Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Cutting back

My sister and I talked and we decided that we would cut back on the gift giving next year. They are having a hard time since her husband lost his job. He was lucky enough to get a part time job working at game stop and he is getting unemployment so they are holding their heads above water. But it is just getting to be too much for us too. I'm panicking over our being unable to fill all the funds for next year. So this should help us both. We decide to spend just $20 per family. So I will spend $10 on each of them and they will spend $5 on each of us. That's better. We can make or buy anything we want, so it should be an adventure. I didn't ask about anniversaries but I'm think a card will do. So the good news is I can shave $55 off of the birthday and anniversary fund. Anything helps. Some better news is that I scrimped and saved and managed to pay off the credit card minus the $569 for the computer. SO luckily the billing cycle ended and the computer went on the next month. But Den and I decided that we are going to use some Christmas money and pay it off. I'll just make another payment after Christmas to the credit card company and hopefully I won't get stuck with any interest charges.
Thanks for Reading,
SonyaAnn

Monday, December 29, 2008

It's my Birthday



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This is the picture of my birthday dinner from last year. And I asked for the same thing this year. We each get to choose what we have for dinner on our birthday. Den and the kids like to get fast food or Cracker Barrel, I love when Den cooks Chinese food. It's my favorite thing. I'm very lucky that Den was a chef in a french restaurant for a few years and that he loves to cook. All the dishes are a Christmas gift from a few years ago. I bought the dishes and accessories and put them in a box. So when we have Chinese night we pull out the box and decorate. We also have a Mexican restaurant in a box too. Complete with music and a mariachi band(poster), this has saved us so much money through the years and its fun. I hope that when the kids are grown they look back and have a few good memories. And the good thing is this whole meal doesn't cost more than $25 and we get lunches the next day out of it. It's a costly meal by our normal dinner standard but it's still cheaper than take out.
Thanks for reading,
SonyaAnn

Friday, December 26, 2008

Dissipate





I'm so excited. I know that this looks like bragging but I can't help it. I feel like jumping up and down. And honestly, no one except for the kids and Den have even noticed about my book. I guess that everyone else has their own things going on. But anyways, I signed the contract a while ago but the publishing company can back out at any time. When they finally send you the $1 advance it's a done deal. So for sure, it will be published. Den bought me a frame for it from Walmart for $3. So we've spent three times the amount I've made on the frame alone.HAHA! But it still feels like a dream, I just don't believe the blessing that I have been given. I'm sure that my dad is smiling down on me.
Thank you for reading,
SonyaAnn

Thursday, December 25, 2008

A Kind Word for me

Well, I'm not doing so well. I'm still missing my father and I've been trying to do things to pick myself up. I started to think about what I would say to someone in my position. I'm never as kind to myself as others are to me. I usually tear myself down and never try to be kind to myself. And I would never say the same things that I say about myself to anyone because that would just be cruel. So I'm going to do something nice for myself for Christmas. Something that I would never do, I'm going to give myself a kind word. I'm going to write about one of the kindest things that I've ever done. I'm sure that some will think that I'm just being narcissistic but I have never given myself any credit and I feel so low that I think I need something. This moment in my life makes me feel better about being me and makes me believe that God still wants me here. So here it is......
I had to drive to my parents house and on the way there I stopped for gas. It was Christmas time and very, very cold. It was early evening and the sun had set and the wind had an icy bite. So I slowly got out of the car and pumped my gas. I filled it up and went inside to pay. What I didn't realize was there were two police cars on the other side of the gas station. They were walking back and forth between a woman in a very old car and the irate store owner. So being me I had to ease drop. Well, what had happened was the woman didn't have very much money and tried to pay for her gas with change that she had in a jar. She wasn't trying to skip out. It's just that she was poor and change was all that she had. The store manager was trying to get the police to arrest her. Of course, they wouldn't. It was just a very sad situation. The woman hung her head in shame. It was a Sunday so there were no banks open and no where to exchange the change. I looked at this woman with her dirty well worn coat. And then in the car with tattered plastic for a side window, sat her crying teenage daughter. The girl had her head hung in the same defeated manner.
I went and paid for my gas and asked the owner how much she owed. He said it was $7.00 the exact change he had just handed me. I told him that I was going to pay her bill but only in front of the officers so that they would know that the matter was settled. So I called the officer over and told him what I was doing. He smiled and thanked me.
I walked back outside and over to the woman. I told her what I had just done and told her not to worry. She wasn't in trouble and she could leave. She thanked me and asked for my name and number so that she could pay me back. I told her Merry Christmas, it was a gift. She stood there with tears flowing down her face thanking me. I walked over to her and hugged her tight. She told me that she never thought that her life would come to this, how low she felt. I told her that I had walked in her shoes and that I was so proud of her. She cried even harder and I continued to tell her how I considered her a very lucky person because she had such a wonderful daughter. She continued to cry and shook her head in agreement. And I promised her that it would get easier just not to give up the fight. I held her for a while in the parking lot giving her words of encouragement and letting her cry. When she stopped crying, I let her go and I told her Merry Christmas. And then we both left. I pray that life is better for her and her daughter. I've never seen her again.
That was one of the best moments of my life and it happened just by chance. So SonyaAnn, Merry Christmas and don't forget that you should save a kind word for yourself as well as others.
Thanks for reading,
SonyaAnn

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A job?

Well after all of my bellyaching about being broke and having to work on the 2009 budget, I've had a small job fall into my lap. My sister in laws best friend just had a baby and needs a sitter. The money would be nice but I would hate to give up writing. I know that sounds selfish but I can't help it. She is unemployed and looking for a job after the first of the year. So it will probably take a while for her to find something stable. That extra money would help pay for Anna's college too. I know that I will end up taking it but I'm sad about it too. I would have to postpone my dream of being a full time writer. I guess I will just see where life takes me. I just wonder how much to charge. She said that it would cost her anywhere from$300 to $400 a week for a sitter. That's crazy and I wouldn't charge any where near that. The other thing too is that she is notorious for not keeping a job. She is just one of those people that never can stick with anything. I don't know, I guess it will just work it's self out. Den said that I shouldn't do it because I still have obligations for the book. I have book signings and anything else they can come up with. But I doubt that it will be that much and my mother in law said that she would watch the baby too. So I still might be able to work things out. I'm nervous too because I haven't been in charge of a little one for a very long time and it is so draining. With my thyroid being under active, it might be too much. So many reasons not to do it and only one as to why I should, the money. I'll see what happens and I'll keep you posted.
Thanks for reading,
SonyaAnn

Monday, December 22, 2008

My $4.30 meal



-->I was looking for a cheap meal and here it is. We were all so surprised that it tasted so good. I always see on other blogs and web sites cheap meals and I decided to come up with my own. Not to bad for someone that can't cook. And I'm going to save this for one of the nights that it gets crazy around here. It took about 10 minutes to make and is much better and cheaper than fast food. And you could make this cheaper, if you can get the ingredients on sale. This made enough for all of us and there were left overs for lunch the next day. All you need is about 3 tablespoons of olive oil($.33), 6 packages of Ramen noodles($.99) and 2 bags of frozen stir fry vegetables($2.98).
Cook all of the noodles and then drain. Add the olive oil and stir(to keep the noodles from sticking). Microwave vegetables until warm and add to noodles. Sprinkle seasoning packet from soup on the noodles and vegetables. Done! I only added 4 packets and I thought that was enough. But just experiment and see what you get.
Thanks for reading,
SonyaAnn

