Embracing Frugality!

Learning to live on a single income goes beyond just a challenge. Its kind of hard in today’s society….especially if that single income is that of a small town Pastor’s. Let me just say that I feel DH’s salary is both fair and generous, however going from a household with 2 and half incomes and no children to a home with 1 income and a baby is going to take some adjusting.

And with adjusting, a little creativity. Since I am indeed creative I have decided to make a bit of a game out of saving money. Let’s be honest; money save on household stuff is money that is freed up for fabric.

So in that spirit I am “Going Frugal” which is sort of like “Going Green” only this actually saves me money LOL. Of course we will still try to be kind to the earth. It’s all about good stewardship, being responsible with the blessings God has bestowed upon us and also detaching ourselves from today’s excessively materialistic society. (Please note I am excluding fabric in that general statement). So many families have both parents working full-time and then some just to “keep up” and “make ends meet” which leaves children to fend for themselves or be raised by schools, day cares or family members. My goal isn’t to criticize this lifestyle or condemn those who live like this. I merely would like to suggest that by making certain changes it is possible to live on less money and thus be more present at home actively training and raising up your own children.

I am looking at this as an experiment. A game. How thrifty can I be?

Let’s kick things off with a recipe. The new recipe rule is that it has to be made for under $5 and it has to feed a family.

Michael and I have tried so many ways to fix lentils so we would actually want to eat them….but let’s be honest, we didn’t want to eat them no matter how hard we tried. Until now!

Lentils for Lunch

1 bag (16 oz) dried lentils. Ours were brown, I would imagine any color would work – $1.19

1 package dry Onion soup mix -.39 at Aldis

2 low sodium chicken bullion cubes – free in my pantry.

2 slices (rashers?) bacon – I found a package that was reduced for quick sale .99

Mix everything in a pot with 4ish (I am never accurate) cups of water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to low. Cut up bacon and mix in lentils, cover and simmer 20-30 minutes….or an hour if you forgot the pot like I did. Either way it was good. VERY good.

It is also healthy. This would have been lunch for our family for 3-4 days but we were so amazed it didn’t taste like crap that we ate a lot…and also shared with the neighbors. We were that amazed. Everyone who stopped by heard “Man, you have to try these lentils…no seriously, they rock”

Parenting Philosophy part 1

AKA the means by which God can humble you…

Fact: I am an outspoken woman with strong opinions.

Truth: The branch that does not bend in the wind will break.

While I spent all that time praying for a child I used the waiting period to research what type of parents we would be. To define our parenting style. Michael was very much on board although a few of my ideas confused him. But he did take the time to think them over and we worked out a game plan.

Along came baby. And the realization that our game plan may need a bit of tweaking. This was hard for me. Heart-breakingly hard. I was so completely sold on the idea of attached/natural parenting that I didn’t really even consider anything that wouldn’t fit into that style.

And after my unwanted/unplanned C-section (seriously I wanted to homebirth) my milk didn’t come in….a battle I fought for 6 weeks. Can you imagine taking every known herbal supplement, a prescription pill, drinking a gallon of water, and eating a metric ton of oatmeal while pumping every 2-3 hour AND caring for a newborn? I wouldn’t wish that hell on anyone…but it took me 6 weeks to give up the fight. I traded the pump for prozac since at that point in the journey I needed the prozac more.

After I gave up that fight and stopped sobbing 80 times a day I was able to relax and enjoy motherhood more. I loved toting my little snuggly babe around in a sling or carrier. I loved having her near to me and smelling her baby freshness…except she didn’t love it as much. And by about 4-5 months she was mobile and would rather roll all over the floor than be carried. How can this be? She was supposed to spend her days in the sling learning confidence and nurturing and all those lovely attached parenting principles. Nope, this baby crawled at 5 months which was before she could even sit up on her own.

There have been other adjustments along the way but thankfully I have learned that while parenting it is possible you will have to eat a few words…or a lot. Which can be very humbling.

I am learning to be more flexible which is something I strongly suspected I needed to learn.

And the good news is that despite all my best laid intentions going down hill. We still have anĀ amazing child who is smart, strong and well-adjusted.

And isn’t that the goal anyways?

Too cute to spook

I finished a little Halloween outfit and thought I would show you. Actually I made 4 of these (exactly alike).

I made the baby legwarmers out of knee high socks. Very clever way to keep legs warm but diaper changes easy. Plus tights don’t always fit great over fluffy cloth diapered bums.

Ignore the white serger thread. I was being lazy.

Now I have to quick make Reagan a new outfit for our trip to the pumpkin patch with our playgroup on Wednesday!

 

Sprinkling a few feathers

around my nest, just in time for Fall.

I have always wanted a fire place so I would have a mantle to decorate seasonally. I discovered the top of the piano also works brilliantly!

This would look so much better if I would get around to painting the walls the warm harvest gold I have im mind. Michael said I can’t paint them orange (meany) My favorite thing is the wooden plate I found last week that says ‘Twinkle twinkle little star, Do you know how blessed you are?’ What a great reminder! I should take a better picture so you can see it.

I should also find the missing box of fall decorations that I am certain is hiding in the garage. That way I can fall-ify the bookcase and guest bathroom also!

I will leave you with a (bad) picture of two very hot and tired girls from our trip to the Living History Farms in Des Moines

 

Update with a close up of my plate: