Yard Sales, Cranky Kids, and Insurance Costs

I woke up this morning on a mission to spend the day preparing for a yard sale, but hours later I have yet to accomplish anything. I’ve got a cranky teething little one who doesn’t want to leave my lap and a 4 year old who is whining just because her sister is, too.  *Sigh* My babies come first, so the yard sale stuff can wait.

I did manage to bribe them into letting me have a few minutes to work by giving them popsicles, so we’ll see how long that lasts. The rough draft for one of my freelance pieces is due this afternoon, so I really need to get that finished while they’re occupied, but I’m having a hard time concentrating on it at the moment.

Luckily it is almost finished because the Zillow alert for new home listings on my phone keeps going off and distracting me. It’s no secret we’re looking for a place to buy, but we’re still unsure of where to buy. We’re looking at places much closer to Ben’s job, and we want something that needs renovation but is still good enough to live in for now. I guess that’s one of the perks to being married to a carpenter. We can buy cheaper and renovate it into something we love, but we definitely have to settle on a location first.

The biggest issue is decided which start to live in. Ben’s job is close enough to the state line that we can purchase in SC or NC. I’m weighing the pros and cons of both states, and not just when it comes to home prices. I’m looking at school districts (I’m still unsure about public school or homeschooling), costs of living, even insurance rates because they vary so much between the two states.

I think I’m going to knock out this draft and start researching more on the insurance aspect of costs. I know I can’t get an exact quote based on living in NC unless we actually live there, but I can check out which doctors are in which networks. I know the doctor that was recommended to us in NC is in the BCBS network by looking at the doctor finder. I found it here when I was doing a little research last night, so I’ll look around to see if that site has anymore info for me.

If we choose to stay in SC we can stick with our current family doctor, so that’s a plus. The only issue is the cost of buying insurance out of pocket since we’re both contract employees. I really hate all this insurance mess.  Oh well, I’ll deal with it later.  It’s time to get my head in the game and get to work on this draft so I can prepare my yard sale items today, too.  I really need to downsize on the amount of stuff we have before I even consider moving!

I’m Back

March? MARCH??? Seriously? I haven’t posted here since March? We’ve had a lot going on…blah blah blah.  I know it’s still no excuse. A few months ago I was at a point in life where I was really depressed.  We had major family issues going on around us, things causing even more stress in our marriage, and I was at a breaking point.  I didn’t feel like blogging, I had a very hard time concentrating on work, and I reached a point where I just felt rather worthless.  After a lot of praying, support from my true friends and family, and time to sort it all out I’m ready for a change.  I’m ready to start over, enjoy life again, be happy, and write freely when I feel like it.  Sometimes taking a break really does help.

 So, a few quick updates:

A lot has happened over the last few months, and I admit I’ve been busier than I ever imagined I could be with the two munchkins.

Aubrey has been walking since she hit 10 months old in April, so that’s kept me on the go constantly. I’ve ran off all my baby weight and then some…literally. When I left the hospital I was somewhere around 145lbs, and I’m currently weighing in at 116lbs! That’s 11lbs lighter than I was when I got pregnant with Ellie. I’m happier and healthier than I’ve been in a very long time, and for once I’m confident in my own skin. I’m always on the go either chasing a running toddler, chasing a running preschooler, grabbing a climbing toddler before she topples over something (baby gates don’t do a bit of good to hold that girl in when she’s on a mission), or a combination of all of the above.

My last post in March was about Ben getting a new job that just happened to be back in construction.  Neither of us were too happy with him returning to the construction field, but we were both relieved he had found something with more money than the factory job he had been stuck in for a few months. Today I’m happy to report his “new” job has turned out to be exactly what our family needed. In the past few months he has moved up from assistant foreman to the new position he gained last week, supervisor of the whole dang company.

I fully admit we’ve been struggling the last few years thanks to the recession, but we’re finally getting back to a comfortable spot. We’re almost out of debt, and we’re looking at purchasing our first home.  We may finally get out of my family’s rental and out on our own even if we’re hitting that mark on our timeline a few years later than we had anticipated.

I’ll prepare myself to share more over the coming weeks as I get back into the blogging thing full swing, but I must say even if I’m the only person who reads anything I write I’m happy to be back.  Blogging has always been an outlet for me, a place of serenity after a busy day, and I’m happy be up to putting my thoughts down again.

