Friday, December 05, 2008

I found a link on my husband's blog recently that took me to Dale's blog (which, I've never actually read yet, sorry!) that took me to this link, which I really enjoy!


Go check it out, and that'll explain that first sentence. :) Also, I cannot promise the absence of off-color content, though I've not seen any.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

House Projects, revisited

A little over a year ago, I posted this list about the things I wanted to do around our house. First off, can you BELIEVE it's been a year (and a third!) since we moved into our house? Craziness!

Of the list I posted, the things we have finished are:
Buying a new couch and love seat set for our front room
Replacing the kitchen floor
Painting the kitchen

But, the list of things I never got to is even larger!!:
Buying end tables/coffee table for the living room
Buying end tables/coffee table for the family room
Getting electrical work done (like updating outlets, and adding a few outlets and fixtures)
Buying a new kitchen table
Painting the livingroom
Painting my scrapbook room
Painting the stairway

What have I learned from this?

To be content. There are some things, like the end tables and stairway that I really wish would have been done a long time ago.

But just think how excited I will be once they get finished - how sweet long-awaited gifts are!

Also, now that I've had a year to think on it, there are some things that I've realized aren't really that important. For instance, I don't really need a coffee table in either of our living areas. In the upstairs one, we have a huge ottoman, and I have a piece of furniture that would work perfectly for a coffee table downstairs.

Also, I'm not really in a hurry to paint my scrapbook room or the livingroom - maybe the eggshell color is beginning to grow on me!! (Which, those of you who know me personally will agree, is a blessing all in itself - since I could use a bit of color! ;-))


All this to say: I have a new list but I definitely won't be disappointed if the progress is slow in coming.

What things are you gals working on lately?

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

To quote Alan Jackson...

"I'm not a real political [wo]man...", but, did you know that the leader of our country is being chosen today?!

I very rarely watch television. In fact, the only time I watch anything is when I'm at my mom and dad's house because we don't have cable at mine! But, I LOVE watching as all the votes are tallied, and the new totals are presented. So, Mom, I guess I should tell you that I'm planning on being over at your house this evening! :)


Please pray about which candidates (for the big and small offices) the Lord would have you vote for. Then pray that regardless of who gets picked, they would be open to the Lord's leading in their lives.

Happy Election Day!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Are you needing a pick me up?

I was sick last Sunday and missed my grandpa's 80th birthday party. I had been looking forward to getting to see all of my mother's family. But instead, I spent the whole day in bed alternating between reading and sleeping - and that was nice too.

One of the thing I really enjoyed doing was getting caught up on reading some blogs I had gotten behind on.

There was Laurel and her honest plea for prayer as she learned to be still, followed by a post about a discovery that blessed her heart.

There was Rachel and her sweet posts about her 2.5 year old, and her teaching (Rachel, I know you probably wouldn't call that post "teaching" - but for someone who couldn't make it to church, it really met a need) on the mundane moments in life.

And, if you're needing to gain a perspective on where you are in life right now, I suggest you head on over to Mama M's Place. This dear mother of 6 seems to look at every busy day, every crazy "uh-oh" as just another blessing of motherhood.


Thanks ladies, for making a sick day not so bad after all.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

How do YOU compute?

I've only had my laptop for about 2 to 2.5 years, and already the battery is shot, it has a line down the screen, and it regularly overheats.

So, as much as I hate it, I'm looking into buying a new computer so that when this one dies I'll know what I want to replace it with.

But, I can't get passed the Laptop vs. Desk top debate in my head.

Price really isn't the issue, cause I feel like we'd spend about the same amount on whatever computer I get. But, what if you compare the cost to the amount of time it will last you? Desk tops last a lot longer than laptops.

But, what if it's the portability that I want?! There are very few things I love more than curling up in bed with my laptop to chat and catch up on blogs.

What's a girl to do?

What do you use? What would you suggest? I've done another poll. Please let me know what you think the best course of action is! :)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Please pray

My cousin Amy just found out recently that she is pregnant with her third child. She's only about 10 weeks along, and went in for a check up on Friday. At the check up, they realized that she's partially dilated.

If you could, please pray for her family and for this little one.

I'll update you with more information as I get it.

Thanks, and have a wonderful Tuesday evening!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

My most brilliant and offensive idea

Did you know that you can make human corpses into diamonds? It's true! I wouldn't joke about this sort of thing.

Ok, so I totally would, and do, joke about this all the time...but it's still true that it can be done!

So, naturally, my dear hubby and I have talked about turning his body into a diamond for me to wear after he's gone.

And, not for the normal sentimental reasons that you might think.

No, it's much more brilliant than that!

In 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 (compliments of Biblegateway.com) it says:

15According to the Lord's own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.


Did you catch that? And the dead in Christ will rise first. In that line lies my whole argument.

You see, if my husband precedes me in death, and then is made into a diamond for me to wear, then I will know before every other living being (if only for a split second) that Christ has returned.

Of course, this whole argument falls apart if you read this verse to mean what I think it probably means, which is that all the living will probably know that the dead are being raised because of the "load command."But that doesn't fit very well with our joke, now does it?

So, there you have it, my brilliant hole-ridden and horribly offensive idea!

*Please note that this is a joke, and not a post to encourage large theological debates.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

"And He walks with me..."

This devotion appeared in the October e-mail from Kansas Bible Camp, and it definitely found me right where I am. It's a great way to look at our christian walk. Hope you find something to take from it and apply to your life.

