Saturday, April 28, 2012

On a positive note

Tomorrow I am going to Wellness Week. I got a scholarship to go to this awesome event. It is 6 days / 5 nights of Wellness. Spiritual, physical, and emotional health. It is a Christian retreat center. Each day they will have sessions, exercise, healthy meals, and more. Everything is included (except tip and optional spa stuff.)

I am over the moon excited about this.

I also am nervous and a bit stressed trying to get everything ready to go.

I still have to:
wash the dog
completely clean out my car (I am driving it)
pack for me
pack for each child (they are staying at my mom's)
pack dogs stuff
straighten up my house (I don't want to leave any dishes in sink or laundry in wash all week)

I am also watching my almost 2 year old nephew until 6:00 and a friends dog (yes, I am insane.)

I am going to make lunch now and then put Kaiden down for nap. While he naps I will wash dog and clean out car. All else will have to wait until after 6.

I wish I was done with everything so I could spend today focusing on my boys.

Please pray for:

~me to arrive safely in my older, run down car
~me to be able to destress this week
~my mom, who is watching my boys, Kaiden (while my sister is at school and work), and my dog this week
~my boys as they are so used to me being around each day



Money stress again

Not to sound like a broken record (that has been playing for almost 15 years) but I am stressing about money again. Both my checking accounts have a zero balance. My emergency fund was spent this month (it was small.) I am still about $700 short on bills for April. My Sat. job didn't need me at all this month (about $400), one cleaning job cancelled ($50), and a few other things happened.

It is so stressful to live like this. I used my tax refund to play catch up and get repairs on my furnace / ac unit. So as of March 2012 I was caught up on all bills and debt free (except mortgage and $27 I owe Josh's dentist.)

The thing is I work 6 days a week. Mondays I clean a houses. Tues. - Sat. I watch my nephew in my home. Then Sat. night I also have another baby sitting job (but they cancelled me all month.) I can't work any harder or more hours (Sunday is God's day.)

I realize I have to start working smarter. Not sure what that means yet.

I ask for your prayers. I need God's direction for:




Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Kaiden painting

Horseback Riding

Shhhh, do not tell Jason I am posting these, but this is him at his last session of horseback riding. He rides for 8 week sessions, then gets a 2 week break. These sessions go all year. At the end of the summer their is a 4 week break though. This horse's name is Indiana. It was his favorite horse; now he is unsure (Indy got fresh last two lessons.) We are on break right now and will resume the second week of May. These lessons are theraputic and Jason's goals are created by physical and occupational therapist, as well as the horse trainors. I am so inpressed with this program, and so thankful Jason is in it. He has been riding about a year now and he is able to control the horse and ride unassisted by instructors. He can ride on saddle or without (they use a rug type thing, not bareback.) I am so proud of Jason. -Becky

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Happy Earth Day (repost)

Today is Earth Day! I happen to care greatly about the earth because God gave us the earth to live on and care for.

So how can you honor God by caring for the earth? By being a good steward of the earth of course. Here are some tips:

-buy less food (so you don't have so much waste; even better take the next week, do not buy any food and only eat from your pantry, this will allow you to use up all the food in your house, and save the money you would have spent)
-evaluate what is a need, only buy what you need this week (maybe challenge yourself to go a whole month of only needs, how about 6 months? a year?)[just in case you forgot real needs are: food, shelter, clothing, and medical care]
-do not by any gifts this week, if you need a gift make something (do you take great pics, paint well, make jewelry? these make great gifts), regift something, or do something (bake a meal, clean a house, offer your organizational skills, etc)
-make a goal to remove clutter from your house (my goal is 365 items this year given away) if it is trash throw away immediately, if it is give away get out of houses asap (offer on freecycle or facebook or drop off at local thrift shop)
-buy larger portions of products so you don't have so much plastic to dispose of
-wrap food in recycled jars instead of plastic wrap/foil
-use less water (turn water off while brushing teeth, take short showers, run dishwasher and washer with full loads, get a rain barrel to water your garden and yard)

-if you have some receiving blankets that baby has outgrown, sew into a larger blanket or cut up to use as baby wipes, hankies, or cleaning rags; same for old towels, sheets, etc.
-need a pencil holder use an old coffee can (let the kids decorate it first and it is also an art project)
-use the other side of paper before you recycle it
-melt old crayons and pour into chocolate molds (to make shape crayons) or melt old crayons in muffin tins for chunky crayons
-old couch outdated, don't toss it recover the cushions for a new updated look
-use old cereal boxes to organize paper in scrap booking or kids art area (construction paper fits great in each box, so you can sort colors)
-use old food boxes for art projects (you + your kids + internet = great art projects)
-need new frames, take some old ones and spray the frames with spray paint
-save wax from burned down candles and melt down to make new candles (I found wicks on clearance, bonus)
-save plastic netting veggies and fruits come in, scrunch them up (with a rubber band or any way you think is good) and use to scrub dirty dishes
-start seeds in egg cartons (get the cardboard ones)

-take the time sort your glass, cans, paper, plastic, cardboard, etc
-get a can for outside so you have a separate place for the items you separated
-find out what night to put your recyclables out and what you can put out, add to calendar so you don't forget
-if your neighborhood does not recycle, find out why and encourage them to start
-if you can't get recyclables picked up at your home find out where you can drop them off
-buy recycled toilet paper (Seventh Generation is a great brand)
-buy recycled paper
-buy products that are made from other recycled products
-buy recycled batteries
-find out where you can drop off batteries and do so

What can you add?


