Monday, January 30, 2012

I.M. Bummed

Hey friends... I was doing so well this year. I got my taxes filed two weeks ago and I've been *not-so-patiently* waiting for our refund. Nothing HUGE, but definitely some extra money. Well, after almost 16 years of marriage and four children, somewhere along the way I'm afraid to say I've lost my mind. My capacity to remember things and be organized. It is GONE.
So I was really shocked and dismayed to find ANOTHER TAX DOCUMENT in my mailbox last week. You see, Zeke graduated from school in December 2010. He's had ONE W-2 since forever. (Well, like 10 years!) And I completely FORGOT that last Spring he taught a class at Utah State. It was SO normal for him to be there, I forgot he was being the TEACHER for 5 months and getting PAID for it. So yada, yada, yada... It has now become necessary for me to ammend our tax return.

No big deal. I did it online. It was quite easy. 20 minutes, maybe.

However, $885 of the refund I'm hoping will be deposited tomorrow will have to be returned to the IRS by April 15th.... :( I.M. Bummed. That is all.

In other news... we have to get our truck registered by tomorrow and Zeke just informed me tonight that the back tail-lights don't work. Lovely.

I am determined NOT to be discouraged! Just bummed....

Nothing fun or frivolous planned, just planning to pay off some bills....


Addicted to INDEXING

Yes, this is my new obsession. Basically, I'm digitizing historical is so addictive and very interesting (to me). It's also helpful and productive so I don't feel quite so guilty about wasting time playing a game or something (now I'm really in trouble).

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

30 Day Mom Challenge

This is one of the best "To Do" lists I have ever seen:
30 Day Mom Challenge
I printed one off and put it on my fridge. Of course, it is great for Dads too. I feel like each day has been very focused and sometimes quite an eye-opener. 

For each day of the month, find the corresponding number and follow the tip. So, if you begin the challenge on November 9; start with tip 9 and move on from there.You can repeat the list every month!

For the 24th, today's challenge is: Do not interrupt your child when they are talking. (I didn't realize how much I did this). I hope this will help me be a better mother. :)

Go hug your children. Right now! I'm serious. :)

Just for fun: Gabe likes to wear his hoodie backwards and use it as a baby sling for Wilson:

Monday, January 23, 2012

Midnight Gift

I had such an incredible weekend. No life-changing events. Just some really good "Food for Thought" and a lot of it. I feel like a new person with new resolve and new desires.

I go in spurts with everything I do: reading, cleaning, blogging, sewing. etc. I've been doing a LOT of blogging lately. I'm just not feeling it today and somewhere inside, I feel like I need a break of sorts. There is so much I want to share with you, but I want to make it MORE simple.

A wonderful quote I heard on Friday, 

"Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It's perfect when it arrives and puts itself in our hands. It hopes we've learned something from yesterday." -- John Wayne

I love Mondays. Seriously. They are so fresh and new and full of possibilities...

Friday, January 20, 2012

Shredded Pork Tacos

This is a family favorite. So easy and YUMMY! I got this recipe from my trusty "Better Homes and Gardens" Cook Book. It's a good one. If we're having people over for dinner, this is always one of my go-to recipes.

Shredded Pork Tacos
1 3lb boneless pork shoulder blade roast
8 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp ground coriander
 2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp dried organo, crushed
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp ground red pepper (cayenne)
1 cup beef broth

Put the meat in a crockpot. Mix up all of the herbs and spices into the beef broth and pour over the top. Cook on high for 6 to 8 hours until meat is tender and easy to shred. Shred it with two forks (I'll try to post a picture of this later -- I just started my crockpot.) Then, add 3/4 cup salsa and mix well. Here it is ready to cook: That's fresh minced garlic on top: YUMMY!
Taco stuff:
Corn tortillas (or flour, but we like corn)
2 cups shredded lettuce
1/2 cup shredded cheese (your choice, we like colby jack, cheddar, or even mozzarella)
1/4 cup sliced olives (we usually don't do the olives)
Sour Cream (optional)
Avocado, sliced (optional)

I'll add some more pictures later.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

How to dye silk with Kool-Aid and Kaia's "New Dress"

Hi friends... busy day. How's your week going? I can't believe it's already Thursday. Just a quick post about a fun craft I HAVE to try. Oh, this is right up my alley!

