Monday, December 31, 2012

A Look Back on 2012


This year didn't turn out how I had planned but yet it ended with the unexpected joy of a new baby!  All of my plans and resolutions for 2012 were pushed aside as I learned I was pregnant in March.  The pregnancy took most of the year until the week of Thanksgiving when Zach made his appearance earlier than expected.  It was a difficult pregnancy, a trying time, but one that yielded many fruits in my spiritual life.  It ended with a wonderful delivery via c-section that was one of the best experiences I've had of feeling that God was right there holding me through it all.  Then, Zach had some issues, which we hopefully have resolved most of after learning he has a milk allergy.  All in all, 2012 was a trying year but a year that brought one of the greatest blessings of all - another child!

Here are some posts from 2012:
What About Socialization?....And Other Mythical Questions
A Day in the Life....
Stop Trying to Do It Without God
When Birth Control is Needed
Keeping Up With the 'Christian' Joneses
Called to Be a Mother
Finding a Mentor
Living Debt Free - Our Continuing Story
What's a Stay-at-Home-Wife To Do All Day?
The Greater Benefit of No Rescue
What This Pregnancy Did For Me
My Awesome Birth Story

Christian Homekeeping © All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

What Cheap Meals are Made Up Of

One thing I've noticed over the years of living frugally and even super frugal, is that the cheap meals are usually based on the following foods:

Rice
Beans
Potatoes
Tuna
Eggs
Vegetables
Oats
Flour
Cornmeal
Pasta

Planning meals around these ingredients will ensure to keep costs down. Sure, you could live off of ramen, boxed mac/cheese and other processed 'cheap' foods but I don't think they fill you up as well as the above foods and they sure aren't as nutritionally sound. I've gone through a lot of recipes the past few days and it seems that a lot of cheap meals I'm finding include processed foods, canned creams of this and that and ready-made mixes. My goal has always been to use pure foods and make them as cheap as possible. I prefer making homemade cream of chicken/mushroom, etc. for meals than using those nasty cans that are full of who knows what lol. I also want to know what is in my food and those ready-made mixes have things that sure don't sound like food to me.

With the above cheap foods in my arsenal, I'm searching for meals that utilize these to get the ultimate cost-saving meals. I've already gathered a few up and also want to thank those that have submitted your favorite frugal recipes already! My brain is hurting from all the storming going on up there lol......this will probably be the hardest I've tried and thought through a meal plan and I'm not even close to being done yet. There isn't anything new under the sun, but it sure is hard to find that old stuff that has been buried by convenience meals, but I endeavor to uncover it and share it with you all!

Christian Homekeeping © All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Milk Allergy for Newborn Zach

I thought you that are praying and following Zach's updates would like to know that we are pretty certain it IS a milk allergy.  About 10 hours after having regular feedings with the new hypoallergenic formula, his diarrhea stopped COMPLETELY and changed back to the normal color and texture.  Since then, he has had normal stools and is slightly less fussy.  He does eat more often now but that was expected because the new formula is easily digestible.  I do miss him going 3-4 hours between feedings, as he now goes 1-2 hours BUT I'm so glad he is not diarrheaing or vomiting anymore!!  The pediatrician said he will probably outgrow the milk allergy by 1 years of age and we will introduce whole milk then and see how it goes.

I pray this is the end of this crazy 'sickness' and it isn't something worse.  For a while there I wasn't sure I was going to make it through - I was mentally drained and depressed and couldn't eat much or sleep much for days.  There was a few times I wanted to get in the car and run away - but God helped me through it and hubby let me cry on him every night just about.  Since Zach stopped diarrheaing, I've been able to sleep and eat more.

I'm ready for some normalcy now.....Grant it Jesus because it's my season to be blessed!!

Christian Homekeeping © All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Update on Newborn Zach

Zach still has the vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain and we had to take him in again today because he started to also get mucous in his diarrhea that was looking like it could be blood as well.  The pediatrician thinks now that it may not be a virus since it has been 7 days and things are getting worse.  She said it could be a lot of things, one could be C-diff from all the antibiotics I was on for the last few months of my pregnancy, so they are testing his stool for that.

Another possibility she is checking out is to see if he may be allergic to milk.  I was unable to breastfeed with him at the hospital and gave up since the specialist thought I would be unable to produce enough milk even if I got them working because of my hormonal imbalance.  Zach has been on formula and he may be allergic now, so the pediatrician put him on a new formula that is hypoallergenic to see what happens.  I'm thinking of trying to re-lactate to give Zach at least some of my breast milk, even though I may not be able to produce enough.  We will see what happens soon.

So keep the prayers coming.......we will find out soon what is wrong with my baby!

Christian Homekeeping © All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

My Awesome Birth Story

I was full of fear at the beginning of my pregnancy thinking about the end, mainly the c-section.  With my first c-section they were unable to numb my back and it turned into a nightmare as the anesthesiologist wouldn't stop trying even though the nurses were fighting with him to.  He poked me 7 times with various sized needles, with the last one hitting a nerve that shot down my left leg and left me with neuralgic pain in that spot for about 5 years!  After that, my daughter's heart rate drastically fell and it turned into an emergency situation and I remember being thrown down on the table and a catheter shoved in me and I almost came off that table from the pain from that and then I was knocked out.  Then, during the surgery I woke up and they had to put me back to sleep.  Also, they had sewn me up and I started hemorrhaging and they had to re-open me and stop the bleeding.  They still had problems upon the 2nd closing but finally got it to stop before I needed a blood transfusion.  I woke up feeling like I had to cough really bad and did and WHOA.......talk about pain!  They had maxed me out on morphine but I remember that pain being like no other at first waking.

So......you can see how I was apprehensive about this c-section!  I've had bowel issues for years and even after a colonoscopy there was no diagnosis but irritable bowel syndrome.  My surgeon suspected that I had massive scar tissue from my first c-section and she believed it was what was causing my bowel issues and said she would check things out when she had me open.  She was right, but more on that later.

I went into labor a week before my scheduled c-section and didn't know I was in labor.  I had contracted for 3 months constantly during pregnancy, so I didn't realize I was in real labor.  However, after 10 hours of regular contractions and them growing closer together and stronger, I thought maybe something was wrong.  We went to the ER and I expected to be sent home like always when they couldn't explain my contractions - but this time, they didn't.  I was dilating and effacing within an hour of them checking and then I started bleeding as well....this was real!  They told me it was amazing that my planned surgical team was actually there that day and they would be doing my c-section.  Everyone, even the scheduled anesthesiologist was there!  I knew this was God and felt peace about how it was all working out.  It was Zach's time to come out.

I met the anesthesiologist and let him know about my previous c-section and that anesthesiologist.  He had no doubts at all and was so confident that he said I will be numb after one try.  He told me he had been doing this for 20 years and everything was going to be ok.  He was right.....it happened so fast, I didn't even know it was over and was amazed I was really numb with just one poke!  I would have kissed the man if it would have been alright lol!  =0  He forever changed my opinion of anesthesiologists!

The rest of the surgery went amazingly well and the team was talking about various topics, which let me know that everything must be going good.  The only problem I had was the nausea but that was bearable.  I got to see them hold Zach up and he was so beautiful!  Then, I watched him across the room on the table as they checked him out, he was so calm and looking around and I was crying "my baby!"  At the end of the surgery, they asked how I was doing and I said "For some reason I'm really craving a cheeseburger."  They all laughed and the anesthesiologist said she's ok lol.

I got to hold him right away when I was taken to the recovery room and it was so special because I didn't feel pain for a long time afterwards and got to enjoy more of being with my baby!

Now, the surgeon was right, my scar tissue was bad and it had attached my uterus to my bladder and turned my uterus completely around - it was flipped.  All of this explains the severe pain I had from the beginning of the pregnancy till the end and it also explains my bowel issues over the past few years.  The scar tissue attached to the bladder, caused it to spasm, which in turn caused my bowel to spasm over the years.  Then in pregnancy, it caused my uterus to spasm (contract) and that is the pain I was feeling.  She completely removed my old scar and the tissue and took her time to stitch me up with minimal scar tissue.  She did such a good job, that it is almost completely invisible now at just 16 days postpartum!  My stomach is actually smaller now than before I got pregnant in my lower abdominal area, so all that pudge must have been the scar tissue.  Oh and I've lost 29 pounds in just 16 days folks!!! Here to think I was so concerned my weight gain all pregnancy and it literally fell off so quick lol.  I only have 6 pounds left to lose and I joke with hubby that it is in my ring finger since my wedding ring still doesn't fit haha.

