FASFA deadline is almost here

As the FASFA deadline is almost here, Know your deadlines and get them filled out and submitted. Remember, you can always estimate your financial information and send it in corrected later.

Click Here for the website to fill out the FASFA forms to help pay for your child’s education.

Here’s a post I wrote previously with tips on filing your FASFA forms for college.

FASFA Deadline is Fast Approaching

Communication With Your Teenager

Trust Your Mom

Having good communication with your teenager is hard, but so important. I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that. It takes good communication to get them to trust you.

We’ve had several discussions on how to handle communication. We’ve gone back and forth and I think we are finally at a point where we can communicate, talk and have trust.

The best conversations I have with my kids are in the car. I used to drive them to school when they were younger. Looking back, I know that’s when I learned a lot about what they were thinking.

Over the years I’ve had to make coming to me a safe place to go when they need help. I’m not talking about tying a shoe or doing laundry for them, but when there’s peer pressure.

They have heard many things from me, including how to get away with not giving in or if it’s a hard situation how to get out of it. For example, if they are in a situation where they are being super pressured into drinking a beer, go to the bathroom, dump out the beer and fill it with water. Nobody will know.

If there ride has been drinking or doing drugs or if they themselves are too drunk to drive, I’ve told them to call me and I’ll come get them no questions asked.

One day my younger son said “I know you’ve said I can call and no questions asked, but I feel like you will get mad at me”. I had to think fast on my feet. How can I make him feel safe and trust me.

Ah ha!

I told him “if that happens and I start giving you a hard time just remind me I said no questions asked. However, I will be so happy that you did the right thing and you won’t die or kill someone I’m sure I won’t be mad.”

The town I live in has lost a number of kids because someone got behind the wheel and the others got in the car with them. No parent should have to deal with that. Teach them well and offer them a no questions asked way out so they feel safe.

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A Dog’s Love

IMG_1047There’s nothing like a dog’s love. I never really had pets.  I had gerbils and gold fish as a child, my stepfather had a dog but I only lived with them for a few years. My mother brought home a cat when I was 16. I really didn’t want the responsibility of taking care of it. I remember telling my mother “If you want a cat, you have to take care of it, I don’t want the responsibility so it’s all yours”. Yes, I was 16 and knew I didn’t want the responsibility.

When I met my husband he had a cat. Spock the big tabby cat and my husband were a package deal. Turns out I’m allergic to cats. But it wasn’t too bad at that point. Before we got married we went on a field trip. To my surprise it was to pick up a kitten.  Ugh, then there were two. But it was ok. I didn’t have to take any of the responsibility.

It’s not that I didn’t like pets, I just didn’t want to take care of one. If you are going to take on the responsibility of a pet, you need to be prepared to take care of it. There’s feeding them, taking them outside to take care of their business and vet bills.

When my husband died I would up with the two cats. I knew I couldn’t take care of them. First of all, I was pregnant and am not supposed to change the cat litter. Second, I was grieving and had a toddler to take care of. I kept them anyway. I had a neighbor help with the cats until I could figure out what to do.

Eventually I found a place that would take the cats and place them. It was a no kill shelter. They promised to find them a home. It was a hard day for me. Those cats were my husband’s love. Plus now I had to give away another piece of him. There was no way I was able to take care of them and love them. I knew it was the right thing to do.

My kids always wanted dogs. I had to say no, I couldn’t take care of them. It wasn’t fair to the dogs. As they got older and more responsible I started thinking more about it. My youngest still kept asking on a regular basis. I never gave in. One day I decided it was time. I researched and knew I wanted to get a dog that were small, friendly, easy going personality and most important wouldn’t shed. Ding, ding, ding, a Shih Tzu it is. I went to online and started looking. I found some but since I worked part time they wouldn’t let me adopt them. Next thing I know there are signs around the area about a doggie adoption on Saturday.

IMG_1273

Lulu

When I got there I saw this cute, groomed dog that looked like it might be a shih tzu. When asked I was told she was a Lhasa apso. I continued to look and then, there he was. Sitting nicely in a crate, all dirty but still cute. I saw him and took him out and fell in love at first sight. While they were getting the paperwork ready people were talking to me about the Lhasa apso and that nobody wants her because she’s 9 years old and didn’t get along with other dogs or kids. My kids were older so that shouldn’t be an issue. We put the two dogs together and they got along fine. Chevy and Lulu both came home with me to their new home.

Chevy

Chevy

My youngest son was at practice, but I was so excited I couldn’t wait for him to come home. My older son came down and didn’t seem so interested but said hi to them and pet them. When practice was over my younger son came home. I told him to go out back for a minute. He put on a big smile and asked who’s they were. I said ours. He didn’t believe me at first, but after a little convincing he believed me. Believe it or not, my older son didn’t believe it for a couple days. He thought I was kidding and we were dog sitting.

Now I look at these two dogs and can’t believe how lucky I am to have these two precious doggies. They follow me all the time. I have my little fan club. Recently I broke my leg and they followed me everywhere and now that I’m up and walking again, they are still right there.

These dogs are AMAZING, and I can’t believe how much I love them. I could just eat them up.