Esther 4:14b

"...and who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this."

Monday, June 30, 2008

What a Great Weekend

Hubby and I had a really great weekend together. I don't know if you recall or not, but we're currently living with his parents while we try to save a few bucks and figure out where the Lord is calling us to start our family. His parents were away in Maine this past week, so it's been nice to have the house to ourselves for a little bit.

Side note: Hubs and I have never actually had a place that is just "ours" since we've been married because my roommate and her daughter lived with us for a few months after we were married until she got married and moved out of state, much to my chagrin...I miss my friend!, to join her new husband; right after that, we moved in with his parents. Needless to say, we're very much looking forward to the day when we'll have our own place! I know some of you are probably thinking, why don't they just get an apartment or something? Yes, we can afford one, but there are not any that are in our town, and because my hubby is on the local committee, we must live in this town. And, seeing how we're not positive where we want to raise our family yet, it doesn't make much sense to us to buy/rent a house when we see ourselves moving in a year or so. Thus, the living with the in-laws.

Anyway, back to our great weekend. Friday night we had "date" night in. We rented "Definitely, Maybe" and "Cleaner". Both were really good even though we had never seen the previews. Oh, I want to plug Redbox right now. That's where we rent all our movies from and we have never had a problem. You really can't beat $1/movie/night. We normally watch them in one night anyways. Plus, you can rent them and return them at any Redbox location.

Saturday we lounged around the house, watched the Yankees games we had Tivo'd, got a few chores done, and baked some zucchini bread. We also received a nice surprise in the mail. We're trying to pay off the 2003 Alero that hubs bought me for Christmas in '03, and we thought we were down to about $2000 left on it, so I was saving up and was going to pay it off in a week or two. Well, we were going through our mail on Saturday and we received a statement from Wells Fargo (our lease holder) stating that our final payment of $197 was due July 12th! What an awesome surprise!! We went from thinking we owed $2000 to owing less than $200! Now, I can put the money I had saved towards paying off my final student loan and then we are almost done with our personal debt. Wahoo! To celebrate, we went out with friends that night for pizza and went and saw the movie "Get Smart". It was hilarious! Hubby and I were laughing the entire movie!

Sunday was church, preparing meals for his great uncle (filling in for his parents) which is a whole other story in itself, watching another Yankees game, putting up my craft table, and doing yoga.

Just a wonderful weekend spent with the man of my dreams!

I'm So Excited...

...and I just can't hide it!

Hubby and I stopped by CVS the other day to try and buy more SoyJoy bars before they went off sale, but they had already been sold off the shelves.

However, as I was walking out the door, something on my left caught my attention. What's that I see? A CVS card scanner that prints coupons? YES! I've been waiting for my CVS to get one of those. Now hopefully I'll be able to find even better deals!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Lord Provides

Hubby and I have been praying that the Lord would bless hubby's hard work and effort at trying to grow his firm and gain new clients. It's frustrating to see the money going out the door in a flood of advertising bucks, but only trickling back in slowly through small clients. I guess it does take people awhile to trust someone enough to hand them all their money to manage, even if they are well outperforming the market in every single one of the portfolios they manage.

This past week, I spoke with my boss and asked him if it'd be possible for me to change from working 9 to 5 Monday through Friday to working 8 to 5 Monday through Thursday. The reasoning behind this was so I could save on gas and have some extra time to work for my hubs and help him with his business. So, starting July 7th, I now only work 4 days a week!

While this was an answer to prayer in itself, the Lord is also answering our prayers in a different way.

Last night when I got home, hubby was on the phone talking with one of his current clients who is looking for someone to take over his bookkeeping. Well, I do the QuickBooks for hubby's business, the current company where I work, and one of hubs other clients already, so this would be a no brainer job for me that I can do from home. Plus, he'd pay about $500 a month (for only a couple of hours work a week) which more than makes up for the little bit I'm losing by cutting down to 4 days a week.

So, while we were (and still are) praying for the Lord to bless my hubby's business, He has provided a way for us to meet our financial needs in the meantime as well.

Last night hubby asked if I make enough money bookkeeping if he can retire. I told him, yeah, right! I want to be able to be a stay-at-home mom and wife!

Friday, June 20, 2008

By Golly It's Working

So, I forgot whether or not I mentioned that hubby and I started this new workout regime together about a month ago. It's called P90X, and let me tell you, it's INTENSE! We both had seen an infomercial for it at different times and wanted to try it, and when hubs' gym closed, it seemed like the perfect time.

