Thursday, January 29, 2009


Most people around here (at least my family and coworkers) know that on Sunday, we move into our new sanctuary at church. It's taken about 6 months to be built, and I am so ready to get in that sucker!!

Nine years ago, our church was started. I know they split from another church in the area but no one really discusses what happened, which is fine with me. They first met in one of our member's tool sheds behind his house. There were about 15 people at that first meeting. Within a few weeks, they found a building to rent called the Juniper Grange building. I was fortunate enough to be able to come to the church while they were in this building. Well, "fortunate" might be too strong of a word. There were about 30 people at this time. I don't remember this building having a bathroom or heating or a/c. It's a one-room building used for things like hunting club meetings or other community meetings like that. You had to be careful during the service because the rats were a bit of distraction. Our preacher had to be a really good preacher to keep your attention away from them! During the time we were in the Grange building our church grew to about 60 people or so, and in 2002 the church bought 8 acres of land in order to build our first building. This building consisted of a sanctuary, bathrooms, a kitchen, and a couple of classrooms.

Stephen and I got married in this church. We had to have our rehearsal dinner in another church, and our reception after the wedding outside because our church didn't have a fellowship hall. When we have dinners at church, we eat in the hallway and classrooms. Baby showers are held in the hallway. Bible studies are held in the hallway. In fact, now that I think about it, maybe this is the reason our church family is so close? :)

Our church seats 115 people... or at least, that's the fire code. About the past two months, we have averaged 140 people (in our Sunday morning service). What that means is that we have become really close, literally; we have had to pull chairs out of classrooms and line the aisles with them (if you are a fire inspector, you can just ignore that whole last part), and the part of the service where we shake hands and greet each other has become really congested.

We've never had pews. We had chairs that were comfortable enough, but now we have real pews! We got them engraved with three crosses and they're really beautiful. Now, instead of seating 115 people we can seat 290. We've never had a baptistry. For nine years we have baptized people in our preacher's mom's pool in her backyard. But hey, you do what you have to do! Now we have a beautiful baptistry behind our pulpit. We've never had a sound system. We have a CD/tape player that we've used for years that did the job, but thank you GOD we have a real sound system now!! And microphones in the choir loft! We've never had a fellowship hall. Now we have a place to EAT! And have lock-ins! And run around screaming like wild banshees! We have never had a paved parking lot. We park on mud/gravel/grass and the ladies who wear high heels to church (no, not me) wobble inside. Two weeks ago, our builder, Mark Stewart, donated all the supplies and labor for us to get our entire parking lot paved. Amazing!!

Last Sunday night we had a prayer service. We all circled the inside of the church holding hands and prayed. Then every person there went to a place of their choosing, and just prayed for the church, each aspect of the church, the members, the visitors, inspections, our church school, finances, etc. We prayed for at least 25 minutes but it didn't seem that long. There is so much to pray for, and praise for, that I was even able to ignore the fact that my legs had fallen asleep because of the position I was in.

Sunday is our first service in our new sanctuary. I am so excited about what God is doing in our church, and I am just so grateful that Stephen and I found our way there. Honestly, if we had never gone to that church, I (and Stephen) may not have ever gotten saved. I can't imagine how our lives would be now, and I really don't want to imagine that. Sunday night will be our first real baptism service. We've been "saving up" people through the winter so we'll have about 25 getting baptized that night. How exciting! I am just amazed at everything our church has come from, and I can't wait to see it in 2 years, 5 years, 10 years (Lord willin' and the creek don't rise).

I am very appreciative.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Family, Doctors, and Snow, Oh my!!

This weekend we had family in town for the long weekend. Stephen's family from Georgia came up Friday night. The plan was to paint the nursery and get it done by the time they left today. It was supposed to take a really long time because we did stripes, and taping it would take forever.

Saturday morning, while everyone else was taping and painting, Josh and I traipsed off into town to run some errands. I did a McDonald's mystery shop for breakfast, and then I showed him how to get rebates from Rite Aid and use coupons at Walgreens to get two boxes of cereal for $3.50. Then we took a load of stuff to the coalition and Fifi's, and then another load to the dump for recycling. We got back to the house just in time to go to Tripp's for lunch - YUMS!! Nicely planned.

