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Archive for March, 2017

Whiteboard Success!!!!

March 23rd, 2017 at 03:28 am

The hub left to go back to work today. He was feeling a little better, almost done with his meds. Hopefully he will continue to be on the mend and will be able to finish this hitch ok.

Recently, I posted about purchasing a white board to help keep our household budget on track. My thought was keeping it visual would serve as a reminder to stick to the plan.

I am happy to report that, for the first time that I can remember, there is ample funds left in the household account to live on for the remainder of the month!! There MAY even be extra left at the end of the month. WOW. It WORKED.

Needless to say, I will continue to keep the budget on the whiteboard!

DD2 and I are going to visit DS and his family this weekend and have permission to take Z and X with us. Should be a fun trip. No word on whether or not BM has had the baby. We did learn that she and baby daddy #4 pleaded guilty to all charges this last go around. If they are caught together again they will be charged with felonies. Given that they are still together as a couple and about to have a baby, its just a matter of time. In the meantime, thankfully Z and X are still safe and part of our lives! (We have learned BM and her mom have devised a new plan to get the kids back- hopefully the system sees through it, but we just never know)...

I am getting really excited for Hawaii...only 28 days to go....

Potluck Success and Pneumonia

March 19th, 2017 at 05:05 am

Yesterday at work our department had a St Patrick's Day potluck. My contribution was a pot of soup. I made a batch of Alton Brown's Lentil soup- which I have tweaked slightly- and absolutely love. It is filled with lentils, vegetables, spices and I add cilantro, which adds an extra layer of numminess! When lunchtime came, the soup was a hit- all the ladies asked for the recipe- which is always such a compliment! I am relieved when whatever I bring to potlucks is enjoyed by all!!

This morning the hub was not feeling well at all, so we went to urgent care-- his symptoms and vitals were such that they sent us to the ER...where we spent NINE hours- 5 waiting, and 4 in the ER department having tests run...turned out to be pneumonia. Poor guy. By the time we left, the pharmacies were all closed, so he wont start his antibiotics until tomorrow.

Hopefully, he will feel much better by Wednesday, when he has to head back to Alaska again.

Success of sorts and an update on Z

March 17th, 2017 at 10:57 pm

Who knew a little whiteboard would resolve so much frustration. Each night I go home and ask DH if I need to subtract anything from the number...and so far the answer is no. He is still spending bits of money here and there, but he is using his allowance. Its not just one sided, I have found that I am doing the same... I think about what I am spending more now and whether or not I want to impact the whiteboard budget. YAY! Success! THis weekend we are going out to dinner and will need groceries, both expenses will be recorded on the board, but we both agreed on the expenses ahead of time. Who says you cant teach old dogs new tricks? hehe.

The review meeting for the boys was this week. The board unanimously voted that the boys should not be returned to BM and that adoption was a viable option. However, I think BM's attorney anticipated this and the week before the meeting BM signed up for drug abuse classes. Basically, that starts a clock for 6 more months to allow BM to show she is trying and to provide a safe place for the new baby and possibly the boys. If she hasn't already, she is due any day. I am certain she doesn't want the new baby put into the foster system. Time will tell if this is a real change on her part, or another game. Baby daddy got out of jail this week, so maybe they will have an epiphany together...If the boys are ever returned to her, I sure hope she does clean herself up.

The magic of the white board

March 13th, 2017 at 01:51 am

Last week I had an epiphany. Actually a V8 smack up the side of the head moment.

Month after month, I have been frustrated that we dont stick to our monthly household budget as closely as we should. Every month, I make sure to tell the hub what is in the account, and ask that we shoot for staying at or below that number by the end of the month.

And every month, when all the debits are out of the account, we are in the red- leaving me with a week or two after he heads back to work, to live on mostly savings usually skimping by, frustrated that we missed the mark again.

So, I purchased a small white board for our family room. Now, I plan to start the month off with 'the number' or budget that we start with and every receipt will be deducted immediately to show a running balance. A very straightforward way to keep the budget top of mind.

And so far, it is working. The hub and I can see how much is left for the rest of the month at all times. It has triggered discussions about where to shave costs in order to have enough for the splurges.

Today was grocery day, and the budget was definitely a focus as we shopped...I definitely noticed that way fewer wants found their way into the cart. And as soon as we got home the board was updated.

So far so good. Why didnt I think of this a long time ago???

March 11 - 11 years on this site!

March 12th, 2017 at 02:01 am

I have been blogging for 11 years! Hard to believe.

I remember when I started blogging I had stopped working and was home helping my son start his business, babysitting my first grandbaby and helping take care of my elderly parents.

Having left my job, I was looking for ideas for saving money and making ends meet and stumbled on this site.

Seems like a life time ago... My grandson is now almost a teenager (he still makes me waffles from scratch with the 'secret ingredient'), both of my parents are gone, my son's first business failed (but he is now 3 years into his very successful second business), and I returned to my former job!

And along the way, Ive made some great friendships here...even met some of you in person- A few here on the west coast, one on the east coast and a couple in between!! Weve laughed and cried and struggled and succeeded...

And I have learned so much from everyone.

Cheers friends! Here's to many more years of friendship and camaraderie!

Two steps back, treading water or making progress.

March 10th, 2017 at 08:40 pm

Two steps back, treading water or making progress. Some months it’s a combination of all three.

I am making slow and steady progress on debt. Last year I helped DD2 out financially when she lost her job. Today I finally paid off that debt. (yay). DD2 is still unemployed, but she is also still fostering Z and his brother, going to school full time and able to draw unemployment- so she is in a good financial place now. My next debt focus will be back to paying off the remodel on the house.

I have been able to stick with my new year’s resolutions for a healthier lifestyle and it is paying off. I went to the doctor last week and my blood pressure was a little lower than what they say is normal …which makes mine much lower than it’s been in years. I could come off the bp med now, but the med also helps control my migraines, so I am reluctant to. It just feels great that a change in diet has made such a huge difference. Ive lost some weight too - not a great deal, but enough to tell a difference!! 
Our trip back to Hawaii is sneaking up on us. Next month already! I cant wait! We planned this almost 2 years ago – which has allowed lots of time for happy anticipation and saving $$. We are READY.

The hubs job is still going ok. However, he is preparing his resume and looking at other options just in case things go south. (He works in the oil industry in Alaska and continued employment is a big question mark lately!)

Z and X are still with us and doing GREAT. BM has a new baby due any day. Because she is not considered a safe option for the older 3 kids, DHS will likely place the new baby in foster care as well. The dad is in jail, has been for several weeks. BM and the dad are in a different state than we are, so I suspect that the baby will be placed more local to them. There is a review board meeting for long term placement of the boys next week. They have now been with DD2 over 6 months, which opens some doors for permanency- it just depends on the board’s recommendation. Since BM has made no efforts for reform, adoption is one option they will be considering.