February 27, 2009

Please take a moment to check out this video. Its a wonderful story about the body of Christ reaching out to those in need.

for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thristy and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me. Matthew 25:35-36

Casting Crowns If We Are the Body

February Grocery Wrap-up

I started the month with a lofty goal – to not spend any money on groceries for the month of February. Since I rarely buy fresh fruits and veggies, and my freezer is stocked full of meat purchased on sale, I thought I’d have a relatively easy time of it

One thing I didn’t consider was lunch. I knew that I had plenty of canned soup and frozen lunches to do me for the month, but I didn’t factor any variety in.

When Kroger put their deli lunch meat on sale for $1 a pack – I decided that I had to break my “no spend” rule. The objective was to save money, and buying it down the road at a more expensive price doesn’t save anything.

After coupons (and adding green peppers and baby carrots to my cart) my first trip to the store totaled $11.20. I put a couple of packs of lunch meat in the fridge and threw the rest in the freezer for future use.

My next trip into the store included buying a pack of diapers for my sister (with coupon of course) and a few other almost free items totaling $13.27. The next trip was $11.73.

Then came the temptation – a $5 off when you purchase $45 or more. These coupons come around every few months and I like to use them to stockpile food. I rarely spend $45 a week on groceries, so I use this as the opportunity to stock my cabinets full with staples.

I couldn’t pass up this opportunity to save $5 on items I would use any way, so I caved under the pressure. Luckily for me, Kroger was having another $10/10 sale. I ended up spending a total of $33.09 (after coupons and beer*).

*Beer doesn’t count toward your $45 total. Its also something not regularly purchased at the house. Instead it’s a “stop dipping aid” that never seems to work. That $8.20 will be added to my “dip money” shopping spree!

My February monthly total came to $69.29. Not quite low enough to make me happy, but I know I got some great deals out of it.

Maybe I should reinstitute the challenge for the month of March. Then again, I have a $6 off a $60 purchase for next week. So maybe not!

For more money saving tips, head on over to Frugal Friday.

February 26, 2009

Christian Music

Before December, I listened to Country and Top 40 radio. Over the Christmas holiday, I changed over to the Christian station because they were playing Christmas music only for the entire month!

As the holiday season was wrapping up, they challenged their new listeners to take the 30 day challenge. Listen to their station through out the month of January, and see the impact of uplifting music in your life.

So I did. And I have.

I hardly listen to anything else now! (Dave Ramsey on the talk radio station does get me on the drive home from work though.)

I dusted off my MP3 player to find it full of depressing "tear in my beer" country songs from the 90s (Mr. Right's play list from his college days).

I desperately need to change out the songs - but I need your help. What are some great, upbeat songs (the MP3 player is for working out) that I should download? What could be more encouraging to listen to than music praising God as I do some temple upkeep?

Plus I need the reminder that the workout isn't for my own selfish reasons (lose a few inches off the thighs) but rather to make myself as healthy as possible so that I can more effectively do the work of Christ?

Okay so I don't believe that last part yet, but if I had some good music I might!!

For more great things, check out Things I Love Thursdays.

February 25, 2009

Motherly advice

In the interest of keeping it real - this post was composed about a month ago. I just never hit "publish".

This afternoon my mother put herself further down the "people I'll go to for advice" ladder.

Don't forget this is the same woman who uttered the words "cookies on the oven burner? just leave it there and it will bake right off. don't worry about it" right before my oven burst into flames.

I wore a pair of cords to church Sunday because I knew that we were going out afterwad and I didn't want to be uncomfortable.

I wore them all day not knowing that anything was wrong.

Today I realized - as i walked into the building and my ankles were cold - that these pants have become high waters.

I called her to see why she didn't tell me. "I thought they looked cute."

Cropped cords? This isn't Florida!

February 24, 2009

Free Quiznos! and weight loss ramblings...

Thanks to Southern Savers for the link.

And a shout out to my LOST message board buddy "Hello" for hooking me up with the link to their blog!

Quiznos is giving away a million subs - go here to get a coupon for yourself! I registered myself, and sent the link to Mr. Right. Since we have a Quiznos 5 minutes from our house - we'll be dining there this evening.

Actually we'll be getting them to go so we can save money by providing our own drinks and sides. Depending on how my caloric day goes, we'll either be having french fries (if I'm good the rest of the day) or I'll be eating popcorn and Mr. Right will be searching the house for some potato chips.

I'm trying to lose weight and am limiting myself to 1500 net calories a day. I get more if I work out. Yesterday was a great example - I burned around 350-400 calories at spin class, so I was able to have an extra biscuit with jelly last night and still stay below my 1500 for the day.

Of course I'm still at 135.6. The exact same weight I was last week.

Before you tell me that 135 isn't all that big, please keep in mind that 80%* of it is being carried below the waist. That's a lot of junk in my trunk!

*Percentage completely made up...although it is a scewed ratio!!

February 23, 2009

Menu Plan Monday - the Lent Edition

Monday: Omelets

Eggs were on sale last week $0.99 for a dozen, so I got two. Now I’m trying to figure out how to use them up.

Tuesday: Spaghetti

I’m going to make a double batch to freeze. Normally I make it with a packet of McCormick’s seasoning and a can of tomato paste, I think I’m going to add a can of Italian diced tomatoes and a green pepper to the mix.

Wednesday: Salsa Chicken with corn

Thursday: Black Bean Soup
I’ve had this on the menu all month, and I’ve yet to make it. Hopefully I’ll get it done this week.

Friday: Ramen noodles

I try to do something easy on Fridays, most weeks I only end up cooking 4 days a week. I leave Friday open with a quick/easy plan that requires nothing to be thawed. That way if I end up not cooking it, I’m not stuck with any meat to use before it goes bad.

I’ve got a question for those of you that observe Lent – is Friday completely meatless or can you use meat seasonings (like chicken flavored ramen) or chicken? Also is Sunday your free day to indulge?

My cousin always has sworn that Baptist’s don’t participate in lent because we give up everything year round (drinking, dancing) and are submissive to our husbands.

Thankfully, I’m saved by the blood of Christ, not the faith of the Baptist church, otherwise, I’d be in trouble! I’m not a very good Baptist.

For more great meal ideas, check out Menu Plan Monday!

February 20, 2009

Learning to accept Mr. Right's first love...

***updated with pictures of Quinn (the tiny toyota) and Jeepy***

The last thing you’ll get from me is how I get along well with Mr. Right’s exes. His first love, however is still a very big part of our lives. We’ve fought about it, I’ve made threats, but for better or worse she’s not going anywhere.

And honestly I understand why.

His first vehicle was an old Bronco with the floorboard rusted out (he had pieces of cardboard to keep it from being the Flinstone-mobile). He had to drive it to school every day to Yuppyville High. So when he got his brand new shiny 1997 Jeep Wranger Sahara, he immediately fell in love.

