Thursday, June 30, 2011

June Unbudgeted Expenses

$133 ticket for talking on cell while driving
$ 53 homeschool Convention Fee
$ 18 McDonalds (so against my food rules)
$ 12 donation
$ 20 adoption donation
$ 28 Michael's for crafts
$ 17 pictures developed
$122 homeschool supplies
$ 11 Blockbuster
$ 29 Dominoes (ewww!!!)
$ 55 Target (gift)
$ 60 Kohl's charge payment
$ 15 Great Adventure misc.
$ 22 Jason bought a game
$ 33 KFC

$628 total -yikes!!!

This would be ok, if I had an emergency fund (I don't anymore), no debt, and had paid all regular June bills (I would have but the $125 due to sewer bill ended up going to pay unexpected cell phone ticket.)

Thank God for a fresh start each day!


June Bills and debt

All June bills are paid, except the sewer bill due July 1st. It is $125. I will pay it next week.

I still have debt., but was able to make minimum payments (or higher) this month. This is what I still owe and need:

$1,200 by Nov. 1st for home insurance
$ 217 owe Josh's dentist
$ 730 owe credit card (even though I paid on it, interest is really high, need to pay this off asap.)

How is your monthly budget?


7th book read this summer

Last night I read the third book in The Blessings series Something Old, Something New by Beverly Jenkins. It was my least favorite book in the series. The books characters were engaged in premarital activities; and the story lines were resolved so easily (this book is about parents raising foster kids, and in a few instances the kids just magically let go off all their issues. It was too fairytalish.) I do not recomend this book and will likely not read anymore in her series.


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Mount Laundry

For the past two weeks I have been moving mount clean laundry around, we finally folded and put it all away tonight. Nine loads of laundry. Yikes! (The kids did help fold and put away.)

I have another load in washer and dryer (clothesline is broken) and three more in dirty hamper.

How do we have so many loads of laundry (and that is not all, I would say six more with all sheets and bedding.) That adds up to TWENTY loads of laundry for three people. (Actually nineteen, because one load was Kaiden's.)

two loads sheets and blankets
two loads clothes

two load sheets and blankets
two loads clothes

three loads clothes (not that I have more, mine are bigger)
two loads sheets
two loads comforters

one load towels
one load cloth napkins, and cloth paper towel replacements

We do about six-seven loads of laundry a week. One for each of us (three), one towels, one cloth, and some body's sheets and blankets.

What is your laundry situation?


Cell phone trouble

My cell phone is not working. Sorry for any inconvenience if you are trying to reach me.


Sunday, June 26, 2011

Declutter update

My goal is to declutter 365 items from my home in 2011. My rules, by declutter I mean give away or donate, not throw away or sell. Also it doesn't count on items I bring in in 2011 (i.e. I bought Kaiden crocs, but he has already outgrown them so I gave them away.)

I have decluttered 260 items so far based on those criteria. Only 105 more to go.

The difficulty I am finding is that I keep bringing in more stuff (for daycare, next year homeschool, donations to me, etc.) So Even though I have decluttered about 260 items, I have brought in about half of that, so it is counter productive to my goal of having less.

I don't want to make excuses, but with all the "hats" my home wears (our home, our school, and a daycare for kids ages 1-6) I do need stuff. We need the regular home stuff, plus books and school supplies, and I need baby stuff and toys, as well as toys and activities for the older daycare kids.

But it is frustrating because I want less clutter and less stuff, not more.

Even though I haven't added to my declutter total, I wanted to give an update.


Exhausted, but still so blessed

I am exhausted from waking up at 6:30am everyday this week. I did get to sleep in yesterday, so that was a blessing.

I have had daycare kids arrive about 7:30am everyday this week. One leaves about 5:00pm, one at 5:30pm, and Tues., Wed., & Thur. Kaiden is here until 9:30pm. So these are long days.

Mon. we went to horse farm
Tues. art class with homeschool co-op
Wed. water play in yard
Thur. we went to Six Flags Great Adventure all day
Fri. movie morning, another art class with homeschool co-op

In addition everyday (except Great Adventure days) we do:
breakfast, lunch, dinner, and 3 snacks (am, afternoon, and pm) Kids are involved in prep, and clean up of meals. And we all sit together at table to eat (except some snacks are eaten in yard, or in living room.)
-school time (my boys still have schoolwork, and I also do lessons )
-structured play
-free play
-outside play
-read aloud time (I read the Bible to the kids, and then they each choose a book.)

