Sunday, March 30, 2008

Melancholy....

Corey and I just completed a personality test that was given to us by the teacher of a leadership class at church. It was fun when we started....they had a group of four words and you pick the one that describes you naturally the most. The bad part is that they had all the "strengths" grouped together then all the "weaknesses" so by the end you are ready to just end it all because you just finished picking out a ton of terribly qualities about yourself....
There were four possibilites of results, which I had to actually look up to even know what they were:

Popular Sanguine: The extrovert, the talker, the optimist
Powerful Choleric: Born leader Dynamic and active
Peaceful Phlegmatic: Competent and steady; Peaceful and agreeable
Perfect Melancholy: The Introvert The Thinker The Pessimist

Anyway....it ends up that my personality type was "Perfect Melancholy" Melancholy being defined as "thoughtful sadness." Isn't that depressing?!?!?!? I guess I WOULD say that, being so melancholy! lol

So, here is the description given to my personality according to the test: The results are given as in reference to a "team" as these I suppose are used by employeers, etc.

"Perfect Melancholy":
Place in the team: detail person

Emotional Needs: Sensitivity, support when down, space, silence.

Best at: Planning and explaining the details, keeping the financial records straight, being sensitive to the needs of others, making sure the group sees the long range goal.

Is Apt to be: Too easily distracted and critical.

Warning: Might come across too intellectual and remote. May make others feel less intelligent. Can get lost in the details."

So...what about that??? I am interested to hear what the psych. major among my readers will say! I am sad (of course!) to say, that I think I agree with the results....
Here are some of the "strenths and weaknesses" listed along with the description:

Deep and thoughtful, remembers the negatives, talented and creative, moody and depressed, artistic or musical, guilt feelings, likes charts, graphs, lists, depressed over imperfections, makes friends cautiously, hard to please, faithful and devoted, deep need for approval, can solve other people's problems, critical of others, suspicious of people, finds creative solutions, holds back affection, avoids causing attentions, deep concern for other people, philosophical and poetic...

I will stop there, the list goes on and on....

Corey and I did the quizzes together because it said that having someone help you can help you pick the right words more accurately...plus it was fun.

Have any guesses about what Corey's personality was????

Popular Sanguine!!!!! The complete and total opposite of me!

One weakness of the sanguine personality, which I pointed out to him and probably will continue to do so (since I am so critical and hard to please!) is that under the "warning" section it said: "Don't let them handle money!" ha ha! And you will see that listed under my section it says, "best at keeping financial records straight!"

I guess opposites do attract!

Friday, March 28, 2008

I can fix any dryer for $16!!!!



That sounds awesome doesn't it?

Not so very awesome actually. Our dryer went out Sunday morning and is now completely dissassembled in our kitchen as Corey is trying to figure out how to fix it. He has taken two loads to his mom's house to wash and dry, but that, of course, isn't even a dent in the laundry we have accumulated.

Our washer works prefectly fine...so I stopped by Fred's today to pick up some "drying" supplies: A portable garment rack ($12) (we needed one anyway to store coats), a clothesline ($3), and a pack of clothespins ($1). I have NEVER used a clothesline for us....the only experience I remember having with this is holding the clothespin bag for my MawMaw when she hung her clothes out to dry. I quickly dismissed the idea of actually hanging the line outside...with the pollen we have around here there is no way that would be helpful...we would be better off just wearing the stuff dirty! Voila! I have my dryer problem fixed for just $16 plus tax!

So yes, step back in time with us as we explore life in the days before dryers. Katie and Noah had a blast helping me hang up socks, etc on the makeshift line I strung across the stairs.
"This is just like a movie!" Katie said as we hung clothes.
"This is awesome!" said Noah.

It really isn't an ideal place for a line, but I had washed clothes and needed somewhere to put them NOW....
At first I hung the line between the front door and the garment rack I had picked up. That didn't last long, as you get what you pay for with a $12 garment rack (not something that will hold a line of clothes!). I am new to this, don't blame me for not knowing it wouldn't hold! Who knew wet clothes were so heavy?!

