we’ve had a good run, netflix


well, i thought i’d step up on the proverbial soapbox and give my piece about the topic you’ve undoubtedly heard something about: netflix is raising their prices.

as i’m writing this, i wonder if it’s even blog-worthy, but hey, i’m not one to hold back.

the price increase came at a great time for us. we loved netflix instant streaming for watching older television series’ such as x-files. we loved getting not-good-enough-to-see-in-theatre new releases delivered right to our mailbox. and we thought the price was fair for how much we used it.

for myself more than bryan, i haven’t watched something that i actually wanted to see on netflix instant for a few months now. i just watched disney channel shows on netflix because they were there, not because i woke up those many days and thought, i really want to see what happens to teddy on “good luck, charlie.”

bryan enjoyed a lot of the crazy misunderstood movies that netflix offers. but even he was complacent to netflix when i proposed we cancel.

we cancelled out netflix subscription as a result of the price increases, but more as an effort to simplify our lives. while we really enjoyed having such convenient tv & movies for a year and a half, we decided we’ll be better off with it.

thank you family video, for staying in business these past few years. i know it’s been rough, but you’re about to get a lot more business from us!

‘member that time?


‘member that time when me and my bff got to go on vacation together? ‘member how we kept ourselves busy by arguing about who’s hair was fine or coarse and counting all the “cow’s toilet paper?” what? you don’t know what cow’s toilet paper is?

it’s that giant “roll” of hay/grass. duh. we counted over 200 easily.

[it’s ‘member that time monday at the van voorst‘s blog!]

financial peace university

calculating kids

[sorry this post is a week late!]

as i mentioned in my last post, at the beginning of 2009, we had about $13,000.00 in debt. also at this time, we enrolled financial peace university with our connection group.

a few things about financial peace university:

  • dave ramsey is the creator/author
  • it can be a semester long course, around 13 weeks, there are “quickie courses”
  • it usually costs around $100
  • it centers around dave ramsey’s “7 baby steps”

i’m going to give a quick summary of our thoughts on those above bullet points.

dave ramsey
first impression: he’s a little nuts. giant scissors and a deer on stage? is this guy for real? bryan doesn’t take well to overly excited people, and dave ramsey’s one of those people. i’m a little more unaffected by the hype but i can understand why some people (my husband included) are a little overwhelmed by him.
my advice: listen to what he has to say and ignore the hype if you must. don’t tune him out completely, even if you’re a little overwhelmed! he has a pretty incredible personal story, and he has a lot of wisdom but hey, he’s an excited guy.

long or short course?
we went through almost every week in the series with our connection group and we were also required to complete a quick version of it for our engagement class. we did have some debt, but we had pretty good foundations for personal finance already, so i think we could have just taken a day-course and called it good.
but, there are many benefits to taking a semester long course, and it’s what i would recommend to any one who needs help with their personal finances. one huge benefit of the longer course is that you have incredible motivation and accountability with your class or small group. every one shares stories each week and it’s so encouraging to be walking through the learning experience together. plus, you can all make inside jokes together about dave.

the cost
to someone struggling with finances, $100 can seem like a small fortune. but i strongly feel that it’s totally worth it. spend the money, it will save you a lot more later. i promise.

the 7 baby steps

  1. quickly save $1,000 in a baby emergency fund
  2. become debt-free using the “snow-ball method”
  3. fully fund your emergency fund (from step 1) with 3-6 months of living expenses
  4. contribute 15% of your income to retirement
  5. fund your kid’s college educations
  6. pay off your mortgage
  7. invest money and give a bunch of it away-live like no one else
one of my favorite blogs did a short, simple series on the seven baby steps, check it out if you want more detail on any of these. 
another plug for taking the long course is that everyone will likely save that $1,000 and pay off a few debts while you’re still in class together. it’s so fun to see progress in other’s lives!
while bryan and i don’t consider ourselves to be held tightly to this plan for the rest of our lives, we both agree that it is a really great foundation for financial freedom. we will loosely follow this plan as we continue on in life. we are still young, so we’re staying “stuck” at step 2 until bryan is done with school.

coming up:
the alsbury debt snowball
sinking funds=genius  

i work at a church


now that i’ve been an official employee of veritas church for a week, i thought i write a blog post about what it’s like. but, i’ve been reading (yes, reading! for the first time in months!) a book called stuff christians like by jonathan acuff and i like his version of what my job is like. you can just go read his blog post and that should be good.

what’s that you say? i shouldn’t be publicly announcing that i’m the most powerful person ever? my bosses might read this you say?

okay, here’s my take on things.

i work at a church, so naturally, everyone i work with is awesome. it’s a requirement of staff members. if i was required to turn in a resume to get this job, i would have put I AM AWESOME right at the top.

