Saturday, September 18, 2010


Dear Blog sphere friends,

Hope all is well. Thank you for the recent comments. I have several new readers and your comments are an encouragement to my heart!

I know the next post is due in my series "The Cost of working Full-time", however my family is on a much needed vacation. We just returned from Lancaster County/ Gettysburg Penn. We had a great time and saw many interesting things. We are now packed up and ready for a few days of camping. We have taken a 2 week vacation this year which is new for us. We usually just take one week at a time. We have been saving for a long time, and of course this was a frugal vacation:) We are happy to report that we came home with half of the money we saved for vacation!

My lap top is down so my computer time is back to 30 minutes or less a day. I must say even less than that. We started our home school 3 weeks early to accommodate for our vacation. Sorry no fun pictures either as I am having technical difficulties loading pictures from my digital camera to my computer. You all know that I am technically challenged right?

After we are done camping we are home for a day then my husband and I will be attending a couples retreat with our Church. We love this time of fellowship with other married couples and we always receive sound Biblical teaching on marriage. One of my favorite subjects!! Both my husband and I feel strongly that investing in our marriage is worth every penny.

It has been a busy, crazy, wonderful couple of weeks:) It is definitely Fall here in upstate NY. The leaves are beautiful. Fall is our family's favorite time of year. I bought a new cookbook in Amish Country and look forward to making some new apple recipes.

Hope you all are having a wonderful start to Fall, wherever that might be for you! Look forward to chatting with you all again in the next few weeks!


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Cost of Working Full Time Part 2

This is the second post in The Cost Of Working full Time series. If you missed the first series in the post you can read it here.
Initially when I was asked to work full-time for 6 weeks, I will be honest, I was quite excited. I thought it would be a huge financial blessing. Please don't mis- understand, we were blessed with financial gain, however not to the degree I had originally thought.
1. Uniforms cost Money
Since I was perdiem working 1-2 shifts
a week, the three uniforms I had was quite sufficient. However I quickly realized that would not suffice working 5 days/week. The cost of new uniforms was $250.00 You might think that is quite steep. Medical Uniforms are expensive. As a professional it is important to be dressed appropriately. The uniforms are an investment and will last me a long time. They are also tax deductible. However I still had to shell out $250.00
2. I did not have time to Coupon
Couponing has saved my family literally hundreds to thousands of dollars. Remember when I mentioned we had one vehicle? That was a choice my Husband and I made when we decided I would leave my full-time job. Most of the time only having one vehicle is of little inconvenience. My husband car pools, except when his boss is on vacation, and if I need the vehicle I just get up at 5:30am and bring him to his car pool stop. Once in a while is not bad, but daily rising at this hour,coupled with working 40+ hours a week, well I was exhausted! I will admit, I am a wimp!!
I had little energy for couponing. I have been couponing 10+ years now and am fairly efficient. However couponing and sale searching still takes about 1 hour of my time each week. Sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less. In the thirteen weeks that I worked full-time(I know it was supposed to be six, I will get to that part later) I went couponing twice. The last time I was not organized and was way over budget! I rationalized, "I am making more money now so it's o.k." I bought more ready made foods than normal and purchased way more treats. I rationalized, "I am working more and well we deserve it." That's stinkin thinkin and that gets you into debt! After paying that high grocery bill (double my my normal) I got my head on straight! I recently went couponing and my subtotal came to $194+change and after coupons and my advantage card I paid $72 Glory to God!!!!
3. We ate out more in thirteen weeks than we have in one year!
I will be honest. This probably was the most discouraging revelation to me. As you know we have worked very, very, very hard on becoming debt free. We have sacrificed, gone without, prayed and then prayed some more and God has been blessing our finances mightily. However, when I started making a little more, became crunched for time, was over tired, well the first thing we started to do was order out, or go out and get something fast food. Eating out that way is very expensive. The integrity of this blog is important to me, and I would love to give you a figure, but honestly after the first $60.00 I stopped counting. That is stinkin thinkin too! Rule #1 of debt management is knowing where your money is going. #2 is sticking to your budget. We use the envelope system and $20.00 every 2 weeks goes into the entertainment envelope. That is what we use for take out, soft ice cream,or whatever we choose. When it is gone we don't eat out anymore. That was not the case with me working full-time. Not only was it expensive, it wasn't all that good and it certainly was not good for us. Physically nor financially. All of my family commented how much they missed daily home cooked meals. I am happy to report we are back on track and my family is once again the recipients of mama's cookin.
The afore mentioned are the tangible, measurable points that I noted regarding the financial aspects of me working full-time, please stay tuned for the Spiritual, and social aspects I noted of me leaving our home to work full-time. Please note these are the express opinions of this writer and I in no way condemn or judge those women who have to work outside the home. Quite the opposite. You are often in my thoughts and prayers.........

