Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Tea and Sinuses

What a title for today's post, huh? hee hee :)

Today I am fighting back my sinuses from what I think is developing into a sinus infection. I realized that I have had a cold for over a week now, and am just feeling quite tired and rundown. I am also developing some sinus pain. The way I am going to attempt to avoid the doctor, is by flushing out my nasal passages with salt water. I make a little solution of warm water and salt, and put a little in the cup of my hand and snort it. It kinda hurts, but I think it might be working. I am feeling myself perk up a bit. I am also using a spray decongestant, because I can't stand how the oral medications make me feel. I'll let ya know if this works...

I am also increasing my fluids, which isn't hard for me since I love tea. I drink a few cups a day. I usually drink herbal, like Celestial Seasonings Red Zinger. But, I found an awesome black tea by Lipton called "Vanilla Caramel Truffle." Ohhhhh.....put a little milk and sugar in it, and it is a TREAT. It also has these cool, triangular shaped tea bags that are kinda fun......Tea is an experience for me. I love the comfort of the warmth. I sometimes drink from a special tea cup, but usually I like a big mug that I heat in the microwave....

Monday, February 25, 2008

The Cost of Working Outside the Home

I was thinking the other day how different it is going to be when I eventually finish school and start working. I am hoping to have a work schedule that fits with my family, but it's still going to be a big change. I feel blessed that I have stayed home with my kids thus far. They are little for such a short, short time, and I am so grateful that I haven't missed a thing. Plus, I know it's been good for them on many levels. Staying home hasn't come without "sacrifices," which I almost can't call them that. In our younger days, it was very, very tough financially, but God always provided for us. We didn't have nice cars, and we didn't buy our first home until we were married for 10 years. We're doing better today, but we still don't live extravagantly. There's just things we don't buy, and places we don't shop. We've learned how to make decisions about things we just don't NEED or HAVE to have. We have learned to be frugal.

I know it must be hard for moms who really have to work outside the home. I can't imagine how hard it is to drop that tiny baby off at daycare for the day. I wonder though, how many actually HAVE to work? I wonder, if they narrowed down their lives to just the necessities, could they make it OK? I read an article that brings it home. I will copy and paste here:

How Much Does it Really Cost to Work Outside the Home?

Many families say it's a matter of economics - that's why they have to work. But have you really sat down to figure out how much you are really earning when you go to work? Forget just working for free most of the time for paying for daycare, have you considered the other expenses involved with working outside the home?

1. Take a look at your net income after taxes and other deductions.
2. How much does child care cost?
3. How much do you spend on transportation? - consider everything - bus fare, gas, parking, car insurance, etc.
4. How much do you spend buying lunches, snacks and coffees that could be made at home?
5. How much do you spend on clothing for work?

When you add up items 2 through 5, you'll often find that the total is larger than the number in item 1. Even if it is smaller, is that amount worth having someone else taking care of you children? These are things you have to look at. Perhaps, you only have one child now, but consider if you have more children in the future? Your expenses can skyrocket. It's a matter of deciding what's most important.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

He Provides

On Saturday, Joe and I decided to purchase new appliances for our kitchen. Our fridge was starting to malfunction, as well as our overhead microwave. All of our appliances are about 10 years old, and we had been talking about updating them for the future sell-ability of our house. Since we probably won't move for three years, we thought we could at least enjoy them (rather than just buy new for the next owners!). Anyway, we shopped around for the best deals, and found a set at Home Depot. We also wanted a new washer and dryer, as ours are also 10 years old, and the dryer kept putting little burn lines on all of our light-colored clothes. But, we decided to wait on those.

HOWEVER. The very NEXT day, we were washing clothes, and the motor that drains the water out of the washer died. We have a washer full of water and wet towels. So, on Sunday, Joe and I went out shopping for a new set. Since we will probably take this set with us when we move, we went for higher quality than what we did in the kitchen.

Last night, I was a little nervous about paying for the washer/dryer. We had the rest figured out, but not necessarily the W/D. WELL. Joe called me from work this morning, and told me his company is giving them a profit sharing check. We kind of knew this, but didn't expect it to be very large. WELL. Come to find out, it is going to cover the W/D and then some. NICE!!

God provides.

On another note, I was thinking about how and why I feel a little guilty for buying better-than-bottom-of-the-line products. I guess this comes from our younger married days (and maybe my childhood), when we had SQUAT, and I worked very hard to scrimp by to have what we did have. Now that things are better for us financially, I have still have a frugal mentality. While I think that being frugal is still very important (I never buy anything full price, or fancy shmancy), I need to not feel guilty for buying a top-of-the-line product. Because, MAN, we bought this awesome vacuum cleaner a couple of months ago, and see, I have ALWAYS bought the cheapest I could get. THIS vacuum cost way more than I would have normally spent, but I have SO ENJOYED how it cleans! It actually fluffs up my Berber carpet downstairs, to where it feels fluffier under my feet, which also means it's sucking A LOT of crap out.

