My New Year's Resolutions
One day, I would like to buy stock in a gym. I will buy the stock in December, and sell in January. Sure, I wouldn't make a huge profit, but it would surely be some extra money. If I waited till February, it probably would be worth less. I grow weary of New Year's resolutions, as they are often swiftly abandoned or forgotten. I think part of the problem is that we choose goals that are too lofty or too different from what we are used to. Baby steps would be much more feasible. I have chosen a few goals, in various spheres of my life to strive towards:
Faith- Spend time daily in the Word.
Marriage- Stop being so selfish.
Children- Cultivate heart relationships with them.
Work on first time obedience.
Memorize one bible verse a week.
Exercise- Frequent Walks (include children,often)
3 x per week do Pilates or Walk Away the Pounds
Fun- Scrapbook about relationships and fun things.
*My most important resolution is to remember that He is in control and Sovereign- "Be still and know that I am God." - Psalm 46:10
What are you resolving, this year? Or are you happier resolving not to resolve? ;) Blessings to you and your families as you begin a New Year.
Wednesday, December 31, 2008
My New Year's Resolutions
Posted by Christine at 12:08 PM
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Quite A Birth Story
My blogging friend, Michelle, has such a knack for bringing humor to her blog posts. My children tend to look at me funny, when I read her blog, as I am always cracking up. She recently posted her birth story in three installments, here, here, and here. It has to be one of the funniest birth stories, ever! Be sure not to miss the part about "Where's my baby?" !
Posted by Christine at 11:37 AM
Friday, December 26, 2008
I had just about given up on scrapbooking. I had packed up my myriad of gear, and put it all away. With the passing of every holiday and family event, I felt like I was drowning in my multitude of pictures, and that it would never get done. After all, my wedding album still isn't completed! (I know..I am cringing too!) The only thing I can successfully keep up with is my annual Christmas album. The stress of chronologically recording all of life's details for myself and my children was too much of a burden. Recently, I happened upon a book, The Big Picture Scrapbook Your Life and a Whole Lot More . I knew that if there was even the smallest chance of me enjoying scrapbooking, again, this was the book for me. This book takes the guilt out of scrapbooking. Instead of focusing on chronicling every detail of your family's life, scrapbook relationships and things that you are passionate about. Honestly, how can anyone ever keep up with all of the pictures from every holiday or life event? The author, Stacy Julian, recounts a time when she looked at a very thorough album, covering many events in a family's life. It was simply events and she realized that she still knew barely anything about these people. It was impersonal and rather dull. Instead of feeling like we have to scrapbook all 120 pictures, for one event, focus on relationships. Imagine a precious scrapbook page emphazising the relationship of brothers. Create an album for your Hubby, on your 10 favorite things about him. (Perhaps include journaling on one side of the page, and a picture on the other side of the page.) Making it personal and fun is such a better alternative to feeling weighed down by scrapbooking. Stacy shows a variety of ways to keep up with your pictures, without being burdened by it. Stacy keeps an "All About Us" album, in which she has tabs for each of her immediate family members.One really fun page that I would love to do about myself are a few of my favorite things. (My skirts, my Mary Janes, my box of truffles, and other fun things.) My daughter, Lily loves helping in the kitchen. Sometimes she pretends like she is hosting a cooking show. I love those precious times and would love to record those memories. Making scrapbooking enjoyable and personable is the funnest way to scrapbook. I have great hope about scrapbooking. How do you feel about scrapbooking? Are you one of those diligent scrapbookers or have your buckled under the weight of too many pictures, like I did?
Posted by Christine at 11:44 PM
Monday, December 22, 2008
Menu Plan Monday: Christmas Week
Monday~ Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup (in Crockpot)
Tuesday~ Kim Bobs (My sister-in-law, Melanie, just taught me how to makes these. There are so many ways to makes these, but in the picture below, I used tuna fish, jasmine rice, and radish, in the seaweed wrap. These are delicious!)
Thursday~ Bring a Dish to Christmas Dinner
Friday~ Cheese Tortellini
For more menu plans, visit Laura .
Posted by Christine at 1:28 PM
Christmas Cookie Swap
Last year, my sister-in-law started the holiday tradition of hosting a cookie swap, around Christmas time. We bake our cookies and swap them at our house. Our family cookie swap was this past Friday night, and it was a lot of fun. I made these "to-die" for truffles. (The recipe is a winner...these were rather simple to make.)
The little girls loved cutting out a variety of sugar cookies. Lily had been wearing her apron, all afternoon, in anticipation for baking time!
Margaret, my youngest sister-in-law, was whipping up some chocolate chip cookies. These cookies were the size of dinner plates.
