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Archive for October, 2011

Tragedy close to home

October 31st, 2011 at 10:16 pm

http://www.mysuburbanlife.com/lagrange/features/x780391956/Indian-Head-Park-girl-found-stabbed-to-death


Last week a beautiful 14-year old girl was murdered. She was the friend of my daughter's friend and her name was Kelli O'Laughlin. She came home during a home invasion and was fatally stabbed. Her mother found her at 5:40 in the afternoon. She lived in Indian Head Park, IL in a house valued near $500,000 - two suburbs over from where I live.

My oldest was home sick today after a night of wheezing from asthma and vomiting. I wouldn't let her stay home by herself when I needed to be at the school's Halloween party for the 4th graders.

Life goes on, and Halloween parties still happen. I have children trick-or-treating. What is different this year? Cell phones are a must. If you don't call me every 20 minutes, I will call you and if you don't answer I will canvas the neighborhood looking for you. The groups must have four minimum and there will be no trick-or-treating after dark. My husband had to leave work early to take the boys trick-or-treating with a family friend whose boys match up with ours. I've noticed lots more adults out this year, and more dogs, too.

No one is in custody, though there are rumors that a man was being questioned. So difficult to stay positive when such things are happening.

My bedroom has turned into a commune with kids in sleeping bags all over the floor. They don't feel safe. We've got a dog who barks and that is a small measure of assurance.

Anyhow, for those of your that pray and believe in the power of prayer, please keep this family in your prayers. And please pray that Kelli is at peace with God and is in the loving arms of her Savior Jesus.

Updates - some money, some mental

October 28th, 2011 at 01:10 pm


Payday and rent collection day are today. Paycheck was deposited and rent should be there. The balance went down to $8 again - but we were in the black. Smile

Our savings/bank balance is bare, naked, depleted, empty. How fast that $30,000 evaporated! I transferred $11,500 to Chase for the $150 credit on the 91st day of maintaining a $10,000 balance.

We bought the new minivan on Monday and paid for it Tuesday. $17,000 out the door - list price was $16,895 and was reduced to $15,430 and then after tax/new plate/doc fee we were right at $17,000. We paid $14K cashier's check and put $3K on credit card. I paid the $3K as soon as it hit and then redeemed for a $25 Target gift card. Anyhow, I *LOVE* the car. My poor kids are so out of what new cars offer that we had to laugh when they were genuinely shocked that the windows in the middle row of the minivan actually go down part ways! And the middle row is bucket seats/captain chairs so there is less arguing on who gets to sit in the front/"cool" seat. And this car offers side-impact air bags which I love, I guess that is only available with the Odyssey. Anyhow, *love* *love* *love* the purchased car. So sad that the balance is down, but will build it up again.

Paid $1,500 to the credit card that did the balance transfer. That is half of what my goal was for the remainder of the year. Should be able to get another $1,500 on it with Nov/Dec money plan.

There is $1,000 in the extraneous fund and I am dedicating that to dance expenses and expenses for the rest of the year.

Mother Hubbard is the quality that I'd use to describe my kitchen cupboards. Though I stretched the last of what we had to keep people fed and not complaining. Last night was breaded chicken breasts, buttered mini shell noodles with Parmesan cheese, and either canned carrots or frozen Normandy blend. I had one last box of muffin mix for breakfast. I am now officially out of all fresh or canned fruit, milk, eggs, AND butter, sugar, laundry detergent, any frozen pre-made food (that I made and froze). We're down to the last two bags of raisin bran and there is no yogurt. This will be one huge shopping trip to Sam's Club. Embarrassment

I'm continuing on in the capacity of co-cordinator for my parish's children's summer programs (one we plan and execute, the second we pay for and oversee). It is quite time consuming, coming closer to the actual dates. It has been in a volunteer capactiy, though this year there was talk of trying to pay me, but no money remained in the budget - but we were given a grant of $5,000 in tuition for the kids' school. So I'll continue on in this capacity and will receive an additional grant NEXT year, it all works out. And my 8th grade daughter was made aware of a $20,000 scholarship for high school tuition that she should qualify for (27 children each year recieve them). It is nice when our faith-infused life meets financial help, given the cost of tuition and how much DH and I volunteer.

