Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Need money??? Just look around...

While we have been reorganizing our home and cleaning out areas that haven't been touched by human hands in a while (that junk drawer and the cabinet in the utility room), we have "found" a lot of money.  One of my goals this year was to have an emergency fund.  I started small just saving a $5 or a $10 when I grocery shop.  I tuck it in a pocket and then put it in a safe place only I know about.  I have had to dip into the "secret fund" though once in a while and it gets depleted and then slowly refuned.  Well, as we have been decluttering, reorganizing, and cleaning, I have "found" our change jars and other loose change floating around our house.  I didn't realize how many change jars we actually had.  I had one on my dresser, my husband had one on his nightstand, there was one on his desk and one in the kitchen, oh, and one above the washer and dryer.  Whew. 

I collected them all the other day and put the change in a big ziploc bag, well two bags really.  I took them to the bank where there is a coin counter and I poured those bags in there.  I came out with $287!!  Yes, you read that right!  $287!!!

I took half of that and put it in our emergency fund and the other half went to pay a bill.  It was like paying that bill for free this month.  I was so excited.  Not only does our budget have a little more cushion in it but our emergency fund it filled back up too. 

So just when you think you might be out of money, look around and you might find that you have a coin jar or two that you can use.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

In a mess of Chaos, fruits of our labors

Since we have decided to sell our home we have started telling people that we are selling.  We hope to find a buyer without a realtor and that way we and the buyer can save money in the process. We are praying for a simple sale.  But nothing comes simple.  We have learned that the hard way, on many occasions.

We have told our parents our plans.  They initially took the news well and didn't say anything in comment about our decisions.  HOWEVER, we have now started to get the side comments, suggestions, etc from them that tells us that they don't approve or accept our decisions.  It will pass.

This is a huge leap for us.  We have always followed the socially acceptable path and we have always done what is "responsibly" right.  We drop everything to help others, we keep a two income household.  We moved to the largest home we could buy at the time.  We have always sought the approval of our parents and if they didn't approve then we reconsidered our decisions, most often choosing to accept the path that they approved of.

This time it is a leap of faith.  A BIG LEAP.  A calculated leap but there is a bit of unknown in there that we need to rely on God to provide for us.  He will, I know it, because he is calling us to do this.  In the end I know we will be happier, more financially stable, and our kids will benefit from it too.  But it is still scary.

On to the chaos:  At this point in time, we are decluttering our home and preparing it for sale.  We have extra furnature that we need to do something with.  We have junk we need to get rid of and we have things that we need to pack away. So our house looks like it threw up its contents inside and we have a ton of liquor store boxes that line the walls, some ready to be packed and some already packed and ready to store.  Thankfully we have a place rent-free to store our things until our home sells.  Our goal is to have the house ready to go on the market in two weeks.  But right now we are living in chaos.  Not one room is ready to go.  Not one room is complete and packed.  Not one room doesn't look like a bomb hit it.  We are stepping over boxes, around boxes and it can be unnerving.

We have our goals but there are times it seems that I am the only one who is paying attention to them.  The bigger frustration is that for 7 hours a day I sit at work thinking about all the things I could be doing at home.  Oh the frustration!

On a good note, our garden is doing well this season and we are beginning to reap the fruits of our labors.  We harvested 5 zucchini yesterday and will be eating them this weekend.  There are many more that will be ready for harvest in the next week.  I am ready to plant another round of zucchini as well and just finished pulling up all the broccoli, cauliflower and lettuce that bolted this past week.  We have green tomatoes forming on our tomato plants and have a mess of spinach to harvest and freeze or eat.  It is so nice to see that my labor and hard work there is paying off.  This will help our grocery budget this month.  An unfortunate thing though is that all the fruit off our peach trees and apple trees are gone again.  We think the squirrels are eating them.  My middle child is beyond furious.  She was so ready for peaches from her own peach trees this year.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

I am so sorry!

I just left you hanging, didn't I?  I am sorry about that.

Lots have been happening on our little homestead here.

1. We lost our camera.  Do you know what this does to a person who uses it all the time???  I am going crazy. We have had Easter, Memorial Day, two birthdays, Mother's Day and a whole season of baseball and softball that I have missed photo-wise.  I am devastated by this.

2. We have had two birthdays in our family.
3. We have celebrated Easter and Memorial Day.
4. We have celebrated Mother's Day by going camping.
5. We have moved our travel trailer to a seasonal site at a campground that we love. More on that later.
6. We have started our garden and everything is growing.
7. I have put up 9 jars of strawberry jam, frozen 3 lbs of strawberries, and have 3 more lbs to make more jam with. (PS: next is peach jam).
8. We have decided to move, which means we are packing up our home, stuff, and getting the house ready to sell.
9. We have decided to pull the kids out of school at the end of this school year and will home school them for now on.

Yeah, well, I think that is about it.  Over the next few weeks I will be posting of our adventures in prepping with a move, homeschooling and our philosophy as well as how we got here, and more about my garden (with pictures).

I promise.

So for now I will leave you with a quick recipe.  This is for prepping to have a hot meal when you have no time to cook.

Italian Crockpot Chicken.

4-6 frozen chicken breasts
1 bottle of Italian Salad Dressing

Place chicken in crockpot and pour entire salad dressing bottle in crockpot over the chicken.  Cook all day and voila, you have dinner. (4-6 hours on high, 8-10 hours on low) Serve with rice, bread, a can of green beans or other veggie, or a salad.

Use leftovers on top of salad the next day for a chicken salad.