Monday, February 28, 2011

Curse #12- Losing the Deal

I have blogged about all the wonders of Goodwill, but there is a side of Goodwill that I haven't blogged. The dark, ugly, painful side of Goodwill....losing the deal.

This weekend, I experienced the pain and hurt of losing the deal. It started out like any other normal, happy, deal-filled Goodwill trip. I found an AmAziNg pair of Converses for B to wear in a year or so. Then Shad said, "Hey Stephanie, come look at this. Isn't this what you've been looking for?" Then, with the Circle of Life playing in the background (or at least in my mind), he held up 2 vintage Pyrex mixing bowls.

For four months, I have been looking for vintage Pyrex. I love the way they look, and I wanted to start collecting them. I realize I could just buy a set from an antique store or ebay, but where is the fun in that? A normal set of Pyrex Cinderella mixing bowls will cost around $30. The set Shad found cost $7.

Back to the story. Amazed that Shad would even recognize Pyrex, I yelled, "You are AwEsOme!!!" Then our story took a terrible turn..."But what are you going to do without the third bowl. You won't have a set," said a woman while holding the third bowl in the set. I looked at her thinking she was joking. Was she seriously holding Pyrex hostage? I'm not kidding. Shad was my witness. SHE HELD THE PYREX BOWL HOSTAGE!

As I stood there dumbfounded, she went on to say, "Well, I'll pay you for those 2 bowls." I hadn't even bought them yet, and she was going to pay me for them. Still dumbfounded, I just stood there. I could have fought. I could have taken her money, but I just looked at her in disbelief, smiled, and said, "You can just take the bowls." Then I handed her the Pyrex bowls I had searched months for. "You are so nice! Can I have a hug," she exclaimed in victory. Numbly, I accepted the hug, even though I am not a hugger of strangers.

This was the deal I had been waiting for for four months, and I lost it. Then I experienced the six stages of losing the deal....

1. Ranting - In this stage, I said things like, "There are things I will fight for, and vintage Pyrex is not on that list." "I may have lost the Pyrex, but I kept my testimony." "Did she really hold that Pyrex bowl hostage?" "Does she know who I am? Has she seen the latest Goodwill you tube commercial!"

2. Researching- When we got home, I went to Pyrex Love to find that the name of the pattern was, "Pink Gooseberry."

3. Realizing- Through researching, I realized the magnitude of the deal that I lost. When I was trying to find the name of the pattern, I saw pictures of all the Pyrex patterns. Sadly, I discovered that "Pink Gooseberry" is probably my FAVORITE Pyrex pattern.

4. Regretting- "What was I thinking!" "Those were the best bowls ever!" "I totally could have taken her," were statements I said during this phase.

5. Reevaluating- Brandon witnessed the whole Pyrex hostage situation. Ultimately, I am trying to show the love of Jesus to my boys, and the difference Christ can make in their lives. Showing the Pyrex hostage taker lady kindness helps me with my ultimate purpose as a parent.

6. Remembering- Years from now, I will look at Shad and say, "Do you remember that pink gooseberry pyrex I lost." Shad will look at me and say, "Yes, I remember it. Just like I remembered it yesterday and the day before that!"

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Saturdate with Southern Plate: {Mud Hens}

In case you don't know what Saturdate with Southern Plate is, you can check it out here.

This week I made Mud Hens. Again, this recipe is only in the cookbook, but I hate not having a link to some recipe. Here is a link to some cute spring cupcakes.

Shad and B loved these cookie bars! They were gone very quickly!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Give me Five Friday - {things I may have done this week}

I've had a busy week, so I'll recap it in this Give me Five.

{five things I may have done this week}

1. I may have wasted two hours of my life watching the Bachelor. (By the way, it's great to love your job, but when you love to embalm people that's just creepy! If you watched it you know what I mean. )

2. I may have washed out and reused a Sonic cup one time for my tea. That styrofoam makes a drink taste better! I'm sure there is probably some chemical that leaks out when you rewash the cups, but they must be tasty chemicals because my tea was great!

