Sunday, January 27, 2013

You so crazy!

That's what I've wanted to say to more than a handful of people this week. Why do people feel so entitled? Not only do they feel entitled, they give no thought to committing fraud.

At the tax office this week, I met my fair share of awesome clients. Sweet and genuine, and really working hard to support their families. I've also met those that make me sit there, blinking at them, wondering how the hell they function as adults.

Let's take a look at a couple of these cases:

Case A) - Client comes in with only unemployment. Wants to know why they don't have any of that earned income credit. EARNED income people! Doesn't matter what your views of earned income are, the IRS makes the rules here. Earned income is income know...earned, while working. Working.

Case B) - Client comes in and asks if she has to report her minor son's disability payments. I tell her no, any money she receives for her child she does not report. She asks why, so I tell her it's just not reported. Neither is child support. She asks if he is still on disability when he turns 18 if he will have to report it. I tell her yes, if he has any additional income, he will file the disability as well. Then she asks if he can claim it as an adult, why can't she claim it as his adult guardian. I ask her, rather incredulously, why she would WANT to claim it? She says because she understands how the earned income credit works, and she wants to report more income to receive more credit. Obviously she doesn't know how that works. My explanation to her? See case A above. EARNED income. Ugh.

Both of those clients then proceeded to tell me they earned cash money for babysitting, doing hair, housekeeping, etc. And of course, neither of them had any proof of that income. :(

People! Why do you feel like the government *owes* you something? The EITC is a reward for those who are out there in the work force, trying to support their family. I'm not going to get into a political debate about the economy, or the unemployment rate, or anything else. Yes, it sucks. But it is what it is. Defrauding the IRS to try and receive that EITC isn't going to help things. Last year alone, there was $28.5 billion dollars (BILLION DOLLARS) of tax fraud. No, all of that didn't involve the EITC, but a large majority did. What do you think the government is going to do if they can't get a handle on that fraud? They're going to to cut the EITC all together. To me, that would suck even more.

Ok. Rant over. On a lighter note, I did meet a lovely couple who homeschool their kiddos. Why is this note worthy? When he handed me his W2, I noticed he worked for the local school board (the same county school system my boys would be in if they were in public school). I asked if he was a teacher, and he ashamedly said yes. We laughed and I asked why he looked so sheepish about that. He says he's always been uncomfortable telling people he's a public school teacher AND a homeschooling parent. Lol. We laughed a little more, and chatted a bit about the benefits of being a homeschool family. As soon as he left, I texted the hubs and told him I feel even more validated in our choice to keep the boys out of the school system. :D

Gosh. I went on and on about the tax office, didn't I? Sorry...

At home, things went well. At least I think they did. The house was standing each night when I got home. The boys looked and smelled clean. They weren't telling me they were hungry. Things were good. ;)

Bailey enjoyed his 3rd cake decorating class last week, and is sad that this Tuesday is the last class. The first class they decorated cookies. The second week they decorated a single layer cake (see that picture in the previous post). This past week they decorated cupcakes.

They worked with different decorating tips... :)
For the last class, they are decorating a double layer cake. Can't wait to see how that goes!

This week will hopefully go smoothly. I don't have anything planned yet. That's the great thing about the programs and websites we use though...I don't really have to plan anything. We have known that Bailey was going to take another Time4Writing course, but we were initially going to wait until spring. I may look into setting that up now. Braeden could even use a little online writing tutoring. They have elementary level courses, and it would be nice if they both had something to work on that wasn't accountable to me or their dad.

Ok. I'm off to hang with my guys. My most favorite thing to do. The hubs was even more awesome than normal this week, and got a great start on Mount Laundry for me. Without quite so much to do today, maybe I will finally put away those Christmas decorations I was supposed to put away last week...and didn't.



Sunday, January 20, 2013

I still haven't put away... Christmas decorations. Gah!

I don't know that we have ever had a tree up this long. Ever. We have always had an artificial tree, so it's not as if we have a rotting tree in our family room, lol, but still. We had the plague from Christmas to after the New Year, then I started at the tax office earlier this year than normal. We went to see my parents and in-laws last weekend, so today is the first day off, and at home, I've had in a long while.

The hubs and the boys could have put things away, but they are hanging on to the "but we know you like things done in a certain way" excuse. Heh.

Maybe I will get to it today. Maybe.

This past week went well. I had my first 6 day week at the office. Other than just being away from home, it wasn't too bad. Steady without being frantically busy (don't worry though, that will come when the IRS finally starts excepting returns). Braeden went with me yesterday. He's so funny. He loves coming with me, just to keep me company. :)

While I was between clients, we had fun playing games. Well, he played games, lol, and shared with me what he was learning. He played some hink pink online and those little riddles had us cracking up! What would you call rodent headwear? A rat hat. What's a playground for underwater predators? A shark park. :D

Bailey had a busy week too. Friday was 4H, Thursday was Master's and Tuesday was week 2 of the cake decorating class! He's really having fun with that class. I'm so glad that his best friend enjoys being in the kitchen as much as he does, and this class is something they are enjoying together!

