Archive for January, 2008


Thursday, January 10th, 2008

Lilah’s not much for change and so far she’s experienced a lot, with more to come.

First, Sunday was her first day in her new Primary class. We didn’t know who her teacher would be, rather the substitute since her teacher just moved and they haven’t called a new one because they’re changing ward boundaries this Sunday in a special 4 ward meeting.
So Sunday during sacrament meeting she was whinier than normal and she cried when we took her to primary. The teacher was her classmates mom and she has seen her, but I think it was just a lot for her to handle with not knowing until that moment. Plus her friends came into Primary and are now Sunbeams, but she’s in a different class and doesn’t quite understand why she had to change.

Then Tuesday was gymnastics. They had her old instructor but their was also a new one and lots of new kids. We didn’t know about it and I don’t know if Jon introduced the instructor to her or what but I think that may have been too much with the whole primary thing. She seemed to break down after she saw me have food, which is odd because we always are eating a snack while there. I think that was just he breaking point for her.

Wednesday when I was telling her about preschool, or the mommy class that we do, she didn’t want to go to it Thursday.
She did fine today, but I think she’s had a hard time adjusting and with the ward boundary changes who knows what things will be like. We are planning on possibly keeping her out of primary until we know who the teacher is, which hopefully won’t be more than a week. I think to have it constantly change will just make her want to go less and she was having problems before all this happened.

Changes suck when you’re child doesn’t like change.

On an upside the nursery class is smaller and with younger kids so they had a nap time on Sunday. Eden didn’t sleep but she had fun.


Wednesday, January 9th, 2008

I don’t have the girls do much.
They clear their dishes from the table after each meal.
They have to put their clothes away after I fold them.
They have to pick up whatever mess they make.
That’s pretty much it.

The other day Jon was doing dishes and the girls helped him empty the dishwasher and Lilah helped put dirty dishes in.
I use to have them help unload but often it’s easier to just do it on my own, or not interrupt them playing nicely together.

The other day I was talking to my sister Kristi and chores came up. I realized I don’t have the girls help out has much as has they could so today I decided to have them do stuff.

They loved it.

Lilah kept talking about helping and how nice it is to help others and Eden just did her own thing but had fun along the way.
I had them help wash their sheets and put new sheets on.
Then they both helped to unload the dishwasher and Lilah helped to load.
It was kinds fun having them help, though they fought over what dishes they got to put away.

So don’t have your kids do chores and then they’ll want to help later on. Though I’m sure about 5 is when this wears off.
I’m thinking I’ll do a family home evening about chores and maybe we’ll make some chart about what they can help do.

I like to do things my way so it’s a little hard for me to have them help, but I think they liked it because they like to help and because they got to spend time with me rather than just do their own thing while I did mine.

Hello, Hello!

Wednesday, January 9th, 2008

So lately Jon’s cell has been calling people. We think it started about a month ago when we got a message from my friend Barbara about receiving a call from our cell. Then it was Jon’s mom and yesterday it was me and my sister Andrea, with other random calls placed in between I’m sure. Because of the phone call Andrea overheard our very private conversation about Raisin Bran raisins having too much sugar on them. I guess Jon’s cell actually called her about 5 times. Then for some reason her phone calls can’t get through to our regular line, they get blocked, so she had to call our mom to have my mom call me and tell me to call my sister.
So if you’ve received any strange phone calls where no one says hello back it might have been Jon, not some weird stalker.
He thinks he locks the keypad, but he’s not sure. So we’re not sure if it’s the phone being weird or him, but I deleted all contacts from his cell phone so now it will be random strangers being called.

Help Wanted

Monday, January 7th, 2008

So I’m no longer watching Naia on a regular basis.
Things happened and now Julie has family who can watch Naia, and her new cousin, for free.
I definitely can’t blame them for wanting to take advantage of free child care.

