Thursday, October 25, 2012

Keeping Score

Hubby and I are celebrating our 15th anniversary this year.  It's an exciting milestone.  We've had good times and bad times and from all of these situations, we glean knowledge that changes us.  It's interesting to see the ways we've adapted to life together over the years.

Even though we adore our first child B, his entrance into the world was enough to rock even the strongest of boats.  During labor I lost a lot of blood and was anemic for a while after the birth.  B wouldn't nurse and he was extremely high maintenance (doctors probably could have labeled him as ADD).  But, that might be because we were high strung!  These are all things that were imposed on us, things that couldn't change.

Every time one of us got a moment away from the baby it was chalked up to our mental score board.  So, it was only fair for the other person gets equal time away.  That kind of thinking allows resentment to creep into your heart.  Life doesn't work that way.  Hubby "gets" 43 hours per week away from home.  Was I ever going to get that?

This was an area that HAD to change!  Resentment is an UGLY thing.   Long periods of resentment/anger can cause all kinds of emotions that are not healthy.  It can break down relationships and it can even cause physical problems.

Hubby felt like he was always under the microscope.  Often he would hear questions like, How much time did you spend with the baby, and when can I get a moment to myself?  At this point in life, a shower was a big deal!

Luckily, God blessed us with more kids.  The more children we had, the less we thought of ourselves and the more we had to put self aside.  Time has marched on and we have both grown.  Hubby has  gotten better at juggling the kids so that when I leave, there's no guilt like there used to be when I go out.  The kids have gotten older and can do more for themselves.  And now, I go out 1-2 nights per week while hubby tackles bedtime by himself.

Now that the kids are 3, 6, 9, and 11, I am starting to feel like I am getting some of myself back.  I am writing, a bit more organized than I have been in years, and teaching again.

So hang in there, pray, love your hubby/wife and have more kids! (the last one was a joke- just having more kids will not necessarily solve your problems).  And, whatever you do, don't let resentment creep into your heart.  It will only hurt you and the ones you love.  You can learn from what others have endured and hopefully you won't have to suffer as long.  And always remember to turn to God for help.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Staying safe while Trick or Treating has posted my second article.  
It can be seen HERE!
Thanks for checking it out and being supportive of my efforts!  

Sunday, October 21, 2012

A New Venture

I've been a busy beaver lately.  I was browsing a website that I check every once in a while and the lady who runs it/owner happened to be asking for help to expand her readership.  Her site was exclusively couponing and money saving tips.  One of her ideas was to have articles that might appeal to her readers.  I applied, and she gave it a whirl.  She asked for a piece on Halloween.  That was a tough one for me.  Although we do trick or treat, we by no means celebrate this holiday with the typical grim and gruesome fervor.  So check out the article I wrote for her:

Halloween Events Around CNY

I have some more coming: On Monday she's putting another article of mine, trick or treat safety, up on her site.  There will also be articles on crafty things, recipes and more.   So, stay tuned and keep checking her site.  Good news is, a news website picked up my article, redirected traffic to her site and her site hits are up quite a bit.  There are also 2 other ladies helping her with some other development aspects.  All of this is very exciting.

And also, if you see something advertised on her site and want to buy it, go through her site.  She's a mom who's trying to make enough income on this site that she can stay home with her kids.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Delayed Gratification #2

Please read Delayed Gratification first....

This is just a quick add on to the previous article.  I am remiss to forget to mention the impact that our parents and grandparents have in this equation.

I remember watching my mom walk around with holes in her shoes, denying herself things, so that she could make sure we had what we needed.  She delayed her own gratification.  My Father worked two sometimes three (?) jobs to put food on the table.  We didn't have a lot but we had what we needed.

My husband's parents have had to work many different jobs to make ends meet and are working hard to this day.  My mother in law is awesome at stretching a dollar.

My Grandparents worked as butler and housekeeper.

