Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010 Christmas letter

Dear Family & Friends,

I hope this letter finds you well. I pray your Christmas was blessed as ours was. I also want to wish you a Happy New Year!

2010 has been a great year to our family. We have settled into our new house (we moved in one year ago) nicely. We are well into our homeschooling this year. And we have added two new family members this past year.

This year we put a new roof on the house (after decided our living room did NOT need a swimming pool.) The boys have decorated their rooms and have a place for all their toys and books. We tried a veggie garden, but either the soil, the very hot summer, or my green thumb netted us with less than fruitful results. In addition we have added a really cool tree fort (Scott helped the boys build it.) Things are really shaping up in our home.

Homeschooling is going well. Jason is 13 and in the 7th grade. Joshua is 7 and in the 2nd grade. We read lots of books. Jason likes to re-read his Harry Potter books as well as browse our encyclopedias. He also likes mysteries. Joshua likes Cam Jamsen books as well as the Moody Book series. We also meet up with other homeschooling families two days a week for history, science, art, and p.e. It is a huge blessing to be able to learn together (I learn so much too) and the bond I see in my boys is an added blessing.

My baby sister, Samantha gave birth to my nephew in May. Kaiden was almost 10 lbs. at birth and still is a big boy. He is now 7 months old and nothing but pure joy.

In Oct. we added another new member to our family, Lady, an Old English Sheep Dog. She is 6 years old. She is so much fun and so sweet. She is huge (67 lbs.) and much to Jason’s dismay enjoys sleeping in my room.

I have started a cleaning business called Green Clean. I use all natural, non toxic, biodegradable cleaning supplies to clean homes and offices. It allows me the flexibility to homeschool and still provide for our family. I also have a blog that chronicles some of our day to day and has lots of family pictures. I really enjoy writing and my blog allows me to keep up my writing skills.

We feel more blessed now then we ever have. God is so good. We have so many blessings and we count you and your family among those blessings. May you feel the love of God and discover His blessings throughout 2011.

Becky, Jason, & Joshua

Doctor's visit

Yesterday I went to the doctor because my ear was hurting me. I have had a cough for a few weeks and the mucus had spread to my ears and is infected which caused an ear infection. My doctor put me on antibiotics. I try to avoid these but my home remedies (including lots of rest) were not working.

I also got the results of my last blood work.

The good news is that my Vitamin D level is finally normal (it was low for about 6 months.)

The bad news is that my Cholesterol and Triglycerides are both high. They have been for over a year. I so need to work on that. Lowering them will also probably help my digestive issues.

I know I need to exercise. However I do feel like I am making better food choices, but it doesn't seem to have helped.

I need to come up with a better plan and stick to exercising as well.

But for today and tomorrow my goal is to get better and straighten up my house.


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Look what this baby can do

Kaiden at 7 months old is pulling himself up on anything he can. He really think he is hot stuff.
By the way Lady is right behind him each time he goes up as if to protect him. So sweet.


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Cloth Tissues

Ok, so I think I am sick. I have been coughing for a few weeks. Now it is worse and I have such an earache. And I am constantly blowing my nose (yum.) So yesterday I sewed about 10 cloth tissues.

I made them very quickly so they are sloppy, but they work great.

They actually work so much better than paper tissues. Paper tissues usually fall apart as I am using them. And are not usually too soft. I made the cloth ones out of flannel and they are super soft on my nose.

I have been using all cloth in my house since 2008, and have used the same few cloth tissues, so I figured I would sew some new ones.

They are now in the wash and tomorrow will be ready for use again (I even have some left for the night.) I have a feeling I will be needing them tomorrow as well.

I better be off to bed so I can get better.


Monday, December 27, 2010


Today we woke up covered in lots of snow, so we stayed home all day.

The boys did go outside to play and clean my car and shovel a path from the backdoor. But it was too cold for them to stay out too long.

