I can do all things through Christ which Strengtheneth me. Phil. 4:13

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Different Things....

I know I didnt get around to posting our menu for this week. I have been extremely busy getting my house back in order from the weekend and getting my garden and yard worked on.

But to round out whats left of this week, we are going to have some good meals.

Monday-- Hamburgers on the grill (we had family over)

Tuesday--Pizza (Jack bought because one of his friends from Church came over)

Wednesday---Fried Chicken, Baked Potatoes, Corn on the Cob

Thursday-- Beef, Bean and Cheese Nachos (we will have three of our nieces spending the night with us....(4, 8 and 13). and Jacks girlfriend will be eating supper with us...


Saturday--Burrito Cassarole (with homemade tortillas, and leftover beans (refried)

Sunday--Open faced roast beef sandwiches for lunch and Eggs, Hashbrowns and Bacon for supper.

On to other things....We had a wonderful weekend. Saturday, we all went with Paul to run some errands he had to run. When we got home, we had a long day of doing work around the house that needed done. Got alot accomplished. Sunday, we had an amazing Church service. It was a very packed house considering how small our church house is. When we built it, we made it small so as not to spend alot of money. Well, it barely holds our 15 or 20 people and Sunday, we had 10 extra people...So it was wonderful. Beuatiful singing and just marvelous fellowship. After Church, it was our Sunday that we go to Sams and get our bulk items. We found several things on sale and had the extra money for it so we picked up a few extra items. (Things we will use but dont buy unless they are on sale...)

Monday, we cleaned house and got ready for our cookout that night. We had Pauls sister and her family over and his brother and one of his daughters and her little boy and Granny and Papa and Jacks girlfriend. It was a blast...noisy but fun. I enjoy hosting things like that but just dont usually take the time to do it. I need to more often.

I have really been working on my husband encouragement even though the thirty day challenge is done with. (for me anyway, you can start it whenever you want). I find myself sometimes really getting annoyed with Paul and I have to make myself stop and say "No, Crystal, you need to be nice about this and let him make the decisions. It will all turn out okay." It has blessed our marriage so much for me to do this!

On a happier note, We DID get a stimulus check! I know in my post before I had said that we werent getting one and I had given up on it.....but we got THE letter in the mail two days after it hit our bank account (according to the records..) But when I called the hotline to make sure that it was all okay....I still get the same automated message that says we arent getting one....Crazy I know but I do have a couple of friends that are having similar situations. Who knows. But THANK GOD that we got ours.

Since we got ours, I did go ahead and make a dental appointment with a dentist that my nieces use (Did I mention how much I deteset dental work....?) I dont know what it is..I can have babies...broke bones......menstrual cramps...(I know bad topic huh..) But I absolutely cannot willnot make myself sit in a dentist chair unless I absolutely have to. Well Paul told me I have to so I guess in the submissive nature that I am trying to be in, I will go. But I dont have to like it. :-( I could just be stubborn and not go, but I am tired of my mouth hurting. So I will go and get my mouth fixed just so I can talk more (Love Ya Honey! :-) ) But please do keep me in your prayers that I may have an easy time getting my work done that I need done. I do have three babies to care for while I am getting it done (which I am afraid may include getting my wisdom teeth out....ouch!)

I guess that is about all that is going on around our house right now. It is late and I need to go to bed. Paul has to get up at 4:30 in the morning to go to work. They have to have a fire alarm test in one of their buildings and he has to be there for it. (YUCKKK...) And since I am trying to be more encouraging, I will be up with him....that is if he doesnt tell me to go back to sleep...then I will be submissive and go back to sleep...gladly...lol.

Much Love and Many Prayers

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

This weeks menu

I'm not linking up this week but I am going to try to in the future.

This week is kinda simple. We are getting shorter and shorter on money so our meals are simpler and simpler. That and I wanted a break from cooking so much.

Monday: Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

Tuesday: Leftover Soup, Grilled Cheese, Steamed Squash (may not sound like it goes together but the girls wanted sqaush so we are having it...lol)

Wednesday: Pancakes, Bacon.

Thurday: Quesadillas.

Friday: Fried Potatoes, Pinto Beans (with Smoked Sausage) Corn Bread.

I made a Hersheys Chocolate Cake last night and that will be our desert all week.

For breakfast, the kids and I are choosing between, Eggs, Toast(with or without Peanut Butter), Oatmeal, Cold Cereal (we get it on Wic so it dont cost anything. ) and dont tell anyone but this morning, we had pudding...lol.

For our lunches, we are having baked potatoes, rice and veggies, rollups (corn tortilla, cheese, meat if we have any, and veggies....heated and rolled up..yummm) and leftovers.

This is it for this week. I am trying to come up with some creative stuff for the next two weeks. We get paid every two weeks and so I buy my groceries on a two week menu. I try to only go to the store once.