A message from God's Word
There are three expressions in the Bible concerned with our walk that may be helpful to think about.
1. Deuteronomy 13:4, "Ye shall walk after the Lord your God." Walking AFTER God tells us we have a leader; Someone walking ahead of us. In the New Testament we are admonished to become "Followers of God as dear children," He is our example. The expression "walking after the Lord" is found three times in the Old Testament.
2. "Walk BEFORE me and be thou perfect" said God to Abraham. David commented: "I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living." Walking BEFORE the Lord reminds us that God is our interested observer. We are always in His sight and He is interested in what we do. He observes us, not as a critic, but as a loving parent observes his little toddler. Every step is observed with love, pride, and gentle care. Every improvement is noted and encouraged.
3. Noah and Enoch are said to have walked "with God". We can only walk WITH people with whom we agree: Can two walk together except they be agreed? Two can walk together only if they have the same goal, take the same path, progress at the same speed, and adjust to each other.
You and I are also called upon to walk with the Lord. Our lives must conform to His plans for us. Our path must conform to His word. Today, more than ever in the history of the church of God, we need youth who will walk after the Lord. We need youth who will walk before the Lord and youth who will walk with the Lord. How are you walking?
- Richard Burson, KBC Intercom January 1973

Sunday, October 12, 2008

To Load or Unload...

That is the question.

I've put up a survey to the right of this post, because I'm curious to know:

Would you rather unload the dishwasher, or load it?

I HATE loading the dishwasher, but I don't mind unloading it. My mom is completely opposite. She would rather load.

I always thought this was a strange, but handy, difference between us. But, I was never under the illusion that it was normal until I read this post of Brooke's.

What about you? Do you love unloading? like loading? hate both equally?

Let me know!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

The gift that keeps giving

Micah and I are been married for 3.5 years now! Micah says he cannot believe it's been that long. He says it feels like it was only yesterday.

I, on the other hand, feel like we've always been married. Don't get me wrong. That's not a joke about "the longest years of my life," but more a realization that it feels so right to be married to Micah, that life before being married to him pales in comparison.

So, imagine my surprise, when I find these:


Along with several other wedding gifts while going through stuff at my mom's house. I didn't even know we had these!

So, thanks to whoever gave these to us over 3.5 years ago. They have brought me such joy!

And, thanks, Micah, for spending the last 3.5 years with me. I know it may seem hard to imagine at times, but you bring my even more joy than my pretty striped dishes!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

The Lord's Provision

I've blogged a few times about things I've found in my textbooks back in my school days. But, I've never got around to this one.

In McGraw-Hill/Irwin's Legal Aspects of the Business Organization I found another one of these such things on page 992 that was truly a gift from the Lord.

The topic at hand is incorporation. There's a term called "corporation by estoppel" which basically means that if someone holds them self out to be acting on behalf of a corporation, then the court will "estop" him from denying the existence of the corporation. This is to protect third parties from thinking they're dealing with a corporation, when really they're not, or vice versa.

Anyway, the funny part comes when the book starts discussing liability for defective incorporation. It states:
If people attempt to organize a corporation but their efforts are so defective that not even a corporation by estoppel is found to exist, the courts have generally held such persons to be partners with unlimited liability for the contracts and torts of the business.


And, all I've got to say is, if people who want to be incorporated can't even MAKE THEMSELVES OUT TO BE incorporated, then they deserve full liability!

Hehe...I realize most of you won't think this is funny - but I sure do!

Have a fabulous Saturday!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Everyone should know someone

Like our friend Nicole.

Several months Micah and I got a chance to play Apples to Apples with a few of our friends. One of these friends is a 13 year old named Nicole, and she is HILARIOUS!

I realize that Apples to Apples is the type of game that is only funny at the time, and only to the people who are playing. So, I'm sure this won't be funny to all of you. But, to those of you who know Nicole, I hope this brightens your day!

Here are a few of the quotes from the game:

"Does it make you as hot as poodles? That is the question."

"Oooo eeee! Nama nama nama! 1,2,3,4,5,6!" - Nicole in reference to Boyfriends

"That's fake...not unless they put a bomb in your underwear...that's fake." in reference to Spontaneous Combustion

"The bust up word" - later on in reference to Spontaneous Combustion. She can't actually say it correctly, but Spontaneous Combustion is her new favorite phrase.

On the Challenger Explosion card, there is a poem that reads: "Without a wish, without a will, I stood upon that silent hill and stared into the sky - Ralph Hodgson" and when I finished reading it out loud, Nicole chimed in with: "and blew up"

"The Bumb up word...I'm gunna have to learn that one"

"It's my favorite word now, But I still can't say it"

"This is going to be a nasty one...but it might be tasty to some people." in reference to olive oil

And the last one I'll leave you with:
"The dump? Now, what kind you guys talking? The trash can kind?...Micah, you're over there turning purple!"

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Photo O.O.T.T.W.I.L.A.T.Q.A.Y.A.Y.H.T.F.I.T.A.B.C.A.P.I.A.N.D.A.E.T.T.Y.F.S.A.H

Laurel did this thing on her blog a LONG while ago. I don't normally like these O.O.T.T.W.I.L.A.T.Q.A.Y.A.Y.H.T.F.I.T.A.B.C.A.P.I.A.N.D.A.E.T.T.Y.F.S.A.H things. Mostly it's because I never know what to call them!! :) But also because they're all the same.

But, this one is kind of cute.


Here's how it works: Figure out your answers for each of the below questions. Put your answer into a Google image search. Grab the first interesting image for each answer, and post the images on your blog. I won't be tagging anyone cause if you wanted to do ityou probably would if I tagged you or not!

Hope you enjoy!

1. The age you will be on your next birthday
2. A place to which you'd like to travel

3. Your favorite place
4. Your favorite person

5. Your favorite food

6. Your favorite animal

7. The town in which you were born

8. The name of a past pet

9. The first name of a past love

10. Your favorite color

11. Your first name
This is a picture of MAGEN's Bay. Spelled "right" and everything! Isn't that cool?!? :)

12. Your middle name

13. Your last name

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The view from my front porch

OK. I am aware that it is totally lame to talk about the odd trees you have growing in your yard on your blog (Or anywhere for that matter!).
And, I am aware that twice merits loss of readership, but I can't help it!

Today, I found the most interesting thing when I looked out my window!

I don't aspire to be a great photographer like my friend Rachel, so you probably can't tell from this picture....But, there is a branch growing out from the middle of this huge long trunk! You're probably thinking, "yes, Magen, tree branches normally do grow from tree trunks," and you'd be justified in thinking this. But, this is a very old tree. And, all the other branches that bear leaves are WAY higher than this new, small twig. And, there are no other small twigs like this. It's very odd to me.