Still feeling fine, and in control. Boundaries and parameters certainly help my family function in peace, rather than chaos. I'm allowing less intrustions - not taking phone calls at inopertune times from needy friends (though the one high maintenance friend seems to have dealt with her issues and is requiring less hand-holding).

Enoug for the brain dump - if you're still reading this Smile Hope everyone has a glorious weekend and Halloween fun!

Service: Feed My Starving Children

October 27th, 2011 at 11:08 pm


I tend to be a planner, and don't do well with things foist upon me. I'm *trying* to be flexible and more in the moment versus "ok, sure, but next week."

I co-lead the Cub Scouts for the 4th grade. I've been a secretary of sorts but as the years have past I've been upgraded to event planner and chaperone, too. The actual leader needed to go out of town unexpectedly and I ended up doing the service project for good citizenship to Feed My Starving Children.

Confession: The Christmas song "Feed the World" always makes me cry. Hungry people in Africa when we're indulging in ham and cookies leads right to be well-developed sense of occasional Catholic guilt.

I did it - sent out the confirming email - coordinated efforts with a second driver, found the seven Scouts, and drove the 16 miles to the nearest "Feed My Starving Children" site. We were a few minutes late, but got scrubbed and our hair nets on. We spent the next 90 minutes preparing bags of a powdered chicken/freeze dried veggies/heaping cups of soy and rice which were then weighed, sealed, and packed in boxes. We shared the room with about 60 other individuals. We ended up making enough meals to feed 70 children for a year.

This food goes to Haiti and Africa and Sounth America. I loved that we prayed over the food for safe passage, for the people who transport it, for those who are in greatest need of it, those that prepared it. I love the fact that my group of fourth graders *got* it, and were careful and respectful and diligent in carrying out their tasks.

We tasted the end product which was like baby food chicken rice dinner, not at all bad. To think that such a meal is a blessing to people makes me feel somewhat humbled.

This was definitely a worth-while event. Lesson to self: Keep an open mind and an open heart. Look past your own need for a controlled schedule. If you wouldn't have stepped up, this wouldn't have happened and these boys wouldn't have had the wonderful experience that they did.

Bit the bullet and bought a car

October 25th, 2011 at 01:13 pm

Good bye big bank account. Hello good buy - as in 2010 Kia Sedona with 20K miles and five years remaining on warranty. One owner, drives great, as close to brand, spanking new as we want (or need).

Its been listed on the Internet for well over a month, and is at a smaller satellite dealer that I drive past twice a week taking my girls to dance. DH drove it yesterday and put a deposit down. We did the haggling over the phone, well not really the haggling. I had $19K to spend, and decided I wanted to spend no more than $17K. I called and spoke to someone who happened to be the store manager (I didn't know that).

I said I knew the car had been there over a month, and I knew the Internet price was $16,895. I stated that I had $14K cash and I knew the maximum I could put on a credit card was $3K from my last car purchase. (I only did this to rack up some points for the rewards program). If they could work with me so I spent no more than $17K totale out the door, I'd consider seriously buying it the next day. I knew the safety ratings, etc, and this was my desired car. And if they couldn't do it, not a problem, I would continue to look and wait.

I found out that where I live (my suburb) isn't exactly a Kia demographics - it is more Siennas and Odysseys rather than Sedonas. Fine by me. So I pick up the car later today. Smile

And while I'm plunkering down money, my younger daughter competes at the highest category for the midwest championships and the teachers don't want her in last year's dress. She is upgrading to this:


Smile

So I'll take this down later today for overall privacy, but I wanted to share.

Monday: Money and Other Matters

October 24th, 2011 at 02:22 pm

Money Update: In the past, my money used to come in every Friday: rent one Friday, payday the next Friday - regularly like clockwork. Tenant started a new job and there was a wait for the paycheck and now we presently get both rent and payday on the *same* Friday. Having a difficult time str-e-tch-ing out the funds to make it through the last week.