How to dye silk with Kool-Aid! Yep. I've never done this and I did not make it up, but it sounds awesome!!

Here's a link for some white silk scarves I've been looking at (but NOT buying, right?) Maybe I can talk Zeke into getting some for my birthday -- that wouldn't be the same as ME buying it. Anyway, let me know if any of you try/or have tried it. It looks fun.

I've also been working on a dress for Kaia. She bought this dress with her own money (at the thrift store) and she LOVES it. Only problem: it's a little too short. It's got a weird asymmetrical hem and well, I think we could add to the length or something so she can wear it for a few more months at least. For the picture, Kaia said she didn't want to smile because, "that's how you're supposed to show clothes". Okay.
My girls and I have been enjoying New Dress A Day and it has most definitely inspired us on this one! You should really check out this blog. Everyday after school Zoe and Kaia will ask me, "What did Marisa make today?" They are so impressed with her creations. Me too. Thanks, Marisa! :)

P.S. I have had several blog friends tell me that my comments on their blogs are showing up in their SPAM. Not sure why, but I just wanted all of you to know. Go check your SPAM, I hope you find a comment from me.:)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Obsessed with Chess

My family always has a current game or activity they are obsessed with. Right now, it is CHESS. Everyone is playing chess almost all the time. Kaia made an invitation to a "Chest Tortoment". We're supposed to circle the happy face if we're coming and the sad face if we're not.
 Gabe even carved a knight out of soap! NICE.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Words to Live By

This is something I found in our Elementary School's monthly newsletter "Parent Tip". My friend, Julie, does the newsletter, so I am sure it came from her. Thanks, Julie! I keep a copy inside my kitchen cupboard and try to read it at least once a day.  Great words to live by in so many different areas of our life. I'm going to focus on at least two or three each month. I have so many friends and family members who are struggling right now. I love you! I hope we can all have a HAPPY January and a wonderful year. :)
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar
  • Eat MORE foods that grow on trees and plants and eat LESS food that is manufactured in plants. 
  • Read more books than you did in 2011. 
  • Sleep for 7 hours each night. 
  • Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
  • Don't have negative thoughts about things you cannot control. Instead, invest your energy in the positive, present moment.
  • Don't take Yourself so seriously. No one else does.
  • Don't waste your precious energy on gossip.
  • Dream more while you are awake.
  • Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
  • Don't remind your partner of his/her mistakes from the past; that will ruin your present happiness.
  • Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. 
  • Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.
  • No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
  • Realize that life is a SCHOOL and you are here to LEARN.
  • SMILE and laugh MORE.
  • Each day give something GOOD to others.
  • Forgive everyone for everything.
  • Spend time with people over the age of 70 and under the age of six.
  • Try to make at least three people smile each day.
  • Your job won't take care of you when you are are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.
  • Do the right thing!
  • Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful, or joyful.
  • However good or bad a situation is, it will CHANGE.
  • No matter how you feel, GET UP, dress up, and SHOW UP.        The BEST is yet to come! :)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Your knuckle, huh?

Happy Monday! I love Mondays... especially when I can sleep in a little. The kids are out of school today for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

When I was putting Beck to bed on Saturday, he gave me a big hug and said, "Mommy, you're so pretty, will you tickle my KNUCKLE?" (He was holding his ELBOW up in the air.) "Okay, bud" (So I tickle his "KNUCKLE") and he says, "Thanks, Mom, that was PERFECT!" It's amazing to me how something can be SO hard and SO wonderful all at the same time. Little moments like this make all the CRAZY worth it.