But, if you look closer at the twig...Its leaves have already started turning!!

Did it just sprout out with autumn leaves? This is very perplexing to me. One day, there's no sprout there at all, and the next day there's one that's already dying!!

But, at any rate, I love fall. And, in my yard at least, it's beginning to look a lot like fall, ya'll!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

My dear friend Joy...

has a grandma who lives in Texas. Her name is Gloria and a few weeks ago she was attacked in her home. You can read the initial post, and also a couple updates on her blog. Please keep this dear lady in your prayers.

On a much happier note, Joy also has some super fun stamps for sell on her site, Apple Blossom Studios! AND, she has several very talented scrappers showing off her wonderful products regularly on her blog. Go check it out!! To get there, just follow the super fun link that I just added on the right hand side of my blog!

OH, and while you're there, check out her stamp called "Inksy Daisies"...I named it myself!

Monday, September 01, 2008

2 Days shy of a month!

Seeing as how we're rapidly approaching the one month mark since my last post, I figured I'd give you a nice Labor Day treat!

I am laying in bed with my computer and The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey and alternating between it and blogs. What a wonderful Labor Day!

Anyway, I've been trying to catch up on reading my friend Joanne's blog when I came across this post. And, I have to say, you're not going to believe this, Joanne!

But, I too use a NASB Study Bible (in burgundy bonded-leather).
And, I too have my first and middle name on it.
And, I too bought it when I was 18.
I too knew that I would be marrying my dear hubby.
I too thought it would be too early to put his name on my Bible, but thought it was a waste to put my maiden name on it when it'd soon be out of date.

Isn't that weird?! :)

It made my day! Hope you have a good holiday!

Sunday, August 03, 2008

I don't know about you....

but I pride myself in celebrating safely and with class!!

This past year when the Jayhawks went to the Final Four, Bill Self himself (hehe, yes, I meant to do that) sent this e-mail out to all the students:
Dear Jayhawk fans:

Thank you for all your fantastic support again this year. Jayhawk fans are truly the greatest and there is no place better to play basketball than Allen Fieldhouse -- although San Antonio on Saturday will be close!

We wish you all could be with us Saturday, but we know you will be there in spirit. No matter where you are, please look out for each other, know your own limits and be safe.

Show the world that Jayhawks are class acts on and off the court! Celebrate safely.

Then later, after they made it to the championship game, we all received this e-mail:

Dear Jayhawk fans--
We heard you in San Antonio! The team played a really great game and
back in Lawrence and Allen Fieldhouse, Jayhawk fans were equally
incredible. It was terrific that so many people cheered us on and
afterward celebrated safely.

Tonight, we know you will be with us in spirit when we take on Memphis.
And again, please look out for each other when you go out tonight, know
your own limits and be safe.

Let's show the nation again why Jayhawk fans are the greatest.
CELEBRATE SAFELY....AND WITH CLASS!

These e-mails struck me as pretty hilarious. I wasn't one to party and drink and drink and party while in college (But now that I'm out...just kidding!). But I imagine that if I were the type, a mass e-mail from Bill Self (or more likely, his secretary) telling me to to act responsibly would not have changed my actions one bit.

But, they're still fun to read.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Tax Class

Here's yet another post I've been meaning to make for an eternity, but am just now getting around to doing! :)

In my tax textbook, (I told you it was old!!) Prentice Hall's Federal Taxation 2008 for Individuals, it has a paragraph on the bottom of page 13-7 that reads:

Step 3: If a net Sec. 1231 gain is the result of Step 2, determine if the taxpayer has any nonrecaptured net Sec. 1231 losses. Nonrecaptured net Sec. 1231 losses are the excess of aggregate net Sec. 1231 losses for the preceding five years over losses previously recaptured as ordinary income due to the recapture provision of Sec. 1231. Net Sec. 1231 gains to the extent of any nonrecaptured net Sec. 1231 losses are treated as ordinary income. Sec. 1231 gain that is unrecaptured Sec. 1250 gain is first treated as ordinary income to the extent of nonrecaptured net Sec. 1231 losses. Any net Sec. 1231 gain in excess of nonrecaptured net Sec. 1231 loss is treated as a LTCG.


And now you know why I had a semester-long headache!

Hope you're week is going well!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

It's amazing what people can find....

when Google leads them to me!

I have a site meter on this here blog, and one of my favorite Saturday morning pass times is to look through the "referral pages" to see how people got to my blog. One of my other favorite Saturday morning pass times is eating the delicious breakfast my husband made! But, that's neither here nor there.

Since I haven't blogged in MONTHS, the majority of those referrals come from people who have googled in hopes of finding something useful.

For instance, one person googled "Christmas Trees 2007" and saw this! I'm sure that person has added my family to their prayer list.


Others have googled "tile floor" and have been greeted with a tile floor picture I posted for you all as an example of what I was wanting. This is kind of funny to me, because I got that picture through a Google image search, and it's humorous to think that now I've stolen the traffic that someone else used to be getting.

Then there are things I find that really hit home. Like, this post about 1 Corinthians 15. It's such an encouragement to my heart.

I hope you all are encouraged this Saturday morning with whatever it is you're up to!


I'm off to clean my disorderly house, but before I do: does anyone else find it funny that we can now use the word "google" as a verb and no one thinks anything of it?! :)

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

My 2 cents

In the last few weeks of school, I was needing to study every waking moment.

I stopped meeting with the women's leadership in our church. We stopped having social time with our friends. Micah even made me stop doing housework of any kind so that I could completely focus on school.

One of the bottle necks is my studying was finding a good place to study. I can't study very long at home because I get distracted with the other things to do there, including sleeping! So, I thought the chain bookstore here in town would be the perfect solution. They have plenty of tables to study at, there is a coffee shop attached, they're open late, and they have wireless internet.

So, I went one Sunday afternoon, and started to settle in for what promised to be several long hours of studying. Only, I couldn't connect to the internet.

