Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Reality TV & Me

Things I love (besides my family), serving in the community, hanging out with teens, reality tv, good food. How lucky am I that today I got to combine all these things and end up with a fun filled day! A little known factoid about me; my minor in college (yes, I had a major AND minor regardless of those nightmares I have where I have yet to graduate) was Youth Service Administration, so basically along with all the biomechanics, kinesiology, A & P, and Math that I took, I also took classes in how to plan, program and operate events. Fun stuff!! So, while it's been a few years since I've used my major (Kinesiology) I am super fortunate to have a job where I use my minor.
Today a group of us from our church's youth group headed into Seattle to the Union Gospel Mission, where we were fortunate enough to be allowed to serve lunch. It's so amazing to me that while we go to "help" those "less fortunate" we're the ones who end up being blessed. I also love watching the teens serving and helping with such enthusiasm! I have an awesome job and get to spend time with awesome teens!
Where does the reality tv fit into all this? I love, love, love Man vs Food, although, watching it always makes my hungry! I saw the episode in Seattle and decided then and there I needed to go to Beth's Cafe. So after we served lunch we headed over to Beth's Cafe, and I think Marissa summed it up best when she said, "My omelet is like a yummy fluffy pillow". We did not, individually, partake in the 12 egg omelet challenge, 5 of us shared in the sheer deliciousness of it. Not going to lie, as I'm writing, I'm thinking man that was one good omelet - when can I go back?!
While I'm reflecting on the people we served today and the sheer deliciousness of the food, I can't help but be thankful for a wonderful day (AND it was sunny to boot!).

Group in front of Beth's Cafe

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Extreme Couponing, or Beginning Stages of Hoarding

I love, love, love shopping, and one thing that I love even more than shopping is getting a good deal. When I saw there was a show called Extreme Couponing I new it was right up my alley! But here is my question - what is the difference between extreme couponing and hoarding? Is it that everything purchased is a good deal, or maybe because it's "stockpiled" neatly? Maybe because they have plans to use what they buy? Which leads me to the question, when do you know you have enough? I mean, how long will it take a family to go thru 500 bottles of body wash, and at what point in time do you say, shoot we're getting low on body wash, only 200 bottles left, time to start stockpiling again.

I think companies are loving the show and using it to their advantage (that and our love of consumerism) - think about how many store adds you see now where you can mix and match for a better price, or buy 4 boxes of cereal and get $1.00 off. I went to the grocery store the other day to get milk, and they had a special buy 4 of a certain type of yogurt and get free milk; so I'm thinking sweet, milk is what I'm here for, so I started selecting my yogurt flavors only to stop myself and think, "I'm willing to spend $8.00 on yogurt that may or may not get eaten, to get a gallon of milk that would otherwise cost me $2.50". I put the yogurt back, but it was hard to do, because I thought I was missing out on such a great deal!

There are somethings that I will buy in mass quantities (although to me that means 10 at the most), when they're on sale. Goldfish - yep, Capri-Sun lemonade - a staple for my boys, toothpaste - something we use everyday, soda - of course. But the other day I opened my pantry to get out cereal and thought oh my word we have too much food in here! I could never be an extreme coupon-er because for me it'd probably look a bit more like hoarding, which is one show I can't watch because all that stuff gives me anxiety!!

So where do you find the balance in spending to save and knowing when is enough? These are the questions that wake me up at night. How am I a good steward with our money; making sure I am taking care of the family but also being generous with the resources God has given us?

Oh, the paper is here! Time to look thru the sale ads!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Men are from Mars and Women Aren't and other Gender Related Issues

I know that's not technically the title of that popular book that came out years ago, that was all the rage, giving us Scientific evidence that men and women are different. Glad someone cleared that up, because it was confusing me!
Those of you that know me well, know we're not a family big on "gender roles". If women want to work outside the home, fine by us! I'm, actually, very thankful for those women who have diagnosed my sick kids, and those who have faithfully and lovingly given them a quality education.
Feel free to quote verses at me night and day giving me your Biblical perspective/interpretation - I know them all! I went to a VERY conservative school growing up, where when women got married, they could no longer work at the school - except for my Kindergarten teacher, maybe because her kids were grown, I don't know, never really thought about that until now...
Anyway, I digress...
I have friends that stay home, and friends that work, and choose not to judge them or their decisions. I have been fortunate to have a job that lets me put family first, and I'm able to drop my kids off every day at school and (most days) pick them up. Over the years I have had many "professional" aspirations, but I've always known I wanted to be a wife and mom.
Now, while we don't have the stated "roles" in our house, we do have unspoken "understandings". I plan the meals, do the majority of the shopping and cleaning; if it's inside the house, I (mostly) take care of it; if it's outside I consider that Adam's domain. Lawn needs to be mowed - Adam, windows need to be washed - Adam, deck needs to be stained - Adam, dinner needs to be BBQ'ed - Adam.
Which leads me to tonight's dilemma - Adam is out of town (country to be exact) and the boys wanted burgers and I wanted a steak. Now, not getting married until I was 29 has also taught me to be somewhat independent, but BBQ'ing is not something I've ever done. I can start the grill, but once it's time to put the meat on, I'm clueless! And we all know steak cooked in the oven is just not as good! I'm kind of proud of myself - I went to the store, bought the meat, sucked it up and asked the guy behind the counter how the heck to BBQ. You know - didn't turn out too bad - ok the boys burgers were a bit burned, but what with my fear of e-coli and all, my motto is you can't cook burgers too much, and while my kabob was a bit more done than usual it was pretty good!
Will I make this a habit - no. Do I want you to come over and teach me to mow my lawn - no. Am I looking forward to my husband re-entering this time zone and coming home - yes.
But for now I'm glad I had a good dinner!

Stop "Shoulding" Yourself

This morning when I stepped on the scale (a daily habit that I should probably break), I thought, "I've should start eating better again". Then I went downstairs to let George out (the dog, lest you think I'm practicing poor parenting) I looked at my treadmill and thought, "I should really use that thing more often". The other day I started a blog for Thornley and thought, "I should probably post something on my own blog". So while I was drinking my coffee this morning, I was remembering a conversation Adam and I had where he said we really need to stop "shoulding" ourselves. I was also recalling something I heard at church and I'm not sure if it was Adam or this past Sunday, but the thought of just wanting something isn't enough, you actually have to DO it. Wanting to follow an eating plan, wanting to use my treadmill, wanting to post on my blog, wanting a clean house (my list could go on, believe me) isn't going to happen by moping around wishing and "shoulding". I actually have to decide to do something about it.
Part of my problem is I look at other people's blogs and think, "They're so creative, I could never do that", or, "They're such a good writer; if I wrote like them, maybe someone would read my blog". Then the verse, that I so often have to remind myself of whilst the shoulds are taking over, comes to mind, " are fearfully and wonderfully made". So while I may not be as creative, or as funny, or as skinny, or as in shape (again, my list could go on) as the majority of people out there, I AM wonderfully made by God, which is something to be proud of.
I am also a firm believer in leading by example, one of my favorite verses being, "To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in His steps". Perhaps a bit out of context, but if I want my kids to be healthy, to enjoy the outdoors, to take risks and be creative, I need to show them how, lead by example and encourage them.
Here is hoping for more doing and less wishing and shoulding!