3. While I was working in the kitchen, Shad yelled out the final jeopardy question. I may have felt like a genius because I knew the answer, but then I may have been humbled when I realized it was "Teen Jeopardy." At least it wasn't "Celebrity Jeopardy."

4. I may have put a bib on Collin with the name "Brandon" embroidered on it. He was drooling like Beethoven the St. Bernard, and I was running low.

5. We live in an older home, and I may have forgotten Shad was in the shower and cut the water on in the kitchen. When Shad yelled out, I may have snickered to myself, and I may have hesitated about five seconds before I cut the water off.

Again, I'm not admitting to anything, I'm just saying I may have done these things.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Curse #11 - Doctor's Office Healing

Yesterday, after he was sick for about a week, I took Collin to the doctor. He was battling a cold, and yesterday, he woke up wheezing. Wheezing is scary! After two hours of wheezy baby, I called the doctor and they told me to bring him to the office.

When the doctor came in to check him out, Collin stopped wheezing and did not cough at all. AT ALL! The doctor even tried to make him cough, but he didn't. HE DIDN'T! The doctor diagnosed him with bronchulitis (bronchitis's little brother?). Thirty seconds after the doctor left the room, my sweet little Collin started coughing. I'm sure the nurses heard when I yelled, "Are you kidding me?" Collin just gave me a knowing smile. It wouldn't be so sad, but this was not the first time this has happened to me. Brandon has done this countless times too.

Why do my boys always have a miraculous doctor's office healing? Here are my theories...

1. Brandon must've taught Collin how to do this. I don't know when they have their "Ways to drive mom crazy" meetings, but they must've covered this in them.

2. It's a thirty minute drive to the doctor's office, we must pass some kind of magical healing site on our way. I should try a different route next time.

3. They see the doctor and get nervous. My boys must have stage fright.

4. He was never really sick. He just realized he got lots of hugs and love when he coughed so he just kept doing it.

I would hate to see my boys medical records. I'm sure "mother is crazy," is written in there a few times.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Blessing #33- Improvising

To all the parents out there that can walk around in a store with their baby contently in their car seat, I say, "Boooo! Boo on you!"

Sorry for my negative tone, but I'm just jealous. Neither of my boys would do that. Around two months, both boys decided they did not like their car seat.

With my first son Brandon, I would just keep taking him in stores in his car seat, and wonder why he was crying. Then one day, I gave up and let him sit up in the buggy. He was so happy and content. Having learned my lesson, as soon as Collin started fussing in his seat, I let him sit in the buggy.

Now this isn't easy when the baby can't sit up. A mom has to get creative. Here's some helpful tips when you do this.

Keep a blanket handy. You can use it as padding on the baby's back and when you wrap it around them and then latch the safety belt, it helps keep them stable.

Use whatever is near you to prop the baby up in the buggy. Once I had to use....*ahem*....feminine products to prop up Collin. (They were soft and the perfect size. Don't judge!) If you want to see a grown man fidget, just make him walk around with...*ahem*....feminine products shoved under his son's arms. Desperate times call for desperate measures!

Linked to Works for me Wednesday.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Project Life: February 14 - 20

Last week I had lots of Collin pics, but this week I have none. I think he's feeling neglected. If you want to see more Project Lifes, click on the badge at the top of the post to go to The Mom Creative.

Monday, February 14- This date was awesome because 1. We did call ahead seating and only waited 15 minutes for a seat (on V-day!) 2. We used our banks debit card points program to get the meal for free!!!

Monday, February 14 (again)- Picking the right steak takes much concentration!

Wednesday, February 16- Some husbands come home from work and say, "Honey, I saw these flowers and thought of you." Shad came home and said, "Honey, I saw this Pepsi bottle in the woods, covered in dirt, and I thought of you." Isn't he sweet? I love it! It fits in well in my glass collection!

Thursday, February 17 - In Awana's on Wednesday night, Brandon got the priveledge of bringing Cubby Bear home for the week. On this day, B was playing "baby Cubby Bear." Look at Cubby Bear's eyes, I think they are saying, "Help me!!"

Friday, February 18- Roses in one of my canning jars...LoVe it!!!

