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Posts tagged ‘Truth and Honesty’

All I Can Do Is Try

I tell my kids, often, that I would rather them try 1000 times and fail then to never try at all.  Yet, I do not take my own advice.  Funny, how I lay here, in my bed at 12:14 am, and think these things.

There are many conversations that I have, with myself….sometimes I even answer myself back 🙂  I was thinking about my daddy, today.  How proud I am of him.  How much I love him.  How his marriage with my mom are marriage goals (sometimes).  How dedicated he has been to his career….even to a fault, almost.  How he turned his life around.  How he overcame a stroke and quadruple bypass surgery.  How he loves my mom well.  How he cares for us kids.  Today is the 20th anniversary of a tragedy that struck our community.  This event changed my daddy….to the core and what was anger at that, many moons ago, yields intense respect for him now.  I get it.  I understand, as much as I can since he was there and I wasn’t.  I lived it through his eyes….as best as he would let us because he is so guarded.

Then, in that same post, I mentioned my brother.  My brother is 10 yrs older than me.  He would, in a heartbeat, lay down his life for me or my children.  I have no doubt about that but we have never been close.  We love each other, yes….our family is more of a tribe and we unite when we need to unite.  He loves differently than I love.  We are just 2 different people.  We do not see eye to eye on so many things, but today, watching the dedication on television of a new memorial dedicated to this event… brother worked on that.  He went early and he stayed late.  He was chosen to be a part of history in our community, yet no one will know the names and the faces of those who worked so hard to bring honor to those hurt and lost.  He was one of those people.  I had such pride at the knowledge of what he does for a living and how talented he is….while barely saying a word about it…..he remained silent.  Never complaining.  I wish we were closer.  I wish he could see me in a different light and that he could get to know me as an adult….who I am, what I am about, and what I believe in.  I want to know the same things about him.  It is what it is.  He loves me and that is all I need to know……I love him and I hope he knows that.

So, while I was talking to myself….I thought….all I need to do is try.  Succeed or fail, my parents taught me to give it my all.  My mom gives it her all ALL the time.  She never stops.  Sick, wind, snow, snot, she is going and doing her best at all that she does.  I need her, she is there.  I have surgery, she is there.  I need a body to make a long trip, she is there.  I need fried chicken…she makes it and hides it.  My children adore her (and my dad of course LOL) and I’m blessed that I can give the relationship with my parents that I had with my grandparents.  Family.  It is so  important.  As my daddy would say “when everyone else goes back to the barn, I will still be there.”

I am going to listen to myself and I’m going to step out of this intense grief, sadness, loneliness, irritation that I find myself in and I am going to try.  I am going to try and be more present with my husband and children.  I may even TRY golfing cause Big Daddy loves it.  I want to play cards more and be on facebook less.  I want to teach my kids how to run a home.  I want to get involved in my church.  Make efforts with my few friends.  Dig back into Scripture.  Lose the weight I’ve been talking about for 10 yrs now.  I want to be the change that I want to see, in this world.  Seriously, who is to stop me?  If God is for this….no one can be against it.

I keep thinking 1/2 or more than 1/2 of my life is finished……..what am I going to do with the rest of it.  Sit back and watch it flash by.  Keep my nose in social media instead of my eyes on my children and husband?  I may fail but as long as I do something daily to TRY, then I will call it a successful day.  I have proven to myself that I can do something.  I can stick to it and I can make a difference.  We just paid our van off, last month….3 yrs early.  We did this in 4 mths.  We can do it.  We can be disciplined.

I choose to try.  I choose to believe in myself.  I choose to allow God to work through my shortcomings and my depression to make a difference.  I choose to continue to try and work on my relationships with my family….my brother.  I choose to see 2 sides of the coin and try to understand different view points of a situation.

It comes down to this.

I.  Choose.  Joy.

Wanna come along for the ride?


Operation “Get Life Together”: Releasing Control

I have been homeschooling for a long time.  I mean a long, long, long, Long time….like really long.  I am a pretty strict homeschooling mom.  I have my list, according to the KY state standards, and we do not deviate.

We do cursive.

We do LOTS of reading (it is a love for all my kids).

We do LOTS of history (it is a love for all my kids).

We do the mandatory math (7th level of Hell according to all who reside in my house).

