We’re lucky indeed

Last night I cooked a healthy dinner for my family, I bathed my children in a warm bath and then snuggled then in their cozy beds in our little, paid for cabin. My husband wrapped his body around mine as he slept. This morning he had to go on the road for work, so he took morning duty with the children and I got to sleep in. I awoke to a heavy snowfall, and watched the birds eat at our feeder while I thanked the good Lord for all the blessings my family has while I drank coffee in bed. I am overflowing with contentment. I thank the Lord everyday for all the blessings my family has received. I know I’m a lucky woman, and fully realize many don’t realize or appreciate what they have, but I do. I have a partner who loves me and respects me. I have children who are flourishing, and it’s been particularly challenging for one of my older children, but he is doing what he loves to do and has found his niche, and I’m so thankful. I save like mad. I have goals. I don’t blame others for circumstances we may find ourselves in, but take full responsibility for the decisions we make be them positive or negative in their outcomings. My husband and I don’t date. I know we should, but we seem to have a lot of emergencies (the past two weeks it’s been because our four year old geothermal system has one of those “odd” problems that seldom occur, but are for us (typical) and it will cost us about one thousand dollars to correct). Do I feel resentful that I don’t have a lot of one on one time with my husband? Sure. Sure I do, but, not spending money on a sitter and a night together each week gives us extra money in our budget to put towards our goals . Next week we’ll take a day and he and I will ski together while the kids are in school. We just adapt. DH works 3 jobs, I have one, and we are so busy, but….everything we need, we have. We helped a family in crisis last week, because it’s what we needed to do. My husband was puttin gas in one of our cars and some man was desperately trying to get non existent funds to pay for his gas from his debit card into his well used work truck at the same gas station as my husband. DH bought him his gas. I’m proud of him. It wasn’t even ten dollars, but the man didn’t have the money, and I told my husband, I think God puts you at the right place at the right time. He (DH) felt guilty because he thought he was taking more money away from our family but he felt as if he had to do it. He did the right thing. I’m content with his decision. My husband commented to me last week that it seems as if we seem to be called to help a heck of a lot of people as of late. I think God calls us to do things at particular time, and it’s our responsibility to pay attention, and if we feel it’s the right thing to do, then we need to help. I’ve yet to regret helping someone. This is what contentment is. I have everything I need. There’s not a whole lot extra. We save for college, retirement, savings, and a bunch of needs we have, but these days, there’s not a lot left over. I can help other people. I know the Lord is my life. I don’t dress well nor do I drive top line cars, but I have savings in the bank and everyone in my life is healthy, has health care insurance, is educated (or is being educated), and we have roofs over our heads and food in our bellies. I don’t care about the rest of that crap nor do I feel envy anymore. Our needs are being met, and we’re saving for another one of our cool vacations.

I find that focusing on what really matters to me

vs what I want goes a long way towards the level of contentment that I feel. I started by asking myself a very straight forward question.. What does freedom mean to me? When I asked that question, my entire view of the “American Dream” and how I was living life changed.
What freedom means to me: The ability to pursue my faith openly, being able to work and contribute to the family, being able to function car-light (minimal use of a car), having as small a carbon footprint as possible, living in an area where walking and biking is possible for most trips under four miles, access to a great library system, Walking distance access to hiking trails to get away from the city, being able to grow my own food (yard garden and community gardens both available), having the time to spend working on my art, living TV/gadget free, Spending time with my husband doing the things we love.
Once I looked at my list, I realized that stuff didn’t really matter. We simplified, got rid of a ton of stuff, eliminated clutter, simplified our furnishings to just what we really needed and cut back on the number of clothing items we own to only what we really wear. Not only were we content with what we already had, we found that we had too much and we felt burdened by it. It got in the way. At the moment I just have my basement art studio to go through in terms of organizing and decluttering. The basement is free of stored items. Instead it hosts a clothes line for year round line drying (small carbon footprint).
I have two large pieces of furniture on Craigslist and I’m making a plan to tackle the garage and garage-attic storage once the weather warms up. Dh still has to go through is office desk drawers. This has been such a freeing experience. I no longer want stuff or crave the next best thing.
Our only discontentment is having a mortgage. We can’t wait to be throwing all we have at it and get it gone.

