If my facts are correct it is april 24th, and I can’t wait.  Are you in. then go here

 get your supplies most of them are free, the bracelets are very affordable and its a chance to really make an impact.  I do hope I’m working, everyday hundreds of people cross my path there.  I am so excited, I’m ready to pop.


First, and this is really important, remember the family budget is an ongoing project that you will work on and perfect over time. There will be mistakes and you will learn how to balance your budget well over time. Be forgiving of yourself. We all make mistakes. 
Okay, now we can talk about creating a family budget. First, you have to figure out how much money is coming in, your income.  “Add up your expected monthly income, plus any side income. If you are paid at odd intervals, just get as close as you can. You might want to take your annual income and divide by 12. If your income is uncertain, then choose an amount that is realistic, but conservatively low. You can always adjust it later,” advises Small Notebook. Org. 
Next, you have to figure out what your expenses are. Try to be honest with yourself. How much do you really spend on groceries, on bills? I had a friend who budgeted her family so that the children could eat but not the parents. That is a big mistake, right? Food is important, and having someone not eat to get by is not a solution. “It’s tempting to set up a lot of categories, but don’t go overboard. If you’re doing it on paper, just use general categories. If you’re using software, you could create more as you need them.” So, give yourself an honest look on what you need as a family. Small Notebook.Org lists a few categories: “Debt payoff – Paying off any kinds of debt should be a high priority. It will free up your income for future opportunities when you are not burdened with the monthly payments and interest. Home – Rent or mortgage payment, insurance, property taxes. You could even include home repairs and furnishings in this budget category. Utilities – Monthly bills for water, electricity, gas, phone, internet, cable. Car – Car payments, gas, insurance, repairs, registration, inspection, tires. Healthcare – Doctor visits and prescriptions. Food – Groceries and dining out. I separate the two because groceries are essential, but eating out is an indulgence. Personal – Clothing, hair cuts, wants, entertainment. One-time or big expenses – I set aside money each month for any big-ticket items before buying them. Grace, [room for error].” 
After this, make sure you calculate the expenses and try to make them less than the income. “Have a goal. Whatever your goal may be – a home purchase, a remodeling project, an exotic vacation – it can help you find the discipline you need to squirrel away money by a certain deadline. Reflect on a goal you truly want to meet and resolve to do it.” 

pay it forward “I found this so compelling I had to share”

Anonymous Generosity: A Cancer Quilt

by  · January 21, 2014

This quilt was anonymously donated to the Dean Foundation in Madison, Wisconsin.

The Diagnosis

After I was diagnosed with cancer in June 2013, I experienced first-hand the significant impact a small, selfless act can make on a patient’s life. Among all the generous acts of outreach and support I received, one anonymous gift—a cancer quilt—stood out.

After the initial diagnosis, I went through many tests, procedures and doctor appointments with specialists to help determine the exact type and stage of cancer, and ultimately, the treatment plan. This whirlwind of activity didn’t move fast enough and, at the same time, moved entirely too fast for me to comprehend the enormity of life changes I would face ahead.

The Anonymous Gift

A serious diagnosis like cancer is always a shocking and a surreal moment that is bewildering, scary and numbing. Even with family support, “The Big C” radically and abruptly changes your world. At my first chemo session, in an unsettled state, I was given the opportunity to choose a handmade and anonymously donated quilt.

This generous act made a deep impact on my feelings of isolation and vulnerability, and the unwanted world change I faced. Throughout my treatments, the quilt provided comfort through its physical warmth, and  served as a constant reminder that I was not the first one—nor was I alone—on this journey. It joined me from home to treatment, and back again every two weeks.

The Discovery

I realized, with the help of my cancer quilt, that I belong to a larger cancer community. People beyond my immediate family and friends cared about my health and recovery. Whenever I looked at the quilt, the world seemed warmer and kinder. I found comfort in knowing that even complete strangers were thinking about me and donating their time and good will to my recovery.

In their work, caregivers are compassionate, generous and giving. Their actions are neither about self-comfort or acknowledgement but are performed through true selflessness. And, their actions take many forms. To all those making a difference in a patient’s life, and to the generous quilt maker who made my own cancer quilt, thank you!

