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...


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.


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... 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:
Texas Roadhouse
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:
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:
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:
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,


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'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.


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.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

While I'm at it....

I have REALLY missed not being able to post regularly while in school this semester. It feels sooo good to be back.

One thing that got me through was making a list of the things I knew I'd have time to blog about once school was over. That list is long, but it's slowly getting shorter...

Next up: a phenomenon right in my own back yard!
I so wish that I would have been able to get pictures taken in stages, but, you'll just have to believe me. The snow in our back yard melts from the tree outward!

If one of you science nerds people could please explain this to me, I would much appreciate it. Because, this is counter-intuitive to the little brain in my big head.

I would think that the snow would melt around the edges of our yard first because that is the snow that isn't in the shade of our big oak tree. But, apparently the shade doesn't matter because we have one HOTT tree! :)

Has anyone ever seen anything like this? I sure know I haven't.

Which brings me to my next question: can I count this as one of my firsts? If I am able to figure out how to do those handy-dandy blog poll type things, I'll totally do one for this. But, if I can't, please just let me know what you think in the comments!
And before you answer, you should know that I can almost guarantee this picture was indeed taken in 2008. In fact, did you know it snowed on April 12th and April 19th in Kansas this year? APRIL! What is this world coming to?!

Way late bragging....

But, better late than never when you're tooting your own horn, I always say.

Just kidding. This is totally proof of the Lord's faithfulness to me!

After Valentine's Day this year (I TOLD you it was way late!) I was at Dillons to do my normal grocery shopping, and I decided to take a bit of a detour to look at their Valentine's stuff that was marked down 75% off. And, I found TONS of stuffed animals that would work GREAT for our church's Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes! (As a side note - this is a FABULOUS program put on by a FABULOUS organization, so you should totally check it out!)

These stuff animals were just bears and pigs and frogs and things, with no "Happy Valentine's Day" or anything written on them!

And best yet, they were all under $1.00 a piece! This is fabulous because my church tries to send out nearly 300 boxes a year, and if we don't have a stuffed animal to go in each of them, be go to the local Dollar Store and buy them. But, some of these were well under $1.00! Some were even $0.25! I was sooo pumped...

And this is the point where people started looking at me like I was crazy.

I wish I had had my camera with me.


It was so funny to see the look on the cashier's face. And, the man who was bagging the groceries! He cracked me up. When he saw me coming he ran and got trash bags to put all of the stuffed animals in for me! It was fabulous!

(Can you tell by all my CAPITAL-LETTER WORDS that I'm a LITTLE bit EXCITED about this TOPIC?!)

Isn't the Lord good?! BUT, He didn't stop there.

After I got all the stuffed animals out to the car (2 trash bags full), I went back in and did my normal grocery shopping. I was going to just go home afterwards, but I couldn't resist a stop at Walgreens to see what they were marking down from Valentine's Day.

And they did not disappoint!

I got 100 pink plastic cups (the kiddie ones, not disposable ones) for the shoe boxes also, for four cents each. FOUR cents EACH! I'm telling ya'll...God is good!

I may have also picked up some really cheap Ghirardelli chocolates for myself that I've been enjoying for months now without even putting a dent in my stash. But don't judge me! They were like $1.00 for a dozen sweet sweet squares, and they're super tasty. I'll share them with you if you're ever at my house!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Sunday, May 11, 2008

We Swashbuckled some Cuties!

I mentioned yesterday that I love having our nieces and nephews over to play at our does my dear hubby.

Here are some pictures of Micah with our nephews Ben and Asher after dressing them up as pirates and teaching them how to use an air-pressure gun!

Hope you've enjoyed your weekend!

"Kudos to your Mom!"

Happy Mothers day to all you mothers out there!

Mothers never cease to amaze me. For starters, I have several friends who are mommies, and so I've heard the "joys" of child birth lots of times! And, ya' makes me nervous! Every single one of the women I've talked to has said it is unquestionably worth it. But still. Moms are super heroes!

My mom is no exception.

I have a story about my mom that always makes me thankful of the sacrifices she made for my brother and me growing up. Before I tell it, I should remind you, that I may not have all the facts right! Cause, obviously, I don't even remember what color my brother's bedroom was growing up! But, even if the facts aren't all together, she's still a pretty amazing lady!

What I recall is that my mom had been sick with the stomach flu for a few days, but was on the mend about the time that I was coming down with it. One night, I woke up and needed to empty my stomach (how's that for not being graphic?!) but I didn't quite make it to the toilet.

