Friday, April 30, 2010

Show Us Your Life - Money Saving Tips

Ok y'all know that we are getting our debt paid off per my last post... so in the last several years and the older I get, the better I also get at trying to save and penny pinch anywhere and everywhere I go!

1. The Hubs truck has been paid for (for years) and my car will be paid for next year, after my car is paid for, we plan to never have a car payment again. Therefore now we are saving in case the hubs needs another truck before we are ready to get one.... his poor truck is old.
2. We have basic everything... cable, phone, internet everything.
3. I am anal about our utilities, lights and gas (here in Memphis it is all combined)
4. I have a weekly grocery budget that I stick within, don't go over, don't go under. I am so anal about this too, one night the hubs said I'm going to run to the store to get some bacon for the next morning to cook, I looked at him in the eyes and said that is not a necessity therefore you will not be going to getting that... I buy mostly off brand items, there are a few items I will not, but most of our food is off brand and you can't tell one difference. (Heinz ketchup and Tide)
5. I keep track of everything we spend each month... no matter if it's a pack of gum, it is included in our monthly budget, once we started keeping track of every little thing, you stop getting the small stuff (not only do you not want to note it in the budget, but it doesn't become a necessity)
6. We both take our lunch to work as much as possible. Lately I have not even taken lunches because I leave early and will eat when I get home, the hubs tries to often, but it is hard if I don't fix it for him. So I would say 3 days out of the week he is taking his lunch!
7. After the debt we are paying off is paid off, we will be debt free and even then we will continue to penny pinch, there's nothing better than saving a little bit here and there!
8. I buy most of my clothes at TJ Maxx or Marshall's and for the boys, they mostly wear hand me downs, but if I need to get something for them, I mainly buy them at consignment stores or sales
9. We designate one night a month to eat out right now and even then, we go to the local mexican restaurant and all 4 eat for $20
10. I cut out coupons (even though with me getting a lot of off brand items I don't use them much, but I do get them to compare prices) you can even go to to print out coupons or to to upload coupons onto your kroger plus card... that's super cool to me and I have used many times!

I'm sure my savings is not better or different than a lot of people in life, but I do not want to live a materialistic life, there are so many people I know that all of their money each month goes to something, it doesn't make sense for our family to live that way, we want to live a very modest life and enjoy each other while growing in Christ! At the end of life what is most important??? This is a lesson I am continuing to learn as I grow older!

Y'all have a blessed weekend!!!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Thankful Thursday- Debt

I am thankful today for so many things. Today the best gift is that the Lord spoke right to us, He is helping us right now find ways and reasons to get our debt paid off in a reasonable time frame. We got this taken care of today and we are on our way to being debt free, thank you Lord for answering one of my prayers!!!! Your timing could not of been better!!

First off, this picture above has been me for about 2 years now... DEBT is evil, can ruin lives and is the devil in my opinion! SO many people get caught up in this mess and web of never ending stuff or junk (whatever you want to call it). It's a sensitive topic for many, but for me, it's a topic I am not shy about talking about because if I can help anyone, then that makes my heart happy!

When the hubs and I first got married, we thought we would NEVER have financial problems. We were just so naive! Life through us curve balls and stuff happens. I am thankful for what we had to help us get through hard times, but it wasn't enough, we had to turn to other means to provide for our family... Thus, we got into some major debt! Major debt I think is any debt, because in the end, debt is a sin, I am living a sin everyday of my life by owing another company money... So, I am thankful and happy to say that we are on a plan that within 3 years and maybe sooner we will be debt free again!!!! This just makes us so happy and it feels great to have a plan in action and know that each day we are making it better for our future, our kids future and our walk with the Lord much better!

All of our debt besides our house of course. Scriptures states that it is not considered a sin to owe on your house, in biblical times they owed against land and they paid a percentage back until it was paid off or gave a percentage of crops that were grown on the land as paying back their debt.... but the debt I'm talking about is irresponsible debt.... credit cards or any other convenient item that is not a necessity! (and everyone might have their own opinion about this, this is just my opinion)

I am praising God for allowing us to see things through his eyes and I'm thanking Him for allowing us to go through these struggles and trying times. It is through those times that you grow closer to Him and He teaches and molds us to who He wants us to become. Man He's so amazing and I need to thank Him more often even during the times I think things are not going so well!!!

