Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Our First Tree

This is the first year we've had an actual Christmas tree (at least one that wasn't made out of paper). Growing up I always enjoyed pretty trees, not the homemade looking ones.

Well.....ours is definitely one that looks homemade.  We had no ornaments and I didn't want to buy any because I knew they would get destroyed.  Solution -  we made some.  The girls had lots of fun....and it matters to them.

I'm rather proud of our tiny 4' tree with a star made of iron pony beads and hand crafted ornaments made mostly by a 3 year old with occasional help from the 5 year old sister.

In case you can't tell by looking, it has been tipped over several times, all but 1 cinnamon ornament have been eaten by TJ, and majority of the ornaments have been taken off and tossed around multiple times!!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

A Change of Attitude

Most everything in life that really matters to me is pretty darn good:

* our family is healthy
* we have good kids
* my husband works hard and loves me and the kids
* we have had some amazing adventures
* I love both of our families and we have their support
* the gospel is a major anchor in our lives
* we are able to live within our means

The list could go on....and on.....and on.  Life is so good in so many ways, but that being said sometimes life just kind of sucks!!

The one area of frustration- finances!! I'm tired of being poor.  We have had many adventures and we have made lots of sacrifices (studio apartments, living in the ghetto, walking up 5 flights of stairs to get to our apartment in a country where we can't communicate at all, using a laundromat, sharing a car, never eating out, not spending money on anything we want, no tv, no cable, cheap phones, an old car, 3 kids in the back seat of that old car....this list could go on and on too)......

...I feel like we've paid our dues and should now be able to live comfortably.  At least we should be living above the poverty line.  Isn't that what the sacrifices were for?

Basically, everything in life is good, but I'm so tired of living of off so little that I've been letting it get to me.  Eat at me....and it has begun affecting every aspect of our lives, in a bad way.

The other day I realize I needed an attitude change. I was listening to a podcast about finances.  The girl (whose blog/ideas I really like on really got to me.  I was irritated.  The guidelines she was giving for spending were way, way above what we can afford.  If most people spend the amounts she recommended on groceries, eating out, etc...they would save tons of money.  Not us....we were spending way, way, way less on everything.  Anyway....long story short I was getting angry...but something else dawned on me..... attitude stunk.  I was letting it eat at me.  So here's what I've decided.

No, it's not fun being poor.  But, that's what we are right now.  It's the circumstances we are in...and those circumstances will change.  James is looking for a better job.  There are possibilities for him to teach extra classes in the future.  There are things I am trying to do to earn a little more.  It's not my dream, but it's life.

The circumstances hopefully will change.  But, if they don't.....or if it takes a lot longer than I want.  It's okay.  I'm learning and growing in the process.

After all, the things I do have are pretty darn important and pretty darn good.

So, I've changed my attitude....and we're still poor.  But, it's amazing how life seems a little brighter.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Some Days just feel like crying.

Then your sister shares her apple and everything seems a little better.

Friday, December 5, 2014

First Snow

That was my reaction when I saw the weather forecast with snow in it.  And, still hoping the forecast would be wrong, that was my reaction when the snow actually started falling.

I don't know when I became such a scrooge.  Maybe it has something to do with being spoiled by the weather in LA. Maybe it's because our car doesn't want to start and has a really hard time going.  Maybe I can't stand getting out of a warm shower to freeze to death.  Or that we can't spend hours playing at the park.  Or biking.  Or there could be a lot of reasons.  But, I don't love the cold weather that comes with snow.

The girls have a different reaction than I.  It started snowing while we were at church.  They were ecstatic the entire drive home.  They stood mesmerized at the window watching it fall, begging to go play in it.  Once we got the snow clothes out they were thrilled to go play in it. All .025" of it. 

I grudgingly went out to snap a few shots of the first snow fall.  And you know what?  The excitement was a little contagious.  There really is something a little magical about watching it come down from the sky.  I decided I should be less of a scrooge. 

That being said....I'm still happy the weather forecast is sunny and in the 50's for the week!!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Thankful Turkey

In random's what we had on our eyeless Turkey this year!

family walks on nice sunny days
a nice house (by sofia)
a hard working Husband
school (by Hannah)
bikes and trails to ride on
Monsters Inc. (by Hannah)
opportunities to learn and grow
a husband/father to take care of us when we are sick
the gospel
a patient and understanding wife
Cassie (by Hannah and Sofia)
doing hard things
family w/ lots of quirks and having lots of fun together
family pictures
a heater
the car-it is still running, if fits all of us, and it has cheap insurance
tooth (a lost tooth)
opportunity to give talks and get them over with
a job with steady income
cheap rent
2 beautiful girls and one crazy son