Wednesday, August 19, 2009

my stuff

I've been thinking a lot about what life will be like when we live in our own place here in NJ. Will I miss my sister's house?
Ben and I went to the garage yesterday and reorganized it. We were able to move everything so that there was actually empty space in there for things that had been left outside (i.e. the lawn mower, bikes, etc.). We had to look through boxes, too, so we could get things out that we needed. We mostly got clothes and toys. I also found a big box full of brand new cleaners and also a plastic tub full of toilet paper. :-) Of course you know I paid barely anything for all of those things. When we finally got the garage the way we wanted it and brought everything inside that was coming in I looked through the things that we've been using and packed some of it up to take out to the garage. So I swapped some boxes, basically. But now we have a lot more things that we wanted to use.

As I stood outside on the lawn looking into the garage I realized how "poor" I felt. I dunno, its weird. It's just so bizarre knowing that most of what you own (including irreplaceable things) is right there, in front of you. That's all we own. Everything. We have some things inside, but the vast majority is right there. It just seemed like it should be more, I guess.
I thought about how we are living right now. We only have bare essentials. Most of those essentials belong to my sister, too; they're not even ours. Why? Because they're all still packed. lol
This experience has really taught me to live with less. Its ok to live with less. Its ok not to have a lot of things. Actually, its kinda nice. Its made me evaluate the things that truly make me happy. And stuff really isn't one of those things.

But I do have to say that it will be AWESOME to be able to use all my stuff again.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

::Insert witty title here::

I REALLY need to get pictures sorry people...I promise 'll get it done soon.

Its still a little surreal that we're living in Jersey. For me, anyway. We have adjusted really well, I think. We have our routines down and we have settled in fairly quickly. We have callings at church and we enjoy them. We like our ward, and we especially like how close the church is to our home. We've made some really great friends who seem to like us just as much as we like them (but that may be because they also had no friends before we got here. So we're lucky for that, because if they had more to choose from we probably wouldn't be their and Benny also has great new buddies to play with.

We're getting familiarized with the area-Ben much more than I, because he's good like that and I'm not. :-P We have preferences for what stores we shop and when we shop. This week we had some checks to deposit to the bank (guess what bank we bank with) and Ben didn't have time to do it before he left for work, so I thought I'd venture out with the boys to deposit them. I printed walking directions on google maps and even with that I got lost once. LOL And it was only like 6 blocks away. I went the wrong direction from the house, but I quickly realized it and turned around. We have a beautiful neighborhood. I really need to take pictures to show you all. I then went to the library, which is closer to the house than the bank. Its a cute little branch that mostly has children's books, which was cool. They have a baby story hour which every librarian in the place told me about and seemed excited that they would have another baby coming (as if I had signed a contract saying I would definitely be It was a great walk. I loved it. Benny slept most of the way, and Ezra slobbered all over his

I didn't think I would like it here (the town) as much as I do! I hope that we can find a house in our budget here(as soon as we no longer have the Lafayette mortgage). I think we will.

Patience and Faith...
Trials in these categories never seem to cease....hehehehe

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Aimless Post

Would you believe I looked up a synonym for "random?" I didn't want to use it again in my

The corner of my eye my tear duct, sorta. :-( Not cool.

Its hecka hot again today. Despite this fact, I still would like to go on another walk today. We'll see if that happens. I still have some laundry to finish.

I've been thinking a lot about church and about some changes that are coming. I'm excited to get to work on the nursery rooms, too!

We are having a family rent our house for a month. I hope that they can recommend it to someone else they know that might be going out there. Another little funny fact about them-the house that they are moving into (that won't be ready when they get there, hence our house being rented) is on the same street as my sister and brother-in-law, the Drakes.

I really enjoy getting mail. Even if its junk mail. teehee

I think that Maplewood is really snobby. To the point where its sometimes ridiculous how snooty these people are. But I secretly love it!!!

I have an awesome coupon for $15 off my next shopping order at the grocery store. We forgot to use it last week, so I'm excited to use it this week.

Even though we're trying not to buy junk food there is still junk food in the house. Paul really likes soda and REALLY LOVES oreos. Ugh...the temptation is so bad. We share all our food, so since I know its OK for me to have some, I do... How terrible! But I'm cutting back. And its helping with my self discipline.

We got a booklet in the mail yesterday for adult classes for our town and a neighboring town. Some of them sound so fun! There's a knitting class, a cooking class, fitness classes, painting classes, foreign languages, glass blowing, dancing classes....the list goes on. I would really like to take one. Some of them are really expensive (for my budget, anyway) others aren't so bad. I think it would be really fun to take one! We'll see...

