Monday, July 21, 2008

Can I Poke Him??

I am FOREVER telling my 3 year old to stop poking her 2 month old brother. I tell her "don't poke Stephen while he's eating" and she replies "he's not eating...he's drinking!" Then she laughs and runs away. I'm telling you...if she wasn't so darn cute I don't know what I'd do with her.

For the last 2 hours Stephen has been blissfully sleeping (trust me -- that's a major thing in this house) and when he woke up I picked him up and started to nurse him. Olivia (the 3 year old) came in the room and said, "Is Stephen awake? Can I poke him now?" LOL! Just how do you answer that one without laughing??? You don' just enjoy the moment and be glad that for a brief time no one in the house is crying!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Don't Buy Stuff You Can't Afford

That sounds like advice your grandmother would give you, doesn't it? Maybe we should go back to living lives like our grandparents (or your great-grandparents if you're younger than I am). They sure lived in a different era and mindset. I know that after the stock market crash of 1929 many of them avoided any and all debt, even mortgages. That was a time when mortgages could be called in by the bank at anytime and the entire balance would be due immediately. We have legislation protecting us from that sort of thing now but we are also living in a era of cheap money and easy terms that let us think we can afford bigger and better houses. Do you think your grandparents would have thought it was a good idea to take on an "interest-only" mortgage? Or an "adjustable-rate" mortgage? Sure -- you can do something like that and plan to sell the house before the rate adjusts and just count on the equity in the house to help you at least break even. But what about the areas of the country where the values of homes were so inflated a few years ago? Those people are finding that their homes aren't even worth what they owe on them. It's one thing to be upside-down on a car loan but an entirely different thing to be upside-down on your mortgage. Counting on your equity is such a dangerous thing; tapping into that equity can be even more dangerous if your home loses value.

The moral of today's musings is this -- Don't Buy Stuff You Can't Afford. And for a good laugh about this lesson check out this video with Steve Martin from Saturday Night Live.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Flowers for Mary

Last month my mother in law gave us a beautiful bouquet of flowers for our 12th anniversary. Here's a picture of it --
Eventually they dried out and we threw them out in the back yard to be ground into the grass when it was mowed. That was this evening that they were put out there. Well, about 20 minutes later my oldest daughter comes running in and says "Come see what we did with the flowers in the yard!" They had gathered them all up and put them around the statue of Mary we have. Eventually I intend to make it a real "Marian Garden" but haven't gotten together the money and time to do what I want. The girls remembered that (and the fact that we've brought flowers for Mary at church many times in the past) and took it upon themselves to give them to her in our yard. It was so sweet! Of course then when I came outside to take a picture they started arguing with each other about where each stem should be so I was able to get pictures of them setting it all up again.

The final picture is the standard "squinting into the sun" shot.