Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Just a quick note

I feel soooooo much better today!  Yay.  I've got to give God all the glory here.  When the situation calls for much more strength, energy and/or ability than I have and everything that needs to get done, gets done....that's God.  Yesterday, I shouldn't have been able to get up and move around, get the kids ready, make it to the appointment, wait in the doctor's office, then go and get prescriptions filled and get the kids home and fed and put down for their respective rest times, but it all happened and God is so good to carry me when I can't walk and be strong when I am weak.  What a wonderful God I serve!  Thank you, Father, for your unfailing mercy and grace in my life.  Thank you for the wonderful nurses that are caring for me during this pregnancy and for the medicine that is needed.  Thank you for my brothers and sisters who pray for me. Thank you for loving me and my family and caring for every detail.  Most of all, I am grateful that you are in control and I can rest in You and be filled with Your peace that passes all understanding.  Thank you for being with me always.  I hope I am a blessing to your heart.  Praise you, God!

Monday, September 29, 2008

UTI turned Kidney infection

Warning:  Bodily Functions involved!

Over the weekend I suspected I had gotten a urinary tract infection.  I didn't get very much sleep the past two nights and called for an appointment this morning.  Right about the time I was going to bed last night, my kidney started hurting and I seriously thought that I had kidney stones again.  I had them during my 1st pregnancy.  They had an opening this morning.  I managed to get me and the kiddos there. (By this time I was in a LOT of pain.)  As soon as I got called in they checked my urine and when I saw the Nurse Practitioner, she said that I had a really bad bladder infection and she thought it had gotten into my kidney.  Yay.  I really have to complement them again.  They are the kindest, most concerned Dr's office I've ever been to.  They gave me an intramuscular dose of antibiotics to get the ball rolling and then they gave me a prescription for a different kind and one for a pain med.  All I have to say is, when she told me they were going to go ahead and give me an antibiotic in-office, I just had such a flood of relief!  I'm supposed to be feeling tremendously better by tomorrow.  Prayers are much appreciated!  I am praying that this will be a speedy recovery and that I will still be able to meet my kids needs while I rest and give my body time to recover.

By the way, we did get pictures made at the Picture People studio here and they turned out great!  As soon as I receive the link for them, I do a post.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Sock Swap Update

Here's how it looks so far.  We have five sock swappers.  I paired everyone up by order of response.  As soon as you read this, please confirm that you've gotten the address you need and then when you get your socks, please let me know that, too.  Preferably with a note telling me you've put a picture of them on your blog so that I can link to them. :)  Here's the list of who's sending to whom:

MzzTerry, you are sending to Reina
Reina, you are sending to Rachel
Rachel, you are sending to Patty
Patty, you are sending to Shelly
Shelly is sending to MzzTerry

****Here are some sock websites if anyone is interested:

Sock Dreams - this one is a bit on the sultry side with the way they advertise, but they do have some really cool socks.

Pippi's Longstockings - loving the name of this one!!! Plus, they have some stinkin' cute socks!!!

I'm going to be emailing addresses to everyone.  If you don't receive an email, please let me know so that I can fix that as soon as possible.  Please send your socks out by the 15th of October.  I'm so excited!  Thank you, ladies, for participating!!

A little baby update

I just thought I'd let everyone know how its going.  For the past couple of days I've been feeling the baby wiggly around.  Its so funny to me because I don't ever get the fluttery feeling first.  Probably because I don't pay much attention or I don't sit down very much at this stage.  I don't know, but when I finally do feel the baby move it is big time wiggling, kicking and thumping.  Its not at all unpleasant, yet, and I really like this stage because I know that little person is doing okay in there by all the movement.  I'm looking forward to the ultrasound on the 10th.  I'll be getting a dvd of the whole thing.  Since I've had so many, I'm not too shabby at knowing what is where, so I'm going to have to intentionally not look in a certain area and see what there is or isn't there. :)  I haven't thrown up for over a month now.  I actually think its been more like two, but my sense of time along with my memory are so abstract, so I'm really just guessing.  I do still have heave attacks, but its usually in conjunction with really bad smells, like pooh, the trash, etc.  I still haven't been able to take vitamins consistently, but I did take two of the boys' vitamins yesterday.  They are those gummy vitamins and they went down just fine.  The other ones aren't bad, its just because I have to swallow them and my gag reflex is still strong with this one, it just isn't working at this time.  This is the first pregnancy that I haven't diligently taken vitamins once the throwing up part was over.  I know I eat enough different kinds of food and enough of it, so I'm pretty sure I'm good.  I know I've gotten the folic acid I need through my food, so yay.  I still haven't gained any weight, yet.  That's the oddest part for me so far.  NOT that I'm complaining mind you, its just weird.  Both of my other pregnancies ended in my having gained 35+ pounds.  Also, after Braden, I never lost all the weight, so I started out the pregnancy with Zekey with an extra twenty pounds and then this one started with an extra thirty.  I seriously think its the way the doctor told me to eat.  Plus, I've been up and moving around pretty much the whole time.  Even in the beginning of this one, I would make myself get up and get things done and now that I have more energy and I'm not constantly nauseated, I get out and about a lot.  Activity level and eating style is what I think has made the most difference.  Oh, yeah, and I've cut a lot of sugar out of my diet.  I don't usually want sweets now and I stopped drinking the tons of sweet tea and juice that I had been drinking at the beginning when nothing sounded good or tasted right.  I really drink mostly water with a sweet tea or juice thrown in every now and then.  Either way, its still weird and I know I'm going to hear an earful from my doctor next time I go in.  It should be interesting.  I'm also going to go check out the hospital where I will be delivering.  I like to go and tour the birthing facility and get familiar with the check in process and all that as soon as I can.  I'll probably go after I have my appointment on the 10th, since its right down the road.  

