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Showing posts from 2014

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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 risi

Goals for 2015

Am I the only one that thinks it feels weird to say 2015?  Maybe it is because as I get older, I can't believe how fast time is flying by.  I will be 35 in a week and not only can I not believe that, my parents can't believe their "baby" is that old already! I'm not sure what goals to set for this coming year as I will be just trying to survive LOL - ok, ADAPT to a new baby and possibly a new state as we plan on moving by the end of the summer, Lord willing.  A lot of NEW things are coming this year and it seems overwhelming but I know that God will help me through it all.  The baby should arrive in June sometime and then by the time it is 3 or 4 months old, we plan to move from here, Washington state, to Ohio to see what God has for us there. ★ Happy New Year to all my readers! ★

A Look Back on 2014

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Is 2014 really almost over already!?  This year was full of many problems in my body but thank God they came with miracles !  I had a miscarriage we believe, though it was very early on and then shortly after, I couldn't stopped vomiting for hours and ended up in an ambulance.  We found out that my gallbladder had stop pumping out bile and they still aren't sure why but I had it removed and upon removing it, the surgeon saw my appendix was about to rupture and he decided to remove it and save my life!  Recovery was difficult and ended me back up in the hospital and then 5 long months of daily diarrhea and pain of which God healed me in a revival service!  After barely getting over that miracle, I found out I was pregnant!  A few weeks later, I was gushing blood thinking my pregnancy was over but God moved again and the baby survived! Then......yes, it keeps going on LOL!! A tumor was found that they originally thought was a cyst but now they weren't sure what it was an

Jesus Was in a Large Family

I was thinking of how many people today ridicule you if you have more than one child - or some, even if you have any at all!  How opposite it is of Hannah in the Bible that suffered disgrace for NOT having children - today, women will taunt you if you DO have children.  Satan has really reversed more than just gender these days, he has reversed thoughts on children and family. If Jesus were born in our society today, you can believe that Mary and Joseph would also suffer the criticism because they had a large family.   The bible tells us of at least 7 children, Jesus being one, but many believe they had more.  A family of 7 today would really be a spectacle and even church people would say to Jesus' family things like: "Don't you know what causes that?" or "Can you afford them?"  Isn't it amazing how what is really "normal" is considered abnormal today?  What God calls a blessing all throughout the bible, people today call it a curse?  What

I Won't Do It God

Upon learning we were pregnant with our 3rd child, we knew we were going to have to get a van or a larger vehicle to hold 2 carseats and our older daughter.  We had figured based upon prices of vans these days, we would have to get a car loan and go back into debt because there just wasn't any other way.  However, upon remembrance of the many points in our lives the past 6 years where we thought there was just "no other way," God always showed up and provided that way!  I thought this was too big and there just wasn't enough time to save up for the van and I gave in to thinking we would have to go into debt for a vehicle.   I was thinking of a man from India I spoke with on the phone in a scam call and how I told him I know he is lying and this was a scam and I started witnessing to Him about Jesus.  I told him that Jesus could give him another job where he didn't have to lie.  He told me He believed in God but there was no other job for him to do and God hasn&

Let's Talk Life Insurance

In my Financial series , I talked about the importance of having insurance, especially health, but life insurance is another one of the crucial insurances to have.  A husband that doesn't provide life insurance for his family must not care for his family's future because in the event of his death, he has left them with nothing.   A Godly husband will make sure his family is taken care of in the present and future - especially upon his death, right?  If he doesn't, he is knowingly leaving them with no financial security and a life of hardship upon his death - that just doesn't sit well with me.  This is my opinion of course but in reality - all husband's plan for their family's future upon his death - he either plans for them to have something or he plans for them to have nothing!  What kind of life insurance should you buy?  Only term life insurance is a good investment, anyone that tells you different is probably trying to sell you whole life insurance or the

