II Chronicles 7:14

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Straighten Up!

Okay, my friend Beverly over at http://beverly-rucker-town.blogspot.com/ asked me how I get my naturally curly hair to go from this:

To this:

So I thought I'd post what products I use in case anyone else is interested too. I know what a chore getting curly hair to go straight is (without it being insanely frizzy) so it's taken some time, but I believe I've got a good set of tricks up my sleeve now.

Here it is:
#1. You need a big, fat, bristly round brush.
#2. You need a good, quality ceramic straightening iron.
#3. After washing, put some of this Joico K-Pak smoothing balm in your hair. (sold only at salons)
#4. Brush your hair constantly while blow drying. Once dry, add some spritzes of this Herbal Essences Dangerously Straight Flat Out Finishing Spray.
#5. Straight iron your hair section by section starting with the underneath first and ending with the top layer.
#6. Finish off with a bit of this Garnier Fructis Fiber Gum (putty) to the ends of your hair to kind of "chunk" it together and not have a zillion frizzy strands.
Then lastly, I usually put a quick spray of Dove Hairspray over the top...just to keep it in control..but never enough hairspray that it feels crunchy.
Hope that helps for those of you who were interested! If you have any secrets about hair...(or make up for that matter) please do share!!!

Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?

SpongeBob Squarepants of course! Coincidentally, after their baths, my kiddos both put on their SpongeBob jammies. They looked so cute all matchy matchy that I had to snap a pic. Believe it or not...I actually own SpongeBob pajamas too...and they are really cute...but too bad--I'm not wearing them tonight! ha ha

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Last night Grant was laying around saying his head hurt so I took his temp and it was 102.3! I gave him Motrin then and then once again through the night (at 3 am) and then took him to the doctor this morning because his temp was up to 103.3 and he said he had a headache and that his throat hurt. They got us right in this morning and diagnosed him as having strep throat. My plans to go running around town today were cancelled but instead we have had a fun day together at home. We have done coloring, put together his train set, watched a really cute movie (Grand Champion) and done some painting, as you see here. It's been a long day and I canNOT believe it isn't even 7 pm yet! Matt is working late tonight and I've done about all the playing, tv watching and laying around that I can stand! ha ha. I sure hope my little guy is feeling better tomorrow because I HAVE to run some errands.

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My pretty picaso painting her car. What concentration!

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Grant working hard on his choo-choo train.

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I was Tagged....

1. Post these rules before you give the facts.
2. List 8 random facts about yourself.
3. At the end of your post choose (tag) eight people and list their names (links)
4. Leave a comment on their blog letting them know you've been tagged.

Okay guys, I am not going to do this correctly because quite frankly, I don't know how nor do I want to take the time to figure it out. SO....I am just going to give you my 8 random facts...and the rest...I will just pretend I didn't see. ha ha

My random facts:

1. Once in junior high, I was in cross country. It was my ritual to dry-shave my legs everyday before we ran. (who can run with prickly legs? ha ha) Anyway, one particular day as I was running, I ran through a pile of Taco Bell salsa packets. They burst open when I came down on them and splattered ALL over my freshly shaved legs. That my friends, was the closest I have ever come to being on FIRE! Ugh..makes me shudder...just the memory of it. After that, I HATED cross country.

2. The first time I used the internet was about 3 years ago. I stayed away from it as long as I could knowing that once I got "on line" I'd be sucked in for good.

3. I have naturally curly hair. If I didn't straighten it (and put so many chemicals in it), my hair would be the same as Brooklyn's (except for the color, of course!)

(Man, this is harder than I thought..I can't think of anything interesting)

4. I grew up without a TV in our home. From the time I was about 6 until 12, we didn't own a TV. Therefore all the shows my friends were watching I missed out on. I always wanted to see an episode of 90210.

5. In high school, I was the teacher/leader of our school bible study group Alpha & Omega. I had about 20-30 kids in my group and I taught it one a week all year. I would usually get up early before school and pick up donuts for everyone and then we'd meet in an empty classroom 45 minutes before school started to have praise & worship, prayer and Bible study. I took some heat for it...but I didn't care. What an honor it was to have this position!!!

6. I started shaving my legs at the beginning of 5th grade. (which was the beginning of my obsession with smooth legs). That is also when I started wearing a 36C underwire bra! (that's what size I started out in...before that I just wore sports bras all the time.) (BTW: I am not proud of this fact...it was horribly embarrasing and disgusting to me to be so big at this age in my life---but it runs in my family.)