I have $30 remaining and really only need some milk and possible gas on Thursday. I'm feeling spendy, and have nothing to spend! I like the irony in that, but will have to channel by energy into other productive things.

Confession: My twelve-year old had dance class for 5 hours yesterday (gearing up for Midwest Championships on Thanksgiving weekend) and she was tired today so I let her stay home from school. She went back to bed. She's a good student with good grades, works hard, and I am not sure if it qualifies as a "good mother" move or a "bad mother" move?

Halloween Spending: I spent $43 from the Extraneous fund on a Halloween costume for older daughter and Halloween candy. I also spent $43 in Target gift cards on costumes for the boys. Done spending for Halloween. Younger daughter got a costume on line on clearance in August for $10. Under $100 which is what I usually spend.

Holiday Plans: MIL is apparently being overly dramatic in her discussions with DH about holiday planning of *any* sort. My brother is hosting Thanksgiving this year Smile and I suggested inlaws come in on Wednesday so we'll be on time and not waiting for them. MIL was very "And whose idea is this? Is it OK with *L* (me)?" and on and on. Must keep my mouth shut, laugh and move on. No sense bowing down to certain levels and catering to one's hurt feelings (when they really needn't be hurt).

Appreciation: Baked both banana bread and cinnamon breakfast bread and shared with oldest son's teacher. He has some learning challenges and she is really good at reading him and knowing just the right thing to say to minimize anxiety and frustration. On Friday I saw her at school and she said, "You know, I love your little guy just like he was my own" and then went on to share a "tear to your eye" moment about him exhibiting self-confidence. I've realized it is important to let people know that you appreciate them, and this was a wonderful moment that she didn't have to share with me, but did.

Getting ready to get serious about participating in the purge challenge. I shudder to think that more stuff is going to be coming in over the holidays! (Note to self: this is funny, given your desire to spend money today.)

Hope everyone has a great day!

Friday = Feeling Fine (Warning: Not much financial ahead)

October 21st, 2011 at 01:17 pm

For the first time in several days, there is sun. It is streaming through my windows (which are is sore need of some cleaning) and I'm feeling fine, no residual effects of a funk anywhere. Smile

And this is after an incessant stream of chronic complainers that I've encountered this morning. The first one deemed that Honey Nut Cheerios are the ONLY cereal she doesn't eat. No sense complaining, I removed her bowl of cereal and told her to get dressed. I'm not engaging in banter about trivial things. She seemed a bit shocked that I didn't try to lovingly coax food into her. She's going to be 14 and won't starve. So she left and got dressed, though her father did bring her apple slices and peanut butter toast when she was reading.

The second one complained that he was given the wrong uniform shirt - I can't help it that I have three that wear light blue shirts and that I have them in sizes XS, S, and M. And guess what? With that many shirts, you might end up in someone else's shirt that is either too small or too big. My solution to head off the "Do you want me to be uncomfortable in this?" flip comment, was met with "Here is a shirt that is yours. But before you put it on, I am putting your initials on the tag on the inside. You will only wear shirts that are tagged as yours!" Of course this will work until there are a new crop of shirts next year, but at least there is nothing to argue about going forward.

I've found my assertive button - not to be confused with aggression button. I've fixed two situations that were a bit bothersome:

(1) Inlaws' visit at Christmas. The compromise won't really work looking at it afterall. Too much infusion of the inlaws prior to the actual holiday (even arriving on Christmas Eve) will cause chaos. DH and I are up late when the kids go to bed putting out gifts. We watch TV and have fun. My Christmas morning is leisurely, in PJs, with kids - cooking and playing. Will I really want to laze in my robe until my oldest daughter and I make our annual batch of Holiday Peppermint Bark? No. SO - with that - I told DH I thought it was best if we stick to our normal tradition of his parents coming on Christmas Day and we continue our tradition of going to the Museum of Science and Industry on the 26th. He suprisingly agreed, and MIL pouted a bit, but then said "OK, fine." She has played the "hurt and wounded poor me, you're my only child" card before and I'm pleased to say it didn't work. Smile HELLO, CHRISTMAS!!

