Monday, February 28, 2011

I know I am weird

The last post (which I worked on for over an hour) brings me joy. I like budgeting and numbers and knowing where God's money is going. I am proud that I know where almost every dollar God gave me in 2010 went.

I know I am weird, but I love making budgets. Ask my family and friends I make them for them too (even when they don't ask. lol.)


Poverty Guidelines and my 2010 dollars

The 2009 Poverty Guidelines for the
48 Contiguous States and the District of Columbia
Persons in family Poverty guideline
1 $10,830
2 14,570
3 18,310
4 22,050
5 25,790
6 29,530
7 33,270
8 37,010
For families with more than 8 persons, add $3,740 for each additional person.

Last year I made:
$ 7,488 -child support
$18,027 -income after taxes (this includes work income and all gifts)
$ 4,400 -2009 tax refund
$ 8,000-home purchase incentive from government

$37,915 total 2010 income (just over double poverty level for family of 3, this puts things in prospective for me)

Where did that money go:
$ 4,000 tithe 10%
$ 3,000 offering (sponsor child, local pregnancy center, and misc.) 8%

$ 4,000 roof repair 10%
$ 4,800 mortgage 12%
$ 4,400 taxes 12%
$ 450 sewer bill 1%
$ 600 water bill 1%
$ 1,200 gas bill 3%
$ 1,000 electric bill 3%
$ 600 internet and phone 1%
$ 1,200 home insurance bill 3%
$ 100 Termite contract .5%

$ 110 AAA membership .5%
$ 50 car registration .25%
$ 160 4 oil changes .25%
$ 1,100 car insurance 3%
$ 1,600 gas for car 4%

$ 500 Christmas 2%
$ 200 Jason birthday .5%
$ 200 Josh birthday .5%
$ 1,000 homeschool material and HSLD 3%
$ 200 renting movies (and impulse buys while there) .5%
$ 400 take out/fast food 1%
$ 500 clothes 1%
$ 200 shoes ($160 for boys/$40 for me) .5%
$ 5,000 food and cleaning/personal supplies 13%
$ 900 allowance 2%
$ 445 misc. 1%

In 2010 we were never cold, hungry, or without any need. Praise the Lord! We are so blessed.

Where did your 2010 dollars go?


p.s. 46.5% went towards household expenses, way over recommended %. Most budget guidelines say 30-35%.

My voice

For as long as I can remember I liked to write. I have journals full of poetry and thoughts and short stories. I could write pages every day. I used to have something to say. I thought this blog would be like that, and in a way it is, but lately my post have been boring updates or a quick picture here and there.

I have nothing really to say lately. I have lost my voice so to speak.

I could tell you that I just paid $3.60 for 3 lemons at the corner convenience store. That sure shocked me and I know the whole world wants to hear about it (can you sense the sarcasm?)

But as for what I am thinking and feeling and my contributions to this world. I got nothing.

I think I am stuck in survival mode (have been for like 12 years.) We are tremendously blessed and God has provided for all our needs, yet the truth of the matter is we really struggle to get by. And when how you are going to buy food is on your mind, dreams and hopes not so much.

You could argue if I worked full time and had my kids in school all day, maybe things would be better financially. Maybe they would, but when I run the numbers it seems not so much.

The bottom line is my earning potential is about $12 an hour (even less doing childcare.) If I worked Mon. - Fri. 9:15-2:15 (so I would have no childcare costs,) I would make about $300 a week. That is before taxes. Honestly that is about what I make now. Plus I couldn't work on days kids have no school or in summer.

If I worked full time I would need before and/or after care for both kids. Yes, Jason is 13, but with his host of special needs he is not able to stay home alone for longer that about 30 min. if that. So If I worked 40 hours a week, that would be:
- 80 taxes
100 after care (if I worked say 9-5, and needed 2.5 hours care after school each day)
$300 take home a week

Neither of the above scenarios involve what to do in summer.

If I did in home daycare again I could take about 3 kids (that is all my tiny house could handle) at $120 per child, that is $300 a week (after food, toy, and educational supply expenses.)

Eventually I plan on going back to college (I have an AA in Early Education), but right now I feel God wants me home as much as possible. I also feel He wants me to homeschool. In just 5-7 years Jason will be off to college. In 11-13 Joshua. These days go by so fast.

For now I want to get me back. Maybe as a mom that is not a possibility?