7. I love onions. Not raw...but cooked, I like them in everything. Sometimes I just slice up an onion, put it in a little butter and sautee it and then just eat it all by itself. YUM!

8. I used to think I wanted to be a singer. I did sing specials at church occasionally and once I even had my pastor (the one who married Matt and I) prophesy over me that I would use my life to sing for the Lord and that he saw me comparable to Sandi Patti. Wow! That was pretty exciting....but it hasn't panned out although I believe God has given me some visions about this in the past year...but I am just waiting for the time to be right. Don't worry...you'll never see my name in lights...I'm not NEARLY that talented...but I do love to sing and dance...and I have some ideas of how I could use that for the Lord!

Okay, so there you have it...the 8 most interesting things I can figure out to say about my self during the 5 o'clock morning hour. :o)

Monday, July 30, 2007

read this on one of my friends MySpace pages today...I LOVED it!

A woman's heart should be so wrapped up in God that a man has to seek the Lord to find it!

Anybody hungry?

So...it's 4:20 Monday afternoon and I have been cooking for an hour now---spagetti with meat sauce AND italian sausage meatballs with fresh from the garden tomatoes, onions and bell peppers. Yum! I have also made a beautiful salad and garlic bread AND I made a New York style cheesecake this morning to have for our dessert. (it has to refridgerate for 3 hours before serving). It's been a nice day and I've been able to get my whole house "cleaned" (not really clean...but very neat and picked up and decently cleaned). I have also managed to get in a 1 hour Tae Bo work out and a shower AND I even did my hair and make up just so I'd look nice for my hubby. This is JUST the way I like things to be when Matt gets home from work at 4:30 pm every day. BUT...guess what? It was all for nothing because he just called and said he'll be working late, possibly all night. UGH! That's just great. Now I have enough food to serve a small army and hardly anyone to eat it. Matt's dad is here...and that's good...but I ate an apple with peanut butter at 3 pm and I'm not the tiniest bit hungry. The kids also had nachos at my mom's house an hour ago so they aren't hungry either so it's pretty much just 1 person who's gonna be eating. Good thing spagetti makes decent left overs!
Anyway, in all, it's been a really nice, peaceful day. I haven't left the house in about 28 hours and that is SO nice. It seems like I am always running here and there...which I like to do...but sometimes we just need a day or two at home.
I've wanted to blog all day but couldn't think of a single interesting thing to say...but now that I've got something to whine about...here I am! ha ha
On a different note: I canNOT believe that school starts in 10 days! That's NUTS! Did we even have a summer? It felt more like a spring break or something---2 weeks of warm but not hot weather. I guess it's actually been 9 weeks...but it sure hasn't felt like it. When I was a kid...it seemed like summer break lasted forever...but now that I am the parent...it certainly goes by WAY faster. I am excited/anxious to get back into a regular schedule though. I've already been thinking of some ideas that I hope to implement starting on the first day of school. One of them is a scheduled 45 minutes of play up stairs EVERY day---me AND the kids. We built that upstairs play room earlier this year and no one hardly ever goes up there. You'd think the kids would be up there all the time since about 90% of their toys are up there...but no. Weeks go buy without one person going up there. They just don't like to go up there by themselves for some reason. In any case, I figure if I schedule this 45 minutes of play each day...not only will we be making use of that wonderful, fun space...but I will also be giving them my much needed undivided attention for a little while every day. I also plan to plan-out healthy snacks for every day too. My kids seem to think that an unhealthy snack is something like a Snickers but a healthy snack is a bag of Doritos. ....?!?! Where they got that idea, I don't know...but we are going to start having things like veggies and fruits and cheese and crackers instead of nachos and cupcakes and soda. I think if I plan these snacks out at the beginning of the week and even prepare them...we will be much more likely to actually eat like this.
Well, I've rambled long enough. I guess I should get up from here and do something more productive with myself. I am hoping to get my house painted next weekend. That is, if I can get everything cleaned up, taped off and figured out (colors) by then. We'll see. These khaki walls are getting awfully boring.....
Love you all!
Enjoy your last full week of Summer break! Spend lots of quality time with your kiddos!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Aw Man! I didn't know this pic would be so cute of Matt or I wouldn't have made this dorky face! Oh well! ha ha...we were havin' fun.

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Who me? Confused?

When my mom and I went shopping last weekend, I picked this shirt up. I thought it was cute but I carried it around for probably half an hour trying to decide whether or not to buy it. That's when my mom grabbed it and said that obviously what it said was TRUE about me so she was buying it FOR me. Ha Ha!

