Grace

Or should I say Gracie- Gracie is a little girl in Jaydens kindie class and I knew that statictically speaking poverty had hit our small town hard, with some families living in neighbors basements and being poor, parents living apart because there isn’t enough room. I know that our small town doesn’t provide the venues that the towns around us do. I met Gracies dad yesterday, he was applying for jobs and I was grocery shopping- he was fixin to take the bus home so I offered him a ride cus hey I was heading that way anyway. Normally I would never had associated myself with his kind, he is unkept and not my style of people…well he told me Gracies birthday was fast approaching and he was looking more desperately for a job because he had nothing to give her, that they hadn’t had electricty for who knows how long and they hadn’t had any food since school let out. This sweet 5 year old hadn’t had a real meal in over two weeks, TWO WEEKS! That their food stamps had finally kicked in so she would atleast have a cake.

I of course took time to understand and at first it was wow look at the poverty. Then it was oh my God, I write a blog about my life, about my struggles and this little girl doesn’t have food or electric (the food bank paid off their bill, so they have it for now.) It broke my heart, it breaks my heart. I have food, I have a fancy iPhone and internet. I have a car and electricity and I whine and bitch and complain about my money worries because I don’t have savings and have a car payment. I am such an ass hole.

I know that logically beating myself up isn’t going to do me a touch of good. Our small group has talked about a mobile food bank (because we don’t have one in Erie) and I am going to start calling churchs for donations tomorrow. I am happy that I can help provide this girl with birthday presents (as well as so many of my neighbors) but it has humbled me with every meal I eat, with every luxury I enjoy that the people who have put the most to this little girls gifts (and offering the most food and household products) are the people I know who have the very least. I hope one day I can be as good as them.

If you would like to help support this amazing family please feel free to send paypal to jellebeandesigns@gmail.com

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Pregnancy, fish hooks and veggie chili

Sigh- yes, I sigh a lot!
This weekend was the epitome of hell for me :-/
It started well and ended alright but the in-between was well far from a pleasant experience.
Let’s start with saturday…I went to work and it went well! Yay! Until 5 o clock rolled around…Corey starts texting me frantically call me asap, emergency…I call thinking someone fell or something- nope of course it’s more complicated than that (I carpool to work so I only drive halfway)- Brett has a fish hook imbedded in his foot! Fuck me- so I take Beckys car drive to her house grab the truck drive home leave the other two with the neighbors mom- go to the ER have them extract the hook and wait to see if there is a reaction from the tetanus shot…3 hours later we are home! I’m sure the trip will only be about a grand :sigh:…I think my weekend can’t get worse than this…than it does, I head to work Sunday get to work…and a patron of the store asks me…when I’m due! I’m not I just broke into the 130’s and I’m not pregnant I’m losing 😥 sigh so I get off work I go massage Amy…drive pick up the fam in Estes realize I forgot to give Amy her key back drive back to her house drop off the key get home finally…it’s over! Bed!!! Now it’s monday and I have found a fish hook hidden in my boys room and quit my job because I’m honestly next time it will be much worse :-/
So this weekend I have spent a total of $91 in gas, been asked if I’m pregnant and spent 3 hours in the ER…the weeks not off to a much better start oy vey!

The other night we made a yummy veggie chili Our rendition of her recipe! and Rosemary chicken!

Chili
1 can chili beans
1 can kidney bean
1 package chili sauce mix
1 can roasted tomatoes
1/2 onion diced
1 carrot
1/2 yellow pepper
1/2 red pepper
2 tbs evoo

Cut/slice/dice veggies and sauté in evoo
Put every thing in a pot and simmer for 30 ish minutes
Eat!

Rosemary Chicken
6 chicken cutlets (or less)
Drizzle of evoo
Sprinkling of Rosemary

Preheat oven to 350
Drizzle evoo on to cutlets sprinkle Rosemary rub in and bake for 20 minutes (or until cooked through!)

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

So, what does a 1099a mean?!

I finally grew some balls!
I started my taxes…and then I got to the 1099a and I googled, searched and maybe cried just a little.
Then I got the bright idea to call the IRS…I proceeded to sit on hold for like 2 hours and then the IRS lady walked me through it!! It was actually happy
It reports we foreclosed, we filled out a schedule D (not hard!) and I learned we owe…3,000 on our first mortgage so if we can get our second to drop it we are good and will pay back the 3k!!! And we don’t have to pay taxes 🙂
So all and all I totally didn’t need balls for that!

