Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Works for Me: Ironing Just Got Easier

Listen to this.

I figured out a way to make ironing my husbands' dress shirts (and anything else in the ironing pile) a breeze, even with 2 little boys around.

Because, believe me, I have no desire to iron during their nap times. Or at night when my husband is home. Our time together is limited enough as it is, without some huge ironing board standing between us.

So a month or so ago, I decided to try ironing outside. Yes, outside. :) Is that insane, or what? But hear me out, because I LOVE this solution.

I take everything out into the garage, open both garage doors, and let the boys play in the driveway and ride bikes back and forth on the sidewalk. They LOVE to play outside and are always begging to go out. But how am I going to get anything done if we just play outside all day? Now all the guilt is gone...I'm not ignoring the boys by ironing, and they get to play outside too!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Do you have too much education?

A friend of mine asked me recently, "Do you ever feel like you have too much education to be a stay at home mom?"

She wasn't asking because she felt this way, but she's been hearing that idea from her university professors a lot recently. Since she's made it pretty clear that when she has children, she wants to stay at home with them, a lot of people have been asking her why she ever bothers to go to school.

I have to admit, having higher education and the possibility of getting a great job make the choice to stay home just a little tougher. There is definitely more of a pull towards the workplace when you are qualified to be there. But like I told my friend, I am totally willing to lay down my career to raise my children. After all, why should the workplace be more deserving of educated people than our own children? Being a mommy is not a job for a mindless dummy!

Until recently I have always picked up occasional shifts at the hospital, and we still are of the mindset that part time work isn't necessarily a bad thing. But we have always wanted for me to be consistently there for our children, for their normal day to day routine to be centered around home and our family. They are only young once, and the time is flying by so quickly. And there are so many things yet to teach them!

In this excerpt entitled, "But I Have a Graduate Degree," Elizabeth Elliott writes,
"A woman was asked to speak to the women students of a seminary about job opportunities for those with seminary degrees. She writes, "I talked to them first principally about being, doing, and going as God wills (not who am I, but whose am I). Then I listed both traditional and creative ways to fulfill needs in the Kingdom of God. Three feminists were offended especially that I should mention a nanny among the 70+ jobs. But Aristotle was a 'nanny' to Alexander the Great! These women had bought into the values of the world and were ready to fight for their ten years of executive computer programming. They said my talk had 'put them down more than any man's.'"

Theology means the study of God, but if an earned degree in that field confers a position in life which makes servanthood "beneath us" (three women felt "put down"), something is badly amiss. "The servant is not greater than his master," Jesus said. "Once you have realized these things, you will find your happiness in doing them" (John 13:16,17, PHILLIPS).

Happiness--never mind the "status" of the job. The disciples had been occupied with petty rivalries and questions about greatness. Jesus, "with the full knowledge that the Father had put everything into His hands" (John 13:3, PHILLIPS), took into those hands the dusty, calloused feet of each of the twelve, washed them, and dried them with a towel. It was His happiness to do the will of His Father, but it was a shock to those rugged men. The washing of feet hadn't occurred to them as coming under that heading, I suppose, even though they had heard the principle before. I can imagine the bewilderment on their faces. Can't you just hear Peter's tone as he says, "You, Lord, washing my feet?" (v. 6, NEB)."

Yes, at times the life of a stay at home mommy closely resembles "servanthood," doesn't it? :) I find myself getting frustrated over the constant need to sweep under the kitchen table, the clothes scattered all over the floor, the toothpaste blobs in the sink. You've been there. You know. Sometimes I feel like a maid. I admit it - I do. But I also recognize that the Lord Jesus was much more of a servant than I'll ever be. He willingly stooped so low to become like me, not just to wash my feet, but to offer Himself as a sacrifice for me. For me, a thankless creature, one who all too often takes His sacrifice for granted. And now He asks me to serve.

It is easy to be fooled by the call of monetary rewards, the promises of fulfillment to be had in finding a career outside of your home. Staying at home, raising little ones, well, there's not always immediate success to be seen, is there? But children are not taught the ways of the Lord just by osmosis; it takes some careful, deliberate, and prayerful planning and work. And if my education helps me be a better mom, gives me better skills to face the job, then praise the Lord!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Super Savings Saturday

I ventured out of my house yesterday afternoon to buy more cat litter. Ugggh. Only a poor, orphaned kitten would get this recovering mama to brave Target at 4:30 in the afternoon on a Friday.

