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So Much Too Blog About, So Little Desire

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Blogging has been a bit low on my priority list lately, as you may have noticed. It might have something to do with the sunshine that has been pouring down. Or maybe it's the renovations we are trying to complete in a hurry so we can list our house for sale.

Yes, we're listing our house. But before I tell you why, I need to backtrack a little bit:

On our camping trip, two things happened:

1. We had a lot of fun.
2. We decided to "go to the mattresses" on our finances.

We spent a day at Jason's parents house, so got to catch up a bit with the family, which was nice. Then we headed down to Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park. It was a perfect weekend for it--lots of sun. We got to test the water-fastness of our new tent when we woke up Sunday morning to a steady downpour. (Of course, inside the tent, it sounded like a hurricane was passing over--so much fun!) We paid an exorbitant rate for an armload of wood so that our kids could have the "full camping experience" - roasting hot dogs and marshmallows over an open fire. Thank goodness we bought a little propane cookstove for the rest of our cooking--it definitely paid for itself, with wood at that price!

There is a great big sandy beach at the campsite, with a slow, winding, shallow river that we all enjoyed ourselves at for the better part of the afternoon--the water was refreshing in the stifling heat. Jason and I, still toting around our winter-white skin that had barely seen the sun, got pretty impressive burns out of the deal, but after some mild peeling, they have already faded to tans. (Thank goodness I brought an aloe vera leaf!)

My two favourite features were the hoodoos (which you saw Noah walking through in the previous post) and the museum, which told us about how this was a sacred spot to the Blackfoot tribe, thus the "writing-on-stone" part of the park's name. Unfortunately, other than some illegal graffiti, we didn't see any native artwork, as our children were not old enough to go on the 3-kilometre interpretive hike. I would probably have wandered along the trails a little more myself if we would have had more than just a day to spend there. As it was, we just spent some time climbing around in the hoodoos situated in the 500 metres between the campsite and museum.

The week or so before we had left on this trip, Jason had read a book called The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey, and asked me to read it, too, which I did while we were driving. (More specifically, during the sections of road while Jason was driving. I know some of you were worried for a second, there. Although he read to me while I was driving, too.)

This book is amazing! What's so amazing about it is not that there are any earth-shattering new principles in it. Dave Ramsey will tell you himself that the stuff in there is all stuff your grandma knows. It's just amazing because he gives you the step-by-step process for an average person, regardless of income, to get out of debt, save for retirement, make smart financial decisions, and have financial security.

We have made significant financial headway over our eight years of marriage, but in a lot of ways, we now realize that we have pussy-footed around. After reading this book, we have figured out that we already have it in our power to be debt-free with a paid-for residence by the end of the summer--thus catapulting us through Dave's first three "Baby Steps."

So, we have been painting and tiling and cleaning like mad to get our house on the market, hopefully by next week. This isn't the most ideal time to list our house (two months ago would have been better, as far as the market is concerned), but it is a lot better than it will be two months down the road. Our plan is that with the money we will make from our house that we will pay off all of our existing debt, have a fully-funded emergency fund, and build a small cottage on our property in the country (read: a garage with a bathroom) that we can live in for a few years until we have saved up the money to build our actual house. It's going to be interesting, but frankly, I am SO. EXCITED. to finally be getting a handle on our finances, and to not be "house-poor" because we are living in a money-sucking black hole, and to saving up money to be able to travel, and to knowing that we are looking after our kids' college educations, and that we will not be part of the 98% that retire in poverty--if they get to retire at all!

Did I mention that this book is amazing? Get it. Seriously.

Here are some photos from our trip:

This hoodoo was seriously high. Noah wanted to stand on it like Jude had done, but we wouldn't let him!

Of course, Jabin had to prove that he could climb up there just like his brothers! Shocked the heck out of me!

Jabin is sitting on a ledge. I'm actually a lot higher than it looks, honest!

HOODOO!... HOODOO!...Hoodoo!...hoodoo...hoodoo

Everyone gets to help clean up!

Happy Birthday, Canada!

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  1. Talena - The Hubs and I are BIG Dave Ramsey fans ("better than I deserve!") and have both read the book you mentioned, along with his other book: Financial Peace, plus I've listened to this CD series while driving back and forth to work. Makes sense.
    Now that both of us (hubby & I) are on board with our financial goals, things are much smoother in our marriage and we're making great strides!

    Oh, P.S. great vacation photos!

  2. Hi, Denise! Nice to see you! I'm very excited about this--wish we would have known about it years earlier, but now is better than later, too! :-)

    Thanks for stopping by!

  3. FUN FUN FUN FUN FUN! and we'll definately be looking up your recommended must read right now book...hugs!


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