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

It’s been a long weekend

In a good way! Well mostly…Corey and I got into a fight which sucked but ended well 😉
Actually that something I wanted to write about :eww: Corey and I had lost some of that flame, ya know what I’m talking about right? That feeling, butterflies, kissing and hugging and desire for eachother. We, by all means, have had a rough road and we jumped into all this with two feet. For those of you who don’t know Cj and I met when I was 18 and he was 22, it was a fling (I was engaged) and then feelings started I broke it off with the other guy and we decided at some point a baby would be fun – Jayden was born 2 weeks after I turned 19, we got married 6 weeks before I turned 20, Brett was born 3 weeks before I turned 21 and Emmy was born on my 23rd birthday. Whirlwind – yes, romance – not so much. We have made plenty of mistakes and fallen really well into our roles of mom and dad but neglected lovers. Okay well that’s all leading to…
We made out of hours last night! It was amazing and sensual and touching and feeling! Truly stunning, I’m still feeling butterflies! I wouldn’t call it romance but fun and intimate and giggly- everything out marriage has been missing for so long!! We needed it 🙂 and when we texted this morning it reminded me of how exciting it was the time we talked after our first night together (we made out til 5 am) and I was that excited albeit more rested since we hit the pillows around midnight this time around.
On a less sexy note we went to my mother in laws place yesterday and it was soo fun! It snowed and it was gorgeous (posting pics during nap time) and we got to go for a walk sans kids 🙂 we also made amazing and easy vegetarian lasagna
And of course I’m posting the recipe
Veg lasagna
No boil noodles
Spaghetti sauce
Spinach
Zucchini
Cottage cheese (or ricotta)
Mozzarella
Provolone

Light layer sauce
No bake noodle layer
Sauce
Cheese (all mixed up first)
Spinach
Zucchini
Repeat with sauce on top
Bake for 1:20 minutes at 375
Set on counter for 30 minutes
Enjoy!!!

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The Finding Frugal Side of It and How Raw this Wound Really Is

So I was listening to pandora the other morning while getting ready, I heard this song Real and I was all that’s so touching until he sang a line Real is a little dream house with a big ole foreclosed sign…then I cried and I realized how real-ly raw this wound still is. I mean taxes are sucky and all but hearing that and thinking back to buying our house, wanting to grow old in it with my husband, bringing my babies home to that house (and having one in the loving room), watching my babies grow in it and seeing myself grow up in it…it was sad, hard and a relief to leave. But it’s still a raw wound

Now for the finding frugal side of things…I think I missed it 😦 I have spent soo much on groceries and I don’t know I almost feel like it’s not any cheaper to make it all myself! Healthier sure, but we will see on the first when we break it all down! It just is hard to see the whole picture from the bottom of the mountain (or is it a mole hill?)
On a lighter note anyone up for…


French Onion Soup!
Altered from allrecipes.com!
Ingredients
1/4 cup butter
3 onions, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup red wine
2 cans vegetarian broth
1 French baguette
8 ounces sliced Swiss cheese
Directions
Melt butter or margarine in a 4 quart saucepan. Stir in sugar. Cook onions over medium heat for 10 minutes, or until golden brown.
Stir in flour until well blended with the onions and pan juices. Add water, wine, and beef broth; heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low. Cover soup, and simmer for 10 minutes.
Cut four 1 inch thick slices of bread from the loaf. Toast the bread slices at 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) just until browned, about 10 minutes. Reserve the remaining bread to serve with the soup.
Ladle soup into four 12 ounce, oven-safe bowls. Place 1 slice toasted bread on top of the soup in each bowl. Fold Swiss cheese slices, and fit onto toasted bread slices. Place soup bowls on a cookie sheet for easier handling.
Bake at 425 degrees F (220 degrees C) for 10 minutes, or just until cheese is melted
Nutritional Information
Amount Per Serving Calories: 732 | Total Fat: 29.4g | Cholesterol: 89mg

This is an extremely filling soup I served it with Paninis and blueberry muffins with Brie centers topped with apricot glaze…I only did 1/4 cup servings to save on calories, leaving the entire meal at 500 calories (not cheap 😉 but it did provide me with left over lunch for a week

