Thursday, February 25, 2010

Look at this

I know it's a little hard to see in the first one, but compare the pictures:

October 2009

January 2010

The boy has grown at least 2 inches in about 3 months.

No spend, week 3

We have completed Week 3 of the no-spend adventure and here's how things are looking:

Last Wednesday: $0

Thursday: $0

Friday: $7.39

I went to Subway with Ateca and paid $4.39 for a sandwich and then gave her 50¢ for the parking meter since she'd been kind enough to show me where the Duggars live.

That night, I went to the restaurant, showed people the pictures of the Duggars' home on my camera and ate a bacon cheeseburger and left a $3 tip.

Saturday: $30 (or thereabouts)
Cody bought a frozen pizza and a gallon of milk for $5 or $6.

We went to the grocery store that night and spent $24.05 on ground beef, another frozen pizza, peanut butter, lunch meat, pears, oranges, and a big tub of yogurt.

Sunday: $0

Monday: $20

Sigh. Things were going so well. We'd bought an ample amount of groceries for the week and Cody was going to make some casserole for dinner so I could have enough leftovers for my lunch for the rest of the workweek.

But then I was leaving work and Cody called and said that Jeff asked us if we wanted to eat. Since things had been going so well I thought it couldn't hurt to use the debit card for this and have a nice evening.

But by the end of the evening, I learned that Cody texted Jeff, then asked if he wanted to eat, and then lied about a couple of other things.

So. I went ahead and removed $20 from the coffee cup and replaced Cody's wallpaper on his phone with a picture of me frowning and holding a sign that reads "LIARS BURN IN HELL" with some flames on it.

Why am I dragging our tiff into the no-spend post? Because I'm so stinking honest and honesty is important to me.

Blegh. Anyway....

Tuesday: $4.99

I spent $3.23 on decongestants and Cody spent $1.32 on stamps.

So there you are: a complete Week 3!

The total for the week is $62.43 (dang it) and the total for the month is $157.65.

I'm not mad at Cody any more (mostly), but I am irritated that I'm spending money on another Subway sandwich today because we don't have any leftovers and I didn't have time to make myself a peanut butter sandwich this morning.

Actions have consequences (beyond my crazy amounts of rage).

Full disclosure part of the post:

Cody used the debit card to get a haircut last weekend because it's not a normal expense (he gets one every 2 months, maybe), and I've been going to the laundromat with 'outside' money.

Also, I have 2 social things this weekend that I've been planning on doing for months. The first one is a girl event with girl friends and arts and crafts and eating out. The second is the Flower and Garden Show and admission is $8. I'll be using the debit card for both.

These are expenses we anticipated and they're special cases, so I don't feel too bad about bending the no-spend.

On Monday, I'll give you the final post!

Monday, February 22, 2010


This is what I looked like just 10 minutes ago.

I finally found a way to get cheese off a grater! Lemon.

Run tons of hot water over the cheesy grater until it's soft. Then get a lemon slice and start scrubbing. Ta da!

Hamburger Helper Cheesy Enchilada should sponsor us.

Cody and I walked to the library on Saturday and I took these pictures from the bridge.

Then we took the pedestrian bridge back and I took this picture.

Laine emailed me this morning to say that she and Robert were quitting the no-spend.

Cody and I are still faring pretty well.

I miss Starbucks!

The scrounging is still yielding some fun results, though. We ate cabbage for dinner on Saturday night, just to get rid of the cabbage we had in the fridge, and enjoyed it. Cody also found some hot cereal somewhere in the back of the cabinet, and he's been enjoying that for a few days.

We have a lot more tea than I thought we did.

I'm eating Hamburger Helper right now.

In 6 days, I'll probably get some Starbucks and Cody will get some comics.

Psh. Comics.

Which reminds me of this:
Which brings me to two points:
1. Cody has trimmed down since this was taken (Feb. 2008). The man's looking fit!
2. One time, we were watching The Big Bang Theory and Sheldon was wearing this shirt.