She occasionally gets gifts from him – a new lift suspension, huge mud tires. He takes her on dates where they get down and dirty – the more mud puddles they hit the better.

It would make financial sense to sell her – after all she’s a third wheel. I have my tiny Toyota and Mr. Right had to get an SUV to use for work (showing houses – he needed the extra seats as well as 4 wheel drive for those mountain properties). Jeepy is just a toy, a $6,000 toy that mostly just sits in the garage.

Picture from last year of Jeepy, Mr. Right, and the sensible real estate SUV.

All three vehicles are paid in full. Otherwise we would have gotten rid of the Jeep no questions asked. I have pointed out that we spend $50 a month in insurance for her, plus gas. But she’s worth it, when we put the top down in the summer and go riding through the national park.

So how do two hard core frugal addicts get around the 12 MPG that both of his vehicles get? I drive Jeepy to work. Which leaves TT and the SUV at home. If Mr. Right has errands to run (he drives all over the county taking pictures of cabins for clients, as well as checking out new properties), he takes TT.

If he has a day that he knows he’s going to be working from home all day, I take my car. If he knows he has clients, I take my car. If he thinks he will be running errands, I get Jeepy.

While the thought behind it is simple – the person driving the most takes the car that gets 36 MPG – I’m ashamed to say that I just thought of it. Gas is the one part of our budget that is out of control, and this is the perfect solution!

Although his masculinity is dinged driving a hatchback, its worth it for both of us since TT gets three times better gas mileage.

A picture of Quinn aka TT last Fourth of July.

Review your budget. Think creatively. You may think there is no way you can squeeze another dime out of your expenses. The answer may be simpler than you expected.

For more great money saving revelations, check out Frugal Friday.

February 19, 2009

Bullet points & CVSing

A quick list of things I love, before I dive into CVSing!

• Mr. Right willing to save money and drive my Trust Toyota. (Come back tomorrow for a Frugal Friday explanation.)
• Mr. Right allowing me to drive his first love – his Jeep.
• That I’m enough of a woman to drive a manual Wrangler, jacked up on big mud tires, all the while wearing dress slacks and heels.
• Tatiana isn’t going any further on Idol.
• One night of meatloaf mixing (1 lb at a time in my stand mixer) has created 4 very easy meals!
• Mr. Right is making another attempt to quit dipping – he even gave me his credit card today so he couldn’t buy any more! (He’s a CC only guy – doesn’t carry cash.) Hopefully this will be the time that takes.
• I lost 1.5 pounds last week.

Typically I don’t blog about the CVS/Walgreens deals I get because there are plenty of other bloggers out there that do the job much better than me! I check out Money Saving Mom every Monday morning to get her list of deals, and just do the ones that work for me.

For the past couple of months I’ve been disappointed with CVS. I haven’t been able to find as many of the deals posted. I’m not sure if its my new CVS or that I’ve been too busy to stop early in the week before everything is picked over.

This week, I actually had a money-making deal! Thanks to Mercedes, I purchased two Neutrogena facial bar soaps at $2.99 each, and got $10 in Extra Care Bucks! Then I purchased the Colgate Total toothpaste for $2.99 less my $1 coupon and got $2.99 in ECBs! After tax this ended up being a $4.89 money maker!

I haven’t had that kind of success deal shopping at CVS in a long time. Its enough to get me motivated again.

For more Things I Love Thursday, head on over to the Diaper Diaries.

February 18, 2009

Budgeting Spending Money

This past weekend was a busy and exciting one. Since everyone seemed to be enjoying our love story, I just decided to continue it yesterday to give myself a chance to catch up on everyone else’s blogs and get my CVS, Walgreens and Kroger deals for the week.

Friday I took off work to take my dad for his post-op doctor visit. He can now drive (it was the other knee), and is to start working himself off the crutches. If that goes well, he should be back to work with light duty next week.

While in K-town, I also did a little shopping. Stopped at the used book store and picked up some new reading material (One of which was Love and Respect – thanks for the recommendation Sarah!), then hit Ross, Marshalls, and Target, before heading to the mall for a quick trip in to JC Penny to see their winter clearance sales.

I never pay a dime at the used bookstore. I always limit my purchases to however much trade credit I receive with my returns. I had $40 this time! So I was able to get a whole cartful of books!

Ross, I got a little black dress – only $12 and it looks great on me, along with a white blazer. The blazer makes my waist look tiny and will allow me to wear those sleeveless sundresses to work. Marshall’s I spent $5 on a black DKNY top. I shopped Target for my niece’s birthday present (a bit early). I always get her a bikini, and they already had their selection out.

I found a new workout top at JC Penny for $5 (I get paid $50 every 3 months for working out) along with an adorable short sleeved sweater and a new pair of dress pants. Pants are a hard fit for me (small waist, big rear and thighs) so I was excited to find a pair that fit well for only $10.

It felt great to get out and buy new stuff just because – and I can do that because I budget splurge money every month. I know that we could save more each month if we didn’t have that, but budgets without some room just aren’t realistic.

My husband will dip whether it is in the budget or not. If he blows $60-80 a month on his dip (smokeless tobacco) I will resent him if I don’t get some money to “waste” myself. I typically save mine up and use it in one spurt like I did on Friday. And a new handbag will never give me oral cancer or make our insurance premiums go up!

It also helps him see just how much money he’s spitting away, when I come in with an armful of stuff that cost the same as his dirty habit.

Not sure if my system would work for you, but saving up my “dip money” for a shopping spree works for me!

For more great tips and tricks, check out Rocks in my Dryer’s Works for Me Wednesday!

February 17, 2009

Mr. Right and I become an official couple

I'm glad yall are loving this series! I wrote these not long after he and I started dating, and its fun for me to go back and remember the early days.

Mr. Right and I went several days between the KFW date and our follow up date. I left for Green Bay the following morning to see Brett Favre play at Lambeau Field. I got back on October 30th, but had previously committed to a church drama both that day and Halloween.

We had decided to meet that Wednesday (the 1st of November) to go to dinner and a movie. He had read in a Myspace bulletin that I had posted that Olive Garden was my favorite restaurant. He decided we would have dinner there, and follow it up with the movie Man of the Year, starring Robin Williams.

A friend of mine insisted that I dress up on all of our initial dates. However at this point, I desperately wanted to break out my tennis shoes and wear my brand new long sleeved tee that I had gotten at the game the previous weekend. I can’t remember exactly how I brought it up, but I pretty much came out and asked him if he would mind me dressing down a bit. He of course said no, and even offered to wear tennis shoes himself.

I remember being so nervous about what I was wearing. I had worn heels or heeled boots on each of our previous dates because I wanted to look nice for him, but I also didn’t want him to get the impression that I was a prissy girl. I wanted him to like me, but I didn’t want him to like me because of this false front I was putting out there. There is no way to describe just how nervous I was before this date—and I didn’t know the half of what was to come!!