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Still trying to get the 2009 budget lower

Alright I'm still working on the budget for all the funds that need to be replenished. The total that I came to was $9020. Not cool! But I think I might be able to knock it down to $8500. That is still a lot but I have a plan. The kids have already agreed to put their Christmas money towards the FL trip. They weren't real happy about it but it was donate to the trip or not go. I just wish that we didn't have to take from the kids but we discussed it and they happily agreed in the end.
And of course, what I get for my birthday will go to the funds. Also, the money that I get for cleaning will help knock it down some. We seem to get the majority of the money in the beginning of the year and then have to dole it out throughout the rest of the year. I think between everything, I can come up with close to $8000. I just hope that since Dennis' income didn't change that much from last year we will get almost the same tax refund as last year.
What's the old saying, "wish in one hand and s*** in the other and see which one fills up first."
Gotta love it!
Thanks for reading,
SonyaAnn

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Our plates of cookies/bread

This is the plate of cookies, banana bread and cinnamon bread that we are giving out this year. It takes us about a month to make everything. We made 15 loaves of cinnamon bread. And 14 loaves of banana bread and 265 cookies. It wasn't cheap but it is something that we love to give out. I think that it's sad that we have moved so far away from giving out a simple gift as a plate of cookies. Everyone loves it and asks for it year round. The plates were $1 from the Dollar Tree. And it cost almost $100 for all the ingredients but I would rather spend our money on something like this than to go out to dinner. We will make up 20 plates and about 3 large platters (for Den's work and Christmas). I just figure this into the cost of Christmas. I know that this money could probably be better spent but it makes me feel good to give it to people I care about.
Thanks for Reading,
SonyaAnn

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Trimming the 2009 budget

For a recap.......

Car Fund $1000
Pool Fund $200
Flowers & Garden $200
School Registrations $325
Vet Fund $300
School supplies $100
School picture $ $200
Christmas $1400
Trip in Oct to FL $2500
Dr, ER & dentist $500
Computer $100
Glasses and contacts $1000
Car stickers $240
WI fee $65
Bdays $600
All other holidays $400
2nd mortgage fee $90
Tax Prep. $25
Clothes $200
Haircuts $200
4th July fund $75
Thanksgiving $200
------------
For a disgusting sum of $9920
I'm kind of thinking about this revised budget

Car Fund $800
Pool Fund $175
Flowers & Garden $125
School Registrations $325
Vet Fund $250
School supplies $100
School picture $ $200
Christmas $1200
Trip in Oct to FL $2500
Dr, ER & dentist $400
Computer $100
Glasses and contacts $1000
Car stickers $240
WI fee $65
Bdays $500
All other holidays $400
2nd mortgage fee $90
Tax Prep. $25
Clothes $200
Haircuts $100
4th July fund $75
Thanksgiving $150
------------
For a slightly less disgusting sum of $9020
Still that's a lot of money.
I'm going to keep working on it. Hey, maybe I can get it down to $0. HAHA! I know this makes me look obsessive but this is as many of the extras that I can think of. These are the things that I never set aside for and why we kept credit card debt. Please let me know if I forget anything.
Thanks for reading,
SonyaAnn

Monday, December 15, 2008

My 2009 problem continued

So I was looking at the total from my 2009 budget. And I've got to cut it down, gee that wasn't too hard to figure out. The problem is some of the things just can't be trimmed. Like the stickers for the cars, I could try to send them less but I bet they wouldn't go along with it. And I really feel as if the car fund is too low. Anna's car the Lumina will be 10 years old. Den's car the 2001 focus only has about 20,000 miles on the motor but the transmission has about 150,000 on it. And my car the 2004 Kia will hopefully hold strong. I've kind of been thinking about swapping cars around. Giving Den the Kia and me the Focus. The only problem is he smokes and has burned holes in all of the seats and he has a tendency to total vehicles. The focus gets really good gas milage and this worked really well to save us money when prices were high. But now that gas prices are falling it might be a good idea to try and put the miles on the Kia. I don't know though, I still feel as if its a risk, either way. If he is going to total a car than it's better if its the focus. But if he continues to put the high miles on it we will end up having to put a new transmission in it. I really need some help with this one. Any ideas?
Thanks for reading,
SonyaAnn

Thursday, December 11, 2008

My 2009 problem


2009 Budget for our funds

Car Fund $1000
Pool Fund $200
Flowers & Garden $200
School Registrations $325
Vet Fund $300
School supplies $100
School picture $ $200
Christmas $1400
Trip in Oct to FL $2500
Dr, ER & dentist $500
Computer $100
Glasses and contacts $1000
Car stickers $240
WI fee $65
Bdays $600
All other holidays $400
2nd mortgage fee $90
Tax Prep. $25
Clothes $200
Haircuts $200
4th July fund $75
Thanksgiving $200
------------
For a disgusting sum of $9920

Yeah we suck! I think that I will of course have to trim this A LOT! But this is what I would feel comfortable with but it's not going to happen.
Thanks for reading,
SonyaAnn

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Credit Cards

I have to be one of the few people that think credit cards are a good thing. But it's just like anything else, moderation is the key. I love to use them. We have two primary cards and about 5 others. I have a Kohl's card and a Victoria Secrets card. I only use those and the Discover cards for great discounts. Our two primary cards are our Points Mastercard and our Marathon Mastercard. Up until now, I've always paid them off every month(still keeping my fingers crossed about this month). And we save the points for a small party for the kids birthday parties in January or Febuary. The Marathon card sends us a $25 Marathon gift card when we collect enough points. So I see credit cards as a bonus. We don't pay anual fees on them so they only benefit us. I have every bill that I can paid on our credit card for the extra points. And we save on postage and checks. I'm sure that one day the companies will take the points away from people like me but until then YEAH credit cards.
I won't lie either and say that I haven't had some serious issues with them in the past. But I try to learn from those mistakes and turn negatives into positives. So far it's working but you never know. Just when I think I've figured something out something changes and I'm behind the eightball again. Only time will tell.
Thanks for reading,
SonyaAnn

Well, Crap

So much for the whole credit card speech. I suck. I am now typing to you on a brand new computer. A very expensive $569 computer. When I said that the other computer hated me well I wasn't kidding, it committed suicide. It was an ugly painful death, the mother board fried out. SO I'm sure that I won't be singing the praises of the credit card when I get that next statement. I have gone so far over now that only a miracle could save me now. I can't believe that I'm going to say this but I'm at the point that I don't even want to look. Yeah credit cards, my ass! Just kidding, I got myself into this and I'll dig out. It just sucks is all. I've used up all the reservoirs and have nothing left to rob. I guess that I'll just keep plugging away. But the only good thing that has come out of this is that if I hadn't gone and gotten the new computer, I would have missed my book deadline. So I guess that it all worked out. We'll see.
Thanks for reading,
SonyaAnn

Monday, December 8, 2008

My Gingerbread House!