I'm realizing that when you do pay more for something, you really do get a better product. Once I have it, I enjoy that it works so well, but it's still hard for me to spend the cash. I'm going to admit that the washer and dryer we bought is a Samsung electronic front loader. It has stainless steel inside both drums, too. I can't believe they're so nice. I think I made myself feel better by not buying the "pedestals" that go underneath them, but I think I will end up buying them anyway. I want to get over the fact that we spend some cash on this W/D, and rejoice in the fact that God provided for us to have them. I want to enjoy the heck out of them.

Things are just things, and I have a healthy perspective on that. But, why can't I get over having NICE things sometimes? In the long run, I would probably spend less money if I buy quality stuff in the first place, rather than keep replacing crappy stuff. I guess I just remember having NO money, and the crappy stuff was all we could afford. And, I think about others who have great needs......

I probably should think about this in terms of a father giving a gift to his kids. Would a child say, oh dad, I would rather have a used, ugly bike than this gorgeous, shiny brand new bike? Probably not! And, probably, the dad would feel hurt that the child didn't want the wonderful gift the dad wanted to give. I think of the verse in Matthew 7:9 that says : "Or what man among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a snake? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!" I think the point is clear. God wants to give us good gifts! It doesn't always mean material things, but it sure seems to me that God would want to give us GOOD things!

I'm going to thank God today for everything that I have. Top of the line or not. The reason I have ANYTHING is because of Him. And, I'm going to work on not feeling guilty about any of his gifts.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Weird Dream

I had a weird dream last night. In my dream, I was with my counselor and she was telling me that I needed to be in a spiritual battle right now, or something like that. So, I was half awake, and a little scared from the dream, when I responded by quoting scripture and praying silently in this half-dream state. I kind of opened my eyes and looked around, which made me feel a little creepy, and realized my husband had come to bed at some point. So, I put my hand on his back, and continued my half-dream-state-praying-silently thing. Then, I started getting more scared that there was really WAS some reason I had this dream (was something in my house?) and was trying not to be scared, and trying to go back to sleep, so I just kept praying the name "Jesus," over and over again until I fell asleep. As I kept praying His name, though, I got less and less scared and actually more confident. That part was cool.


Thursday, February 21, 2008

Hello People

Hello People. I know! It's been awhile. Ben is all recovered from his surgery, and things are looking good. He even has half of a front tooth that seems like it keeps coming in more and more each day. No other teeth in sight yet, but I'm hoping we'll see them soon.

Melanie finished her gymnastics season at the high school. Her team actually went all the way to the State championships, which has made history for their school. The top six girls went to districts, and after that, the top two went the rest of the way. Melanie wasn't in those top girls, but she hopes to work her way there in the next three years. We're going to look into her working out at a local gym during the off-season, so she can continue to work on her skills. I think we figured out that we're not the kind of people to make our lives all about gymnastics, so she won't be on any local club teams. Being on the high school team seemed just about right, and I'm happy for Melanie....I took her to her final banquet last night, and she received some awards and encouragement from the coaches and her teammates. She even lettered!!

Amanda has been plugging along in her college classes. She is taking three at the college, and orchestra class at the high school. The goal is to graduate from high school with her associate's degree, so it takes careful planning. Amanda just competed in a district-wide solo/ensemble contest, where she played a duet with her friend. They ended up taking first alternate for State!!

As for me, I've been studying my butt off. I've had to make up for a little lost time (during Ben's surgery), but I think I did quite well on the A&P exam (on the respiratory and digestive systems) I just took yesterday. I also gave my second speech in my other class and got 100%!! I figured out that I like to give speeches, I just hate all the preparation. Of course, it all pays off when you get up there and sound really smart, I just find that I want to be a little lazy when it comes to that. Then, I snap to it, and it feels good.

I will be registering for Spring Quarter in a couple of days. I will be taking Psychology on-line, and then I will also be taking the Certified Nursing Assistant course required by my Ultrasound program. I am NOT looking forward to this, as we have to go to nursing homes and care for the elderly. That means wiping some butts. NOT what I want to do. It kind of ticks me off that they are requiring me to take this course, as this is not the line of work I am interested in, but I suppose the first aid and lifting techniques will be useful in my future job. I also thought that, if, for some reason, I don't get into the program, I could always earn some money working as a CNA while I wait to apply again. Maybe. I don't know. I'm kind of thinking that, if I don't get accepted into the program, I might do something else. I could use your prayers on this. I am counting on God to re-direct me, if that's what He wants to do. I think I will ask Him to not have me be accepted into the program if he doesn't want me to do it. If I don't get accepted, I may consider pursuing my bachelor degree.....I've been wondering about counseling...We'll see what God reveals. I totally trust that He'll show me and open doors.....

