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Saturday, February 9, 2008

Day 27 and a Busy Weekend

Well, this will be quick because we're getting ready to walk out the door to a basketball game. We had games last night, I got groceries and did homework today, and we have games again tonight. We forgot our pop last night, and still managed to avoid the concession stand (although I did get a 40 cent bottle of water out of a machine at Wal-Mart afterwards, LOL).

Hope you all are having a great weekend! Cross your fingers for the basketball teams and that somehow I finish my homework by tomorrow!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Day 26 and Debt Update

I paid $84.04 more to Josten's on Josh's sr. stuff, and made the car payment (ON TIME, so no late fee!!!) of 255.97. That brings our total debt paid up to $1171.09!! This paycheck I was concentrating on getting some regular bills paid on time so there won't be any late fees. Our house payment and our car payment are now up-to-date!! I plan to pay the electric bill next Friday when it's due so that there won't be a late fee on that. Hopefully, by March, we can have everything caught up to the point where we are paying on time.

I went to get the mail last night before I went to my meeting, and there was this white padded envelope. After I finally got into it (houses should be so hard to break into! LOL), it was a $25 Chili's gift card to Tom & I for Valentine's Day from "Cupid". We have no clue who it's from, but whoever you are. Thank you! We appreciate it from the bottom of our hearts and can't wait to use it!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Day 25 and Facing the Giants

Have you seen the movie, "Facing the Giants"? It's a great movie centering on a football team who play the "Giants" (a bigger, better team) at the end of the movie. But it's about so much more than that. It's about those giants we face in everyday life that terrify us. In the movie, the coach of the football team is facing infertility with his wife, the threat of losing his job, among many others. I think we all have giants that we face, whether it is a fear of failing, a fear of losing someone you love, a fear of trying new things. My giants are, of course, our debt, and the fear of something happening to someone in my family. God will face those giants with you if you will just let Him. But it's hard to let Him, isn't it?

I think of all the times that God had been in control of my life and where He has led me. The most obvious one is when He led me to a job in Enid, Ok. I was separated from my husband, and getting ready to go through a divorce. This was a town where I didn't know a single soul, and I was moving there with 2 small children. A few months later, at my new job, there was a man who came in everyday and ate lunch-a double cheeseburger with no tomatoes. That man, of course, was Tom. We started dating, and well, the rest is "history". But do I think it's an accident that I met Tom at that time in my life? Do I think it was an accident that he didn't run away screaming when before our first date, I said to him "By the way, I have two kids, if you don't like kids, we shouldn't even bother going out". LOL. No, God put Tom in mine and my kid's lives. But would I have ever thought that the divorce and starting over again on my own would have led to such a blessing? Definitely not!

God is at work in my life, I just have to let Him work. I have to quit handing over my problems to Him and then snatching them back when I get scared or impatient. Romans 8:28: And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Coming up tomorrow, some debt updates!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Day 24 and More of my Weaknesses

Some women spend money on shoes, clothes, purses, or getting their hair and nails done. My weakness is books and toys. Books of all kinds: kids books, child care curriculum books, adult fiction books, adult non-fiction books, you name it. We have hundreds, perhaps even thousands of books. I love to find toys for my child care, either at garage sales, online, or in stores. Anyone who helped us move last time knows that I really don't need any more books or toys, but I have still kept buying them. I've started clearing out some of my curriculum books and selling them to build up the EF, and Tom & I occasionally go through our personal books and sell them to Hastings or give them away. We hardly ever buy new fiction books, we find lots of good used books at Hope Outreach in Enid and Tom's dad loans us books when he finishes with them. If I need a curriculum book, I can check out curriculum books from the child care lending library in Enid. I've got enough kid's books to open my own library, so I really don't need anymore of those either. So my new goal is not to buy any new books or toys for the child care for quite a while.

I paid more on Josh's Sr. stuff yesterday, and Tom gets paid this Friday, so I'll be updating some debt totals at the end of this week.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Day 23 and Finding Hope

Remember that overwhelmed feeling that I talked about last week? That feeling that I get when I have too much to do and don't even know where to start? That is the same feeling that I've been facing with the finances. It seems so overwhelming, but I know that doing nothing isn't going to help. Obviously, it hasn't helped so far. So I'm trying to find hope in the little things:

1. We're doing great at not eating out. We haven't eaten out since our date 2 1/2 weeks ago and we had a gift card to cover most of that.
2. We are doing great at avoiding Sonic. Tom's had it a few times before band practice and I'll be getting one before a meeting on Thursday, but compared to what we've done in the past, that is way down.
3. We actually have a plan! It may not always work, but at least we're looking at it and thinking about it instead of going through life like Gomer Pyle on Valium (that's a Dave Ramsey quote, LOL).
4. I sold two books on last week, that money should be deposited sometime this week, that will go to the baby EF. I also am selling 4 of my child care curriculum books for $50 on Thursday, that will be more for the baby EF. With those and with Tom's paycheck this week, we should be able to add around $160 to the EF. That will bring it up over $400!
5. We've been to several basketball games without buying anything at the concession stand. We have either eaten before we left home (on away games) or come home during the girl's game (after the JV game) and grabbed something. We've also been smuggling our own pops in (shhh...don't tell!).
6. We have been blessed with thoughts and prayers from our friends.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Day 22 and Hanging in There

Well, after much thought and prayer last night and this morning, I'm still hanging in there. Thanks for the words of support that have been posted and e-mailed to me. I'm not really sure why all of a sudden I just feel so overwhelmed by it all. But I know that even just working at it a little bit at a time will help, even if it doesn't seem like much. It's better than nothing. Because even a dripping faucet will eventually fill a bucket, right?

Jeremiah 29:11: For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Genesis 18:14 (first part of the verse): Is anything too hard for the LORD ?

Sunday, February 3, 2008

The Crushing Weight

Well, it's 11:30 and I can't sleep, so I might as well write. The FPU class on dumping debt tonight was very intense. However, instead of coming away feeling motivated, I am feeling crushed by the weight of our debt tonight. 110,000 (or thereabouts) counting our house, $65,000 of which are student loans. It's not like we make a lot of money either. Compared to what we owe, the $896 we've paid off in the last 3 weeks just seems like such a tiny amount, barely even a drop in the bucket. Maybe not even a drip in the bucket. So, pray for me because I am struggling right now. Thanks.

Day 21 and FPU Class Tonight

Tonight is our fourth FPU class (already!). Tonight's lesson is about Dumping Debt. I'm looking forward to it, as we have a lot of debt to dump!

Something that I have noticed about myself in the past is that when we're being careful with our money and planning our meals, I can get really creative with what we do. It gets to be an adventure to find reasonably healthy meals and not get bored. This last week we've had meals such as grilled chicken salad, steak tips with mushroom gravy and mashed potatoes, French bread pizza with salad on the side, tuna casserole with California vegetables, and hoagie sandwiches. It's amazing what a little planning and forethought can do. Between basketball games and other commitments, this is another busy week coming up. Hopefully, I can keep up the meal planning and preparation.