Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Many of you have already heard that Karl and I are expecting another baby. We've known for a couple of weeks, and we were unable to keep it a secret any longer! I will see the doctor August 21st to make it official. We are excited about this new development in our lives, and we hope all of you will share in that with us. God is good, He loves us, and we know He will provide everything we need. I plan to keep everyone up-to-date via our blog, so you'll need to check back often to see pictures and read about the latest. And of course we'll still be blogging about all our other adventures, as well as the mundane details of our lives.
In other news, Karl just received his "official" offer from the division here yesterday, so now we can say for sure we are staying in New York. We don't really know how long we'll be here. Karl is hoping to get a lot of experience as an International Program Manager, so he can further his career in the years to come. He has also applied to take online courses through the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University to get his Master of Science in Strategic Management. Fancy, I know! Please continue to pray for us as we are going through these many changes all at once. We will continue to look for a house, too, so please pray that we'll find the best one for our family. Thanks for all of your support. Everyone have a wonderful day!
Monday, July 28, 2008
We're looking forward to our new year, at least I know I am. I've missed the structure that our school year provides. There seems to be too much video game and Webkinz use when we're 'off'. I don't mind if the kids pursue their interests in that way, but it does seem like that's all they want to do these days. I have a hard time getting them to go outside...even though it's cool out. I have to say that it has been raining everyday for about two weeks so I'm sure that has something to do with it, too. It was a beautiful day yesterday, though! Anyway, we'll be using Bigger Heart for His Glory by Heart of Dakota Publishing with Logan and Hailey, adding the extension pack for Logan to extend his learning for his age. We will also use the reading program, Drawn Into the Heart of Reading, which was created by the same company. It can be used with children in grades 2nd-8th. Each level has its own workbook and books that the child will read. We will utilize our home library and the public library for a lot of these books. We will also use the library for many of the storytime books that are included in each day's lesson plan. I especially like the HOD curriculum because it is Christ-centered and it is all laid out for me; all I have to do is follow the plan. I like that. For Corbin, we will use Little Hands to Heaven, which is also an HOD product. It is their pre-k program, but we'll be using it for Kindergarten, adding Math and Handwriting, as well as a reading program. The idea is that he will be reading by next year, then he can move into the 1st grade curriculum when he's ready, and when we have to begin reporting to the state for him.So, this is our basic plan. I'm sure some things will change as we go along, but the basics are there. I can't wait to get started! I'll post some pictures once we do so you can all see how our days go.
Also, just to let everyone know, Karl's shoulder is doing well. He saw the doctor on Friday, and she has given him permission to do his own physical therapy at home. He's such a strapping young man! HeeHee! I think he's happy about not having to schedule appointments during work, but he wants to make sure he stays motivated. I think he will...he's gotten too used to his smaller, fitter body to let that go. If he doesn't do his therapy he won't be able to workout, and then he can't stay in the good shape he's in now. I know he'll do the responsible thing!
Saturday, July 26, 2008
While in the store, I realized there were several produce items we needed, so I wrote them on my list. Keep in mind, I was trying to keep it at or below $60.00 because that was what was left in our budgeted amount for July. As my list got longer, I began to think about what we may need to wait to purchase, and what we may give up to have what we really wanted and needed. Milk was at a decent price, $2.69 a gallon. We were paying 3.99 a gallon in Fl before we left! I knew we had some milk in the freezer at home, but I grabbed two gallons just to take advantage of the price. As we got down to the end of our list, I had already stricken laundry detergent and coffee creamer because we weren't actually 'out' of those items yet. We still had light bulbs and salad dressing to buy, with about $5 left in the budget. I had been tallying this in my head, but I knew it may cost a bit more because of taxes and my estimating. The salad dressing we prefer was priced at $3.89 and I knew I could make some at home that we all like pretty well, but I also knew we were getting low on mayonnaise, which is used to make the dressing! So, I took the dressing and put it in the cart, saying we would put it back if we didn't have enough to buy it at the register. We found the light bulbs, a 4-pack for $1.49. I then decided to put one gallon of milk back on the shelf, because we still had some at home. I was aware that this would probably allow us to get the dressing, but I wasn't sure.
We headed to the register, and our total before the dressing was $54 and some change. I told the cashier to add the bottle of dressing, and that brought our total to just over $58.00 for the week. I was so excited! We still have $2 if there is anything I need to get between now and Friday. I know that's not much, but I came in under budget. YEAH!
