Archive | September, 2014

Hitting Me Where it Hurts

29 Sep

So, I am beginning to fade fast from all of the workload that has fallen on me. I know I am the owner, the boss and the one who can do every job in the bakery, but it is starting to wear on me that I have to do all the jobs. I am training someone new, and she is going to work out perfectly, and I hope she stays on and loves working with Shanna and I. My staff becomes like family to me. I spend more time with my staff than I actually do with my own family….. maybe even amounts of time. But still, it’s alot of time with them. So, with training and teaching co-op students, and training 2 new staff members, doing all of the baking and a little more than half of the decorating, I am super beat.

So, when people ask me to do something, I want to say yes to everyone. I know that I can’t. I say maybe if I have time now.

Actually, I am not looking forward to sitting in my office to complete all of the book work that I haven’t been able to do for the last month. It is going to be painful! I will pull through! Ha Ha! There could be worse things!

So, as you know, my family and I are now vegan. We actually really love it! I am super excited because I am learning to cook delicious and healthy meals for my family. I pretty much LOVE to cook now. I have been making broth to use in cooking dishes and I am making soups and other dishes which we freeze so we can eat good meals in the winter when money is a little slim. I made a pot pie last night that I really loved. Even my kids ate their entire serving! Sometimes it is hard to get them to finish a meal, but since we are now vegan, it is especially important that they finish their meals. So, we made a couple of soups to freeze, and we were going to my parents house on the weekend, so we decided to bring along 2 different soups and some bread that my hubby had made. When it came to lunch time, my dad refused to eat with us. He was angry and started yelling at us, saying that we are shoving our eating habits down his throat. I took great offence to this, since we had brought cauliflower soup….. there is nothing terrible about that. Even people who eat meat, eat soup. So, he made it quite clear that he did not accept the way we eat and said that we force it on him. Now, I don’t want my children to think that there is anything wrong with our choice of diet. It is just food. That is it. Why is it such a big deal? Does my dad eat potatoes and vegetables? Yes. Does he eat soup? Yes. Does he eat fruit? Yes.  There is nothing that we do that is offensive or mean. We eat healthy, it is our choice to eat how we do and we do not force anyone else to eat that way either. I do not go to them and start yelling because they want to feed us chicken nuggets. Which my mother is willing to feed my youngest son. We told them both that we do not eat meat. What is wrong with that? What is so hard with feeding a vegetarian or vegan? Not every dish has meat.

Anyways, I left my parents house is disgust and anger. My children heard me defending our eating habits. I am fine with this. I don’t want them thinking that people can shove their ideals on to them. I want them to know that it is okay to be different, no matter who says something. My 7 year old understands all of this, but my 5 year old does not, and he is an easy target to change his mind. When he is old enough he can make a decision, but we will make sure that it is educated. I was very hurt by my parents and I cannot believe that they are letting a thing like food get in the way of family. I am disgusted and hurt and disappointed. I never thought they would turn on me like this.I am my mother’s only child, and my step-father is acting child-like. I think that his constant negativity is rubbing off on her. Which surprises me immensely. My mother is a strong person, but she is being worn down.

I wrote her a letter so she can read my thoughts. I find writing letters much better than talking. I get a chance to say my piece, and not be interrupted or screamed at.

We shall see. Until then, I feel broken inside and I am glad I have my husband and children. They are my strength and if I need a hug, they are right there. I will never turn on my children. Especially over something so silly.

This is where it hurts. If someone puts my family down. Our choices and our way of life. Someone telling my children the way they are being raised is wrong….I will fight. I will protect my own, whether or not we are being attacked by our own. Family is everything to me. All family. It does not matter to me how they eat, or choose to live. I love them all for who they are. What they do does not always define who they are.

I just want peace.

Why is this hard? Why is everyone a critic?

Busier Than A Bee!

