Archive for September, 2008

Look Out

Apparently I am a tropical storm.  No chance of it turning into a Hurricane and making landfall–which I guess is a good thing but it would be pretty cool to hear the weather people say “Hurricane Laura”.  (My mom did always say that my room looked like a Hurricane had passed through!)

It’s the Final Countdown . . .

da da da dum . . . da da da dum dum . . !  THREE DAYS until New Kids on the Block!  I am so crazy excited for this.  I have literally been dreaming about it for weeks now!  Seriously, I have had at least three dreams about this concert.  I don’t even want to wake up in the morning because I want to keep dreaming about it . . . sigh.  (My hubby is rolling his eyes right now and thinking, geez I can’t wait until this nonsense is over!  Hey babe–at least I’m not making you sleep on New Kids sheets!).  On Thursday at noon, my friend Steph and I are heading up to DC where we are staying the night at the Red Roof Inn.  It’s walking distance to the Verizon Center and we’ll be heading there around 7 pm or so.  The show starts at 8 and the Kids come on at 9!

Yeah–I’m not embarrassed to profess my love for them!  I don’t care who knows it.  I LOVE NKOTB!  Especially that one in the middle with the red shirt on! : )  Jordan’s been my favorite for a long, long time.    You know what is funny?  My mom still remembers their names.  I guess she didn’t have a choice since that was all I talked about for about 3 years of my life!  (Not to mention that every square inch of my bedroom walls were covered in photos of them!)

Can’t wait to share an update this weekend!  I’m going to sneak in my Flip camera (it may have to come in tucked inside my bra–but it’s coming in with me!).  I hope we get some really good photos and video to share!

Muffin Tin Lunch

Have you heard of muffin tin lunches?  I read about it on a blog awhile ago and kept thinking it would be a neat idea for the girls.  So Saturday, because we were running low on groceries and the girls didn’t want what Aaron and I were having for lunch I threw together a muffin tin lunch for them. 

I was surprised because number 1–they shared without complaining and number 2–they liked all the foods!  Especially the cheese.  Normally Annagrace doesn’t care much for cheese by itself but they both ate it all up!  They had strawberries (and sugar for dipping), grapes, cheese, goldfish, marshmallows, fruit snacks, and PB&Js. 

Yummo!  I think we’ll have many more muffin tin lunches to come!  If I can find them cheap, I’m going to get them individual half dozen muffin pans and I may even decorate it somehow with their names on it!  They loved it (and asked for more cheese)!

(The table they are eating on was another project–I painted the top with chalkboard paint!  They have really enjoyed it.  It’s a nice place to draw towns for play cars, to play tic-tac-toe and just to doodle on!)

ORAM: Downstairs Bathroom/Girls’ Room

This is my second installment of One Room a Month!  We decided to really get busy this weekend and we knocked out TWO rooms!  Originally we hadn’t thought that the bathroom would need much more than a new floor.  However, after some thinking I decided that it really needed a good update.  Stupid me forgot to take before photos!

The bathroom before featured an off white linoleum tile floor (and the tiles were starting to seperate), an oak medicine cabinet, oak sink cabinet, old dirty one knob faucet, and old gold (UGLY) light fixture.  Here is the update bathroom:

This is looking in from the girls’ room.  I painted the cabinet black and added new silver knobs.  The floor is peel and stick linoelum tiles (I love the new darker color).  And here is another view:


We added a new faucet and a new light fixture.  I don’t have a photo of the light fixture installed yet but this is it:

That photo got a little distorted, but you get the idea.

We had A LOT of trouble in the girls’ room.  It was a dark yellow color to start out with.  You can kind of see it here–I didn’t think to take photos until I had already started painting.  The new color is over the door and the old is by the window and over the t.v.  

Anyway, I thought that the color would cover pretty good but I was so so so wrong.  After almost a whole gallon of paint and four coats on ONE wall I decided to go get more primer and paint and start over.  It still took a coat of primer, 3 coats of paint and still needs a few touch ups along the top of the walls and around and over the doors and windows. 

I don’t have finished photos yet–I’ll try to add those later this week.  It’s too dark to get a good photo now and the bed still has junk on it to be put away!  We also need closet doors.  And just for the record, that closet is staying pink!  Here is a photo of the inside of the closet and my labeler put to good use:

I LOVE that Madalyn can only have a box at a time instead of stuff being all over the room.  I also love that the crayons, markers and pens and pencils can be put way up high out of the reach of both of them!

So Aaron is starting to work on the outside a little bit.  I think our next project inside may be the bedroom and bathroom upstairs.  That is going to be a lot of painting but it really needs to be done. 

I am just ready to get this done, get this house finished, get it sold and move on!

