Friday, October 31, 2008

Just a Reminder....

Just a have until midnight tonight to enter for the Build a Bear gift card! I will be announcing the winner in the morning and sending that person an e-mail.
Thanks so much!!


Thursday, October 30, 2008

My Submissive Examples

I've really been thinking and praying. Knowing that God has placed on my heart to share about the subject of being a submissive wife, I want to handle it properly. I in no way want to offend, but I do want to present, what I feel, is God's calling for the wife.

As a little girl, I witnessed three very important women in my life be submissive: my mom and my grandmothers.

These women kept house, raised their children, did what their husbands asked--even if they didn't agree to it or have time and they did it without complaining.
I wasn't raised in a Christian home, so I didn't know the Biblical mandate for being a submissive wife. But I did have great examples.

My paternal grandmother, Maw, raised 12 children. She cooked every meal, did the laundry, cleaned house on top of all the "other" chores: taking care of the chickens, hogs, name it. Yes, she had enough kids that she had plenty of help and let me say that my Paw did his fair share too. When you have 12 children, it takes everybody doing their part! Paw was good to her. He loved and respected her and took care of her as long as he lived. When she got cancer, he stayed home with the kids....6 or 7 were still at home..while she flew to Maryland for treatment. When she came home, he babied her so much. So, my Paw was not the type of man to lord over a woman. Maw made sure that her husband had hot meals when he came home from work. She made sure he had clean clothes to go to work in and that they were mended and maintained. She baked his favorite pies and heated his water for his bath. Paw was a coal miner and in those days, heating water for a bath was a job in and of itself! She never sat down until she saw that his needs and wants were met.

My maternal grandmother, Mommaw, raised 3 children. Like my Maw, she cooked and cleaned, did laundry and those "other" chores without complaining. Poppaw and Mommaw lived near the railroad tracks and so they routinely got "hobo's" knocking on their door needing a meal. She never complained that she'd just cleaned the kitchen or that she was tired; if there were no leftovers, you would find her cooking another meal to feed this man while Poppaw sat on the back porch and talked with him. Like Paw, Poppaw doted on Mommaw. He would drive her to church, even though he himself didn't go, and he would sit in the car while she was inside. He would drive her to town and if they could afford it, would buy her a meal at the diner while they were there. He was devastated when she died.

Then there is my mom. She's been working since I was 5 years old and she's been the model of a submissive wife. Like my grandmothers, she has been strength for my dad. She takes care of him and does whatever he asks. Even now, holding down two jobs, she makes Daddy a priority. Sometimes I shake my head in awe of her.

So I guess taking care of my man comes naturally to me. I've been blessed to be a stay at home mom for almost 17 years. Philip works so hard for our family and I respect and appreciate that so much. It's natural for me to have a cold glass of water or tea and supper waiting on him when he gets home from work. It's natural to keep our house clean so he can freely invite people over. It's natural to make sure his uniforms are clean and well kept. It's natural to want to do those things for him.

We've been married almost 25 years and our marriage is stronger now than it's ever been. Our love is deeper and truer and we completely respect and trust each other. He is, indeed, my best friend. He treats me like I'm the best thing that's ever happened to him and that just makes me want to do more for him.
I believe the most important thing that all of these relationships have in common is the fact that the man was and is the head of the household. And according to Ephesians 5:23, that's the way God intended it to be..."For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the Head of His body, the church; He gave His life to be her Savior." NLT

Now that I'm a Christian, it is even more important to me to be the wife that God wants me to be. "These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children, to live wisely and be pure, to take care of their homes, to do good, and to be submissive to their husbands. Then they will not bring shame on the Word of God." Titus 2: 4-5 NLT

In the next few posts, I'd like to break these verses down and share what they mean to me.
Until then,


An HP Give-a-Way!

I'm not aware of any HP Photosmart Express stations in my area, but I have used stations similar to this and love them! They are very convenient, and in my busy world, I'm all about convenience!

While I've never had the opportunity to use a HP Photosmart Express station, I have used HP products and have been very satisfied. I have no doubt that the same great quality I've experienced from other HP products, remains true for these Photosmart stations.

If you have one of these in your area, I would encourage you to check them out and in order to help you along in that process...

I've got another great Give-a-Way going on!!!

I have 4 gift cards to give away to 4 blessed readers! Each card is for 10 free HP prints at one of the HP Photosmart Express stations.

