Saturday, April 23, 2011

Happy Easter!

For the second year in a row, Timmy and I will be spending Easter away from our families. It makes me a little sad, especially since my family has a great Easter tradition, that I'm bummed to be missing out on. But I'm a little excited this year, because Tim and I have our own church to go to this year and I have a really yummy brunch planned. Well, I should say half planned, the menu isn't totally set yet.

"Jesus is the reason for the season" is a saying you often hear at Christmas. What I can't figure out is why you don't hear around Easter. He's the reason for this season too. That's one thing my parents always made sure we understood once we were old enough. Yes, we still got to color eggs and find baskets in the morning.

Coloring eggs when like this at our house. Mom bought everyone there own dozen of eggs, the dye and covered the bar in the kitchen with newspaper. All four us would climb up on the bar stools and wait for the eggs, that dad was holding hostage. To get an egg to color we had to either answer a trivia question about the Easter story, like "which disciple denied Jesus 3 times" or "who was released in place of Jesus" (questions got harder the older you got) or sing the chorus of the old hymn "Up From the Grave He Arose". If you answered correctly or sang the loudest, you got one of your eggs. It's still one of my favorite traditions/memories from my childhood. And was/is such a wonderful way to remember what Easter is really about. Christ on the cross, shedding his blood to cover our sins.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Be Aware of What You Share.

I had a really creepy thing happen to me last week at work. It gave me the strangest feeling and made me super uncomfortable, so much so, that I came close to deleting my Facebook account.

As most of you probably know, I work at a real estate firm. One day last week, right before I left for the evening, my boss asked me to email some pictures of a listing to a couple of clients. I do stuff like this all the time, and had emailed these particular clients before, so what I thought were the correct email addresses were saved in the "To" field.

The next morning I came into work and opened my email as usual. I saw that one of the clients had replied to my email, so I opened it to find I had the wrong email address. What's creepy is what the reply said...
"Hi Jamie. I think you have the wrong email address. I don't know a Karl with a 'K'. Did you really enjoy reading "An Inconvenient Book" I can't imagine liking anything written by a man like Glenn Beck. Say "Hi" to Tim for me."
Creepy right? Whoever this man is took the time to look  me up on Facebook. Before this incident I had my profile set to the most private you can make it non-friends. But did you know that any page you "like" in the interest part of the profile, like your favorite books, music and movies can ALWAYS be viewed by anyone with a Facebook account? There is no way to make that information private. So, I deleted all of that from my profile. And double checked that everything was set to "friends only," instead of deleting my account.

I don't really blame Facebook for this, as some people would, it's my own fault for not knowing what information I was sharing publicly. I urge everyone to be aware of what you're putting out there for the world to see. Especially, since now days employers, ex's and creeps have such easy access to information about you. What if the man who emailed me back, had been a potential employer, who is ultra liberal, would saying that I liked a book written by Glenn Beck have cost be the job? It's possible.

Not only could it hurt your chances of getting a job, attract creepers, but let's be honest, no one really cares to know you are doing every second of the day, or that you have a headaches. I'm not saying I'm not guilty of the occasional update like that, but at least I know no one really cares. No one is that interesting.


Now I feel the need to defend myself for liking "An Inconvenient Book." I read it a few years ago, and I really feel that Beck makes some great points in it. However, I agree that since then he has well for the lack of a better term, became a wacko.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

I want to be a Chinese Mother

I have a lot to do tonight to get ready for our trip to the mitten this weekend. But I thought I'd sneak a little post in before I get started on the fixing dinner, cleaning, ironing, packing and planning that is in store for me this evening. (5 hours later...scratch all of that, I didn't do any of it yet...we had a friend in town and we went out to dinner with him and he just left. It might be a late late night.)

I love that through the internet and sites like Twitter, I can find articles I would have never even happened across. Like one I read today, that made me want to be a Chinese mother. But not as extreme as the mother who wrote "Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior."

If you don't want to read the whole article, I'll try to sum it up for you in a couple sentences. I really think you should the whole article though.

The author is trying to say that all parents want what's best for their child. Western parents however are very worried about their children's self esteem and how they will feel if they fail at something, they want everything to be fun even if they are bad it or are losing. Chinese parents on the other hand assume their child is strong, not fragile, and can handle being told they're not doing good enough, without it making their son or daughter have self esteem issues.

So, what parts of the Chinese mother philosophy do I want to embrace?
  • Assuming our child is strong and not fragile
    "Western parents worry a lot about their children's self-esteem. But as a parent, one of the worst things you can do for your child's self-esteem is to let them give up. On the flip side, there's nothing better for building confidence than learning you can do something you thought you couldn't." 
  • Practice makes perfect, nothing is fun until you're good at it
"What Chinese parents understand is that nothing is fun until you're good at it. To get good at anything you have to work, and children on their own never want to work, which is why it is crucial to override their preferences. This often requires fortitude on the part of the parents because the child will resist; things are always hardest at the beginning, which is where Western parents tend to give up."
  • Preparing our child for the future 
"Chinese believe that the best way to protect their children is by preparing them for the future, letting them see what they're capable of, and arming them with skills, work habits and inner confidence that no one can ever take away."
As I was reading this earlier and again now as I type this, I think about my childhood and how my parents actually had some of the same philosophies as Chinese parents. Specifically, this one time when my dad, for the lack of a better term, made of me for my little sister knowing her times tables better than me and forcing us to flash cards. There are other examples, but this post is already getting long and I have stuff to do.