(2) I let the tenant know that I will no longer be accepting "late or partial payments". DH is picking up the last 1/3 of the rent today, and I let her know that the full payment needs to be on the 28th (the next scheduled due date). She acknowledged that she'll see DH today in her return message and I think she got the message though she didn't necessarily say anything about the 28th.

OK, that is it. I'm off to get my house in order - mess sort of built up after the unexpected root canal. I've got playdates for the boys after school and sleepovers for the girls and a busy weekend ahead.

Hope everyone has a good day!

Flourish v Flounder

October 20th, 2011 at 01:36 pm

My "desk" used to be an impractical computer armoir and it has since been replaced by an oak library table so my monitor and printer and out and there is some work space for kids' papers, etc. My reference section is comprised of a Catholic Bible with a green cover and blue writing and a tattered Handy Standard Dictionary and Atlas that was my great grandmother's from the 1920s.

I'm getting my definitions from the dictionary:

FLOUNDER (v) To stumble or struggle awkwardly or helplessly.

FLOURISH (v) To thrive, prosper, live; to swing or wave about.

I've decided that I must combat the "funk" that I find myself in. (Just to note, FUNK isn't found in my vintage dictionary). The weather certainly doesn't help, nor does the recent recoveries from dental issues, but the weather isn't going to change and I don't face any pressing dental issues, so I've got to shake myself out of it.

The new dryer arrived on Tuesday and for the first time, every single item of clothing is clean and dried and put away. I no longer have to worry about if my clothes need to hang outside to dry or go into the basement to hang. There is a certain degree of liberation in that I don't need to predict the clothing needs so closely.

I noted in my previous post that my kids seem to all need clothes at the same time, which is a real bummer because there are quite a few of them. The littlest guy got some hand-me-downs but still needed jeans and sweats (I am surprised that the knees NEVER hold out). I took myself shopping yesterday - and I hit the two local resale shops, one where the proceeds benefit the Domestic Violence Shelter and Outreach in my county and the other was Salvation Army.

I spent $21 between the two places and ended up with: two pairs of uniform pants for the oldest plus two shirts and a pair of pjs for the same child, a pair of jeans for the youngest, and a shirt for DH. I've embraced the "Flourish" (even if a frugal mode) rather than "Flounder" and bemoan. The wardrobes won't appear overnight, but I can build them up $15 bucks here and $15 bucks there.

My frugal move for the day: Taking DH's pair of shoes to be resoled - they're expensive hand-me-downs from my brother and to replace them with cheapos from Payless probably would cost about the same.

OK, I'm gonna force myself out of the funk - even though the weather looks cold and miserable and I WANT to go back to bed.

Obviously not a lot of money stuff going on here, more about my mental state - but it does all fit together I suppose.

Smile

Wednesday Confessions

October 19th, 2011 at 01:10 pm


Confession: Yesterday I ended up with a suprise root canal, my second one in a month. I also had two teeth extracted within the same time period. Lest you think that I am a hilljilly and know next to nothing of oral hygiene, that is not the case. I have next-to-no enamel due to grinding and my last unsuccessful pregnancy last year left me with 16 weeks of constant reflux and apparently the stomach acid ate right through everything. Then combine that with major dental anxiety and you have ... me!

I went back to our dentist/friend who has assured me that the teeth remainin in my mouth are all healthy and the worst is over. Smile The Endodontist that I saw charge $350 for my portion. Yesterday was only $150. And I don't know if it this is true or not, but the dentist/friend said (1) I was a good patient and did considerably well, given my behavior (stressed) in the past, and (2) it was a perfect root canal on his part, he was quite pleased with himself.

OK, so I had another lost evening doped up on Vicodin, though I think I did listen to most of the biggest loser. And I slept through the night. Today I'm not as sore as the last root canal, so I'm hoping to make it out to CVS for milk and Target for DH's Rx.

Have you noticed that there aren't that many coupons for gift cards with Rx tranfers out there floating around any more? CVS used to have them all of the time, and I was queen of switching Rxs from place to place just for free money.

I'm still feeling a bit funky today (yesterday's post was about floundering rather than flourishing).