Our home-life environment has a huge part to play in who we are as adults.  May we be mindful of that as we move forward to spur our children on to hard work and self-sufficiency.  And hopefully, they will learn to delay their gratification.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Writing Fiend

Hello everyone!  I am happy to say that over the next couple months, I will be writing articles for a local website.  I guess you could call me a free-lance writer now.  I am very excited and feel blessed that my words will reach beyond my blog and reach even more people.  In order to secure the job I had to do a piece on Halloween.  Funny huh?  I am not a big fan of Halloween but I was able to find ways to use my writing on it anyway.  I wrote about "Alternatives to Traditional Trick or Treating".  I listed things like mall trick or treating, the park that has a jack-o-lantern walk, the zoo, and local churches that have activities set up for that night.

I would've never ever thought that I would get paid for the words I put on a page.  And, it truly is a miracle how it all came about.  I pray that I can encourage others and continue to glorify God in the midst of all.  So, if you think of it family and friends, pray for me that I would honor Him in the words I write.  And with that I wish you all good night!

(When my first article goes live, I'll let you all know about it.  And make sure that if you like it, you comment-on the website- to keep me writing!)

UPDATE:  I was signed on, wrote two articles for her and she never paid me.  Obviously, I did not want to continue that, so I stopped.  Oh well, such is life! 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Delayed Gratification

Our TV is huge!  It's a 55 inch projection screen that is blurry and high maintenance.  You have to take the back off of it to clean the three very large bulbs that give it light.  The electricity that it requires to run has probably cost us quite a bit.  For the first 13 years of our marriage we were a 1 TV household.  This TV became #2.  It was free.  I love free or really cheap things.

Most of our kids friends have had flat screen TVs for a while.  And our kids kept asking when we were going to replace the blurry behemoth.  We kept saying, we have to wait...  They heard that for a year and a half.  They knew we were saving.  We were waiting till prices came down; it's like waiting for the stars to align.  Sure we could have put it on a credit card at any time, but where's the self discipline in that?

Then it happened!  I was walking through the store and low and behold I saw a clearance table.  One with flat screen TV's.  They were all on the wall for 6 months as displays- but they were 30% off.  Being someone who refuses to pay full price for anything, I called my hubby and asked him to research the brand.  He looked it up, and it had 4 out of 5 stars.  I was going to get a 42 inch High Def LCD TV for $250!!! We still had to buy HDMI cables, the mounting brackets, and taxes.  So keep that in mind if you're ever going to purchase one.

It wasn't easy waiting a year and a half to replace the fuzzy monster.  But, to our family, it was a valuable lesson.  It taught our kids that 1. You don't always get what you want right away.  2. You need to save your money.  3. Patience  4.Using that money wisely (sales).  My kids are watching me every day.  They are making tough decisions with their money already.  Yesterday I bought some new pants for our oldest.  He wanted me to buy a shirt to match.  I told him that he had plenty of shirts already and that if he wanted that shirt he could buy it with his lawn mowing money.  He stood there for a while and chose to walk away because he assessed it as a want and not a NEED.  I love passing these things down to my children. Being frugal is a good thing.  They can learn a lot from it.  Delay your gratification and they will delay theirs.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Toddler Prepping

Toddlers are funny people.  They can go from laughing to crying in 30 seconds.  Toddlers are inquisitive, funny, intense, and lovable.  They are truly a gift from God.  They can, however, cause a lot of embarrassment in public.  It seems that, when out and about with a toddler, things that they've never tried before seem fun and interesting to them.  And, we, as parents are caught off guard.  

You can't plan for everything-  I certainly couldn't predict it when one of my kids (then 3 years old) decided to pull his pants down in Wal-mart.  I didn't see it coming when one of my kids licked the glass (at least 4 feet of it) on the deli case at Wegmans.  And, I certainly had no inkling that one of my kids would take a dirty sock, dip it in muddy water - and proceed to suck the water out of the sock and drink it.  Yes, all of these things happened to us.  The more kids you have, the more opportunity for embarrassment.  The things I mention are all "unplanables".  You can't plan on them happening and you have no idea when it's going to happen to you.

