Monday, March 30, 2009

March Wrap Up...

It's the end of the month....the bills are done, and all of our purchases/expenses have been put into their little homes in my little excel spreadsheet. This is such a chore!!! I dread it, but it really helps me to see exactly WHERE the money went from month to month and the time I spend doing this is worth it.

To re-cap real quick....there was a $300 difference between our basic household/grocery expenses from January and February. Our overall spending between the two months was pretty substantial as well. Our dining out cost was unchanged, which was bad because it was high.

I was certain that with the kind of month we had that my expenses were going to be through the roof. Between a sick baby and the big boys being on Spring Break I didn't have as much time for my planning and research that I've been trying to do. I had My Sweetie pick things up for us a couple of times, there was one shopping trip that I didn't even have my coupons with me and I let (not intentionally!) $15 of RR from Walgreen's expire (I thought I was going to throw up...what a waste!)

However, much to my surprise, although it wasn't as significant of a drop there was STILL a $90 drop this month in our basic household/grocery expenses from the previous month!!! Not only that, but our dining out dropped by over 50%!!!! When I went over all the numbers with My Sweetie from the past three months he was still wondering where all the money is going. BUT, we are THRILLED that we are continuing to DROP in the areas that we know we can actually have some control over.

I think part of the success of the month is from having things stocked up and on hand. Having a full freezer, pantry and overflow cupboard HELPS!!! I still might not ever get as good as some of the other people I've seen out in blogville, BUT as long as we can continue to improve where we can...I'll be happy!!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Philippians 2:13

"For God is working within you, giving you the desire and power to do what pleases Him"

This Scripture has been my power verse lately. I even printed a copy and taped it to the inside of one of my cupboards that I use frequently. It is embedded in my heart now so that I can pray it over and over again and lately it has just been empowering me with God's love and peace about the future.

"For God is working within you"
I think the Holy Spirit lives within each of us, whether we consider ourselves to be Christian or not. John 3:16 tells us that God loves the WHOLE WORLD. That means EVERYONE!!! Christian, Jewish, Hindus, Buddhists, Atheists, Agnostics and even those who have never heard of religion or of God. He loves us all!!!! People don't bring people to Christ, the Holy Spirit working within each person is what brings people to Christ.

The Holy Spirit is that "nudging" that "voice" that speaks to our hearts urging us to pick up the phone and call a sick friend, deliver a meal, go to Church, write a card, work with children, read the Bible, work with elderly, go into ministry, go across the country or the world on a mission trip and countless other things that God calls us to do. We can either chose to listen, trust and follow God's lead or we can chose to ignore it and continue to live life our way. It's the Holy Spirit within each of us working to make each of us more and more Christ-like. If you feel God nudging you to do something or hear that "little inner voice" telling you to do something, chances are it's God speaking to your heart and you should probably listen.

" you the desire..."
When we are feeling nudged by God, the humanness we each posses simply might not want to do what it is God is asking and we may try to ignore Him. When we trust His path and follow His lead, God is going to give us the desire to do what He is calling each of us to do. He doesn't want us to just get the job He is asking done, He wants us to do a good job.. By giving us each the desire to do what He is asking we will put our passion and our heart into God's call.

"...and power to do what pleases Him."
God doesn't say the path he leads us on is going to be easy but He does promise to walk beside us. God isn't going to call us to do something that He isn't willing to equip us for. You may not feel strong enough or worthy enough or smart enough to do what He is asking....but with God, ALL things are possible. He will give us the power and the strength and the brains to do the work he is calling each of us to do. When we are obedient and we trust our Heavenly Father and follow his lead and do what he is calling us to do, we are able to please Him.


I met Wednesday night with my pastor. We began working on the Ministry Inquiry book which is to help me see just what God is calling me to do. I have an idea and if God continues to lead me then I will apply for Ministry Candidacy within the United Methodist Church. If God shows me that I can serve him best as a layperson, then I will continue down that path. Right now my mind is open to His plans for me, not my plans. However, I am still sensing his call into ministry. My Sweetie has not really said a whole lot to me on this when I've brought it up before. I haven't been sure if it's been fear of me going back to school and the toll that will have on the family or fear of what a Pastor's spouse will entail or what. But I've been praying and just this week asked for prayers from two of our pastors within our parish. This morning My Sweetie and I were talking about his work and our finances and he said to me that if we don't add on to our home he thinks we really need to pay off my student loan. I agreed. It would free up a lot of money and enable us to replace a vehicle when that need arises. Then he told me that it would be nice to have that paid off before I go back to school. I think I heard angles singing when he said that!!!! :) Then he was asking a few more questions about where it is I would go. It was just so nice to have some acknowledgment/confirmation/support from him and I felt like prayers were being answered. I know all I need is God to get me through this journey he may be taking me on, but having my husband on board too will be a double blessing!!!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

If I had one wish....