The older kids slept in and Beck woke up a little after seven. He wanted to play CHESS. Can you tell who's winning? When he took one of my pieces (which was every turn) he would yell like Gru on Despicable Me, "KNOCKED OVER!!!"

Friday, January 13, 2012

Buttermilk Syrup and Belgian Waffles

Yesterday went well. I'm glad my checkup is over. Today is payday and I need to go grocery shopping so this will be quick.

My friend, Colleen, gave me a great recipe for Buttermilk Syrup. We especially LOVE it on waffles.

1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup butter
2 tsp. corn syrup
1/2 tsp. baking soda

Boil for 7 minutes, stirring constantly and then add two teaspoons vanilla. Serve warm. Hint: you will need to make this in a large pan because it foams up when it starts to boil.

Last week, I saw a great recipe for Belgian Waffles over at "Twelve Makes a Dozen". Her blog is really fun! Twelve Kids! Wow. Thanks, Sandy, for letting me link to your blog and your great recipe. :) Happy FRIDAY, everyone!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

"Word of the Year" Pillows...

Yesterday's bang-cutting fiasco turned out alright... I'll post pictures later. Maybe. :) This morning I have to go in for my annual OBGYN checkup, YUCKY times 1,000!!!!! I haven't been too worried about it and although this makes no sense, that MAKES me worry about it. I'm trying to convince myself otherwise, but I just feel good this year. It's been more than a whole year and I've been FINE. (Freaked-out, insecure, neurotic, and emotional -- no really, I'm fine!)

Anyhoo.... Thursday: Threads and Things...

I made a pillow for my friend's birthday last week. She has chosen "LOVE" for her word of the year. I forgot to get a picture of her at Book Club... Camille's blog is "Behind the Quiet". She is a lot of fun and I think she chose a really great word to focus on. Happy Birthday, Camille, I hope you like the pillow!
Sewing on the beads:
All finished (it's about a 9x9 inch square):
  Close-up of the beads:
 I had fun making this pillow. I got some red beads (LOVE just looks RED to me) and I used an extra silver napkin for the pillow. :)
I'm hoping to make other pillows for my friends (and maybe myself) to help remind them of their word they are focusing on this year.
 Kaia made her own pillow, It says: "Roses are red, violets are blue, sugar is sweet, just like you!"
I love this girl. She LOVES to make stuff.
 She also made a pillow for Beck. It says: "I love GREEN!" That was his request.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Will I ever grow up?

Okay, how many times do I have to tell myself? Don't EVER try to cut your own bangs!  I'm off to the beauty school for an emergency... NO pictures here.

My pictures for "Worded-down" Wednesday are HERE.

I'll be quiet. And I'll be peace.

10 points if you can name the movie where the title of my post came from. Sometimes, I can only think in movie quotes. It's "Worded-down" Wednesday here. I'm feeling a rare burst of energy today and I hope to work on de-cluttering my house a bit...

Before I dive into that, I wanted to share a couple photos with you. Last week, I was sewing (one of my favorite ways to relax). Beck (my 3 year old son) and Wilson (our 3 month old kitten) were both napping. The sun was shining through my window and everything in the world just felt right.

When they're awake, Beck and Wilson "help" maintain a very high level of chaos and noise in our house. Everyone was taking advantage of the peace and quiet.

Here's Caspian and Noira relaxing on my bed, 
while Kaia's reading "Sea of Monsters":
(#2 from Percy Jackson and the Olympians)

 Zoe and Wilson enjoying some cuddle time:

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Not-so Fancy Monthly Menu Planner

Okay, be honest. How many of you just GROANED when you read the words "menu planner"? I know you're thinking it's too much work and you don't have enough time to do it. Maybe you're even thinking it's not even worth your time.

Well, I do not consider myself to be what some people call "organized" or "prepared". However, I have been making monthly menu planners almost consistently for over 5 years. Wow! I didn't even know it had been that long until I looked back in my binder to see when I started.

