The Porch Light copyright by Revka (2006-2010). All rights reserved.

Thursday, January 31, 2008


What a way to be woken up - by the mailman bringing you your blog contest winnings! (I was up really, really late this morning last night and was still sleeping at 9:30.) I can't believe that I actually won something again! This time I won a Lands End diaper baby in a baby boy fabric from Jackie of Adventures of a Twenty Something Mother. (Shameless plug: I designed her oh-so-cute blog.)

Here's what's even better, though. Jackie was giving away two boy diaper bags and two girl diaper bags. When the winner of one of the girl diaper bags didn't respond, Jackie gave me the additional bag! Whoo-hoo! Thank you, Jackie!

So now I have one pretty new bag to use now and another to use after our baby is born (I hope - I'm scheduled to have an ultrasound tomorrow).


Wednesday, January 30, 2008

When Daddy's Away

... three little girls take his place.

Thank goodness we have a king size bed! See? There's just enough room on the left for me to lie down.

I obviously have no problem letting the girls sleep with me, but I have a friend who is adamantly opposed to children sleeping in their parents' bed. I'm curious. How do you handle it when your husband is out of town. (Or how does your wife handle it when you have to be out of town?) Do the kids end up sleeping with mommy?


Monday, January 28, 2008

Need a New Blog Design?

Today marks the beginning of the Bloggy Giveaways Carnival - always a fabulous carnival loaded with all kinds of goodies calling your name!

At RS Designs, Linda and I are both giving away a blog design package. Linda is giving away a Gold Design Package, and I am giving away a Silver Design Package. Everybody who enters will be given a $10 discount off their next RS Designs order of $20 or more. Head on over to enter for your chance to win.


Sunday, January 27, 2008

I'm Not Getting Any Younger!

I've been miserably sick (I'm finally getting better) and have no patience for dial-up. I guess this is a popular time of night for people to be on the Internet because it took seven minutes for this page to load so that I could type this post! (No, this is not the post I intended to write when I first logged on.) Argh! It makes me want to bash my head against one of those fancy billet grilles - just out of pure meanness!

I'm sorry for complaining out loud, but I've been having problems all night. I was working on a design and uploaded some images to my Photobucket account so that I could begin putting everything together in Blogger. The images showed up in my album, but the URLs only pulled up a "could not be found" error message - no matter how many times I tried uploading the images again.

I think this second frustration (with Blogger) means I need to go to bed. Good night!


Saturday, January 26, 2008

Amazon Coupons

I know that many people enjoy shopping on I bought some books there one time, but that is the extent of my experience with them. However, I thought you Amazonaholics might be interested in browsing Coupon Chief's list of Amazon coupons. Perhaps they have a coupon you can use to get an even better deal on that must-have item you are about to purchase. Happy shopping! *smile*


Thursday, January 24, 2008

Eating Crow

"...let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God."(James 1:19-20 KJV)

I know those verses by heart, but there are times when it becomes painfully clear that they do not always rule my heart. Yesterday was one of those times.

I called my new OBGYN clinic to verify that my pregnancy test had been forwarded from the clinic I despised. During that conversation, the lady mentioned that she was going through her list to confirm appointments.

"Yes, I'll be there at 9:30 tomorrow morning," I replied.

"9:30? No, your appointment is at 2:15," was the unexpected response.

I got frustrated. After all, I had to arrange a babysitter for the girls, and I knew nothing of the appointment change. What if my friend couldn't watch the girls at that time? I did not get ugly or mean to the lady on the phone, but I know I sounded frustrated as I told her that I would go ahead and try to rearrange my day to fit the new appointment time. The lady proceeded to confirm that the pregnancy test results had indeed been faxed to their office and again stated that the appointment time was 2:15. I told her that I would be there.

I got off the phone with her and called my friend to see if she would still be able to watch the girls. She said it would be no problem, and I expressed to her my frustration and dissatisfaction with the scheduling change. After all, I hadn't even been told of the change! If I had not called to confirm the records transfer, I would have gone at 9:30 and then would have had to go right back home. What kind of service is that?

After I got off the phone with my friend, I went to my day timer to change the appointment time in my calendar. Wait a minute! The calendar already said 2:15. I was the one who was wrong, not the poor lady!

Then I started thinking - it really didn't matter who was right or wrong regarding the appointment time; my reaction was wrong, even if I had been "right." (Did I lose you there? *smile*) "...slow to speak, slow to wrath..." That certainly was not me! I was upset, and even though I attempted not to communicate that anger to the lady, I know I still communicated my frustration with the situation. What a fleshly response!

So I've had a good helping of crow. I called my friend and explained that I had indeed been mistaken as to the appointment time. I told her that I was wrong to have reacted that way, even had I been right, and apologized for complaining to her - something I never should have done. (Problems should not be talked about with others who have no bearing on that problem.) She graciously agreed to forgive me and told me I was only human.

