Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Dear School, I Don't Hate You

Dear School, I don't hate you.  I wanted to reassure you of that because we've had some talks lately about my children.  And I feel the extra need to reassure you of that, since I've seen some social media posts that aren't so nice about you lately too.
Rest assured, I understand that my children mess up.  I love all four of them more than life itself!  And I think they are all wonderful people!  But, I'm their mother.  I'm not stupid.  I don't have blinders on.  I know what they try to get away with in this house.  And I don't think for one minute that they walk out this door and turn in to perfect angels.  I don't expect them to be perfect.  I expect them to be children.  Children push limits.  And children mess up; as do adults.
There is this great opportunity right now, when they are children, to teach them how to handle life.  So if they mess up accidentally and you let it slide; I'm ok with that.  I don't want to know every time they don't pay attention or they lag behind walking in line.  Thank you for not calling me for those things!  We are on the same page here!
Beyond mistakes, my kids are going to test the limits of things.  All children at some point are going to test limits of things.  I don't envy you school, I really don't.  Discretion is key here and this is where we talk.  You tell me when my kid crosses the line.  And I expect there to be consequences.  If you didn't give consequences school, well I wouldn't feel the same way about you.  I wouldn't respect you school.  And I wouldn't trust you.  If there weren't consequences for my child; then there wouldn't be consequences for other children.  You'd have chaos.  And I wouldn't feel safe with my children going to a chaotic place where life has no consequences.
I want there to be consequences for my children when they break the rules.  It happens here at home.  And I expect it to happen at school.  Yes, my heart breaks a little when my child comes home from school upset because of a consequence that he/she earned.  But guess what, my heart breaks a little when I'm the one who makes my child upset this way too.  It is a necessary part of life.  There are always consequences in life.  The sooner they learn that, the better.
I remember school, when you made my child call me when my fourth grader stuck a post it note to another child's head.  That was a funny one.  The hubster was sitting next to me at the time and he started laughing.  I smacked him and told him to be quiet as I tried to sound stern on the phone to my child.  After I hung up, I laughed too.  But you found it important enough to have my child call me, so I played along.  I had your back school.  I was happy to learn the rest of the story; that you had threatened that the next child who did something would have to call home.  That day, that was my child.  And as we talked about it school, we laughed together.
When my middle schooler was made to call me because of a missing homework assignment and I thought that call was a bit over-kill.  I still had your back school.  I reminded my child how important it was to turn in homework.  Then you and I talked later school about how you can shoot me an email.  But I don't want daily phone calls if my child is irresponsible with homework.  There is an age where it is their choice . . . to a point.  I don't hound them about homework every night.  But I do reserve the right to step in and make it a bigger problem for said child if this irresponsible behavior becomes a norm.  So we talked school, you and I.  We made an agreement that works.  You tell me when this is a continuing problem, and I'll step in.  Once in a blue moon though, I don't care.
And to me, this is how it should be school.  These growing people are mine and they are learning how to one day be their own.  I trust you with them Monday thru Friday during the day.  And I'll back your decisions because I believe that you have their best interests at heart.  I think we make a good team.  And when I think that team has trouble, we'll talk.  I won't yell at you.  And you won't yell at me.  We'll work it out because our goal together is for these growing people to turn in to amazing adults.
Tonight I am thankful for a good school with caring people.  I don't trust my children to just anyone!  And the only way for this to work well is for us to talk - just like any good team or partnership or whatever you want to call the dynamic that is you and I.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Purpose

The difference between a dreamer and a someone who achieves their dreams is a plan to reach the goals.
I know I'm guilty of stating a dream and then not following thru on it.  Reasons vary of course.  But some things sure sound good, that I want them.  And I say I want them, and that is what I'm going to do . . . but it doesn't always happen.  This was pointed out to me tonight.  Because yes, even in this blog I have stated my dream of working less at different points over the years.  And believe me, that is what I want!!  But it isn't something that I want bad enough to dump the other dreams and goals that hang on me working a lot.  Some day my dream of working less will be achieved.  But here's the thing I know now that I didn't when I first made this goal . . . I know now that I don't want to work less and worry about things.  I know that a step by step plan to reach my dream of working less involves working more right now.  It involves making life secure and stable in areas that will allow me to relax and not worry when I'm not working!
Last year's goal was to make it thru Dave Ramsey's Baby Step #2 . . which we did!  Hooray!  Yes, I'm still celebrating that victory because that was a huge one!  And now my next dream is starting to become more real.  I want to pay off the house!  And I'm looking at numbers and making plans.  Because a dream needs a good plan if it is going to become reality!  This will become our reality!  It's exciting!
And the steps in our plan to reach the goal are becoming exciting!  This year has some specific work goals that involve more work of course.  I read a great article over the weekend.  And of course I have to paraphrase a little because I am a horrible verbatim person.  It went something like: you don't burn out when you have a purpose.  If you are feeling burnt out, then you need to rediscover your purpose.
In my experience, this is true to a point.  I've burnt out before while being on fire and aware of my purpose.  Those instances also include me not taking proper care of myself - which is changing!
Here we are at the end of February and I am still so excited for what this year has in store!  The first two months have already held so much learning of new things and new ideas for me!  I have lots more to go.  And it's exciting!
Tonight I am thankful for the dreams that have plans to become goals.  I am thankful for purpose to drive me to goals.  And I'm even thankful for the dreams that didn't work the way I had hoped for.  I wasn't ready then.  I'm not ready now.  But I will be someday . . and it will be so worth it!