This is the gingerbread house that I made on Thanksgiving. I bought one for every family that came over. So I had 11 but I gave one to my friends so we used 9 kits and kept one. I really wanted a project to do to keep everything moving. I knew that it would be hard because this is the first holiday without my dad. But we did really good, we laughed until we couldn't breathe. The gingerbread kit only cost $3.50 so in other words you get what you pay for. All the walls were uneven and the frosting was like water. So we ended up using my $1 hot glue gun. We all had blisters and ended up having to nibble the walls down to get them to fit together. And if someone bumped the table they all came tumbling down. It was a really good time anyways. I think next year maybe we will do another project.
Thanks for reading,
SonyaAnn
PS. Den said it was way to small to be a gingerbread house. He said it was more like an outhouse.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Our Tree

I'm once again going to jinx myself but we are really ahead on the whole Christmas thing. We even got our tree up on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Now all we need to do is wrap. I even sent the Christmas cards out the day before Thanksgiving. I really try to be organized but I'm even surprising myself at this point. And Den got all the outside lights up. After all the trouble we have had in the past few months, I think we all feel like we can't procrastinate. Because we really don't know what is next. It's just a nice feeling to be getting things done. Even DJ is done Christmas shopping.(Grandma Donna took him) Den went with DJ and got the tree this time. Usually we make this a family affair but I was busy cleaning up after Thanksgiving and Anna had a basketball tournament so we decided just to get it. Two years ago the tree started to slide off the top of the car and then the police pulled us over. It's truly an adventure with us. Nothing happened, we didn't get a ticket or anything, he was real sweet and just wanted to know if we needed any help. Only my family would need to get the police involved when getting a tree.
Now all that is left is Christmas cookies and wrapping. I think that if we can keep this pace up maybe we can go driving around and looking at all the lights. That was one of my favorite things to do but we never really have time for it. So, I'll keep my fingers crossed. I think that the reason we are pushing to get things done so quickly is that our weekends are full all of December. Between Christmas parties and baby showers, we won't be able to get any of it done. I still don't know when we will find time to squeeze in the cookies but I'm not letting go of the momentum.
Thanks for reading,
SonyaAnn

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Christmas Presents

Yeah! I'm so happy. All of my Christmas shopping is done, yeah SonyaAnn. So I did charge the rest of the presents and I don't have the cash to pay for it yet. I'm about $300 short at this point. I had forgotten about a couple of presents and had to go out and finish but this time I'm really done. So I spent more than I thought I would and I'm not real happy about it. I kind of have an uneasy feeling about the debt but either way I needed to finish it. I'm not used to carrying a credit card balance. We have not carried a balance in about 4 years. Our only real bills are the mortgage and the second mortgage. I'm really going to work hard and see if I can't find a few creative ways to knock it down. It's just that the payment will be due on the 16th. It would have been nice if it was due after Christmas and I could use some of our Christmas money to pay it off but oh well. Anyways I hate to start the new year worrying about last years debt. And I am planning on using the Christmas money to replenish our funds for the next year so either way I'm still behind. I plan on getting creative so we will see how I do in the next 2 weeks.
Thanks for reading,
SonyaAnn

Monday, December 1, 2008

The Good, The Bad, and The What The ****

Alright as you know I really try to be upbeat but I'm really struggling with it. For the good news, I'm completely done Christmas shopping, right down to the stocking stuffers. The Bad, Den and I did something that we haven't done in years, we charged the last of the Christmas presents and don't have the cash for it. Between the washer going out midyear and having to dip into the Christmas fund to pay for that. And then my cousin's daughter and my dad passing away, we just don't have it. And for the What The ****, my computer hates me. And I'm not kidding, I thought I had a virus or something. I ran every virus program and did everything I could think of to get it to run properly and nothing. My computer guy moved. So I ended up calling through the phone book and found someone local but he wanted $55 an hour and it would be a few days before he got to it. This wouldn't work because I have deadlines with the book. So, I kept looking and really didn't come up with much. My husband collects Magic cards and thought maybe someone at the collectible shop might know someone. So he brought the computer to the card shop. Eight people at once volunteered to work on it. Pretty cool. So they did everything that they could think of to it and there conclusion was.......... it's fine. There were a couple of computer programmers there and they couldn't find anything. So for $45 worth of pizza we got a clean bill of health on the computer. It only freezes up when I use it. Go Figure! SO the computer hates me and I'm broke. I try to be somewhat upbeat but I kind of feel like crying. My dad's gone and I'm so careful with our money but too many really expensive things have happened this year and i feel like I blew. I know that it's my fault about the Christmas shopping but after I put my money from cleaning towards the credit card, I think that I'm about $185 short. So I'll work on it. As far as the computer hating me, I figure it's got to be my Karma. But i think the real reason that all the little things are bothering me so much is because I miss my dad. I'm sure that things will start to get better, even my mood.
Thanks for reading,
SonyaAnn

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

I think that I love Thanksgiving so much because I only put these two cute stuffed animals out. It's not a huge thing like Christmas or Halloween where it takes hours to decorate and then you have to turn around and pack it all back up a month later. I'm also lucky because Dennis is the one doing most of the cooking. He just orders me around in the kitchen and I mostly listen. We will be having about 20 people for dinner so that's not too bad. It's just so hard to cram that many people in such a small house. I just set up a few extra card tables and you eat where ever you can find a spot. Nothing formal about this house. When I was little we would go to my grandmother's and eat in the dining room off of her best china. The food was wonderful but it was so scary. I had to sit there worrying if I was going to spill or drop something on her chair. Not here. If you spill(which happens quite often) I have a carpet cleaner and we use paper plates. I like my way better but I bet if she was still here, she would be doing a lot of complaining. But I wish she was here to make the gravy. Still miss you Grammy.
I hope everyone has a wonderful meal and enjoys their friends and families company.
Thanks for reading,
SonyaAnn

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

My backwards family

Everyone I know turns the heat down at night and up in the day. We do just the opposite. I can't sleep if it's cold and no one else can. Monday through Thursday, I'm home alone during the day so I turn the heat down to 67. Then when Den gets home around 5:30ish, I turn the heat up to 71. Part of the problem is, we live in a tri-level and the thermostat is upstairs in the hall. So even though the upstairs is 71, the down stairs I'm guessing, is probably around 65ish. It could be even lower. And when you have the oven on, it gets way to hot upstairs and the down stairs is unbearably cold. I'm thinking about getting a space heater but I'll start looking when we get a little more money together. I'm still trying to get caught up from the funeral and all. When it gets too hot upstairs I would normally open the windows but the plastic is up for the winter so, oh well.
When I was younger, I lived in an apartment. I lived on the second of three floors. This was about fifteen years ago but I remember thinking how lucky I was because the heat would rise in the winter and the cool air would sink in the summer. I guess that I've always been on the poor side but I've always considered myself blessed. I think it's just our own personal perspectives.
Thanks for reading,
SonyaAnn

Monday, November 24, 2008

Free pampering

I've been a little stressed out lately. The dead line for my cleaned up manuscript was Jan. 1st and it was changed to 2 weeks. So needless to say I have been a stressed out, cranky person. I know that I've been no fun to live with. And poor Dennis, he is going to work and then coming home and cooking dinner. I just feel like thank you isn't enough. I would do it for him but I hate being a burden. And I keep thinking, I started writing to relieve stress and it's turned into just the opposite. I took something that I love and turned it into work and the kicker is I'm not getting paid for it.
So since I now have destroyed the one thing that was bringing me peace and relaxation, I've been looking for something to replace it. I always send for all the free samples I can get and any lotions I throw into an old margarine container under the sink. Since the first signs of Jack Frost are here, I've been pampering my skin with the little samples of lotion. With as stressed out as I am, it's nice to take a moment and feel like I'm doing something kind for myself. But knowing me, I'm sure that I will soon find a way to stress myself out about the lotion and ruin another good thing. Maybe I should take up drinking as a sport, just kidding, maybe.
Thanks for reading,
SonyaAnn

