Oct 172011
 

Welcome to the 33rd edition of The Christian Home, a weekly Blog Magazine posted every Monday morning. I am happy to be your host again. Each article was submitted by various Christian Blog Authors.I hope you enjoy visiting them, reading their work, and spending some time getting to know them at their own blogs.
Design and Decorate Featured ColumnistDeanna at Home Haven Ministry presents Decorating on the Prairie: Coffee in the Parlor

 

Finances Featured Columnist– Kristen Hamilton is hosting this week. Gardening and Flowers

 

Featured Columnist – Briana at I Can’t Decide invites you to Check out My Trippy Frost Protection and  The Last Flowers of the Year.

Home Business Featured Columnist – Kathy Brodock at Teaching Good Things will be back with us next week.

Hospitality Featured Columnist – Heather at Marine Corps Nomads will be back with us next week.

Movies and Music Featured Columnist –  Laura O in AK presents Tron and Tron Legacy, fun movies for the family at Day by Day in Our World.

 

The Godly Home Featured Columnist – Julie presents Grown Up Time at A Teaching Heart.

Health and Fitness Check-in Featured ColumnistAnnie Kate presents  Fit Mommy Friday: Fall Goals posted at Tea Time with Annie Kate.  Head over to Annie Kate’s blog to share your fitness progress and weekly check -in! ————————————————————————–

 

Thank you so much for reading! To submit your work for consideration, or to find out more about The Christian Home magazine,  visit the about page at The Legacy of Home. The Entire Christian Home Series. An Invitation Subscribe to The Legacy of Home and have it delivered directly to your email.

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Oct 032011
 

Welcome to the 31st edition of The Christian Home, a weekly Blog Magazine posted every Monday morning. I am happy to be your host again. Each article was submitted by various Christian Blog Authors.I hope you enjoy visiting them, reading their work, and spending some time getting to know them at their own blogs. For your enjoyment, there is a selection of music at the end of this issue. Please feel welcome to play the song while reading this magazine.

Design and Decorate


Featured Columnist – Deanna at Home Haven Ministry presents Decorating on the Prairie: With Thrift Items

Finances

Featured ColumnistKristen Hamilton is hosting this week.

Gardening and Flowers

Featured ColumnistBriana at I Can’t Decide will be back with us next week.

Home Business

Featured Columnist – Kathy Brodock at Teaching Good Things will be back with us next week.

Hospitality

Featured Columnist – Heather presents Meal Planning Organization at Marine Corps Nomads.

Homekeeping

Feature ColumnistAngie Wright at Petra School will be back with us next week.

Movies and Music


Featured Columnist –  Laura O in AK presents Shiloh ~ the bond between boy and dog at Day by Day in Our World.

The Godly Home

Featured Columnist – Molly at Dancing in the Light of His Glory will be back with us next week.

Julie presents Some Food for Thought at A Teaching Heart.

Health and Fitness Check-in

Featured ColumnistAnnie Kate presents  Fit Mommy Friday: Health and Fitness Check-In posted at Tea Time with Annie Kate.  Head over to Annie Kate’s blog to share your fitness progress and weekly check -in!

————————————————————————–
Thank you so much for reading!

To submit your work for consideration, or to find out more about The Christian Home magazine,  visit the about page at The Legacy of Home.

[youtube]cS1NOZq8v0s[/youtube]

The Entire Christian Home Series.
An Invitation Subscribe to The Legacy of Home and have it delivered directly to your email.

Sep 122011
 

Welcome to the 28th edition of The Christian Home, a weekly Blog Magazine posted every Monday morning. I am so excited to be hosting for the first time. Each article was submitted by various Christian Blog Authors.I hope you enjoy visiting them, reading their work, and spending some time getting to know them at their own blogs.  If you would like to write for us, please see the instructions at the end of this post. For your enjoyment, there is a selection of music at the end of this issue. Please feel welcome to play the song while reading this magazine.

