All posts by admin

Settling In

We’re finally in our new house and settling in. It’s been a little crazy these last two weeks with the traveling, last minute packing, more traveling (with four kids and three dogs), waiting for the moving truck, and finally the process of unpacking.

We’re no where near finished with unpacking. The little boys’ room is a disaster with almost all of their things still in boxes, and we have no bed yet. BUT, the kitchen is completely done, and that makes me really happy.

My kitchen…I could wax poetic on it all day long. It’s by far the largest kitchen I’ve ever had, and the one with the most usable counter space. Did I mention the GIANT island with the butcher block top? I’ll make sure to post photos soon.

Woman Labeling Packed Box_shutterstock_66379999

We spent the whole first weekend cleaning up outside. My kids are real troopers, I tell ya’. They mowed 2 acres of grass with two push mowers over a period of two days. The good news for them is that we do have a small riding mower coming from my dad. The bad news is we had a lot of rain the last couple days, and it’s going to need to be mowed again before that mover gets here.

We’re all finding that we have some adjusting to do. Even though we’re living our dream, it’s so different from what we’ve lived for so long. How odd is it to not be able to walk to the library like we did when we lived here before or hop in the car for a quick 5 minute drive to Target like the last place we lived.

Here, the nearest large store is a half hour away, and it’s a 5.5 mile drive to town. I’m sure it’ll be easy for me to fall back into the routine as that’s exactly how it was when I was growing up. The kids–not so much. I’ve already had to tell them ‘No’ several times when they’ve asked to do something simply because the drive alone would cost more than the trip would be worth.

Then there’s the issue with internet. We don’t have it at our house (and most likely won’t in the foreseeable future), and our cell phones haven’t been working at all. Sadly, I find myself getting just as frustrated with that as the boys. It only makes me realize that this move couldn’t have happened at a better time for all of us.

In my last post, you may remember me talking about how I was thinking of going back to work. A week ago Monday, right after we closed on our house, I had an interview for a position that would allow my family some financial freedom and relaxation on the fiscal front.

I haven’t heard back from them yet. I did follow up with them yesterday and was told they’d be making a decision very soon. I’d love to say that I’m confident the job is mine, but having been out of the job market for 6.5 years now, I’m not confident at all. I know that whatever happens will be for the best. And, if I happen to not get the position, at least I will have gotten my feet wet with the interview.

My husband and I have set some pretty ambitious goals for ourselves and our little homestead. The first thing we’ll be doing is fixing up a room in our corn crib for our chicken flock. We were going to to get some chicks this week, but it just so happens my dad got some laying hens last week and realized he may have gotten a few too many so I have 10 chickens headed my way.

We found that we have a small asparagus patch, rhubarb, and raspberries. I’ve never done much with rhubarb, but it looks like I better start.

We did get a small existing garden patch tilled up (Sweet Pea did an excellent job of this). However, it rained buckets before we could get the potatoes in the ground. Hopefully the soil dries out enough for us to plant those this weekend. They are already growing. There are also raised garden bed plans in the works to accommodate the rest of the things we want to grow this year.

We are continuing with our money saving efforts here. I am going to be making all our bread again as well as branching into other things such as tortillas. They can’t be that hard, can they? I’m also ramping up efforts to replace more things with homemade versions. Anyone have any luck with homemade dishwasher tabs?

So that’s where we’re at here. How have you been doing these last couple of weeks? Anything new with my Homies?

Hobo Stew : Use up your food bits!

Since we’re getting ready to pack up our house (Moving day is only 21 days away. Woohoo!!), I’ve been hesitant to buy too many groceries. We’ve been concentrating on cleaning out the freezers and eating what we have on hand.

This has led to some interesting meals…

And some less than enthusiastic children when it comes to mealtime.

One of the favorites (according to two kids) and one of the least favorites (the soup hater) has been my version of freezer stew or as Punkin calls it “Hobo Stew”.

soup preparation

Months ago, I put a container of soup in the freezer. It had been such a huge batch that no one wanted to finish it after eating it for several days in a row. I knew that the chances it would ever get thawed out and eaten were slim, but I couldn’t bring myself to throw out perfectly good soup.

