Thursday, July 19, 2012

Budget Revamp

In May I realized our budget was in trouble. In our family I handle the finances, with support from my husband. I am the more organized one which helps me handle the budget. However, in May, I realized I needed help. I needed my husband to step in and be a second brain. So we looked, and crunched and looked some more. At the end I felt much better about everything and we had a new plan. The new plan has been working so well!

Let me tell you about our old budget first. I had tons of categories and I would have a piece of paper in a binder for each one. Then, I would take every receipt and calculate how much money of each category had been spent. Then I would write that amount on each corresponding page. Confused? Yeah I know. It was incredibly time consuming and very hard to keep up with spending. I found myself over spending in almost every category on a monthly basis. I was so disappointed in myself an overly frustrated that I was not being a good steward. I even felt belittled by my husband a few times when he would make comments about the bank account (he did not realize that it was bothering me, so don't worry. He was only making general comments but since I was already insecure about the budget it made me feel attacked.

So the budget now? Simplified by a million! I combined most of the categories and narrowed them down to the basic. The kicker? We are on the cash system now! Oh my goodness, if you have never done it.... you should! It has been the best budget system for us yet! Each week I get out our set amount of cash, then once it is gone.... we are done spending! This system does require more planing with my shopping but that has been helpful to me. It has shown me how careless I was before. It has also shown me how little we really need to be happy. I am enjoying this new system for lots of reasons!

So what do you and your family do to help with your budget? 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Day 7: Surrogacy Update

I posted this on Carried and I wanted to share the same post on my blog:

"Today I had my very first appointment! It went great. They took what seemed like a ton of blood, but it was fine. The ultrasound was great too. I was pretty nervous about what it would be like... mostly if it was going to be messy (filling someones uterus with saline while simultaneously doing an ultrasound just seemed messy in my head) but also if it was going to hurt. Luckily it was smooth sailing and was no big deal. The doctor was incredibly excited about my uterus, which was a little weird, but he was even more excited about my ovaries. Not gonna lie, for a strange man to ohhhh and ahhhh over my ovaries is a bit odd but I guess it was a compliment. So the overall conclusion was that my uterus is a happy home so thats AMAZING! The blood work should be back in about a week and then we are all go! Beside me right now is our PROTOCOL! Ahhhhhhhhh! I have read it nearly 50 times.... it is music to my little OCD ears! All these dates and instructions helps me feel ready. I like feeling prepared. I also just took my very first birth control pill to start the hormone casserole that is going to be my life for the next few weeks. HERE WE GO!!!!!!!!!!!"

Yep, we have our protocol! I also already have my next appointment scheduled, it will be more blood work and another ultrasound. This time we will be checking my hormone levels and making sure via ultrasound that my body did not ovulate. After that we continue my hormone therapy and press forward toward the big day.... transfer day! Last  night when I took my first pill it officially marked the beginning for me. Like, now we are doing this.... like wow. Folks we need lots of prayers now. Pray for God's will to be done, pray for smooth appointments, pray for sanity for all of us! This is just one of many updates to come so be ready! 

 Oh, and here are my super cute kids. They are getting themselves ready for Disney by pretending to ride "roller coasters" on our bed.

My Crafting Nook

Every time I needed to sew or work on another project I had to lug out my machine and all my supplies. Then everything had to just sit there until I finished the project. It was getting old. I started looking around the house for a corner or wall where I could make myself a crafting area. Charlie and I have a walk in closet and we both don't have huge wardrobes. There was so much wasted space in our closet so I decided to rearrange our clothes and see if I could come up with something. My sister had an old entertainment table she was getting rid of so I snatched it up, then I spray painted it blue. It looked good!

Here is one side of our closet before I started moving things around.

Here is the other side.

Basically I knocked out everything on the left side of the closet. Then I added a level of storage on the right side to put my clothes on. After ripping out all the shelving I patched up all the holes and painted that side yellow. Since it is a closet with no windows I thought yellow would be nice and bright.

Here is the shelf and area after they were both painted. Now my sewing machine is always up and ready whenever I want to work on a project. I use it a good bit more now!

See how I store my fabric scraps? I took a small strip of wood, wood glued clothes pins on it and spray painted them. Then I just attached them to the wall. Boom! The other storage for my odds and ends is also a strip of wood spray painted, but I put in hooks to hang different things on.

It does not take a lot of space to create a great crafting nook! I really enjoy my little spot :-)

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Our New Behavior Chart

We have been dealing with lots of new behavior around our house. Some good, but unfortunately, mostly bad. I spent some time on Pintrest and searched for a new method to help us get a handle on these behaviors, both good and bad. I wanted more than just a "oh look you are on a smiley face".... what does that even mean? I wanted something with Biblical linking and explanations. After looking at different charts and systems, I gathered up some materials and created our new behavior chart. Sorry the pictures are so terrible, it was late when I took the pictures so the lighting was horrible. 

