My last day of chemo. I wrote a rap and rang the bell. Check it out below . . .
For all of you in the last training August 6, I had promised to put up the Hands Chant
Hands to the side, hands in the air,
Hands on your tummy, hands in your hair
Hands over eyes (like sheilding the sun), looking all around,
Hands on your knees, now please sit down.
By Darlene Abbott Copyright LifeWay
Hope you all enjoy that, I’m sorry it took me a little extra time to get it up.
It was a great pleasure to be with you all on that day. I hope you all will write the transition in your lesson plans as we talked. Make it easy on yourself. Remember God gives you everything you need to teach those precious children. Stay in his Word, that is the best thing you can do for continued training.
I pray you have a great school year
Love to you all,
I do not fully know or understand why this is happening. But I choose to trust in the One that created me, the One who sustains me each and every day. We plan to fight this disease, and we will give God all the glory He is due along the way.
Visit my Caring Bridge Site to sign up and join me as we pray together for God’s healing.
In His Hands,
Wow, you all listed some great ideas in the comments and a few folks replied back to me through email. I will list them below.
You know, saving money really does have to be a mind set. There are habits that are very simple that could potentially, as a habit, save us quite a bit of dough. You may think that’s only $.30 savings. So I encourage just for 1 month – everytime you think oh that’s only ? cents or dollars – to take that amount and put it in a jar. You will be SHOCKED what it will add up to be. I did it for two weeks and it added up to almost $15. That may not sound like a lot but it’s $30 a month and possibly $360 a year. This is a mind set that could really be beneficial for your saving and your spending.
Here are a few of my savings ideas for today.
1. Check your receipt. At KMart the other day, I won a Cha-Ching reward. I stopped by the next time I as in that area and got my free pack of gum. It’s a stocking stuffer – shhhhhhh! The last time I was at Hallmark I got a print out at the bottom of my receipt to save $2 on my next order. I did forget an ornament that led me back to Hallmark. Because I didn’t put the receipt in my savings book I forgot to use it. Ugggghhhhhh! I know it’s only $2. But $2 here and $2 there adds up after awhile.
2. Use the measurements in the cups or caps that come with your detergents. You will not go through laundry detergent as quickly if you will go by the measurements on the cup. For dish washing detergent, I use a tablespoon to keep me from pouring too much in the sink. For hand washing soap, I’m trying to get everyone in my house to agree that one pump is sufficient. And honestly it’s not that they don’t agree, it’s the action part of it that seems so hard.
3. Drink the water in your glass. How many times do you fix yourself a glass of ice water and then get busy and walk off and leave it. You come back and the ice is melted and so you dump it out and fix yourself another glass of ice water. There is nothing wrong with that water!!! Put another ice cube in it and “bottoms up.”
4. Don’t punch it on the gas pedal when you start off in your car at the stop sign or the red light. This uses much more gas and gains you a fraction of a second if any. Get in the habit of not punching the gas pedal, you will absolutely amazed what it will do for your frame of mind. It’s much more peaceful. (smile)
5. Use old printed pieces of paper for your kids to make art. They can draw on the unprinted side, use it for scraps, or shred it for confetti, gift, or packing filler. This truly beats having to buy it.
6. Make a menu – this really will keep you from buying too much at the grocery store. I don’t assign a meal to each night but at least I can look at the list of meals and know that I have ingredients to make it. This also helps me to switch it up a bit and not cook the same thing all the time, because different items are on sale each week.
Keep the ideas coming and read through the comments you will get some great ideas from those.
One of the ideas that I received on my email is from my friend, Amy, who has introduced me to www.thedollarstretcher.com You will find lots of great savings ideas here. Also I want to recommend Mary Hunt’s book How to Live Your Life Half Price. Her method for buying a car is fabulous!
That’s all for this post, more saving ideas to come. Merry Christmas and Happy Savings!
Yes, I know it’s been awhile, since I blogged. Life got really busy for while and fall is my traveling time. But I actually have said “no” to several things this December in an effort to slow down. Thus a little time to write this post. I had the thought the other day to share some things we are trying to implement in our family as I was explaining to my children why we were having Chicken Pot Pie for the third day in a row. We are using our resources.
Things get tight for people in December. Each year about this time, I find myself thinking of ways to save money. I try to think of new ways and remember the old ones that worked. Throughout the year I get lax about some of these things, as I’m sure most of us do. But seems like a couple of times each year we really have to buckle down with these ideas, and Christmas is one of those times.
So without further adieu here’s some of my “titghten the financial belt” ideas.
1. Eat your leftovers. You heard me. We throw away too much food. Pull up your “big girl” (boy) pants and know that you will not die or get sick from eating Chicken Pot Pie until it’s gone. Eating your leftovers really does keep you from going through your groceries so fast.
2. Wait until it’s on DVD or at least Netflix. Why go pay $10 to $12 for a movie ticket, when I can see five movies in a month through my Netflix account, which is actually less than a movie ticket. Adding more to my savings, my popcorn and drinks aren’t as expensive as the theater’s and I can refill as often as I like.
