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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Day 726 and keeping my fingers crossed

I'm hoping to travel to visit my family tomorrow and come back Thursday. My parents have internet but it's excruciatingly slow so I won't be getting on the computer there. LOL. I got a lot of cleaning done yesterday and a little bit today so my house is starting to look much better. Still need to get the rest of the Christmas decorations put away.

If I am not back on here before the New Year, I want to wish everyone a wonderful and blessed New Year!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Days 721, 722, 723, 724, & 725 and wintry weather

Well, wintry weather (and illness) changed our Christmas plans. Christmas Eve brought a blizzard to Oklahoma. Although our part of the state did not get it near as bad as further south (which is where we were heading) so we decided to stay home. In addition, I was up very early Christmas Eve morning sick. It was just that one time, but then I felt weak and tired all day and would not have wanted to be on the road anyway. It was a strange Christmas because for the first time ever, Serenity was not with us. She spent Christmas with her boyfriend and his family. We really missed her, but I know my kids are growing up and I have to start sharing them. Anyway, Tom, Tasha, Josh, and I played games on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and we ate at a Chinese buffet on Christmas Day. So it was a fun holiday and I loved spending time together as a family. Hope everyone had a merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Day 720 and Merry Christmas

If the weather cooperates, we have plans to visit family over the next couple of days so I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas now. Hope you all have a wonderful one!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Day 719 and thanks to Heidi at Kingdom Treasures

If you've ever looked at my links alongside my blog page, I have Heidi Rafferty at Kingdom Treasures bookmarked. I try to keep up with her blog and lately she's been talking about worry. If you know me, or if you don't know me and you just read my blog...well you've probably figured out by now that I am a worrier. Some things have been happening in my child care lately that have caused me a lot of stress. Due to privacy issues, I won't go into details, I'll just say that it's been affecting me. One of the best parts of this job is how much I love the kids. However, it is also one of the hardest parts of the job when those kids move on, especially when things don't end well. It really hurts me and really makes me sad. Anyway, to get to my point. This morning, I went and read Heidi's blog about worrying. In the most recent post, she speaks of talking to God about her basic needs. I realized that I had not done my Bible study and prayer time since Saturday. Interesting, considering I hadn't felt well since Sunday, don't you think? Now I won't say that I miraculously felt better after I did them this morning, but I do feel better and more full of hope than I did. So that's huge.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Day 718 and feeling Bah Humbug

I still have my headache from yesterday and I've felt weird and dizzy all day also. Got to be my sinuses, at least I hope so. I really don't want to spend my entire break feeling like crap. UGH! Anyway, am I the only one totally not ready for Christmas?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Day 717 and horrible headache

I've been fighting off a terrible headache all day and the headache is winning. Tom and I had a great time together last night. Hope everyone has had a great weekend and I'll try to be more wordy tomorrow. Good night!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Day 716 and almost free lunch

Tom & I went out this afternoon and used one of our gift cards from my graduation. It was really nice and a great meal at Western Sizzlin'. We really enjoyed ourselves. We're going out on a date tonight. We're really trying to go out by ourselves more often, which I think is important to our marriage. We've always kind of back-burnered that and I thought when the kids got older, we'd do it more often, but we have not. It's been nice. Hope everyone has a super weekend!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Day 715 and a 2 week vacation

So I found out yesterday that I don't have any kids Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday next week. I was to be closed Christmas Eve through New Year's Day and so now I get a 2 week vacation. I can't really afford it, but I think I'll enjoy it anyway. LOL. I was off for 3 1/2 weeks after my hysterectomy and 2 weeks after the fire, but those weren't really vacations. HA! Hopefully I can get a lot of stuff done around the house as well as lots of reading done!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Days 713 & 714 and really neglecting the blog

I apologize for my neglecting of the blog lately. I've been avoiding the computer quite a bit since I finished my classes and there's been lots of turmoil here in the child care and I've been feeling pretty blah about it all. While I love working for myself, there are days that I long for a regular paycheck. Then again, that's not all it's cracked up to be either, just ask Tom.

Anyway, I have a couple of prayer requests. Tom's company is offering them a chance to work some Fridays doing some deep cleaning. Please pray that it works out and Tom is able to do it. Additionally, please pray that I fill my openings quickly.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Days 708, 709, 710, 711, & 712 and official a college graduate

The graduation ceremony on Saturday was just wonderful. I had a great time spending the weekend with my sweetheart, too. It feels weird, but really good to be done. I've attached a picture of me from Saturday.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Days 706 & 707 and GRADUATION

My graduation ceremony is this Saturday. Tom & I will be leaving as soon as I'm done working tomorrow and spending the weekend down there. I am super excited, both about the ceremony and about a romantic weekend with my sweetheart.

I probably won't post again until Monday.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Day 705 and club Christmas party tonight

Tonight is the club Christmas party. I am really looking forward to it, especially to getting out and spending time with friends and laughing. I need LOTS of laughing tonight.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Days 701, 702, 703, & 704 and well...sorry

Well guys, I"m really slacking off lately. I guess since I'm done with school that I am not spending near as much time on the computer and it's harder to demand my time because I can't use the "I have homework to do" excuse. LOL. At any rate, I've done some reading of several fiction books which has been wonderful. Tonight Tom's work had a Christmas dinner. It was nice but sadly Tom didn't win any of the drawings.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Day 699 and sinus problems

Ugh, my sinuses have been giving me horrible problems the last few weeks. I've had nosebleeds and been really wheezy. I know I"m not the only one suffering, but so far I've stayed fairly healthy otherwise (knocking on wood...LOL).

So my goals for this year were to:

1. Continue our journey towards financial peace. Well, we've continued but it hasn't been easy. Nothing we can do except keep praying and keep trying. Never, never, never give up!

2. Get more organized in my home and business. look at my office would answer that question. Never give up...

3. Have a more positive attitude. I'm trying. I really am. Never give up...

So, I guess one thing I have been successful at this past year-I haven't given up. I've wanted to and I've felt like it at times. But I haven't!

Tomorrow's post will look at how much debt we did manage to pay off this year. Focus on the positive!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Day 698 and sorry

This day was crazy and I had a raging headache and totally forgot until right now about posting a blog entry. I'll do the goal update tomorrow. Good night!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Day 697 and the 2009 countdown

Well, here we are in the last month of 2009. This year has been a rough one for our family. We've had worse, of course (2004 comes to mind), but I for one will be glad to see 2010 come roaring in.

As you may have guessed, I did not do all that well on my goals for 2009. Tomorrow, I'll go back and look those up and talk about how well I did (or did not) do on them.

My graduation ceremony is in 11 days, on December 12th which also happens to be our 17th wedding anniversary! Serenity reserved us a room in Norman as our Christmas present so we can stay down there that weekend. We'll get a little romantic getaway in addition to my graduation!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Days 692, 693, 694, 695 & 696, and Thanksgiving's over, time for Christmas!

Hope that everyone had a super holiday weekend. Thursday, we saw Serenity in Norman and got to meet her boyfriend for the first time. Really liked him. Then Friday, we went to visit my family and also got to visit some friends while we were down there. The weekend went by way too fast, but it was a good one. Now we're careening quickly towards Christmas!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Day 691 and Happy Thanksgiving

Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends. We are going tomorrow to visit Serenity, then on Friday, we're going to visit my family. We're having Thanksgiving/Christmas with my family on Saturday. I am really looking forward to that. So I won't be around much the next few days, but Monday I will get back on track with my postings. Hope everyone has a safe and happy weekend.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Days 685, 686, 687, 688, 689, & 690 and thankfulness

Well, here we are again. I have really been neglecting the blog lately and I apologize. Since I finished my classes, I've been avoiding the computer as much as possible and I guess it shows. I won't make any promises for this week with the holiday and everything going on, but I will get back on track next week!

I am so thankful for:

To God for sending his Son to die on the cross.

My family who showed their love and support for me by having a celebration party for my graduation from college. It was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed it. I felt really loved and special.

My husband who shows me everyday how loved and special I am to him.

My 3 wonderful children who are growing up way too fast.

My job where I get to spend my days playing with and hugging children.

My friends.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Days 683 & 684 and slowed down to a crawl

Well, as I'm sure you have noticed, our debt repayment has slowed down to a crawl. I'm not even sure it's a crawl. More like a creeping along, sort of like a snail. Pretty much the only debt we've paid on the last few months is the house payment, which is of course the most important. But it's been pretty frustrating. I just keep praying that things will pick up at work so Tom can go back to 40 hours a week and that things stay busy for me.

With Thanksgiving coming up, I want to list something each day that I am thankful for:
Today, I am thankful that Tom has a job and he still has his benefits even if they are not working full-time hours.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Days 678, 679, 680, 681, & 682 and no excuse!

Well, I have no excuses for not posting the last few days. I have had a lot going on, but not so much that I couldn't have posted. Anyway, my apologies! Hope you all had a nice weekend. I did. It was my first weekend totally homework free and it was really super. I was pretty lazy for most of it. I got my grocery and Wal-Mart shopping done and that was about it. I went to see Tom's band play Saturday night, which was fun. The cold weather is back, I sure was enjoying those nice days the last couple of weeks.

Hope everyone has a great week!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Days 676 & 677 and got my cap and gown

I got my cap and gown yesterday! Wow, it's all starting to feel so real! That end of semester exhaustion has hit me too only about 100 times worse because it's the END!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Day 675 and the new-to-us vehicles

The blue car is a 1999 Honda Accord. It's the one we've been borrowing. The owners offered to sell it to us. We liked it and felt like it was a good car. So after taking out what we owed them, that left us $1700 to buy another vehicle with. We found the red car, a 2002 Mitsubishi Lancer. They were asking $2000 for it, but it needs a driver's side front strut, a tune-up, and a headlight. As we drove it, Tom & I discussed it and reminded ourselves of Dave Ramsey's advice: 'be willing to walk away'. So when we got back, Tom offered $1500 for it and the girl very adamantly said no, she could not take less than $2000. So we said, ok, we understand, thank you, and we left. Not 20 minutes later, the girl calls us and asks if we can go up to $1600! So we talked about it, said yes, and drove back to pay and get the car. I was so proud of Tom! Bargaining does not come easy to him and it was hard for both of us to walk away because we liked the car. But we simply did not have $2000 to spend.

