Sunday, February 22, 2015

Downsizing & Organizing DVDs and CDs

I wanted to downsize a lot for our future move and I started with organizing all our papers into one file cabinet.  Life happened and some surgeries and then my miscarriage, so I just now getting back to my many planned projects.

We have a DVD/CD bookshelf that was full and then we also had bins full of homeschool CDs and a shelf full in our living room.  I decided to get rid of all the cases and downsize the space and I'm so glad I did this!  I bought 3 (will need one more) Case Logic DVD/CD zippered cases to store all of the discs.  One is for homeschool, one for music and then one for DVDs like cartoons, workouts, etc.  I do need to buy another one for computer software and video games, so that isn't pictured in these photos or the video.




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Sunday, February 15, 2015

Miscarriage or Loss of Child Songs Playlist

I made a playlist of the songs that have been helping me through the loss of my baby.  Not sure what is on the videos, but it is the songs I'm sharing.  My mother-in-law sent me the Steven Curtis Champman CD: Beauty Will Rise.  I don't listen to his music normally but the CD was very helpful with the grieving as he wrote the songs after the death of his 5 year old daughter.  Selah has always been one of my favorites and I shared the songs that have been helping and then some other songs as well.


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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Average Family Water Usage

I shared our family's average monthly electric usage in this post, and now I would like to share our water usage.  I had seen an article stating the average family of 4 spends $80 a month on their water bill and I was shocked.  We rarely go above $25 a month on our water bill!  I had to find out how many gallons we were using a month and then it became a little complicated.

On your water bill, it will tell you how much water you used that month but sometimes it is in cubic feet.  Ours is in cubic feet and I had no idea how to convert that to gallons, so the search began for answers.  I found this conversion information on the EPA website: http://www.epa.gov/watersense/our_water/understanding_your_bill.html  That told me that one CCF (Centum Cubic Feet) is equal to 748 gallons.  One CCF is one hundred cubic feet.  Our average water usage for a month is 700 cubic feet and that is equal to 7 CCFs.  I now had the formula to find out how many gallons - 7 CCFs x 748 gallons = 5,236 galllons.

Our Family's Average Water Usage
700 cubic feet = 5,200 gallons a month

The average family of 4 has an average water usage of 1600-2000 cubic feet a month, which is about 12,000-15,000 gallons per month. We are using less than HALF the amount of the average family and that explains why our bill is $20-$25 a month.  The average for one person is 100 gallons a day or 3,000 gallons a month.  So at 3,000 gallons per person, you can estimate easily for your average depending on your family size.  For example, a family of 6 would use an average of 18,000 gallons of water a month.

Who knew we were such big water savers?  I don't really have any tips because I don't know what we are doing that others aren't.  I do know that we are mindful of water usage in that we don't let water run for no reason.  Here is a chart of the average number of gallons certain things in your home use that may be helpful in cutting costs and the website also provides some links to calculators:  http://water.usgs.gov/edu/qa-home-percapita.html

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Thursday, February 5, 2015

Thoughts on My 2nd Trimester Miscarriage Loss

I was 18 weeks pregnant when I found out that our baby had died many weeks before.  The size of the baby was measuring 11w 5dy, but they said that they shrink, so there is really no way of knowing the exact time it died inside of me.  Estimations are that it died in the 14th week, which was around New Year's and then spent the month of January shrinking back to the size it was when we found out.  I was just 4 days away from finding out the gender, though I really thought it was a boy, we just will never know.  We were going to call the baby Kyle for a boy or possibly Emma for a girl, so we named it Kyma since we don't know.

That image on the ultrasound is not only imbedded in my head - they gave us a copy of it (because I requested it.)  I knew when I saw it on the screen that it just didn't look right.  My baby's body was curled up and it was so small, not moving and there was no heartbeat.  Even though I knew the baby was probably not alive, I wasn't ready to know that not only was it dead, my body kept it in there for so long, it just didn't want to let go.  I didn't want to let go but once they saw it was possibly in there for 6 weeks, they had to rush it out of me.

