Thursday, February 26, 2009

Happy Birthday Favorite Father-in-Law

Today is FFIL's birthday!

Tonight we went out to eat at a soda shop for his birthday.
Here are a few pictures from the night!

Opening gifts:
(sorry, I didn't have the flash on so all the pics are blurry)

Here's EC!

She was eating a lemon!

They're leaving in the morning. We've had such a great week with her and her mommy here! I wish they didn't have to leave! (And we wish Big Al could have come!)

I think she's really making that face because she's going to miss her Aunt Jenny and Uncle "Worker Man" :)

Happy Birthday FFIL! You mean so much to us! You are such an incredible blessing in our life and we are so grateful for you!

You're the best father-in-law I ever had!

(Well, that and the only father-in-law I've had. hehe.)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Financial Peace...

Worker Man and I started a Dave Ramsey class during the beginning of February and let me tell you, it is DEFINITELY working for us! There are many things about the class that work for us but I’m going to touch on a few of them that have really set us on the right track.

Dave Ramsey has seven baby steps to financial peace. We are only on the second baby step and it will take years to complete the program BUT the first step was critical; not only for our finances but also for our marriage. The first step is to put $1000 into an emergency fund. Now, this may seem like a strange step one but in order to achieve the second baby step (becoming debt-free except for your mortgage) it is imperative that you have some money set aside in case of emergencies.

Now, why did this work for our marriage? Well, Dave says that women have a security gland (figuratively) that causes major pain when there’s no money. But, when a woman realizes that there is money and that there will be food on the table and a warm house the security gland loosens up and you don’t even know it’s there. This is so true for me. When I see $1000 sitting in a savings account, I feel a lot better about us using as much money as we can to pay off debt.


The second thing that has worked for us is a zero-based budget. You can get it on his website for free.

The concept is that you will have every penny of your income spent on paper each month before it actually comes in. His reasoning behind this is that it is important that you control your money rather than your money controlling you. You will know how everything will be spent and you will plan that out before there’s “too much month left at the end of the money”.

Lastly, we use the envelope system. So, we take money out at the bank at the beginning and halfway through each month. We divide it into our envelopes (groceries, out to eat, clothing, entertainment, gifts) and we only spend what money we have in our envelope during the two weeks before we “refill” it. It such a simple way to keep track of how much you’re spending in each category. It also makes you spend less because it has been statistically proven that people spending cash tend to spend less money than people using a card. Typically 12-18% less! So, when your money runs out, it’s out until next month.

Many people think that this may be a little over the top but it’s really works for us!

Lent, no not the belly button kind.

Worker Man’s sister, Gretchen, is in town this week with my sweet, sweet niece, EC. Last night all of us were talking about Lent coming up. Everyone in my family has always given something up from Ash Wednesday until Easter as a way of recognizing the temptation that Jesus went through for 40 days in the desert. It is a very tangible way of recognizing the sacrifice that God made and the temptations that Jesus experienced by sacrificing something that is important to you during the 40 days.

Well, we were talking about what I could give up and my father-in-law mentioned that I could give up his cooking.

Gretchen’s response…

“Umm…no…I think that would be called fasting. And I don’t think it would be very healthy to fast for 40 days straight”

I must say, she’s right.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Upping the ante

Worker Man and his dad are currently in a Biggest Loser Competition. They are dieting for 3 months and the one who loses the highest percentage wins. If Worker Man wins his dad is going to pay him. If Worker Man loses, he'll have to work for 8 hours for his dad. It's a pretty good deal.
Well, recently Worker Man has lost a little motivation. So, I decided to up the ante. He really wishes my hair was short but I've been trying to let it grow out for awhile. I'm not ready to cut it but because I really want him to win this competition I decided that I would cut my hair as short as he wants if he wins.
I'm really hoping he'll choose a style like this:

Or maybe this:

Or even this:

Or, lastly, this:
(But only if I can have those legs and that fabulous dress to go along with it)

But I'm a little worried he'll choose something like this:

Or this:

Or even this:
YIKES, if he chooses this I'll definitely have to start doing my makeup like this so I can attempt to rock this hairstyle.

hmmm....maybe this wasn't such a good idea after all.
oh well, I ain't sceeerd.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Dave Ramsey might not be proud, but...

