Saturday, September 25, 2010

Now that it's September...

...I'm finally getting around to posting about what we did in August (and then what we've done so far this month)!

August is a big birthday month (always has been in my family).  My niece turned 4, my mom's birthday was next, my younger sister's next, mine is after that and Oscar's is on the 28th.  BIG birthday month around here.

Oscar has been taking karate since March.  In August he got his first belt (yellow).  He still needs to work on his kata, so the instructor gave him a provisional belt (white stripe through the yellow) until he can do it on his own without prompting.

I went on FMLA leave (intermittent) on September 1st.  Why you ask?  Mondays: I take Mayerly, Diana and Oscar to speech therapy;  Tuesdays:  I take Oscar and Diana to vision therapy;  every other Thursday I take Oscar and Diana to auditory processing therapy;  Fridays:  I take Oscar and Diana to speech therapy.  So far, so good.  We don't have much time in the evenings for other activities.  We kept Oscar in karate on Monday and Wednesdays so he gets some exercise and time with boys (only girls at home, and at school right now).

The new schools seem to be going well so far.  There are 3 students (yeah, that's not a typo) in Oscar and Diana's school - including Oscar and Diana.  The other student is a girl about Diana's age.  They each have an individualized curriculum suited to where they are in each subject and a lot on one-on-one help.  They also get extra therapy for their areas of weakness at this school.  So far, it has been a very positive thing and we are seeing some scholastic improvements already.

Mayerly and Claudia's school has an ESL program (through December only).  Mayerly is participating in Title 1 Reading (small groups that get extra help with reading) too.  They were both in Spanish until ESL started, but something had to give and unfortunately it was Spanish - for now.  It was so funny after Claudia's first Spanish class, she was trying to impress me by telling me all the colors in Spanish.  She doesn't remember that less than two years ago she only knew how to say them in Spanish.

In August we also refinanced our house to a 30 year loan to help the 'ole budget.  We are followers of Dave Ramsey and had originally planned to have our house paid off within the next 3 years (we had a 10 year loan).  We have managed to stay debt free except for our house payment.  However, with all the therapies that insurance won't pay for and the special education/private school tuition, we have had to do some serious adjusting with the finances in order to keep from borrowing money to pay for everything.  We're dropping our phone land line soon and will only have cell phones. We probably don't/won't eat out much (if at all) or do much of anything extra from now on either.  We never have had cable or satellite TV and our cars are paid for.  I buy all the kids clothes off eBay or from consignment/thrift shops.  I hope this doesn't sound all whiny and depressing, because it isn't meant to; we don't expect things to be this tight forever.  Gotta do what you gotta do, right?

Tim started a new job last week.  He wasn't looking, they came to him and offered him more money and better benefits, so it was kinda a no-brainer to take it.  They even have overtime opportunities, which is much better than taking a second job (which we were considering before this job came along).  He isn't liking the commute too much though compared to his old job (the old job was here in town, the new one is across the state line in Kansas).  It puts all the responsibility of running the kids to all their therapies on me now too, since he isn't close enough to do some of it anymore.  We are surviving the change though.

I'm starting to sell the kids outgrown clothes on eBay too as a little side business.  I listed 3 "test items" last weekend and have bids on two of them - they end tomorrow.  We'll see how it goes, hopefully I'll make enough money to make it worth the effort.

That's it.  It's just plain crazy around here, but we kinda knew it would be.  :-)

Monday, September 6, 2010

First Day of School - Oscar and Diana August 30, 2010

We lost our phone (land line) service, and thus internet service, sometime either last Sunday night or Monday morning.  We got it back on Saturday afternoon (way to be on top of things AT&T).  Evidently, there was some utility service work done up the street from us that was the culprit.  Still don't know why it takes a week to fix it...

Anyway, I'm finally getting to post our second "first day of school" - Oscar and Diana's.