Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Nov. unbudgeted for spending

$ 30 -to join a homeschool group
$ 6 -McDonald's
$268 -payment on MasterCard
$306 -payment on Kohl's charge

$610 total

This is insane. The money I spent on charges were all wants, not needs.

The worst is that I was $400 short on Nov. bills (money I put away for quarterly taxes) and these charge payments would have paid this. I could kick myself.

But Kohl's is paid in full and I am going to cancel it, as it just is too much of a temptation for me.

Now I have to work on:
$320 Home Depot Charge
$480 MasterCard Charge

After paying all Dec. bills that is.


Practical Gift

This can be costly, but will be used and appreciated. Would especially be great for a housewarming gift. It's a ...

A first aid or cold care kit.

Who doesn't need band aids, head ache meds, cold meds, etc?

Find out about recipient and what medicines they use. If they use homoeopathic, stock up on those. If they don't use dye, make sure all meds are dye free (things like Children's Tylenol has dye in it.)

For first aid kit get some band aids (all sizes), neosporin, alcohol, cotton balls, ace bandage, reusable cold pack, reusable warm pack, tea tree oil is great too. You can add emergency blanket, flashlight, glow stick, hand radio, etc. A used tool box or dollar store one will hold all this nicely.

For cold care kit get some head ache / fever medicine, cold medicine, chest rub, sore throat drops, sore throat spray, medicated lip balm, and saline nose spray. Add some boxed tissues or sew some homemade tissues out out flannel. Flannel is so soft and not linty at all. A wicker basket with a handle would house all this nicely, and make it portable to carry to different rooms.
You can even alter this if recipient is already sick and make it a get well gift, add some books and dvds (used of course) and some homemade or store bought soup as well.

Some other homemade touches for kits:

-boo boo bunny
-reusable aches and pain pads (using 2 pieces fabric sew square, any size, leave one side open, fill with white rice, sew up open side. Directions, heat in microwave and apply to area in need of some TLC)
-homemade tea (I dry spearmint leaves, put in dark jar, add a reusable tea bag, and instructions on how to brew)
-other possibilities are endless

What would you want in first aid or cold care kit?

Who do you know that would benefit from receiving one of these?


Green Clean Gift Idea

Make a green clean kit for $10 or less.

-Gallon vinegar $2
-Print or write out list of cleaning uses for vinegar
-Baking Soda $2 (2-3 small boxes)
-Print or write out cleaning uses for baking soda
-Spray bottle $1 (or reuse an old spray bottle you have for free)
-Cleaning Cloths Free-$3 (make, sew out of old towels, or buy a package)
-Scrubbies Free (make out of mesh that comes on lemons and other fruit and veggies-fold up and rubber band or knot, these work great)
-Tote bag Free-$1 (recycle one you have at home, sew one with fabric you already have, or buy one, food store ones are about $1)
-Bottle Peroxide $1 (use as you would bleach on stains on counters, in shower, etc., and on clothes)
-If you got tote, cleaning cloths, and spray bottle for free you can also add a gallon of homemade laundry soap as well $2

Make up one for everyone on your list.

I would love this as a gift and it creates no clutter.


Monday, November 29, 2010


I just received a letter that one of our sponsor children through Compassion Child has moved out of the area, so he can't travel to Compassion centers any longer. We have been sponsoring Edelson for about 3 years now, so this is sad news. But on a positive note he has graduated 8th grade (he is almost 16) and has had vocational training in carpentry and plumbing. So these skills will help him overcome the circle of poverty. Please pray for Edelson, his two brothers, his mother, and father. His mom has gone abroad for work and Edelson has moved in with an aunt. His father is away most of the time as he is a fisherman.



Saturday, November 27, 2010

What will you give?

After posting my selfish post about what I want for Christmas I wanted to post to encourage others to do something for someone in need this Christmas.

We have already:
-Sent money so each of our sponsor children through Compassion can have a gift
-Helped our church make up 40 shoeboxes for Operation Christmas child

We are going to:
-chip in with another family to buy gifts for two local families that can not afford gifts this year
-make cookies for our neighbors
-buy diapers to donate to Solutions, our local Christ based pregnancy center

So many people, organizations, churches, neighbors, and more are in need. The possibilities of what you can do to lift someones spirits are endless.

What are some ideas your family is doing this holiday season to help those in need?