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Thursday, July 26, 2007

Thrifty Thursday

Ya'll..I have nothing. Nadda. I can't think of a single thrify thing to tell you today. I am having a bummed out day about money and bills and the prices of gas and milk and I am just not feeling inspirational. Sorry. Maybe I'll do a Frugal Friday if something comes to me tomorrow....!?
If anyone has any tips on keeping a checking account in balance (debits recorded)..please share. It seems like I get less "organized" where this is concerned every month even though I SWEAR I am going to do better. Augh!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

I feel dumb asking this, but.....

Hey ya'll. So, I've been shopping around at T-Mobile.com for a new ringtone. I have a few contenders...but I have a question. I don't know who to ask this to...so I am just gonna put it out there for the whole wide world to read (as if everyone reads my blog--ha ha) but anyway, and see what ya'll think.
Would it be bad or sound conceitful if I have the song "Brick House" as my ring tone?
To be totally honest with you, I have never known what that song was talking about...I've just always loved its groovy tune. So, I looked it up at www.wikipedia.com and apparently the term "She's a brick house" refers to a woman who is very voluptuous. "Hmmm...," I thought, "I sorta fit that category." so I almost downloaded it but then I thought..."Hmmm..., I wonder what other people will think about me thinking that about myself?" So I hesitated.
This question is almost an oxymoron considering my current ringtone is "This is why I'm Hot". Even that one, I downloaded because I think it's such a fun song and I really hadn't considered what other people might think about it (like that they'd think I am saying that I, Me, Jennifer is hot).
Another question I have...what do ya'll think about using songs for ringtones that you like the sound of...but don't necessarily agree with the lyrics? I am referring to songs like Carrie Underwood's song about bashing her boyfriends car and stuff like that. There is another song out right now that I like but when I pulled up the lyrics and read them, there were parts of the song that mentioned drinking and had some sexual connotations and I didn't know if that would be "bad" for me to have for my ring tone. Now, mind you, the part of the song that would be the ring tone has none of that in it...but still...the song does. And when I say "bad", I am meaning as a Christian, married woman.
I guess what I am really trying to ask in synopsis is: How much does your ringtone really say about YOU? It is just a fun song you like to listen to...or is it supposed to be indicative of what you believe or how you live your life? I'm sure a good portion of that answer would be "it depends on each individual person" but I am just asking in general, what do ya'll think?

By the way, since I mentioned Wikipedia, I thought I'd explain what that is for those of you who don't know because it is SUCH a cool online resource. Wikipedia is a free encyclopedia and it is mostly used to define or explain slang words. It is written by the public. So when a word is made up...for instance...when people started saying things were "the bomb"...someone could go to Wikipedia and put what they thought that meant. As many people as want to can enter a definition...but...you also vote on what you believe to be the correct definition and the one with the most votes will be listed first and as the strongest definition. As you know with slang words, there isn't an actual "correct" definition necessarily, but it is nice to know what the general public thinks they mean before you go off using them. Anyway, this is important to you and me because at some point our cute little kiddos are probably going to come home from school and say some word that we've never heard and we are gonna need to know what they are talking about. Hooray...now we can find out without ever having to ask them. Although, there's a good chance even they won't know what it means too! When Brooklyn was only 4 years old, she came home from preschool telling me, "Mom, I had fun today at school playing with all my peeps." I was like, "your what?" As far as I knew, "peeps" were those little sugary bunnies you get at Easter time. However, apparently, "peeps" also now refers to your friends, your buddies.
Okay, so if you've never been there, go check out that website and see what some of the words the kids are using today really mean!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

$175 for $45...not too shabby

Okay, I thought about saving this for my Thrifty Thursday post...but I didn't want to wait. Tonight I went for a very quick (45 min) shopping trip with my hubby at the mall. I had $45 worth of birthday money to spend and a $10 gift card to the Gap, and they were burning a hole in my wallet! I ended up getting this cute little dress that was originally $60 for $22, this swimsuit that was originally $65 for $15 and this sterling silver bracelet that was originally $50 for $11....so in all I got $175 worth of stuff and only had to spend $45...of which was all money given to me so it didn't cost me a cent! Hooray! I love finding good deals. I feel like I've been buying a lot of stuff here lately, but man! the sales are awesome right now! If you have small children, you should totally go check out the sale racks at your favorite stores! Now is the time to go swimsuit shopping for next summer! Most places have their suits down to 50% off and also summer clothes are getting cheap. It feels crazy to be buying 8/10's for Brooklyn and 4T for Grant....but next summer I will be so glad I did and got such great deals! Another thing to stock up on while they are dirt cheap---flip flops. Just buy a size or two bigger than what they're wearing now and they'll fit. With flip flops, you can usually make em' work even if they are a teeny bit too big or too small. Okay, happy shopping! If you find good deals, I wanna hear about em'!

