Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Two Months Without A Microwave

Our microwave died...in December...  It took us two months to get another one, partly because of money, partly because of time, and partly because we have a designated hole in our cabinets for a microwave so it must be of prescribed proportions.  We glanced at microwaves at several places along the way but they were all too expensive or the wrong size.  Fiiiiinally about two weeks ago, thanks to a surprise refund check from State Farm and a free evening together, we trekked to Walmart, where we almost never go anymore, and bought a microwave!   ...only to get it home and realize it was too deep for the hole (the one dimension we failed to note) and a front corner was busted up, probably from being dropped.  Fail.  In the ensuing week, I had some time when I could have taken it back and exchanged it but I wasn't going to try to lift the thing.  So it took us yet another week to get back to Walmart.  Thankfully we were able to exchange the busted up microwave for a bit smaller and bit cheaper one.

Remember my new friend Emerson in my craft room?  Well, he has his own new, sleek, modern friend now:

Don't you just adore our gold plated outlet?

Yaaaaay, we have a microwaaaaave!   Things we learned from two months without one:

~I think my family is the only one is the world that uses the work "mikey", as in "put it in the mikey" or "mikey it".

~Frozen microwave meals are overrated. 

~Non-liquid leftovers can be warmed up in the oven on a cookie sheet.  Who knew? (JK, I knew)

~Youth Christmas parties and Superbowl parties are a little tricky without one.

~30 minutes at 350 degrees, therefore...

~30 minute tax season lunches are nearly impossible without a mikey.  I'm glad we have one again now that I am in the thick of it.

So hurray for the return of modern technology to our kitchen but also hurray for two months of quality time with our cantankerous oven, learning to live without one of our kitchen luxuries (although our old kitchen in general is far from luxurious), and learning that food doesn't have to be ready at the speed of life...I mean light.  Oh wait, I think those are the same.  

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Flashback To Highschool - My Truck

I am currently a little red Volvo kind of girl...but I haven't always been...  Allow me to introduce you to my highschool truck:

 It was a 1996 or 7 or 8 (I don't know) GMC Sierra that we bought from my Uncle Rod for $500 when he retired it from his fencing business.  Upon our acquisition of it, it had a sweet grill guard and headache rack, but also a bed full of leaves, a cab full of dirt, a shredded driver's side of the seat from guys getting in and out with tools in their back pockets, mismatched mirrors (see above), no air conditioning, a faulty defogger, a big dent in the driver's side, scratches all over it, a rusty gash in the top of the tailgate and two inside door handles that were broken, requiring both driver and passenger to roll down the window and open the door from the outside to get out of the cab.    I probably should have gotten a tetanus shot before I started driving the thing.  BUT, a few days later Katy and I had it cleaned up and after a few more dollars and some quality time at Crenwelge Motors, it had working door handles and a re-upholstered seat and...well that was about it.  Not good as new but plenty good enough for me!

I drove that thing all over and have fond memories of cramming Katy and Sarah and myself along the one bench seat, sweating in it in the summer, banging on the radio to try to get it to play music or...anything, lurching along at times when it wasn't feeling too well, having Katy wipe the inside of the windshield in front of me while driving because the defogger had retired before the truck did.   I even occasionally let Dad haul stuff with it.  (Pssh, he bought it, he could do whatever he wanted!) 

Sadly, there was no way this hunk of truck was going to come to Baylor with me...if it even made it to Waco. So I set off to college without a vehicle and the truck got sold to some dude in the Burg.   Later when I was home for a weekend, my sisters and I saw it at the grocery store.  It had been stripped of its headache rack and grill guard. Bed rails had been installed...  But it was my truck.  No mistaking that dent in the side, those mismatched mirrors and that giant chunk missing from the tailgate...

RIP ole green truck.  You served me well. 

P.S.  I'm not the only Sauer girl to love a pickup truck.  My cousin Rebekah (on the hood) is also a truck lovin' babe:

Runs in the family I guess...

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Thank Heaven For Dirty Dishes

This past Christmas, Steph gave me and Trent a neat frame with a neat saying inside.  She made it!  It lives on our kitchen window sill now...

...with Eggbert...

...and Batman and the potato rock...

...of course. You have those in your kitchen too right?

Anyway, back to the frame Steph gave us.  It says:

Thank Heaven for dirty dishes
They have a tale to tell
While other folks go hungry
We're eating very well
With home, health, & happiness
We shouldn't want to fuss
By this stack of evidence
God's been very good to us

Last Sunday, we hosted the youth superbowl party at our house.  Shortly before that, our dishwasher decided to take a mini vacation and not turn on for a little while.  Don't worry, it came back to life the next day without us doing anything...it is kind of cantankerous.  But in the meantime a few dishes stacked up in the sink while we were getting ready for the party.  I found myself stressing a little bit (me, stress? nah) about getting dishes done by hand before the party and dreading having to do it.  Dumb dishes!  Stupid dishwasher! Well, I ended up standing at the sink for a while washing the dishes by hand of course...and staring at the frame from Steph the whole time.  

