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Scattered Squirrel

Scattered Squirrel: July 2012

July 26, 2012

Planning for Back to School and a Free Printable

It's one of my most favorite shopping times of the year.  BACK to SCHOOL!  Not because I'm eager for the kiddos to head on back for another year of school, but because everywhere you look there are deals and more deals on school and office supplies.  I think I love those more than I love craft supplies, and I seriously love craft supplies.  I couldn't tell you why, I just do!

So, once I start seeing the school supplies show up in stores, I start planning for the year ahead.  Not just for the kids (oh my, I have two in school this year .. sniff, sniff...where does the time go?) but for the home as well.  If I were a small business owner, this is when I would totally stock up on things I need.  Aside from the obvious paper, pens and other office/school items, there are ton of organization solutions that come on sale around this time too.  Magnetic locker organizers can easily be used on the fridge or magnetic board.  Small two drawer file cabinets usually get marked down quite a bit for college students, it's a great time to snap up one or two.  Don't need a file drawer?  How about using them in a teen or tween's room for a bedside table?  The possibilities are endless.

And, because they are endless, it is oh so easy to get swept away (especially if you have an irrational love of all things office and school supply related) so this year, I decided to plan things out on paper first, and take stock of what we already have.  With two to buy for, a move in the works, among other things, I need to be really careful with where the dollars are going.  So I created this little baby to help me keep track:

printable checklist

Back to School Planner

It's the first part of what I'm calling my "Back to School Planner"  Here's how it works (at least how I use it) The first part is for the supplies I'm pretty sure will be on my list.  Crayons, markers, pencils, scissors, glue, and notebooks for Liam; lined paper, graph paper, plain paper, pencils, pens, highlighters, etc... for our Teen.  The first column is for listing out what I know we already have.  This way I'm not buying more than we need.  I try to pick up a few extra items from their lists, just in case they need more, but I try not to buy too much extra.  The next column is where I list the things I know we're going to have buy this year.  And the last column is things we need for the home.  They could include notebooks, paper, markers and crayons ... whatever I think/know we need.

Then comes the clothing section.  Who doesn't love new school clothes?  I could easily get carried away here, but the truth is, summer clothes will still be used for the first few weeks of school, which means I can pick up new school clothes a little at time.  I like to note the size and how many of an item I need, that way, I'm not tempted to spend too much on one of an item when I still need to pick up x amount more. 

The last section is for those miscellaneous items that sometimes need to be picked up and sometimes don't.  I don't want to have to do up a new one every year, so I just put them all down.  (No, my boys do not go to private school, but I added that just cause) This year, we need two of everything on that list.  But next year we will probably only need a few things.  

And there you have it!  Just a simple little list planner, to help me get more prepared for the coming school year and to keep me on track.  As always click the link below the pic to snag a copy of your own!  

What do you do to get ready for the school year?  Do you love school/office supplies too?  Any item that makes your personal "must get one" list?

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July 25, 2012

Dashed Hopes and Changing Plans: An Update and Explanation

This was supposed to be THE post!  The one I've been waiting and waiting and waiting to share,  "Where, oh where, have I been hiding?"  Instead, I'm here with an update.  I'm sure THE post will come at some point, but today is not that day.  So, what's been going on and why haven't I been around more?

We received and accepted an offer on our house ... yaaaaaay....(if you only could hear how feable that yay sounded like in my head.  It's probably closer to yaaaaay)  Don't get me wrong, the offer was very reasonable, everything was ticking along nicely.  The closing date was a short time away, but we didn't mind that.  I was scrambling to get everything lined up, planning the last of the packing, figuring out what extra days Travis's needed to take off, looking for a home to move to, and all that other wonderful stuff.  We were just waiting for the approval date (I'm sure that's not the technical term, but you know it's that "upon completetion of home inspection, upon approval of financing" date written into the offer) and let me tell you that was nerve wracking.  I feel. as though I have spent the last few weeks trapped in a strange limbo, ready to jump at the go signal but yet unable to really and truly move forward.  I haven't been able to really focus on much of anything, as the waiting consumed my thoughts.  Instead I focused on the boys, and on allowing myself the time to zone out, knowing that in a few short weeks I would need to be at the top of my game, focus wise, to pull this move off.

My stomach was in knots for days, and then weeks, as our buyers asked for an extension The significance of the new approval date didn't click in until it came and went with no word.  July 9th, is now in the running for my least favorite date this year.  Why is that date so significant?  Well, I'm sure my Canadian family and friends will understand without further explanation (especially if they are in the process of buying or selling a home) but allow me to explain.  Our federal government has decided that Canadian household debt is too high, and to help lower that they made some changes to the rules for mortgages.  Those rules took effect on July 9th, and our buyers got caught in the crossover.  (Personally, I don't think that was fair, and my heart really and truly goes out to them)  

Here's a general idea of what kind of new rules we're looking at now.  They lowered the amortization period from 30 to 25 years.  Home buyers now need to come up with 20% down, (first time home buyers are at 10%) for more info here are a couple links to articles about it:

So, what happened next?  Well, our buyers still wanted to go through with it, so they looked at the options they were given and tried to get it all straightened out.  We got the news yesterday that it wasn't going to happen.  :-(  Not totally surprising, but still upsetting.

We've now entered the fourth month of living apart.  Travis and I are both weary of the situation, heck, we're just weary.  I'm tired of living from phone call to phone call, then desperately trying to cram quality time, not just couple time but family time as well, into the brief time he's home.  I want to be able to put a plate in the fridge for him every night, go to bed knowing that if he's not home when I go to sleep, he'll be there when I wake up.  I miss all the little, simple things of life together.  And so, the time of hoping is at an end; it's time for action now.  We can no longer wait for the house to sell before completing this move.  August is almost here, the boys are both starting school in September, we need to get this done and over with before then.  I'm not entirely sure what this new plan will look like.  We've been discussing it off and on for a while now.  What I do know, is that it means a lot of new changes, and I've been spending some time trying to get it all figured out in my head.

In the mean time, I'm going to be hopping back into the world of blogging - no more hiding my head in the sand- and I'm already working on a printable (or three!) to share with you all.  The HMB has been put on hold for a little while, but everything else will continue along.  And, keep your fingers crossed, hopefully in the next few weeks I'll be able to share some more moving tips with you, and I'm hoping to share some "sanity saver" ideas with you all as well!

I hope that these last few weeks have been really good for all of you, and that you are enjoying your summer!

Take care! <3

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