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Archive for April, 2007

Monday Blues

April 30th, 2007 at 05:56 am

Yuck! It's Monday...

We had such a nice weekend that I didn't want it to end and just knowing that I have an extremely busy week does not help matters.

Dh and I had a wonderful walk on Saturday and we went for lunch at very good Greek restaurant. We came home and relaxed, went and helped ds with his paper route, made mussels in garlic butter for dinner and ds and I picked up a movie. He chose 'Borat'...yeah. There were some really funny parts in it, but it was a little inappropriate for a 13 year old to watch. I asked him before we rented it if any of his friends had seen it and he told me that just about all of them had and that J.'s mom (whom I have known for 13 years and parents very much like us) thought it was funny.

Yesterday ds had a hockey game about an hours drive away, so we went in for that. They lost 5-1. We got Slurpees, came home, tidied up the house a bit and started dinner. My dad and stepmom brought the youngest two kids home at 5:00 and we all visited and enjoyed dinner together. My brother came over to watch the hockey game with dh and stayed for dessert.

Everyone went home at 8:00, and the kids had their baths and went to bed. Ds13 is having lots of trouble sleeping these days so I bought him some 'relaxing lavender' bubble bath and after his bath he had a glass of warm milk. I don't know how quickly he fell asleep, but hopefully it worked. Poor guy!

I'll be popping into work at 9:00 this morning, then going to a school, and then back to work until 2:00. The kids will be picked up at 2:30 and ds has an ortho appointment at 4:20. I hate days like this because I feel like I'm all over the place. Tomorrow will be even busier!

Saturday!

April 28th, 2007 at 08:27 am

I took out $290 yesterday for the week, spent $140 at the grocery store and gave $50 to Dh.

It's going to be ahrd to spend anymore money because I'll have to break my $100 bill.

Youngest ds and dd are going to their grandparent's for a sleepover today. Dh and I are going to go into Vancouver and walk the seawall ( a beautiful walk along the ocean and through Stanley Park). We'll crash at home tonight--maybe get a dvd with ds(13). Tomorrow, ds has a hockey game and then my dad and stepmom will bring the youngest kids home and stay for dinner.

It's going to be an extremely busy week coming up...3 long working days, one field trip and the staff appreciation luncheon that I organize at the elementary school (for 40 teachers). I do get lots of help with it and it's lots of fun, but still takes time to plan and set up!

No Spend Day

April 26th, 2007 at 05:05 pm

Another no spend day for me...mainly because I have no money to spend until tomorrow. Yesterday I was treated to lunch by our company (sushi--yum!) and so I haven't actually spent any money in 4 days. Tomorrow is Friday so I'll start off with $290 (still owe Visa $10 for my brother...see previous post!). $50 goes to Dh, $140 for groceries, $15 for Ds's grade 7 grad photos and that leaves me with $85. Ds(7) needs some new t-shirts and shorts so I'll see what I can pick up for him and that's it for the rest of the week...I think!

Dh cheated on me!

April 25th, 2007 at 06:34 am

Yes he did. He cheated and used the Visa! What a brat. He and my brother went to the bar to watch the hockey game on Monday and Dh paid for their drinks and snacks with the Visa. He told me this yesterday and was quite pleased with himself because he paid and now I don't owe my brother $30 anymore!

He knows about the weekly $300 and I gave him $50 on Friday and we agreed that he would make sure it lasted because that was it for the week. I hate having to play the parent. There was no reason why they couldn't watch the game at our house and save kaboodles of cash by having a beer (or two) and snacks here. GEEZ!

I'm going to put the $30 in the bank and still start off next week with $290. Why? Because I am a responsible adult and I will spend my money wisely and be a good example to my children. Plus, I get to play the martyr and torture Dh for a few days...

Today my boss is treating us to lunch out at a Chinese/Indian fusion restaurant. I've been so looking forward to going and trying this place out. I really enjoy the ladies that I work with and I'm sure we're going to have lots of laughs and a great afternoon.

I have tomorrow and Friday off...pretty excited about that. Next week I've taken Wednesday and Thursday off. The best thing about my job is the flexibility of the hours and the fact that no one questions me at all if I come in late, leave early, work from home, or don't work. As long as I'm getting everything done that I need to, they don't ask! I love that...

