What the kids are doing in school these days

Today Audrey read, “The wig is on Dad”. She sounded out the words and they were more than sounds to her. She actually understood what she had just said! She also finished her Kindergarten A Singapore Math book. On to book B! This afternoon she found some dry-erase books that have all the alphabet in them and worked on her letters for fun. For fun!

Ethan is working on adding and subtracting with renaming (carrying and borrowing). Today he had some problems that were a little more difficult and I walked him through them and he did really well. He also going to participate in NaNoWriMo and write a novel next month. There is a young writers program that looks like fun. Today he drew his “inner editor” and then banished him to a far away place! He also did some worksheets to develop his main character.

We’ve joined a group of other homeschoolers for a “history club”. Even Isaac participates! We get to do a lot of hands on projects and art and field trips.

We do other things too, but those are some of the recent highlights!

The One Day I Forgot to Lock The Van

This just happened about an hour ago:

1. As Nathan was helping one of the kids finish up a bath, I heard someone open our storm door. Freaked me out! I walked over to the door and thought maybe I heard a light tap on the door. Max was pawing at the door. Since Nathan was upstairs, and we weren’t expecing anyone, I decided to just make sure the deadbolt was locked.

2. I went upstairs to look out the window to see if I could see who it was. I saw an older gray-haired man of about 60 wondering a door or two up from us.

3. I went downstairs and outside to see if he needed anything. He told me that he was visiting our neighbors. I saw him go to the house two doors up from us and just sort of stand on their steps.

4. I went back inside and decided to go upstairs again to look out the window and watch from there. What did I see? I saw him SITTING IN OUR VAN! I am not creative enough to make up this sort of thing.

5.I tell Nathan what is going on and go flying down the stairs and out the front door and yell, “That is not your van”. He calmly gets out and says that it looks like his. He has this strange calm affect about him. He says he is looking for his vehicle and that his son and daughter in law live two doors up.Ii asked him if I needed to call the police to help him find his car. and he says “Maybe we should” and then he starts walking toward me like his going to come inside.

6. Nathan had shown up halfway through the conversation and I volunteered him to go and help the man find his car/family.

7. I go back inside and panic a little at the thought that I just sent my husband to go walk around in the dark neighborhood with a stranger.

8.Nathan returns. He tells me that the old man found his way to his son’s house. It was 4 streets down from us. The man knocked on two different doors on the way there thinking that those were the right places too.

My heart rate is slowly returning to normal and I’m feeling a little bad for the man. I wonder if he has some memory loss.

Are You Eating Your Disposable Income?

I just read an article that claimed that Americans spend half  their grocery budget on dining out. I’m not against trips to McDonalds and Chuy’s, but there is no question it’s more expensive to eat out than to plan meals and eat at home.
McDonald's Big Mac

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When we were a two-income family with no kids, we went out for lunch and supper often. I just didn’t want to cook when I got home. If I had done the math on what we were actually spending, we would have probably changed our habits before we were “forced” to with the birth of our first child. I think I would be mortified to know how much of our income we basically ate.

Then we had a baby and I quit my job. A year and a half later we had another baby. We cut down on going out to eat, but didn’t tighten our belts in a seriously until we made a plan.

How we stopped eating our money :

  • We faced the facts. We looked at what we spent in the previous year.

Knowing exactly how much we spent on McDonalds was sobering and a great wake-up call. If you don’t have an easy way to figure out how much you spend on restaurants for the past year, look at your bank statements for a month that was pretty average in spending for you and multiply it by 12.

  • We made a budget.

We made a specific line item in our budget for dining out separate from our grocery budget. We made it based on how much it takes to feed our family and the number of times we thought would be reasonable for someone with our income and financial obligations. We adjust this budget monthly based on birthdays, holidays  and travel. Once the money is gone, we don’t go out to eat until the next month.

  • We pre-planned our meals.

Having a list of meals for which we had ingredients ready made it easier to eat at home

  • We had a higher goal in mind.

