Friday, December 19, 2014

Let's Talk Life Insurance

In my Financial series, I talked about the importance of having insurance, especially health, but life insurance is another one of the crucial insurances to have.  A husband that doesn't provide life insurance for his family must not care for his family's future because in the event of his death, he has left them with nothing.  A Godly husband will make sure his family is taken care of in the present and future - especially upon his death.  If he doesn't, he is knowingly leaving them with no financial security and a life of hardship upon his death - that just doesn't sit well with me.

What kind of life insurance should you buy?  Only term life insurance is a good investment, anyone that tells you different is probably trying to sell you whole life insurance or they have been duped by it and are too afraid to admit the truth.  Term life insurance guarantees for a specific term - whether it is, 10, 15 or 30 years.  If you have health problems, it will cost more, so a wise way to purchase life insurance is when you are young and healthy.  Here is a scenario for a family starting at age 20:

Age 20 - purchase 15-year term life insurance
Age 35 - purchase 30-year term life insurance, which will cover you up until retirement age of 65

If you follow the above plan, you will probably get the best rates and you will be covered until retirement age of 65.  You don't need life insurance after 65 if you prepared ahead of time by investing in retirement.  If you didn't invest and have little or no retirement - well, get ready to fork over a good chunk of your pay for life insurance because it will cost a lot at age 65.  The goal is to insure with life insurance until retirement and then live off your retirement, which will be yours and your wife's end-of-life living.

Most healthy adults can get the standard rates but if you want preferred plus rates, you will need to make sure you are in optimal health before applying.  I recommend before your renewal at age 35 in the scenario above, that you do several things to ensure you get the preferred plus rate.  Why?  Well, preferred plus will save you a substantial amount of money and lock in that rate for 30 years!  You will save on average $10,000 by just being in optimal health and qualifying for the preferred plus rate.

Follow these tips to have a good chance at getting the preferred plus rate:

  1. Pray - believe me as we know from experience - GOD CAN DO ANYTHING!!!
  2. Be at a normal weight for your height - if you aren't, strive to get there before applying or at least make sure you are within a few pounds over
  3. Go on a low-salt, vegetarian diet a week or two before your exam - this will ensure, in most cases, a lower blood pressure and good blood sugar results
  4. Cut out stress well in advance of your exam - stress can raise not only your blood pressure but other important things in your blood which could prevent you from getting a preferred plus rate
  5. Get a lot of sleep the night before - sleep as much as you can (9+ hours) before your exam, this really does make a difference in all your blood results and BP

Buy from a reputable, long-standing company that has a good chance of being around in 30 or so years.   A lot of people realized in the past financial crisis, that their "cheap" life insurance was not worth it as they lost their policies when their life insurance companies failed.  I would recommend spending slightly more for a good company that won't likely fail - preferably a mutually-owned company.

Some may wonder how much should you invest in for life insurance?  If you are starting out in your 20's, you could think of it one or two different ways.  You could say, well, I'm young and I probably won't die before we renew our next policy at 35, so I will go with a low amount now.  Then, when you reach 35, raise it to a level that suits your family's needs.  Or you might say that you want to ensure as much as you can since your wife and kids will be left alone for many years, so you will get a large policy.  Some men, don't want their wives to ever think about working, so you will need to purchase a large policy.  Others, just want the house and bills paid and then the wife will find a job in a few years, so they will choose a lower amount.  It is up to the husband and wife but I think the best option is for the policy to ensure the wife will never have to worry about money or working and so she isn't a burden to her children.

Policies usually range from as low as $10,000 to a million or more.  Do the calculations and find out what it will take to live on for how many ever years.  Most people can get by with $250K by investing it and letting it grow and living on a small amount each year.  Others, prefer to go higher with a $500K to $1M policy to live in comfort and also invest.  Of course larger amounts cost a lot more, so base it on what you feel is best for your family and how healthy (or not) you are.

What about your wife and children?  If the husband will suffer a substantial loss in the event of his wife's death, then he should insure her life as well.  You will want to get small policies on your children for, God forbid, their burial and funeral expenses.  Hopefully, that will never happen but if it does, you will be glad to know it didn't ruin the rest of your life financially and you can just rest and mourn.

If you are unable to afford life insurance, ask yourself if that is really true.  Most people can give up a few luxuries like smartphones or lattes and afford a policy.  Do you care about your future and your children's future?  How will you pay for the burial and funeral expenses of your spouse?  If you are a homekeeper, then what will you do for work if your husband dies?  Where will you put your children and how will you pay for daycare?  Why not alleviate all that stress and the hard work, that will be the rest of your life, and ensure your future?  No one should have to worry about money when also mourning the loss of a spouse - Be WISE!

