Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Here is my train of thought. If there is even the slightest possibility that you'll conceive or adopt kids at some point, then they'll need a mom to be home with them. Now, I realize that families have all sorts of circumstances and that some women choose to work. I won't pretend to know your family better than you do, but I do think it's important that kids, particularly the young ones, not spend more time with other adults than they do with their own parents, if at all possible. So, for the sake of this discussion, we're assuming the women will all be home with their future kids. Okey dokey?
So if the woman is going to stay home at some point, then the couple will need to be able to live on the husband's income anyway. Why not get in the habit now? If you adjust your lifestyle to fit with one income before you become parents, then you won't be stressed by the financial change of a job loss when that first son or daughter makes its appearance.
Maybe you're thinking you're excluded from this crazy idea of mine because you have absolutely no desire to adopt and it's medically impossible for you to conceive. No such luck. I still think you should take the challenge. It's obviously going to benefit those who will be parents someday in a more practical way than those who won't, but I still think the permanently childless DINKs should give it a shot.
Now what are DINKs going to do with the money the wife is bringing in if they aren't allowed to use it in their monthly budget? Well, I'm glad you asked. Your first priority should be to make extra payments toward any debt that you have (house, school, car, credit cards, etc). Once that debt is paid off, then use the wife's income for other extras - retirement, college funds for future kids, home improvements. Is your debt gone? No other financial needs? Then give the wife's paycheck away!!
Give it away? All of it? Sure. All of it. Or at least most of it. After all, which of these things would ultimately be more rewarding? Going out to eat twice a week or paying the electric bill for a single mom? Getting a manicure and pedicure or filling the gas tank of a broke family's car? Taking a really spendy vacation or paying a college kid's tuition for a term? Spending a couple Saturdays a month at the golf course or making a donation to someone working with orphans overseas? Driving two brand new cars or buying a bunch of groceries for a different broke family each month? Going on an exotic vacation or paying the hospital bills for a family with an unexpected medical emergency? Buying the latest electronic gadget or helping to finance a medical clinic in a third world country?
Think I'm a grinch about money? That I don't think you should have any fun of your own? Nope. That's not the case at all. I'm a big fan of fun and I think you should have some fun with your husband's paycheck. I just think the DINKs have an awesome opportunity to be a blessing to those in need, a chance that many, if not most, families with a SAHM don't have simply because their income is lower and their expenses are higher. And in the process the DINKs get used to living on one income.
Not a DINK home? Don't think any of this applies to you? I'd have to disagree. We should all avoid debt. We should all plan ahead. We should all give.
So, do you think I'm brilliant? Insane?
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Last week was our first "one week off" for this school year and it was glorious!! I made a list of all the projects I wanted to get done during the week and about 99% of them are done. It was great to be so productive!!
It was also a fun week socially. Last Saturday (a week ago) we had Kema and Jayden over for dinner, which was a much overdue visit. Then they stayed with the little Ws while Tim and I cashed in a gift card they'd given us earlier in the summer. Dessert at Papa Haydn's - banana cream pie for Tim and lemon chiffon cake and strawberry ice cream for me. Yum! We finished off the weekend going to home group on Sunday night.
Tuesday we had Abe, Melissa, and their kiddos over for tacos. We'd been trying to get the fams together for months and months, so it was nice to have it finally work out. We all scarfed and chatted the evening away. The boys ran around like maniacs and the girls chewed on toys together.
Silas spent Thursday morning on a date with Becky. They fed ducks, watched airplanes, and took lots of pictures. That afternoon Beckie (notice the different spelling, it's a different person) brought her boys over. She and I chatted for a few hours and played with Naomi while the four boys played outside.
My brother-in-law flew in from the Philippines later that night and he stayed the night with us. Tim took Friday off to hang with Josh and we had a nice, though short, visit. My sister sent cracker nuts with him to give to me. Now, I have several Asian grocery stores nearby and could purchase my own cracker nuts. But I never do. I love adobo cracker nuts! I love anyone involved in giving me cracker nuts.
We wrapped up our busy week with a trip to the zoo with Rick, Jen, and their kiddos on Saturday morning. The weather was beautiful, a perfect day for the zoo! Rick treated all the guys to a train ride and our boys will be eternally grateful.
