Monday, January 31, 2011

Painting With a Three Year Old

This weekend was interesting. We decided to paint our office and wow...that was an undertaking. On Saturday, I was there from 9ish to 8ish, so I put in a good solid 10 or so hours.
Then Sunday from 11ish to about 3:30.
Holy cow, I will tell you something....I am sore.
Ryder was a trooper though. He was just so happy go lucky and a good helper for the most part. But he also liked to touch the wet walls, rub against them, see how much paint he could smear off with his butt or back....
You can tell the point where I was done in my office cause there are paint splatters on the ceiling and white specs on the wall. It works though. I am just grateful Ry lasted as long as he did.
I do have to thank my parents for their help with him though, they took him for a good brunt of Saturday. Otherwise I don't think it would've gone as well as it did.

Friday, January 28, 2011 Yukon

Its official...the new truck is fixed and legal. Woohoo! I drove it to work today. It was rather momentous. The picture doesn't do it justice though because its kind of in need of a wash job. I'm gonna work on that this weekend. But all the same, its mine and I get to drive it now! Its rather cool inside too, all sorts of gadgets. Its and SLT so its fully loaded....well what was fully loaded in 1999. But all the same. There are cubbies everywhere and both front and rear air which the boys love. And LOTS of space to stretch. I love it. Woohoo! So thanks to my dad for helping me get it all good and legal, I wouldn't have been able to do it without him. Thank you!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Oh the fun

Anyone who knows me very well knows that I am extremely clumsy. I proved that today. Walking to the copy machine I managed to totally trip over my feet. Yup to the knees I went. And of course, its the one day I actually wear a skirt. My knee is beautiful. And of course surviellance caught it so its been decided it was funniest in the super speed mode. Ohhh yeah haha! Thats my embarassing moment for the day!

Strong Women

I have come to know quite a few very strong women in my lifetime. And I look up to them. There are some truly beautiful souls out there in the world. All have different attributes that impress me, and make them completely different from each other but with that common thread. There are some who are so sweet and endearing. Rather quiet and very humble. They don't know how amazing they really are. Then there are the ones who are bold, and outgoing. They don't let anyone stand in their way and they get things done. Also very humble, but more confident about their abilities. Then those middle grounders who are a little bit of both. All of which I love. And I hope to gain those attributes someday. What brings me to think about this was a discussion at work about how I'd changed so much since I started working. I knew inside I had changed but I didn't realize how apparent those changes were, at least at work.
There are still soo many traits I would love to gain though. I would love to be able to just randomly start talking to some stranger and make a friend while waiting in line at Wal-Mart. I sooo wish I was more outgoing. I'd love to be the friendly person who you just love talking to because they have no idea who you are but act like they've known you a lifetime. I wish I was more of a leader as well. I'm having to learn how to do that more now with my job, but its not easy. I can feel it inside, but I don't have the confidence to portray it.
But in all this rambling, I think about Ryders favorite book at the moment about Hermie and Wormie. As they walk through life, they meet a strong ant and pray to God wondering why he didn't make them strong like the ant...and he replies "I'm not finished with you yet." Then they meet a beautiful ladybug, and again ask why they weren't as beautiful as the ladybug with the same response "I'm not finished with you yet." They then meet a snail with a warm home and get so frustrated, and of course ask the same question. And hear once again, "You are special, but I'm not finished with you yet. I'm giving you a heart like mine." Hermie and Wormie don't understand so they go to bed and dream of being special like the ant, the ladybug and the snail and realizes that those are their special traits to have, not his. Hermie prays and in essence says I understand now, you think I am special and that is whats most important to me. And thats what matters most. And the next morning, he wakes up as a beautiful butterfly. Its a simple story but such a beautiful one that I need to remember. Others may have traits I admire, but those are thier traits. Mine are coming, He's just not finished with me yet.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Oh My Dear Yukon