Today, I need to apologize to the appointment lady, let her know that she was right, and tell her that even if I had been right, I still had no excuse for not accepting the situation with grace. *sigh*

How do you handle this kind of situation? I know I'm not the only one to have had to eat crow.


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Good News!

After having to deal with knowing that Mr. Incredible's current work position is being terminated and not knowing for sure that he would get the new position for which his superiors encouraged him to apply, we are thrilled to have learned that he has been accepted for the new position.

The small down side to that news is that he will no longer have a company vehicle to take home and that he will have four weeks of class to attend. Thankfully, it isn't four weeks altogether but is broken up into two different segments of two weeks. I can handle that. *smile*

His new position is quite a bit more physical than his old job, and he will begin getting a taste of that change in his classes. Shoot, after he's done with his schooling, I half expect him to look like he's gotten hold of some hydroxycut. *laugh* Actually, it might take a little bit longer than that, but I do expect that his new work will have an effect on his physique.

Seriously, I couldn't be happier for or prouder of Mr. Incredible. This is a good move for him (and us) in every way.


Saturday, January 19, 2008

Responsible Leadership

It isn't just businesses that need a succession plan. The governing body of the U.S. of A. gives us a great example of having a succession plan in place: should the President die or have to leave office for any reason, the Vice President will step into his position. If something happens to both the President and the Vice President, the Speaker of the House becomes the President, and so it goes. The Presidential succession plan includes 14 levels.

Churches would benefit from having a man ready to step into the senior pastor's shoes at a moment's notice; families would benefit from parents teaching the older children how to assume the mantel of responsibility in their parents' absence; the family "bookkeeper" should make sure that another family member is familiar with the method used to maintain the finances and knows where all needed information is kept.

In my opinion, anyone in a leadership position, no matter how minor, needs to have at least one other person ready to step into that position at any time. It's a matter of responsibility and making sure that your role can be adequately filled in your absence.

Do you have a succession plan for your position?


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Want a Peek?

If you're interested in seeing our school room, visit my guest post School Room/Toy Room at Little Fun; Little Learning where I share pictures of our school room.


July 4th Baby

At least, that what the lab tech says. After a month's wait from the time I called at my pregnancy's 12th week to schedule my first appointment, I finally got in on Monday to have the mandatory (ridiculous, in my case) pregnancy test done. (Really, I'm sixteen weeks along, have already taken three home tests, have experienced the morning sickness and fatigue, and have already felt the baby move. Trust me, people; I'm pregnant! End of rant. *smile*) I was really nervous about having to go to a new doctor/office after having had the same doctor with all of my previous 4 pregnancies. I love(d) Dr. H!

Unfortunately, I did not have a good experience with our one and only local OB office. (There are nine OB doctors in our town, but they are all at the same clinic, which I don't like.) From the very first time I called to try to set up an appointment, they seemed uncaring and "by the book." Not one person ever inquired as to how far along I thought I was or asked any questions beyond what was necessary to schedule the appointment or fill out the necessary paperwork. That really bothered me.

When I arrived for my appointment, the receptionist checked me in, and I sat down to wait. Practically the only good thing about my visit was the fact that I did not have to wait long. After about five minutes, another lady called me and requested my insurance information. After another five minutes' wait, I was taken back to the lab where I gave them the needed specimen and was told I would have about a five minutes' wait.

Shortly, the lab tech called me in and informed me that the pregnancy test was positive. I'm sorry to say this is where I started feeling a bit annoyed.

"Um, yes. I'm sixteen weeks along."

"Oh, so you already know that. Do you want to know your due date?"

"Well, I figured it's July 5th or so, but go ahead."

After some calculations, I was informed that I was exactly sixteen weeks along and that my due date is July 4th. So far, I haven't learned anything new. I was given my paperwork and told to proceed to checkout where my next visit, the one where I consult with the OB nurse and the insurance counselor - still no doctor, will take place. Nothing is written on my paperwork stating that I am already 16 weeks along or that I am due July 4th.

The checkout lady took my paperwork, asked no questions, and proceeded to inform me that their next available opening was February 11. What?! That's four more weeks, and I will be twenty weeks along - half way there! I won't even see a doctor until the visit after the one being scheduled.

"Maybe I'll just skip the doctor and go straight to the hospital," I muttered under my breath, not caring whether or not the woman heard me. She didn't say anything, so I don't know if she did hear me being a brat. After receiving my appointment card, I walked out, muttering, "I hate this place!" under my breath.

I went out to the parking lot to call Mr. Incredible. I had felt like crying in the lab waiting room and did actually cry when I talked to Mr. Incredible. This office was nothing like what I was used to - the routines, attitudes, and entire atmosphere were completely different and not in a good way.