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Two Frustrating Months!

Picture it . . November 19th, 2016, a craft bazaar filled with cute things:  I find some cute items for my Mom for Christmas.  I buy them, bring them home, and pack them away safely.
Fast forward to Christmas Eve.  I've just spent hours and hours working on finishing the quilt for my Grandma.  I've spent so much time that we are already late for Christmas Eve festivities.  I'm feeling bad and guilty for not being ready on time, knowing everyone is waiting on me.  I wrap up the quilt and go to grab the items for my Mom to wrap.  Except, I can't find them.  I start tearing the house apart.  I've got certain areas where I keep Christmas presents and I can't find those items anywhere!  I'm in tears at that point and throwing things everywhere.
Fortunately I had purchased some oil diffuser necklaces at an awesome deal thru Groupon weeks ago.  I pull one of the necklaces out and wrap it quickly while drying my tears.  It isn't what I had picked out for her a month before.  But it would have to do.
I felt horrible.  I felt like I ruined Christmas, which of course I hadn't.  But, I had gotten my mom a diffuser necklace at the craft bazaar and had it filled with wonderful Christmas scented oils!  And I had picked her out a hand crafted wood snowman with the cutest smile that would make her smile.  I knew she would love it!  The other diffuser necklace was good, but it wasn't filled with the Christmas oils and it didn't have a charm.
When we arrived late for Christmas Eve, it was still a wonderful night filled with family, happiness, and love!  My mom loved the diffuser necklace that I had brought.  But I told her that there was more and that I had misplaced it.
Fast forward TWO MONTHS!!  I FINALLY FOUND IT!!  I apparently had been worried about the snowman breaking, so I had packed him in a shoe box.  Then I had put the shoe box inside a tote.  Apparently I had planned to put some Christmas presents in a tote this year.  And then I forgot.
I have seen this tote several times since then.  It is a clear tote.  And I thought one of my children had left shoes in it.  Because of course, I would fill a tote completely and not just leave a shoe box only in a tote, right?  Today I finally went in to see which shoes were in the shoe box and I found the presents!  I have been driving myself crazy for months searching this house and wondering where I could have put those things!!!
Tonight I am thankful for Christmas in February!  Whew!  Finally!  Now I have to find the Valentine's Day card that I bought for the hubster at the beginning of January . . . . I ended up buying him another card on Valentine's Day because I couldn't find the first one I bought.  I may have a problem . . .


Saturday, February 25, 2017

5:20

I didn't really think that I was stressing about today being a full day.  I mean, I didn't even have the ENTIRE day scheduled until I gave in to kiddo shopping requests last night and agreed to take them to the mall this morning.  But for whatever reason, I was wide awake at 5:20 this morning.
Monday thru Friday I had a very hard time dragging myself out of bed.  Like, a team of horses would have been very helpful!  But today, on Saturday, I was up.  It was irritating.
But hey, to make the best of it, I had a few loads of laundry done and some work done while kids were still sleeping.  I did lay back down and take a little nap around 9.  But then it was time to go, go, go.  We did find some accessories for upcoming dances while at the mall.  And some desired Skylander characters were found at Game Stop.  Me?  I bought a fun vacation hat for cheap and I got a big pretzel.  So it was a good trip. :)
We were back home for a moment before two basketball games.  Then back home for a few moments before heading out to watch a Cheer competition with some excited girls!  Here it is a bit after 10 and I going to sleep good tonight!
Tonight I am thankful that I survived today on considerably less sleep than I had planned on!  And I am thankful that I should sleep in tomorrow a bit.  There is nothing to stress about tomorrow.  Only a cookie booth for Girl Scouts.  (P.S.  Does anyone need any cookies?)
Here is me and one of my lovely daughters at the Cheer competition this evening.  See how my eyes are open?  Yep, I was doing good at the staying awake thing.  Yay Me!

