Saturday, July 31, 2010

July Unbudgeted For Spending

$45 Great Adventure Six Flags Season Parking Pass
$75 Great Adventure Season Pass (for me, kids were gifted to us.)
$25 Food at Great Adventure first time we went in July
$45 Water Filter
$20 Dunkin Donuts
$10 Dog and bird treats (for animals we were pet sitting)
$40 birthday gift, plastic wrap, and tin foil
$40 boys new bathing suits and sandals
$40 paint to do front porch
$40 pizza
$12 treat for boys (Club penguin month membership)
$60 clothes for Josh and Kaiden
$8 Shoprite (non food)
$30 CPR class
$30 extra gas driving to Great Adventure
$30 food on second trip to Great Adventure

$550 total

Good thing I had lots of extra part time work this month. I still managed to pay above and all regular bills.

July bills

Almost all July bills are paid. After my checking account fiasco, I had my direct deposit switched to another bank, but it is taking two weeks. So $100 of mine is floating around in cyberspace. When that arrives I will pay the last 2 July bills (phone/Internet $60, and the water bill about $40.) These bills have not even come in the mail yet, so they are not late, I just like to send out my bills before I even receive them, so they are always paid up in full. Otherwise everything else is paid in full.

Another month, another praise the Lord!

How He makes the money stretch is amazing!


Last day of July

Today is the last day of July.

A review of our July:
I am proud that we have had 5 no drive days for July.
We have been to Great Adventure Six Flags 2 times.
We have been to the beach 1 or 2 times.
We have been swimming in pools (the boys, I watched) no less than 10 times.
We have done school work about 8 days (work besides reading.)
We have been to the library 3 times.
We have watched about 15 DVD's (some movies, some just shows on DVD.)
I have read 4 books completely, and 3 more I am almost done with.
The boys have read no less than 2 chapter books each.
We have listened to 1-6 of The Chronicles of Narnia in the car while driving.
I started a Bible study for homeschooling moms in my home.
We have written 2 letters to our sponsor children (we have two.)
We all have memorized 1 new verse (John 14:6.)
I forced the boys to do 3 crafts (Josh made me a nice bracelet.)
We had 2 cooking lessons.
I sewed 2 birthday gifts and 1 thinking of you gift.
We have eaten a few home grown organic cherry tomatoes (super yum.)
We have participated in 1 work day at our church.
We have helped set up for our church Vacation Bible school (today actually.)
We have house sat 2 times.
We have pet sat 3 times.
We have watered a garden 1 time (through the boys business.)
My boys have earned almost $200 on these jobs. They have about $110 left after tithe, offering, and some spending at Great Adventure on food.
I worked 14 days this month.
We watched Kaiden 3 times this month. 2 times overnight (oh how I miss him so.)
I slept in about 27 days this month. I love sleeping in.
We also relaxed a lot.

How was your July?


Thursday, July 29, 2010


Today I tried to do fun things with the kids, but I am ashamed to admit the tv was on in am for Mary Poppins on DVD (140 min.) And after lunch for a Magic School Bus DVD (about 50 min.) Then again before dinner for The Aristocats on DVD (80 min.)
That is 270 min. or 4.5 hours of tv. YIKES!

Plus each child played the computer for 1.5 hours today.
6 hours of screen time (although Josh played his computer time while watching Mary Poppins, so his was about 4.5 hours.)

How does this happen?

Boys got up at 8:30am. Put Mary Poppins on and went on computer. At 9am the little boy I watch on Thurs. came over. After Mary Poppins, boys played a bit with board games. Then we spent over an hour on cooking lessons. We made muffins from scratch and egg salad for lunch. After lunch boys did some schoolwork.
Then they watched Magic Schoolbus. Then they went upstairs to play. Jason did his computer time while younger boys played upstairs.
They also managed to do chores (Jason 12, Josh 7.)

We did not play outside, because it was pretty hot today and incredibly humid.

We also did a puzzle.

At 5pm when the little boy I was watching left I cooked dinner and boys finished up chores. I made corn on the cob, steamed squash, and rice and beans.

While we were eating we watched The Aristocats. Plus I made up some rice pudding.

Then after eating and cleaning up, I went outside and mowed the grass while Josh took his shower.

I feel like we accomplished a lot today, relaxed, and did fun, educational stuff, but still 4.5-6 hours of screen time is unacceptable. That is half our day. I don't have cable so we don't watch too much tv, but we still managed to do so today.

What we could have done instead:

read the Bible
rest for 60-90 minutes with reading
painted (this is about the only artsy thing they still like to do)
play outside (my boys do this a lot, but like I said today was hot)

My goal is going to be:
at least 1 hour outside play (since it is summer early in am and later in day)
1 hour reading daily
1 hour rest daily
1 hour tv*
1 hour computer/video games*
(*after all schoolwork and chores)

No screen time at all

I will say this we have been driving around a lot this week since I was taking a little girl to camp, plus other things, so on those days we watch much less tv, if any at all. And I know Jason did not play any video games yesterday. So we do not usually have 4.5-6 hours screen time, I just was shocked and ashamed to discover that today we did. Especially after all the other stuff we did as well.

It is just a reminder to be more cautious of my time.