I actually watched that Sunday and it started my thoughts

I know I am way more at peace than my in debt friends. I know my kids have college money and the bills are paid. I would love to be more content on waiting for things like house remodeling and vacations. Here lately I am restless I guess. I did find a Harley Davidson window cling on the suburban. I put it on my fridge because it reminded me of when Dan told the loaded Guy to buy the Harley dude!!!! Reminds me of what I am aiming for.

Anyway…for me, it’s about not only looking to the future

(debt free, paying cash for a home) but how far I have come. After years of living in chaos (financial and personal) we are living in peace….even the setbacks are small in nature. I and my children cherish this time. I have been able to develop a financial plan, and for the most part my children and I stick to it. They have gained an appreciation of what it means to have a plan, work the plan, and reap the rewards of the plan. You’ll remember that all of my children-at-home and I went through FPU.
It’s unfortunate that DH has chosen not to actively join us on our journey. As a result, his peace is a lot less; at best he recognizes that he is no longer living in financial chaos. But he chafes greatly at the restraints of “not being able to spend and buy what he wants, when he wants it.” Even when he wears me down and buys something (and it’s usually expensive) it is only a short lived happiness….it doesn’t give him lasting joy.
And that IMO, is the key. I know I am preaching to the choir here, but frivolous, caution to the winds spending does NOT buy happiness. It often doesn’t even make MISERY more comfortable. Because deep down, we all know it doesn’t last, that living a life unchecked and gorging on excess is superficial happiness at best, and that real happiness comes from being obedient to time tested values and principles, whether they are financial, spiritual, religious or educational.

I’ve been mulling this how to be content question this morning

We struggled with that since getting onto the DR program. It does sort of wax and wane (sadly, not as predictably as the tides or the moon). But contentment, or lack thereof, does come and go. When it gets particularly bad and we’re suffering from “we don’t have enough-itis”, or “I wanna something-itis”, there are several things we do to try to cheer ourselves up:
1) tally up what we DO have, being as inclusive as we can be. For instance, I’m glad to be alive, I’m glad to be living in this country (despite its issues) as opposed to some foreign country where people don’t have any rights and women are second-class citizens and I’m afraid to drink the water and everyone around me has at least one major communicable disease, etc etc etc. I’m glad we have this farm and our family and our friends and our health and our education and at least a glimmer of hope that our finances are getting better, and a plan for the future that doesn’t involve giving up or giving in.
2) Spend just long enough considering other people’s problems to remind myself that I’m glad I don’t have them. My dad is on kidney dialysis, and probably will be for the rest of his life. My best friend has just finished her third round of chemo. Our beloved neighbor across the street has no “significant other” in her life and has given up ever finding one. We’ve recently learned that my step-brother and his family have been flirting with losing their house off and on for years now, but have no interest in fixing their situation. “It’s just the bad economy” is apparently enough of an excuse to warrant doing nothing. And my beloved farming mentor, who is 89 years old, is barely getting around anymore and is looking down the barrel of his own mortality a lot these days. When I start thinking of our issues, compared to their issues, our issues seem a lot easier to manage.
3) When it’s a particularly bad day, and none of the above is really working, I treat myself to a quiet 15 minutes of doing something that I love – playing the piano, just sitting with one of the dogs out in the field, putting on some favorite piece of music, looking through a favorite book, whatever it takes to bootstrap myself out of the funk I’m in.
4) I believe, but I’m not sure, I have talked here about how I have SAD, and that has only come to light (no pun intended) the last few years. Now I make sure to take my vitamins, and I can “feel” the day I forget or skip them. My temper is shorter, my attention span is shorter, I’m more apt to react harshly to things, take the “cup is half empty” view of things, etc. There is a direct, well documented connection between mood and nutrition in general; SAD is just one example. If I’ve been eating a lot of junk food and I’m feeling snippy or discouraged, that diet plan is the first thing I change.
5) And perhaps the most important thing: When I’m down, I share it here, and y’all help me see that we’re still on track (or how to get BACK on track). When I’m up, I share it here to give other folks some “light at the end of the tunnel”. And I try to help either console or congratulate folks with their own ups and downs. That sharing, at least for me, has been crucial to staying on track.
I hope some of that helps. You’re certainly not alone in having days of “well, PHOOEY!” To use the most polite word possible. Hang in there; it won’t feel like this forever.

