A Free Scrubbie?

I have been going through the tightwad book that I have mentioned in my last two posts and she had the craziest suggestion I have ever heard of. She uses a potato bag as a dishes scrubber. I thought, “Ok. that is too much”, but I wanted to really give her suggestions a try so I still had some sweet potatoes , emptied the bag, and wrapped a rubber band around it.

To my surprise, it works great! I think better than a store bought brush for sure. It retains the soap better so you use less and cleans everything pretty much in one swipe. I thought she was crazy but turns out that I had little faith in her. So if you are looking a cheap dish scrubber idea (actually a free idea) see if you have a potato or onion bag and wrap it into a ball. You just might be as surprised as I was.

I know this is a sort of a silly post compared to the ones I normally do but I had to share this find with all my readers. So I will continue through the book and use her suggestions. I will let you know how it all goes 🙂

 

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It looks kind of like a gold fish but it works really well 🙂

A Thrifting Find

I don’t know about you. but I have always been one that hated to go thrift store shopping. Being a heavier person they never have my size and I would always leave in despair. Well after reading the Tightwad Gazette I have given the thrift stores another chance.

This year I got some money for my birthday ($75 which I am very grateful for) and decided to first go to the thrift store to see if they had what I wanted before I went to a department store. So far the only thing I can’t find is a certain potato masher that I think I will have to buy brand new. Otherwise I have found everything at a thrift store. A few things I did buy on Amazon and Target in the dollar part but the most expensive thing I purchased were two movies for $10 a piece.

With $75 I have gotten:

A rolling pin (TS)

A floor steamer (TS)

2 cookie cutters (T)

A crochet hook case (A)

A new set of crochet hooks (A)

Breaking Dawn Part 1 &2 (A)

A mint plant (T)

A pie plate (TS)

A pitcher (TS)

A colander (TS)

2 bread pans (TS)

An 8X8 pan (TS)

And I still have money to spend. I have never had money last this long!

The only thing  that I got that was a bust was a bike rack (TS). It was $7 and I didn’t notice until I got home that one of the legs were bent. So I will have to find someone to fix it or I just have to take the loss. Not all finds are good ones.

Any way, the point is that the thrift stores are still a good place to check out when you need something. The clothes part will take a little bit but, for house wares and gifts, I have had some great success already. I can’t wait to go again. Maybe I will still come across the certain potato masher I want.

Giving Thanks

I have so much to be thankful for. I have God as my Savior, a loving family and roof over my head and food to eat. We might not live a glamorous life bit it’s our life. I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Many people don’t have what we have and I pray for protection and peace over them. We all have something to be thankful for no matter how bleak life looks. Each of us woke up this morning and have the day to make the best of it all. God is faithful and loves all of us.

I also pray for families who are traveling this weekend for protection. I have family traveling all over and I pray that they will stay safe.

So I hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy your blessings.

The Frugal Zealot in Training

Soooo I have been turned onto the art of thrifting and finding new ways to save money. One of the resources has been given to me by my husband in the form of a book called The Tightwad Gazette. There are three volumes of it in total but I have only read the first one. I need to find volume two but it is still packed away in a box somewhere. And crossing my fingers, my hubby will get me volume three for Christmas.

It’s funny since it was written in 1992 some things are not as cheap as they were back then. (I was 1 when this book was put out and I always find it interested in how things were back then.) For example, a stamp was only .29 but a long distance phone call as $1.00/minute. Now I think that is funny to think about charging for long distance phone calls with the whole cell phone age and stuff but, back then, cell phones were only for rich people. Now a stamp is .45 and nationwide calling is included in the contract price.

But there is a lot of other things that are still relevant. Like how she washes Ziplock bags and reuses them and doesn’t use her dryer much. I have started doing the baggie washing and looking for a way to do a clothes line in our house because the prices have only gone up and we are saving for a house.

One thing that she suggested was how to make your own pumpkin puree. My favorite thing to bake is pumpkin cookies but the canned pumpkin is only seasonal in most stores and its a couple bucks per can. Her recipe, with one pumpkin, will gave out 19 cups of pureed pumpkin. Our pumpkin was also given to us for a whomping price of free. And our neighbors gave us their two uncut pumpkins so I will easily have a year supply of pumpkin for free.