In addition to watching a little boy today, cooking mini camp, and regular day to day stuff (plus blogging) I managed to clean my room. I decluttered about 15 items, some to garbage, some to freecycle, and some to friends.

I also took any of Kaiden's stuff I keep here out of my room (I have blankets, diapers, wipes, etc for when he comes over), and made him a drawer in the laundry room.

I redid my night stand so the books I am reading and want to read are not piled high.

Plus I went through my shirts and made sure any I was not wearing (3) were removed.

I windexed and hung my full length mirror (not in the right spot, but good for now.)

I even cleaned out a tote bag that has been in my room for a while.

I made more floor space by taking out homeschool stuff (I had a large box) and putting it in hallway (my room is all about me or should be anyway.)

I took the things Josh keeps in my room (like books, a pillow, and a small supply of activity books) and made him a little spot in my room (it is easier since he rests and does time outs in my room to have some quiet time activities. My goal is to have no one else's stuff in my room, but that is not my reality right now.)

It feels nice to have a cleaner decluttered room. It is especially helpful since my room is only 6'6" by 10'5" (yes it is that small.)

Now off to mow the grass.


Review of Smencils

"Smencils are a favorite with kids that always love to collect different kinds of pencils. These are certainly a unique item with each Smencil packaged in a resealable plastic tube.

Smencils are an environmental friendly and a great GO-GREEN Fundraising product. Gourmet Smencils are made from recycled newspapers, environmentally friendly fragrances, and biodegradable erasers. Even the tube each Smencils comes in and the plastic bucket are made of biodegradable plastic made from corn."

I love these. We have the regular and colored smencils. Read more about them at their website here.

I would say these are a must have for back to school, homeschooling, daycare, etc. They are so fun. The write and sharpen well, and are environmentally friendly. Win. Win. Win.


p.s. I am not being paid anything to write this just wanted to share because my kids love these and so do I.

Free $10 from TD bank for your kids

If your kids read just ten books by Sept. 30 they can get $10 free from TD Bank. Read all about it here.
We do this every year. My kids have a savings account each with TD and their $10 is deposited each summer just for reading 10 books. It is worth it to open a children's savings for then just for the $10.


Cooking mini camp and today

Today I invited some kids over for a cooking mini camp (it was a last minute idea.) Only one came but we still had fun. We made strawberry muffins and egg salad. I supervised, and the kids read the recipe and did everything (I did oven.)

The muffins are sort of healthy, made with real strawberries, organic cane sugar, and whole wheat. With no preservatives or artificial dyes. I sort of made the recipe up using some recipes I found online, substituting things I had and the strawberries for bananas.

The egg salad was made with organic free range eggs and whole wheat organic bread. The mayo was just regular.

The kids had fun. I did too. I like doing hands on activities with the kids. Plus it is a learning activity. Reading- they read the recipe. Math- they measured. Science- turning ingredients into muffins. Social skills- taking turns. Fine motor- stirring.

Now we are doing chores. Well, I am blogging, but chores in a minute.

They cancelled me for work tonight, so I am going to mow the grass later (it is way too hot now.) Jason will do the weed whacking. Josh will water the garden and plants.

So today will be another no drive day, which makes six for this month. This makes me (and my car) super happy. Especially after driving to great adventure two times this week (first time it was raining when we got there, second time was Tues. and we had a blast.) And driving a little girl to camp Mon., Tues., Wed., and tomorrow. I needed a break from the car.


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Raw honey delight

What a yummy treat! I just added raw local honey to my plain organic yogurt for lunch. I also added some walnuts and local bee pollen. So yummy! And surprising filling.

What did you have for lunch?


Monday, July 26, 2010


Last night I dreamt Eric wrote my mom and I a note. The note said, "cc $210 for Becky" something else and, "Tim is going to buy soap" (in the dream I liked this guy named Tim and I needed to know where he was [fyi I do not even know a Tim.]) It was weird. He was dead in the dream, but still found a way to write the note.

I haven't posted much about my grieving lately. Sometimes I think everyone must thing "It's getting old" or "Get over it, it's been over a year lately." But I am still sad at the thought of my big brother no longer being her in earth. I still ache terribly over the loss. I still miss him. I also miss sharing my life that has gone on without him with him. He has missed stuff. Like Josh riding a skateboard standing up without falling, and Jason doing skateboard tricks.

And of course he has missed the birth of Kaiden. Every time I am with Kaiden I think Eric will never know this blessing and he won't know Eric either (although he will be told about Uncle Eric.)

However, the living life has gotten easier. I am starting to talk to people more (something I always loved to do, but since Eric's death I have been avoiding.) I have started having many more good days than bad. And even some bad days I can even turn around and make better.

I actually met someone named Eric recently and didn't start crying, as the sound of his name had done so many times before. Progress. Yet it also seems wrong. How can I go on while he never will? How can I laugh and love and cry and grow? It is strange even thinking of him as his age. He will always be 32. But as I approach 31, he should be 34. How will he be my older brother when I surpass him in age? Still so much of his death makes no sense and seems pointless.

And especially to think God knew Eric would have only 32 years on this Earth. For God this death was not too soon. But for us we think about all the what ifs of Eric's life. We think of all the time we will never get to spend with him on earth again.

