Monday, March 30, 2009


This past weekend, I had the pleasure of having a short reunion lunch with some friends from high school. Everyone couldn't make it, but most did and it made for a fun time of catching up and laughing together. It has been eight years (2001) since all of us had been together. We still have a couple of years until our 10 year class reunion (I can't believe time has gone by so quickly), but after one of our friends posted some old high school pictures on Facebook, we started planning a get together.

Out of the 10 of us present:

2 are full-time teachers
1 is a part-time teacher
2 are nurses
1 is in ministry with her husband
1 works in business
2 are stay-at-home moms
1 is graduating from medical school!

Eight of us are married and one is getting married in June! Between the ten of us, we have six children and two on the way! It really was fun to see the dynamics of the group and trying to learn every one's married names - we still call each other by the maiden name!

My friend Ashley, who has the blog The Sweetest Work on Earth, was there and it was so good to see her again! I feel connected to her through our blogs, but it is so much more fun to talk to her in person. Since we were the two pregnant ladies, we got a picture together.

I still have 10 weeks ago, but Ashley only has 4 weeks left! She & I like to have babies around the same time - her son is just one month and one day older than Thomas. If the due dates are right, these babies will be about 6 weeks apart - how fun!

Here is the picture of the whole group:

Monday, March 23, 2009

Dating in the 21st Century?

On Friday, Josh and I went to dinner and then to the mall. We decided it would do us good to walk after our meal at Olive Garden and we could window shop. One of the first places we stopped was the Discount Christian Bookstore. Those aren't my favorite places to visit because the books tend to be "fluffy" and certainly not geared toward theology (or at least good theology). While we didn't buy anything, we did learn about the new trend in dating.

There was a teenage guy (probably 19) working and he was checking out a girl about the same age. They were chit-chatting about where she was from, where she worked, etc. Then the conversation went like this:

Guy: So, are you on Facebook?

Girl: (laughing) Yea, what about you?

Guy: Yeah. What's your name?

Girl: Gives her name.

Guy: Is it okay if I look you up on Facebook? My name is ____.

Girl: Sure, if you want to.

Guy: Great, I'll look you up soon.

I was trying not to laugh out loud! People have said that Facebook should be Nosybook (or maybe Hook-Up-Book) and I completely agree now. Instead of asking the girl if she would like to have coffee on his break or after he got off, he wants her name so he can look her up on Facebook?! I guess I'm just completely out of the loop. Thankfully, Josh and I started dating three years ago when you still got to know someone by spending time with them!

So, I have a question for all my single readers: Has this ever happened to you? And would you tell a complete stranger your name so they could look you up on Facebook?

Friday, March 20, 2009

Spring Pictures

Happy Spring! This is one of my favorite seasons. I love to see and smell the flowers blooming and to feel the cool breeze outside. I'm really appreciating the warmer weather now that I have an active toddler who loves to go outside.

We had Thomas' 18 month/Easter pictures taken a couple of weeks ago. He did okay, but after 40 shots, he was pretty much done with the camera. We tried to get pictures with the rabbit, but Thomas wouldn't go near her, except to poke her in the eye once! We thought he would like the bunny, because he loves the cat, but he wouldn't come within 10 feet of her. It seems 18 months is not an easy age to get a good smile or at least a smile without his hands being in the air too! Josh isn't thrilled with his hair in these pictures, but Thomas has the exact same cow licks and shape of hair that Josh did when he was little. I think he looks great and I love the little outfit (I got it for $8 at a consignment store!).

Here is our little boy:

Just for fun: Here is his 6 month spring picture from last year. I miss those chubby cheeks!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Appliances & Customer Service

Last week, Josh and I finally decided to buy a new washer and dryer. The set that we had never worked correctly. We just needed something to get by when we purchased the used washer and dryer pair from a used appliance store right before Thomas was born. I had always had trouble with the washing machine not spinning out the clothes, but the past few weeks it stopped spinning completely. Have you ever had to ring out every load of laundry? It was very time consuming and irritating - especially with towels!