Some of you may wonder if we're really so strapped for cash that it has come to this...but truthfully I enjoy finding a bargain and challenging myself to meet the budget. It makes me feel that I'm doing something to help cut our costs, and I think it teaches the kids about making choices and budgeting. I also think I need to be a better steward of what God has blessed us with...this is my reasoning behind the seeming MADNESS. It's fun, so don't worry about us; we're doing great!
We start a new month on Friday, so I'll be trying to save even more in the next weeks. I'd like to see if we can cut our budget by $100...I don't know if we can. I plan to utilize some websites for coupons and possibly start getting the Sunday paper for its coupons, along with shopping according to the store sales...and hope to meet my goal in this way.If anyone has more tips I'd still love to hear them. And I plan to try to post a list of what I bought and pictures if I get some really good deals. Hope to hear from you all soon. Have a wonderful day!
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Still looking for more money-saving tips...
Monday, July 21, 2008
By the way, for those of you who aren't sure how to post a comment, here's what you do:
Scroll down to the bottom of this post. You'll see the word comments below the post. All you have to do is click on that word and it will take you directly to the comment page. Then, I will receive an email stating that I've received a comment. Once I approve the comment, it will be published to the Blog.
Friday, July 18, 2008
Thank you for your constant prayers and support. We love you all!
By the way, the guys at work have begun to work on Karl's 'offer', so as long as it's good (I see no reason why it wouldn't be) we are planning to stay here in NY. I will send out an email with the details as soon as we have discussed all that and made our final decision. Have a wonderful day!
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Corbin is so into being like Logan. He will dress like him...they do have some shirts that are alike. He always wants to eat the same things he does...he has changed his order in restaurants because he heard what Logan ordered and had to have that! He likes a lot of the same toys Logan likes...such as Legos, Bionicles, and trains. He says the same things Logan says. He will also copy, immediately, Logan's behavior. Poor Logan, he's always hearing his dad and I tell him that he must be responsible and set a good example because his little brother (and sister) is watching him. I know he didn't ask to be that example, but that's the way it is. Anyway, Corbin's been wanting us to cut his hair to look like Logan's for months now. We were holding off because his beautiful curls were really the last vestiges of his babyhood! He has all but left behind the days of cuddling with Mommy and Mommy kisses...I steal them anyway as often as I can! Alas, my baby's growing up.
Dad agreed to watch my kids while I went into another shop with Mom (on our never-ending search for marbles!). There was a large, animatronic dinosaur that they all wanted to see. Well, after a few minutes, Logan and Hailey walked into the store, followed by my Dad. Corbin was nowhere to be seen! When I asked the kids and Dad where Corbin was, they said, "I don't know!" WHAT!!!! So out of the shop we ran, and Logan actually found Corbin before I did. He was not very far away, and I think an older lady was trying to find out what was wrong (he was crying). As he came up to me and latched onto my leg, and I in turn grabbed him up and held him tight, I got the story. He DID NOT like the dinosaur. As it roared and moved, he slowly backed away until he couldn't see my dad or his siblings. My Dad thought that Corbin was right with Logan and Hailey when they came into the shop. So, instead of telling Paw Paw he didn't like that and getting comforted, Corbin tried to get away from the scary thing! He just didn't realize that would be worse. Although, he was very insistent that we leave right away because "it does it every 12 minutes!", and he did not want to go through that again! So maybe he thought the dinosaur was worse...Not a fun experience for me. We decided to leave the drug store after that, and head to our camp ground. I am glad we stopped there though, because it was fun to see and experience something so different.
The rest of our trip was fairly uneventful, though we did have to stay in a Wal-mart parking lot Wednesday night because the two camp grounds we tried were not available! Mom and I did get some shopping done, though. I think I slept the best that night out of all of them, believe it or not! I was afraid the generator and air conditioner, running simultaneously, would keep me awake. Nope! I missed out on the revving engines and squealing tires too, apparently...
We drove through the last bit of Indiana, and all of Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York the last day in an effort to get home. It was a long day, but I think we were all glad we didn't have to try to find anymore RV Parks for a while! And of course, the kids and I were so glad to finally be home to see Karl. Yeah!
We had a great trip, and we so enjoyed all of the sites and things we experienced. I would definitely recommend doing this if you ever get the chance. It was great! I hope you've enjoyed reading about our adventures, and seeing the states through our eyes!
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Well, I know someone that may be able to help you and me. Her name is Cindy Rushton, and she is a wonderful Christian speaker on a variety of topics. She is having an online seminar this weekend, July 11 and 12, 2008, Let's Get Organized for the New School Year. You may visit this site www.CindyRushton.com/LGO2008.html to read all about it. I hope you'll join me there! Let's get organized together...
