12.24.2009

Dave Ramsey would be proud

This Christmas Eve we have a lot to be thankful for. We are safe and healthy, we both have good jobs, and we are going home tomorrow! We also have some good news to share (no, Lindsay is not pregnant). About the time that we got engaged we attended Financial Peace University, for those of you who don't know it is the financial management class that Dave Ramsey promotes. Lindsay's parents paid for us to go and it has turned out to be a major blessing. We were kind of lost financially and were headed on the wrong track. The class brought us together and put us on the same page right when we needed it most. Our marriage has been brief to this point but we have never fought when it comes to our finances because of our FPU education. We are grateful for this. Since 2006, we have paid off about $30,000 in debt, some from student loans, some from stupidity. On Tuesday we paid off our last $2,350 and we are now on the road to financial independence! I know that compared to some people the amount of money we paid off in the amount of time we paid it off is relatively small, but we are proud to have seen this through and excited to get started changing our future. We have technically had a positive net worth for a while but we had some lingering debt that was hanging around our necks. We now feel like the richest people in the world (or at least in Santo Domingo which may not be too far from the truth) now that we have no payments. Hopefully you are inspired or debt free yourself and we look forward to hearing from you or seeing you this holiday season.
Thank you for reading and caring and we hope you have a Merry Christmas.

video

12.23.2009

Christmas Eve Eve

Woke up at 9 a.m.
Drove to this little bakery to get breakfast. 
Took about an hour to go 10 miles. 
Bakery closed for good! Very sad. 
Drove to a mall to finish Christmas  shopping. 
Walked around mall for a while deciding what to eat for breakfast. 
Decided on KFC. It was almost 12 by this point. 
Didn't find any good Christmas presents.
Was going to go to Conde Street to shop but it was raining
Decided to head home. Arrived home at p.m. 
Traffic is bad in Santo Domingo this time of year!
Raining still. Nap Time
4 hours later- Lindsay wakes up. Marvin never slept. 
Go see Avatar 3D,  2 tickets, 2 popcorns, club soda, water, and M&M (peanut) less than $15
Movies are cheep in the DR. Love it! 

Great Movie. 
Went home. 

11:48 p.m. Marvin is now sleeping. 
Lindsay is blogging. 
Tomorrow's plan: try to hit the beach if it's sunny

12.21.2009

Travels with a CAR

On Friday Marvin and I rented a car.
Saturday we drove around Santo Domingo. Found a cool Wendy's- very American looking, bought some glasses to replace the ones I've broken, and a beach towel that was blown into the sea.
Sunday we drove out of town to Cabarete ( first yellow dot) and then up to Puerto Plata (second yellow dot).


We arrived in Cabaret around 2pm. It's the Kite boarding Capital of the World. We stayed a little apartment for $60 a night. It was right on the beach. We spent the day walking the beach, eating at the restaurants on the beach, taking naps, eating more, then we went to bed around 10. We wanted to get up early to get back to the beach.
Just as we were falling asleep the rain started, and it keep coming, and coming, and coming. Sometime during the middle of the night the power all along the beach went out completely. We woke up around 6am- no power = no fan, no a/c, and the sound of multiple bugs coming out! We got up at 7am and thought what are we going to do. No power, constant rain since 10 last night and no chance of it stopping. So we decided to call the day a bust and head home. And good thing we did it didn't stop raining until sometime around 2pm... and we still don't know if it was clear up in the north.

All in all Cabaret is a wonderful little town. Very American- great food, quality rooms, and a wonderful place to relax. We would have loved to stay longer but the weather was a bother!

Tomorrow we plan to go to the beach. PS: I bought a disposable camera. I'll have to get it developed in the states when we go home for Christmas.

12.19.2009

Photos from Las Terrenas

We when to Las Terrenas 2 weeks ago... I posted a few photo's before, but here are the rest.



What a beautiful overlook. Many cars were stopping here as we were taking photos... great place to throw your trash right?  Dominican! Golly!



I think this would be a good Christmas photo- If we could sent out cards.








Here is the "restarurant" if you can call it that. Luis' Restaurant was more of a rolling hut. The food was awesome.  The photo above is directly across from the rolling hut. It was our background when we ate.



Here's the food. You choose either fish "dolphin" or chicken.



I know how to make tostones those are the little chip looking things. When you come visit I'll try my "dominican" cooking on you!

This is a photo of the 3 beach we went to that day. It was my favorite. That's MCV walking down the beach.




Miracle- We have not been burned once since living twice as close  to the equator! We are trying our hardest to get tan though. :)

This week we rented a car. We are planning to head NORTH for a few days and try our hand at kite boarding.... well Marvin will, I will watch and try to take photos.