I have a yucky cold right now. My whole family seems to have a version of it. I'm glad it waited until after my last speech and test. It's been cold here, but we've had some sunshine. That always improves the mood. It was even clear enough to see the lunar eclipse last night. That was really neat.

Well, I think I've got you all up to date on the happenings in my life. I have a ton of thoughts rambling around in my brain at all times, and maybe I can take the time to share some of those soon....

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Reality Check

Wow. I just finished reading a post from Anne Jackson. Please click on the link "Flower Dust" on my sidebar and read today's post. She is on a trip to Uganda at the moment, and has taken some pictures of some living conditions and people they have spoken with. She also shares the story of a woman. It's quite a reality check for all of the things that we think are stressful and hard. It's a keen reminder that there are people who need our help. I am going to talk to my family about sponsoring a child. Check out Anne's website for a link where you can sponsor a child in another country who desperately needs money just to go to school......

Saturday, February 9, 2008

All I Want For Christmas Is.....

Bible Study

I have to add this post today, to tell you about the Bible study. Yes, I went. It is a Beth Moore study on Psalms. There are about 500 women who attend, watch the video, and then split off into little groups all over the campus. I really enjoyed the video and I like my little group, too. In fact, one of the women happens to be a good friend of mine. It was a big step for me, but a necessary one. I shouldn't have allowed myself to go so long without connecting to people at my church. That fact is, I need people. I need the support right now.

God orchestrated this thing, and I'll tell you the quick version of that. First, I had gone down to the church office for prayer one day. The pastor's wife was there, and encouraged me to come to the Bible study, and asked if she could pass on my number to one of the leaders, named Ruby. I said yes, and the leader called me a day or two later. I was really needing to talk to someone, when I discovered Ruby's number on my cell. She had just called, so I called her back. I sat in the grocery store parking lot and talked to her for an hour. Then, she prayed for me. It felt SO good. When I told my friend that I was coming to the study, and that my leader's name was Ruby, she said "that's my leader!" My only friend at that church, and she and I happen to be in the same group! Sounds like a God-cidence to me. I should also mention that I had just prayed for a, that's how I ended up at the Bible study. Keep praying for me...

It's Over

It's Over. That feels good to say! Ben had his oral surgery on Thursday morning, and is doing great today. I have not been great, anticipating this whole thing, and waiting in the waiting room during the TWO hour surgery did not help alleviate any of my chest pain. BUT- HE is fine, and that's all that matters to me. The doc removed four supernumerary teeth (extra baby teeth) that were up in his upper jaw, as well as four more baby teeth on top so the permanents can have an easier time coming in. Ben asked him to save the teeth, and they put most (some were too broken) of them in an envelope. He couldn't wait to cash in!

I can't tell you how good it felt to finally see them walking my boy out to us in the patient pick-up room. I helped him to the car and into his booster. He started whimpering and did so all the way home. We had to stop by the pharmacy for his meds, but when they said it would be a half hour wait, we grabbed him a milkshake and took him home. He was really sounding miserable. He was also a little awnry. I got him to eat his milkshake, which he said was "yucky," even though I got him to eat most of it. He also got very mad when I put on "High School Musical 2," instead of High School Musical 1." I slipped him some Tylenol with Codeine, and he slept for the next four hours, anyway. He remembers nothing about the day. He doesn't even remember going to the doctor's office, thanks to the Valium. I think parents should get Valium, too. It only seems fair.

After he woke up, he started vomiting. All that work to fill up his tummy, and there it went. I finally figured out it was the Tylenol with Codeine, so we discontinued that. I was so worried that he would end up in a lot of pain, but no! As a matter of fact, I have not had to give him ANY pain meds, not even regular Tylenol. After an extensive oral surgery, he has not complained of any pain. I think that is very weird. The doc says that young children and the elderly do very well with oral surgery, and often don't need the meds afterwards. Wow.

Today is the third day, which is supposed to be a typical bad day after surgery. Not so with Ben, and I thank the Lord for that! The only thing he got a little upset about today, was that his stitches were coming out and bothering him. I was told that I could cut them, but I think it scared him a little bit. I got my sewing snippers out, and they worked just fine. Anyway, the hardest part today, is keeping him sitting or lying down and keeping him fed! He is on a fairly liquid/soft diet, and I don't think it's filling him up, so he is constantly asking for something.

I thank God for watching over my son and keeping him safe during such a long surgery. There is still some concern about the teeth that will be coming in, but I will continue to trust the Lord with those. God watches out for our babies, and I am SO thankful.

