5 years old

My oldest turned 5 earlier this month. Time seems to be flying by and I am not ready for what is to come. The positive of it, I get to watch him learn and grow.

I know life will be an adventure with three boys and a trucking husband but in the end I know it will be worth it when my boys are free to pursue their passions and explore the world.

 

Downside of him turning 5, is that I have done very little in terms of prepping. Especially with trying to buy a house so it may be put on hold until it goes through. A little is better than nothing though. I did manage to buy a few cases of water though I will rotate it out since I do have concerns about storing in plastic for too long.

Tax Season!

That wonderful time of year, we get to count up all our income and subtract our deductions to *hopefully* get our hard earned money back from the government that we let them take so willingly from our paychecks. I am just waiting on one W-2 before I can file. Fortunately the rest of the forms I have needed were mailed out earlier than January 31st. I don’t have anything spectacular or out f the ordinary to claim, I don’t own a house and no longer run a business so my taxes are pretty straight forward this year. I know that will change in the future if my husband decides to purchase a truck (big rig) as that will come with a lot of expenses and more detailed things than I am knowledgeable on to do taxes.

How do you file taxes? Accountant, pop-up stand in Wal-Mart, dedicated business, or online/paper on your own? I usually use TurboTax online as it seems to do the best job at getting the deductions I qualify for.

How Do You Prep?

How many of you actively prep for a SHTF situation? How many have thought a little bit about it and have some supplies that might get you through a week? Who hasn’t done anything at all to prepare if something happens to ruin the current economy?

We have camping supplies and a 72 hour freeze dried meal kit but that is about as far as we have gone with prepping. With recent news that the stock market may completely shut down, I am thinking I need to do a bit more in terms of preparing my family for the worst. So I decided instead of my normal grocery shopping this week, I was only going to spend half on groceries and rely more on what was in my cupboards so I could use the rest to start buying some things to store. I spend about $100 a week on groceries, so I limited that to $50. I admit I do tend to have plenty stocked and could last longer than a week between trips but I choose not to because I like variety:)

 

This is what I bought on this trip.

Dollar Tree

2 packs  emergency candles (54 hours total)

10 match boxes (320 total matches)

2 sterno cans (off brand)

can opener

Sam’s Club

12 cans (case) corn

12 cans (case)  green beans

12 cans (case) condensed chicken soup

 Walmart

5lbs rice

5 gallon water jug

So I know it isn’t that much but I spent a total of $50 on it and it will at least last us a few days more than what we have in the house. I am planning on buying more each week I go shopping and planning my grocery shopping different to hopefully get on a monthly rotation of supplies that I just restock  as they are used.

I know I need to plan for my kids and my animals as well so that will be something I do on future trips. Food and supplies for the dog, food for the fish (though they probably will end up getting the short end of the stick if we have to bug out), things for the kids to keep them entertained in a time of crisis, as well as things for my husband and myself since we will need something to keep sane.

Future supplies , other than food & water, I’m thinking of: small bottles of propane (lantern and stove), paper goods, foil, diapers, baby wipes, hand sanitizer (wipes and gel), soap, small tool kit, blankets, books, and writing tools. I know we would have to plan for the bare minimum to bug out but anything that could help last in our home and keep the kids safe before that point, the better.

I definitely want to try for more healthier options but I don’t have the ability to can my own food so I will plan with what I am able to since any food will be worth having when there is none left in the stores.

What are you doing to prep? What about having healthy options for your family in a time of crisis? Share in the comments!

The End of Another Year

Another year is gone, with all of the ups and downs it brought.  Here is to a better 2016!

My recap of 2015

-I failed my squat challenge.  I completed 18 days out of 30, so better than my first attempt that I did a week.  Third times the charm?

 

-We are finally recovering financially from my husband’s accident this summer.  One income makes things stressful at times but it brought us to a much better place now. 

 

– I am sticking to my homemade toothpaste and it is slowing remineralizing two holes in my molars as well as removing built up plaque.