We buget 50 for the month for fun stuff

Mostly thst covers one date lunch for DH & I and the gas to get to things. We are lucky to have a free theatre that allows you to bring your own snacks. And a free indoor pool, my kids love the pool. The boys also do scouts which is a budget item. With scouts they hike, camp, swim and learn lots of things. We are also involved in our church. The kids also have free afterschool clubs right now at least one is in cooking, yearbook, card club and kindle.
We have a bbq grill with a smoker and a small fire pit so we have family cooking time or hot dog & smores night. Movie night with Netflix or movies we own. Appetizers night with homemade stuff or cheap / free with coupons stuff. We do make your own bars with pizza, tacos, whatever. Also Fri is our pizza night & we take turns picking the toppings.
For us hiking is fun and we got a free national park pass so we use that.
Once a month there is a free craft night. Jan it was a modge podge bowl. Feb it will be a candy bouquet. This is ladies only so I get out. Also I do 2 free ladies bible studies.
If we did not do the 50 for fun & the 60 for scouts we would have 110 extra for the snowball but we decided it was worth the small delay to have family fun. You need to decide what you want more to be content with living while you get out of debt.

I’ve received things like this, but I didn’t bite

I once worked for a company that was victimized by one of these cash-the-check-and-send-us-the-money deals. A scammer sent out a bunch of checks with the company name and bank account number on them, telling people they had won a prize and to cash the check and return the money.
We got a lot of phone calls. Thankfully, many of them were from people who wanted to find out if it was legit before they cashed the check. But sadly, there were some who called only after they had deposited the check and had the money pulled back after we told our bank not to honor the checks. I talked to one gentleman who got hit with overdraft fees, and he sounded like losing that money was a major hardship.

The good news is that we are debt free except our mortgage

($2750/mo) and childcare expenses ($575/week);
We haven’t yet cut back on such as the phone or cable, because DH feels he will find something soon, but given that his unemployment checks run out in April … we will be having a budget discussion at that point.
I know he is trying to find work so I am giving him space but yes, at some point we will have a discussion as to what needs to be scaled back… The good news is I was able to negotiate my new job at a 15% pay increase. Tip: they ask what my salary expectations were and I replied that my “current compensation is…xxxx” —– current compensation meaning what the company paid into my health care, 401k, etc… but the incoming company didn’t question that so from my base salary I added $15K and off we go. 🙂
Which now allows me to budget for home improvements, college funds, life funds, etc…

My DH lost his job

as of 28 December and I am slated to lose mine due to a contract loss next week (31 January); we’ve known about the contract ending for several months yet very few people have been able to secure another job — those that left already have just basically retired with no job to go to… it’s very tough out there and we are in the metro DC area!
The only thing in my favor is my manager pulled some favors and I am being hired by a competitor — but only because of personal contacts have I been “saved”.
I will send you positive thoughts that it goes well for you.

I know $80 is a lot of money

for you right now, and it is worrisome about your vehicle, but I think I would want to know that someone was willing to make the effort to get a position with my company, so I think it would be worth your while to try and make it happen. Is it possible to borrow a vehicle from someone for the day, or swap yours out with someone simply so that you can drive to South Haven? Hopefully it would be a small car with great gas mileage.

