Friday, June 27, 2008

16 Week Doctor Visit: Some Firsts

Thursday I had my 16 week doctor visit. There were some firsts during this visit
  • The first time my blood pressure has ever been up in my entire life. It was just slightly elevated (I think the number was 146/86). The doctor was not concerned about it at all since it has never been high only low so I am not concerned yet. We did go by a very cheap blood pressure machine tonight since I have been having bad headaches recently.
  • Secondly, it was the first time they could not find one of my babies heart beats. But again, I was not concerned because I had just felt him that morning. There was an old ultrasound machine in the room so she just started it and I got to see my little baby. He looked great! His little arms and legs moved all around and his heart beat was 140. I am referring to the baby as a boy because usually 140 heart beats means boy and usually 160 heart beats means a girl. It can change a lot but the heart beat usually stabilizes around 16 weeks or so. I will not know for sure that it is a boy till July 20th. She could not tell on the old ultrasound machine what the sex of the baby was. We are so excited! I cannot wait to meet this precious gift from God.
Have any of you had any blood pressure issues during your pregnancy? I do not think there is anything you can do when your blood pressure is high during your pregnancy. I read somewhere that it can just have to do with the baby and his blood flow with the placenta and all. Have yall heard this?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Getting Back to Spending only $75 on Groceries and Out to Eat Food Weekly No Matter How I Feel!

I cannot wait until I start to feel better again to get back to not overspending on groceries and dining out. I have to just accept that I am going to feel bad and sneeze my head off every other day during this pregnancy. Since gas and grocery prices have raised dramatically it is now even more important for me to be focused on being frugal with our money. I have been feeling bad sneezing all the time, and just have been so exhausted that I actually have been getting in the bed at like 9:30! I have no idea how much we have been spending on groceries and dining out recently. Monday night I cut coupons (while watching John and Kate plus 8) for an hour. I got some amazing coupons on diapers, deodorant, yogurt, hamburger helper (we will have one night for dinner), spray and wash, cereal, Lysol wipes, Benadryl, etc. I cut about $50 worth of coupons since I have not cut any coupons the last 3 weeks. The key is to not cut coupons for snack items or items that you would not normally buy. You are always going to need deodorant, diapers, etc.

So, I am going back to the basics which is not cutting coupons, but meal planning!

Some accomplishments since I have been reading moneysaving mom’s blog daily beginning at the end of January 2008.

  1. I have spent $340 at CVS and according to them I have saved $320…wow
  2. I have a stock of toilet paper - maybe 3 to 6 months worth - just buy buying it at CVS when I could earn money for it. Many weeks if you buy $20 worth of Paper Towels or toilet paper you will earn $10 to spend anyway you want in the store
  3. I rarely buy an item that is not on sale or that I do not have a coupon for (most people who use coupons have at least a college degree according to moneysaving mom)

Goals for this Year:

  1. Have 3 to 6 months of income in savings that I do not touch and to be debt free (we have little to no debt).
  2. Start saving for a car that we can hopefully one day just pay for. I do not want to have a car payment while gas prices are this high. If anyone knows how to get the best deal on a used Honda Odyssey I am all ears! We might have to wait another year or two until we save up at least half of the total cost of the car.
  3. To only spend $75 on groceries a week - not the $150 we always seem to do
  4. To have 3 to 6 months of supplies of items we always need like detergent, toilet paper, etc.
  5. Read some money saving books. Anyone have any recommendations? My first two choices are Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace and Miserly Moms

What I am going to do This Week:

  1. Meal Plan!
  2. Buy $20 worth of paper towels and batteries at CVS and earn $10 back that I will buy milk, Desitin, deodorant, etc. I also have coupons for the new ALL detergent and Lysol wipes that are on a great sale at CVS.
  3. Get creative when the $75 runs out

What we are NOT willing to Give up:

  • Our soft drinks! But we have gotten creative. Right now Walmart has soft drinks for $2.50 for 12 pack. Also, I do enter cokereward points every month and last month I got this awesome grill cheese machine maker (and it makes omelets as well) for FREE. When soft drinks are not on sale at Walmart or CVS, Kroger has great generic brand soft drinks for like $2.30 for a 12 pack always.