Then I read Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half with America’s Cheapest Family by Steve and Annette Economides. In the book, they describe how they have a freezer container that they throw all their little leftovers in. When it’s full, they make it into a soup.

It sounded good to me!

On top of the soup already in the freezer went some more soup of another kind, then some gravy, some ground turkey that had been seasoned for burritos, and whatever else I don’t remember.

Yesterday I realized that the container was full and I either had to thaw it out or throw it out. Thaw it out it was!

To this delectable meal was added leftover juice from italian beef that I’d frozen with the intention of making more italian beef (yeah, that didn’t happen) and a few odds and ends that were hanging out in the frig from the past week.

The kids groaned.

One asked if he had to eat.

I bribed them with buttery rolls.

With much trepidation, the kids bent over their soup bowls and slurped the first spoonful.

Jeers turned to cheers! It was, according to our resident soup aficionado Peanut, “Some of the BEST soup ever!”

I do have to admit, it was pretty fantastic. Like I said, I’m not sure what all was in there, but whatever it was it worked.

When I look back at all the little bits we’ve tossed (You know what I’m talking about…the tiny little bit of veggies, the tiny amount of leftovers that get scraped into the garbage.), I wish that I hadn’t been so hesitant (or would have remembered) to throw them into the freezer soup container.

In our new house, this container will take a much more prominent spot in our freezer in anticipation of a delicious, unique meal that is ready within minutes.

Use up your food bits! Start your Hobo Stew container today.

Do you already do this? How do you make sure you use all your leftovers?

Stockpile is the Word

Everybody’s talking about stockpiles…stockpile your groceries, stockpile your necessities, stockpile, stockpile, stockpile.

I’d been discussing this with my husband for a while. Money always seemed too lean to put much towards extra things though.

Then I came across the show Extreme Couponers or whatever it’s called. Dang! Those people STOCKPILE…some to the point of hoarding imho. I mean for realz…what’s a 19 year old guy doing with 10 cases of diapers and 40 boxes of tampons? That’s just weird.

Their savings intrigued me though. Could I possibly begin my own little stockpile of products that would then take those things out of the budget for a while? We live on a pretty tight food budget, and all our household supplies (paper, hygiene, medication, etc) comes out of that line item. Being able to insure that those things wouldn’t have to be purchased for quite some time sure would take a little pressure off.

I began my research in the most obvious place…blogs! I’ve got some kick ass blogger couponer/stockpiler friends.

And then it happened…through my blog reading, I discovered the honey hole of savings that is CVS.

Oh CVS, where have you been all my life? CVS offers these things called extrabucks® (ECBs) on certain items each week. Basically, it’s like an in-house rebate coupon that you can use on your next purchase. [Here’s a quick side-note: It’s important that you keep track of these (and their equivalent–Balance Rewards at Walgreens) because they are NOT put on your card. You need the actual register receipt coupon.]

With five males living in my home, you can only imagine how much soap and deodorant we go through (that is of course if I can get the boys to take baths/showers. What is it with getting them to bathe?? Gross.), so I felt that was a good place to start.

Please spare me the details of how I’d save even more money making my own. They won’t use coconut oil/baking soda or milk of magnesia on their armpits (What? It’s a real thing. Check it out.), and the last time I attempted to make homemade soap, it molded. Compromises, people. We all have to do it sometime.

First, I got on CVS.com. I have an ExtraCare ® card from years ago, so I created an account with that. They post not only their current ad online, but also a sneak preview of the next week’s ad. I strongly recommend activating an account because you’ll receive special coupons in your email (like the $2 off coupon I received this week) as well as personalized offers (like the $2 off when I spent $8 on deodorant).

Next I visited several coupon websites to see what was available. I printed out anything that would be good for the next month so I would have a good selection but not have a huge coupon inventory. We’re not really brand-loyal people which is a good thing. It makes it easier to catch the good prices.

Then it was time to match the extracare® deals and manufacturer coupons. This is where the magic happens.

