Never Thought This Would Happen

I was sick last weekend and got over that. Then I got really bad congestion to where I couldn't even sleep at night I was coughing so much. The first night is when I used the Mucinex. Then the second night I tried it again and it didn't do anything so ended up having to suck on a cough drop while I sleep. That worked, but it also makes me cautious while I sleep 'cause I didn't want to choke on it. I also am using our huge decorative pillow for our bed to prop myself up, so I've slept almost sitting up for the past 3 nights.

I guess I've been coughing too much or too hard 'cause yesterday while teaching pre-k my voice started cracking. And we were practicing our Christmas songs for our Christmas program tomorrow, and I sung about every other word 'cause my voice was cracking so much. Luckily we have one of the kid's grandmas in there doing the music part.

As the day went along my voice cracked more and more and I thought I sounded pretty funny so I didn't bother resting my voice or anything. We had our Christmas party for my 8th grade girl's small group, so of course there was a lot of talking then too!

When Tim and I got home we played with his Christmas gift from all of the youth workers. Guitar Hero III, what fun!!! And stayed up way too late (almost 2) playing it. My voice was almost to a whisper by that time.

And now waking up this morning I am totally at a whisper, there is nothing there. I am suppose to work at Hallmark tonight, and I'm a little confused as to how I can do that. I guess I wont be working the register. There are 3 people there 'til almost closing, so that should work. As long as not too many people ask me to help them find something.

I still need to do a little more Christmas shopping, and I need to get something from Hallmark, so I'll probably go in this morning while the manager is there and see what she says about me working. I hope they let me still work 'cause that would be a real bummer if I can't 'cause of my voice. We'll see.

Woohoo! A Good Day!

I made it through a whole day of work and I'm okay! :)
I was pretty tired after teaching pre-k, but I rested (meant to take a nap) by trying to get our Christmas cards out...hopefully they'll be in the mail tomorrow, otherwise I'll be sad if they don't get to people before Christmas. I also did pretty good at Hallmark. I got into a coughing spell so I took a Mucinex, it seems to work and says it's 12 hours, so hopefully tonight I'll get a good night's sleep unlike last night with a lot of coughing until 3:43 when I remembered about Mucinex.

So Pre-K was good. Friday I called in sick, but they did have class, the teacher's assistant took over for the day. Bless her heart, on top of cooking for the day care she works so hard with the pre-k class too! She is an amazing woman, I should probably get her a thank you card from Hallmark. Going to school today I didn't know what we would do 'cause I didn't have the lesson plans for this week 'cause I get those ready on Fridays, and I wasn't sure if the Assistant did the art project that I had planned for Friday or not. I was good either way 'cause I would've done it today and had something for the kids to do, but I'm glad she did it Friday so she wasn't high and dry. I had talked to her about it Wednesday and she knows where I put the stuff for my class. She really is such a sweet lady! So today I winged it. We cut circles that we will need for our art project on Wednesday, that we were suppose to do today, but no problem. And the kids had Christmas coloring sheets and practiced writing their name on dry erase boards. It's a life saver having the main part I have to prepare for be centers and they're mainly self discovery. I'll have actual things for them to do on Wednesday.

Hallmark went well too. Pretty much all night I just organized and stocked Webkinz. I haven't even heard of these things until I started work here, but apparently they're a pretty hot item. Just as hot as Ty Beanies were when I worked at Hallmark in high school. The mall is open until 10 this week before Christmas, so that is late and I was done and ready for bed at 9, but then now here I am at 10:45 blogging. So much for coming home and going straight for bed. I was hungry since I ate dinner at 4:30, so I got a bowl of Ohs and decided to check mail and then I wanted to blog! :)

Alright, I am super tired now, goodnight!

Being Sick is No Fun!

Well, my business caught up to me. I was afraid it would happen, and it did. I had to call in sick to work yesterday and today. I really hope I'm all better tomorrow.

At first it just started with a sharp pain from my right should blade on my back all the way to my chest in the front, a really weird pain that made it hard for me to breathe. Tim researched online of what it could be, and it just said stress related...which makes since. The youth are having a ski trip and there was an adult in the church asking Tim if someone paid his way to go on the trip if he would...and of course he would, that would just mean 4 days of us being apart from each other, and that totally stresses me out thinking about that. I would hate for him to pass up the opportunity to go on the youth ski trip if someone makes it possible for him to go. So Wednesday night I didn't sleep well 'cause every time I would wake up all I could think of is what I would do without Tim for 4 days, just doesn't sound like fun unless I could fly to Texas, but we don't have the money. I only have about $60 saved up from my blow money.

Then in the morning Tim told me that his brother Dan invited us to go to Duluth on vacation with them, but we're in debt and getting out of it, so we don't have money to do that either, so that stressed me out that we're missing out on all the fun they will have together. Our reason for moving up here was to be a part of things like that and get to hang out with his brothers more, but right now that's not possible. Big let down! So then the stress really set in. I told Tim it'd be so much easier if I wasn't so eager for us to get to spend time with his brothers. They see each other all the time going to the same church and only being about 20 minutes from each other. We see them more than if we were in a different state, it just feels like we don't do a lot with them since they're always together.

Thursday I didn't get a subbing job, which was probably good 'cause that's when my sharp pain started. I worked at Hallmark in the evening, but then I started feeling light headed and my throat started hurting. I finished up the evening, but by morning I was feeling completely weak and sore all over. So I called in sick for work at the Preschool and Hallmark. And that makes me feel worst 'cause I hate letting people down. I called into Hallmark sick again today, which I hate even more - 2 days in a row! But I know if I went in I would probably get even more sick 'cause I don't have the strength. So tomorrow I am really praying that I am better 'cause I hate being sick, I want to be healthy again!

Work Work Work

For those of you who might not know, I am working 3 jobs this month. Yup, 3! I never even thought that I would be working 2 jobs at once ever. I am subbing in pre-k for a teacher on maternity leave. That job is Monday, Wednesday, Friday mornings, then I am also subbing in the school district when a position comes open. Thursday I taught 1st grade for the afternoon. Wonderful class! And I am also working at Hallmark in the evenings. And Thursday I got my first paycheck from there! Woohoo!

I talked to a friend Thursday night who works in the afternoons for the school district and was needing someone to sub for her on Monday. But that fell through, when she went to school Friday they said she didn't need to get anyone. I told her I would though. I'm a little bummed I'm not teaching for her, but it's probably better for my sake. I would have taught pre-k in the morning, eat lunch on the road, go work with kindergarteners for the afternoon, take a short break at home to eat dinner, and head on out to Hallmark for the evening. That would have been a full plate, but I was up to the challenge. Starting on Monday though, I go into Hallmark at 5 instead of 4:30. So that will be helpful.

Today I am going in early to cover part of someone's shift, so instead of working from 2-7 I am working 12-7. It'll be fun. I woke up this morning around 8:30, ate a quick breakfast, then got to work shoveling the snow on our wrap around porches. Now I need to leave in a few minutes to go into work.

All my strength and health this month has to come from God. Everything I am doing I can not do on my own. I am excited to see what God does and how he takes care of me.

Stuck in the Snow

We have received a lot of snow lately. I'm hoping it will all stay around for when my family comes to visit. I'm really looking forward to playing in the snow with Katelin and taking everyone to the ski slopes near by.

I have officially been stuck in the snow now! Luckily it happened at the beginning of our drive way so home was only a walk away. I stopped to check the mail and when I turned to go into our driveway there was a big pile of snow that I couldn't get through. I tried rocking the car back and forth, but couldn't get it. So I called Tim, then walked home and he came to get it out. I figured since I wasn't doing anything else until my car was unstuck, it'd be a great time to get some snow pictures too.

We got some more snow last night also. The city plows cleared our long driveway, and this morning it is covered again.

Weekly Update

I am so tired. This have been busy lately and will only get busier until Christmas. Then time to relax! We are also covered in snow right now! I'm not sure how much actually is on the ground, I haven't had time to just go have fun yet. I hope soon though. We're supposed to get 2-5 more inches of snow tomorrow. It's gonna be really deep after that! I am starting to feel a little more comfortable driving on the roads. It's much easier to drive right now than in the spring when the roads get icy.