It’s hard to take away an indulgence that you enjoy. To make it easier, we did it with a goal in mind. We wanted to put that money that we saved toward getting our van paid off and stop using credit cards. Guess what? That van is paid for now!

How about you?  What keeps you from spending too much on restaurants?

A Great Day

Ethan was baptized today and he asked his Dad to do it.

Ethan recently finished a class at church that explained to the kids what it means to follow Jesus. One of the things they talked about at the last session was baptism. Nathan and I have answered questions about it before, but we always told him that this was his decision.

We’ve watched Ethan and have seen his faith grow. We know that he understands and we’ve seen the Holy Spirit work in his life. Some people might think that a 7 year old wouldn’t really understand, but Ethan does.  A couple of weeks ago, he said that he wanted to get baptized and that he would like Nathan to do it.

Today was the day! He told his friends this morning at our homeschool history club and even some random strangers 🙂 Daddy met us at the church at his lunch break and all the pastoral staff and some of the children’s ministry support staff, including some of Ethan’s teen/young adult Sunday School helpers were there too (no school today for local school district). The excitement didn’t even wear off tonight when he told all of his AWANA leaders.

There is nothing like hearing your child exclaim joyfully, “I Got Baptized!”

I Like It Here!

I think summer is making its last stand this week.

80 degree temperatures for our highs this week. Looks like it will stay that way until Saturday when it’s not supposed to get warmer than 65. Sunday is supposed to only get to 59. Part of me is tempted to complain about the high temps when I’m ready to wear long sleeves and jeans. Then I realize how silly that is! In MN we had long sleeve weather for 7 months. It’s easy to be discontent.

I didn’t expect it to be so pretty here in the fall. Autumn in MN is hard to beat. But it’s been gorgeous. The colors are lovely.

Image credit

Image credit

Image credit

It was a perfect day for family photos yesterday! For the first time in 4 years we had professional photos taken of our entire family. “Entire” family that had been born already 🙂  I cannot wait to see how they turn out. I should be able to show them to you within the next couple of days 🙂

They are done! Yeah. Take a look here : LJC Studio There are 20 photos at this link. The album is on Facebook right now. I should be getting a disk with all of them soon.

BIG news

We could not have made the math work on this on our own.

Only because of God’s provision and to His glory, our remaining consumer debt was paid off just a few minutes ago.

It feels good.

God did all of this. It’s all His money. We are grateful and humbled.


God has been speaking to Nathan and I about the issue of generosity. It’s really been hitting us from all sides. Yesterday Nathan’s workplace showed this video for one of their meetings:


I Like Car from ILikeGiving.com on Vimeo.

What if we changed our perspective on the money in our back accounts? What if we saw it for what it really was- God’s money?  It’s all His and He has given us the privilege of managing it. When He asks me how I managed His money, I don’t want my report to be that I hoarded it for myself.

Weekend Roundup

Yesterday, Audrey and I joined a group from our church and packed food for Feed My Starving Children. Our church packed enough meals to feed 65 children for a year!We had a great time and it was fun to support such an effective organization. My friend, Shelly, organized the event. There is no packing center here so she set up a “Mobile Pack” site. It took tons of hours and lots of fund raising. She worked very hard and I was very happy to see all the people that came. They packed over 108,000 meals total for the day!

I babysat last night (brought back memories of my teen years since I was babysitting at their home) and didn’t get home until after 11:30. So tired today.

We have a chili feed at Nathan’s boss’s home this afternoon and following that, we have our Life Group. Why is it that everything seems to happen at the same time?

There are only 5 weeks and 3 days until we leave for MN!

My weigh-in on Friday had me down .4 lbs. I like going that direction. That’s 2.6 lbs lost total. Yes this IS the slowest weight loss progress ever recorded.

I think I’m going to start using the “Pounds left to lose” badge instead of the one that says how many I’ve lost.


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