Just announcing that my sister found out yesterday that her precious third child she is carrying is supposed to be a BOY!

Her and her husband have had quite the journey to being parents. They have had lots of heartache and struggles and now to have three children in less than four years......That is quiet the blessing.

I am so happy for them. And for Claire and Lily as I know they will be very good big sisters to their little brother. Kylie and Alaina just love theirs and spoil him like crazy. I have no doubt that Claire and Lily will do the same to Drew. I love yall and miss yall.....


Stimulus Check

NOTE: the information in this post is taken from our CPA and the IRS website... http://www.irs.gov/
Please do not quote me on this as it is not my words but theirs.

I have been reading lots of reports on what people plan to do with their stimulus check. My question is what chekc..... Thats right. We at first thought we were getting one and were planning on getting my eyes checked (first time in five years), getting some dental work done (for me..first time in 10 years), and paying for new mattresses..(so my hubby wont hurt all the time...sleeping on $100 mattresses arent exactly good for you).

That is what we had planned. We were counting on the $1200 for a married filing jointly, plus $300 apiece for our three kids..(Jacks mom gets his even though he lives here..) So we were counting on $1800. Well, first blow was that when you are self employed, you only get $600 instead of $1200. Well Thanks Alot Government for helping the small businessman......THANKS A WHOLE HEAPING LOT.

Second blow....if the person whose social security number is being filed on (in our family, that would be my husband since he is head of household...my number is not supposed to have anything to do with it....) owes back taxes or a federal student loan, the stimulus that you would have recieved would now go to pay those. Well, we do not ow back taxes, and Paul does not owe a student loan but I do. Even though the stimulus is supposed to be based off of his social security number, we may not recieve a stimulus because I owe a student loan that we are barely making minimum payments on because of the price of gas going up to where all of our extra money that we was paying more than minimum payments on is now going to gas money.

On an off note but still dealing with our economy. Paul commutes 80+miles each day to work and back. He drives our little Honda Civic to save on gas (its not saving much anymore because it needs about 1800 dollars worth of work on it that we cant afford so it now runs like crap) Even driving the Civic, he spends about 120 on gas every week. Two years ago, he spent 80. In order for him to up his gas budget, we had to lower my grocery budget. I now get 50 less to spend on groceries every week. Just to do the math, that is a total of $200 dollars a month. Yeah we used to spend alot on groceries but we ate well (we ate steak (on sale only) about once a week during the summer). If you read my previous post on saving money, you know how we eat now. And it is fixing to get worse. My dear husbands job is getting less and less. I know alot of people would say, "well you will have that extra gas money...." No, cause if your not working to make that gas money, then you dont have it in the first place to say it is extra....

Anyway, I am just so tired of all this government crap that is going on here lately. It is really hard sometimes to keep a Christian attitude when your family is struggling. I know that yall know what I am talking about. I know you do. Do you know how many times in the last few days I have been tempted to put the kids in school and go to work? But then I think, no, that is what the devil wants me to do. He would love it for me to send my kids to someone else to be taught and for me to go to work and not spend as much time with my kids and my husband as I do now. He would love that But HE (God) wants me to perservere...HE wants me to keep on keeping on and keep the faith and know that HE will bring us through.

So while at the time that I am so mad at the government and so upset because I dont have the extra money to do things, I know that it is for a reason, it is for the best and I will keep doing what I am doing and Pray that there will be relief soon.

I'm kinda curious though, What are yalls Stimulus plans? Do you get money or not and if so, what do you plan to do with it? If we ever get ours...maybe my mouth will stop hurting and I will actually be able to see again......maybe....if it doesnt go for gas to get to Church Camp this summer. lol.

Love and Prayers.

Edited: Just making clear that we are not getting a stimulus Check....So yeah its upsetting. I would have been grateful for anything. $300, $600, anything. But telling you you are going to get something and then not get anything......thats wrong.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Saving Money

