Friday, May 28, 2010

Tales From the Grocery Store

The grocery store seems to be the testing grounds of my parenting skills. It's where my kids put all of their bad behaviors out on display and it has become a place of dread for me.

I think the big chains have recognized this and so they have tried to make their stores mom friendly offering free cookies, donuts, t.v. carts, car carts, bench carts, and even penny pony rides. And yet, there are days when even a live pony pulling my cart couldn't save me and my kids from disaster.

Today it was my fault. The clock clearly read nap time and still I had to squeeze a trip into Meijer (our mega grocery store). What was I thinking? It's the Friday of Memorial Day weekend! So there I was in a packed out parking lot with no make-up, "humid" hair, and 2 crabby kids...and this is before we entered the store. Somehow we survived the trip. I bribed the kids with an ice cream cone and there were only a few instances of me calling out numbers while strangers looked at me like I was nuts. "That's 1"...."That's 2"...."That's 3!!!!!!!!"

Just when I thought I was the only overwhelmed mother in the store, I spy another mom. She's got the bench cart with 2 kids on the bench and a baby in the front of the cart. Her cart is 1/2 full and you can tell that she's trying to make it before the kids hit melt down. Now, if you've driven one of those carts you know it's like driving an 18 wheeler and you need plenty of room and speed to swing it around to the next aisle. She rounds the corner at full speed hoping to make the turn to the next aisle. What she can't see, I can, and that is another bench cart fully loaded with 3 kids powered by another mom hitting top speed and ready for the turn. My mouth dropped into a "oh, no!" just as they collided. Both moms were visibly shaken by the crash but all 6 kids were unharmed. Both moms were also clearly embarrassed by their cart skills or rather lack of... I had a good chuckle and before you think I'm mean, it wasn't at them. I offered the 2 moms a smile saying, "Slow it down ladies. We all need to get out of here before nap time." In that single moment we clicked. I love that about fellow moms. we are all in the trenches and we're all in this together.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Things I Love Thursday: Coffee Mate

First off, do you really think that Coffee Mate is sending me any free product for this post...ahhhh, no. They know when they have lifelong addict. So my opinions have only been swayed by the fact that I wake up jonesin' for the stuff every morning.

There was one unfortunate morning that I woke up *gasp* with no Coffee Mate in the house. My husband, bless his heart, sets up the coffee maker for me when he leaves for work so that all I have to do is stumble out of bed and push a button. I know, he's Mr. Wonderful! I woke up that particular morning, shuffled my way into our kitchen, saw my husband's act of love (coffee people...) and just about cried when I remembered that I used the last drops of that fantastic mix of chemicals and faux flavor creamer the day before. I posted a note on fb thinking that surely someone would understand my pain and went on with my morning. I survived but not happily as I dressed the kids, got one on the bus, and started tidying up the place.

The amazing thing is that there exists a Coffee Mate fairy! Somewhere around 10:00 my door bell rang and there she was, dressed in a darling little cotton dress with a smile that went from ear to ear, with a bottle of Coffee Mate in her outstretched hand. I swear I saw a bright light behind her and heard angels singing. This all goes to illustrate my post from yesterday, Friends don't let friends mother alone.

I love Coffee Mate and I LOVE LOVE Coffee Mate fairies!

This post is a part of THings I Love Thursday hosted by The Diaper Diaries

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Friends Don't Let Friends Mother Alone

Moms need friends. We need friends to vent to and tell us when it's time to be quiet and suck it up (I can't even type "shut-up" let alone say it). We need friends to stand along side in the tough times and take us out for a girls night in the good times. We need friends to share the mile markders with and cry with when the mark seems too high. Friends understand, listen, and encourage. They will talk recipies, breast feeding, poop in the bathtub (kid I really need to clarify?!), where to find the deal, and everything and anything in between. When I reflect on my journey as a mother, I'm amazed at how much of it is defined by my friends.

Reaching out to friends can take some courage. I was recently on fb and saw a post from a friend that is distanced from me in miles and years gone by. She was frustrated, hurt, and ready to hang the towel. I was thrilled to see how many people in her fb community reached out to her to offer a note of encouragement or some practical help. It made me feel good about the human race and it got me thinking about a phrase I recently heard, "Friends don't let friends mother alone". It's sassy and oh so true!

