Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Prayers Please

Yesterday, as most of you probably know, Haiti was hit with a rather large earthquake. Haiti is the poorest country on the Western Hemisphere and one of the poorest in the world. I've had the privilege of going to Haiti twice in my life. Once to New Missions then the next time to Hope Alive Clinic (that trip was about 6 weeks) both trips had a profound impact on me. The conditions normally aren't that good in Haiti, I can't even imagine them now with all the devastation I see in the pictures on the news.

Please keep the people of Haiti in your prayers as well as these ministries as they try to help people as best they can. Also keep my friend Melody's sister and her family in your prayers.

Pics from my trips to Haiti.

As they say in Creole Kris Kapob!, Christ is Able!

If you are looking for a way to donate, Hope Alive has a link on their website through Paypal. They are one of the most ethical ministries I have ever known, 100% of money donated goes to Haiti. My good friend Becky's parents started this.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Check your Receipts

So one way that I save a good amount of money is checking my receipts when I'm grocery shopping. I've saved so much money by just making sure that the prices I paid were the prices advertised. Most grocery stores have some type of scan rite guarantee where if an item scans for higher than it shows on the shelf you get that item for free. Some times they will not automatically do this and try to give you the difference between the prices but if you ask them if that is their policy they usually will give you the item for free. Went on a quick trip to the grocery store on Monday and ended up with beets and spaghetti squash for free, saved a little over $7 by just making a quick little scan of my receipt.
Just a little something that doesn't take too much time but can really add up.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Office Makeover

I was asked to show you the pictures of our famous Office Makeover and have been seriously neglectful. To be an effective before and after I would have before pictures. I was ashamed, soo ashamed, too ashamed to take pictures of the before. It was bad. This is the only thing I can find and it really doesn't do it justice.

So I'm going to need you to use your imagination. First the desk is empty, it was never empty imagine it filled with paperwork and computer parts that if you moved anything something would fall off like those games at the shore where you drop a quarter trying to get piles of quarters to fall (anyone know what I'm talking about? no.. just me..) You see in the corner of the picture there you can see a lime green futon. Now if you can imagine a huge futon with a ridiculous amount of stuff piled on it to the extent you can barely see that its LIME GREEN and there is no way you could possibly sit on it. Now the floor, you can kind of see the floor, well now imagine that being completely covered in papers, and the closet just jam packed. Wherever there wasn't a pile imagine some type of musical equipment. There, now you have a mental picture of before we reorganized our office.

Now for the after
This is our new desk, the hubs and I are sharing the office so we do have two printers. The walls are all him though. He loves Blues Brothers so theres a good amount of Blues Brothers paraphernalia. There's a painting that I painted for him for his birthday inspired by The Flight of the Conchords. The hubs has a good amount of equipment in here for work to enable him to work from home, so its hard to pare down too much, but it seems workable.
You can see his video conference setup, our printers, a stool and our bookcase (all technical books). What you can't see is even better, no piles on the floor. Also you can see our filing cabinet which we're now using.
We moved a corner piece from our couch up here and its perfect for me to come and sit and talk or for him to play guitar on.

This is a view from the door, we have guitars hung from the one wall, with the closet near the window (which is organized but don't have pictures of). And of course kitten cat snuggle fluffle pants had to get in on the action as he's NEVER allowed in this room.

Monday, January 04, 2010

No TV?!?!

Yeah we're thinking about it. Thats right taking the plunge and getting rid of our cable and possibly our tv. Its just a thought right now but one we're giving serious attention.

Our current contract is up on Jan 14th and as it looks now we'll be getting rid of the cable. I found a high speed internet and phone bundle thats $55 a month, currently we're paying $125 for our Phone, Internet and Cable (plus a DVR). So just by cutting the cable we'd be able to put $70 more a month towards our mortgage which adds up to a whopping $840 for the year. We do have our laptops so we'd be able to catch some shows on Hulu and we do have Netflix (for now) so I don't think it would hurt too badly. The main thing would be that the hubs wouldn't be able to watch sports.

As far as the tv, we have one of the flat screen wall mount jobs and I think its just too much for us. If we don't have high definition channels I don't think its worth it to have the tv either. If we sell it now I think we'd be able to get a good amount of money for it to also put on the mortgage. I have a very romantic idea of not having a tv in the house and how much I would get done in a day. I have crazy notions about a good amount of things though so we'll see if it comes to fruition or not. The hubs is still on the fence so I guess I'll let you know what we decide. We're going to have to figure it out soon!

Anybody gone and rid your house of the tv? cable? What are your thoughts

Sunday, January 03, 2010

New Look

So I updated the look of the blog. The header is from our big 2 ft snow storm we had Dec 19th. Its been a long time since I've seen that much snow at home but it was neat while it lasted (only about a week). The past year wasn't the best I've ever had, while it had some wonderful things in it, it also held alot of heartbreak. I'm happy to shut the door on 2009 and focus on 2010 and the things we can change. Hence the digging ourselves out bit. There have been a few times lately that I've felt that I was stuck at the bottom of a pit, the only way to go is up and I'm starting the climb. Thankfully I have a wonderful climbing partner in the hubs and amazing footholds in scripture and my faith. Well enough cheesy analogies for ya and you're welcome for finally changing my fall banner :)

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Happy New Year to Ya!

Hope you guys all had a great and safe new year! The hubs and I did, we were able to spend it with good friends. We made some goals for ourselves as a couple and as individuals this year and posted them by the bathroom mirror where we see them twice a day. I don't want to call them New Year's Resolutions because people never follow through with them but they are our goals and where we'd like to see ourselves by the end of the year.
Our goals as a couple are:
1. We'd like to walk together at least 5 nights a week.

We want to be more physically fit as a couple and regularly walking would be a good
start. It also gives us a chance to talk without getting to distracted by tv or the computer.

2. We want to pay off 50% of the remaining debt in our second mortage

I've been reading so much about setting up a financial plan. Generally, the hubs and I
are pretty good with money and budgets. I tend to be the spendier one in the family but neither of us is a fan of debt. Our only debt right now is our mortgage but we have two of them. I'm praying that we are able to pay off our second mortage within this year but the goal is just for 50% of our remaining debt in our second mortgage to be paid off. Once we have it completely paid off we're going to go aggressive on our first. If I had to do again, I think I would have rented and saved up to flat out buy our first home no matter how long it took. Live and Learn right...

3. We want to read through the Bible as a couple.

With this we both want to grow as Christians and as a couple. This will be a great way to grow and challenge each other. I'm so excited to do it!! It is a pretty aggressive reading to me but I'm excited for the challenge.

Anyone else setting some goals for this year??