Down $10 for the week...

April 23rd, 2007 at 06:53 am

My brother and I went shopping yesterday for stepmom's 60th birthday gift...ended up buying her two antique perfume bottles (she collects them) and a large bottle of the new Starbucks coffee liqueur (yummy!). The total cost was $60...my brother paid and now I owe him $30, which is slightly ironic since I only had $20 left for the week. Now I have negative $10 and I'll start Friday with $290! That is, if nothing else comes up this week that will require money. I don't have anything on my end, but I can never guarantee the kids won't bring home field trip notices etc.

We went to ds's hockey game yesterday and they lost 7-1. He was pretty choked. The goalie is new this year and, although he has played hockey, has never been a goalie. I think they're going to have some tough times. They lost their game last Wednesday 6-1.

Stepmom loved her birthday presents. Sil made a wonderful dinner of salmon, baby potatoes, broccoli, beans, buns and salad. I made a birthday cake and decorated it with some plastic clowns, balloons and ribbons, that I had at home. It was a nice evening. We got home around 8:30, popped the two youngest into the bath, tucked everyone into bed and went to sleep.

This week should be pretty relaxed. I'm taking Thursday off to go on youngest ds's field trip with his class and he's pretty excited about that. Otherwise, it's dance classes, Girl Guides and hockey for the kids and working 9:00-2:00 the other days for me.

Running out of money...

April 22nd, 2007 at 10:19 am

Uh Oh! Yesterday was not good for my weekly $300! Youngest ds had a haircut ($12.00) and I bought 3 hot dogs and a DVD at the neighbourhood garage sale ($5.00). I took Ds13 shopping and bought him 3 t-shirts, 3 pairs of shorts, and a newspaper cart for $80.39. I gave him $20 for his friend's birthday gift (a $20 bill put inside a huge blown up balloon) and I now have $22.36 left to last for the week. This is including the $40 I had in the hidden envelope!

My brother and I are going shopping today to get something for our stepmother's birthday. We're having a dinner for her at my brother's, but all I have to bring is dessert so I'm baking a birthday cake.

Oops! This is going to be a looong week!

Saturday

April 21st, 2007 at 08:50 am

Yay! The weekend is here! I couldn't wait to get here...long week.

I took our $300 out for the week yesterday and added it to the $10 I had in my wallet. Youngest ds and I did the weekly grocery shopping...spent $140 there. Put $20 in the hidden envelope, and gave $50 to Dh for his spending money.

I have $100 to get me through this week...plus the $40 in the hidden envelope, but I'd really like to not spend that. Dh has added 'flowering plants' on the list of things he would like to get this week and this comes out of joint money, not his spending. Yikes! Add that to haircuts and new clothes for oldest ds and oops! I may have to use some of the $40.

$300 Update

April 20th, 2007 at 06:17 am

I ended up being treated to breakfast yesterday, so it was at no cost to me. I didn't spend any of my $17! However, Dh took $15 to buy beer for himself and my brother...hockey game was on and Canucks were playing. So, I'm down to $2 plus the hidden $20. We made it through the week on $300!

So, I'm starting the weekend with $322. I will tuck $40 away, give $50 to Dh, $20 to ds's friend for his birthday gift and the remainder will go toward groceries, shorts for ds (13) and a haircut for ds (7). I can't think of any expenses that I or dd will have this week...

Dd and I had a challenge that if we both ate 5 fruits and vegetables for 20 days we would have sushi. We made our goal yesterday and so it's sushi time. I asked her last night if she cares whether we go out or make it ourselves, and she told me it doesn't matter to her because it tastes the same anyways. I love my kids! Homemade California rolls here we come...

Still $17!!!

April 18th, 2007 at 01:43 pm

WooHoo! I made Dh breakfast this morning...coffee, orange juice, poached eggs and toast. We then went out for a 10Km hike, walked around some antique stores, looked at a couple of new houses for sale and came home for lunch!

Dh had a evening meeting last night and they'd ordered in Chinese food (his business paid)and Dh brought home some of the leftovers, which we enjoyed for lunch.