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Our Growing Educational Books

I like having books on a variety of topics available for my kids, so when they have a yearning for a certain subject, chances are we will have a book on it!  If not, they can use the World Book encyclopedia DVD we bought, which contains all of the encyclopedias on one disk!  My daughter has really enjoyed looking up things in the encyclopedia and I'm glad we purchased the DVD because it takes up less space than an entire set would on the shelf!

Most of the extra books I have are on history and science topics, so we dedicated a shelf to each.  This is our history-related bookshelf but it does include some geography books on states as well:


This is our science bookshelf, which is so full, we had to put some on another shelf:


The last shelf is full of miscellaneous things from geography to math:


I buy a lot of our books from Scholastic and more than half were FREE!  We have what we call "Scholastic Time" and my daughter reads for an hour from any of the books on these shelves.  She always comes away really excited with what she has learned.  My son, even though he is just 2, has already enjoyed several of the books, like the pop-up Presidents and Magic School bus books.

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What's Happening at Cambridgeshire Academy

I posted several posts on our curriculum for 5th grade at our homeschool blog, Cambridgeshire Academy.  I meant to post this about 4 months ago but life has been hectic this year!


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Monday, December 15, 2014

What I'm Reading

We are on our 3-week Christmas/New Year's break and I'm stoked to finally have time to do things I want, which of course involves reading!  Here are the books on my list to read during this break and I think these look like real winners:


From just skimming through them, my favorite so far is Mops, Muffins, & Motherhood.  It is full of tips, ideas, recipes, charts, etc. for the busy mom that also homeschools.

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Friday, December 12, 2014

Baby Ultrasound @ 12 Weeks

I'm measuring 6 days ahead which is about how I was with my son and he came 2 weeks early.  This baby is a real mover just like my son was, so I'm still thinking it is a boy and we picked the name Kyle if it is.  If it is a girl, we like the names Emma or Abigail but still aren't decided on a girl name yet.  This is the first baby that we didn't pray specifically for a boy or a girl - with our daughter, we prayed for a girl and got a girl, same with our son (even down to the eye color!).  We decided to let God choose this one, so it is exciting to see what we will get!

I flipped the picture around so you can see the baby the right-side up and then also labeled the main parts in case you had a hard time figuring out what was what:


Could someone please wake me up when it is June....I'm already ready to be done with this pregnancy LOL!

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Natural Remedy: Unblocking Stuffy Nose

I've had the flu for a week now and my nose was so stuffed and uncomfortable that even my Neti-pot flushes weren't helping much.  I watched a few videos on youtube and came across this one and tried it and it worked immediately!  Had to share:


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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Various Thoughts This Thanksgiving Eve

I've had an extreme form of morning sickness, which isn't actually MORNING sickness, it is more like ALL-DAY-ALL-NIGHT sickness!  I've woken up during the night with this stuff, which is not normal for me.  With my first 2 pregnancies, I had morning sickness but it was mild compared to what I have now.  Thankfully, I found that if I stay laying down all day or when I feel I'm going to throw up, I will not throw up.  The doctor gave me medication but it makes me feel so weird and then there is a risk to the baby, so I've only taken one and just dealt with this sickness each day.

I have to say that I do not enjoy pregnancy, except for the clothes of course because I think I look cute pregnant LOL!  I read something from another lady that had extreme morning sickness throughout her entire pregnancy - she learned to look at it as Jesus did in His suffering - suffering for the JOY set before Him.  That is my motto for this pregnancy: "Suffering for the JOY set before me!"  The joy being the baby at the end.

My son turned 2 recently and then my daughter turned 11 last month and I'm so thankful for the 2 children that God has given me, when I was supposed to be unable to bear children.  To think I'm having a third child just seems so surreal and how it happened so quickly!

On another topic, the whole thing in Ferguson, Missouri had me pretty upset.  Upset because of ignorant people burning buildings, destroying property and stealing in the name of "justice" doesn't solve anything.  I also heard a speech in NYC that the crowd was repeating and the lady said she wasn't going to let America have a Thanksgiving this year because they are going to make a ruckus every day because they don't have sh*t to be thankful for.  Really?  They have NOTHING to be thankful for?  I don't see them dying of diseases or in wheelchairs or starving.  I wonder what others in the world who are doing those things think of when they hear a spoiled American brat speak such things?

