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Saturday, November 8, 2008

Day 300 and lotion update #2

This week, I used the Skin MD Natural product. The instructions say to use it every 2-8 hours until your hands are more hydrated, then use it every 12-24 hours. I have to say, I cannot imagine ever getting to the point where I only had to use it once or twice a day. But at any rate, this week, I used it every 2-3 hours and it did wonders. My hands did not crack at all this week, even with the cooler weather at the end of the week. I am going to call the pharmacy in Enid that carries it to see how much it costs, hopefully I'll remember to do that early next week. Once again, I'm not sure how accurate my results are since it was so unseasonably warm the first part of the week. So stay tuned as I continue my experiments.

Next week looks to be a fairly chilly week with highs in the 50's and lows in the 30's. I am going to be using the Jergen's Ultra healing lotion. Look for an update next week!

Tomorrow, more about Christmas!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Day 299 and more about Christmas

Looking for ways to get organized this Christmas? You can go to www.organizedchristmas.com. They have a Christmas countdown. You can go to the Flylady site linked at the bottom of my page. Flylady has a free Christmas control journal that you can download and print off. It's about halfway down the main page. I've tried to follow these and never seem to do very well. But I'm going to try again this year. I am trying to be organized.

My favorite part on Flylady's Christmas section is the clutter free gift ideas. There are great gift ideas there, including some ideas for teenagers. The thing I usually do for the teenagers in my family is gift cards to Wal-mart, and for one of them, Sonic.

What are your creative or clever gift ideas? I can't share some of mine since some of my readers are who I bought for. LOL. But some of them are: for Sara, my youngest great-niece, I got a couple of infant toys. For Hailee, I got a Santa Claus floor puzzle, crayons and coloring book, bath paints, and two packages of magnetic letters.

Looking forward to hearing other ideas. Tomorrow, another update on the lotion experiment!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Day 298 and Christmas is just around the corner!

Well, Halloween 2008 is in the past, Thanksgiving is just ahead, and then Christmas will be here before we know it. Does Christmas stress you out? It sure does me. It stresses me out financially: where will I get the money to buy everything I need to or want to get? Emotionally: Did I get enough gifts, were they good enough? Did the people like them? I always worry that I didn't get my own kids enough, that they won't like what I got them, or that they're disappointed in what they did or didn't get. Mentally: making all the family arrangements, there's my family, my ex's family, Tom's family, and then of course our family. That's even getting harder with the kids growing up.

Alot of this fear comes from comments made to me in the past about gifts I've bought such as "You shouldn't give pictures of your kids as gifts, that's not a real gift, you should give those to us anyway". "Oh great, just what I need, another coffee mug". Now I've just decided to put those words out of my head. Do the best I can, and if people don't like or appreciate their gift, I cannot control how they feel. I can only control how I feel and react.

This year is going to be different. For one thing, we've been putting money back since the first of the year for Christmas. We've had to spend some along the way for one reason or another, but I've used some of it to buy gifts. I've talked to my own kids and asked them flat out if they'd rather have a stocking and $'s or if they want gifts? Serenity said she was fine either way, but she'd prefer $'s because she's trying to save for a new car. Check, just finish getting stocking stuffers and put the cash aside, and I"m done with her. Josh said he was fine either way, but would really prefer the money. Check, finish getting stocking stuffers for him, and put the cash aside and I"m done with him. Tasha at first said she'd rather have a gift, but when she found out Josh and Serenity both wanted money, she said she'd think about it and let me know. I've already got some stocking stuffers for them, I'll gather a few more, find out what Tasha wants and be done. I've just decided that I would rather give them money if that's what they really want and be done with it. That right there will remove a huge stress at Christmas off of me because I seriously wondered around Wal-Mart in tears trying to figure out what to get them last year. Then I got my feelings hurt on Christmas when Serenity remarked that all of her gifts were "practical". I know she didn't mean anything by it, and I"m way too sensitive anyway. But this will help reduce my stress.

