Monday, April 28, 2008

One Earring

All over my house you'll find one earring. Where is the other one? Usually in my right ear. You see, Miss Evelyn is an earring grabber. I often hold her on my left hip, and thus I am often missing my left earring.

When I am out and about, said left earring gets put into my right jeans pocket. At home, I tend to set in on a counter, a desktop or a coffee table.

People have commented on my nice "quick release" I call them, earrings. I have two pairs of hoops that have a hinged clasp that flips up to secure a traditional straight post. I have found both pairs to be great for my little earring grabber. The problem comes on the occasional day when I don't wear one of these pairs!

Bread Addiction

I have one.

Usually banana bread is what I bake. It was apple bread yesterday. I just finished my second piece for the day. I turned out well despite being out of walnuts to put in it. I try to limit my bread intake to two slices per day. I try to load it with lots of good things including: real butter (I assume it is better than oil...), walnuts (Omega 3), oatmeal (good for the heart, right?), and flax seed (Omega 3 powerhouse). I tend to add chocolate chips to my banana bread though. So, do you think that the chocolate chips cancel out all the good stuff? I tell myself "no!" I think that I like this bread because it is a clever way of getting to eat dessert for breakfast.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Goodbye tiny baby stage

Last week was bittersweet - I packed up some of the baby gear for younger babies - bouncy seat, Boppy pillow, and some tummy time floor mats. I can't believe that Evelyn is getting so big. I have so many fond memories of her in that seat and nursing her with that Boppy. It was also crazy to think that some day we'll be taking that stuff out again when we have another child. That whole concept is crazy!

And, since she was trying to sit up in her reclining type infant carrier seat, we got this for Evelyn!
(Hmmm...we have the bad habit of keeping the tv on a lot and not even knowing what is on because we are not watching it. That was occurring in this looks like our show had a guy with a nice mullet! :-)
Buying another seat brought more decisions that I hate making. Spend $80 on a Graco seat, or $270 on a Britax??? We opted for el cheapo Graco. I think it should be fine. What is so great about Britax anyway?

She seems to like the new seat. She did have her head slightly cocked when she fell asleep in it; but, I have seen kids in much more uncomfortable sleeping positions!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Try an alternative to Paypal

Refer A Friend using Revolution Money Exchange

So, there is a new way to buy things online other than Paypal. It is called Revolution Money Exchange. And, if you sign up by May 15th, you get $25 in your account!!! And, if you would be so kind, sign up (it only takes 2 minutes,) you will get me $10 in my account. I would really appreciate the $10! :-) And, if you don't want your $25, you could just give it to me! I certainly wouldn't mind having some free money to shop online with!

I promise, this is totally legit and secure - it is great! Watch out, Paypal, a Revolution has begun!

I'm cracked - again!

I had been to the dentist I believe December to have a crown due to the first time I was cracked. The great news then was that the dentist I saw said that I did not need a crown - that I could just keep the filling I had and see if I had problems. Great news - a savings of eight-hundred dollars!

I went to the dentist on Friday for a regular exam and cleaning. They said everything looked great - no cavities and no wisdom teeth removal for now (great news as I really do not want to have my wisdom teeth out. Our checking account cannot handle it, either)! Same conclusion by the dentist - wait it out on the tooth that possibly needed a crown. The filling might last quite a while. Once again, yessss - save some money!

Coincidentally the next night after a few bites of my Papa Murphy's pizza, I had a chunk of tooth in my mouth, too! The tooth decided it needed a crown after all!

I just came home from the dentist. They fixed it and I made the two appointments needed for the crown. At least I don't need a root canal, right? And, as an added bonus, today's drilling was free since I need to come back for the big guns in a week!

Today was also a milestone as my trip to the dentist warranted Evelyn's very first time not being with me or Jason. Yes, she is almost 8 months old and has never left a parent's company until now... What can I say, I love her! :-) If the grandmas lived closer, we probably would have done it before.

Evelyn did great! My awesome friend Katie so graciously volunteered to come to our house and watch her. Katie has an adorable little two-year-old, Kylie and is expecting number two! They took excellent care of Evelyn and I was so relieved to be leaving Evelyn in great care. I was gone for just under an hour and it sounds like Evelyn didn't notice I was gone until I got home - that is when she whimpered a bit and wanted me! I can't say it didn't feel a little sweet that she wanted me! Thanks again, Katie! I owe you one!

Now I am just numb-mouthed and hungry. I can eat around 1:00, so one hour to go! Kissing Evelyn feels quite weird with half of a numb mouth!

Home Sale Update #2

We accepted the counter offer on Monday night. It was not quite "our bottom line" price, but we didn't want to lose the deal. We are losing money on this house as we are selling only two years after buying it in a better market and we put quite a bit of cash into renovating it. But, we are trying to look at it like a break even if you calculate the amount we would have been paying in rent the last two years. We are just thankful that we have an offer and that we have a light at the end of the tunnel!

The closing date was June 1st on the offer, but we've since realized that is a Sunday. So, we are in the midst of figuring out a new closing date that is around the 1st. We don't know where we are moving! Jason has been looking at houses in the new city and nothing has really stood out to us. The hard part is that the market there is SO much better than it is here - we have been interested in houses but never were even able to see them because they sold within three days of listing!

Jason is looking at two potential houses tonight, so we'll see how that goes. We keep saying that God was keeping us from selling our home because our new house was not ready yet!

The inspector is dropping off the radon test on Friday afternoon and the inspection is on Sunday. So, we'll be even more calm next week when the results of the inspection come through. We just had an inspection two years ago, so we feel pretty good about things. Like I mentioned before, it is just the roof - we knew we would probably have to replace it within five years of our purchase and this past winter had record snowfalls and was really rough on roofs in the area. But, God is in control!