Monday, September 22, 2008

Carlsbad and other pictures and some michellamneous mentionables

I finally got the 35mm pictures put on cd so that I can share them.  I also have a few pictures from our recent visit with Sam's cousins Billy Gene and Patsy.  I need to take a few pictures of what "fall" here looks like at the moment.  Here's a hint.  The five day highs for this week are 102, 100, 104, 104, 102,  101 degrees!  The lows are all 78 degrees or below.  I keep reading about the lovely weather in East Texas and I'm really wanting to be there right now!!!  I'm also wondering if we are going to be able to go home for either Thanksgiving or Christmas.  I guess we'll just have to see.  We have family here and are already invited to Thanksgiving, so we won't be doing that on our own.  I love Thanksgiving.  Its my favorite time of the year.  We usually go to Thanksgiving at my Granny's house and being around my extended family and eating all the super yummy food and being able to make something to add to that.  I love it.

I've been thinking a lot about Christmas because our little live Christmas tree that we brought here with us didn't make it.  We had it for over two years and I was very irritated about it dying.  Arizona has now claimed the lives of ten+ of my plants.  I'm now refusing to get another one until we have a house and a yard.  That way after we use it for Christmas, we can plant it and hopefully it won't kick the bucket!  In light of that, I've decided to do a very homemade Christmas.  The boys and I are going to make a Christmas tree out of a refrigerator box.  I'm going to string our lights on it and put the few ornaments we have with us near the top and then we are going to make the rest of the ornaments out of styrofoam, cardboard and whatever else.  We're gonna make construction paper and popcorn garlands.  Its gonna be fun and cheap and reusable!  Woo-hoo! :)  I will be taking pictures to document this process and then the hopefully great finished product.

Yesterday, we went to dinner at Cracker Barrel with Sam's aunt and uncle and we had a really good time.  Sam's Aunt Mary Alice took Braden on a walk through the store part and they came back with a stuffed opossum for Zekey and a "super grabber" for Braden.  Braden picked them both out.  He's really funny.  He chose the opossum because he thought it looked like the rat in Ratatouille.  We just got that movie about two weeks ago.  Anyway, I also took a little walk and looked at their ornaments.  I love ornaments!  I think that is my shopping obsession.  (I didn't remember it until I went looking at the ornaments.)  I will be going back there for a few ornaments and I will also be going to Hobby Lobby soon to check out their selection.  I may go to Michael's, but I'm not usually impressed by what they have.  In the past 3 years, I've always tried to make it to a Crate and Barrel to get some ornaments because they usually have some very neat ones.  I think I will be continuing that tradition because there is one about 8 miles from me.  I'm very excited!!!!  I really like Crate and Barrel, not only because they carry neat stuff, but also because they wrap up what you buy and put it in a box for you.  Its such a nice way to store my ornaments. :)  Even though most of my ornaments are in storage right now, one day I'll be able to get them all out and decorate our tree and its going to be so much fun to see them all on the same tree.  The ones I buy this year will probably make it into storage too if we go home.  I don't like traveling around with breakable ornaments, so yeah.