There’s just so much that can be covered and so many ways to learn it’s hard to know

I work with open source software almost exclusively (or pretty much exclusively now that Java is open sourced). One of the many advantages with the world of open source is that there are tutorials and HOWTO files on almost everything. That makes it possible to learn a LOT for free and then to get the tech books AFTER you’ve learned enough to evaluate if a book will teach you what you need to do.

I’ll add my viewpoint. I came at all this from a different way than what you’re considering. I learned how to write the code and looked at how I could create a system that would do what I want. I mine data from different sources, including on the web and through dial-up systems (which helps because the dial-up systems are hard for many people to find, which means less competition).

I’m close to finishing my system, but as it is, it’s performing well and I’ve impressed a lot of other programmers with my low bug report count.
When it’s done, we’ll be focusing on adding clients and building up the income, then deciding whether to sell it or not. A major advantage to selling it is that now whenever a site I get data from makes a small change, it means I have to go into “emergency” mode and adapt my programs for the change before it creates an issue for my clients. If I could sell the business for enough, I’d do it so I don’t have to worry about anything going wrong. Plus, once it’s sold, I’m clear in case anything happens that changes the whole situation.

There’s a big benefit to creating the income stream through technical skills, since it lets you design a system and change it at will. It means I’m in control and I don’t have to worry about someone I hire deciding to do the same thing for himself after he’s done it for me. It puts me in total control.

And the fun part is that it lets me set my own hours and work out of my

This is what everyone wants

If it were easy to find a way to make an income stream maintain itself and keep going, then more people would be doing it and we’d have a ton of people sitting on their wealth while they do nothing.

I have a business that does create income streams and keeps them coming, usually automatically, and even with that, I have to do maintenance.
I’ll admit it’s better than most systems. My customers subscribe to my data and pay me monthly. The data delivery is automated and I can resell the data to people in different fields so none of my customers compete against each other with the same data.

What I’ve learned is that to keep an income stream automated, then you have to do something that keeps your customer base. Any income stream that requires generating new customers is going to be more problematic.
It means you have to keep replacing customers over and over. Unless you have some website where people keep coming to spend money on something that can be created automatically, then this kind of thing won’t work with customer turn over.

Mark, you seem like a very good person to know

I don’t want to get into too many details, for fear of every single one being picked apart with my overall message being reduced to something I never meant to start in the first place, but…

I want to know some about the tech side of things, but just enough to be able to communicate well enough with a tech minded individual to get a job done. My goal is to generate income streams that can be automated. I’m in the very beginning stages of this online and find myself swamped with info. But in general, I would like to have several income streams set up to earn anywhere from $20 per day to $40 per day, eventually increasing to $100 per day each. I would rather have that than make $50-100 per hour in any job, as long as my maintenance isn’t too high.

I would gladly fork over $100,000 to buy an automated business that puts $300 per day in profit in my account like clockwork. To my knowledge, that’s not possible, but I’m just now beginning this research and haven’t hit the tip of the iceberg yet. And I don’t want to be sold something that is a scam. Not an easy thing to do, so far as I know. That’s one reason I come here 🙂

But I won’t give up on the search. I think, at this point, it would be easier for me to generate my own small businesses to get that point. So I’ll keep working at it, and do sincerely appreciate all feedback from everyone here.

I checked out ResellerRightNow after a quick search on the topic, and it offers what looks to be a decent program. I’ll have to compare it around more, and if you get a chance, maybe you could post some feedback on that one. I hope I’m not getting too far off the MLM support topic, but I chalk this up to research.

Best regards and look forward to any info you (or anyone) has to share.

Any suggestions?

As far as learning this back end stuff, where would I go to find a good online education in order to become proficient at it? Primarily the domain and hosting reselling, but also some web design. I know a little about HTML, but otherwise I am very much a beginner.

Are you serious???

Landing pages are a household word in the online marketing scene.

They’re pages on which a visitor lands from clicking a link. It can be any kind of page, but is typically a sales page, a squeeze page or similar.