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Marriage and (Grand)Babie

My sons have recently become obsessed with our wedding photos and how daddy was so ‘hamsum’ and how mommy ‘looks like a princess, what happened?’ :they are too young to be asking what happened! Hell I’m too young!!: Well, let me preface this with Jayden my kindergartner thinks ‘getting married’ is the same as sex (or how you get a baby, thanks grandma!). After studying our wedding pics Jayden approaches me with an expression of horror and disgust and asks ‘why did you and dad get married in Church!?’ My response without thinking was ‘because that is where you get married’. A little confused he leaves with an okay…only to return with the question ‘Is that where me and Edie are gonna get married? In a church?’ :Edie is iNgRiDs daughter from Jays previous kindie class: I responded with him I don’t know and texted Ingrid! He then asks if they can name their kids Simba and Mufasa, Edie decided on Limba and Gimba (a boy and a girl) or Bella and Simba (they settled on Bella and Simba). So to recap if you got lost Jayden is planning on getting married to Edie in a church :Jayden is planning on getting a baby in Edies tummy in a Church: Jayden thinks he and his brother and sister were made in a church Jayden and Edie are naming their kids Simba and Bella… I’m old and no longer look like a princess and am also apparently a complete Jezebel!! By the way iNgRiD I am soo excited for our playdate on the 17th, please for both our sakes talk to Edie about protection, bwahahaha or just how to punch my son! Speaking of playdates this is what we will be bringing next week! Pita Pizza Ingredient list Pitas 1 each yellow, red, green pepper slices 2 tablespoons diced asparagus 1/4 red onion sliced 1/4 winter squash diced 1 cup milk 3 tablespoons butter 1 packet alfredo sauce 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar 3 tablespoons evoo Toppings of choice Sauté all the veggies in balsamic vinegar and a touch of evoo And a wee bit of garlic Take 1/4 of this and put it into a blender or food processor (I used a blender) with the milk and butter, liquify Put the liquid concoction into a small sauce pan with the Alfredo sauce packet Heat and then cool Lightly spread evoo on your pitas to aide in the baking Spread your sauce on the pitas Add topping of choice I did the rest if the veggies, mozzarella and a touch of Brie but Gouda would be tdf also!Bake at 350 for 10 minutes and broil on high for 2 minutes We put ours in the toaster oven for 10 minutes on toast and they turned out perfect!Cut, serve and EAT Pita Pizza

Our journey through foreclosure

We haven’t always been in foreclosure…
Now that seems like a :duh: thing to say but it really isn’t; so many people hear about our foreclosure and think we have always been poor but that isn’t *entirely* the case.
I came from a relatively well off family. CJ came from a normal family with not much more than prayer and faith to give to their kids. We met when I was just barely 18 and he was 22. Shortly after that we lived together and a few months later I peed on a stick and there was a Jayden (actually two but one was re-absorbed). We got our own apartment (had been living with way to many male room mates :gross:). That apartment didn’t last particularly long because the hot water heater exploded causing black mold through out the apartment and me to go into labor at 32 weeks :think lots of time off work for Corey:
We moved into a lil 1 bedroom condo next. Not bad paid the rent a head of time and then my family started pressuring us to buy. So we looked. And we found a house. It was 4 bedrooms, 2 bath only 1,200 a month we could swing that!!! Yay!! So, off we went to a “family friend” who was a lender :wife was a co-worker of CJ: to get a loan! We were in a good place to buy a house I had just gotten my first trust (a sizable amount to put down on the house) we were getty but ready (plus we had been pre-approved and this amount was lower than our approval amount). Well he said 80/20 loan or bust. I wasnt signing the loan (no credit) and Corey eager to buy albeit uneasy about the situation signed…80% on a 2 year ARM rate mortgage), 20% on a balloon. So this was November 2005, in oh February of 2006 Corey lost his job (the beginning of the decline in economy) it was officially a recession. There were no jobs to be found and he applied every where. We lived off that trust for nearly a year and got married in this time period, too. We also became preggo with Brett in November of 2006. Well Corey landed a job (ish) at the mall…which didn’t amount to anything, we had nothing but we paid our mortgage on time, every month, even though in 2007 our taxable income was 12,000 dollars and our mortgage was 14,400. We often had just enough food to feed Jayden often neglecting my growing womb and sometimes without water or electricity 😦
Brett was born in August 2007 and something was wrong with him, he cried all the time, the skin was peeling off of his penis and testes, he would urinate blood and no doctors could figure it out :think medical bills:. We were desperate, drowning…then our mortgage adjusted in November 2007 to…1800 a month 😥 we couldn’t pay it. That winter Corey got a job at an apartment complex and we were able to start the process of a loan modification! There was a light at the end of the tunnel (and in the house and food in the pantry!). So, we started the process to modify the loan and they did at a low, low fixed rate of 12% making our payment 1500/month we could skate by (barely) with this payment so we did for oh 6 or so months, until the back bills caught up with us and once again we were going under. So, we stopped paying again and applied for a new loan modification, which they gave us (Corey had switched jobs in this time frame) this time the payment was :drumroll please: 1800 a month! Corey made $15 a month and our payment was $1800 a month, leaving us with $600 a month to cover elec, water, car ins, med bills from B, food and gas…ya, fucking right. So, we stopped paying, again we applied for a mod (we now had three kids) and of course they denied us (repeatedly, we kept trying) and eventually our home went into foreclosure. Now out of all that I can say we live in a gorgeous house, in a better neighborhood, we can afford, we have electricity and water and food. Our marriage is stronger than ever and life is good now (and we know what is wrong with Brett!)
I am sad we went through a foreclosure but stronger to have grown so much from the past nearly 7 years of my life. I want to learn to be frugal so I don’t have to ever worry about money again because Corey made 50,000 last year and we have nothing to show for it but debt…that’s why I’m taking this journey, From Foreclosure to Frugal

