Welcome to My Chaotic Home!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Menu Plan for the Week of Thanksgiving.

This is a pretty big week for us.  We've invited 11 people plus us 4, so we could have 15 people here.  I know we won't have that many, as one of them is in the hospital, and 2 other invited may just stay there with him.  Three others I've not head back from, but we're pretty solid on 9 people here at least for Thanksgiving dinner.  

In addition to that dinner, we'll also be going to get Rhiannon from College on Tuesday, and we want to cook some of our favorite 17-Day Diet meals for her while she's home.  Last time she was home, we just got take out a lot, so she never really got a good home cooked meal as we were too busy (and we ate poorly then).

So, here's the plan I have listed in my planner for the next week:

Monday, November 24:
Oven Baked Chicken Fajitas
maybe brown rice

Tuesday, November 25 (Rhiannon home):
Sesame Tilapia (Sesame fish recipe in the 17-Day diet book)
Steamed veggies

Wednesday, November 26:
17-Day Diet Chili (with beans for Cycle 2)
potato wedges or mashed potatoes
green beans

Thursday, Thanksgiving: (This is so not 17-day diet friendly, but we'll be okay)
Turkey (got a 22.5 lb one)
ham in the crock pot
Mom's dressing (secret family recipe, but I can tell you, it takes a whole chicken)
crock pot stuffing (thank goodness I have 2 crock pots now)
green beans casserole
canned green beans (some of my kids don't like green bean casserole)
mashed potatoes
baked sweet potatoes with butter (we don't do anything fancy to them, prefer them natural... with butter)
Hawaiian rolls (I don't want to deal with baking rolls and keeping them warm)
Broccoli and cheese (somehow this became a tradition)
Cranberry sauce - jellied and whole
Pig Eaten Cake (a family recipe)
chocolate pies
pumpkin pie and cool whip

Friday, November 28:
Turkey Primavera over spaghetti squash (used the veggie primavera recipe in the 17-Day Diet book)
Steamed veggies

Saturday, November 29:
Greek marinated chicken
brown rice
steamed veggies

Sunday, November 30:
Oven baked chicken fajitas (again since Rhi will be home) - This might change to Chicken parmesan though - not sure.  And if we have a lot of turkey left, it might be turkey parmesan)

Lunches and snacks over the weekend will be leftovers of course. I just hope I can stick to eating smart.  I lost 3 lbs this past week, and do not want to see them come back.

The house is in pretty decent shape.  We just moved around some bookshelves and decluttered a bunch, so it already looks better.  So, while I don't have to stress about that so much, I am kind of frustrated I never seem to find time to write the posts I want to write or make the videos I want to film.  But I'll get it all figured out.  It's just kind of weird because I'm never alone here anymore.  There's always someone home now. We're working on that though heh.

If I don't get a chance to post again before Thursday, y'all have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The job hunt goes on.

My husband did not get the call back they said he'd get afterall. He got one of those don't call us, we'll call you emails.  They found someone else apparently.

So, he continues the job hunt.  He applied for a couple this morning that are new and very close to home and would be great as well, so keeping those fingers crossed he gets another call soon.

We're doing okay on his Unemployment checks and my paychecks, but there is zero wiggle room, and it's more than a little stressful at times. Thankfully I'm staying organized and keeping up with finances. We may be having a bunch of people for Thanksgiving, so we may have to get a little creative there. At least I got a great turkey on sale like super cheap.

I've been pretty sleep deprived lately, so I've not been up to blogging, but I have some great ideas, and will hopefully be posting soon!  I've even considered doing some videos now and then, like room tours and how-tos or a planner set up video or even a Day in the Life video.  Not sure yet.

If anyone's reading this blog still and has any ideas or request for blog posts or videos, let me know in the comments.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Crossing fingers and knocking on wood

Y'all I am so excited and anxious and nervous and happy and all of them rolled together! 

My husband was emailed to fill out a 2 hour long questionnaire thing for one of the jobs he applied for.  Then a day or two later, he received a call in the evening. It was to come in for an interview with one of the largest privately owned companies in the country.  They need a manager for one of their travel centers, and I guess his experience looked good on paper and he did well on the test. 

The interview was this morning, and I drove him to it since it was an hour away and was close to our daughter's college (well closer than we are now anyway heh).  He was in there for half an hour, and then came out feeling positive.  He's supposed to hear from them soon about meeting with a training guy and going through several tasks they have to do, to make sure Hubby really can do the job and really *wants* to do the job.  He stressed it was hard work, and he'll stay busy constantly, but Hubby is used to that from his other job, and he's up for the challenge.  The company has FANTASTIC benefits, and I am so excited. 

Prayers that this is where he needs to be and that it all goes well, so we can stop this waiting period in life and move on with living it!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Update on how we're doing.

Hi again y'all.  I want to thank all of you who commented or emailed and sent encouraging words about my one and only post in October.  It means a lot to me,  thanks again!

So, yeah Christopher was let go from his job.  He'd been laid off from there before due to downsizing.  The first time he worked there for 14 years,  and this time he'd worked there for 7 years.  That's a long time to devote to a company that just kicks you to the curb.  It's a retail store, and we've not been back to shop there since.  Rumors are that it's closing next year anyway, but at least then he would have gotten an severance package.  Still, I try not to be bitter.  in fact,... it may have been one of the best things to ever happen to us... really.