So my Blazer has been on its last leg lately. The transmission is going on it. Me and Nate hop the freeway most mornings in our normal routine, but last Friday we hopped...and it went a grand total of 35 mph. On the freeway. We promptly exited on the next exit and I just took Nate to work with me. Then the fun part is on the normal roads, it generally takes about 5 minutes for it to gain speed from 10 mph to about 35 mph...and in the process I feel like I'm in a mexican low-rider with hydraulics kicked on full blast. So I asked dad if he would be able to scope new cars out with me that weekend just to see whats out there for when I get my taxes. After looking all afternoon we found a Yukon. The guy wanted $3500 but we talked him down to $3200. After a test drive, everything seemed fantastic and we were set to go. Dad offered to pay for it and I'd pay him back with taxes when they came in. Easy as pie. Until we went to get it inspected. Oh so many things wrong with it. Mostly little fixes, but two bigger ones. So my new truck is sitting out of commission for the moment in the driveway. And all I can say is I'm sure grateful my dad is around, without him I'd be lost when it comes to cars. He's been fixing the issues and we are hoping that by the weekend it may be good to go. I can't Blazer luckily has decided to behave a little better thank goodness but it won't be long until it goes to the car graveyard. And I still don't dare to go on the freeway.
So a big shout out to my dad who has been a superstar...he is amazing.

Birthday Flowers

It's a little late coming...but the pretty flowers Nate chose for me for my birthday. I should've gotten a picture of the cupcake too, but its gone :)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Bucket List

I have been thinking about bucket lists lately. I wonder if people really do ever make bucket lists? And if they they complete them? Does anyone out there have a bucket list?
I haven't ever made one, but I think a few things included would be:

Travel around Europe
Hit a jackpot
Get married!
Buy a house
Go on a cross country road trip
Visit New York
Sky dive
Go on a cruise
Hike The Narrows
Meet a celebrity
Become president of something

I think thats all. I can't think of anything else. Some of those things seem kinda duh your gonna want to eventually do that. But I suppose thats what bucket lists are for? The crazy stuff with a little normal mixed in? Maybe. For now...I focus on whats going on in my life now. The rest will come in time I'm sure.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Faith-Inviting Actions

Yesterday was a good day at church. Which its funny how those work since I really wasn't wanting to go, but had the feeling I should. So me and Ry got ready and dragged ourselves there 15 minutes late and sat in the foyer during sacrament meeting. But I quickly learned why I had the feeling to go.
The first block meeting was about the ways Jesus was tempted during his 40 day fast and how we can identify those temptations and conquer them. And how Satan uses soo many different things to get into our heads. He twists things around and makes us wonder whats true and whats not. And we can conquer those temptations if we really pay attention to our weaknesses and how he will play on them. There was also a VERY big emphasis that the key to our strength against temptation is our scriptures. That is how Jesus fought off Satans temptations. Thats how we are going to gain our strength against temptation...using the scriptures. Reading them everyday. And not because we have to, but because we desire that strength and knowledge.
The second block meeting was about our stake challenge for 2011. Our Stake President went through all those back to basic principles we all know and love, but don't follow all the time. He laid them out, how they can impact our lives, and the guiding principles of why we should be working on making them habits. And then said to choose only one from personal actions, and one from family actions. Just one from each. Otherwise we might get overwhelmed and give up on the concept all together. I can do one. Well two...for both personal and family. So I will be working on reading the scriptures daily, and having Family Home Evening consistantly. Those are my two.
One big concept I took away from the whole meeting block was that the Holy Ghost is at our door, waiting for us to let him in. It is a gift, not something that will just be there regardless. We need to do what we can to keep our hearts open and keep our lives pure. This is something I need to personally work on and I think that the lesson was given to remind me what I need to do to improve my life.

Da Pig

When I go to trainings, the best trainers do personality quizzes at the end. They are kinda fun too. So for this along.

Draw...A pig.

Yup a Pig.

Hurry draw it! Doesn't take long. :)

Is it drawn? Fantastic. Lets look at it.

If your pig is at the TOP LEFT of your page, you are a positive person, very optimistic.

If your pig is at the CENTER of your page, you are more of a realistic person, very factual.

