Categories
finances Our Family

Why WE Don’t Live Within Our Means

We don’t live within our means. We could be spending a lot more money than we do. Our means, the amount in our savings, says: “go ahead and live a little” but in my husband’s wisdom he admonishes us as a family to save more rather than spend more. Future generations will reap what we sow.

We have plenty of money in savings because we:

  1. Don’t go out to eat more than once a month and we pretty much never go out to coffee.
  2. Plan very few trips. In fact, we hardly leave our house. I had been looking for a particular sippy cup for weeks. I went out to the van and saw it was there! Guess it had been a while since we had gone anywhere 🙂 Going places usually means spending money even if it’s only on gas. I must admit that we have more freedom in this because we live downtown, next to our church, the library, parks and family.
  3. Rarely buy new clothing.
  4. Only get one nice gift for the kids on their birthday. (What a waste so many toys can be!)
  5. Paid off our mortgage! Talk about making it easier to save money!
  6. We really try not to waste food…. or anything for that matter.

Here is a link with more of our tips on saving!

You see, just because you have the money to:

  • Go on more trips
  • Buy more toys
  • Go out to dinner often
  • Purchase new clothes etc.

Doesn’t mean you have to. Don’t spend money just because you have it. Buy what you NEED not what you WANT and then later in life you can buy what you want not just what you need without the guilt!

Too many are living outside of their means in the other direction. They spend money they don’t have and wonder why they are constantly struggling financially. I have also seen people get out of debt and then think that gives them the liberty to spend their money any way they please only to find themselves in debt again or living paycheck to paycheck.

My husband fulfilled one of his dreams to publish a book! We are all very excited and it has been such a joy to be able to invest in this dream of his without having to worry about the money we are putting into it because we have plenty saved up. Another huge benefit of living like this is we are better able to give!

Please don’t think we have plenty in savings because we make lots of money 🙂 We have been single income our whole marriage (except for a few months that I did substitute teaching) and my husband went from being a public school teacher to a pastor… neither of which are known for their high income 🙂

Not sure how to live within a budget?! Dave Ramsey can help! Click here. 

Lastly, every human should watch this. It cracks me up and it’s so true! 🙂

So save up your money and then save more! Don’t live within your means. Live below your means and watch your savings grow.

contentment

Have you checked out my husband’s book, Marriage God’s Way?

Categories
Children motherhood Our Family

I’m Not Ready To Be A Mom

I woke up this morning to a sweet text message from my husband thanking me and the kids for our patience with him while he is working on his book. Since the book is separate from his work for the church body here, he has to work on it on his day off and very early mornings and late evenings and that means we don’t get to see him very much. On top of that I am swelling up like a blow fish this pregnancy, nauseated around the clock, suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome and feeling large and unattractive and stressed.

notready

My husband is like my rock. He is steady and strong. I depend on him a lot, especially when I am overwhelmed. Not having him around has been even harder in these last few weeks of pregnancy (I am due July 22nd) but I wouldn’t have it any other way because I am so excited about this book and how God will use it to strengthen marriages! I am also thankful that it will be done before our little Noah gets here since I also struggle with postpartum depression/anxiety and I will need him even more then.

Categories
Children My thoughts Our Family

Why Our Family Doesn’t Say The Sinner’s Prayer

sinnersprayerThere is a message out there in modern day Christianity that screams: “You must have a day and time that you ‘invited Jesus into your heart’ to know when you were officially saved.” But according to Christ, what we MUST do is be born again (John 3:3-7). We must be a new creation in which there is evidence of the old passing away and God making all things new. That’s what I want to teach my kids.

I remember at the age of 19 knowing the Holy Spirit was working mightily in my life… calling me out of this world and beckoning me to become a true child of God. I answered His call and I was born again. I never said the sinner’s prayer. I simply repented and turned from my old life to my new life in Christ.  I don’t recall an exact time and place that I “officially became a Christian.” But I know that I am born again.

Children are fickle and the bible says foolishness is bound up in their hearts (prov. 22:15). I have been at many vbs programs where the children “come forward and say the sinners prayer” and it’s a lot of the same children that came forward the year before… are they getting saved again? That is one of the dangerous pitfalls in circles that I have seen where the sinner’s prayer is mandatory. So much confidence wrapped up in a few words. This man testifies to those sorts of dangers here. So much confidence wrapped up in a few words.

Categories
Children Our Family Pregnancy

Reversing Our Decision

meholdingchloe
Me holding our second reversal baby: Sweet Chloebug.

Scott and I really struggled with the decision on how many children to have. I think it is a bigger decision than deciding who you will marry. Let me explain. Who you marry will affect many (especially yourself) but how many children you choose to have determines if someone is born! And if you decide to let that someone be born then you are deciding for generations of others to be born! That is insane. That is scary. That is sobering. And yet, so many flippantly decide to stop having children because, quite frankly, “they’re DONE!”.

