"" Life A Bit Sweeter: January 2011

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Baby Steps: Financially Preparing for Selah

So....while I'm waiting to be matched with our daughter, we've got plenty to do here on the home front to make for an easier transition.   I'm looking forward to sharing some of it as the months progress.  One area that is important is in our finances.   Before signing up for the class, one of our objectives was to start budgeting by early Spring as if little miss muffet is already here.  That includes childcare (for the few days I won't be able to be with her), diapers, clothing, food, etc.

To help activate this goal, I recently enrolled in Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University and LOVE IT!  I'm taking the online class so that I don't have to be away from home...it's basketball season in our house and the kids' schedules are bananas!  I'm looking forward to taking Dave's Baby Steps towards Financial Peace.  If you haven't checked out the class before, take a look at the clip below:

Click Here to go to the video!

....and here are the baby steps....ya can't skip around....gotta go through the process honey! 

  • Step 1: $1,000 in an emergency fund.
  • Step 2: Pay off all debt except the house utilizing the debt snowball.
  • Step 3: Three to six months of savings in a fully funded emergency fund.
  • Step 4: Invest 15% of your household income into Roth IRAs and pre-tax retirement plans.
  • Step 5: College Funding
  • Step 6: Pay off your home early.
  • Step 7: Build wealth and give.
Yep.....taking 'baby steps' sounds right in line with my life!

Monday, January 17, 2011

It has been delivered!!!!

Our dossier has been delivered and I feel like the lady in this commercial....

Woooo!!!!!!  LOL.  That cracks me up.  So now the wait is OFFICIALLY on!  In the coming days and weeks, I'll share some of my favorite baby things, wish list stuff, nursery decorating dreams, and what's happening in the McKinney family as we prepare for one more family member.  Start the car! Start the car!....'cuz this ride is gonna be sweet!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Traveling Around the World

So....what have I been up to?  Well, now that the furnace has been replaced (woohoo!), I have been traveling around the world...well sorta.  My heart is in a FedEx box that is headed to Ethiopia.  Inside that wonderful box is a heap of our paperwork to be submitted as we wait for our referral.  (I'm guessing that our wait will be about 8-10 months before we're matched with a little girl.)

So, check out where "we" have been:

So cool! I think I'll have to celebrate when we finally land in Addis Ababa!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Waking up to Carbon Monoxide

This past Wednesday morning, I woke to a robotic voice saying "Carbon Monoxide has been detected.  Carbon Monoxide has been detected."  I have never heard this before but clearly knew where it was coming from....the hallway that connects all of our bedrooms.  I frantically woke up Tony, dialed 911, and hurried the kids to quickly get up and throw on some clothes.  As we hurried from the house, Tony kept insisting that surely it must be that the batteries needed to be changed.  I kept insisting that that couldn't be right.  We shuttled the kids into the truck and drove away from the house until the fire department arrived.

Two trucks pulled up our street about 10 minutes or so later.  They went into the house...Tony followed thinking surely they'd say everything was fine and that we could go back in.  To our dismay, they went back to the trucks but not to go back to the firehouse....instead, they pulled out a few large fans, opened the front doors and windows of our house so that they could suck the carbon monoxide poisoning out of our home.

Even to this day, I sit in awe in tears that God spared our lives.  He must still have more for our family to do.  Here's the ridiculous part...I almost didn't buy carbon monoxide detectors for our home.  I balked at the prices and then finally told myself to stop complaining that my family was worth the 30 bucks for the detectors.....I mean, hey, we drop $30+ dollars at a restaurant.  This was clearly one of the best investments of my lifetime.  You see...in order for this particular detector to go off, the deadly gas had to pass through several levels and vents of our home....so to me, that said that the gas level was intense.  The firefighters agreed.  The furnace was immediately shutdown and we've been in a cold house every since that morning....bundled up with space heaters.  Even still, I don't complain because even this cold house has sensitized me to those who are homeless and bear this cold weather every day/night.  So much so, Tony and I have talked about starting to collect blankets to give out.

You know, I do believe that the enemy had a plan to knock my family out of here in one big swoop but so glad that God has our back and I cling to one piece of Isaiah 54:17 that says "no weapon formed against you shall prosper".

I'm so glad to be still sitting at my desk to type and share this story with you.  Afterall, instead of reading this blog post, you could be reading the following news article...."Family of Four Dies While Sleeping Because they Didn't Have Carbon Monoxide Detectors".  Please don't let that be your family's fate.  Go out TODAY and get one or two for your home and if you already have one please go and test it right now.

Love y'all!  (BTW:  A new furnace is scheduled to be installed tomorrow and man when it does, I'll have a whole new appreciation for the privilege of central heating.)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A Year of Jubilee

If you've followed this blog for a little bit, you may know that I love a good adoption-related video.  I follow a really cool woman named Elora on Twitter.  Her and her hubby recently made the decision to adopt but Elora will tell you in her personal blog:
"i wish i could tell you i jumped feet first into this whole adoption thing. i wish i could tell you as soon as i recognized the whispers of my heart i nodded my head, pushed back my shoulders, and jumped.  but i didn’t." 
I love her transparency.  So of course transparency like this always intrigues me so I went over to the blog to find out more about this cute couple.  Finding this video just totally melted my heart.  Check it out...

Year of Jubilee from Elora Ramirez on Vimeo.

Love it!  To learn more about Elora & Russell's adoption story, visit them here:  http://www.ayearofjubilee.com/

Monday, January 3, 2011

Finishing Strong in 2010!

For the month of December, as a gift to our little girl, friends and family members sponsored ornaments on a Christmas tree that we placed in her bedroom.  We are thrilled to share that for that month, over 2,344 ornaments were sponsored on Ms. Selah's tree....(each ornament representing a donation of $5).  What fun!

As we enter the new year, we're excited about what 2011 holds....primarily the opportunity to bring little miss home to her family.  Thanks so much for your love in 2010 and following along in our journey.  We're so glad that each of you play a part in your own special way.

God Bless!

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