Tonight I am testing out the new blogger interface. It's not too bad. It is clean. Almost too clean. Not very colorful and pretty plain, but I don't think that's a serious problem. I can't say that it makes me "happy" to look at, but I guess that's not everything.
We had a great day yesterday, carving pumpkins and eating delicious food. I have two more pumpkins to carve, and there is a slim chance that I might do that tonight... however I know that PanAm is on tonight and it looks like the kids will still be awake, which makes it next to impossible to actually watch a TV show based on the fact that you can't hear yourself think. It's been pretty quiet this evening as it is, with a fairly late nap and everyone doing their own thing with the TV's all off, which makes me happy. Ardyn is playing her DS, but Marek has been playing with toys, and I loaded the dishwasher and lit the Jack-O-Lanterns while Evan went on an emergency toilet paper run.
Today I was in charge of fellowship at church, and Evan woke up sick in the early morning hours so I had to get both kids ready and take them with me while doing fellowship, which I really try to never do. We hightailed it to Sullivan's for some after-church goodies, and their bakery selection did NOT let us down. Everything that we took (something like 5-6 dozen treats) was cleared out quickly. But the issue I had at Sullivan's this morning, besides having to take both kids in during a brief downpour, was the fact that they have now decided to put a stand in the checkout line that includes MANY toys. How annoying was that? Incredibly. It was a constant "I want this", "Can we buy this?" and "Can I take this home?" that just did not quit. It was one toy after the other and they were so distracted and overwhelmed that it took twice as long to checkout our 6 items and get them paid for and out the door. What should have been a 15 minute trip (8 minutes with no kids involved) took us TWENTY-THREE MINUTES and then we were running in the door at church just as it was about to start. Oy. No matter how far in advance I plan for fellowship, it always ends up being stressful on me, because there is always some child-related situation that comes up.
This time, however, I did manage to keep the kids in the kitchen with me while serving and replenishing food and coffee, because some miraculous idea told me to buy a package of juice boxes to keep in the church fridge to keep my two occupied and nearby, and I sat them on the kitchen floor with their napkins, treats, and juiceboxes. I did make two observations... one being that keeping them in the kitchen made a world of difference. I knew where they were, they weren't trying to leave the church and go outside parentless, and they sat there and had their snacks while I served. Problem being, keeping the two doors to the kitchen shut and them inside. I realized at that moment that the only garbage for napkins and such was located IN the kitchen (which I quickly remedied) and that all the people are very helpful and return their dirty glasses and mugs to the kitchen sink so that I can wash them afterwards, which means the door is constantly opening and not as often closing as opening. But Paul came in and played with the kids for a bit and they were excited to see him, and then Becky came and took them out with her to play until I was just about completely finished with cleanup. THAT was a blessing for sure. And it was so cute because Becky came back and said "Um, Ardyn is in the bathroom and she said she has to poop!" and I thanked her and went to do my mom duties. Isn't timing everything?
Sharon was so helpful and stayed to dry and put away glasses for me, which cut down on my cleanup time immensely.
Then we came home and made lunch and watched a Harry Potter Movie and then we had a nice nap. The day really flew by.
This week I would really like to get to JoAnn Fabric, but I just don't think I will be able to afford to. I need a few SMALL cuts of cotton with some lycra to use as underwear wasitbands. I have several 40-50% off coupons, but I just don't think even that is going to make it affordable right now. In addition to Class Picutres being this week, we have all the usual expenses and they are always so overwhelming.
I have gotten into the habit of taking the things out of the paycheck right up front that I anticipate we will need that week, and then the rest goes in to pay bills. Oy. Problem is by the time I put gas in the van and grab enough cash to cover what I know I will have to pay for, I already am like $100-$150 less on the amount I deposit, which never bodes well. Expenses are just overwhelming! Unfortunately it wouldn't be any better if I were working, because daycare costs are through the roof. It doesn't pay to work but one income is also stressful.
It seems like every single week someone is selling something. I have been doing really good at saying no, but sometimes I think that people think I am lying when I tell them I just can't right now. Sometimes I ask them what type of profit their organization is actually getting, and when they say 10% I often say "So I could spend $20 for something I don't need, or I could just donate $2 to your organization, right?" That is so frustrating. I can donate and get a tax deduction at least. I really hate "selling" fundraisers. I'd rather have a chance at a 50-50 raffle or something like a gift certificate than to buy crap I don't need or overpriced food we don't eat. Especially on a tight budget. Right now I had to tell a friend from Gateway that I couldn't buy a fresh wreath from him. I feel horrible. I know how excited he gets with each sale, but spending $30 on something that will die when I have TONS (too many already from years of accumulation) of artificial wreaths already... it just is not something I can justify. especially when our spluges as of late have come in the way of Violin Lessons, Tickets for Dance recital, and one pair of jeans that actually fit me, which I do not regret yet.
This reminds me I have to get chicken feed, (which isn't expensive at all in the sceme of things, and with egg prices) but I think I neglected to budget for that out of the last paycheck and now I hope I have enough to last the rest of the week for the ladies. Gonna need bunny food too!
We recently did the photos for the MOPS Fundraiser that sold Antiquities Photo Shoots with a FREE Storyboard for $10. It was a great deal, but I know that when we go back in the beginning of November there will be other cute pics to choose from, and that there is a chance I will want one. The reason I know it will be hard to resist? Marek in a tiny tuxedo and top hat. Oy. He is the most handsome boy EVER. And he SMILED so well! Oh did he smile! I am thinking I wish I had a little tux to take my own photos, but then I am remembering that he will be in Darrel and Leslea's wedding in May, although I am not sure if that means a Tux in his future. I had wanted to get some family photos done for this fall/winter to give to grandparents for Christmas, and because we haven't had them done in over two years... but I am not sure HOW in the world I am going to pull off that cost. Luckily my photographer friend who is uber-amazingly-talented has a great deal for a mini-shoot package... but I have nothing for us to wear, and by the time you add in clothes and also the package, Ouch. Not practical when I am struggling to just make basic ends meet. Thank GOD for layaway this year, although even that has me stressed out a bit. I wish Farm and Fleet's Toyland had layaway, but I am glad that TSC does.
This afternoon while the kids were watching their movie I entered things into my MobileMe Calendar, which I hadn't really been using as of yet, and I really liked the options for reoccurring events... however I instantly discovered the limitation that I can't print any of the calendars, which is frustrating because Evan doesn't have an iPhone so I can't send him our calendar. And no, I am not using Cozi, because he doesn't even have a smart phone so he isn't going to use any of it. I just wanted to print it out so he could see it but I just can't. Grrr. That's a serious limitation. I can print a screenshot, but if there are several things on one day, you can't see them all that way. You can actually only see like the first Six letters of each event and the start time. ANNOYING.
This morning Ardyn asked me if we could get the church choir to sing "livin on a prayer" by Bon Jovi (which was on the radio on the way to church) and then right after that was "Highway to Hell" Which she didn't comment on. :)
Well, our pizza in nearly done. If you haven't tried the Great value self rising pizzas, they are delicious and actually taste BETTER than a Digorno. Amazing. We love them here.
My son is dismantling a battery powered candle. Grand. Goodnight.