We do Bible.

We do Science.

We write.

We do Language, Grammar, Spelling……

We do it all.

My oldest two daughters and my oldest son were born under the heart.  Victoria was born talking our ear off….knowing her alphabet at 14 mths…spelling her name at 18 mths…reading early.  Alyssa is my creative child.  She can put words to anything.  She can write beautifully and has always been very articulate.  Noah is the math/science/history kid.  Loves loves loves it.

I am a stickler.  I want all my “t’s” crossed and all my “i’s” dotted.  My kids will attest to that.  I have a routine that has stood the test of time, all these years….I do not like change.  I do not like to yield.  I do not like to change things up.  I like what I like.  I know what I’m good at.  I know what the kids are capable of and I want them to know that they can succeed if they put forth the hard work and try.  That’s all I ever want them to do is try.  Do their best….even if it is a D….if they studied and did their best, then that is great in my book.

Then………came my kiddoes born in my heart.  The early years were spent learning our alphabet, our numbers, our address. What sticks out in my mind is the inability Daniel had to remember our address, our phone number, how to write his letters, learning the alphabet…just so many struggles.  His speech and hearing played a lot in that.  We did 2 sets of tubes, put him in preschool, started speech when he was 2 1/2.  I did everything I know to do.  Nothing seemed to work.

Grayce, on the other hand, has the attention span of a gnat.  She could not “do school” with the other kids.  She needed NO distractions (drapes and blinds down), no noise (we had to be like mice), nothing on her walls to look at, nothing in her room, for that matter.  She HATED doing the work and it was like pulling teeth with no medication to get her to do it.  She failed every single test (except for Spelling and Reading Comprehension).  I could not figure out what was going on.  Her math skills…..whoa Nelly.  Just horrible.  We got her tutors (thank you Mr. Brodsky), we did CDs, we did flash cards.  Nothing seemed to work.

Jude…..he came to America when he was 5.  Much of that first year was just learning to live in America.  Learning our language.  Learning to trust us.  We sat, a lot and watched Iron Chef America.  That is our thing.  A movie comes on and he gets as close to me as humanly possible…even at 11.  Then we worked on our alphabet, numbers, basic Kindergarten stuff.  It was hard.  Good gravy.  They say that for however long a child was in country is how long it takes for them to acclimate to a new country.  That is SO true.  So.  Very.  True.  There are certain concepts (Grammar) that is so hard for him.  I mean, it is so hard.  I bought word puzzles.  Did crossword puzzles.  Videos.  Set it to music.  Nothing seemed to work.

There is a world of difference between children who were wanted, loved, cared for, fed and children who suffered from neglect and abuse or a child whose sweet mama did all she could for him but did not have access to proper health care in order to take care of him.  That is a learning curve….for me.  It also teaches me to release the control that I like to hold onto so tightly.

This year….I have decided to release the reins.  I decided to walk into the enemy’s camp and still back my joy of teaching and molding their education to suit their individual needs.  I want to have fun.  I want them to have fun.  I want to meet their “required” needs but do it in a way that they do not hate learning.

So….with that being said.  Noah’s course of action will remain the same.  We will be scheduling him to take the ACT and his driver’s test this week.  I also plan on applying to Murray State Racer Academy in the spring.  We were aiming for the fall, but ya know, life happened.

Grayce, we are doing LOTS of reading literature (British and American) and lots of writing.  She loves to read and she loves to write.  We are stepping back on Algebra.  This part, we are just going to make sure she has an excellent handle on basic math, counting money, counting back money, etc.  She has FASD and the part of her brain that is affected is abstract.  She is *very* concrete and that is okay.  She just thinks and learns differently than us.  Our main goal, for her, is to get used to her living at home again.  She was at military school for 22 weeks.  It was a break that we all needed.  She is adjusting to home very well.  She knows her boundaries and she is confidant that she can be under authority.  It has been nice.  We will, of course, do Science but I will probably not test in that area because her testing skills are not great.  History, however, is good for her and that will continue on a typical high school path.  Bible will remain the same, as will Grammar and Language.