The taping/painting was pretty much done by about 7:15 that night. It was a pretty detailed, painstaking process. But the end result was so worth it! I would post pictures, but they all turned out orange for some reason (our paint was green) so I'm going to have to play with it some to get a good picture. After we finished up, Stephen, Jenn, Josh and I headed to Potter's Cafe to hear our church band play from 8-10. They're not really our church band, but it's so much easier to call them that then explain that they're three guys from our church who formed a band and play in church (among other venues) pretty frequently. But now you know. People filled up the whole place, and they rocked that little coffee shop! Stephen drank enough coffee to start a tab, and I was just thankful that they could make anything decaf. I wanted something to sip on but did NOT need to get jacked up so late at night!!

Yesterday, after church, we went to the Chompin' Ground for lunch, which is somewhere everyone can agree to go. Then we went shopping... yay. We hit the plaza - while everyone else headed to Belk, Jenn and I went straight for the 75% off signs at Bath and Body Works. By the time we got home from all that, we had just enough time to play a rowdy game of Outburst (which the girls lost - JUST BARELY!) before heading back to church.

Today I had another doctor's appointment. Supposedly it was supposed to be a nothing appointment. So imagine my surprise when my doctor walks into the room we've been sitting in for 25 minutes, and asks if I've already had my drink? No. No one gave me a drink. No one told me that today was my gestational diabetes test. So we had to wait a whole hour after I drank the stuff. Stephen stayed with me, although I kept telling him he could leave. I'm glad he didn't leave after all, because I had left my book in the car. I would have ended up having to read gossip magazines to occupy my time otherwise. Anyway, so after they drew my blood they pricked my finger, and my sugar was 117! Woohoo!!! I don't have the diabeetus!! I also was extremely happy with my weight gain and blood pressure, so everything looks great! My next appointment will be in 3 weeks and then two weeks after that we'll have our 3-D ultrasound! And then only 8 weeks from due date.... Wow. So weird.

The talk of the town here is how much snow we're supposedly getting after midnight tonight. I'm not getting my hopes up. But if it does happen, you can bet your bottom dollar I'll take some pictures, since this is such a rarity. I won't take many, cause it'll be hard to see if from my spot next to the fireplace...

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Come back with me... to the past. Granny gave me some old magazines a few weeks ago, and one of the articles in one just begs to be posted here. Does anyone else feel like 2001 was NOT that long ago? I certainly don't, but according to my handy calendar (and amazing mathematical skillz), it really was almost ten years ago!

This article is from a November 2001 Reader's Digest. The title is "DVD Takes on VHS". I want to post some of the funniest (now) lines from the article and just look at the writer's take on DVDs. I have a feeling you will find it really interesting and humorous. Although, of course, hindsight is 20/20.

You've heard the buzz, and now you've got the itch. DVD (digital videodisc technology) is rapidly overtaking videotape as the preferred way to watch movies at home. Worldwide, an estimated 28 million DVD players will be sold this year, compared with about 50 million VCRs. Is it time to go DVD?

Prices for DVD players range from around one hundred to several thousand dollars. Advantages - Unlike videos, discs don't degrade with each viewing, nor is there tape to get tangled in the works. And with DVDs - joy of joys! - rewinding is history. What's more, DVDs often include extras, such as interviews with actors, directors and special-effects designers. Disadvantages - DVDs are pricier than videotapes. At Kmart a new-release movie might cost $18 on tape* but $20 on DVD. And while some 10,000 movies are on DVD, you may have trouble finding certain films in the newer format**. The biggest drawback is that most DVD machines are for playback only. A few models record, but prices start at around $1500.

The bottom line. Videotapes will be around for a while***, but within a decade, say analysts, movie stores will carry mainly DVDs. Resistance is futile: If you like to buy or rent movies, DVD is in your future. For now, though, if you want to record Lassie Come Home at 3 a.m. or watch videos from your library, hang on to the old VCR.