"I want to go home! I want my doctor!" I don't think I actually said the words aloud, but that is what I was thinking. I found it rather ironic that a pre-natal visit was what triggered my first major bout of homesickness.

Thankfully, Mr. Incredible understood how upset I was and suggested that I call a nearby (larger) town to see if I could get in there. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that this town offered not one but five OB clinics. I called two of them, and the second one not only was able to schedule me to come in on January 24, about three weeks earlier than my local clinic could accommodate, but also seemed to be friendly and much more like the office I knew and loved. I'll meet with the insurance counselor, have blood work done (wish I could skip that!), be examined by the midwife, have an ultrasound done (hopefully we'll be able to find out our baby's gender), and meet the doctor. I'm actually looking forward to this visit.

I'm sure I'll be telling you how it goes and if we find out whether we are having a boy or a girl. Frankly, I'm thinking boy this time. I was given boy clothes and recently won a baby boy diaper bag, not that those things mean anything in and of themselves, but ... *smile*

So what is your best or worst pregnancy visit story?

all images courtesy of Fotosearch Stock Photography


Saturday, January 12, 2008

A Wood Worker I Am Not

When we were shopping for Christmas gifts for our male relatives, we were looking at tool sets. One of them had the word festool on the box. I wondered what kind of tool that was. Now I know - it isn't a particular tool; it's a brand!

In my defense, I must say that it was not written like you would expect a brand name to be written. It just looked like part of the list of tools included in the set. Oh, well. That actually is about par for the course for me. *laughing*


A Minor Change Made a Great Difference

I am not one who likes to rearrange her home every week, every month, or every year. In fact, I very rarely rearrange anything. My motto seems to be in line with the title of a famous cookbook : "Fix It and Forget It!"

When we bought our new computer, however, I actually did suggest rearranging the room. Although the furniture arrangement did work, it felt awkward and had felt so for the entire 2 years we have lived in this house. Mr. Incredible concurred with my thoughts on the matter, and in short order the room was transformed from "okay" to "Wow! This works really well!"

No joke - a few relatively simple changes made an incredible difference. Of course, we nearly needed to buy bulk cable in order to be able to hook up our computer and telephone, but the end result was definitely worth that minor hassle.

Do you often rearrange your furniture? What was the most successful change you have made in your rooms' layouts?


Friday, January 11, 2008

Eco-Friendly Exercise Equipment

If you are one who actually uses your home gym equipment and is concerned with being a good steward of our natural resources, you might be interested in this story from Good Morning America. Sam Champion's Just One Thing for January 10, 2008 talks about a couple of exercise machines that are more environmentally friendly than most other machines. The more affordable of the items presented was the WaterRower, a rowing machine made from wood that also uses water to create the resistance needed to make the machine effective.

Me? I don't need much equipment. I have two legs and two feet that can walk, and if I would put them to good use on a regular basis, I would have a workout routine that could not be beat on the basis of eco-friendliness. *grin*


Truck Recommendations?

Once Mr. Incredible transitions to his new position at work, he will probably need to get a new truck. See, right now he gets to take a company vehicle home every night and never has to use his little old truck. However, all of that is about to change in less than a month.

The new position does not come with the benefit of a company vehicle, Mr. Incredible's truck has over 175,000 miles, and it has been acting odd for a while now. He really doesn't trust it and would like to buy a different truck. (Yes, it has to be a truck. It's mighty useful to have a truck when you need to haul something somewhere.) He hasn't shared with me many details regarding what he would like in a truck; the one thing he has mentioned is that he definitely wants a truck bed liner this time. The bed of his current truck is all scratched and rusted from hauling things around without sufficient protection, and he doesn't want that happening to another vehicle.

Do you have a particular type of truck that you recommend? Why?


Crazy Fun Night

We had friends over tonight. I served my favorite spaghetti and meatballs, which they liked. :) Our friends have four children; the younger two are around Pookie and Baby Bear's ages. The kids all had a blast playing together while the fathers played Playstation 2's NASCAR 2005 game and we mothers enjoyed talking about piano, blogs, blog design, and kids. I was really proud of all the kids. They played well together with only a couple of minor spats to referee.

Still, I'm glad I didn't leave scissors or box cutters within anyone's reach! While not bad children , by any means, all of the younger children, mine included, were just that - children, meaning they got into anything they could. I was happy to note, however, that they cleaned up their messes pretty well. It's nice to be around thoughtful children. We all hope to get together again as our schedules (hectic) permit.


