Hubby took this picture of me napping with the Pooch during one of those crazy storms recently! I love that we have the EXACT SAME expression- WHY are you waking us up?! <3
In between the crazy storms, Jake and I have been working outside a lot the past few days. I FINALLY finished my patio project (although someday soon I will need to repaint the patio itself thanks to my little incident with the Minwax stain and the bees) and despite the few spills, the whole thing looks good with the wood dark. I painted the words 'welcome' and 'relax' on the poles and on the inside 'its five o'clock somewhere' and hung up garden lights and a hanging basket of flowers. We bought a new outdoor ceiling fan to replace the rusty old one BJ (the former owner of our house) had put up. I'll post pictures to show my hard work once the fan goes up. We also put up our new outdoor furniture that my parents gave us as a one year anniversary present. It is a large glass table with four sling fabric chairs and a big tan umbrella. It looks so nice, and I'm so excited to use it at the upcoming pool party. We still have lots to do outside before I feel ready, but the whole yard is looking better day by day- I'm loving it! The other day, our darling neighbor (a retired man who piddles outside most everyday & always talks to us from across the fence) was telling us more stories about the days when BJ and his mistess Wilma lived in our house. See, in our small town, EVERYBODY knew BJ, and he came from a large family in town so MOST people were related to him, and from what we've heard, the man could throw a party. Like, with all the booze, loud music, crazed drunks, and cops you can imagine. They even once backed in a truck with concert-sized speakers for a live band at one of these shin-digs! I was like "note to self: no loud music at the pool party! Hahaha... but yeah, it's been an interesting and productive few days, in between the floods, of course!
I made a bunch of cupcakes this week and tried my hand at homemade icing. Every time in the past when I've made icing, it's turned out terrible to me. This time was an utter success. I mixed 2 boxes of cream cheese, powdered sugar, a tsp of butter, a splash of milk & vanilla extract and blended it and refrigerated for the better part of a day. I was quite excited that it tasted so good. My days of store-bought icing are now officially over. :)
Another thing that's happened over the past few days- PAYDAY! Although, now that the bills are all paid up, we're very much poor again. LOL. See, that... [insert your choice of negative adjective here]... Bev Purdue has cut teacher pay by a half percent. Not just cutting each check by that much, which wouldn't seem so bad, but their entire salary- and this wasn't spread over the course of the year, it was packed into the the last two checks of the school year, making big dents in these last two paychecks. Between those cuts, trying to get everything together for the party (including food and supplies, and our tiny outdoor home improvement costs), plus groceries and bills, we are breaking completely even each month. It's been a test. It's so hard for us not to have anything left to save, especially considering we are both savers and generally not spenders. Well, money has added a lot of tension and stress to our relationship in the past few months, and yesterday, I think we hit a new turning point. We went to Lowe's and Wal-mart and were freaking out about how little we could spend, when Jake said something amazing on the way home. He told me that our financial struggles were going to be a big time test to make sure we stay faithful to God, depending on Him to get us through it. We need to be praying more together, praying for more wisdom and patience, continuing to tithe, and keep ourselves close to Him... I laughed and said that I was so happy he said this. As it turns out, I've been praying recently (I guess as a part of my whole closing the distance between me and God thing) that Jake would take a more proactive role in leading us as a couple closer to Him and push for us to spend more time with Him. I always feel like God speaks to me through Jake and Jake has had a way to pull me closer to Christ and lift me up, and I've been needing that so much here lately. Not that Jake's fallen short, but with his new job (and how devoted he is to his students, the end of year tests, and being the breadwinner...) he's been overwhelmed and exhausted. I was so thrilled to hear that he desires to lead us closer to Christ and work on that [big] part of our relationship more. I definitely smiled the entire way home. He chuckled lightly a few minutes later and told me he had just been doing the math in his head and realized that our tithes had been rounded down in months past and that he hadn't realized it but we weren't actually tithing the entire 10%- but now, these pay cuts made the amount we were tithing right at 10%... isn't that interesting!? We weren't exactly giving God what He asks of us, so now our income has now dropped down so that what we've been tithing IS 10%. Oh, goodness, God certainly has a sense of humor. Well, regardless, I think we've heard Him loud and clear & I'm thrilled to know that Jake & I are going to be working extra hard together to make sure we continue to keep our marriage firmly centered around God. I have no doubts that the problems we face along the way, including money, will take care of themselves. I love the feeling of my heart bubbling over with love & faith!
Thursday, May 28, 2009
And the thunder rolled...
Jeez, I'm not sure what Mother Nature's deal is, but for the past few days, all it's done is storm. We'll have a few hours of ridiculously humid weather, hot & sticky (you know, when you go outside and nearly have an asthma attack because the air is too think to breathe? Yeahhhh, like that)... and then all of a sudden, the sky goes black and the thunder cracks, and the bottoms fall out of the clouds. Then the it does it all over again. Yesterday, our garage started to flood. There was water a couple inches high all the way in up to my back tires. And Jake's poor veggie garden was temporarily underwater. Our pool overflowed. It's ridiculous. But, I will say, I've enjoyed falling asleep to the hum of rolling thunder. :)