Thursday, March 27, 2014

Stuffed Toys

My children have so many stuffed toys given by friends and family   but they are not very  fond of playing with it so I send most of them to my family back home.  That's why I wondered when my daughter told me that she really wanted the Dinosaur stuffed toy that their Science teacher is giving as a reward at their class.  She has been doing extra curricular activities  and  doing extra homework just to  gain the points that she need and she won it.
 I told my daughter that she  learned the lesson of  the value of  her effort.  I said, when you work hard on something, you appreciate it more.  That's why  even though she isn't fond of stuffed toys, this one is particularly special because she worked hard for it.  I told her that it is like that in real life when  she grow up.
Even Mr. Burrito was very proud of her sister's hard work.  Hubby and I told both of them that it is very important to do the best that they can with everything because when they  succeed,  the feeling of contentment and satisfaction is  genuine compared to the feeling of happiness when you get something  that you did not work for.

One specific example that we give them is getting groceries from the store.  With us, we budget  our grocery because we pay for everything, there is no free.  No offense meant for  posting this   but we gave our kids the example of those who have  welfare card.  You can see their   shopping cart so full of stuff in the store and that is because  the  money they are using to pay for it  is  not from their own hard labor, it is a hand me down from the government.  I am not saying this because I am jealous but I am just  stating the fact.  We told our kids that  we might not have   all those expensive stuff but  we are  satisfied of what we have because we  pay for it with our own money.  Money that we work for.  

Monday, March 24, 2014

Frustration & Parenting

Our daughter constantly work on something. Her mind does not want to be idle even a bit. When she is not doing crafts, she is reading books, or doing some sketches. The problem is when the result of her work is not up to her satisfaction, she gets frustrated and always end up crying.
My husband was explaining to her that  she has to be patient when working on something.  He said that when you  made a mistake, to not get frustrated but instead  use it to  do better next time.
This is what she was working on that made her upset.  I told her that what she did actually looks good.  Well for someone like me who doesn't know how to draw, this is pretty good, I think.
My daughter is like my husband, they are  a bit  of a perfectionist.  If they can't attain the  end result that they are  hoping for, they get frustrated.  For me,  I  always give it a break and come back the other time to figure it out.  Parenting can sometimes a clear reflection of  our traits.  We can see ourselves in our kids of how they perceive on things.  

Monday, March 17, 2014

Jury Duty

March is a bit rough for me and here are the reasons.

  • I don't have much luck in getting assignments online.  I seriously need more assignments  because  hubby and I need to save for our children's tuition  for the next school year.  We also have to save for Ms. Burrito's piano lessons  over at Doquesne University come September.  Not to mention our financial support obligations  back home, sigh.
  • Three months after I became a citizen, I got summoned for a jury duty, oh boy.  I wouldn't mind to do it if I have a childcare option for my kids  but since I take care of them  when my husband is at work, it would be so hard.

Being legally drawn to serve as a Petit Juror does not automatically put you on a duty per se , which I am hoping they won't pick me as the  court is  far from our home.  It's like a 30 minute drive  from our city.  You know that I am not comfortable with my driving skill and most importantly, I don't have anyone to  pick up my kids  from school and take care of them after that.
As a juror, your services will be paid at a rate of $40 plus .56 cents per mile round trip from home to  the courthouse.  If I get picked, I have to pay someone to take care of my kids and I don't think that amount would cover the cost.  So either way, it's not in favor with me.  But as a citizen, that's one of my duties  so I will do it if I get picked.

  • Here's another reason to my bad luck this month.  My dog jerked the leash from my hand when we took them for a walk and I fell hard on a concrete.  It tore  a good pair of pants, scraped my left hand, and bruised and scraped my knees whew.

I felt like passing out when I fell but I had to toughen  up in front of my kids.  I wanted to cry but I couldn't because I don't my kids to think I am a cry baby lol.  I am upset that I ruined a good pair of pants.  Luckily though, I was wearing my  spandex workout pant  underneath it, it got damaged  but  did not have a hole.  I think that my spandex pant protected my knees from   a bad scrape.  It still scraped it but not bad.  So no walking for our fur babies for now, I can't put  heavy weight  with my left hand coz it hurts so bad.

On the lighter note, my husband got a raise and he got promoted so it's a good thing and our consolation for this month.  Sorry if I would affect you negatively with my personal rant but this is my only avenue in expressing my thoughts.  Wish I have my friends back home to talk to.  I can only wish... Ciao..

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Taxes for 2013

We filed our joint taxes last February 20th. Before going to H&r Block, hubby and I knew that we won't get back an amount like we used to when he was in school and not working a job. I was shocked however of how much Social Security contribution I have to pay. Since I am a self employed, I don't pay my SS contribution until I file my tax.  It's sad too because I don't think I will be able to enjoy social security when I am old enough because  by then I assumed that SS will be broke and won't exist anymore.  Oh well.
Since my husband  earned  more last year and I also earned more from blogging, we lost our earned income credits that's why we got back less.  I guess "the more you make, the more they take".  The lady who prepared our taxes said that 8 more thousand and we will be in the next bracket of  tax.  Right now, we are paying 15%, the next bracket will be 25%, oh boy!  You can never win.  You desire to make more to  provide for your family but there is a downside to that, you also pay more taxes of what you earned. BUT, we'd rather  work and pay taxes than  not work and ask for assistance.

So after the deduction of taxes, we got back $409.66

  • H&R Block fee - $496.37
  • Bank Fee -$ 34.95
  • State Tax  - $138
  • Self Employment  tax (SS)  - $1,578
  • Self Employed Tax (Federal Tax) - $789
MOst of the online companies that I work with said that the third party which is the paypal,   will be responsible  for  supplying the tax document (1099) we need.  According to Paypal, they won't supply this doc   unless we make $20k which I doubt I would since I don't hire any consultant to do some job haunting  for me, what's the point?  So my resolution to this is to print my monthly report from paypal, I would use for next tax season.

Alrighty, till next tax time.  I gotta go to school today.  See you later peeps.  Thanks for  leaving your trails through comments.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Winning at Love

The day after Valentine's day, we brought our kids to the mall and it was a perfect timing because  Fort Steuben Mall  was hosting  free games for the kids.  For every game played by  the kids, they were given a raffle ticket to be drawn at a later date.  So after  I filled out the raffle tickets  that were given to them, I dropped them off in this box.  Five lucky winners of $100  will be  chosen.
Shadow Shots
They had loads of fun playing  the games.  Miss Burrito's favorite was the golf while the little mister love the cowboy shooting using a nerf gun.
This one that Ms. Burrito was trying was a bi-t challenging.  She did not succeed in transferring the ball to the other end of the cones.  
I had a feeling that one of the kids tickets will win but even though we don't win anything, the kids had so much fun and it was free!  Thanks  to Kurt James Fun and Games for sponsoring this event dubbed as Winning at Love!

After two weeks, we received a call from the mall informing us that our daughter's name  was one of the lucky winners of the $100 gift card, hooray!