Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Celebrating Our 24th Wedding Anniversary

The celebration actually started over the weekend when our children got together and hosted a 
wonderful spaghetti dinner for us, but yesterday, on Valentine's Day, John and I celebrated our 
24th wedding anniversary, and what a beautiful day it was!

 It started early with this beautiful flower delivery from our youngest daughter and her husband.
 In the afternoon John and I went bowling. As usual he beat me best two out of three games,
then we went to dinner at the nationally famous Chicken Mary's.

 On the way home I rescued these beauties out of the middle of the road. I think someone
had a fight and pitched them into the roadway. I rescued all that hadn't been run over
and gave them a home with me.
 We received many beautiful cards and 'Happy Anniversary' messages on Facebook. Each
one helped to make our day special and all are much appreciated!
Happy Anniversary, Baby! Lord willing, here's to the next 24!
As the card says, "When you kiss a girl...she stays kissed!"

Monday, February 13, 2012

Five Minute Friday - TRUST

As you can's Monday...NOT Friday...but, to be honest, this is the first opportunity I've had since Friday to sit down and really work on anything. For those of you who are wondering what 'Five Minute Friday' is and don't our hostess, and inspiration, The Gypsy Mama, puts it, it's a time in which we write "For only five short, bold, beautiful minutes. Unscripted and unedited. We just write without worrying if it’s just right or not."

If you'd like to find out more or are interested in joining us for the next 'Five Minute Friday', then be sure and visit The Gypsy Mama today! 

Now...for today's assignment...


Trust. I think we all probably have trust issues or, at least, have had trust issues in the past. Like it or not, the people we love the most seem to be the ones who know how to hurt us the most and, before we know it, we find ourselves fearful and hurting...unable to trust them like we used to...and, if we're not careful...after getting hurt over and over again...we find it hard to trust anyone. Hard as it is...the truth is...people are people. They're fallible and they make mistakes. They can be very hurtful...especially if they don't know the Lord and are operating outside of Biblical authority and, given enough time, they will fail you. That is to be expected. But there is One! Oh! There is One! One that will never leave you...never forsake you...never fail you...and His name is Jesus! If you're going to put your trust in someone...put your trust in Him!

"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 
In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths" (Proverbs 3:5-6).


Living On A Dime - Simple Ways To Save $7,000

Simple Ways to Save $7,000
by Tawra Kellam

Many of us often feel overwhelmed by debt and don't know how to start climbing out of it. For others it's a misconception that the more money you earn the easier it is to save. Tawra and Michael Kellam paid off $20,000 of credit card debt and medical bills in 5 years when their average income was $22,000 a year.
Here is how you can save over $7,000 in just one year cutting a few things from your grocery bill. They are painless, simple and add up over time. If you don't think that cutting out one bag of potato chips or one soda will make a difference, look at the numbers at the end of a year.
If you're trying to save so you can stay home with your kids, put a down payment on a house, pay off some credit card debt or just have some emergency money, here are 10 ways to do it without depriving yourself. The total annual savings (in parentheses) will amaze you! You can start with these tips from
By eliminating:
  • One $2.00 bag of potato chips (You don't have to cut out all chips, just 1 bag) from your grocery bill each week you can save $104.00 per year.
  • Cut a weekly $4.00 box of cereal and it puts $208 in your pocket each year.
  • If you eat out one less time each week at $30 a meal, you can save $1,560 annually.
  • Ordering one less delivered pizza at $20, can save you $1040 per year.
  • Daily gourmet coffee at $2.50 per cup ($910)
  • A daily liter of soda ($365)
  • Snack cakes ($455)
  • One less bottled water per day ($455)
  • One cup less juice per person in a family of four ($546)
  • 3 lbs. less red meat a week ($390)
  • Bringing your lunch instead of buying saves $4.00 a day or $1040 a year.

By themselves, these efforts may seem small--but they add up to over $7,000 in savings in just one year.

Tawra Kellam and Jill Cooper are frugal living experts and the authors of the Dining On A Dime Cookbook. Dining On A Dime will help you save money on groceries and get out of debt by cooking quick and simple homemade meals. For free tips & recipes visit , sign up for our free Living On A Dime Newsletter and learn to save more!