If your pig is at the BOTTOM of your page, you are more negative and pessimistic.

If your pig's face is facing LEFT, you are innovative, but probably also forgetful. You forget birthdays, important dates, appointments, etc (guess which way my pig was facing? Yup!)

If your pig's face is facing RIGHT, you are a traditional type person. You always remember birthdays and anniversaries and love traditions with family, friends, etc.

If your pig's face is STRAIGHT FORWARD, you are a no non-sense type of person. You get right to the point.

If you have alot of detail on your pig, you are very analytical and cautious.

If you don't have alot of detail on your pig, your a risk taker and wear your emotions on your sleeve.

The size of your pig's ears relates to how well you listen. The bigger the ears, the better listener you are.

If your pig has 4 legs, you are secure and a bit stubborn.

If your pig has less than 4 legs, you are going through a period of change.

The size of your pig's tail represents the quality of your love life. The bigger...the better!

Now wasn't that fun? Mine was actually pretty accurate, it was kind of funny. Who knew you could figure out a little bit about someone by how they draw a pig?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Trippin' and more

-The last two days I was in Salt Lake at a mini-training. It was enjoyable and kind of nice to get refreshers on some things. And also humbling once I realized that I'm not as smarty pants as I once thought....and that I was doing some calculations wrong. Which means my negotiation packets probably make me look like an idiot to the bank. Fantastic! I think I understand better now though and can tweak as needed. But still. Wow.
-My poor Blazer is on its last leg I think. I tried to drive on the freeway and it wouldn't go over 70 mph. And is having issues moving gears. Sigh. I've been trying to scope out a car that I could buy in cash, but its not happening. At least not a car I will know is dependable. And it was rather funny when I called my dad to ask his opinion on a car. "I think that you should probably look into another SUV, they are a bit more durable than cars. And you are pretty rough on your vehicles" he says. (So in otherwords, your a horrid driver and you need an amored truck that can bear you out). I always wondered why my cars never last as long as my parents' did. I've probably had the same amount of cars in the 8 years I've owned cars, as they have since I was born. I need to figure out how to be not so rough!


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Long Weekend

Remember how I was sooo looking forward to the long weekend? It was well worth it. For most of it anyway. Friday I ended up having a massively huge migraine and I was not a fun mom. After work I dragged myself and the boys to get diapers (Ry was bone dry out), then we made it to McDonalds and to the Maverick Redbox. And then went home and crashed out. It was actually kind of nice. The boys were well behaved and we all just snuggled all night and watched movies.

Saturday was a better day. And an eventful day. We got the house clean and went shopping. Then I promised the boys lunch so we ate at Top Spot. They were playing around with the arcade games while I ordered food and when I got back to them, a Marine recruiter was tossing quarters at them left or right. I of course was praying that they hadn't been asking for money and it turns out the nice guy had willingly shared his quarter wealth. I thought that was nice and was the highlight of the boys' day.

Very early Sunday morning, Ry woke up burning hot. He was miserable from about 3 am on. Then Nate woke up and had the fever as well. We were out of Tylenol and I was just trying everything possible to get the fever down. By 7 pm it was no use. Grandma came to the rescue and brought some meds and the night ended well.

The only highlight of Monday was Nate weighing his dirby car for the pinewood dirby tonight. Hes rather excited. We shall see how it goes. Oh...and watching Despicable Me. I rarely buy movies...but that one is definitely one I'll fork the money over for.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Happy Birthdays!