Yesterday I got quite an unexpected blessing in the mail. I worked at a Human Sexuality retreat for a church three weeks ago. The pastor of my parent's church asked if I could come help because they had a leader drop out. I agreed to come but was a little apprehensive about the retreat and what all I was going to have to say to 4th, 5th, and 6th graders and their parents. It actually went quite well.

Now, don't be stunned by the fact that they were 4th, 5th, & 6th graders. The retreat was more scientific and now it has become necessary at that age because kids start getting exposed to words and things at a lot younger age. They offer a more in depth retreat for 7th and 8th grade and then another in high school.

By the way, have you ever noticed that I prequel my story with some ridiculously long side note that really doesn't have a whole lot to do with my actually story? Whoops, sorry.

Okay, back from my sidenote of a sidenote of a story...

Anyways, my pastor said that the church would plan to pay me. Obviously I wouldn't expect it and even tried to say no. That was not the reason I was doing this. Actually, I didn't think you could even pay me enough money to make it worth the awkward conversations and words that I would have to be saying to a 4th grader that didn't even come out of my mouth, EVER.

So, I got the check in the mail yesterday thinking it would only be a little money. But, it actually was 5 times what I expected. That's right, 5 TIMES.

I knew that Dave Ramsey would expect me to log this into my "Unexpected Income" sheet and put the money towards a debt that we have or towards an emergency fund and that is what I plan to do with the majority of it.

But, I saw this on Songbird Tiff's blog and I absolutely couldn't pass up the opportunity to buy a little toy. It was even on rollback at Walmart!!

Soooo, I got a mini-trampoline!

Look, it has resistance bars AND you see the little black thing on the left? That keeps count of my number of jumps, my calories burned, and my time. Pretty impressive, huh?

Worker Man helped me put it together.
He felt like he deserved a little shout out since he stopped doing work on his computer to help HOLLER.

Worker Man snapped a few shots. This was the beginning exercise and I was already feeling the burn!

Next, a few plies or something (I never did take dance).

Clearly the video is not too high-tech. The whole thing, video, trampoline, and all was only $30.

Oh yeah, and I'm obviously not following the lady but I promise that's what she was doing right before she got down there on her hands and knees.

It just took Worker Man and few minutes to take the shot :)

Let me just tell you, it is tough! A lot harder than I expected. If I keep up with this from now until summer, I might not even have to go to the gym anymore!

Dave Ramsey might not be proud, but Jane Fonda sure is.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Yes, it's what you think it is...

I'm embarrassed to show this but....

This is Worker Man from last Sunday. Yes, last Sunday as in February 15th.

And yes, that is our Christmas tree in the back.

It has been sitting outside in our yard (to the side at least) since the first week in January.


I confess.

Glad I got that off my chest.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Works for Me Wednesday!

You know when you are about to head out the door and there's like 14 million things you need to grab before you leave for work?

Well, I have a "go bag" that works for me. There's nothing special about the bag (well, except that Teeter and her family gave it to me for graduation) but what's special is the purpose of the bag. The bag hangs on one of the hooks right beside our door.

When we get done watching a movie from the RedBox (that'll have to be another WFMW post) I go ahead and throw it in the go bag so the next morning it's already there to take back. Along with that is any mail I need to take to the post office, anything I need to return to FMIL or someone at work, and anything I think about the night before that I need to take to work the next day. The next morning, I grab my go bag and throw it in the car. This way I have everything I need in the bag. No more late charges on movies or forgetting to send mail.

It's not some fabulous secret, but it works for me :)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

How well do you know your Husband?

Here's a chance to see how well you really know your husband. The real challenge is to send it to your husband to see how right you really are.

1. He's sitting in front of the TV, what is on the screen? Duke Basketball game, Extreme Home Makeover, or one of the shows about fixing up your house to sell it (Can't remember the name of it)
2. You're out to eat; what kind of dressing does he get on his salad? Ranch (if he will get one)
3. What's one food he doesn't like? Spinich
4. You go out to eat and have a drink. What does he order? Food: Grilled chicken with cheese on top Drink: Sweet tea or Sprite
5. Where did he go to high school? Graham High School
6. What size shoe does he wear? 11
7. If he was to collect anything, what would it be? tools
8. What is his favorite type of sandwich? Plain turkey with 2 slices of cheese
9. What would this person eat every day if he could? Grilled chicken
10. What is his favorite cereal? Fruity Pebbles
11. What would he never wear? A sweater vest
12. What is his favorite sports team? Duke Basketball
13. Who did he vote for? McCain
14. Who is his best friend? ummm, Justin Long?
15. What is something you do that he wishes you wouldn't do? Get stressed out over stupid stuff or nag him to always be doing something
16. What is his heritage? no clue :/
17. You bake him a cake for his birthday; what kind of cake? A stawberry trifle like his Nanny makes
18. Did he play sports in high school? basketball, cross country for one year, and maybe baseball???
19. What could he spend hours doing? Working in the yard or playing basketball
20. What is one unique talent he has? He can fix just about anything.