I didn't spend ANY of my $17.00 so I am very happy. I'll spend a little bit tomorrow for breakfast and I have to pick up some margarine. Other than that, I should get to Friday with money in my wallet to add to next week's $300!

Down to $17...

April 17th, 2007 at 06:15 pm

So, I left off on Sunday with $63.00 left of our $300 for the week. I tucked $20 away (just in case), spent $6 on tickets for the school musical, and gave $20 to Dh. I have $17 left in my wallet...plus the hidden $20 if I need it.

Dh and I both have tomorrow off of work and are going for a 2 hour hike. I would pack a lunch, but I know that Dh would much prefer to eat out. Maybe I'll see if I can find a coupon or convince him to go somewhere really cheap--Costco or McD's. I'm still going out for breakfast on Thursday, so I have to make my $17 last...

Fun with Finances

April 16th, 2007 at 11:29 am

We are back to cash only. We have slipped up a fair bit the last few months and haven't put as much in savings as I like.

I will be taking $300 cash out of the bank every Friday and that will be it for the five of us for the week. This will include groceries, clothes, eating out, entertainment, kids' activities, and dh's spending money. It will not include gasoline because both Dh and I are compensated well for our gas and mileage and the amount is almost always more than what we spend on gas in a month.

So, we started this weekend. I spent $160 on groceries, $17 at the movies for ds and I, $20 went to ds for babysitting, $20 was used as a birthday gift for dd's friend (a $20 bill rolled up and put inside a roll of toilet paper and then wrapped nicely), and $20 went to Dh.

I now have $63 in my wallet. I'll be spending $6 on 3 tickets for the school play, and will be going out for breakfast with some coworkers on Thursday. Dh will most likely require $20 today or tomorrow, so I should get to Friday and still have money in my wallet. Both sons will soon need some shorts for summer as they've outgrown everything from last year. I can buy the youngest one's at thrift stores, but ds13 has asked me to not buy him second hand clothing anymore. He doesn't want name brands, new from Wal Mart is fine, and I can go along with that. I remember being 13 and feeling the same way. Dd (10) doesn't care...she actually prefers hand me downs, because she can 'get more variety'. Funny, funny kids!

Next week, I have a birthday gift to get for ds's friend and my wonderful stepmom. We'll have a dinner for her at our house, and don't have to buy anything expensive, but I would like to get her something nice from the kids, at least. So, if there's some money left from this week, that would be great!

Easy Day

April 16th, 2007 at 05:47 am

Well, I'm going to pretty much work from home today. I have two schools to visit, one this morning and one right after lunch and both are pretty close to my house so I'll come home inbetween and do some work.

We're having chicken soup for dinner and I think I'm going to bake some muffins and cookies this afternoon with the kids. I do have a meeting to go to this evening, but it's not mandatory, so I'll play it by ear.

We had a great weekend. Didn't do anything on Friday night...just relaxed. Youngest kids and I lay in my bed and watched an old Sophia Loren movie 'Houseboat'. They enjoyed it and I fell asleep. On Saturday I was down at the school between 9:00-2:00 organizing the clothing drive. We collect items from the neighbouring houses, donate them all, and receive $2.50 for each large garbage bag full. At 4:00 I took dd to a birthday party, picked up ds's buddy and took them to their hockey game. After that, we picked up some groceries for dinner and oldest ds had two friends sleep over. I picked up dd at 10:00 and went to bed. Sunday morning, Dh made a huge breakfast for us and all the kids, and then I went grocery shopping. I took oldest ds and his friend to see 'Blades of Glory'...pretty funny movie in a dumb kind of way...and then we came home.
Dh made a roast chicken, potatoes, carrots and peas for dinner. We made lunches, the kids had baths and then watched 'The Amazing Race' with me. Next weekend is another 'no plan' weekend and I am already looking forward to it!

Sold the van!

April 12th, 2007 at 06:08 pm

A friend of the now infamous Honda mechanic came by today to look at my van. He's also a mechanic, but on the side he buys old vehicles, fixes them up and sells them. He offered us $700 for it. Now, seeing as how it's not running, and not going to be running unless I feel like paying $3000 to get it to do so, I think this is a pretty good deal. SOLD!

