Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Mace face

It is Saturday, my productive day.
So far, we've cleaned the house, taken Macie for a long walk/swim in the lake, Bryan gave Macie a bath, we went to the store, and now it is NCAA game time.
The main reason we went to the store was to get Macie more bones to chew. We've found out that when she runs out, she turns to chewing anything she can find -- most recently, a computer cable from Bryan's office and the tail off a stuffed monkey. She's very good at destroying things quickly, and that includes bones. The best ones we have found are at Target, and about $1 apeice. The problem is, most of the time she doesn't eat them (initially). I just gave her a bone and now she is walking around with it in her mouth whining because she can't find a place to hide it. Yes, she insists on hiding her bone. She is trying to make me let her outside to bury it, but I don't want her to get it all muddy, so she just paces around until she thinks we aren't looking and hides it. Her favorite place to hide her bones is under the couch cushions, which is really annoying. What a weird dog.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Bottomless fries and glowing balls

As our friendships evolve and age, we come to appreciate the little things, like a night out without a baby. Don't get me wrong, we love Isla (Kyle and Kari's baby), but last night we stole her parents away for a night out without the baby, and we had a great time.
Yesterday was Kari's birthday, so we went to Red Robin and then went black light, 3D miniature golfing in a new place next to Pietro's. Alicia and Ben also came, and we had fun putting our way through optical illusions, wearing our nerdy 3D glasses the whole time. Bryan's parents happily watched Isla for Kyle and Kari, and it's amazing how much more difficult putt-putt would have been carrying a baby along the way. Maybe someday when Isla is old enough, we will bring her back to play, but for now, a babysitter is much appreciated.

We are blessed to have great friends, and it was fun to celebrate another year gone by!
The photo above is Kyle and Kari with Kyle's favorite pirate. I think the pirate is looking for some booty.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Girls weekend!

I know I'm late on this, but things have been crazy at work lately, and so I haven't had time to go through the photos until now. Last weekend, Bryan and I hosted High School Girls Weekend at our house. While this sounds crazier than it is, it was still a great time with three girls from CKC staying with us for two nights. We brought the girls home with us on Friday night, when we grabbed a redbox (Amexicano - don't see it, it has the worst ending ever!) and then went to bed waaay too late.
In the morning, we ran some errands, and then came back to our house. That night we were going to pick Jane up from the airport (her spring break), so we made two signs (one in Korean and one in English) welcoming her home. Please notice the sparkly, waving hands on one of them! Angela showed up around 1 p.m., and then we went shopping for food, which Esther prepared from scratch!! Angela (below) "cut the tag," tasting (and loving) apples and carmel for her first time ever! Esther and Bryan making dinner...Macie is trying to eat the chicken in Bryan's hand.Angie making our snickers/pudding/apple dessert (thanks, Alicia for the idea!)
Later that day we went outside to explore the property we live on, in order for Esther to get some cool photos. I took some along the way, and have put them on here for all to enjoy!
Most notably, the girls discovered our jungle, complete with a moose, zebra, giraffe, and hippo.
We also investigated an old "haunted" house up the hill from us (which the boys were too scared of). We all went in and did not fall through the floor, thank goodness. We found lots of treasures, including an awesome toilet!
At 5:30 p.m., we took off for P-town to pick up Jane, which was a great and tearful endeavor. It was good to see her, and beat her at Yahtzee when we got home.
We had a great time, even without much sleep!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

My latest column...

My parents raised me to be capable.
We never had a cleaning service in our home, I didn’t have a chauffer if I missed the bus, and I used to make fun of rich kids who got allowance. My parents loved and provided for me, that was my allowance.
When I was eight years old, my brother and I were walking down the Lego aisle at Wal-Mart when we saw it — Lego’s newest colonial conquest, Imperial Trading Post. To our wide eyes, it was 592 pieces of heaven, with three cannons and nine mini-figures to boot. We loved Legos, especially in the wintertime when the rain kept us from our Robin Hood escapades outside. We spent hours in the basement raking through boxes of the jagged squares to find that perfect piece, hoping mom would wait a little longer before calling us for bedtime.
It was not an issue of “if” we were buying Imperial Trading Post, but “when.”
Due to the aforementioned lack of allowance, our only revenue came from our weekly paper route. Making $24 a week, split between my brother and me meant it would be a while before we could afford the $85 purchase.
My parents taught us to split up our individual $12 into four areas — spending money, clothes money, savings and tithe. I would begrudgingly separate my $1 bills into four piles, wishing all $12 could go toward Imperial Trading Post. Instead, I tucked away $3 into my clothes money envelope, $3 into my tithing envelope, and handed $3 back to the bank teller to put in my savings account. Slowly, my spending money envelope grew fat with dollar bills.
It took my brother and me over three months to save up $85. Withstanding the temptation to spend a couple of dollars here and there on a pack of Topps baseball cards or sticks of Juicy Fruit, we did eventually walk out of Wal-Mart proudly toting the largest Lego set we ever owned.
Although I didn’t recognize it at the time, my parents were teaching us how to get through hard economic times. As an eight-year-old, I didn’t have much money, but I knew how to work for what little I did have, and I learned how to save.
Not having a lot of money doesn’t mean an expensive dream is completely out of reach, it just means it might take a little longer to get there. If my brother and I had put every dollar of our paper route earnings towards Imperial Trading Post, we could have bought the Lego set in one month. While this seemed like the best idea back when I was eight, now I realize how the three other budgeting categories benefitted my life as well. Over those three months, I was able to use my clothes money for that new Mariners cap I wanted; the one with the turquoise bill and Ken Griffey Jr.’s signature on the back. Years later, I used my savings account to buy my first car, a $725 beaten-down 1985 Mazda with a digital speedometer. As for the tithing, now I see how important that money is. Every Sunday when I would drop my wrinkled up dollars into the offering box at the back of church, I never realized that someday my husband would be a pastor and we would rely on the generosity of the people at our church to faithfully pay our bills every month. In this economic downswing, I am continually reminding myself of the things I learned through my first experiences with money: Always budget, don’t be too eager to spend it all in one place, and fun doesn’t have to be frivolous.