Friday, September 26, 2008

Alternative to the $700 Billion Bailout

I am beyond angry about all the bailouts on Wall Street right now. Suffice it to say I do not believe I should be extending money to companies that have poor business practices.
I have read an alternative plan on the Dave Ramsey website that I really like. It could work and save the taxpayers BILLIONS of dollars! The plan he proposes would cost about 5% of the $700 billion.
You can read the plan here on his site.
Here is the catch: You can't just read it and say "oh, that is nice." You must contact your congressmen and your senators! Tell them that you know there is an alternative and that is how you want them to vote. If enough of us do this they will have to listen!

Friday, September 12, 2008


That is all.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Target Kelloggs Deal

Okay, I can't believe I actually did this deal. Poptarts are EVIL! But I got paid to take them home, so I did. It will make me feel better to say that I am sending Poptarts to school and Krispie treats to Scouts for Jordan's birthday on Tuesday. :)

Target had a deal on some Kellogg's items this week. Buy 4/$9 get a $5 Target GC for free! There were a bunch of Kellogg's coupons to match with the deal, plus the $10 mail in rebate.

Here is what we got:

10 boxes 12 count Poptarts
2 boxes 8 count Rice Krispie Treats
3 All Small & Mighty trial size
2 ice cube trays

10 $0.50/1 Poptarts Target coupons
$1/2 Poptarts MFC
$1/2 Rice Krispie Treats MFC
3 $1/1 All Small & Mighty MFC

TOTAL: $24.06
We got back three $5 GC's and I will get back a $10 rebate
I could have done better if they had the new Milkshake Poptarts-would have saved $2 more.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Scraping Off the Popcorn Ceiling

Yay! It is gone!

It took a bit over an hour to scrape the ceiling. Of course now we have to do knock-down and paint it.

You'll need to seal off the room and ducts with plastic. You will need good eye protection and dust masks. We got the masks that are approved for asbestos since we are 99% sure we have it. We are disposing of the junk as if it contains asbestos.

Here is what we did. Spray the ceiling with water using spray bottle and super soaker water guns. LOL Then, we scraped it off using metal flat scrapers.

Time: over an hour
Cost: $80 for two masks (bought by my mommy) :)
So this project was free for us. Thank you landlord!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Removing a Brick Fireplace

Well, I was going to take step by step pictures, but it didn't happen. You'll just have to use your imagination.

The first step to taking out a brick fireplace-the big obnoxious type-is to seal off the room and get dust masks. Eye protection is good too! To seal off the room we just taped a large sheet of plastic (think drop cloth) across the opening to the room. It worked well until people started using it as a door. Other things we found helpful were trash bags or boxes and a wheelbarrow.

Next you will need a chisel and hammer. We did not need anything heavier duty than that.
We took our mantel off first since it blocked access to the brick. It was a beautiful custom made mantel that Eric made when we moved in. The old one was UGLY.

We have a gas fireplace, so we took down the Wall O' Bricks with some care. This is a 13 foot wall.
Starting at the top, begin to chisel between the bricks. Our home was constructed around 1971, for comparison. It was very, very easy to chip away and loosen the bricks. My 10 year old helped A LOT. He found it to be great fun!
After getting a few rows off the top we were able to pull a huge section away from the wall. Of course, my brother let it fall and break into a hundred pieces. But still, there were some larger chunks which aren't as tedious as the one by one approach. Be careful if you are working with brick above your head! We are lucky that ours only went halfway up the wall.

The hearth that juts out was the harder part. Mostly because it was filled with a bunch of junk. Inside the brick we found sand, rocks, broken bricks and cinder blocks. This is where we started using the wheelbarrow.

Our fireplace was a two day project. We did one row on Friday, lots on Saturday and finished up Monday evening. The project was primarily worked on by my 10 yr old son and 17 yr old brother. If you had a one whole day to dedicate to this project it could easily be completed.

Time: One weekend
Cost: $14 for plastic and chisel, we already had everything else

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

D Day

We spent a good part of the weekend destructing the TV/Play room. It is amazing how quickly things can get torn apart. Too bad construction takes so much more time and effort!
You can see the "before" is the picture with all the furniture and clutter. LOL Too bad I didn't have a before picture with the room clean.
The during picture is the one with all the people in it. We ripped up the carpet-you can see the original "brick" linoleum! I had already pulled down some of the paneling, but it isn't really in the picture.
The last picture is a panoramic shot that Eric took. He thought it would be funny to have my brother in it twice. Oooookay. We pulled down the brick fireplace that took up an entire wall. It was really pretty easy. The worst part is cleaning up the mess. Inside the hearth was sand, rocks, bricks and cement blocks. We dumped it all in the back to deal with another day. How fun!
We also took out trim and wood baseboard randomness that ran along the perimeter of the room.
Next up: Remove popcorn ceiling!