I can summon no words after a point like that. So.

I hope you had a nice weekend.

The End.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Happy list of one happy thing

Happy Friday! I'm about to tell you a really happy story.

On Tuesday night, Ateca called me. Ateca is a friend, and a former co-worker, and we love all things Duggar and skirts. She emails me updates about the show since I don't have cable and we wear dresses and skirts on Wednesdays in honor of what she has termed Duggar Wednesday Skirt Day.

If you are not observing DWSD, I would like to take this moment and demand that you do so. It's a great way to brighten up your week. We've had some incredibly fun times with it.

So Ateca called me on Tuesday night at 8:10 (I checked the time), and I was concerned because she's only called me at home one other time, and I knew she was watching 19 Kids and Counting. I tensely answered the phone.

"I know where the Duggars live!!!" she yelled.

Oh man.

In case you haven't been paying as close attention as some of us, the Duggars have temporarily moved to Little Rock to be near their newest baby, who is in the NICU at UAMS. This past Tuesday's episode featured the Duggars' move into a home they were renting for their time here.

This house just so happens to be across the street from where Ateca works. She's been parking her car 20 feet from their front yard.

Stop reading now if you're creeped out by our love of the Duggars or adventures.

Okay, Ateca knew that once she knew how close she was to living, breathing Duggars, she would have to show me their lair.

Guess what we did on my lunch break.


And now, the pictures:

Ateca is so excited!
Don't worry, we're stopped at a red light.

The Duggar house!
It's probably a really good thing that it's gated.

My face, after witnessing Duggar greatness.
I am not creepy at all.

This is the other side!

This is me taking a picture of Ateca taking a picture!

We are on the street right next to their house,
and this is Ateca's work building!

This is Ateca's car, in its normal parking spot,
with the Duggars (possibly dozens of them!) in the background!

The weird thing is that she's never seen any kids out in the yard, although now that she knows to look for them she spotted a tricycle in the driveway yesterday, and another one of her coworkers said she only saw them the first week they moved in.

But the important thing is that Ateca is really, superclose to the Duggars. They're practically neighbors! Creepy, overly excited neighbors.

I want you to know we stayed in the car the whole time, until we got out of the car and I took that picture up there, and then Ateca showed me her new office.

Then we grabbed lunch and went back to my office and she visited with everyone and I made them look at the pictures on my camera.

Sidenote: Having a digital camera is awesome.

I know you're really happy I have one right about now.

And in case you're disappointed that this story is a little less hardcore than what you were expecting, let me apologize for not jumping the fence and asking them to adopt me.

And let me offer up this picture with a side of not-quite-joking creepiness:

This is a house next door to the Duggars. It is for sale. It's really big and probably several hundred thousand dollars out of my price range. Go in with me on this house. Let's all be Duggar neighbors.

It's funny to me anyway

Okay, I know I said last time that I would post a happy list, but I'm holding off so that I can (I hope) put 'saw the Duggars' house' on there after lunch. In the meantime, enjoy a funny post.

Maybe He Could Just Walk with a Cane

Levi: Do you think I'd look more distinguished if I smoked a pipe?
Mom: Baby, you used to be asthmatic. Remember?
Jen: What would you put in it--bubbles?!
Levi: Maybe.

Cody Does Not Get It, Part I
Jen: Shirley sent me this sweet thank-you card with a kitten on it!
Cody: Did it say "Hang in there?"
Jen: No. It wasn't that kitten. This one was cute and looking down. Like maybe it was thinking of Jesus and gratitude. I need to write her a thank-you note back.
Cody: Wait....
Jen: This is how we do things in this family! Hush.
Cody: You're going to write a thank-you note, thanking her for the note she sent you, thanking you for writing notes.
Jen: Yes.

