Friday, November 30, 2007
Our weekend is packed again as we have a family birthday party to attend tomorrow. Someday I will get the tree up and decorated. I had really hoped to have it up by now, but it just hasn't worked out. Hopefully by Sunday afternoon our house will start looking like Christmas. New neighbor's three houses down got brave enough to put up a huge inflatable snowman with candy cane lights encircling it in their front yard (a postage stamp sized lawn). I am amazed someone hasn't popped it yet! We'll see how long it stands! Maybe our neighborhood is getting better. I have always thought it would be nice to put up some decorations in the yard, but haven't for fear they would be destroyed. I'll wait and see what happens to my neighbors.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Pray for Andy. Last night he was working on our prayer letter and the computer flashed an error and shut down the program he was working in. He had saved the letter, but the computer lost it. It is somewhere, he just couldn't find it. He had to start all over. He was very frustrated! He has so much on his plate right now. Computers are wonderful things, but they sure can be a thorn! His computer has been doing crazy things as of late. We had a friend come and work on it a little, but I think it still needs more work. Hopefully, during the break we can get the thing straightened out and working properly. We are all looking forward to the break to regroup. I really enjoy the winter break as there is not so much going on like the spring/summer breaks (missions trip, vacation, camping with kids, etc.). Though Andy told me today he has dates for me to mark off - maybe it won't be as calm as I thought it would be. I guess we'll see!
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Matt continues to have a great attitude with school. He is really trying and it is really showing. I am really proud of him and the effort he is putting forth. Even when things seemed to get difficult today he kept his cool and pushed forward. He is really maturing. Sarah also had a great day. She enjoyed math as it was a very hands-on lesson. We discussed measuring and had to use measuring cups and spoons. She loved that! A funny thing - tonight I put them to bed and about 45 minutes later went up to check on them. I caught her READING!!!! "I really wanted to finish the book!" she said. I had to laugh as I painfully took the book away. I can completely relate!!!! She is so much like me in that area! And this is the child I was sure would NEVER read because she couldn't sit down long enough to learn her sounds and letters! They have both been really into reading. One reason is I am trying to be more consistent with silent reading time during school. Daniel helps in this area as everyday he asks if I will lay down with him. I have found that the 15 minutes I lay down while waiting for him to fall asleep really helps me for the afternoon. During that time the kids read. They read for 30 minutes so the other 15 minutes I use to get ready for the things I'll be teaching in the afternoon. It really has helped their attitudes as well! We all win!
Monday, November 26, 2007
School went pretty well today. Matt had a great attitude and completed most of his work. Sarah was a bit difficult as she was not ready to do math. It is not one of her favorite subjects. Hopefully, tomorrow will be better. Matt had fun tonight as he decided to turn in some of his Gameboy SP games to Game Stop. He was excited as he came out with $11.40! If he had taken the store credit he would have gotten over $18. But he wants some Cd's. He is getting to that preteen age. I am having a hard time adjusting to him growing up. Why can't they just stay sweet and little? I guess I would get tired of that!
Friday, November 23, 2007
I then came home, unloaded the stuff, and went back out to CVS where my beginning total was $63.81 and I paid $17.77 for a ton of stuff! I came out with like $36 EBC's for future purchases. I came home again and gathered the crew for a trip out to SEARS. Andy spent all his gift card money he had been saving for the year. We also bought a couple of gifts. Overall, I think we did well not overspending. Sometimes it can get crazy when you see all the deals and don't plan ahead. I really stuck to my list and determined NOT to overspend!
We got our car back today. It was the anti-theft system gone bad. We had to have a computer something or other replaced which came to the tune of over $800.00. Imagine our car thinking WE were the thieves! (I really think it's the car that is the thief - stealing $800!!!) That is why it wouldn't start. God is good as we have the money needed to make the repair and can now drive it again.
We are now painting Matt's room. I think we'll get to Sarah's room tomorrow. We will then proceed to move Daniel into the boys' room. That could be fun!