anyway, everyone is awesome, and by awesome i mean really gifted and talented at what they do. and they don’t necessarily do details, which is where i come in.

so far i’ve done a lot of researching, contacting and booking venues for the upcoming school year. i’ve learned a lot of new things about our church database, and i’ve been introducing myself to a lot of people i’ll be working with in the future.

being at church on sunday actually did feel like work. but in an awesome way (of course). i really enjoyed having a part in such a great service. it wasn’t all about me, it was about the people who came for the first time or for the 50th time. i was definitely okay with that.

i don’t think i’ve screwed anything up yet, so i’m hoping that trend continues. and i’m still trying to figure out how to write a funny support letter that will also be taken seriously. it’s a difficult balance.


‘member that time? *sports edition*


much like my funnygirl idol, i’m running low on ‘member that times. i think i’m going to call it quits on the weekly posts after july. but don’t worry, the hilarity will continue with the long-awaited (by me mostly) “you know you live in a trailer park when…” series!

‘member that time i played softball? and enrolled in jazz and ballet classes? and took a golf lesson? and gymnastics? and volleyball?

really?! you remember that? because i’ve blocked those out completely.

maybe because i always wanted to quit halfway through the season, three of those sports made me cry, and i peed my pants (or leotard, if you will) in at least one.

[it’s ‘member that time monday at the van voorst‘s blog!]



would you believe that almost everything i write has exclamation points after at least half of the sentences? and that i go through and change many of the points to periods, just for my more mellow readers?

would you?!?!?!!?!!!!!!!

Support Compassion International!


all you have to do is change your homepage to yahoo.com for two days. click on this link over at Money Saving Mom to read all about it (you’ll have it go through her link in order for it to work).

bryan and i have supported a child in the domican republic for over 4 years, we love compassion international and really believe in the work they are accomplishing in many ways and in many countries.

by changing your homepage to yahoo, you are contributing to yahoo’s contribution of up to $10,000.00 to compassion. moneysavingmom.com is also contributing $1 per person who changes their homepage and comments on her blog.

hurry, because this only goes through tomorrow!

‘member that time?


‘member that time when i was a kid and i hated lima beans but my mom made me eat them anyway? so, ‘member how that one time, i got really smart and just threw my lima beans on the floor under the table when my mom wasn’t looking? just like the kids did on tv?

too bad we didn’t have a dog.

[it’s ‘member that time monday at the van voorst‘s blog!]

birthday week recap


to those of you using a reader or facebook to view my blog, congratulations, you get three blogs in one day! i know, i know, how could you be so lucky?

i got behind on blogging because it was my birthday last week and i was having too much fun to sit and blog. here’s the recap.

a co-worker took my shift at the coffee shop, i got to sleep in until 7am!
i worked at home all day until 4pm, but it did so from the comfort of my bed. i celebrated being caught up enough to officially pass off my work to my replacement.
my friend liz came over and we talked about marriage and life and ended our time with prayer. it was incredibly encouraging.
bryan and i watched the bachelorette with clint and miranda.

spent some time working on veritas stuff in the morning.
i arrived at my home just in time for the ups man to deliver my birthday presents from bryan.
i received 2 seasons of gilmore girls, a book about pattern-making and designing your own clothes, a local natives cd, and crash bandicoot 3 for the playstation. my husband likes to spoil me.
ami duvick came to visit me!
we grocery shopped, ate lunch, met with brenda and searched for rehearsal dinner locations in iowa city for my little brothers upcoming wedding.
we ate hyvee chinese and chocolate and ended the evening with a chick flick.

my actual birthday!
i opened for the last time at the coffee shop, wrote several emails, and attempted to organize my life a little.
bryan left for des moines before i got home, but left me one more birthday present: sims 3 for the ps3. yesssss.
my mom and i spent the rest of the day shopping in williamsburg and we ate at t.g.i. friday’s in des moines.
i received many birthday facebook messages, texts, and one very special voicemail from my dad. he’s the sweetest. thank you everyone!

trained my replacement at iowa insulation for about 5 hours. once again, she is awesome.
spent the evening with bryan, audrey and james at hickory park and playing cards. ice cream and good times were had by all. especially me.
my connection group called me to sing me happy birthday. it made me almost cry. i felt very loved.

trained for 6 hours. done at iowa insulation!
went to meghan & brian’s brand new house in ames. hugged them and chatted with them for about an hour.
went to my parents house, played texas canasta, and had a birthday dinner. bacon cheeseburgers and gold bars. deliciousness.
home in iowa city by 8pm.

it was a wonderful week of happiness. it’s fun to feel so loved, many thanks to all who added to my fun!