I kept thinking maybe it was just asleep really good and curled up.  Maybe they were wrong and its heart was beating and they just didn't put the wand on the right spot.  "Are you sure it is dead!?" I said over and over again.  Maybe God could raise it from the dead, should we pray?  Even after they took it out, I would put my hands on my stomach and pray for God to put it back in there.

No one told me that if I had been induced, I could have held it and buried it.  No one told me that I could have requested the same after the D&C.  No one told me I could have its body tested to find out if the reason it died was something it had wrong.  No one told me that they might miss part of the pregnancy in the D&C and I would pass it at home.  No one told me that I was in shock and that intense feeling of grieving would come over me when I came back to reality.  No one prepared me for the feelings I would feel about God.

There are so many questions, regrets, emotions - my life is a blur.  I didn't even feel God for a week, it was as though He wasn't there.  I felt like discarded baggage by a God I thought always wanted good things for me.  How was this good?  How could God let a woman in Lake Stevens, WA have 3 children and abuse them and leave them locked up in a house with no heat or food and feces everywhere and let my baby die?  Why didn't God stop it?  Why didn't God heal the baby if something was wrong with it?  Was God unable to stop it?  Do things just happen to us and God doesn't have control?  Is it worth praying if things are just going to happen?  Does God love me?

Psalm 42:3
My tears have been my meat day and night....

God, you know I would have loved this baby.  You know I would have raised it up in Your Word.  You know me God!  However, I know that you can love it more than me and my baby is with You forever and I will see Kyma one day.  Heaven got so much sweeter and my longing for it, so much more intense.


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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Where Do I Go From Here?

This past miscarriage was the hardest I've ever experienced because it was the only one of the 5 I've had that I had seen the baby, seen it move and heard its heartbeat three times over several weeks.  I thought I was in the safe zone and I admit I took it for granted.  I felt like I was detached from my body in the first 24 hours or so.  My doctor noticed this but didn't say anything until today.  Some people experience that initial shock and numbness and disassociate themselves from the trauma and that is what happened to me and now I realize that.

It did finally hit me and I've been grieving very hard experiencing a pain that I've never gone through.  I've read a lot and though it hurt, it helped too.  I talked a lot with my husband and that has been helping in the process.  I went through guilt and blame thinking I did this somehow by not eating enough or taking tylenol when I had the flu or doing too much, etc.  That is normal too from what I read and was told.  I also felt like I was being punished for something from God - and that is even a normal feeling in this type of loss.

So comes the question of where do I go from here?  It is hard to have hope again but I know that one day it will come back.  I had thought this was my "sign" or whatever from God that I just can't have babies anymore but my husband does not believe so and doesn't want me to close the door on future children.  My doctor already did a lot of tests and we will have more tests soon on my recurrent miscarriage issue.

I try and think of the future and it is hard as all my dreams for this year revolved around this baby coming.  Focusing on my husband, children and home again is helping me and I'm slowly immersing myself back into my life.  I know one thing for sure - I wouldn't want to go through this without God!  As a friend of mine added today, she wouldn't want to go through even life without God and that is so true!!  Thank you readers for your prayers and support, I appreciate it and am thankful for each one of you!!

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Saturday, January 24, 2015

In His Arms

I saw this on a blog and wanted to share as it really comforted me through my loss yesterday and I think it would do the same for those who have lost a baby as well:


IN HIS ARMS

My dearest little baby, my dearest little flower,
The time of your departing, was my darkest hour.

I longed to see and touch you, I longed to hold you close,
I dreamed of counting fingers, and all your little toes.

I dreamed of what we'd name you, and the joy that you would bring
To your brother and your sister, oh how they'd laugh and sing!

For there is nothing quite as precious as a brand new little life,
And nothing quite as empty, when it's takes eternal flight.

Others think I'm mourning over such a little thing,
"We'll have plenty more and our lives are still the same."

