Sunday, June 12, 2011

I Have A Dream...

To be honest, I have ALOT of dreams on what I would like in the future.  I am amazed at how quickly they change!  Just 5 years ago, I couldnt see myself wanting or having children, and here we are, 2011, and Todd and I are trying to start a family.  5 years ago, I had a house in the city on a 0.13 acre lot that I couldnt imagine ever moving from.  Now, I absolutely LOVE the peace and quiet, the animals and the garden on our acre of land. 

Yesterday, I went strawberry picking at a local pick-your-own patch.  This is the first time since I was a kid that I've been strawberry picking.  I had a great time, even though I was only there for a half an hour.  Todd was at work, so it was just me.  I ended up picking 9 1/2 lbs of strawberries!  Yum!  Hopefully, they will still be available next weekend so Todd and I can go pick some more.  I plan on crushing and freezing the strawberries to make jam a little later-on in the season (October maybe?).  I would like to make a 3 berry jam with strawberries, blueberries and red raspberries.  To do that, I'd have to freeze them all and then make the batch when it's time to do so.  Not to mention, I still dont have any canning equipment.  I am waiting for my Swagbucks to accumulate so I can get it for FREE from Amazon.com. :-)

At any rate, while I was picking the strawberries, I was dreaming of having a pick-your-own place.  Not just with strawberries, blueberries, peaches and apples, like most places.  I would love to have a pick-your-own that has ALL the fruits and vegetables for the entire season.  I'm talking snowpeas, strawberries, onions, asparagus, green beans, tomatoes, zukes, cukes, eggplant, mellon, cantaloup, peppers, corn, blackberries, red raspberries, grapes, nuts, apples, pears, peaches, plums, cherries...the whole sha-bang!  How awesome would it be to grocery shop with the seasons in your area just down the street?  Oh,and dont even get me started on the herbs and fresh-cut flowers.

Of course, being the OCD persoanlity-type I am, I have already started looking online to see if I can find some land.  NO, we will not be purchasing anything just yet.  We are $500 away from being debt-free but the mortgage, and I have no plans of going into debt again.  So, this would be a long...time consuming process that hopefully one day we will be able to achieve.  It would not be easy, but it's a dream that I have at the moment.  Oh...and how about some honey bees?  I want some so bad...Todd would never allow me to have them here at the house. :-)  So, why not at the farm? :-)

Day-dreaming. That's what I'm doing.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Disappointment

I am sorry it's been so long since I've posted on the blog.  I am going to try to make this a picture/family blog instead of my personal little outlet.  But, before I do that, I want to get something off my chest.

Todd and I thought I could potentially be pregnant...but as of last night, I'm not.  I cant tell you how much my heart broke.  I know it was only one time that we tried just a week ago, but my heart still broke.  I know that if we are meant to have children, God will give them to us, but I never expected to feel so horrible about getting my period.

So, there is a little sadness here in the Crispin household this morning.  I didnt realize how much Todd would be effected as well.

We talked about it last night, and I think we are going to try to start building a family.  I dont know how I'm going to go through each month wishing my period doesnt come, and when it doesnt, I'm not sure how I'm going to keep it a secret until it's "safe," but I am excited to see what God has in store for us.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Chickens: Week 10

I havent posted much about the chickens over the past 3 weeks, but here goes!


They are officially outdoor chickens as of yesterday.  So far, they are doing great.  The only problem we are having is with ants now! It's always something.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Chicks Week 8

I am sorry for not posting anything new about the chicks last week.  There really is no progress.  They are getting HUGE, and the chicken coop is finally complete.

To see pictures of the coop, you can go to:

http://sparing-change.blogspot.com/ .  Todd did a great job.

We are going on vacation starting next Friday, so the chicks have not stayed outside for the full night yet.  We will wait until after vacation to put them outside full-time.  They HAVE been spending time outside on nice days getting aquainted with their soon-to-be new home. 

They are so big now that I have a hard time gathering all four up to go outside.  There are always one or two that fly up on my arm or on the ledge of the container as I'm walking.  And truth be told, I cant figure out which chicken is which anymore.  3 that are brown are all a mystery to me.  The only one I can tell apart is "Blondie." 

I have some pictures of them last weekend in their chicken coop, but due to computer problems, I am unable to load them at the moment.  Hopefully soon.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

How Do You Do It? Money-Wise

I was running the numbers yesterday to see when Todd and I will be able to go down to a one income family.  I got so sad, because I dont see how it is possible for us to ever be a one income family.  I hate to think that we spend everything that we earn...even when we are debt free (but the house). 

By the end of March, we will owe mid $2,000 on our last credit card debt.  We have paid off nearly $900/month in revolving debt in the past year and a half which is a huge feat! However, even with that $900/month nearly freed up, we still have alot of things we want to do.

After our last debt is paid off, we will secure 1 year's worth of the bi-yearly & yearly bills ($5,000).  We will also save up an additional $6,000 to use as 3 month's living expenses.  Between the "bi-yearly" payments and 3 month's living expenses, we will have enough money to actually live off of if something were to happen for 6 months. 

Once that is taken care of, we want to:

1.) Start investing $500/month into a Roth IRA (this along with what we contribute at work with our employers would be 15% of our income)
2.) Save for our next vehicle (Goal: $12,000)
3.) Add a 1 1/2 car garage onto our house for hubby to use as his "workshop" and tear down the house next door. 