So what has been going on...Tim had the stomach flu. I stayed away sleeping in our living room and didn't catch it! Woohoo! Tim lost at least 20lbs with it. Not fun! Same day he got sick I had a terrible class that I substitute taught. I am thinking about not subbing in that school anymore, we'll see. There is one class that I know I could handle, but for the most part the kids are rough. So I was completely stressed and upset about my day and came home to find Tim sick in bed, so I was hoping to get sympathy until I saw him, and I gave sympathy instead.

Friday night and Saturday we were suppose to be in the city for Planet Wisdom with the kids. We still went Friday, but because of the snow on Saturday we came home that night too, at 2:30am. It was fun, just a bummer to leave early. We had such a great group of youth go, I wish we had more time together.

Tim's xbox also came this weekend, so we spent a lot of time playing on Saturday. Then forced ourselves to take a break and clean the house. Tomorrow we have the youth worker's Christmas party at our house. We still have a few things to do to be ready for it, but either way we'll have it! :)

I haven't been out to take pictures of the snow, hopefully tomorrow I can do that. I wish I had my camera at pre-school today. We went outside for recess to let the kids play in the snow, and at one point 4 of my girls were sitting in a row with a big chunk of snow eating. I had to make one girl go in that was shaking a LOT because she was so cold, but she didn't make the decision for herself 'cause she was enjoying the snow so much.

Hopefully I'll get better at blogging more often. I miss it, I have just been busy.

Oh! Tonight working at Hallmark was fun. Our senior pastor's wife was in there shopping so we got to talk for a little bit, and then she came back and her son who is in the youth group came too. It's so much fun to see people in there!

Full Day

Tim and I got home last night at 9:30 for me to get some sleep before teaching pre-k today. Too bad I wasn't asleep at 9:30, but I made it through the day and even did a little cleaning and decorating! :)

My day started at 6:15 getting up in time to leave by 7 to go to the pre-school to teach the 4 year olds. Had 3 kids absent, so only 17 today! Which surprisingly made a huge difference which was good since there wasn't a parent helper. School was good, and we went out for a full length recess since it was really nice today. I stayed until about 1:30 getting things ready for Wednesday and Friday centers.

Then I had about 2.5 hours at home which I thought about taking a nap, but was afraid that would make me even more groggy, so instead I cleaned, decorated and ate an early dinner.

I went into Hallmark at 4:30 and had a great time. There was lots to do so we kept busy the whole time, and I got my December schedule and I am working a lot! I love it! I am only working for the holiday so I'm on the schedule for tomorrow night and then December 3rd-22nd for every Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday and one Tuesday. It'll be a busy month, but I'm really looking forward to not having the chance to veg out on the couch and watch tv. So I'm really not going to have much free time in December. My Saturdays luckily don't start 'til 1 or 2 and only go until 7, so that is nice. Tim and I will still have time for each other. Speaking of which, Tim came and visited me today at work! :) I don't know what their policy is with that, but it was nice to see his face on his way home from wrestling practice. I am so excited that we are working on getting out of debt, so I guess thats why I'm mainly excited about my busy December schedule.

And to top the day off, I just got off work less than an hour ago and it is so super windy and snowy! I was crunching in the snow on the way to my car and I had to dust off the snow from my windows. The roads aren't icy which is very good, but I did have a tiny minor skid in the snow on the way home once. It was nuts to see such a change from a nice sunny time at recess this morning!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tim and I had a wonderful Thanksgiving today. We had his parents up at our house earlier this week for a couple nights, then we did Thanksgiving meal at David and Adrienne's house with everyone. This was the first time that I have been with all of Tim's family minus our wedding 'cause I didn't really have time to be with them with everything going on.

I miss my family, but it is nice to spend time with Tim's family. We will be down in the city with his family through Sunday. So lots more fun to come! I made green bean casserole and bought a pecan pie. My two staples for Thanksgiving. I don't think I've had a Thanksgiving without those. It just wouldn't be the same.

Tomorrow I get to make some yummy crab and artichoke dip that I made for Christmas last year. It's a little spicy with pepper jack cheese in it, but Dan said not to tell anyone so we can see Mark's reaction since mark thinks that everything is spicy...even the mildest salsa. :) We'll see what happens. Hopefully we can remember the camera!

Recess in the Snow

First day teaching pre-K was good. I am so impressed with how well behaved the kids are. I was nervous going into it because there are 20 4 year olds in the class. I get a teachers aid, and then there is suppose to be a parent helper in there every day, which I didn't know about and absolutely love! During centers the kids got my attention to show me the snow falling from the sky. I asked the teachers aid how cold is has to be before they don't go outside for recess and she said "Below zero." That is just nuts! 'Cause if I can remember correctly we didn't go outside for recess while I student taught if it was below 40 I think. I guess the kids up here just have all the clothing to go outside. I know on Friday I'll be wearing my thermal pants. I cut recess short today though 'cause the wind is insane, it just made it miserable. After the kids stopped running around and started noticing the cold I figured it was time to go in.

I think I may have gotten my flu shot a little too late. I'm not feeling well right now and will be skipping out on small groups tonight. I'm bummed, but am so ready to crawl in bed and go to sleep. I know some people say you can get a reaction from the shot, but I've had the flu shot the 2 years before with no reaction. I also didn't get the flu the last 2 years, and had the flu every year of my life before that. Hopefully this is just a temporary thing that I'll get over quickly.

Gotta have a Flu Shot

I got my flu shot today! With being around kids so much with subbing and being in a cold state I figured the flu shot is a must this year. Especially since I'm starting to sub in pre-k tomorrow until the end of December. Yesterday I helped Amanda out at her day care. Her co-teacher wasn't going to be there, so I stepped in and helped. That was what made my final decision and be quick at getting my shot. Also, Tim has been sick the last few days, and I can really tell he is sick 'cause he is actually taking medicine! Usually he is the healthy one of the 2 of us, so that scares me to that he is sick and I am still doing okay, so I definitely wanted to be preventative.

I am trying to have self control and not buy any Christmas decorations. I hit a great after Christmas sale last year, so I want to try to just use that stuff. I already used most of our lights on our tower, and I want some for our other porches, but I will probably just have to make do, unless I take it out of my blow money. We'll see how desperate I get. I could always take some of the lights from the tower and put them elsewhere. Hmmm.

I'm starting to decorate a little at a time 'cause we have a Christmas party for our youth workers on December 4th. I originally thought I could decorate after Thanksgiving Day, but Tim and I will be down in the city with his brothers, and then the next weekend we're back in the city for a youth conference, so now is really my time to do what I want for decorating.

My Girls are so Fun!

Small Groups on Wednesday was a blast. We're trying to keep things mixed up so every week doesn't become boring when we meet. Yesterday we talked about the miracles Jesus performed and the girls had the choice to either act out a miracle or act as news reporters and do the news paper based on a miracle. We had 2 groups of 2 and one group of 3. Turns out they all did the miracle of Jesus casting out the demon Legion and sending it into the herd of pigs. It was neat to see all of their interpretations.

We also gave our girls the choice of how to do the next few Wednesdays before Christmas. We don't have any weeks for us to just meet and hang out together, so the girls decided to do 2 sessions for next week and bump everything up a week and the week before Christmas we'll do our own Christmas party in our room on Wednesday. The girls are so excited to get started planning on who will do what. I told them to wait 'til next week and we'll have them sign up for things so they have a week to think about it.

I didn't get a subbing job yesterday or today. Pretty bummed, and then school is out tomorrow. So I just worked a half day on Tuesday when we got back, I'm glad I took that position! So all day long I sewed and sewed and sewed. I'm having fun, but my back is hurting, and I'm afraid I'm gonna get pretty bored when my projects are done, but they've gotta be done before the holidays. I set everything up in front of the TV since Tim was at work I didn't want to sit in silence in our room by the garage. I'm trying to get everything done pretty quickly so I can clean up the living room.

