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Archive for May, 2007

Not Sure Why...

May 23rd, 2007 at 05:34 pm

...but I'm getting some breaks lately, moneywise.

As I blogged previously, my two middle girls made the high school dance and cheerleading teams, with their related noteworthy costs. It's not that I don't have the funds, but as it were, two weeks ago these activities weren't even a thought that ever crossed my mind, or my girls'. For my second girl, she saw the notice for tryouts, and thought it over and wanted to try. It was a long shot (it really was, spoken here by a very loving mom, though not to her!) She worked so hard, and gave it her best, and it paid off with a place on the team. She also showed us, the moneykeepers, that she was serious and willing to try something new. With my third girl, we knew she was interested in cheerleading, but this is the first time they've opened the high school squad down to 7th grade, which she'll be in the fall. So here we are funding two high school sports, all of a sudden.

But, as it turns out, Someone is watching over us (and don't we need that!) I had just added up the totals on the two sports, and we could cover it from savings, though giving it a good hit that would be difficult to rebuild any time soon. So I get the call yesterday about working the extended school year with the primary program, and I'm officially hired (I did know this was coming.) It's not a lot of hours, only four mornings for five weeks in June and July, but enough to help out with summer fun, camping and the beginning of school year expenses. Then I got another call yesterday about subbing at the intermediate school for the last two weeks of the school year, due to a medical leave (didn't have a clue this was coming.) I am able to take this job, because I just finished up my last day at the preschool yesterday. The savings will be back to where it should be, and cover the summer and school stuff. I'm feeling very blessed and lucky lately.

Other streams of money of late include - my husband did some side electrical work, and was paid $100. I got a refund check on our older van from State Farm, plus the recent bill came to being $50 less than 6 months ago (well, it IS getting to be almost ancient.) (I'll ignore, for now, that adding my oldest as a driver will negate that savings...but I'll enjoy the moment until the new, revised bill arrives.) I also received some very nice gift cards for Target, a local nursery, and the coffee shop in my town from my preschoolers and families. I also received a "Forever Bloom" hydrangea, which I wanted so dearly to get this year, but left at the nursery due to cost. My self-control was rewarded, and I love that the plant will remind me of a very dear family. Okay, I have to say it again - I really feel very, very blessed and lucky. I'm a realist and know it won't last forever, but I'll enjoy the blessings, and my hydrangea for many years, as it can withstand our MN winters!

'Tis enough of the gushing...take care! May money blessings be headed to you all!!

Mishmash

May 20th, 2007 at 01:50 pm

On Friday, we found out that second daughter made the high school dance team, and that third daughter made the high school cheerleading team. I have enough dollars set aside to cover the athletic fees, luckily. I think the calendar got a bit busier, but both are surprised and very excited (the rest of us too.)

I spent time on Saturday morning running errands - bread outlet, bank, Target and pet store.

I had to make a return to Target, and pick up a giftcard for a birthday party my second was going to in the evening. My oldest was along, and needed some underthings. It was so far, so good until.... I made the lethal mistake of venturing down one more aisle. So a new bike seat leaped into my cart, and was pleading to come home. ( A little background - I have an ancient bike I picked up at a garage sale years and years ago, but the seat leaves me numb after more than a ride around the block. I usually take walks, but the younger girls have been wanting me to go on bike rides with them, which have been painful and short. In the last few weeks I've mentioned maybe getting a new bike for me...then this nice, padded mountain bike seat called to me! My third daughter said my 'old-fashioned' bike looked much better, and my youngest was excited to go on a bike ride with me last evening. I was thrilled to not have a numb lower half. Actually it was the opposite - I could feel some very underused muscles! The seat cost far less than a new bike, so procrastination was a good thing.)

Earlier in the afternoon, I spent cleaning out the Ford conversion van for next week's camping trip. We thought it would be easier to get the camp gear all packed into the van this weekend, leaving only the food and clothes to add before we leave on Friday after school. I'm hoping it's warm and sunny next weekend!

This morning I baked rhubarb muffins. They smelled wonderful, and the girls all woke up asking for some. I'll wrap some up for next week's lunches too. I'm planning to bake a bit more this week to take camping.

Today' plans include church, a visit to my mom, finish packing up the van, and to just relax! Oh, and a bike ride!

Enjoy your weekend...take care!

Odds and Ends

May 16th, 2007 at 07:09 pm

Very busy at work, and with the girls lately. May gets crowded with many activities and year end events and concerts. My second daughter had her birthday this week, which we celebrated on Sunday so we could all be together. Whew...May is crazy!

I finally located a library book that was checked out on my youngest's card many weeks ago. It was in the depth of the unknown, under her sister's bed. Grr - fines, but at least we don't have to pay replacement cost. Double grr to having to do something about those under bed areas.

I picked up some 2 cent stamps at the PO today. While I wasn't completely out of it, and did know there was a postage hike coming, I wasn't aware it was happening so soon and this week. I read a reference about it somewhere yesterday, and checked the PO website, and found that it had already happened on Monday, and luckily before I had to mail anything.