DH told me that his parents are planning on coming on 12/23 and staying through Christmas. That just can't be an option and I had to tell DH had we need to spend some time alone with my family, and our own nuclear one - so we compromised and they'll come from Michigan on the 24, arriving in time for Mass on Christmas Eve. My favortie times at Christmas are those with just my family - the one I've co-created. The rest of the family just comes innately with their own drama. I'm not even feeling bad about being vocal about their arrival date/time.

Money-wise, I think we'll make it with the remaining $158 until Fri the 28th. The sale ads for tomorrow came out yesterday and I've done a quite scan (pre-Vicodin induced haze) and there are some good deals.

My mother is substitute teaching all week and is usually around to help. She's bringing bagels and cream cheese for Great American Bagel, so lunch and breakfast is taken care of.

That is all for now. Thanks for reading my ramble, if you made it this far. Smile

Fear not --

October 18th, 2011 at 02:35 pm


OK, I'm finding myself in that funk again - the one where I worry about losing my house should DH become unemployed and unable to find another job. Frown

Can't quite figure where or why this is coming from - DH hasn't eeked any sentiment about potential job loss, rather there has been a voluntary departure of an employee which has shifted a lot of work to DH's boss and himself.

We've discussed that when we buy another car in after we return the loaner to his friend at the end of Dec, that maybe we'll just go with a smaller car. We're finding that the gas goes MUCH farther and we can still cram all the kids in certain makes/models and don't necessarily need ANOTHER minivan. That will leave more money in the EF.

My kids are growing like weeds, and all of the sudden no one has any clothes that fit. I had good luck at Goodwill finding jeans for the oldest, who now needs navy blue uniform pants because his knee has gone through yet another pair of pants. I've told everyone that they'll get an extra blanket for their beds and they'll have to sleep in summer PJs for awhile longer. Halloween costumes are coming from the dress up bin because I'm not buying anyone anything when there's plenty to chose from.

I'm throwing money at the debt, while building up the EXTRANEOUS category.

I've done a really good job keeping within my weekly spending limits. As much as I'd love to go to Sam's Club and stock up on produce/staples/snacks, I don't have $300 sitting around to fund that trip. Until then, I'm going to CVS for my $2.49 gallon of milk, and doubling up on ECB and Walgreens dollars for toiletries and some cereal.

I'm retiring HGTV for awhile, makes me want to spend and spruce up my house for the Fall/Holidays. Not good for those who want to be frugal!

I needed baggies/aluminum foil/index cards/ construction paper/dog food yesterday, and I headed to Dollar Tree. I only spent $5.95 and got everything I needed.

I'd like to kick this feeling and move on to flourishing, rather than floundering. Anyone else feel like this?

Good money karma coming my way :)

October 17th, 2011 at 08:27 pm


I've lived without a dryer for going on eight months now. I don't mind laundry. I don't complain, whine or fret. I make sure that daily everyone has clean what they need. Gym uniforms, Irish dance socks, soccer uniforms, etc. I routinely hang things outdoors on my deck (I have a gazebo type structure out there with lots of sturdy metal pieces) and if it's raining, my basement looks like, well, I don't know what it really looks like ... but clothes are strewn all over the beams on hangers. Anyhow, tomorrow my early birthday present is being delivered.

My grandmother is sending me a deluxe type of the line Whirlpool dryer with tons of bells/whistles, etc. It is a "smokin hot deal" from my brother's best friend's store because apparently this got separated from the companion washer and it is a favor to him to get rid of it. Smile Hello clean clothes with minimal effort! I'm ready ...

My younger Irish dancing daughter was asked to compete with the U15 Choreography Dance group at her dance school. She dances U13 (under 13) and has recently done really well. The teacher considers this a favor to her, and isn't charging us. Got to love that - but it means she (younger daughter) dances from 12-5:00 on Sundays. Apparently until Thanksgiving (the weekend of the big competition) all my daughters were meant to do was dance, dance, dance. My friend said that she calls her "happy feet" because whenever my daughter visits her house, she routinely jumps and dances, and even her feet move when she's sitting. I have to love that dance is in her heart. Smile

AND the biggest happy news in the money arena is that Nationals are being held in Chicago in July 2012. I won't have to wonder hwo I'm funding a trip to either Florida or Nashville where they've traditionally been. Daungter's dance teacher predict she'll easily qualify for Nationals, and all I'll have to do is drive 35 minutes. Smile

How would you respond?

