Sunday, September 6, 2009


Well...we got an offer on our house. It took 3 weeks and one day to get our first short sale offer on the house. But not only did we get an offer, we got an offer ABOVE our asking price *and* above market value. We received the offer 2 days after my last post, the one where we decided to come current on our mortgage instead of paying off other debt with Jeff's inheritence. [insert amazing praises and awe of God here].

So where do things stand... We are officially in the "short sale" process. Everything has been submitted to the bank and we are waiting for that long-coming answer. I've heard that it can be a matter of weeks, or most likely, a matter of months before we will know the answer from the lender. There are many places where this can fall apart. First, we are current on our mortgage (something that the agents involved and title company are VERY NOT happy about). Second, the offer was above current comps thus creating potential problems with appraisal. Third, well, it's a short sale!

I try to thank God everyday for this process and for where He has us today. I find myself struggling daily not to rush ahead with planning and postulating and thinking about what we are going to do if (or most likely) when we have to move. I'm just about 29 weeks pregnant - able to deliver this baby in under 8 weeks. Maddi is getting more and more settled in her preK class every day and our current plan is to move across the valley so she will need to move schools. My nesting instincts are on high alert! I want nothing more than to be able to wash my hands of this house, this financial burden, say that we've proved we can't afford it, we've got an incredible offer, take-it-oir-leave-it, we're moving out. To find our next house and settle our family as quickly as possible - especially before this baby comes...let alone those right-around-the-corner holidays!! **Also, for those who may not know, I'm a HUGE planner even without being pregnant!

But if there is one thing that I'm learning about our God, it's that He doesn't work how I plan, He doesn't work in how I time things. Forging ahead at full speed with what I see as the best plan eliminates God's plan and truely allowing Him to run my life. I pray God's plan for us daily...and surrender mine hourly (and may this blog be a continual reminder!). Most importantly, I choose to draw close to Him with the knowledge that He won't lead me astray. God knows all that needs to happen with our finances, with the short sale, with the baby coming, with Maddi's school, with moving. And so, I continue to surrender...

Thursday, August 27, 2009


Jeff listened to the sermon by Jamie Rassmusen gave this past Sunday about decision making. In this sermon Jamie talks about integrity and defines integrity as making the right decision regardless of the consequences.

Through the death of Jeff's dad, God has blessed us with some extra money. As many of you know, we've been persuing a short sale on our house, hoping to avoid foreclosure (a loan mod is not an option for us). This extra money has actually put us is a very difficult decision-making position. Do we use the money to come current on our house, knowing that in the near future, we may end up back in the position of losing it, or do we save the money and pay off other debts, like our cars, thus creating a more stable financial future.

We've spent weeks in prayer seeking God's answer to this. We've sought the council of some amazing people God has put in our lives during this time - Tim Kimmel, John Gilligan and Ray and Nancy Davis. Here is the decision we have come to: If being a person of integrity means that you do the right thing regardless of the consequences, then how can we choose not to come current on our house? We made an agreement to pay, to the best of our abilities, our mortgage. If we have the money to pay it and choose not to because of future financial benefits, how is that being a person of integrity. Most of all, how is that trusting God to provide for us and our future?

While this may seem an obvious answer to some reading, and if it is, I envy you. We have received very conflicting council on what to do especially since the decision we are making could leave us in a situation with no savings and no house. But even if we do loose our house, we do so knowing we did EVERYTHING in our power to prevent it and can know for sure that it is God's design for our lives, not us willfully making another bad decision. But most of all, we know that we made a decision that has integrity and that is what is most pleasing to God.

PS: We found out from our lender that they will still approve a short sale on our house even if we are current on our loan. A blessing, absolutely - especially since it's unheard of in todays lending market.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Happy Birthday Nina

Today we celebrated my niece's 11th Birthday at Wet'n'wild water park. I was a little skeptical of taking a 4 and *almost* 2 year old to such a teen/adult oriented place but I was very pleasantly surprised. They absolutley had a blast and loved the splash area and slides, lazy river and ESPECIALLY the wave pool. We even had some tears when it came time for our day to end. Happy birthday Nina!!

Madilyn and Nina

Maddi's "cheese" face

My niece Kaitlyn and her Aunt Margaret

One Excited Izzi!

I crystaled a pair of converse for Nina for her birthday. She loved them =) (yay!)

Pink Converse with Clear, Rose and Indian Pink Swarovski Crystals

One day I will figure out how to capture the true **BLING** of swarovski!! (it will probably involve a new camera)

Monday, August 3, 2009

Do we walk away?

It's one of life's largest stress points. People choose careers based on it, kids think it grows on trees. It causes huge debates in marriages and leads to the end of some. Money. How to spend it, how to allocate, what to give, what not to give, what to do with it, and usually, how to get more.

I would say that 95% of all conversations that Jeff and I have are about three things: God, our family, and money. It didn't take completing the Dave Ramsey study "Financial Peace University" to know that our finances were out of whack or that we have made very poor financial decisions. But the question has always remained and continues to remain, what do we do now? We've spent the last year and a half working on better budgeting, tithing, cutting expenses, saving and planning for specifics, practicing biblical finances any way we could, and yet we find ourselves continually sinking further into debt. After much financial analysis and prayer, we know the culprit is our house.

So what do you do? We feel so emotionally torn and I personally am totally confused. The purchase of our house is something that we committed to buy - I don't care about current market value or paying more than it's worth - we agreed to pay for this house. How can walking away be the right ethical decision? But if we stay, then we continue to choose to live above our means leading us further into debt until we have no choice but to walk away.

My heart screams to make the decision that glorifies God. On one side, I just can't see how making a choice to walk away from a financial commitment could be something that glorifies God. But on the other side, continuing to have expenses above our means is irresponsible and poor financial stewardship of God's money. So essentially, to not walk away would mean to continue to live in sin as well.

My heart is grieved, burdened and repentant of the poor financial decisions made in our past. Teach me, O Lord, my heart reaches for you. So us YOUR solution.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

A new family blog

So, I spent 3 days getting the background and layout set up for this blog. I still don't have the patience to figure out html. The good news is that Jeff is a software developer and can do this with his eyes closed and many *sighs* for his poor wife. So with his help, we modified an existing blog template, hacked a new header in that I created in photoshop and voila - here's the blog. I also learned about a nifty tool called firebug.

There's still so much to add and edit, but for now it's up. My plan is to post here pretty regularly to keep people up on what's going on or to just have some fun. I hope to last longer on this one than my two previous blogs ( and Maybe Jeff will even post every once in a while...