Sunday, January 31, 2010

Prayer and request

Dear Family & Friends,

Hello and Happy New Year! I hope this letter finds you well. I am writing to share with you a very exciting opportunity Jason and I have planned for this summer. In June our youth group here at Calvary Baptist Church is planning a mission trip to Dominican Republic. We plan on going for ten days. Lord willing, we will be ministering to youth and adults.
We will have a variety of opportunities and responsibilities while in Dominican Republic. We hope to work in an orphanage providing love, daily care, and helping with some maintenance. We also hope to run a VBS type program for the older children. Other opportunities may be to minister to the children through a sports program. It is our prayer and hope that God will use us in Dominican Republic to bring hope and salvation to some children and / or adults we will minister to.
We need your help in serving God and the people of Dominican Republic. We are writing this letter to ask for your prayers on behalf of the rest of the group going to Dominican Republic. We would ask if you could pray for three things for me and for the group we will be going with.

1) Pray that our team will be unified and organized as we prepare to go to Dominican Republic, as well as when we are in Dominican Republic.
2) Pray that God would open the hearts of the people we will be serving so that they might come to know Jesus Christ as their Savior.
3) Pray that we will be able to raise all the money we will need to go to Dominican Republic.

Prayer is the most important thing in every person’s life, and we are asking you to devote a few minutes of your daily prayer time to our endeavor to serve Christ in Dominican Republic.
In order to serve Christ in Dominican Republic, we need to raise $1250 per attendee. This includes the cost of lodging, food, and transportation for the entire ten day trip. We are pray fully hoping you would consider a financially supporting us in this opportunity to serve Christ and the people of Dominican Republic. If you are able to support us financially we would greatly appreciate it. Thanks!

Please send contributions to or donate below:
Calvary Baptist Church
491 Lloyd Rd.
Aberdeen, NJ 07747
Please make checks payable to:
Calvary Baptist Church and write mission trip and our name on the memo line. Thank you!

I look forward to seeing what God will do in Dominican Republic through your prayers and financial help. I also look forward to sharing with all of you what God did in our lives and the lives of those we served. May God bless you!

In Christ,

Becky & Jason

Amanda & Jason


Thursday, January 28, 2010


My friend Courtney (who is already amazing, as she is living for the Lord while being a wife and stay at home, homeschooling mom to ten beautiful children) has started selling some of her photography. She has such an eye. Her work is breathtaking. And right now she is donating some of her profits to Haiti relief. Check out her ETSY site!!!

I am so ordering the snow clouds photo, so I can remember to take some time to dream!

Also check out her blog an see for yourself how awesome she and her whole family really are.

Also pray for them as you read this. Pray God would bless them to overflowing. Pray He would continue to provide for all their financial needs. Pray that all ten of the children would accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour (some already have, some are a bit too young now.) Pray they would continue to grow in Him daily. Pray that God can use this family as a testimony for many more seeds of Him to be planted.

Then stop by her blog and show them love in the comment section.



Monday, January 25, 2010

Feeling under the weather

I am feeling a bit sick today. I have a headache and am coughing. I actually feel better than I did yesterday. My whole body was weak. I am debating whether we will be going to co-op tomorrow. I don't want to get anyone else sick, but the other two preschool teachers will be out tomorrow. I will make that decision in the morning.

It has been raining all day so my living room is leaking again. I had two roof guys here this week to give me estimates. I am still waiting for the estimates. I pretty much need a new roof, mine does not have enough slope and has no overhang. This is causing water to leak in behind siding. I am praying I get the first time home buyers credit so I can fix the roof properly. Then it will be guaranteed for 10 years.

Wouldn't that be nice if everything came with a guarantee? Although there are no guarantees here on earth, the great thing is that once we have a relationship with Christ we have the ultimate guarantee of an after life worshipping him. I am so glad I have my eternal guarantee in Christ. I am so glad that Jesus died on the cross so we could all a relationship with HIM. That is way better than any guarantees here on earth.


Saturday, January 23, 2010

Joshua doing tornado experiment

Group Shot

Jason is in the left middle. He has on a red hooded sweatshirt with a brown unzipped coat over it. I was inside when they took this shot. The whole place was so beautiful!

