3.19.2018

Happy 5th Birthday Grayson

5 years ago today I was blessed with this little (big) nugget



Grayson,
You are so sweet. That is the first word that comes to mind when I think of you. You are kind to everyone you meet. You get shy but you always give people a smile. When we had our parent-teacher conference your teacher told us that everyone in your class and the other class wants to be around you because you always say hi and offer encouraging words. My heart just about burst because those are words every Mamma wants to hear. 




You are so into sports. You just finished your first section of hockey and you loved it so much we are signing you up for the second one that starts in April. You also wanted to play t-ball and so we have you signed up for that as well. 



You are still an amazing big brother. I think you have gotten better because they can play with you now and so you just want them with you all the time. It s really cute and wonderful. 



You are obsessed with anything and everything Star Wars, or Avengers. You are well versed in both and can school most people on facts about them. You have an artistic side and love to draw and color all the time. 



You are excelling in Pre-K. You are a little bit sad that you have to move on to Kindergarten at the end of the year because you love your classroom so much and your morning with Papa, who is one of your very best friends! He gets you on the bus two days a week and you have all morning with and you two go on so many adventures. Grocery shopping, the Amish store, banking errand, filling the bird feeders and your hair cuts. It is adorable the way you two are together. 



We are proud to be your parents and while right now you say you are going to live with us forever and always be my baby boy I know one day much too soon for my liking you will be spreading your wings and my wish for you is that you will keep your kind and sweet heart. And that smile! The one that makes your whole face light up. I'm thankful for you Grayson Michael because you made me Mamma you made us a family and for that you hold a special place in my heart. 
I love you more than cake sweet boy!

Love Mamma xoxo 

3.07.2018

February Debt Re-Cap

Happy March!!

February marked a huge milestone for us we are offically done with credit card debt!!!!!


We have paid them all of and closed them.


WE ARE CREDIT CARD FREE!!!!!!

That is so nice to say...

So this month we paid of $2,224.56 in debt

We also cash flowed $535 for oil


And then we had to use our emergency fund......(insert the womp womp sound here)


We had a huge hot water tank debacle.

So at the beginning of the month we noticed that we had a small leak on the seam of our hot water tank. We decided that we would finish paying off the credit card and then save up for a hot water tank.

Well we paid off our credit card and paid for the oil and then the small leak was not so small anymore. So we used our emergency fund to pay for the emergency and got a new hot water tank. We shopped deals and found a good brand for a great price and a pretty hefty rebate.

Michael and my Dad installed it on Sunday. On Tuesday it was leaking. Yes the new one was leaking. On Wednesday my Dad came over and tried to put some goop stuff on the threads of blots and what not (I don't know all the technical things ha!) So Thursday it's still leaking and pretty bad at this point so my Dad who is my hero goes to my house, drains the tank, brings it up to Home Depot so I can run over on my lunch and return it for a new one. He then installed the new one himself because he is that awesome.

So we let it fill up and go through all that and bam Thursday night it is leaking. So we called a plumber and they said what can happen with the brand that we got since it is a cheaper version that they make for home stores it can flood the expansion tank. So we decided to return the hot water tank and go to a plumbing supply store and buy a better hot water tank and a new expansion tank. So Saturday morning Michael and my Dad (again a saint!) installed a 3rd hot water tank and a new expansion tank.

The 3rd time was the charm and so we have nice hot water now!

And we are working on getting our emergency fund back to $1,000

We will have that done this month and then we are starting to hammer away at our 2nd to last loan.

This plan works. The hot water tank situation solidified that to us. Normally we would have charged that on a credit card and said we would take care of it next month. Now it's taken care of debt free!


Another thing that has changed for me in a big way is how I shop for the kids. I used to buy kids clothes and such and just put it on the credit card forget about it and then cringe when the clothes didn't get worn (because of growth spurts and such) or feel guilty because I knew we were still paying for them. Now we have a kids clothing budget and I get to buy freely. Trust me it's not much a $100.00 a month for all 3 kids and some months I don't touch this but with having a girl and no hand me downs I do have to buy 90% of her wardrobe from scratch (the other 10% comes from some very generous aunts and grandparents). So it ebbs and flows and the $100.00 seems to be a good place to be for when we have to buy a spring wardrobe or summer one. I'm super considerate of what we buy. I look at price and function. I don't buy an outfit for just one occasion, which in full transparency I used to do. I'm just free now to spend within the limits we have set out. I no longer have a ping in my stomach when I leave Target because I spent way to much on a credit card I new I would be carrying that around for far too long.


I'm just happy we have chosen this path and I can't wait to see what it holds for us!

2.26.2018

Random laundry confessions

Is it just me or is laundry crazy


We have 5 people in our house

Towels alone for the week are 16-20 towels......a week

You have bedding for 4 beds so that is 4 fitted sheets, we are blanket people to at least 2 blankets per bed so 8 blankets and then 10 pillow cases.

That alone is 4 loads of laundry

Clothes

The kids clothes are smaller but man they go through more. They each have a pair of pj's per day and Sissy and Marshall have a undershirt to go with that. Then they have an outfit for the day. Plus socks.
So in one day we amass 3 pairs of pj's, 4 undershirts, 3 t-shirts, 3 pairs of pants, and 3 sets of socks.

