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I think I need a raise

August 1st, 2007 at 08:39 am

I am having a REALLY hard time stretching our budgeted allotment for groceries/Wal-Mart (diapers, all household, etc). Our family of almost 11 budgets $700 per month for these items.

We're a week away from the next paycheck, but the fridge and pantry are rather bare. Plus, almost 7 yr old dd needs shorts.

Is this a "two steps forward and one step back" moment??

Selling Calves

July 31st, 2007 at 09:37 pm

It's calving season again on the farm. Dh starts working 70+ hours per week at this time of the year, instead of the usual 60 hrs. Interesting how we're due with baby right in the middle of this busy time!

Anyway, the farm keeps the heifer calves and we split the bull calves with the other full-time farm worker. Then after a few days to a week we get to sell them at auction. This is usually a good extra income for us, but we're not sure what calves are going for this year.

We shipped our first calf this morning, so I guess we'll find out how much they're selling for when we get the check in tomorrow's mail. How awesome it would be to be able to make some nice headway in paying off our debt! We've also put our 9 yr old dd in charge of morning feedings, so she'll be earning a bit from each sale, too. She's pretty excited to have a source of income. I'll be anxious to send an update tomorrow with the amount of the check!

Rummage Sale - Free Items

July 29th, 2007 at 12:29 am

I'm usually a huge rummage saler, but this year just haven't had time. Also feeling like if we're moving to China, I can't have extra stuff to have to get rid of later.

My 5 yr old dd and I stopped by a rummage sale on Thursday and found some nice stuff. The greatest find for me was a set of 4 Fictional Historical Christian books for $2. I've been told not to underestimate the need for English reading material when moving to a foreign country, so I've been trying to stock up on books that we've never read before.

I also found a couple of bikes (1 for a friend and the other for 9 yr old dd) and paid $15 for the 2 of them. When my dh went to pick them up, the lady gave me another set of books (5 or 6 books) for FREE! What a blessing.

Pregnancy Cravings - and using what you have

July 27th, 2007 at 09:14 am

I really don't get too many pregnancy cravings, usually. Early in this pregnancy I wanted Cheetos all the time! They didn't even have to be name-brand, just cheese puffs was fine. Fortunately, that craving went away several months ago.

Last night I was having a weird night. I didn't want to stay awake, but I didn't feel like going to sleep. I didn't want to lay around, but I also didn't feel up to doing any projects. I also felt like eating something, but nothing sounded good.

Finally after giving it some thought, the only thing that sounded good was a fruit smoothie. Of course it was about 10:30 and everything was closed. I remembered we had frozen strawberries and ice cubes, then also remembered that we had some apple juice in the fridge (juice around here is pretty scarce). My wonderful daughter blended those ingredients up for an awesome smoothie!

And the fact that it cost NOTHING was the best part of all!

Another Paycheck, Another Car Repair - And Life Goes On

July 25th, 2007 at 07:19 am

Paycheck today and I've paid the bills. I was able to put $200 toward debt. I know that seems like a good thing, but when you're trying to pay it all off by the end of the year, it seems that it's just not enough. We also have a car repair coming up on Friday. Why is there *always* something to spend money on?? LOL

OK, enough of the "glass is half empty" mentality!

How is my glass half full?

I have an awesome husband who loves us all so much.

We have healthy, great kids and the newest one is due to make an appearance in the next month.

Dh has a job that pays the bills.

We get to live in a cute farmhouse on 75 acres with a river running alongside the property.

Our extended families are wonderful and not difficult to deal with.

The sun is shining and I am healthy enough to do the work that I need to do each day.

What more can we expect? God is good! And even when things don't seem so peachy, He is still good. It is good to be content.

Waiting For Payday . . . .

July 23rd, 2007 at 09:35 pm

I so hate it that it always comes down to the last few days and the last few dollars. Paycheck comes Wednesday and we have NOTHING until then. I mean, we are almost there and I'm grateful for that, but why are we always just squeaking by?