Monday, July 23, 2007


Look at what we found in our garage last night! It about scared Matt's pants off when he walked by and heard a big "Brawk, Brawk" next to his head. This chicken has been hanging around our house for about 2 days now but this particular day, she'd gotten in our garage and flew up on top of our peg board. We had to knock her down with a broom because she wasn't going anywhere. Rumor is that someone dumped her and 2 ducks off out by the road next to our house and it looks like they've made us their new family. Ick. At first we thought it was kind of cool and neat...but now they are everywhere we are--and the kids are scared of them.

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Here is a close up of our new "Friend". Actually, none of us really like her. She's kind of spooky and weird and we wish she'd just leave...but it seems like she's chosen us for her new home. We've mentioned having her for dinner one night...but even that doesn't scare her away! ha ha

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Sunday, July 22, 2007

Lord Have Mercy...

After church today, I spent 2-3 hours cleaning the pig-pen that we call "Brooklyn's Room". It baffles me how a 6 year old little girl can make SUCH a mess in NO time! Almost every day for the past week I have been having her clean her room. Of course, to her that means play with all the stuff that is in the floor for an hour or so and then meander out. Anyway, enough was enough. I couldn't even get inside her room without stepping all over stuff and I knew that somewhere, if I dug deep, I would be able to find a bed in there. Also missing were several shoes, books, movies and who knew what else. At first I had her in there "helping" me...but after a little while, I realized all that was doing was giving me a headache because she inevitably had to play with every single item I handed her to put away and she wouldn't STOP singing. Now forgive me because I know what I am about to say is mean and bad and wrong and probably makes me a horrible mom...but listening to that child sing gives me a headache like nothing else. She has a beautiful voice and is a good singer for being only 6....the problem is that she picks a phrase to sing...and then she sings it over and Over and OVer and OVEr and OVER! AUGH! After about 20 times, I realize I am like a tea kettle that is about to BLOW! I have actually learned this about myself here recently. I can't stand any sound that repeats itself over and over. Even the turn signal on my vehicle bugs me. tick, tick, tick, tick....AUGH!
Anyway, back to the subject. Her room was actually much worse than I had even originally thought. The closet floor was jam packed as was the whole underneath of her bed. That child has more make up and hair stuff than I have ever seen. Seriously for like the first 5 years of her life, I think she got a package of play make up/hair bows and pony tail holders at every holiday and birthday. And me, being the way that I am, won't throw anything away if it is useable...so we have probably 300 ponytail holders at the moment. And that's me trying not to exaggerate. It could actually be more. Another thing I REALLY tried to throw away today but just couldn't was bottles of lotion. There were probably 10 bottles of lotion laying in her floor half empty without lids that I really wanted to just toss in the trash but this little voice inside me kept saying, "But there is still perfectly good lotion in there"...so I kept them. At least now its all organized and it's own place. That is, until she discovers where I put them and then I'll be picking them up again, probably.
I just don't understand why she can't appreciate a clean room. I've explained and explained to her how easy it would be to keep it all nice and neat the way it is right now if she would just put things away as she uses them...but her philosphy is, "I'll do it later". Of course, later never comes and then I end up spending half a day in there trying to clean it all up.
I need to figure out some kind of reward system or something for her room staying clean. Maybe that would work...?!?!
Anyway, that's what's been going on with me today....what fun huh?!
I will say that after all that cleaning, my mom called and asked if I wanted to go shopping with her for a little while and I did and it was wonderful. No kids...just me and my mom (and my aunt came too). It was so nice to stroll leisurly through the aisles...with no list and no whiny kids. yay!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Grant was so proud of himself for putting his own sunscreen on---the WHOLE bottle. I had a quick streak of "AUGHH" but then I just started cracking up.

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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Oh What Fun!

Today Matt took half a day off and we went with some friends of ours, Shawn & Rachael, to a water park. They have 2 adorable little girls, Faith & Lauren who get along wonderfully with our kids so it was lots of fun for everyone. Brooklyn and Faith are close in age and are getting to be good buddies and Grant & Lauren are close in age and they are "in love"--or so it seems. They hold hands all the time! It's SO cute!

Anyway, here are a couple of pics!

