Saturday, March 23, 2013

Winners of the Debt Free Giveaway


YAY! YAY! YAY! O Happy Day! We have some winners!

The winners of the Debt Free Giveaway are:

Prize Package #1-Julie Alicea
Prize Package #2-Regan Garner
Prize Package #3-Tana Hostetter
Congratulations to the winners! Thank you to everyone who shared my post!

Have a great night! (or day, depending on when you are reading this. I guess you can have a great day and night........)

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Our Debt Free Anniversary

I love this sweater. This sweater represents financial freedom to me. Let me explain....

In 2004 I had a lot of consumer debt, around $30,000. I starting dating Matt, my husband, and attended a budgeting class he was facilitating. I did not want to tell him how much debt I had...he was too cute:)

I finally told him and started budgeting. After we got married and had a joint budget I thought it was really boring. I like surprises and budgeting did not provide any surprises. Everything was perfectly planned out-blah.

The day that got me hooked on budgeting was the day I bought this sweater.

That morning, I put on a black sweater I had purchased it at a yard sale. However, soon after I arrived at work, I realized there was a huge hole in the armpit. Sometimes you can hide those kind of things or just try to not raise your arms all day:) There was no hiding this hole. I do not know how I missed it when I was getting dressed, but I did.

I needed a sweater and fast. So, I went to the mall. I saw the blue sweater in the picture above and wanted it so bad. But, it was around $40. I thought, "There is no way I am spending $40 on a sweater." I looked at other sweaters, but kept thinking about this one.

Then, I remembered I had money in my clothing account. I could buy that $40 sweater and feel no guilt because I am supposed to spend my clothing account! That was when I started liking the fact that we were living on a budget.

Within the first three years of marriage we paid off $28,000 in consumer debt, paid off our home ($72,000) and put away $20,000 for emergencies. A $120,000 turn around.

March 17, 2008 is the day we sent our final payment in to pay off our home making us officially Debt Free. So, on the day of green, we celebrate our accomplishment. It was a lot of hard work but it is totally worth it now.

We followed Dave Ramsey's 7 Baby Steps. The final step is Build Wealth and Give. So, we are doing a giveaway! If you share the link to this post on your Facebook page you will be entered to win one of the following prize packages:

1. Dave Ramsey's Envelope System, Total Money Makeover book, goal thermometers and 2 letter openers

2. Dave Ramsey's game Act Your Wage, goal thermometers and 2 letter openers

3. Paid tuition to Financial Peace University (If you are currently taking a class or have taken the class before, we will reimburse you for the cost of your kit up to $100.) Plus, goal thermometers and 1 letter opener.

Giveaway ends on Friday, March 22, 2013 at midnight PST. The winners will be announced Saturday, March 23, 2013.

Here are some links to get you to your Debt Free Anniversary:
Dave Ramsey's Quick-Start Budget
Dave Ramsey's Monthly Cash Flow Plan
Dave Ramsey's Irregular Income Budget
Dave Ramsey's New Guide to Budgeting

Someone once said, "It's so funny how lucky hard working people are."

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The KitchenAid Dough Hook Does NOT go in Your Underwear!

Last week I got in the mood to bake. I wanted to make homemade bread. I figured the boys would probably want to help me so I got all the ingredients out the night before and got everything prepped the next morning before breakfast.

When it was time to start, the boys didn't care to help me so I got started while they were eating breakfast. I was showing them the ingredients as I added them to the KitchenAid bowl. Right before I heated the wet ingredients, Wayne was done eating and wanted to help. He washed his hands and we brought a chair over to the counter.

I heated the wet ingredients and added them to the KitchenAid. Then, Bruce decided he was done eating and wanted to help. So as I am wiping off Bruce I look over to see Wayne with the dough hook in his underwear. I said, "Uh, we don't put that in our underwear. That needs to be clean." I took it from him. He looked so disappointed. I asked, "Were you trying to hang it from your underwear?" He said, "Yes." "Okay, that would be pretty cool, huh? I can wash it when you're done." He was so happy as he hung the dough hook from the bottom of his underwear. It did make me laugh:)

I called my mother-in-law to ask a question about the dough. I told her about the "underwear hook" and how I never thought I would have to remind my children to not hang the dough hook from their underwear. (Just like I never thought I would have to say, "Don't play with the poopy water after you have used the restroom" or "Y'all stay in your beds and quit spitting at each other") We talked about how instruction manuals include warnings in different languages. I think maybe I need to write an addendum to the instructions with "Toddler-ese".

