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Work-at-home mom: take a deep breath and Do Life Different as you allow these devotions for work-at-home moms to fill the vacuum of your needy heart in the chaos of your busy world.
 
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Archive for Family and Finance

Jul
19

1913 Marital Advice

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I oldcouplehave this book called “Don’ts for Husbands, Don’ts for Wives” written in 1913.  I thought I would share some of the advice given.  I’d really like your comments on them too, so feel free to leave them!

Don’ts for Husbands:

Don’t look at things solely from a man’s point of view.  Put yourself in your wife’s place and see how you would like some of the things she has to put up with. (p.5-6).

Don’t condescend; you are not the only person in the house with brains. Don’t omit to bring home an occasional bunch of flowers or a few chocolates.  Your wife will value even a penny bunch of violets for your thought of her.  Don’t rush out of the house in such a hurry that you haven’t time to kiss your wife ‘good bye’.  She will grieve over the omission all day. Don’t belittle your wife before visitors.  You may think it a joke to speak of her little foibles, but she will not easily forgive you. (p.11)

Don’t forget your wife’s birthday.  Even if she doesn’t want the whole world to know her age, she doesn’t want you to forget.

Don’t for Wives:  

Don’t take your husband on a laborious shopping expedition, and expect him to remain good-tempered throughout.  If you want his advice on some special dress purchase, arrange to attend to that first, and then let him off.  Men, as  a rule, hate indiscriminate shopping.  Don’t allow yourself to get into the habit of dressing carelessly when there is ‘only’ your husband to see you.  Depend upon it he has no use for faded tea-gowns and badly dressed hair, and he abhors the sight of curling pins as much as other men do. He is a man after all, and if his wife does not take the trouble to charm him, there are plenty of other women who will. (p. 137-8) Read More→

Jul
18

Random Acts of Happiness

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Finding Simplicity as a SAHM by Adrina Palmer Now we all know the best part of waking up is coffee in our cup, but the second best part of waking up is sweet notes from our children, spelling errors and all. My vanity table in my room has a note from my son and one from each of my daughters. The note from my youngest says, “I love you mom,” with a smiley face. The one from my son says, “I hope you get a perfect coffee and you are fun, loving, caring, and an overall good mother.” My son’s note is signed anonymous, which cracks me up! Like I don’t know his handwriting and would sit there for hours trying to figure out who left me such a thoughtful note.

My middle child made me a giant card out of purple construction paper that says I am the world’s greatest mom (mind you she has limited knowledge, as I am her only mom). Inside the card are pictures of me flying, drinking coffee (big surprise right?), and a poem about how I am her hero. One time for Mother’s Day at school, my daughter was given a list to fill out about me, and the part that had me rolling on the floor was, when asked what food I cook best, she chose salad. At some point maybe I can take a chance and put together a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, or maybe make some toast!

This morning I woke up to a note from my youngest telling me I am a sweet mom, along with a ticket for a coffee. Let me tell you these notes fuel my life. When I walk into the the laundry room and find shoes on the floor along with dirty clothes preventing the door from shutting, or their rooms are a mess again, or their mess is trickling down the stairs, I begin to wonder if my children hate me. Then I get these notes and know my little ones love me and just need more training and practice. They do love me; they are just little heathens.

Parenting is hard. Adulting is hard (I do enjoy this new trend of turning nouns into verbs). Do not miss the moments that make all the rest of raising children worth the time and energy spent. The notes are great, but I love when my kiddos give me hugs and kisses. I am not much of a cuddler, but I do love affection. I adore when my kids share freckles with me (I have none, they have plenty). All of these wonderful moments of random happiness are the sand that fills the jar. Read More→

Jun
08

How to Make a Difference in Your Community

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Do you want to make a difference in your local community? Unfortunately, there are many people who struggle in life and need your help. As well as this, many people want to improve their neighborhoods and make their locality a safer and more enjoyable place to live in. Below are some of the ways you can help.