But what is greater than life? And what is deeper than its loss?
Is it not what Jesus gave us when He died upon the cross?

Life is the greatest of all gifts, life is the greatest of all joys,
Life is ever so much more than just another girl or boy.

And so our lives are NOT the same, they never will be again,
Because we'll never know or see, all that might have been.

If you had come into the world and lived life to the full,
Perhaps you would have stopped another shooting at a school,

Or maybe you would have been the one to find a cure for cancer,
Maybe you would have found that long and sought for answer.

Of course the Lord can still choose to use another way,
But maybe it would have been you, who on earth can say?

But no, they never stop to think of what you might have been,
As life is not highly regarded by our modern man.

They move on and they forget. The unborn never gets a thought,
They say things without thinking and crush a mother's heart.

It's amazing how you've changed me, and for that I have to smile,
I'll not soon forget the lessons I've learned through this great trial.

I'll use it for God's glory and to bring others comfort too,
It wouldn't be this way at all, if it hadn't been for you.

I'm so glad God gave me a glimpse, as painful as it's been,
For I see His unseen hand, and I trust His master plan.

I'm so glad you're in His arms, though I'd rather have you here,
But it won't be long until I'm there, holding you my little dear.

© Ashley Plourd

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We Saved $35 On Our Electric Bill

Remember when I posted about our family usage in this post?  Well, I had 15 days till we got our next bill and I decided to do an experiment and see if I could get our costs down by doing small things.  Our bill covers 60 days, but I only started the experiment with the last 15 days before the reading.  However, even in just 15 days we were able to bring our January bill down $35!  I can't imagine how much it would have went down had we done the whole 60 days with the experiment.  This time last year we used 4076 kWh but this cycle we only used 3641 kWh.  The cost per kWh went up, so we saved a lot more compared to last year this time!  Here is our usage chart compared to last January:



What I did was keep the heat down and only turn it up when we absolutely needed it.  I was more conscious of using hot water and used less and kept the lights off more.  It wasn't anything drastic, so that is why I was so surprised how our usage went down so much.

I'm getting a late start on our new 60 day cycle and haven't been as conscious of our usage but I plan to start again and hopefully our next bill in March will be ever more savings!  Someone had mentioned "vampire energy loss" and upon reading about that online, I started unplugging our chargers, computers and other things we weren't using daily.  The chargers and computers pull a charge even when nothing is charging.  That is why the plug is always warm, so this will be interesting to see how much we save in energy loss with those in addition to the other things like lights and hot water.

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Friday, January 23, 2015

5th Baby Awaiting Us In Heaven

I can't say that this came as a shock to me as I have felt this pregnancy just wasn't right from the very beginning.  I felt it was weird, I even told my husband I felt that the baby wasn't human (I was having weird thoughts!!) and about 6 weeks ago I had felt that the baby was dead inside of me - though others assured me it was just crazy thoughts.

Last night I started to bleed and I knew - I just knew my crazy thoughts were real.  I then started having pain and contractions by the time we got to the hospital.  I told the doctor how I had been feeling for 6 weeks and he said that the baby wouldn't be dead in me that long.  Well.....after the ultrasound results came back, he came back in and said I was right, the baby died in me 6 weeks ago, which was about the time I had had the terrible case of the flu for 2 weeks.  For some reason my body wasn't expelling it until now.

I was calm through most everything and felt that I was ready for this.  They put me to sleep and did a D&C and also checked for cancer with that growth I had on my cervix but they are pretty sure it isn't cancerous after getting a better look at it.

It is kind of ironic that I just blogged about tempting God as I feel that now if I continue to try to have a baby it wouldn't be right for us.  This one was really confirmation to me that my body can not do this anymore.  Who knows what God protected me from or prevented - He knows!  His will be done!!  I'm SO THANKFUL for the 2 miracles I have - my daughter and son - and how I wasn't even supposed to be able to have them!  They are truly miracles and I have 5 children awaiting me in Heaven!