What do we do with the whole Ferguson fiasco?  We pray.  We pray that justice was and is served and we pray that both sides can find peace.  What if we did what Martin Luther King Jr. proclaimed?

"I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character." - Martin Luther King, Jr

If we apply his words to the Ferguson situation, we don't concentrate on the color of the man but rather his character.  What was the character of Michael Brown Jr.?  He was an aggressive thug, thief and druggie.  That is what we judge.

However, we also need to make sure that everyone in this country feels that they have justice and that they can trust the police!  We need to search out and be assured that there isn't racially-motivated behaviors allowed to go unchecked.  We also need to find a way to help some of the black community arise out of the ghettos and the hoods and end those type of neighborhoods.  Obama shouldn't be working for the illegal immigrants, he should be working to solve the problems with the people that put him in office.  I'm concerned that so many cities have these neighborhoods and that so many black children grow up thinking that is all they will ever be.  It starts with the parents, we need to raise children of hope.  We need to find a way to end the cycle!

So those are my thoughts on those issues in a brief summarized form........Happy Thanksgiving and keep each other in prayer!

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Friday, November 14, 2014

Meal Planning: Eating Meat Daily

Most of you know that we eat meat 1-2 times a week but when I'm pregnant, my body seems to need it every, single day!  This has been a huge increase in our food budget and for now, I'm going with it until I figure out a better plan.  We are averaging an extra $35 a week for meat and combined with the extra food I'm eating, puts our cost to about $500 a month - EEK!  This is mainly because I'm having to buy convenience foods since I'm too nauseous to cook much lately - and that is where the bulk of the extra money comes in - easy-to-grab foods.

I do find that vegetarian meals with potatoes or carrots in them fill me but not for long before I feel like my stomach is literally eating itself.  Which it probably has been because I've been LOSING weight this pregnancy.  When I eat a meat meal, it lasts with me for hours and the baby seems happiest.  I got to the point that we were eating so much takeout to supplement my hunger, that I decided to just up the food budget and gorge at the grocery store because that sure beats the cost of takeout a few times a week!

I've tried to fill my protein needs with beans as usual but that hasn't gone well either because I find that an hour later - my gastric juices are flowing and ready to eat.  So.....this pregnancy, it seems like meat is here to stay and hubby doesn't mind us spending more on food, I guess it is just ME that cares that we are spending almost $250 more a month - but baby is worth it (right!?).

It has been so long since I've done meat daily that I'm just grabbing whatever my body is craving for recipes and then not worrying about the cost.  I haven't bought a beef roast in YEARS and I was so shocked how expensive one was!  I thought surely it doesn't cost $12 for 3 pounds but yep - it does.  Thankfully, chicken is not too expensive, so I'm eating more of it.

My body is also craving vegetables, which is a good thing, so I'm consuming more of those as well.  I have strong cravings for french fries from McD's - so since I can't seem to duplicate that at home, I will let those be a special treat occasionally.  Baby loves him/her some fries!!

Here are the meals we are making this week in the crockpot and I'm making enough to last several meals, we will see how these end up tasting and then I will share the recipes:

  • Crockpot Chicken Philly Sandwiches
  • Crockpot Cheesy Beef & Potato Casserole
  • Crockpot Broccoli Beef over rice
  • Southwest Chicken & Potato Bake - we already tried this and it is GOOD but double the sauce.

The cost of meat for these was $35
3 pounds boneless chicken thighs - $8.45
3 pounds boneless chicken breasts - $8.56
3 pounds boneless beef sliced chuck roast - $11.34
1 pound grass fed organic ground beef - $5.98

It is hard for me to spend that on meat for a week but these meals may last longer than a week, so we will see how far each recipe really goes to calculate the costs properly.  If I assume correctly, this $35 of meat will actually last us for 10 meals but only appetites will tell as these are new meals we are trying this week.

Hopefully, once my morning sickness dies down some (it has been pretty viscious and even happening at night waking me up in my sleep!), I can get frugally creative again but for now, just making do to have something on the table!!

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Friday, November 7, 2014

Baby Kyle @ 7 Weeks

I started gushing blood last weekend and I thought I was losing the baby but then it stopped.  I've been on bed rest for week until we knew what was going on.  They checked my hcg levels and they were very high at 70,000, so we then got an ultrasound and the baby (who we are calling Kyle) is alive and well with a good heartbeat!


They did find some sort of tumor on my cervix, which they thought 1 1/2 years ago was a cyst but now they aren't sure what it is and it has grown.  It could be what was causing the bleeding and may prevent me from having a natural birth this time that we were planning on trying for but there is a possibility it might not.