October 17th, 2011 at 01:37 pm


Ok, long ago I stopped blogging to complain about others. I no longer harbor resentment towards others for the help that is given to them, because I indeed have been helped along the way and continue to be given financial help whether for me or my children. Gold star to Laura for growing up. I've also stopped blogging to ponder the financial carelessness of others because (1) it really isn't my business, and (2) I haven't been personally asked to help out financially. A second gold star for Laura.

This brings me the point of my post.

My best friend for 25+ years is single. She makes roughly $80K, is upside down on her condo/mortgage and second mortgage exceed the value by $15K-$20K, has student loans in the amount of about $30K in deferment or forbarence (not sure how to spell that properly), had credit card debt and is in a generally bad financial situation. I don't know what her budget is or how she spends money, other than it is in a foolish and irresponsible manner.

She's facing a second back surgery with a recovery time of up to two months. She isn't sure that her job will be held for her (it is in a hosptial and she splits her time between the OT Clinic and NICU) and lifting isn't a possibility during this time. She has disability insurance that would cover some of this with a projected shortfall of $400-$500 a month.

I advised her to:
(1) Make only the minimum payments on her credit card
(2) Limit her spending to what her income will be should she face a time of recovery and use that to build an EF (she doesn't have one)
(3) Look into the possibility of a room mate for her two-bedroom condo

She said she thought that bankruptcy made the most sense. I said I thought she made too much money for that and it didn't address her student loan at all. She jsut upgraded her used car to several years newer and simply added more years to the loan - the amount she paid stayed the same. She also bought a great digital camera on clearance at Costco.

She had initally approached the conversation like this: "I know we each have roughly the same amount of money coming in annually (True). I'm wondering what you think about my situation ..."

I did a good job not being judgmental, though I wanted to say some very pointed things.

She spent $10 on our trip to Panera (though it was lunch and dinner). And I'll admit to thinking "Gee, that would cover two pizzas and breadsticks from Little Ceasars which is what we spend on Pizza Nights at my house).

How would you have responded?
(

Another perspective on Chase

October 15th, 2011 at 07:18 pm

I am a "big bank" user - PNC. It stared out as National City which was bought out by PNC. I have no major complaints with PNC, except for the interest rate that they presently pay on savings accounts. I had an initial introductory rate that was high for the industry, now it is minimal.

Enter Chase into the picture. I was enticed by a coupon for $150 after opening a savings account with $10,000 and maintaining it for 90 days. On the 91st day, I'll receive the additional $150.

It was very simple to transfer a portion of my EF ($11,500 to be exact) to the checking account and open up the new savings account. Really no hitches to the pitch, just maintain the balance.

I had an interesting conversation with the personal banker setting up the account. He said that he noticed that the balances keep creeping up higher and higher in order to take advantage of the "special offers" - it used to be $5,000 - now it is $10,000.

I asked if a lot of people were coming in with this coupon to take advantage of this offer. He said suprisingly yes, and he wondered if the next round of coupon offers will apply to balances of $15,000 and more.

And if you are wondering, after I receive my $150 on 1/13/12, I'll be closing the account and returning the funds to PNC.

But $150 *IS* $150 after all.

Over budget :(

October 13th, 2011 at 05:31 pm


Tomorrow is pay day and rent collection day (read as: Money Bonanza!!) and I started today with $37.30 remaining in the checking account.

After my expenditures today, I am over budget by $7.00. Frown

I spent $12.50 in gas because I was, as husband says, "running on fumes".

I spent $4.10 on a coffee and muffin at Panera's. My best friend was in need of some attention after a doctor's appointment (diagnosed with two cerival herniations in her neck and possible surgery - tho only PT for now) left her worries about her finances should she need to go on disability.

