Sitting down to write a new blog post opens so many possibilities. I usually have numerous post ideas waiting to be used... and my camera's memory card is nearly always bursting with photos of recent meals, just waiting to be shared.
And then I like sharing just normal stuff from our life, too. But how to fit it all in?! And it's nice to try to stay on-topic just a little bit... since there are plenty of blogs written about normal life stuff...
But this evening I got an email from Annie H., encouraging me to share more about our life.
I'd love to know what it is Joshua does and how you are able to save enough money to order things like the water filter system... or wait until you're out of everything to go grocery shopping and how the two of you met and courted... and what your routines are like throughout the day and what your growing up was like and whether you rent your house and what you and Joshua do for fun and...
I'll start with a Q&A from someone else's blog (I think this is the first time I've ever posted something like this!) and then answer some of Annie's questions. :)
What is in the back seat of your car right now?
Three child car seats and some tissues.
Name 3 people who made you smile today?
My three children (and Joshua too!).
What were you doing at 8 am this morning?
Trying to wake up and figure out what I should make for lunch. I stayed up way too late last night talking to Katie on the phone! :)
What were you doing 30 minutes ago?
What is the last thing you said aloud?
"Love ya" (to Joshua)
What is the best ice cream flavor?
What are you wearing right now?
Denim skirt, green/grey/white striped t-shirt, barefoot, with my hair in a bun. :)
What was the last thing you ate?
Rice cakes. (I don't buy those, Joshua does! But I help him eat them...)
Have you bought any new clothing items this week?
No. But I got the shirt I'm wearing at a garage sale last week!
What's the last sporting event you watched?
Figure skating on You Tube. :)
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
If I could take my family with me -- I'd go to Seattle to visit Joshua's side of the family. :)
Who is the last person you sent a message on MySpace/Facebook?
I actually don't use either! I do chat through Gmail sometimes though... mostly with Ruth. Chatting can take a lot of time though! :)
Have you ever lost anything down a toilet?
Not since I was a little kid! ;)
Do you use smiley faces on the computer a lot?
Yes, I do. I have to restrain myself from over-using them. And I still use them a lot!
Do you drink your soda from a straw?
I don't drink/like soda.
What did your last text message say?
We don't have cell phones. :)
What are you doing tomorrow?
Going grocery shopping, making cabbage casserole for dinner, and washing diapers and work clothes... that's what comes to mind right now, anyway. :)
Where is your mom right now?
Probably in bed! She gets up at 5:30am every day. :)
Look to your left.....What do you see?
Ripe tomatoes from our garden.
What do you think of when you think of Australia?
My friend Ruth...
Do you go in at a fast food place or just hit the drive thru?
We tend to go in. Fast food is really gross when it's cold!!
What color is your watch?
Plain... white face, brown strap... but the battery has been dead for several years so I don't wear it.
Last person you talked to on the phone?
My friend Sheri, whose family is taking us to a private park of sorts on Thursday. Joshua is bringing his grill! We were planning the lunch menu. :)
Any plans today?
Earlier, the children and I took a very long walk and were able to see a train close-up. ;) It's quite a ways to the train tracks, and then to wait around for a train, well, there is really no good place nearby to wait. We were blessed to be able to watch one train go by and the boys LOVED it!! They talk about trains all the time.
Are you happy?
Where are you right now?
Biggest annoyance in your life right now?
Crumbs on the kitchen floor. :P
Last movie you saw?
Hmmm... I can't remember! It's been a while. Probably National Treasure 2, which took a long time to watch due to interruptions... I think I forgot half of the important details and then I fell asleep near the end. I am not a very good movie-watcher. :P
Are you allergic to anything?
Cashews and pistachios.
Favorite pair of shoes you wear all the time?
Anything I can slip on really quick to head out to the clothesline or mailbox! :)
Are you jealous of anyone?
Not unless I am grumpy or something. The majority of the time, I feel very blessed and thankful! It's hard to be jealous when God has blessed us so richly.
Is anyone jealous of you?
I hope not! Everyone's life has its own trials and blessings. :)
What time is it?
Do you eat healthy?
Usually. Having a grain mill has been a huge blessing in this area, since we eat a lot of grains. I am also thankful for a husband who loves variety and trying new things! :)
What do you usually do during the day?
Change diapers, do laundry, make meals, clean the kitchen, help my boys brush and floss before bed/naps, do school work with Yehoshua, check on the garden, take a walk, pack a lunch for Joshua, take a shower, pay bills/keep after the clutter, take my vitamins, and probably tons of other little things! :)
Do you use the word 'hello' daily?
