Monday, May 31, 2010

Our Absence...

Caroline and I have been missing from The Modest Mom blog for several days. Our Grandma died on Wednesday and we really haven't had time or felt up to blogging. We are preparing for her Memorial service on Saturday. I know our last giveaway has ended and we haven't posted a winner yet. We will try to get that up tomorrow. Thanks for the understanding in our delay.
Blessings, Caroline Allen & Jennifer Allen

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

And the winner is...

Janelle (Blessednation@)

Congratulations! You have won the my baby nest wrap! We had 196 entries, so there was a lot of interest!

The My Baby Nest company has given me a coupon code to let my readers use if you are wanting to purchase one. Use the code MODMOM to get 10% off of your order. This code is valid until August 21, 2010.




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10 Tips For Having A Successful Garage Sale!

I think garage sales are an awesome invention by some brilliant Mom years in the past. As I grew up garage sales were The Summer Activity. Many a Wednesday we would load up in our mini van and take off for the day. Mom knew the neighborhoods that were likely to have the nicest items for sale. She would stock up on toys, clothes, nick nacs, and more. To me garage sales are just part of the frugal life. I have carried on the tradition and though I don't have need of much for myself right now, I can shop for my sister and her children. When I read this article at Money Saving Mom I knew you all needed to read it as well. This is excellent advice on putting together a garage sale yourself! From Jennifer Allen

For those of you who follow me on Facebook and Twitter, you know our garage sale last week was a smashing success. In fact, all together, our family (along with my siblings and parents) made over $1000 in the 2 1/2 days we ran the sale. Considering that our highest-ticket items were $20 and the majority of our stuff was priced at $0.25 to $2, that’s a lot of stuff sold!
I’ve had a number of successful garage sales over the years and here are my top 10 tips for having a successful sale:

1. Collect Clutter Year-Round
I mentioned recently that I have an ongoing Garage Sale Stash. When I come upon something we no longer need or use and I don’t know anyone to pass it onto, I stick it in a box under the stairs. Once a box fills up, I start another. And another. Without much effort at all, by the time it’s the month of our annual garage sale, I usually have at least 8-10 boxes of stuff collected.

2. Have a Plan
A successful garage sale does not happen without organization. At least a week before the sale I go through my home from top to bottom and clear out clutter. At least 2-3 days before the sale, I take an afternoon to price everything and organize it. And then the day before the sale, I devote a few hours to final organization, posting an ad on Craigslist, getting the cash and signs together and so forth.

Do not wait until the last minute to pull off a garage sale. Either it will flop or you’ll run yourself ragged–or both. If you’re in a new location or you’re new to hosting a garage sale, I’d suggest that you start getting organized at least 3-4 weeks in advance.

Getting Organized for a Garage Sale
::How are you going to display items? Do you need to borrow or make a clothes-rack?

::Do you have enough table space? If not, check and see if you can borrow tables from friends or put together some makeshift tables out of plywood and boxes.

::What signs will you be using and how many do you need? Where will you be displaying the signs to best direct traffic to your home? Drive the routes people will be coming and decide on these locations so you’re not scrambling the morning of the sale.

::Who is going to put the signs out the morning of the sale? Designate someone for this ahead
of time and let them know specifically where to place the signs.

::How much cash should you have on hand and how will you keep it in a safe location?

::Do you need to purchase a license for running a garage sale in your area?

::Do you have enough help?

3. Team Up
One of my best “secrets” for success when it comes to garage sales is that I never do them on my own. I always find friends or family to team up with. Not only does this arrangement mean you have more stuff to sell and more variety in sizes and types of things offered, it also means you have more help. Divvying up the responsibilities between 3 or 4 people makes a garage sale much more manageable. Plus, it just makes it more fun when you’re doing it with friends and family!

4. Location, Location, Location!
If you want to have a garage sale that flops, pick a location which is off-the-beaten-path and hard to get to. That’s a surefire way to lose a lot of business.
Don’t live near a busy intersection? Well, look for alternative locations like a friend or relative’s home. This is probably the key to our garage sale success. We live right between two very heavily-trafficked streets. We put up some good signage and the crowds descend!

5. Timing is Everything (well, just about!)
I don’t advise planning a sale in the freezing cold Winter or the blazing hot Summer. Choose a time of the year when the weather will be very pleasant and try to check the weather forecast ahead of time to make sure rain is not expected when you’re planning your sale.
In addition, find out what days of the week are best for yard sales to run in your area. When we lived in Kansas City, I found people usually only held sales on Friday and Saturday. However, where we live now, Thursdays are a big yard sale day and seem to garner the most traffic.

Go Here to read the rest of this excellent post on having a great garage sale. I would say with the volume of items and money made she has made with her family at the recent garage sale Crystal's tips are worth reading!

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Review and Giveaway of Real Food on a Real Budget E-book!



You may have noticed the latest banner I added to the blog. I read Keeper of the Home's blog when I have a chance, and have been blessed and inspired by her posts on how to eat healthy. So when I heard she came out with a new book, I instantly sent her an email asking if I could do a review and giveaway of it. I was delighted when she said yes!

Real Food on a Real Budget, how to eat healthy for less has been an inspiring book to read. I can tell it has been a labor of love for her to write, as the e-book is 257 pages long! It is packed full of information on describing eating foods in season, and how to do that. Where to find natural/organic food for cheaper. Growing your own food, or finding it locally. Meal planning, buying in bulk, preserving your food...you can find this and lots more in this e-book!

I am not a stranger to eating organic food, but the last few years due to a tight budget we have not been able to do that as much. I am slowly trying to get back to that, as I know it is important for us to eat fresh, local foods. Organic would be really nice, but if I can find things grown locally that is really good also. I'm blessed to garden with my Mother in Law every year, and we can and freeze a lot of things each summer. The encouragement I found from this e-book was very refreshing, and I gleaned lots of new ideas also!

I would high recommend this book to anyone looking to implement eating healthier in their family. Or for those who already eat healthy I'm sure you can glean some new ideas and tips from this book!

Buy It!
You can purchase this as a e-book copy on sale for $18.97 or buy or a paperback copy on sale for $25.97!


Win It!
Keeper of the home is giving one of our readers a Read Food on a Real Budget e-book.To enter, visit Keepers of the Home and tell me something you can expect to learn from this e-book! This is required and must be done before the extra entries count!

EXTRA ENTRIES!
You can do any of these things for an extra entry. Make sure to leave a separate comment for EACH thing you do.


1- Subscribe to our blog via email.


2. Follow us on our blog using Google Friend connect!

3. Follow us on Facebook and leave a comment letting us know.

4. Follow us on Twitter and leave a comment letting us know you follow!

5. Blog about this giveaway and leave the link.-2 extra entries (leave two comments saying you did this).

6- Place our Modest Mom button on your blog.

PLEASE leave a separate comment each time you do one of the above. The comments are closed on this post, just use the form below to enter. We never share your email addresses with anyone, which is why we use the form to keep them private!

