Let’s go to Extremes

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Today as I was getting out of class-which happens to be “Death and Dying”. I know. Wonderful. All we talk about is death. How depressing.

Everyone in the class was given a Coping assignment. Where we are to assess our coping strategies when faced with stress or stressful situations. The questions were such as:

These positive-

Listen to music (often/rarely/not at all)

Go Shopping with a friend (often/rarely/not at all)

Watch television, go to a movie (often/rarely/ not at all)

etc.

These are negative-

Become aggressive (often/rarely/ not at all)

Use negative self-talk (often/rarely/ not at all)

Yell at spouse, kids, or friends (often/rarely/ not at all)

etc.

What I found with my responses were that most of my responses were in extremes. In some situations when I am supremely stressed I either over eat or under eat. Does that ever happen to you? Where you are so stressed that you forget to eat, or don’t want to eat and then when you finally go eat, you eat yourself out of house and home?

Since I am constantly under stress either with my classes and taking tests, or Gobby and Rew getting sick, fights with Ryan because I’m stressed, or when I am working and getting emergency calls, my diet seems to fluctuate so much in how much I eat. Sometimes I go for so long without eating that when I finally hit the point where I am like “I need food NOW!” I am so mean to everyone, especially Ryan, that I am in tears with how hungry and how stressed I am.

Another extreme that I get into is jumping into a project and then becoming so interested in the project that when another stressor comes up I drop it mid way through and pick up another project and submerge into that one, pretty soon I have about 10 different projects going on at the same time and have no idea where I am in any of them.

I was talking with Ryan and the first thing he says that when I’m stressed is to get aggressive making a bigger deal out of the situation than I should or to stop talking to him and go to sleep.

People go to extremes in how they handle stressful situations and none of them are necessarily a good thing. What extremes do you go to in your life while dealing with stress? Do you spend all your money to make yourself feel better? Submerge yourself in a video game? Tell me about it. Have a nice day!

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In-Law Visits

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People either love or hate these visits.

My Mother-in-law (MIL) and her husband (FIL), I’ll call them Mo and G-Man because I don’t have permission to use their real names, came to visit us yesterday. We had about a week to prepare so it wasn’t too bad of a visit. We were not sweating bullets.

My in-laws are the type of people that I don’t think are generally judgmental and definitely try not to be rude. If they happen to see something out of place or think that our kitchen sink is messy with dirty dishes, they will take note of it, talk about it between them and if they really have an issue with it Mo will talk with Ryan about it. I know, I have it kind of lucky with them. There seem to be many different types of in-laws. The list I am going to name can include sister and brother in laws as well:

The No Shows- they never want to come see you, visit, call, write, or generally show up if they happen to pass through town on the way to some place. This even happens in same towns. Who knew you could live in the same populated area as your “family” and not know it?

The Drop Byers- These people will stop by whenever they feel like it, sometimes almost as if they are trying to catch you doing something illegal or worse-kissing. Dun dun DUN!!!

The Baby snatchers- they never actually want to talk to you about grownup things it is baby, baby, baby 24/7. Either they are wanting to take your baby on a walk to the park, or spend the night at their house. They almost will come into your house and take your child out from under you. Your a free agent to have some time with your spouse!

The Couch surfers-They NEVER LEAVE!!!! Enough said.

Judges- No matter what you do, how you do it, or intentions behind what you do- they do not like you. Nothing is ever good enough for them and their demands. If you have a single dirty dish in the sink-slob. Have less than $500 in the checking account-in poverty. Your brother or sister is in town-Adulterer!!!

Beggars- Every time you turn around they are asking for money, rides, food, place to stay (turn into couch surfers).

This is only a condensed version of the many different types of in-laws. Leave a comment down below on what type of in-laws you have, and if you can think of some more, please let me know and I’ll make an added version.

Since this was going to be the first time Mo and G-Man had seen little Rew (besides pictures) it was going to be an exciting meeting. He ended up being asleep so the most exciting thing that happened was Gobby showing off his trucks and how to put rocks in the dumping part. After eating lunch at a Chinese place down the hill from where we live (Mo and G-Man were generous enough to pay) we headed up the hill and took a four mile hike.