Using this week for example, CVS had Right Guard Antiperspirant on sale for 2/$8. I’m certainly not going to pay $4 for pit stick. So, I dug out a $1/2 Right Guard products coupon, a percentage off CVS email coupon, and a $2 off deodorant CVS web account coupon resulting in two Right Guard sticks for $3.54 including tax.

Now do you want to know what the BEST thing about that was?? After it was all said and done, I came out AHEAD on the deal because I also got $4 ECBs!

Here’s a helpful hint: Bring your ECB coupons with you! Here’s another one: Don’t wait until the last day of the sale to shop. The branch I normally shop at was out of several of the things on my list, so I made another quick run after lunch to finish up my errands and stop at another CVS in our town. There I purchased 2 body washes (2/$4), 2 shampoos (2/$5.50), 2 conditioners (2/$5.50) , a pack of M&Ms for Jeremy ($.75), and a 4 count package of razor cartridges ($16.79).

After using manufacturer coupons for each of the items purchased except for one shampoo (that would have saved me another $1 and I messed up not taking all my coupons with me so I could grab another one), the 20% off email coupon, and the $18 ECBs from my previous purchases, I paid $10.06. I also received $4.75 ECBs back.

Walgreens had a BOGO sale on Right Guard products this week. I used 4 $1/2 Right Guard products coupons to purchase 2 body washes and 6 deodorants and 4 $1/1 coupons for 4 bottles of mouthwash. I paid $24.40 and received $4 Balance Rewards.

Kmart also had a killer sale this week. I shopped there with manufacturer coupons and added almost 600 points to my Shop Your Way Rewards card (available through Kmart and Sears) that I’ll be able to use toward a future purchase. I spent $21.79 there after using coupons in conjunction with sales.

Here’s a rundown of what I purchased for $83.61 over the last two weeks between Walgreens, CVS, and Kmart (and don’t forget I still have $4.75 ECBs and $4 Balance Rewards for next time):

  • 10 body washes
  • 8 deodorants
  • 9 mouthwashes
  • 5 shampoos
  • 5 conditioners
  • 1 lotion
  • 1 Gillette Fusion Proglide razor
  • 1-4 pack of razor cartridges

I’m very pleased with that amount even if it’s no where near those crazy savings of the extreme couponers. Those are things that won’t have to be purchased out of our food budget (all of our household and hygiene supplies come out of the food budget) for the next several months to a year.

And, if we’re ever broke, I know that we’re not going to smell.

Overall, I feel that the better deals are to be had at CVS. I actually paid less out of pocket for the things I purchased at Kmart, but if I take the ECBs I received from CVS into consideration,CVS wins hands down. The benefit of shopping at Walgreens is that they offer store coupons that can be stacked with manufacturer coupons.

As I wrap this up, here’s a word of warning: Shopping CVS is like a game, and it’s very addictive. Even after only two weeks, I found myself pouring over scenarios of how much money I’d have to spend to receive so many ECBs, and on what I’d have to spend that money on.

There’s no savings in spending money on things you don’t need (paper towels and toilet paper in my case) considering I would have had to spend $12 to receive $5 ECBs.

I think too it’s important to know when to stop. I could keep adding these same things to my stockpile every single week for little money, but really…how many bottles of  body wash and mouth wash does a family need? I’ll keep an eye on the adds for something to use my ECBs and Balance Rewards for before they expire, but other than that our hygiene needs are pretty much met at the moment.

In the comments below, tell me how you save money on personal hygiene products. Do you make all your own? Perhaps you only buy the cheapest on the shelf? Do you have any advice for me to save even more money?

I’m a SAHM and No, We’re Not Rich

My name is Missy, and I’m a SAHM. And you wanna know what? We’re not rich, and SAHM life isn’t all designer clothes, luxury cars and bon bons.

Does this sound like an odd opening to you? Because for me and many other SAHMs out there, we hear this over and over again. It’s tedious.

Last week I was talking with my friend Rhonda who’s also a stay at home mom, and we began discussing the many things people say to us when they find out we don’t have 9-5 jobs, but have chosen to stay at home with our kids. I was surprised, pleasantly so, that I wasn’t the only one receiving my share of asinine comments about my husband’s income and our financial well-being.