You have until November 14 to enter this give-a-way. Just leave me a comment along with your e-mail address so I can get in touch with you should you win!
I look forward to hearing from each of you!!


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Need Your E-Mail Addresses

I am so eager to give away the $10 gift card for Build a Bear!

Please remember to leave your e-mail address when you comment so I will have a way to reach you if you win.

Also, for those who have already commented but didn't leave their e-mail, please zap me another comment with your address so I can contact you if your the winner.

Thanks bunches!!


Taco Bell Freebie

Sorry I'm getting this out quite last minute but word is out that Taco Bell is offering a free taco to every customer between 2 and 6 pm today. Can't beat a free supper!!

As with any offer, you may want to call your local store and see if they are participating in that promotion.


My To-Do List

God has been dealing with me greatly on the approach I have with my daily devotions. I don't know about you, but too often I let my busy day get in the know, I have a to-do list and I'm ashamed to admit, but many times, my quiet time gets put on my to-do list.

Got Philip's coffee made....check
Load of laundry in the wash....check
Devotions done....check
Dishwasher unloaded.....check

You get the picture, and I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one that falls prey to that.

I've been experiencing a lot of chaos and frustrating moments (sometimes days) in my life lately, and like any "good child", I went running to Daddy crying, "What's wrong?? Why does everything seem to be falling apart! Everything is so crazy and out of control!" And like a good Father, He answers. He lets me gently know that I've not been spending real time with Him, that all I'm really doing is checking Him off my to-do list.

In order to try to understand my Father/child relationship with God better, I find myself comparing it to the relationship I have with my own children. Beth, our oldest, is a Senior in high school, working part time, has a steady boyfriend and is incredibly active in our church drama team. Her free time is extremely limited at best. In the midst of her busy lifestyle, I have to call a family night, or let her know that we haven't seen too much of her lately...remind her we miss her and would like to spend some time with her. So, she hangs out with us, all the while texting or reading or playing with her DS. She's checked us off her to-do list. She's not being mean or trying to hurt our feelings, she's just doing what we want...maybe trying to clear her conscience.

I think that's what I do with God from time to time..clear my conscience. Thankfully the Holy Spirit has called me down on that one and is trying to keep me focused on spending real time with my Father.

So I've started a journal. I've kept a prayer journal for a couple of years. If you don't do that, I'd like to encourage you to start. It's amazing to sit back and read over them and see the way God has worked and answered prayers in my life and in the lives of those I've prayed for. I've started another journal though and what I do in this one is write down what the Spirit is saying to me in the Scripture I've just read. Writing my thoughts down, first of all, keeps me accountable. If I get busy with the world and miss a few days spending time with my Father, the date on the previous page reminds me that I'm putting too much of the world first. It also causes me to really stop and think about what I've just read. How does it apply to my life? What is the Holy Spirit saying to me?

If, like me, you've put your quiet time on your to-do list, how about taking an eraser and removing it. Put it, first thing, on your Want to Do list. Trust me, you won't be dissapointed.


Monday, October 27, 2008

My First Give-a-Way!!!

I am SO excited to be able to share with you what an awesome gift I got to preview. What makes this more exciting for me, is that in getting to preview this gift, I get to give away something to my readers!!

I was blessed to get to preview a Build a Bear!! I opened my box and squealed (yes, at 44 years old it's still okay to squeal over a stuffed animal!!) at the cutest, cuddliest Koala bear I'd ever seen! This bear was gray and white with the cutest black nose and eyes! He was wearing a Build a Bear t-shirt and I gave him an immediate hug!! My son, who by the way has his first girlfriend, begged me to let him have it for his girlfriend and I looked him square in the eyes and said, "NO!" (Sorry Ashley....) He came with a birth certificate which allows me to register him (I named him Kirby by the way) in Build a Bearville and there you can play neat games and lots of fun stuff.

Any of you that have read my blog know that I try to give ideas and encouragment on how to live a simpler, more frugal lifestyle and how to be the wife Christ has called us to be and so, being wise with our spending is one of the things I focus on. Here's where my give-a-way comes in.....

I have a $10 gift card for Build a Bear that one of my readers will get to spend!!! (Told you I'm excited!!) And can buy a Build a Bear for $10!!! I got on their website at and found several of the cutest animals for $10 and with Christmas just around the corner...(see where this is going??) can get a great Christmas gift for that special little (or 40something) someone in your life!!!

