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EMT, Firefighter – What will He Do Next?

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The week before Thanksgiving, Sea Cadet went out in the pouring rain to visit the local fire station. He came back that night excited about the possibility of becoming a volunteer fire fighter.

One week later, he was unanimously voted onto the force and when we returned from Texas, he was fitted for his uniform, given his pager and made official. He’s already been out on several calls this week, one of them at 3am!

firefighter Sea Cadet
There are some days I look at this child and pinch myself. I mean, I can’t take much of the credit for the amazing man he is turning into, but in some small ways I have contributed. And every day he just gets better.

A Short Version of Sea Cadet’s Background

If you have followed me for a while, this will be repeat information, but if not, I wanted to give you a brief history of where Sea Cadet came from.

Sea Cadet (and his identical twin brother, History Buff) were placed with me as foster kids when they were 12 years old. Sea Cadet, in particular, faced several challenges. He suffered from multiple delays and when he arrived at my home with his stuff in black trash bags was performing academically at a 3rd/4th grade level.

He was in speech to help people understand him better, had a dedicated education aid in all his classes with him, couldn’t write and so on. You get the point. In fact, at the first IEP meeting I attended for him, their goal for him was to be able to ride the public buses by himself.

At the end of his eighth grade year, social services gave me special permission to pull him out and homeschool him because there was a real fear that if he went to high school environment at the level he was at, we would lose him to some very negative influences.

And Now Today

He is just 9 months from completing his Advanced EMT certification, he is working part time (and waking himself up to get there on time consistently,) he has a car that he pays for and maintains, he pays his own insurance and cell phone bills and he has saved a nest egg emergency fund for his car maintenance and in anticipation of moving out next fall. And now, he is a volunteer firefighter!

And this is the kid that they set his highest goal as “riding the public bus by himself.” He is just a living example that with patience, the right path and continued flexibility to accommodate someone’s needs…things are not always what they seem.

I am one proud mama. This kid will graduate with no student loan debt. He’s currently acing all his tests. And he continues to take on more on his own initiative. There are just some days that I am overwhelmed with how blessed I have been to have the most amazing kids. And they continue to make me want to do better, make me want to do more, be more for them!


RueBucks – Christmas Present

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I mentioned earlier this month that I budget $150 to get Princess some winter clothes with the weather getting cold. On our drive back from Texas, we spent the night in Baton Rouge and ended up being across from a large mall on Black Friday evening.

After a day in the car and some hours to kill, we decided to hit the mall. And lo and behold, Princess’ favorite clothing store Rue21 was having a sale and she hadn’t spent any of her clothes money.

An hour later, she walked about with 1/2 new outfits for right at $80 – score!

Christmas Present on the Frugal Side

When I paid for the clothes I was informed we earned, 2 RueBucks. Which essentially means, if she shops again between December 26 and January 2, she can get $20 off her $40 purchase.

I got to thinking, I could buy her a gift card with $40 of the remaining clothes money I previously budgeted and then add these two RueBucks into her stocking, essentially giving her $20 extra dollars to spend. Is that a bad Christmas idea? To give someone something that is essentially is free.

I know she enjoys shopping at this store. She shops there every time she gets a chance (there is one an hour from us here in Northeast Georgia.)

I haven’t created a budget for Christmas presents. I know I should. I have begun picking up little stuff and it was all inside our trip budget so I haven’t used any extra money. But I really am focused on paying off debt and getting into a better financial place. I’m having a hard time balancing my desire to provide a Christmas for my three eldest and being as frugal as I have been the last few months.

Do you have a Christmas budget? How much do you spend on teenage children? I guess one of my challenges is that they don’t really “need” anything and their wants are pretty expensive…new computer, etc. So I have to find a middle ground I am comfortable with. And it’s not coming to me easily.

 


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