The girls look so serious, but it was because they were concentrating so hard on making them just right. ;) lol
Posted by Christine at 1:15 PM
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Living Healthy in a "Genetically Modified" World
In most of my spare time (which is rare), I have been reading a variety of wonderful books. The Green Beauty Guide is an amazing book, with so much helpful information to surviving and thriving in a world inundated with toxins. This book contains a lot of information, so I mainly skimmed and read the topical sections that I was interested in researching. After a while, I even put the book down, because it was so much to take in. After reading it, I felt a bit depressed about how many harmful substances are, everywhere. She does offer many wonderful solutions of safer products to use. At the same time, I was reading Black Belt Patriotism, by Chuck Norris. His book is a must-read, as he focuses on our need, as a country, to turn back to God. He heavily relies on our Founding Father's wisdom. He also encourages Americans to be better stewards of their bodies, so that they can live more vibrant lives. He mentions that not living healthy won't keep a Christian out of heaven, but neglecting one's health will certainly aid him in getting to heaven, a little faster. Chuck Norris is 68, and he truly looks like he is in his late 30's. It is very inspiring to see one be such a good steward of his body. He mentioned a study, which was performed on 10 newborns' cord blood. Among these 10 babies, there was an average of 200 toxins, many of them cancer causing. This really was disheartening to me, and I was thankful for his hope and optimism, throughout his book. This really opened my eyes to really evaluate every lotion, which I rub into my skin, every "room freshening" spray which I spritz, and every toxic cleaner, which I use. Finding natural substitutes for these things, is a worthwhile pursuit. Being careful of what we rub into our skin, whether it is an antiperspirant, a beauty creme, or even a lotion, is so critical. Skin is our largest organ, and anything rubbed into it, can be in the bloodstream within seconds. Rather than being discouraged, I am trying to continue to take babysteps to living a healthier life. One babystep which I want to accomplish, this month, is to learn more about sprouting , because of the many health benefits. Since so many seeds are genetically modified, I have heard that it is important to start with organic seeds. If you have ever sprouted, I would love to hear more about it! What babysteps are you taking for your health?
"I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." John 10:10
Posted by Christine at 1:00 PM
Friday, December 19, 2008
Delightful Gift Ideas from Nurtured Family
Nurtured Family has some of the loveliest, natural items, for you and your family. They are having a few specials, which would make wonderful Christmas gifts.This Sling is made of organic fibers, and is marked down to $49. This Doll Sling is , by far, one of the loveliest and sturdiest baby carriers for little girls to wear. For the craftsmanship, which has gone into making it, $16 is a great price.Burt's Bees Starter Kit would make a wonderful baby shower gift, as it is under $10. It contains child-size samples of Burt's Bees apricot oil, shampoo bar, buttermilk soap, buttermilk lotion, diaper ointment, and Dr.Burt's children's toothpaste. Another great gift for a new mother, would be this Motherlove Congratulations Pack. The pack is $15, and contains birth and baby oil, nipple cream, diaper rash and thrush ointment, and an organic baby t-shirt. Ergo Backpack is an accessory that I am wanting to get, soon. It looks like a handy way to consolidate a diaper bag and purse, all in one. I love their inexpensive pregnancy tests . For a little over a dollar a test, you can have them shipped, right to your door. To see all of Nurtured Family's sales and clearance items, click here . For Nurtured Family coupons, sign up here.
Posted by Christine at 3:41 PM
Congratulations, Duggar Family!
The Duggar family welcomed their 18th child, Jordyn Grace, yesterday. She was born via c-section, due to baby being in a transverse position. What a beautiful testimony that they continue to receive the gifts of the Lord!
Posted by Christine at 12:48 PM
Cheaper, Natural Diapers
I love Fuzzi Bunz diapers. What I don't love about cloth diapers is how yucky toddler diaper changes are, and how much it costs to wash the diapers in hot water. Often, I resort to grabbing a pack of generic Walmart diapers, as they have worked well, for me. As a natural alternative, though, I have been impressed with the disposable, chlorine-free Seventh Generation diapers at Big Lots. They are around $7 or $8 for a pack 44 (newborn), 40 (size 2), 35 (size 3), and 30 (size 4). I don't know if Big Lots accepts coupons or not, since their prices are already so low, but if they do, here are some coupons here. The coupon is for $2 off a diaper product, so these diapers could be as low as $5 or $6, for a pack. You can print out 2 coupons per month, on their website. I would love to know if you have tried these diapers, and if they were worth the money. Sometimes, Big Lots offers printable coupons for 20% off your entire purchase. That would be an ideal time to stock up on these diapers.
Posted by Christine at 12:20 PM
Friday, December 12, 2008
Pride and Prejudice
Pride and Prejudice, the original A & E movie, is one of my all-time favorites. It is the ultimate girl's night movie, and is so beautifully made. I remember watching it, in high school, with my dearest friend. I have wanted this lovely dvd set, for a very long time. Unfortunately, the dvd set is usually around $40, or more. So I was delighted to see that that it is on sale at Amazon for $21.00. It is also available at Target for $20. This would make such a delightful gift for any lady on your Christmas list. I wish I should have snagged one, while I had the chance. What a perfectly lovely movie!
Posted by Christine at 12:20 PM
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Frugal Friday~ Dressing Your Little Ones, For Less
Keeping an adequate clothing supply, can be challenging, especially considering how fast children grow. As I sift through seasonal clothing, I am always trying to find that balance between keeping enough clothes, yet getting rid of excess. I grateful for a variety of frugal options for building up our clothing supply.
