Wednesday, November 30, 2011

This Doesn't Happen to Me

So, I got so completely wrapped up in all the wonderful Thanksgiving festivities last week, I completely forgot to actually post on what I'm really thankful for.

A month or two ago, our preacher told a story about how even though his fairly new vehicle was out of warranty, the manufacturer stepped up and paid for his $5000 transmission.  I sat there...a little grumpy. 

That stuff doesn't happen to me.

Earlier in the year, I heard someone testify about how they never paid a single bill in college.  Just every month, someone paid their bill.  I sat there...a little grumpy.

That stuff doesn't happen to me.

Actually, that doesn't happen to most anyone I know.

When I was growing up, when my parents ran out of money, God provided a credit card application.  As a newlywed, when we needed money, my husband would get an overtime shift.

Money doesn't rain on me, or my family.  Never has.  Sure would be nice if it did.  We got where we are by hard work, sacrifice, and deprivation.

I was complaining about this fact to my sister the other day and she acknowledged it and changed the subject.  She told me about a lady she works with that never went into labor.  She was induced but it didn't do any good.  Finally, she was taken back for a c-section.  Turns out, the umbilical cord was wrapped around the baby's neck twice.  God's hand of protection on that baby and that family.

And that story reminded me of something that did happen to me.  Something greater than getting $5000 or getting my school bill taken care of.

Meet Hannah.

Or in our circles, Han-wah.  (My two year old can't quite pronounce her name.)

Hannah was a surprise.  A big one.  Scientifically, she shouldn't be here.  In fact, I cried for days over it.  I'm almost ashamed to say it.  I just couldn 't understand why I was having another baby - this would make 3 in three years - when there were other people desperate for babies.

I eventually got over my shock.  And the time came for little Hannah to arrive.  I had this in the bag.  I knew exactly how to prepare and what to do.  During labor, I was informed there was a prolasped cord.  This wasn't good.  Every contraction resulted in a lack of oxygen to the baby.  Even as I laid in the hospital bed, I could tell by the flurry of nurses & doctors that this was serious.  Deadly serious.  (No pun intended.)  I was scared.  I could see in Mr. DDA's face, he was scared.  (And he doesn't scare easily.)

Within minutes, and I mean minutes, I was rushed for an emergency c-section...with only an epidural.  (Yeah, not fun.)  Mr. DDA wasn't even allowed in the OR.  The anesthesioligist sat there and held my hand like we were life partners.  (When she came out, he told me she was perfect and beautiful.  I almost expected him to count her fingers & toes.)

Later, the doctor's told us that Hannah not only had a knot in her cord, but it was wrapped around her neck.  A natural birth would have likely killed our baby girl. 

I get so wrapped up sometimes in money, and finances, I forget the priceless things that God has given me.  Sometimes I need a reminder that just because I don't get anonymous checks in the mail, God provides more than I could ever ask for.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Happy Turkey Day Eve...Eve

These next few days, I'm going to write about 5 different things I'm thankful for.  Don't worry - They will get more serious the closer to Thanksgiving we get...

1.  The Virginia Law Enforcement Memorial license plate.

First & foremost, $15 of the annual fee go to a fund to support fallen officers's families - which I'm all about.  Secondly, these plates tend to be purchased by law enforcement officers & family.  And maybe, just maybe, while I don't know this for 100% fact - it may have kept me from getting pulled over once or twice.


This is my secret vice.  I know it's not Christian-ly correct to love ghost stories, but I do.  I love ghost stories, I love ghost hunts, I love ghost tours.  Love!  Love!  Love!  When I become famous, I am sooo asking to go on a hunt with these guys.  I will cry like a baby and may mess my pants, but it would be a dream! 


I can seriously inhale some turkey & gravy.  I love it so much, my mom would make it any weekend I could come home from college.  My grandma would make it for my birthday.  Now that I'm grown, I only get it on Thanksgiving.  I'll skip every side dish on the entire table for 2nd & 3rds (and maybe 4ths) on the turkey & gravy. 

4.  Amoxicillin

This is the greatest thing in the world.  Ear infection - CURED.  Strep Throat - CURED.  Black Plague - CURED.  Where would we be without Amoxicillin?  Who knew a little mold could fix so much.  :)  How did the pioneer women do it without Amoxicillin?  I'm a paranoid, hypochondriac mother as it is now - I can't imagine not having antibiotics.

5.  The Charlie Brown Thanksgiving Special

I love all things Charlie Brown.  Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Christmas 2, love them all!  Except this one really sad one I watched when I was a kid about Snoopy who visited this little girl with cancer.  Very heavy for a 10 year old to understand. 

So, there are my 5 Frivolous Things I'm thankful for.  As I said, I'll get more serious the closer we get to the big day.  It's good to be thankful - in all things - even turkey!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Christmas Day Scrooge

Our local radio station has started their non-stop, Christmas music.

At first, I was a little resentful.  (I know, Mrs. Claus herself.) It was 70 degrees yesterday.  Hardly put me in the Christmas spirit. 

But seeing my kids head-bopping to “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town” has turned my mood around.  (I’m a Christmas junkie – doesn’t take much.  And it’s saved me from the 1,372th watching of Care Bears.)