As has come to me so many times in the past miscarriages - Job's words:

Job 1:21

".....the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord."


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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Our Weekly Meal Plan - Jan. 22 - 28

There was a recipe from my other meal plan that I didn't get to make, so we are making it this week. 

Note: The breakfast, lunch and snacks & desserts are for the month but the dinners change each week.

Breakfast
Cereal + fruit
Oatmeal
Pancakes or French toast with maple syrup
Egg sandwich (fried egg with cheese on toast)
Eggs, toast with jam and fruit

Lunch - add in veggie, usually broccoli, peas or green beans
PBJ sandwich
Tuna sandwich
Burrito
Cheese, pita or rice, fruit
Beans & rice
Nachos (refried beans & cheese on top of tortilla chips and microwaved or baked)
Chicken BBQ pizza (tortilla cooked with shredded chicken & BBQ sauce & Mozz.) 
Chicken Corn Dog

Snacks & Desserts
Fruit
Salad
Carrots with hummus
Apple & PB
Boiled egg
Yogurt + nuts or granola bar
Goldfish
Granola bars
Pretzels & string cheese
Popcorn with butter
Nachos
Cookies, muffins or brownies
Trail mix (raisins, nuts with mini choc. chips)

Dinner
Cheesy Beef & Potato casserole
Teriyaki Chicken & Broccoli over brown rice x 2
Mini Meatloaf Mounds & Mashed potatoes
Crockpot Sweet & Sour Chicken over brown rice
Pinto beans & brown rice
Homemade pizza - half pepperoni, half mushrooms and green peppers for me!

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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Tempting God?

I have been asked for advice on special situations in people's lives when it comes to birth control and children.  I've always told people that it is between them and God and their spouse - my opinion is just that - an opinion.  There has been circumstances of where the woman was medically at risk if she was to have children and my opinion was in those cases, you shouldn't risk it.  Although, when it came to my own personal life after a difficult pregnancy, I wasn't so sure.  I felt that God allowed us to have another child but I'm not 100% sure that I should have more if this one ends in a c-section.  That is something I will have to be in much prayer about and discuss with my husband.

I'm not Catholic but something that Pope Francis said recently, really made me think.  I put the quote below and he talks of a woman who had 7 c-sections and is pregnant again.  He basically says she is tempting God and could leave those 7 children orphans as she could die.  I can see how that woman should have probably stopped a while ago since she had so many surgeries BUT there has been successful and safe c-sections up to 13.  Past 13 is probably really tempting God but is she wrong?  Was God wrong to give her another child?  God is the giver of life, not us.

Pope Francis reaffirmed his rejection of population-control programs as an example of ideological colonization and his praise of Blessed Paul VI for defending Catholic teaching against contraception.

But "this does not mean a Christian must make children one after another," the pope said, citing the case of a woman who became pregnant an eighth time after giving birth to seven children via cesarean section.

"Does she want to leave seven orphans?" he said. "This is tempting God."

"Some people think -- excuse me for saying this -- that to be good Catholics we have to be like rabbits," Pope Francis said, yet church teaching provides for "many licit ways" to limit reproduction. http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/1500255.htm

What do you think?   Was this woman tempting God?  How do you define tempting God?  Where in the Bible does it show people tempting God by having another child?  It seems good to say what he said and reasonable to our human minds but it is right and Biblical?

There are women that die having ONE child - so maybe they shouldn't have tempted God by even getting pregnant.  Maybe you are tempting God by going to the store or to church when you are very ill.  Who decides what things fall under tempting God?  The woman in Australia must have "tempted God" after having her 13th c-section but God let her live.  Another woman in America died giving birth to her first child, so she must have "tempted God" beyond His limits for her right?  I hope that you can see through the illogical conclusions of this man's reasoning.  We can rest assured in God's Word that He will not put more on us than we can bear, He is still the maker of life and still in control.  Just follow His will for your life that you get in prayer and you can't go wrong!