We're doing a rollercoaster ride for temps here in MN. In a 48 hr period, we went from the 90s, down to the 50s. Tonight the outer lying suburbs may get below 40 tonight, and covering the flowers is being recommended. Usually planting by the 15th is safe, but not absolute. I planted all the annuals, and added a few new perennials. It was fun to pick out the flowers with the girls and plant them (on Mother's Day.) So I'll be out there tucking them in for the night too. I also reseeded areas in the front and back yard that didn't make it through the winter.

I just now got a call from my aunt that my uncle, my mom's brother, has passed away. He's suffered a number of years from Parkinson's Disease, and has been in very poor shape in the hospital for the last month. My aunt sounded sad, but expressed relief, as she felt he was in much pain and suffering at the end. She is out in California, but has all her children and grandchildren nearby. I'm not sure I'll share this news with my mom - I'm not sure she would understand what I was saying. Or worse, is that I wonder if she still can understand a bit, but can't control what she can say or think. I don't want her to have the news of her brother's death replaying over and over in her head. When her cat died, the staff at that time (different nursing home) recommended to not tell her, especially as she never mentioned the cat. We were told that sort of news kind of replays in their mind, and they relive the grief fresh over and over, rather than heal with time for most people. Sometimes it feels like I have power over things that I'd rather not, and no power over the things that I wish I had. I know I'll grow stronger, but boy, life is hard sometimes.

Take care.

There's something about this time of year...

May 11th, 2007 at 11:45 pm

...that makes me exhausted!

I'm just back from getting the three youngest dropped off with their rides to the Girl Scout Encampment. I wish it was not always Mother's Day weekend, but after ten straight years of this, it's practically a tradition now. This will be my first year not staying overnight - yay for me - and the first time for my youngest that I won't be there. She said she was ready, and was looking brave (this is a big hurdle for her, my little homebody.) Tomorrow, we head up for the bridging ceremony for third daughter, and the collecting of girls and gear for home.

My oldest babysits for one of my coworkers tomorrow morning, then goes to her drug store job, and to a friend's afterwards. She NEEDS the car, of course. Since she is comfortable driving the minivan, we'll take the conversion van to the camp. Gas prices are the highest I've ever seen - ugh!

We're ready for our mothers and mother's day.

Me too!

May 8th, 2007 at 01:20 pm

Many here have been talking of 'money karma'. I too have been finding change during my daily walks. Most often it's pennies, sometimes quarters. Yesterday, I picked up what I thought was a quarter, and found that it was a Sacajawea dollar coin. Hmm, good karma...

Watch out!!

May 5th, 2007 at 09:18 pm

There's a new driver on the road! Yes, my oldest passed her road test on Friday. And oh, have I been getting offers to run my errands, although I hardly run all that many errands on a Saturday. I am thinking, just maybe, someone is a bit anxious to be DRIVING. I let her take the minivan to work on Saturday and to a friend's on Sunday. She's happy, and I'm not out too much gas. Oh yeah!

Moneywise, my husband got his pay raise - not a lot, but we won't turn it down. It'll mostly end up going into our retirement funds, where it'll be far more appreciated and beneficial to our future selves, than what we would currently do with it.

I emailed my interest in working the extended school year over the summer, and they were interested in having me back. They'll let me know what grade level, and I enjoy working with all ages, so I'm not picky. My oldest works the same hours - 3 hours in the mornings M-Th for six weeks - and it's only until last part of July. What a hardship, I know! My second daughter will stay with the younger two, and I pay her a little for it (she usually uses it as her spending money on her mission trip and for her church camp week up north - it's quite amazing how careful she is in making purchases, when she's earned the money!) If the younger two want to take a community ed offering, it's also at the same time as what I'll be working. And of course, I'll get a paycheck into the summer a bit. Win-win all around.

I planned meals for the next two weeks, made my shopping list, and went to the grocery store on Saturday. Still keeping within the budget for that too.

Otherwise, plugging along...take care!

Catching up....

May 2nd, 2007 at 08:35 pm

We've been having gorgeous weather, so every morning I've been hanging the laundry on the line. We had a little rain a couple evenings ago, so the grass has been flourishing.

We've been eating meals from the crockpot or slapdashing something together each night. At least, we're staying away from fast food on these busy days of late. Tonight's dinner is homemade pizza once again!

I finished up the last of the kindergarten classes this week, which will ease up the calendar. I also saw the posting for the summer positions. I could apply for paraprofessional for either pre-k through 5th grade or 6th through 12th grades. Still determining the logistics with the girls...

This week hasn't been easy on the checking acct. I signed up the oldest for the instructor course through Red Cross. Maisy, my mom's border collie, went to the vet today. She's 16 years old and was a bit cranky about having some blood taken, but otherwise, she's doing good. On Sunday, she'll go in for grooming.

I go in a bit to pick up third daughter from girls scouts. First, I'll get the clothes off the line. (It's such a hardship to be out in the warm sun with he temp at 70...)

Enjoy your evening...take care!