Saint Louis

Tim and I have a day and a half more of the National Youth Workers Convention. I will post about it when I get home. We haven't had a lot of internet time, so I try to jump on when I can. If you want to keep up with what we're doing you can go to Tim's blog.

Yesterday was a great day though. God completely blessed us. There are tons of drawings to win free stuff, and I won 3 of them yesterday which is so completely amazing. 2 of them were back to back where the big crowd just went from booth to booth, lets just say people weren't too happy that I one twice in a row. :) But I sure enjoyed it!

Choices Choices Choices

Thursday morning Tim and I leave bright and early to go to Saint Louis. We are going to the National Youth Workers Convention. This will be my 3rd one and I am so excited! I have been looking at the schedule to see what seminars I want to go to, and I have a feeling it's not going to be real easy to make a decision of which to go to. There are around 15 options for each Seminar Series, and I've narrowed it down to about 2 or 3 for each one. We can only choose one for each Seminar. Tim and I will probably go to a few together then split up for others. I haven't asked which ones he is interested in yet. Here's what I'm thinking so far:

Friday Seminar Series #1:
*Passing the Torch: Developing and Training Student Leaders with Dave Ambrose
*How to Effectively Minister to Middle School Girls with Heather Flies (She was the speaker for MUUUCE this year with our Jr. Highers.)

Saturday Seminar Series #2:
Players, Prudes, and Purity Rings: The Truth about Teenage Sexuality with Krystal Kirgiss
Parent Pains? How to Turn the Parents of Your Students into Your Biggest Fans with Marv Penner (I haven't had parent pains in ministry yet, but I would like to learn how to make our relations better.)

Saturday Super Seminar Series #3 : (2.5 hrs.)
Middle School Ministry: Everything We Can Cram Into 2.5 Hours with Scott Rubin and April Diaz
* Youth Culture 101 with Walt Mueller
Helping Parents when Their Kids are in Crisis with Rich Van Pelt

Sunday Seminar Series #4:
Why Talking Helps: What Neuroscience is Telling Us About Relationships, Personal Narrative and Spiritual Formation with Mark Matlock
Lessons on Leadership with Tic Long
Marriage, Ministry, and Family: Q & A with Doug and Cathy Fields

Sunday Seminar Series #5:
Building Bridges: Helping Parents and Their Teenagers Have a Better Relationship with Andy Braner
Positive Discipline: Working With Rude, Obnoxious and Apathetic Kids with Les Christie
Before the Hurts Are Too Deep: Ministering to Today's Middle Schoolers with Chap Clark
Help! I Married a Youth Worker! with Cathy Fields
A New Vision for Middle School Ministry with Mark Oestreicher
Reach Out, Don't Freak Out!: Equipping Your Teens to Share Their Faith with Greg Stier

Monday Seminar Series #6:
The Cleavers, The Brady Bunch, and The Osbornes: Family Ministry in the 21st Century by Kevin McGlamery

No More Credit Card Debt!

Tim and I just put our last payment on our credit card, so now we are credit card debt free! We have gone the last 2 months without using our credit card and just paid off the rest of what was on it. Man that feels good! We haven't made our budget for next month, we'll probably do that tomorrow, but it feels great to have that debt out of the way! We will have to make our budget for next month work with the money we have. I have a feeling we'll be cutting it a little close with Thanksgiving and Tim's family coming in and presents to buy, but I really feel like God is smiling at us taking this debt seriously and getting out of it. There will probably be no eating out next month for us, but that's alright, we only ate out one time this month, so I think we can go a whole month without eating out. I enjoy cooking, and it's nice when I cook a larger meal and we have left overs...which is very nice when we just want something quick for dinner.

So now we just have my car to pay off then Tim's student loans. If we keep putting on the amount we've done each month so far then we should be out of debt in a year! I am so totally excited!

A Social Day

Tim went down to the cities today for a youth pastor's meeting. I planned on not working today and going down with him, but Maggie and Adrienne were busy, so that didn't work out. But I still took today off 'cause I was able to meet with Marcia, my co-teacher with confirmation and go bowling with one of my small group girls.

I had a great time with Marcia. She came to our house and we worked on confirmation stuff and I cooked us lunch. She is such a sweet and neat woman. I am so glad that I get to co-teach with her. Allison is also helping us out with confirmation. She is a senior in high school, and did an incredible job with the girls last night. We split our small group into 2 groups again yesterday, and I went with Allison, she did great! I was very impressed with how she lead. And it seemed so natural! I am very proud of her.

Marcia and I were finished just in time for me to go to the bowling alley and play one game with the homeschooling community. One of the girls in my confirmation group is home schooled and they were doing a bowling day, so I got to hang out with her and meet some of her friends. I had a really good time.

Then the rest of my day I spent going to Wal-Mart to pick up a few groceries then cooking Tim and nice dinner for when he got home. I made meatloaf and potatoes and carrots. Pretty good.

I had about 30 minutes with Tim from when he got home, eating dinner and me heading out the door to hang out with Laughing Ladies group in our church. I really enjoyed hanging out with those ladies. They are fun to be around and I really look up to them.

I enjoyed having a social day, it was nice to be busy and hang out with different people. I have been wanting to do that for a while. I did start to miss Brianne like crazy by the end of the day though. I miss having my best friend around, or at least being in the same state so I could drive to see her and it being a lot cheaper than getting a plane ticket. When I got home tonight I got online and looked at airfares right now to Texas. I'm getting another homesick spell after today. I'm looking forward to after Christmas when my parents and Katelin come to visit. That will help.


God is so amazing! Almost a month ago I went and got an application from Hallmark. My very first job in high school was at a Hallmark and I absolutely loved it! Tim and I are trying to get out of debt right now, and I am substitute teaching, but I have been feeling like I need to do something more to speed up the process. So, this holiday season I will be working at Hallmark! And God totally set everything up. After having the application for almost a month, I finally decided that today is the day to turn it in. The only person working happened to be the manager and she was working on the schedule for the next month. I went and handed her my application and was about to walk out when I stopped and asked if they were going to be hiring any time soon, and she said, "Well actually, I need more help for the holiday season." So I told her I guess that would work, I could do that. (I'm hoping it'll end up longer than that.) As I replied she looked at my application and saw that I have worked at a Hallmark before, and we talked a little more then set up my first day to go in and train! So God willing my first day in there will be right before Thanksgiving, and I'll be working evenings the last week of November and through December.

It's only minimum wage, and Tim made it clear that I can do a lot better than that (and I know I could), but I really think I will enjoy it, and I'm pretty sure Dave Ramsey would be proud of me. By the way the manager was talking when I told her there were days that I would be out of town, is sounded like the schedule will be pretty flexible.

Youth Group

Youth Group has been great lately. We had 2 weeks off from our small group, so it was wonderful to be back with my girls. And my teaching partner missed the week, so I asked one of our girls who is a senior if she would step in and help lead. She was such a help! With us not meeting for a couple of weeks the girls were extra chatty so we split the group in half and it went well. Then Thursday night one of my small group girls had everyone over for a game night. That was fun too, I had been wanting a time to get to know the girls in a different atmosphere, and I didn't even have to plan it! :)
I think Allison (my senior high girl) is going to help out again this week with confirmation, and hopefully stay in there with us. I think the girls will listen to her really well, and I think she will learn a lot from it also.

Senior High Youth Group was fun tonight. Most of the youth are athletic so we usually do something pretty athletic. I am so worn out tonight! We played several different versions of dodge ball, Tim lead a lesson and then we played volleyball. I am feeling really worn out and am afraid I wont be getting better if I wear myself out. Now I feel like I've got some kind of sinus junk and my head feels huge. What started off as a sore throat turned into a scratchy throat and what I thought were allergies, and now I'm guessing sinus'. I have no clue what is going on! :)

Fun Date Night!

