Monday, April 28, 2008

I Have a Date With Dave This Weekend

This is where we'll be on Saturday! For Christmas, my parents gave me tickets to see Dave live. It really could not have come at a better time because over the past 5 weeks the last thing on my mind has been debt reduction and saving money. I'm still keeping my spending spreadsheet updated, but that's about it. I need to get re-energized.

Pool Boy asked me recently, "This show is, like, 1 hour long, right?" I replied, "Like 6!" Yes, five solid hours of talking about money. I can't wait to get back and share with you what I learn!

There are still tickets available if you want to join us! How about you? or you? or you?

Sunday, April 27, 2008


Tonight we planted a tree in memory of Dad. It was a gift from my Pool Boy's family. We planted it in the area of our yard where we play our family baseball games. The tree will have to double as second base. Dad would have loved that, don't you think?

Two families need your prayers. I'll call them Family N and Family F. In both situations, a parent is extremely ill after sudden tragedies struck. One person had a stroke and the other one fell down a flight of stairs. My heart breaks thinking of what they may have to deal with.

Friday, April 25, 2008

A Peek Into My World

I’m not an organized person, but I’m always writing myself notes with important information that I need to remember. I always have a list on my desk at work to keep myself on task and so that I don’t forget anything. I have a datebook full of our activites and to-do lists. And sometimes I run across a piece of valuable information that I don’t want to forget, so I grab a piece of paper and write it down.

While rummaging around on my desk yesterday at work, I found the following note that I had written myself one day.

Baked goods
White breads
Heavy pop

Whole grains

I can’t explain some of the things that go on in my head sometimes. I really can’t.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

This Ain't The Brady's Alice

We're kind of nerdy here at the green3 household. We're plugged in, networked, wireless, wii'd, you name it. So it's no surprise that I'm all over Alice. Hmm, maybe poor wording there.

For those of you who have jumped on the Randy Pausch bandwagon with me, you've probably heard of Alice. (Or if you are not nerdy like me, maybe you missed that part of his lecture.) Pausch was a member of a virtual reality team that designed the Alice program. This program teaches kids and adults about computer programming, without them even realizing it. Pausch is a professor at Carnegie Mellon, and they have generously offered this program free to anyone who wants to use it. It can be for your person use or for classroom use.

There are currently two version available: Alice and Storytelling Alice. We've downloaded the regular Alice, even though it was designed for high school and college students. Three LOVES it. He creates his own little virtual reality videos using this program. I think he made three videos just tonight. And the best part is that he is able to do it himself!

I'll definitely be downloading Storytelling Alice, which is designed for Middle School students and might keep his attention better.

Alice gets high marks from the me and Three!

Monday, April 21, 2008

One Month Ago Today


Miss you.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Sunday Good and Bad

The good: Pool Boy got our pool opened today.

The bad: Back pain kept me on the couch all day, the first nice day of the season.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


Some of you are new here, so you may not know that I was once famous.

Ok, so maybe it was only for my dryer sheet tip but hey, I'll take it wherever I can get it. I mean, MSN MONEY, people! How many of you have been mentioned on MSN Money?

When this happened, I excitedly emailed my family and told them to LOOK AT ME. I'll never forget my dad's response:

"That's great, green3, but I'm waiting for something a bit more substantial than dryer sheets for my 15 minutes of fame."

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Budget Busters

Before I get to my Budget Busters, I know many of you are wanting to know how we are doing. Some days are ok. Some days suck. Regardless of which of those days we’re having, it never goes away – not even for a second. So feel free to interpret that as you wish. I wish I had a more “flowery” report, but this gig ain’t easy.

Ok, so Budget Busters. I’ve got a lot of areas where my budget is completely busted. Is busted even a word? Anyway, there are a lot of areas that we we could spend more time focusing on so that we would end up with a larger surplus at the end of the month. Hopefully by writing them down, I’ll be more focused on what needs to be done. Or not.

Budget Buster #1 - Budget
Is it sad that the first Budget Buster is the budget itself? It’s true – I haven’t been following a budget for a few months. I’m still tracking our expenses penny by penny, but I have not sat down with Pool Boy to put together a budget for each month. I know it needs to be done. I know how to do it. I know how to follow it. So watch out May cause I’m all over next month’s budget.

