The Kentucky Wildcats won their 8th NCAA championship last night. w00t!!!!
In other news...
Tax season is almost over. Hooray! I love being a SAH/WAHM (math tutoring) and I'm looking forward to that role again.
The Kentucky Wildcats won their 8th NCAA championship last night. w00t!!!!
We are set to close (selling) on DHs dad's house in two weeks. Today, we caught 5 teenagers at the house. They pretty much suck. The police escorted them to jail.
Thank goodness for insurance. Not sure where this will put us for closing. We have the ins. adjuster coming out to assess the situation, and the realtor's contractor can do the work.
I participated in a televised phone bank last night for tax questions. Although questions varied, I think the number one thing asked was whether Social Security is taxable or not. I think I answered 40 questions in a two-hour event. My left ear is paying the price this morning
I other news - grateful that my Kentucky family was not touched by the terrible storms that blew through their region a few days ago. Though they have a few inches of snow, they're otherwise untouched.
I'm blogging this here because no one in my FaceBook world will care.
WE PAID OFF THE VAN!
It's such a great feeling
We're set to get rid of the rest of our debt by the end of May. Very giddy over here!
Just came home from the farmer's market with 1/2 bushel of sweet Georgia peaches! mmmmm.... About to start making jam and putting it in jars for the winter. Love it!
I want to share this recipe with you. I've made 2 batches for teachers, neighbors, and friends for Christmas - it's a hit! I pulled it from The Farmer's Almanac calendar, Faye Burleson's recipe.
2 jars (16 oz) dry roasted peanuts
1 bar German sweet chocolate
1 (12 oz) milk chocolate morsels
1 1/2 bars of almond white chocolate (the entire package and half of another)
Place in crockpot as listed. Cook on low for two hours. Do not open lid - very important. After two hours, stir very well. Place mixture by tablespoons on was paper. Let sit until firm.
Very easy and Yummy! Enjoy and Merry Christmas.
We have MetroPCS cell phone for our business (but not for long), basically because it was a flat-rate, cheap phone service. I thought it would cover the needs of the business, as we're a local lawn service and don't need much.
We can't call a cell phone with a Hawaii area code! MetroPCS says that it is because Hawaii is an international call in their books.
So, the question for me is this: is it typical for Hawaii to be an international call from a cell phone? Also, we need a lot of monthly minutes for the biz cell phone, which is why I was attracted to something like a flat rate. If you have any advice as to who I should look at for cell phone service, I will gladly take it!
School started this week. And, as always, a list of school supplies came home last Friday at the teacher meet-n-greet. On the list, among other things, a 16-count box of crayons.
In case you are out of the elementary school loop, a 24-count box of crayons costs around $0.22 - $0.25, on sale. A 16-count box cost around $1.50 (I know!). So I purchased the 24-count. If it really makes a difference, we can purge the extra 8 and call it a day.
DS's teacher (2nd grade) made it a point to say "I did not want the 24-count box, I asked for the 16". So DS assumes I need to rush right out and get the right count. Um, yeah right!
So... I'm trying to decide how best to handle this. I explained to DS that he has the 16 crayons he needs, and he's fine with that. I'm not sure how to handle the teacher. I don't want to be a thorn in her side, but I wonder if teachers know the price difference or if they don't care. What's the big deal if there's 8 extra crayons?
So help me - what am I missing here? How would you handle this? Would you rush out and buy the 16-count? I can tell you I'm not doing that, but I want the teacher to know I support her and that I'm not trying to run my own agenda. It just doesn't make sense to me.
I thought I'd share this recipe.
~1 pkg Kool-Aid (or store brand version)
~8 Tablespoons sugar
~3/8 teaspoons salt
~1/8 teaspoons salt substitute (example: No-Salt; be sure it contains potassium chloride)
~2 Quarts cold water
Mix everything together and refrigerate.
I have a wonderful day to myself today, thanks to MIL taking the girls and DH and DS at a skateboard campout. Hooray for me! So I drop DHs truck off for a diagnostic. It just needs a tune-up (plugs, wires, air filter, fuel filter, serpentine belt, hose that goes to the pvc valve).
I don't even know why I took it in, because we could do all of that for about $100. I know better.
Work again (afterschool enrichment program at a local middle school).
Remember that we're laid-off right now, and DH is starting a lawn care business. So I've no money to spend on the many fun concoctions I love to do at work with my kids. So I've submitted a list, received approval, for supplies I need. Head Honcho Lady (HHL) promises she'll buy our supplies (does not want me to purchase and then reimburse me for reasons unknown to me - I've already tried that route).
