Monday, July 19, 2010

The Lord provides...

We have been trying to follow Dave Ramsey's plan since we got married. Gradually, we have paid off debt, and are down to just one debt, not including the house. For just over a year we have had zero car payments and LOVED not having to pay on a car month after month. We had two PAID for cars!! One car, we affectionately call "our beater", 1996 Nissan Altima with nearly 200K miles on it. It is loud, stinky, and certainly not pretty, but it gets us from point A to point B. Since the car isn't worth the gas that is in it, we have maintained the "drive it until it dies" principal. We thought that would be years ago, but it is still going. George uses the beater to get back and forth to work and leaves me the "good car", 2006 Honda Civic Hybrid to get around with the girls.

As many of you know, last Monday George was involved in a multi-car accident. Typically, he would have had "the beater" with liability only insurance, but since I had no intention of going out that day, I encourage him to take the "good car". When he called me and said he had been in an accident, I was was our "good car". What would happen? A million questions ran through my head, now a week later, we can see how the Lord was with us through it all, and as strange as it may sound, the accident was a "blessing". Let me explain...

Months ago in trying to prepare for becoming a family of four, we knew our Civic Hybrid wasn't going to be the best car for us anymore: trunk space was limited, the car seats were crowded, and we could barely fit a single stroller in the trunk, how would we fit a double? We began to shop for vans, looking for what we felt we could afford, features, etc. Before we could move forward we had to look into what we could get for trading in/selling our Civic. We took it to a well known auto buyer and they made us an offer. We crunched the numbers, researched, prayed, and crunched more numbers. If we were to go ahead and buy a larger vehicle we would either need to get small car loan, which we didn't want to do, or get an older model with higher miles that wouldn't be as reliable as our Civic. After much discussion, we decided we would make do with the Civic. Granted, my knees touched the dash because the car seats took up so much room, we couldn't buy too much at Costco because we didn't have much room to take it home, etc...but it was a decent car, and it wasn't worth going in debt to get something different.

Fast forward two to three months and the accident happened. There was significant damage to the car, but it was fixable. The insurance company examined the car and debated a day or two to total it or fix it. We didn't want them to fix it due to the diminished value the car would have with a history of being in an accident. Thankfully, the insurance totaled the car, and said they would call the next day with the settlement amount. The next day they called and they offered us DOUBLE for our wrecked car as the well known auto buyer offered us for our well cared for car two months earlier. We agreed, the accident was a blessing from the Lord. In combination with the settlement check and a very small amount from savings, we were able to go shopping for a vehicle better suited for our family.

We were blessed to find a 2007 Chrysler Town and Country Touring with only one previous owner. The dealer worked with us to get the price into a comfortable place that we were willing to buy. We were blessed to essentially "trade in" our Civic for a van that was one year newer, 50,000+ less miles on it, more cargo space, more seating, and more amenities for our family. God is so good!! We have so much to be thankful for; the safety of those in the accident, the blessing of a new vehicle, and so much more.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Charlotte (17 1/2 months) & Jocelyn (16 days)

I am going to do my best and be more faithful with updating the blog. My goal is to do it monthly at least and update as to what the girls are up to. Then I will have a record of what is happening when. Today both girls had "well" visits at the doctor so I have lots of stats to include.

Today was Charlotte's 18 month visit. She wasn't a big fan of being naked and examined by the doctor. The doctor said it is typical for there to be a lot of protesting at this visit, and protest she did! While the doctor was examining her she kept signing, "all done, all done". Charlotte was done, but unfortunately the doctor was not.

Charlotte's stats:
Weight: 25lbs 1 oz (65th percentile)
Height: 31 1/4 inches (40th percentile)
Head: 19 (90th percentile)

Charlotte currently signs the following words: more, please, candy, all done, milk, drink, bath and eat.

She is able to identify the following body parts: nose, mouth, ears, hair, feet, toes, and eyes.

She says the following animal sounds consistently: dog, cow, and bird and depending on the day, will also make chicken, bear, cat, and sheep sounds.

Her expressive vocabulary is growing rapidly, she says; ball, hi, bye, up, down, daddy, baby, bounce, and bath. She also says, "wherdigo" which is actually, "where did it go?" all smashed into one word. It is too funny!

Charlotte's favorite things to do right now are listen to music (especially Wheels on the Bus), spin in circles, kiss on Jocelyn, and look at books.

She is changing so much everyday, it is so much fun to watch her become more independent. With that independence is also coming a little a bit of stubbornness and disobedience, but overall, she is doing very well as she adjusts to being a big sister.

Jocelyn did well at the doctor's office. She fussed a little while the doctor poked at her, but not too bad at all.

Jocelyn's stats:
Weight: 8lbs 2 ounces (50th percentile)
Height: 21 1/2 inches (90th percentile)
Head: 14 3/4 inches (80th percentile)

The doctor was very impressed with her weight gain. I'm not surprised since she has been nursing like a champ from day one. She had gained 10 ounces in just under two weeks. Jocelyn's eye has been quite goopy the last few days so the doctor prescribed some eye drops that we'll start tonight. Charlotte had similar problems as a newborn.

We do have a prayer request. Both the pediatrician in the hospital and our own pediatrician noted a "click" in one of Jocelyn's hips. They are uncertain if this is related to "relaxin", a hormone babies get from their mother while in the womb, or if she may have a condition called hip dysplasia. The doctor noted today that it seemed somewhat better, but wanted to go ahead with an ultrasound on her hip that she had already scheduled for July 19th. We are not too concerned at this point because the doctor seems to just want to "rule it out" as opposed to "confirm" a diagnosis. According to the pediatrician, the condition is very difficult to treat and very complicated if not treated early in life (prior to 6 months of age) so an early diagnosis is important. We are hopeful the ultrasound will show positive growth and development of her hips.

All in all we are settling in to being a family of four and feel extremely blessed with our sweet family.