Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Favorite Dave Ramsey Quotes of 2009

"Too much drama-like a bunch of 13-year-old girls running the planet!" - Dave Ramsey on the negative hype about the current recession

"Work is a surefire money-making scheme."

"If you want something you've never had, you'll have to do something you've never done." (I think this is one of DaHubby's current favorites)

"You wanna blow money? Put it in a 'blow' category in your budget. But at least admit it on paper!"

"Success is a pile of failure that you are standing on."

"Poor is a state of mind. Broke is, 'I'm just passing through.'" (My current favorite)

"Pray like it all depends on God, but work like it all depends on you."

"Broke people giving financial advice is like a shop teacher with missing fingers."

"You can't work three hours a week and make $100,000. Get rich quick doesn't work. Crock pot mentality always defeats microwave mentality!"

"Not until the pain of the same is greater than the pain of change will you embrace change."

Hat tip to

Wordless Wednesday: Christmas Eve Flicka

For more WW, go here or here.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Looking forward to looking back

This Thursday night, we at the Viking Hus will be sitting down to go through our 2009 can. LOL (I talked about our 2008 can here.)

Each January, I buy an empty new paint can from Lowes. And, every other year or so I've bought some small address number stickers. And, we put the New Year's name on the new can.

Then, during the year, we fill it with the little trinkets we pick up in our travels: movie stubs, brochures, pictures, postcards, whatever small things we stumble across while we're out enjoying an event or location.

On New Year's Eve, we open the can and go through all the mementos of the year gone by. And, due to its small size, it will go up on the shelf in the basement next to the last 3 years of its siblings. LOL

And, with the Vikings growing as quickly as they are, we'll be lucky they recognize themselves in the pictures from last winter! LOL

Looking forward to seeing what all we saved and remembered.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Yooper fun? LOL

What Yoopers do for fun when there's not enough snow in the Lower Peninsula! LOL

Sunday, December 27, 2009

It's been worth it.

As a mom with little ones, we're often faced with the question "is the mess worth it?" Is the joy that the kids' experiencing worth the mess, the money, whatever?

In this category for me personally are times like when I made the Vikings a rice table in the house or let them "finger paint" with pudding or play with shaving cream outside. It's often the suspension of "being a mom" and jumping in on the fun or allowing a little "organized chaos" enter into a regular day.

If I was being transparent, I often have trouble with this. I often see more of the laborious prep and clean up rather than the joy something will bring the Vikings...but I'm working on that. And, the last 3 days are a testimony to that effort.

I haven't cooked a "regular" sit-down meal in 3 days. We've grazing as we are hungry, eating sandwiches and leftovers, completely off our schedule. We've had a breakfast at 11am and a dinner at 8pm.

We are watching more TV than DaHubby and I would normally allow but have been snuggling more. And, that's not including the brand-new Wii which joined the family Friday and has over 9 hours of use on it.

We've spent all but a few hours since Thursday in our PJ's. We've only left the house treat ourselves to a McDonald's breakfast and visit DaGrandparents for a while yesterday.

We've not taken our vitamins in a week! *gasp* LOL

The only "work" I've done in a load of dishes each day while DaHubby has "only" shoveled and snowblowed.

We haven't woke up before 8am since Thursday.

Last Friday's clean laundry is still in a basket in the hallway, there's a load of whites "missing", we're low on underwear and socks but I still might not get to laundry today.

The kids' rooms are TRASHED as is the living room except for the once-a-day, midday clean up that I still insist on.

But what was the return on this investment of laziness? Three days of giggling, snuggling, laughing, overeating, and spending long stretches of uninterrupted quality time with DaHubby who heads back to work tomorrow and to a full load of school commitments in 2 weeks.

As an organizationally-challenged adult ADD-er, it is gonna take me WEEKS to get us back on track. But, that's OK.

It's been worth it.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Ho, ho, ho!

Another guest post at is up today. Go check it out!