Work as a Public Administrator

The residents in your local area need people they can rely on to represent them and individuals who want to address any local social and economic problems that exist. If you believe you have the personality and skills to do this work, becoming a public administrator could be the job for you.

You can start by getting involved in local projects and attending community events. However, to really advance in this area and become an effective public administrator, you should consider enrolling in an online master in public administration degree course or a similar type of program. Once you have completed a course such as the online MPA degree from a recognized university like Norwich University, you will possess the skills and knowledge required to work in local government or in a wide range of non-profit organizations.

Help Senior Citizens

People are living longer, which means there are more seniors who need to be taken care of. In many cases, these older citizens simply need some company and support. In other situations, you may be able to help these senior citizens by helping with home deliveries or providing your services at a local senior center.

Become a Coach or Mentor

Many of the social problems that occur in a city or town come about because of the neglect of younger members of society who have not been guided in the right way in their formative years. By becoming a coach or a mentor with a local team or youth organization, you can act as a role model for many of these children and teenagers who might otherwise go down the wrong path in life and enter a life of crime. Read More→

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May
16

Tutu Much Money

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teen girlsMy daughters, Bri and Alex, have been in dance classes for a few years of their lives. Bri was in both ballet and Irish dance before requesting no more dance. She said she couldn’t keep her arms straight; when in ballet she was supposed to use her arms, and in Irish, she was not. She asked to stop, and I reluctantly agreed. Who does not want to see their little girl with a bun, tutu, and ballet shoes? Some moms don’t, but this mom did. Then baby number three took dance for three years, and I have decided ballet for number three is not cost effect.

Alex loves to be the center of attention and in a beautiful costume or dress. Dancing is not her passion. How do I know dancing is not her passion? She does not dance around the house, she never practiced her dance routine at home or anywhere else, and she doesn’t talk about dance. Oh, and she needs constant reminders to get ready for class on Saturday mornings. I am not suggesting my child live and breathe dance. I am saying she should care enough about dance to put forth enough effort for the class to be cost effective.

I warned little miss that if at her recital she had shown no effort on her part to learn her routine (I do my part of telling her to practice, up to her to do the work), I would not pay for another year of class. Here’s the math:

$70 a month for nine months for class
$25 leotard and tights
$150 recital and costume
$48 tickets to recital
$30 one dance picture
$20 program for recital
Total – $903 a year for dance

The cost would be completely worth the price if my daughter were gaining useful skills such as practicing skills, or patience, or anything beyond looking cute in a costume and occasionally moving her feet. At the recital, Alex had to spend the entire two minutes on stage looking over her shoulder to watch the teacher show her what steps she was supposed to do next. She did not in nine months time learn anything except where she was supposed to stand when the dance started. Children younger than her knew all their steps. Actions speak loudly.

My little miss does not care about dancing; she cares about dressing up and being on stage in front of an audience. Not worth the cost for dance class. In the car on the way home from the recital, my attention seeking third child ask how she did at her recital, and I was truthful, because who am I helping if I give her undeserved accolades? I was tactful but honest. “Alex, you did ok, but you did not try very hard, and you did not practice, which showed because you had to keep looking at your teacher or classmates to know what steps to do.” I told her I wanted her to be proud of herself and did she think she had put enough effort forth to be proud of herself. She said she guessed not. Then she changed the subject and moved on. She only cared about being in a costume. I am not just going to praise her because she wants me too, because in the real world you have to earn praise. Read More→

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Apr
21

Easy Steps For An Easy Move

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moving

Image: Flickr

Moving house is one of the most stressful things most people ever go through. That wonderful feeling of knowing you’re moving to a home that you’re absolutely in love can quickly be snuffed out by the awful realization of all the stuff you actually have to get from A to B. However, by applying these simple tricks, you can take a huge amount of stress out of the whole process.