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Today was a great day. We enjoyed eating out with Andy's parents, Aunt Louise, Aunt Barb and Cousin Nate. We went to the Boyertown Cafe' and they had a great buffet. I was so glad I was able to eat after being so sick Tuesday night into Wednesday (terrible chills, nausea, fever, etc.). Thankfully it was just a 24 hour bug. It was great to eat and enjoy the food without being all stressed out about things. Later in the afternoon we went to my Aunt Bonnie's and enjoyed a turkey dinner with all the fixings. It was fun to see my cousin Lenore and her husband Mike and their three kids, my sister Lisa and nephew Sam, my grandmother Ruth, my Aunt Bonnie and Uncle Ray, and my parents. It was really funny to see seven kids ranging in age of 18 months to 10 years old! I don't think that house ever saw seven kids at once! They all played great together and hardly heard a peep from any of them - except from Daniel who was particularly emotional tonight. If anyone told him no he burst into tears! I think he was extremely tired. He didn't sleep well last night (was up from 1:00 am - 2:30 am) was up early and his nap was cut short to get from one family to another. Hopefully people won't think this is his normal personality! He really is a pleasant little guy!
I hope and pray that you all had a wonderful day with family and friends. Now onto Black Friday! I may get brave and venture out for a while. I only have a few more things to get for Christmas - no outrageous purchases! Sometimes it's just fun to get out there with the crazy people! My mom, sister and I used to go to the WalMart in Quakertown, before I had Daniel. We would get there at about 4:30 am and laugh with all the other people that were there. I haven't ever done it in Philly as people aren't as jovial and can get a bit rough. We'll see how I feel in the morning!
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Now I am off to finish her room. I stayed home from Kids Club because I am not feeling all that well (headache, tired, etc.). I need to go to bed early tonight. I think it may be too many late nights catching up with me!
Monday, November 19, 2007
Now it is Monday - the day I usually dread! Not today! Today was our first day off from school and I am thrilled with all that we got accomplished! Matt and I cleaned his room from ceiling to floor! We pulled out all the furniture, vacuumed and wiped down the walls, chair rails and baseboards. Matt wondered why we had to wipe down the walls - until he saw the water afterwards! He couldn't believe that much grim was on his walls! Everything is clean! Now we will paint the wall above the chair rail and ceiling on Friday. When he was going to bed he commented how he loves a clean room. He even said he didn't need all the stuff that had been taken out of his room (see post "Back to Reality" in September). I am so glad he is starting to realize he doesn't need "things". I think not having his stuff for almost two months has really helped. I also thoroughly cleaned two bathrooms and did a few loads of laundry! I love days when I get a lot accomplished!
I also hit CVS tonight. With kids in tow, we made through without much incident. Tonight I purchased:
1 crest Toothpaste (6.4 oz) $2.49
2 Olay Ultra Moisturizer Body Wash $10.58
1 Olay Ribbons Body Wash $4.99
1 St. Ives Vitamin E Lotion $5.29
1 St. Ives Facial Scrub $5.49
1 Keri Lotion $8.49
1 Gallon 1% Milk $4.09
The total was $43.68. I used $7.00 manufacture coupons and then my ECB's from last week, $25.00, and then another $5.00 CVS coupon when you spent $30. I ended up paying $4.42 and came home with $15 ECB's! Now, what will I do with all that body wash and lotion? Some I will keep - I LOVE St. Ives products. Some are Christmas presents. I am also putting some things aside for our annual Cornerstone Adult Christmas Party. We all are supposed to bring a gift for your gender - I have decided to make a basket of lotions, body washes, etc. A lot of the women in our neighborhood don't splurged on things like this. They will love it!
Thursday, November 15, 2007
This is Andy's thinking as of late. Between the car not working, preparing lessons for the different clubs, getting ready for All-Night Bowling tomorrow and getting ready for the different Christmas events (Kids Club, Teen Club, God Squad parties, gifts, ordering decals and shirts, etc) for the clubs - he is beyond busy! He gets focused on something and then finds it hard to redirect his focus. Please pray for him as he winds down this semester of clubs. Please also pray that the gifts and funds needed to provide shirts for the kids comes in in time. Our parties are scheduled for the week of December 10th.