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Monday, January 12, 2015

Family Average Electric Usage

We only have electric (no gas), and I have learned over the years that our usage has been predictable and follows a certain pattern.  My electric company offers charts and usage comparisons so that you can see what you use and when you use the most.  These are great for planning your budget throughout the year and seeing those months where you can save money for other things.  Here is our usage for this past year:



We pay every 2 months for electric and so what is the highest month - January - is actually part of November, all of December and part of January's usage.  Those are the times we use heat the most and heat is expensive as you can see.  We keep our thermostat at 66 most of the time, though we have gone down to 65 some nights.  We live in a 1500 sq. ft mobile home, so the insulation is not that great, especially the floor since we are on blocks and the carpet tends to always be cold.  I would imagine in a stick-built home on a foundation with insulation, our usage and costs would be lower.

In the summer, we have 2 window air conditioning units that are on pretty much on all the time during the day and evening but they don't cost much in electric to run, as you can see by our chart for July and Sept.  We can plan for more money to save during May - Nov and then also plan for the larger bills in the winter months.

Our yearly average electricity usage is 16,000 kWh, which is, on average, 1300 kWh monthly or 43 kWh a day.  Our highest kWh this past year was slightly over 4000 for 2 months (2000 for 1 month) and our lowest was about 1800 for 2 months (900 for one month).  These charts are handy to compare year after year and also to see how you can get your usage down.

Some things that we do most of the time to save on electric costs are:

  • Keep the lights off during the day and use light from outside when possible
  • Use cold water to wash our hands
  • Unplug electronics that may pull a charge when not in use (chargers, phones, etc.)
  • Unplug things that you don't plan on using daily
  • Use full loads in the dryer
  • Keep our thermostat at 66 in the winter

There are more but those are just a few - share any that you may have!

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Friday, January 9, 2015

Free, Free, Free = We Are Paying For It

President Obama announced today his plans of "free" college for the first 2 years.  Now, of course, nothing is ever really free - SOMEONE had to pay the cost!  That someone paying for this "free" college is the hard-working, tax-paying citizens of our country.  You know, like my husband and yours!

What I find upsetting is this - those that are outraged over this "free" 2 years of college plan, are not outraged over the "free" 12-years of school that hard-working, tax-paying citizens of this country have been paying for for many years.  I'm talking about public education - you know, the one where you send your kids and don't pay for their school?  The one where you shuck the responsibility on the state to educate your child(ren).  Yes, that one.

What ever happened to paying for your own?  If we only ALL did that, we would have more than enough and we would have enough to help those who TRULY don't have the ability to pay for these things. But no, every Billy Bob and Suzy May in the country wants to excuse socialistic education - even though it has increased dramatically in costs over the years and only gets worse, from an education standpoint.  In my school district, it averages $13,000 per child to be publicly educated.  Those without children are even paying the cost to educate your children - that isn't right and I know you don't like to hear the bold-faced truth but it is time you put on your grown-up responsibility panties and listen.

So what big deal is it to you if now college will be "free"?  You like free and you like to put the economical burden on others, right?  The weight of other people's irresponsibility weighs on our husbands every day as they work hard to provide for their families and pay the schooling for your children.  Yes, I guess you could say - working Americans and their families that pay for their own are starting to get upset at the over 50% of Americans that don't even pay tax and leech off the rest of us.  It is one thing to be truly needy but I've yet to meet someone like that.  Sure, I've met those that say they are needy but as they hop into their 2014 SUV's while texting on their iPhones, I tend to doubt their poverty.

Become dependent upon God and not the government and then, you will start to reap His bounty - otherwise, you will forever be the suckling baby of a government that wants to own you and enslave you!

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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Our Weekly Meal Plan - Jan. 7-14

I'm planning meals for Wed. 7th through Wed. 14th, which is 8 dinner meals and breakfast and lunches.  We have some leftover meat and some friends dropped by some chicken for free, so I won't be buying any meat this week and that is why we are eating so many meat meals!

Note: The breakfast, lunch and snacks & desserts are for the month but the dinners change each week.