Is it really that we *need* to spend that much to keep things going or that we spend what we have? That's what I'm trying to figure out.

Had an awesome weekend visiting with various friends and we actually didn't spend much money. Nice feeling!

Surprise Baby Shower

July 21st, 2007 at 05:41 pm

You'd think that with the 9th baby people are sick of giving you gifts. However, my daughter planned a surprise baby shower for me and asked that if people wanted to give a gift, they bring a meal or gift card to a restaurant.

Last night I walked into our renovated barn and saw many good friends (we don't live close to our families) waiting to celebrate the coming of our new baby (due 8/21).

We had such a nice time visiting, but then I was blessed to discover that we had meals in our freezer, gift cards, diapers, wipes, outfits, and more. It makes you feel so loved to be surrounded by friends who have conspired to make baby #9 feel treasured and welcomed already.

Back From Vacation

July 11th, 2007 at 07:02 pm

We had a fabulous time visiting family. I was able to attend 2 class reunions (1 was the class I grew up with from preschool thru 9th grade, the other I went to the last 3 years of school). Was so nice to catch up with everyone. One of the greatest thing was that our 15-pass van got better than expected gas mileage - 14.5 mpg. I was expecting that gas was going to cost $175-200. It was under $150.

My great-gramma was released from the hospital while we were there and we were able to visit with her each day for 3 days. She really is something else! One tough lady.

Glad to be back home and get back on the road of paying off debt. Time to get some things listed on eBay and Craig's List. Had a paycheck today and paid $100 toward medical. Not sure if we can afford to pay toward the credit card or not.

Next week we're getting the air conditioning looked at in the car. One of those wants (not a true need), but would sure appreciate if it was working.

Glad to be back here and look forward to catching with everyone's blogs!

Happy Independence Day!

July 4th, 2007 at 08:16 am

I hope we all truly appreciate the freedoms that we enjoy in our country that many other people in the world do not have.

I also hope that everyone has a great 4th and stays safe!

We're heading out of town for a few days of visiting family and possibly a class reunion for myself (still haven't decided if I'll attend).

I'm hoping we'll spend only gas money and very little else.

Blessings to you all!

Daughter Got a Raise

July 3rd, 2007 at 08:42 pm

Oldest dd has a few different babysitting jobs and does better than if she worked a minimum wage job. She watches an almost 2 yr old 1 full day per week and was just told she was getting a raise from $8 to $9 per hour. Nice!

Her other job is for 3 children two 1/2 days per week. They pay her $13 per hour. Where were these people when I was babysitting??

I'm very happy she's been blessed with these opportunities. Her goal is to save up two airplane tickets worth of money by the end of the year, in case we make the big move to China. That would be about $4,000. She's more than halfway there, so I think she may make it!

Day of our Rummage Sale

June 30th, 2007 at 03:45 am

I was going to sleep until 6 am, but dh got up at 5 am to finish and put out signs. I couldn't sleep anymore, so here I am. It promises to be a perfect day for the sale: sunny, high of 77 degrees. Right now, though, it's a chilly 47. Brrr!

I'm a little nervous, because I'm not perfectly ready: not everything is priced, we have to move everything onto the lawn and set it up, etc. Oh well, we'll just have to see how it goes.

I'm also stressing out about having a good showing. Man, there's so much to worry about, if one let's oneself! LOL

Will update later today as to selling totals.

Getting Ready for the Rummage Sale - OVERWHELMED

June 28th, 2007 at 12:42 pm

We decided on a one-day (Saturday) rummage sale and are having it this week. We must have it so that we can take our trip to see family next week, plus have more to put toward debt (or emergency savings). We're also planning on putting out the signs on the 4th, since our little town has a parade with MANY people that come.

I need to price items. I need to buy soda and water to sell. I need to make signs. I need to weed out more things in the attic. I need to make my lists of what to do Friday, Friday night, Sat AM . . .