I have a new resolution this year to do better with remembering birthdays. So here goes.
Happy {1 day late} birthday to my sweet niece Katie!
Happy {1 day late} birthday to my amazing dad!
Happy {pretty late} birthday to my adorable niece Addison although I did tell her on her birthday...but I'll mention it here too.
I hope you all had fantastic birthdays and I hope this coming year is great to you!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

More Random Thoughts

-I am highly anticipating taxes. Big time. Like...I can't wait till they come. Come on....taxes (said in that game show voice). There is soo much that I want to get done with them and I'm being impatient haha!
-Next week is going to be a big week. To start with a bang, I get to keep all my boys over the night here we come. Then monday is MLK no work which will be nice. Then Wednesday and Thursday I will be at a training in Salt Lake. And Friday is my birthday...which as you get older is just another day. But its still, ya know, a birthday. So it brings on a little bit of excitment.
-I decided to lay down some rules in the house. I was starting to see a hint of boy laziness and we went over some house rules. And it actually went well. I (amazingly) gave up control of the house momentarily and decided to let them pick their own rules, and maybe add one or two in if needs be. And I didn't have to. They chose:
be nice to everyone,
no kicking or hitting,
anyone can go into anyones room (and they added "if they ask" to that later),
no moving the couches around, everyone shares,
everyone helps clean up at night before we go to bed,
everyone helps with bedtime routine,
and I feel like I'm missing some but I can't remember what.
They also chose their consequences. Grounding from the TV, timeout, and butt spanking. I was rather surprised. Pleasantly. So there are our house rules. And so far, for the most part, they are actually following them. Its nice.
-Nate is having epic moments with Bob. Or Zach. Whatever he decides to name his hampster. It changes frequently. We had a house cleaning day last night (as per our new house rules) and they cleaned their rooms rather quickly actually, tidied up their bathroom (and cleaned the toilet, which is wierdly the job all the boys fight over...they love it) and helped me tidy my room and bathroom. Then it was on to Bob/Zachs cage. Everyone huddled and wanted to help. But Nate said several times "Bob, I mean Zach, is my responsibility. I have to clean it by myself." Then would put a sock on his hand and grab Bob/Zach to put him in his ball. He sadly bites now sometimes. I think we disrupt his Chi or something. Anyway. It was pretty epic. He took charge and everyone (even me) had to just watch while he cleaned the cage, got new food and water, reassembled the cage and put Bob/Zach back in.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Aquatic Center Fun

Yesterday I got a call from Betsy asking to go swimming. After the day I had, I was feeling a bit self concious about myself but decided to go anyway...I'm not going to let my issues derail the boys from having fun. Her and Val were meeting up there at 5:30ish so I started making plans of how to get there relatively on time. Anyone who knows me knows that I generally run late for things. Not on purpose, I just think I'm kinda like a shiney thing shiney thing! Distractions. I really do try to make it on time for whatever I am doing.
So I made sure to leave work promptly (I usually leave about quarter after 5) and called Grandma to make sure the boys were ready to go when I got there. Then made a mad dash to get to daycare for Ry, we went home and grabbed swimming stuff (luckily I knew where everything was....miracle!) and then got the boys and headed up. And made it around 5:40. I was impressed personally haha!
The new aquatic center is huge. And really awesome. I sent the boys to go get changed and Ry and I went into the dressing room. The older boys got a bit confused though. We told them to wait right outside the doors (we meant the dressing room doors to the pool) and so when we got to the pool part we figured they were already playing. Nope. They had been waiting by the FRONT doors. Oy. Anyway....they found us with the help of a very nice lady and the play commenced. The middle section had a cool playground looking thing with slides and buckets everywhere and there was a lazy river type deal that had a current to blast you around it. Also lots of slides and some really neat lil kids areas. It was pretty cool. We hit up almost everything. The boys finally got convinced to get the big bucket of water dumped on them and had a blast.
It really was a fun night. We had such a great time.
So thank you to Betsy for inviting us and for Val and the girls for going was fun and I hope to do it again soon!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Odds and Ends

Random thoughts for the day....

-My boys crack me up. Last night I picked up Nate and Ty before I got Ryder so we were headed to daycare and out of the blue, Nate says "I wanna be a dog. Dogs have fun. They just get to run around and play and stuff." So Tyler follows with "I wanna be a horse. Then I could go pick up Ryder and give him a ride home." Then Nate changes his thoughts. "I wanna be a shark. Then I could go ARGHHHAGGHH (sharks growl while bearing teeth apparently haha!)" Man I love my kids.

