Tuesday, March 28

house but not home

Here is the "lovely" house that we purchased from HUD. We closed on our house in December and have already had opportunity to make some of the improvements. Thankfully, we aren't living there yet!
The second photo is about where the house is now. We are working feverishly on the inside at the moment. The old carpet is out, the kitchen is gutted, and some of the walls have been torn down and replaced with reconfigured ones. We are hoping to have all the electrical replaced within the next two weeks, the bathroom remodeled by the end of April; May for roof replacement and drywall, and June for painting and moving in (at least, we are hoping to move in during June!) Our kitchen will be makeshift at best, hopefully we will be able to have a sink and some sort of countertop & shelving, and we will be painting all the concrete floors until we can afford "real" floors. Siding will probably have to wait until Fall at the earliest. It is exciting to watch God supply our needs financially as well as by providing willing workers to help! The teens in our youth group have been over several times hauling debris to the side of the road, tearing out walls, hauling bricks, scraping up flooring and helping with clean up. What a blessing!

Friday, March 24

Thought you guys might like to see our family pics from Christmas--and for all you Northland grads, I included pics of some siblings you might know with their families!

Michael's immediate family
December 2005
It was SO FUN to be together!!

Tim & Joy Muth
Mark & Stephanie
(LaJunta, CO)

Tim & Sarah Valiante
(Newark, DE)

unscathed, amazed and ignorant

Well, the ultrasound is over, and went relatively well. Happily, we still are unaware of our baby's gender! The technician was SOOOO nice and was great at explaining what it was she was doing at all times. Our little child was not being cooperative as far as allowing photos of the heart to be taken, so it took a little longer, but we finally saw all 4 chambers (and the spine, and the kidneys...WOW) I am amazed at the goodness of God in giving us the opportunity to watch this little person growing inside me!

Tuesday, March 21

sweet deal

Hey, guys, my company is having a great sale on computer systems, and I know some of you may be in the market for a new, inexpensive computer. Check out the link that says "jenny's work" and you will be directed to a special page that gets you a discount on the current special (just because you're my friend!) The system shows up at the discounted rate when you "click for more details." It is really a great computer--we're thinking about getting one ourselves. If you have any questions about it, be sure to shoot me an email. Check it out!

Monday, March 20

divine appointments

So, last week we were over at our "dump of a house" doing a little work and who should come to the door but two very sweet-faced Mormon Missionaries. I opened the door and you should have seen the look on their faces. Those two girls were utterly speechless.

The inside of our house is basically concrete floors, studs and insulation at the current moment, so I am sure it took them by surprise. I explained that we didn't live there, and they immediately registered looks of relief. We exchanged a little small talk.

You know how sometimes God brings people to you and you're not ready? This was one of those times for me. I could only manage a few stammering sentences like "we go to Calvary Baptist" and "no thanks" to their offer of a pamphlet. We didn't have our Bible with us, and fleetingly I wished I had a Bridge tract to give them, but who takes tracts to go remodel? (me, from now on!!) So when I said goodbye to those two, I thought it was the end of that and sighed again at my lack of preparation.

Not two days later, I was in Wal-Mart (freshly loaded with tracts) and who should I see walking out of the store but the two Mormon Missionaries?!?! I finished up my checkout and literally chased them across the parking lot. When I finally caught up with them, I was able to share a little more with them, explaining that I wished that I'd taken a little more time with them at the house, handed them a tract, told them that it explained what the Bible says about how to have a relationship with God. I told them we'd love to see them come to church at Calvary sometime. (I know that part of their requirement on their missions is that they attend a non-LDS church) They seemed interested, or at least semi-open, so please pray with me that these girls will show up. I know the possibility of talking one on one with them during their mission is pretty slim, but God knows how the seed of the gospel planted now can make a world of difference when the time is right.

