January 28, 2013

Happy Homemaker Monday January 28

Hi and welcome to Happy Homemaker Monday! Thanks to Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom for hosting this every Monday. See her blog for more Happy Homemaker posts.

The Weather
It has been so cold here! We had mornings in the single digits, but by Wednesday we are supposed to hit 50 degrees. Yeah! Time to wash the car! Welcome to New England, where you will hear "If you don't like the weather, just wait awhile, because it will change."! We are supposed to get a wintry mix of snow, sleet, and freezing rain (fun times). School is getting out early, although my kids were getting out early anyway because it is their last day of midterm exams. But, that means no after school activities, which is wonderful because it means less driving!

Right Now
My youngest just came downstairs, ready to go to school after eating breakfast. He did not have a midterm first block (they take two a day), so he got to sleep in, but it means I have to make another trip to school today, sigh. Fortunately that will be the last trip today (see above), otherwise I would be driving two more times. Did I mention that the school is two towns over? Oh yeah, we are talking almost two gallons of gas per trip (thanks to my very fuel inefficient mini van). My oldest has to drive to college for classes today, and I will be worrying about his drive home today.

About the choices and sacrifices we have to make in life. My husband's boss told him about a job opportunity. It would be a promotion. The increase in pay and benefits would amount to what I would probably make if I were to go to work full time. The problem is that it is in North Carolina. The company would sell our house and pay for our move. It all sounds wonderful, and the increase in income (along with the lower cost of living) would certainly help with the college expenses that are coming. But, he is turning it down (he wasn't actually offered the position, he would have had to apply for it). His boss was surprised. But, our oldest is working and attending college locally. He has a girlfriend and is in a band. He has a mental illness, so he is not ready to be on his own yet. Our daughter has one more year of high school to go, and our foster son would not be able to come with us (nor would he want to). Lastly, we both have elderly parents that live near us. And so, we will sacrifice the money and the probable job satisfaction (and warmer climate) for our family.

No changes here:  Gone With the Wind and The New Testament (still in Acts).

On My TV
At this very moment my kids, who had an early dismissal, are watching Hook. We've been watching season 3 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and still have The Artist and Elizabeth from Netflix. We've been rethinking our entertainment options, wondering if paying for the Netflix dvd's is worth the money (especially when it takes us 2 -3 weeks to watch them). We looked into video streaming options (Amazon has a wonderful video series explaining the technology requirements), but found out that our DSL service (which is free for us) has a download speed of 1.5 mbps, and the preferable speed is 5 mbps. We are so far behind! Our two tv's are 20 years old, box shaped, and have one input for cable, one for a vcr, and one output for a vcr. Yeah, that's where we are at right now!

On the Menu
This is a short week, because I start work next Monday (was supposed to start today, surprise!, but I told my boss I couldn't start yet because I wasn't ready. He doesn't understand the preparation that goes into switching from being a SAHM to working 4 days a week. ANYWAY, so today I menu planned for just the next four days, because Fridays will become my grocery day since it will be my day off.

Monday goulash, salad
Tuesday chicken tacos, cheesy rice, corn
Wednesday beef stew, rolls
Thursday pulled chicken bbq sandwiches, macaroni salad

To Do
Already got my groceries, I wanted to beat the snow, which I did, until I realized I forgot the ground beef for the goulash (because for some reason I did not write it on my list), so I had to go back out in it. ANYWAY, what is left is vacuuming, cooking dinner, maybe a load or two of sheets and blankets to wash, and that's about it. Saturday we (this kids and I) managed to clean the whole house, and that will be our routine every Saturday, so I just want to do a little touch up and that is it. It sure feels good.

Just my seminary lessons.

Homemaking Tip
It is tax time! Does that make you excited? The only thing exciting about it is if you are expecting a good refund, the rest can produce fear in the most reasonable adults. This is what I do all year to make tax time practically a breeze.  First, record your income and expenses on your computer! Is there anyone that does not do that? Believe it or not, we still have clients, with businesses no less, that use one-write sheets. All of that adding and subtracting, when the computer can do it for you? Why? Anyway, I use Quicken, have used it for years, and it works just fine. I keep track of two checking accounts, two credit cards, and numerous savings accounts with it. Second, I keep a folder labeled 2013 taxes (for this year, obviously) and throw anything in there I will need to complete my tax return AND to keep in case I get audited. It all goes in together: bank statements, credit card statements (for write offs), receipts, all back up to any checks or money I deposit during the year, check stubs (which I throw out once we get our w-2s), you get the idea. Once I get all of my tax documents, I print out an income statement of sorts, staple all like documents together, and am ready to go to work and complete my return. It takes me maybe 20 minutes to do my return, and that is because I could never remember what box to check so that I didn't get taxed on my withdrawls from my HSA account - but I remember now where that darn box is). When I am done, I print out my copy of the return, put it in the file, and that is it for that year.

Looking Around the House
I see the canned goods needed for tonight's dinner, a large package of toilet paper to be distributed between my bathrooms, and behind me a pile of teenagers glued to the tv.

From My Camera
The weather

On My Prayer List
My kids, my class, my dad, my father in-law, my friend's son.

Bible Verse
Peter healing the lame man outside of the temple:

"And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength."

Acts 3:7

I love this lesson in the New Testament, because of the symbolism of Peter actually taking the man by the hand and lifting him up when he healed him. We talked about what it means to lift others, and how we have to be higher than them in the sense of living righteously, being a good example, letting our light shine, in order to be able to lift another.

Have a great week and stay warm!


  1. Are you taking seminary classes? I just graduated from Liberty University.

    We have 3 teenagers here. Soon we will be adding more children via foster care. Everything is done we are just waiting for our final homestudy to be approved. Waiting is not my favorite thing to do. We are using it as an opportunity to clean rooms out.

    1. It is nice to meet you!

      I actually teach a seminary class. In my church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) seminary is a scripture study program for the youth attending high school. Where we live they hold classes before school, so we have class Monday thru Friday from 5:55 to 6:45 am.

      The process to become licensed for foster care was simplified for us because we had an established relationship with our foster child. Still it was a bit of a pain. When you are dealing with the state you see a lot of inefficiencies, and I do not care for inefficiencies!

      Our foster son is 15, so he fits right in our family. We have a 19 year old son, 16 year old daughter, and 14 year old son. which means for the next three years we will be teaching someone to drive, yikes!

  2. It's hard to make the right decision isn't it? I know all about having to make the decision that is best for your family, when your heart is pulling you elsewhere, but family is important and their well being is what counts :)

    Great tips for tax time. Mine are all done, just waiting for the IRS to open up for business lol