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Archive for the ‘My Life’ category

Pardon the big gap in my blog. It’s taken me a while to decide to write. I can’t promise to write regularly, but I have a need right now to write, so here goes.

Please note that there are affiliate links within this post. Any purchases made from these links will go toward the maintenance of this blog.

Regrets can be debilitating, but they can also be freeing. I recently realized that I regret something in my life in a very different way from how I used to regret it. I guess you could say I now know what I would have done differently if I had known what I know now, and it is different from what I would have done if I had chosen not to do the thing I regret.

Let me explain. Or rather, let me shock you, and then explain.

I wish I had dropped out of high school at age 15 or 16.

There. Did I shock you? I meant that, every word of it. I wish I had dropped out of highschool. I really do. That’s what I would do differently if I knew what I know now.

What I did back then was cheat. Maybe I’ve written about this before, but I can’t remember. All I know is that I was so tired of boring textbooks that I decided I would give myself time to do things I enjoyed by not studying things I didn’t care to know, and cheat to pass the tests so that I could get on with my life.

I regret cheating a lot. I’m not ashamed of it anymore–I mean, it was a long time ago. But I wish I had done things differently. But I don’t wish I had studied harder and been honest on the tests. What I wish is that I had dropped out of high school and just gotten my GED (which probably would have taken only minimal study, mostly for math, which I enjoyed anyway, so studying for it would have been a pleasure).

While I was working on that, I would have started fundraising to go as a student missionary. Of course, this is in the ideal world where my mom would have let me go as a student missionary. She never would let me go, and the only reason I got to go to Peru for 2 weeks was that I had already left home and she had no part in the decision. But if I could have, I would have gone as a student missionary to some foreign country for a year or so and done something there. When I got back, I would have probably gotten a job and raised money to go to some Bible Worker training school. When I was done with that, I would have been hired as a Bible worker, and worked at that for a while.

At least, that is what I wish I had done. Instead of going to Bible Worker training school, I might have gone to a Christian College and done study there. Maybe I would have been a student at the college where I met my husband instead of the secretary.

What I do know is, if I had dropped out of high school, my teen years would not have been spent studying (or avoiding studying) things I would never remember or need anyway. They would have been spent having rich life experiences, growing in character instead of deforming my character by taking the easy way out (cheating on tests). I would be a very different person today if I had dropped out of high school and pursued my dreams, the dreams that the Lord had placed in my heart.

Of course, I can’t spend too much time on regrets. I can’t change the past. I can change the future, however, and the future of my children. I will never make my kids sit for several hours a day doing dry, boring school work. Not at all. I will make sure they have the opportunities they need to succeed, and that might mean real life experiences instead of textbooks and workbooks. I hated history in high school, but when I think of the textbooks I had, I can’t blame myself for hating it. History from living books (books written by people who experienced the events) is so much more interesting! So is learning history on location (like I did when I went to Italy–if only that trip could have counted for a semester of history!).

What made me realize all this? What was it that made me wish I had dropped out of high school and moved on with my life? It was a book called Gifted: Raising Children Intentionally, by Chris Davis. Not that the author promotes dropping out of high school! But he discussed a group of honor students who he caught taking down the answers to a math test (he was the substitute teacher), and when he asked them why they thought it was okay, they said, “Hey, we’re not going to use this stuff in our future. She’s good at math, so she’s helping us out. We study all the time; we don’t have a life. Math isn’t important for most of us. But good grades are important. So we do what we have to.” What he proposes is giving children the chance to do things that are important, to learn what will help them in the path they see themselves going.

I have three children and might have more someday. So how can I take what I know now that I wish I had known and apply it to their futures? First, I will not force them to do anything that they find boring–not now, not ever. There will be time enough for that in college if they decide to go. Now, I will clarify, I am referring to schoolwork, not chores! But if a child finds it boring to color the pictures that match the sound, then why not just circle them and move on? Or even just point to them? If they want to color them because they enjoy coloring, then color away. But if they don’t like coloring, why force them to? If I’m reading a book and my daughter says, “Mom, that’s boring,” I’ll drop the book and either skip the material or find another way of presenting it.

