Archives for March 2009

Financial Wisdom

Yesterday, Lee came home in a somewhat ominous mood. I could tell he’d been listening to too much talk radio. He told me we needed to sit down this weekend and go through our budget so we could make the “radical” changes necessary to be prepared for the potential crash of our financial system.

I am in agreement that we need to make some decisions regarding how we spend our money. We’ve already decided that eating out is going to be drastically reduced in our family. When we went through our bank records for the last three months we were ashamed to see how much we had spent on fast food and other frivolous purchases. I’ve also been trying hard to watch how I spend our money at the grocery store. I still need to get in the habit of making up a weekly menu, but otherwise, I’m doing alright.

But this was something more for Lee. He was fearful. We talked briefly for a few minutes about what exactly he had in mind. First on his list was to cut out cable. I told him I’m fine with that as long as we get ABC because I need to be able to watch LOST. Everything else can go. But what else? We don’t have a lot of needless expenses. Gym memberships are perhaps the next thing to go, but I’m not silling to give up on those just yet, especially because we have as inexpensive of a gym plan as possible.

I had really been holding out for a new, fancy cell phone, but told him I’m willing to give that up so there goes that expense. But what else? After our brief conversation, I could tell that Lee felt a little better. I think just knowing that we’re both aware of the danger and willing to do what it takes to prepare helps. But I told him, I will not be operating out of fear. I’m not going to slash out every expense because we’re afraid of what might happen. I want to be wise, but not fearful. And listening too much to the news or radio can make a person fearful.

It’s frustrating to sit back and feel so powerless as the people who are in charge of our country seem to be making poor decision after poor decision. I believe wholeheartedly that being prepared and in control of as much of our income as possible is the best thing we can do. We have to protect ourselves right now. And we have to be prepared for the worst.

But I will not live fearing or expecting the worst. That’s no way to live. I will not be confined to my home because I don’t want to use gas. I won’t live in worry daily over that which I cannot control. And in the moments when fear starts to creep in, I will remind myself that there is One who is Higher and in perfect control of everything in our lives. In Him I take my rest and I find my hope – not in a government who is making poor decisions.

What about you guys? What are you doing to cut back during these days when the financial market teeters on the verge of breakdown? Are you feeling fearful and how do you combat that feeling?

In the Process

Hey everyone.

I’m in the process of getting the new site set up and ready to go. I have the wonderful Joe McGill working on the design for me and I’m busy learning how to work the new system. It may be a little sparse around here until it’s all ready to go but as soon as we’re set, I’ll let you know! Enjoy your Wednesday. I leave you with these pictures of my sweet Landon who is figuring out how to mug for the camera:

Don’t you just want to squeeze him?

Memo to my husband

To: Lee
From: Your Wife
Re: Two Liter soda bottles and other containers with lids.

My dear, sweet husband. You are a picture of strength. Seriously, you’ve been working out and it shows – you look fantastic. You look every bit the Greek god. You are chisled from stone. Your strength knows no bounds and I am proud to be your wife.

I love that you are there for me when I need you. I know that at any moment, should I be overwhelmed by, say, a pickle jar, you will swoop to my side, your hair windblown, your muscles flexed and glistening and you will remove the lid with nothing but your thumb and pointer finger because you are just. so. strong. I am the damsel in distress and you, my dear man, are my superhero.

I have but one request, O Ye picture of strength. When you put the tops back on the two liter bottles of Sprite or when you tighten the lids of the kids sippy cups, please remember that us mortals do not possess your strength and try not to tighten them with the force of ten thousand warriors. Thanks so much.

In closing, when you come home today, I will need you to open the bottle of Sprite that you so deftly closed last night. I love you!

Just Call Me The Negotiator

My three year old is fiercly independent. And when I say fiercly, I mean she just may take you out at the knees should you try to help her in any way, shape or form. In some ways, this is awesome. I lay her clothes out and she puts them on (I have not even allowed her to think that she will ever have a chance to pick out her own clothes. Once she decides that she wants that freedom, the battlefield will become much more delicate.)

In general, she does not want you to do anything for her. If you try to carry something, she snatches it. If you try to pick her up, she turns into gumby and slides out of your arms into a puddle on the floor. If you help her without her asking you, well – all I can say is look out.

But being that she’s three, there are times when it’s clear she needs help. This is where things get touchy. Take this morning, for example. I gave her a shirt with a rather tight collar and she was struggling to get it on. I could hear her screeching in frustration but she absolutely refused help. At times like this, I treat the moment like a hostage situation. Here’s how it works:

First, I stand several feet away, speaking in a soothing voice and telling her I’m more than willing to help if she needs it. I’m usually met with a resounding “NO!”

Second, I slowly inch toward her, still speaking softly. Sometimes this works out well and I’m able to help her out before she even knows what’s happened. But, other times – like today – this only escalates her frustration and she moves to the hopping and crying phase (I do it myhels! she cries)

Step three is to reach my hands out and, while keeping my voice soft, use firmer words. “Tia, let me help you. It’s going to be okay. We’ll get this done a lot faster if you just let me help.” I have to act fast when it gets to this point otherwise she spooks and runs. I grab her hands and finish the action quickly and smoothly. She usually cries, sometimes screams, which then requires some jail time (i.e. time out in her room).

When she’s finally allowed to return to the company of others, she’s as pleasant as can be and back to her bouncy self. Until, of course, the next time that help is required, at which point I jump back into the negotiations. I should be getting paid for this.