Monday, April 25, 2011

Frugal Simplicity

I know, I promised updates... but I'm just not feelin' it. It's old news to me, ya know?

So, I'll keep you hanging by posting something that's of recent greater interest to me.

In light of the increase in food prices, gas prices, and unfortunately, utilities, I am on a renewed quest to live better on less. For a while I entertained ideas for increasing the amount we have in our budget. While some of these ideas have not been completely crossed off my list, I have come to a few conclusions.

First, any avenue for increasing our monthly income, short of me going to work full time, will take a little while for us to see that increase. However, spending less will give me results NOW... and that's when I need them!

Second, spending less will mean buying less. Less equals more simple. Simple sounds good. It's complicated, frustrating, and exhausting always trying to provide for your WANTS. I do recognize, however, that simplicity will require a retraining of the mind that is so primed to find ways to get what it wants. But, it will be a challenge, and I'm counting on that factor to fuel me forward!

So, I will be sharing any fabulous ideas I come across, as well as those to which I recommit myself. Our food budget is already stripped to the lowest I am willing to go. Our monthly food budget is just right at the three digit mark, and going any lower would begin to hurt us nutritionally, I think. So, any great ideas you want to share? Who want to join me? Anyone?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Homeschool Cirriculum Giveaway!

Alright, alright. It's been FOREVER. Get over it... we've been crazy busy! :)

I promise to catch-up, but I wanted to post this awesome opportunity! Homeschool Creations is hosting a homeschool cirriculum giveaway! I generally don't think "giveaways" are really worth my time, but this might just be the exception! Here's, roughly, how it works:
Followers of Homeschool Creations will go through all of their cirriculum materials and post items they have to give away. Anyone can put their name in a drawing for each item. There should be TONS of stuff!

If you've never checked out Homeschool Creations, do it! I use them for lots of ideas and materials for the preschool activities I do with Wyatt!


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Installing an Indoor Swimming Pool

I thought I would pass along some exciting, newly acquired information and personal experience. You see, until recently, I thought that a personal indoor swimming pool was a luxury reserved for the independently wealthy. Not so, my friends! An indoor swimming pool can be yours at very little to no cost! There are a few simple steps you must follow:

1. Send your husband/free-labor handyman away... make sure it would be impossible or at least very difficult for him to return home until the swimming pool is complete.

2. Break the seal on the wax gasket underneath your toilet. This may require loosening the bolts and sliding a knife between the toilet and the gasket. If you are lucky, like I was, this step will require no action on your part.

3. Replace one of the gaskets in your bathtub faucet with an old, leaky one. If you have an old faucet, just wait awhile... it will go out on its own.

4. Loosen the connection from pipe to the water supply hose for your dishwasher. This may take awhile before progress is seen, but if after several days you see water dripping from the ceiling in your laundry room (which is located under the kitchen), you'll know your swimming pool is on it's way to completion!

This DIY project is nearly fool-proof! Within a few days, you should be able to break out the swim suit!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Headed in the RIGHT direction!


I've put off blogging for quite some time for a couple of reasons.
1. We've been BUSY! I made a trip to Minot back in October to for the birth of my very good friend's baby. I came home in early November, and we began reving up for the holidays. They came and went very quickly, in all their wonderfullness, and we've been trying to catch our breath ever since. William is at the Academy, I'm working hard at developing a cirriculum of sorts for Wyatt, we're still working on about 10 projects with the house, and we're slowly working towards an adoption! Whew! Like I said... We've been BUSY!

2. A lot of what is happening in our life right now is somewhat personal, generally emotionally charged, and somewhat controversial. I needed some time to find my footing on several issues before I started sharing and announcing to the rest of the world... but I think I'm about there! So, at the top of our current undertakings list right now are the issues of preschool and adoption.

I am keeping Wyatt home rather than sending him to preschool. This decision has been met with raised eyebrows on many occasions (and at times, those eyebrows were my own). However, I am sure of my decision for several reasons. First and foremost, I am his mother, and I am not only capable of but also responsible for what this beautiful little boy learns, whether at home or in a classroom. Teaching him at home puts me fully in charge of what he is taught and what he is exposed to. And though I firmly believe all mothers have the potential to teach their own young children, having my degree in child development doesn't hurt either.
Second, it would be ridiculously idiotic of me to pay someone else to teach my child when a) we'd probably have to skip a meal each day to afford it, and b) THIS IS WHAT MY DEGREE IS FOR!
Third, I believe in childhood. I believe our children grow up much too fast in this society, and that the demands we put on them at such an early age is detrimental to them. I intend to provide Wyatt with as much education as is beneficial to him and that we can fit INTO his childhood, rather than replacing it.
I didn't think this would be such a difficult issue, but I have met a lot of disapproval, which caused me to question my own judgement. In the end I feel confident about my decision... good thing, 'cause I'm sure I'll get a LOT more of those raised eyebrows if I decide not to send Wyatt to Kindergarten! ("What?!" you say. YUP, you heard me)

We have decided to begin the adoption process. It has taken quite some time to reach this place where we find ourselves. Our original plans were vastly different from the route we now plan to take, and it has been an emotional journey. At this point, we plan to adopt waiting children, most likely Wyatt's age or younger. We would prefer a sibling group, which will probably be just 2 since we cannot use our downstairs rooms until egress windows are put in ($$), and they have square footage requirements for how many children can share a room. Because they will share a room with Wyatt, we will only be approved to adopt boys. While we do not feel that we currently have the resources to parent a child that would be totally dependant upon us for life, we do not have any other "limits" for the type of child we will be willing to accept. We will look at each case presented as an option, and we have faith that we will know we when find our
child(ren). This part is a little scary if I focus too much on it. We are starting on a path that may lead us in directions we have very little experience with and that will definitely differ from the "perfect" picture we had formed when we started our life together. But, we have already had the opportunity to have our minds opened to new possibilities and different types of life experiences, and we are excited to see what is in store for us!

