Right, well not quite. So the last time I posted I was on a little bit of a high I guess you could say… which usually means theres a valley ahead. I thought we had already passed through the worst of our valley but no, that was just a break in the clouds, the rest of the storm was still rolling through. Not more than a week after my last post where I had talked about the jeep that the boys great grandpa (Papaw) had gotten for them, which they were crazy about, Papaw was rushed to the hospital and two days later we were all having to say our goodbyes. He was a good man, a brave man, he stuck with it through thick and thin, he loved and sacrificed for his family and many others. He was given a heros farewell on this side and a welcome home party on the other. I felt the wind had been knocked out of me. Some like to talk about these kinds of things but I struggle to put feelings in to words. I couldnt blog nor did I want to but I’m trying…. and life still goes on.
My heart is full to overflowing. What an amazing weekend and Monday to go with it. It’s not often you can say that. Monday was definetly a bonus.
To kick it off, Saturday morning Booboo received a wonderful gift from his great grandpa and grandma, a power wheels jeep they had found for him at a garage sale for a great price. He is still getting the hang of it but loves driving his little brother around. Oh boy enjoy that while it last little Mr., little brother’s going to find out he can drive it too before long.
Saturday evening we had the pleasure of attending a wonderfully sweet great aunt’s 80th birthday. I sure hope I’m that sweet by the time I get there. Hopefully I’ll have plenty of time to practice although I’m pretty sure shes always been that sweet. After getting to spend some time celebrating and visiting with her and our family we headed straight over to a fundraiser for a friend whos been fighting Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Their family is the one I had blogged about a couple of months ago when we made the decision to be bone marrow donors. Wow what can I say, what an amazing night! The outpouring of love and support from so many, many friends, families, coworkers, people who donated items and time, I’m sure the list could go on and on, there just aren’t words to describe it. We felt like we were blessed just to be there. To help raise money they had a taco dinner, dessert, silent auction, live auction, balloon artists and clowns for the kids and live music. At first count at the end of the evening they had already raised $28,000+ Our prayers continue to go up for their family and pray they will feel Gods peace, comfort and blessings as the days and weeks pass. Heres my blog post on the Be the Match Registry
Sunday we attended church where we’ve been going the last few months and once again our hearts were filled with encouragement and teaching from other believers and the message we heard. They have reiterated on numerous occasions the fact that we all struggle, that our families aren’t perfect, no family is perfect, even Jesus grew up in a blended family with a messed up geneology. If you think that you do certain things so you have it all together that is so out of touch with reality. The important thing is being real and having safe people to encourage you and help you to grow into the person God created you to be.
I wish I had good enough pictures to give you a feel of what Saturday night and Sunday morning were like but there’s no way you could comprehend those things with pictures or really words either for that matter.
So that was the weekend. Then today we woke to a break in the heat wave, thank you Lord, and had a wonderful trip to the park and picnic with friends. We ran home, took naps and shortly after my friend we had met up with that morning told me she had accidently ran across an awesome deal at Target. It was a $68 kids 12′ bike that was originally marked down to $47 and rang up at the register for $20. Can we say steal of the week!?! She said there was only one left and the boys and I were in the middle of dinner so I called Target to see if they’d hold it back. They informed that they dont do that for clearance items so I called my husband but he was too far away and still working so I grabbed the boys up and we took off for Target hoping it was still there. I wasn’t expecting to find it and it wasn’t in the clearance aisle but about the time J’s eyes landed on a red tricycle I found it!! By this time however J had pulled the little red trike off the shelf and proceeded to pedal (flinstone style) up and down the aisle. Forget the awesome deal he wanted the red, preassembled, ready to ride bike. I finally convinced him after letting him drive around a bit that momma and daddy would find him a better deal on that somewhere else and fortunatly he decided to park it without much of a tizzy in the middle of the toy aisle. We get back home with our prize.. and a few other things because after all who goes to Target and only comes out with one thing … and daddy comes around the corner in his truck and pulls out a box with a little snapping turtle in it. More oohs and aahs and excitement and mommas heart is full and happy and glad its a turtle and not a snake since I know its about to be let loose in my front yard …. Yes, Monday was definitely a bonus
Can’t believe my firstborn is 3. It seems we’ve made it to the no more diapers, I wanna do it myself, I’m a big boy year…and yet he still wants me to play trains with him 24/7, calls me his best friend and wants me to lay down and read stories at bedtime. I love the no diapers and still all the hugs. I’m not ready for him to grow up so fast but I hope when he does he’s just like his daddy.
I have to admit, some of the things we’ve done or do that has saved us money would definetly go down in the “weird” file for many americans. For example, we don’t have cable or a flat screen tv. We use cloth diapers, natural health remedies and cleaning methods. We’ve bought pallets of food and gluten free items at an auction(we’re talking 50lb bags of cereal, oats ect) and filled our living room with cardboard boxes full of seat covers to sell on ebay. We bought a popup trailer on craigslist so we didn’t have to rent one and then sold it when we got back in town for more money than we bought it for. The funniest thing we’ve probably done was pick up chunks of ice off the walmart parking lot to put it in our cooler(for items we didn’t have to worry about where the ice came from of course)but we still got a good laugh out of it…
I told you they’d be weird
Have ever done something “weird” to save money?
