Friday, October 30, 2009

Trick or Treat!

The kids have been getting a lot of mileage out of their costumes this week! Saturday we went to Night of the Living Zoo, Wednesday we went to a friend's church's Fall Festival, and today we're going trick-or-treating at Kelly's office and Melissa's office. I'll post pictures later today of their adventures!

Sophie was up unusually early this morning, and when Brent asked her why she was up so early she said "I go say 'trick or treat'!" (which comes out as "tickateet"). HA!!!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Happy GratiTuesday!

Wow, I'm getting this in under the wire, aren't I?? Nothing like waiting until the last minute!

Another wow--I'm getting really bad about posting with pictures, aren't I?? Seriously...I need to get my act in gear!

Thankful for this week:

  1. Dad drove all the way down here to spend a few hours with Brent working on an electrical project. Brent is so excited to have that project finished, and couldn't have done it without Dad's help! THANKS DAD!
  2. I finished painting the kitchen! I'm hoping to start on the living room soon.
  3. My new phone arrived and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it! So VERY simple to use. (However, I did stop by Best Buy this evening to see if they sell electronic calendars--like Palm Pilots or other brands--and the guy practically laughed at me. He looked at me like I was sooo behind the times.)
  4. Brent worked like a DOG today raking all of the leaves in the yard and vacuuming them up. He worked last night and needed to be sleeping today, but he's so dedicated once he starts a project that he won't stop! The yard looks great.
  5. One of our neighbors owns the alarm company we use for home security. We had a sensor go bad and the technician was planning to bill us for the parts and labor. Our neighbor took care of it for us--we are so grateful!! I feel a batch of cookies heading their way this week...
  6. My friend Karie taught me how to make beaded socks for Sophie--she even brought over her supplies (beads, thread, crochet hook) and an extra pack of new socks and gave them all to me!! I love learning a new skill from someone who is a great teacher, and Karie is excellent at explaining things. I'll be whipping up some socks and posting pictures soon!
  7. I talked at another church this morning about budgeting and Dave Ramsey's class, and while it didn't go as well as the previous talks I've given, I'm grateful for the opportunity to talk to groups like that. If telling our story helps even one family, it's worth the effort.

Friday, October 23, 2009


When I started a small business years ago, I had a basic cell phone and a separate Palm device that held my client contacts and appointment calendar. My brother told me that I was soooo "behind the times" and needed a phone with all of those functions built in. I succumbed to peer pressure and bought an uber-expensive cell phone which I've continued to upgrade to the next "bigger and better" on the market.

I've carried a PDA ("Personal Digital Assistant" or lately referred to as a "Smartphone") for years now, and it recently dawned on me--I don't have the business anymore, so why do I continue to carry phones that I hate?! (Why do I hate them?? The buttons are generally TINY, the screens repeatedly freeze up, it's hard to check your calendar while you're on an active call, and my earrings are constantly activating some crazy function on the touch-screen.) The phone I currently have has stopped working, so I decided to go BACK a step and get a basic flip phone instead.

The phone I'm getting rid of (Samsung Epix):

The phone I'm switching to (Nokia Mural):

In researching phones, I found that this is one of the FEW flip phones on the market anymore. It got good reviews and we've always had good luck with the reception Nokias get, so I chose that one. Wahoo!! I feel liberated!! Basic phone, here I come!! In fact, I was on cloud nine until I read some disturbing reviews that said things like "It's a good choice for your ELDERLY PARENTS"...or WORSE...."My GRANDPARENTS have these phones and love them." OUCH.

I'm sticking with my decision to get the Mural (because I really do think I'll love it), but I'm coming to terms with the fact that I'm apparently just a baby-step away from needing a Jitterbug phone and a remote control with enormous buttons...
...and possibly a muu muu that I can wear around the house while muttering terms like "housecoat" and "houseshoes" and complaining about the high price of canned beets. HEAVEN HELP ME. Somebody get me a flashy convertible sports car QUICK--I'm sensing a mid-30's crisis coming on.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Happy GratiTuesday!

WOW--what a week! We are thankful for a LOT this week:

  1. Thank you God for giving me the courage to talk to our MAPS group on Thursday and Friday without dying of nerves! I'm NOT a public speaker, but it went pretty well and I hope the ladies walked away with something helpful. Thank you to my friends who encouraged me during the weeks leading up to this talk, and especially the kind words afterward. :-)
  2. Graham got his cast off yesterday! Brent's work schedule allowed him to go to the appointment with us, and we were all excited that Graham came home WITHOUT his cast. Last night's bath night was MUCH smoother and easier. It feels like he's had that cast on forever!
  3. We are so thankful that we're healthy so far! We had a cough/sore throat thing running through the house last week, but it didn't develop into anything bad. The kids are in nursery at church a lot, so I'm sure our time is coming to get the flu, but so far so good.
  4. Sophie is really getting the hang of her gymnastics class! Last night was the best so far--she stayed on task the whole night and really listened to her teachers. (*Side note...I was helping Sophie practice her forward rolls at home, and threw my neck out. How pathetic! I'm feeling old beyond my years!*)
  5. I'm ALMOST done painting the kitchen, and Dad is coming this week to help Brent do some electrical work...YAY for getting some projects finished up!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Graham Nodding

Graham's latest "trick" is nodding! It cracks us up--watch how much thought he puts into it:

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Happy GratiTuesday!