Fall Reading Challenege wrap-up

I can't believe this challenge is over already! I wrote here in September that I was going to take it easy this time around. I usually over-commit myself in life - even more so in reading. So, I pledged to only read 2 nonfiction and 2 fiction during the 13-week challenge.


I got more reading done than I planned because my plans were thwarted by LOL They just kept sending me good books to distract me from my original plan.

The one book from my original list I *did* complete was The House on Sugar Beach by Helene Cooper. It was a weird, differently-handled memoir that was slow at times but wonderful and revealing at others.

I also started A Walk With Jane Austen by Lori Smith but couldn't get myself to finish it. Too much of the author and not enough of the Austen analysis I was expecting.

So, it was the other unexpected joys of the following that kept me curled up on the couch:

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger (weird, mushy, a bit confusing by a good "brain candy")

Best Intentions: A Novel by Emily Listfield (slow starter but fantastic ending)

The Heretic's Daughter: A Novel by Kathleen Kent (Got completely absorbed in this one. This is the one of the six that I would recommend the most.)

Magi by Daniel Gilbert (A historically-accurate yet fictitious account from the magis' point of view in the year of Christ's birth. Read it in a day - loved it!)

So, I consider this challenge a success despite the fiction-heavy list & throwing my reading plan to the wind. LOL Thank you, Katrina, for continuing to do these challenges. It helps snap my bee-hind in gear and keeps me from forgeting how much I truly love getting lost in a great book!

And, see what else everyone accomplished here.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: My little St Lucia

(In a hat tip to DaHub's Swedish heritage, Flicka dresses up each December 13th for St Lucia Day and takes goodies to her grandparents. However, Grandpa was too sick this year so Flicka took her show on the school! LOL I doubt St Lucia had the red glittery dress-up shoes though. :))

For more WW, go here or here.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Seven days of fun; seven more to come.

Please stop by Lake Michigan Family today to see my guest post about our ongoing adventures with the Vikings Family Advent Calendar. Go now...please? LOL

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Ya know you're a true Yooper when...

(in honor of my hubby's Yooper upbringing...)

1. Your idea of a traffic jam is ten cars waiting to pass a tractor on the highway.

2. "Vacation" means going down south past Petosky or Green Bay for the weekend.
3. You measure distance in hours.
4. You know several people who have hit deer more than once!
5. You often switch from "heat" to "A/C" in the same day and back again.
6. You find 0 degrees "a little chilly."
7. You can drive 65 mph through 2 feet of snow during a raging blizzard without flinching.
8. You see people wearing hunting clothes at social events.
9. You install security lights on your house and garage and leave both unlocked.
10. You think of the major food groups as beer, fish, and venison.
11. You carry jumper cables in your car & your girlfriend knows how to use them.
12. There are seven empty cars running in the parking lot at Pamida at any given time.
13. You have more miles on your snow blower than your car.
14. Driving is better in the winter because the potholes are filled with snow.
15. You refer to the Watersmeet Nimrods as "we."
16. All 4 seasons: almost winter, winter, still winter and road construction.
17. You can identify an Ohio and Wisconsin accent.
18. You have no problem spelling Escanaba.
19. You consider the lower Peninsula exotic. ya hey!
20. You don't have a coughing fit from one sip of Stroh's.

hat tip to the Guest House of Majestic Point's Facebook page.

Thursday Thanks Tank

We're home on a snow day today, snuggled up with many blankets and favorite warm clothes. So, in no particular order...
  • a roof over our heads
  • new well-insulated windows keep out the drafts
  • food in fridge despite being grocery day
  • vehicles which are fairly reliable LOL
  • DaHubby - where do I start? He blesses me and inspires me so much daily reminding me why I choose him and how lucky I am that we are a team!
  • health - at least for the time being LOL
  • no traveling for Cmas - for the first time in 40-some years, my parents are coming to me! LOL
  • for a family prodigal who's in the process of traveling home - hopefully she'll be around through the holidays
  • my adopted community - I grew up in Metro Detroit but this little city where I live in feels more like "me" than any other place I've lived!
  • girlfriends - this week particularly Melanie, Melissa C., and Elizabeth. You ladies were the smiles in my week
  • more old friends found on Facebook
  • another "clear of cancer" report for a Viking family member and continued good reports for my SIL Peggy who is the only known survivor at this time of her type of leukemia!
  • our new church - who is being kind and gentle to the newbie learning the ropes during the holidays
  • our old church - whose Christmas party the kids and I will be joyfully attending Sunday evening, I hope.
  • Advent devotions - seeing the arrival of Baby Jesus from the different points of view as well as reading "Magi" this week have blessed my sock off!