What would be the typical response to this question if you asked a child??? How about a 12 year old boy??? This evening The Boy shared with me that he would LOVE to be able to be RIGHT THERE next to Jesus when he comes back. He wants to have front row seats to see just what Jesus is going to do to Satan. THEN, he wants to be able to witness that event to others...share it with HIS kids and others. He's torn because he knows that once Jesus returns that we will all have better knowledge of God's plans and once Christ does come back everyone will already know that he (The Boy) was there to see what Jesus did and that he won't be able to witness to others about it the way he wants. The best I could do was tell him that maybe God wants him to witness Christ to others now in a different way. It's hard for me to fully describe the conversation because I was just so in awe of the words coming out of his mouth! But his passion and faith were filling the room with LIGHT! He's a pretty spiritually mature kiddo...he amazes me! He makes me proud. He has deep ROOTS!! Praise GOD!!! I also feel like I need a Theology degree to have a conversation with my 12 year old! I certainly do NOT have all the answers that he may want to hear or even need to hear. BUT, I do have ears to listen and sometimes that's all kids want....except mine, who wants to witness first hand the second coming of Christ. Bless his sweet, sweet heart.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Happy Birthday, Babe!!!!

My Sweetie, My Best Friend, The Daddy to my boys, turned 34 on Monday. He always goes out of his way to do special things for me that I decided to give back to him this year. So, he got an early birthday gift this year. I set up a Cubs/Sox Spring Training trip to Vegas for him and a buddy. They saw 2 Cubs/Sox games, ate at a lot of buffets in Vegas, did LOTS of walking up and down the strip, saw some cool things, went to the Hoover Dam, and enjoyed some "man" time away from their wives and kids. They both had a GREAT time I think. But still missed their wonderful wives not being there with them. What sweeties.

On Monday after Little Dude's doctor appointment I took the other two boys to the Dollar Tree to pick out birthday decorations. I had put them both in charge of decorating a room for The Daddy. They both did a great job!! They also each bought The Daddy a gift....CANDY!

We had dinner, and dessert and played some games. I was in charge of dessert and instead of making My Sweetie a birthday cake, I made him cupcakes!
He said he was probably THE ONLY 34 year old who was excited to have Cookie Monster cupcakes. He loved them!
Overall, I think he had a good birthday. I enjoyed doing special things for him. I realized that I have been blessed to celebrate 14 birthdays with him!!! I look forward to celebrating the amazing man he is everyday for many more years.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

RSV Update

We took Little Dude back to the doctor on Friday M-13th for a re-check. He was really fussy, had lost almost a pound, looked a wee bit dehydrated and it was decided to add breathing treatments. We were suppose to have been weaning his meds but they decided to keep them at the 4 CC's through the weekend and 3-4 breathing treatments a day. She said he wasn't sick enough to put into the hospital but she really thought she needed to keep a close eye on him so wanted up back Monday morning.

For whatever reason, he seemed to be feeling tons better on Saturday. Maybe it was a combo dose of daddy, big brothers and some fresh air! It was SO GOOD to see him playing with his toys!!! He did pretty good on his breathing treatments and the medicine they told me tasted real bad, he seems to have acquired a taste for. Mommy and Daddy seem to have come down with a touch of whatever he has and we were "uninvited" to St. Patty's day dinner. HA!!! They delivered us some hot food anyway and took the big boys for us, so it worked out pretty good.

Sunday we were home for a second week from Church and again got out for some fresh air and just had a chill day. He was eating better and playing and seeming to be feeling better.

Yesterday we went back to the doctor. He had re-gained 5 oz. and the doctor said she saw less drainage down his throat and heard less wheezing in his chest. We are weaning the meds and breathing treatments this week and go back again next Monday.

I'm just THRILLED that he's feeling better! He's almost my little guy again!!! Today with the big brothers home for Spring Break and it being in the 70's we took a road trip/field trip to a Wildlife Prairie park to check out some animals and have a picnic. It was nice to get out and do something and enjoy the weather!!!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Enjoying the fruits

“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
Proverbs 22:6

The Boy is on his Middle Schools Quiz Bowl. They've had their first two competitions just this week. Sadly they've lost BADLY. My Sweetie says he knows the answers to the questions, but for 6th and 7th graders, they are pretty tough. He coached The Boy to take a stab at the questions even if he doesn't think he knows the answer. Well, one of The Boy's questions yesterday just so happened to be, "Name two of the biography books of Jesus" He listed all four in hopes of getting some bonus points. hehehe....I was proud. Mostly because that is a question that I would not have ever known when I was in 6th grade.

