Oct 15, 2009

Net Worth for 10/15/09

at 6:30 PM 0 comments

Painless money-saving tips

Behold the secrets of the grocery store

Free Fandango Tickets

Frugal Soups and Stews for Busy Weekends

Oct 7, 2009

Feeling Trapped

at 4:35 PM 0 comments

This is a topic that I’ve been dealing with for the last month or so and I’ve found through seeking articles and advice online that TONS, if not all SAHMs go through these feelings.  If you don’t have family, church and spousal support you are basically sunk.  Two out of three ain’t bad, but there will still be a struggle for you.  Now people who don’t attend church, have a church-home or just aren’t Christians, can to some extent replace that with friendships or other SAHMs.  But being under the care and providence of the Lord of all creation (including the creation of YOU and motherhood) cannot be substituted.  The Lord shows us that loving-kindness through fellowship of other believers, which you’ll find at a good Christ-centered, Bible believing church. 

For me, family support is practically non-existent and so I believe this is where I had fallen apart.  Depression, isolation, and the confusion of being a first-time mom is only the devil’s attack on you.  I gave into it, because my spouse support was also waning, which was partly my fault.  Don’t we all feel like we need to do everything because our husbands is working 9-5 (and sometimes 8-7!).  We feel like he’s doing such hard work out there that we need to have everything perfect at home.  But when he comes in the door, even after 10 hours of working we must remember: 1 – He probably didn’t finish every single task that was to be done that day. 2 – Our job doesn’t have a clock-out time and we’re still on duty.  So we and our spouses need to realize the pressures of being always on-call and our clock-out time usually is when we close our eyes for bed.  You cannot expect to get EVERYTHING done, 24/7.  Remember the Sabbath!  I know, it’s become non-existent for most SAHMs but God expects everyone to take breaks and your spouse should think the same way (especially if he is saved).  So trying to do everything all the time can really cause motherhood burnout. 

Another huge reason for my personal fall out with being a SAHM was lose of direction.  Yes, I’m mom.  Yes, I have a duty to bring my child up as a god-fearing person.  Yes, I have a duty to my home (cleaning, cooking, etc.).  And yes, also I have a duty to my husband and being that helpmate the Lord wanted wives to be.  But what about.. yes, what about me?  I used to be someone, have an identity apart from household duties.  Am I now a nobody that washes dishes and sings “Baa Baa Black Sheep”?  Being a SAHM (and yes any mom), can lead you to thinking you don’t have a purpose outside of that.  And for some, that’s all the direction they need in life.  But for me and many others, the question of who am I unveils itself. 

Well remember you are a child of God first.  He created you in His image for a purpose.  Yes, a large part of that purpose is motherhood and being concerned of the home.  But far more important is glorifying Him.  This is what all mankind is made for.  Are you glorifying Him?  Read Mark 1:16-18 with me:

16Now as he walked by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.

17And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.

18And straightway they forsook their nets, and followed him.

What’s going on there?  Jesus is calling Simon (Peter) and Andrew out away from the routine, away from their daily duties, away from their job and lifestyle to do what?  To glorify Him by bringing others to salvation.  They will minister to others.  Isn’t this apart of staying home?  That you now have more time (yes I said MORE time) to help those around you.  Our first call is Christ. 

‘But how do I do this, it’s like adding one more thing on my to-do list?’  Yes, but this is your out as well as an addition.  As you enjoy glorifying God with you time He will lead you to help others.  Pray while you are feeding the baby, in the bathroom, while you are doing the dishes, during their naptime.  Pray that the Lord reveal to you who to help, how, and who to pray for during your prayer time.   Be attentive to others and pray for that!  Think about it, when you are depressed, feeling isolated and confused who are you thinking of?  Self.  But when you draw your eyes to Christ and what others are going through you will be (slightly at first) less concerned about the issues you are facing.  This is when you keep praying for His help.  He will start showing you the obstacles others are facing and how you can help.  If you like to cook, make extra and take a trip to see them.  You will be thankful for the time out of the house.  If you scrapbook, do a project for that other person, you can give your kids some paper, etc. to be creative with while you make your project. 

Now here are some other suggestions I’ve found very helpful with dealing with this frustration:

Go out as much as possible: to the grandparents, the park, the library a few times a week (their is usually some kid activities or story-times you can attend).  Take a walk or take the bus occasionally.  Grab a friend and go to lunch, window shop, volunteer, organize a play group/book club.  Go to the local YMCA to work out, swim (do baby swim lessons), or just walk on the treadmill and read a magazine. They usually provide childcare, which gives you a break and your baby some time to play with other kids/be in a different atmosphere. 

Activities for baby and me: Show them things and repeat what it is. Start on ABC's, or 123's. Get some Little Einstein cards and videos and work with them. They really can learn a lot when they are under 1, so take advantage before the back talking and tantrums start!  There are also online games for infants and up! 