Account for the Essentials

When the big day comes around, you don’t want to have to run from box to box, rummaging through all your stuff looking for a runaway phone charger. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and no family home was unpacked in a couple of minutes, so do your best to make sure you have all the essentials close to hand. A day or two before the move, pack an overnight bag including fresh clothes for everyone, any electronics you’ll want, their chargers, and the toiletries you’ll need to get through the day. Some snacks and drinks can also be very handy, especially if you’re not even close to having a functional kitchen in the new place!

Don’t Strain Yourself

One of the most common moving mistakes people make is assuming that they’ll be able to move any big, bulky item as long as they have one extra pair of hands. However, when you and your partner try to get a heavy washing machine out of a cramped kitchen, you’ll quickly find yourself wishing that you had asked for a more comprehensive service from the movers you spoke to! If you’ve gone the DIY route and simply rented a moving van, the one tool that can be a total lifesaver is a sack truck. These will save you a lot of time and physical strain, and will also stop you from getting your fingers trapped in any doorways! Aside from large appliances, they can also be helpful for moving around awkward stacks of boxes. You just need to secure these to the sack truck with some strong bungee cords, and you’ll instantly save yourself many more trips to and from different rooms.

Mark your Boxes

So, you’ve packed the whole home up, got everything to the new place, and you’re ready to start the unpacking process. The only issue is that you’ve got a load of identical boxes, filled with all kinds of things from your old home, with no certain way of knowing where each box is meant to be going. You can make the unpacking so much faster by staying organized through the packing process. Get a nice, bold permanent marker or some colored tape, and mark each box that you pack with an indicator for the room it’s meant to be going to. This way, you can save hours of remembering where this remote or that ornament was, and swiftly get all your things to where they need to be. If you pack in a hurried, disorganized way, getting settled in the new place can be even harder than the move itself!

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Apr
20

Caring For The Blind

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I don’t talk a lot on CWAHM about health or specific health conditions. Some of you may remember that I have a thyroid disease from past posts where I’ve discussed it.  However, I try my best not to “live my diagnosis.” It’s part of my life, and it certainly affects my life, but it doesn’t consume my life.

In our culture we hear a lot about staying fit and being healthy.  However, we don’t often talk about keeping our eyes healthy. Not long ago I came across the Foundation Fighting Blindness (FFB) and it touched my heart.  My husband’s family has several members who either are legally blind, or who have become legally blind as adults.  So, I was excited to hear that FFB is working every day to educate people on how to keep their eyes healthy and to help them find resources that are available to them if they are struggling with sight issues.

If you’d like to learn more about FFB, you can download a packet that they have put together.  It’s all free and you don’t have to give your email address to be able to download the packet. It’s simply a public service announcement and education tool.  You can download the PDF packet here: http://bit.ly/2nAezey

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Mar
22

Permission to Grieve

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This past January my grandfather passed away. He was older and I knew over the past few years he had been showing his age, though he still seemed spry for 87.  The day before Christmas Eve we received the phone call that he was very ill and in the hospital. Something about the gravity of my aunt’s voice made me realize it was probably the beginning of the end. I went to bed that evening unable to sleep.

The following day my husband’s family was coming for Christmas Eve dinner and I was doing the cooking. Three kids underfoot, the in-laws for a holiday gathering and my heart screaming, “How can my grandfather be dying?”

The following weekend I made the 6 hour trip with my five year old daughter for company. With each passing highway mile I found the lump in my throat getting bigger. Only two months earlier I had seen Grampa at a family gathering. He had still been active, living at home, though walking with a little assistance from a walker. Was I prepared to see him feebly lying in a nursing home bed?

Two things made my grief over his illness run deep. My dad passed away when I was only seven and this was his father who now lay gravely ill. Growing up Grampa had paid special attention to my brother and I, taking us on yearly trips to places like Disney, Washington DC, New York City, Philadelphia, and Quebec City. He wanted to keep the family connection, doing for us what my father couldn’t do. It was like Grampa was my connection to my late father – the bond I had with him helped me feel I knew my Dad. I felt this slipping through my fingers, as if I was losing all I had left of my father.