Saturday, February 19 - Friday night, Shad put Brandon's tent on his bed. B was so excited, he slept in it all night.

Sunday, February 20- Brandon woke up from his Sunday nap, and went into the living room. When I walked in I found him in Collin's bouncy seat. (He was not in the mood for a picture.)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Blessing #32 - God's sense of humor

When it comes to me, God has a sense of humor. It's almost like He and I have inside jokes. Times when I know He has to be laughing at me or teasing me. Let me explain...

1. I've mentioned this before, but when I was a teenager, my mom told me I should think about becoming a teacher. She believe I had a "way with kids" and a "teaching spirit." After letting her know how crazy she was, I proceeded to rant about how much I loathed teaching. Much to my surprise though, a few years later I changed my major to teaching, and found my passion.

2. When I saw Shad for the first time, I was waiting in a crowded room. Someone kept "shooshing" the crowd. They would yell, "Shhhh!" and everyone would get quiet, and then everyone would realize that they didn't need to be quiet. Someone just liked to yell, "Shhh!" It was kind of funny the first time it was done, but this person kept shooshing. Annoyed, I said, "Who is doing that." My best friend pointed out the culprit, and I looked across the room and saw Shad, the shooshing bandit, for the first time. God in His wisdom, had to laugh when He heard the next words out of my mouth. I saw Shad and said, "What an idiot!" Well college Stephanie, that IDIOT is the love of your life, and even more scarily, that IDIOT will be the father of your children!

3. The first time I was introduced to Shad, I was busy studying for a class. A mutual friend introduced Shad and I, but I didn't pay Shad much attention. He used the best lines he had, but I still didn't pay attention. One reason was I was too busy studying, also I thought he was an idiot (remember?). After our not so memorable conversation, Shad looked at me and said, "Whoever dates you is going to have to carry a math book around!" Well college Shad,he won't carry a math book. In fact, he will not like math at all (although I try to get him to)!

4. Before moving to Maryland, I had a conversation with a close friend. When the subject of moving near my in-laws came up, I said, "Oh, at least, we'll be thirty minutes away!" Two days after moving to Maryland, our 30 minutes away house fell through, and we ended up renting a house 2 minutes from my in-laws. The big surprise is that I love living near my in-laws! I calculate getting to know my in-laws as the biggest blessing in moving to Maryland.

Do you see it? God's sense of humor with me. I think it's His way of showing me that I don't know everything, and that sometimes what seems terrible (or like an IDIOT) may be a huge blessing in disguise!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Saturdate with Southern Plate: {Lela's Fried Fruit Pies}

In case you don't know what Saturdate with Southern Plate is, you can check it out here.

Don't make chocolate fried pies. They will just make you want fried apple pies, really bad! Lesson learned!

Fried apple pies are one of my favorite desserts. You can find the quicker version of the recipe here, or you can find a the original version of this recipe here.

These fried apple pies were wonderful! I closed my eyes, and I felt like I was right back in Georgia, sitting in one of my favorite restuarants that serves these, surrounded by all my favorite people. It was a sweet moment, in more ways than one!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Give Me Five Friday- {5 more words I shouldn't say}

One of the first Give Me Five Friday was 5 words I should never say. Well, it has been a few months, and I have some new words to add to that list. Again, I believe I have aged out of slang. Although some might be able to pull it off, when I say these words, they just sound lame.

{5 more words I should not say}

1. That's how I roll- I used this phrase the other night, and that "that sounded lame" feeling came back again. It's what prompted me to add to the words I shouldn't say list. I wish I could pull this phrase off, but that's not how I roll.

2. Using text in conversation speech - I don't text, so when I use text in speech it sounds really awkward. For example: "That totally made me LOL!" "You're so crazy. J/K" Although, I tried to pull off BTdubs (BTW, by the way) in conversation. I so wanted to be able to say this but BTdubs it sounded lame.

3. Fill in the blank nation- For example: facebook nation, bulldawg nation, people who like to do math nation. I can't do it!

4. Emoticons- I have typed just a few emoticons. Just like lol, I type it, but then it just looks weird. I don't know why I can't pull them off.