How can you get this gift card?? Just leave me a comment with your e-mail address so that I can notify you if you're the winner.

I will close this give-a-way on Friday, October 31 and announce the winner on November 1st.

Kirby and I will be anxiously waiting on you!!!


Saturday, October 25, 2008

Let's Talk Laundry Detergent

Do you suffer from allergies? Do you have a new baby in your home? Do you have sensitive skin? If so, you will be very pleased with all free clear laundry detergent.

I was able to sample this product and found it to perform just as good as every other all product.

I, personally, am a big fan of all laundry detergent. I've found it to suds well (which I love) and it is very gentle on our clothes and skin.

all free clear is very affordable, and in today's economy that's a big plus!

I would encourage you to give this a try and decide for yourself.

You can also check it out at

Attention New Moms!!

If you are a new mom, mom to be, mom of toddlers or just hope to be a mom someday, you should head on over to

This is an awesome site that offers a chance to blog or upload videos about your experiences as a new mom and to view those of other moms.

Even though I have teenagers now, this would have been great when I was a young mom.

You can learn different exercises to help you during your pregnancy and exercises for baby too!

You can share what you've learned as a mom and glean from other moms who've "already been there".

They offer several products that are sure to help you on this journey called Mommyhood.

To me, this is a winning site full of a wealth of valuable information and one that just can't be passed up!!

It's Free!! It's Free!!

I am SO excited!!!

Starting next week I have some great freebies to offer to some of my readers!! This is my first chance to give away something through my blog and I am so happy to have this opportunity!!

Keep checking back so you won't miss an opportunity to win!!!


Friday, October 24, 2008

Being a Submissive Wife

The more time passes and the older I get, I see a growing trend in women that is very discouraging to me. The more women I talk to, listen to and just observe, make me more aware of this trend. It's a trend that is continually moving farther and farther away from the way God ordained a marriage and family.

God created woman to be a help-meet for man. She was not created to be a leader in the family, but to help the one who was created to lead. She was not created to lord over man either. She was not created to bark orders or to demand her way. She was not created to whine and complain or to withold herself from her husband in order to "get her way".

In order for the woman, the wife, to Biblically fulfill her role..the role God Himself ordained for her..she must be..dare I say it.....submissive.

Now, please let me clarify to anyone reading that while over the next several weeks we are going to be talking about the role of a submissive wife, I do not intend to take Scripture out of context. A submissive wife is not to be lorded over, demeaned by or abused in any way by her husband. We will find in Scripture where the husband is told to love and cherish his wife "with the same love that Christ showed the church". (Ephesians 5:25) We'd do well to remember that Christ gave His life for the church.

I admit that I have tried many times to talk to different women over the years about being submissive and I'm usually met with the same defense, "NO man is going to tell me what to do!" These same women wonder what the problems are in their marriage.

I will also admit that my husband, bless him, married a very headstrong, independent, don't need anybody, non-Christian almost 25 years ago. During that time his wife has gotten saved (almost 17 years now!) and God has had to whip her repeatedly (God still has a very headstrong daughter..) My husband's wife has also had to learn submission. I wish I could tell you that it comes easily to doesn't. I wish I could tell you that when Jesus saved me, He gave me the gift of submission..He didn't. But He did give me the Holy Spirit, Who is quick to let me know when I'm overstepping my God ordained boundaries.

I do hope you follow along as we travel together down this road to a better understanding of being the submissive wife that God has called us to be. I fully believe that if we study and put into practice what God shares with us, we will see a definite difference in the marriages and families we've been blessed with....


1 Corinthians 13 for Mothers

I'm really not sure where I got this from. I think someone sent this to me in an e-mail. If you're the author, please let me know and I'll be more than happy to attach your name to it!

I just thought it was very good, very wise and something to I very much wanted to share.

1 Corinthians 13 for Mothers

If I live in a house of spotless beauty with everything in its place,but have not love,I am a housekeeper, not a homemaker.

If I have time for waxing, polishing, and decorative achievements,but have not love,my children learn cleanliness, not godliness.

If I scream at my children for every infraction,and fault them for every mess they make,but have not love,my children become people-pleasers, not obedient children.