Friday, November 26, 2010

Natural living as an idol

I just read this great blog post here. It is about Natural Living becoming an idol. I have been grappling with this myself lately, so it was great to read this post.

My thoughts are that God wants us to be good stewards of our bodies, our finances, and the earth. He gave them all to us to care for.

-Eating healthier food helps us be good stewards of our bodies.
-Making many foods from scratch is better for our bodies, plus if making these foods is a family activity it blesses God that we are spending this time with our family.
-Spending money on fillers (things that many companies are disguising as food) is not blessing Him with our finances. A bag of chips is about $3. I can get a small bag of organic apples for that cost. Eating organic, local, and healthier doesn't have to blow the food budget.
-Growing our own food is a better use of our finances, and the earth (no gas to drive to store to buy, just walk to your yard. As an added bonus gardening is great exercise.)
-Making our own cleaners is better for our bodies, our finances, and the earth.
-Eating organic and locally grown food is better for the environment (I am certain when God said for us to rule over the animals, it wasn't to abuse them. Free range animals that eat what God intended are better for us to consume anyway.)

That all being said if I spend more time researching natural living than talking with God, praying, and reading the Bible than natural living is an idol (and I am guilty of this.)

If I yell at my kids while doing above mentioned research (again I have done this) than it is an idol.

If I have an argument at Thanksgiving table with cousin over white bread verses wheat, maybe it is an idol (yes, this happened yesterday.)

My natural living should not be a stumbling block to sharing Christ. Or send a bad testimony of me (I don't want people to think I am judging them, because then they certainly will not want to talk with me about Christ.)

On the flip side God has been revealing how He wants me to live, and since I am the mom to two boys this also includes how they should live until they are old enough to live on their own. And my ultimate goal is to do His will for my life and share His good news. I have to find a better balance to do so, but I believe that for my life more natural living is a part of that.

On a side note my definition of natural living includes family as #2 priority (under God.) This means lots of time spent with family, and teaching my children to value family as well. This goes against what many believe (many feel they should be with peers and kids own age all day, as in school; and that time with friends should come first, especially at Jason's age.) This may be right for some kids and families, but for ours I feel they are right where they should be at home. And I believe this is God's will for our lives right now. (Next year I may feel He calls me to put them back in school.) I want to be doing what He wants, even when it is not what I want or what the world says is right.

Any thoughts?


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Contact Me

The best way to contact me is to email at:
coachbeckyjoyce@gmail.com or leave a comment on my latest post. Thanks!

Some of my blessings

Our home:


Mom & Scott (stepfather)

Jason age 17
Jay (hubby)
Josh age 12
Jonah age 19 months


Lady, our dog





White House

Parenting is heart work

Joshua has a problem with hitting. He especially likes to put his hands on his brother. I realize that all too often I just say stop doing that with no real consequence. Well lately Jason is feeling quit abused by this.

Tonight the boys have their cousin's over. Josh put his hands on Jason upstairs. I put him in time and out and he apologized to his brother.
About 15 min. late Josh kicked Jason. Again he went in time out and Jason gave him mercy and let him out after Josh once again apologized. I told Josh that next time he hurt or tried to hurt someone he was going to bed until tomorrow.

Of course it happened again and he pushed Jason. So I had to stay true to my word. He is now in bed (in my room, since kids are playing upstairs.) As I type this he is crying. My heart aches. I want to let him out, I want him to be happy. But I know that that will not help him to be the man God someday wants him to be.

Parenting is hard work, but more so it is heart work.

We have to, in love, show them boundaries and consequences every time they cross those boundaries.

I have to admit I don't have healthy boundaries myself. This make it harder to show my kids them and then follow through on consequences when they cross the line.

I mean they get confused if Tuesday they hit and nothing happens, but Wed. they are given a consequence for the same offense. They will only really learn if the lines are clear daily and so are the consequences.

We have the if then and blessing charts by Doorpost and these are wonderful, so kids know what to expect when they don't do the right thing and what is right and wrong. It is all on the charts. They are very helpful.

But still I NEED to be more consistent! I also need to set healthy boundaries for myself.

The more I parent (I have almost been at this 13 years,) the more I realize that to be a good parent I need to seek God in all I do, and I need to be a more healthy, complete person.
I mean healthy, in my walk with God, healthier in the physical sense of exercise and food, healthy in relationships with family and friends, and healthy in my view of myself.