I think the real way to do so is more time with God. Being more like Him is what I really want to be.

Plus I think reading helps me to get ideas and grow (I love to read, and have already read at least 4 books since Christmas.)

I would love to take more sewing classes as well (but do not have the time or money right now.)

In addition I wish the kids and I could all learn to play an instrument. I would love to play the guitar. I grapple with offering cleaning/childcare services for lessons, but also do not really have the time. I already work anywhere from 1-6 days a week doing house/office cleaning and childcare.

Another thing I really want to do is decorate my home. A little paint here and there, another couch, some nicer (more my style furniture.)

I get all these ideas in my head and then I can't do anything with them.

Again I am so blessed. I feel blessed. I know how fortunate we are to have a home, running car, food, our health, our family and friends, books, toys, freedom, everything!

I don't want to sound ungrateful. I just want to know who I am, and what my voice is in all the daily blessings and trials that make up this life. I want to feel that my life is more than a daily to do list or monthly budget.


All bills paid

All Feb. bills are paid in full!!!

My credit cards (Kohl's and MasterCard) each have a zero balance!!!

I have money to replace hot water heater and money to pay my life insurance bill due in May!!!

Praise the Lord!!!


Sunday, February 27, 2011


Yuck. Mice.

I was going through each cabinet in my kitchen and trying to declutter 1 item from each section.

When I got to me pot cabinet I found mice droppings. I cleaned them all up and saw where they come up from under cabinet (way too big of an are to plug with steel wool.) So I poured borax in there (it is under where pots are actually kept.) I read this as a tip online once. But tonight (after I poured the borax) I was also reading online how Borax is not safe to use near humans.

So confusing.

Do you use borax? Do you feel it is safe to use around you and your family?


p.s. I have made my homemade laundry soap with borax for like 7 plus years.

Feb. no drive days

In Feb. I did not drive or leave the house in anyone else's car 4 days. It is nice to stay home all day. I was not sure I was going to make 4 as I have been really busy with cleaning jobs, babysitting, doctor's appointments, and doing stuff with family.

My goal for no drive days is 4-8 a month.


No new decluttering

I have not given away anything else since my last post. I have been throwing more stuff away because I hate when someone says they are coming for stuff (through Freecycle) and they don't. Also I have thrown away stuff my boys and I thought useful, but others would not (like boxes, we love to make things out of boxes.)

I also have had people give me clothes, books, and canned goods lately. Most of which I could not use and passed along, but will not count that in my declutter challenge because that defeats the purpose. I am trying to declutter 365 items that were in my home as of Jan. 1st.

When I say declutter I mean useful items that I give away. If it ends up in trash it doesn't count in total.

I may make up a box for the thrift shop as I want to go to thrift shop and try to get an alarm clock, possibly tomorrow.


p.s. I also don't count an item if I replace it (say I have a shirt that is too small, so I give it away and replace it with a shirt that fits, I still have the same number of items in my house, so I do not count the shirt I gave away.)

GoodBelly probiotics

I have been drinking Goodbelly probiotics for over a week now (about 10 days.) I found them at WholeFoods. The taste is good. Joshua is drinking them too.

My digestive issues are not magically healed, but I think I need probiotics long term to mess up some of the damage going on inside of me, but I do recommend them.

Check GoodBelly out on their website.

Here is a coupon for $1 off.

They are also having a 12 day challenge, and if you sign up they email you coupons.

From what I understand probiotics are better when they are refrigerated then in capsule form, so I am trying this brand.


Two hours

How does it take two hours to clean a 7 x 10 room? Joshua and I just cleaned his room from 3-5. We took out a huge contractor bag full of garbage (mostly lego boxes and misc. stuff that was broken or he did not want anymore.)

The weird thing is he had no dirty or clean clothes in his room, except some clean underwear and one clean t-shirt. Huh? Now when I find his clothes, and wash them they will have a place to go.

During that time I also cleaned the upstairs hallway which his and Jason's mess had spilled out to. Mostly Jason's clean clothes and books they didn't feel like putting back on bookshelf in the hallway.

After Christmas (when they both had spotless rooms) they built Joshua's entire room into a fort, hence why it took me so long to clean it today. (Like even the bed and mattress was part of the fort.) Usually Joshua keeps him room very neat, but even he needed help undoing the fort and all the stuff played around it.