3. Celebrating the Holidays “in.” We’ve just stayed home this year. My kids have helped me to bake and decorate, we’ve watched movies, and read Christmas stories together. I have loved it! However, there are lots of resources out there to help you find the free things to do during the season if you get cabin fever. It’s just staying in also saves on gas. (smile)
4. I don’t buy as much when I make a list. So I’m making myself take the time to make sure that my coupons and savings deals are in my purse. Making a note on my list next to the items that I have coupons for is also helpful. I’m not talking about grocery coupons. There are many different programs for organizing your grocery coupons, I’m speaking more specifically of non-grocery items that you get coupons for and forget that you have them. Make it a goal not to pay full price for anything.
5. I did an online yard sale. After cleaning out, I listed only the best of items, a description, and the price in a document, and emailed it out to friends. I sold several toys and will enjoy a little extra cash as well as a little more space in the house.
6. Limit snacks and drinks.
- My friend Jaina lets her kids choose three snacks every morning and those are their snacks for the day. This keeps them from over eating and also keeps them from blowing through the stash in the pantry.
- We have told our kids that for every drink they drink, like KoolAide, orange juice, or soda, they must drink a full glass of water. This has kept us from drinking the orange juice each morning until it’s gone. (cha-ching – not buying juice as often) Should be better for their teeth (cha ching – savings, no cavities) and help them to be more healthy. (cha-ching – more savings, no co-pays.)
- My friend LA has gone to water all day except for meal time. You go girl!
- I’m also making my children take their vitamins each morning and echinechea! Yep, I’m going for meanest mother of the year! At least I haven’t made my kids starting counting the number of squares of toilet paper they can use each time they potty! I mean there is a line, right?
7. Save those big shopping bags for garbage bags and use your dryer sheets twice. (OH yeah, meanest mom award is in the bag now!)
8. Instead of buying Christmas boxes I went to my recycle bins. Lots of things fit in shoe boxes and when I ran out yesterday, I went and borrowed on from my neighbor. (She wasn’t going to use it, I asked.) Did you know that some books will fit in frozen pizza boxes? And they are easier to wrap too! OH yeah, I’m on a roll now!
9. And last but not least find ways to use food that is growing stale or is close to expiration date. This is another effort of mine to keep from wasting food. Or find ways to stretch recipes. Below are some examples.
- Stale bread makes great french toast or toasted bread for sandwiches, or “seasoned your way” croutons.
- Stale crackers make great toppings for casseroles.
- Leftover sausage patties or hamburgers make great breakfast burritos with egg and cheese the next morning. Both can also be crumbled up for pizza toppings.
- 1 cup of elbow noodles and a one half cup of water will make a packet of Lipton Soup go 2 or 3 servings further.
- Use dark or ripened bananas for banana bread.
Ok I know, some of these ideas are not new. So now you can share your ideas with me. I would love to know what you do with your leftovers or any of your great cutting back ideas. Put them in the comments below or email them to me and I’ll repost them here.
I can’t wait to hear from you!
Happy Savings and a Merry Christmas too!
Friday was the first day of the homeschool tutorial that my kids are taking this Fall. I was excited and a little nervous because it’s our first tutorial and I’m teaching a class there. However, on the way out this morning, I passed all the moms standing at the bus stop still talking after the bus had gone. The thought went through my head, “You are going to get to spend the whole day by yourself.” I brushed it away, not wanting to be distracted and went about my day.
After tutorial, the kids and I ran some errands, by the time we pulled back into the neighborhood, the same group of moms was waiting for the bus to come home.(And no, I don’t think they had been standing there all day.) Again I had the thought, “You got to spend all day by yourself.” I asked the Lord to forgive my jealous thoughts and was immediately guilt ridden for feeling that way.
When I got home I called and talked to my best friend about my thoughts, she brought out a few things that I needed to think about. And yes, I felt much better after talking with her. See the issue was not my jealousy (God dealt with that separately. ) or how my children were educated. I was one of those moms, for 5 years my children attended public school. And if I wasn’t at the school helping, I was feeling guilty because I couldn’t get there that day to help or assist, or go on the field trip.
It seems that no matter what my choices are as a mom, Satan is on the prowl to steal my joy. So the real questions here is not to homeschool or public school, but rather, “Am I going to allow Satan to steal my joy as a mom – period?” Because Satan will attack in any area of your “mom life.” Well, for me the answer is a resounding “NO!”
No, I do not have all the answers. No, I do not make every decision with complete confidence. No, I don’t get my housecleaned everyday. No, I don’t handle every situation with patience and a calm voice. No, I don’t get it right all the time.(whatever “it” is) No, I don’t wish for time by myself everyday. And No, sometimes I don’t listen to God like I should over what the world seems to be screaming at me.
I do love my children. I do try to set an example of how God loves, hopefully demonstrating that lesson to my kids (somedays are better than others). I do pray about most decisions in life. I do spend time teaching my kids and therefore sometimes the house has to be let go. I do try to get away from the world screaming in an effort to hear God more clearly. And I do know that I am a sinner saved by grace and that for that fact alone, God loves me and guilt does not have to be a part of everyday life.