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Then I was thinking how expensive pumpkin seeds are in the store so I gathered up all the seeds from that pumpkin, roasted them in my oven and it gave me a pint of pumpkin seeds. (I haven’t cut up the other two pumpkins yet but I am hoping for the same or close to the same amount of seeds.) That was my own thought but it really cut down on the waste I had to throw away at the end.

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So I will be on this journey of thrifting and I will see how much it will save. Call me crazy, but if the Frugal Zealot can raise 6 kids and have it all then I think it is worth it 🙂

 

Dealing With Sickies

So it has been a little bit since I last posted because I have just gotten over the worst stomach flu I have had since I was 6 years old. It was horrible. I started throwing up at 3:45am on Sunday 11/15 every hour on the hour and it didn’t stop until 4:00pm 11/16. I was so weak, and couldn’t hardly move. I finally was able to keep Cheerios and some sips of water at 4:30pm. You can see in the pic below just how bad I was.

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It was not a pretty sight. Thankfully though, my wonderful husband was able to stay home with our daughter who then she started vomiting at 4:00pm 11/16 and didn’t stop until 3:00am 11/17. So not only was his wife in bed but he was having to spend the whole night holding his daughter over the toilet. It was quite the scene, but he is a great father and kept her calm the whole time. She was scared out of her mind of  course but he just stroked her back and kept telling her what a good girl she was. After she had finished each round, he would cuddle with her a little bit before putting her back to bed to only have to be up in another hour. It was so touching and in some ways reminded me of how I think God sees us.

How does any of that connect to God? Well think of it this way. When we go and do bad things and get “sick” spiritually, we make bad choices and have to deal with the consequences, does God just sit there and say, “There’s the toilet. I hope you learned your lesson”? No. He holds our hair back and supports us literally through it all. It may not feel like He is there since the circumstance the consequence might really be a challenge, but He is still there stroking your back and telling you it will be ok and is there to cuddle you back into HIs arms when it is all over.

I am thankful that my husband was there to be our daughter’s hero when she needed one most. I on the other hand had to go it on my own since he was having to do his best to keep her clear of me. Sadly it didn’t work. But now she is all better and was out playing in the back yard the next day.

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Now I am afraid my husband is sick with the same thing. The only up side is that he knows what to expect and that it won’t last for long, but it hurts to watch him be sick. I feel helpless. But I know God is there helping him through and, hopefully by tonight, since he started vomiting at 5:00am 11/19, he will be feeling better. (No pic of him since he didn’t want the world to see him like that. I don’t blame him.)

 

Praying For Paris

What happened yesterday in Paris was horrible. It proved that it is not just America the Muslim faith hates, it is everyone. Of course what I’m nervous about is how close we are to WWIII.

It is stated in Revelation about a war that there will be a war that will start along the river Euphrates starting at the source and working its way to the end that will kill one third of man kind. End Time Ministries has a whole series on this in the DVDs “Islam in the Bible” and “WWIII”. Here is their article on Paris. But there is so much more that we need to look at.

What is really going to happen? God says there will be a war that will kill one third of man kind and, the way Irvin Baxter explains it, that right now is about 2.2 billion people with our current population. That’s alot of people! How is that even possible? Of course I suggest you either listen into his TV program or buy the DVD but I’ll give you a hint – nucar warfare.

We all keep hearing about how Iran has nukes but they are denying it and our President is a secret Muslim so he won’t do anything about it. Or he would already. We in America have nukes for sure so what is it going to take to finally spark this war that now with this attack on Paris is only bound to happen? Will it be an attack on NATO? Will it be another attack on the US? I don’t know.

This much I do know. It is coming and it is going to be bad. It will the war of all wars and after that the anti-christ will be revealed. The the worst part of it will start then for Jews and Christians alike. Because with the anti-christ comes the tribulation.