This giveaway will end Friday night, May 28th at midnight, and a winner will be posted the following morning.

We will notify the winner and they will have 36 hours to respond!


This was not a paid post and my honest opinions were used. The opinions are solely my own. Thank you to Keeper of the Home who supplied the products for the review and giveaway. Please note I am signed up as an affiliate with Keeper of the Home and do earn a percentage off of each sale of the e-book.



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An apology and a disclosure to my readers...

It was brought to my attention that the news video I posted on the breastfeeding modestly post used the Lords name in vain. I have since pulled the video, and I am very sorry that I let that slip through. I wholeheartedly agree with the reader who emailed me that we should never take the Lord's name in vain, and it is a serious offense if we do. That was not edifying, and I am sorry about that.

On another note, I also want to clarify this point again, as I have done in the past. Some of my used clothes are of a more modern style with the wrap front look, etc. They are low cut, and I would *never* wear them that way. The last year tank tops and t-lets have become my best friend! I had another email with concern that I thought those were modest, and as I have posted before you really need to wear a tank top under those low cut tops to be modest. I just know how hard it is to find modest tops, and when I realized you could layer (with a high cut tank top) and still be modest this last pregnancy I was really excited! So I sell those items with that disclosure.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Menu Plan for Week of May 24th



Our Sunday's are always open to a change in plans. Yesterday family was persuaded to stay and we sprang into quick action for supper. We had the most delicious potato soup from my mother-in-law. She made it with already baked potatoes, cream, bacon bits, and green onions. (I need the recipe!) We had muffins, whole wheat bread, and some wonderful oranges. I decided to go ahead and fix our dessert for the week, Pumpkin Pie Cake. I tried tweaking the recipe by adding the butter and cake mix together to see if I could get it to be like a crumble on top. That was a royal mess so I'll stick to the recipe for now on. It is wonderful to have menu plans, food on hand, and be prepared to make changes on the spot as needed. It is a blessing to work together and enjoy an afternoon and evening of fellowship and rest with family. Now let the busy week begin. I'm ready. :-)

Breakfast
Monday- Bagels & fruit
Eggs & Toast

Oatmeal
Waffles, Blueberries, Yogurt
Favorite Pancakes, fruit
Cream of Wheat Combo, Cottage Cheese, fruit
Cereal

Lunch
Monday- Chicken & Noodles w Mashed Potatoes, Salad
PB&J, fruit, veggies
Salad w black beans, fruit
PB&J sandwich, Salad, fruit
Chicken Enchiladas, Mexican Rice
Leftovers
English Muffin Pizzas

Snacks
Apple w peanut butter
Chocolate Butterhorn Rolls
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
Peaches

Supper
Monday-Spaghetti Pie, Garlic Bread, Green Beans, Carrots
Chicken Casserole, Corn on Cob, Banana Muffins, Salad
Baked Ziti, Carrots, Herb Roasted Potatoes
Leftovers
Chicken Tetrazzini, Stuffing, Peas, Corn
Southwest Rollups, Mexican Rice, Corn
Taco Salad

Dessert:

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Friday, May 21, 2010

Breastfeeding in Public

Nursing Mother's seem to be in the news quite frequently. I am always in shock of how people seem to be offended about a Mother's nursing in public. That is until I read the story and see how the Mom is nursing,open and exposed. I don't have much sympathy after hearing that.

I might be in the minority, but I am a modest mama. After all, that is why I called my business The Modest Mom! I believe that Mom's should dress with a heart that seeks to not draw attention to themselves. With that being said, don't put a sack on for a dress! We can look lovely, but modest. If you prefer the old fashioned look, fine. If you prefer the modern look, fine. Both can be done with a modest look and a pure heart! I feel like if you have a heart to be modest, you will have a heart to breastfeed modestly also.

I have heard the argument that God created us to nurse our babies, therefore we should feel free to nurse wherever we want, however we want. While I wholeheartedly agree that God has blessed us with the ability to nurse, I don't feel like we are supposed to expose our body to the people around us while using that gift. God has also blessed us with the ability to conceive children, but we wouldn't dream of sharing that intimate time with any other person around.

Several months ago I was at a baby store that is a "green" store-cloth diapers, cloth menstrual pads, slings, natural toys-you get the picture. They were having a cloth diaper swap and I was selling some of my diapers. The store was lovely and accommodated mothers very well. They had couches at the front of the store for mothers to sit and nurse. I was amazed though to see one mother plop down on the couch, pull her shirt aside (she had a wrap type shirt on) undo her bra and start nursing away. She was totally exposed. At times she would even pull the baby off to try and get the baby to nurse better, and there was nothing stopping you from seeing everything. I was especially horrified because there were men walking around with their wives in the store. If my husband would have been there I'm not sure what I would have done!

So what are some options we have for nursing our babies in public? I'm currently nursing our fourth baby, and I have since grown a little more confident over nursing in public since our first! With my oldest, I used to camp out in a back room at family gatherings. It just felt so strange to nurse in public, even though I was covered. But that is only feasible so long! You get a tad lonely doing that all the time. :-)

Some different ways I have nursed in public are:

1. The most obvious-use a nursing cover! My sister has blessed me making me several different nursing covers, and I just love using mine! They are so easy to keep in the diaper bag, and I use it all the time for a light weight blanket on spring days also. I can see my baby easily, but feel modest and confident while nursing. I prefer a nursing cover over a blanket, as blankets tend to slip down more.

I have heard some Mom's say that they can't use blankets as the baby pulls the blanket off. I think using a nursing cover would help greatly with that, but I also feel like if used from birth the baby should be trained to use it. I'm sure there are exceptions, but generally I think a baby should be used to it if started with it.

2. Another option is to nurse in a sling. I have hardly ever done this, but I have heard many moms say they do this and really like it. I can see how it could be done very discreetly.

3. Use nursing clothes! There are many different brands out there that allow you to nurse discreetly. The only downside is they are pretty expensive, but if you plan on having a large family you could end up using them a lot! :-) Motherhood, Motherwear, and Expressiva are the most common brands I believe.

4. Sew your own nursing clothes! Blessed Designs, Elizabeth Lee, and Candle On The Hill offer nursing patterns.

5. Use nursing camis! This time around nursing I have several nursing camisoles and that has helped me so much. I feel very modest with my regular shirt with a cami underneath as I know my tummy is covered well.

I have seen some Moms just nurse using a t-shirt. I have done this myself at times. However many times I don't think the Mom realizes that if you walk by on the side her breast is totally exposed. So this is an option I do only out of total necessity now.

While this is something to be aware of, I don't promote stressing or getting paranoid over it, as that won't help your milk supply! It is something to simply be aware of, and to set some standards as to how you will nurse. Talk to your husband-or talk to a good friend who has nursed for a long time and get some ideas! The most important thing is to snuggle with your baby and enjoy feeding your baby that yummy nutritious milk!