As soon as I found out, after recovering from the shock, my instincts took over, and I immediately sat down and crunched numbers, and found out just how long we could go on just my income.  (Not long). He appealed the decision so even if nothing came of it, there was a record of it.  He was able to get Unemployment due to them never showing just cause for the firing (as there wasn't any).  We knew we had some money in a trust from his grandparents that we were leaving there for an emergency... well the time had come.  He also got out his savings account and 401k (which was unfortunately very measly since we never learned the value of saving for retirement (nor could we afford to for YEARS)).  So, we paid off a lot of the loans and all the cash advances that were leeching away our paychecks every month.  We still have 3 small loans left, but they'll be paid off by the end of the year I believe or first of the new year anyway. 

I completely redid my budget book, and got WAY more organized.  I am now using a planner, and I have it open and use it all the time.  I've been doing it since just before he lost his job, and I am very glad I had it to keep sane and keep organized during all this.  I'll write more about my planner and how it changed my life in another post. :)  I'm also going to do a post on my budget book.  It's nothing fancy, but it has been a HUGE help in staying on track.  There is no more wiggle room with the budget like there was when his big checks were coming in, so making a good budget and sticking to it is paramount.  

If he hadn't lost his job, we'd still be paying on all those loans, renewing cash advances and throwing our money away every month.  I still would be making unreasonable budgets and never sticking to them.  I would probably not have stuck with my planner and given up on being organized  - again.   His Unemployment checks are about half of what he had been bringing home, and of course he no longer has that amazing life insurance we had through his work, so that's kind of scary. There is just not room in the budget for getting more, and we couldn't port over the old one due to the health questionnaire.  He never passes those, not with the stroke last year and the heart attack 7 years ago and chronic stuff like high blood pressure etc. They won't touch him.  So,  I'm just praying all stays good, and then his new job, when he gets one, will have great benefits and he'll have life insurance again. 

As for the job hunt, there are actually quite a few retail management positions out there in our area.  He applied to several, but he has to apply to 3/week, so he tends to spread them out so he can report at least 3 each week to recertify. He heard back from one to do their online test, but haven't heard back since then.  I am going to get him a new crisp white dress shirt and some new dress slacks and he'll start calling and going to places to inquire about his application etc.  But he's got a few weeks yet on his unemployment, so there's no rush.  He can keep looking each week, and the right one will come along.

Until then, he's home all the time of course.  He's been a big help around the house, and he's had his friends over quite often.  He does all the kids' stuff like picking them up after school if they have a club meeting, etc.  He's even mowed the yard when I asked!  Today we were going to reorganize his book shelves in our bedroom, but my back has been really acting up lately. 

Even taking a muscle relaxant last night didn't help.  It started flaring up when I stood over piles of old bills on the bed.  I'd finally emptied out the big green tray where stuff just got tossed into when I didn't want to face it.  Now, it's all being faced, and though we still get calls from collectors now and then,  I find that I already have them budgeted to be paid, which is very cool. So yeah standing over the bed sorting all of those for over an hour was a bad idea for someone with chronic back pain.  I was dumb, I admit.  What's worse, is a couple days ago, I was feeling a little better, so I dragged out 2 milk crates I'd had in my closet or under my bed since before we moved!  We brought them with us!  We've been here almost 6 years.  Crazy.  So I tossed a bunch of stuff and saved the memorabilia, keepsake stuff and put it all in one spot where I can sort it out later into the girls' binders.  Those will be a whole other post too.  But yeah, doing that just made my back ache worse.  So, not reorganizing book shelves today.

 So, even though he's unemployed now, we haven't really "felt" it.  You know?  I still buy groceries and pack the pantry and freezer every two weeks, though there may be less junk food than before (which is good because Christopher is on a new diet - another post!)  and less *extras*.  I don't buy soda anymore, though I do sneak myself a Diet Dr pepper two liter now and then and keep it by my desk.  Don't judge LOL.  I was able to order stuff from the band boosters citrus and cheese sale.  (Zoe's in band this year).  I have even been able to get a few Christmas presents already.  So, yeah, we're doing well (thanks in HUGE part to the family money and 401k he received).  We both pledge never to get into that much debt again.

Oh speaking of debt.  We just passed a huge milestone!  We just passed the $10,000 point on our house lease.  The amount we still owe on the lease-to-own is now a 4 digit number!  This is so exciting!  Can't wait to get it paid off!

Well, I hope this wasn't too rambly.  Y'all have an awesome week, and I'll be back with posts about my budget binder and how I organize all of that,  my daily planner, my wallet planner, my holiday planner, a junk journal I made, and the diet Christoper is on.. plus more I am sure! 

The coolest gift for a Whovian!

Sorry I've been MIA lately.  I will catch you all up, I promise.

I didn't make this project myself, even better... it was made by a dear friend and given to me!  As a SURPRISE!  Yesterday, my good friend, Kristen, gave me the coolest, sweetest gift!  She found the idea online and decided to try it out and made one for me!  It's an upcycled old jewelry box and she turned it into a TARDIS!! I LOVE IT!

She even put pictures of River Song and Eleven on it. And the little light on top!

I keep it right on my desk next to me, and it holds my colored pens and planner accessories like page flags, paper clips, white out, scissors, etc

Under the lid I keep actual jewelry too!  Anything I would normally take off and set on my monitor stand, now I have an actual place to put it!

I just wanted to get this posted because I am so excited about it.

I'll be back soon with a catch up post, and I have some great ideas for other posts.

Hope y'all are doing well!

See you soon!


I am linking up to Amanda's site,  Serenity Now.

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