Friday, February 01, 2008

Frugal Friday

Well, I blew it again -- it's now Saturday.

I'm clueless what to post about frugality at the moment.

This week Thomas and I ate out twice: Once at Taco Bell in Civilization, a town an hour from us where we take puppy classes. Tonight we ate at McDonald's. Taco Bell was $8, McDonald's was $11. So there's a 20 shot. However, I did only spend $60 on groceries this week, so that's much less than normal.

I also spent some money on school this week. I bought two used text books. We're going to stop studying history for awhile and start a unit on civics. It's a good time with the election and all. I find it easier to use a text as a spine and then supplement. I bought two identical texts, because they were $6 each and it included shipping. I prefer it when we read together and then talk -- I can see what Thomas is reading. I don't typically buy two texts for social studies, though.

This week I called the bank where we have our car loan. I had it set up so it automatically comes out of our bank account. For the entire time we've had our car loan, they have only sent us a year-end tax form. I wanted to check to see when it would be paid off. I knew it would be this spring. I was correct, it will be paid in full in April. Woo-hoo to that!

That's it. I am completely uninspired to talk money, think money, or save money at the moment. Sadly, I'm never uninspired to spend it, though. However, I have a new motto: When in doubt, do without. That works for me.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Bump in the Night

I heard a bump, thud or noise. It woke me from my deep sleep. I have no idea what it was, but highly suspect it was a cat. Of course now I can't sleep.

So, thought I'd share a funny a very good friend sent me today. It made me laugh!



Tuesday, January 29, 2008


I had a light-bulb moment today.

I've blogged several times how I felt this year was uninspired, dull or just not as wonderful as years gone by. I felt it was due to our dog's illness and death, I was wrong. I now understand WHY.

It's because I'm not nearly as involved. Yes, I'm very involved, but Thomas has made that leap this year from needing me to sit by his side while he does his work to working independently.

What took me so long to figure it out???

When we started our homeschool adventure, which was Thomas' third grade year, he had concentration issues. I had to sit by his side year after year. "Focus, stay on task, don't lose track of where you are" were all common words spewing from my mouth. Now? He gets his assignment, asks any questions, and goes off to do his work.

This is a GOOD thing. I don't know why I didn't figure it out sooner.

My babe is growing up -- at his own pace.


I'm tooting my own horn this morning.

I was reading some blogs this morning and came across a link to a list of the Top 50 Homeschool Blogs by Christina Laun for

I like to read blogs, so I thought I'd check the list.

Let's just say that I had to clean my computer screen because I sprayed my coffee. I was number 41 on the list! It says, "In this blog you'll find links to tons of helpful homeschooling and educational resources to improve your homeschooling experience."

I haven't been doing much of that lately, so my apologies. It's been a rough year, what can I say.

That made my morning, though.

And yesterday, Audrey made my day. She awarded me an E for Excellent Blog Award.

Wow, I am honored.

I would like to pass this honor on to:

Elshevia at Ragamuffin Studies. Her blog is truly excellent, and I really admire Elshevia.

Carole at Mt. Pleasant Academy. An inspiring homeschool blog. Carole has given me many ideas for our journey and has become a great friend.

Tammy at HS Comments on the Fly. She keeps me up to date on what's going on in the homeschool world.

I look at my bloglines subscriptions, and I read so many blogs because I enjoy them all, so it's very difficult to single people out.

I'm feeling a bit inspired now. What a boost!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

A Day at the Park

Scattered Thoughts

Thomas was sick all week. So no school at all was completed. While I was worrying about this, my best friend reminded me that had he been in public school, he would have missed the entire week, too. That put it into perspective, because now we can just take up where we left off, rather than going to school and having to catch up.


Last night I was looking on eBay at text books. I once thought texts were evil and shouldn't be used, except for math. Well, I've changed my mind. We are using a text book for science this year. I got it from eBay. Thomas has really enjoyed it, and we will read a section and then hit the Internet for further research and discovery.

I think I'm going to buy a Civics text book. Thomas has been asking tons of questions about elections, government, legal matters, etc. He has even, gasp, expressed his desire to become a trial lawyer when he grows up. (NOOOOOO!!! I was a court reporter for 11 years and that is NOT what I want for him, but it's his life and choice. Still, NOOOOOO! I'll say that here, but not to him.)

Maybe I should tell him about some of the most boring trials I have sat through -- one was four days long about ladders. Yes, I am an expert on ladders because of that. I guess those four days did help when we bought a ladder ourselves, because I knew what to get and what not to get.


I have learned I have a love/hate relationship with the month of January. January is so long, so cold and so miserable. We've had a nasty cold spell for quite a period of time. Yesterday it warmed up to a balmy 28 degrees and we were out of this house, at the park, and loving every minute of it. The puppies had a ball.

Love: It's only 31 days. Things settle after the holidays. We can get back into a routine.

Hate: Cold. 31 days of cold. Nasty cold. Ice. Snow. Cold. Brrrrr.

Triple Hate: I had been "green" by setting our thermostat at 67. The house was warm enough, we'd wear a sweater or sweatshirt if we were chilly. It was impossible to keep the house warm enough for our comfort levels during that nasty cold snap. I had to move the thermostat up to 72 which kept the house at 69 degrees. When it warmed up outside, I promptly moved it back to 67.


Puppies: Going well. We're completely in love with these critters. I only wish the cats were. We've started puppy classes, and they are very well behaved. Except when they escape, that is. The classes are in the store room at a Pet Smart type store. It's impossible to keep border collie puppies from jumping over the stacked bags of food and running free. Each class gets better, and I'm thankful they'll be moving the classes to a new facility in February.

At the classes, the instructor told me that she had never seen such independent and confident litter mates. I corrected her by telling her they weren't litter mates. She then corrected herself and said that she meant two puppies from the same home. She said that typically they will only play with each other and be fearful of other pups. She asked if we kept them separated, and I told her that we aim for 90%. SO...even though it's inadvisable to get two puppies at the same time, it is WORKING. We have confident, independent, happy and healthy puppies -- as judged by an expert trainer.


I have a desire to get back to the school room for school. Thomas is resisting. He likes the kitchen better. I don't because we have a small kitchen and now there are two huge dog crates. I feel like I'd have more space in our 9x9 school room. Plus, we can watch the birds at the feeder in the school room. Another plus is the school "mess" would be there rather than my kitchen.


I forgot to post a Frugal Friday post. I'll sum up my Frugal week here: Food was cheap as Thomas was sick and didn't eat much. Bob and I ate mostly from the cupboards. We spent a total of $60 at the grocery store this week. We did eat out at Taco Bell on puppy class night as class is in a big town. I think the total was $9. Thomas only ate half his burrito, so I knew he was still sick. Taco Bell is cheap, though, so I enjoyed the "luxury" of that.

I did not spend one dime at the pet store where the puppy classes are held. That is a huge accomplishment for me. I had wanted to buy another large crate for our bedroom, as Tesla is going to outgrow his crate soon. I resisted. I'm still looking for used crates.

I have kept my checkbook up-to-date, which is unusual for me. I usually balance it once or twice a month. I've been aiming for weekly, and soon, daily.


That's about it. After having a week off from school, I'm pumped up to start again. I wish Thomas were, but he'll go with the flow.


That's it.