Menu Planning has been one thing that has REALLY saved me time, money, and stress. (Believe me, I have other things that are taking all of those.) When it's time to fix dinner, I do NOT want to worry about what to fix and I especially don't want an "excuse" to order pizza. Now, don't get me wrong, I LOVE eating out and ordering take-out, but that doesn't exactly fall into our grocery budget very often.

There was a really cool lady in our church named Sister "P". For those of you in my neighborhood, she was the groovy red-headed one that moved here from Las Vegas... yeah. I miss her (she moved to Idaho). Anyway, she had all of us come over to her house one night and she shared her menu planning tips with us.

First of all, you need to make a list of ALL of the meals you typically fix for your family. WHAT?!?! I know, it sounds painful. Don't think about it, just do it -- it might take you 10 minutes, if that.

This is what mine looks like from this summer. Nothing fancy by any means, but the necessary information is there. You can also add meals you would like to try.  I have added and changed many as I've went along. Sister "P" encouraged us to keep everything in a 3 ring binder.

Now, there's a really cool website called "Organized Home" where they have lots of cool tips and ideas to get more organized in your home (Hence, the name!) I linked to the MONTHLY MENU PLANNER. If you want to get neat and fancy, you can print it off... or if you're like me, you can just draw one.

 Anyway, you get the idea, right? I like to plan our menus when we're all curled up watching a movie together. I can randomly ask, "What sounds good for dinner this week? or What new recipe did I make that you guys really liked?" This is a great way to involve my family in what we are eating for dinner. I also like to have my calendar with me so I can add special dates, events, and holidays when I know we'll be doing something special or when I don't have to fix dinner at all (YAY!)

Now, when you go grocery shopping, you can jot down (or make a copy of) your menu and you'll know what to buy for the meals. It just works out SO nicely...

Also, just so you know, I don't follow the menu plan exactly and this is why I like to do a monthly planner. I have groceries on hand for at least 2 weeks worth of recipes so I can make what sounds good. I can move stuff around to adjust to what we want and whatever our family schedule might bring. The schedule is more of a guideline, really. (Lora, I put that in for you!) You know, I might have "Chili and Cornbread" planned for the 8th of February, but the weather has been SO nice lately, I might not be in the mood for it, so I can make "Chef Salad" instead and have Chili on a night when the weather is chillier (no pun intended, maybe.)

Then, next month, will be even easier... you can look back at last month and transfer what your family liked and just cross off what they didn't and add new stuff. Be sure to move stuff around. There are certain things I like to make because they are fast and easy, but my family will say, "Didn't we just have spaghetti?" So I try to rotate stuff like that no more than once a month or so. I also like to try a new recipe at least once a month. Then, if it's really nasty, I have a valid excuse for ordering pizza!!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Feed My Sheep

I'm not too sure about this "Monday Musings" thing. My mind is ALWAYS so full. I have a lot to say and I often wonder if any of it is relevant to anything...

We had a really good weekend. Lots of reading, relaxing, watching movies, and spending time together. I love Saturdays when there is nothing scheduled. They are rare at our house and I am determined to make them happen more often. Zeke replaced some old panels on our bathroom vanity. Thanks, honey! We made crepes, chocolate chip cookies, banana bread, and fried chicken. We visited the library and also had a "hair-cutting party" (Kaia's words). I forgot to take pictures (I know), but I was busy cutting hair! Zoe and Kaia wanted bangs. Gabe wanted his hair "buzzed" (Zeke did that).

Anyway, I've been thinking all week about what I wanted to post today.  Zoe and I read an article in the New Era (church magazine for our youth) yesterday called, "Bees, Beehives, and You" by Annette Murray Wells and Stephen A. Wells. (P.S. If you don't know, I LOVE insects, so I was instantly drawn to this article simply because of the title. Bees are amazing... and so are WOMEN!)