Kids clothes alone I do 3 loads of laundry a week because for sure at least 2 days a week someone spilled on themselves and so outfit changes it is.

During hockey season that is a whole load by it self.


Michael has a load of work clothes

And then we do two loads of our laundry.

11-12 loads of laundry a week......I get why the Duggars needed all those washer and dryers. I would love a double washer and dryer right about now.

How young is too young to make kids do their own laundry?


I usually only have to do one of the kids loads because my aunt washes two loads on Tuesday's when she watches them. She also does a load of towels for us and folds it all. And then everyone said AMEN!!!!

Plus tell me I'm not alone in that I feel like when I'm putting laundry away that's a whole project every time. Kids grow out of thing/stain things every week it seems and so I feel like I'm constantly putting things into piles and re-organizing drawers.
Grayson's clothes have to get packed away for Marshall as he outgrows them. Marshall and Charlotte's clothes get packed up and given to my sister for her one day babies and some of Charlotte's clothes go to my sweet niece Jordy.

I spent 2.5 hours going through the babies dressers organizing and cleaning them out. Then I changed all the sheets, dusted and vacuumed.

I spent an additional 3 hours going through Grayson dresser and the next size clothes that he is growing into and organizing all of that stuff. We went through his books and stuffed animals and dusted and vacuumed his room as well.

I wanted to get our room done this weekend too but ha! That did not happen. So now I have that on my to do this next weekend.


Also my husband has super sensitive skin and I can only use Tide to wash our clothes. I buy the pods and we go through a big container about every 3ish weeks. Oh and my favorite stain spray is the OxiClean Max.....it gets out anything even chocolate stains that someone forgot to spray and you washed and dried the clothes just let it sit overnight and then wash and BAM good as new.



That is just my random laundry talk for the day because it consumed my Sunday!

Happy Monday!

2.19.2018

Grayson's first trip to the eye doctor


About 2 weeks ago I got a call from the school nurse regarding Grayson. My first thought went to that he was sick. But she said no he is fine.
The words she spoke next made me so very confused
"Graysons teacher has noticed that he was having trouble with his colors so she brought him down to be tested for Color blindness and he has failed the test so we recommend that you get him looked at by his pediatrician"

I'm pretty sure I responded with "Um what?" because this was the first we had heard of any concern over him knowing his colors. She sent home the test results and the next day I called our Dr.


In talking to the Dr he decided that the best course of action was to go directly to a pediatric ophthalmologist who specializes in this.  Thankfully there is an amazing one about an hour from us and they got him in the following week.

So Michael took off Friday and my Mom came to watch Marshall and Charlotte and off we went to our 9:15 appointment. We had talked to him about it prior and had approached it as this is something every kid has to do before they go to kindergarten kind of like going to the dentist. No. Big.Deal. We did stress that it was very important that he answer all the Dr's questions when asked and that he answer them honestly. We did this so that he didn't feel any unnecessary pressure like something should be wrong with him. We just wanted him to go into it like it was just another test for school and not because something was wrong with him



 The resident came in and gave him a sight test and then gave him the color test and I could tell right there before anyone said anything that he failed the color test. He got one right and that was the one that everyone can see. She kept saying "Are you sure that you can't see and numbers in this picture?" and he would just shake his head no. All the other ones on the color test he failed. The doctor came in and told us that yes he was in fact color blind and that on a scale of 1-10 he was a solid 4-5. He can see color but certain shades and certain colors are hard to tell between. He is also near sited so he has a hard time seeing things far away but it's not to the point of glasses yet. So we will monitor him every year or take him in if we see him squinting or he starts complaining of headaches. Other than that he has perfectly healthy eyes.

He has the hardest time with darker colors so if red and brown is in front of him it all looks red. If blue and purple are in front of him it's all blue. Black and gray all look gray. Basically if there are too many colors it becomes all muddled and the color there is the most of is what he sees. His biggest color problem though is yellow he sees green every time. He has always said he doesn't like yellow and I couldn't figure out why well that's because he doesn't see it.


Michael and I have processed this and then processed it some more. I want to let you know that I'm very aware that it could be worse. That in the grand scheme of things this is minor. I'm aware. But as a parent any thing that may hinder or change your child's life at all is a blow. So please just know that I'm not trying to act like this is the end of the world. It was just such a shock.

So my first reaction was how did I his mother not see this? How did I not pick up on this? How many times have I gotten frustrated with him for not picking up what I asked him when I referenced a color or getting the black shirt when I clearly asked him for the blue one? How many times has he come up to me and said "Mommy is this the purple crayon?" and I have gotten aggravated with him because "Grayson you know that's not purple" 
Guilt washed over my body. I felt like I had failed him. 

Michael's reaction was different. He wanted to know how to fix it. How do we get this taken care of. And well there is no fix which as a parent it hard to swallow.