Happy GratiTuesday! Here they are for this week:

  1. One of the dressers fell over in the boys' room yesterday afternoon. THANK GOD one of the doors on the beds was open, because it caught the dresser without crushing one of the boys. Praise God!!!! Brent bolted the dressers to the wall this morning.
  2. My friend Melissa N. was in need of a crib, and because Johnny & Amy generously handed down their crib to us, we had one to pass along to Melissa. It's great to see that two families who have never met are now connected in a "pay-it-forward" kind of way.
  3. Our friend Melissa S. went to the doctor for pains in her chest/back. After a day of extensive testing and missed work, the relief we all felt knowing it was NOT her heart was priceless.
  4. I had an appointment with a specialist last week to check out some lumps in my lymph nodes. Given our family history of leukemia, I lost a LOT of sleep over this in the past few weeks. The doctor was able to put my mind at ease some, and will monitor them in the months ahead. Two ladies from church went to my appointment with me while another stayed at the house with the kids. I didn't even have to ask...they just came. Since there were only about 10 people in the world that knew I had this appointment, that's a pretty significant number! How great is THAT??
  5. Around 11pm one night, Brent noticed water on the floor near the (*possessed*) refrigerator. He opened the freezer door and water was pouring out. Apparently the (*possessed*) ice maker had jammed up and it didn't know when to stop filling the tray. I am VERY lucky that this didn't happen when he was working! I would NOT have known what to do. He got it fixed and we'll wait for the next freakish thing to happen to this refrigerator. We're considering an appliance exorcism.
  6. I'm almost ready for my talks at MAPS this week! I'm talking on "Stretching the Budget" on Thursday and Friday. Two of my MAPS friends came over this afternoon to help me finalize things!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Birthday Pictures, Part 2

Pictures of the "Official Party Day"! We decided to keep it low-key this year and do a smaller party in the backyard with pizza and cake. Here's a picture of the invitations--I made them using felt and cardstock. Pretty cute, eh??

Pictures of the festivities! We decided on Elmo for the cake again this year, since the kids are still crazy about him. The cake came from Sam's Club, and we were pleasantly surprised by how well they did!

After everyone left, I was bummed that I didn't get a picture of our great babysitters together. All four of them were at the party!!

The kids had an INCREDIBLE time--THANK YOU to everyone involved!!!

Birthday Pictures, Part 1

Aunt Kelly and Uncle Roger came over the weekend before the party to give the kids their presents, so I'll start with these pictures and post the actual party pictures on tomorrow's post.

Continuing with the "musical" theme of this birthday, Sophie got a pink guitar. Now she has two guitars--this has eliminated a lot of sharing issues with her brothers! Roger's showing her how it's done...

She also got some great dress-up shoes and accessories (which I hesitantly report that the BOYS love almost as much as Sophie does!!):

Not to be outdone, the boys got MOTORCYCLES! Super cool!!!

Sophie likes to ride them, too...except she thinks her helmet goes on backwards...

The boys also got new winter coats--Mommy is THRILLED, but you can tell that the boys DON'T share my enthusiasm. Have you ever seen such expressions?!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Fish Sticks!

Sophie's taking gymnastics (but calls it "fish sticks")! I've mentioned before that she's the youngest in the class by almost a year, and she has a little trouble staying on task. She's not a fan of "waiting in line"....she'd rather sneak off and dangle from the parallel bars or logroll on the mats. She's getting better each week, though!

Limbering up...

Balance beam...

"Ta da!"

Sophie's FAVORITE activity is the bars...

The class is only a few weeks long since it's offered through our parks & rec department. We might have to find a dance studio for her in the spring--I think she'll have fun taking other kinds of dance, too!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Happy GratiTuesday!

MERCY ME--this week went by at lightening speed. Watch the blog for daily posts this week, though, with lots of pictures of the kids and updates on their latest happenings (including the gymnastics and birthday photos that I've been promising)!

This has been a stressful week, and we're really counting our blessings:

  1. Suzy at work brought in some beautiful herbs from her garden, and this was my portion to bring home! What a treat! I snipped and added those herbs to everything--it was probably the most creative (and delicious) cooking I've done in a while!

  2. My friend Melissa N. brought a GORGEOUS bouquet of flowers to my house after a particularly bad day. She also had a massage appointment scheduled for herself that she passed on to me. I AM INCREDIBLY LUCKY FOR FRIENDS LIKE HER!

  3. My friend (and fellow Twilight fanatic) Christy burned me a GREAT CD of the Twilight music! I'm loving it!! This couldn't have arrived on a better day--it was great to have FUN mail greet me in the mailbox.

  4. Graham's appointment with the doctor went well, and the doctor was pleased with the way the bone is healing. He still wants Graham in the cast for another couple of weeks, but he's allowing us to remove it for baths. This makes our lives MUCH easier and Graham MUCH happier!!
  5. The first night I took Graham's cast off for a bath, I was wondering how to get it back on by myself (Brent was working). At that exact moment, my friend Sharon unexpectedly showed up on my porch with chocolate, Coke and a helping hand! God is good, isn't he?!
  6. A very tired, post-work shift Brent just added "I'm grateful to be home..." He's a man of few words tonight. :-)