My dad, being the sweet dad he is, started cleaning up the mess I had made, so that mom wouldn't have to.

But, my dad has a WEAK stomach. In fact, he'd probably feel queasy just reading this post!

So, as you might have predicted, my dad only contributed to the mess.

So, there's my mom, sick herself, cleaning up after me and my dad. How's THAT for sacrificial love?

But, that's not the only thing that makes her a super hero. My dad has worked road construction since I was one, and regularly has to be out of town for days or weeks at a time. So, in his absence, mom would be working her own job but would still find time to do the things we needed for school, provide us meals, run us to all of our various activities, and just love on us. :)

People regularly comment on the way my mom chose to spell my name. My English-major hubby and I agree with her reasoning. Megan is normally pronounced "MAY-gun" anyway, so why not just spell it that way?

One of my accounting teachers must have thought so too, because on the first day of class she said, "Kudos to your Mom!" regarding the spelling of my name.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Rhyme to my Reason

I really do have a reason for confessing my awful blog addiction to you all. While reading tons of back posts of a blog I discovered a few weeks ago, I came across a blog post I am totally jealous of!

She mentioned how it's a blog tradition to list 100 things about yourself on your 100'th blog post, and then she did it! She listed 100 things about herself! (This is totally the type of gem I'm hoping to find when I start reading past posts! Just think of all the things I wouldn't know about her if I hadn't read that post!)

But, the reason I was so jealous of this post is because I passed the 100 post mark quite a while ago, and no one ever told me about this tradition!!

SOOOO...I'm going to do it anyway. And, if the blog police find out, I'm blaming you guys! :-P

(Also, I'm not sure I can think of 100 things, but I'll sure try.)

1. I was born on the Ides of March.

2. The year was 1985.

3. When I was born, the doctor was worried about the size of my head.

4. He thought it might be too big for me to hold up on my own as soon as most babies do.

5. My poor mom.

6. I've always been pretty proud of the fact that I was born on the day Julius Caesar was assassinated.

7. Yes, I do know that's morbid.

8. But, maybe this pride explains my large head?!

9. I was born in a little town in Kansas.

10. The same one my MIL grew up in. (or maybe she just has family from there? I should ask.)

11. My MIL is into genealogy.

12. She was worried (or maybe just joked?) when my hubby and I started dating, that we might be related.

13. As far as I know, we're not.

14. I have one brother.

15. He's ALMOST 2 years older than me. (I think he regrets those 10 days ;-))

16. I also have parents who have been happily married for over 25 years.

17. You have no idea what this means to a girl! Not only does their commitment provide security for a girl who's girlfriends in grade school all had divorced parents, but I have to think it's also provides security in my marriage knowing that both my husband and I grew up around committed, loving parents.

18. I think that may have been a bit too serious for this list.

19. You may be thinking that number 18 was cheating because it wasn't something about me. But, it totally was. Notice how I said "I think?"

20. Number 19 was cheating.

21. I'm days (hours even!) away from my degree in Accounting.

22. And, no, this has nothing to do with whether or not I'm good at math.

23. I'm not good at math.

24. I have always wanted to run a tax consulting business out of my home.

25. I probably never will.

26. I HATE the only tax class I've ever taken.

27. My tax final is all that stands between me and freedom.

28. It's fairly likely that I could fail.

29. AND, do you know the type of liability that is involved with that line of business?! It frightens me.

30. I'm SO excited about my up-coming graduation party. (And I just can't hide it.)

31. Something else I'm excited about: a new tile floor in my kitchen.

32. My current kitchen floor is DISGUSTING.

33. It's stick on tile.

34. It makes me wonder: why, oh, why, would anyone do such a thing to a kitchen floor?!

35. My tile floor is going to look pretty!

36. Something close to this:

37. I stole the idea, colors, layout, everything from my friend Ruth.

38. I'm even having her brother's company lay the tile for me.

39. One of the conditions to get this new tile floor is that we had to do something about our leaky fridge.

40. It came with our new house.

41. It's leaked the whole time we've lived here (10 months). I wonder why they were willing to leave it in the contract?

42. But, we had someone come out on Thursday to fix it...

43. And it wasn't nearly as expensive as I had dreaded.

44. Money well spent, in my opinion!

45. The tile's not even close to the only improvement I'd like to make to our house.

46. I think I make my husband nervous when I talk about all my plans.

47. I won't list them here, because I worry about him having a heart attack.

48. But, I save up for these projects one dime at a time doing he's probably happy that his clean underwear will someday earn him new leather couches for our basement.

