Thursday, May 21, 2015

Hardcore Budget Gal

I've already talked about how changing to the cash system (and actually following it) has freed me.  It has.  It really has.  But for the first time since we started, I hit a bump in the road.

Basically we had a little too much fun the first week, and forgot that the money could actually run out. Whoops!

I was basically out of money, and I still had 5 days left until the next budget cycle .  Ok...not a big deal...I always have food that I can stretch out (beans, potatoes and rice alone will last five days) But then I was my snack week at the Montessori school!  Every 8 weeks I am responsible for providing a healthy/organic snack for 8.  WHY DID IT HAVE TO BE THIS WEEK!?!

Normally I would pick up some brown rice cakes and a bag of organic oranges, or something similar...but here in Alaska that's $10...and I need 3 days worth of snacks!!  AND I HAVE $4!!

This is a very new thing for me.  If you don't have the cash, just put it on the credit card...right?

(You can see why we had to switch to a cash system)

Not this time.
I don't do that anymore.

So I took a hard look around me...I had bananas going bad, and plenty of whole wheat, white and quinoa flours.  In the end, with a little creativity, I made 3 days of snacks for 8 kids with NO extra cost to me.

Day 1: Banana Bread with walnuts and sliced strawberries.  (fruit goes a lot further when sliced!)
Day 2: Chocolate Quinioa Banana Bread with carob chips and sliced apples (again, 4 apples for 8 kids when sliced!)
Day 3: Loaf of whole wheat bread, sliced pepperjack cheese and sliced apples (only 3 apples left this time, oh well, they'll live)

BAM!  I'm still sitting on that $4.  Thankfully we replenished the budget money on the 3rd snack day, so now we're good again.  And from this I learned two important lessons...

1) I STILL spend more than I need to.  This was a great lesson/reminder that I still need to slow down and look around before I head to the store to buy something I don't need.

2) So many people in this world don't have enough money to buy food.  I have NO right to complain.  (To be fair, I wasn't complaining) But still, I have plenty of food.  So for me, it was a reminder to be thankful for what I have, and to think about all of those people who really don't have the money to buy what they need.

If there were karate-like belts for staying on budget, I think this week would have been like chopping through all the boards.  I have definitely earned my next belt...I pick teal.  Yes...I am a hardcore budget gal...and I have a teal belt to show for it.  (Not really, that would cost money!)

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Being the change I want to see in my kids

Imagine who you want your kids to become...and be that.

All my life (at least as far back as I can remember), I've been a little too serious. When other kids were partying in high school, I was working.  In college, while others were; finding themselves, traveling, partying and generally just being free spirited...I was working more.  When I graduated and got a job, I worked, and then went home.

That pretty much sums up my early life.

Now, truth be told, I am a massive introvert.  Therefore I don't enjoy bars, clubs, crowds, loud people, or idiots.  So...that pretty much limited my free time. I do have the odd story, here and there; of going to a concert in a dingy bar and moshing (sp?) til my neck hurt, or the time I drank beer for my rugby initiation from a strangers shoe, or the time I skipped school to see They Might Be Giants play on the National Mall (only to find the Marine Corps band). But for the most part I simply don't let myself be free to just have least in public.

This is something I am trying to change, for myself, and for my daughter, who is trying to set the world record for how little she can show in a crowd.  This concert was a good example because as my son was out in front Irish-jigging his brains out, my daughter was quietly, passively, sitting and enjoying the concert.  I hurt for her a little, because I knew part of her wanted to just get up and have a ball without caring what others thought.  

Eventually she did get up, and she tried to get me up...and I did what I always do...I resisted.  I stayed.  I sat.  I declined. But then I saw myself from the outside...and I saw the example I was setting...and I got my ass up.  I spent the rest of the night jigging, clapping, stomping and jumping (yes...jumping) to every single song.

As we left the Lumberjack arena with both of my flushed-face smiling children, I told Laurel "this is what it feels like to live a little".

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Tourist for a Day 2015 Ketchikan, Alaska

We just can't help ourselves when it comes to Tourist-for-a-Day.  Do all tourist towns do this, or is it just Ketchikan?  I don't know...but we love it.  It gives us an opportunity to do all the amazing things that the tourist do, but for much much less.  (Thank do the tourists afford it?)

Every year we try something new, but only if all of us can do it.  (Some have height and weight minimums)  This year Luke was big enough for the Adventure Karts...yay!  We weren't sure about this one...would it be fun?  Would it be scary?

Fun...check.  Scary...not really.  You could drive fast or slow, you could snake around the road or just drive normal.  It was VERY dusty, and very bright.  (Two things that don't happen too often in Southeast we were elated to have both!)

To be honest, we've enjoyed every tour and adventure in this either everything is awesome, or we're just WAY to easy to please.  Look at the view from the top of the course!  AMAZING!

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