Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Dave Ramsey's Common Sense Plan

Do you think it is right for our government to spend our tax dollars to bail out bankers who made bad decisions? I don't! They knew what they were doing when they made these loans and we should not be the ones to save them from their consequences with our hard earned money. I am not an economist, but I do know that there has to be other ways to fix this "crisis". We are a Dave Ramsey family and recently Dave has spoken about his Common Sense Fix on air. I have posted it below for your convenience. There are three things that we can do to get this fix in place instead of the one that will cost you and me 700+billion dollars.
  1. Pray for our leaders. They are operating under a spirit of fear at this time and we know that fear is not a fruit of the Spirit!
  2. Send the plan below to your representatives and congressman.
  3. Tell others to do the same!

The Common Sense Fix
Years of bad decisions and stupid mistakes have created an economic nightmare in this country, but $700 billion in new debt is not the answer. As a tax-paying American citizen, I will not support any congressperson who votes to implement such a policy. Instead, I submit the following three step Common Sense Plan.
I. INSURANCE
a. Insure the subprime bonds/mortgages with an underlying FHA-type insurance. Government-insured and backed loans would have an instant market all over the world, creating immediate and needed liquidity.
b. In order for a company to accept the government-backed insurance, they must do two things:
1. Rewrite any mortgage that is more than three months delinquent to a 6% fixed-rate mortgage.
a. Roll all back payments with no late fees or legal costs into the balance. This brings homeowners current and allows them a chance to keep their homes.
b. Cancel all prepayment penalties to encourage refinancing or the sale of the property to pay off the bad loan. In the event of foreclosure or short sale, the borrower will not be held liable for any deficit balance. FHA does this now, and that encourages mortgage companies to go the extra mile while working with the borrower—again limiting foreclosures and ruined lives.
2. Cancel ALL golden parachutes of EXISTING and FUTURE CEOs and executive team members as long as the company holds these government-insured bonds/mortgages. This keeps underperforming executives from being paid when they don’t do their jobs.
c. This backstop will cost less than $50 billion—a small fraction of the current proposal.
II. MARK TO MARKET
a. Remove mark to market accounting rules for two years on only subprime Tier III bonds/mortgages. This keeps companies from being forced to artificially mark down bonds/mortgages below the value of the underlying mortgages and real estate.
b. This move creates patience in the market and has an immediate stabilizing effect on failing and ailing banks—and it costs the taxpayer nothing.
III. CAPITAL GAINS TAX
a. Remove the capital gains tax completely. Investors will flood the real estate and stock market in search of tax-free profits, creating tremendous—and immediate—liquidity in the markets. Again, this costs the taxpayer nothing.
b. This move will be seen as a lightning rod politically because many will say it is helping the rich. The truth is the rich will benefit, but it will be their money that stimulates the economy. This will enable all Americans to have more stable jobs and retirement investments that go up instead of down.

This is not a time for envy, and it’s not a time for politics. It’s time for all of us, as Americans, to stand up, speak out, and fix this mess.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

30 Day Challenge: Just Do It!

Last Sunday my Pastor challenged us all to read the Bible for 15 minutes a day for 30 days. The idea is to take a snap shot of where your life is now and after 30 days see how/if your priorities, outlook, or life in general has changed. I don't know about anyone else, but I easily get caught up in reading lots of studies or books about God and I forget to actually read the WORD!

Would anyone like to join me? I plan on starting with the book of John and probably just continuing through Acts and Romans. If you don't have a bible you can read it online in any translation from this site. As the last couple of posts have shown, not having enough time can not be an excuse to pass this up. If I can find 15 minutes anyone can!

I am going to begin on October 1st and I'll post updates and excerpts here. If you want to join me please leave a comment here and I promise to contact you in the next month with words of encouragement.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

A typical week in the life of Ethan Boudreaux (read as: Why this blog is seldomly updated.)

I love Ritz crackers!
Sunday: Ethan usually wakes up by 8 am. While we shower (or this week I ran to the grocery store while Philip showered) Ethan plays alone in his room. After we are all dressed we head down stairs where Ethan eats breakfast (usually a whole banana and then 1/4 cup of cereal or a serving of yogurt). Ethan goes to nursery at church from 9:30-12:30. Every fourth Sunday I get to spend an hour and a half with him and his little friends. After a very cranky ride home with a tired boy, we have lunch and Ethan lays down for a long nap. He usually wakes up sometime around 4 or 4:30. After playing around the house for a while he has dinner around 5:30pm. At night he loves to play with his cars (vrrrmming them all over the house) or tonight he is pushing around his "pick up" truck. Finally we head to bed at around 7 or 7:30. We do have a bedtime routine that includes 3 books, pjs, a cup of milk and our prayers.