Friday, February 24, 2017

Pickle

It should be no surprise by now that I love a good deal!  I even budget in our weekly budget for "Sales".  Some weeks I don't use the money in that category if I don't  find any good deals.
Today I found something worth using my "Sales" budget money for!  It is this fun Go Gator Pickleball game!  75% off its normal price down from $22.99 to only $5.75!  Oh yes, and a two day sale 10% off general merchandise to save another $0.57.  So actually the total was $5.18.
The game is currently set up in my living room :)  Please excuse the floor in the photo, I have swept today.  We had a bit of fun with it tonight!  I will admit, I probably shouldn't play it in the house.  I bounced the ball off the ceiling twice and almost hit my own child.  Luckily no one was injured!
Tonight I am thankful for a good savings on a fun new family game!  We'll have fun this summer outdoors with this for sure!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Last Minute

We had a t-shirt business, Summer Dreams, running pretty well for awhile.  This business came to life when the hubster's job had changed rather suddenly.  It was nice to have the extra income coming in.
Last February the hubster started a different job; where he works regular overtime.  There wasn't a lot of time left over for t-shirts.  So we decided to shut down most of Summer Dreams.  The business is still operational for our needs.  And, we figured maybe the kids might want to do something with it one day.
In the meantime, Summer Dreams is a very handy supplier of items for DCAA Cheer.  Take for instance our Tumbling Clinic with the Varsity Cheerleaders (tomorrow after school from 3-5, message me for details!) in which we are providing a free t-shirt.  Well, it is nice to know that I don't have to place an order someplace weeks in advance!  Nope, I picked up shirts today . . . the post-it note on my desk from last week to order them online did not work out so well for me . . .  Anyway, I picked up the shirts today, and we are putting the shirts together right now, when we'd both rather be sleeping!
Tonight I am thankful for our t-shirt endeavours in this house!  It was fun while it lasted.  And now it is great for us on a whole other level!  And I am thankful for the hubster staying up making t-shirts for little girls he will possibly never meet; all to save his wife's behind!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Robbers

Up until maybe two years ago now, I had never heard of Thieves oil.  I hate regrets, but oh man this oil could have saved my house so many times when the flu was passed slowly from person to person!
If you look online, there are a few different versions of the story.  My summary for you tonight is like this:  during the time of the Bubonic plague there were robbers who were stealing from graves of people who had died from the plague.  When the thieves were caught, the king had them questioned as to how they had not caught the plague and died themselves when they were stealing.  They answered with this oil blend that they covered themselves in, that kept the bad germs from getting to them.  Pretty impressive stuff, eh?
So here in my house we love thieves!  It is now our household cleaner, dental floss, and regular ole' oil.  Two different times this winter I have had a child bring home the flu from school.  I put them on the couch with a puke bowl and set up the thieves oil diffusing next to them.  Both times now the child seems to get better a little faster.  But more impressively, no one else gets it!  Hooray!!
Peppermint is my second favorite oil for all it does with cold stuffiness.
Today I sent my daughter to school with an oil diffusing necklace.  Last night she was almost in tears because of her ears.  She has been the most prone to ear infections.  Last night we did a peroxide treatment for her.  And I put some peppermint on her ears before bed.  Today she had peppermint and thieves in her diffuser necklace all day.  And I am happy to say that she was doing much, much better when I picked her up from school today!  Hooray!
Tonight I am thankful for finding out about oils!  I know there are more that do wonderful things.  For now, we stick to the favorites!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

5 minutes

I counted once how many times I made to the school and back home in one day.  I think my record so far is eight.  Today was 5 trips.
Our house that we lived in when Elaina started kindergarten was technically outside the school district line . . . like the other side of the street was in the district.  That was also when kindergarten was a half day thing (which was my favorite for my kiddos, just throwing my opinion out there!).  Anyway, so twice a day I loaded up the three younger munchkins, and we'd drive almost 20 minutes one way to the school.  This experience made "close to school" a biggie on our list when we were looking to move!
We've been here for awhile now.  But tonight I am thankful as ever that this house is only 5 minutes from the school!!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Bandwagon

I am not a "joiner".  I rarely do things just because everyone else is doing them.  But a few weeks ago I saw a trusted friend post about her electric pressure cooker pot.  She was making dinners in record time!  From frozen to table in under a half hour.
As someone who tends to forget about food until I'm hungry, this sounded like a good thing.  Some nights it gets to be like 5 or 6 o clock and then I have the thought, "Oh, I guess I need to do something for dinner, don't I?"  This leads to some fairly unhealthy choices from time to time.  Or sometimes the hubster cooks and we all have cereal ;)  He is slowly expanding his chef skills actually.  But his favorite dish to prepare is still cereal.
Alright, so I've been watching these pots on amazon.  I stopped and checked them out at WalMart.  I've watched some other people post on facebook who are joining the "instant pot" craze.  And I took the plunge!  Amazon's price went down a few bucks and our dinner genie was sent to our door.
Tonight was our first night!  Now, as a disclaimer . . . I did not read the instruction book.  I have plans to read it in the future.  But, I was in a hurry . . slightly ironic, isn't it?
Ok, so I put in a frozen turkey breast and some broth.  I pushed a button, and I waited.  I thought something more should happen, so I did flip thru the instruction book.  Nope, I was good.  So I waited some more.  I probably should have read the book a little more.  I had to push the button two more times before the meat was actually cooked all the way thru.  There was most likely a different setting I should have used with the meat being frozen and not thawed.  But, by the third round of button pushing, dinner was done!
The last time I pushed the button, I threw in some dumplings in to the magic pot too.  So all together, even with three times of pushing the button, dinner was still done way faster than the frozen meat would have been any other way.  And it was all delicious!
Tonight I am thankful for our new magic dinner cooker!  I can't wait until I actually read the instruction book and become a pro at quick, healthier dinners for my family!


