Monday, March 17, 2008

Here You Go Grandma

Well, since you refuse to come to our children, I guess we will have to bring the children to you. I hope this makes you feel sad enough to motivate you to move to Nebraska. Oh by the way, don't forget to read Ericka's first ever blog post below.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Second Richest Man (Obviously My Husband is the First. He Married ME!)

Carl has been complaining a lot about my refusal to post anything on the blog. I have tried to help him understand that I have nothing to write about; I am sure no one is interested in my daily routine of being a mom. I really do not do anything exciting so I had decided that the blog writing would be left to Carl. However, I found myself to be very passionate about this topic. So I decided to give into my husband's persistent peer pressure and post my first blog.

A week ago I saw on MSNBC the infamous Forbes list of the richest men in the world. Out of curiosity, in reality it was probably more envy and greed, I looked at the list. I was a little surprised to have seen that Mr. Buffet had replaced Mr. Gates as the richest man, but my biggest surprise came when I saw that the second richest man in the world is a Mexican by the name of Carlos Slim Helu.

As I pondered what it meant for a Mexican to have that kind of money, approximately 60 Billion dollars, I began to feel angry. It bothers me to know that 18% of Mexicans live in extreme poverty, defined as less than $2.00 a day. It upsets me to know that 21% of the population lives in moderate poverty, defined as roughly $4.00 a day. That means that nearly 40% of the Mexican population, or more than 40 million people, are forced to support their families on $4.00 a day or less. It bothers me to think that so many of my paisanos are forced to live on so little and are in so much need and this man, another paisano, has his billion dollar stash. As I began judging this man I then thought whether, if it was me, would I be capable of giving away my wealth in order to enter into the Kingdom of God as Jesus prophesied to the young rich man. I don't know whether I would be capable of doing so, luckily the Lord has not seen it necessary to try me on such matters. This then let me to the law of consecration and how difficult of a law that is too live in the financial sense. But then how much more difficult it becomes when one realizes it is also a law that in its fullest requires that I be willing to give not only all of my possessions, but also all of my time, all of my thoughts, all of my desires, and all of my soul in order to build up the Kingdom of Zion. As I ponder on that and I realize how much more work I have to do I begin to come to the understanding that instead of spending my time judging what SeƱor Helu has or has not done with his money I should be figuring out what I can do to help my paisanos in Mexico and what I can do to help build up the Kingdom of Zion. So off to work I go!

Oh by the way, we found this very cool webpage that gives people the opportunity to try and help poverty throughout the world. You basically give micro loans to help other entrepreneurs in third world countries. It only requires a minimum loan of $25.00 and you can choose exactly who you want to give the money to and find out updates as to what they are using the money for and how it has helped them. The impact that that amount of money can have on these people is amazing. You should check it out. Kiva

Monday, March 3, 2008



I just started the process of consolidating my private loans with my public loans. I owe nearly $100,000.00. The average interest rate on those loans is about 7%, which means every year I add around $7,000.00 to that already mammoth number. In order to pay it off in 10 years and only accumulate about $50,000.00 in interest I have to make at least $1,000.00 payments each month, which at this point is basically impossible. Thus, everyday as I watch my debt grow, like one of those jackpot signs in a casino, I feel completely helpless to control it. As these feelings of helplessness come over me I wonder whether it was a mistake for me to go to law school. Now I absolutely love my job and am incredibly content with what I do every day. And I consider myself very blessed to have a Juris Doctor degree. Nonetheless, I think it might have been a mistake.

I always thought that by going to law school I would be able to provide for my family in ways that I could not with a Bachelor's degree. I knew it would be expensive, but I told myself that I could have the loans paid off in no time; after all I would be a lawyer. But it has been nearly one year since I graduated from law school and I have not been able to make any payments. It frustrates me that I cannot make payments on my loans. It frustrates me that I am going to pay so much money in interest. It frustrates me that I am still renting. If frustrates me that we have to plan six months ahead in order to save money to buy a birthday cake for one of our kids birthdays. It frustrates me that we can only survive paycheck to paycheck if we borrow money from my little brother. It frustrates me that we cannot save any money for our future or for our children's future. And thus, amid all this frustration I cannot help but wonder, was it a huge mistake for me to go to law school? Would not my family have been better off had I chosen not to go?