Sunday, September 26, 2010

Reading through Acts

If Bible college taught me anything (except about legalism and boundaries built between 'theology') I learned a great deal about two particular books in the Bible:  John and Acts.  I have a new appreciation for both of them now.  (This was ideally why I wanted to go to Liberty, to learn more about Jesus and allow God to use me preferably for a job in ministry eventually.)  Anyway, the class on John taught me a great deal about the differences between John and the other gospels and about the 'disciple whom Jesus loved.' Ahem.  The Acts class, so I thought, taught me seemingly nothing until I wrote my final paper on the book when it all came together for me. 
Acts, to me, is a book about revolutionary leadership coming right after the revolution (Jesus).  Ultimately, we find in Acts 1:8 that the gospel is to be taken to Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the ends of the earth.  As Acts unfolds we see, as God ordained, the gospel taken to Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the 'ends of the earth.'  We see Gentiles being delivered the message of salvation.  We see anti-christian radicals like Saul be completely transformed by God and become a radical for proclaiming the good news.  We see Christians die for their faith and jailed for their faith.  We see the church really begin to exist.  We see opposition, and we see determination.  And I really love the book of Acts.
I love the zeal and zest of the people... all of the people.  It was a time when people stood for something.  Some stood for God, some stood against him... but at least they stood.  There was zeal and passion in their convictions. 
We aren't like that now-a-days.  We're more complacent and wishy washy.  Not many completely stand against God, but many just choose to 'not believe'.  And we as Christians, well, we don't seem to believe enough about what we preach to really seem concerned that the people who live with us and amongst us will spend eternity somewhere one day.  It almost seems as if the two go hand in hand.  At the time of the most opposition, was the time of the greatest revolution.  We see over and over in Acts that their 'numbers grew'.  And those aren't evangelist numbers.  Those weren't bow your head and pray this prayer numbers, those were people  falling in love with Jesus.  It seems when people see you standing up, against opposition, they decide your cause is a cause worthy of the standing. 
So where does this leave us?  When do we become the radicals?  When do we love Jesus in such a way that He oozes from our pores.  Seems like a good time to me... for life is but a vapor...

Monday, September 20, 2010

Doctor Appt This Morning

Just a short blog to update on pregnancy related items.
I'm currently 15 weeks, 2 days pregnant.  I have my next doctor's appointment on October 19th.  I'm stoked because that is the gender reveal day ;)  Is it boy or is it girl?  If you are on facebook with  me be prepared for a poll to be taken.  I want to see what everyone thinks this time around! 
As far as the appointment went, it was basically an ordinary prenatal appointment.  I've gained two pounds so far this pregnancy, which I'm happy with.  My blood pressure is good = 100/60, and baby's heartbeat (after searching forever for it, I was beginning to get nervous until Dr. Tsung said it's normal to have to search around for it this early on) was in the 150's.  Use that if you must on choosing your gender selection later on ;)
And the kicker, apparently I have low platelets again.  The conversation with the nurse went like this:
Nurse:  Alicia, your platelet levels have gone back up now, they are looking better.
Me:  (Confused)  From the last time?  (Meaning the last time I was pregnant, I thought we were comparing prenatal bloodwork with Bryton to prenatal bloodwork with this one.)
Nurse:  Yes, they are back up over 100,000 now.
Me:  Okay.  (still confused)
After I got off of the phone I realized that she was comparing my prenatals (taken at about 12 weeks) with the bloodwork I had done at about 6 1/2 weeks (which was done because I'd been bleeding a little.)  If I'm putting the puzzle pieces together appropriately, it appears that my platelets were very low at the first bloodwork and had gone back up at the 2nd set.
What's that mean?  Basically that I have (are you ready for this) thrombocytopenia, or, pregnancy induced low platelets.  It's good news because it now verifies that I was not preeclamptic with Bryton, but not great news because I will now battle platelet levels back and forth this pregnancy, which only really effects something when it comes time for an epidural.  (Pray for 100,000 platelets this time at the time of delivery!!!)  If my platelets go under 100,000 then an epidural is deemed 'risky' as my blood doesn't clot properly.
I'm going to ask more questions about this again next appointment.  I'm hoping since we are seeing this now being a pattern with me that I won't have to go in for bloodwork 137 times like I did last time.  (okay, it wasn't that many, but seriously it was at least 40 from two weeks prior to delivery to the time I got out of the hospital.  Call me a pin cushion.)
So anyway, that's the update.  In one month we'll know offspring number 2's gender, and hopefully have good news about his / her development as well.
I'll keep you posted as we are posted ;)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Some Coupon Stuff and Updates