Sunday, February 19, 2017

Sunshine

This weather has been wonderful this weekend!  I hope everyone got to enjoy at least some of it!
Here in my neck of the woods we started with spring cleaning along with a little outdoor time in the sun.
I've been waiting for warmer weather to put together a recovering petting zoo, de-horned goat with the rest of my goats.  I've put them together a few times in the cold and I just feel sorry for the petting zoo goat.  He wants to play with them and butt heads, but they've given him a headache several times.  Horns against a hard head are favored to the horned animal!  
Today in the warm weather the animals butted heads a little and played a little.  Inspired by the sunshine, they got along well.
Tonight I am thankful for a wonderful, warm weekend!  And I am thankful for all my critters learning to get along with each other!
Here are some of my crew on our way out to the barn to check on the goats.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Date Night

The hubster and I went on a long overdue date night tonight.  We are at the "we are always too tired and we'd fall asleep at a movie" stage of life right now.
So we had a wonderful dinner out!  Then we went wandering around the city.  We found ourselves in Target wandering there for a bit.  Of course we went in the toy section too!
It seemed a good idea to take our picture playing around and share the photo op with our children.  I can tell you, it warmed my heart to no end to get a message back from my daughter.  She had taken the picture I had just sent her and written "Goals" with a heart-eyed emoji on it.  Awe!
Tonight I am thankful for a wonderful date night with the hubster!  I am also thankful that despite the times the hubster and I loose our cool in life, the kids still see the love.


Friday, February 17, 2017

The Rest of the Story . .

Sometimes I feel like I really need to give you guys updates on things!  I mention things in this blog and I just hate leaving half a story untold! So now I will share "the rest of the story".
For all my little statements (kind of complaints . . . ok, complaints . . ) about being sickly for the past month and a half, I finally have answers.  The whole thing was frustrating to me.  I like answers.  And I prefer them to be immediate!  However, after tests and tests and more tests, I had no answers.
So one night I was thinking over everything from the beginning.  The pneumonia was an answer at the beginning of December.  The bronchitis was an answer shortly thereafter.  Then I was still rather sickly though.  So I was put another antibiotic, stronger than the previous two.  It was at the end of this last antibiotic that I started my constant fever of around 100 degrees and overall crappy tiredness.
Hmm . . . yes, that all started with about two days left of the third, consecutive antibiotic that I was taking.  So here's a little fact for all of you (or maybe you know it, but I certainly hadn't thought about it).  You can make your liver sick with antibiotics.  Yep.
I'd heard that too many antibiotics can lower your resistance to them.  But I had never heard of practically poisoning yourself with them.  And that is what had happened.
So, I am trying extra hard to rest a little more.  I am drinking gallons of more water.  And I am taking some supplements to make my liver happy again.  I am happy to report that it seems to be on the mend.  Not 100% yet, but getting there little by little.
Tonight I am thankful for answers to my questions and a game plan to make a sick liver get healthy again!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

No Magic Draw

I have a secret that you may not be able to guess. . . . I'm really not a "baby" person.  I have loved my own babies!  And there are a handful of other babies that have been special to me.  But, random babies that I don't know are just like people that I don't know.  I have no special magic draw to babies just because they are miniature people.
I do think they are cute and all!  Don't get me wrong!  But I have no urge to hold a cute baby just because I am standing next to one or anything.
Exceptions to my blasé attitude towards babies would include when my nieces were babies and a handful of close friends.  Which is why I am excited for tomorrow!!  After working my butt off for days and weeks, I have some unscheduled time tomorrow!  So I am going to visit my friend and her new little bundle of joy!  The last time we were supposed to meet for dinner her little darling had sent her to the hospital.  Not even a week later, she was born, just a tad early!
Tonight I am thankful that I get to go meet a much loved, new little baby person tomorrow!  Her Mommy and Daddy have been so excited for her!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Mac N' Cheese

Sunday I thought I had a good plan.  I made our menu for the week starting with Monday.
Monday was supposed to be bean soup.  I forgot to put it in the crockpot.  So we had hot dogs.
Tuesday was supposed to be chicken.  I forgot that a little girl had her heart set on a heart shaped pizza for Valentine's Day.  So I ordered online and had the hubster pick up heart shaped pizzas on his way home from work.
Wednesday is our eating our night.  Kiddo after school stuff takes up a lot of Wednesdays and I just don't feel like cooking.  So Wednesday is our night for that.  Except that I had one kiddo home sick today, and two other kiddos started not feeling so well.  So we stayed home just in case they were catching anything yucky.  AND we had the oil diffuser working overtime with Thieves oil!!!
So tonight I am thankful for macaroni and cheese.  It is pretty easy on tummies.  So I figured it would be safe tonight.  And of course, all the kids love it, so I don't have to be demanding to whiny children who don't want to eat.  That is never fun when they don't feel well anyway.  Mac and Cheese to the rescue! :)

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Romantic??

