This will be a random post. I have a lot of randomness to talk about from my previous weekend. Not one thing in particular I want to talk about but rather multiple little things. This will be one of my many brain dump posts. This will be all over the place. Be prepared for a winding, turning ride. 

Grocery and other budget plans

I spent the past three to four days reading grocery and other budget plans on Pinterest. I read plans that included budgets of $27 for a family of four for a week up to budgets of $500 a month for a family of two. I felt there was a world full of information and I wanted it all! I also learned that if you pick a specific topic you can find just about anything you need to know on Pinterest. I looked up grocery budgets, ways to lower your grocery bills, meal plans, shopping lists, how to save on groceries per week, best tips to be frugal with your grocery bill, and so much more. There are thousands of pages, articles, and resources online for you to read.

I told my sister, Sarah, to read Pinterest for ways to lower her debt and bills because she wants to find a way to be a SAHM for her daughter. So anyone else wanting to look for ways to lower grocery bills each week, be a little more frugal with their money, or just find tips on how to cut costs, look on Pinterest! 

I more than likely will share some of the things I’ve learned on Pixel Hollow once I try out some of the tricks of the trade. One of the main tips I found interesting, that I’m really excited to try out, is going to Aldi for your some of your shopping trip. I learned you cannot do ALL of your shopping at Aldi because you have to be picky in the quality of produce or meats but you can get all your pantry staples there and save a lot of money while you do it. Another main tip I learned was meal plan, meal plan, meal plan! Every single budget and ways to save article mentioned meal planning of some sort. “Always plan out your meals ahead of time. Make a list and stick to the list!” That one is easy because I already do that. The only time I’m not going to have some form of list when I go is going to Aldi to check it out.

I had posted on Facebook about all my experience and things I learned during reading the hundreds of articles I read this weekend. I had my dad message me saying “What is going on?!” I explained a budget of $127.75 a week for groceries for a family of four really isn’t that much. Grocery prices keep rising and my grocery budget stays the same and it’s getting tighter and tighter each week/month!” He said he’d call me sometime today after work to discuss some things with me – whatever that means.

I am doing some other things to contribute to my family too. I signed for I don’t know how well I did in my introductory ‘article’ but my rating should be here within the next day or two. Basically you write articles and get paid per word for each article or description you write. Sarah told me about it. She said I was a good writer and that I should be able to do this. It had been a while since I heard I was a good writer so that was a nice compliment. I like to think of myself as a “seasoned writer”. I write how I talk though and I don’t believe that’s correct grammatically.  Eh. We’ll see what I get as a rating. Sarah says most people get a 2-star rating for their introduction. 2-star rating would equal a pay rate of 0.07 cent per word. Not to be confused with seven cents. For instance, this blog post at THIS exact moment is 674 words. That would be $0.47. LOL OK! I admit I did the math on that wrong the first time I did it. I thought that was $47 total. Whoops. Oh well, $0.47 more than I had before, right?

Nick’s grades

I emailed Nick’s Language Arts teacher this weekend. She responded about four hours later. My email was in concerns to his assignment that was supposed to be redone about two weeks ago but I have been begging and pleading with him to do it and he keeps coming up with excuses. I asked her for her help in nudging him in to making the right decisions. She informed me that he also needs to redo assignment #3. But because she was absent from school from Monday until Thursday that he would just have to redo a summary of both assignments. She explained he was doing his assignments wrong and not to the standards she was looking for. He wasn’t using complete sentences or thoughts and he wasn’t using punctuation like he was supposed to.

I also emailed his “Instructional Technology Leader” about deleting apps off his iPad. I want him to be as successful as he can be in school and obviously the iPad is a problem. A big problem! So we’re going to do everything in power to make him utilize his time using the iPad wisely instead of destructively.

He currently has an F (less than 42%) in Math and an F (less than 55%) in Language Arts. He brought his grade up from an F to a B- (less than 82%) in Science in less than two weeks time. So I know he’s capable of doing SO much more than he’s leading to believe. He isn’t applying himself to the necessary lengths he needs to because when he does apply himself it shows he can go great distances. He keeps getting upset when I say “Nick I know you’re not trying.” “BUT I AM TRYING!” It’s like, no you’re not. I see the great distances you travel when you actually try, this… this is not trying. You’ve given up, child. You cannot give up.

