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Prayer for DH

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It’s been busy around here. I’ve had various projects that I’m still working on. DH has been working late. The kids have been crabby. I’ve been crabby. The house is a mess. Laundry is piling up. We all have colds. I’m exhausted. March is always very busy for me, I’m not sure why, it seems that things just come up in March. We’ve been blessed with gorgeous weather, that we barely have time to go out and enjoy, I’m hoping it’s like this next week too when I have a bit of a break (hopefully). I’m not complaining, just saying…and then there’s DH. I ache for DH.

DH has been at the same job since he graduated. We’re very grateful that he has kept a job through this economy, we know that things out there are tough. But, DH is very unappreciated at work, and the company he works for doesn’t have very good benefits. He has had some blows this week and it’s making him very frustrated. For one, his co-worker was asked to go to Italy to train them on the program they use…this would not be a big deal but DH went to school for this program and has continued training and certification in this program while his co-worker asks HIM questions about the program on a regular basis. Life’s not fair but this is pretty much a kick in the teeth for him. I tried to play it up that since he does most the big projects he needs to stay home and keep working, but obviously it didn’t help much. Second, DH has been trying to get in to a different area of the company for quite some time but there has never been any openings that fit. Well there’s an opening now and the manager in that department wants him over there, but his current manager won’t let him go. He’s feeling very resentful towards his manager right now. DH has been looking for a different job for quite some time but nothing has panned out, and of course now he wants something new much more.

So, I would just like to pray for DH. To give him hope, and patience. To help him feel valued, and skilled. We know a job isn’t just going to fall from the sky and land in his lap, that it takes work. So please let something come of his many many applications. We’re ready for a change.

My Snow Angel

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Oh Dear Readers,

I know that there aren’t very many of you yet, but I’m sorry that I disappeared. I had a week of baby teething crankiness. The tooth, or teeth haven’t pushed through yet, but I believe he is doing better for now. They must have made some major progress up in his gummies. Also, I had to bring my laptop in for repair. I had been living with a crack in the LCD screen for quite some time. With this crack came a black blob in bottom right corner of my screen. Well this blob randomly decided to double in size. I was quite sad. So I brought it to the store I bought it from to see if there was anything they could do about it, and turns out they could replace the screen for only 250.00. It was either 250 for a new screen or 1500 for a new computer. Well I can’t afford a new computer. So here’s hoping it lasts another 4 years :). Oh by the way, everything is so crisp and pretty, it’s like having a new computer.

Sincerely,
HMJKatie

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This last week aside from the above has been interesting. DH has been working late at his regular job. Normally I would ask “When are you going to be home?” and I would get exasperated responses of “I don’t know.” or “Never.” I decided DH viewed this question as slightly nagging which when he’s already stressed out about work he obviously doesn’t need any nagging. So I changed my game up a bit and asked “Are you going to be home for Dinner?” Mind you Dinner here is normally 5ish, but I told him it could be 6. This went over extremely well. DH was home by 6:30 at the latest instead of the somewhere between 8 and 10.  I had dinner ready for him each night. I think this is very good for him. He can get an extra two hours of work in, come home to a nice meal and still enjoy time with us. Instead of coming home between 8 and 10, not eating, and feeling totally burned out. Oh and if you notice, “Are you going to be home for Dinner?” still leaves room for a no, so if he really has something that needs to be done NOW, so be it. It won’t sound like I’m nagging or complaining.

We went to Church again yesterday. Although…we almost didn’t make it at all. We got there in time for the sermon lol. As soon as we were pulling out of the parking lot DS1 pipes up “I have to go potty!” We started potty training at New Years and DS1 just started telling us when he needs to go quite recently so we couldn’t just tell him to wait. So we pulled back in to the parking spot, unbuckled him, took him back inside, waited for the elevator, run run run to the apartment, go potty, come back out, wait for the elevator, get back in the car… At that point I was ready to just skip Church and go to Perkins, but DS1 wanted to go to Church so that’s where we went. We spent the rest of the day at my Mom’s house. DS1 went outside to play in the snow with Papa. When Grandma asked him what his favorite thing to do in the snow was he said making Snow Angels!