Honestly, sometimes I don't want to work on myself, but I realize my kids need to be healthier and they are learning from me. Laziness and parenting do not go together. (Don't get me wrong lazy days are great, I mean lazy in when they are fighting I just sit there and say, "stop" without actually doing anything, which by the way I have done.)

I had no idea at 18 what I was getting into being a mom. I thought is was all lovely and sunshine and joy (and at times it is,) but it is work. Hard work and heart work on my part and theirs.

I do wish I was healthier than so my kids didn't have to go through this process with me and I could be healthier now. Yet I am grateful that I am working on it now and not after I am done raising my boys.

And I am so grateful to have these two boys in my life and to be their mom.


Our Christmas traditions

I will start this post by saying I love presents. One of my love languages is gifts. Buying me a gift or writing me a note makes me feel loved. (The value of the gift is not important, if you remember my fav. toothpaste is Tom's of Maine Spearmint and buy me a tube, I feel loved because you remember that I hate Peppermint.)

Growing up our Christmas's were great. I had my family, and great food, and lots of gifts. We all took turns opening the gifts so that we all got to see what each other got. The memories of Christmas mornings are very dear to me. Of course I can barely remember what gifts I got but can recall the sitting around the living room, throwing wrapping paper at each other, mom's new slippers, and yummy brunch with all the cousins, grandma, and aunts and uncle. I can smell the pork roll and cinnamon rolls as I type.

Although I greatly value the memories I have of Christmas's growing up. I have not recreated the exact ones for my boys.

I try to make Christmas last the entire season, not just on Christmas day.

We start getting in the holiday season by making shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child (these are made in Nov.)

We spend all of Dec. trying to give to other's. Usually we adopt a family and buy items from that families wish list. Also I encourage my boys to save allowance to buy gifts for friends, and each other.

We usually put our tree up after Jason's birthday (Dec. 10th.) We put it up as a family.

Each day in Dec. we read a Christmas book (I have a nice collection from getting a few here and there over the years.) We also love watching Christmas movies as a family.

Christmas Eve we got to church (it is a candlelight service.)

Christmas morning my boys get three gifts each from me (just as Jesus got three gifts.) Even though Santa is not a huge part of our holiday they usually will get a gift from Santa. (because Santa loves God and brings gifts to share God's love.)

We usually spend the rest of the day with family.

I am enjoying these adult Christmas memories as well. I hope my children will recall them as fondly as I recall my childhood Christmas memories.

What are some of your family traditions?


What will you give?

After posting my selfish post about what I want for Christmas I wanted to post to encourage others to do something for someone in need this Christmas.

We have already:
-Sent money so each of our sponsor children through Compassion can have a gift
-Helped our church make up 40 shoeboxes for Operation Christmas child

We are going to:
-chip in with another family to buy gifts for two local families that can not afford gifts this year
-make cookies for our neighbors
-buy diapers to donate to Solutions, our local Christ based pregnancy center

So many people, organizations, churches, neighbors, and more are in need. The possibilities of what you can do to lift someones spirits are endless.

What are some ideas your family is doing this holiday season to help those in need?


I'm Dreaming

My Christmas wish list:

Whole Foods Gift Card

Good Hand Grain Grinder

Vitamix blender

dustbuster that stays plugged in while using (our broke and it was a great one-the shark stick vac)

Where do I go?

Since posting about my no drive days I thought I would post about where we go.

Wed. 3-5 homeschool co-op / 6-8 church
Thur. 3 occasionally babysit
Fri. 12-1 doctor appointment / 3-5 homeschool co-op / 7 work at Temple
Sat. errands / 4 babysit
Sun. 9-12 Sunday school and church

Either Mon. or Tues is our library day or no drive day (we alternate.)

In addition we visit Jason's great grandfather at least once a week and I try to visit my grandmother as well once a week (usually Fri. in am.)

I need to add in 3-5 cleaning jobs a week. My goal:
2 jobs Mon. or Tues
1 job Thur.
1 job Sat.

leaving either Mon. or Tues. as a stay home, no drive day

What does your week look like?


No drive days

I read this blog about a family without a car. Although that is not a possibility for me, it did make me want to drive less and be home more. I decided that at least one day a week I would have a no drive day.

The goal:
do not use car
do not go out in anyone else's car (basically stay home, but a walk is ok)

Here is how I have done since starting:

July - 5 no drive days
Aug. - 5 no drive days
Sept. - 4 no drive days
Oct. - 4 no drive days
Nov. - 5 no drive days so far (today being #5)

I like the no drive days. I think my kids enjoy them as well.