All in all............the pregnancy was hard but the delivery was a miraculous victory!

Christian Homekeeping © All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Prayer for Newborn Zach

My newborn baby has been sick since he was 11 days old and still is going on the fifth day now with vomiting and diarrhea.  Please pray for his healing and for me as I'm worn down.  I told God I wouldn't stop praying until He touches Zach and I have others praying here and back home.  My daughter didn't get sick until she was 2 years old, so this is way new for me to have a baby sick right off the bat.  He is holding down some fluids though, enough that he isn't dehydrated.  They are keeping a close eye on him and the first moment of dehydration he goes into the hospital.  Thank you in advance for the prayers!!

Christian Homekeeping © All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Kind of Hard to Type.....

When I'm recovering like this.......


I haven't sat down to type up my birth story yet but intend to eventually.  Trying to enjoy these first few weeks that pass so quickly.

Christian Homekeeping © All Rights Reserved.

Friday, November 30, 2012

What This Pregnancy Did For Me

Throughout this pregnancy, there were so many times we didn't know if Zach was still alive or not, but each time God showed His mighty hand and Zach was there and well.  I feel like the past 9 months were some of the most difficult I've had in recent years and I'm glad they are over but there was so much God did for me through the struggle that I wanted to share.

It was the hardest pregnancy I've ever had and we found out why at the birth, which I will explain later.  I suffered with a contracting uterus from September all through till the end, I'm talking labor contractions - that they couldn't explain but showed up at the hospital as regular and strong so many times.  It was misery and I didn't understand why I had to suffer so but I made it through!  I also had either 5 or 6 infections, even I lost count lol - and the antibiotics were not fun to be on so many times.  Because of my struggle, some people made hurtful comments to me about how bad I wanted this and I got it.  May God forgive them and grant them compassion was all I could seem to pray - though I wanted to pray other things lol, I just couldn't understand their motive behind their words.  So dealing with the pain and stupid people was difficult, but God helped me through it all!

I was able to work out a lot of fear in myself through this pregnancy and collapse into the hands of God in faith and trust.  Each trial, each pain, each complication......only made me stronger in God in trusting Him and only squashed fear over and over again.  I would say that fear was my biggest vice - I can only imagine it is from a past of abuse and questions as to "why" God allowed what He did and/or does.  It isn't that I didn't have the faith that God could heal - I do - it is that I knew that sometimes God allows things to happen and I was afraid of what He might allow.  I would claim this pregnancy as a victory in my personal growth, though I still have work to do in that department, I've definitely conquered a lot with God's help.

This conquering of fear took me all the way to the surgery room - where I felt as though I was totally surrendered into the hands of God and whatever happened, whatever He allowed, I was ready to accept.  I felt calm and peaceful and even looked for the fear within myself and couldn't find it.  God truly blessed and I will share my birth story in the next post.

Christian Homekeeping © All Rights Reserved.

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Greater Benefit of No Rescue

My daughter has a fear of bees that prevented her from going outside a lot this summer.  I tried to help her with it by having her pray, "face her fear" but to no avail.  She now loves going outside because the bees are supposed to be gone and dead.  Imagine our surprise when a hornet was on our door today.  She was outside coming in and I heard screams and then hollering for me.  As I went to see what was wrong, she had this horrified look on her face and was looking at the top of the door and said "BEEEEEEEE!!!"  I opened the door a bit and saw the bee was right on top and I tried to knock it down but without luck, without the possibility of it coming in the house.  I was going to "rescue" her and have her go around to the other door in back but the thought occurred to me that this was a great opportunity for her to face this fear on her own.

I told her to kill the bee.  She looked at me like I had lost my mind.  She looked at me with those scared eyes that were seemingly saying, "Mommy, surely won't make me do this."  I will admit, it was HARD for me to do this but I knew that the outcome would benefit her more than me coming to save the day.  She stood out there shaking with fear and refusing to do it but she realized I wasn't coming and I wasn't budging - she was going to do this!

I had her get the broom to knock the bee down in front of her and then told her to quickly stomp it.  Well, she knocked it down and it landed in front of her and she screamed and jumped back.  I kept telling her to step on it but she wouldn't and begged me to come out and do it.  Finally.......she stomped it, all the while screaming and shaking and I told her to do it again....and again.  She then ran inside, crying and continuing to be in a state of fear.  I told her to stop and realize what she had just done!  She faced her fear and killed the bee all by herself.  She kept crying lol.......I told her to stop and that she should be jumping up and down, and then it hit her - she started jumping up and down saying "Thank you Jesus!!"

She was so full of joy, she had to call daddy and then of course grandma to tell them how she was so brave and killed a bee!  It became a time of rejoicing and it was a hurdle that I felt she needed to cross on her own.

It didn't occur to me until later as I retold the story to my husband, how that it must be hard for God sometimes to let us suffer and cry, all the while calling out to Him to help us or deliver us out of a situation.  However, He sees the greater good that will come from letting us stay in the situation and conquer it without rescue.  When we do finally get the victory, He is rejoicing with us; His children.

Think of that next time you wonder why God makes you stay in a certain battle or situation until you conquer it yourself.  He can see the outcome and greater benefit of those times of 'no rescue' - joy comes in the morning!!

Christian Homekeeping © All Rights Reserved.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Breakfast Casserole

We made this casserole this past weekend and it was VERY good!  The leftovers even tasted good the next day.  The original recipe came from Bob Evans, but I used Jimmy Dean sausage instead.  We give this a 5-star rating!

8 oz tube of crescent rolls
1 lb. sausage
2c shredded mozzarella cheese
4 eggs
3/4c milk
1/4t salt
1/8t pepper

Preheat oven to 425.

Cook sausage into crumbles until done; drain.
Grease 9x13 pan and spread out crescent rolls to cover bottom.  
Sprinkle sausage crumbles and shredded cheese on crescent rolls.
Whisk eggs, milk, salt and pepper together and pour over above mixture.

Bake 15-20 minutes or until eggs are 'set.'  Let sit to cool for a few minutes, then cut and serve.

*You can use 1 cup of thawed frozen hash-browns instead of the crescent rolls.  You can also use bacon or Canadian bacon instead of sausage.

Christian Homekeeping © All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Handmade Baby Gifts

My mom made her first quilt ever for her first grandson.  She thought she did a terrible job, but I don't think so, I love it!  I got it in the mail today and it smelled just like home and I got all emotional and cried.  Tears of missing my childhood home and family and tears that my mom did something so special.



Then, my neighbor from back home hand-knitted some baby items for Zach and they are so precious!



Christian Homekeeping © All Rights Reserved.

Things My Daughter Says....

Upon stepping out of the car the other night when we got home, my daughter exclaimed:

"Momma! Every time you get out of the car, it goes WAY up!"

Anyone else looking forward to losing weight after having a baby? LOL!  =0  Yes, when I get out of the car, it goes way up and says "ahhh thank you" that it has been relieved of the weight that was bearing it down lol.

Christian Homekeeping © All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

What's a Stay-At-Home-Wife To Do All Day?

I had two friends who both have no children and both would echo the same thing, "I'm bored.  There is nothing to do all day at home."  Both have quit God altogether from what I understand.  One is now working on a job that she was doing before she said God called her to be at home.  Her explanation was that all she did at home all day was idle things like being on Facebook and that is what other women do too at home.  I told her I didn't but she said I was self-motivated and "different."  Sorry, but it has nothing to do with me, but rather being motivated by our love for God or else you can be motivated by Satan and the flesh and sit around moaning about how bad it is to be a homemaker.

The question has been asked many times: "What is a stay-at-home-wife supposed to do all day?"  I'm here to answer that. Before I had a child, I had 3 years of just being a wife and homemaker.  It didn't take long to clean my house and make meals because it was just my husband and I.  You want to know what I started to do with my time?  I started to READ!  I read my Bible and many other books on various topics.  I studied for one year on nutrition and continued it later on to advance towards a personal training course, just so that I could know for myself how to lose weight and be healthy.  I read about being a wife, a homemaker and I did some crafting.  I would sometimes read 8 hours a day and it was to the betterment of myself as a wife, woman and homemaker.

