Category Archives: politics

Thread on our Lower-Middle Class Family

It’s been a while. We added a new child to the family in October so I’ve haven’t had much time to blog. The following is actually a series of tweets from yesterday. I did make a few small grammatical/clarifying/organizational edits, but it’s basically a series of 15 tweets:

Looking at our income and all these tax numbers…

We are basically lower-middle class. A one income family with 3 kids.

From all the talk, one would think we are dirt poor and cannot survive. Yet we do. Pretty comfortably, I might add. Here are a few thought as to why.

  1. The only thing we owe on is our house.
    1. It’s descent size but not massive. Two kids will share a room until one of the 3 move out. *gasp* And we prefer it that way, shocking I know.
    2. We only have a house because my husband (as a single man) purchased a town home way below his means. And we lived in that “semi-inconvenient” town home until we had 2 kids and the profit of a sale would cover a house down payment.
    3. We also don’t owe on school loans because we bought nothing but needs for several years. (All extra money went to pay them all off.) Not having those helps tremendously.
    4. We drive 2007 & 2008 vehicles. No loans on those. One was bought used, with cash (other is a hold over from single days)
    5. While we use credit cards for convenience, we never carry a balance.
    6. Having little to no debt (just the house remember) frees up a lot of money every month. Less locked in payments and less waste to interest
  2. Having only one income provides opportunity for saving money
    1. I cook most of our food (healthier and cheaper). I have the time to clip coupons, find the best sales, and make meals from scratch. It’s a lot more difficult to do this when time is limited
    2. Our monthly budget for gas and clothing is lower than most. Not only do we drive less, we don’t need work clothes (helps that our one income earner also works from home)
    3. We don’t pay for any child care (except an occasional date night)
  3. Probably the most significant, we define “comfortable living” very different than most
    1. All of our needs are met (first!) Food, clothing, shelter, water, power, transportation, these items are always covered. We recognize this and are extremely grateful that our income covers the basics. Some are not as fortunate.
    2. We have such great peace of mind that the basics are covered, we get to really enjoy when there is extra to cover the fun stuff.
    3. We value getting a deal. We truly enjoy finding deals and bargains. We love shopping thrift stores. We love store brands. It doesn’t make us feel “less than” because we don’t value the pride attached to brand-name or new. The reverse is actually true. It makes us feel like we are smarter than others wasting money.
    4. We get to live our value of people & quality time over stuff. We trade money and a second income (which buys nicer stuff) for what we really want – joy, peace, love, less stress.
    5. Our idea of fun is different. We do lots of free activities with the kids. We drive for vacation and have adventures on our journey (see things you miss on a plane)
  4. For me, growing up as a preacher’s kid has impacted my world view in regards to money
    1. I trust God will provide for my needs. First and foremost, spiritual needs, but also physical needs.
    2. We (similar to my upbringing) have a wonderful community and support system. Should something terrible happen financially – we know our God provided support system would step up. And we do the same for others.
    3. Not having much money as a kid, I saw my parents work to cover needs and then some. We were loved and didn’t feel like we missed out.

In summary, our world view regarding money is very different than most.

Because of that, we can live comfortably with less. Practically speaking, we work hard to live this way. (Physically, emotionally, and intellectually)

The resulting freedom: Absolutely Worth it.

/End of Tweets

***Long time readers will know this, but I’ve blogged extensively on how we got out of debt. Starting in Jan 2012. We paid off 46K in 22 months. If you want to read about that, look for the “by the number’s” posts. To be fair, we were dual income for most of that time, pre-kids.

*PS: In the blog post editing page, I got the code to do a nice ordered alphabet list nested in an ordered numbered list. (Point 1. A, B, C, Point 2. A, B, C etc.) It’s driving me crazy that the actual post isn’t reading the code correctly but I don’t have time to fix it. Sorry. “Hashtag Three Kids” ;-p

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Filed under budget, car, clothes, debt, family, food, politics, writing

The Long Game

On February 23rd, I wrote up why I cannot support either main party candidate for President. On February 26th, the hashtag #NeverTrump was born. It gave me encouragement and strengthened my resolve.

Many months have passed since then. I stand by it. I voted this week and yes, I voted Third Party.

Why? Well – I am challenged by the story of Daniel and what we know happened with many early church discipleship. They all made spiritual decisions that had physical and sometimes political ramifications. In some cases, God decided to save them from the lions den. In others – they died. The fact remains that they made righteous choices, full of sacrifice. God was, and continues to be, honored by the decisions they made and followed through on.

They were playing the Long Game.

How many times have you heard in church, or maybe as a teenager sitting around a fire at church came, something along the lines of “We are temporal. Our lives are as long as that spark that just left the fire.” There is truth in that. Our lives on earth are the short game. Eternity is the Long Game.

For anyone that (in regards to this election says) “But the Supreme Court…” – you’ve lost me. That’s the Short Game.

Why would I sacrifice the Short Game for the Long? Especially when I already know Who wins the Long Game.

Each of us is free to make whatever political choice we think is honors God the best. I hope that it can be said I’ve been kind and gracious in all my political discussions. This is just the simplified version of why I (and I hope many others) vote as I do.

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Tax Day!

We submitted our Taxes today. Not only was it brutal, I think the most excruciating thing is the amount paid for all of the forms to be completed. wow… (side note – We have a great accountant!)

All I can say is that if you have not already checked out the Fair Tax — Do it now!  It’s a much better system then our broken tax code.  I will be looking at what politicians support the Fair Tax and it will greatly influence who I vote for this fall (and beyond!)

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news bulletin

Found an apartment. Applied and was approved today so I will be moving in Oct. w00t!

Apparently a game is on the docket for this evening. Settlers of Catan!!!!!!!!! I like that game and I haven’t played in a long time.

