Monday, September 29, 2008

An interview shout out to...

Gabi P....

I would like to select you as my new interview-ee. Comment me if you want to participate...

I'll wait a week and if you haven't checked back in, I'll pick someone else and come back to you later.

(If you can remember your password that is, tee hee)

if not, email me at :) Hope to hear from you soon.

He's laughing at you.

Middle of Nowhere

Who knew the middle of nowhere could be so much fun? Baxter took me on an anniversary trip to Ardmore, OK this weekend in celebration of our 9 years as husband and wife. He wouldn't tell me where we were going so I just had to wait while we drove for 2 hours. Luckily, the debate was on the radio so I had plenty to occupy my mind.

It was a great weekend, and I'd reccomend the lodge to anyone, however, if you're married, I'd suggest asking about a room without the twin beds. Must've slipped Baxter's mind. :)

Here are some visual highlights from our trip.

*p.s. A big thank you goes out to Baxter's sister "Aunt G" for taking the girls on this weekend. You're a very brave woman!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Another trip around the sun.

Baxter and I have been married for 9 crazy years. We've been through 2 apartments and 3 houses, the births of 3 children, and we've grown up together. We've made really stupid decisions together (ask us about our failed business venture!), and we've made really great decisions together (ministry, anyone?).

We were 18 year old kids when we met, and 19 year old kids when we got married. The odds weren't exactly in our favor for us to make it through the long haul. What I love about being married to this man most, is the fact that no matter what we go through, I know that there's someone there beside me who can always see my point of view. He may not always agree with me, but he'll always know what I'm trying to say. I love that we communicate so well. It makes the possibility of me going absolutely crazy a little less likely. He's my safe place to fall, and I'm so lucky to have tricked him into marrying me.

So, thanks for the past 9 years of marriage, and here's to a lifetime of more.

Read this and tell me what you think!

Dave Ramsey is a financial counselor who uses Biblical concepts in his practice. Here are his thoughts on the bailout and what we should do. I trust him. And even though I feel like an idiot because my brain turns to mush when I read this stuff, I'll accept this plan, rather than use more debt to pay off debt.

How We Can Clean Up A Lot of the Economic Problems
Remember Enron, WorldCom, Adelphia, and other companies had artificially put assets on the books? They'd say something was worth $10M when they bought it, but eventually it decreased in value, and they never updated the value in the books. That was part of the fraud. Under current laws at that time, they were all convicted and put in jail for fraud.
Then we got all mad and made all these new laws that are coming out the wazoo called sarbanes oxley. It's a huge, massive law but the idea is that we were going to mandate ethics to corporate America because apparently they didn't have any, according to the Enron failure. It's now a total pain in the butt to execute it in a publicly traded company.
It didn't work because you can't cause ethics to happen. However, it does make each company each day restate what their assets are worth if sold on the market. This accounting procedure is mark to market accounting--you need to remember that. It's a good concept and keeps companies from having loaded balance sheets.
How This Affects Us Today
However, it's part of what's caused this in the news now. Merrill Lynch was sitting with $30 billion tied up in sub-prime loans with houses. Stupid! They get what they deserve for doing that, and I'm with you on that. Those houses didn't become worthless all of a sudden because those people couldn't sell their bonds. Since they couldn't sell them, they basically gave them away for 22 cents on the dollar. Now do you think all those houses lost 80% of their value underneath that deal? No, they didn't, so they gave them away for 22 cents on the dollar (about $6 billion total) because there was no market for them. Nobody wants to buy sub-prime bonds because they suck. They're junk bonds. But at 22 cents on the dollar, it's a bargain because even if you foreclosed on every one of the houses in there, you'd probably get $20 billion back out of $30 billion, and so the company that bought those for $6 billion got a deal! But there's no market for them. That's where these companies are stuck. They can't sell this stuff, but accounting-wise, they've had to mark it down to market and it's frozen the marketplace.
Economist Wesbury is saying that if we change that one rule and don't force them to mark down to market value and just let them hold on to all the stuff, and say just on sub-primes for this period of time you can change that rule -- a temporary change -- that'll free the market up. It's seized right now; it's frozen. This will thaw it out and get it going again. He says that'll solve 60% of the problem ... and I think he's right.
That one accounting rule is what made Merrill Lynch sell out. That one accounting rule is what's driving other ones into the dirt. Would you rather let them change their accounting rule or loan them $700 billion for us to buyout their bad paper?
I'd rather them work their own crap out than change the accounting rule.
I don't like giving them any money or any help with my tax dollars. But I'd rather see that than see the whole thing turn completely upside down in a fruit basket turnover than have a whole meltdown or something and freak out here in the middle of the election season. Why don't we just take the FHA insurance program and extend it across these sub-primes? What that means is that you and I are guaranteeing the lender that they're not going to lose as much or any money on those mortgages. Now I don't like guaranteeing them, but I like it better than buying them. In other words, instead of $700 billion in tax-payer debt going out there to bail out these companies, just extend the insurance out. You could probably do that for less than $40 billion. It's like a 95% savings!
If the government insured those mortgages, they would then be marketable. And could sell them. And the companies would stay afloat. And we, the people, don't have to get into the mortgage business. Now we're going to get in there a little bit because of the insurance on those getting foreclosed on. But foreclosures aren't causing this. This is being caused because these companies are frozen and seized up. We've got to let some of the steam come off and put some oil in there to get this thing moving again. We can do that without going into debt $700 billion.
Here's Your Plan
Call your Congressman. Call your Senator. Tell them to change the mark-to-market accounting law and to extend insurance but extend no loans. If they extend loans - if they borrow the money on the national debt in order for us to all go into the mortgage business a trillion dollars - you're going to fire their butts and send them home.
I've talked with several people today, and it's on the tables in Washington, but it's not something you're going to see on TV. If you'll let your Congressmen know you know about this and that you'll vote against them if they don't vote to change the mark-to-market law and you'll contribute your money to make sure they never serve in office again. That's what you need to tell them early and often.
If you're pissed, this is the time to step up and do something about it, America! You can stop this! It's being railroaded down your throat, but you can stop them if you call them in mass starting now. READY ... SET ... GO