Want to know what ultra romantic thing I had done today for Valentine's Day?  Hmmmmm?
I had my taxes done.  Oh yes, it makes a person quiver . . . although for a different reason I suppose.
In the past 5 years, I have had 3 different accountants.  Every year there have been errors on my taxes . . like thousands of dollars of errors.  It finally dawned on me that my problem is that I am going to people who specialize in personal tax returns.  Our tax returns are about 80% business with my businesses and our rental.
This year I talked to my wonderful aunt who recommended the absolute best people I have talked to in this industry!  I went in for a two hour meet and greet a couple weeks ago and was blown away impressed!  And even today they impressed me!
I didn't think I could get impressed at a regular tax appointment.  But the woman is so knowledgeable and so efficient.  This was the quickest appointment I have ever had for taxes.  And this year's return probably had the most stuff ever.  This company had several helpful suggestions for my businesses to make them profitable and make things easier.  I just love them!!
Tonight I am thankful for being introduced to a wonderful accounting firm!!  And I am thankful that for Valentine's Day I have peace of mind, which does translate in to me being a woman who can relax a little and enjoy a holiday!!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Parking Lot

I had an appointment tonight at 5.  I haven't been scheduling evening weekday appointments lately.  We just have too many kiddo activities in the evenings.  But, today I made an exception.
The appointment actually went pretty quick.  I was driving towards home and was passing by where one child was having a basketball practice.  I was about 10 minutes before her practice started, but I drove by to see if I might catch the hubster and the ball player in the parking lot.  I turned on the road and saw them with their blinker on, about to turn in to the parking lot.  What good timing!
My ball player had a huge smile on her face getting a Mommy surprise :)  She grabbed her stuff and ran in to practice.  The hubster and I sat out in the parking lot for a little bit and chatted before I had to head home.
Tonight I am thankful for a surprise fifteen minutes to chat to the hubster tonight!  We should actually plan talks like that.  No one could run in and interrupt us when we were sitting in the parking lot.  When we talk at home there are always interruptions!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Dinos

For the past (almost) year, every month we've been putting money in to different savings funds:  House Repairs, Auto, Vacation, and more.  The big vacation goal is Disney in 2018.  We've been toying with different ideas for the 2017 vacation and haven't quite decided yet.
Last week we had a family meeting.  We had looked at the upcoming Jurassic Quest coming to Mason.  It looked pretty neat with a whole bunch of different dinosaur things.  However, it is an attraction of course.  And anything made just to attract people to come and spend money is not going to be cheap.  Tickets for our whole family (with the VIP for kids 12 and under so they could do the activities) were $132.  Yep, that was just to walk in the gate!  We took a family vote about attending this and using our Vacation Fund for the tickets.  It was an unanimous vote of Yes!  So I hopped online and bought our tickets for Sunday morning.
Fast forward to Friday, I'm cruising Facebook and seeing people writing not very nice things about Jurassic Quest.  Yesterday was the same thing.  I was losing faith fast!  I went online to see about a refund for our tickets.  Nope, no refunds.  I told the hubby the negative stuff I was hearing - it was pretty much all due to the long lines and amount of people there.  I didn't tell the kids though, I didn't want them to go in with bad attitudes because we were going to go; we had our tickets and couldn't refund them.
This morning everyone woke up early.  We got breakfast and got to Jurassic Quest a half hour before they opened.  We were shocked at the number of cars already there and the amount of people in line.  We walked up to the first tent and saw that the people in line were waiting to buy tickets.  We already had our tickets, so we got to go in the shorter line right at the entrance!!  Then the Jurassic Quest people opened their event early!  We were one of the first ones thru the gate!
The kids liked the exhibits!  Most of the activities were catered to younger kids.  But my kids had fun with some of them anyway!  We got a family picture taken, superimposed with a dinosaur chasing us :)  AHHH!
After about an hour, we had made our way thru everything and the place was getting packed!  We were holding out until 10am when there was supposed to be baby dinosaurs out and about.  We walked thru all the buildings and didn't see the babies.  So we left.
Tonight I am thankful that we had a good time with the dinosaurs today!  I'm thankful we got there early and that we had bought our tickets online!  And even though the activities were geared more towards younger kids, I'm thankful that my kids enjoyed themselves anyway!







