Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Birthday on a Budget

Planning a birthday party for your child can be a very stressful time for a Mama. You don't want to (or can't) go overboard, but you still want to make it special for your precious little one. Below are some tips to create an intimate and memorable birthday party on a small budget.

Location: Host the party somewhere that does not cost any $ (i.e. your house/backyard, park, parents' house, etc.)

Invitation: Take advantage of Evite! Or if you prefer to send cards, no need to spend a lot of $. They end up getting tossed away anyway!

Food: Make your own. If you can find some friends and/or family that can help you, it's easy and less costly to prepare food for the party. Especially, if you get the ingredients from stores like Costco, you can easily feed a ton of people (you can serve sandwiches, salads, fruits, vegetables, etc).

Decoration: You can decorate by using simple decorations like balloons (from PartyCity), streamers, flowers, etc. The decor can look great just by keeping it simple and throwing something personal in the mix (maybe something that was handmade by you, or something that is personal to your child).

Cake: If you enjoy baking, this is where you can add your personal touch. You can get really creative with the cake and make something unique and yummy for your child. If you don't/can't bake, don't worry, there are many bakeries that offer delicious cakes at a reasonable price.

Supplies: Again, take advantage of stores like Costco & PartyCity where you can save $ on plates, napkins, utensils, tablecloths, serving bins & utensils.

Party Favors: It's true. Kids get excited about anything that's new to them.. so don't invest too much $ on favors. Stickers, crayons, toy necklaces and rubber balls, are some of the things that are inexpensive and entertaining for the little ones (Target has a great selection of little toys/favors in their "party supply" section)!

Just remember, that a birthday party is a celebration of another year of your child's don't stress about the details and don't feel like you need to impress. Instead, enjoy this special day with your friends and family that are important to you and your child(ren)!!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Aloe Vera Pizzaz!

Drinking aloe vera juice has many health benefits. It builds the immune system and helps with digestion. Check first with your doc if you're pregnant.

Here's a great description of aloe vera juice by the American Chronicle.
The health benefits of aloe vera taken internally include: improved circulation, regulation of blood pressure, promotes healing of bones and joints, strengthens the immune system, defends the body against bacteria, heals internal tissue damage, heals ulcers, improves and even eliminates constipation, blood sugar regulation, and reduces itchiness in psoriasis helping it to heal. Drinking two to four ounces a day is all that is required to gain the many benefits of aloe vera juice. If you drink it daily, aloe vera can aid your digestion, improve your circulation and detoxify your body and cleanse your colon. One of the most important health benefits of aloe vera juice is its operation as an anti-bacterial and anti-fungal agent, helping to prevent the onset of disease in the body. Thus, taking aloe vera juice daily helps to maintain good health and provide a sense of wellbeing and energy.

It's great to see how God provides healing and wellness through his creation. This aloe vera plant is packed with delicious goodness! Just what a parent needs to start the day!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Being Proactive

"Be PROactive, or else you will be REactive."

-Dani Johnson

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Husband's Health

Recently, my husband has been dealing with health concerns that have been consuming him and also distracting him from the things that he wants/needs to focus on. As he is going through this, God has been teaching me to pray more fervently for his health (which is good because we're both aging quickly and I need to learn how to pray for his health more effectively).

Whether your husband is dealing with mental health issues, chronic pain, diabetes, bad diet, etc.. as wives, we all need to pray perseveringly for their health.

Below is a prayer written by Stormie Omartian in "The Power of a Praying Wife" (chapter 11- His Health).

Lord, I pray for Your healing touch on (husband's name). Make every part of his body function the way You designed it to. Wherever there is anything out of balance, set it in perfect working order. Heal him of any disease, illness, injury, infirmity, or weakness. Strengthen his body to successfully endure his workload, and when he sleeps may he wake up completely rested, rejuvenated and refreshed. Give him a strong heart that doesn't fail. I don't want him to have heart failure at any time.

I pray that he will have the desire to take care of his body, to eat the kind of food that brings health, to get regular exercise, and avoid anything that would be harmful to him. Help him to understand that his body is Your temple and that he should care for it s such (1 Corinthians 3:16). I pray that he will present it as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to You (Romans 12:1).

When he is ill, I pray that You will sustain him and heal him. Fill him with your joy to give him strength. Specifically, I pray for (mention any area of concern). Give him faith to say, "'O Lord my God, I cried out to You, and You healed me' (Pslam 30:2). Thank you Lord that You are my Healer." I pray that my husband will live a long and healthy life and when death does come, may it be accompanied by peace and not unbearable suffering agony. Thank you, Lord, that You will be there to welcome him into Your presence, and not a moment before Your appointed hour.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Building a Christian Family

Seven Tips for Building the Christian Family You Never Had

-Read parenting books with a caveat of grace.
Don't berate yourself for not being a perfect Christian mom. Offer yourself grace when reading these books.

-Find or observe a parenting mentor.
If you notice someone you think is parenting her kids well, ask her questions and observe her!

-Say, "I'm sorry."
All parents make mistakes. Asking our children and others for forgiveness opens the door to improving relationships.

-Understand that parenting is not outside-in but inside-out.
God is in the business of cleaning, healing and rejuvenating our hearts from the inside out. The greater the healing, the more authentic and effective our parenting will be!

-Forgive your parents.
Forgiveness sets you free- free to love your imperfect parents, free to give grace to your imperfect self as you struggle to parent.

-Stop the comparison game.
Few acts are more destructive than comparison. God asks us to concentrate on our own families and revel in what he has given us.

-Find support.
When you talk to other moms, you realize that you are a normal parent with typical struggles. It's a true blessing to have other parents to talk, learn and laugh with, as you go down the parenting path!

(Article from magazine "MomSense" and adapted from "Building the Christian Family You Never Had by Mary E. DeMuth)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Eat What's In Season

We, as mothers are always health conscious when preparing meals, making sure we include plenty of fruits and vegetables in our family's diet. However, produce can be very expensive. To cut costs, check out this site to see what fruits and vegetables are in season in your area. Go to

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Reading Made Fun!

BOB Books are simple, effective books to begin teaching your child how to read. It's not intimidating for the parent or the child. These simple books begin with a letter chart in the front of the book that your child can refer to with familiar images to remember the sounds of each letter used in the story. For example, the letter "M" sounds like moon, and there is a picture of a moon next to the letter.

The book is light, little, with very few pages. BOB Books start with simple phrases and progress with your child to BOB Books that are more advanced.
Borders or Barnes & Noble are sure to have them.

Friday, March 5, 2010

A Steward

"A steward is someone who manages another person's wealth. As stated in 1 Corinthians 4:1-2, the most important quality of a steward is that he be faithful: "Men ought to regard us as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the... things of God. Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful." The term "those entrusted" means house managers or stewards. Therefore, the challenge of a manager is to be creative, thoughtful, and sensitive to available opportunities that will benefit his master."

As I was reading this explanation of a "steward" from the Community Bible Study workbook (Luke 16)... it made me think of the fact that not only has God entrusted me with many things and expects me to be a good steward... but the fact that my HUSBAND is daily entrusting me with our children, our home, our possessions and how we spend the money that he is working hard to earn.

I took the last sentence of the passage above and changed it to: "The challenge of a wife is to be creative, thoughtful, and sensitive to available opportunities that will benefit her husband and her family." It's important to keep this in the forefront of our minds and evaluate our spending to see how it is affecting and/or benefiting our husband and our family.