Saturday, November 22, 2008

Sound Christmas Advice

From my favorite money man, Dave Ramsey.

Here are the top 10 Christmas shopping mistakes and how you can act differently:

1. Not prioritizing.Instead of getting stressed out with all the parties, baking and shopping, in addition to your normal daily life, set some priorities before you’re bombarded with a million requests. Think about which things are “must do” and which are “would be nice to do.” It’s all right to say no to keep yourself sane. Shopping for gifts is more fun when you’re not completely stressed out.

2. Not using a budget.Before you make a gift list and head to the mall, set aside a reasonable amount of money for gifts. Make a commitment that you won’t add $20 to the fund every week just because you saw something cute that your niece would love. Get budgeting advice here.

3. Using credit cards.Once you have your budget finalized, stay away from credit cards! You will still spend 12-18% more if you use plastic, and you’ll be paying it off come 2009! Doesn’t paying with cash sound more freeing than having a credit card balance looming over your head? You bet.

4. Buying for everyone.Do you really need to buy gifts for every family member and friend you have? That can get overwhelming and expensive for everyone. Talk with them and work toward an agreement to draw names for gifts or donate money to a common cause.

5. Not listening.Listen to the hints your loved ones drop about what they need or want this year. Maybe your Aunt Sally mentioned that she would love someone to help her in the garden, or Cousin Bob keeps losing guitar picks. A thoughtful gift like this will mean a lot.

6. Not having a thought-out list on paper. If you think you can spend time in “Christmas retail world” without getting distracted by all the shiny toys, you’re in for a big surprise! You’ll be more likely to buy impulsively if you do it that way. Write down what each person you’re buying for would like and stick to the list. Stay focused!

7. Not shopping around.“Shopping around” doesn’t mean you have to spend 24 extra hours running from store to store to save 10 cents. Take a look at your gift list and do some comparative price-checking online before you head out into the retail and traffic madness. This will save you money, time and stress!

8. Waiting until the last minute.Procrastination is not the most appealing gift out there. Don’t find yourself stressed out on Christmas Eve just because you didn’t invest a little bit of time to plan.

9. Forgetting to plan for next year.Throughout the next year, look for outrageous sales on things your loved ones will need. If you time the sales just right and clip some coupons, you could land a major discount on something you were going to buy in a few months for a birthday or wedding gift. Remember to have a list and budget for this, too.

10. Forgetting why we celebrate.If this season becomes all about shopping and gifts, you’ve missed the whole point. People—not things—matter. The miraculous birth of a baby who changed the world is what matters.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Blankets, Friends and Makeovers...Oh My!

Finding a meaningful service project for Emma and Reagan is rather difficult. Some of the things I have done with them resulted in me doing most of the work and they didn't really understand what and why we were doing it. This year the girls and I made blankets for the Linas project. They provide blankets for children in shelters, etc. The girls picked out the fabric, Nana paid for it, I cut it and then they tied the whole thing.
It was just the right amount of work for them and they were so proud of the results of their efforts.
This blanket may be a gift for their daddy. Shhh, don't tell him. This secret is safe here since he doesn't read my blog. ha ha I bought the fabric as a christmas gift and then they thought maybe a little boy would like one with footballs.

Olivia experimenting on her own hair. This picture just makes me laugh out loud!

Emma and friend took about 100 pictures of themselves.
Little Olivia after the makeover ...she loved every minute of it.
The bad news of the day starts here...
Time to start hunting for a new car. Our last vehicle came from Roy's Grand in GI...they really treated us right so we'll probably start there. Since our van was totalled out today and we are going to get next to nothing from State Farm Ins, it's time to start asking God for a miracle. I know he can split the waters, feed 5000, cure illnesses, make time stand still...he can surly help us find the right van for our family. The rental goes back on Saturday-ish...I'm dreading being a one car family for a while. Why doesn't Chris go to work at 8:30? ha

Friday, November 14, 2008

Oh Mercy Me!

I have a dilemma on my hands. It's been 7 1/2 days since my accident and I am still not feeling the greatest. As a matter of fact, I feel worse now than I did the day after. Last night we went out for dinner, by the time we were done eating I had to go home. The family went to the NCC basketball game while I went to bed. It's a real bummer having back pain. Not only missing activities but I feel like my family is getting the worst of me. It's so hard to be happy go lucky when you feel crummy. UGH!!

That was a side note there, sorry about the rambling. Tonight I have an opportunity to see Mercy Me. I NEVER go to concerts and really want to attend. What do I do? I guess if I feel crummy I can sit outside in the van until the show is over. :) Nice, huh? Better load up on drugs and hope for the best. Walgreens here I come! Maybe I should have my carpooler drive the van instead of me.

Just a short hello for the day. Liv and I are going for a walk. The chiropractor says brisk walking will help hold my adjustments better than anything else. When I come home it'll be time to hit the ice packs, rest a little, do my Beth Moore study, pick up the girls and then head to Lincoln for the concert.

Friends, have a great weekend.

