Financial Peace University

This past Sunday Mike & I finished Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University. FPU is a 13 week course that covers almost every financial detail one might encounter throughout their life.

Before I get too far in this post I have to say that I am not a Dave Ramsey fan. I have never been a fan of his and after 13 weeks of listening and watching him in a video I am still not a fan. His personality is a little to harsh for me (sorry Dave if you are reading this:)

However, I do believe 100% in what he teaches. Most of his teachings seem so simple, but for some strange reason people don't practice them.

When we first heard our church, Otter Creek, was going to be offering this class I knew I was not going to be taking part in it for a variety of reasons:

#1: I had never heard of FPU so it was of no interest to me. I don't know how I have lived in Nashville for 7.5 years and not heard of FPU, but I had no idea what it was.

#2: Once I found out it was a Dave Ramsey course I definitely knew I wasn't interested!

#3: The class was being offered on Sunday afternoon from 3-5. Sundays are busy enough I didn't need to squeeze one more thing in my day.

#4: I didn't feel like Mike & I needed to take this course. After all Mike is a Financial Advisor, we live on somewhat of a budget, we don't have any consumer debt, and we have some money in our savings. I thought we were doing pretty good.

Boy was I surprised when Mike came home from church one Sunday and said he volunteered to help with FPU and lead a break-out group. I told him "Have fun, I will be thinking about you during my Sunday nap:)"

Mike got home from the first class and said he really thought we would both benefit from the whole class series and he would appreciate it if I would start coming with him. Being the good little wife that I am, I reluctantly agreed to the sacrifice of my Sunday naps for the next 12 weeks.

Now that we have completed the 13 weeks of lessons, I think this is a class that everyone should take. I wish it were mandatory for people in their late teens and early 20's to take this class in hopes not to make mistakes that will hinder them financially for years. One of the great things about the class is no matter your age, how much debt you have, or how much (or little) salary you make this class gives you steps and plans to eventually live debt free.

I wanted to share a few things from FPU:

The Basics: Creating a monthly budget, paying off debt, & saving. I feel like Mike & I had this category under control before the class, but hearing others stories made me realize that these things that I think are routine & simple can seem like mountains for others to overcome.

Kids & Money: This was talked about in lesson #2 entitled "Relating with Money". This lesson really opened my eyes to the fact that children do only what they know. If they see mommy & daddy swiping plastic and buying everything they want when the want it, they are going to do this too. If they aren't taught how to save money, what debt means, how to be financially responsible, there is a good chance they will be lost once they are on their own.

In this lesson Dave gives you tools & ideas on how to introduce your child to money & what to do as they grow older and can handle more responsibility. This chapter made me realize that once Mike & I have children, it is a clean slate. They can be taught properly how to live financially at peace. What an amazing life lesson to be able to teach your children!

Giving: The very last FPU class is entitled "The Great Misunderstanding: Unleash the Power of Generous Giving." The 3 things I got from this lesson are:

#1: We will not have more if we hold on to what we have tightly with a closed fist.
#2: We are just managers of what the Lord has given us. Everything belongs to & comes from Him.
#3: The difference between a tithe & an offering.

What a way to end a class series on finances!

There is soooo much more great information that we learned from Financial Peace University. Of course I can't go through everything on the blog, but I recommend this class to anyone. It is definitely something that will shape us and guide us through the rest of our lives.

Red Suit Studios

Most of you probably don't know that my Mom is an artist. She is not your typical artist. She focuses more on jolly-old fat men that sneak into houses at night to eat and drink your children's cookies and milk:)

My mother's artistic relationship with Santa began when I was still in grade school. She would meet up with a group of friends for girl's nights and they would spend the evenings painting ceramic Santas. They would learn new techniques & share painting tips. After a few years of painting Mom realized that between taking care of us kids and working her new job at Harding University there just wasn't much time to paint. So she put her hobby to the side to focus on the family.

Fast forward to fall of 2009, one afternoon Mom was cleaning her makeup brushes and it reminded her of her paint brushes. She decided to pull out her supplies and paint a Santa for the fun of it. That was all it took. By the time November rolled around she had painted enough inventory to have a booth at a local holiday craft fair. She was also blessed to be able to sell her Santas in a local Interior Design Shop and a high end decor shop in Little Rock.