Daniel….I am gearing EVERYTHING to wars….to the military… history.  This kid cannot spell, he cannot remember the same chore he has had for 7 yrs, but he can tell you the history, with accurate detail, how the mountains of Hawaii were formed.  What countries were involved in every single war.  Every.  Single.  War.  This is our golden topic.  I am laying off the spelling.  I got him a little gadget for dyslexia that helps with that.  His penmanship is phenomenal.  I have also bought Dragon software to help him write.  It is all through a microphone and a computer.  Math…he is on target.  History…blows it out of the park.  Language, Grammar, Spelling………we are close to being done.  He knows the basics and we will move as far as he can, but realistically, he has FASD and he is also “low functioning” so I’m not discounting his abilities….we do a lot of lego work (I will definitely post a video of some of his inventions…they are wonderful), reading (real books and audio books for the classics of Literature), Bible….everything else will be a unit study created around military stuff.  It’s working

Jude…..he is now on target.  It has taken some time and he is still behind a bit in math, but for the most part….we will move forward with how I teach the other children.  He is heavy into reading and he loves math (though he goes a bit too fast and makes silly mistakes).  He is a beast at spelling and he has an insatiable love of learning.

Hunter……….we just read and play 🙂

All in all…it is gonna get done.  My kids are going to be well rounded, well socialized (yes, homeschoolers can be socialized and not awkward), and they will be educated.  Some are going to college…some will go to college….some will go to beauty school….some will go to trade school…God has their lives planned out.  He had it planned before He created the Earth.  He knows their beginning, middle, to end.

I just get the privilege of raising all these wildly different kiddoes.

I am blessed.

Operation “Get Life Together:” Mini Financial Update

When we began our journey to financial freedom….well….it is kind of like a diet, we never stick to it and instead of losing a lot of weight, we triple our weight.

Tis the life.

I believe, though we have broken that bitter cycle because we are seeing MASSIVE improvement in our finances.

Are we still living paycheck to paycheck?  Yes.

Are we still doing a zero based budget?  Yes.

Do we flub up and eat out because we spend most of 2 weeks in a nursing home, funeral home, ER, and hospital?  That’d be a big ol yes.


I sat down today (it is payday) and I got out all our envelopes and my notepad ready stuff those biweekly envelopes and see how much money we have left to pay on our van.

Our van has a payoff of 3 yrs.  It was a 5 yr loan.  We have been paying on it for 2 yrs.  The minimum….cause that’s what you do when you buy a lot of nonsense and do not know where your money is going.

We started our ZERO BASED BUDGET back in September 2017.   As it stood, then, we had:

Van payoff 2020. 

A student loan payoff of 2027. 

An equity payoff of 2022. 

And a house payoff of 2037 (I think it was 20 yrs…might have been 15….or was it 30….you get the idea though).

Right now, on October 13, 2017…due to LOTS of sacrifices, selling an exercise bike, Big Daddy working overtime and taking control of our money again…this is where our payoffs stand.

Brace yourself.

Van payoff will be DECEMBER 2017 

Student loan payoff will be DECEMBER 2018

Equity payoff will be DECEMBER 2019

House payoff will be DECEMBER 2022

Can you even?


I mean COMPLETELY debt free by 2022. Now, of course, this does not account for any surprises, but most of the surprises, we have take out money for in our zero based budget plan.  We call it a “sinking fund.”  Anything that we perceive to be needed or could happen, in the future, we are saving for…plus we have a little emergency fund that we can rely on.

Even if we have to delay being debt free for a couple of years….we are still WAY ahead of the year 2037….that is a 20 yr difference.  That is saving interest and not paying a boatload more in interest rates.

God is good…..even through my last hellish 3 yrs….He is good.  We are trying to be obedient and, yes, we are making sacrifices because we are not choosing to serve two masters anymore.


Operation Get My Life Together: The Debt Snowball

I mentioned in yesterday’s post about my envelopes and my cash flow system to help us get out of debt.  I want to stipulate that, as of now, I DO NOT add my house into this snowball debt.  Let’s be real, folks….its kind of like me being fat…the fat did not accumulate in a day and it will not be gone in a day.  I want to set attainable goals to keep me motivated and that is what I’m going to do.  Will we, eventually (prayerfully) get out house paid off quicker…yes…but my main goal is to get this other debt gone and be on a cash only plan for purchases in the future.

