$4/week on Groceries!

Check out this Good Morning America excerpt on a woman who feeds her family of six on $4 a week! Very interesting

Advertisements

10 Things You May Not Know About Me

1.  I took piano lessons from age 7-15.  Advanced to playing sonatas, Rachmaninoff, 16-page classical pieces…..hated. every. minute. of. it.

2.  Took up guitar at age 16.  Loved it! Helped lead worship for youth group and church in high school, and some in college.  Don’t have much time for it anymore.

3.  I had a best friend who lived across the street when I was a little girl.  Ironically, her name was Katie Williams.  She ended up getting killed in a car accident in high school.  We weren’t friends anymore at that point but I think about her often when I sign my married name.

4.  I answered a babysitting ad in the paper when I was 13 and got the job! I babysat age 13-14 (and through high school and college too when I had time).  Worked at Pizza Pro from 15-18 and bought my first car.  Was a manager at Office Depot from 18-21.  Now I’m back to my first love, babysitting.  And I love it!  Snuggling with my 3 girlies I keep is the greatest job ever!

5. My freshman year of college, my car that I worked so hard to pay off in high school was totaled with me in it.  I was not driving.  After 3 complete flips and not a straight panel or intact windshield left, I was very lucky to have only come away with A LOT of bruising, a sprained wrist, and swollen knee.  Wear your seatbelts, kids.

6.  I’m still scared of being a passenger in a vehicle.  I was never a back-seat driver until that point in my life.  Thankfully, Lance is very patient with me in this area.

7.  I met my husband when I was 15 and told my best friend that I wanted to marry a guy just like that.  Ironic, this thing called life.

8.  I cannot get through a morning without my fix of Diet Mountain Dew.   Bad for me, I know.  Ask me if I care.

9.  I have two older brothers whom I am not as close with as I’d like to be (they’re 6 and 9 years older than me), but have proved that, when needed, they will be there for me at the drop of a hat.

10.  My first “boyfriend” was in Kindergarten.  I told him I would agree to be his girlfriend on one condition: that he quit following me around.  It didn’t work.  So I broke up with him like 2 days later.  Mean little girl, I was!

House-Cleaning Schedule

A few months ago, I had a realization! I realized that my house doesn’t have to be clean all at once.  I realized that if it gets cleaned in little parts every day, that it will be mostly clean all the time.  I can settle for mostly!

I work more hours than Lance, but I am at home, while he works outside our home.  Therefore, it’s only fair that I take the Lion’s Share in the housework.  He works more on some days than others.  This is the cleaning schedule that has been most beneficial to us:

Monday

Katie – load/unload dishwasher, wipe down microwave, clean toilet, kitchen counters

Lance – vacuum, litter

Tuesday

Katie – laundry, load/unload dishwasher, wipe down oven hood

Lance – sweep, bathroom counters

Wednesday

Katie – load/unload dishwasher, organize fridge inside and on top

Lance – vacuum, litter, kitchen counters

Thursday

Katie – laundry, load/unload dishwasher, windex windows/mirror/TV, wipe off tables

Lance – sweep, mop

Friday

Katie – load/unload dishwasher, wipe and clean off washer & dryer, kitchen counters

Lance – vacuum, litter, clean bathtub

Saturday

Katie – laundry, change sheets, clean bathroom counters

Lance – help with laundry if he’s home, wash dishes left in sink, dust

When the chores are broken up into little bits like this they don’t seem so daunting and are so much easier to stay on top of! I have this list posted in my kitchen with Lance’s & my chores highlighted in two different colors.  This way I don’t have to remind Lance about what needs to get done, he already knows!

Sometimes it’s hard to keep up with the list, especially when we travel and have extra laundry and unpacking to deal with.  But it’s a great guideline!

Love Hurts

100_0655

I’ve discovered something in two short years of marriage.  Lance is not my Prince.  And I am certainly not his Princess.  He is not always charming, well-spoken, and witty (well okay, he is witty most of the time).  I am not always dressed perfectly, reverent of his awesomeness, and mindful of my place.

I don’t claim to have even seen a portion of the Big Picture of marriage.  But I do believe I’m starting to catch glimpses and I am/have been trying to process it all.

I’ve learned that marriage is hard.  It is sometimes downright awful!   It’s hard to look ahead to unnumbered years knowing you will be with that person and their imperfections for the rest of your life.  I will always meet a very grumpy (sometimes mean) person when our alarm goes off in the morning.  Lance will always have to deal with my emotional way-overreactions.  I will always have to listen to Lance’s distracted whistling when he’s planning his next move in the board game we’re playing.  He will always have to endure my enormously loud sneezes.