My girlfriends love me in ways that I couldn't live without and my heart is just bubbling over with gratitude and praise for them today. They are my sisters from another mister. I feel secure knowing that they are only a phone call away. If I'm having one of those days, they will swoop in with a hug, a play date, or anything else I need. They are a gift from God and I don't mean that in a trite, stitch it on a pillow way. They are tangible proof that I have a God who provides for my every need, even my need for freindshhip.

If you are feeling lonely in mothering, it's time to run up the flag for help. Deposit some time and words into your current friendships reminding your friends how much they mean to you. Ask people clearly for what you bold. Plug yourself into a community that can support you like your church or a local mom's group. Six years ago, I signed up for a MOPS group that was operating out of my church. I found friends and mentor moms to build supportive and encouraging friendships with. Shameless plug: MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) is where I recently read that tag line, "Friends don't let friends mother alone". I also joined a Bible study that offered fantastic childcare to my kids while I was able to go deep in the word of God with other women who became bosom buddies.

So, I declare today as the day to give thanks for the friends you have and the day to search for teh friends that you need!

"A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out."
-Walter Winchell

Monday, May 24, 2010

Book Review: I Am Hutterite

I received a copy of the book I Am Hutterite for review recently from the publisher Thomas Nelson. I was intrigued by the book's cover photo and the idea of learning about the Hutterite community through a memoir.

I found the beginning of this book to be far from a page turner. The author attempts to retell the story of generations before her. I experienced a strong disconnect between myself and the text. I found the timeline hard to follow and the voice of the author lost in the pieces of narrative that she has tried to piece together.

The memoir really begins to take shape almost a third of the way into the story, as the author retells her personal story growing up in a Hutterite community. The stories and tales offer glimpses into an otherwise private community. I was fascinated to read about the Hutterite traditions of marriage, parenting, and even the mundane daily tasks. The author takes the reader through the small joys of daily living, a deep tragedy suffered by the family, and through the many conflicts of living in community. The reader follows this family as they leave the Hutterite community and make their own way into living and functioning as a family apart from the Hutterite community. The author, in many ways, shares her deep desire to recapture her Hutterite memories and ways of life as she tells her life after the family's exile.

The author is able to strike a chord of resonance in her audience by revealing how deeply ingrained a person's childhood circumstance and family is into one's identity. While my childhood greatly differs from one growing up Hutterite, it seems clear to me that I am in some way defined by my parents, siblings, church, and childhood experiences. I believe the book's greatest impact comes in the epilogue where the author writes, "The Hutterite culture has defined me in ways that can never be erased. In my heart, I will always remain a Hutterite."

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Winner: CSN $40 Giveaway

And we have a winner...

Jennifer of Studio JRU. Congrats Jennifer and happy shopping!

Jennifer has a website where she sells beautiful and inspiring sure to click on over!I personally love this....

Monday, May 17, 2010

Random Car Sighting

So this has nothing to do with anything and while I promised myself to keep the word "random" out of my blog posts, there is no other word to describe this...

What you are looking at here, is a car whose owner has crossed some line, some boundary, something. Yes, those are 2 deer mounted onto the back of his car. No, I do not know if they are fake but they are mechanized (is that the right word even?!) so that they talk. Their lower jaw moves up and down and the 2 deer appear to have some sort of conversation. I couldn't hear exactly what they were saying because my 2kids were going nuts in the backseat. I meanwhile, was digging frantically through my purse, finding my camera so that I could capture this moment. Note the hats....snazzy!

So the guy driving the car appeared normal but who does this? And my answer is this...either the guy has no kids to chase around, feed, clothe, bathe... Or, he had a few too many kids and they drove him crazy and driving this.


Cozy Coupeless

First you have yourself signed up for the giveaway? Scroll down to the May 13 post and leave a comment already!

Secondly, I'm cozy coupeless. It's a new stage of life and I'm adjusting. Once again, I know, it's silly. It's the first time in 6 years that we haven't owned a cozy coupe. A friend was having a garage sale and well, there's only so much bikes and scooters, and big wheels that should be permitted in one household, so I sold it. And now,...I'm cozy coupeless.

I guess in the scheme of things, it's not like I'm sending my first born off to college but still, it's another marker. I guess I just have to tell myself what I say to my kids, "we say goodbye to old things so that we can say hello to some new ones".