How many days a week do you drive?


More finances

So every Nov. bill is now paid! PTL!!!
I even got my Kohl's charge down to $155, which I will pay off at the end of next week.

Now to work on Dec. bills.
And Home Depot ($320) and MasterCard bills ($480.) Hopefully I can pay all Dec. bills and work on Home Depot Charge as well. And not add any new debt for Dec. (this will be the real challenge.)


Friday, November 19, 2010

Selfish post

I am itching to buy some fabric. I actually want to use it to make a few more Christmas gifts, but I can't spend another dime I do not have (see previous post.) I am going to ask for donations of fabric (especially flannel) from anyone who has any (family, friends, etc.) Even old flannel sheets that are stained or ripped will work for my needs.

I am proud of myself as I have resisted going to the fabric store even though I have a coupon.

Just needed to praise myself (plus I am procrastinating washing the dog who likes to roll in yucky stuff.)

Have a great day!


My finances

Just checked all my bank account balances:
ING .91 cents
TD 0.00
Chase 0.00
Wachovia 0.00 (my business account)

However I have paid almost all Nov. bills. I just need to put away $100 for home insurance ($1,200 due Nov. 1, 2011) and $400 for taxes ($1,200 due Feb. 1st, 2011.) I may have to take care of these with my 2010 tax refund.

I also still need to pay boys allowance and get gas, but I will have money to do this by end of next week.

We also have plenty of food, and fall/winter clothes, including coats, boots, hats, gloves, etc.

The dog has food to last until the end of year as well.

I even bought the boys three Christmas gifts each and bought Jason's birthday gifts (he will be 13 on Dec. 10th.)

I also got my mom, stepfather, sister, brother, and nephew a small Christmas gift (some are homemade.)

The bad part is besides my mortgage ($125,000) I did acquire some debt this month:

Kohl's charge $300 (buying above mentioned gifts, and winter coat, and snow pants for Jason.)
MasterCard $500 (more on above gifts)
Home Depot Charge $300 (buying my sister rugs and padding for living room and baby's room, plus a curtain rod, and some paint)

So I am worth -$126,100. Seems weird to type. I plan to have charges paid off asap as I HATE debt.

I have started my own cleaning business with the goal of being able to support all my family needs and pay off above debt.

I also am still doing childcare in other's homes as needed.

In addition I make and sell homemade laundry soap, hand soap, and cleaners. Unfortunately since we left the larger homeschool co-op I lost most of my clients for this and only have one right now.

My final thought on all this is my first as well. It all belongs to God. Every dollar is His. With each dollar He flows into my life I give the FIRST 10% to do His will. It's not my money. I am just managing it for Him. My goal is to advance His kingdom and with debt this gets harder. So I need to pay off that debt asap so I can be free to do His will completely with His money!!!

Any thoughts?


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Kaiden 5 1/2 months old


Matching Spider man pj's (Jason didn't want any, I wonder why?)

How cute am I?

I love my Aunt Becky

Do not take my picture

I have three teeth

Spidey Web action

My medical issues

I asked in my last post for prayer for my medical issues.

I wanted to explain that a bit as to not worry anyone too much.

First, I need to lose weight.

Second, for some reason my body is not functioning right (could be all the extra weight.) My liver has fat deposits in it. My body is not properly digesting my food. I am vitamin deficient (from the food not being digested properly.) I am extremely tired all the time (yes, being up at 1:00am could be the culprit-lol.) My cholesterol is way off. And I get easily irritated and am not much fun to be around at times.

In regards to the weight it seems like it could be so easy to do, but for some reason it is hard for me. Honestly I am lazy. I like to sit around and read a book or watch a movie. Also I am not self motivated. I also need to eat better and in more consistent intervals. Many times I skip breakfast, or another meal. Sometimes I eat too late at night as well. Sometimes I eat really bad stuff (like salt and vinegar chips, even though they burn my tongue, still yum.)

But it all comes down to excuses. I know what is right with eating and exercise:

eat breakfast, lunch, dinner, and 2-3 light snacks daily
eat healthy foods, that are not processed and full of dyes, etc.
do not eat after 7pm
drink 8 glasses water daily
exercise 30 min. daily 5-6 days a week
be asleep by 11pm and up by 8am (to get my body in a good schedule)

This stuff is common sense, so please pray it could be my common sense!!!