Saturday, February 11, 2017

Lists

I was thinking today about lists.  If you've been around for my blogs from several years ago, you've heard about my dislike of lists.  I found lists to be controlling . . always trying to tell me what to do.  And while, I don't think that I was completely wrong in that logic; I am very proud of myself for my use of lists in more recent times.
There are all sorts of apps for organization and lists and the like.  I have found out that most of those aren't for me.  To a good degree, I am a paper and pen type of person.  And lists are very much where I need real paper.  I need to be able to leave the list where I will have to see it.  Because I certainly will not go looking for it, and that includes in my phone.
I'm currently working on a list for meals this week, a grocery list, a list of phone calls I need to make on Monday, a list of things I still need to prepare for my tax appointment this week, a list of ideas for some business stuff, and a list of other random things that I need to remember not to forget.  My brain can only go so far; then it gets forgetful and a little fuzzy.
I was just talking to the hubster today about how maybe I should be overwhelmed with all that is going on right now.  But I'm not.  Part of that is just a personal characteristic that seriously just shuts off the light when I start to get overwhelmed - it is a trained response because I don't like feeling overwhelmed.  So I take a step back and shut off that part of the world for a bit.  And the other part is all these lists to help me remember everything I am supposed to do.
Tonight I am thankful that time and practice has dulled my rebellious feelings towards lists.  Maybe I grew up a little.  Maybe I forgot a few too many things and realized I needed help.  Whatever the reason, I've got lists all over my desk to keep me sane now!

Friday, February 10, 2017

Bruises in Snow

I had today planned so well.  I actually reserved time for me to be at my desk and work on my work.  I have trouble with this sometimes.  But today was my day!  Well, until yesterday, I made one appointment. Just one, it wasn't far from my house . . about 7 minutes away.  That wouldn't take away too much from me getting my work done, right?
Then this morning our furnace starting having some trouble.  I called a few repair places and got very blessed to find one that could be right out.  The repair technician was 15 minutes away finishing up another call and had a little time where he could come out.  The furnace is doing fine now, but will need some more repairs in the near future.
I was very happy the man could come right out.  But then I was late to the only one appointment that I had made.  I did call and let them know.  But still . . . people were there waiting.  I hurried at the appointment so the people could be on their way.  I was walking up the driveway, which had a light dusting of snow.  It turns out there was ice under that snow.  I fell, rather ungracefully.  But, I would not let a snow covered body and a few new bruises ruin my day!
Tonight I am thankful for a day that didn't get quite as much done as was originally planned.  I did still get a lot done!  My pants dried off from the snow and the bruises don't hurt much.  And our furnace is running well . . so I call it a good day!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Quiet Time

Ah, these days . . . I wait for the house to get quiet so that I can concentrate.  The house gets quiet and all I want to do is go to bed.
I've sat here for a good 10 minutes contemplating my next move.  So after careful deliberations with moments of heavy eyelids, I have made a decision.
Tonight I am thankful that I am headed to bed.  IF I can manage to get up with my alarm tomorrow, there will be quiet early in the house.  I can do work then :)  Good Night all!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Gold Parfaits

For whatever reason, I had never tried McDonald's Fruit and Yogurt Parfaits until two days ago.  And I must say, YUM!  And cheap!  And way healthier than french fries!  Win/Win/Win!
Some weeks I do good on the meal prepping.  And some weeks I don't.  I think over the past several weeks it seems to be an every other week kind of thing.  I put all this effort in one week of planning dinners and preparing lunches ahead of time.  Then I need the next week off and we end up having ice cream for dinner, like last night!  Not that ice cream for dinner is a horrible thing . . .the reviews were wonderful in this house!  When I actually write down dinners for the week, ice cream just never seems to make the list.  So it is good that I am not organized every single week!
The weeks that I do not have lunches prepared and ready to grab on my way out the door; well, those weeks usually end with me making less than healthy choices while out on the road.  But now, now I have a healthy, cheap, and delicious alternative!
Tonight I am thankful for finally trying McDonald's Fruit and Yogurt Parfaits!  This is such a great alternative for me while out and about doing my work!  Today I bought a whole drink carrier full and brought them home for everyone to have a treat :)  I felt like I brought home gold nuggets and my family felt like I brought home parfaits . . . we have a disconnect on this one somehow ;)

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Doubtlets

Sometimes goals seem to big.  Sometimes they seem just too far beyond reach.
I hadn't really given in to those negative thoughts yet.  But I was starting to let little doubtlets in to my mind.  It'd just be easier to take the road more traveled.
The Dave Ramsey plan is good.  And we will stay on the plan.  But maybe my timeline was just crazy.  Maybe I should lighten up.  The current timeline would be wonderful for our family.  It would be a miraculous change in our lives.  But maybe it's too much.  I've been known to push too much . .
And then I saw the picture below.  It was on a Dave Ramsey facebook page.  It was put on there by someone who didn't give up.  Someone who stayed on their plan.  Someone who didn't think it was crazy.  Someone who didn't think it was too big or too far beyond their reach.
Tonight I am thankful for this picture.  This picture right here put me right back on track.  We can do this!  And we will do this!  No dream is too big if we never give up!


