Wednesday, March 14, 2012

I Am Spoiled!

Each and every day I am blessed, and yet days like today just make it seem so obvious!  The weather is gorgeous, the spring/winter clothing swap is completed and my house is in relative organization, school is over for the day...It's fantastic!  We have been spending a lot of time outside with equals longer, more peaceful sleep at night for the little ones.  The weather has been mild enough that I have been leaving the back door open and the kids can come and go as they please once school is done.  They are enjoying it immensely (and I am, too!).  I wish I had pictures to show of all the kids in cute little caps when we were going for a walk today-unfortunately, the camera's broken, so pictures will have to wait!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

A New Way of Budgeting

With income the way it is for us right now-with Dan unemployed, but working pat time-we are never sure how much money we will have coming in in a given week.  This will continue even after he is driving dump truck and it has definitely been a learning experience so far!  We have known exactly how much he would bring home every two weeks for years, so this way of operating is completely different!

The question that keeps coming up is how can we budget for expenses for two weeks from now when we don't know how much money we will have in two weeks.  We don't really like the idea of just living week to week without any thought, and it doesn't seem like the wise thing to do.

So, our new plan as of April 1...on the first day of the month, we will deposit the previous month's income.  We can then budget very specifically what we will be able to do in that month as well as pay all bills at the beginning of the month.  We are excited about it because it takes a lot of the guesswork out of it all; but at the same time, it is a little bit scary, because we have never had to make money stretch for longer than two weeks, so we are going to be learning something completely new.  Wish us luck on this new endeavor.

Oh, and beginning in April, I'll be getting back to showing you our grocery shopping!

P.S. Here it is August and I still haven't gotten back to sharing our grocery shopping...hopefully soon!  And we also ended up deciding against doing a month's worth of budgeting at a time.  It just wasn't going to work out for us!

Saturday, March 10, 2012


By the title of my post and the fact that I am 100%, no-ifs-and-or-buts, pro-life, you might think that is where is this is heading.  Not this time.

Yesterday, I was blessed to be able to spend a few hours in town doing some grocery shopping and errands with just baby Emma.  A car with a non-working radio and a sleeping baby will give a person a lot of time to think.  And so my thinking brought me to this question.  Do we value anything?  I mean, material things.

I love to read about history and see how life was the same or different than it is today.  Obviously we have so much to be thankful for.  Our workload at its worst is nothing like what our great-grandmothers faced.  We have all sorts of mechanical servants to do the work for us.  We have easy access to town and all sorts of goods and services.

Bear with me as I take a look at my life and I would encourage you to do the same.  Let's start at the top of the driveway.  Well, there is all of the kids' things first of all.  You see, my children have ample time to play on the swingset, the trampoline, the zipline, ride bikes, etc.  Thay aren't required to work to help pay our living expenses.  And of course, they also have each other because there are no laws limiting how many children can be in this family and there aren't serious diseases surrounding us and taking the lives of our little ones.  Then there are our 3...yes, 3....vehicles.  Oh, they are all old, sure, but they get us from here to there and back again.  One of them is parked in our carport.  The back of the carport is our woodshed, filled with fuel to keep us warm this year and next.  On the other side of the driveway is the garage.  It, too, is full.  Behind it is the shed.  Inside it are extra dressers, chairs, etc.  No, my husband didn't have to spend back-breaking hours to get them or save for months to afford them.  In fact, we value them so little that they aren't even in our home.

Then you can walk in to our home.  There is the play room, where SOME of the toys are kept.  No more saving up for a special toy for us...afterall, we can hit the thrift shops and pick up something for each of the children for a quarter a piece.  Yes, it's convenient, but I have to think we are missing something by opperating this way.  Of course, there is the living room with all of the technological gadgets, a piano, and even a sewing machine.  I guess if I ever had to sew my own clothing, it's there.  For now, it's only for when I get creative in my spare time.  Step through my kitchen loaded with things we were able to purchase on a whim and you will be in our family closet.  It is once again time to switch out winter things for summer and so right now two wardrobes for each of us is filling that space.  But I don't need to limit what I have.  I can pick things up on clearance or second hand for such a small fraction of the retail price that I can have it ALL!  This of course continues in each room in our home.  Do you remember watching Little House on the Prairie?  They valued books.  They were expensive and hard to get and so dearly loved.  Not any more.  I have baskets of books in the kitchen, shelves in my room, they playroom, and boxes of them in storage.

So, I have to ask...Do we value anything?  I am seeing such and entitlement attitude and we are so quick to offer ourselves instant gratification.  I am not saying we should never have anything or that we should make everything ourselves just so we know what it's like.  What I am saying is that we should appreciate things.  Also, if we are going to bring something into our homes, we should value it.  We have enough stuff!