49. Though, I take MONTHS to pick out new furniture, so maybe he isn't too excited about that idea after all.

50. But, I have CUTE furniture now, so I think it's worth it.

51. I also have a cute hubby.

52. I love to poke him and tickle him and such things.

53. He grew up with siblings who would tickle him until he peed his pants (or maybe just until he was close?) and so, he doesn't enjoy it nearly as much as I do. The other day after a tickling fest, he said to me, "I'm terrified of you, but I love you!" :) It made me happy. Is that horrible? (The "It made me happy" is the part that allows me to count this as something about me.)

54. Of course, I can't blame the tickling siblings...

55. Because they have given me some pretty adorable nieces and nephews to play with!

56. We have 10 nieces and nephews. Aren't you jealous?!

57. It's so fun when they come over to play at our house.

58. We have legos.

59. And they all know right where they are.

60. ALSO! My honey agreed to let me turn one of our flower beds into a sand box for them!

61. I'm so so soooo excited about that idea!

62. Did you know that I write in my agenda almost religiously? (How's that for a transition?)

63. In fact, I retroactively write in my agenda.

64. For instance, if I go and get my haircut as a spur of the moment thing, I'll write in my agenda after the fact so that years from now, I'll know when it was I got that haircut.

65. Just kiddin' about that "years from now" thing...though I could!

66. Because I've kept every agenda I've ever used.

67. I'm a pack rat.

68. But, in my heart of hearts, I'm organized.

69. Or, I at least desire to be...but those two traits don't mix very well.

70. One reason I'm so looking forward to being done with school FOREVER!! (Have I mentioned that one or twenty times?) is so that I'll finally have time to get my newish house organized.

71. In fact, I have a entire list of projects I'd like to accomplish either before I find a job, or on my nights and weekends. (BLOGGING :), painting, organizing, cleaning, yard work, crafty projects, new year's resolutions...)

72. I like goals..if you haven't noticed already, you haven't been reading my blog longer than 5 minutes.

73. True story: I've run out of things to tell you about myself.

74. So I asked one of my girlfriends who's known me for years and years if there's anything she doesn't know about me that she'd like to.

75. Her first response was: "How many boyfriends have you had?" and my first answer was, "Is it sad that I have no idea?"

76. Contrary to what some of you may be thinking, this is NOT because I've had too many to count.

77. But, mostly, what does it matter? I'm a happily married woman.

78. But, if I had to guess off the top of my head, I'd say somewhere around 4-6.

79. All before I was in high school.

80. I had my first date with my hubby the day after my high school graduation.

81. In high school is really where I realized that it was pretty silly to be dating boys I had no intention of marrying.

82. So, I think it was a good 4-5 years between my last boyfriend and my now-hubby.

83. God is good, and he's given me a man who is perfectly suited to my needs and my desires.

84. I also asked my husband for ideas.

85. He asked, "What is/are your favorite book(s)?" That's really hard for me to say since I haven't had a lot of time to sit and read over the last 5 years. (Did I mention that I'm almost out of college?!)

86. I would have to say that my favorite is probably The Hobbit.

87. He also asked, "What's your favorite book of the Bible?" I'm not sure if this is a bad thing or not, but I don't think I have one.

88. "When you were a little girl, what did you want to be?" Hehe...if I told you an accountant, would you laugh at me?

89. I bet you probably I'll say, "Ballerina." That was probably what I wanted to do in my younger years.

90. "What were your greatest fears?" I'm HORRIBLY terrified of spiders.

91. Even little tiny ones.

92. I can't handle it.

93. In fact, if I see a spider in our house, I won't kill it.

94. I wait for Micah to come home from work to kill it for me.

95. I go back into the room I saw the spider every 15 minutes or so to make sure it's still there.

96. There's really no logic to this solution. Cause, it freaks me out more when I go back and it's not there!

97. "Do you have any recurring dreams?" I know that I do....But I can't for the life of me think of them right now! Don't you hate that about dreams? They're kind of illusive while you're awake.

98. I learned how to schedule blog posts to show up at a future time/date.

99. I'm REALLY REALLY excited about this feature.

100. More excited than I'd like admit. But,'s a cool invention!

Another true story: I'm done with this list at 4:11 on Friday afternoon, but YOU won't see it until Saturday Morning! Have a good weekend!