Then we went home and I cleaned for two hours (I’m serious, this last week was not very productive).

I will be doing the Time-Warp Wife’s bible study of Esther. This is the first online bible study I will be participating in. If anyone wants to be buddies drop me a line. Accountability baby. It starts today.

Sunday Funnies & A List

It’s Monday! Sometimes it gets too hectic to write. In fact, I have two half written posts sitting in my drafts, and I’m not sure I’ll finish and post either of them. Interesting how something mattered one day, and you go back to look at it a couple of days later and realize it didn’t matter in the least.

Yesterday, I took the whole family to Church. My Choir was singing, and I thought what the heck why not? It was a disaster, in a good way though. DS1 stole the hearts of everyone in the Sanctuary. He’ll be three at the end of March, and I can honestly say he did pretty good. He normally can’t make it to the Sermon, but he made it all the way to offering and communion without any major hiccups. Speaking of hiccups, DS1 was sitting on my lap during the Sermon (by the way I haven’t a clue what the Sermon was about), he was sitting nice and quietly, then randomly he says quite loudly “HICCUP!” and kicks the pew in front of him. Okaaaaay…. weirdo. He did it again, so I to him that he needs to be quiet. s the next one he whispered “HICCUP!” and still kicked the pew. So I reminded him and also told him not to kick the pews, that people are trying to listen to the Pastor. It didn’t go on much longer. Before the Sermon there’s a Children’s Message. This is the first time I let him go up there since his older pal MrJ was up there, I told him to go up and sit by him. There he went… the wrong way. After I redirected him off he goes, shuffling as slow as anything. The Pastor started the message without him, and I think he made it up there about half way through. I’m sure he was just delighted with all the attention. I also had to go up there and swoop him up when they were done because he was ready to stand at the pulpit with the Pastor. The choir sang after the sermon. DS1 came and stood by me and danced and clapped his hands with us. He proudly exclaimed “That was fun!” when we were done. Oh by the way DH was entertaining DS2 (8months) this whole time, who was getting restless at this point but doing quite well. After service was Bistro (or fellowship) and everyone fawned over DS1. I held DS2 at this point who lovingly grabbed the pitcher (PITCHER) of water and dumped it on me and the table and floor. Everyone had something nice to say ;) as I’m pretty sure I was going cross-eyed at this point. All in all though I say it was a success even though I was ready to go back to bed when we got home.

Oh, and DS1 has been potty training since New Years, and I just have to give him two thumbs up for TELLING us when he had to go TWICE. No accidents :D.

I just wrote about prayer last Wednesday, which happened to be the start of mid-week Lent services. Our Pastor likes to have a theme for mid-week services. This year’s theme is (drumroll) … prayer. How interesting. I think I will make an effort to go to every service, because I’m quite interested in what he has to say.

I made DH’s lunches for the week last night.
Salads and Cottage Cheese.
DH is on a mission to lose about 100lbs. He lost 30 last year, and wants to lose 50 this year. So lots of veggies it is. ;)

Here’s my to-do list for today. It may not get done though because I have MissJ today when I normally don’t on Mondays.
1. Sweep and Mop kitchen.
2. Vacuum
3. Wash Diapers
4. Find a home for some certain things behind the dining table. :p
5. Guest Bathroom
6. Empty ALL trashes.

Debt is Dumb

The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave of the lender.
Proverbs 22:7

 My DH and I are trying to get out of debt. It’s been a humbling journey so far. And a lot harder than I wanted to believe. My Mom introduced us to Dave Ramsey and the idea of being debt free after we purchased our first new car (go figure) in Spring 2008. Up until then I always viewed debt as a tool, as I think most of society does. I was also working in commercial banking, loan payments, amortization schedules, libor vs prime rates were in my everyday vocabulary. And after all you need a credit score to buy a car, or a house, all those big-ticket items that most young couples want for themselves. It’s pretty hard to get a credit score without that wonderful plastic card. DH and I never had a lot of credit card debt, not by many standards anyways. I don’t remember how much exactly, but we had less than 10k for sure. Our real debt problem is the remainder of that car note, and the dreaded student loans. Anyone else waiting for the student loan bubble to pop? With the students loans and our car note we still have about 30,000 dollars in debt. (YIKES!)

