Monday, June 30, 2008

Todays Frugal Tip

If using an onion in a recipe that does not require the entire onion, completely chop the whole thing anyway. Use a freezer bag (I use the quart size . My favorite brand is the Ziploc Double Guard which I buy with a coupon and obtain for free or pennies) and place the extra in the bag. Place in your freezer.There is no waste and when you need some onion for a recipe, it's chopped and ready for you. This is an excellent way to save time and money. I can't tell you how many times in the past I would wrap the leftover contents of an onion only to have it smell my fridge and find it when it no longer resembled a........onion. Anybody been there? I also do the same with green and red peppers.

When I started my quest of frugal living, with a very specific means to an end (reducing the amount of income that I brought into our budget) I became very aware of waste. Remember to be patient with yourself as you learn these new skills. No, chopping an onion and placing the leftovers in the freezer isn't going to change your financial picture overnight, but a snowman isn't built with a snowfake either. The little changes you start to make will eventually begin to make a difference. I'm living proof!

Have a blessed day! Michelle

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Coming Home Series/Week 1

The intent of this blog site is to help ladies that are currently working full-time outside their home, that have a true desire to return to full time homemaking, learn frugal steps and skills to help them obtain their hearts desire to come home.

I was a full-time working mama just a few short years ago. I am a critical care RN, certified in Radiology Nursing. I worked in a very busy Angiography suite in a hospital in upstate NY. I was one of 3 full-time nurses that rotated every 3rd weekend of call, and many late nights. For those of you wondering what Angiography nursing is, in short, it is taking pictures of specific blood vessels(in the heart, brain, liver etc.) through an arterial access site using contrast dye. Some of these patients are very ill and I was involved in more life threatening situations than I care to remember. I made excellent money and was well respected in my profession. But God had different plans.

While I was challenged in my job intellectually and there was rarely a dull day, I was discontent in my heart. I hated leaving my son at day care everyday. I remember picking him up late one afternoon only to have my beeper go off as soon as I pulled into our driveway. I had already worked 50+ hours that week. My husband was allready home from work, so I kissed my son goodbye, sent him in the house and drove back to the hospital. (After being paged we had 20min. to report to the hospital.) I remember crying all the way. I knew in my heart that day, that something had to change.

Backup a couple of months. My husband and I started attending Church a few months prior. I had gotten saved as a young girl in Vacation Bible School. I had lived for the Lord thru my early teen years but had fallen away. (That's another post) However God never fell away from me! Praise the Lord!!!! (Hebrews 13:5)

My husband had gotten saved through the church we started attending and we both started growing in the Lord! Although we both wanted me to be home at that point, we were in no position financially to make that kind of move!! At this point in my story, I want to make a statement and say, You absolutely cannot have it all!!! You cannot have a full-time career , maintain your home, rear your children, and be the helpmeet to your husband that God created you to be. It can not be done. Something or someone is sacrificed. And it is my firm belief according to scripture that God never intended it that way. Keeping a home, rearing children and being a helpmeet, is a full-time job, and then some. Many days I am more physically and emotionally drained than when I was working 60 hours a week, but in a much different way.

When I mention the above job description (Proverbs 31 woman) I in no way mean the worlds standard of maintaining your home(Martha Stewart style), rearing perfect children, (P.S. There are none!!) homeschooling the next Nobel prize winner (help us) and looking like you left the salon every time your hubby walks through the door. No, I am referring to doing the best you can to maintain a clean well ordered home, raising your children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, and loving the man God gave you like no other woman can!! I in myself can do none of the above, however I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.(Phil 4:13 )

Dear friend if you are reading this and you are where I was a few years ago , longing to be at home with your family, please don't loose heart. It absolutely can be done!! The way it happened for my family may not be how it works for your family. Perserverance and hard work pay off! God always rewards obedience and diligence. God changed the desire of my heart but it did not happen overnight. It took thought, planning, prayer (lots of prayer) and Gods grace. I went from full-time to partime then to perdiem. I will share the in and outs in the upcoming posts. Stay tuned for more of the story................. But please know that while I don't know you, I am praying for you and want to be an encouragement to you. Our Country and society are in a desperate time morally and spiritually. I believe the influence of the right type of Mothers with a heart for God and home can change the fate of a nation!! 1 chronicles 7:14

Have a blessed day!! Michelle

Todays Frugal Tip: Start monitoring your garbage. I know this sounds crazy, but in the early stages of my quest to become frugal, I noted that for a family of 3 we had an insane amount of garbage. I really started paying attention to what I was throwing away. I asked myself these questions: 1. Could it be recycled? 2.Was there any other use for this item? 3.Was itcompletely empty?

We live in a society where everything is disposable. I knew if I could decrease the amount of garbage we had, I probably would be saving money. I was exactly right. Do you know whats in your garbage?

Friday, June 27, 2008

Coming Home Series

I will be starting a series entitled Coming Home, within the next week or two. I have started the series and am praying over how God would have me tell my story.

The intent of this site is to help women working full-time outside their homes, to learn frugal tips and skills to enable them to return to their positions of Keeper at Home. Through Gods grace and lots of reading and the learning of new frugal skills, I have come home full-time. I also have an absolutely wonderful husband who has allowed me the privilege to keep his home and rear our child. God was so merciful to give me such a wonderful hubby!

It is my desire to help any lady obtain her hearts desire of becoming a fulltime keeper at home. It is the worlds desire to say it can't be done, but it can and with Victory! If even one lady is encouraged it will be worth it. Let's take back our influence and claim our position as Keepers of Our Homes!!

Please stay tuned for the first posting of this weekly series. It is by His grace and for His glory that I share my story with you.

Have a blessed weekend!! Michelle

Please Note; Throughout this series I will be posting a Frugal Tip of the Day, with great money and time saving ideas!!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Simplicity of Strawberry Picking

Here in upstate New York, it is an absolutely heavenly day! A picture perfect day to be picking strawberries. That is exactly what some friends and I did this morning. We were on our way for our weekly grocery shopping trip ( we travel 44 mi round trip for double coupons. You ask is it worth it? You betcha!) when we saw a strawberry sign. We threw caution to the wind and followed the trail. At the end........ rows and rows of God kissed strawberry patches!!!! The aroma smelled so sweet that my mouth was watering before I got out of the car.

Picking strawberries this morning reminded me of sweet childhood memories. A simpler time when folks took time to smell the roses (or strawberries). I had a heart of gratitude for the farmer and his family that have stuck with producing food from the earth. While the strawberries were slightly more expensive than what I have been paying at Aldi , I was grateful to be supporting our local farmers and the berries were so red and so sweet................... YUMMO!

I was also praising the Lord for the goodness of His bounty. He is so good to me. So much more than I deserve!! I am looking forward to putting on my apron and making homemade strawberry shortcake for my family. With real whipped cream!

Have a blessed day! Michelle

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

By His Grace and for His Glory

Hi. My name is Michelle and I live in Northern New York. I love the Lord Jesus Christ with all My heart and soul and mind. I love all things frugal. I have been reading blogs for quite some time and have finally decided to give this thing a whirl!