Beyond Your Limit?

"Beyond my limit!" "Beyond all hope!" How many of us feel this way?

As my husband often reminds us in his sermons (he did this just yesterday, in fact)...the devil's three greatest tools that he uses against us are depression, distraction, and discouragement. He wants to push us beyond our limits and made us feel that we're all alone...that all hope is lost. But it isn't!

You see...there is fact! And there is TRUTH!

'Fact' is what we see right in front of us...the bad report from the doctor, the bad marriage, the bad financial situation, the bad 'whatever' you happen to be facing today. But the 'TRUTH' is what God has to say about those situations in His precious and Holy Word!

If you've reached your limit in a certain situation...if you feel that you're beyond all's not too late! Because God...the Creator of your body, soul, and spirit...the One Who fashioned you after His very likeness...God sees beyond that situation that you're facing today and He's already got the answer!

Dig into His Word! By faith, reach beyond those limits that the enemy of your soul has set up within your heart and mind and stand on God's promises today! He is there for you! And He will never leave you, nor forsake you!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Words of Wisdom From My Mother

Had she still been here, today would have been my mother's 71st birthday. For me, her birthday is always a time to focus on good times together and to go back and re-glean from her valuable wisdom. In going back through old posts on my Proverbs 31 Woman Group I came across these words of wisdom from my mother concerning the importance of the personal study of God's Word. Apparently, we were going through 1 Peter on the group at the time. Here's what she had to say...

<<<<I would like to point out something here that verifies our very need
to do Bible studies like this. We are living in a very dangerous time
as far as spiritual knowledge is concerned. We have so much
information available to us today, and in general we have a tendency
to accept whatever we hear. Jesus warned that in the 'later times'
there would be wolves coming among the sheep (false teachers coming
into the Christian community) with the express intent of teaching
false doctrine in order to lead the unsuspecting (unlearned) away
from Christ. The reason I bring that up in relation to this study is
the way Peter introduced himself. He verified quickly who he was and
what his doctrine was. We find that many of the New Testament books
began in similar fashion. Today, there are so many who go about
preaching a 'form of godliness, but denying the power thereof' that
it becomes necessary for each of us to be able to discern the 'true'
from the 'false'. Hence, the need for individual Bible study. The
best way for us to know the Truth is to study it for ourselves. If we
know the Truth of the Bible in our hearts and minds, AND learn to
rely on God to nudge us to follow His teachings, we will be much less
likely to fall for the untruths that assail us from every side.

Gee, I miss my mom! She was the one that I could always depend on to pull me back to center when I was headed for the ditch...which happens on a regular basis!

