Monday, March 16, 2009

Cash Only Days Ahead

Jarett and I have been reading and studying the Dave Ramsey book, Money Makeover. It is such an amazing way to get you thinking back to the simple days and how to get your money back in control. We have struggled really hard the last six month. We started his program and we can celebrate because we have paid for:

* all our medical bills (total of $600, which to us was a lot)
* 4 credit cards
* got caught up on all bills so no more late charges :)

We also have our emergency fund in a seperate account.

We have 2 more things to pay off by the snowball effect. We anticipate it to take us about 12 - 18 months. Our next plan is to pay off our car and 2nd mortgage. That should take us another 24 months. So in about 3.5 to 4 years we will be completely debt free. I definitely see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Now we can make it go faster by selling some things, which we may do. But, as of today, we found in our account a little over $1,000 missing. I pulled up our account and found charges to a vet ($200), Pizza Hut ($107.23), 3 separate charges to Great Britian ($200 each) and a charge to the same place in Great Britian ($100). On top of that, we have 4 charges of international fees that our bank has charged us. The scarey thing is no one at our bank alerted us of these weird charges.

Using my detective skills, I found the vet and called them. They pulled the reciept and information about this lady and man that posed to be us. The vet clerk said she remembers this lady very well because she thought they were acting weird. Since the lady was acting weird, she got copies of her driver's license and other information. The sticky part of this is I have a class tomorrow and Wednesday from 8:30 to 3:30. During this class, I will have to find time to call the police and make a report since we have some information about a particular person. Then I will have to race to my bank to file a claim and hopefully get all our money back quickly. I have canceled my debit card (yes, it was my number off of my card - it matched to the vet's receipt), so it's cash for me. Now, that's not the problem because Dave Ramsey says you should only carry cash for your spending. But, I have all but 2 medical bills that were pending to be paid. From what you ask? My debit card! I pray that they still get paid so I don't have to get a letter from our bank to prove about this mess. I feel fees are coming at us.


I was celebrating with our accomplishments and now I will have to deal with this mess to keep it going.

I just feel like since our twins have come home, Satan has been at our back door. We listened to God and adopted these wonderful twin girls and Satan is not at all happy with us following God's word. We can't seem to catch a break for longer than 2 days. Satan should already know that we aren't giving in and he needs to leave. We will not let him conquer us. God is going to take care of us, so he can do what he wants.

I usually don't ask for prayers, but if you have some extra time, we would appreciate any good thoughts and prayers about this mess cleaning up quickly, so we can continue our path to being debt free! :)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Pictures are IN

These are the pictures from the girls' first birthday party. We kept the party simple for them compared to what we usually do. They didn't quite understand what was going on, but we wanted them to have fun. So we rented a princess bounce house, ate pizza, and just had fun.

We really wanted them to have separate birthday songs and cake. So Costco was wonderful by allowing us to buy one cake and they split it into 2 separate cakes. Each cake had their own saying and we sang happy birthday to each of them. I think with twins (at least with us) we tend to see them as one, so I wanted to make sure they had their own special time to celebrate turning 9 years old.

I love birthdays. I love to celebrate the day that the Lord chose for that person to come into this world and join a chosen family. That is why I love Christmas. Birthdays are such a sign of God's amazing moments. Although, as the children get older, we are scaling down the parties; not the celelbration.

I love it when the girls' say, "Mommy, remember when.....". This will be something that will add to their memories and I can't wait until they say, "Mommy, remember when we had the birthday party with the princess house.". Oh, how my heart will melt! :)

Happy Birthday Baby Girls!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Happy Birthday Rita and Racheal!

Oh boy, were they excited today! We bought doughnuts for their classmates and they passed them out today. We bought them skates for their birthday. They have been wanting to have a pair, so this was the perfect occassion. They aren't completely sure why they are so excited, but they are.

We have planned their friend party for Friday (tomorrow). We have rented a princess bounce house. The kids are going to eat pizza, jump, and have a great time. The girls are so excited (have I said that before?) We also, are going to have 2 cakes. Each girl will have their own cake with their own name on it. OOPs - I forgot to buy the candles. I better make sure I put that on the list. :)

I can't wait to share the pictures of their party. :) Come back soon!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Ok, I am DONE!

I am done feeling sorry for myself. The last post I talked about test scores and how horrible they are to measure a child by them or even a teacher. I just read a post (past one) from one of the blogs I keep up with. It reminded me of the Lord's love for us and how He is with us at all times. She sited some verses from the Bible, which really spoke to me:

The man of integrity walks securely, but he who takes crooked paths will be found out. Proverbs 10:9

God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, in order to make your hope sure. We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.Hebrews 6:10-12

For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. Isaiah 41:13

WOW - what beautiful words! Thank you Anita for sharing those verses - those hit home with me more than you ever will know. :)

My prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you so much for reminding me of your love for us. Thank you for lifting me up and encouraging me at this time of my life. You have said we will be prosecuted here on Earth, but how You know of our heart. Lord, You truely amaze me by Your love and dedication towards me. Thank you for loving me unconditionally and forever. In only Your name, Amen.

Beyond Caring

Beyond Caring is one of my passions in this life. It seems as though because of this passion, I tend to get in trouble or judged with it.

At school, I have a type of class that is challenging, but fun to be with this year. I really enjoy my class, but it takes a lot of energy to keep them down and learning. I have two students who are not on medications, although would benefit greatly from it. I have 7 students who have special needs in the academic areas. Now, I requested to have the special needs children because my heart is with them. But....I am being compared to other "normal type" classrooms. The way I am being compared is with test scores. If my special 7 were taken out of the equation, then that would be a fair comparison (which I am right there with everyone else).

When is evaluating the growth of a child (with or without special needs) going to become important. At regular jobs, it seems that people are evaluated based on your improvement and growth. So why can't the government see that what we are doing to children, with focusing so much on test scores, is more harmful then successful. This type of focus is causing teachers to teach to the test, rather than teaching children to THINK and problem solve.

Have you really looked at the test questions on any standardized test? All of them are written at a "Knowledge or Comprehension" level. For you that don't know "teacher talk" then you can google "Higher Level Thinking". It will give you the levels of higher thinking. Knowledge and Comprehension are the lowest levels of thinking skills. So basically, we are "dumbing" our students. It's hard when you teach the children to be "thinkers" because when it comes to the test, then they second guess themselves. Students say to me, "It's to easy, what is the trick". It floors me everytime I am required to give a test. Why does someone come to each student and test the student's thinking?

I have seen the ecomonic situations affect the classroom (students). I see parents who have to work more hours and are more stressed that their children feel it also. What is going to happen when all day kindergarden is taken away? These poor kiddos are going to have a rougher start to their education, due to the fact of less education daily. All of this blows me away. This is where my beyond caring passion comes to play.

I really need to turn this passion into my own family. I need to become a teacher who works 8 hours a day and not 11-12 hours a day. This would help me to be a better mom and wife. I need to NO more sacrifice my family for a JOB! I don't think God is happy that I have done this. I can be a great teacher during the 8 hours at school, but be an even better mom after the 8 hours. I am going to continue to teach children to be "thinkers" and I am refusing to "dumby" them, just for test scores. I am taking a stand - no more! :)