Oh, I almost forgot. For those of you who thought I was on the Today show this's wasn't me. :)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Memories on Paper

I did a little scrapbooking this weekend thanks to a cyber crop over at Each one of these layouts was created due to a specific challenge...color, word in a title, design, shape, inspiration, etc. It was fun but I didn't get as much done as I wanted to. I was busy getting in a car accident, going to a football game, hanging out with know the little things. ha ha Just wanted to share a few LOs with my dear ones. I didn't edit/crop any of these pics, hope you can see them alright. Geesh, I'm getting lazy.

"Happy Together"

"My Friend...My Sister"

"You Made Me FALL Hard"

Today my friend Liz and I attended a program at a local art gallery remembering Kristallnacht, 70 yrs ago. That day reminds us why we have to interfer with the inhumane treatment around the world. If only someone would have stepped in the day after it is possible that the Holocaust might not have ever happened. The world looked the other way and Hitler took that as his "green light" to do whatever he wanted. November 9th, 1938 at 3am changed millions of lives forever.

My thought for the day:
Take an interest in someone other than yourself. You never know how your actions may change history.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Sitting out in 30 degree weather with a wind chill factor in the teens watching a football game means either you are dedicated or a little crazy. Either way...this is what Husker football is all about. The stadium is packed full no matter what the weather is like.
Here we are tailgating before the big Husker Football game today. 3 pairs of pants, 3 shirts, a sweatshirt, coat, mittens, hat and a blanket...guess what, I wasn't even cold. :)
Watching the Huskers beat Kansas today made it all worth it. What an exciting game!

Gotta hit our fav Pizza shop in Elkhorn for a post-game meal with a bunch of crazy Raabe ( Husker fans.

Friday, November 7, 2008

A Smashing Good Time???

Tonight the girls and I were in a 3 car accident. I am getting pretty sore already.
There was a little sports car stopped waiting to turn left, I rear ended the car..he had almost no damage, I think a tiny scratch. The Pathfinder behind me hit me so hard that my car lunged forward at least 5-6 car lengths while I was slamming on the breaks. The girls were all screaming but no one was hurt. I'm sure they will all have some sore necks tomorrow. The Pathfinder is probably totaled, the front was horrible looking, their airbags deployed, mine didn't. The back of the van is very smashed, you can see below.
The guy and his wife who hit me were talking about probably missing their flight because it was leaving in one hour...hmm do you think maybe he was flying down Q Street??? We were at least a 30 min drive from the airport.

When I think about the "what ifs" I...well I just can't think about it. We were heading east on Q ST at 129th, there was so much traffic in all 4 lanes. We hit each other totally square. If I would have been pushed into oncoming traffic there would have been people in the hospital and maybe worse. God had us protected for sure.

Now we get to start the whole insurance process...oh how fun. Please pray for us!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Older Than Dirt???

Well, just barely! My parents moved into my childhood home when I was 1. Do the math real quick...35 years ago. This weekend my servant of a husband and I helped mom and dad move out of that house and into a smaller, one story home. During that fun filled process, we met up with some dust bunnies that could take on any of the Disney villains and win. In case my brothers actually read my blog...remember that bookcase in the big hall under the mirror? It's been there as long as I can remember. It wouldn't surprise me if the dust bunnies under there were born in the early 70's.

Really, I am not saying this to criticize my parents, I'm sure my children will make fun of me too. We joked right along with mom and dad as bookshelf after bookshelf after bookshelf was removed. There's still lots of work to be done in that 113 house. So now I am going to invite my bothers and their wives to pick up where we have left off. :)

This old house has been "home" to me all of my life. The next time we go to Kansas I may sleep in my old bed but it won't be in my old bedroom.
The memories that bedroom holds are great. Slumber parties, pulling up my carpet to paint the wood floor without my parents' permission (woops), sneaking out with the fire rescue ladder, spilling finger nail polish, doing homework, getting ready for prom, sleeping there the night before my wedding, there's so much to remember.
Now my children get to make new memories with me in Oma and Opa's new home.
For those of you who are not from a small town, let me explain a few things to you. #1 Yes, that is a horse trailer that was used to haul all my parents' possessions 2 blocks west. I guess we could have gotten a U-Haul but we would have had to drive 75-90 miles to find one. Hardly seems worth it, huh? #2 There are no fast food restaurants in town so the ladies of the church brought over coffee and muffins for a little snack in the morning at 10:30 and then for lunch several ladies provided food. When we moved, we just bought pizza, can't do that in a town of 1,200 people. haha

These 2 YOUNG men were the only 2 (male) movers who weren't eligible for social security. In fact, if we combine their ages the total is still 5-7 years younger than the next youngest mover. Are you getting what I am saying? It was a medicare conference. ha ha
Thank you Thank you Thank you to Brett Jurey for all of his muscles and quiet humor! You are a real friend!
Quick shout out to some other great friends who made this day possible. Kimberly had Emma and Olivia and Lindsey had Reagan from 7am until 7pm. Talk about wonderful friends!!! Thank you for your willingness to service and asking nothing in return. We love you guys!
Happy Birthday to my big bro Rodger. Hope you shot a deer this weekend. Love you!!!
Alright, I am wiped out after a long tiring weekend. My comfy bed is calling me.