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Coach Purses part 2

Dennis told a few of the people that he works with about the great deal that we got on the purses. He even had me text a picture so he could show it off. Now a couple of the guys are going to the Coach store and getting their wives a purse for Christmas. I love passing along frugal information. And I think that it's wonderful how far Dennis has come on our frugal journey. Den was raised in a family that was much better off than mine so he had no idea what budgeting or being frugal was. So it was really a struggle to turn him to the dark side or the right side depending on how you look at it. I'm just so thankful that we are both working together and that he is proud of the deals that we find. I think it's cute. And I bet their are going to be a few very happy wives come Christmas morning thanks to Den.
Thanks for reading,
SonyaAnn

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Christmas shopping

I know by writing this I'm going to jinx myself but here goes. I'm almost done Christmas shopping. My goal is to be done before Thanksgiving and I think that I might just make it. I still have to get Den's present but we are are doing something different and just buying for ourselves. I really like this because it's $50 that we get to spend on ourselves and it's guilt free. We also need to buy for Dennis' dad. He loves used books so I have to look into that. We are going to finish a couple of gifts by just giving cash so that doesn't leave much more. I'm hoping that by doing this maybe for once I'll enjoy the holidays. I usually turn into the Grinch about three days before Christmas. So I'm hoping that with all the advanced planning I will have a little holiday cheer. I have to say that I've actually enjoyed shopping through out the year so I'm really going to try to get the Christmas fund replenished the beginning of the year.
Thanks for reading,
Sonya Ann

Monday, November 17, 2008

Frugal diet?

With all that I have going on, I've decided to try and diet. I'm going to have a few book signings and I don't want to be self conscious about my looks and my fat. As you can once again see, I'm oozing with self confidence.
So I'm telling you this for some kind of accountability. I'm not going to do any weird diet or buy any expensive diet foods, I'm just going to see if I can't cut back a little on what I eat and see if that won't work. I would like to lose 30 pounds but I would be happy with just one.
I'll let you know what works and what doesn't.
Thanks for reading,
SonyaAnn

Thursday, November 13, 2008

little slivers of soap

For some strange reason the majority of frugal people are very concerned with the last little sliver of soap. I don't know why but if you are frugal than the last little bit of soap is a dilemma. Maybe it's a silent passage into the frugal world or maybe the slow loss of sanity but it does come up quite often. As does the amount of homemade laundry soap one uses. Really what is wrong with us but if you get the whole soap thing your with friends. I've heard people smashing it to the new bar of soap or grating it into laundry soap. But I haven't had any luck with either of them. The sliver slides off the new bar and I end up chasing it around the shower and then fighting to save it from a terrible wasteful death down the drain. Or I end up grating my fingers and bleeding into my laundry mixture. Gross but so true. So my solution is to put it into a recycled margarine container and let it dissolve with some water. It ends up turning into a creamy hand soap like mixture. And then I use it to treat stains. And the bonus of it is that it's fun to squish your hands in. I know not real mature but fun none the less.
So let the well off and wasteful pitch their slivers. Every time I pretreat a stain I know that I'm helping our bottom line and get to be a kid for a few seconds. Frugal is fun or it may just be my sanity is slipping from me.
Thanks for reading,
SonyaAnn

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Coach Purses

Alright I can tell what your thinking when you read the title, what the hell kind of money saving blog is this. I know I would think the same thing. But wait, I have a great money saving story. We spend $50 on each person in our family. It is a bit much and we usually spend about $1200 a year on Christmas between family and friends. But I buy throughout the year and we love giving great gifts. We saved our Christmas money from last year and some of our stimulus check to cover it this year. But you have to realize that we have over 44 people to buy for. I went after Christmas last year to Cracker Barrel and bought Christmas tea pots on clearance for this year. So we try to get as much for our money as possible. And that $1200 includes all the money for cookies, spice jars for 20 people(people at work not included in the 44) that Dennis works with and the tree. But still $1200 is still a lot and I know this so I don't need hate mail.
Last night we were on our way to Woodman's to do our monthly grocery shopping and I saw the Coach outlet store. So we swung in to see what they had. I figured that there would be nothing that we could afford to get the women on our list but I was so wrong. They had a bunch of purses market down and then 50% off the lowest price. I could of jumped around. Two purses were $149 each and the other two were $159 each and I ended up paying $42.10 for each purse. Jump up and down with me. So instead of spending $50 on each person I spent $42.10 and I can't wait to see how excited they are to get an actual Coach purse. I look like a big spender and I made Den buy one for me for Christmas so he is done shopping. I'm a very happy camper.
I'm actually looking forward to Christmas this year and that hasn't happened in a long time. Maybe I'm just not buying good enough gifts.
Thanks for reading,
SonyaAnn

Monday, November 10, 2008

Some news I was going to tell you about before

Alright, I was going to tell you about this before but then my world came to a crashing halt. I think that I can take the (wannabe) author part off of my blog description. In September, I submitted a short blurb about my book to a publishing company. I knew with all of my heart that I would get a rejection letter and I was alright with it. I figured at least on my death bed I could say to myself that I saw the whole thing through. I mean I'm no one. I'm just a mom and a wife and I live in the middle of no where, who wants anything I've written. Great self confidence, I know. One of the major reasons that I never finished college was that I could barely get through English. I had a high school teacher tell me that I should stick with just writing my name.
Anyways, I wrote my book just as a hobby, my great passion. So I submitted it and I didn't hear anything back for a month. Well what happened was their first response went to my spam folder and was deleted. So they some how got through a month later and wanted to read it. So I sent it in on a Tuesday, Wednesday they sent me an email that they received it and Thursday they sent me a contract. It was a wonderful feeling of accomplishment. I felt so high and on top of the world. I felt like I was being told that everything everyone had ever said about my writing or lack there of, was incorrect. I was correct, I could write and accomplish my dreams. It's a moment that I will hold in my heart for the rest of my life. That was eight days before my dad died so at least he knew about it. Your life can change in a moment for good or bad.
So, if I don't blog as often as I should, I'm trying to meet all of my dead lines for the book. I have no idea what I'm doing and I feel completely out of my league but I'm faking it. Sometimes that's all you get.
Oh, I almost forgot the name of my book is Dissipate. It's sci-fi and a thriller.
Thank you,
SonyaAnn

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Karma?!?!?