Monday, February 6, 2012

11 Tips For Frugal Living

11 Tips for Frugal Living
by Tawra Kellam

Frugal living is all about making the most with what you already have. Here are 11 tips from to help you get started:
  1. Barter for services when possible. For example, we exchanged lawn mower repair from our neighbor for a table (garage sale find) that he was looking for.
  2. Learn to fix things for yourself. These days, with the Internet making information so easily available, you can fix most things yourself. We do 95% of the repairs around our house and we aren't that handy. We just keep looking for the information about how to do it and keep working until we get it fixed!
  3. Stop eating out. I know you hear it all the time but STOP!!! The "average" family spends $300-$500 a month just eating out! Eating out truly is one of the biggest causes of debt! I am always amazed how someone can be "totally broke" and can't pay their bills but are still able to go to the drive-thru of their favorite restaurant.
  4. Study nutrition information and find out what you need to eat to have a healthy and balanced diet. Then stop eating the junk and eat healthy inexpensive meals at home. We have a lot of menu ideas here at that can help you get started.
  5. If something breaks and you don't have the money to fix or if you are out of something and you don't have the money to buy more, figure out a way to live without it. If the lawn mower breaks, can you borrow a friend's lawn mower? If your washer breaks, go to the laundromat. If you break your tea kettle, use a saucepan to heat water. In most instances, you can find a way to make do or do without something until you have the cash saved up.
  6. Do things for free. Go to the library, have a picnic or read a book. Kids are just as happy playing with mom and dad in the backyard as they are going to the zoo. If you can't pay cash for the "fun stuff" you can always have fun at home.
  7. Buy items used. We buy 90% of the items for ourselves used. Going to yard sales and thrift stores does not take any longer than going to a retail store but you can save 90% off the retail price!
  8. Just say your kids. Let kids buy their own toys and extras! Our kids pay for all their own soda, candy, treats like nail polish, their own computers and extras. You are not the Bank of Mom so just say no!
  9. Find a cheaper way to do things. Go to a beauty school to get your hair colored (or don't have your hair colored at all it isn't something you need to survive). Go to a mechanic school to get your car fixed. Hire a kid instead of a lawn service to mow your yard (only if you can't do it yourself for medical reasons. :-) Paint your own house instead of hiring someone, cut the cable and the cell phone (gasp!), and have birthday parties at your house. There is almost always a cheaper way to do things so try to find the cheapest way and save some money!
  10. Cut kids' activities. Most kids are in way too many activities and they're often expensive. I know families who pay $175 a month for gymnastics lessons but can't pay the mortgage. There is a problem with this kind of thinking! Kids won't die if you don't give them all the lessons and activities you can't afford.
  11. Get it for free. When the landscapers were laying sod in our new neighborhood, I asked for the scraps and we were almost able to put in our entire backyard for free. When they were building houses, I asked for the 2x4's that were going into the dumpster and got enough wood for our shed. When they were pouring concrete patios, I asked for the leftover concrete and they just poured our entire cement pad for our shed for free!! If friends have kids older than your kids, ask if you can have their hand me downs when they are done.

Get as much as you can for free and you can save thousands of dollars!

Jill Cooper and Tawra Kellam are frugal living experts and the authors of the Dining On A Dime Cookbook. Dining On A Dime will help you save money on groceries and get out of debt by cooking quick and simple homemade meals. For free tips & recipes visit , sign up for our free Living On A Dime Newsletter and learn to save more!

Choosing The Better Part

Website For This Image
Luke 10:38-42 tells us the story of two sisters, Martha and Mary. The passage tells us that, as Jesus was passing through a certain village, Martha welcomed Him into her home. While Martha was busy cooking and serving dinner, we're told that Mary had slipped out of her sister's kitchen and was sitting at the Master's  feet...listening intently to every word He said. After a time Martha interrupted Jesus...complaining...wanting to know if He didn't care that Mary had left her to the work  alone. Jesus answered this way:

"...Martha, Martha, thou art careful [worried] and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful; and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her" 
(Luke 38:41-42).

My questions are...
How many of us are like Martha? What kind of person was she? Anxious? Always busy? How many of us are more like Mary? What type of person was she? Calmer? More focused on what was really important in her life? What heart-qualities made them different? If Jesus came to your house today...would He have to gently rebuke you as He did Martha? Or would He commend you as He did Mary? Which of these two sister's qualities would you rather possess? What qualities do we need to cultivate in our own lives in order to achieve that goal?

May each woman reading here today follow Mary in example. Lord, teach us to choose "the better part."

Friday, February 3, 2012

Five Minute Friday - REAL

It's FRIDAY! That means it's time for another 'Five Minute Friday' where as, our hostess, and inspiration, The Gypsy Mama, puts it, we write "For only five short, bold, beautiful minutes. Unscripted and unedited. We just write without worrying if it’s just right or not."

Want to join us? Then be sure and visit The Gypsy Mama today! 

Now...for today's assignment...
I'm afraid I'm opening my inner self up a little too much here...but here goes...
Real. Sometimes...I'm not sure that I even know what the word means. I can remember asking people over the years if they ever felt like they weren't real...because that's how I feel most of the I'm not even real...and they look at me like I'm crazy. All but one has said, "No"...they've never felt that way and they can't understand. (after looking up the definition online) "Real" - "Actually existing as a thing or occurring in fact; not imagined or supposed." It's strange. So many times in my life I've felt that every one and every thing around me is real...but not me. Does anyone else here ever feel like that?