Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I swore I'd never....

like Dave Ramsey. He's not hugely popular in the north. He's not hugely popular with business men. There was never a single mention of his name in all of my growing up. But then I married. :) Dave Ramsey this and Dave Ramsey that. I was given the book. I grew increasingly frustrated and defensive. "Babe, if he was really all that good, don't you think my father, who was a FINANCIAL ADVISOR, would've at least mentioned him ONCE!?" You can't get anywhere in the world without credit. You need a credit card to establish credit. You have to spend money to make money. I pleaded my case over and over again. I just wouldn't back down! And this coming from the girl who asked the question "what is your accountant's name" after a month of being married. I was unaware that people actually did their own taxes. :) Folks, I was just raised differently. My dad was self employed and successful and asked us to meet him at the country club for lunch! What an eye opener it was to be related to people who put cash in envelopes and owned their cars for more than 3 years! I was still 100% against it until the day my mother uttered a few simple words. "Meg, don't you think business owners should handle finances differently than non-business owners?" Hm. I was stumped. And of course because it was my mother who thought it was perfectly acceptable for a "normal" family to follow Dave Ramsey's rules, I quickly thought it was acceptable as well. :) And so I am now doing something that I swore I'd never do. I'm reading the book. And guess what? I love it! Why is it SO appropriate for our culture to live in so much debt? I'm not talking about politics. Don't even get me started. But just the regular ole you and me. We automatically assume that everyone has school debt and car loans and credit cards and mortgages. Right? That's normal! That's expected! That's okay! What about where the Bible says "owe no man anything but love"???? You think to yourself "how can you afford to live without debt? how can you afford to buy a house, or pay for a car, or go on vacation without involving credit scores and interest rates????" But how can you afford not to? We are no where near being debt free, but we have been really convicted lately to start trying. Listen to this excerpt, taken from Dave Ramsey's "Total Money Makeover": "Imagine you buy a $130,000 home for which you take out a $110,000 mortgage at 7%. The final cost after all is said and done and paid would be $283,520 after 30 years." Sheesh! Isn't that incredible? Now don't get me wrong. I am a FIRM BELIEVER that you have to have "credit". I married the man without a lick of credit to his name and I even had to sign papers to let Verizon sell him a cell phone!!! :) We have vowed to make sure our boys are prepared to buy cars and houses and cell phones. But I've got to tell you, it's way better than marrying someone who's already $50,000 in the hole! Can you imagine a life where all you had to pay was the electric bill??? Honestly, I can't. But it sure is worth working towards. We think we can't afford to live without debt and credit, but really, how can we afford to?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Our new favorite thing...

Wow, okay the comments from yesterday were just overwhelming! Whether you commented on the blog or sent me a message...thank you! It was SO encouraging to hear from everyone, whether you knew him or not. This week is always hard because not only is it the birthday, but we now have Father's Day right around the corner! :) Better to get them both over with though, I guess. I'd love to write you all back individually, and I'm actually going to try to do this. But until then....
I purchased this magnetic chore chart at a homeschool convention in Connecticut over the weekend! We are huge fans of Melissa and Doug, and also have their magnetic wall calendar for kids. You get to choose from their wide array of "chores" such as "Stop Whining", "Clean Room", "Brush Teeth", "Share a Toy", "Unload the Dishwasher", and "Take a Bath". There is a column for each day of the week, and fun little magnetic smiley faces to put on the board after you've completed your chore. My oldest (4 years old) literally BEGS to have jobs to do now. All I have to say is "If you go make your bed, I'll give you a magnet!" My husband also had the brainy idea to take away magnets from children who are showing unusually high levels of disobedience. :) :) :) This works wonders. At this point in our lives, because we have multiple children who are very young, it's more of a new toy to play with then an organized, structured chart that stays hung on the wall. But at least they are having fun doing chores! :)

I also wanted to mention something from my post filled with all of the things that I hate. I don't want anyone assuming that just because I hate something, doesn't mean I don't struggle with it. I am over-weight, disrespect my husband, and on more than one occasion have stated "I'm so tired I can't even move" after the lights were turned off at night. :) You are allowed to despise your own sin, right? Also, an interesting question came up the other day, and I'd love to get more opinions. How much weight is too much? Is being 5 pounds over weight a sin? Or is it only a sin after you've gotten 50 pounds too far? Hm...let me know what you all think. Curious! :)

Monday, June 14, 2010


Today would've been my dad's birthday. We had such a busy weekend in Connecticut that I haven't really had a chance to sit and dwell on that fact. Until now. :) Sometimes it feels good to force yourself to sit down, bring back those memories, and have a good cry. Otherwise if I don't let myself hurt, I may bring the pain with me into the hope of tomorrow. I've made it all day without a melt-down. This post will strictly be therapy for me. Nothing entertaining. If you decide to read on, I hope you come away with the knowledge that this man was so worth every tear that has been shed over the past 6 years, 10 months and 6 days. Not like I'm counting or anything....