 

Design and Decorate

Vases of Pink Tulips and Blossom on Table Laid for Coffee

Featured ColumnistDeanna at Home Haven Ministry will be back with us next week..

Finances

American Dollar Bill Paper Clipped to Accounting Book

Featured Columnist – Kristen Hamilton presents Trusting God for Our Needs posted at A Day in the Life.


Gardening and Flowers

Garden Room

Featured Columnist –  Briana presents The Results of the Potato Experiment and What We Did This Week posted at I Can’t Decide.

Home Business

Jersey City Family Working at Home to Assemble Lamp Shades for the Idealite Company

Featured Columnist –  Kathy Brodock presents Building a Family Economy – Affiliate Programs posted at  Teaching Good Things.

Modest Fashion

Jackie Kennedy, Wife of Sen, Cutting Out Newspaper Clippings Next to Open Scrapbook

[I am looking for a columnist for this section.]

Hospitality
Dinner on the Terrace
Featured ColumnistHeather from Marine Corps Nomads, will be back with us again next week.


Homekeeping

Family Seated Around a Hearth

Featured ColumnistAngie Wright presents The Baking Cupboard posted at Petra School.

Parenting

Billy Graham with His Four Children and Wife, Sitting Down for a Family Supper at Home

[I am looking for a columnist for this section.]

Movies and Music

It's a Wonderful Life, Donna Reed, James Stewart, 1946

Featured Columnist –  Laura O in AK shares about the movie Divorce, American Style as an interesting, satirical look during the 1960s at the high divorce rate and ultimate conclusion that you just might be better off never going down that road posted at  Day By Day in Our World.

The Godly Home

Hometown Chapel
Featured ColumnistMolly at Dancing in the Light of His Glory will be back with us next week.

Young Adults

Teenagers Pushing an Old Jalopy
[I am looking for a columnist for this section. It must be a young adult who is an established blogger.]

Gentle Humor

Peanuts: Never Ever EVER Give Up!

[I am looking for a columnist for this section.].

Health and Fitness Check-in

Woman Exercising with Ankle Weights


Featured ColumnistAnnie Kate presents  Fit Mommy Friday: Health and Fitness Check-In posted at Tea Time with Annie Kate.  Head over to Annie Kate’s blog to share your fitness progress and weekly check -in!


————————————————————————–
Thank you so much for reading!

To submit your work for consideration, or to find out more about The Christian Home magazine,  visit the about page at The Legacy of Home.

[youtube]cS1NOZq8v0s[/youtube]

The Entire Christian Home Series.
An Invitation Subscribe to The Legacy of Home and have it delivered directly to your email.

Sep 102011
 

I had the post all written in my mind. I was going to write about how wonderful children’s consignment sales are. I’ve written about them before, and they have been a key part of our living on one income.

But as the kids grow, the selection at these sales gets thinner. Babies outgrow their clothes so quickly. And everyone has too many baby clothes. So they’re in large supply. There are always plenty of toddler clothes too. But by the time you get to size 10 or so, the selection gets pretty slim.

But there’s a new sale I found. It specializes in big kids clothes. There is no baby stuff. The smallest size is size 6. I had my post all written in my mind about how God provided a big kids’ consignment sale when I needed one. It was going to be a great post.

Unfortunately, the sale wasn’t very good. I only found 1 item for my 13 year old son. So there went that post. More importantly, I’m left wondering how I’m going to make room in the budget for winter clothes for him. (He’s 13 and growing fast. There is nothing that fits from last year.)

But I know my God. He has promised to supply all our needs. And even if I have to buy new clothes for him, God will supply them. There may be other “needs” that are “wants” after all.

I used to scoff at people who told me how much more expensive older kids were. I thought they didn’t know how to shop as well as I did or save money on food. It turns out that the older I get, the less I know. Or more accurately, I realize how little I know and how little I can actually control.