Today we also cleaned the entire upstairs. 7 garbage bags and 4 loads of dirty laundry later. We needed to make room for the boys new toys.

Josh is pretty good and keeps his room clean, but Jason's room is constantly like a bomb went off. Dirty and clean clothes all over. Garbage and toys everywhere.

The worst part is I found so many food wrappers, but the rule is no food or drinks, except water upstairs. So I told Jason and wrote it and put it on his wall if I find him eating or drinking anything else upstairs he will lose his radio.

I need to be stricter on him, and check up that he really is doing his chores each day. I give him simple chores like put dirty clothes in hamper, not just go clean your room. So he should be able to handle it. Then if he does not comply I need to be stricter with the consequences.

I can't keep giving him excuses like his room is too small or he can't handle it with his ADHD.

But for now the upstairs is spotless and all clothes and toys have a place.

I also have folded and put away all clean laundry. This is a task I usually lack in so I am particularly proud of myself.

And I also got to go shopping (all without leaving home) using my Christmas gift cards.

I ordered a skin, case, and light for my Kindle. I also ordered a hand grain grinder, and book on wheat (usage, recipes, etc.) I can't wait for my grain grinder. I have been using my magic bullet, but it does not do a great job and heats the grain up too much. I also ordered a book to help Josh with his reading skills. Unfortunately neither of the two books I ordered are available on the Kindle.

I did put some free stuff on my Kindle though. Games and Bible verses and a daily Bible study blog.

Off to do another load of laundry and try to get to bed by 12.


Saturday, December 25, 2010

Feeling so spoiled

I know Christmas is about the birth of Christ. But I like presents too. Here is what I got:

kitchen shears (from my boys, I really wanted these)
winter hand towels (from my boys, I love them)
$100 Visa gift card (to buy a hand grain grinder)
all natural and organic: deodorant, calming cream, cold spray, and lotion
soy vanilla cookie smelling candle (awesome)
smores kit (with dye free marshmallows)
place mats and cloth napkins (all matching)
two Christmas ornaments that have all our names and 2010 on them
Christmas pj pants (from my sister and her boyfriend)
Christmas warm socks (from my sister and her boyfriend)
digital frame (from my brother)
cookies (from my aunt)
cookies, candles, peach preserves, and Christmas decor (from an aunt in law)
and from my mom and Scott: (yes they really spoil me)
Amazon gift card to buy books
olive oil
mister (reusable so you can spray olive oil, instead of buying a can to spray)
Whole Foods gift card (YIPEE)
misc. stocking stuffers

I also got cash, but that went towards bills, Christmas offering at church, and buying boys stuff.

Ok, now it's your turn, what did you get for Christmas?


Christmas Cuties


We are so blessed!


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Dec. bills and credit card

I have money for all Dec. bills. Also I have my credit card down from $500 to $400 (plus last month I paid off Kohl's and Home Depot that I used in past few months.)

I also was able to get Christmas gifts for:
Jason (some homemade)
Joshua (some homemade)
Kevin (homemade)
Kaiden (homemade)
our sponsor children
a family we adopted

I feel so blessed!!!

I am so thankful not to be stressing about money especially as Christmas is in 2 days.


Friday, December 17, 2010


Once a week since Kaiden was 5 weeks old I have had him sleep over (with a few exceptions.) It is so fun to spend time with him. He is the best baby. He is super happy and he smiles all the time. He barely cries.

He will be 7 months old on Christmas day. He is about 22 lbs. and has 4 teeth with 2 more trying to cut through the gums.

He is the best blessing for our family since we lost Eric. He is pure joy to be around.
He slept over last night and now is happily playing in his exersaucer.

Yesterday I was thinking so much about Eric, so having Kaiden really helps me not to feel so sad. I am sad Eric is missing his nephew. But Kaiden's smiles are contagious. So when he is here I can't help but be in a good mood.