Love leaves the dust in search of a child's laugh.Love smiles at the tiny fingerprints on a newly cleaned window.Love wipes away the tears before it wipes up the spilled milk.Love picks up the child before it picks up the toys.

Love accepts the fact that I am the ever-present "mommy,"the taxi-driver to every childhood event,the counselor when my children fail or are hurt.

Love crawls with the baby, walks with the toddler, and runs with the child,then stands aside to let the youth walk into adulthood.

Before I became a mother I took glory in my house of perfection.Now I glory in God's perfection of my child.

All the projections I had for my house and my childrenhave faded away into insignificance,And what remain are the memories of my kids.

Now there abides in my home scratches on most of the furniture,dishes with missing place settings,and bedroom walls full of stickers, posters and markings,But the greatest of all is the Love that permeates my relationships with my children.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Cold Weather, Crockpots and Chili!

I was listening to the weather this morning as my husband was getting ready for work and guess what?? It's going to get cold in the next few days!! I am so excited!!!

No, I'm not crazy...although I have been accused of that from time to time, but I find myself eager for the days of blankets, hot chocolate, a fire and chili in the crockpot.

I prefer winter as long as I don't have to go outside, but since that's not a reality, then fall is my favorite time of year. The leaves are changing color and falling to the ground, the wind is blowing and there is a crispness to the air. It gets dark much earlier in the evening and I love it because it forces me to come inside and slow with my family. Yes..fall is the best time of the year to me.

I'd love to share my chili recipe with you. It is so easy and I love to use my crockpot so I can enjoy the smells all day long.

We'll label this....

Deb's Chili

1lb. ground turkey
5 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes
4 cups pinto beans
1 small diced onion
1 diced jalapeno pepper
Chili powder to taste
Garlic powder
Seasoned salt
Mrs. Dash Southwester Blend to taste

I brown my ground turkey in a little canola oil and season with the garlic powder, seasoned salt and Mrs. Dash. While the turkey is browning I open my tomatoes and put them in the crockpot. (I have a 6 quart crock). Add the diced onion and jalapeno. Add the pinto beans. (I usually cook a big pot of beans and we have a meal then I freeze the rest in sandwich zip bags to use later for chili.) If you don't have any frozen, then use 2 cans of pinto beans. When the turkey is done add it. I then usually add a couple of cans of water to my chili. Add to your family's taste and liking. Set that crockpot on low and your done. I usually let mine crock for 6-7 hours.
When it's time to eat, we usually add cheese, sour cream and corn chips to our chili and enjoy!

This not only goes a long way, but it's extremely cheap to make.

Ground Turkey: $1.19 @ Sav A Lot
Beans: ¢99 @ Sav A Lot (remember I get a 1lb bag and cook them, so ¢99 is for many meals)
Tomatoes:¢49 @ Sav A Lot (I get mine for ¢39 at our Bent-N-Dent)
Onion, pepper and seasonings at a fraction

So for less than $5 you have enough chili for at least 2 meals, depending on the size of your family. Not bad in today's world!!

Let me hear from you. What's your favorite season and why? What's your favorite winter recipe?


Christmas Buying for Nieces and Nephews

Between my husband and I, we have 5 nephews and 3 nieces. No matter what, we always get a gift for each of them at Christmas. On their birthdays we usually get them a $5 gift card to a local store or a fast food place they really enjoy. But, at Christmas, no gift cards. Who doesn't just love ripping into that wrapping paper and finding the surprise underneath?? ( I know I do and I'm 44!!)

Our nieces and nephews range in age from 13 all the way down to 17 months.

I usually begin right after Christmas, shopping for next Christmas. I try to do this with everyone on my list, but especially the nieces and nephews. You can find some really great toys and electronics for a minimal amount.

As of this posting, I have purchased all of the gifts except for 2 of my nephews so I'm quite pleased. It's really not that hard. I just try to think about the child and what their likes and dislikes are and go from there. My main goal is to pick out something specific for that child and I always start at the clearance racks/shelves. Seldom have I ever paid full price for any gift I've bought.

The awesome thing about our nieces and nephews is that they love whatever they get. That is a great reflection on their wonderful parents!

If there is anything I hope you get out of the postings about Christmas for your extended family is:

1. Plan.
2. Begin early (the day after Christmas is awesome!)
3. Keep a list. As you get a gift for that person, write down what it is and then check it off.
4. Keep an eagle eye on those clearance racks/shelves.
5. Think outside the box. Unique gifts are the best!!