From Caroline Allen

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Thursday, May 20, 2010

We have Winners!

*Drum Roll* And the winners are:


The winner of the Tommee Tippee Sipee Cup Giveaway is:
kristen_yeh@

The winner of the Quick Fix Healthy Mix Book is:
mamasusan@

Congratulations! Winners were chosen using Random.org. You will be receiving an email from the Modest Mom. Thank you to all who entered. We have more Giveaways coming soon...

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Romance on a Budget

One of the most common topics in arguments between couples is money. Worrying about having enough money to care for your family’s needs can put a huge burden on your shoulders, and that financial burden leads to enormous stress.

Focusing on the stress of finances can oftentimes knock relationship priorities off the top of the list. We have to remember that our marriages are the cornerstone of our frugal families. If we fail to take care of our relationships, then all the frugalness in the world won’t matter anymore.
It makes sense then that frugal couples need to be mindful of the state of their marriages and the quality of their time together. Always make sure that time for romance and your relationship are a top priority, no matter what is going on in your budget!

You have the power to foster love and rekindle the romance in your marriage right now, and it doesn’t take a lot of money to make that happen. I believe that husband and wife date nights are a great way to stay connected. You can keep romance alive on a small budget, or even no budget, when you focus on the things that really make your spouse feel loved, valued, and appreciated.

Plan fun things to do together such as an indoor picnic or an at-home romantic dinner for two. Or what about taking an evening stroll holding hands and talking about your day?

If you have little ones and you can't seem to find the time to really talk but you also can't afford a babysitter, you might consider going on a romantic nighttime drive. This is a date even the kids will like (before they fall asleep, that is)! Have the kids get dressed in their jammies and bring their pillows and blankies into the car. Go for a nighttime drive (the kids will fall asleep) together to talk about non-kid topics. Load up your favorite romantic music or even “your song”, and drive to a scenic lookout point where you can see the city and stare out at the stars together.

You don’t need to have a special occasion to make plans for a romantic date with your husband or wife. Keeping regular free and cheap dates on your weekly schedule serves to strengthen your relationship and keep your intimacy strong in a fun way. Spending time together doesn't have to cost a lot, just use your imagination and you can keep your romance alive on a budget!

–Problogger Danelle Barbi Ice is the editor of Homemaker Barbi an online Home and How-To magazine specializing in homemaking, frugal living, printable checklists, and more.

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Review & Giveaway: Natural Alternatives for You and Your Home

I come from a family that gets headaches easily from chemical cleaning products. Through the years my Mom would find effective and cheap recipes for making her own household cleaning products. Most of them would work well. Some would not. I was used to having these homemade cleaners sitting around in spray bottles or plastic containers ready for use. When I had my own home I decided to check into some books on making your home cleaners.

I had two purposes in looking for good home cleaner recipes:
1. You can control the ingredients and avoid harmful chemicals.
2. Making your own cleaners cost a fraction of buying them in the store.

I was disappointed with some of the books I looked at. They would require expensive ingredients, which defeated part of my main reason of wanting to make home cleaners. Or a hard to find ingredient item would take up more time than I was willing to spare in hunting it down. When Krause Publications sent me Natural Alternatives to review and giveaway I was excited. I love this book!

The first thing that impressed me was the author. Casey Kellar knows what she is doing in putting together these eco-friendly products. She's been involved in the beauty and home fragrance industry for more than 23 years, which includes her role as a "natural" chemical designer/compounder. Translation: Her recipes should work.

With 175 precise recipes, easy-to-follow instructions and photos you can’t go wrong. I was thrilled with the huge variety of recipe topics:

Chapter 1: Skin, Home Spa Treatments, Hair, Teeth, Children’s Bubbles & Powders, How to save money on essential oils and perfumes.

Chapter 2: Clean Air, Clean Water, Simple Home remedies for Minor Ailments

Chapter 3: Around the Home, Floor to Ceiling Solutions, Metal Cleaners, Garage & Home, and more.

Chapter 4: Pet Treats, First Aid for Pets

Chapter 5: Indoor Plants, Patio Gardens

Chapter 6: Pesky Pests and Repellants

So far I have tried: Relaxing Sea-Salt Bath Soak, Bubble Bubble, Sore Throat Treatment, and House Plant Polish. I’m looking forward to trying more of the recipes in the near future. Making my own hair shampoo will be first on the list. This is the best book to date I have found for creating your own home products. Instead of hunting all over for the home cleaners and more that you need just check this book out. That could be all you need.

From Jennifer Allen

Stay tuned for more fun reviews and giveaways that are coming soon!!

Buy It!
You can purchase this book at Krause Books currently for $19.99.


Win It!
Krause Books is giving one of our readers a Natural Alternatives for You and Your Home book.To enter, visit Krause Books and tell me another product that you would like. This is required and must be done before the extra entries count!

EXTRA ENTRIES!
You can do any of these things for an extra entry. Make sure to leave a separate comment for EACH thing you do.


1- Subscribe to our blog via email.


2. Follow us on our blog using Google Friend connect!

3. Follow us on Facebook and leave a comment letting us know.

4. Follow us on Twitter and leave a comment letting us know you follow!

5. Blog about this giveaway and leave the link.-2 extra entries (leave two comments saying you did this).

6- Place our Modest Mom button on your blog.

PLEASE leave a separate comment each time you do one of the above. The comments are closed on this post, just use the form below to enter. We never share your email addresses with anyone, which is why we use the form to keep them private!

This giveaway will end Wednesday, May 26th at midnight, and a winner will be posted the following morning.

We will notify the winner and they will have 36 hours to respond!

Open to US Only.


This was not a paid post and my honest opinions were used. The opinions are solely my own. Thank you to Krause Books who supplied the products for the review and giveaway.


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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Review and Giveaway of My Baby Nest Wrap




It is a common knowledge that children love to be held. Having four children in six years means I have been holding babies and toddlers a lot! It gets tricky when you have a fussy baby, and dinner is needing to get on the table. Or the dishes have formed a little mountain, and you realize you *must* tackle them! I have relied on baby carriers to get me through many of these times, and I honestly don't know what I would do without them. That's why I was so excited when I was given the chance to review My Baby Nest Wrap. This wrap is the neatest idea, it is like a moby wrap, except they have already done the work of wrapping for you. It is in two pieces, and for those who struggle with one long piece of fabric, this is ideal! After one try I had it figured out, and I have a happy baby when she is in it! This wrap has two interlocking pieces of fabric that you wear around your body and put the baby into. Then there is a belt that wraps around the baby at your waist that has rings to adjust it where you need it to be.


What I really like about this wrap is all the options you have. With solid carriers you normally can only put them facing you, or facing out. Olivia loves to be facing out but I didn't have a carrier that would accommodate that. She was delighted to get wrapped in this where she could see everything!

