(1) "Yours is the only one"
Referring to my older daughter who recalled in the Traditional Set despite having a 101 temperature and body aches. She had two girls from her dance school in that competition, and neither of them recalled (which means to place in the top 1/2). I felt quite bad that the other two didn't, one of them thought it was her best dance ever and she cried for the next several hours. My daughter placed quite decently given her clearly ill state.
(2) "The wig is on upside down."
OK, that is what the teacher said to me when she saw the corkscrew curl wig on my daughter about 30 minutes prior to the ceili - or 8-hand figures team dance that both my girls were on. Yes, I, a dance mom for the past many years, have never dealt with a wig like and I mistook the hair band at the bottom of the wig as the bangs. Shame on me.
(3) "Mom, it wasn't the best I've danced"
Said my younger daughter who was rumored to qualify for Nationals. She didn't even recall - which left me dismayed, but didn't seem to phase her.
(4) "I don't need an award to know I'm a good dancer." I did thank God for her maturity and outlook. She didn't recall three years ago and was in tears for hours. My MIL asked her what she'll do now, and my daughter looked at her blankly, like it would take one poor performance to break her esteem. That is my girl!! After her treble jig which wasn't her best, she performed her slip jig perfectly, but apparently it wasn't enough to bring her to the top half.
(4) Mouse Fact #137 from oldest son: Mice can wiggle out of traps because they have cartilage and not bones.
(5) Mouse Fact #196 also from oldest son: St. Francis loves ALL animals, including mice.
(6) "We've now officially killed all the Walton kids, plus Liv and John, and Grandpa Zeke and Gran Esther. Anymore casualties, and we'll start pecking off the Duggars one by one."
That quip was DH's as our final mouse kill total was a whopping 11! No more mouse turds in my kitchen. We've been rodent free traps two mornings in a row!
(7) "Rather than go to dinner and spent a lot of money on sub-par food, I've bought an extra pork roast that I'll make for dinner one night when you're still at the competition."
OK, my in-laws do feel the obligation to take us out for a meal when they are here. There are quite a few of us, and the bill is usually a lot more than they are used to spending. MIL said the above and made a wonderful pork roast with onions and mushrooms and it was so nice to come home yesterday to a house filled with the rest of the kids and the in-laws.
(8) Last night, before bed, younger daughter who didn't recall said, "I can't decide if it is easier to be the worst of the best, the best of the worst. You know, it really won't matter tomorrow. And by the way, one side-stage helper complimented me on my manners. She said I was the only one thanked her for holding the curtain open for me. *D* (older daughter) held her own curtain, so she wasn't rude. OK, good night."
Archive for November, 2011
I have a quiet minute this AM and wanted to say that I am thankful for this community to help support me in money matters and in life in general.
Happy Thanksgiving to all!
Gooble Gooble (as written by my first graders)
(1) DH used old-fashioned traps to catch the culprits. He had a $5 off coupon at Ace and got four traps and a beef jerky. He ate the beef jerky and left the wrapper in the bag. Son thought that the beef jerky was bait for the mouse.
(2) Ratatouie is showing with GREAT REGULARITY on the Disney Channel right now. This is not the movie to be watching when one wants to catch a mouse.
(3) I was reminded of the third commandment when my sensitive son (this is the one who became a vegan at four when he realized beef comes from a cow - he's my John Deere Junky who'd be happy with my or husband's distant relatives on the dairy farms in Michigan). "Mom, it is not right to kill God's creatures. I've heard that it might be okay to kill if you're going to eat or if you need to defend. I don't see us eating mouse for dinner or that they're taking over." Good point, Son, tell that to your wife in about 20 years and see what see says. I thanked him for his sensitivity.
(4) Outcome: two casualties with much less evidence of mouse partying in my kitchen.
Off to deal with school volunteer work and more dance To Do's. How are your Thanksgiving plans shaping up?
Hope this finds all SA Friends well and getting ready to enjoy time with family and friends later in the week.