I spent $28.00 at Play It Again Sports for a new-for-son driver and golf bag ($19 BEFORE 20% savings). He was in need of both of those before his first real golf outing on Saturday with DH.

I stopped at the library and got some things for the kids (Halloween books/wii games) and "All About Eve" for myself. Cheap entertainment!

OT: My dog is apparently having a bad dream in her sleep - it is VERY funny to watch her!

Return to Normal

October 11th, 2011 at 12:59 pm


I finally feel 87% recovered from the mouth/teeth drama that has been plaguing my existence the past few weeks. DH did some snipping of stitches on Saturday - who would think that one piece of surgical thread hanging could feel like razor blades cutting gums when it was pulled accidentally by food (sorry for grossness if visual images followed) or by mere tongue movements. So, I am living a relatively pain-free and Vicodin-free existence.

My children are happy to have me back. Lessons they've learned:
(1) If Mom is asleep due to Vicodin and you try to wake her up and talk to her, you can have the same conversation THREE times, and each time she is genuinely surprised to hear what you have to say.
(2) If Mom is awake and in pain, it is best not to overstimulate her and try to butt in on other people's conversations. You *WILL* be snapped at, and you will hear "What happened to the manners that I taught you" more than once.

The kids had a four-day weekend and it was really nice. On Friday we went to Morton Arboretum and looked at their Scarecrow Festival. We had chocolate chip bagels for lunch from Great American Bagel. There was a Volleyball Game for younger daughter and her team won (our school has a no cut policy for sports and she is on the B Team - read as "less qualified players" - and they had their first victory). We had two soccer games on Saturday, plus a pep rally and birthday celebration for youngest. Sunday younger daughter competed at the Pat Roche Feis and she placed EXTREMELY well. Didn't place in her slip jig which led me to believe she didn't place at all - based on her assessment - she ended up taking 2nd out of 21 in her hard shoe, and 4th overall in the category.

I did a lot of cooking yeseterday, so dinner is taken care of for the next two days Smile I have some bank and money business to take care of today. I'm the Birthday Reader this afternoon and tonight is busy, busy, busy with tutoring 5:00-6:00, dance 6:00-7:30, volleyball practice 6:30-7:45, and Knights of Columbus meeting from 7:30-whenever.

Hope everyone has a good day!

"What? No Tooth Fairy Visit?" Harumph

October 6th, 2011 at 12:41 pm

Oh, the indignation of it all was too much for my son to bear.

The tooth extraction turned plural to be teeth - they took tooth #15 as well as the wisdom tooth. Too far gone - apparently panorama pictures show much more than regular x-rays.

I've learned:
(1) Tylenol 3 doesn't work as well as vicodin
(2) I *heart* nitrous oxide, though I'm still plagued by the cracks of my teeth being ripped from my body
(3) My son will gladly fork over the $1.85 in change from his piggy bank because the tooth fairy doesn't come to visit grown-ups, apparently.

Since I'm in bad shape, I'm going back to bed. Not a lot of swelling, but its like a migraine eminating from from my jaw, moving upwards. Awful.

Frown

Can you stand yet another post about ... my mouth?

October 5th, 2011 at 01:14 pm

When it rains, it pours - or so the saying goes.

At it is presently raining in my mouth. I had the root canal last Wednesday, and then right into full-blown cold. Well, I've recovered from that and today I sojourn on to the previously-scheduled wisdom tooth extraction. It's not impacted, so it should be a breeze, or so the proverbial "they" say.

I managed to get a lot of laundry done yesterday, made dinner for today and tomorrow (meatloaf muffins and mashed potatoes, and tacos), chocolate chip muffins for breakfast, and paid some bills. My house is clean and my children have been delegated responsibilities (one in charge of doing flash card for the little kids, and the other walking the dog and feeding the pets). I hit Goodwill and bought three hard cover books for a total of $5.50.

Remember the 70s movie starring John Travolta - "The Boy in the Plastic Bubble"? I've decided to immerse myself in my own bubble. It's been busy here with constant requests and the volunteer demands are seriously out of control - easy things have become muliple-stepped nightmares, all contingent on things, waiting for other people to get back in touch, etc.

