Tuesday, January 25, 2011



Outside my window... it is cloudy and very windy. We are expecting some severe weather later this evening. It has rained quite a bit the last couple of weeks. I am not sure I have seen this much rain in January in quite some time.

I am thinking...
better get the laundry done before the big rains hit. I hate to do laundry when it is raining.

I am thankful for...
great family and friends. We had a fun (but exhausting) day celebrating the twins (our niece and nephew and godchildren) first birthday on Sunday. It was nice to spend time with family.

Ella was eager and anticipating cake.
Owen was not too excited about cake.
Ella after cake was all said and done. She really had fun with the cupcake.
Owen after cake was all said and done. He was just not as into it.

From the kitchen... it is Taco Tuesday. Although it is “Taco Tuesday” at Pablanos (hard shell tacos for 99 cents at a local restaurant) I am making my own version of Taco Tuesday at home. I have been craving a nice crunchy taco!

I am wearing... pajamas. It is nice to lounge around the house in my pajamas. They are comfortable and I can get a lot done around the house when I am more comfortable.

I am creating... a quickie budget. It is part of our homework assignment from our Financial Peace University class last night.

I am going... nowhere. The car is low on gas and hubby has the new car. We are approaching the end of the month and the very end of the budget. Things get a little tight this time of the month.

I am reading... three books at once! Last year I had trouble keeping up with just one book and now I am reading three at the same time.

Total Money Makeover: my January book of the month

Financial Peace Revisited: for our Financial Peace University class

Heaven is for Real: for spiritual growth and inspiration

Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo with Lynn Vincent

I swapped Financial Peace for Total Money Makeover since I was behind on our book a month goal. But now we are reading Financial Peace as part of our class. I will be reading it over the next 13 weeks.

I am hoping praying... for a successful Financial Peace University class, for continued strength and growth in our marriage, and for health and prosperity.

I am hearing... the dryer. There always seems to be laundry that needs to get done. Today is a good day to get it all done.

Around the house... there is still so much work to be done – inside and outside. My husband took apart the playground and old wood in the backyard. They were not safe for the kids anymore. Perhaps someday we will install a new set.

One of my favorite things... Everything Dave Ramsey: Financial Peace, Total Money Makeover, The Dave Ramsey Show, etc. He keeps us focused and intense about getting out of debt.


Dave Ramsey
Financial Peace University
Our FPU kit

A few plans for the rest of the week:

Friday: Family meeting – February goals and quickie budget
Saturday: A day to relax with my hubby
Sunday: Five Guys Burgers and Fries with the neighbor

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

My bounty from Detweiler’s Farm

This is just a start to get my husband eating (and maybe liking) fruits and vegetables.


The Simple Woman's Daybook is a brief outline for women/mothers who blog to use as a way to compose thoughts, plan the week, and keep a grateful heart. It is typically published once a week on Tuesdays.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

My job: Stay at Home Wife

A close friend had been asking me how we came to the decision for me to be a full time stay at home wife versus a working wife when I moved here. It was not an easy decision for me to make personally but it was an easy decision for us to make together. It was not that my husband told me that I had to be a stay at home wife but he gave me the option to be a stay at home wife. If I need to go back to work for whatever reason (either personal or family) then I know I can. The option is always there for me to work but the decision to stay at home is truly a blessing.

Below you will find how I chose to answer her concerns about staying at home versus being a working wife.

A few questions to consider when deciding to stay at home:

1) Is the second income the difference between making ends meet and a few extra dollars for dinner and a movie once a month?

2) Is the primary income alone enough to cover your essentials -- food, water, electric, and mortgage?

3) Can you squeeze the budget in non-essential areas (health and beauty, leisure and entertainment and blow) and tighten in other areas (food and clothing)?

4) Do you have "extra" or increased expenses in certain areas due to your second income?

Here's how we explored each of these areas:

For questions 1 and 2:

Early in our marriage (a month or so after we were married) we explored our monthly budget. We took our monthly income (using Monopoly money) and spent EVERY dollar on paper.

Categories we considered:

1) non-negotiable: mortgage & car payments
2) monthly negotiable: food & gas
3) frequently occurring (not monthly): car repair & medical
4) other expenses: blow, leisure, entertainment, savings

We determined that my husband's salary (including overtime) alone would cover all of our monthly expenses. Anything I bring home would only be to help either pay down our debt faster or add to our leisure, entertainment, or savings. We could cover all our necessary expenses and still have enough for an occasional treat once a month or so.

For question 3:

As the months went by after we planned our budget, we realized there were certain categories we had omitted from the budget (unexpected medical expenses) We also realized that what we originally budgeted in some other categories were more than what we needed. So we were able to adjust the budget to fit in the new categories and pare down the others. We were still able to make my husband's income work each month without it being necessary for me to have to go to work.