18 Sep

Whew! I have been busy! Now that my student employees are back off to school, that leaves me and my manager to do everything, and for some reason everyone’s birthday is this month! Ha ha! I have new co-op students coming in and I have just hired a new part time baker, which will work out perfectly! I can train her the way that I want her during the slow months so that she will be up and ready for the battle come next spring! The lulls in the bakery are November until mid February, although, I am trying to drum up more business for Christmas….. we shall see!

So, not only am I working my behind off (I really wish this statement had some literal truth to it!), or rather, I am working alot of hours and really hard, but I am working hard at home as well. I put my family on a budget. I was so tired of having to borrow from other places to pay bills or buy groceries. I kept wondering where all of our money was going. So, I did something about it. Through a lot of research via internet I made a system that works for us. We are in our first month, but it is working like a charm already! I have cash envelopes! I budgeted $400 per month for groceries, I figure $100 per person in our family no matter the age. This has been proven as an immediate benefit! We have been buying fresh fruit and veggies to store in our freezer for the winter months when cash is a little tighter. When I leave work at the bakery, I go straight home to work in the kitchen. I have been roasting veggies for soups, blanching veggies to freeze and preparing for meal planning and meal freezing. Between my husband and I, we have almost filled our freezer! We have frozen tomatoes from my dad’s garden, squash, cauliflower and broccoli. In the summer we were freezing fruit and the veggies that were cheaper at that time. I was very proud and giddy when we walked out of the grocery store having only spent $20, and we purchased almost a whole cart full of cauliflower and broccoli. Cauliflower is 97 cents right now! I think we have purchased about 12 heads so far! I made cream of broccoli soup last night as well! We made a roasted pear and carrot soup….YUM!

So far, we have about $60 left in our grocery budget and we only need to buy more milk. I am hoping to be under  budget for the first month, and try to beat it the next month. We write down all of our spending and we are only allowed to spend cash wherever we go. The card is off limits. We do our bill paying twice per month which coincides with my hubby’s pay week and this is done on line. I have separated the bill paying to twice a month and since there are more weeks in a couple of months, we have a full month worth of bills free once or twice per year. I try to save this time for near Christmas. It really helps to have a free month worth of utilities at this time!

Plan ahead! This is a hard lesson that I have learned! I hate being broke near Christmas, it really really sucks hard! This year, I am keeping within budget for presents and I am making most of my gifts. I am working on a cross stitch that I will give my sister-in-law and I also have some other things that I would like to do that I can make for just a few dollars. These gifts tend to mean more anyway. I have started saving money for Christmas, and I think I have some gifts that I had bought earlier in the year for this as well. I know that I have started saving for Christmas a little late, but that was not in my mind in the summer time. Cake was always on my mind then, not my budget!

Now I am a different person and I am so dedicated to this! I am teaching my children now as well! We have money jars. They do chores for their allowance and then they have to put some money into each jar.money-jar-300x250 One for each, college, vacation, toy. This way they can learn how to save money and the reward that comes when you work hard and save. My hubby and I contribute to the college and vacation jars, and to contribute to the toy jar, they have to do a homework page that I have printed out for them. They get 25 cents per page. Its up to them how much money they want towards their toy! I love this method! They can actually see their money grow, and once a month, we will take it to the bank to deposit in to their bank accounts. My oldest son is very proud to buy his own things now. He has a wallet and he loves to buy his own books. It gives him the freedom that he so desires! As long as he saves some, he can buy all the books he wants!  I will never complain about my 7 year old wanting to buy books with his money!

My husband and I also have jars, one for the roof repair we will need next year, and one for the addition that I would like to put on the house in some years from now. I put money into the envelopes about once per week and I go through our budget binder as well, seeing what we have spent our money on, and how much we have left for the month. I am always researching on how to save money as well. I have been riding my bike or walking to work, which saves on gas and gives me more exercise. With winter coming, I will still walk, but I will be using the vehicle to take the boys to their swimming lessons and sports activities.

I feel so much better now that I am learning how to handle my own money, and I am at ease knowing that my kids are learning how to handle money as well!