So, we were able to find 2 nice new-to-us cars with the insurance money from Tom's car and the little bit we had put aside since the van had quit. What a blessing!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Days 672, 673, and 674 and GUESS WHAT???

I got a grade on my capstone paper and I got an A! I am done! I cannot stop smiling and celebrating! I am so excited!

Tomorrow, I'll post pictures of our new-to-us cars and tell Tom's bargaining success story. Right now, I'm going to go do a Happy Dance!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Day 671 and how God has watched out for us

So I got to thinking this morning of the myriad of ways that God has looked out for us lately. Tom's car had needed a repair (not an emergency, but it was going to be an expensive one). We had saved up the money, but ended up using it during the summer for something that happened. It was just as well since he totaled his car, huh? Then we got the ball joints and tie rods replaced and bought some used tires a few weeks ago for his car, but we hadn't had the alignment done yet. That worked out well and what a relief that we didn't spend the money on brand new tires! Then we've been lucky enough to borrow this car that we've been using which took the pressure off as far as being desperate to find something. We can take our time and look around and find a really good deal. We're also lucky to be able to buy the car we've been borrowing because we already know it's a really good car, we've been driving it for a couple of months.

Just continue to keep us in your prayers. It is not looking like Tom will be back at 40 hours a week before the end of the year. I am not sure whether I'm going to have two openings here, but I am sure that God will provide.

God is good!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Day 670 and surprise blessing

This morning, I checked my OU e-mail box and had a notification that I would be getting a financial aid refund from the college deposited to my bank tomorrow. I was perplexed because I thought I had already received all of my financial aid. So I looked and there did appear to be another scholarship added, but it was one I thought I had already got. So I called the office to make sure it was not a mistake. Apparently, it was not a mistake, it was a different scholarship. So that money should be deposited tomorrow. I'd been wondering how we were going to have the money to pay our house insurance and car insurance next week if that family is not able to come back. As usual, God was watching out for us.

Update on the car situation. We have been given the chance to buy the car we've been borrowing and for a really good price. We are going to take advantage of that, so we are still looking for one car. We've got about $1500 left to spend if anyone hears or knows of a good used vehicle in that price range.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Day 669 and it's starting to feel real

It's really starting to feel real-I am actually going to graduate from college next month! I ordered my cap and gown this morning. I got feedback on my capstone paper last night. As it is, I could take a B on it. If you know me, you know that's not happening (at least not without some more effort, LOL). Anyway, I've got some work to do on it and then I'll re-submit it and go from there. It's so strange to see that light at the end of the tunnel and wonder what I'm going to do when I'm not constantly thinking about homework. HA!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Days 665-668 and frustrations

First of all, Women of Faith was wonderful. It's always so much fun and so uplifting and I really needed it. Also, I got a rough draft of my 30 page capstone paper done before I left so that was awesome. Now I'm waiting on feedback on the paper.

Today however had been frustrating. I have a family with two kids who cannot afford to pay me for this week. There is a lot to the situation, none of which I can post here. Although my heart goes out to them for what they're going through, as you know, we're going through a lot too and I just cannot afford to lose two kids or their income. I gave the parents the option of taking this week off from bringing the kids and not having to pay me and then I guess we'll go from there. I may be looking to fill spots again. Just pray for us.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Day 664 and looking for cars

I am putting the word out to everyone that we are looking for cars. Here's the situation: We are committed to not going any further into debt so we need to do this with the insurance money we are getting from the car, if possible. That totals a little over $3000. If you know of anyone selling a car or cars in decent running condition in that price range, please put them in contact with us. Thank you!

I am leaning for Women of Faith tomorrow around noon. Between now and then, I'll be busy trying to get as much of my capstone paper done as possible. I'll write again on Sunday or Monday. Hope everyone has a super weekend.

P.S. Say a prayer for me, Halloween party is this afternoon and that's always...interesting. LOL.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Days 662 & 663 and Tom's car is totalled

Well, Tom's car is a total loss. So now not only do we need to replace the van, we need to replace his car. Sigh...

Monday, October 26, 2009

Days 660 & 661 and pictures of Tom's car

Here are the pictures from Tom's car after he hit the deer Thursday night.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Day 659 and working on my capstone paper this weekend

I am devoting my entire day today and as much time as possible tomorrow to working on this 30-50 page capstone paper. I still need to get the pictures of Tom's car uploaded. I'll try to get that done later. Hope everyone has a super weekend.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Days 657 & 658 and living in an episode of Hee-Haw

Remember this song from Hee-Haw:

Gloom, despair, and agony on me (OOOHHHHH),
Deep dark depression, excessive misery (OOOOHHHH)
If it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all,
Gloom, despair, and agony on me.

Tom and I are both singing that song right now. I'm trying to make light of it, but it's one of those things that is so NOT funny that it's almost hilarious. Tom hit a deer with his car on the way home last night. Of course. Why not? We needed more vehicle problems, just of a different sort. Later on when it gets light out, Tom or I will go out and take a picture and I'll post it.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Days 644, 645, & 656: Trying not to dread Christmas

Christmas. The very word strikes dread into my heart. Each year I end up feeling inadequate and overwhelmed. The years where finances are especially tough are the worst and of course this year falls into THAT category. This week I have made a conscious decision to try and change my attitude. I must remember first of all that Christmas is not about the gifts I can or cannot give, it is about the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Secondly, Christmas is about family and spending time with loved ones. I am blessed with an incredible family (both immediate and extended) who loves me and as long as I can spend some time with them around the holidays, well, the rest doesn't matter.

I have downloaded Flylady's Holiday Control Journal and I am trying to take the holidays a few steps at a time so I won't be quite so crazy in December. This is the first year that one of my children will have a significant other that they may want to share the holidays with and I am determined to start out right by NOT putting undue stress on them. As long as we get family time together, it will not matter if it's ON Christmas Day or if we choose another day.

So is anyone else dreading or nervous about Christmas? Do we need to offer support to each other to improve our attitudes? Or are you super excited about the holiday this year? Post your thoughts!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Day 643 and what a fast weekend

Well this weekend just buzzed by! I took it off from homework but tomorrow I'll have to get started on my capstone paper. Wish me luck!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Day 642 and prayer requests

I have some prayer requests:
1. For one of my child care families. I cannot share any details, just know that they need prayers.
2. Continue to pray for Tom's company that they can go back to 40 hours a week soon, please.
3. A praise: one of my other child care families are expecting!
4. For me as I work on this paper for my capstone class so that I can graduate in December.
5. I also have an unspoken request that I do not feel comfortable posting about, but God knows the need.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Days 638, 639, 640, & 641 and sorry!

The days just got away from me this week. I was so intent on finishing up the assignments for the mediation class that I totally spaced on posting any blogs. So here's some random things that have been going on: Tom went to the big chili cook-off in downtown Enid today. He placed 5th in the judge's choice portion of the cook-off. I'm so proud of him. My sweetheart makes wonderful chili! Tom's band had a show a couple of weeks ago that he made some extra money for. His friends were going to a concert at Lucky Star Casino and he wanted to go. I encouraged him to use the money from that to go. It's been years since he's been to a concert and he'll have fun. Maybe not as much fun as his friends since he's the designated driver. LOL. But fun, nonetheless. I am going to Women of Faith the last weekend of October. The only bad thing is that I won't be here for Halloween night. I hate missing the kids trick-or-treating. Anyway, Women of Faith sent the church some scholarship tickets and they offered me one. I took the money for the hotel room out of my REWARD check that I got last month and paid that already. I also sat money aside out of that for my meals that weekend. I'm super excited!

One last note, I have turned in all of my assignments for my mediation class! That just leaves me my capstone class to finish up. So now I have a 30-50 page paper to get written! WOW! That's not scary at all. HA!

Have a super weekend everyone!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Days 635, 636, & 637 and last week of one class

This is the last week of one of my two classes this semester. The assignments are due on Friday. I still have a 3-4 page essay to write and my final paper to finish. So do not be surprised if you do not see much of me this week. I am feeling a bit stressed out and overwhelmed and could use some good thoughts and prayers. Hope everyone has a wonderful week!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Days 633 & 634 and tears

The devotional I had this morning was about tears and how we frequently feel the need to apologize for crying. This was especially appropriate for me because I have been bursting into tears at the littlest things lately. I am not sure what the cause is, but it's really been frustrating me. Anyway, the devotional referenced the story where Jesus's friend Lazarus has died and Jesus weeps. The King James Version refers to Jesus groaning in His spirit and weeping. That is so powerful. I feel guilty for feeling sorry for myself. I feel mad at myself for the pity parties. None of which actually helps me with the problem. But the last sentence in the devotional is what really got me: "If you doubt that Jesus cares, remember his tears". So the truth is that "I" cannot heal my hurting spirit. Only Jesus can.

From John 11:33When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled.

34And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see.

35Jesus wept.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Days 631 & 632 and these headaches are killing me!

I woke up at 4:00 a.m. with a bad headache. It was so bad that when Josh walked out of his room this morning, he took one look at me and asked what was wrong with me. LOL. So I am wiped out tonight! On the positive side, I started surprise soup for supper and just mixed up some garlic cheese biscuits to go with it. I knew if I didn't start anything earlier today, I'd be tempted to do something we shouldn't.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Days 628, 629, & 630 and the security gland

Dave Ramsey talks about women having a security gland and how it makes them feel secure to know there is an emergency fund in case of emergencies (Tom says men have one too). Anyway, with our EF at 0 for a few weeks and now being rebuilt, I have to agree with Dave. Just knowing that money is there makes the idea of an emergency so much less scary. Now if we could ever get the EF built and be able to leave it there, that would be wonderful. But you know, let's not get ahead of ourselves here. LOL.

For those wondering, I did finish my homework and get it turned in yesterday. Now it's time to start on a new unit, it's the last unit for this class plus I HAVE to get started on my big final paper!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Days 626 & 627 and homework weekend

My weekend will be full of homework. I have a rough draft due on Sunday night, it's a final paper for my mediation class and has to be at least 10 pages long. I'm currently at about 3 1/2. Then if I can get that done, I really need to get a jump start on the last unit's homework because the class ends on a Friday which means I only have one weekend to work on it and I'll be gone to a child care class on Friday evening and Saturday daytime that weekend. The class is just in Enid so I can work when I get home Saturday evening. Anyway, hope everyone has a super weekend and I'll see you all on Monday!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Day 625 and brain fried

I am so brain fried tonight that I cannot think of anything to write. Except this. LOL. Seriously, it was an exhausting day with the kids and I had to really fight off the urge to eat out tonight. Tom's cooking supper. I'm so lucky to have a husband who will cook. I'm trying to write a paper. Hope everyone had a good day.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Days 622, 623, & 624 and some progress

You may have noticed that the car fund and baby EF have increased. I got a REWARD check (a program through DHS that pays child care providers for staying in child care, continuing their education, etc). Anyway, I put $200 of it into the EF and $200 into the car fund. I've also had some drop-in money the last couple of weeks that has gone in there, so it's growing. That feels good! Tom has some money that he's planning on giving me to add to it too.

