Sunday, January 28, 2007


A week ago we received the first half of our bedroom furniture purchase. This included the armoire, chest of drawers and both nightstands. Now we are only waiting on the headboard, footboard, rails and dresser with mirror.

We are realizing how lucky we are that our bedroom is very large. The furniture is much bigger in our room than it appeared when we were in the store! If our room was any smaller, it would seem a bit crowded with everything we bought, but I think that when it all arrives it will fit perfectly and make the room seem cozy - before it seemed sparse.

And we had forgotten how nice it looks in person. The picture on the store's website makes it look like a medium color brown, but in actuality it is much darker. Funny, because Justin and I had both commented (before it arrived, but after we bought it) that we were surprised how much we liked it when we looked at it online because we usually prefer our wood furniture to be much darker than the way it appeared online. We will post a picture of how it looks in our room, but not until we have all the other pieces. Hopefully we will get a call in another week or so saying that it has arrived!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

And there goes a lot of money

Julie and I decided to spend our tax return before we get it. Of the items on our list of wants, we chose furniture for our bedroom. Julie saw a bedroom set at Ashley, and I liked it as well. We went to a local furniture store that sells Ashley's stuff, but did not see the set from online. Nothing else there struck our fancy, so we headed to Star Furniture. Again, we did not find the set from online, but we did find another set around the same price range that we liked a lot (check it out). We then headed off to Gallery Furniture, and as luck would have it...we found the set from Ashely! Unfortunately for Gallery, we liked the set from Star better.

We headed on back to Star and looked at their set again. We decided that it was what we wanted in our room for the rest of our lives (or at least a long long time). Then it was off to do the paperwork. So, now we are just waiting to have our headboard, footboard and rails, two nightstands, dresser and a mirror, chest of drawers, and an armoire.

It is nice when they have 0% interest financing for 12 months. That way we can put the tax return money to use earning interest until the full payment comes due.
And when it comes due...there goes a lot of money...but worth it.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Sail Away, Sail Away, Sail Away

And that is exactly what happened to Justin and my dream of going on a cruise this year.

As you may or may not know, when we moved here I started working part-time teaching at a local community college. There were no openings for full-time, but as part-time they limit me to teaching only 2 classes a semester. Because the pay for that is pretty miserable and I need a bit more than just 2 classes to keep me busy, I applied at another local community college - HCC.

The guy from HCC called me before we moved and told me that he would definitely have classes for me to teach. Even when I arrived in town and met with him a week before classes started he said he needed to sort through the schedule, but that he would have classes for me to teach, however it looked like it would be a "late start" class (meaning that they start 4 weeks later). This was all fine by me since classes were starting in less than a week and I had not received a textbook, syllabus template or anything that I needed.

4 weeks go by and I have to call the guy again to find out what is going on. Now he tells me that the class he wants me to teach is an 8 week course that doesn't start for another 4 weeks. Of course, 4 weeks later history repeats itself and I find out that although he would have loved to have me teach, the class he was going to assign to me "didn't make", i.e. not enough students registered for that class. Even though he was not able to give me classes to teach for last semester, he will definitely need me for the next semester which is the current semester.

Classes started this week, but let me back up to 2 weeks ago. He calls me 2 weeks ago, asking if I am still interested in teaching for him (completely acting oblivious to the fact that I emailed and called him a few times over the last 6 weeks asking for classes to teach). He tells me that he definitely has classes for me to teach, he just needs to work out the schedule. He calls me back a half hour later to make sure I would be ok with teaching college algebra and statistics. My response - that's great. So now I am to wait for his call with my schedule.

The end of the week comes, with no response. In the meantime, Justin and I are talking about using the money that I earn teaching for him to go on a cruise. Where and when depends on how many classes I get as that determines how much we have to spend on our trip.

So, we are 10 days from the beginning of the new semester and I call to find out what classes I will be teaching and when I can pick up the materials that I need. My call is not returned. With a week to go, I send an email. This time I get a return call telling me that he really doesn't know if he will have any classes for me - he is still working on the schedule.

Since the semester started yesterday, I think that it is fairly safe to say that I won't be teaching there since I haven't heard back again. Therefore - no cruise for us. What kind of a person does this? How many times have I been told that I will "definitely" be given classes to teach? Did the meaning of the word "definitely" change and no one told me about it? It is one thing to get your hopes up for something and then feel let down when all along it was a "maybe" kind of thing, but don't I have every right to assume that someone is being serious with me when they say "definitely"?

Since the meaning of the word seems to have changed, I guess Justin and I are "definitely" going on a cruise this year.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Oh, the weather outside is frightful...

but wouldn't a fire be delightful? Too bad we don't have a fireplace.

I lived in Houston through three winters before and never had weather that I would consider all that cold. We buy a house that doesn't have a fireplace and it is officially freezing here. I know, I know. People will read this and think that we have no idea what cold really is here in Texas. Exactly. That is why we live where we do, because it usually doesn't get this cold here.

So, tonight and tomorrow we are expecting sleet and freezing rain. Tomorrow our high is 32 degrees (Fahrenheit, that is). It is never safe for anyone to drive on ice (ice and snow are totally different things), but it extremely dangerous here where it is quite rare to have to deal with. Luckily, neither Justin nor I have anywhere that we need to be in the morning. However, Justin is scheduled to fly out tomorrow evening which is quite worrisome to me. Hopefully
that will either be changed or the weather won't be as bad as predicted.