He grew up in a very strict, Catholic home, being the 3rd out of 4 boys born. To this day I can barely stand to look into my 3 uncles' faces because the resemblance is too strong. He loved southern gospel and country music. As a baby I was a terrible sleeper and he used to drive around for hours with me in his old, rusty pickup truck just to get me to doze off. :) He never once made a rule without a strong relationship behind it, although he did have 3 MAJOR no's for us: no drinking, no dancing, and no bikinis. :) He was fully supportive of my sister and I not having a college education. He knew that our hearts' desires were to be wives and mommies and he never once pressured us into anything else. One of his biggest pet-peeves were husbands who were not understanding of their wives feelings. That, and arrogance. He lived by the motto "love what you do". He worked hard, and played hard. Our friends were of such importance to him that he made a point to be at every possible basketball and soccer game that they were playing in and always encouraged us to have them over for dinner. I remember one night in particular when I stayed up late, snuggled in his arms on the couch just so he would have a buddy with him while he watched one of his favorite war movies. I woke the next morning to a note taped on my bedroom door that said "Thanks so much for watching that movie with me. Love, dad." I still have the note. All growing up he used to take us "spot lighting". Mom would clean up dinner and us girls would load in the truck with dad as he'd drive through every back road imaginable looking for deer. It took me a very long time to be able to drive down those roads again. Mom and us girls meant the most to him in the whole world, but he had 3 best friends: Mr. Goehring, Mr. Feely, and Mr. Dietze. Growing up I was a member of the "posse". He loved those friends as if they were his own kids, and prayed for them consistently. On the day he was buried, our last memory before being driven away from the grave-site were those 4 guys praying. Those were the sons he never had. Okay, starting to lose it now. Completely sobbing. Better wrap this up. The summer that he was killed I was a camp counselor. I never felt comfortable calling home during the week just to say "hey" because the counselor I shared a cabin with thought that was strange and inappropriate. She left camp for the summer on Thursday morning. That Thursday afternoon I called home and got to talk to my dad for quite awhile. He was killed Friday morning. How thankful I am that I made the phone call! Seth and I started liking each other about 6 weeks before dad died. Half-jokingly my dad had Seth fill out one of those "Rules to Date my Daughter" forms. My mom was looking through dad's Bible after he was killed and found the form that Seth had signed. :) He never watched "Father of the Bride" without crying. He lived 46 years. I was 19 when the accident happened. I don't believe it was an "accident", but rather something that God allowed to happen. I am not bitter. Sad, and still broken, but not bitter. Time does not heal wounds. God heals wounds, and He continues to work on my heart. The morning of August 8th, 2003, he climbed aboard his friend's small airplane to fly to Scranton to golf. The Scranton airport was too foggy to land, and the plane crashed into the trees. I have never once in my life thought the pilot was to blame. My oldest son, Silas, looks exactly like my dad's pictures as a child. Thankful for that gift. :) My boys know that their poppop is in heaven. He used to blow his nose extremely loud. :) He had expensive taste in clothing. He used to pay my sister and I to clean his golf clubs. He memorized entire books of the Bible. He absolutely hated reading, but challenged himself to read a certain number of books every year. He died believing that the only way to heaven was a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. My life is and forever will be changed because of his tremendous example. I will forever and always be his little girl.

Friday, June 11, 2010

I've been tagged!

Jennifer from tagged me in a super fun questionaire! Okay, so it was supposed to be super fun until I started thinking about all of my answers.... Hm. Good time to be very careful about the words that I choose! So here goes! I have to list 12 likes, 1 love, and 8 hates.


Discovering character traits in my babies that they got from me.
The effects of caffeine.
A good foot rub from my one and only.
Friends who are willing to open up and cry with you.
Wide open spaces.
Enormous SUVs.
Ripped jeans and white t-shirts.
The way he doesn't mind my cold feet in bed.
Long hair in a pony tail.
The way my kids beg for me to sing old hymns in the car.
Dirty r&b songs. ;)
Momma's who put their husbands first.

1 Love:

My Savior's love for me

8 Hates:

Sense of entitlements.
Women who don't respect their husbands.
Husbands who hear too many "excuses" in bed.
Those who believe getting pregnant before you are married is more of a "sin" than the extra 80 pounds of fat that they are carting around on their hips.
Hard-boiled eggs.