He is currently residing in my basement bathroom though, so in the interest of keeping things relatively hygienic around here, I'm gonna keep the litter box fresh.

Besides the bathroom is also my laundry room, and you all know how much time we spend doing laundry. I am NOT going to spend half my day surrounded by that! :)

Of course I picked up a few other things while I was at Target, because it is nearly impossible to resist the charm of that store. While I was there, I noticed these 2 Archer Farms glass bottles of 100% juice on an end cap, marked 50% off.

Aren't they so cute? I didn't really have a plan for them, except of course to serve to my children and reuse those adorable glass bottles, but in my weakened state, I threw them in the cart without thinking too much about it.

But the Lord knew I would be needing juice this week. When I got home from Target, I had an email from my MOPS small group leader, reminding me that our group was serving the breakfast at the next meeting. Since I missed our last meeting because we were sick, she hoped I didn't mind that she signed me up to bring....JUICE!!!!

I am so excited to be able to bring cute glass bottles of raspberry and boysenberry juice to MOPS! What a treat!

The Lord is so good, isn't He? He knows our every need before we are even aware of it, and I love reminders of that!

I just had to share this on my blog, because when I originally began writing on here, my husband challenged me to take a moment each day and use my eyes of faith to see what God was doing in our family. To make a conscious effort to reflect on His goodness in our lives. And this story is a perfect example of that! Yes, they are just 2 glass bottles of juice, seemingly very insignificant, but to me, a reminder of the Lord's love and care for this little family.

We are His. He loves and cares for us, and provides daily for us. I am so thankful to be serving a God like that!

"Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?'
or 'What shall we drink?'
or 'What shall we wear?'
For after all these things the Gentiles seek.
For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.
But seek first the kingdom of God
and His righteousness,
and all these things shall be added to you."

Matthew 6:31-33

For more Super Savings Saturday, go here.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Hope for tomorrow

Today was the strangest day. I woke up with a terrible headache, the remains of this virus passing through our family, and Dave was kind enough to work from home so I could take it easy.

He is a wonderful husband. Have I ever mentioned that before? :)

I spent way too much of the day sleeping, and the rest of the day, laying in bed. This headache just won't give it up. And there is only so much you can do in bed. I have to admit, I am already bored, even with my laptop. I would make a terrible bedrest patient if I were pregnant. Which I am not, by the way. :) Oh, but I guess I've already experienced bedrest when I was pregnant with Ethan, didn't I? Well, those who know me can tell you, I didn't do very well with that either.

All I can think about while I lay here is, I am getting so far behind!

We have been sick for a week, and the house definitely shows it.

So tomorrow I am getting out of this bed, headache or not, and finishing this week off right. Here is my plan:
  • Wash everyone's sheets - because no one feels healthy when they are sleeping on germy sheets
  • Wipe down the toilets, faucets and door nobs with Clorox bleach solution - we are getting this house germ free.
  • Make all the beds and tidy everyone's rooms
  • Wipe down all the counter tops
  • Iron Dave's shirts for the week
  • Spend time in the backyard with the boys - it's going to be sunny and 72 here tomorrow!
Think I can do it? Hmmm....I'm not sure either, but I am praying for health and strength to start moving again.

Hope all the rest of you are well!

Edited: Wow, I got it all done by 1 pm! Woohoo! I have to admit though, I still don't feel very well - just achy and tired, mainly - so I think I'm going to take a nap with my kiddos. :)

CVS 10/21 - 10/27

For a complete list of all the EXTRABUCK OFFERS, go here

Here are the notable deals I’ve found for this week:

$4 EBs wyb (1) Bic Comfort3 Advance Shavers 4 ct. (limit 4) price $5.29
Use $2 off coupons = $.71 moneymaker!!! And you can do this 4 times!!! I have also read that there is a B1G1 free coupon out there too, which would make it a huge moneymaker.

$3 EBs wyb (1) of these Stomach Remedies (limit 1)
*Maalox, Gas-X, Ex-Lax, Benefiber, or Perdiem, asst. types. Prices starting at $2.69

There are $2 Benefiber coupons and $1 coupons for the other products, but this one is a moneymaker even if you don’t have coupons! Add the coupons for an even sweeter deal. Also check your CRTs because they frequently have a Maalox/Gas-Ex one out.