Now, I don’t mean I won’t teach persistence. Once a child starts a project, I will encourage them to finish it under most circumstances. But to make them do something they find boring is just going to stifle creativity and love of learning.

There is another book that I am reading now that has a similar message to Gifted, and that is The Brainy Bunch by the Harding family. You might have heard of the family that had several kids in college by age 12, and the only ones who hadn’t started college by 12 were still under the age of 12. The book talks about what they did. They focused on the kids’ strengths, in much more detail than normal school would allow. They didn’t do every problem in the workbook, nor every page either. They made sure their children mastered concepts before moving on, but if the kid was proficient in something, they skipped the review. Now, I don’t think every kid should go to college, but these kids had dreams that required a college education, so they got it. They missed all the drama of high school, as well, and by the time most kids are trying to figure out what they want to study in college, they had already had a degree and some work experience to go with it.

Right now my daughter wants to be “a nurse and an artist.” She draws and colors incessantly, and she has skills at the age of 8 that I didn’t develop until years later. I’m still better at drawing than she is, but give her a few years, and I am sure she will pass me up. About the nurse part, I’m not so sure. She says she wants to be a nurse, but she almost never plays nurse or asks about what nurses do or anything. I think maybe we need to go on a field trip to a hospital and let her see firsthand. In the mean time, she also has an eye for decorating, and I let her go help a friend of ours who decorates part time. That’s a skill she could turn into a career, and she loves it.

My first son is into electronics. And Legos. He doesn’t have any yet, but shhhh, he’s getting some for his birthday next month. For now, he plays with duplos, and really gets upset when his toddler brother messes up his creations. But the electronics… every time I read a story book, he wants to know if they had electricity back then. It got to the point where I told him to listen to the story and look at the pictures and tell me at the end of the book. So we look for clues in the story to determine if they had electricity or not. For Christmas, he is getting a screwdriver. With two sizes each of straight and philips bits, he will be able to take apart most things. Then he can have my defunct waffle iron and popcorn popper, as well as any broken electronics I can scare up at the local thrift store for free, to take apart and study and attempt to fix if he wants. That should keep him busy for a while! And who knows? Maybe he will go into electronics or engineering or something?

The toddler, at age 2, is still too young to figure out what he might be, but he is already trying to learn the alphabet (he knows the letter S by sight and sound, and he loves “my wetter A”. I won’t be the least bit surprised if he teaches himself to read by the age of 4. He also has a larger-than-average vocabulary for his age, and he talks incessantly. For now, I try to keep him out of trouble–no easy task, to be sure!

All I know is, I am happy being a mom. Sometimes, I will admit, I have not always been so happy. Sometimes almost depressed. Mostly as a result of intemperance. But I realize that I need to have some purpose beyond just caring for the kids. I have decided to take voice lessons and to start singing more regularly at church, and offering to sing at other churches. And speak. I got to teach a Sabbath School class last week, and I enjoyed it so much! I wanted to preach when I was young, and I had some ability, but my mom wouldn’t let me. Now, though, I am going to let go of the inhibitions that were imposed on me by others. I cannot define my life’s purpose by what my mom thought I should or shouldn’t do. I need to do what God wants me to do, with my husband’s blessing. I have his blessing, so I will move forward.

And turn those regrets into something beautiful.

Today was day two for Gislaine’s trip into first grade. Of course, we are spending time reviewing things she learned in Kindergarten. I would skip the review, since she only finished Kindergarten last Friday, but she enjoys writing and needs the practice writing letters.

And with spelling, apparently, as you will see in a moment.

After we finished the lesson for the day, I went to take a nap before I had to start lunch. While I napped, she drew a picture and wrote a story to go with it. Keep in mind that she has only learned one sound per letter so far, and only short vowel sounds. She also knows the word “the” by sight, but has never had to learn to write it yet.


