Saturday, August 28, 2010

Southern Gentleman

I saw this article on another blog and just LOVED it.  I can't tell you how many times I've said this same thing.

Ways to Charm Her
Southern Living, July 2009
By Amy Bickers
“Want to impress a Southern girl? Just think “What would my grandfather have done?”

Number one: We still expect you to give up your seat for a lady. On a bus, at a bar, on a train. . . we don’t care where you are. Unless you are at a restaurant and the only lady in sight is the one taking your order, stand up.

We still expect you to…

  1. Stand up for a lady. Actually, this doesn’t just involve chairs.
  2. Know that the SEC has the best football TEAMS IN THE NATION. Big 12 fan? Hmm, perhaps you should keep walking.
  3. Kill bugs. Delta Burke as Southern belle Suzanne Sugarbaker on Designing Women said, “. . .Ya know, when men use Women’s Liberation as an excuse not to kill bugs for you. Oh, I just hate that! I don’t care what anybody says, I think the man should have to kill the bug!”
  4. Hold doors open.  This goes for elevator doors too.
  5. Fix things or build stuff. I once watched in awe as my stepfather built a front porch on the house he shares with my mother. He knew just what to do, cutting every notch, hammering every nail. The project was complete by sunset.
  6. Wear boots occasionally. Not the fancy, l-paid-$l,000-for-these kind. We’re talking about slightly mud-crusted, I-could-have-just-come-in-from-the-field boots.
  7. Take off your hat inside.
  8. Grill stuff.
  9. Call us. If you want to ask us out, don’t text and don’t e-mail. Pick up the phone and use your voice.
  10. Stand when we come back to the dinner table. ”Just a little half-stand is enough to make me melt,” my friend Stephanie says.
  11. Pull out chairs. Wait, that’s not all. Scoot them back in before we hit the floor.
  12. Pay the tab on the first few dates. ”If you ask me out, you pay,” Stephanie says. “If I ask you out, you should still pay.” Listen, guys, it’s just simpler this way.
  13. Don’t show up in a wrinkled, untucked shirt. Care about your appearance but not too much. Don’t smell better than we do. Don’t use mousse or gel. You shouldn’t look like you spend more time in front of the mirror than we do.
We’ll leave the long list to the girl who falls in love with you.

This is so true.  LOVE IT!!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Back to School

EMS classes started on Tuesday, and I'm LOVING them.  I must admit that going back to college has been somewhat of culture shock.  It's fun though and awesome for my sense of humor.

Something else I didn't expect was that my classes would be as physical as they are this early into things.  I've known that EMS is a physical and demanding type of work but I had no idea that we would be already be training with stretchers, backboards, and mannequins.  I will NOT let that stretcher get the best me.  I don't care how sore my hamstrings, biceps, and triceps are.  I'm SO thankful that Jesse dared me to that 5K and that I am into an exercise routine.  I think I'm gonna need it.

Clayton and I are having to adjust to a new routine.  I have to be up by 5:30 and gone from the house by 6:40/6:55(depending on the day).  That's crazy early for us.  I've always had to be at work at 9am or later so getting up this early is also a form of culture shock.

Because I got up at 5:30, then lifted the stretcher with 160lb mannequin about 1,000 times today, walked/ran 2 miles, and then hung out with my boys for a while I'm tired.

And to all a good night.

Last week when I posted about Qing, the questions was asked about where I found the coupons that I uses.  There are lots of places to get Q's but the 2 that I use the most are the Internet(and I don't get a whole lot from the web) and the Sunday paper.  The trick to the Sunday paper is getting the absolute larges one available in your area.  I buy the Charlotte Observer.  And for those of ya'll that don't know where I live, Charlotte NC is 80 miles from where I live.  Our local paper is a waste of time for Q's.  If(and that's a big IF) they even have Q's it's NEVER more than one packet.  And when I buy papers on Sunday(actually Chad does this while I wait in the car, SWEET!), I buy 3.  I can stock up well enough for our family with 3 Q's for any particular item.  I hope that helps.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Random Update

Here's a list of what we accomplished/participated in this weekend.  It was a marathon, but they all are.