CBC Winter Retreat pictures

Amanda rock climbing

Jason & Armon

Amanda after momma / baby bird game

youth playing pudding game on retreat

Peter and Jason ice skating on retreat

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

We are back

Fri.-Mon. I went with the youth in our church (my oldest son included) on a winter retreat to upstate NY. We went to a Christian camp and retreat center. They had lots of snow on the ground.
Fri. we were up until about 1am. Sat. & Sun. we were up after 3am. We were up by 8am every morning. So Jason and I are still exhausted.
It was a nice time. Three girls came to know the Lord which is amazing. All the youth had a great time tubing, ice skating, playing messy food games, worshipping, and more. We even had use of a gym and rock wall. I actually tried the rock wall and got half way up (it was pretty high.) I was proud of myself. I will post some pics in a bit.


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Matthew & Joshua

Matthew loved playing with Joshua's matchbox cars (we watched he didn't eat them.) He is too cute.

Nola and my dad

Picture from last weekend

Nola (my dad's wife), Matthew (my 1 year old brother), my dad, & Joshua

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Read about a family ministering in Haiti

This family is in Haiti right now and giving updates. Read about them HERE.

My heart is heavy

In wake of the news of so many deaths in Haiti, my heart is heavy. A few years ago I knew nothing of Haiti, but my friends, Courtney & Brian introduced me to this country and the extreme poverty there through them trying to adopt two beautiful sisters in Haiti. My friends went to Haiti and shared their story of the living conditions there as well as how in dire the people of Haiti are in need of Christ. I quickly learned that Haiti is the devil's playground. And how corrupt the entire government system is. My friends were unsuccessful in there adoption after losing much money, but even worse after meeting these girls and after these girls became their children. My mind can not stop thinking of all those children in the orphanage my friends visited. I do know they are all alive today, praise the Lord!!! You can read more on Courtney's blog. Still they must be scared. I ask you and your family pray for all those who are mourning, scared, hungry, and lost in Haiti.


Message from Compassion Child



Haitian Children and Families Devastated by Massive Earthquake

Dear Rebecca,

The catastrophic earthquake that hit Haiti yesterday has resulted in unfathomable chaos and devastation for hundreds of thousands of children and families.

Compassion sponsors and donors serve more than 65,000 children in Haiti. At least a third of them live in the areas that were hardest hit.

I am asking you to please send a generous gift today to help these precious children and their families.

We are working rapidly to assess the situation and determine the full extent of damage:

Sadly, we anticipate there will be many deaths.
We anticipate thousands of children and families will have lost everything.
We anticipate many of our church-based child development centers will have been destroyed.
Without a doubt, the children we serve in Haiti are in shock and face immediate needs for food, water, medical care, shelter and counseling. We have teams prepared to respond, and we are deeply committed to helping each child.

We need your donation today. Please reach out in the name of Jesus to bring relief, comfort, love and restoration to precious children and families whose lives have been devastated by this crisis.

Thank you for caring,

Dr. Wess Stafford
President, USA

Donate online HERE
If you would like to give by phone, please call us at
(800) 336-7676.
Check donations can be mailed to:
Compassion International, Colorado Springs, CO 80997.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Worst friend ever award goes to me

My best friend, Monica's birthday was Friday. Since I have yet to get a 2010 calendar I did not realize Fri. was the 8th, so I did not realize it was her birthday. I am the worst friend ever!!!
Monica would never forget my birthday.

Dear Monica,

I am so sorry! Happy belated birthday! You are the best friend in the whole world. I love you!

Glitter Graphics

Happy Birthday Glitter Graphics


Kayleigh's Yahtzee score. She got 5 Yahtzee's. this is unheard of!!!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Murphy's law, no big deal

Two days ago my hot water heater would not start; and as I was sitting at my computer desk, the desk collapsed almost crushing my legs. Add that to rain water leaking into my living room and I was freakin out. Seems that Murphy's law for me is that bad things happen in threes.
But just two days later and I am much calmer. Scott, my stepfather did something to the hot water heater and it is working fine (I think he dusted it, why didn't I think of that?) Also my brother Kevin brought me another desk, so my computer is back up and running.

