Sunday, March 30, 2008

Happy Birthday!

The Princess turns 8 years old today.

We are very proud of her and love her very much.

Happy Birthday, kiddo!

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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Happy Anniversary!

The King and I have been married for ten years today.

Happy Anniversary to us!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Daylight Savings Time

As a general rule, I don't have a problem with Daylight Savings Time. I'm not a big fan of the "Spring Forward" but all in all, it's not really that big of a deal.

In the Deseret News, a man wrote a letter to the editor complaining about Daylight Savings Time. He mentioned all of the problems that we were going to have because of it. You can read it here.

I laughed when I read it because I thought it was so out there. Getting sick because of Daylight Savings Time? Ridiculous!

My throat hurts. The Princess has a cough. The Dragon has a runny nose (OK - she had that one days BEFORE Daylight Savings Time).

He's not right, is he? Tell me it's just coincidence!

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Insurance Issues

When The King and I first got married, we were rather naive about Car Insurance. I think that we simply made arrangements to add myself to his existing plan, and didn't worry about anything else. I guess it was the simplest option at the time because we only had one car, and it was a stick shift that I didn't know how to drive anyway.

A few months later, we bought another car (one that I could drive!) and added it to the insurance policy, but didn't bother to check and see if we were getting the best rates or service. We just went with what we had.

A couple of years later, on a whim, I visited a website that gave Car Insurance quotes. They told me that we could be saving something like $300 a year on car insurance! "CRAZY!" I thought. There is just NO WAY. Boy, was I wrong. It was true, and we made the switch to a new insurance company.

We loved our new company. Their rates were great, the service was wonderful! We were oh so happy.

And then we moved to Utah. Well, we figured that since our company was so fantastic in Virginia, we would stay with them in Utah. This was a huge mistake. We ended up paying about $250 more per year by staying with the company that we truly loved!

So we switched AGAIN. This time, we were only paying about $60 more than what we were paying with Virginia. We are well taken care of - the customer service is excellent, our coverage is excellent, our premiums are excellent. We are very happy!

When was the last time you checked to see if you were getting the best deal for your Car Insurance? There are many online websites that will provide this information for you - saving you a lot of time by having to call various companies yourself. Give it a shot, you might be able to save yourself a few bucks!

automobile insurance.

Car Insurance

Teacher Of The Day

I promised that I would tell all of you about The Princess' experience of being Teacher of the Day. The short explanation is that it all went really well. The Princess learned how to use "Google" and did quite a bit of research all on her own. I provided some additional research assistance, based mostly on what she had already discovered. For our main activity, we used a suggestion made by David. As I said, it went well.

We created a large map using this website (check it out, it is REALLY cool!) which showed Virginia and all of the surrounding states. We hung it up on the board, and The Princess told her class that they would be learning about Virginia today, told them where it was located and what it was surrounded by. We then started playing our first game.

We had printed a bunch of photos from the internet, and had found a matching photo or a "phrase" that went along with the photo. We let each child come up and pick one, and then instructed them to try and find the photo or the word that they thought went with theirs (another child had their match). We gave them two minutes to finish this task, and if they didn't have a partner by the time it finished, we just told them to buddy up with another partner-less kid!

At that point, The Princess called on one set of partners who stood up and showed their pictures to the class. The Princess told them if they were correct or not. If they were correct, they got to hang their pictures up on the board. If they weren't, The Princess asked one of them to sit back down, and then asked for the match that she was looking for. The two new partner-less kids became partners for the next round. While the kids were hanging up the pictures, The Princess told them what the significance of the pictures were. All the kids really liked this activity! I was surprised at how well we were able to hold their attention.

After we finished the matching game, we started our version of Jeopardy! The Princess and I had come up with a variety of questions about Virginia. Some were very easy, some, not so much. We played boys vs. girls, and the boys won by 5 points! It was a really close game.

I brought my crock-pot into the classroom about two hours before we were to teach, and started cooking cinnamon apples. OH MY GOODNESS... the room smelled SO good! We served the apples over ice cream. How does this relate to Virginia? Apples are a major produce in some areas of Virginia (Winchester), plus the recipe dated back to colonial times... not using a crock-pot of course! And Ice Cream? Well, the state beverage of Virginia is MILK, and you all know that you need milk to make ice cream, right?

Anyway, it was a pretty fun day, and her teacher was really impressed with our efforts. I was just exhausted after it was done!