For Lil Bubs first birthday I asked my mom to put together a first year scrapbook for him like she did for our oldest sons birthday. As much as I love to scrap I just dont have much time these days but still want something unique to save our photos in instead of just an album. My mom has put together some really cute books and now she’s making them to sell. She custom makes books or individual pages with a particular theme and also personalizes them. Here is her store she just opened on Etsy and I posted a few pages from the most recent book she made us. Thanks mom! You’re the bestest
For those of you who don’t know, my husband and I, by the grace of God, live debt free. It’s not always easy and this year has definetly thrown some challenges our way but I wouldn’t have it any other way. We started our debt free journey several years ago and have never regretted it. We now facilitate financial classes occasionally and LOVE being able to encourge others in the journey by “throwing out a rope” so to speak. Our story was featured on moneysavingmom this morning if anyone would like to read it.
Now I know not everyone wants this or feels its what their family should do and some have decided to stop it temporarily for other things they need to take care of but for those working towards this goal the sacrifices you are making now will have a huge impact later. Success very rarely happens overnight. It’s making right or wrong decisions on a daily basis. Making bad choices over and over will cause death by 1000 cuts. Now I didn’t say it would necessarily be easy but things that are worth it usually arent. Set goals and allow yourself small rewards to help keep your momentum going. Push, push, push, be intentional and very soon, little by little you will be seeing the rewards and results of all your hard work. I know you can do it!!
A few weeks back I had blogged about some of my favorite natural remedies but hadn’t remembered this one until yesterday, Oil of Oregano!
My ear had suddenly started acting up yesterday and I was in no mood to be dealing with an earache or infection. Actually I’m pretty sure I never am. I had put my usual tea tree oil and gse mix in it but it wasn’t knocking it out fast enough for me. I remembered my oregano oil that I don’t just use for any occasion because its really strong. Sure enough it seems to have cleared the nasties right up. Sometimes you need western medicine but more often than not my good ole natural remedies is all it takes!
Here’s a site with some other great uses for it. http://curingherbs.com/wild_oregano_oil.htm
After several potty training accidents and the dog being inside alot this summer because of the heat we finally decided to look into buying a steam vac last week. Between the boys and the dog the last few months the carpet is starting to look and feel a little yucky. Our landlord had installed light colored shag carpet throughout the house before we started renting because he was originally planning to sell the house. While it looks and feels nice it’s not the easiest to keep clean especially with a dog, two toddlers and the fact that it’s in the dining room area too. Since he has been so kind to rent to us month to month without charging extra for our 80lb lab mix we figured the least we could do was try to keep the carpet looking nice.
The vacuum came in the mail a few days ago and I had a chance to put it together but hadn’t been able to use it until today while the boys were gone. I absolutely looove it!! I’m pretty sure I have some weird obsession with watching the water rushing through the vacuum and turning from dirty brown to clear. I wasn’t sure what to expect since it isn’t a high dollar or commercial machine but it did an awesome job considering the price. The other thing I love is that it’s super easy to take apart and dump or clean and not too hard to maneuver.
Here’s the one I bought if anyone else is in the market for one. Hoover SteamVac Pet Complete Carpet Cleaner with Clean Surge – F5918900
Made these quesadillas last night to help eat up the zucchini from my sis in laws garden and daddy wasn’t home so we didn’t have to worry about making a dish with meat in it They were better than I expected and both boys gobbled them down!
1/2 c canned black beans, rinsed and drained
2 tbs salsa
1/2 c finely chopped zucchini
4 (6-inch) corn tortillas
4 tablespoons shredded Cheddar cheese
*For my gluten and nightshade allergy adjustments, I ommited the salsa and used onion and cilantro with lime juice and salt instead. I also used teff wraps instead of regular tortillas.
1. Combine beans and salsa in a small bowl; mash with a fork. Stir in zucchini. 2. Layer 1 tortilla with half the bean mixture, sprinkle with 2 tbs cheese, and top with another tortilla. Repeat with remaining tortillas, bean mixture, and cheese. 3. In broiler or toaster oven, cook quesadillas 1 minute on each side until cheese is melted and bubbly.
Being on the path we’ve found ourselves on this year, traveling and even the Colorado shootings yesterday I’ve been reminded over and over the past few months, this is not our home…
We are on a journey, we are foreigners. Sometimes the road seems long, exhausting, even scary. We experience wonderful and exhilarating mountain points along the way but those days can also be met with equally dark valleys.
Our Father reminds us…Dont get too comfortable here. I have something better for you ahead. You are not home yet.
Why do you insist on dragging that suitcase full of regret, fear, resentment around? My child, I told you, I’ve got this. Its too much for you to carry. Leave it there. I have everything you need for this journey. Come to Me when you are weary and I will give you rest. I will turn your days of tears into days of joy and laughter… and when this journey is over, I will carry you safely home.