I think our parenting skills are always evolving.  When Grace went through Mayo’s program for her chronic pain and other symptoms, we got a lot of training on parenting.  Not just parenting a “sick kid” but how to break the cycle of parenting a sick kid and just be an effective parent.  To all your kids.  Part of that includes responsibilities and consequences.

We no longer have a “minimum grade” requirement here at our house, but we do require the kids turn in all their work.  If there are assignments missing (without a valid reason as to why), there is a consequence.  I don’t police my kids’ grades daily but I check every week or two.

Today my son got caught.  Because this was the second time he’s had an assignment missing in a month his consequence is handing over his iPod, as there will be no social contact (online or in person) or screens (unless watching TV with a parent) for 24 hours.

This used to bother me, giving consequences.  I don’t like to upset my kids.  But it doesn’t anymore.  I almost wanted to laugh as he was trying to plead his case, but I didn’t.  I think about the future.  How he’s got to learn to be responsible and take care of his stuff before it really hurts him.

I’ll continue to stay warm neutral, as mayo would say.  It’ll be interesting to see how he spends the next 22 hours.


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1 of 24

This morning, earlier than I ever get up, I stepped outside.  And out of my comfort zone.  Today I did the first workout for the C25K program.  Yesterday I downloaded the app and talked hubby into being my partner.  Not a tough sell, thankfully.

I am NOT a runner.  Which is why it’s strange that for months I’ve been thinking it’d be nice to be able to run a 5k.  I have no idea WHY I think that.  But it’s been eating at me. 

I realized that if I ever actually, you know, WANT to RUN that 5k I should probably do more than think about it. 

And today I did.  I honestly was worried about running for a full minute, multiple times, but I did.  THAT feels kind of good.

Three days a week for eight weeks.  Twenty-four sessions. 

Ready, set, go….


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Day One Recap, Again


I just typed a post and lost it.  Great. 

Maybe I whined a little too much and shouldn’t have posted it anyway…. So let’s try again.

The first day went from a mix of office work and home organization, to a day of all office work.  Why?  The computer and printer have to go in for some service.  Which means I won’t have an easily accessible computer… And actually that may make me MORE productive on the clean and declutter front in the coming days. 

With several hours in the office I got SO MUCH done!  I wish I’d have taken photos of my towering piles of unfiled papers and unentered receipts.  Now all my expenses are entered and my budget worksheets are up to date.  The accounts have been reconciled.  Papers are filed and forms are filled out.  While there is still work to be done in my office, things are feeling pretty good. 

I also got to accompany my kid to the dentist and open house at school.  Then I had a tough but GOOD workout with my trainer. 

To end my night, there was a rare quiet time to talk with my son. He is at an age where he doesn’t open up a lot so I cherish these times when he just spills his thoughts on everything.  Nothing earth shattering was discussed but I got to hear his thoughts on his new program meeting with a personal trainer (he teams with his sister) and how he’s been thinking about wanting to redo his room. 

I went to bed truly content.

Today, I am a little all over…. First an appointment with one kid.  Now my last little bit with my computer before heading to Fargo to drop it off for a few days.  If I kill enough time I can head to our CSA garden to get in some harvest events too. 

I have mixed feelings on this.  I love the locally grown goodies!  I love putting all this in the freezer for winter for only the cost of gas money to get there and labor to get it frozen.  But I really really want to get to cleaning closets too.  I’m looking at coming home this evening with 10 dozen ears of corn, a five gallon bucket of broccoli and another of carrots, some dill and possibly a few green beans and cauliflower. 

I’m trying to not whine about the work that creates.  I’m trying to stay positive and be thankful for the opportunity to get this veggie goodness.  I need to remember that these 6 days are a blessing!  I need to have faith.  To trust in God’s timing and plan. 

And now I need to pack up and go…..

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I need some.

The next six days are wide open around here. I was going to do bigger projects but they aren’t ready to do so I’ve shifted my plan. I hope to catch up on a LOT of the little stuff that piles up. Like literally piles up! To keep me on task, I will check in daily with updates and whatnot.

