Monday, September 28, 2009

Out for Surgery

Off for surgery tomorrow morning at 7am (arrival time of 545am).

Prayers and thoughts are appreciated.

I'll be back as soon as I can but it will probably be about a week.

Until then, have a great week and enjoy some wonderful fall weather!
God Bless!
Lea

Fear

I don't know much but I know this: Surgery scares me.

I'm going in for rather extensive sinus surgery tomorrow morning. Not only are they cleaning me out, but they're removing some excess tissue and buiding drainage passages.

Surgery scares me at least a bit at the best of times. This one petrifies me. They're working millimeters from my eyes and my brain. Those are kind of necessary organs - well, eyesight is lovely but ultimately optional. The brain, well, if it doesn't work properly, you don't live. Your body can function but you don't live.

All of that scares me. In spite of statistics that say 98.something% of people come out with no complications. My brain keeps traveling to the world of 'what ifs...'

But I do know something else.

Fear is not of the Lord, but of the devil. It is one of the many tools he uses to keep us from being where God wants us. It keeps us focused on something other than the Lord.

So, I cling to the Lord. To His promise that all things work out for the good of those who love Him and live in His statutes.

All will be well.

No matter what happens.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Menu Plan Monday - September 27

So, now that you saw what we bought, here's what we'll eat this week:

Breakfasts: oatmeal or cold cereal (unless otherwise stated)
Lunch: leftovers, canned soup and sandwiches, or whatever else we can put together from the kitchen (unless otherwise stated)

Sunday:
Brunch: Baked Eggs, Pancakes, and Sausage Links
Dinner: Chicken Pot Pie, Lettuce Salad, Sliced Tomatoes, Apples and Fresh Bread

Monday:
Dinner: Beef Roast with Potaotes and Carrots, Lettuce Salad, Fruit Salad

Tuesday:
Dinner: Beef Stir Fry with White Rice, Fruit

Wednesday:
Dinner: Soft Shell Tacos, Fruit

Thursday:
Dinner: Leftovers

Friday:
Dinner: Baked Salmon, Homemade Bread, Lettuce Salad, Fruit

Saturday:
Breakfast: Oatmeal Muffins, Fruit
Lunch: Tuna Salad Roll Ups, Sliced Carrots and Peppers
Dinner: Baked Pork Loin, Roasted Potatoes, Lettuce Salad, Fruit

Since I have surgery on Tuesday, Mom is actually doing the cooking. If we're out of leftovers, then she'll come up with something more exciting for Thursday and lunches.

Check out more Menus at Ogranizing Junkie!

Bumpy Sunday

Today is Sunday.

Supposedly a day of rest, a day with the Lord, a day to get my ducks in a row for the rest of the week to come (mentally speaking).

This morning was one of the most mornings that just didn't go well. Got to sleep way too late (or rather early this morning) in spite of going to bed on time. Woke up with a headache and a tummy ache, which translated into a lot of time spend in the bathroom. The hose I needed for the skirt I was going to wear today had a run in them. So did the other pair. Then I stuck my finger through the 'backup' pair. So I switched to pants. Which showed too many lines. So I had to dig out the blazer that would cover them. Then I dropped and promptly lost an earring. Then the necklace that I was going to wear was broken (previously and somehow ended up back in my jewelry box). So, I missed choir warmup, almost didn't get my robe (we play musical robes due to having more people than robes), and spend half of the sermon in the bathroom again.

I was ready to throw in the towel and go back to bed.

Uff da.

Still - there are blessings.

A really good sermon on prayer, or rather "talking with God."
A coffee date this afternoon with a friend.
Six-dollars netting us 5lbs of potatoes and 12 multicolored peppers at the farmer's market (John had $ left over from his own spending money that he sacrificed for that - which was another blessing!).
Some time this evening to get a couple things knocked off my to-do list.
Some uninterruped time to spend with my hubby.

And some precious, uninterrupted time to spend in His Word and talking to the Lord.