Also, I wanted to say that I was sorry for the break in posting. I've been overwhelmed with things to do and feeling really negative and down so it's been hard to write. I've also not been feeling very well for what seems like forever. If things do not improve, then I am going to go to the doctor. I am tired of feeling so run-down and worn-out!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Days 620 & 621 and headed into the fog today

We are headed out into the fog soon to go to Norman. I have a meeting at the college there and we'll get to see Serenity when she gets off work. Hope everyone has a super weekend!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Chili Recipe #2 (the new one)

This is the recipe that Tom has used for the last couple of years at the chili cook-off. It's a little hotter than the other one, but apparently it's good. I'm a real wimp when it comes to hot foods so I can't say how hot this one is, I've not tried it.

Chili Boca Llameante


2-1/2 lbs. Ground beef
1/2 lb. Sausage
2 tbsp. Oil
1 Med. onion, chopped
5 cloves Minced garlic
2 tsp. Onion salt
2 tsp. Black pepper, coarse grind
1/2 tsp. Crushed red pepper
1 Green bell pepper, chopped
1 Red bell pepper, chopped
3/4 cup Chili powder
3 tsp. Garlic powder
2 tsp. Picante sauce
2 cans Ranch style beans w/jalapeno, 15oz.
4 cans Tomato sauce, 8oz.
1 can Diced tomatoes, 14.5oz.
1 tsp. Hickory (or mesquite) liquid smoke
2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup Beef bouillon broth
1/2 pkg. Taco seasoning


In lg. skillet, cook ground beef and sausage in oil with onion, minced garlic, and 1 tsp. each of onion salt and pepper.
Drain grease, then add bell peppers, 1/2 cup chili powder, garlic powder, and picante sauce.
Reduce heat to low and continue cooking for 3 minutes, stirring well.
After 3 minutes, boil 1/2 cup water with one beef bouillon cube and 1/2 pkg. taco seasoning, then add to skillet.
Add remaining ingredients, including remaining onion salt and pepper, and gently bring to a boil.
Allow to simmer for 15 minutes, then add remaining 1/4 cup chili powder and stir well.
Put in slow cooker and cook on med-hi heat for 3 hours.
Let cool, then refrigerate overnight in cooker.
Reheat well the next day when ready to eat, serve with grated cheese and chopped onions.
Makes approx. 1 gallon.

Chili Recipe #1 (the classic)

This is Tom's original chili recipe that he won with for several years:

3 pounds ground beef (browned and drained)
32 oz. tomato sauce
2 cans Ranch Style beans (we sometimes use one can of the sweet onion beans and one can of the jalapeƱo beans).
1/3 cup chili powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
2/3 teaspoon cumin
1/3 large onion, finely chopped and saute
2 green bell peppers, finely chopped and saute
salt and pepper
2/3 cup ketchup
1 cup water

Mix all ingredients together in a slow cooker and cook for at least 3 hours. I usually put it on high for about an hour to get it bubbling, then turn it down.

Now the thing you have to understand about Tom is that he never really follows a recipe so he tends to add stuff as it is cooking. However, this is about as close to his "recipe" as it gets. LOL.

Days 618 & 619 and Tom won the chili cook-off

Sorry about yesterday. My allergies and sinuses were killing me, I took two Benadryl and went to bed early.

Anyway, congrats to Tom, he won the chili cook-off this year at work, AGAIN! I'm so proud of him! Now he gets to go to the big cook-off downtown (which he hasn't won yet, but he SHOULD!)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Day 617 and changes in behavior

So whenever I'm feeling discouraged and down about how things are going for us, I try to remind myself of the positive changes we've made in our life over the last 617 days. This is a summary of our courtesy pay/bank overdraft charges for the past few years:

2009: $0 so far!
2008: $90 (two before we began FPU and two after from stupid mistakes)
2007: $1170 in courtesy pay fees and $90 in returned check fees for a total of $1260!
2006: $1282.50

Wow! what a turnaround, huh? So no matter what else we've done wrong or had go wrong, at least we have saved over $2000 by not being stupid with our checking account. LOL.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Days 614, 615, & 616 and got to see my parents yesterday

My parents came for a short visit yesterday. My mom retired a few months ago and she's been cleaning stuff out of her house. As she so morbidly put it "she's doing it now so we don't have to do it after she's gone". Um...yeah, thanks for THAT mental image, Mom. LOL. So anyway, she brought us a carload of stuff from her house, so apparently when I retire, I can clean it out of my house so my kids don't have to go through it. LOL. Anyway, it was great to see them, wish they could have stayed longer. Hope everyone had a good weekend and has a great week!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Day 613 and homework due this weekend

I have homework due this weekend, along with grocery and Wal-Mart shopping to get done, so don't know how much I'll be around. Hope all of you have a super one!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Day 612 and splurging a bit tonight

I need a break so Tom & I are having a little date tonight. Yeah! Hope everyone has a great evening!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Day 611 and a couple of interesting things I've noticed...

When we eat at home, we go through our groceries faster. LOL. By the time grocery weekend rolls around, we are wiped out on food.

When we eat at home and I cook a lot of home-cooked meals, we go through dishwasher detergent faster because there's a lot more dishes.

On other news: Serenity got her car fixed (WE HOPE), it was a radiator hose. She found a mechanic there in town and took it there this morning, he had it ready by noon.

I remembered that we had towing coverage on our vehicles. I thought we had it on all of them, but apparently I had just put it on Josh & Serenity's. At any rate, we should get reimbursed for Josh's truck being towed back to town, so that is a little extra money. I also added it to Tom's car and when we replace the van, I'll add it to that. It's only $3.20 every 6 months and with our luck, it's well worth it.

I have an interview tomorrow for a drop-in spot two days a week, they got my card at the Napa store here in town. Keep your fingers crossed!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Days 607, 608, 609, & 610 and ENOUGH with the car troubles!

Okay, well, I've had enough with the car troubles!!!!!! Serenity called Friday and her car is broke down. Her friend from work hoped it might be something simple like the radiator reservoir. They were able to find a universal one that fit and changed it out, she drove it back to her apartment and it did fine. Then she drove it to school yesterday and it overheated again. She had class and work all day so I have not talked to her since to see what, if anything, she found out. So, please pray that it is something else easy and cheap because we're all about tapped out on money!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Day 606 and busy weekend ahead

Tomorrow is the parade in town, and the mother's club has some activities going on afterwards. In addition, I need to do some serious homework this weekend since I have had a busy week in the evenings and naptimes haven't been exactly um...nappy this week. LOL. So my point is, you might not see or hear from me until Monday.

One little brag on ourselves, we've only eaten out twice in the last two weeks. Last Friday after getting groceries, we stopped and got subs to bring home (around $10). Tonight we stopped at El Chico and used our buy one enchilada dinner, get one free coupon and brought home enchiladas for supper (two dinners for less than $10!). So we're treating ourselves, but we're being careful about it and not overdoing it.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Days 604 & 605 and this has been a busy week

Wow, this has been a busy week! I've had two meetings, plus a house full of little blessings each day. I do not think I posted that I had an answered prayer this week. Two of my part-time children started coming full-time. Yeah! So now I've got one more full-time spot to fill, and I start a two day a week drop-in next week. It's way past my bedtime and I am tired so I'm going to bed. Good night!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Days 601, 602, & 603 and REALLY?

Tom's car has had kind of a weird wobble to it, so he took it to get the tires checked this morning. We were thinking it needed new front tires. Well it does, but it also needs new ball joints. Naturally. I guess I better follow my own advice from Saturday and get to praying and reading my Bible.

Speaking of prayers, one of my little child care boys is sick and in the hospital. Please keep him and his family in prayers.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Day 600 and lessons I have learned

Today is day 600 of our journey and I thought it was a good time to talk about all the lessons I have learned on this journey.

#1: Always, always, always look to the Lord for my strength! When I've wavered and become discouraged, it's because I've taken my eyes off of the Lord.

#2: Pray and read my Bible, all the time, but even more when I'm discouraged. This keeps me focused on the Lord.

#3: Be grateful for what we have and it is a lot: a home, food, jobs, health insurance, a wonderful church, great friends & family, and the list goes on and on.

#4: No matter what, as long as Tom & I have each other and rely on God, we can make it through anything.

#5: Never, never, never give up. Feeling like giving up? Refer back to #'s 1 & 2!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Day 599 and a LONG day!

Well it was one heck of a long day and I am worn out! Tom & I got the grocery and Wal-Mart shopping done tonight though so besides homework, I have the weekend to relax. Yeah! Hope everyone has a great one.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Days 597 & 598 and changed some things around

As you can see, I changed some things around on the blog today. I shortened the debt counter to where it just has the total and added lines with our savings updates on our baby emergency fund and the newly added car replacement fund. Yesterday, I made it through an entire day without bursting into tears so I'm making progress. LOL. Some friends loaned us their extra vehicle which will help make our life much easier as we work towards saving for a different vehicle. I am so thankful for good friends.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Day 596 and trying to hang in there

I had a longer post written, but as I re-read it, it just seemed really negative and down. So, I'm shortening it to this: Please pray for us, specifically that Tom's job goes back to 40 hours a week soon, that I fill my full-time spots with a good reliable family or families and that we are able to put back enough money to purchase another vehicle soon. Thank you.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Day 595 and be careful what you wish for

Yesterday I wished that we knew one way or another about the van. Today we know, and it is not good. As long as I didn't know, I could still hold out hope that it was fixable. LOL. Anyway, the cam is broken, which means a new engine. However, Napa could not find a new or rebuilt engine, which I guess makes the decision easier. Just say some prayers for us, please. I'm feeling very defeated today. I am off to read my Bible and to let the Lord get me through it.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Day 594 and Worry

Sometimes at church, there is a Sunday school lesson or a sermon where I feel like the Lord is talking directly to me through one of them. Today it was both. In Sunday school class, we talked about prayer. One of the verses was from Luke 18 where Jesus shares a parable about praying and never giving up. I've been praying about the van (and asked many other people to pray), but honestly have got a bit discouraged recently since it's been so long and we still know nothing. So that really touched me.