I stumbled on this wonderful website for DEBT SNOWBALL – ing.  This is good for those visual people, like my husband! There is also another cool site on Debt Reduction that is really good, as well.  Both of these sites are free and easy to use.

The debt snowball is listing all your debt from SMALLEST to LARGEST. Again, I’m excluding my house for now.

For us, that would be:

  • van
  • student loan
  • equity

We owe the lowest amount on our van (I’m not even looking at interest rates).  My monthly payment on my van is $240, but only $220 goes towards the principle. The rest goes towards interest.

For the MONTH OF SEPTEMBER only, this is what we have to throw down on this debt.

Mthly pymt:  240

Kids bills:  110

2 Travel checks:  282

OT: 300

Extra check:  125

Leftover from August envelopes:   453

Zero out extra:  645

This is a total of $240 regular payment + $1615 that is added directly to the principle.

If we were to continue ONLY paying the $240 a month, we would have 3 years before this is paid off.  With doing a ZERO BASED BUDGET, we will have this debt PAID OFF by December of 2017. Anything extra that comes in..we put in our debt envelope.  We just continue building it up to pay this off.

Now, starting in January 2018, we will ROLL that $240 van payment that we no longer, technically have, and we will add it to our next debt…my student loan.  Let’s look at the projected monthly amount we can throw at that bill in January.

Mthly payment:  183

Kids bills: 150 (yes it went up only because we were not having our daughter pay anything for a month because of her financial issues)

Extra check:  125

Zero out extra:  645 (this should always remain the same)

Old Van payment  240

I cannot calculate his OT or his travel check because these may not come through this month.  With ONLY those few things….we can pay the $183 regular payment and then add on an EXTRA $1,160 to our principle.  If I just pay the minimum amount, I will pay this bill of January 1, 2031.  By adding on this EXTRA, I can have it paid off by by the end of next year….maybe sooner if I added in that OT, travel and anything extra we might get.

After this is paid off, we have our equity loan.  We have our regular payment of $115, but then we add the kids bills, extra check, zero out extra, old van payment, and old student loan payment.  We will pay $1458 per month.

Then we move onto the house…..

Seriously…………..this is doable.  I’m excited.  Big Daddy is excited.  We have been painfully disciplined and we do not spend if our envelopes are empty.  We have not used our debit card and we do not own a credit card.

Please if you have any questions, let me know.  I’m happy to answer them.

Operation Get Life Together: Zero Based Budget Explained

The first thing Big Daddy and I did was to sit down and make a list.  In truth, I sat down and made a list, he sat down and watched LOL

We listed out all of our incoming monies.  His paychecks. Our fear was that we were upside down….more month than money.  We added that all together and then we moved on to the scary part.  ALL his travel checks, OT (if he has it), kids monthly bill payment to us goes directly to our debt.  He has a travel check monthly.  He has taken some overtime to help us out and we are trying to sell some unnecessary things….equipment, clothes, etc.  All this goes towards debt.  It is an EXTRA payment that goes towards the principle.

We listed out all our bills.  We wrote down every single thing we could think of…nothing was off limits.  Even if it was small (like our fire insurance that comes once a year and is only $60).  This is listed below.

Next to each thing we put a total of what we budgeted out for the month.  I’ll spare you from that.  After we did that, we marked next to each one “D” for debt owed, “W” for want and “N” for need.  Distinguishing between your wants and needs is huge.  We went through the “wants” cause, obviously the needs and the debts have to be dealt with.  We ended up eliminating from our list, Time 4 Learning, vacation, sports, and hair.  It was painful….mainly for me.

Then, we decided what we would create envelopes for.  I actually ended up buying some clear makeup pouches and writing on the front of them what they were for and how much we were to keep out every 2 weeks, since that is when Big Daddy gets paid.  We made the following envelopes:  Clothes (40), gas (300), misc (250), entertainment (100), groceries (500), medical (50), sinking (50)..  I take these amounts out monthly.  At the end of the month, whatever is left in the envelopes (with exception to clothes, medical and sinking funds because I want these to accrue), I remove and put in my DEBT envelope.  This is what I’m going to ADD to my first debt payment…extra.