Second, I am under a doctor's care regarding liver and digestive issues. I am taking vitamin d and fish oil daily (ok sometimes I forget.) I just got more blood work on Monday. I am seeing a GI doctor later this month.

I want to heal naturally without medicines, and I sure losing weight, eating healthier, and getting on better sleep schedule is the key to many of my problems. So pray that God would help me with the motivation part!


Prayer request

I wanted to ask for prayer for a few things:

-new cleaning business I started (I need more clients)
-calmness in my home
-productivity in my home (especially in regards to boys schoolwork)
-medical issues I am having
-my grandmother in Ohio is in hospital for numerous issues
-my grandmother in Ohio needs to sell her home ASAP to pay for nursing home and hospital bills
-family members seeking work:
brother, Kevin
sister, Samantha
dad's wife, Nola
my biological dad, John



Thursday, November 11, 2010

Cleaning job

I have started a cleaning business, called Green Clean. I provide all the cleaners and they are all non toxic and biodegradable.

I had my second job today. I realize although the more natural cleaners do work they require more elbow grease.
The job today took me two hours, which wasn't too bad. I made $60. (About $10 of that covers supplies.)

My goal is to get 4-5 clients a week.

I am trying this as a business because in 2-3 hours work I can make $60-$75. This way I can still devote most of my time to homeschooling.

The thing is my heart is in childcare, but working 50-60 hours a week I make $100 per child.
I can have about 2 kids in my house, but then we have to be home all week and can't do co-op. That would be about $200 a week working Mon.-Fri. 8:00am-6:00pm.

With cleaning I can work 15 hours a week and make about $300 (5 jobs, 2-3 hours each at $60 a job.) Even with driving time, it is only about 20 hours.

Of course right now I have 1 client, once a month, so I am far from 5 jobs a week.

I have made up some business cards and will start leaving at business's and on community bulletin boards.

Please pray if this is God's will for my life, and if so that I would fill up with clients quickly.


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Orange Cleaner

So simple and easy. Save your orange and lemon peels (I use organic so I know my cleaner has no chemicals), soak in white vinegar for 1 week to 1 month. Remove orange peels (don't forget to compost or put down garbage disposal to freshen room.) Mix half vinegar mixture and half warm water in a spray bottle. I did this and soaked a little over a week. I recommend soaking a bit longer. This stuff smells yummy and works great on my stove top and counters (although I still have a stain it did not get out.)
As a test I bought a bottle of non toxic, biodegradable orange cleaner. This works just as good. Both smell similar as well.

It takes a while to peel all the oranges needed (I used about 15.) But you can add orange peels to a bowl, jar, etc. in fridge for a few days then make cleaner.

Jason and I just peeled more oranges, we made fresh orange juice for breakfast, and I am making another batch of cleaner as well.

I was thinking of sewing some old towels, sheets, etc. into cleaning rags and making this cleaner for friends as a Christmas gift. Is that weird?
I would love that as a gift, but not sure what others think.

Have you made orange cleaner this way? Have another recipe for orange cleaner?



With all the chores my kids do, Jason's room occasionally gets neglected and I have to help him out with it. (It goes something like this, if you don't have that room clean by ____ -insert day, I will clean it, and everything on floor is garbage.)

Today I had to help him out. It looked like a bomb exploded, plus I was out of towels (which he said were not in his room.)

Two and half hours, two bags garbage, and four loads dirty clothes later I am done. Jason's response, "I need to rest, because I am upset you cleaned my room." Actually I think I need to rest. lol.

One thing I will say is the boys rooms are small (about 7'x11'), so they are hard to keep neat and organized. My own room (6' x 10') is messy as well (I am about to tackle it next.)

To help with that I got rid of some toys Jason does not play with and some he does. If they were on floor they went in trash (ok, I kept alot, including all his legos, wii, and dsi stuff.) Then we went through his toys in closet together and he agreed to give away three games, a science kit (that I took for younger kids in co-op), and a bug making kit (that I also will be using with kids at co-op.)

So that made room for all his toys to fit in his closet. I also organized and decluttered his clothes. All his shirts are hanging. His pj's, socks, and underwear have a drawer under the bed. His pants for now are in a pile on the closet floor.

I hope he can keep it this way for awhile.