But what really got me this morning was the sermon Gary preached about worrying. It was like God was talking right to me via Gary. Tom apparently thought so too since he started poking me as soon as Gary started talking. LOL. But seriously, Gary talked about what worry does to us:

1. It's destructive. It tears us apart, or strangles us so much that we cannot even breathe (that is so true for me!).

2. It is deceptive. We lose the ability to see life & God the way they really are.

3. It is deformative. It stunts our growth as believers and we focus on everything but God's will for our lives.

So what can we do when the worry attacks us?
First, pray about it!
Lay it all before God.
Let God take care of it!

Gary also shared this quote from Corrie Ten Boom: "Worry does not empty tomorrow of it's sorrows. It empties today of it's strength".

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Days 592 & 593 and just spaced it out

Sorry, I just totally spaced out writing an entry yesterday. No good reason, just forgot!

Today I've been doing laundry and working on homework, and I cooked chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes, gravy, and salad for supper. Geesh, home-cooking sure does pile up the dishes though. LOL. For lunch we had burritos that I made from the taco leftovers earlier in the week. I've been working really hard at using up everything rather than letting things go to waste. Tomorrow we're having roast, carrots, and potatoes for lunch, then for supper we're having sandwiches. Then I've got to figure out a plan for next week's suppers. We have not eaten out all week long, even yesterday for lunch. Tom made us fried bologna, egg, and cheese sandwiches.

I hope everyone is having a nice weekend!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Day 591 and time to grab those boot straps and start pulling!

Well, it is time to get over myself and my pity party and move on. Sometimes it's okay to feel sorry for yourself, but not for long. Does not do any good in the long term, right?!

A confession: We have been spending too much money (again!) eating out. That has got to stop NOW! We have even been in the habit of Tom going and getting he & I some lunch every Friday when he's off. No more of that, either! We have done great this week, we have not eaten out since last week. I've got meals planned for the next several days so we can keep it up.

I have been a major slacker on getting a budget done each month. A new month is just around the corner so I am going to get a budget done for September and Tom & I will have a budget meeting.

We have got to generate some extra income to get our emergency fund built back up. I'm putting the word out that I still have openings. We are going to try to sell some stuff, either by having a garage sale, listing it on sale sites, or whatever else we can come up with. We are also tossing around some side business ideas. If anyone has any ideas for generating extra income, we'd love to hear them.

That's all for today!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Days 589 & 590 and the pity party

Well, I feel like having a pity party for myself today. If you don't want to come, then stop reading now. LOL.

First of all, we still do not know what is going on with the van. I'd really like to know, one way or another, so we know what we're faced with.

Next, my mom was going to give us plane tickets to Las Vegas as our Christmas present and as a way for me to celebrate my graduation in December. We were so excited! We would have to pay for our hotel rooms and of course our own spending money. With Tom still at 32 hours a week and business still kind of slow here, we had to tell her that we could not accept them this year. That totally bummed me out.

Finally:is there ever going to be a point in our life where we are not constantly worried about money? Sometimes I wonder.

OK, pity party over and moving on. Hope everyone has a great day!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Day 588 and the silver lining

I have been working really hard at finding the positive and the joy in our car crisis. One thing is, I know we have wonderful friends. We had not one, but two people loan us vehicles to help us out! Tom's sister and brother-in-law took me all the way over to the church to pick one of them up. Life is easier when you're blessed with good friends.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Days 586 & 587 and my school starts tomorrow

My classes start back up tomorrow. I got my paper proposal submitted on Friday, now I just wait for approval and an adviser to be assigned. I'm excited for my last semester to begin, but I"m nervous about this 30-50 page final paper that I have to write.

No news on the van.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Day 585 and vehicle updates

Well, Josh's truck just had a problem with a hose. It's fixed and back on the road again. Serenity's car is back, we're taking it to her tomorrow and getting Tom's car back. No definite news on the van yet. Keep praying that it's not as serious as it sounds!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Day 584 and silly me...I thought things couldn't get worse

Josh's truck broke down in Enid. It was leaking coolant all over the place. I am praying desperately that it's something simple like a broken hose. It does not sound good for my van. It started up and loaded onto the trailer, but there is something going on with the oil, the light won't go off and the engine apparently does not sound good. So, we may be performing last rites on the van soon.

I feel like I am going to fall apart. Please pray.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Day 583 and stress abounds

So, Serenity took Tom's car back on Sunday and Tom's been driving the van. Today, the van breaks down in Enid, leaving Tom stranded at lunch. Please pray that this is nothing serious, because we do not have any money in the baby EF right now, and we certainly do not have any money in the car replacement fund. I am feeling pretty overwhelmed right now.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Day 582 and the last day of summer vacation

Well, tomorrow, these kids go back to school and all I can say is thank goodness. LOL. Trying to keep the big ones quiet so the little ones can rest is wearing me out! On the subject of schools starting, I've got 6 days to finish my proposal! Keep those fingers crossed and some prayers coming!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Day 581 and gotta buckle down

Well, this is it. My classes start one week from today and I still have to get my proposal finished up for my big final paper! This week I have to buckle down and finish it up. I've been working on it and I have gathered a lot of resources for it, but I'm not done yet. goal is to have that finished by Friday. Josh starts back to class today, Tasha starts back on Wednesday, then Serenity & I start back next Monday. The summer sure got away from us, didn't it?

I have an interview today at 5:30, so keep me in your thoughts and prayers, please!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Days 576, 577, 578, 579, & 580 and down, discouraged, depressed...oh and BUSY!

Sorry I've been so slack this week. I was super busy and plus just feeling so down and depressed that it was hard to write or think about anything. We had our first mother's club meeting on Tuesday, then I had my first Enid child care association meeting on Thursday night. I'm president of that so I had to get everything ready and organized for the meeting, plus my friend & I presented the training so we had to get all of that ready!

I had two interviews scheduled for Friday evening. One called on Friday afternoon and had to reschedule for Saturday. That went well and the kids will be part-time MWF mornings while the mom goes to college. The other one did not show up Friday and when I called her, she had got busy painting and forgot. So we rescheduled for Saturday evening. Then she called Saturday morning and rescheduled for Monday. So we'll see how that all goes. I know that God will work it all out, I'm just having a really hard time being patient.

Blessings this week, Tasha got to spend some time in Norman with Serenity, then they (and Josh also went but took his own vehicle) went down to Granite to spend time with my family, got to see my parents, grandparents, and my sister's family. They made it there and back safely.

Then Thursday night, Serenity's car broke down in Enid. It needs a new starter, but it won't be in until Tuesday so she's taking Tom's car back to Norman today and Tom will be using the van. Serenity considered it a curse that it broke down while she was here (because her car does seem to break down when she's home, LOL), but I see it as a blessing. We are blessed with a mechanic who will do just about anything for us as well as a wonderful family member who sells us parts at a discount. So in my eyes, it's a blessing when it breaks down while she's home.

Anyway, I'll try not to be so lame this week and actually do my postings like I should. Hope everyone has a great week and I'm carrying this Bible verse in my heart this week. Please continue to pray for my openings to be filled and Tom's company's business to pick back up so everyone can get back to 40 hours a week.

Philippians 4:6

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Day 575 and first meeting of the fall

Well, I had my first meeting of the year tonight for the mom's club that I belong to. It was a lot of fun to be around my friends again and I swear I haven't laughed so much in a long time! Hope everyone had a great day!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Days 573 & 574 and stimulus packages

Sorry guys, I know I've been really lax about posting a message everyday. Some days time just gets away from me.

Anyway, today I want to talk about the words "stimulus package". By a show of hands, who else is totally sick of this phrase? Hopefully, I'm not the only one sick of it! I am sick of hearing those words every time I turn around. It started out as a supposed way for the government to turn the recession around. Now, advertisers are using it to advertise everything from restaurant deals to car deals. A radio station in Ok City has a "stimulus vault" that you can win keys to and have a chance to open and win prizes. I want a new catchphrase! I am sick of this one. And if we're going to have all this stimulus package stuff, could someone please pass me a package of it? LOL. Okay, rant over and moving on. Hope you all have a nice week!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Days 571 & 572 and this crisis

It's interesting that I'm facing a crisis so soon after writing about having joy in the face of one a couple of weeks ago. Here's what I was thinking about today. Last fall when I lost two kids because their mom lost her job and her DHS assistance, I could look back later and realize it was a good thing. I ended up taking two science classes that were VERY hard for me in the fall and it was easier to get through those classes without a heavy load of kids. Then just as Tom's job dropped down to 32 hours a week in January, I filled those spots. So now, maybe Tom's job will go back to full-time or I will pick up some new kids. The thing is that I am sure it will all work out. I won't say I haven't worried, because I am human and I have. But not like I normally would. I am sure that is due to prayers being sent up. Hope everyone is having a nice weekend!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Days 568, 569, & 570 and very discouraged

Hey guys, sorry for no postings the last couple of days. Tuesday night I had a meeting that lasted longer than I thought and by the time I got home, I was exhausted and went to bed. Then yesterday was a very rough day and it has left me feeling very discouraged. I lost two kids yesterday. I won't go into details here, but I would like to request some prayers, both for the openings that I now have and just my state of mind.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Days 564, 565, 566, and 567 & school is sneaking up on me!

Dangit! Where has this summer gone? School is sneaking up on me, big time! I'm ready for the kids to start, NOT ready for myself to start. I've not got my proposal ready for my Study in Depth class that I have to submit before classes start on the 24th. I never intended to let that go all summer long without getting done. Then all my clubs and groups will resume meetings soon too. So time to pull myself out of relaxation mode and get busy! Wish me luck!

I had a nice trip to Tahlequah. I got to see my friend for supper on Friday night (and a little bit on Saturday). The child care conference was nice, I learned a lot and I got inspiration for getting my proposal started, so that was great.

