Saturday, September 30, 2006

What type of frugal are you?

There are many kinds of frugal. There is the stereotypical frugal, you know, the person who enjoys saving money like other people enjoy football. I remember reading a quote from Hillbilly Housewife saying that she liked to pinch pennies until they screamed out for mercy! These people enjoy the challenge of finding the bargain.

I am not one of those people. I like being frugal if and only if it gets me something I want. For instance, we want to take a special vacation next year. We have been planning this vacation for over a year now. I don't mind scrimping now if it means having fun later.

Now, people here are frugal out of sheer necessity. I don't know how they live on so little. Most of them live on about 200 dollars a month.

So, since the Preacher wants a new van, and I don't want to forfeit next year's vacation, I will become a Penny Pincher, Mrs.Scrooge. I'll started re-using my ziploc bags. I'll start hanging out over at Hillbilly Housewife. I will accept all frugal advice:) Let the bargain hunting begin!

School shootings

It must be terrible to go to American public highschool. First, if you're not popular, you get teased or ignored. That would have hurt me terribly. I am so sensitive to teasing! There is filthy language everywhere. You will be ridiculed if you are a Christian. And on top of all this, you must beware the shootings!
Oh, you say, that would never happen at my child's school! Hmmm.

I wish all parents could spend a day at a public school. You may ask where I get my knowledge of public school. I have several teachers in my family, both elementary and high school.
If you are a homeschooling mama, please don't give up! Work harder, better yourself as a teacher, pray for you kids. Make it so great that your kids love homeschooling. Get excited about learning. You can do it!


Friday, September 29, 2006

Saving Money

Here's my 2 Cents.
I found an online bank that has been easy to use and give 5% interest, and no minimum! Its called Emigrant Direct. We've been with then for a year now, and so far so good! We link up with our checking account and depost every month. When we need the money, we just transfer it back to our checking account. Over the last year we have earned 44 dollars in interest.


Bread baking and Frugality

We are trying to afford a new-to-us van. The one we have is old, (1987) and has been breaking down a lot. We have adequate support, butr not enough to buy a new vehicle outright, and we don't want to go into debt.
So we are starting to save up, the old-fashioned way, one dollar at a time. Hence, DH asked me to start baking bread again. Bread is quite a staple around here. Fine, I like to bake.
Is it that much cheaper to make your own bread? I don't rightly know, but I do know that the less you go to the store, the less money you spend, period. Duh.

Anyway, I was thinking about that Reb Bradley article that I didn't like. He talked about a homeschooling momma on her deathbed saying that she wished she had bought her bread and spent the time with her kids instead. Well, I had an interesting time making bread with my kids! Hmm. With the kids? What an interesting concept! I am not saying that you have to bake bread. And I am not saying that buying bread is a bad thing. Not at all. We have bought tons of bread. But why does it have to be an all or nothing thing?

Being a Christian wife and mom and even a homeschool mom is supposed to be a pleasant, joyful thing. If its not, its because we are messing it up somehow.

On the Frugal Front, I am establishing the tried and true "envelope" method. The Preacher gave me x amount of money for veggies and bread and the occasional Coke for each week in October. Now we'll see just how much we've been spending here and there on the little things.
It seems ridiculous to think that we'll get enough for a new van doing this, but I know it works. Nickle and dime savings helps more than we think it does.


A housekeeping "Aha!" moment

One of my many challenges as a housekeeper has always been washing the dishes. Once, when we were first married, I left a sink full of dirty dishes when we left for a week of camp. Yikes! Mold!
After 13 years of marriage, and 3 years of Flylady, I have been doing much better, but not really conquering the problem.

When we were in Santiago, we spent a good deal of time with our friends that have 8 children, the youngest 4 being 4 and under. My friend is a neat-nick, so I tried to be helpful. Since I couldn't nurse her baby, I helped with the dishes and the cooking. In that house you have to wash dishes all the time. As soon as you see 2 or 3 dishes, you wash them and put them away. Its just that simple.
I know, I know, that is what everyone has been saying all along, I just never actually saw it in action. Now I have, and I see the wisdom and practicality of it.