Most people would probably say that I don't need the internet to sit and study for hours, but they'd be wrong. Sure, I may not need it for the actual work. But, I most certainly do need internet for my SANITY.

You see, if I can't have some sort of distraction (in the form of a chat client or a blog to read) I wouldn't last more than an hour. But, give me wireless internet, and I could sit and be VERY productive studying for hours on end, because I would get interaction with other people at regular intervals, which I crave.

So, imagine my shock and dismay when I realized that the bookstore charges $3.99 for 2 hours of wireless internet! 2 hours is NOT going to cut it!

I should clarify, that I'm NOT against spending money. They provide a service, and I'm more than willing to pay for the ability to sit in their establishment and get things done. Normally, I would spend anywhere between 3 and 10 dollars on drinks and food in order to feel like I wasn't treating them unjustly.

But, I am not willing to pay for internet usage when I could pay the same amount and enjoy a tasty coffee drink for the same price and get free internet usage to boot!

So, while I would have liked to have the variety in my studying, I decided to stick with the local coffee shop instead.


Oh, and have I mentioned lately that I'm DONE WITH SCHOOL?! It's SO nice to not have to study!

But, I do enjoy a place to sit and work on projects from time to time. In fact, I am sitting at the local coffee shop right now enjoying a blended mocha and wireless internet, and it's wonderful.

Pictures of my IN HOUSE work station coming soon, compliments of my friend Shawna!

Monday, June 02, 2008

You know you're a grown-up when...

A man in our church met us at our car this past Sunday morning when we pulled up at 8:30am. He greeted us with, "we just said the closing prayer!" I think he was joking that we missed church, when really he was referring to the prayer group that meets at the church every Sunday morning from 8:00-8:30am.

It reminded me of something I meant to post about a long while ago!

Micah and I were late for music practice at the last Day Light Saving time change, not because we forgot to change our clocks, but because NO ONE TOLD US TO.

I couldn't even believe it. Normally everyone and their moms, and I do mean OUR moms, remind us.

I guess this is just further proof that we're expected to be a self-sufficient unit.

Bummer! :)

Please show the audience what's behind door number 3

A couple of months ago my car was making some funny noises.

I'm sure you can imagine me on the phone with a couple of car places trying to replicate the sound for the man on the other end of the line.

I'm sure each of them mocked me later.

I eventually got the problem fixed in exchange for a pretty penny or two, but what struck me was the difference in my options of auto-repair places.

Option 1 was Chain Guy. This is the company that you could find in most any American city. Their price reflects the name recognition that they hold, but you know what you can expect from their work, much like how you know the McDonald's across the nation will look exactly like the one down the street from your house. It's predictable.

And, it's convenient. It's close to your home and they provide rides back to your house while your car is being worked on.

Option 2 was Dealer Guy. Normally, your best bet is to steer clear of these places because they tend to be quite a bit pricier than even Chain Guy. But, something I discovered is that, the price difference is all in the labor. The ideal situation would be to buy the part (assuming you know what part you need - which is a big assumption in a story involving me!) from Dealer Guy and take it elsewhere for installation.

Option 3 was Local Guy. Whenever possible, I'm a sucker for the local business over the chain business. And, because Local Guy isn't paying franchise dues, you can bet that his price for labor is cheaper. However, one thing that surprised me in my research is that his price for the part was also cheaper.

So, it's a win-win situation. Option 3 would be picked every time, right?

Only, imagine that you went to Option 1 for an oil change, and they've already got your car torn apart, know exactly what's wrong with it, and could potentially charge you a portion of the labor
in payment for figuring what was wrong with it.

Further imagine that Local Guy is a fair distance from home, and it the problem could be made worse by taking your car on the trek across down. Oh, and also, you would need a ride because Local Guy's shop isn't the best place for a 20-something girl to hang out in.


So, what's a girl supposed to do? Clearly from the facts, we chose to go with Chain Guy, because in this situation, the dice were stacked against us. And, even though I would probably rather go to Local Guy 9 times out of 10, I got REALLY good service from Chain Guy.

In fact, I got such good service from Chain Guy, I'm inclined to go back for each oil change, even if it costs me a few extra dollars.

How do you guys handle this situation? Do you have hubbies that do all that work themselves? Do you have a favorite place to go?

Sunday, June 01, 2008

New Furniture

Our church has 2 teams this year for a sand volleyball league! They met for practice this last week, and it was great fun to hang out with everyone while I watched!

This is my mommy in her new outfit for volleyball. Isn't she cute?!


You may be thinking, "what on earth does this have to do with new furniture?!"

And, if you are thinking that, you probably don't know me very well. Cause, those that DO know me well know that when I tell a story I have to start WAY back at the beginning.

I've been promising to post pictures of my furniture so that people could help me figure out how to arrange it in our living room. But, as it turns out, it's taken me so long to get pictures up, that I actually know how I want it.

Which is totally due to the fact that our friend Jonathan volunt to come over and move 2 pieces of furniture after volley ball practice on Wednesday.

This is him (in red) next to my hubby (in orange) at practice.

NOW do you see the connection? Hehe...OK, there's not really a connection at all.

That's all the pictures I'm going to post of this last week of volleyball, but my dear friend Rachel has posted a few more pictures of the actual volleyball action, if you're in to that sort of thing. ("That sort of thing" being pictures that actually relate to the topic at hand.)

Anyway, back to the furniture situation! Jonathan brought his wife and kids to our house after volleyball practice so that he could help my hubby move furniture.

At the time, I thought I only had a book shelf and a T.V. stand to move from downstairs, but
as it turns out, I also had a shelving unit and a hope chest that would work better downstairs, and "needed" to move my living room around at least 3 times before I got something I liked.

I kept brainstorming out loud thinking the other adults in the room could tell me whether a certain configuration would look right. "What do you think it would look like if we moved the couch against this wall, the love seat in it's place, and then the bookshelf on the other wall...and..."

