Wednesday, January 25, 2012


After reading two financial books this month (Financial Peace Revisited and Total Money Makeover, both by Dave Ramsey, both HIGHLY recommended!) I needed a break! Not from reading, of course, but from reading so much seriousness. So I downloaded this to my Kindle:

And now I'm obsessed. I read it so fast and immediately downloaded the sequel, Catching Fire, today. I'm about 50 pages in already. And I'm hooked. I couldn't believe where the last book ended!! And I'm pretty nervous this one will leave me hanging as well. Grrr!

My sister's gave me exactly what I asked for for my birthday this year. A "sister date". :) They will be treating me to dinner (they're cooking!!) and a movie (my choice!!), just the three of us hanging out. Halfway through the book I called Madie, who's already read it, and told her that this was my movie choice! We'll have to wait until March, but I'm so excited!! I love the cast they've chosen and I'm so excited to watch!

Anyone else read this trilogy? What do you think?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Preparing for Baptism

How did she go from this tiny little ball of preemie love... this all grown up, smart, helpful, loving, amazing, beautiful 7 year old?!

(Payson opted for a family birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese instead of presents from mom and dad this year.)

Payson had her 7th birthday last week, which we think is a pretty special birthday. I guess 7 doesn't seem like a big deal in some families, but for us it's HUGE! Seven means that we have just one year to be sure we've done our jobs right and prepared her for baptism!! SCARY!!

Starting tonight we will be focusing our family home evenings on Payson. We'll be using the Preach My Gospel guide to prepare Payson for next year. We've gone through and broken the 5 lessons up with the small headings/sections in each and have about 35 lessons to teach between now and this time next year. (Which is perfect for us, since that leaves some extra weeks for when we have other activities planned, or we just plain old forget. It happens sometimes.)

I'm so excited to go through these lessons as a family. I'm excited to prepare them and learn from them and to watch our family learn together. I can't believe it will be leading up to my baby girl making her sacred baptism covenants! I get all emotional just thinking about it and it's still a year away!!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

That Money Thing

Since my last post I have found even more to do to educate myself as far as family finances go. I mentioned reading Financial Peace Revisited. Then I went on and read Total Money Makeover. Which I LOVED!! I highly recommend both books. Jason's about through with Financial Peace right now and when he gets back from his next rotation at work I'll be forcing him (insert evil laugh here) to read Total Money Makeover. But if you were to only read one of the two, I would have to suggest Total Money Makeover.

When I first learned about Dave Ramsey in 2010 I thought he was great! I was really excited about his methods and ideas. And I was desperate for someone to show me how to fix things.

After this month of reading and doing a lot of financial work, I'm a full on convert. I'm using his lingo in my every day. I'm talking anyone's ear off who will listen. I'm searching for things that I can do to be more "gazelle". :) Jason is also very on board, although I think he's getting just a tad tired of talking money all the time. Poor guy.

For the first time in our life we have a PLAN for our future. Not just hopes and dreams. We always talked about how "one day we'll _______". Now we have a very specific written plan. And I'm incredibly excited about all the things we're working on!

Unfortunately we still have to suffer some consequences of our past behaviors and choices. We've been saying we'd get out of debt and into a house "in the next year or two" for a couple of years now. We were hoping. Dreaming. That's what we wanted. But there was no real plan.

Now? We have a very clear plan. In a world where we could have what we want when we want we would be buying a house right this very second. But know we understand what we need to to do really be able to afford a house. One that we can have paid off in 10 years! Will we be able to buy it in a year or two? Nope. But that's okay! Because if everything goes according to plan, it will only be 3 or 4. Will it be a giant dream house? Nope. It will be modest. Small, even. :) But it will be ours!

We may not get rich and be taking cruises and tropical vacations any time soon, but the hope and peace I feel about our financial future is better than any vacation I can think of.

And the added bonus? Getting our finances in order seems to have a side effect. Other things are falling in order, too. Life isn't perfect, but it's looking pretty lovely right now!

So if anyone wants to yack for hours about money, shoot me an email or give me a call!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Enough is enough already!!

I just started to type up a really long and personal post. And then I got to a part that felt familiar. And I realized that I had already written pretty much the exact same post! Ha!

That was over a year ago.

Wanna know how much debt we paid off in the last year?
A little.

Wanna know how much money we saved in the last year?
A little.

(That's me screaming in frustration, in case you were wondering.)

A part of me is so bugged! WHY am I still doing this? Why haven't I learned my lesson?? Why didn't we end the year with more to show for it? More debt paid off? More savings?

Another part of me is trying to be proud. Proud that although we didn't do the best this year, we absolutely did BETTER! We learned something this last year and made some small changes. And changes are what we are after.

