Larry & Juli's Blog


Report Card Time!!

It’s the end of the semester and it is time to see the results of the hard work that the kids have been putting forth. REPORT CARDS ARE ARRIVING!!! Grade point averages seem to make a bigger difference now that we are 8th graders. Next year is High School!!!!

Report cards tell a lot, but they don’t tell everything. Larry and Lexie got pretty good results this past semester. A little distracted with a few missed days of school and a misunderstanding of an assignment deadline. But the negativity of that grade and what it cost that child in lack of “Phone and Phun” at home made quite an impact in knowing the correct due dates and requirements for the upcoming assignments!! There were NOT ANY MISSED assignments after that one. I doubt there will be. (Texting is LIFE when you are an 8th grader!!)

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Tick Tock, Tick Tock…

Yep, we are coming down to the last hurrah. We, The BrownHouse, have been working together as a team. Well, at least we have made the best effort to. We have had our Step-Family Squabbles and all out BrownHouse Brawls, but it seems like MONEY is no longer the source of tension in our home. As we are coming to the end of the competition it is really reassuring that we are not at the end of having good financial skills and planning.

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The Best Gifts

We were going to hold off on Christmas… just for the sake of winning the competition, but our coach Mike pointed out that we really wouldn’t learn about HOW to plan for times like Christmas if we did that. We didn’t have any trouble agreeing with him. We have come along far enough in Project Money to realize that we have learned so many lessons that every chance we get to learn more is a good thing.

This lesson about Christmas spending is going to be a good one.

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Local or Big Box?

It’s always the question…

Pay more money and purchase things and/or hire locally


Get a discount and buy from a Big Name Store?

We wish we could say that we have always been supporters of the Local Business Community that we live in, but in reality, we have only been looking in our bank account. We never took the time to look at the business in town or the Farmer’s Market on Tuesday’s.  But as we are going through the changes in how we handle our Grocery Money and Household Expenses and Savings Accounts, it seems like we might be able to take the time to reach out and support our local economy.

We know these things for sure:

  • We do want to support our community.
  • We do want to be a part of the social aspects in our community.
  • We do want our family to participate in community events and we make efforts to do that.
  • We understand the concept of Self-Employment and know some of the pressures that come with the idea of being a provider in a small community.

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Thanks, Again.

It’s a holiday weekend and it’s a crazy time at the office and the Wisconsin State Journal has 2 “Bonus Day” delivery days this week (which means we deliver about 60 extra papers) AND THE THANKSGIVING NEWSPAPER IS HUMUNGEOUS!!! We had 3 teenagers help us and it still took quite a while for us to get them STUFFED for delivery! 

Yeh, Thanks. 

We decided to dismiss the “Family Thanksgiving” this year. Larry’s family is in Chicago and the Woman in Charge left us last year. Larry’s mom, Jessie, was one of those ladies that could make anyone feel comfortable. She is missed. 

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Still Treading Water

We have been sharing with you some of the things we have been going through that have turned out positive. It hasn’t all been that way. So if you are following along and participating in the Project Money budgeting/learning experience, don’t get discouraged when you have a tough week. Sometimes it takes weeks and weeks to figure out that certain habits are just not going to work. 

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The Brown House is Becoming…

It’s gotten worse, before it’s gotten better. BUT… it HAS gotten better. 

One of the goals that we really, really wanted to accomplish with Project Money was to get to a place where spending wasn’t always going to cause “STRIFE”. I can see that goal clearer and clearer each week. After the first month I thought we had made a big mistake. I really doubted our ability to come out on the other side, but as time (and monthly payments, and monthly bills, and weekly budgeted money in “cash envelopes”) has gone by, I am seeing the goal. It’s not a goal that will be accomplished and finished and forgotten about, but a goal that is going to be one of the strong foundations that this family continues to build on. PEACE.

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Character is Priority

I heard a sermon on Character today. I won’t go into all of the details, but the Pastor talked about how Character needs to be a priority. It really does end up making a difference in the way you live your life and I was thinking it makes a difference in the way you handle your finances. As parents you want to build character in your kids. But if you are not an example of it… forget it. It will never happen. I was glad to hear that having character DIDN’T MEAN WE HAD TO BE PERFECT… but it does mean you have to make good choices and look for ways to do the right thing.

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Teen Talk…

We took Lexie and Larry, Jr. with us to our coaching session with Mike last week. We really wanted them to get an idea of how a savings account should be treated and what it is used for. As Dad and Step Mom, we really got an earful of how our kids viewed money and the purpose of it.

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The Milk Man Cometh…

It was an amazing thing to see on Highway K. I really thought it was the end of the little kitty’s life. I have seen quite a few dead animals on the road while delivering the State Journal between 3:30 and 5 in the morning. Some you just drive by and say “ewww” (skunks, raccoons), and others you say “I wonder if the guy who hit that is OK” (deer and a … a… I’m not sure what it was, but it was BIG). But then there are the ones that break your heart. That was Sam. (see… I gave him a name. That means he had a place in my heart.)

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