Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Frustrated and far from the mark

Today has been really irritating me! It has been one of those days where little things keep going wrong and adding up to one frustrated mama. Poor Brian is sick today, so that was not a happy beginning to the day. Iain woke up at 6:30, and I managed to get my kitchen cleaned up (including the floor mopped!) and Iain fed without incident. Today is payday, so the stores in the house are very low. No milk, no eggs, 1 slice of bread-- you get the picture. Still, no problem, frozen waffles for breakfast, leftovers and frozen french fries for lunch. I also found some time to spend with Iain on learning his colors again today. We've only done four so far, despite having started it two weeks ago! As I was doing my daily internet search for bargains and sales, I came across this website (http://thehomespunheart.blogspot.com/) and was immediately blessed and also saddened at how far I have to go. This is is the kind of wife, mom, and friend I'd like to be. But I'm not there yet. Sigh.

So feeling good about having done some work and wanting to do something creative after reading that blog, I decided to work on a project I've had laid aside for a month or so. I would have preferred trying out her pumpkin muffin recipe, but I have no muffin tins, and more importantly, no ingredients. So painting it was. Little did I know this would be my downfall today.

I laid newspaper outside on the grass and got all my supplies out. I left the door to the apartment open so Iain and our dog could enjoy some sunshine and fresh air. I kept a good eye on Iain while I was painting, not such a good eye on the dog. She disappeared and I failed to notice. So then I had to leave my painting project in the grass and hunt for her sans vehicle with a toddler. It didn't work well. Luckily she returned home, limping and shaking about 20 minutes later. I have no idea what happened to her. She's walking on all fours again, so hopefully she's ok.

Then I had to make lunch for Iain while I was involved in a very important phone conversation. While I was distracted he poured first his milk, then his juice, all over himself and the floor. After disciplining him for that, I put him down for his nap and went out to finish my painting, dog safely inside. When I went out I saw that my project was soaking wet! The workmen apparently are doing something to the sprinkler system and they turned it on while I was inside. Sigh. It's only two o'clock and everything I have tried to accomplish today has already been a bust. I need to go and fight yet again to clean this place up! Does anybody else have days like this? How do I come to grips with falling so short of even the simplest goals, let alone loftier ones? Help, Lord Jesus!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Jumping Doggies & Pretty Flowers

On Saturday we went to Ann Morrison park to watch the Frisbee Fest, or as Iain liked to put it, the jumping doggies. I don't have many pictures because my camera isn't fast enough to catch action shots. After watching the dogs catch frisbees for awhile, we went over to the playground and had a picnic.

Then we headed off to the Idaho Botanical Garden. I love this picture of Brian and Iain enjoying a special moment together.

The Garden has three sections; a rose garden, a woodland garden, and a desert garden. It was really surprising because it seems really small, but the lot is narrow and long.

What a cutie!

Friday, September 26, 2008

In other happy news...

our boxes from the UK arrived!! Woohoo! We haven't seen this stuff since May. Best of all, my teapot that Christina gave me last Christmas made it in one piece!!! I was so worried that it would break and I love it so much. So there will be some McVittie's eating celebrations soon!

Walgreens 9/26

I am so excited and thankful to the Lord for providing this deal. I've been practicing getting the good deals at Walgreens, and I'm really happy about this one. I got all this stuff for 5.14 out of pocket, and I'll be getting $16.00 back on my Walgreens gift card in rebates!

Here is the breakdown:
Kashi GoLean Crunch on sale 2/$5, minus $3 in coupons= 2/$2.
Walgreens Diapers Buy one get one 50% off= 2/$12
John Frieda Shampoo on clearance $1.62, minus $3.00 coupon= 2/.24!
Sunsilk Waves Conditioner on clearance $1.50, minus $1.50 coupon= free!
Chemistry Leave-in Conditioner 7.99, minus $1.00 coupon= 6.99 (7.99 rebate)
Crest Pro Health Toothpaste, 3.79, minus $1.00 coupon from Oct. EasySaver and .75 coupon
from manufacturer+ 2.04 (3.79 rebate)
Excedrin 3.99+ 3.99 (3.99) rebate
Plus I used a $5.00 off a $20 purchase coupon that I received via e-mail from Walgreens. If anyone else needs this coupon, let me know and I can forward it to you.

Walgreens giftcard -18.99
Total out of pocket = 5.41, plus 16.00 earned on rebate gift card

WOOHOO! I'm so thrilled. Thank you God!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

An Early Autumn Ramble

Last week we went for a walk down the Greenbelt. But this time we went away from town and quickly found ourselves on a fun dirt path. The air was cool and crisp, the river was rushing next to us, and the geese were honking overhead. It was a perfect fall walk.