And now it's time to do even better!

I've already posted about all the icky sickies that have been around our house lately. So rather than waste the entire first week of the year sitting around being sick or helping sick kids, I found some useful things to do:

I re-read Financial Peace by Dave Ramsey in a weekend.
I started listening to the Financial Peace University lectures on my iTunes again.
I completely revamped our cash flow plan.
I completely revamped our cash flow plan again.
I squeezed every last drop of money I could from that dang cash flow plan.

Jason and I have had a few really good, really long conversations about money this week, about what we can do, what we're going to do, to be even better this year.

I've run the numbers. And when Jason gets home we're going to run the numbers again. And we're going to make a real commitment to be crazy strict this year and get rid of our debt by the end of the year.

It's going to be reeeeeeeally hard. It's going to take a lot of sacrifice. We had talked about taking the kids to Disneyland this year. And we still could. But we could also take that money and pay off more debt, delay our Disneyland trip by only a few months, and then when we go to Disneyland we can enjoy it DEBT FREE!

Is sacrificing a fun family vacation hard? Yes. But it's possible!! If we educate ourselves, discipline ourselves, and really implement the things we're learning, there is absolutely NO reason we can't do this.

Now I just need someone to teach me how to let go of the things I'm still attached to. Like expensive hair appointments, new clothes for the kids, and my stupid smart phone/data plan. If I can just get myself to let go of some silly STUFF I can shave off even more debt and build savings!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Happy Birthday Hubby!!

This handsome guy turns 31 today!! Unfortunately he is doing it in Colorado with a bunch of dirty guys instead of here with his family who is missing him like crazy!

Love you a million, babe! Hope you have a great birthday! least as great as a birthday spent working away from your family can be. :)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

How many times can I use the title "Sick of Being Sick" on my blog?

Because I'm pretty sure I've used that title in the past.

Oh well! I'm using it again!

We've been slammed with the icky sickies the last several weeks here. Jack started us off with just a bad cough/cold.

Then I got it next. But it was WAY worse. I started feeling like maybe I was coming down with a cold the Tuesday evening before Christmas and by the time I woke up I was plastered to the couch with an awful sore throat and the kind of cough that feels like you're being stabbed in the chest incessantly. I rarely go to the doctor, but after one day of that I made an appointment.

And guess what the doc said? "You have a cold. Go home and rest." Lame. It was a new doctor. And he was lazy. I didn't like him. I will never go back to him ever. I've never had a good doctor. Anyone have a doc they recommend?

Anyway, I suffered through Christmas. And finally started feeling slightly better this weekend. Almost two weeks after it started. I still have a slight cough and some congestion, but I feel almost back to normal which is GREAT!

Problem is, Lucas got sick over the weekend. :( Anyone who is around him long is usually very surprised by his demeanor. He literally never cries unless he gets hurt or he is scared/startled. And even then it lasts about 12 seconds. If that. When he is hungry or needs to be changed or is tired he will just talk/complain. It's actually pretty funny. He just does this whiny jabber thing to let us know he needs something. Otherwise he is all smiles all the time. He is a very low maintenance baby and has just brought us so much joy.

This was not the case over the weekend. He started getting really fussy in the middle of the night. He was even crying in his sleep like he wasn't feeling well. When he woke up his voice was hoarse and he had a really bad cough. My dad and brother gave him a priesthood blessing. And I got him in to the doctor yesterday.

Unlike the doctor I saw, I ADORE our pediatrician. He's amazing. He asked lots of questions checked Lucas out. The verdict? Bronchitis. Croup. And an ear infection! This is the first ear infection in any of my children. I know they are common for a lot of kids, but we've never had them. And apparently Lucas's little throat was very swollen and narrow. :( Luckily, he was still able to breathe and didn't need to be hospitalized. He was given an antibiotic for the infection and a steroid for the rest. And after 24 hours of meds he is acting MUCH more like himself! Which is wonderful, because I missed that gummy smile with those two tiny teeth. :)

As a side note, giving oral liquid medicine to an exclusively breastfed baby is not an easy thing. Last night my mom helped me hold his arms out of the way while I pinched his little cheeks and squirted the stuff in the back of his mouth/throat. He still only got about half of it swallowed. It took me 45 minutes to get the stuff in him this morning and most of it ended up being spit out again. I finally got smart tonight. I would squirt a little on the back of his mouth/throat and then quickly give him his binki! After a second we'd repeat it and the binki would get him to swallow. Hardly any spilling and it took me about 5 minutes! Yay!! This may not seem like a big deal to many, and maybe it was an obvious solution, but after the week we've had with the illnesses and not having Jason here to help out, it was reeeeeeally nice to have something go easy.