What we’ve paid off since 2008:

1. HOM Furniture (around 2500)
2. Orchard Bank CC (600 or so)
3. WaMu/Chase (2000)
4. BofA (2000)
5. My Student Loan (3000)

What we have left:

1. Car Note (7000)
2. DH Student Loan 1
3. DH Student Loan 2
4. DH Student Loan 3

Dave Ramsey has this saying. “Live like no one else so you can live like no one else.” It’s an odd saying. It confused me at first. But it’s really quite simple. Live like no one else (get out of debt, stay out of debt) so you can live like no one else (live without debt, GIVE without debt). How many times do you pass the offering bowl without putting anything in it because you cannot afford another penny let a lone the common 10% to give to God? How often do you throw away the requests for donations to the Lupus Foundation, or the Children’s Hospital? How often do you turn away the Girl Scout down the street…. wait… ok maybe we don’t turn down the girl scout. What I’m saying is, I do, ALL THE TIME. Because we have this mountain of debt looming over our shoulders. We’re living pay check to pay check and barely even managing that. We are SLAVES to the creditor. I don’t want to be that way. I want to be able to tithe appropriately. I want to be able to give to the Zoo foundation. I want to be able to send my kids to college if that’s the path they choose. DH and I still need to practice discipline. Sometimes it’s harder than other times. But even though I was laid off in 2009, I can proudly say that we have not used a credit card (obviously, they’re paid off) since Summer of 08. And it feels great. Oh and by the way, even though we lost our townhouse, we did not have to pay ridiculous amounts of security deposits because our credit didn’t end up being that bad since we paid those credit cards off.

So how am I helping the cause as a stay at home Mom and homemaker? For one, if DH needs to stay late or picks up a second job I don’t complain. It gets hard being the sole provider for my babes for weeks at a time but I know DH is working hard. I babysit, this covers the car payment and a little more. I plan a menu and grocery shop to a list. This keeps costs down and eating out to a minimum. I also try my best not to overspend in other areas, and I also ask before making a less than needed purchase. Most of all I’m DH’s cheerleader. I help him to see the light of the tunnel and give him timelines.

Part 3

Wow, I didn’t mean to leave you hanging there. Both my kiddos got pretty sick. DS1 seemed more flu-like, DS2 got an ear infection. I also nanny for a baby girl and she has had a cold too. Sick kids! I also had a big cake pop order. They turned out really cute and the person who got their really loved them.

Anywho, so what happened? I have a couple of ideas.

First, I graduated. Suddenly I didn’t belong. There was no group to be apart of unless I wanted to join a bible study with people twice my age. The church I was with at the time sort of just cut me off. I told them if they needed any help to let me know. They never called. It was depressing. S, my mentor, also moved, so my contacts were dwindling as it was.

Second, and it’s interesting that I’m writing about this now, but one of my dear friends passed away on Valentine’s Day in 2005.  He was the drummer in our band, and I always considered him to be like a little brother. B was so fun, and talented. After the funeral I had an extremely hard time attending service because first his drum set sat there empty, and then someone else filled the spot. After it was filled I couldn’t bring myself to go anymore. I did end up getting married in that Church because I had no other Church home, but I haven’t been back since.

Third – this is pretty personal, but here goes. I had sex before I was married. It was with my now DH, so I can say I’ve only been with one man. However I still feel guilty (he doesn’t know this), and a bit tarnished. I think this is just something I need to forgive myself for.

 

So I’ve distanced myself. I do belong to a church of sorts now, although we’re not officially members. And as I said I don’t attend regularly, just when the choir sings. I really need to work on that.

Speaking of work, I’ve been working on being a help-meet. That is the purpose of all this. Lately I’ve been trying to not bicker about things. Letting my DH “be the boss”. Giving him final say. Yesterday I caught myself. I want to get a new dining room table because the one we have is quite small, so I found a very reasonable set on craigslist. I showed it to him, he kind of scrunched up his nose…it’s not my style either, but it’s incredibly functional and sturdy. We went back and forth a little…and then I remembered to let him be in charge. So I said OK, if you don’t want it, we won’t get it. Funny how not putting up a fight suddenly has him considering what I’m asking for.