First of all I want to say a very HAPPY MOTHERS DAY! To all of you mothers out there. (I know it is late but oh well. ) I hope you had a good one. I did. Saturday, Paul had to go list some properties and so I wasnt going to get to do anything special. Plus Jack was at his Moms house so.... Anyway, with the storms on and off all day and cranky kids from being inside all day, it wasnt going to well. I was about ready to give baths and settle down for the evening..(5:30) when Paul called and said that some of his listings got postponed because of the weather. He wanted to know if I wanted to come to (the town where he does real estate...20 min away) and have supper and just goof off. I said sure. So the kids and I got ready in record time, got in the truck just as huge drops of rain started falling and took off. About 4 miles down the road, I couldnt see to hardly drive...so I called Paul to see what the weather was going to do there and he said this storm had just came over and was gone in like 5 minutes..well it lasted us almost all the way there...and the wind was horrible..it was the kind that you have a gust that blows the truck sideways and just as you adjust to that it lets go and you are overcorrecting..man...i didnt like it. But I always turn the radio on when we are driving in storms...it helps me and the girls to calm down and it worked cause when I turned it on, Carrie Underwoods "Jesus take the wheel" was playing..you talk about calming. Anyway, turns out that our town had just went under a tornado warning when I was leaving. Yes I am glad I left because we live in a double wide trailor and I would have spent the evening in our closet with the girls (I know you are supposed to get out of trailors but I dont have anywhere else to go..). I on the other hand got to spend a relaxing evening with my hubby and babies and got to buy groceries without stress because hubby was watching the kids and I got to get two new shirts...(they were on sale for $4. apiece at Catos...I love Catos. (I dont buy clothes anymore unless they are at least 50% off). And I got to test drive an Altima... :) Gotta love my wonderful husband. Yesterday, wehad lunch after Church with our parents..(Jack and Darlene) and I called my mom to see how her mothers day was going....Then the best Mothers day present of all..my niece Miranda was baptized.....even though she is my niece, there cant be a better motheres day present than knowing that your daughter (niece, granddaughter) has accepted God into her heart and wants to walk a new life with God....What a wonderful day. Of course she made uncle pauls day....he got to baptize her!

Surfing blogs this morning, I noticed my sister had a post up about saving money. I would like to share some ways that I save money around here...If you are still with me. I started about a year ago, making my own homemade spaghetti sauce,bread, laundry detergent, and some household cleaners. I no longer make my household cleaners. I do use baking soda and vinegar at times to clean stubborn stains or to mop my floor to get it all shiny and clean. I still make detergent although I am looking at ways to make it cheaper. My bread is a work in progress. Its getting there. I just cant knead it for as long as it has to be and I am not fortunate enough yet to have a Kitchen Aid or a Bosh. I am saving though.

We have not bought meat hardly for the past 9 months. In deer season, Paul shot three deer. Some people think this is more expensive than buying meat. He has his lifetime liscense so we dont have to buy tags and all that. The only thing that cost us money this year was two trips to hunt and three bullets. Not alot when you add it up. Cause the trips was when he was working real estate and went hunting when he got through. on the way home. So it didnt cost extra gas money. We also invested in a commercial meat grinder. This way, we dont pay a processing fee for our meat.

For Christmas, my parents had a cow butchered and split it between us three kids. We are still eating on our part. Paul likes dark meat chicken for his chicken meat. He is not a big white meat person. So I buy a pack of thighs for about 8 bucks and split it into three or four bags. If we have Chicken and Dumplings or chicken noodle soup (which is about the only chicken meals we have around here.....lol) every other week, then three bags will last us 1 1/2 months. If I want Chicken breast, I buy the 6.98 pack at Wal Mart and it last me about 2 weeks for me and the kids to eat for lunch. Hopefully in a year or two we will have our own chickens and can have meat off of them in time. We also buy pork chops if they are on sale.

As far as vegetables and fruit go, since I am no longer buying that much meat, I can spend more money on these things. I dont actually spend that much more, I just take my meat money and put it towards veggies. But we have a garden planted so hopefully, we wont be buying veggies that much longer. Fruit...I buy bannanas and apples every week. The rest, we get if it is on sale. IF not, we dont need it anyway.

Bread. like i said, I am trying to learn to make my own but so far only one loaf has turned out okay. I will keep trying though.

We eat alot of potatoes. I know I have had people tell me they are not good for us....Paul is not a rice person. So we eat rice for lunch if we are going to eat it and then for supper, if we have potatoes, I just eat more meat and less starch.

We dont have dessert hardly at all. If we do, it is homemade from scratch usually. I made a cheesecake the other day. And when it is gone, if we want something, we will make it but not likely. We wont want another one for a couple of weeks.

I dont use white sauces anymore...1) they are not good for you....2) they cost more than red sauces to make... simple as that.

I only buy books on special ocassions like when we are going on a trip and I dont want the library books to get lost or tore up. But usually, I just take books we already have. I am fixing to start buying a few books here and there to get my library stocked up for school. Now if I get birthday money or extra money from selling something, I will buy myself a book. But most usually not, because I read them once and that is it. If I buy it is an educational book...Like "Facing Your Giants" by Max Lucado.

Clothes.....hmmmmm. Well lets see. I have one pair of jeans, one khaki skirt, one denim skirt, two dresses, on pair of slacks for Church, a few T's, and probably four or five dressy shirts for Church and to wear out to eat with hubby :) (which we dont do anymore except for special occasions...my birthday and mothers day was combined into one dinner..) Paul has quite a few more clothes than me because he has to have nice clothes to sell real estate in. and he has to have clothes to go to the other job in. I think I may have 4 pairs of shoes. (tennis, ballet flats, and two or three pair of flipflops..) Paul has dress shoes and work boots. The girls have way more than they need. I need to rememdy that and have a yard sale. Jack has just enough.