This is the list of what we take out with out tax money every year.  I just keep it in the envelope until we need it.  Birthdays (420), Christmas (1100), house taxes (1800 , veh. taxes (225), fire (60), house maintenance (50), car maintenance (50), cow/pig (800).

I add up all our bills, including what I take out for the envelopes, and I subtract that from our incoming.  To my pleasant surprise (shock really) was that we had money leftover at the end of the money.  This is money we didn’t realize we had because we hadn’t given our incoming money a name or a place so we just spend what we want to spend…when we want to spend it.  How stupid is that? So, once ALL our money is “assigned”, we have $645 leftover at the end.  ALL this money goes towards our debt!

So, for this month (September), we are able to add an EXTRA $1615 towards our DEBT (this will be explained in a follow up post).  How cool is that?

To help with your list….here is ours:

  • Clothes – W
  • Life Insurance -N
  • House -D
  • Cell -N
  • Gas/water -N
  • Time 4 Learning -W
  • Van -D
  • Snap Fitness -W
  • Equity  -D
  • Insurance (vehicles and house) -N
  • Mediacom -N
  • Groceries -N
  • Gas -N
  • Misc. (anything that is not food) – N
  • Entertainment -W
  • Electric -N
  • Student Loan -D
  • Covenant Eyes -W
  • House taxes -N
  • Veh. taxes -N
  • Cow/pig -N
  • Christmas -W
  • Vacation -W
  • House Maintenance -N
  • Car Maintenance -N
  • Animal Feed -N
  • Sports -W
  • Braces -D (paid off)
  • Dental -N
  • Eyes -N
  • Doctor -N
  • Meds -N
  • Bdays -W
  • Tithe -N
  • Fire -N
  • Sinking Fund -W & N:  This is a list of things we know we will need or want (new windows, light fixtures, lawnmower, expand chicken coop, garden, homeschool, AC unit, bathroom redo)
  • Hair -W

If you need further explanation or you have questions, please let me know.  I’ll be doing some follow up posts on our snowball debt reduction.  But first, I must pee and drink a coke.


Operation “Get My Life Together”: Zero Based Budget

The other night, Big Daddy and I sat down and had a chat.  I told him how I was feeling and that I was tired of serving two masters….God and money.  I felt like we were drowning in debt and I am tired of it.  I’m tired of worrying and feeling like I’m being controlled by it.  I have no freedom when I am in debt.

We CHOOSE to be done.

When I researched a zero based budget….I thought that the concept was insane.  After further looking into it, I began to see the positives of it and it forced me to take a long hard look at our money and where it goes.  Then, I left fear seep in….the fear of embarrassment, of feeling like I’m upside down in our finances (have more debt/bills then paycheck), and then it felt like an elephant sat squarely on my chest and I kept hearing “there is no hope…you are trapped…just keep on keepin’ on…you are not hurting anyone.”

The great thing is that I CAPTURED that thought and I REMEMBERED Truth!  When I have Jesus….and I do….there is ALWAYS hope.  Did He “ordain” my stupidity?  I don’t think so.  Did He “allow” my stupidity?  Yep and now we are reaping what we have sown. Natural consequences to our stupidity.

Its a NEW day.  Its a NEW dawn.  Its time to let HIM take control over my finances.  I know that it is time because Big Daddy is on board!  Stay tuned to our journey of becoming debt free!

Operation “Get My Life Together”: Capsule Wardrobe

In my night time Youtube obsession, I came across something that I used to do and now it has a fancy name LOL.  It is called a Capsule Wardrobe.  I do this more, for the kids, then I do for me because my closet is quite large and can accommodate all my clothes.  My kids, I keep things for the season in their rooms and what is off season, I put in sterilite containers and I store it on the left side of my attic.  Every 3 mths or so, I would go through their socks, the socks with no mates and their underwear.  Anything with holes got thrown away….socks found their mates, especially if I had to throw 1 sock away because of a hole….there were “lost” extras in the sock basket.  This kept me  on top of replacing what needed to replace and find what I needed to find.