Your Health Journey

Have you had an experience similar to this? We’d love to hear about it. Share your story and images in the comments section below or email us at

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The Art of Working From Home

Becoming Cliche

This past year has been a productive one for me. I’ve produced three completed first draft novels for grown-ups (sorry, I can’t say “adult novel” without thinking 50 Shades of Completely Inappropriate) and three first drafts of children’s books. Working at home does present challenges, and I wanted to share my formula for success.

I am currently working on a couple of short stories, one with a deadline that looms closer every day. I work well under pressure. Here’s how the magic happens.

7am – Send the Padawan off to school

8am – Take Girl-child and Squish to their respective schools.

8:30 – Drop by Chic-fil-a for a biscuit and some wi-fi.

10:30 – Two large sodas and 47 emails later, it’s time to go to the bathroom home.

10:45 – Sit down at writing station, swearing loudly and on Twitter that I will not get up again until…

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This Little Girl’s Daddy Is Dying. She Might Die, Too. The Letter He Left For Her Is Unforgettable.

February 11, 2014Stories


Tom Attwater is dying of a brain tumor, but he isn’t worried about his cancer. Instead, he is trying to save his 5 year-old daughter from her own. He has vowed to raise approximately $820,200.00 for her cancer treatment, even if he wouldn’t be around to see her go through it. Kelli is only 5 years-old, but she has already beat the disease twice. She is likely to relapse and need treatment in the United States, so Tom is dedicated to leaving a legacy behind for her, as well as this touching letter. Read it below:

Darling Kelli,

I’m so sorry I will not get to see you grow up as I so want to. Please don’t blame people or the world for this. A lot of life is simply luck and mine is running out.

I wish I had the words to make you feel better. I wish I didn’t have cancer and you didn’t have to see me in pain as you often do now. I wish so many things were different but they are not.

Most dads and daughters have decades to chat around the kitchen table, their hands warmed by mugs of coffee, as the dad dishes out advice and their girls no doubt roll their eyes. We don’t have that time. I won’t be able to drop you off on your first day at big school, pick you up after your first date, hold you when your heart hurts or cheer when you graduate.

But while your old dad is still around I thought I’d try to give you some life advice in one go. I hope it gives you some comfort. I hope cancer never returns so that your life is long, fulfilled and happy.

School Everyone will say it’s vital to work hard at school. Hopefully you’ll always do your best. I did well at school but did it do me much good in life? Not really. School work IS important, but make sure you have fun too.

Boys At the moment you don’t make much distinction between girls and boys and see all children as friends. That’s typical of your sweet nature. But Kel, that will change as you get older. You might see them as stinky, pesky classmates in a few years’ time. But, probably at secondary school, you’ll realise they can be quite nice.

You’ll have boyfriends when you’re older – MUCH older hopefully! – and I won’t be here to grill them about their intentions. So here’s some advice from your old man. It’s very hard to describe how it feels to really be in love. You might remember seeing me and your mum laughing together and cuddling on the sofa, and once the love hearts and flowers fade that’s what real love looks like. Have fun finding it.

Always choose boys with gen­tlemanly values, manners and respect. Imag­ine them having tea and a chat with our family around our table and if you think they’ll fit in, you have found a decent young man.

Sadly, you will have your heart broken one day. It hurts like hell and will feel like the end of the world. But you will get over it. And even if a romance doesn’t work out, try to be kind. Boys have feelings too. Lastly, if you have a special boy pal who is always there for you when boyfriends come and go, don’t take him for granted. Don’t overlook him. He might really care for you.

Marriage I often dreamt about your wedding day and imagined filling up with tears as I walked you down the aisle before giving you away. I won’t be able to do that Kelli. Sorry sweetheart. But I will be looking over your shoulder on that day, proud and happy you have found a special someone to love you and care for you.

I wonder if you will play what you call “the family song” (which is really I’ll Be There by The Jackson 5). It meant so much to me and my brother and sister growing up, and I know it does to you too. I’ll be there on your wedding day in spirit.