A woman who has no children can do a lot!  She can learn all the homemaking skills - canning, sewing, quilting, crafting, etc.  She can read a LOT!  She can write online and share her skills and knowledge with other women to help them.  She can help those in need by cooking or cleaning for them.  She can give to volunteering in the children's program at her church.  She can learn piano or another instrument or teach others how to if she already has this skill.  There are SO many things that she can do, there just isn't time for idleness!

A woman with children has her plate full, especially if she homeschools.  Her job is to her husband AND her children and then her house and there isn't much time left after that.  One of Paul's admonitions for younger women to prevent idleness was having children but sometimes this isn't possible for some women and therefore they must find ways to prevent the idleness that the bible warns about.  This idleness leads to gossip and going from wall to wall in lives full of Facebook or what other outlet you have that leads to being a busybody.  How about a little less talk and a lot more action?

1 Timothy 5:13-14
And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not.  I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully. 

The excuse was that everyone else is idle and they all just sit on their rump all day at home.  Just because there are some that do that and bring a bad name to homemakers, doesn't mean we all are like that.  We are supposed to all be learning and growing together, not concentrating on those that aren't doing right.  If you do that, you will find the "excuse" you were looking for easily because we are all imperfect.  What the real, bottom-line, reason was for my friend, was that she wanted to work.  She desired the life that God called her out of when she first got saved.  You can't blame it on others,  it is ultimately YOU that has to answer to God.

God has called women to be at home, to love their husband and children, and to guide the house and we should give every ounce of our being to that calling!  Does your life help another keep on going for God or does it encourage them to be slack as well?  Remember, others are watching our lives and we must encourage one another to continue on with good works and edify them with our words and daily lives.  Become the example that could help another keep the faith.

Christian Homekeeping © All Rights Reserved.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Update on Health

I just got home from spending 2 days in the hospital for a kidney infection (pyelonephritis), which is my 5th infection this pregnancy.  Crazy I know but I'm finally feeling alive and better and not that deathly ill feeling.  What happened was, my bladder infection that was being treated didn't get treated with the antibiotic I took for 7 days, so it turned into a kidney infection.  They gave me super antibiotics that killed the infection over 2 days and 5 bags of IV fluid that helped flush my system.  They wanted me to take narcotics for the pain, but I just suffered because, even though they say it is "safe" for the baby, I just don't believe that.  I did end up taking a small dose of Tylenol though because I needed some relief.

They want me to stay on low-dose antibiotics the rest of the pregnancy until delivery but I'm not sure I will take the pills.  One reason is that I'm concerned about the babies immune system not having any "good" bacteria to fight infection when he is born, another is how those pills make me feel!  They said I could refuse to take them but I may get another kidney infection.  I'm going to pray about it and go from there.

Thank you for all the prayers and keep them coming for my continued health and for the baby to make it till the end and be healthy!!


Christian Homekeeping © All Rights Reserved.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Prayer Request for Myself

I've held back sharing a lot on this blog of my situation this pregnancy, but after coming down with my 4th infection yesterday, I decided I wanted to have as many people as I could......pray for me!  I just got over an infection in early September, that caused continuous contractions that they couldn't stop at the ER after 3 shots of terbutaline and another oral medication.  I suffered with these constant contractions and cramps for almost 2 weeks until they found out that I had an infection.  Somehow, the ER labor and delivery staff missed the infection, so I just suffered and was on strict bed rest waiting for the baby to come early at 26 weeks.  I have to say that it was a trying time and when they finally discovered it was an infection and I started treatment and the contractions died down - I thought to myself, ok, this will all be over and I can go on and enjoy the rest of this pregnancy.  Well.....didn't happen.

2 weeks ago, I started having contractions again and pain in a few places.  It took a few days till I went in because I suspected another infection.  After waiting 48 hours for lab results, it turned out it was another infection in a different location and I'm currently on another round of a different antibiotics for that.

I'm still having contractions off and on that are painful but they are hours apart and I can handle that.  Yesterday, the whole left side of my face was numb and in terrible pain, and reminded me of times in the past when I had ischemic attacks and trigeminal neuralgia.  However, when I woke this morning, it was gone and there was my gum infection - same abscessed tooth I had at 12 weeks pregnant.  So I called and they wanted me to go to the doctor to get yet another antibiotic.

I'm tired, I'm mentally depressed, I feel so ill in my body that sometimes I wonder if I will make it to the end of this pregnancy and I'm weak.  I'm asking that all of my readers just stop and say a prayer for God's healing on my body to rid it of these infections and protect this miracle baby inside of me!  I've prayed till it hurt, my husband has prayed, my Pastor is constantly praying and so are close friends and family - and sometimes, I wonder..WHY?  Why is this happening and why can't I receive instant healing - but God has always came through this pregnancy in those times I felt so all alone and it has always turned out ok.  It is by the grace of God that Zach is still alive within me and that I've made it this far.  Thank you in advance for your prayers!!

Christian Homekeeping © All Rights Reserved.

Natural Remedies - Immune System During Pregnancy

Since becoming pregnant and dealing with morning sickness and fatigue, we started eating more junk.  Not only junk, but convenience foods, fast food and most organic, homemade foods have been non-existent due to the high cost of the other foods.  Then, I've been on strict and modified bed rest for about 5-6 weeks now and I haven't been able to cook, and hubby doesn't cook - so, yes you guessed it - processed food.

I believe that all of this has contributed to my now, 4th infection, this pregnancy.  I've had to take antibiotics 3 times and well, I'm really tired of how they make me feel and how they wipe out the good bacteria as well.  My body feels almost deathly, that is the best I can describe - definitely not just pregnant, but ill.  I'm currently battling 2 infections at the same time in different places in my body and I decided to forego the doctor's plans for yet another antibiotic for the 2nd infection, since I'm currently on one for the other infection and try natural approaches to see if they can offer me benefits and boost my immune system.  Here is what I'm trying, most of which I have taken before a few years ago when I had extensive immune system problems, but only a few of those are safe during pregnancy and here they are:

  • Probiotics - these put the good bacteria back in your gut, which consists of the majority of your immune system.  I use Nature's Way Primadophilus Bifidus, which contains 4 different strains that consist of amounts in the billions.  You will find these refrigerated and you want to keep them that way so they stay alive!
  • Garlic - this is one I've done for colds, bronchitis and now for immune system and as a natural antibiotic/bacterial, etc.  I take 1-2 fresh cloves and cut them up into small pieces and swallow with water.  Be careful though, because I've gotten choked before when trying to swallow too many at a time or not cutting them small enough.
  • Vitamin C - I'm cautious as to how much of the powdered form I take of this during pregnancy and I rather am opting for the chewable and pill form that gives 500-1000mg.  I also upped my intake of organic orange juice other vitamin-c rich fruits.
  • Organic food - we need to slowly make our way back to eating organic meat and vegetables.  We still do milk only organic but everything else kind of fell by the wayside and I think that was a big factor in my infectious situation.  Eating a lot more meat and also eating non-organic, hormone and antibiotic filled beef probably wasn't a good thing and I'm trying to cut it out.
  • Vegetables/Fruits - these have been sorely lacking in my food intake and I've been adding them back in this past week with a veggie tray, fruit tray and salads daily.
  • Cut Sugar and White Flour - both of these can enable bad bacteria to grow and thus help in lowering your immune system function.  I've had too much of both and trying to cut back.  Not making my homemade bread and snacks has really caused us to dip into more less-filling snacks and sweats.  They just don't fill you up, the way homemade, healthy, fiber-rich foods do.

That is all I can think of for now that is safe during pregnancy, the list would be much longer if you weren't pregnant.  Some things I've learned from this pregnancy that I would do differently would have been to get to a healthy weight, taken better care of my body pre-pregnancy with exercise/supplements/probiotics, had a plan for bed rest and those times I was too sick to make homemade foods and reduce stress.  So I'm telling some of you who may want to become pregnant these tips and my future self if I ever do get pregnant again.

Christian Homekeeping © All Rights Reserved.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Living Debt Free - Our Continuing Story

We are moving towards our 2nd year of living debt free and I have to say that this is the life we want to continue living.  Not only are the chains and/or burdens of debt gone, but the feeling of them gone and the freedom to purchase as we have means available makes life much more enjoyable.  We no longer give in to impulses but rather think them through according to what we can afford, not what we could afford if we borrow the money off of someone else; credit.  The scripture is very true:

Proverbs 22:7
".....the borrower is servant to the lender."