It would read something like:
The dough hook is not intended to be a hanging device from your underwear. Please do not attempt to "dig for gold" with the dough hook as it may get stuck or puncture your sinuses. To prevent injury, do not use dough hook to act like cartoon characters, Captain Hook for example, as you may hurt someone or possibly yourself. Should you hurt yourself or someone else with the dough hook, call for your mom. She will know what to do with you!

And here is our Allison. She helped by sleeping through the whole thing and then giving us a bunch of smiles when she woke up:)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Oh The Throws of Parenting!

Last night I was on the floor in me and Matt's bedroom with the boys. We were reading a book together when I heard Allison crying. I asked Matt if he wouldn't mind bringing her to me since Wayne was in front of me with the book and Bruce was on my lap. He said he didn't mind and went in her room.

The boys and I kept reading and then started playing with a really big sticker. We were laughing, tickling each other and throwing the sticker when Matt asked if I was ready for sister (Allison). I told him we were and he told me to get ready to catch her.

Now, I thought he was just joking. I figured he would act like he was going to throw her. So, I was expecting him to come to the bedroom door, swing her in his arms and act like he was going to let go. That's when I saw something flying in the air. I thought it was her but it was actually this:

I caught the fake Allison and just held on tight because I really thought it was her. I kept thinking, "I can't believe he actually let go!" Of course it didn't take long for me to realize I was holding a sleeper full of a blanket. It reminded me so much of a chicken when you are cleaning it before baking.

I started laughing so hard I couldn't breathe. Matt was laughing so hard he couldn't breathe. The boys didn't know what to think because they couldn't tell what we were doing. All Allison wanted was to be held, so I held her......after I took the picture!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Yes. She is my kid.

I am not one to remember to take a picture of my child’s milestones. In fact, a few days before Allison turned 1 month I remembered and thought maybe this would be the child I would remember to take pictures of. But on the exact day I totally forgot. Then about a week later I was telling someone how old she was and finally remembered that I had forgotten to take a picture on the day she turned 1 month. Oops!
However, despite my forgetfulness of my children’s ages I have never had someone ask me if the child with me is my child…..until now……

Last weekend, Matt & I were on a date at a restaurant here in town. Matt went to wash his hands and the waitress came over to see the baby. She asked how old Allison was. I couldn’t remember right away, so she asked me if Allison was my baby. I said, “Yes. She’s mine.” (I’m thinking, ‘I know she turns a week older on Mondays. What day is it today?’)
When Matt returned from the restroom I told him about my conversation with the waitress. Matt said I should have said, “No, it’s not my baby. It’s my husband’s. We haven’t figured out who the mom is yet.” (I thought he came up with that all by himself but he admitted he stole the line from a movie. It was still funny!!!!)

Then, later in the week, I was at the store. As I was leaving a lady had that look in her eyes like she really wanted to see the baby. I stopped so she could see her. She asked how old she was. I said, “Uh, I don’t remember. 5.5 weeks. Yeah, that’s it.” She said, “Is she your baby?” I said, “Yes, she’s mine.” I was thinking, ‘She’s fed, breathing and not naked. What do you people expect?!’ Again, I couldn’t even remember what day it was.
In our humanness, we have limits. Sleep deprivation can cause us to forget things. But I am so thankful to have a heavenly Father who is limitless. I may not remember off hand exactly how old my children are, but He does. He knows everything about us. He has so many children yet he knows all of our names (John 10:3b), the number of hairs on our heads (Matthew 10:30), the number of days we have been here on Earth and the number of days we have left (Psalm 139:16). The title of Psalm 139 in the NIV Bible is “God’s Perfect Knowledge of Man.” Maybe next time I should say, “God only knows how old she is!”