Y'all have a blessed weekend, it's suppose to rain here all weekend, but we are still planning on making it a great one!


Monday, April 26, 2010

Much needed good times!!

This weekend my Mom came into town and we had such a wonderful, blessed time together! Saturday night the hubs and I got away for some MUCH needed time together and with friends! We went to dinner, talked and enjoyed each other without talking about the kids, we were determined to act like we were dating again.. ha! I will be the first to admit that when you get married and have children, it is so easy to get caught up in the daily grind of life and lose yourself in the midst of that. Lately the hubs and I have been going through it .

After dinner we went to some friends house that the hubs works with, let me tell you, not only did we both have a wonderful time, let's just say it was a BLAST!! We don't get out much, but we left there saying that if we do get out again, it will be with these people. They all are just so sweet, genuine, nice people. In the past we have hug out around great people, but when they have a night out they like to act like they are 16 again. We can't stand that, Saturday night we had a great time with mature, great people.. ha! I'm serious, it was so much fun!

Here's a pic of me, Candice and LeighAnne these ladies are on my blog, if you are not already friends with them, go check their lovely blogs out, you will be happy I told you! I love these ladies and definitely see more get together in the near future!

This picture below is of all of the ladies... Candice (in the black shirt) and Misty (in the teal dress) work with my hubs, the rest of the ladies hubby's or boyfriends work with my hubs.

The hubs and I on our night out... Great times and memories!!!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Show Us Your Life- How I met the Hubs...

Ok y'all I have NEVER participated in Kelly's Korner "show us your life" series, but this one it too good to not participate! :) It is show us your life- how I met my husband.

Well I was just getting out of high school and going into college... I had just broken up with my high school sweetheart of whom I had been dating for 4 years. It was hard, but we were in two different stages in life so we had to say our goodbyes.

One day I was getting my hair done by my hair dresser (ha...this story is funny), at this time she had been doing my hair for 5 years so we knew each other well. I was telling her about the big break up and how I was officially single and actually enjoying being with my girlfriends all the time. She said her brother in law (her husband's brother) had been single for a while and she wanted to know if one night I wanted to stop by while he was over. She told me his age and I thought, my parents are going to kill me! He was 23 at the time and I was 18, when your that young you think that is so old... oh if I only knew! A few weeks later I was headed over to her house to hang out for a little bit and had no idea he was going to be there (she didn't tell me) so when I pulled up and saw his car out front... I got nervous and kept on driving by... little did silly me not know that at the time they were outside and saw me slow down then drive by. Now I did not live near them at the time so it is not normal for me to be driving by (they knew that). I eventually got the nerve up to go back and I did and acted like nothing happened.

We met that day and we both were pretty nervous, so a few weeks later we got together for dinner and it was over from then. A few months later we started looking at wedding rings and we just knew that this was it for us... I married at 20, it is so young in my opinion, but it has worked for us! I was never the kind of girl that partied or enjoyed the whole college life style. I was ready to settle down and enjoy a family of my own! God gave me that wonderful gift!! My now sister in law (the hairdresser) she told me that when I was young, before we officially met, he would look at my high school picture they had of me on their refridgerator and say that one day I would be his wife... I thank God for having such a faithful, trustworthy, silly, passionate and best friend as a husband. Everyone will tell you that he is someone who loves to laugh and make other people laugh, he's a genuinely nice guy and I love him coming home each night and telling me all of his stories of the day! He's so good to me!

It's been hard, the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life, I will never lie or try to act like it is easy, but it is so rewarding! God has been so good and faithful to us both and we have learned a lot together!