Hope everyone has a great week!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Day 563 and going out of town

I'm going out of town tomorrow with a friend to attend a child care conference on Saturday. I will try to post before I leave tomorrow, but if not it will probably be Sunday before I get a chance. I'm excited about this conference and getting away with a friend. I hope it rejuvenates and revives me. Summers in child care are HARD!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Day 562 and some prayer requests

I just want to ask for continued prayers for Tom's job situation. They are still on 32 hours a week and according to their last newsletter, it will be that way for a while longer. We are grateful for the job and the benefits and hopeful that things will get back to normal soon.

Also, it is time for me to start trying to fill some spots for the school year, so I'd like prayers for good, reliable clients.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Day 561 and Roses & Thorns

I have had this little piece of paper hanging by my computer for months. The talk about joy in the face of crisis had me paying attention to it again. It's from a sermon that our preacher did a few months ago. It's very thought provoking:

My God, I have never thanked You for my thorns. I have thanked You a thousand times for my roses, but never once for my thorns. Teach me the glory of the cross I bear; teach me the value of my thorns. Show me that I have climbed closer to You along the path of pain. Show me that, through my tears, the colors of Your rainbow look much more brilliant.

Praise him for your roses; thank him for your thorns.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Day 560 and joy in the face of crisis

Last Sunday night in discipleship training, our focus was on verses from the first chapter of James. Here are some of the excerpts from James 1. The entire lesson focused on verses 2-18, but these are the ones that really struck me:

2Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.


12Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.

My first thought was that often it's easy to look back AFTER a trial and see how it all worked out for the good. That can make it easier to look at a trial as a blessing. But that's not what this says. It says to consider it joy to face trials. Joy to face trials... That is a hard one to wrap my mind around. How do you go about doing that? I know it is not a natural reaction, at least not for me. Then I think of my friend who has faced cancer (more than once), fell off of her roof and broke both ankles, is going through a divorce, and multiple other crisis and she has joy and unending faith. And I find myself wondering: How can I get that? There are no answers today, only thoughts and wonderings. If you have any to add, please comment and share them.

Have a good week everyone!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Days 555, 556, 557, 558, &559 and I've been a major slacker

Sorry! I've been a major slacker this week. I've been having so much fun just hanging out with Tom and doing stuff together that I have hardly even set foot near the computer! I'm sad to say that today is the last day of "staycation". I will try to get to the post on joy in crisis tomorrow. Hope everyone's had a nice week!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Day 554 and happy birthday to my husband today!

Today is Tom's birthday so I want to use today's space to wish him a wonderful day and remind him how much I love him. He is truly my "other half".

Tomorrow I plan to talk about having joy in the face of crisis. That was our lesson Sunday night in discipleship training and it got me to thinking.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Day 553 and nice day with my husband

Tom & I had a nice day together. We ate at Lot-a-burger for lunch, hadn't had that in a long time. Yum! Then we used a buy one enchilada dinner get one free coupon from El Chico, brought it home and watched TV and relaxed together. I love my husband and I love staycation!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Day 552 and plotting ways to not cook this week

So I'm plotting ways to not have to cook this week while I'm on staycation. LOL. I've got some coupons that I plan to use, and we've put aside a little money to splurge and eat out at a couple of places that we haven't eaten in a while. If anyone around here knows of any good deals or has any good coupons to share, let me know. Tasha is leaving tomorrow for Falls Creek, and Josh should be working most of the week so it should be just Tom & I for the most part.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Day 551 and busy day

I got my hair cut this morning and then had lunch and a nap to try and sleep off the headache I woke up with. It helped but never completely went away. Then this afternoon, I took Tasha and her friends to Enid. Let me tell you, that is never boring. I'm going to miss when they all get their licenses and I don't get to do that anymore.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Day 550 and video game vent

I just had one child today and I took her to Enid to do some stuff at the Child Care Resource & Referral office, then we went to McDonald's to play and grab some lunch. I had not been in the play place at the McDonald's in quite a while. They used to have a section that was for the littler kids to play, but now they have video games there! They had like three Nintendo game cube games and another electronic games. Yes, because everyone goes to the McDonald's play place to play video games. For some reason, it just really frustrated me to see those games. I have nothing against video games in general. I enjoyed playing them in the past (don't play too often anymore) and I let my kids play them when they were younger. But I picture the play place as a place for active play, not a place for video games. Kids need to be able to get down and dirty and just have fun. I do toy reviews for a company and one of the toys that they sent me this last time is called a Splatster, you hook it to your TV and the kids can "paint" pictures on there. Heaven forbid we hand them an actual paintbrush and let them paint. Anyway, enough of my rants for today.

I am officially on "staycation" and really looking forward to spending time with Tom over the next few days.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Day 549 and exhausted

I don't know if it's the heat, the kids being um...challenging, or leftover exhaustion from VBS last week, or what, but I am downright exhausted today! Anyway, Tom & I are off next week and plan to mostly relax. I have a few things I'd like to work on but if I don't get them done, that's okay too. I'm glad the temperature looks like it's going to be a bit more bearable while we're off too. Yeah!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Days 547 & 548 and a rough couple of days

Well, I've gone several weeks with no really rough child care days, but these last couple of days took care of that. Guess the kids wanted to make sure I earned my vacation next week. LOL. On top of that, I had to drive Tasha to work this morning. We had to leave about 6:15 to get her there by 7:00 so I could be back here by 7:40 when kids start arriving. Hope everyone is having a good week. We had an arctic cold front move through today. It only got up to 97 instead of 107. LOL.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Days 545 & 546 and 16 years ago

Today I want to wish happy birthday to my youngest daughter, Natasha. She is turning 16! It seems hard to believe that she is 16. I know it sounds like a cliche, but it seems like just a few months ago that we brought her home from the hospital and just last week, Josh was carting her around with him everywhere. Time certainly does get away from us, doesn't it? It is just a reminder to me not to waste those precious moments, enjoy them all. Because they do not come again. Well, until I get grandkids, which thankfully looks to be several years off. LOL.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Days 543 & 544 and a great (but exhausting) week!

This week at VBS was wonderful. I enjoyed the kids, I enjoyed the music, and I am really glad it's over. LOL. Today we took Tasha and her friends bowling for her birthday, picked up pizza and came home, they're all upstairs watching movies tonight. Now that VBS is over, I should be able to get back to normal postings everyday. Hope everyone had a wonderful week and stayed at least semi-cool!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Days 541 and 542 and on the downhill slide

Well, we're on the downhill slide of the week of VBS. Two more nights and the program on Sunday to go! It's been going great. We had another boy join our one boy which made him happy! I've been having lots of fun, but I sure am tired! I am going to take advantage of all my kiddos being asleep right now and relax in the recliner for a while. Hope everyone is having a wonderful week. One of the nice things about VBS is that supper is provided each night so I don't have to worry about fixing supper early before we go. So I've had a week off from cooking supper. Yeah!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Day 540 and the first night of VBS

The first night of VBS went well. We had 8 kids in our class, 7 giggly girls and one boy. I'm helping with the 4th-6th grades. I was asked at the last minute to help with that age group last year and loved it, so I volunteered to this year. Hope everyone is having a great week!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Days 536, 537, 538, & 539 and what a wonderful weekend

Tom & I had an absolutely wonderful weekend together. We went to a comedy club on Friday night. On Saturday morning, we slept in and then went to a flea market. That was fun. When we were dating, there used to be a flea market in Enid and that was one of our favorite things to do, go walk around the flea market. This flea market that we went to in Tulsa was huge. We had a really nice time walking around in there and looking around. It was just a really nice, laid-back, relaxing weekend. Now it's back to reality. LOL.

Tonight, we start VBS at church. I'll be leaving here around 4:45 each day and getting home about 9:45. I have a busy week most of the week in the daycare, too. So I'll do my best to post a brief message each day, but if I don't, you'll know why. Hope everyone has a nice week!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Days 534 & 535 and just one more day to go!

Tomorrow's the day we leave for our weekend trip. Tom's off today and then we're both off tomorrow. I can't wait! I will try to post Sunday evening when we get back. Hope everyone has a wonderful 4th of July weekend.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Day 533 and getting ready for VBS

Next week we start VBS at our church. I'm helping with the 4th-6th grade age group. I met the other teacher over there tonight and we got our room as decorated as we can for now. We'll finish up Sunday night after Tom & I get back from our trip. VBS starts Monday. I've been taking care of some stuff on my to-do list since I got back, mainly faxing in some stuff that I needed to get done.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Day 532 and those goals from last week

Well, I hang my head in shame, I didn't get any of my goals done. About the middle of last week, I started having trouble sleeping. Then yesterday, I had a killer headache all day long. It would not go away, even after 2 Excedrin migraines, 2 Aleve, and one long nap. Then I had some tummy troubles from about 10:00 to midnight. so anyway, I'm giving myself a break and reassigning those goals for Thursday night. I want to have them done before we leave on our trip Friday morning.

Hope everyone had a great Monday!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Day 531 and in just a few days...

Tom & I will be having our romantic weekend. I cannot wait. We'll leave Friday and be back Sunday. As soon as we get back, I'll have to go to the church and decorate for VBS, which starts the very next night.

Today I woke up with a killer headache. I tried to sleep it off this afternoon, but it won't go away. Keeping my fingers crossed that it's gone by tomorrow.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Day 530 and another quiet Saturday

It was not supposed to be a quiet Saturday. I was supposed to go to Moore for a meeting of the Family Child Care Sub-Committee that I am on. Was going to go to Norman after and see Serenity. But that meeting got rescheduled for August 8th. I got grocery and Wal-Mart shopping done for this weekend. So I got a quiet, relaxing day instead. Yeah! I hope to get a few things accomplished, but haven't done much yet. Does anyone have a hard time getting motivated when it's this darn hot?

Friday, June 26, 2009

Day 529 and more clothing bargains

Last night, Tasha and I went to Enid to do some Wal-mart shopping. Our first stop was at JCPenney's to see if we could find some more jeans for Tasha. She found another pair of jeans that were marked down to 15.99 that she liked and she also got some shirts that were marked down to between $5.50 and $7.99, too. So she is well on her way to being ready for the school year. Yeah! Then we went to Wal-mart. While Tasha was looking around, I found a clearance rack with some dressy slacks on it all marked down to $5 a pair. Even better, they had some in my size! I got three new pairs of slacks; black, gray, and tan for $5 each! Now I can finally throw away my other two pair that I had, they were getting to be in very sad shape. LOL.

Happy Friday and have a good weekend!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Day 528 and some short term goals

Okay, it's time to pull myself together and set (and actually follow through!) with some short-term goals. So here we go.