Mummy You and your mum will argue at times, especially when you’re a teenager. Please remember she adores you and wants the best for you. Give Mummy a hug when she is feeling sad and help each other get through any horrible times when I am gone. When you’re a teenager you might think your friends are right and your mum is wrong. But she has to make hard decisions for you and, more than any friend you’ll ever have, has your interests at heart. Treat her well.

Family Nothing is more important than family and the values they give us. Nothing.

Friends Treat people as they treat you. Be nice to anyone who helps you, always. Bullying is horrible – never become one.

Christmas & birthdays On your first Christmas without me, I’d love if you and Mummy would light a candle and remember me for a few minutes. It would be great if you two did the monkey dance together. Jumping around shaking our bottoms always made us laugh. That’s something to make me smile from up above. I’d also love if you visit my parents on Boxing Day. They will be hurting too.

I’ve given Nanny Sue presents for all your birthdays. I wish I could be there to see you open them. Hopefully you will like everything as it’s hard to imagine you at 10, 15, 20. I wonder if you’ll still like One Direction. I wonder if they’ll still make you dance around the living room.

Career You were two when you told me you wanted to be a “princess astronaut” so you could wear nice dresses and find new planets. You might now realise that’s not possible. But so many things ARE possible for you, darling. Do what makes you happy and that you enjoy. If you do so, life suddenly becomes much, much easier.

You may need to start a few different careers to find the one you enjoy, but so be it. One life, one chance.

Manners Always remember your please and thank-yous. The reason Mummy and I drum manners into you is because they will help you throughout your life. Always be courteous, especially to elders. Never put a knife in your mouth. Remember to write thank-you letters for gifts of kindness as it is always nice to act with grace and gratitude. (And please note that poo jokes are only funny when you are five, you cheeky girl!)

Learn to drive Most dads teach their daughters to drive and usually fall out in the process. Make sure you learn how to drive as soon you can – it opens up the world for you. Also, make sure Mummy doesn’t teach you (just joking, Joely).

Travel abroad It’s a cliche to say travel broadens the mind, but it’s true. See as much of the world as you can. But never on a motorbike (too dangerous).

Be happy You never laugh at 50%: you always laugh at 100%. Your laugh takes over your whole body and is highly infectious. I hope you never lose that. There is no point in asking you not to be sad when I go. I know you will be, princess. And I wish I could be there to wrap my arms around you and snuggle you until you smile again. Remember the Eeyore teddy I bought you from a charity shop? You said you’d keep him safe and cuddle him when you miss me. That’s a great idea. You can feel sad and use it as a driving force throughout your life. Or you can just be sad. You know which one I hope you choose.

Be charitable Please give to charities. Charities have been good to you and I. You’ll probably always remember our trip to Disneyland. But I’ll never forget the sacrifices people made to pay for your healthcare if ever cancer returns. Elderly people sent prayer cards and £10 notes they couldn’t afford. Heads were shaved, miles were run, thousands were raised. All for you. It’s important to pay back. Doing good deeds uplifts the soul. Never forget there are people worse off than you who you can help.

Remember your life motto Always keep trying. You might remember that I taught you to say “giving up is for losers”. I failed a number of times in my life but never gave up. Kelli, never give up.

Believe in yourself In life, many people will say you cannot do things. You make up your mind. Can you? Do you want to? Big challenges involve risks so make smart choices. Those who told me I couldn’t do certain things didn’t want me to do them. If you want something, it is nearly always possible, so do your best. I’m sure there’s a hell of a lot you can achieve!

I know you will make me proud and do something great in my memory. I know you can do it – so let’s start now.

And finally… Thank you for being you, Kelli. Thank you for paying me the biggest compliment of all time by calling me Daddy. Having you as my daughter is the greatest honour of my life. Thank you for teaching me more about love and happiness than any other person.

Enjoy your life. Don’t rush through it. I will be waiting.

All my love, always, to you princess and to Mummy,

Daddy xxxxxxxxxx

If you would like to donate to help save Kelli’s young life, visit her Just Giving page. It’s not fair that Kelli and her mom will be losing Tom so soon… but it’s even worse to know that young Kelli has her own big battles to fight.

Source: Just Giving / Help Kelli

Please share Tom’s letter with others below. Help us spread the word and save Kelli.