Truly, you are a servant or slave to those you borrow from and with that comes the burden, the chains and the stress of paying them back to be 'free' again.  The problem isn't that there may be a time you would need to do that for an emergency, the problem is when you live that way purposely.

1 Timothy 6:6-10
"But godliness with contentment is great gain.
For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows."

There are no downsides to living debt free because you learn contentment through what God blesses you with in your life.  You don't borrow from the world's system of "got-to-have-it-now" because you know what that leads to - stress, marital problems, discontentment and a multitude of other burdens that will eventually steal your joy.  Living debt free is the tool that can instill peace, contentment, financial freedom and joy into your life and your family.  Our marriage was only ever in turmoil when we were in debt.  Now that the chains have been broken off that bound us, we are freely enjoying life together in a commitment to not sacrifice our joy for a dollar bill or what we can have.

The scripture above speaks of those that covet after money, or those that will be rich - in other words, those that "got-to-have-it."  Having a credit card and/or credit gives way to that sort of lifestyle, but with it, comes temptation, snares and MANY sorrows!  You can be rich without debt and still right with God, however, these scriptures speak of the others that seek to be rich in the wrong ways and with the wrong motives.  Leaving out God and His Word for your financial decisions will only dig your hole a bit deeper and your way a lot rougher in life.  It just isn't worth it!!

I like what Clarke said in his commentary on the above scripture:

It requires but little of this world’s goods to satisfy a man who feels himself to be a citizen of another country, and knows that this is not his rest.

To those that don't have their minds fixed on this world and all its dainties, they are satisfied with little.  I know I have a mansion coming one day, so I'm not going to sacrifice my joy or my family to try and get one in this world that God didn't give us the means to afford.  I've learned to be content in the home that God did provide for us for the time being, even though it may be a mobile home, it is a HAPPY home!  I truly do love this place and though I may wish for a fancy house, I would rather not trade what we have now for the snares that that fancy house may entrap us in.

God brought us on this journey a few years ago when we were drowning in debt of our own making and then on top of that, we had the unfortunate event of hospitalization without insurance, which was in reality another problem of our own making.  For, had we had insurance, we wouldn't have added to the burden we were already under.  We didn't take the easy way out, we didn't take charity that is reserved for those that truly need it, no - we knew we made this bed and we had to lie in it.  We paid off those debts over years and we didn't repeat the same mistakes, we rather chose to do a 180 and go the opposite way - living debt free and insuring our health, life and worldly possessions.  Looking ahead and preparing for the future, rather than being unwise and only caring for the present.

If you never learn the lesson in the financial department and change your ways, you will only continue on the hamster wheel as yet another crisis will soon bring you back to where you didn't win the battle.  The key is to win the battle and change!  Then, and only then, can you have true financial peace that comes with God and contentment.

Christian Homekeeping © All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Homeschooling Update


This year has been one of the best years we have ever had in homeschooling so far.  I think it is because I'm very organized, everything is planned out to the 30 minute increments and it goes so smoothly and passes by so quickly and we are having fun and bonding even more.  I've also realized over the years of homeschooling that putting God first is crucial to the day going well, to my sanity and to Katie's attitude.  Our bible curriculum is wonderful and Katie is really being provoked to know, really know, her bible.  It also brings up questions she has about God and day to day things and gives us a special time to grow more in the Lord together.

We started Latin this year and I was thinking it was going to be tedious but it is far from that - it is one of Katie's favorite subjects now.  We both love it and it is fun!  She is even reciting prayers in Latin several times a day before meals and it overjoys my heart to see my daughter have a LOVE of learning - where it isn't a chore but a delight.

We also started chemistry this year and Katie is really excited about it so far.  She builds compounds with her molecule set and gets excited when we search for what she has 'made' online and find the chemical.  I'm learning a lot too as I always had a hard time with chemistry but now I'm getting it - finally lol!

On the music front, Katie really has a passion for violin and she almost becomes a part of it when she plays.  I can just feel her passion for it and she has a dream for playing in the youth symphony orchestra.  The only problem is, everyone we have talked to in the music world has said that her being left-handed will prevent her.  She doesn't let that stop her dreams and I won't let it either, we are even thinking of moving her up to a prestigious teacher that allows her to play in the orchestra twice a year.  It is costly though and far away but if she really wants this, we will sacrifice for her.

I love being a wife, a mom and homeschooling!  I feel that my life is dedicated to my family and the betterment of it.  I don't have a life outside of my family - this is my life!!!  I think of all the memories Katie is going to have of our times together doing school, projects, crafts, etc. - she already has them but what will it be like after 18 or so years of these wonderful memories?  We only have such a short time with our children and I vowed to make the best of it and live with no regrets.  Showing her "the way" that she is to go, teaching her about her God-called role of wife/homekeeper/mother and being there for her and all her questions she has throughout the day.  To think if she wasn't here, who would she be asking those questions to and what would they teach her?  The responsibility is too great that God has given to me and I dare not let another lead her astray but rather keep my children under the guidance, care and instruction of a Godly mother.

Christian Homekeeping © All Rights Reserved.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Finding a Mentor

I want to welcome the new readers, as even though I haven't been blogging much the past few months, the readership has gone up.  So obviously, you are here for some reason and most that have personally contacted me have voiced that it is because I stand up for mothers, homekeeping and being a wife.  Which, in essence, is what we should teach each other about through our lives.

I'm constantly learning from some mentors I have in my own life.  One is a lady that has 6 children, homeschools, sets a standard and gives her all to her husband, children and home.  I see her once a week and what an encouragement she is to me!  She hasn't encouraged me to shun my child, go shopping all day, be on Facebook sitting around on my rear-end gossiping or playing video games or any of the other things that contribute to idleness.  Rather, she encourages by her speech and her life to do what was mentioned last night in the message at church:

Tit 2:3  The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;
Tit 2:4  That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,
Tit 2:5  To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed. 

The message was timely and really helped me personally.  It also made me think of who in my life has really taught me through their life how to be what this scripture addresses.  It is important, I believe, to find a mentor - someone who will, by their life, teach you these important things.  I consider myself a young woman, though maybe to some I'm aged LOL - but really, I don't have that many mentors in my life.  I've had to learn through the school of hard knocks, so to speak.  I had prayed a few years ago for God to send a woman by my way to be that mentor and He did.  There are some that I look on from afar, but I don't get to see them in their day to day lives but they still set an example through their behavior and speech.  

I want to stay away from those that do the opposite, those that do not encourage me to stay home, love my husband and children, but rather speak against those things.  They, I have learned, aren't a good influence on me.  Make sure you have the right mentors and be around those women that you want to become like, those that have something to teach you that is Godly, not of this worldly, feminist mentality.

I want to become that woman, who one day, can teach those things, but first I must learn the basics and conquer my own vices.  Having a woman that mentors me in such a way, teaches me, so that I can become that woman one day.  I've not attained, but I'm pressing towards the mark and learning day by day and issue by issue, just how to be that jewel in my husband's crown.  What should we attain to as women?  It isn't the acclaim of others, because there will always be people that find fault with everything we do or say.  Isn't it rather, those for whom we are called to serve?  Our husbands and children, as the verse describes the 'praise' we should seek after as women:

Pro 31:28  Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. 

Christian Homekeeping © All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Hannah - A Model for Christian Mothers

When we start to look at the Bible and the Godly examples of women laid before us we come across some wonderful models or mentors.  As a mother, there is one that stands out to me personally because of my long, painful years of barrenness - Hannah.  Hannah sought God with tears and she was blessed with a child.  She wasn't praying for money, a house, a car, more clothes - no, Hannah desired to be used by God to raise a child unto Him and even give her child for the Lord's service.  I don't think you could have wiped the smile off her face when God finally opened her womb - I know that feeling; that longing; that ache; and to finally have it gone because God opens your womb!

I came across an awesome article on Christian Motherhood that discusses Hannah as the model for Christian mothers and I think it is a must read for every mother or those yearning to be.  I wanted to share some quotes from the article but you can read it in full at the link below.  This is from J.R. Miller, 1886:
Hannah, as a mother, was enthusiastic. She was not one of those women who think children undesirable encumbrances. She did not consider herself, in her earlier married years, particularly fortunate in being free from the cares and responsibilities of motherhood. She believed that children were blessings from the Lord, that motherhood was the highest honor possible to a woman; and she sought, reverently and very earnestly, from God—the privilege of pressing a little child to her bosom, and calling it her own. This line in the ancient picture we must not overlook in these days, when children are not always regarded as blessings from the Lord, nor even always welcomed.