Tonight my friend is coming over and we're transferring all the ownership and insurance papers for her Honda into my name. Yay! I'll have a car again.

I did work from home today and, yes, I did actually work. I got tons done and am completely caught up...that is, until I go into work tomorrow. The Administrator emailed me this afternoon to tell me I have 3 more files to pick up and start working on. Oh, lucky, lucky me!

No hockey gear!

April 12th, 2007 at 06:10 am

I posted yesterday that I would be taking Ds out to buy some new hockey gear...always an expense I so look forward to every year! Anyways, he tried on all his equipment and everything from last year fit except for the gloves (even the helmet fit which really surprised me). But Dh had a brain wake-up call and had Ds try on his gloves and they fit! Ta-Da! No hockey expense this year...unless the helmet really is too small and Ds didn't tell me because he wanted to go play football at the park with his friend and not go shopping. We'll see if he has a headache after practice tonight!

I've had four no spend days so far this week. Tonight I'll be buying the Honda so that will make up for every no spend day I've had in the past 2 years!

Car Saga Continues...

April 11th, 2007 at 06:30 am

So, I've decided to buy the Honda from my friend. Her husband has taken it to work to do an oil change and put on the all season tires. He'll take it through air care and then it will be all mine. We'll switch ownership and insurance on the weekend and I won't have to worry after that. I will be driving a reliable vehicle.

Today I am borrowing my sil's car to get to work and then Thursday and Friday I'll use my brother's because he's going to Australia for the week. I plan on using his as little as possible...the muffler is going and, not only does it sound like a race car, I don't want to deal with the muffler falling off while I'm driving the little wreck!

It's another super busy day around here. Work, paper route, and grocery shopping...oh, and ds(13) starts his spring ball hockey tomorrow and we need to go through his equipment and replace a few things. This will be costly because I know for sure that he needs a new helmet, cage, and gloves. I love spring hockey...just not the expense!

What am I doing?

April 10th, 2007 at 12:14 pm

I'm browsing on the internet instead of working from home. I did do 3 hours today, but am feeling so unmotivated...I just need to crunch down to it.

I have TONS to do. O.K., that's it, I've talked myself into it and now I'm going to go get started. I'll be back later this afternoon when I've put in 3 hours of actual work! This will be my reward--the only thing that would be better would be if I got a monetary reward.

Oh, wait a sec. That's what the paycheque is, isn't it?

Almost Stupid

April 10th, 2007 at 05:33 am

We went looking for a new car for me yesterday and I had my eye on a gorgeous cherry red 2003 Saturn Vue. The tiniest detail really flagged me, though. The asking price was $16990 and I only have $6000 in cash. Can you say 'Car Loan'? No, we cannot. Good thing that Dh was with me and pulled me off the lot!

Today I will be taking a friend's 1993 Honda Civic for the day to test drive it. Her husband is a mechanic for the local Honda dealership, so you can bet that this little vehicle is in tip top condition...and, of course, it is a Honda. Dh's was a 1990 and it had 460,000 km on it before it finally died. The asking price is $1500. Definately affordable and will get me from point A ot point B on low gas mileage.

New to me car...$1500. Knowing I'm staying debt free...priceless.

Off to the car lot...

April 9th, 2007 at 07:36 am

Yeppers. That's where Dh and I will be going today. The transmission on the van is shot, and we've had nothing but problems with that vehicle for the past year. I don't want to fix it and then have something go wrong next week. We'll go take a look at what's out there...

I am going to have to use our emergency fund to pay for the new one, though, and that really ticks me off. I'm wondering how long Dh and I can get by on one vehicle...probably not very long since I really need a car for work and he needs to get to work! Opposite directions, three busy kids etc. Oh well, I do appreciate the fact that we have the money and, hopefully, we won't have to take out any kind of car loan. My dad really sweetly told me to let him know if we need to 'borrow' some money. I'm 40 years old...I really don't plan on borrowing money from my dad to buy a car. But it was nice of him to offer.

So, the only money that we'll be spending today will be on toilet paper and milk...and possibly a new vehicle!

Stupid Vehicles!

