Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Waffles! and an update and money talk

All right - I know it's absolutely no surprise to anyone that we had waffles tonight. But they were healthy! Check out the recipe below...

Whole Grain Waffles

2 eggs, beaten
1 3/4 cups skim milk
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup flax seed meal
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, oil, applesauce, and vanilla. Beat in whole wheat pastry flour, flax seed meal, wheat germ, all-purpose flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt until batter is smooth.
Preheat a waffle iron, and coat with cooking spray. Pour batter into waffle iron in batches, and cook until crisp and golden brown.

Another use for our flax seed! You all know (probably) about our favorite pizza dough with whole wheat and flax so to find this recipe is so great for us! We love whole grain stuff - and now we can have it for breakfast too. You can sub mashed/pureed fruit or sweet potatoes for the applesauce. We didn't have applesauce so I used banana. Lots of reviewers (this recipe came from said they skipped the oil altogether and just used applesauce. Even better!

So, I've been asked to update a little about what's going on here. I am sick (today marks 2 weeks) and Ashlyn is too. Interesting that Nathan didn't stay sick so long... The announcement today that all kids are recommended to get flu shots (all the way up until age 18) mentioned that one of the reasons was to prevent adults from getting the flu. The doctor on the news said that most parents pick it up from their kids and the parents end up getter sicker than the little guys do. So maybe that's why I'm so blessed! Ashlyn started with the "end of the cold" cough this week and Rick and I lose an hour or two of sleep each night when she wakes up for her never ending coughing fit. That's fun.

The baby - still moving around, feels really low (even though kids other than your first typically don't engage until active labor) and is trying to find a way out of there - disregarding the routes already established by God.

Rick is doing well - he is happy at work. The launch this week that Rick was supporting slipped into March. The turkeys! It's scheduled for my 38th week. Hope the baby cooperates!

In related news, we are now the proud recipients of our very first year-end BONUS!!! A third of it was taken away in taxes, but extra money is extra money! So that's fabulous. We socked it into our emergency fund. This is something I am so excited that we are finally getting started! Ooo, I'm excited to chat about $$$!

Our method is loosely based on Dave Ramsey's principles with a solid Suze Orman base. I read about some girls who were really deep into debt using Dave's principles to get back on their feet. We weren't in debt (just a house and car) but I thought it couldn't hurt for us to reevaluate and do a little tweaking. I love his saying: "Live like no one else, so that later you can live like no one else." Just like everything in life - delay gratification - good lesson, no?

Dave says to first get a good, tight budget based on cash in envelopes. When the money's gone - you're done. We don't do that, because without a local bank it would be a pain in the hiney for us and I like the convenience of a credit card that we just pay off each month. He says that studies show that people spend less when they use an all-cash budget but since we're not in dire straits I'm opting for convenience. Then you get a $1000 emergency account so that you don't have to go into more debt when an unexpected expense rears its ugly head. Then you pay off all of your debts (smallest first - even though the math doesn't support it - it makes you feel good to know you accomplished something) leaving just your mortgage. Then you can pump up that emergency fund to 3-6 months basic living expenses (we aren't including entertainment, subscriptions, haircuts, college fund contributions, etc. - just what we need to live). We are putting away all our available cash into a money market account each month until we can reach 6 months of living expenses - then we will continue to add to it until we have an additional amount in order to buy our next car in cash. :) I was going to separate the accounts but I figure the benefits of compounding interest outweigh the visual separation of different accounts. We only have our mortgage now as a debt and even though it's huge, I know we are much better off now that we have a solid goal and a plan.

It's good to know that everything will be OK if something terrible happens. I have a great sense of security knowing we are doing this! I'm weird that way - going over my budget and using retirement calculators and seeing that we come out OK is such a stress reliever for me. I think this is one reason why I wouldn't have made a very good farmer's wife (thankfully Rick changed majors). I think I would lose crazy amounts of sleep and give myself ulcers if I took out a half million $ loan each year. In fact, I've been waiting with happy happy joy joy for this Saturday - when I can see the first of our paycheck's with this years little COLA increase. I love going over to the IRS calculator on their website and inputting all the new figures to make sure we don't end up with a refund (or at least just a tiny one) and loaning the gov't our money all year. I'd rather have it and make money on it myself. I'm such a number nerd!

Anyway.... we're planning on saving this funky stimulus check in May as well and we should have our 6 month's expenses and enough for a car in about 6 years. Not very close - but it's closer than when we weren't trying! Since we have Toyotas I think we can easily pull another 6 years out of them if we take care of them. They each have around 120,000 miles so I think it's doable! I know that you probably don't care - but I love talking about money! That and natural childbirth and breastfeeding. I could go on forever! Maybe that's why I have no friends... JK!

Hmm - let's see. Our stake president announced at last Sunday's evening priesthood meeting that he will be released in May at our stake conference and he will be a mission president. He doesn't know where - just that it's English-speaking. He's going to be so fabulous! Seriously. He can give you actual constructive criticism (where you've been prompted to do better without feeling bad) and leave you feeling resolved and hopeful. And he is just such a caring man. Those missionaries who serve under him are lucky ducks!

That's pretty much it here! Hope you are doing well!


Anonymous said...

Good morning :-) I really hope that all the colds and coughs will soon be gone. WGW recipe sounds great, shall try it :-) Love M..y

hsjacobus said...

You can talk money, natural birth, and breast feeding with me anytime you want. I do our bookkeeping, in fact taxes are in swing here and I was suppose to be done by March 1st(we're incorportated so we have to file earlier) but decided to file an extension when we were all so sick that I don't think I was much good to anyone. I did home birth and I breast fed my kids for 2 years despite squaking from relatives who were sure they knew what was best for my child, the said it love. But the point here is please don't feel lonely. Email me and I'll give you my phone number and we can chat away. We have unlimited long distance.

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