Sunday, March 29, 2009

Las Vegas

Okay guys.  I know this post is bad timing after my Dave Ramsey post but hey, what can I say??

Anyway, Michael's company won the Carrier "President's Award" and in turn the presentation was in Las Vegas.  So, Michael's parents were so kind to watch the girls for us and we headed that way.  It's so funny because Carrier (the brand of heating & ac equipment the Company primarily sells) absolutely loves to have their stuff either in Las Vegas or Dallas.  So, needless to say, we've made the trip a few times and I can almost hear the hotel workers sigh and think, here comes the duds again.  They don't spend any money or drink any alcohol.  I'm sure we stick out there like a sore thumb but we enjoy the time away without kids nonetheless.  In the past, the events have always been held in hotels on the strip like the MGM or Aladdin (now Planet Hollywood) but this time it was at the Red Rock Resort and Casino and it was about a 20 minute drive from the strip but it was an extremely nice hotel.  I believe it was far nicer then either the MGM or Aladdin and would probably rival the Bellagio (sp?) or the Venetian.  However, I'm sure Carrier got a better rate due to its location.  It had flat screen TVs in the bedroom and above the large bathtub and huge two sink marble vanities.  If you were to stay here though it would be necessary to rent a car which we did.  In the past we've seen the Blue Man Group (okay, but weird), Penn & Teller (not impressed) and Mystere (excellent).  However, this time we were lazy  and skipped the shows and just ate and spent our money at a couple of expensive restaurants.  We ate at Emeril's on Thursday night and we were both disappointed.  We ate there the last time we went to Las Vegas and it was incredible.  However, the two dishes that we loved previously were no longer being served and therefore we got something else and it didn't live up to our expectations.  On Friday night, we had the Carrier awards dinner at the hotel which was nice as well with a gazillion courses so I had to remember all of my etiquette rules and being from Arkansas this takes some work (just kidding).  I just had to remember to use the silverware from outside in.  On Saturday night, our grand dinner finale was Morton's Steakhouse which is probably my all time favorite restaurant of all time but since you have to save your money to go there we only go once a blue moon and it's only located in large cities.  Luckily, Michael is on their e-mail list so we had a bit of a coupon for "surf-n-turf" and got salad, Shrimp Alexander (my absolute favorite), I got a filet and Michael got a ribeye, along with a dessert.  Michael picked the key lime pie and ordered the yummy raspberry souffle.  I've never tried to cook a souffle but it certainly looks like everything would have to go perfect in order for it to turn out.  Have any of you tried to cook one??  

On Saturday, we also headed to the Stratosphere and went to the top and rode rides which we hadn't done before.  Michael and I both rode the swings that swing out above the city and Michael rode the teeter totter thing that hangs off the building.  The heights don't bother me but I was a little worried about getting sick from going in circles on the swing.  I'm sure people below wouldn't appreciate throw up on their heads.  Luckily, all was good on that front though. Here's a picture of Michael on his teeter totter ride I took from the observation deck a level below and a picture of the swings that we rode.  I was obviously not allowed to take my phone or any belongings on the ride with me in case they were to fall.  

On Saturday we also enjoyed shopping at the Forum Shoppes at Caesars Palace and on Thursday night we hit the outlet mall which are the shops we would actually buy something at. 


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Dave Ramsey

Sorry it's taken me a little while to post again this time.  Michael and I went to Las Vegas over the weekend where he had a work trip and then the girls and I spent time with my family in Broken Arrow during our Spring Break.  I'll put posts of those trips up in the next couple of days.
Anyway, I wanted to share with you all about a class Michael and I are taking at our church and it's a Dave Ramsey Financial Peace class.  I'm sure most of you have heard of Dave Ramsey from his radio shows and commentary on TV news shows, but if not, he gives great financial advice.  It is such a simple concept and that is to stay out of debt and to save, save, save.  He encourages using cash and an envelope system and when your cash is gone for a particular thing, it's gone.  Now granted, I do feel like I need to apply for a concealed weapon permit when I leave the bank with the cash but normally, you don't carry all of the envelopes with you at one time.  Now, I must say that Michael and I are truly blessed that we are not cursed with a lot of debt but we thought that this class would help us keep it that way and also help us not spend as much money on junk, which in turn would allow us to save for our future more effectively.  Depending on your income, Dave encourages you to either have a $500 or $1000 reserve for emergencies so you don't have to resort to those dreaded credit cards.  He also says that if you need help to get to the goal you need to sell "stuff" that is not necessary.  We all are in possession of that kind of "stuff" - electronics, unused toys, etc. and it's amazing how quickly it adds up.  If you want to inquire further, you can click here to get to his website.  I would encourage those that need help financially to go to his website and inquire as to the closest class that is offered and take it!  I believe everyone (including myself) must remember that when we save and spend our children are watching us as well and the class will help guide you and show how we can truly be good stewards with our money as God intends.  