Dinner was wonderful, but uneventful. After we finished eating there was some time to kill before the movie started, so we headed over to Five Oaks to check out a few of the outlet stores. We sat on the bench out front and I showed him my pictures from Lambeau. Then we went into Old Navy and I helped him pick out a new pair of jeans. As he went to pay, he noticed his credit card wasn’t in his wallet so we had to go back to the Olive Garden where he had left it.

When we got to the movie theater, I shared some stories about back in the day when I use to work there. As we made our way down the hall, I pointed to the corner ‘He broke up with me right there.’ Mr. Right—who knew which ex I was referring too and that we were still currently friends—laughed and went on to ask me how that ex was currently doing. I told him that the ex’s wife had left him for another man, even being so bold as to change her relationship status from “married” to “in a relationship”.

After a brief pause Mr. Right said, “You know I was thinking about changing my status too. What do you think about that?” I tried not to squeal from delight and then proceeded to confirm that I, too, wanted to put my status as in a relationship. The movie was horrible. The phrase “Its got Robin Williams in it, how bad can it be?” could has never been so wrong. None of that mattered—Mr. Right wanted me to be his official girlfriend.

As our talking on Myspace had progressed, I had put him in my top friends and kept track of where I was on his top friends list. I was careful to never put him higher on my list than I was on his. Up until that night, I had been his #3 and he was my #4. The next morning at work, I logged on to change my status. Not only had he changed his status, he also moved me up to #1 on his friends list. I quickly did the same.

February 16, 2009

Mr. Right meets Athena

I was nervous talking to Mr. Right after our first kiss, especially since I suspected I had rushed things a bit. The kiss date (our 3rd) was on Tuesday the 24th of October—Mr. Right’s birthday. I thought it was a good sign that he wanted to spend his birthday with me, but I was still worried that the kiss at the end of the night had been a bit aggressive on my part.

All my fears were put to rest when Mr. Right expressed interest in going out again that weekend. I definitely wanted to see him again, but my schedule was a little tight.

That Friday night I had a KFW wrestling show and the following morning I was heading to Green Bay to see the Packers take on the Arizona Cardinals at Lambeau field. When I told Mr. Right, his reaction surprised me. Not only was he not weirded out that I was involved in a local wrestling organization, but he volunteered to come watch.

Athena-my wrestling character-is a snob. Her main purpose is to talk down to the audience, insulting them as much as possible. On top of that, her wardrobe is a little more risqué than I would wear. I worried that Mr. Right didn’t know what he was getting in to and that he would think badly of me.

He seemed to think it would be fun, so I sucked it up and gave him directions to the Dance Barn (home to most of the KFW shows). He sent me a text message when he got there and I met him out in the parking lot. He was so impressed with the night’s events that he wrote his first (and only) myspace blog about it.

When he told me later that he was going to blog about it, I was very curious as to how he would refer to me. He couldn’t exactly call me his girlfriend, since we weren’t an official couple. Would he use the dreaded f word and call me his ‘friend’? Would he refer to me as a girl that he’d been dating? Actually he played it safe and just called me by my names (Brooke & Athena).

The show was eventful to say the least. I felt bad for leaving him on his own, but Athena had duties she had to attend to, mainly preparing the tongue-lashing she was about to unleash on the crowd. Thankfully, Athena’s duties were over with fairly early in the night, so I put on my fleece jacket and headed downstairs to enjoy my date.

The big attraction for the night was a flaming tables match. The rules state that the first person to set a table on fire and put his opponent through it wins. This type matched had been successfully attempted previously in the KFW, so it was considered old hat.

Only the person buying the lighter fluid chose charcoal lighter fluid instead of cigarette lighter fluid. No matter how hard they tried or how much fluid they doused on the table, they couldn’t get it to light. It seemed as if everyone in the building (fans included) made an attempt to set the table on fire to no avail.

Until some genius in the crowd decided to light a napkin on fire and tossed it onto the table. That was all it took and the flames leaped to the ceiling. Thankfully the KFW security had the fire extinguishers and put out the flames before the whole building caught on fire.

Mr. Right and I sat there as the cloud from the fire extinguisher came closer and closer to us. I assumed it would just be like a cloud of smoke that would pass by us, smell nasty, and then go away. The cloud made the air so thick it was impossible to breathe; I felt like I was suffocating.

I covered my mouth with my fleece jacket, hopped over the railing, and high tailed it out the door. A band had played earlier in the night before the first bell had sounded, and they had stuck around so we got a mini-front porch concert. Surprisingly, once the smoke cleared, we headed back in for the main event.

After it was finally over, he walked me to my car where we chatted for a little bit. Then it finally happened: he went in for a kiss. Unlike our first kiss, this one wasn’t rushed. He leaned in and brushed his lips against mine, then pulled back only slightly. With his arms still around me, we said our goodbyes, and then he kissed me again. I got into my car and headed home with butterflies floating around in my stomach.

Just a few days after the event, he summarized it by writing the following:

After worrying I wouldnt be able to find the place, I arrived without a hitch thanks to terrific directions from Brooke! "Go 5 miles past the High School and look for the big barn before the fillin station" - Ok, so maybe she didn't say "fillin' station", but you get the point! First mission accomplished! The atmosphere of the place was great - a bar in a barn with a honky-tonk band playing and dance floor...what more could you ask for!!! I was accompanied by Brooke (aka Athena Goddess and referred to as such from here on out!).

I knew I was in for a treat when the house band played Steve Holy's "Brand New Girlfriend" and wrestling began to the introduction song of "Welcome to the Jungle" (WHO DEY!! I love my Cincinnati Bengals!). Let the wrestling begin!!! It began with the World Champion (thanks to Athena for clarifying the varying titles) Overkill talking smack about taking away the belt! After a match, I realized wrestling was not my "cup of tea" - but just as I was beginning to get a bit antsy, the real reason why I ventured to Triple C took the stage - Athena the Goddess of the KFW.

Looking gorgeous and wearing her ever so fitting crown, she put the wrestlers in their place, telling them they were missing one crucial ingredient in order for them to have the opportunity to fight for the World Championship Belt - RESPECT! Said in a true lady like fashion (while sounds of fans yelling to "Smack the B*tch" filled the background!) she laid down the law and made clear who is the boss...Athena...the General Manager of the KFW! Now that the wrestling had subsided and Athena was the center of attention, I was able to smile, laugh, and get involved in what the heck was going on again!

A couple matches followed - and with the expertise of Athena, I was informed the move one of the wrestlers did I liked was called the "Figure 4". I also learned when the referree counts past three when they are doing something illegal it does not mean the match is over!! Here I was thinking the match had ended because "Nasty Nate" had counted past 3 - it was a good thing Athena was there by my side or I'd have looked like a complete blithering idiot - instead it was only partial idiocy!

The next match was set...I was informed it was going to be a "flaming table" bout. The first to get tossed through a table engulfed in flames was the loser of the match. I thought to myself...now here comes the real excitement! Son...I didnt even know the half of it.