We are well into the week of preparations for the Oireachtas which is the Mid-America Championships for Irish Dance covering a multi-state region. My girls did well last year, "the worst of the best" which was an upgrade from the "worst of the worst" two years earlier. My younger girl is rumored to qualify for Nationals (which are in Chicago this year) based on her progress and performance in class, and my older daughter has come a long way from a gawky sort of kid to someone with great stage presence at 5'7" and 90#. I am quite proud of these two, can you tell?
I was able to return the $58 eye shadow purchase to Sephora since the team dancing make up will be done professinally. Both girls have dark brunette wigs (standard to have all dancers look alike) and we've had good luck with the temporary hair dye for their bangs. We've also had good luck with tanning their legs and will use our normal coppertone tanning lotion. Today older daughter's school dress is coming home (made custom for her) and younger daughter's dance dress will come back from the tailor tomorrow. Shoes to be polished and I'm fairly organized this year.
Christmas shopping is going well. My kids are all done and while I will admit to overbuying for them, I was able to easily remedy the situatino by selling some gifts to my parents and brother.
I used $10 off on a $20 purchase for a gift for my SIL's baby, well my X-Sil who had a beautiful bouncing baby boy at a whopping 9#. My brother's ex-girlfriend's brother was murdered two weeks ago and I've decided to have a Catholic Mass said for him. I know that he was a Protestant but I've gotten over the whole label thing of "catholic" vs "protestant" and have decided that since we're all Christians (speaking here only of my family and his family) it was fitting.
The stirring creature you might be wondering about mentioned in the title of the post refers to a mouse that was spotted in my house - in my kitchen - apparently coming up through the cabinet base where the pipes are. Found a cheese stick wrapper stuffed in the hole and didn't think much about it until I spotted mouse droppings. DH purchased traps so we'll see what we yield. I hate to admit to being skiddish but I am. I am afraid to open my kitchen cabinets though there's been no evidence of anything in the actual cabinets. It was clearly a quiet homework moment that brought the creature out because lately it has been a zoo here with constant Irish dance music and hard shoe pounding and trumpet practice.
Hope everyone enjoys their time off. See you November 28th.
Yesterday I tried my hand again at shopping for Christmas with my coupons and coupon cards. I'm happy to report that I did fairly well saving while I did spend.
This is what I purchased:
Bath & Body Works $6.00 for body lotion and body mist of their new scent (for younger daughter) It was 50% off and I had buy one get one free coupon
Aerpostale $16.00 for a long-sleeve thermal knit top and a t-shirt (for younger daughter) had 40% off total purchase price and both items were on sale
Victoria's Secret $100+ (don't have receipt in front fo me) PINK brand yoga pants and velour for older daughter. To think that I thought that Vicky's Secret was simply thongs panty and bustiers! HA
Family Christian Store $62 and that was MIL's Christmas and Birthday Gift, Goddaughter's Christmas gift and Thomas Kincaide Christmas cards. I had a 30% off coupon (from doing survey on bottom of receipt) and the new receipt says I saved $42. Maybe?
So I'm making progress and feeling like I'm not spending as much as I could be.
Time between now and dance competition is filled with odd times for semi private lessons, extended times for regular classes, and three-hour long practices for the team dancing (ceili and choreography). My brother is hosting Thanksgiving so I am simply bringing some side items (green bean casserole and cornbread casserole). I'm hosting a party on Friday for my girls (my inlaws are in from out of state and I try to capitalize on having them here), but our party is pretty small down from last year's 30+ and I'm keeping it simple with a crockpot filled of ravioli and chicken Parmesan, plus a green salad and garlic bread. Last year I had several more main menu items and it was too much. And then of course Saturday and Sunday are dance, dance, dance!
Hope all are well and tackling your holiday lists and cooking tasks with a happy heart!
This year I have two Cub Scouts who participated in the annual wreath sale which is the Pack's only fundraiser (they opt out of popcorn sales). In our subdivision we have our "regulars" who have bought from oldest son the past 3 three years. This year DH took advantage of having our Scouts sell wreaths in the Narthex of the church following Mass and he got the first weekend after 8:45 and 10:15 which are the most popular.
Last year our sales total for E was $380. This year E sold $425 AND A sold $408. I was quite impressed with their efforts until I heard that places 1 & 2 were $1,100-ish, and even 6th place was $750.