But, despite the fact that Lance is imperfect human, he is the person that I made a vow to before God.  It doesn’t matter what my in-laws think of me, what my family thinks of me, what friends think of me….I made a vow.  “What God has joined together, let no man (husband or wife) tear asunder.”

I like to be completely in control.  Who doesn’t? I think my ideas and methods and opinions are the only right ones.  I believe that I can experience love best if Lance does certain things or tells me certain words.  And I have been sure to let him know! Fortunately for him ( note sarcasm here) I’ve invited him to tell me the things he needs from me.  This is a good idea to some degree, but not with the intent that the end result favor yourself.

All this to say, I have learned that I don’t know what I need! Neither does Lance! But God does.  God knew every day of my life before my name was even spoken.  He knows the interworkings of my heart.  He knew who I would marry.  He knew all the mistakes and hurtful things we would say to each other.  He knows what makes me feel loved.  He knows what makes Lance feel respected.

I’ve learned that it’s not my place to withhold forgiveness.  What if God withheld forgiveness from me? What if He said that I had hurt Him too much, that I was too selfish, or that He just couldn’t deal with me anymore?

I’ve learned that it’s not my place to try and change Lance.  That’s God’s department.  I don’t have to change anyone except myself.  That’s honestly a relieving feeling.  I’m striving (and struggling!) to be the wife and woman that God wants me to be, and that’s a full-time job by itself.  Good thing I have Help!

What’s my point?

I’m learning.

I’m willing to learn.

I don’t expect a perfect marriage.

It’s okay to be (tactfully) honest about marriage.

It is still a fairytale, just not in the ways I expected…

60 Years of Love

This past weekend Lance and I went to Arkansas to help with/attend his grandparents 60th wedding anniversary party.  It was a great time spent with family.  His grandparents had a great time and that’s what’s important!

PA240388

Lance and I served cake.

100_0901

We also made an updated family picture while we were there.

100_0925

Now, I’m trying to get my laundry done and house back in order.  I feel like it shouldn’t take me 3 days to do so, but there are just not enough hours in the day!   If I want to get 8 hours of sleep at night, I need to be asleep by 9pm.  That only leaves 3 hours after I get off to clean, eat supper, run errands, take a shower, pay bills/plan menus/mail letters, read my Bible, etc., etc., etc.  So usually my sleep is what suffers because I have to get things done! Not to mention that Lance doesn’t get home until 11:30p, so if I do go to sleep early, I just wake up again when he gets home.  I guess I shouldn’t fill a post about such sweet love with complaining, but I’m just tired of being tired…

Menu-Plan Monday

For the past four weeks I’ve made a weekly menu to post in my kitchen.  On Sundays or Mondays I go grocery shopping to get what I need.  I usually try to include a lot of ingredients that I already have on hand, so I usually don’t have to buy much.  It really helps to save money by already knowing what you’re going to eat for the whole week.  It limits the last-minute eating out.  Some weeks I feel like cooking a lot and some weeks I don’t.  If I don’t, I put easy-to-prepare things on the menu.  In the recent past, Lance has been eating in the cafeteria at work for his supper, but this week, I’m going to start packing his lunch as well.  Here’s our plan for this week:

Tuesday:

Breakfast – Fried Egg & Toast

Lunch – Hearty Salad (I bought bagged salad and prepared and cut up tri-colored peppers, carrots, cucumbers, broccoli, we also have chickpeas, almonds, and shredded cheese to go with this)

Snack – Apple and Peanut Butter

Supper – Garden Fresh Pasta Salad, recipe here.

Wednesday:

Breakfast – Oatmeal

Lunch – Hearty Salad

Snack – Cheese and Crackers

Supper – L: Sandwich K: Baked Potato & Steamed Veggies

Thursday:

Breakfast – Pecan Pancakes

Lunch – Hearty Salad

Snack – Mixed Nuts

Supper – L: Hard-Boiled Egg, Veggies & Dip, Cheese; K: Veggies & Dip, Cheese & Crackers

Friday:

Breakfast – Cinnamon Rolls

Lunch – Subway

Snack – Apple

Supper – Spaghetti with homemade sauce, fresh french bread

Saturday:

Lunch – L: Hard-Boiled Egg, Veggies & Dip, Cheese  K: Egg & Toast

Supper – homemade Pizza OR out to eat

I also have a completely separate menu for the 3 girls I keep.  There meals always include a protein, veggie and/or fruit, and usually a dairy.  My mom sent us a coupon and some money to go to RainForest Cafe, so we will probably do that on Saturday night and make the pizza on Sunday afternoon.