5. Wait for it- I really love this phrase, but I have to stop using it because I...wait for it...use it way too much.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Blessing #31 - The Ultimate Comeback Line

This Valentine’s, Shad got me one of the best presents ever! It wasn’t chocolate, roses, or jewelry. It wasn’t expensive. In fact, it was free. Shad got me the “ultimate comeback line.”

Let me explain…

Friday, Shad called in to the local radio station, Shine FM, to play the “Ah, Um” game. (I told you he likes contests.) He had to speak for 20 seconds on a topic that the radio hosts gave him without saying “ah” or “um.” The hosts interviewed him for a few seconds, and then they gave Shad his topic, “Everything I (Shad) Know About Women.”

He excitedly started into his 20 second speech about everything he knew about women, except something crazy happened. He said um 8 seconds into it. 8 seconds! (*rolling laughing*) 8 seconds! (*slapping my knee*). Everything he knew about women, and he ran out at 8 seconds!

And that is the gift, the ultimate comeback line. When shad says something smart aleck to me, and I can‘t think of what to say…BOOM…use the ultimate comeback line. “This coming from the man whose knowledge of women is 8 seconds worth.“ I may use variations of the phrase to keep it fresh, because I will use it often.

I can just picture. Shad and I, in our 80’s, sitting on our front porch and rocking in our rockers….

Shad: “That chicken you made tonight was dry!”

Steph: “What did you say? You are the coolest guy?”

Shad: “That’s true (hee hee hee). I said your chicken was dry.”

Finally realizing what Shad said, I slowly bring my hands up with eight fingers showing.

Shad: “Really!?! It’s been 50 years. Don’t you thinks it’s getting old?

Steph: “Yes I am bold!”

Shad: “NO! Don’t you think it’s getting OLD!!!”

Steph: “Nope, still funny (hee hee hee). It’s the ultimate comeback line!”

Shad, thank you so much for my gift. It’s just my size XS, extra sarcastic.

****The winner of the $20 Dayspring giveaway was Mom in Orbit. Thanks for entering!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Blessing #30 - 2 of our 15 minutes of fame

Right now, as I type, I am doing my "happy dance." It consists of the running man, the cabbage patch, and just plain ol' jumping up and down!

Why the cause for celebration? The Goodwill Commercial is up!

I don’t know if I mentioned it, but recently, Shad and I had the opportunity to film a Goodwill of Delaware commercial.


I did mention it? Really? You say I was so excited about it I could think of nothing else, so I declared the “Week of Goodwill” on the blog, and I only posted Goodwill posts for a solid week.


I also created an entire category on the blog just for Goodwill? Are you sure? I even had the guts to call myself an actor? I did that? I don’t seem to remember it that way, but if you say so.

Either way, I am pleased to present our Goodwill commercial!

If there was an Oscar category for “best performance in a 2 minute Goodwill You Tube commercial,” I would totally win it! I would have some stiff competition from Shad and Dawn (the host), but I would totally win it. Did you see the depth, meaning, and range when I yelled, “ShaAaAad!”

****Note: Dear Dawn (the host), I don't know why You Tube decided to freeze the frame right where it did, but I'm sorry.

Don't forget to enter the $20 Dayspring giveaway here.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Project Life- February 6 - 13

If you want to see more Project Lifes, just click on the badge at the top of this post. This week my pictures aren't spread out. I will do better next week!

Thursday, February 10- B had his Valentine's party at preschool. He was so excited he sat at the window waiting to go. This is him with his Valentine's!

Thursday, February 10- This was his valentine! He's my crazy guy!

Saturday, February 12- I think he is convinced that he can move things with his mind.

Sunday, February 13- He's getting so big. That makes me happy and heartbroken all at the same time

Sunday, February 13- can' much......cuteness!....Feel the give him a hug!

Sunday, February 13- Me and my little guy were hanging out in the church nursery so I started snapping self portraits. Doesn't he seem so interested?

Don't forget to sign up for the $20 Dayspring giveaway here

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Blessing #29- Jewelry {and a giveaway}

I've always been a plane jane kind of girl. I didn't wear make up until I was in college, and the only jewelry I wore was a compass necklace. However, this plane jane changed her ways four years ago after a demonstration at a jewelry party.