I won’t get into the whole post mid or pre trib thing because overall that doesn’t matter as much as knowing Jesus does. The only thing that it not being pre trib rapture is are we ready to actually stand up for what we believe in when we stuck with the choice to recant or die? I hope it doesn’t happen. But it might. we don’t know the full plan.

The end is coming I hate to say but there is hope. These true signs of the end times should bring Christians hope that Jesus is coming soon. It may still be decades away but He is still coming. Islam is trying to whipe out His name but they will fail. They will be the reason for WWIII and they will knocked down to nothing or almost nothing. A great DVD is the one about the four riders from End Time Ministries as well. The whole series is good really. It explains Revelation in a way that makes sense and he has proof to back up everything he says with history.

Becuase we have to be ready. We as Christians are running out of time to be passive. We need to be active and willing to stand up for our faith. Because one day we will have too. The day is coming. Are you ready?

The Sweet Moments of Joy

Since I am dealing with this whole PCOS thing, it is easy for me to look at what I don’t have more than what I do. I guess it has something to do with me being human. But this morning I was reminded by God that I have may blessings already. Yes, I have had another hard week with disappointment but that doesn’t mean I should miss out on the little blessing I already have.

Her name is Emma and she is my sunshine. This morning she did the cutest thing I think she has ever done. I was busy doing my morning chores and she came into my room with something in her hand that she was insisting to put in my hair. Of course her being a toddler, I was skeptical, but her little eyes were just begging me to let her do it. So I did and you know what it was? A star sticker. She thought it would look pretty in my hair like the clips and hairbands I put in hers. It melted my heart completely and I realized that this was my reason for living. If I never have another baby that is OK because I have the best little girl in the world. I mean how can’t you just smile when you look at her face?

Morning fun with Mommy after getting a treat this morning after breakfast :)
Morning fun with Mommy after getting a treat this morning after breakfast 🙂
This one is a little older of a picture but her smile is just as heart warming.
This one is a little older of a picture but her smile is just as heart warming.

She is my miracle. I should have put her middle name as Grace, but it is Rochelle, because she is God’s gift I don’t deserve. And after she was done decorating my hair, she went on to decorating my pants.

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Isn’t it pretty? Emma was sure proud herself and I kept them on for as long as the adhesive would allow.

It was what I needed this morning. So this is meant to encourage you today. God has His rainbow out there for you somewhere in your trials. You just have to look for it. It would have been easy for me to just push her away and tell her she was not going to put anything in my hair until I saw it, but that would have taken the joy out of it.

I love the quote by Beth Moore that says, “Today I choose joy. Even if I don’t feel like it, I will choose to be joyful in all things”. I feel like that was a good example to me. I decided to trust my daughter wasn’t putting a spider or something on my head and allowed her to do what she was trying to bless me with. And I was blessed.

So I hope today, if you are having a hard time, you look for the blessings and joy around you. It may not feel like there is any in sight but there is. Because the joy of the Lord is my strength and I will remember to choose it everyday.    🙂

Dealing With PCOS

So I don’t know if I have mentioned this before but I am one of the 10% of the female population who is dealing with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). It is not a fun disease (I don’t know any that are). As Paul says in 2 Corinthians about having a thorn in his side, it appears we all have one in one shape or another. Mine is PCOS. To all the women who have it and struggle everyday to do simple things in life like losing weight and feeling more like a man than a woman I am right there with you.

But the one thing that is the most devastating part about PCOS is that fact it is super hard to get pregnant. I was blessed with a miracle of my beautiful little girl but it seems like trying to get pregnant again is going to harder than I thought. It has happened a couple times and each time it has ended with tears and frustration. If you can relate then you know what I am talking about.

So now I have to pick myself up again and look up to God for answers. When I am weak, He is strong right? Sometimes it doesn’t feel that way. But thank God our faith isn’t based on our feelings. Sometimes we don’t get what we want at the time because it wouldn’t be god for us. Who knows, maybe God knew there was going to be problem with the baby so He decided to bring him/her home to His arms early. Would I have loved to have held any baby that I might have carried? Yes. But if it’s better for them to be with God, then that is where I want them to be. I still have a beautiful daughter who needs her mommy to be strong and of good spirits.