The steps to a loan modification
Ingredient List
Patience
Pen
Paper
List of expenses
About 3 hours

Call your mortgage company and ask for the number to loss mitigation
Call loss mitigation tell them you would like to do a loan modification
They will ask for
Previous years tax info
Pay stubs for the previous 3 months
Expense list (be honest!)
A hardship letter (your sob story)

Write, type, sign and date and put your loan number on all these things and fax them to your mortgage company three times (because if you do it once it WILL get lost)
Proceed to call loss mitigation every thursday until you get an answer. Usually 90 ish days
If they deny you, stop paying your mortgage (escrow into another account) and re-apply.

-Samantha

Ephesians 25

Let me start with I keep trying to write a post about my new years resolution, right or wrong it’s mine.

My New Years Goal
To be Coreys perfect wife

So I started at square one for me. I needed to be his wife, not just a nagging freaking out bitch.

Well in my exploration of this and it’s only been a month; I have learned that to make a marriage really exude Christ that you have to read like all of Ephesians 25! So dig this I’m not just to be his perfect wife but it’s his job to love me like Christ so loved his church. Well when I brought this up Coreys response was all well Christ came to correct the church :headscratch: so of course I had to research more!!!! Well Christ was a servant to his church now I don’t think Cj is fixing to be my servant but we are made to be each others servants. Its just super interesting to me that it’s not just me that is to serve him but really a two way street. I was raised in a family where men are the high and mighty!

Ephesians 25:22
Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.
Ephesians 25:25
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ so loved his church and gave himself up to her.

There is much more to this that I totally suggest we all read, I am just not typing it all out on my phone.

So while us as ‘Christians’ are willing to view our selves as higher than others and even judge other Christians based on their political affiliation with out looking ourselves in the mirror and how we treat our spouses! So much to work toward in the next year

-Samantha

How it feels for me…

I have had a lot of people ask me about the process and interested in the outcome of foreclosure but no one has asked how does it feel?
How does foreclosure feel?
It feels shameful. If I say this out loud many just tell me it’s okay so many in America are in foreclosure there will be programs to buy later on. It’s not about buying a house later (cus I’m never going to have another mortgage!) it’s about making a stupid choice not sitting down and looking at what we had income wise, not putting money down and not knowing our economy. Yes, we were young and naive but that is no excuse to be uneducated! Now I sit here and hear our friends talk about doing the same thing so they can live rent free and it just sounds so cliche to me (everyones doing it, why not us?). They dont seem to get that we fought for four years with an ever rising payment just to be totally shut down in the end and that sucks!
We took the steps to avoid Foreclosure
We went to HUD
We called/faxed/mailed/e-mailed our mortgages DAILY
We got no where
We tried a short sale
We got foreclosed on.

I’m mad, sad, disappointed, angry and ashamed! I won’t deny it and I know these feelings will fade in time but this is how I feel.

Now for a frugal and yummy dinner!
Panini
Ingredient list for a family of 5
Bread (x10)
1/4 red pepper
1/4 green pepper
1/4 yellow pepper
1/4 purple onion
4 asparagus stalks
Turkey
Cheddar and mozzarella cheese
Balsamic vinegar
Pesto
Avocado

*we don’t have a panini maker so this is on a pan*

Take the veggies and slice them fairly slim, dice the onion and asparagus
Sauté veggies in 1/4 cup water, 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar until tender
Brush vinegar on both sides of bread
Brush pesto on one side of bread
Place cheese on pesto side of bread
Put turkey on that
Pile with veggies
Put avocado on other piece of bread
Put together on a Pam covered pan (medium heat) an squish!!!!! Let sit until cheese melts (but dont burn your bread)
Flip and cook
Dinner!!

-Samantha