Jump on in and take a stab at it!

Verse 4.

Well, it’s that time again!

I’m a few days late but here’s my scripture for the second part of February:

“Take on an entirely new way of life – a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces His character in you.”
--Ephesians 4:23-24 (The Message)

You can still join in. If you’re interested head on over and post your verse for this round.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Spicin' up 309.

In addition to adding new shutters, we also decided to paint the front door.
Here are some pictures of our progress:
The front door in between coats

The shutters that Worker Man's parents bought us

The kitchen window. We decided to buy the ones for the kitchen window so we could put them up at the same time. We're going to work our way around the sides but we felt like the front needed to go up all at one time.

I can't wait to put something in my window box. Do you have any suggestions? I'm not sure what I should put in there....

The finished front door...well, minus the door knob. But, it's on there now. I wish I could show you a picture of the front of the house. It really looks like a completely different house now. I am so excited about it :)

My Valentine!

On Thursday morning, I walked out my door headed for work and look what I found sitting on my porch!
(This picture is inside because I forgot to take a picture that morning)

Worker Man's parents bought us a Valentine's Day gift. We got two shutters for our house. We have been wanting to put new shutters up and they bought us the first two! I was thrilled :)

Stay posted because later today I'll give you some pictures of the finished project!

Friday, February 13, 2009

You are not going to believe this,'re not.

Worker Man and I have been car shopping for about 3 months now. We've looked and talked and looked again. On Wednesday night we stopped by the dealership to talk to Uncle Ray (who's really not related to Worker Man but that's what everyone calls know he has to be a good one if you choose for him to be an uncle :)

Anyways, we went in and talked to him about our options and what we were interested in. Again, for like the 3 millionth time. He mentioned that he could go ahead and get me a minivan. Well, you all know that that went over like a lead balloon. Come to find out Worker Man had mentioned my hate for minivans in an earlier conversation so Uncle Ray was just "jerkin' my chain".

When we got done talking, the dealership had already closed so it was just the three of us. We were on our way out when Worker Man stopped and turned the other direction. You know there are always a few cars inside the dealership that they have to display. Well, the one in the opposite direction was.....

you guessed it....

a minivan.

Well, I wasn't about to walk over there, since I'm a hater and all. So I just stood there with this look of disgust as he oohed and ahhed over it. Finally after asking me about four times to come just peek inside, I inch my way over slowly (in case it tried to bite or something).

I still had a look of disgust on my face. The gross sliding doors, the nasty hatch back/trunk thingy, the memories of being piled in a minivan....gross.

But then, upon further examination, the middle captain chairs swiveled around, a table set up so the middle seat and the back seat could play games or eat or whatever, the stow-away flat back-row, the track lighting along the top, the a/c adapter to plug in your computer or other electronics BUILT IN. The list could go on. But you get the picture.

Worker Man asked me to sit in the drivers seat. Not wanting to seem like a stubborn jerk to Uncle Ray, I slid in....

and then....

lo and behold...

...I became a lover.

I might be a minivan mom after all...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

she's still trying!

Look what FMIL showed up in last night!

She thinks a different color might change my mind!

Look at that face!

She really wants me to convert!

I hate to say it again, but I'm still a hater.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

our version of a progressive supper.

Worker Man and I decided to go out for our Valentine's date on Saturday night because I will be at a fitness expo in South Carolina during Valentine's Day weekend. We wanted to do a progressive dinner so we got dressed up and headed to Chop House Grille for appetizers. Our plan was to go to Chop House of appetizers, Olive Garden for our main course and the Melting Pot for dessert. Such a great idea, right?!?

Well, at Chop House Worker Man ordered a cup of soup and I got spinach dip. We ate this and then left to head over to Olive Garden. When we got in the car we realized we were both so full from our appetizers we couldn't even make it to Olive Garden for supper and definitely not to the Melting Pot for dessert. So instead, we went to Target. So much for our nice, exciting, progressive dinner.