Yeah, we did it. Ryan and I took Mo and G-Man up to Inspiration Point for their visit with us. Most people don’t take their in-laws on a hike, but that’s what they wanted to do. Along the way Mo kept telling Gobby that if they lived up here they would be outside almost every day hiking these trails. I would have Baby Snatcher In-Laws then. I’m worried now. Not really, Gobby and Rew would have lots of fun and become a half-marathoners like my MIL in no time! I would have to say with my swimming skills, and Ryan and Mo’s love of running all we would have to do is get good at biking and maybe they could become triathloners (if that’s such a word)!!!

Leave a comment below and what type of in-laws you have! Plus, a positive (or negative) experience would be an added bonus!

Killing Two Birds with One Stone

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Two Birds One Stone

So…Remember when I made the turkey for New Years Eve? Well, if you don’t that’s alright, I made one anyways.

With that Turkey there was about 20 meals worth of meat that we got. We are still eating by the way with a bunch in the freezer for later on. This is the first bird that everyone seems to be able to hit when it comes to the holidays.

Instead of wasting all the leftovers from the turkey we made some wonderful use of it. By leftovers I’m talking about the carcass and skin- those things that people tend to throw away without a second thought. The second bird. The one that is money being thrown down the drain, literally.

What I am going to cover is how to hit the second bird as easy as possible: What I did to make the broth, what the cost benefits of making the broth, and what the health benefits of making the broth are. Here goes:

Process:

This first part was one of the hardest, most disgusting thing I had ever done with my hands. By the end if it looked like the meat was too stuck onto the bone, I was like, “Oh well, there will be some meat. But I took all the skin off and put in the largest pot I owned, put the meat chunks in my glass dishes to put in the refrigerator, and the bones in the same pot as the skin, while throwing out the fat parts.

Once that hour long ordeal was over, I thoroughly washed my hands and changed my apron because I was covered in turkey. (Good thing I normally wear my hair in a bun or I would have probably had it in my hair as well). Ewww.

Looking through my leftovers, I put in what I could find. A couple carrots that I just broke in half, a couple celery stalks that were roughly broken in half, a bay leaf or two, a whole onion cut into quarters (I did leave the skin on) and some whole pepper corns. I would have put garlic in but I didn’t have any.

Filling the pot with water (right above the bones) and turning the heat onto medium low with a lid on top, I started it and then went to bed.

When I got up in the morning I turned off the heat and let it cool for about an hour before I strained the product. It turned out beautiful, and tasted just as divine.  Since, it was too hot to put in bags to freeze I put the whole pot in the refrigerator to cool. As it was cooling all the fat that I had not been able to keep out I skimmed off the top and threw it away because that isn’t so good.

In the end I made approximately 28 cups/244 ounces of turkey broth.

Cost Benefits of Making Turkey Broth from Scratch:

$0.99 lb carrots * .2 pounds=$0.19

$0.73 bunch celery * 1/8 =$0.10

$1.25 bay leaf bunch * .25 =$0.31

$0.79 lb onion * .33= $0.26

Free Pepper corns * .01=0

$25. 48 Turkey * .33= $8.40

Total= $9.26

Price per ounce = $9.26/244 ounces= $0.04 per ounce

Vs.

Wal*Mart Swansons: Natural Goodness 100% Fat Free All Natural Chicken Broth = $3.98/ 48 ounces= $0.08 per ounce. Site where information can be found is at the bottom of the page.

Thus paying twice as much for the same thing. Doesn’t really add up.

Health Benefits of Making Your Own Broth:

Actually knowing what is going into your body should be a benefit all on it’s own. With the added chemicals and colors being added constantly to our foods it is a wonderful thing to know and control.

While you think cooking takes a long time, yes it does take a long time to actually make the broth, but what was I doing when it was cooking? Sleeping. What else could a person do while this is being made? Work, read a book, etc. It is essentially a “hands off” cooking experience.

It is convenient to have on hand and if you don’t have time to thaw the broth before cooking, just put it in frozen and it will thaw in a few minutes.

Can also be canned to use at a later date. Or given away for a Christmas gift. The uses are endless and the results are amazing!

Conclusion

Don’t waste (money, or time). Know what goes into your food. Super easy to make and store. Hope this helps you for the next time you are going to roast a chicken, or turkey! Good luck!!