I know we don't have any sort of prospect for moving out of my sister's house any time soon, but I've been thinking about what that will be like. Its exciting to think that "someday" I can use my own dishes, pots & pans, TVs, towels, picture frames, furniture, closets, fridge, etc. and its also exciting to think that I will be able to decorate my home (you all know that I live for that) and to get to do all these things that I'm sure all of you take for granted. :-) But I can't shake the feeling that I think it will be very sad to move out. We're a family now (I mean, we were family to begin with, but its different now). We have dinner together, we make plans together, we share times that were only shared when we would come to visit and we'd stay here. I hope that they feel glad that we're here. I know that for me, its very bitter sweet.

Enough rambling! I've got stuff to do! :-)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Shopping. Saving. Cutting. Money. Goals.

I am still shocked at how expensive things are here in Jersey. A lot of things are comparable, but a lot are also a lot more than they are in Indiana. I am still doing my couponing, which is saving us money every time we shop. But honestly, it's still not saving us as much money. Perhaps this expectation, of spending close to the same amount of money on groceries was naive of me. Perhaps I'm just crazy and thought we could be spending similarly, considering the fact that there are Walmarts and Targets here.
We only have a Walmart, no SuperWalmart. We also don't have any Super Targets. The prices at these two stores are pretty much the same as they are in Indiana, but they don't carry all of the things that we normally would buy there. Walmart is a little inconvenient to get to and its also kinda ghetto, so we only go there about once every 2 or 3 weeks. Only when we've run out of something that we can get there for a good price. Target is much closer and MUCH nicer. There is a new one that opened just a couple of miles away and we really enjoy shopping there.
As far as grocery stores go I shop the sales! (of course, right? lol) I have a couple of stores that I regularly keep track of their sales and they are close together, so we can stop at both during the same trip. Coupons are doubled up to 99cents, so that's a great deal! But coupons are worth less here. The paper will have a coupon for something like 20cents off a package of wipes, whereas in IN I know the coupon would be for 30 or maybe even 50cents off.
We're doing pretty well, though, with grocery shopping. We only go to the store once a week, as opposed to several trips per week to wallyworld when we lived in IN. We've started cutting out junk food (which is pretty expensive here) and getting more fruits and veggies. I was looking at some receipts and we've spent close to $50 on junk food for the last month (chips, cookies, candy) so we decided we need to cut those things out, because we really don't need them. They're kinda just sitting there in the cupboards. We also don't eat out at all. Ben has lost 5lbs.! We're maintaining about $100-$115 a week for groceries (including junk food). So imagine how much more we could be saving if we got rid of the junk! We can do it!
My goal is to cut out more off our grocery bill. Thus far, I have been saving between 40 to 50% off my total bill. I want to increase it and I think I can. I just need to familiarize myself a little bit more with stores and sales here. I also think we're gonna split a membership to Costco with my sister (she needs to renew hers).
What's your take on my shopping drama?

Monday, August 3, 2009

Don't cry over spilt milk

Benny has this fascination for spitting liquids out of his mouth. As it turns out, its usually milk. On good days it'll be water. There is a part of the dining room floor that I can assure you is always clean. Why? Because I clean it up practically every day and sometimes twice a day.

After he spits the milk onto his tray he then swishes it around with his hands and makes it splash all over the floor and sometimes even the wall. It usually lands on the coffee table in the living room, too.

After I finished my last post I went downstairs to get him out of his chair. I looked at him and was so pleased that he had finished his food and hadn't made a mess. He didn't even have milk dribble over his shirt! I was proud of him at that moment. I walked to the kitchen to get a washcloth to clean him up (he had had yogurt and that was a bit messy on his face). All I did was grab the washcloth, rinse it in warm water and walk back into the living room and there was milk EVERYWHERE!

I'm so frustrated with this. It happens so often. It even happens if we're in the room with him. He calls it spit-up...I think he might do it because he sees Ezra spit up his milk and we don't say anything to Ezra. I don't know, though. Maybe he's just a little
I don't know how to stop this behavior. We go over it time and time again. We explain that we don't spit and it just doesn't seem to work.

Today however, I tried something different. I immediately took him out of his chair and stood him in front of the stairs for a time-out while I cleaned up the milk. I then gave him the rag and told him to go clean up his mess (after I had done most of it). He sat there on the floor in just his diaper and scrubbed a few times. Poor little guy, I wanted to pick him up and tell him that I would always clean up his'm such a softy. But I didn't! I moved him over to the middle of the "mess" and told him to clean it up some more there, too. At that point he looked up at me and smiled; it seemed he was starting to enjoy it. lol So I ended it there, because this wasn't going to turn into a game.

I hope this tactic will work. Maybe if he participates in the consequences he won't want to do it anymore.

Any insights?