Initially, they had a difficult time setting the table (apparently flame resistant) on fire - lighter fluid/kerosene was doused all over the table and people tried lighting it with lighters to no avail. About 30 seconds passed and random fans came to the rescue placing their lighters on the table as well. Still, no fire....just as I was beginning to lose hope and there would be no fire show someone placed some paper on the table.

Goodness, that did the trick! Before you could do a tap out count there were blazing flames up to the ceiling - from my vantage point, I could feel the immense heat from what was supposed to be a "little fire" that had grown out of control (haha...perhaps it was the whole frickin can of lighter fluid they drenched the table with!!). Luckily, there were fire extinguishers on hand and were deployed quickly.

The "smart" people in the crowd left the scene as soon as it was released - they herded through the pickett rails in order, but with a sense of urgency. I was still sitting, taking in the moment with half amusement and half "what the h*ll do I do now" when the smoke from the extinguisher came tumbling in like a mini ploom from the 9/11 disaster.

Before I knew it Athena and I were engulfed in the smoke/extinguisher clouds. It was time to do something....and fast! We pulled the neck of our shirts over our face and Athena did a "Lambeau Leap" over the railing and I quickly followed, heading for the doors and fresh air. The leap was quite ironic because just a couple minutes prior Athena had snuck up behind me next to the railing and scared the bejesus outta me by flopping my hoodie over my head. I urged her to hop over the fence and join me - she said that was not very "lady like"...Haha...Lady like gets thrown out the door when fire, smoke, and that distinct taste of extinguisher are involved!:-)

It was definitely a good time for an intermission! Everyone gathered outside on the porch and the band did some accoustic pickin of some Toby Keith's "A little less talk, a lot more action" - with a quick wit the guy did a slight variance to the song singing "A lot more talk a little less smokin action"! The very odd taste of the extinguisher was still lingering, so I hoofed it over to the Jeep and picked up my handy Orange Powerade! After I thoroughly enjoyed seeing a little kid (about 1.5 or 2 years old) decked out in a cowboy hat and boots dancing on the porch, the wrestling action was about to reconvene.

But before the wrestling was to begin, Athena had some business to take care of (sorry to embarrass you, but this was darn near the cutest thing ever!). We were standing on the porch and somewhat out of the blue she says in a quiet, innocent voice "I need you to turn your back to me and close your eyes" (or something to that effect).

Surprised, initially I did not know what was going on! She didnt tell me "earmuffs" or I probably would not have been able to decipher the sound of her hawking a big loogie off the deck and into the parking lot (ok, so that was a MAJOR exaggeration, it was more like a tiny little spit!).

Regardless, it was definitely adorable (not the act itself, but the shyness associated with it...oh and the act wasnt too bad either...) I figure she probably got some pretty good distance despite the nasty prevailing winds whipping around the area!

Apparently the Triple C Barn owners tightened the leash a little after the fire incident and some of the stunts (such as the flourescent light bulb being smashed over a guy's head!) were nixed! The other wrestling matches were a bit of a blur, except the long awaited "Casket Match" which featured the fight for the World Championship Belt. After a long and exciting battle, Overkill retained his belt and title.

Whew...I had survived my first KFW Experience! Although the wrestling action was without question very thought out, athletic, and somewhat entertaining, I have decided I'm not getting into the ring anytime soon and will not be one of the most avid fans in attendence. Talk about some hardcore fans - at the end one of the wrestler's girlfriends was struck in the back of the head by a rabbid fan! I had to ask if it was "part of the show" - but apparently not, just a honky-tonk cheap shot from an overzealous fan...I reckon!

Will I go back and watch the KFW again? Certainly, as long as Athena accompanies me...preferably we won't be engulfed in flames again! My shoes are still white from the extinguisher!

All things considered, a great night! Athena shined on the stage and was definitely the bright spot of the show as she exemplified her grace & elegance each time she took the stage (even while there were 50 something year old intoxicated women desperately urging the Wrestler's to "smack the bitch" while she was talking smack!)

February 15, 2009

Our First Kiss

I thought our first date had gone very well. I very much liked him. And he seemed to enjoy my company, but at the end of the date there was no good night kiss. That weekend I over analyzed what it could all mean.

Did it mean he wasn't as interested as I thought he was? I had picked up on what I thought were subtle hints that he was comfortable with me-his hand grazing my arm and the small of my back-but at the end of the date there was no kiss.

I'll admit that I was disappointed, but told myself it was a blind date so maybe he thought kissing me the first day he met me was a little forward. My natural inclination (and fear) was that he liked me as a person, but wasn't attracted to me in any way. Of course he said he wanted to get together again, but in the dating world that means nothing.

A friend of mine-Michelle-offered another suggestion as to why he hadn't made a move: "Sounds like a really fun date! He didn't kiss you? He MIGHT be a gentleman! See him again!!" And of course I did. The following Tuesday we went out for dinner and then putt-putt golfing. I should say that he took me for dinner and he just sat there. He took a bite or two of his burger, and ate very few of his fries. He assured me that he had a big lunch and just wasn't hungry, but I'm still not buying that story! (Edited in 2009 - he now claims that he was so nervous because he liked me so much!)

As we were driving to find a putt-putt course open in October, he leaned over, reached under my seat and said 'What's this?" I wondered if this was some new come on line and groping my calf was the way guys made the first move in Ohio. Turns out, he had bought me Lost: Season 2 on DVD and hidden it under the seat in his Jeep.

He said he had planned to hide it somewhere a little smoother, but couldn't get it worked out. I think he wanted it, along with some of his pride, back after I kicked his rear in putt-putt. Or at least that's what I like to say; I still think that he let me win. No one as competitive as he is can be that bad at a sports-related activity can they?

At the end of the date there was plenty more talking in the Jeep, then another hug, and no sign of a good night kiss. Of course friends assured me there was nothing to worry about. He had given me the nice (and expensive) 2nd date gift. Surely he wouldn't have given me a present midway through the date if he wasn't romantically interested. I convinced myself that if the dining part of the date hadn't went well he would have kept the DVDs under the seat and ended the date.

I had conflicting reports on how I should approach the issue on the third date. My brother-in-law insisted that the guy should always be the one to make the first move, but that if Mr. Right didn't kiss me by the 3rd date I should just be forward and ask him why he hadn't. Another guy friend of mine cautioned me about the danger of getting into the friend zone, 3 dates and no action would probably mean the end of any romantic hopes I had with this guy. He encouraged me to be open for Mr. Right making the move, or making the move myself if necessary.

Our third date was on his 27th birthday. We went to the Brewery for dinner, and then afterward I gave him his birthday present-homemade chocolate chip cookies. (Yes, I baked them!) Since we couldn't decide what else to do on the date, we went back into the Brewery for drinks and to listen to the live music.