 I found this quote: "One woman is HELPFUL; ten women are INFLUENTIAL; one hundred are POWERFUL; one thousand are INVINCIBLE." ~ Ardeth G. Kapp

Wow! That quote is so profound and empowering; it makes me wonder what we could do if we all work together? I love blogging and I want to make a difference in the world. Even if my actions affect just one person, that person can share what they know with someone else and so on. I enjoy so many of your blogs and I want you to know that you are making a difference in my life.

Yesterday at church, I heard this scripture and I just can't stop thinking about it:

John 21:15-17: "(15) So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. (16) He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. (17) He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep."

I am a member of The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-Day Saints. All that I am and hope to become, I owe to my Savior, Jesus Christ. He is the life and light of the world. He is The Reason. I love him and want to answer His call to: "Feed My Sheep".  I have added two more pages to my blog: "The Living Christ" and "Articles of Faith" to help you learn more about my beliefs. Please ask me ANY questions you might have.

I love January. I love the feeling of a New Year. I also LOVE the sunshine we've been having. There are so many things I want to do. I want to pace myself and be good to myself in some ways, but I also want to challenge myself and push myself to accomplish goals I have only dreamed about. I love the scripture found in Alma 26:12: "Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in His strength I can do all things..." :)

I'm already feeling the pinch of my "NO SHOPPING" challenge... I'm going to need some HELP.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Chicken Cacciatore

I was hoping to finish this post last night and put it up early this morning, but I went to Book Club last night, got home late, and actually fell asleep in my clothes...
I don't remember the last time I did that.
(Yes, we had a good time!)

Many years ago, I found this fabulous cook book at the DI (thrift store) for $.75
"Fabulous Ways with Chicken" copyright 1967
(I've never got around to taking the price tag off...)
One of our favorite recipes in it is called:
Chicken Cacciatore ("catch-a-tor-ay" is how we say it)
This picture is from the book!
I'm sure the recipes in this book aren't the most health-concscious, but they are so yummy and fairly simple too. I've made this on the stove top in a large skillet as well as in the crockpot and it turns out great. We like to serve it with spaghetti noodles, garlic bread, and a "BIG" salad.


(this is for the skillet -- for the crockpot, I just throw it all in and cook it on high for 4-5 hours)
  • Brown in 1/4 cup hot oil, 2-3 lbs. bone-in chicken (I've also used boneless skinless THIGHS and they are the best in my opinion. Whatever you use, just be sure to use dark meat, NOT breasts, it's just not the same)
  • After browning chicken, remove from skillet and keep warm.
  • Cook 1 medium onion, cut in 1/4 inch slices, and 2 cloves minced garlic in oil until tender, but not brown.
  • Return chicken to skillet.
  • Combine one 16 oz. can tomatoes, one 8 oz. can tomato sauce, 1 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper, 1 tsp. dried oregano or basil (I use both), 1/2 tsp. celery seed, and 1 or 2 bay leaves.
  • Mix and pour over chicken.
  • Cover and simmer 30 minutes.
  • Stir in 1/4 cup white cooking wine or chicken broth.
  • Cook chicken uncovered for 15 minutes longer or until tender; turn occasionally.
  • Remove bay leaves*; skim off excess fat.
  • Ladle sauce over chicken. Serves 4.
I hope your family likes it as much as we do.
P.S. *Whenever I'm cooking with bay leaves, I like to leave them in and whoever ends up with one on their plate has good luck! (My kids really get into "finding the bay leaf"! I think it's helped them be a bit more willing to try new foods.)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

"Crafting" and Paisley Cinnamon

According to my new BLOG SCHEDULE, today is:
"Thursday Threads and Things".  
I really love sewing and crafts and making all sorts of stuff...
but I wasn't really sure what I would post for you today.
I'm actually working on two projects right now (yeah, I'm like that),
but they are going to be gifts and I don't want to ruin the surprise!
As far as "crafting" goes, this is what I came up with:

I've been meticulously and mercifully molding measured smiles from this:
 Carefully coercing and creating compromises with this one who thinks she should start wearing make-up:
 Artfully administering admonition, advice, and affection when this one always seems to have a "misunderstanding" with one of her siblings and her "feelers" are hurt: 
Deviously designing devices and other delightful doings to hold this one's attention in order to keep him from destroying my entire house: 
(Thanks for the giant puppy, Grandma Patty!)