Because spelling errors are more numerous than correctly spelled words, I found it necessary for her to translate it for me. She forgot what some of the words were herself and I suspect made up some of them as she went along. Here’s the translation:

The cat is tired. The kid is having fun. The hours went here. The sun is hot. The Glad (name of cloud) happy. Sun is happy. Done.

I did casually point out her numerous and creative spellings for the word “the”, and just as casually mentioned the correct spelling. But other than that, I didn’t criticize the work at all. I think she was very creative to write backwards when the words were going from right to left, and I loved the arrows telling the reader which word to read next.

I wouldn’t be surprised if she begins writing more. I expect her spelling will improve. She can write 2 and 3 letter words that I dictate if they have a short vowel in them, most without any prompting at all. She is bright and creative. I want to foster that.

This is going to be a great school year!


Today the kids found a yellow caterpillar that has the body of a woolly bear (you know, those red and black banded fuzzy caterpillars). Ever since we studied the letter B for Butterfly and watched caterpillars metamorphose into butterflies (they came with Gislaine’s kindergarten kit), we have wanted to use the butterfly house again. But we were not able to identify any caterpillars until today, and I felt identification was important so that we would know what to feed it.

A quick search informed us that the caterpillar is called a Yellow Bear and will turn into a white moth. It eats all kinds of greens, including grass and clover, which is quite abundant around here, so it was a good choice.

Now we have it in a glass jar with a sprouting lid on top. Gislaine has promised to give it fresh greens daily, so we’ll see what happens.

Can you see him hiding there in the jar under the leaves? He’s gone to sleep for the night.

Okay, so let me tell you how last Friday was NOT–on the opposite fashion.

I did NOT set a full bucket of very warm mop water on the floor in the kitchen where the baby was playing. I’m way more responsible than that. And of course I did NOT leave it alone for a few moments. And when I was not looking, the baby did NOT grab the edge to try to stand up and dump the whole bucket-full of water on the floor. My baby would never do something like that! And I did NOT have to change him from the diaper out.

And then that spilled water did NOT manage to seep over to where the library books were sitting on the floor between the upright freezer and the school cabinet. All of the books did NOT get warped bottoms of pages, and were not subsequently stacked under a pile of big Bible story books in an attempt to straighten said pages. Nope. I would NEVER leave library books on the floor, however convenient a space might appear.

Later, as I was opening the bag of alfalfa seeds to add some to a jar, I did NOT spill about half of them in the open drawer. I had NO need to be grateful that the drawer was open and had a white bottom–unlike the brown floor–making the seeds easy to rescue. Nope, no need to be grateful, because it did NOT happen. 😛

Then later on I did NOT leave the baby on the porch for a few minutes next to a pot full of muddy water, and he did NOT turn over THAT container too. I did NOT have to put on the third outfit for the day (he usually wears only one all day). He was NOT filthy dirty and needed to be rinsed off in the shower–with the extendable shower head, of course. And I did NOT decide that said rinsing off qualified as his bath for the day. No, I wouldn’t think of saving lost time later in the day that way! Not me!

So what have you NOT been doing lately?

Last December, right before Christmas, my husband and I discovered the curriculum My Father’s World, and within a couple of days decided that not only would we use that curriculum over the hundreds thousands of curricula out there. I used mostly A Beka when I was growing up, but I decided I didn’t really want to do that, especially when I saw how much cheaper MFW was. Add to that the fact that everything was on an end-of-the-year sale with free shipping, and we decided to give it a try. We bought the Kindergarten Deluxe pack and the 3-5 year Preschool pack.

This isn’t a review of MFW, but I will say we are really enjoying it, and I plan on using it for as long as I can.

What I really wanted to do, though, was show some pictures of some of the projects we’ve been doing. This is only a handful, really. There have been tons more.

First, during the first 7 days of school, she made this mural, colored it and everything. If you look closely, the 7th one (which was blank) has a church that Gislaine designed herself.

