Top 5

I’m kind of stealing this from my friend Divya, whom I have known since September 1998!!! We sat together during our first class in college and have been friends ever since.

Five random things that are going on in my life right now..

1)  Decluttering For Moving

I have been putting this off for ages, believing I had more time. Not anymore. I realized over the weekend when my husband was home was that we have four and a half months. Technically we have just over 5, but I am counting the time till he comes home in July before we move.  Today I started in the garage and filled up a huge 30 gallon bag of trash to go to the dump, and most of a big Rubbermaid bin for goodwill.  I also took pictures of our 108 year old Piano for Craigslist, and condensed a bunch of boxes and bins into a lesser amount of bins.  I also went through two boxes that had been packed up for years and got rid of most of the contents, one being my late husband’s Army paperwork.  That stuff is sensitive material as it all needs to be sorted/shredded.  It only took about two hours, and I got a lot of work done.

2) Great Wolf Lodge

This past weekend my hubby and I treated the kiddos to a night/weekend at Great Wolf Lodge as a combined birthday present for all four this year.  We got a nice room, and spent Saturday afternoon till Sunday afternoon there.  Boy were we tired! One of my favorite moments of the weekend was going on the Howlin’ Tornado slide with my husband, he being more scared than I! Hearing a big tough 36-year-old, seasoned Army Vet scream out “OH SHIT” as you went down the slide is pretty damn hilarious.  His eyes were as big as saucers!

3) Realizing We’re Moving

Again, this is somewhat tied in with post #1, but the time is sneaking up on us sooner and sooner.  I remember when Andrew left for Kansas at the end of November and I thought I had TONS of time to prepare.  Not so much.  We will be leaving for our new home in just over 5 months.

I’ve met some new neighbors that just moved in/are moving into our neighborhood, and they are fantastic.  I am sad to leave them actually.  I am scared to leave my comfort zone, as this area has been home since 2005.  I’ve put down roots here, the kids’ friends are here, and we’re leaving it all.  We should be back here in 5 years or less depending on where the Army needs us, but still…

I also have to come to terms with leaving my house at the mercy of renters.  Honestly, that scares the crap out of me.  I’ve started to get repairs done…we just had the back yard start to be fixed up, the front was re-mulched, and we filled the holes at the back of the house from the dogs, with big river rocks. Painting, caulking, and some carpet repairs will be done too.  My husband will be here Memorial Day weekend, and also all of July, so some of this will be his responsibility too, so it’s not all on me.

4) Already Planning Our Disney World 2014 Trip

Yeah, I went there.  I’m such a Disney nut that I’m starting to price out a fall 2014 trip.  We did fantastically saving up for our Disneyland trip, we paid cash for everything, so I want to begin that for Disney World.  I’ll probably be getting a job this fall, and most of my income will go to our trip/retirement savings.

Being a military family, we do have several benefits that civilians do.  We can stay at a military hotel for quite a bit less than a deluxe Disney resort, but we don’t get free dining. We also get discounted tickets.  We just need to weigh our options and see what is more affordable for us.  Sometimes though, cheaper doesn’t always mean better, and with Disney…it can be better to spend money sometime for the convenience (like the monorail) and peace of mind it allows you.  I hope to have at least some things booked/decided this fall.

5) Going to Kansas in March

We totally are!!! With our tax return, I purchased tickets for the kiddos and I to go see my husband for five days.  We’re already aware this is going to be an expensive year for us, but giving the children a chance to see where we will live, and experience it a bit, will make the August transition easier on them.  We will leave on a Thursday morning, and come back late Monday night, three whole days.  Unfortunately with the Army, my husband could not take more time off, so we will make the best of the time we have.

Since we will be there during Easter, I picked up a few favorites of the kids, and have left the rest up to my husband.  HaHa! I am curious to see what he will fill their baskets with. He’s such a kid at heart, so I know he will do a great job.