Now off to straighten my room. And then cook dinner.


Monday, November 8, 2010


My kids have turned the living room into a fort. The started last night and have been tweaking it today. They slept and watched a movie in there already. I love their creativity.


Sunday, November 7, 2010

No Impact Man

Just watched No Impact Man last night.


I believe we should care for the earth because we need to be good stewards of all that belongs to God. I think it was good this family raised awareness that we consume TOO much, by living without much for a year. They only bought local food, rode bikes (they live in NYC), tried to have no garbage at all, lived without power for 6 months, bought nothing (but food) new, did worm composting, and more.

I enjoyed watching their adventure and am even considering reading the book. Living more naturally, and especially frugally certainly appeals to me. So if I can learn something new I am all for it.

One thing that struck me about their experiment is that they obviously made much more money than me so buying healthier food was easier for them. It is very hard on my food budget to eat all organic and local food. I do try and want to do best for my family. But $400 a month for the three of us only goes so far. That is $100 a week, or $13 a day.

I am happy that they can afford such healthy food choices, just pointing out how costly it could be if we all ate local, organic food. Although I agree this would have great environmental impact.

But in regards to my walk with the Lord, although I feel He absolutely wants me to eat better, I am not sure if I am feeling called to eat only local and organic food. I do buy a few things (eggs, milk, bread, and beef) organic. I also buy a few things grown locally (produce.)

Have you seen the movie? Read the book? Any thoughts?


disclaimer: this movie has some curses. Otherwise it would make a great family movie, but for that reason I don't want my kids watching it.

My kid's chores

My kid's do chores every day.

Jason has 12 chores daily. Josh has 7 chores daily. (They are 12 and 7 years old.)

Some of Jason's chores:
feed dog
walk dog
clean up dog poop
make bed
put all dirty clothes in hamper
put away all clean clothes
put away all books
put away all toys
clear bedroom floor
empty garbage in room
dust tv, tv stand, & computer screen with vinegar spray
straighten living room
vacuum living room
take out kitchen garbage and replace bag
wash kitchen table
take out compost
throw in a load of laundry
hang laundry on line
put clothes from washer to dryer
clean out car
empty dishwasher
load dishwasher
dustbust floor
mop floor by back door
take garbage cans to curb Mon. & Thur. night

Some of Josh's chores:
feed dog
take dog out
take out compost
take out garbage and replace bag
make bed
clear floor in room
put dirty clothes in hamper
put toys away
put books away
empty trash in room
empty dishwasher
load dishwasher
wash kitchen table
clean out car
clean bathroom mirror with vinegar
clean bathroom cabinet
clean toilet
clean bathroom floor
feed hermit crab
water hermit crab
dustbust floors

They actually do a really good job at many of their chores. I have had them doing chores since they were very young.
The also are expected to clear own dishes after meals and occasionally my dishes as well. They sometimes cook meals with my help. They also help me do yard work, gardening, and watering plants.
I am trying to train them to be adult men who can take care of themselves and know how to clean. I want them to be a blessing to future roommates and their spouse. Plus I CAN'T do it all. (From above list it may seem I do nothing, lol, that is my goal, but somehow I still have lots of work to do daily.) I need their help. That is our reality.

Do your kids have chores? What are some of their chores (plus their ages?)


Age appropriate chore list

I just found this article here:

Age-Appropriate Chores

Do you know which chores your child can do?

by Sheila Seifert

What chores are important for your children to learn, and what are they capable of doing?

First, recognize the difference between a chore (an ongoing task that benefits the household) and a life skill (an activity that children should know how to do before living on their own, such as managing a checking account). The following list does not include life skills. It is a list of chores.

Second, remember that every child matures at a different pace. Adjust this chart to what you know about your children's skills and talents, and realize that no child should do all of the chores listed below every day.

With those two qualifiers in mind, here are some general guidelines for personal and family chores. This list is only meant as a guide and reflects the types of chores that many children in these age ranges are capable of completing:

Ages 2 and 3
Personal chores

•Assist in making their beds
•Pick up playthings with your supervision
Family chores

•Take their dirty laundry to the laundry basket
•Fill a pet's water and food bowls (with supervision)
•Help a parent clean up spills and dirt

Ages 4 and 5
Note: This age can be trained to use a family chore chart.