My Baby Nest Wrap is made out of high quality stretchy fabric. The company says that it can hold the weight from newborn up to 35 lbs. I did try putting my two year old on my back, and that didn't go so well. Most Mom's that I talk to say stretchy wraps work the best when the child is younger, but once they get a toddler they do stretch out under the weight. I have found that to be true also. I think this wrap would be excellent with newborns babies under one! Olivia is almost 5 months, and it is great for her.
Buy It!
You can purchase this wrap at My baby Nest for $79.90

Win It!
My baby nest has allowed us to give a carrier away to one of our readers! To enter, go to My Baby Nest and tell me one which type of position you would like to use this wrap for your baby. This is required and must be done before the extra entries count!

EXTRA ENTRIES!
You can do any of these things for an extra entry. Make sure to leave a separate comment for EACH thing you do.

1- Subscribe to our blog via email.

2. Follow us on our blog using Google Friend connect!

3. Follow us on Facebook and leave a comment letting us know.

4. Follow My Baby Nest on Facebook and leave a comment letting us know.

5. Follow us on Twitter and leave a comment letting us know you follow!

6.Follow My Baby Nest on Twitter and leave a comment letting us know you follow!

7. Blog about this giveaway and leave the link.-2 extra entries (leave two comments saying you did this).

8- Place our Modest Mom button on your blog.

PLEASE leave a separate comment each time you do one of the above. The comments are closed on this post, just use the form below to enter. We never share your email addresses with anyone, which is why we use the form to keep them private!

This giveaway will end Tuesday, May 25th at midnight, and a winner will be posted the following morning.

We will notify the winner and they will have 36 hours to respond! Open to US Only.

This was not a paid post and my honest opinions were used. The opinions are solely my own. Thank you to My Baby Nest who supplied the products for the review and giveaway.


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Monday, May 17, 2010

Menu Plan for week of May 17th


The past week was full of rain. We had so many outdoor projects we wanted to get to, maybe this week. I did manage to get all my Mom's flowers planted in her pots and hanging baskets. We have rain in the forecast for the next two days then some blessed sunshine. I'm ready!

I looked through the freezer again. I realized I have a number of bags of blueberries left. I need to get going on more blueberry muffins, pancakes, and more. Not a bad thing to "need" to do.:-) Each year we have gone and picked blueberries and frozen them. Then we have a friend who travels to another part of our state and buys cases of blueberries for those who want to order them from her church. She heads back with her van packed full. Needless to say we stuff ourselves full of fresh blueberries, then freeze and live off the rest until the next summer. Aren't friends wonderful? :-)

Breakfast:
Monday- Oatmeal
Giant Breakfast Cookies, bananas
Cereal
French Toast, fruit
Oatmeal, fruit
Breakfast Burritos
Bread,Egg,Potato

Lunch:
Monday-Leftovers
Potato soup, Salad
Chicken & Noodle Soup, veggies, fruit
PB & J, fruit, veggies
Stir Fry w Rice, veggies, fruit
Grilled Cheese Sandwich, Tomato Soup
Sack Lunch

Snacks
Cranberry Pudding
Homemade Whole Wheat Graham Crackers
Popcorn
veggies

Supper:
Monday- Leftovers
Four Cheese Spaghetti, Garlic Bread, Corn on Cob, Green Beans
Stir Fry over Spaghetti Noodles, Strawberry Slushies
Cheese Pizza, Vanilla Pudding, Salad
Chicken Pot Pie, Peaches, Salad
Stir Fry over Spaghetti Noodles, Strawberry Slushies
Quiche, Salad, fruit

Dessert:
Blueberry Crisp

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Thursday, May 13, 2010

So Close To Home

In my early twenties I was dreaming of going into another country as a missionary. I thought it would be so wonderful to share about Christ and bring ministry to other people. I told the Lord that was what I wanted to do with my life. As I prayed about this it didn’t take long for the Lord to bring to my attention the fact that I already had a mission field of my own. Where was this place I could minister? It was within my own family.

Many times we can have grand and glorious visions of doing great works for God.We want to go somewhere, someplace, but do a work for God at home? I can share the testimony of my life and what God has done to teach me of the path he had for me.

God had a calling on my life for a number of years to be a blessing to my own family. My Mom was diagnosed with Epilepsy after I was born. It was determined to be the result of a head injury when she was in junior high. When my younger brother and sister were born and Mom began home schooling all three of us she had her hands full. If she took enough medication to totally control her seizures she was so drowsy there was no way she could teach us or drive a car for that matter. At a young age I learned how to take care of her when she was having a seizure.

When I was 16 our family had taken on a vacation in Florida to visit my grandparents. Mom and Dad had been hoping to be blessed with another child and when Mom started feeling pretty sick on the way home from Florida she was excited thinking she might be pregnant. We all had a difficult time of it when she found out she was not pregnant. Further test revealed the reason she was feeling so awful. She had Lupus. After that diagnosis my Mom became sicker and sicker.

She spent the next year bed fast many days. I remember a time she got pneumonia and was so weak we had to feed her ourselves. She had no strength to lift a spoon. My brother Jason was 13 and my sister Caroline was 10. At that time I had to be responsible for running the household. Despite her health Mom was determined to keep home schooling. She taught us from bed. That was the one thing she decided to use any energy on. I helped Jason and Caroline with their schoolwork too. I kept the three of us on the cleaning schedule Mom had assigned to us long ago. I was in charge of meals, laundry, grocery shopping, and so on. This was the beginning of learning that I needed to be a blessing to my own family. I was very worried about my Mom but I don’t remember being totally overwhelmed with keeping up on the house. Mom had taught me how to run a home and I was ready for the task ahead. Dad kept up with all the outdoor work on our property.

At the age of 18 I had some dreams for my life. I was often questioned even at age16 about where I would go to college. I was asked what career I wanted to pursue. The first job I wanted wasn’t one I could “pursue”. I wanted to get married, have a family, and home school my own children. I realized that was in God’s hands. I was interested in writing and considered going to college to be a journalist. Through high school I had thought about becoming a vet or a constitutional lawyer.

As I prayed about it I realized what it would mean to my family if I left home. My Mom depended enough on my help homeschooling my brother and sister that they would probably have to go to private school or public school. I realized God was giving me a direction and purpose at that time in my life. I needed to bring ministry and help to my own family. People didn’t understand when I told them I wasn’t going to college. I had decided to study the subjects that interested me from home. In the end it didn’t matter to me what other people thought. I knew what God was asking me to do and that was enough for me.

When I was 21 my family moved to be near my great-grandparents because of their failing health. My Great-Grandma had Alzheimer’s. My Mom was very close to her Grandma. She had been more like a mother to her than a grandmother. My Great-Grandpa was overwhelmed with caring for Grandma and their very cluttered home. Jason, Caroline, and I started going over every 2 weeks to spend the day cleaning their house and doing laundry. This act of love impacted my Great-Grandpa so much that we saw a thawing of his heart towards us and God. He was becoming a new man.