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Cost of Working Full Time

It has been a while since we all chatted. I would like to thank all of you who check in here faithfully, even when there is nothing new to read. I've recently received some comments that have been a great encouragement to me. I am humbled you would read this blog.

My last entry was way back in March! I have a good excuse. I have been a little busy....hmmmm, specifically working. Yes you read that correctly, and I am working full-time, well at least I was.

For those who faithfully read this blog, you know this blog was created to help those women who have a desire to leave their full-time jobs, learn frugal skills to help them "come home" . That is exactly what I did 4 years ago. I was a full-time Angiography nurse and I left my full-time job to home school our Son and be a Keeper of our home. You can read that post here.

Fast forward to this Spring. I have always worked per-diem since leaving my full-time position. I am so grateful to have this opportunity as the extra money is a great help to my family. I choose the shifts and the days I want to work. As a Critical Care nurse keeping your skills up to date is very important. In our ever changing environment of health care, as well as technology developing at warp speed, working per-diem has helped me keep my skills at a proficient level.

God really has provided a win win situation for me. Early in the spring I received a call from my boss stating that a colleague of mine had broken her ankle. This nurse is the Procedure nurse for our department and there are just a few of us that are able to cover her position. I was told she would be out for 6 weeks...... Her position is Mon-Fri 7:30 until ?, actually whenever the cases are finished. We do Per cutaneous Biopsies in this area and we work until all cases are done. Usually no later that 4p.m. I was asked if I would consider covering her position. I spoke with my Husband and we decided this was something I could do. The hospital I work at has been very good to me over my career and I wanted to help them out in this area. When I left my full-time job we went down to one vehicle. There would be some challenges, but together my Husband and I decided this was something I could do.

We thought the extra money would be a great help and we were almost finished with school. We thought with a little creative scheduling we would complete school on time. This was going to be a good thing. We were pumped up and ready for the challenge and we thought it's only for six weeks right? ...........................................................

Stay Tuned for the next post in this series



Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Set Apart Women

Wow. I just read a great post from Kristy over @ Homemakers Cottage. You can read her post here . I was challenged, exhorted, and yes shamed.

I am very careful not to lead you in wrong paths on this site. This is an excellent post!! As a Teen leader of girls, my heart was stirred. I watched the news this morning (why do I do that?) and the headlines were of a young girl, who took her life after being bullied by several girls over the last 6 months. The News anchor then went on to list several pictures & names of teens who have committed suicide within the past year because of being bullied! Help us! If we Christians don't step up to the plate and lead by example, a life set apart, the kids in our churches will turn to the World for their examples. Many already have.

We as Christian women saying one thing and do another. Can I just say that the path to the altar at Church, is not the runway. Woe to us who are in leadership positions who spend more time picking out our Sunday best, than we have in daily devotions. That we consult the Martha Stewart magazines for Home designing instead of what Gods Word states about the building and maintaining of a Christian Home. I can promise you that Martha Stewart's home does not have the warmth and splendor of a home where Christ reigns supreme.A Christ honoring, Christ centered, Christian Home. Where children are raised in the fear and admonition of the Lord, Where mothers are the keepers of the home, and Daddy leads the home.

I was not raised in the type of home I just wrote about. In fact quite the opposite. I will not dishonor my parents with details. They loved us and did the best they could. However, I will say that Christ was not the head of our home growing up. But by His grace and for His glory, that is not the case now. Christ is the head of our home!, and I praise God for it. Before you start thinking I have a perfect home, I do not. We are fallen creatures.I fail daily, as does my husband . The difference now, is we serve a mighty God, who promises to help us. To never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5) Our desire is to please Him in all that we say or do. If we continue to use the worlds bench mark to guide our homes and child rearing, we will always fall short. You will be left living a defeated life.

Our guide should be the Living Word of God. God did not leave us helpless. He gave us the best Home living guide on the planet! His Holy Word. Recently I have been under great conviction to increase my time in daily devotions. As Christians we do not have to live defeated lives, but we have to make the choice not to do so. If you choose not to spend time reading and meditating on God's Word, then you are choosing to live defeated that day. We can not walk in the Spirit if we have not spent time with the Lord.

I am so passionate about this subject. I know God is still in the business of changing lives. My family and I are living proof. We are not the same as we were 7 years ago when I rededicated my life to the Lord, and my Husband got saved. My husbands Spiritual birthday is April, 17, 2003. We are not the same people. As we celebrate Christ's Resurrection this week, I can't Thanks Jesus enough for all he did for me. The Bible states in John 10:10 "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."

