This Is Me

Jessie Bee
I am a seeker of God, a help-meet to my husband and a mother to my 3 children. I love hot lattes, good books, cold weather and anything that inspires me to be creative. I desire simplicity and authenticity, but often have to remind myself to seek those .
View my complete profile
Powered by Blogger.

My Friends:

Monday, March 26, 2012

My new look

To those who visit my blog regularly:  yes, the look has changed several times.  I liked it, didn't save it, clicked the wrong button, then lost it.

I had to make do with a basic look until I had time to sit and fix it.  It's fixed and I like it again.  Sorry if you don't, but not really.

To those who didn't even notice the multiple changes:  you should visit more often.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

I'm Diseased.

I have an ugly disease that flared up today.  I've always had issues with it, but today it was on track to get exceedingly awful.  Then amidst trying to clean my room through tears, I was cured.  For today, anyway.  My disease isn't rare, but it is ugly and can sometimes be contagious.  And today it nearly took me down.

It's called ungratefulness.  

My husband owns a business and by now we thought it would have grown more.  It's stupid stuff that's preventing growth -- something my husband can't exactly control.  But because we've been working towards an adoption, we just sort of assumed things would fall into place...right?  Apparently wrong.  At least, that's how my brain was computing it yesterday.  Then while stumbling around my room and wiping snot from my face, it occurred to me:  I'm blessed.  And not just blessed, I'm spoiled.  I was so focused on what I thought I should have instead of being focused on what I am so richly surrounded with.

I have a hard-working, super-patient husband.  I have three wildly lovely children.  I have some of the most amazing friends a girl could ask for.  I have health insurance.  Yes, as weird as that sounds, I'm very aware of what a blessing that is and am thankful for it.  I have a house full of stuff.  Well, that's actually why I was stumbling around my room.  I have too much stuff and am trying to box a bunch of it up to get rid of.  Then tonight I sat down at my computer to respond to emails I get through my participation with Global Media Outreach.  They are emails from people trying to figure out who God is, or just want prayer, and they come from all over the world.  This particular email came from a young lady in Kenya who asked me to pray that God would bring back the love that once existed between her parents, and let me know she has cried to God countless times to open the door to college so she can get a good paying job and bring her parents out of poverty.  And I was bummed because Stuart's business isn't growing as fast as I hoped.  

What an idiot I can be sometimes.  Unlike most diseases, I bring this one on myself.  I lose sight of what I have and then the symptoms set in.  But today I caught myself and was able to turn my whining into thanksgiving...and it's not even November!  Best part is that the ungratefulness disease is cured as quickly as that.  At least for today.

So tell me, what are YOU thankful for?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Disneyland reprise, and my sister is a genius.

We went back to Disneyland last week.

Oh wait.  Back-track to our previous trip.  I have to show you this picture, when my mom offered my daughter an apple and she readily accepted.

Not quite sure what I think about that.

Back to the topic at hand: my Disneyland reprise.  During our last visit to Disneyland we ate lunch at the Troubadour Tavern, which sells baked potatoes and Bratwurst.  I ordered the brats, which came on a pretzel roll and was topped with sauerkraut.

It. was. delicious.  Sooo delicious that I had to replicate it a few nights later. 

Did anyone else know that Trader Joe's sells brats??  I sure didn't.
They also sell the pretzel rolls, but I already knew that.  =)

I already had the sauerkraut on hand.  Why are sauerkraut jars so stinkin' difficult to open?  Here is my husband taking his attempt at it.  Even as strong as he is (*swoon*), he couldn't manage.  So I got clever and pulled out the bottle opener.

Here is an awful picture of the yummy results, complete with blueberries and sweet potato chips (though I suppose you can't see the chips):


The next night my husband was gone all night coaching basketball games.  When he's out of the house, dinner is absolutely simple.  I'm talking oatmeal, yogurt and toast, or oatmeal.  

Or pizza.  Because my sister is a genius.  

To give myself credit, I've made the kids pizza out of naan before.  But it was just that - kids pizza.  
Pizza sauce, cheese and pineapple (yes, we are that family with the pineapple).

Then my sister called me one night and introduced me to... [drum-roll please] ....grown-up pizza.  
Forget the pizza sauce; this was naan* dribbled with olive oil, kalamata olives, sun-dried tomato goodness and goat cheese.

*Trader Joe's sells a 4-pack of frozen naan for $2.  That's 50 cents a piece, and each piece is the perfect size for a personal pizza.  

While the kids prepped their own pizza...

...I created mine.  I was so overcome with it that I nearly forgot to take a picture.  
(Yes, that is a big ol' bite taken out of the bottom.)

And there you have it.  That is how our family filled our tummies last week.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

On Sinking Funds...

As I was standing in the checkout line at Costco this morning, I overheard the cashier behind me telling a lady that her annual membership fee was due, and that she was simply going to add it to the total.  I was honestly surprised when the lady, who was wearing designer jeans and looked pretty well off, told the cashier that she didn't have enough to pay for the renewal fee.

I don't intend to judge.  I know the economy is not doing so well and people are struggling.  And we've been in a similar position (although, instead of being honest and saying I couldn't afford both, I just put it on the credit card like it wasn't a problem).  However, I started doing something last year that has totally changed the way I handle our family's finances.  

It's called the "sinking fund."  

A sinking fund is essentially a pool of money that continues to grow until some or all of it is needed.  Every year I know there are certain bills that I need to pay.  These include Costco membership, car registration, school tuition, insurance premiums, etc.  I also know my car is going to need regular maintenance and we're going to need to visit the doctor and dentist.  And since I know we're not going to get an extra paycheck when these bills are due, I've started planning for the expenses with the paychecks we currently receive.  

It's a simple concept, really.  To start, I divide each annual bill by 12 - this tells me what needs to be put aside each month in order to have the full amount ready when needed.  For our Costco membership, it's $9.  For our car registration, it's $17.  Once I've figured out each category, I total all the amounts up ($9+$17+...) and transfer the lump sum into my savings account.  Why transfer it into my savings account? Because in my head this money has been "spent" so I don't want to see it hanging around in my checking account.  I use a budgeting program to keep track of how much money accumulates in each category (but even a notebook can do that), and when the time comes to pay each specific bill, I transfer it back into my checking account and pay it off.  

For the expenses that aren't annual, such as doctors and car repairs, the account just continually builds (or sinks) and we just pull from it as expenses come up.  For instance, when we had to complete the five physicals (one per family member) for our adoption, it was nice to have the money ready to go rather than not be prepared.  

I know budgeting gets complicated and frustrating, but I feel like implementing just this one small change has made the biggest difference in our ability to be financially prepared.  

Anyone else do this?  Thoughts?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Blog Design by Delicious Design Studio