This post may take you by surprise... Wal-Mart may get a small shout out from me today.  Small, but still a shout out.  So there are just some things you can buy at Wal-Mart that you can not buy at our Kroger, being that Kroger is so small and can hold so little, so I had to run to Wal-Mart today mainly for mousetraps.  (Yuck.)  Anyway, I figured while I was there I may as well do some searching.  There is one thing I always buy at Wal-Mart.  It seems I always have one (or a couple) coupon for $2 off any disposable Schick razors... and yes, ladies, I use disposable razors and I LOVE them! ;)  Anyway, Wal-Mart has a 'value' pack of Schick Disposable Razors (12 in a package) for $1.97, and I don't believe this is a rollback price, because I always see it for the same price.  I just happened to have two of those coupons today, so I scored myself 24 razors, and they paid me .06 to take them ;)
Anyway, here was my whole Wal-Mart trip. 
I had some 'stocking' I needed to do in the house.  Since I've finally been feeling better I've been cooking / baking more, and doing more homemade than I ever have, it has to do with this time of year... I just love it.  Anyway, on my shopping list was flour and light brown sugar, so I went ahead and bought that at Wal-Mart, because, honestly, I expect it to be cheaper there if it's not listed in the Kroger ad (and it isn't this week).  I also knew I could save money on tomato paste (.38 for the off brand as opposed to around .50 at Kroger), and I needed that for a recipe, so I got that there too.  So, I bought:
Light Brown Sugar
Tomato Paste
Two packages of 12 disposable razors
Glue trap mouse traps (bleh)
Lean hamburger (I'm picky about this, it's healthier so I go for it.  It's ALWAYS cheaper at Wal-Mart that Kroger... always.)
Two packages of Kraft Shredded 2% Mild Cheddar
1 Package of Kraft Mozzarella
2 Packages of Philadelphia Cream Cheese
and a Bag of Reeses Cups Halloween Candy (I knew my hubs would like that I thought about him.)
My total after coupons ($9.00 in coupons) was $16.87!  Not bad for all of the razors, hamburger and cheese! 
By the way, go to Kraft's site to score the coupon for $5 off 5 participating items to get the cheese deal.  In general cheese isn't a horrible thing to 'stock up' on.  Nothing that I bought today expires before January, and we'll be using a lot of shreds on tacos, chili, soups, and italian chicken and salads.  Not to mention the cream cheese makes great dips and desserts! 
I haven't made it to Kroger yet today, and hope to do that before the day is over... we have a busy weekend coming up!

On a note about us, here is a short synopsis:
  • I'm feeling much better.  Only nauseous for about 20 minutes in the morning and it's usually from not giving my body time to get all the blood back up to my head or something, if I sit for awhile, I'm good. 
  • I'm 15 weeks on Saturday, crazy to think that already!  In October we'll be finding out if our lovely offspring will be male or female ;)  I'm totally stoked for that! 
  • I lifted Bryton up out of his crib this morning and have had some pulling sensation ever since, just a healthy reminder that though I feel good and really don't feel pregnant right now, I am, and need to be careful about how I'm lifting him and what I allow myself to do and not do.  
  • On a family note, this is a much needed weekend coming up!  We have plans to take B to Eckerts tomorrow as a family to pick apples.  I've been looking forward to this day, well, probably since before he was born ;)  (I love this time of year!) So we're hoping all goes 'as planned'.  We're going to do good lunch in Fairview, run a few 'shopping errands', and go to the football game as a fam tomorrow night to support the guys. 
  • Saturday, Aaron and I are participating in the golf scramble, which will be the second time we will have golfed together this year :(  But it'll be good time to spend together and not worry about Bryton.  (Who will be safe at home with grandma!)  
  • Sunday nights for the next three weeks are SN@C at the church, a very fun and exciting time for us and the youth!  We're really excited and praying God will do some amazing things through SN@C this year! 
I think that's the updates for now!  I have another doctor's appointment on Monday!  Hopefully more then about all listed above!!!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Let's Talk About Burning Korans