It is a constant reminder that our time could be up in the very next second. A reminder that more people need to hear the good news of Christ before our time and theirs is up. That is our first purpose hear in Earth (once we have accepted Him as our Lord and saviour.)

Yet as I look at the weeks and months, since Eric's death I wonder how much of Him have I really shared? I have been so caught up in barely surviving, how could I even attempt to share Him with others when I have felt so far from Him myself?

Right now I need to find my way back to Him, trust He knew why Eric's life should end at that exact moment, and live for Him as if it were my last day as well. That is all anyone of us can really do anyway.


My boys

We just got back from the library. I got some books on the human body to start planning the young kids science for Sept. Joshua got the dvd Marley & Me. Jason got two encyclopedias because he likes to read them at night. Could they be any different? lol.


Non essential spending

In addition to the unbugeted for stuff I usually end of spending monthly (which I have to stop) I have three items in my budget that are non essential and not fixed:


My heart will not allow me to stop the offering as I believe God calls me to give that.
The allowance, although could be cut if needed, really is a great tool for the kids. They tithe, save, and have spending. I am not feeling lead to stop this either.

However, I spend $60 a month on phone/internet. I barely use my home phone. If I cancel the phone only it only reduces the bill by $10. If I cancel both, I no longer pay the $60 a month. I know phone and internet are not necessities, but I grapple with this as I am on the internet daily. I love blogging, but is it worth $50 a month. I can blog for free at library.

I am praying about this because I also think I should be giving some of this computer time to the Lord. But without cable and internet I might go insane. We also use the internet as a tool for homeschooling. But again the library would also fill that need.

I am going to look into cheaper internet options for the home and continue to pray about this as well.


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Today and our homeschool group

Today we went to our church 10am-2pm to do a work day. We will be using a brick building (a house, that is no longer used as a house but as classroom space) on our church property for our homeschool group come Sept. The building needed lots of tlc. We were able to pull up stinky carpets and get rid of a lot of trash today. Also the men and other ladies did an awesome job getting the hidden hardwood floors looking better (and removing the weird sticky marks the old padding left.)

We still have another few days work to do, but it is already much better.

I am super excited to have a place to keep homeschool supplies for the classes I will be teaching at our group.

Our group will meet Wed. & Fri. 1:30-5:00. We will have prayer, devotion, and worship time. Then as a group we will all do sign language. After that we will divide into three groups:
under 4's, k-2, & 4-8th (we have no third graders.)

I will be teaching the k-2. We will be doing Bible, history, science, and art. I am super excited! My actual teaching time is 2:30-4:30 (4:30 is clean up for all groups.) Joshua will be in my group (with his best friend as well.) I am so glad about this.

Jason will be in the older group. They are only doing history and science. But the history is very literature based so will also fulfill some of his language arts requirements.

Our group consists of 5 homeschooling families. We all go to the same church. We have 15 kids from ages 2-14 (including 2 year old twins.) In the young group are 4 kids. In my group are 6 kids. In the older group are 5 kids. It is a good number in each group. We may have 1 more family that will add 2 kids to the older group.

I also worked tonight and got home about 10:30. My boys are sleeping out. I will pick them up in the am before church.

Tomorrow after church if the boys are not too tired and if it not so hot we will go to Great Adventure. I want to try and take them as much as possible since we have the season passes. I will not have any time this week with all the jobs I have picked up.

What did you do today?


Work and no drive days

I am excited to say I have a babysitting job lined up everyday this week (Mon.-Sat.) Thur. I have two jobs lined up. This money will be used for homeschool curriculum, and our trip to Cape May in August.
This means I will not have a no drive day this week. But I have had four this month, which is better than some months where I have driven every single day!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Electric Bill

I just got my highest electric bill in the new house (still not as high as the $300 bills I used to get in my all electric apartment years ago.) The bill is $210.33. This is almost 3 times my normal bill (without central air.) We are home a bit more with no co-op and doing at least one no drive day weekly, but still I can't believe running the central air is so high.

Don't get me wrong, I am going to continue to run the central air as I can not stand the heat, just commenting on how high it is.

Maybe I can get by with raising temp a degree or two during the day to reduce the cost a bit.

Plus in August we will be away a few days so that will save a bit more.

The problem is although it may be 72 around sensor it will still be closer to 80 upstairs.

I have to invest in some fans.

What do you keep your central air on in day? At night? I keep ours at 72 degrees all the time we are home and raise it to 75 or 77 when we are gone (but I can't turn off completely because of the bird.) I just raised to 75, let's see if I can handle that.


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Sewing projects

Today was another no drive day. We have some extra kids (two boys, plus my two boys) but I found some time to work on some sewing projects.

I made two Curious George pillowcases for my friend's son's 4th birthday. I made a case to carry them in as well (a little tote) out of the same fabric.

I also made a sleep mask with elastic to fit around your head, filled with lavender for a friend. I made myself one previously and am very pleased with the one I made today (the one I made myself is a mess, but still works great.)

Next I made a washable sandwich and snack bag also for a friend. I lined the inside with an old shower curtain and the outside is cute Care Bear fabric.

I really enjoy sewing and am improving, but I am still too impatient to measure and pin, so I do get some uneven seems and such. This is why I like making totes and such, I just eyeball it, and they still come out cute.