-I watched Julia and Julie. Or was it Julie and Julia. I dunno. Either way...I loved the movie. It made me wish I had the patience and non-lazy-ness to commit to doing something for 365 days straight. I wouldn't last though. Sadly. And it also made me want to learn how to cook french food. Mmmm some of those recipes looked tasty!

-I got new personalized debit cards. I don't know why this excites me soo much but it does. Ahh the simple pleasures of life! :)

-I have a taxes wish list. I'm fortunate that I get loads back from my taxes every year so hopefully this year I can accomplish some of my goals. And I added pictures for variety. See below.

A MUST is getting this whole thing with Danny resolved once and for all. It is going to happen. I am going to have the attorney we work with here help me with everything so thus the reason I am waiting for taxes. Might get spendy. Number 1 priority this year.

A new car! Not this one. But I thought it was kinda funny. I dunno how anyone would even fit in this. But I do indeed need a new car, mine is on its last leg. And I've been looking around and should be able to pick up a good one for not very much. Time to practice my negotiation skills!

A new treadmill! And I would totally look like this guy trying to run too haha! I'm really hoping I can find a good deal and have been checkin craigslist and the classifieds every day! I should be able to pick one up for a couple hundrd from the looks of things.
Along with this....I plan on joining Weight Watchers as well since I've seen alot of successful people do the program. And I need people to be accountable to I think.

If I have money left...I plan on paying down some of the stuff on my credit. We shall see if that happens.

And finally....whatever is left is being stocked in savings and I have a goal to start saving at least $5 a paycheck (which seems tiny but its alot to me) and not spend that money.

So there we go. Odds and Ends and random thoughts for the day. Woohoo!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Q & A about my job

I've had alot of people lately ask me what I do and how I help people. So I have no idea how many people actually read this, and it probably will make everyone go zzzzzzzzzzzzzz but here it is.

My main priority is to prevent foreclosure. This doesn't always mean keeping someone in their home. Unfortunately, there are cases out there where keeping the home is not going to help the client in the long run. So how do I figure out whats going to work and do what I do?

A client will fill out a packet and I review the information. I go over their budget, bank statements, debts, etc. Then they come in for an appointment. We discuss ways to cut down budgets and live in "crisis" mode for awhile until things even out. That means making their priorities shelter, utilities, food, and transportation (unless they have massive amounts of money for loans, then we see about downsizing). I tell them how much money they need to cut out of their budget and they decide where to cut.

If all of that works out and they are able to cut down their budget, we then decide if its going to be best to stay in the home or liquidate. This is hard for alot of people who have their hearts set on staying in their home but truly can't afford it. Some take my advice and some I don't ever see again.

So if they CANNOT afford their home, I refer them to real estate agents and get them started on short selling their home. I work with their agent to turn in paperwork and such, and if after 2-3 months the home isn't selling, we apply for whats called a Deed-In-Lieu which is where they would sign the title or deed to the home back to the bank free and clear of any deficiencies. This gets them out without being held responsible for the home anymore, and generally gives them $500-$3000 moving cost incentives for choosing that option.

If they CAN afford their home, I run their numbers to figure out their ratios, how much will need to be capitalized to the balance of the loan, and try to determine a plan that will fit the client and the bottom line of the Lender. Once I get an acceptable interest rate and determine whether the loan needs to be extended by a couple months or possibly some of the principle reduced, I write up a negotiation offer. I then have the client bring in everything but their kitchen sink and we submit the packet to the Lender for review.

Depending on the Lender, the process can take anywhere from 30 days to 12 months. More are shooting for the shorter timeframe obviously, but sometimes it just doesn't happen. In that time, every month or two we have to turn in updated financials, and any other documents the Lender is requesting.

A sample of what I do would be this:

Client A is 3 months behind. They purchased for $150,000 and now owe $135,000 and have a PITI (prinicipal, interest, taxes and insurance) payment of $1100. Interest rate is 6%. They make $2500 a month. Their front end ratio is 45% and back end is 95%. After looking at their budget I determine they can afford to stay. So in general, a suggested house or rent payment should be about 31% of your income (front end ratio). Their target payment is $775.