Yes... when the boys wake up, when I answer the phone...
How many kids do you want to have?
At least 3. ;)
Do you know the last person you kissed?
Ruth. She's soooo kissable!
How old will you be turning on your next birthday?
Have you ever been to Six Flags?
No, but I've been to Cedar Point!
How did you get one of your scars?
I was carring a canning jar full of my mom's dill pickles and I fell. The glass cut my right knee. (I was 5 at the time.)
What are you excited about right now?
Bethany said she is sending me something. Surprises always make me excited and curious! And who doesn't love mail?! :) I'm also excited because Yehoshua is nearing the end of one of his school books (preschool math). :)
If you actually read all of that, I'm amazed! :) Now to answer some of Annie's questions... :)
Joshua works at a factory right now. In the past, he has been in the Air Force as a flight medic, worked for a web hosting company, and done web development here at home. He's the one who takes care of the technical stuff for this website... making my "idea" for a cooking blog into a reality!
Joshua is a hard worker and spends his free time either with the children and me or else reading books on Biblical topics. :) He's working on finishing up a 4-year theology degree through a distance learning program.
Saving money for "big" things
We're actually very frugal in a lot of areas, and have learned to keep our expenses minimal. During a particular period of very little income, we had to cut out anything extra just to get by. I really recommend Money Saving Mom's frugal articles and advice. I also have most of my frugal-minded posts located here, which might give even more of a glimpse into the things we do or don't spend money on. :)
Since we were already buying our drinking water, we figured out that the cost of the Berkey would be recouped in a year's time, and after that we would be saving in excess of $20/month... plus less frequent trips to the store (we can now wait longer than a week to go grocery shopping, since we won't be running out of water!).
How we met and courted
Joshua and I "met" through a forum online, but since my opportunities to use the internet were rather limited we corresponded through mail. (My parents still don't have internet access at home -- and when I lived there, there wasn't a single computer in the house!) I had written to numerous penpals throughout my teenage years (Money Saving Mom and I were penpals when we were teenagers!) so writing letters was nothing new for me...
As usually happens when two perfectly compatible people meet... we decided we wanted to get married. Our letters turned to phone calls. Joshua came to visit my family on two different occasions, and then a few months later we were married. Joshua is everything I knew he would be -- and more! We couldn't be happier. :)
I am the oldest of 6 children (the youngest is 15 right now). My parents were married for 8 years before they were blessed with children. I lived the first few years of my life in the same town where we live now. Then, my parents had saved enough money to purchase a farm, so we moved out to the country.
When I was little, I didn't always like or understand why we didn't have the money to do all of the fun things I saw other people doing. I learned a lot of my frugal ways from my parents. They were very careful with their money. It was always interesting when others would express envy of things my parents had saved for -- because numerous times those people actually had better-paying jobs than my dad, who worked in a factory.
I went to public school through 4th grade, and then my parents decided to start homeschooling. I was excited about being homeschooled, and was grateful to remain homeschooled for the remainder of my formal education. :)
Music was a big part of my life, as I played piano and violin. I also loved writing letters to my penpals and reading. Some of my normal chores at home were dishes, vacuuming, hanging out laundry, helping in the garden, and helping with my younger siblings. I did get plenty of free time though.
I finished high school right before I turned 18. I had saved most of my babysitting money throughout my teenage years (another rule I didn't always like at the time!!) and was able to go to visit 2 of my penpals, and then buy an inexpensive car and start working full-time at a small grocery store here. I actually only worked full-time for about 2 years, and then I go married. :)
Oh -- yes, we rent our house. It's a 2-bedroom house and it's not huge but it's big enough. :)
I will have to do a "day in my life" type of post again soon... it's been a while! :)
What we do for fun...
Fun? :) Well, we like to have company over. We like to play games. We like watching dvds but the time for that sort of thing seems to be getting scarcer and scarcer. :) We like to go on walks. I love garage sales. Every now and then, my mom will offer to watch the boys while Joshua and I have a "date"... we usually stay home, make a nicer easy meal (like grilled steaks! yum!) and just hang out together. We love to talk. We never have enough time for all the talking we'd like to do... or kissing...
Most of our time is spent with our children, so a lot of our fun things at this stage of our lives ends up being stuff the children like to do. The boys love it when Joshua plays outside with them, or we set up the racetrack, or get out legos, or even just read stories!
Joshua and I like to cook, too... but these days it's more challenging to try to cook together while watching 3 children. :) So it's not as relaxing as it once was... :)
Sooo, there's a little more about our personal life. :) If any of you have more questions, feel free to leave a comment and I'll do my best to reply! :)