Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What's for Dinner Wednesday - Chicken Balsamico with Pears

It's decided. What's for Dinner Wednesdays have been born, or WFDW as they will be tagged. I realised after scraping my plate clean tonight I had not taken a picture of the deliciousness I had cooked up, so lesson learned. Next time there will be pictures.

Now, as much as I love to cook I have little time for cooking shows on TV. I like the idea of them, and every once in a while I stumble across one on a rainy Sunday afternoon that I can glean from, but for the most part they do not hold my attention for long before I am off to the kitchen for a snack. However, cooking segments on morning TV are something I love. They only last a few minutes, they give you all the important info but because of time constraints do not waffle on (no cooking pun intended) and then they are done. If I like the recipe I can Google it - and that is the story behind dinner tonight.

I was looking for a recipe that did not involve leaving the house to buy ingredients and when I saw this dish being cooked up I knew it fit the bill in that way, and it sounded delicious. It sounds fancy, but it is so simple.

This is probably not a meal many kiddos would appreciate. The Balsamic vinegar gives it a very strong taste. I love it and the hubs gave it two thumbs up too but if you have little ones, especially picky eaters you may want to save this dish for date night.

I know people say you should drink white wine with chicken, but this thick, rich sauce would be balanced better with a nice glass of red in my humble opinion.

I served it with rosemary mashed potatoes but it would be just as good with rice and then finished off with a fresh green salad.

Here is a link to the Today Show website with the full recipe, but here is the recipe I did tonight which made the perfect meal for two.

1 large or 2 small Chicken breasts,
1 Bosc Pear, peeled cored and sliced (I ended up with about 12 slices, they do not need to be too thin)
1/2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Garlic clove
1/2 C Organic Chicken Broth
1/8 C Balsamic Vinegar
3/4 Tbsp Honey
1/2 Tbsp Corn Starch

If you are using one large chicken breast, slice it through the middle to make two fillets.

Pound both the chicken pieces with a meat tenderizer until 1/2 inch think, use clear plastic wrap between the meat and the tenderizer.

Sprinkle the top and bottom of the chicken with salt and pepper to taste.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Cook the chicken for a few minutes on each side until cooked. Remove from the skillet and keep warm on a plate.

Reduce heat to medium and add the minced garlic clove to the pan. After a couple of minutes, add the pears and cook for about 4 minutes until golden brown.

While the pears are cooking, mix the following ingredients in a small bowl with a whisk;
chicken broth, honey, balsamic vinegar, and corn starch.

When the pears are browned, pour the vinegar mixture over the pears. Increase heat to high until the mixture boils and then reduce to low immediately. The sauce will thicken. Simmer for 4-6 minutes and then add the chicken back into the pan for a couple of minutes.

Serve and enjoy! So, so good. I hope you enjoy it!

Life Interrupted

Last weekend I was at a baby shower, for a very special friend of mine. I haven't been to a shower in a long time, and wasn't sure how it would work out but after praying and considering for a while after the invitation arrived, I felt like I should go. Actually, I felt like I wanted to go - and that told me I would be ok.

Anyway, that is a little detour on the way to the point of what I wanted to write. As part of the shower we went around and shared something about the Mama-to-be and why we thought she made a great mother. As we went around and shared, of course the tears started to flow as we appreciated just how much she had blessed us as a friend. (Seriously, guys just don't get this stuff! We imagined our husbands looking in on the scene just totally baffled as we passed the Kleenex! ha ha)

One of the things shared really got me thinking. Someone said that she felt so blessed because our mama-to-be always let her life be interrupted for others. It is so true about her, and I have felt the blessing of her availability in times of need on many occasions. I just loved to hear how this desire to be available for others had been such a gift in so many ways to those in just the small group gathered this weekend.

This comment was a jolt to me. I have had seasons of life where I felt like I was very available to my friends. I felt confident that they could count on me when they need to, but in recent months and years this has felt harder to do. Some of this happened when I Jeremy and I started dating. Having been single for a long time I usually had more open time and it was easier to adjust plans because I was the only person involved! Since we started dating, and especially since being married, I have had to adjust and make sure I am not being available to others at the expense of my marriage.