The program is a 13 week long program that involves 6 days a week of 1 to 1.5 hours of kenpo, weight lifting, jump training, yoga (and I'm not talkin' your momma's yoga!), core synergistics, and much more that you do along to a DVD from the comfort of your own home. Hubby and I both thought we were in pretty decent shape, but we are sweating like crazy doing this thing!

The first two weeks we did really good at actually working out 6 days in a row and sticking to the blah diet (it's very heavy protein for the first 4 weeks which is to help you lose body fat and gain lean muscle). The first week I followed the "meal plan option" where they told you exactly what to eat and in what amounts. We HATED it and no longer looked forward to eating; we just did it because you had to. Plus, my grocery bill for one week was over $200! YIKES! That's almost how much I spend in a whole month. The hardest part of the diet for us was giving up the fruit (we were only allowed one a day) and the carbs (only 1 serving of that a day too). Meat for breakfast, meat for lunch, meat for dinner. How in the world does anybody do Atkins? Oh, and there were tons of veggies too, but I really don't like vegetables...give me the fruit! Surprisingly, cutting out the desserts wasn't that hard.

Well, the next two weeks life got busy and our 6 days of workouts in a row dwindled down to one every other day if we're good and we try to stick by the various servings we're allowed, but for the sake of enjoying life, not to mention my grocery budget, I cut back on how much meat we're eating and added in more whole grains than they say we're allowed and an extra fruit a day. Now, it's a little easier to stick to the diet, but I do admit that I no longer enjoy cooking as much as I used to because I can't experiment with new recipes because I have to be so conscientious of how much constitutes a serving and whether we've already had our quota for the day, etc.

So, where do we stand?

Well, I think it's taken us 6 weeks to get through the first "4" weeks of the program and technically we're only halfway through week "4". Hubby is a lot better about getting the workouts in than I am just because of all the different things I must do once getting home from work (i.e. 2 hours of food prep for dinner and the next day's breakfast and lunch, housekeeping) that sometimes by the time you're done you don't feel like working out. I'd prefer to workout before dinner, but hubs is too hungry to be able to wait until 7:30pm when I'm done and dinner's ready, so that's not an option.

I was getting discouraged yesterday when I took my measurements again and noticed that I haven't lost a single inch in one area. My scale has stayed practically the same. I know I've gained muscle tone because I can feel it and my spine feels a lot better and I have more energy, but the six pack abs, bicep vein, and heart shaped calves aren't coming yet (for me anyway...hubs definitely is!). So, why did I say "by golly it's working, then?"

Well, this morning I went to the dr. that prescribed the medicine that can cause my cholesterol to increase. When I saw her last month it had gone from the 174 I started at 4 months ago to 204! She said this was normal due to the medicine. Well, the good news is today I went in and I had my cholesterol back down to 178!!! I can't imagine what it's going to be when I'm not on the medicine.

So, is my body looking any different on the outside from this program? Not that I can tell. But, my heart is definitely thanking me!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Works for me Wednesday (Oil Change Savings)

**UPDATE: I stopped in last night for my oil change and the deal worked. I ended up having to pay more because I also had to get the transmission serviced (which was not a scheme Jiffy Lube was trying to pull...our family mechanic had told me last time he had the car it would need to be serviced next time I had it in for an oil change) which caused my price to go up, but the $5 coupon worked, I got a free carwash, and I asked for the mail in form for the $10 gas card and all worked just dandy.**

Last Friday the light in my car dinged letting me know that it's time for an oil change. I've been reminded of this every time I've turned the car on since then. So, today I decided it's time to bite the bullet and take care of it.

Not being loyal to any one oil change place in particular, I was checking around for the best deal. The places I normally frequent are Midas, Meineke & Jiffy Lube. I came across this fantastic deal at Jiffy Lube and thought I'd pass it on to you because saving money on my car works for me!

Jiffy Lube Signature Oil Change: $34.99
Coupon I received for entering my e-mail: -$5.00
TOTAL: $29.99

Also, my Jiffy Lube gives you a free coupon for a car wash at the gas station down the street. I need one of these anyway so that's great!

