Monthly Archives: November 2012

Losing Everything

Our neighbors/friends/coworkers lost everything last night.  They woke up in a house filled with smoke and flames.  They fought to find their little boy and desperately searched for a way out.  They finally found a small kitchen window to escape.  They’re lucky to be alive.

Their house is gone.  Their cars are destroyed.  They have nothing.  No clothes.  No shoes.  Just each other.  Which is all that matters to them.

When we woke up this morning and found out we were shocked.  We wanted to help.  We went to Walmart to get them a gift card.  Then, they came in the store while we were getting the gift card!  I think that was God’s plan.  We were able to give them the gift card before they checked out.

This made me realize something: this is why we’re working so hard to pay off our house.  This is why we’re working so hard on our finances.  So, when tragedies happen to people we love, we can help.  We’re trying to stop paying the bank money… so we can use it for people around us.  To choose how to make a difference in for our friends, families, and communities.

It just makes me so angry that banks/credit cards/student loans trap people in living paycheck to paycheck.  They are traps.  Huge traps.  They stop people from helping each other.  They stop people from helping themselves.

I’m eternally grateful our friends are alive.  I’m glad their precious little boy is doing okay.  And, I’m glad they’re going to rebuild better than ever.

We’re going to keep trying to build our finances, too. So, that when tragedy strikes, we can help even more.  Because it’s not a matter of if it will happen… but when.

p.s. if you’re around Central Arkansas and have any extra household items or clothes (or a car!) you’d like to give to an amazing young family, please let me know.  Anything helps.

How I Lost at Underwear Ball

Just days after I told you about winning the family 5K… I lost big.  I lost at Underwear Ball.  What is Underwear Ball?  Basically just regular family baseball…with underwear.  My grandpa was worried about someone breaking a window with a normal baseball.  So, we wrapped up a pair of his striped underwear in duct tape.  That’s how underwear ball was born… and eventually died.
Here’s a pic of the ball.  The more we played the more underwear started to peak through.

I was on a team with my brother, his gf, and my cousin Elise.  We played our hearts out.  But, it was clear we were the “under”dogs of Underwear Ball.

We were starting to get beat–bad.  Then, something took over my body.  I got strangely competitive and started screaming at my teammates.  I became the Underwear Ball police.   I even yelled, “suck it!”  when I made a miraculous catch off the roof of my grandparents house.  Then, I started demanding we needed to vote on the rules of the Underwear Ball.  I made everyone stop the game and hold up their hands to show they agreed with me.   When that didn’t work, and we were still losing, I told everyone it was time to leave and go to a movie.

After reminiscing on my insane bad behavior.  I’m ready to admit it now.  I’m an Underwear Ball addict.  I have a problem.

I’m not sure where the Underwear Ball is now.  I think the ball landed in the neighbor’s yard.  Even though I didn’t win it makes me smile to think of a neighbor finding a strange man’s underwear wrapped up in duct tape– in the back yard.

Did you do anything fun (crazy) this Thanksgiving?  Please let me know, it will make me feel better.

Go DIY! Silver Chevron Rocker

Want a fun and easy DIY project… that includes silver and chevron?!?

Rock and Roll!  I’ve got it here!

I picked up this chair at a estate sale about a year ago.  I haven’t done anything with it… until now.  I don’t have a before picture, but just imagine a nasty old rocker.

First, I attacked it with a a can of silver spray paint.  It transformed!  Then, I made the chevron cushion.  Yep.  Those seams are sewn together…using a sewing machine.  I’m officially crafty.  But, you don’t get to see an up close picture.  Because the chevron starts swerving.

Next, I painted some of the scroll work yellow because it was missing something.  But the yellow looked too severe.

So, I added a layer of metallic silver paint over the yellow to tone it down.  Then, I put an F monogram in the middle.

Ta Da! It’s a one-of-a-kind personalized rocker.  Mr. We’ve Had Them Since They Were Tiny summed it
up.  He said, “nice f-in chair!”  I’m taking that as a compliment.

Stay classy thanksgiving-ers.  I got to go rock and roll.  Or, rick and roll?

Crazy Family 5K

Hey O!!! Day 2 of the Arkansas Women Bloggers ThanksBlogging challenge.  Today, I’m supposed to write about a thanksgiving memory.

A couple years ago my uncle decided we would run a family 5K on Thanksgiving.  We aren’t an athletic family, so I’m not sure why this was the plan.  We are way better eaters than runners.  But, because my uncle is the only one who plans activities, we went along with it.  Do you have someone like that in your family?  Without him, we would sit around and stare at each other.

Anyway, because thanksgiving was at my grandparents house, my grandfather designed the course.

That’s where the trouble started.  The instructions were to run down the road, take your first right and follow the orange spray paint arrows.  Yep, my grandfather spray painted the streets of Springfield, Missouri.  Which is probably illegal, and totally awesome.

The problem was that the electric company ALSO spray painted orange markings and arrows on the street.

This wouldn’t be a big deal if my family all walked the 5K together, but I’m too competitive for that.  I don’t care about beating most of my family.  I just want to beat my brother.  Ugh!  So I raced down the street, only to have to turn around and yell at someone to find out where to go next.  This happened for about five streets, until…

My brother and me, were neck and neck, with only one street left.  Luckily, all the running and yelling wore him down.  Plus, we ran into my little cousins and he started playing with them.  I took my chance.  I sprinted for a half-a-mile.  And I won.  That’s right, bro.  I’m the family 5K winner.