So, I just tied the line to the bannister, and then made another line between two dining room chairs. That line won't really hold much because the chairs just get pulled closer together if the stuff is too heavy...but oh well. I will devise a better plan later. I thought about the basement but I think the dust would be yucky down there, plus it is kind of cold and damp down there. Maybe I can figure something out though....but for now this is working fine. What is kind of bad is that I now have another load of clothes in the wash.....and I am sure these won't be dry before they are ready to be hung as well.

I called my friend, Bethany, to tell her I was venturing into the world of line drying. She actually does this all the time....voluntarily....with a working dryer in the house. She was excited for me...and gave me a few pointers...about not hanging towels...about how long it would take stuff to dry.

A side note: Katie and Noah just went over to check the clothes to see if they are dry yet! ha ha. They have been hanging for maybe 8 minutes!!

I am actually enjoying the thought of doing laundry the old fashioned way...it makes me feel.....capable, industrious, even.....domestic! I am sure I won't complain when the dryer is ready though. I guess we will still take our towels to the laudromat, but at $2+ to wash and the same to dry, the line won't be that much of a sacrifice...for now anyway!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Something to try......

We are trying to make healthier choices for our family. Part of that is buying organic foods when it is important. I truly feel that many illnesses and diseases have come from the cumulative effects of eating pesticides and genetically modified, and "enhanced" (with hormones) foods that we eat. Preservatives are also scary. I mean, these chemical preservatives are meant to make this stuff last weeks or months or YEARS on the shelf...how can it be good for you to EAT that stuff????

So...we are trying to buy organic and natural foods. It can be very pricey, but how much is your health worth? Your children's health? I found a list online of some guidelines for when and when to not pay the extra for the organic foods:

TO ALWAYS BUY:

Apples, peaches, bell peppers, strawberries, imported grapes, spinach, lettuce, potatoes, carrots: Conventional versions have higher levels of pesticides than other produce, although still well within safe limits.


Milk and dairy products: Free of the growth hormones that are given to conventionally raised cows. (My friend Bethany told me that fatty dairy is important to buy organic, like butter, but if you buy skim milk it won't hold on to the "stuff" like whole milk....)
Meat and poultry: Free of growth hormones and antibiotics.
Baby food: Free of pesticide residues found in vegetables and fruits.
… and foods you eat a lot of.


NOT AS IMPORTANT:
Broccoli, bananas, frozen sweet peas, frozen corn, asparagus, avocados, onions: Levels of pesticides are low even in conventional versions of these.
Seafood: No USDA organic certification yet exists for seafood. Even seafood raised in the wild can contain mercury, PCBS and other contaminants.
Some processed foods such as breads, chips, pasta, oils: They often do have whole grains or other healthful ingredients, but processed foods may also contain non-organic ingredients, and processing in general removes many nutrients …and foods you eat only occasionally.

Here is the full article if you want to read it all. Some good info!



There are many varying opinions online about what you should definitely buy organic. One included a very strong opinion about rice. Supposedly rice is loaded with "stuff" you don't need and therefore important to buy organic. The processed foods mentioned above may not have posticides, but the preservatives are what worry me!