At the same time, she made a Creation book. She did all the artwork herself:

Recently, Gislaine was supposed to finger paint with pudding, but I don’t buy pudding. So I looked in the fridge to see what I had, and came up with some almost-too-old-to-eat-but-not-yet-smelly gravy. Divide into cups, add food coloring, and voila! Finger paint! I know the first picture has a bad backdrop, but she is just too precious!

And the completed artwork:

A couple of weeks ago, we studied D for Dinosaur, and Gislaine and I made models of clay dinosaurs. The one in the middle was her first one. The two on the left are mine, and the two on the right are her attempts to copy mine. I think she did a really good job!

And then this week we were studying O for Octopus (no, we are not studying the alphabet in order). The instructions were to cut a hot dog into an Octopus by cutting down about half of it into 8 legs, leaving the top “head” uncut, and then boil it to make the legs curl up. Ours didn’t curl (Tofu Pups–they don’t have gluten in them, and are non-GMO, which is why I buy them), but they did get soft. We had them in sandwiches later. Yummy!

Now I’m just curious, but can anyone tell me why so many children’s books spell the plural of “octopus” as “octopuses”? I mean, it is octopi, right? That’s almost as bad as “sheeps” and “mooses”…

So that’s some of what we’ve been doing in the past two months.

What have your kids been doing?


This post is linked with the Modest Monday and Works for Me Wednesday blog carnivals.

I know I haven’t been blogging much, but hey, I’ve been busy. I’ll tell you about that later.

But when Gislaine tied a dolly scarf onto Ralfie’s head, I just couldn’t resist taking a picture and sharing it with you. Of course, I had to let Manny in on the picture taking.

Wouldn’t Ralfie have made a cute little girl? *smile*

Source: Google

This morning while fixing breakfast, I called a company to find out of one of their products was gluten free or not. A nice sounding computer answered the phone.

The call went something like this:

Thank you for calling such and such a company. You may speak at any time to indicate where you would like me to direct your call. For information on the company, say company. For information on allergen safety, say allergen safety, for…

I say, “Allergen safety.”

I’m sorry, I couldn’t hear you. Please try again…

I tried again, and reached a recording that discussed the how careful they are to label for the 8 most common allergens, etc. That was nice, but it wasn’t very helpful. I needed to know about a certain ingredient in the product (caramel color, to be specific–I had heard that it can come from wheat).

Then before the recording could finish, I accidentally hit a button on the phone and was disconnected. So I called again, got back to that recording, set it on speaker, and laid the phone down while I continued with breakfast preparations.

The next step required me to turn the blender on. No problem. I knew the recording wouldn’t be done for a minute or two, and with my Vitamix, I knew the gravy would be blended smooth before then. When I turned the blender off, the voice said,

I’m sorry, we seem to be experiencing technical difficulties. Please hold while I transfer you to a customer service representative.

So if you are ever having trouble getting past a voice prompt system, Just turn the blender on next to the phone!

Works for me! *grin*


This post is linked with Works For Me Wednesday.

I almost made the title “The Cure for Every Disease,” but that is the name of a book that has nothing to do with this post. It would also be somewhat inaccurate. What I am about to tell you about shows you how to heal issues of the heart, emotional issues. This, in turn, will heal pretty much every physical issue you have in your body. But that is a bi-product and not the ultimate purpose.

This method has healed incurable diseases. And I dare to say that because I know a friend who had celiac disease. According to WebMD, there is no cure for celiac disease (source). The treatment is a gluten-free diet, which will relieve all symptoms and give the person a chance at a normal life; but there is no known cure. A tiny crumb of gluten can cause a flare-up even years after beginning the diet.

But my friend is healed. I watched her eat two sandwiches made with wheat bread just a few days ago. That is supposed to be impossible. But it’s not. She is cured. What did she do?

She healed her issue with a technique known as The Healing Code. The Healing Code is a healing technique utilizing energy, and functions according to the laws of quantum physics.