Personal chores

•Get dressed with minimal parental help
•Make their bed with minimal parental help
•Bring their things from the car to the house
Family chores

•Set the table with supervision
•Clear the table with supervision
•Help a parent prepare food
•Help a parent carry in the lighter groceries
•Match socks in the laundry
•Answer the phone with parental assistance
•Be responsible for a pet's food and water bowl
•Hang up towels in the bathroom
•Clean floors with a dry mop

Ages 6 and 7
Note: This age can be supervised to use a family chore chart.

Personal chores

•Make their bed every day
•Brush teeth
•Comb hair
•Choose the day's outfit and get dressed
•Write thank you notes with supervision
Family chores

•Be responsible for a pet's food, water and exercise
•Vacuum individual rooms
•Wet mop individual rooms
•Fold laundry with supervision
•Put their laundry in their drawers and closets
•Put away dishes from the dishwasher
•Help prepare food with supervision
•Empty indoor trash cans
•Answer the phone with supervision

Ages 8 to 11
Note: This age benefits from using a family chore chart.

Personal chores

•Take care of personal hygiene
•Keep bedroom clean
•Be responsible for homework
•Be responsible for belongings
•Write thank you notes for gifts
•Wake up using an alarm clock
Family chores

•Wash dishes
•Wash the family car with supervision
•Prepare a few easy meals on their own
•Clean the bathroom with supervision
•Rake leaves
•Learn to use the washer and dryer
•Put all laundry away with supervision
•Take the trash can to the curb for pick up
•Test smoke alarms once a month with supervision
•Screen phone calls using caller ID and answer when appropriate

Ages 12 and 13
Personal chores

•Take care of personal hygiene, belongings and homework
•Write invitations and thank you notes
•Set their alarm clock
•Maintain personal items, such as recharging batteries
•Change bed sheets
•Keep their rooms tidy and do a biannual deep cleaning
Family chores

•Change light bulbs
•Change the vacuum bag
•Dust, vacuum, clean bathrooms and do dishes
•Clean mirrors
•Mow the lawn with supervision
•Baby sit (in most states)
•Prepare an occasional family meal

Ages 14 and 15
Personal chores

•Responsible for all personal chores for ages 12 and 13
•Responsible for library card and books
Family chores

•Do assigned housework without prompting
•Do yard work as needed
•Baby sit
•Prepare food — from making a grocery list and buying the items (with supervision) to serving a meal — occasionally
•Wash windows with supervision

Ages 16 to 18
Personal chores

•Responsible for all personal chores for ages 14 and 15
•Responsible to earn spending money
•Responsible for purchasing their own clothes
•Responsible for maintaining any car they drive (e.g., gas, oil changes, tire pressure, etc.)
Family chores

•Do housework as needed
•Do yard work as needed
•Prepare family meals — from grocery list to serving it — as needed
•Deep cleaning of household appliances
, such as defrosting the freezer, as needed

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Praise the Lord

All Oct. bills are now paid thanks to a donation from my dad. THANKS DAD!

That feels good. I even have my mortgage due Dec. 1st as well. Now to work on the rest of Nov. bills and paying off $200 Kohl's charge by end of month (my goal.)


re-post: My siblings

In case you are confused by my siblings, here is the run down:

Eric is my oldest brother. He was born in 1976, so he would have been 34 this year, but he passed away last June. We have the same mom and dad.

Kevin is my younger brother. He is about to turn 30 in Jan. He lives 10 min. away from me in NJ. We have the same mom and dad.

Lindsey is my youngest sister. She just turned 26. She lives in Georgia. She is married and adopting a 3 year old girl from Russia very soon. We have the same dad, but different moms.

Adam is my baby brother. He was born in 1988, but passed away as an infant. We have the same mom, but different dads.

Samantha is my baby sister. She is 21 years old. She lives very close to me in NJ. She has my new nephew, Kaiden. We have the same mom, but different dads.

Matthew is my baby, baby brother. He lives in Ohio with my dad and his new wife, Nola. Matthew is 2 years old. We have the same dad, but different moms.

I grew up with Eric and Kevin. Then my mom remarried and Adam and Samantha came along. I did not grew up with Lindsey, but have a relationship with her now. I also am trying to have a relationship with Matthew as well.

It gets a bit confusing, but I love having lots of siblings to love!


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

It's the little things

It's the little things that make me happy. Today I melted a candle that I love and made it into a new candle. I can't wait to use it again. All it cost me was a new wick (which I got on clearance.)