Gettin’ Real

I haven’t read much of my new Dave Ramsey book yet, but I have read enough in it and online to get the idea of paying debt down by starting with the smallest debt first.  I don’t have as much debt as the average American but I have enough.  Too much.   

I mentioned before that I have “come into some money”.  With it, I will be able to pay off one of my major credit cards, my two store cards (Old Navy and Kohl’s) and my hospital bills (I owe $125 on my stay when I had Madalyn–and she is almost three now!–and over $600 for Annagrace’s tonsillectomy).  That will leave me with one credit card bill that is a shade over $7000.  Yeah.  I know.  OUCH.  But there is light at the end of the tunnel!  I can see it . . . down there just a little ways!  I am also going to pay the rest of Madalyn’s preschool tuition for the year (that will free up $95 a month).  So with all those bills paid, I guesstimate that I’ll have approximately $300 a month that will be freed up to put towards my big major credit card. 

So here is what I am planning to tackle the larger credit card bill.

1) Look into getting a lower interest card.
2)  Set up my account so that I will automatically pay $250 from each pay check onto the card.

If I am able to get a lower interest card (I get several 0% offers each month in the mail) then by paying $500 a month I will have paid off $4000 by next Spring.  We are hoping that when we sell our house we will make a good amount on it and can use some of that money to pay down some debt.  I will have approx $3000 left on that one card and that will leave my BIG debt–my van–needing to be paid off.  My prayer is that we will make enough off of our home that we can pay down a good bit on the van and maybe refinance for a shorter loan time.  When we bought our van, we got a 7 year loan with the idea that once some money was freed up (we knew that our school loans were almost paid for and I figured I’d get these cards paid off soon) we’d have more to put towards the van.  So I’d like to get the van at least half paid for, refinance and up my payment (using that $500 from my credit card payment and adding it to my van payment).  If I am able to do that, then the van will be paid for in about 2 years instead of 6 more (we are already one year down). 

So that’s the plan if anyone has actually read this all the way through!  Oh yeah–I also have an opportunity to apply for a bonus at work.  I have to submit a “curriculum vitae” and apply for Clinician 2 Status within the nursing department.  If I get it, it will be about a $2000 bonus paid in one lump sum next Spring.  So there is most of the credit card bill wiped out.  I really need to get on the ball and get going on my curriculum though! I’ve waited until the end of the year and I have to apply for it by the first part of October!

One More Post: My Teething 3 Year Old

Just one more quick post for tonight.  Madalyn has a new tooth coming in!  Yes, I know.  It’s completely and utterly ridiculous since she is almost three years old.  My dad has jokingly said she was ‘snaggle toothed’–we all just assumed that she was born with a missing tooth.  I figured that eventually she would get more teeth and they would fill in the gap.  About 3 weeks ago Aaron was brushing her teeth and he said, “Did you know Madalyn has a tooth coming in?”  Crazy.  Can you see it?  Over on her left–it’s one of her canine teeth!


And my final thought for tonight.  Well, my first thought for this morning since it’s well after midnight now.  My friend Nikki is a genius.  She had the neatest idea for keeping up with all the cute things that her kids have said and I am totally stealing the idea.  I thought, wow–I need to share that with my blog readers.  I always have good intentions of writing my cute kid stories down (like the time I complained about another driver being ‘on my tail’ and Annagrace pointing out to me that “Mama, you don’t have a tail!”.  Or the time when I was preggers and she asked me if I could swallow a Polly Pocket so that Madalyn would have something to play with) but I never take the time to do it.  Here is a very easy way to get into the habit of writing things down.  Get you a little index card notebook like this one:

and dedicate a separate page for each cute little thing that is said.  Be sure to write which child said it and the date!  I had a great time reading through her books and reading the silly things that her kids said.  Her two year old, Simeon (who has a thing for the ladies–including my daughter Annagrace!) has one that is classic.  He said, “Mom, ya know those guys who hurt Jesus? I’m going to punch them in the wiener.”  LOL!!!! 

So I bought my little book tonight and am hoping to fill it with all kinds of silly goodness in the coming months!  Thanks Nikki for the fantabulous idea!

Getting Back on Track

So I have not been blogging much lately about saving money.  I haven’t been spending much money but I have been spending some.  So I know it’s time to get back on track with paying down my debt, clipping coupons and counting my pennies!  I bought a Dave Ramsey book tonight–I’ve had lots of people recommend him to me and my friend Nikki was talking about him yesterday and it motivated me to buy his book “The Total Money Makeover”.

I recently have come into some money that is really going to help me pay down a lot of my debt.  I am anxious to get some bills paid and start throwing more money at my other ‘big’ debts (mainly my van!).  So I’m going to set some goals and start sharing more about what I am doing to cut costs, save money, pay down my debt, be more frugal, etc.  More on that tomorrow because it’s after midnight and I have to work tomorrow!

September 2008