$2.49 EBs wyb (1) Renu Multiplus Travel Lit 2 oz. Plus Lens Case (limit 1) *$2.49

-$2.50 Renu Multiplus Printable 1 Or Printable 2

This is a moneymaker!!

This one also might be worth doing, especially if you have the B1G1 free coupon:

$2 EBs wyb (2) Herbal Essences Hair Care Products (limit 5)
*Shampoo, Conditioner 10.17 - 12 oz. or Styler 6 - 8 oz. $6/2
-B1G1 Herbal Essences Shampoo, Conditioner or Styling Product, any except trial (11-30-07) 10/14/ P&G
-B2G1 Herbal Essences Shampoo, Conditioner or Styling Product, any except trial (11-30-07)
-$1/1 coupons, $3/2 coupons

What other deals have you found?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Missing you guys already

My heart is very sad tonight. My sister and her son left, and soon they will board a plane and join her husband for a new life in Alaska. Our boys are finally able to play together, and now they will hardly know each other. At least for the next 3 to 4 years. I know it's not forever, but I just can't believe that we won't be spending Christmas with them, or watching Austin take his first steps, or .... I could go on and on, but I won't.

I won't because, beyond the sadness in my heart, I trust that the Lord is doing something here. His purposes aren't known to me, but nevertheless, He has a plan for Nate and Ruth and right now it obviously includes Alaska.

These verses are encouraging my heart tonight:
"And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You." Psalm 9:10

"As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the LORD is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him." Psalm 18:30

"Trust in Him at all times, you people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us." Psalm 62:8

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding..." Proverbs 3:5

Nate, Ruth, and Austin, we love you and miss you already. It breaks our hearts to see you go, but we know the Lord has work for you in Alaska. We are so glad to see you go willingly, evenly joyfully, because you trust in the sovereign purposes of the Lord. You have always sought His counsel for your family, for your future, and He has never let you down yet. Nor will He. And this is the stuff that faith is made of, isn't it? Following the Lord into the unknown, doing things we never thought we could do?

Ah, well, enough of the sad stuff...seems I've caught Simon's fever, and that doesn't help the emotions any. :)

Monday, October 15, 2007


My sister Ruth and her 10 month old Austin are in town for the week. Nate is already on his 10 day drive to Alaska, and they will join him next Tuesday. We are having a wonderful time with them here, but it is so sad to think of them living so far away.

In other news, Si has a high fever today, so we've been cuddling lots. He is such a sweet patient when he's sick.

"The LORD shall preserve your going out and your coming in from this time forth,
and even forevermore."
Psalm 121:8

Friday, October 12, 2007


It's Friday night, and all the kids (including our friends' 3, because Friday night is Date Night, you know) are tucked sweetly into bed. The house is quiet except for the sound of the attic fan pulling a nice, cool breeze through the living room windows. I'm sitting on the couch with the laptop, covered in a cozy blanket. Ahhhhhhhh. This is the stuff dreams are made of. :)

It's been a busy week, but a wonderful one. We've seen many dear friends over the last few days. Here's what's been going on:
  • Mike Attwood came to our chapel to begin a 4 day series on the Person and Work of the Holy Spirit. We were so encouraged and challenged to live lives consecrated to the Lord and obedient to His Spirit.
  • Mom was in town for one day, and good thing she was here, because our new kitten almost died. Oh, yeah, we got a new kitten, because sadly, Sadie ran away awhile back. Ethan named him "Jack and the Beanstalk" and the name just stuck..... And this little kitten was apparently not ready to leave his mother yet (the family we got him from was pretty sure he was 5 weeks, but it turns out he was more like 3), because one week later, he was unconscious, very dehydrated and barely breathing when I checked on him in the morning. We dropper fed him kitten formula, and now I am bottle feeding him for at least another week and a half. Like I really needed something else to do. :)
  • The boys and I spent the day with Kelly on Wednesday, and we had such a good time! Thanks for your hospitality, Kelly. We love you!
  • Anna and Sonja came over on Thursday and spent the day with us. It was so fun to see little Bryson, and of course my boys always enjoy playing with their cousin Jacob.
Here's some pictures of our new kitten:

Anna's sweet bundle of joy:

Who can resist those blue eyes?

