There's More Than One Way to Call a Friend

Talk to your friends, family or colleagues and you'll find that most everyone is tweaking their budget. Most people are choosing to adjust their food budgets, as it's the most versatile area to adjust. Others are choosing to cut out the extras - like cable or a second car. But for those who are re-thinking phone options I present this question: Have you considered VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol)?

For all you non-tech people, VoIP allows you to use your DSL or Cable connection to make phone calls. It differs from voice chat through instant messenger in that you talk on a regular telephone - it's just hooked up to a VoIP adapter instead of your wall jack. With most companies, you get all the features of your local phone company for a fraction of the cost.

But unlike the phone company, you can choose what company to go with for VoIP. You've seen the Vonage commercials, but they aren't the only VoIP company. I've personally used Packet 8 and was happy with the service. (I cancelled VoIP when I cancelled my cable. I know use DSL and am considering going back to VoIP).

But time is money right? You could spend hours lost in cyber space researching all the companies that offer VoIP. But you don't have to - Consumer VoIP Compare does all the work for you. At CVC, you'll find a list of VoIP companies, their prices, whether they require a contract (some do, some do not) as well as a direct link to the individual websites. If getting a new number is a concern for you, many companies offer to transfer your existing phone number.

It couldn't be easier!

Until next time...

VoIP Review

Grab My Button

***I'm still working out the details, apparantly. The code works...but doesn't link back to Horizontal Yo-Yo. So, until I can figure that part out, y'all are gonna have to link back manually. After you place the code, click on 'rich text' and manually link it. It'll work...just an extra step. Thanks for your patience.***

That's not meant to sound vulgar. But look over there ====> thanks to Susan and some Swag Bucks searches, I figured out how to make a button (although mine is a bit like a mini banner).

If you want it - grab it. If not - well, that's okay, too. I know that I really enjoy grabbing buttons (and will be adding some to my blog in the days to come).

And as blog is a work in progress. Much like it's owner.


Until next time...


This weekend, we all went Pawn Shopping. For those of you who don't know what Pawn Shopping is, it's kind of like hitting the yard sales, except they're pawn shops (which really comes in handy when it's cold and rainy like it was this past Saturday).

We were looking for a few select items - the best finds were the AC/DC Collection for Rock Band and an XBox 360 - both at a sweet price.

But what we didn't expect to walk away with was a lesson on integrity for our boy.

We enter one pawn shop and begin to look around. On the counter, we see this:

If you look closely, you will see a folded $20 bill on the newspaper.

I walk right by it. It's not mine, so I figure maybe someone left it there and they'll come by to pick it up. The Boy notices it and immediately comes to me:

The Boy: Mom! Mom! There's money on the counter!
Me: Is it yours?
The Boy (deflated a bit): No
Me: Then let it alone.

But the man beast...oh yes...the man beast. He does one better when we go up to the counter to pay for our purchases. He picks it up and gives it to the owner and says, "Here, someone dropped this."

As he hands out his arm to give it to the proprietor of the pawn shop, the bill unfolds.

(I regret to inform you that the Man Beast did not get a picture of the open bill. You'll have to use your imagine on this one).

Once the bill is unfolded, the paper on the inside is white and it contains one word:


This started a nice conversation with the owner. He said that he has found that 'bill' on the floor more times than not because someone has tried to walk off with it.

As he told our boy, "It lets me know who I can and cannot trust."

Pretty ingenious, I say.

Until next time...

Fireproof - a Review

If you all remember, I had a date with the Man Beast Friday night at church. The Sweetheart Banquet included a steak dinner as well as a movie - Fireproof - a movie neither the MB or I had seen.

I wanted to see it so badly. MB didn't want to see it at all. But being the awesome husband that he is, he went and sat through it, knowing I wanted to see it so badly.

I will give you both of our reviews - based on how I felt about the movie and what the MB said after it.

But first, let me give you the briefest of synopsis:

Caleb and Katherine's marriage is in trouble. After seven years of marriage, they've grown apathetic towards each other and their relationship. Pretty soon, the D Word is mentioned. Both want out - Katherine is feeling unloved and unheard and Caleb feels like he gets respect from everywhere except in his own house. Caleb receives a little help from his best friend, Micheal who has gone through some rough spots in his own marriage. Caleb's dad, John, gives Caleb a book - The Love Dare - and challenges him to work through the 40 day exercise.

The first 20 days are rocky. Caleb's heart isn't it and he expects Katherine to see his efforts and thank him for them. (Admittedly, after being scorned for so long, what woman is going to recognize feeble attempts of wilted flowers and a poured cup of coffee?)