Another couple of things that I'm very excited about are going to take place this weekend, both on Sunday.  After church, we will be attending our first Agape Feast.  They have it once a month and it is a time of fellowship between church members.  We didn't go to the last one, so I'm very excited about this one.  Its gonna be spagetti and stuff.  Yum!  I also got an application to work in the children's ministry.  I want to be involved in both of my kiddos classes.  Okay, so three things instead of two.  We will also be getting our pictures made later that day.  I found a Picture People studio.  I have heard such good things about them and I'm really glad that we finally live near one!  They specialize in taking pictures of children, so I anticipate some really good pictures.  Also, you take your pictures, pick the poses you like and then about an hour later, you are taking your pictures home.  That's right!  They process their own pics right in studio!  I can't wait.  I've got to go find something to wear for the picture though because Sam and the boys mostly have brown and earth-toned nice clothes, while all of mine are black and white.  I found a maternity resale shop here and will be going in the next day or two, so hopefully, I'll find something.  We went to Gymboree on Saturday and I finally used the rest of the gift card that my mom's friend Jane gave to us for Zekey's birth.  I was wanting to find something for both Braden and Zekey for picture purposes, but could never find similar things in the sizes they wear.  I ended up finding Braden a pair of brown slacks and Zekey a pair of brown shortalls.  Yay!  They already have shirts to wear, so I'm ecstatic!  Sam already has something to wear though I'd really like to get him a new shirt.  I'll be on the lookout for that and something for me.  We really don't do this very often and because I don't keep up with what place has what, I end up running around like a chicken with my head cut off.  Not pretty!

Okay, enough yacking. On to the pictures.

These are all from Carlsbad Caverns with the 35 mm camera. 

These are from 2 weekends ago when we went to hang out with Billy Gene and Patsy for a couple of days.  These were taken with our new digital camera.  Man the difference is amazing!
Billy Gene and Braden

Braden being goofy while I experiment with the camera
This closeup is just fabulous to me.  You can see iris detail and everything!  This camera rocks!
This is an owl that was roosting right above our heads.  It was dozing and alternately keeping an eye on us.  This is the closest I've ever been to an owl.
Braden, Billy Gene and Sam went to the Pima Air Museum for part of the day and apparently had a very good time.

After they got back from the museum, Braden decided they needed to go swimming.  Apparently it was a little chilly and the adults weren't as keen on it as the kids. :)

  Patsy and Zekey playing "Boo!"
Me and Patsy yacking.

They are sooo sweet with our kids and our kids just LOVE them!

Sam took these a couple of nights ago when I gave the kids some ravioli-os.  Braden ended up with a sauce goatee, but Zekey made quit the huge mess.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Latest Trilogy We're into....

Sam and I have been reading the Cradleland Chronicles by Douglas Hirt.  There are three books in the series and they are really very interesting.  They are classified under Christian Sci-fi and they are so good!  Sam and I read the first one and then we ordered the next two and had to wait on them to come in the mail.  There was a mix up in the order of the second book so we had to re-order it and ended up getting the third book before the second book.  Sam couldn't wait and so he went ahead and read the third book and when the second one came, got started on that one.  Well, he's still in the middle of the second book and I decided I couldn't wait, so I started reading it, too.  So we have two different places in the book marked. :)  We just take turns.  Anyway, I'll put the link to the books here and you can check them out for yourself.

I also wanted to mention the book Dead Heat by Joel C. Rosenberg.  Its the fifth book in The Last Jihad series.  They are Christian fiction books, but so thought provoking.  I'll put the link to his books here.  Check it out and see what you think.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Swaps...calling all who might be interested

My friend Reina who is an admitted swap-aholic has given me a few ideas and I wanted to put them out there and see what kind of interest there is.  If there is enough, then I'll just host my own swap or two.  She has done some apron swaps and is now involved in a book and bookmark swap.  I am hoping to join that one next month.  My ideas are these....  what about swapping used books - ones you already have at home.  Perhaps you could post a few on the comments section of my blog and hopefully we would have a good number of people interested and then really all you are paying for is the postage to send it to whoever wants to read it.  Then I thought about doing a sock swap.  Nothing big time, just one pair of socks.  You go to the store, pick up some funky, fun socks and send them to whoever you end up partnered with.  It could become a monthly sock swap or something and everyone gets a surprise pair of interesting socks per month.  The other one was bookmarks.  Just bookmarks in a long envelope.  I've seen some interesting ones around and I'm also going to try my hand at making a few.  I'll take pics to let you know how that turns out.  Also, what about a chapstick swap.  Seriously, what better way to try out new chapsticks.  Each person could send their partner their favorite kind of chapstick.  I don't know, it was just a few thoughts and ideas, but it won't work unless enough people want to participate.  I thought it would be better than doing those mail things where you don't send the stuff to the person who sent it to you, but somehow everyone is supposed to get a load of whatever it is you are supposed to be buying and sending off.  Well, let me know if there are any interested parties out there.  Also, if any of you have more interesting ideas than mine, add them to the list.  If there is enough interest, I'll either make a new blog or somehow put the info up on this one in a more permanent way, so no one will have to search through my posts.  Oh, by the way another consideration was being able to send these things cheaply and it would be a whole lot easier to send an envelope internationally than a box.  So....On your mark....get set.....COMMENT!! :)

Friday, September 12, 2008

This doesn't need an explanation

We got a new camera!