In time my Great-Grandpa was diagnosed with bone cancer. Grandpa was feeling ill and a decision had to be made. It was decided Grandpa would come live with us and Grandma would go to a nursing home 1 block from our house. My parents didn’t think we could handle as a family my Mom’s illness plus both my great-grandparents living with us. After we took Grandpa to his daily cancer treatments we would go by and visit our great-grandma at the nursing home. Sunday afternoons we would take a little electric keyboard and sing hymns to all the patients on the Alzheimer ward. On a January 15th my Great-Grandpa died in our home due to his cancer.

After Grandpa died there were many things to tend to in legal and financial matters, and Grandma was still in the nursing home. One of my aunt’s and I had been power of attorney for my great-grandparents. Because Grandpa had not prepared at all for the time of his death it took months to tend to all the legal matters, clean out and sell their house and so forth.

A year later our family and one of my aunts gathered to my Grandma’s bedside as she died. Another chapter in God’s calling in my life had closed. I continued to devote time to our home and my brother and sister’s schooling. I worked part-time and prayed often for God’s guidance in my life.

If we fast forward a few years we come to the day my sister Caroline graduated from high school. Several months later she married her one and only sweetheart, Sean. I was so very grateful God had blessed her with the love of this godly young man! At this point I had been working as a dental laboratory technician and then moved into dental assisting. We got a call one day from my grandparents in Florida. My Grandpa’s cancer had returned after a surgery the previous year and the prognosis this time was not good. I made a decision to quit my job and move to Florida to help my grandparents during this time. Really I was the only one in the family (being single at the time) in a position to do that. I treasure the time I spent with Grandpa and Grandma. Grandpa died January 15, 2001. That May I flew down to Florida to help my Grandma move to Missouri. I spent a month cleaning out her house, having a garage sale, and packing everything. Once she moved to Missouri I spent a lot of time helping her unpack and tending to business.

I look back through these years and feel blessed that I chose a path in life that allowed me to care for the needs of my family. I would encourage you to ask God to show you how to be a blessing to your family. If you look at your family in the light of “what can I give” instead of “what can I get” you will find some awesome opportunities to grow in charity and faith. Talk to your brothers and sisters, to your parents, to your extended family. What can you do to bless their lives and give testimony of Jesus Christ? The answer for each of us will be very different, yet we are all needed in some way. Oh what God can do with a willing heart and loving spirit!

By Jennifer Allen

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Masterly Inactivity

My boys eating muffins! I'm sure they begged for more when they were done. Hopefully I answered them correctly!


Have you ever heard of the game Mother, May I? No, I don’t mean the innocent little game of “baby steps” and “kangaroo hops.” I mean the “game” of pestering and whining, “Mother, may I stay up late tonight? Pleeeeeeze, please, please? All my friends are doing it and . . . ” Perhaps you played this game yourself with your mother.


Today you might see the same situation in homeschooling. “Mother, I don’t have my assignment done. I know you said today is the deadline, but I need a couple more days to complete it.”


Do you answer Yes or No? What factors go into making that decision? You know the difference in your child’s voice whether he is cajoling and manipulating or respectfully presenting a request for his authority to consider. Your position as the authority can make all the difference.


Charlotte gave this example: “ ‘Oh, mother, may we go blackberrying this afternoon, instead of lessons?’ The masterly ‘yes’ and the abject ‘yes’ are quite different notes. The first makes the holiday doubly a delight; the second produces a restless desire to gain some other easy victory.”

You see, the parent whose authority is not securely in place thinks of this type of situation more as “giving in” than as granting a favor. A parent whose authority is secure knows that granting a favor will not affect her authority. She is still in charge. And she gets a little joy from being able to please her small ones in this way as a special treat.


Charlotte called this aspect of Masterly Inactivity “good humour––frank, cordial, natural, good humour. This is quite a different thing from overmuch complacency, and a general giving-in to all the children’s whims. The one is the outcome of strength, the other of weakness, and children are very quick to see the difference.”


Next time your children want to play this kind of Mother, May I, ask yourself whether you feel like you are giving in to their demands. Are you just trying to make the whining stop, or are you afraid they won’t like you if you say No? That feeling is a signal that you are not operating from a position of Masterly Inactivity.


On the other hand, when your children ask, “Mother, May I?” do you feel like you are granting a favor from a secure position of benevolent authority? That’s the position that ensures good humor for both you and your children.


Go here to read the rest from Simply Charlotte Mason website. This is a free e-book download!

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List of winners!

We have several giveaways that ended...

The five winners of the Bed and Breakfast book and free night (when you buy a night) are:

#27 Rebecca (michael_weiss@)
#40 Alyssa (Alyssa.l.dale@)
#51 Summer (summerflood@)
#46 BayBoyMama (stephanielumb@)
#35 C.A. Marshall (irrelevantheart@)

The winner of the chalk Roll Up is:

#25 Rachel (Rachel_demille@)

The winner of the Amazon Gift Card is:

#7 Megan (habetzh@)

We have other great giveaways going on, and some really big ones coming up that I'm super excited about!


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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Quick-Fix Healthy Mix Book Review and Giveaway

Recently I was at church for a class on using mixes for cooking. Our teacher was a mother of 4 who has used mixes for years to save money, time, and have healthier food on hand than anything she could ever buy in a box. Laurie brought a multitude of resources for us to look at and the ingredients to put together mixes of our own to try at home. In the middle of this class she held up the book Quick-Fix Healthy Mix and said it was the best book on mixes she has ever found. Sold!

I have looked through several books on mixes before. When Krause Publications send me this book to review and giveaway I was excited to see the extensive number of mixes included. This book is awesome! There are fourteen chapters focused on "master mixes" in various food categories that will keep in your pantry for several weeks to months. Then there are recipes using the master mix as the staple and adding things to make a variety of meals, or storable "just add egg and water" mixes for cookies, cakes, waffles, muffins, and much more.

This was written by a mother and daughter team with years of experience combined in preparing healthy and affordable mix recipes. As I tried out some of the recipes I liked the fact with a mix I have more control over the content than buying a mix in the store. If I want to lower the salt or sugar in one of the mixes it is simple to do so, or add more of a certain ingredient according to the taste of my family. This book gives you all the nutrition information and is focused on ways to ensure that the mix is healthy.

The mix recipes in this book go beyond the normal baked goods, beans, rice, and gift mix ideas. The 225 mix recipes include some on dairy products, barbecue sauces, salad dressings, seasonings, beverages, and dried foods and jerky. I decided to give some of these mixes a try before the review. So far I have made:

Pancake & Waffle Mix
Muffin Mix
Master Baking Mix
Master Cake Mix
Master Cream Sauce Mix
Homemade Maple Syrup
Master Brownie Mix
Dry Creamy & Steamy Rice Mix

The only one I disliked as written was the Master Baking Mix. For my family I needed to modify the ingredients. If you are new to mixes I would recommend starting out with a few recipes. If a mix doesn’t turn out quite the taste you like don’t give up. Just go back and add or subtract ingredients like salt or sugar to get the taste you want. These mixes would make good gifts in mason jars, pretty containers, etc. that anyone would appreciate.