So I HAVE been busy "crafting": 
molding, creating, artfully administering, and designing CHILDREN.
It's a BIG project, but I know it will be worth it. 
Although I'm not very good at it most days...I'm learning a lot as I go.
And some days I would MUCH rather be sewing, crocheting, painting a wall, making a wreath or ANYTHING other than trying to be a good parent. 
It's hard work!

Okay, I'll stop holding out on you. Really. 
Here is a good friend of mine, Sharon, who KNOWS HOW TO CRAFT -- when it comes to raising children AND the real kind of crafting that I merely attempt to... well, attempt.
Her blog is called:
I am absolutely amazed at the stuff she comes up with.  She is SO creative. 
You should see her house!
She's one of those people that really has an eye for color and design and 
she's not afraid to try things. 
She gets an idea and then makes it happen.
Go explore her blogs and get inspired!
She's also starting an Etsy shop -- there's a link on her blog.

I definitely have LOTS of ideas from her blogs and I hope to come up with a creation of my own for next Thursday. Happy Crafting!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

New Family Photos!

Well, to follow my BLOG SCHEDULE, it's "Wordless Wednesday" and for those of you that know me personally... I can NEVER be without words. So maybe I should call it "Worded-down Wednesday" -- what it means is that I will be posting a picture or two and I want you to come up with some fun captions and then I'll pick one I like and add it to the post...

Today's pictures are some family pictures we had taken in November 2011 by one of my very good friends, Lora. We had a lot of fun and I really like how the pictures turned out. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Back to your regularly scheduled blogging...

So, I just wanted to let you know, I've made some new "PAGES" on my blog.
Why? Because I have this great need to organize things in my life and organizing my blog is MUCH more fun and satisfying than trying to organize my house...but alas, that must happen very soon as well.

The first one is a (tentative) BLOG SCHEDULE:

This is what I might be blogging about on a particular day of the week...

Monday Musings: whatever is currently on my mind...yeah, could be scary.

Tuesday Tips, Tricks, Tools, and Treasures: cool ideas about cool stuff

Wordless Wednesday: Special Photos; I want YOU to come up with the captions

Thursday Threads and Things: Crafts, Sewing, DIY stuff, etc.

Favorite Food Friday: I'll share a favorite recipe (or two) with you

Anyway, so if you're only interested in crafts or something to do with making stuff... read my blog on Thursdays... you get the idea, right? However, I've never really been good at sticking to a schedule... it's more of a guideline really. I'll try.

So I'm going to label this post: Tuesday Tools. There.

So this Blog Schedule created the need for me to make another "PAGE". This one is for "Favorite Food Friday" and it's just called "Recipes". I'd like to keep track of the recipes I post on here and of course make it easier to share them with you. :)

Also, if you read my post yesterday about giving myself a "NO SHOPPING CHALLENGE" for one year. I talked about not buying any clothing, jewelry, shoes, etc. I'm REALLY excited about this challenge. I think it will be a good way to practice using my word of the year, DISCIPLINE. Well, I would like to ADD to that challenge. I'm also going to include: NO i-tunes or other music purchases, NO books or movies (other than rentals), and NO home or holiday decor-type purchases (this will not include flowers for my yard -- I will limit myself to filling the existing pots on my porch.)

I've been trying to come up with a cute little icon or logo or something and I've asked Zeke to help me make a button for my blog for those of you wanting to join me on my "Uphill and Smiling 2012 NO SHOPPING Challenge" you can add it to your blog. You're welcome to modify the challenge any way you want for YOU -- I just want people to step back and look at their consumption and excess and what they can do to minimize purchases, use restraint in shopping habits, and simplify their lives. Basically, to try and "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without."