Breakfast
- Cereal (we have a supply left from when I was sick but we won't normally have cereal on hand, other than my son's Cheerios) + fruit
- Oatmeal
- Pancakes or French toast with maple syrup
- Egg sandwich (fried egg with cheese on toast)
- Eggs, toast with jam and fruit

Lunch - add in veggie, usually broccoli, peas or green beans
PBJ sandwich
Tuna sandwich
Burrito
Cheese, pita or rice, fruit
Beans & rice
Nachos (refried beans & cheese on top of tortilla chips and microwaved)
Chicken BBQ pizza (tortilla cooked with shredded chicken & BBQ sauce & Mozz.)

Snacks & Desserts
Fruit
Salad
Carrots with hummus
Apple & PB
Boiled egg
Yogurt + nuts or granola bar
Goldfish
Granola bars
Pretzels & string cheese
Popcorn with butter
Nachos
Cookies, muffins or brownies
Trail mix (raisins, nuts with mini choc. chips)

Dinner
Cheesy Beef & Potato casserole
Crockpot Beef Enchiladas
Crockpot Cincinnati Chili
Chicken Curry over Rice x 2 (see below)
Southwest Chicken & Potato Bake (I add extra BBQ sauce!)
Homemade pizza - half pepperoni, half mushrooms and green peppers for me!

* For the chicken curry & rice meal, I use the curry sauce from the chicken divan meal we make a lot and just add the cooked chicken to it and serve over rice and sometimes the broccoli too when I don't want to do the casseroles.

We stocked up on milk tonight as I had a coupon that gave me each one for $4.62 instead of what we usually pay - $5.29.  The expiration date was a long ways off, so we got 5 gallons for $23 - this is organic milk.  I'm stocked up on meat and a few other things like carrots and hummus and of course, my pantry staples, so here is our shopping list for this week and some of these items we buy enough to last 2 weeks or more.

Produce
apples
mini oranges
avocado x 3
mushrooms
romaine lettuce
roma tomatoes
green pepper x 2
green onions
potatoes

Dairy & Cold Items
sour cream
mozzarella cheese
cheddar cheese
string cheese
yogurt
Pepperoni

Other
tortillas
tortilla chips
pretzels
canned pintos (back up in case I wasn't well enough to cook dry pintos)
canned kidney beans x 2
peanuts
peanut butter
Baby oatmeal
cooking spray
V8 Fusion (I'm craving juice in this pregnancy!)
Bacon pieces
Mayo

* For the baby oatmeal, I admit I could just make my son regular oatmeal but this is his bedtime snack and I do NOT want to cook oatmeal at night - I'm so tired lately.  The baby oatmeal just takes warm water and it is done.  I'm not sure when he will give up his nighttime snack, he still loves it with applesauce mixed in and he has been having it right before bed since he was a few months old - could be why he sleeps 12 hours every night. ;-)

Does anyone find me sharing our meal plans useful?  I wonder if these types of posts are benefiting anyone and if I should keep doing them?  Let me know in the comments - I have them open for all, even you the anonymouses!

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Sunday, January 4, 2015

Organizing 4-Drawer File Cabinet & Categories List

I bought our 4-drawer filing cabinet last year but after all my health issues, I never got around to consolidating all of our papers into this one cabinet.....until this past week!  It took a lot of work and a few days but I got it done and it feels so good to have a place for just about every paper that we could own.  I don't think I've been this organized with papers ever in my life.  We have had file boxes before but it wasn't organized like this.  I had piles and boxes and bins of papers all over the house and I was tired of that, even though some were organized, I wanted them all in ONE place and that is what I have now.

So without further adieu.......


I divided the drawers into 4 categories - Home, School, Important Papers and Manuals & Records

Here is the first drawer - Home



2nd drawer - School (Homeschool)




3rd drawer - Important Papers

4th drawer - Manuals & Records




Here is a list of the categories I used for each drawer, which is what took a long time to come up with!  I left some extra folders for additions later on.  I also didn't share 2 of the categories because they were companies that were personal for insurance and things like that.