For another thing, when Hannah's child came, she considered it a part of her pious duty, to nurture and care for it. Instead, therefore, of going up to Shiloh to attend all the great feasts, as she had done before—she stayed at home for some time, to give personal attention to the little one that God had given her, and that was still too young to be taken with safety and comfort on such long journeys. No doubt she supposed that she was worshiping God just as acceptably in doing this, as if she had gone up to all the great religious meetings. And who will say that she was not right?

A mother's first obligations—are to her children; she can have no holier or more sacred duties than those which relate to them. No amount of public religious service will atone for neglect of these. She may run to social and missionary meetings, and abound in all kinds of charitable activities, and may do very much good among the poor, carrying blessings to many other homes, and being a blessing to other people's children, through the Sunday school or mission school; but if she fails, meanwhile, to care for her own children—she can scarcely be commended as a faithful Christian mother! She has overlooked her first and most sacred duties, while she gives her hand and heart to those that are but secondary to her.

Read the article in full here:

Christian Homekeeping © All Rights Reserved.

Called to Be a Mother

The calling of motherhood is a worthy and wonderful calling.  This worldly society wants to downgrade it and make it as though we could do without.  There are women who will answer the call and bear offspring and train them up in the Lord.  As Charles Spurgeon said:

You are as much serving God in looking after your own children, and training them up in God's fear, and minding the house, and making your household a church for God, as you would be if you had been called to lead an army to battle for the Lord of hosts.

The calling of motherhood is a noble call and one that you should count with all seriousness. We aren't just playing a game, babysitting children but we are molding them in the Word of God to one day fulfill what God has for them.  Drown out the negative voices that want to drag you down and think that motherhood is nothing of value.  Instead, embrace the positive words of God as He fills His Word with praise for the virtous woman who makes sure her house and children are all well taken care of.

Love your children.  Train them.  Teach them God's Word.  Don't let anything or anyone make you doubt for even a moment that your calling as a mother is somehow meaningless in this career-woman centered world.  You will have a hand to reach out to on your death bed, a hand that will, hopefully, say, "Thank you Mom for being a good mother!"

Cherish those little ones and enjoy the blessing(s) that God has given you.  Realize that you are fulfilling your calling and give your all to being a mother.  Do it as heartily as you can, serving God through the hands that touch the future generation.  Proclaim the goodness of motherhood, drown out the foul cries of those that mock it.  Good can overcome!  Positivity can drown out the negative!  The hand that rocks the cradle, truly does rule the world.  

You can shape the future by sharpening the arrows that God has given you.  Leave a legacy that your children will never forget.  You have the opportunity to raise children in the fear of God to one day be used for His ministry.  Oh mother, lift your head up!  Rise up and fulfill your calling!  Now is the time to be that mother you know God wants you to be, he will use you to raise the next generation!  To be used as the master's tool - no, there is hardly a greater calling as being a mother.  Mothers produce men that one day become great preachers and reach others for God.  Mothers bear those who go out into the mission field and share the gospel where it hasn't been heard!  You, by extension of your children, have reaped the harvest.  Sleep on that tonight and don't let anyone tell you that what you are doing is drudgery - oh no, it is heavenly!

Christian Homekeeping © All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Christian Home

George R. Stuart, a famous Methodist evangelist preached on March 8, 1895 on the importance of the home:

     I shall go with you tonight to the dearest and most sacred spot on earth to you and me - a spot around which clusters the sweetest associations and the most precious memories.  I shall speak tonight of home.
     The longer I live, the more I visit from home to home, the more I see of the sorrows and cares, the successes and failures of this life, the more I am impressed that the home problem is the greatest problem of our civilization.  The homes of our country are so many streams pouring themselves into the great current of moral, social and political life.  If the home life is pure, all is pure.  The home is the center of everything.
     From the proper or improper settlement of the home question comes more of joy or sorrow, more of weal or woe, than from all other questions combined.  Build your palaces, amass your great fortunes, pile up your luxuries all about you, provide for the satisfaction of every desire, but as you sit amid these luxuries and wait for the staggering steps of a drunken son or contemplate the downward steps of a wayward daughter, happiness flies out of your heart and your home.  Their is nothing that can render happy the parents of godless, wayward children.
     Around the home circle of the cottage or the palace are great possibilities of joy or sorrow than in all the rest of the world.  Not only does the happiness of the world center in the home, but the moral, social and civil life of the world emanates form the home.
     Every drunkard, every gambler, every debauchee, every lost character once sat on Mother's lap and learned the mother tongue and the mother thought and mother action - the mother life.  The downfall of every character can be traced to some defect in the home life.
     If God Almighty has fixed it up so that we cannot take our children to Heaven with us, He has put us in a horrible condition.  The prettiest picture earth furnishes is a whole family on the way to Heaven; the most horrible picture is a whole family on the way to Hell.  I believe in the truth of the proverb of this Book: "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it."  A child properly trained up to the proper point will not go astray.
     The normal way to get rid of drunkards is to quit raising them; the normal way to get rid of liars, thieves and debauchees is to quit raising them.

Christian Homekeeping © All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

It's a Boy!!!!

We had our ultrasound and found it was a boy!  We have been calling him Zachary for about 4 months now, so it fit!  He is large and they are expecting me to have a big baby.  There is one problem, there is a heart abnormality, but the fetal medicine doctor said it was only one so he isn't too concerned.  He said it can signal down syndrome, but usually there is more than one abnormality to be that and the fetus is only showing one right now.  They want to check it again in a few weeks with another ultrasound and go from there.  We believe God can and WILL heal Zachary's heart, so pray with us!

I'm also 3 or so days farther along but they aren't changing my official due date yet.  He is breech and has been through all 3 ultrasounds I've had, so if he stays that way, with me being high-risk, and with a previous c-section - I'm not going to risk it, but rather opt for what we feel is the best option.  If he is 9 pounds or bigger......well, no way is that baby coming out the normal way LOL - sorry, not going there lol, he will be another c-section lol.

I'm excited and God keeps blessing us with more baby stuff from others and Zachary's room is already getting full of his goodies!  I feel that I can start planning his room now, but we may not set it up till he is around 3 months when we move him into his room.  I plan on doing a theme of zoo animals in bright colors - lime green, bright blue, bright red, bright yellow and bright orange.  We already have been given some items that go right along with this color scheme and theme!  I will have to take pictures when time permits hopefully.

Christian Homekeeping © All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Quotes on Frugality

"The philosopher Diogenes was eating bread and lentils for supper. He was seen by the philosopher Aristippus, who lived comfortably by flattering the king. Said Aristippus, "If you would learn to be subservient to the king you would not have to live on lentils."

Said Diogenes, "Learn to live on lentils and you will not have to be subservient to the king."

- The Song of the Bird by Anthony de Mello

"You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
You cannot establish sound security on borrowed money.
You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn."

- Abraham Lincoln


Christian Homekeeping © All Rights Reserved.

Keeping Up With the 'Christian' Joneses

From iPhones to fancy cars, Christians aren't immune to "keeping up with the Joneses."  This spirit of the world has even taken hold of the church.  If one brother or sister has it, then another gets it and pretty soon, it is the thing to do.  The got-to-have-it-now mentality shouldn't be something that Christians practice on a day-to-day basis, but sadly it is growing.  It comes from immaturity, greed and selfishness.  Not being able to save, wait or do without but rather leaning towards impulses and instant gratification is opposite of true maturity.

You wonder sometimes how people in debt, claiming to be Christians, continue to pile up massive amounts of debt in order to display to others a sense of wealth or coolness.  It smacks of high school and the faddish public school system and seemingly a lot of adults can't leave that atmosphere behind them in their youth.  If you are in debt, you shouldn't be buying a house, a car or whatever else, on more debt!  Unless of course you want people to know you are that stupid.  You also shouldn't be having the latest smart-phone, buying new clothes every month and going out to eat every week.  That is the old-school wisdom that is disappearing that we need to bring back!