Other than the leaks which I am working on getting some estimates for, the other things are fine now.

This reminds me that "this too shall pass." When we are in a tough or stressful situation we tend to freak out (well I know I do.) But most things are not really that big of a deal.

My mom has always said, "What is the worst that can happen?" Most of the time the worst will never happen, but even the worst is usually less than we could imagine.

Now I am referring to things like flat tires, and leaky roofs, and no hot water. Because I learned a hard lesson this year that the worse can really happen, when we lost Eric, but this post is about not stressing over the little things.

Also this brings me to my second point (first was do not STRESS the SMALL stuff,) being prepared for the small and big stuff. Face it hot water heaters and furnaces, and cars do NOT last forever. We have to assume they will break and plan to fix and replace.

Not only do we have to create a normal monthly budget and start using it, we need to plan for life to happen. I have what is called a freedom account (term from Mary Hunt) that is basically budgeting the irregular monthly expenses. This is separate from my emergency fund. To me an emergency is something like a death in family, job loss, illness, fire, etc. Needing new brakes to me is not an emergency, but something I expect will happen sooner or later (sooner most likely.)

So each month I put $100 into my freedom account, plus I add $1,000 from my tax refund. This is what my freedom account covers over the year:
$400 new glasses or contacts (each year I buy one or the other-no vision insurance)
$100 Joshua's birthday party
$100 Jason's birthday party
$40 car registration
$160 for oil changes
$300 Christmas
$100 AAA membership
$1,000 car repairs / replacement

Your freedom account could also include:
etc. etc.

A good way to go about figuring your irregular monthly expenses is to go through 2009 spending (credit cards, checkbook stubs, etc.) Write down stuff you spent money on that was not included in regular monthly budget. Total entire amount, then divide by 12.

It is a good idea to keep track of what each subline (meaning vacation, gifts, etc.) has in it. I use a separate checking account for my freedom account. If I look and see the balance of $2,000, I can't spend $2,000 on gifts. I have to know how much is left in the gift line. Then I can only spend that money.

It may sound a bit confusing, but I assure you having this account has saved me. It is a sigh of relief knowing if my brakes or tires go I have x amount of dollars in my freedom account.

Now I need to add a home repair fund to my freedom account. Yikes.

Do you have a similar plan for irregular expenses?


Thursday, January 7, 2010

It's past my bedtime

It is way past my computer time, even past my new proposed bedtime. Today we were gone all day at classes and then at church. When we got home about 9:00pm, I put boys to bed and then attempted to relight my hot water heater (that has been out since yesterday.) Then I compiled all my tax stuff for my accountant (being self employed I feel better having someone do my taxes. My CPA specializes in in home business and small business.) I was even able to email her all my info, so hopefully she can have my taxes ready to send out by next week. I also figured out what I spent all my 2009 income on (I know, I am weird.)

I did fall asleep about 12:30 last night, and I got up at 8:00am today. I have spent three nights in a row with God. Tonight I am going to have a prayer time and then to bed, I am exhausted.

Tomorrow I have to try and get my hot water fixed (hopefully it is still under warranty. It is less than 5 years old.) I do not even think we will go to our home school co-op as I have not showered in two days (I know-ewww!.) Also I need to be home if someone can come look at my hot water heater. Since I will be home I will also call some roofers to get estimates to have my leaky roof fixed. I guess hoping it will repair itself isn't working this time (it has worked with my lawn mower and car in the past.)

Off to pray and then to bed.


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

question from Anonymous about employment

Anonymous said...
"What is it that you do (in regards to employment) so you can stay at home to home school?"

I do childcare in other people's homes on a part time / as needed basis. Parents are happy to have an adult providing childcare and don't mind sometimes if I bring my boys. With one of my clients I have a contract that even if I do not work (if they do not need me) they still pay me, as I am holding that spot for them.

