Saturday, August 30, 2008

dogsitting

We are dog sitting for an adorable, super sweet dog named Kane. My kids are loving it and actually are feeding and walking the dog and cleaning up the poop; but I so am reminded I do not want and can not handle a dog. I will post some pictures of the kids with the dog later. -Becky

ps-the dog is great with people and kids, but actually cries if you leave it alone, so he has been going everywhere with us

Can you see any area to change???

Becky’s Budget Sept. 2008

Income:
Jason $386
Joshua $170
Office Work $600

Total $1156

Expenses:
*Tithe $116
Savings $
Offering $ 70 (Compassion Child $35 / Solutions $25 / F.O.F. $10)
*Rent $500
Car Repairs $
*Car insurance $ 70
Gas for car $160
*Allowance $ 60
Gas & electric bill $215
*Phone $ 24 (for basic phone only with taxes)
Non groceries $ 30 (contact stuff, misc.)
Freedom account $ 80
*HSLD $11
Clothes $ 0
Spending $ 0


$1336
-$1156

-$180 a month

*-FIXED
Notice no cable or phone, I cut them

His calling

Hello! I know I have posted before how I feel God wants me to homeschool Jason. Well, He has really confirmed that by closing some doors and opening others that all point to homeschooling.

Anyway, in order to do so I felt closing my daycare was wise. This allows me to leave work at work, and be involved in the homeschool co-op. Well, that also means I am making about half of what I was making before. So some things had to be cut from my budget, alot of things actually. My new budget is almost completely bare bones.

All our needs are still being met, God is so good. But homeschooling is a sacrifice, of my time and money. But what better way to spend my time and money than on something I feel God calling me to do. Not to mention, he is my son and I love him alot.

Unfortunately after cutting much and tweaking the budget I am still short about $225 a month.

So today I called to cancel my internet and reduce my phone to bare bones, no features, no long distance. This saves me another $45 a month. But I will tell you that this hurts. I love my internet, I love email, and I LOVE THIS BLOG!!!!! I will be able to go to library, my moms, and a friends now and again to check email and update this blog. And I will, but it will be hard as I am online everyday!!!

But this got me thinking that I am neglecting my walk with the Lord and some days can't find time to spend with Him, so perhaps no internet will be a good thing, as I will have all that time I was spending online to devote to HIM. So this is actually a praise. I will be saving money and spending more time with the LORD!!! Yeah!

But I still am a little sad. I think that is ok, too.
Pray I find away to make another $200 a month ($20 tithe, $180 for budget short!) Thanks!

-Becky

frugal living

Hello! My goal is to live very frugally. In the process it has made me aware how much we waste. So I am really trying to use everything up and not buy stuff if I have something similar. I have saved lots of money along the way.

This goes for:
-paper towels, dishcloths work great (but my mom does buy us paper towels, thanks mom, so hey I will use them if they are free to me)
-paper napkins, cloth ones I got used a long time ago also work great
-sanitary napkins, cloth ones are so much nicer on my skin (check out this site to buy some)
-toilet paper-fleece fabric (recycled from an old shirt) works wonderfully (and so soft too, and no lint) (no I am not kidding, it works great!)
-store bought cleaning products, vinegar & / or baking soda work great on most anything
-toothpaste, baking soda works great
-deodorant, again baking soda works great or corn starch

These are some of the things I do to live frugally.

I am trying to figure out frugal shaving, as shaving cream and razors can really add up. I tried an electric razor, ouch! Too harsh on my sensitive skin.
Tomorrow I am going to try shaving with my goat's milk bar soap (I love that stuff, not too frugal, but I buy in bulk and it is only about $3 a bar and is great on my sensitive skin and Josh's as well. Plus it lasts me about a month per bar.) I will let you know how that goes.
I need to find frugal, but good razors (I have very sensitive skin), any good tips?

I also am trying to use up everything consumable we have before buying anything new.

