Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Seeking Financial Freedom Part 10

Welcome if you are visiting us for the first time here on Wednesdays!! If you want to start at the beginning of this series click on Seeking Financial Freedom on the right hand side of the screen..you will have to scroll down a bit to find it....

Giving is the subject this week! What is your attitude on giving? In my opinion, I think once we learn and understand the previous lessons about money we then get a new idea of what giving should look like. The Old and New Testament talk a lot of giving. In fact the book says, there are more verses that address giving than any other subject on money. (page 74)
Acts 20:35 Jesus says "It is more blessed to give than to receive."
(page 74) From the book: Giving with the right attitude is crucial. The Lord set the example of giving motivated by love. "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son" (John 3:16) Note the sequence: Because God loved, He gave.
If giving is just to the church, a ministry, or to a needy person, it is only charity. But if it is to the Lord, it becomes an act of worship. Because Jesus Christ is our Creator, our Savior and our faithful Provider, we can express our gratefulness and love by giving our gifts to Him.

After having the right attitude towards giving the book address how our giving helps to develop our character on page 75.
From the book: Our heavenly Father wants us as His children to be conformed to the image of His Son. The character of Christ is unselfish. Unfortunately, humans are by nature selfish. One of the key ways our character becomes conformed to Christ is by habitual giving.

How much to tithe is the next area of discussion in the book. Many Christians associate 10% with the amount they tithe. The book warns to be careful when putting a set amount on what we tithe. It to easy can become "just another bill we pay." Christians need to be diligent in prayer over how much they should tithe, because the New Testament is unclear on an exact amount. The bottom line I think the book pointed out was....this is a very personal decision to be made by each family.

SOCIETY SAYS: It is more blessed to RECEIVE than give.
SCRIPTURE SAYS: " It is more blessed to GIVE than receive" Acts 20:35
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Monthly Report for June

Another month down!!! Wow is the year flying by faster or what????

Here is what I spent this month.....

Walgreens $35.62
# of items = 42
CVS $21.44
#of items= 21
Meijer $28.91
#of items=33
Aldi $ 25.65
# of items=19
Kroger $83.47
#of items= 107

To be honest I am a bit disappointed with that total...We ate from the pantry/freezer for about half the month!! I expected out total to be WAY down.....But I guess if I look at grocery alone purchases, I was at $137.83 which is way below $200......I was really hoping to be below $200 with everything though.....Hmmmm I need to decide if my $200 has to include my CVS and Walgreens runs or whether I just want to allow myself a certain amount of money per month for that......I go back and forth with that decision...what do you all think?

Well this next month, JULY, Justin has decided he is meal planning for the month and shopping one time. He wants to break down how much we are spending per meal and what we ate.......just for fun really......In all honesty we kind of like to challenge ourselves and make this whole frugal living lifestyle a game. So I will let you know how it all turned out in my next report......in the mean time I am looking forward to not meal planning and making whatever he comes up with....oh that kinda scares me a little though.....but I am NOT going to complain...He's helping.....right....ya I think so!

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Build Our Marriage Challenge

Shannon over at the Peer Review has been doing a "Building Our Marriage Challenge" for several weeks now and I have wanting to post on it...yet I have been unsuccessful at getting it done! I love that each week she gives us a challenge that is very simple.....yet thoughtful. Things that could be very significant in the eyes of our spouse. I have really enjoyed these little reminders from Shannon, and I think that ALL marriages can benefit from putting forth the extra effort her tips require. Thanks Shannon for this weekly series!!!! Be sure to check it out on the link above...I think you'll be glad you did......and your spouse might like it too :)

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Starting Tomorrow!!

In July I am kicking off a whole string of giveaways!!!!! Tune in tomorrow and see the first company I am featuring and then again on Friday I will be talking about a special author and featuring yet another giveaway!!!!! See you then!!!!!
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Sunday, June 28, 2009

New Look!

As you might have noticed I have a new look here on Gaertegang! Thanks to some direction from Jolanthe at Homeschool Creations......thanks!!!! Well I still have some work to get things exactly how I want it, but it's a start :)
I hope you all had a fun weekend enjoying the weather.....yesterday around our place was just perfect weather!!! We enjoyed an afternoon with some relaxing and a good round of baseball!!! (sorry no pics to share)
I wanted to let you all know that I am excited to start sharing with you some products our family has been blessed with reviewing and then highlighting those companies with a GIVEAWAY!!!! Yep!! You heard to right FREE STUFF!!!
Just a little side note: In talking with many of you that check out my blog but don't comment or enter my giveaways because you are not "bloggers".........YOU CAN ENTER!!!! I will explain how....Well you see any post or giveaway scroll down to where you see "comment" click and then you'll see choices like Blogger, Anonymous, and some others.....click Anonymous and then leave me your comment and leave your name (and email if it for a giveaway so I can contact you if you win).....BE LEFT OUT NO MORE!!!!!!!!!! If you have any further questions about that you can always click on the icon and send me an email!