The other day I made my friend (my oldest friend, we have been friends since we were 6, we are the same age) a tote with fabric that so made me think of her for her 31st birthday. Who can't use another tote? I know I use totes daily.

Now I have to package up the tote and pillowcases to mail out tomorrow (they live in PA.)

I am so glad I bought my sewing machine.

My next project is a table cloth for another friend, which should be pretty easy.


p.s. I took some pictures, but can not find my USB for my camera.

I opened a retirement account

Thanks to all your comments and some prayers I opened a retirement account through ING (I already have my savings account with them.) I started it with $50 (too bad free $50 bonus is over.) Anyway my plan is to add $10 a month or $120 a year. This is not much but a bit better than waiting until I am 40 to start saving for retirement. I will have $1,200 in 10 years plus interest. I will also do some research to see if I should invest an additional $10 a month (if it is even possible to invest so little) or just put it in savings. This is all new to me, so thanks for the tips.
I know $10 is not much, but it is better than nothing!


Wednesday, July 21, 2010


My debit card (linked to my checking account but with a Visa logo to be used as a credit card as well) was hacked into and I have lots of unauthorized charges on my account. Because this is my checking account it also put that account in the negative and I can't use any of the money currently taken. The bank was little help. They did cancel the card, but I have to wait about two weeks to get the money back (if the bank feels they were fraudulent charges.) So right now I have about $100 that I can't touch. Hopefully I will get it back and not have to pay all the fees as well.

Fortunately I have paid most of July's bills already. I do still have to pay gas bill, phone/Internet bill, and my water bill, but I have not even received the bills yet (I like to pay my bills before or when they arrive.)

It just frustrates me more than anything. I went to buy Vacation Bible School supplies today and had to use a gift card the boys had (I will pay them back, but I wanted to get my supplies, since Vacation Bible School is soon.)

I do have two other checking accounts with two other banks (one is a business account since I am self employed.) So when I get paid on Sat. I can deposit the check into another account. I don't want to deposit any money into the hacked account in case that gets taken too.

Has anyone had any account info. compromised or any accounts used without your knowledge?


Monday, July 19, 2010

God's financial formula

About a year after I accepted Jesus as Lord of my life I learned about tithing. This is what God put on my heart about money:

It is all His. All the money that flows through our hands belongs to Him. All He asks is for 10% to be given back to Him. We should do this through our local church (He also calls us to be plugged into a growing body of believers.) This is so simple, if He gives me $100, I get to keep $90 of it. That is awesome. This 10% is off every penny that flows in our lives. If you get $100 for your birthday or as a gift or an extra job, take the first 10% and give it back to God. I also believe you should tithe on your gross pay, not just your net. Once again it is all His money anyway.

In addition to tithing it is strongly in my heart to give a love offering above and beyond that tithe. This can go to your church if that is where God is leading, or to help a friend, or to a missionary, or a needy child. The possibilities and ministries needing donations are endless. The motive of this love offering should be to share the love God has given you and plant seeds of Him in those you are giving to.

This is how I try to live my life through finances:
10%-to God through local church
10%-love offering (I currently sponsor two children through Compassion and give to our local Christ centered pregnancy center)
70%-live on

This may seem unrealistic, but this really is a trust issue. Do you trust that Jesus is truly Lord over your life? Do you trust He really will provide for all your needs when you are aligning your life with His will?

Start small, if you are not tithing at all, start with 1% and increase by 1% each month. If you are tithing, but not giving a love offering increase this by 1%. You CAN NOT out give God! I imagine this will have huge positive consequences in your life!

I tell you on paper my life does not make sense, how could a single mom with less than $20,000 income have no debt and own a home(well at least a mortgage?) It is only God (and trust me I have made some bad choices in my past.) I trust Him first with my finances. I remember it is all His money. He wants me to be a good steward of it. And if so He will let me be in charge of more.


Sunday, July 18, 2010

My pretend world

In my pretend world I married the right man.
In my pretend world he keeps his word.
In my pretend world he still loves me.
In my pretend world he madly adores his children.
In my pretend world he comes home from work everyday and kisses me.
In my pretend world we laugh, talk, and have fun a lot.
In my pretend world he takes the boys on fun guy trips (fishing, etc.)
In my pretend world he takes me on a fun, no kids trip yearly.
In my pretend world he likes to cuddle.

In my pretend world seeing him doesn't cause me so much pain, again.
In my pretend world he doesn't spend his time with his son on his cell phone.
In my pretend world my self worth doesn't plummet at his rejection, again.
In my pretend world it is different.
In my pretend world we are happy.

Don't get me wrong, I am so blessed and actually content in my life; just seeing my ex brings this fantasy back to me. Just another consequence of sin and not following God's will for me life.

Now back to my real world, where although things are not as I expected God is still bigger than all of my sins. He still has good plans for me.

""For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord, "Plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope."" -Jeremiah 29:11


Boy's business

My boys have stared a pet and house sitting service. They have had a few jobs already.

I am proud of them as they are working hard. These are the jobs they have had so far and what they have earned:

-pet sitting two cats $80
house sitting at the house of above two cats (above price included all services)
-pet sitting one cat (we are still doing this job, it is a six week or so job)
get in mail at house we are long term cat sitting
-watering a garden $16
-dog sitting $60

The cat sitting we go to their house each day and play with cat or cats, feed them, change water, change litter boxes, etc.
Dogs we will go to their house or dog can stay at ours. We walk them, feed them, play with them, etc. The past dog stayed with us for 8 days.