I don't think we need huge amounts of space or huge rooms, but I do think it is harder to keep a tiny room clean. And Josh doesn't even have that many toys. All his clothes and toys fit in his small closet (when it is clean.) In his room is a twin bed, and small night stand with a tv on it, and his closet. That is it.

How big are your kids rooms? Do they keep them clean themselves? Do you let them have messy rooms?


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tip from my brother

My brother (who works in the banking industry) recommended that about every 6 months I cancel any debit and credit cards I have and have them reissued with a new number. Since I had fraud that cost me money (still dealing with bills, that no one but me is responsible for. fun.) So I thought that might be a good tip to pass along. This way anyone who had your old number can't use it again.

I just called my credit card company today and had a new card reissued, as well as my personal debit card. I didn't do my business debit as I only opened that account last month for my new cleaning business.

If you have any payments automatically withdrawn, cancel the card shortly after the payment and call them as soon as you get the new card with the new number.

Hopefully this tip will save you fraud or a company using your card at a later date for no reason (both happened to me.)

On the topic of credit cards, only spend what you can pay off each month.

As for debit cards, only use them when you can not use cash (say online.) You will almost always spend more than planned by using them.

Do you have credit cards? Debit cards? Have you ever had fraud or unauthorized charges on your account?


p.s. I do have one credit card. It has no balance.
I have a business debit card linked to my business checking account.
I also have a personal checking account with no debit card linked to it.
I also have a few savings account. One is for my emergency fund. One is for my taxes (I put away each month, but pay quarterly.) One is for my home insurance (it is only due once a year, but I save monthly.)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Lost jobs

I was cancelled from Sat. & tomorrow's babysitting jobs (same family) as the kids have the flu. That is $100 lost. And the family that wanted me to clean their house today ($100) asked me to watch their son instead (I got paid $50.)

So I am out $150 for month. I hope my three cleaning jobs (Thur., Sat., & Mon. do not cancel.)

If they do not cancel, I will still be able to pay most Feb. stuff except:

Solutions offering
boys allowance
sewer bill (but it is not due yet)

Oh the joys of self employment.


Sleep update and today's goals

Last night I was actually asleep by 12am. And today I was up by 8am. I discovered it was snowing again. So weird that just Thur. it was 65 degrees.

Even though I am up my entire body wants to go back to bed. Waiting on water to warm up so I can get in shower, maybe that will help wake me up.

At 11am I am watching a little boy (at my house.) So I will have to be awake for that. lol.

Last night I put oatmeal in my new crockpot ($12 on clearance) and we all had warm oatmeal for breakfast with no effort (my kind of breakfast.) Jason added milk and sugar to his. Josh added peaches.

Next goals for today:

-time with God
-get all Josh's schoolwork done with him
-get Jason's schoolwork done with him (when he gets home from hunting)
-stay awake until bed
-be asleep tonight by 11:30pm
-no yelling all day


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Baking day

I wanted to make some breakfast muffins and snacks for the week. This is what we made (everything made fully from scratch, I even ground my own wheat berries):

a loaf of wheat bread (no picture)
chocolate covered peanut butter balls (no picture)

mini oatmeal muffins

chocolate chip cookies (flipped upside down and loaded with chocolate as per Jason's request)

popcorn balls

hard pretzels (they didn't taste that good, so we dipped them in chocolate to see if we could make them a more edible snack)

corn muffins (half look darker as we added blue dye- natural dye, Josh wanted half to be blue, but it didn't really turn out blue)

my kitchen table full of goodies

of course even after running a full load in my dishwasher my kitchen sink still looks like this:

What did you and your family do today?


Us at the beach Thur.

Thur. it was about 65 degrees here, so we walked down to the beach with my friend Joanna. Kaiden enjoyed playing in the sand. Lady was a bit apprehensive and stayed by me most of the time. Jason enjoyed crawling on the rocks and also was avoiding getting his picture taken. Joshua liked putting his feet in the water and finding rocks and shells.

It was a nice day. Can't wait for it to be that warm every day!


Burt's Bees Giveaway

For those who left comments, emails, and got back to me with home addresses I sent out your free Burt's Bees chapsticks. I am still waiting for addresses from:
Mrs. Money & GAmomdb. Just email them to me at Thanks!