Household stuff...like new dishtowels, towels, washcloths, stuff like that, I dont buy unless on sale..(If I catch a sale and have the extra money, I will buy it and put it up until needed. )

I plan my menu so that I know exactly what to buy and I dont buy any extra until after I get home and put away all my groceries. Then if I have to go anywhere, I will pick up extras. You find out that you can do without alot of stuff that way. We drink water, tea, homemade lemonade, the girls get grape juice...no other kind of juice. Jason gets water, lemonade, tea, juice (from Wic) and two cups of milk aday. Jack and Paul are the only ones that drink Milk and I cook with it some..(we get it on wic) We get cheese on wic and what we dont, I buy at sams. I make homemade pancakes and waffles and all but Jack and Paul use honey not syrup..(I buy the big bottle of honey at Sams) We dont use jelly that much. Maybe if I had my own fruit trees we would. We use peanut butter because we get it on wic. We eat rice for lunch alot because it is cheap. We eat alot of eggs. Whats odd is that because the girls are getting used to this, they dont mind....they dont have alot of sweets or alot of store bought conveniences because they dont know what they are. Granny's and Papas tend to spoil them but thats okay. Their house is the only place that they get cookies unless they are homemade. They get an occasional pop from papa but we try to limit those because of Kylies urinary tract infections. If we get a wild hare to eat out for lunch, it is McDonalds cheeseburgers.....not very nutritious but it satisfies our cravings for a while.

Our special thing around here is Friday night pizza and a movie. We get the $10 pizza from Wal-Mart..(out of their deli) and rent a $3 movie and a loaf of french bread and pops...about $15. Not bad when if we all went to a movie and out to eat pizza, youd be looking at $50.

Lets see what else.....hmmmmm. Thats about it for now. I cant think of anything else. Oh yeah. I dont shop at Wal Mart that much. I buy my groceries at the local super market. I read somewhere that Wal-Mart only saves you money if the local stores dont have anything on sale that you need. I believe it. When I was shopping at Wal Mart, I was spending about $50-$60 more than I do now. They have a good saling tactic...put it in front of them and they will buy it. But you come out of there with alot of stuff that you dont need. So I shop at the local store and every two weeks on pay day, we go to Sams after Church and get our bulk stuff....we have started buying our toilet paper there...and stuff that we use alot. While there, we get homeschool books and pick up some other household stuff. I do get some of my personal stuff at wal mart but they are putting a target in not far from the sams club that we shop at nd for some reason, I dont spend as much at target as wal mart. Not because they dont have as much or its not as good...they have more and it is better. I think it is because they dont have stuff in the middle of their aisle to tempt you...you can actually walk and enjoy your shopping trip.

Anyway, I have to go start supper preps now and get to town to shop the monday morning meat sale.....and go to the library....(if my munchkins will be have....I have a list of things I want to check out today. We may even go by the fabric store on the way home to get some more fabric for dresses...(since I save money on groceries this week.)

Thanks for sticking it out this long. I hope some of this helped. Just things I do to help save my husbands hard earned money.

Love and Prayers

Saturday, May 10, 2008


I wanted to post a few pictures today. Just to catch up on what the kids are doing now......

The above two of the girls is what we do most days now when it is not raining....Jason was playing with Jack and the dogs while the girls played in the sand pile.....there is not a clear picture of them. lol...Imagine that, two boys and dogs and not a clear picture.
This is Jasons new hair cut! Granny gave him a trim about a month ago but it was getting thick and long again so Daddy gave him one last night....He is so cute with it...I just cant believe my little boy is old enough for a haircut...

This was him before his haircut. It was getting pretty long. Now he looks like a completely different boy.

Gotta go play outside now before it rains.

Love and prayers


Friday, May 09, 2008

Husband Encouragement Challenge Catch Up (again)

Okay, I have good reasons I do! I got behind on laundry because of my garden needing planted before it rained...so I got my garden planted and then started trying to catch up on laundry and our hot water heater went out so we had to replace it which meant a day of no water and more laundry..lol. Then Alaina got strep throat. Yeah so you can imagine. But I am going to finish this challenge. Then I have to go work on my garden and plan menus and work on school for next week and oh yeah... more laundry.... :)

So I stopped with Day 14

Go to http://www.reviveourhearts.com/ for this challenge! It will help I promise.

Day 15

"But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. . ." 2 Pet. 3:18a
Sometimes we live so close to our spouse that we fail to see him as others do; we only see our husband's faults. But take a step back. Perhaps he is growing spiritually in ways you have failed to appreciate. How can you encourage his growth in a fresh, new way? Remember—your husband is accountable to God for his spiritual development. You are accountable to God to encourage and not hinder that growth.
Can you identify an area of spiritual strength in your husband? Does he pray or read his Bible regularly? Does he like to read about or discuss spiritual matters? Does he go to church with you? Is he a spiritual leader? What do others say about him? If you can identify a specific area, praise him for that. If not, pray earnestly that God will work in his heart, and watch for signs of spiritual growth in the future.