Monday, September 22, 2008

Worth a thousand

A real life fairytale.

Are you friggin' kidding me?

Why is it my responsibility to bail out corporate America? They gave out bad loans, and kept giving them out. The national debt is so much that in order to pay it off, every taxpayer would have to shell out $300,000. What the crap? This is America, not Cuba, not China. Let them fail. Let them reap the consequences. And what are we going to do next? We're going to add yet another government entity to oversee the overseers of the overseen. They've done such a bang up job thus far.

Believe me, this is not a partisan issue. I think yet again, we should go for an installment of Survivor, Washington. Am I the only one that is seeing RED?

They should stop and listen to this guy

Thank You.

I just want to thank you celebrities for showing us how much these awards mean to you. I mean, really, you've worked so hard to get where you are, gosh I can't imagine what it's like to be you. You have to play pretend for what, 8 or 10 hours a day?... You are soooo in touch with what America feels for goodness sakes. How could I not listen to you share your political insights with me? You are, after all, so qualified to tell me how I should vote.

I'm feeling pretty good about things at this point. Keep it up celebrities, keep it up. America needs you.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Facts and fluff...

Here's the interview with my kid sister. Let me know what you think, or if you have any follow up questions for her.

Age : 25 (26 in November)

Status: happily married

Location: Fayetteville, Arkansas

Question 1:

What do you do for a living? I am a commercial real estate appraiser. I will analyze a commercial property (businesses, entire subdivisions, and occasional land) and tell you what it is worth today.

Question 2:

Has the housing market hit bottom, or do you think we're in for more? why? It’s going to get worse, and it will probably be another 5 years before things start to settle down. Judging from the appraisal work we’re doing for the FDIC, it is not over. There was a huge boom for the housing industry (developers and borrowers profited most), but overbuilding and unsafe lending practices led to unsustained marketability (too much in one area) for most of these projects. Hey, that sounded pretty good, didn’t it? J

Question 2:

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? With one or two kiddos, and hopefully in my own house.

Question 3:

What are some great things about where you live? I think Fayetteville is a very eclectic area. You can be almost any kind of person and enjoy living here. There is a yearly motorcycle festival, a hippie music festival, numerous arts and crafts festivals, and its also becoming more popular for mainstream music.

Question 4:

Where do you get most of your news? Online alternative news outlets. I can’t remember the last time I watched FOX, ABC, CBS,CNN, or any of those. Come to think of it, it was probably the last time I was in Texas, because Mom had it tuned in.

Question 5:

Do you think it matters where you get your news? Absolutely. You should always be able to back track to the original source of the info.

Question 6:

What was your favorite thing about growing up the way we did? Building makeshift forts in the woods behind the house, and the quietness.

Question 7:

What about our society would you like to see changed when you have children? Less government intrusion on everything (can you tell I’m Libertarian?)

Question 8:

What is your least favorite movie? “Escape from L.A.” . Roy made me watch it and I laughed at how cheesy it is.

Question 9:

What was the hardest lesson you ever had to learn? Avoiding something will not make it go away. Especially financially-wise.

Question 10:

How do you describe success? Achieving personal goals and then extending them. It’s all relative.

Question 11:

What has been your greatest achievement so far in life? Turning my life around at age 23. I was really in a downward spiral for a while. I’ve gotten out of debt, established a career, and met someone who made me want to be a better person.

Question 12:

Greatest failure? College. I really didn’t try like I should have.