So, there you have it! In all my bravery, I've let you in on our off-the-beaten-path decisions!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Living vs. Posting

I have a confession to make...

I am a blog stalker.

Yep, I stalk people through their blogs... even people I don't actually know. I know, I know... it's kinda creepy and the bathroom floor needs my attention much more desperately (and so does the laundry in the dryer, the cheerios crushed into the family room carpet, and the ants Wyatt has rehomed on my couch). However, I find inspiration from several women I follow, and for a moment after I've read their posts, I can pretend I have the energy, organizational skills, and self-discipline to be THAT kind of mom/wife/sister/daughter/superwoman.

But, I'm not. I don't even get all of what they accomplish ON my to-do list, let alone check it off! And I think I'm okay with that. I wasn't... but amid one of my late night pontification sessions, I realized several things: 1. They can paint whatever picture they want on their blog... it doesn't mean their life isn't chaotic sometimes; 2. I don't want to be as busy as I'd have to be to get all that done. I'd like to have time to cuddle my little man while I still can and read him a book; 3. If I would like to incorporate some aspect of what I find inspiring, I've gotta make room for it!

Basically, it all boils down to this: I have a choice. I can either live my life to it's fullest, or I can spend ridiculous amounts of time writing about it! I choose to live it, to have memorable moments and record those I can, when I can. I can be a real-life superwoman... I'll take that over BloggerQueen!

So, to those of you who are truly talented enough to do it all... kudos. The line for the gold stars is to your left. For those of you who are a little more like me... I'll do my best to post updates before they are no longer updates. Just think of all the free time you'll have now that you know you don't need to obsessively check my blog several times a day!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

A peak at our home

While we feel like our progress with the house is going painstakingly slow, we do have some space that is presentable should guests stop by. That is not to say that we are finished with it (not at all!), but it's at least presentable for the time being.
Our living room space is a rather long space, with the distance on either side of the front door being longer than the distance from the front door to the opposite wall. This means the room is somewhat split, so there are two different seating areas.

This is the area to your right when you enter the front door (though the pic. is shot from the wall opposite the front door).
And this is to your left.
Like I said, we are not finished with the rooms, but they at least resemble a home! We plan to take down the wall paper (I love that it's vintage, but it's worn, stained, and very discolored from the sun in some places), texture the walls (they're plaster, so a Venetian plaster effect), strip the paint off all the woodwork, and put up crown molding. We also plan to take out a door way that leads straight into our room, since there's another door from the hallway. (We don't really like a walk-through bedroom).
Oh, ad did you notice the floors? Didn't William do a fabulous job?! I can't begin to describe what a mess they were!
Anyway, that's just a peak for now. The dining room is pretty much presentable, but I've still got a few things left to accomplish before I post pics.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Plodding Along

I realized today that it has been almost a month since my last post (gasp!), and was severely depressed to realize I don't have much to report. But, in an attempt to keep everyone informed, I'm hoping there will be a few noteworthy events in the blabbering that follows.

I spent two weeks this month visiting my mom, sisters, extended family, and friends. It was wonderful to see everyone, and I really didn't want to leave. We have been doing wonderfully since we moved to Wheatland, but I've been so busy that I haven't allowed myself much time to think about how much I miss having family close by. I came home with a renewed determination (as I usually do) to move back to the Big Horn Basin as soon as we possibly can!

I was able to make a quick trip to see Miriah and her beautiful family (including my new nephew!), and I was so grateful for that opportunity. Let me take a minute here to gush... Their house is adorable, their children are angels (yes, Miriah, even Ethan... seriously, he is NOT a screamer, so don't even pretend), and their happiness with their life is apparent to everyone around them! I'm so glad I was able to be immersed in their personal world in the short time we were there!

While I was away, William worked hard on several projects. He got a LOT of rewiring done, with no trips to the ER, which is a MAJOR, unexpected plus! He also raised my countertops, which is a drastic improvement... I no longer have to fold myself in half to wash dishes or appear as though I'm praying to my vegetables as I'm chopping them! Now we can begin to pay a little more attention to cosmetic details in our kitchen, though even that will take some time. We're working really hard to be a frugal as possible with our rennovations, so we have to wait to find the killer deals. That then leads us to begin new projects while we're waiting, which leads to our little family living among construction rubble! *sigh* It'll be worth it once it's done, I suppose. I just need to do a lot of yoga and that weird chanting/humming crap, I guess.

We did manage to make some headway and clear some space today, however. There were a lot of "extras" that came with the house when we moved in (most of which were a surprise to us), and we needed to clear out extra appliances, furniture, household goods, etc. So, we had a yard sale. We made over $300! Wahoo! So, of course, I visited a few yardsales myself (yes, I attend meetings for my disorder... they don't help), and was able to score a new memory foam mattress for William & I! It's the type with the pillowtop to give some extra firmness and support. I got it WAAAYYY cheap, and we're excited to see how it works for us.

Well, that's about all. Did you find anything worthy of the publication I gave it within my ramblings? No? Well, then next time quit reading sooner and you won't deserve the boredom induced stupor you're experiencing.