While the $5 coupon and free car wash are great, the best part of the deal is that starting today (6/18) through July 31st, several Jiffy Lube locations are giving you a mail-in form for a $10 pre-paid gas card from Amex when you purchase one of their signature oil changes. The card is good at any station that accepts Amex (you have to go inside to use it, though). The only exception is if you live in NJ and in that case you'll get a regular $10 Amex card which personally I think is an even better deal. You can find out if your Jiffy Lube is participating here.

Seattle to the East Coast

My sister, brother-in-law and nephew are slated to come visit us this weekend. We're going to spend some time at the beach, going berry pickin', and show Bennett that hot dog stands and subways really to exist in NYC, as well as all the other fun things to do there.

However, they're flying on my mom's pass benefits (my mom is a flight attendant) and the loads between Denver (the airlines's hub) and Philadelphia aren't looking too good. So, please be praying with us that they get on these specific flights:

Seattle to Denver: Thursday night
Denver to Philly: Thursday night red-eye or 1st flight Friday morning
Philly to Denver: Monday evening
Denver to Seattle: Monday evening or Tuesday morning

We only need two seats on each flight because they can hold Braden. It's important that they get in on no later than that 1st Friday morning flight because we have special dinner plans for Friday night. It's also important that they get back to Seattle no later than Tuesday so that Bennett doesn't go down as being AWOL from the Air Force for coming off his leave late.

I'll keep you posted and hopefully be posting pictures of our weekend together soon!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Updated Blogroll

Okay, so I finally got around to adding some of the blogs that I stop by on a rather frequent basis. I admit, though, I'm terrible about leaving comments because most of them I read via e-mail and don't take the time to open the actual blog to comment.

If you are a regular reader of this site and don't see your blog on the list, please leave a comment letting me know and I'll get it added shortly.

I want to put a plug in for Bring the Rain. If you haven't checked out the story of Audrey Caroline (her father is in the Christian band Selah) find yourself a comfy spot, a good cup of tea, some kleenex and get ready for a life changing story. You'll find the link near the top left of the blog to start from the beginning.

The Bucket List

Last night hubby and I watched this movie with his parents. It wasn't as funny as I thought it was going to be, but it did make us laugh (and my mother-in-law and I cry!) and was a good reminder to not waste any of your days that you are given.

Basically, these two guys both have cancer and end up sharing a room at the hospital. They both find out they only have a few months to live, so they go about crossing things off their "bucket list" - the list of things they want to do before the kick the bucket.

I know one thing on my list would be to travel to Europe (Italy specifically) and the Cook Islands. I'd also like to build a house with my husband. I'm sure there are many more things, but I'd have to think about them.

What are some things you'd have on your bucket list?

Monday, June 16, 2008

Ellis Island & Statue of Liberty

Every year my parents come out to the East Coast and we do something in our general vacinity that none of us have ever done before. This year we took a day to tour Ellis Island & the Statue of Liberty. Here are some photos from our wonderful day!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Creamy German Chocolate Cupcakes

Today we celebrated yet another birthday at work. I wanted to make German Chocolate cupcakes this time, and I noticed this recipe on the side of the Duncan Hines box, so I figured I'd give it a try. Hubby and I broke our diet last night to try one and they were yummy! They look so pretty too.

Makes: 24 cupcakes


• 1 pkg Duncan Hines® Moist Deluxe® German Chocolate Cake Mix
• ingredients to make cake according to package directions
• 1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese (I used 1/3 less fat)
• 2/3 cup granulated sugar
• 1 large egg
• 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (plus extra for tops)
• 1/2 cup flaked coconut (plus extra, toasted, for tops)
• 1 tub Duncan Hines® Creamy Home-Style Cream Cheese Frosting (I used vanilla because that’s what I had on hand)

Baking Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease muffin pans or line with paper baking cups.

2. Prepare cupcakes according to package directions. Spoon batter into lined muffin cups.

3. In a small bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar and egg; mix until smooth. Stir in chips and coconut. Spoon about 1 tablespoon cream cheese mixture onto batter of each cupcake.

4. Bake 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cupcakes following package directions.

5. Spread cupcakes with frosting. Garnish with toasted coconut and mini-chocolate chips if desired.


I posted the other day about the loss of two of our cows, a newborn calf and it's mother. Well, when I came home the following day, I learned we had another new bull calf born and that mother and calf were perfectly healthy. I was reminded that in God's creation and our spiritual walk, life always follows death.