I researched the brands, sizes, and cost for the past couple of months. Ideally, I was hoping to wait until the fall because I read that stores deeply discount last year's models to make room for the new models. However, it became very obvious we weren't going to be able to wait that long. After looking around online, I decided to purchase a Maytag Epic Z online from Home Depot. Josh wasn't crazy about purchasing online, but he said okay. Side note: We had looked at washer and dryers in the store about 2 months ago.

Yesterday morning the new washer and dryer arrived around 10:30am and I was thrilled! We had to wait a week to receive them because they only deliver in our area once a week, so you can imagine the piles of laundry that were waiting to be washed. Before washing the first load, I read the quick start guide and learned that I needed to run through a cycle without any clothes to make sure the inside was clean. About 30 mins into the cycle I heard a loud "pop, pop, pop," and the washing machine completely turned off. I tried turning it back on and it wouldn't do anything. I looked at the owner's manual and decided maybe something was wrong with the power source and reset the electric breaker. The washing machine came back on and I thought, "Maybe that was just a fluke."

Well, I put the first large load of white clothes in the washing machine and after running about 3 minutes it did the exact same thing. I called Josh and he called Robert, a man in our church who knows how to fix everything. He came over and discovered that the delivery people had not installed the washer correctly and had left part of the power cord in the back of the washing machine!! The popping I heard? The cord short-circuited in two places.

After many hours on the phone with Home Depot and Maytag (I'll spare you the details) we are getting a new washing machine, but it may not be here until next Wednesday. We tried exchanging it with a local store, but we bought online so the store can't do it. I didn't get anywhere on the phone with customer service, but somehow Josh was able to get 5% off the order and a $100 gift card from Home Depot. Plus, the supervisor he spoke with last night is trying to use his clout to get the washing machine to us by Saturday, which as we kindly explained to them would be the best scenario.

Needless to say, yesterday was a very trying day and I found myself constantly trying to fight my sin. Unfortunately, my anger at the lack of customer service and no one willing to take responsibility got the best of me at times. I had a lot of confessing to do this morning! I also had to admit to Josh that he was right: we should have bought the appliances in a store. Ironically, I admitted that as we were watching the final few minutes of American Idol last night. You know what Randy Travis and Carrie Underwood were singing? A new song titled, "I Told You So!" At least we were able to laugh at the end of an exhausting day.

Update: I am able to use the current washing machine until they bring another one because Robert took out the short circuited part of the cord and rewired it back together. I think the ability to fix everything must be a spiritual gift!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Fun With Poppy!

Thomas has preferred Josh's dad over anyone else (including us) since he was tiny. There was something about Poppy that made him giggle at 4 months old when we didn't even know he could laugh yet! And Thomas' love for Poppy has only grown. As soon as he sees him, he just lights up and gets all excited.

Poor Grandma feels left out when Poppy is around. I think Grandma likes to come see Thomas when Poppy doesn't come, because she gets Thomas' undivided attention. However, don't feel too sorry for Grandma; she has always been the favored grandparent by the oldest grandchild. Josh thinks it is good that Poppy gets all of Thomas' attention, because Poppy has always been the one left out.

Now that Thomas is mimicking everything we do, you can imagine how much he mimics everything that Poppy does! Josh took some great pictures the other night of Thomas and his favorite person. What sweet memories!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Cake Decorating

For a while now, I have been interested in learning how to decorate cakes. It is such a useful skill for birthdays and other special occasions. I looked online a couple of months ago to see if any classes were offered in the area. There was one class offered about 45 minutes away and it was $40. I was willing to pay the money, because I wanted to learn so desperately, and emailed some ladies in my church to find out who else might be interested. One of the ladies at church, Lisa, called me and told me she had an even better idea. She knew a lady who had been doing cake decorating for years and wanted to teach other people because of arthritis in her hands. The best past? We would only have to pay $10 and we could do it locally!