Tim and I put $25 in our budget for eating out for the month, and decided to spend all in one night going on a nice date. We went into Saint Cloud for the evening and the people that put those stores up are so smart. Tim went to both Best Buy and Circuit City, and right next to each of those was either a JoAnn Fabrics or Michaels. So we both went our separate ways for that part of the date. :)

Then we walked around the mall for a little while. Between our mall and the Mall of America it has been a while since I've been in a regular mall, so I just felt like walking around and window shopping. We didn't stay too long 'cause I'm not much of a shopper, I just wanted the experience. :)

Then we went for dinner at Outback Steakhouse. We left a little earlier before we got too hungry figuring we would have to wait a while, and we were right. Our 30 minutes they told us the wait was ended up being 55, but we did get to try their mushroom appetizer and their rack of lamb for free as we waited. We also watched Seinfeld (which was nice since we don't have TV at home) and chatted with 2 other couples that were waiting around. We split a nice 11oz steak dinner with a sweet potato and some incredible green beans for our sides. I also ordered the Blooming Onion for an appetizer. I think that is my all time favorite appetizer from every restaurant.

And for dessert we went to Wendy's and got 2 jr. frosties for free. (Thank you Pastor John!)
It was so much fun to go out for a night and hang out. I absolutely loved it!

And good news for today! Tim and I get free season passes on the ski slopes near town for Tim being a pastor, so we went and got our season passes today. And they were selling all of the lost and found that people never picked up, so I got a nice pair of snow bib pants for only $4! Amazing deal, nothing wrong with them! We didn't have any money in our budget for clothing this month, so it came out of my blow money, but I think it's totally worth it instead of paying $20 plus later for some.

Subbed in 6th

Two Fridays ago I subbed in a 6th grade classroom. I was nervous because they are older than I have taught before, and it was a Friday so I knew they would be rowdy, and then I checked online to see what the school has going on, and it was a pep-rally day. So the class was really hard to handle, but we did accomplish everything on the schedule. I was stretched thin with them and got pretty frustrated. They were always loud and took forever to get control of the class.

Today I was able to sleep in, which was greatly needed, and felt so good! I was able to get a little cleaning done around the house and also just relax and read. Then around 10:30 I got a phone call asking if I would come in for the afternoon and sub for the same 6th grade class 'cause the teacher wasn't feeling well. (This is the same school where I subbed for 3rd grade.) So I agreed and immediately started praying up until the students came into the classroom. And today was great! I was shocked! Especially with my toughest girl being such an angel. I was really wondering what was going on. I was talking to someone about it today and they said, "They must have really liked you." I am still in awe with how well today went. Sure it was only half a day, but it was great. I laid down the law when I got in. They knew my throat wasn't feeling well so I wasn't going to put up with anything, and they believed me after the first 3 free time minutes I took away. Some students made it their mission to keep the class on track, and that helped a lot. I was worried about how my throat would do a second day in a row of teaching, and I was right to worry. The teacher has been reading a chapter book to them when they finish work, so I read almost a whole chapter when at the end of the second to last paper my throat gave out and it bothered me too much to talk. I asked for a volunteer to read and a few raised their hands then noticed one girl raise her hand and they all agreed for her to read. What a saver! :)

I really am impressed that the students were so good today and helped me out, and took into consideration that my throat wasn't great. Oh! And I am the only sub that they have had twice so far. After today I really wouldn't mind subbing in there again.

Subbed in 3rd Grade

Today was great! I found out online at 10:30 last night that a 3rd grade subbing position became available. I check online at least every hour, more like every 15 or 30 minutes to see if something becomes available. So Tim once again accepted the position for me. And then I realized that it was 10:30 and I had to be at the school by 7:40 of which I needed to allow myself almost 30 minutes to get to the school, so I needed to be out the door by 7 and up by 6. Now, I really need my 8 hours of sleep each night, but I was so excited I had a hard time falling asleep. After getting everything ready for in the morning and crawling in bed I finally fell asleep around 12am. Wow way too late for me! Well, it's 10:30 again tonight and I need to get some sleep. Oh yeah!

So the class was great today! I was nervous when the first boy walked in and volunteered to tell me who sits where, all I heard was a lot of boys names. There were only 3 girls and around 15 boys in the class. I was expecting a rowdy class, but the boys were actually very well behaved and my 2 biggest problems in class were girls! Totally not what I expected. Is that being sexist? Anyways, I had such a great day. My throat has now gone from sore to scratchy, so I really wore it out with teaching today, but it was worth it. The kids were well behaved and we were able to accomplish wanted needed to be done. This class is tough competition with being my favorite to sub with the 1st grade class I subbed for 2 days last semester.

Subbing at a Price

I had the opportunity to sub every day this week. They were all para-sub positions instead of substitute teaching. I made the mistake of taking the first position that showed up online (which is usually a para-position) and later found out that when I do that I cannot see when another position (such as teaching) becomes available at the same time to trade out. So I learned that lesson! Plus para-subbing pays a lot less than substitute teaching. But God did some good things through my misunderstanding. I was able to talk with a couple teachers at different schools that are struggling or confused in their faith, so that made the week completely worth it. I was also able to see how teachers run their classrooms instead of going into a classroom blindly for substitute teaching, now I have a better idea how the classrooms in the district go, especially since I was in 3 different schools this week.

I have been fighting a sore throat all day today. Yesterday while working in a Kindergarten classroom I was talking to a student when they coughed in my face while my mouth was open! Yuck! So now today I haven't been feeling that great. Tim claims it's because we turned the heater on for the first time last night. So I'm drinking my Throat Comfort by Yogi Tea. And tonight I will also turn our humidifier on. Tim and I also put flannel sheets on our bed! :) I am so excited to sleep in those! I did get my assignment for today until this morning. I got one call at 5:30 to start at 7:30, but I really wasn't feeling well then. So at 8:10 I got another call to go to a different school at 9:00. I was feeling a little better, so I went in for that one. By the end of the day I was feeling a lot worst though.

Oh! And good news. Thursday while subbing a teacher mentioned that the district had more Learning Resource Teacher positions open than people to apply for them and recommended me looking into it, so I called the district office yesterday and left a message about it, and received a call today from one of the elementary principals and set up an interview for Monday! How exciting! That would be nice to have a set group of kids that I see each day and get to watch their progress. I have a lot to do this weekend to prepare for that interview. Before that though I need to get some rest and feel better!

African Children's Choir

Wednesday night the African Children's Choir did a concert at our church. It was amazing! The kids were adorable and have amazing voices and are talented with all the energy they put into their dancing. Some of the pictures are blurry, but that's the effect with how much they moved!

I was lucky enough to snag a front row seat for me and one of the girls in my small group, and boy did I feel guilty! The church was packed. There were seats set up outside of the sanctuary (luckily there are glass doors into it so we can do that), and there were people sitting in our prayer room watching through those windows, and people up in our balcony, which isn't much of a balcony (Tim was up there to take pictures and some of the youth decided to join him). Also the floor was lined with kids watching the concert. So that would be why I felt guilty taking the front row, but I got to sit next to 4 of our youth for the concert. Oh it was so much fun ! I don't think I stopped smiling the whole night.

Before the concert Tim and I served the kids dinner with a couple other people in the church. These children are so well mannered and sweet. I wish I could have a classroom of those kids to teach!

Tonight we had dinner at a friend's house who is hosting 3 of the boys in the choir. So we got to go over and eat with them, then go feed the horses and played basketball and volleyball. The boys are so cute and sweet! They all love to get hugs, so I got 3 big hugs before leaving tonight.

If you don't know anything about the African Children's Choir please visit their website and find out what they are all about. The gist of it is, the ministry holds additions in Africa for the kids, and if the kid is chosen they go through a 5 month camp practicing the songs and learning about Christ. Then they come to the states to tour and get a good education by their chaperons. Then after their tour is over they go back to Africa and attend a school that all the kids in the choir are funded to go to up through college.