  • Our youth dug up(I really don't know how else to say that) potatoes for a children's home in TN.
  • Helped clean the fellowship hall at church.
  • Cookout(the restaurant)
  • Put together a a cabinet for our new Backpack program at church(actually Chad and another guy(THANKS!!) did this while I did something else)
  • Unpacked all the backpacks(I'm so very excited about this program we're privileged to be a part of).
  • With Mom's help made the bulletin board for church.
  • Went to Blowing Rock with my brother and SIL.  
  • Resisted the urge to buy a Coach bag.
  • Went to Makoto's for the first time.  Loved it!
  • Held a red head for the entire dinner because he FREAKED OUT during the fire portion of the show.  Seriously, he was so over it.
  • Resisted the urge to buy a Coach bag for the 2nd time in 1 day.  It was difficult but somehow I managed.
  • Got really confused in the Van Heusen outlet.  I buy most of Chad's clothes so men's clothes aren't a strange thing to me, but this store always stresses me out.  I think I had hives when we left.
  • Walmart
  • Church(I had to give a mini presentation about the Backpack program, a little less stressful than the Van Heusen store).
  • Held a sleeping boy all the way through service.  SMILE!
  • Lunch
  • Worked on Backpack program again.  Actually, Mom did the work and I just agree with her calculations.  That's how we roll.
  • Caramel Frappe'
  • Youth(with some awesome white chocolate covered pretzels)
  • Nursery.  We had the most amazing kids on Sunday night.  They were so much fun.  If nursery could only be that easy every time I was in there.
  • Cookout(again the restaurant)(It's new, can you tell?)
  • Walmart(again, GROWL)
  • Home
  • Bed
That's pretty much an average weekend for us.  Most people look forward to Saturday, we look forward to Monday.

On another note, school(EMS classes, finally) start tomorrow.  I'm excited.  I have my backpack packed, lunch box ready, and pencils sharpened.  I'm such a big nerd.  There's a million things on my to-do list for today so I'm outta here.  I wonder if I could talk Chad into a new outfit for school?

Friday, August 13, 2010

Jesse and Amy Teaser

We went to a wedding at the beach.  After the nuptials we pranced around the beach and I was able to take some pics of my favorite brother and my favorite brother's wife.  I've been hanging on to these about 6 weeks before I've had time to play with them and edit them.  But now they're finished.  And now I have to work on the pics I took of Mom and Dad.  I'm really slow at editing.  I'm still learning.  Anyway, J and A are the 2 most photogenic people I think I've ever known(except for Clayton of course).  They always take a great picture.  That makes my job really easy.

And my most favorite one of all.  Love this next pic.  It just highlights who they are.
Love you guys!

Thursday, August 12, 2010


One night last week after one of the Bible Conference services I was talking with a couple of absolutely adorable ladies about how couponing works for our family.  I told them our budget and what I spend every week and how I did it.  After mulling it over I thought I would share with everyone how this Qing thing works.

My Budget:
*That $60 includes our food, soda/pop(or whatever ya'll want to call it), diapers and wipes, tolietries, and cleaning supplies.

Yes I stick to this almost every single week.  On the occasion that Harris Teeter(because they're the only store in my area that does this kind of thing) is having a Triple Coupon or Super Doubles event I will throw the budget out the window so that I can stock up on things at the lowest possible price.  After all, a budget(which is a handy thing to have) is like the speed limit.  It's more of a suggestion that a requirement.  Don't tell our local law enforcement that I said that.  And yes I do stick to the speed limit.  Mostly.  Moving on. 