We'll have to fast for three days before the next time we do this!

Monday, February 9, 2009

mother who?

On Saturday night, my brother and his girlfriend spent the night with us. We had a great time. Somehow I ended up telling a story about my dad's mom, my mema. Court never had the chance to meet her and I was telling her what an incredible woman Mema was. I gave her the title of the Mother Teresa of Shoals. Colby, my brother, then asks the question:

"Did she really live in a shoe?"

After about 10 minutes of uncontrollable laughter we explain to him that "The Old Lady Who Lived in a Shoe" was a fairytale and Mother Teresa was an incredible, real life woman.

Friday, February 6, 2009

the new doo.

Worker Man and I have toyed with the idea of me cutting his hair but we've yet to get our courage up to actually do it...

....until last night.

We bought some clippers at Target and decided it would be worth a shot. Although it was extremely interesting, it didn't turn out so bad.

Here's the prepping:

This is before:
And part of the way through. He was just a liiiittlleee nervous. And that might be an understatement.
He decided to take matters into his own hands:
And here's my battle wound. It looks a lot better than it actually is. It started bleeding pretty bad but that's just the price we pay for beauty. Or something like that, right?

And no, by the way. My knuckle is not the size of an average person's knee cap. But, I do admit that it looks gianormous.
Here's the finished product.

I think it'll get better the more I do it. It will definitely save us some money considering Worker Man typically pays more to get his hair cut than I pay to get mine done.

Dave Ramsey would be impressed, I'm just sayin'

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Another stupid banana.

A few days ago, I woke up around 6:30 am (when I didn't have to be up till like 8) to be super wifey and fix Worker Man a strawberry-banana smoothie. Apparently I thought it was a good idea to bring up the idea of us buying stuff to make these smoothies for him to take for breakfast. I didn't think through the fact that I would have to be the one up making it for him.

Well, the first morning after we got the ingredients, I woke up to fix this smoothie. The recipe called for a frozen banana so I had thrown the banana in the freezer the night before. The following morning, I grabbed the banana and started cutting it into chunks. Or should I say started attempting to cut it into chunks. On my first attempt with the knife, the banana slid out from under the pressure and shot across the room like a blow-dart. If Worker Man had been walking through the kitchen I would have probably had to rush him to the hospital to have it surgically removed from his thigh or face or something.

Needless to say, I had to recruit Worker Man and a massive butcher knife to handle the situation.

My advice?

Cut the banana into chunks and put it in a baggie in the freezer for the next morning.

The receipe?


* 1 cup pineapple juice
* 2 frozen bananas
* 8 large frozen strawberries, slightly thawed

Preparation :

1. Slice frozen bananas into slices and place them in blender.
2. Add pineapple juice and strawberries and blend all ingredients until smooth.
3. Garnish with granola.

Makes 4 servings.

Super easy and super fabulous. Unless your husband is unable to take three ingredients and get 'er done.

And by the way, I've come to the conclusion that bananas don't like me.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

She's trying to convert me!

I've always been very confident in the fact that I will not be a minivan mom. First, let me say the mom part is not going to happen any time soon. But, I've always wanted to drive a suburban instead of minivan. Well, G (Worker Man's sister/EC's mom) and FMIL claim that they will not have to convince me. They think that after we have our first kiddo that we will be convinced on our own that a minivan is the best option.

As I stated, FMIL claims that she is not trying to convince me but look what she made me drive to BSF on Monday night:

She was probably thinking, "If I can just get her behind the wheel and let her get a feel for it...there will be no turning back"

I think FFIL is in on it too.

I can see straight through that grin...

I must confess...

...I'm still a hater.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Verse 3.

I'm starting on my third scripture since it's the beginning of February! I'm so excited about it! Memorizing a new scripture twice a month is simple but it is incredible how much I reap from it. Anytime that I am stressed or frustrated about anything, it's so comforting to have these scriptures automatically come to mind. If it's already been this comforting and I only have two scriptures from this year, I can only imagine having 24!

Here's my verse for this month:

"No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it."

Hebrews 12:11 NIV

The last two were:

"The Lord your God is with you,
He is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with his love."
--Zephaniah 3:17 NIV

"He is your constant source of stability.
He abundantly provides safety and great wisdom;
He gives all this to those who fear Him."
--Isaiah 33:6 ESV