It's not often I get in on all of the political / current events talk, but this is one particular talk I can't really keep my head out of.  It's everywhere, and it seems as if though anyone who is anyone has made some kind of public stance about this pastor, Mr. Jones.    So if I had the opportunity to address him, here is what I would say:

Mr. Jones, to you first I quote 1 Corinthians 10:23-24:  "Everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial.  Everything is permissible, but not everything is constructive.  Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others."  Also, Matthew 5:38-39:  "You have heard it said, an eye for an eye, and tooth for tooth.  But I tell you, do not resist an evil person.  If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also." 
Sir, it may not be against the laws of our country for you to burn the book deemed holy by another religion, you may even consider that well within your rights of free speech.  It is, however, in no way beneficial to your particular 'religion' or to those you may be trying to reach.  Most of all, it is not beneficial to the cause of Christ.  As a fellow Christian (who grimaces at even considering us a part of the same 'group'), I feel that you ruin our reputation, our message, and our progress.  Consider yourself, Mr. Jones, and your own feelings as extremists in other countries burn our Holy Bible.  It makes us angry, it breaks our hearts, and most of all, it makes us immediately wish to 'write off' the thoughts and ideas of the religions held by those extremists.  It makes sense that if they were to ever try to 'reach us' for their cause, we would have nothing to do with their message.  You, sir, are that extremist.  You are that terrorist.  You are a terrorist to your own religion, completely squelching Jesus' message of love and redemption.  God has called us to love Him and to love our neighbor as ourselves.  Unlucky for you, He didn't specify your neighbor's religion, and you are not showing love. 
You are considering the sin of a small group of extremists and damning an entire religion.  We may agree that 9/11 was an awful day in American History, but sir, evil did not prevail.  God is still God, He is still in control.  Your public, malicious display of hate does not benefit, in any way, the glory that God plans to get from such a tragedy.  No, maybe love, despite our nature, would overlook such a great display of hate that was delivered against our country on 9/11.  Yes, love would have to be supernatural.  Hate is our flesh, and sir, you display hate. 
It is my plea that you would reconsider.  Remember the God of love who brought you out of darkness, who showed you great mercy and great kindness, and do the same for others.  If you decide to do otherwise, we can not be one in the same.  Is it possible that my 'brother' in Christ could be of the faith and show such hate?  Remember who you represent, sir.  Please.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