Christians should lead the way in living debt-free, modestly and displaying the financial principles the Bible teaches.  Recently, we have been looked at as some weird kooks for not having a cell phone, text plan and/or smart phone.  You should see the looks we get when others find out we aren't doing what everyone else is doing.  We learned a few years ago to live debt-free and not have expenses that are not necessary and I'm sorry but a smart-phone is a toy and convenience and is not necessary!  Yet, the ones that look at us so weird are the ones that are in debt, owe a car payment, credit cards, don't even buy their own food or insurance and yet........they have a smart phone!  These same people will in later years blame the church or some in leadership because they have no money to support themselves.  Rather than placing the blame on themselves, where it goes, they live in denial of their slavery to debt and blame others.  

It is time to stop "keeping up with the Joneses" because the Joneses are BROKE!  Start practicing Godly financial wisdom according to the Word of God and don't be slave to a lender, in other words, don't take out debt or live in it.  Trust God to bless you, not the government!  Trust God to feed you, not the hard-working people of America whose taxes you live off of!  Only then, can you open the windows of Heaven and experience a true blessing from God - one that comes from doing things right and defies the spirit of this greed-filled society.

Proverbs 22:7

The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.

Christian Homekeeping © All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

When Birth Control is Needed

It doesn't matter how many times I post on hot topics, such as birth control, I always seem to confuse some. I've posted a lot in the past 5 years on this blog about birth control and I believe my *own* personal beliefs have been well stated but I can see where someone can misinterpret and think I'm making blanket statements.  So I wanted to do a post to tell you where I believe birth control is needed, as it sometimes is in marriage, for various reasons.  Ultimately, it is between you and your husband before God what you do or don't do, but this is my blog, therefore I share my beliefs in hopes to make you think or challenge your own ideas.

Birth control such as hormonal therapies with the pill, IUD's, Depo-shot, etc. are NEVER ok as they have a chance of killing a baby, and that is documented fact.  However, there are many other safe birth control options such as withdrawal, timing/calendar and other methods that will NEVER kill a baby.  There are times when they are needed and times when they are used because the risk of having a child is far too great for the mother or family.  I believe God wants us to use wisdom and plan even our families.  Yes, it is ultimately up to Him, but killing yourself in the name of God is not Godly wisdom, let me explain.

Some reasons birth control may or is needed:

  • Medically necessary - the mother or even father may have medical reasons for preventing offspring, such as carrying on a disease that is genetic or when it is not safe for the mother.  If the mother's life would be in danger or made worse, wisdom says use your brain!  If I knew I was going to die if I had another child, I wouldn't tempt the Lord by going ahead and getting pregnant.  It is making you just as much as murderer as you would be if you had an abortion, in my opinion.  Also, waiting at least 2 years after a c-section for healing is recommended before your body is fully capable again to conceive and not risk your health.  I can't tell you how many times we used birth control methods in times I was very ill, hospitalized and on drugs that would have killed a baby had I gotten pregnant, so wisdom in these situations say prevent!
  • Financially incapable - if you can't even feed yourself and your husband and live off government assistance, as a Christian, why would you bring a child into the world not being able to pay for it yourself?  Too many Christians err in this area as God's Word teaches against living off others but rather eating your own bread, working and providing for your OWN.  Having children in addition to this and living off the government to pay for those children is in itself stealing and brings shame to the gospel.
  • Unloving mother - there are just some women who hate children and refuse to have children and I believe they should continue to use birth control methods.  Having a child we would hope would change these women but if they are bent on treating them as little nuisances, I think it is best they keep themselves purposely barren.  Too many mothers today, even in Christian circles, constantly talk about how bad their children are, how much of a bother they are, how they can't wait to send them off to school to get 'rid' of them and have their "free" time - these women should probably just stay childless, it would be better off that children are not brought up in this kind of verbal abuse and lack of Godly, motherly love!
  • Husbands decision - when one parent, even husband, doesn't want a child, why would you go ahead and have one?  The child will feel it is unwanted, you can't hide those feelings as they come out in the things you do or say to a child you didn't want.  If the husband declares he wants no children or no more children, the wife should respect his decision as the leader of the home.

Those are just a few of my thoughts on when birth control is needed, with the first one being the most obvious reason.  If after this pregnancy, I realize that another one could endanger my health and life, I'm not going to tempt God by going ahead and getting pregnant again.  Rather, I will take my husband's decision and own wisdom, coupled with prayer, and make a decision.

Having a child is a choice, God leaves it up to us as we are free moral agents, no longer under the law but having freedom to choose our way in life.  However, He will never stand for killing a baby through abortion or birth control and the hateful rhetoric against children and views of them as nuisances, which is not inspired by God but rather Satan who loves to speak against God's creation.  God Himself counts them as a blessing and we should as well, our hearts should be open to children, even if we are barren!  You never know when someone you know or a member of your family may die or become incapable of taking care of their children and need you step in and be that parent.  Adoption should be something most Christians race to, but sadly, there are more homosexuals fulfilling that call of caring for the orphans.  Having a heart always open to children should be inside every woman, as women are made to be mothers and loving, caring, nurturing souls - it is what God created us for.

Christian Homekeeping © All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Gift of Procreation vs. Pleasure-Only Marriages

I've agreed wholeheartedly in the past with many of Albert Mohler's articles as he echoes truth that seemingly not a lot of ministers in our nation will stand up and say.  Today he shared a wonderful article on the question, "Can Christians Use Birth Control?"  I wanted to share it with you all to read, and also share some quotes that I found particularly worthy of pointing out.

First, we must start with a rejection of the contraceptive mentality that sees pregnancy and children as impositions to be avoided rather than as gifts to be received, loved, and nurtured. This contraceptive mentality is an insidious attack upon God’s glory in creation, and the Creator’s gift of procreation to the married couple. 
To demand sexual pleasure without openness to children is to violate a sacred trust. 
In reality, the Pill allowed a near-total abandonment of Christian sexual morality in the larger culture. Once the sex act was severed from the likelihood of childbearing, the traditional structure of sexual morality collapsed. 
Christian couples are not ordered by Scripture to maximize the largest number of children that could be conceived. 
Christians may make careful and discriminating use of proper technologies, but must never buy into the contraceptive mentality. We can never see children as problems to be avoided, but always as gifts to be welcomed and received.

I agree on the one part that we are not mandated to just keep popping out children with no care to our health, our husbands or financial means.  However, using the pill or IUD or other devices that are capable of abortion, is murder, there are other safe non-abortificients that do not have a chance to kill a baby.

Too many Americans and especially Christians, are centered on child-avoidance and would rather have wealth, fame and their own selfish careers over one of the greatest gifts to man - children.  I know some that have this mentality and they are generally self-centered women whose money, time and energy is spent on themselves, either in buying material goods or pursuing their every whim each day.  That is a sad life to live and one that will cleave to them in remembrance when they are old and filled with regret.  Then, I also know women who were like this and came to the realization of their error, but at a time too late in their life and they do live with sadness.  Women who can't conceive are not exempted from this because there are millions of children in this country and many other countries that are waiting for that couple to love them and adopt them as their own.

What I want you to take from these thoughts are this - Where has this sex-centered, child-avoidance-filled society gotten America?  Are we better because of the pill and the sexual revolution?  Are we a better civilization because of the "freedom" to have sex without procreation?  Are marriages better?  Do they last when sex is all there is?  What we do have is a society filled with sex-crazed, lust-filled men and women who, even when they have a family, don't have time for them.  It has created a self-centered society, a civilization built on pleasure-only that is doomed to fall.  

Christian Homekeeping © All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

12 Blessed Years of Marriage!

I cried for a while yesterday thinking of the past 12 years.  We have gone through some trials that maybe couples don't even experience until many years into their marriage.  I thought of the wonderful husband I have and his deep love for me.  Even though for the first part of our marriage, he had to endure watching me change with a disease that got worse each year, he never stopped loving me.  When maybe some men would have left or pushed me aside, he stood by side and helped me through it.  When we met and I shared with him all I had been through in my life, he comforted me and that is when I knew he was made for me.  God knew what kind of man I needed and I have no doubts that Nate is my true soul mate.  I couldn't have lived with a macho, king-of-the-house, egotistical, narcissistic man and God knew that!  I needed a compassionate, loving, understanding, a man of steel, yes, but also of velvet and Nate was all that wrapped up into one.

I believe in the mindset I had carried for so many years that I expected him to not want me eventually and to leave me.  It was almost as if I couldn't understand why someone would love me.  Years of abuse had broken down my spirit and it would take God years to repair it but he sent Nate to be that tool.  Through the toughest years of our marriage at the height of my disease, Nate never wavered in his love towards me.  He knew me and he knew that the disease was covering up the true me inside.

