Ever since we realized that a robin had built a nest in our tree this spring, we’ve been working on a bird project. It’s finally finished, and I’m very proud of Turkey and Bunny for their hard work.
I did the typing for them, but they dictated everything, from the “bird word” definitions to the timeline of the birds in our tree.
They even lent their robin Webkinz to the project–one perching on top of the display, and the other “eating” from the soda bottle bird feeder we made, which is now residing in the aforementioned tree.
It was a great introduction to science projects for them, and I think we’re all looking forward to doing more in the future!
On Thursday, we had tickets to the Cardinals/Astros game. But not just any tickets. We had tickets to the Redbird Club.
For those who aren’t familiar with the Redbird Club, here’s how it works. When you purchase your ticket, (the seats are really good–on the second deck, and the seats are cushioned), you also gain access to an indoor area of the Stadium. In the Club you can purchase all sorts of food–typical ballpark fare such as hot dogs, brats, and nachos, as well as fancier options, such as stir-fry, hand-carved sandwiches, and gourmet cupcakes–there’s even a bar in there! You have to love any club that requires a directory!
It was nice to have the option of going inside for a while, and watching the game on one of the many big-screen TVs while cooling off. They even had couches to sit on, just like at home. It’s not the same as sitting outside and watching, but on a day where the temperature at the start of the game was 97 degrees, it was quite a welcome relief!
On the way up to the Redbird Club, Turkey finally got to see on of the arches left from the All-Star game in St. Louis in 2009. He was very excited to finally see one in person!
It was a really fun way to see the game, even if it was one of the hottest days of the year, and the Cardinals didn’t win.
It’s one of my favorite times of year…when we start organizing all of our new school supplies! Today, Turkey and Bunny got out all of the books we’ll be using in third grade.
It’s quite the mountain of books. They have read some of them, but many are new, and they’re excited to get started. Just a few more weeks, and we’ll be diving into early American history!
The Borders “Going Out of Business” sale has got me wondering what it is about those four words that encourage otherwise rational people to start making horrible purchasing decisions.
I was in our local Borders last weekend, just to see what the sale was all about. The e-mail they had sent out stated that there would be deals “up to 40% off.” Now, I’ve seen enough stores go out of business to know not to take this entirely at face value. And I was right. While there was a very select group of items on sale for 40% off, most things were marked down a mere 10%. It was enough to make me want to stand outside the store and shout, “Haven’t you ever heard of Amazon.com?” at people as they went in!
Now, if you have a Borders gift card to use, I understand why you’re there, and the markdowns don’t really matter. If you don’t use the gift card soon, you’re just out the money. That’s perfectly logical. That’s not, however, the majority of shoppers I saw there, because there was a lot of credit cards, and even some cash, being used, and there’s a logical fallacy in people charging hundred of dollars worth of stuff that they could have gotten for far cheaper, and without having to stand in a line that reaches the back of the store to boot.
It seems like a form of mob mentality, the way people shop. Drive by your local Borders, while it’s still there, and you’ll see what I mean. The parking lots are jammed–you’d think it’s Christmas. Borders is doing more business right now than they know what to do with. People are swarming the stores, and grabbing armloads of books and other items, seemingly without considering how much they’re spending, just lured in by the prospect of a good deal. They’re standing in line for what seems like an eternity–I’m not kidding when I say the line stretched from the registers at the front, all the way to the children’s section in the very back. And I’ve heard reports from other stores of even longer lines. It’s mass hysteria at its finest, all over a savings just barely greater than the tax rate.
On the flip side, perhaps other struggling stores can learn from this craze over the “everything on sale” sign. If Borders had attempted a sale like this before they went out of business, it just may have generated enough revenue to save them. Clearly, where sales are involved, consumers lose all common sense, and don’t stop to think about how much they’re spending, and how much better they could do elsewhere!
I recently came across an interesting discussion on the MOPS forum: Is it wrong for a Christian to spend $300, (or some other large amount), on a handbag? The point wasn’t so much the handbag–you could easily insert designer clothes, sunglasses, shoes, or even something completely unrelated to apparel and accessories, (and often even more expensive), such as a fancy car or a vacation, or even going out to dinner regularly. The real point was, should a Christian designate any extra funds that could be applied to what some would consider lavish purchases toward mission work instead?
I thought this was a very interesting conversation. And for an individual, I don’t think there is any one right answer. Of course, Christian liberty says that we *can* spend the money on such things, but should we?
I think motivation is key here. Why do you want the handbag, (or other item)? Is it because you feel like you need a designer label to be “somebody?” Is it to show off your wealth? To make others feel jealous, or even bad that they can’t have such a thing? Obviously, if these reasons are the motivating factors in your purchase, you should probably rethink it.