It's Surreal... and Good

I can't believe I'm almost 14 weeks pregnant already!  It seems this pregnancy is flying by compared to my first one!  I'm trying to savor every special minute of it, sick or not, because, unless God has other plans, I'd imagine this will be our last pregnancy. 
So Saturday marks 14 weeks.  I'm finally officially out of the first trimester.  I'll breathe my big sigh of relief when I see that ultrasound again (in like 4 or 5 weeks!  crazy, right? may be that soon when I know boy or girl!), and even a bigger sigh of relief after I count 10 little fingers and 10 little toes sometime in March.  Ehh, who am I kidding, I may never breathe a sigh of relief again after baby number 2 ;)  I don't know that I ever have with baby number 1!  We're wired to show concern for them. 
Anyway, I could completely be hallucinating, but twice now I've felt little flutters in my belly.  Lower than what I was used to feeling with Bryton, but if these are indeed the baby moving, it would be about 3 weeks prior to my feeling anything with B, so lower would make sense I suppose.  Maybe this time I know what I'm 'feeling' for?  Who knows?  Maybe I'm just crazy.
On a not baby note (not completely anyway), I've been busy going through closets since I've been home from Texas.  I've cleaned out all of Bryton's drawers and his closet to see what actually still 'really' fits him, see what I need to pack away for awhile (or a long while if this baby to be is a boy), and moving all of my 'yep, probably not wearing that again for awhile' clothes to the back rod of our closet while inserting all of the maternity clothes Amber so graciously let me borrow!  (Huge blessing by the way.)  I figure with the weather changing (thank you, Jesus), most of my 'skinny tees' are probably gone for 8 months or so (let's be serious, probably gone until the next summer.  Who am I kidding, baby number 2 due in mid March, skinny tops made for June - August, probably not going to happen). 
One way or another, I'm excited about getting my fall stuff in my closet and I've done inventory of all of the 'fall stuff' in B's closet.  This is my first year really buying 'out of season' for him, so I was surprised how much we have in the way of fall clothes for B, all of which were bought literally for pennies on the dollar!  Not to mention the fact that the 18-24 month jeans I bought for him last year (hey, he was a chunk at one point, just not at chunky as I thought he was ;), he couldn't wear last year because they were too big, and well, are still a little too big around the waist this year.  He's slimmed and gotten taller!  Either way, I feel like I'm getting two seasons out of the same jeans, which is awesome, I shouldn't have to buy many, if any, jeans for him this year!
Fall is a fun and busy time for us, so I'll be sure to keep you posted on our fun stuff, on my couponing of course (Christmas is coming up and I still have probably a third of my gifts to buy), and all of the festivities (Halloween, B's birthday, Thanksgiving, my birthday, Christmas... pregnancy :) 
Anyway, that's all the rambling for now!  I'll keep you posted on more as it comes!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Saving During Bad Sales Weeks, Menu Plans and More

Here's to a lot of finallys!
  • I am finally feeling well again. 
  • I am finally feeling some energy come back into my life. 
  • And, I'm finally getting into the mood to get back to some 'normal routine.'  
Well, kind of a normal routine.  You guys know me, I've turned into this girl who really enjoys shopping.  I like seeing what kind of good deals I can get.  It doesn't matter if it's in the grocery store, shopping for clothes, home stuff, or whatever!  If I can get it cheap, and it's something we'll use, I'm all for it.
And I had a big shopping trip to do this week after being gone all week last week.  As it turned out I needed to meal plan for 8 days, and really only had everything I needed for one day off food in the house.  So I researched my pantry, and then I researched our Kroger ad.   Ugh, totally not a good 'need to shop' week.  Normally I have enough stockpiled that I could make it until Sunday (when the sales change), but this week was a 'no-go'.  I had to go to the store.
So I researched those cabinets and the freezer again, started putting together some 'sound good' meals, (if there is a time to do whatever I want for dinner, this is it), and made my grocery list according to what I had to have to get us through breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the next week.  (Well, 8 days.)
Here's what I came up with as a menu plan:

  • Chicken and Andouille Sausage Jambalaya and Honey Cornbread
  • Chili (tonight's supper, yum!), peanut butter sandwiches?
  • World's Best Chicken (chicken breast wrapped in aluminum foil with your fave ingredients and chopped potatoes), potatoes, corn
  • Pork Chops in the oven with cream of mushroom, mashed potatoes
  • Meatloaf, potatoes, peas
  • Contessa frozen meal (for an easy night)
  • Chicken Casserole, peas
I also have enough for hamburger melts and fries if we decide to do that one night!

Lunch: (with chips, fruit, etc)
  • Homemade Chicken Salad
  • PB & J
  • Turkey sandwiches
  • Chicken patty on bun
  • Leftovers ;) 
  • Cereal
  • Fruit
  • Homemade Banana Nut Bread (that I made today)
To get all I needed for all of the above meals I actually only spent $53 at the grocery store, not bad considering I only used 2 coupons, none off my card, and only saved 14%!  It just goes to show you that sometimes planning in and of itself can totally cut back your grocery bill!