So much that I need to do and I'm overwhelmed and tired. ~sigh~ Time to get a diet coke and get motivated. Maybe a little chocolate would be in order, too. Smile

Unexpected Trip - Unexpected Spending

June 27th, 2007 at 09:06 am

I rec'd a phone call early Monday morning that my great-grandmother was possibly dying (chest pains, kidneys failing). I made the decision to take a quick trip to see her, if I could make it in time. Fortunately, she has rallied for the time being and is doing much better.

Anyway, this has caused our finances to take a bit of a hit (could only pay the trip expenses plus $17 toward the credit card this time). Oh well, it's what would have been taken out of an emergency fund, had we had one. I'm just glad that we could pay back the trip expenses and that it didn't set us back any.

So, begs the questions once again: Do we fund an emergency fund or continue to work at the debt? My vote is the debt. What do you think?

I hate going to the dentist

June 21st, 2007 at 06:26 am

But not for the reason you may think. I had to bring 2 daughters to the dentist yesterday for fillings. Frown They have really bad teeth, but we're still going to give a better effort at taking care of our teeth.

Total co-pays were ~$150. Totally wasn't expecting this to come out this month.

Time to go work on pricing for the rummage sale. Now the proceeds will have to go toward debt, trip to see family AND paying off the dentist work. ~sigh~

Our Kids Save Better Than We Do!

June 20th, 2007 at 07:32 am

Not sure how it happened, but our kids are better savers than their parents. I've never been good at saving money. I'm pretty good at buckling down and paying off debt, but not putting money away in a savings. It's like I only respond when I'm under pressure instead of planning ahead. Hubby isn't any better than I am.

Anyway, our oldest 3 have (on their own) saved over $2,000, $10,000 and $4,000, respectively. None of them are 18 yet. They will spend a little, but they have goals and are pretty good at not spending much on extras.

For example, our oldest (daughter) has a goal of having enough money to be able to purchase 2 plane tickets, in the event we do move to China. Our 2nd oldest (son) has been saving since he was 10 for a truck. He is very specific in what he wants in the truck, but is holding off purchasing a vehicle until we see if we're moving overseas or not. He also has an amount in mind that he wants to have added to his savings by the end of the year. Our 3rd oldest (son) doesn't really have a specific use for his money, just knows how much he wants in there by the end of the year.

Again, I don't know where they learned this, because we're terrible savers. Maybe they're learning from our mistakes. I'm just glad that they're doing better than we are!

It really does pay to line-dry clothes . . .

June 14th, 2007 at 12:51 pm

We strung up some clotheslines (tree to tree) last month and have been line-drying everything we possibly can (when it's not raining). You wonder if it really makes a difference, so it was nice to see our latest electric bill.

We usually spend $100-120 per month, year-round on electric (remember: there are 9 of us home 24/7). Our current bill said that our latest month's electric charges were $75!! That was pretty exciting to see.

I really don't have extra time to devote to hanging out clothes, but I'm fortunate that all my girls LOVE to hang out the laundry. We put a few lines down low for the 9 and under crowd and they love it that they have their own lines. I love the lower bills. Smile

FREE Birthday Gifts

June 5th, 2007 at 05:36 pm

Our youngest dd turns 1 yr old next week and I wasn't really planning on getting her much for her birthday. I'm sorry if that seems mean, but they just don't remember at that age!

Anyway, at the end of the Used Book Sale last Friday, there was a lady who was *giving away* her leftover items that didn't sell. Among these items was a table of toys. Among the toys was a Little Tykes xylophone that I'd debated buying earlier in the day and a brand new cow puffalump. This one was really cool because my dh works on a dairy farm.

So, baby girl gets two birthday gifts after all and mom and dad don't spend a penny. It's so fun when stuff like that happens!

It's a Boy!!

May 3rd, 2007 at 08:04 am

Just had to share:

We found out yesterday that our little one due in August is going to be a boy! What makes this so surprising is that our last 5 babies have all been girls. We didn't think that we could do boys anymore! LOL

Now for a boy's name . . . .

Feel free to share!