There is a drawing at the November meeting for prizes. Places 1-5 get to pick from the items purchased, and then there is a drawing for prizes 6-11 and your number of chances is based on your sales performance.
Last year E's number was drawn and he brought home a blow up inflatable snow inner tube thing that brought him a lot of joy this past season. I was there for the first half of the Pack meeting because I've been drafted to co-leader for E's den but needed to leave to get my girls from dance.
A's number was chosen and he picked the orange version of the Chicago Bear's jersey (#6-Cutler) and was VERY happy with his selection. I saw that and that thought he was very precious. Apparently E was called as the second to last place and he picked the last remaining "cool" prize which is a RipStick - some sort of aerodynamic skateboard with swivel wheels the bends in the middle. Yikes, not happy with that one, but he is as thrilled as can be and my kitchen has been turned into some sort of rink.
My comment about laziness refers to my own. I have in the closet in our middle bedroom my girls' old solo dresses. DH asked if I was planning on selling those to bring in some money to replenish the EXTRANEOUS DANCE FUND category in our budget. Honest question. He said, "You're not holding onto those for sentimental value, are you?" I had to respond honestly, "No, I'm just lazy." It's bothered me all night that I have probably $1,500 worth of dresses there.
This season I've spent so far:
$380 for three wigs - all brunette - one split curl for younger daughter's solo dress, two tight curl brunettes for ceili/choreography where all dancers look the same
$500 for younger daughter's school dress
$1,950 for younger daughter's new solo dress (in reality I spent $650 because her old solo dress yielded me $1,300)
$10 for shoe repair to younger daughter's hard shoe
I am still looking at
$150 for tailoring of daughter's new dress and
$750 for older daughter's custom school dress (there are apparently no dancers 5'7" and 90 pounds who have dresses to be resold).
The only good thing is after this round of expenses, we're good for Nationals in July.
I was recently asked if oldest son would like to play hockey - and this is the male equivalent of Irish dance with sticks/skates/equipment/etc. I was very relieved when son said he'd rather do Hapkido with his non-skating friend. I don't think my budget or mindset can handle another cult-like activity.
Why is it when I am willing to part with my money, I can't find the right items to make it worth-while?
I think it is my money karma getting me.
ETA: The items that I was looking to buy are birthday and Christmas gifts for my daughters.
Then I forgot my coupon for the Family Christian Store, so I didn't buy my Christmas cards OR my MIL's birthday and Christmas gifts. BAH!
that I am thankful for many things, including SA. When I came here many years ago (several blog versions ago), I felt like I was alone in a vacuum worrying about lack of funds and just in a general sad/dark place, not realizing that I myself can cast a pall or a shadow on things that really aren't there. Anyhow, in my time here, using this is as a place to blurt out dumb posts (most of which I read, realized how ridiculous they sounded and promptly deleted), I've moved to a place that is much more cheerful. I've met cyberly like-minded folks who have made me feel more normal. I attended the financial freedom seminar with my husband that also helped tremendously - it brought us to a place of a shared vision and two and a half years later, we're still in that good place, haven't lost much of our steam or progress.
I had a celebration at my mom's last Thursday before she headed out of town to visit my grandmother. I had a wonderful triple-chocolate whammy cake after Italian beef sandwiches. My gifts were the sweater that I pined away for because it was more than I wanted to spend, and an olay pro Rx advanced cleaning system (thanks Mom!) and two Yankee Candles which are Christmas scents. My kids and DH shopped at the Family christian store on Sunday, so I'm anticipating another angel for my collection. Bless the 9 year old who said conspiratorily to his sisters, "Get the catalog. There's coupons on the back. Our money will go farther."
I also received a card and check from my father. That was a surprise, and I'm still tossing that one around so I can't comment much. I guess that he loves me to the much of his ability, and that would be sending me money.
So, I am thankful for my healthy and happy family and friends, for the growth that I achieve, for the wise decisions that I hopefully continue to make, for the joy in my heart and for realizing that each year makes me value the gift of my life more.