Friday, May 14, 2010

Hamster Drama

We had a bit of excitement at our house this morning...our hamster, Benny, was on the loose.

I woke up around 6:30 to these funny little scratching sounds and a muffled squeak. I had this half conscious thought about whether we had a dog or not. We don't. An hour later there were several shrieks and squeals coming from the hallway. I turned my head in that direction and saw a streak of white fur followed by 2 howling kids.

My first fear was for the hamster. I can't imagine the amount of therapy my kids would need from squishing their beloved pet. Then I realized that we had to catch the thing before we left for school and the sitters. Of all mornings, it has to happen on a day when there's a class field trip and we actually HAVE to leave the house. We finally cornered Benny in a bathroom, sealed all exits, and tried to coax her into her ball.

The thing is...I'm actually scared of her. I don't want my kids to know but I'm terrified of handling Benny. I had a hamster in my classroom back in the day when I taught full time. That hamster bit one of my students and since then, I've been a little week in the knees around hamsters. It's silly really. I managed to put on my brave mom mask and get her safely back into her home, a 20 gallon aquarium. I'd love to know how she got out! How does one little furry hamster scale glass walls and cause that much havic?!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Things I Love Thursday: CSN $40 Gift Card Giveaway

I love giveaways and here's a great one...

CSN is giving one lucky reader a $40 gift card to shop with at their online store. Now, I have shopped CSN and seriously, you can buy anything your little heart desires! I couldn't be happier with the products that I bought along with the ease of shopping their site, checkout, and shipping. CSN Stores has over 200 amazing online stores where you can find almost anything you need whether it be a sofa, suitcase, or cookie sheet!

Want to enter? Here's how. First, you must follow Parenting in Blue Jeans to enter. Next, make sure you leave a comment for each entry!

1 entry- become a follower of Parenting in Blue Jeans. Already following? Just remind me.

1 entry- tell me what you would use the gift card for. Happy window shopping! Leave a link in your comment so we can see what you want.

1 entry- become a fan of Parenting in Blue Jeans on Facebook. Already are? Just remind me.

3 entries- add my Parenting in Blue Jeans button to your blog. Go ahead and grab took me a ridiculously long time to make it! Leave a link so I can find it easily please.

5 entries- Blog about this giveaway with a link back to Parenting in Blue Jeans. Make sure to leave the link to your blog post in your comment.

This giveaway closes Thursday, May 20th at midnight. That means you have a week to enter! Good luck!

This post is a part of Things I Love Thursday.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Tickets Please: Rewarding Your Kids

Tickets are our family's currency. We use them to pay our kids for doing the extra jobs that go beyond their normal chores and we use them to reinforce good behavior. Our kids get to use their tickets to earn prizes and pay for their screen time. Teachers would call it classroom management so I guess it would be fair to call the system household management....whatever you call it, it works. Here's how you can set it up at your house...

1. Buy carnival tickets. They come in an assortment of colors so you can buy one roll per child or use one color for your family and write your kid's name on each ticket. Our tickets live on our refrigerator but a paper towel holder works too.

2. Explain the system to your kids. Use clear and simple language. If your kids are young, make it tangible by having some toys that they can earn priced and out on display. You could even consider taking your kids shopping so that they can help pick out their prizes. I never force my kids to earn tickets. The prizes should be motivation enough. Here's the great get to decide what the prizes are. Right now, my son is working towards earning 100 tickets so that he can buy a new fishing pole and tackle box. We've also sold trips to Chuck E Cheese, family trips to the movie theatre, and screen time(screen time is any time that your kids spend in front of a t.v., computer, DVD, or video game...yes, my kids PAY for it!).

3. Make your expectations clear. You can list extra jobs out on a poster board with the tickets stapled next to the job. I'm not organized enough to post jobs. I simply state that there is a "ticket" job and ask if there are any volunteers. I also tell my kids when a job is not done to our standards and let them know what needs to be done to earn the ticket.

4. Use tickets as positive reinforcement. I like to splurge on my kids and say things like, "Wow! You behaved so well at the dentist that I'm going to give you a ticket!". I don't always pay for good behavior but sometimes I reward it. See the difference? I also don't take tickets away. Now, you could argue with me on this one. At our house we have negative consequences set in place so tickets are strictly for earning not losing.