Now, that last sentence probably makes no sense at all–and it might sound scary. For people who are leery of acupuncture and other energy healing methods, it might even sound suspicious. Healing with energy? Where does that come from? How can you be sure there aren’t dark forces behind this energy, demonic forces?

Is Energy Healing Safe?

First, I will say that the only similarity between the codes and acupuncture is that they both balance out the energy of the body in a way that can be measured with medical equipment (specifically, the Heart Rate Variability machine). However, not only are the techniques completely different, but the focus is also different. Acupuncture focuses on the health issue–the pain, the allergy, etc. The code focuses on the heart issue–the emotion, the memory, etc. This in turn reactivates the immune system, which is then able to heal the health issue.

The truth is, energy is a part of who we are. Every atom of our being has a frequency that can be read on the right kind of machine. I once heard in a music seminar the audible sound of emotional frequencies. Positive emotions had cheerful, happy sounds, while negative emotions had distressful sounds. The healing code works by canceling out the negative frequencies that cause stress to the body. Once the stress that was suppressing the immune system is gone, then the body is able to heal itself.

Biblically and Scientifically Sound?

The friend who recommended the book to me is a dedicated Christian, which is why I decided to take a look at it in the first place. If she had not been a Christian, I probably would not have touched it. And even then, I went into it looking for anything that went counter to the Bible (and if you are an Seventh-day Adventist, you’ll know what I mean when I say I was also testing it against the Spirit of Prophecy).

I was amazed as I saw principle after principle line up. It even quoted the Bible is several places to illustrate the veracity of the method. In fact, the author himself spent a year and a half testing the method against the Bible, and then another year and a half testing it against science, before he began sharing it.

There is nothing mystical in the method. It is based on something God put into our bodies when He created us, but until just a few years ago it was unknown. (At least, in recorded history–who knows what was known about it before the flood.) In fact, the method can be explained in terms of quantum mechanics–a field that is very strange, but scientifically proven on at least some level.

Part of the method includes focusing on the opposite of whatever issue you are having (forgiveness instead of unforgiveness, for instance) while doing the technique. Exactly how you do that can vary, but you must use truth. You cannot say something like, “I know my cancer is healing right now” (such as is used by those “name it and claim it” ministries on TV), because it might be false, and if it is, then saying the statement actually causes more stress to the body. Instead, you could say, “I believe that God is able to heal my cancer, and I trust Him to do it.” That is a truth statement, and it is capable of relieving stress in the body. One could also recall positive memories that are the opposite of the issue being dealt with. For instance, if your issue is an unforgiving spirit, you could recall a time you forgave someone. Although it is not mentioned specifically in the book, I have found that quoting Bible verses during the treatment (because the Bible is the ultimate truth) is also effective. Using these methods without the code has been proven beneficial (claiming promises, prayer, positive thinking, etc); but the use of the code multiplies the benefits and actually heals the underlying spiritual and emotional issue at its source. And the results of the healing can be scientifically verified.

Not only does it work for adults, but it works for infants and animals as well. This proves that the results are not merely a placebo effect, because babies and animals cannot exhibit a placebo effect.

And It Really Works

There are a lot of people making claims about this or that miracle drug or herb or technique, but none are virtually 100% effective. Most are not even close. NAET is a good example. Some have had results, but many have not. Now, a practitioner would say those who did not get results didn’t have enough sessions, and that may be true. But it gets expensive very quickly, and many people cannot afford the number of treatments it would take to see results–if indeed they ever would. But one only needs to read the reviews of the book on Amazon to know that it has worked for almost everyone. And I suspect that those who did not see results with the book would see results if they bought the full set of codes (the book only has the universal code, but it is almost universally effective).

Let me share my testimony. Or rather, three of them.