Right now we do not have kitchen trash bags, but we do have brown grocery store bags, plastic grocery store bags, and huge garbage bags (contractor bags), so I am using all those to avoid buying any kitchen bags. I have stretched these bags to last about 2 weeks so far.
Also I compost to keep some stuff out of the garbage, and before I toss anything, I see if we can reuse or the kids can make something out of it. They especially love paper towel rolls (from the paper towels my mom buys.)
I also use junk mail and envelopes as scrap paper before they hit the garbage or compost. My grandmother does this and I used to make fun of her. Sorry Grandma! You had the right idea.

This may sound extreme to some, and not extreme enough to others (I still buy those little flossers cause they are so convenient, regular floss is too difficult for me and the kids, but I do get them at the dollar store.)

I feel God wants us to be good stewards of His money, His resources, and His Earth. This is how I am doing my part. What about you? -Becky in NJ

Monday, August 25, 2008

old post, but still relavant

What I like about me
This is a tough one. I think it would be easier to type what I do not like about me, but I will give it a try:

totally vain -I love my hair
and my green, sometimes blue eyes

how much of my mom I see in me (her strength, love and caring, and her take charge attitude)

the heart for children God has given me (yes, I get stressed with mine) but I generally love children

my ability to trust God in the area of my finances

being able to live on less and still be happy (actually delighting in ways to save more or reuse what we already have)

not dwelling in my pity parties but the ability to overcome them (although I do still have them from time to time)

the ability to laugh at myself and my life situations

when I am filled with the joy of the Lord

I like that after 10 years I am finally able to fall asleep by 11:30pm and wake up by 6:30am (this is hard for me, but I am doing it)

my desire to always learn, whether it is more about God or daycare or just about anything

that I make goals

that I still have a for me list (I want to: learn Spanish, learn to play the guitar, ride in a hot air balloon, get my BA in Education, get my masters in Education, go to the Grand Canyon and camp at the bottom, and of course grow closer to God everyday)

my writing, even though it is just blogging and journaling for now, I still like what I write (usually)

my ability to make friends and keep them

I am outgoing

I care about others, especially children


My mom asked me to write 10 things I like about me, but I think that is about 15.
Despite all my flaws, overall I am pretty happy with myself, especially since I know how much my Heavenly Father loves me.

What do you like about you? -Becky

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Some prayer requests for us:

Joshua:

Joshua is starting Kindergarten next Wed. It will be all day, 8:30am-3:00pm.

Joshua gets angry and acts on it quiet often, pray for him to think first and remain calm (he mostly does this with me and Jason, he has never done it at school, thank God.)

Pray for Joshua's dad, Jose. He is having some health problems. Also pray he would desire a closer relationship with his three kids, who all live in NJ (Joshua-5, Joey-12, & Cynthia-13.)

Jason:

Jason will be homeschooled and is starting 5th grade. Pray as it will be a change to have me as his teacher. Pray also for our co-op where he will learn some subjects as well.

Pray for Jason's dad, Jason, and his wife , Donna. They had to move and are not seeing little Jason at all. They need prayer for financial provisions, and some medical care. Also pray for Jason's two sisters, Faith & Hailey.

Jason misses his dad & sisters very much, pray for his heart to be comforted on this.

For me pray:

my ankle would not hurt at all (without any surgery or further intervention)

my uterine fibroids (which thankfully are very small) would go away on there own

I need to lose at least 20 lbs!! I need more motivation to eat healthier and exercise ( I think would help some of my health problems!!!)

I need to grow closer in my walk with the Lord and spend time with HIM daily

I need more patience with my kids

pray for me to be the best daughter of God, mom, homeschool teacher, co-op preschool teacher, and office employee I can be and give 100% in all I do

pray we can meet all our financial obligations from this point on, especially with reduction in income

Thanks! -Becky

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Sun Tea

I made some delicious sun tea the other day. I had a glass about 10pm. Well, I discovered that I can not have caffeine so close to bed as now I am wide awake and can not sleep and it is 1:32am. Yikes! I have to be at work at 9:30 am, which means I need to leave my house by 8:30 to drop boys off at my mom's by 9:00 and still be on time. I am going to be so tired tomorrow! But I did get some laundry, co-op, and homeschool stuff done, so all is not lost. Now if I could just get some sleep.
-Becky

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Too cute not to share

These photos are taken from Courtney's blog
This is my friend Courtney & Brian's newest addition, Asher. He is too cute! Check out there blog to read all about there amazing family.

