Sunday, August 31, 2008

So Many Blessings

With everything seemingly increasing in price and money often tight, it can be easy to overlook the blessings we are given. I am so often reminded by this. Last night my hubby and I went out on a date for his birthday and we got up talking about where we wished we were in life and where we are and we had to stop ourselves.

This week our baby, who is now 9 months old, was very sick again for the millionth time and on the verge of being hospitalized AGAIN blah, blah, blah. I was feeling very overwhelmed the last few weeks because we had been moving to a new place on top of him being sick again and not gaining weight the way he is supposed to and all that and I went to adoration. Sitting there I was gently reminded how blessed we are. Even if we struggle, we are still among some of the wealthiest people in the entire world. We live in a great country, definitely not perfect, but a place where so many freedoms are easily taken for granted.

My hubby has a good job that provides good health insurance for us. If our baby had been sick in another country without access to medical care or several decades ago, he could have easily died last winter or would have been talked about as he got older as being a very sick baby who barely made it. He is not a strong baby, but getting stronger. We have a choice of hospitals and doctors and although nearly all of our extra money we had saved up before and have tried saving since then has gone to his care, we wouldn't have it any other way. He is happy and relatively healthy and has the medicines and medical interventions he needs to stay alive. You can't put a price on that.

So today I am just thanking God we still have him with us. Many others aren't as fortunate and so whenever I get frustrated about finances, I just stop and take a look at my boys and my hubby and realize I am so blessed beyond belief. I can't ask for anything more.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Free Chik-fil-A on Monday

I have been in the process of moving and having a sick baby so I am sorry for the long break, but I hope to post several free events for the upcoming weekends. On Labor Day, Chik-fil-A is offering a free 3-strip chicken box to whomever wears your favorite football team’s attire or logo (including elementary school, middle school, all the way up). The details are on their Web site here. It begins at 10:30 am Monday and lasts until the end of the day or until they run out, whatever is first. Happy eating!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Finally Up Again

So after another move, one just a few miles away and hopefully our last for awhile, I finally have Internet again. It was a weird experience not having it over the last week. Not quite a vacation because I was packing and unpacking - just weird. So now we are up and running again and all is right with the world - lol.

A funny story. I was using Internet on my laptop at our old house which is still hooked up to take care of a few bills, find some info, etc. My boys were bored because there were no toys or anything to do. My two-year-old took a scrap piece of cardboard, wrapped a piece of a Best Buy ad around it, handed it to his brother and told him "Happy Birthday." I went from getting frustrated to just laughing. The best part was the baby was just as excited to get the piece of cardboard as the two-year-old was to give it. It helped me stop and remember to be grateful for all the blessings in my life - Amen for that!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

All In Perspective

I am human and have definitely experienced my times where I feel I "need" things that really aren't needs. Currently we are living in one of the wealthiest areas of Pennsylvania and not generally bringing in the same income as our friends, we make a lot of choices that a lot of people we are surrounded with don't ever think about. We are working on paying down debt and trying to save up for another house eventually, so it can be frustrating and challenging to keep "needs' in perspective.

I have lived in a third-world country and seen poverty first-hand and have lived in some of the nicest neighborhoods in the country. I feel so blessed to have had both experiences and it helps me to remember what "need" really is when I am feeling like I need something I really don't.

A high school teacher used to say there are three basic human needs that need to be met and as long as they are met, you can deal with the other stuff. People need food and water, basic clean living conditions and to feel safe, secure and loved in their environments.

When I am convinced I am needing a new wardrobe or ridiculously priced pair of shoes, I remind myself that while I may want them, I definitely don't need them. I am not going to die without them and if I don't buy them, I will often forget they even existed within days or weeks.

Anyway, this past week I have really been feeling frustrated with how long it seems to pay off debts and save money and worried about how to keep up with rising costs of all the staples.

Then I was reading my Good Housekeeping magazine this morning and came across an article I loved. The author, Firoozeh Dumas was talking about how her family began donating gifts for their kids birthdays instead of throwing lavish parties when she realized the nany she was hiring had a two-year-old son back in her own country and was just trying to make a better life for him. Later she recounts how they had saved a certain number of frequent flier miles in hopes to go to Paris, but a family member needed them so they decided their trip could wait and gave them to the family member instead.