Income sources

This month in addition to the childcare I do, I am working on my cleaning business. I have had three jobs. I also did letters from Santa and raised about $35 after shipping and supplies. In addition I made up a flyer for my friends that I am renting myself out next week for childcare, housecleaning, and general Christmas help. I got four jobs. Mon. I will be doing childcare, Tues. I am cleaning a house, Wed. I am cleaning, and Thur. I am doing childcare. I told my friends they can pay me whatever they chose this week only. Any money I get is more than I had.

I need about $100 to square Dec. bills away and would like to get Josh & Jason one gift each from Santa (we don't really focus on Santa, but Joshua is super excited for Santa to come this year and I don't want to take the excitement from him.) So hopefully between the four jobs next week I will make about $120 (I am assuming $25 per job, which for the cleaning is low. I usually make $60-$100 to clean a house, but will not take that much from friends anyway.)

I feel so blessed that God is sending me more work.

I especially like the satisfaction I feel after cleaning a house. It feels so good to leave knowing the house is shining (yet without any toxic chemicals or paper towels having been used to clean. Go green!)


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Not so merry

We put up our tree today. It wasn't such a peaceful, enjoyable time. Josh didn't want to help and even though has been asking me to put up the tree for 2 weeks, changed his mind and said he didn't want the tree up at all. Jason basically carried tree in, set it up, and put the lights on by himself. I helped a bit, but mostly kept Josh from annoying Jason. Jason did a great job.

I think my mood has not been merry at all lately. I feel like I am just drifting sometime.

I know I am so blessed, and am so grateful for what God has given me. I know we have a great life, yet can't always get my emotions on board with that.

It all comes down to my heart not focusing on Jesus lately.

I Have been focusing on getting lots of sleep.

I Have been focusing on learning about living green.

I Have been focusing on the evils of food dyes.

I Have been on facebook daily.

I Have been checking my bank accounts online a lot.

I Have been focusing on making enough money to get through the month.

But my walk with God is virtually non existent lately.

When I write down what I do everyday (sleeping, watching tv, eating, going online, worrying, stressing, homeschooling, running errands, yelling, and other meaningless things) it makes me realize my priorities are all messed up.

God should be first, my raising my boys and homeschooling should be next, family and friends should follow, then work. Stress and worry shouldn't even be on my list at all. Healthy living is important, but not everything.

The way my heart feels (EMPTY) reminds me of all this, but getting back into walking with Him seems foreign to me.

Dear Lord,

I am sorry. I tried to do life my way again. I have seen how that works out before, yet still I have let so many things come before you. And here I am again, feeling so lost and empty. Lord, I need you to help me. On my own I am nothing. I need my heart and life to be consumed with you. I want to wake up and think of nothing but praising you Lord. I want my heart to be so full of you that I am overflowing you on all those in my life and all those I meet.
Help me Lord!

In Jesus Name, Amen


50 kids for Christmas

My good friend, Courtney posted about what she wants for Christmas is 50 kids through Compassion to get a sponsor family. Check out her post here. Her family introduced me to Compassion so many years ago and I have been sponsoring a child ever since, now we actually have two. You may think you will sponsor a child to bless them, but you and your family will be the ones who are truly blessed.

Receiving a letter or drawing from our sponsor children is so amazing. Especially when they tell us they are praying for our family. How cool is that?

So get in on the challenge and sponsor a child today!



Monday, December 13, 2010

Jason & I

My 13 year old and I

Sunday, December 12, 2010

I failed

I wanted to stay out of stores, but yesterday we went to:

Dollar King
Party Store
Five Below
Dollar Tree

All searching for paper for my letters from Santa. I didn't find any. We did buy 2 drinks, and a few other things. I spent about $20.

Today we went to Toys 'R Us because Jason got a gift card for his birthday. He spent his birthday money, so I didn't spend any.

I still have to go to another store as I still need the paper. I think Dec. is a bad month to try and avoid stores.