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Twilight - I can hang out with the cool kids now.

Okay Staci, Jenni, Emily, Leigh Ann, ShaRhonda etc. I can now say that I have succumbed to the pressure and have started reading the Twilight series and I'm completely addicted. I must admit that up until about halfway through the first book I would think occasionally that it was truly ridiculous but by the last quarter of the book I was completely enthralled and forgot about it. I'm now on the third book which I broke down and bought at Books a Million today. No, I have not seen the movie but it comes out on DVD this weekend so I'll try and rent it in the near future. I know these books are popular among the "tween" age group but I don't know if I'd want my preteen to read them or not. It's not that the language is bad, it's not at all (there's a couple of words towards the end but that's it) but the electricity between the two main characters is quite powerful. Ugh. I dread it when my daughters are interested in these types of reads and movies but I know those days are coming. I guess it's best to be informed though about what the kids are up to these days, as much as possible, and that's what I'm trying to do. 

I also want to wish my sweet niece, Cydnee, a very happy third birthday. We all headed to Broken Arrow yesterday to go to her party and we were about half a mile away from the place and Meredith threw up in the car. So, apparently, she caught the awful bug I had earlier in the week. We then had to skip the party and head home as she threw up in a bowl all the way home. Lovely. Michael is now nauseous and not feeling well but hopefully his sickness will stop at that. Alli is our lone holdout and hopefully it will stay that way.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Tattoo Barbie

I thought this little news story was pretty interesting because Meredith received a Tattoo Barbie for her birthday and I'm the one that suggested to her Grammy that she by it!  Anyway, I believe those that are commenting during this news story clearly hadn't seen the doll.  All I know is that it was pretty much the hit of the party and my little niece Cydnee really liked it!  Pretty much it's just a regular Barbie doll that has a little tattoo  machine thing that puts temporary tattoos on you or the doll or wherever.  I'm sure a lot of people are against temporary tattoos but I think my girls recognize or will recognize the difference between a temporary tattoo and a real tattoo by the time they are teenagers or old enough to get one.  It's not like there were skulls on these tattoos.  Really, what's the difference between these little stickers/temporary tattoos and face painting or make-up for that matter?  They all wash off.  Let me know your thoughts.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Michael's brush with fame

A few weeks ago Michael made the journey to Nashville for a conference for work. (I'm sure my loyal followers remember my bitterness in him being able to visit our good friends that live there.) Well, it was funny because before he left to go to Nashville he was teasing our music minister at our church telling him that he was going to try out for Steve Green, a very successful Christian music artist. Now I'm sure you know what's coming next but lo and behold on the plane on the way home from Nashville to Dallas was STEVE GREEN. Those of you that are not familiar with him, Steve has been nominated for 4 Grammys, won 7 Dove Awards, and has had 13 number one Christian songs with the most famous being "People need the Lord."  Steve Green has also performed for our church with the choir backing him up.  (Of course, either one of the girls or I was sick during that performance so I missed it - just my luck.) So, back to the story, Michael, being the shy person he is, happened to pass by Steve and his wife's seats on the plane and struck up a little conversation.  Michael's version of the story he told to our choir went like this, "Hi, aren't you Steve Green?  Steve replies that yes, he is and Michael tells him where he's from and our church and asks him if he knows our music minister, Keith and Steve replies, Keith who?"  Of course, the choir loved this version but the true version is that when Michael struck up a conversation with Mr. Green and his wife that when Michael told him the church he went to Steve immediately asked how Keith was doing and clearly remembered him.  So, below are Michael's pictures of Steve Green so I guess it's up to you all to determine whether we should believe him or not.