The other update is regarding Marilyn Caraway that I posted about here. My mom called me yesterday to inform me that upon further review, she actually has NO broken bones, so that is a big praise. She was coherent enough yesterday to eat a piece of toast, but she has no idea where she is and no recollection of the time she spent in Africa. They are very happy with the neurologist (neurosurgeon?) that they are working with, but he did inform them that the soonest he would even think about letting her on a plane would be in two weeks because she does have some bleeding on the brain. So, she's not out of the woods yet, but the Lord is working small miracles and we trust that He will continue to do so. (I also wanted to correct a previous misstatment I made based on a misunderstanding. The daughter/sister who is a missionary in the Congo with her family is actually a missionary in Kenya, but she and her family are back in the States on furlough presently.) Please continue to keep the Caraway family in your prayers during this time.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Weird Dreams

Do you ever have a dream that is just really random and weird? I do and surprisingly it's often on the nights I sleep the best.

I'll try to share what I remember from last night's dream.

It all started back at ECA (Evangelical Christian Academy for those of you not familiar with this school) in Colorado Springs. Monica from The Homespun Heart was in it because she used to work there. It was summer time and I was in the office to visit my dad who also used to work there. I guess I must have been back in high school again?? I remember thinking how a job like Monica's would be nice because in the dream she had all the time in the world at work to just read blogs and come up with all these neat crafts and bake all these yummy treats.

Then, somehow I ended up being in a bike race that went all across the globe. I was on a team with Chris (who was in my class at ECA) and Melissa (who I worked with here) and we came in first place! However, during the bike race we had to go across this really, really high cobblestone bridge that had low sides. This bridge was about 10 miles long and about 500 feet in the air at its peak. While going over the bridge we were being chased by these bats and I was chomping on a huge wad of bubble gum and blowing bubbles. Somehow I blew 3 bubbles that all attached themselves together and became similar to a helium balloon and they started to lift me and my bike over the edge. I was peddling like the Witched Witch from the West to get back on the bridge before I fell into nothingness.

Next thing I know, I'm suddenly my current age and going out for dinner at Tavern on the Green all by myself. I don't know why I'd be going there for dinner by myself, but supposedly this was a regular occurrence. Because I was only one person, the restaurant didn't want to give me my own table, but instead sat me down next to this other lady who I didn't know, but had the feeling I would know her later. Well, the person they sat me next to in the dream was the lady who married my husband's cousin. And oh yeah, they had cherry chip cookies like the ones I used to get as a kid for free when my mom shopped at King Soopers.

RANDOM. That's all I have to say. Now, for any of you dream interpreters out there, care to venture a guess??? Just kidding. But, I do find it interesting how our dreams combine different things we experienced throughout the day (i.e. I read Monica's blog about her apple pies, I played "Dots" with Chris on Facebook, I read Melissa's blog the other day, the bats came from the snippets of Batman Begins that I saw with hubby), things we've dreamt before (I've had a very similar dream of the bridge and going over the edge of it), and things from our past (i.e. the cookies at King Soopers).

Prayer Request

This request is on behalf of my Uncle Mike, Aunt Lynn, cousins Casey & Shelby, and the rest of the Caraway family. My aunt, uncle (and cousins when they're not at college) are missionaries in Tanzania, Africa.

A few weeks ago, my uncle's one sister and parents went to Africa for a visit. My mom (my aunt's older sister) called me yesterday to inform me about a bad fall that my uncle's mom had the other day.

First off, my mom prefaced this by saying that we have no concept of what "dark" really is until we've been to Africa. Well, I guess it was dark out and my uncle's mom was walking out the back door of the house where they were all visiting and somehow missed the concrete steps and fell flat on her face on the concrete patio, breaking many bones in her face and other parts of her body and knocking herself unconscious.

They ended up having to call in a medical helicopter to fly her to a hospital in Nairobi (they're better there than in Dar es Saleem I guess). The latest report is that she's been unconscious ever since the fall and that was a couple of days ago now. She, her husband, and their one daughter were all scheduled to return home to the US this Thursday, and that is on hold indefinitely.

Please, please, please be praying for Marilyn Caraway that the Lord would work a miracle in her life and that she'll be able to return home to the US shortly. Pray also for my Uncle Mike, his sister, Cindy, and father, Bob, who travelled over there from the States also. Please also pray for his sister, Sue, who flew in to Nairobi from the Congo where she and her family are missionaries to be with them all.