We finally got a new digital camera! Its about time, too, really. We were originally supposed to get one last February, but something came up. Then we were gonna get it in May. That too was a bust. Then we just were waiting. After much discussion and hemming and hawing, we decided it was time. We've missed many moments we would have liked to get on "film", especially with our kids.

I wrote in an earlier post that I decided to get the Canon 40D because after researching all the available models, I thought this one would be the best one to get for photography school and beyond. Well, after finding out that I'm preggo, my priorities have changed. If an opportunity arises where I can start school then that might happen, but really it doesn't fit into my life right now. Though I'm still behind in getting all the homeschool stuff ready for Braden, I am getting close and its going to be so much fun. Then there's Zekey who is learning at lightening speed and requires lots of attention and we will soon have a new member of the family that will need his/her own attention and care and time. I don't think I will be able to devote the required time and attention to school and my heart really isn't in it at this time. Also, the amount of money we would need to have per semester is just more than we need to spend. We could probably come up with it and Sam would do his best to make sure we had it and we could make sacrifices and all that jazz, but why? Just so I can have a piece of paper saying that I know how to use my camera creatively to capture people's moments? I do admit that it is an attractive prospect, but I also know that if I really want to learn how to do something, I can learn it without having to go through all that. When I get a new "toy", I read the manual from cover to cover and if I want to learn techniques, I just look them up or ask someone. Anyway, all that to say we didn't get the 40D. Sam was all for me going ahead and getting it. We were at Costco and I got to drool over it for a few minutes.:) They also had the bundle pack for the EOS Rebel XTI. It came with two IS lenses, an extra battery pack, a memory card and a bag. The 40D was $1400.00, the bundle pack was $940.00 and the third choice was the Digital EOS Rebel XSI with lens for $700.00. The difference between the two Rebels is the XTI is a 10.1 mega pixel and the XSI is a 12.2 MP. I was sorely tempted to get that 40D, let me tell you. I had Sam's okay! The thing is, I don't need it. It is a professional camera and I am not a professional...yet:) Its also huge! Its about a third bigger than the rebel and we need something that Sam or I can use. Also, its $1400!!! Now, it does come with many extras that actually make that price a steal compared with going to any other place and buying that camera, but again....don't need it. We ended up with the XSI in the end. The Rebel bundle pack was an excellent deal just because it had the extra lens in it. The IS lenses run about $400-$600 a piece, so that and all the other included stuff was worth it. Still we opted for the extra mega pixels and went and bought our own bag and memory card and are quite happy with it. Now we just have to learn how to use it! I will be reading the entire manual this weekend and experimenting with it. I'm sooooooo excited! Now I need to figure out what to do with our old Canon digital camera. I'll have to research that. Maybe someone out there is handy at fixing jacked up digital cameras. I'll let you know.

So, now after I figure out everything I need to know about this camera, there will once again be pictures present on this blog! Woo-hoo!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Just random happenings

We all know that I am a Chatty Cathy, but apparently I've passed this trait on to my eldest son, Braden.  Let's call him a Chatty Charlie, though, since he's a boy. Yeah.  Yesterday, we went to a very cool spray park here as part of a Moms Club activity and as he took a break to munch on a couple of peanut butter crackers, he decided to give one of the moms a tour of our jogging stroller. :)  He's really funny like that.  He even does stuff like that over the phone.  He'll give a tour of our motorhome or his room or something he's been playing with.  It just cracks me up.  Here for your viewing pleasure is the Chatty Cathy commercial from the 1960s.

Also, we've had a couple of totally cool things happen the past couple of days.  I mentioned that I advertised our ClearWire modem and account on CraigsList and the next day there was a voicemail with someone interested in taking it over!  I called the next day and within 30 mins it was switched to their name.  I then mailed off the modem yesterday.  Woo-hoo!  Isn't God so amazing?!