At first, I was too busy flipping through the catalog to find the cheapest piece of jewelry than to listen to the consultant speak about the wonders of jewelry. Then I noticed she had everyone close their eyes. I didn't want to look as if I wasn't paying attention, so I closed mine. When we reopened our eyes she had taken off all her jewelry. Her outfit suddenly seemed plane and boring, and my eyes were opened to the power of jewelry. Now, I loOoOve jewelry! An outfit without jewelry is like a cupcake without icing.

Recently, Dayspring gave bloggers the opportunity to review one of their products. I knew immediately the product I wanted to review, the "God's Heart for you" necklace. This necklace has a pendant with four words on the sides, created, chosen, celebrated, and cherished. All these words represent God's heart for you. I love the card that came with the necklace, because it gave verses that each of the words represented.

{created}- Psalms 139:14

{chosen}- Deuteronomy 14:2

{celebrated}- Zephaniah 3:17

{cherished}- Jeremiah 31:3

To be honest, sometimes when I look in the mirror I only see the excess baby weight or that annoying gap that's always in my bangs, but this necklace reminds me of how God sees me (gappy bangs and all).

This necklace would make a great gift for any woman. It would make a truly meaningful graduation gift. You can find the sterling silver version here or the rhodium plated version here.

Dayspring is having a sale right now! You can get 25% off of your order by using the coupon code LOVE25.

But it's Valentine's day so that's not all!

Dayspring has given me a $20 off Dayspring online coupon code to give away to one lucky Calculating Blessings reader. The winner can use it to take $20 off of any Dayspring online purchase(shipping charges will still apply). Dayspring online offers cards, books, jewelry, and even plates!

To enter just leave a comment below!

For two additional entries you can:
1. Become a "follower" of Calculating Blessings. (It's on the right hand side of the blog)

2. "Like" Calculating Blessings on Facebook!

Just make sure you leave a separate comment for each entry you do. (If you are confused I have examples in the first three comments. )

I will announce the winner on Thursday! Good luck!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Saturdate with Southern Plate: Aunt Sue's Chocolate Fried Pies

In case you don't know what Saturdate with Southern Plate is, you can check it out here.

In honor of Valentine's Day, I wanted to make a chocolate recipe,so Aunt Sue's Chocolate Fried Pie's seemed perfect! Leave it to Southerners to find a way to fry chocolate! This recipe is only in the book and not on the website, but if you are looking for another chocolate recipe try Chocolate No Bake Cookies. It's one of my favorites, but I make mine with peanut butter in it! If you are going for creative and cute, try these Hershey's Kisses shaped Oreo Balls from Bakerella.

These fried chocolate pies were good, but a scoop of ice cream on top would have made them heavenly! If you are going to make this recipe, give yourself alot of time. It takes a while to make deliciousness.

Don't forget to sign up for the $20 Dayspring giveaway here. Entries close at 12:00 AM Wednesday, Feb. 16!

Post linked to Works for me Wednesday!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Give me Five Friday - {showing LoVe}

Valentine's Day is Monday!!! I loved Valentine's Day even before I had a Valentine. I always believed you don't have to have A LOVE on Valentine's. You just need to have LOVE. So this week's five is in honor of V-day.

{five ways to show love}

1. A Helpful Act- Find what someone needs, and help them out.

2. Food - A meal or a baked treat is an excellent way to show someone love, and it gives me an excuse to try a new recipe!

3. Plan an Adventure- This is my favorite way to show love to my family. I love planning a day for one of my guys. Find something they like and make it an adventure! Try to visit as many of their favorite stores as possible, plan a progressive meal at several different restaurants, do a scavenger hunt around town you can make anything an adventure!

4. Personalized Gift- I'm not talking about towels with someone's initial. A personalized gift finds someones quirks or a thing they love and recognizes that. Just last night, Shad got me some Valentine Peeps! (I love Peeps! I tried to join the fan club once.) Personalized gifts aren't really about the gift itself, but it's more about the thought. Personalized gifts are a way to say, "I pay attention to you!"