I have everything set out for school tomorrow and I'm ready to get back in our normal routine. But I really enjoyed this week off!! It was perfect.
Friday, September 26, 2008
So, how does one spend fourteen hours? About one hour driving back and forth to the airport. Almost two hours chatting and getting ready for bed. About seven hours sleeping. Then another couple eating breakfast, getting dressed, giving or getting presents, and doing magic tricks. The last two hours were spent walking to Granny's for a visit, then to the park for some basketball (Josh's one request for his time at our house), then back home for showers and a group picture.
Monday, September 22, 2008
One and a half months later than Silas. Three and a half months later than Devon. Naomi finally decided to walk!! She's had the ability to do it for months, but just wouldn't take the plunge. It was just a couple steps here and there, but no real walking. Until tonight.
Notice she tried to pull the "it's pretty funny to fall and slap the ground" routine a couple times. Whispering a sweet little threat in her ear about not getting any more carbs if she didn't cooperate prompted her to cooperate.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Do you remember Rax? Well, a few days ago I was getting breakfast started. I heard a noise outside and glanced up. We have no less than a gazillion birds and squirrels around here, so that's what I was expecting to see. Nope. It was not one, not two, not three, but four racoons in our back yard. Nasty critters.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
So, a few years ago we started doing something with the boys. Most nights, usually at bedtime and sometimes at dinner, we ask each of them two questions. What was the hardest part of your day? What was the best part of your day? When they were too young to grasp the concept of "hardest" and "best" we would follow the question with "something that made you sad or frustrated" or "something that was fun to do or made you laugh". Of course, they ask us the questions too. Everyone in the family gets a chance to answer.
It's one of my favorite times of the day. I love getting insights into the things that encourage or discourage each of them. I love that at three years old they would randomly ask Tim how his day at work or school was. I love that they are learning to listen to the hearts of others. I love that they're learning to be transparent. I love hearing them retell the best part of their day with a big grin on their face. I love hearing one apologize when the other says the hardest part was something their sibling did to them.
So, I'd encourage you to ask your kids these questions. Even your young kids. Ask your spouse. Ask your coworkers or friends. Then really listen to their answers. You'll learn a lot.
Quirks - This may be hard to believe, but I have some quirks. I know they are quirks and I've accepted that I'm quirky. I'll share some of my quirks with you if you share some of yours with me.
I love having my books in descending height order. I recently reorganized a shelf by author and title, simply because it bothered me to have books by the same author be in different places. As practical as that is, it still bugs me that they aren't sloping smoothly to the right. The boys' school books are still arranged in a beautiful slope.
I eat my cupcakes differently than most people. First I take the wrapper off. Then I tear the frosted top off the cupcake. Next I flip the top half upside-down, making the frosting attach to the freshly torn bottom half. Then I eat it. It's like a cupcake sandwich. All the goodness of a cupcake without getting frosting all over your face.
My closet is organized first by color (dark to light), then by sleeve length (long to short).
I hate hearing people chew. I've been known to turn on music during a meal to block someone's chewing sounds and to prevent my own bad attitude.
I can't snap my fingers "right". I put my thumb and ring finger together, then move my thumb to my middle finger. My index finger isn't part of the process at all. My boys could snap better at two years old than I can in my thirties.
Quotes - Here are some quotes I like. The first is something my mom always said and the last three are ones she had posted by our bathroom and kitchen sinks growing up. There's some proof that the things you subtly teach your kids will stick in their brains forever!
Should haves don't count. ~ Barbara Perkins, my mom
It is difficult not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment. ~ George Sala
Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there. ~ Will Rogers
Profanity is the feeble attempt of a weak mind to express itself forcefully.
All that is necessary for the forces of evil to win in the world is for enough good men to do nothing. ~ Edmund Burke
Sometimes the Lord calms the storm. Sometimes he lets the storm rage and calms his child.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
So, you want to know what my weekend looked like? It was Family Fun Weekend at our house! On Saturday morning we headed down the road to watch the Beaverton Celebration Parade. The boys scored a ton of candy, we enjoyed several marching bands, and the weather was beautiful. We'll definitely go again next year!