You know....

those moments when you just want to RUN away as far as you can, well I had one of those moments tonight. Thankfully the tanning bed is right down the street and the hubs encouraged me to take a break and go for a little bit :)

We are having emotional problems with our oldest Will, I'm not sure if he's just overly tired lately at night, spoiled rotten, a brat or all of these. He has not wanted to go to bed lately and when I say it's time for bed, I get this high pitch scream like the world is coming to an end (he MUST get this from his father) and he's balling his eyes out. I just don't get it?!?! And then the past few days if he does not get what he wants we get the same reaction. Tonight for example. He went to his Grandparents (my in laws) after school and it's his favorite place to go. When his MiMi gets to the house to drop him off, he's so upset because we can't go to the neighbors to play. (they were conveniently outside) I politely said (because MiMi was still here) "Will right now Mommy just got in from work (I wanted to say from a 20 hour, 2 day training class and my head is killing me so heck no we are not about to go mingle with the neighbors) but I just simply said "No not tonight, we all just got home, we have dinner to eat, homework and baths) Well there he goes into this fit... so Daddy and the boys decide to do their thing while I'm trying to just catch my breath from this class I just took...

fast forward to 8pm

alright boys it's time for bath now, there he goes again.... in the bath they get into it (brotherly love) and Luke falls or something, Will gets upset because he says he did not touch his brother.... I mean y'all it was one thing after the other... then bed time rolled around and I had had enough, he cried but there wasn't much I could do, he said he was crying b/c he did not like going to sleep. I told him it was my favorite part of the day... because well it actually is unless I can't sleep at night and tonight is one of those night.. :O So a long story short.. pray for Will, I have been praying for him all night, his little heart is upset and I wish I could fix it, we are trying to make changes around the house to better the boys and I'm wondering if it's back firing on us?? Who knows, but I'm just asking for prayers for him and our hearts and minds :)

Here's finally a picture from my very FIRST diaper cake I've ever made... they are SSSOOO easy and I am super proud of it, I'm sure there are changes I could of made, but it was perfect to the special person I made it for!

Here's a picture of me being silly at the shower.... sometimes it's nice to just goof off and be silly, we do that a lot around our house :)

I pray y'all are having a blessed week, I know I am ready for this weekend. Mom is coming in town, I am so stinkin excited!!!

Friday, April 16, 2010

lions, tigers, giraffes... OH MY!

This is what I will be making tonight for a very special lady in my life. She is my "Sister-in-law" but she also is my best friend. We talk a tons each day and soon she will be bringing into this world a little miracle that we will call "Logan" He is already so loved and we look forward to seeing this new family member. I honestly CAN'T wait to meet him because God knows we have been preparing for him for awhile now! Sunday is a shower that I will be hosting and all of the details are finally coming together and it should be a great day of celebration, love and a zoo theme to match his little room decor! I love everyone in my hubs family more than anyone could ever know. They are just as much his family as mine, I am truly blessed to have them all!
I pray y'all have a blessed weekend as well and enjoy this beautiful weather and each other!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

guidelines, regulations & more

So I went back into the mortgage banking business... I LOVE it but it is completely different than it was 2 years ago. Before I did not have to take a test to get my license or do anything, these days I have to take a huge test that is a bunch of numbers, regulations, guidelines that have all changed in the past few weeks. I am thankful for these new laws, it does protect the people and is a huge benefit to know, so I am not dogging them... it's just difficult for me to do, I'm so not a studier! Next week is my big test, we shall see how smart I am.... I have told everyone "there is a reason I did NOT finish college" I mean seriously, I HATE studying.... once this is behind me, I am golden and can concentrate more on my job!
Besides that and trying to do the normal things us Mommy's do, that's just been my life. I'm trying to get the house back into some sort of organization. We have family coming in town this Friday for a visit, I am super excited about that too!
I hope y'all are having a super Tuesday, I've got to head to get my little monkies!

Monday, April 12, 2010

a whole bunch of nothings...

We had a great weekend. It's just been so much stuff going on at our house lately. As you all know I switched jobs, I went back into the field I was in for many years and it feels SO great to be back, BUT there are so many new regulations and new laws that I must learn. Plus, you have to take a yearly test to renew your license each year, well they compare this test to getting your Phd, HELLO there is a reason why I did not finish nursing school... I hate to study! So J told me that he was going to lock me in our spare bedroom b/c it does not have a t.v, computer and he's keeping my phone so it will force me to pass this test. I have to pass, or I have no job!! :( I will get it done, but it is taking up a lot of my spare time (because before I had so much)