Choose Money Over Children

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The President that resides in office currently, who has brought this nation to a detrimental point as never seen before in morality and debt - has now declared that he wants you to choose money over your children.  Well, he would have to say that right?  How else is he going to get women working to pay more taxes for all the junk that he threw on Americans in his presidency?  He needs us all to be his slaves and see dollar signs and forget the important things in life - you know FAMILY and GOD! Obama's remarks to Rhode Island College in Providence, Rhode Island this past Friday “Sometimes, someone, usually mom, leaves the workplace to stay home with the kids, which then leaves her earning a lower wage for the rest of her life as a result. And that’s not a choice we want Americans to make ,” Obama said. “So let’s make this happen: By the end of this decade, let’s enroll 6 million children in high-quality preschool, and let’s make sure that we are making America stronger

Motherhood is Dying to Self

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Not many things in life involve more of dying to yourself than motherhood.  Sure, there are mothers that will not die to their self and therefore it doesn't mean that just because you are a mother, you are a selfless person.  Sadly, in America, we are full of mothers who are quite the opposite!  We have mothers that want to please themselves or others more than be what God made them to be - a mother.   They won't let anything get in the way of their ambitions and they sure won't die to self in order to take care of their family. I was reading a devotion from a book about homeschooling by Anita Mellott and noticed a quote from her friend: Homeschooling is constantly dying to self. I can testify that this is very true!  Not only is motherhood demanding but teaching your children is complete sacrifice and death to your self.  That is one reason why a lot of women won't do it.  They are glorified on the altar of recognition for all they do outside the home and that

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

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

The Things People Won't Talk About

Or in other words - HOT TOPICS!  Just what is a hot topic?  To me, it is something that once spoken about or brought up, brings a firestorm of criticism because it is a sensitive topic to some people.  It is also something that is generally about truth and of God and that rubs the devil the wrong way.  Some hot topics I've blogged about on here that have ruffled feathers are: Holiness - especially when you bring up living right Hair - this is a big one for women Proper roles of a man and woman  Birth control Keeper at Home Debt - envy and covetousness are neighbors Training Children in Godly education Social media - busybody much? Dress Most people wouldn't dare talk about these topics because they prefer popularity or a smooth religion of no offense.  People are more concerned about offending someone than saving that person's soul from hell.  There are those that will go to hell unoffended because of your lack of standing for the truth!   There are those th

Surrender

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There is a place called surrender, where you realize that you can't control things and that you may not even understand WHY things happen or why God allowed it.   Thankfully, I've had some understanding after tragedy, to grasp ahold of God's all-seeing eye and wisdom, to help me surrender.  I could go through a long list of traumas in my life but I will spare you (at least in this post LOL!) and share the most recent one back in March. I was pregnant in March and so happy that God had given me another child that the last thing on my mind was miscarriage.  I remember cooking up some homemade peanut butter cups and then having an attack of severe pain down there that got so bad and didn't stop.  We ended up going to the ER as the on-call OB thought maybe I was having an ectopic pregnancy.  Thankfully, it wasn't an ectopic but I did have a miscarriage. I remember crying so hard for days and this was also a time when the founder of our church had died.  I became s

Third Baby on the Way!

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Please keep us in prayer!  I'm not even going to fear losing this baby, we had prayed specifically that God would only give us a baby if it was His will and it took a while but it is time!

Why I've Been Silent for a While

I've started to write many posts the past few weeks but never published them.  I've been angry.  I've asked God to help me with my anger and then I realized that what I was angry about wasn't an unholy anger as it is the same things God is angry about - every. single. day. The news article on Fox News an hour ago took the cake and I'm bolted out of silence on this topic that I've had in my mind for quite some time.  In Houston, Texas, they have subpoenaed sermons of pastors of various denominations to see what they are saying about or against homosexuals or gender identity (even the lesbian town mayor) .  If they don't turn over these sermons, they will be held in contempt court - go to jail! Yes, we have arrived in what we all knew was coming.  This actually started many, many years ago when public school was invented by a bunch of God-haters to grab hold of the minds of this nation and mold them slowly into what they wanted and what we have today - un