But, life with Toddlers has lots of "planables".   You can plan on them happening to you, at least once, if your child is breathing.  Planables are things like, running in the store, telling someone you won't be their friend, pushing, begging for things in the store, and many others.  

Prepping your child before you enter a new situation can make or break your time- where you are going.  So, before we get out of the van, we will tell our kids what is expected of them.  Really, when you think about it, you wouldn't want to be on a new job without knowing what's expected of you.  Yet, we get frustrated with our kids when they don't exhibit the expected behavior.  Right before we get out of the van, I can say, "you are expected to keep your hands to yourself, speak quietly, and stay with me."  I then tell them the positive things that they can do.  For example, "you can help mommy weigh the produce, get items that mommy asks you to get, and if you're a really good listener, we can get a free cookie from the bakery."  Obviously, different rules are used for different locations/tasks.

It is so crucial that when these rules are broken that there is a consequence.  I will not tell you what that consequence should be because each child is different.  Sometimes we used a consequence for a child that did not work and we had to find one that did.  But, the point is, it must be consistent.  

At one point, we had a child who would be good throughout the store and then be grumpy with the bakery lady because the cookie wasn't big enough.   Guess what, no cookie until you can be thankful.  Of course, we had to remind them that was expected before the next trip to the store.  

So hang in there, and remember that they are a new person on the job who needs their instructions, confirmation, consistency, and LOVE.  

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Aldi's vs. BJ's list # 3

I have made yet anther trip to BJ's with pen and paper in hand.  I bought several items and compared the prices.  Good news is, I am bringing my total spent down!  And now that I have information charts to help me, it'll get better and better every week.  :-) Aldi's definitely won, hands down, this week! Here's Aldi's vs. BJ's List #3.

Garden Pesto

I had to pull my basil plants out of the ground to beat the coming frost.  I use the basil throughout the summer in our grilling and veggies and then in the fall use the rest to make pesto.  I had 5 full grown basil plants, so I had to get the pesto rolling.  I didn't have walnuts- so I whipped up my own recipe using almonds (which I had on hand).  It's great!- You can also add Parmesan cheese if you want.

Garden Pesto
1 cup almonds
3/4 cup olive oil
3 1/2 cup washed basil leaves
1 tsp. lemon juice
3/4 tsp. salt
1 head of garlic

Chop the almonds in a blender- remove and put it in a bowl.
then mix the oil, basil, salt, lemon juice, and garlic in the blender.  When it is evenly chopped, add in almonds till it is completely mixed.  If it is not salty enough, add a bit more.  The basil is done.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Kid Tested- Fluffy Flax Seed Pancakes

I make a huge batch of pancakes every two weeks.  We eat some and put the rest in the freezer.  It is wonderful to have homemade things to hand off to the kids for breakfast.  I am trying to fed my family with things that are more wholesome than what we had been doing.  I find that when I "jump off the cliff" with diet changes, I end up shocking the family and I never stick with it.  So I've taken a regular pancake recipe and tweaked it to add some healthier choices Sugar in the Raw, pure vanilla, and flax seed).  These were fluffy, airy, and filled with flax seed!  Enjoy!  Try them and let me know what you think.

Fluffy Flax Seed Pancakes
5 cups flour
5 Tbsp. Baking Powder
2 1/2 tsp. baking soda
10 Tbsp. cooking oil
10 Tbsp. Sugar in the Raw
2 Tbsp. pure vanilla
3 Tbsp. ground flax seed
5 cu. milk
4 eggs
2 1/2 tsp. salt

Mix it all together.  Use an non stick pan or griddle to cook these- no oil needed.  Eat and freeze leftovers.

List 2 for Aldi's vs. BJ's

Hey guys, here's the second installment of Aldi's vs. BJ's.  Click here