And, Mr. Cheerful (Jonathan) would simply say, "well, let's just see what it looks like!" It was really funny to his wife and I, but Micah was a bit worn out! Which, I'm not all too certain, wasn't Jonathan's motive. :)

But, all is done, and I think I like the arrangement. You'll have to use your imagination on the pictures; I couldn't quite get it all in. And, my video camera doesn't have a flash.

And now, I can cross "posting furniture pictures" off my to-do list. How's that for taking the title of my blog to heart?!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I'm ready to BOYCOTT!!

I'm slowly but surly getting thank you cards for my graduation party sent out. I love sending out thank you cards because that means people get snail mail...and snail mail brings me a lot of joy!

But, as I'm writing these thank you cards, I've been looking through all the cards everyone gave me...


and, I've been thinking: I got 35 cards for my graduation, and not a single one of them is the same. That's pretty cool.

But, I'm also thinking: Hallmark made a KILLING!

And, of course, the accountant in me wanted to know just how big their killing was.

I totaled up the retail price of each of the cards (adding only $0.10 per card without a price, because that's the price I normally pay) and I came up with $66.97.

If you're someone that gave me one of these delightful cards, please please do not think I'm being ungrateful. I have truly enjoyed reading each and every one of the cards.

But, did you know that Micah and I have 36 family members that we try to send birthday cards to each year? (Those family members who read my blog know that TRY is the key word!) I've learned a VERY valuable lesson with these cards! Just look at how much we could save by not sending the expensive greeting cards. It's even more when you consider that the total above doesn't even include tax!

But don't despair, the alternatives are great! You could send 10 cent note cards. You can find these just about anywhere, and there's much more room to write the personal message - and I like those best!

Another option is to just write your greetings on a $5 bill. Better your friend or family have the $5 than Hallmark!!

Another option, for when a gift accompanies the card, is to skip the card altogether and use the $$ you would have spent to buy a better gift!

That's just what's rattling around in my head today.

It's all jacked up with the vowels!

I have a friend who makes me nervous that my jaw will get stuck in the down position (a lot like how I STILL worry that if I crossed my eyes they would get stuck like that forever).

What kind of cruel, don't-want-my-kid-to-have-any-fun-at-all, mother would tell their child such a thing?!

I should clarify that I'm definitely not talking about my mom.

She would never tell us such absurd lies. She is a super-hero, if you don't recall. And, she always told us super-hero's couldn't lie. (OK, I totally made that last part up.)

Which reminds me of a question (I promise I have a point that I may or may not get to in this post). How many of your moms told you that you had to eat the crust on your bread because that is where all the nutrients are? How many of your moms actually BELIEVE that to be true because their moms told them?

We live in a society of gullible people.

Back to my point:
My friend Jenny does the most hilarious and outrageous things, that my mouth continually hangs open while I'm around her. The things she says and does never fail to amaze me.

I met her when I danced ballet years ago. Her comments brought Rachel and I more joy than you can even imagine.

One time, during dance class, she looked at Rachel with all sincerity and asked, "Do you ever wish you could take your eye ball out and EAT it?"

Then, when she was invited to my pottery wedding shower, she painted this wonderful, umm..thing, for me:


If you're wondering, it's a spoon rest that is painted orange, and has a multitude of things stamped on to it, including but not limited to: a safety pin (complete with label), foot prints, a dinosaur, dog bones and grapes.

She never ceases to amaze me.

So, when I got the opportunity to see her for the first time in a long while this past semester, I was undoubtedly excited! I knew for sure she wouldn't be exactly the same crazy Jenny B. that I grew to love...cause, everyone has to grow up sometime.

And, I was right. She isn't exactly the same. She's WAY better. She has grown up - she's intelligent and mature...

But, she's still the fun-loving, make-my-jaw-drop friend that I remembered!

I won't go into all the hilarious details of our dinner date, because I want her to hang out with me again sometime! But, I wanted to tell you that when I told her I was surprised that after all these years she still remembered how to spell my name correctly, her response was:
Of course I do! It's all jacked up with the vowels!

Everyone needs a friend like Jenny B.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

And it wasn't even for Candid Camera!

This post should start with a disclaimer:

The following information is vague (at least for those who don't know a lot about me) to protect the establishment to which the information pertains. My intent is not to slander said establishment. We love said establishment and will not frequent said establishment any less because of the information that is about to be revealed. This is in no way meant to slander said establishment, and I would appreciate it if the name of the said establishment is not mentioned in the comments so that I won't go to jail, or worse, have to pay my Magen Money to said establishment because of libel.)

Now that that's out of the way:
Once upon a time, on a Friday much like today (except today's Saturday, but that doesn't fit the story very well, now does it?) my dear hubby and I got all "dolled up" and headed to our favorite weekly date spot.

We got to "The Restaurant" and asked to be seated in our brother-in-laws section. Just like any other Friday night, we were given a buzzer and asked to wait for a table in his section to be available, so we took a seat in the waiting room and enjoyed the free munchy-type items that were provided to us.

When our buzzer went off, a nice young lady requested that we follow her to our table, and since we had no reason to suspect her (yet!) of evil doings, we gladly followed her where she led. (OK, now I totally have the theme song to Gilmore Girls in my head! "Where you lead, I will follow. Anywhere, that you tell me to...")

When we arrived at our table, she realized that she had forgotten to grab us appetizer plates. But, HAVE NO FEAR, because another hostess lady just happened to be walking by with two plates to spare. (Suspicious?)

Our kind, yet not-fit-for-food-service, hostess took said plates and started to place them on our table when she realized that one of the plates had a wet packet of Sweet'N Low stuck to it.

No big deal, I thought. That sort of thing happens all the time...

But, YOU WON'T BELIEVE WHAT HAPPENED NEXT!!

She looks at the plates, looks at us, then takes the Sweet'N Low packet off the plate, sets the plates down on our table and says, "They're just for your bread" as she walks away.



I am not even kidding.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Something I've learned....

They are few and far between...but one think I know for sure:
freezing sour cream just doesn't work.

In my quest to cook at home more, I've gotten a lot of advice from a lot of my friends, and a lot of them have told me that I could freeze a lot of things.