Saturday evening we headed to Chapman Elementary School with Becky & Brandon to watch thousands of swifts roost in an old chimney. The adults relaxed, Naomi played and snuggled, and the boys spent 1 1/2 hours sledding down a hill on cardboard with a bunch of other kids.
Sunday morning was spent at church, then I took a nap after lunch. That's right. I, Bethany, person who can't nap unless she's preggo (I'm not), sick (I'm not), or completely exhausted (I was) slept for over two hours. When I woke it was time for Weathersby Water Wars. Last year it was boys (3) against girls (1 who was hugely preggo). Devon's not a big fan of the water wars, so he officiates from the sidelines and plays with water on his own. Naomi napped through the whole thing. Tim, Silas, and I all took turns on teams - boys against girl, parents against child, everyone against Tim. We were all pretty soaked!
As a sidenote, I love this last photo. We were all supposed to look serious and tough. Devon thought he was pretty funny for sneaking a smile into the picture. This picture just captures his little personality so well!
So, are you proud?
Monday, September 15, 2008
I usually get around 10 loaves of bread, hoagies, buns, and english muffins. Occasionally, like on this trip, I splurge on a loaf of Cinnamon Swirl bread. You can earn more products from the free rack based on how much money you spend. I always let the boys choose the free items, which is how we always end up with some white bread, breadsticks (the hard, cracker kind) or other random items. My method is to go straight to the close date rack to get the best deal on whatever is there, then I get the rest of what I need from the regular shelves. I would encourage you to find the store closest to you or another bread outlet, such as the IBC companies.
I always get about 10 loaves of the Big Horn Valley because it's the best quality bread they have. While I usually get it for 99 cents on the clearance rack, they didn't have any there this time. So, at $1.79 per loaf on the regular shelf, I only bought three and stocked up on the clearance breads instead.
Here is the result of last week's trip. All labels are Franz, unless otherwise indicated.
(3) Hot Dog Buns - 8 ct
(3) Haggen English Muffins - 6 ct
(2) English Muffins - 6 ct
Wendy's Hamburger Buns - 12 ct
(2) Hoagie Rolls - 6 ct
(3) Big Horn Valley All Natural 100% Whole Wheat - 26 oz
(2) McKenzie Farms Old Fashioned Buttermilk - 24 oz
(4) Cannon Beach Milk & Honey - 24 oz
Texas Toast Enriched Thick Sliced - 24 oz
Whole Grain White - 22.5 oz
Haggen White Enriched - 22.5 oz
So, anyone want to take a guess at what this cost me? I'm thinking about going to WinCo to see what it would have cost me there. Mere curiosity.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Anyway, as I mentioned in last week's Webshots, Naomi has discovered that she loves to sit on the tetherball base. She spent quite a bit of time their over a couple days. As in hours. She'd sit, then she'd stand, then she'd lean over and pull grass, then she'd sit some more. She was completely entertained by walking around the pole over and over and over and ... well, you get the idea. Sometimes the ball would hit her head on accident and other times she'd deliberately headbutt it.
Naomi also loves to dance. She starts moving when we sing "Oh, Naomi" (a little tune I made up when she was a newborn), if a car drives by with loud music, or just about any time she hears music start. We watched a parade on Saturday and she loved all the marching bands and dance teams with loud music!! Here she is busting a move, though we didn't get the camera out til she was just about done. And once she's done, she's done.
Friday, September 12, 2008
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
We spent Labor Day weekend camping with a bunch of people from church. During a group campfire people were given an opportunity to just share a quick praise or something the Lord was teaching them. Silas leaned over to me as the first person started speaking and asked if he could say something. Wanting to make sure he knew what the "rules" were and that he wasn't trying to flaunt some 6yo humor, I asked what he wanted to share. His response was "about drowning". I said that was fine and he waited for his chance to speak. As the first person stopped talking Silas stood up on the lap he'd been sitting on and shouted "I drowned and now I'm alive!". And that's when I shed my first tear over the whole incident. I am so proud of his boldness in declaring that his life is a miracle.