The children we saw at our church have only been in the states for about a month so far. They are going further North than us tomorrow, and hopefully the snow is still there. They are all so excited to see snow! So far their biggest venue has been in Philadelphia performing at the Liberty Medal ceremony honoring Bono from U2. There are 2 other African Children's Choirs touring at the same time right now, one of which performed at the American Idol "Idol Gives Back & Season Finale."

More Fall Fun with Family

Dan, Maggie, Ruby and Titus came to visit us last weekend. We had such a great time! They came up Friday evening and stayed until Saturday evening. We enjoyed picking apples, cooking apples, going to the pumpkin patch, and going on a bike ride. We had some stormy weather a couple days before they came, but God gave us amazing weather while they were here.

Ruby and I went out in our pajamas to pick apples while Tim cooked pancakes for breakfast. There are a lot of branches so heavy they're almost to the ground, so Ruby filled my whole basket!

Sweet sweet Ruby.

Titus's first visit to a pumpkin patch.

Family picture.

All of us at the pumpkin patch. Look how big those pumpkins are!

What a Fall!

We had some nice warm weather both weekends Tim's brothers came to visit. And now it is so cold! So I figured I'd post some pictures of the warm Fall days we had.

This picture was taken from out tower of across the lake from our house. It was so gorgeous to look out every morning and see this with the calm water. More trees are still turning now. All the trees that were gorgeous at first lost their leaves really fast, but others are finally turning. I am amazed as I drive around how pretty it is. I feel so blessed by God to see such color every day!

This was my favorite tree during the Fall. It was actually much prettier, but I didn't get the camera out in it's full glory. Now it only has a leaves on the bottom branches.

Here is another morning shot from our tower. I thought the moon and the clouds with the close up Fall leaves was so pretty that morning.

When David, Adrienne and Noah came to visit we bought a pumpkin when we went to take Noah's first pumpkin pictures. We wanted the biggest pumpkin we could find, and Tim soon found that the three inch wall was too hard to cut, so the boys brought out the drill!

Out cute pumpkin! It didn't last long because of the storm we had that week, it now resides in our tree line.

American Princess

I am a sucker for most of the reality shows that come out. But Tim and I haven't had TV for a few months. We canceled it to open up more money for us to throw on our debt to get out of it. Every Tuesday we get together with young married couples for dessert, and the TV was on at our friends house. They were flipping through the channels when Tim said, "Hey that girl looks like Cassie from our old church." I took a closer look and was for sure it was Cassie. But we still waited until they put her name up on the screen. I had always thought it would be kind of funny to see someone I actually knew on one of those many reality shows I watch, and it finally happened! Cassie has an amazing voice and lead worship at our church in Texas for a while. It was so funny to see her on TV. I caught the second to last episode when there was only 3 girls left, then came home to look up info of the show and found out that she won the title of American Princess!

The show took 12 girls in and put them through a series of tests and teachings of how to have manners like a princess. At least that's what I understand of it so far. Hopefully we'll be able to find the episodes online to download so I can watch the whole season.

How funny!

Adoption from Haiti

I received an email update from a friend to check out their blog and find the progress on their adoption. They adopted a little boy in the states about a year ago, and now are adopting another boy from Haiti. Their family story is amazing reading the progress of how God is putting them together. Jamie and Aaron had their first son together then felt God calling them to adopt after that.

Here's the link to their adoption website:

And here are two blogs from the women that work at the Christian Recovery Center that Jamie and Aaron are adopting their little boy from. A warning, they put pictures up of some of the cases that come to them. Reading their experiences are amazing and they always talk about how God is working.

Great Weekend!

David, Adrienne and Noah came to visit us this weekend. They came Friday afternoon and just left. On Friday we went out to the pumpkin patch to take pictures of Noah, and then we just hung out and watched 16 Blocks. Great movie! Today we went for a bike ride which was fun until we had to turn around and ride into the wind. Yuck! It was worth it though 'cause Adrienne and I got to talk for a while, which I really enjoyed. It was so much fun to play with Noah too. He is such a cute and handsome baby and very talkative already! I was so excited when Tim told me they were going to visit and even more so that they were going to spend the night to give us more time to hang out. I love having company over, especially family. It's so much fun to hang out and get to know each other better. I'll hopefully have some pictures to post of this weekend later.

Tim and I also got to go to the 55+ cookout tonight which was fun. They invited Tim to do the devotional for the evening, so I went along with him. Every time we meet a new group of people in our church I am so thankful that God brought us here. It was sweet too, I scrapped up my hand on our bike ride today, and when the ladies noticed it they took me and doctored up my hand. I loved it! :) I also met a sweet lady who is 85. We sat and talked for a while about her family and us moving up here. I love meeting older people. It is so nice to be surrounded by people of all generations.

What a Wonderful Day!

Today was great! I really enjoyed every minute spent with Tim. We relaxed this morning sleeping in and taking it easy. Then after lunch went to the main part of town for some craft fall fair or something going on. Our youth were selling baked goods to raise money for our Belize mission trip next summer. So we got to chat for a little while with the two girls manning the table.

Then Tim and I went for a bike ride on the bike trail that goes through town. The bike trail I have been told goes from St. Cloud to Fergus Falls, a total of 185 miles. Tim and I only did 5 then turned back around to our car. We did make it to the next town though! :) The trail is gorgeous right now with all the leaves changing colors. The trail has trees on both sides sometimes down in a hill, and at parts it goes between lakes which is gorgeous having water all around. Hopefully we'll get a couple more good weather days for more bike rides before it gets too cold.

After biking I cooked us dinner while Tim cleaned up. What a good husband! And then we picked a few apples from our best apple tree and I made apple cobbler. The topping was more like biscuits that the flaky cobbler I'm use to, but it is still good! We'll have some more after lunch tomorrow.

Our apples are great right now for cooking, and I want to use them for the holidays to make sweets for family, but I'm not sure how long the apples will be good for. I need to find out if I can freeze the apples after I peel and slice them and then get them out when needed, or what I can do to have them for the holidays.

Happy Birthday Dad!

Yesterday was my Dad's birthday, and Tim got to talk to him first! I was bummed, but it was nice to see them chat. I can't wait to see my family in December. I think about it all the time. I think I'm starting to get home sick again.

I started my new job, but am not sure how long I'll stick with it, I'm not as interested in it as I thought I would be. I'm glad to be back in an office, but I am still looking every night for a subbing position to do even though I can't right now with a commitment to this job. So I've gotta talk about it to my recruiter and see what to do. I really do want to use my teaching license while I have it, and look into teaching more. We'll see. I'm still really confused about what I want to do. I just read my last blog and I said that I couldn't wait to change departments at the business, but with 8 straight hours a day of only data entry, I really miss then fun of problem solving with the machines.

Small groups on Wednesday went really well. I really like my group of girls, and my co-teacher did the lesson and did a great job. I am excited to see what all God does with us. Afterwards I went for ice cream with one of the girl's families. It was nice to visit and talk with Julia more. She is such a sweetie and fun to be with.

I need to get some sleep. I got up at 6 this morning to exercise before work, and then I started nodding off at the end of the work day. I knew it was really bad every time I would look down to see what I needed to enter and my head felt very heavy like when you start nodding off in class or something.

An Early Morning

It's a little after 6 and I am up for work. I can't wait until I move departments at this company. Right now my job has such random hours even though when I was hired I was told it was for 8-5, which this morning will start a little before 7 and will be over before lunch. And I only got off by 5 my first week of work because I made plans assuming I would be done by five. If I had something going on in the evening I would leave at 6, which is earlier than everyone, and if I didn't have anything going on in the evening, or wasn't just tired of work then I would leave by 8:30.

I was amazed when my alarm went off this morning. I was a little out of it trying to figure why someone was calling me, but realized it was my alarm. And I couldn't see anything in our room 'cause the sun hadn't even thought about coming up. Right now there is barely light outside. These long nights and short days during the winter might take some getting use to. In the summer the sun would have already been up.

And it's a chilly 40 degrees outside right now. I'm glad it's a Friday 'cause I'm wearing a big comfy sweatshirt.