Then, Sam made a comment about just going ahead and getting rid of Dish Network/any t.v. broadcasting because of the commercials.  Seriously, if you take the time to notice, almost every commercial has some sort of sex element in it.  For example, the new m&ms commercial, most car commercials, not to mention all of the dating ones, oh and my favorites the male enhancement commercials.  Who sits out in a bathtub in the middle of nowhere, anyway?!  (I would like to make a little note here.  Satellite observation anyone?  I'm just saying that I would not want to be imortalized in that way!  Yikes! haha)  We couldn't even just leave TV land on because we didn't want our boys to be exposed to the commercials!  Same issue with How Its Made and Mythbusters on Discovery.  There really isn't a safe channel.  So, Tuesday, I made a call and we no longer have Dish Network service.  They are sending us a box to send the equipment back in and then all traces of that will be gone.  Again praise God!  I'm also so thankful that I am married to a man who is willing to make a sacrifices to stand for what is right and protect this family.  We talked about it more in depth and we realized we were allowing the tv to fill up our family time.  When we lived in the mobile home in Diana, we didn't even get local channels, so we only watched the occasional movie and we spent a lot more quality time together.  I also got reminded of what we can be capable of when I went to check on a blogger and her family that both Sam and I really admire.  They were the leaders of the college and career class at the church where Sam and I met.  Here's the link if you are interested.  They are such an interesting Godly family.  They seriously live their walk and the results are an amazing bunch of Godly kids and together as a family they are no less than incredible.  The great thing is, its all due to God.  All they do is obey.  Cool, huh?

So, God is providing ways for us to steadily get rid of excess spendage in our family and I am so excited to see what He has in store next.  We bought two vehicle for sale signs at the store the other day and as soon as I acquire a sharpie, I'm going to put them up in the windows of our motor home.  I'll let you know what comes of that.  We are also going to advertise on a couple of web sites and just wait to see what happens.  Oh, yeah, not that this is official or anything, but there was an un-official spreading of info at Sam's work that makes it seem very likely that we are going to be here for a while.  Just thought it would be interesting to see if by October that is still the situation.  I'll definitely keep you posted.  Also, I went to the doctor on Tuesday and my sonogram will be on October 10th provided that we are still here at that time.  I'll let you know dimensions and try to put the video of it on here. (Never done that type of thing before, but I'll figure it out.)  We will still not be finding out if we are having a girl or a boy.  We do, however, already have a girl name picked out and a first name for a boy.  Still looking for a middle name there.

Vanessa, I think this turned into another marathon post, so without further ado, I dedicate this one to you! hehe (I even put it in the color you like so much and pronounce so weirdly!!!)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Something that needs saying

This has been on my mind a lot lately and I would like to share.  The last few Sundays I have been observing at church.  What have I been observing, you ask?  Well, I've been observing what the women, teenage girls and little girls are wearing.  Several years ago, I really didn't notice it much unless someone wore something way outrageously inappropriate.  Now, though, my eyes have been opened wide.  I've been seeing women who are married, have kids and come to church regularly, dressed like they are going to the beach or out on the prowl.  One woman in particular always catches my attention because she has an endless supply of dresses that are low cut in the front always showing about three inches of the line between her ample bosom and the dress ends a very few inches past her rear.  Let's just say bending over would NOT be a good idea!  Then there are the women who come in with the tight shirts with the revealing V-necks giving a good view of what they have.  There are some moms who wear the teeny tiny, just short of daisy duke shorts.  There are the teenagers that come with their mother appropriately dressed, but they are far from it!  I'm seeing all of this and it makes me so sad and mad and the same time!  How on earth is church a safe place, a sanctuary for all of us to come and worship and praise and be in the presence of our Lord, if upon entering 99% of the men are being bombarded with boobs, hinies and thighs?  Their attention is being divided between fighting the urge to look and trying to meet with God.  Let me explain even further....  A couple of years ago, I attended the Spring Ladies Event at church and they really touched on this subject.  It wasn't in a mean or discouraging way, but it was told in truth with love.  Man, what a revelation!  Also, about this same time, I was being made aware of the very real battle EVERY man has with visual stimulation.  See, the two coincide.  I don't think most women are really aware of what kind of a reaction a man has to a woman who is dressed to show off her assets.  She's thinking, hey I look good, attractive, men admire my figure, think I'm cute perhaps, but it goes so much deeper than that!  You see, when he can see how busty you are and how your rear end is accentuated by the pants/jeans/skirt you wear or how much leg you show when you have the little teeny tiny shorts on that seem to be all the rage the last few years or my personal "favorite" the jeans that are made to purposefully cause a plumber's crack so as to showcase a thong.... well, I'm telling you he's thinking quite something else.  There's already a fantasy including you in his bed and you've helped to stimulate his sexual drive.  Most men will file away images for later perusal in their mind.  There's a very good book on this subject and if you are a man, especially a Christian man,  you should definitely read it and if you are a wife, mother about to be married, whatever, you should probably read it, too.  It will be a hard read for some ladies because it is very open and honest and true and shocking, but if you know what he's dealing with every single day, not only will it make you realize that maybe you've been a stumbling block for men other than your husband by the way you dress, but you can also better support your husband in his battle.  Also, it can help you help him to guard his heart and in the process protect your marriage.  The book is called Every Man's Battle by Stephen Arterburn and Fred Stoeker with Mike Yorkey.  I will put a link to the book for info. at the end of the post.