Thank you in advance for your prayers on behalf of the Caraways. Africa can be a dangerous place (my mom and brother where in a car accident when they went to visit and as a result my brother was hospitalized for a week with Dengue fever upon their return and was on death's door himself), but God has called them there, and their ministry to orphans, those in need of medical care, and future pastors is spreading the gospel in more ways than we can imagine.

If you'd like to send any words of encouragement to the Caraways, you can e-mail them at: carawaymr (at) gmail (dot) com.

Part of Life on a Farm

**WARNING: The end of this post may not be
for those with a weak stomach.**

Yesterday I came home only to find everyone gone. Thinking that maybe they were still over in one of the hayfields picking up some of the remaining bales, I drove over there only to find no one. Curious where everybody was, I called hubs only to have him say, "I'm at so-and-so's, I gotta go, bye." Click.

Trying not to get upset at him, wondering why he's there when he told me he'd be home for dinner, and wanting to know what time I really should have dinner ready, I tried to call him back only to have it ring three times and get sent to voicemail. Now I'm really starting to get frustrated, but more curious.

So, back to the house I go.

When I walk in the front door, I realize my FIL (father-in-law) was waking up from a nap on the couch (I had missed him the first time I stopped home) and asked him why hubby was at so-and-so's.

That's when I got the sad news.

One of our two remaining momma cows had gone in to labor (her first one ever) and the calf must have been too big because around 4pm EST hubby found it (the calf...we don't know the sex yet) dead near the water trough and the momma had a prolapsed uterus and other things hanging out. The heat yesterday was unbelievably intense, so there was no doubt that part of the flesh would have already started to decay, and thus, reinserting the uterus after cleaning it off was not an option. A talk with the vet confirmed this.

Thus, the reason why hubby was at our friend so-and-so's is because he runs a, for lack of a better word, slaughter house and the most humane thing at the time was to put the momma down. Hubby was crushed by this because he loves his cows, and this one in particular was a real sweetheart.

So, instead of a new life yesterday, we got two deaths. Life on the farm. I guess you take the good with the bad.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

My Handy Dandy Tip

I don't know about you, but I'm notorious for putting on my Degree "strong enough for a man, gentle enough for a woman" deodorant, the black dress friendly kind nonetheless, and then pulling on a black shirt long before I've given it enough time to dry.

Then, while brushing my teeth, I look in the mirror and realize that my deodorant has left those unsightly white streaks all across my black shirt.

What's a girl to do?

Well, while reading my Women's Health magazine the other day, I came across this tip and thought I'd give it a try:

Take the foam off a dry cleaning hanger and gently rub it
back and forth over the spot until it disappears.

Guess what, it worked like a charm! I've tried using my hands, a wash cloth, splashing water on it and rubbing, and none of them have worked as well as the foam from the hanger trick.

Just thought I'd pass it on in case it could be beneficial to any of you blog readers out there wherever you are whether it be Malaysia, Japan, Germany, the UK, Canada, or the good ol' U.S. of A. Don't you just love the neat things SiteMeter tracks?

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Tunes for the Summer

I just found out about this giveaway on Rocks in My Dryer. Hop on over there and check it out.

Also, don't forget to check out WOW Hits 1 to view info on some of the songs/artists you might be listening to this summer!

Hoping 19 of you are the other lucky winners!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


Oh what a difference a good phlebotomist makes!

I have to have blood drawn every month for 7 months due to the medication I'm on, and I went in for #5 this morning. Yesterday my boss and I were commenting about our experiences with phlebotomists. I mentioned how I've always been blessed with great ones at the lab I go to and that you hardly feel a pinch and the three vials are filled in no time.

Well, I guess I spoke too soon. This morning I went for my bloodwork and OUCH! There was a new woman there this time and it hurt like crazy from the moment she inserted the needle until at least 20 minutes after I left. I think if I see her next time I walk in the door I'll turn around and come back another day!

The only comforting thing was that I got to swing through the Dunkin' Donuts drive-up on my way out of the parking lot and comforted myself with a poppyseed bagel with light cream cheese and Tropicana orange juice with lots of pulp. Not on the diet, but what else is a girl supposed to do when she's a "starvin' marvin" and has a seriously hurting arm?