If you are concerned about making mixes and storing them just think about this. How many of you have boxed foods in your pantry? Just realize if you take some time to make your own mixes they will be replacing some of those boxed foods. You can use storage bags (Ziploc style), inexpensive plastic containers that can be reused, or clean out plastic containers like yogurt and cottage cheese when you are done and use for a mix. Save any glass mason type jars such as spaghetti sauce for mixes. If you think ahead, save, and are creative it won’t cost you much to be prepared for storing mixes.

I would highly recommend beginning to incorporate mixes into your cooking. You’ll save money while stocking your kitchen with healthy and quick cooking. If you begin with the Quick-Fix Healthy Mix book you can’t go wrong!

From Jennifer Allen

Stay tuned for more fun reviews and giveaways that are coming soon!!

Buy It!
You can purchase this book at Krause Books currently for $13.59.

Win It!
Krause Books is giving one of our readers a Quick-Fix Healthy Mix book.To enter, visit Krause Books and tell me another product that you like. This is required and must be done before the extra entries count!

EXTRA ENTRIES!
You can do any of these things for an extra entry. Make sure to leave a separate comment for EACH thing you do.

1- Subscribe to our blog via email.

2. Follow us on our blog using Google Friend connect!

3. Follow us on Facebook and leave a comment letting us know.

4. Follow us on Twitter and leave a comment letting us know you follow!

5. Blog about this giveaway and leave the link.-2 extra entries (leave two comments saying you did this).

6- Place our Modest Mom button on your blog.

PLEASE leave a separate comment each time you do one of the above. The comments are closed on this post, just use the form below to enter. We never share your email addresses with anyone, which is why we use the form to keep them private!

This giveaway will end Tuesday, May 19th at midnight, and a winner will be posted the following morning.

We will notify the winner and they will have 36 hours to respond! Open to US Only.

This was not a paid post and my honest opinions were used. The opinions are solely my own. Thank you to Krause Books who supplied the products for the review and giveaway.

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Tommee Tippee Review and Giveaway




I have a confession to make. I have tried drinking out of sippy cups. :-) Yep, this mom has gotten so desperate to discover if her child's cup is even working she has tried extracting some water out of the cup, without much sucess! I have felt so sorry for my children sucking away trying to get some water out of a no spill cup that I generally take out the suction that keeps the water from spilling out. You can guess what happens then. :-)

After having four children, I am excited that the search for the perfect sippy cup is over! I was delighted to review the Tommee Tippee cups, and see that my daughter can not only get water out of the cup alright, it truly is no spill and she loves her cup! When I first pulled them out of the package she had a big smile on her face, and promptly wanted only that cup for several days.

I was so sceptical if they would work. My knowledge of no spill cups=no water comes out for the child also! I was delighted to be proven wrong. Carrianna can easily get her water out, and drains the cup dry several times a day while all the water stays in the cup and not on my floor!


Because Carrianna is 2, we choose the Explora set to review. They have 5 different stages perfect for each phase of a child's life. I will definately be getting Olivia a sippy cup from them when she is old enough.

These cups are BPA free. Plus they are insulated to keep your drink cool!

You can purchase the sippy cups at Babies r'us. They run from $4.99-$7.99

Or you can win a set of the Explora cups on our blog!

To enter to win: Go over to Tommee Tippee website and tell me which product you would like to try!

For additional entries:

1. Follow this blog (if you already follow just let me know) and leave a comment .

2. Follow Tommy Tippee on facebook.

3. Follow Tommy Tippee on twitter.

4. Follow The Modest Mom on facebook.

5. Follow The Modest Mom on twitter.

This giveaway will end May 18th at midnight.



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CSN Store Review


I was amazed to discover several months ago that I had never heard of the CSN store! I suddenly saw the name popping up all over blogs, and went to the website only to discover that it is a store like Walmart or Amazon, complete with thousands of items. They sell everything from Entertainment Centers, cribs, faucets, or shoes! A wide variety of items. The best part is that they offer free shipping on most items! So you can buy a heavy set of dishes and get it shipped for free!

Some things that stood out to me were:

A pink car seat! We need to replace Carrianna's car seat and I would love to get a pink one since we have Olivia coming up right behind her! This one looks really cute.



This faucet would look great in our bathroom that we are remodeling.


I need a new can opener really bad! This one looks like it would be good. Surely it would be better than the .50 cent can opener my sister picked up for me at a garage sale that barely works!


CSN ships to anywhere in the USA and Canada. I will definitely be keeping them in mind next time I need to order something!

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Monday, May 10, 2010

Make It Monday: Recipes

Due to the busy weekend my priority was not in getting my menu plan done by Saturday night. Instead I will be making my menu plan this afternoon. You'll have to excuse me for being out of the loop this week. Instead I thought I would share a few of my favorite recipes.

The first is a spinach salad. It is great with crackers and vegetables for a lunch or as an appetizer. Alas, I am in the only one in my home who will eat it. Solution? I will halve the recipe so there isn't so much of it and enjoyed it by my lonesome.:-)

Spinach Salad
2 boxes frozen spinach
4 hard boiled eggs, diced
½ cup diced onion
1 cup shredded cheese, cheddar
1 tsp. garlic salt
¼ tsp. Tabasco
1 Tbsp. vinegar
½ cup mayo

Thaw frozen spinach and squeeze dry (excess water). Mix all ingredients adding the eggs last. Refrigerate and serve. This taste best on the second day.
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Putter Fingers:
This recipe was a mainstay for my Mom as we were growing up. Not only are they quite yummy but the Putter Fingers are a great source of protein. Perfect to be made up for pregnant moms!

Putter Fingers
½ cup melted butter
3 cups quick oats
1 cup honey
3 Tb. Carob powder (or cocoa)
¾ cup powdered milk
½ tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla
½ cup peanut butter
½ cup raisins
½ cup sunflower seeds
(optional: can omit the raisins and sunflowers seeds and add 1 cup of carob chips or chocolate ships.)

Combine melted butter and oats in a large bowl. Mix well. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Shape with moist hands or buttered hands into balls. Chill until firm. Store in closed container in the refrigerator.
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Looking for a healthy simple drink? Look no further. I have wanted to find something my husband would enjoy as a smoothie but would get some green veggies in for him. This green smoothie has been perfect! My husband likes it and is more than happy to get his spinach down this way since he can’t taste it. I buy a large bag of frozen strawberries at Costco and my organic spinach.

Green Smoothie
1cup Frozen banana slices
1 cup frozen strawberries
1 cup fresh spinach
1 cup orange juice

Blend together and drink. Makes 1 serving
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For the bananas I realized I could freeze my own much cheaper than buying them in the store.
I found a bunch of ripe bananas on sale.

I cut them up in slices putting them on a wax paper covered cookie sheet.