Today, I bought the requested "Mars Mission" Legos with Ben's tooth fairy money. I also got him one of those fuzzy posters to color, with the hope of keeping him sitting down. I also rented a couple of movies for him, so I think he's got enough to keep him busy.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


My son is downstairs playing with one of his buddies. His buddy said, "Oh my G__." So, Ben says, "Could you say 'Oh my gosh', please?"

Isn't that cool?

Life's Guarantee

Hi. I feel funny because I'm typing this post at my college computer lab. It's weird to be somewhere else, other than my home office. Anyway, I just wanted to post a poem for myself. It's a poem I've posted before, but it's my life right now. Life just isn't perfect, and people aren't either. All you can do is what YOU can do, and that's it. Maybe we should be reminded of this everyday. That we do not live in Heaven yet, I mean. People are going to do mean things to us. We're going to make mistakes. People will get sick. Your kids will have supernumerary teeth (oh, wait, that's just me). Maybe if we can let go of the fact that we are GUARANTEED to have sucky stuff happen, it won't hit us so hard when it happens (oh, wait, that's me, too). It's at times like this when a certain four-letter word is the best word I can think of to describe my existence to date. It starts with an "S," if you'd really like to know. Anyway, I'm just hangin' on to God and chocolate. That's all I can do. Here's the poem:

Life Ain't No Crystal Stair
Langston Hughes

Well, son, I'll tell you:
Life for me ain't been no crystal stair.
It's had tacks in it,
And splinters,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor --
But all the time
I'se been a-climbin' on,
And reachin' landin's,
And turnin' corners,
And sometimes goin' in the dark
Where there ain't been no light.
So boy, don't you turn back.
Don't you set down on the steps
'Cause you finds it's kinder hard.
Don't you fall now --
For I'se still goin', honey,
I'se still climbin',
And life for me ain't been no crystal stair.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Mountaintops, Valleys and one Tidbit

My mountaintops today:

*I received a 92% on my A&P test I got back today! YAHOO FOR ME!! I'm so proud of myself.
*I made a new friend (over the phone!) and I am going to go to a women's Bible study on Wednesday night. Big step for me, but God orchestrated my "meeting" this lady, so I have to go!
*I went with my gut and made the right choice and took my son to the doc today. I skipped classes, but my teachers are working with me and a fellow student is giving me her notes.
*I helped my daughter decide on her high school classes she will be taking next year.
*I finished my taxes, and am getting a nice refund.
*My blog friend said she is praying for me, and my new friend from church prayed for me over the phone. It feels so good!

My valleys:

*My son's throat culture was positive for strep throat.
*My son is also having oral surgery on Thursday.
*I think a relationship is pretty much ending today (no, not me and my husband). This person recently attacked me unfairly (via email no less), and refuses to speak with me about it in a healthy way to resolve it. The whole thing makes no sense in the first place, and without the person being willing to talk about it, I see no hope.
*I'm having lots of chest pain.


All you moms out there might want to know a symptom of strep throat that I didn't know before! My experience with my other kids was pretty classic: fever, sore throat, bright red throat, headache and stomachache. But my son's symptoms went like this: he only complained of a sore throat. His glands on his neck were swollen and sore also. He did not have a fever. His throat didn't even look bright red. He acted normally. The only thing I noticed were these tiny, red dots on the back of his throat. The doc said that's indicative of strep! Who knew?

Hi, I'm Jodi.

Hi, I'm Jodi and I'm a Chocoholic.

Sunday, February 3, 2008


I guess I have been tagged by "mix'd equally," (see link on the sidebar). Here's what I'm supposed to do:

The Rules:-
Pick up the nearest book of 123 pages or more.
Find Page 123.
Find the first 5 sentences.
Post the next 3 sentences.
Tag 5 people.

Here's mine:

"Well," said Mack sarcastically, sitting back in his chair. "We sure seem to have adapted pretty well to it."
Sarayu was quick to reply, "Don't confuse adaptation for intention, or seduction for reality."
"So then, ah, could you please pass me a bit more of those greens? So, then, we've been seduced into this preoccupation with authority?"

-"The Shack," by William P. Young

If you read this, you have been tagged!! You may leave your post as a comment here! :)

Winter Formal

Amanda and Brett had their Winter Formal dance last night. One of their friends' parents hosted a dinner for their group, and a lot of the moms came over to take pictures. The kids' faces were hurting from smiling so much. HAHA! :)

They set such a pretty table, and the food smelled so GOOD! The mom wrote each person a little note and left it on their plate - how cute!

This family had a huge, beautiful home. This staircase made a perfect setting for a group picture.

Amanda borrowed a dress from her friend, and we bought her some new shoes. Amanda always looks good in halter dresses. Brett opted to dress in all black with a silver tie to match the silver glitter in Amanda's dress. I think they looked pretty great!