Please don’t tell my kids though, because this will be a surprise.  I will tell them about a week before that we’re going to see my brother on the other side of the country, and have a “layover” in Missouri.  Then when we get off the plane, I’ll just say we’re going for a walk to stretch our legs…and we’ll land up in baggage claim, only to see my husband waiting! It’s our hope they won’t catch on, but if they do, so be it.  We’re excited though!

35 more days and counting!

Verizon’s New “Bleed You Dry” Plan

Is anyone else as cheesed as I am about these new plans?

I’ve been a Verizon customer for almost three years now, and while they are one of the most expensive carriers, I have been very pleased with them and don’t want to switch if I can help it.  I started off with a Blackberry Tour in Aug 2009, and then last year, upgraded to the iPhone 4 in May.  Of course, this was all back when unlimited data was the norm, and it only cost $30 per month.

I’ve been able to keep that plan, as I was grandfathered in, but it looks like I’m not about to be anymore.  Under Verizon’s new plan, if you upgrade your phone, or purchase a new one, you have to “upgrade” to the new “Bleed You Dry Plan”.  With two almost 12 year olds in this house getting phones for Christmas, plus another smart phone being added in a few months (the Mr and I will be looking into sharing a plan, or something along those lines), the data and texting, and minutes used now will become higher.  I currently pay only $107 per month for my current plan, which includes 450 minutes, unlimited data and texting for an iPhone 4.  I don’t need a lot of minutes, as the Mr. and I have mobile to mobile.

If we are to add the twins’ basic phones, that will cost an additional $30 each, plus $40 each for mine and the Mr.’s smart phones, plus data, plus tax, plus insurance etc etc. The plan I looked at cost over $200 for all four of us with very limited data.  In the end, we’d probably be looking at about $250, if not more. Now, thankfully we DO use WiFi at the house, so that really  helps alleviate a large portion of the cost, but we need data and minutes while we’re out and about, and while he is at work.  I can also choose to not upgrade my phone next year, and keep this plan I have now, but that also means not getting the twins their phones or adding the Mr. to my plan.  I DID want to upgrade to the iPhone 5 next year, as the camera on the 4 really stinks.

This definitely requires further research, and I need to find the best bang  for my buck.  Pay-as-you-go is an option for the twins, but with the amount of texting I know they will do, I’m not so sure it’s a great idea.  We could also just scrap the whole idea of them getting phones, but with the two of them entering middle school in a year, they will need a phone to contact either of us grownups at extra-curricular activities etc.  On a side note, isn’t it funny how times have changed? When I was their age, I was able to use a pay phone for a quarter, or ask the secretary at the office if I could call my parents.  That doesn’t happen so much anymore.  I think payphones are almost a thing of the past, and can’t recall the last time I saw one.

Who is your carrier, and why do you like them?

Bountiful Baskets

Last year some time, I heard about this food co-op called Bountiful Baskets from a friend of mine, and was slightly intrigued.  “Lots of food for cheap? perhaps I’ll check it out.” Each week you can get one to three baskets of fruit, and veggies, and usually they have add-ons like breads, tortillas, different fruit baskets, or a Mexican themed food basket too.  This week though, I missed out on the extra baskets because I ordered too late, but I just got the basic fruit and veggie baskets.  I’ve been thinking that because I need to save money, why not start doing this again?  It fulfills most of our produce needs for the week and it saves me money too.

Check out Bountiful Baskets and tell me what you think!

Here’s what I got this week:

Beets

2lbs green string beans

1 bag of apples

5 large tomatoes

1 large bunch of bananas

6 bunches of broccoli

1 head of colorful cauliflower (i might try make mashed cauliflower with this one, I’ve always wanted to try)

1lb of strawberries

2 mangoes

1 small watermelon

1 pineapple

How awesome is that? and only for $15! I’m going to try do next week if I can, Mr eHarmony and I are going hiking again, but if I get up early enough, then I will be able to pick it up.  It certainly does help with my grocery budget!

Here’s the link again if you are interested, Bountiful Baskets New Participant Instructions

So, how can tell me how to cook beets? I’m lost. I need ideas!