Monday, January 31, 2011

This relationship was doomed to fail...

Dear January,

It is time for our relationship to end. You have been nothing but cold to me. You think you are pure as your wind driven snow, but there is ice in your soul. Even your tenderest caresses give me chills, making me numb to your overtures.

We began the year with such promise, but you are nothing but a flake. You may dump your insults, another several inches of them today if you must, but I shall plow on.

I am leaving you for February, and though you may howl and weep, there is nothing you can do to stop me from moving on.

Warmest Regards,

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Dave Ramsey, Debt, and Dumpster Diving

As a reward for all our hard work to pay off a lot of debt, we promised ourselves a family vacation this summer. Then we need to go to my niece's wedding, (which we unfortunately could not tag onto the vacation). Couple that with growing young men who want to experience Scout camp, High Adventure, Youth conference, and EFY, not to mention swim lessons, tennis, summer school, etc. When you add it all up, we needed some more cash. So even though I swore it off years ago, I got the dumb idea that maybe I needed to finally have the dreaded:

Garage Sale.

Because really, how much money can a 12 and 13 year old make? Not nearly enough to pay for all the above. I don't like to farm them out to babysit because I have first dibs on their time for that, and frankly, they are not skilled labor in any menial task. (I doubt anybody with cash in hand is willing to stand over them and nag as they weed or clean toilets, right?) It would take an entire summer's mowing to earn the cash they need, and with all those camps, they won't even be here to do it.

The deal was sealed yesterday afternoon when I noticed my neighbor, who is moving to GERMANY in 6 weeks, had this beauty parked in her driveway.
As I watched her husband throw in a perfectly good wheelbarrow and patio set, I could no longer take it. I swallowed my pride (she's moving to GERMANY, right?), and called to ask if we could do a little "dumpster diving". I swear I could hear her thinking "I'm so glad I'm moving to GERMANY" as she said, "Uh, sure. Whatever you want I guess. They're coming tomorrow to pick it up though."

So this AM I tromped out and began digging. My thoughts were thus the whole time:
"I could get $50 bucks for this!"
"If my husband's boss saw me doing this he'd give Jared a raise for sure."
"I bet I could get $100 for the patio set! That would almost pay for a week of Scout camp!"
"I bet my neighbor is soooo glad she's moving to Germany, where you surely won't have broke neighbors with 6 kids digging through your garbage."
"I just may have to keep this totally awesome wheelbarrow. I think I saw it at Costco for 100 bucks last spring!"
"I bet nice neighbor Susan, who just waved at me, is wondering if we're going to be the first neighbor into foreclosure."
"I wonder if anybody would pay for a 4 foot tall, wood statue of Brett Favre in a Packers uniform?"
Etc. Etc. Etc.

But after an hour, I have a garage full of loot, a sampling of which you see below. Suffice it to say, if my neighbor had called me first, should could have saved the $300 dumpster fee.
D*** that Dave Ramsey !

Monday, January 3, 2011

Reasonable Resolutions Rock

(the kiddos, in full anticipation of the goodies that await downstairs Christmas Morn)

Last year I resolved to have accomplished 3 things only, and for them to all happen by the end of March. It had been a rough year, and I felt it was important to be kind and realistic with myself.

I am happy to report that I successfully achieved all of them within the time frame I had set for myself! By the end of March I had succeeded in 1. having a baby 2. losing 20 pounds 3. taking down my Christmas decor (the last was a nail-biter, I have to admit)

I was so pleased with myself, I even decided to take on something I had avoided my whole life. I decided to learn to make bread. Shocking, I know.

Again, although it took me until Thanksgiving to really test my first weak efforts, I managed to make the the MOST delicious, fluffy rolls for Thanksgiving. They were "freezer rolls" so I had actually sworn my way through the whole process wondering why I didn't just buy stupid Rhodes Rolls, but to my utter surprise and delight, come Thanksgiving day, they were fantastic! I was so surprised, I haven't had the nerve to make them since, afraid it was a fluke. Nonethless, I'm checking it off my list as a success.

So this year, I am feeling cautiously more ambitious. (really, I ought to know better)
I have managed to narrow my list down to a few items.

1. To write and submit an article for the BYU Alumni magazine. Not an article really, but little ditty telling how I have used my college education in an unexpected way in my life. The $50 check for accepted submissions is the golden carrot. (If I succeed, I think the prize should go towards a spiffy new pair of shoes for myself, but it will likely go toward our debt snowball to pay for said college education)

2. (upping the above ante) To write and submit an article to the Ensign Magazine. I am narrowing my list of possible topics, but I think I have an awful lot to say to folks, and flatter myself that someone else actually wants to hear it.

3. To pay off our last credit card and car payment, EVER! We have been working very diligently this year to get out of debt except the house, and it is looking within reach by March. (We will then attack those stubborn student loans with a VENGEANCE)

4. To shower before the kids get home from school. (Oh, wait. That's for today. sorry.)

So, there we are. I think I ought to be able to do those by March, and then I may go for one more by the end of the year. Like my usual, "get organized". LOL