Please pray that God protects the baby and it grows healthy and that I'm also protected!  So many things could happen but I want to remain positive as I believe God gave us this child to keep!!  Also pray for this tumor or whatever it is, that it will be resolved and go away and/or not harm me or the baby, thanks!!

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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Choose Money Over Children

The President that resides in office currently, who has brought this nation to a detrimental point as never seen before in morality and debt - has now declared that he wants you to choose money over your children.  Well, he would have to say that right?  How else is he going to get women working to pay more taxes for all the junk that he threw on Americans in his presidency?  He needs us all to be his slaves and see dollar signs and forget the important things in life - you know FAMILY and GOD!

Obama's remarks to Rhode Island College in Providence, Rhode Island this past Friday

“Sometimes, someone, usually mom, leaves the workplace to stay home with the kids, which then leaves her earning a lower wage for the rest of her life as a result. And that’s not a choice we want Americans to make,” Obama said. “So let’s make this happen: By the end of this decade, let’s enroll 6 million children in high-quality preschool, and let’s make sure that we are making America stronger.”

Wow, this reminds me of Hitler and the like who want to take the minds of the children as early as possible to make them into what THEY want them to be and turn off the influence of the parents.  

So ladies, we should close this blog down, I mean after all - we DESERVE to throw our kids off on someone else all day and go make some money to buy more stuff.  This is what the President of the United States is advocating - money over children.  Children are a complete waste of time - let someone else deal with them all day.  Let's raise the taxes so we can all escape our prison of being at home raising children and making our homes better, so that we can work for some business that will give us money to blow on Louis Vuitton bags because you know that is WAY more coveted after in this society than children ever will be. 

Obviously, I'm being facetious.  My children are more important than a dollar bill. I would rather live in a rusty, worn-down dump of a house eating soup beans and cornbread and wearing rags and do God's will of raising my children and keeping the home - than sitting in some office working for someone else and living in a shiny, fancy house eating steak and dump my children off on someone else.  I choose what is of value - my children and husband and following God's Word of staying home, loving and bearing children and loving my husband!  

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Friday, October 31, 2014

Poll: Videos On What?

I've had requests for videos for a while and I do have some time coming up when we will be on Christmas break in December and I want to get a list of what videos you are most interested in.  I have more subscribers to my YouTube video channel than I do email subscribers to this blog, so I'm thinking that the videos I have up already are interesting, so those are included in the poll - add any more to this post in the comments, thanks!!

*Poll Results:

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Motherhood is Dying to Self

Not many things in life involve more of dying to yourself than motherhood.  Sure, there are mothers that will not die to their self and therefore it doesn't mean that just because you are a mother, you are a selfless person.  Sadly, in America, we are full of mothers who are quite the opposite!  We have mothers that want to please themselves or others more than be what God made them to be - a mother.  They won't let anything get in the way of their ambitions and they sure won't die to self in order to take care of their family.

I was reading a devotion from a book about homeschooling by Anita Mellott and noticed a quote from her friend:

Homeschooling is constantly dying to self.

I can testify that this is very true!  Not only is motherhood demanding but teaching your children is complete sacrifice and death to your self.  That is one reason why a lot of women won't do it.  They are glorified on the altar of recognition for all they do outside the home and that is just too valuable to their ego to lose out on that for a no-praise, no-glory life whose rewards are delayed.  However, their children are way more important than any fleshly praise from others - we are talking about souls, the most important souls in your life! 

I can tell you that my life is my husband and children.  I'm their servant and I realized that a long time ago.  I can't serve myself and busy myself with other things without neglecting them.  You have to look at the end - when you are old, alone and in your rocking chair.  What will you regret?  I won't regret that my house wasn't cleaner.  I won't regret that I didn't do more in my community.  I will regret if I didn't train my children right or if they went astray because of me.  I will regret if I didn't be the wife my husband deserves but was filled with my own agenda.  I will regret if my life was all about me.  I won't regret the moments I had my children with me and all the time we had together.  I won't regret teaching them God's Word and everything else they know.  I won't regret being the wife to my husband and providing his meals and doing my best to be frugal with the household.  I won't regret that I died to self and gave myself to my family!

Though I've been sick and extremely tired lately in this pregnancy, I know that I must find it within myself to still school my daughter and play with my son and meet their daily needs and my husband's.  If we never die to our self, we will never find the fulfillment that God gives to mothers who serve.  We are servants!  There is no greater calling as we have the ability to raise men and women for God and saturate them in God's Word day in and day out.  Truly serving one another begins at home and for those with many children, it will only be at home until they reach a new season of their life where they can serve others.