I also got a brand new paraffin wax spa set from a thrift shop a few months ago and used it again tonight. It was $10 brand new in the box, it came with wax and bags to wrap after you wax. It is also large enough for feet.

So far it has been used three times. The first time my friend Joanna and I each did both hands and feet. The second time Joanna, my sister, and I all did each hand and feet. Today I used it again, so did my boys and my niece. They were cold after playing in my boys new fort.

A paraffin treatment at a spa or salon is about $25 a person, all the above treatments would have cost about $200 plus tip. I think my $10 purchase was really worth it.

If you have never tried it is so relaxing. Plus your hands and feet are super soft afterwards. You can do without warmer by buying paraffin and heating it in double boiler or even in oven in a glass casserole type dish. Exact directions can be found here. I seriously recommend you do so. Make it a fun girls night in with friends.

It is the little things that bring me such joy!


Make your voice heard

We just voted.
Did you?
No vote is like no say.
This is your government.
Make your voice heard.


One year ago today...

I bought my house. I have been a homeowner for one year. Yippee!

We didn't actually move in until Dec., but the house became mine one year ago!


Oct. bills

I just realized I am $312 short on Oct. bills. I still need to pay:
$115 electric bill
$107 termite bill (I have a contract with them)
$ 50 water bill
$ 50 sewer bill
$ 60 phone/internet

I have $70, but I am still $312 short.

I do have my tax money ($1,200) that is due this week, so that is a praise!

This week I am working Fri. night for $50, and cleaning an apartment for $60. Both these amounts will go towards $312 still due, reducing amount to $202.

The water, sewer, and phone/intenet have not actually even come in mail yet. But the termite and electric are due asap.

I really messed up. Up until Sept. of this year all my bills have been paid up by the end of the month. Last month I went over by 1 week. This month it seems I will go over by 2 weeks. Yikes. This is dangerous.
I need to do whatever I can to get this $202 by the end of this week. Let me see what I can sell around the house.


Unbudgeted for Oct. spending

$13-Petsmart-pet treats
$15-Gamestop new controller for Jason
$10-magnet to hang my fall wreath
$100-payment on Kohl's charge *
$8-baby spoons
$5-A&P non food
$10-mailing baby gift to cousin's new baby
$10-mailing box to my friend
$6-ebay seller fees
$80-Christmas donation to sponsor children
$36-donation of food to needy family
$63-socks for me, boys, and some for Operation Christmas child boxes *
$75-non toxic cleaning supplies (for my new cleaning business) *
$20-Diabetes walk donation
$40-business cards for new cleaning business *
$10-mop and bucket for new cleaning business *
$5-Dunkin Donuts for boys
$5-recycled garbage bags
$32-Babies movie and something else at Target
$105-Great Adventure (food, gas to go, souvenir for Josh and Kaiden)
$60-boys fish oil *
$13-Blockbuster-renting movies
$54-Lady antibiotics *
$33-2007 blog book
$85-holistic dog food, harness, new leash, and breath treats for Lady

$962-I could kick myself

I put a * next to the things that I needed to do ($402), everything else was wants.
It kills me because I am actually $300 short on paying Oct. bills. The money could have come from above wants I spent.

I thought I had a good handle on my money, but clearly I was wrong. I need you to guide me in all my decisions. I need your wisdom. I need your patience. I need more of you in me!

In Jesus Name,

Monday, November 1, 2010

I hate debt

I do hate debt. I think it causes us to be slaves to the future.
I took a Kohl's card for the discount, but now it is maxed out (at $300.) I know that is a small amount, but it starts out this way. I surely could have done without spending that $300. Plus the interest is over 20%. My discount will not even be covered once I add interest. So my goal is to pay this off before the end of the year!

I do have a mortgage, but in theory if I had to I could sell house and pay off mortgage. The stuff bought at Kohl's will be long gone by the time I pay off the bill (if I only pay the minimum.)

What do you feel about debt?


My new financial goals

-make enough money from new cleaning business to live off of
-once I have full income again tithe first 10%, give away another 10%, and save 10%
-save $1,000 emergency fund
-pay off debt ($300 Kohl's charge)
-fund my freedom account ($1,200)
-save 6 months emergency fund ($12,000)
-start saving for retirement ($500,000; currently I have $70)
-pay off mortgage ($125,000)
-save for my kids college

How are your finances doing? Any new goals?