Friday, February 20, 2009


I didn't want to go to Weight Watchers this morning. Really really didn't want to go. I knew I'd gained, and I was right: 3.4 pounds. Why is it so much easier to pack it on than to take it off?? I'm still down overall by about 13 pounds but dang, I could be nearing 30 by now if I'd get on the ball and quit this back & forth stuff. I just told Alif about it and he said, "That's ok, we've been eating vigorously this week." Ha!

About a month ago, maybe 5 weeks, I brought my Bible downstairs during quiet time with the intention of doing a Bible study while the kids napped. I didn't, and also I never took it back upstairs where I read before falling asleep at night. I have noticed that I'm really missing my nightly Bible reading, and I also think it's having a big impact on my daily living. God tells us in that His Word is living, that it's good for all sorts of things, and clearly one of them is keeping me on the right track.

In other divulging-too-much-info news, Alif & I are facing some real parenting dilemmas. We are glad to be on the Dave Ramsey plan, to be turning our financial life into a successful one. Note that I say we're glad about it and not that we find it easy. There are things we have totally taken for granted over the years that we are now having to really think about. Two of those things are the kids' sports and camps.

There are four sports/activities coming up: baseball, indoor soccer, swimming lessons and outdoor soccer. How much would it cost to enroll all three big kids in all of these activities? Let me bust out the calculator and do a little guesstimate . . . ok, around $1750. Camp will cost around $900, not including fundraisers but including things like spending money and supplies. This is a lot of money!

Tonight we're going to have a little pow-wow with the family, get their input, get God's input, and then hammer out what we think we should actually try to fit into our budget and what will just have to wait. I can see how we have gotten into debt to begin with - all these things feel so important that they don't seem optional. Well, they're just going to have to be, or we're going to have to figure out a way that we can pay our bills and still afford all the extras - in cash. Wish us luck!!


  1. The biggest thing we have had to give up is family vacations... no more camping, no more Disneyland (except this year since we already had passes!), no more shopping trips out of town. It is so hard, but at the same time we keep thinking "Think of all the freedom we will have to travel a few years from now!"

    Of course it is also easy to be optomistic when we've only been at this 2 months... ask me again this summer when everyone else is out having fun and I'm stuck at home watching a Barney video for the upteenth-hundred time. :)

  2. Anonymous4:47 PM

    Oh that is so us. Everything seems so important and like a "need" even though it maybe really isn't.

  3. That's a tough one when the kids have gotten used to something and you feel like you have to discontinue it.

    Are they doing more than one sport at a time? Do they each have one favorite? If you cut back to just one thing per kid at a time, would that help?

    F is still doing kung fu, because he loves it and has been very committed. He's in the advanced kids class now. G waited for months and months to take swimming again. So he's doing that now, and when the 8-week session is done he can do rock climbing. One activity, one month at a time.

    But of course, F wants to do swimming and rock climbing, too, and didn't want to give up kung fu. We can swing it right now, but if we couldn't, he'd have to choose, at least temporarily.

  4. oh i feel you on this sister! man it is like every kid activity cost more and more every year. and the cost of camp not is so high, i think it is like $400 for our church not sure if we will send Liz this year. we have got to cut back on some things, but then that mom guilt is SO strong right? i mean i dont ever want my kids to feel they are missing out kwim? but seriously at what cost to our pocketbook do we say ok lets make some decisions. the funny thing is when i give the kids options they dont seem to mind it is me who feels bad. sorry totally rambling!!!

  5. Amanda - the activities are only one at a time. We haven't had our meeting yet, but we're going to sit down as a family and figure it all out. We just automatically sign the kids up for these activities, and they enjoy them but they're definitely not passionate about each one. For example, yesterday I asked Caris if she'd like to play baseball again, and she said NO. I know she would enjoy it if we signed her up but we might decide not to to protect our budget.

    Raquel - YES, it is probably much more our Mommy guilt than how the kids actually feel about it. LOL Besides, doing this temporarily so that we can be debt-free is a lot more important than continuing on the way we have been and getting further and further in debt.

  6. Emily, we are just starting to talk about what is really a necessity and what is a want...I splurged on a camera this month...but that is going to be my last splurge for a while....we really need to buckle down and figure out how to start getting out of debt, not more in debt.

  7. It's hard to make those decisions. Even when they aren't even in school yet. I know from the day Lion was born I was expected to be enrolling him in this music class or this gynastics class. So far we have gone to our church playgroup, swimming lessons for a while (very improtant in the tropics) and a sports program that a friend was running. At the moment we can't afford any more than his kindy fees so that is all he does. Next year Dragon will do swimming lessons for a while and that will probably be it. I have been told that my child wont be ready for school and he will be behind the other kids in development but I'm not seeing it. He can keep up with the best of them.

  8. This is the first time we have signed up the youngest 2 for baseball/softball...
    What was I thinking? Nathan really wanted to play and Rebekah wants to do everything. The softball cost twice as much as baseball and then the hand is out for even more (banner, opening day, raffle basket, coachs gift! eeek)
    Karate/martial arts is one thing we have never done...too costly every month...
    Right now I have all 3 in gymnastics...they give a good discount and when do you get all 3 at the same time? and Scouts which is cheap ($10a year)...
    We dont do soccer at all
    We have really been trying to cut back in other mostly (have you seen the amazon subscribe and save feature?)and utilities. Cutting coupons alot more...Skipping alot of field trip opportunities too...
    We keep our family entertainment to our disney passes mostly.
    As for camps, Rebekahs is free...Christine hasnt answered me on hers yet (which is actually pretty reasonable..all things considered)
    I currently need to find some extra funds for swimming lessons...Rebekah is barely competent and nathan not at all...our city has very reasonable lessons but they book online with in the first 5-10mins they are available...

  9. My husband and I just started reading Money Makeover too. I'm so excited about it. Congratulations on your 13 lb weight loss! That is so awesome! I have 2 more weeks of being pregnant then it's time to get back in shape!

  10. Oh wow. We have done the same thing! No more club soccer for the older 2, D can still do it b/c he doesn't have school like they do. then B will still have dance (same reason). T is 16 so he can get a job and pay for it himself--abotu 30-50 a month. A is burnt out and ready for a break, so that wasn't bad for her. On the camps, we are choosing to go camping as a family instead. for our 4 to go would be 1700. we are letting D go to scholarship b/c it was earned and is special, but he is fundraising our portion as well. Let me know if you have other ideas and how the family meeting goes!