*****Paul is a very spiritual person (if you dont believe me ask someone who has heard him speak...) He is a leader at Church. He gets things going and keeps them going. When I hear others talk about him, it is always good. It is always that If you need someone, Paul will be there, or that If you need help with something to do with the Bible, ask Paul, he will try to find it. If he doesnt know, he will suggest who to ask. He is always trying to get more people to come to Church. and when more people come, he welcomes them with open arms. We are a hugging Church...none of that handshaking business....we are a family and we treat each other like one. He helps keep that going....you dont get out the door without giving him a hug..and all the kids just love him...they are always asking him questions about his lessons. The only time I can remember him missing Church was when he had Pneumonia and when he had Bronchitis..two times. He feels like his week doesnt start right if he misses. He feels like a part of him is missing if he doesnt go. He keeps me going sometimes when I am ready to just throw up my hands and stay home...(cause of the kids not Church) I am lucky to have such a strong husband.

Day 16

"And the LORD God said, 'It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him." Genesis 2:18
God says that it is not good for man to be alone. But the way some women criticize their mates, the husbands may long for solitude. Be careful today not to criticize your mate, but look for ways to encourage him personally and publicly.
Speaking of communication, does your husband communicate with you? God has made you a companion and helper for your husband, and part of being "one flesh" with him is the privilege of sharing and discussing personal needs and concerns. Thank God for that wonderful gift. Thank your husband for communicating with you. If your spouse does not communicate as you wish, look for ways that he communicates that are normal for him—smiling at you, nodding his head, even a pleasant "grunt!"—and then thank him for letting you know that he cares. Perhaps he needs to be lovingly taught how to communicate. Be patient with him . . . and listen when he does speak.

*****Paul is not a big talker. he is just not. Just being in the room with us is enough for him. I am having to learn to adapt to this. It is okay though. I am learning. He doesnt have to tell me that he cares or that he loves me. I can see it in his actions and his eyes and feel it in his arms. He communicates on a physical level not a verbal one. *****

Day Seventeen:

"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding." Prov. 9:10
Are you a wise woman? Do you open your mouth with wisdom, as Proverbs 31:26 suggests? As you continue in your 30-day challenge, remember that a wise woman encourages her husband. Is your husband a "wise man?" Does he have a godly perspective that comes from knowing God and walking with Him in obedience? Does he have a sense of purpose for his life and vision for your home? Tell him how much this means to you.
If you are not sure about your husband's vision for your home, ask him, "Honey, what do you want to accomplish with our marriage and home in the years to come?" and "How can I help you accomplish that?" If he does not have a vision, your questions may inspire him to develop one.
If your husband is not walking with God—or perhaps, does not know the Lord - you have the opportunity and responsibility to practice your faith and create a thirst for God. Thank God for giving your husband a place in his heart that only He can fill, and keep praying that he will turn to the Lord to fill that vacuum!

****I know what Paul has in mind for us in the future. I know how I can help him. We talk about this almost everyday. We also see ways that we need to improve our plan. But our number 1 goal for our future is to raise our children up knowing and loving and accepting God. When we see things that let us know that we are doing this, we both just smile at each other and know that we are doing something right. *****

Day Eighteen: "You will show me the path of life. In your presence is fullness of joy . . . Happy are the people whose God is the LORD!" Ps. 16:11a; 144:15b
"A merry heart does good like medicine . . ." Prov. 17:22a
It's hard to criticize others when we are enjoying their company. Instead of speaking negatively to your husband today, enjoy him! Encourage him! As you experience fullness of joy with God, share some of that joy with your husband. Does your husband have a playful side? A great sense of humor? Is there a "little boy" that wants to escape from time to time, reflecting the joy in his heart? This is a wonderful part of who he is, and a great strength. Let him know that you appreciate his joyfulness and his playful spirit. Find opportunities to join him in positive play times.
If your husband can sometimes be overly serious, coax him out occasionally for some play times. It will help him relieve stress and relax.

***** Paul is not that serious of a person, most of the time he is joking and loving and funny. He can be serious when need be though. *****

Day Nineteen: Read this description of a wife's description of her beloved—Song of Solomon 5:10-16
Criticism leaves scars; but encouragement can bring healing. Remember that today as you focus on your "30-Day Encouragement Challenge." Almost nothing is as devastating to a man as the belief that his wife finds him repulsive. Sadly, many women unwisely criticize their husbands' bodies.
Have you ever considered how wonderfully God designed men and women? No matter how a man looks—by the standards of the world - a loving God designed them all, and they are all "beautiful" in His sight. Encourage your husband today by praising his uniqueness.
As you look over your husband's body, from the tip of his toes to his bald or bushy head, thank God that your husband is "wonderfully made," then admire your husband verbally. (Strong arms? Hairy chest? Firm hands? Big feet? Rugged chin? Wide shoulders? Compassionate eyes? Broad smile?)