Obviously, there was A LOT of talking going on. :)

ANYWAY! One thing that was never totally agreed on was weather or not sour cream would be any good after it was frozen and then thawed.

So, being the smart cookie I am, I bought a tub on Manager's Special for 25 cents, and tried it.

Let me just tell you: it was NASTY!

I totally just saved you a dollar or so! You can go ahead and thank me in the comments.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

You may not know this about me...

But I'm totally a cheater.

Especially when it comes to goals I've set for myself.

Case and point: my firsts for the year. I'm totally behind; I've only posted about 5! But, I'm going to count these things as firsts:

6th: my HOTT tree melting snow. The vote was 4 to 1! Thanks to those of you who voted!

7th: taking my first Audit class.

8th: taking my first Tax class...which, I PASSED, if you didn't hear!

9th: graduating from college...which, I SO DID, if you didn't hear!

10th: making my first purchase on Craigslist. Thanks to my friend Reagan I was able to get 2 fun black leather ottomans for my family room for $35! You can kind of see them next to the love seat in the final house-tour pictures.

Weigh-ins

OK, I've got to tell you:
posting my weight every week for you all to see has totally been DISCOURAGING me.

When I started this idea, I thought for sure that it would motivate me to be successful...but really, it's just made me super hard on myself.

I know I need to be better to my body, and I know I need to take care of what the Lord has given me...but I'm going to need to find a better way to stay accountable, because I'm pretty sure He doesn't want it stealing my joy either.

So, with that said, I won't be posting my weight anymore, but I will be continuing on with my water, fruit and step goals. Feel free to ask me from time to time how it's going! :)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Last of the Tour

We're in the final stretch...
And, may I just say: I didn't realize how big our house was until I started posting all the pictures I've taken!!


This is going downstairs, obviously. We've already pulled off the wallpaper border in this room, and it will be painted by my mom at some point this summer or fall.


As you go down the stairs and take a left, this is the laundry room that I'm SOOO happy to have!! We used to have lug all of our laundry for a week or two up a hill and load it all into my tiny car and take it to either the laundry mat or my parents house to wash it. This is MUCH more efficient!


This is still the laundry room. It's pretty large, which is nice!


To the right of the stairs is my scrapbook room. It's not put together at all. In fact, I have a plan to rearrange several rooms in the house, so it won't get put together for a while yet. I'll post about the rearrangements in the future.


And more of my scrapbook room...


Off of the scrapbook room is this 1/2 bath. It's got hook ups for a corner shower unit that we plan on putting in eventually.


Straight ahead from the stairway is our family room.


It's pretty long, so we bought a bar table and chairs to go in that back half to function as a game room. I haven't taken a picture of the table and chairs yet, so you'll just have to take my word for it that they look nice! :)


Then on the right hand side of the living room, the door leads to Micah's office - which is kind of neglected because he works such long hours.


That's the rest of our house Hope you enjoyed this tour! As you can tell, it's still (and will probably always continue to be) a work in progress.

I've been Tagged

My SIL Jessie tagged me to do another O.O.T.T.W.I.L.A.T.Q.A.Y.A.Y.H.T.F.I.T.A.B.C.A.P.I.A.N.D.A.E.T.T.Y.F.S.A.H.

This time it's only 7 random or weird facts about myself, as if you don't know enough already!!

#1. I retroactively write things in my agenda.

#2. When I was born, the doctor was worried that my head was too big!

#3. I am simply MORTIFIED by my SIL's confession: "I peed on a cow once :)...maybe more than once."

#4. When I make new year's resolutions and don't stick to them, I try and play catch up for several months. (ie: one of my new year's resolutions is to have a piece of fruit in my diet every day. I haven't been doing so well with this, so for the last week I've been having 5 servings of fruit a day just to catch up!!)

#5. Sometimes it makes me laugh when people talk about the BIG weddings they're planning with almost 125 people! My hubby and I invited 600 people to our wedding!

#6. My dear friend Rachel thought you all might like to know that when I was younger, I had a cat collection. I had figurines, pictures, plates, you name it. Which, might not be too weird for a young girl...except that I'm horribly allergic to cats!!

#7. I didn't know where Alaska was until my late teens. But, in all fairness, why can't they just put it where it belongs on the map instead of in that little box?!



Also, if you haven't noticed, Joy did the 4444 thing that I tagged her on, and Joanne did the 100 things about herself! Go check them out!!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Backyard

Sorry, Laurel, but you don't even make it inside today! You'll just have to come around back! ;-)

This is our back yard as you would see it from the kitchen patio door....
To take this picture, I was standing in the doorway looking to the left. You can see a very un-kept flower bed, and if you could see just a little further over, you would see the entrance to the back yard. Our whole back yard is surrounded by chain-link fence that we don't own. It just happens that our neighbors all fenced in their yards. This is my favorite side of the yard because the neighbor on our left has built up pretty vine-type plants (can you tell my thumb is anything but green?!) that create a nice privacy fence.

This is looking more straight out of the patio door, but still a bit to the left. Our neighbors to the back had some of the same greenery on their chain link fence about half way across, but they ripped it out because they're planning on building a privacy fence in the near future. I believe it was honey suckle, because it smelled SO good last year...but I couldn't exactly yell at them for doing it since it's their fence and all. :) I'm sure the privacy fence will be nice too...

...as long as they don't leave up the chain link and build the privacy fence right next to it (like certain neighbors did!) Hehe...that sounds really bad, but in all honesty, we have gotten to know the neighbors on that side of us, and they're really nice. They left the chain-link up at the request of the people who lived here before us, so you can't really fault them. One of the projects I'd like to complete in this yard is asking permission to tear down that section of the fence.

Oh, and by the way, that's not our pool. You can't really tell very well in this picture, but it is indeed on the other side of the fence! But do you see that brown square patch directly in front of the pool? That used to be a flower bed that is surrounded by rail-road ties. I'm not so hot at growing flowers (though, I bet you can't tell...) so I've talked Micah into turning it into a sand box for our nieces and nephews to play in!! That will have to be a project I post about.

