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March 9, 2009

Yesterday, church was absolutely awesome! I was pretty frazzled when I came in—Zach wasn’t feeling up to coming, and I had already gone to a volunteer orientation for church, then back home to get Isabelle, then back to church. But it was well worth coming through all of that to hear what Pastor Furtick had to say. The title of the sermon series is “The Dip.” It’s about all those valleys in life that we go through, when we are discouraged, disheartened, and in disrepair! Yesterday, he spoke out of 1 Kings 19. Elijah has just come from a huge triumph—at Mount Carmel he showed all of the idol worshipers just who God was and what He is capable of. Then he receives a little death threat from the queen. You would think that he would have said “Bring it on! (snap)” But instead, he ran. The theme: when you are in a dip, don’t dig yourself deeper. One key thought I got through this sermon: The goal of the enemy is to get you to distort the dimensions of your dip. Another key thought: The opposite of prayer is worry. The last one: you need to have perspective. We think that our problem is the biggest problem ever, until we can step outside of it and remember that our God is bigger than that.

Wow. I am a self proclaimed worrier. I come from a long line of worriers. It was awesome to hear this sermon, with so much fear all around me right now. Zach has made little progress in finding another job, and it’s pretty gloomy altogether in the construction industry, where both of us have our careers right now, as well as our entire country. But the opposite of prayer is worry! If you are worried about what is going on in your life, or if you know you are going through a dip—I highly recommend checking out http://www.elevationchurch.org and watching Pastor Furtick’s sermon series over the last couple of weeks. It truly helped me gain perspective. Hope it helps you.

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Good News/Bad News

February 13, 2009

The good news is that I took my schematic design test this morning. I had practiced quite a bit, and was able to check both items before time was up. I even finished the building design portion early, even with checking it.

The bad news is that Zach got laid off this morning. He found out before I went into the test, but he didn’t tell me until afterward. He gets some severance, but it isn’t much. Hopefully he’ll find something else, but with architecture slow right now, I’m really scared with me being the only breadwinner for our family.

Please pray for us. I can’t write any more because I’m still crying.

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Two Down, Five to Go…

February 6, 2009

I found out Wednesday evening that I passed construction documents, the second test I have taken as part of my registration exams. I am excited to think that I am more than a quarter of the way done! It is taking forever, it seems, to get my results. Turns out NCARB and Prometric are having some “quality control” issues. It is rather crazy that the shortest amount of time it’s taken to get the scores from a computer test is 8 1/2 weeks. Next Friday (yes, it’s the 13th) I’ll be taking my Schematic Design test. I just got done with a practice vignette, and it took me 3 hours when you have 4 to do it. I hope that’s a good sign. I’ve really stuggled with getting ready with this one. If you think of it, pray for me next Friday!!

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Crockpot Site

January 29, 2009

I got a new crockpot with my some of my Christmas money this year. It is one of my goals to cook more in my crock pot, especially since Isabelle comes home from daycare ravenous. I have discovered this site: A Year of Crockpotting. This lady resolved to cook in her crockpot every day for a year! There are some great ideas on this site…I can’t wait to use it. I’m thinking about the BBQ Chicken and Cornbread casserole for tomorrow night…

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Bad Economic News

January 16, 2009

The last couple of days have been very difficult at work. I have been ay my company for 8 1/2 years, and I have never seen the economy quite like this. We went from being crazy busy just 4 months ago to not having much work at all, much less having work that pays. Yesterday was the worst day ever for layoffs. My company laid off seven people. I am blessed to still have a job, but it is pretty scary to think that at the beginning of October, we had 57 employees, and now we only have 42. I know that many firms have split or gone under in this economic climate, and I am praying that this will not happen. It is scary, especially when I consider that Zach and I are in the same industry, and both companies are struggling.

For my friends that were released yesterday, I am so sorry, and please know that you are in my prayers.

If you are an elected official, please use your authority to fix the economy. I am sorry if you are “inheriting” this mess, but we Americans are looking to you for help. Mr. Obama, this plea is directed to you especially. This is a plea from all of us little people.

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The result of Triples January 09

January 7, 2009

I forgot to post how much money I saved at the Harris Teeter triples. I went 4 times over triples and spent $84.52. I know that’s a lot of money, but there were several items that we needed, like toilet paper, paper towels, and feminine products, that don’t normally get too cheap. My husband also went on one of the trips, which also messes me up (the savings that trip was only about 50%). But if I had paid full price on the items I bought over those 4 days, I would have spent almost $255!! That means I saved 67%, and other than produce, eggs, and milk, we should be set for a while for groceries.

We are also writing down everything that we are buying this month to get a better handle on our budget. It will be interesting how much we spend and how much we can save.

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The next Exam

January 6, 2009

I have registered for the next ARE exam. I will be taking Schematic Design on February 13. And yes, I realized that day was Friday the 13th before I signed up. I hope to hear the results of the exam I took in December some time in the next couple of weeks.

The Schematic Design exam is different from the others in that there are no multiple choice exams. It is 2 different graphic vignettes. It is also the longest exam at 6 hours. I was looking for a change, though. Those multiple choice exams are rough!

I’ll keep you posted on the results, as I get them!