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Saturday, June 27, 2009

Garden Update!!

The garden is growing and I have been busy weeding it! It really hasn't been that bad though....I usually go out and weed the whole garden one day a week around the plants. This past week I was able to borrow my in-laws little tiller to get in between the rows (THANKS GEORGE & JODY!!) I have really enjoyed watching all my hard work payoff as things really getting growing!!Sunflowers are in the very back, strawberries to the right....two different lettuces..green beans to the left
This shot of the corn really shows the difference in the two plantings of corn....the first go around my corn came up terribly spotty for some reason (I heard several other people say there corn did the same thing). My second planting of corn is coming up great! Even though it is small now, it's growing great....I don't think that corn will make the "knee high by 4th of July" rule though :)
On the right there is celery, early and late cabbage (for coleslaw making), then the rest is tomatoes.....my plants don't seem to be as big as other people's plants.....but they are growing well and I am sure they will catch up :)
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Friday, June 26, 2009

Shannon hosts Loving Your Husbands Friday head over and check her blog for other ways women love there hubby!!!

I want to salute my hubby for the never ending tasks he does around here and at work! He always has his plate full of things he needs to do....and because of the nature of his job he is never "caught up"! Then he comes home and of course has a list of things that need to be done here ...maintenance things, new projects, putting finishing touches on old projects.....Thanks honey for always putting in so much effort here and at your job!!!!

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Sad OR Funny?

This week the temps have been sweltering!!! It finally feels more like summer....so needless to say we are trying to keep cool around here! On Tuesday, the boys came up with this idea...a metal barrel that is normally used to keep all their outside toys in was emptied out and then filled with COLD hose water!

They thought it was fun....I kept looking and them and giggling thinking how funny we must have looked to people driving by our house.....Oh well they then filled up some 5 gallon buckets and had fun traveling around to each one getting wet.
On Wednesday we went to my aunt and uncle's to swim...Julia loves this floaty thing......we decided to put arm floaters on her also.....after her photo-op!
Caleb swimming around making his usual funny faces...but notice no thumbs up...I'm sure it was pure chance that I snapped it before he wiggled those hands to the surface!
Lance's favorite thing is to wear these goggles while "diving" in the shallow to find stuff....

Zach practiced kicking his little legs behind him while floating around on the noodle....which was huge because we started off the swimming lesson with him having a death grip around my neck! Before long he was all over the pool with no fear.
Also on Wednesday night when I went grocery shopping I bought a sprinkler...I wanted one for the garden anyway and thought the boys would also enjoying running around getting wet....so maybe we can keep the barrel put away????
So what are you all doing to keep cool....besides staying inside were the AC is?
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Thursday, June 25, 2009

FREE quart of PAINT!!

I just submitted my request for a FREE quart of paint from Gidden. They are giving away free quarts of paint while supplies last or July 2nd. It will come in an eggshell finish...which happens to be what I would prefer anyway!!! I requested Soft Amethyst (lavender)...not totally sure what I will do with it, but at this point my plan is to paint up a couple shelves for Julia's room!
There are a few restrictions for the giveaway...no PO Box, no military base addresses, US residents only, one quart per household....pretty simple and reasonable restrictions I'd say.

Thanks freebies 4 mom!
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Kroger 10/ 10 SALE!!!

Last night I went to Kroger to get in on some of their 10/10 sale before it ended.....I had not been grocery shopping for almost 3 weeks!!! I was taking a much needed break from sale watching, couponing, and running to my stores....so we in turn ate from the pantry and the freezer....worked out great, but it felt good snatching up some deals this week!!!
Well, I put 77 items in my cart and my total before any coupons was just over $80....after coupons I paid $63.22!!!!
Just to highlight a couple deals: I got 4 of the Santa Cruz organic juices..on sale for $1.50 and I have .75 off coupons making it only .75! A nice treat for us...I hardly ever buy juice, let alone organic!! I also got 10 FREE Kool-aid packets! I am thinking after this shopping trip that should get me through the end of the month!!! I can't wait to add up my small pile of receipts from this month and see how much below the budget I am since I chose to stay home an not shop!!
We shall see......

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

All Children's Furniture Review Coming Soon!

All Children's Furniture Company is sending me this great Physic kit for me and my kiddos to review!!! We are so excited and thankful for the opportunity and wanted to let you know to keep your eyes peeled for our review and recommendations!!
Just a quick note that this company offers many more things than just furniture....they offer more than 1200 items just in their toy selection!!!! If you want to check out more kits like the one we chose go here then go to building sets and select Thames & Kosmos (maker of these kits)......sorry I couldn't get it to direct link to directly! So head on over and check out their selection of kids bedroom furniture!