From a family member, “Well it must be really nice to have your husband take care of you.” Why yes, it is very nice thank you. I love having a sugar daddy who provides for my every want and need. *Cue eye roll*

From a ‘friend’, “Wow. It must be really nice to be able to sit at home all day. Some of us have to work.” This one was a double whammy because I don’t ever recall ‘sitting’ for a whole day other than when I broke my leg and was unable to be on crutches for a couple days before I was up making supper for the family. I know, I’m a total slacker, but the housekeeper and cook were on vacation.

From people who don’t even know me, “Your husband must be really awesome to let you stay at home.” Because he lets me. Whatevs.

On the heels of these comments are the ones that really piss me off, the ‘Well if you can afford to stay at home’ comments: “Well if you can afford to stay home, you should be able to afford a new car.” “Well, if you can afford to stay at home, I don’t see why you can’t drive home more often.” “Well if you can afford to stay at home, why don’t you guys spend some of that money on some new (insert new item here such as clothes, vacation, furniture, blah blah blah).”

And my all time favorite, “You guys have the money.”

Very rarely do I have anyone around my age ‘get’ that I’m a SAHM because we have chosen this for our family, not because I’m ‘taken care of’ or that ‘we can afford it”. Why is this? Is it guilt, jealously, or the inability to understand that our values rank kids being raised by a parent higher than material possessions?

Because here’s our ugly truth about me staying at home with the kids. Some months we struggle. Some months we eat from the freezer because the only money we can move around in the budget to cover unexpected bills is the grocery money. Some months I’ve really wondered how we were going to even pay all our bills.

Some months I feel like we don’t have the proverbial pot to piss in.

My husband and I don’t have a clothing allocation in the budget. There simply isn’t enough money. If we need something, it has to come out of another line item.

Big Daddy gets first dibs on the gas money for the month. If he needs it and there’s not any left, I don’t get gas. He’s the one who has to get to a job. I don’t usually ‘need’ to go anywhere.

If we don’t have the money for something, we don’t get it. We did break this rule for the new-to-us vehicle we just purchased but there was a reason we chose to take on that payment. It is budgeted for, and will be paid off early.

The kids are provided for but they don’t get a lot of extras. They also don’t have a lot of clothes. It helps that with homeschooling they don’t really need many, but even when they were in public school, 2-3 pairs of jeans each was the norm. Rarely do any of them get anything ‘just because’. (And they very rarely complain.)

Thrift stores and freebies from friends are where it’s at. Why on earth would I pay full price for a brand new winter jacket when I found one for $4 that was in great shape at a thrift store? My son would have had those sleeves stained in a month anyway. The previous owner took care of that for him.

My point is that I don’t stay at home with my kids because I ‘can’. I stay at home with my kids because we choose that for our family. I stay at home with my kids because in this season of our lives, my husband needs to know that things at home are taken care of and my kids need to know they have their mama whenever they need her.

I stay at home not because we’re rich or because I’m lazy (which is also another zinger that’s been thrown out there), but because for us the sacrifice necessary to do so is worth it.

Yes, we are fortunate that my husband’s income is such that it’s feasible for me to be a SAHM. I’m so grateful for that.

I’d also be grateful if some people would shut their pie holes about our financial situation which is no business of theirs anyway.

Now if you don’t mind, I think I’ll go sit on the couch with a pint of Ben &Jerry’s Phish Food ice cream and ignore the children for the day while I watch my soap operas…because isn’t that what the rich do?

The BEST birth control for teens…

My husband and I are considering ourselves to be geniuses right now. We’ve discovered the absolute best birth control for teenage boys…

PUPPIES!

You may recall in this post how my 14 year old wanted a puppy, and I happened to come home with 2 of them.

After a month of being with us, these puppies have grown like weeds! And, like all babies, have required hours and hours of hands-on love and attention sometimes at hours that no human should be awake.

The two oldest boys have taken responsibility for the early, early morning potty outings, and all I can say is…

“HA!”