I found that my stuff was getting out of control!  I do not like buying clothes.  I’d rather have a rusty nail in my eye then go to a store to try on clothes.  I do like zulily, at times, but I find that their clothes are too thin, don’t fit right, and they take FOREVER to get to me.  Typically I will find a style shirt I like and then buy one in a couple of colors for variety LOL.  It is really sad.  I do not, however, have a shoe problem.  Flip flops all the way with a pair of boots, tennis shoes, and some nice sandals.  Now, my purses…that is another issue.  I have a problem.  I love purses.  All of them.  All the time.  Oohh…rabbit trail and sort of makes me want to go to the Coach website to see what is on sale, but I will refrain because we are still on track for getting out of debt.

To start my capsule wardrobe, I first, went through to pull out all the items that were too small and that I could not pass down to my girls.  That was pretty easy.  Then I went through and chose ones that I just really didn’t like. I bagged up those clothes.  Out of sight = out of mind.   The next step I took was to turn all my hangers around backwards.  For 6 mths, I pulled out of my closet to wear clothes, as normal.  After that 6 mths, the hangers that were still backwards were ones that I had not worn in that time frame.  I assessed those things and for the most part, I got rid of most of them.  All my too small, too big, too ugly, didn’t wear clothes went to a consignment shop.  From there, they were resold and I received a percentage of the sales.  What did not sell, was given to a local shelter or needline to help those less fortunate.  It is a win win situation.

Now with what is left.  This is where the CAPSULE WARDROBE begins.  I separate out the spring/summer from the fall/winter clothes.  Right now, we are approaching fall.  The off season can be stored in my attic.  From this point I start figuring out how many pieces I want in my capsule wardrobe.  The normal amount is about 30 pieces (I do not count bras/socks/underwear/shoes and some people do count those in their core pieces).

I have a goal and it is pretty simple.  Get up…get dressed….where my own clothes instead of Big Daddy’s clothes.  They are easier and more comfy but I look like a sloth.  I find that I do not fix my hair or do anything with my face….not even lotion if I wear his clothes.  This affects my depression in a big way.  I have gained so much weight that I did not even realize because I wear his clothes and they are huge on me.  It is time to take a step in the right direction.   Declutter.  Make some money.  Simplify my life.  Enjoy minimalism.  When my home is decluttered my mind is decluttered.

A capsule wardrobe are pieces of your wardrobe that can easily be interchangeable.  Like I can wear almost any of my shirts (tshirts or dress shirts) with my blue jeans.  Do I need 8 pair of jeans?  Nope.  I need 2 maybe 3.  When I switch out seasons, I can get out 3 more pair of blue jeans and put the old 3 pair back in the sterilite container (does that make sense).  I live in t-shirts but I do go to church, so I need some nicer stuff to wear there.  I have some cotton dresses that can be worn alone or in the winter, I can pair them with some cute leggings and boots.  1 dress…many outfits.  I also love jogging pants….do I need 10 pair?  Nope.  The more I have the more I will wear them.  My goal is to move out of wearing things with elastic and wear more fitted things that do not make me look like I am wearing a potato sack.  I need 2 pair and that is it.  Something comfy after a long day.

After I am done, I will create a new post that lists what I have chosen.  I am excited.  I have cleaned out and organized almost every nook and cranny of my house and this is the next step.  I am hoping Big Daddy lets me do his side, as well….we shall see.

Organizational Tip: Tackle the Kids Artwork

I have a lot of kids…that is no secret….my kids like to color, draw, paint, make sculptors, and then there are the awesome Sunday School creations that they bring home every Sunday morning, Sunday night and Wednesday….with the added bonus of VBS week.

If each of my kids at 1 tote per year of arts and crafts until they turn 18 (remember I homeschool and I have chose to keep everything from their school years)….I would have 126 totes FULL of stuff that I would have to store in my attic, garage, mancave, or storage unit.  That does not include all their baby things and toys etc…this is just artwork.

When I was going through my nesting phase (though I do not know what I’m nesting for LOL), I came across about 30 containers with all this stuff.  Sentimental things.  Things I cherish and want to remember forever.  Realistically, it was a bit of a fire hazard…or a lot of a fire hazard.  I had Big Daddy breathing down my neck to throw these treasures away and then I had my kids on the other side crying because when they saw something in the throw away box…they felt I didn’t love their art.

Quite the conundrum.