On a normal week I will only spend about 3-4 hours total clipping, searching, and shopping for the deals for my family.  And I do this with a 2 year old red head asking "What's that?" about every single thing.  I normally only go to 1 grocery store(BiLo doubles all the time) and 1 drug store(CVS is my personal fave because the day time cashier is really nice and easy to work with).  I do check the sales papers that come in the mail just in case something awesome is on sale that I don't want to pass me by.  And I do use a couple different of websites to help me with the sales and Q matchups.  I use Southern Savers and Money Saving Mom.  These are just the 2 that I like.  I also rarely buy meat at full price.  I buy chicken breast(and we don't eat a lot of chicken breast because Chad doesn't really care for it, we'll blame being raised on a poultry farm) only when I can get it for $4 or less a pack.  And I normally buy the rest of the meat we eat once it has been marked down.  I don't have a problem with that because I'm gonna throw it in the freezer as soon as I get home.  But if you don't want to buy marked down meat then just watch the sales for the price that you would consider the best price for your budget.  One last thing, I normally have a "go-to" price for items that I regularly buy.  For example, $2.50 is the most I want to pay for laundry detergent, and $1 is the most I'll pay for any type of cleaner.  Just know what you're willing to pay to determine if something is a good price or not.  Stocking up at the best price is the best way to make sure that you don't run out of something and over pay for it.

Whew.......that was a lot.

  • 3 Dt. Mtn Dew 2 Liters(a necessity because I was out)
  • Large Beef Roast
  • 5 boxes of Chicken Helper
  • 2 boxes of Eggo Waffles
  • 3 jars Ragu SpaghettiSauce
  • 2 Lysol Wipes
  • 2 Lysol Toilet Bowl Cleaners
  • 2 Lysol Liquid Cleaners
  • 3 Seventh Generation Cleaners(different varieties)
  • 3 Sun Laundry Detergents
  • 2 Wishbone Dressings
  • 1 HT brand Honey(for homemade granola....YUMMY!)
  • 3 Kraft Homestyle Macaroni and Cheese
  • 1 Bounty Towel
  • 1 Peter Pan Peanut Butter
  • 1 gallon of whole Milk
I paid $38.70 for everything in the picture.  That's down from $98.96.  If I would have paid $98.96 for the above products I probably would have had a mini-stroke in the check out line.  But $38.70 seems reasonable.

You can do this.  It really is worth the time and effort to save a little jingle.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


2 John Deere Tractor Books
1 large stuffed cow
1 stuffed purple lion(I don't think you can see it in this picture)
1 Superman Monster Truck
1 Mack Truck
1 John Deere wanna be tractor with farmer(that looks more like a jockey instead)
1 broken silver monster truck(we still have both pieces because he plays with each piece independently)
1 Tonka truck

And 1 sleepy boy with a head cold(the reason for all that drool) that decided turn around backwards in the bed.

And my helper.  She loves this boy.  I think she would sleep in the bed with him if we would let her.  But as you can see I don't hink there's room left for anything else.  Soon, whenever we find one I like, he's going to graduate to a twin/bunk bed.  Maybe then Emma can have the desires of her heart and sleep in the bed with her boy.

(I tried to do a lot of different edits to these pics but somehow the pics seem to lose their integrity.  That's why they might look kinda sloppy.  And I was taking pictures in the dark with only the light from the hallway.)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A Funny Thing Happened.............

...........on the way to my life.

Chad and I were talking on Saturday about how differently our lives have turned out from what we imagined they would be when we were children/teenagers.

I remember wanting to have a great education and a successful career doing something fantastic by the time I was 30.  And I remember that once when we were dating he told me that his big plans for life were to be a husband and a father.  He wanted a working farm with a wife and children.

We are so far from that "dream" that it makes me laugh.  But we have so much more than we ever dreamed.

Granted I'm just now seriously pursuing a fantastic education.  And eventually I'll be doing something fantastic.  And Chad has finished(almost) his fantastic education.  We don't have a farm(and I for one am thankful for that) and we only have one child here with us.  We wouldn't have thought that we would have had to send a daughter to heaven before us.

But we're content with where we are.  We're excited with what God has given us and the things He's doing for our family.

"For I know the thoughts I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end."  Jeremiah 29:11

(and really what's not to love)

Monday, August 9, 2010

What is the Gospel?