 

-I have made it through a year of being a mom of 3, with one minor urgent care trip that in reality didn’t even need to happen.  Better safe than sorry! 

 

So the bad with the good. I am not ready for the new year because it means my oldest son will be turning 5. Something I am not ready for, then again I am not ready for any new milestone that my boy’s conquer. Here is to putting the past behind you and embarking on the adventure of 2016!

 

A better Me

I have been starting to make changes in my life again to be healthier. I have been a bit lazy in recent times with everything going on so it is time to get back to it. First, I have a homemade toothpast. I did research and came up with my own mixture that has actually been remineralizing my teeth and minor cavities I had, as well as decrease the sensitivity. Not to mention it has whitened them from the commercial whitening paste I had been using for months. I can’t promise it works for everyone but it did work for me. Mine is a mix of coconut oil,baking soda, ground cloves, salt, powdered egg shell(heard it was the best way to get calcium over using a powder form), and a few drops of tea tree and peppermint essential oils. I just sort of blended everything together so I dont have exact measurements, I did fill up a small baby food jar with it.  I am going to see what happens after a month but I think I will need to get the rest of my family on board with it if it really does heal my cavities. 2 are noticeably healing(small holes and one was pretty deep), and I had dark sticky spots on two molars that are getting lighter as well. I wish I took pictures but i was too skeptical to believe it!

Second, I have been doing a 30 Day Ab and Squat Challenge.  I am on Day 14 and still going strong. My last challenge I failed after the first week. I have noticed some changes at this point and am feeling better about myself already.  It is an easy way to get into a routine and starts out easy for those who are out of shape like myself.

Next will be getting back to no-poo since I have stopped when my baby was born a year ago. I definitely notice the difference since my hair is a lot more frizzy as well as dandruff coming back.

Starting January I am going to attempt a 30 Day Whole Food challenge as well as another workout challenge.  I have a lot I want to do, I just need to keep my mind on it to follow through!

 

Unschooling

Such a taboo topic. Education in a form not in a classroom, or even a curriculum. Letting the child choose what they want to do and learn. While I went through public school myself, I had a hard time. I didn’t like learning or sitting in the classroom. I wanted to read. All day, every day. Just anything my heart desired.  Sitting in a class made that hard and I would get in trouble for it. I hated reading anything that was assigned, and most of the time never did more than skim through and look online about the book. I don’t want that for my kids. I want them to love learning and enjoy every aspect. To reach out and fulfill their goals, what ever it may be.

My oldest is 4, he is fascinated with calculators right now and learning basic math. All because he wants to learn. He learned his letters and colors because I had posters and he was always asking what something was. My 3 year old is more into his toys right now than learning things his brother is and that is just fine too. He is learning how to make things balance, how steep a hill he needs for cars to race down, or just creating a story for his stuffed animals. They both like to play video games and watch tv. They crawl into bed with me as they need to fulfill their desire to be close, they tell me when they want to eat, still working on getting them to recognize they are tired but it will come with time. Watching them play is beautiful because they are learning.

For now it is something we are trying to fully get into as our lifestyle, not just for education but time will dictate if we need something else for our family. So far this is working out and all we need 🙂

Birthday Week

My birthday was yesterday. Happy birthday to me:/ Another year old, another year wiser, and three kids and two dogs later… Husband was home for 3 days so we did 3 days of celebrating and going out to dinner. We enjoyed our time together since the last time he was home it was only for a day. He has been gone since the middle of August. So it was a nice change to go out and spend time as a family, and have a date with no kids. Our babysitter is amazing to say the least.

All the same, it also means I have been eating like crap since the hubby has been home. I need to get back into the swing of things and eating healthier. My favorite lately is Tuna Burgers. I found this great recipe online and need to find it again to share. Basically it is 2 cans of tuna in water (drained), italian seasoned breadcrumbs, 1 egg, salt, pepper, grated carrot. Mix it together and cook in a pan. I eat it with a little mayo and mustard, no bun. It is amazing. Once I figure out what site the recipe is on, I will share it.