I had so many bananas and not enough cookie sheets or room in the freezer. After the first layer of bananas was on the cookie sheet I put another piece of wax paper on the cookie sheet on top of the bananas. I filled this layer up with bananas as well. I was able to do this second layer on both cookie sheets then put them in the freezer for several hours. When you take the cookie sheets out of the freezer you need to let the bananas thaw out a bit, say 5 minutes or so. Otherwise you will be tearing bananas off the wax paper instead of pulling them off and create a royal mess. Take all the bananas off the cookie sheets and put them in Ziploc freezer bags. Now you have frozen bananas ready to go for your smoothies with little time involved and it cost you much less!
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After finding this recipe on Money Saving Mom I have made it both in the Banana muffins and the Blueberry muffins. This is now my husbands favorite muffin recipe.

Banana or Blueberry Crumb Muffins
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (whole wheat pastry/soft spring wheat is the best!)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 bananas, mashed
3/4 cup rapadura or sucanat (natural sweeteners) or sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup butter or coconut oil, melted – or replace with half applesauce, as desired
Topping, optional:
2 Tbsp whole wheat flour
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup sugar, optional
In a small bowl, mix together 1/4 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons flour and cinnamon. Cut in 1 tablespoon butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Sprinkle topping over muffins.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease 12 muffin cups.
In a large bowl, mix together 1 1/2 cups flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, beat together bananas, sugar, egg and melted butter. Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture just until moistened. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling 3/4 full (Definitely fill all 12, otherwise they will overflow). Bake in preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.

Blueberry Variation: Replace bananas with 1 cup of fresh or frozen blueberries and 3/4 cup applesauce. Yum!Enjoy!

From Jennifer Allen

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Friday, May 7, 2010

Marriage: A Dying to the Self

What is the crux of marital problems? My husband and I were discussing this while planting strawberries last night. I told Neil about this review of a book I want to read at Her.meneutics blog. I told Neil the author of this book on marriage points out the crux of problems with marriages today comes down this: selfishness. Neil said a hearty "Amen!". It's a struggle in our lives, maybe yours as well.

The paragraph that made me want to stop reading my current book and pick this one up was:

"Perhaps the most challenging truth that Tripp encourages us to embrace is that our greatest marital problem is ourselves. The Bible continually warns us of our own self-deception and requires us to accept that we do not see ourselves the way God sees us. We will always rise to our own defense and succumb to blaming someone else and believing the best about ourselves. Not surprisingly, God specifically uses the marital relationship to reveal the sin of self-righteousness. A marriage that is doomed to fail can be transformed when even just one person begins to see themselves in this light and confesses with genuine humility the ways they have damaged the relationship. Grace is available in full measure when we recognize this and let God examine our hearts so thoroughly that we are willing to accept whatever it is he reveals to us."

Amen and Amen! A truth to remember not only in marriage but every relationship we have. This stands in direct contrast to the popular teaching that life is "all about me". Personally, I've never found myself a very pleasant individual to spend time with when all I focus on is myself.

I will note that there are marriages where one spouse is involved in so much sin: adultry, abuse of spouse and/or children, drug abuse etc. that there are godly boundries that need to be drawn to protect yourself and your children from what is being done. That being said, there is much to learn from living unselfishly in any marriage.

This is the review by Lynn Roush, guest blogger at Her.meneutics :

During our engagement, my husband and I dutifully pursued premarital counseling. A well-meaning seminary professor and his wife graciously walked us through some of the highlights and lowlights of their marriage and how they had addressed issues. We covered faithfulness, forgiveness, and the roles of a husband and wife. But what I remember most about the evening was feeling that I already had marriage figured out. We were both seminary students who loved God, knew Scripture, and had great communication skills. That, coupled with our mutual love, meant that we were could do marriage “right” and avoid the sinkholes that had doomed other relationships.

Twelve years later, I am still, by God’s grace, happily married, but I continue to be confronted with the extent of my foolishness in those early days. I have faced unfulfilled expectations, disappointments, and unmet needs, just like every other married person has. Minimally, I could have better anticipated the hard seasons of marriage if I had understood the biblical concepts fleshed out in Paul David Tripp’s new book, What Did You Expect? Redeeming the Realities of Marriage (Crossway).

Tripp's biblical wisdom burrows beneath the layers of roles, communication mishaps, and felt needs that are the typical driving forces of Christian marriage how-to manuals, and arrives at the fundamental root of all marital problems: who or what we worship. To date, this is the first Christian book on marriage I have read that does not use the words submission or headship. Nor does it refer to the most classic passage on marriage, Ephesians 5. There are no listening techniques or explanations of gender differences. The kingdom model that Tripp describes transcends gender, roles, and the “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine” ideas that pervade most approaches to marital troubles.

Tripp instead starts with the most basic question each of us will answer in our lives: “Whose kingdom?” “We are kingdom-oriented people," Tripp writes. "We always live in the service of one of two kingdoms . . . When we live for the kingdom of self, our decisions, thoughts, plans, actions, and words are directed by personal desire [and] we seek to surround ourselves with people who will serve our kingdom purposes." Conflict occurs when the kingdom of self collides with our spouse’s kingdom, and when they do not acquiesce to our wants, needs, and feelings. Two people pursuing their own kingdoms throughout a marriage will eventually end in bloody battle. But what if both people decide to submit to God’s kingdom, where Christ reigns supreme and where joy, meaning, and life are found? A heart reorientation of this magnitude is where real change begins, and the conflict of a marriage becomes an “opportunity to exit the small space of the kingdom of self and to begin to enjoy the beauty and benefits of the kingdom of God.”

This paradigm shift breathes hope into any marriage, especially those filled with disappointment, anger, and despair. Tripp explains what we all need to grasp, that “[God] has designed marriage to expose the neediness of your heart and in so doing, to bring you to the end of yourself." In other words, it is an act of God’s rescuing grace that we are brought to places in our marriage where we cannot depend on intelligence, communication skills, or tactics of manipulation. Relational change occurs only when our worship is properly aligned with the God who jealously pursues our hearts and who calls us to total dependence.

The question that must be answered next is, How do I now repair a marriage that has been torn apart by two warring kingdoms? The rest of Tripp’s book thoughtfully and biblically describes how two people can rebuild their marriage by developing a culture of ongoing reconciliation based on six commitments (listed at the end of this review). These commitments assume that both people are hopeless sinners who are constantly tempted to operate out of self-righteousness, self-love, and self-protection. We are then given practical (though not easy) steps to uproot patterns of relating and replace them with new ones, the most important of which is examining how trust has been broken and what needs to be done to rebuild trust, which is vital to the success of any marriage.

Perhaps the most challenging truth that Tripp encourages us to embrace is that our greatest marital problem is ourselves. The Bible continually warns us of our own self-deception and requires us to accept that we do not see ourselves the way God sees us. We will always rise to our own defense and succumb to blaming someone else and believing the best about ourselves. Not surprisingly, God specifically uses the marital relationship to reveal the sin of self-righteousness. A marriage that is doomed to fail can be transformed when even just one person begins to see themselves in this light and confesses with genuine humility the ways they have damaged the relationship. Grace is available in full measure when we recognize this and let God examine our hearts so thoroughly that we are willing to accept whatever it is he reveals to us.