I want to share a little firsthand immediate experience I have had already with making a "wiser" choice with chemicals in our house. On a trip to the grocery store about 3-4 weeks ago, I was browsing the "Nature's Market" section at Kroger. On the last aisle they had the "7th Generation" all natural cleaning products. I looked, thought about it, picked it up, put it down....it was a $4 bottle of all purpose cleaner. It is a "regular" size bottle. I usually buy a GIANT bottle of generic ammonia chemical cleaner for $1!!!! It was a tough decision, but I finally made the splurge thinking "if it helps Katie's allergies, it would so be worth it." So....I brought it home. The same week, however, I decided that we were going to give up the "sugar free aspartame sweetened drink mix." We are now drinking watered down organic apple juice and plain water.
A couple of weeks go by, and we are getting ready to go to the park and I noticed that the pollen count is HIGH for our area so I figure I need to give Katie some Zyrtec before we go out. It was then that I realized that Katie had not woke up with a cough in a couple of weeks now! I haven't been giving her Zyrtec since we changed cleaners and cut out the sweetener. Now, I don't know thing I should give credit to. I guess I will maybe make a container of drink mix and see what happens, but maybe I should just keep things as they are....we haven't really missed the drink mix anyway!
So...here's the thing I think everyone should try: all natural cleaning products! It won't hurt....and what's paying a little extra if you are able to eliminate your allergy prescriptions every month?!
Well, speaking of cleaning, I need to go DO SOME!
Until next time.....

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter!

Happy Easter!
I am a bad mommy because I didn't take pictures this morning before we left. I have a good reason though....we were up at 6 getting ready for a sunrise service at our friend's parents' house. My wonderful friend Bethany coerced her dad (a former pastor) into hosting a sunrise service on their back deck since she would be visiting with her husband's family during breakfast and wouldn't make it to church. (They are swamped every minute they are in town visiting since they live out of town). It was so peaceful and sweet this morning on their deck (and cold). We sang songs with Corey accompanying on the guitar for some of them. Then we had communion and her dad shared some thoughts on Easter. I am so happy that they included us in their service...especially since I was volunteering in the preschool class this morning and wasn't going to be in our church service.
Our own church service was (according to Corey) great. We had fun with the little ones, and it was overall a joyful morning. After church we went to a fancy car wash off 41 where you put your car in neutral and a conveyor belt pulls your car through a super sophisticated car wash with lots of brushes and sprays etc. It is very fancy and does a great job cleaning the car. Then we tried a new restaurant called California Dreaming. Corey and I have driven by many times and wondered what they serve....we had many theories, from yuppie veggie meals to seafood but we were always not in the mood to risk it. So, after reading a friend's blog who had been and bragged on the croissants we decided to give it a try. First, I went in to make sure they had something kids could eat and when I saw hot dogs on the kids menu we went on in. We ordered the croissants as an appetizer and WOW they were SOOOOO good. Hot, light, flaky, and drizzled with melted honey and butter. To quote Rachel Ray: "YUM-O!" Corey ordered the prime rib and I ordered chicken parmesan. Katie had spaghetti and Noah had a grilled cheese. The food was good. It was, we thought, a little overpriced for the degree of how good it was. I think the thing to order here is probably one of the fancy sandwiches or appetizers, because they had some VERY good sounding appetizers including unusual varieties of nachos and something called "onion loaf" which sounds great. So....we weren't disappointed, but will definitely order differently if we go back again. I mean, the chicken parmesan and the prime rib were "good" but would be "great" if the price was a little less. So, there you go, my review of California Dreaming. And no, they didn't play "California Dreaming" while we were there. That would have been cool though.
I will post some pictures of our egg hunt from yesterday and from church today (someone else took some) as soon as I can get them.
I hope everyone had a great Easter!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Katie's eyes....

3 months and 2 weeks later. It seems longer since we took Katie and found out the poor girl hadn't been able to see for 5 YEARS! Well.....I was a little more stable today than the first time, and able to understand a little better what all was going on, but on with the good news: Katie's eyes are IMPROVING at a DRASTICALLY FAST RATE!!!!!!!!!!

PRAISE GOD!!!!!

She is improving very very quickly according to the doctor. Katie's vision without glasses is 20/400! (I know they both aren't the same, this is in one of her eyes, the good or bad one I can't remember). With her glasses, the best they could get for her before was 20/60, and today she was up to 20/40! Up "four lines" on the chart according to Dr. Jabaley! She was amazed. She said that usually it takes a couple of years to get the eyes to improve with a case like Katie, but she says that by December (a year) that she thinks Katie will be improved to 20/20 with her glasses!!!!!!!! YAY!!!!!!! What awesome news!!

