So it has been one of those weeks with the boys. Those of you with 2 children know exactly what I am talking about. You let yourself get so frustrated and then you get a little reminder about slowing things down and taking it in.

Bedtime Saturday night:

Daddy: Okay boy's, who wants to pray?

Eli: Should we pray for Jesus?

Owen: Hey daddy, why did Jesus die on the tross? (not a typo)

Eli: To take our sins away Owen.
Daddy and Mommy further elaborate on Eli's explanation.

Daddy: Okay, let's pray.

Eli: Dear Lord, thank you for Jesus dying on the cross. Help me and Owen to have fun at school and to be good so we don't go in timeout. And help me to not fall off my bunk bed. (don't worry, we have one with a built in rail - he has not fallen out yet) Amen.

Daddy: Alright boys, get into bed. Mommy and Daddy love you.

Eli: I want to sleep in Owen's bed...(Whiny)

Mommy: No, you guys will never fall asleep.

Daddy: C'mon, let's go, Eli - in your bed.

Eli licks Owen

::giggle, giggle::

Owen licks Eli

::giggle, giggle::

Eli licks Owen

May I soak in every moment like that....except the licks; well maybe those too.


The "Financial" Crisis - Who is responsible?

Here is my take,

Decades ago and since then, Congress and the Presidents (every president) kept lowering consumer lending expectations for borrowing. This was for the most part due to pressure from Americans who love spending who vote for them. The rules used to be you needed a 20% down payment in order to get a mortgage. As the bar was continually lowered to include more Americans, we were mortgaging houses we couldn't afford. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac took on that bet and then insured it through, go figure, Lehman Brothers and AIG(the 13th largest business on the NYSE and the largest ins co in the WORLD).

So as Americans, who were probably at the same time - purchasing furniture, etc for that home they now have with "no payment, no interest for 5 years" gimmicks. Well, eventually it caught up with us. First taking down Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae as foreclosures piled up. Then, through insuring all these companies on Wall Street, companies like AIG and Lehman Brothers are now falling flat on their face. The "now" CEO of AIG has agreed to pay back 100 million to help out.

So to me, the main problem lies with us the American consumers who love buying things and love buying things we don't have to pay for until it is time to replace them. Sure, shame on the past elected officials of every party for lowering the bar of standards on Wall Street and as to how we can borrow.

McCain can't save the economy, neither can Obama, neither can congress. Well, they can help put the fence around the yard, Americans need to grow and maintain the grass.

If Americans don't become more responsible with their spending habits, we will be in this boat again. Stop buying without having the cash. Go back to the Biblical principles on spending.

"In the house of the wise, there are stores of choices grains and oils. Only a fool consumes all he has." God actually tells us we should have savings! Another interesting line in the book of proverbs says that "The borrower is slave to the lender" (Proverbs 22:7a). In the bible, God never used debt once to bless his people, and many Christians are starting to realize that God has a plan for us which does not involve borrowing money.Of course being in debt is not a salvation issue by any means, but God wants what's best for us and all of us who are Christians would like to follow His ways as best as we can. Many of us believe that getting out of any debts that we may have is the way to go, but how does one accomplish this?There are three areas that need to be addressed. The first is that of having the wrong priorities. God tells us in Proverbs 6 that when you are in debt you should escape it like a gazelle does with a lion. This does not mean you should kind of sort of maybe thinking about paying some bills, it means you should run as fast as you can until you are done with debt. Work very much and very hard until you are out of debt. Spending too much money is another area that God mentions in the bible. He tells us that "only a fool devours all he has." Who would have thought that God is not in favor of us living paycheck to paycheck? We need to quit spending as much money on ourselves so that we have money to pay off debt. The freed-up income will do wonders in helping pay down any liabilities that you might have. God also tells us that we should work. We are told in the New Testament that "The man who does not work does not eat." God wants us to be productive. He wants us to work hard so we can have resources to do his work. The crazy thing is, is that if you follow God's principles when it comes to money, he'll give you a lot more of it. This can never be proven mathematically, but it's true. If God can trust us with the little things, surely He will give us more of His wealth to manage.

Read, listen, and buy in to sound financial advise from people like; Dave Ramsey, Ric Edelman, and the queen of "don't buy it", Suzy Orman.

*disclaimer - Aaron is not perfect at his finances, but at least making better financial decisions than he used to.


Update on our Visitor

We have lost our visitor. He got away. We had just decided Tuesday night that we were not going to keep him after we found him on the side of the road. He is a great dog, but not good timing for us. I am unbelievably surprised by how attached I got to him considering my not so caring side for animals. I miss him, I didn't even get to say goodbye to him. Maybe someone will find him and bring him back so we can give him to a good home. I couldn't stop thinking about him last night out in the cold....or, since he had our address on his tag, the only people that would be honest and return him would be the same type of person we would give him to. I just hope nothing happened to him or that he is not in some home that just tossed his tag when they found him.
Live in Peace Tigger,
Your 2 week host family


Reach for the Sky

This just amazes me......
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — The developer of a Dubai skyscraper set to become the world's tallest building says the rising tower now stands at a "new record height" of 2,257 feet.
Emaar Properties says the skyscraper — known as Burj Dubai — now has "more than 160 stories." Its exterior is almost done and work has started on the interior.
The company's Monday statement gave no other details. The silvery steel-and-glass building's final height is a secret.
Last summer, the developer announced the building surpassed Taiwan's Taipei 101 which has dominated the global skyline at 1,667 feet since 2004.
In the four years of construction, Emaar twice postponed the skyscraper's finish, now slated for September 2009.
So many businesses and governments are trying to have the biggest, best, tallest, thinnest ________ (fill in the blank with a myriad of issues that don't mean squat)
Could you imagine if a lot of these same institutions had headlines for how they impacted the lives of people. How about this for a headline, 'Emaar properties builds 600,000 homes in Togo, West Africa, surpassing Taiwan Taipei's 450,000 in India" It's a bit long, but what would the world look like then?
"7 year old Johnny Smith shared the Love of Christ through his actions with 6 of his friends today at the lunch table"