Tuesday, October 27, 2009

5 R's in the Ralph Family

OK, I'll admit that this is not an original idea. I got this one from Education Week, but the presenter just happened to have a name that started with "R" so it works for us. He said that you could label the qualities that you desired to have in your family. Since you have 5 fingers it was stated that you could use a handful of R's to remember the important aspects of family. He used RESPECT, RESOURCEFULNESS, REVERENCE, RESPONSIBILITY, and RESOLVE. Imagine posting those attributes on a family logo. That would really be cool. I realize that some of you don't have "R" for the beginning of your last names but you could pick other attributes that started with "H" such as HELPFUL, HALLOWED, HONOR, HONESTY, HOME, etc....
We could change these to and add RIGHTEOUS or HEAVENLY. Just thinking. Let me know what you think too!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Ben's Dance Performance

Here's a couple of videos of Ben's performances. He and his partner received 1st in Latin and 2nd in Standard in silver division during the Northwest Dancesport Championships. His partner was Melissa Marisich.

video video video video video video

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Need to Read Book

Hi Everyone,
So I've been telling everyone that they need to read a book. The Richest Man in Babylon. It's a quick read and it has some very important ideas (wisdom) that I feel would be very helpful to all of my family members.
The biggest key is to Save at least 10% of your earnings. Pay yourself right after you pay your tithing. Try and live off only 70% of what you bring home. Be frugal. Be wise. Think of your future as well as the present. Plan, budget and save.
For those considering the purchase of a house. Please read the book Millionaire Mind by Thomas Stanley. It has a great chapter on purchasing homes that anyone that is considering this step should know.
I know that this is full on financial info but right now I'm rather focused on this aspect of our lives. Hope that you are all well and loving life.
Love, momma Ralph

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Budget Plan

Susan wrote that she wanted some examples of how to go about strengthening our financial health. It's all about budgeting and staying within the budget and investing all extra funds into paying off your debts and/or saving for a "rainy day." I have a budget sheet that I will post (if I can figure out how to do it) so that you can get an idea of what to plan for. You have to keep all your receipts for 2 months or so. Each week you need to sit down with your spouse and go over all expenditures and put them on the budget sheet. If you do this for a whole year you will know exactly where your money went and where you can make adjustments to be able to save more and get out of debt. Remember to sit down with your spouse weekly. I can't emphasize this one enough. It takes both of you to get out of debt (or into debt). This weekly meeting is so important that I would put it up with family home evening in its value.
For simple budgeting, start with an excel spreadsheet and put all your income and expenses for a month down one column. Then add 5 more columns for the weeks in a month and fill in the blanks when you spend any money. Keeping track of expenditures helps you see where you may be able to cut down so that you can save more and waste less.

Here's some ideas for items to add to your budget:

Income
Dad's Employment
Mom's employment
Other
TOTALS

Variable Expenses
Groceries (Store)
Groceries (Store)
Groceries TOTALS
GAS
Auto #1
Auto #2
GAS TOTALS
Water bill
Electricity
Cell phone
Telephone
Miscellaneous
Medical Copayments
Medications
Dental Copayments
Auto Maintenance
Entertainment
College Fund
College Books
Home Repairs
Clothing/shoes
Christmas/Gifts
Food Storage
Entertainment
Fast Food/Restaurants
Totals

Fixed Expenses
Tithing
Savings
Car & Home Insurance
Cable
Garbage
Home Owners Assoc.
Continuing ED. Classes
Licensing
Home Mortgage
Rental payment
Loans (school)
Credit Card (#1)
Credit Card (#2)
Union Dues
TOTALS

ANNUAL BILLS
Club Dues
Life Insurance
Taxes
City Utilities/Fees
Donations
BYU Annual Fund

BUDGET TOTAL
MONTHLY EXPENSES TOTALS

Hopefully this gives you something to start with. It's very basic. There are also websites that discuss budgeting - just don't pay for anything fancy, it's not worth the expense.
When trying to teach kids about budgeting try this website: http://feedthepig.org/ . It was great.
Have a great day and start living providently!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

H1N1 influenza or Swine Flu

It seems that some family members have come down with the Swine Flu. It appears that this influenza is very prevalent right now and many people are becoming infected. Though some have serious complications, the majority of people who are infected weather this strain of influenza very easily (though they may not agree with that statement during their bout). It appears that the major symptoms end in 24 to 48 hours for normal healthy adults. The people who have problems are infants, toddlers, children and the aged, in that order.
The major issues are maintaining temperatures at a lower end fever level and not allowing infants to have high fevers also maintaining hydration. This influenza seems to cause vomiting and diarrhea. Both cause dehydration particularly in infants and young children who don't have a lot of fluid to spare. The aged usually have poor immune systems and they don't fight off the infection easily which makes it harder on them also.
The key is to wash your hands frequently. Don't cough in your hands. Don't rub your eyes with your hands. Although the virus may be airborne it probably is passed more readily by contact with mucous membranes (rubbing the eyes) after contact with inanimate objects (books, desks, etc.) that have the virus on them (fallen droplets from sneezes, coughs etc.). Again, the key is to wash your hands thoroughly and frequently.
For more information you can go to this Medscape site - it updates info frequently. http://www.medscape.com/sites/swine-flu?src=mp&spon=24&uac=107468SV
Hope you all are well and happy! Take care!!!!