Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Dipping a TOE Back In

Yesterday I had a doctors appointment and after signing in, I found myself a seat and pulled out my phone to kill the time until they called me back. I had missed a call. From CPS. I immediately panicked "are Little Miss and Girlfriend OK?!" Listened to the voicemail. Would we take a respite placement? 3 babies Friday through Sunday. two 1 year olds and an 8 month old. A baby fix if you will. I called Todd before calling the agency. No answer. I texted him and he couldn't call me until later. I called the agency back, they gave me a brief history of each baby and I accepted. I'm excited to hold babies this weekend! I messaged Todd that the agency had called us for respite for 3 babies for the weekend. and that I accepted. He was...shocked. He didn't think this would happen this fast...he thought we'd have more time off before being thrown back in. He's obviously come around to the idea, was just shocked at first. We've figured out sleeping arrangements and now we just wait until Friday.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Our License...what to do? what to do?

Our caseworker Ericka asked us last week what we wanted to do with our license. Our license is pretty open ended as of right now, we would take foster, respite and weekend/emergency placements. I contacted Todd and after lots of talking/praying/soul searching/numbers crunching/schedule considerations we were able to answer her. We have decided that right now we will leave our license open and have gone on the adoption list. So now we are on the list to receive 4 kinds of calls 1. emergency temporary 2. respite care 3. foster care 4. adoption.
We are not looking to accept any placements until at least spring, this is 2 fold. First we want to make sure bio-dad for Girlfriend and Little Miss is going to succeed (we have no doubts but just to be sure we want to be available to them if necessary) and also to give Todd time to get out of this first year of teaching. I'm sure teaching will never be easy but the first year of writing lesson plans, learning what to expect, getting his feet wet is bound to be (like any other job) the most emotionally exhausting. Ideally we'd love to get someone, just like the twincesses, right at the beginning of summer, giving everyone time to bond and readjust before going back to the full schedule of football and school (always our hardest season). Wed' also like to get our 28 hours of training done to maintain our license and avoid a break in our license. We will of course consider, and pray about every call we receive, just at this time we have no intentions of actively seeking placements. We'd have to hear God giving us the resounding green light before accepting a placement but God is not and never has been mysterious in my life. I seek only to please Him and He has plans for me. Plans to prosper me and not to harm me.  So I have NO doubt that I will hear him loud and clear when it's time.

Friday, January 10, 2014

An Annual Cycle

We set our sights too high. Our goals unattainable. And in the end, we don't buckle down, sacrifice and WORK for it. Debt free. I true desire. I hear God calling me to be debt free, and yet I continue to use credit cards (transmission went out in the Suburband and the Blazer required it's own set of repairs totalling about $4000 in credit card debt). I fall prey to the needs of the world, to material things. This year, I will set a REALISTIC goal. I am giving myself 3 years to be debt free. I have a plan in place. There is a plan A and a plan B. I will work plan A UNTIL plan B comes to fruition.

Plan A. I will take 3 years to slowly change our lifestyle.

Step 1. Cutting first the fast food and impromptu meals out.

Step 2. Stop buying snacks, coffee and non - essentials from the gas station

Step 3. Budget enough to buy my staff 1 lunch OR breakfast each week.

Step 4. Cut the grocery bill by lessening the meat in all but 1 meal each week and using other healthy alternatives to keep our meal quality higher.

Step 5. Communicate more effectively with Todd about our finances, our needs and our budget.

Step 6. Stick to my budget
a. I have $1798 coming in from the girls last month with us. I want to use that money to pay off our Care Credit card before it starts building interest, pay off right now is $1200 leaving $598 which will pay $500 for a weekend get away from my husband and I (essential) and put $100 in savings.
b. I have used a tax return calculator to see that our return SHOULD be close to $7000 but I will figure on $6500 because of the fees for H-&-R Block to do our taxes. I will use $4300 of that $6500 to pay off the suburban leaving us with $2200. I will put $1000 in savings, we will purchase a new TV (ours is literally 11 years old) and with the remaining money will buy new clothes for Todd and I (we are both in careers now that require us to dress a certain way - him a teacher and I'm the director...time to grow up). What is left will be snow balled into the remaining 2 debts.
c. our $7000 of credit card debt. When Todd is off for the summer, our fuel bill will be cut nearly in half and our child care costs will be down by about $400/month. I am hoping to leave the fuel money for him to do summer activities with the kids, and that $400 can be snow balled onto the larger credit card. but with also paying off the suburban, that frees up $150 to try to snowball, however when the girls went home, we lost their check (over $1700 a month which was used mainly for their care but also for the rent of the house we're living in now so we're really losing money from the budget making it harder to snowball that money when we don't really have it to use).

Plan B. Everything about Plan A goes out the window depending on HOW plan B goes. Plan B comes into effect WHEN we sell the Wapak house. If we can sell the house for what it's worth, it will have enough left after we pay the mortgage and realtor fees to pay off the credit card debt and maybe start a down payment for our next home, however since we use VA home loans, we don't need a down payment so we may use that for Todd's new truck (he's got his eye on one already).

Either way, life is changing. Right now. Not after the checks start coming in. Right. Now. We will make coffee before church and take it in our go cups. This is not any ones fault but my own. Todd is on board but I am the problem. He has the self control I lack. He is cooperative and forgiving. This is on me and it changes today.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Sent Them on Their Way

January 3rd...quickly becoming my least favorite date. It now represents the day my son died and the day I gave my girls back to their biological father. We had scheduled Sunday night (when we picked them up) to meet Friday the 3rd at 5:30. Thursday evening he called and moved it 11. losing the last 6 hours with them was like a punch in the gut. Everyone who needed to say good-bye, said it Thursday night. Friday morning, we got up, had breakfast, finished packing their things, took some last minute pictures on the fresh fallen snow (in their princess dresses) and headed for Sidney. It was a quiet drive down. A torturous 20 minute wait while we waited for them to arive and excruciating 20 minute good bye. I thought my heart might break. And then, they were just gone. I looked in the back seat and I saw my 3 amazing children. My 3 Muskiteers. no 5 point harness car seats. no sisters. no trace of them having been there. they were just gone.