Frugal Living for Dummies

A few months ago I started to feel this pull towards all things frugal.  It’s a combination of many things. I was raised in a very frugal family. Frugal is being nice. We have embarked on an adventure to live debt-free and are still working towards that. But latley, it’s been more about getting back to a simpler life. There are gadgets, and gizmos, TV, an appliance for every kind of cooking imaginable, anything to make life faster, “easier”, and immediatley gratifying. Its become annoying to me.

When I chose to  become a stay at home mom I was making the anti-cultural choice to not work full time and put my children in day care. I wanted to be with them. Even when they make me nuts. I really am SO glad I did that. My oldest is 3 and its gone by so fast already.  

Living cheaply seems to be anti-cultural as well. In a world of credit/debit/debt and “owning” things you really dont own I cant help but feel like life should simpler some how. What did people do before TV? What did people do with their kids before TV? What did people do before a clothes dryer was invented, or when you had an actual, cash budget for groceries that you couldnt go over.

I’ve made a few changes over the last year. I buy my kids clothes at thrift stores. We tell people who ask us if the kids need anything, if they DO need anything. My son needed a new car seat and with my mother in-laws gift we were actaully able to purchase BOTH kids new carseats without spending a dime. I shop the grocery flyer and clip coupons. I’ve started paying close attention to electronics left on for no apparent reason.  I get books from the library and search for  FFF, (Free Family Fun)…

My newest goals are finding a way to buy organic produce and meat. With the cancer epidemic in our country I’m suddenly VERY aware of what I’m putting into my kids bodies. We are going to try to grow our own this spring and summer. 

I’m quite anxious to see how simple we can make it.

Death

Death is a funny thing. I heard yesterday that an old co-worker and friend of mine was shot and killed over the weekend. Shot. And killed. If you knew him it might not be that surprising but it’s still shocking when you hear the news. He had two small kids. Twins. The years I sat next to him we talked often about the bitter custody battle he was in with his ex and her mom. He was often driving back and forth to Pennsylvania to see them.

I couldn’t help but think I never really told him about Jesus. He knew I was a christian but I never really told him the good news. I don’t know how prayer and time actually work, but I prayed that somehow he knew Jesus. That before he died he made his peace with God. Hopefully in some cosmic/spiritual realm way God heard that prayer before he died.

Even though death is a constant unavoidable part of our existence it still stings every time. Every single time. Our small group has been discussing the creation and the fall. It’s interesting to think that death may never have been intended before sin entered the world. And the ongoing curse of defying God is that death is painful every time. It can not be out run by the person dying and it can not be glossed over by the living.

The 2 things that give me a sense of peace is that some people I know who have died I know know Jesus and the possibility that before we are even born our time here on earth is marked out for us, down to the day. First, if they know Jesus they went to heaven. How amazing! They left this world to live without pain and be with their father. It’s a glorious thing. Second, when someone dies it is because their number of days were up. There is no such thing as a tragic death because that person was going to go on that day, one way or the other. Even when it seems like an early death it is actually that persons entire journey come to an end, it just seems young to us. Somehow that thought brings me comfort. That we only have the appearance of control when in fact God is always in absolute control of those things and when our time comes it comes. We can not escape it.

I hope that my friend died quickly or at least without pain. I hope I see him again some day and I hope he was able to leave his children a legacy of love and of faith.

Chiropractors

I just started taking our son to the chiropractor. He’s had a bought with reflux (or something) over the last 8 weeks. Having a kid (baby) who’s sick and uncomfortable is heartbreaking. Especially when there is seemingly nothing you can do for them. He’s been pretty irritable latley, which is unlike him, and spitting up like crazy. I can deal with the spitting up but he seems so uncomfortable. Knowing that my little boy doesnt feel good is so scary. We’ve been to the doctor and had several different opinions, but since he’s “gaining weight and appears healthy” there isnt anything to worry about. Well, when I can tell my kid doesnt feel good, you sure as shit better believe I’m going to find something to do about it. I heard some where that a chirpractor may be able to help. I’ve never been one to go to a chiropractor but if it will help him feel better I’m willing to try.

Luckily our insurance covers it with minimal cost to us.We’ve been twice now and I’m not really sure what to think. He continues to spit up, but I’ve noticed a marked improvement in his mood. Did the chiropractor help? I have no idea since I would have previously described chiropractors as “quacks”. But he does seem better.

Lucy came with us today and she did great. She played in the play area and will get adjusted next time. I’m not sure we’ll ever be a chiropractic family but this seems to be helping for now so we’ll stick with it.

Chiropractors

I just started taking our son to the chiropractor. He’s had a bought with reflux (or something) over the last 8 weeks. Having a kid (baby) who’s sick and uncomfortable is heartbreaking. Especially when there is seemingly nothing you can do for them. He’s been pretty irritable latley, which is unlike him, and spitting up like crazy. I can deal with the spitting up but he seems so uncomfortable. Knowing that my little boy doesnt feel good is so scary. We’ve been to the doctor and had several different opinions, but since he’s “gaining weight and appears healthy” there isnt anything to worry about. Well, when I can tell my kid doesnt feel good, you sure as shit better believe I’m going to find something to do about it. I heard some where that a chirpractor may be able to help. I’ve never been one to go to a chiropractor but if it will help him feel better I’m willing to try.

Luckily our insurance covers it with minimal cost to us.We’ve been twice now and I’m not really sure what to think. He continues to spit up, but I’ve noticed a marked improvement in his mood. Did the chiropractor help? I have no idea since I would have previously described chiropractors as “quacks”. But he does seem better.

Lucy came with us today and she did great. She played in the play area and will get adjusted next time. I’m not sure we’ll ever be a chiropractic family but this seems to be helping for now so we’ll stick with it.

Life Captured

A brief capturing of the Lara clan is myself, my husband, and our 2 kids. Our daughter, almost 3, is an absolute joy. Her bubbly personality can make even the grumpiest grump smile and she is a great big ball of energy. Our son, 7 months, is also an absolute joy. Although often quiet he is a bundle of smiles and laughs. He is a bit more laid back than his sister and an absolute sweety pie.

I find there is something that happens almost every day that I wish I documented with a picture or a note to keep my kids informed. That some day they would read those posts or look at those picture and have a recollection of a memory or a happy time. Or that they would know how fun these years were for their mother. I am home with them every day and though some days it is hard, I know I would’ve regreted it every single day if I hadn’t quite my job to stay home with them. I will never get this time back. They will never be this small again. In a world where one income is often not enough and women are pressured to put their children in day care and return to work weeks after giving birth I am so thankful for the ability to be able to stay home.

The aim of this new blog is a place to write down the daily adventures I have with my kids and the day to day thoughts and opinions that cross my mind. Very often I am VERY opinionated and I DO realize that. I would encourage you to not read this blog if you are easily offended. While I am opinionated I do try to keep an open mind. In the very wise year of 30 I’ve found agreeing about everything with everyone is not what makes people like or dislike you and it doesnt have to make or break friendships. But if you dont want to know what I think about something, dont read.:)