I need to stop trying to figure out how God is going to work things out. His ways are always much better than what I come up with!

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Jul 312011
 

The Bible exhorts us to tell our children about the things that God has done. One example is in Joshua after the Israelites crossed over the Jordan River into the Promised Land.

And he spake unto the children of Israel, saying, When your children shall ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What [mean] these stones? Then ye shall let your children know, saying, Israel came over this Jordan on dry land.

Joshua 4:21-22

Why did God do this?

Because He wants us to remember that He takes care of us.

The last two weeks have been a very vivid reminder to me, that God does indeed take care of us.

Two weeks ago my husband was very seriously considering taking a part-time job delivering newspapers. I was not at all excited about the prospect, but there seemed no other way to meet the needs of our family. (I could go into a discussion of needs versus wants here. There are certainly things that we consider needs that aren’t technically needed for our survival. And the needs that my husband was concerned about were things that we don’t need now, but will definitely need in the future that we haven’t been able to save for. Cars for example.) He is a planner and he recognized that we needed more income to provide for these upcoming needs.

Like I said, I was not at all happy with the prospect. The combination of having to work 365 days per year and having to leave at 2 am didn’t seem like a good idea. He agreed, but he didn’t see another way. He was planning to ride along on the route to check it out, but the driver never called him back.

The next day an old friend called him and told him about a position that had just opened up where he teaches. (My husband is a chemistry teacher.) The position was for a coordinator position of one the academies at a technology magnet school. It is a 12 month position instead of a 10 month one. He decided to apply.

To make a very long story short, he got the job!

It’s going to be a lot of work for him teaching classes he’s never taught. It will mean no more summers off. He also has to go to a training class for 2 weeks. But we are so thankful that God supplied our family’s need in such a tangible way. It’s another chapter in the story of how God has worked in our family that we can review with our children.

Do you talk about God’s provision with your children? Do you keep a journal of the things God has done? I would like a more concrete way of recording events like this.

This post is a part of The Christian Home Issue 26, posted weekly at The Legacy of Home.

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Jul 242011
 

As a frugal homeschool mom, I’m not supposed to use any convenience foods. I should be growing most of my own food, right? Or I could be some sort of extreme couponer and then it would be OK to buy convenience foods since I’d have purchased them for essentially nothing.

I’m afraid that’s not the case here. I try to do most of my cooking from scratch because it is cheaper that way. But I realized something this week.

Even though a convenience food may cost more than the equivalent from scratch, it still may cost less than what you actually end up eating.

Huh?

This is what I mean.

On Sunday a friend gave me a box of instant oatmeal that she wasn’t going to use. I normally don’t buy instant oatmeal because old fashioned oats are cheaper (and better for you to add your own sweetener, but I’m not talking about health benefits here.)

Guess what my kids ate for breakfast several times this week.

Instant oatmeal

Guess about how many times per week I usually make oatmeal.

0.01

Guess what they often eat instead.

Cold cereal

Guess which is more expensive (especially when you consider the price of the milk that my biggest kids drown their cereal in).

The cold cereal!

So here’s my point. By not buying “convenient” instant oatmeal because it was more expensive than old fashioned oats, I have actually been spending more money on breakfast food!

Here’s another example. (Before you read this, promise you won’t think less of me when you read what else I put in my shopping cart.)

Soft drinks are expensive. Many people save money by never buying soda. It makes sense. I’ve “quit” buying Dr. Pepper for this very reason on many different occasions.

Do you know what happens?

After about a week, I start walking slowly past vending machines and digging for loose change. When I go to the gas station, I suddenly find myself inside purchasing an ice cold Dr. Pepper for $1.59. I’ve even been know to stop at convenience stores when I didn’t need gas! That’s way more expensive than just having Dr. Pepper at home. And then there is not a temptation for me to purchase them for even higher prices when I’m out.