I was spending the night at the home of the friend was healed of celiac disease and shared the book with me. We were talking late into the night, and we began to discuss where I might begin to work with the code. I knew that there are emotional issues related to my mother, and I realized that on some level I had never really forgiven her for them. So we were discussing this. She suggested that a truth focus statement I could use would be something like, “As God has forgiven me, I choose to extend forgiveness to my mother for [issue I am concentrating on]”, and instantly I knew that the statement would not work, because it would not be truth for me. The truth was that I could not believe that God had truly forgiven me for some of my sins (specifically the ones I had done over and over and over again). I had confessed them, but when my mother had said things like “I’ll believe it when I see it” in response to my declarations of repentance over certain oft-repeated mistakes, I had projected my mother’s attitude onto God, and could not accept His forgiveness. Instantly I knew that this was where I needed to focus first. Then once her statement was true, I would be able to forgive my mother for other things.

So the next morning I prayed, asking God that if this code was from Him, that He would give me confirmation. Then I did the code. When I was done, I felt good, and got up to have breakfast. Later, while washing the dishes, I accidentally broke the handle off a mug. I felt bad, of course, and began to plan on telling someone about it, so the people living in the house wouldn’t start blaming each other and all denying it and cause tension. Suddenly I stopped. I realized that before I would have tried to hide the evidence, fearful that I would not be extended forgiveness. But I had no fear of them not forgiving me. It didn’t matter whether they forgave me or not. And then I knew that this was because I knew God would forgive me and human forgiveness was merely incidental. As this dawned on me, tears came to my eyes, and I knelt down and began to praise God as I have not praised Him in years. I thanked Him for His free gift of forgiveness and praised Him for helping me to find the code that helped to heal this issue!

A couple of days later, Gislaine and I were discussing her fear of storms. Ever since the tree fell on our house, right over her head, she has been terrified of storms. [Incidentally, I sustained no negative emotional effects from the storm, because I instantly processed how God had protected us–for the tree had fallen right over our heads. Gislaine, however, was inconsolable for some time after it fell.] She was never very dramatic about it, but she would come to me when the wind started to blow or lots of rain to fall and tell me she was scared with a little tremble in her voice. I asked her to rate her fear of storms. Since she couldn’t comprehend the 1-10 scale, I told her to just tell me how big it was with her hands. She told me it was so big, as big as from the ground to the sky! So then I did the code on her. At a certain point, she told me she felt hot wind coming out of my fingers. I told her that was the healing energy. I recited Bible verses about trust and peace, had her think about the time when Jesus calmed the storm, told her to imagine that Jesus was giving her a hug–positive mental images and thoughts that were the opposite of her fear. When we were done, I asked her to rate her fear of storms. She put her hands about one inch apart. I was amazed!

Later that night, she was having trouble going to sleep. After a while I thought it had to do with the light shining in her room, so I shut the door. A minute later I heard sobbing. I went in, took her on my lap, and we began to talk while I cuddled her. The sum of our conversation was that she was afraid of being alone in the dark. The dark was okay if someone was there, and being alone in the room was fine if there was light, but being alone in the dark made her afraid. We never could pinpoint a trigger for that fear like we could for her fear of storms, but I decided to do the code anyway. I asked her to rate her fear, and she said it was as big as from the ground all the way up to heaven (bigger than her fear of storms had been!). We focused again on the opposite of fear, which is trust and peace, using Bible promises and positive images in her mind. I told her God dwells in darkness as well as in light, that He would never leave her nor forsake her, etc. Before we had even finished the full time the code is supposed to last, she told me that the energy she had been feeling was fading down to nothing, so I knew we were done and stopped. I then asked her to rate her fear of being alone in the dark. She said it was gone. No more fear. I said, “If I shut this door and left, you wouldn’t be afraid?” She said, “I guess not,” and laid down in her bed. She was asleep within minutes.

Now, I could have spent weeks or even months working on this fear, and may or may not have been successful. But in just a few minutes, the code healed her fear.

Now, my daughter is generally very healthy. She has no major health issues. She is still young, though, and these issues have not had enough time to cause a health issue. Left untreated, they have could caused problems later in her life. But now they can’t.

What About My Sons?