*Seriously?? Did VHS really ever cost $18?
**Take it from me, a reformed Blockbuster addict - by 2003, it was downright impossible to find movies in VHS. We only had a VCR at one point in our apartment and renting movies was a nightmare!!
***At yard sales and thrift stores.
How funny to read that article now, in 2009!!

In other news, mom called me today from the hospice that Grandma is in, and Grandma got on the phone to sing "Jesus Loves Me" to me! She sounded very strong and it was so sweet! Then she made sure to ask how we were doing and tell me who was in the room with her listening to her. Mom said that Jenn got to talk to her last night but since I was in church they wanted to make sure I heard her today.

There really is no other news. Monday night I had Ladies Group at church, and our January meeting is always set up to plan out the year ahead. I am super excited about some of our plans!! I had to miss a lot of Saturday stuff last year because of working at the shelter, so considering I am taking a few months off from there starting in March, maybe I won't miss out on everything. Or maybe I will miss out on more because I'll have a baby? I don't know. We'll find out! I am so ecstatic for the things that are happening in 2009!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Babies Galore

This past weekend Jenn and I were privileged to get to go to Charlotte to see Libba and Jorge's new baby girl, Ruthie!! She was only two weeks old and I can't even begin to describe how precious she is. As soon as we got there, Jenn and I both literally dropped our bags and went straight to see her. We had such a good time while we were there. Of course, all the focus was on Ruthie, and we hardly did anything except hold her and ... well, that's about it. Here are some cute pictures from our trip! I assumed I would take hundreds of pictures but I was actually so intent on holding her I forgot about my camera after the first night.

And I realized I haven't posted pregnancy pictures since I was 19 weeks - holy crap! I haven't even taken a picture since 22 weeks, so all of the below pictures are from 21 or 22 weeks.

I will be sure to take one very soon because I'm getting much bigger by the day!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Baby Clothes

If you don't care about baby clothes, you can skip this post. :) These are the cutest ones from Kohl's. At 80% off, they came out to be less than $2 per onesie. No, I cannot just be a normal person and not tell how cheap I got them. (Did that sentence make sense?)

These were the cutest ones I got from Goodwill. Each was $1.69!

These are the onesies special-made by Jenn. I LOVE THEM!!! You probably won't get the first one. I doubt anyone gets it except me, Jenn, and probably Mary D.

I love baby clothes!! (Especially cheap ones)

So... much... to... tell...

It's overwhelming to come back to blogging after not writing for over a week. How do you sum up all that you've been doing? I guess I won't even try to remember everything.

Our Christmas was pretty uneventful, which was very nice. Christmas Eve is when we do Christmas with Stephen's family here in town, and it's something I always look forward to. It's really laidback. We eat, of course, and then we do a White elephant gift exchange. I bring a gag gift every year, which I think some people would rather me buy something useful, but I refuse to change a tradition. This year, I gave this little gal. Kathee at work had received it somehow, I can't remember how, and was trying to get rid of it, so I snatched it up for our party. Poor Shannon, Stephen's 14-year old cousin ended up with it. Sorry!! Stephen ended up with a set of three types of barbecue sauce (yum!!) and I got the present that Stephen brought, which he really wanted - $10 worth of his favorite candy. There was nothing else I really wanted so I took that so he'd be satisfied. After gift giving, I play the piano while we sing carols. That's my favorite part! This year we sang more than ever. I already had a cold but my voice was really hoarse after singing what was probably more than 100 songs!! I love it though.

Christmas day was very relaxing for us because we didn't have anything to do besides go to Granny's for dinner at 5:00 pm. I felt like we should spend the day undecorating but it seems that is against Stephen's religion, so instead I made french toast and bacon for breakfast and we stayed in our pajamas until time to go, and just watched movies and packed our suitcases for our upcoming trip.