Happy weekend to you all!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Don't Miss this Giveaway!

Wow, Crystal over at Biblical Womanhood is giving away 10 copies of this book, Passionate Housewives: Desperate for God by Jenny Chancey and Stacy McDonald. It sounds like a really encouraging book!

Here's a teaser from the publishers:

Have you struggled to reconcile God's vision of virtuous womanhood with worldly myths that marginalize and mock the role of the homemaker? Do you wrestle with cultural messages that demean the homemaker's calling and exalt instead the emotionally androgynous power-woman -- the wife whose worth is measured only by the degree of her ambition, the shape of her body, or her money-making skills? Such is the image of the "desperate housewife" that the modern media, culture, and feminism are promoting with great energy.

In a delightfully fresh and honest way, this book addresses these issues head-on and provides fresh vision for the hopeful homemaker. Hear a former "Christian" feminist share how she went from a die-hard homemaker-in-training to a dedicated career woman and then back again -- after God gripped her heart. See the hollow counterfeit of whitewashed feminism and "me-ology" destroyed. And consider the beautiful picture painted in Scripture of the truly fulfilled homemaker who glories in the hopeful calling God created for her.

Pull up a chair, dust off the cookie crumbs, and join Jennie Chancey and Stacy McDonald as they lay aside stereotypes like the "Stepford wife" and dispel such myths as the 1950s "perfect homemaker." Laughter and tears will flow, and hopefully you will be infused with a renewed vision for victory as a wife and mother. Discover what it means to be a passionate housewife "desperate" for God alone!

Go here for more details about the giveaway! If you win, will you let me borrow your copy?!

Friday, October 05, 2007

Where to Find Coupons

I had this question from a reader today:

I am just now getting started with couponing and I have one simple question: where oh where do you get all your coupons??????

I am prepping for my first coupon shopping trip at the beginning of November so I could use your wisdom.

Honestly, I just subscribe to the paper, Stacey. This seems to supply PLENTY of coupons for me. One trick I have learned is to get a bigger city's paper, instead of the town that I live in. From what I have heard, larger towns with more grocery competition are supplied with more coupons from manufacturers, and this was definitely true in my case. I bought both for a week or two and compared. So after that, I cancelled my home town paper subscription, got online and subscribed to a Sunday only subscription from the bigger city.

The other thing I do is keep my eye out for good printable coupons online. If I see a promotion going on somewhere, I'll often just do a google search for, say, "Robitussin printable coupon," to see what I can find.

And finally, I have been known from time to time to search our local newspaper recycling bin for coupon inserts that people throw away. There are almost always free coupons to be had. Most of the time though, the coupons I get from one Sunday paper are enough for me to keep up with!

My friend Crystal recently posted about accumulating coupons, so you might want to check out her article.

And if you're interested in how to organize coupons, this is what works for me.

Bible Study #1

For those of you who have been praying for the evangelistic Bible study that Dave and Jeff are beginning in our home, here's a little update. Last night was our first get together, and we had a group of 5 others, besides Dave and Jeff. There seemed to be good interest and discussion. Pray, pray, pray for the others who were invited. Pray that the Lord will draw them to Himself. Pray that those who came last night will come again. Pray that Dave will have wisdom from the Lord as he leads and that it will be understandable to all those who come. We so appreciate your prayers! This is the Lord's work, and He longs for all of us to know Him as Savior. So we trust in Him.

A friend recently shared these verses with me, and I found them encouraging:

"But I will hope continually
And will praise You yet more and more.

My mouth will tell of Your righteousness
And Your salvation all the day,
For I do not know their limits.

I will go in the strength of the Lord GOD;
I will make mention of Your righteousness, of Yours only."

Psalm 71:14-16

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Am I hospitable?

Today at my local MOPS (Moms of Preschoolers) meeting, an older mother spoke to our group about the difference between hospitality and entertaining. She reminded us right off the bat that entertaining others has its root in PRIDE. I want them to think I'm a good cook, or that my house is always clean or decorated beautifully, or that I have it all together. When what the Lord really wants for us is to serve others in love. Is the focus on others or on myself?