This is a full length shot so you can see it all together.  To bad it's blurry :-/

At the top I have Galatians 6:5 "For we are each responsible for our own conduct" as a good reminder to the kids that they need to be worried about what THEY are doing, not what the other is doing. That is Lula Mae's new thing... telling me everything Jayce has done wrong.... so fun! 

 Each morning they start the day on green. I thought that verse worked perfect :-) There are 3 levels above green (blue, indigo and purple). Each level has a description of what behavior coincides. This way we can go over the description with the kids and explain how their behavior was right or wrong.   

 Below green there are also three levels (yellow, orange and red).

 Lula Mae and Jayce each have their names on a clothes pin and I clip them on opposite sides.
 I'm not going to lie, I'm worried we are going to see this a lot....
 Luckily the popper (our "rod") is hanging right beside the chart so it is easily accessible. Yep, that pink spatula is our rod. Think what you want, we discipline or kids in a Biblical way. 

I am going to have a sticker chart for each of them beside the behavior chart, then at the end of each day if they have ended on green, blue, indigo or violet they will get a sticker on their chart. Once the chart is full they get a special day with Mommy and Daddy. It's fun! It gives them a little incentive to keep their clothes pin on the upper part of the chart. 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Here We Go!

All readers not interested in reading about *ahem* that time of the month, should avert their eyes. This is your warning... moving on.

Wednesday was DAY 1 of my cycle. Do you know what that means... all systems are go! On Monday I will be going to my very first appointment! AHHHHHH! And can I just say this was the loooooongest wait for a period ever!

I will be having my blood work and a super special ultrasound done. They are basically going to make sure my uterus is a happy place by filling my uterus with saline and then doing an ultrasound tp check the walls. Should be interesting. Then, let the hormones begin!

I'm slightly nervous about things now. What if they don't think my uterus is happy? What if something comes back wacky on my bloodwork? Things are just getting real, and we all know.... real is scary!

Once I go to my first appointment I should get my protocol, then I will know much more about all of this. Like I said, all of this is getting very real and it is kind of overwhelming. Not in a bad way, just in a this-is-really-happening kind of way. 

Friday, July 6, 2012

Letters Of Intent

Dear Period,

Never have I wanted you to start so bad in my life. Hurry up so I can call the doctor and set up my first appointment! The three C's are in order (cramping, cranky, cravings) so I know you are close. The suspense is KILLING me!


Incredible Impatient


Dear Children,

This whole drive-each-other-totally-nuts-all-day-long is getting really old. I am trying to be patient, I am trying to give you space to learn how to deal with each other.... but dear goodness my nerves can't take it any more! The constant bickering is the most annoying phase yet. I love you both, but I feel like you hate each other. Please try to at least act like you love each other. I keep telling myself that this is just a season of life...  but I'm slightly terrified that this season is going to be like 15 years long. Sigh.


Your Very Exhausted Mommy..... Who Needs To Buy More Tylenol


Dear Hubster,

I'm sorry. Your kids are crazy and your wife is about to start a substantial amount of hormones.... I'm sorry just does not seem to be enough. Enjoy your week away at training, you will deserve it for sure!


About To Be A Hormone Casserole

Monday, July 2, 2012

Normal Life

Last week was CRAZY BUSY, so this week, the kids may look like this....

 because I just don't have the energy to even care what they dress themselves in. Sigh. I am just thrilled that one of my kids has the ability to dress themselves, even if her style is... ehhhh.... eclectic? 

We are on summer break from school, but Lula Mae has been asking to do some work so I am not sure how long our break will actually be. Jayce is interested in "school" as well so it looks like my class just doubled for next year ;-) I am going to be buckling down and getting my school closet in order and ready to go! That is number one on my list right now. 

 Jayce is having a rough summer. His skin is bad. Really, really bad. We have an allergist appointment tomorrow to try and figure out if he perhaps has developed another allergy. He is also really asserting himself these days.... not in a good way. We have lots of fits, lots of time outs, lots of apologies, lots of spankings.... just lots of the nitty gritty part of parenting that people don't like to talk about. He is not quite as strong willed as Lula Mae, but he is still a pretty far cry from a compliant child. I know this is bad, but I have to remind myself that God made him perfect and just the way He wanted him. 

We have signed the contract for the surrogacy and it has been given back to all respective parties. Pretty soon I will begin my end of the deal. I'm basically PUMPED! 

Charlie and I took the kids to the beach for a day. It was interesting.  Jayce did not seem to like the sand, but he loved the water. Lula Mae even seemed to enjoy the water. I was pretty shocked! It was a fun day and I loved seeing them have so much fun. 

Normal life has just kept me so busy these days. I love normal life though. That is where amazing memories are made, that is where life lessons are taught, that is where God teaches us the most. However when normal life keeps me busy, my poor blog, like yours I am sure, get pushed to the back burner. I have been sneaking around in the shadows visiting your blogs and trying to keep up! I hope you are all having a great summer! 

Be back soon with more random updates from our crazy busy life!