Slowly, Caleb comes around when he realizes that the way he's been treated by Katherine is the way he's been treating his Heavenly Father. As he opens his heart to his Father, his love for Katherine genuinely blossoms into a real love.

But is it to late to save his marriage? Has Caleb left his partner behind one too many times?

I really enjoyed the movie. If you liked Facing the Giants, you'll like Fireproof. The film was obviously made by amatures (remember, it was made by a local church). Kirk Cameron (Caleb's character), out-shown the rest of the cast. I wonder if it wouldn't have been less obvious if Kirk was out of the picture completely? I don't remember the acting being so ... not-Hollywood in FTG. I might have to pull it out and see.

There were a lot of places where you chuckle out loud. There were a few places where your heart catches in your throat. And yes, if you are a crier, then chances are, you will cry.

The Man Beast's take on the movie was overall positive. He liked the message - although he thought that the message got lost with a bit too much back-story. He was also disappointed, I think, at the Hollywood-izing of the story. There is a pretty big twist at the end of the movie, that I never saw coming. The MB said he saw it because it was a modern day story - and there is always a twist during a modern day story. (I did predict the really big thing that Caleb did to help Katherine - I wasn't completely surprised at the whole movie. I'm not that naive.)

Over all - good movie. If you get the chance to go see it with your man beast, take the opportunity. If you're single - get some girlfriends together and go see it. I believe it's a movie that will benefit everyone whose open to receive it's Message: married, divorced, widowed and singles. (Side note: The Boy watched snippets of it while he was in the back, cleaning up. He said there were parts that he almost cried at, too. After the movie, we had a pretty good talk about how marriage is forever. It's a life-long commitment. It takes work - but if both partners are in it, it can work)

Until next time...

Sharing the Wealth?

Salma Hayek breast feeds a one week old African Baby.

Have y'all seen the video? If not, I've provided the link.

I've decided to share because I wanted to get some thoughts on this - as well as share my own.

To be perfectly honest, my first, very first thought was, "Yuck." But in the very next second I thought, "Why not?"

If you had asked me if I would be willing to feed another baby while I was breastfeeding Baby Gurl or the Boy (7 or 11 years ago, respectively), I would have told you absolutely not! It's not that I thought it disgusting...but just weird.

This video, however, makes me rethink my position.

This is a child who is starving - whose mother cannot give him any milk. Selma feeds him. You can see him greedily suckling from her breast.

So, I guess my question to you is - do you think Selma did a gross or gracious thing?

And really, what are the implications of this? Could you imagine milk banks? We have blood banks. We have no issue at all with sharing our blood with those in need. What about our milk?

I wanted to give you something to think about this Friday morning - especially in light of the hardships occurring in the US right now.

Until next time...

From a Distance (Edited to add)

Red & Rover

Red & Rover Brian Basset

***It cut off the last panel of the comic, y'all:
But that can take hours - and besides, from a distance they ALL look correct.***

I've read quite a bit of blogs that talk about the proposed Bailout/Stimulus Package plan.

Most of what I've read is very, very bad. (Meaning - it's a bad idea...not that the bloggers did an inferior job in posting about the topic). But what I learned most wasn't from the bloggers themselves, but from the comments on their blog.

I always thought that there were two camps as far as this whole stimulus package thing was concerned:
  • Those for it
  • Those against it
But there seems to be a third camp - those who logically feel that the package is wrong, but emotionally, think it's right because it affects them personally (most notably, state employees losing their jobs because of budget cuts).

Isn't that just the proverbial 'rock and a hard spot'? You know something is wrong, but because it affects you personally (in many cases, very personally), you are forced to along with it.

My heart and prayers go out to these families in this third camp.

As far as I'm concerned - from my perspective as I'm beginning to realize that there are so many sides to this issue - the package is only a band aid.

Eventually, it's going to be time to pay the piper - where are we going to get the money?

I think maybe many of us (out of hope or desperation), are just looking to the government to plug in the blocks with 'words' that fit - and while it looks good from a distance, if we look at it closer (or really stop to think the whole thing out in the long term), it's all terribly, terribly wrong.

I hope I'm wrong...

Y'all Are Going to Love This!

Baby Gurl is sitting at my feet on the floor in front of the couch, doing her Valentines (yes, I realize it's almost 9:30). She pulls out her school list. Her teacher has them separated - boys and girls.

As Baby Gurl settles down with her valentines, crayons (they are the kind you color), suckers and list, she looks up at me and then over at her dad, who is sitting at his computer (also in the living room) and says:

Do you see all these names? These are all my friends. These are the girls [pointing the girl list] and these are the boys [pointing to the boy list].