5. Get creative and customize the idea. Give tickets as birthday and Christmas presents and hide them in the Easter eggs. Our kids go nuts over ticket presents and guess what...they're pretty much free. Tell the kids that they can earn tickets for going to bed for the babysitter. Give out tickets when you feel especially proud of an accomplishment. You are the keeper of the tickets...go crazy!

Do you need a reward? A new ($40 CSN) giveaway starts tomorrow!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Rain, Rain, Come and Stay!

"The best kind of rain, of course, is a cozy rain. This is the kind the anonymous medieval poet makes me remember, the rain that falls on a day when you'd just as soon stay in bed a little longer, write letters or read a good book by the fire, take early tea with hot scones and jam and look out the streaked window with complacency." ~Susan Allen Toth, England For All Seasons

I secretly love a rainy day. It's the perfect excuse to dress in hiding layers. It's the perfect excuse to stay home. It's the perfect excuse to bake. It's the perfect excuse to do crafts with my kids. And, it's the perfect excuse to be lazy and read a book.

I think my love of rainy days originates back to growing up and working at our family landscaping company. I would wake up, throw my hair into a long pony tail, pull on the uniform of khaki shorts and a green t-shirt, and walk down to work. If it was raining I would stand with the other workers waiting for the call. I loved those days when all productivity came to a halt. The beeps of backing up equipment were silenced, no one loaded trucks with wheel barrows and tools, and everyone just stood waiting on the rain. I have no ties to landscaping anymore but still love to use a rainy day as an excuse to stop productivity.

Today, I'm going to dress cozy. Today, I'm going to bake lemon sugar cookies. Today, I'm going to read the book that just arrived in the mail. Today, I'm going to let my kids paint. I guess it's still a productive day, but it's doing what we want and at a different pace.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Monday Meals

I had a fabulous Mother's day and I hope you did too. I know that many of you were spoiled and didn't have to cook or lift a finger so here's an easy breezy recipe that will help you with re-entry into reality.

I usually don't get all that excited about hamburgers but these burgers are out of control good! They are mouth watering delicious, moist (uggh...a word from my "Words I Hate" list), and as far as hamburgers go....fancy.

Mozzarella Beef Burgers

What You Need:

1 lb. ground beef
1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup barbecue sauce
4 hamburger buns

What You Do:

PREHEAT grill to medium-high heat. Mix meat, cheese, bread crumbs and barbecue sauce. Shape into four patties.

PLACE patties on grill; cover grill with lid. Grill 4 to 6 min. on each side or until burgers are cooked through (160°F).


Friday, May 7, 2010

Top 10 Signs That it's Time to Clean

10. The sticky spot on the floor has disappeared. I had a friend confess to me that her floor was so dirty that it was no longer sticky. I didn't get it either at first. She then explained that she had noticed a spot where something had spilled and left a sticky residue. One day she noticed the stickiness was gone and realized that enough dirt and grime had covered the area so that it wasn't sticky anymore.

9. Your windows look like they have a frosted effect. My kids lick my windows. I have no idea why other than they like to make work for me.

8. Your kids don't ask for snacks because they can find enough sustenance in lost cheerios in the couch cushions.

7. You're on the verge of a toy coup. I once slept on a toy and it was no princess and the pea story. I never felt the matchbox car until I woke up the next morning. What does that say about me? Yikes!

6. You notice that your kids are "drawing" pictures in the dust on your coffee table.

5. your kids are pretending to be mountain climbers on the piles and piles of laundry. I am a complete failure when it comes to laundry. I wash it and then it sits until I get about 7 or 8 loads to put away all at once. If I had a million dollars, I would so pay for fluff and fold!

4. There isn't a clean knife to butter your bagel. You know it's REALLY bad when you start to use the kid's plastic ware! I dream of the day we get a dishwasher. I don't currently suffer from this problem only because there is only so much you can fit in a sink.

3. You clean one room for when quests come over and then try to limit their movement. I do miss having a 2 story house where you could just clean the main floor and everyone just assumes that the upstairs is just as clean.

2. You count on your dog to clean up the floor after family meal time. This benefit of dog ownership almost outweighs the hassle of dealing with pet hair!

1. Your turn. I'm stuck so leave a comment with your #1 sign it's time to clean. Seriously, I can't post a top 9 list!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Easy Art for Kid's Rooms

I'm always looking for an inexpensive way to decorate my kids walls. Here's a very cheap way to pull it off and put your creative powers to use.