So now I’m trying to find ways to work from home.
I thought about selling truffles but that was my only thought.  (About half of Jon’s co-workers told him I should sell the truffles.)
It might take more work and time that I’m able to give and room in my freezer that I don’t have. We don’t need the extra income, but life is pretty tight without it and I like having flexibility.

I’m mostly sad that the girls won’t see Naia as regularly.
They loved her and Eden still asks about her, especially since Carolyn brought her over the other day.

I wonder if I cause gas?

Thursday, January 3rd, 2008

We have some nick names in our house.
Lilah is Lilah Bean
Eden is Eden Beeden or Miss Eden  
I call Jon Hunny Bunny.
But I don’t have a nick name. Well I use to not have a nickname…

Our conversation earlier today

Lilah: Why do you call Daddy Hunny Bunny?
Me: Well, Hunny Bunny is a nick name for Daddy.
Lilah: What’s a nick name?
Me: Well a nick name is kinda a fun name. You’re name is Lilah but we call you Lilah Bean. Daddy’s name is Jonathan but I call him Hunny Bunny. What do you think Eden’s nick name is?
Lilah: Eden Beeden. What’s you’re nickname Mommy?
Me: I don’t really have a nickname.
Lilah: Your nickname should be Mommy Bean.

Pass the Beano, apparently we’re a gassy family.

My forsaken vegetable.

Thursday, January 3rd, 2008

Russet potatoes were one of the things that made my $40 a week budget possible earlier in my marriage.

Growing up we pretty much had them baked or if we got real fancy we did home made mashed potatoes, but that was only on holidays.
My mom did have some recipes she started using in my later years and I now use one, but baked and mashed is what I grew up with.
Jon likes mashed, especially home-made with the skins, though I’m not so keen on skin unless it’s red or golden potatoes. We do have baked, but very seldom. I learned different ways to cook them, some more time intensive, like twice baked, but I usually stuck to the easy stuff, like on the stove top with chicken broth, onion, garlic etc.

When I was pregnant with Eden I became a potato snob. I disliked russet potatoes. Recipes I use to love disgusted me if they were made with russet and one is still unappetizing with red or golden potatoes because the memory of russet is just too strong.
I’m not sure what happened but baked russet or mashed with no skin is the only way I like russet potatoes now. The skin is just too thick for me to eat and the thought of chewing it makes my stomach churn. The texture even gets to me a little, hence why some recipes I won’t eat with russet because I find them to grainy.

So enough already with russet potatoes and why I don’t like them.
I now only buy red and golden potatoes and I often forget that I have them or for some reason I don’t want to make them. But lately I’ve been wanting soup and I’m happily anticipating the tuna chowder I’ve made for tonight. (I’m waiting for Jon to come home.)
It’s so easy but very good.

Tuna Chowder- from Arthur Schwartz “What to cook- When you think there’s nothing in the house to eat”
(And only one of the two recipes I use from the book and I have changed it just a little to what I do. Also if you don’t like tuna it still makes a nice potato chowder, though the tuna adds a lot of flavor. It’s kinda a simple comfort food.)

2 Tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, chopped (2/3 to 3/4 cup)
~ 2 1/2- 3 cups potato cut into 1/2 inch dice
2- 2 1/2 cups milk
1 6 1/2 ounce can of tuna, drained.
Salt and pepper to taste

1. In a small saucepan, over medium heat, melt butter and saute onion until golden.
2. Add the diced potatoes and milk to the amount of liquid desired. (It will thicken slightly as cooked.) Bring to a boil, turn down to medium heat and cook until potatoes are done or about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Add tuna and then season to taste with salt and pepper.

Money, Money, Money! Must be funny. In the rich man’s world!

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2008

For whatever reason I was thinking about money this morning. (And apparently ABBA entered my mind while I was writing this.)
I was imagining I had to give a talk about money and how to use it wisely.

Now I guess being around the house and doing mindless tasks like washing dishes lets my mind wander.