I had a couple of awesome ideas.  Maybe three.  I have a small wood chest my daddy made years ago….I also had a box that my mom got me when I was a child.  The first thing I did was I went through the attic (and garage) ALONE.  Second, I emptied my 2 chests and cleaned them all out.  Third, I got binders….2 per child and put their names on them.  I separated out each and every paper and craft (luckily most things had their name on it).  So, each child had a pile.  The treasures that I would not part with, I used my three hole puncher and then I added them to that particular childs’ binder. With the larger items, I placed them in my 2 chests.  That still left me with A TON of treasures.  Once I had the binders and the chests full….I still had 7 piles of treasures for each child.  These were items that were sweet, but I did not necessarily want to keep (fire hazard, remember). I took out my camera and I took pictures of the pictures.  I downloaded those photos on my computer and I gave each child a file. Those pictures are now saved on a flash drive, disk and my external hard drive.  I can look at them whenever I want.

I cut down on so much clutter.  I was able to preserve their sweet drawings, yet keep my sanity and live the minimalistic life that I love so much.  Now, I still have boxes of old toys, but I did part with 98% of them.  Some things are worth the clutter.  I was able to clean out an entire closet from the garage and free up all that space.  It all went to the attic where it is properly labeled and gone through.  I hope this is something that can help others.

Good luck and happy organizing.

Operation “Get Life Together”: Taking Care of Me

There are other priorities in my life.  My oldest daughter is struggling to find her way and making some big decisions while healing from the difficult past year she has had.  My second daughter is embarking on her newest college school year, she has started a new job, but she needs so many little things to guide her into becoming the best she can be.  My number three daughter is coming home from military school in a few weeks.  Sadly, she has not gotten any healthier and her weight is still a concern.  She is doing okay school wise, but she is still having behaviour issues.  Her future is unknown.  My oldest son is starting his junior year of high school, he is fixing to start driving and he has a part time job that he loves.  My second oldest son is struggling with his learning disabilities, staying on track with school, dealing with depression, and his behaviours are not that great.  Our next son has his surgery coming up in a month or so.  He will be receiving a BAHA hearing aid.  We are super excited for what that will mean for him, but it is still surgery….on his head.  He has basketball and baseball and balancing school.  Our baby is still facing uncertainty with his future.  He begins IVIg treatments in about a month.  This is another 4 hour drive, one way, to get an 8 hour treatment.  We still have good days and bad days.  My husband has begun sacrificing his weekends to help us out financially and to make our goals of becoming debt free.  In doing that, his knees are hurting terribly.  My Lady is back in the hospital with her big ole belly that needs to be tapped.  She has a severe UTI which is causing her loopiness and she is just not herself.  Her dementia is getting the best of her.  Her son, my sweet friend, had an accident the other day…motorcycle versus deer….deer won.  He has been in the trauma unit of a hospital about 2 1/2 hours away.  He is now in a local rehab to get better.

I am simply overwhelmed with doing and being all for others that I neglect myself.  All doctors appointments (eye, physical, dental), all therapy appointments (speech, OT, and PT), spending the nights with my Lady so she does not have to be alone.  I am trying to be it all and do it all.  In doing that, I’ve totally let myself go.  I have not been to a dentist in about 5 years.  I have not had a pap smear or a mammogram in about 5 years.  I just think if I do not feel bad…why go.  There have been some “girly” issues that I’ve dealt with but I thought that was normal and why go to the doctor when you are not sure that you have a problem.

In one of my Lady’s lucid moments…she had some stern words for me.  I love it when she, even in her state, she still guides me and loves me and wants me to be the best version of me I can be and that means taking care of myself.  She may call me Ramona (who in the Sam Hill is Ramona?) but she is still lucid enough to jerk a knot in my tail because she knows I am someone she loves.  First up….dentist.  I have had a toothache for about a year now (I know, I know) and she has been on me like white on rice.  I finally went and I did not like the results.  I have to have a wisdom tooth pulled and then another tooth either pulled, have deep filling, or a root canal.  I also have some other teeth that need attention.  I went….got them cleaned….got the assessment and then I made a follow up appointment to address my needs.  She was thrilled.  Like beyond thrilled.

Next up:  Eye Doctor.  I had an appointment made for all of us and they canceled it (not me).  I need to call and reschedule.