HHL has not delivered. The kids are getting a little tired of empty promises and so am I.
It doesn't stop there, oh no. I'm supposed to be teaching the Home Ec. portion of the enrichment program. So we're into week 5 and I STILL don't have the Home Ec. room at my disposal. HHL has spoken to the principal, who just needs to speak to the Home Ec. teacher. Principal is on-board to let us use it. We (the kids, really) have written a proposal/petition and handed it over to HHL to give to principal (trying to nudge principal and let her know we'll take care of the facility). Went to HHL's office and there the petition sat on her desk. She saw it and quickly moved it, thinking I hadn't seen it yet.
I'm about to pull my hair out! I am running out of ideas on how to work around this problem. Any suggestions?
It is important to me to teach my kids how to save and spend responsibly. Since the lay-off, we suspended allowance. Recently, and of his own accord, DS called his grandparents to ask if he could come over and work for an allowance from them.
Yesterday was his (and oldest DDs) first job. DS worked hard! DD worked a little (apparently we need to work with her more). DS received $15, DD received $5. When asked what he'll do with the money, DS replies "I want to put it in my bank account." My heart skipped a beat!
DS is 6 years old, DD is 5. They're on the right track!
Last night was chaotic. For starters, I did not realize that some of these "middle school" students are 16 - 17 years old! Some have been in middle school for almost 6 years.
Well, those particular kids are the kids the city has placed in this program to keep them off the streets. The problem is that too many other kids want to be as cool as them, so they mimic all their bad behaviors. The program director's hands are tied because she can't kick them out collectively (though she plans to eliminate a few).
I'm sad and angry. Sad because they will continue to fall through the cracks and likely end-up in prison. Angry because these kids act bad and really disrupt everything! But what do you do? Tainting those kids who have a greater hope is certainly something you want to avoid.
My new job is working in an afterschool program for at-risk students (middle school) that really should not go home for one reason or another (no one there, so they'll run the streets, etc.).
There are some kids with behavioral problems (disrespect, for one). The administrators DO NOT tolerate it, and kick the kids out if they don't comply. Part of me feels sorry for those guys, but there is a waiting list of kids that want to come and the disrespectful kids are ruining the experience for the others. Glad for followed-through rules.
I've been assigned to the 8th graders who are failing. But I also worked with 6th graders last night. Some of those guys cannot do the math that my 1st grader can do, much less to grade level. They couldn't do long division, they were counting on their fingers, etc. Some really, really couldn't understand that on a graph your numbers have to be equally spaced in order for the graph to make sense. So if these passing 6th graders are at this level, I shudder to see where the failing 8th graders are. Wow. I hope I can help, but I'm used to private tutoring people who care about their education. This is definitely a shift for me.
What... is the universe out to get us or what? DHs old job is now being advertised! How in the H-e-double hockey sticks can they just ditch what they owe him under the guise of Chapter 11 and then refill the stupid position? Better yet, why do we even care?
We're changing our last name to Bitterman.
...and I'm torn about it, but we've got to eat!
I've applied to be a high school math teacher. The schools open for this position today are two: one down the road and one on the other side of town. The one down the road is not very good, and the one across town I used to substitute for and am not impressed with, either (honestly, there's going to be discipline problems everywhere). So I think I'll take the one down the road (of course, if they want me. That isn't a guarantee, but the odds are good). I love math and love to teach it, but I wonder what % of time I'll be dealing with discipline.
One *HUGE* sigh..... AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
I'll keep you posted. I'm going to miss my own children during the day (
Got 40# of apples for $12, so I made some apple butter and canned it. Yum! I will also be making/canning apple sauce. I tried apple jelly but it just would not set so we're using it as apple syrup for pancakes.
In lieu of our current job situation, I will be making homemade goodies for Christmas. Honestly, I prefer that anyway, as it seems more Christmas-y to me than buying gifts. Though I do like buying gifts, too
Happy Holidays, everyone!!!
I picked about 7 today as well as a few peppers. Weird... it was close to freezing last night.
Google redbox codes (it might be that dot com) and use those codes. They work, just take a few with you in case one doesn't work where you are. One DVD per code. We've rented 3 so far for free.
This is what I netted for $16.62:
(1) Clorox 24 oz
(1) Sparkle window cleaner (on clearance for $1 and it has a $2 MIR!)