Thrifty Thursday

Lunch and play for TOTALLY FREE. How.?....where?.....you ask. Try your local park. I know...boring right? Well, it's not to your kids. When was the last time you made a real picnic lunch (not fast food from Micky-D's on the way) and took a blanket to lay out on the grass? It's amazing how super-exciting this is to kids. I remember it VERY well as a child too...it was one of my most favorite things to do. Even if we couldn't go to the park, it was SO cool to make our lunches up in little baggies, pack up drinks and napkins and take a blanket outside in our yard and have a picnic. Anyway, a lot of parks these days have even added sprinkler parks where the kids can get wet and have fun. We have a park nearby that has a nice pavillion, lots of trees, a great "regular" park with swings and slides and all that stuff plus a wonderful new sprinkler area. For absolutely FREE, me and the kids can spend an afternoon there and have lots of fun. I take a book or a magazine and lay out/read while they splash in the water, then we have our lunch on a blanket under a tree (and get a little dried off) then we go over to the regular park and have some fun there and then usually end up back in the sprinkler part again for a bit to cool off before we head home. By this time the kids are usually totally pooped and ready for rest and relaxation which equals quiet time for mommy and daddy! yay!
Anyway, I know this wasn't the most ingenious Thrifty Thursday you've ever heard...but sometimes the simplest things are the best and we just have to be reminded of them. I also have to give a big HOORAY to Logzie for last weeks Thrifty Thursday where she talked about the Library. It is also one of my favorite things to do with the kids. Our library has a special little area for kids that has toys and books and comfy chairs. Most of the time during the midde of the day in the middle of the week, we are the only ones there so we just stay for an hour or two and play/read. I know that is something we could do at home...but at home there are so many distractions and I just never do it. One day, I actually took a nap at the library while the kids played. They were doing so well, playing quietly in the corner so I just put on my sunglasses, hunched over in the corner by them and dozed off. Matt thinks I am CRAZY for this...but hey...when you're a mom whose on the go all of the time...you learn to grab a nap when you can...whenever...wherever! ha ha
One last tip...I think we may have mentioned this one before...but just in case some of you don't know this...Thursday's is cheap Happy Meal day at McDonalds. Hamburger Happy Meals are, I believe, only $1.59 on Thursdays. Then, if you want to be even more thrifty...I order a side salad for .99 cents, a McChicken sandwhich for .99 cents and a water. For 2 bucks, I make myself a chicken salad. (I usually throw away the bun--or sometimes eat 1/2 of it with my salad). It costs us a total of around $5.50 to eat there. (and you're not consuming too many calories either! BTW, a side salad only has 20 calories in it!! And their Newmans Own Balsalmic Vinagrette dressing is TERRIFIC. It only has like 30 calories!! )

Monday, July 16, 2007

It's gone...

Well, I am home from the dentist with one less tooth. They went right to work giving me all kinds of nasty shots in my mouth to numb me up and then the dentist came in with what looked like a mini ice pick and dug the thing out. Man...that was not fun. It didn't hurt (just the shots did) but it was very uncomfortable and gross. Now I am chewing on gauze and switching them out every 30 minutes or so. Ick. At the moment, I am gingerly shoveling applesauce into my mouth on the "good side" so I will have at least something in my stomach. I just took a pain pill and an antibiotic and I think I'll go veg on the couch for a while. Hopefully, if I am feeling up to it, I can scrapbook later tonight and REALLY hopefully I will be able to get back to the gym tomorrow. It's been a week and a half since I've gotten to work out and I MISS it!
Okay, hope you're having a good day!

Why are they called Wisdom?

Does anyone know why those awful, painful, stubborn teeth that pop up in your mouth during your late teens-20's are called Wisdom teeth? Just curious. As far as I am concerned, they should be called Misery Teeth. They do nothing but cause people misery.
For about a month now I have been cutting a tooth. Isn't that nice. I get to be in the same boat as my friend's daughter who is a year old. Ha! I am too old for this. Anyway, this stinkin tooth is about 75% through the gums but that last little corner can't seem to push its way through--thus leaving me with a horribly painful mouth for about the past week. I've suffered in silence as much as possible because I don't want to seem like a crybaby after that whole kidney stone incident a couple of weeks ago. Matt mentioned that it seems like something is always hurting me these days. Well..it is. This tooth has been causing me bad headaches for at least a month but its only been the past week that my mouth has started hurting. It is so bad now that even my Tylox (which is strong pain medication) isn't helping AND for the past 2 days, I have been eating things like oatmeal and mashed potatoes so I can just slurp them instead of having to really open my mouth and chew. It hurts to swallow, chew, smile or even talk. The only time I feel halfway decent is when I am silent and still. But HELLO! I am a woman...and I am a go-go-go girl...so that is not working for me! Ha ha!
I did decide to make a dentist appointment today so hopefully we can get it all figured out and fixed. I go at 1 pm so wish me luck!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