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Swanson-Natural-Goodness-100-Fat-Free-All-Natural-Chicken-Broth-RTSB-48-Oz/10308004

 

Exciting Day

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So…..my husband had started a blog of his own. It is quite interesting, since he is going to talk about a variety of topics that have happened throughout history. He is a very good writer and am looking forward to reading his stuff. I don’t know how serious he is about writing.

As I am working I am training a new person and she is picking up what to do really fast. Which is something that makes both me and my boss happy. We seem to have a high turnover rate at this job for some unknown reason. The only thing that isn’t quite nice about the job is the pay ($8.25 an hour starting out) and the hours (midnight to eight in the morning).

The reason why I don’t mind these hours is so that I can be with Gobby and Rew during the day and go to sleep with them at night, since they go to sleep at 6:00 P.M. We share a bed at this point in time. I absolutely love our routine.

Gobby and I (with Rew) will go to sleep at 6 and I will sleep/nurse until 11:30, be at work at midnight. Ryan will pick up Gobby and put him in his toddler bed, and put Rew in the swing when he goes to sleep. If I am working at 4:00 A.M. he will put Gobby in his toddler bed and leave Rew with me since I would still be nursing while we are asleep. It is awesome.

When I come home Gobby is always playing in our room with Rew and Ryan laying next to them, making sure Gobby isn’t “too loving” on Rew.

I know that Ryan would rather I be home at night while the boys are asleep but we are working with what we got.

Another exciting thing is that it is Thursday!! I don’t have classes this Thursday because my education teacher is going to some sort of conference in another area. Thus, letting me spend all day with my guys!! If that isn’t exciting, what is?

Leave your responses down below in the comments!

Being Denied is Harsh

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226ASP6179944780A few days ago I was celebrating that I had gotten an interview with a company I had applied for a job with around New Years Eve. I was super excited and always with a heart-a-flutter with excitement, as anyone who applied for a job and got an interview would be.

Turns out, after talking with a couple people that have worked there or are working there, that 1)Does not pay a minimum of $32,000 a year, 2)does not have benefits, and 3)would not pay overtime. Those are all very important qualifications in a job that I take.

Thus the verdict is: DENIED. Such a harsh thing to do. God shall put us where we need to be by opening and closing doors.

Even though my quest for a job is still in the works, there is a good possibility that Ryan is going to get a job. First he has to get a valid state driver’s license (I still have to get my license, come to speak of it) and pass the physical requirements of the job, before he gets an interview. But we should know by February 5 if he’s got it or not. Until then, we are content. 

If Ryan does get this job there are some questions that are going to need to be addressed, such as: Will we all go, or will Ryan commute back and forth while I get my teaching credentials? Since he hasn’t even passed the physical requirements for the job, it is too early to be thinking about answers to those questions. Fingers crossed.

Compassion is Contagious

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As I was getting up this morning. The emotion of compassion sees hard to teach to children because they are so self-centered. “Me” all day long. “My toy” “My food” etc. I thought back to the other night Ryan and I were talking and because the topic was very emotionally stressing to me, I started crying. Gobby immediately started wiping my tears away and said, “No cry”. Every time Rew cries there is always a pat on the stomach and an attempt to comfort him from Gobby.

These actions need to be cultivated, not suppressed. Compassion for the weaker man is something that can be argued that is not ingrained in us from the beginning because scientists say that it is taught and cannot be truly expressed until the age of three and a half (according to this study).

http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/the_compassionate_instinct/

I would like to differ and present the idea that compassion is an ever-present ability that every child has. It starts in the home, with Ryan and I. It makes me very happy that part of the man I want Gobby to be when he grows up is starting to peak into view already. I pray we don’t mess it up.

Men Love Curves

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I am quite apprehensive about writing this but it seems to need to be said. Women seem to be given so many different mantras on looks.  You have to be skinny to model. Being fat is a bad thing. Then are told men love curves. No one wants to hug a stick. Bones hurt, you need some cushion for you man. Or like the above pictures express: REAL Men Love Curves.