Courtney and I were friends in high school and have stayed friends all these years. She is amazing! She is a true source of inspiration to me. She really loves the Lord. She puts Him first in all she does. She is honest that it is not easy. She loves her husband and kids (all 9 of them.) She needs some prayer as she is recovering from a c-section with Asher, and prayer in general as she takes on the huge responsibility God has given her and Brian to raise these amazing 9 kids.

So read up on them here.

-Becky

fresh tomatoes

We ate the second ripe tomato from my garden with lunch. The taste is amazing! So worth all that weeding (even though my garden is still full of weeds.) I have about 30 green tomatoes in my garden and some eggplant that is not ready yet. I can't wait to have some of that too. It is cool to grow some of my own food. I already have plans for a better garden next year (goal: less weeds.)

Did you do a garden? What did you grow? Any success yet? -Becky

I miss Duane



Doesn't he have such a nice smile?

I need a nap

I am tired, I bet the chocolate cupcakes I just ate will not help with this. But I am going to aerobics at 6, so that is a good thing. I have to get ready for Bible study, but I really want to take a nap. I love naps. Napping is my favorite thing to do. Do you like to nap? Do you ever get to actually take one? How long is the perfect nap?
Sunday I napped for about 3 hours (as I was exhausted from my camping trip.) Well, my body thought I had gone to bed for the night and I spent the remainder of the day in a coma I was so out of it. I guess a three hour nap is pushing it a bit.LOL! -Becky

Giveaway

Hi! Check out From the Past for a giveaway. If you have ever thought about trying mama cloth now might be your chance. I use cloth and I love them. So check out this blog.

Have a great day! -Becky

Sunday, August 17, 2008

my crazy boys and me too on camping trip

video

sorry video is mostly sideways, I have only taken like 3 videos ever. Jason was pretending his goggles had wipers, we thought it was hilarious

Camping at Delaware Water Gap



We just got home from camping. We went with our good friends Peter, Leighann, Peter, & Liam. I also called my friend, Joanna to come down for Sat. as well.


We had a nice relaxing time. We stayed in the cutest little cabin that reminded me of little house on the prairie. Minus the electricity, tv, fridge, and microwave. Hey, it was in the woods, does that actually count as camping?


Fri. we drove down and set up. Fri. night we had a fire with smores (it is not camping without smores.)

Sat. Jason went with Peter, Liam, & Peter in a raft on the Delaware Water Gap. They enjoyed it. Sat. we also went swimming, and played at park, and hiked up a stream. Yes, I was actually in the stream with my boys. It was fun (minus the poison ivy of course.) Peter swears he saw a bear, not sure about that, but it is possible as the camp rangers warned us of bears in the area. YIKES!!!


Sat. night we made another fire with more smores! YUM! It is so nice to talk around a fire until after midnight. We chatted with our camp neighbors who were on there first camping trip because there son had seen George on curious George go camping and he wanted to go too. We thought that was so cute! Too bad the rangers came to tell us to be quiet, who me? Since when am I loud? lol.

Today we hung around and then packed up and said goodbye to our little cabin in the woods.

I learned that:

-relaxing is fun and I need more of it with my kids
-food taste better outside
-God has blessed me with incredible boys (yes I already knew this, but was reminded)
-God has blessed me with incredible friends (thanks Leighann & Peter & Joanna)(again a reminder)
-I love camping
-Not seeing a bear is nice!

I really have had some fun this summer, I hope you have too.
What have you learned on a vacation?

-Becky

pictures of our camping trip

Leighann & Liam
Joanna & boys
Joanna in the Delaware Water Gap
Me outside cabin
Joshua throwing rocks in stream
Jason on merry go round

Joanna & I outside our cute cabin
Jason, Peter, & Joshua

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

So beautiful

















We hung out at this lake on my trip to NE. It was so cool. Some of the lily pads had water drops on them and the water drops were swaying, it was like the drops were dancing. It was so beautiful. I enjoyed just being as I watched them. Being with Duane helps to slow me down so I can actually relax and enjoy life.

