time with the coworkers and I enjoyed some wonderful meals. The weekend was a no-spender- since the job paid for everything. The best part? Well, that was the weather. It was sunny all weekend...not warm, but very sunny and gorgeous.

I am so glad I have tomorrow off.

At Christmas, I received a gift basket from our janitorial company. Although I am not responsible for managing this function any longer, I received this beautiful gift- which had pasta, dipping oil, red wine, etc.. I decided to try the oil on some pasta tonight for dinner and wow, is it wonderful. I also decided to have a glass of the wine, and it too is very nice. I will enjoy another glass tomorrow night for new years eve.

DD3 leaves for Alaska in two days. Am I ready for this? The closer it gets, the more anxious I get.

I am planning to use time tomorrow to set my 2013 goals. Looking forward to seeing what I come up with!

Unexpected taxes on the bonus...BOO

December 28th, 2012 at 03:16 am

Got a not so nice surprise in my paycheck today. The $350 cash bonus I received from work was added to my income and taxed and my paycheck was $70 less than normal. :/ HR added an extra 30% to the amount we received to cover taxes, etc...but obviously, that wasnt enough to cover the expense. I shouldnt complain, but ouch. Not expected, not so cool. Thankfully I hadnt spent it, so I can just deduct $70 from savings and add to the household account.

On the other hand, the hubs paycheck had quite a bit of OT and was $531 more than I budgeted. I will need to loan another $155 to dd3 because she learned today she will have to pay for her cold weather training next week, which we hadnt budgeted. This will be paid back out of her earnings while she is in Alaska. Her tab is growing...airline ticket, cold weather gear, hotel, etc...

Tomorrow we leave for the coast for our working weekend..the good part is that we will be off by 3pm each day and we are staying in a ocean view hotel. THAT will be nice. AND, I get Monday and Tuesday off, followed by 3 days and another weekend.

Smile life is good!

Working weekend ahead-

December 27th, 2012 at 05:48 am

I deposited the $350 into the visa rebate account, which had $197 already, bringing the total to $547. Once the other rebate and bonus money is received, I will transfer all to ING.

I will be working all weekend, starting mid day Friday until late Sunday night. The job is paying for hotel, travel, food, etc- so this weekend should be a no spender. Then, I will be able to take a comp day on Monday- which I plan to use to grocery shop. Tuesday is a New Years and a paid next week will be a short week.

The place we like to go to for weekend getaways is having a special while the hub is home next. Pay for 3 nights, get two nights I booked a home for 5 nights! We split the cost with friends, so it makes for an inexpensive getaway. I always look forward to these trips. This one will cost $75 per couple per night. The house has two master suites with king each couple will have a nice retreat.

Tomorrow the hubs paycheck will hit pending. This is his first check since he started working the remote road (and significant OT). Until about May will be quite a bit more than normal and the extra is going to go to debt.

Because of the weekend ahead, I wont get my Christmas decorations down until New Years this year. Another reason I enjoy having an artificial tree!!

Time to settle down and refocus

December 26th, 2012 at 05:01 am

I love the Holidays and giving and visiting- the prep, the anticipation. I also enjoy when things settle back down and I start planning for the New Year.

I hope everyone had a wonderful day-

Tomorrow I plan to start the savings account for the 2012-2013 bonus money. So far I have received $350 in cash, $197 on the visa 1% rebate for the year. I will be getting two more rebates/bonus payments that will also go into this savings.

The hub has been working 17-20 hours a day this past week. I dont know how he does it- thankfully, there is an occasional day that is back to 12-14 which allows him to get some rest. The extra money he earns will be going straight to debt.

I definately fell behind on housework with so much company in and out this past week and so much going on. Knowing this week is going to be as busy as it is, I am a little anxious about staying on top of it all. One day at a time this week...

DD3s 21st Brithday

December 25th, 2012 at 05:24 am

Today was DD3s 21st birthday. I took her, DD1, DD2, one of our 'adopted' daughters (DD1s bff from age 12) and DD3s BF out for drinks and dinner. I treated everyone and it came to $200. I had budgeted a little more than that, but because it was Christmas eve, several of the friends that DD3 invited backed out. However, she had such a nice night. My baby is an official adult. I just got off the phone with DH- reminiscing about the last 21 years. We are blessed, indeed.

Tomorrow, I have a couple small gifts for each of the grandkids who will be stopping by, but mainly, the day will be just relaxing and planning 2013.

This coming year is going to be very busy work-wise. Thankfully, I have 29 days of vacation. I am trying to plan a week off every 3-4 months and a day or two here and there. Hopefully, pacing the vacation days will help to avoid burn out.