Now, for another "Aha!" housekeeping and and motherhood moment. I had been waiting for my kids to grow up to be able to delegate the dishwashing. Well, after a long visit to "Large Family Logistics" I realized that instead of delegating, I need to be washing the dishes with them. It makes the work go faster and provides needed "bonding time", so far, good for my girl and good for my boy. IMHO, all boys need to at least be able to wash dishes and cook. God willing, he will have a fine wife someday, but that gal just might get sick one day, and she'll be glad to know that her MIL taught her boy the tricks of the cooking and cleaning trade.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

My other Church

Many IFB missionaries are not sent out by a mission board, but by the home Church. We were sent out by the Lighthouse Baptist Church, in LaVerne, CA.

We are grateful to them for their care and support. If all missionaries were cared for the way we are, there would be more missionaries still on the field.

If you live in this area, and are looking for a good church, you won't find a better one anywhere!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

A very good book

One of the best things about the internet is that you can find rare, out-of-print books that are wonderful. May I recommend to you "Out of my life" by V Raymond Edman? This man was a teacher, missionary, pastor and later a big-wig at Wheaton. He wrote several study books that are very good, but this particular book in one of different stories, hence the title. There are stories of faith, stories of the miraculous Providence of God, stories of family and friends. Evertime I read it I am inspired in my Christian walk. It is not only encouraging, but occasionally funny too. I also learned a few good quotes to live by:
"Never doubt in the darkness what God told you in the light" and
"Its always too soon to quit"

Its a great book!

Monday, September 25, 2006


There are those of us Christians who feel the need for supposed "externals" in our daily lives. By this, I mean standards or convictions. These occasionally make people either nervous or annoyed. The worst part is that often people have these convictions for the wrong reason or use them in the wrong way.
Group number one: These are people who do certain things in order to achieve salvation. The most notable group being the Amish.
Group number two: These are saved by grace people who feel like they must do things in order to please God. So they find all they can in the Bible to do. Often this leads to feeling of superiority over those who don't do the same things.
Group number three: (the group I feel the need to belong to) These are people who recognize "externals" as safeguards. For example, God hates adultery, right? Dressing modestly does not guarantee that you will never commit adultery, but it makes it easier not to. My friend Sandra who is a nice looking, 22 year old, did a week of student teaching for a man teacher. She said he was a perfect gentleman and never insinuated anything. That is not common here. You see, I think that Sandra's dress and demeanor send a "don't bother trying" message.

The "externals" do not mean that you are more holy, they just make good behaviour easier. Another example: If I do not watch tv or movies that have profanity, I am more likely not to ever use profanity. If I am constantly hearing profanity, it is more likely that some will eventually come out of my mouth, pr my kids mouths. Having a disciplined Bible reading schedule does not mean that you will automatically become a good Christian. But it does mean that you're more likely to get more from the Bible if you read it every day.

Is this making any sense?

There are those that say that convictions are for weak Christians. If that is the case, well fine. I am weak, I need all the help I can. We are surrounded by ungodliness. Our heroes fall all around us. I have convictions about my behaviour because I need them. God gave them to me to keep my happily on the Straight and Narrow.
And I am grateful.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Saturday night

It is now 9:40 pm. Saturday night. The dishes are done and the kitchen is clean. Sunday dinner is ready and in the fridge, waiting to be heated. The kid's baths are done, and my Sunday School lesson is ready. The Preacher is holding a Men's meeting in my livingroom or I'd be in there straightening up and getting ready for bed. Boy, do I feel good! I think I'll pat myself on the back and run off to bed.

What its all about

Our life is about God. Worshipping with the Body of Christ every Sunday should not be just something that we do, it should be the highlight of our week. Here is a fabulous post by Mrs. R.

I am pretty sure that you all are regulars over at Be Not Conformed, but I thought recognition was in order.

Have a happy Sunday!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Christian Fiction

I grew up reading alot. After "Little House", we read "Little Women", still a favorite for me. Also "The Little Princess" and "The Secret Garden". As a teen, I read all the Jeanette Oke books my Aunts sent me. I loved them. I read about Marty, Elizabeth, and my favorite, Josh.

Since the Lord sent us here to the End of the Earth, I haven't had much opportunity to get new books. I did read most of the "Left Behind" series. Well, two weeks ago, several friends in Santiago lent me some new novels. And boy was I surprised! The first day of our trip we were visiting with some missionaries, and the lady told me that her husband didn't like for her to read fiction. I thought at the time that he was being silly. Now I know that he was probably right. The books I'v read have been interesting, but disturbing at the same time.

