What an interesting past week and a half it’s been. Surely God is doing something and we're just trying to see what He's trying to teach us. Since my last post about some goals for 2009 Murphy (as in Murphy’s law) came for a visit. Dave Ramsey always says that as soon as you get gazelle intense about getting out of debt Murphy will pay you a visit. It only took the second week of 2009 for him to come knocking on our door. Nice. It all started last Fri. Derek was on the way to work when I get a call from him saying his car finally gave out and he was stuck on a median in the tiny town of Parker. It took the local police no time to get there and inform him his car had to be moved....NOW. Because we're becoming more and more frugal we didn’t want to think about hiring a tow truck. He was about 40 mins from the house so the thought of that cost well, we didn’t want to go there. After trying to get a hold of his brother to see if her could *ghetto* tow the car home (That would be hooking it up to the back of his brothers truck with a rope and pulling it that way) we realized he (his brother) wasn’t going to wake up. So I was then on a mission to find a tow truck who would tow Derek’s car all the way home. After calling several places and being told they don’t go that far (we live out in the boonies remember) I finally found one. They quoted me a price that was much less than I anticipated (thank you Lord!) and sent a truck to retrieve Little Pooter (as we've so fondly named Derek’s car, the girls love this name mind you). Derek gave them directions back to our house (fortunately the guy had actually heard of our town and knew where it was) and my mom went to pick him up and take him to work. For some reason without Derek escorting them home I just knew they’d get out here and try and pull something on me. Being a woman and all. So I prepared myself. Sure enough the guy pulls up and sits in his truck on the phone for a few mins. I’m thinking he’s planning his ploy to tell me how far it was and they didn’t expect it to be this far out. He gets out with his first words being something to the affect of "yeah, didn’t know it was gonna be this far out". To which I responded by telling him that the guy I talked to on the phone knew exactly where our town was when he quoted us the price. After going back and forth with the guy he finally said they were going to charge us $50 more than I was quoted but they’d knock $30 off of that. Gee...thanks. But whatever, I wasn’t in the mood to argue anymore. I signed the paper and sent the guy off.
The next day we check our bank account to realize some very unexpected transactions had taken place. I was not very pleased and after talking to the bank and the company who completed the transactions settled in my heart it wasn’t a battle worth fighting. So, we're now out around $700 we hadn’t budgeted for or expected that pay period. I guess now it was time to rely on God :) Since that money was a good chunk of what I had budgeted for gas and groceries and we aren’t willing to go into debt (remember we've begun The Total Money Makeover) I prayed (ok and cried) the whole way home asking God to take care of the situation and at least provide a way to get groceries! In the back of my mind I was excited to see what God was going to do to prove himself faithful. When I got home I opened up an envelope with a gift card to Target!!! Derek had taken a survey through our insurance company before Christmas and earned that gift card. I didn’t realize he had selected what store he had wanted it for yet, much less had them send it yet. I was supposed to take the survey too but hadn’t yet. We had decided we were both going to use our gift cards twds getting a new digi camera (since ours broke at the end of summer). Anyway, all of that to say that opening that gift card was such a blessing at just the right time!!! YAY God!!!! I just knew that was one way He was providing grocery money for that pay period. It wasn’t nearly what I budget for groceries, but hey I knew I could get creative and make the money stretch into decent meals for 2 weeks. I was just excited to see God work so quickly!
So, I prayed before making our menus for the 2 weeks, prayed for wisdom when shopping and went to the grocery store. I walked out of the store only spending $10 more than what I had on the gift card!!! YAY for me!
All of that took place on a Sat. The entire day Derek had been working on his car. He and his dad determined that it was the timing belt that needed to replace. Fortunately Derek is not one to pay someone else to do a job he can do! (In this case we saved probably $500) So, he got the timing belt from AutoZone and spent until dark Sunday night putting it on. They finished, went to crank the car up and.....nothing. That’s right, nothing. How discouraging! So, needless to say I was going to be without a car for the week. That was ok, we were still (ok we ARE still) trying to get back into the routine of school for this semester. So, maybe being stuck at home all week was really a blessing in disguise. Friday was the only day we got out of the house. We took Derek to work and spent the day with my mom. We haven’t spent an entire day with Mimi doing nothing in a really long time, so that was nice.
Saturday we had very full day going to 2 birthday parties and a late Christmas get together. We were gone from 9:30 until about 11 that night. Fortunately my energy kept up otherwise I would have been dead by the end of the day. Sunday we had a wonderful service at church and came straight home. Me and the girls really wanted Cicis but my wonderfully frugal husband said no, we aren’t spending money like that anymore. So we settled with a $5 pizza from Little Caesars. Savings: about $15. I guess those things really do add up. And if we continue making those $20 purchases here and there…we’ll never be completely debt free! After lunch Derek and his dad started working on the car again while Audrey and I took a nap. After working on that for a few hours they gave up and couldn’t figure out the problem. I suggested that maybe we should take it into a shop of professionals who could at least diagnose the problem with the motor rather than continue to waste time (and energy) trying to figure it out themselves. I don’t know what Derek has decided though. We’re still praying about whether we should put anymore money into that car or just save and pay cash for another one. That will be awhile though. After we have the Dr and medical bills paid off for this pregnancy. So, we’re looking at late summer before that will even happen. Being stuck without a car until late summer?!?! Ugh. But…thank you Lord for one working new car!!!!