What a blessed day today was. My baby is all grown up.

Family Christmas is done- what a great day!

December 24th, 2012 at 01:23 am

We had our family Christmas this morning. It was so wonderful to have all the kids and grandkids together. I got up early and got the bread dip in the oven and made the bacon, sausage and eggs for the breakfast burritos. Just about the time it was already and in the warmers, everyone arrived. For future years, this was a really easy meal to prepare and keep warm...and it was a big hit.

This was a very smooth running day. Everyone loved their gifts - I didnt see any disappointed little ones, so I must have done ok... I think everyone was just excited to be together and having DS and his family here. I know all the cousins were having a blast together. By noon, they had all left for other family gatherings...and so I snuck in a nap.

Tomorrow DD3 turns 21. Hard to believe- I have to work 6 hours tomorrow and then I am not sure what the plan is for DD3- She is keeping her options open. Smile- but i know she will test out that ID at least once. I hope after that her and her siblings opt to come back to moms.

Christmas will be very low key. I have a couple of small gifts for each of the grandkids that will be here. And then DD1 is hosting dinner.

The rest of the week, including all weekend next weekend is VERY busy at work. Big changes this week that require working through the weekend next weekend. Thankfully, I will get to comp out some time and take New Years Eve and New Years Day.

Done and DONE

December 23rd, 2012 at 05:51 am

My son and his family arrived safely today. We had his sons third birthday and then I picked up the few final gifts I needed. I AM DONE. Good thing, because the stores were crazy today and I am sure they will stay that way through Christmas. Way too many people for me.

Tonight all the kids went on a party bus with all the kids to look at christmas lights around town. I hung back at home and am sitting with little Z. I had planned to finish up with housework and getting dishes ready for tomorrow morning...but he wants to play. So, he wins. We are playing and having fun until everyone gets done with the party bus. Then, I will finish up with the chores. Everyone is coming over at 9am, so I wont have to get up super early..` All gifts are wrapped. I just have to prep food for the bread dip and breakfast burrito bar.

I work on Monday until 3 and then I am off on CHristmas. DD3s 21st birthday is Christmas eve, so her siblings want to take her for a drink/toast. Because we are doing our big celebration tomorrow, CHristmas morning will be semi quiet. Then, I work through next weekend- part of it out of town. However, I will get new years eve and new years day off.

The hub has checked in a couple of times. He jumped right into 17+ hour days. He loves the work, but I hope he doesnt burn oout too soon

Ok...bread dips are made and in thr fridge, a load of dishes are running in the diswasher. All gifts are wrapped and ready to go in the morning. I have a fe more to dos..but those can wait til I have mhy batteries recharged in the morning. Gramma ray is plum pooped tongiht.

Day off preparing for the families arrival!

December 22nd, 2012 at 03:20 am

Today was a vacation day. I slept in a bit, then went to the grocery store and got the makings for breakfast burritos and bread dip for the 23rd and Christmas morning- Im feeding quite a crowd (20-25) on the 23rd and about 10 on Christas morning- spent $107 at the store. I went to my grandsons (4) preschool program- so sweet to watch little guys performing. Our superstar really really really wanted McDonalds for lunch...sigh...for the toy of course. At least lunch was only $15 for four of us.

Then, I came home and finished wrapping gifts and made dinner. Why do days off always seem to fly by?

My son and his family have started the trip up, but winter weather will keep them from making it all the way tonight. The passes are closed due to snow and DS and his family will stay at a hotel tonight and finish the trip up in the morning.

Tomorrow is GS (3) birthday party...and then tomorrow night we are going on a party bus, in our 'ugly' christmas sweaters, to see the Holiday lights around town. Should be a great day with the family.

End of year bonuses and rebates-

December 21st, 2012 at 03:16 am

Today was Santa day at work. I am so blessed to have a job I enjoy that is so generous with us. I received a $50 gift card- to a store that I chose that carries just about everything from groceries, to household, to clothes and toys. Then, I received $350 in a cash bonus. I wasnt sure if we would receive the bonus this year, so it was a very pleasant surprise.

In a few weeks I will also receive a 1% rebate on all interest earned or paid on my personal accounts, plus I have earned almost $200 in cash from the 1% visa rebate. THEN, we have achieved all of our goals this year, so I am eligible for a 5-6% bonus on my salary. Big Grin With the exception of the gift card, I will put all of this into a savings account and let it ride.

If the weather and road conditions cooperate, DS and his family will be here tomorrow night. However, the passes have been hazardous most of the day today, and tonight promises freezing weather. I called DS today and made him promise that he would stay somewhere safe for the night if the conditions were bad. I would much rather have them safe than here if its a choice.