All of that in spite of the bumpy starts.

What more can I ask for?

Friday, September 25, 2009

Super Savings Saturday - The $50/2 weeks Version (Sort Of)

Normally we run errands on Saturday. However, since we have a fundraiser tomorrow, we ran them tonight. Target, Sam's Club and a local grocery store chain (Rainbow Foods) were our three destinations. The "Sort of" comes in that we bought a bunch of stuff for preschool snack that isn't in our regular grocery budget - it comes from the 'school savings' fund that we have.



So here's what we got (sorry, no pics - my camera is being a pain!):



Sam's Club: Total: $18.62 (groceries); $$35.94 (school savings)



  • 2 86 oz Apple Juice (for us) ($4.18)


  • Vanilla 16 oz (for us) ($6.88) (this will last us about 8 months)


  • 2 Gallons of Milk (for us) ($1.79 each x 2 = $3.58)


  • 80 100% Juice Boxes (for Preschool) ($9.98/40 x 2 = $19.96)


  • 36 cups of applesauce (20 for Preschool, 16 for us) ($8.76)


  • 48 String Cheese (40 for Preschool, 8 for us) ($7.22)


  • 40 Flour Tortilla (for us) ($3.98)

Rainbow: Total: $20.05



  • 24 rolls of Toilet Paper ($5.32)

  • 250 Paper Napkins ($1)

  • 1 can kernal corn ($0.48)

  • 3lbs bananas ($1.47)

  • 8pk disposable rasors ($0.50)

  • 1 block cheddar cheese ($1.99)

  • 1 bag shredded cheddar cheese ($1.99)

  • 2 packets taco seasoning ($0.90)

  • 1 carton vanilla ice cream ($1.99)

  • 2 bottles men's body wash ($1.38 x 2 = $2.76)

  • Plus tax on the non-food items

Target: total $3



  • 2 boxes Apple-cinnamon Nutri-grain cereal bars ($1.50 each x 2 = $3)

Since I budget $50 for every two weeks, that leaves me with $8.33 for 2 trips to the farmer's market, a bag of baby carrots for the last part of the snack contributions and anything else that we need over the next two weeks. This week was particularly frustrating since we ran out of toilet paper, body wash, everything to drink but water, and a host of pantry items all at once. Most of the pantry items I didn't get a chance to replace this week, since the Nutri-grain bars are a favorite of Buddy's on sale WAY cheap (usually over $4/box full price), John needed body wash, we were totally out of vanilla and TP is a definate necessity! I'm hoping to catch up on a few things as sales happen more since I'm currently well-stocked on toiletries again (body wash seems to be our most costly item).


The good news? Since I have surgery on Tuesday, I'm guessing 2 gallons of milk, the bag of baby carrots for preschool and a few potatoes at the Farmer's Market are all we'll actually get the chance to get over the next two weeks. We have plenty of food and my folks are here to help with the kids and take care of me while I recover and will most likely pick up a few things. We still have a boat load of apples and grapes - I have applesauce cooking in the crockpot right now and my house smells heavenly! So, we're good for fruit for a while.


Don't worry, we're not just eating ice cream and cheese sprinkled with taco seasoning and apples and grapes over the next week or so. I'll post our menu for this next week on Monday!


For more shopping inspiration, check out Money Saving Mom, who hosts Super Savings Saturday!

More (BIG! HUGE!) Blessings!

I got a huge surprise in my email in-box late last night.

I am a class coordinator for an aerobics class. We rent space from a dance studio and have class 10x a week there. I'm responsible for seting up and taking down our stuff and checking poeple in two days a week. In exchange for this service, I recieved a discount on my membership.

Honestly, I didn't do it for the discount. I love, love, LOVE the workout. But...I have a habit of talking myself out of going a million ways. So, I signed up to be a coordinator to guarantee I will go at least twice a week. I have a chronic medical condition related to blood flow that is controlled through regular exercise (get that blood flowing, you know!), so exercise is essential. Everything is just better if I go. So, that was my way of making sure I go regularly.

