Sunday, January 30, 2011

Declutter update

I just decluttered:

2 cookbooks
3 mugs
1 pair shorts
3 books
1 container Pledge
20 kids books
3 Cd's
3 soda can toppers
5 VHS's
1 pack diaper pins
2 never used baby washcloths
1 dog book
7 pieces boys clothes
1 set shower curtain hooks
1 bathroom mat
1 soap dispenser

55 total
71 previous

126 items total removed from my house and hopefully being used by someone else
(some things are in a box in car to be dropped off at thrift shop.)

I also have thrown away at least 15 garbage bags full of junk (besides regular household garbage) since Jan. 1st. This was clothes that were stained, broken stuff, boxes, etc.

So I think my goal of 365 items decluttered is a reasonable goal for 2011.


Friday, January 28, 2011

Self employment stress

Due to snow day I had to cancel 2 jobs on Thur. Losing me $120 in income for Jan. I will make these jobs up, but not until next week, which will be Feb. and have to go to Feb. income.

In addition I was supposed to work babysitting tomorrow night, but they cancelled me (losing another $60.) I hope to be able to make up one of the missed cleaning jobs tomorrow, but not sure if I can.

Being self employed has it's advantages, but when I don't work I don't get paid. So although we enjoyed 3 no drive, snow days this week I do miss not working when it comes to getting paid.

So for this month it seems I will about $300 short on all bills (would have only been $120 if I didn't lose those three jobs.) But $100 is my home insurance which is not due until Nov. 2011 (but I put $100 away each month.)

This is still pretty impressive as I am not at full capacity in my cleaning business.

Occasionally I get stressed and need to give that up to God, but I am still praising Him for all we have and for my self employment work.

How many of you are self employed?


Thursday, January 27, 2011

My new niece

Meet Anna

My sister, Lindsey and her husband, Justin have been waiting since 2009 to bring her home from Russia. She is finally home. She turned 3 in July. She is so cute!

Anna & her mom (my sister), Lindsey

Another snow day

our yard

Jason & Josh in their fort




Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Snow day

Today was a snow day, and because of that also became a no drive day (our second one this week.)

No one actually played in the snow as it was very wet. But we did relax and spend time together.

It is hailing now and tomorrow may be another snow day.

Not sure if I can handle three days in a row of not leaving the house.

But maybe I will finally get the 7 loads of clean laundry folded and put away.

Was today a snow day for you? If yes, what did you do?


Grinding Wheat

Who grinds there own wheat berries to make flour?

Where do you buy?

What do you grind with?

What wheat do you like best and for what (i.e. hard red for bread, etc)?

What cookbooks / websites do you use for recipes using freshly ground flour?

I have been grinding my own wheat for about a year now.

I buy organic wheat berries at Whole foods.

I grind the berries in my magic bullet with the grinder attachment.

Today we ground up about 5 cups red wheat berries.

We made 2 dozen oatmeal cookies, a small chocolate cake, and corn bread.

The cookies are a hit.

The cake is tasty, but crunchy.

The cornbread (to go with tomorrow's lunch) is still cooking.

I need more recipes and also a better grinder. I tried the Norpro hand grinder which had good reviews on Amazon, but it was a flop and I sent it back.

And tips would be greatly appreciated.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011


My nephew, Kaiden is 8 months old today. He was over today after being away for 12 days in Arizona. We missed him so much and we are so glad to have him (and my sister) back.


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Another cleaning job

I got another job, it's an office and they will be using me bimonthly.

I need 16 monthly jobs (about 4 a week.) I now have 5.


Only 11 more jobs to go.

I ordered 1,500 more business cards and some car magnets, so hopefully that will bring more business. I plan to put away card daily and drive around with the magnets on my car (after I clean it.)


2010 taxes

Just got all my self employment paperwork ready to get my 2010 paperwork done. I am praying for a nice refund.


Thursday, January 20, 2011

It's not easy

Strong willed. Spirited. Exuberant. Energetic.

These are some words to describe my children.

I just spent an hour trying to keep Josh in time out for saying a bad word. Which escalated into him hitting me, kicking me, spitting on me, and lots of screaming (and he is 7, not 2.)

Josh likes to get his way and he will stop at almost nothing to get it.

I have to calmly and in love show him who is boss and stick to my word.

Because of the tantrum (which he did finally come down from) he has been sent to bed.

Now I am utterly exhausted. It toke all my strength to calmly put him back in bed each time he got up and make the final call that he was in for the night.

