I guess I've not been posting because, well, not much has been happening around here. Just keeping on, keeping on. It's that time of year when there is not much exciting on the horizon for us, though I surely am looking forward to summer. So, here's the mundane we've been up to.
We're working the plan with our Dave Ramsey babysteps and budgeting. We are behind the pace we had hoped for to achieve our next step, but there is only so much we can do on one income in the savings department without truly eating beans and rice around here regularly. Our grocery budget is limited already and we're not looking to reduce it further unless something major happens. And sadly, the grocery allotment is the only area in which we really have flexibility to control spending. I'm thankful for lots of good grocery deals lately. We were out of cold cereal for a week coming up to payday and that wasn't a lot of fun. The kids like their predictable breakfast of cereal and milk and yogurt and fruit and don't like to branch out much from that. And I don't especially like to start the food fights with breakfast. I don't like to have to think of the financial cost of every action or activity, but this is just the stage we are in. There have been weeks and seasons when we have not been as careful and aware of things, and those times have been to our detriment. I'd say we are frugal by necessity more than by option.
I've not been doing a great job at keeping up with the house and laundry. I feel outnumbered and the messes can be made at 3x the rate that they can be cleaned up. I must work on better training so they can be contributors to the household, each at a level appropriate to their age. It did feel great to get rid of numerous bags of extra things that have been camping in our garage for months waiting for our church's free exchange. I was blessed to find some clothes, canning jars, a sport coat and a great Liz Claiborne purse all for free this past Saturday. The purse wasn't something I needed, but I really like it and it seems like something just fun to refresh the wardrobe. A good, stylish purse that works well for your life is hard to come by and this one for free seems just right.
I have been diligent with my goal to work out 300 times this year. The majority of the workouts happen at home on the treadmill and a couple a week happen in the pool or on a good cardio machine at the YMCA. I thankful for the variety the Y brings. I think I've missed about 9 days since January 1st, so I'm on track to reach the goal. Unfortunately, this increased level of activity has not equated to losing even one pound. But I know I'm healthier even if the number on the scale doesn't reflect that. I'm on my way to being a fit fat girl, and I think I just need to come to terms with that. If I keep the fit part, hopefully things won't get worse.
Home and Garden:
I'm starting to plot and plan to hopefully have a fruitful garden this summer. This is a tough climate for gardening, but I'm up for the challenge. And since our backyard grass is gone and not coming back, I'm craving some green there. I'm also craving spring colors inside our home, but since we've used lots of red and darker neutrals, refreshing the living space would require changing out a lot of curtains and pillows and accessories, and I don't think our budget is moving in that direction. I need to get creative with what we have to change things up, even just a little bit.
We've experienced our share of challenges in this department lately. I don't know how to or really want to elaborate, but parenting is certainly not for the faint of heart. We need to be more prayerful and purposeful. Our kids are such a blessing, but they really do require everything we have to train them for life and godliness. And the task isn't made easier by lacking local family support. This last matter is something we do struggle with a fair bit.
We've been blessed by healthy kids this winter as well as last winter....no doctor visits! We are thankful that my husband still has a job in this tough economy. We find comfort in a God who sees us and provides for us and encourages us and loves us through all of life, the good, the bad and the ugly.
I know this has not been the most positive post, but I'm just keeping it real. We are doing fine, but may have a case of the 'blahs' right now. But spring is around the corner and even today is a new day!