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Here are some photos of us 'hanging out'.
We took three days driving across Wyoming…and looking for deer/antelope/pronghorns. I took out my mammal identification book (what you don’t keep one handy?) but we could never quite decide which we were seeing. There were miles and miles of prairie grasses, with mountains in the distance, and these animals and cows grazing….ranches, creeks, hills…it was amazing! On one of the days in Wyoming, we stopped at a rest area to walk the dog (yes, 3 adults, 3 children, and a puppy in an RV that sleeps 6 :0 ), and Independence Rock just happened to be located there! I had actually never heard of this place but we decided take a look. The kids had fun…they would have liked to climb higher on the rock, but without their daddy along to encourage me to be more adventurous, I declined. Next was the state of South Dakota, and green, rolling hills. It is absolutely beautiful, and I definitely want to go back with Karl and the kids some time. We stayed in a really nice RV park near Keystone, just out of Rapid City, SD. Because of our location in the park, the kids had the opportunity to run over to the playground area, and play tetherball without an adult having to go with them. Two rare experiences for them! We could watch from our site, which was nice. After we adults got some things settled, the kids and I took a walk up to the front of the park, where a mini-farm was located. It’s actually the reason we chose that particular RV Park. This place is called Old McDonald’s Farm, no joke. It was awesome! The kids were able to pet and feed calves. They pet lambs and sheep goats, donkeys and mules. They saw Scottish Highland cattle and Belgian Draft Horses. Yes! This 'little guy' is nursing; how's that for a BIG baby?
The next day, we headed out with Mt. Rushmore as our destination. We were able to find it without too much trouble, though the roads were narrow and a bit steep. We ate breakfast in the restaurant there; it was okay, but we had a better breakfast another day in a truck stop! We ended up getting our souvenirs here, and I’m glad we waited to do that. I picked up matching sweatshirts for Karl and I (corny, I know!), Hailey got a miniature mug to place on her shelf, Logan got a puzzle of ‘the guys’, and Corbin got a hat that says Mt. Rushmore on it. We got Karl a mug with ‘the guys’ on it, since he drinks coffee now, and we got him a hat. I bought myself a long-sleeved shirt that reads Mt. Rushmore on the front. By the way, ‘the guys’ is what I call the four heads that are Mt. Rushmore! We had a really good time taking pictures, and Dad and I took the kids on the Presidential Trail, while Mom sat on the viewing terrace. I’m so glad we did, because it got us closer to ‘the guys’ and we took some great photos. After our arduous trek, it was time for ice cream, and it tasted so GOOD! The scoops were large of course, and Corbin’s began to melt all over him, but everyone enjoyed every minute of the yummy snack!
Corbin was Oh! so tired by the time we reached the end of the trail!
Yesterday, we confirmed with our sitter the time for Karl’s surgery, and she was not going to be available…he had to be there by 9:15 a.m., and she would not be able to get to the house until 3:00 p.m. I didn’t really feel that stressed out about taking the kids with me, though I really didn’t want to. Obviously, it would be easier and we’d all be happier if they were at home playing! Anyway, after Karl got home, we ate dinner, and the kids were getting ready for bed, I went to lie down on my bed and think about what I needed to do to prepare for today. As I was lying there I was thinking about how much I needed to ‘pack’ and how I really did not want to spend the evening doing that….and basically feeling sorry for myself…I got a phone call. (We’ve been trying to take care of the details of renting out our Florida home, so I just assumed it would be another call about that, since we’d been getting them all evening.) However, when I looked at the caller I.D., I could see that it was a new friend of mine that I’ve met since moving to New York. This lady uses some of the same curriculum as me and I actually ‘met’ her first online through the message board associated with that curriculum. Then, we met through the home school group that I’m involved with here; she’s a member, too. How does God work out those details? But, that’s not the best part yet!
When I answered the phone we chatted a moment about how we’d been doing, etc. Then, she got to why she called. She told me that something prompted her to click on my Blog, just then, and when she read about Karl’s surgery, she wanted to call and offer to keep the kids for us. This is a person who already has four children of her own, ages 7 and under! A weight lifted off my shoulders right then, and I was so grateful for the offer. I didn’t even realize I was weighed down by the prospect of today, and keeping everyone busy, until after her offer to help. Needless to say, I took her up on the offer, and I was able to drop them off at her home at 8:00 a.m. this morning. Now, I can focus on Karl, what the doctors are telling me, and the calls I’m getting without the added distraction of refereeing children or trying to make them happy/keep them occupied in a waiting room FILLED with people.
