Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

Valentines Day just gets better and better each year for us. This year, we ended up ordering pizza, enough for lunch and dinner, and watched the Olympics all day. It was a great way to spend time together without the hassle of cooking or going out for a fancy meal and having to find babysitting. Works for me! Happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 15, 2010

conveyor belt

One of our favourite things to do now is to get our son to be a conveyor belt.  Can you pass mommy the remote control?  Can you give daddy the grapes?  Can you put this into the recycling bin?  It's an unexpected perk of having a child.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The significance of one mushroom

My son had a mushroom at dinner today.  He is a picky eater and typically refuses to let any kind of vegetables near him.  Tonight, he picked up the mushroom with his fork, proclaimed "mushroom!", put it into his mouth, chewed, and swallowed!  I couldn't believe my eyes.

It's one small step for man, but a giant leap for mankind.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The toothbrush battle - I lost

I yelled at my 2-year old son today because he didn't want to brush his teeth.  He always wants to hold the brush himself because he likes to suck on the toothbrush so he can eat the toothpaste (it's baby toothpaste so there's no floride).  Usually, I would let him hold it, watch him swish it around his mouth, and then make funny faces at him so he would let me finish brushing his teeth.  This works most days. Today, I clearly had no patience for him.  When he tried to take the toothbrush from me, I yelled at him and hit him 3 times on his hand.  I have only ever hit him on the hand because I don't believe in spanking.  However, I felt bad after I hit him (3 times) because I knew I had hit him out of anger instead of discipline.  It's a fine line and I crossed it.  Later, just before he went to bed, I said sorry.  I don't know if he understands but I apologized anyway.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Salvation vs. Sanctification

If sanctification is tuning the radio, then salvation is turning the radio on.

The Bible Times

I've been reading through the Bible and some bible stories are really pretty strange when you think about it.  So I came up with this idea to turn Bible stories into newspaper articles.  I started a new blog called "The Bible Times".  As I'm reading through the Bible, and when I have time, I will turn some Bible stories into news articles and post them here:

http://thebibletimes.blogspot.com/

Thanks for reading!

Monday, February 1, 2010

More personal financial planning advice

In addition to the Wealthy Barber, here are a few more personal financial planning tips that I have collected throughout the years.
  1. When getting a mortgage, get a mortgage broker for the best mortgage rates.  Ask a friend or your realtor for a recommendation.  
  2. Don't get mortgage insurance.  Mortgage insurance only covers your mortgage balance which decreases over time but the premium remains the same.  Instead, get enough life insurance to cover your mortgage balance and any other consumer debt that you may have.
  3. Hold your rainy day fund in a TFSA so you don't have to pay tax on the interest you earn from your savings account.
  4. If your annual income is above $73,689, a $1000 donation to a charitable organization actually only costs you $577.85 after the tax savings
  5. File your income tax as soon as possible so you can get your tax refund back.  Filing it online will get you a faster refund than mailing it in.
  6. Pay your credit card balances in full, on time, every month.
  7. Get a no fee credit card that pays you back.  There are many options out there.  I use the PC Financial Mastercard because it works out to getting 1% cash back for groceries on every dollar I spend.  A lot of cash back cards says "Earn up to 1% cash back" which means it has a graduated cash back schedule so you don't get the full 1% cash back until you spend a certain amount of money.
  8. Open a no-fee bank account.  The banks make too much money as it is.
  9. Don't get suckered into group RESPs (i.e. Canadian Scholarship Trust or Heritage Education Funds).  They may have good sales pitches but I didn't like it mainly because they don't provide much flexibility if you have to miss payments.