I'm at the point that I'm pretty sure that karma is crapping on me. No really, I'm pretty sure of it. If I wasn't so unhappy I'd be laughing until a hysteric coma set in. My dad dies while we are on vacation so we turn around and drive all the home and then on to Bay Minette AL. We have a wake there and then everyone comes back to IL and we take care of many relatives for days. I really didn't mind that, it was just hard to function. But having everyone here did make me feel loved. SO we had another wake and then the funeral on Saturday. So at the cemetery they asked if we all wanted to watch as they put him in the mausoleum. So everyone stayed and that was a bad idea. NEVER STAY! The mausoleum was on the 5th level and they had a large lift and two very sturdy men putting him in the wall. SO they lifted him up and went to push him in and almost dropped him on half of the people there. And I'm not exaggerating, the back end of the coffin slid all the way off. What a way to go out? Then we went back to the church and had a meal that we cooked for everyone. It was a nice time and a wonderful closure. But as we were leaving my uncle said that my 35 year old cousin had a massive heart attack and they didn't know if he would make it.(He did). Anyways after wards all the family came back to our house for a little get together and the neighbor girl hit my in-laws van and drove away. And she doesn't have insurance. Then just to add to our trauma my son Dj woke up this morning with blisters on both of his eye balls. SO that was not a cheap adventure. He will be alright just an allergic reaction to his contacts. My life is never boring. I'm just wondering what the hell kind of person I was in my last life.
Thanks for reading,
SonyaAnn
PS please for the love of God click on my sponsor, I really need to catch a break somewhere.
PSS I also forgot the speeding ticket Dennis got on the way back in Nashville. We are so blessed.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Still struggling

I'm hoping to get back into my old routine soon. There are so many odds and ends that need to be taken care of though. I miss blogging. I usually talk about all of our money issues but I don't think that I really feel up to breaking down all the expenses for the funeral and all. We were just very lucky that we were able to pay for it. I think the final tally for just the trip down to Alabama and back and for all the food was about $1500. We managed to get about $700 just for us from family to help us out and I robbed a few of our funds so that we wouldn't have to put it on the second mortgage. I guess that's a good thing. I'm still not sure if I'm coming or going though. Sonya Ann

Monday, November 3, 2008

Funeral

We are back now. It was really rough. We were in the WI Dells when this all started. We always take a little trip in October. We all play hooky and we do something on the cheap. Well we left on Wednesday and were planning on coming home on Saturday. Friday morning my sister called and said they were taking our dad to the hospital. And within two hours he had passed. So we drove almost all the way back (3hrs) when my brother called and asked if we would drive up to Milwaukee and pick up his girlfriend Erica that we had never met. So we turned around and got her. She is so wonderful and she was a huge comfort to Kyle. We got back late Friday and unpacked and washed clothes and then repacked. We had to borrow my in-laws van so that we could accommodate the extra person. We left Saturday morning at 5am and were down there by 7:30 pm. We had a wake in Alabama for all of my dad's family on Tuesday and then we all came home and had a wake and funeral on Saturday. It was so drawn out. We had family staying with us and everyone eating here and trying to cook for the meal after the funeral was a bit much. But we made it and the last of the family left our house Sunday morning. I feel so drained and sad but there is nothing that I can do to fix this. I'm just trying to get back into some kind of routine. My dad always said one foot in front of the other and that's just what I'm trying to do.
Thanks for reading,
SonyaAnn

Monday, October 27, 2008

A terrible time

I haven't forgotten about you, my father passed away from a stomach aneurysm. This was completely out of left field. He was completely healthy and still living life to the fullest. He golfed and was very active. I'm just thankful that God took him quickly and that he didn't end up bedridden. He was a wonderful man and gave me his naughty sense of humor and a love for adventure. Dad, I'll miss you until the day I die. My heart is broken but like you always said just keep putting one foot in front of the other.
Please pray for me,
SonyaAnn

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

More Halloween Pictures!





This is our Ouija board. We have the piece that you rest your fingers on hanging from the ceiling by fishing line and a needle, so it "floats". When anyone enters the room any slight breeze makes it spin or move back and forth. We have had the Ouija board ever since we were together and I can't remember where we got it. I think it was his parents and they gave it to us but I can't be sure. So this whole decoration costs us about $3.50. I think the best decorations are the ones that use imagination not money. But that statement is coming from someone who is broke.
It doesn't take a lot of money to transform a room just creativity and constantly being on the look out for something that will work in the room and is cheap.
Thanks for reading,
SonyaAnn

Monday, October 20, 2008

Halloween!

Halloween is my favorite time of year! You don't have to worry about finding the right present or how much you are going to spend on someone. I love to decorate on the cheap too. Everyone loves to come to our house and look at the decorations. This is Gregory Grim. He is actually my curio cabinet covered with black material that I got on clearance for a $1 a yard. The mask was my brother's that he didn't want any more. The bony arms were a splurge at $5. And the sickle was from a costume that we had from along time ago, so I'm not sure about the price. So my guess is Gregory didn't cost more than $11. I'm not counting the cost of the sickle because honestly I just can't remember what it was from. You really don't need much money to have fun.
Thank you for reading,
SonyaAnn

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

My sister

<>My sister called me to tell me that her husband's hours at work had been cut. He works at a company that makes window treatments and blinds. His hours went from 40 hours to 24 hours. My sister hasn't been able to find a job and she has a couple degrees. She applied for teaching jobs to cleaning services and has had no luck. I'm grateful for the fact that she thinks they can hold on for quite some time. They live in the house that was our grandparents so they don't have rent to pay and their one car is paid for. She went over their budget and cut it to bare bones. But this is a very scary time. So many of our friends have commented on how everything has slowed down. A few are worried if the company they work for will make it but this is the first person I know of to have such a drastic cut. Most people are worried but haven't been cut yet. You hear the horror stories but this one has really hit home. I have faith in them and I know they will be alright. I would be flipping out and maybe even thinking about panhandling. HAHA! But the cheap gene runs deep in our family and she will make it.
Thanks for reading,
SonyaAnn

Monday, October 13, 2008

What the Hell?

Really sometimes I wonder where people's heads are at. I read on some money saving web site about ways to cut costs. Have your maid come every two weeks and just straighten up after yourself on your maids off week. Cut down your lattes. Cancel your magazine subscriptions. Get a few different estimates when getting home remodeling done. Who are these people? I say if you have so much money and negative common sense then suffer. Either the writer is so well off and is asking other well off people for ideas or the sarcasm was too thick for me to understand. (I'm the most sarcastic person I know so probably not)
My budget is so tight that I worry about pennies. We very very rarely go out for fast food. And our small splurge is a vacation in October which is part of all of our Christmas presents. And that takes us all year to save for. We go to the Dells one year and Orlando the next. And we cut corners by going at weird times and using my in-laws time share for Florida. We pack our own food for trips and ask for gift cards on holidays to be used on vacation. And yes I watch the expiration dates and fees on the gift cards.
And I know how lucky and spoiled we are just to get to go to the Dells on a weeknight. I do feel blessed when I hear about all the people that are suffering. We make sure that we give to the local food bank and make donations to different children's funds.
But I still don't know anyone that is having financial troubles and putting in a game room or doing remodeling. Are the well off that far out of touch? I figure that if they keep spending like they are soon enough they will be living next door to me. I'm sure that they would see that as hell. It all boils down to perception. I feel blessed to have a home, a wonderful family and fun neighbors. To the well off my neighborhood would be a huge step down to me it's home.
Thank you,
SonyaAnn

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Nicor (BOO!)

