Monthly Archives: November 2007

New Links

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While hubby is chatting away on the phone after a hard days work I am updating my links. I’ve wanted to for a long time. So take a look and there might be something of interest to you. I’ve placed them under “Check these out”.
I’ve been checking out ideas for Christmas trimmings since we are without those. On the Christmas craft site there are some very inexpensive ways to deck our halls this year, I just have to get up the gumption to get crafty. That really doesn’t happen very often! And there are some great looking treats I’ll want to try as well.
Now it’s beddy-bye time and I’ve got a pillow calling my name. :)

Being frugal.

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I’m cheap, I admit it. Living on one income and having 4 growing children make it hard to keep the bills down. They need to eat, wear clothes, and be warm in the house. There are some things you just can’t avoid that cost money, but it’s all in how we go about meeting those needs that make it possible to still live cheaply. I’m one of those people who kind of rolled their eyes when someone said they just didn’t have enough money for the bare necessities. After all, those same people ate out more than we do (that would be 2 or 3 times a year for us and a couple times a month for them), they bought chips and pop and other treats, they had a second vehicle, a cell phone, satellite TV, paid for child care, had call display and everything else going on the phone, had new clothes more than we do (that would be a couple shirts a year for me & the kids and a couple shirts, pants, coat etc, a month for them). Oh yeah, I knew what their problem was!!!

Now all my wisdom has come back on me. We are needing to be much more careful as the kids get older and grocery bills go up, they grow out of their clothes, and need glasses replaced and stuff, and school books don’t grow on trees for the home schooled family ya know! Also the money from the government starts dropping just when the kids are up-ing their costs. I could sit around and bemoan the fact that we aren’t living high off the hog, or I could get serious about it and start doing all those things I would have loved to suggest to all those poor poor people who owned cell phones and a couple cars and new clothes……

So here is what we’ve done. Slowly we’ve been working away at cutting costs and I’m giving the list of things to you. I would LOVE to hear any suggestions of yours to add to these. If it wasn’t for doing all these things we just couldn’t afford to live as we do.

* We do not use the Visa anymore.

* Using wood for heat. It really is the cheapest. Hubby even ordered the logs (they are much cheaper than having it split for you) and cut them up and chopped them by hand to save some money.

* I cook mostly from scratch. The more processed it is, the less likely it is that I will buy it. Hubby has been known to come home with 16 litres of ice cream from time to time though. I’m serious. :) I also go over all my flyers and shop around to get things a few cents cheaper.

* Our garden has produced lots of good stuff for us that is now in our freezer and will help with the grocery bill all winter.

* We cut down our gas bill by not going out very much. This bill is still crazy high but I don’t see how we could cut it down much more.

* I cut all of our hair. My kids don’t know what it is like to go to a hair salon. That’s a lot of money saved if you can live with how you make yourself look. By me not going to my regular salon for a trim once a month I am saving $396 a year! (But there’s still a chance I might get desperate soon). :)

* We don’t eat out. We get a pizza maybe twice a year and go for Chinese food once or twice a year for a very special treat. My how the kids think it’s cool to go out like that!

* Vacations are non-existent for awhile. At least until we are in a better position financially. All of our vacation-y kind of fun will have to happen close to home and we’ll just hope people are able to come see us.

* I don’t go shopping. I don’t even bother looking at things unless they are in a grocery store or I know exactly what I am looking for elsewhere. If I go I’ll just be too tempted to bring home everything I love, and I usually love everything!

* Hubby cancelled his cell phone.

* Hubby cancelled all of our extra features on our home phone. I thought I would die without call display but I’m fine. I don’t answer the phone during school hours and let the answering machine do it’s job.

By just cancelling those last two things we are saving over $500 a year!!!!!!

* We use those energy saving light bulbs.

* We use a cash system. I have envelopes for groceries, gas, diabetic supplies etc.. and it’s easier to keep track of how much you have. You always know whether you have the money for something or not because you can see just how many 20’s are at your disposal.

* This one made me sad. I cancelled my Typepad blog and saved myself a few dollars by going with Blogger which is free.