Saturday, April 21, 2012

Just what we needed

Today we stayed home all day. We did some schoolwork (we homeschool), some chores, and some nothing. My youngest had lots of fun playing outside as well. I also made dinner for tonight (veggie stiry fry over organic brown rice) and Monday night too, and extra brown rice for week. After dinner we will do more schoolwork (my oldest is behind due to refusing to do stuff this week, so this is his consequence- why does it have to be mine too? lol.) Also going to watch Couragous while we fold laundry. I have not have a stay home, no work (for pay) day in a long time. What a blessing! This is exactly what we needed. (I usually watch my nephew on Saturdays but my sister took off of work today.) Tomorrow is church, family time, and starting seeds (if I can get some soil.) Oh and Once Upon a Time is on again. Yeah! Great day.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Homeschooling update

Last week the boys did standardized tests. We met with other homeschool families and did the tests over 3 days. It was a bit of a challenge to be up and out of the house by 8:15am everyday. We tend to not start our day until about 10am (I get up at 8:30am to walk, Josh comes with me, but Jason stays sleeping.) The boys did great with actually doing the tests, but I will not know the test results until maybe June.

I am not really concerned with the results. I would like to see their strengths and weaknesses, but my overall homeschool goals can't really be measured in test scores.

To recap my homeschool goals:

-my boys hearts towards our family and the Lord (if they do not grow up to have Godly character than all else is worthless)
-teach my boys how to learn (I can't teach them everything, no one school can either)
-that they love to learn, that they are passionate about education
-that reading is a part of their daily lives

Honestly it is a daily struggle to teach them Godly character. We all struggle with this one.
I think at this point they both know how to learn, and enjoy learning most of the time (no they don't enjoy everything, but especially enjoy it when they are looking up topics they are interested in.)
Fortunately, we all enjoy reading so some of that gets done daily.

We also have been to the Franklin Institute in Philly, PA six times since Sept. These have been very fun, educational field trips. We also went to the Natural Science Museum in Philly, PA. We got to see and hear about real dinosaurs bones (the ones displayed in museums are castings.) The bones we saw are from a new dinosaur not even named yet.
This month we are going to the Natural History Museum in New York City.
I love field trips, as do the boys. They get to socialize with other homeschoolers (we do most trips with other homeschooling families.) They get to see some of the things we are learning about (like the mummy exhibit we saw while studying mummies in history.) And they get to learn about things that spark interest in them.

We also spend time outside daily, do physical stuff (the boys are jumping on the trampoline as I type this) and enjoying / learning about nature. Yesterday at Jason's horseback riding Josh, Kaiden, & I sat in the clover and grass. We were relaxing, enjoying time together, and examining the rocks and clover. We even searched in vain for a four leaf clover. Being close to the bay we frequently walk down to it to examine tides (which we learned this year are controlled by the moon,) check out the wildlife (seagulls will steal any and all food you leave out,) and check water temperatures in all seasons (even though we had a mild winter that bay water was still really cold.)

I still feel incredible blessed that God has called me to homeschool. Better actually get back to doing it instead of writing about it. Lol.


Monday, April 9, 2012


Last Christmas my mom got me an awesome bike. I have not used it much, but want to start. So for Easter my mom got me a comfy bike seat. I also paid this guy in town $20 to check all our bikes (3 total) and get them ready to go (fill tires, check brakes, etc.) So all our bikes are good to go.

My body, not so much. So I am going to ride for 2 min. each day this week, and increase my minutes each week. I know that seems ridiculous, but that is where I am at with it, so I have to start small.

I will make exercise (beyond walking) part of my daily life. I will.


Groupon again

Through Groupon and my insurance very limited eye coverage I was able to get yearly eye exam, contact eye exam, and a 9 month supply of contacts for $89.00. Yeah!

By the end of April I should be covered for all doctors for another year (unless I get sick.)

Praise God for that!!!


Debt update

My new debt:
$27.00 owe dentist
$200.00 owe dad
$114,000.00 mortgage

Plus I have emergency fund:

This is progress. I should have dentist paid off by the end of April.

My dad is fine whenever I pay him back, so will try and do $50 a month for May, June, July, & August. To be debt free (except my mortgage by the end of the summer.) This will make me very happy.

How are your finances?