I always hesitate to recommend a book that I have read or am currently reading.  I have a variety of different reasons for this.  Others may not like what I read.  Or someone may get an incorrect perception of who I am or what I believe because of something I'm reading.  But I'll shoot this out here.  I can and do read almost any type of book.  I can read after anyone and take the parts that I like and leave the parts that I don't.  Eat the corn and throw away the cob, so to speak.

All of that rambled mess to say this.  I'm currently reading "What is the Gospel?" by Greg Gilbert.  It's one part of the 9Marks series.  I'm about half way through it and I love it.  It was a free digital download at Amazon.  And Chad received it as part of his loot when he went to T4G back in April.  I rarely, if ever, venture into his world of preacher books because I'm afraid they will be over my head.  And a lot of times they are.  But I decided to give this one a try(possibly, probably because it was free).

The basic theme of the book is that we as Christians(myself included) often get the message of the Gospel wrong.  We always portray God as a god of love, and He is, but never as a god of justice and wrath, which He is.  I know this is getting lengthy but the following is an excerpt from the beginning of Chapter 2.

"Let me introduce you to god.  (Note the lowercase G.)

You might want to lower your voice a little before we go in.  He might be sleeping now.  He's old, you know, and doesn't much understand or like this "newfangled" modern world.  His golden days-the ones he talks about when you really get him going-were a long time ago, before most of us were even born.  That was back when people cared what he thought about things, and considered him pretty important to their lives.

Of course all that's changed now, though, and god-poor fellow-just never adjusted very well.  Life's moved on and passed him by.  Now, he spends most of his time just hanging in the garden out back.  I go there sometimes to see him, and there we tarry, walking and talking softly and tenderly among the roses....

Anyway, a lot pf people still like him, it seems-or at least he manages to keep his poll numbers prteey high.  And you'd be surprised how many people even drop by to visit and ask for things every once in a while.  But of course that's alright with him.  He's here to help.

Thank goodness, all the crankiness you read about sometimes in his old books-you know, having the earth swallow people up, raining fire down on cities, that sort of thing-all that seems to have faded in his old age.  How he's just a good-natured, low-maintenance friend who'll really easy to talk to-especially since he almost never talks back, and when he does, it's usually to tell me through some slightly weird "sign" that what I want to do regardless is alright by him.  That really is the best kind of friend,  isn't it?

You know the best thing about him, though?  He doesn't judge me.  Ever, for anything.  Oh sure, I know that deep down he wishes I'd be better-more loving, less selfish, and all that-but he's realistic.  He knows I'm human and nobody's perfect.  And I'm totally sure he's fine with that.  Besides, forgiving people is his job.  It's what he does.  After all, he's love, right?  and I like to think of love as "never judging, only forgiving." That's the god I know.  And I wouldn't have him any other way.

Alright, hold on a second....Okay, we can go in now.  And don't worry, we don't have to stay long.  Really.  He's grateful for any time he can get."

That might seem far fetched when you read it.  But I'm afraid that it's really not that far out of perspective anymore.  While this is comical in some respects, it's also heartbreaking.  Chad and I have had this conversation so many times that I don't have enough fingers to count that high.  And I have had to repent(many times) of my incorrect perspective of God.   In our part of the world(Bible Belt), almost everyone, when you ask them, will tell you they know who God is.  But, I'm afraid that a lot of us(myself included) have it wrong.  And again I have to repent.

I'm interested to see how this book finishes up.  I'll probably finish it today while I'm at the gym.

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believeth on Him, should not perish but have everlasting life.  For God sent not His son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.  He that believeth on him is not condemned;  but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."
John 3:16-18

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


I've been absent and for that apologize.  This week is our our church's annual Bible Conference.  That means church services in the am and pm.  With meals thrown in for good measure.  It's a fantastic week.  And for me personally, it couldn't have come at a better time.  I'm lovin' it.'

See ya next week when life won't slow down, it will just be something different.