And this is looking far right from our patio door. Nothing pretty, that's for sure.

Micah has taken the yard off of my priority list and has said that he'll get to it as time allows. So, I'll post pictures of his progress some day! :)


One more tour left...I'm going to miss showing everyone everything! But, stay tuned for the basement!

NOW, I'm free...

...from the bonds of SCHOOL.

You may not remember but back in my 100 things post, I had said in #28 that there was a good chance I could fail my tax class. My instructor has made me sweat it out for over a week now! But, he finally posted grades, and I got a C in the course!!

I'm not normally excited with a C (my GPA before meeting this man was a 3.75)...but I'll take it...

Because, I can finally call myself an Accountant!! I'm no longer just an "accounting major"!!


It is finished.

(just don't ask me to do your taxes....)

Monday, May 19, 2008

Round two of The Picture Tour of my Home...or something.

Continuing on in our exploration of my hallway, this is the bedroom that is the second door on the right hand side of the aforementioned (I'll have to check with Micah to see if I even used that word right!) hallway.

This is our guest room. I would love for it to have a completely over-done tropical theme some day, all to match the bamboo curtains, but I've been informed by one or 30 people that my daisy bed spread is NOT tropical. I have too many other house projects I'd like to spend my money on right now to buy new bedding, but someday.

I did however, get a really good deal (by my standards) on this wonderful bamboo ladder to go in the corner of my future get-away room for our guests! It's 8 feet tall and cost me all of $20!! Isn't that fabulous? As I'm typing this out, I am realizing that I may have mentioned this once or twice before on this blog. If that's the case, I do apologize...but I think it really is THAT wonderful!

This is our bedroom. Or shall I say, "this is where the MAGIC happens" like some of my readers prefer! You can't really tell in this picture, but it's green. Also, so is our bathroom, and our kitchen....I like green. I also really like our night stands! That is all.

If you're thinking that this might be a repeat picture: you're right. I just stuck this in here again so that you can get your bearings for the kitchen tour. This is from the front door, and if you walk into the kitchen next to the table...

This is what you'd see if you turned to your left. My mom just recently painted all my red walls green, and I'm still not sure what type of decorating I'd like to do in here.
This is further into the kitchen. The door you see is our garage, and if you turn to the left, you would be heading down to our basement.

I'll save the basement for another day. Next up on Round 3 of "The Picture Tour of My Home" (Because I'm sooo creative!) is a bazillion different angles of our back yard. Please stay tuned!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

My 4444

My friend Laurel e-mailed me with a....hmmm. I don't really know what they're called. It's one of those things where it lists all these questions about yourself and you have to fill in the answers by copying and pasting into a new document and erasing the things your friend said about him/herself? We'll call it O.O.T.T.W.I.L.A.T.Q.A.Y.A.Y.H.T.F.I.T.A.B.C.A.P.I.A.N.D.A.E.T.T.Y.F.S.A.H. for short.

Anyway, she sent me one of those things, so I thought it'd be fun to fill it out for everyone to read. :)

A) Four places that I go to over and over:
My church
My parents' house
The shower
The grocery store

B) Four people who e-mail me (regularly):
Melissa...and that's about it. That's lame, so I'll also count:
Joy (with her food intakes)
My pastor (with prayer requests)
Blogger (with all your wonderful comments!)
C) Four of my favorite places to eat:
Fazoli's
Texas Roadhouse
Paisano's
Red Lobster
D) Four places I would rather like (I decided to edit this, cause it's good to be content with where the Lord has you!) be right now:
Heaven
In bed reading
In Virginia visiting friends
In Wisconsin because I STILL haven't seen Joy's "new" apartment

E) Four people I think will respond:
I really don't like this part of any of these O.O.T.T.W.I.L.A.T.Q.A.Y.A.Y.H.T.F.I.T.A.B.C.A.P.I.A.N.D.A.E.T.T.Y.F.S.A.H.'s. But, if I have to choose (which we all know I don't really have to because it's my blog!) I'd say:
Joy
Joanne
Jenny
and Jessie just because I have 3 J's and it would be a shame to ruin the trend! :)
F) Four TV shows I watch all the time:
I don't watch any TV shows "all the time" because we don't have cable. But, when I'm at my parents' house, I like to watch:
Numb3rs
Law and Order
Deal or No Deal (mindless, I know)
1 vs. 100 (a bit less mindless)

Leave a comment if any of you decide to do this too! I would love to read your responses!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

It only took 10 months....

But, I've never claimed to be a person who finishes tasks in any reasonable time frame!

I've been wanting to post pictures of my house for a LONG time. For those of you who have never seen it before(Laurel), I hope this helps for you to visualize it.

This is what you would have seen entering my front door a few weeks ago. We didn't have furniture for our loving room for a really long time, and then when we did finally settle on a set I liked, it took us forever and a day to get it shipped to us. But, that's another blog post.

This picture is also from the entryway looking straight ahead instead of to the left. That's part of our kitchen. On our microwave cart is a paper chain a friend of mine made to count down our last days of school. It's only got 1 link on it now, and that's only because we made it to last through graduation!

This picture is also in the entry way (I'm trying to make this a complete tour, can you tell?!) but as you look to the right. It's a fun built in bookcase. But, as you can see, I've not decorated even a little. Maybe we'll have to consider these before pictures, and then if I ever feel like I'm done (HA!) I'll add some after pictures.

This is the hallway to the bedrooms that you could see to the left of the bookcase in the previous picture.

The first door on the right hand side of the hallway is our main bath. I LOVE this room. You can't really tell, but the lady who owned the house before us replaced all the fixtures and such so now it's all a brushed silver with big mirrors. On the left in this picture is where a vanity counter-toy thingy bobber is with another big mirror, but I don't think I got a picture of that. Another thing I really like about this room is that she left the shower curtain that matches the window treatments that she left because it was in our contract. (That was quite the sentence!) I adore her for it, because I really like the window treatements and shower curtain!