Another big stresser for me at Christmas has been that we've waited until the last minute to do our shopping the last couple of years. That was unusual for me, for a few years, I got it all done early. But for one reason or another, it hadn't happened that way the last few years. This year, I'm way ahead of where I've been. This is a partial list of who we try to buy for:

My mom and dad
my grandparents
Tom's dad and stepmom
my ex's mom and dad
My sister and husband-done
Our niece and husband-done
Tom's sister and husband-done
Tom's younger sister-done, but will probably try to find something to add
My niece and nephew-done, but will probably try to find something to add
Our two great-nieces-done
gift exchanges: Child Enrichment Club, child care association, my family
My child care kids: done, ordered them each 3 books from Scholastic, plus they'll get a treat bag at our party.

I'm sure there's more that I'm not thinking of right now. I'll have to pull my list out and look over it. But I'm out of time for now. For tomorrow, I'll try to find some ideas to share.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Day 297 and $2806

$2806! That's how much we've spent from the emergency fund since we started this last January. It's been used for car repairs, plumbing repairs, medicine. It's just amazing. I couldn't believe it when I added it up just now. I'm just in awe and feeling very blessed right now!

In the past, anytime we had a crisis of any kind, it was very stressful and we were desperately wondering where we would get the money from. I cannot tell you what a peaceful feeling it was this past weekend when we had the tire and the plumbing problem in the same day and we knew we had the money to get them both taken care of. It was still stressful and upsetting of course, but not in the same way.

Tomorrow I want to talk about Christmas shopping. Have you started yet? It's coming up fast!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Day 296 and exercise your right to vote today!

Well, if you haven't already, please exercise your right to vote today. We are lucky to live in a country where we are allowed to participate in our government. Plus I always figure if I vote, I have a right to gripe about it when things don't go my way. LOL!

It's interesting how different children raised in the same household turn out to be. Serenity is a political science major and really into the election, and is driving all the way home to vote. She didn't want her first presidential election voting experience to be by absentee ballot. She's taking a class this semester about the election and got to take exit polls in Norman this morning as part of her class. Josh on the other hand, hasn't even registered to vote and says he never plans to vote. He thinks it's "stupid". Well, I certainly don't agree with him, but you know what, he has the right to feel that way if he wishes. Natasha, it's too early to tell. She seems interested in the election process and the candidates, so that's good. However different they may be, I love and respect them for who they are and what they believe.

And if I haven't said it enough, I will be glad when this election is over!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Day 295 and that wonderful emergency fund!

I just cannot express how grateful I am for the emergency fund. As I mentioned yesterday, the leak came back under the house, and Tom had an unrepairable flat on his car. So today, I called around to some plumbers and got ahold of one who could come out today. They got here around 12:15 or so, fixed the problem, and were gone by 1:00. It was only $91, we were afraid it was going to be much worse. Thankfully, it was a fairly easy fix and should keep it from happening again (at least in that area, LOL).

For the tire, I called the Co-op and they had a tire in stock, but of course it's hard for me to get up there before they close and Tom doesn't get home until after they close either. I called Tom's dad to see if he might could take it up there and get it changed, but he was in Enid. He said he could do it tomorrow morning if I couldn't get it done today. Then he called later and Tom's stepmom offered to go do it when she got off work. Wasn't that so nice?

So...the leak is fixed, the tire is changed, and the EF is $163 lighter. But what a blessing to have it, what a blessing to have friends and family who can & will help us out.

If you're in this area and you ever need a plumber, I definitely recommend All Season's Plumbing. They were prompt, polite, and reasonably priced. They were also very respectful of my kids who were sleeping and they kept the noise down. I really appreciated that!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Day 294 and the good news is...

I finished my homework. The bad news is Tom had a flat on his car this morning. I am just grateful it didn't happen when he was on his way home from his band's show last night. As Tom was out changing the tire, I went down in the basement and found out we had a leak again. So I've got a call in to a plumber. The tire is not fixable so it will have to be replaced and hopefully we can get a plumber out here quickly!