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Seeking Finanical Freedom Part 9

Welcome if you are visiting us for the first time here on Wednesdays!! If you want to start at the beginning of this series click on Seeking Financial Freedom on the left hand side of the screen..you will have to scroll down a bit to find it....

This week the author is talking about honesty...something I feel our society doesn't know anything about anymore!!!!! It is amazing to me that people are so shocked when you "do the right thing". For example, one time I had to take something back to a store. I had purchased two similar items but I paid a different price...I think one was maybe $5 or $10 more...I can't remember for sure. Anyway the clerk worked the return for me and then went to hand me back my refund in cash and I noticed she had refunded to much money. She had gave me back the amount for the item I kept and paid me to much. Right away I told her this and she gave me a strange look then called over the manager and he gave me a weird look and they explained that this had never happened to them before.....and they couldn't figure out why I would've pipped. After all it was their mistake, so I could've left it at that and hit the door......but I would have known it and most importantly God would have known it....I was far more concerned about that than I was pocketing another $5 or $10 bucks!!!
Has anything like that ever happened to you???
On page 65 the book says TRUTHFULNESS is one of God's attributes. John 14:6 "I am .....the truth." He commands us to reflect His honest and holy character, "Be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, 'You shall be holy, for I am holy.'" (1 Peter 1:15-16)
1. We cannot practice dishonesty and love God.
Honest behavior is an issue of faith. An honest decision may look foolish in light of the circumstances we can observe. Every honest decision strengthens our faith in the living God.
2. We cannot practice dishonesty and love our neighbor. (page 66)
When we act dishonestly, we are stealing from another person. We may fool ourselves into thinking it is a business or the government or an insurance company that is suffering loss, but if we look at the bottom line,it is the business owners or fellow taxpayers or policyholders from who we are stealing. It is just as if we took the money from their wallets. Dishonesty always injuries people.
3. Honesty creates credibility for evangelism.
Our Lord demands that we be absolutely honest in order to demonstrate the reality of Jesus Christ to those who do not know Him. Our action speak louder than words. Scripture says to "prove yourselves blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among who you appear as lights in the world." (Philippians 2:15)
4. Honesty confirms God's direction (pg 67)
Proverbs 4:24-26 Explains that as you are absolutely honest, "all your ways are established." Choosing to walk the narrow path of honesty eliminates the many avenues of dishonesty. Decision-making becomes simpler because the honest path is a clear path.
5. Even the small act of dishonesty is devastating.
Luke 16:10 "Whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much." Even the smallest little "white lie" can harden our hearts and make our consciences increasingly insensitive to sin.
"Live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature" Gal. 5:16
"By the fear of the Lord one keeps away from evil." Proverbs 16:6
"Wealth obtained by fraud dwindles." Proverbs 13:11
1.Restore fellowship with God. "If we confess our sin, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteous." John 1:9
2. Restore fellowship with people. "Confess our sins to one another." James 5:16
"He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion." Proverbs 28:13
3. Restore any dishonestly acquired property.
Blessing for the HONEST! Read Proverbs 3:32, Proverbs 20:7, Proverbs 12:19, Proverbs 15:6
Curses for the dishonest. Read Proverbs 3:32, Proverbs 15:27, Proverbs 21:6, Proverbs 13:11

SOCIETY SAYS: You can be dishonest because everyone else is.
SCRIPTURE SAYS: The Lord demands absolute honesty in even the smallest matters.
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Back in the Saddle Again!

Well last week was VBS and Day Camp at church! Boy was it a BIG week!!! I thought I would share some pics of what we were up to....our theme "Operation Space"...A close encounter with God's World!

ABOVE: The boys practicing their singing programs

Lance was in Day Camp which meant he went from 9A-2P...they have to be in 2nd grade-6th grade for Day Camp...

I helped with the 5 Year old class in VBS (which is 4 years old-1st grade). At the end of each day we met together and the puppets would put on a little show for us...Julia got to come with me on the last day and watch....Oh my she thought they were neat oh!!!

Below: Julia all ready to go her first morning.....AND Zach showing off his robot creation

Caleb and his robot!

This is Zane he was in the class I helped with! He is showing off his Bible reading chart we made one day!
(Side note: We had around 20 very busy 5 year olds each day..WHEW!!!)

A great and exhausting week, but always worth it!!
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Flowers in Bloom!

Here are some more of my flowers in bloom! I am enjoying taking some photos of them as they each start to display their beautiful colors!

Are you enjoying all the colors of summer?
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