So they are behind $3300 plus late fees. My plan would be as follows.

New balance: $138,300 (late fees waived)

New interest rate: 4.5%

New payment (PITI): $700.75

With no time extensions or principal reductions.

I know the Lender won't generally go for a payment lower than the 31% but I ask low so we can meet about where my clients need to meet. After a Lender verifies the income information and look at the offer, we duke it out (nicely) until we find a good resolve for both.

If the client is far enough along to have a sale date, I ask for a hold on the sale date or a postponement until a decision can be made. Generally they accept that and put the auction on hold. In extreme times they don't and we have to look at liquidation of the home or just letting it go.
In cases where the sale date is put on hold, the Lender will generally ask for some earnest money when the modification is approved, so I make sure my clients start saving for that from the get go.

Beyond that...I do our quarterly billings for our grants and help write grants when I can. Also just some odds and ends jobs for the housing authority itself not related to counseling.

So folks...thats it. Thats my job. Its a good job. A babysitting job most times, and definitely a tough love job. But I have my clients' best interests in mind always and just try to educate them so they can make an informed decision.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Many Blessings a day to remember the blessings in life. I know I do this alot but it really does help amazingly. I'm kind of surprised and how much it helps actually. goes.

1. Grateful I have a running vehicle (even though its running on its last leg) because if I had to walk our morning drive...we'd have to leave the house at like 5 am.
2. Grateful for my friends who have listened to me whine and complain the last day or so. Thats a true friend right there.
3. Grateful for good support networks in my job. I've leaned on them alot the last couple days and they are probably sick of me...but I am super grateful for them.
4. Grateful to have a job that I can support my kids on reasonably well. We may be really tight on money....but at least we can pay the bills and on occasion afford pizza or a hair cut. So there ya go.
5. Grateful for tax season to be here. I have some big plans for my tax return. I can't wait to get it back.
6. Gratefuly that my boys for the most part are nice to each other. Except yesterday...when they wouldn't stop fighting. At all.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


My pity party of yesterday is officially that I have sooooo much stuff to do. Its going to be a busy couple of weeks. Besides my normal case load of counseling, I'm also working on my two billings and getting ready for my counseling program to be audited in Febuary. Its a slight bit overwhelming but I know I can do it. Just gotta take baby steps. So to kick off the day here's a good qoute:

Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.
-Unknown Author

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Its A Blah Day

When I woke up it wasn't a blah day, but now it is. I have decided I'm a big baby about some things. Well one thing in particular. The EX situation. I'm starting to get a little bit frustrated and quite honestly kind of tender hearted about the fact that most of my Ex's have moved on. Not that I haven't moved on but it makes me a bit sad and a little mad when I see them in relationships. I know I can be difficult and I probably run most guys away. I get that. But its soo hard to see them finding love when I'm stuck by myself. Pity party for me I know. I'll eventually get over it and such. I just can't wait until I can find me a good guy I suppose.
Anyway....pity party done. Time to stop complaining. Got to get to work now.

Monday, January 3, 2011

The New Years 2011

This New Years was a calm one. I was grateful for that. Mom, Valena, Betsy and I took the kids and went to Wingers for lunch which was delicious of course. And the company was also great. Me and Ry spent the rest of the day being lazy. We watched Cat in the Hat (Ryders new found love) and The Grown Ups which is actually quite hilarious. And Shrek later on. Sunday we went to church at 1:00 pm and I decided that I loved my 11:00 am time. And Ryder hated his first day of Sunbeams. Which cut into my calling of playing piano for Relief Society. He ended up on the floor in Relief Society. Yeah. Hopefully we can work on that one. resolutions was the topic of church today and I needed to hear it. I have alot of new resolutions I plan on defining later on. In addition and some changed from my previous ones mentioned.
Anyway...I got a busy day so it's time to get to work but I hope you all had a great New Years and welcome in 2011!