I pray that this Christmas season will find you done with your gift buying soon so that you can enjoy the season with your family. Relax, enjoy and focus on Jesus Christ....the best Gift of all.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Thanks So Much!!!

I am celebrating!!!

Ever since I started blogging (only about 6 weeks now) I've been looking at my site meter anticipating the day it clicked over the number 100 and it finally happened!!! I am really excited about that and just want to say thanks to everybody who's taken even a minute to check out my site. You cannot imagine what that means to me.

I'd also love to hear from you. Please leave comments so that I can get to know you as well.
Thanks for making my day!!


Monday, October 20, 2008

Jar Recipes

For those who read the previous post, here are a few recipes for the jar mixes we give away:

Hot Chocolate Mix

4 cups instant nonfat dry milk
2 cups sugar
1 cup non-dairy creamer
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa

Measure all of the ingredients into a dry clean bowl. use a whisk to stir everything together. Mash any clumps with a fork. When it is mixed well, put into jars.

This is the note we attach to the outside of the jars:

Put 1/3 cup of mix in a mug. Add boiling water. Stir and enjoy!!

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 1/2 cups sugar

In a large bowl, combine the ingredients and mix well. Put this into a jar.
On the attached note write:

1 cup shortening or butter
2 eggs
1 jar Snickerdoodle mix
2 Tbsp. Sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400º. In a large bowl, ream the butter with amixer until light. Add the eggs and beat on low until the mixture is smooth. Add the Snickerdoodle Mix and continue to beat on low until the dough begins to form. Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Shape the dough into quarter sized balls and roll in the cinnamon-sugar blend. Arrange on ungreased baking sheets 2 inches apart and bake for 8-10 minutes or until light brown. Cool on wire racks. Makes app 5 dozen cookies.
Sand Castle Brownies

1/3 cup chopped nuts
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup baking cocoa
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

In a jar, layer all of the ingredients, packing well.
On the attached note write:

1 jar brownie mix
2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla

In a bowl, combine eggs, oil, vanilla and brownie mix, mixing well. Spread into a greased 8 inch square baking pan. Bake at 350º for 30 miinutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

Hope these help!!

Christmas Gifts for Siblings

Today I want to address Christmas gifts for our married and single brothers and sisters.

All of our siblings live on their own and each lead a very different lifestyle.
Philip has 1 sister and 1 brother who are married. He has 1 sister and 1 brother that are single as do I. Usually their gifts are something from the kitchen or has a theme to them and is able to be enjoyed by the married couple as well as the single sibling alike.

One year we put together Cookies in a Jar, bought an oven mitt from the dollar store and gave those as gifts. We've also done hot chocolate in a jar, added a mug (or two) and had a gift for under $3. I normally save up mayonaise jars throughout the year to put the ingredients in or I can buy jars at our thrift store for just a few cents each.

Once we went to our local video store and bought each family a $5 giftcard. We then bought microwave popcorn and gave them a "movie night".

Then one time I found sandwich toasters on clearance for $2 each in an after Christmas sale. These were normally $10 each. I bought 7 of these, 5 to give away, 1 for our family and 1 for our daughter's hope chest.

With just a little planning, I usually manage to get gifts for our siblings for $20 or less, total.

We try very hard to live by the rule that it's not the amount you spend, but the thought that goes into each gift you give. Too many times people give to impress. Why? Why would you put unecessary strain on your family and on your budget at a time of year when our focus is especially suppose to be on the awesome Gift God gave us?

I know how hard it is to fight the urge to impress. I consistently worry that what we've given may seem cheap or cheesy to others; but I know in my heart that each gift given was well thought out for that family member.

I hope this helps to spark ideas in you for gifts for your extended family. Look around, check out those bargain bins and clearance may just be pleasantly surprised at what you find!


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Christmas Gifts for Mom and Dad

Getting back to Christmas gifts...

For our parents, we normally do purchase gifts. Why? Simply because, more often than not, they don't spend on themselves even though they have no children living at home now.

Usually we get the moms something they "are in to".
For Philip's mom, that could be just about anything. My mother-in-law has a wide variety of things she just loves and she's a very crafty person. We've gotten her everything from yarn to rose bushes to decorative rocks!! She's always been thrilled and put it to quick use.