Today was the day that I made my broadcasting debut - well, the segment containing my discussion was recorded to be aired at a later date.
The topic had to do with Catholic money management principles, in particular Canon Law and how it applies to tuition being included under the umbrella of tithing. There is a specific Canon Law stating that Catholic education should be supported, but that appears to be in direct contradiction with tuition being included in tithing under a different Law. I come from the school of thought that stewardship includes your time, talent and treasure (money) and that as long as one gives as you give freely of these, you're fine. I can say that we don't give 10% of our money, but between our volunteer work within the church we give WAY more than 10% of our time. And of course it all really varies on an individual level and more than one intrepretation of Canon Law exists and can be used to substantiate either end of the argument (that tuition should or shouldn't be included).
I like the fact that my thoughts and ideas actually aren't a vast wasteland of useless information (I sometimes feel that way) and I can contribute and discuss intellectual ideas and content. I sometimes think that I underestimate my abilities, seeming that I'm in that phase of life of lunch room duty, school store coverage, stuffing envelopes, and computer entry. I do hold a position at my parish as co-cordinator of the summer youth programs and am heavily involved with the Cub Scouts (in a secretarial/organizational way rather than a leadership standpoint). Anyhow, it was kind of nice to hear my name and banter about ideas.
Fiscal fitness: Paycheck was deposited today, and I paid the mortgage. After rent is collected tomorrow, I have $700 for dance expenses that I'm still waiting on. It was very interesting to talk to my ob/gyne today (a Catholic father of 10) who was appalled that the sport of Irish dance is starting to rival Jon Benet Ramsey, Toddlers and Tiaras sport with less emphasis on dance ability and more on what the dancer looks like.
Anyhow, productive day. All for now.
I took my two lamps and mirror over to "The Perfect Thing" which is the consignment store in Wheaton, IL and is featured on TLC's "What the Sell". I didn't have the pleasure of dealing with the quirky grandmother Gloria or the mother Judy, rather the very professional daughter Kate.
I had to wait about 15 minutes because I didn't have an appointment and she was going through two boxes of someone's treasures. I figured that it didn't look good for me and my two oddity lamps and over-the-top Saddam Heussien palace mirror from my gold and gaudy bedroom that I suffered through for SIX years. I wasn't sure if they were still filming for the show, so I made an effort to look trendy and put together, rather than my normal no make-up, hair in jaw clip tired mother look. If you're wondering: no, they didn't film me. just kidding! about the
So I asked if she'd like to see my lamps and mirror. She said she would. So I went out to the minivan and brought in one lamp and my mother carried in the mirror. Lots of oooohs and aaahs from Kate and the staff at my odd chicken/rooster lamps with their funeral-inspired shades of black silk. "Very unique." "I *LIKE* those." etc. More with my mirror.
I entered into a consignment agreement with Kate and they have 90 days to sell my items. The lamps she said she'd price at $400-$500 for the pair, and $350-$400 for the mirror. So, if there is someone out there that likes these items and will pay full price for them, I'm looking at $375-$450 after our 50-50 split. Not bad for hand-me-downs from my biological father.
Not all of his taste is different, bad, and odd. He did help me pick out a $2,000 Theodore Alexander settee that I absolutely LOVE. I also have a resverse painted mirror that hangs above my Theodore Alexander settee and it is *the* picture spot in the house.
I had pictures of the rosewood opium daybed that I'd like to part with as well, though most likely I'd offer it back to my father because he loved it so much and it sadly didn't fit his country manor English Tudored home. Kate said she'd take it for consignment. On a good day, I could expect $700-$1,500; however, if it doesn't sell I could go as low as $250 if she's desperate to sell AND I'd have to pay $95 for moving it. Her honest suggestion was to try and sell it on my own, and that would probably be the best way to get the most money.
Oh, the treasures that I'm parting with. Now let's hope for some MAJOR money.
If your bored, go check out the website for the store, talk about a treasure trove of things and stuff and more stuff! I'm not sure the website, but if you search The Perfect Thing in Wheaton, IL, you'll find it.