You might be wondering if I can use the codes on my sons to heal their eczema. This answer is very complicated, but the simple answer is no. I do not feel free to go into detail in this post as to why that is the case, but I might in a future post. I do, however, plan on using the codes to work with Manny on some emotional issues, especially anger. But his health issues are rooted in something other than emotions and will not go away with simply coding. I’m sorry I can’t explain why right now, but it would take a post as long as this one is already, and is enough of a different topic that it really doesn’t belong here.

If you are a close friend of mine, I would be happy to teach you the code as I know it. However, friend or not, I would still recommend you get the book. There is also extra material that you can buy that contains specific codes (not just the one universal code, but specific codes for specific emotional issues), as well as other helpful material that is not in the book. I have not purchased this yet, and may not, but some may find it helpful, and I may consider purchasing it in the future when we have some extra money, or time to save for it. The book, however, is relatively cheap. It is even available for Kindle (the version I got).

So here is your challenge: Pick one of the options below and test them for yourself. Compare them with Scripture. Try them on yourself or a loved one. Then come back here and tell me what happened!


Buy The Healing Codes Package

Buy the book from Amazon:

Book Kindle


This post contains affiliate links.

This post is linked to The Modest Mom Blog and Works for me Wednesday.

Pantry List

I’ve heard here and there that it is handy to have a pantry list. I even used to have one, but I haven’t had one for a while. I have a pretty good system, where whenever something gets low, whoever notices will write it on the white board, where I then transfer it to my iPod Shopping List app–since I always take my iPod shopping with me! This worked quite well with weekly shopping, since I could always get by for at least a week without almost any given item, if it somehow didn’t get on the list.

But lately I have been noticing the price of gas, and how much gas it takes to go to town (since town is 20-30 miles away from home, depending on what places I go to). I realized that a trip to the closest WinCo (large discount grocery store) was at least $8 round trip. Add in a couple of other stops, and I was easily spending $10 on gas for each trip into town. And that’s conservative, assuming I only go to that section and don’t make any other stops. So I decided it was time to try twice-a-month shopping.

Sure, there is a grocery store in Estacada, where I live, but prices there are a bit on the high side. I don’t mind spending an extra $.10 or so extra on bananas, but some things are more than twice what I would pay in town. Most veggies will last 2 weeks if they are stored properly, and some things, like lettuce, we can get by without for a few days until I can get back to town (especially since I only ever buy organic lettuce anymore). If I urgently need something, I can probably go buy it at the local market, since the cost of buying 2-3 things at a higher price will be cheaper than driving 40 miles round trip.

But to shop only twice a month, I need to really be organized. So I made a pantry list again.

Click to download PDF of my list

You’ll notice that some items have numbers beside them. Those are things like canned goods. I figure that we will need at least 5 jars of spaghetti sauce, for instance. Now, I’ve started buying it by the case, so if we have at least 5 jars at the beginning of the month, I won’t buy any. If we have fewer than 5, I’ll buy a case. The same goes for other canned goods: I want to have at least the number on the list at the beginning of the month. This way I hopefully won’t have to buy those items again, and I hopefully won’t run out before the next trip to town.

Other items do not have numbers. Items I buy in 25 lb bags, for instance, I don’t buy very often. However, having them on the list means I can check them to see how much is left. If I think I could run out before the end of the month, I’ll add them to my shopping list. Of course, I can’t buy fresh veggies to last the month, but having them on the list will help me remember what I need to check on. I expect I will buy a few things on the off weeks down at the local grocery store, but hopefully it will be only veggies and fruit.

Now, I will buy things that aren’t on this list. For instance, I don’t ever plan on buying canned beans, but I might occasionally buy, say, canned artichokes, if a recipe called for them. But because I always plan a menu before I finalize my shopping list, I will know if I need it and put it on the list before it shows up in the menu.

Because I use my iPod for my shopping list, I haven’t felt the need for a master shopping list that I can highlight as needed. However, if you take a written list to shop, you might want to consider having one. Because I shop at different stores, it just seems easier to use the app, because I can make a list for each store, and I know what items on the pantry list are purchased where.