My trip alone to Nebraska

Hello! I got an oppurtunity to take a trip alone to Nebraska. This was the first time ever that I took a trip with out my kids, just for fun. On Sat. Aug. 2nd my mom took my boys and my friend, Leighann dropped me at the airport. I was scheduled to take a quick flight (just 3 hours) at 11:00 am to Omaha, Nebraska. Well, my flight and all flights to NE were cancelled and eventually I got on plane to Minneapolis. I boarded that plan at 6:00pm (I had been at the airport since 9:30am.) The nice thing is I was bumped up to first class. Well, that plane sat on the run way for almost 3 hours. Which means I would now miss my connecting flight to NE. Yikes!

But God was with me all day. I spent so much time with Him. I was praising Him for a break for me and not being at the airport with kids and just for loving me so. Finally, the flight took off and first class got served dinner (I so needed that, I was starving!) I was not sure what to do about missing my connecting flight to NE, so I continued to pray. Well, even though we were late they plane I was on was the same plane going to NE. Yipee! So finally at 1:00am NE time I arrived in Omaha, NE.

I was so happy to see Duane. But boy was it HOT in NE. It was 100 degrees at 1:00am. So then we drove the hour back to Lincoln and then stayed up talking till about 3:00am. Then I went back to my hotel to go to bed.


Sunday we had to be ready for church by 9:30 am. That was tough to get up. But his church was really nice. The Holy Spirit was defanitly there. I was missing my boys alot at church though.


After church we went to his brother's. Then we took his niece lunch. Then I had to take a nap. Then we went back to his brother's and hung out and had dinner there. Their cat had kittens recently so I was in my glory to play with those little fur balls. One looked like my kitty from growing up. I also played Barbie's with Duane's 5 year old niece. She is too cute! Sunday night we went swimming, which was great! I love night swimming!


Monday, I slept in (yeah!!!) and then I got a nice tour of Lincoln. Monday night we went to dinner with alot of his family (his mom, oldest brother, youngest brother and his family,and his sister and her two kids.) They were all super nice to me and each other! They laughed and joked and talked with me. It was nice! Then very late Monday night we went to see The Dark Knight (not my choice) I watched half of it with my eyes closed!


Tuesday, I woke up early to get my flight. The flight was supposed to be about 11:30 am. But I ended up missing it, and getting out on next flight at 4:30. I was so upset, I wanted to see my boys so bad! But we went to this amazing lake and hung out and then went to lunch. It was nice to have a little more time with Duane. It was sad to leave him. He is such a sweetie.


At the airport my mom and boys were waiting with signs they made. It was so awesome. Plus my mom brought me home cooked food. Whenever I go away I always long for mom's home cooking.


So thanks Mom for babysitting, thanks Leighann for the ride to the airport, thanks Monica for babysitting Thur., thanks Duane for the nice trip, thanks to Duane's family for making me feel so welcome, and thanks to God for me coming home safely and for working out all the details to make my trip possible.

BY THE WAY, I AM NEVER MOVING TO NEBRASKA, it was nice, BUT I AM A JERSEY GIRL!!! (sorry but this trip confirmed it.) -Becky

Duane & I on my Nebraska trip


Finally a picture of my Nebraska trip. The lake behind us was amazing!!! More details to follow.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Blogger Block

I think I have a bit of blogger's block (instead of writer's block.)
I have not posted much lately. It is partly because I was away on two trips, and partly because I want to talk about my Nebraska trip with photos. But while I was in NE, we used Duane's camera so I do not have the pictures yet! This is driving me crazy! I have become used to instantly putting up photos.
Rest assured I will talk about my NE trip. I will not divulge everything as I usually do as to not hurt any feelings of anyone, but I will tell you what I did and saw as soon as I can show you with photos.
The other reason I am on a blog block is that I am so busy. I am trying to get Josh ready for school, get myself ready to homeschool Jason and teach preschool at co-op, and just take care of the regular things. My house is seriously needing TLC.
I am glad we have done lots of summer stuff, but still half the time I feel so absent from the situation and like I am not enjoying anything at all. This is especially painful as many times I am there with my kids, but I am not actually present. I want that joy again. I long for it. I even know how to get it (more time with the Lord filling me up with it) yet still I am slacking. Pray I go to the Lord more so He fills me with joy which I can then pass on to my kids and others. Thanks! -Becky