oh me, oh my

what do you guys think about this new look? I love the cool colors..But, I don't like how squished up my posts are...they are long and skinny instead of short and wide like I'd like. I don't know if there is a way to fix that or not. Plus, that pic of the fam up there is GINORMOUS. (I know that is not a real, actual word...but in my house...it means gigantic and enorous at the same time). So, you guys just tell me..do you like it like this or should I put it back the old way?

The Melting Pot

Yesterday, some friends of ours, Shawn & Rachael, and Matt and I went out for dinner at a place called The Melting Pot. It is a fondue resturant. How many of you know what Fondue is? Well, we didn't. It sounded like something Chinese we thought. Anyway, what a big night we were in for! First off you decide what kind of cheese fondue you want (the appetizer). We ordered Fiesta kind and they ordered Cheddar. Then they bring out the ingredients in little bowls and put them into little silver pots that are sitting on burners on your table and they mix it all together. Then the guy gave us little bowls of bread cubes, tortilla chips, granny smith apples, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower and celery. You get 2 "pokers" each which are color coded and you get to start poking and dipping stuff in the cheese. You do that until its all gone. Then you order your salad. They had lots to choose from but none that were "normal". I got a California salad which was good except it had some yukky cheese on top (Gargonzola or something) and so I didn't eat it. I did pick the walnuts out and eat them though! Then after that, you order your main course. We did the "Dinner for Two" which consisted of bite-sized peices of chicken, pork, steak, salman & shrimp. You have to choose your cooking style which means what kind of stuff you want to cook the meat in. We went with something called Mojo that had like garlic and citrus in it or something. Then they bring you out clean little pots with your cooking "juice" in and you dip your meat in there for about 2 minutes per peice and then eat it. They gave us 6 different sauces to try with our meats. Also they gave us as many potatoes, squash, mushrooms and broccoli as we wanted to cook also. After all that....then they brought out the chocolate menu. WOW! There were SO many to choose from but in the end, we ended up getting Yin-Yang (which was milk chocolate swirled with white chocolate) and The Flaming Turtle (which was milk chocolate, carmel & pecans). Then they brought out a tray for each of us with a slice of cheesecake, strawberries, pineapple, banana, oreo-covered marshmallows & brownies on for us to dip in the chocolate! WHEW! I thought I was in dessert heaven! Rachael and I joked that we needed to just stick our straws in the chocolate pots and drink up! It was SOOOOOOOOOOO good. Oh---by the way---the reason we did this big night out was to celebrate our birthdays. We both turned 29 last week (me on Tuesday and her on Thursday). This place is MIGHTY expensive...so we needed a good excuse to go. Anyway, all in all, it was a wonderful time. We ate WAY WAY WAY too much. We were so miserable when we left! Another thing about that place...it takes FOREVER to eat all that! We were there for over 3 hours and none of that time was spent waiting...it just takes a long time because you cook your food one bite at a time!! After that we exchanged gifts. She got me some diffuser reeds & oil from Secret Garden. It is sweet pea fragrance and it smells wonderful. She also got me some eyeshadow that I had been admiring of hers. It is a really pretty shade of dark plum.

On Friday I took the kids to get pictures done. No real special reason...just hadn't gotten any in a long time and I had some good coupons. I am going to try to take a picture of the picture so you can see...but they probably won't turn out great.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

I stand corrected...(and a little embarrased!)

Amos' sweet husband just let me know that in my Thrifty Thursday post where I said that 12 x $10 for 10 years is $12,000 is actually only $1,200. How I didn't catch that, I don't know. Man, what a let down. $1,200 will hardly buy her a bike, let alone a car. Ha Ha! Maybe I'll have to up it to at least $25/month and see what that gets me. I am not going to even try to do the math on that one! hee hee
Thanks Ben for pointing that out! I never have claimed to be good at math....:o)

Thrifty Thurdsay

Happy Thrifty Thursday To You!

Today I want to tell you about a way I make 2 extra house payments a year without ever feeling it. For about the last 6 months, I have taken my house payment and rounded it up to the next nearest $100. For me, that works out to be paying about $70 extra a month. Then, I divided the payment in two equal parts and I pay half every time Matt gets paid. Since some months he gets paid 3 times instead of two (he gets paid every other Friday)...in the long run, it ends up being a couple of extra payments a year and I never even notice the money difference.

