Monday, June 30, 2008

Leafy Beauty And The Family That Goes Looking For It

Well, we are up to November 2007 now and here is a shot of the beautifully coloring trees that we live by:

Here is Pac being sad because he couldn't get out of the car by the side of the road like Daddy did to take the picture of the trees (he is an adorable and passionate cryer, you really feel for him when you look at his sad face, even if it is a tantrum):
And here's Pac a second later, perfectly happy again:

Here is Alma making his growly hands, yet still smiling:

Here Pac is confused as to why we are taking pictures of him instead of the leafs now (it's because he was cuter):

Here's Alma making a funny face:

Here's my adorable husband showing is dimples:

And this is me bundled up in the front seat:

Looking To The Future

Does anyone else see little future missionaries pausing at my door? I love the way they are both looking forward and standing right on the brink of the next step they'll take. What they are looking at is something new and unknown, but they are not afraid, they are prepared and ready. They are mearly taking a pause before they continue on, full speed ahead.

Because with my boys, it always seems to be, full speed ahead.

And The World Keeps Turning...

Or should it be called: Portrait of a Modern Mother?

This is me doing a million things at once. I particularly like the tornato-like look of Patrick whizzing by while I try to check my e-mails as a quick break.

Happy Unbirthday To...Lamby?

The boys wanted to have a birthday party, but it wasn't anybody's actual birthday. So, we made some party hats and took some pictures:
Alma's Hat falling off:
Here Patrick is not wanting the share the little water push-button game we decided to play at our party:

Here Patrick is repentant for his meanness and offering to share again:

Here is the star of the show, Lamby, Pac's favorite bedtime friend, with his hat:

(the hat wouldn't stay on his head, so of course, it is on his back)

A Little Scenery

The beautiful leaves just seconds from our house.

This is up the road a little ways by Rock State Park.

Pumpkin Carvin'

While Kevin carved a carefully drawn wonderfully classic pumpkin before I took the boys out trick-or-treating around our neighborhood, the boys carved out an original creative design with markers on theirs. Unfortunately we have no pictures documenting the finished projects. So these masterpieces will ever go down in history as the unfinished works seen here:

A Brief Pause for Sweet Child Moments

These pictures are from back in October 2007 still, because I'd separated out some photos to be posted and just never got around to doing it and, well, I think they are cute and I already separated them out so I'm going to post them anyway! Even if they are very late.

Here is Pac napping for one of the last times in the crib. He was just getting way to big for it, but in this picture he still looks like a baby. How does it go: As long as I'm living my baby you'll be?

Here is a picture of Alma telling me how much he loves his Daddy and Mommy.

Friday, June 20, 2008

The Story about the $50.

For those of you that don't know and need some background, since January we have been trying to stay on Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover plan (get more info at Since then we have been not charging anything on our credit cards and trying to pay all our debt off. We have been debating for a while whether to sell our car and buy a cheaper one or not. Well, this last Friday we had decided that we would finally do it. We went into the bank to see if we could get approved for a home equity or debt consolidation loan to help cover the negative equity we had in our car. We could sell it for $14000, yet still owed about $18000. Bank of America Said that they couldn't help us since they didn't like our credit scores or something. So, we decided to try a local credit union. We walked into the Aberdeen Proving Ground Federal Credit Union branch here in town and explained our situation to them and asked what they could do to help. We just happened to talk to the Branch Manager who was extremely helpful throughout the entire process. She helped us apply to a Personal Loan to consolidate the negative equity and some credit cards. She also pre-approved us for two $5000 car loans to buy new replacement cars with. Since it was the end of the work day and the loan officer she likes to work with was already leaving she put us on the top of her pile in the morning. So, on Saturday, we went back to the credit union to get the results. We didn't qualify for the entire amount we were hoping to cover all our credit cards, but it was enough to cover the negative equity and one of our higher interest cards. We then went car shopping. Since we already had a $14000 offer on our car from CARMAX ( we thought that if a dealer wouldn't offer more, we would sell it to carmax. The most any of the dealers offered was $12000, so the choice was obvious as to who we would sell to. Now to just find the one to buy from... The first one we looked at, a 2002 Suzuki Aerio, ended up being the best option at $4995, so we decided that on Monday we would go back and give it a final test drive before telling the dealer we wished to buy it. The test drive went well, so we went in to get the paperwork for the credit union. We wanted to see if we could get the total out the door and on the road price down to $5000. With the taxes and fees, the price came to about $5600 and we haggled it down to $5300. We thought that was pretty good, so we took the papers tthe credit union. While we were there, they checked the value of the car online and decided that they could only loan us $5088 since the value online came through at $4425 and 115% of that is $5088. So, we called the dealer to see if they could go any lower. After a few minutes of "checking with Jay" the offer was that they would "spot me the $200 for 30 days and I would come in later and pay them back." I didn't accept, and put the saleman in the hot seat to decide how much he wanted to sell the car. We held firm and he finally decided that he wanted to sell the car more than we wanted to buy it so he dropped the price down so that the out the door price was $5088. Victory!!! The credit union finished the paperwork and gave us three checks, one for the dealer, one for the credit card, and one for carmax to cover the negative equity in the car we were selling. We went to the dealer, picked up our new car, and then headed to carmax to sell our old one (note: our old car was actually newer than our new one, but try not to be confused). At carmax, they needed to get a 15 day payoff for our old car loan and since the credit union only got a 10 day payoff total, we were short $50 (you were wondering when that would come in weren't you). Since we had the boys with us and they had been desparately trying to sit still all day (they actually did a pretty good job), we got everything that we could signed and then headed for the nearest ATM for some cash. Since Reighlyn had $10 in her pocket, I got $40 out and then went back to carmax and gave them the money. They gave us the paper work and the deal was done. Now the only thing left to do was to give the check for our credit card pay-off to the bank. I decided to do that during my lunch on Tuesday, so we went home with almost $9000 less debt than we started. ($18000 - $14000 + $5000 = $9000 in "car debt" and $18000 - $9000 = $9000 less debt!!!). Now we are still pre-approved for another $5000 car loan, but we are not sure how soon we will be getting another car. If the 90 days of the pre-approval run out before we get another car, we don't think it will be that difficult to get pre-approved again. So, we did end up with a smaller car, but the resultant monthly payments are also $200 less, so we can pay off the rest of our debt faster!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


We spent fifty dollars today and got rid of almost $9,000 worth of debt! It's a long story, so I will elaborate later since it is late.

Just thought you all might be proud!