O.K. so I'm still going through my bills seeing if I can reduce them at all. And I'm sure that you guessed Nicor had nothing for me. I could drop the$4.95 a month fee for the comfort guard. In a way I feel like this is extortion because you start thinking about your house blowing up and pay it. Comfort guard pays for any repairs you might need in your house. But I don't think that I have ever met anyone that used this service, they just pay for it out of fear. I did have a gas leak on the outside of my house one time. The man said it would take 5 minutes and he would be done. I told him Murphy's Law lived here. He laughed and worked on it for a few hours. I told him. He fixed it. So basically, the only way to use the service is if you have a gas leak in the house. So you either smell the gas or you blow up, you know you have seen it on t.v. And with my luck I would live and take out most of the houses around me and be sued. So they can keep taking their $4.95 a month, I'll just keep looking in other areas for a saving.
Thanks,
SonyaAnn

Child Experimentation(sort of)

Before I get hate mail just let me explain. I love my children and I will always put them before saving money but I'm not above a little harmless experimentation. I tested it on myself first and then the boy. So stay calm when you read the rest of this.
I have to start this money saving story by explaining that DJ is a 12 year old boy. Now anyone that has first hand experience with these creatures knows they are just plain disgusting. They continuously smell of sour dirt, severe foot odor, and a sprinkle of b.o. I love him and if you have read any of my other posts then you know this dirty boy comes into direct conflict with my cleanliness disorder. This is the same child that truly believes that a swim in a pool constitutes as a bath. Unfortunately his father feels the same way. (It doesn't count unless a bar of soap is involved and you aren't bringing soap into the pool smart arse.)
My well loved and gross son came home with pink eye. And guess what he lovingly shared with his mother. I was lucky in the fact that the last time he had pink eye, the doctor gave us a refill. So, he started to use the drops and it got a little better and then a lot worse. And I bet your wondering why it got a lot worse. Well dear son decided to cram the tip of the eye drops into his eye to administer them. Yes, he just made it worse and wasted the whole flipping bottle. Now if I was a kind and loving mom, I would pack us up and pay $30 for the office visit and $20-$30 for another bottle for him to contaminate. But then the cheap side of me had a thought. My mother in law loaned me a book on home remedies. Right about now your right eye is starting to twitch with fear, isn't it. Yes I used a home remedy on DJ and myself. So your thinking what the hell do you have that you are willing to dump in your kid's eye, you must be a witch. At this point I was slightly fearful too. Not to fear I found my courage and mixed up honey and water and dumped it in our eyes. OK to be honest it stung and it was a little hard to see at first, slightly gummy. But it passed and then I washed out DJ's eyes. He acted as if I was trying to melt his eyeballs but we made it through. OK here is the funny part, after using it for one day all the redness was gone. We are fine. The bees only swarmed us a little(kidding). It was an old wives tale kind of book but who knew. I'm not sure that I would recommend this to anyone because I'm not a doctor but it really did work. Now the family is quite fearful of what my next experiment will be. I'm one for one. I'll let you know if I need to mix any more potions for my family. Muuuhaaahaaa!
Thanks for reading,
SonyaAnn

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Falling off the frugal wagon(just a little)

I need to get my butt back in gear. Here I am trying to cut every corner I can to save a dollar and I think that I might just be spending everything I save and then some. On to my confession..............
Forgive me for I have been sinning for a while, at least a month. I have faithfully line dried all of our clothes for years. Really years. In the winter I hang the clothes over the closet doors and in my closet I have two thick wooden shelves over our doors and I put nails in them and hang our towels from there. But I haven't been very good about it lately. I of course hang all of our clothes that could shrink but beyond that I have been using the dryer. I think that with the kids going back to school and the fact that it hasn't been dry, I've just slacked off. I hang everything in the summer but that season is gone and it is so damp that if I hang it in the house or outside it takes a few days to dry. I do about 3 loads of clothes a day so if it's not dry by the next day I have no where to hang the new stuff. I'm sure that I could save time and money if I could find a way to just cut down on the laundry but I'm a neat freak. We all have issues. I could wrap us in plastic wrap and just windex us off but I think that might get us in trouble for indecent exposure. I don't think that we are that comfortable naked. I know I wouldn't want to see us naked.
Maybe being able to save money is about letting go of our excuses. As my grandmother would say, "You better straighten up!". Maybe I should think about that the next time I try to make excuses as to why I can't save any money. Maybe I should also apply the same thinking to my diet.HAHA! One major issue at a time.
Thank you,
SonyaAnn

Dejunking!

Ahhhh, it's one of my favorite times of year. Most people get all excited about the holidays but not me. Dejunking is what really does it for me. I love nothing more than to go through everything we own and declutter until it hurts. See, you would think that when I tell Den and the kids that it's time to dejunk that they would moan and complain but they are always willing to do it. And it's not because they are amazing or love to clean and declutter. But I have instilled fear into their hearts. I am more than willing to do it for them. Special childhood mementos are off limits but beyond that what do you really need. A blanket and a pillow is all that I can think of. And this illness that I have is 100% genetics. My grandmother had this illness and she passed it on to me. She was also the one that passed on my love for cleaning. I love nothing more than to scrub something to no end. When I was about 7, I helped my grandmother do spring cleaning. We scrubbed everything with spic and span. And it was so harsh on my little hands that my knuckles would bleed.(True story) So she was scrubbing something so hard that the varnish was coming off and I pointed it out to her. And her exact words were,"if it can't take it, it doesn't deserve to live here." She would also tell me that there is no such thing as clean so never stop scrubbing. I obviously have issues. But instead of wasting my time and money with a therapist, I dejunk and scrub. I keep track of everything we collect while dejunking and donate it to the Red Cross. SO I look at it as another win win situation. We make room for the terrible on slot of Christmas crap, the Red Cross gets a donation, we get a tax write off, and the little voice in my head is silenced for a little while. I know that if my wonderful grandmother was here today she would pull out the scrub bucket and get to work on my house. You see I have a cat and a dog so there is no way that my house would ever pass inspection. But what I wouldn't give for just a minute or two more. I miss you, Grammy and I think of you when I'm scrubbing. I don't really know of anything else that would make her more proud of me.
Happy Dejunking,
SonyaAnn

Monday, October 6, 2008

Busy weekend

I don't think this weekend would fall into the saving money weekend. But see what you think.......
At Anna's high school it was homecoming week, so she had flag football and all that fun stuff leading up to the dance. So she had one of her friends spend the night Friday night and then they got up the next morning and had a tennis match.(They lost but it was the first time she got to play varsity.) Then after the game Anna and the girl came back here. At 4:00pm 7 girls from the tennis team came over and got ready for the dance. It was crazy. This house is way too small for that many girls. DJ left on Friday night and spent the weekend with his grandparents. And at times Dennis and I were jealous of him. The dance started at 7:00pm but they didn't get out of here until 8:15pm. Anna drove one car and Den took the girls in our car and dropped them off. And then just to top off the evening they all came back here when the dance was over and spent the night. The only good thing about it was that my mother in law Donna gave me $100 for the girls. Gotta love her. Den and I took the money and went to Walmart and bought a ton of stuff. We got extra hair spray, bobby pins, lotions and stuff for facials. And we bought all the fixings for 3 very large sub sandwiches, veggie and dip, cheese and crackers, quesadias and salsa, chips, made a cake, and donuts for the next morning. So we spent the time when Anna was at the match making trays of food. It helps that Dennis was a chef in a French restaurant for years because everything comes out looking very professional.
It was a bit much and very draining but I think they had a wonderful time. I hope it will be a good memory that they will look back fondly on. And when I'm old and feeble, she better visit me.
So we didn't really spend any money this weekend but we definitely worked hard. Next weekend we have so much to do, wash the cars, change the oil, babysit for friends of ours, and put up Halloween decorations. And maybe put all the lawn furniture away for the season and pull the last of the weeds, I'm thinking that we won't get it all done. I asked Anna to stay home next weekend to help us get it all done. I think that she owes us. I think we need some down time but almost anything is better than last weekend.
Thanks for reading,
SonyaAnn