I don't think I really realized when we went before that Katie's glasses weren't totally fixing her eyesight, only improving them as much as they could. I don't think I was told either or didn't remember the 20/400 number. But, you know, there are a lot of people out there who are "blind" without their glasses (me being one of them), so I am just excited that there is such awesome improvement and that the hope of 20/20 is in sight!

Katie has started reading more fluently (less stopping, quicker recognition, and no pointing while reading). She has also been running without stopping, and just "doing things" more easily. Things like moving a game piece around a game board, coloring, writing, etc. Now I know we have had practice with school, but I know her glasses are helping her as well....a LOT! She is "braver" about going down slides at the playground, and wants to go higher on the swings. She is loving ballet and I am so happy that she got her glasses before she started the classes. Often throughout the day I will ask where Katie is and Noah will reply: "She's in her room reading a book." She loves to read and now just reads on her own all the time.

I am so thrilled today! We are supposed to go back every three months to check her progress and I am excited, so thrilled to see how the three months improves again! Maybe, just maybe she will be at 20/20 in one of her eyes!

We didn't have to pay anything for today (of course now that we have insurance :) so afterward we went to Wal-mart and both Katie and Noah picked out a prize....this morning they were WONDERFUL while they waited for me to get a haircut, and then Noah was so good during Katie's eye exam and Katie didn't have a meltdown during the eye exam like she did last time. Well, they didn't do the spray dilate thing like they did last time since her eyes were used to not over compensating now, but still, the lady tried to do that eye puff thing they do at exams and Katie didn't even cry when they did it. I can't even stand to do that air puff in my eye. (She didn't have to even have that done, another lady came up and said she didn't need to do that since Katie was less than 9 years old). Anyway, they both got a prize....besides being so good this morning (after a very late bedtime after church last night and an early morning to get to my hair appt) they are just GREAT CHILDREN and we are INCREDIBLY blessed to have them in our lives!
Noah picked out a Nerf rocket football, and Katie picked out a FurReal Pet, a baby duck that you feed a bottle. They have had a blast playing with them. I just love my Katie and Noah!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Proverbs 16:9

"In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.."

My fast is finished. I have grown so much during this time and really learned a lot about disciplining my body, of having confidence in myself with God, and trusting Him in all things.

You may be thinking "21 days has not passed yet" and that is exactly what I said this morning when I had the thought cross my mind that my fast is finished. Well, that's when God brought this scripture to my mind......I had a plan, but my steps have now been determined. I can't explain it any other way, than to say that my relationship with God has been confirmed and strengthened and I will leave it at that. I don't feel it necessary to share every detail of this, but just know that God will show up if you want Him to!

Something else that I have learned and needed this time to get ready for: a major change in diet. I am convinced that in the past couple of years I have pushed my body to the point that the doctor said I would...to the point of being diabetic. Before this fast I felt sick every time I ate. I have now disciplined my body to the point of showing myself that I have a responsibility to myself, to my family, and to God, to stop "living to eat" and start "eating to live." A difficult habit to break that I believe was another great outcome of this time of fasting. God can use fasting to break habits....even those that aren't "seen" as bad as they are..something as simple as the self-destructive habit of bad eating. Everyone should eat more healthy in general, but for someone on the edge of a serious problem (or already over the edge) like being diabetic, it could be a literal killing of your body to ignore it. Another very interesting thing happened with this topic as well. A friend from church gave me a series of books to read and one of the main things that happens with the main character in the first book is that the person goes through the experience of having syptoms, dealing with, and being diagnosed with diabetes. A mighty funny coincidence huh? I have NEVER read a book with that topic in it! ha ha. The character also has a very close call with his condition, experiencing a short lived coma where he realizes he has to get serious about it.
So, I am determined to get serious about it too.
I don't have much time....so I need to wrap it up....
God has done great things!
More later!