So NO, Satan you can not have my joy! I am MOM and My God is the Lion, hear Him roar!
I have started this post a dozen times and it’s been in my drafts folder for almost 2 months now. To sum up what I feel about Africa, well I have decided that it would be almost impossible. There are things that God spoke to my heart in Africa that He didn’t use words to speak. So to put them into words for someone else, I can’t, I don’t the words to describe. The emotions I have felt since being home really surprised me in some ways. Then in other ways I have so much more to learn about God. I will be processing this for some time. I am not as emotional as I was when I first came home. However, I am still “caught” at times by the thoughts that invade moments that from the outside have no connection with Africa.
I will say this - for you my family and friends – I pray that you get to know God more. That may or may not be a mission trip to a foreign country, it may be something profound that he wants you to do here – right where you are. Wherever it is, whatever it is, listen closely – I’ve never heard God scream.
Today is the day for the Birthday Party. We are giving them a birthday party because many of these children never get to celebrate their birthdays.
When we arrived we headed down to the prayer garden (have I mentioned that I love this place! And I am thanking the Lord that we have one more time to join in worship there.) for worship with the kids. It’s kind of a given now, that they lead in some songs, and we lead in some songs and it works beautifully.
While we were having worship, some of the team members were up at the dining hall decorating for the birthday party. When we were finished with worship we went back up the hill and all gathered ready for a party. Jen Gash explained what a Birthday party was and then we distributed gifts. The little kids started getting their gifts first and the bigger kids helped them look through their bags. Once they saw what they were getting they started singing “We will no more suffer, we will no more suffer, we will not beg for bread.” There are no words to describe that moment.
The kids sang for us again. This time Jen had her cameras charged and ready to go. They sang their thank you song again. I just can’t wait for you to see the video.
When I thought we were about to pack up and go, they asked us to all come to the front. Then they proceeded to give us these little change purses that they had made out of banana stalks. Later at lunch Mama gave each of us girls a prayer mat and each of the men a hat.
Anthony also spoke before we left and I really enjoyed listening to him. He said, “We know that it took months of preparation for you to come. We know it was much work of the hands and of the knees. And we know that involved more than just your hands and knees.”
You can also see in the shot above the sheet that the kids made. We traced their handprints with a marker and they wrote their names in the palms.
Jen and Stuart talked to the group much earlier this morning to remind us that although bonds were made, our crying will do nothing to help these children. It was hard enough for us not to cry and then some of the children started to cry. A young lady named Scovia, about 14 yrs. cried the hardest.
I have alot to process from this week, but right now I can tell you for sure – I will never be the same.
Maria gave me a second letter. Look at the art work!
When we arrived this morning at the orphanage the kids had prepared a whole program for us. And they took us back to the prayer garden, this is just a special place. I wish everyone of you could sit beneath those trees. They lead us in worship. Wow, God is great!!!!!! There were four different singing groups that sang and then the older boys put on a play. It was the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednigo. In the pics you see King Nebbacaneezer, the statue, and a little boy with a white sheet and that is God in the fire with them. (double smile) I loved it!
Auntie Deborah taught us a new song. She came to Tyler and I and wanted to know if he could find the chords on his guitar. We had a fabulous time learning the song from her and helping to teach it to the kids. The words were “Isn’t it good to know the Lord. Isn’t it good to praise his name. Isn’t it good to know that he’s always there for us. Isn’t it good to know the Lord.” Yes, it is!
A little boy named Geoffrey, brought me a gift today. What a precious little man. He seems to have the kindest heart. He opened this paper like it was dipped in gold and he said “Auntie Doreen, it is a rabbit.” I think I smiled all over. I told him, “It is beautiful and I would keep it and remember to pray for him. (If you missed an earlier post – all the kids call me Auntie Doreen because they can not say the “L” in the middle of my name.)
I had a great conversation with one of the younger teachers today. He wanted to know everything from what kind of animals we have in American to how long it took us to get here. He asked about the types of houses we have and about our traffic. He asked about our politics and so much more. Of course I asked him just as many questions. It was really fun to talk with him.
I found out today that Maria wants to be a bank manager and that she has been at the orphanage since she was 8. Geoffrey wants to be a pilot that takes people from place to place. This is an important distinction because it means not a military pilot. We worked really hard for several minutes on actually saying the word “pilot” and not “pirate.” Of you course you can hear the similarities in the words. (smile)
At lunch today, we discussed turkeys. One teacher is pretty sure they have turkeys, but after hearing his description of them, I’m not so sure.
We reviewed all three scripture songs today. I really think they are going to know them. This is a big blessing to me. Besides beds, I wanted to leave them with scripture that they knew and just a new tangible example of God’s love. And yet, I’m finding that I’m the one who’s been given the example.
We had time to get the Birthday Party Bags together tonight after dinner before tomorrow’s party. The whole team is really looking forward to this tomorrow.