I also do other odd jobs, like do some cleaning / dishes at a temple when they have Fri. night services. In addition I sell my homemade laundry soap. I also am selling things for some people for a small commission. God provides so many legal, interesting opportunities for me to make money (which by the way I claim all income earned on my taxes under self employment income.)

For three years I did in home daycare which was successful and would also accommodate homeschooling. Last year I worked in an office two half days a week. In addition to childcare in other's homes.

Also I got a settlement for an injury I sustained in 2007. So that has helped with down payment on house and covering some of the monthly bills. That money is now tied up in my home, so it will be interesting to see what new employment opportunities God will bring in 2010.

I realize my life and employment are unconventional. However I trust that if God wants me to home school He will work out all the details. My career and priority right now is raising my boys, my jobs are just what I do for money.

On paper my life and finances does not make sense, but somehow God makes it work.

One final note. I feel like all money that flows through my hands is not my money but God's money and He is entrusting me with it. So for all the money He gives me no less than 10% goes back to Him through my church, and other ministries. Anything less and I would feel as if I was cheating God. This is one area I have given God completely (yet I still hold tightly to other areas of my life, go figure. I am so glad God loves me despite my flaws and strongholds that I put before him.)

Thanks for your question.


how long until it's a habit?

Last night I turned off computer and tv by 11:00pm. I spent time with the Lord once again. I love when I am reading the Bible and it is alive to me, like a story. I pray I continue to pray, do my devotion, and read my Bible every day, so that I am so filled with His love that it is spilling over to my boys and all I meet. I think it takes something like 21 days of doing the same thing to make it a habit, so pray I do not stop my new nightly routine.
I also feel a bit refreshed this morning. That is unusual for me. I didn't fall asleep until a little before 1:00am, but still here it is 8:00am and I am awake. Thanks to my friend, Kristen who called to pray with me, and then my mom, who called and chatted with me a few minutes. That is a really amazing way to start my day!


Monday, January 4, 2010

Not so good

So here it is almost 11. I put kids to bed about 9, but then discovered that although Jason said he cleaned his room it was a mess (in his defense lots of boxes and stuff from Christmas gifts that were making it hard to organize.) Anyway I used that time to clean his room, while yelling that I had to clean his room at night. Of course I didn't have to, but I did.
A good thing is that kids did all school work today and now both kids have clean rooms with all clean laundry put away.
Also I returned all the stuff that was not the right size and took Josh shopping today. He got a remote control car (he really wanted one, so he returned a gift he didn't really want to Toys r us.) Then I had to return some pants I got at Old Navy so I got him three new pairs of pants and two shirts. Then the same thing at Kohl's. There I got him two pairs of pants, a Mets sweatshirt (because he hates Yankees), and a Tony Hawk shirt. All his fall / winter clothes were hand me downs and no lie almost everything he owned had a hole in it. I think he was happy to spend time with me.
And when we got home he and Jason played with their remote control cars together, which was nice.
So today was so so. I realize in order for me to get on a good sleep schedule, they also have to be on one. As I type Josh just popped down to use the bathroom. He still has not fallen asleep since I put him in bed two hours ago. AHHH!!!!
So I have to get going to my quiet time with God, and then to bed, as soon as I shut this computer down and make the kids lunches for co-op tomorrow.


Progress or lack of today

I watched tv with boys until 9, then put them to bed. I did not watch anymore tv or turn on my computer. From 10-11 I had time with God, but my boys were not asleep and Josh was getting up and playing with this really noisy flashlight. Jason was making noise as well. So much for quite time. But I pressed on. I read my devotional and wrote in my prayer journal and then I read the Bible. I was done a little after 11, so I turned off all the lights and lay in bed. I tried to fall asleep, but when left to it's own vices my brain goes to Eric and stressors and such, so I tried to pray for every person and thought I had. I think I was asleep by 12:30. I know I woke up about two times in the night. Not too bad. Then at 7:00 I woke up because Jason's alarm was going off and he slept right through it. I managed to fall back asleep by 7:30 (I know I should have stayed up at 7.) I awoke again at 7:50 to pray with Kristen and talk to my mom a minute. I wish I could say then I finally got up, but Joshua was still asleep so I figured I would just lay until he got back up. BAD IDEA! He got up sometime later, but I slept again until 10:20.
So much for that, but there is always tomorrow.
The good thing is that we do not have to be anywhere until 3:00, which means we don't have to leave until 2:30. So we have over 3 hours for school time. At least school work will get done today. And when we get home the boys will do there chores. I will do some chores too, so I will not feel the need to clean before bed.
So that is my confession, I messed up today. But that does not mean I have to mess up tomorrow. Our God gives us a new chance every day. He loves us that much!