So, that's what filling my tank this week. How 'bout you? And, stop by Pam's place to see what she's thankful for lately.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Coco Chanel WATCH OUT!

This is the outfit Flicka put together for church Sunday!
For more WW, go here or here.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Week 2 Preview

We're already into week to of our 5th annual Viking Family Advent Calendar. I'm guest posting over at Lake Michigan Family about it. See what we'll be up to the next 7 days here. please?

Monday, December 7, 2009

Flown By

The first week of our Vikings Family Advent Calendar is complete. My guest post at Lake Michigan Family has all the details! Go LOL

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Praying in the Moment

I don't pray the way I "should"

I don't even pray the way I would want to.

But, I do want to learn...

And, I'm taking baby steps to get prayer into my everyday life in addition to the quiet time one spends with God each day.

Three things that I do daily:

1. It's something I learned from a kindergarten teacher who worked in the same building as me when I taught 7th/8th grade English. Every time the class heard a siren (which considering the school is about 3 blocks from the police station and the biggest fire station in town), he corralled his little ones, they would stop what they were doing, and pray.

As a former law enforcement person, this really appeals to me. I've even gotten the Vikings to start the habit. We pray for the first responders and we pray for those they are going to serve - regardless of whether they're the injured/hurt or the suspect in a crime. Auditory clues work well with me since my ADD picks up every little nuance that could distract me so I made it into a silver lining and as a clue to pray.

2. I pray over Flicka as she exits the van every morning at school drop-off. At this point, I still get out of the minivan and walk around to unbuckle her, help her with her backpack, etc. So, as she steps down from the car seat but has yet to jump down to the ground, I put both hands on her face to kiss her, then pull her close and whisper in her ear my prayer over her. We mostly pray for her, her classmates, and her teacher. Nothing major but it's in the moment.

3. Finally, almost every morning - depending on what's going on with his schedule - I walk DaHubby to the door when he leaves for work. And, as is habit in his extended family and has become one with us, I stand at the door 'til he pulls away. Then, as I shut the door, I have a visual cue at eye level to remind me. So, as DaHubby drives down to the corner, I'm praying for him. I stand at the door with my hand on it for some extra time deliberately covering him with prayer.

I don't share these to be all "high and mighty" but to share what I'm doing so others can provide additional suggestions. So, how do YOU pray in the moment each day?

Wordless Wednesday: Dress Up TIme

For more WW, go here or here.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Tuesday Tip Jar

Been out of the loop lately in my little corner of the blogosphere so just jumping back in (again) with a TTJ tip. This has worked well for me the last two years. While I'm not doing it this year, I would definitely still recommend it to anyone who asks.

Keeping in mind the economy and its effects on most everyone I know plus the added benefit of handmade vs. store-bought presents, in terms of extended family Christmas gifts, try giving everyone the same thing!

Two years ago, many of my extended family got an individual Christmas ornament picked out just for them. Last year, I went all crafty and made about about 12 to 15 corn pillows out of regular placemats from Big Lot for all the all the grandparents, aunts, uncles, and such.

Now, I'm about the frugal, homemade, and sincere. I'm not talking about taking this route only to make your life easier but it does have that added benefit since you can do all your gifts at once (either at home or in one store). In addition, for those of us on tight budgets, you have a relatively fixed cost of what to expect at the cash register.

For more TTJ's, go to Blogmommas today.