This is getting super long. I doubt anyone is still reading. But if you are you get to hear the rest of the story Lucky you.
Sunday after Derek was done working on his car we were down at his parents’ house. Ava had found a coin on the bathroom counter and was happily announcing to everyone what she had found. Somehow in the bouncing around the coin ended up being swallowed. Needless to say…I was no very happy with this child. How many times has she been told the story of the past TWO times she swallowed coins as a baby!?!? Did she seriously do it again!??! We figured it was a nickel and it would just pass. She kept complaining that it hurt but we figured it had just irritated her throat. We came home, and she was spitting up phlegm up until bedtime. She didn’t want to eat so we didn’t make her. We laid her down for bed but she came down one more time to tell us her throat hurt. As Derek was taking her back up to bed she vomited everywhere. I went downstairs and googled signs that a coin was lodged. Vomiting was listed a sign to go to the ER to be x-rayed, that a coin was most likely lodged. I called the on-call nurse at their Pediatricians office and was told if she was vomiting she needed to be taken in. As bad as this sounds we didn’t want to take her to an ER that night. That would be an ER co-pay to the tune of $100 plus whatever fees accumulated from whatever they had to do. We just wanted to go to the regular Pedi the next day and have the x-ray done then. We decided (stupidly) to have her sleep with us and wait until the next day. Derek went to get her and I insisted she take a small drink of water before she lay down. I wanted to see if that would stay down. She took a small drink and as soon as it went down….it came back up. Ugh. Ok Ok that was enough to know we needed to take her in. We decided we weren’t going to the closest ER bc, well if you know what hospital that is you know why we didn’t go there. We decided to take her to Presby Allen, 45 mins away bc we’ve always had great service there. It was also closer to my mom who was going to meet me up there. Derek stayed home, as much as he didn’t want to, bc Audrey is still nursing and waking up at night. We didn’t want to subject anyone else to her screaming fits we knew she would have bc she didn’t get to nurse when she woke. (spoiled breastfed baby, lol) So, off we went to the ER. My mom met us up there. I wanted someone else with me plus I knew they would have to x-ray Ava and since I’m pregnant I wouldn’t be able to go in with her. We got there about midnight and to our surprise there was no wait! Woohoo! We got right in. They x-rayed her and sure enough, something lodge at the bottom of her esophagus. We all guessed it was a quarter. Yes, a large quarter. They said they wouldn’t be able to do the retrieval (endoscopy) there, that we were having to be transferred. I knew what was coming next (remember we had been through this, embarrassingly, 2 previous times when she was a baby!). She would have to be transferred by ambulance. CHA-CHING. I debated the nurse insisting she was fine for us to drive her to the other hospital. They told us the Dr wouldn’t sign off on that bc of the risk of something happening in transit. READ: they couldn’t risk the liability if something happened. The nurse told us that when we got the bill for the ambulance if the insurance didn’t cover the ride to fight it. Bc that hospital couldn’t do the procedure and we had to go to another hospital it wasn’t a voluntary ambulance call. It was transfer between hospitals. So, now we wait for that bill. Last time this happened the ambulance ride was $1,000 for our part. So, we get a nice ride in ambulance to Presby Plano. We get there and fortunately they were ready for her! The Pedi gastro-something or other (lol, yes that’s the Drs official title) was already there and they were prepping for surgery. Oh I might add they started an IV at the first hospital in prep for the ambulance ride and surgery. Ava didn’t even cry. She was such a trooper! I was so proud of her. Anyways, right before surgery, at about 3 am, Ava finally fell asleep. This was in-between vomiting spells. Every time she moved at this point she threw up. So, they took her to surgery asleep. This was a total blessing so she didn’t have to go through that scare. The whole surgery process took 4 mins. They let us go back there while she was waking up. It was indeed a quarter. A very very expensive quarter. We ended up finally getting home at 6:30 am. Elisa never woke up and so she wasn’t able to worry about her sister the whole time, praise the Lord! Ava is totally fine now. Hopefully this made a big enough impression on her that no coins will ever go close to her mouth again!
After doing the math and thinking about it. I can add another $750 (individual deductible), $100 (ER co-pay), 20% of all the procedures done at both ERs and the surgery, plus the ambulance ride. I don’t even want to think about the grand total. Let’s just say Murphy has made one expensive visit over the past week. Now we trust that God will provide the money to pay everything off! Dave wasn’t kidding when he said the minute you decide to get serious with will start to rain. Guess that why you have your emergency fund in place. I’m thinking that emergency fund wont take care of all of these expenses though.