Friday, February 24, 2012

Pizza, Eye Doctors & Ear Muffs - Finance Friday

In the last few weeks it's become evident that my attitude has certainly turned a corner
and I gotta tell ya;
perspective makes all the difference in the world.
(Can I get an Amen?)

Oh, don't get me wrong - you still hafta walk the looooooong road to get where you're going.

I'd like to think we can magically get over our hurts/pain/frustrations/hurdles
but we can't.

What we should do is learn to be more appreciative of the process.
Process. What an ugly, little, necessary word.

It's Finance Friday on To Write a Better Story. The day I dedicate my blog to our journey into the depths of poverty, how we cope, how I've come to grips with my situation and what we're doing to get out of it.

Here's 3 quick stories from our Tribe:

1. I never take my kids shopping. They don't know what it's like to step into a dressing room, try on sizes, pick out colors and shop. If my kids need something, they usually let me know and I will pick it up for them when I can (unless Grandma is nearby - what a life$aver). This is because a.) I have 5 kids and b.) I have no shopping money. That being said, my little twins have been asking me for well over 3 months for earmuffs. I, watching the clearance rack at my part-time retail job, finally scored the last 2 pair in the store. They were $2.30 each - my 15% employee discount. That = a deal I couldn't pass up! That was over a week ago and my twins literally cannot stop wearing the earmuffs.; outside, inside, at school, while watching T.V. and (as you can see) while reading at the kitchen table. Never, in my life have a spent a better $4 bucks. They love the earmuffs. And that warms my heart.

2. It was time for my big son's annual eye check up. As a 6'3" 13 year old it looked kinda strange that I would accompany such a strapping fella into the exam but truth is (don't tell him) he still needs his mommy. Sure enough he needed new glasses and together we picked out a pair from the 6 he gets to choose from as a State of IL KidCare recipient. Behind us all the sparkly, shiny, fancy glasses were arranged but those we're not options for us. Thankfully he's never asked me why. However, today I needed to do some investigating into the cost of getting him a pair of prescription sports glasses. He survived basketball with his regular glasses but with baseball season on the horizon I knew it was time to check into a safer option for him. With the help of the optometrist E tried on a variety of glasses. I watched him become attached to the 'cool' glasses and felt a little twinge of dread develop in the pit of my stomach. I reminded him we were just here to look. I left with an estimate in my hand and a prayer on my heart. $175 for frames + $102 for clear poly lens or + $186 poly transitional lens (for outside sports) = a lot of money. The optometrist said they have payment plans. I thanked her and promptly exited the store.

3. Our schedule in this season of our life is ridiculously hectic and family meals are practically extinct. Take Wednesday, for example. The twins were off to their lil church program (with a complimentary dinner). Darling hubby had an away basketball game (coaching) and I was happy to settle for leftovers for my dinner but the 3 big kids were facing a meal of cereal or mac n cheese (as they have an overzealous hostility for rewarmed food). Usually quick dinners don't bother me but on this day I felt one more moment of disconnectedness was too much for the dynamics of our relationships. I anticipated everyone would make their own food, disappear to their own corners with their own screens and never would a meaningful exchange take place. And I wasn't about to cook. Heck, the kitchen was still dirty from last nights dinner's explosion ... So, I did what I never do. I took 'em out for pizza. I even let them order pop (overpriced highway robbery fountain machines, blast you!). Yet I bought more than their food that night. I bought time. Time for us to be in the same space, not be interrupted by the loud, little kids or homework or television or ... It cost me $38 dollars (do you know how much food I could buy for our pantry for $38 dollars!?!?!?) but I choose to let the bill go and I choose them. And never, I mean never, have you seen more appreciative kids. I was hugged and thanked as if I'd just given them a trip to Disney.

the 3 big kids after Pizza - think they bonded?!?

I'm not kidding.
Which leads me to believe that the old saying is true:
You really can't appreciate something until you don't have it anymore.

Ear Muffs.
Eye Doctors
and Pizza.

It's Finance Friday, friends. Thanks for reading my blog!

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