I won’t say I’m any expert on the subject but Jon and I, I think, are very wise with what we have.
I do go over, very often, on our food budget, but our gas is always below because: one, we either way over estimated how much gas I would need for our second car, or two I don’t use a lot of gas because I try to make my trips as efficient as possible and that’s why I do a day or two of errands rather than a little each day of the week.

Food and clothes are my weaknesses in budgeting. Not so much clothes but that’s what I spend my allowance on. Darn those clearance racks at Target.
I use to feed our family on $40 a week, now $60 seems like barely enough some weeks. (Though we now have two girls who eat a lot.)
We are eating more meat, and more fresh vegetables and fruit which do add to the cost. I think we are also a big cereal eating family and that can be expensive so those are our weaknesses. (Besides Costco, which I spend a lot at too.)
So food budgeting is not what I’m giving tips on.

My first budgeting tool is to stay below your income in expenses and know what percentage of your income should go to your car payments or house payments, especially when buying.
Like housing payments, including insurance, taxes, and HOA, should not use more than 1/3, or about 30% of your monthly income.
Car payments should be around 12% to 15% of your after tax monthly income, this also includes what you spend in insurance and what you would spend on regular tuneups spent over the year.

One thing we do is we make our credit card work for us.
We have a Chase Freedom Rewards card with cash rewards which gives us 1% on everything and 3% back on the top three categories of spending each month. (They divide it into categories like food, gas, utilities etc.)
We always pay our debt off each month so it’s very worth the rewards.
If we cash in our points at the lower mark we get $50 for like 5,000 points. But if we wait we get $250 for 20,000 points. Since the money is spent we just wait for the higher rewards. With Chase we could get gift cards for the same amount as cash rewards so we just choose cash. That way it’s earning interest in our bank until we decide what to spend it on.
So I suggest get a card with good rewards. (My capital one card give less then 0.5% back so I don’t use it and it only gives rewards back with gift cards. We like Chase, but if we were to find one with higher rewards we’d definitely apply for it. )
Remember it’s good to have about 2 or 3 credit cards. If you open a new credit card keep your old credit card account because the older the card the better for your credit.

Another thing we do is set a low, but agreed on, allowance for each other.
Rather than have all our extra income go to our allowance and whatever we want we set a regular allowance for ourselves each month and then our extra income goes to savings projects like family trips or someday remodeling the bathroom. ( Heck, forget the remodeling I just want a working shower in the guest bathroom! )

We have all our income combined. Which means whatever each of makes individually goes towards the whole budget and is ours as a family. (It was kinda hard for me at first when I started watching Naia, because I wanted at least some of that extra income for myself, but Jon had supported me for the past 4 years, why should I get more just because I’m finally working and earning cash? We also have similar money spending and budgeting habits, so there’s little conflict when it comes to money for us.)

Our allowance is equal and is there for us to use for whatever we want individually.
( I actually get the better end of the deal because things like haircuts, shoes and fancy lotions can go to the budget rather then be used by my allowance if they’re needed. Some shoes I buy with my allowance, but most of the time when I buy shoes I need them. I also think it’s a necessity to smell nice. Of course some months this is more important than others depending on the cash flow and they last for about a year. I cut Jon’s hair, he rarely shops for clothing, about every other year, and his shaving soap is about how scented he gets, though that is pretty pricey.)
Large purchases are usually discussed before we buy and we trust each other to not abuse the miscellaneous budget verses regular allowance. I should mention we trust each other because we’ve never given one another reason to distrust, this might not be the case in all relationships.

My last advice is to save at least 10% of income each month.
This is my hardest goal mentally.
I believe 5% is for long term things, like retirement and emergencies like job loss or disability. The other 5% is for short term emergencies and savings. Like house emergencies or car emergencies or medical.
I’m not sure how we do this. Jon is more of the mastermind for our savings.
I just know our goal is to get 6 months of income in the bank because if he be comes disabled long term, it takes 6 months for the long term disability to kick in and start paying us. (6 months is soo much money and we’re not even close, but we’re trying.)
Also if job loss were to occur or say I get sick and am unable to take care of the girls, we’d need to pay child care.
People suggest trying to save like 5% first and then to work your way up, though if you have no retirement you should be saving 5% a month or more depending on your age and it’s best to be putting it into something like a Roth IRA.