Going Nuts

The good news is Ben got a great new job, and he started last week.  The really great news is it’s first shift and a lot more money than the crappy factory job he was stuck in.  The bad news…

He’s back in construction.  The really bad news…

He’s stuck at home when the rain is pouring, and that means he has been driving me nuts!

The pay is well worth going back into construction, and it even makes up for dealing with getting rained out.  Heck being back on first shift makes it worth it.  I hate to admit it, but second shift took a major toll on our marriage.  When I started this blog I made a promise to myself never to rant about my marriage and any issues we may have or things we may go through, but I feel I can freely say this without breaking that promise to myself.

I’m not proud of what happened to my marriage over the last half of 2013.  The job took a toll on us both, and it ripped us at seams we never knew we had.  Finally we both blew a lid in December and got our heads straight.  We’ve spent the last few months working through our issues, focusing on us, and making sure were centering our marriage around God first.  I can honestly say at this point our marriage is stronger than it was 6 months ago, and in a way I’m thankful Ben was placed in that job for a short time because it opened our eyes to problems we may not have faced right now, issues we may have faced 10 years from now instead.

Anywho, I’m glad we’re past all that.  As we struggled to rebuild our marriage we both agreed second shift was a huge problem.  Ben moved to third shift in an attempt to help things a bit.  In most households third shift would probably be the “bad” shift, but for us it really helped our marriage.  The only issue we had left with the job was the really crappy pay.  Our budget was really suffering, and I’m thankful Ben was finally offered a position somewhere else.  The months and months of searching, applying, and not getting the job were all worth it for this one opportunity.  I truly feel God placed him on the path that is right for our family at the right time, and we both learned a lot of patience.

Now I just have to remind myself of that patience as he drives me crazy on rainy days lol!  Yesterday he moped around all morning then surfed around the net on my laptop for awhile.  Letting him do that was a bad idea!  He spent the afternoon going on and on about an exciting washburn from guitar center he really wants and rambling forever and a day about rebuilding the tranny in the Duramax. Ok, I’m game for listening to car talk, but he has been rambling about this for weeks while gathering the parts. I was in a pretty crabby mood, so his endless rambling didn’t help my mood. I’m thankful to say the least he returned to work today even if he did have to miss some time this morning waiting for the drizzle to die off.

And what did I learn? Keep a set of earplugs handy on his days home from work! Better yet, have an extra honey do list ready and waiting to keep him busy! I’m sure he would really love that one!

Debating Home School Again

After talking to one of my friends today about what her kids are doing in school my brain hurts.  Plus I’m seriously doubling my efforts to convince Ben that I should home school Ellie.  He says I need to send her to public school because it will give me the personal time I really need.  Does he forget I’ll still have Aubrey at home when Ellie starts kindergarten?  She’ll be a little over 2, so personal time will not be in my future!  He definitely doesn’t forget.  His other argument is that I won’t have the time to devote to homeschooling Ellie with Aubrey at home, but I disagree.  I have plenty of mamas in my little support circle who not only home school multiple kiddos, but they do it with a toddler on their heels.  I think I can manage.

Anywho today’s discussion was about my friend’s elementary aged kiddos and common core which is now being taught in the schools here as well as her teen and band class.  The band discussion was simple.  She knows I’m good at finding online deals, so she asked me to find the most affordable rico reeds she can get for her daughter’s clarinet.  Done.  I did some research and sent her a few links.  As for the common core, she blew my mind with some of the math problems on her son’s worksheet this week. Seriously, why does math have to be so difficult?  I admit math was not my best subject. Although I did manage to make it through AP Calculus I had a hard time with math.  I was a history, English, and science kind of gal.  Even so I can take one look at common core math and see how absolutely ridiculous it is.  Why are children being taught to work twice as hard to get to the same answer?

The math isn’t the only issue I have with common core, but I won’t get into those right now.  Home school is definitely seeming to be the much better choice for us, so I really need to get on the ball convincing Ben then deciding which curriculum I like best.  Heck, I may even do as my friend Jennifer does with her three girls and design my own from various online Christian resources.  I have an extra year before Ellie starts school thanks to her birthday falling a month after the cut off, so I have some time to figure it all out.  The way I see it we can definitely give it a shot, and if we don’t like the way home schooling is going we have the option to enroll her in public school or even try to budget in private school from then on.  Personally I feel Ellie would do better in a one on one environment.  She is a high strung child with many traits of ADD, and she had a hard time concentrating on things when she’s in an environment with multiple children.  This could be the answer to help us all.

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