Cowgar Family Adventures

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

House Update!

So....we have an offer on our house. As long as inspections go well, we could be homeless by mid-February. We have no idea where we are going! We won't get much money from the sale of this house, so we need to downsize our living expenses, payoff more debt, and save money for a down payment on a new house.

Our solution... right now we are thinking of doing the RV living. We can buy an RV, park it at my dad's place, so we have a place to sleep, with less than half of the expenses we have now.

Now to play the waiting game......

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Local Library Fun!

We had our monthly Lego Club meeting yesterday at the library. This is the second meeting. The library had so many kids show last month that they are now doing two meetings a month and split the age range. Avery participated even though she doesn't turn 5 until Saturday! The theme was winter, and the girls had a blast as usual :)

We also make Christmas ornaments in girl scouts every year. The library decorates their trees with them. Avery, Alexis, and Lillian each made one (even though Avery isn't technically a Daisy yet).

All and all, it was a fun evening in between piano and karate!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

No more babies!

Today is Henna's 3rd birthday! It's bittersweet. I know we are having no more babies, that factory burned down a month after she was born. Sure she is still in diapers, and drinks from a sippy cup, and she has her own Minion language, but we no longer have a baby in the house. For 9 years we've had babies, or been pregnant, breastfeeding, swaddling, sleep deprived parents. Now we are just sleep deprived!

This year started "the change" in our life. That next chapter. We've survived 10 years in this house, now we are moving on to living and enjoying life. Finding a forever house, climbing out of debt, shaping our girls' education, and creating lasting memories.

So happy birthday kiddo. You completed our family, and ultimately pushed us into our next chapter!

Friday, October 24, 2014

4 kids and selling a house...

So yeah... selling a house and having four kids doesn't really mix. Luke compared it to trying to live in a museum! Our realtor just texted to see if we could have a showing tomorrow afternoon, which means we just went into panic mode... The girls daily chores will help with some things, but we will all be glad when this house finally sells :)

I guess I better start cleaning.....

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Testing Out Phone Blogging

With our house going on the market, I really want to focus on bringing my family blog back to life, so here I am trying an update from my phone :)

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Financial Update

We've been really busy catching up on photography editing, cutting tags for craft shows, and overall just plain busy with life. It seems like we never have time for anything else anymore! We've slipped on healthy eating and exercising, but one thing we've tried to stick to from the New Year is our debt payoff. As of today, we have 11.1% of our overall debt paid off (not including the house) Our goal of paying of $15,000 this year is well on track, as we are already $6500 down, and we are still waiting on taxes. **Happy Dance!!**

Hopefully with taxes, we will pay off two credit cards that we will be able to cancel and never have to worry about again. We do have one set back, and that's medical bills. Luke flew to Atlanta for work back in February, and ended up in the emergency room with a real bad stomach bug. He maxed our deductible for the year, and we've managed to pay off all the little hospital bills associated with that and other visits, but the big bill for $1800 just came in the mail today, and it looms over us... hopefully we can set up a payment plan with them.

In other news, we had told ourselves we were going to take it easy with the photography business this year... Instead we've bought new studio lighting equipment, and booked more wedding than we did last year! So much for taking it easy. On top of that, I still work part time, started up a craft business, and I'm still working through first grade with Lexi and Lilly, plus a little Pre-K with Avery. (See why we have no time?)

Nothing new has happened with the house lately. I'm already behind on starting my seeds for a garden this year, but I hope to start that process in the next week or two. We have a few plans for the backyard this year, although it wouldn't surprise me if Luke's Fieros take over all of that time. I think I may need to create a time management board that tracks nice days and what he worked on last, that way we can flip between the house, backyard, business, and cars!

Considering it's almost 1AM now, and I do have to work later today, plus gear up for a craft show that I have to wake up early for on Saturday, I best be hitting the sack! I'm hoping that with the nicer weather, and the craft business becoming more real, that I will update the blog and facebook page a lot more...

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Welcome 2014!

Happy New Year's Day!

Now is the time to make resolutions, but I am not making resolutions, I am making goals for our family this year! So here's the list for 2014...

