Thursday, October 29, 2009

Debt Free!

Today is a day we'll remember. It took us 12 months and 2 days, but we got there. And yes, you guessed it! We made our last student loan payment today. We're DEBT FREE!!!

We had some trouble submitting our last payment online, which was very weird. So we called in and Lee paid it over the phone. Also we splurged and paid $5 to have the bank transaction happen today, instead of on Monday.

Now it's on to saving, saving, saving. And we'll start the whole get-out-of-debt process again in a few years when we buy a house.

I have been waiting for this day even before Lee got out of optometry school. It's a good feeling.

Image from:

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Halloween Family Home Evening 2009

Tonight for Family Home Evening, we decorated cookies and carved pumpkins. Decorating cookies has been a tradition for a couple of years. We have carved pumpkins every year (I think) but this was the first official big pumpkin carve-out.

Thanks to my dad for planting pumpkins for us this past spring. Because of that we harvested 5 pumpkins from our garden! Plus we got 4 free pumpkins from the community center on base. Lee saved some seeds from a big pumpkin and we plan on planting them next year. I also want to plant some mini-pumpkins. Any ideas of a good variety anyone? Or tips on planting/caring for them?

We had a great time and we hope you'll enjoy the pictures! Happy Halloween!

Oct 26 2009 Haley getting ready too
Oct 26 2009 Cal and Clark frosting
Oct 26 2009 Shanna Mae
Oct 26 2009 Shanna
Oct 26 2009 Shanna and candy
Oct 26 2009 Cal and cookie art
Oct 26 2009 Haley and Ruth again
Oct 26 2009 Cal boy
Oct 26 2009 Shanna hiding
Oct 26 2009 Shanna not hiding
Oct 26 2009 Cal's tomb
Oct 26 2009 Haley and frostingOct 26 2009 Haley and green frosting
Oct 26 2009 Cal and ghost
Oct 26 2009 Clark green tongue
Oct 26 2009 Ruth and Clark
Oct 26 2009 Shanna once more
Oct 26 2009 Lee enjoying the decorating too
Oct 26 2009 Haley shake it
Oct 26 2009 Clark and Ruth
Oct 26 2009 Shanna's stash
Oct 26 2009 Cal with ghost

Oct 26 2009 Clark and little guy
Oct 26 2009 Clark and Cal

Awaiting some knife time
Oct 26 2009 Pumpkins before
Oct 26 2009 Lee Haley Shanna Clark Cal
Oct 26 2009 Lee being the everyday super dad
Oct 26 2009 Cal carving
Oct 26 2009 Haley joining in
Oct 26 2009 Shanna carving
Oct 26 2009 Elden and Haley
Oct 26 2009 Elden doesn't know what to think
Oct 26 2009 Elden

Oct 26 2009 Pumpkins after
Oct 26 2009 Clark's pumpkin
Oct 26 2009 Lee's favorite
Oct 26 2009 Pumpkins alight
Oct 26 2009 Once more
Oct 26 2009 Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Happy Fall Everyone!


This picture of Clark is so cute! I just love his thanks-for-taking-a-picture-of-my-great-creations-because-I-think-they're-wonderful-too expression.
Clark and legos

We have seen a few "walking sticks" around here. Cal loves them. They are his friends, as he tells me.
Cal and walking stick

This is what the kids do while I work out
Oct 19 2009 Elden
Oct 19 2009 Haley, Cal Shanna
Oct 19 2009 Haley Cal Shanna Mae

Amidst the rain, we've had a few great fall days here and there
Oct 19 2009 Clark
Oct 19 2009 Clark at train park
Oct 19 2009 Cal at park
Oct 19 2009 Cal at park again

Last Thursday afternoon, I believe it was, Cal and his friend took a bunch of pictures. It was pretty funny hearing them laugh while taking pictures of each other and of things like the blinds or the stair rail.

Clark didn't have school last Friday due to Parent/Teacher Conferences. I had a little extra time and fixed my girls' hair from how I saw my friend's daughter's hair fixed. Make sense?
Oct 22 2009 Haley Rae
Oct 22 2009 Haley

Clark is doing good in school and his teacher is pleased with how things are going for him. I am glad that he won't be held back in anything. It is amazing to hear Clark reading or spelling words aloud to me.

I received a new calling and was sustained on Sunday.

Friday I did the last week of grocery shopping till the big day! I brought some cash with me so I could pay for part of the transaction with cash and the rest with my debit card. I forgot all about the cash. That night I went to the church to help organize items for the Ward Yard Sale. The ward here (our church congregation) asked people to donate items to the yard sale and all proceeds went to the Good Samaritan here to help with Thanksgiving dinner. I thought that was the neatest idea. They raised around $400. It would be great if it happened again next year. Anyway, back to the forgotten cash. While I helped sort, I saw a few things that I wanted to buy. And I got all of those items with the cash I had! It was great!

I thought you might like to know what my new calling was. (Well, maybe.) I am now the Relief Society Secretary. I have had this calling twice before, and I love it! All the ladies in the presidency are wonderful, so I am already looking forward to my calling.

So two little tidbits I want to throw in, one on laundry and one on kids. For awhile I was trying to do laundry all in one day, once a week. I would get fairly close to getting it all done, or on that extremely rare occasion, get it ALL done. But more often than not, it would take me longer than a day. I am one that doesn't mind if there is a pile of laundry sitting around, so the idea of doing laundry once a week was very appealing. Well thanks to an idea from my friend Britt (thanks Britt!) on how she schedules her laundry, I now do it two days a week and it works out great. On Saturday we bring all of the laundry down and get it sorted. The main goal of Saturday is laundering the linens/towels, etc. I usually do an extra load or so to jump start Monday. Then Monday morning, I do the rest of the laundry. It has worked out really, really well. Sometimes we are up late finishing, but for the most part we it done by bedtime on Mondays.

So the one on kids: my kids like to jump on my couch. Though they have been told and are constantly told and will be told not to jump, it still happens. We have a somewhat springy couch, so I am sure that doesn't help. Truthfully I don't really care if they jump on this couch. It is VERY comfortable, but is lacking in eye comfort. What I do care about is them jumping or climbing on furniture in other homes or businesses. It is challenging reinforcing this rule--especially if I am not there to reinforce it immediately. My sister Deb gave me a great idea: don't let them sit on the couch if they jump on it. I wish I would have thought of that sooner! It is working pretty well too!

For one more little tidbit, the hospital on base somehow wound up with some H1N1 flu nasal spray immunizations. Thanks to Lee and his poking around, he was able to get Clark in today to get the vaccine. We are confident Cal can get one tomorrow too. I will wait till I can get a flu shot in the arm. I am assuming that since it is a nasal spray, that it is a "live" immunization and needs to be used or they'll go bad. The only caution we have with the nasal spray is Elden. Since Clark just got H1N1 shot up his nose, we told him not to touch the baby or be close to him. Clark did a great job with that.

We hope you are all having a great week. And sorry for any typos you may encounter. It is extremely late and I don't want to re-read it at the moment.

I can't believe Halloween is on Saturday! YEAH!

(So it's the next day. Cal did the the H1N1 this morning and I got one too. I figured that the flu that is going around is H1N1 and with little Elden, we need to take all precautions. I also received the nasal spray vaccine, so time will tell if the extra mercury or whatever is in it has bad side affects. Hopefully not!)