Thursday, December 22, 2011

I'm a Producer!

I have never quite mastered the art of financial management. My successes and failures have ebbed like the tides of the sea over the years. My greatest efforts always leave me a little better, but never quite a master…or anywhere close to it.
I have goals of wealth like anyone, with hopes and dreams of being free of debt and long-term financial stability. I want to travel the world, do good for others and my family, and enjoy the freedom and peace that come from managing talents and resources well.
When I have found that something isn’t working, the blame is not to be tossed onto another, rather the fault lies directly within me. This is not an easy thing to recognize, nor admit once the recognition has been made. It is even harder when another takes the time to lovingly point out your all-consuming flaw. It hurts and the pain even worsens as you try to cut it out.
This last weekend I had an incredible revelation: I am a ravenous consumer. OUCH. It hurts to just type that. I realized that most of what I think about is what I want to buy for this room or that space in my yard or what shoes I need to complete this outfit. I get sucked in by ads and catalogs that show me the things my children and I  “need” to look absolutely gorgeous this Fall (insert current season here). I have realized that I am sucker! The sad news: it only hurts me and my family…it hurts my dreams and goals for the future.
I have decided that rather than being that crazy consumer, I am going to switch gears and become a PRODUCER! Not only am I going to produce income with my jobs, but I am going to produce success in our home by doing the following:
  • Go through things that we do not need and sell them on or eBay. I have already had great success in doing so the last couple of days! You can actually “trade-in” DVDs for $ on Amazon and the bidding wars on eBay over your used items is a blast!
  • Create and follow a weekly menu, allowing myself room for switching it up a bit. Shopping for and buying only the items on my list will eliminate a great deal of impulse purchases.
  • Return and report each day to my best friend: my husband. Because he is patient and kind, it is easy to be honest with him. I can share my PRODUCER successes with him from the day and plan our expenses for the upcoming day and events.
  • Revamp a monthly budget. My husband and I have looked at our needs and created a budget that is well below what we earn. We have room for some fun as well, which is critical. Having fun as a family and getting out is crucial for happiness in the home. Life is truly meant to be enjoyed…within our means.
  • Set up untouchable savings accounts. I have set up one account for Christmas that I can contribute to anytime, but the funds are only available to me come November. We have set up a similar account for a Spring family vacation each year. These are exceptionally helpful to our family because the two most expensive occasions of the year will not have to come out of our monthly budget.
  • Only use a credit card if funds are available to cover the charge. All purchases are to be made within our budget and recorded as such. If we do not have the cash in the bank to cover a purchase, we pass, wait, or plan to save for it.
Of course, the most difficult of all of this is changing my mindset. It has been hard to see myself as I really have been. Buying online is incredibly fun and having those packages arrive is like a gift at the door…but truly, it is a curse if one cannot afford it. I will not rob myself or my family of our dreams and goals anymore and I am on the prayerful road to correction. It is difficult to put off what we want right now in hopes of something better in the future, especially when the future is uncertain. However, the future will always be uncertain if no preparation is made to make it bright and stable.
In all honesty, I have found great relief since my discovery. Things are not perfect right now, but I feel God’s pleasing eye upon me as I have tried to humble myself to see my faults and desire change. I can see and feel the literal blessings upon our family already. Our relationships will improve, peace will abound here, and our future is brighter and stable. Consistency at being a PRODUCER will bring success. I just know it!

August 29th, 2011

I Shared My Lunch with Mr. Yellow Jacket

Today has been a good day. Although I have some kind of nasty cold, my house is quiet, smells good, is clean, and is on its merry way to being ready for cooler weather. I feel a sense of accomplishment as I have put away Spring clothing for the family and hung up or folded the Fall and Winter attire. It just feels good.
I decided to make myself a lovely omelet for lunch. I sauteed some fresh red onions, poured the beaten eggs atop, added some fresh DonSalsa, ham, and cheese. Once it was finished, I gracefully garnished it with fresh basil sprigs from my generous friends. I’m glad I made it so terribly lovely for I was about to welcome an unexpected guest.
I took my picture perfect omelet out to my patio to enjoy in the fresh Fall breeze. The birds were singing closely, my flowers bursting their last hoorahs before the first frost, and the world was at peace.
Suddenly, I heard a faint buzzing. That faint buzzing quickly became close and Mr. Yellow Jacket appeared. Oh, he was a fine yellow jacket indeed, all yellow and black with strong shiny wings. I just watched him buzz around me. Most normal, sane people would shew the bugger away…”but why?”, I thought to myself. So, I decided to just see what he would do.
He obviously was drawn to me by the heavenly aroma of fresh divine omelet. I really couldn’t blame him; it smelled good enough to eat! So…down he buzzed to the side of my plate. I just stopped, mesmerized by the calm of the day, and waited. He was ever-so-polite and never put his tiny little feet on my food. Oh no, he was a gentleman indeed.
He walked right up to a little piece of ham that had slipped away from my gourmet delight and began to nibble away at it. It was incredible! His impressive jaws cut like a knife as he took his bite with great determination. One chunk was all he needed. He seemed to give me a little nod of gratitude as he turned and flew off with his prize.
I wondered if he would run and tell the others of the silly lady with the delicious omelet. Like I said, he was a gentleman and must have understood that additional guests were not invited. I sat in peace for the remainder of my meal. What a curious meal indeed.
I am glad that I made a friend today and that I wasn’t too busy shewing him away. In some teensy tiny corner of the world today, I made a difference.