So what about you? Do you have a pantry list? What about a master shopping list? What items would be on your list that aren’t on mine?


This post is linked with The Modest Mom and We Are That Family

Every woman’s wardrobe should have a black skirt–especially the wardrobe of a woman who never or rarely wears pants. I have several black skirts–long, short (ie, just below the knee), in between–but they don’t all fit me right now at 2 months postpartum. I had 3 that did fit: a jean-weave black skirt that I liked to wear for everyday, a black knee-length straight skirt, and a black and white stretchy knee-length skirt that has a ruffle of sorts on the bottom. The two latter ones were what I would wear to church, since they are the only nice skirts that fit and match the nice, church-quality blouses I own.

The stretchy skirt is almost too short for my tastes. When I sit down, it doesn’t ride up as badly as a non-stretchy skirt would, but it does tend to slide up over my knees when I’m sitting. I don’t like to show my knees, especially when I’m sitting, because it’s easier to see beyond the knees, if you know what I mean. But it was either that one or the straight one for church.

Now the straight one, well, I just never felt comfortable or modest in it. I mean, I like how a straight skirt looks on my figure, being rather square as I am, but when I sat, it went up over my knees, and the side slit went up even higher up my thigh (though I usually tried to tuck it slightly under my thigh, but if I wasn’t paying attention, and the skirt had twisted, it would show skin.

But I was hesitant to part with either one, because these were the only two skirts I had that were suitable to wear to church. The rest were more everyday kind of skirts. My other dressy skirts are still too small.

Finally, though, after wearing the black skirt a week or two ago, I finally said, Enough is enough. I don’t care if I have to wear one of my nicer everyday skirts to church, I just can’t keep the straight skirt. The stretchy one has an elastic waist, so I can wear it low if I wear a long enough top, but the straight one has an at-the-waist non-stretchy waistband, so it has to go. I washed it and put it in the give-away pile.

Today I was at the thrift store, looking for anything that I could find on my thrift store list (yes, I keep a list of things to watch for at the thrift store–helps me stay focused, not buy needless things, and not miss things I do need when they are available). I had collected several things on my list, including winter pajamas for my older son, a pair of Sabbath shoes for him in the next size up from the ones he has (and is outgrowing), and a couple of office chairs, and I was on my way to the checkout lane when I remembered that I wanted to look for a new Sabbath skirt. So I detoured back to the skirt section and began to browse.

It didn’t take me long. They only had one rack of longish skirts (and one of knee-length and shorter–I didn’t bother with that rack). On the rack was a black straight skirt that looked just my size. When I tried it on, I found it to be exactly my size. It comes several inches below the bottom of my knee, and completely covers my knees when I sit down. The slit in the back is short–it will barely show the back of my knee when I walk, and when I sit, because it’s in the back, no one will see anything. It has pleats in the front and darts in the back, and fits like it was made for me! It even has belt loops, so when it gets loose, as it will (I am going to lose this baby weight, you know!), I will be able to cinch it up with a belt, so it will last for quite a while. Maybe even when I’m back to 125 pounds (which I haven’t been since I got pregnant with my first… I’ve never actually gotten below 133 since then, but I can always dream, right?). And even if it just is too big then, I’ll have 2 other nice black skirts to wear, and some other skirts that I can’t wear right now.

Which reminds me… there is a maroon skirt that probably will fit me now, hiding somewhere with my winter clothes, which I should probably be hunting for soon. Because this Indian summer isn’t going to last forever.

In any case, I was amazed when I thought about this: When I chose to let go of something that the Lord had been convicting me about, He provided a replacement that was better than the former one. (The former one said dry clean only, and though I machine washed it, it was lined and heavy and hardly suitable for summer; the new one isn’t lined, so it’s great for summer, and it’s machine washable.) That’s how He works. He waits for us to surrender, then He pours out blessings. May we never forget that!

What have you found lately at the thrift store? Have you even been thrifting lately? Have you experienced surrendering something only to get something better in return? Tell us about it!


This post is linked with Works for Me Wednesday.