The boys charge $6 a day for dogs, $5 a day for cats, $2 for watering gardens, $1 for watering smaller plants, and $1 for taking in mail. They have made over $150 so far. The job we are still doing we are doing because we volunteered (Jason's great grandfather fell and is in nursing home recovering.) We do not want to be paid for this, but boys still treat it like a paying job.

They have another garden lined up in Aug. and possibly another pet gig in Aug. as well.

After tithing they are saving all their pet sitting money. They want to buy a quad type car to share. We will see how that goes. At $1,000 price tag and other added fees (helmets, gas, etc.) that may change. They wanted a dog, but have now changed their minds, so I imagine they may change their minds once again. But I really like how they are working hard and together towards a common goal.

With my boys whenever they want something I require them to buy it themselves. Jason bought his own Wii in 2007 (with some saved money, gift money, and help from Grandma as well.) He also paid half for a week at camp in 2007. If my boys want to go to movies they pay as well (unless Uncle Kevin takes them, then all bets are off.) Sometimes they have even paid for me to go to movies. Today they wanted Wendy's for lunch and they paid.

I do give them allowance. Jason gets $12 a week (he is 12.) Joshua gets $7 a week (he is 7.) They tithe first, then put money in savings, then whatever is left is their spending. This works very well. It has really helped them to understand that money can only go so far. I also try to use cash around them, so they see me spending cash, not plastic. In addition Jason helps me with monthly budget. And when boys ask why we don't have something (say cable) we get out budget and see where it can fit in. They quickly realize that there is no room for it, and it seems to make sense to them.

What things are you teaching your kids about money? Do they get allowance? Do they have to buy some things themselves?


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

New blog layout

This new blog layout is a huge blessing! Someone else won this in a blog contest and generously gave it to me. Sharon is the woman who worked really hard to make this layout all about me. I think she did an awesome job. I am so blessed. Check out Sharon's blog here.

Dear Lord,
Please bless Sharon for all the hard work she did to make this blog layout really reflect me. I pray you would bless her family as well. Please keep her and her family healthy and safe Lord.
I pray that this blog could be a witness to you and plants seeds of you in those who read it Lord.
Thank you Lord for blessing me beyond what I could ever imagine or deserve.
In Jesus Name,


Monday, July 12, 2010

Past three days

I intended Sat. to be a no drive day, but my grandmother stopped by and then I drove her home (literally around the corner, but she couldn't walk.) So it was almost a no drive way.

Sunday we missed church (which I am not happy about) and did not drive anywhere at all, so that was a true no drive day.

Today I had to watch my friends kids so I drove there this morning. She lives about 15 min. away. Then for the rest of the day we stayed home, hung out, rested, and I cleaned and painted my front porch trim (and the gutters.)

I decided (even though it was hot and humid out) to clean my front porch. I scrubbed down the siding and trim. Then I started to get ideas to improve my curb appeal. I wanted to drive to a home improvement store to buy light green spray paint to do the flower pots and house numbers on my front porch. I also decided that I wanted to paint the trim and bench on my front porch as well. I remembered that I had a can of rustoleum paint, so I decided to start painting (saving me some unnecessary driving.) I painted the bench on the porch white. I painted all the trim and gutters that you can see from the street. I think it looks good. The funny thing is that I had no idea that paint would not come off my hands. My hands ended up covered in that paint. Soap and water did nothing! Finally neighbors gave me this great stuff and my hands are finally clean. I think the front porch already looks better. Tomorrow I will buy green spray paint and concrete paint as well (I want to repaint the top of the porch, it is ugly.) I have other errands to do as well, so it will not be too much extra driving.

For dinner we had:
baked potatoes with sour cream and Cheddar cheese
left over corn on the cob
left over grilled zucchini
cucumbers from a friends garden
organic carrots from store
left over pizza slices (organic with wheat crust)

chocolate pudding (kids)
plain yogurt with fresh Jersey blueberries, walnuts, and honey (for adults)

Dinner was left overs and we barely had enough for just us (so I thought.) However we stopped at my grandmothers and my sister and her boyfriend were there, they had not eaten, so I invited them over. Plus the boys had their cousin over as well. We all ate and were full. It was good too (I thought so.) That was a God moment, He made that little bit of food last for four adults and three kids. He never ceases to amaze me.

Now I am going to fold laundry and get to bed soon, last night was a late night.


I need prayer

I want to ask for prayer. My ex husband's mother passed away on Friday. She was only 58 and died of breast cancer. It was pretty sudden. Please pray for my ex, Jose, and his entire family. They have not even to begun to process this loss.

But I need prayer as well. Seeing my ex again brings back so much pain. We have not even seen him in 2 years. (He lives in Florida and us in New Jersey.)

We were married on Sept. 1, 2002. We quickly moved to Kentucky for his work. I also quickly became pregnant with Joshua. Somewhere along the way he decided he did not want anymore children (he had two from his ex, plus I had Jason.) And with that in March of 2003 he told me he was done. It took me a month to realize what he was saying, so in April 2003, with me 36 weeks pregnant I returned back to NJ.