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Not Sure How Long This Will Last.......

I hope to blog more but I got hit with the morning sickness pretty bad and then fatigue like I've never had this past week!  It is really whooping me and I'm striving to keep up with the house and school (priorities) and obviously, this blog wasn't on the list this week.

I do need to desperately make a meal plan and need to try my best to stick to our budget of $250 or less for the next 4 weeks.  I'm stocked up pretty good on the basics in my pantry but seeing how I'm craving more meat lately, that may raise our budget up a bit.  I also need a lot of convenience things as with all the fatigue and nausea, I'm not able to cook and bake like I thought I would be.

My goal is to put together a meal plan and share it on here as several voted in the poll that is something they would like to see more posts on.  I suppose if you don't see a post in the next few days, you will know I'm in bed LOL!!

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Friday, October 24, 2014

Pregnancy Belly - Early!

There are 3 possibilities of why I started to show BEFORE I even took a pregnancy test:

  1. Farther along than we thought
  2. Twins or more
  3. Just because it is my 3rd pregnancy and my body knows what to do and is doing it FAST!

I get an ultrasound within 2 weeks to find out, I do think I have twins but I'm trying to not get all worked up about it until I know for sure.  But check out my belly!  It is like a little ball in there and I'm already in pregnancy clothes and just finishing my 5th week.



I had finally achieved my "flat" stomach 3 weeks ago and was so excited that my weight was going down.  Then, a few days after noticing my amazing tummy - I got a bump coming out under my breastbone and I was like what is this!?  Well, I found out a week later, it was pregnancy!  Amazing how fast this is going - feels good to wear pregnancy clothes again though, they are so comfy!

Oh and I will be able to do a VBAC after 2 c-sections this pregnancy!!!!!!!!!!!  So I have a LOT to read about and learn how to have a baby the "normal" way because I have no idea!

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Monday, October 20, 2014

Why I'm a Not-for-Profit Blogger/Writer

First of all, no I don't make any money off this blog nor do I intend to but I have had a lot of people volunteer ways I could.  It is as though people think since you have a blog, that you must be trying to make money off it.  Well, news flash!  I actually love writing and have since I was a child but back then I wrote in paper journals and no one ever read them (though I'm pretty sure my mom and sisters sneaked a peek at one time or another).  I wrote my first book, a children's book, in 8th grade for a class assignment.  I even illustrated it but it wasn't the illustrations that helped my book win LOL - I'm SO not an artist, you don't want to see my drawings!! I remember my 8th grade English teacher telling me I had a gift, though I didn't really know what to do with it at that time.

Since high school, I continued to write in journals and when the internet became common, I got an online journal.  That became popular and I was featured on AOL's front page one day and the response was intimidating to say the least.  I was writing about my passion back then, which was fitness, and I got a lot of questions and offers, some of which I did do - a magazine article that featured me and then I was a poster girl for a women's body-building nutrition program (NO I DID NOT SHOW MY BODY in a bathing suit - I stayed modest even in that arena in a skirt!).

After the fitness craze hit its peak and I realized I had even put it before God and was obsessed with it, I let go of that passion.  However, writing never left me, it is and probably always will be a love of mine and part of who I am.  It is like an appendage really, I feel like I can communicate my very soul in writing sometimes and articulate my points way better than I can in person.  My next venture was a homekeeping blog, which had a different name in the beginning but a few years later as it started growing, I became Christian Homekeeping.

I had this blog up before with a large readership but I also had a lot of issues happen in my personal life and with bullies on this blog, so I took it down thinking I would never pick it back up again.  However, for the 6 months I closed my blog down, I was depressed without writing. Sure, I could write but I wanted to write and have people READ what I wrote and enjoy it!  So, after a time of recovery from some things and building up a backbone, I brought this blog back up and have just now regained the readership that I once had.  I've been blogging on homekeeping for almost 9 years now and though I feel sometimes that I've shared all I could, I seem to keep coming up with things I want to write about.

I've had offers to have advertisers on this blog but I didn't want to make this a place where you would come and it would be cluttered with ads and things that I didn't truly want to promote.  I could easily make this venture into a money-making business but it would take away from what God has called me to do - be a wife and mother!  Those come first and any extra time I have leftover (other than the 5-10 minutes it takes to write a blog post), I would rather give it to my kids or husband, than try and earn money.  Time is valuable to those that depend on me and they need me, I'm a crucial part of this home to make it run smoothly and to raise up kids that are well-loved and well-instructed.  Money just can't buy that!!

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