Socialize: Try to talk to people on the phone or online.  Ever hear of play dates?  Plan a time  with another mother who has a baby of similar age and get together so they can play.  Visit your neighbors, mark the calendar and go visit nearby family at least once a month (if you have some issues with them, but more if you don’t).

Activities for just mom: Find a hobby! Learn to sew, start digital scrapbooking, practice taking pictures of your baby.  Learn how to crochet or knit and start making scarfs for winter and cute little hats for baby, or to give away.  Learn to make a quilt and then make them for Christmas presents.  Create a newsletter.  Learn how to create a website and start something for young mothers. When the baby is napping, polish your nails, put some makeup on, take a soak in the tub or watch your favorite show (record it or DVR if it comes on at a busy time for you).  You could even try doing a "mini spa day" at home and put on a face mask, paint your nails, and read your favorite magazine. Do something that makes you feel like your old self!  Ask dad to take over once a week and do Girls night out, get a pedicure, get your hair done, have a tea party, etc.   At least go grocery shopping without baby.  Get organized! No idea how to keep house or what to do, research.  Find out about coupons and saving money, best methods for cleaning, etc.  Make a daily schedule for yourself to keep your house in order.  Make a weekly schedule for projects.  Get a big calendar and write everything down. Look up things to do online.  Do something else, like projects or Bible studies at church are great, but don't over book yourself and don't do things that don't interest you.  Start a workshop in your home or at church.  Start a bible study at your home or at church.  You can get a part time job if you can get free childcare.  You and another mom can swap childcare and you can each work a part time job.  Do job share.  Listen to music and dance!  This is a great stress-reliever.  If you do it when baby is sleep, try earphones!  Use a MP3 or iPod while you clean, etc. 

Join some Groups: Mothers of Pre-Schoolers is www.MOPS.com  Gymboree once a week its an hour long you can meet moms and play with baby. Search for a Gymboree (http://www.gymboreeclasses.com ), the little gym or my gym in your area!!  Try a MOMS Club chapter in your area.  Every chapter is different but most offer a variety of activities like playgroups, park days, field trips (say to the zoo or museum, etc.) and even specialty activity groups geared towards the moms (while the kids play) like book club, cooking club, MOMS Night Out, etc.  You can check out their website at www.momsclub.org to see if there is a chapter near you! Try http://www.cafemom.com/  Also try www.momslikeme.com  If you know enough moms, organize a mother's group that meets once a week/month.  Visit your library for more options (usually flyers are around the kids section).

Read (de-stress, get ideas, and organize yourself): The Bible, A good book is "Slow and Steady Get Me Ready".  and Invisible Mom.  There’s lots of books available on the topic of motherhood and caring for the home.  Search via Google.com but remember you know your child best and the Bible is your first book of instruction for life.

Some other Star advice:
Know the difference between the "urgent" and the "important". The baby is "urgent", but he cannot supercede the "important". The hard part is deciding what is important, what is urgent, and what can wait. If having a spotless house is important; then simplify. If meals are important then plan for that. If the dishes can wait.... then ask for your husbands understanding. Being a mom is 12-16 hours every day! Don't expect to be able to add housekeeping (and other projects) onto it without being overwhelmed.


Everyone needs exercise. The baby is included. Unfortunately, screaming is great exercise. The baby cannot go run around the block or do push-ups. So when he’s in a bad mood, let him exercise! 30 minutes a day...  Don't forget as he gets older he will still need to exercise.  Put him someplace safe, set the timer. And then do 30 minutes of whatever is important.  (if you just can’t stand it, I recommend 20 minutes)

Whatever you are doing, keep the baby near so he still feels connected and give him things to play with that are of similar color or shape to what you are doing.  Or give him a similar activity.  Involve him in some way with what you are doing but you don't have to give him 100% of your attention all the time.

Still plan a portion of the day when you do give him your full attention for a short while.  A good time is right before bed and right before you do a long task that will take a lot of your attention away from him.

So those are my thoughts.  Leave me comments about yours!

Sep 30, 2009

Net Worth?

at 10:09 PM 0 comments

This is what the net is for!  Use it to help yourself.  Awesome links for the week:

Theater for Free: http://www.freenightoftheater.net/

Baby/Toddler Class for Free: http://www.gymboreeclasses.com/b2c/customer/freeClassPass.jsp

Cookies! http://www.mrsfields.com/misc/free_cookie_day/

Sep 23, 2009

Net worth?

at 11:00 PM 0 comments
Awesome Links for the week:


Cluttercut: Challenge yourself - Ditch the disposables!