With the van in the shop my parents offered to let us borrow their car. So ran up this morning to get it since Andy had Teen Club tonight. It threw school off a bit, but Matt and Sarah handled it pretty well. We didn't get everything done for the week (we worked until 5:30 pm) so we will have to do some work tomorrow and Saturday. The kids don't seem to mind as we are taking all next week off. We are planning on painting the kids rooms and doing some deep cleaning. The kids will receive cleaning lists each morning and when they are completed properly they will have free time. They aren't terribly excited, but I need the help and they are quite old enough to start chipping in.
Daniel has been a riot as usual. Tonight he opened the refrigerator and was checking things out on the door. He pulled out a jar of chow-chow and looked at me and said "Disgusting!" Where on earth did he learn that word!!!! I am constantly amazed that he not only says these words, but that he uses them correctly!!! Today he insisted on having his picture taken with his sheep.
He is so different than the other two were/ are! It is going to be an interesting life with Daniel! I am so thankful!
Matt has been busy building with Lego's. With no TV they are starting to get a lot more creative with the use of their time. Matt built a science lab:
Sarah is busy building a store with all the different things for sale - I'll post the picture when she is done.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Hershey Kisses (9.2 oz) 2/$5
Dimetapp Cough & Cold 2/$9.98
Children's Motrin (4 oz) $6.99
Motrin IB Tablets (100+50 bonus) $9.69
Head & Sholders Shampoo (23.7 oz) $7.39
Garnier Nutritioniste Lotion $12.99
Garnier Facial Cleanser $5.99
The total before using their card was $62.99
After card $59.01
Coupons used (- $22.50) $36.51
I paid $36.51 out of pocket, but I received $25 in Extra Bucks that I can apply to my future purchases (by 12/14/07)! How cool is that! I am in no way an expert in the area of math, but I love trying to figure out the best deals. The cool thing is that the Internet has the ad for next week up already and I can try and figure out what to get and where to find the coupons!
One reason to save money is for our car. As I was about to head out tonight for CVS the car refused to start! I was so bummed! Thankfully, Carisa graciously offered to take me to CVS. Andy believes it is the fuel pump. We hope to get it fixed this week. Please pray with us that this car would last at least another year - if not two or three! Or that God would place a better car within our price range in our midst. He has always proven faithful - we have never lacked for any need. He knows what we need and when we need it. There is always a reason for everything - tonight I got the blessing of spending a few minutes with a good friend! A good trade I'd say!
Monday, November 12, 2007
Friday, November 9, 2007
The rest of school went pretty smoothly. We were finished our work by 4:00 pm and then we headed out to Toys R Us. They were having a big sale and I had a coupon that I wanted to use before it expired. I finished Christmas shopping for Daniel and my nephew Sam. I am almost done! I hope to be done by Thanksgiving. My goal is to have a peaceful December - no too much running around. We'll see how it all turns out.
We are off to clean! Andy has been tackling the basement and I am getting ready to put a bunch of stuff on ebay - cross-stitch stuff, stamping stuff - stuff I don't have time for at the moment, but don't want to hang onto until I do! We need the room more than I need the stuff! I did a test run on ebay this past week and sold two pairs of shoes Daniel had outgrown. He has a wide foot and wide shoes can be expensive, so I figured other mom's might need shoes for their kids fat feet. I was right! One pair sold for $5.50 and the other sold for $11.00! We are saving the money towards either a new car or new computer - which ever dies first!