My mom won't buy herself anything. She really loves pretty things for her house though. We've gotten her clothes to what-nots to magazine subscriptions.

Philip's stepdad retired from John Deere and so I start early each year looking for some kind of unique John Deere "stuff". Amazingly, it is very easy to find!

My dad is a man who like oddities. The wierder (?) it is, the better he likes it. We've gotten him everything from a can crusher to a basket of pickled vegetables to different kinds of hot sauces.

Most of the time, we spend less than $10 for each parent, which is a grand total of only $40. If I'm patient, I can find many things on clearance or at dollar stores which stretches those dollars even farther.

My advice on buying gifts for your parents, whether it's for Christmas or some other holiday, is just to be observant. Now that I'm a parent myself, I fully understand that I don't want my children to go out and spend their hard earned money on me. I am just as happy with a small gift, whether purchased or handmade, that they put some thought and love into.

Next time I'll discuss gifts for our married and single brothers and sisters.


Monday, October 13, 2008

Can I Have Just a Moment?

Can anyone explain something to me?

How can you justify grounding a kid from church? What does that possibly accomplish??

Yes, I'm venting here, but I'm also honestly trying to understand how a parent can justify doing this. Maybe I should explain..

We go to a church where several of the teens come on their own...of their own free will...because they've met Jesus and their parents haven't. I think this speaks volumes for these kids and I am incredibly proud of them.

I fully understand that an unsaved person doesn't understand the desire..the need to fellowship with like-minded people. To be around other Christians and under the preaching of God's Word. I realize they don't understand how important that is to our very soul. But, I also can't grasp the concept of grounding a child from church.

I was raised in a home where the parents didn't go to church. Let me say that my homelife best, but my parents never grounded me from church. I was like any other teen, getting in trouble for who knows what and like any other teen, I had to pay the consequences. But again, never did they take church away from me.

But for yet another teen at our church, this happened again yesterday.
Who knows why, but another one of our teens was told, "Your grounded from church!". Come on, you can take away so much from today's teens, cell phones, video games, tv, hanging out with friends. You can give them more chores, an earlier bedtime. Why take away something that encourages them in their relationship with God?

I'm anxious to hear from anyone who can explain this to me.

One thing I know for sure, I would dread the day that I would have to stand before the Father and answer the question, "Why did you keep your child from the one place where they could hear My Word, and draw closer to Me?"

Friday, October 10, 2008

Just Thanking God!!!

Just wanted to share our praise to God!!!

Beth had her yearly visit with her cardiologist today. I always pray and ask God for a good report and He's always been faithful, but I confess that little seed of doubt filters through and I try to brace for the worst.

She was released today!!! After so many years of tests and machines and worry ( I know, I know...Why pray when you can worry, right??) and trying to wake her up when she passes out and, finally, he released her today! The news we had been waiting for!

She hasn't passed out in almost 2 years and except for random heart palpitations, she's had the best year in quite some time.

He ran his tests, asked a bunch of questions and deemed her in good shape and told her to call if she had any problems at all.

What a true blessing for our family and the best answer to a prayer that's been prayed for a long time.

"Thank you Father for being so faithful to this family. Forgive me when I doubt and remind me when I begin to worry that You are faithful in all things. You are faithful even when I am not. I know that I am so undeserving of Your love and blessings, but I am eternally grateful that You are in control of all things."

Don't Stop Now!!

It's actually working!!

I heard on the news this morning that due to decrease demand, oil prices are below $85 a barrel..the lowest in over a year! That, in turn, makes lower prices at the gas pump.

I'm sure most people, like us, who are living on one income, trying to be better stewards of the money God has provided for us, wanting to live a more simple, content lifestyle, have been driving less and combining trips.

For our family, we chose this to do this because we wanted to spend wiser and quite honestly, we are frustrated with people who think a 7 figure income puts them on the brink of poverty. Apparently, more people have thought this way than I'm aware of.

Let me encourage you to keep doing what you're doing! Maybe become even more aware of those trips and find more ways to cut back on needing to drive that car. If we go back to our old, bad habits..prices will be back up before we can blink an eye.

Be honest, have you really missed not going as much? Hasn't it been good to just stay at home, catch up on those things you've been putting off, enjoying more one on one time with your family? For us, there just hasn't been a down side.

