Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The holidays are over and everything is put away, and it is very sad. Clark and I were very sad when the last of our family drove off. Clark got choked up when they drove off and said something about how all of his cousins were gone. It was very sweet.

Our van is getting some new life put into it this new year. Yep, it is in the shop because of transmission problems. In 2005 I believe, we had a re-built transmission put in. Since then we've almost doubled the miles and have driven it a lot, so we weren't surprised when 2nd and eventually 4th gear went out on us. The dealership here would put one in for $3500. What a deal! (You all know I am joking, right?) The transmission place here in town basically wanted to pull a transmission from another vehicle and put it in ours. Uhhhh, that doesn't sound like a great idea either! I don't want some random transmission!

We called a place in Rolla and they rebuild your own transmission. The price was right so we took it in! It worked out well because our friends are out of town and they are letting us borrow their van while ours is out of commission, I mean transmission. This place will guarantee the transmission for one year, which is great! Of course we want it to last longer because realistically, we won't be ready to purchase a different/nicer vehicle for about 3 or 4 more years.

We made some new goals for the year, and we are excited for the challenge! For 2008 one of my sisters suggested the challenge of reading all of the standard works: Old & New Testament, The Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price. If it was a contest, Lee for sure won. Great job Lee!

Roger and I made two pinatas to break New Year's Day, but Lee and I couldn't find the candy for them! The next day I found it and Deb's family was still here, so we broke it. I didn't think much in advance of decorating the pinata, just making one. But hey, it's very organic, right? Clark got a good hit at it and Paul officially broke it open.

Look at Shanna. She has her hand over her mouth...so cute!

This isn't the ideal shot, but here is Cal on Sunday at church for his first-day-of-Primary picture. Well actually, I guess it is a very truthful shot of his feelings going into Primary. He did great though.

Here are some nice pictures that Mike took New Year's day of our beautiful kids.

This is all we could get out of Shanna. She kept starring at us. My pig noises weren't entertaining enough I guess.

Yesterday was an eventful day for us. You'll be proud Dave Ramsey! We canceled ALL of our credit cards! We had only two, and rarely use them so we decided to get them out of our lives. For a long time I have had a "fear" of getting rid of credit cards. I had a false sense of security and just felt like I HAD to have a credit card "in case of an emergency". Recently I decided that once we had an emergency fund of 6 months' worth of expenses, then we would cancel them. I have been thinking about closing the one in my name for awhile though. Since it's in my name and when we go to buy a house someday I figure they will concentrate more on Lee's credit score than mine. I canceled it yesterday afternoon. After Lee was home from work, I talked to him a lot about it and how I am finally convinced that we don't need any credit cards.

While we were getting the kids ready for bed I got the idea to go ahead and close his too. We talked about it and realized that the credit limit on Lee's credit card is the exact same amount of money that we have at our disposal every month. Granted we are using that money for student loans, but if an emergency came up, we could just use our own money and not a credit card. And Lee has a military deferment on the rest of his student loans so we don't have to make any payments till 2011. (Which of course we are paying on them now because we don't have to pay interest!)

We also don't have problems with our debit card. I know some of you do just with normal purchases. Ours basically always works. This summer for the bulk of our cross-country trip we used our debit card. We've never had problems with reserving hotels or purchasing things online. I am constantly checking our online bank statement so I would know very soon if there was a discrepancy. A few days ago I noticed that Firestone charged us the wrong amount for an alignment. Lee went and talked to the guy and he said we got lucky. Lee pressed the point further because we owed them $50 more dollars, but the guy wouldn't take the money. OH well!

And if any of you are worried for us about our credit score, don't be. We actually don't care about our credit score. I won't be surprised if it goes down a little because we canceled both of our cards, but a credit score is for people who want to borrow money. They only time we plan on borrowing money is when we buy a house. And even at that time we are planning on having a traditional down payment. Plus with Lee's good job, it should be easy to get a great loan.

Something else that helped me decide to cancel the cards is that we have a great bank. Lee's "identity" was stolen a few years ago and somebody opened up a Walmart credit card and a Banana Republic credit card under his name. It was a mess, but we got it straightened out. We have never had an incorrect purchase show up on our personal credit cards as far as I can remember, but we did have to deal with those individual credit card companies to get Lee's fake debts cleared. On my mission I actually had a purchase show up on my debit card for some music store in LA. I never made that purchase, let alone went to any music store, and my bank was very easy to work with in removing the purchase.

If you made it this far, congrats! Happy New Year!


britt said...

That's so awesome! Good job! we'll be right behind you someday soon! :)

Nostrebor said...

I had to laugh out loud when I saw the picture of Shanna covering her mouth just as the pinata boke open.

Call Family said...

Your children are beautiful! I love the pics. Isn't the first day of primary the best.

Mike said...

Since you are such die-hard Ramsey fans, so you use cash only for most of your purchases?

Lee-Ruth-Clark-Cal-Shanna-Haley-Elden said...
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MissouriMormonMama said...

Nice Pictures! And kudos on the credit cards! John and I still have one- we like to have it for random things- I know, I know totally against Ramsey, I'm just not QUITE as gung ho as I used to be, and it is an admitted security blanket until we have that EF, since John is getting out of the military so soon ( : I think it's great though. Hope you have the car back soon!

Gloriela and Nacho said...

I love the pictures of your kids, Shanna always gets my attention, I think your kids look more like you than Lee, am I right?