Not to mention, that after discussing this with the hubby, I have to convince him that I have no intent to be as extreme as the author :)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Story

Reading the Bible in entirety is on my 25 Before Twenty-Five List. I had started the year off on the right track to finishing it within the year, but then around mid February, I fell way behind in my reading. A few weeks later, as I was talking to one of my small group members about my struggle, and how I really wanted to read the entire Bible, not just because it was on my list, but also because in my almost 20 years of being a Christian, I had never read the whole thing. She suggested I read The Story (overview below).
 "God has gone to great lengths to rescue lost and hurting people. That is what The Story is all about—the story of the Bible, God’s great love affair with humanity. Condensed into 31 accessible chapters, The Story sweeps you into the unfolding progression of Bible characters and events from Genesis to Revelation. Using the clear, accurate, and easy-to-understand text of Today’s New International Version, it allows the stories, poems, and teachings of the Bible to read like a novel. And like any good story, The Story is filled with intrigue, drama, conflict, romance, and redemption."
After starting the book and talking to her a bit more about it, I decided I would allow reading The Story to be a substitute for my list. I still fully intend on reading the Bible cover to cover, just at my own pace, instead of following a mapped out reading plan. Reading it really made me view Christ in a new light, and I could go into a lot of revelations I had while reading, but that would be another post in itself. If you want to read the Bible and like me, were struggling to get through it, want to get a better grasp on the order of events, or just want to learn more about God's grace, I highly recommend reading it.

I finally finished it today! And so I get to cross of #12 Read the Bible in Entirety off of my 25 Before Twenty-Five List! It's such a great feeling anytime I get to cross something off.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Budget Update

Timmy and I survived our first month living on a budget. We're very proud of ourselves. And we ended the month excited to take on month number two.

There were only two areas that we spent more than we had budgeted. And a few that we over budgeted, so we actually ended up having money "left over." The main area we under budgeted was gas. I don't drive, so I relied on Tim to give me an amount to enter into our spreadsheet. He forgot I was driving to Michigan for a weekend. Driving to MI equals about 2 extra tanks of gas, my daddy filled up my car before I left, so thanks to him, we didn't actually go over budget much. He's the best! I also forgot to budget in the dang insurance we have on Tim's phone. I've tried on multiple occasions to talk him out of having it, but he insists.

April is going to be a little tricky. We have a couple of days where we'll be going out with some friends, and we've got dinner plans with a couple from our church. So we're going to have to stretch our "dining out" money. You might that that's a pretty specific category, but the spreadsheet we use, breaks down general categories, like "Food" into "groceries" and "dining out." That way it's easier to know where you can cut and where you're expenses our fixed.

Wish us luck as we continue our journey to Financial Peace.

Sunday, April 3, 2011


It has been quiet awhile since I blogged about the NICE Assignments, that I used to do. Actually, I still do some of them and other nice things, just have shared. But this morning, I wanted to share a nice little story with you.

A couple of weeks ago, Timmy got home from work late. A man had showed up at Midas (where Tim works) after they had closed, wanting a light bulb installed. Tim had just finished up all of the closing stuff, but told the guy he could quickly install it for him at no charge. After the new light bulb was in, the man tried to give Tim some money, but didn't have any cash and wanted to write him a check for $10. Tim told him that it was really alright, and if he wanted to repay him to just continue bringing his car there for service.

Yesterday, Tim came home from work and asked me if I remembered him telling me the story. Of course I did, because I was impressed with how nice he had been. Well, that same man had came back by the store. He had came back to give Tim a gift certificate to his restaurant, Fleming's Prime Steakhouse $ Wine Bar, a pretty fancy place downtown. And the gift certificate wasn't just for like a free appetizer or something (although that would have been just as nice). It's for $50! Also, I guess it can be kind of tough to get reservations there, so the guy gave Tim his business card and told him to call him if he had trouble getting a table. All of this for taking 15 minutes and installing a light bulb!

You know what they say, what goes around, comes around. It pays to be nice people.

Friday, April 1, 2011

April Love List

Happy Friday, April Fool's Day and Cub's home opener! No, I'm not really that big of Cub's fan, but hey it works. It's a new month and hopefully it brings some warmer weather. I don't know about you, but I am sick and tired of wearing my my bulky winter coat.

  • Spring is here (I say this hesitantly - see above)
  • I'm officially in my second trimester. Yay for no more nausea and more energy!
  • We get to see Tim's family. We haven't seen them since Christmas :(
  • Resurrection Day a.k.a Easter. It's one of my favorite holidays. Remember, Jesus is the reason for this season too.
  • Speaking of Easter, awhile ago Tim and I raided the dollar bin at Target for some Easter-ish stuff to send to our nieces for Easter, and I'll finally get to it mail to them!
  • We might be going to see an old teacher of mine play a show at Uncommon Ground in Wrigleyville
  • We should be launching the Dwellevate website early this month (this has been a LONG time coming, and I'll be glad when it's launched)