All we have to do is look around and see the thief stealing, killing and destroying. As Christians, we do not have to live that way. Make a cup of tea, curl up on the couch, grab your precious children, and read the best book ever written. God's Holy Word.

P.S. I've read the end of the book, We Win!!!!!

May you have life more abundantly today,


A special thanks to my friend Wanda for the heads up on the post at Homemakers cottage. I feel blessed to share a kindred heart with you friend!

Monday, March 29, 2010

The World's Worst Blogger

All right. It's now out in the open. I confess I am the World's worst blogger! Many of you building successful money making blogs would consider this statement, blog suicide. However, that has never been the intent of this blog.

I have tried to be forth right in many of my posts regarding the frequency of posting on this blog. I am not Superwoman, and have long ago turned in my cape for an apron. While I readily admit that I am the world's worst blogger, I would like to think that I do the important things fairly well. "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." (Phil 4:13)

My number one role is Wife and helpmeet to my Husband. I am also the keeper of our home, which takes a great deal of time. My wonderful Husband and I just celebrated 16 years of marriage, and I can wholeheartedly say, if given the chance I would marry him all over again. You might be thinking, is He perfect? No. Just perfect for me. My Husband and I both share the same values of marriage and we work very diligently in this area of our life. I have often told our Son that if He is blessed with a helpmeet that loves Him, as much as I love His Dad, His heart will be safe. " The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil." Proverbs 31:11

My second priority is that of Mother, to my wonderful 15 year old Son. He's an amazing kid and I love him dearly. I feel privileged to be His Mom and have seen a glimpse of the depth of love that God must feel for His children. If I do nothing else well in this life, but have filled these two roles to the best of my ability, according to the Word of God, then I will have had great success.

Thirdly I am a servant in our Church. First, I am my Husband's assistant in the Teen Sunday school class, He teaches. He is also our Church's Youth Director, and I assist him in many ways in this area of ministry. We have a very active Youth ministry in our Church and I praise the Lord for that, however this could be a full-time position in itself.

We minister to the needs of my aging In-laws who are in poor health and a recently widowed Uncle. This has recently become a much more demanding area of our lives. The needs of our family have increased, and both my Husband and I feel, the best way to share God's love with our family is to show them the love of Christ. Often times that requires sacrifice. When Christ showed God's love for us, His life was sacrificed. Our free time is limited at this point in life. That's o.k. We have been provided a great opportunity to show our family that our faith is real.

I am a nurse. I work on the average of 6-8 shifts a month. Sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less. I feel blessed not to have to work full-time. God has showed Himself so real to my family in the area of our finances. He has provided for us above any thing we could ask or think, as we strive to put Him first in our lives. I am a critical care nurse and that does require me to keep up my skills, as well as certifications. I feel blessed that God has given me this talent.

As you can see, I like you, wear many hats. I enjoy blogging. It is fun and I enjoy reading blogs. I have been very encouraged by many bloggers. There are some great Christ honoring sites out there. However my computer time is limited to less than 30 minutes a day. There are some days I never log on to my computer. The needs of my family come first. Hopefully you all understand. So, maybe I am the world's worst blogger, but as you can see I am attempting to do some things well!



Tuesday, February 2, 2010

CVS $3.68 Money Maker

Here's how you can make a few bucks at CVS this week.
1 Colgate Max Fresh 2.99/2.oo ECB
2 New Dove Mens Body Wash 5.49/5.49 ECB limit 2
1 Reinventing Beauty Magazine .99
I used $1/1 Colgate Toothpaste All You Magazine
2 $1.25 off Mens Body Wash Red Plum 1/31
$3 off $15 e-mailed to me
Spent $9.30 OOP and got back $12.98 in ECB's
Praise The Lord!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

High Value Coupon on Soft Scrub

Soft Scrub is one of those cleaners that I love, but can't always afford. You all know my affinity for bleach, and Soft Scrub puts out a great product. Thanks to moneysavingmom for this great tip, you can print $1 cpns here. The manufactures cpn does not say don't double, so on dbl cpns at Price Chopper,this would be a great deal!!
I was able to print the cpn twice. Happy Scrubbing:)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Eating From the Pantry With God's Provision

Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah. Psalm 68:19 KJV

It's 9a.m. here on the East Coast, and dinner is done! Aaaahhhh. What a great feeling. The Chili is on the stove, the bread bowls are on the counter thawing, and the tossed salad is put together and in the fridge. As I was putting together my meal I was praising God in my heart for His continual faithfulness to me and my family. Let me explain...........

