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Year End Review: The Bucket List

Remember the bucket list I posted last year? Boy, did I have some lofty goals and ambitions!!!

Here is the list from last year and what I got accomplished on it:

Erica's Official 2012 Bucket List

1. Get my sewing machine fixed - No, need a new sewing machine
2. Sew something like a skirt for Jordan. - No
3. Start a quilt - I did start collecting the fabric for this quilt, but I do not have enough yet
4. Go to Las Vegas. I have always wanted to. - No
5. Decorate the walls in my room. - Yes!
6. Start using my fire pit more. - No, due to the dought conditions we had this summer
7. Take my kids on more day trips like to the aquarium in Dubuque and the Science Center in Des Moines. - We did take a few day trips like to Niagara Caves, Grotto of the Redemption, and the Rutland Dam
8. Take the girls to the Renaissance Faire in Shakopee. - No
9. Read the Bible and the Story of God from start to finish. - No, but I did make progress in both
10. Watch a NASCAR race in person. - No
11. Concent…

Now that Christmas is over with...

We can get back to the daily life business that suits me so much better. I do apologize for the lack of Christmas posts this year and promise I will have some pre-written and ready to go for next year. I just was not in the Christmas spirit this year. I am not exactly sure how or why, but life sent us a few curve balls before Christmas that did not help. Namely sickness and a lot of doctor's visits.

Part of the problem may also be that I am not a traditionalist. I rarely remember what we did the year before to do again next year. I also like to try new things all the time (except change the furniture which is another post) so doing the same thing year after year does not always appeal to me. Some things do stay the same, however.

Christmas Eve will always be at my parents. We do a birthday lunch because my dad and my Paige have birthdays on the 22nd and my niece has a birthday on the 14th of the next month. After lunch, we start with birthday presents and then go to Christmas pre…

Monday Frugality Update and Whatnot

Sorry about the absence in the last few weeks. I didn't forget about you all. I just had a lot of my mind and a lot on my plate it seems. I have also been rethinking about how I do a lot of things and sometimes one needs time to focus and assess.

One of those things is my income and how it is coming in the house. For a long time, I was a believer of multiple streams of income and for many reasons, I stepped away from it. For one thing, having multiple streams of income are a lot of work and take some time. The upswing of multiple streams of income is that one always has a back up income when one fails. I hope to talk more about this further on this week.

Another thing on my mind is the health of my children. The schools right now have several strains of viruses going on right now. The only thing that we have caught is called the "crud" by the doctor. This is all good considering they have cases of Influenza A, strep throat, bronchitis, stomach viruses, and pneumonia in t…

Some things are beyond understanding...

and today's news proves just that. As of right now, heaven has sixteen new innocent little angels as well as the eight people who dedicated their lives to guiding them.

There is one man who choose to end that for them. One man who choose to kill himself in an act of cowardice and selfishness instead of facing the senseless and inexcusable acts of crime that he committed. One man who choose to kill the woman who brought him into the world and raised him.

I am shocked, stunned, saddened, angered beyond belief, and a variety of emotions. My heart is so heavy with hurt and compassion for their families and friends of these innocent people. Nothing would be a decent enough explanation for what happened today and, then, being this close to a holiday that means joy to so many people.

Just....


senseless.

What possesses someone to do this? I am already hearing from my friends who believe guns should be banned and from my friends who think everyone should homeschool. Neither is the answer…

What would you do if you won the lottery?

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This is the question I am pondering today. Truth is, I have no idea what I would do if I won the lottery. I know things in my life would change drastically and hopefully for the better. I do admit I would love to know what life is like when one does not have to worry about money!


With the Powerball being at an estimated $550,000,000 with a cash payout of $360,000,000, I am baffled at that amount of money. When we figured the cash payout today at work with sticking the money somewhere that make you interest, at 2% interest, you would make $7,000,000 at year. Wrap your mind around that. 

With that amount of money that could potentially land in your lap, some questions beg answers. Or at least pondering:

1. Would you continue to work?
2. Who and what would you pay off first?
3. Would you pay off your family's (parents, siblings, grandparents) debts?
4. Would you help out your friends with their debts?
5. Would you give your money away and to whom?
6. Would you continue your frugal …

Have we lost the ability to take care of ourselves?

From watching the natural disasters that have happened in the last few years, one has to ask that question: have we lost the ability to take care of ourselves?

I am starting to think we as a collective group of people have lost that ability. That, or we have lost the common sense, the ability to assess the situation. and the ability to make the good decisions to take care of ourselves. We have become so dependent on others and government agencies to bail us out of bad situations that we no longer feel the need to do so ourselves.

I understand that things can happen that are completely out of one's control. Sometimes, everything we have or used to prep with is gone in an instant. Most of the time, though, you can anticipate, prevent, and protect yourself, your family, and your things.

Want to know the one thing that irritates me the most after a natural disaster? People who were affected by the natural disaster acting helpless on camera. I hear things like:

"We have no food, n…

Monday Frugal Update and Whatnot

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Today's post might take a different direction today. This week has been a good week for money at our house with an extra little bit showing up to help with some extra bills and holiday shopping. Did I spend money recklessly? No. Did I think carefully about all my purchases? Yep.

I had a huge list of things to buy that were on sale Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I have been looking at ads for today also. I did not buy even a quarter of the things I had listed. I have a tactic I like to use when big sales come up or an opportunity for a big shopping trip.

I write down everything on sale and everything I would like to buy. Everything. I don't care what those items might be, but I write them down. Then I start to think about what I have written down. Is the price for those items really that good? Is the sale worth it? I categorize with the needs, wants, or just to have its.

The amazing thing with the list is that the list drastically starts to change. And will continue to…