Wow! Time is a-flying by! I am comparing my mindset/stress-level with last year and I'm in a better place. I suppose it helps that I'm not hosting Thanksgiving and a big party and then two days of grueling dance competitions (I'm not the dancer - obviously - but the waiting is looong!) This year my brother is hosting Thanksgiving, I'm doing a medium party, and the days of dance are compounded that both my girls are ceili dancers (8-hand figures) and my younger daughter is in choreography. But I'm being organized and not stressing about things I have no control over - like when my older daughter is getting her school dress for ceili and other odd stuff, mostly dance related
I'm not hoarding the money anymore and parting with what I have regularly and realizing that not touching savings or credit card IS the accomplishment here. I paid the $380 to the credit card for the wigs (three of them, staple for Irish dancers) and I paid $500 by check for my younger daughter's dress. One more dress and upgrade on dress to pay for. $320 remains, will be $700 on Friday (after I pay mortgage and fund living expense account).
Today I'm taking my lamps and mirror to the store featured in "What the Sell". I let my mother put a small crimp in my plans with her little quip about my father finding out where his gifted items went and disinheriting me. I decided to only laugh it off rather than ponder and mull. The funny thing is my mother is coming with me to sell these items (I'd be happy with $200 for the lot). DH and I are essentially estranged from my biological father (though it will be interesting to see if he remembers my birthday, or should I say "acknowledge" my birthday. My relationship with him was always contingent on something or someone else. I guess I remind him of my mother who he apparently hates. Who knows. At least as a parent I've learned what unconditional love should look like. - How is all that for a mental side-track ) And he has been known to walk through my house admiring all of the things he has given, even if these items are in my bedroom. No boundaries whatsoever.
I'm also planning on taking my jewelry in tomorrow so we'll see how much capital I can raise to help supplement the dance expenses.
Also being bit by the de-cluttering bug - bag of trash to go to dumpster, bag of stuff to go to Good Will, lots of stuff to go to our friends with children (clothes/toys/books/etc), and then this round of stuff going to the consignment store.
DH is on a serious dieting/exercise/fitness way of life. We're eating less carbs and grains, having eggs and omlettes for breakfast, less processed and refined foods are coming in, and I'm drinking less coffee. I don't own a scale (having had some obsessive issues with the scale in the past) and haven't been on one in months. I was hanging out in the high 130's. Last week I was surprised when I bought a skirt on major clearance for $17 which was a 4P. I was quite surprised when it fit nicely without the panty-girdle contraption that I sometimes wear. And in all honesty it was more a 4/6 rather than a 2/4. BUT a 4 is a 4, right? Anyhow, I weighed myself at my mother's and I was a mere 132 (after a lot of Halloween candy for the preceding week and being mostly fully dressed). I am almost to the 120s. I think I can do it and have the goal of 125 by 12/31.
Mostly it comes down to wise decisions, right? Like food or money, sometimes the one that yields us the best results isn't the most fun decision at the time.
Off for the day! Little mind after this ramble.
I'm not telling many people in my real world, but here in my secret world of cyber-friends, I'll share.
I am going to be discussing the interpretation of Canon Law 222 with Phil Lenahan, author of "Seven Steps to Financial Freedom", more specifically how it can/cannot be applied to the philosophy that Catholic school tuition is/isn't to bne considered part of tithing. Can you tell I am a total dork for Canon Law? Time for me to spend less time with seminarians and the newly ordained; I could easily forsake the secular world for the sacramental one!
Anyhow, the discussion will be taped and aired at a later time. Now I'm off to rework my argument.
This week I am on the hunt to raise some capital. The car purchase and the moving of EF fund to Chase bank has left my saving account quite naked with a mere $1,200. We have upcoming dance competition (the Mid America championships, pre-Nationals) so I know that I have a dress upgrade, a used purchase, I've put new wigs on the credit card (though I've subtracted that already from available funds), etc.
I have some jewelry - a gold necklace with some diamonds and a sapphire ring that I'm thinking about parting with - or at least seeing how much I'd be able to get. Not part of my dilema.