Every week we also do:
-trips (this week we did horse farm, and Great Adventure)
-science experiments
-art (we did this multiple times this week)
-cooking (this week we made pancakes from scratch)

I love doing all this fun stuff with the kids and having a schedule. Plus this stuff is great for Josh, who is only two years older than the two older daycare kids, so he gets to be helper, but still enjoys playing with them and doing all the activities. Jason can be bored, but he has so much schoolwork to do, until he catches up he is not allowed to play with friends during week anyway. (I know I am SO mean.)(By the way it is his fault he is behind, some stuff he told me he did, and some stuff he was too distracted to do. So this is his consequence.)

I did work at temple Fri. night, but was cancelled from Sat. night job so at least I got off Mon. & Sat. night this week. And all day today. I am going to clean the house and have a barbecue with my mom, stepfather, sister, nephew, and Grandmother. I am making chicken on grill and iced tea. Mom is bringing side, and Sam is bringing dessert. I love spending time with my family.

Even though I am exhausted it was a good week. I am thankful to God for the work


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

First day of summer camp

Yesterday was my first day of watching children in my home all summer. My day started at 6:30am when I woke up. My first child arrived at 7:30am. My last child left at 5:30 (not as bad as today, I will have kids until 9:30pm.)

Overall it was a good day. We made pancakes from scratch for breakfast. We played outside (three times.) We did schoolwork (except Jason who said he fell asleep, all day?) We did a science experiment. We went to the horse farm for a barn tour. We had reading time. We had rest time (the kids, not me, I wish.) We had a pillow fight (kid's idea.)

The kids seemed to enjoy themselves. I know Josh had a good day.

The worst part was about 8pm I sat on couch with Josh to watch a movie, and I was out. I slept on the couch until 10:30, then woke up, put the kids to bed, read a few chapters in the book I am reading, and then went to bed.

I need to be able to stay awake from 6:30am to 10:30pm (especially tonight since I have Kaiden until about 9:30.) Hopefully I can fall into a better routine.


Got caught

Sat. around 8am while driving to the homeschool convention I got pulled over for talking on my cell. It is illegal in NJ. I got a $130 ticket.

So stressful, but hopefully now I will learn not to talk while driving.

I have only have had 3 tickets in my life. One for speeding (32mph in a 25mph zone) when I was 19. One for running a yellow light (I know right) about 5 years ago. And this new ticket of talking on my cell while driving.

I do not necessarily agree with this cell phone law, or many of the other laws created by our Government that infringe on my rights, but we are called by God to obey the law of the land, unless they contradict God's law (this one doesn't.)

How is your driving record?


Homeschool convention

The Enoch homeschool convention I attended Fri. and Sat. was really helpful. I did eight 1 hour classes. I was tired, but a good tired. I attended a class on vision, special needs, stress in moms, and more. I bought a few books and am reading two of them right now.

One thing that is so cool is that you are in this huge convention hall with hundreds of homeschool families, and at any point you can strike up a conversation with any of them. Everyone is so friendly.

I have a renewed sense of my homeschooling. I still feel God calling me to homeschool. Lately I have been stressing, about the finances. God used the convention to remind me that He can provide anything He wishes if I am following His will (He can provide anything He wishes at any time, but if He is calling me, He will provide.) He even further convinced me Sunday when the sermon was about when some men were praying for rain, and if they really believed God would provide. My pastor said, pray for rain and carry your umbrella you are so sure He will provide. Not that he answers all prayer with yes, but have confidence in our God.

Right now we are still taking it day by day. We still need to finish this year's homeschooling before we can start next year's. We still need to buy a few things so we can continue. We still need to work on our heart's. Mine the most!

If you homeschool, do you attend any conventions? Do you find them helpful?


Friday, June 17, 2011

It is something

As per my last post I really do need a break. I will not be getting days away from all responsibility, but I will be getting two days without my kids. Tomorrow at 1:00pm I am dropping them off at their grandparents house. Hopefully to pick them back up Sun. at 10:00am to go to church. (Not a full 48 hours, but I will take what I can.)

Friday (3:00pm-6:00pm) and Saturday (9:00am-4:00pm) I will be attending our local homeschool convention.
Then Friday night 7:00pm-11:00pm I will have work. And Saturday 5:00pm-10:00pm work again.
I will be busy and still have work, house, and dog stuff to deal with, but I will get a break from being a mom. It is something. Better than all the above and the kids.

What are your weekend plans?


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Gimme a Break

Seriously right now I need a break!!!

A break from noise.

A break from any and all responsibility!!!

I tried chocolate, but it wasn't enough. (Gimme a break, break me off a piece of that Kit Kat bar, just not cutting it.)