First, pick up a blank canvas at one of the big box craft stores. They come in all different shapes and sizes. When you shop, be aware that some have a clean looking edge on the sides and others show the staples that fasten the canvas to the frame. You can frame it ($$$) or use ribbon to cover the staples.

Next, I used an accent paint I had left over from painting a tree on my daughter's wall. You can use any coordinating color. You could simply use your trim paint or consider bringing in your child's bed spread or curtains to a paint store. They can easily create a match and mix up a quart for you.

Next, find coordinating paper (I used scrap booking paper) to create frames and other decorative shapes. As I mentioned, I painted a tree on my daughter's wall, so I continued this pattern onto one canvas along with simple squares that will act as frames for photos. The birds and flowers are stickers that I found at a craft store.
You could also add your child's name in large get the idea. Be creative and have some fun. Don't worry about cutting out your shapes perfectly either. You won't notice the imperfections once it's finished and on the wall.

Finally, glue every thing down using Mod Podge. Be sure to use a matte finish so it doesn't turn out super shiny. Once everything is in place, coat the top with a layer of Mod Podge too. If bubbles pop up under your paper don't stress. They will work themselves out! When your paper is wet you can lift color and it also can rip easily so use a bit of care. You can use mounting tape to place your photos on your canvas once it's dried.

Viola! Easy, cheap, and cute!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Mother's Day

My Mother's Day present came early. Well, it's not actually a present. It's the fact that my kids are sneaking around making "supizes" for me. I love it.

There have already been a few days when the kids act like they're sneaking by with paper and markers and announce that I may not look at what they are doing. The house goes quiet not in that "Oh no! It's quiet!". I actually can relax knowing that they're up to good.

I can just imagine what they're making. They both tend to use the old paper pad that they got from one of our friends when his business and address changed...fancy! I also saw post-it notes and heard the stapler hard at work.

I'm sure your kids make creations like this too. Ones that only a mother could love because really, they are just plain sad looking. Truthfully, I'll probably end up sneaking out to the trash while they're asleep because there is only so much that I can store and they create in quantity. Still, I'm feeling especially loved and appreciated this week.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Feed My Starving Children

How can a SAHM make an impact on a social justice issue like hunger? Seriously, I feel competent to cook for a family of 4 but take a bite out of world hunger...seems a bit beyond me. And it is.

God blessed my home church this last Sunday and I'm still all abuzz from the event. By the grace of God, our church was able to raise $32,ooo during Lent to buy and pack 150,000 meals (each meal feeding 6 children) along with a general donation to Feed My Starving Children Amazing.

The best part of the entire day was watching my son work during our shift. I was in charge of scooping the soy and rice into the meal storage bag after a friend scooped a vitamin/chicken powder and dehydrated veggies. Yum, yum. My husband and our son took the bag after it was properly weighted and sealed it. Our shift packed enough meals to feed 169 children one meal per day for one year. The feeling of helping, of being a part of the process, of being used to help, made us feel so full!

Feed My Starving Children is a Christian organization that will work with you and your group of volunteers! Here's their link:

Please comment if you have any questions or if you've worked with this organization and you can recommend it along with me!

Sharpie Weight Loss

I have an addiction to Sharpie markers and even more so, I occasionally feel compelled to write on my walls with Sharpies. Yes, me. No, not the kids, me, age 33.

It started at our last house, which was a sprucer upper, A.K.A. hideous. I knew it would take several years before we had the time and money to remodel the kitchen. And I was right, it took 7 years until we fixed up the kitchen and then we moved to our current sprucer upper, A.K.A. extra hideous. I guess the logic went something along the lines of...if I have to live with an ugly kitchen with cupboards custom built for a short person, which I am not, and striped berber carpet in it, it might as well be fun. So, I began writing my favorite quotes on the wall in Sharpie. Eventually, whenever we had a dinner party, I invited our guests to add so meting to the kitchen walls too. It became this thing...

Well, it's started again. No, I'll take personal responsibility, I started again. This time it's our master bathroom. Don't let the "master bath" fool you. It's tiny. It has a tiled shower minus the glass door. The glass must have broken during the last owner and now it has small plastic curtain hung by 3 random pink flowered hooks. It also has one oddly placed wall cabinet that the previous owners painted a random exotic bird on and of course... one toilet (that we replaced...good-bye pink toilet), and one tiny and short vanity with a pink sink. Oh, I forgot to mention the florescent light that is all yellowed and flickers for a good minute when you first turn it on. I pretty much feel like I'm getting ready at camp every mooring.