I want to qualify all of this by saying that if a woman is appropriately dressed, meaning everything is covered and not tight to make sure every curve is accentuated and a man is still having thoughts about her, that is not anything to do with her.  That man is having deeper issues than just the normal battle usually dealt with.  There is also a responsibility that God gives men to rise above all of this.  He's already provided the way through the freedom in Christ and the aforementioned book gives very practical ways to do that.  What I'm wanting to bring to the attention of the ladies out there, and I'm speaking specifically to the Christian ladies, is this:  Fashion is of the world.  I'm not saying don't try and be fashionable or anything, but just because a super model comes busting down the runway in a see through shirt, doesn't mean its okay for you to wear!  If you are showing cleavage, you are sharing something with everyone else that doesn't belong to them.  The "girls" should be for your husband's eyes only.  If you aren't married yet, then save that view for your future husband.  Same goes for your backside and thighs.  I know a lot of you might be saying, "What's the big deal about thighs?!"  Let's think of it this way, first I know you've heard men say, "I'm a leg man."  Also, guess where the thigh leads?  Straight up to their imagination going wild with you as the center of the fantasy!  You may be rebelling against all of this just like I would have just four short years ago, as in this is their problem, if they are having issues, then they don't need to be looking! But let me tell you that according to the Bible you have a responsibility to keep your brother from stumbling, if it is your action or behavior that is causing it.  Plus, think about it this way.  Where would you have them look, between the way women/girls are dressing these days, ads on billboards, ads in magazines, t.v. commercials, no place is safe.  Not even church!  There is a reason the Bible speaks so much and clearly on sexual immorality, lust, debauchery, etc. Its a huge issue and not only does it permeate from every corner of our society, but the desires for these things come out of our own hearts! (Psalm 81:12, Matthew 15:19, Romans 1:24) Its destructive!  The Bible even says in Matthew 5:27, 28 - You have heard that it was said, YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY; but I say to you, that everyone who looks on a woman to lust for her has committed adultery with her already in his heart.

Okay, so really all of that was to say this.  Next time you are getting ready for church, really take a look at yourself.  What do you notice first?  If you've got cleavage showing or your rear is very well showcased or whatever bottoms you have on are showing most of your thigh, think about finding something else because making that choice will save the men at your church one less battle to have to fight.  Oh, yeah and talk to your husband about this.  You might be surprised at what he has to say......

I also welcome your comments and conclusions. :)

Here's the link for Every Man's Battle

Monday, September 8, 2008

Update on whatever I can think of.

So far, we still don't know if we are going to be here for a while or someplace else come October.  Its totally in God's hands, so we are waiting on Him and His timetable.

Right now, I can tell you we are getting a little more partial to becoming stationary as soon as possible.  We are really wanting to settle down and stop moving and always being up in the air about getting to know people, making lasting friendships, getting involved in a church and community.  We never know how long we will be somewhere so its hard to be dependable in these areas.  This is an area we need prayer in because we don't want to become discontent with where God has us right now.  Though we can totally make it work, we would be rather crowded in our motor home once the baby gets here.  Especially, if Zekey isn't ready to move to a big bed.  He still sleeps in the pack and play.  We waited until Braden was over two before we moved him to the bunk bed and I was very happy we did.  Anyway, room to run around and play is limited too, as they are getting bigger.  Again, totally doable, just something we are praying about right now.  We certainly don't want to jump the gun.

We are going to go ahead and put our motor home up for sale now.  If it sells before we leave here we will just find alternate accommodations.  We will also rethink staying on the road any longer than that because we have a way of moving back home and not having to pay for a place to live for a while and Sam can find other means of income other than being a contractor.  Like I said, all of this is in God's hands.  We are seeing possibilities and praying for obvious guidance and wisdom to make the right decisions.

We are still making lots of progress on our debt.  We are hacking away at credit cards and still being able to bulk up our savings on occasion.  (We use it for emergencies like having to move quickly or getting something fixed, hospital bills, etc.)  We actually only have two credit cards left and Sam's school loan.  The school loan is getting payed of very quickly because we have been paying over on it since he got it.  The two credit cards are getting paid off because one of them is actually more like a scheduled payoff loan and has a scheduled payment plan and will actually have an end payment.  The other one is a regular credit card, but we are paying way over on it and we are really enjoying watching the balance consistently drop.  Hopefully, we'll be able to make some pretty large payments on it and then it will just cease to exist.  A little side note here.  I kept getting the same advice from people about closing accounts after you pay them off.  They all said you should wait at least three months to close the account because it will adversely affect your credit score.  Well, I don't care as much about that as I do not having those accounts open anymore!  AND all the ones we've paid off so far have been closed with no adverse affects to our credit score, so...... there you go.  