God healed me in 2007 and our marriage has only grown even stronger and has a strength that it seems that no trial could break.  When your marriage has been tested in all ways, through extreme circumstances and made it through, you realize that you have something rare in today's society.  You want to hold on to it, never let it go and nurture it, so it grows and never dwindles!  Ever since my healing, I was able to finally become that woman I had always wanted and strived to be.  I was able to love my husband and child properly and serve them in the ways I had wished I had been able to before.

It all taught me, not only that my marriage was a gift from God, but that without that disease, I may not have known it.  Without that disease, I may not have had the compassion on others I do now.  Without that disease, I may not even be whom I am today.  I may not have known how truly and dearly my husband loved me and that he would stick with me through sickness and health.  It made me love him more and let go of the fears of my past and increase my self-worth and lift my spirits.

None of this would have been possible, if not for God.  If not for God sending Nate by my way to invite me to church when I was 19, I may not have been saved and met the man God made for me.  Thank you Lord for your blessings on me and these past 12 years of love, learning and growing!  To my husband, I love you dearly and may I always be the wife you need.

Christian Homekeeping © All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

8-yr Old Making Freezer Jam

My daughter begged me to let her make the strawberry jam this time and I didn't think she was old enough yet to do the whole process, but she did it!  She picked off the stems, soaked them, rinsed, blended and added them to the sugar and pectin mixture and stirred.  I also thought that she couldn't pour them properly into the containers with the ladle without spilling them all over the sides but she sure showed me lol!  She did it almost perfectly!  Even though we only make jam twice a year, it is now her chore and one she loves doing.  I'm so glad that she is willing and enthusiastic about learning these things, it sure makes my job of teaching her that much easier.


Christian Homekeeping © All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Stop Trying to Do it Without God!

This message is for homeschooling mothers but it could also apply to those who send their children to others to be taught.  I've heard a lot of complaints among Christian homeschoolers on how hard it is to homeschool and how things just aren't working out.  Some that have voiced that they knew that God called them to homeschool, have even out of desperation said they are thinking of putting their child into school.  Then, as I try to encourage or offer a word of advice, I'm given something like this: "Well, you are so different because you are organized and self-motivated."  No, I'm sorry that is not it, it isn't in anything that I am!

Upon asking about the Bible curriculum, I'm met with "Well, we don't have any and we don't really read the Bible everyday, we are just trying to get the other subjects done and I don't have TIME to add anything else."  Sorry God but could you just go away?  Can't you see I'm trying to homeschool my child and I don't have time to teach them about you.  After all, I'm protecting them from the public school system that leaves you out and I know you will bless my efforts.  Meanwhile, God is shaking his head as he sees the same "leaving God out" happening in the homes of Christian homeschoolers.

If you don't put God first in your homeschool ladies, you might as well pack it up, sell your curriculum and send them off somewhere to be schooled because you are wasting your time!  If Bible isn't important in your homeschool, then what are you teaching your children?  You sure aren't teaching them that God comes first and how important it is to know His Word!  I personally believe that Bible and prayer should come before other studies every morning.  I don't care if we don't even have time to get to math, as long as I taught my daughter God's Word that day - to me, that is what matters most!

I see the eyes of a girl looking into mine as I teach her about God and her eagerness to know more.  As I was teaching Katie the bible lesson a few weeks ago, she stopped me and said "Mommy, you are planting seeds."  I  was amazed and wondering what she meant.  She went on to tell me I was planting a seed in her and one day she would plant a seed by telling someone else about God or teaching her children.  My heart melted!

Mothers, go plant some seeds this week!  Realize that you are doing one of the highest callings in this world of being a mother and homeschooling your children!  If you try and grow your garden without seeds, you will end up with a bed full of weeds that come in to invade the empty space.  Don't let that empty space be in your children's hearts!  Fill it with God and His Word!!

Christian Homekeeping © All Rights Reserved.

Friday, May 11, 2012

How to Spend Only $100 a Month on Groceries

I wanted to explain how my budget system works with my meal plan.  With this system, I stockpile and buy enough to make dinner freezer meals for 3 months.  I spend small amounts on certain months and then a large amount the month I buy for my 3-month freezer cooking and keep my stockpile going, which will be next month in June.  It all averages out to $150 a month.  Let me explain:

Month 1 - spend $100
Month 2 - spend $100
Month 3 - freezer cooking shopping/stockpile, spend $250

Average costs of groceries over 3 months = $150 a month

So in order to make it on an average of $100 over 3 months, I will need it to work something like this:

Month 1 - spend $50
Month 2 - spend $50
Month 3 - freezer cooking shopping/stockpile, spend $200

Average costs of groceries over 3 months = $100 a month

I can't really cut down on my stockpile month too much, so that means that the other 2 months are pretty lean.  It is easy to do it on the $150 budget, but will be a challenge on this budget for sure.  I could do $75 for months 1 & 2 and then cut my month 3 down to $150 but I'm not sure I can get that month's food AND 3-months of dinner meals AND keep my stockpile up cutting it that low.  I will see how this month goes and go from there.  Once I get canning going next month, I can can soups, sauces and other things that will lower our budget even more.

The main way I save money is buy making homemade foods - this is not just meals, this is snacks, condiments, bread items and desserts.  Making homemade organic whole wheat bread, pita pockets, pizza dough and on and on is FAR cheaper than buying it from the store, and it tastes better!  This will require a LOT of work on my part but since I'm coming upon my second trimester, they say you get a burst of energy during this trimester and I'm counting on that.

I realized this was a 5-week month, so I'm trying to not do the bulk of my shopping until next week, so I can just purchase for 4 weeks.  I suppose you could call this eating-out-of-the-pantry week.  This also gave me more time to plan.

Christian Homekeeping © All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

My First Ultrasound - 8 Weeks

Turns out there is only one baby in there and I am 8 weeks and 2 days along.  We saw and heard his heartbeat, it was beating at 176 bpm.  Katie was ecstatic and I was crying and my husband was beaming he was so happy lol.  You may notice I'm calling the baby a "he."  That is because I believe it is a boy and we even picked the name Zachary a few weeks ago in the car on the way home.  It wasn't until after that, that I looked it up to see what it meant.  Zachary means "God has remembered!"  How incredible is that!?  After all these years, God has remembered me and opened up my womb again!!!


I hadn't discussed it on here, but I was depressed as the doctor had told me in January that I was most likely infertile and may not even be able to have anymore children.  I had almost given up, we had quit "trying" and thinking about a baby and I was going on with my life.  We even started seriously discussing adoption.  Then I missed my period and I was shocked as I'm like clock-work and track my cycle meticulously.  How could I be pregnant when we had pretty much given up?  As soon as I took the test, there was a line - there was no doubt that I was pregnant!

Longtime readers may know that I was told I was sterile when I was 23 and right after I got that dismal outlook I got pregnant with Katie.  It is almost as if God was waiting for the doctor to once again say those words, sentencing me to a barren womb, so that He could show Himself mighty and work another miracle!!!!  God has remembered me!

Christian Homekeeping © All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

If Not For That 13-Year Old Mattress.........

This past Friday, I woke up once again with neck pain.  I've been suffering with it for a few months now from our mattress that is 13 years old.  The mattress goes down in the middle and then when my husband is laying down, I can't help but roll into him.  I feel like I'm rolling downhill every night and it takes me a long time to fall asleep because I'm so uncomfortable and by morning, I wake up in pain and my neck hurts all day, though it gets better as the day goes on, it returns in the morning.

Katie wanted to call my husband at work and she had it on speaker in the kitchen, while I was laying in bed in pain.  He put his co-worker on the phone to talk to Katie and the man asked her "What did you eat for breakfast this morning?" Katie said "I haven't eaten anything yet because my mom is still in bed."  My heart sank and thoughts ran through my head of what this man must think of this homekeeping, homeschooling mother that is still in bed and whose child hasn't ate breakfast yet.  Then the thought of why I was in bed rose up - the 13-year old mattress that causes me pain!  Then, I got mad at my husband for 1.  Making me sleep on a 13-yr old mattress and 2. Having his co-worker talk to Katie and then me receive this embarrassment.  So what did I do?  Well, not what I would have typically done - I had held my peace about this mattress for way too long and today, my husband was going to hear it from me LOL!