Sleep trouble

Thur, I was up before 8:00am. Then at night I was in bed by 11:30pm (and asleep.)
Fri. I was up by 8:00am, and asleep by 11:30pm as well.
Sat. I was up by 8:30am. But then near bed I had some Arizona iced tea and could not fall asleep until after 3:49am (the last time I checked the clock.)
So this morning I could not get up at all. We missed church again. Joshua even slept in. (Jason slept at his grandparents.)

So I have learned caffeine is really bad for me, especially if I have after 4:00pm. Now I am fearful come bedtime tonight I will not be tired enough to fall asleep. Oh the vicious cycle.

I am upset we missed church, but now we will have a no drive day because we have not had one since Feb. 1st. After my hot water warms up I will take a shower and do some cleaning. Then I want to take the dog for a walk. Hopefully that will help me fall asleep by 11:30 tonight.

Why is this so hard for me?

How is your sleep schedule? Are you a night or morning person?


Friday, February 18, 2011

My handsome Valentines

Happy Belated Valentines Day!
Josh, Kaiden, and Jason

Thursday, February 17, 2011

One day down

I woke up at 8am and spent 35 min. with God (with only 4 interruptions from Josh.) One day down, rest of my life to go.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011


I have a few more childcare jobs lined up this month:

Fri. 18th 8am-4pm (watching friends kids)
Sat. 19th 5:30pm-9:30pm $60
Tues. Feb. 22nd 8am-12pm $60
Fri. Feb. 25th 6pm-10pm (doing this for free as a gift to my Pastor, but I still feel blessed to be able to do so)

Praise God for Him providing all this work for me!!!

As of right now if I do all cleaning jobs and childcare that I am scheduled for, I will be able to pay all Feb. bills in full by Feb. 28th.


Cleaning Business

I have four more cleaning jobs this month:

Mon. 21st $100 (entire house, will take about 4 hours) ($25 an hour)
Thur. 24th $60 (3 bathrooms in a home, takes me about 3 hours) ($20 an hour)
Sat. 26th $60 (office takes me about 3 hours)($20 an hour)

Praise God!!!


Income Taxes

I have already e-filed and received my 2010 Federal and State income tax refunds.

Here is what I did/am doing with my refund:

10 % tithe
$ 100 offering (family gift to sponsor child's family)
$1,000 into emergency fund
$2,310.92 Feb. & May property tax bills
$1,200 March, April, & May mortgage
$ 420 annual life insurance bill

Praise God for this refund (I got earned income credit, child tax credit, head of household, and some work credit.)

It feels so good to have an emergency fund again (I have been living off my old one.)

Did you file yet?
Will you e-file?
Do you expect a refund?
If yes, what are your plans for it?



I will put it out there. I AM LAZY. I like the easy way out. I like lazy days. I like naps and sleeping in. I like not mopping my kitchen floor until it is covered with 3 inches of I don't want to know what. I like reading in bed all day. You get the picture.

And although a little bit of lazy is good for the soul, "But when there's too much of nothing it just makes a fella mean." (Bob Dylan.)

I am at that point!

I need a serious kick in the butt. I need accountability. I need to be productive.

I have 24 hours a day. I should be able to give time to the Lord, get everything done, have some fun time, have some relaxing time, and still get a good night's rest.

So what is wrong. I AM LAZY! I am not giving time to God. My walk with Him is lacking. Also I prefer the relaxing and fun stuff to any actual work.

The first step I need to take is to wake up (at a reasonable hour, like 8) and spend time with the Lord right away. Next I need to add exercise to my day. I have the time, I just don't want to.

I am not pleasing God with my actions. I am not blessing my family with my actions. And I certainly am not doing myself any favors.

Please pray for God to wake me up in am and for me to actually get up. Pray I would give him that first hour of my day. Pray this would happen tomorrow.


p.s. while you are praying, pray my hot water heater stops going out every single night. AHHHHHH!!!!

Too Much of Nothing Bob Dylan
Too much of nothing
Can make a man ill at ease
One man's temper might rise
While another man's temper might freeze
In the day of confession
We cannot mock a soul
Oh, when there's too much of nothing
No one has control.

Say hello to Valerie
Say hello to Vivian
Give them all my salary
On the waters of oblivion.

When there's too much of nothing
It can cause a man to weep
He can walk the streets and boast like
Of what he'd like to keep
But it's all been done before
It's all been written in the book
And where there's too much of nothing
Nobody should look.

