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2007 August » Philoxenos

Philoxenos

Life without internet

31st August 2007

Life without internet

We finally got our internet up and running tonight. Handsome is still putting our computer together (he’s been kinda busy, ya know!) but hopefully with the holiday weekend he’ll be able to do it before work starts again next week. I’m writing from his laptop.

Thanks to everyone that’s still reading and I promise that I’ll be back to writing more regularly very soon. To our family and friends in New Zealand, thanks for keeping in touch and please feel free to ring, particularly Jeremy’s mom and dad. You’ve got our skype details. Let’s get in touch this week.

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23rd August 2007

Home Sweet Home

We signed a lease on a great apartment tonight. It’s part of a four-plex, single story, three bedrooms, great kitchen, so much storage I simply won’t know what to do with myself. And it’s clean! I can’t tell you how many places we’ve moved into that I had to clean before occupying. I, of course, won’t give you the address but if you want to visit, let me know :) My door is always open. Not literally, of course, but you get the idea.

Now that we’ll have our own place hopefully we’ll get into our own routine again and I can get back to blogging on a more regular basis.

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21st August 2007

Things are so cheap in America!

I feel like life at the moment is full of exclamation points. He got a job! He slept until 4am! (not the same He) Gas is only $2.72 a gallon!!! And finally, things are so cheap in America!

Right before Handsome arrived from New Zealand my mom and I made a trip to Walmart without the two older children. Much, much easier. The purpose of the trip was for me to buy the things that we would need in our new place. At this point I was thinking we would imminently be moving into said place. Hasn’t happened yet, but hopefully there will be news on that in the next couple of days. Anyway. I needed to buy things like a toilet brush and a broom. Things you don’t normally think about but are incredibly important. Obviously we didn’t bring our broom or toilet brush with us from New Zealand (I’m not even sure if we would be allowed to bring them through customs. I wonder?) so these are necessary items.

So we wandered through Walmart, throwing things in the cart and marking things off my list. I bought a whole trolley worth of stuff, including lots of foodstuffs for my empty, not-yet-in-possession-of pantry. Grand total? About $70. I bought a big rubbish bin for the kitchen for only $2!!! That same bin in NZ would have been $10, at least. You should have seen me dancing in the aisles and practically praising the name of Sam Walton. But I’m sure that would have broken a commandment.

My latest bargain find was at Walgreens today. I had stopped in to get Scotch tape for 39 cents and spices 2/$1, as advertised in the sales flyer. While I was there I checked out the clearance shelves. WOW! I was able to get four rolls of brown mailing paper for 34 cents each. I don’t use much of this per se, but we’re going to be using it for regular wrapping paper and the kids can stamp, paint or colour on it. It’s heavy duty paper, which I like to use for wrapping paper, and serves a duel purpose. I also got my second daughter’s birthday present for $2.19 - a LeapFrog puzzle which helps with numbers and colours. I think it was marked down from $6. And I bought an extra one with dinosaurs which I’m pretty sure I will mail to a friend in NZ for her son. Or else it will join our gift closet. I now have two gifts in the gift closet :) And then the next really cool thing was a pack of 10 Christmas cards with a place to insert your own photo. Regularly 5.99 marked down to 57 cents!! I bought four packs.

If I was really clever I’d take a picture of it all and then post it. But I’m not that clever. One blog that often posts good deals available is Monica at The Homespun Heart and also Crystal at Biblical Womanhood. I’ve never met them in person but I enjoy reading their frugal, homemade ideas.  I get inspired :)

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20th August 2007

He’s employed!

Handsome got a job and he starts tomorrow!! Thank you Lord!

I won’t go into details of where he’s working but he’ll be doing IT support and some project management stuff. They’re very supportive of his seminary studies so he’ll have Mondays off for classes and work Tuesday - Friday.

We’ve just completed our budget the best we know how (I really hate how much money we’re spending on health insurance. Outrageous!) and we’ve got all the bases covered. Somewhat thinly covered in some areas, but covered :) I am so grateful to God for how he provides for us. And having a budget gives me so much freedom because I’m able to see that I really do have money to buy new coloring books or treat the kids to an icecream.

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18th August 2007

Random things on my mind

1. The toilet paper rolls are HUGE in America!

2. Has anyone watch the show Psychic on the USA channel? I think it’s hilarious! My parents record it on the DVR and we usually watch it over the weekend. I don’t watch much television, but I sure like that show.

