Friday, July 13, 2007

Frugal Friday

We like pancakes and waffles with hot syrup at our house. Hungry Jack syrup comes in a rounder, flatter bottle that you can warm each time in the microwave. To save a few dollars, I buy the Hungry Jack only when on sale and I have a coupon. Then, I buy the cheaper store brands to refill it. The bottle lasts through several re-fillings. No one - not even my finicky ones know the difference. Think of other items that this might work for. If you like the packaging of name brands, see if there isn't a way to re-use by refilling with a less expensive replacement.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

"I will pray for you." Have you promised to pray and then later realized that you've forgotten? Do you have so many people/situations to pray for that there is no way that you could cover it even if you prayed all day? Do you wish that you had an organized way to pray for your husband and children? My friend helped me to come up with a calendar/schedule to help me to cover all my bases. Here is the blank page that I use which has 5 rows of 7 columns. (I use the horizontal one.) Across the top row, I have different families and causes for each day of the week. For example, on Monday I pray for my church family's needs (fresh in my mind from Sunday.) On Tuesday, I pray for my husband's family. I list every one's names so I remember everyone. On Wednesday, I pray for my family. I have various other people and organizations on Thursday and Friday such as Voice of the Martyrs, Joni and Friends, City Union Mission, Answers in Genesis, and other worthy ministries. I also pray for issues that are important to me such as abortion and the soldiers serving in Iraq and their families. Then, (I got this idea from Stormy Omartian's book), I list specific things to pray for my dear husband every day of the month. I pray for his health, his work, his relationships, etc. Last, but certainly not least, I pray especially for one of my precious children each day. I list some specific things for them as well i.e. relationships with Jesus, parents and siblings, life purpose, future spouse, etc. I keep my prayer calendar in a protective sleeve with a notebook to write down prayer requests that I receive. The system is not perfect, but I find that when I use it, I am blessed to pray for the people dear to me.
For more tips, go to Rocks in My Dryer.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Frugal Friday

Crystal over at Biblical Womanhood just had a baby a couple of weeks ago, but she's still going strong reminding us to live frugally.
My frugal tip this week came to me as I was running out the door to our annual fireworks celebration. One of our traditions is to eat homemade popcorn and red licorice during the display. Very American. I was not prepared when it was time to go. In fact I almost forgot the popcorn. Everyone would have been disappointed. I didn't have any cups or bowls to put the popcorn in. I spied some coffee filters and grabbed those. They worked great and they're much cheaper than plastic or styrofoam.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Happy Independence Day

Here's a question for everyone in blogland. How in the world do you find time to blog? What exactly do you neglect to get it done? I can't seem to squeeze it in.

Anyway, enough complaining from me. Happy Independence Day! Here's a short story to get you in the patriotic mood.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Busy Weekend Weeks

Me, Hubby, Grandma Darlene and Grandpa Dave and kiddos

Grandma Judy and Natalie

Ballerina Julia (with the real ballerina pose)

Grandpa Gary, Drew, and young'ns on Father's Day.

As long as I'm up way past the time I'm supposed to be in bed, I will post some picture from our busy last couple of weeks.
My mama came and went with us to shop for a wedding dress. I would post a picture, but the groom-to-be could drop by. Saturday Grandma Judy's hubby, Gary joined us and we celebrated Erica's and Patrick's engagement and Father's Day by Gary taking us out to dinner. (Nothing like taking yourself out!

The following Thursday, my dear mother- in- law and her hubby, Dave came. They treated us to dinner to celebrate our anniversaries. Twenty sweet years for us!
Weekend entertainment included a ballet recital (Princess #3) and Audrey's participation in Backyard Bible Club. A group of teenagers spending their time evangelizing and ministering to children in local neighborhoods. Erica was training to help with the City Union Mission camp for kids, so she missed some of the action.
My mom rejoined us on Saturday to share in the festivities.

Okay, I've made a mess. I need to figure out how to upload photos on the page where I want them and write next to the photos. This could take all night!
But, right now I'm too tired. Good night.
Oh, below are pics of Backyard Bible Club featuring Audrey.

Clean Fingernails

I know that I will win the grand prize this time for WFMW! Okay, everyone get ready for this piece of advice that will change your lives...
I have found that if I trim my children's fingernails and toenails before their baths, they get cleaner because I have revealed and released the gunk from under the nails to be washed away. The little princesses get a bath at least twice a week and on Saturday, they get nails trimmed first. Strong Soldier usually takes a shower now but it still helps to get 'em clean. He usually protests because he's always pretending to be something/somebody else (i.e. a gorilla, a character from Lord of The Rings, etc) that needs claws.
Anyway, go ahead and try it. See if it doesn't change your life forever.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Common Homeschool Mom Phrases

" I don't want to hear you talking until you are done with that paper. Take that out or your belly button."