How does that sound to someone that cannot gain weight, and does not have an eating disorder? Sounds like we are defective and can’t find someone to love because we don’t have “cushion” or “curves” to love on. It is very hurtful to read, “Men love Curves” in so many different ways by so many different people that it makes someone like me feel bad for being who I naturally am: skinny. If someone who was more self conscious there will be a development of a less common eating disorder- binge eating.

The start to being accepting of everyone no matter their size is to not present one as being better than the other. Throw the scale out and flaunt what you got, or don’t got and be proud. Men love women who are accepting and proud of their bodies – as said by Ryan.

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Last night Ryan and I were talking with his mom and step dad about our financial situation. There are some things that we talked about that opened my eyes to possibilities but also many hardships. Part of the reason why I am scared is because we cannot pay all our bills with my income alone. Plain and simple. Ryan cannot find a job in this small town, or in nearby towns. He has legitimately looked and applied to what he has found. Businesses don’t seem to want him, they hire from within.

Their suggestion is that he get a job in the Sacramento or San Francisco area and just come home on the weekends. I think that those are good suggestions but terrible ideas. I did the “single parent” routine for a year already with just one child, there is no way on earth that I would be able to do it with two! Gobby has already missed an important part of his life with Ryan living in Reno, I cannot handle him leaving again. Working full time, going to school full time, having two little ones, and a husband that is gone- everything would fall apart.

While Ryan was gone and I was living on my own. I made the same amount of money I make now- half of my paycheck went to babysitters (I was even being very stingy by paying $5 an hour because that is all I could afford without starting to dig into food money). 

You would think, “Why don’t you just stop working, and you wouldn’t have to work to pay babysitters?” Well, since I was paying them for hours that I was in class, that doesn’t quite work. “Then why don’t you quit school?”- Oh, because my job is a student job and so if I’m not a student, by by job AND housing because I have married student housing.  

It would be hard living in Reno with the boys because $32,000 a year is not a lot of money and yes it does seem like a lot right now but it isn’t. We would have to figure out moving costs, and hookup costs, and also moving out expenses (our landlord is not very nice when it comes to moving out because he charges you for every little thing-topic for another post). Even though the initial cost would deplete our savings dramatically and would be tight, Ryan would be able to get a job almost right off the bat because there are actual companies in Reno. There are businesses that hire people other than college students. When he went to Reno the first time he got a job in four days!! Four Days!! 

I would think that we are doing this the safest way possible at this point in time- we are staying here for right now because it does not make sense to move to Reno with both of us unemployed. If Ryan were to get a job close to where we are now that could 1)pay our bills and 2) pay babysitter the amount they deserve then we would stay; if I were to get the dispatcher job in Reno, we shall see what we do. Ryan seems to be the wild card here.

The reason why we came to this area was so that I could get my teaching credentials. I have almost two years left. And if I think it is hard now working full time, and going to school full time, and being a wife and mommy full time, I have another thing coming. With full time student teaching, there isn’t too much room for anything else. I wouldn’t really be able to work because my hours are from midnight (12:00 A.M.) to eight o’clock (8:00 A.M.) and from what I understand I’m supposed to be at the school half hour before school (7:30 A.M.) to half an hour after (3:30 P.M.). I cannot be in two places at once, and even if I worked it out so that I could work and do student teaching where would my family fit into my time? I can’t just ignore my children for ten weeks! I honestly think that if we stayed I would not be able to finish in two years. Not for a lack of trying, but just because I would be way to exhausted to focus on anything.

This is truly a rock and a hard place for us. No matter what we do, there are going to be consequences. :/ Makes me want to cry all the time.

Getting a Job is an Important Step

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This afternoon, I got a call….it was from one of the places that I put in my application. When I got the call Ryan was playing Minecraft. Our system goes off our internet, it is called the MagicJack and it is amazing, it goes off the internet so wherever there is internet and a phone, just plug it in and viola-it works!!! While Ryan was freaking out about answering the phone to a number he didn’t recognize, I was making my lunch for the next work day. Finally, his panic went away and a very professional, yet kind voice specifically asked for me informing him that they have information about the job I had applied for while making the turkey on December 31. Heading toward the computer with dread on my face, I sat down to answer the call. 