Thoughts About Our Mortgage

When we purchased our current home about 18-months ago, we were thrilled to get our mortgage at 6.5% interest. We've been noticing that the interest rates have been fluctuating a lot recently, and we've silently been hoping for a major drop in the interest rates. It hasn't happened yet.

Our initial plan, provided that the interest rates do drop, was to lower our mortgage payment. We're thinking now, that a cash-out option might be a good idea because we would really like to finish a portion (if not all) of our basement.

I was recently talking to a friend who deals with Mortgages on a daily basis, and she suggested that we consider getting a 15-year fixed loan. This was before we were considering the cash-out option. She thought she would be able to get us a 4.5% interest rate. It was very tempting. Unfortunately, while a 15-year mortgage would be wonderful, the monthly payment is about $280 more than we can afford a month. Not a good choice.

Ideally, the interest rates will take a dive (come on 4.5%!), and we will be able to do another FHA-Streamline Refinance, and possibly even get some cash-out so that we can finish our basement. If not, the lower interest rate would be REALLY nice.

The nice thing about mortgages is that there are a lot of choices available. Of course, your financial situation may severely limit you in your choices, but the choices ARE there.

What kind of mortgage is right for you?

Friday, March 07, 2008

I Love Free Money!

Do you remember when I gave ya'll a gift for Valentine's Day?

Well, my $50 check arrived yesterday (the Entertainment Book arrived about 10-days before that), and I went to the bank and cashed it last night!

Easiest $30 I've ever made. And I've got a cool coupon book too. YAHOO!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

And The Winners Are...

Wow! Those coupons went pretty fast.

The first lucky recipient is Lara! I sent you an e-mail (so you'd have my e-mail address in case you lost it) requesting your mailing address. Your coupon will be in the mail almost as soon as you get your address to me! So hurry up all ready, Chili's is calling!

The second lucky winner is Sarah from PYP! Sarah, we've got a problem. For whatever reason, Blogger is refusing to share your e-mail address with me. So here is what I am going to do... I'm giving you until Friday (March 7th) to get your mailing address to me. PM me on PYP if you have too! Hopefully you will come back to my blog and see this message so I can get you your coupon!

IF Sarah can't get me her mailing address by Friday, Dubby will get the coupon mailed to her on Saturday!

I wish I had enough coupons for all of you! *sniff* Hopefully there will be many more opportunities in the near future!

Thanks for playing!

Monday, March 03, 2008

Bzz! Bzz! Smokehouse Bacon Burgers from Chili's!

Oh yeah! I love being a Bzz Agent because I get to try all kinds of great things for FREE!

Today I got my Bzz Agent kit for the new Smokehouse Bacon Burgers from Chili's! Now, The King will be laughing at me because while I LOVE bacon and I LOVE burgers, I usually prefer to keep my bacon far, far, away from my burgers! But man, you should see the picture of this burger. It looks sooo good. And the bacon? MY GOODNESS! These are seriously the thickest slices of bacon I have ever seen! I am drooling. Oh yes. I am.

OK, but it gets even better. Did you notice the "S" at the end of "Burger"? That means that there is more than ONE kind of burger to choose from!

So get this. Your first choice is the Southern Smokehouse Bacon Burger... you'll get extra thick-cut brown sugar and chile-rubbed bacon on top of a Chili's Big Mouth Burger with smoked cheddar cheese, crispy onion strings and mayo. Oh yeah, and don't forget the fries!

Want something with a little more bite? Try the Jalapeno Smokehouse Bacon Burger with smoked cheddar, crunchy tortilla strips, jalapenos and mayo.

Cheese lover in the house? The Smokehouse Bacon Triple-the-Cheese Burger will tickle your taste buds with the smoked cheddar, swiss and provolone cheese, along with some sauteed onions and jalapeno-ranch dressing.

But I haven't even told you the best part yet! The first two people to contact me will receive their very own coupon for a FREE Smokehouse Bacon Big Mouth Burger! I'll mail it to you (yes, I'll even pay the postage), and hopefully you will go to Chili's and let me know what you thought of your burger! BTW, the coupons expire on March 31, so if you won't make it to Chili's before then, please refrain from asking for the coupon so somebody else can experience this burger!

And if you are not fast enough to get your free coupon, aren't you hungry? Aren't you just dyin' to go to Chili's and give these new Smokehouse Bacon Burgers a try? I know you are. Just go! Go now! And let me know what you thought!

I can't wait to try it! The King doesn't need to contact me about getting his burger, he gets his for free when he takes me out on a date. LOL!


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