My friend Debra at Footprints in the Butter has mentioned that when you’re trying to live on an extremely low food budget, you need to allow yourself to purchase that one item that helps you to not feel deprived. For her I think it is coffee creamer. For me, it’s Dr. Pepper.

What convenience foods do you buy? What one food keeps you from feeling deprived?

This post is a part of The Christian Home Issue 25, posted weekly at The Legacy of Home.

Jul 162011
 

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

– Matthew 6:19-21

This passage has been on my mind frequently this week. On the surface, I can boastfully tell myself that I am definitely not trying to build treasure upon the earth. If I were, I wouldn’t have quit a high paying job 13 years ago. But that’s not enough. Yes, that was what the Lord called me to do then. And He still wants me at home. But not having riches on earth does not automatically mean I’m laying up treasures in heaven.

I can truthfully say that I am with my children most of their waking hours. But what am I doing during those hours? How much of my time am I wasting in useless pursuits? How much of the time when my baby looks up at my face does he see the back of my iPod Touch? How many times do I tell my little daughter I’ll be with her in just a minute when I finish with something else? How much time do I spend with my children?

Yes, I do work on the computer. I consider my job a blessing from God that enables me to make some needed money without physically leaving my children. But it’s really hard to separate time spent from working from time just wasted. It’s very easy to forget why I’m home. God has blessed me with this family. They’re my treasure. They are where my heart should be. The way I spend my time should better reflect that.

I’d love for suggestions on how to better manage my time spent on-line? Should I schedule time and set a timer? Other ideas?

This post is a part of Issue 24 of The Christian Home, posted weekly at The Legacy of Home.

Jul 032011
 

When I was a relatively new wife, I enrolled in an excellent class at our church. It was called Helpmeet. The title was taken from Genesis 2:18–

And the LORD God said, [It is] not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.

The course taught women that we were made to be our husband’s helper. It challenged me to look at my preconceived ideas about the roles of husbands and wives.

I will never forget an illustration used in that class. We were instructed to go home and try wearing our husband’s shoes around the house. Later we talked about how it felt.

His shoes are too big.

They were uncomfortable.

It made it harder to do my work.

His shoes weren’t designed for us. They’re his shoes and they fit his feet. Often we try to put on roles that are not ours to wear.

In financial matters at home, are you trying to wear your husband’s shoes? Are you in charge instead of him? Do you try to limit his spending? Pay all the bills?

Supporting the family is one of the jobs God gave to the husband. Yes, the wife should participate in the decision making. She might even be the one who physically pays the bills. But we as wives must be very careful not to put ourselves in authority over our husbands in this, or any area.

This post is a part of The Christian Home, posted weekly at The Legacy of Home.

 

 

 

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Jun 192011
 

One of the budgeting methods that my husband and I have found helpful over the years is to look everything we purchase through the lens of the monthly payment. The goal is to minimize the amount of money that has to be spent ever month, leaving more room to save for special or unexpected expenses.

I am not talking about making the minimum payment on your credit card! Those should be paid in full every month, if you even use credit cards. If you do have any credit card debt, getting that paid off should be a priority.

What I am talking about are those expenses that occur each month, some are the same amount, some vary a bit–

1. Car payments – We minimize these by paying cash for our cars. That’s not an easy task, but one key is to plan on keeping your vehicles for a long time. We are currently driving a 1992 Honda Accord and a 1996 Chrysler Town & Country. When we had to replace the transmission in the mini-van we considered not spending that money on such an old vehicle. But when we did the math, paying to fix that vehicle was still less expensive than replacing it.

2. Electricity – Are you following all the recommended energy reduction tips from your electric company? How old are your appliances? Are you running an old refrigerator or freezer in the garage that you don’t really have full? Older appliances cost a lot more to run, you could try unplugging it for a month or 2 and see how much it’s costing you. What about heating and cooling. When we’ve need to replace appliances and a heat pump, we pay a little more up front, in order to pay less on electricity each month.