Hundreds of times they’ve been reminded that human babies require attention just like puppies do, except that human babies, growing more slowly, have prolonged periods of sleepless nights, early morning feedings, and the ever-present diaper changes.

Human babies, I remind them, are worse!

And so far, my plan to use the puppies as examples are working. Jeremy, the 15 year old, has declared, “If puppies are this hard, I am never having children.”

At least until you’re 30, son.

Mission accomplished.

And We’re Outta Here!

It’s been no secret on this blog that my family and I haven’t enjoyed our time in the city we moved to in January 2013. Due to that, I’m ecstatic to be able to announce…

WE’RE OUTTA HERE!!!

Yes, my husband has gotten a transfer…and it gets better!!

We’re going back to Iowa-to where we moved here from-the place we absolutely LOVED with all our hearts.

As is usual with transfers, the word came suddenly and J’s move is quick. He has to be at his new store on Monday. The kids and I will follow when we have found a house. Fortunately, it’s different this time since we don’t have to schedule around the kids’ school year. We’ll have time to find a place that suits us and not simply a place to move into.

We’ve already decided to concentrate our home search in the community we moved from. We’ll be moving back to a place where we know people, where we feel we belong, where we have connections, and have tiny baby roots already established. We’ll be going back to a church family we grew to love and a community that strives to better itself.

The kids have decided to go back to public school this coming fall. I have mixed feelings about it. I’m beyond thrilled that they’re so excited to see their friends again after they felt so isolated here, but I have misgivings about the new curriculums being used. If it doesn’t go well, we can always return to homeschool.

Punkin is perhaps the most enthusiastic at this point. He’s 14 and able to get his scooter license when we move back. In addition to that, 14 1/2 year olds can get their school license meaning he’d be able to drive to school if we let him. I’m pretty sure he’s all packed. Lord help us.

After knowing for the last week that we were going to be making this move, my husband and I have looked at each other several times and asked, “Can you believe this is actually happening?”  It’s what we hoped for, what we secretly begged for, and what we openly prayed for but we were also resigned to being here for another year and a half or two years.

Do I have any regrets for having moved? Not really. I am sad that the kids felt like they didn’t belong at their school, but homeschooling this year was incredible and I’m ever so grateful for having had that chance. J also had the chance to move up with his company. If we hadn’t moved here, he wouldn’t be going back to his previous store as a manager with a whole lot of experience from the many challenges he faced here.

I do regret not meeting two of my blogger friends from Decatur. Melissa from Forever Fitting In and Stacey from This Momma’s Ramblings…we still have time to get together. Starbucks on me perhaps?

To finish, I want to tell you a little story. Two weeks ago, I had just started shopping for our stockpile. As I was putting things away in our little pantry, I called my husband in to see my haul. After I pointed out all the things I’d accumulated, he said, “Good! Keep buying that shit. You know the minute we have a ton of crap I’m going to get transferred.” Well, that proved to be correct. So, let me give this a try…

Honey! Go ahead and buy that lottery ticket. You know the minute you do we’re going to be millionaires!

Mothering Boys: Sometimes I don’t look

This is my 15th year as a mom. What started out as being a mom to one son has compounded to being the mom to four.

Four. Boys.

When you see things like this for example:

it isn’t a clever saying or cutesy sign…

IT’S THE TRUTH!

Boys are the loudest most dirty creatures alive. For months we had no jeans in the house that weren’t stained or ripped in some way. There is no carpet produced that doesn’t weep when one of my kids walks on it.

Blood, mud, tears and stains…all par for the course.

Living with these boys is like living with a whole herd of the Peanuts character Pig Pen. I’m pretty sure on any given day there’s a little dust cloud following these guys around settling on any and all surfaces they come across.

And then there’s the smell. Boys have a specific aroma (you can read about my oldest son here. Smells like Teen Spirit? Uh. Teen Stench.)

Is that to say that I don’t love my boys? Not at all. I so love my children with such a passion that it surprises me.

This of course isn’t cutting daughters down in any way. I’ve just never been a mother to a daughter. I’m a stepmom to one, yes, but it’s not the same.