We have also sold the mobile home, praise God!  Its interesting how that came about, but suffice it to say it was a totally unexpected way that God brought it about and its very cool to say the least!  Its also another example for us to just wait on God to tell us when and how because His solutions are soooooo much better than our own!

The only other things we have are the van payment, we have a contract with ClearWire, our cell phones, our storage unit and Dish Network.  Dish Network is no big deal because I found out the other day that if we wanted to get rid of that right now it would only cost us $37.00 to break the contract.  ClearWire would be $175 to break contract, but they offer a way to have someone take over the contract and they get free activation and you just get out of the contract and any more responsibility with them.  We really like ClearWire, but we are not able to use it every where we go and when we settle down, I don't know that we will need to have that extra expense right away.  I have advertised the contract take-over and hopefully someone who is located in their current network will be interested and it will all be taken care of.  Otherwise, we will just have to suck it up and pay for the break.  It will all work out whatever happens.  We are not going to get rid of our cell phones because they are the only phones we have, but T-Mobile is really nice because if you happen to move somewhere they don't provide service, then they will release you from your contract.  I'd rather they just have service available and leave it at that.  The storage unit is an easy one.  Once we have a place to put all of our junk then that payment will just go away.  The van we just are making the payments on.  We looked into getting it refinanced, but it really would not have been best in the long run.  After our other debt is taken care of we will just put lump sums on that payment until it is payed off. 

Basically, our plan goes like this:  Pay off the highest rate debt first - credit cards.  After those are payed off then we take the money that we were paying on those and put it on the next debt to pay off - in this case we have decided to hit the school loan next.  It is a large chunk of money each month and we don't owe much on it and it wouldn't take long to pay it off.  Most financial advisers would have suggested the van get the next attention rather than the school loan, but because of the reasons already stated, we decided the van would come after the school loan.  Next we'll concentrate on the van because by this time we will have the money that we were paying on the credit cards and the school loans and be able to combine it all to pay off the van.  Yep, that will indeed go quickly.  Plus, you have to remember that during the time that we are paying off the other debts, each of the ones waiting to get the extra money poured onto it to pay it off is still being paid on.  The principle amounts will be steadily going down, so that by the time its turn rolls around to get paid off the balance amount will be even lower than when we first made our budget out.  By the way, we will be beefing up the savings along the way because there are always things that pop up and we don't want to have to shift money around from what we budgeted to compensate.

This is our static plan, but we do run into snafoos on occasion and have to rethink some things.  Its really not that big of a deal.  Oh, yeah, the other thing we do is take out cash for groceries, laundry and eating out.  When the money is gone, we wait until the next paycheck to get anything.  (This does get out of whack on occasion when we run out of several expensive things at the same time, i.e. diapers, wipes, TP, paper towles, but it always rights itself.  I also try to stagger buying that stuff so it doesn't happen often.)

So there is our getting out of debt update.  After October, I will be better able to evaluate what is most probably going to happen with us.  When we know, I will definitely update everyone. 

The other thing I need to do an update on is the pregnancy.  So far, so good.  I should be around 4 months right about now.  I haven't had a "real" sonogram yet to determine that for sure, but between the doctor's impromtu unofficial sonogram and the start of my symptoms, we should be close enough.  That should put the due date somewhere towards the end of February/beginning of March.  I do have an appointment tomorrow and should know when my sonogram will be.  Until then, I'm just guesstimating.  Really and truly, though, this baby will come out when he/she wants to, so trying to determine a date is just silly.  Braden came 12 days early and Zekey was born a week later after an induction. (He probably would have happily stayed in for another week or two.)  So, only God knows what this baby's time table is.  I like leaving it in His hands and not worrying about it anyway.:)  I'm still nauseated if I don't keep up with my eating schedule, every hour, and I have a tendency to be more ill in the evenings because I'm ready to call it a day, but other than that everything is going very well.  The heat also seems to be getting less intense lately.  The boys and I get outside a bit more often than we did and we also go do errands during the day on occasion, so its getting better all around.  I've also found a Moms Club and a Home School Group here and though I don't know how much we'll be able to participate because of the unknown travel possibilities, at least they are available and we are physically able to go.

Well, I think this is a long enough post, so I'm done for the day!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

A side note

Yeah, so guess what I saw when we went to Sams Club today.  Yeah, wiis!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  AAAaaaaaarrrggggghhhhhh!  That will be all for now.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Hands and Feet Project

After reading my friend's latest post and finding out about the serious situation in Haiti after Gustav and Hannah demolished it, I want to spread the word about the need.  There is a group of people, The Hands and Feet Project, there that run an orphanage and the orphanage was mostly obliterated and they need some serious prayer and financial help.  Here's the link to their website.  All of the food, clothing and other provisions they had are all gone, as in destroyed by a rock slide.  They really need our help.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The drama of finding a birthday present for Sam...