What Did You Expect? is a discourse on the transforming power of grace, offered to anyone who has come to the end of themselves. Whether you are just now realizing your need for help, your marriage is full of conflict and riddled by anger and bitterness, or you are living in silent cohabitation, Tripp’s work will open your eyes to the redeeming work that God desires to accomplish in your life. Most of us didn’t expect marriage to be as hard as it is, but God’s sovereign plan includes such difficulties for the purpose of aligning our hearts to his big-sky kingdom and rescuing us from our own.

Doesn't that sound like an awesome book on marriage to read? The last time I read a book on marriage was during our pre-marital counseling. I plan on making this a must read soon!

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Prenatal Vitamins

I don't like taking pills. I've some rather awful moments in the past where some "horse" pills have become lodged in my throat. My Mom got to do the Heimlich maneuver on me, at that point I couldn't talk or breath. Taking Prenatal vitamins has been dreadful to me. The brand I was taking is excellent but a huge pill. To my great relief after some searching I found this:
Source of Life® Prenatal Liquid is the most comprehensive prenatal liquid supplement ever developed, scientifically designed to provide optimal nutritional support during pregnancy! Just one luscious, indulgent tropical-fruit flavored capful provides expectant mothers with the special nutrition they require. Fast-acting and easily digested, Source of Life Prenatal Liquid is fortified with all essential vitamins and 8 essential minerals, plus the vital energy of nature’s premier whole foods, including apple, broccoli, spinach, tomato, brown rice, apricot and banana—so every daily serving supplies natural energy and nutritional strength. Only Source of Life Prenatal Liquid delivers this powerful, health-enhancing nutrition in a versatile, refreshing liquid formulation that is bursting with succulent, natural tropical fruit flavor! Discover the health benefits and taste excitement of this special “life stage” Source of Life formulation—you and your baby will soon be on the way to enhanced well-being and peak health. Start a new life right with Source of Life Prenatal Liquid!

Lucky Vitamin was the best price I could find on it. My local health food store didn't carry it. It taste great to me!

Then yesterday I found the Vitafusion Prenatal Gummies. It looks worth looking into. I was impressed with the manufacturer's website video clip of how they make their various gummy vitamins. Best of all they are available at Target and a number of various drug stores nationwide such as RiteAid so you wouldn't have any shipping fees.

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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Adorned in Modest Apparel: It Begins with the Heart

Adorned in Modest Apparel: It Begins with the Heart
by Mrs. Crystal Paine

A few years ago, my goal in life was to fit in with the world. I didn’t want to look different or be dubbed "weird" by society. I fought against my parents’ wishes and desires for me...not always outwardly, but inwardly I very often resented the restrictions they placed upon me. Was I happy?
No.

The Lord began working in my heart little by little. After months of cutting and pruning away the dross in my life, He brought me to the place where I purposed I was going to honor Him in every area of my life—-no matter what. From that point forward, my life changed dramatically. No longer did my heart desire to follow the ways of the world. I wanted more than anything to please the Lord. I spent much time in God’s Word and in prayer. In doing so, the Lord convicted me of my need to examine every area of my life and hold it up against the penetrating light of Scripture. I realized there were many areas of my life in which I was walking contrary to Scripture. One of those areas was the way I dressed.

About this time, I was listening to a Bible tape while vacuuming the house. As I ran the vacuum back and forth over the carpet, I heard a familiar phrase from 1 Timothy, "In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with braided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; but (which becometh women professing Godliness) with good works" (1 Timothy 2:9-10). Although I had heard this passage numerous times before, I was struck with it in a new light. The phrase, "...that women adorn themselves in modest apparel..." kept ringing through my ears. In studying the original Greek meaning of this word, I found it meant, "orderly, decent, a citizen who is quiet in the land." Thus, I concluded that adorning ourselves in modest apparel would be apparel that does not draw great attention to one’s self. I am not saying we are to dress in black all the time (that could draw great attention to ourselves too, you know!), but that we not dress like we are going to a fashion show. Rather, we should dress in a quiet, neat, and inconspicuous manner. As Timothy Titcomb so poignantly expressed in his book, Titcomb’s Letters (©1858), "A woman was made for something higher than a convenient figure for displaying dry goods." In reality, clothes are only a reminder of our sin (Genesis 3), so we don’t have anything to be proud about in wearing them.

On the flipside, I believe Christians are ambassadors of the Most High King to the world. Would you expect someone who represented the highest-ranking official of a country to come dressed as a ragged pauper? No, they would be dressed in a neat, orderly, and professional manner. In the same way, our outward appearance is a reflection of Christ to the world.

I do not believe there is anything wrong or ungodly in taking the time to "beautify" ourselves in order to be a God-honoring representation of Christ to the world. But beautifying the outward appearance must never, ever become one’s focus or chief end in life. We must seek first the Kingdom of God...not seek first how we can become outwardly attractive. 1 Samuel 16:7 drives this point home: "...For the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart." We need to always cultivate first beautiful inner character before we seek to improve our outward man. God is much more concerned with the heart. "Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price" (1 Peter 3:3-4).

Ask yourself, "Why am I wearing this? Does this outfit glorify God and honor my authority’s wishes for me?" If you do not know what pleases your authority, ask them! You may be surprised to discover there are many things in your wardrobe that are not their first choice.

In further investigating the roots of the word "modest" I found it meant being sensible and self-controlled and voluntarily placing limits on one’s freedom. That hit me. How often, in all areas, am I pushing the limits of my freedom, instead of setting a higher standard so as not to be a stumbling block?

My wonderful husband, Jesse, told me after we started courting how much he appreciated the way that I dressed and how that actually was one thing that attracted him to me. He said he realized I was different, and he appreciated my willingness to stand alone. Then he looked at me and said, "Crystal, a girl can never dress too modestly." I want to encourage you girls with that. You can actually earn a young man’s respect by your modesty.

I am not going to come out and condemn or condone any clothing in particular in this article. I don’t feel that God has called me to do that. Rather, I challenge you to question yourself, "Is the way that I am dressing in accordance with the Biblical mandate that women are to be adorned in modest apparel?"

We are so influenced by society in this day and age. We nonchalantly accept what our forefathers would have blatantly protested against as "wicked." Let us not measure our lives by the world’s standards. If we do that, we will usually always come out all right. Let us be willing to measure our lives by the standards set in God’s Word. In eternity, we won’t regret it.


Crystal Paine is a homeschool graduate from Topeka, Kansas. She is the blessed wife of Jesse and joyful mother of four children. Visit her site, MoneySavingMom, an upbeat and encouraging blog dedicated to helping you find great deals, stretch your hard-earned dollars, and live on less than you make so you can save more and give more.

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