*** Wonderful arms..very strong and supportive. Beautiful eyes...almost always smiling. Shoulders big enough for me to cry on. Beautiful teasing loving smile... Very Sexy and wonderfully made. *****

Day Twenty: "And be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ also forgave you." Eph. 4:32
It's time for some heart examination. As you continue in this 30-day challenge, have you found any roots of bitterness that are contaminating your relationship with your husband? Do you understand that as long as you are unwilling to forgive your husband—by God's grace and in His power —you will not be able to encourage him? Your own resentment will keep getting in the way. Now is the time to deal with any unforgiving attitudes. Forgive him, even as God has forgiven you.
Is your husband a forgiving man? Does he keep short accounts of your problems? Express your thankfulness for such a man.
Does your husband—rightly or wrongly—harbor grudges against you? Again, are there things you need to change, or do you need to ask for his forgiveness for an offense? Help your husband be more forgiving by quickly forgiving him for his mistakes.

****Paul is very forgiving. I am the one that holds grudges alot more than he does. ****

Day Twenty-one: "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." Matt. 6:33
If we are living in light of eternity, everything we think, do or say is seen from an eternal perspective. We will someday give an account for our failure to speak words of love and encouragement. Determine today that your words will be sweet and helpful.
Does your husband have an eternal perspective that allows him to reject materialism and temporal values? Express your gratefulness for his value system, and praise him for putting eternal things before riches and other things of this world. If this is a problem area for him, consider how you might alter your own value system and live for eternity in front of him, encouraging him to do the same. Only two things will go into eternity . . . the Word of God and people. Be sure that you are focusing on the right things.

*****We both want better for ourselves. But we have come to accept that all will be as Gods will in Gods time. We cant do nothing to change that except follow his will and keep putting Him first. ****

Day Twenty-two: "Let your speech always be with grace . . ." Col. 4:6a
Focus today on how you represent your husband in your home, your church, and your community. In this challenge to encourage, ask: "If all my family and friends knew about my husband came from a filter of what I've said about him, what would they think of my husband?" Do you need to change the filter? Do you talk positively about your husband to others . . . or do you complain and criticize?
Your speech should reflect 1 Cor. 13 love. Your words should be kind, and should never "rejoice in iniquity" (v. 6). Refrain from listing your husband's faults to others. Satan likes to trick us in this area—be wary of sharing barbed "prayer requests." Remember, "Love will cover a multitude of sins" (1 Pet. 4:8b). Present your husband before others today in a strong, positive manner. Slip in a "good word" for your spouse.
Resist the urge to correct or belittle him in front of others. Some of what you say may come back to him—and you want your words to be sweet, building him up and never tearing him down.
Don't forget: you are always criticizing—or encouraging—before an audience. God hears your conversations when you are alone with your husband in your own home. May your speech be always seasoned with grace.

*** I try to always lift Paul up. but like I said before, I need to work on this in front of certain people because they tend to belittle their husbands. I really do. *****

Day Twenty-three: "Let your speech always be with grace . . ." Col. 4:6a
You're moving toward the home stretch of your 30-day challenge! Just a reminder of what you've committed:
You can't say anything negative about your husband . . . to your husband . . . or to anyone else, about your husband.
Say something that you admire or appreciate about your husband. . . to your husband . . . and to someone else, about your husband!
"In all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works . . ." Titus 2:7a
Does the "30-Day Encouragement Challenge" seem like hard work? Or is it becoming a pleasant exercise in genuine Christ-likeness in your home? You are only scratching the surface of ways to encourage your mate. Is your husband organized? Is he diligent? Is he persistent? These are all related to a pattern of personal disciplines that are worthy of your praise. Affirm him for one or more of these traits that you see in him.
Some men have not developed these qualities because they are naturally more spontaneous. You can praise his spontaneity! Perhaps God has called you alongside to help him with disciplines he has not yet developed - but this does not include nagging. You can keep him organized.
Whatever the need, you can be your husband's cheerleader, encouraging him when he wants to give up.

**** Oh...Paul is much more organized and has a lot better "go get em " attitude about things. He keeps me going. I am the one that needs a cheerleader not him. But I have been trying to cheer him on more. Our home is doing better since starting this challenge. I admit that there are days when we have backtracked but most days we have been doing pretty good. He even told me the other day that he noticed how much I had changed. ****

Day Twenty-four: "And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord." Eph. 6:4
Children can be quite a challenge to the marriage relationship. A wise wife will support her husband's leadership in the home as much as possible, and will praise him for his fathering skills. Negativity makes a man feel like a failure, and may make him to want to give up.
Does your husband discipline your children wisely? Does he show them love and encourage them? Does he take an interest in their activities and dreams? Does he spend time with them? Does he take part in developing their character? Praise him for these important life skills.
If you don't have children—is your husband positive and encouraging around other people's children? Let him know that you have noticed. If your husband does not experience positive relationships with children, you will need to figure out why. Perhaps he had negative experiences as a child with his own parents, and needs to learn how to respond. Perhaps you can lovingly and patiently show him how to parent—while still maintaining his authority in the home.