A friend is in a horrible situation dealing with an issue in her husband's family. The husband comes from a small, close-knit family in a Southern State and he has started a new job. His wife, being as sweet as she is, has become entrenched in a situation that ultimately she can't do much about. It is consuming (lots of time on the phone) and her kids are giving her a hard time about her lack of availability to them. I had the oldest here yesterday for homework and dinner, and I think she'd like it if I took the other two as well. And then because of my education, she likes my opinion - which is clearly dated. After this hand holding, I'll be in my bubble for awhile.

Well, off for a tooth extraction. Frown

Sisterhood of the Travelling Clothes, or Beware of 3rd Generation Hand-me-Downs

October 3rd, 2011 at 12:55 pm

because you never know where they came from.

Once upon a time there was a couple that married young. Despite the wife's hopes, the husband couldn't really change his ways of admiring all things. For recreation, they shopped. They both always looked well-dressed and put together, though they were exclusively outlet mall shoppers, or Marshalls and/or TJ Maxx.

The husband had a sister who was very close with the wife. They remained so, even after they (husband and wife) parted ways. In 2002, sister received a big bag of clothing from (ex) wife. Beautiful clothes in a variety of sizes (6/8/10), all name brand wonderful clothes. Sister only wore 6/8 but because that was a time of lots of kids (3 in 4 years), she kept everything. In 2004, sister decided she was going to work hard to be only a 6, and all the 8/10 went to her best friend who was that size range. Best friend wore the clothes until about 2006, when she moved to a 12/14 range (where she remains today). All the beautiful clothes went into a box in her unit at the storage place.

Fast forward to 2010, when best friend and HER friend went to the storage unit to rearrange. The bin of beautiful 8/10 were no longer a reality for friend who had moved to the solid 14 range. The bin of 8/10 went home with her friend. This friend loves the clothes and wears them regualrly (should add that these are timeless and tasteful classic styles/colors/cuts).

Present time, 2011: Best friend's friend was fixed up with sister's brother, who happens to be the husband of the wife who passed on the clothing in the first place. They apparently like each other and see a lot of one another. So much so that husband has been seeing lots of clothing that he has recognized as belonging to wife, one or two of them possibly even being gifts he gave! I suppose that we could call this something like "shades of the ex-wife"? "Sisterhood of the traveling clothes"? "What goes around, comes around"?

So now, friend is annoyed with best friend for not disclosing origin of the clothes. Brother is a bit miffed that sister is somehow involved in the drama.

Sister is sitting here LHAO!

I refuse to be involved in the drama of relationships, but this was certainly worth the post. Laugh away, pass on your clothes, and if you're divorced its probably best to keep them out of the old family.

Lesson: If the clothes fit, wear them! But make sure there isn't an odd psychological connection between your boyfriend and his ex-wife associated with your BR grey cahsmere sweater!

Saturday and the sickies

October 2nd, 2011 at 01:38 pm


OK, I'm on the road to recovery (rethinking extraction on Wednesday until I'm really feeling good and not right before a four-day weekend with the kids), and I now have one all night hacker who is 6 and someone with a sick stomach who is 12. My relief and respite might only be to care those sicker than I.

We spent money yesterday. Two pairs of shoes for boys were $32 at Payless Shoe Source. I fretted about not having a coupon or a bogo sale going on, but in the end it was fine. DD went to a party last night and we needed a gift. Aeropostale had a $12 hoodie sale and we got four items for $51. One hoodie was a gift, one shirt/sweater was for picture day, and the girls' present hoodies can easily be replaced. Not bad on money spent.

Goal Progress

October 1st, 2011 at 04:34 pm


Rather than get mired down in my sinking money ship, I'll post my goal progress.

$570 paid toward debt - out of $3,000.

Managed $175.00 Murphy yesterday from checking account. No new debt.

Smile

Amended goals:
$3,000 to debt - $570 paid
$1,000 to savings - $0
$1,000 to car - $0

Also found "lost" car key for friend's car. Saved $75 plus tax. DH left it at Tutoring Center when he picked up son, not realizing that he had two keys on him.

Smile