(2) Healthy Choice bowls
(4) Cream of Chicken soups (campbells)
(2) Colgate Kid's toothpaste
(1) Children's Tylenol
(1) Sure deodorant
(1) Colgate Kid's Toothbrush
I probably could have done better, but this was my first time and I had a 3 yo, 2 yo, and 1 yo with me. Not too shabby!
I am so proud. My beautiful quarts of boneless, skinless chicken breast (all 14 of them, approx. 28 pounds) make me smile. Rest went in the freezer.
PS - I bought a 40 pound box for $50 ($1.25/pound). Check your area for restaurant suppliers. That's where I got mine.
I walked into Walgreens today only to hear right off the bat how it's all Bush's fault for the economic troubles we face (3 Wags employees standing around talking). Now, I'm not taking a stance on this one - that's not my point.
Here's my point: how many people would rather find someone else to blame for their woes, when they could have really impacted/made better their own lives with a better attitude? Too much time is wasted looking to shed our accountability and blame someone else.
No new interviews yet. DH is still sending out resumes. It's only been a week but it seems like an eternity.
The one interview he did have last week resulted with a call back to the interview guy, who tells DH his computer crashed, but is now fixed, and "please resend your resume". The guy had a copy that DH took to him for the interview. This prospect is not looking so hot, which is depressing. Statistically, I know it takes more than one job interview to land a job. I'm just blah about it today.
He is journaling his contacts and resumes sent for follow-up purposes. The best remedy for the blahs is to be proactive. Again, "keep on truckin'".
I forgot all about what I dislike in this process. Résumé writing, cover letters, references, in this case a detailed project list... lovely.
But this time of reflection gives you the opportunity to look at what you've accomplished. That's nice.
We sent out about 10 résumés today so far. Who knows how many will go out before DH finds a job? Happily, he's willing to change gears for a different career. We hope it will open up more doors.
Contacted the lawyer and he suggested sending a letter to the ex-company for a detailed schedule of when they plan to pay him. Then, within a week if nothing comes back, we contact lawyer back for next step. I'm also ultra-excited about that, in case you couldn't tell ;[
And just like the 70's t-shirt suggests, we'll keep on truckin'.
Wow... I haven't blogged in a long time.
We purchased a new-to-us van. We didn't want to but the old van had an electronic issue that we just could not find (things shorting out, repeatedly killing the battery). Then the transmission went out. We crossed the line of dealing with it and bought a used Toyota. I'm excited and nervous... we haven't had a car payment in almost all of the 8 years we've been married. Not liking that part, but enjoying the non-worry of whether or not I'll get stranded with 4 little kids on the road.
Have been doing minor, minor remodeling. The kitchen has been painted (cabinets included). Parents visit next week so Dad and I will demo a wall and put new countertops on. Possibly new flooring if the discount home improvement store has what I'm looking for (Contractor's Best is usually 1/2 price of the other guys, but it is like Big Lot's in that their inventory is never the same week to week).
Loving the cooler weather! I'm so ready for the fall to get here (not just on the calendar, but tangible fall). Florida usually doesn't see that for a little while longer, but we've been having bouts of cooler weather. Very enjoyable.
Good to blog again
My best friend is moving from FL to OR next week. I am really, really sad. Our kids are close and she is like my sister. But I knew this was coming as her hubby took a job there to be near family and he's already been gone for a month. She has been working diligently on her home to prepare to sell it (did I mention she's here alone, 6 months pregnant with 4 kids?). She's amazing!
Anyway, she's been such a great example to me of how to be a fabulous mom. I know our friendship was divinely created, as she has helped me change into something better. I am really going to miss her.
I was 5% under budget. Not too shabby! I am on a permanent savings spree, so I'll sock that away.
The van. VAN! I think it stands for
V = vehicle
A = always
N = needs something
Okay, that was corny. Anyway, the cooling fan & motor on the radiator needs to be replaced, as well as the fan relay (which also needs a pigtail). I'm just glad to get it fixed. I feel helpless without a vehicle. Makes me realize I need to get over that and figure out how to get around with 4 little kids without my own vehicle.
My dad, a mechanic in a state far, far away, nearly had a heart attack when I told him what and how much. Alas, he doesn't charge enough in his own garage to understand that others charge upwards of $85/hour for labor and mark-up the parts. Funny thing - just after I talked to the shop to okay the repairs, a coupon came in the mail for the shop for $10 off. Better than nothing
I made $97. The leftovers will go to my friend's yard sale in a couple of weeks. The leftovers from that will be donated. Not too shabby. I'm definitely happy with the results.
Everything is ready to go. I can't wait to get this stuff out of here. I hope the Florida rains wait until at least 2pm.
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