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Bills

Well I've been going through all the bills like I said I would. And it doesn't look as if there is any way to get a better deal on the sate light. I can get a smaller package but we will only get one of the channels that we actually watch. DJ and I went through all the channels and we found that out of all the channels we only ever watch fourteen. So I looked online at the different channels offered with the different programs and we would lose all but one channel we watch. At that point what do we even need sate light for. I have no problems going without tv but I think the family might come unhinged. I think just maybe I could go over board with the frugal thing, maybe. So for now I'm leaving it alone but if things get worse I think we are done with sate light. I'll see if there is anything else I can cut out.
Thank you,
SonyaAnn

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

To hell with the high road

O.K. I would first like to point out that I may actually be insane or psychic. If you want a simple and uncomplicated life do not and I repeat do not have children. So on with the story..........
My daughter had had her friend's tennis racket in the trunk of her car for a while. The girl that has an eating disorder. Anyways, I forced Anna to drop it off yesterday. I don't want to be responsible for it. It was a $200 racket and I don't want to pay for it. Well, I would make Anna pay for it. But anyways, Anna went to the door to drop it off and the mom answered. She told Anna that her daughter wasn't there and that she was sure that she planned it that way. So Anna came back crying that now the mom was picking on her too. I just want you to know that I try not to be mean to people or flip out on anyone and that I do try to be reasonable. Last night I didn't abide by my own rules. I called the mother and couldn't get through and ended up leaving a mean message. Nothing threatening and no swears but I told her about how her daughter has hit my husband out of anger, shoved me and her mouth was out of control. We tolerated all that and stood by her the entire time she had an eating disorder and now that Anna needs some space she takes a cheap shot at her. Well she was brave enough to call and I have to say it was the nicest fight I've ever had. And I don't know if I believe her or not but she said she had no idea how much her daughter's problems had effected us. She said she didn't mean to make Anna cry and that she would stay away from her. The sad thing is I really like them but her daughter is an addict and she is abusive and controlling and the mother is an enabler. I know that this relationship is over and that's for the best but I often wonder why we have to go through things like this. What purpose did this serve? I still love that family very much but I can't fix it. They will continue to defend her even though she is wrong and that is something I can't change. I just hope that she stops talking about Anna at school. Anna never responded to the gossip and most of the girls have now come up to Anna saying that she is mean. So I hope that this too will blow over. I don't think the girl will want to come over here any more now that she knows that we won't put up with all of her drama and crap. She is a very unhappy girl and its sad to see but unfortunately the only one to save an addict is the addict. Now that she can't get anything out of Anna and can't force her to comply I think that she too will be done with Anna.
It never ends.
Thanks for reading and hopefully I'll get back to writing about saving money,
SonyaAnn

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

more people problems

I swear that I'm just going to pack up the family and go. Last night Anna had a powder puff football game. It was the juniors verses the seniors. The juniors lost. But any ways, of course we ran into the family of Anna's best friend with the eating disorder. We were still very friendly but I feel like Anna is being painted as the bad guy. I understand that it is only natural to take the side of your child. A parent is only getting their child's side and of course you love them and don't want them to hurt. But I really do try to look at every side. I think that the most miserable people are the ones that are selfish. So I try to be fair and I've tried to instill this in my children. But I really don't want to do this any more. I politely told her that Anna is having some issues from her daughter's eating disorder but it seems that all they are really caring about is getting them back together so their daughter is happy again. Dennis said that I should just tell her how much damage this has caused in our house. And try to look at it from our side but I'm thinking that that won't happen. Her daughter did some very mean and abusive things to Anna (I know it's just part of the disease) and sometimes Anna doesn't trust her. If she doesn't get her way she has a fit. And I don't think that Anna should have to deal with this. She has tried to talk to her about it but she just turns and attacks. I've seen her do things to Anna that were out of line but she is just so selfish at this point. They just keep saying that Anna abandoned her but they don't realize that our family was drug through the eating disorder hell too. I don't understand how this can be so one sided. We have been through this with them but now that Anna is having issues she is evil for not being there for their daughter.
I really need some help with this. I've asked nicely for some space but they keep pushing. Either its from truly just wanting to keep their child happy or from not understanding how bad it is from our end. I hate confrontation with all of my heart but I'm afraid that this is what its coming too. When she called before I tried to gently explain it but she was so defensive that I stopped trying. I just think that if I leave it alone they will just think that Anna is a bad person and if I explain it Anna will still be the bad person. All I know is that Anna has been so much happier with out all the drama and chaos. I'm not going to force her back into an abusive friendship. They just won't stop. Please help me. I was hoping that it would just blow over but it looks like it won't happen. And the thing is I really like them but they are so defensive that I don't think I can get through.
Whenever things get bad Den says that we should pack up and move to the middle of no where so no one can bother us. I'm starting to think that abandoning civilization might be a good thing.
Thank you,
SonyaAnn

Monday, September 29, 2008

The funeral


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Well, we are back. We left on Friday morning and we got back late Saturday night. We were gone 36 hours and it was a very hard trip. It was one of the worst things in my entire life. I've gone through a lot. I've had plenty of suffering just as everyone else in this world. I don't think there is a soul here that makes it through this life without pain and sorrow. But this ranks up there at the top. I pray that I never have to see anything like that again. Grown men were crying so hard that tears just fell from their cheeks. So many sobs and gasps for air that all the noise just blended together.At the cemetery, everyone waited until the casket had been lowered and then the father threw the first shovel of dirt on his daughter. I hope that I never have to see anything like that again.Somethings I will never understand in this life. Why give this world such a perfect gift and then take it back so quickly?
SonyaAnn

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

AT&T

So I called AT&T. Like a dork I always write down the time I call at, the person I spoke to and the date. It helps if you need to call back, you have a little proof. Anyways, I called at 9:17 am and was on hold until 10:29am so when they finally said that I was being transfered to an operator. They hung up on me, well I don't know if they hung up or we were some how disconnected. What the Hell, right. So this time I called back and I keep thinking just cancel the home phone because we mostly use our cell phones and I wasn't happy with them at all. Any ways when I called back instead of trying to dial the proper department, I dialed the payment department. We always pay our bills on time and have never had a late fee and any ways they just charge our credit card. Guess what the call went right threw, I didn't even wait 2 minutes. I guess they want their money first before all else. So I told her what happened and she transfered me to a supervisor. And in the middle of talking to the supervisor, my call was dropped. She called right back and said that it must be my phone. Whatever! To make a long story short(not possible for me) my bill went from about $45 a month down to $24. We gave up caller ID and call waiting but we really don't us the phone. She went back and looked at our usage and we made 16 calls last month. The new plan includes 30 local calls and the rest is $.06 a call. She said that even going and looking at a few months past we didn't go over. And we get to keep our 120 minutes of long distance for $5 a month. So we will see if this helps or not. Now if all the other companies would drop my bills by almost half. So it was worth over an hour of my time. And I did make a batch of muffins while I was on hold so it wasn't an entire waste.
Thanks for your time and I'll keep you posted on the other companies,
SonyaAnn

awful

My aunt Grace who is 87 just called me. My cousin Ryan's 4 month old baby just passed away. He found his daughter in her crib. They think that it is SIDS. He tried to do CPR but it was too late. It's just an awful sinking feeling. We will be leaving to go down there on Friday. Den is off and DJ is off of school for an institute day. SO Anna will be the only one that will need to miss a day. It's a 7 hour drive and we will be staying in a hotel. Of course we didn't plan for this so we will be robbing the Christmas fund to pay for the trip and give a little bit to help cover the funeral. My heart is breaking for them. When I was on the phone I could barely hear her because the sobbing of the family members was so loud. It was truly pitiful. It makes me feel so guilty that I have so much and they are suffering so. That my children are healthy and he will never have a chance to know his beautiful little girl. Please say a prayer to help with their suffering.
Thank you,
SonyaAnn

