My goal to get my house (ok, excluding the garage and laundry room, because those are PROJECTS) clean by the end of January is 90% complete. At first I was a little disappointed because I really wanted to start with a clean slate, however, I have my house back. It's clean, and the only messes are clean laundry to put away and dishes to wash. Amazing! The house feels so much better, the kids are happier, I'm happier, it's great. Today I'm going to finish up putting away things and get a couple projects done involving hanging doors (pantry and boy's closet) and possibly a couple other things, but we'll see.
We also got our state tax refund yesterday, which is wonderful, we can get caught up on all our overdue bills (lot of little bills and unexpected expenses that aren't terrible, but still frustrating on a budget as tight as ours). I read a lot of economic blogs, and several say that you shouldn't give the government a loan, that is, you shouldn't hand over that portion of your paycheck without thinking just to get it back come refund time. Thing is, we don't. We just make so little that even with all of our withholdings exemptions we still get refunded. Now, it isn't exorbitant; we aren't getting rich (clearly) off of "the gov'ment", but it is enough to get us back on track financially and rebuild our financial safety net, at least a little bit. The goal is to have a fully-funded emergency fund, but right now it's about all we can do to keep a little aside for emergencies and keep up on bills. We are slowly getting out of debt, and we have everything we need and more, so our financial life is pretty good, no real complaints here, and once we pay off all our bills it will be even better because I won't have that stress over 'how are we going to pay this one this month' anymore. My biggest relief this year is that once we get our federal refund I will be able to pay our midwife and other associated bills in full. Oh, that's going to be so great.
Other news, we finally got contacted about our case file to be foster parents. Apparently it got left behind somewhere and the local office jut received it (almost 4 months later). Thing is, now Milt is not so sure he wants to be a foster parent. Right now, I agree; baby on the way, getting our house in order, we need to focus on our family as we are right now. We're going to be discussing with the worker the process of completing our certification and then putting us 'on hold' for actually taking any children until the time is right. I hope he'll come back around, and I know we both care about these kids, but timing really is everything. Still, good to know our case is active and we weren't disqualified. :)
Alright, time to get some work done!