Been checking out sites and prices for the cruise next summer. With so many options, it will take some study to make sure I book this correctly. I do know that we want a balcony...beyond that, not so sure.

I am off tomorrow..need to grocery shop and pick up a birthday present for GS who turns 3 tomorrow and has a birthday party on Saturday...

Then, just putz around the house getting ready for family!!

Life is good!

Almost the weekend, cant wait!

December 20th, 2012 at 05:07 am

The hub called from Alaska tonight. It is always good to know he made it back there safely. He will stay the night in Anchorage and then leaves for the North Slope first thing in the morning.

I really appreciate technology when it comes to staying in touch with loved ones. Tonight my son posted videos on facebook of my two grandbabies (5 and almost 3) singing in their Christmas program. It was so cute. They both look like miniature versions of their dad, which brings back memories of him as a little boy. I cant wait to see them this weekend.

I work tomorrow and then have a three day weekend. I plan to use Friday (my day off) to get the grocery shopping and last couple of gift shopping done. I have lists and a plan, so I should get done by mid morning. The family will all be here on Sunday morning for our family Christmas. I will make brunch - breakfast burrito bar and bread dip (family tradition) Saturday is my sons - little boys birthday party. He is three this year...where does the time go??? And then Saturday night we have arranged a party bus to take all of us (kids and grandkids) and a few friends on a tour of all the Christmas lights. Everyone is wearing ugly Christmas sweaters. lol.

Should be a fun weekend ahead.

New tires and (fingers crossed) a cruise!

December 19th, 2012 at 03:17 am

Last night we had a weather warning. This morning there was about an inch or two on the ground- the roads were an ice patch. On the way to work, cars were sliding all over the place. Luckily, I made it to work just fine. The hub is leaving tomorrow, so he took my car in to have tires rotated and it was good timing, because my two front tires were too worn. 2 new tires, $200. I have that in the car fund- so thankfully, it wasnt a hit to the budget right now. I knew the tires were showing wear, which is why we were getting them rotated, but I am really glad we had them checked and the new ones put on.

The hub is packing tonight. This is his first rotation of only two weeks home, followed by 4 weeks gone. Frown It means extra paychecks...but these are long stretches. Thankfully, I have Holidays and kids to keep me busy.

The cupcakes at work were a hit. (once I fixed the frosting issue) They really turned out tasty, and everyone seems to be enjoying having them to snack on. Tomorrow, we are having our end of year lunch with our department at Olive Garden. I am looking forward to spending the lunch hour enjoying co-workers offsite at a free to us lunch!

On an really exciting note..the hub and I want to take a cruise this year- a first for us!! I have been saving since September for the trip and will continue saving through August. We looked online tonight and have decided to book on Princess Cruise Lines. We will be going on an Alaska cruise, most likely next August. I signed up for their emails, hopefully that will result in getting a few deals before I book. I like that they have 100% refund until the end of May if we cancel. By May, we will know for certain if the dates we pick will work.

Reminder of my limited talents. :/

December 17th, 2012 at 02:40 am

I consider myself a fairly good cook...I also enjoy baking and dont do too shabby...but a cupcake decorator, I AM NOT. I baked a couple dozen cupcakes tonight. Vanilla and red velvet. I have chocolate frosting for the vanilla and buttercream for the red velvet. How hard can it be...

I put the chocolate frosting in a baggie, snipped off the end and made little swirls on top of the vanilla cupcakes...and guess what? It looks like my dog dooed on them. So NOT what I anticipated.

So I fluffed out the frosting with a knife and will just fluff the frosting on the red velvet ones too.

They smell delicious, and now they dont looks so bad either. :P

I got the last of the gift cards today and now I just have to finish wrapping this week.

I am curious to see what is waiting at work tomorrow, having been gone unexpectedly for most of last week. I have some year end projects that will take most of my time.

On an exciting note, this week we will get our Christmas gift from work. For the past 10 years they have given a $50 gift card plus a cash gift of about $300 to exempt staff. I usually use the gift card, but for the past three years I have put the cash, the end of year dividend rebate, and our yearly rewards bonus that we get in February into an ING savings account. I have just 'let it ride'. I enjoy that it is building up a little more each year. Towards the end of each year, I round each account up to the next $100 from any interest earned during the year.

We have hit all of our goals this year so I am really hoping that we get the max payout on the rewards, which is 6%. Big Grin I wont know what it will be until later in January though.

Well, the last of the cupcakes are cooled, so time to go frost and cover them to take tomorrow.