There you have it! Hope you enjoyed it. I had fun wearing my heart on my sleeve for a few minutes. :) We are in a hotel near Springfield, CT and all 3 kiddos are napping. My hubby is 10 minutes away at a convention. I have my laptop, cable tv, and caffeine waiting! :)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Heavenly whites...


French Larkspur

Room Seventeen

Shabby Homestyles

Monday, June 7, 2010

A Generous Blogger...

I have something exciting to share! A while ago I came across Faded Plains and fell in love with Andrea's inspirational photos. On May 18th she shared with the world an update on her feathered friends and I fell in love with her adorable little frizzles. "Ahhhh, if only I had a picture like that to use as a header for my blog....." Well, I mustered up my courage and actually sent her an email asking her for the very thing! :) She was so quick to respond with a very sweet email that I have vowed to never delete. Isn't that weird how I now count fellow-annonymous-bloggers as famous people who I just dream about bumping into at Target??? Anyway.... she said yes!!!! She has given me permission to use her frizzle photo as my blog header! I was over-joyed....and so thankful! So please take a moment to visit her. Her property is amazing. Her home is amazing. Her writing is captivating. Hope you enjoy her as much as I am!

p.s. I wrote the word "peddle" rather than "pedal" multiple times in my last post. I knew it was wrong. It was driving me nuts. But even my Mac Dictionary couldn't figure out the correct spelling for the way I wanted to use the word "pedal". My mind drew a blank, and I just left the post publish with a type-o. Just letting you all know that my incredibly brilliant husband is the one who finally figured out the correct spelling for me. :)

Our new baby...

This weekend our family hit a milestone. We have officially excused ourselves from the mini-van clan. I can't take a picture of it because my camera died. We can't purchase a new camera because the one my husband says we just "have to have" is $900. So, in lieu of a photo with me sportin' a new set of wheels, this will have to do...

Don't you just love it when you "know people"? We had traveled hither and yon in search for something that fit our family of 5 and wouldn't break the bank. On the way home after yet again a disappointing test drive I said "please just take me to Volvo". He waited in the old mini van with 95,000 miles and a break peddle with a mind of it's own while I breezed through the glass doors of the dealership with my name on it. Okay, so it didn't really have my name on it. :) Sales runs through my veins just as much as caffeine does these days. I almost get high on it. I sat down with a sales associate, explained what we were looking for and what we had to offer with my most diplomatic aura. I told her who I knew that worked in the offices, and who I knew had purchased multiple vehicles at this location. I heard the sweet words "Let's take a walk outside. We're very willing to work with you." And that just about sums it up, folks. It's not brand new. We've done that once and have sworn to NEVER do it again. Driving it around town later that afternoon I turned to my very generous hubby and exclaimed with all the excitement I could muster, "The brake peddle works!!!" New vehicles aren't everything, but it sure makes getting groceries a little more fun. :)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

If you need new floors...

Hardwood floors are nice, right? Wide plank floors are even nicer, right? Well, okay, at least we think they are. You are probably thinking you can't afford hardwood floors. But what if I told you you could get beautiful, wide plank wood floors for $.45 a foot? Check it out...
Frugal Farmhouse Design

Ignoring the obvious

Here's my big, obnoxious, obvious announcement: we lost the home we were in the process of purchasing. It's a LONG, very personal story. I will share some things....later. :) Too much for me to comprehend right now. We are fine. We are content. But I am mourning the idea of unpacking the 20-some boxes in the basement. So I am grabbing a mountain dew, because I have nothing stronger in the whole house. :) I can't even chug cough medicine, because we don't have any! Holistic, natural health, remember? And so I am choosing to ignore the obvious, and just sit and day dream while my babies are nestled in their beds, taking what I hope to be a very lllooonnnggg drawn out nap. :) My day dreaming consists of this....

Feel free to also visit today, because she has done an entire post about it. Here's to ignoring the obvious, even if only for a couple of minutes! :)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Daddy's Rules....