Monday: We have to be at church at 8:00am! This means that Ethan eats a poptart in his snack dispenser and a cup of milk for breakfast on the way to church. He plays in a different nursery room (on the same hallway as Sunday) until 11:3o when we head back home. After lunch he usually takes a short nap and then wants to play again at about 1:30 or so. We usually go grocery shopping on Monday afternoons and he likes to flirt with all the ladies at WalMart (esp. those over 50). After a second afternoon nap he wakes up to eat dinner and see daddy for about 45 minutes before Philip heads off to BSF. Before going to bed he loves to read books and will bring one to you and then sit in your lap while you read.



Tuesday and Wednesday: Early care at Preschool starts at 8:30 and his teacher Mrs. Sharon is there to greet him. At preschool they have outside time (or gym play), inside play with art, lunch and nap time. Art has included putting stickers on butcher paper so far. Ethan has gotten a good report for naptime everyday! His teachers say that he is the first to sleep each day. He is always awake by the time I get there at 2:00. He is also always starving when we get into the car so I try to remember to bring a snack with me. We usually head straight home after PS and he is back in bed by 3:30. He then sleeps till about 5:30 and when he wakes up he is again starving! After dinner we have been spending family time together outside or upstairs in the newly painted "boys" room. Here is a video of such a time with Ethan showing you all of his animal skills!

video

On Wednesdays we do have small group from 6:30-8 and Ethan loves playing with the Bell children during this time.

Thursday: My bible study at church starts at 9:30 so this is a relatively late day for us. He is in the same nursery room that he is in on Mondays so at least there is familiarity there. We are home by noon on these days and so far we have had my friend Betsy and her kids over or we have gone to a buisness lunch. We reached "critical mass" at the last lunch so I won't be planning another one of those for a Thursday anytime soon. Having Betsy and her little ones over was so much fun so I hope we do more of that this fall. This Thursday afternoon Ethan has his 15 month check up at KPA.

Friday: Free Day! Last Friday we just ran errands in the morning and stayed home for the rest of the day. This Friday we have MOPS so Ethan will be back at Central Baptist in the same room that he is in for PS.

Overall, I hope you forgive us for not blogging more often, but as you can see we are seldom home! I do realize that I have "overbooked" myself this year but I'm not counting down the months yet. I just look at my schedule one week at a time and recite the phrase, "This too shall pass." I've also resorted to buying a paper calendar for the garage door so that Philip can keep up with my/our week night obligations.

Philip has been busy too. Look at my (our) new desk!


He also enjoys picking apples from our apple tree:

Even though I haven't posted here in the last couple of weeks I have updated my other Blog so check that out when you get a chance (esp. in you're in the market for a mixer!)

Friday, September 5, 2008

Socks and Shoes

This picture really has nothing to do with the post, but it was too cute not to post. He just found this hat the other day and brought it to me to put on. He wore it for about 30 minutes while he walked all over the house.

Setting the scene: Ethan's shoes are stored in a cardboard box in the laundry room. Earlier in the day Ethan brought me one of his dress shoes and I tossed it into the kitchen.

This afternoon:

Ethan appears with an Elmo tennis shoe in his hand. I inform him that he can not wear this shoe unless he has socks on. "If you can find your sandals I'll put them on you, but to wear your shoes you need to have socks."

Ethan reappears with a pair of socks. Where did he get these socks I wonder? Maybe there was an extra pair in the cardboard box, I honestly don't know. I put the socks on this feet. Ethan disappears back into the laundry room and comes out with a dress shoe. "We aren't going to wear those today, find your Elmo shoes." He proceeds to walk through the kitchen and place the first dress shoe next to the other misplaced dress shoe from earlier in the day.


Ethan retreats back into the laundry room. He is momentarily distracted when he hears the sounds of wood working coming from the garage. Squatting down to open the cat door Ethan says, "Dada?" to which he hears Philip say, "Ethan?". Satisfied that he has identified the source of the racket he returns to his original mission. He brings me one Elmo shoe and then the other. Here he is with both his shoes and socks on:



Other cute incident: At Panera today I took pieces of turkey from my sandwich and placed them on a napkin in front of Ethan. He diligently worked on his grilled cheese sandwich and periodically ate pieces of turkey. After we were done with lunch we asked Ethan if he was done. He made the sign for "done" and then promptly picked up all spare pieces of turkey and sandwich that he had not eaten and placed them back on the napkin. He is becoming more and more like his daddy everyday!