Right as I said, “Hello, this is Jaklin. How may I assist you today?” She informed me that there was an emergency and needed to put me on hold. Since that is the name of the game with the job, I didn’t mind-hiring is not of big importance in emergency situations. Gobby decided that he wanted to sit in my lap and absolutely would not go with Ryan upstairs. This was one of those calls where focus is of the up-most importance so there was a little crying as Gobby was carried upstairs.

Finally, she got back to me. I was informed of when and where the orientation was to be held, what they were going to go over, and that if I was still interested in the job they would do interviews. She point blank told me, “If they like me I will need my Social Security Card, and an ID.”

As soon as we hung up, I started screaming in excitement, ran upstairs and hugged my guys and did the “I got an interview” dance. Ryan was so surprised.

Then I asked him, “What should I wear?” The response, “Wear whatever you want. You look good in everything”-Great answer, but that doesn’t help. I have only ever had one real job (taxes were taken out, was supposed to be someplace specific for a pre-designated number of hours, with a dress code-volunteering doesn’t really seem like a job to me)before so I was perplexed on what I was going look like and say to the interviewer.

There have been some people upset with our/my decision to put school on hold and pay down debts with a job. I’m sorry that you are disappointed, angry, frustrated in this decision but we are not financially secure right now. We are holding our nose above water. With one blow we would be drowning under a foot of water with our chains still keeping us down. 

I do not think putting school aside for my family is a mistake. Period. If I do things just for myself I am being selfish. Where does my family fit in? Ryan cannot find a job in the middle of college town nowhere. We cannot live on my income alone. I have wheedled  the budget down to the bare minimums and am very lucky to have overtime to cover us and put aside for emergencies. Without that emergency fund bubbles would have stopped floating to the surface long ago.

I have already told my bosses that I am looking at other jobs and they are more than understanding (to my face at least) about why I have to leave. 

When does family trump self? When does personal matters trump family? Just your thoughts and opinions. 

The Intimate Story of Debt

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This is a starry eyed tail of how we found arrears. At first we thought they were the bees knees ( a 1920’s saying) and were just perfect for us. They filled an immediate desire that needed to be filled at that exact moment: didn’t have the cash on hand to go to a restaurant instead of eating at home-charge it; need a car-sign a loan for it; need to go visit family-charge it; Gobby needs to go to the emergency room where they charge $11,000 to tell you there’s nothing you can do for it because it’s a viral infection- pay monthly but be happy because they saved your child’s’ life.

Those are just a few instances in which  we were absolutely “in love” with debts. Out biggest intimate relationship was with Student Loans. Oh my my they were so helpful to us they paid our rent, paid for school books, they even helped us go to school to better our situation. We are eternally grateful to them for what they have done. 

We were blind. Mistaken. Fooled. Lied to. We didn’t realize that debts are like drugs-once you start you have to fight like hell, and keep fighting to break the chains of addiction. Sure they help you with your credit score, but what is the credit score? It is an “I love debt sign” as Dave Ramsey calls it. He goes into specific details into how everything is broken down.

http://www.daveramsey.com/article/the-truth-about-your-credit-score/lifeandmoney_creditcards/

As I was going through Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University, I started reading more about other people that live debt free lives and how they got there. I also read other material such as “The Millionaire Next Door” by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko. I was blown away at how many live debt free. They are not encumbered by chains of monthly never ending payments to something that you can’t remember why you needed it in the end.

Right now we are currently in a $68,000 relationship that takes about 75% of our income (at this point in time). The majority of them Student Loans.

In this point in our lives we are looking for better paying jobs (Ryan is currently unemployed, and I am working 24-32 hours a week, on top of going to school and being a full time Mommy and Wife. You say stressed. That is me. I have hardly any time for the 5 letter word called “Sleep”. This is our steps to getting out of debt free and doing what’s best for our family.

1. Find better paying jobs. ($32,000 a year at least which is 3x what we are making now)

2. Move to where said jobs are.

3. Pay off debts one at a time and pay more whenever possible.

Majority of people are going to tell us that it is impossible to do that, there will always be debt, and there is good debt and bad debt, and it is a pipe dream. We are taking life one day at a time and will make this goal. We need support and not criticism. 

Like our motto is at the top of this page says “The big secret in life is that there is no big secret. Whatever our goal, you can get there if you’re willing to work”. We are going to work our butts off to get out of debt!

Stay with us as see our journey to the bottom!!!