* I love this one. We buy all the kids clothing from Frenchy’s. We really cannot afford to buy their clothes anywhere else. I can’t remember the last time I bought something brand new. (actually I did buy Katie a pair of shoes a couple months ago at Zellers, whoops!) And (gasp!) I even buy presents at Frenchy’s on occasion. I found a great Father’s Day gift for last year and both of my niece’s b-day presents. I got all three of them for less than $5!!

Well, that’s all I can think of for now. Now it’s your turn to roll your eyes at me because you know exactly what my problem is, and give me your ideas, I will be very grateful!

Book Review Friday: Exodus 6-10

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First things first, we’ll be moving along to chapters 11-15 until next Friday. I know that there are still ladies that are doing this reading but not many reviews. I’m not here to put a guilt trip on you over the lack of names on Mr.Linky, it really doesn’t matter whether there are reviews for everyone else to read,that’s not the point. The fact is I really really really hope you are writing down somewhere what God shows you in the scripture you read. We miss so much by neglecting that. So please ladies keep on reading and learning and writing. Whether you have a blog to post it on, or a handy notebook to help you concentrate and remember all that you see as you read, keep writing. :)

As for Exodus 6-10. I am no scholar and I know there are many very mature Christians out there who would disagree but…… I really don’t understand how anyone could read these chapters and not see ‘election’ written all over the place. It’s totally a black & white issue to me. But I’m willing to be shown if it isn’t. Like I said, I’m no scholar. :)
The fact that God made a covenant with the Israelites way back when and chose them as His special people would be enough to convince me. They were no more deserving than the guys next door. They were sinful humans who God had mercy on. They didn’t choose God, God chose them. But the BIG thing was reading over and over about how God hardened Pharaoh’s heart. God hardened Pharaoh’s heart! Pharaoh really didn’t have a choice in the matter from what I can tell.

“And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and multiply My signs and My wonders in the land of Egypt.” 7:3
“Go in to Pharaoh; for I have hardened his heart and the hearts of his servants, that I may show these signs of Mine before him, and that you may tell in the hearing of your son and your son’s son the mighty things I have done in Egypt, and My signs which I have done among them, that you may know that I am the Lord.” 10:1-3

And it always comes back to giving God glory.

Seeing how this bit of history unravels and the fact that God so blatantly chooses some people to bless and others to harden against Himself makes one like me overcome with thankfulness that I am not Pharaoh! It’s not that I don’t deserve all that the Egyptians got, I do, I really do. I deserve for God to show His judgments in my life. But God chose me to be one of the ones who saw who He is by blessing me instead of through His judgements. I don’t understand why but it certainly brings a deeper meaning to the word thankful. I was completely dead in my sins, even at that tender age of 5 or 6, and God chose to open my eyes and give me life. I am totally & completely dependant on Him and could not of understood to even make a choice for eternity had He not worked in my heart in the first place. God is in complete control of everything, including my salvation.

I will take you as My people and I will be your God. Then you shall know that I am the Lord your God who brings you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.” 6:7

From now on every time I hear the stories of people like the Egyptians in the scriptures I hope it makes me thankful instead of self-righteous. God’s mercy is great, and I’m just another Pharaoh that God took pity on. Please God, don’t every harden my heart towards you!!

Okay, now if anyone had a review to post here is Mr.Linky for you. We would all love to read them no matter how long or short. :)

Fall Pumpkin Squares

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Really, this recipe is more like a cake than bars. These are delicious whether you use pumpkin or squash but my favourite so far is using our very own squash from our very own garden to make this wonderful cake. I’ve got a pan in the oven as I type this. YUM!!!

In bowl sift together: (I don’t have a sifter big enough so I just use a whisk to stir it. No baking soda clumps!)
2 Cups Flour
2 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Salt

In large bowl mix:
1 Cup Oil
2 Cups Sugar
4 Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla
2 Cups Cooked Pumpkin or Squash

Mix dry ingredients into the wet and pour into 9×13 pan.
Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes (until toothpick comes out clean). It took all of the 30 minutes for mine to be done.

Icing:
2 to 2 3/4 Cups Icing Sugar
8 to 11 oz Cream Cheese softened
3/4 Cup Butter
2 tsp Vanilla

Spread on cooled pumpkin squares. Keep refrigerated.