The singer didn't know any of the songs we requested, including Blake Shelton's "Nobody But Me". As the night came to a close, we said our goodbyes in the parking lot. I later explained to a friend via email that he had been "holding my hand and playing with it while we were standing by my car talking."

Surely this would be the night that it would happen. But as we leaned in to one another, it very much became a hug-type lean in. Right before we hugged one another, there was a quick peck on lips. At the time, I wasn't sure if he went for it or if I did. All I knew is that it had finally happened!

Although the more I thought of it, I got embarrassed because I knew that I had made the first move. I just had to hope that he wasn't put off by girls being too forward. I hoped for a 4th date, but I wasn't sure if he felt the same…

February 14, 2009

Our first date

We had decided previously that we would meet on Friday the 13th of October at Johnny Carino’s. When I got home from work that day, I started getting ready. I had selected a pink corduroy blazer and a tan camisole.

Unfortunately, my good booty jeans were dirty, so I had to go with a back up pair. I proceeded to straighten my hair and leave my apartment 30 minutes before I was supposed to meet up with him.

I grabbed a book on the way out because I knew that it wouldn’t take me that long to get to the restaurant (which is about 10 minutes away), but I didn’t want to make a bad impression by being late.

Half way to the restaurant, I began to question if I had unplugged my straightening iron. The more I considered it, I was convinced that I hadn’t. With visions of my apartment going up in flames, and thinking I still had plenty of time, I turned around and went back home. Of course when I arrived at my apartment my straighter had already been turned off and unplugged prior to my departure.

As I got into the city, traffic began to back up and I realized that I had need 30 minutes to get to the restaurant, only I wasted about 15 going back home. Thankfully, he was stuck in traffic as well. At a couple of minutes to seven, he called and let me know that he was running late.

Mr. Right: Are you there yet? I'm running a couple minutes late, I can see the Johnny Carino's sign, but traffic is ridiculous and wont be there for a few minutes.
Brooke: No, I'm running a couple minutes late myself.

A couple minutes passed and he called me back again.

Mr. Right: I'm here, are you here yet?
Brooke: Nope, still in traffic.
Mr. Right: That's what I figured, I didnt see any cute brunettes waiting around the parking lot!

Thankfully, I didn’t have to stress about being rudely late because he was too.

When I finally arrived at the restaurant, I found him waiting on a bench outside. I was pleasantly surprised that he was even cuter than in his pictures. He had already been there for a few minutes and had put our name down for a table. I joined him on the bench and we chatted as we waited to be seated.

The number one rule of first dates is that you never plan to extend the date until you know for sure that you want to spend more time with this person. You never arrange for post dinner festivities until you are comfortable with them.

While we were waiting for our table, he asked if I wanted to go bowling with some friends of his afterward. Then he called them to set it up. In less than 30 minutes we both knew that the other was someone we’d be interested in spending more time with. He’s since confessed that he had his friends on reserve for if the date was going well.

Thankfully I was comfortable with him, because what happened next freaked me out. When meeting guys on the Internet, I’ve always been very careful to not give them too much information. I never told them where I worked, my last name, or any other information that could potentially be used to stalk me in the future.

Out of the blue he asked, “Is your last name...?” I said yes, and then proceeded to ask how he knew. What if he had done the same type of scary research on me that he had done on the Cheezmania cheese balls? Turns out he was talking about this brunette named Brooke that he was going out on a date with and a family member of the couple we were going bowling with suggested it could be this girl that she knew.

Not surprisingly, I dominated the conversation. I began to worry that I wasn’t giving him an opportunity to talk and that he would be very put off by my chatty nature. I kept reassuring myself that he was encouraging me to talk, asking question about something he knew that I love—the television show Lost.

He had just recently started watching and had quite a few questions about the plot and what was happening with some of the characters. Being the geek that I am, I knew the in-depth answers to what was going on with each of them.

After we finished with the meal I broke the number 2 first date rule. I got in his car with him. I have always been super careful to not put myself in the position that a date would cart me off somewhere and hack me to bits. But from the moment I saw him, I was so comfortable with him that I knew there was no need for the caution.

We met up with his friends at the bowling alley. I quickly learned that the three of them were very good at bowling, and very competitive. We bowled 2 games and they smoked me in both of them. My bowling highlight was a frame that I was convinced was a gutter ball. Dejected, I turned around and headed to my seat. Only to miss the ball swerve back to take out several pins. According to Mr. Right, his bowling highlight was watching me bowl in my jeans - guess the backup pair weren't as bad as I thought!

When the bowling center closed, we figured it was about time to wrap the date up. He took me back to my car and we chatted a little before I got out of his Jeep. I was stalling, talking about random crap waiting for him to kiss me. After about 15 or 20 minutes, I gave up, settled for a hug, and headed home. Little did I know that he would make me wait even more before we had for our first kiss…

February 13, 2009

Friday the 13th - the day we first met

Because I'm a sappy freak - and won't be able to blog till Next Thursday - I've decided to republish (here for the first time) our story. These were written back in 2006, shortly after we first started dating.

The story of Brooke and Mr. Right begins several months before our first meeting. I (Brooke) had created a page on Myspace and the prompting of my friend Libby, but never really used it much till another friend (Corinn) suggested that I could use to meet guys—thanks girls!

Simultaneously, Mr. Right was preparing to move down here from Ohio and began looking for people (girls) in the area that he might like to get to know. In May of 2006, I received a friends request from him as well as an email. According to him I was one of his first Myspace friends (he signed up for MySpace on May 20th and friended me May 25th).

Apparently I had that sweet, innocent look that he seems to go for. That same month, my family had vacationed in Ohio, so right off the bat he and I had something to chat about.

For several months he and I emailed back and forth. I knew he was different, because unlike most of the other guys on Myspace, his emails were lengthy and thoughtful and consisted of more than ‘u r hot. wanna go out?’

At one point, however, the long emails put me off. Here was this cute, or at the least photogenic, guy that spent a good deal of time talking to me. Surely there was something wrong with him, as he seemed too good to be true.

My fears were confirmed when I posted a blog about my craving (and searching) for Planter’s CheezMania cheese balls. He took it upon himself to do a couple of pages of research about why the product was hard to find and was eventually discontinued.

Little did I know that shortly after moving down to Tennessee, he got hurt at work and was cooped up in his house for quite some time. Had I been stalking his comments, I would have seen that everyone was asking him how he was going and throwing around get well soon’s.

He was hurt, bored, and so his research in response to my cheese ball ranting wasn’t all that scary or stalkerish as I first suspected, but at least for the moment it did make me question his sanity.

Finally in September, he asked me out. After emailing for 5 months, just coming out and asking me to go out with him would have been a bit awkward. So instead he came up with a cheesy line.

Brooke Sept. 7th, 2006:
Sounds like you've made friends in the area fairly quickly. So are you still liking it down here pretty well?