For a long time I waited for him to change his mind. He never did.

The honest truth is that I now know God did not intend for me to marry him, I just did it my way because I wanted to be married, and I thought I was in love. I just wasn't listening. God wanted to spare me all this pain.

But the way I feel being around him again is strange. My stomach does flips and I so easily forget all the pain. I go out of my way to be helpful and available.

I guess I will always have feelings for him as we were married and we have a son together. I would rather be friendly with him, than always fighting and hostile (as many who are divorced are.)

So I need prayer. Pray I would seek God for the love I long for, as I will never get it from my ex, and God's love should be all that matters. Pray for Josh who longs to have his dad be more of a part of his daily life. Pray I seek God's will in all my decisions, so that I can be a blessing to those around me without being a doormat.


Saturday, July 10, 2010

Kaiden six weeks old

I convinced my sister to let me watch Kaiden last night (all night.) I wanted her to get some sleep; and I wanted more bonding time with him. We had a blast. He even slept about 6 hours straight. I took about 100 pictures, here are some of the best:
such a cutie
Josh and Kaiden. Josh loves holding him.
cute in cloth diapers

Friday, July 9, 2010

Some things you may not know about me

I used to babysit when I was 11.

When I was in 8th grade I was student council president. (Yet in 5th grade I barely had any friends.) I worked hard to make positive changes in our small town school. We got the lunch room to start recycling.

I had my first job (besides babysitting) at a boardwalk at age 14.

I also worked at Rag Shop in high school.

I loved my high school experience.

In high school I had a piercing under my chin. I did it myself. Check it out here.

In high school I didn't drink, smoke, or do drugs, though many of my friends did.

I graduated high school at 16.

I started college at 16.

It took me 7 years to graduate with my A.A. in Early Education.

I loved college.

I plan on going back to college after my children are grown.

Despite my horrible singing voice (I literally can not carry a tune, even happy birthday eludes me) I used to want to be a singer.

I wish I knew how to play the guitar and want lessons one day.

I so desperately want to go to the Grand Canyon, hike down to the bottom, and camp on the Native American reservation down there.

I would like more kids. I would like to adopt.

I love a houseful of kids to play with.

I love to take naps. I am addicted to them (need to give that over to God.)

I am addicted to tv, hence why I wish we did not have one.

I am addicted to sugar, which is why I am trying to eliminate it from my life. Doing pretty good too.

I like to take pictures, but try as I might I can't get the cute artsy shots I aspire for.

My bedroom is 6'6" by 10'5". I have no closet in there, just my bed, nightstand, and an armoire for clothes. Despite it's size it is one of my most favorite places in the world.

I think:

My husband is an incredible provider and father.

My mom is the most amazing person.

My brother is the kindest person.

My sister the most beautiful.

My stepfather is the best grandpa.

This you probably already know, but just in case:

I think I am incredible blessed.


Did pretty good with food shopping

We went food shopping yesterday. I spent $150 and got about 10 days worth of breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. I also got some snacks.

Each meal includes fruit or veggies. And we have protein for each meal.

I got so much organic stuff. I even got organic all natural frozen pizzas for only $4 something each. Each pizza will be two meals (for one person.)
I got organic free range ground turkey for $3 a lb. I got an organic chicken for about $6. I also got organic free range grass feed beef for hamburgers for about $6 (was delicious.)
I also got fresh Jersey corn and blueberries, although not organic, for super cheap.
I got organic brown rice. I got organic pasta sauce, and cans of organic tomato paste, tomatoes, and sauce to make my own sauce as well.
I got organic chips for myself, with regular salsa (Tostito brand is my favorite.)
The boys each got one item junk. Jason got chips (not healthy or organic.) Josh got popcorn. I also got organic microwave popcorn.

Last night I made the organic burgers with wheat rolls, the Jersey corn, and zucchini from a friends garden. Yum! It was a super delicious dinner.

The $150 I spent is a bit over budget, but I am super happy that 85% of what I bought was organic. Plus I still have $250 for food for the rest of the month. If what I bought yesterday last ten days, that will take me to July 19th. I will then need to buy for twelve more days after that. If I spend another $15 a day that will be $180, and I will have about $70 for some bulk purchases. That's not too bad.

$15 a day is much better than the $15 I spent for one meal the other day.

We also spent $10 on treats for our bird and the dog we are dog sitting. But that did not come out of food budget.

I feel very good about my shopping trip.
Now I have to make some bread to go with some of the meals I have planned.


Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Today I wanted to have a no drive day, but the boys are currently cat sitting every day (we go there and take care of cat) and watering a garden at a different house, plus I had a few errands to run.

Since we drove anyway we decided to go to beach. They have a free concert in the summer on Wed. nights. The boys were not interested in the concert, but the waves and sand had their interest.

We had a good time and the breeze was amazing. Here are some pics:
boys in water
Jason in his hole
Jason digging
Joshua, I so love that toothless smile

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Garden envy and what my garden is teaching me

We are watering a garden for a couple on vacation and it is amazing. They have pumpkins, corn, two types of cucumbers, squash, green beans, tomatoes, and more. Plus I am seeing so many fellow bloggers start to harvest great veggies, but my garden is still lacking.
My lettuce, carrots, and radishes all died (I started them from seed, and they didn't do well.) I also lost a cucumber plant.
My tomatoes, peppers, an eggplant are doing ok, but I don't have any veggies yet.