So I called him back letting him know why I was still in bed (neck pain) and whose fault it was (his for making me sleep on a 13-yr old mattress) and told him he had to tell his co-worker WHY his wife was laying in bed with an unfed child!  I also told him that I had had enough, I was going to take money out of savings and buy a new mattress myself.  Needless to say, we both quickly ended the conversation.

Then came the conviction and guilt for what I had done, I probably felt it while I was letting my husband have it but I pushed it aside in my "I'm going to tell him a thing or two" pride.  I knew I was wrong and even though my actions may have had justifiable reasons, they were not what a Godly wife would say or do.  I felt so bad and called my husband to apologize.  He didn't think I needed to apologize but I knew I did!  My husband said he had told the co-worker the situation about our mattress and my neck pain.  Shortly after, the co-worker came to my husband and said "I want to give you all a King-size bed and mattress set."  He was decided on it and wanted us to have it, it was barely a year old bed-frame with mattress set that his grandmother had but she passed away recently and he gets the bed.

I had been praying for a King-size bed for a few years now but my husband had said "the only way we can get that, is if God does it Bev, so just get that out of your mind."  I cried because I was not WORTHY of this!  I didn't deserve this after how I acted and I was overwhelmed by God's blessing to us despite my contentious spirit to my husband.  I'm thankful for God answering my prayer and I learned a valuable lesson with this situation - no, it isn't make sure to tell your husband off LOL - it is to always make it right!

Christian Homekeeping © All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

My Husband = My Best Friend

Lately, we have been going through some things - not between my husband and I, but outside trials that have tested our resolve in God.  It has been very trying for me and made me really have to reach places in my heart to really trust God fully as we are faced with this test.  Yesterday, I was struck with fear of possible choices that may come up in the future and I was feeling unsteady, unsure of what it is that God wants us to do.  Hubby came home and walked in the door with 18 yellow roses - something that since we met has meant a symbol of our deep friendship.  He also got our daughter a glass swan with a single rose and then gave me a card that just said it all!


Since we met, my husband has been, not only my lover, but my best friend.  There has been a bond from the beginning and one that has grown deeper, stronger and holds steadfast through every storm.  It is always nice to have a gentle reminder such as this from him, to bring to remembrance these facts and give me strength to go forward together in God.

Christian Homekeeping © All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Hair Update - March 2012

My last hair post was in April 2010 and then one with pictures of my hair curled in Nov. 2010, so it has been a while mainly because I'm not preoccupied with my hair as it finally reached the place where I wanted it.  It is very easy to manage - just wash and let air dry and comb - that is it, seriously!  Every now and then I curl using water and sponge rollers and sometimes I do hot rollers or a curling iron but that is very rare.

Last I measured it was 32.5 inches long and today it is........38 inches!  So it has grown 5.5 inches in 2 years.  I'm still far away from what my hair used to be at 50 inches here, that was before I got 2 perms that sadly broke incredible amounts of my hair off over the past few years.  However, my hair is now repaired and looking healthy like it used to, though not as thick as it was when I was 25.  For those who may be new readers, I don't cut or trim my hair - last time I did was 1999.

I took some shots today in the bathroom of my hair down, up and then flipped up and over too.  I took a close-up of my strands and also of my ends as well.  My hair is naturally straight and this is after a wash and air-dry.  I may curl my hair, just so I can show you how it looks curled too in another post.








Christian Homekeeping © All Rights Reserved.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Let the Walls Come Down - New Friendships on the Horizon

I came across this post this past weekend and made me realize that there are so many women out there looking for friendships too and I wasn't alone.  I've kept my friendship circle so small and limited the past few years, but I'm branching out and it feels good.

We don't have any family within 3,000 miles of where we live and even though we attend a large church there are limits on who we can hang out with.  Realizing that was beyond my control, I poured my heart out to God.  In Alaska, I didn't really hang out with my church friends very often but rather with other women in the community.  For some reason, when I moved here to Washington, I kept my circle so small and limited to just those that attended my church.  However, now that is even smaller with limitations and there is too much drama in certain situations to be honest - so I realized that I - me alone - had closed myself in to such a small circle.  I had participated in the past in homeschool events and met many women but I let my own insecurities and walls keep them away.  Well, walls no more - here I am world.....I'm so ready!

I told God the past few days with tears that I wanted friends that wouldn't flip out over some little detail.  Friends that you could work things out with, if the situation ever arose.  Friends that wouldn't go all weird on you for no reason.  Basically, I wanted some good, mature friendships!  Friends that wouldn't try and lead me the wrong way.  Friends that were happy and didn't want to talk about everyone else all the time but rather have some good, old fashioned fun!

God answered my prayer today.  I went to a playground with my daughter and was just going to sulk in the corner playing checkers on my Kindle lol.  Then a lady started talking to me and kept talking.  She was so full of life, excited about being a homekeeper, was a Christian and even thinking of homeschooling.  Our daughters hit it off really well playing together too.  I kept thinking to myself - Wow God, that was fast!  After giving her my information to hook up again and she left, another lady sat down and started talking to me too.  I was thinking how happy I was just to have one new friend, now God sent me another!  Turns out, she has a friend who has daughters my daughter's age and are in a large homeschool group. She is going to give her friend my info and they will call me about the group!

I left there thanking God in my heart for his goodness.  I just kept saying on the drive home, "God is so good!"  God saw my circumstance and chose to answer my prayers and fill my heart with joy.  God is just so good!

Christian Homekeeping © All Rights Reserved.

Friday, February 3, 2012

What About Socialization?........And Other Mythical Questions

Even though I stopped volunteering that we homeschool, thanks to all the condescending responses we have received by sharing that fact, I still can't escape the looks and comments.  The biggest one that most homeschoolers are used to is "what about socialization?"  I want to know if anyone could please tell me just what social skill it is that my child should mimic from the public school halls?  Could it be the bullying or the same-sex kissing in the hallways, that she is missing out on seeing on a daily basis?  Or maybe she is missing out on the playground recess rape tag game that has been the cool thing to do at an ELEMENTARY school, where to unfreeze another kid, you have to hump them, and to tag you grab or pull on their genitals?  By the way, they learned it on Facebook, another great place for children.

I'm sure she is missing out on the wonderful teachers we hear so much about in the news almost weekly now that are molesting children or teaching them communism and homosexuality.  She is missing out on the curriculum being distributed across the country that is "mandatory" learning for elementary children on diversity and how its ok to like the same sex.  How can a teacher in L.A. molest 23 children, ages 6-10 for 5 YEARS, taking pictures and having them drink his semen from a spoon without being caught that long?  Then today, they are finding out as more children come forward that there is a second teacher at the same school that committed lewd acts with children!  How many more are doing the same during school-time that might not ever get caught?  How about not trusting your children to strangers and godless individuals for 8 hours a day Mon-Fri?

My daughter is missing out on the free abortions given, without parent's approval, at many public high schools across the US.  One 15-yr old girl, was able to kill her unborn baby during school hours without her parent's even knowing.  My daughter will never have that privilege, I guess she really is missing out on all the "fun."  She will not get to learn that having sex before marriage is the "cool" thing to do, she will actually be taught abstinence and that abortion is murder - boy is she missing out!

Let's not forget all the quality education going on at the nation's public schools.  Taking God out of the curriculum, really leaves a whole lot more time for real wisdom doesn't it?  Just look at these shining examples from a high school in my state of Washington who think Bin Laden is the Vice President and too many "oops" moments in this civics quiz.

Wow, is my child really missing out on some socialization and quality teaching!  You are so right, she is!  I say PRAISE GOD, HALLELUJAH, she is missing out on all that evil, false-teaching, debauchery, atheism, homosexualism and many more multitudes of godless socialization!  I'm so glad that we have chosen quality, wholesome, moral and GODLY socialization for our children.  I love my child too much to let her be lied to and taught things against God and all immoral behaviors.  I would rather teach her what God wants her to know!

1 Cor. 15:33
Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. 

So the question isn't 'what about socialization', the question is what "KIND" of socialization do you prefer?  Remember, you can sacrifice your time now raising your children in God's Word and correct history and science and marital correctness OR you can pray the rest of your life that God will undue all the damage that 12 years of immorality in the public school system has taught them.  It's your choice.

Christian Homekeeping © All Rights Reserved.