Sunday, June 29, 2008

This Template and Conversation at my Back Door

You are probably well aware that my template is a work-in-progress. I'm not responsible for where the links on the borders of this page may take you, so beware.

Now, to the conversation. Some college kids have college jobs that require them to go to communities to sell educational books and CD. One such student came to my back door last week. The conversation went something like this.

Him: Hi. I'm so-and-so. Do you have a few minutes?

Me: No.

Him: I only have 5 minutes and I get credit for showing this to you.

Me: Whatever. Go ahead. I'm not buying anything, though.

Him: (Explains how wonderful these books are. How could my child possibly be successful without the handiness of these books?)

Me: So...all the information is basically handed to him instead of him having to research for the answer himself?

Him: It will save your child so much time. Think of how much his grades will improve if he can spend less time searching for the answer!

Me: My son is a straight-A student. I'm not worried about his grades improving.

Him: Well, we have a CD version as well. It's only $99.00. (Explains how wonderful the CDs are.) Do you think your kids would like them?

Me: They're fine, but I'm not buying anything.

Him: Is the $99.00 price the problem?

Me: No, I can afford $99.00.

Him: We allow the payment the be broken down into three payments of $33.00, if that helps you out. Many families in this community have taken advantage of that because it allows them to spread the payments out to make it more affordable. What do you think of that?

Me: What do I think of THAT? I think if someone needs to put these on a payment plan in order to afford them, the last thing they need to be buying are your CDs.

Him: Heh. Ok, then. Thanks for your time.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Working and Taxes

Too good not to share.

Thursday, June 26, 2008


What ever happened to the El Camino? I’ve been thinking about how handy those things would be. It’s not so big that you can’t manuever it around, yet it can haul a couch.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Is there a bigger money waster out there than magazine subscriptions? Seriously, what can you find in that magazine that you can’t find online somewhere for absolutely free? Share with us how many magazine subscriptions you have and how much money you spend a year on them. And which magazines they are. If you subscribe to the Nat’l Enq, feel free to comment anonymously. I would if I were you.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


I know it stinks. Don't worry, it's temporary...

There is a new quiz over there but you need to scroll down to see it. Don't leave without submitting your answer.

Peter Griffin, Motley Crue, and Sue

Immediately after shutting down my laptop last night, I realized the problem with this blog. I need humor, and this blog had turned so…well…serious.

I’m still reading financial and personal development books and I’ll share those tidbits with you now and then. I’ll definitely keep you updated on our debt reduction plan and you’ll be the third people to know when we become debt free. But this blog is going back to the REAL me. As in…

We’ll be making fun of luvthebearcats’ height.

We’ll keep wandering over to momof4greatkids to see if she’s ever going to post another entry.

We’ll be pondoring deep thoughts of Peter Griffin.

We’ll be posting pictures. (Here’s a lesson, JG. Never accidentally email pictures of yourself to someone who has a blog.)

I’ll tell you about things I’m TIVO-ing, like when Motley Crue was on Larry King Live the other night. In case you are not aware, Nikki Sixx is the most beautiful person in the music industry.

And stuff like that. So hang around. We’re going to have flippin’ fun time because it’s my blog and I can do whatever I want to do! GOSH! (bonus points for you if you read that last sentence using the right tone of voice…)

Monday, June 23, 2008

It's Different Now

I having trouble with the whole blog thing. Ever since Dad died, this blog has seemed so unimportant. Over the past three months, my priorities have been thrown up into the air and came down to land in a different place. I mean, you should see the exercising I'm doing, the whole grains I'm eating, and most importantly, the family time I'm doing. Life is a bit different. This blog is pretty far down on the list of "important things".

For awhile I was reading only books about death, grief, Heaven, near-death experiences, etc. I think it was necessary for me to do that, but now I'm done focusing on Dad's actual death and am celebrating his life and the values he taught me. I know I'm doing what he would want me to do - be happy and make sure my kids are happy.

I'm currently reading Pivot, by Dr. Alan Zimmerman. It's amazing, and could be life-changing for some readers. The book is all about how to change your attitude so that you can be happy and successful. Just a simple thing like having a positive attitude can totally change your life. If you voice negativity and listen to negativity, your attitude will also be negative. What kind of life do you think you'll have if you fill it up with negative thoughts?