Last Saturday, a group of 4 of us gathered at Lisa's house to learn some basics. A couple of the other ladies already knew the tricks to icing a cake and using tips for decorating. I definitely was the novice, but I had plenty of people to help me! It was such a fun experience and I walked away wanting to know more. The supplies aren't cheap, but I'm going to start slow and build my collection. Josh's birthday is next month and I hope to bake and decorate a cake for him. One of the ladies at the class gave me her pound cake recipe last week and it is so yummy! I almost baked a boxed cake to take to the class because that pound cake was delicious without any icing.

Here are some pictures of the cake and everyone enjoying it!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

26 Weeks

I thought it was about time to post a new pregnancy picture since I'm definitely growing! However, it isn't the best picture, because I realized taking a picture of yourself is easier said than done. Here I am...

Yes, that is our unmade bed behind me. I did vacuum and mop today, but didn't make it to making the bed - well, except for a short nap!

I'm starting to "see" and feel baby move. Last night around 10pm he was VERY active. This is the part of pregnancy that I love because you finally have evidence that baby is there and you were sick for a great reason! Now I'm looking forward to holding him in my arms. I'm also very curious to know how much he will look like Thomas, especially when Thomas was a newborn. Will he have a head full of dark hair? Will he have his daddy's hairline like Thomas? Will he have blue eyes at birth? Oh the things I can't wait to find out!

Just for fun - A couple of weeks ago Josh put a large semi-circle stacking cup under Thomas' shirt to look like me and it was too cute! Thomas thought it was funny. Here are a couple of pictures -

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


On Sunday afternoon, I went to a couponing class. A lady from came and taught us how to coupon beyond the basics. I have cut coupons for a while now and I actually take them with me to the store and use them. However, I knew there was much more to learn. Here are some things that I took away from the class:

1. Store policies on coupons. Each store has a different policy in our area and she has done all the research. I thought most stores would only double a coupon worth $.50 or less, but that is not true. One grocery store in my area will double $.60 or less, and another grocery store doesn't double, but they triple coupons up to $.99 once a month! That means that if I have a coupon for $.99, I could say $2.97 on one item! Also, K-Mart doubles coupons once a month for $2.00 or less -wow! This will certainly remind me to save up my coupons over $.60 for the big sales where I can save more money. If you don't live in the upstate of SC, I would encourage you to find out the store policies in your area. The website has some of the policies for stores in the Southeast.

2. Buying in bulk. It is not necessarily cheaper to buy in bulk. For instance, I usually buy big boxes of diapers. However, she says to use multiple coupons for multiple small items and you can get a better deal. I haven't tried this out yet, but I'm planning on it. I'm hoping K-Mart is going to have their double coupon sale soon and I can try this theory out with diapers.

3. Ordering more coupons or buying extra papers. There are many websites you can visit now and order the coupon inserts or just extra coupons that you use. Also, you can buy more Sunday papers to get the extra inserts. She has found that Walgreen's has the cheapest Sunday paper for $.88.

4. Stock up. Most stores run their sales every 3 to 4 months, so stock up on what you need (toilet paper, paper towels, laundry detergent, etc.) enough for 3 to 4 months. If you stock up then you never have to pay full price for something - I like that idea!

5. Buy meat once a month. She only buys meat once a month and she tries to buy it at the mark down price. You get the mark down price by going to the store early in the morning when they are trying to get rid of the meat that expires that day. This will be more difficult for me since I have a toddler and in 3 months I'll have a newborn. However, I do try to always buy meat on sale - especially chicken breasts because we eat a lot of chicken.

I'm hoping these tips and others will help me be a better steward of the money God has given us. We pray the Lord blesses us with a big family and feeding a big family can get expensive. The lady told us if we follow her tips that we will save 50% off of our grocery bill. I'm going to try it and I'll let you know!