Saturday, July 31, 2010

What's Going On at Our House?

Well, Carolyn, the littlest one in the house has been causing quite a commotion, that's what!  Whew,  all the sudden as we are approaching 18 months old this darling tiny girl is turning out to be a bit of a handful even for this seasoned momma of 4!  She has me a bit worn out right now admittedly, which might explain the length of time since my last post!  We are busy busy busy!  She is either chatting to us, whining at us or squealing, fussing or giggling, but always something!  This little girl is a fiesty one too (exagerated by having older brothers who don't exactly play gently, and a puppy her same size) and ready to let us know what she does and doesn't like!  I fondly refer to her as my teeny weeny tiny one, itty bitty whiney one.  

On a positive note, I know this is just a phase and it wont last!  I remember with my first 2 toddlers when we went through difficult phases I didn't know how short they usually are!  Within a few weeks we will be on to something new and past this particular season!  I am so thankful that God made the hard parts short so we can endure them and I'm also thankful to be past that new momma phase so I know what to expect! 

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Our Journey to Debt Freedom

We have begun a journey to a different way of life around here! 
Here are the top 10 ways we have begun to re-order our finances:
1.  We SOLD  our nice but expensive truck (we will save on monthly payments, insurance and excess fuel) !
2.  We SOLD our Terry Camper Trailer bringing in extra funds to pay for necessary household maintenance such as painting the trim and touching up the house paint, reroofing the outbuildings etc. 
3.  We have begun to sell other items like unused tools and sports equipment.  We are almost ready for a big yard sale too, getting back to basics!
4.  We have changed our health insurance policy to a HSA Plan that allows us to take advantage of more tax credits and reduces our monthly payment by $423!
5.  We watch our grocery budget carefully and shop between Grocery Outlet, Costco and Safeway buying items at the lowest comparable price.
6.  I have been keeping "short accounts" of our checking balances and watching the pennies very carefully!  Finding new places to save and planning where each dollar can best be applied!  Using the Dave Ramsey worksheets!
7.  We paid off our credit cards and closed the accounts! 
8.  We are now debt free except our home loans.  This is the next step!!  Our first goal is to pay off the home equity loan on our house as quickly as possible (now that we don't have any other debt) and either refinance or sell.   
9.  This one actually goes against one of my other "being thrifty" posts but I have actually been avoiding yard sales!!!  I realized we don't really need anything else right now! 
10.  We have been more creative about finding free or inexpensive entertainment instead of paying for a day Miniature Golfing or bowling ($50 a day) or something else - we take advantage of the things already around us!  Such as a membership to a community center & pool we only pay for a family of 6 $73 per year!

So that's about it, so far, although I'm sure there will be more to come! 

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Independence Day

God bless America, land that I love.  Stand beside her and guide her....

...thru the night with a light from above.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

How have we been spending our summer...

Our family just loves the beach!  We are fortunate to live within hours of the coast so we can make a quick getaway whenever we need to see the open spaces and majesty of the ocean!  It never fails to remind me how small I am (good for perspective).  I love to see the children playing happily for hours in the sand.  I love to look out over the ocean and see for miles and miles the beautiful openness of it all.  The soft colors of blue fading into sandy beige and green are all so natural and serene.  The sound of the waves crashing and the breeze is so peaceful!  We make sand castles, go fishing, run in the waves, have fires & roast marshmallows, eat family style seafood stew - make family memories to last a lifetime!  This is where we have been so far this summer!  How have you been spending yours?

About Me

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wife & mother of 4 beautiful children, 2 girls & 2 boys. small business co-owner; catering and a restaurant/alehouse, writer, gardener, lover of freedom and humility found in christ, small town enthusiast, book reader, admirer of noble truths, beauty and love