So that’s where we are. Every single night I am going to check his assignments in the calendar and see what is assigned and due. I am going to have him sit directly next to me each afternoon, with his iPad, and do the assignments under my supervision. Once the assignments are complete, I am going to look them over, and make sure everything is done properly. No more lazy mom. I am going to stay on top of things this time around. I cannot be lazy with this any longer. Nick needs me and I need to step up just as much as he does. He clearly doesn’t obtain the responsibility that he needs to succeed so it is my job as his sole parent to do everything in my power to help him. Together, we have to do this. If all else fails, I will have to let him fail, and repeat some or all of the 6th grade. There is nothing more I can do. Hopefully he pulls his head out of the clouds and understands the severity of all of this. I cannot do it for him. I cannot hold his hand and walk him to his teachers and have him redo the assignments with my supervision every second. However, there is a fine line between walking in with him in hand and doing it for him and letting him show responsibility between doing it himself. There is a gray area in between there and I have to find that equal medium. We will do this together and hopefully together we will succeed.

Mikhail not feeling well

Mikhail wasn’t feeling well yesterday. He was downstairs most of the day while playing on Dad’s computer. He came upstairs and complained of feeling sick to his stomach. Sparing you all the dirty details, I’ll say that he wound up getting sick about four times from around 2 pm until 8 pm last night. He is night and day from Nick while getting sick. Nick will scream and cry as though someone is murdering him while getting sick. Mikhail will gracefully grab the bucket and very peacefully get sick. Mike and I commented on this last night. It’s amazing.

I ended up keeping Mikhail home today. They usually say they want students to be home and symptom-free for 24 hours before returning to school. I contemplated sending him anyway but we hadn’t tested drinking or eating anything and didn’t want to risk him going to get a drink from the bubbler for it to just come right back up again.

He is doing much better today though. Could he have gotten away with going to school with no issues? Probably. However, at 7:30 this morning, we did not know how he’d do. That’s exactly why we kept him home. He’s had some crackers and water, then he wanted to test having some plain noodles. So around 8 this morning I was cooking noodles for him. He ate them with no issues. He wanted buffalo chicken dip but I put a kabosh to that idea really quick. After his nice, hot bath, he’s relaxing and playing a little video game time.

Finally, Christmas…

It is the 16th of November today. That means one month and nine days until Christmas. We have zero dollars saved up. We have zero dollars put away. We have maybe two checks each that are coming in that can be used for Christmas after bills are paid. I, personally, am FREAKING out. I have absolutely no idea how we’re going to be able to pull this off. We could probably skip paying the electric bill for this month. I don’t believe they’ll shut us off in November. I know for a fact they won’t shut us off in December so that’s an extra $100-120. I could possibly skip paying off the full internet bill. Maybe pay $20 from last month’s balance and $20 from next months balance. That would save us $50. I have asked the boys what are their 3 top gifts they want this season. Mikhail’s includes a $40 Saint’s Row game, which we considered for his birthday, a $60 Call of Duty game, and a $30 online racing game. Not too terrible. Nick wants a $60 Disney Infinity game for the Xbox One. I don’t know what his other two main choices are because I haven’t had the chance to ask him yet.

Mikhail will be gracious for everything he received. It’s Nick who is usually ungrateful. Which just kills Mike. However, last year I had a lot of discussions with Nick about it being a smaller Christmas and how he needs to be appreciative for everything he receives and he was a lot better. He was better last year than any other year because of all the talks I had with him. Mike still thinks that he’s ungrateful and fears the words Nick says when he is so greedy but I tried explaining to him that he was really good about it last year. Mike doesn’t remember it that way though I guess.

I don’t know. I haven’t quite figured out how we’re going to make this work but we always do. We will figure it out. I will sell the little bit that I have if I have to. We’ve got this. It will be small but we will make this work.

That’s all I have to say for now. I am sure I could write about 2000 more words if I really wanted to. I haven’t been able to add pictures to make the posts more interesting because I really haven’t used my camera. Having Mikhail home today has thrown my entire routine out. I wanted to go to Aldi today but I won’t have a chance to do that until tomorrow. Talk to you all later.

written on November 16, 2015 at 12:11 pm with No Comments
Filed under: Home/Cooking, Struggles