Posted in Christian, Corona, Family, Money

Timing is Everything

Point A) My husband’s company gives out bonuses. Sometimes more, sometimes less, but each of the six years he’s been there he’s received something. This year was a good year.

Point B) As a family we have chosen to tithe. Sometimes it’s been hard–sometimes it’s not happened, but overall we give back to the Lord as He has blessed us. And as much as we argue about all sorts of different stupid things, we pretty much agree about our giving amounts.

Point C) We are tithing on the bonus, but weren’t sure where it should go to. God usually–not ALWAYS–but usually makes it apparent where our gift should go, so we decided to wait and see.

Point D) Laura originally had planned on doing a summer mission trip with Campus Crusade for Christ (now called Cru) and that’s what we were kind of thinking, but then their whole summer missions program got canceled this year due to Corona.

Point E) As of today, the governor closed all businesses that weren’t “life sustaining” (Jim’s job is part of that type of company, so we are good). People are going to really start struggling.

As I sat at my desk just now, a thought popped into my head that I knew immediately was the right choice. “Hey Jim! How about we give our tithe to the Chester County Food Bank?” He agreed right away.

Timing is everything.

Posted in Christian, Family, Health, Money

Where Things Stand

I’ve done this off and on over the years and thought it was time for another:

Health: It’s an uphill battle to getting healthy, but I’m working on it. After my last visit to the endocrinologist, whereby she read me the riot act in a polite way, I’ve been eating better and taking my medication again. I get bloodwork in mid-November and see her the week after, so we’ll see if there’s any improvement. Also, I scheduled my first colonoscopy today (November 15th) and got my umpteenth allergy shot, still continuing weekly. Both boys are getting plastic surgery this month to fix some stuff leftover from when they were tiny babies. Hoping for good outcomes for both.

Education: Laura is thriving at college, Catie is slogging through 11th grade much the same way Bennett and Laura did. Ethan is enjoying senior year. Only one IEP this year, and that’s in December. At this stage I’m not fighting about homework anymore, which is a wonderful thing.

Finances: August and September stunk as usual. October is good and November will be even better. My part time job helped pay for the lawyer’s services this month (special needs paperwork/ HIPAA etc signed by the triplets).

Spirit: I’m feeling friendly towards the Holy Spirit these days. Other than a few days ago, I’ve been to church each Sunday since I started back (and that’s going by myself!). I’m thoroughly enjoying it–the music, the messages, seeing Laura and my sister there….I just need to make some friends, which is a little challenging right now. I’m having a hard time keeping up with my existing ones as it is!

Family: Things are pretty good! Jim and have been doing marriage counseling for awhile now, which has been great. Figuring out how to do things differently has been wonderful for us. Catie is settling into CPFA (fine arts school) and is taking choir, acting, ceramics and piano. In other words, utterly different from the plan that Laura followed. I love how different my girls are from each other, but they are both so talented! Ethan still has a special friend.

All in all, things are actually going well for now. I’m continuing to adjust to working part time–figuring out grocery shopping and doing things around work hours instead of during.

Posted in Addiction, Counseling, God, Me, Money, Parenting

State of the Blogger

We’re already almost done October. How the heck did THAT happen? I’ll be 46 in a few weeks (my children’s English teacher last year is young enough to have been my child. I’m getting OLD!).

Life has been very busy around here of late. The new school schedule, with driving to one or another child’s school each day has taken a toll on me and the house. I’m more snappy with both my husband and my children. I’m frequently overwhelmed. And shutting down because of it. My addiction, while not actively RAGING, has been on the front burner for almost this whole freaking year. And I’m sick of it. Not sick enough to stop, obviously, but sick of it nevertheless. *wry smile

I’ve been in counseling for about a month. I don’t know that I’ve seen any major changes, but it’s really nice to talk to someone about stuff that’s going on–parenting, addiction, God…all are difficulties now. She gives me homework (which Jim finds endlessly amusing). One of the things is to be more social with friends and family. Being that this is my birthday month I’ll have birthday money and am meeting with not only my mother and sister for lunch, but four other gals for lunch/dinner all on separate occasions! It’s a banner month for me, being that I can go literally months without seeing anyone outside of Jim and my next-door neighbor.  And I definitely need that adult-recharging time.

This past weekend was the annual Queen for a Day, which I love and look forward to all year. Worship time, brunch, visiting with other caregivers (moms/wives) of special needs individuals, spa things like massages, nails, foot rubs, satin hands, and a lovely tea room with a harpist and treats. I come away refreshed and feeling wonderful. And wanting more information for and about Ethan.

Financially we’re keeping our heads above water. Just. August stunk (triplet’s birthday!). September stunk (back to school). October stunk (Jim’s trip to Beaver Island, MI). November SHOULD be ok, and there will be that magical 3rd paycheck in December that will pay for Christmas. Thank goodness!

Have any of you “wandered away” from God and come back? I’ve done it before, but am not sure how to get back. Honestly. Any input from you would be welcome.

Posted in Change, House, Jim, Kids, Me, Money, To Do List

We Made Us Some Goals, Yes We Did!

I can hardly believe it, but Jim and I actually talked about and decided on some goals for 2013. That’s still hard to say. I was JUST getting used to 2012!

Finances: 1. Cut debt in half. 2. Save up for vacation in August.

School: Decide about cyber school for Bennett & Laura by May.

Church: Find a new church home.