Monday, September 8, 2008
I earned money. And I'm disappointed. I have a serious problem.
In all honestly, I'm content any time I earn money while shopping, but it kills me that I could have earned $6.00 more than I did.
Sunday, September 7, 2008
Just a couple videos of my favorite four year old. These are taken on our regular camera and do not have sound. Plus, I'm lame and forgot that all videos load horizontally, even if I took them vertically. So, the Devs is sideways in the first one. Oh well. I tried. And he's still cute.
Devon's previous jumping jack record was 55. In this video he made it to 70. I love the smirk he gets when he makes it to 56, knowing he's breaking his record. I think he has the physical ability to do way more, but he gets bored after a while.
I've known for a while that Devon was ready to get the training wheels off his bike, but we just keep forgetting to do it. So, Tim took them off on Monday and they headed to the park. He returned home as an official bike rider, no training wheels required. Now we just need to get him a bike he's not too big for.
Friday, September 5, 2008
Well, the positive spin is that I can drive again and that I was finally able to withdraw the cash we needed from our paycheck that was deposited several days ago. I'm thankful that I had the marriage license the DMV needed. The thought of traipsing across town and paying extra fees for a new one was not causing me any warm fuzzies. In fact, that's what made me cry. It's always some silly little thing that's the final straw.
Anyway, I'm calm, sane, and no longer crying. And I have a license.
However, if my original one miraculously appears in the next day or two then heads are going to roll!! You've been warned.
That didn't sound very sane, did it?
I just renewed it in June and it was good for 8 years. I really don't want to fork out the money to replace it, but I need a license. So, I packed the kids (during school time for the boys and nap time for Naomi) and all my documents and went to the DMV. They won't accept my marriage license. They said that even though it has the state seal on it, it's only a decorative paper and isn't valid. Then they gave me the contact info for getting a valid paper. The place I have to go is across town and there will be a fee for that too.
I'm back home because Naomi needs a nap. I'm stressed out. I started crying when I left the DMV.
Please pray that the license miraculously shows up and/or that my stress level drops a lot.
LITTLE PRAISE - I just found the marriage license they need!! It was sandwiched between two other documents.
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
* Always perseveres
* Always trusts
* Does not boast
* Does not delight in evil
* Does not envy
* Does not keep a record of wrongs
* Is as strong as death
* Is kind
* Is not easily angered
* Is not proud
* Is not rude
* Is not self-seeking
* Is patient
* Is priceless
* Is unquenchable
* Is sincere
* Never fails
* Rejoices with truth
I've been spending a lot of time reading about love lately. I certainly have some room for growth!!! Obviously our humanity will keep us from ever perfecting this whole list, but it would do us all well to continually work at showing more of this kind of love. My prayer lately has been that God would change my heart to one of love, one where this list is the norm, not the exception, in describing me. I am too focused on justice, being heard and understood, and having things be "right". Those things aren't inherently bad and I don't necessarily set out with an intentional focus on them. But it's hard to be patient when you want things to be right, to not be easily angered when I'm focused on my feelings, or to not keep a record of wrongs when I want justice.
This list came from Song of Songs 8:6-7, Romans 12:9, and I Corinthians 13:4-8.
Monday, September 1, 2008
Change of Heart, by Jodi Picoult
This is the second book I've read by this author and I enjoyed it. Both books I've read by Picoult question some beliefs held by mainstream Christianity and present the beliefs of other religions. Educational, sometimes thought provoking, and a good read. This particular book deals with a girl who needs a new heart and the man who wants to donate his, the man convicted of murdering the girl's sister.
Raw Food Primer, by Alex Ferrera
A lot of women on the Sonlight forums eat a raw diet and I just wanted to see some raw recipes. I'm not going raw, but we could all afford to eat more produce!
Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust, by Immaculee Ilibagiza
This was an eye-opening read from a survivor of the Rwandan Holocaust in 1994. Most of the author's family was murdered and she spent three months hiding in a tiny (I think it was 3'x5') bathroom with seven other women while her country was destroyed by genocide. Ilibagiza is honest and gracious, though no one would blame her for being bitter and resentful.