 

How-To: Flower Hairbow

100_0790-1

I’m going to show you how to make a flower hairbow so your husband can be as pretty as mine! (Or children, whomever you see fit…)

First thing you will need is a 1 3/4″ single prong alligator clip.  I can’t find these ANYWHERE except online! I bought 75 of them off Ebay for less than $6.

100_0827

Next you will need a 4.5 inch piece of 3/8″ ribbon.  Most people use grosgrain, but I find that satin works just as fine.  You will then need to heat-seal the edges to prevent fraying.  I do this by running the edges through a flame very quickly.  Just a quick pass-through does the trick.

100_0828

The next thing you will need is some fabric glue.  This stuff is great! You can find it at Walmart for around $2.

100_0829

Using the tip of the glue bottle spread a thin layer about the length of the clip onto the backside of the ribbon.  Then place the clip onto the ribbon, top side up, flat side down.

100_0831

Then spread another layer of glue about as long as the clip again.

100_0833

Then flips the clip over, glueing the ribbon on top of it.  Pick up the clip and press both sides of the ribbon together, sealing the top of the clip inside the ribbon.  What you will have now should look like this:

100_0837

Next, flip the clip over and place a small dot of glue at the end of the slip and a small dot of glue at the end of the ribbon.

100_0840

Then just fold over the last piece of ribbon (but not on the insides of the clip) to cover the part that will be seen when clipped into hair.  It should now be a finished, covered, alligator clip.

100_0846

Fabric glue doesn’t take very long to dry, but I like to clip the ribbon in place and set it aside to dry completely while I’m working on the flower.

100_0847

Next you will need a flower.  Any flower.  I think Gerber Daisys are pretty but anything will work.  I bought mine at Walmart for $1 each.

100_0848

Next, you will need to grip the middle of the flower on the front with one hand:

100_0850

And the middle of the back of the flower with the other hand:

100_0851

And pull! It will take a little effort, but these two pieces should come apart and you should be left with this:

100_0852

Here is where you can separate the flower if you want.  You can use a few layers from this flower and add a few layers from a smaller flower to create a bouquet effect.  Then, grab a cute button.  I got these at (where else?) Walmart:

100_0853

I like to reinforce my bows with glue and stitches.  Put a little ring of glue around the middle of the flower:

100_0855

Then just stick the button on and add a few stitches through all the layers.  This can be challenging (and painful) when you have a thick flower, so I recommend using a thimble to push the needle through.

100_0858

Then just turn it over and tie off the back.

100_0863

Next add a little bit of glue to your now-dry alligator clip:

100_0865

Stick it on the back of the flower and with the same needle and thread make a few stitches to ensure the clip will be tight on the flower.  Be careful not to stitch the clip closed (which I have done on more than one occasion).  You should be able to stitch through the middle of the clip prong fairly easily.

100_0877

Tie it off again.  Let everything dry overnight and you’re done!

100_0878

No matter if you make a flower hairbow or a ribbon hairbow they both start with a covered alligator clip.  Or you can make your alligator clips be the accessory by themselves!

100_0879

You can also combine flowers and ribbon to make a hairbow!

100_0881

Soon, I will post a tutorial on how to make the Christmas Tree hairbow which is a little more complicated and time-consuming.

Just some stuff from my heart…

Between highschool and college I had the privilege to go on three missions trips. I went to Uruguay twice with E-TEAM and once to Kazakhstan with CMP. Those opportunities changed my life. It is amazing to be in a church, singing and worshipping God in two (or three, or four…) languages at the same time. It’s the best feeling in the world.

One of the things that was especially gripping was spending the day at an orphanage in KZ. If I could’ve packed all those kids in my suitcase and brought them home I would have. From that time on, adoption has been a weight on my heart. International, domestic, I don’t care. Yes, I want to see what a baby will look like with a little bit of Lance and a little bit of me, and hopefully one day I will; but I also would like to raise a child(ren) born from my heart.

All this to say, that I enjoy reading blogs about families who have adopted internationally. Several I enjoy are Smiles and Trials, OwlhavenSlava Bogu, Life as a Lewis, and Life with Briar.

Be sure and check out these blogs.

Christine from Smiles and Trials has asked me to do a bow tutorial and I think that’s a great idea! Next post: How to make a flower hairbow!