(Please don’t tell us you’ve never heard of squeeze pages either!)
Big sale!! online payday loans in FL(US). << To learn more, there are a couple of really useful online tools you can use these days called Google (it's a search engine -- you use it to find stuff you want on the Internet) and Wikipedia -- a kind of online, interactive encyclopedia. I hope this information helps.

Is the price difference really justified?

What does “better customer service” mean? a 7/24 call center in India versus a human you can talk to face to face 5/8 in your home town? Somebody who read the repair manual yesterday versus somebody who knows what an impact wrench is, and uses it on a daily basis?

I don’t drive, so I don’t know what the cost of these things are: However, for normal road use, a set of tires should last at least 5 years, or 50,000 miles.

Oil changes should happen every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. How good is the oil that you get with your “free oil change?” Junkyard Sam’s used oil special?

For US$150 I can have my own domain, with a five year contract

2 GB disk space. No data transfer quotas. The ability to put _anything_ I want to on that site. (Minor proviso: If the content violates federal, or international statutes, I lose the website. Bu that is standard for all reputable ISPs. and domain registrars.) That also comes with a 14 day free trial period.

Somebody will suggest that what I am paying is too high. However, it includes/allows the usage of IRC Bots, ARCHIE, VR hosting, and various other equally obscure tools/uses of the Internet.

Goals Update

I didn’t to the task challenge because I knew that I was spending every evening at the theater, helping with the latest show. But how about an update on my year-long goals:

1. Pay off Credit Union loan ($7500) and a total of $13,700 by the end of the year.

~ Missed my goal by $44 because of the way the end of the month fell. Which means next month should be great!

2. Crochet 50 scarves to donate.

~ Again, I’m short one because I got an e-mail from Son, asking me to crochet him something. He even sent a link. Which is why I am now busy making . . . beer bottle cozies. He lives in Houston, TX, where they have a lot of condensation in the summer time.

3. Weigh less at the end of the year than I did at the beginning.

~ I have officially lost 15 lbs since Thanksgiving. And bought a new pair of pants for work that were a size smaller!!!

Credit reports have addresses if you were using credit back then

I never lived at the address my then husband put down on the insurance policy but wrote them a letter, enclosed proof of the relationship, etc and they accepted it. Worth a try just to call or send what you have. Maybe if you still have the same utility company they would have record of the addresses of service for you.

My husband and I have some unclaimed money in Oregon

The problem is we have to proved we lived at the address and we have NO way of doing that. It’s from a deposit we put on an apartment (like $40) and then decided we didn’t want to move in there. So we never lived there, therefor have nothing that proves we are the people the money belongs too. And since this happened 12 years ago we don’t have any of the paper work assigning us to that address. I don’t think we ever did.
This was a long time ago and they didn’t do paper trails as often as they do now.

Some states (Louisiana, f’rinstance)

will at least tell you if the item is more or less than $100. But for Michigan, I have to figure out how to claim property that may have belonged to my grandmother(dad’s side) who died in 1980. Since my dad isn’t competent to sign for it, I’m guessing I’ll need her death certificate, as well as my conservator paper… Oy…

Yes! Do this, because it is not always just cash

When I checked the website years ago I not only found THOUSANDS for db and myself I discovered it was coming from oil royalties that some how my dgm lawyer had missed when transferring them around in estate settlements. One of those royalties is what I get my little monthly checks from now, db gets checks too and has helped me do a lot of research since the first nearly $6,000 I found for us to split.
Also besides your name, check your parents, grandparents and even great grand parents, aunts and uncles and your children (you never know what might have been willed to them without your knowledge) in EVERY state they ever lived in. I live in OK, but found some money in MO. It’s simple enough to claim and worth the effort.

Unclaimed Property

Go out to your state website for unclaimed property and see what pops up. I just found $5.90 for me and the wife and found $139.90 for my dad.

Merchant surcharge fees?