Our Family Chunk Clock

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I listened to a wonderful seminar from The Homeschool Coach, Mary Ann Johnson , on Hecoa's free Not-Back-to-School Summit about the family chunk clock.  It was so amazing, I watched it again and took a LOT of notes and then also listened to the audio and printed out the handouts to make ours.  My daughter Katie has voiced to me before that she feels like she doesn't know what is next each day.  I knew that this would not only benefit me, but especially her! How it works is, you divide your day up into chunks of things you do.  If there are days where things come up, someone gets sick, etc. (and they will!) this chunk clock helps you see a visual of what is important to finish that day, what you can skip and to help you refocus when you get off track .  You can listen to the audio on her website, just google the homeschool coach and family chunk clock. We wanted a catchy funny name for our clock instead of the generic -- Family Chunk Clock, so we came up with "Got Chu

Making Freezer Pizza & Spaghetti Sauce in Bulk

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I'm back to doing a lot of freezer cooking, though not as I did before my son was born when I made 3 months worth of meals but I'm getting there.  One thing I do like to make in bulk is our pizza and spaghetti sauces. I make enough pizza sauce to last us for two months.  I divide it so that we have enough for 2 pizzas on Friday, using the leftovers on Saturday for lunch.  We used to only make one pizza and this sauce would have lasted us 4 months but now we are utilizing the extra pizza for leftovers.  On Friday morning, I sit one of these on the counter from the freezer and by the time I make the pizzas it is thawed completely.  I also normally do these in Ziploc bags but when I went to get them, I was out, so I had to use the containers we normally use for spaghetti and jam. I couldn't find the recipe for the pizza sauce I use on Crystal's website (The Family Homestead), so I'm posting it here.  The one she has up now does not include the soy sauce.  I'

Natural Remedies for Colds and Coughs

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We have added more to our alternative medicine cabinet recently, mostly a lot of herbs, and I have been busy finding good recipes for natural remedies.  Since colds have made their appearance in our house this week, I was able to try several new things and am finding they are working! Here are the recipes I used for each: Elderberry Syrup Thyme Cough Syrup Garlic Syrup Sage Gargle Rinse The elderberry syrup recipe called for cloves but I didn't have any so I left that out.  All of us have been taking it a few times a day, even my toddler but I've had to give it to him in a syringe in order for him to swallow it.  It is very sweet!  My husband is taking it in hopes of not catching our sickness and so far, so good.  Elderberries have more vitamin c than oranges and are ant-inflammatory and contain an antioxidant and antiviral properties. The thyme cough syrup was from Dr. Low Dog, who is an expert on herbal medicine.  It can be used for everyone of all ages.  My d

Family of 4 $200 a Month Grocery Budget - How We Do It

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We have always been pretty frugal before my son was born spending anywhere from $120 - $150 a month for food, but since he came along with his and my health issues and I haven't been doing freezer cooking, our costs have gone up dramatically.  Now that I'm doing better, we are getting back to a lower food budget as I'm able to make more homemade foods. This month we are going to see if we keep our food budget at $200 for our 4-week period that starts today.  It is possible but takes planning and a stocked pantry, which we do bi-yearly.  If you spend $500 a year on stocking your pantry, that only equals to about $42 a month and it saves you a LOT of money by buying in bulk!  There were a few stockpile items I had to buy this month and I don't count those towards my $200 monthly budget as they are part of our yearly $500 stock-up fund. *My son is only 22 months old but he eats the same serving size as my 10-year old daughter at dinner!  He also eats a good amount d

Living Debt-Free Series - Part 2

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In Part 1 of this series I shared with you how to stay debt free and steps you need to take to ensure that you are not reliant upon credit/debt.  In this part of the series, I will share ideas and tips on how you can live within and even below your means. To live within or below your means follow these basic ideas:                 Within Your Means                                               Below Your Means Pay 10% Tithe and Give Offerings              Pay 10% Tithe, Give Offerings + Extra Housing at 35% or below income               Housing at 25% or below of income Save on Utilities as you can                        Cut costs drastically; Basics, cut out luxuries Keep car maintained & plan trips               Same but also stay home more Keep insurance costs low                            Same but consider high-deductible plans Buy discounted personal items                   Get creative and make your own Plan meals, Shop sales                               Cut

