Tuesday, February 28, 2012

To give or not to give...

I consider myself a pretty generous person.  I was raised to give to the church and I feel that charity is important.  But there is something deeper.  It is along the lines of "you are blessed to be a blessing."  I have struggled in the past to come to terms with the fact that I have much more than I need.  Sure I have had my share of crapiness in my life but I have never gone to bed hungry because we didn't have food or wondered where the house payment was going to come from.  So from time to time I get this feeling from out of no where that I am not giving or doing enough for others.

I have been in the season of life (for the last 17 years) where raising the kids is part of my mission field, since I don't have tons of time to dedicate outside of the home. (I do volunteer as I am able to causes that help prevent child abuse or in the schools). I am trying to raise these boys to end up as productive parts of society and part of that, I feel, is demonstrating for them the importance of giving back in some capacity.  Some people have tons of money to give, others  have time but limited resources.  Every one has something to give in some capacity.  So I try to start discussions with the kids about people we see and ways we might be able to help.

Which brings me to the question, to give or not?  I have recently been approached by a family member asking for money for a car.  Said family member has also asked my dad for money for a lawyer.  In that case dad is sending the money directly to the lawyer so it doesn't get spent on anything else.  My problem is that the family member does not have a driver's license and so shouldn't be driving a car.  And if I do decide to donate to the car fund (knowing I should make it a gift and not expect repayment) do I give them the money or make arrangements to pay directly for the vehicle? There is more to this story but we won't go into the gory details here...

Another instance where the twinge of guilt? (if that is what it is) was last week at Wal-Mart.  #2 son and I were getting out of the car when a man approached us. His car was parked facing us in the next row. There was a woman and a couple of kids sitting in the car with the doors open.  He asked if we had a gas can, he ran out of gas. Of course, I didn't have one and he apologized for asking.  We went in and wandered around the store for a while.  I kept thinking about the family in the parking lot.  Did he really need gas, if I got him a gas can did he he have money for gas, if he had money for gas, then why didn't he come into the store and buy a gas can then walk across the parking lot to the gas station?  Maybe he was just looking for a handout or needed drug money and was using his kids to make people feel sorry for him.  Then I feel bad for going there, but in reality it happens too often.  So which feeling was right, the I should I help feeling or the intuition that this wasn't as he stated?  I will never know because when we left they were no longer there.  Maybe someone else helped them or I was right to be suspicious.

What do you do to give back?  Do you give money to pan handlers, what is your position on this? Just a little food for thought. Remember: You are blessed to be a blessing! 

2 Corinthians 9:8 8 And God can give you more blessings than you need. Then you will always have plenty of everything—enough to give to every good work. (NCV)

Friday, February 3, 2012


Sunrise from our back porch
So much going on in our lives these days.  I love when I get up early and get to see a beautiful sunrise before the chaos of the day begins.  The colors were much more vibrant than that in the picture.  The ones I got that captured the color were fuzzy because I couldn't hold still long enough for the exposure.  

Izzie update:  Yes, her head is shaved AGAIN.  The bump on her head was getting squishy again which means infection, and the bump in the roof of her mouth that was filling in with who knows what kind of tissue and was actually extruding through the hold in her gums where there used to be two teeth.  So I took her to the vet to have the tissue removed from her mouth and since he sedated/anesthetized her for the mouth he did a sterile needle aspiration of the head necessitating a little shaving.  She has been on antibiotics for months and it turns out the expensive super duper ones were not covering the organism she was growing.  So now she is on the right one.  At least it is not some bacteria resistant to everything. She sure is a trooper and barely acts sick. 
Blue and neutral hst (step 3) and orange
paper pieced strip blocks (step 4)

Orca Bay quilt update:  You may recall I started a mystery quilt on my birthday.  It is my first and I am still excited about it.  The quilting was put on hold during the move and the holidays.  I have been back at it as time permits.  I have love, love, loved my new sewing desk(s). The orange strip blocks are nearly complete, only 14 more 5.5 inch blocks cut in half to do.  Then on to the next step, which is sewing another piece onto those little blue and neutral half square triangles (hst).  I have been following the pictures others post of their
completed, yes completed, orca bays.  They are gorgeous and I can't wait to see how my colors come out.  I haven't seen another one with my chosen combination.  I am hoping it will turn out as dramatic. Boy this one is not for the faint of heart when it comes to quilt piecing! Tons of tiny pieces. 

We just finished our first full week of homeschool.  It is going pretty well.  One of the biggest challenges is going to be getting the boys to write well and want to read.  We are going to be reading The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn over the next few weeks.  Wish me luck.  I love reading and hope to be able to instill the same in my kids without torturing them. 

Speaking of reading, I just finished reading Room by Emma Donoghue   http://www.roomthebook.com/  I normally choose to read mystery/suspense type novels (or the Stephanie Plum novels by Janet Evanovich, hilarious!) I downloaded a sample of this when it was first released into my Kindle app on the IPad.  I never purchased the book though.  This week it was sitting on a table at the library and I grabbed it remembering that I had wanted to read it.  Let me tell you, it is one of those stories that sticks with you and affects you in some unexplainable way.  I don't know how else to put it.  If you are looking for a good one, give it a go, not if you are looking for a light read though. 

https://e-mealz.com/ One last thing. Mealtime Makeover at E-Mealz.com.  I love to use coupons to save money, not so much the actual cutting and organizing. I also like to have a plan on what to feed my family every night.  I am not good at winging it because I don't generally keep a "stocked" pantry.  I purchase what I need for the week.  I also like to do freezer cooking when I have the time.  All of these things are savers of money and time if you do it right. I heard an endorsement/ad on Dave Ramsey the financial guru for this plan and went to check it out.  I have to admit, I first looked at it a few months ago but didn't buy into it right away.  (I had to let my membership expire to the couponing web site that I rarely found the time to use).  In a nutshell, you pick your preferred grocery shopping store and type of meal plan (options include portion control, low fat, two people, six people, etc) and you get an entire seven days' worth of dinner menus with at least one vegetable or fruit dish, recipes, plus the shopping list for said menu.  This is all based on what your store has on sale that week.  If you are ambitious you can take time to go through your coupons for additional savings (they don't tell you what coupons are out there.  This is strictly based on the sales).  I have used it for two weeks and love it.  We are eating more of a variety and I don't have to think about what's for dinner.  I just look at the menu,  I already know I have all the ingredients.  It has been a huge stress reliever come meal time.