Thank heaven for dirty dishes... 

What a lesson.  What a better way to view dirty dishes.  They mean we have food to eat.  Or what about a messy house?  It means you have belongings.  It means you have a house!  Laundry to do?  You have clothes to wear.  

Next time your sink stacks up with dishes, instead of groaning and stressing, try being thankful!   Easier said than done, believe me.  But give it a whirl. 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

He's Not A Person, He's A Minister!

You know that show "Kids Say The Darndest Things"?  

Sometimes in youth ministry, Trent and I feel like we are on that show...

Last night we somehow got off topic (that NEVER happens) because one of the youth asked Trent if he cusses. Being honest, Trent went into a little speech about how yes, he does on occasion, but doesn't like that he does, and tries very hard not to, etc.  Another youth feigned shock. Another youth said "Guys, he's a person. It happens."  Then Hunter jokingly shouted "He's not a person, he's a minister!"  Everyone laughed of course and we moved on through our off topic discussion, but Hunter's comment got my mind turning a bit.

Of course he was joking.  It's what Hunter does best. But do some people think like that? That ministers and pastors aren't like normal people, that they are somehow better, more put together, have it all figured out, don't mess up as much?  Do some think that in order to be a minister you have to meet all those criteria? If so, that's so incorrect and so not fair.  I'm pretty sure all pastors out there have struggles and troubles to deal with, in their habits, their marriage, their parenting, even in their relationship with God.  

How do you view your pastor(s)?   Are they up on a pedestal where you view them as some kind of perfect saint that has all the answers and never stumbles?  Are they unapproachable to you because you hold them in that false esteem?  Get to know them for real and give them a chance to show you that they are a regular person just like you. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

I Can Do It

I recently wrote about how important it is to have the habit of encouragement in your marriage and other relationships.  Be in tune with your spouse (or friend, family member, you fill in the blank) in order to know what he or she is going through.  Show them an uplifting, positive, and regular attitude of encouragement to help them get through whatever that might be.

But...what about yourself?  Do you find yourself extending the same thoughts of encouragement to yourself or do you normally just go with the flow, even when things are hard, or even worse, beat yourself up about things?  I think it is equally important to encourage or pep talk yourself through hard times.

I started official tax season overtime of 55 hours a week this past Monday.  I fit my hours into the weekdays and work from 6:30 am to 6:00 pm with a half hour lunch and don't come in on the weekends until the very end of the season. Whew.  I totally get into this routine after a little bit but the first week is usually a bit rough, not gonna lie.  On Monday my alarm clock went off super early and I groaned inside a bit as I got up.  I immediately began a personal pity party.  Turns out the shower is a good place to cry because you can immediately or even simultaneously wash your face...  After a bit, I thought "what the heck, this isn't going to help anything. Snap out of it. This is your fifth tax season Anna, you can do this!"

I actively and intentionally changed my attitude from a pity party to a pep rally.  And...it worked.

By the time I was headed out the door and on my way to the office, I was ready to DO THIS!   Now, does that mean I was suddenly alert and awake and ready to tackle a hundred tax returns in one day?  No.  I got Starbucks on the way to work and that helped (and the barista gave me a great pep talk).  Does that mean I'm not concerned about long weeks and tiring days? No.  Just because I've been at this a few years doesn't mean it's easy.    Does that mean I'm not looking forward to the April tax deadline?  Oh heck, bring it on.  I even created a tax season countdown paper chain with Abby when she visited me last month to be a fun visual way to see how much tax season I have left...

Yellow is February, blue is March, white is April, green means weekends
and red means tax deadline!  I tear one off each day.

I'm realistic about these challenges, but I'm trying to keep it positive. Being intentional about encouraging yourself can do a lot of good for your overall outlook on life.  Try it out.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Scripture Canvas for Trent

Last week I planned one surprise a day for Trent to show him love.  Took him to a BBQ dinner, brought him coffee, hid a picture frame with a picture of us in his office for him to find the next day, got one of his YM colleagues to help give a letter to him at church camp while Trent was at retreat, etc.  It was fun!  He didn't really catch on until I explained it in the letter.  His final surprise was a canvas that I made for him with his motto verse on it.  

First I painted the canvas kind of cool and streaky with black paint.

I just used a cheap canvas, cheap coarse brush and cheap acrylic craft paint.  The coarse brush came in handy to make the streaky background.

Then I went to Dallas to have a slumber party with Steph to finish the canvas.  She has a Cameo machine that you can design pretty much anything on in computer software and send it to the machine which cuts out your design, either on paper or cardstock or adhesive vinyl. 

Jackson helped...


Trent loves it.  He hung it on his wall in his office today. 

My intention was to also make an Isaiah 40:31 canvas as well, another verse that is important to Trent.  Steph and I started working on it but it was kind of a fail due to some technical difficulties, but I have another approach ready to try and I will finish it up for Trent.   I will show it to y'all when it is done, if it works out.  

Hurray for a fun week of surprises and a successful canvas making slumber party with Steph!