Yesterday morning in my pre 10:00 am stupor (it used to be much later...parenthood has helped me function before noon!) Eva came up to me to show me a sticker...I looked over and it was just covered in snot. I figured that she had been wiping her nose with her hand and told her to throw out the sticker and go blow her nose and wash her hands. Fast forward to after nap time...I'm changing Charlotte's poopy diaper, and Eva got my full attention by saying "'Member a long time ago when I put that sticker up my nose? I'm glad that it came out today!" To which I responded with a "what do you mean?" kind of response. Then it all came together and made sense to me...Eva waking up complaining about her nose hurting, the sticker she had to show me, why it was completely covered in snot...so I asked her when she had put it up her nose and she said "A long time ago, I think it was like 5 years" (insert little 4 year old hip wiggle at the "like 5 years" comment), I pointed out that that was impossible...I never did get a straight answer out of her when it occurred...
This week I won a years subscription to Dave Ramsey's My Total Money Makeover from a giveaway over at One House Schoolroom. So, I have been wasting A LOT of time on the forums there, and being very obsessive about money. Pretty much our phone has been constantly busy most of the week because I've been playing on the computer or downloading commercial free pod casts of the Dave Ramsey show. The thing that made me sad after I first started was that I went back into Quicken to figure out when we had become debt free but the house (baby step #2) and that was way back in February of 2007. We have 1 month emergency fund saved up (I'm aiming for 5 months), but we really could have been done WAY before now had we been even slightly serious, and just saved up money for an emergency fund rather than putting money in college savings since that time. Then, we'd be starting college savings NOW and Charlotte wouldn't have a over $400 loss in her (index) fund. Eva's (actively managed fund) is doing a little bit better.
3-Restaurant Christmas Card
In the "not doing a very good job of changing our financial habits" department...yesterday we got a Christmas card from one of the restaurants in town...Hubby was kept late at work, it was snowing, story time was moved from the library to another venue (because of an ongoing dispute between the library and the bookmobile, strangely enough!), and all of us were at wits end (okay, mostly me and hubby, the girls were fine) so we ended up deciding to go to said restaurant for lunch...not entirely because we felt guilty getting a Christmas card when we haven't been in the place for a couple of months...
On the "much better financial habits" front, Hubby had been thinking for a while about increasing the amount we pay on our mortgage every month (the fact that HE was thinking about this is almost miraculous!), which is something that I have been contemplating as well. At first we thought we'd up the amount by $50 (we already round up to the nearest hundred, which pays an extra $50.81 per month), but then I did a mortgage calculator with the current amount we owe (under $69,000 now, woo hoo!!!) and found out that to pay it off in 15 years, we would have to pay $100 more than we do now...so we made the commitment, changed our automatic payment to be $100 more, and we will make this work! So, if we simply stick to paying the new amount for the duration of our loan, we will pay it off before I turn 45!
We have been doing our advent wreath at dinner (either the evening one or the mid-day one depending on nighttime meetings.) Our Advent wreath has the following on each candle holder -3 wise men, nativity, shepherd, angels. Last year we serendipitously picked up an Advent booklet from church that has each week themed (prophecy candle, Bethlehem candle, Shepherds' candle, Angels' candle) of course, it is WAY over the heads of the girls, but I'm sure it is good for them nonetheless. They get to take turns snuffing the candle which they really enjoy...but their favorite part of all is sniffing the candle snuffer at the end...and Eva' pretty much always declaring "it smells like FIRE!" (I worry about her sometimes!)
Hubby came up with the idea recently that he should offer to take me on a trip for our 10th anniversary this summer...which is a fine idea...he just keeps threatening me with vacation destinations such as Iowa (in July???), etc. I keep teasing him that he should take me on a cruise (I don't really mean it, but it's fun to harass him) and each time, it turns into another discussion about pirates...
7-High Speed Internet
So, we have dial-up...so anytime I am on the computer, no one can call. In fact, if I could work it out, I'd probably stay connected 24/7 (I don't like the phone...I don't like calling people, and I don't like talking to people...particularly if I am supposed to make small talk...) but the past several people to call have commented on how our phone is always busy (and I figure it would be rude to say "yep, I don't really like getting phone calls anyway, so it wasn't bothering me") and hubby has started to give out his cell phone number to everyone he needs to get in contact with because he knows that our phone is almost always busy...Of course, when I asked if I could start giving out his cell phone number, too, so that he could be my personal secretary, he said no. So, I am thinking once again that maybe I'll get high(er) speed Internet for my 30th birthday this summer. Hubby got dish network for his 30th, so maybe I should follow in that theme and upgrade from cheap dial up to the least expensive high speed we can find...like our upgrade from 5 fuzzy channels that went out when the train went by (about 20 times a day) to the cheapest dish package with DVR...Plus, then we'd be able to watch cool YouTube videos like the one of a shrimp walking on a treadmill that we saw on the O'Reilly Factor last night!
Bonus-I'll throw this one in for free!
First of all, she is always telling me that I would be so proud of her for such and such decision because it is eco friendly ("I'm so GREEN!") I'm not so sure I understand why...she seems to think that I have a deep love of environmentalism...but in reality, I'm mostly just cheap. So, she buys into the whole Al Gore global warming thing (and makes her students watch his dumb movie every year now) and carbon credits, etc. (She doesn't buy any carbon credits, even though they own two houses and travel back and forth between them EVERY WEEKEND!) So, she called me up the other day because she had seen on the news that there was going to be a workshop for farmers on how to sell carbon credits for things that they already do. She wanted me to call my in-laws and let them know since they might be able to make money selling carbon credits (I doubt it...I'm thinking the whole FEEDLOT thing would turn off most people willing to buy carbon credits!) So, let me get this straight...we should all buy carbon offset credits every time we sneeze (okay, maybe more like any time we drive, fly, or have anything shipped anywhere), but those carbon credits we are buying are from people who would be doing said task anyway??? I mean, really...can you get any dumber than that???
Of course, more quick takes over at Jen's blog.