We had a good time on Friday celebrating Sam's birthday.  We still don't have a digital camera, so no pics.  There was the alluded to drama that did indeed occur and I'm going to share it with you.  The drama began to rear its ugly head the Tuesday before.  Sam and I had agreed that this year we would get a combined birthday present for both of us.  We've been wanting to get a Wii since it came out, but just decided to wait and give it at least a year or so before we got one.  We like to wait until the price comes down a bit.  Anyway, we decided that we would get one for both of our birthdays.  The few weeks before, every time we went to Wal Mart, we would go and take a peek in the electronics area and see if they had one.  They always did.  Because of that, I wasn't too concerned about getting one in time.  (Remember the craziness with the Wiis last Christmas?  Yeah.  I was just making sure that wasn't going to be the case still.)  

So, Tuesday, while Sam was at work, the boys and I went to our regular Wal Mart to go buy the wii.  Yep, you guessed it.  They were out and couldn't guarantee that they were gonna get any in at any specific time.  Okay, so we went to another wal mart.  Same thing.  What?!!?!?!?!  I'd also been keeping an eye out for them at Sam's and Costco, hoping that they would get a shipment in, but nope, not since before last Christmas!

  *****I have to rant for a minute against the Nintendo company.  What is the deal?!?!?!  Seriously, how on earth are you running your business?  I have no doubt that you are still making quite a profit, but this weird supply/demand delusion is getting out of hand!  I mean you could have made a killing last Christmas by increasing your output at least triple and I know that all those consoles would have been sold!  People see those things and snatch them up like there is no tomorrow, yet still there is a shortage.  I recommend seriously rethinking your production output and quitting this hit and miss business.  There's obviously still a super high demand for these consoles, so....... duh.  Reminds me of a certain Elmo doll fiasco a few years back... also, anyone remember the beanie babies debacle? (What was that all about anyway?)  Okay, rant is officially over, back to drama recap.**** 

So, after being worn out, we went home.  When Sam got home we went back out looking for the ever elusive wii console armed with the addresses of four more wal marts.  On the way, we also searched in a KMart, a Target and a Circuit City.  NOT one of these places had a stinkin' wii!!!!!!!  Well, as you can imagine we were all tired and super frustrated.  I began to think we were not going to have it by Sam's birthday.  Very irritating.  Anyway, we got home and I decided to call the closest Fry's Electronics.  If you are not familiar with this store it is like a Best Buy on steroids.  It has a much larger selection of all things electronic and usually their customer service is quite nice.  Don't get me started on Best Buy's lack thereof!  Anyway, I asked if they had any in stock and much to my surprise, they did!  They didn't sell it by itself, but in a bundle instead.  When he told me what all was included in the bundle, I was fine with it because we were gonna get that stuff anyway and the prices were comparable. 

 Anyway, I ended up going in on Friday and getting one. Yay!!!  Then I turned my attention to obtaining a motorcycle tank bag for Sam as a present from the boys.  He'd been wanting one for a while and he'd shown me the kind he wanted so I thought surely I'd be able to find one.  Easier said than done, right? Right.  I went to a motorcycle accessories shop, a kawasaki dealer, a harley shop and was sorely disappointed!  Two of the stores had tank bags, but none of them looked like the ones Sam had shown me.  I was just deflated after that.  I decided that he would just have to go and choose his own.  After that we went to a safeway that I happened upon on the way home to see if we could procure a german chocolate birthday cake.  Now normally the safeways that I've shopped in are great.  Their bakeries make yummy stuff, but this one apparently didn't feel that need.  They didn't have anything!  No cakes, no doughnuts....it was a sad situation to say the least.  At that point, the boys and I were exhausted and tired of getting into and out of the car in the searing heat, so we just went home.  We got home about 30 mins before sam did and poor zekey got started super late on his nap.  After we got home, I called the Safeway I normally go to and asked if they had the cake I was looking for.  She actually had two different types available!  Woo-hoo!  I had her put a birthday message on it and picked it up later that day.  

After Sam got home and we had rested and Zekey woke up from his nap, we went out to eat at the Bass Pro Shop's restaurant.  It was pretty good, but unfortunately several days of running around for most of the day finally caught up with me and I was a severe drag for the rest of the evening.  We ended up going home and Sam connected the wii and he and Braden played a few rounds of golf, bowling and tennis.  I sat in as a spectator.  All in all it was a good birthday and everyone had a good time.  Next time I will remember my usual policy of doing all of my searching via phone instead of physically going there first.  Live and learn.