Cowgar Family Adventures

Friday, February 25, 2011

Financial Update

So, as far as finances are concerned, we have had a lot of change recently. I started a part-time job back in October, to help bring in a little extra and snowball our credit card debt. I started a spreadsheet in May of 2010 to help track our debt progress (complete debt, as well as broken down into credit card, mortgages, etc...)

Here were the numbers in May of 2010.

Credit Card Debt: $22,489.99
Mortgage Debt (House and Land): $96,204.06
Misc. Debt (Car, Medical, In-laws, etc..): $14,117.30

Total Debt Accumulation: $132,901.35

And now, 9 months later...

Credit Card Debt: $16,064.73
Mortgage Debt (House and Land): $94,190.88 (sad, isn't it?)
Misc. Debt (Car, Medical, In-laws, etc..): $9,873.94

Total Debt Accumulation: $120,149.35

We've paid off almost $13K in 9 months!! WOOHOO!!! Now, we have about $2K in debt for the business that I have not included, but hopefully the photography business will take care of most of it. On top of that, we started sinking funds in January for saving money for different things.
Our Sinking Fund categories are: Car Repair, Medical Expenses, Home Improvement, Luke's Blow Money, Clothing, Holidays/Gifts, and our $1K Emergency Fund.

We have contributed to them as planned so far this year, and we even bought new to us tires for the car in cash. Right now, we are planning a vacation to Florida because Luke's cousin is getting married, and he will be doing the photography. So for now, my paychecks are going straight into a vacation savings so we can pay for the vacation in cash.

We are planning on doing yardsales again this year, and selling some bigger items on craigslist or ebay to hopefully bring in some extra cash for our debt snowball (Dave Ramsey style). I am putting any babysitting money into our Emergency Fund to get it to $1K as quickly as possible as well. (For Dave Ramsey people, we are doing baby step 1 and 2 at the same time). I am also saving up cash to get a few trees cut down this spring, and we are contemplating on how to go about putting up a fence and what the costs would be. We now realize that realistically we will be stuck in this house for a few years yet, and a fence is a must have with the "kind of neighbourhood" that we have :(

We just got our tax refund today, and I paid off a credit card, leaving only 2 left (3 if you count the business expense), so we celebrated by getting chinese food at Asian Wok for lunch. Hopefully, we can continue to be a bit frugal (we've cut cable tv quite awhile ago), and I need to get better at meal planning.

Oh, and a bonus to me working part-time, although I hate to leave the kids. It is close enough to walk to, and since Avery stopped nursing in December, I've lost between 10-15 pounds :) (For everyone that says breastfeeding makes you drop weight, you are all liars to me!!)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Christmas...everything Christmas! Really there is not much to say, pictures will show everything. I think we celebrated 3 or 4 times. We went to Luke's grandpa's house Christmas Eve, had Christmas at our house Christmas Day, plus went to Dad's on Christmas, and up to Aunt Lisa's, and then the Sunday after we celebrated with Luke's side of the family. Not to mention, grandma had left tons of presents for the girls when she and grandpa came up for Avery's birthday, so they had those to open, and we stopped by my Uncle Rob's house, and they had presents there too!!! I'm pretty sure the kids will never need another thing again!

The girls opening presents from Nana and Papaw on Christmas Eve

Apollo, looking through the baby gate

Lillian with her name puzzle

Mimi, Avery's new baby

Avery getting in on the action

The girls waiting on Christmas morning

Lilly has been obsessed with tornadoes since we had one hit in September

Lexi with her new Indy hat and whip

and some new astronauts and space ships

The baby dolls got new strollers for Christmas

Lilly with her new hat and whip

Avery opening her tea set

Next stop on Christmas was Grandpa Perkins house

Avery and I

The girls got trains and colouring books

The Perkins clan at Aunt Lisa's

Boxing Day at the Cowgar's

Lilly is keeping a watch on the presents

Anne and Daleen waiting

He always gets chocolate covered cherries :)

A doctor set from Aunt Angie and Uncle Chuck

Aviation is in the blood!

Lexi and Lilly opening presents from the stockings


Build a Bear, Spa style

More gifts...

Papa Cowgar got the big gift this year! A new toolbox.

A New Addition To The Family

So, after seeing Luke's parents dog get better at barking and piddling when Luke's sister's dogs moved in, we got the bright idea that maybe we should get another dog to help Athena work those same issues out. We figured we would get the same breed (after all, what's the chance of getting 2 dogs from one of the smartest breeds known, and have them both be dumb!?) So we drove about 2 1/2 hours south and bought a ten week old male American Eskimo Dog, and named him Apollo. (Oddly enough, we bought him off of a Mennonite family, and we got Athena from a Mennonite family as well, so they must love this breed) Well, Athena hates him. She loves to growl out him, and she often acts scared of him. He is just a little fluffball of energy, and Athena likes to be lazy. We are working on house-training him, but seriously, I think he is just as dumb as Athena is. He is cute though, and Athena has piddled so much less since we have gotten him, so something is working in her brain.

(Pictures to come...)

Avery's First Birthday

My little baby girl turned one on December 6th :( She ended up sleeping through a good portion of the party, woke up a little grumpy, and didn't care too much for unwrapping presents, but other than that, it was a successful party. She got lots of stuff, and Lexi and Lilly enjoyed helping!

Waiting to blow out the candle

Lexi and Lilly picked out a Thomas cake for Avery

Avery wasn't happy I woke her up

Everyone helping with the gift unwrapping

Avery has a new cell phone!

Nana and Papaw made Avery a quilt :)

Preparing To Catch Up

So, we are heading to West Virginia tomorrow for an extended weekend with Nana and Papaw. The weather is supposed to be decent, so we are hoping to get some walking in, and when we are inside, Luke will be editing on the laptop, doing website updates, and going through pictures to update the blog!!!! In preparation, I will be posting a few times, and then the pictures will come this weekend. Once we are caught up, I will hold him to updating as soon as things happen!