I need days away from my kids, my house, my dog, my cell phone, maybe even my internet.

A time to just be me (who is that anyway?) A time to be with God and my green smoothies. A time to sleep. A time to read. A time to not have any demands on me at all.

If only next week didn't start my six day, eighty hours a week of working summer schedule.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

This week

I have decided not to go to Ohio for my grandmother's funeral. This week my mind is so wrapped around Eric; plus I don't have the money to go. Also I will lose out on three jobs (cleaning, Temple, and childcare) and if I do not work, I do not get paid. Plus the stress of the 8 hours there and 8 hours back on me and the boys. And I watch my nephew as my sister just started a job, so she can't take off. And Friday and Saturday is an annual Education convention I want to attend, plus need the course hours to maintain my daycare license.

I feel at peace about that decision.

I do not feel at peace about other things. It still sucks that we lost Eric. There has been a ripple effect of depression and bad choices in my family in the past 2 years since Eric's death. For me, my walk with God has suffered. I don't spend any time with Him, I am not drawing on Him. So I am not being filled up. And therefore I can not overflow God's love on anyone.

I was starting to do better, but this month has thrown me back once again. Thinking of the last conversation I had with Eric. The last time I saw him. His death. All the what ifs and regrets. It is so painful.

I need to wake up tomorrow and call on God's name. Pray to Him. Listen to Him. Meditate on His word. I need to be still before Him. I need healing only He can give.

I want to be that person who has so much love to give once more. For my kids, for my family, and for my friends. But I can only be that person by drawing on Him.

Pray that I can start over tomorrow by letting Him fill me. Pray that through Him I can salvage the mess I have made with my kids, my family, and my friends. Pray for peace for me.



Praise God

My child support has seemed to resume, no explanation why four weeks went missing and no lump sum payment to make up for those four weeks, but at least I got a regular bi-weekly payment again.

Praise God!


Missing you

2 years ago today I discovered the horrible news that my brother was gone. My heart is still aching to see him again.


Monday, June 13, 2011


Grandma (died yesterday) and Grandpa (died April 2009)

6th book read so far this summer

A Second Helping by Beverly Lewis

This was the sequel to Bring on the Blessings.

I enjoyed reading this book as well.


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Please Help

Please go read this blog. It is about a single mom who lost her job over a year ago and is living in a trailor (not mobile home, like a trailor for trips) that is falling apart. She needs about $1,200 to get another one (plus other money she does have.) If we all donated $5 (we can all do that, I say that as someone who has no money right now, but I can sacrifice $5) or whatever we can it would help. Let's show this mom that community (even in another state) cares.

Go here to donate.

Friday, June 10, 2011

5 books read so far

I have read 5 books since Memorial Day. My goal is 14 by Labor Day. The books I have read are:

1) Sugar Changed the World by Marc Aronson & Marina Budhos
2) Preparing Sons to Provide for a Single Income Family by Steven maxwell
3) Bring on the Blessings by Beverly Jenkins
4) Chief Cook and Bottle Washer by Rita Hestand
5) Homecoming by Dan Walsh

The first book I got at the library, the second I bought at the homeschool convention last year, the last three I got free on my Kindle.

I am actually on my way to the library now to get the sequel to Bring on the Blessings. Yeah!

What are you reading?


Prima Latina Latin cd

A while ago I mailed one of you some Latin stuff. I found another cd from the Prima Latina book. I want to send it to you, but I need your address again.


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Please Pray

Last month I did not get about $400 in child support. I called my ex and he said he paid it all (it is through probabtion and comes right from his check.) The only way it would not get paid is if he got fired. Please pray that all would resume and I would start getting the proper weekly amount again.



Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Tenth Kingdom

I saw this movie as a mini series on tv years ago. I loved it then and I still do. I bought the dvd set. Every few years I watch the entire movie (it's about 10 hours) over. My kids even enjoy it. We are watching disc one right now.

It is about our world being the 10th kingdom and the other 9 are the ones from Grimm's fairy tales. In the movie humans from our world end up in the other 9 kingdoms.

There is no sex or violence, but a few scary characters (think evil stepmother types.) So I feel it is ok for my boys, but not sure it would be ok with kids under 7, they might be scared.

Check it out at your local library.


3rd summer book read

Last night I stayed up until 3 am finishing this book:

Bring on the Blessings by Beverly Jenkins

It is a good book, I can't wait to read the sequel.


Saturday, June 4, 2011

Finished another book

My goal is to read 14 books from Memorial day to Labor Day. I just finished my second last night,
Preparing Sons to Provide for a Single-Income Family by Steven Maxwell.