We have this toy in our house:
You can spell out 3-letter words and then it'll sound out the word and tell you what it is. If you put in letters that don't spell out a word it will say something like, "That's a great sound." So BuhBuh was playing with this toy and he spelled out "GOD" and hit the button. It did not say "God" but rather gave him the "That's a great sound" line. He didn't like that very much. He was really kind of annoyed by it.

BuhBuh: This thing knows NOTHING about God. (annoyed sigh!)

My prayer is that each of my children take what they have learned growing up in the Church and give their hearts to God and continue to grow in their faith walks as adults. Sometimes I don't know if they are "getting" anything. Then God blesses me with days like yesterday (BOTH things happened the SAME day!) and shows me just how sweet the fruit really is. It gives me such a peace and hope for their futures.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Sick Baby

Little Dude came down with a touch of a fever on Friday and hasn't been able to get rid of it. He just wasn't himself all weekend. My Sweetie and I each spent a day with him while the other did various Church things. Today I decided to take him to the doctor. They didn't find anything that they could treat with an antibiotic but did give him some cough medicine to help him with his cough. Towards the end the Dr. decided to order a RSV swab just to see. It was positive. There's really nothing different that they are going to do, but we know just know what we are dealing with. Poor kid is really sick. I was glad to see him eat a little tonight and finally get some liquids in him. We go back to the doctor on Friday. I hope he's feeling better by then. I'm bracing for a long week.

He's back asleep now. I should go do the dishes that are piled to the ceiling...seriously we are just about out of plates and bowls.

It's like Christmas!

What a fun mail day!!!! Today in the mail I received a package of Chocolate Turtle Chex Mix, a book for Little Dude and a coupon for a free bottle of Suave hair products. ALL FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Confessions from a Computer Addict

Well, I've cut back on my computer time A LOT! Which is good and what I had wanted. I have been known to sneak on "real quick" if kids are out of the room and playing or watching TV somewhere else in the house. I have had to get on and pay bills while they were around and will have some Church work that I might need to cram in somehow his week. Looking back on the first week I didn't necessarily take the time spent on the computer and put it into a cleaning project. No I procrastinated in other ways, eating, napping, watching TV. By Friday I went for a drive with Little Dude after everyone had been off to school. Dropped something off at a friends house, drove through Starbucks (where I live, it takes a good 20 minutes to get to one) then Little Dude fell asleep in the car. I decided instead of going in the house and most likely plopping down on the computer during his snooze that I'd drive out to one of our parish Churches which is in the middle of no where. It's a tiny church which my mom fondly refers to as the "Little House on the Prairie Church" I pulled in the "parking lot" and faced my car towards the fields that are behind the church and I pulled out my Bible and read my Bible Study readings for the day, read a few other things then started a new book. When Little Dude woke up, we headed home. It was LOVELY! Peace, quiet, and one on one solitude with my awesome creator looking out at the beautiful world He created and is still creating.

I haven't been as good as I would like about reading with the boys. School days are good with BuhBuh. His devotions are short and sweet and don't take very long. And as he gets out of the car before getting on the bus I'll ask him a quick question (to which the answer is ALWAYS God) about what we read that morning. I had wanted to read through a chapter or two with The Boy as well this Lenten season. So far we've only read the first two chapters of Revalations which was on a night that I really didn't want to and actually told him no. Seriously, "no I will not read the Bible to you, son. Go to bed." UGH!!! I need to get a little better at that.

I just kissed My Sweetie and sent him off for a few days to enjoy a birthday gift: Cubs vs. Sox Spring Training games in Vegas with his Sox friend. After I hit the confirmation button on the trip I thought I was a little crazy sending My Sweetie off to the land of sin and temptation. He feels a little guilty about taking the trip without me and giving up time and money that could have been used on a family vacation. BUT, he deserves this time with his friend doing boy things. I just hope that he can relax, have fun and not think about work or husband/daddy things for a few days. I know he will mostly behave, I know he will have fun and I know this is something he will always remember. I'm glad I was able to make this happen for him.

Funny story, we were at one of our special Sunday night Lenten services and we got to hear about one of the college students recent trip to Liberia. She gave each of the boys some Liberian money and while My Sweetie was talking to our Pastor The Boy walked up to The Daddy and shoved the money under his nose and said, "Here dad, you can use this to gamble in Vegas" If there is one social issue that the United Methodist Church actually has a stance on, it's gambling. OOPS!!!

Well, kids are awake, time to go for now.....