Even though I have almost every classic Christmas movie on DVD, I still record them when they come on each year. There is something about the commercials I love.  I still remember the Wendy’s & Toys ‘R Us commercials from the tapes where my mom recorded Rudolph.

One of my absolute, favorite Christmas movies is “A Christmas Carol” with George C. Scott. 

It was my first movie purchase as a newlywed.  Growing up, I remember watching it over and over with my parents.  I loved it and was scared of it all - at the same time.

Of course, being a money-chick (actually I like to refer to myself as being money-chic.  Like that?  Thought so.) I kinda like Ebenezer.  Well, maybe I should say, I feel for him.  The man spends his whole life working for the almighty dollar – even giving up the love of his life, only to realize at the end of it, he’s got nothing to show for it.  Aka – the Christmas Eve Ebenezer.  And then, we all know the story, by Christmas Day, Ebenezer Scrooge is a whole new man.

A lot of people think that Ebenezer’s money is what ruined him.  I disagree.  It’s the love of money that ruins a person. You can be poor but love money and it will ruin you.  Having, or not, having money doesn’t ruin a person.  It’s where your heart is.

I enjoy having money – the little bit we have.  I enjoy being debt free.  And I know there have been times that the love of money has ruined me.  But I’ve tried to learn to learn from those mistakes and move on.  Don’t get me wrong.  We all know I enjoy a new pair of shoes, or bag, or concert tickets. But I think I enjoy more when we are able secretly giving someone some money and get to watch their joy from a distance.  Spontaneous giving is really what Dave Ramsey means when he says, “Give like no one else.”  

Money is just paper.  I once saw a quote from Prince Charles that said, “Money doesn’t mean that much when your mum’s picture is on it.”  I thought, yes, I guess that does put things in perspective.  Money can certainly make life easier and make things fun.  But the love of it can ruin a family, can ruin a soul. 

This time of year can be hard to stay on track with our Baby Steps and our penny pinching.  

But let’s not get so focused on the numbers.  

Let's try to look up from the checkbook, see the people around us and be the Christmas Day Ebenezer.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Happy Veteran's Day

Just wanted to a moment to say Happy Veteran's Day to all our veteran's and their families.  Your service & sacrifice will not be forgotten.  Thank you for all you do!

No go out and enjoy all the Veteran's Day freebies you've earned!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

How The Grinch Stole Christmas

No, I'm not dead.  Thought I was going to die, but I pulled through.

So...last week, someone told me, "I'm too broke for Christmas."

This thought popped in my head...


Did it sneak up on you?

I gave you 11 months warning!!!

Christmas comes every year - on the same day!  Not like Easter; I get that...Easter may throw you for a loop.

So what do you do if you are too broke for Christmas?  Here are 5 suggestions on how to afford Christmas quickly - WITHOUT USING CREDIT!!!

1)  Read here how to earn $1000 quickly.
2)  If you use credit cards in the past, check your rewards balances...if you have rewards.  You may have 1000's of points that could be redeemed for gift cards. 
3)  Start immediately using Swagbucks.  You can do surveys, searches, games, etc. to earn "Swagbucks."  Those points can be converted into Amazon gift cards...among other things.  My sister has earned $150 in Amazon gift cards THIS MONTH ALONE.  You can buy almost anything on Amazon...even toilet paper!
4)  Sell your kids clothes/toys.  We always complain about space right after Christmas.  So before Santa arrives, clean out your kids' toys.  Sell the gently used ones to a consignment store.  Or if you don't have kids, sell your unused clothing to a consignment store.
5)  Re-gift.  Aaahhh!!!  Huge faux pas, right?  Not so.  If you have something 1) you've never used, 2) that someone else would LOVE (key word: LOVE) don't be afraid to regift.  Try not to regift in the same circle of friends/family.  But if you got gourmet coffee for your birthday and you hate coffee, but your mother in law loves it - REGIFT.

You've got 6 weeks till Christmas.  Don't despair!  It can be done!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Happy November

I can't believe it's November already.  I apologize for the lack of posts.  I've been fighting some wicked flu-like crud for over a week.  With all this down time you would think I would have caught up on my blog and have some amazing, life changing info.  I don't know if I have anything valuable to offer right now.  Especially since I'm heavily medicated. 

Halloween came and went with much excitement in our house.  We went all-Disney this year.  :)

The kids racked up on the candy haul.  Much to my waistline's dismay.

Oh - did you hear, Kim Kardashian is getting a divorce?  There's a shocker.  Someone who got paid to get married didn't make it.  I was stunned. 

(Told you - nothing of value.)

With all this time in bed, I've gotten addicted to two new tv shows:

Person of Interest


Once Upon a Time

Both are fabulous, and I think the first non-foodie shows I've watched in a long time.

Also, my cousin's husband was featured on a video series by the NRA.  With Veteran's Day right around the corner, it nice to see a well-deserving veteran and fellow law enforcment member get some recognition.


Thanks for bearing with me.  I promise I'll be back with more debt dumping, shoe craving, budget friendly material in no-time.