2 months in to being a Trucker Wife

I finally got to see my amazing husband this past weekend, after he had been gone for 7 weeks. Negative aspect to him coming home though was that on his way through our city with his load, he hit a buck. Well the buck completely ripped out the left head light and did quite a bit of damage to the bumper and fenders. So hubby stayed here longer than planned and had to get his loads changed for someone else to pick up. Then I had to drive him about 2 hours away to get a new cab so he could get back to working. It was a great time together though. Then we got great news today that they accepted him onto a dedicated fleet so he will get home most weekends and most nights! Just when I am getting used to running the house alone:p

It is hard though running the house with three boys all under 5 and two dogs. I get to do all the grocery shopping, running my oldest to soccer practice and games, trying to get to meetings with our homeschool group, making sure all the bills are paid, walking the dogs at least 4 times a day,  plus anything else that comes up. It is a lot of work to say the least and I have gotten so overwhelmed on more than one occasion. I wish I was still near my family but I don’t miss the high rent where they live!

OTR (over the road) trucking isn’t a career for everyone. I know my hubby loves being in a new place every day so I support him and run everything at home. A trucker may be strong, but his wife has to be even stronger!

Earning extra cash while shopping!

Saving money is on most people’s minds. Especially families with one parent who stays home. I use a few different apps to get cash back for grocery shopping. Yes that’s right, I got shoping, upload my receipt and check off a few items. Then get cash back!

My top earning app so far has been Ibotta. It covers a wide amount of retailers and products. You can download it at ibotta.com , this one I get cash to my PayPal or you can get a gift card. If you use my link to join, it helps us both out as we can get bonuses for  being on a team and redeeming a certain amount of products each month!

Checkout51 is another one I use, which I haven’t been as successful with. Even $0.25 back of each shopping trip can add up though! Even more if you buy more of the products that are offered (which isn’t a wide variety). When you reach $20 you can get a check.

Receipt Hog is simple, just upload your receipt after shopping and you will earn tokens or spins depending on the retailer. You can download that at receipthog.com and add my referral code bruft686 , we will both get extra spins when you do! This app you can get PayPal cash or Amazon gift cards.

The most recent one I have started using is Snap by Groupon. I haven’t found many good offers yet but as I said before, any cash back adds up! You can download the app here Snap by Groupon This app you have to reach $20 before you can cash out and you will receive a check as well.

Just a few ways to earn some cash back from your shopping, no matter how small of an amount. If you take the time to plan your shopping, check your apps for available products and remember to input the details after you get home then it will add up fast!

Disclaimer: The above apps posted are with referral links that do give me credit for joining. Some apps do give you a bonus when you use my link. Others will give us both bonuses overtime as we reach certain levels as a team. They cost nothing to you for using the link.

One Year Later…

So it is about a year since my youngest child was born. After his birth I was 157lbs, now I am down to 133lbs. Over the course of a year I haven’t done a whole lot to actualy encourage weight loss. I tried a while ago to get my butt into gear by getting a game and playing it every day but that didn’t last long. So I just started tracking what I eat using an app on my phone called MyFitnessPal. I also use an app called Nextrack (used to be Nexercise) for when I do exercise since I earn points to get gift cards when I do. The other night I downloaded an app called Pacer. It is an pedometer that uses my phone. Not 100% accurate but at least it gives and idea of how much I move during the day, providing my phone is on my body. The best part is Pacer connects to MyFitnessPal so it records calories burned from walking to add into my totals for the day.

I know I still have a ways to go as I am currently 133lbs and want to get down to 120lbs since that is where I am comfortable at with my body However I have made progress over the last year, even if it averaged out to 2lbs a month.

Excuse the dirty mirror, at least you know I am a real person 🙂
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