Ethan's update

Ethan has had a good two weeks at preschool (totaling 4 days). There was a mishap this last Tuesday when I forgot his thermos in his backpack (instead of in his lunch box) and all he had for lunch was peaches, milk and cheese. I was really upset by this, but when I talked to Mrs. Sharon she said that she didn't know to look for more food because she has had moms in the past send three different types of crackers for their child's lunch. She now knows that Ethan should have all food groups represented, and if he doesn't to go and look in his bag for something else. He was really hungry when I picked him up that day, but we made up for it by going to iHop with Carmen, Justin, Nancy and new baby Jonathan! That's right, Carmen (who we have prayed for during this pregnancy) had her baby last week! He was four weeks early but he is home and everyone is doing fine.

Ethan did something yesterday that really made me feel like he is a big boy now. After getting dressed in his PJs I sat on the floor to read him his three before bed books. Well, as I was looking through the books Ethan picked one up, handed it to me, and then plopped himself down in my lap. After we read the first book he stood up, got another one, and plopped himself back down in my lap to listen to it. It was so cute! We usually only read three books before going to bed but that night we read five. I don't know if he learned to do this at pre-school or maybe he picked it up at Allison's house watching her kiddos do the same thing. Either way it is super cute!

Gutav update: Philip's parents got thier power back on, but as far as I know Danielle is still without power in Baton Rouge.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Baton Rouge hit hard

My parents and grandparents have their power back so that is good. Philip's parents got home last night. There is no damage to their house but they are still without power. The live in a more rural area, so that may take a while.

Meanwhile, Danielle has returned to find Baton Rouge practically in ruins. 98% of the city does not have power and the authorities are saying that 50% of the city can expect to get power again in 1-8 days and the rest of the city can expect to get power sometime in the next 4 weeks. Governor Jindal and President Bush said that these time tables were unacceptable and that other states need to lend manpower to the Southern Louisiana Coast. The energy company for the region has stated that only Katrina left more people without power and that this is the worst storm that Baton Rouge has ever seen.

LSU is out for the rest of the week and Danielle is returning to work tomorrow. Her cafe is the only CC's in Baton Rouge that still has power. Other CC's from all over the city have brought them their perishables. She said they now have shelves and shelves of muffins. She and Paolo went to the grocery store today and had to wait in line to get in. The store had no perishables, only cans of food. At 4pm they were going to stop letting people in to the store. According to her LSU has even canceled the football game scheduled for Saturday and rescheduled for sometime in November. Even if gas stations have gas they need electricity to pump it. Please pray for the citizens of south Louisiana. It will be a while before things get back to normal and I pray that authorities have looting and price gouging under control. So far they really seem to be on top of it! Baton Rouge is still under an 8pm - 6am curfew. Danielle did find a place to stay with power tonight so that is good. You'd be amazed how good you sleep with A/C on!

Thanks for everyone who has expressed concern for my family! We really do appreciate it.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Update

We are in the all clear. Dad's house and Mawmaw's house are still without power, but Mawmaw does have a generator and they even watched the UT game last night. I haven't heard any official word out of Vermillion Parish where Dad's cousins live. I know the Vermillion river in Lafayette is predicted to continue to rise until Wednesday so there may be local flooding around the river. Luckily my family doesn't live by the river so they will be fine.

The Boudreauxs are still in Arkansas and now they are getting to see Gustav first hand. I don't know when they will be returning but I'll post that up here as soon as I know.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Landfall

Well Gustav has made landfall and spared Vermillion bay any major storm surge which is great for my family's homes that were damaged in Rita.

My dad had a few things to add to my previous post. Being under voluntary evacuation also makes public transportation available to those who want to get out of the parish.

Also a paraphrased quote from Rob Perillo (local Meterologist) about staying in Lafayette, "All modern structures (with the exception of trailers) are built to withstand 115 mph sustained winds. Will you lose power? Yes. Will you lose shingles? Yes. But, will you die? Not unless a tree falls on the room you are in. That is a possibility, but not a probability."

So far everyone in Lafayette that we know still has power. My Aunt is in Baton Rouge and they lost power sometime this morning.

The real bad news is that it looks like New Orleans might flood again. We are keeping are eyes on things and still appreciate your thoughts and prayers.

Update: As of 4pm CST Lafayette lost power.