Monday, June 25, 2012

Unexpected Gifts from God... piano, vacuum

For months (years?? I don't know Glenn is the craigslist guy) we have been looking at digital pianos. Since we move so often getting a normal piano doesn't make sense but we'd like the kids to learn how to play and they do make decent digital ones that are much more portable.  I asked a man from the flute choir that works at a piano shop for advice as to what to look for and he said that we should look for weighted keys and ear plug things with the option to record. We have seen many on CL over the time that we've been looking and have inquired about a few and even checked some out at Guitar Center but have never made the jump to purchase one.  A couple of weeks ago we were invited, after church, over to a friend's house for smores. While there we were shown some changing around that they were doing and were shown a piano that they just decided that day that they didn't want there anymore but couldn't decide if they were going to sell it, give it away, or put it up in the attic. They told us that we could borrow for now/ buy or possibly just have at the end of our time here. Not all the keys work because there had been a drink or two spilled on it but it sure has been fun to play around with a piano in our own home again (even if the random B plays loud enough to wake the dead ;). Thanks Tim and Sally for the use of this piano!

When moving from Syracuse we had no idea what our apartment would look like or what the flooring was like. We owned a canister vacuum that someone had left behind in an apartment that we lived in but it didn't do that great of a job on hardwoods so we doubted that it would do a good job on carpet if that was what we were moving into so we curbed it as we were moving from Syracuse. We've had hardwoods for the last 5ish years so there wasn't really a need for a good vacuum. Since moving here we have kept our eyes out for vacuums at yard sales and on CL and at stores and online but there are too many options out there and a corn broom and a dust pan does a decent job. We really would prefer to never live in a carpeted home again after these 10 months so we were having a hard time deciding how good of a vacuum to get (decision making, as you may or may not have noticed, is not a strong point for us). Anyway, a couple of weeks ago some friends were coming from Watertown to go on a field trip at the Windmill Farm. Afterwards they came over to our house to play and have lunch. As they were leaving they said, "Wait, we have a gift for you" and they brought out of the back of their vehicle a vacuum cleaner and gave me the gift receipt from Sam's. I was shocked and very thankful. A corn broom does work well but it sure takes a lot of time (I discovered after using the vacuum that a corn broom doesn't work quite as well as I had thought). Thanks John and Michele for your generous gift!

NOTE: I started this blog a  couple of weeks ago but stopped when Google gave me an error message telling me that I had used up my 1gb of photo space that I was allowed for free for my blogs. Since I haven't decided whether to go back and shrink all my photos and re-insert them (anybody want a job?? That is going to take forever!) or just pay google for more space there are no pictures for this post and you will just have to use your imagination or click on links that I put of things that look like them, though I am not 100% certain that any of the links are exactly correct.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Books, Magazines, Q-tips, and Oreos

As I was unloading our bags after our quick trip to Rochester on Tuesday I decided to take a picture of some material blessings we got while we were there. I haven't been keeping this blog up as much as I should. God blesses us so often and I just wanted to stop and give thanks to Him.

Pictured above are:

* Missionary Biographies - missionary biographies have been our read alouds of choice lately and when I saw that my friend Christina was getting rid of some in her "virtual yardsale" before moving I asked if I could have them. We are very excited to learn about these heroes of the faith in the months to come! Thanks Christina!!

* Q-tips - these are kind of silly. Before going to sleep at their house we were chatting with Dave and Hannah and Glenn somehow mentioned that we needed to buy some more q-tips because we were just about out. Hannah jumped up and ran upstairs and quickly came back with this big pack. I guess she had bought a big pack of them and they are not going to need them in the few weeks they have left before they move. Yay! I don't have to go shopping to buy them. Thanks Hannah!!

* Oreos - These were left behind at the party and were sent home with us - yummy chocolate and creme goodness - Thanks Karen (and whoever left them behind!)