1. I've been working on the July budget. Finish it up and have a budget meeting with Tom this upcoming weekend.

2. Continue to work on getting caught up on paperwork. I actually got several months of receipts logged, but need to go through and work on some other stuff too. My first goal will be to catch up parent totals by next Monday.

3. I must get to work on my proposal for my study-in-depth class. I have to find several references, so I'll start my goal by saying I"ll find five quality references by next Monday.

Hope everyone has a great day (and stays cool!)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Day 527 and the teeny-tiny baby emergency fund

Well, in the last few weeks, our baby emergency fund has dwindled down to where it's teeny-tiny, almost premature. LOL. Seriously, it is under $100 right now and we've got to get it back up there. We've still got the money set aside for Tom's car repair ($400 since March), but it hasn't been done yet. I'm trying to come up with some ideas of ways to pull in extra $'s, but until summer vacation is over, that's going to be hard. I've got two kids who are on DHS payment and spending time with their dads this summer. I don't get paid when they are not here, and that along with other things combines to drop my income in the summer. Don't get me wrong, the break is much needed and appreciated, but it does make the summer stressful. This coming year, I'd like to try to finally put aside some money to help get through the summer. I've tried to do that for years, but never seem to manage. Maybe this will finally be the year!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Day 526 and Bargains from JCPenney's

Earlier this month, I got a $10 of $10 or more purchase at JCPenney's. Now the first one of these I tried to use back in December, I couldn't use it on the one thing I needed at the time (new shoes). It expired that day so I just gave it to the cashier and asked her to use it for someone else's purchase (hopefully she did). I got another one in May so Tasha and I went in there hunting for stuff. Tasha needed socks so we found her some socks, got a 6 pack of socks for $1 and change. That was pretty exciting! Then I got another one this month. Tasha is going to be needing jeans for Falls Creek and school and she had already ripped one pair (it was a pair she'd had a while though) at work. So we went to Penney's to see if we could find some jeans to use the coupon on. After much searching, she found a pair of jeans that were normally $46 and they were marked down to $19.99. That's not bad for a pair of jeans for a teenager so I was happy with that and hopeful we'd be able to use the coupon. She also picked out a shirt that was marked down from $20.00 to $9.99. When we checked out, the jeans rung up at $15.98, then the shirt was 9.99 and we got to use the coupon. With tax our total was $17.xx!!! For a new pair of jeans and shirt, I thought that was awesome. The sad thing was that even before the coupon, with the markdowns, those jeans were less than the ones we bought Tasha at Wal-Mart to work in (they were $16.92). That is a lesson for everyone-don't assume that things are always cheaper at Wal-Mart. Sometimes sale prices and markdowns make things cheaper at other places (and those items are often of better quality). This weekend we are going to try to find her some more jeans for Falls Creek and school (I'm trying to avoid having to buy a bunch of stuff right before Falls Creek). At camp, they are allowed to wear shorts during the day but they have to wear jeans during the evening church services.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Day 525 and last Financial Peace class last night

We had our last Financial Peace class last night. It was on giving and how giving can help make you more Christ-like. Tom & I do give to the church, but we are still not up to the tithe (10% of our income) yet. I sometimes wonder if we increased our giving how it would affect our debt repayment. But yet we should never give with the idea that we will get something in return. At any rate, I definitely think that the most important lesson learned from last night's message is this: "God owns it ALL!" We are merely stewards or managers of what God has blessed us with.

Tune in tomorrow for info on Tasha & I's visit to JCPenney's on Saturday and our bargains there.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Days 523 & 524 and Father's Day Weekend

Here's hoping all the dads out there had a great Father's Day. Our day was nice. Serenity came up last night to surprise Tom for Father's Day. She took us all out to lunch today. Josh had to work at 1:00 so we went into town early and ate before the lunch rush so that was nice. I feel incredibly lucky and blessed with our children. They are all growing into such wonderful young adults.

Tomorrow I'll talk about our last Financial Peace University class tonight.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Day 522 and a bit of bragging on myself

I was able to get a 4.0 in the spring semester in my online college classes, so this past week I got a letter and certificate from the college saying I made President's Honor Roll. I hate saying it out loud, but I can't help it. LOL. I am proud of myself. I am appreciative of my family & friends for being so supportive and understanding. Especially Tom who has to put up with my meltdowns when it gets to be too much for me.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Day 521 and frozen bananas

When my bananas get overripe, I stick them in the freezer until I need some to make banana bread. Then I thaw them in the microwave, cut the end off and just squish the banana out. Recently Tom commented on how many were in the freezer and I realized that there were um...quite a few. LOL. I took them out and counted them this morning; there were 26! Now I only need three to make a batch of banana bread so I think I need to find some other recipes for overripe bananas. I was thinking smoothies or banana shakes, of course. I could probably put some in pancake mix and make banana pancakes. Any other ideas that anyone can share?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Day 520 and not much time tonight

Tom & Tasha have been on the computer all evening. Tom was getting itunes installed for Natasha, she bought an ipod. So I am just now getting a chance on here. It's late so I am headed to bed. Hope everyone had a nice day. It was another hot one.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Day 519 and summertime is here

Well, I guess summertime has officially arrived. It hit over 100 degrees here today. The kids and I went out early this morning, but we did not even venture out this afternoon. I am not looking forward to that walk to the library with them in this heat tomorrow. Yikes! I had a busy day with the kids, getting Father's Day gifts ready and during naptime, I was gathering info for a class a friend and I are presenting together in August. We got together tonight and worked on getting it organized.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Day 518 and the monster pile of stuff on the desk

The monster pile of stuff on the desk has got much smaller over the last few days! Thanks to only having one child on Friday and two today, I actually felt like getting a few things accomplished. I even got several months of receipts logged. I've got other things I need to do, but progress is progress, right?

Hope everyone had a great Monday!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Day 517 and we can't do this alone

This morning's sermon at church really struck home with me. Gary talked about how we NEED God and when we try to do things on our own, it does not work out very well. To illustrate, he used this passage from Matthew 12: 43-45 about a man who got rid of a demon on his own, but the demon came back with several friends:

43 "When an unclean [a] spirit comes out of a man, it roams through waterless places looking for rest but doesn't find any. (A) 44 Then it says, 'I'll go back to my house that I came from.' And when it arrives, it finds [the house] vacant, swept, and put in order. 45 Then off it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and settle down there. As a result, that man's last condition is worse than the first. (B) That's how it will also be with this evil generation."

My point in this is that I have a really bad habit of praying about something and putting it in God's hands, then reaching up and taking it back because things don't happen as fast as I think they should. I have to realize that to truly hand our finances (or anything else) over to God means that I don't keep obsessing and worrying about. That's not to say that I don't think about it and work on it, but I don't make myself miserable worrying about it like I have been doing lately.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Day 516 and a quiet day

Today was a quiet day around our house. I slept in and I have taken it pretty easy today. I've had a headache since early evening that just won't quit so I'm heading to bed soon to hopefully sleep it off.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Day 515 and blessings

One thing that I usually try to do when I'm feeling down is list my blessings. I can think of several right now.
1. Tom still has a job, even though he's still only working 32 hours a week. At least two other companies that we know of in Enid have laid off and then there is the strike out at Vance going on with all of those people out of work (Tom worked out at Vance when we first met).
2. My business is going well. I have been having calls and have at least one prospect for filling my full-time spot in August. Summer is usually a slow time for me and while it's hard financially, I think to a certain degree I need it to be able to keep on doing this job. One of the ladies that talked to me about child care said she had heard so much good stuff about me and she really wanted to place her child here. That made me feel really good.
3. We have a fantastic exciting trip to look forward to in a few weeks (of course setting aside the money for the trip is a little bit stressing to me, but it will all work out).
4. I am married to the most wonderful man in the world.
5. I have three wonderful, beautiful children.
6. Serenity had a scary wreck a few weeks ago and thankfully was able to pretty much walk away. On top of that, she had enough money saved to go out and pay cash for a new (to her) car without having to finance and that took a lot of stress off all of us.
7. I have great friends and an incredible extended family.
8. Lastly, today I only have one child. Next week, my max kids any of the days will be 4. As my friend pointed out to me: God knew I needed a break.

I will close with this Bible verse from Philippians 4:4
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: rejoice!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Day 514 and burnout

I have felt so rundown and exhausted this week and it took me a few days to realize that I was hitting a burnout phase. I go through these every once in a while with my job and other commitments, I'm guessing that everyone does. So I picked up my favorite book on burnout for child care providers: Finding Your Smile Again by Jeff A. Johnson and started reading it again today. Jeff uses this description from Beverly Potter about burnout: "a loss of enthusiasm, a surrendering of ambition, a sense of resignation that consumes the spirit and can even lead to physical ailments. Burnout is a stressful process accompanied by declining performance, people problems, feelings of meaninglessness, negative emotions, frequent illness, and a propensity to engage in substance abuse". Sadly a lot of that describes very well what I've been feeling lately. Summertime can be a hard time for me. I've got older kids all day long who can be harder to keep busy and present other challenges. I have just finished up my classes for the school year a few weeks ago and I always feel a weird "let down" feeling when I am done. My child care associations and mother's club take a break for the summer. Those breaks are much welcome and needed, but I end up feeling a little bit at loose ends. I know, I'm weird! I'm feeling a bit discouraged with our financial journey, it seems like we're just treading water and not really making any progress. So now that I know what's wrong with me, I go about working towards fixing it. I could use some good thoughts and prayers. Thanks!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Day 513 and working on a menu

So I've been working on a menu for the next couple of weeks for when I get groceries this weekend. The problem is that I am just tired of cooking and rarely want to do it anymore. I used to love it, but for some reason I just don't anymore. I used to love perusing through cookbooks and looking for new ideas to try but I haven't done that in ages. I've tried looking at those sites that plan menus for you. I've tried free ones and I've tried free samples off of paid ones. But either way, most of the recipes are kind of weird with unpronounceable ingredients that I can't find or have never even heard of. So I need to find some inspiration!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Day 512 and through the wringer

Today was better than yesterday, but I still feel like I've been put through a wringer. Anyone got any Calgon? LOL.

Tom has been after me to get the budget together AND have a budget meeting so I am going to try to get that done before Friday (since he gets paid on Friday). Update on his job, there was a note up that they would be off Thursday, July 2nd for Independence Day if they were off on Fridays right now (some of the office workers/salaried people are working Fridays). So I guess we're still down to 32 hours a week at least through June and into July. So we keep praying...