Mr. Right Sept. 7th, 2006:
Am I still liking it here? Yeah, its pretty good, but it would be EVEN better if you wanted to do something with me sometime?! I'm such a dork, and have wanted to see ya for a while, but thats just my shy personality coming out in me I guess!

Brooke Sept. 26, 2006:
I would love to meet up sometime. I'm sorry to say that my next couple of weekends are crazy. But we really do need to plan something!

It took several weeks for our schedules to finally work, because we both had trips planned in October. I went to a friend’s wedding the first week in October and went to Green Bay the last week of the month. The weekend before my trip to Wisconsin, he traveled back to Ohio for the OU homecoming game.

I suggested Friday, October 13th. Fortunately, he wasn’t too superstitious to accept. I emailed him my phone number and ask him to call me so that we could work out the details.

He called the Wednesday before and our conversation lasted less than 2 minutes. By the end of the call I was convinced this boy had no interest in me. Nonetheless, we would meet in person for the first time 2 days later.

To be continued at Johnny Carino’s…

February 12, 2009

The night the lights went out...and the morning after breakfast

Last night, as Mr. Right and i sat reading by candle light, I knew exactly what my TILT post would be - I love electricity!

Only this morning, I got free chic-fil-a for breakfast, so I was a little conflicted.

So I decided to sing both of their praises!

Due to the wind/rain storm that came through last night, mr. right and I had no power until about 9:30 last night (which means no lost for me - don't spoil me please!)

We lose power in our area frequently, so I took home Taco Bell for dinner just in case. I had visions of getting 1/2 way through cooking dinner only to have the power go out and us left with out food and no way to clean up the mess.

It was a good thing that I did, because the power was already out by the time I got home. I gathered the candles and the flash lights while there was still daylight to see, and Mr. Right and I made sure the pathways were clear.

Our house is junkie because i'm a good wife. Yeah, that's it. I'm such a sweet wife, I don't complain when he leaves his crap laying everywhere. Seriously, for my own sanity I'd pickup after him if it stayed picked up. But he'll go looking for the item and then drag it right back out. But I digress.

Once it got dark we went to bed...

and read by candle light. Don't worry, once I finished my Marie Claire magazine, we worked on the Challenge. ;-)

He and I even discussed having an "electricity free" day once a month, just as a way to step back and appreciate what we have, and how blessed we truly are. Not sure that I'll be up to that come summer and 90 degree temperatures though!

Oooh, I just thought of another thing I love - City water! I hate the taste and I hate that we have a water bill every month. But it sure was nice to be able to freely flush toilets, wash our hands, and wash my makeup off. With wells, if the electricity goes off, you have no water because the pump can't run.

So what does any of this have to do with Chic-fil-a?

Nothing, but this month (at least in my area) they are giving away free biscuits. The chicken mini's to be exact. So while technically they didn't give me a free product to review, I did get a free product out of the deal.

Just because they are super cool like that. :) As a matter of fact they are giving away a free breakfast sandwich every Thursday in the month of February (in my area at least). All you have to do is take in a cereal box top.

I just walked up to the counter, handed my box top (that I'd gotten free at Walgreen's ages ago) and said "can I trade my corn pops for a biscuit?"


I walked out with 3 chicken minis in my hand and it cost me nothing but the gas to the store. Oh and 280 calories, but my corn pops would have been 220 any way.

For more great companies and products, check out Things I Love Thursdays, over at the Diaper Diaries

Me and My valentine

Some Q & A from Lois over at Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

I'd love to hear yours!

How long have you been together?
A little over 3 years (Friday the 13th, October 2006 was our first date)

How long did you know each other before you started dating?
We talked (thru myspace) for 5 months before meeting.

Who asked who out?
He asked me – FINALLY!

How old are each of you?
I’m 28 and he’ll be 30 this year (I’ll be 29)

Whose siblings do/ did you see the most?
he's an only child (i originally published Lois's answer cause i looked over this one)

Do you have any children together?
Nope, not even a furry one

What about pets?
Oops, answered that too quickly.

Which situation is the hardest on you as a couple?
He’s use to a stay at home mom. I’m use two full time parents who share the load

Did you go to the same school?
Nope, he’s from Oh-io

Are you from the same home town?
Another “no”. he’s from yuppyville, I’m from hickstown

Who is the smartest(oops i read that wrong, thought it said smart _ _ _)?
*raises hand high and proud*

Who is the most sensitive?
I’m a emotional train wreck. In a good way. Sometimes. :P

Where do you eat out most as a couple?
Taco Bell. As far as fancy restaurants we try never to go to the same place twice.

Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple?
New York (where he proposed)

Who has the worst temper?
*raises hand in shame*

Who does the cooking?
Me, he doesn’t even like heating canned soup!

Who is more social?
Me, which is odd because he’s the one in sales

Who is the neat freak?
Me again.

Who is the more stubborn?
Me probably, but he can be

Who hogs the bed?
Without a doubt, him. it’s a king bed and he’s always on my side!

Who wakes up earlier?
Me, he’s self employed.

Where was your first date?
Johnny Carinos then to the bowling alley

Who has the bigger family?
Me. I have 10 aunts/uncles, each with spouses and 26 cousins! He has 6 cousins and 2 uncles and an aunt.

Do you get flowers often?
He got me flowers every month for our “monthiversary” he’s only done it once since we got married.

How do you spend the holidays?
Alternating between West Virginia (his mom’s family) and here (mine)

Who is more jealous?
Me, without a doubt.

How long did it take to get serious?
We both new right away

Who eats more?
He’s a beast! Well as much of a beast as a man can be 174lbs!

Who does/ did the laundry?
I do mine, he lets his sit in the basket till his mom comes for a visit.

Who’s better with the computer?
him - he can build web sites and all kinds of fun stuff.

Who drives when you are together?
we both do. equally, not at the same time.

February 11, 2009

Mr. Right meets the parents

this is a blog i originally wrote in 2006, that we posted on our personal blog. (btw - mr. right keeps wanting me to update it and i keep saying i'm busy - with this blog :P)

I have been in many different types of performances, but this was like nothing I had ever done before. I reapplied my makeup before stepping into my cotton candy pink dress. I stepped into the box, felt myself being lifted up, and then the waiting began.

My heart raced as I sat there. I could blame the nervousness on the 6,000 people that would see me, in just a few moments, pop out of the box and dance with Santa Claus. I could point the finger at the Mountain Dew I drank 15 minutes prior to show time.

The real culprit? My boyfriend of barely a week was introducing himself to my parents for the first time, and I wasn’t there to see how things went down.

I am heavily involved in my offic'es Winter Kickoff event, put together by one of the departments I work for. The event includes performances of local dance troupes and choirs, carnivals and games, pictures with Santa, and various other activities throughout the night.

The evening culminates with the lighting ceremony, and this year, our lights were going to be “magically” switched on by the Mayor. As with any performance, we had several rehearsals before the big show.

