God has challenged me to write about how He will supernaturally pay off our mortgage in 5 years. I am a homemaker, my husband is a teacher, and we have three children. Our mortgage balance at the start of this blog is $97,802.62 with a projected payoff date of May 11, 2035.

Sounds foolish, huh? The Bible says that, "...God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise;..." So I am choosing to be foolish and trust Him. He's never let me down before.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Cost of Raising a Child...

$245,340 up until age 18.

Being as we are expecting our fourth child at the end of the month, this figure could be enough to send me into a panic attack or major depression. But instead I rejoice.  This is why.


God has so abundantly provided!  Everything shown in this picture was either given to us or purchased through gift cards for the baby.  The only two things we have bought are a second-hand car seat and stroller.

Because God is so faithful, He has grown me up to realize what is truly important.  With our first child, I had to have the nursery a certain way with coordinating bedding, walls, etc.  Much of my focus then was on appearances.  Today, with this our fourth child, the nursery is simply a space in our bedroom.



Totally different perspective!

Today I am content and so very thankful to God for what we have and what He is blessing us with--new life.  I recognize the significance of such a gift and no price can be put on it.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Adda Boy!

This morning while I was sitting at the breakfast table with my youngest son, Blaise, I challenged him that if he remained on "green" for his behavior at school through Thursday, I would pay 75 cents for him to buy ice cream during Friday lunch.  He emphatically accepted my challenge but shortly afterwards said, "Wait a minute...I'm not going to buy ice cream."

I was shocked.  When I hear the old adage "the way to a man's heart is through his stomach" my Blaise comes to mind.  He takes great pleasure in food, eats with such gusto that every part of him is engaged in the process--lips, fingers, mouth (occasionally a fork).  And sweets, well, they are his favorite kind of food.  What was making him reconsider?

"I'm going to use the 75 cents to save for the HoverBall that I want to buy."  Wow.  I was pleasantly surprised at his declaration.  We had seen the toy during a trip to Wal-Mart and he told me that he wanted to save up to get it.  However, Blaise has been notorious for saying he's going to save only to have his eyes alight on a future object of desire that he has to have right then and there.  Needless to say this was a new and welcome development.

"That's a great idea, Blaise," I said.  "You know what?  If you stay on green through Thursday I'll give you a dollar instead."

Well that was all the incentive he needed to begin calculating aloud what he would need to save for the remaining cost.  Then the business man in him came out.

"Can you give me a dollar every week that I stay on green?"

Smart kid.  Looking to run a business out of good behavior.

"I'll have to think about that," I replied, not sure if I wanted this to be a perpetual means for earning his purchase.  Just the same, it pleases me to see a transition in my son towards becoming more future-minded with his money.  Many adults haven't even begun to master this concept yet. 

Adda boy, Blaise!


Friday, September 5, 2014

Would you look at that?!

This morning while walking back to the house from our son's bus stop, I decided to check the garden and look in on a runt cucumber.  It is the latest of a total of three that have grown from the vine.  The others grew strong and hearty and have long since run the course our digestive systems.  I've been waiting on this runt to add to a garden salad but alas have had to hit up the markets for 2/$1 deals on the vagabond veggie instead.

This morning it looked like this.

 
Not much change from the last time I saw it.  Still small, underdeveloped, and not ready to eat.  As I checked on the other veggies before walking away, something caught my eye underneath the leaves of the vine.  The deep green bumpy surface gave it away.  Moving the prickly leaves aside my suspicion was confirmed--it was another cucumber.  But much bigger than its sibling.  Here it is.
 
 

 
Jackpot!  I was so excited, but a bit confused.  Where in the world did this cucumber come from?  It seemed like a miracle.  I had never seen it growing all the times I was checking in on my runt.  Then all at once it hit me...I never saw this cucumber because I was never looking for another cucumber.  All of my focus and energy was going into complaining about the one cucumber that wasn't growing well, so much so that I couldn't see the cucumber that God allowed to grow up big and strong in its place.
 
 

 
Big difference, huh?  Have you ever been like that in your life?  So focused on what's not happening that you end up missing the very miracle God is doing right before your eyes?  His work is everywhere.  We just need to take the time to stop and look.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

A Practical Way to Save on Printer Ink

While viewing Consumer Reports articles on the web in search of a new printer, I came across this new story.  A 14-year old developed a science fair project and determined a way that we can all save money on  printer ink

Thank you Suvir Mirchandani for helping this frugal gal to save even more!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Give us this Day, Our Daily Bread...



A couple of 2 loaf packs of bread for 74 cents to be exact.

Amen.

Cover (A) Girl

God's Holy Spirit is my make-up.

Regularly people say to me "You have such a gentle spirit about you" or "You're such a sweet person."

If only they knew where I was.  If only they knew where I am.

God reminded me today in prayer with Him that He makes me beautiful.  He covers up my sin with His grace.  He makes the dark spots in me light with His love.  I can take no credit whatsoever.

Only my God can cover a girl like me.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Treats from Daddy

Prior to the start of each month, Ross and I sit down to review our spending plan (budget).  We begin that meeting with prayer and end it with prayer.  The opening prayer is thanking God for His provision and asking Him for help to remember all the expenses for which we need to plan.  Our closing prayer is asking Him to bless the budget that we've prepared and to cover us in those things that we may have missed.

Tithes and bills are a given in each budget.  After these, we share any additional wants or needs with each other and make a decision as to whether or not to include them in our spending plan.  I had on my list two items from Costco that were certainly wants, but definitely things that our family could use: a pencil sharpener and an air mattress.

8/1
Pencil Sharpener

20.00
8/1
School Supplies

20.00
8/1
Annapolis Trip

50.00
8/1
Annapolis-Hunter


8/1
Senators Cash I
x
15.00
8/1
Senators Cash II

15.00
8/1
Air Mattress

30.00
8/29
Bball Tailgate

40.00
8/1
Cat Food

15.00
8/1
Drive-in movie

50.00
8/1
Sneakers--Hunter
x
25.00
8/1
Sneakers--Blaise
x
20.00
8/15
Mom Birthday

30.00
8/5
ST Taxes Ross
x
343.00
8/5
ST Taxes Chanty
x
14.70


Yes, $20 for a pencil sharpener.  But it's a good pencil sharpener.  Last school year I was plagued by complaints about points breaking off in our 99 cent pencil sharpener and about how we have pencils but the sharpener doesn't work.  Buying this $20 one would be more for my sanity then anything else which in my mind is priceless.  The air mattress request stems from our camping interests and how Ross and I find it more uncomfortable with every passing year to sleep on the ground in our tent even with padding.  We've talked about getting an air mattress for a while.  It would also serve us in being used for overnight guests.

We agreed that we would put these items in our spending plan, but they would not be priorities and would likely be the first on the chopping block if we needed to downsize our spending for any unforeseen expenses.  I was content with this.

Yesterday evening I went to get the mail and saw an envelope from Costco with my name and address handwritten on it.  Inside was a letter apologizing for an error made in our recent membership payment along with a gift card for $50.42 to make up for the difference.  My mind went right back to how we prayed over this month's spending plan and how God made allowance for my two requests.  Certainly these items were not needs for my family, but God wanted us to have them just the same.  

Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?  Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?  If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him? Matthew 7:9-11

What blessing to have a Daddy treats me to good gifts that I do not deserve!