Fortunately, the crazy spray paint directions helped me win.  Without them, my brother wouldn’t have been so distracted.

Unfortunately, it took me all day to recover.  Thanksgiving dinner didn’t go down easily.  But I’ll take it.

Winning.  That’s what family holidays are about, right?  Victory!

p.s. this makes me sound like a crazy person.  Sometimes I am.

Bambi is Alive

I’m participating in ThanksBlogging with Arkansas Women Bloggers.  Today’s challenge is: what are you thankful for?

I’m thankful we didn’t kill Bambi.  I go hunting with Mr. We’ve Had Them Since They Were Tiny once a year.  I call it animal watching, but he still calls it hunting.  We saw 13 deer.  Nothing was big enough to kill.  So thankful!

I did  have time to take crazy pictures of myself.  It’s not my best angle.  But, what happens in the deer stand stays in the deer stand!  They should make a shirt that says this.  Maybe that will be my next project…

What are you thankful for?

Paying off Mortgage Progress + Nasty Rick

We’ve got a big goal.  We’re trying to pay off our house.  Here’s how our first month went:

Our goal is to use my salary to pay off our mortgage early.  Fortunately, I got paid three times in October.  Unfortunately, I have a confession.  We spent one of my paychecks on an impulse buy and half of the second paycheck disappeared somewhere.  I’m disclosing this because I don’t want you to think we’re amazing with money.  We’re not.  We just have a crazy goal.

What was the impulse buy? In fifteen minutes, we bought a new mattress without shopping around (we did ask for discounts and got $150 off!).  I don’t regret the quick purchase.   Because we were about to kill each other.  Our mattress was tiny and old.  We weren’t sleeping well. That makes me a terrible employee, grumpy wife, and insane Kelsie.

So, we only managed to put 1.5 of my paychecks towards the house.  We got a 50% this month.  That’s an F.  But a very high F.  Like the best F ever.  Anyway, it’s an F for First month at a new goal. Or an F for Finances.  Or an F for Finally bought a new mattress, now we’re not going to kill each other for a while.

Ready for the numbers?
If my math is correct— that’s a big if— we paid off 1.7 percent of our house this month.  I’ll take it.  That means…we only have… ONE BAZILLION more months to go.

Here’s a drawing illustrate our progress:

Don’t worry, I didn’t pay anyone to make this drawing.  It’s home made if you can’t tell. 

Also.  My brother-in-law said I need to write more about the dogs, or, I have to change the blog title.  So he’s forcing me to tell this story.  I took the dogs out tonight to play fetch in the field across from our house.

It went well.  Until I threw the ball in horse poop.  Can I say poop?  Horse bathroom business?  But horses don’t use the bathroom.  They use the field.  I guess it’s just poop.

Anyway.  Rick started eating the poop.  He wouldn’t stop.  How can that taste good?  Horses only eat hay.

The pile is by his face.  He’s nasty.

So I threw another ball away from the pile.  We played for a couple minutes.

THEN I REALIZED THERE WAS POOP ALL OVER MY HAND BECAUSE RICK’S MOUTH WAS STILL FULL OF POOP. So we were done.  I washed my hands before writing this… so you shouldn’t be infected by any horse germs by reading this.  You’re welcome.

Who Pink and Rick Picked for President

You’ve seen the coverage, checked the polls, and watched the you’re-going-to-die-unless-you-vote-for-me commercials.  But, you don’t have all the information!  We have vital, last minute, breaking news: who Pink and Rick want for President!  We did a very scientific poll.  Very Scientific.

We put a Obama Sign and a Romney Sign on the dog kennels…then released the hounds.
Rick chose:
Rick likes liberal amounts of food.  
But Pink picked:
Pink likes conservative amounts of  training.
Good news:  One of them picked the next president.  I will be able to brag about my crazy, yet psychic dog.
Bad news:  One of them lost.  He will be subject to teasing for the next four years.
I’m proud that my dogs are bipartisan.  It’s more than I can say for most people in congress.  Sorry, Rick told me to say that.

My Little, Bubbly Coupon Victory

Remember when I failed at couponing?  When I spent double… using coupons?
Wellllllll watch out retailers.  I’m clipping, and I’m ready for a bargain.  Check out all this stuff I got at Family Dollar for 11 bucks.  That’s five bags of trick-or-treat candy, deodorant, and soap.
I hope our trick or treaters like snickers…
Unfortunately, we can’t live on chocolate and soap…not for long anyway.  So we hit up Kroger- a local grocery store.  I saved nineteen percent on groceries.  Nineteen percent sounds better than $10.24.  Also, I spent five dollars less than I usually do.  It’s a small victory.  But, I’ll take it.  It’s way better than spending double (and seeing triple…get it? ha!).
This week, I used coupons from the newspaper and
I hit a snag with my printed coupons from  The cashier at Kroger took them, but she said they were against policy.  She said next time I can only use ONE printed coupon per visit.  So, I guess if we go back to Kroger, I’m out of luck?  Is this true?
The best buy of the day?
The soap I got at Family Dollar.  I got it for 38 cents.  That’s a quarter, a dime, and three pennies.  I spend more than that on my daily Diet Coke (just one of the bad habits I need to tackle…someday).

Like a savings Fourth of July
That’s some coupon fireworks right there!!! Did you get any awesome deals this week?