We went to Georgia to see Stephen's family from December 26-January 1. It was so hard to come back to work after such a long, relaxing vacation. The only plans we ever have when we go to Georgia are to sleep in, hit the after-Christmas sales, play lots of board games, and sit by the fire pit at least twice. Oh, and party down for my birthday and Jenn & Josh's birthday (which is January 11)!! You might remember how we handle gift exchanges with our Georgia family. Well, funny enough, Stephen and I drew each others names! So we actually got presents for each other this year! His big present from me was this. He was so surprised and really loves it!! He got me everything on my list, which was candy, nail files, and Crystal Light. Yeah, I'm a cheapo. But I love it all!! Corky and Leila bought us Trivial Pursuit that has both adult and kids cards. After playing, we all agreed that we really like the kids questions! Haha! More on our level! The games they had bought for the family this year were Scattegories and Password. We played both of those a couple of times. Scattegories is one of my all-time favorite games, and I really liked Password too, but it was hard!
While we were down there we hit up a lot of sales, of course, and were lucky enough to get our crib set for the nursery on sale. This is what it looks like, although the crib we are getting is white.

It's two different colors of pink and a lime green. Stephen and I went on Saturday to pick out the paint and we are actually going with lime green. I was scared at first, but when we took the sample home it's actually much darker than the lime green you're envisioning. Trust me, I can read your mind.

We went bowling one day, which wasn't fun because I lost. We were able to eat Zaxby's, Five Guys, and Fuddruckers on this trip which totally made it worth it. We watched a couple of movies, including Hancock (not so great) and Horton Hears a Who (go rent it! now!!). We were supposed to watch the UFC fight on the 27th, but after a few fights the program started messing up. We called customer service and I volunteered to stay on the line. After 46 minutes of being on hold, and it was almost 1:00am, we decided it wasn't worth it and went to bed. Also, the food was gone. So what was the point!? So we had to watch the fights we missed online. Bummer! Sunday the 28th Stephen, Jenn and I went to my family's Christmas celebrations. We were able to eat out and still had time to run to Marshalls with mom and hit up the sales there before our Christmas party!! Woot woot! The Christmas party was a lot of fun. Unfortunately, Grandma slept through it. She had a bad fall the day before and was on some pain medicine. How she slept through violinists, singers, piano players, and over twenty people gabbing away, I don't know. But a good time was had by all.

On the 31st, we found out that my grandmother had another fall and this time she was in the hospital. We were so glad that we were still in Georgia so if we needed to we could run to the hospital or anything. Stephen really wanted to extend our trip (even though he somehow got a "family leave day" for Friday - GO FIGURE!!) and I did too, to tell you the truth, but Grandma was doing well and I knew I had to go back to work sometime. So we left on the 1st as planned, but stopped to see her at the hospital on our way out. She was very alert when we went in to see her. She commented frequently on mom's pretty dangly earrings and how pretty mine and Stephen's teeth were, which I thought was very sweet of her! We were able to sing to her some and visit with her for 30 minutes, which I'm really glad we got to do. She is doing much better now, in a private room instead of the ICU, and most likely will be shipped off to do some physical therapy in the next couple of days. She is such a tough lady and I am amazed by the strength she still has at 88 years.

Well, I am probably forgetting lots of stuff from our trip. I have some pictures to post - some updated belly pictures and some baby clothes I got on sale (those pictures are more for mom than anyone) so I will try to do that soon.

Oh yeah, mom called the day we got back from Georgia to let me know that Harris Teeter was having triple coupons again. I ended up making two trips on Friday and two trips on Saturday. Is that obsessive? I don't think so. Plus, they restocked on Saturday so it really made it worth my while. We hadn't grocery shopped in several weeks so my numbers aren't as good as they could have been, but I'm still happy with them. I spent $106 and saved $110. We won't have to do any grocery shopping for a long time, I'm happy to say!

Oh yeah (again), I think I had told some of you that I decided not to do school this upcoming semester because of saving money, not wanting to overwhelm myself with schoolwork, etc. Well, after thinking about it (and after getting an A in my last class when I was just sure I was going to get a B) I decided literally at the last minute that I am going to do one more semester. I will still finish by early March and I'm only doing one class, so the workload shouldn't be too much. Stephen is finishing his degree this semester and he is doing 18 hours so he'll be overloaded with schoolwork. I figured, if he's doing that much, maybe I should go on and stick out a small load just to get another class out of the way.

Okay, I think that's everything for now.