I really appreciated the timeliness of her message. Tonight Dave is teaching his first (Lord willing) evangelistic Bible study in our home, and so we will be opening our home to people who are virtually strangers to us. I was tempted last night to clean like crazy, but the Lord graciously reminded me that these people are coming to hear HIS WORD, not check under my beds. :) So what if the carpet has a few stains...hopefully it will help them feel more at home here.

"Be hospitable to one another without grumbling." 1 Peter 4:9

Lord, help us to cheerfully open our doors and offer all that we have, because it is Yours anyway.

"distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality." Romans 12:13

Lord, make it the habit of our lives, our natural bent, to serve others and welcome them into our lives. Help those who enter into our home tonight to feel comfortable here, wanted here, accepted here. Take away distractions and use this place to open their eyes to the truth of the Gospel.

Pray for Dave and Jeff tonight, and pray that those who have been invited will come!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Weekly shopping trip

I did my grocery shopping at Sam's Club, CVS, Walgreens and Dillons this week. Here's a picture of what I bought.

I won't list everything there, and the only things not pictured are 14 lbs of ground beef (already cooking in the crockpot!) and 5 lbs of apples and 3 lbs of bananas. Amazingly enough, the combined total of all four stores was $40.18!!!

The Propel waters were on sale at Dillons for $1.00 each, and using this coupon (and you can print as many as you want!) they were free! The lunchables were also free with a coupon, but I can't figure out how to link to it. Email me if you want me to send it to you. Or tell me how to link to a pdf file. :)

Here's our menu for the week:
  • Monday - grilled hamburgers with all the fixings, green beans, salad
  • Tuesday - BBQ'd chicken, broccoli and cauliflower casserole, banana muffins
  • Wednesday - cheesy chicken and rice casserole, carrot sticks, Greek salad, fruit
  • Thursday - spaghetti and meat sauce, Caesar salad, green beans
  • Friday - date night!
  • Saturday - Tacos
  • Sunday - Lasagna, Caesar salad, steamed broccoli, rolls
Obviously only part of what is pictured is included in our weekly menu. Much of it is from previous shopping weeks, frozen meats and non-perishables in my pantry that I based my menu off of. I posted about this strategy here.

If you're new to shopping at CVS (one of my favorite stores!), I encourage you to read this article by Crystal. I also wrote a basic tutorial here. Then read this one, and go this week! This is the perfect week to start! Happy shopping!

It's been how many years?

This has been a crazy week for me. It's just kinda hit me over the head like a ton of bricks. I'm OLD. There is no getting around it.

Not only did I have my 10 year high school reunion this weekend (nothing like that to make you evaluate your life a little!), but I also turned the ripe old surprisingly young-feeling age of 29. I guess I should just be thankful that my energy level doesn't match the numbers (surely I haven't been out of high school 10 years!), but still, come on. I have one more year before I'm officially out of my twenties. Now, that is seriously scary. :)

But back to the reunion - I was privileged to attend a wonderful Christian school for most of my education, and I graduated in a class of 44. It was a pretty close group, but I haven't seen most of them since graduation, sadly. I guess that's what happens when you fall in love and ride off into the sunset. :) For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge, I will lodge; Your people shall be my people, And your God, my God. That really is how marriage works, isn't it? And it is so worth it.

But the reunion was a well-planned affair. Thanks, Whitney, Erin, Danielle, and Matthew, for all your hard work! Here's what we did:
  • Friday night - all family picnic at the park
  • Saturday morning - prayer breakfast at the school just for the graduates with Mr. Bullard, tour of the school and new gym
  • Saturday evening - dinner at Spaghetti Warehouse, spouses included.

Here's the group that met for the prayer breakfast. I think this was my favorite part of the whole weekend. It was encouraging to hear Mr. Bullard's vision for the school, and to be assured that they are continuing to uphold the truth and encourage godliness in their students, despite the age we live in today. Mr. Bullard and his father had such a profound effect on my life, and I'm very thankful for their obvious heart for my spiritual welfare.

Mr. Bullard and Erin

Here's pictures from Saturday evening dinner:

John and Danielle

The girls

Whitney and Erin

Thanks for making it a great reunion, everyone! Let's try to stay in touch a little better. Maybe you could leave me a comment here, to let me know you're reading? Pretty please! :)