Sunday, November 29, 2009

Finances for those who are getting close to that "retire" word

It will be a few more years before I (52) retire, but my husband(59) is almost there. I actually wish he would leave his job today and begin his woodworking...but there is "that Harley to buy for the cross country trip when our son gets back from overseas".
We started the "end" retirement money count about a year ago, when he had a "routine surgery" go bad. Six months after the surgery, he was (and still is ) recovering. He is back to work- but that surgery (and the death of several family members) put us on a steady track.
What does it take to retire?
Here is my plan so far:
1. We consolidated our accounts.
When you have accounts all over the place, you often lose perspective of what you have.
2. We took our envelope system to the next level.
We have used envelopes for the past twenty years. Now they are stone in areas of allowances and more flexible in house repairs.
3. We dug out all of our journals and really looked at our true spending.
I have been journaling our expenses on and off for about five years.
From there we figured out a better idea of how much we actually do spend on traveling (a lot) and clothing ( a little). We could see the trends in gas and how long our cars last. Best of all we could see which investments were good.
4. We rid ourselves of mutual funds.
I would not recommend this to anyone who does not have the time to track stocks.
5. We took a long look at how much we could live on alone (if the other passed away) and together.
That is still an on going debate here!
6. We are currently saving 60% of what we make.
Do you think this teacher/ GS worker takes the idea of "what we want to do when we grow up" seriously?
That would go down a great deal if one of us leaves our position.
I'll let you know how the rest of it goes as we progress.

My first post- Jan 3, 2006

Hard to believe it has been almost four years!

"Until I visited Alaska I never really understood that a sky can be the "sky blue" in the crayon box. There I was stuck in a place between Fairbanks and Palmer looking at the sky. It was blue, but not regular blue. I lived in Northern Arizona. I know what "blue sky" looks like. But there I was seeing, for the first time, "sky blue". What an amazing color. It is actually exhilarating.

Think of a whipped blue as pale as it can get and then suddenly a splash of dark blue thrown in.It was actually warming a day that was probably about -10.I thought, after my trips to Alaska ceased, I would never experience that color again. I think it was just so unpolluted there I could see the REAL "sky blue". I was to be surprised.
Yesterday I was out walking on our small farm- and there it was- "sky blue". I have not lived in Kansas this time very long, but I have already come to appreciate the many things that brought us back here after 15 years away. The geese gathering to fly south, the kids bounding up our drive to see if the sledding hill was ready, the sunset out my kitchen window and now "sky blue". Moving back to Kansas was a good move. "

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving thanks

T hankful that life is so good
H armony within my mother's house
A men is the word of wisdom this year
N ana - there are two of them in the house right now!
K inder -I will miss our Nicholas this year
S ave the turkey from the dogs!
G od is the center of my life and the center of this word
I raq, praying for those serving and a safe day
V oices from afar make the day special
I n bound from Seattle- ready for pick up at US Air!
N oon meal with the extended family
Gracious hosts that my sister and her husband always are. I am thankful that they are willing
host so we can fill and enjoy
Missing the other parts of my family- but Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Traveling on Thanksgiving weekend

I am thankful for living in the time period when I can get on a plane and have my son get on another plane and we both end up at my Mother's for Thanksgiving. I hate to fly, but I love to visit!
Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Thankful for the people in our children's lives

We know we cannot always be near. We are thankful that our children have the ability to make good friends.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Thankfulness comes in a sunrise

I did not have the camera this morning as the sun rose on my way to the pancake breakfest at school. It was beautiful!
I am also thankful that I can hear the helicopters at night. Their engines bring me that much closer to my son, who I really miss right now.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Thankful for

co workers who can laugh with me about the strange things kids do on our team. Middle School teachers have to see humor in growing up. We have been there and are willing to walk a new group through each year- with humor!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Thankful for the new couches!

I am thankful for

I am thankful for

Children of all shapes and sizes, backgrounds, abilities and disabilities.
I am just wondering if the Science and Social Studies classrooms are really Noah's Ark for school!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Thankful for

Young teachers who will take on beginning strings at the middle school level.

It is good to see you Sarah Palin!

I caught glimpses of Palin on different shows this weekend. Not home in time for Oprah-but would have liked to see the interview.
I stopped watching her on TV after the Couric interview- it was so bad. Katie, obviously, was willing to do whatever it took to twist Sarah. Disappointing. I haven't watch Couric since- and probably never will again.
Finally, I am beginning to see the Palin that others rave about in person. She did not stop in my area (who did?) so I knew no one who had heard her first hand. I am anxious to read her book. I am even more anxious for her to stretch out and learn more. I think she could be an excellent role model.
And next time- don't run with John McCain!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Thirty days of Thankful

Today I am thankful that we can still move a couch downstairs!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Who changes a child into a man?

Thankful for

The small things---calls from the kids and my sister, a movie with my husband.
I am also thankful for the time I had with my dad.
Today is the third anniversary of the day he left us for a higher place.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Thankful to be

debt free

The good set of kids

I am thankful that I have great students this year. They make teaching a pleasure and a challenge.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I can't hear

the cheers over the house version of the health care bill that takes abortion out of the mix. Are we only voicing defeats?

Monday, November 09, 2009

I am thankful for

The ability to walk the halls.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Saturday, November 07, 2009

I spoke to my son today- he flew a few hours to get home. It makes me a bit less worried that doctors like the one above will be taking care of him in harms way. What happened was a tragedy, but those soldiers are rare.
My nephew is also safe at Fort Hood.
It was another long day.

I am thankful for

The day is hazy and the combines are out. I am thankful for the farmers who tend their fields so we may have food on the table.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Thirty days of Thanksgiving

I am not really good at this- but I am willing to give it a try. Found it on Michelle's blog. She found it on Kayla's blog

Day one was a good day. I was thankful for the opportunity to do my windows before the winter started and for getting a paper done that I thought I would not get to.

Day two I was thankful that my husband is well enough to ride his motorcycle again.

Day three I was thankful that I work on with a good team of teachers

Day four I was thankful for the beautiful weather during our field trip

Day five I was thankful for prayer in the morning

Day six-which is today- I am thankful that I went to the officer's club 29 years ago today and saw those amazing eyes. You know those eyes...the ones of the one you will marry:>)

Mostly I am thankful that I have a loving family.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Surprise! I took on too much.

I finished a paper last night.
Taking two classes and having a life is pretty difficult.
Thinking it would be a breezein the beginning, I broke about three weeks ago.
How do people do this.
Fortunately, the professor decided to give me time instead of forcing me to drop the class. Last night I wrote one of the best papers I ahve enjoyed in a very long time. The class is caught up and "moving forward" (pg 29) is the theme of the day.
Now, if I could only find the forms for the Social Studies meeting this morning!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

It was a wonderful day to be

a teacher!
The field trip was excellent.
The hour of 11 year olds telling silly jokes in the van was the best part.
Sitting in a warm van with kids who just needed to talk and chill was a smooth second.
The gulls, the walking (including watching the "macho boys trying not to get their shoes dirty) and the kindness of strangers at lunch time....
Yes, it was a wonderful day.
Even the last minute website presentation for my fellow teachers went well.
I promise bison pictures soon!
I will miss rock, paper, sissors if I leave.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Fall back

It was really a beautiful day. My windows are all clean for the winter and the spiders have all been removed.

Looking out my living room window gives me the joy to continue my day.

The bedroom gives a peek at the dogs and later, when the leaves are all gone, the horses who live on the pasture above the house.
Yes! There is not a bad season here!