Thursday, April 15, 2010


Today after American Girl Book Club we stopped at Barnes and Noble for their homeschool information session. As a homeschool family we get an educational discount for anything that we buy there. I still don't have a card yet but that is a nice feature. It was neat to hear about what programs they have there. I was able to pick up some information on different books and series that they had gotten from publishers for teachers. I was just in time to sign up for the drawing and won Bananagrams. It looks like a really fun game. I took a picture but again, it will be loaded later. I am excited to play it with the kids as they start spelling better. It is small and we can bring it with us for fun times. I was not expecting to win anything so that was pretty exciting!

Thanks Barnes and Noble for the game and the resources. Thanks God for unexpected surprises!

Friday, April 9, 2010

19 Cent Bananas

I went to the Syracuse Real Food Co-op on Wednesday because that is what we do. Wednesday is cheap coffee day. If you bring your own mug it is only 15 cents for a re-fill. If Glenn is around it is sometimes our little date to walk the two blocks down to the Co-op for cheap coffee. On Wednesday it was such a nice day and the kids desperately wanted to get outside, so much so that they agreed to take a walk to the Co-op for recess. The little neighbor boy from across the street came with us and we walked down to get coffee. While we were in the store I saw that they had a box of their organic, fair trade bananas on sale for 19 cents a pound because they were going bad. I was super excited but I had only brought 15 cents and my coffee mug and 5 kids. I decided we'd have an extended recess so we walked back up the hill to get money and a couple of reusable bags and then back down to the Co-op where we bought about 12 ½ pounds of bananas for less than $3.

Thanks God for cheap coffee and cheap bananas :)

State Services

I have always had mixed emotions when we have used Medicaid or WIC in the past – so incredibly grateful for the services but guilty too, wishing we did not have to use them. Right now the only one eligible for WIC is Abigail and she “graduates” in November because she will be too old for the program. It has been a help to us though it no longer covers our milk, egg, cheese, juice, cereal and peanut butter needs it does provide just shy of a week's worth which is such a blessing.

The kids have not been to a doctor since we left Waterloo back in 2007 because they did not have health insurance. They are now on Medicaid and I need to get them in for checkups. I am thankful for the medicaid though because last month when the two littlest girls got pink eye we got a prescription for something and when I got it filled at Target the price on the slip was $92 and we didn't have to pay anything. I am also thankful that Glenn can be on Healthy NY right now which is about $100 a month cheaper than the health insurance that was offered through the school.

Thank you God for providing, even through government programs.

Tax Refund

God blessed us with an overwhelmingly large tax refund this year. I really wasn't sure what our tax situation was going to look like but with the additional child earned income credit and I don't know what else God blessed us with a sizable chunk of cash. We needed to use quite a bit of it to catch up on back tithes that we were behind since I hadn't really looked at our finances for most of last year beyond checking online to make sure that there was enough in the account before I wrote a check or used our debit card. I am thankful for the extra amount and we are praying about how God would have us use it. Thank you God for our tax refund!

If Only

I have often mentioned Calm My Anxious Heart by Linda Dillow in my other blog but I bring it up here because of something that God laid on my heart last week during the “If only” chapter. I have often caught the “if only” disease over things that God had done or allowed in the past that I grumble about in my heart or outwardly. Many times the “if only”s have been something about my parents: “If only I could talk to my dad about this...” “If only my mom could go to the zoo, museum of play, park, etc with us...” It is not easy losing your parents when you are a young parent but I know that God has it in His plan. Since I have lost them I have been able to more easily identified with others in their pain, especially the pain of losing a parent, and can be a help to them.

One of my dad's biggest concerns almost every time I talked to him on the phone when Glenn was applying to medical school was “How are you going to pay for medical school?” I always told him that God was going to provide – be it through loans or some other way, He always has provided for us in the past and I trust Him to do it in the future. It was a big hurdle for him and I think that he probably lost more sleep over it than I did. I was thinking about that last week when we were going through the “If Only” chapter. I wouldn't wish either of my parents back for anything as sick as they were but I do miss them terribly. One neat thing that God showed me is that God partially answered my dad's worries over how God was going to provide for us by taking him Home. I know that I would rather have my dad than money but when he died dad left us half of the money that was left from their retirement fund. That is what we are living on right now. The monthly disbursements most likely won't last all four years and most people would probably scratch their head and wonder how we make the amount we get cover all of our expenses but I'd just say it is God's math and He works it out.

I have really struggled with the fact that my dad didn't leave anything to the Lord's work in his will and my desire to give more of the money that he gave to us but beyond the little over 10% that we give there isn't really much wiggle room. Glenn and I have talked about it more than once then God gave Glenn some insight. We want to serve God vocationally, Lord willing, after Glenn's medical training is done overseas somewhere. The money that he left us is essentially supporting future missionaries in their training. I thought that was neat. I don't know that that was how dad saw it in setting up his will but I am thankful for that insight. It makes me want to be even more faithful with the money that has been entrusted to us and to give a lot more once we start getting paychecks in residency because we won't have to pay as much in loan payments.

Thank you God for how you provide even through painful circumstances. Thank you for using my parents to be a blessing to us even in their deaths.

Work Study

Glenn was given one of 35 work study positions available to first year students at Upstate and we are really thankful. Glenn will be working for 7 weeks in July and August for Dr Stearns doing I am not exactly sure what but I think that it has something to do with the Ameus Clinic. We are very thankful for this opportunity. He will be making $3500, I am not sure if that is before or after taxes but either way it will be a big help to us! Thanks God for a work study position!!

A Place to Plant

We were so excited about being in one place over the summer so that we could grow stuff. We recently found out that we are going to have to move this summer do to circumstances beyond our control so there goes our place to plant but we had already bought a bunch of seeds and started a bunch (too much maybe) of tomatoes and peppers. We didn't know what to do. We are not sure where we are going to be moving to so what are we going to do with all of our little plant babies? I was talking to our neighbor across the street and I remember her mentioning last year the community garden that she was a part of. I asked her about it and if she knew how I could get involved in it. She told me that she had a friend who had the plot right next to hers and that he might not be using it this year. She told me yesterday that she talked to him and found out that he is not using it but he will fill out the paperwork like he is and let us use his plot so that we can get right in there and get started and not have to wait for the waiting list and all that stuff. I have no idea how big of a plot we have but I think that we are going to head over there tomorrow after Glenn's test to check it out. I am so thankful and am looking forward to fresh veggies this summer from our garden plot.

Special thanks going out to Melissa and to God for providing these transitory people with a place to plant.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

What We Brought Home From Church This Week

On Sunday we had a breakfast at church before the service. After church I was helping clean up and was offered 3/4 of a gallon bag of scrambled eggs and 1/2 a gallon bag of the hot fruit dish that they had. I took them because I think that they were just going to be thrown away because no one else wanted them. I was also given a dozen and a half bagels that had been donated to the church and they weren't eaten. What a blessing!

While we were at church we were also given a small bag of clothes for the girls (which they are always excited about) by a friend and were told to stop by on our way home for another bag of clothes and 6 or so sandwich bags of chopped red peppers that she had bought tons of at the market with me in mind and were taking up too much space in her freezer.

I was amazed at the pile that ended up on our dining room table so I took a picture (which I will post at some point in the future with I have my camera and cord with me). Thanks God!