Some questions from my mailbag:
Keep the recipes coming! I want to learn more about organization too. I hope you post more on that.
Yep! More is on it's way...I've had some issues with my camera and so I haven't taken any photos in a while and also being sick I didn't want to post chicken noodle soup every night for 4 weeks either ;).
Upcoming posts in the works: making creamy garlic soup, making homemade garlic bread, organization in the kitchen, remodeling the kitchen on a shoestring as money floats in (my own ongoing project of the last 2 years)--including making a handmade mosaic backsplash and refinishing cabinets, Hungarian Goulash with potato dumplings (Knoedel), organizing schoolwork, family friendly remodelling/decorating stuff on a budget, and more.
Do you use software to do your taxes? We are trying to save money this year by doing our own and I was looking for some frugal but idiot proof tax prep tips.
I just did our taxes last night. :-) I've used Tax Cut since it first came out back when we were newlyweds, and I love it. I find it really simplifies taxes for us, even with the home business. We did have the help of an accountant in setting up our original accounting system for my business and we use QuickBooks to keep track of stuff for the business, which also simplifies the nitty gritty of all that. Quickbooks generates reports that I can use when doing the taxes.
Did you ever get your van fixed? I've been praying for you.
Well, we have the money for the repair in the savings account right now, but the problem has been to find a suitable transmission for the van. It appears that our make and model is one of the hardest transmissions to find because most of the time when they break the whole block cracks (whatever that means). Most of the junkyard 97 Grand Caravans are there because of trans problems. ;)
We have had a few quotes done for rebuilding our existing transmission but they are quite high (more than the blue book value on the van), so we are hesitant to do that on a vehicle with close to 400,000 miles on it. Right now we are praying for wisdom about either continuing to wait it out or selling the van for parts (we've had several offers to do so from other 97 Grand Caravan owners desperate for spare parts in good shape) and buying another used van with the money saved plus money from the sale of the vehicle.
This morning my dh's car would not start and so that was another nudge in the direction of doing something soon, because missing work due to vehicle troubles is not good either. Thankfully AAA road service came out and gave him a jump so that he could go buy a new battery. :-)
The fact that we can't really do anything until we have a van (doctor's appointments, dentist appointments, mailing orders when it is blustery outside, going to church together as a family, etc.) makes me flop between contentment, knowing that we are saving tons of money by not paying for insurance, gas, etc., and frustration when I need to get somewhere or do something while my dh is at work but I can't. Then I get an attitude check by thinking of all of the families out there who are only 1 vehicle families...or the many around the world who don't even have one car.
Finally, I had several emails all ask the same basic thing:
When in the much-anticipated XHTML Curriculum coming out?
Not soon enough....~smile~
I have been working for the last year on a video web design curriculum for homeschoolers for writing your own XHTML/CSS site in Notepad, and teaching not only principles of XHTML, CSS, and basic image editing but also how to write copy for the web, design principles for the web, Search Engine Optimization, Internet safety, ecommerce basics and more. This was birthed out of the request of several moms I know to teach their kids how to make websites, as that is a great potentially money-making skill, and one that is now taught in many schools. On top of that, despite the plethora of web design books ,very few explain things in a clear manner from the beginning (most assume some knowledge that not everyone has), and even fewer teach good design principles and user-based design.
I am nearly done recording the first several lessons and editing them. I had to redo some of them because I didn't feel they were clear enough, and it seems like I am such a perfectionist that I need to finally just leave it alone and say it is good enough :-)
I am also debating back and forth within myself about how to sell this curriculum. I have several options:
1. As a DVD (most expensive option and would require me to order it in a large quantity)
2. As a CD-ROM set (also could be expensive and require inventory).
3. As a download (will eat up my bandwidth and could become expensive, and it could be difficult for those on dialup)
4. As a members-subscription type of website, where you pay a subscriber rate, watch lessons, ask questions in a forum, and learn.
5. As an online class. Similar to above but with a definate start and end date, assignments, and more interaction.
I'm leaning towards either 4 or 5. Because it appears that some states will now add "internet learning experience" to their grad requirements (according to a homeschool mom I know) and because many colleges now have online class requirements, I think this may help students learn not only web design but also online learning skills in a safe environment.
anyway, that's a project that we really want to get off the ground sooner than later, but it has been shocking to me how much more complex editing video is than writing a book. LOL