We'll keep you posted! Thanks for all the prayers, good vibes, and crossed fingers!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Home Sale Update!

We received an offer last night on our house!!! The offer was lower than we wanted, but we countered the offer and should hear back today.

So, please pray for us! Hopefully we can negotiate a price that works for us and then all we have to do is get through the inspection - which should be fine other than the buyer finding out that our roof is on the older side.

We will keep you posted! Thanks in advance for your prayers!

Jason, Amber, & Evelyn

Monday, April 14, 2008

Is that you?

In order to save money, we are working on a limited contract with our real estate agent. She listed us in the MLS, and we basically do everything else. One of our main "duties" has been hosting our own Open Houses every Sunday afternoon.

Pretty much every weekend we laugh as we receive the question, "Is that you?" You see, when you walk in our front door you see this:

I stand behind that small shelf area and greet people. Shortly after I reveal myself as the homeowner, this question is popped. People we know have asked us too, which makes sense as the guy in the picture does have curly hair and the woman has long brown hair like we do. But, it is so funny that strangers ask even when they don't have a clue as to what Jason looks like. I would seriously say that about 40% of strangers ask if it is us!

If I was more daring and not as afraid of awkward situations, I would just say "yes" to be silly! Our first date was at a coffee shop...but we didn't get as close as this couple! :-) We wish there was more of a significance to the painting. We just picked it out because it was affordable and it incorporated many of our colors.

Maybe some day we will be like royalty and have a painting of ourselves commissioned. For now, this one will just have to do!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The Church of Oprah

Please, please, please go see this great post that Sarah did last week. I sent her the YouTube clip that she posted on her blog - it is very interesting. Sarah made a great commentary about the clip and made some excellent points. So, rather than writing my own post, go see Sarah's and just know that I completely agree!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Someone Thinks She is BIG!

Riding a trike! "Please Mommy, Can I have one?"
Drinking like the big people!
Wearing "big girl" jammies - no built-in feet! My baby is growing too fast

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Works for me...Sunday version

Hey all, this is Jason...haven't posted on here for awhile so I thought I'd add a little something of my own flavor that isn't about cloth diapers, or baby poop, or baby things.

With all this driving I've had to do over the last few months I've found myself with a lot of time on my hands to think and reflect and to pray. I've also found this time to be the perfect time to listen to podcasts of some really awesome messages that encourage and challenge me as a Christian.

Since a lot of you readers probably have some sort of computer sense, I would recommend using the many great devices that are out there that can help you with your walk with God.

A lot of churches these days post their sermons online as mp3s or podcasts and are great ways to listen to sermons you may have missed, or would want to hear again. You also can listen to other great authors, pastors, and worship music from all over the world. itunes is a free download to your computer, so even if you don't have an ipod, you can listen to podcasts from your computer.

Another cool thing I've found is a website called "YouVersion" which is basically an online Bible that allows you to read and tag verses and journalize about how God has spoken to you. You can even share video, comments and more with other people.

There are also numerous devotional websites that allow you to have daily devotionals sent to your homepage everymorning for quick reminders of God's Word.

A couple of podcasts that I've been listening to lately that have really challenged me are:

The Village, Matt Chandler (my favorite)
Life, Craig Groeschel
The Mill, Aaron Stern

So, technology isn't all that bad...and can be used for good!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

WFMW: FREE Movie Rentals

We watch/rent a lot of movies in the Our Love Story house. And, there is nothing better than viewing a FREE movie in my opinion!!!

Here are my 2 tips for getting FREE movie rentals:

1) My Coke Rewards Points turned in for FREE Blockbuster rentals
All you have to do is save and enter the codes from Coke products. The codes are found on the rip off part of 12-packs and on the tops of 20-ounce and PowerAde bottles. I stock up on 12-packs when they are on sale and I believe that a free rental coupon (which does include new releases) it is less than the points on four 12-packs. If you are going to buy the soda anyway, why not get free movie rentals for doing so! See the official site here. You can also get other things like magazine subscriptions for very low point values. If you/spouse work somewhere that buys soda, take their Coke codes too and the points will add up quickly!

2) Checking out movies from the library
Many of you might already do this, but I always seem to forget I can! I go through streaks of checking out movies and then months of just renting. There are a lot of video/DVD treasures at the local library. They carry all the current titles and lots of older movies. If you want a brand-new title, just request it with hold through the library's online catalog system and when it is your turn you'll be notified to come and pick it up. Our library lets you keep DVD's for 7 days. This comes in handy when you have a baby and need to sit down an average of 4 to 5 times to finish a movie!

I also was noticing yesterday at the library a myriad of documentaries and "non-fiction" DVD titles. I even saw a series that helps you prepare for childbirth and some that were titled something along the lines of a "magazine on your tv" or something like that. Anywho, even if you are not an avid reader, you might find some of the library's DVD resources helpful and informational and not just entertaining.

And lastly, a plug to check out other more "unusual" library items - try checking out some new music/CD's for yourself or your kids. This is a great way to expose yourself and kids to new artists and genres. The local public library has so many treasures! In college I would actually check out ARTWORK at the local public library. (I am totally serious about this!) I had a nail above my couch in my crummy 1 bedroom apartment where I would hang my library paintings. The had a catalog of cards that contained a picture and dimensions of their paintings. You would take the card to the library checkout desk and they would bring back for you the painting you chose! You could check out the painting for 90 days. It was a fun way to don my walls for free!

Have fun watching your free movies and don't forget to check out other great tips at Rocks in My Dryer!