Monday, February 6, 2017

Over-Analyze

Don't google symptoms.  Don't google symptoms.  Don't google symptoms.
How many times do I have to tell myself this???
Slightly frustrated by slow moving medical endeavours to find out why I am now somewhere around a month of unexplained fevers, I went online last week.
With the December/January sickies, food just didn't taste right.  So I was drinking some meal replacement shakes.  They were ones that I had drank before, so I didn't think much of it.  But that was the only thing I could think of that I had done differently thru all this.  So I started digging in to the multi-dimensional universe of the internet.  And I found that the shakes have, in some people, caused some problems.  So I dropped the shakes.  And nothing got better.
From what I read, if there was to be damage, it may already be done.  But then I think, the symptoms could fit so many things, am I really on to anything here?  I don't know.  But I know it's made me slightly paranoid. Grr.
Today though, today was worse.  Today had an increase in several other symptoms that all fit what I had read online.  So then . . . do I call the doctor again?  Do I wait and see if tomorrow is better?  Maybe I overdid it yesterday?  Ok, well I didn't really overdo anything from what a healthy me could do in a day . . but maybe I overdid what this slightly sickly version of me can do?
Today had a lot of desk work.  Tomorrow I have a lot of appointments.  Will I be able to make it?
I see one specialist on Wednesday, but that is for the problems that seem to be stuck in my throat . . unless that is also causing everything else?
*sigh*  I am so over this.
Tonight I am thankful that I can't over-analyze in my sleep!  So that is where I am going!  Off to dreamland to forget about all this crazy stuff.  Sweet Dreams Everyone!

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Traditions

I am a Patriot's fan.  I liked the Patriots before the Patriots were good.  Tonight though, no bad mouthing or anything, the Falcons have a good game.    
No matter what the outcome (I know it won't be my Patriots), I love Super Bowl day!  Over the years, we have grown a tradition of going to the Women's Expo on Super Bowl day.  It started with my Mom, Grandma, Aunt, and myself.  This tradition has grown in to me and my girls going.  One year we left early so we picked up some breakfast.  Now we leave early so we can get breakfast on purpose :)
I've always wanted to get a massage.  One time I even bought a Groupon for a massage.  But then I never did it.  It just seemed like a lot to set aside that much time to go and a have a massage.  I had so many other things to do with my time.  The massage wasn't at the top of my to-do list . . . although it was at the top of my wish list!  Today I finally got a massage :)  $1 per minute . . absolutely!
We got less freebies today than in prior years.  We usually fill up bags of free goodies!  We did find an awesome new product today that kept curls in my daughter's hair!  This is an absolutely amazing feat!  This girl has had two different perms that fell right out.  Curling irons, hot rollers, mouse, hair spray, gel, braids at night, nothing lasts with her thick, heavy hair.  The lady at the booth took a bit of time to curl both of my girls' hair and even mine.  With all three of our different hair types, this thing worked on everyone!  This is just shy of a miracle!
We also pick up some goodies to eat later on during the game!  This year we tried a delicious chocolate cake from Bake N' Cakes!  $7 off it's original price just for the Expo!  We did some grocery shopping on the way home and picked up the rest of our Game Day goodies.  I think we got too much food actually . . oops!
And here we are watching the big game.  Everyone has full tummies and sleepy eyes.
Tonight I am thankful for what has grown in to our Super Bowl day traditions!  I always love when my team wins.  But even when they don't, we have a good day here in my house.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Looking At Me Funny

People are looking at me funny.  I hope no one calls the police.  Although, it wouldn't be the first time.  Usually I get the police called when I'm working and have to go in to bank owned houses.  Neighbors get jumpy about such things.
Right now I'm just sitting in a parking lot of a snow sledding place.  I can't go outside myself and stand in the cold and walk up a big snowy hill.  If I were to try, I would start coughing and hacking until I threw up.  Nice visual, eh?  Sorry.  It's the truth.  I'm still going thru different tests and meeting different doctors to find out why my body is being so darn screwy lately (to put it politely).  Anyway, I normally would love to go tubing on the snow hill.  But I can't.  So I brought my laptop with me to do a little work while my girl sleds with her Girl Scout troop.
It's actually nice and quiet in my car.  My house is not usually so quiet.  I'm thinking maybe I should just forget the work and take a nap!  I guess I'll decide later; depends on how long they sled for.
But, while sitting here it is a nice to reflect on today.  Today was busy, but in a good way.  Lots of positive things happened today.  AND, before heading out for this sledding event, I got to soak in a nice, hot bath.  I'd been waiting all week to relax in a hot bath with eucalyptus epsom salts!  It was hard to get out of the tub . . . which may or may not have been why we were a few minutes late getting here tonight!
Tonight I am thankful for some relaxing, quiet time in my car right now!  As long as no one reports me as being a wierdo on a laptop in a car, then I'm alright!  :)

Friday, February 3, 2017

Possibilities!