Names Linked in Comments

Hey, guys, I'm just popping in really quickly to tell you that Blogger finally caved to pressure and put back the ability to have your name linked to your website rather than having to use Open ID or having it linked to your Blogger profile. Just click the button by Nickname. Once you do that, you will see a field underneath to fill in your URL. (*Edited for clarification: the Nickname field has been there for quite a while, but the URL underneath is a recent development.)

Whoo-hoo! A smart move by Blogger - definitely! (click photo for larger image)


Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Post Title/External Link Not Working *Resolved*

I just noticed that it seems my top post title and post links (like to RS Designs) are not working. Does anyone else see this?

Whew! That sure scared me! It turns out I had accidentally put my navigation bar coding as a class of the outer wrapper instead of putting in the header section like I was supposed to. That messed up the links for the first post. (I know, this is Greek to you. *smile*) I'm just happy it's fixed so I can show off my new design.

*Would you like a new design of your own? Browse RS Designs' Product and Pricing page and contact me for more information or when you are ready to order.*


Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Choosing Gifts for Males

When selecting thank you gifts for the special people who assisted us in our wedding, I think the groomsmen gift was one of the hardest thank you gifts to choose. I don't know about you, but I have always had and still have a hard time picking out gifts for the males in my life. Either we can't figure out what they would like, or what they like is too expensive to fit within our budget. Christmas is always a struggle, and sometimes we end up giving gift cards simply because we can't figure out anything better to give.

So, guys, what would be a good gift for $20 or less (our typical gift-giving budget)?

illustration courtesy of


Saturday, January 05, 2008

White Sale Bargains?

I am a cheapskate. I hate to spend money unnecessarily, and I hate to spend more than I have to. While I do not often use food coupons because I find that store brands are usually a better deal, I rarely purchase clothing, household items, or gifts at full price. My favorite sales are the ones where you receive an additional 50% or more off already reduced merchandise.

The purchase of our king size bed in January, 2005, necessitated our purchasing king size bedding, including pillows. I found good quality pillows on sale: buy 1, get 1 free. I was pleased with the price and the quality, and we have enjoyed the pillows. Now, they are not as firm and plump as is comfortable for us, and I am keeping my eyes open for the next good deal. I would also like to purchase a foam mattress topper (we called them egg crates in college) if I can find one at a good price.

I know that many stores have a White Sale in January. I found an interesting account of the history of white sales and common practices today. I'm still going to keep my eyes open for pillow and foam mattress topper bargains, but I'm a little more skeptical that what I will find will be as good of a deal as I think it is.

What would you spend for two good quality king size pillows?

image courtesy of Fotosearch Stock Photography


Caring for the Elderly

I know that more and more people are coming to the place in their lives where their parents or elderly relatives are in need of assistance. However, it can be hard to fulfill regular responsibilities and take on an additional task that requires even more energy and resources.

Please don't misunderstand me. I don't like nursing homes and think that they should be used as a last resort. I believe that children have a responsibility to care for their aging parents if at all possible. However, that does not mean that you have to shoulder the additional responsibility alone.

When it is my turn to care for my parents, I plan on searching for caregiving information and locating as many caregiving resources as possible. Knowing what options are available and where I can find help in my task will be a great assistance as I do my best to care for my loved ones.

For example, my mother cares for my father (it's too involved for me to explain about that situation) and only recently found out that there are adult day cares and people who will come into your home to care your loved one so that you can get a much-needed break. There are even assisted living facilities that will accept short-term residents. Mom made use of one such home when she and my little sister flew to TX for five days in November.

If you are caring for elderly loved ones, you might wish to search for caregivers resources. Perhaps you can find ways to fulfill your responsibility while still taking a break when you need one.


Friday, January 04, 2008

What Do You Do with Extra Money?

Whew! I thought things would slow down after RS Designs' header giveaway contest ended, but I forgot that we would still have to customize and install the designs. In addition to that, several winners and participants have expressed an interest in purchasing our services. Wonderful news!

All of our clients thus far have been extremely pleased with our designs and with our customer service, and we are slowly but surely gaining name recognition and are building an excellent reputation - goals that Linda and I have been working toward for some time now. Increased exposure leads to more business, of course, and we are happy to be receiving orders. RS Designs is, after all, a business, and the purpose of a business is to make money for its owner and her employees. *smile*

Since we are making more money (not a great sum yet, by any means, but more than before), I'd like to ask you what you do with "extra" money. Mr. Incredible's income is sufficient for our needs, and I don't want to squander the additional income that RS Designs generates. Here are the ideas I am considering for the future:

  • building our emergency fund
  • paying off our van early
  • fully funding our "freedom account"
  • putting money into a CD or money market account
  • financial investment
  • land investment

What do you do with income in excess of your needs?


Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Favorite Haunts

This is my blogroll. If you would like to be added, please contact me.

Favorite Haunts

Blog Roll
I Recommend...