Question 13:

Most embarrassing moment? Okay, I’ll spill. You know this one: Being probably 8 years old, In church, Sunday morning, and passing gas on the wooden pews. I know you enjoyed it.

Question 14:

The obligatory "stranded on a desert island" question.

You could only take 1 thing (not your spouse), what would it be? Beer.

Question 15:

What's the most important thing in life? Family, definitely.

Would you rather/this or that.

Question 16:

If you were to go on a television show, would you rather go on Oprah, or Dr. Phil? Oprah, so I could make fun of all of the screaming ladies.

Question 17:

chocolate or ice cream? Ice cream.

Question 18:

Would you rather be stupid and rich or super smart and dirt poor? Smart and poor. I’ve got the poor part down all ready J.

Question 19:

Major PMS or major acne breakout? Acne. PMS makes me nauseous.

Question 20:

Would you rather win the mega lottery or get offered your dream job? Dream job. I’ve heard so many stories about winning the lottery destroying your life. Plus I would feel better about spending the money.

In addition to her career, Kristen also enjoys hiking, her psychotic cats, and long walks on the beach...
You can view more about my sister and her life on her blog:

It's official.

With a grand total of 4 votes, (really? whatever you losers) it has been decided that the new feature of my blog will be reader interviews.

I'm going to enable my email for this new feature. To dip our toes in (and get her blog some advertisement), I'm going to invite my sister to take part in an interview.

Watch for it, coming soon...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


6 days in and I've only gotten 4 votes? Really? I got more votes on my "what's your favorite holiday drink" poll from January. You know I can tell who's visiting the page, don't you? I see lots of familiar places on my little handy dandy map. College Station, TX, this means you...

Okay then. You still have 20 hours left to vote, but I think I know how this one's going to turn out. When it does, I will make a public request for an interview using my visitor tracker. (It may even be someone I don't know). How exciting..

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I should be cleaning...

Instead of folding the mountain of laundry that sits behind me, I'm at the computer. Instead of filling the dishwasher with the pile of bowls leftover from a night of orange chicken chinese takeout, I'm blogging. What is wrong with me?

I have a few new ideas for the blog that I want to put out there, but this is going to require actual input from my readers (or reader...). I'm either going to start interviewing my readers, or doing book reviews. I won't have time to do both, so I'd like to hear back from you about what you'd like from the blog.
I'm going to put a poll up, and I'd like some votes. I'd also like to see some comments as well about why you'd like what you choose.

Please, people. Don't make me beg.

Now, I'm off to fight back against a family full of slobs.

Clean house Pictures, Images and Photos

Monday, September 8, 2008

It's a beautiful life

I've noticed that there's been a general theme of my blogs lately: Negativity. I should show more appreciation for the beauty of my life and for all that God has blessed unto me. Here's a list of reasons for my thankfulness.

10. I live in a free country that allows me to worship as I like, debate the issues important to my beliefs as I like, and be as prosperous as I like.

9. I've been given the gift of a group of friends who couldn't be more supportive. They cheer me on as I continue to fight all of the years of abusing my body with cakes, cookies, and pies, they listen to me when I whine about not having enough time for myself (when I get more than most stay at home moms), and let me boss them around when they ask for advice. Thanks for putting up with me!

8. Our family has been blessed by a church family that serves others first. As small as our church is, it does so much for missions, the prison ministry, and also within our own church family. We are so happy that God has put us where we are, and we are loving our ministry, and the teens therein.

7. I got my "Bert and Ernie" eyebrows waxed today. I feel like a new woman.

6. Our family no longer works for Visa! Next, you better watch out you hospital account managers (Ella's birth legacy lives on) we're coming for you!

5. It's going to rain tonight and maybe tomorrow. Fall is coming, people, and so is bearable weather in Texas.

4. My children, as much as they fight, and whine, are a joy to be around, and are beautiful.

3. My house has stayed clean for 1 whole day. There is hope for change right there.

2. My husband rocks. I brag on him all the time, but he really does. And he starts a new/old job next week that's going to allow him to spend so much more time with us, and keep me in the style in which I have grown so accustomed...

1. Jesus loves me, and I am saved. I am craving some time with Him. It's something that's been missing for a little while. Prayer and time in the Word. Bring it oneth.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Palin Power

Thank You Governor Sarah Palin! You've given me hope for change. :)
Way to stake out your place with a cutting speech last night.

That is all.

Monday, September 1, 2008

A Glimpse at what happens during carpool line.

Family Day

Family time has been few and far between lately, so we decided to take advantage of the holiday and go to the Fort Worth Zoo. I have to say, it's much better than the Dallas Zoo.

We had a great day, and since we were smart and packed a cooler full of food, we did not spend much of our dinero. Here are some pictures.

Kayleigh does not want to smile, so here's her alternative.

Now she's ready

At the "bebra's"

Snack Time...

Snacks with Dad.

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