Alright, I am so excited!  I am going in to the weekend NOT behind with work!  WOO HOO!!!  This is a big deal!
This means that this weekend I can (hopefully) relax a little!  When not relaxing, I hope to catch the house back up . . . I seriously need a live in maid/cook.  And when not relaxing or working on the house, we do have some things on the calendar.  Including, the Women's Expo this weekend!  This has become a tradition with me and my girls!  Sometimes more ladies from our family are to be found there too!  At the end of our time there we have bags of goodies and free samples to enjoy!
Tonight I am thankful for a weekend full of possibilities!  I hope you all enjoy your weekends!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Tide . . not the Soap

Who watched Bed of Roses from the 90's?  Hmmm?  When after tragedy, Lewis changes jobs to be a florist.  I have had that thought fairly often in adult life.  Just chuck all these other plans and be a florist.  Why?  Because people are always happy to receive flowers!  Even for a funeral, who doesn't smile a little when they see flowers?
Today was one of those days.  As a real estate broker, there are many happy days helping people.  As a real estate appraiser, there are more days where I do my job and piss everyone off.  Some days I take it well.  Other days it gets to me.
So here I was tonight, starting to slide down the slippery walls to a grand ole' pity party.  But I am trying to sink my heels in to the side of this slippery wall and climb back up.
This knowledge of my industry is nothing new.  This is why I have branched out and have been making good plans towards growing the brokerage and subsequently working far less in the appraisal world!
Sometimes I overwhelm myself with all the ideas for this year.  And I met with some very intelligent professionals who advised me of some things that I'd be smart to change as soon as possible.  My list grows and grows sometimes until I push those items to the back burner.  But the back burner is not where these things can stay.  If I want things to change, then it is time to keep working towards that change!  Some days I feel like I'm trying to change the ocean current with the way my life has been scheduled around the kids and hubster and work - and not a lot of time to put extra time anywhere.  But, it is possible and the tide will be changing . . I'll make the extra time, a little at a time!
So tonight, while feeling low and discouraged, I set aside the work that is still due before midnight tonight (I'll get back at that in just a few minutes).  And I pulled out my back burner list.  I have filled out several forms to change some things.  I wrote some checks.  I saved some documents in to logical places for future reference.  And I said some prayers!  I need help here.  I could maybe do this myself.  But this whole thing will turn out so much better with God in control!  Yep, I'm feeling a bit more empowered!
Tonight I am thankful for re-direction.  I am thankful that I am not stuck where I'm at.  I am thankful for a change of the tide, it is happening!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Giving

When the kids have Payday, they each have three envelopes where they divide their money.  They have a Give, Save, and Spend envelope.
First of all, I love this.  Giving is invaluable.  And although on paper, it may not make sense to give money away every time you get money; it makes perfect sense to a soul.  It is good for people to help other people, or animals, or whatever.  It is good to help others.  People find purpose when they help others.  And this is something that just is a truth of life.  If you don't believe me, then I don't think you've ever really given of yourself to help someone in need.  Because once you've done that, you can't deny that it is good.
Ok, so kids put money in to the Give envelop first.  Then they decide how much goes in to their Save envelope.  And lastly, the rest of the money goes in to the Spend envelope.  Now, our recently remodeled Chore Charts are set up to keep the kids on track.  Each week, when we write down what chores are to be done, there is also a spot to write what they are saving for, how much the Save goal costs, and how much money they have saved so far.  There is also a spot for them to write down where they want their Give money to go.  This has been great!  There is more purpose in to these things when they are thought about, written down, and worked towards.
A few weeks ago we sent out the Give monies.  The kids paid for several nights at the Homeless Angel's hotel, and they donated to the ASPCA.  One child wanted her Give money to go to the Animal Shelter and she wanted to hand deliver it.  Ok.  Well, we decided today was the day.
She found a free sample of cat treats in our cat food bag here at home and brought that along too.
So here's the thing.  I have now taken two children in to the animal shelter when they had collections at their birthday parties in lieu of presents.  And that has been great!  Today was different.  Today was my daughter taking in her hard earned money.  This is my shy-er daughter who doesn't always speak up.
The woman asked if she could help us.  I pushed my daughter up towards the lady.  And she said as clearly as she could that she wanted to give her treats and envelope to the animal shelter.  The woman asked a question about it and my daughter told her that it was her own money that she wanted to donate.  While I was signing us in so we could go visit the animals, an elderly woman sitting in the waiting booth dabbed at her eyes watching my daughter :)
While we were back playing with the kitties, the woman who worked at the shelter came and found me.  I thought my daughter was just going to hand over the cash, but she had given the whole envelope to the woman.  I didn't think too much of it.  We have more envelopes at home.  Well the woman looked at the back of the envelope and had seen where we had crossed off the money total and date every week when we updated what she had in the envelope.  The woman wanted to know if she could have our address so they could send a thank you.
Here's the thing.  All the giving that my children have done has been selfless.  For the Homeless Angels and the ASPCA, we donated online.  And I think Mom has seen that maybe it may have more of an impact on the kids to do some of this in person.  If not for the kids, it at least makes more of an impact on those being blessed from the giving.  I get a little persuaded to go the easier route sometimes and click a few buttons.  But today was definitely a day that left a mark on a few lives.
Tonight I am thankful for the opportunity to teach the children to give - and to see that all parties benefit when you give from your heart.  And if anyone is interested . . . we did find out that you have to be 16 to volunteer at the Animal Shelter.  But if you a child and want to volunteer, you need to have a parent come along.  Guess what my kids have planned for me now?  ;)  Besides their money, they want to give of their time now . . . and how can I not say yes to that?