Cody Does Not Get It, Part II (30 seconds of laughter later)
Jen: Stop laughing at me!
Cody: Fine.
Jen: I am not crazy!
Cody: I didn't say that. [smiles]
Jen: You're thinking it, aren't you?!
Cody: I'm going to take a shower.

Hi, Why Don't You Have a Seat Over There?
Jeff: I miss chatrooms.

Merry Christmas!
Clint: So you guys are pretty hardcore now, right?
Spencer: I guess so.
Jen: They kill babies. You know.
Spencer: Yeah, we do do that sometimes.
Jen: He keeps the jacket on to cover his tattoos. He's also a white supremacist.
Spencer: It happens.

Laine: I think we'll have to skip class because I don't think we can all get ready in time.
Jen: Yay!
Laine: Jen doesn't like Sunday school. She hates church.
Jen: No! Just Sunday school.
Laine: People are going to want to meet y'all.
Robert: I'll be like, "I don't know the little girl with the bad attitude."

On the Drive Home from Worship Services Only
Laine: I keep seeing firefly stuff everywhere and it looks so trashy! I even see tattoos of it and it just looks so trashy. Like cherries.
Jen: Do you mean dragonflies?
Laine: Yes.
Jen: So, if I got a tattoo of Evinrude from The Rescuers, would you hate that? Because I think it would be cute.
Laine: I guess if you got the detailing right...
Jen: With the turtleneck and the mustache and everything...
Laine: That would be cute then. [Makes tire squealing noises as she takes a corner]
Cody: You should slow down.

Levi: Jen, frying is magic.

This is Funnier if You Can Hear His Accent
Sara: Well, I was going to get this purse but then I saw this other one that I thought I'd want. But Chad helped me pick out this one.
Chad: Yup, I did!
Sara: The other one was blue and it had lighter blue on it...
Chad: And I said, "Sara, just get the black one. Black goes with everything. Trust me." And that's what she did.

Where Are Our Flying Cars?!
Jen: I don't know if I could fight with my glasses off.
Jessi: You could take them off.
Jen: I know. It's like the nerd version of taking off earrings, but then I can't see.
Jessi: Someday, Jen, technology will come up with a way that you can fight and battle and hit people without your glasses and still be able to see.
Jen: You mean like contacts?
Jessi: No. Not contacts. Something different.

Not that Kind
Anna: Is anyone going to see Avatar?
People: No.
Anna: But I thought you guys were nerds!

Terms of Endearment
Jen: Hey, Cody, change your gloves.
Cody: Maybe.
Jeff: Wait, did he just call you 'baby'?!
Jessi: [chokes on drink]

Religious Dialogue
Lainey: When you wrote "He told me he was mature for his age. I told him he was Catholic" that was the funniest thing ever.
Jen: What, he is Catholic!?
Mrs. Dicy: That's a good thing!
Jen: You're right. He could've been Baptist.
Mrs. Dicy: Hey, Rick was Baptist when we got married!
Jen: But then you made him be Catholic.
Mrs. Dicy: He wised up.

Please Don't
Jason: I've always wanted to fall asleep behind the wheel, but I'm too afraid of what might come next.

They Were Too Big Anyway
Laine: So I saw this article for these gloves you can wear when you're running and they cut the thumb and the pointer finger so you can work your iPod when you run. But I didn't want to pay for them so I found this pair of ugly fleece gloves and did it.
Jen: That's cool.
Laine: Yeah, they were these Liz Clairborne fleece gloves. I don't even know where they came from! Who would wear that?
Jen: Those were mine!
Laine: [laughs hysterically]
Jen: They were a Christmas gift from Mom one year.
Laine: Do you want them back?

Empathy is for Other People
Jen: Yeah, maybe he's just janitoring to pay the bills until he sells some of his art.
Ateca: See, you were good at being encouraging!
Jen: Thank you. I knew a lot of girls in college who were self-deluding and liked encouragement for their romantic interests. Or it was a plot on Girlfriends.
Ateca: Okay, see there? Why do you do that?! Why ya gotta crush my dreams?!
Jen: It's just what I do! I crush everyone's dreams. I'm sorry.
Ateca: I don't even know why I called you.
Jen: I don't either.
Ateca: I'm going to go make Spencer and Casey be my friends now.