**** He is very positive with our kids. He lifts them up and tells them what a good job they are doing. He does things individually and as a group with them. Like he will help Jack out in our shop to build something. or he will read a book to Kylie or go play with Alaina (shes not much of a reader) or he puts Jason to bed for me (Jason goes to bed so early that this is about the only time sometimes that Paul gets to spend with him...) but other times, they are all outside doing stuff and helping daddy to clean up our place. We also read our Bible every night out loud and pray and sing Church songs. ****

Day Twenty-five: ". . . seek peace, and pursue it." Ps. 34:14b
"You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You." Is. 26:3
Before you consider whether these verses describe your husband, consider your own presence in the home. Do you promote an atmosphere of peace, or do critical words often flow from your mouth? Do you struggle with anger? If so, before you continue with your Encouragement Challenge, confess these sinful habits to the Lord, and determine to speak words of peace to your family today.
Does your husband bring an atmosphere of peace into your home? Is his presence a calming influence? Does he bring music, entertainment, books or people into your home that build a sense of serenity? Let him know how much you appreciate this wonderful quality, and support his choices.
If, on the other hand, he is quickly angered or he creates chaos rather than calm, ask God to give you an abundance of the kind of peace that will speak to his heart. Be patient and loving. Create an inviting atmosphere of peace, as much as possible.

*****Sometimes my words are not very nice. I have a bad habit of saying what I think and not considering who is around me. Paul is very peaceful. He does keep me on a very peaceful level. He reminds me very gently when I am being snotty...lol Sometimes it takes more than a gentle reminder because I just dont listen. But like I said, I am a work in progress. And I am trying. ***

Day Twenty-six: "And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men." Luke 2:52
If you have faithfully encouraged your husband, you will no doubt have seen some changes in his life . . . and your own life, as well. Encouragement is a wonderful habit that we hope you will continue for the rest of your life.
The important thing is to keep growing in Christ and obeying the Word of God as you respond to your husband. As you consider today how to bless your husband and not tear him down, think of ways that you can encourage balance in your home.
Jesus led a balanced life. He grew mentally, physically, spiritually, and socially. As you see your husband branching out in these areas, is there a pattern of growth? Is your husband striving for balance in his life? If so, let him know you have noticed, and ask how you can further encourage that balance.
If your husband is out of balance—focusing on one area to the exclusion of the others—consider whether there are things you can do to help restore or create balance in his life. Can you encourage times for sports or exercise? Keep the children quiet for a study time? Invite friends over for dinner? Stimulate his mind?
Be sure you are working toward balance in your own life, as well. Be an example!

****Because Paul is always striving to find ways to help us pay our bills and live, he sometimes gets caught up in that and lets slide our time set aside for family study. We have gently reminded him when he does this and he is okay with that. I myself, need to work on having things done and ready for study time so that when it gets there, we will all be ready. If I make myself remember it and be ready for it, then maybe this will help. Instead of running around like crazy and forgetting it. We are not much of a social family. We tend to stay home and keep our house and family going rather than go visit. We need to go visit though. I just dont push to hard because Paul is almost always tired when he comes in from work and the weekends are spent catching up around here. *****

Day Twenty-seven: "Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the LORD." Ps. 31:24
You have almost completed the "30-Day Encouragement Challenge." Perhaps it has taken you a tremendous amount of courage to speak words of encouragement consistently to your husband. Courage comes as we place our trust in God. Have faith that God will continue to work long after your encouraging words have been shared.
There are lots of "tough guys" in the world, but true courage comes from the Lord. Does your husband exhibit the courage to take an unpopular stand, perhaps even to stand alone against evil? Is he courageous in his faith? Does he work hard to change injustice? Is he a stickler for the truth? Does he protect you or your family from the attacks of the Enemy?
Psalm 27:14 says this kind of courage comes from "waiting" on the Lord for His strength. If your budget allows, "award" your husband with a medal, trophy, framed picture of a brave knight, or some other token that represents his courage as a man of God. Praise evidences of your husband's courage in protecting you, your marriage, your family, or your home.