I would love to curl up in front a fireplace with Justin when there is weather like this.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


Justin and I have gotten a new primary class for the new year and we are now teaching Sunbeams (for those of you not familiar - this means we teach a class of 3 yr olds at church). Our class is small; there are only 4 kids and that is only if they are all there. This past Sunday was our first Sunday with them and we only had 2 kids there.

The thing about teaching Sunbeams is that they are too young to have the lesson last longer than about 10 minutes, but since they are no longer in Nursery we aren't supposed to be having playtime necessarily. Which means that you have to come up with a lot of things to do with them to take up the other 65 minutes of class time. One of the ideas in our manual was to do a short activity with them - they liked it a lot so we did it quite a few times.

You have the kids stand up and you read a cute poem while everyone does some hand motions, basically you talk about there being a place at church for everyone no matter if they are "tall or small". When you say the part of about being tall everyone reaches their hands up high - and when you talk about being small you crouch down to the floor.

The cute part was one of our two kids that were there on Sunday. Anytime we reached up high, he would say "in primary class!" And anytime we crouched down low he would say "in nursery!" So the poem ended up sounding like this (his inserts are in quotes below):
If you're really really tall there's a place at church for you "in primary class".
If you're really really small there's a place at church for you "in nursery".
Tall "primary"
Small "nursery"
Tall "primary"
Small "nursery"
Heavenly Father loves us all.

Also this past Sunday, we had extra time at the end of class. Since we were trying to get to know the kids, we tossed a beanbag and when they caught it they were supposed to tell us something that they liked so we could get to know them. The boy in class started out telling us he liked playing with his toys, but the girl in class is a little shy so if we asked her if she liked playing with her toys she would say yes. We played many rounds of the game and one of the rounds we asked the girl if she liked pizza. After that, anytime we tossed her the beanbag she would say "I like pizza!"

The boy in class was always able to come up with something that he liked on his own, but after a few rounds we could tell he had to really think about what he liked. How could we tell he was having think hard? He would say "I like..." and then he would close his eyes and scrunch up his face before finally saying something like "cake!" It was really cute.

This may be funner than teaching the 6 yr olds.

Monday, January 8, 2007

Grocery Game Part 2

I am now out of the $1 trial period for The Grocery Game. I subscribe to The List for 2 different grocery stores - both of which double and triple coupons here in the Houston area - which means that we pay $15 every 8 weeks for me to get the list. So the question is - is it still worth it?

I went grocery shopping today and the results are - at store A the total I spent was $26.12 - my total savings was $34.49 - over 50%!!! At Store B - I spent $41.74 - my total savings was $42.92.

Besides the savings that I see on my receipts - the reason I really like this is because I don't have to get all the sale adds out and try to figure out which store is going to give me the best deal - The List saves me the headache. It looks like my savings today paid for the next 40 weeks worth of membership! :)

Thursday, January 4, 2007

A Game of Cat and Mouse

On New Year's Day Justin informed me that I may not want to go out the back door. It seems that there was "part" of an animal on our back porch and he wanted to clean it up before I went outside and it freaked me out. We decided that it looked to be part of a mouse, but we were only so confident in that assumption as there wasn't much left. Now the question was - what happened to the rest of it? It looked like it had been dropped off for us right next to our back door. Let me tell you - not the type of home delivery I would prefer.

Yesterday - our questions were answered. I heard something moving on our back porch and looked out to see a cat, right next to the porch on the grass. As I looked closer I could see that this cat was nice enough to be swatting at a little mouse huddled up in the grass. The last thing I wanted was to have to deal with another "part" of a mouse being left on our back porch. I tried to chase the cat off, but he wouldn't go anywhere and then he camped out next to our back door - ready to run in as soon as I opened the door. I grabbed a big plastic cup, filled it with water and headed out the front door.

By the time I got to the backyard the cat was long gone (I didn't realize that I can evoke such fear in cats). but the mouse was huddled up next to the house, scared to death. I poured the water on the mouse and he hardly moved. I didn't want to leave him there because I knew that the cat would soon be back. I was on the phone with Justin and kept telling him that he should come back home (from Louisiana, that is) and take care of it. This is definitely Justin territory.

I ended up picking the mouse up in the cup (the cup which is now in the trash, BTW) and taking him out the back corner of the yard where I let him go. Sure enough, 30 minutes later I hear the sound of the bell on the cat's collar. He was looking all around the back porch for the mouse.

A couple hours later I went out the front door and started walking down the street to get our mail. What do I hear behind me? Sure enough, there is the cat, following me to the mailbox. As I am checking the mail, he is rubbing up against my legs trying to get me to pet him. I can tolerate cats and sometimes even like them, but I am by no means a cat person. Looks like we need to be shopping for cat and mouse deterrent for the outside of our house.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

The Post-Christmas Cleanup

I love to pull out all the Christmas decorations the day after Thanksgiving. I love to look over the various things that we have collected throughout the years and then decide on the best place for them to go. I love it when people come over and comment on all the cute Christmas stuff that I have.

I do not like it when I have to start putting the Christmas decorations away. It is so difficult to get everything to fit back into the tubs that they are stored in - especially since the collection of Christmas decorations continues to increase each year. Good thing that we tried to limit the purchase of much Christmas paraphernalia to add to the collection this year.

While I get the decorations out, I am always so excited to see something I forgot that we had. When I am putting them away there is inevitably something that was also forgotten - but this time it is something that needs to somehow fit in with everything else to go into hibernation until next year's holiday season.

Maybe I should start thinking instead about how excited I will be get all the stuff out next year instead of what a pain it is to put it away this year, right?