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Don't Waste Time

My grandma always said, "There just aren't enough hours in the day." I remember wondering what in the world she meant by that. I had plenty of time. Now I know. When she learned that I was having my first baby, she said, "Your life is not your own." She was right about that one, too. But, that's a whole 'nother post.
Anyway, my WFMW tip is Don't Waste Time. Sounds simple. Here are a few examples of ways to "lasso the time" and squeeze some more productivity out of your minutes. I keep a laminated map in the bathroom with the U.S. on one side and the world on the other. You might as well learn your geography while you're sitting there. We have many audio tapes that have a variety of topics put to music; bible verses, states and capitals, and multiplication tables to name a few. We can learn and memorize these things in the car or kids can listen to them during quiet time. One more example is that I have my older children teach and demonstrate things to my younger children. Julia practices the sign language alphabet with Natalie, Ben reads to his sisters, Erica and Audrey will demonstrate a cooking or cleaning skill to each other.
When there is a need to learn something and we have discretionary time (okay, going to the bathroom isn't really discretionary time!) I try to find ways to combine activities to seem like we have more hours in the day. Grandma would be proud.
For more tips, visit Rocks In My Dryer

Our Family Tree

Here's Daddy and his family on Father's Day. Along with Erica's fiance'. We don't get our picture taken often enough.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Looking Over The Fence

My little princesses were dancing and prancing around the living room. Julia has the grace and poise of the ballerina she envisions herself to be. Natalie has the grace and poise of...well...okay, she doesn't have grace or poise. Anyway, Julia was dancing, delicately waving her beautiful arms in the air when Benjamin came and roared in her face. Julia continued to dance, unfazed. Since we have been discussing the ways to deal with others (i.e. be a peacemaker and a servant) I began to praise Julia. "Julia that is wonderful. Beautiful. Great job over-looking an offense!" Natalie came flitting back into the room. "I want to look over the fence! I want to look over the fence!" She began to wave her pudgy little arms in the air thinking it was a new dance move.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

I'm Lazy

It's true. I might not look lazy to the naked eye since I'm always running around barking orders and looking busy. I cook and clean, mow the lawn, drive people here and there, plan and tie up loose ends. But in my heart I'm lazy. I secretly wish that I could sit, eat, and read. Basically, that would be a fun life in my opinion. I've always been lazy. I have friends who seem to be natural "do-ers." They jump right in and do whatever needs to get done in the situation. I have a couple of sisters-in-law like that. While I'm sitting around trying to think of a way to get out of the dishes, they're running circles around me. I've taught my children to pray that the Lord would help them to serve with joyful hearts. I have prayed that prayer for myself as well. God answered my prayer last year when I started mowing the lawn for my husband. My dad used to try and get me to mow the lawn when I was a teenager. I told him that I would get a farmer's tan so I couldn't. I'm thankful to have a chance to serve my husband in this way. He's thankful and tells me how much it blesses him. It frees him up to spend some extra time with the kids and it gives me time to pray and ask God to make me a joyful servant.
I just knew that my *little* brother would read my blog. He's a great guy! (See comments.)

No More Late Fees

I was returning my library items a few weeks ago (late, as usual.) The nice lady behind the desk asked me if I had e-mail reminders. E-mail reminders? Never heard of it and I can't believe that no one else had bothered to tell me about it. I guess then they would have to get their income somewhere else. So, I signed up and now, a couple of days before my books/videos are due, they email me and remind me. I think I've already saved a bunch of money. Check into it at your library and see if they're as techno-savvy as they are at mine. Could save you some late fees.
For more frugal tips, go to Biblical Womanhood.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Hard Work Pay-offs

Yay!! Benjamin can read a bedtime story.

Julia considers it a privilege to do the dishes.

Finally, some concrete evidence that all of my hard work will eventually pay off. The Bible says not to grow weary in doing good(training my children) - that in due time we will reap a harvest. Maybe, just maybe I see the blossoms. Many of you have young children close together. They don't usually tell you that they're bored, they just begin dismantling your home and un-doing everything that you're trying to accomplish. I have found that a schedule or at least a routine helps head off boredom. I try to alternate chores, quiet learning play and physical activity - not always in that order. I'm blessed to have my 19 yo and 14 yo daughters to spend some time with the little girls and the boy who says he's "not really a teenager, but like a teenager!"
Actually, one of the few rules that I haven't had any trouble enforcing is "We don't use the word bored at our house." Everyone helps and everyone gets to have some fun. Usually.
One more little tip I heard that works for me - always have the youngest person capable to complete the needed task. That way the littles can gain confidence and it gives the older children a break.
For more tips to help relieve summer time boredom, visit Shannon's site.