Why, you ask? Well, first of all, I know that most drama is born out of conflict. No conflict and you have no story. But the stories being told now are all the same: "Christian" girl get involved in great moral sin, repents, deals with the consequences of her actions, marries wonderful Christian guy after all and all live happily ever after. What is disturbing is that it seems that American Christians have given up the idea that young people, with the help of the indwelling Holy Spirit, can triumph over the flesh. It also seems that everbody knows that everybody is going to mess up, and its no big deal. Yes, God can, will, and has forgiven every imaginable sin, but it is foolish to play around with sin. Grace and mercy should be saved for those ignorant of the things of God. Romans 6 says , What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid! We should not abuse the grace and mercy of our Redeemer.

The other thing was the descriptions of the romantic scenes. Gone are the first kisses at the end of the book. I won't go into detail, but I was scared at seeing how far "Christian" fiction has come. I am beginning to think that my missionary friend was right.

Sometimes I feel like I come from a different era. But I know that our Holy Lord is always the same. What greived Him last century grieves Him today.

Oh Lord, help me so that I may never grieve You!

Believing God

My friend Wendy lent me this book while I was in Santiago. It was the first Beth Moore book for me and I liked it very much. I had the priviledge of being raised in a Christian home where we saw what living by faith was. One of the things that I liked about Neil was that even though we came from very different backgrounds, he had the same ideas about living by faith. Our "heroes" to this day are George Mueller and Hudson Taylor.

Reading this book was a great reminder that God is God. Sometimes we get bogged down with the cares of the life, that we forget that He is the reason why we are here. He longs to have us come to Him and believe that He will do for us what we need.

Here in Chile they have socialized medical care. This means that if you cannot pay, you must wait. And Wait. There is a lady in my Church who has some kind of malady, (I can't figure it out exactly, she says her legs hurt so bad she can't come to Sunday morning services) Anyway, we've been praying that she will get an appointment to see the specialist. What am I saying?????? Why don't we just ask got to heal her? He can, can't he? Of course He can!

It was a good book and I recommend it. I will probably buy it for myself.


Visitor Map

As you can see, I have a stat counter. I recently discovered the visitor map it provides. What "scope for the imagination"! I have been having a great old time looking at that map and wondering about my fellow bloggers. I cannot figure out who most of them are, but I have discovered a few. I see when Susan comes to visit, and Dawn, Kristi, Julie and Arlene. Ok, so finding Arlene on the map is not really that hard.

The sad part is that most of you live far away from where we spend time in the US when we go. I do seem to have 2 readers from SoCal, but have not identified them, which is prabably exactly what they want! And I may try to swing a trip to Ensenada someday. Most of the rest of you live East and South. The farthest we have ever gone East and South is Alabama! As far as the North East, well, I'll probably see you in Heaven! My friends from Maine have to come to Chile for us to see each other!

I seem to have some readers in England. Hello, Sarah, if you're still there! We miss you!

Some probably stumble onto my blog by accident. Still, I get curious as to how or why they come.

Like I said, "scope for the imagination!"

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Calling all missionaries to Latin America

Need a missionary funny toady? Thanks to our friend Michelle in Ensenada, we got this link.
I think I'll be spending some time over at Bethanie's


Wednesday, September 20, 2006

html help

Could somebody please help me learn to make link with an image? Very slowly, I am blonde you know!

A quote

I skimmed a book last week and read this great quote. The problem is that I can't remember the quote exactly nor can I remember who said it. Anyway here it is:

"Do you embrace today that which shocked you yesterday?"

To which I answer with another question:



Happymama was asking about us, so I figured I'd properly introduce us. We don't have too many privacy issues, since we are missionaries.
I grew up here in Chile as an MK (missionary kid) The year I was supposed to head off to Bible College, Neil, a young man in our Church, broke up with his girlfriend of three years. Everyone assumed that Neil and Marty were getting married. They were old enough, had parental consent, both were Christians. We were all happy for them. What we didn't know was that, while Marty was glad that Neil was a good Christian, she was not enthused about Neil getting into the ministry. She knew national pastors to be poor, and she did not want to be poor. Neil was also at that time being pressured by his family to quit the Bible school and continue with his professional studies. He was told to quit the Bible Institute, or they would no longer pay for his secular education. So, he quit the secular education.
Things continued poorly with Marty. It soon became evident that they could no longer stay together, much less get married. So they broke up. Even though Neil knew that it was the right thing to do, and his affection for her had cooled considerably, it was nevertheless, a bit traumatic. That's where I come in. I was the "shoulder to cry on", and we became better friends.
After a while my father decided that he needed someone to run errands and do chores for him.
He originally wanted this guy named Oscar, but Oscar did not want the job. So Dad thought of Neil. So he started working at our house Monday-Friday, 10am to 5:30pm. And the rest is history. I never really thought I'd marry a Chilean, but then, I never really thought I'd ever get married. I firgured I'd go to Bible School, and right at the end, hook up with whoever was left over. (my flirting skills are extremely poor)
The Lord miraculously allowed for us to raise support from American Churches. We were sent out of the Lighthouse Baptist Church of LaVerne, CA.
We have a mixed-heritage household, although I would say that my kids are American above all else. Neil speaks very little English, but understands a great deal. So, this is primarily an English-speaking home. We feel extremey blessed.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Adventures in Santiago

We went on what was supposed to be a six-day trip to Santiago to visit my husband's family. He is the youngest of 7, so there were quite a few to see. We left bright and early, September 4th. After driving for 8 hours, we arrived in Rancagua to visit our missionary friends, Wendy and Philip. They have two kids, just exactly my kids ages, so we all had a really nice time. Wendy lent me a new book which I'll blog about later.
The next day we drove into Santiago and stopped to see my FIL who is nuts, by the way. We didn't stay too long. We then started making the rounds. BILs and SILs and cousins all around. We even took the kids to the zoo and ate lunch at TGI Fridays. (I wonder why they never had a Friday's when we lived in Santiago?) We got so see our friend, Lori, who lent me several books. Thank you Lori! We stayed nights at our friend's house. They are our dear, dear friends. They also have 8 children. Add my 2 and you have a noisy, noisy house. No matter, we had a nice time.
On our last day (or so we thought) we drove to my other SIL's, over by the coast. We spent a nice day. We were headed back and Neil's nephew told him about a short-cut home. We thanked him for the tip and got on our way, as we still had one more SIL to see. Well, the "short-cut" was through a small mountain range and the van overheated. Greatly. By the time we got down the other side, we knew we were going to have problems. We were still 40 miles north of Santiago. As we were limping into Santiago, Neil noticed that the engine was dying. He decided to pull off the "freeway" at the next exit. But it wasn't an exit. It was an off-ramp for another "freeway". Then the engine died. On a one-lane, curved, up-hill, completely dark off-ramp frequented by big big trucks with heavy cargo, going as fast as they can to get up the hill.
Neil got out and put the relflective triangles out and stood outside with a flashlight trying to slow traffic down, while calling for help. As the trucks zoomed past us, Neil got really nervous and made us get out of the van, thinking that some truck just might not be able to swerve to miss us.
After about 15 minutes, a big truck carrying a huge load of bricks stopped traffic and pulled us to a safer place. Then the rope broke, leaving us once again, stranded on a one lane road, causing evening traffic to back up. As we tried to push the van, a nice guy in a pick-up offered to pull us to the nearest gas station. We gratefully accepted. We got to the gas station that was no more than that. No minimart, no bathrooms. We were there for about 30 minutes until BIL (a saint) came to help. We slowly made our way back to our friends house. After we dropped off the van at the mechanic's at around 11pm, we still had to go to SIL's house for dinner! We left her house at 2 am. ( I am not a "night person")
Obviously we couldn't leave then next day as planned. We were now in Santiago when we really needed to be at home. And now we did not have our van. We were at the mercy of our friends, family and public transportation. Oh yeah, and the mercy of the mechanic. Everytime Neil spoke with him, the price went up. Up to 400 dollars. Boo-hoo. So much for getting my piano fixed.
So, one week later we were able to go home. The Preacher had to do some damage control at Church. The house and pets were fine, thank you Sandra.
The worst part of week two was the lack of internet conectivity. I guess I'm not badly addicted to blogging. I didn't get the shakes, or anything like that. I did miss it though, missed you all.
Glad to be back.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

I'm Back!

I am finally back, and I've got a lot to share. I won't be able to tonight, because we are swamped. But I'll try to post tomorrow. I have truly missed you all and our fellowship.
Thanks to Mrs. B and to Michelle for asking about me, thanks for your concern. We are OK, just had a few misadventures!
More tomorrow

Happy Sunday! Enjoy your worship!


