Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Life with Children

Benjamin jumped out of the bathtub this evening with gusto and walked with me into my bedroom.
Just one second before getting that diaper on you, mister.
You guessed it.
All over the carpet.
Back into the tub for you.
While Noah frantically crawls after me and towards "IT" because he's in "don't leave my sight for a milisecond mode".
Pick up Noah.
Put Ben on Potty.
Grab some towels to throw on "IT".
Grab a stool.
Set Ben on the potty.
"You wanna read a book while you go potty?".
Get a book, sit down next to Ben, now on the potty.
Noah cries because I set him down next to me.
Open book.
(still naked from bath) Ben gets off potty and sits on his stool to hear the story.
Noah is in my lap now.
Put Ben back on potty.
Open book.
Ben returns to his stool to hear the story.
Try to talk through the process of what we're doing.
Back on the potty.
Open book.
Back on the stool.
Back on potty.
A little more explanation.
Open Book.
Back on the stool.
Back on the potty.
Phone rings.
I think we're done here.
And Grace stayed in the tub the whole time. Thank you Grace.

Monday, June 22, 2009

A few things

Target is selling batteries for $1, all sizes. We got three 4packs of AA Batteries for $3 yesterday. With many small children with many electronic toys (and don't you know when the battery is low, they're even MORE lovely to listen to!), you can't have enough batteries on hand!

When I bought diapers at Target for $6.50 for a pack (used 2 coupons), I got a target coupon with my receipt for $3 off Enfamil. I must remember to try this again!

And on another subject, God is doing miraculous things with our immediate family and among our church body. We shouldn't be amazed, but we are... This is so cool!

Friday, June 19, 2009

So not cool

My parents never let me watch the Simpsons when I was in middle school, and by the time I got to high school, I didn't really care too much. In high school, you spend so much time and energy outside of the house with your friends, jobs, and extracurriculars, you don't care as much about what you can and can not watch. Well, at least I didn't. I cared more about where I was and was not allowed to go! So today, when I was telling a gentleman at AT&T where our new residence would be, he said, "Spring Hill? You mean, like the Simpsons?" And I fumbled around and tried to imagine that I knew what on earth he was talking about. "Excuse me?" "uh, you know. The Simpsons. Bart. Homer..."And then I just had to admit that, "You know, I know this is weird, but I never really watched the Simpsons growing up." I felt like the uncool kid. I was the uncool kid way back! I had the glasses, the hair, the sweater that had a puffy animal head on the front and the puffy tail on the back, the polka dotted top to match a different polka dotted bottom. "Hey, polka dots are polka dots, right?" I was that girl. But I studied hard and was loyal to my friends and loved Jesus, and I made some sweet memories. It's good to be a kid. And it's good to grow up.

Today, I was thinking about how God uses the strangest things to grow our love for Him. He describes trials as a purification process, like the gilding of metal. Who would have known that fire causes metal to be purer and stronger? Fire tears things down and causes destruction to almost everything, but to metals, we see them strengthen and molded to the craftman's desired shape. I love that!

And it's okay to be so not cool today. We can love richly even when we receive little praise or recognition because Jesus proclaims our worth. We can give freely, even when we don't have pennies to our name, because, as Grace now says, "Everything we have belongs to God". And we can breathe without the weight of the world on our chest, even in dire circumstances, because God made a way for us to be free from the ultimate weight of death that we are all due and very much deserve. So, rejoicing in trial might not seem like the "cool" thing to do. But I actually think it's kinda fun, and I think the Lord rejoices with us!

Well, as is typical for me, a crying baby will shorten the length of this post. But I'll leave you with this, because His word is so sweet.

Romans 20: 2-5
And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

*Edited. I just realized there is no Romans 20. It's actually from chapter 5, same verses.

That's totally embarassing


So not cool...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Cliff Notes of the Cliff Notes

I can't believe how easily life takes over. I get so distracted by all that is going on in the home that I've neglected updating the blog. Well I'll be! A bit of sarcasm there. I am SO okay with neglecting this blog in order to live life! God has given us three precious children who, Nathan reminded me the other day, regardless of how well I parent them, are destined for a life of sin and desolation without the Grace of our Lord! It is a great reminder that, if I do one thing as a parent, I need to pray for the Lord's mercy over my children and that He will give them Himself. I cannot save them from their sins.

I've only got a few moments before the children take over this room again, and there are some exciting things to share, so let's get started, shall we?

God is bringing a rescue to our family in a big way.

He is showing us how some of the puzzle fits together, and it is a beautiful sight.

He is doing things that would otherwise be impossible if done by our own hands.