There is a large storm approaching. It’s arrival in DFW might coincide with the Grubers attempt to leave.

I was wrong about my prediction several months ago. I thought for sure McCain would pick Huckabee as his running mate. Nope.

My wood block came in the mail. It will hold my new Ronco knives. My new knives coming in the mail.

I don’t have to wake up early on Monday.

The M’s are in town in a couple days.

That is all.

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Filed under housing, moving, politics, settlers of catan, weather

Here we go again

Its a big political year. I love politics. I also love church history. I may never have a job that specifically uses things I learned at Wheaton, but for the rest of my life, I will see and hear things that fall into the realm of my “expertise.”

Here’s one I just saw from the AP story “Tom Minnery, a senior vice president at Focus on the Family, responded: ‘Without question, Dr. Dobson is speaking for millions of evangelicals because his understanding of the Bible is thoroughly evangelical.'”

So many questions can asked about this statement. Can one person actually assume to speak on behalf of millions? How does one define what an “thoroughly evangelical” understanding of the Bible is. Do those who either self label or are given the label “evangelical” even know what an thoroughly evangelical view is? And to say this as fact “without question”?

Personally, I would label myself “evangelical” but I don’t think I like one person, or a group of people, assuming they speak for me. I find it a bit presumptuous. And this does not even factor in whether I agree with what he says or not. I just don’t like someone hollering over my voice, even if its with good intentions. In the end, all this does is take away my voice. That, and I don’t like someone else spending my credibility chips for me, without asking.

Thats all. I love this time of year. I need to get registered to vote.

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McCain-Huckabee

So, who knows how the Democratic Presidential nomination will work out, but the way I see it, The GOP will probably end up with a McCain – Huckabee ticket.

McCain has trouble drawing in conservatives and so called “evangelicals” (which some of us acknowledge is a tricky label to actually nail down, even by the experts in the field who have spent their lives studying Evangelicals and their history, let alone just being tossed about by people who misunderstand and interchange the word with fundamentalists, which is NOT a synonym. sorry, just a little rant).

Huckabee probably cannot compete with McCain. So put them together. I have been thinking this the last few days and now it looks like that is what the political analysts are starting to say. I guess we will have to wait and see.

Can I just say it now? I love being a political junkie! Are politics perfect. No, but I love ’em anyway.

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Bummer

I just realized that the State of the Union is tomorrow. Bummer! I have a night class. And I so enjoy watching the state of the union….I almost missed it completely. Being in school is like being in a time warp.

next year I guess….(I just remember last year being SO entertaining, almost like the British House of Commons).

Other than that, I have to admit something…I dont care who wins the superbowl. Maybe I will as time gets closer or the game starts, but for now, I don’t care. I wanted to root for the Bears, but I am still bummed they beat Seattle. Plus, I have to admit that I am not impressed with the attitude of the team. I find them annoying. Why? I don’t know. I guess part of it is Rex Grossman. Part of it kind of wanting Payton Manning to win. Part of it is still being mad about the way everyone talked about the Seahawks. Part of it is being tired of the seeming cockeyness of the Bears. On the other hand, I have fond memories of the Bears, but that was such a different team 20+ years ago. Also, it is kind of fun that I live in Chicago now and they are going to Miami, but at the same time, I just don’t have any motivation to or feel like jumping on the Bears bandwagon. So many things….we will see where two weeks bring me.

All I can say is if I move between now and next year’s football playoffs, where ever I move to, their football team should personally welcome me to the city. Last year Seattle, this year Chicago, next year…who knows.

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Filed under chicago, football, politics, seahawks

The State of the Union is Strong

Listened to the State of the Union tonight. Cracked me up!

It was as close as American politics ever gets to being as entertaining as the British House of Commons. Different sides of the isle standing and cheering at different points in the speech. You could almost hear the groans and boos seep into the mix as well. Especially when the President commented that Congress did not pass his measures on social security.

It was almost as good as an Oscar winning Motion Picture (which, by the way I have seen none of those nominated for best picture today). It made me laugh; it made me cry; it made me frown; it made me applaud. I liked the President’s joke about he and President Clinton being his dad’s two favorite baby boomers.

I cried at a handful of points when the Troops were mentioned, especially when the President read from a letter of a fallen soldier and then that soldier’s wife and parents stood.

On nights like tonight, I am even more proud to be an American. Whether I agree or not with what the President said, I am proud that I live in a country where individuals on polar opposite sides of issues can come together in the same room in Peace.

I am proud that the systems set in place so long ago can be the moving force of today’s actions. Actions like the confirmation of a new Supreme court Justice. Again, disagreement, discussions, decision, all while peace is maintained.

I am proud of our history, through good and bad moments. The US of A has been established on great traditions. Maybe our leaders no longer speak with such eloquence as Lincoln did. Maybe we do not write treasured documents as Jefferson penned. All the same, we continue building, we move forward, and we live with prosperity at a moment in time that presents opportunities exceeding any our forefathers could have dreamed. What we do with this moment will define us and the generations who follow.

I enjoyed time well spent in Canada with good people and dear friends. But it is nights like tonight that if you cut me open, I know I would bleed Red, White, and Blue.

And on that note, I will end by nicely adding, Canada, your going down in Torino. Four year has been too long to wait for Hockey gold.

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Election Night in Canada

Well, it looks like they just declared it will be a Conservative Minority Government. I love political science. What an exciting, historic night for Canada.

Hope all my friends up north were able to vote.

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****BREAKING NEWS******

*******We interrupt this broadcast of Chicago trip coverage to bring you breaking news! To all my American Friends…Don’t forget to vote today!!! Make sure to be knowledgeable about the issues & candidates, then vote. **********

We will now return you to the details of the Chicago trip……

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