I talked to my parents and Katelin yesterday. I love talking to my family. And they made the decision to come up and visit Tim and I for Christmas! I am so excited and can't wait! For about a month now our church has been advertising for a Christmas musical every week, so I am already eager to decorate with all of our Christmas things. We didn't have many things to decorate with last year being our first Christmas married. But I hit up all the after Christmas sales and have quite a few decorations for this year. What fun!

Alright, time to head out the door.

Here's Whats Going On

Tim and I at the Twins/Rangers game in Minneapolis.

I have been deciding what to do career wise. I want to be flexible with my days so I can support Tim in youth ministry. So I was stuck between finding a permanent job or do substitute teaching and find a part time job for the evenings.

Well, today I had an interview for a different department at the company I am hired out to right now. The position is for an administrative assistant. So it's actually an office job which I'm excited about! Leaving the interview I was thinking it went well, but wasn't too sure trying to guess the vibes I was getting by the people in the interview. I admit, I was pretty intimidated because I was interviewed by 4 people at once for a 3 month temporary position. I haven't gone through an extensive interview before for any temp work. It didn't take long to hear back from the temp agency about the verdict if they wanted me or not...they decided to hire me. Now it's just a matter of time of when I switch over from my current position to the new position. I figured I might as well try this out because it is definite work every day for the next 3 months, and it could possibly turn into something permanent, but I get to try it out by going through the temp agency first.

I am exhausted. I have been trying to teach myself how to keep our house clean...mainly the kitchen. I need to catch up on laundry, it's all clean, just not put away. Anyways, I am trying to train myself to have the kitchen clean before I go to sleep and tonight is the 2nd night in a row. I had the day off today so I cooked a lot. I cooked an apple crisp from the apple trees we have and baked a simple lunch for us, but the downside of liking to cook is all the cleaning I have to do.

Tomorrow we start up confirmation at our church. I am really excited 'cause I'll be co-teaching one of the 8th grade girls classes. We've got 6 girls so far, and I can't wait to build strong relationships and teach these girls about Christ and the basics of the Bible, and to learn a lot myself.

I am absolutely loving married life. Tim and I have been getting along really well. We are just having fun together, and it's nice getting to participate in his ministry, and everything is very exciting with the school year starting up. I am helping Tim in the 7th and 8th grade Sunday School class, and will help out Sunday evenings for youth group, and then Wednesday nights for 8th grade girls confirmation.

Tonight it is suppose to get down to 35 and tomorrow's high is 64. Burr! It's only September! I am not ready for cold weather. I was wanting to work out today, so I tried to go on a bike ride, but after only 5 minutes I was tired of the wind and my hands were getting very cold, so I turned around to come home and to my surprise I was already riding with the wind and I was miserable, so then it took me even longer to get back home fighting against the wind and thinking that the first part of my bike ride was pretty nice. So I got out my work out videos and am thinking I'll have to stick with those 'til next June.

Labor Day

I really enjoyed having today off of work. Tim and I slept in 'til around 11 then had lunch with our neighbors/land lords/ youth volunteers/eye doctor. :) We had some great home made food and enjoyed visiting with them for a while. God has really blessed us with John and Ruth.

Most of the day we relaxed around the house. I finally sewed my dress pants which I've been meaning to since we moved here and I borrowed Ruth's sewing machine. Today was the first day I used it, now I'm working on a quilting project. When I first borrowed the sewing machine I went to Wal-Mart and bought all their cute fabric scraps under a dollar for me to practice on before sewing my pants. I really enjoyed sewing so now I've got a project! :) I think what kicked me off with sewing is that I've been reading "The Girls of Lighthouse Lane" series by Erika Tamar and Thomas Kinkade. The stories take place in 1905 when girls learned to sew at school and such. It is a great series that is so much fun to read. Theres another more mature series by Thomas Kinkade and Katherine Spencer that I will start probably tomorrow.

Okay, the rest of our day. I called and talked to my Mom for a while which I loved. I've been feeling a little homesick again. I really want to go to my parents for a little while and visit. Talking to my Mom helped, I felt like it has been a long time since I've talked to my family. Then Tim and I went bike riding for a little bit and then came home and grilled some real beef burgers. I don't know if we've ever grilled beef burgers, we buy turkey burgers which are a lot healthier and don't taste any different, but it was just nice to know we were eating beef. :)

Oh! Tim and I started our budget on the 1st. So far so good. We've already saved money. We went grocery shopping yesterday and were cautious with everything we got, looking at the cost per ounce they stick next to the price sticker and also going with store brand items instead of name brand. We bought just as much as usual for our one month groceries, but came out saving over $100! So that extra money will go towards paying off debt. I'm so excited!

Alright, I've procrastinated making our lunches for tomorrow and going to sleep long enough. Good night!

My New Bike

One of the moms of our youth gave Tim and I a gift card to the bike store in town, so we waited for the end of the season clearance and got me a bike!

Yesterday was a gorgeous day and Tim and I both came home thinking that it was the perfect day to get my bike and go riding. No kidding, we really both were thinking on the same brain wave. I thought about going to get me a bike as I pulled into the drive way then sort of forgot about it while I checked my email, then when Tim came home he said something like, "You know what we should do today?" And I replied, "Go get me a bike!" I don't know much about bikes, so Tim did all the talking and asking about what ever he was asking. Then we went home and Tim fixed up his bike and we went riding for an hour. It was so nice to go riding. Which also meant that I didn't have to wake up extra early this morning for my jog. I rode for another hour today. I use to drive around town figuring out which roads go where, but I like it even more getting to ride my bike. I did 30 minutes this morning by myself before lunch, and then Tim and I did 30 more minutes together before dinner.

Hopefully tomorrow will be another nice day to go bike riding again.

Happy Birthday Great G'ma Z!

Today is my Great Grandma Z's birthday. She turned 91 today and is such an incredible lady. I am bummed though 'cause I was thinking I still had another day or two to call her. I thought I was doing so good remembering my Great Grandma's Birthday sending her a card and kept reminding myself that I need to call her this week. I was thinking her bday was the 30th or the 31st, knowing that it was the end of the month, but I just looked at a letter she recently sent to make sure and get her phone number, and her birthday was today! I am so bummed that I didn't call her today, so I will have to make sure to call her tomorrow, and not just during a break I get from work, but when work is done for the day, I need to call and spend a while on the phone with her. Ahh I'm so bummed.

My other bummer for the day is I was finally looking forward to getting to go eat dinner out with the ladies in our church again. I was able to do that when we first moved here, and then ever since each month they've done it I've had something going on. They usually meet on Thursdays, so I've had in my head that I am going to make a point to be there, so I just checked my email to see what time to be there, and they were meeting tonight instead! What a bummer!

But I did have a good day today, I'll tell you about it tomorrow! :)

Great Day!

Tim started the youth leader training tonight at our house. I left work early (at 5) to come home and help set up. I love being around all of our youth leaders. It is refreshing to be in fellowship with them. I also found out that this bush (in the picture) is mini plums that we can eat! I am so excited! I love to eat fresh fruit, but it can get expensive at times. So now we have 4 apple trees and a really large plum bush! Yumm!

Best news of all today, Dan and Maggie had their baby today, Titus Daniel. God willing we'll be able to make it down to the city to see them sometime this weekend. There is a man at work whose grand baby was born today too. Good day!

Nice Relaxing Day

Here's a picture of our group that went to MUUUCE (pronounced moose).

Tim and I went to sleep around 11 last night and slept until around 10 this morning. It was so nice to sleep that long. I have felt really sleep deprived lately, and today I felt really refreshed. It was funny 'cause one of the youth this morning said that he was still really tired, and he had slept for 13 hours! I was surprised that I felt rested. Today was rainy so we didn't have any events going on. Tim and I had a quiet Sunday afternoon and evening together, which I can't remember the last time that has happened. We were able to work on our budget and figure out how Quicken works better. I'm excited about us doing a budget, now we have to be disciplined and stick to it. I'm going to try even harder to find a cheaper place for us to rent so we can get out of debt and save up for a down payment to buy a house.