September 30th, 2011

Monday, September 26, 2011

Choffy Featured on Dr. Oz Show!

The Dr. Oz show just released the Top Ten list of health and fitness and Choffy was on the list of the FAT BLOCKER of choice! Yes, we are pretty excited! Choffy truly is good for you as it doesn't contain fat, sugar, caffeine, or high calories (only 20 actually!) and just as Dr. Oz explains, it keeps you regular!

To learn more, please visit the CHOFFY WEBSITE!

Friday, September 9, 2011

My good friend let me borrow her sweet camera this morning, so I had a little fun with it. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

First Day of School 2011

Ah, the First Day of School...that just needs to be capitalized! I get just as excited as my kids as I remember how fun this time is! Owen and Avery were sweet to pose for Mom out in the back before we drove to school this morning. Owen is in 4th grade and Avery is in 1st this year.

Zack is a big 7th grader this year and just made the football team. He is very excited and has a great deal of energy to burn out on that field!

Avery's best friends and neighbors came over for a quick visit before school started. What a fun time!

No crying for me this year; I am enjoying each moment! :)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Avery is SeVeN!

Our amazingly talented neighbor made Avery's cake and she enjoyed having her friends over for a little party. What a fun day! I can't believe our baby is seven!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Owen's Teeth are Free At Last!

Well, not financially speaking...

...but braces are off at last!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Multnomah Falls, OR

We had the best time at Multnomah Falls in Oregon yesterday! We hiked up to the top of the falls and enjoyed one of our best family times together. Our kids were seriously awesome troopers and loved the view, the waterfall, the birds, bugs, and even a huge lizard we found. Times like these will last for a lifetime. Jay and I have decided that we will be taking detours like this WAY more often!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Jay's Birthday Song

Our awesome and talented nephew, Ethan, wrote and played this birthday song for Jeremy last night. Look out Justin Bieber...there's a new kid in town!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Happy Birthday Week!

Jeremy is always teasing me how I make such a big deal of birthdays...especially my own apparently! He loves to ask if he should take the month of my birthday off or if just the week will do.

So, this year for Jeremy's 36th birthday, we are celebrating A-L-L-L-L week starting today!

Thanks to our family in Vancouver for making him feel so special. I just can't express how much I LOVE this picture!

Happy Birthday Week, Jay! ;)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

I am Thankful for Easter and My Savior

Oh sweet, the joy this sentence gives, I know that My Redeemer Lives!

Hoppy Easter!

Yesterday after a full day of yard work, we relaxed with the kids and our neighbor boy coloring eggs for Easter. It was a perfect day out, so why not do it outside where the bunnies lay their eggs anyway, right?!

Even on Easter, our BYU support comes out!

Avery and her rainbow of colorful eggs...

...but the most impressive was her "Hello Kitty" egg that she drew all by herself! Those eggs are hard enough to draw on as it is, so this was just extra awesome.

Owen and his egghead...silly boy sure knows how to make me laugh!

And this is Zack...I'm at a loss for words.

Here's a little finished product preview of Project Yard Makeover. It is turning out to be all we hoped, but it sure is a lot of work! Totally worth every sore muscle though. :)

Happy Easter!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Owen is 9 Years Old!

Owen is quite possibly the biggest Jimmer/BYU basketball fan of all time! His whole 9th birthday has been centered around this theme and what better time than during March Madness! Sure hasn't hurt that BYU has made it to the Sweet 16 either!

We love our Owen and can't believe how tall and handsome he is getting! His sweet smile and kind heart warms our family and makes the Ogden household loads of fun. We are so thankful for Owen and that he came straight from heaven 9 years ago today.