Merchants can now charge an extra fee for using credit cards. I don’t remember hearing about this before.. Fortunately, there don’t seem to be a lot of vendors charging the fee. And although it says debit cards are exempt, the video makes a distinction of a PIN transaction. So if I run my debit card as credit, I’m subject to the surcharge?

We had 3 dogs at one point

with one being very aggressive (she eventually was put down for her aggression) one was very submissive and the other being the annoying toddler-like dog that would constantly vie for authority….you would constantly have to put her in place…of course, she would just slap the ground with her front paws, rump in the air, and bark rather cheekily at you! Due a child with severe dog allergies (and severe food allergies) we rehomed her with a fabulous lady. It is amazing how the dynamic changes when just *one* of the pack leaves. We have been dog free for a few years now and I do miss them but honestly, with our 7 children (going on 8) and many medical/emotional needs I am not in a hurry to get another, plus the child with many animal allergies would need a very specific breed of dog.

Glad your life is less stressful and the dynamic is getting better!

I hear ya..

and float in and out of that mode repeatedly…what we do, and I am using your things as an example…. start an envelope for the project that stresses you the most…. say the door, exhaust all options of finding the door cheaper… ( habitat, craigslist etc)… and once you finish that, go to the next… people think we are absolutely impoverished I am sure, but hte truth is we have an urgency of being out of debt… and we are very very very close…. I just keep my old couch as clean as I can, find pretty sheets at yardsales… keep the floor clean… and keep on going LOL…. Really, I feel your pain… I do….we live in a highly materialistic gotta have it world…

Just as an FYI, it depends upon the type of hair and the fabric involved

If the dogs have short coats with what I call ‘sticky’ hair, not so much.

If dogs are shedding a lot, then changing their diet is called for, to a better quality kibble or raw or homemade diet.

I’ll never forget I had a friend with a black lab. The poor animal would leave a trail of hair wherever she walked (easy to see on white tile). She was on Science Diet which has sub par ingredients. Once switched to Nutro, the change was nothing short of miraculous.

Blowing coat twice a year is normal. Ongoing hair shedding in large amounts is not.

My crew get a quick whip through with the slicker once a week or when I remember to and I find that takes care of the hair. Luckily everyone but Old Man Quan have correct coats so its not that much of an issue – plus they are on Diamond Naturals which has no soy, corn or wheat.

I know what you mean

At the moment Ben has started blowing coat – he’s got what I fondly call “cotton candy butt” with little tufts sticking up every which way. On the plus side, easy to pluck out and certainly easy to use the slicker brush on. On the down side – he’s a lot of dog! Kiki just grew her coat back in after her season – however, everyone else will be blowing coat within the next month or so.

Jessica told me that the iRoomba Discovery works GREAT on hair. Not so great on dirt, but fabulous on hair so she runs it during the day and then uses her Dyson to pick up the dirt. According to her, the only downside is her cat likes to ride the Roomba

Stress reduction and some goals met

I wanted to share that since I placed both of Ben x Kiki’s pups, my work load at home and stress has decreased exponentially.

Shadow was placed in his new home approx 2 weeks ago – on a purely intellectual level I knew that my stress level, and those of my pack, would be reduced. What I wasn’t counting on was the visceral reaction of my pack to the instigator leaving home.

My ‘boys’ (The Skundi-mon and Ben-Ben) have, within a short amount of time, reverted to their old happy go lucky sunny personalities. Even more fascinating to me, is that they have started rough housing and playing like they used to. Both of my boys are back to being relaxed with no friction between them.

This week I got an email out of the blue and LooLoo will be jetting off to her new home in Washington state on the 15th of this month, so the final pack stressor will be gone. I’m very interested to see what effect her leaving will have on my girls.

*I* won’t have to play musical dog crates, which will leave me with more free time to get other things taken care of, one of which is scrubbing my original 1921 wood floors and putting down a nice layer of beeswax polish which, once buffed, will help provide a moisture barrier against future spills etc.