Our first meeting with the magician, was in October, on Friday the 13th. Unfortunately for me, I fit into his magic box perfectly, and would be used as one of his lovely assistants. Torturing...um...Utilizing me in this manner would save my employeer a significant amount of money.

Later that day I met Mr. Right for the first time. So when he asked “Did you have a good day at work today?” I certainly had an interesting answer for him!

In later rehearsals, he and I traded text messages, me complaining that it was too cold to be in that tiny dress, him offering to warm me up-promising me a cup of coffee after the event. Once he realized what exactly was happening, he decided that if I was going to pop out of a box in a cute little dress, he was going to be there to watch.

As I was eating dinner (and drinking my Mountain Dew), he called to let me know that he had gotten home from work and would be heading this direction. Not familiar with the Sevierville area, he needed directions to get to the event site. He said that he could probably be there by 7:15, I had to be dressed and in my box by 7. If he got lost and needed help finding it, I wouldn’t be able to get to my phone and help him out. I had no choice but to give him my parents’ cell phone numbers.

I finished up my dinner, got into costume and headed toward the stage. I crawled into my box, felt the box being lifted up to the stage, and I waited. When I heard the children shrieking I knew that the Grinch was repelling down from the top of Tower One, a fire truck with a bucket that reaches heights of 100ft.

Then I heard the excitement of the kids as Santa made his way toward the stage. Finally it was my turn. I prayed that I didn’t fall on my face as I crawled out of the box and added a quick prayer that I didn’t flash the crowd my naughty bits during my dance with Santa as he spun me around.

I exited the stage and headed back to our makeshift dressing room. I then headed into the crowd to find my parents and Mr. Right. When he had called my dad to find out where they were sitting, they immediately found one thing they had in common: neither of them go anywhere (excluding church) without his baseball hat firmly upon his head. They traded hat colors and kept an eye out for each other as Mr. Right made his way toward the seating area in front of the stage. As to their exact conversation, I still don’t know what was said. But the initial reaction from both was favorable.

My parents hung around long enough to say hello, and then headed home. Mr. Right stuck around and graciously helped with clean up. I was running on adrenaline from the night’s events so I was in high gear, but I did manage to introduce him to a couple of my friends. While there wasn’t much time for chatting, they were both impressed with his willingness to volunteer for clean up, something that many of the workers who are getting paid usually aren’t willing to do.

For more great love stories, check out We are THAT Family's SWAK Carnival.

My grandfather's new security system...

he raises cattle and one of his calfs got gone (presumably by a coyote) the night she was born. Enter Inez to save the day...

For more Wordless Wednesday, head on over to 5 Minutes for Mom. (Sorry this is as wordless as I get.)

February 10, 2009

Recipe Tuesday

on a lighter note - today is Tuesday which means...Tasty Tuesday and Tempt My Tummy Tuesday!

One of the first dishes I learned to make was TexMex Shells & Cheese. As with a lot of my recipes, I borrowed it from the Kraft Foods web site.

1 lb. lean ground beef 1 pkg.
12 oz. (1 box) Shells & Cheese Dinner
1 can (14-1/2 oz.) Mexican-style diced tomatoes, undrained
1-1/4 cups water
1 cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese

BROWN meat in nonstick skillet on medium-high heat; drain.

STIR in Shells, tomatoes with their liquid and water. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer 15 min.

ADD Cheese Sauce; stir until blended. Sprinkle with shredded cheese.

This is about a $3 meal (we don't use the shredded cheddar, its cheesy enough without it.

Head on over to Tasty Tuesday
and Tempt my tummy Tuesday for more yummy recipes!

Here's my $15 copay

Now that I've paid you as my therapist, you have to listen. :P

I am the most insecure person in the world. scratch that.

I am the 2nd most insecure person in the world.

Let’s be realistic here, surely I can’t be the worst.

Can I?

I try to let me frugal freak banner fly high, but that’s not who I really am.

I’m the girl who saves every penny, so that one day she can afford that she’s always wanted. Only by the time the pennies add up, the dream changes and I need more pennies.

So being made fun of for watching network channels on an old 26 inch TV really does get to me.

Have I mentioned how much I hate the way I look?

I’ve been working out more and watching what I eat since the first of the year and the scale just isn’t budging. You’d think cutting back from 3-5 days of fast food for lunch down to 1 would do the trick, but it hasn’t. Neither has cutting in half the number of cokes I drink in a day (from 2 down to 1, sometimes none).

Then there is Sunday school. To be honest I’m starting to understand why Mr. Right doesn’t like it at the big church. I think having a community of people who are in our age group/place in life is important. But every Sunday feels like middle school. Will there be anyone talk to me? Will I fit in okay?

I don’t take criticism well. Mostly because I see it as validation that I really am that pathetic. Incompetent. Socially inept.

And while I’ve picked at Mr. Right before in social situations, I realized this weekend its just not appropriate. Being called a name, even when its all just for a laugh, really isn’t worth it.

I know he just did it because he assumed that its okay – why wouldn’t it be, I do it all the time. But it still hurt.

Sorry for the serious crap, just had to get it off my chest.

I promise a donkey picture for wordless Wednesday tomorrow.

February 09, 2009

Menu Plan Monday: Growing Family Edition

This weekend we welcomed a new member to the family – Inez the donkey! My Papaw got her because he lost a calf last month due to a coyote. Donkeys are great at protecting cattle. Inez is a sweetheart (and a good judge of character - she likes me best!) I hope to post pictures tomorrow.

On to the menu for the week:

Monday: Leftovers
I have leftovers from TI Friday’s lunch yesterday (sizzling chicken and cheese) and will feed mr. right leftovers of chicken spaghetti from the end of last week. I’ll probably need to open a can of green beans and make some bread to finish out the meal.

Tuesday: Leftover tacos
We went to a friend’s house for dinner this weekend and they sent us home with hard taco shells and taco seasoned ground beef. I’m going to heat them along with a can of refried beans and call it a meal.

Wednesday: BBQ Pork chops & au gratin potatoes
This will be my first time marinating anything, but my mom swears that its easy.

Thursday: Black Bean Soup
This was on the menu for last week, but I ended up going to the dentist with mr. right and didn’t want to have to wait for it to cook. We had ramen noodles instead.

Friday: Pizza
I’m helping to set up for a charity event on Saturday. They’ll provide us with pizza for helping Friday night with the set up. If mr. right doesn’t get an opportunity to swing by and help, I suppose he’ll have taco bell on the way home for dinner.

February 06, 2009

February Monthly Challenge

Over at Frugal Hacks, they are challenging us to adopt a new behavior for a month, and see how well that works for us.

My challenge for the month is staying out of the grocery store. I currently have a well stocked pantry, so I should be able to pull it off. My menu plan for the month is complete, and requires no shopping on my part.

Lunch is the only challenge I foresee right now. I've got about a weeks worth of canned soup in my desk at work, as well as some Lean cuisine meals in the freezer. I might have to get a little creative and make a hamburger helper to bring to work for a couple days near the end of the month.