Vacation: Go to Beaver Island, MI in August.

Dog: Get her some training!

Family: 1. Go through Cleaning House together and do what it says. 2. Fancy dinner at home once per month. (dress up and use company manners)

Kids: Cook at least one dinner per month. (I’m sure we’ll come up with more for the kids, but that was just what we came up with yesterday)

Tina: 1. Go through the recipes I’ve bookmarked and either make them or delete them. 2. Do Friendship outgrown sale in spring. 3. Hopefully find a job until the summer. 4. Read 2-3 non-fiction books (I’m not a big non-fiction person, but I want to read Cleaning House and Vertical Church). 5. Find local women’s bible study 6. Visit Celebrate Recovery now that they have an official SA small group.

House: 1. Finish painting den/office and move the furniture in. 2. Put wallboard on other side of basement and paint. 3. Build wall and closet on playroom side of basement (along concrete wall). 4. Fix drywall and paint hall bath. 5. Fix drywall and paint master bedroom (we’ve lived here almost 13 years and it’s never been done!) 6. Fix closet organizer in MBR closet (needs a section taken out so we can hang longer things). 7. Fix backyard fence where it fell down. 8. Pour concrete apron in front of garage going over to the front porch.

In the interest of privacy, I’m skipping Jim’s.

It’s a lot, isn’t it?! It is to me, too. The kids don’t know about their yet. And I haven’t started reading the Cleaning house, although it’s a 12 month project so I’d better get on it.

I’m excited about 2013, aren’t you?


Posted in God, Money, Thankfulness


My calendar is the end-all-be-all for me. If it isn’t on the calendar, it doesn’t get remembered. Period. Apparently I’m not the only one!

Over Christmas we were supposed to have a playdate with “Aunt Judy” and her kids. They were completely sick, so it got rescheduled for today. Only, Judy didn’t write it down. I called yesterday to confirm (smart me!) and she was like Huh? She had too much schoolwork to do. Ok, no big deal, we’ll hang out at home instead. Except not.

Our church received a call from a woman who had lost her job back in December and they needed food. I called last night and got more information and promised–barring an actively vomiting child–that I could come today with food from the food bank. Her response? She cried.

This morning I grocery shopped for our family, got kids fed and showered and just did normal things. This afternoon, however, I got to experience the complete HIGH of being used by God. What a blessing!

1. Wawa for a gas gift card

2. Food pantry to fill up on non-perishables for mom, dad and 3 boys.

3. Community Outreach member’s house for some frozen meat.

4. Gap Family Center for information pamphlets on Lancaster County’s food bank and angel food ministry. She’s actually not served by our outreach, but we are authorized to give out food whenever necessary.

5. To her house, where the kids and I stayed for the better part of two hours.  We brought in the food, talked, hugged, visited, commiserated, etc.

You know how, sometimes when you meet someone, there is just an instant connection? She and I had it. She’s a few years younger than me, has a 9 year old boy, 8 year old boy and a 2 year old boy. My kids had so much fun playing!

When I gave her the gas card, she cried and hugged me again.

While I may panic here and there about money while Jim is out of work, I do know in the back of my mind that we have a 401k that we can access. Yes, there is 20% tax and a 10% penalty to do it, but it’s there. My parents are there if we need them. I don’t WANT to go that route, but it’s there.

On the way home, I called Judy to thank her for forgetting and being too busy to get together. God obviously had WAY more important plans for my day than hanging out!

Posted in Jim, Job, Money

Unexpected Milestone

Jim has been out of work for two months as of today.

And wow, that is a sentence I never thought I’d type!

We’re making it. We’ve cut out everything but necessities (ok, so far we haven’t cut out FIOS, but that’s next if necessary) and he’s done some home repair on a family member’s house for cash. I’m working on our taxes–we always pay too much for a return for home repairs. This year it was to go towards Disney, but Disney is somewhat on the back burner. We set aside almost all of our Christmas money we got. We’re being CAREFUL.

Oh, and trusting that God will take care of us. That’s in there, too! 😀

Posted in Church, Me, Money, Parenting

Where Things Stand September 2010

So I haven’t do this in a really long time.

Getting Healthy: I would classify this as so-so. I’m struggling with snacking. Not healthy ones, either. The weight has crept up again, which I am SO not happy about. I want to get it down to the low 150’s (well, ok, I’d love to be 135,  but I live in the real world!)

Education: We’re into the 3rd week of school and things are starting to become routine. The kids know they come home, get a snack and do homework. So far, no major problems with it. Everyone seems to like their teachers, which is a good thing.

Finances: In a word, TIGHT. Very tight. I need to pick up some work and maybe have Jim do some on-call time or something. Seriously, TIGHT.

Spirit: Um, well…um…now that the kids are back to their schedule, I need to get back to mine. I have two good bible study books that I’d like to do. I just need to “Just Do It”. Prayer is going well, though–Kate and Charlie have been constantly in my thoughts and therefore in my prayers. In church news, on Sunday we voted on a new pastor. Difficult, hard, but wonderful. We’re hoping that we don’t lose anyone from the decision. It was majority, not unanimous.

Family:  Still struggling with that one certain child right now. Bennett is still very snuggly. 🙂 Ethan is taking a break from in-home therapy while they try to find another one. Jim still has his job and I’m working a little as well. I’d like to get better control of the house, but that will come as the time goes on and the kids stay in school.

How are you doing? I miss hearing from you all!