5. Card- Sometimes the right card can say what I feel, but wasn't eloquent enough write. When I shop for a card I keep looking until I tear up. That's when I know I've found the right card

I hope your Valentine's Day brings you lots of love! To show all the people love that take time to read my ramblings, Calculating Blessings will be giving away $20 off at Dayspring online to one of you readers! The giveaway starts Monday, so come back Monday to enter!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Blessing #28 - Shedding

Pregnancy can do some crazy things to a woman. Currently, I am experiencing a phenomenom that I had with Brandon...massive shedding (There's an explanation for this phenomenom here.) I'm shedding hair worse than Tigger in June!

"I resent that!!!"

Sorry Tigs. With my hair type (straight and fine), volumizing my hair has been a lifelong pursuit. This amount of shedding makes volume an impossibility. This may be petty to some, but at some point I will end up in tears over this issue. However, I am handling it better this time than last time for two reasons. This time, I knew it was coming. Secondly, I keep focusing on the reason this shedding is happening and three words keep coming to my mind...

Totally worth it!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Curse #10- Shad's Contest

This has been our homepage for the past month. Every time I start up the internet I am greeted with this lovely site. Yes, that’s right HGTV. What’s really funny is Shad is the one that made this our homepage, not me. Does he love decorating ideas? No. Does he like seeing home improvement projects? No. Is he Candace Olsen’s #1 fan? No. Shad has HGTV as our homepage because of the HGTV dream home.

This is just another of Shad’s crazy quirks, he loves contests. However, I do not love him and his contests. Let me explain.

Recently, a college football group or something gave away a Ford F-250. Shad entered to win about a month before they gave the truck away. For a month, I heard about that Ford F-250 every day. He would ask me questions like, “Do you think that truck could fit two car seats?“ He put a picture of the truck on his phone. One day when we were out and about, a stranger needed to borrow his phone. When she gave the phone back she said, “I love that truck.“ Shad just smiled and didn’t correct her.

His love of contests would not normally bother me. I don’t like to rain on his parade, but I know what is coming at the end of every contest. Ultimately, if…when he lost the truck I knew he would be terribly let down. He moped around for about a day pouting, missing "his" truck. The only thing that got him over losing the F-250 was learning about the HGTV Dream Home giveaway.

Now, HGTV is my homepage so he’ll remember to enter every day. Every night, he announces how many days until HGTV gives the house away (8 days). He is practicing his reaction if…when he wins. He has viewed the pictures of the house countless times. He has picked out the boys room and his man cave. He has map quested how far the dream home is from us because he has to find the quickest route to get to the dream house right after he wins it. He did not want me to post this because he didn’t want anyone else to enter and lessen his chances. Again, I don’t want to rain on his parade, but I know that let down and pouting is coming soon (8 days according to Shad’s last announcement). Oh well, when…if he does lose, I will just have to distract him with another contest. I'll gather up all my receipts with the "Take a Survey and Win $1000" up and let him enter all those.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Project Life: January 31 - February 6

If you want to see more Project Lifes, just click on the badge at the top of this post.

Tuesday, February 1- Because we don't get to go much, Target is very exciting for us. I had to pick up some things and promised B a cherry icee and popcorn if he was good. He loved this so much and talked about it the rest of the day. (You can tell I take a lot of pictures. Look at B's pose he did.)

Wednesday, February 2- Another Collin caption (this is getting to be a weekly tradition) : "Hey daddy, could you check my status?"

Thursday, February 4- Some kids take a paci, some suck their thumb. Not my boy, he goes for his fist. He's done this since he was born, but I've never been able to get a good picture of it.

Friday, February 4- At a shower I went to, we had to make a baby out of play dogh. This is the winning table's baby (not my table's baby). First off my table had poor color choices, green and blue. Second, my table's baby got judged right after this amazing baby.

Friday, February 4- Poor Alien Baby she never had a chance.

Saturday, February 5- Oh my! Let me explain this one. This is the handle to a tupperware cake carrier. Brandon got a hold of it, and this is what he chose to do with it.