This is a really good book. It is mainly written from one father to another, but mom's of sons (especially single mom's like myself) will gain much from it.

We should all desire to serve the Lord with all we have, have one parent stay home with the kids, be debt free, and value family among all else on earth. I know it is not possible in each case (as I am a working mom by necessity) it still is in my opinion something to aspire too. This books shows how to bring up your sons so that they have a similar desire as well as teaching them to be productive from a very young age. Amen to that!


I need some cheap, healthy dinner ideas

I have $350 to spend for food, cleaning stuff, etc. this month. I have broken it down to:

$10 cereal
$10 2 lbs organic butter
$10 2 dz free range organic eggs
$20 4 gallons organic milk
$ 5 baking powder
$45 20 lbs. organic wheat berries
$ 6 4 cans tuna
$ 3 1 jar organic peanut butter
$ 3 1 jar organic preserves
$14 4 lbs boneless chicken breast
$10 tortillas
$10 cheddar
$ 5 parmesan
$30 fruit for each breakfast for 4
$30 veggies for each lunch for 4
$ 8 pizza dough (4)
$ 4 marinara sauce (2 jars)
$ 8 mozzarella
$20 4 lbs ground beef
$ 3 salsa
$ 4 baking soda
$ 5 white vinegar
$20 snacks

So far above list (plus few items I still have left in pantry, fridge, and freezer) will give me 30 days of breakfast for four, 30 lunches for four, some snacks, and 10 dinners for four. The vinegar and baking soda are for cleaning and cooking. I have about $70 left for 15 more dinners for four.

My menu is:

breakfast: (all homemade)
cereal and fruit(5 mornings)
waffles and fruit(10 mornings)(which is 80 homemade waffles)
french toast and fruit(5 mornings)
eggs and toast and fruit(6 mornings)
oatmeal and fruit(4 mornings)

tuna fish sandwiches and veggies (4 afternoons)
pb & jelly sandwhiches and veggies (5 afternoons)
pasta and veggies (2 afternoons)
homemade chicken nuggets and veggies (4 afternoons)
cheese quasadillas with veggies (2 afternoons)
veggie soup with rolls (2 afternoons)
mac and cheese and veggies (1 afternoon)
pierogies and veggies (2 afternoons)
rice and beans (4 afternoons)
homemade pizza (4 afternoons)

dinners: (*will also include a starch and veggie)
tacos (4 nights)
pasta with sauce (4 nights)
whole chicken* (1 night)
steak* (1 night)

I need ideas for 15 more dinners. I was thinking of having a baked potato night and making meatless chili to serve over rice as two more dinners. After that I am stumped.

Can you help me with meals that are about $1 per serving? This $1 has to include main dish, starch, and veggie.

I still want to stick with my food goals:
-5 or more fruits and veggies daily (fresh when possible)
-no white flour or bread (I will be making all bread this month with wheat I grind)
-no artificial colors or flavors (like reds, blues, etc.)
-no high fructose corn syrup
-organic, free range as much as possible (but will not waver on eggs, dairy, or ground beef, prices above reflect these items at organic costs)

Also if you were wondering the meals are for four people because of Jason, Josh, me, and either Kaiden or daycare child (I will have daycare child for breakfast and lunch Mon.-Fri., and Kaiden for dinners Tues.-Sat.)




This above chart is an estimate of what experts recommend for proper sleeping hours. They also recomend a sleep schedule (fall asleep and wake up about same times each night and morning.)

I pretty much have been unable to establish such a sleep schedule. At night I get energy and even if I go to bed lie awake hours before I can fall asleep. But come morning sometimes I can't even get up. And I sure hate too. I love to sleep in. I could sleep until 1:00pm if left undisturbed. Also no matter what time I fall asleep and wake up I almost never wake up refreshed and also dream about napping throughout the day.

What is wrong with me? I guess this is a sin and I need to give this over to God and ask Him to help me go to bed and get up.

Do you have a sleep schedule? Do you get enough sleep for you? What helps you not to fall asleep throughout the day?


Friday, June 3, 2011


My heart is grieving for all those affected by the recent tornadoes. We had one in NJ (very rare) Wed. night. We only got strong winds at our house, as it was not that close to my house. But we were watching so many in other states who lost so much, some even their lives.

One woman was in her house with her family (spouse and two small boys.) Her entire house was lifted and spun around for 15 seconds before being dropped 2 streets over from where they lived. They all survived, but the 18 month old has a skull fracture. How scary! Praise God they survived.

I pray these survivors would turn to God in these troubling times. I pray that they can begin to rebuild their lives. I pray that those who still have can give, and then give some more.