Living Debt-Free Series - Part 1

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Upon the heels of my Financial Budgeting 101 series, I wanted to do a series about Living Debt-Free and give you tips and ideas on how you STAY debt free.  If you have something to share, please leave a comment to help me and others! #1 Task for Staying Debt-Free  - The first step to living debt-free is to make sure that you have an emergency fund!  If you don't do this, then you probably won't STAY debt-free for long because things break, cars need repairs, kids get sick and on and on and if you don't have money set aside to pay for these things, then what will you do?  Borrow or put it on a credit card and pay interest.  Many financial advisors recommend you have 6 months worth of living expenses (not income but expenses) saved up in a savings account somewhere that you can get to easily in the case of an emergency.  This will help ensure you staying debt-free when trouble shows up at your door and it will. #2 Save for future purchases - If you plan on buying a

Family of 4 Health Insurance Options

I've found that a lot of people do not actually know about the various ways to afford healthcare that are available today and meet the law requirements.  I will start out with the obvious ones that most people know about and then share with you some others that are available to Christians.  I'm just going to talk about the ones that I'm personally familiar with - if you know another option that is better, leave a comment! Traditional Health Insurance - this is your basic health insurance that has a premium, deductible and then copays or coinsurance.   These plans are usually the highest of all the ones I'm going to talk about today.  They are also usually NOT the best choice as your total yearly costs are the most expensive.  You can purchase these online, through the exchange (what a joke) or they are normally offered from your husband's employer and given at a reduced rate and you can pay your premiums with pre-tax dollars in a payroll deduction. Health Savin

Force vs. Choice

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I share a lot of my thoughts on here because this is MY blog, so obviously it will reflect MY thoughts.  I'm not a preacher, teacher or self-proclaimed prophetess (thank God!) - I simply share my thoughts, opinions and convictions/beliefs as a Christian wife and mother.  There are some people that will not allow you to have your own opinions because they simply don't think anyone should have a differing opinion from their own or they don't feel free to have their own and don't want you to either. Here is the problem we face in the church-world today.  People are being forced to follow a method or opinion and they are not allowed to have a CHOICE by exercising their free-will, which is God-given.  You can't take your opinion and force people to follow it.  We should only follow the Bible and anything outside of that is open to interpretation and many people have differing views or convictions.  However, if it is something that is in the Bible, no Christian should

Summary of Financial Budgeting 101

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I hope you all enjoyed this series on financial budgeting, here is the summary of what we talked about a few more things I wanted to share.  I'm also including a link to my Scribd account that has free printables for budget planning. I shared with you all our financial story and how we learned many lessons the hard way that brought us to where we are at today.  Thankfully, we were able to pick up the pieces and put them back together again and this time do it correctly.  We are still working towards our financial goals but have learned enough to share with others what not to do!  Thanks to Dave Ramsey, we have learned how to really have financial freedom and live like no one else. Credit can be tempting because it gives you immediate access to what you want, even though you don't have the money for it.  Using credit is actually a sign of immaturity - just like a child wanting it NOW - think about the girl in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, sadly, that is most adults

Family of 4 Living On $30,000, $40,000, $50,000, and $60,000 a Year NET

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I've showed you our family budget and now I would like to show some budget scenarios for a family of 4 to give you an idea of how all this works.  To make it easier, I'm using these annual incomes and considering that they are AFTER-tax incomes .  Generally for a family of 4, you would subtract $5,000 in taxes - factoring in state tax and the child tax credits.  That will give you a nice buffer.  So if you make $35,000, budget for $30,000 and so forth but as the income goes up, so do the taxes but I'm keeping these incomes low so that shouldn't be an issue.  Also, don't forget that your retirement contributions are pre-tax, which lowers your taxable income.  That is how I make these average monthly incomes work.  If you have an HSA account with your insurance plan, you will lower your taxable income even more!  But that is another topic in itself. *I'm going to estimate that these families have a fully-funded emergency fund of $5-10K, so that they can purc