*Ebay~ Ebay is an amazing place to purchase a lot of clothing. You can snag some super deals by purchasing a bundle of clothes at one time. (For example, 18 month old baby girl clothes) This is a great way to obtain a whole wardrobe, inexpensively.
*Consignment Sales~ The Pastor's wife at my church hosts a consignment sale, twice a year, in the fall and in the spring. This is a wonderful way for mothers to sell some excess clothing, and to stock up on needed, seasonal clothing. Many consignment sales have a payout of 50-66%. Some include monetary incentives for referrals, that you might give.
* Thrift Stores~ Thrift stores contain many treasures, for those who are willing to sift through the unpleasantries. A friend of mine needed clothes for her baby, so she filled a bag at the thrift store. It contained all the outfits that the baby would need for the season, and cost $20. What a deal!
*Swap with a friend who has children of different ages.
* Freecycle or Craigslist
Another tip that I have found helpful is to try to accept all free offers of clothing. I have had to buy very few pieces of clothing for my children, due to the generosity of others. Because I have a smaller house, I used to cringe when I would receive huge trash bags of clothing, not knowing what to do with all of the surplus. But now, I try to sift through donated clothing, keep some of the clothing, and consign or give away the rest. My three children are so blessed. All three of them are wearing "hand me down" coats, this winter.
For more frugal ideas, please visit Crystal.
Posted by Christine at 10:19 PM
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
Blogs that Link Here:
Amy's Humble Musings
It's a Wonderful Life
More of Me, Less of Him
Raising Godly Daughters
Solace in Simplicity
Surrounded By Mystery
The Deacon's Wife
These Little Ones
Posted by Christine at 8:50 PM
Sunday, December 07, 2008
It is a rare moment that I can try to get my family in a photo, together . So, earlier, tonight, I was thrilled when my sister-in-law agreed to take our picture.I have come to the conclusion that there is no such thing as a normal picture, with little ones. With each added person, the picture just seems that much more challenging. I have no idea how much
bribery encouragement it takes to get little ones to cooperate. How do larger families ever get a family picture done? My sister-in-law did take one semi-normal picture, but I have to include the following picture, for laughs.
Posted by Christine at 11:33 PM
Friday, December 05, 2008
Colonial Williamsburg at a Discount for Home-Educators
Growing up in Virginia, I had the privilege of going to Colonial Williamsburg, a few times. I adored watching Williamsburg ladies and gentlemen, donned in colonial attire, imitating Colonial life, in so many ways. I can still recall the scents of fresh gingerbread and homemade candles, on my trip to Williamsburg. I have often wanted to return with my children, but it is a rather pricey excursion. If my family were to visit, it would cost at least $80. Thankfully, Colonial Williamsburg has special discounts, for homeschoolers, during certain times of the year. My family would only cost $10 to get in, if we travel during Feb 21- March 9, 2009. For more information, click on the Home Educator Ticket Order Form. This is an amazing discount, and I am so thankful that they are making it more feasible for homeschoolers to learn some living history! For more money saving ideas, visit Crystal.
Graphic courtesy of Virginia Beach.
Posted by Christine at 3:01 PM
Monday, December 01, 2008
A Heavenly Sight!
Tonight, the Moon, Jupiter, and Venus danced! It was majestic. Did you see it? It won't happen again for 44 years. In 2011, Jupiter and Venus will rendezvous again, sans the Moon. Please click on the picture to see it more clearly.
Posted by Christine at 9:01 PM
Grocery Store Adventures
Today, I went grocery shopping with just the children, which I am trying to be brave enough to do, more often. I frequently grab a few things at the store with the children, but buying two weeks of groceries, with no other adult help, isn't typical for me. But with Annie in the Ergo, and the two other children in the cart, it is pretty manageable. (Granted that everyone is well-fed, and has been to the bathroom, within five minutes.) All I have to say is, God bless the person who invented the "Family Bathroom" at Walmart. Squeezing into a cramped, bathroom stall with three children isn't fun; we are moving on to the major leagues here.
In our grocery shopping adventures, we swung by Aldi, first. The best way I have found to save money, at the grocery store, is to get my staples at Aldi. Then I purchase the rest of the items, which Aldi doesn't sell, at Walmart or another grocery store. It seems like whether I buy groceries for the week or for two weeks, the total is always right around $60-$70. So, I try to plan my shopping lists and menus for two weeks, to stretch the money further. Today, I spent about $30 at Aldi, and about $38 at Walmart. (This is with only $1.50 worth of coupons.) Aldi is an absolute Godsend! Because they only have one or two cashiers, working in the store, at a time, they can transfer that savings on to the customer. I save .50-$2.00 per item, just by shopping at Aldi. If you have one nearby, count yourself highly blessed. For example, the pineapple was only $1.60.
Please note that I had already put away the beef that I purchased. I also had plenty of chicken breasts in the freezer, so I didn't need to buy any, for the first half of this month.
I would love to hear about your savings strategies at the supermarket. Where do you like to shop? Where do you find your best deals? For more money saving tips, visit Crystal. Blessings!
Posted by Christine at 8:35 PM