Our other big issue is relating to him. I have had to now correct myself on how I identify things to him. For example we were at my niece's swim meet a few days after the school nurse called and he kept asking which one was Libby (we were across the pool and up from her) and I kept saying to him "She is the one with the pink swim cap on" and he continued to ask and then it clicked what if he doesn't see pink? Because he still couldn't point Libby out to me and she was the only one with a bright pink swim cap on. Again a wash of guilt pinged in my heart because I was getting frustrated with him because I could clearly see it so why couldn't he?

I told that story to the Dr. and he said that the further away he is that harder color will be to see.


So the Dr. told Grayson right in the room that he was color blind. Grayson's eye's just got big and he  got really quite. So we talked with the Dr. and then once we got in the car we talked to him about it.
He was so fine with it because really he doesn't know any different.

We have started an open dialogue with him and I just have been asking him more and more what he sees. Plus I don't want him to think that it its wrong what he sees, even if it different from what the majority sees. So the other day after hockey I made a comment about his yellow shorts and he said "These shorts are yellow? I thought they were green!" I told him "nope yellow" He then said to me "Well you do know I'm color blind right?" He has taken this all in stride and really just is not affected by it.

It's just an adjustment. More for me and Michael and the adults in his life than for Grayson. His life is the same but the way we identify things to him has to change a little bit. We are working on it.



2.06.2018

The last 3 months of debt pay off....

So I last updated our Baby Step #2 in October.

We were just starting to tackle our last credit card and well next week we are making our final payment on that!


In the last 3 months we have paid $6,456.00 off in debt!!!!!


We are beyond excited with that number. We are on track to pay off that credit card with the last payment on Friday!!!!!

Then it is on to the last two loans.

So we have 48,000 left to pay and in crunching the numbers the next loan should be paid off by November (we are pushing for September!) and then we will be onto the last student loan.

It is just crazy and it is exciting. But so so hard.

I'm not going to act like it is easy. We are sacrificing, we are scrapping, scrounging and some nights I'm all "Hey guess what it's cereal for dinner again!".

This is a marathon. This is a commitment. I have bad days where saying no just seems like the only thing we say. So we have built in little rewards for ourselves. Like our fun spring project. All cash flowed all within reason and nothing over the top.

We are still huge Dave listeners and Michael has read the book a think a total of 5 or 6 times and I'm on my 2nd time through as well as the podcast. It is good to keep you going.

This has taken on a whole new meaning for me in the last few weeks really. I realized my goals in life are bigger than just surviving. I don't want to be living the paycheck to paycheck anymore. I want to be living life, making memories, and giving in big big ways. 

Here is to February bringing the final payment on the credit card and starting on our second to last loan!


2.05.2018

Woah that was a long break

Yikes I took a break and not even on purpose....
Life got busy and my job got crazy and well I had to cut something out to make my days a little less hectic.


Things have simmered down a little bit around here for the time being and so I'm going to attempt some updates.


I will have a debt post up tomorrow it's super exciting!!!!!

Wednesday I have plans for a quick update on the kids....they are changing by the second it seems and I want to capture the magic (and rip your hair out) moments that we are in right now.


We have a fun spring project planned and I'm going to share a little bit about that too.

I'm dipping my toe back into the whole blogging thing

I missed it really and truly and I'm setting aside some time each week to make one to two posts happen. 


11.07.2017

October Debt and November Goals

Lets start with our debt 

we paid off $2,479.00 this month!!!
That number also paid off our second to last credit card!

We have a giant chart in our bedroom that lists our debt and goals and such and we are crossing our debts off as we complete them and this month we go to put a giant red line through one of those line items. This means we have 3 left. We started with 6 and while the first 3 were small it still means we are halfway through our line items and that is huge!
The one we are working on now we are shooting to have it paid off by the end of January 
and then it is the last 2 big loans which is over half our debt that we have total. 

I know it sounds odd but we are so excited to get to that point and start hammering the big loans!

I also want to mention that we cash flowed quite a bit this month. 
Halloween costumes for all 3 was $60.00
Pumpkins and candy was $40.00
Baby Gift  $50.00
Michael B-day $50.00
Car repairs $400.00

So that is another $800.00 and while our goal is to get out of debt it is also just as important to stay out of debt. Which means we cash flow and budget for everything!

Okay goals from October

Close the pool and get all the outside toys put away
Finish our will
Baby Step#2
Christmas Cards
Plan dates for holidays
Trick or Treat as a family
Celebrate Michael's Birthday


The pool was officially closed and most of the outside stuff is put away we left a few things out because we were having a heat wave but now it's cold.

Our will is a lot more complicated than we thought. But I love the discussion it has opened up and we are really getting on the same page. 

Baby Step #2 see above 

Christmas Cards well half way done? I have them designed. I just have to order and get my addresses around these will be done this week

Holidays with my brother are planned we always celebrate the Sunday before the holiday


We trick or treated are and were a frozen Popsicle at the end I'm hoping to post on this this week we will see

We celebrated Michael's birthday with a kid free dinner the night before and then a family dinner and cake on his birthday!


November Goals

Make a special project with Grayson to give to family (I'm thinking cinnamon butter)
Thanksgiving!
Mail out Christmas cards
Baby Step#2
Christmas shopping get it done!
Decorate for Christmas