Maybe one day God will bless my husband and I with another bundle of joy but it looks like I have some things to work out first. God can’t fill already full hands and I need to content with what I have right now. Do I still desire another baby? Yes and, if God doesn’t bless us with another baby, I don’t know if that desire will go away. I am honestly still at the place that each time it appears I am pregnant and it turns out I’m not, or I was but had a miscarriage, whenever I look at a baby my heart aches. I see a pregnant mommy and wish that I could put my daughter back in my womb and feel her kick a move again. And when I see a mom or dad treating their child unfairly, I want to just go up and slap them because at least they were able to have children. I don’t have any guarantee that I will ever be able to have another baby and it kills me. But I can’t die a little bit inside each time because that is not fair to my husband and it is definitely not fair to my daughter.

Is is easy? Heck no. It is the worst thing in the world next to being diagnosed with cancer because in some ways it like having a cancer that you don’t die from. It know this is going to sound heartless to those who have either had cancer or lost someone to cancer but at least cancer is treated or you get to meet the Lord faster. It sucks but there is an end one way or another. PCOS there is no cure. There is nothing that can make me normal. I can use some treatments but they really don’t treat much. The natural remedies did help and I have been able to get my period for a year but if I back off then they will go away. So there is no fix. There is no end. I will have to deal with this my whole life until I go home with the Lord either by natural or unnatural causes.

My PCOS is my thorn but the question is – how will I live with it? Will I play the victim and say “woe is me”? Or will I lift my head high and keep fighting everyday to be a good mom and wife despite it? I want to say the later but, to be honest, I am still in the “woe is me” phase. I will get through this again and with the help of my doctors I hope to be able to conceive again. But I will need God to it. I can’t do anything without Him any way. I just need to keep looking up and have faith. Even when I am bawling my eyes out asking “Why God?” I know I will have more moments like this but a wise Pastor just said in a message, if you have to ask why God, do with open palms and not closed fists.

My hands are open and I want to move on. I just pray God will give me the grace to do so. So I will keep things posted on my journey.

The Mother’s Heart

So I am slightly embarrassed to admit this but I just had a night alone with my husband in our new place and I cried through half of it. Why you ask? No it wasn’t because we were fighting or having a bad time. Actually we were having a grand time. What was the turning point? My daughter’s empty crib.

It has been such a long road for me with her. I never knew if she was even going to make it into the world. But lots of prayer and a good doctor, she came into the world with the loudest cry I can remember. But that is not where the trials ended. She was taken from me immediately after she was born to the NICU because I came down with an infection during my labor, and then we spent almost three days trying to bond through the wires and the the hardship of trying to breast feeding. Of which never took off

You would think it would get better once we got home but that wasn’t the end. For the next two months I struggled to breastfeed because my milk never came in which led to day after day of frustration of pumping and trying to get my daughter to latch. It was a complete disaster.

But wait there’s more. Not only could I not produce milk but I also went into a deep depression. More than the baby blues. And it lasted for months. I couldn’t bond with my baby and I felt horrible since I didn’t think I was being a bad mother.

Now 19 months later I finally had a moment that erased all those doubts in my head. I found her baby hat today and that was the spark. She used to be so little and it is amazing how fast she has grown.

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But the true moment was when I walked by her room and saw the empty crib. My wonderful mother in law has taken her for the night, and I know they are having so much fun, but I can’t wait to have her back. I guess it proves that I have grown past those difficulties and can love her whole heartedly.  She is everything to me and she has grown me so much. There are days that I would love to have a break but it’s in those breaks that I realize that I wouldn’t have it any other way. Putting her bed each night in the highlight of my day. Hearing her say “bye” because she doesn’t know how to say “good night” just melts my heart.

I enjoy the time I get with my husband more than anything but I love my daughter. I just pray someday that I will have the opportunity to have and love more. Maybe someday I can have this verse be said about me. It would be the biggest honor of my life 🙂

Proverbs 31:28
Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.