What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Sunday, March 02, 2008

February Review

How are my Resolutions coming these days?

Overall, February lost some of it's thunder. I was a bit disappointed, after looking through it all~but still some good came from it all.


*** The Good ***

I am so stocked up with diapers right now that I would be set for months if I couldn't get to a store-and I didn't spend more than silverchange on them (through CVS and ECB's)-I am getting rid of all my cloth diapers. No use going to so much trouble if I can get disposable's for free. (Nothing against cloth, I am just lazy. Pure and simple.)

~ Continue to use CVS for non-food items and have continued to shop at Save-Alot. Grocery bills were slightly elevated-but still far under the original $100.00 I spent on average in 2007.

~ I noticed that for a while there, the ONLY stores I went to were Save Alot, CVS and occasionally Walmart (with a list to keep me focused.) I stopped going to peruse Target (one of my favorite stores), I stopped heading to the mall just to get out of the house, I stopped going to the discount stores and thrift stores. This kept a tremendous amount of money in our accounts that would have otherwise been spent. I didn't realize, until I did the math, how much money I had been spending on small, clearance splurges here and there each week. Now I know, though. :-)

~I set up a tax appointment and THIS year, MATT is doing it (while I am in Indiana. Wa-ha hahaha.)

***The Bad ***

~ CVS has been scrimping on coupons and deals, so my ECB stash is all used up. Whaaaaah! X(

~ We took all the money out of our house fund. Yep. You read that right. The BIGGEST No-No ever and what I vowed I wasn't going to do. But, we found some vicious bit of debt, hiding out and Matt felt it important to squish it out completely, if we were able...which we were, ONLY by taking out our house fund money. I was very upset. But-through no extra spending, I was able to put nearly the same amount BACK in afterwards, so it is nearly at the point it was at. The bad part to me, is thinking about the total amount we would have if I had added that amount of money WITHOUT cleaning out the old balance. We would be doing EXCELLENT in our house fund then...but I won't dwell. Learning is a process.

*** The Ugly (meaning: What I Need to do) ***

~I need to get the grocery bill back down to the $40.00. If I did it before, I ought to be able to do it again and I might be able to scrimp it down further, if I really try. Baby steps, though.

~ Still no retirement fund, emergency fund or adoption fund worth talking about. Gotta start setting money aside for those things. I think the plan of attack is going to be this:
Save $1,000.00 for moving expenses (the inevitable approaches) THEN, when that is done...
Save $1,500.00 for emergency fund. After those two funds are 'full', money can start going toward retirement and adoption. I really wish it could all go toward adoption right now, though.

~ I need to improve on making weekly meal plans. Doing so helps me to avoid the nagging "Let's get Pizza" temptation, which I still struggle with. I just bet it will help me stretch that budget even more, too.

~Never got to selling off many of the extra items I need to get rid of, with the exception of a few craft books. (Thanks ladies!) Must do that in March.

~ I want to look into an ING Direct account. I have heard great things. Does anyone have any input about them?


***The Good, the Bad AND the Ugly***

Honestly, not much to say here. We keep chugging along, mucking our way through ill-planned lessons. I have discovered that I need to have written out lesson plans to follow. At this point in my young, naive, homeschooling Mama-teacher career, it has been established that I need direction. Corynn is not reading yet, but it is no wonder. Some days we work on individual letters and sounds, some days we opt for the sight words or common endings, -at, -og, -igh, etc. Nothing is building upon itself, nothing is worked through to the end. No wonder the girl is confused. I am confused! :-)

I have decided to take the month of March off of school (without feeling guilty about it...) After all, she isn't REALLY school age, anyway.) Ha. And now you know my great faulty, ever-to-common rationalization for not doing school....

With all the preparations that go into a long trip, and then being away for a week enjoying ourselves ON that long trip, then coming home and having Easter and all the other things that are filling up the month, I don't foresee any real time to do bona fide school. So-Corynn is getting a break from actual, sit-down schooling. I, on the other hand, plan to use this month to get my act together.

Here is what I need to accomplish:

...Plan a weekly schedule. Need to find the best way to include all that I want to accomplish without it being overwhelming for Corynn OR myself.

...Need to investigate, save up for, order, and receive supplies to start with a vengeance come April 1st. This includes book lists from library but is not limited to: library books, art supplies, science material, and Saxon Math.

...Need to read the Well Trained Mind, as a refresher, or at least the chapters pertaining to our situation.

*** In Other News ***

Since I am already laying it all out there for all to see, I might as well finish off with a bang.

Exercise: I am happy to report that I have exercised half the month away in February! This is good news...but still, I don't SEE any change in my weight, which is VERY discouraging. To say the least. I am glad to be diligent, but hate doing so with no real positive change. I guess I need to do more than just exercise to lose this weight. Ugh.

Organization: Did lots of organizing in February, but seems like there is always still more! When will it ever stop?!? :-)

Personal Devotions: Did alright, have enjoyed listening to lots of online sermons, reading sermon notes, and of course, the Bible. I still don't find time to make it a daily priority though-which disappoints me.

Early to Rise: I wake up with Matt quite often and enjoy it fully, when I am actually awake. The getting out of bed part is what stinks. It is SO cold in the house! While I do a good job at times, I still need to do more. My personal goal is to wake up with him EVERY morning.

Sewing: I have gotten quite a bit of sewing done last month but have given it all away to people, so I haven't made a dent in my Etsy store. It's a shame, I just can't seem to keep it up like many of my friends do.

Well, there ya have it. My resolutions as lived out in the month of February, in a nutshell. As you can see, it wasn't that productive of a month, in terms of goals. :-)

Here's hoping for more productive March!

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