Monday, June 8, 2009

Day 511 and what a Monday

Oh my gosh, what a day! I am totally wiped out! Hope everyone else had a better Monday than I did.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Days 509 & 510 and tonight's FPU class

Well, I didn't get much done on my to-do list this weekend. I was worn out after CPR/First Aid class, my asthma acting up so bad right now and having to do all that huffing and puffing did not go well together. Geesh! Anyway...moving on.

Tonight's FPU class was on Working in your Strengths. One of the questions that our leader asked at the end of class was "If you could do anything you wanted and money was no object, what would you do?". My answer was that I would write. Tom's was run a music store or a bookstore. Dave teaches that if you do what you love, the money will follow. This is one of his concepts that I've had a hard time embracing. What are your thoughts on this?

Friday, June 5, 2009

Day 508 and have you started thinking about Christmas?

I haven't. Well, other than the money that we put aside in our Christmas account. It is going to be here before we know it so I want to start thinking ahead and getting ready. First off, I need to make a list of who I will need to get gifts for. Then I will need to establish a budget and write down some ideas for each of those people. After that, I can start looking for bargains or purchasing gift cards (whichever the case may be).

Last weekend I made quite a bit of progress on my to-do list. There is still a lot to do though and I plan to work on it some more this weekend. Tomorrow morning I have CPR/First Aid class so that will take up a good part of my day, then I'll see what I can get done after that. If I am not careful the whole summer is going to get away from me and I'll not have got all the things done that I wanted to.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Days 506 and 507 and "staycations"

So the last few days my allergies have been making me pretty miserable. On top of it, when my allergies act up, usually my asthma acts up too. Yesterday my eyes were all itchy and yucky and by the end of the day I was exhausted. I took some Benadryl and went to bed a little after 8:00 and fell asleep soon after! Tom & Tasha were on the computer most of the evening and I just flat forgot to post a blog entry. I slept pretty well and felt better this morning, especially after taking a decongestant. However my asthma is still acting up, I've been struggling to breathe all morning. Hopefully whatever is in the air that's getting to me will go away soon.

A few days ago Tom, Tasha, and I were in the van and listening to the radio. On it, they were talking about "new words". One of the new words they were talking about was "staycations". Now I don't know about you, but that word is not new to me at all. I've used it in the past and we've done it for years. Maybe it's my job or maybe I'm just a homebody, but to me there is nothing more relaxing than a week off at home. Most people think we're weird (and we probably are), but that's what we like to do.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Day 505 and fun things to do on a budget

I thought I would try to come up with some fun "summer vacation" type ideas to do on a budget. One suggestion is if you live in Oklahoma, go to the Oklahoma travel site: They have information about attractions all over Oklahoma, even in our neck of the woods here. One year when the kids were younger, we took them to the railroad museum in Enid. It was free and they had a great time looking at stuff and exploring. We also took them to the Cherokee Strip Museum. They enjoyed it, but I think their favorite was the railroad one. In Enid, there is also a Splash Pad that is free, you can take the kids there to play. We took our great-niece last year during vacation and she had a blast. I wished that it had been available when our kids were younger, they would have loved it. Other towns may have something like that available, I know there is one in Norman. Any other thoughts or ideas?

Monday, June 1, 2009

Day 504 and June already!

Can anyone believe it is already June? And it has felt alot like summer the last couple of days. The kids played in the water (the mud actually, LOL) and had a great time. I am totally wiped out tonight so I'm going to call it a night.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Day 503 and Town Hall for Hope

A few weeks ago Dave Ramsey hosted a live web event (and on the Fox Business channel) called Town Hall for Hope. There were over 6000 locations that you could go and watch it nationwide. It was about hope in the tough economy. Tom & I did not get to attend but our pastor had recorded it and we borrowed the DVD from him. It was awesome! It really filled me with hope. There is a website called where you can learn more about it. Dave gives three suggestions for giving yourself hope. #1 is: Take action! Get up and do something. Don't just sit around and talk about it. #2 is quit listening to loser talk, especially from the media (who helped create this mess with their doom and gloom in the first place, in my opinion). #3 was start giving, if you can't give money, give time. The best way to cheer yourself up is to cheer somebody else up.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Day 502 and working on my to-do list

We got the grocery shopping done last night, and so this morning I woke up determined to make some headway on this to-do list. So far I have accomplished quite a bit, including browning up hamburger meat, laundry, faxing in some paperwork that I needed to do, switching out books in the playroom, gathering up the toys I want to switch out, laundry, and a few other little things that I needed to get done. It feels good to be getting stuff done. Now I'm working in the office trying to clear it up a bit and get it looking slightly less like a pigsty! Well, the dryer just buzzed, gotta go fold clothes! Hope everyone is having a fabulous weekend!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Day 501 and keeping my fingers crossed

Today there was an online article in the Enid News & Eagle about manafacturing layoffs in Enid. They spoke to the head of Tom's company and he said they hope to resume regular hours by the "end of summer". Tom said the rumor at work is that they might go back in July. Either way, I'm praying and keeping my fingers crossed that it is true. At any rate, I know God will take care of us.

Have I mentioned the totally awesome gift that one of my daycare families gave me as a going away gift last week? A two night stay at the Cherokee Inn & Resort in Tulsa. We booked our getaway for July 3rd & 4th! I cannot wait! We'll just need money for food and spending.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Day 500...and looking for something profound to say

Wow, 500 days of this journey and writing about it on the blog. I wish I had something profound to say today. About the only thing that keeps coming to mind is the quote "never, never, never, never give up!" That's what I keep telling myself lately. It seems things have been tough, but I guess that's life. I'm sad because I lost some kids last week (one of the families had been with me almost 8 years). I'm sad because my great-uncle passed away. Even though he had been in poor health, it still makes me sad. I'm still worrying over Serenity, even though SHE insists that she's fine (that's a mom for you though). And I talked yesterday about how overwhelmed I feel about everything lately around the house. It's tough to get myself together and do everything that I need to when I feel this way. But when I look back at the progress that we've made, I feel better. It is a journey.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Day 499 and feeling like I'm not doing very well

Lately I have just not been keeping up well with the housework, the paperwork, doing the budget, and other organizational tasks. My desk and office are a total mess. It's almost all to the point that I'm so overwhelmed that I do not even know where to start. Ugh. Anyway, I need a plan.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Days 497 & 498 and oops!

I totally forgot to write yesterday. Since I've been done with my college classes, I've been actively avoiding the computer much of the time and spending my spare time reading books. Books that I want to read. LOL. I don't get much time for reading while I'm taking classes. That is pretty hard for me since reading is one of my favorite pastimes. I rarely buy a book brand new (although I do sometimes). I mostly try to buy them at thrift stores or used at Hastings, or order them used online. My father-in-law is also an avid reader and he lets us borrow his books when he gets done. That's a lot of what I've been reading on since I got done with classes is books that we've borrowed from him that I haven't had time to get to in the last several months.

Hope everyone had a nice Memorial Day weekend. Mine was pretty good and relaxing. I guess I just really needed some down time because I don't really even feel that guilty about not getting anything done. LOL.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Day 496 and The Tortoise & the Hare

So tonight's FPU lesson was about investing. For someone stuck on Baby Step #1 (get $1000 in the baby EF), that idea seems so far off! But during the lesson, Dave talks about interviewing a billionaire who gives him two pieces of advice: 1) for Dave to keep his giving spirit and 2) for Dave to remember that in the book The Tortoise & the Hare, the tortoise always wins! For some reason, that was really encouraging to me. We may be plodding along slowly, but we just have to keep trying. It did not get this way overnight, it will not go away overnight. So, here's to the tortoise!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Day 495 and bumming around

Well, I have been pretty much a total bum today and it has been wonderful! I slept in, I sat around and read, about the only productive thing I did was go to Enid and get groceries for next week. Notice I did not work on the office. LOL. Maybe tomorrow.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Day 494 and happy birthday to me

Yep, today's my birthday. I am 43 years old! I remember back when I was in my early 30's being sort of bummed out on my birthday because I felt like we should have had our life more together by then. LOL. Now here it is over a decade later and we still don't have our life that together. But now I'm definitely older and maybe a little wiser and wonder does anyone ever truly have their life "together"? I am not sure. Some people sure have the appearance of it, but appearances can be deceiving. One thing I do know is that we are incredibly blessed no matter what day to day problems we may be facing.

Also, I had a sort of "duh" moment yesterday. It truly had not occurred to me until that moment (which was just as well), but I think I figured out why I was so emotional about Serenity's accident (besides the obvious reasons) but I think it was because of my brother dying in a car accident. Anyway, when I talked to Serenity yesterday, she was planning on driving herself to work. It would be the first time that she'd driven since the accident. I wanted to call last night and see if it went okay but I am getting on her nerves calling everyday so I thought calling twice would probably really get on her nerves. LOL.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Day 493 and true confessions

Well, it's time for some confessions! First of all, we have been eating out way too much. Obviously we ate out alot last weekend with being in Norman, but we had been doing it too much before that and we've even done it a couple of times since. So it's time to buckle down and get back on track again. We have also been enjoying Sonic drinks maybe more than we should but since we can usually get them at Happy Hour prices now, I am not going to feel too guilty about it, we just need to be careful. Lastly, I never did a paper budget for May. I will do one for June. I have set a goal of having it done by Wednesday of next week so Tom & I can talk about it.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Day 492 and updates

Well, Serenity sounds a little better every time I talk to her, so hopefully she'll be 100% soon. She is still taking the pain meds because her arm where the glass was really hurts.

Obviously I did not meet my goal of getting the office into better shape by the end of the weekend. So I'll reset that goal for this coming weekend.

Lotions: none of the lotions I tried this winter kept my hands from cracking and breaking out.

This is a tough week for me. I'm losing one child tomorrow, he's been a drop-in since January. Another child's last day is Friday, his family has been with me for almost 8 years. It's going to be hard!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Day 491 and Birthday Wishes

Today's blog is dedicated to my sister-"in-law" (although it feels more like we're actually sisters). Anyway, today is her birthday and I want to wish her the happiest of days. I hope you have a great day, Di! I had no idea when I married Tom that I'd be getting a new dear friend in the bargain too!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Day 490 and bargain shopping

Last night's FPU class was on bargain shopping. I really want to be one of those people that can negotiate for everything, but I'm not. We did okay on the car shopping on Saturday for Serenity, but I think if Tom or I either one were better at it, we could have done better.