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

saving a little more

So I've been looking at our bills since I posted them. I think that I can do a little better. Of course I can''t change the morgage. Well I could if I really needed too and it would add an extra $200 about a month but we really want to pay it off a little quicker. So I'm going to leave that alone but I think that I'm going to see if I can't reduce some of the other bills a little. It would be nice if I could shave a few bucks off each one. I think that we need a little wiggle room.The good news is I just got a letter from travelers and they are knocking off $24 a month off of our car insurance. So what I did is split the savings 3 ways. I figure that since Anna is paying her own insurance it would only be fair. She was paying $126 a month so now it will be $118. Our insurance went from$138 to $122. So it was nice to save some money and not have to do anything for it. I thought about giving Anna the entire discount but I think that we have done good by her. She keeps her grades up and stays in sports year round and we give her the car and pay all repairs and put gas in it. It's not too bad for her because she saves all of he money from Christmas and her birthday and she is pretty close to getting it.
I don't think that I can get a discount at Nicor or Comed. I've heard that you can get cheaper rates per therm at nicor but that kind of sounds like a rumor. But I can try. I save $183 a month for both of them. I just went through all the bills for both last year and added on %10 and I have been pretty close. If I have extra I usually put it towards and unexpected bill.
I can't do anything about the garbage or the water. Well I could but I really like to bathe. So that leaves Den's cigarettes and I know and trust me if nagging worked he would have quit a long time ago.
So I don't think that I can get a discount on the sate light but maybe I could call and say that I want to shut it off. Hmmmm that's a thought because I don't like tv. But I'm pretty sure that I would have quite a rebellion on my hands if I did do that but maybe I can figure something out with them. I have the cheapest package they have but well see.
I think the home phone is were I might have some luck. We never use it. We all just use the cell phones. I don't want to shut it off but maybe we can get a discount.
I'll let you know how it goes. If we do have any extra maybe I'll put a little towards bills and a little towards fun. Well, I'll see because it might only be a savings of a few bucks. Maybe enough to go to Redbox.
Thanks,
SonyaAnn


Search & Win

Monday, September 22, 2008

People problems

Did you ever feel like you were blind sided? Well, I'm feeling like that now. And I think that I may have handled it wrong?
Anna will be turning 17 the beginning of 2009 and I really thought I was done with all the 8 year old drama. Ahhh not so, it seems.
My daughter's best friend has an eating disorder and she has had it for some time. It has been a very trying time for everyone around. My daughter has stuck with her through it all. The problem as I see it(take what I'm saying with a grain of salt because I'm a little ticked) is this girls very loving, kind and passive family is enabling her. They truly are good people but they do everything they can to keep her happy. I've personally seen here treat them awful and they cave to keep her happy. She also has been very abusive with Anna. She attacks her if Anna is not keeping her happy and she has even been quite rude with me because she is unhappy with Anna. And I know that Anna has tolerated a lot of abuse. She lashes out if the people around her aren't pleasing her. And she doesn't want Anna to have any other friends. I've tried to help both girls work this out but now Anna is done. It got to the point where they would just yell and scream at each other. I was so sick of the drama that I stepped in and said if you want to act like your 8 then I'm treating you like it and you have a time out. To which my daughter said it's fine because I can't reason with her and I've lost my patients. See and what you have to understand is Anna is very passive. She will try to reason it out with you , if that doesn't work then she will just drop it and let the person run over her. Eventually she will just get sick of it and have nothing more to do with them, I think she may be getting this from me. I just don't know what else to tell her to do about it.
So her mother called to tell me that it was all Anna's fault that they were fighting and could I please do something about this. She wanted to once again make her daughter happy by having me force them to be friends. Her daughter doesn't have very many friends(maybe because she has abused so many girls) and this fight is not good for her. She wanted to make sure that I understand that she doesn't have an eating disorder and it must be Anna's fault. And she said she doesn't have an eating disorder because she ate dinner. The thing is is doesn't even weigh
100 lbs. And she looks like she may fall over at any time.
It was very hard but I took the high road and just said that they are almost legal adults and that I don't think that their mommies should have to referee fights. And I added that they should probably just stay away from each other. I was polite but I really don't know what to do with this.
This really may be all my fault because this is how I deal with people. I try to be reasonable and explain why I feel like I do and then after a while I just give up.
This is awful. I really feel sorry for this family and this girl. With all my heart I mean that but the only way I see to fix this is for someone to step in and put their foot down. But that isn't going to happen. Anna is putting her foot down and now they are doing anything they can to get their way. I just can't see telling her she has to tolerate someone that is being abusive. A friendship shouldn't be this painful.
Did you ever just feel like you wanted to run away to the middle of no where. I'm still contemplating if I'm going to bring my family with me. HAHA!
Thanks,
SonyaAnn >

Sunday, September 21, 2008

advise

A neighbor of ours stopped over the other day. He is a very sweet person and I know that he was well meaning in his advise but sometimes I wonder about people.
He was talking about how he went back to school and got his degree. And he was encouraging my husband to do the same. And I understand that he had nothing but the best intentions, I don't see how having a degree has helped him. I know, I know and just to let you know I think that bettering yourself is what this life is about. Not just bettering yourself monetarily but also spiritually.
Anyways, they ran up about $40,000 in debt to get his degree. So to handle this level of debt they rolled it into their mortgage. Never mind the fact that his company paid him to go to school and they just spent the money. Then one month to the day after getting his degree, he moved out in search of a trophy wife. He left his kids and moved into an apartment. Needless to say he did not find a trophy wife and eventually moved back in. But in the process they ran up more debt trying to sustain two households. Forget the fact that their marriage was never the same and they now live like roommates just trying to maintain their household.
Now he decides to find a better job because he deserves more. And yes he did get a much better job. Close to doubling what he was making before. My guess is that he was pushing $100k a year. And his wife worked and was making very decent money. But now that he was making more, he also deserved more and spent it faster than it was coming in. Any trinket that caught the family's eye was purchased. Their house at this point was in need of many repairs just as their marriage.
Forward to now, their house is a mess. Nothing is ever fixed or taken care of, everything festers. Now they have mortgaged the house so many times there is no room and are on the brink of losing it all.
My thinking is yes a degree can help you in so many ways but maybe working on every area of your life is the way to go. Balance.
But maybe I should just shut up because I'm not educated enough to know what I'm talking about. After all I'm just a mom.
Thanks for reading,
SonyaAnn