Bailey is spending Monday nights with Z so they can go to the class together on Tuesdays. This past Monday, they made their first batches of homemade icing! Thanks, Tracy, for the picture. :)

Bailey's first cake! :)
At their next class, they are going to be making flowers out of the icing, and decorating cupcakes. Fun!

This coming week, the boys are going to continue to plug away at T4L. I'm going through today and setting up spelling lists for the boys. Bailey is working his way through a terrific 40-word Harry Potter list that he found, and Braeden is working on some 3rd grade sight words. Nope, I didn't know there were still sight words to learn at the 3rd grade level either. :/

Also, both of them are going to work on some student writing practice exercises. Braeden hates writing anything that has more than three words in it. Bailey can sit and write a story for hours, but can't put two sentences together if it's assigned, lol. Hopefully these exercises won't traumatize them too badly. ;)

I'm signing off now, to hang out with my guys. I see comfy PJs, a couch, homemade lasagna and a Warehouse 13 binge in my immediate future. Sounds lovely.

Hope you all enjoy your Sunday, and have a great week!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Some Christmas pics...

...finally! :)

So I finally found my camera and pulled all of the pictures from Christmas. Here are a few from each of our gatherings:

My "niece" opening one of her gifts from the boys.

A great family photo! I love these three people. Seriously. LOVE. :)

Braeden and my niece, Brooklyn. He is definitely her favorite cousin, lol.

My nephew Michael, Braeden, Brooklyn and Bailey holding my newest nephew, Lucas. Yay for first Christmases! :D

Yep, that's my 13 year old more excited over his Big Bang Theory Trivia than anything else. Yep, I know it's not exactly appropriate TV for a 13 year old. Don't worry, it's on my "Mom of the Year" award application.

More cousins!! :)

Bailey absolutely dotes on Lucas. It's so freaking cute. :D

RC helicopter from their uncle. 

He got one too.

Braeden had been wanting a watch and was very excited to see this Transformers one from Grandma!

The boys opening their gift from us, a PS3 with assorted accessories and games.

A super cute family friend opening her gift from the boys. Merida's bow from the movie "Brave."

A massive gift opening extravaganza with the Bells. :)

I've already talked about Christmas, so I won't go on and on about it now, lol. But, since I promised pictures, I wanted to post some.

On to this week...

My first full week at the tax office went okay enough. Wasn't crazy busy or anything yet. On Tuesday, the IRS pushed back the first date to file to January 30. Needless to say, people finding out that the earliest they could get a refund is now the middle of February didn't go over well. :/

Bailey had his first cake decorating class. He and his friend had so much fun. They started out decorating cookies, and this week they are making their own buttercream icing and they are going to decorate an 8-inch layer cake. They are really looking forward to it!

This past Thursday was also the first day back to Master's. Yaaaaay! They missed it, and are glad to have that back in their routine. With the return after the holidays, comes the registration for next year already. The class offerings change after the 8th grade. Up to now, there has been a set schedule of classes for grades K-6, and a different set schedule of classes for grades 7-8. For next year, Bailey is going to be able to pick and choose his classes because he will be at the high school level.


I know I doesn't mean that he has to start sending in his applications to homeschool-friendly colleges, lol, but it's still a bit overwhelming to have to acknowledge that we will be officially homeschooling high school later this year.

And again with the gulp.

I still have full support from the hubs, and most of my family and friends. Aaaaaaand...most importantly...I have a child who has absolutely NO desire to attend public school. So I really think that it's going to be fine. It's just uttering the words "homeschool" and "high schoool" together can seem daunting.

Ah well...

This week should look the same as last week. Cake class on Tuesday, Master's on Thursday and T4L, SpellingCity and reading in between. :)

I need to feed my children now. Who knew that this was a requirement? ;)

Hope everyone has a great week!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Tax time...

Yep, it's started. I only worked two days last week, but they weren't horrible. Being in the new office is very different, but the time is passing quickly since I'm the only one doing returns there so far.

The boys did alright with me being gone. Braeden is always much more clingy during tax time, but the hubs is teaching/playing D&D with the boys and they are excited about starting more with that. So it takes his mind off me not being here.

I don't really have a lot today. I'm trying to get the house in order (Christmas decorations down, plans for my absence, etc.) before tomorrow. As of tomorrow, I will be working 5-6 days a week, and that doesn't leave a lot of time for the house-wifey stuffs. Not that I do a lot of house-wifey stuffs anyway. But still... :D

The boys start back to Master's this week, and Bailey begins a four week cake decorating class he's taking with his best friend. He is so excited about that! Braeden is going to be going to work with me on the days that Bailey's doing the class. It's not the same, but he loves coming with me and hanging out, so he feels it's a comparable concession, lol.

As far as school goes, they are going to start back with their Time4Learning. I'm hoping to assign some spelling lists this morning, and they are going to continue their independent reading. Braeden is really working hard and doing well with his phonemic awareness and reading comprehension, which is great.

I am still working on posting those Christmas pictures. As soon as I find my camera, I will be able to get them onto my computer. I know it's here somewhere... :/

Now, I'm going to finish conquering Mount Laundry, try to get the Christmas stuff taken down, and see if there's still time in my afternoon/evening for some Indiana Jones and waffle making (it's "breakfast for dinner" night! Woot!). Have a great week, errbody!