**** Paul is a stickler for the truth and he is very courageous. He is very protective and would do anything to make sure we are okay. ******

Day Twenty-eight: "The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom, and before honor is humility." Prov. 15:33
Sometimes, when we just "know" we are right and our husbands are wrong, it takes great humility to honor them. It is difficult to speak well of our husbands when our own hearts are puffed up with pride.
As part of your Encouragement Challenge today, pray that you will respond to the Lord in faith and humility before you react to your husband. Speak wisely and well, and leave the results to God.
The humility that comes from a right relationship with God—the humility that comes when a man is willing to listen to God and be taught from His Word—is indeed a beautiful quality. Jesus was an example of this kind of humility when he was willing to submit to His Father's will (John 6:38; Matt. 26:39).
Does your husband have that kind of humility? Is he willing to learn from and submit to direction from the Lord? Let your husband know how precious this is to your marriage relationship.

****I am not going to comment very much on this one. We are both learning to submit to Gods will. It is a process and we are learning..****

Day Twenty-nine: "A prudent man foresees evil, and hides himself; the simple pass on, and are punished." Prov. 27:12
As you near the end of your Encouragement Challenge, take time to think about your husband's responses to the wickedness of the culture, the media, etc. Does your husband recognize and avoid evil? Does he regularly turn his back on pornography, sexual temptations, and the urge to lie and cheat?
This is a valuable character trait. Like Joseph in the Old Testament, who fled from the wicked advances of Potiphar's wife, this takes an understanding that these kinds of sins are first and foremost, sins against God (Gen. 39:9).
Praise your husband when he recognizes and turns his back on wickedness. If you can think of a circumstance where your husband stood for righteousness, remind him of that today-and express your gratitude.

****** Paul is very strongly against the evils and wickedness of this world. Not saying that we havent had our challenges but he stands against wrongdoings. ****

And for tommorow since I probably wont be on here! (Spending the day with my hubby and kids...)

Day Thirty: ". . . This is my beloved, and this is my friend . . ." Song of Solomon 5:16b
Friends can be completely honest with each other, but friendships are strained when truth is not spoken in love. How are you speaking to your beloved? Are you so "used" to him that you don't appreciate the wonder of his friendship? That is your challenge today. Is your sweetheart your best friend? Does he know this? Have you told him, or do you assume he "just knows"?
Friendship is something that is cultivated through the good times and the bad. Friends can share their hearts, but they don't step on each other's hearts. The way to have and be a good friend is to cultivate and celebrate the relationship. As you end this "30-Day Encouragement Challenge," celebrate your friendship with your husband. Get alone and reflect on your beloved friend. Write him a letter, listing the qualities you admire and appreciate about him. If you are creative with words, write and frame a poem about him.
Perhaps you can prepare a special meal, just for the two of you, and read the letter or poem to him. Ask if you can pray for him, and if he is willing, thank God for your love and friendship, asking for His blessing on your home.
Encouragement, as you have seen these past 30 days, is a synonym for love in action. How has this challenge changed your heart and life, dear friend? Did God encourage you as you planned ways to encourage your husband? Were there difficult days where you simply needed to trust that God was working? Days when it was hard to leave the results to God?
Remember that God is faithful, and He will bless you for your willingness to obey Him. His ways are not our ways, and perhaps He will honor you in ways you do not expect, but one thing is sure—you will never be the same because of your commitment to be more like Christ!
What kinds of victories have you experienced in your home since you started the "30-Day Encouragement Challenge"? Would you take a moment to share these victories with us?

*****Paul and I were talking a few weeks ago about our relationship and how it has grown and how we have changed. We talked about what we were looking for when we got together and married. He was looking for someone who would share his love for God and would be faithful and loyal but 2nd to God, he wanted a friend. He said he found me. I am his best friend and his lover. I am his beloved. I am his rock in the storm. He of course made me cry by saying this. I was looking for someone to love me and be faithful to me and to Share my love for God. But I was not mature enough yet to look for a friend. God in turn sent me a life long friend. No matter if we had never married, we were friends before we married and we are friends now. We will be friends through life. See, I wasnt smart enough to know that friendship comes first...but God was and he sent me my friend, my beloved, my lover. He sent me my rock in the storm.

This past 30 days has been trying. We have babies. They are not always good. they throw fits, they argue, they dont sleep, they get sick, they drive momma nuts. and when that happens, when daddy comes home and momma is going crazy, then he gets in a bad mood because momma is. But we have worked it out. We have had financial struggles...we have fought over these...but we made up. There have been days when he has had a bad day at work and I knew that when he got home, that I would have to just give it to God and let him guide my words and my actions. On those days, I would have a talk with Jack before Paul got home about making sure we had everything done that he had requested so he wouldnt have anything that he felt like he had to come home and do...so he could just relax. It helped. At the end of this 30 days, we have come through much better than when we started. It has mad me stop and think and then act or speak, it has made me look at Paul in a different light. I am more appreciative and more honoring than before.

I would like to thank the people at Revive our Hearts for this. It has been an inspiration and a struggle but well worth it. THANK YOU!