This leads me to the other new "PAGE" I've created, "NO SHOPPING" Challenge. This is where I'm going to keep a running total of how much money I am saving by NOT buying things I want to.

I hope this helps you (and me) to better navigate my blog and therefore, (hopefully) enjoy it more. If you have any suggestions or ideas, please let me know...

It is such a beautiful SUNNY day here... very unusual for January in Logan, but I LOVE IT!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

I dare you!

Okay, I know it's not unique for me to say I have been thinking about goals and resolutions the past week or so...

I also told you in my last post about my
"Word of the Year" idea from my friend, Tawnya.

The word I have chosen for 2012 is:

For the month of January (especially after Christmas) I want to focus my discipline on our finances; specifically, my spending habits. Now, we don't have a lot of "extra" money or disposable income or whatever you want to call it, but we do have a lot of debt.
Student loans, car loan, medical bills, mortgage, etc.

I would really like to focus on paying down our debt as much as I can.
This is going to take DISCIPLINE.

I was standing in the shower thinking this morning (thank you, Jane's Addiction, it really is the best place to think.) I was trying to decide what to wear for church... I realized I had SO many decisions... the black and white flower skirt, the brown skirt, the red and brown paisley skirt, the purple and silver striped skirt (I know!), the green ruffle skirt...suddenly I had a thought,

I realized all of these skirts I bought sometime in 2011...
and I'm only mentioning the "Fall/Winter" skirts!

Now, just to excuse myself a little, all of these skirts were purchased from a thrift store where none of them cost more than $4 each, but still! Does any person actually NEED that many clothes, let alone skirts? (I said NEED...) I realized when Zeke got his new job last October, my clothing obsession I've fought so hard to purge from my system instantly returned (mysteriously...). I've been trying to stick within our budget and ease my guilty conscience by shopping at the thrift store, but looking in my closet this morning, I realized I have a problem.

Isn't that the first step to recovery from any addiction --
admitting you have a problem?
Well, I'm admitting it.
(I'm also admitting that my closet is full to bursting)

I also was thinking about DISCIPLINE and how I can apply it to my (ahem) "problem" and also benefit our financial situation.

I love the quote, "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without."
Sometimes I'm good at this;
I can be really good when I have to, but other times...
I buy 3 pairs of shoes just because I can't decide which pair I like the best...
(Seriously, how could I choose JUST ONE? They were *only* $6.00 a pair!)

So I'm still in the shower, when I got an idea. An awful idea.
The "Shopaholic" got a wonderful, *awful* idea!

What if I make a goal not to buy ANY clothes, shoes, jewelry, scarves, whatever for myself for one whole YEAR!!

Sounds crazy, huh? Well, I like a good challenge!
I really want to see if I can do it -- if I can discipline myself.
Now, I have allotted myself one "new" pair of jeans next fall and one new white shirt for layering -- those are things that actually need to be replaced, but other than that.... NOTHING!!!!!

Who's in? I DARE YOU!

The money I would have spent -- estimating what I spent last year and when I see something I like and "JUST SAY NO" -- sometimes I'll pick something up and audibly tell myself, "NO!!" and put it back on the rack -- yes, as a matter of fact, I do get strange looks all the time -- I'm going to put that money into a special savings account and see how much I have one year from today.

I heard a quote somewhere:
"Our success in this life depends on our ability to discipline ourselves."(ouch!)

I also heard a quote today at church that really struck a chord with me:
"If we are willing to do what needs to be done, it will get done."(OUCH!)
So pretty much, it's up to me...

I really want to make a HUGE dent in our debt this year and this is just one way I can contribute and practice controlling my spending habits.

Here's me and Beck on Christmas: Zeke got me a new hood/light for my aquarium... it was the only thing on my wish list! :) My other hood has been broken for quite a few years now. Yes, I'm a nerd! But I'm a going to be a debt-free nerd... now if I can just stop buying fish!
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