This week will be pretty busy for us. Tomorrow and Tuesday night we'll have the youth leaders over for a training from 6-9 both nights. Then Wednesday and Thursday we have youth group from 7-9 at our house too. I'm not sure how much work I'll have this week. They should have had the machines going Thursday and Friday while I was gone, so depending on how well they're running will determine how much work I have. I am definately bringing a book to help pass time if needed. I might not write much this week, unless something happens I can't help but to write about. We'll see. Writing also helps me relax and focus.
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Tim and I got back from taking our Junior High students to Most Unbelievable Ultimate Urban Camping Experience (MUUUCE). Which consisted of 800+ Junior High students! Since we're new to most of the activities up here, one of the Dads took charge and put everything together, and we also had a Mom come help chaperon. Both of which do an incredible job with our students.

We left the church at 1pm Thursday to head down to the city. We rented a charter bus, so that was very comfortable (18 students plus 4 adults) and convenient since non of us adults had to drive...saves a lot of energy! We made it to the main church in time for dinner and our first session of music and a message. Then we headed out to the Water Park of America. I don't think I have ever seen an indoor water park until we moved up here, and they are all over the place here! They are a lot smaller than the outdoor water parks I'm use to, but it's so nice to have them up here since it is mostly cold year round (we're in the 50s today! I almost got all my sweaters out today).

Friday we were on the bus at 7:30 to eat breakfast at 8 and then session 2 with more music and a message. Then were out for the day to Valley Fair then a Twins game (vs. Texas Rangers) and then MUUUCE held what they call CHAOS (Crazy Humans Attempting Outrageous Stuff) which was a medley of messy games.

Lights out was a little after 1am this morning, we were back to our church by 2pm and off to Joyce's surprise birthday party today that started at 3, so we were a little late after kids were all finished being picked up at 3. After the party I came home and cooked Tim and I a good chicken dinner, trying a new recipe out of one of our wedding gift cookbooks from a lady at my Dad's church, which was made up of people's favorite recipes.

I really enjoy hanging out with our Junior High students. There were a few on the trip that I hadn't met before, and are just as awesome as the ones I already knew. I was already impressed by the junior high students here from the first night of youth group we attended. And now after being around 800+ junior high students for a 3 day event, I am even more impressed with our students. They seemed to be more mature and respectful than others, and were just great to spend time with and bond with. I am so glad God gave me the opportunity to help out with MUUUCE.

Short Week at Work

I only worked 16 hours this week. I already took off for Thursday and Friday to help chaperon a youth trip. And then today we finished testing our 2 machines, so they're getting shipped out today, meaning tomorrow is just moving machines around and getting them ready for testing to begin again. I'm bummed that I didn't get many hours, but I know I need the rest, and I'll have time to go apply to a couple jobs tomorrow. Our house could also use some cleaning before we're gone for the weekend.

Oh! And I am so excited! We will be going to the Twins game on Friday night, and guess who they're playing!!! The Texas Rangers! I'm so excited! After living 3 years in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, I hadn't ever made it to a Rangers game. I was looking up the Twin's colors so I could wear them at the game, but now I think I might get out my Texas gear for the game.

I'm tired, I haven't had the chance to sleep in, in almost 2 weeks 'cause I worked on Saturday.

Tim and I are still waiting for our niece or nephew to be born any day now. Pray for Maggie as she waits for the baby to come.

What a Storm!

I usually really like storms, I think the thunder and lightening are exciting and I like to sleep to the sound of rain. But last night scared me. I woke up around 1:30am feeling like I was in a car wash. The rain was pounding on every window in our bedroom. I quickly got up and closed the windows above our bed, and before I could close the ones on the sides of our room I got sprayed with the rain while standing in the middle of the room! After closing everything in our bedroom I ran down stairs to alarm Tim that we needed to close every window in the house...which all were open including our sliding say the least, our carpet was wet. :)

One the way to work I think I was just in a state of shock the whole way. Starting with pulling out of our drive way. Our landlords had 2 trees down, one a huge evergreen pictured above, and then another oak or something by their house was down. Further down the street a tree was over with the trunk split in half, and at the stop sign to go into town, there was a trampoline all torn up in the middle of a corn field. All the cornfields were ruined and blown over. And right by work there was such a crazy looking wall of rain with clouds I hadn't ever seen before, or remember seeing.

I got off of work at noon and everything was gorgeous. I absolutely loved today. Tim and I spent time going to the bike shop looking at possibilities for me 'cause someone gave us a gift card. And went out for dinner. Then I came home and took tons and tons of pictures which I loved doing 'cause I feel like I haven't had much time to do anything today. And now I need to get off so we can go watch a movie together. I started an online photo album, so you can see all my pictures from today here.

This is what today ended up looking like. It was gorgeous! A perfect day for taking pictures!

I know you think this picture is kind of random...and it is...but this is Eureka. I realized that I hadn't taken a picture of him to share with everyone yet, so here he is. We've had him for about a month now. Oh! I almost forgot. I had read before that you can train a Beta to eat out of your hand, well I was just playing around holding a piece of his food in my finger tips and he jumped up and took it from me! It scared me so much, but that was so cool! Tim tried it, and he wouldn't take it, but ate it when he put it in the bowl. I guess Eureka has bonded with me all the days I have fed him and been in the kitchen cooking with him. Who thought a fish could be fun! :)

Our Hawk

(Sorry the picture is blurry, I took it through our window screen.)

What a great morning to wake up to a hawk outside our window. I was so drowsy getting up, and to my surprise on our roof just about 4-5 feet away from me was one of the hawks that have been hanging around in our trees. I can't help but to praise God when he sends pictures of His amazing glory. And I've needed those with working 10+ hours each day. I'm glad that I have this job to help Tim and I kick start getting out of debt, but I dread being bored all day. Since the teaching positions were filled I'm now looking for an administrative assistant position. I really liked doing that right before moving from Texas. So now I'm asking God to guide me where he wants me, and for that to be a place where I will love it as much as I did my last position in Texas.

I wish I was blogging more often, but I get so wiped out after a long day at work. I had Tuesday off, but I still worked more than 41 hours this week. I worked 11.5 today, and I'm going in tomorrow morning (Saturday!) for another 4 hours. I could probably work a full day, but I'm exhausted and already dreading not getting to sleep in tomorrow. Pray for me. I don't want to wear myself out with all of this work, but I think I am. Pray that God will give me the strength and energy to work as much as possible through this job. I only have it through the end of the month, maybe a little longer. After that I more than likely wont have something as well paid.

I've been waiting a couple days to have some time to blog and post the picture of our hawk. I love it. I hope everyone is doing well. Pray for my great g'ma Z. I got a lovely letter in the mail from her yesterday and she just found out that she is anemic due to her age (she'll be 91 at the end of the month). She said she doesn't have as much energy as she use to, which surprised me to hear and makes me sad. I loved seeing her last summer for mine and Tim's wedding and seeing how spunky she was at 90. She was always on the go with us never wanting to stay behind to rest.

Okay, I need my sleep and spend some time with Tim. I miss him like crazy with working these long days. I get to see him for lunch which helps a lot. I still miss him though.

Wake N Ski

Almost every Sunday this summer our youth group has had Wake 'n Ski. We all meet up at someone's lakehouse and about 3 boats get together and take the youth out for skiing, knee boarding, wakeboarding, jet skiing, tubing, what ever is available and spend the afternoon on the lake. I think this has been a great ministry. It's a time for kids to learn things they haven't had the opportunity to before, and it's a time for all of us to bond over something we enjoy, and encourage each other with getting up and accomplishing what someone wants to do. We also have a devotional and eat dinner together. Yesterday I skiied for the 2nd time ever, and did it twice. I took a break inbetween to knee board, which I think is my favorite, but I wanted to ski to get the hang of it's a great workout, I am sore!

