Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Real Life Monopoly Again

*Pay day!
*Mortgage payment increase because escrow shortage because property taxes increased in the last year. Write a big check to cover that escrow shortage and also pay a bigger mortgage payment.
*Ram's self employment taxes due.
*Receive another bill that insurance would not cover for a Dr. appointment Lamb 2 had last October while trying to figure out that he needed vision therapy.
*Regular bills due.
*We prepaid for 9 months of vision therapy for Lamb 2. He can attend 2 more times before that money runs out. We now need to pay by the month until he completes VT. Insurance will not pay for any of this.
*On Saturday my key got stuck in the ignition of our minivan. I worked with it and got it out. Our mail on Saturday had a recall for our minivan involving the ignition but they currently do not have a fix for it.
*On Monday my key got stuck in the ignition of the minivan. I could not get it out. Ram could not get it out. He drove it to the dealer and it came out. They said it had nothing to do with the recall and we needed to pay $500 to fix it. They warned us that this would get worse if we continued to drive it and it would be unsafe to drive. So we paid the $500 to fix it.
*I really do not think the minivan is safe to drive both because of the recall and because I'm not positive the $500 really fixed the problem. So our plan is to do some necessary repairs on the minivan, go car shopping, and either trade in or sell the minivan. In the meantime Ram is going to drive the minivan and I'm going to drive the car. This means 3 cramped boys fighting in the back seat as I drive them around town.
*This is our second minivan in Lamb 2's lifetime that ends up with major electrical repairs after our only owning it for 4 years and the minivans being about 5 years old. I don't think that either of them were safe to drive at this point. After we sell this we are done with Dodge and Chrysler. Any advice what we should get instead?
*We are extremely busy now that school is back in session. Ram is back to all his regular duties during the school year plus we have several visitors interested in joining our church. That is great news but keeps him very busy. Lamb 1 has cross country and Cub Scouts and piano lessons. Lamb 2 has piano lessons and therapy 3 times a week. Sunday School is back in swing and we have several new members with children to get info about Sunday School to and order materials for. We don't have time to deal with car repairs and go car shopping right now.
*Needless to say, I had to dip into our savings to pay all this yesterday. That is why we have savings, but I don't like to have to dip into savings as much as I did.
*Keep praying and see how God provides for all this in the next few months. We don't play the lottery so it will be interesting.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Another ID blessing

One in four Idaho residents are members of the LDS church. Many of the children that go to the LDS church are very involved with Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. One benefit of living here is there is a used Boy Scout store here. Lamb 1 got almost his whole required uniform and some optional parts of his uniform for much cheaper than new. I appreciated this because we are only planning on him being in Cub Scouts for about a year and a half before it is Lamb 2's turn for Scouts. We tried and it is just too difficult for our family to have all 3 involved in Scouts at once. So they will each have their turn in Scouts.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Crazy finance ideas

We've been plugging away at paying our mortgage for 2 1/2 years now. Recently our mortgage company has started sending us advertisements that we should take advantage of the low interest rates and the equity of our home. Never mind that we still have tons of money owed.

The advertisement says we could receive $50,000 to use for
*long overdue home improvements
*save towards a college fund
*buy a new car or truck
*consolidate all of our current debt.

The advertisement makes very clear that there will be closing costs but they would help us with the whole process. Notice that it is worded that we would receive $, not that we would be in debt that many more $.

All this seems absolutely crazy to me. We are making headway paying off our mortgage and we would go backwards another $50,000? I could understand if you really needed to make home improvements and had no other way. But our house was brand new when we moved in, we shouldn't need to do any major home improvements already. And why would I jeopardize the place that I live in order to have a new car or truck? Thankfully we don't have debt besides our mortgage so that one is out.

But what seems absolutely the worst for me is their suggestion to refinance to save towards college. Maybe if you needed to pay for your own college now, but to save for the future? Be more in debt so that you have dollars saved for college? And if you are doing this for your children that is even more crazy.

You hear stories on the news all the time that people just owed a few thousand more and lost their job or couldn't pay their taxes and lose their house. How would people feel if that happened after they did an offer like this years ago?

Add in that our taxes just increased which means our mortgage payment just went up. We are very close to having $10,000 of the principal that we borrowed paid off. I will celebrate when we get that far.

I've never taken any financial courses or read very many books on finances, but all these sorts of advertisements end up in our shredder.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Our Family Schedule Part 3

Our fall schedule:

Monday: Lamb 2 Vision Therapy, Lamb 1 and 2 Piano Lessons, Lamb 1 Cub Scouts
Tuesday: Lamb 2 Vision Therapy, Lamb 1 Cross Country
Wednesday: No extra activities! It is Ram's busiest day at church. I plan to stay home on Wednesdays and hopefully we get lots of school work and house work done. 
Thursday: Lamb 2 Occupational Therapy, Lamb 1 Cross Country
Friday: Ram's Day Off so school schedule may be changed. This is often our doctor appointment, field trips, and shopping day. Some Fridays we are busy in the evening but not during the day time so we have a regular school day. It really depends on the calendar and the Lambs know that Friday does not equal no school. It is either a lighter day of school or a regular day of school. Sometimes we get a lot of school done while waiting at a doctor appointment too.