Here's Iain proudly leading the way down the Greenbelt.

The last of the summer flowers.

At the end of the trail. Say cheese!

Getting tired!

All worn out!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Albertson's 9/23

I'm always looking for a way to make a dollar stretch, and lately I've been enjoying reading some bargain-oriented blogs, particularly Money Saving Mom (thank you to Marissa F. for recommending her to me!) So I've decided to devote occasional posts to budgets, bargains and the like. My apologies to those of you who have absolutely no interest in this sort of thing.

One of my favorite strategies is to shop at the cheapest grocery store in town, but then go and scoop the sales at the other grocery stores. Usually they have a few items every week that they sell for even less than the discount grocery stores do. I went to Albertson's today and managed to get a pretty good deal on some soup, crackers, and ground hamburger.

I got 17 cans of soup, 2 lbs of lean hamburger, 2 bags of goldfish crackers, and 1 plastic tablecloth for $16.44. The tomato and chicken noodle soup are on sale for fifty cents each, the selects soups are 1.00 and the microwaveable soups are 1.25. The hamburger is on sale for 1.99 a pound. The sale on soup runs until Tuesday and if you clip coupons, you should have a stack of Campbell's coupons from two weeks ago that will take a few more dollars off.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Bailing us out or bankrupting our future?

I woke up this morning to read about the 700 billion dollar mortgage buy-out that the government is planning. Our conservative government. The thought of this makes me sick. Not that I'm not concerned about the economy or sorry for the people who have lost their homes, jobs, or savings. I just think that is unfair that taxpayers and future taxpayers have to foot the bill for other people's mistakes. Lots of people on Wall Street and Main Street got greedy and made bad choices and instead of having to take responsibility for that, my family is going to be paying for it. We struggle to get along within our means and pay our bills and there are lots of families like ours. It is hard enough to meet our obligations without the increased tax burden that has to come with this. And, if the many families like mine cry out, then the government will listen and won't raise taxes, instead passing this increasingly ballooning debt onto my son. We all know how hard it is when you are starting out, and I don't want the weight of our policitian's and businessmen's bad mistakes placed on our children. I know that sounds like empty rhetoric, but I feel very concerned about this. How are they going to have room to make their own decisions and mistakes if they are paying for their parent's and grandparent's?

My only consolation in this is that God is in his heaven, and he is the one who holds the future in his hands; not my bank account, the White House, Congress, or Wall Street.

Now I know that the LORD saves his anointed;
he answers him from his holy heaven
with the saving power of his right hand.

Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.

They are brought to their knees and fall,
but we rise up and stand firm.

O LORD, save the king!
Answer us when we call!

Psalm 20:6-9

Friday, September 19, 2008

Blogging Hiatus Over

Now that the dust has settled (as much as it can in a desert, at any rate) I am announcing a return to the blog. I've delayed coming back for awhile because the thought of retelling a summer's worth of events that including a transatlantic, cross-country move; 2 birthdays; my mom's surgery, reunions and partings; in addition to a fair amount of culture shock was, to be quite honest, daunting. We spent the summer without a paycheck and without a home, but we lacked nothing by God's goodness and grace. Thank you to those of you who have kindly asked about the blog and its long silence. You are part of the reason that I'm getting out of this rut of bewilderment and backlog to finally post again.

This blog has passed through two major seasons with me so far. It records my infertility and adoption story, with all the pain and joy that encompasses and it keeps the record of our two years living abroad in England. There were times that I missed the old blog-- it was smaller and more personal. Sometimes I felt that my persona was lost in a sea of family updates that were probably of little significance or use to anyone outside my family. Yet now I realize that I have a record of a unique season in my life that would otherwise slowly fade into dimly remembered anecdotes. And now that we have moved to The West-- I still think of it that way, in capitals, The West-- no doubt the blog will see a bit of a transformation again. I hope to blend the posts a bit more effectively now that our family life won't be quite as out-of-the-ordinary. Hopefully, I will be brave enough to truly share my heart, my struggles, and my walk with God now that I have given this URL to everybody and their Great Aunt Alice. Because I feel that transparency is what keeps my blog alive and it is a way for me to share and remember the work that God is doing in shaping me. I think that transparency is a vital commodity in Christian fellowship, allowing us to pray for each other, correct each other, and encourage each other.

I would like to say thank you to all the lovely ladies whose blogs I follow. Thank you for sharing your journeys with me. I look forward to catching up with you all and seeing what has happened with you this summer.

Higher up and further into God's grace, whether it brings happiness or pain, so long as it brings us closer to seeing him face to face!