Friday, December 10, 2010

Happy Birthday Jason!!!

Happy Birthday Jason!!!

My sweet, firstborn is 13.

I recall the day he was born, the day I cried that I couldn't do it (give birth.) It was the hardest thing I had ever done, until that point. Being a mom has been harder. But I would not change a moment. Being his (and Josh's) mom has been the best blessing of my life.

Jason is so sweet, caring, funny, and compassionate. He is an amazing big brother, with more patience than I could ever hope to have.

He is also awesome with animals and seems to have a sense with them that calms them instantly. He has a genuine care for all God's creatures that amazes me.

Jason is a serious Legoer (made that word up) and can put together a Lego set in what seems like seconds.

I am so glad God blessed me to be his mom.


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Hot water heater

This happened last year and is happening again. It is so annoying. My hot water heater keeps going out. We don't know until we try to wash our hands or step into the shower. It does restart, but then takes about 45-60 min. to heat up the tank. Jason is currently waiting to take a shower.

Scott took filter off and it is clean. There is no water under tank, so it is not leaking. It is so weird. I pray it fixes itself, because new hot water heater is not in the budget.



Green Clean Business

I cleaned another house on Sat. That makes my 4th job in 2 months. This time I did not use one paper towel. I used mostly my non toxic biodegradable cleaners, but they had air freshener they were throwing away and some soft scrub, so I used those up. Green is also about not wasting even if product is toxic (because if not used it still needs to be disposed of.)
I have two more jobs this month (repeat customers from last month.)

Please pray I would get about 4 jobs a week. Thanks!


Monday, December 6, 2010

Almost Free Mug or Desk Calendar

Get a free mug or desk calendar with any picture you add. Go here.
I paid $3.20 for shipping only and got a mug.
What a great Christmas gift. You don't have to buy the candy bars it will generate UPC's for you. Awesome!!!


I'm a winner

Today I discovered I won a watercolor and 10 rolls of scotch tape (from two different blogs.) I am so excited!!!

Check out the watercolor here.
Joshua liked the Elijah so I chose that one for him.

Check out the blog I won the watercolor on.

Check out the blog I won the scotch tape on.


Sunday, December 5, 2010

Handwritten, Personalized Letters From Santa

Would you like that special child in your life (child, grandchild, cousin, niece, etc.) to receive a handwritten, personalized letter from Santa?

Please leave a comment with your email address in it for form and payment options. (I will not publish email addresses.) Or click the buy it now button. Make sure to include email address, so I can email you form.)

$5 includes handwritten, personalized letter, Santa's sugar cookie and frosting recipe, and a special surprise all addressed to the child.

All forms and payment are due by Wed. Dec. 15th

-Santa's Helper (aka Becky)


Kohl's and Home Depot charges are paid off!!!

Praise the Lord!!!

Now I will work on Dec. bills.

Next year I will focus on paying off $460 I owe to Mastercard.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

No store challenge

I was thinking of challenging myself not to go into any retail stores all month. And to not buy anything new all month (except food.) Including not buying anything online all month.

I don't need anything. I don't have any money for gifts. So there is no point to shopping. Plus it will give me more time to make gifts. I have some fabric, I can make an apron, and some tote bags as gifts. I can also make some cloth napkins that I wanted to make as gifts. And I want to make boys a case for their ipods (that I did not buy, Josh's we won, it is a shuffle. Jason's Poppie found one at work and gave it to Jason, it is an ipod touch.)

I will see how well this goes.


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Letters from Santa

Would you like that special child in your life (child, grandchild, cousin, niece, etc.) to receive a handwritten, personalized letter from Santa?

Please leave a comment with your email address in it for form and payment options. (I will not publish email addresses.)

$5 includes handwritten, personalized letter, Santa's sugar cookie and frosting recipe, and a special surprise all addressed to the child.

All forms and payment are due by Wed. Dec. 15th

-Santa's Helper (aka Becky)