We have 2 new pets...well neighbors actually. Just yesterday we noticed we've got 2 hawks that like to hang out in our trees. If you look closely you can see one in the middle of this picture. The second one was on the tip of the tree, but I scared it off trying to go out a squeaky door to take a picture. They were up bright and early this morning squawking away too. It's really cool being surrounded by so much wild life up here.
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Random Entry

You know the game Frogger? Where you're a frog and you try to get from one side of the road to the other without getting ran over? Well, I know where they got the idea! Driving home tonight from grocery shopping I saw tons of frogs lined up on the side of the road and when I got near enough to see them in my headlights they would jump into the road! I couldn't believe it! I also saw one jumping back away from the road (smart frog!). I just hope those frogs won at the game instead of my car.

I went and did our monthly grocery shopping at Wal-Mart tonight. It's the cheapest place in town. Our fridge, freezer and pantry were pretty much bare except some pizza and random veggies. It's weird doing a months worth of groceries, I'm still trying to figure out what all we need to last a month so I'm not going ever week. We still get milk and bread about once a week though.

Anyways, there weren't many check-out lanes open, so I got behind a lady whose buggy was as full as mine, and it went fast! I was having a hard time keeping up with putting my items on the conveyor as I had room. Then the checker was really fast at getting all my stuff through too and for me to pay. After I got all my bags and paid I told the lady "You are really good at this job!" I seriously am impressed...I've never been impressed checking out anywhere. So when I said that she said, "Then go tell customer service for me." At first I didn't take her serious, but as I was about to walk away I asked for her name and said I do want to give her a compliment. So I went and waited about 5 minutes before I could speak to someone, and turns out they do recognize their employees who are complimented on doing a great job. So thank you Linda for being so friendly and great at your job!

Update on our Total Money Makeover. I finished the book this morning, and Tim is 1/3 of the way through it, starting this afternoon. We don't have TV anymore and took our credit cards out of our wallets thanks to Tim. Tim canceled Rhapsody today so we don't have our free music, but God has already blessed us. There is a free downloading music thing (Tim blogged about it.) that Tim has been waiting to become available, and it did today! Thank you God! Tim listens to music all the time at home, so I was impressed they he volunteered to turn it off. And we thought we would get the basic channels on tv at least...I tend to watch a lot of TV, but we don't have any TV at all right now, but I have some shows recorded from before it was turned off. My fitness membership isn't canceled yet 'cause no one was at the desk today, so Tim will have to go during the week during office hours when someone is available.

It is so nice that Tim and I agree on finances. And it is so exciting to know that we will be debt free soon!

The Total Money Makeover

Everyone needs to go out and buy "The Total Money Makeover" by Dave Ramsey. Tim and I met with a financial adviser in our church this morning, and I am so excited! He told us to read this book and then we'll meet again. Today was a very busy day at work for me, but I still got to page 79 in here. The other girl called in sick, so I had double the work to do, which today the machines weren't running smoothly, so I actually kept busy. But this book is so good I was reading it every chance I got.

We are putting off buying a house. We've only been married for one year, so we can stand renting for a while longer. But I started calling around tonight when I got home for other rent homes we can move into with lots cheaper rent. Turns out we're renting for about $200 more than we should be if we want to get out of debt. We don't have hardly any debt compared to most of America, but any debt is not good, and we want to get rid of it. So we already agreed on a couple monthly payments that we don't need, and will cancel. And we've got a plan on how to pay off our credit card and car note and student loans.

Last night when I was thinking renting for cheaper would be helpful I wasn't looking forward to moving so soon, but now after meeting with the financial adviser and reading this book, I am very excited. 'Cause the sooner we do this the sooner we can stop worrying about interest rates and save up to buy a house!

Grilling News

Last night I cooked 2 of my favorite foods. It was such a great dinner…random, but very tasty! I grilled corn on the cob and salmon. I have been craving grilled corn on the cob since Saturday. Tim and I went to a fair in the town near by, and I got an ear of corn, and wanted more, but fair food isn’t cheap. So I went to a produce stand in town and cooked 6 ears of corn for Tim and I. I ate 5 of them. He said he only wanted one or two, I did leave him the best ear though. Then the salmon was awesome. I haven’t ever cooked fish before. So I did a lot of research on line on how to grill corn and salmon the best way. I seasoned the salmon with lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper and dill. It was tasty! We still have a little bit of salmon left over, but the corn is gone. I was impressed too that Tim ate salmon. He’s not a big fan of fish, but I asked him before I bought it at the store if he wanted that or something else, and he said he would try it. I’m so proud of him!

At work they have had the radio going which is a nice entertainment while I sit and wait for the machines to get going in the morning. Today was pretty funny, I couldn’t believe my ears.

In Texas a mayor is trying to pass a law that sagging pants is illegal. There is a county in Louisiana that has already passed this law and it is 5 days in prison if you are caught with your underwear showing. Is there nothing else going on that needs more attention than this? Things have got to be going pretty smoothly if the law is worried about people’s pants. I remember this being something the principals would crack down on in high school. I'm surprised to see it become a law.

House Hunt

Tim and I went around town today with our friend Doug who is a Realtor. We looked at a few houses, a couple that are do-able. One that is really nice, but we're not sure if it's in our price range. We have no clue what we can afford 'cause we've never owned a house and know what all that entails. And Tim has the great point that what we can afford right now might not be what we can afford later on when we have kids.

The first house we went to the family was just leaving when we got out of the car. And the first person we see is a girl in our youth group. We were excited to see her and didn't know they were planning to move...out of state! :( So we asked when they're moving and she said, "As soon as our house sells. ... Don't buy our house." She is such a sweet girl, and that is sad news to hear that they'll be moving. So we walked around the house to look at it still knowing that we can't buy her house, 'cause if we did then that would mean she moves, and if we had any youth activities at her house her friends would all know it as her house.

We did find one really really nice house, with an unfinished basement, but we're not sure how much they are willing to come down, and we're not even sure what we can afford when we have kids. Trying to figure out expenses Tim text'd his brother Dan asking how much a kid costs each month and almost immediately Dan called back asking when I was due! :) haha! I just thought that was the funniest thing, it didn't even cross my mind that they would get that idea, Tim and I were just trying to figure out what we can afford for a house.

So I started researching some cheaper homes in case we're still above our price range. We've already dropped our price range by $30,000 from when we first started looking around. We'll see. I think we're going to meet with a financial adviser to get some help figuring these things out.

Baked Chimichangas

I was craving Mexican food yesterday and the only place to go for some good Mexican food here is my own kitchen. We always have left over chicken when I cook a whole chicken in the crock-pot, so I come up with different recipes to use it for. Usually the chicken goes to fajitas and chicken sandwiches.

Yesterday I was thinking about doing quesadillas, and went to the store to get tortillas and sour cream, but saw a can of cheese sauce for putting on top of burritos and chimichangas, so I figured I'd try to make chimichangas for the first time. I read the recipe on the back of the can, then did my own thing.

I saute'd onions and the chicken together with Tex Joy Fajita Seasoning. Then rolled them up in a tortilla and baked it for 10 minutes at 400. Then spread the cheese sauce on top and ate with sour cream and avocado. And of course we had the staple sides of beans and rice. I was really surprised with how good the chimichangas were. I'm still not too confident on my cooking skills, especially just doing my own thing, but this was great!

I didn't have to work today, there wasn't any data to be taken today, they're moving all the machines around. So I made quesadillas for lunch with the rest of our chicken and took it to church to eat lunch with Tim. The quesadillas are made the same way, except just lay a tortilla flat, but a little cheese down for glue (and 'cause it's yummy) then put the saute'd onion and chicken, a little more cheese and another tortilla. And I again baked it at 400 for 10 minutes. 5 minutes on each side. The church secretaries and Pastor Rol tried them and said they were fantastic. I am proud of myself with my cooking skills lately. :)

Pray for one of our youth, Tyler. He is in Panama with Global Expeditions and either got a spider bite or mosquito bite and is in the hospital there with a really high fever. That is the last I heard, there are a couple different stories going around about it, so I'm not sure what exactly is going on, but pray for his health so he gets better quick.