Yesterday, I had sent the owner of the aerobics classes an update and a note about the new coordinator I had trained that morning (who did a fabulous job, I might add!) and just telling her that I so much enjoy being part of the whole thing.

The response I received blew me away! I have been working alone for almost 8 months now. Usually they have us in pairs, but no one has been available on the mornings I work. There is a gentleman who has helped me occasionally but nothing official. The owner expressed how much she appreciated this, that I worked hard, she always knew she could trust and count on me and she wanted to reward me for this.

She's giving me FREE aerobics. Just completely cutting out my membership dues and giving me all the perks.

I literally started crying.

My husband's pay check this time around is less than our budgeted amount due to some unexpected days off due to a product shortage, I have surgery coming up next week and $1000 in tuition due the following week. My son out grew his last pair of shoes literally overnight and crys when I try to put him in the pair he has. Our grocery/toiletry list is as long as my arm (literally) and I have $25 to spend, and that includes snacks for preschool for 60 that need to store bought and peanut free and drinks that need to be 100% fruit juice.

Yes, it's only less than $20 a month that I'll be gaining, but it couldn't have come at a better time.

That's a pair of shoes. And a winter coat. And hats and mittens. Or snacks and drinks for preschool. That's a birthday gift for my newphew. Something nice for my Mom for her birthday. Most likely, it will go to the shoes, coats, hats and mittens and not snacks or the presents. But it's nice to dream.

More than that, it reminded me that doing the right thing, being responsible, and enjoying myself while taking care of myself and serving others is important. I can't put a price on being trusted by others. Or by knowing that someone hasn't worked that terribly hard to find someone to work with me because they "trust" me and "know you can handle it". That blows me away almost as much as getting the fees waved completely.

Thank you Renee! You have NO idea how much you have blessed me with this.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Thankful for Prayer

I'm having surgery on Tuesday next week. It's necessary and even encouraged by my doctor (I'm out of other options at this point) but scarey none-the-less.

I had choir rehearsal at church last night and was overwhelmed by the power of prayer. In our prayer circle I confided to the group what has been happening these last two years and why I need the surgery and then asked for prayers for the surgery on Tuesday itself.

I guess I'm a better actress than I thought or perhaps I just learned, as two dear friends and a family member who live with a chronic illness have said, to live, rather than suffer. Anyway, most people didn't even know I had been ill and said they would certainly be praying for my surgery and recovery. I'm overwhelmed.

We sang "Thy Will Be Done" by Joyce Elaine Eilers last night. Very fitting as I've been trying so hard to leave all of this in God's hands over the last two years and with my cousin's death in August, have been finally able to do that.

Whatever the outcome of the surgery, I know that God is control and he's right there beside me.

Thy Will Be Done

Thy Will Be Done

Words and Music by Joyce Elaine Eilers



Sometimes the load is heavy, and sometimes the road is long.

And sometimes, Lord, this heart of mine, is not so very strong.

But Thy will be done, Lord, Thy will be done.


Father I do not ask You to take this cup from me.

I only ask your guidance o'er paths I cannot see.

And Thy will be done, Lord, Thy will be done.


Our Father, who art in heaven,

Hallowed by Thy name.

Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done,

On earth as it is, as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread,

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation,

But deliver us from evil.

For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory.

Forever.

Amen.


Now, Lord, I feel you near me,

I feel Your guiding pow'r.

And know You're standing by me

Through ev'ry passing hour.

And Thy will be done, Lord, Thy will be done.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

One of My Favorite Things

I have a treat today. I get to work from home ALL day AND I get to spend some extra time with Buddy and Missy.

Usually I work from home Tuesday afternoons - after a good workout at Jazzercise in the morning. That's my day at home - time to catch up on some things around the house, maybe make a complicated dinner, and spend a couple un-interruptable hours working on schoolwork or research. That's a planned day - it happens almost every week and I have a routine.