For example, if you house payment is $935/ month, round up to $1000 and just decide to pay $500 every pay period. I only mail them in once a month...so I can save on stamps...but eventually, we will have cut several years off of our mortgage AND saved TONS in interest!

Now for Tip #2:

When Brooklyn turned 6 this year, I realized WOW! there was only 10 more years until our baby girl would be 16 and ready for her very own car. That got me to thinking. If I could set aside just $10 a month for the next 10 years, she would have a whopping $12,000 CASH (besides all the interest that money will draw) to spend on a car! For SURE I could manage an extra $10 a month so I got busy saving up and when we had enough, we opened a savings account for her with this money. I had considered doing the same thing for Grant, but I decided to just wait until he turns 6 too...and that way I'll only be doing $10 for the next 3 years instead of $20 and plus, that would only be fair. Anyway, my suggestion is for you to think about this with your kids. No matter what their age...if you can start putting just $10 a month away for them in some account that you won't touch...when they get driving age, you'll have a nice down payment at least for a car. By the way, the picture of the convertable bug is up there because at the age of 6, that is Brooklyn's "Dream Car." She also told me last night that she wants her own MP3 player for Christmas! ha ha...boy 6 year olds grow up fast these days. What happened to crayons and barbies?

Well, I hope you found that helpful! I'm off to VBS......

It's in the little things that lets me know He loves me!

My God is an Awesome God!
It's late...12:21 am to be exact and I have to get up in less than 5 hours...and I should TOTALLY be going to bed now...BUT...I have to share a quick story with you while I can (meaning kids are sleeping and the house is quiet).
Monday started out as a BAAAAAD day for me. I woke up later than intended and started my work. I had a lot and should have gotten up extra early so I could get it done before the kids woke up...but...I hit snooze on the alarm oh...about 10 times and ended up getting up about an hour later than I had planned. Anyway, after only a few minutes of working, Grant got out of bed. Then followed Brooklyn. Once they are up, it's nearly impossible for me to sit at my computer and work. Someone needs something every 3 minutes and it's majorly frustrating. So, 2 hours later and lots of cartoons and mommy saying "Go AWAY from my DESK! I am WORKING! Go watch cartoons for a little while longer PUH-LEEZE!" I finally got finished. It was nearly 11 am by that point. Poor kids. So I quickly do my spell check, line count and then sent it off (by e-mail) to the dr. office. I left my office and ran to get a shower. My plan had been to get the kids and me all ready and spend the day "in town" doing some shopping and maybe a park for a picnic lunch. After my shower and getting the kids all dressed, I ran back to my computer for something real quick and noticed that I had a new e-mail from the dr. office. It said, "Jennifer, we are unable to open the work you sent today. It says the password is incorrect."
I pulled up the work that I had just done and entered the password to open the document. Sure enough, I got the same message. HOW could I have typed in the wrong password? I have been typing in this password every single day for over a year...AND...not only did I type it in wrong, but I had to have also typed in the password verification wrong too. At about this time, my heart sank into my stomach as it became clear that I would either have to miracuously figure out what combination of letters and numbers I had typed OR start ALL over!!! I tried everything I could think of. I entered in the correct password over and over and I tried all the keys close by to see if maybe one of my hands was off center, but no luck. I called my brother who is an IT tech...but he was unavailable. I called my husband and my mom, but of course, all they could do was listen to me cry. At about this time, Brooklyn came running to me saying that Grant was going to hit her with the paddle. In our house, we have a wooden paddle that is made out of a 1 x 4. Its in the shape of a paddle and it's OFF LIMITS to the kids. They are not EVER allowed to touch it and we only use it for major punishment. Well, sure enough, Grant had gotten up on top of a high shelf and gotten it down and was chasing Brooklyn around with it, trying to hit her. In a very stern voice, I told him to STOP and give it to me. But instead of listening, he just kept running. I ended up chasing him all over the house and when I finally got to him, I was STEAMING! I bent him over the recliner to give him a good swat but somehow in that split second he moved and turned and I ended up whacking him on the side (in the ribs). He cried and cried and I felt HORRIBLE. I kissed and hugged him and apologized but my emotions were out of control. Then all of a sudden my friend, Tori called me. Just out of the blue with nothing in particular to say. I was actually in a pretty bad mood and didn't feel like chatting but I vented to her about what was going on and she tried to cheer me up. She also said she was at Wal-Mart and shopping with her kids and it wasn't really that she needed to call me, but that she'd felt like God was telling her to call me for some reason. Hmmm...wow! So after I hung up with her, with tears in my eyes, I said, "God please. This is my heartfelt earnest prayer. I NEED your help! I opened my eyes to see a little box pop up on my screen that said "You've got a new e-mail from {my doctor's office}". I clicked to open it and read this, "Jennifer, I just tried the password again, and now it works."
My mouth dropped open! What? It opened? I wrote back to make sure and yep, she wrote me back and said that the very same password that we had both tried many times just minutes earlier...now worked. I had just witnessed a miracle folks! Now I was REALLY overwhelmed with emotion. My heart felt like it was going to burst. How deep is the love of Christ! That He would care about such a teensy little thing that meant so much to me. He knew there was no way my kids could endure another 2 hours of mommy sitting at the computer while they had to entertain themselves. He knew that I was at my breaking point. He loves me THAT much! Awesome! I called my mom to tell her the good news and I could hardly choke the words out through all the tears. The kids looked at me like I was crazy. I bet it did look weird--tears streaming down my smiling face. Quite an oxymoron to a child, I guess. I tried to explain to them it was tears of JOY. I loved and loved on them and said I was so sorry for being such a grouchy-pants all morning and that God had just answered one of my prayers and I was so happy, it made me cry.
Anyway, I know that was a long story...but it was such a big deal for me, I didn't want to leave any of the details out. I don't care what anyone says or thinks...that was no coincidence or luck...that was MY GOD showing me He loves me -- even in the little things.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Is this the funniest picture you've seen in a while or what? Ha Ha! After a couple of hours of swimming and doing slip-n-slide, Grant decided he'd had enough and he went inside to get himself dressed. This is what he came out wearing. A stocking cap, Thomas the Engine underwear and Lightning McQueen socks---and that's all! What a silly boy! ha ha