Friday, May 09, 2008

Financial Shape in 2008

Over at Crystal's blog, she does a monthly checkup of her family's financial shape, and she encourages others to join in.

I haven't done so yet this year, but she specifically said in this post:

Whether or not you posted financial goals for 2008, please take a moment to post about your financial successes and failures in April and the areas you hope to improve in May.

So, that's what I'm doing!

Micah and I have a pretty set budget every month.

Some of these things go into individual envelopes, some of them don't. Some we keep track of on a weekly basis, some on a bi-monthly basis, and some monthly. It just depends on what has worked best for us in the past for each individual category.

We're never exactly sure what Micah's pay will be because of overtime, so our rule of thumb is to tithe on whatever he gets, subtract the budgeted total from the remainder, and then the rest goes in to savings to pay off our student loans.

The student loans are the goal we're working towards right now. I feel like it's going well (we're paying off about $1000 each month), and hopefully will go even faster if I get one of the jobs I applied for this week!

Hehe...I'm not sure if I've mentioned on here or not, that I have a paper chain for each 100 dollars of student debt we have! It's quite the long chain, but it's really fun to take off 10 links every month!

AND! As an added bonus, I bet we will be able to cut our gas budget way down now that I'm not driving to school and back 4 times a week!

That's all I have. No huge amount of progress, but it's coming along!

Fourth First

Well, I did this one a LONG time ago, but I haven't been able to post for a while! I know it's a bit past week four in the new year, but I promise I have more firsts coming soon!

This is my first attempt at eating a grapefruit! It was good, but it was pretty messy! I wasn't quite sure how to eat it. Cutting and getting in it was interesting...

And, I was pretty sure that I had heard salt is good on them. So, I tried that. But, if I remember correctly, I liked sugar better.

It was a tasty first! :)

Thursday, May 08, 2008

The Weigh-in

It's been a long time, and my weigh-ins aren't getting any better. In fact, they're getting worse.

A couple weeks ago, my dear friend Joy and I decided that we were going to email each other back and forth with the food we ate that day, and how many steps we got and so forth. It didn't last long. Not for lack of trying on her part, I promise. It's just that my other dear friend Rachel was getting married, and I had quite a few things to do for that...and then this whole school thing.

So, I'd end up e-mailing her with "I had Hardee's for breakfast, The Classic Bean for lunch, and whatever I could find for dinner. 5200 steps." It was a bit discouraging!

All that to say: I'm at 159.

I have done a bit better this week. I got all 80oz of water in yesterday, AND went on a walk with (yes, my dear friend) Shawna.

Give me another week and hopefully I'll be able to get back on track....

Confession Time

Not only am I a horrible slacker, but I'm also a horrible stalker.

It's true.

I'm sure I've told several of you this before but when I am studying, and want to keep my concentration for as long as possible (Always), I allow myself to read one paragraph of a blog post, or one comment on one of the blogs I frequent each time I finish reading a page, or finish a problem, or whatever. (Gosh, that was quite the run-on sentence, but I'm not sure how to make it better.)

Anyway, I've been doing A LOT of studying lately! A lot! And, because of that, I've also been doing a lot of blog reading. And, here's the confession: when I find a new blog I would like to start reading, I don't just start with the current posts. The OCD part of me won't let me!

I READ ALL THE PREVIOUS POSTS. Even if this isn't a person I know, and even if they've been blogging for years. YEARS people.

Isn't that pathetic? I'm just always afraid I'm going to miss something. Like the person is going to reference a previous post in a joke, and I'll be the only one who doesn't get it!

So, there you have it. I'm a weirdo. Is anyone surprised?

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

I'm BACK!!

Did you miss me?

I sure hope so, because I really missed not getting to blog. I have been keeping a list of things I would have posted about if school hadn't been so incredibly busy, and it's over 30 items long!!

I'll get to those in the next several days, I'm sure, but first can I tell you how GOOD it feels to be so close to being done with school FOREVER?

Good...REALLY good.

Of course, I'm not exactly done yet. I have a tax final on Monday A.M. that is standing between me and freedom. And really, I have from now until then to study to my hearts content for it, so I'm sure I'll do fine.

But, a gal needs a break from studying!! :) So, I thought I'd blog and just say: "Hey, I almost promise I'm going to try to be a bit more regular in my posting, if at all possible."

How's that for commitment?