Family Fun for Sept 26th - Free museum pass

Free Always Liners and Pads

Sep 18, 2009

Tips on Living on One Income

at 10:53 AM 0 comments

Thought I'd repost here a pretty neat list of financial advice on one income households from parents.com


Here are six steps you can take to adjust your family to life on one income:


1. Cut your grocery bill. No, don't go on a starvation diet. Instead, cut out convenience foods, such as precooked dinners and packaged snacks. They're priced to provide maximum profit for your grocer. Also, clip coupons. Avoid coupons that encourage you to buy new or packaged items that you might otherwise avoid, but seek out those that save you money on your staples.

2. Consolidate to one credit card with a low interest rate. A wallet full of cards just encourages you to spend. And many cards now offer very low interest rates. But be sure to read the fine print: some low-interest deals are just introductory offers. This one I disagree with. I believe a family should get a credit card that has ZERO% APR, pay it off then get rid of it. Now I know there are some who wants to keep it in case of an emergency and that's debateable. Yet I do not agree anyone should have a credit card for regular uses, especially if you are on one income.

3.. Barter with other families. One of the easiest things to barter is babysitting time. Connect with other families trying to cut back and trade babysitting services. You cut your child-care costs and you can still get out of the house once in a while.

4. Pull the plug on cable. Anything worth watching will turn up on video three months later.

5. Don't move. While it may be tempting to pull up stakes and move to a cheaper community, the financial cost and emotional burden of moving often makes this idea more trouble than it's worth. Instead, look for ways to reduce your current housing costs such as refinancing your mortgage or reducing your home-related taxes.

6. Save up cash to make any big purchases. This achieves two goals. One, it forces you to consider, over a lengthy period of time, how badly you really want a new sofa, computer, car stereo, etc. Second, by saving cash for the purchase, you avoid racking up a credit card bill and owing interest.

While all these steps will help, perhaps the most important part of life on less than two incomes is the support of your spouse. You both need to be committed to making the new financial arrangement work. If one spouse is working to contain costs and the other is out buying new CDs, the process is doomed. Whether it's because you want to spend more time with the kids, or because you and your family are getting through a rough patch of economic times, it's key that the family work as a team to make ends meet.

Sep 15, 2009

Rose’s Free Offline Coupons Explained

at 10:00 AM 0 comments

I collect coupons fairly often but I end up not using them and I don’t want them to go to waste.  Also some I grab because I know not everyone has the time or patience to clip them.  So every once in a while I’ll be making a post like this.  How it works is most of these are gonna be pretty close to expiring.  So I’ll post them and if you want them reply to me via Twitter or FB or email.  Since I just started the blog I may not think to check here!  This of course may change later.  I will set up a time to give them to you (or you can pick up), either the day of or the next day (which would be great if it’s Wed. and you go to my church).  So this is of course are for people that live in my locality.  I won’t be shipping these, so please don’t ask. 

How the set up goes:

NAME OF STORE OR PRODUCT, EXPIRATION DATE | # OF COUPONS (if it’s only one I won’t put a number) then the type of coupon | If there is another break, that means more coupons for that same store or product, w/ the same expiration date but a different discount | AND MORE | AND MORE

I will try to keep the closest expirations at the top of the list.

 

Ok so coupons for today:

Payless Shoes exp. 9/19/09 | 20% off any purchase

Luvs Diapers, exp. 9/30/09 | $1.00 off any

Best Buy, exp. 9/30/09 | Two 10% off any single regular-priced item | 10% off any single regular-priced major or small appliance

Dunkin Donuts, exp. 10/15/09 | Nine including Free Large Coffee, no purchase necessary and $0.99 Bagel w/Cream Cheese. Must take all.

Lowe’s, exp. 10/31/09 | Four 10% off your next purchase

Sep 10, 2009

FREE THINGS: Getting Started

at 9:34 PM 0 comments

I thought I’d start out my first post with things I’ve found Free. I really want to help people to save more money – become good stewards of what the Lord has given us. It drives me nuts to see people wasting money or even just using money in ways that aren’t as efficient as other ways! We all do it, my husband and I do it all the time also. It’s hard, especially when you JUST DON’T KNOW HOW to save on costs. So as I explore and find more ways to save, I will post them under this category – FREE.

First up, Things to get free or EXTREME savings online:

http://www.Freecycle.org

http://www.Craigslist.com (did you know there is a Free section on there)

http://www.paperbackswap.com

http://www.ilovefreethings.com

http://www.freestuff.com/

http://www.wisebread.com/bestdeals/today (everyday they have a new upload of free deals, this would be great to add to your RSS or as an email subscription)

http://freeshipping.org

http://absurdlycool.com/

http://ebates.com (this has a program where you can save, get things cheaper and get bonuses that lead to getting things practically free!)

Search online for the item you’d like to purchase, you’ll almost always find it cheap and with http://freeshipping.org and http://www.retailmenot.com it’ll be worth the wait of getting it mailed to you.