This room gets called many different things. It's the first door on the left hand side in the hallway picture. It was decorated like a nursery when we came to view it. We found out later from our neighbors that the couple who lived here before us had no intention of ever having children, but they put up a crib and such things to show that it would make a nice nursery. Worked for us! We still call it the nursery every once in a while.

I tend to call it either "the coupon room" or "the loot room" because it's where I keep all my wonderful deals from CVS and such.

But Micah much prefers to call it "the crap room" because it's also where I keep the boxes we moved in 10 months ago and never got around to finding places for. Every once in a while, we need something out of one of the boxes and so we dig to find it....which is why it's such a mess!

But, with all this new-found free-time, I definitely hope to post "after pictures" of this room in the near future!!


However, for now, this post is getting WAY too long. So, I'll say goodbye, and I almost promise I'll do another installment of pictures some day. I can feel every one of you quivering from anticipation. But, you'll just have to wait it out.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Who doesn't wanna be a Vegitarian?

I've recently taken to reading Big Mama's blog religiously daily, and she had a post up the other day that made me DIE laughing!

OK, I didn't really die, but my stomach hurt so bad, I thought I might!!

You should totally go check it out!

A letter to a sweet Reader,

Joanne,

I can't even tell you how loved it made me feel to wake up this morning to 10 new comments to read!!

I wanted to respond to some of them, but was afraid you might not go back and look at all the comments for 10 blog posts, so you get your very own post!

If you don't feel special, you should! :)

1. Totally look to see how many posts you've made! I would love to read a list of your 100 things!!

2. I'm glad you feel like you know me a bit better! Feel free to ask me anything you'd like to know! :) (That goes for everyone reading this.)

3. Your puke story is SOOO similar to mine! That is SO crazy! This is kind of a disgusting topic, but if anyone else has a puke story like ours, make yourself known!

4. You are a brain to Google my tree situation! I tried to Google it but was either not able to figure out what to put in the search line, or could not understand the results I got! Thanks for the help!!

5. Yes, you're right that now I can do fun things on the weekend, but Micah and I's idea of fun is going to a movie together, or having dinner with our friends. I'm sure we won't be taking the fun hiking/camping trips that you and your hubby take regularly!

-Magen Ranae


Well, everyone. I graduate today at 4pm!! :) My family is traveling to school with me this afternoon and then we're going to go out to dinner somewhere! THEN, tomorrow's the party! Should be fun. I won't be around to blog...but have no fear. Because of the handy dandy scheduling feature on Blogger, there will be no shortage of posts!

Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Life Song

There's a song out right now, by Casting Crowns, called Life Song.

I really appreciate the lyrics. The chorus is:

Let my life song sing to You
Let my life song sing to You
I want to sign Your name
to the end of this day
Knowing that my heart was true
Let my life song sing to You

It just really struck me the other day while I was driving home from school.

I guess my thought process was kind of linked to my schooling. Because of the Enron accounting fraud that happened in 2001ish, there have been new reporting laws, mainly Sarbanes-Oxley. Among other things, "SOX" has made it so that top ranking officials must sign off on financial statements and can be held personally liable for fraudulent misstatements.

I think that's what I was thinking on when I heard this song (even though I'd heard it many times before). Am I willing to sign my name at the end of my day stating that I haven't done anything wrong?

Worse yet, am I willing to sign God's name at the end of my day?

After all, lots of the people I come into contact with every day either know I'm a christian, or could potentially know that some day. So, I guess in a way, I AM signing His name to my actions by making it known that I'm a Christ follower.

Sorry, my thoughts aren't completely together on this topic - I just thought I'd throw that out there. Something to think about!

This is not a test; I repeat, this is NOT a test!

My weigh-in this morning calls for some serious intervention from my blogging friends.

161, people. 161.

Does anyone else know someone who can be dieting for WEEKS and GAIN weight?

OK, we all know that I haven't been seriously dieting up until this point, mostly just pretending. But, it is time to get serious.


So, here's my proposal:
I will report to you my progress tonight before I go to bed (which could be a bit late since my brother-in-law and his dear wifey are celebrating their 4th anny today and we get to babysit their boys! Congrats, you guys!) and if I haven't at least hit my 3 major standards, you guys will have to come up with punishments for me. Everyone will be allowed one. (Well, except for the one person who's voted no to my poll...you're disqualified!)

Just in case you've forgotten, my 3 super lofty goals (I'm telling you!) are:
- 1 serving of fruit a day
- 10,000 steps/day
- 80 oz of water/day


But, now that I've said this, you KNOW I'll try to do my very very best. Almost like that's the whole point!! :)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Fifth First

Micah and I had the privilege of leading the Jr. High youth group this past school year. (Or, it will be the PAST school year at about 1pm this afternoon!!)

Our Jr. High paired up with the High school youth group every Sunday evening to have dinner together and play games before the Bible study portion of our meetings.

Part of my job as a leader was to prepare the meal for the group about every other Sunday.

I'm SOOOO bad at ideas! So, I frequently relied on my friend Shawna to come up with ideas for me. Thank you O, Queen of Easy Meals!!

One of the ideas she came up with was chili frito pies...only, she excepted ME to make the chili.

I don't make chili.

At least, I didn't until that week at youth group! And, I'm totally counting that as my 5th first, even if I don't have a picture to prove I did it.

Here's Shawna's recipe. It was yummy, but a bit spicy for my tastes, but that can definitely be adjusted.

3 cans diced tomatoes (last time I bought petite dice from kroger, they were yummy)
2 cans beans, drained and rinsed
1 can tomato paste
1 onion, diced
1 t salt
2 T garlic and black pepper
3 T chili powder
1 ranch dressing pkt (there is a kroger brand that is good)
2 c cooked ground beef

Place all in a crockpot, cook on low 6-8 hrs, or high for 4hrs.


Enjoy!

My first day of Unemployement...

was yesterday, and was wonderful!!

Except for the fact that being home all day means I dirty A LOT of dishes.

This is how many dishes I used yesterday:



And we didn't even eat dinner at home!


In other news, I'm getting a lot done, and loving it! :) Hope all is well with you.