Another area when serving my friends becomes tricky is that today, the area they often need help is child care. While I have truly loved getting to hang out with some of the best kids on the planet at this time in my life, helping out in this way can feel like I am slapping myself in the face. It makes me sad that helping someone out by watching their kid isn't as easy as them coming over to join me and my own children baking cookies or chalking on the sidewalk. My day is not arranged to be kid friendly, so it means that it's harder to let me life be interrupted in that way.

Not that it means I can't be interrupted in this way, but I think that I need to recognise that I can't compare with my mum friends who seem to be able to help each other out so frequently. Right now, my life is not set up in a way that watching kids fits in easily into without having some negative effect on my life. School starts back next week and another quarter brings time commitments in that way. I can make plans and help out with childcare, but it's ok to say no. I cannot and must not compare. When I feel like a bad friend for having to say no, I have to remember that I would not be able to write a paper while playing at the park or giving a baby doll a bath. That's just how it is, and it is ok to say "no". Why is that such a hard word to say without guilt?!

Life is always busy. It should never be so busy that it cannot be interrupted for your friends. I think now is a new season for me, a time to see the ways my life can be interrupted.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Southwest Chicken Lasagna

I would not consider 'The days of our lives' a food blog, but I love to cook, and I love food and I spend lots of time cooking, and baking and thinking about what I am going to cook and bake. I like good food. Healthy, natural meals, full of flavour and good nutrition. And while I am not usually sacred off by a fiddly or time consuming menu, my favourite finds are usually the simple ones.

I have decided to dedicate one post a week to food. Perhaps it will be Menu Monday, or Scrumptious Saturday, who knows...I'll decide the details later, but this is a trial post - Let me know if you are interested in some good recipes to try. Feedback would be appreciated!

On Tuesday I popped into the store for some gluten-free lasagna noodles to make a regular old lasagna for dinner...BUT the package had recipe for a southwest chicken lasagna recipe and it just sounded so good, I ended up picking up some more ingredients so I could make it! It sounded lighter than a regular lasagna, and it really was. I made a few adjustments to the recipe based on what I had on hand but this is the recipe I made and it was so, so good. One that has been added to my fall-back rotation for sure! It's easy. You should all try it!

Southwest Chicken Lasagna

2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
No bake lasagna noodles - I used Gluten free rice noodles
2 C cottage cheese, reduced fat or regular
1 C shredded cheddar cheese
1 can of kidney beans, roughly mashed
1/2 C water
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 C prepared picante sauce, divided in two (I didn't have this but I have some good salsa that I blended to a smoother consistency and that worked just fine)
1 small can chopped green chilis
1 can crushed stewed tomatoes

Mix the cheddar and cottage cheese together in a small bowl.

Mix the cooked chicken, mashed beans, water, cumin, garlic powder and 1/2 C picante sauce and chilis in a skillet. Heat as you mix it together.

In a separate bowl mix the tomatoes and the rest of the picante sauce.

Pour a little of the tomato mixture to cover the bottom of a 9" x 13" pan, then layer the noodles, chicken/bean mix, the cheese mixture, the tomato mixture and repeat. End with the cheese mix and top with a little more shredded cheese.

Put it in the oven, covered for 1 hour at 350 degrees.

We ate it with a spinach salad, and chips and salsa. Add a Margarita and you'll be set!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Blessed are they who wait on the Lord

This Lent season I have been faithfully reading the Bible passages for the day from USCCB, a Catholic friend of mine had referred to it in her blog and I have just loved the readings and the way they have helped me reflect on this season.

The O.T. reading yesterday was from Jeremiah 17. After I read it this morning, something resonated with my thoughts in the blog post yesterday.