J hurt himself not this weekend but last on his 4wheeler. We just thought it was a simple bruised chest, but we later found out he cracked a rib... He had been complaining all week last week of it still hurting, then he got this horrible chest cold, so he finally went to the doc on Friday to determine he had fluid in his lungs and that cracked rib. The doc said it was normal to get fluid built up in the lungs after a chest accident, we were just very thankful it had not turned into pneumonia! He seems to be feeling better, but it did make for us to have a weird weekend. It was hard to get some things done. Yesterday afternoon he said he would really like to get the yard done, so I helped him by mowing the lawn while he did the rest. It looks so much better and now tonight he can come home and treat it with some chemicals to make it start looking better. Our yard is having issues and we are trying one more thing before we have to re do the yard and lay all new sod down... So we shall see :) I love working in the yard this time of the year, I just hate to sweat, J said it was hilarious seeing me mow the yard, that is SO not like me, but I told him I would take one for the team this weekend, it is great exercise and God knows I need it! Plus I have me a mini tan going on now!

I pray y'all had a blessed weekend!

Happy Monday, I'm already looking forward to Friday again, weekends just aren't long enough!

Monday, April 5, 2010

FABulous weekend!!

I have no idea why blogger is having issues with uploading my pics and I can't write anything above these pics... anyways, at least they are all up and loaded.. LAWDY!!

Above is a pic of the boys at the church Easter egg hunt! We had SUCH a great time, it was so nice and warm BUT I did get a wonderful sun burn, it felt great and I'm not complaining!!

This picture of Will I just love, he was waiting his turn to get back on the swing set, he sat down I swear for one second and I snapped this pic, Oh how the love I feel for these kids I could NEVER describe!!

Now this picture of the boys after church on Sunday really bothers me... they have to act so darn silly every time I whip out the camera, Will has a pink and blue shirt on while Luke wore just a blue oxford shirt... so precious and pink looks great on Will! He's a boy that can pull it off well!

Me and my boys on Easter Sunday !!!!

Today I had a wonderful first day at work! I'm going to love it, they are wonderful, everyone gave me warm welcomes and even had a ice cream party for me this afternoon... so thoughtful!!!

Y'all have a terrific Tuesday!


Friday, April 2, 2010

Such a Good Friday!!

**This is going to be a long post, it's been awhile and I have lots on my mind**

First off, it's Good Friday! Such a day that I have been thanking Him for all day! I would like you all at some point to look at this link, (I don't know how to post videos, so just go to this link when you can, I know call me a retard!) But this says a lot, they played this at church last Sunday and it gives me goosebumps every time I watch it! Easter is my FAVORITE holiday, it is such a amazing time and a wonderful time to praise Him for what He has done for all of our salvations!!! How amazing is He???

Here's a portion of what this video says:

"He's the wellspring of wisdom,
the doorway of deliverance,
the pathway of peace,
the roadway of righteousness.
He's the highway of holiness.
He's the gateway of glory.
He's the captain of the conquerors.
He's the overseer of the overcomers.
He's the governor of governors.
He's the PRINCE of princes.
He's the KING of kings and
He's the LORD of lords.
That's my KING, do you know HIM?"
Dr. S. M. Lockeridge

After watching this video, all week I have been praising, thanking and blessed by Him! AMAZING video, please pass along!

Today the boys watched it for the first time, afterwards, Luke looked up at me and said "Mommy I want to hug Jesus" I said "Oh Luke, I want to hug Him too, one day we all will get to hug him!" HOW AMAZING TO WATCH OUR CHILDREN GET JUST AS EXCITED ABOUT HIM AS US!!!! Thank you Jesus!

SO... my surprise is I have found a new job! This job will allow me to be with the boys more, allow me to work more while they are in school and not long hours. I feel so blessed to have this opportunity fall into my lap! We were blessed with this job, I truly believe God's hand has been on this the whole time. There have been so many different things that just don't happen, but they did! So I start Monday, I resigned this week from radio sales. (Thank you Jesus!) It was bittersweet, I will miss all of the people I worked with, but this is such a great fit for our family!

We are on cloud 9 right now in our lives... Life has been tough the past few years, but we are looking up and thanking Him for all of the trials we have been through, but also looking forward to what else God has in store for our family. He continues to amaze me of his unconditional LOVE and TRUST!

Y'all enjoy this Holy week and weekend with your loved ones! I will be a busy little bee with all o these things we have going on this weekend, but I will be back with a update and pics (I took some GREAT pics of the boys this afternoon and I got my first sun burn today of the season) What a great feeling!