Once we saw that people were interested in Mom's Santas, brainstorming sessions started and Red Suit Studios was created. We have spent the last 8 months ironing out the details for the business and we are really excited for the 2010 Holiday Season.

I had to include a few pictures of Red Suit Studios pieces, but I didn't want to reveal everything. You can click here to go to Red Suit Studios blog and see more holiday creations:

This last picture is my sister modeling a hand-made (with no pattern) apron that I made for Red Suit Studios. I made 3 and thought they would be perfect company uniforms for craft fairs:)

Mom- I am incredibly proud of you. You are incredibly talented and I love you!

Funny Out-takes and A Broken Chair- Gulf Shores Part III

While I was sorting through the vacation pictures looking for ones worthy to put on the blog, I couldn't help but notice all the pictures that were horribly bad. I thought it would be funny to put them into slideshows and share them anyway.

Slideshow #1:
Random Funny Out-takes

Slideshow #2:
The Johnson Family jumping off a wooden beach chair...
Yes, you read that right! My little sis' thought it would be a fun idea:

Slideshow #3:
This is what happens when four grown children decide to jump from a wooden object. Just to let you know, right before these pictures were taken my brother said "We are going to break this!" and if you look closely you can watch it happen:)

I made these 3 pose for this last picture so it didn't look like we were fleeing the scene of a crime after we broke the beach chair.

We Are Family- Gulf Shores Part II

Every year during our family vacation we take time to do a very unprofessional photo shoot. Here are the ones that are worth posting.

Of course it wouldn't be normal family photo time with out a set of "goofy" pictures:

Fun in the Sun-Gulf Shores Part I

A few weeks ago Mike & I drove to Gulf Shores, AL and met up with my family for a relaxing week of vacation. Since oil had been gushing into the gulf for about 2 weeks, we were a little nervous of how we would find the beaches & the ocean, but luckily our vacation wasn't affected by the oil spill at all.

The majority of the week was spent shopping & laying out at the beach. Mom & BJ got to enjoy a little spa time while the boys and I played golf. We also decided as a family to cook the majority of our meals at the condo which afforded us a lot more time to play games and just have quality family time.

It was another great Johnson Family Vacation. I am incredibly blessed to have such a loving & wonderful family!

Is Kyle fishing or swimming?

Shipp's Harbour Grill...yummy!

Fun in the Sun!

Golf Day #1: Gulf Links Course

This course was not pretty & wasn't in great condition, but when you pay $25 per person for 18 holes and that also includes the cart, we weren't complaining.

Golf Day #2: Gulf State Park Golf Course

This course was gorgeous and well maintained.

There was plenty of wildlife at the State Park Golf Course. Below are pictures of the Monkey Squirrels & a huge turtle about to lay eggs. We also saw an alligator, but I couldn't get a good picture of it.

Check back for the next posts: Gulf Shores Part II- We Are Family (Photo Shoot) & Gulf Shores Part III- Funny Out-takes and A Broken Chair:)

A New Beginning

Over the last several weeks, Casa de Organ has been going through somewhat of a transition. As of 5 weeks ago I am no longer employed at Blue River Canyon Day Spa. I won't go into detail in the post as to why I quit, but if you really want to know give me a call or email me and I will give you all the dirt, it's really an eye opening story:) Ironically, 4 days after I quit, Blue River Canyon filed bankruptcy...can we say Karma! I still have a ton of great friends at BRC and I hope that everything gets ironed out for their sake.

As far as a new job, I don't have one. I am still doing my out-call massage business and we are working on a couple other possible home-based businesses. We are still in a place of transition, but if there is anything I have learned from leaving Blue River Canyon, it is to welcome change and not to resist it.

With all this extra time I have, I am hoping to get caught up on blogging and have several new posts done over the next 2 weeks.

Yesterday was Memorial Day and I couldn't end this post with out thanking all the men & woman who serve(d) our country. Thank you for our freedom!

My Dad, Me & My Papaw who fought in The Pacific during WWII