Saturday, September 02, 2006

Why I like my Church

On the eve of another Lord's Day, I want to thank God for my Church. I love my Church. Of course it doesn't hurt that my husband is the pastor ;) I love our people. Even the stinky ones with the bad attitudes. I love it when I see people grow and change.

I love the way we sing. We love to sing. We sing 5 or 6 hymns or choruses, all the verses. We read a portion of Scripture. We've read through John and Romans, we are in Genesis right now. We read through, we don't skip over the hard parts. The poor gal who tries to sign for the deaf had a hard time of it during the portion about Dinah. Who was supposed to teach her the sign for "circumsicion"?

I love to see backsliders return to the fold, repentant. I love to see the brethren welcome them back.

I love to see a heart-felt communion service, where people reconcile with their brethren. Watching the tears flow, you understand the reason God instituted this supper with its rules and guidelines.

I love to see first-time visitors who are surprised that we are not charismatic. Most catholics think that all non-catholics are are charismatic. The visitors are surprised by the calm order of our services.

I love my Church, do you love yours? Why?


Another Funny

I laughed so hard I cried.

Things I've Learned from my Children

There is no such thing as child-proofing your house.

If you spray hair spray on dust bunnies and run over them with roller blades, they can ignite.

A 4 year old's voice is louder than 200 adults in a crowded restaurant.

If you hook a dog leash over a ceiling fan the motor is not strong enough to rotate a 42 lb. boy
wearing underwear and a superman cape.

It is however strong enough to spread paint on all four walls of a 20 by 30 ft. room.

Baseballs make marks on ceilings

You should not throw baseballs up when the ceiling fan is on.

When using the ceiling fan as a bat you have to throw the baseball up a few times before getting a hit.

A ceiling fan can hit a baseball a long way.

The glass in windows (even double-pane) does not stop a baseball hit by a ceiling fan.

When you hear a toilet flush and the words "Uh-oh", it's already too late.

Brake fluid mixed with Clorox makes smoke, and lots of it.

A six year old boy can start a fire with a flint rock even though a 36 year old man says they can only do that in the movies.

A magnifying glass can start a fire even on an overcast day.

The fire department in San Diego has at least a 5 minute response time.

If you use a waterbed as home plate while wearing baseball shoes it does not leak- it explodes.

A king size waterbed holds enough water to fill a 2000 sq foot house inches deep.

Legos will pass through the digestive track of a four year old - Duplos will not.

Play Dough and Microwave should never be used in the same sentence.

Super glue is forever.

No matter how much Jello you put in a swimming pool you still can't walk on water.

Pool filters do not like Jello.

VCR's do not eject PB&J sandwiches even though TV commercials show they do.

Garbage bags do not make good parachutes.

Marbles in gas tanks make lots of noise when driving.

You probably don't want to know what that smell is.

Always look in the oven before you turn it on. Plastic toys do not like ovens.

The spin cycle on the washing machine does not make earth worms dizzy.

It will however make cats dizzy

Cats throw up twice their body weight when dizzy.

Quiet does not necessarily mean don't worry.

A good sense of humor will get you through most problems in life
(unfortunately, mostly in retrospect).

Friday, September 01, 2006

I am grateful

Why so we wait for Thankgiving to give thanks? I would like to go on record for saying this. I am thankful for my salvation. I am thankful for my family and my Church. I am thankful for all the churches that support us monthly so that we can do the Lord's work here. I am thankful for my house and my minivan, my washer and dryer. (try going without them for a while, you'll become extremely grateful for their existence!) I feel that God has blessed us with so much. Why then do I always want more? Why doesn't gratitude mellow out into contentment? I like my house, but I would also like a bigger, better one. I like my minivan, but would really like a newer one. (its a 1987 model) (Sigh.....)

I have wonderful family all over the place and they love me. My husband loves me and so do my kids. We have great, loyal friends. Yet, with all this, I still seek approval and want to be liked. Why? Why do I crave comments on my blog? Why do I care if people read it? Everytime a get a lot of comments on a particular post I feel like Sally Fields at the Oscars "You like me! You really like me!" I feel so shallow.

Why am I not just giddy knowing that God loves me and Jesus died for ME? Why don't I just bask in the daily presence of the Holy Spirit? Why do I care so much what people think of me? Because I do.

When somebody figures this out, blog about it, OK?