I remember vividly standing in the kitchen doing dishes when Scott and I were in the middle of deciding to have a vasectomy reversal or not and I said to the Lord: “I just don’t feel like I am wise enough to decide if and when life should come into this world.” I also felt this resounding statement in my mind: “Katie, never make a decision based on fear.”  That was a turning point for me…

I have what is called hyperemesis, you can read about it here. Basically I am ridiculously sick throughout my entire pregnancy. I puke… A LOT and I am always nauseous, up till the moment they come out (I puke even through out labor). This is difficult. When Scott and I got married we said we would let God plan our family… that was before I had ever been pregnant and experienced what felt like death… ironically while my body was producing life!

After that first pregnancy I was terrified to get pregnant ever again! “I can’t keep doing this!” I thought. “How am I going to home school and have kids back to back and be sick 24 hours a day?!”

Categories
Our Family Pregnancy

Back To The Future Made Me Want More Kids

Who remembers the scene in Back to the Future when Marty McFly’s siblings started disappearing out of a photo? (I couldn’t find the actual scene but I did find someone showing the photo) I didn’t realize when I first watched it as a kid what impact that scene would have on me as a grown adult/mommy.

After three very difficult, sick pregnancies Scott and I decided (mostly after me nagging him to death) that it would be best for us to stop having children and look into adoption instead. So a few short months after our third baby was born Scott had a vasectomy. 

A few months after the surgery this scene from Back to the Future popped into my mind… oh how I tried to forget it… but I couldn’t… I just kept thinking of the children that were being erased out of our family photo because of our decision. 

Here’s the good news: By God’s grace this decision was ‘reversible’ for us. Sadly for others, that hasn’t been the case. So after much prayer and support from our wonderful churchScott went ahead and had a reversal! 

About 5 months later I found out we were pregnant again!!! We were both so joy-filled and yet I was also so scared. My pregnancies were terrible, even landing me in the hospital because of dehydration from constant puking. I was resolved though to trust God and research more on how to combat hyperemesis.

Categories
Homeschooling Our Family

Our Current Homeschool Routine

I am 33 weeks pregnant and have five kids 8 and under. I am currently homeschooling my 5, 7 and 8 year old. On top of that I am nauseated pretty much 24 hours a day my entire pregnancy. That’s a little overwhelming for this unorganized  mama. Ok, it’s a lot overwhelming.

One time I was whining to my husband about how incompatible my personality is for being a homeschool mama. I am a visionary. A dreamer. A fly by the seat of my pants kind of gal. My husband lovingly looked at me and said: “Take all that vision and cast it into your home.” I will never forget it. I suddenly felt excited about housework and homeschooling and mothering. I suddenly had this new found motivation to be the very best visionary homeschooling mama I could be!

The other morning I was lying in bed talking to the Lord about this very conversation with my husband and asking Him to help give me vision for my home. You know what I got? A vision of a schedule. A schedule?!!! How non-dreamy is that? How non-fly by the seat of my pants is that?! Oh, but how necessary it was! You see, around 5 p.m. everyday I was wondering why only 2 out 3 kids had done their piano practice or why the house was still a giant mess or why one of my kids, once again, had not finished his paces (we use ACE curriculum and it is perfect for our family… at least right now).

I had an idea to break my day down into 30 minute increments. I just set the timer for 30 minutes (sometimes 15) and do whatever is written down for that time. Sounds so simple. Well, it is. And it’s also a total GAME CHANGER! Our house is cleaner, I am less overwhelmed, the kids are consistently getting all their school work and piano done and I am feeling more “on top of things” in general. 

Also, as a side note, we do year round schooling. Seems to work best for us for various reasons. I like to be able to take random weeks off during the year and I like to do less work 5 days a week rather than lots of work with a big summer break. I enjoy the routine of a little school work everyday and it helps the kids to not forget things if we don’t take a huge 3 month break.

So here was our schedule for today:

FullSizeRender
Doesn’t get much simpler than that! The rest of our day is planned out on the back.

Notice our day didn’t start till 9:45? I am not ashamed. With my extreme nausea during pregnancy I am lucky to get started on my day before 10 a.m. Even with starting this late we are still able to get lots done! Each day is a little different but something that each day has in common is what I call “12 item pick up”. 12 item pick up makes me happy! 12 item pick up is my favorite! Each of the three big kids know that when the timer goes off that they each have to run around the house and put 12 things away that are not where they belong. It’s kind of sad that we can find 36 things every 30 minutes to put away! I am working my three year old into this pick up time as well by starting her with three items each time the timer goes off.

So that’s it! Nothing too complicated but sometimes complicated just means it’s more complicated. Simple is often best because when things are simple we are more likely to do them. 

So what’s your daily routine? What are some your favorite homemaking tricks that make your life easier and your home cleaner?

IMG_2265
Rhea working on her PACES. Creative literature writing in this picture. She has a book assigned to her and then has a workbook to fill in to make sure she is actually reading and retaining what she is reading.
IMG_2266
Here is Ricky working on his paces with his little sister Chloebug sitting close by.

 

IMG_2267
Johnny doing piano practice. Our three oldest are all taking piano lessons and have all started around the age of 4 or 5.

Have you checked out my husband’s book, Marriage God’s Way?

It’s now available on Amazon!!