File Folder Categories

Home
Budget
Weekly Sales
Tasks
Meal Planning
Coupons
Pregnancy
Receipts
Holidays
Printables
Inventory
Address Labels
Health
Articles
Wall Art
Bible
Katie
Zach
Baby
Fitness & Nutrition
Keepsakes

School
Schedules
Goals & Plans
Book Lists
Curriculum
Projects
Seasonal - with 4 season sub-folders
Printables
Articles
Assessments
Laws & Records
Preschool
Bible, Math, Writing, Spelling, Grammar, Foreign Language, Science, History, Music, Logic, Art
Teacher Training

Important Papers
Current Medical Bills
Current Year HSA
Insurance
Utilies
Company Benefits
Pay Stubs
Bank
Retirement
Auto
Rental
Social Security
Moving
Credit Reports
Important Documents
Taxes
Music
HSA Past Years
Medical Bills (Past)

Manuals & Records
Toys & Baby
Electronics
Appliances
Office
Misc. Household
Furniture
Computer
Bev
Husband
Medical Records

You may be wondering about some categories and what they mean, so I will explain a few and ask if you are wondering about any of the others.  The articles categories are for things I find in magazines or online and I want to save them.  The printables categories are for printables I find online usually, things like planner pages, calendars, etc.  The manuals are instruction manuals or warranties for whatever we own and I divided them up into 7 categories based on what we had.  The school subject categories are just for things I print out or find that I think would be used or referred to - these are not folders to store completed work, I keep those in binders in a closet.

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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

When Your Budget Comes Up Short

What do you do when your budget comes up short?  When there just isn't enough income to take care of your outgo?  We have had many times in our married lives when it just would NOT work on paper.  But you know what?  God always made it work somehow!

Most Americans spend MORE than they make, so how do they make it?  DEBT - they live on credit and after years of this, it one day will catch up with them when they reach their limits on their 10 credit cards and there is no money to pay the bills.  Then, they reason that it must be ok to file bankruptcy and that is the only hope.  So they decide that they won't pay back all of those people they owe and just let some legal jargon erase it all.  Do they then learn to live a debt-free lifestyle?  Oh no......back into debt they go because they never learned their lesson and so the cycle begins again.

What if you are debt-free and you live by the principles of the Bible but you still don't have enough income to keep up with rising cost-of-living costs?  That is where FAITH comes into the picture!  It is time to see God move on your behalf and show you that He will meet all of your needs.  I love this mp4 of Gil Bates telling about this very faith in finances and I highly recommend it:

How to Support a Family of 19 Without a Salary
http://store.iblp.org/product/ZHSF.html

With rising health insurance and medical costs, many families are starting to come up short.  I used to think it was wrong for Christians to use Medicaid (not Medicare; that is for the older).  It is a welfare-type program for health coverage but it is getting to the point for all of us that it is almost impossible to afford health care.  A friend of mine, who has a family of 8, got their health insurance premiums raised to $1,700 a month!  That is just the premium, not the deductible or copays.  How in the world, can a family afford that?  For some, it has reached the point of ridiculous and in such cases, they go on Medicaid in order to feed their family.  There are Christian sharing ministries that would work in this case, but the monthly share is rising on those as well to over $400 a month and then you have to pay all bills under $300 a month after that before you can get anything covered.  We are running out of options - so this is a question of mine, what do you all think of this?

We need to pray for God to meet each and every need we have in our lives.  We have not, because we don't ask!  Bring your needs before the Lord, even your wants.  Then wait for God to meet them and trust and believe in Him.  Also take care of the rest of your money and handle it wisely and seek God to show you ways you can cut more in your budget.  Never stop paying your tithes as long as you are getting an income, that is like cutting off YOUR blessings.  Think of the woman in the bible that gave all she had - she has forever been given a memorial of her faith to all of us and that speaks!!

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