-We (especially myself) will exercise at least 3 times per week. Pretty sure we will start the couch 2 5k program on Monday. (Right now we are still getting over being sick)

-We will pay off at least $15,000 in credit card and car debt this year. We will pay around $12,000 in minimum payments alone with our current budget, but I hope to come up with a few thousand extra and get some of our smaller cards paid off in full.

-Drink more water!! Kicking the soda pop is tough, and we are struggling terribly with it. Luke and I both got the big water bottles at the The Dollar Tree (BPA free and made in the USA) that hold 74.4 ounces each. I hope we can down one of these a day.

-More family nights. I limited my availability at work, and we both agreed that we won't be advertising the photography business as much. Luke will continue with photography if he gets contacted, and we may still do boudoir marathons and family mini sessions throughout the year, but no bridal shows or senior marketing. We have a few new games we got over the holidays (memory card games, dominoes, Go Fish, Uno, checkers), so I hope that a few times a week, even for just a half hour, we can sit down with the girls and play something (We've done lots of Uno since we got sick)

-Get rid of at least 10 things per week. Our ultimate goal is to have our house finished so we could put it on the market whenever we want, but right now we have too many unfinished projects, and lots of clutter. We will either toss, donate, give-away, or sell these items. (This is one way I hope to fast track our debt snowball)

-Potty train Henna. She just turned 2 in December, and the other girls were trained around 2 1/2 years old, so I'm hoping she doesn't turn into the stubborn one. It will be nice not to have wipes and diapers in the budget.

-Monitor our electricity usage. I know we are using more than we should be. Lots of things are charged, left plugged in, left running, left on. I want to watch the meter a few days and see what is on and plugged in, and also take note of the meter when we leave the house and think we have most things turned off. We've got to be able to lower our monthly bill, even if it's only $10 a month.
-Finish up house projects. December was our kitchen month, but with the holidays, then being sick, we didn't get nearly as far as I had hoped. So our kitchen month is being extended into January and February of this year. After that, we have some unfinished business in the spare room and downstairs bathroom that will be for March and possibly April. We will then reassess what still needs to be done, and plan for the rest of the year.

-Date nights. We haven't really had any of these since we had kids! I want to do the Pinterest project that is floating around with the popsicle sticks in a jar. Have a few different colors depending on if it's something that requires a babysitter and money, or if it's something we can do at the house (if we can ever get Henna out of our bed!)

-Journal. I had Luke pick up a couple notebooks at the store. I originally wanted us to journal back and forth to each other each day, like a little love note, words of encouragement, things like that, but then I stumbled across a few little notebooks that we had on the shelf that him and I started for Lexi and Lilly back in 2008. We only had like 1 or 2 entries in it for them, and hadn't touched it since probably the first week we started it. So now I want to find some way for each of us to journal to the girls, and make it more consistent than every 5 years!! I'm not sure if we should do a journal for each girl, (I think that may be too much), or just have each of us do a family journal, with entries that can be for all of the them to read, and some that may just speak to one of them (like on birthdays). There is so much we both don't remember from our childhoods, so I want the girls to be able to read our journals, and then start journals for themselves when they get better at reading and writing. Even in this digital age, I think a nice handwritten journal would be a great family treasure in the years to come.

-A yearly scrapbook/photobook. I have 4 scrapbooks in my hope chest. One for each girl. Lexi has a few pictures in hers, until she is about 6 months old. Lilly's has pictures from when we were in the hospital with her. Avery and Henna...blank pages. I'm not sure If I will ever get those baby books completed for them, but starting this year, I would like to make a family memory book. Fun trips, silly pictures, everyday life...anything and everything. Each time Luke downloads a card from the camera, I want us to automatically look at all the pictures and sort some into a special folder. Along with this come our daily family picture. Last year we took a family picture every night before bed, except for the nights that the girls were in West Virginia with Nana and Papaw, so I want to continue that for this year as well.

I think these are the main goals, I'm sure I'm forgetting something, but typing it all out makes it look like a bit off more than I can chew! Let's go 2014! As Spongebob would say, "I'm Ready!"