April 6th, 2007 at 08:03 am

I'm pretty sure that the transmission on my 1996 Dodge Caravan needs to be replaced. YIKES! I've spent $3000 on various repairs for this vehicle in the past 9 months. If it needs a new transmission, then I think we'll be getting a new to us vehicle. I don't trust that something else isn't going to go wrong next week.

We have some money in our emergency fund...the problem is that Dh's car died in November and we replaced it in January, using some of the money that was in there and some from a 'car account'. Now there is zippo in the 'car account' and the emergency fund still isn't fully funded. Well, I guess that's why it's called an emergency fund and this certainly qualifies as one. I need to have a vehicle for work.

Thank Goodness it's a long weekend and we'll be able to think on this for a few days without having to rush out and make a quick decision!

I can't sleep...

April 5th, 2007 at 05:01 am

I've been up since 4:20am...I can't get back to sleep. This is typical of me because I wake up thinking of something that I need to do for work, and then my mind won't shut down again. I've tried keeping a pen and paper by my bed and writing it down, reading, watching t.v., and just laying there...nothing works. I just got up and will diddle on here for awhile. Hopefully I can go back to sleep in an hour or so.

Ds's exam seemed to go well on Tuesday. He said that it was really hard and he didn't know the answers to the science questions. I know that they concentrate heavily on the essay type answers because they use these to determine how the kids work things out intellectually. He won't find out until the end of May whether he gets in to the Honours Program, but he's happy that the part that was stressing him out is over. My younger two kids waited the 2.5 hours with me. We had snacks, read books, jumped rope, played cards, went for a walk and I cleaned out the van. It was actually a fun afternoon and I know that Ds was very pleased that I waited for him.

He's going to his first dance tomorrow night. I took ds and his buddy to the rec. centre last night to purchase tickets. The dance is just for grades 6 and 7, and they're very well supervised. A lot of their friends from school will be there so I'm sure that they'll have a great time.

I have another super busy day today but have tomorrow and Monday off for the Easter weekend, so there's something to look forward to. Hopefully, I'll be able to get lots of work done from home this weekend...I'm a little behind but not too bad.

I'm off to read a bit more here and then I'll try to get back to sleep!

Exam Anxiety

April 3rd, 2007 at 06:46 am

Poor Ds. He's going into 8th grade in September and, where we live, that means high school. He's decided to apply for the Honours Program but his application includes a 3 hour exam that he writes today at 3:30. He is soooo nervous. I keep telling him not to worry about it and to just answer what he can. It's a test to see how the much the student knows and how they figure things out. It's not anything that can be studied for. The Honours Program at this high school is the only one of it's kind in our city and they only accept 60 kids. Once they're accepted, they're only guaranteed a spot for that year. If they want to stay in the program they have to rewrite the exam at the end of each school year. So, if he doesn't get in this year, he can always reapply next year. I just don't want him spending the whole day stressing about this!

We had Passover dinner at my Dad and Stepmom's last night. The food was great, but my 10 year old nephew was behaving extremely poorly and really needed to be taken outside by his parents for a few minutes...it never happened. We are so much stricter with our kids and they are expected to behave well (especially in outside social situations). It can be a little hard when we're with people who have different expectations for their children. Things like being in a restaurant and having children crawl under the table or run around it, are just not acceptable in our book. Anyways, I was happy to come home and get everyone into bed!

Yesterday was a no spend day and today should be as well. I can't imagine that I would have time to go shop for anything today even if I wanted to!

Overspent!

April 2nd, 2007 at 06:03 am

I went grocery shopping yesterday and spent $227.00!!! This was enough food for the five of us for the week and we're hosting 2 Easter dinners next weekend. We're having 24 for dinner on Saturday (we'll be having ham and turkey) and then 10 for dinner on Sunday (ham). Luckily, I qualified for a second free ham because I spent over $200.00. Yippee...lucky me...

The worst part is I still have to go back and buy vegetables for both dinners. I also didn't get any Easter treats with that shop because I had Dd with me. YIKES!

On top of that expense Dh really wanted to go out for dinner. We had coupons for 2 free kids meals and a $25.00 gift certificate, so we used that, but the meal cost for Dh and I, along with the tip, was still $25.00. This had better be as close to a non spend week as possible!