It also means I can have a decent conversation without having to tell LooLoo to be quiet (she loses self control when she sees Kweeba) – one of my pet peeves is dogs who bark indoors. The rest of my pack are quiet unless there is need to bark.

Maybe I’ll regain some ‘sane’ brain cells just in time for lambing season to begin!

I was also talking with a friend of mine who has Fleur and she also has parrots. She suggested I get The Pet Machine by Austin Air which is an air purifier. She went from dusting every couple of days to dusting once every 5 – 6 weeks (parrots are very dusty birds). Plus she has 7 Belgians so knows all about dirt and hair. The price tag is somewhat steep, however, considering the amount of particles I have in the house being greater than that outside, I think I am going to bite the bullet and purchase it. I believe it is an investment in my ongoing physical health, not to mention my mental health.

My ramblings for today 🙂

First lamb!

Woke up this morning to a lovely little ewe lamb born to Faye and Leifurson.
3 weeks earlier than expected – what a lovely surprise.
Mother and baby are doing just fine after I had some help trimming her fleece so the lamb could find the teats to nurse.
Doing the happy dance over here!

Sorry to hear about your tooth

Yes, that would be an acceptable use for an EF. And then after you refill it(or while), start a medical sinking fund for such emergencies
in the future.


Definitely sounds like an emergency to me! It’s medical and if you don’t take care of it you’ll be at risk for worse problems.
Me, I’d pay and then concentrate on refilling the emergency fund, because that’s simplest.

Murphy struck at my house

So tonight right as I was finished eating dinner, I broke a tooth. One of my molars to be exact. Thankfully I am not in much pain and I do have a few pain killers in the house if needed (I hate taking them but if I need them I’ll take them). I will see the dentist on Monday morning. Won’t be a cheap fix….I am dreading it.

We do have a funded EF. According to DR is this something you use an EF for? My dentist will take payments, they split the bill in three month payments. Which is better?

No vacation

I pick up stuff for baskets and the hunt all year. I have kids DVDs we picked up on clearance $2 each. I have been getting the candy deals such as the free jelly beans from CVS. We also shop after Easter at the 75% and 90% off sales. So with what we have already put away and the candy deals we get off cheap.
One thing we do is Easter brunch in the park with family and all. We get there and set up a hunt and a big brunch meal. The kids hunt for what the bunny left for them there. We eat great food and then play in the park for awhile. No fuss no muss no mess. Dinner we just bake a ham and a few easy sides and have a simple meal. Since we already did the big family thing in the park we do not have to do a big dinner.
I know not everyone can do this because of weather but we live in Southern CA and for as long as I can remember it only rained 1 time so we did it under a shelter at one of the parks.

This last week saw more of the same

decluttering the office, hauling off a large load of dead electronics to recycle at Best Buy (all they are good for in my opinion) and working on repairs around the house.
We got the truck back on Thursday, and immediately returned it to the repair shop. They hadn’t clamped down one of the hoses properly on the new water pump and so all the coolant leaked out quickly. Dh was NOT amused. They of course fixed it immediately with no charge.
We had originally been quoted $2,300 for new water pump, new washer/wiper assembly (both were leaking horribly), 1 ball joint, a general system check up and brake inspection and some other minor repairs. They recommended about $1600 more in work, including the 3 other ball joints, we declined those at that point. Monday they called dh and said if we did the other 3 ball joints right then it would be only $130 right then, but would be much more than that later because they’d have to tear something down again. Dh knew exactly what they were talking about and agreed to it. So we were expecting with parts, tax and everything roughly $2,500-2,600.
The bill, with the extra work, was $2200!! Needless to say I was a happy camper!—well at least once they tightened the clamp on that hose.
Another repair here at home we thought was going to cost us about $100 or maybe more to fix dh managed to fix for free. Again I was happy.
We stayed on budget for everything else. So all in all it was a good week. I just wish I could have put more on our debt snowball. But then I am never truly happy on that until it is all gone.