Changing Our Mindset

  • This has been the hardest for me. We have to make sacrifices like not going to restaurant to be debt free and have an emergency fund. If you are not willing to make sacrifices then this will never work.
  • Maybe you do not go on a vacation this year. Is the concept of a vacation even Biblical? It is nice to have a vacation but not a necessity. To save money means to live and budget under what you actually make!

I would love to hear any advice on how to cut back more on our grocery/out to eat budget! Anything been working well for you recently?

Here is the tentative Meal schedule:

L-Bagel Bites
D- Party Chicken

D- Barbeque $18

B-Nutrigrain bar
L-Zaby’s $10
D-Cereal/PJ sandwiches or Breakfast food

B-Charlie has breakfast at the church
L-Leftover Pizza
D-Hamburger Helper with Salad

B- Pop tart
L-Roman Noodles
D-Chicken Pasta

B-Nutrigrain bar
L- Egg salad sandwiches made the night before
D-Dinner at church

Go here for more meal ideas for this week (Menu Plan Monday):

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Mimi Redid Jackson's Table and Chairs!

Here is a picture of the table and chairs after the fire:

Here are pictures after Mimi redid them:

Charlie's mom (Mimi) is so talented! After the fire, Jackson's table and chairs (that my aunt worked so hard on) had a few burn marks and some smoke stains on them. She came over one day and saw them outside and said that she could redo them! We are so excited and they look great. We are so blessed that someone in the family is talented in this area and someone who enjoys doing it. She also redid Jackson's bookcase. Thanks so much Mimi!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

1st Sinus Infection

I have the first sinus infection of this pregnancy. With Jackson I had about 4 total sinus infections. I have sinus issues anyway, but when I am pregnant it seem like I am always sneezing. For the last couple months about every couple days I have been having a massive sneezing attacks. Today, my head hurt really bad. This pregnancy I have sneezed way more than with Jackson (as far as I can remember...I did not blog until Jackson was born).

I went to the Doctor's Care on Friday, and they took some blood and said my white blood cells were up, and so I did have a sinus infection. We do not have a doctor here in Columbia yet, so if you know a great doctor for Charlie and I to go to please let us know! The only doctor that has been recommended to us does not really work on Friday and that could be a problem.

Jackson had to go back the doctor last week as well. He cried and cried on Monday and was holding his ears, so we took him to this Pediatric Urgent Care in Spartanburg that was great and so quick! They said he still had fluid in his ears and one ear still looked red, so he is on his second round of antibiotics. We are both on antibiotics right now. He keeps covering both his ears with his hands so we might be back to the doctor again this week.

Being pregnant is not easy for me by any means, but it only lasts for a season of my life and the result is an eternal blessing. I already cannot wait to meet this little one! I cannot believe I am going to be 16 weeks pregnant this week, and we go back to the doctor this week for my 16 week check up. I am taking Jackson with me so pray for us....that should be interesting.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

We are in Spartanburg This Week

I have been missing in action this week because we are "roughing" it this week in Spartanburg while Charlie is at Centri-Kid Camp in Georgia. We are missing Charlie very badly but having a great time here in Spartanburg. It is so nice to have a week off and to not have to really clean anything...Gigi washes clothes everyday! Today, we went to the pool and Jackson had a blast with many cups in the baby pool. Hope yall are having a great week!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day!

I am so blessed to have a great earthly father, and a great father of my child. My parents came down Saturday night and spent the night with us. It will not be much longer till they cannot stay with us because soon the guest room will be turned into a baby's room...sad. We went to California Dreaming for lunch (I could not believe that they took reservations for father's day), and we had a wonderful day. We are so blessed.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Proverbs 31 Women . . . A Motivation for Cooking?

Today in my Bible reading, I listened/read Proverbs 31 (NIV dramatized version). I have to tell you since I am pregnant and rather lazy, the Proverbs 31 woman was very overwhelming to me. I have read this passage a million times, but I guess I am usually trying 110 percent in all areas of my life so this passage has not been as convicting as it was today.