We are learning what it means to walk in grace, and that our works cannot bring sanctification. Only the Lord can sanctify us.

The story is not finished yet.

I'll add that we've found a place to live in Spring Hill. That is part of the miracle. We're also working our tails off getting ready for this exciting move. Nathan is still working day and night at both jobs, and I am working hard too, packing and cleaning, and taking a faithful and frugal class to help the family. Sleep is not really something we're seeing much of, but I think we're both just so thrilled, we're not noticing it too much.

Short entry, but as you can see, (and you may just hear me shout this!) "WE'RE PREPARING FOR A MOVE!!!!"

So be patient. And stay tuned to some day hear the entire story, in more detail. You're getting the cliff notes of the cliff notes today.


Monday, June 8, 2009

Not Me Monday

A Blogger I know does something called Not Me Mondays. It's something I've come to enjoy every week, but I haven't been brave enough to write my own, until today. Here we go. If you'd like to contribute, go to her blog. She's awesome. She can get you started better than I can.

This past week Nathan started a second job. He's gone from early in the morning until about 11pm. It's been very busy at the homestead, and I've been trying to keep them - the children - entertained and have some teachable moments too. In the middle of "keeping up", I did NOT set my children in front of the TV so that I could take a shower. I would never do such a thing! And I did not put a bunch of toys and a baby (not a baby!) in a laundry basket so that said baby wouldn't get into anything crazy while I took said shower. That's just a crazy idea!

And I'm learning new things lately. Like yesterday, I did NOT get out my haircut kit and proceed to butcher my son's head. No, a nice mom wouldn't do that. And I did not do the same thing to my daughter's beautiful, long hair. Hey, she asked for it! My thoughts are, I'd better learn how to do it now while they're young and don't get embarrassed easily! The kids really look, okay. The cuts aren't great, but they're not awful either! Well, I'll get some pics up here and you can decide for yourself!

I also did not take all three to the playground by myself multiple times during the week, sometimes right smack dab in the middle of mealtimes. I did NOT pull some, maybe strawberry, waffles out of the toaster, grab some fruit, and let them eat their "dinner" at the playground. And I also did NOT keep them at the playground past their bedtime. That's just not me. I'm a schedule momma, and I am always on time, even for lunch time! However, with Daddy gone, I'm learning to flex and I'm just trying to enjoy time with these kids. It's much easier to let the little things frustrate me, so we're trying new things and some will stick, and some will NOT.

That was fun. Thanks for reading my Not Me Monday report. Stay tuned in for next week. I have a feeling this will be a regular thing. It's a nice release from some difficult seasons.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Baby Food at Publix!

Just last week I said that I was having a hard time finding baby food on sale! Well this week I found some great deals at Publix!

One of the great things about Publix is that they will match competitor coupons! I found out today that they do not consider pharmacies like Walgreens and CVS to be competitors, so they don't match their prices, but most stores like Food Lion or even Target can have their coupons honored at Publix. This works out really well when you have a Publix sale on top of a Food Lion coupon! It's great!

Another great thing about Publix is that all coupons .50 and under are automatically doubled (unless the coupons specifies that it doesn't double). So even more savings! Don't throw away that .25 coupon thinking that it won't add up. It will!

Here are just two of the deals that I found at Publix. Maybe one day I'll be so fast that I can post pictures and list the whole thing, but right now this is the best I can do!

6 Kid Cuisines at 1.99/2, 3 Blinkie coupons for .55/2, total cost: 0.72 per item
16 Earth's Best Baby Food. 2 for .99 and Buy One Get One Free and These coupons and these too! Total cost: 0.29 per jar

There are more to list, but time is of the essence my dear!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

We Will Wait for Him!

Today is a good day. Today we wait in hope for what God will do, how He will claim his fame, how He will continue to prove His outstanding, unending, gracious love and power to a people who do not know Him. Today we experience hardship and anguish. Today our heart pangs for resolution to a deep conflict in which there seems no hope. Someday, I'll write more. Someday, I'll lay out every detail on the line in joyful thanks. But the chapter to this story isn't over yet, and I want more than anything to be able to tell this story with the resolution because our struggles are not in vain. God is doing something in our family, and, even as I don't know what, and, even as I stand tear-stained with no answers, I know that these struggles are fleeting and that they are light and momentary. I know that God is doing things greater than our small family. It is so exciting to hope for what He has in store for us. I'll admit that I'm writing this knowing that I'll have to go back and re-read this for some of my "weaker moments", when I may give in to fear and lose hope, but I have no good reason to do that! We know that there will be a day that He will wipe every tear from [our] eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. And we wait with hope. I will tell you the story soon, and you will be amazed. I will be amazed because I know this:
the LORD longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!