Enjoy! I know we’re going to love dessert tonight.

Thanksgiving Forecast

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Thanksgiving is long gone for us Canadian folks but since the US is celebrating here’s a little something I found on

  • Buffaloes & Butterfly Wings
  • for all you anyway. It’s cute and I laughed. (If anyone knows how I can add the link in Blogger without it seperating itself like that please let me know!)

    Thanksgiving Forecast:
    Turkeys will thaw in the morning, then warm in the oven to an afternoon high near 190F. The kitchen will turn hot and humid, and if you bother the cook, be ready for a severe squall or cold shoulder.
    During the late afternoon and evening, the cold front of a knife will slice through the turkey, causing an accumulation of one to two inches on plates. Mashed potatoes will drift across one side while cranberry sauce creates slippery spots on the other. Please pass the gravy. A weight watch and indigestion warning have been issued for the entire area, with increased stuffiness around the beltway.
    During the evening, the turkey will diminish and taper off to leftovers, dropping to a low of 34 degrees F in the refrigerator. Looking ahead to Friday and Saturday, high pressure to eat sandwiches will be established.
    Flurries of leftovers can be expected both days with a 50 percent chance of scattered soup late in the day. We expect a warming trend where soup develops.
    By early next week, eating pressure will be low as the only wish left will be the bone.

    Happy Thanksgiving to all you American folk out there! :)

    Book Review Friday: Exodus

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    First things first, we’ll be reading Exodus chapters 6-10 until next Friday. It’s proving to be a great book so join in if you aren’t already with us! :)

    Exodus is nothing like I remember from my Sunday school classes as a child. My how all those facts of the story of Moses got mixed up and lost their meaning. One of the most amazing stories I’ve ever read and one of the most amazing women I’ve ever heard of is right here in these first couple chapters of Exodus, and I still don’t even know the lady’s name!! All we know is that she was a Levi and gave birth to a son and did all she could in very hard times. I’m a mom, so her predicament really stood out to me big-time this week. After you have your own little baby to hold the words ‘giving them up’ take on a deeper and more difficult meaning.

    I likened this mommy’s predicament to situations we could face today. What if I was faced with the choice of either trying to hide my child in the safety of his home until he was finally found out and then killed in a few days, months… years maybe, or handing him over to the very people who were seeking to kill him in hopes that they would have a little compassion? It was highly probable that if mom let her cutie little abandoned baby pass by Pharaoh’s daughter that a woman’s heart would take over and be drawn to taking care of it. But, who could guarantee that Pharaoh would allow for such a thing and not just kill it right away?!
    And if her plan worked out and baby was accepted, how would it feel to give your baby up to be raised in the midst of a false religion? You would know they would grow up learning about and taking part in the evil that Egypt was involved in. I couldn’t have done it and up until this week I would have thought it wrong to do anything of the sort.
    In talking about it with hubby I started to realize that everything isn’t always the same with God. In each situation He is working something different. It’s not that things are black & white all the time. It all comes down to how much faith you have in God. Do I believe that God is God? Although we are human and constantly think that much depends on us, from reading scripture we realize that it’s not true at all. Moses would have been fine and God would have worked His purposes through him whether mommy was good at hiding him or not, whether he was placed in a river or not, whether Pharaoh’s daughter found him or not. It’s just that this woman did as best she could as long as she could and then just trusted God to handle it. And we get to see her example and take heart in the here and now.
    I need to work hard while my children are with me doing all I can to make them safe and then ready to take on the world when the Lord brings that time around. The tremendous sacrifice that this woman made is shocking to me. But look at all that God did through Moses for years and years. All the amazing things he was able to witness by God’s hand through the years. All the people he lead and the difference God made through him. Moses story all started with his mom who had a big faith in her God. I like her. I like her a lot!
    Throughout the whole 5 chapters the fact of just how powerful and in charge God is becomes a major part of the whole story. There are many points to ponder, it’s just that I’ve taken up most of my time thinking of that one. I loved the whole thing and can’t wait to read more but I don’t have time to type any more about 1-5. I’ll just go read any reviews that show up on Mr.Linky. :)