3. We went to the mall today. It was an entire building full of stuff available for purchase, filled with people looking for things to purchase with money that most likely they don’t have. As we got in the car to go home (we only bought a lemonade from Hot Dog On A Stick [how can they wear those uniforms and still look themselves in the face?]) I looked at Handsome and said “An entire city block of shops and not one thing that I need.” That, my friends, is progress. I would much rather keep our money in the bank or other interest bearing investment than buy something that is wrapped in plastic that will eventually end up in the landfill where it will never rot for the next 500 years. I think as I get older I get a bit more pragmatic. I’ll often look the price tag for something and think “I could make an entire meal for my family for the cost of that item.” Then I return it to the shelf and walk away.

4. I need to blog more. I’ve gotten out of the habit of writing and I’m a bit rusty. Hopefully as life settles down a bit more I will post more regularly.

Until then, have a great weekend!

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18th August 2007

Lands End Free Shipping Code

If anyone would like a coupon code for free shipping from Lands End, just email me at michele AT philoxenos DOT com. I think I have at least two sitting in my email.

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14th August 2007

Hospitality and the microwave

Since this is supposed to be a blog about hospitality, I want to share something that happened yesterday. Last night we had people over for dinner, some new friends from our new church. We are staying with my parents while we look for a place to live, which has been good for lots of reasons. But it also means that I’m not in my usual groove for menu planning and shopping, etc. I do about half of the cooking, which I enjoy, but we still do things a bit differently than I might at my own house.

As I was planning our dinner, I just couldn’t get motivated to make a whole meal from scratch. I remembered that we had a lasagna from Costco in the freezer, so I decided to microwave the lasagne, make a salad and some homemade bread rolls. As I was serving the lasagna (in the cardboard container!) I couldn’t believe that I was serving something that had come pre-made and was only microwaved. But I reassured myself that hospitality, in whatever form, is still hospitality.

Don’t let something small like serving a frozen lasagna stop you from having people over. Obviously we want people to feel welcome but sometimes keeping things simple in the kitchen means we have more time to devote to our guests. And in a season like this, with small children, moving countries, etc, frozen lasagna seemed like the way to go.

And it was good lasagna! 

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11th August 2007

Grandma’s prerogative

My family (husband and three kids) plus my parents went to my grandmother’s house for lunch today. Handsome has the privelege of eating Grandma’s fried chicken last year when we came to visit and he hasn’t stopped talking about it. Knowing that he was finally arriving, Grandma asked earlier in the week if we could come over for lunch and she’d make fried chicken. Make it and we will come.

Dinner was over and she was serving up dessert (peach cobbler and icecream). I said that the girls would just like ice cream, please. She asked how many scoops and I said just one, please. And then I heard her in the kitchen, kind of speaking softly to herself “Well, that first one is kind of small so we’ll give them another.”

Those of us in the living room just laughed silently to ourselves. Of course I was thinking “Why ask if you’re not going to listen?” But Handsome just said “It’s a Grandma’s prerogative!”

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10th August 2007

No more sleeps!

My husband’s plane is landing even as I type!! He will catch a connecting flight to our city, which will land about 4:30pm.

Thank you Lord for bringing us to the end of this particular journey. May I be the person that you want me to be as we enter the next phase.

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10th August 2007

A couple movie reviews

Last week I had the privilege to go to the movies with a new friend, the daughter of my mom’s best friend. We both have very young children and enjoy getting out once in a while sans children. My parents offered to get the kids to bed and my baby even cooperated by going to bed before I left so I didn’t have to bring him with me. Imagine a scene with happy music playing in the background as the mother of three skips through the parking lot, hair streaming behind her, smile radiating to everyone as she celebrates being child-free for a few hours, oblivious to the baby spit-up on her shoulder and the wayward Dora bandaid stuck to the bottom of her shoe.

Anyway. I saw Hairspray. LOVED IT. Almost from the minute it started I was dancing in my seat. It was fun, the music was great, I was shocked by the racism, (just couldn’t believe it was so blatant, but of course that’s how it was) and by the two pregnant women smoking and drinking martinis! I was glad that the good girl won in the end, although she was a bit rebellious to get there. I was saddened by the grossly obese mother who didn’t want to leave the house because of her looks. Overall, a great movie. I’m so glad that I saw it. Although PG I still would be careful about the age of the person you might bring with you.

And last night I watched a movie on DVD with my mom called Monster-In-Law, starring Jane Fonda and Jennifer Lopez and some guy I can’t remember. I’m too lazy to get up and check the DVD case. HILARIOUS. I laughed out loud several times. Jane Fonda was just over the top, very funny. I recommend it.

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