I plan my next book to be back to finances, so hopefully those money-related posts will come back into my head and this blog can get back to normal. For now, it is what it is.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Happy 40th Birthday, Pool Boy!

Dear Pool Boy –

I failed to mention you on my Father’s Day blog post. Thank you for knowing that I needed to dedicate that one to my own Dad this year.

Since June 20 is a big birthday for you, I’ll dedicate this post to you and let you know how much you are appreciated as a father.

I think finding qualities you want for a spouse is just as important as finding qualities you want in a father for your kids. I always knew you would be excellent for both roles.

I love the fact that I’m married to a teacher. This has allowed you to be with the kids every summer since they’ve been born. I know there were rough years in there when you were dealing with a 9-month old baby and a 3-year-old boy. Yikes! That could not have been easy and there are many men who would not have done this. Our boys are so lucky that you took on this job with very little complaining. And now, even though there are days filled with television, no bathing and McDonalds, our boys are still lucky to be with you for the summer.

I appreciate the lessons the boys are learning from you. They have witnessed what a hard worker you are and have hopefully learned what it takes to be successful. Due to your desire to help people, they are seeing how important it is to volunteer your time and how rewarding it can be. You have volunteered for almost every sport they’ve been involved with and NOT because you are a helicoptor parent – you do it because you know how important it is to all the kids involved, not just your own.

You are teaching our boys how important family time is. You never balk at spending time with the boys and will always gladly give up “adult time” to hang out with the two of them.

Our boys are learning how to have fun thanks to you. They know it’s ok to fart and burp even though it makes their Mom mad - they know Dad will still laugh with them. They know “naughty words” and giggle like crazy when they hear them, yet know very well that they are never allowed to say them. They have learned that it’s ok to eat junk food, even right before a meal. They have learned to not be uptight and that it’s ok to sometimes not follow the rules, much to my dismay…

You are loved. You are appreciated. We are very lucky to have you in our family.

Hugs –
Me, Three and Green

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Time to Regroup!

Soooo, we have a problem. The green3 family is currently not "living like no one else so we can live like no one else."

We are eating out, going to Wal-Mart and Lowe's, and buying a lot of stuff we don't need. Our checkbook reflects this, as does our debt balance which has stood still for the past 6 weeks. I hate, HATE, not paying down the debt rapidly.

As I look at our calendar for the next few weeks, the things on there will all cost money. The good thing is, these things are not necessary. Some things may have to be cut because I refuse to spend every penny we make. We just don't live that way anymore (except for the past few weeks!).

Am I cheap? No. Am I determined to get to a point where money is no longer a concern? As fast as possible.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Water, Water Everywhere

Thanks for everyone's concerns about how the floods are affected the green3 troops. We're very lucky, actually. The only way we're affected is that our main road that connects us to civilization (e.g. my work and Wal-Mart) is covered by a river. That's the road below. I don't think the Pacifica could make it no matter how fast I drove.

But other cities in Iowa? WOW. So sad for them. The recent weather has caused several deaths, many homes and businesses being destroyed, and billions of dollars in damage. It's supposed to be a dry week so let's hope we can get some of this dang water out of here. Hopefully the mosquitos follow the water because they are everywhere.

What Happens in May, Stays in May

Or at least I hope so. Very little extra money, like only $150 or so, was sent toward our debt in May. When you throw a $1700 dog surgery in there it tends to put a dent in your budget. We were determined not to pull any money out of our savings account to pay for Buster's surgery so we used our "mattress money" instead. Luckily I had set some additional money aside to buy a new mattress set but hadn't purchased it yet. Mattresses can wait. Torn ACLs, from what the vet tells me, cannot.