A Very Special Three-Part Series

No, Part I.
Lynn: Jen, are you with baby?
Jen: No, Lynn. I am dehydrated and I wear unflattering tops.

No, Part II.
Jen: Your salad looks disgusting. I feel sick. I think I'm going to throw up.
Spencer: [raises an eyebrow suspiciously]
Jen: No.
Spencer: [raises both eyebrows higher]
Jen: No!
Spencer: [shrug]
Jen: No.

No, Part III. The End. Please Drop it.
Reta: [whispers] Are you expecting?
Jen: No, I got stung by a wasp.
Reta: Oh, I was hoping you were coming in late because of morning sickness.
Jen: No. I'm on a lot of Benadryl and was trying to get in to see the doctor. [holds up hand] But he can't see me until this afternoon. I'm leaving in the afternoon, by the way.
Reta: I just thought it would be so neat if you were having a baby.
Jen: No. Just a steroid shot. Thanks.

Four-year-old Dallas
Dallas: I'm going to ask my mom and dad for a grappling hook for my birthday or Christmas.
Jen: You cannot have a grappling hook!
Dallas: [Some character on a show or movie] has one.
Jen: They're fictional. And older.
Dallas: How old do you have to be? Like, 8? Or 10?!

Alana: Glitter always wins. Always.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

No spend, week 2

So. I guess it's time for a no-spend adventure! update.

We've completed Week 2 of attempting to not spend any money, and we really haven't spent that much.

Wednesday: I spent $20 on gas.

Thursday: Cody remembered to take back a rental to Blockbuster. I didn't ask him what it cost. Maybe he some money in his wallet already. I spent $5 at Kierre's.

Friday: Cody had a crazy day at work and went to Starbucks because two women had given him a $6 tip that night. Yes, you can apparently tip your cook. Or I guess you can if your cook is Cody. He will happily take your money. Anyway, he took his $6 to Starbucks and ordered a venti something.

But then he got it for free because they messed up his order somehow! Ta da!

So Friday: $0.

Saturday: Cody spent his $6 on sugar and milk.

Sunday: $0.

We exchanged homemade Valentines (I've bought enough card stock to last the year a few weeks ago for about $8), made baked goods for each other, and mooched pizza off Mrs. Dicy.

Monday: I'm going to round it up to $5. Cody spent less than a dollar on tomatoes, but when I found out what he was making for dinner, I cried. What was he making? Something I'd asked him to make. Be quiet. We had a frozen pizza.

I wondered whether we should run out for frozen pizza when we had plenty of other food in the house, but it was a good decision. Pizza is so excellent. And, this time, on sale.

Tuesday: $0.

We spent roughly $36 in our second week!

I know I've probably done the math completely wrong, but for now I'm really excited with us.

Next week we'll probably have to make a 'real' trip to the grocery store for lunch meat and some canned vegetables, but we only needed milk this week. The sugar was an extra expense for Valentine's Day.

Add this to last week's tally, and we've spent $95.22. That puts us just under the halfway amount for our month's funds!

And there you have it!

