Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Let's Get Organized

Our summer vacation time is swiftly coming to a close, and we're starting to get exited.

Yesterday morning, the kids and I went to the store and got all of our school supplies; binders, crayons, pencil boxes, pencils, paper, etc. They were so excited by it all that we were soon pulling packaging apart, putting school boxes together, coloring binder labels, and having a grand old time. I even went so far as to put together their math and language arts binders, an activity which involved pulling apart a number of 100+ page workbooks, hole punching them, and organizing them with deviders. I even made and printed out and hole punched a bunch of experiment pages for science. It took me a good few hours. Before we knew it, it was time for dinner!

I still have to get History ready, which involves pulling apart another workbook, scanning the pages, making a disk, printing them out, and hole punching them all. We also need to finalize our daily and year-long schedules, but there's still time.

We start school the second week in August.

We're almost there.

Vacation is nice, but we're getting ready for life to be normal again.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Every time we go out to visit my family, I ask if I can have my brother's cat, never really expecting them to give him to me. Oh, I pout, act cute, and eventually grin when they don't take me seriously. But seriously, I love my brother's cat! He's one of the best kitties I've ever met; social, good with kids, laid back, doesn't bite or scratch, and isn't needy.

So, I got a surprise when I asked if I could take him home with me this time.

Turns out, a friend of my niece found a stray kitten and asked my niece if she could take care of him until the girl convinced her mom to let her keep him. Well, my sister consented, but then the girl wasn't allowed to keep him after all. Unfortunately, my sister already had three cats, the maximum allowed by city ordinances, and couldn't keep him either.

So, with us being in town and knowing my adoration of my brother's cat (who the kitten resembles in personality), they asked if we would take him.

Long story short, we now have a kitten. His name is Kasper. We don't know exactly, but I think he's somewhere around two to three months old.

It's almost strange how naturally he has fir into our house. Seth and I both grew up with cats, so having one seems so, well, natural. He's good natured too. He loves to play, explore, go outside, be around us, and sleep in the window sill in the basement and on Bailey's bed. He gets along well with the kids too and even our rats (though we have to be careful when they "play").

I like having a cat. I like it a lot, and it's a decision that I seriously doubt we'll regret.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


After deciding to get my finances in better order, I started to look for a program to keep track of my spending. I've used Quicken before, so I went to their on-line sight first. Turns out they have a free on-line financial tracker called Mint. It acts similar to the old pre-2004 Quicken programs, which is what I used before, plus the added on-line capabilities. Very basic, but very useful.

Easy access from any internet linked computer
Works with my Mac
Quicken style program
Create budgets
See data in chart and graph forms
Track your spending/income/net worth
Automatically downloads bank info
Info/advertising for other financial opportunities without being obnoxious

No immediate downloads of transaction data (this may just be my bank)
Transaction data can take a few days to download
Information is all on the internet
It is only a basic program without all of the bells and whistles

Anyway, I like it. It covers all my basic needs and then some. Very nice.

I definitely think it's worth checking out.