I am praising God tonight for all I have!!!



I love reading. I have a goal to read fourteen books by Labor Day.

I just finished one.
It is called Sugar Changed the World.

It is a history of sugar, and those who made bringing sugar to us (commoners) possible. Mostly it was slave labor, and the life a slave led was terrible. This book, although written to young adults, was very educational and informative for me.

I also am reading with Joshua Spring with the Moody's, which is number 4 in a series for children.

This series is written by a homeschool graduate about a homeschooling family. You can check out all the books here. Joshua really enjoys these books and begs for me to keep reading after each chapter.

I love reading, and am so glad my boys enjoy it too. Jason is known to get lost in a book for a few hours. Joshua has just started reading a few chapter books on his own, but still really enjoys being read to. Joshua also has taken to reading to Kaiden every day. It is really sweet. Kaiden also enjoys being read to and looking at books independently.

I have this theory that if you read to children everyday or at least a few times a week from birth, they will enjoy reading. I actually read a study that just having books in the home will create lifelong readers. One of my homeschool goals is to instill a love for reading in my boys. I also want them to be able to comprehend what they read and be able to discuss it as well. A good thing about this goal is that books can be free (library or getting books from people giving them away) or very inexpensive (used book sales, yard sales, and thrift shops.)

Do you enjoy reading? Do your children? Do you use the library? If yes, how often?


June Budget

10% tithe
$ 38 Compassion for sponsor child
$ 22 offering to local pregnancy center

$400 Mortgage
$450 taxes (due Aug. 1st)
$300 home insurance (due Nov. 1st)
$ 0 electric bill (already paid)
$ 50 gas bill
$ 50 water bill
$125 sewer bill (due July 1st)
$100 car insurance
$120 gas for car
$ 60 Kohl's charge
$ 17 on dental bill
$ 50 car registration due
$ 60 homeschool convention to get in
$400 food

Any extra money I get this month will go on camp supplies for daycare kids (art supplies, snacks, etc.) And if I get some extreme extra money will go with me to homeschool convention for next year school supplies (books needed, etc.)


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Homeschooling Mom Bible Study

I am super excited as starting June 27th for 8 weeks I will be hosting a Bible study for Homeschooling moms at my house. We will be using Homeschooling With a Meek and Quiet Spirit. We also will be creating or tweaking our homeschool visions.

With all the work I will be doing this summer I am glad to have something just for me. I really need to work on my relationship with God as well as my homeschooling vision and goals for the 2011-2012 school year.

I have been homeschooling Jason for three years, and Josh for two. I can't believe it has been that long.

I want to continue homeschooling, but want to be sure that it is God's will and I homeschool for Him each day.

Speaking of homeschooling, Josh and I have some math to do. lol.


p.s. I just found an awesome homeschool site with so much free stuff for homeschooling. Check it out here.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

May bills

I was able to pay most of May bills. I still have to put aside money for my home insurance (which is due Nov. 1st, but I budget $100 a month for it.) Also I am a bit behind on my taxes (which are not actually due until Aug. 1st.)

All other house and car bills are paid for this month.

As far as my debt I paid minimum payments and still owe:
$700 Mastercard
$50 Kohl's
$217 dentist

I just did my budget for next few months and increased monthly amounts for home insurance and taxes so that they will be fully funded when bills are due.

Once those are back on track I will make it my priority to pay off Mastercard, then dentist. Kohl's I will be taking care of this month.

This may take longer than I hope as my child support payments have been missing lately. Oh, what fun.

How is your budget going?


So proud of Josh

Josh got some money in the mail for his birthday today. He spent it on dinner for us at church $10.00 and these items at food store:

3 boxes cereal $4.50 (sale)
1/2 gallon organic fat free milk $3.50
1 gallon Arizona $2.50 (sale)
1 bag apples $4.00
2 organic pears $1.50
2 boxes cheeze its $3.00 (we had a coupon)

This was his idea to spend his money this way.

He is so sweet.

I wouldn't usually get the Arizona, although we LOVE it, it is on the no limit list in our house with the high fructose corn syrup, but since Josh was spending his money and so kindly on everyone in our family I allowed it.

I also am proud that at the store Josh and Jason were really careful to stretch that money. This will give everyone in our house breakfast (cereal w/milk and fruit) and snacks (cheeze its and a piece of fruit) for 4 whole days. We already have items for lunch and tomorrow's dinner (Fri., & Sat. dinners I will be at work, boys with family.) Then Sunday we can go food shopping for real (YEAH!!!!)

My boys are such a blessing to me!!!