Days like today are rare and therefore a special treat. I have to pick my kids up early today, since my daycare lady has to take her daughter to an appointment. So I get until 2pm to spend on schoolwork, research and household stuff and then I get to spend 2pm onward with my kids! Since I usually don't pick them up until 4pm, I get a whole extra 2 hours!

The plan - I've been working on some much-needed writing so far (with a nice pot of tea and some candles lit), started some bread, and, after lunch, will finish the Lutheran World Relief quilt top that is due back to church this Sunday for quilting group. If I have some time after that, I'll write some more. After picking up the kids, we're going to the library and then we have a date to watch a video with popcorn - just the 3 of us, cuddled up on the couch downstairs under a fuzzy blanket.

If these things happened every day, they wouldn't be so special. That makes it even better!

What is a rare treat for you in your life as a working woman - whether you work inside the house or out?

I Spoke Too Soon!

I spoke to soon in my posting yesterday about God's blessings! I guess I should have waited until the end of the month, but I just feel so blessed, I had to share.

Here's what happened yesterday evening:

  • Squash! Just before heading out the door to his Lion's meeting, John came in with a squash in his hand. Our plant had two more tiny squash on it a few days ago but the whole thing looked REALLY peaked. We now have two squash to eat this next week - which is enough for us and my parents (who get back from their trip on Monday).
  • More Free Apples! John came home from Lion's with a huge ziploc bag of apples. Someone at Lion's was giving away apples from his tree and asked if we would like more. John said "Sure!" so we will be getting a bag or two dropped off at our house as the tree produces more apples! I might just have to can applesauce this year... :)
  • Free Freezer Gallon Size Ziplocs! The grapes and apples we've gotten this week are in gallon size freezer-grade Ziploc (yes, the real thing!) bags! Whoo hoo! I was thinking we'd run out, but now we have 3 more, which should hold us until I can buy more.

Isn't God amazing?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

God's Unexpected Blessings (So Far) in September

It's amazing to think that we only have another week of September left, isn't it? Where does the time go? It struck me this weekend, that even though we've had to drastically trim our budget in so many ways this fall, we've been so very, very blessed. God has truly provided above and beyond anything we could have asked or wanted. Here's a snippet:

  • Free laundry detergent! My folks needed powder detergent for a trip overseas and since they couldn't find the trial size, they bought the biggest box, put some in clearly labeled ziploc baggies and gave us the rest.
  • Free Grapes and Apples! We had company this weekend and they brought us home-grown apples and grapes as a hostess gift. I didn't have as much fruit in the house as I wanted, so this is wonderful!
  • Free doll house! A house near our daycare lady's house had a huge doll house in the front yard with a "Free" sign attached. So we stopped and picked it up! It's not in the best shape but we stuck it on the patio and the kids are having a great time playing with it!
  • Free craft supplies! A relative is cleaning out her house for sale and sent us a big box of stuff. Most of it was scrapbooking supplies - paper, stickers, die cuts, etc. I was SO excited! I had had a few projects I wasn't working on since I didn't have the 'right' stuff - printed paper or (mostly) plain card stock. I had enough to send some with the company from this weekend (who is an avid card maker), keep some for myself and set some aside to sell on eBay or Craigslist! Whoo hoo!
  • Time to clean out and take stock! This was probably the biggest blessing of the month. I had a day when I was feeling well and at home with no school work to do. So, I totally cleaned out the kitchen and the guest room. I found a bunch of stuff to give away and sell, and I was able to reuse some things we had in other places of the house. I was also able to go through the kids out of season clothes (which I keep in the guest room) and realized I only have to buy Missy a winter coat, hat and mittens and Buddy only needs pants, a winter coat, hat, mittens and boots! Whoo hoo! I would have bought them WAY more than that.

I'm always amazed at the way God works in our lives and I feel so blessed that we have so much! I'm grateful for all we have and all that 'magically' appears in our lives, by God's grace.

What has He blessed you with lately?

COMING SOON

Actual content coming soon! Whoo hoo!