Secondly Grampa and I never saw eye to eye on issues of faith. I wrestled with not knowing his eternal destiny. This also weighed heavily on me.

I spent that New Year’s Eve day visiting with Grampa, while my daughter enjoyed the day with her aunts. We spoke of faith and God, for which I am thankful. As I left I hugged him, told him we loved him, and felt him tightly grip my hand. I didn’t want to go. I knew deep down it was the last time I would see him alive.

As I hit the highway again I couldn’t contain the tears. Pulling into a rest stop I called my husband bawling. I was losing Grampa and I knew it.

Less than two weeks later the phone call came. It was expected. But still the finality of death was hard to bare.

Death and dying are all part of life.  I don’t want to lose the people I love. Growing up I never grieved my father’s death – I just buried the pain, saying I was ok. Over the last few years I’ve been healing. I’ve had to grieve the loss of my Dad that occurred more than two decades ago. What I found is that God’s healing doesn’t mean the pain hurts less. Healing means I can feel again. I can feel great joy and great sorrow. While my pain was buried I couldn’t feel either of these. Read More→

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Mar
14

13 Ways to Feed Your Faith

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Do you read your Bible every day? I don’t, but I do read scripture every day. Faith comes from hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17), so you need to be reading scripture daily for the health of your faith. But who has the time, or even the desire, to sit down with their Bible and read? So let’s discuss some interesting ways to get your daily dose of The Word.

  1. Decorate your walls — Put beautiful landscape pictures with scripture on your walls. Not only do you have something pretty to gaze upon, but you will also give your faith a boost every time you walk down the hall to wash another load of laundry. My goal is to put a scripture picture in every room of my house.
  2. Verse A Day App – Sign up for a verse of the day app on your phone or iPad. Apps are a fantastic method of keeping up with scripture without picking up a Bible. Even better, if you find the verse to be what you need, you can read the rest of the chapter right where you are, even if you are in the grocery store. Some Bible apps will even read the Bible out loud to you while you commute to work. You can even sign up for a verse of the day in your email.
  3. Wallet cards — Many Christian stores, and even some regular bookstores, will carry credit-card sized cards with a pretty picture and verse. Whenever you reach into your wallet, you will be reminded of God.
  4. Scripture a Day Calendar — Everyday you rip off the sheet from yesterday and start a fresh verse to feed your soul.
  5. Answer Questions — I found a website where I answer Bible questions for other people. Those who do not understand The Word can benefit from the knowledge of others. By responding to questions, I have to dive deep into the Bible to find the right answers to the questions. Mind you this option might not be the right one for everyone. If, like me, you have a relevant degree, this might be a viable and unique way to immerse yourself.
  6. Facebook — Join a Facebook or Twitter group which shares scripture often. Let your news feed fill with verses, in between pictures of cats and your friend’s babies of course!
  7. Devote a little time — Get yourself a devotional book. Not only will this give you a little lesson every day to uplift, but will have a verse at the bottom for you.
  8. Listen to music — Find a Christian group you love who incorporate scripture into their songs. You might not know the exact location of the verse in the Bible, but the words will be in your heart.
  9. Keep a journal — whenever you receive a verse you want to remember to write the scripture in your journal, and when you need it, the verse will be close to you to read on a whim. Fill it up! You can even write prayer requests or prayers in the journal.
  10. Play Bible games — Find a Bible trivia game to play with your children or friends. What a wonderful way to have fun and feed your faith!
  11. Use Scripture on your background — Use Google to find a scripture background for your computer. Seeing scripture daily might even help you memorize more verses. When the verse is deeply planted in your head, find a new one!
  12. Drink your coffee or tea — Shop for a few mugs with your favorite scriptures to make your morning coffee more enjoyable.
  13. Read to your children — Before your kids head to school educate them with a daily verse from the best book ever created. Reading scripture to your children is beneficial to help them grow their faith as well.