NOTE: This application will be incomplete and rejected unless accompanied by a complete financial statement, job history, lineage, and current medical report from your doctor.
NAME_____________________________________ DATE OF BIRTH_____________
HEIGHT___________ WEIGHT____________ IQ__________ GPA_____________ SOCIAL SECURITY #_________________ DRIVERS LICENSE #________________ BOY SCOUT RANK AND BADGES_____________________ ______ _______________HOME ADDRESS_______________________ CITY/STATE___________ ZIP______ Do you have parents? ___Yes ___No Is one male and the other female? ___Yes ___No If No, explain: _____________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ __ Number of years they have been married _______________________________________ If less than your age, explain:_________________________________________________ ACCESSORIES SECTION: A. Do you own or have access to a van? __Yes __No B. A truck with oversized tires? __Yes __No C. A waterbed? __Yes __No D. A pickup with a mattress in the back? __Yes __No E. A tattoo? __Yes __No F. Do you have an earring, nose ring, pierced tongue, pierced eyebrow, or anything pierced below your belt? __Yes __No (IF YOU ANSWERED 'YES' TO ANY OF THE ABOVE, DISCONTINUE APPLICATION AND LEAVE PREMISES IMMEDIATELY. I SUGGEST RUNNING.) ESSAY SECTION: In a minimum of at least 50 words, what does 'LATE' mean to you? ______________________________________________________________ ___________________________________ ___________________________ ______________________________________________________________ In a minimum of at least 50 words, what does'DON'T TOUCH MY DAUGHTER' mean to you? ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ In a minimum of at least 50 words, what does'ABSTINENCE' mean to you?
__________________________________________________________ ____ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________
REFERENCES SECTION: Church you attend and how often__________________________________ When would be the best time to interview your: Father? _____________ Mother? _____________ Pastor? _____________ SHORT-ANSWER SECTION: Answer by filling in the blank. Please answer freely, all answers are confidential. A: If I were shot, the last place on my body I would want shot would be:______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ B: If I were beaten, the last bone I would want broken is my: ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ C: A woman's place is in the:______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ D: The one thing I hope this application does not ask me about is: ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ E. What do you want to do IF you grow up? ___________________________ ______________________________________________________________ F. When I meet a girl, the thing I always notice about her first is: ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ G. What is the current going rate of a hotel room? __________________ I SWEAR THAT ALL INFORMATION SUPPLIED ABOVE IS TRUE AND CORRECT TO THE BEST OF MY KNOWLEDGE UNDER PENALTY OF DEATH, DISMEMBERMENT, NATIVE AMERICAN ANT TORTURE, CRUCIFIXION, ELECTROCUTION, CHINESE WATER TORTURE, AND RED HOT POKERS. _______________________________________________________ Applicant's Signature (that means sign your name, moron!) _________________________ _______________________________ Mother's Signature Father's Signature _______________________________ Pastor/Priest/Rabbi State Representative/Congressman Thank you for your interest, and it had better be genuine and non-sexual. Please allow four to six years for processing. You will be contacted in writing if you are approved. Please do not try to call or write. If your application is rejected, you will be notified by two gentleman wearing white ties carrying violin cases. (you might watch your back) To prepare yourself, start studying: Daddy's Rules for Dating Your dad's rules for your boyfriend Rule One: If you pull into my driveway and honk you'd better be delivering a package, because you're sure not picking anything up. Rule Two: You do not touch my daughter in front of me. You may glance at her, so long as you do not peer at anything below her neck. If you cannot keep your eyes or hands off of my daughter's body, I will remove them.Rule Three: I am aware that it is considered fashionable for boys of your age to wear their trousers so loosely that they appear to be falling off their hips! Please don't take this as an insult, but you and all of your friends are complete idiots. Still, I want to be fair and open minded about this issue, so I propose this compromise: You may come to the door with your underwear showing and your pants ten sizes too big, and I will not object. However, in order to ensure that your clothes do not, in fact come off during the course of your date with my daughter, I will take my electric nail gun and fasten your trousers securely in place to your waist. Rule Four: I'm sure you've been told that in today's world, sex without utilizing a 'Barrier method' of some kind can kill you. Let me elaborate, when it comes to sex, I am the barrier, and I will kill you.Rule Five: It is usually understood that in order for us to get to know each other, we should talk about sports, and other issues of the day. Please do not do this. The only information I require from you is an indication of when you expect to have my daughter safely back at my house, and the only word I need from you on this subject is: 'early.' Rule Six: I have no doubt you are a popular fellow, with many opportunities to date other girls. This is fine with me as long as it is okay with my daughter. Otherwise, once you have gone out with my little girl, you will continue to date no one but her until she is finished with you. If you make her cry, I will make you cry. Rule Seven: The following places are not appropriate for a date with my daughter: Places where there are beds, sofas, or anything softer than a wooden stool. Places where there is darkness. Places where there is dancing, holding hands, or happiness. Places where the ambient temperature is warm enough to induce my daughter to wear shorts, tank tops, midriff T-shirts, or anything other than overalls, a sweater, and a goose down parka - zipped up to her throat.. Movies with strong romantic or sexual themes are to be avoided; movies which feature chain saws are okay. Hockey games are okay. Old folks homes are better. Rule Eight: Do not lie to me. I may appear to be a potbellied, balding, middle-aged, dimwitted has-been. But on issues relating to my daughter, I am the all-knowing, merciless god of your universe. If I ask you where you are going and with whom, you have one chance to tell me the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. I have a shotgun, a shovel, and five acres behind the house. Do not trifle with me.
See you in the future if not in the pasture