 

Valentine’s

DH surprised me yesterday by setting up dinner plans including a babysitter. For yesterday, not today. We can never find a babysitter on the 14th for obvious reasons. So I appreciate the thought to do it the day before. BUT said babysitter (my sister) got sick and didn’t tell us until 30 minutes before she was supposed to arrive. My DH of course was disappointed and started getting an “it would figure” attitude. My other sister was already babysitting in a city I didn’t want to drive the kids to in the snow, and my Mom was busy. It was looking like our night wasn’t going to happen. But I figured he went through all the trouble, and I was already dressed to go out, I gave my friend a call and she pulled through for us. We went out to Olive Garden and enjoyed a nice quiet meal together. We were out for only about an hour but it was worth it. It was very nice of DH to try to organize the night for us. I definitely enjoyed it.

 

I was going write part 3 … but I’m having issues today. I have a cake pop order due and my chocolates seized up. Also all the kiddos are sick. I pray for health and more productivity tomorrow.

What happened to my Faith part 2

“I feel like I’m living the 1930’s life, I work, you stay home and take care of the kids and clean the house.” Said DH before heading off to his second job yesterday (DH works part-time at a coffee shop as we try to shovel ourselves out from debt).
“Yeah,” I said.
“Two years ago you would have been mad that I said that.” (Two months ago I would have been too.)
“Maybe I was wrong.”

It’s become apparent that even in this short time he’s noticing a change. And there’s been a change in him too. When he got home last night I mentioned that I was having a hard time with DS1, I don’t know if it’s related but he tidied up a bit without me even asking in the slightest. It wasn’t a lot but it meant the world.

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This is a continuation of the question: Where did my faith go? You can read part one here, it’s mostly just background but still good to know about me.

DH and I met online when I was 13 (GASP!). We became fast friends, best friends even. I could talk to him for hours, about anything, about everything. It often got me in trouble, because I would stay up too late. Mom would ban me from the computer but I would sneak on anyways. I felt lonely on the days/weeks/even months that for some reason or another we didn’t talk. It was never romantic though, he had his girlfriends, I had my boyfriends. I always had this little crush on him though but being half a country away it just seemed silly. The summer before my senior year (he’s two years older), I told him about my little crush. He admitted he had feelings for me too. We decided to give it a chance. This by the way was the first time we had both been single at the same time. But yes we were living thousand of miles apart and I was still in high school. It wasn’t for another year that I met him, the summer after I graduated. Only I didn’t just meet him, I moved in him with him and his family. My Dad, an alcoholic kicked me out and I wasn’t speaking to my Mom. I bounced between friends for a couple of weeks until I turned 18 and then I took a chance, bought a one way ticket and moved in with him in August of 2003.  Here’s the quick version of the rest. I missed my family enormously, I moved back WITH him in May of 2004, he proposed in May of 2005, and we married in September of 2006. So it worked out people, I found my one online. But what does this have to do with my faith?

It has everything to do with it because at some point in our relationship (I don’t remember when exactly) DH told me two things. 1. That one of the main reason’s he fell for me is because I wasn’t scared of my Faith. I was proud to be a Christian, I told everyone. I would gladly give up a social event for a church thing, and often did. Most weeks you could find me at Church 3 (or more) days a week. 2. When DH was a regular Church attendee back in his home town, before I was in the picture, his pastor asked him to describe his perfect woman. DH’s description eerily resembled me, both physically and my personality.

So what happened to number 1? I don’t attend Church 3 days a week, not even regularly. I am usually there once a week for choir rehearsal but I generally only attend service if the choir is singing. I certainly don’t gab about my Christianity to the general population. I really only have one friend that goes to Church, and I don’t even talk about it with her. I’m timid about prayer (although I honestly always have been). And I don’t extend myself to be more involved or participate.

I have an idea of what happened…but I think I’ll save it for next time. You know I wasn’t really expecting this to get so lengthy.

Have you had a falling out with your faith like me?

Katie