So on with my story: As the boys were playing Saturday night, and the decibels were rising, I knew I’d hear it sooner or later and as predicted, the boys didn’t disappoint. “MOM!! Come here and look at what Peanut did.”

Of course later this was followed by, “Oh my gosh. You should see their room!” (meaning Sweet Pea’s and Peanut’s).

Now, as a newer mother, I may have just jumped up in a panic and raced to wherever the children were anticipating the worst. Is he bleeding profusely? Did he put a hole in the wall? What’s ruined? Did someone light the carpet on fire?

As one seasoned at mothering boys however, I’ve become smarter…or perhaps better able to keep my stress levels lower with this one simple tactic:

Sometimes (more often than not) I simply don’t look.

Yes, you read that right.

Whatever the boys are up to, if someone isn’t crying then I know no one is seriously injured, if someone else isn’t screaming, then I know that no horrible wrong was done, if I don’t smell smoke then nothing is on fire, if there was no crash, then there’s no chance of a hole in a wall, and the simplest one of all: They’ve already ruined all the nice things we had, so the worst that could happen is that something got ruined-er.

Yes, as a mother of 4 very strong-willed energetic (loud) boys, I’ve had to learn how to pick my battles.

I’ve also had to learn to lock the door behind me to the bathroom and my office, threaten them all, and make it absolutely clear that someone had better be severely bleeding or have lost an appendage in order to make them disturb me, but that’s another blog post (or not).

By not policing their every move, mothering boys has been so much easier and less mom-tantrum inducing. The boys have also had to learn how to problem solve amongst themselves (which is a feat in itself considering the almost 10 year span from oldest to youngest).

Do I ever look? Sure I do. I look plenty. Sometimes I do have to step in. Sometimes someone is being  his own special brand of butt that day and needs to be corrected.

And sometimes I mess with them just to keep them on their toes.

What? Like you don’t know that messing with your kids is the best part of being a parent

Busy weekend ahead!

Are you tired of hearing about our ‘homestead’ yet because I’m not tired of talking about it. We’ve had a busy couple of weeks and a busier weekend coming up.

When we first arrived at our house, we discovered that the previous owners had cleaned NOTHING. It was disgusting. The refrigerator smelled like rotten milk and had mold growing between the shelf and frame.

The bathrooms were equally disgusting.

I say with no small measure of pride that I’ve never left a house looking worse or dirtier than when we moved in. I just assumed that all people would work their tails off cleaning walls and floors. But no, not all people do that, and it seems that some people, once they have the money in their hands, run for the hills without a second look (or a single scrub as is the case here).

Busy weekend

The first couple days were filled with vacuuming and scrubbing before the moving truck got here. I should be ashamed to admit that not all the boxes are unpacked yet, but I’m not. There has been so much more to do!

One of my first priorities when moving out here was to get a garden in. We planted our potatoes last week in the existing garden bed, but we still have a whole stack of seeds. So, I spent the better part of a day building two ‘lasagna’ gardens.

I’ve also been pulling weeds in the existing flower bed, dividing some plants that were already here, and simply taking care of my family.

I’m repeatedly struck with a sense of awe when I step outside in the morning only to realize that we actually live here. Although we definitely have our challenges (What?? No internet?!), and country living isn’t for everyone, it’s a dream we’ve held for so long it seemed unreachable.  I’m back to my country roots, and they feel so good.

This is what the rest of the week and weekend looks like:

  • Finish the chicken coop in the corn crib. It’s the best space we have for them right now, and time is short. J has been ripping up rotten flooring and trying to figure out how to patch the hole in the roof above the ‘oat room’ that will be the coop. DONE!
  • Finish the garden beds and add another if we have time. One of our goals is to produce a significant amount of our food, and this garden is a good way to begin doing that immediately. Not only that, but fresh food that you’ve worked so hard to grow yourself tastes so much better.
  • Head to my parents’. The boys and I have dentist appointments early next week and since we still go to the same dental office I went to as a kid, we make the trip for that purpose twice a year.
  • Cry a little over the fact that I now have two teenagers with driver’s permits. Jeremy was able to transfer his over since he’s had an Iowa one previously, and Punkin just passed his permit test this week. DONE!
  • Help Sweet Pea finish the fence around his pumpkin patch. Talk about a go-getter. He’s totally surprised me with his gumption since we’ve gotten here. Wanting to plant a huge breed of pumpkin, S.P. had to break ground in a new place in the yard. I’m proud to say that he not only measured and staked it all out himself, but he’s done a fine job of running our little tiller to break up the sod. Punkin has pitched in to help with his fence.
  • Same with Punkin, but his is a corn patch. He’s got three varieties to plant-sweet corn, an ornamental that can also be ground for corn meal, and a hull-less popcorn variety .
  • Continue to pick and freeze rhubarb. I’m not even sure how to use all of this yet, but it’s free and it’s here so we’ll find something to do with it.
  • Take the youngest two to the doctor for physicals so they can get back into school. DONE!
  • File for our homestead tax exemption. DONE!
  • Plant some flowers in the bed in front of the garage.
  • Take stock of the food we have, plan our meals for the next month, and see what I have to get the next time I go grocery shopping.
  • Wake up each morning in our brand new huge  and deliciously soft bed, in our little old farmhouse with the stunning views,  and be grateful that I get to do that. EVERYDAY! Oh my gosh, you have no idea 
  • Remember to be thankful to all of those who served and were lost this Memorial Day and every day.

Thank you all for sticking with me as my posting has been so erratic and crazy. Hopefully, as I figure out a schedule, I’ll be able to utilize my time a little more wisely by writing my posts at home then using my library internet time to cut, paste, and schedule them out for the week.

What has been going on with all of you? Is your Memorial Day weekend shaping up to be a busy one?

What holds you back?

As you can see there’s no Family Fridays this week…obviously.

Yes, I know you are devastated, but Carli at Livin’ the Mom Life and I have both had a bunch of ‘stuff’ going on. And by ‘stuff’ I mean life. And by life, I mean kids. Sick kids.

Instead, today you get a peek into what my brain has been pondering all week. Scary I know. Sometimes I don’t even want to peek at what’s in  my brain.

But, here it is: What holds you back?

What brought on this pondering was an ongoing discussion my husband and I have been having about my homesteading dream and his cabin dream.

I rrrreeeeaaaaallllllyyyyy want to homestead. My idea of homesteading is like what my dad would call, “those damn back to the landers” of the 70s. Off-grid acreage (although I need some electricity for my cell phone and wi-fi. I’m not a total heathen.), natural living, and leaving as small of a footprint as possible. I want to learn the skills that people of years past had.

My husband dreams of a cabin on a wooded acreage where he can hunt, where he can feel like he’s on vacation every day, where he can relax and be able to do the things he loves.

We both yearn for a simpler life. One that isn’t complicated by noise, smog, traffic, and if I’m completely honest, people. With Big Daddy having worked in retail for the last several years, he’s had his fill and it’s no small secret that the older I get, the less thrilled I am to be in a room with greater than like, 10 people. Unless it’s a wedding reception where the beer is free, but that’s a story for another time.

We both want the porch and rocking chairs and the view to take in with our morning coffee.

So what are we letting hold us back?

It’s a valid question, and one that has been weighing on my mind since I saw this:

I’ve seen things like this before, and I’m not sure why this one made me think more than the others. Maybe, like I said in this post, it’s because I realize that at my age, I’m likely at the beginning of middle age. Not to mention, the clock seems to be ticking faster and faster as time goes on.

Why don’t we move forward with our dreams?

We find excuses in everything. It wouldn’t be fair to move the kids again. (Which is ridiculous. They’d love to move.) We have to wait for the right time. (Is there ever a right time?) We need to make sure there’s enough money. (There’s enough.) We won’t be able to afford it. (If we choose correctly, we’ll easily be able to afford it.) What about jobs? (Actually, this one is valid, but there are jobs available where we were looking.) What if…what about…

Can anyone else relate? How do you approach your BIG dreams to make sure they come true?