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Me and hubby after a couple of hours of swimming. Not too shabby...for old people. ha ha

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My sweet girl. She can be a stinker...but then there are days like this...when she's such an angel. Makes me remember/realize how much I love her and how FAST she is growing up!!!

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Grant was whining about not getting to drive the Gator...he makes the funniest faces when he cries so I had to snap a pic. Brooklyn was trying to imitate him...ha ha

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

So Thoughtful...

My friend Logzie, whom I've never actually met in person but who I consider one of my VERY best friends, sent me this get well card. It was so pretty, I hated to not share it with everyone! Thank you Logzie!

There is no time like the PRESENT time!!

Woohoo! I have to make this short because my hunky hubby is waiting for me to come to bed...BUT...I wanted to tell you all what a wonderful birthday I had. This has probably been one of my most special birthdays. SO MANY of my friends have called or texted or e-mailed me today to wish me happy birthday. I have gotten more gifts than I EVER expected and I got to spend the day with my hubby..just him and me...which was such a treat! I couldn't have asked for anything more. Here are a few pics of some of the b-day stuff I got. There is so much more though. My friends, Teya & Tori got me a gob of adorable scrapbook stuff, my grandma gave me $29, plus an awesome knife from Chicago Cutlery and some earrings and a bracelet. My aunt gave me some orange/papaya oil with little sticks (reeds) that you put in there and it smells your house up something wonderful. My mom and dad gave me a nightgown, a robe, some cute boxers and a beach towel. My kiddos gave me a candle that is "Farm Fresh Apples" scent! YuM! Matt's dad gave me $25. Matt's brother and his wife sent me $8.39 (for Romans 8:39). Matt's mom sent me $20 too!! Then on top of all that, my wonderful hubby gave me a gorgeous watch (that I picked out that was WAY too expensive...but I loved it), a bottle of perfume and an MP3 player! It felt like Christmas when I was opening up all my stuff! Wow! Even more than all the gifts though...was how special it made me feel that so many of you thought of me today. That's priceless! I am so blessed to have so many wonderful people in my life! I love you all!

This is the b-day card that my friend, Teya, made for me. Isn't it beautiful?


Saturday night my good friend Teya threw a b-day party for me and my buddy Rachael who happens to be turning 29 just 2 days after me. Anyway, we invited 6 couples and we ate and played Bunco. It was lots of fun. Here are a few pics from that night. One is of my good friend Tori. Teya's husband Rich is behind her though giving her the bunny ears. As you can guess, that is Rachael and Me blowing out the candles on our cake and the other pic is just of the gang all sitting around the table.