I am so thankful to my God, and this is just another confirmation for me that He can fill our every need, even when we don’t realize we have one. There was NO ONE I felt I could call….we’ve met a few people, but don’t know them very well yet. Plus, the kids and I have been gone for several weeks, and have had no contact with anyone here; I didn’t want to call and say “Hey, I haven’t seen or talked to you for weeks, but would you like to keep my three children all day?” We have no family nearby either. God saw our need and He showed His hand…he loves us so much that He took care of those details for us by leading someone else to see our need and offer to provide for it. I am constantly reminded by the little things that God is REAL, and loves me enough to get involved in the everyday occurrences in my life.
Thank you, Lord, for intervening and thanks to my friend for following His leading.
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Trying to finish our NYC trip today...
'Ground Zero'...re-construction has begun, but there really are no words for how it felt to be there. These street vendors are all over the place in Manhattan. We did not buy from them but the food did smell good. We saw lots of these 'rickshaws' while in the city. It looked fun, but we didn't try it. Some of the prices I saw seemed awfully high! This picture of us was taken on top of the Rockefeller Tower, I think. I'll have to check with Karl to make sure I'm not mistaken. You can see the Empire State Building and the city behind us in the distance. No King Kong today. :) After many hours of walking on Friday, we were ready for dinner. We decided to find a Mexican restaurant, and were so glad we did. Cancun Mexican Grill on 8th Street is probably the best Mexican restaurant in which we've ever dined! It was very small, very loud, and seemingly very popular with the locals.The host was wonderful; he's been there for 20 years and he came by our table several times to inquire about our dining experience.
Below is a picture of our appetizer...green plantains (taste more like potatoes; ripe, or yellow, ones are sweeter) served with brown gravy. So delicious! Karl had Chorizo Casserole...something we'd never had nor heard of, but it was fabulous! I thought there was a picture of my dish :( but I guess I ate it too quickly for Karl to get a shot of it! I had Chicken Chimichangas, with beans and rice. I have to say the rice was absolutely decadent! (like my school words?) Usually, I like the rice, but it's a bit dry. This was perfectly seasoned and moist. My chimichangas were served with lettuce, tomato, sour cream and that 'green stuff' (as my dad calls it) on top.
Here I am with our gracious host...I hope to go back and visit again. This guy was show-boating Friday night. Saturday morning we went to Carnegie Deli for breakfast, and it was very good. Eggs, corned-beef hash, and rye toast with coffee. It was enough for us to share and we still did not eat it all. Sorry, we were so ravenous we forgot to take a picture of that meal!
After breakfast, we didn't have much time left in the city. We had to get back to the hotel before 2:00 p.m. to get the truck. Check out was by 11:00 a.m that day, and we did that before leaving. They extended parking, but if we were not back and gone before 2, we could have been towed. We really didn't want to have to deal with that!
Anyway, in an effort to save time and be able to see more of Central Park, which was our final destination, we rented bikes. Here is Karl being the gentleman that he is, pushing both bikes. (There were some paths in the park where bikes were not allowed.)
There were lots of people in the park...many walking, many sunbathing, and some playing Frisbee or baseball. There were also many other bikers or joggers, and several 'rickshaws' with folks sightseeing. Even though the city is visible in this photo, it was very quiet in the park and did not seem as if we were in the largest city in the United States!
The final shot of the trip....taken through the windshield...we were almost home.We're very blessed to have been able to spend our weekend away. Many thanks to Mom and Dad for taking care of the kids.
Sunday, July 6, 2008
Once we finished our walk across the bridge, we had begun to get hungry. One thing I wanted to do while in NYC was to visit Little Italy. We took the subway from Brooklyn back to Manhattan, then followed our map to Mulberry Street. We looked at a few places, and both Karl and I were captured by a little Italian man with a genuine Italian voice...and we looked at each other, basically both knowing this was the place for us; Cafe Napoli.
Our delicious meal...
Bruschetta, as our appetizer. This includes the typical bread with tomato topping, both green and kalamata olives, sticks of Parmesan cheese, ovals of fresh mozzarella, roasted red peppers, and prosciutto.
Baked ziti with eggplant.
Chocolate-coated cannoli, with chocolate-dipped strawberries, topped with powdered sugar. Yum-my!
Enjoying our Sangrias.
We loved our culinary experience at Cafe Napoli!