This week is missions conference at our church. Yesterday, the message was about looking for those seeking Truth, and the speaker referenced some Mormons that have reached the conclusion that their church is lying to them--"good" Mormons who have done the mission thing and what not. It was a great reminder to me that God's work is always going on, and a huge conviction that instead of being static in my witness, I need to be alert and ready for those times God leads people across my path or even right to my door!

Wednesday, March 15

cheap date alert

tuesdays. baskin robbins 31 flavors. $1 per scoop, cone included.

tuesday is my new favorite day.

Tuesday, March 14

we're having a what!?!

Well, this Thursday we will be having what will probably be the final ultrasound. I will be 22 weeks pregnant, and the big question from all our friends and family is..."When will you find out what you are having?" I've SO often been tempted to reply with a deadpan "well, we're pretty sure it's going to be a kangaroo" or some other random jungle animal.

What's wrong with being surprised? I bet it's the knowledge that you can know the gender of your child that spurs you on in the quest, but I for one am (at this point, anyway) excited about the anticipation. Maybe I'll change my mind later, as women, especially pregnant ones, are entitled to do. It's not that I have a conviction against finding out, but this is one surprise that I think will be worth the wait...at least, I think that for now. Who knows what will happen when I'm lying on the ultrasound table...

We are in a quandry, however, with what to call the baby. It's difficult for us to refer to our child as "it," and the newly created compound pronoun of "he/she" gets old. So far, we have been intentionally switching it up, referring to Baby as "he" in one sentence or conversation, and "she" in another. But 19 more weeks of that? hmm. Any great suggestions?

Monday, March 13

praise the Lord and pass the pintos

My husband is a Mexican food fanatic. Thankfully, pinto beans are relatively inexpensive, so bean burritos are never out of style in the Muth household. However, I can only eat so many pintos before I dread the thought of another bite...but praise the Lord for a non-picky spouse!

I am always on the lookout for tips on saving money, especially on groceries and other consumables. I've found women in our church with semi-grown families to be a veritable treasure trove of knowlege on how and where to save.

I LOVE ALDI!! where else can you find canned goods for so small a price? I have my mother to thank for Aldi-awareness. Then, a few months ago with some help from my friend Sue, I discovered a scratch-and-dent food store that has great deals on easy-grab snacks (like 50 cents for a box of granola bars) and breakfast cereal (yum! my favorite). They also sell stuff that's slightly past the expiration date, and sometimes I can spring for that, depending on what it is. Expired yogurt? I'm not that brave. My favorite savings has to be Kroger's reoccuring sale on 2-cup bags of shredded cheese ($1/bag!!!).

In order to stick to our grocery budget, and avoid the "what to cook for supper" confusion, I try to do a quick pantry inventory and make a menu every 3 weeks or so with items that I've found on sale or that we have in our cupboards. I make a shopping list for the stuff I need, then try to stick to the list when I go shopping. Of course, if there's a fabulous sale...it's a little tricky for me to pass it up at times.

Coupons are great, too, but my problem is never having them when I have the time to run to the store right after work, or I clip them thinking I'm going to have time to organize them later, and life just gets crazy. So I'm looking for suggestions on how actually use those clipped coupons!

Anybody else have good money-saving techniques they want to share?

Thursday, March 9

about that One Link...

I'm sure some of you may wonder what that "FAMily planning" link is doing on this blog. It all started out as a desperate search after 8 miserably ill, newly married months to find a workable non-chemical solution, and turned out to be one of the most enlightening reads of my life. It's definitely caused us to see more clearly how amazing our God is in the way He created us and how much He has allowed us to know by observance.

I've been telling all my married friends at church. I feel like I've been given the gift of knowledge, and because I am the teacher that I am, I HAVE to share it!!! It's a great "it's not long til you get married, check this out" gift, and a great read for any married couple.

Wednesday, March 8

a little bitty reason to blog away

Here is the main reason we're starting to blog--photos of the coming child. This was our first ultrasound, done about 2 months ago I guess. Jenny's 20 weeks along and counting...due at the end of July!

A family update will follow! (Just trying to get this started)