My main areas of focus are on paperwork and organizing/decluttering closets and such.

I will make some time for some creative projects and changing the decor to fall things. Who cares if it’s 90+ degrees… cooler days will be here soon and I’ll be too busy watching football and volleyball to change it up then.

Overall, I want to start off the school year feeling more in control. Of papers. Of stuff. Of time.

Wish me luck!

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Money or the Mindset?

Do the little things matter because it’s a little more money in the pocket?  Or because the mindset to save dimes will inevitably save way more than a few dollars?

I wondered this as I got half-way through the parking lot before realizing I forgot my reusable bag in the van.  I walked back for the specific bag for that store (they only give credit for THEIR bags) and shortly after, received my dime’s worth of savings.  As I walked out, it was still on my mind…. I was doing the mental math.  4 bags a week for a year.  Maybe $20 a year in savings.  Maybe.

Sure, there is the whole “green” thing.  I’m not dissing that.  But I was focused on the change.

So does $20 really make that much difference?  Especially when it takes a year to accumulate less than what we need for a family dinner at a restaurant?  Is it worth the walk back for a bag?  Is that dime worth the quick pang of quilt when you don’t have a bag?

Or does the mere intentionality of it crucial to compounding the savings into something bigger?

If I don’t care about the dimes, will I have trouble caring about the dollars?



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Gettin’ Creative

Now that my hubby and I have a zero-based budget in place, I’m getting creative with the menu.  We realize we may have to up the grocery budget at some point but for now we’re going to try to stick to what we have planned.  That means using what’s in the freezers and pantry as much as possible.

It’s been kind of fun going through old recipes and cookbooks that have just been collecting dust!

There’s walleye thawing for supper.  All I need for the different beer batter we’ll try is a particular kind of beer.  A 6 pack isn’t a big deal when the meat was free! Pair it with green beans from the garden and some watermelon?  A super summer supper!

I’m excited to try some new recipes, like Jerk Chicken, Key West Ribs and Glazed Chicken Wings.  There are family favorites, like Potato Sausage Casserole, on the schedule.  And for busy nights there is a break with easy meals like tostadas and chef salads.  Finally we’ll use leftovers in fried rice or noodle casseroles and soups.  Knowing what I need for groceries for more than two weeks is satisfying.  I like it.

This is the most I’ve planned at one time in a while, but we had our “use what’s here” mentality while we had company last weekend.  it turned out much better than usual.  I made some good meals that everyone loved.  They were minimal prep and minimal groceries.  We spent less than half what we usually do when company comes to town!  Best part: no one could tell!

I’m coming to believe that the most important thing needed in budgeting is a good attitude.

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This Crazy Spring

We had snow through a lot of April.  We had cold cloudy weather in May.  In fact, there was still ice on many of the lakes five weeks ago.  Needless to say, the gardens have suffered.

Due to a decision to change our CSA membership to the “share” box instead of the “family share” we are taking better care of our own vegetable gardens.  That has been nice.  Albeit, slow.  This would’ve been the year we could’ve “lightly” harvested the asparagus we planted last year, but only one of the 6 plants came up.  My hubby is particularly perturbed by this!  The seeds are all slow, but growing.  Tomato and pepper plants are growing but not quickly.  I’m still hopeful.

my little rhubarb patch

my little rhubarb patch

The great thing is that I got to FINALLY harvest some rhubarb yesterday!  It made a delicious rhubarb-apple crisp for Father’s Day.  We moved the patch of rhubarb about 3 years ago, I think.  Since then it hasn’t really produced.  But this year looks good!

A few other pictures of my gardens, taken last week:

hoping for some blueberries off these bushes planted last year

hoping for some blueberries off these bushes planted last year

trying some squash again

trying some squash again

a few of the many pepper plants.. LOVE salsa!

a few of the many pepper plants.. LOVE salsa!

one of the two raised square foot beds

one of the two raised square foot beds

There’s a little sneak peek… Let’s hope the next pictures show HUGE growth!  Sunshine and hot summer days; that’s what we need!

If you garden, what is going on in your little patch of dirt?

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