This schedule will be changed when Cross Country finishes and when Lamb 2 graduates from some therapy.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Our Family Schedule Part 2

1pm Lambs and Ewe thank you notes, make cards, etc. (The goal is at least one per school day, Lambs make them and Ewe gets them in the mail.)
3:15pm Tea Time
3:30pm Board game/card game/puzzle time
4pm Rest Time
5pm Make supper, eat, clean up
6:30pm Family reading time
7pm Get ready for bed, Brush and floss teeth, Prayers
(Kyrie, Creed, Lord’s Prayer, Hymn, I am Jesus Little Lamb, Now the Light has Gone Away, Luther’s Evening Prayer)
Lambs Silent READING time until 8pm
8pm Lambs bed time
10pm Ram and Ewe Compline and bed time

*The Lambs complain about 8pm bedtime but they really need it because we want an early start the next day. 

*10pm bed time is necessary for an early start time the next day, but difficult as we have gotten into the habit of Ram watching the news while Ewe finishes housework and then making and eating a bedtime snack and not getting to bed until 11 or 11:30.

*These are the scheduled times, any times not mentioned the Lambs are free to play. 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Our Family Schedule Part 1

I'm afraid if I listed the whole day the post would become quite long, so I'll post just our morning schedule first.

7am Ewe read (personal devotions from Treasury of Daily Prayer and one book that I want to read)/Lambs get dressed and then can play-sometimes Lamb 3 sleeps during this time
7:30am Breakfast, Luther’s Morning Prayer, Hymn, Catechism, Bible Verse
8am Calendar, Poetry Recitation, Grammar Jingles, Latin, Bible Story
8:30am Lamb 1 silent reading/Lamb 2 and 3 learn to read time with Mama (WRTR, handwriting, OPGTR, other workbooks)
9am Lamb 1 spelling and handwriting/Lamb 2 math/Lamb 3 play
9:30am Science and History songs (Patriotic Song, Pledge, Geography songs, Presidents song, Science Song), Read Science and History books
10am Read, listen to music, look at art from artist and composer of the week
10:30am Lamb 1 and 3 math/Lamb 2 VT on M and T-play other days
11am Lamb 2 music theory/Lamb 1 practice piano, Lamb 2 practice piano/Lamb 1  music theory, Lamb 3 play
11:30 Ewe computer time/Lambs play outside-This time is shortened on M and T due to VT
12pm Make lunch, eat lunch, vitamins, cod liver oil, devotions, clean up, Lambs do chores, Ewe prep supper
(Devotions= Matins/Psalm of the month/Prayer of the day from Treasury of Daily Prayer plus prayer requests from the Lambs)

*The goal is for Ewe to get up at 6:30 and get ready and have a few minutes computer time before 7am devotion time. If I choose to sleep in then I lose both a little computer time and my chance to read a book; I can cram devotion time in the 7:30 hour but I'll have hungry Lambs begging for breakfast too. 

*Lamb 2 loves to get up early and I think this schedule will be very successful for him. I love getting both school and piano practice done before lunch. Another reason to start earlier is I am trying to have Lamb 1 do more academic work this year. Lamb 3 has not always been ready for his subjects at the right time so there are some play times built in the schedule for him that he will lose if he doesn't do his school work at the time on the schedule. Plus he doesn't need to do as much academic work as a first grader that Lamb 1 as a fifth grader needs to do.

Sunday, September 7, 2014


We read a book about Bach from the series Getting to Know the World's Greatest Composers by Mike Venezia. At the beginning of the book he writes: "A special thanks to the Music Department at Grace Lutheran Church and School in River Forest, Illinois, especially Dr. Richard Hillert and Mr. John Fokening".

So I spent a few minutes talking to the Lambs about how it was a good idea to go to the Lutherans for info about Bach. I also talked about how I had met Dr. Hillert when he was part of a music camp at River Forest when I was in high school. At bedtime I remembered that Dr. Hillert wrote "This is the Feast" in our hymnal. They thought all this was pretty neat. After they went to bed I looked up Dr. Hillert in our hymnal and saw how much he contributed to our LSB.

Next the Lambs wanted to know if I knew the author of the book or Mr. John Fokening. Sorry, Lambs, I do not.

I'm not sure the Lambs learned anything about Bach that they did not already know before we read this book, but we did enjoy remembering Dr. Hillert.