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Tonight was tough. Matt had decided he wasn't going to do something I had asked him to do and he lost it. Really lost it. Unfortunately, I lost it too. We both said things we didn't mean. I left him in his room while I got Sarah and Daniel ready for bed. After they were in bed I went back to his room. We had both calmed down and were able to talk. We had a really good talk. I apologized and then continued to tell him how I thought he felt and to let me know if I was wrong. I think I shocked him with how well I knew him! I told him I knew him because his fears were the same as mine when I was his age. He was definitely shocked at that! Sometimes I think we present ourselves in a light that doesn't depict what we were or are. Matt sees me as his mom, someone who isn't afraid and knows what is going on (far from it!). He didn't realize that I have had the fears he has now. In opening up to Matt we grew in our relationship with one another. He felt he was alone in his fears, but now realizes he is not. Growing up is hard; I think just as hard for the parent as it is for the kid! I really hate the fact that he is growing up so fast! I pray everyday that God would give me the wisdom to handle this parenting thing! Pray for Matt. He is a very serious child and takes everything to heart. His one prayer request right now is that he would find one good friend he can really connect with. We talked about how that may not happen right away, but God would answer in His time. Pray that Andy and I would be sensitive to Matt's needs and encourage him in his walk with the Lord. On a lighter note Andy and the kids had a great time yesterday playing with the Hinson boys at his parent's house. They raked leaves, played on the swing set, and jumped on the trampoline. I also had a great time. I didn't get done nearly what I wanted to, but I got a good start. I did get Daniel's clothes switched over, washed several loads of laundry and started cleaning the basement. I am looking forward to Saturday when I will have the help of three kids to finish the basement. Daniel is a great picker upper!
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Monday, November 5, 2007
Saturday, November 3, 2007
The singing artists included KJ-52, Natalie Grant, Ayiesha Woods and Hawk Nelson. KJ-52 is Hip-Hop, so I really didn't understand a word he was singing! I am old! It concerned me a bit during his concert because he seemed to be placing glory upon himself. Since I couldn't understand the words he was rapping, I couldn't hear anything about Jesus and God. I did, however, hear his name in songs. It troubled me that the girls would love listening to someone without a strong Christian testimony. But my fears were aleeved when they had a Q & A session at the end of the conference. One young insightful girl asked him how he felt when many were glorifying him instead of God. He gave a very good response, including a bit of his testimony. I only wish they would present more of their testimony so the girls can see their faith and not just their music. I really enjoyed Natalie Grant and Ayiesha Woods - both very solid testimonies during their performances. Hawk Nelson was interesting. I was glad I got to see him as he is currently one of Matt's favorite artists. I could at least hear and understand his words, though the music was so loud my rib cage vibrated! Matt would have loved it! He, too, had a good testimony, though a bit of an odd personality! Some of our girls actually went down to the stage area and got up close to him. He came down into the crowd and the girls went crazy. It is my hope that the girls would hear the message and not only see the messenger.
Thursday, November 1, 2007
This weekend I will be attending the Revolve Tour with my Sunday School class. It should prove to be fun and interesting! The Revolve Tour is like Women of Faith for teenage girls. I think it has a few more concerts and a little less talking, but the girls that went last year really enjoyed it. I was not able to go last year so this will be my first experience. Please pray for the 25 girls that are attending (Laurie's and my Sunday School class and the God's Girls Sunday School class). The event takes place Friday evening and all day Saturday. Please pray for safety to and from the conference as we will be driving several mini-vans. Also pray that God would really speak to the hearts of these girls and they would put to work all that they learn. Pray for me to "be there" and not longing to be home getting things done.
What will also make this weekend a challenge is that Andy has been asked to speak at a church missions conference in DE. Since we are by no means fully supported, any churches that ask him to speak, he jumps to accept their invitation. He will be speaking Saturday night, so I won't see him as he will be gone before I get back, and Sunday evening. I really hate tag team parenting, but this is how life goes at times. Pray for him to be able to speak clearly about the ministry and that people will feel led to support us both prayerfully and financially. Also pray for Andy as he has lessons to prepare for next week. He will be a busy man!
Speaking of tired, something is up with Daniel. Please pray for him as he is suddenly not sleeping. He screams at nap times and screams when it is time for bed. He will only sleep if someone is in the room with him. He is exhausted. At the moment he seems to be frightened of the car sounds (alarms, horns, back-up beeps) in the neighborhood. This is something that is not easily fixed. There will be noise no matter what we do. Please pray that he would get over this phase, quickly, as it is driving me crazy. I do not handle screaming toddlers very well. I have no idea what to do about the situation. I have never come across this before. Matt and Sarah always slept or played, but never screamed during naps or going to bed. If you have any ideas you can post them by hitting the comments at the bottom of this post. I think you need to register a Google account. It will walk you through it. Please pray for each of us to get the rest we need to function properly!