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Showing posts from April, 2013

2nd Biggest Frugal Tip EVER!!!

Just over a year ago I did a post called Biggest Frugal Tip Ever and so far it has been my most popular one yet.  Which got me to thinking...what would be my 2nd Biggest Frugal Tip?

Being frugal usually means I'm looking to spend less, save more, re-create and re-purpose things... I'm trying to stretch the dollar and other resources and make do with less - that sort of thing.  And I thought of certain recipes I do and how I go meatless often and extend ground beef with this and that and use cloth diapers and such.  And how I budget for groceries and make it work somehow and stick to it and sometimes have enough to splurge on things like juice on occasion.

And suddenly it dawned on me.  My SECOND biggest frugal tip ever.  We learned that the first biggest frugal tip is really summed up in one word: contentment.  With a foundation of contentment and rejoicing in the providence of God for all that I need I am then able to go on to implement the next step of frugality.

Scroll do…

How I told Sam about #5

I was just reading someone else's blog about how they found out they were pregnant.  And since I've had five experiences of this sort I thought I should make a record of them.

So it was January of 2011.  Andrew was just shy of 2 years old and we were feeling the exhaustion of being parents of 4.  Sam and I were just beginning to discuss if we were a) believers in birth control b) willing to act on that belief c) ready to act immediately and declare ourselves through with childbearing.  We were unsettled on all three.  But we prayed...and discussed.

Did we want another baby?

Well, I secretly did.  But I couldn't say that directly.  I really wanted another girl.  I'd look at other families and if there were just two kids - two girls, I'd think, 'She has something I don't have!'  Is that coveting?  I didn't feel it was.  It was a matter of laying my heart bare before God and letting Him know my longing and trusting Him with that.

I do know that you c…

Steel Cut Oats for Breakfast [recipe]

This morning as part of our discussion on nutrition I showed Priscilla 4 forms of oats: a whole oat grain (represented by a barley grain since I didn't have a whole oat laying around), steel cut oats, old fashioned rolled oats and quick oats.  I demonstrated how the body breaks these down and the larger the particle the slower the process and the less impact it will have on energy surges and crashes (sugar highs and lows).  I showed how the fat grain of a whole oat takes longer to reach the middle and completely break down into sugar/starch than the quick oat - or even if it were ground to a pulp as oat flour.  We talked about fiber, fat and protein as beneficial to maintaining steady blood sugar levels.  Neither of us is diabetic, but it runs in the family so I figured an introduction to the subject matter was warranted.  In order to steady blood sugar levels I said, 'Add some fat, fiber and protein.'  So we made steel cut oats for breakfast.  With butter-sauteed pecans …

I take that back...about guilt...

Here I am eating humble pie.  If only it would truly make me humble.

So much for not having Mommy-guilt.

I spoke too soon.

Because at supper tonight Timothy was reluctant to eat his refried beans and cilantro rice.  Never mind the leftover salmon crepes.  All he wanted was applesauce and PB&J, which clearly was not on the menu.

So then I urged him to eat just one bite.  He would have none of it.  Then the crisis comes.  Is this a battle I want to wage?  Do I really care if he eats the beans and rice?  Is it worth it?  Am I a bad Mom if I back off?

The debate goes on in my head: should I make an issue of this?  My instinct says NO.  I wouldn't want to be forced to eat when I don't want to, nor would I want to be forced to eat something I don't particularly care for.  But I am not a child and have developed a wide range of appetites for varied consumables.  Don't I want my kid to be as versatile in epicurean delights as my highly developed self?!  At this point in …

Mommy Guilt...or Not

I hear about this concept of Mommy guilt.  Here's a guilty confession for you:  I rarely - and I mean very RARELY ever feel guilt.  Now that I have alienated my audience thoroughly, let me clarify.

When I feel guilt - a healthy, 'I should do better, be better, change in this area...' type of guilt - I feel great joy and hope abounds in my soul.  I thank the Lord that I am alive and well and that there is some sense within me of a common bond with all mankind.  It happens so rarely that I sometimes wonder if I shouldn't feel more of it.  But I so very much want any guilt I feel to be rooted in a true sense of God's ideal for me as His child.  Don't get me wrong - there is probably so much more guilt I should feel (relatives: no need to chime in here with all the things you'd like me to feel guilty for!)  I just rejoice when God reveals to me clearly how He wants me to change and gives me hope and courage to take steps in the right direction.

So I hear about…

Day to Day in our Family

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Here's a letter I just wrote to my parents in Hong Kong.  I try to keep them updated on stuff since whenever I get on the phone with them I draw a blank and kids pester me and I can't think straight.  This is a snapshot of our kids' world these days...

(I found a wooden toy-workbench on the side of the road and cleaned it up for a play kitchen for Hannah and Andrew)


Hi Mom and Dad,

I'll write this quick before priscilla needs it for her math and history.  
Yesterday we had a nice turkey dinner with Stoddards.  They just got a chihuahua puppy -teacup size - for free off of Craigslist.  The kids had so much fun with it!  His name is Santo.  The cat isn't thrilled with him.
They had a lot of fun out in their yard which backs up to the train tracks - don't worry - it is completely fenced.  Every train that went by they would wave at and the driver would honk.  
Steven's foot is healing - he doesn't need a wheelchair anymore.  Gene (the dad) makes little croch…