Now both my boys have challenges (Jason has ADHD, learning disabilities, perception and sensory issues; and Josh has been diagnosed with ODD.) In addition they have the environmental factors of no dad in the home and dealing with me (I can get stressed, cranky, impatient, etc. myself.)

So it is very hard to know what issue am I dealing with. When Jason needs a break from schoolwork is it because it is too hard or he just needs a break or is he manipulating me?

No matter what some things are not acceptable no matter what:


But not only do my boys need to answer to me, they need to answer to God. His laws are clear. He does not want us to sin. Yes, He sent Jesus to cover that sin, but that is not an excuse to sin. Once we have accepted Jesus, we need to be more like Christ. The more we obey, the more we grow in Him.

I also need to be setting an example. Which is extremely hard (for me anyway.) Often I sin in my anger. Sometimes I curse or yell, and I certainly disobey God a lot.

But for tonight I kept my cool. As I put Josh back in bed for maybe the 30th time I was just praying for God to help me be calm and help Josh to obey. I was also thanking God for Joshua and for God allowing me to be Josh's mother.

For now Jason is quietly doing school work, and Josh is in bed for the night. I think I will be turning in soon too, after spending some quiet time with God. I need Him to pour His love on me so I can have some to share.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

My brother Kevin is 30

Yesterday my younger brother, Kevin turned 30, um I mean 18 again.

We all (my family and his friends) went out to Joe's Crab Shack last night to celebrate. Even my biological dad came in from Ohio. Then today my dad, Kevin, my boys, and I went out to lunch. Kevin ate an entire 20 ounce hamburger so he got to take his picture with this stuffed hamburger. It was fun. And the burger I had was delicious (I did not attempt the 20 ouncer though.)


decluttering away

I just gave away:

1 devotion book (for boys ages 2-5)
24 all in one size 1 cloth diapers
10 plastic diaper covers for prefold diapers
6 never used diaper pins
6 hand knitted baby washcloths
3 newborn size cloth diapers (the kind that need covers)

This ups my total of items given away in 2011 to 71 items!!!

About 2 years ago my friend was having a baby. I bought her 24 all in one size 1 cloth diapers made by a work at home, Christian, homeschooling mom. I also bought 6 knitted washcloths as well. Well she only ever used about 3 of the diapers. So I bought them back from her so she could get herself another item for baby.
When my sister had her baby I gave them to her, but she only used about 3 (the same three from my friend.)
So I got them back from her.

I could have sold them as new and used cloth diapers, but a close friend is expecting her third baby and wants to try cloth diapering so I gave her everything I had. It blesses me that I was able to bless her.


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Declutter total

I just gave away:

rose room spray
set of postcards
boys size 9 jeans
boys size 9 jeans
boys fleece
parakeet food
stuff for parakeet cage floor
stuff for parakeet to trim their beak
parakeet toy

That puts my total up to 21 items given away in 2011 (it would have been 22, but one item from the other day was never picked up.)

My goal for 2011 is 365 items given away. This does not include stuff I throw away.

My house has way too much stuff, so I need to declutter.


Cleaning business update

I now officially have 3 monthly jobs (jobs that occur once a month.)
Plus last month I did lots of one time jobs.
And I just did another one time job on Tuesday. It was a lot of work as they were going from one rental to another and it took me an hour alone to throw away the junk left behind (but I kept some of it for myself, I got two boxes borax ($8 value), a Topsy Turvy plant hanger, two glass globe plant waterers, a pole for painting, some mugs, a soup bowl, a stainless steel bowl, and some cleaning products; Jason got a mini tv/radio.)

I need about 4 jobs at $60-$75 each a week. So continue to pray for my business to grow.

I spent about $100 buying 1,500 more business cards, and 4 car magnets, so after this weekend (we are going on church youth retreat) I will be spending about an hour a day advertising. I will put cards up in stores, laundry mats, and will be going to apartment complexes and anywhere else I find community bulletin boards.

I put two car magnets on my car (one on each side) and am going to ask my brother and sister to each put one on their car.

Hopefully the magnets will bring some business. I also am going to look into joining the chamber of commerce and putting an ad in the paper.

Do you have any advertising advice?


Monday, January 10, 2011

Check out this awesome blog

This blog is my friend Courtney's blog. We have been friends since high school. She and her husband, Brian are following God while raising 10 great kids. She is featuring other blogs on her blog, so check out her blog to see how you can get your blog featured there.


