Monday, June 21, 2010

Frugal Tip #1

Have girls?  Here's a tip.  As you're building their wardrobe throughout the year, consider dresses.  I'm not talking about anything formal or super dressy, but the cute little cotton or knit kind.  They can be so versatile.  (More on the versatility later!)  Consider the price of a dress, which can be one full outfit vs. buying a top AND a bottom piece to make a complete outfit.  Sometimes it can be much cheaper!  I really love dresses on little girls, and my little girls wear a lot of them!  So what's my fave dress spot for my girls?  Target!  In the little girls section (up to size 5T), I usually find them at an average of about $6-$12 for plain simple basic little dresses.  Slap a bow in their hair, and WAHLAH!!!  You can't beat that for one FULL outfit, right!  And don't get me started on their clearance section...a hoarder's dream!  You can stock up and buy for next season a whole wardrobe for what you'd pay regularly for just a few outfits!  YAHOO!!!  Now go...toot your bugle!

Monday, June 14, 2010


Happy Flag Day! As I think about our Nation's Flag, I think about the freedom we are privileged to have. It truly should be celebrated and remembered! Our flag reminds me that the road to our freedom was paved for you and I, and I am so grateful! I often think about one such freedom as we're driving to church on Sunday mornings. With four small children now, it seems like it's more of a struggle to just make it out the door. And forget being on time! But I always remind myself that I have been granted the freedom to go and worship while many people are persecuted for their faith. We have so many freedoms in our wonderful country that many others in the world simply don't have. We are a blessed nation!  My heart is filled with such gladness!
Today we are also celebrating the birthday of one of the most awesome people I've ever youngest brother, Jonathan. (I could seriously write a book about him...hopefully I will someday!) He is with the Lord now, but he would be celebrating his 26th Birthday with us.  He would've been 26...I cannot believe it! We all miss him so much, and it's hard to believe he's been away for 8 years now. It seems like forever ago, yet seems like just yesterday. I often wonder how things would be if he was still here with us. I feel like he's missed so much of our lives. I think about how he might have looked as a young man...what he'd be doing today...his future...  I always thought he would've made a great husband and father.  He was so loving and had such a tender and compassionate spirit.

I am sad. My heart is heavy. His life was so short...17 years. But I am thankful too. It's bittersweet. I know that although we miss him terribly, he is experiencing true freedom. He is free from his earthly body, from sickness, to be fully in the Holy presence of our God, to enjoy all the beauty and wonderment of Heaven, to wholly experience Christ's love without earthly limitation, to know NOT in part.

(1 Cor. 13:12 "Now we see things imperfectly as in a cloudy mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely." )

He is free to be with the lover of his soul, the one who loves him more than any of us could ever have the capacity to. He is free to be in the place that was prepared for him by his Father.

(John 14:2-4 "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.")

My heart is happy for these things. There is no greater joy than to be in the presence of God! Yes, my heart aches for Jonathan, but I can't help but remember the freedom he's enjoying now. I often whisper a prayer to God to tell him that we love him and we miss him. I talk to Him a lot about Jonathan and it helps, because I know he's with Him. We are now separated, but still connected through Christ, who gave up His life so that we could experience true freedom. As with our blessed nation, freedom always comes with a price. Christ paid the price for our freedom. He conquered death for us, so that we could live and enjoy our lives! His death set us free from the law of sin and death. I could go on and on! I am so thankful for this. When this sadness comes, it never really stays too long because I remind myself of where he is now and who he's with. A precious child of God born June 14, 1984, received by Heaven March 19, 2002. What a privilege God granted me to be his sister. What an honor. Thank you, Jesus.

We bake a cake each year to celebrate and talk to the kids about Jonathan. I know they would've loved their uncle so much! (Garrison was only 3 months old at the time, and Abri was 3 and barely remembers him.) We usually make his favorite...chocolate! But this year we made a flag cake since his birthday is on Flag Day. I am a horrible cake maker! My cakes usually taste great, but I could use some help in the decorating department! I'll have to share some photos of my cake disasters some day. We all pitched in to decorate this one, and it wasn't too bad! 
Happy Birthday, Jonathan!!!


Rev. 1:5(b)-6 "To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father-to Him be the glory and power for ever and ever!"