Ha! It was zero degrees on Tuesday

with a wind chill temperature of -17. Temps haven’t varied much from those over the past few days.It was warmer here than it was in the Arctic Circle region we took our children to for our visit to meet Santa in Finland last Spring break. We have all the right clothes. That’s the key to everything. If you’re warm, and if you don’t have to drive on the ice or white out conditions, all’s good ( I’m listening to sheets of ice cascade off from the metal roof of our little cabin as I type this. My phone is stating it’s a balmy 28 degrees out at this moment. lol).

You are so kind. Thank you

I truly appreciate your kind words.I think you deserve a couple of new outfits so you can be on your A game for your orientation. It’s important you feel your best, and the fact that you’ve lost 50 lbs is wonderful. You must feel terrific, and no wonder you scored so well in your salary negotiations. You must be on top of the world right now. Best of luck, but I doubt you need any. It sounds like you’ve got everything going in the right direction for you. Now, we just need to hope something comes along soon for your husband. You’ll have to tell us how the trip goes next week. Hopefully you can get some work done during the day, and enjoy a little peace and quiet from your family life in your hotel room at night.

I know you probably have so much more going on in your life

but I love how you continue to cheerlead folks’ on the board. I enjoy your emails because they are so lively and inspiring. Thank you. We got about 1″ snow here in WDC and yes, the Govt went on Liberal Leave and
yes, everyone freaked out and yes, traffic was terrible with accidents all over the place. 🙂 It’s all basically melted at this point. Kids didn’t even get a chance to play! lol.
Lea, I commiserate with the itch to do something to make a change! I am going on a business trip next weekend for four days and today I suddenly freaked out because it’s been probably close to three years since I’ve traveled. So I raided our savings and bought a new laptop bag, two work dresses and a pair of shoes. I lost 50 lbs this past year so I don’t have a lot of clothes that fit but where I used to work it didnt’ really matter. However, this is a meet and greet, orientation with my new company based in Huntsville, AL. I’ve worked with folks in HSV before and I sort of get their culture so I want to make a good first impression.The kicker? I will be telecommuting once the orientation ends… so who knows when I will wear these dresses again. But I feel better knowing I had the money in savings and if I need to get dressed up for date night / church / community events I have something that actually fits!

You don’t need all that stuff

Build a fire in the fireplace, make some hot cocoa, grab a good book and snuggle up with your dh. That’s what ice days are all about! It’s not about the money and it’s not about the stuff. It’s about the people you get to spend these days with.
btw, we have close to two feet of new snow this week! Yahoo! It’s glorious out. We’ve had sub zero temps this week and I have sick children but all’s good. The turkeys are roosting in our back yard (they crack us up), ducks are racing chunks of ice (or so it seems) on our river, and we have cardinals and blue jays and assortment of little birds feeding like mad at our feeders. Tonight, we’ll watch the deer come in and eat at our deer feeder. I love this season, but, I do love them all. I don’t even mind that I shoveled snow twice today. I’m imagining bulging biceps and a ripped torso are in my future! lol

Well, our 11 yr old son (adopted from Detroit) went crazy and he became assaultive

combative, destructive, molested 3 of our smaller children, etc. We had him sent to a mental hospital for 7 weeks then 4 months at a residential program….home just over a month and then he assaulted us again and we found out about the molestation’s. Cue lots of court costs even though WE are the victims of our sons abuse and being accused of just trying to get rid of him….um. yeah. okay there.

Plus, another China kiddo had surgery. (4 total in 4 yrs home). Cue medical bills.

So, yeah, we have to pay a family member to care for our delinquent child. Its hitting us hard.

Ah, the classic, “more expenses than income”

Just from the monthly numbers(not counting arrearages), I get $2900 coming in, and $2941 going out. I was in the same situation a month ago, except I was more than $500 (Cash Advance Loans Online) short every month. My first suggestion would be to call all the credit card companies(9 if I counted right), and see if they have a ‘hardship program’. You may be able to get the interest rate, or payments(or both) dropped for a period of time. That’s the big thing that temporarily saved me.
2 – You have two vehicle payments. Do you only have the two vehicles? The reason I ask is that if you had 3 or 4, maybe you could sell one of the ones you’re still paying on, and eliminate(or remove) at least that monthly payment.
3 – Ask your dentist if you can get a 6-month moratorium on payments.
Depending on how long you’ve been using him, he may cut you some slack on paying.
4 – I’m curious – how big is your house or apartment? $120 for electricity seems high to me.
5 – do you have any extra stuff around the house to sell? You can use ebay, craigslist, local cheapcycle groups. You can sell books through amazon and half.
6 – can any of you work another job? Since you have 4 drivers, I’m assuming that at least two of the kids are old enough to also get jobs and contribute towards the household. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone suggest that the kids help, but they *are* part of the family…

We just signed the paperwork

and cut a check to start an Endowed Scholarship at the college of business at The University of Houston. The winner will be an Honor Student in the Business College. The endowment will be $25,000, but thanks to wife’s job, they will match funds so we only have to contribute $12,500. We hope to grow the scholarship to $100K one day.

Late getting to this, but not much is going on

I’m still on BS3(yes, I’ve been lazy). If I *really* worked on that, I could get the FFEF done by the end of the year. I’ve been spending too much money on music equipment and rockets, though…

Well, the only debt right now is our mortgage

Fortunately, I had been paying extra on everything prior to my DH’s “retirement” 4 years ago. We opened a karate school 2.5 yrs ago and we are looking to expand. So, it looks like we will be taking on debt to do that. Our rent right now is ok, but we are outgrowing our location and even if we stay and expand in the building, our rent will double with no real way of adding things like an afternoon program, expanding summer camp, adding classes. Our best bet is to either purchase an existing building or purchase land and build. So, it looks like we’ll build. Scary time, but looking forward to growing the business.

Woohoo on all the success over the last 4 years

My dh is a ham operator. AD5YP is his call sign. He isn’t on as much as he used to be but he does a local net and hurricane net when he can.

Not much to update here. Our only debt is our home. We have a fixed 15 at a rate of 2.75%. We have paid extra on it ever since we took it out about 5 years ago. The original mortgage value represents about 1/2 of the home’s value when we bought it. We have paid down about 1/2 of the mortgage balance.

We are filling envelopes every month for our spending. We do a monthly budget to arrive at the amount for the envelopes. Since we have only one debt the budgeting consists of minor tweaks each month … no crying, no hair pulling, no arguments. Cool as cucumber. Life is good when debt is $0.00 (or almost $0.00). vbg

The next thing to really alter our finances is January 2017 when obamacare causes our health insurance to go up about $300/month for dh and me. Dd’s will go up about $30. I thought Obama care was supposed to cut our health expenses about $2500? Since we have no consumer debt to eliminate to make room for this increase, I am not sure where it’ll come from. Our health insurance is already running MORE than our actual house payment (not including the extra we send in). After those 2 expenses, the rest of the expenses are pretty average. When you look at DR’s recommended percentages, our health insurance runs roughly DOUBLE what it’s supposed to be based on the recommended percentages. I think in light of obamacare and self employment (or contract workers) he needs to revisit this.