I look forward to the challenge!

Update - This is a post I composed at the first of the month, and I've already 'failed' in the challenge. Kroger had their lunch meat on sale for $1 a pack - and I had $1 off when you buy two coupon. This was a deal I just couldn't past up.

My total was $11.73 for several packets of sliced turkey & ham (which doesn't expire till the end of March and can be frozen as is), $1 bagged salad, and a couple of green peppers and onions.

The purpose of the goal is to make sure that I would/could actually use the items in my stockpile, not to deprive myself of a great deal and pay more later.

I've set a new goal of getting through the month and only spending $20 total at the grocery store. Which could be a challenge...depend on next week's sale flyer!

For more Frugal Friday ideas, check out Crystal's Biblical Womanhood blog.

February 05, 2009

Update on Mamaw & randomness

Thanks for your prayers guys. Turns out she "just" has Shingles. Painful, but not life threatening.

My dad and I hung out most of the day together, and believe it or not he let me control the TV! He must still be highly medicated! :P His surgery went well and he said that his knee is already feeling better than it was before the surgery! Talk about an answered prayer!!

I know this is a little different - normally TILT is reserved for products or usuable items, but today I would like to tell you how much I love my family.

My husband - for dropping his busy workday and taking my grandmother to the doctor. My grandfather could have taken her (the snow wasn't that bad) but it would have worried my grandmother more.

My mom - for looking out (and bossing us when we need it) all of the people she loves.

My dad - for just getting me (and for making me into who I am today...for better or worse).

My grandparents - for being so active in my life. They are in their 70s and our family would lost without them.

My sister - for being my best friend.

the princess - for being so darn cute! (it doesn't hurt that she thinks i'm great)

the little man - for being full of grins and giggles

My family is amazing - I'm very thankful that God blessed me enough to allow them each a place in my life.

For more TILT, head on over to the Diaper Diaries

February 04, 2009

Please pray...

for my family.

Mr. Right had to bring me to work this morning because of the snow. Its not too bad, but I'm not use to driving in it.

When we pulled into the parking lot the phone rang - my mother telling me that my grandmother has been having chest pains for the past 3 days. "If I can convince her to go, and the doctor will see her, can Mr. Right drive her?"

"There is no convincing her, you throw her into the car and take her. And if she's having chest pains and the doctor won't see her, then someone needs to pitch a fit."

My mom insists on going with her, along with my Papaw, so I'm on cripple duty today. Mama said that Daddy was so drugged up that he wouldn't notice I was there, but I feel better being there just in case. And it means a full day of watching whatever I want on cable! ;)

February 03, 2009

Yard Sale Update/Dave Ramsey question

I forgot to give yall an update on the yard sale – I made $150!!

Considering that my biggest ticket item was $10 (a leather purse) and everything else was $5 or less, I was really pleased. We got rid of a lot of junk!

I’m still new to this married thing. In my head, I had already decided what to do with the money. Then I remembered that it was just as much his money as mine (very literally – he gave up a lot of ugly, pleated front, old man dress pants for us to make that much money) and I should consult him about what we would do with it.

Being a Dave Ramsey fan (come on – drink the kool-aid! Its very tastey!) I wanted to put it on our debt. He and I were very blessed to come into the relationship debt free – but we’ve picked up two debts along the way – an HH Gregg bill for appliances, and a mortgage on 5.55 acres of land.

I know that Dave would beat me if he knew, but HH Gregg was offering 24 months interest free financing. Rather than take the money out of savings, we decided to take them up on their offer. Of course the “amount due” on the bill isn’t the amount we pay each month. We took the amount of the purchase and divided it by 24, so that we would have it paid off before the high rate kicks in.

As he would say, we’re playing with snakes and right now we have to be very careful to not get bitten.

Before you ask – the reason we purchased appliances is because we had to! His parents purchased a home (hand-picked by us) to use as a rental property. The home was a foreclosure and had been stripped before the previous occupants left.

Our other debt is 5.55 acres of land we purchased at an auction the weekend we got back from our honeymoon. After putting 25% down (what the bank requires on land purchases now, due to the current state of the economy), we were left with $33K.

My measly $150 from the yard sale doesn’t go very far in reducing that debt so I was afraid that Mr. Right would want to spend the money in another way. Or else just put it in savings for a rainy day.

Maybe I played it right saying “you might not like how I want to spend the money.” Because I think he had visions of a clothing shopping spree in his head, or else buying a headboard for our master bedroom. He looked pretty scared – until I told him I wanted to add it to our land payment for next month. He agreed that was the best way to use the money. Isn’t it amazing when you agree with your spouse on something like that? It made me feel really good knowing we’re on the same page.

For all you Dave followers – I have a question. Not counting the appliances and the land, we’re to baby step 4 in the process. I’m cheating and not counting the appliances, so pretend they aren’t there. (I know its hard, but just play along). Do you think that he would consider the land our mortgage and a part of baby step 6 (since our current plan is to get the land paid off then use it as our down payment to build the home of our dreams on that land), or would he consider it part of our debt snowball to be attacked before we move on to #4?

February 02, 2009

Menu Plan Monday: The Sore Loser Edition

First off let me say congrats to Kurt Warner for being named the 2008 NFL Man of the Year!

And as the sore loser that I am, I’ll share a joke with you dedicated to the refs of last night’s Super Bowl, who didn’t bother to review the last play of the game.

A hardcore football fan dies and goes to heaven. After meeting Jesus, he is excited to learn that he’s surrounded by NFL greats. After a little while, he works up his nerve to ask St. Peter about them.

“I noticed that Reggie White, Kurt Warner, and other great players are here in heaven. We even have a great coach in Tony Dungee. So why don’t they ever play any games?”

St. Peter turns to the man and says “We can’t…we don’t have any referees.”

I tell that joke with all the love in my heart, because my father is a high school football referee. He’s having surgery on his knee tomorrow (a football battle scar) so please keep him in your prayers, along with my mother. According to her, he’s not the best patient in the world.

On to my menu plan for the week:

Monday: Pizza, leftover chili-cheese dip, and popcorn
Tuesday: Hamburger Helper (Lasagna I think)
Wednesday: Black Bean Soup – Mr. Right has a dentist appointment, so I wanted to make something easy to eat
Thursday: Chicken Spaghetti – Recipe below, given to me by a coworker
Friday: Birthday dinner for a friend. We happen to have a gift certificate for the restaurant she chose, thanks to one of Mr. Right’s clients.

Chicken Spaghetti1 can chicken
1 can cream of chicken soup (she uses cream o’mushroom, but I have a spore phobia)
1 can rotel (diced tomatoes w/jalepenos)
1 can tomato sauce
spaghetti noodles
Cook noodles with 2 chicken bouillon cubes
Mix remaining ingredients, microwave 5-8 minutes

For more great meal ideas, head on over to Menu Plan Monday