So those are some things we do.

We’re still figuring out what is the best way to pay down debt for our car, house and student loans. We don’t have credit card debt so all our debt is what I call justifiable.
It’s a matter of figuring what is the best method because all our debt is high in these areas.

I have found some interesting information on paying down debt in the snow-ball way and I’ve included some links. I am still researching and I know some are contradictory. I figure it depends on the person and what would works for you so I’ve included those too.

Pay Down Debt Fast.
A Great Plan to Get Out of Debt
Dave Ramsey is Bad at Math
Debt snowball calculator

I’m helping world hunger

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2008

So Yesterday Jon told me about this site that he had heard about somewhere else.
It’s a site where you choose the correct definition of the given word and then it donates 20 grains of rice for world hunger for each correct answer. It does it through the sponsors which you ignore at the bottom of each page.
I got hooked.
I donated 2,300 grains of rice yesterday.
I won’t say how many I got wrong though.
It’s kinda fun to see what words you’re able to guess the meaning to and then what words you get wrong because you chose your second guess rather then going with your gut. (It happened to me almost every time I got one wrong. I think it’s between these two words and I’d go with one but it was the other word I was looking at!)

Granted there are 7,200 grains of rice to a cup. (I’m not sure if it’s cooked or uncooked.)

As an adult it’s probably easier to just donate money, but as a teenager this could be a good way to help or as a bored adult wanting to improve your vocabulary skills.

I still thought it was fun.
Go donate rice.


Tuesday, January 1st, 2008

For New Year’s Eve  we went to my friend Anna’s house and played a game with her, her husband and another couple they socialize with.
It was fun. The girls had fun playing with her doll house which had lots of accessories to it.
We left a little bit after 10pm, came home and put the girls into bed.
We started our movie at 11. (Catch Me If You Can, which I just love and got for Christmas from Carolyn.)We paused briefly to watch a local channel ring in the New year.
We argued over who should get out of our warm blanket and get the glasses and sparkling cider.
We kissed at midnight and the girls blissfully slept the night and new year away, at least until Eden had a bad dream early in the morning.

This is probably the first year in about three that we were actually awake at midnight instead of falling asleep and waking up after the fact.

We all slept in late.
We ate breakfast at 10:30, even though the girls had been up since about 8:45 but Jon and I were just too tired.

I was getting annoyed by the large tree so I also undecorated the tree today and Jon took it down this evening.
Our house feels so big now and we can all fit at the table again instead of banishing Eden and her high chair to the outer circle of the dining room.

We have tons of trash because we forgot to take it out the Wednesday after Christmas and that same Saturday. (This is what happens when Jon doesn’t leave the house regularly.)
So we still have Christmas trash and what piles up over 2 weeks.
Happy New Year to our trash guys!

I’m happy to have the new year.
Things I want to improve upon:
Taking vitamins daily.
This is a strange goal, but I was on vitamin strike for a period of time because I had to take prenatal for so long or about 4 years straight. (pregnant then nursing, pregnant then nursing. I was just not wanting to take vitamins anymore. ) Jon takes vitamins like fish oil and lechitin and I need to take calcium because I think my teeth are weakening not to mention my bones. So fun.

Another goal I have is to exercise my mind and I want to work through one of my college math books to do that.
We’ll see how it goes but I partially just want to do things like memorize the times table and gain my grasp of simple math once more and I want to do more complex math so I know I still have some intelligence.
I feel like my mind has gone down hill since I haven’t had to exercise it in the academic way and I use to be pretty good at doing things in my mind when now I feel like I pull out the calculator for any little thing, though sometimes it’s just to make sure I did the math correctly in my mind.

Those are my only two improvements that I want to write down.
We’ll see how they go.