Say hello to Valerie
Say hello to Vivian
Give them all my salary
On the waters of oblivion.

And too much of nothing can make a man a liar
It can cause one man to sleep on nails
It can cause others to eat fire
Everybody's doin' somethin'
I heard it in a dream
But when there's too much of nothing
It just makes a fella mean.

Say hello to Valerie
Say hello to Vivian
Give them all my salary
On the waters of oblivion.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

To my followers

If you left a comment on my Burt's Bees post I still need your home address to send you a free chapstick.

I have my mom's, Scott's, and Liv's already, so no need to resend.



Monday, February 14, 2011


I need to take probiotics. I want to find some really good brand. Do you take? If so what do you take? In my case yogurt alone is not enough, I need more probiotics than that.



Friday, February 11, 2011

Declutter update

Just decluttered:

woman's t-shirt
woman's skirt
woman's hoodie
woman's pants
huge blanket
small blanket

126 previous declutter total

132 items decluttered so far (not thrown away but given away.)


p.s. declutter keeps coming up in spellcheck as not a word, but I am still using it, as it is what I am doing

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Hot water heater again

It looks like I may need a new hot water heater. (Mine is 7 years old and I wake up almost daily with it being out, and now even when it is lit the water is not very warm.) Scott has looked at it numerous times and cleaned it as well. He is coming to look at it again tomorrow, but it seems it may be needing to be replaced.

Please pray as this is not a great time for me to spend money.


Wednesday, February 9, 2011


The boys are playing basketball again this year. The league is called Upward. It is a Christian program. The coaches are all Christians. They pray out loud before each game. It also it about learning, not winning. I love it. The boys seem to enjoy it as well.

Jason (far left)


This is the support my boys get for each game:

Me (I am the one taking the pics.)

Scott, Mom, and Kaiden

Sam and John

Nana (my Grandma, the boys call her Nana) and Uncle Kevin

We are so blessed to have such an amazing family.


Monday, February 7, 2011

I want to know more about my followers

I see I have 33 followers. I want to know more about you. If you leave a comment on this post with more about you and a link to your blog (if you have one), and your email I will email you for your home address and mail you a Burt's Bees chapstick.

Please let me know who you are (maybe about your faith, your family situation, your general age) and why you chose to follow my blog? What sorts of posts would you like to see more of and less of?

It's easy and free for you!


(If you prefer for your email not to be seen on this blog, leave two comments, one about you I can publish, and one with your email that I will not publish. Thanks!)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Feb. bills


10% tithe to church
$ 38 offering to Compassion International (sponsor child)
$ 22 offering to Solutions Pregnancy Center
$ 25 love offering
$100 save (emergency fund)

$400 mortgage
$400 property taxes
$100 home insurance
$100 gas bill
$ 0 electric bill (already paid)
$ 50 water bill
$125 sewer bill
$100 internet
$ 80 allowance
$100 freedom account
$ 90 car insurance
$120 gas for car ($30 a week)
$ 50 debt
$400 food

Jan. unbudgeted for spending

$ 26.13 Kohl's (Biggest Loser game for Wii for me)
$152.33 to Credit Card
$ 36.85 cleaning supplies*
$ 8.40 Which Way USA state kits
$100.00 magnets, and business cards for cleaning business*
$ 23.63 cleaning caddy*
$ 15.00 cleaning supplies*

$362 total

*tax deductible and for cleaning business so not too big of a deal

Jan. bills

Jan. bills are all paid. In addition I have the money to pay my property taxes due Feb. 1st. I am not late, I am still waiting for the town to send me a bill (you can't pay without it and they are always late mailing it out.) I should charge them a late fee. lol.

Praise God.


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Preschool Unit Study on The Solar System

For Sale: $7 plus $3 shipping

This is what I used when I taught the Solar System, but we are done with preschool.

Kit Includes:

-Unit Study Guide for Preschoolers on The Solar System by McGraw-Hill
32 page book full of activities to help your preschoolers understand The Solar System (great for homeschool or a classroom)

-over 300 solar solar system stickers

-book If You Decide to Go to the Moon by Faith McNulty

-book set from Scholastic with great pictures and easy to read words
Shooting Stars
The Sun
The Moon
The Solar System

Leave a comment if interested (include your email address.)