Here is the dilema part - I have two rare and odd lamps and a mirror from my biological father that didn't work in his house (he lives in a rambling mansion sort of English-inspired country house and I live in a 1970s brick split level) and I've since changed the decor of my bedroom from gaudy gold over the top to a cool and soothing blue/brown combo. I should add that DH used to work my father and they had a nasty parting of ways - not much of a consequence to me since I emotionally divorced myself from my father ages ago. I did go out to lunch with him (father) and brother in June - other than that, don't see or talk to him. He really doesn't have much of an interest in me or my children. It is sad, but I've moved on.
I'd like to sell these items to the place featured on TLC's WHAT THE SELL, and I think that I could get probably $250-$300 for the lot of these items.
My mother believes that I should offer these back to my biological father because they were gifts. I disagree. He gave them to me. She is afraid he will be insulted if he ever comes to my home again and he'll disinherit me from the will. He is odd in his thinking like that and my mother was married to him for ten years. I should add that I have an awful piece of furniture in my living room that I would offer to return to him before I sold it - but with that we're talking over a thousand dollars.
I'm going to move to sell, but what do you think?
As if I don't spend regularly on necessities of life (read: gas and groceries, and a few diversions to the resale store).
I applied for another Citibank Card - spend $500, get $100. I've already spent $150 on the card for Christmas gifts for sons (Lego! Lego! Lego! Ninjago and Harry Potter, no less!)
I have a coupon for $10 off of $50 at the Vera Bradley outlet and I'm getting both girls wristlets. I hope I can find something for my mom, because I doubt the two wristlets will put me at $50, probably more like $35-$40.
I am finding that I'm much more diligent on items for the Christmas this year, buying with a purpose.
How is your shopping coming?
Oh, wait ... that was Monday, Monday.
Anyhow, the cold and depressing weather is upon us. Sheets of cold rain, rustling leaves from wind-whipped branches, and a general dark gray is cast on my neighborhood. The kids took the bus yesterday, and today opted for a ride with DH rather than be in the cold and rain.
There really isn't much going on. This weather makes me want to hibernate, and today I have an excuse. I have to devote some time to a cross-stitch project that my mom is taking to my grandmother in California. I plan on watching "Poldark" on DVD and setting about some serious stitching to complete this.
Yesterday I got caught up on paperwork for Scouts - both the Tiger and Webelos. Got current on who has achieved what and who needs to do what. It is the start of a new quarter, so schoolwork is sort of minimal at this time, though I'm encouraging more reading, reintroducing Dr. Suess for the new reader and books on tape, too.
Money-wise, not much going on. My trip to Sam's Club last Friday was for a whopping $375. I should add that my cupboards were bare completely with no staples, produce, meat, etc. $90 of that was paper towels, toilet paper, dog food, laundry detergent and generic allery stuff. I skipped the clothing and books aisles (I can always find stuff that aren't needed items). And most of that will carry over throughout the month, so I haven't had to set foot in a store since then, and will only need milk in a few days.
I had to buy three wigs for the Oireachtas - younger DD is upgrading to a white dress and is pale, so we put her in a brunette wig which she'll wear with this dress. Both girls are team dancers and all are in dark brown tight-curled wigs. I can't complain, we are running with the big boys at this competition level, and it only gets worse the higher up you go. I spent $32 on blister socks which are like a second skin that go under the dance socks. The girls like these and save time and money on wrapping feet and buying boxes of blister band-aids. We are 22 says away from competition, and yesterday I listened to Irish dance music for over an hour while my girls practiced in the basement. Have I mentioned that I live in Brigadoon the month of November?
Well, that is all - sort of a mind dump of sorts. Off to find my needle and floss.
I moved $11,500 of my EF to Chase for their offer of $150 deposit on the 91st day after moving and maintaining a minimum of $10K in a savings account.
My money moved into the new place on 10/11. The interest was credited on 10/24 to the tune of $0.04. Sad, sad, sad. On the 92nd day, my money will move back to PNC Bank where it came from and earned at least in the dollar column.
My 7-year old saw the statement on the table and is learning about place value rather than money. He counted from the first digit and proudly declared I was a millionaire with $1,150,004. Not! But funny, funny, funny!