Check out http://www.heyitsfree.net and bookmark it. They have just started so it’ll be a while before there’s a lot on there, but keep it in mind.

Things to get free or EXTREME savings offline:

Borrow! Never be afraid to ask if you can borrow an item, as long as you take care of it and don’t ask regularly of the same person (least they get sick of you – Proverbs 25:16-17) A great place to borrow from is the library!

The Library – is a great source. If there is some book that I cannot find in my local branch, I can make a request online for it to be brought in from one of the other branches to mine which is very convenient. Not only can you borrow books (see above), but you can use the internet for free. If you have net at home this won’t be as big as an impact financially. But it can still save you electricity and if you are printing – paper and ink! Rent Movies for FREE (put movies on hold when they come out and you can watch them when they are still New Releases). Usually the library also gives you free shows, classes, or other activities to entertain you and your kids.

Join customer rewards programs – almost all retailers (a drugstore, grocery store, clothing store, etc.) has some type of saving money program. Join these! They are free to join and you will always save something on top of the sale item you are purchasing. If you run into a program that costs money to join, consider if you shop there enough to get a return on your payment and if the initial payment is outrageous amount.

Redbox – rent movies for $1, visit: http://www.redbox.com/ There is also a way to get a FREE movie each Monday

Watch for Free or Cheap Offers – Occasionally stores or your favorite restaurant, airliner, or car care place will have offers that make sense. Be careful though, that you aren’t actually spending more just to get a deal. But for instance, every Tuesday nights Kids eat free at Denny’s. AppleBees was having a good cheap deal on appetizers but only 3pm until 5pm.

Reuse/Recycle – We all have items that we don’t use very often but can be used for other uses. I’ll all for going Green but this isn’t about Green, unless you mean green as in cabbage, bucks, dough, cash. For example, lining your trash cans with those left over grocery bags. Also

Exercise – Walking, Jogging, Squats, Jumping jacks, Sit-ups and pushups are all free. Even simple weightlifting is really inexpensive – buy some hand weights and that’s it. Regular exercise reduces medical costs (saving you money) and improves your day-to-day energy level.

Check out the community calendar – your town/city/region probably has lots of fun, free things happening. Visit your town’s website and those of surrounding communities. Read your township newsletter, if you receive one. Many communities offer free summer concerts, for example. Other ways to get free entertainment, search Google for Fun things to do in ____ and fill in the blank with your city.

Check out this list of 100 things to do for Free … some are simple and not worth mentioning, but there are some cool ideas on there too.

So that’s what I have to start with. Let me know if there are other sites/ideas that should be added.

Sep 5, 2009

About Christian Mom blog

at 1:04 PM 0 comments

Hello and welcome to the Just a Christian Mom blog. I’m so glad you could make it.

In case you were wondering what the purpose of this blog was….

This is a web-log that overviews (and in some places details) advice, tips and other helps concerning 3 main topics:

Biblical Living

Being a Christian is the most wonderful experience anyone could have. Even the angels in Heaven desire to understand it! (1 Pe 1:12) Yet, our Lord has told us that in this world we will suffer (2 Cor 1:5, 2 Cor 1:7, 1 Pe 5:9). So how do we handle this overwhelming joy mingled with sorrow? Using scripture I will address sub-topics including marriage, motherhood, witnessing and Bible study.

Saving Money

Money. You hate it, you love it, but you don’t (shouldn’t!) lust after it. After all, Jesus says we cannot serve both money and God (Matt 6:24). And yet money is so integral to our everyday living. In America, almost all people over the age of 18, handle money in some way throughout the week. That means, money is a daily tool. I’ll look at how we can use it in a God-honoring way by not wasting it. And also how we can use it the most efficient way by getting the best deals.

The Home

The old saying goes, “Home is where the heart is” and if that is true, that means we need to put more into our home than groceries and storing our stuff. The Bible refers to the home as a place:

to teach (Deut. 11:19),

of provision (Ruth 3:1),

to eat (1 Ki 13:7, 1 Ki 13:15, and 1 Ki 17:12),

that may (should) be pleasant (Micah 2:9),

where family is (Mark 5:19),

of welcoming and hospitality (Luke 10:38, John 19:27),

where we (should) feel comfortable and open with each other (1 Cor 14:35, 2 Cor 5:6, 8-9),

to be managed by women (1 Tim 5:14), and

where we should keep busy (Titus 2:5).

Knowing the value of the home and how to be a steward of your home, family and possessions is important and will benefit, not just to those inside your four walls, but to your neighborhood, church, community, and yes, (without exaggeration) even the world itself.

So mom or not, married or single, I believe this blog will encourage and profit the readers, especially Christ-followers. Please feel free to comment, correct or ask questions via the site, email, twitter or facebook.

 

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