As I prepared the Chili that we will have for dinner, I praise the Lord for the wisdom He has given me in the area of couponing. Most of the ingredients I used I had purchased for pennies. Secondly, the 2 cans of crushed tomatoes I used were given to us. The tomatoes were given to us by my Uncle, and I plan on sharing our meal with him tonight. The onions I used were given to me by my Father-in-law. Someone had given them to Him for making a monetary donation to a food pantry. He was also given a bag of salad and a dozen eggs. He passed those along to us as well. I used the eggs to make dessert for our Sunday meal and the salad was used for that meal as well. We shared our Sunday afternoon meal with some folks from our Church.

The tossed salad that I made for tonight's meal was with 2 bags of Garden salad mix from Aldi that I purchased this week for .49cents a bag. The tomatoes and cucumbers were given to us. Our Church receives produce on Mondays from a local store. Over the last few months we have been given bread, mayo, lots of produce and fresh fruit.

Sunday morning our Pastors wife called inquiring if I had an extra winter coat. I frequently hit thrift stores and She is aware of that. There is a lady in our Church in need of a Winter coat. I didn't have one but told her I would definitely keep my eyes out for one in my travels. Later that afternoon my Uncle called, (The one whose wife recently passed away, my dear Aunt Dee) and wanted to know If I knew anyone who needed a coat. He had several of hers he was going to give away. I will pick up that coat tonight when I deliver his meal. I will deliver the coat tonight to the Lady in our Church.

Are you staring to see the picture? God blesses us in so many ways, and blesses others through us. As I reflect on the daily provision of our Heavenly Father I am so thankful to be His child. My Uncle did not know a lady in our Church needed a coat, but God did. Our God is ever so faithful.

I had mentioned in an earlier post you can read here, that I would share some of the scripture God used to help me after my Aunt passed away. The one scripture I referred to most was Psalm 27:13 I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. KJV God is faithful and we can trust in Him.

We are living in uncertain times. Just recently I had shared with my Husband I was starting to fret over finances. Heating our home in the Winter is always a major financial challenge! Lord help mine thou unbelief!

The goodness of the Lord must be remembered daily. As we walk with Him, may we all be encouraged to trust Him for all our needs~!



Monday, January 18, 2010

Eating From The Pantry Challenge Update

Well I wanted to update you all on our eating from the pantry challenge. As I shared in a recent post, my pantry wasn't completely stocked. My freezer was less than full and I didn't have nearly the reserves in my health and beauty pantry as I normally do(Yes, I have two pantry's!)
but I decided to start where I was and use up what we had on hand.
I am not going to post our full meals but I did want to share what we have been using.
2 boxes of Betty Crocker mashed potatoes
1 box of Betty Crocker Scalloped potatoes
3 cans creamed corn
1 can cream chicken soup
2 packages of Jello
Can of Tuna
From the Freezer
2 Loaves of bread
Chicken Legs (I made fried chicken for the first time this week. It was yummmmmmmy!!)
Pork Chops
2 bags Frozen Veggies
1 Package of homemade Turkey stock (Made from our Christmas Turkey)
From the Fridge
Sour Cream ( I had a couple of containers that I had bought a while ago on sale w/cpn. I needed to use them so I made Coffee Cakes and gave them to some folks at our church)
All different kinds of fruit that needed to be eaten up before it went bad!
I did grocery shop this week and coupon the sales. I was out of most paper products and really need to start couponing again. However I have tried to supplement or build meals around what I have on hand. That has been helpful to allow me to spend a little more on things I am out of.
I am gearing up to make February the kick off to De cluttering. I am still thinking of all of the details, but I hope some of you will join me. Spring will be coming and I would love to be clutter free before I start my Spring cleaning! Stay tuned for further details.........

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

CVS Loreal Lip Gloss Deal

Thanks to moneysavingmom for the heads up on this great deal! I stopped at CVS yesterday and found that they had a few Loreal lip glosses left. I was able to pick 2 shades that I liked and will wear!!

I had received an e-mail from Loreal .You can visit here. Just register and you will get coupons e-mailed to you. I was e-mailed a $3 off any 2 products. Which I used at CVS yesterday, making my total $1.54 for 2 with tax. The best part was a $1.50 ECB printed out from my fall spending bucks. So I really paid 4cents for 2 Loreal Lip Glosses! Regular retail; $7.99 each.
The cashier was a young guy who said that's a really great deal!
Thanks moneysavingmom::)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Modest Feminine Apparel

For those of you who know me well, you know I love all things feminine. The girler, the better. I love lacy, flowery things. Miss Jen over at blessed femina has a beautiful post on modest feminine clothing. I encourage you to read it here. She has a beautiful blog that inspires me each time I visit. I have never met this young maiden, but from reading her blog for some time, it appears she is as lovely on the inside as the outside. She has a spirit of femininity that encourages me. Stop by and comment on her site. I am sure she would be blessed.