Also my garden is really dry, we are watering it at least once a day. I don't remember watering this much last year (I had a different yard.)

So I am having garden envy. I want fresh veggies from my garden now.

So you know a lesson is coming. God is using my garden to remind me to be patient. Also to be thankful. I have a yard and a garden and will have fresh veggies soon enough.

In life I am so impatient as well. I don't want to wait on God's timing. So time and time again I do it my way. But every time I end up with heartache or at least a missed blessing.

God doesn't withhold things from us because He is cruel, He withholds because He knows what is best for us. He sees the future (He wrote it.) Even though I know the blessings the times I have waited and done it His way, it still is so hard. We live in a get it now culture. Just Do It is a popular slogan. Meaning You just do it. But this is counter to God's plan. We need to seek Him and do His will. We need to die to self to follow Him.

Not because He wants us to lose ourselves, not because He has to be right, but because He loves us and He has a plan for us that we could never imagine. Way better than anything we can do or get ourselves. And the more we follow His plan, the more we are our true selves. The more we become like Christ. The more we can further His kingdom.

That is the ultimate goal, not what else we can get for ourselves or what we can do. But how can we share Him with others. If we are following His will for our lives people will see Him in us more and more seeds will be planted for Him.

This really makes me think. Lately I have been living big time for me. What is good for me, convenient for me. I have left Christ out of my decisions and daily life. This has only gotten me more pain and further from Him. This is counter to where I want to be.

I remember having such a fire for Christ not so long ago. I desired being with Him, growing in Him, and sharing Him. Now I am cold. My goals are how much relaxing I can do and what will make my life easier.

I can continue to live like this, but what will the fruits be?

"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." John 15:5

Nothing, that about sums it up right now. But that is not what I want. I want to bear good fruit.

How is this possible?

Well if I look at how to get good veggies in my garden, I can apply that to my life.

1) Prepare the soil.
I need to prepare my heart each day with daily time before the Lord just listening to Him.

2) Add seeds (plants.)
The word of Christ, the Bible, is a seed I want planted in my heart. I need to spend time reading His word every day.

3) Water daily.
Christ is the everlasting water, I need Him all day. I need to talk to Him in prayer throughout my day.

4) Add sunshine.
I need to surround myself with people who are living and growing in Christ, they can be a light for me.

5) Remove weeds.
Sin will take over. My heart can not serve two masters, the sin will win out if I don't take proactive steps and flee from sin, remove it completely from my life.

6) Enjoy the fruit (veggies.)
Rejoice in my blessings. Take joy in my circumstances.

7) Share the bounty.
Just as I share my produce each season I need to be sharing Christ in all I do. Hopefully, as I grow closer to Him people will see Him more in my life even without me saying a word.

Dear Lord,
I pray this would serve as a reminder that we all need to be growing in you and patient on your will.
In Jesus Name,


Monday, July 5, 2010

Yesterday at 4th of July barbecue at my mom's

Josh and Kaiden
Kaiden and Josh


I would love to show you a picture of Jason, but he is anti having his picture taken lately. Barbecue at mom's was great. Good food, good company, very relaxing (thanks mom and Scott.)


Too Much Information? Warning girly topic

This post is regarding a girly topic, so you may not want to precede.

This post may classify as too much information, but right now I am having very intense menstrual cramps. About every 4th-6th period I get really bad cramps. I can barely sit here and type. I took two Motrin and have a cold/heat patch as well, but not much is helping.

I read online that exercise may help, but I can't fathom doing that right now, so I could use some other advice.

I also am on a low dose birth control because otherwise I have no regularity with my cycle (I have gone 90 plus days without a period.) Also without it my emotions are all over the place all month. I would love to go off the birth control and try something more natural, so any advice on that would also be appreciated.

Sorry for the so personal post, but I need some advice.



update: today (Tues.) I feel much better. But still could use some tips.

My mom's new blog

My mom is doing Real Estate, she started a new blog. Check it out here. Thanks!


Sunday, July 4, 2010

Tacoes, not a cheap meal anymore

Maybe I am wrong, but I always considered tacos a cheap meal. Maybe I am delusional because it is my boys favorite meal and we make it often. But I just broke down the cost for tomorrow's meal and found I was wrong, it is not a cheap meal:

$5 1 lb. ground beef (85%)
$2 Sour Cream
$3 Cheddar cheese
$2 soft shells
$2 taco seasoning

$14 total

I didn't even get the lettuce and tomatoes I usually get.

Since I have about $400 a month for food, that is about $13 a day. So a $14 dinner will not cut it. I figure breakfast should be about $3, lunch about $4, dinner about $5, and snacks about $1. I used to be able to do this, but lately with everything costing more and with me buying more organic, this can be very hard.

Tomorrow we are eating:

breakfast- watermelon, cereal, & organic milk (cost about $5)
lunch- organic peanut butter on homemade bread and green beans (cost about $4)
dinner-tacos and carrot sticks (cost $15)
snacks-green smoothies, tostitos and salsa (cost about $4)

I will have to plan some cheaper and meat free meals this week to make up the difference in cost. I know I will make rice and beans for dinner one night this week, which is about $3 to make with lots of spices and beans, and it makes left overs. Plus we all like to eat it (except when I don't cook it right.)