3. Water – Our water and sewer rates are high. Saving water may not be as financially helpful for others, but it is big for us. We make sure to not let any toilets have a slow leak. We don’t wash our cars at home. (I could about say we don’t wash our cars.) We try to follow the other standard tips for saving water as well – no running the water while you’re brushing teeth or washing hands, run full loads of laundry (not a problem with that!), etc.

4. Internet service, cable, phone, and cell phones – I’ve lumped all these together because very often your best deals are found with bundling. The first thing to consider is if you need a service at all. Many people no longer have land lines. We found that we are still paying way less money for our pay-as-you-go cell phones and our cable phone line. But we don’t use our cell phones much. If you do and you have reliable service at home, it might make more sense to not have a land line. What about cable TV or satellite TV? Many people consider that a necessity, but is it really? We do have cable TV currently because of the bundle deal we signed up for at the first of the year. We have our phone, internet, and cable all tied together. The cable is not costing anything more than it would cost for just internet and phone. Will we keep it when the price is raised? Absolutely not (and we made sure we could cancel at any time before we signed up.) Be very careful when signing up for deals on these services. These are areas where you can easily get locked into a contract requiring you to keep a service even if you realize you don’t need it.

I have found this way of thinking about our budget has helped us save for bigger purchases that we need or want to make, and helped us to stay out of debt. I hope it helps you.

This post is a part of The Christian Home, posted weekly at The Legacy of Home.

 

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Jun 122011
 

That is the question…

Coupons are one of first things that come to mind as a way to save money. But do they really save you that much money?

My answer is…

It depends.

In today’s bad economic climate, it’s suddenly cool to be frugal. And couponing is big! There are numerous blogs and websites that will teach you how to save money using coupons. You can even print out coupons from various coupon sites.

But there are some things people should think about before diving in to the coupon craze.

Look at the grocery items that you currently buy. If you buy mostly store-brand items, are particular about which brands you buy, or don’t buy many convenience foods, you might not be a good candidate for couponing.

Be sure to evaluate the costs of coupons. If you don’t already buy a newspaper, you need to consider the added expense of that. Don’t forget the price of ink and paper for printing web-based coupons. What about the cost of gas? If you are not close to several different grocery stores, the extra driving can definitely negate any savings.

Not only are there financial costs for using coupons, there is another big cost to consider. That is your time. Cutting out coupons takes time. Filing them takes time. Then there’s the time spent matching store sales to coupons. And that’s all before you even start shopping! It takes longer to do the shopping because you have find the right items and make sure you’re purchasing the correct size, variety, etc. And you’ll need to shop at multiple stores every week to get all the best deals. There might be other ways that you can spend the same amount of time and actually make more money than you save by using coupons.

Using coupons can also encourage you to buy products you wouldn’t normally buy. After all, it’s a good deal, right? But what if you find out that your child likes Toasty Crunchy cereal more than any other cereal? Then you’re likely to buy it again. You’ll probably wait until you have a coupon again, at least at first… (This is actually a true story, but you need to substitute sweet potato fries for Toasty Crunchy cereal and substitute me for your child!)

OK, I’ve made it sound like coupons are practically evil. I actually don’t think that at all. I do cut out coupons from the paper. (We’re actually one of the dozen or so people left in the world that have a newspaper subscription.) I even get a spare set from my mother-in-law. (They’re another of those dozen people.) But I still do my main grocery shopping once per month. I glance through the weekly grocery ads to check the sales.  I use the coupons for products that I would normally buy. (except for the sweet potato fries…)

My point is this. Coupons are not likely to be the miraculous end to your financial struggles. If you’re interested in extreme couponing, be sure to evaluate your costs versus what you’re saving. And don’t let coupons suck you in to spending more money than you used to.

Be sure to read the rest of this week’s edition of The Christian Home at The Legacy of Home.

 

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