So I don't know what His resolution is. But if it has anything to do with being closer to Him, I'm in. I know that He will feed and clothe our family. I know that He will give us our daily bread. That doesn't mean that it will be easy or luxurious. Jesus said that His bread was to do the will of His father. Not merely for the sake of righteousness, but because He loved His father, and His father loved Him, and His father's will was the best thing for Him. Our pastor said in his sermon the other day, "Whenever scripture says, "Don't", see it as God saying, "Don't hurt yourself." I love that! We have a protective father who pleads with His children to pursue what is best for them: Himself!

So no matter what, we're here, waiting on the Lord. It makes me even more excited to be at home with the Lord, without the struggle. But it makes the struggle worth it because I know there is much gained through hardship.

Come soon, Lord Jesus, and show your power once again!

Here is our song:
We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield.

Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.

In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.

I wait for you, O LORD; you will answer, O Lord my God.

I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry.

I wait for your salvation, O LORD, and I follow your commands.

I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope.

My soul waits for the Lord
more than watchmen wait for the morning,
more than watchmen wait for the morning.

He who testifies to these things says, "Yes, I am coming soon."
Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

Again, a baby waking interrupts this post. So I'll end here. Please excuse the unedited version. That's all I can offer right now!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Food and Water that does not satisfy

I'm not very good at updating this blog frequently, and a part of me thinks that's probably a really good thing. It's good that my kids get my attention. They need it, especially as they're all so young and have very basic needs that can really only be met by mommy. Food. Clothing. Diapers. The essentials. It's also good that my home gets some attention. It needs it also! But we'll save homemaking tips for another day. I still have much to learn there.

Lately, I've been really trying to work with our food budget, and we've found some successes there. I'm still working out some kinks, but I start to get excited when I find out a store is tripling coupons or if I see some great BOGO sales. This couponing thing is really starting to work for us, and that part is exciting, but it's also exhausting. Last week, I was so happy to go triple couponing, and I did great. Spent $5, saved $45. That's awesome for a beginner, but truth be told, by the end of it, I wasn't really that satisfied. And the other day, I went to Krogers, spent $25 to save $45. That's good too, but it didn't feel like enough. I know that in a few days, I'll be looking at the store ads that come in with the paper again, checking online for the latest coupons, clipping and organizing away so that our family will have what it needs. Food is one of our basic physical needs. We use it every day for nourishment, and every day, we seek out ways to get it. Every day, we exhaust our bodies' intake of food and water. It perishes. We need more. It does not really satisfy.

Jesus spoke to a woman one day about this. He was sitting at a well, full of water, saying, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again." and we know this to be true. We see evidence of it in our monthly bank statements, and not just in food but the other things we pursue for some sort of satisfaction; entertainment, books, sports, whatever.
And Jesus said even more "but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. " Have you experienced this? Do you know what he is talking about? This isn't water at all that Jesus was talking about. He is talking about how He has given himself for the forgiveness of your and my sins, about how there is no more condemnation and there is complete sanctification and satisfaction in Jesus alone. This is eternal and not momentary or fleeting. This is beautiful and completely free. "Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."

And I must stop here. Noah is calling to me from his crib. A 15 minute nap!?! Well, the words don't need my help anyway. I'll let them be as they are. It's better that way!
"Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."

Saving at the Supermarket

I've been trying my hand at couponing for about 2 months now, and it has been an increaingly timely blessing to our family. In the future I may choose to use this blog as a way to share with other ladies who are all seeking to bless their families in how they spend their dollars. Today, I didn't use coupons, but I found some great sales at Kroger that I wanted to share on.

We got:
5lbs chicken leg quarters at .79/lb
8lbs of Whole Boneless Sirloin Tip at 1.99/lb
7lbs of Whole Boston Buttat 1.29/lb
2 Cartons of Strawberries, 2 for $3.00
2 Cartons of Blueberries, $1.50 for 5oz carton
2 cartons of Blackberries, $1.50 for 5oz carton
4 ears white corn, .28/ear (I've found better at Publix, but this was still good)

The rest weren't really great sales, just typical prices.

I've had a hard time finding good sales on fresh fruit and vegetables and meats, so this was quite a treasure for me as our refrigerator was starting to ask me what I was making for dinner every night.

If anyone reads this, I'm still looking for ways to save on the diaper stash and the baby food items. Those are the most expensive on our list. Right now, I'm making baby food with our food processor and hoping that he's on to the next stage soon, but we do need to keep some jarred food on the shelf for when we go out of the house or for days when my water's turned off (like today) because the complex is working on it!