Read More→

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Feb
21

Taking Your Church On Vacation!

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country churchAs a church, it can be hard to work as a unified group when you only see each other once a week. Of course, their are council meetings and other occasions for people to meet. But, these are usually out of reach to the wider congregation of the church. This poses a problem when trying to get things done as a group effort. Or, simply for members of the church to get to know one another. Thankfully, there’s a way to solve this problem. And, this post is going to be going through exactly how you can do it.

A lot of churches take their congregation on regular retreats. These retreats are like short vacations for the church. You spend a long weekend in a beautiful location with loads of things to see and do. This is an excellent chance for members of the church to get together and plan for future events. It also enables church leaders to get a good amount of time talking to their flock. This all helps to build a stronger church. The members will form friendships that they wouldn’t have had outside of church. And, you will be able to get an idea of how the church is going. This also gives everyone a chance to go on a vacation. And, of course, who wouldn’t want that?

Of course, at something like this, you’re going to find loads of church related activities. You will have sermons on most days. And, you’ll even find some fun things to do. The activities that you will find will greatly vary between places. Some of these retreats will have swimming pools and wooded walks. Others will have sports like golf available. This will depend on the place that you go to. Thankfully, most of these places are designed with families in mind. So, they will have things for people of all ages to get involved with. This can be an excellent chance to get away from the kids for an afternoon; without having to have them too far away.

Finding one of these places shouldn’t be too hard. Most cities have options. And, a lot of towns have them, too. Finding a christian retreat center that will suit your church may take some time. So, it’s worth getting ready to do some research. It’s important that you make sure that the place that you choose suits your church members. It would be unfair to choose somewhere very expensive if most of your church-goers are low income families. Likewise, having to travel a very long distance will also put a lot of people off of the idea. You have to make these considerations when thinking about something like this. It’s important to make sure that as many of the church members are included as possible.
Hopefully, this will inspire you start working on a retreat for your own church. It can be hard to make sure that you’re doing something that everyone will enjoy. But, once people are out there, they will struggle to complain about what you’ve prepared for them. So, don’t worry; just enjoy the break.

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Feb
14

How to Set a Valentine’s Day Table on a Dime

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By Kathy Wilson

Valentine’s Day is a special day in my household, and I try to share the feeling of love and romance with all my family! One of the best ways to do that is to set a holiday table, and spend time enjoying good food and drink with your loved ones. (Include your kids in dinner, and save a special after dinner and dessert for romance!) Here are some great ideas for setting the stage for a romantic dining experience, without breaking your budget.

* Set a background for your Valentine’s Day dinner. Layer your table with fabrics to invoke the sense of a luxurious hotel. Use sheets, quilts, tablecloths and placemats in coordinating colors. Pink, red and white are all indicative of love, but so are deep jewel tones. Look around your linen closet to find what you may already own! Flat sheets can be found at the discount shop for $3!

* Invest in a roll of wire edged ribbon from the discount store. Tie bows around chair backs, glass stems, and silverware bundles for that extra touch.

* Use a paper punch and create confetti to sprinkle over the table. This is a great use for used wrapping paper, greeting cards, or even the funnies! It adds a great festive touch, and you can even put the kids to work on this one!

* Buy a few boxes of Valentine’s message hearts (they are only a $1 for three boxes!) and leave special love messages for each family member on their plate. Or use chocolate bars and cut out the letters to spell their name or initial as a sweet place card.

* Make each family member a “Scroll” of love. Write them a personal note telling them all the wonderful things you love about them, then roll it up like a scroll, and tie with the ribbon. Tie to their chair with the ribbon, or tuck in with their napkin. Make sure their names are marked on each scroll. Read More→

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