1. our friends finished installing our new furnace last night. the propane company sets the tank tomorrow and hooks it up. so...i am very excited. we will be able to stop using the kerosene heater and the other space heaters. we will have cleaner more efficient heating than ever before in this house, etc, etc. our new furnace is 95% efficient (so we will get 2 tax credits next year for it) and our old one was about 70% efficient :) 
  2. also, we got a new thermostat which has some really cool features too. dave says when the home buyer walks in the door, they will see it, and want to buy the house only because of that :)
  3. also last night dave drywalled the south wall in the laundry room. he had to shut off the water while drywalling the new closet where the water softener is. so we didn't have water for about 5 hours. just another normal occurrence in our home. :)
  4. what was so funny is that there were 3 guys here working on the furnace, yelling back and forth at each other from the crawl space to inside the house, running power tools, etc. and dave was drywalling and i was trying to conduct a piano lesson at the same time. it was total chaos. i felt bad for my student. at one point the guys working outside came to the great room window and knocked so dave would unplug their extension cord. so dave had to unplug the light in there too. also dave was hammering and pounding away on the wall opposite the piano. poor piano student! not to mention the piano light hasn't worked for a couple months since that outlet is temporarily out of service...
  5. i am doing a fairly good job of dealing with all the chaos that is our home right now. but it is hard. Saturday night i did reach a breaking point and just started bawling my eyes out. it was ugly. i'm not exactly sure what set me off. it was a combination of just having no privacy in my home anymore. having drywall laying on the kitchen floor being cut up into pieces while i'm trying to cook and do dishes, etc. having drywall being cut on my nice area rug in the front room. drywall dust ending up all over it. cooking a lot for all the guys working here. don't get me wrong. it's the least i can do for all the hard work they are doing here. but it is kind of exhausting always coming up with good meals that will feed a lot of people, etc. i'm not really used to that. and at the same time sticking to the same grocery budget.
  6. which brings me to my little victory story of the day. we have budgeted $75 / week for groceries, toiletries, and any other little random thing that comes up. well, anyways, today i went to 2 grocery stores. i had scouted out the sale ads, gather coupons, etc. i had even inventoried my freezer (which was very helpful cuz i realized i was running out of stew meat but still have 40 lbs of ground meat, so i made some menu plans to use more of that). probably spent a couple hours figuring out my list. and i knew where i could get the best deals. after a grocery run yesterday, i had $63 left to spend. i knew i'd be cutting it close so i left my debit card in the car to avoid the temptation of using it. i went into krogers first and was already at $63 when i got done. (i added it up on my cell phone calculator right before checking out)...so i started the arduous process of putting things back. i had to stand there about 5 minutes deciding what we could do without. this is about the 3rd week in a row that i've done this. well, i put back some pecans that were on sale, 2% milk for me, eggs that we didn't absolutely have to have this week, spaghetti sauce i was stocking up on cuz it was on sale and i had a coupon...it bothers me more to miss out on buying the things that i can save money on because of sales and coupons that it does on actually not having the item in my possession...so i got my total down to $50.64. then i headed to marsh. i was mad and decided to use my debit card anyways. this budget is ridiculous i told myself. so halfway thru the store i realized i'd left the card out in the car again. so...basically that was awesome. i didn't want to walk back out to the car, so i was going to have to spend less than i had left in my little plastic baggie. the reason i had the baggies is that i had $7 in bills left and the other $5.36 was in quarters, mostly dimes, nickels and pennies...it was easier to keep all the change in a baggie. so...anyways...i told myself no to a few things and got out of there for $11.96. i had 40 cents to spare! i can't say that my face wasn't turning red as i struggled to count out my dimes with 2 or 3 ladies piling up in line behind me breathing fire down my neck for taking so long  in the only checkout aisle open...but oh well. i stuck to the budget. :) i texted dave to tell him my victory and he said "awesome...i guess" but i think it is awesome. i wish that i didn't have to cut it so close to my budget right now, but i do. it is hard to stick to that when feeding a bunch of people. and it is hard to do when you're used to swiping credit cards or debit cards for groceries but i'm proud of myself.
  7. now i'm off to tutor a couple kids. then i can buy gas. this week is a little tight but we are getting a new furnace after all. and dave's turning a lot of hours at work so that should make next week a lot better :)

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