Lastly:   The girl doctor :/  Shoot me now.  I would rather eat a stranger’s belly button lint then go to that appointment.  She was not going to let up because I’ve been having some issues (I tell her everything).  I went…..I conquered. I conquered so much that I have a fibroid tumor the size of a grapefruit, which is causing all of my problems.  Well, that and a prolapsed uterus.  They are also going to fix my bladder.  Not what I had expected but it is what it is.  I will have my mammogram tomorrow.  That is the only place I am okay in…I feel nothing LOL

She is beyond ecstatic that I have done what she has asked me to do and that I am doing it semi willingly (yes, she is using her hospital stay as incentive LOL).  I am hoping to be back up and running before all of the other stuff comes flooding down.

God is good.  All the time and all the time…God is good.  Take care of yourself, mamas. If you don’t, no one will and when you are done, you are no good to anyone.  I’m thankful I heeded her warnings and now I will feel better and more capable of tackling the other 5000 things I have to get done.



Operation “Get Life Together”

Operation “Get Life Together” is underway.  Here is a bit of what all has been going on the last week or two…..

  • Scheduled:  Dental appointment!  This is HUGE because I do not like the dentist, but my teeth do not like me.  It is what it is.  I have had a toothache for a while and because I CHOSE not to do anything about it (excuses:  time, money, don’t want too, doesn’t hurt that bad, blah blah blah), I now have 2 choices…1) get it pulled (insurance pays) or 2) have a root canal (insurance DOES NOT pay).  I also have to have a wisdom tooth out and some cavities to be filled.  As good as I am brushing, my mouth has always been full of cavities (maybe its genes maybe it is lots o candy).  Anyhow, I have my appointment made for my extraction or root canal.  I got them cleaned.  I also have 2 other appointments I need to make and then I will be caught up with my mouth!  Yay me!  And because I’m awesome, I went ahead and scheduled 5 of my 7 kids an appointment for their teeth to be cleaned.  Yes, I’m a rockstar, I know.
  • Scheduled:  Mammogram!  Girls…take care of your boobies!!!!!!!!!!!!  Breast Cancer is curable if it is caught early!  Now that I’ve said that, I will say that it has been 5 years since I had my last one (practice what you preach, I know).  It was also scheduled for today….which I had to cancel because I didn’t want to take the 3 little boys to this appointment and I had no one else to watch them.  I did reschedule for the week after next. I will be keeping that one!
  • Scheduled:  Papsmear!  Girls…..take care of your girly bits!!!!!!!!!  Is it fun?  Heck no.  Is it necessary?  YES!  I did go, but to my chagrin, I was late and I had started my period.  Good times were had by all.  The nurse and doctor sat down with me and we discussed life, my body, what the problems were, etc.  We have a game plan and I have a new appointment on the 25th of August.  I will be getting my bloodwork done (haven’t done that in about 3 years), I will be doing a urine test, an ultrasound on my insides, a hysteroscopy (they scrape the inside of your uterus) and a papsmear.  Getting it all done in one day (I may throw in a tattoo for good measures cause it is right across the street).  Once all of this is done and the results come in, I will be getting a hysterectomy, a bladder sling, and my girl parts fixed.  I am stoked.
  • Scheduled:  Hunter’s OMS follow up appointment and his Pediatric Opthamology appointment.
  • Need to schedule:  eyeballs for all.
  • I have begun working on our ZERO based budget plan and will do a follow up of that when Big Daddy and I sit down and write it all out.
  • We have discussed our debt and how we are getting out of it.  We are on the same page.
  • I have *not* been to the gym yet.
  • I have a goal of getting back into the swing of going to church on Wednesday nights.
  • I have begun a “for me” project…more to come on that.
  • I rocked the freezer meals.  I went and bought our groceries back around a month ago and we still have a good month left of freezer meals….it will last us almost 2 mths!  We have only had to go to the grocery one time (for lunch items and some breakfast stuff).  I spent about $550 on that July trip and we are still going strong.
  • Get my freezer meal ideas on paper
  • Cleaned my room!
  • Organized the laundry room
  • Organized/cleaned the garage
  • Made my purse emergency kit
  • Made my van emergency kit

I’m rocking it all out.  If you would like any info on organization, cleaning, the kits I’ve made, meal planning, etc….drop me a comment below.  I’m considering doing a video on some of these things to help with those who are visual, like me LOL

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