On top of all this, start a family.

So...my question is, how do you do it?
I know there are a few stay at home mom's out there that read the blog, and some with very limited income.

I understand that we dont NEED a $12,000 vehicle.  We most likely wont even "NEED" a vehicle for the next 5-10 years (hopefully)! But this is still looming in my mind, especially seeing as we drive so much.

And the house next door houses alot of hubby's tools and welding materials.  There is a hole in the roof and it is caving in.  Before long, the house will fall down around all of hubby's equipment.  We need to really consider getting it taken down, but we also need to find a home for some of our belongings and his equipment.  We are planning on going through and getting rid of alot of items, but we will still need to store some items.

Any suggestions and criticism is welcome.
I just dont see how all of this is possible on ONE income.

Todd's Birthday Surprise

Todd is going to be 40 next month (May 30th), and I have been thinking of a once in a lifetime gift for him.  My step mom mentioned something with Todd racing a race car. I found out that there are a few tracks around our area, but you have to have your own car, and it is EXPENSIVE!

The next, I decided I wanted to do a scenic flight around our area.  I called several places, and found one that is perfect for us. To be honest, I think I am more excited about it than Todd will be when he finds out what we are doing on the 31st of May.

The day after Todd’s birthday, I am taking the day off from work and we are going to go to lunch and then we will drive up to Cleveland to Burke Lakefront Airport.  This is a small airport close to the Cleveland Airport.  We will be flying over Cleveland and other areas for one hour with a personal pilot on a 4 person Cessna plane.  I was expecting it to be several hundred dollars for the two of us, but not so!

Todd is going to be flying the plane with the pilot, and the price is $62.95!  For me, because I will be a passenger (and official photo-taker!), I am riding for less than $30!  After all the regulatory fees and taxes, the cost is a few dollars less than $100!

HOW PERFECT IS THAT?!?

Not only will it be an experience of a lifetime, it is affordable!

We had been talking about going to Cancun or someplace tropical when we hit the big milestone of 30 and 40 years of age (as we both are this year,) but $100 is much more affordable.  We are going to lunch at his favorite place that gives a LOT of food for a LOW cost, Benihanah’s!  We will get the lunch boat for $9.75/person.  I just hope I don’t ralph it all up on the plane.

I’m so excited…can you tell?
Now, how am I going to keep this a secret for over a month without bursting at the seams?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

We Are Going to Orlando!

I drove down to see my mom and her husband last night for the weekend.  I havent had time with my mom alone since my birthday in early February, so we are long overdue.

I was sitting in Doc's den as he was making reservations in late October to Orlando for a medical conference he has to attend every year.  I was a little snotty and said how jealous I am.  Doc asked if I want to go.  I said that of course I wanted to go, but we cant.  He said, "Well, you're going."  Within minutes, he booked us a hotel (at a really nice hotel in Orlando - Doc doesnt do Comfort Inn!) and had our flights booked.  For both Todd and I.  I am still in shock at what just happened.

I know that mom has wanted to go on vacation with us for a while now, but things never panned out (and Todd and I are so cheap, our idea of a vacation and theirs are two completely different things.)  Well, Orlando is alot more affordable when you dont pay for your airfare and hotel!  I told mom that I cannot let them pay for our vacation, and she said, "Buy us dinner."  We will do alot more than that, of course, but it just amazes me how generous they are.  Todd is in complete disbelief as well.  We have been talking about going to Disney for a couple years now.  We are finally going to go! 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Planning for Christmas

Saturday, Todd and I went to the winery where it all started for us back in 2006.  We started making wine because of the Grape and Granary in Akron, OH.

We went there for the ump-teenth time and had a nice wine tasting to decide what we will be making here at home for Christmas gifts.  We have decided on 4 different wines.  Each batch of wine makes 30 bottles, so we will have 120 bottles of wine to savor throughout the year and to give away as gifts.

I am so excited!
We didnt buy any of the kits, because there is a place closer to where we live that sells them for a bit less than the Grape and Granary.  It will be like buying 3 - get one free.  And let me tell you, I love free! Not only that, we are really trying to pay off the last credit card by July 1st (I moved it back one month because it will be nearly impossible to pay off $4,980 in the next two months AND go on two 4-day weekends away!)

We are also going to try our hand at making beer for the holidays.  Alot of people in our family are drinkers, so these are perfect gifts.  Not only are they perfect gifts, they are different, and they wont be very expensive for us to make because we have all the equipment. 

Am I the only one thinking about Christmas already? :-)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Chicks Week 6

video

It was 75 degrees here on Sunday.  This is the chickens enjoying the weather and the garden.  I love how they lay down in the leaves.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Funny Conversation

Todd called me on my way to work the other morning.  He calls me every morning if he is at work and I’m on my way to work because we don’t see each other in the morning.  He is usually out the door by 4:30 and he gives me a kiss goodbye, and that’s about it.   We were talking about how our diet has been going.  I told him that I am having a horrible time with my sweet tooth.

Todd then said, “When I get home, I am going to get my pliers and we will take care of it! No more sweet tooth!” 

Believe me, I wish it were that easy.