For question 4:

Consider this. Let's do some math. Let's say you make $1000 a month working part time. You can subtract about 1/3 of that for taxes and payroll deductions so your take home monthly is approximately $700. But since you are working you now have increased expenses in other areas that you wouldn't normally have if you stayed home such as increased car maintenance. And perhaps now you eat out more since both of you are just too tired to make a nice home cooked meal. Not to mention you are both too tired and your quality time together isn't what it used to be. So with all the added expenses, your take home pay is now reduced to $300 to $400 a month. Can you adjust the budget and spending to save $400 a month rather than you having to go to work? If you can find areas where you can cut expenses, then it's like making $300 or $400 dollars that goes directly into your pocket. It's not taxed and you can spend it anywhere you need it. Saving money is positive income rather than outcome (money going out)

I have come to realize over the last nine months although I am not working outside the home, I make us money by saving us money. I have learned to save money at the grocery store and I have not purchased any new clothes since we have been married. I have tightened my personal blow budget and applied the money in other areas where we need it. I have sacrificed things that I really want for things that we really need. This helps us stay on track and on budget. Saving money truly turns our income into IN-come rather than OUT-come -- money going out for bills and unnecessary wants. It was not always easy for me to make these kind of decisions but I have learned to make choices for the greater good of our family rather than my own wants. I see sacrificing now will pay off for us in the long run. Denying ourselves these simple pleasures now will help to enjoy them later without concern for money.

Every few months, we revisit the idea of me working. It is more for personal reasons rather than family financial reasons. I start to miss working and the interaction with people. But after all is said and done and we openly discuss it, I choose every time to stay at home. I continue to make our house more than a building but a loving and welcoming home that we pray someday we can fill with children.

Being a stay at home wife has been the best job I have ever had. It is worth the hours I put in and the money I make. The benefits are the best. I have a beautiful home and an amazing husband who loves me with all his heart. What more can one ask for?



Outside my window...
is a cool 66 degrees outside. It was an incredibly gorgeous day outside and I am so sad that I did not take advantage of it. I hope it is just as beautiful tomorrow and the rest of the week so I can enjoy it.

I am thinking... what an amazing last couple of weeks we have had. We have fought a lot less and even staved off a big fight or two. We have definitely loved a lot more and grown tremendously. What a great life marriage has been! If I would have known it was this grand, I would have done it much sooner.

I am thankful for... having more than we need yet less than we want. We are so blessed that all our needs are met.

From In the kitchen... the refrigerator and pantry are full. There is more than enough food to keep our bellies full. We are so blessed that we do not want for food.

I am wearing...
corduroys! I feel so retro. It reminds me of my younger days when all we wore were bellbottom corduroys!

I am creating... nothing. I would like to learn a craft such as knitting or crocheting. Perhaps even sewing. I am not sure I have the patience though for it.

I am going...
to the grocery store for a few things to get us through the next couple of weeks while they are still on sale.

I am reading...
Total Money Makeover. I finally finished House Rules and decided to read Total Money Makeover instead of Financial Peace Revisited. It is a faster read and I am a tad behind on my book a month. I hope to have this done by the end of the week so I can get a jump-start on February’s book.

I am hoping praying...
for all my family & friends. I am praying for healing, financial blessings, happiness for newlyweds and health for newborn babies.

I am hearing...
the news playing in the background as I surf the Internet and finish this week’s Daybook.

Around the house...
I have managed to keep it tidy. I have managed to keep up with a little work here and there to keep things tidy and neat. Every once in a while I have to do a heavy cleaning but tidying up here and there really helps to keep it nice.

One of my favorite things...
our cat, Gracie. She has found a new place to sit and relax – my open drawers. She likes to climb in them when she finds them open. She always looks up at me as if to say, “What am I doing wrong?” Even though I am a little upset that she is doing something she is not supposed to be doing, I always have to take a picture.

Sitting in our dresser drawer in the master bedroom

In the drawer in the guest room

A few plans for the rest of the week:

Friday: Date night at the dollar theatre
Saturday: Trip to St. Petersburg to visit family
Sunday: Happy first birthday to our godchildren the twins – Ella & Owen

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

Here is some artwork drawn by my 5-year old niece Anna Rose. We hope that someday they will be worth a lot of money. For now, they make great refrigerator art.

Our Family including the cat

Anna and Uncle Kris with his head in the clouds

Anna and Auntie Eileen. I am not sure why the house.

Even if they were worth a lot of money, I'd never sell them. To me, they are priceless! We love them and Anna, too!

The Simple Woman's Daybook is a brief outline for women/mothers who blog to use as a way to compose thoughts, plan the week, and keep a grateful heart. It is typically published once a week on Tuesdays.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011




A day of ONES

Outside my window...
it is a surprisingly beautiful sunny day outside. Temperature is a bit cooler than it appears to be – 63 degrees – but certainly a beautiful day out. A nice change since the last couple of days had been quite dreary.