Don't you just miss those days - where everyone in your class was your friend? Oh, I know, I do! In fact, I am so old (chuckle - I'm 32), that I remember even in sixth grade all the students being my friends. Every single one of the students were invited to my 12th birthday and every single one of them came to my party!

Man! Those were the days!

Until next time...

Oh the Weather!

(I checked my blog roll to make sure no one blogged about weather. Susan came close...but this post will most notably not be about a Sunday drive on a bike.)

The weather down here in SE GA is gorgeous!

I have to say I'm sorry to all my northern readers who have very cold temps or worse, snow. (Unless you like snow - then, congratulations. You can keep it.)

Today was warm (73) with a slight breeze. The sun was out and it was just beautiful!

Tomorrow is supposed to be better - 80! (But then it goes back down to 60. Bummer)

And yes, I know many of you would love to have 60 degree weather right now. I get it. But you see, down here in the south, we don't expect winter to last for more than a couple of weeks. We are all ready for spring (especially on days like today).

Than again, aside from the four-day holiday weekend the schools here have, maybe we're all itching for spring break?

Yeah, that's gotta be it.

Until next time...

I Have a Date!

I'm mentioning this now because I plan on following up on it Saturday afternoon sometime.

This Friday, the Man Beast and I have a date. We are going to the Sweetheart Banquet at church. A delicious steak dinner is to be served, followed by the movie, Fireproof. I'm not a huge fan of steak, but considering the MB is coming to church (something he never does) and sitting through a Kirk Cameron movie (whom he doesn't really care for) speaks volumes about what my man is willing to do for me when he senses that something is important to me. (And let me say that this was a 'sense thing'. I did not tell him that this was something I really wanted to do. I just simply invited him because I would have liked to go. Later, I told him that if he would have said no, I would have grabbed a married Christian woman from work - or a single one - I wasn't picky!)

While the MB and I eat and watch a movie, Baby Gurl will be at the church chowing down on some chicken nuggets and french fries with the other children. The Boy will be serving. The proceeds for the banquet (as well as the youth serving) go towards the church summer camp trip that The Boy is going on. He's technically not youth - yet - but by serving, he'll learn that these trips are expensive and one must work hard to go on them. (The trip the Boy is taking in May with his gifted class is being paid 100% by Mom and Dad - no service needed.)

Has anyone watched the movie, Fireproof? I have a feeling I'm going to cry. I think I should bring tissues and skip the mascara.

What do y'all think?

Until next time...

A Simple Sunday Prayer

Father, I ask You to bless my friends, relatives and those that I care deeply for, who are reading this right now. Show them a new revelation of your love and power. Holy Spirit, I ask You to minister to their spirit at this very moment. Where there is pain, give them your peace and mercy. Where there is self-doubt, release a renewed confidence through your grace. Where there is need,I ask you to fulfill their needs. Bless their homes,families,finances,their goings and their comings. In Jesus' precious name. Amen.

Until next time...

More Than a Week Later...

I feel I must apologize for my small group of loyal readers. I'm sure you've checked your blog roll, your blog reader or Horizontal YoYo for an update from me and I haven't given you one - in over a week! This is no way to treat my readers and I'm so very sorry.

Life in the my world has been on the chaotic side. I've been meaning to schedule blog posts, but haven't gotten around to it. I know this is probably absolutely no consultation to y'all, but I think about you (as well as blog-worthy subjects) through out the week. I just never get to them.

I could promise to do better, but those that know me know that I'm fooling myself.

What I can promise is that when I do post, I will make them interesting and blog worthy - not just post something to say I've posted. (I really do have a lot of great ideas -- it's just getting them to the computer...that's the tricky part).

Quick update on me:

Work is going well. This week was rather hectic as MA was out for two days for a workshop. The sub was awesome and knows the kids well. But that didn't stop them from ... well, being themselves. Friday was definitely a chocolate-worthy day...and I partook in some. Oh yes. I did.

Church is going equally well. Most weeks, I wish that I could bring my laptop to church and immediately post on whatever it is I'm thinking about. It's good stuff. Unfortunately, I lose it by the time I get home, get lunch, and spend time with The Man Beast and Kiddos. Maybe I should take two notebooks to church - one for sermon notes and one for blog notes? On second thought...maybe not.

Weight loss is going well. I've had some set backs (most notably last week where I gained two pounds...Golden Corral is the culprit - there is no getting around high calories, fat-laden food down here in the south) I'm doing much better this week. I've lost all the week I gained plus some (maybe it was water weight?)

I've been checking in with my blog roll - keeping up on all my blog peeps. If you coupon, be sure to check out Keeping the Kingdom's coupon preview for tomorrow's paper. There four inserts this week!

Until next time...

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