The Proverbs 31 women is a hard worker! Ladies, if you are ever feeling lazy, just read this Proverb.

"She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her task."

"She gets up while it is still dark;
she provides food for her family."

"She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night."

"She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness."

She provides food for her family, and she sells items that she makes and makes a profit.

If you know me at all, you know that cooking is not my strong suit. I guess I am so obsessed with not wasting time, I just really feel like cooking is a waste of my time. I have two picky eaters in my house so I would just rather Charlie and Jackson be satisfied at night. If they loved food that I cooked, and I could slave for 2 hours and then they would eat it up, then I would be all about cooking more.

Instead of cooking, I think I could better save time by cutting out coupons or figuring out how to save us money (or cleaning) instead of cooking. Then I could just let Charlie go get a Sub sandwich and then I would make Jackson some eggs. I really want to provide food for my family like the Proverbs 31 woman. Lord, help me not see cooking for my family as a waste of time! Does anyone else feel this way? If any of you all have any advice on how to enjoy cooking then I am all ears!

I have been blessed by listening to Dave Ramsey's podcast this week, and I am learning so much about how to save money. God has really blessed me by stumbling across Money Saving Mom's website and learning how to save us a tremendous amount of money. To get Dave Ramsey's free podcast go to:

I definitely believe part of being a Proverbs 31 women is not to buy everything we want and go into debt. It is learning how to stretch the money God has so graciously given us!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Proverb for the Day

Warning ladies you do not want to be this wife. It is strange when I am pregnant I am a lot more laid back and rarely argumentative. Sometimes I feel like I am on some sort of laid back drug, but these Proverbs are always a good reminder.

"Better to live on the corner of the roof
than to share a house with a quarrelsome wife." Proverbs 21:9

"Better to live in a desert
than with a quarrelsome and ill-tempered wife." Proverbs 21:19

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Loving Two

I have to warn you this poem made me cry. Maybe it is just because I am pregnant and about to go through this. I have not really had a lot of time to think about how it is not going to be just me and Jackson soon, but I need to start thinking of ways to prepare my son's heart. I am not sure who wrote this poem, I just read it on a blog recently. If you know the author please let me know so I can give her credit.

I walk along holding your (almost) 2-year-old hand, basking in the glow of our magical relationship.
Suddenly I feel a kick from within, as if to remind me that our time alone is limited. And I wonder: how could I ever love another child as I love you?
Then he is born, and I watch you.
I watch the pain you feel at having to share me as you’ve never shared me before.
I hear you telling me in your own way, “Please love only me”.
And I hear myself telling you in mine, “I can’t”, knowing, in fact, that I never can again.
You cry. I cry with you.
I almost see our new baby as an intruder on the precious relationship we once shared.
A relationship we can never quite have again. But then, barely noticing, I find myself attached to that new being, and feeling almost guilty.
I’m afraid to let you see me enjoying him—as though I am betraying you.
But then I notice your resentment change, first to curiosity, then to protectiveness, finally to genuine affection.
More days pass, and we are settling into a new routine.
The memory of days with just the two of us is fading fast.
But something else is replacing those wonderful times we shared, just we two.
There are new times – only now, we are three.
I watch the love between you grow, the way you look at each other, touch each other.
I watch how he adores you — as I have for so long. I see how excited you are by each of his new accomplishments.
And I begin to realize that I haven’t taken something from you, I’ve given something to you.
I notice that I am no longer afraid to share my love openly with both of you.
I find that my love for each of you is as different as you are, but equally strong. And my question is finally answered, to my amazement.
Yes, I can love another child as much as I love you—only differently. And although I realize that you may have to share my time, I now know you’ll never share my love.
There’s enough of that for both of you – you each have your own supply. I love you—-both.
And I thank you both for blessing my life.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Proverb for the Day

Just in case any of you get like me, and get haughty and think that you are ultimately in control of everything major in your life, here are some humbling Proverbs for the day. Praise God that He is in control!