I am thinking... I really need to get outside today. I do not have to go far. Just sit outside and enjoy the day.

I am thankful for... the gift -- the gift of love from God who showed us how to love. He does not ask for much in return from us but He gave us everything as the perfect example.

From In the kitchen...
lies the heart of my family. It is where there is a great outpouring of love in every dish that is prepared. Every dish prepared with hands and heart that truly love for my one and only love.

I am wearing...
my pajamas. I could just stay in them all day.

I am creating... love. Is there anything better?

I am going...
to sit outside and read. I always say I am going to do it but I never get around to ever doing it. I will not let this opportunity pass me by again today.

I am STILL reading... House Rules and I vow to finish it today so I can begin Financial Peace by Dave Ramsey.

I am hoping praying...
for those who have no one to pray for them.

I am joining my prayers… with my friends and family for all their special intentions in their hearts this day.

I am hearing... the sound of my fingers typing away at the keyboard. It is peaceful and quiet around the house today.

Around the house...
most of the work is done. I have managed to keep up with all the little things that I finally have time to do some intellectual housework – which is what my hubby calls reading & learning.

One of my favorite things... a warm cup of coffee anytime of the day – morning, noon, or night – and a good book.

A few plans for the rest of the week:

Wednesday night/Thursday morning: Adventures at the rental property
Friday: Grocery shopping
Saturday: Dinner with my sister and family

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

Your smile and laughter are so contagious. You make me want to laugh even when I am fighting with you :-)

From our Engagement pictures March 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook is a brief outline for women/mothers who blog to use as a way to compose thoughts, plan the week, and keep a grateful heart. It is typically published once a week on Tuesdays.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011



Outside my window... it is a beautiful 69 degrees and my hubby is working out in the yard. I love a hard working man… especially MINE! It seems that the cold winter days have come and gone. We are heading into the cooler weather of winter in Florida that we all love so much.

I am thinking...
of all the things I want to do today …a bike ride, read my book (finish last year’s book so I can start the reading list for 2011), clean the kitchen… So much to be done! There is always so much that I want to do but I never manage to get it all done. Well, there is always tomorrow!

I am thankful for...
an amazing start to 2011. 2010 was surely a great year for both of us and I just know that 2011 is going to be much better. Every year has been better than the one before.

From the kitchen... chocolate chip pancakes were made although I am not too happy about the way they turned out so I do not think I will be making them again. Soon dinner for my husband to take to work – a ham and cheese melt – will be prepared.

I am wearing... my pajamas. I love to stay in my pajamas as long as I can. Comfortable clothes to get the housework done.

I am creating... ? There is nothing I am currently creating except for our scrapbook which is a LONG work in progress as it dates back to our early days together circa 2001 (I have the most difficulty writing something in this section as there does not seem to be much creating going on. I do enjoy scrapbooking but I rarely have a chance to get any of it done. I am not very artistic otherwise. I do not knit, crochet, or sew. My talents in this department are very limited.)

I am going... nowhere. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are usually the days I do not have much planned outside of the house. A great opportunity to catch up on housework that is left behind from the weekend.

I am (still) reading... last year’s book – House Rules. I hope to finish it today (or very soon) and start on one of the books on my 2011 reading list. I have not decided which one but I am leaning toward Financial Peace Revisited by Dave Ramsey.

I am hoping praying...
for a healthy New Year. I hope that my hubby gets over this cough that seems to be lingering from his cold from a few weeks ago. I hope that we both remain healthy throughout the New Year and no more visits to the ER.

I am hearing... my hard working husband taking care of some yard work in the backyard. We are preparing for our  Spring project to seed it and finally get some grass in the backyard. Perhaps we will plant a small garden as well.

Around the house... there are always a lot of little things that need to be done that add up one BIG thing. Just when I seem to get a few done, it starts all over again.

One of my favorite things...

“Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things”

I love the music from the Sound of Music. Great to sing along to and cheer you up anytime you are feeling down.

A few plans for the rest of the week:

Wednesday: Art Show
Thursday: Prayer group
Friday: NFP class
Saturday: Young Adults in Christ

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

Ate Sunshine (Kuya Jun Jun's wife) from Canada came to visit Mom and Dad for the holiday. They came one day to visit us in our home. We took them to the Ringling Museum in Sarasota. Here are a few pictures that Ate Sunshine shared with us.

Clowning around in the gift shop. Don't we look like we belong in the circus?
This is one of my favorite pictures with Ate Sunshine.
Kris and I with Mom and Ate Sunshine at the museum.

We had a great time visiting with her and are happy that we could do our part to make her vacation here a little more fun.

The Simple Woman's Daybook is a brief outline for women/mothers who blog to use as a way to compose thoughts, plan the week, and keep a grateful heart. It is typically published once a week on Tuesdays.