It doesn't bother me that much really because I can see through the ugly to the potential. I know that with some hard work and a bit of cash that someday it's going to feel like a "master bath". In the mean time....I'll write on it in permanent marker.

This time it's not quotes though. This time I write out the current month, calendar style. The logic goes something like this...if I can see how often I work out each month...maybe I'll work out. It works. I started with the month of March and I starred each date that I exercised on. March looks like the 4th of July...I rocked March out!

I also post how much weight I've lost or (grrrr...) gained at the end of each week. It's not really about the weight though. I mean, trust me, I have weight to lose and i'd like to lose it, but I'm focusing more on the exercise piece. The weight loss is a result not the goal.

Then there's April and May....well, I didn't hit rock star status either of those months, but the point is I'm sticking with it. There's an excuse every day to not work out but I'm trying to do the hard thing. I'm trying not to ignore the writing on the wall (pun intended) and although there have been a few starless weeks overall, it's been a great accountability partner for me. I figure I have at least 1 year before we have the time and money to remodel the "master" bathroom. In that time I hope to put up at least 100 stars...and you'll get to count them. I promise, when the time comes, to post before and afters of the bathroom and by that time I also hope that regular exercise will be just another part of my routine...permanent like

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Book Review: The Money Answer Book by Dave Ramsey

Recently, I received the book The Money Answer Book to read and review. Now, like many, Dave Ramsey is not a stranger to me. My husband and I first turned to Dave for advice 6 years ago when I became a stay at home mom and we went from D.I.N.Ks (Double Income No Kids) to "good golly are we eating spaghetti again". It was Dave Ramsey's book The Total Money Makeover that led us, step by step, out of our financial pickle. I also became a listener of his national talk radio program and even worked up the nerve to call in when we became debt free.

When this book, The Money Answer Book, showed up in the mail my first thought was, "does the man really need to write a new book?". I know. It sounds cruel. It's not that I'm sick of Dave Ramsey. I love the guy. I wondered though, if Dave had anything new to write. Dave's principals on becoming debt free and building financial wealth are simple, straight forward, and grounded. Truly, if you've read Dave Ramsey there isn't much "new" in this book...and I'm good with that. In fact, I'm slightly relieved.

What Dave Ramsey does do in The Money Answer Book is repackage his plan for financial peace into an easy to read and slightly entertaining book. The book is organized into a question and answer format much like his talk radio show. This is what captured my peanut sized attention span. You can eat this book in small question per page. Or you can chew away at a chapter which organizes a number of questions around one financial topic. While you're entertained by the questions and *gasp* drama in the lives of strangers, your own financial questions are answered and you come away motivated to manage your money. It's a win win.

Throughout the book, The Money Answer Book also includes profound quotes and Biblical scripture grounding it's concepts and providing a bit of a thoughtful reading break. You also gain a few easy, stress-free, financial work pages to create your own money action plan. Very practical.

The book's opening chapter begins with a inspiring "No matter what I don't" list, which just endears the man more to me, and then goes on to explain, what Dave calls, The Basics. If you're at all familiar with Dave Ramsey, you'll recognize these as the baby steps:
1. $1,000 in an emergency fund
2. Pay off all debt(except the house) utilizing the "Debt Snowball"
3. 3 to 6 months expenses in savings for emergencies
4. Fully fund 15% into pre-tax retirement plans and ROTH IRA, if eligible.
5. College funding
6. Pay off home early
7. Build wealth! (Mutual funds and real estate)

Overall, I recommend the book to anyone who has, needs, wants, and is out of money. That's everyone right? Dave's advice is relevant for a person drowning in debt to a person swimming in cash. If you've never read or heard Dave Ramsey, this book is a gentle introduction that gives you a well rounded knowledge of Dave's program. It also wets your appetite to learn more and put your plans into action. If you're like me and you've already been "Ramsified" as I like to call it, and this book serves as an entertaining refresher course that will walk you back into your baby steps if you've strayed a bit.

I'll end with my favorite quote included in the book....

"If at first you don't succeed...try hard work." - William Feather

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”