"In his heart a man plans his course,
but the Lord determines his steps." Prov. 16:9

"Many are the plans in a man's heart,
but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails." Prov. 19:21

What a blessing it has been to be reading through Proverbs right now in my reading through the Bible in a year plan!

Monday, June 09, 2008

Top 5 Reasons I think We are Having A . . .


1. I now feel exactly the same way I did with Jackson. I am not nauseous at all, and I could eat all day long. The first trimester I did feel a little different than when I was pregnant with Jackson.
2. The circumstances of us getting pregnant are exactly the same as when we got pregnant with Jackson (you will have to ask me personally about that).
3. I no longer have an acne on my face
4. I am craving hot dogs again like I did with Jackson (gross).
5. Finally, the most convincing reason is that I did buy that intelligender test ( because it went on a mother's day sale. I am not the most patient person in the world, and I really want to move Jackson's clothes either in the next room or in the attic. My cousin's wife did have a friend who took this test and it ended up being wrong, and it is only 80% accurate with boy result. However, it turned green very quickly meaning boy. All I had to do was urinate in a cup first thing in the morning and then mix these chemicals/crystal looking things all together. Ah! If you had told me I was going to have two little boys when I grew up, I would have laughed very hard at you. I did want our first child to be a boy so he could be the protector of the other children, even though I grew up with just a sister and have no idea about boys. I also majored in women's ministry and had nothing but girlfriends growing up. But, we are real excited because Jackson will have an instant best friend and we will have so many cute clothes for this baby. We do want another child, but I think we will wait to try the next time till Jackson is in kindergarten. I do not go to get the big ultrasound test till July 21st, and if they say it is a girl I will probably not believe them! We are having a hard time with names. Right now the number one name is John (after my grandfather and great-grandfather) David Wallace, and call him John David. I love double names! Here is a picture of the test I took.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Proverb for the Day

Right now I reading through Proverbs in my reading through the Bible in a year, and today I read one of my favorite proverbs.

"When words are many, sin is not absent,
but he who holds his tongue is wise."

Proverbs 10:19

So if you are in an argument or counseling someone, sometimes the best thing to do it is to hold your tongue. With many words, sin is not absent. Boy, do I need to read this proverb everyday!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

The Anniversary of the Fire

Today marks the one year anniversary of our fire. It really seems like it happened 3 years ago since so much as happened in the last year. For the last two years this week in June has been some of the most difficult times I might ever have to face. June 6, 2006 my Mama passed away (my mom's mother). I had not gotten to see her that year because I was pregnant and finishing up my last semester of seminary. Needless to say I was very upset that I had not seen her in a long while, and that she would never get to meet my son here on earth. Being 6 months pregnant, I was an emotional wreck. This year I bought ice cream sandwiches in honor of her since she always would give me one at night. I think this will be a tradition from now on and my children will be sure to get ice cream sandwiches during this week while I tell them all about her love and grace that she gave to everyone.

Then last year on June 5th, was the night of our fire, and I night where I could have lost my son. I am not going to go into all the details again here but for details and pictures go to Charlie's blog:

Charlie writes:
"My wife and I have never looked back at that night and wondered, “Where was God? We lost so many items from his room and our house (there was soot damage throughout the entire house).”

Instead, we have always said, “Praise God. Praise him for his divine sovereignty over all things. Praise him for his mercy and grace and love. Praise him for him waking Jackson up and praise him for giving him a peaceful feeling about letting my son sleep with us that night. Praise him as not only the creator, but the preserver of life. Praise him to all the nations. Praise him because he does hold the entire world in his hands. Praise him that in his infinite plan he did not have to spare my son, me or my wife. Praise him that he still has a plan for our lives here on earth. Praise him for smoke alarms. Praise him for smoke alarms that work. Praise him for batteries. Praise him for family that let us stay with them Praise him for insurance. Praise him for church members that gave us much money to help us get through the losses. Praise him for Jesus. Praise Him for dying on a sinner’s death on a cross for our sins so that had we of perished in the fire, we would not have to go to the eternal fire which we all deserve. Praise him for firemen. Praise Him because He is God - the great I AM."

Thankful, that is what I am this year, just so thankful.