Can you share some frugal meals with recipes?


Glitter Graphics -

Saturday, July 3, 2010


Yesterday I realized I now have 20 followers. But one is a car, so I think that is junk or spam. Or a really smart car. lol.

If you read my blog (and according to my site meter about 40 people check this blog daily) please become a follower. And post a link to my blog on your blog. I would really appreciate it!


Friday, July 2, 2010

Another blessed day

We were blessed with two season passes to Six Flags Great Adventure (I did have to buy one and a parking pass as well.)

Anyway with the cool weather we decided to go again today. We had a great day. I rode the sky ride and ferris wheel with the boys. They rode everything else together, except for the big roller coaster Jason went on. Josh was still too short for it (I think he was relieved of that.)

Some pics:
Jason is actually on this ride in the front row in this picture. It is called Kingda Ka.

Josh before El Torro (wooden roller coaster) a little nervous

boys on El Torro. "Buckle Up!"

Josh after El Torro, he loved it

Today while at Great Adventure I had a small cut on the bottom of my foot, but with each step it was very painful. I was hoping for a band aid and wondering if I should go back to car (a 20 min. walk,) but no lie I looked down at ground and found a band aid still fully wrapped. I knew God put it there because He even cares for the little details. I was almost in tears feeling Him with me at that amusement park.

I am so thankful for all the blessings He gives us.


Awesome day

Today (Thur.) I stuck to my goal of no driving. I have to say today was one of the best days I have had in a long time.

I slept in, but not too late. Kids were in cooperative mood as we did yard work and chores. After lunch we did some schoolwork. Then we just hung out. Josh and I actually rested outside, while I read he did a crossword puzzle book.

Then we took a short bike ride.

We sat and ate dinner together at table. We talked and there was no fighting. Boys were eagerly discussing making root beer and their desire for a dog. It was so nice and relaxing.

After dinner we all cleaned up and then played Jenga outside. Again no fighting. We were actually all laughing.

The boys cousin joined as as we watched Wipe Out (I know it's not nice, but watching silly strangers get hurt is funny.)

At 9:00pm we read 2 chapters of the book I am currently reading to the boys before bed (Autumn with the Moody's) and then Josh went to bed. No complaining, no crying.

Today besides no driving I started using the if then and blessings charts again (from Doorpost.) Basically if you do something wrong (i.e. hitting) the consequence is already there, plus a verse relating to that offense. The boys each got some consequences today, but overall it was very mild. They especially don't like the consequence of doing a chore of their brother's if they are mean, or rude to their brother. They also each earned a reward for not lieing today. The reward was a junk food treat.

Throughout the day I read 15 chapters of The Last Song. It is good so far. A bit young for me (it is about a 17 year old,) but overall good.

Then after boys were in bed I watched Dear John (I rented it at library yesterday.) I was crying for a lot of the movie, but the ending just came out of nowhere and I was waiting for more to happen.

While I watched the movie I sewed a new clothespin bag and a birthday gift for a friend (a tote bag.)

Just a few minutes ago I sat on my back porch and enjoyed the beautiful cool summer breeze. I was once again in awe of my blessings, especially my home. Of course Eric came to my mind and heart, and some tears fell. He is so much a part of the reason I have this house. He was certainly on board for me to buy this house before he died. I remember talking with him about it. I wish he were here to talk with me now.

But I know he would be glad I had such a good, relaxing day.

I am off to bed I have a special surprise planned for boys tomorrow and I have to get up early.


Thursday, July 1, 2010

I am not a very good cook

In the interest of using up what is in my pantry I have made some interesting meals over the past few days. I realize I am not a very good cook. But worse is left over not so good food. The other day I made wheat pasta and a homemade sauce with only some of the ingredients needed for sauce. The pasta was very dry and the sauce was not good. We all ate it for dinner the first night (three nights ago.) But today I attempted to have left overs for lunch and it was worse. So it all went in garbage.
Yesterday I tried to make Spanish rice and beans, again without all the usual ingredients. Plus I mixed half white rice and half brown rice. The brown rice was not cooked all the way, but the white rice was. The whole thing was really dry. But again we all ate it for dinner two nights ago. So after trying to eat left over pasta for lunch and discovering it uneatable, I had left over rice and beans. It was almost as bad as left over pasta. I did eat it though. Then threw the rest away.
And two days ago I made a loaf of bread that was a flop (but I have made good homemade bread, so maybe I left something out.)

My kids are getting ready to jump ship.

For dinner I am making scrambled eggs and turkey bacon. I have never messed that up, so hopefully tonight will not be a first.

I will also attempt another loaf of bread tonight, hopefully that will work out as well.

Frugal living would be a whole lot easier if I was a better cook.

Good thing we got treated to Friendly's last night or my kids might starve. LOL.


Finished one book

I finished my first book of the summer. It was Just Around the Corner by Steven and Teri Maxwell. It is an encouragement book for homeschooling moms and dads. It was helpful. I recommend it if you are a homeschooling mom or dad.