12.15.2009

Frio??? en la Republica Dominicana

I officially had goosebumps yesterday!
We went out last night for dinner and dessert. Marvin got ice cream and I got a frozen mocha. The ice cream parlor was very cold- blasting A/C. I had shorts and a tshirt on. Then we went outside and sat on a patio and there was a slite breaze. It was still about 75 or more outside but I had goosebumps. I didn't think this was possible until it happened!

Marvin thinks I'm officially crazy. I think he had sweat dripping off his brow!

12.13.2009

Count Down

5 days of school left- Exam week. Students in until 10am. Teachers stay until 2pm. My exam is the LAST DAY.  That means grading exams over break .... BLAH! 


4 tutoring secessions left, Monday- Thursday. 


12 days until we fly home! :)... this is my favorite count down! 




Happy Snow Days Grand Rapids


Happy Sunshiny Days Santo Domingo! 

12.09.2009

Las Terrenas


I think the photo's pretty much speak for themselves. So far I think this is the prettiest place I've been! It is so peaceful and tranquil.









This is a hotel that I'd LOVE to go to when we have visitors! You can check it out here Alisei Hotel Some of the people we went with stayed here for the week. The rooms are BEAUTIFUL and it's right on the Ocean.


 Front enterance

Here is the group of people we went with. I am in the Green and the 2 people sitting down next to me were the ones who invited us. The other 5 people in the back are their friends who are visiting from the states (Miami, FL). This is the hole in the wall we ate at. Great food! Great ambiance! Good price- we all ate for under $100 and we all had - dolphin, it's a type of fish, not the porpous. :) haha
 

It's a good thing that Luis had a Chevy Tahoa because the roads were total 2 trackers. It reminded me of vacationing in the UP with my family and our van getting stuck and my mom saying all we could do was pray :)



Shoreh took some great pictures of Marvin and I so I will post them when she emails them to me! These photo's were courtesy of Julia

12.05.2009

411 God


I've been looking online for devotionals. I didn't bring any books with me - luggage and weight issues.  I came across a website that had some very helpful stuff and then one sight that made me question it!...

411God

What if there was a way to have the Bible dropped in your lap every day? Well there is with 411God. We'll call, and you'll get the Bible in your life. Simple. Convenient. Life-changing. It only takes a minute. Find out more & sign up.

Does anyone else see a problem with this?
1. Isn't God always available to us... don't we need to make the effort to come to him?
2. What if my cell phone is out of service? Does God not come that day?
3. What if  I missed the call? No God that day either.
4. I know times are changing but still....what about quite time, prayer time, alone with God. Not in the elevator on the way to work getting your daily 411 call from God...

On a side note- if anyone knows of any great websites that have good devotionals- that include scripture- I'd love it if you sent them my way.
Marvin and I have not been attending that Spanish church anymore. It is very difficult to pay attention and we were not getting anything spiritual out of it. I had one girl who had befriended me and we stay in contact via email but other than that it was almost impossible to get "involved" because of the language barrier. We've also found that it is very "cultural" to go to church on Saturdays- Mass- Roman Catholic society. So, Sunday's are left as a day of family time, friends get together, and lots of hanging out. Whenever we've been invited to hang out with friends or families it's always on a Sunday- so that was a factor as well. So our choice was to go to a Church were we didn't know what was being said or to do our own "fellowshipping" with friends that we've made. Friends have been few and far between here so we take the company when we can get it!!!  Please keep us in prayer though as we try to do our own Bible studies during the week and then make time on Sunday's to do a study together. We were able to Skype our home church a few weeks ago on a Sunday evening and that was fabulous! We are very much looking forward to attending church when we come home in December.

December 5th- Daybook


FOR TODAY... from Lindsay's Daybook

Outside my window... crickets, and a hot day. No snow here!

I am thinking... I'm excited to come home at Christmas

I am thankful for... qtips!

I am wearing... plaid shorts and a Boston university t-shirt

I am remembering... we only had 12 students at school on Thursday because of Christmas play rehersal. 

I am going... to the North tomorrow with some friends.

I am currently reading... Flowers for Algernon

I am hoping... tomorrow will be sunny when we go to the beach

On my mind... Final Exams the next two weeks at school

From the living room... comes the sound of the television

Noticing that... I am addicted to Facebook- Cafe World... if you don't know what it is - keep it that way. Stay away... it's to addicting and time consuming!

Pondering these words... Luces means lights



From the kitchen... nothing- silence. I did make pumpkin pie a few days ago- Turned out great!

Around the house...no sign of Christmas- it's sad. But I just don't want to buy decorations for only one season.

One of my favorite things~ our new GRANDE BOX fan! It cost almost $75. However it makes a WORLD of a difference.

From my picture journal...Remembering great times with our Hoogenhoppers! They are so much bigger now !