Budget Buster #2 – Grocery Shopping
I actually do very well on groceries – if I’m by myself. If I take anyone else with me, my cart ends up with all kinds of junk in it. Pool Boy is all over “new” products, such as new kinds of chips, as well as convenience-type foods. And the boys prefer all foods high in sugar, carbs, fat and dollars.

Budget Buster #3 – Caffeine
I heart pop. I heart the caffeine in the pop. I spend a lot of money on pop. Hey, at least it’s diet.

cricket noise…

Hmm. I meant to do 4 Budget Busters but I can't come up with another area where I splurge and waste money. I suppose that’s a good sign that I’m on the right track?

Thursday, April 10, 2008


"You can't command people to do their best; they can only command that of themselves."

-- Bob Nelson

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

If you won't get rid of your credit cards, at least do this

If you are still using credit cards, I read an excellent tip tonight on Blueprint’s blog. He suggests you write your credit card balance on your credit card so that you have to look at the balance each time you use it. Brilliant! If I had a credit card, I would absolutely do this. But I don’t. And neither should you.

On another subject, I’ve given myself a project. My way of dealing with my Dad’s death is to step in and deal with the nitty gritty of the ordeal. I’m gathering paperwork, contacting various companies who need to be informed of his death, bombarding my family with emails filled with tons of boring financial information that I’m sure they couldn’t care less about, and that kind of crap. So my self-imposed project is to help all of you get prepared for the inevitable. I’m keeping track of all the information we have needed over the past few weeks. After I get my list put together, I’m going to post it. And then I’m going to mention it several times so that you will feel guilty if you haven’t gotten your family prepared. We’ve been fortunate enough to be able to locate all of Dad’s financial information (we think), but I’ve heard so many people tell me over the past few weeks, “If I died today, my spouse would be screwed!” So, let’s not be screwed, ok?

As for feeling guilty, have you researched your term life insurance yet? The general guideline is to have 8-10 times your annual income. Are you within that range?

Thanks so much for everyone’s support over the past few weeks. I’ve received tons of comments and emails from people I know and from people I’ve never met. I’ve saved each and every one. You’ve helped me get through the past few weeks. Grieving sucks, and that’s all I have to say about that tonight.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

March Money

Even with the disasterous month we had and the complete abandonment of any type of money management over the last two weeks of March, we still ended up with a nice balance to send to the line of credit loan.

Amount paid on line of credit loan since January 1 = $4551.82.

Dad was very excited to follow along on my debt-reduction story. He read my blog every single day. Now I have even more ambition to get rid of this debt. I'll make him proud!

Sunday, April 06, 2008


It's amazing how you can go through the motions, start taking care of business and paperwork, keep busy, and you start to think "Maybe I can do this."

Then, while putting away laundry, it hits you.

I suppose this is one of the "official" steps of grief. Because right now I'm so angry at what we're missing out on. Other kids get to grow up with all their grandparents. Other women get to ask their Dad's advice. Other families get to go on family vacations with the whole family. Other daughters are able to have their father approve of how they are investing their money. Other sons get to have their Dad guide them into being men. Other people get to celebrate their parents' 40th wedding anniversary with one of those silly "card" parties.

We don't get any of that anymore.

This grief crap is definitely day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute. It's the hardest thing I've ever done. The pain is more than anyone should have to bear. It hurts, oh does it hurt.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

First Day Back To Work

I don't have a lot of time to write tonight. I'm busy with thank you notes, plus I have to try to get some control over my househould (mostly laundry and dishes). But I wanted to let you know that my first day back to work went just fine. It was very sad walking in there and a few tears were shed, but it went fine. I am fortunate to be surrounded by excellent co-workers who helped ease me back into the routine.

The boys are having another sleepover with Grandma and Uncle Andy tonight since there is no school tomorrow. I think it's therapeutic for all four of them - they have a great time together.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008


Thirteen years ago, I walked into my Dad’s business and sat through an interview with him and his business partners. They wanted to see if I had what it took to learn the business. I walked out of the interview with a job and have been working with my Dad ever since.

Tomorrow I go back to work, but without my Dad.