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Aug. 2008 Budget

Becky’s Budget August 2008

Income:
Jason $386
Joshua $170
Daycare $300
Daycare $ 88
Office Work $505

Total $1449

Expenses:
Tithe $150
Savings $
Offering $ 70 (compassion child $35 / Solutions $25/$10)
Rent $500
Car Repairs $
Car insurance $140
Gas for car $200 (Aug. has 5 Sat., I put gas in every Sat.)
Allowance $75 (Aug. has 5 Sat., boys are paid every Sat.)
Gas & electric bill $200
Phone & online $70
Business supplies $
Food $
Non groceries $20 (contact stuff)
Clothes $0
QVC (last payment) $40
Freedom account $0
Spending $0
$1450

also I am selling green car for $400
this money is going as followed:
$40-tithe
$65-Joshua soccer sign ups
$60-wedding gift
$200-camping trip Aug. 15th (includes food and site rental)
$35-school supplies

Please pray as of now I have no more money left in my savings for extras that keep coming up. I do have an emergency account that has 3 months living expenses but this is for absolute emergencies only. I also still have $325 for new breaks or glasses whichever I need first. I have bought most of Jason's homeschool stuff and have $100 left to buy additional books needed (but I already went over budget with homeschooling supplies by $200.) I need prayer because as of Sept. 1st my only income will be my office job and child support, so I can not have any extra stuff come up. I have to completely trust God as I feel He wants me to homeschool, but still I worry. Pray I give that over to God! Thanks! -Becky

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

New baby

My friends, Courtney and Brian just had a baby boy (there 9th child.) Check out there blog to read there story. The new baby is having some complications, so please pray for him! Thanks! -Becky

In four weeks school starts

Four weeks from today Joshua will start kindergarten. Jason will start 5th grade (but at home with me and in co-op school two days a week.) I feel good about our summer so far. We have been to the beach a few times and we all went to Ohio together and I went alone to NE. Plus we have been relaxing alot as well as working and seeing friends. And on the 15th we are going camping for three days as well, so our summer is going well.


My goals for rest of the summer are:
-spend at least 30 min. with God daily (including my study, prayer time, & Bible reading)
-exercise 30 min. daily
-family time 30 min. or more daily
-straighten house 30 min a day
-me time 30 min. daily (reading or scrapbooking or blogging, stuff I really enjoy!!!)
-drink 8 glasses water daily
-sleep 8 hours daily (be asleep by 11:00pm and up by 7:00am)

-clean out my yard (weeds, tall grass, garden, etc)
-clean out front hallway, paint front door and front hallway (to make the entrance to my home more inviting)
-clean out my living room in entirety (remove daycare and make homeschool space)
-do Sept. & Oct. homeschool lesson plans
-do Sept. & Oct. co-op preschool lesson plans (I am teaching preschool in co-op)
-do daycare license paperwork (THIS IS AN ASAP!!!)
-go to beach a few more times
-go to fair at Navesink firehouse this weekend
-Mercy Me concert Sat. night
-camping Aug. 15th, 16th, & 17th
-school shopping ( I LOVE SCHOOL SUPPLIES!!!)
-blog about it all

What are your rest of the summer plans? When does your summer end? -Becky

I am home

Well, I just got back from Nebraska. I went alone from Sat.-Tues. It was so nice to not be a mom, cook, or maid for four days and to only be responsible for me, and to RELAX!!! It was nice to spend time with Duane. It was different than New Jersey! But everyone was super nice!!!! I will post later on what I did, saw, and felt. I am still sorting that out myself! I will also try to post pictures later as well. -Becky