Will June treat us any better? We went on vacation, but already had all of that money set aside so that doesn't affect this month's budget. But there's Father's Day. Then there is PB's birthday. And our town's celebration. Eh...keep those expenses low, Green3 family! Your mother/wife will go into convulsions if we skip sending big checks to debt two months in a row!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

The First Father's Day

Dear Dad -
This morning when I woke up, I had nobody to call to wish a Happy Father's Day. As you know, Andy, Luke and I always had a race to see who could call you first. There was no race this morning.
I thought about you all day long, though. I guess I think about you every single day so this day was no different, except for a little bit sadder.
Life without you is hard. It never even occurred to me that I would be in this position - I thought you'd be around forever. But as hard as it is, I'm doing ok. I'm still devastated but I'm not going to let your death take this family down. As strange as it may sound, I'm thinking it will make this family stronger. We will appreciate each other more. We will tell each other "I love you" more. We will enjoy life more because we know how precious each day is.
You would be proud of Green and Three. Green is still scared of the whole situation and doesn't like to talk about you, but I know that's because he loved you so much and is still struggling. He does collect the coins and golf balls you send down to him though. He treasures those and keeps them in his bedroom. Three talks about you a lot. He received his first "B" on his report card due to missing so much school around your funeral. When he got his report card, he shook his fist up to Heaven and yelled, "Darn you Grandpa!". They both keep their own urns in their bedroom. Jade keeps his put away but Three has his right next to his bed. Those boys love you so much.
I know you are watching over us. I know you were with us on our trip to Florida. I know you are sitting with me in my (our) office at work. Stay nearby because we need you to help us continue on this long, strange journey.
I love you and miss you terribly -
Dad on March 21, less than an hour before his death.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

There's Nothing Quite Like Opening A Suitcase Full of Ocean-y Swimsuits

We landed in Des Moines, jumped in the car, and headed straight for Green's baseball game. I'm finally able to sit down and start working on pictures. Here are a few...

Are these three people related?

And of course, the Yaris. Doesn't it resemble Mr. Incredible's vehicle? Our rental car provided MANY laughs throughout the trip!

If Flickr ever cooperates with me, I'll link you to the rest of the pics.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

And Now This

I know I haven't been keeping you updated like I should have been. Tonight was the night I was going to download my camera and bring you up to date. I was going to tell you how awesome it was for all of us to be together and how much fun we were having. I was going to let you know that Luke and Emily were now here and we were all able to spend a few days not thinking about grief, horror, high blood pressure and heart attacks.

But then we got the phone call. Our friend, "MikeSam", died tonight of an apparent heart attack. He's around our age. OUR age. He has two little boys who aren't even in school yet. He has the sweetest wife. Mike was one of the friendliest guys I've ever met.

I can't imagine the horror. I know how hard it was for me to lose my Dad. That doesn't even compare to what L and the boys are facing. I can't imagine. I simply cannot imagine.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Thursday Daytona

We had a full day on Thursday! The four of us went to Daytona Speedway. We went through Daytona USA and Pool Boy did a ride-along around the track at 185 mph!

Here are the boys patiently waiting for PB to get done. If it's too loud, it helps to hide behind the garbage can.

PB suited up and ready to go.

Isn't it required to play mini-golf on all vacations? Seems to be the case for us.

Tomorrow (Sat) we get up at the crack of dawn and head back to Orlando for a day at EPCOT. But the best part is that Luke and Emily will finally be joining us!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Day One...Day Tona

I don't have The Incredibles picture tonight. Sorry. Hopefully tomorrow.

For those of who you know us personally, Pool Boy has a habit of summoning the management when the need arises. Daytona is no different.

Here is a shot of the hole in our hotel room. Please note that this is was in our second hotel room, since the first one didn't have an acceptable odor. The second room smelled better but the air conditioning unit was LOUD. So they tore it out and put in a brand new one.

And then there's this. Pool Boy was in charge of lathering Three up with sunscreen for a full day at the beach. Unfortunately none of the sunscreen made it to his back...

I'll leave you with a good picture of Andy and the boys right before a wild shufflboard game.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

We Made It!

We arrived in Orlando tonight, with Andy following on a different flight shortly afterwards. I already have some humorous stories to share with you. But they HAVE to come with pictures, so it won't be happening tonight.

I leave you with one hint: The Incredibles.

And......we're off!

Losing a family member can rock a family to its core. These past few months have been a struggle, to say the least. Today we are temporarily leaving it all behind and traveling to warm and sunny FLORIDA!

The whole family is going -us, my mom, my brothers, and my brother's girlfriend E. There will be a horrible void in the group, but we are determined to have fun. We will be in Daytona for three days, then Orlando for three days.

I imagine there will be many family members and friends who will be tracking our trip via this blog. I'm taking all of the necessary technology along to provide that to you, but I make no guarantees!