Happy Lord's Day:)


Saturday, January 9, 2010

Challenge to Declutter

Is your house full of stuff? I mean stuff you don't use, stuff you can't find, stuff you don't want?

I know mine is. Amy over at the Finer things has a great post/challenge here. It sure inspired me. I'm not sure I have 730 items to get rid of. Truth be known I probably have double that.

I may make February my de clutter month. 3 items a day for 28 days. That would be 84 items. Or maybe I will de clutter a room a month. 1-2 items a day for a month/ per room. I realize some rooms may have more items than others. Like my home office that looks like a bomb has hit it, versus my bedroom which I make a great effort to keep clean & tidy. Still I think I rather like this idea.

Probably needs a few more details worked out. Like will I sell the stuff or just give it away? Donate to goodwill or save for a Spring garage sale. Maybe a little of all the above. This idea definitely deserves a little "think time". Anybody else think this is a great idea?


Saturday Times Union

For my local readers, I just picked up the Saturday 1/10 edition of The Times Union. There are 2 very packed coupon inserts!

The Times Union is $1.50 versus $2 for the Sunday edition of The Post Star. My friend Laura told me of this deal a while back & I have been taking advantage of it ever since. Thanks, Laura:)

If possible you want to pick up your paper early in the day, as I have had difficulty finding a paper later in the day.

Stay tuned for more deals.........


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Eating From The Pantry Challenge

From Left to Right, Mrs. Laura Braley, Mrs. Teya Miller, Me:), Mrs. Wanda Rouley

Well in my last post I shared with you that I was going to join the pantry challenge over at money saving mom. I also shared that I was going to challenge you all to "start where you are." Maybe you don't have a full pantry right now. Maybe you don't even have a pantry!

The key is to start somewhere. Take inventory of all your cupboards and anywhere else you store food and see what you have! If you could reduce your food budget by $5.oo this week, wouldn't that be a start?

I do not have a full pantry. I used a lot of what we have had in our pantry over the last few months. That pantry was a huge blessing during a time when I didn't have the time or energy or desire to go food shopping. At any rate,I decided in the spirit of adventure to call a couple of girlfriends and host a recipe swap exchange day. I hosted it yesterday from 12:30-2:30p. We had a wonderful time. I made an inexpensive Lemon Sponge cake recipe that I found in an Amish book I was reading. Very yummy:)

We were inspired with new recipes and we each brought a cookbook to share. We swapped cookbooks with each other to be kept for 30 days and returned to its owner. A fun frugal way to get some new recipes. I encourage you all to put on your thinking caps, get inspired and host a fun get together!

Monday, January 4, 2010

The Blessings of Family

Dear Blogging Friends,

I know it has been some time since I have posted. On November 2, 2009, my dear Aunt Dee passed away, unexpectedly. She was sitting in her chair making out her Christmas list.
My Aunt was a huge influence on me growing up and a very big part of my life as an adult.
If you have read my blog for any time, then you know that I lost both my parents at a young age. Both my Mom & Dad were only 59 when they passed away, exactly 3 years apart.. My Aunt was 65.

When my Mom died that left a giant hole in my life. My Aunt did a wonderful job of filling that hole. She was a wonderful friend and confidante. I miss her terribly. She left behind a husband of 46 years, my Uncle John. My family is trying to be there for him in every way possible. My Aunt & Uncle had no children of their own.

My Aunt was my Fathers only sibling. After my Aunt passed, I struggled with many things. First there was no longer any relative who knew my history so to speak. I was devastated by that fact. That might sound strange to you, but the fact that most of all my 1st degree relatives have passed on was very difficult for me.

The Holidays have always been a great celebration in my family. It has been a difficult few months. My husband & friend Wanda, have been a huge support to me. I thank God for You both!!

The clouds are starting to lift and I feel a sense of new beginnings with the New Year. Although I miss all of my family dearly, I praise the Lord for the blessings of family & friends that are in my life. I will share with you in the future some of the scripture that was a tremendous help to me over the last few months.

I plan on taking part in the Pantry Challenge over @ moneysavingmom. I will be posting of my progress and also challenge us all to start where we are.

I pray you had a blessed holiday with family & friends. That time is truly priceless.