But what if you simply like the handbag? Yes, you can just as easily like a $30 bag, but that reasoning works both ways–what if the bag that is your favorite, and will best do the things you need it to do, is the $300 one? What if you want to spend a lot of money on something that you plan on using for a long time? A quality handbag, for example, if properly cared for, can last for 10+ years. And if that’s the only bag you purchase in those 10 years, instead of buying a new cheap bag every year, (because the cheap ones do tend to fall apart), then the money spent is the same.
Another important factor is money. It seems like just about everything boils down to money eventually. Can you afford the handbag? Can you afford it, and still continue to give to church as you usually do? If you’re planning on taking money designated for offerings, and spending that on a bag instead, obvious mistake. But if you can afford the handbag in addition to your regular offerings, and maybe even in addition to other charitable giving, then it’s up to you.
So, in the end, it’s really up to the buyer, and it really has to do with personal convictions. Some people can’t spend money on themselves, even small amounts, knowing about the need that exists in the rest of the world. And that’s fine, as long as they don’t force those convictions on others who doesn’t hold them. If your conscience would be troubled by spending that much money on yourself, or spending in what you consider a frivolous fashion, then by all means, donate the money elsewhere.
On the other hand, if you feel no such convictions, if you’re happy with the giving that you do, and you can afford the handbag without any affront to your conscience, then by all means, purchase it. At the very least, you’re helping out the economy. As long as you’re not using your purchase to brag about the money you do have, or make others feel bad about what they don’t have, or what their convictions are, then why not? We have free will to make these kind of choices, and I don’t think that God is sitting around judging people based on the cost of their accessories.
And yes, for those who are interested, I would like to own a nice (read: expensive) handbag someday, and if the day comes that I can afford it, I’m certainly not going to feel guilty about it!
No, I’m not talking about the recent heat-wave that’s moved across the country, or even the amount of rain some areas have had. This is about a blog record.
My blog has had more views this month than it has had in any other month…and July isn’t even over yet!
It’s not a huge deal, but it’s exciting to me, because the previous record pretty much only existed because of one post that got an insane amount of traffic. Now, I did have a post this month that was pretty popular, but it didn’t even come close to reaching the popularity of the other entry. To me, this means that more people are reading my blog daily than they ever have before.
For someone who really likes to write, and likes to hope that people are occasionally reading, and maybe even enjoying, what I’ve written, this is a pretty big accomplishment!
I’ve been cutting my guys’ hair for a long time now. I started cutting Ryan’s hair back when we were in college, and I’ve added Turkey and Moose to my in-home salon as they’ve needed it. You’d think with 12-plus years experience, and a total of three clients, I’d be more confident about my cutting abilities, but I still worry every time I do it, especially with Moose, who *really* does not like having his hair cut. It may not be a professional cut, but for the most part, I think I do OK, and it’s nice to save the money! Now, if only I could figure out how to trim the girls’ hair…
“I leave all things to God’s direction;
He loves me both in joy and woe.
His will is good, sure His affection;
His tender love is true, I know.
My fortress and my rock is He:
What pleases God, that pleases me.
God knows what must be done to save me;
His love for me will never cease.
Upon His hands He did engrave me
With purest gold of loving grace.
His will supreme must ever be:
What pleases God, that pleases me.
My God desires the soul’s salvation;
My soul He, too, desires to save.
Therefore with Christian resignation
All earthly troubles I will brave.
His will be done eternally:
What pleases God, that pleases me.
My God has all things in His keeping;
He is the ever faithful friend.
He gives me laughter after weeping,
And all His ways in blessings end.
His love endures eternally:
What pleases God, that pleases me.” Lutheran Service Book #719
I had the chance to attend the Belleville News Democrat “Lipstik” Women’s Show at the Gateway Conference Center with a friend this morning. There were some pretty strange booths there, but there were a couple of real treasures, including Artistry on Cakes. It was so much fun to look at all of the different cake (and cupcake) creations!
I don’t know why I showed Turkey this picture of a Lego cake…I’m pretty sure he wants to fire me as the family baker, now!
I love the sparkle on these cupcakes–I’m going to have to try some of that at home.
And the wedding cakes! Pictures really don’t illustrate their beauty, but you get the idea:
It’s hard to see in the picture, but this cake had an amazing wavy top.
I can’t believe the amount of time, (and patience!), that must go into these creations. My hand cramps up by the time I’m done doing one birthday cake–I can’t imagine an undertaking something the magnitude of what I saw at the show!