* Clubhouse Magazines - my friend Karen had a stack of these magazines that her kids had gotten in the mail over the years. My kids are loving them! They read them the whole way home and ever since we've gotten home it seems that at least one, if not all, of my kids are reading them. Thanks Karen!!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Free Physical Education and Bonus Breakfast Sandwiches

One thing that I have really appreciated living in Syracuse has been the Neighborhood Youth Rec Program at Syracuse University which we have done last year and this year. I signed up initially because I had heard that it was a free gymnastics class and we could always use extra PE time. The first fall the girls all did gymnastics and Caleb did basketball. In the spring everyone did gymnastics. This past fall they started offering more classes and you could do 3 different sessions each Saturday morning that the program runs. The classes include: soccer, basketball, gymnastics, zumba, and yoga. We have given them each a try and it is fun because the parents can also participate (except in the gymnastics part).

Last week was the first session of the spring session and while we were there we were each given free breakfast sandwiches. It's fun to get some exercise on Saturday mornings and free food was a nice bonus (especially since we usually don't get breakfast in before it starts at 9:30 since Saturday is normally sleep in day.) This week we don't have NYRP but I decided to blog about it anyway. Looking forward to going back next week :)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Free Books

Books. They are my downfall. I love to read. I love books. So far we have packed 10 boxes. All books. There is probably at least another 10 on our shelves still that I should have packed this weekend but that is another story.

The reason for this blog is another thing that I am thankful for and how God has provided for us is through's free books on Kindle. We are slowly trying to go towards kindle books that we currently read on our ipod/ iphone. We have been able to replace a few of our books (especially classics) because they are available for free on Kindle. There are a few classics that we've kept because I really do like reading actual books better than reading on that little screen but it is amazing how many books you can carry around with you that take no space at all.

One great thing about amazon is that they offer books temporarily for free. I was able to get some great books for free because they were free temporarily like Margin, Calm My Anxious Heart, Coffee Shop Conversations, Sheet Music and many others. (None of these books are free right now but have been in the past and may be again in the future. I occasionally check the free best sellers list to see what is free now.)

What prompted this is that right now Organized Simplicity is available for free temporarily. I follow Tsh's Simple Mom blog and I have borrowed this book from the library but was not able to keep it long because other library patrons had requested it. I have been wanting this book but have not wanted to add another book about simplifying (seems ironic to buy a book about getting rid of stuff). So thankful to be able to get it for free on Kindle!

Thanks God for free books that take up no space. You are so good to me!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Moving to Lowville (Lord willing)

When I posted about Glenn's "free" medical care I noticed that the last post I posted was announcing that we were moving to Montour Falls and that God had provided housing and a scholarship. Well, that is no longer true as I blogged about on over on Maas Update. Instead we are, Lord willing, moving to Lowville. The hospital there is willing to cover housing and the scholarship as well at the last moment for which we are very grateful. We aren't exactly sure what housing or anything is going to look like there but we are excited to see what God has in store. We went to check out the area last week and were given some helpful information. Looking forward to seeing what God is going to do!

"Free" Medical Care

Glenn has been pretty sick. He's been battling a cold for a while and his cough and sore throat just kept getting worse. Yesterday as I took him to school he was thinking out loud and said "Oh, but I don't have my co-pay." He had a bit of free time scheduled today (I think today may have been part study day for him) and I told him maybe he could get an appointment with his doctor for sometime today. Instead he left clinic early yesterday and went to student health. He was diagnosed with strep throat and given a prescription for penicillin which was charged to student health. Yes, we pay for student health through Glenn's school bill but, since we didn't have to pay for the visit or the medicine, it felt like Glenn got free medical care. He hasn't really been sick too much before this but we realized we might should have taken advantage of this service since we've been paying for it. Here's to hoping that none of the rest of us get strep!

Thanks God that we didn't have to pay out of our pocket for Glenn's sick visit or his medicine. You always provide for us!