You know, the usual. Part II

I checked, and it turns out I'm still lazy. Here are some more standard blog post things:
  • Borax (thanks, Brad!)
  • Felt
  • Glue gun
  • Scarves
  • Magazines
  • Pumpkins
  • Picture of the pumpkins

  • Someone said something funny
  • Friends
  • Dallas
  • Mamaw
  • Chickens
  • I was homeschooled
  • Laundry
  • Banners
  • Cody is a twin
  • My sisters have better hair
  • Caffeine!
  • This picture

  • Glasses
  • Growing things
  • Bread
  • Holidays
  • Love
  • Music
  • Library
  • Books
  • Barefoot
  • Granny squares
  • Yup

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

You know, the usual

With what's left of my lunch break, I will now give to you the standard post:

  • It's winter
  • I am reading a book
  • Glitter
  • Family is important
  • No-spend
  • Here is a picture of something:

  • Something about food
  • I'm very short
  • My husband is great
  • Obligatory picture of the husband:

  • Arts and crafts
  • The Christmas tree is still up
  • Blog
  • Internet
  • Clean with vinegar!
  • Yarn
  • Martha Stewart
  • Humor
  • Lists (like this one)

The End

Jen walks away, dusting off her hands. "Yup, I cranked out another one!"

Monday, February 15, 2010

Happy post-Valentine's Day!

Fun fact: I can fit a whole cupcake in my mouth. My parents are so proud.

I love Valentine-y food.

On Friday, I went to the boy house and we watched both versions (be impressed) of My Bloody Valentine and ate cupcakes and traded Valentines with friends.

This is my 'decorated' Valentine box.
(Felt hearts taped to a container I use to hold knitting needles.)
I'm just fancy like that, I guess.

My loot!
Not pictured: Brad's mix CD (because it was playing) and Jessi's mix CD (because I don't have it yet). I love songs about love!

Cody's Valentine for me.
I feel like I should explain, but won't.
Trust me, it's great.

Cody's present for me:

The best chocolate chip cookies in the world.

My Valentine for Cody.
(He doesn't like glitter.)

My present for Cody:
Banana nut bread.

It came from a Mayberry cookbook.
Mom let me take it with me when I got married.

Mostly because I killed a few pages with batter.

We went over to his mom's house and ate pizza on Valentine's Day.
Please notice the gold-dipped rose in the right corner of the picture.
Some old guy who comes into the restaurant a lot gave her that for Valentine's Day at least 4 years ago. I remember that Spencer was insanely fascinated by it at the time: "It's a rose dipped in gold! Why is no one else impressed with this?!" I mentioned it was, the same last night and Mrs. Dicy said she'd washed it off just the other day.

Ah, flowers you have to dust. What woman wouldn't be thrilled?

She also baked for us!


Um, and strawberry cupcakes.
Please don't look at my hair.
Just look at my huge nostrils instead.


I wish I'd taken a picture of their fridge--all 3 of my Valentines for Cody's family were up there. Very pretty.

I made one last year using this bird stamp:

only without the heart next to it, and above that I wrote "YOU ARE ALONE" and it lived on the fridge for months.

I have to brag, it's probably the greatest card I've ever made.

I was feeling pretty confident about this one:
I made it for Mom and Dad (get it? 2 big hearts/parents and 4 little hearts/offspring!) and thought it was really cute, but it kind of just looks like a monstrous robot face to me now.

I also made this for Sara and Chad:
only to have Sara ask "Where's the glitter?!"

Based on her reaction to their Christmas card, I thought she didn't like glitter.

"But I found out Chad Allen doesn't like glitter, so I was hoping this would have glitter on it."

I promised her a fantastically glittery Easter card.

I love Easter food.

And Easter decorations.

Only 5 more weeks until I can break out the glitter crafts again.


I'm already thinking about springtime decorations.

Easter eggs and baby chicks and live bunnies hanging from this garland:

Get excited.

I really enjoy holidays.

I hope you had a lovely Valentine's weekend.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

No spend, week 1

I realized I haven't said much about the no-spend adventure!, mostly because I've been away from Internet. I've been too busy either working, or enjoying my weekends, or being snowed-in.

This is what we have so far:

Tuesday: I spent $6.47 on a CD. Dumb.

Wednesday: Cody spent $24 on a tank of gas, and I ate for free at Kierre's but left a $3 tip.

Thursday: $0

Friday: $0

Saturday: I spent $5 on a grilled cheese sandwich and some chips while out with friends.