What kinds of good bargains do you find? how do you find them? Do you negotiate? One of my bargains that came to mind was a:

KitchenAid stand mixer: Several years ago, I wanted one and a new one was almost $300. I found one at an online auction site, brand new in the box, for a little over $100. The seller had got it as a wedding gift and never used it!

I'm interested in hearing how other people find bargains!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Day 489 and is it Sunday night already?

Well, this weekend went by in a flash! I am totally wiped out and going to bed. But not before I wish my darling great-niece Happy 1st birthday one more time today! She was so cute at the party!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Day 488 and so incredibly grateful

Yesterday afternoon at about 3:48 p.m., I got the phone call that made my heart drop to my feet, the phone call that no parent wants to hear: "your child has been in an accident". Especially when that child is 2 hours away. Our oldest child was in an accident in OKC yesterday afternoon. Praise God, she is fine, other than being very, very sore, and having a cut on her left shoulder. Both driver's side windows and the back window shattered, the entire driver's side was caved in, and well...she is one incredibly lucky young lady. Poor girl had to sit in the car for 40 minutes before an ambulance even got there (the tow truck for the vehicle made it before the ambulance!) Anyway, we dashed to OKC yesterday evening, found which hospital they took her to (they left her cell phone in the car and we didn't know where she went), then picked up her stuff from her car, took her back to Norman, and got a hotel room there so we would be close by. Then today we helped her find a new car and came home this evening. Keep her in your prayers that she recovers quickly with no complications and that her new car works out okay.

To those of you who knew about what happened, thank you so much for your good thoughts and prayers!

I am going to try to post one of the pictures I took of her car with my cell phone.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Day 487 and last week's FPU class

Last week was week 6 at FPU and it was on insurance, what kinds you should carry, what kinds you should not, etc. It is a little bit dry, but a very important lesson. It is also a little bit depressing because Tom & I don't have life insurance policies and with both of our health issues, I'd say it's pretty safe that we would not be able to get one now. We are blessed to have health insurance, and we also have house and car insurance. With the fire a few years ago, we know how important it is to have good home insurance. Speaking of insurance, we've had several people tell us we need to get our roof and vehicles checked after the hailstorm a few weeks ago.

I don't know about anyone else, but I am darn glad it is Friday!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Day 486 and a huge headache

Sorry, I know I've been a real slacker lately, but I have a huge headache tonight and can't think of much to write about. Let's see, I'm still waiting on grades on one of my classes, got an A in the other one. I'll keep you posted on the class with no grades yet.

Hope everyone had a great day!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Day 485 and update on goals

Goal #1: Continue our journey towards financial peace.
Well, we are still muddling along on this one. It seems to be two steps forward and then one or two steps back! As I've mentioned, Tom's job is still at 4 days per week and things usually slow down for me some in the summer. However, we just keep trying, that and praying, that's all we can do.

Goal #2: Get more organized in my home and business.
Yeah, that's not going so well. My goal is to have my office put back into shape by the end of this coming weekend. Then next week, work on catching up book work. Then I"ll set some other goals.

Goal #3: Have a more positive attitude.
Ahem. Well, neither is this one. I guess it's just a process. Noone feels happy all the time, do they? I haven't been remembering to write in my joy journal and I sure did not remember to read it when I was feeling cranky the last few days. So here's a reminder to myself about that!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Day 484 and The Shack

My Sunday school teacher gave me a copy of the book The Shack. WOW! What an amazing book. If you can buy or borrow the book, read it! It will really make you think.

I am not feeling near as blah, but it's late and I don't have much to say. I think I am just so tired and burned out from the end of the semester. Hopefully it will lift in a few days. Tomorrow I plan to do a goal update.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Day 483 and the blahs

Well...I think I have end of the semester, everything has been going wrong lately, blahs! I just feel so well...blah! I keep trying to get myself out of this funky mood but so far it's not working. So, if someone could say some prayers for me, might help. Hope you all have a great week!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Day 482 and Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all the mom's out there. Hope your day has been special and wonderful.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Days 480 & 481 and a space case

Well, I totally spaced out posting the blog yesterday. No good reason, just spaced it out.

Today did not work out exactly as I had planned. First of all, I had planned to sit in the recliner with a book all day. A book that "I" wanted to read! LOL. Anyway, then I found out I had to take some stuff to Serenity in Norman. Then I found out I needed to take Tasha to the wildlife refuge for a meeting about her summer job at 2:30, so I couldn't even leave for Norman until then. I had a low front tire so I went to the Co-op this morning to get it fixed. Since I was going to be driving to Norman today I asked them to check the other tires and make sure they were okay. They said the back ones would need to be replaced soon. Well, we had a blow-out on the way to the wildlife refuge! ARGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! To top it off, the other mom and kids that were going rode with us, so we were all stranded. We started changing the tire, but one of the lug nuts was stripped and the stupid hub cap key thing kept slipping and we could not get those two nuts off! Finally, I called our preacher and asked if he could come help us. Then a good Samaritan stopped to help. He got the tire off and was getting the spare on just as the preacher got there. The preacher had brought an air tank which was good because the spare was low. So we were on the road again, went to the meeting and made it back home safely. Obviously we're not taking the van to Norman tonight. Tom needed his car so I have to wait until tomorrow morning and run to Norman and take Serenity the stuff. Not exactly how I wanted to spend my mother's day. I'm having a huge pity party for myself right now. Anyone else want to come?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Days 477, 478, and 479: submitted my final paper for this semester

I submitted my last paper for this semester last night. So I am done. Well sort of. As I mentioned, I have to work up that proposal for my capstone class in the fall. But I"m giving myself a break for a few days before I get to work on that. But I don't want it hanging over my head all summer long.

Also last night was my last club meeting for this session. Now both child care associations and the mother's club are on break for the summer. What in the world will I do with myself? HA!

Hope everyone is having a great week. Yesterday was so strange. There was this lovely blue color and round orange thing in the sky. Today it is supposed to get up to 90.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Days 474, 475, 476 and still not done with my homework

I am not done with my homework assignments yet so it will be quiet around here until I am done. Sorry for the break, but schoolwork comes first! (At least that's what I always tell my kids).

Friday, May 1, 2009

Day 473 and hopefully the last homework break for a while

My last set of homework assignments are due next Friday. I plan to spend this weekend working on them as if they were due Sunday night. That will give me a few days to review them and make sure they are done and ready. Naptimes have been tough to get anything done during recently, and evenings are busy next week. So I hope everyone has a great weekend (and hopefully less eventful than last weekend!)

Just one more week and I get a break from school for a while (sort of). I have to get my proposal ready for my "capstone" class, it has to be submitted and approved before classes start back up in August.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Day 472 and believe it or not!

We had our last child care association meeting for this season (we meet August-April and then take a break over the summer) here in town tonight. (I belong to two different groups, one for this county and one for the next county over). I've held an office in this group for years. I can only think of 2 or 3 years that I did not take an office since we formed back in the mid-90's. Anyway, I did NOT take an office for next year! I had said I was not going to and for once I stuck to it and did not change my mind! I am however still president of two other groups next year, the other child care association and the mother's club. LOL.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Day 471 and possible update on Tom's job

Please pray for us:

Tom heard at work today (through the rumor mill) that the 4 day work week could last into next year. I have to say, that scares and worries me. It was originally hoped that it would only last a couple of months. It's already been 4, we're starting the 5th month. I am entering the time of year when my business usually makes less money, and well, it's just scary. I have been trying really hard not to worry about it, but well...there it is. The worry. The fear. It is times like this that I have to hold fast to this promise from God from Matthew 6:25-34

25"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

28"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Day 470 and plum worn out tonight!

It was a rough day here at Kiddo Kare today. Just one of "those" days. Ya know the kind you have at any job. Anyway...

Our preacher and another member brought my van back yesterday. I thought that was so nice. I had told him I would just get it when I went for the VBS training tonight, but it was nice to have it back. Then I realized later that he also filled it up with gas! That was so sweet!

I am tired and my brain is fried so that's it for today.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Days 467, 468, 469 and what a weekend!

The good news is between 6 teenagers spending the night with Tasha on Saturday, 5 of them sticking around all day Sunday (and 3 spending the night again on Sunday night because they couldn't get home) thunderstorms, tornado warnings, and getting stuck at church due to flooding roads, I was able to get my homework done and submitted this weekend. Today starts my last units for this semester. WOOHOO!!!!

Anyway, let's back up. Tasha and her group of friends had a sleepover here on Saturday night. There were supposed to be 8 girls but one couldn't make it. She was coming later in the evening, but by then it was storming and the road between here and where she lives was already closed. It started storming here early in the evening. At one point, the storm sirens blew, but luckily there wasn't much going on at that point and we didn't end up down in the storm shelter. It continued raining and storming and hailing throughout the evening. Around 8:15, we lost power for about an hour. I had finished one of my papers earlier so when the power came back on and it wasn't storming at the moment, I rebooted the computer and got that paper turned in. At the same time, I e-mailed the other professor and told him what was going on in case we lost power or anything and I could not get the other paper turned in on time. I stayed up until 12:30 watching weather and it looked like things were finally calming down for us so I went ahead and went to bed. About 1:00 a.m., the storm sirens blew again. One of the girl's moms picked her up and took her up to the storm shelter here in town, and the other 6 girls and I went down to the storm shelter in our basement. We were down there until almost 3:00 a.m. and then spent another hour watching the weather after they blew the all-clear, just to make sure it was safe to go to bed. I got up and went to church because I had agreed to teach the youth girl's Sunday school class. One of the girls who lives near the church went with me. We got there fine, but we had to go a different way than usual because the road I usually take was flooded. After church, I headed home and when I turned onto the road I had taken earlier, it said "road closed". I thought "uh-oh, that was not there earlier!". Sure enough, now that road was flooded too! I was so tired, still had all that homework to do and I just burst into tears. I called Tom and then I called the preacher who had me come back to the church. He had to go to Enid and he was able to get his pickup through the water and got me home (but my van is still at the church). He did not think my van would have made it though. So I got home, got my homework done and turned in, and was able to do a little relaxing last night. Three of Tasha's friends had to spend the night again because roads were flooded where they could not get home.

All in all, quite an interesting weekend! How was yours?