Sunday, January 3, 2010

Turning my computer off

To keep with getting to sleep by 12 I am now shutting down my computer. The kids and I are going to watch Extreme Make Over Home Edition, while drinking sleepy time tea. Then at 9 I will cuddle and lay with Josh and then I will do the same with Jason. I hope to be down stairs in my pj's by 10. Then time with God and a little reading. Pray I will be asleep by 12. Thanks!


p.s. and tomorrow my friend Kristen is calling at 7:30 to pray with me and the my mom is calling at 7:50 to assure I am out of bed. I want to be in shower by 8.


Yippee!!! I now have 11 followers. Another New Year's Goal is to have 25 followers by year's end. If you read my blog please scroll down on left and become a follower. Thanks so much! -Becky

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Personal goals for 2010

1) daily time with God (in prayer, Bible reading, and devotion) goal 45 min.

2) sleep routine (in bed by 12, up by 8)

3) regulate hormones (with doctor's help)

4) go back to drinking 6-8 glasses water daily

5) exercise 30 min. 5 times a week

6) healthy body, lower cholesterol and lose weight

7) read for pleasure at least 15 min. a day

What are your personal goals for 2010?


Budget goals for 2010

1) rebuild my emergency fund, starting with $1,000, and then to 6 months living expenses (about $10,000)

2) up my giving (after my tithe) to 10%, so I would be giving away 20% of my income (it is all God's anyway, our job is to be good stewards of His money and tell other's about Him)

3) add vacation fund:
-$800 for hotel, meals, and misc for 4 days in Washington D.C.
-$800 for gas, hotel, and meals for about 4 days to go to Ohio to visit my grandmother again.
-$1,200 for 3 plane tickets to visit my friend Courtney for a few days (I have wanted to do this for so long.) If I did drive I would have to rent a car which would be about $700 for a week and plus gas about $200. And staying in a hotel on the way there and back about $300, because it is too far for me to drive in one day. So it would be same cost.

4) start fence fund, need about $6,000 to have fence installed

5) start pool fund (kids really want a pool), need about $2,500 to buy and have above ground pool installed with all chemicals and supplies needed to run for one year

realistically I can do:
-$1,000 emergency fund (with my tax refund)
-up my giving
-probably go on two of the trips (D.C. is first since I have been promising the kids since before Eric died) (using some of my tax refund)

What are your financial goals for 2010 and some realistic steps to attain them?


p.s. I want to meet my financial goals while still only working part time so I can be with boys as much as I can and continue to home school as well (if that is God's plan for us.)

New House budget

I have gotten all the bills already for the new house, so I think I have an accurate idea of what my new monthly expenses will be.

10% of income tithe
$38 our sponsor child through Compassion
$22 donation to Solutions
$100 home insurance (I prepaid this when I bought the house for 1 year, so it will be all due again next Nov.)
$400 mortgage
$400 taxes (I pay these separately)
$100 gas bill (budget option)
$100 electric (estimate)
$50 water bill (high estimate)
$33 sewer (it is $100 every quarter)
$82 car insurance
$120 gas for car
$100 freedom account
$30 non groceries (contact stuff, shampoo, etc)
$11 HSLD
$60 phone/internet
$500 food budget

I need to add some sort of home repair line, possibly into my freedom account and up that number. I have to figure out a realistic number. I was thinking about $200 a month after I get roof issues (leaking into living room) fixed.
I also want to add a vacation fund, and fence fund. But that is ideal stuff right now.


Friday, January 1, 2010

Glitter Graphics

Happy New Year Glitter Pictures