Sunday: $19.75 on groceries.

Monday: $0

Tuesday: $0

It's really easy to not spend money if you don't go into any stores.

It's really easy to not go in any stores if you're snowed in your house and all the stores are closed.

Lucky us?

So: that puts us at $59.22 for a full week! Not too bad.

We still have a pound of ground beef, a whole chicken, some TV dinners, a lot of cereal, and enough ham for one sandwich (but enough bread and peanut butter for more). There have been a few times where we've thought "Oh, we could eat....but we don't have beans/chips/Tabasco" (I don't know how we ran out of Tabasco in prime chili season, but it happened and I didn't find out until the roads were snowy.) but we've found other things.

And, of course, we have plenty of coffee.

I'm not counting on a lot to happen this week, other than buying gas tonight and paying the late fees on a DVD we rented last weekend. Other than that, I think we can (or should) go the rest of week without spending any money. Woo!

Books, pictures, adventures, revelation

So. What do you do when you can't shop for books?

You browse.

And maybe, just maybe, embark on a bookhunting adventure to see which books best lend themselves to picture-taking.

It all started when some of us discovered the fortuitously titled, Jarrettsville, and made Jarrett pose for a picture with it.

Jessi and I felt this was brilliant.

Jarrett disagreed.

I took this picture right as he said, "But I don't like taking pictures."
I know I've seen him look more despondent than this, but I honestly don't remember when.

So we left Jarrett and Brad sitting in some aisle and began to search for photographic opportunities.
You can find a lot.

Whether you want to or not.
Not cool, Mr. Patterson. Not cool.
Show some class with your murder mysteries.

You can learn other things, though.
Like the legacies of cute animals!

Or how to slay demons.
(The subject is clearly very important to her.)

Or about accessorizing your toy cars.
(Ultimately important.)

Or how to drink.
Just in case you need to know.

Or how to.....
wait, what?!

We fled in terror to the biography section.
I was pleased to see that Barnes still carries a few copies of my memoirs.

She wanted to pose with a 'good' comic.
Cody owns this, so I figured that counted for something.
You don't always have to appreciate the great works to take a picture with them.

She wanted to buy this for her future children.
It's a board book, and it seems a little disrespectful to chew on the President's face
(that is what board books are for, right?).
But then I remembered that I have a pocket-sized Gideon Bible that I apparently used as a teething ring, and kept quiet.
Okay fine, she probably wanted it for herself.


At long last, we found The Perfect Book.

It was the perfect book with the perfect and alliteratively named character and the perfect subject matter with which Jessi perfectly posed.

And in that moment, the harsh lights of the florescent bulbs softened and the shrieks of the children in the area faded to hushed tones as they began an open and respectful discourse on the symbolism of unappealing meals in Dr. Suess books and all the new books smelled old and the planets aligned and all was perfect.

In that perfect moment, we found peace and contentment. We realized that all of our missteps in the search had really been mere stepping stones to reach the perfection that was the classic tale of Frieda Fuzzypaws and her meal.

And in that perfect, rolliped, irretrievable, and magical moment (and this has nothing at all to do with our cheapness or being broke, but isn't it lucky that it worked out that way?), we realized we did not have to buy Suppertime for Frieda Fuzzypaws in order to enjoy it. That we had found it and taken The Perfect Picture with it was more than enough to restore wonder and delight to our weary souls. We had learned from the moment what we were meant to learn.

Jessi reverently placed the book back on the shelf, where it would greet some other searching pilgrim. I showed her the picture, then turned off the camera and placed it back in my pocket.

We returned to our friends, knowing in our hearts that this perfect moment would never fade from our memories. Rather, it would remain in our hearts and grow evermore hazily beautiful and spectacular as we would go on to recall our splendid adventure for years to come.

It will also live on in this post. It is both a record of our epically magnificent night and my gift to the world.

You are welcome, dear reader. May you treasure this tale always.