"A few months later, we received a letter from the IRS reminding us we owed a thousand dollars due to the value of the miles. As my husband wrote the check grumbling about "not being able to afford winning," the realization struck me: If someone in my family gets sick, he can go to the doctor. We live in a house that is warm in the winter and cool in the summer. I have the "burden" of trying to lose weight becuase we have access to so much good food. More important, I can hug my children whenever I want. What else is there to win?"

It's always good to put each situation in perspecitive.


So we are in the process of moving yet again. We are hoping the place we are moving to may be our last move for the next few years, but we may have to play it by year. Anyway, moving is never cheap. No matter if you do it yourself or hire someone to do it. Over the moves we have gotten a lot better at doing it as cheaply as possible. I have to say, minus paying someone to move our piano (my husband and three friends nearly killed themselves the last time they moved it), nothing is costing us much more than $100.

There are three things we are doing this time that is both helping us out and saving us money.

~ We have made friends up here who have teenage boys. We have hired two of their three boys to help us move (one had other things to do) out of and into our places. Hiring them is one of our higher costs, but still significantly cheaper than hiring a professional. Plus we just can't do it alone anymore with two kids. We have moved by ourselves so many times, which easily takes a few days and we are so blessed to have people helping us out.

~ I called around and found out that by asking nicely, you can have them reserve boxes from overnight stocking to use for packing. I spoke with the overnight manager on two occasions and the only catch is you have to be there bright and early (ok not too early - before 8) to pick them up. It was really bothering me thinking about buying a whole bunch (last time was somewhere around 100) boxes just to use once and discard. Not only is that a waste of money IMHO, but it is such a waste of resources. I like using and reusing things that are already out there (within reason).

~ We are packing a few boxes that are the last to get sealed and the first to get opened. They have toothpaste, ibuprofen, allergy meds, all of our baby's meds, vitamins, a few towels, a few pots and pans and dishes, a few cups and some staple foods. That way we are not running out at midnight to the store to get something we likely have three or four of but just can't find because all of our stuff is in boxes.

I surely hope this is the last time until we *hopefully* move back to the Midwest some day.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Quote From Mother Teresa

"It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish." ~ Mother Teresa

Very cool.

Friday, August 8, 2008

The Good Stuff

We were sitting in our family room hanging out Wednesday and my two-year-old was sitting on my lap. He looked up at me and said, "Ethan is mommy's best friend." Then he gave me a kiss. It was so adorable and made my day. That is one of those precious moments that make all the work and everything we give up to be with them worth it.

The nice fuzzy feeling lasted for a few minutes until I had to pull him off of his baby brother's back where he had decided to sit. ... at least it lasted that long:).

Great Thought

One of Glamour's College Women of the Year's favorite thought: "You either have a great excuse or a great story." Well put.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Thrifty Thursday Delay

I have lots of fun things to post for Thrifty Thursday except it is nearly 11 pm and I am tired and heading to bed because otherwise there is no way I will get up at 5:45 to So it is coming, just likely on Friday. Stay tuned...

Vote For Glamour's Women Of The Year

Our new sister-in-law Rachel is one of five finalists in the Glamour Women of The Year contest. If you have met Rachel, you know how much we adore her and how fabulous she is and it seems Glamour thinks so too.

We are shamelessly plugging her and asking you to vote for her. You can vote once a day until September 4 by going to this page. Even if you just vote once, I know she would appreciate it!

You can read Rachel's blog here. She is a three-time survivor of a rare form of cancer called an Askin's Tumor. She was told the last time it came back that no one had been known to survive a recurrance of that cancer after a bone marrow transplant and was given months to live. That was in 2002. You can read more of her story the Adult Bone Cancer Survivors' Web Site

About Me

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I'm a mommy, wife and educated woman with an inquisitive mind. I am always looking in ways to challenge and grow in my faith. Many wise people I have known have reminded me if I am not growing, I am going in the wrong direction.