Sunday, January 9, 2011

If you could use any of these items I will send to you:

-Math grades 5/6 workbook -used with lots of pages left to do

FREE, just want items to get used


Declutter Challenge

I am participating in another blogs declutter challenge for 2011. My goal in the challenge declutter 365 items from my home in 2011. Declutter in this case does not include stuff I throw away as that is trash and should be there anyway. This includes stuff I give away.

One of the ways I give stuff away is through Freecyle.

So far I have given away 13 items:
-set of spoons, forks, & butter knives (counted as 1 item)
-plastic tray for silverware
-grapevine wreath
-Wii baseball bat
-120 halloween treat bags (never used)
-boys size 7 pants
-boys size 8 pants
-boys size 8 dress pants
-Math ages 5-8 workbook (used, but still lots of pages left)

I have these items on Freecycle right now as well:
-Rose The Body Shop room spray
-Set of 8 postcards from National Museum of American History
-Math grade 5/6 workbook (used, but still lots of pages left)
-Pampered Chef promotional materials

If you have never heard of Freecycle, the description of Freecycle is:
"Welcome! The Freecycle Network™ is made up of 4,894 groups with 8,263,622 members around the world. It's a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns. It's all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills. Each local group is moderated by local volunteers (them's good people). Membership is free. To sign up, find your community by entering it into the search box above or by clicking on 'Browse Groups' above the search box. Have fun!"

I have been giving and getting stuff for years. I love it.

Have you heard of Freecycle? Have you given away stuff or received stuff?


Saturday, January 8, 2011

I need more God

I need more God and less eveything else!!!


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Hand Grain Grinder

I finally got my grain grinder in the mail, but it doesn't work really at all.

What a bust!

I did research and it was not even the cheapest.

I need some suggestions for good grain grinders, hand and electric.



Sunday, January 2, 2011

Job I bid for update

They offered me the job but at a lower bid. Not sure what to do. I need a certain amount of money a week. But I only have about 20 hours to work. If I clean 4 houses at 4 hours each, plus work my Sat. night babysitting job I will make enough money. If I take this job I will have to work another two jobs a week. Basically about 26 hours a week to make the same amount of money. This means another day work and another house or two to clean. I am not sure I can handle that with homeschooling and homeschool co-op.

I need to make a decision by tomorrow am, so I am really not sure what to do.

Another thing that concerns me is mixing business with friendship. I have had a problem with this before.

But in the mean time I do not have 4 houses a week to clean and am not sure how long it will take to build up to that.



Saturday, January 1, 2011

Some 2010 financial recap

In 2010:

I tithed (10%) on all my income to my church.

I gave offerings of about 5% of all my income (to sponsor children and local pregnancy center.)

I reduced my mortgage by $4,800, leaving me with a balance of $120,200.

I paid off all other bills (household, etc.) and credit cards, except I owe about $450 on my Mastercard.

I paid with cash for a new roof (thanks to the home buyer's rebate.)

All this was possible because of God!!!


Prayer Request

I put a bid in to clean an indoor mini golf place today. Pray if it is God's will I will get the job. The work would be Sat., Sun., and Mon. about four hours each day. I have to be done by 10am, so will have to arrive there about 6am. If I get this job I will only have to do one other cleaning job a week, and I already have three monthly jobs, so I would only need one more monthly job.

My schedule would like like this:

Sun. 6-10 clean / 10:30-12:30 church
Mon. 6-10 clean / 11-3 homeschooling / library after 3
Tues. no drive day / homeschooling
Wed. 10-2 homeschool / 3-5 homeschool co-op / 6-8 church
Thur. 9-12 clean / 1-4 homeschool
Fri. 11:30-12:30 doctor's / 1-2 visit Pop or Grandmother / 3-5 homeschool co-op
Sat. 6-10 clean / 5-10 babysit

This gives me three days off from work (Tues., Wed., and Fri.)
This gives me one no drive day a week.
This gives me about 16 hours homeschooling (plus the boys get another 4 hours a week at co-op.)
I would be working about 20 hours a week.
I would have Sat. 11-4 free.
I would have Sun. 1-pm free.

I could handle this (I think) (but will not enjoy getting up at 5:30am two-three days a week-lol.)

Dec. no drive days

In Dec. I had 5 no drive days. That makes 4-5 each month since July. My goal is to continue with at least 1 no drive day a week.

That means:
no getting in my car
no getting in any one's car
stay home most of day (walk is ok)

I do this to save gas, to decrease my carbon footprint, and to have one day at home to focus on just homeschooling, house, and relaxing.