Share with me. How have you cut back on driving and what's your thoughts on the decrease demand??

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Try Measuring Challenge!!

It seems as if every store I walk into, the prices have gone up. My grocery list is pretty much the same every two weeks, so I've always been very good at determining, within just a few dollars, how much I should spend. I've noticed that those numbers have increased by at least $5-$10 each trip.

As with most people, I have the most room to make adjustments in my spending with our food/household needs spending.

I was thinking today as I was deciding what I wanted to make for supper that if I would just take the time to measure everything I could probably actually make my groceries go farther and save money too!

I am notorious for just "dumping". If a recipe calls for a half cup of cheese, I just dump what I think is a half cup. Of course most of the time I think, "Oh we just love cheese!! I'll add a little more. It won't hurt". But all of those little mores add up and before I know it, the cheese bag is empty and I'm pulling another one out of the freezer.

I challenge myself and you to try measuring everything for one month and then let's compare notes.

Did we save any money???

Thinking About Christmas

It is already October 9th and truly before we know it, the Christmas season will be upon us.

With our economy today, this can be a very stressful time for all of us. In our society, we've been programmed to want more, "need" more, bigger, better...I am as guilty of that as anyone.

I must also add though, the more I try to live a more simple, frugal life, I have observed how materialistic we have become. It seems to me as if magazine advertisements and tv commercials have come to life in bigger and bolder ways to get our attention. It seems as if displays in the stores are everywhere promoting the newest this or the improved that.

I've found myself looking at these ads and displays and asking myself, "What's wrong with the one I have?" Now let me tell you, that is music to my husband's ears. He is definitely the saver in our family. Simple, frugal living is something I've had to go back to. My growing up years were mostly lean. Mom and Dad didn't have a lot of money and we raised most of what we ate.The early years of my marriage were also lean, buying only what was necessary. As time has marched on though, and my husband's income increased, I found myself falling victim to the "bigger, better" mentality. Thankfully though, God took the scales from my eyes and showed me how materialistic and worldly I had become.

As a Christian, I also find myself walking around in disbelief at how little Christ actually has to do with Christmas in our world. We spend so much time shopping for people and trying to find that perfect gift. We spend so much time planning Christmas parties and Christmas dinner. We spend so much time running out and buying those last minute gifts because so-and-so bought me something. We, too, as Christians, have fallen victim to pushing Christ to the side. I include myself in that.

So, as the middle of October approaches, if you find the stress levels starting to build, take a deep breath, make yourself a cup of hot chocolate, sit down with a pencil and paper and begin a list.

In our family we, of course, get gifts for each other and our teens. But this is how it goes in our extended family:
2 Grandmas
2 Grandpas
2 Married Aunts and Uncles
3 Single Aunts and Uncles
7 Nieces and Nephews

We then have Sunday School teachers, the mail carrier, the paper delievery, our garbage men..and like everyone else, those that pop up last minute.

Over the next few days, I'm going to address each group and share how we have chosen to gift these people. I am going to share things we have done in the past that will hopefully help you now and also how to plan in the future to help you next year.

How about leaving me a comment on what your family does. I'd love to hear how your family handles gift giving!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Happy Birthday Dear Hubby!!

Today is my wonderful hubby's birthday. He is finally as old as I am!! See, I am 2 months and 1 day older than him, so from August 7th to October 8th he lovingly (?) teases me about being "so much older" than he is. But on this day I get to remind him that he is finally as "old as me".

Let me share with you that I have an awesome husband. He has been my best friend for 25 years now. He knows me inside and out and loves me just as I am. He never judges me and never complains (honestly). He puts up with my mood swings (I'm menopausal) and my crying jags, my name it..and just keeps loving me.

He is my fix it man. Whatever is broken, be it my washing machine, the eyes on my stove, the tv, or my heart, he knows just how to fix it.

He never criticizes or belittles me. As a matter of fact, he is my strongest supporter, my greatest encourager.

He is an incredibly patient man...I guess it's a requirement since he is my husband...

He is a strong Christian, a wonderful Daddy, a great son and son-in-law. He works an incredibly stressful job just to provide a good income so I am blessed to stay home with our children. He asks so little in return.

So....Happy Birthday Philip. I hope you know how much I love you and how I could never imagine my life without you.