Welcome to our adventures. I try as best as I can to document the happenings here in our family - everything from the shenanigans to the spiritual, from the kid to the kitchen, from the cat to the catastrophes. We believe that adventure can be found in everything we do...even in the mundane tasks of the day. When we set our minds on things above in gratitude to God, we find the strength to approach life with a sense of purpose & adventure. The adventure may not always be what we have planned...but isn't that what adventure is all about?

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Friday, June 27, 2008
This happened while I was actually on the computer....otherwise, this too would be sucked into the story vortex never to be revealed to friends and family.

Abby was in the other room telling Mike all about the Apostle Paul (actually, she was preaching a sermon - it had 3 points and everything). She was talking about Paul's Damascus Road experience....although, she couldn't quite remember the name of the road.

"What was that road again? Gymnastics?"
Friday, June 6, 2008

What do Seals & Crofts know anyway...I don't know what Summer Breeze they were sitting in, but it's not the one in our town. I'm here to tell you....SUMMER is here. And I've been told by more than a few people that this ain't nuthin' baby. Today was the first day that I started to wonder if I will survive my first summer in Tennessee. I could be wrong, but I'm sure I saw it reach 98 degrees....maybe my mind was playing tricks on me. I'm praying that God would extend weather favor to me by removing any possibility of the temperature in our zipcode rising above 74 degrees. Ok, ok....it's not that bad....I'm just a heat whimp, what can I say. And, actually today there was a nice summer breeze - and, it did make me feel fine. But, there was not jasmine to speak of.

Ok, enough already with the S&C references...let's get down to some updating.

As you probably read in our last update, Abby made a big decision recently. To celebrate her citizenship in the Kingdom, Mike and I got her a "big girl" bible. It's the NIrV Adventure Bible and it's quite nice! It's got great study tools and fun things to do to reinforce what the Word says. Abby is reading pretty good and is able to actually read from her bible. We made a deal with her that if she reads a verse on her own, she can mark it with a highlighter. The great part about this is that she reads it over and over again and essentially memorizes it in the process! Not sure what it is about a highlighter....who knew that highlighting some words would be such a motivation. Anyway, so far she has 3 verses highlighted I think. 2 of them (from Proverbs) teach us about telling the truth and heeding a warning. Mamma like.

More news on the Abby front...we got news in the mail yesterday that the school she tested for at the end of the month has invited her to attend their Kindergarten program. Although we were quite impressed with the public school across the street, we are very excited for Abby to be part of this school. I can't believe my baby is going to go to school. I can't imagine her not being with me for that many hours a day.

We are so thankful for the cost of living here...and although we are suffering from food and gas price increases just like the rest of the country, we are actually able to (for the first time in many years) live within our means. I'm sure many of you have heard me say that it was only by the grace of God that we lived each month....on paper, things did not work. Once the mortgage was paid, there wasn't much left over to rub together. However, we always got by and had things we needed (and sometimes wanted). I'll never figure out how that worked, but I'm here to say that it didn't have anything to do with me or Mike. To be honest, we never really had a budget (oh, we had a theoretical one that I would always refer to when I needed to sound like I was a good steward with our money) and alot of times we spent money on things that we never really should have. But, that's all water under the bridge.....because.....drumroll please......this frivolous feather merchant is now a coupon commando!

I said we were living within our means now, but I didn't say it was necessarily comfy! Since we have sat down and budgeted our money and done a 30 day diary, we now see that it's important for us to be frugal wherever we can. Especially if we want to buy a house soon. So unless money starts growing on trees, it's up to me (Office Manager of Club Amaro) to start making things happen (or not happen as the case may be). I have started following a number of blogs (incidentally, all published by Moms....funny, huh?) that give incredible information about how to maximize coupons and get stuff for next to nothing. It's actually a whole underground society that scares me and excites me all at the same time. Yes it's true - I'm all about coupons now...and slowly but surely my goal is to pay nothing or close to it for many things that my family needs....and if my family doesn't need it, I can bless somebody else with it. I am starting to get the hang of it a little bit....my most recent victory was buying 2 bottles of Head and Shoulders shampoo and making $1.49. Yes - I actually made money and got 2 bottles of shampoo that normally cost $5.49 each. If you want to see what got me started down this road, check out this article.


We are finally happy to not see alot of boxes hanging around the apartment! We finally found some decent living room furniture and unpacked the last few boxes to make our living room complete. The first night we celebrated by watching a movie and making popcorn. I believe that was the first time we watched TV since we've lived in TN...

We are very happy to see our boxes go bye-bye, but today, we had a VERY, VERY special treat arrive today in the form of a box. After hitting the "Y" for some H20 aerobics, a very hungry Kristin popped into the UPS Store to pick up the mail. I was surprised to find one of those fun little slips that say, "come to the counter, we've got something big for ya". So I hand it over to the gal behind the counter and she gives me this big box. YAY!!! I love big boxes that are addressed to me!! The return address belonged to one of my H2H girls.....I instinctively know that something good is about to appear before my eyes. I ripped it open right there on the UPS counter and started to cry as I pulled out one fun Trader Joe's treat after another...and, of course the enclosed card only increased water works. The crying ceased immediately when it dawned on me that I had a solution to my pangs of hunger right before me! I tore into those Snap Pea things quicker than you could say Trader Joes rocks. I have to confess I also had a few chocolate covered pretzels too. The gal behind the counter probably thought I was on drugs. My H2H girls rule...I miss you guys so much - thank you, thank you. More than the fact that it was fun TJ stuff, the fact that you thought of me made my day.

Geez, could this post be any longer? SURE IT COULD!!!

Today we celebrated Aaron's 3rd birthday...it was so much fun! Aaron is all about CARS, so that was the theme, complete with a "Sheriff" cake (made by Bonni). This was quintessential summer fun (complete w/ heat, remember?). The kitchen table was pulled out to the front yard under the shade of the trees - the grill was setup on the front porch and all the kids ended up shirtless at one point or another. It's one of those times when you don't care that your kid is eating alot of sugar, getting food on their clothes or getting sweaty, dirty or sticky...you just let them do their thing and you know they are having a blast.

A few other items of note....

Abby starts swimming lessons next week. This should be interesting because the child has a fit if one drop of water gets in her eyes when I'm washing her hair. Maybe I can convince the swimming teacher to wash her hair while she's in the pool....kill two birds with one stone.

We are actually starting to look at houses...we have been driving neighborhoods and looking at them enough online to get a sense of what areas we want to be in. We also know where we want our mortgage payment to be, so that means that we have a price range that we need to stay under. We also have a realtor working with us. We are praying that God is preparing our home for us even now and that we would know the right timing for it.

Well - if you have stuck with reading this far, I commend you! I apologize for such a long post..I should probably try to break them up a little bit in the future. But, at least you can now consider yourself in the know.

humid hugs & kisses,