Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Rules

I thought everyone would like to see the first postcard we received from our school project.  We were excited and look forward to getting many more as our plane continues on its journey. 
  

After a very long flight, we got word that our plane finally reached the next destination of Ghana, West Africa.  From there it will be traveling to Nairobi, Kenya, Africa. 


While we were in the states, my hubby ordered this list of rules from Hearts for Home.  These rules are hanging in our home and have been a great help to our family. 
 
*we obey the Lord Jesus Christ
*The law of kindness rules here:  If is is unkind, it is not allowed.
*We love, honor, and pray for one another.
*We tell the truth every time and hate every deception.
*We put others first.
*We speak quietly and respectfully to one another.
*When someone needs correction, we correct them in love.
*When someone is sorry, we forgive them.
When someone is sad, we comfort them.
When someone is happy, we celebrate with them.
When someone is blessed, we rejoice with them rather than covet their blessings for ourselves.
*When we have something nice to share, we share it.
*When we have work to do, we do it without complaining.
*We do not create unnecessary work for others.
When we open something, we close it.
When we turn something on, we turn it off.
When we take something out, we put it away.
When we make a mess, we clean it up.
*When we do not know what to to, we ask.
*When we are wrong, we admit it and ask forgiveness.
*We faithfully attend God's house every time the doors are open.
*We feed our souls on God's Word each morning before we feed our bodies.
*We live with honor:
We honor our Lord, our family name, our authorities, and one another.
*We place our family ahead of our friends and defend each other with strength and wisdom.
*We sanctify (set apart) all our possessions only to uses that please the Lord.
*When we go out, we act the same - just as if we were in this house.
*When we disobey or forget any of the Rules of This House,
we submissively accept the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
 
 
Wow!  That is quite a list to keep, isn't it?  Some of these things are not difficult to keep while others are a daily challenge.  Having them listed out and hanging in our home has been a blessing as we attempt to live by each one. 
 
Another saying that I read recently that has been a big challenge to me is:
Jealousy is counting someone else's blessings rather than your own.
Ouch!  Very convicting (at least it is to me), challenging, and a great reminder.
 
I want my life, my actions, and my testimony to please the Lord.  How about you?
 
 photo rachelsig_zpsc246118c.jpg

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Frugal Friday - Electricity

ELECTRICITY.....
Our family has always tried to be very careful about leaving things on around the house when they are not being used - especially lights.  If we are not in a room, we make sure the light is off.  We used to really struggle in this area.  Ron would come home in the evening and ask why every light in the house was on.  At that time Caleb was just a little guy and always wanted to be included during chore time.  I gave him the job of being the "light police".  Now isn't that a cool job for a little boy?  So when I would call the kids to the dinner table, I would remind the "light police" to do his chore.  He would also police the house for lights left on before we sat down to watch a movie or play a game.  Although Caleb does not officially have that chore anymore, we all try to make sure that lights and appliances are off when they are not being used.  This keeps daddy happy and is a little thing we do to be frugal.
Another way I try to be frugal is when I do my laundry.  Our electricity is cheaper late at night (winter 11 p.m. - 7 a.m. and summer 12 a.m. - 8 a.m.) and on the weekends.  So, I try to get my laundry done on Saturdays.  However, my washer takes about 2 hours to wash one load and my dryer is not drying real well these days.  We bought a used washer and dryer when we got to the field in 2009 and I'm starting to think that the dryer will need to be replaced soon.  Anyway, all of that to say, sometimes it's hard to get all my laundry done in one day.  If I need to do a load or two during the week, I try real hard to do it at night once the electricity rate changes. 
My dishwasher gets turned on right before I go to bed so that it runs while the electricity is cheaper too. 
These are just a few little ways we try to be frugal with our electricity.
How about you? 
Any tips about being frugal with electricity?

Friday, March 1, 2013

Frugal Friday - Haircuts

One of my jobs as a wife, homemaker, mother, and Christian is to do my best to be frugal.  Frugal means economical in use or expenditure; prudently saving or sparing; not wasteful.  The Bible tells us to be good stewards of all that God has given us.
I am always looking for ways to be {more} frugal - I think most of us are, right?  Each Friday I will post about a way that I have learned to be frugal. 
 
HAIRCUTS
This is not one of my favorite jobs, but it has saved us LOTS of money over the years.  I started cutting Daniel's hair when he was just a little guy.  I just couldn't bring myself to spend $10 to get his hair cut.  So I went to Walmart and bought a haircut kit.  Then I watched a friend of mine cut Daniel's hair and then both of her boys' hair.  I never received any special training, but I sure got lots of practice :)  Thankfully little boys are not too picky about their hair. 

 
 
 
Although I have always cut the boys' hair, Ron still had his cut professionally.  He was nervous  scared to let me "practice" on him.  I was not offended.  Like I said earlier, cutting hair is not my favorite job in the world.  What is even worse than cutting it is cleaning up after!
Anyway, I think it was once we moved to Estonia in 2009, that he found the courage to let me have a go at his hair.  He was pretty impressed with my skills and I officially became his barber (smile). 

When we were traveling in the states this past year, I tried to make sure we did hair cuts before heading out on trips.  On one of our longer trips though, the guys all had to go in and get their hair cut.  Four haircuts = $50!!!  Wow!

Since I do hair cuts at least one a month (sometimes twice), we are saving between $600 - $1,200/year.  AMAZING! 

I also trim Sarah's hair once in a while.  A couple of times I have had hers cut professionally to fix any mistakes I make.

No, I do not cut my own hair! I know there are some ladies that do, but I can't.  I do chop at my bangs when they get too long, but that is it.  Since coming to Estonia, I have had a missionary friend cut and/or highlight my hair several times.  It is very difficult to use her though since she lives about 3 hours away.  I have been considering a couple "frugal" ideas for me lately....
1.  I've been reading up on how to naturally highlight my hair with hydrogen peroxide. 
2.  I've considered coloring (I guess you would call it that) my hair myself.  I don't  want to dye my hair a different color, but I'd like to lighten it up a bit. 
Since I've never done either of these before, I'm nervous.  Any thoughts?

Do you have any frugal hair tips?  I'd love to hear from you.

**Our plane has visited Croatia and is now on it's way to West Africa!**

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