Cursed is the man who trusts in human beings,
who seeks his strength in flesh,
He is like a barren bush in the desert
that enjoys no change of season,

Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,
whose hope is the LORD.
He is like a tree planted beside the waters
that stretches out its roots to the stream:
It fears not the heat when it comes,
its leaves stay green;
In the year of drought it shows no distress,
but still bears fruit.

This not a new passage to me but it hit in a new way. I am reminded that we must continue to put our trust in the Lord. In the midst of our infertility. Even if we do decide to pursue IVF or some other scientific approach our trust still has to be in the Lord, not in the doctors. Our family is in His hands alone. This season will pass if we are able to put our trust in God, if we put our hope in humans alone we will never leave the feelings of burden and fear. When our trust is in him this season will not only pass, but we can and will be fruitful in the midst of it - which has been our prayer. This is not to say that if we trust hard enough, the fruit will be that I get and remain pregnant, but it means that we will be strengthened in our love and understanding of who God is and who we were created to be. That is also not saying we will not become pregnant and have a baby, we know God has the power to do that but our fruit is about much more that just that.

I love this! I love when God's word can come alive and bring clarity and confirmation to thoughts I have been processing.

We need to keep pressing into Him, keep digging into His word, and keep calling on Him in prayer.

Blessed are they who wait on the LORD. Amen.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Aroma of Christ

This is what we were learning about in church on Sunday morning, and thoughts have been swirling in my mind ever since. I love when a message stays with you like that. With every action, I was thinking, "would people be smelling Jesus when I do this?"

When Jeremy made me dinner for me last week when I was sick I was sure that Jesus was around.

It made me really conscious of how I loved and served others. Can the presence of Jesus be sensed through my actions?

[Side bar - I cannot ignore the fact that talking about the 'aroma' of God make the less mature of us giggle; cue the fart jokes. For example, Jeremy leaned over to me during the message and said, "People can sometimes smell your aroma, but I don't think it's Jesus!" Ok, that was a little bit funny, but now we have got it out of our systems we can keep going]

In the midst of our heartache around trying to have a family, my actions have not been the most gentle and generous towards others. My speech has not been gentle; perhaps in word but not always in heart. Jealously and anger overwhelms me sometimes and those I love bear the brunt of it. I know they have not been sensing the aroma of Jesus in my presence. It becomes a fight to treat others the way Jesus would, and to celebrate with others in the way Jesus would when I am feeling so incomplete and so very burdened with loss and fear.

I see that I give the enemy too much of my thought process, and Facebook becomes a scary adventure every morning when new pregnancy announcements are popping up everywhere and making me feel further and further from our dream of a baby. Have not been on there as much in the last few weeks. Just a little bit of self preservation.

My aroma is jealousy and fear, bitterness and disappointment. This is not who I want to be, and certainly not who I was created to be. But I am fighting back, by trying to let go. Daily coming to God and seeking forgiveness and transformation of my heart. Reading His word and being open to it changing me. And truthfully he does, I find true joy and celebration for others, and I know it is the Holy Spirit giving me those desires of my heart.

Last night I made a really nice dinner for J and I. Steak, roasted potatoes and steamed veggies. A glass of red wine to top it off, and a little chocolate for dessert. It was romantic it was special, and we were truly content in the moment. I felt like myself. Our conversation was real and funny and sweet. We booked our Hawaii trip and were dreaming of the romantic walks along the beach, and the hikes with beautiful views.

We are vacationing with our good friends Dave and Marie. We have been getting together for dinner once a week and reading through a marriage book together. It has been a really intentional time of making space to work on our marriage. We have a strong bond as couples as we share honestly and openly and offer and receive grace and understanding from our spouses. I feel as though this vacation will be a time to celebrate our marriages, and the fruit of our intentionality.

I hope that I continue to keep my heart softened to God's prompting, that he can continue to love me and in doing so transform me into someone who gives an aroma similar to his.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Spring has sprung

It is a few days into spring and despite the sun shining in Seattle my heart feels a little heavy. The change of seasons is another reminder of time passing, just like the negative pregnancy test in the trash, and the end of another quarter of school.

I started school to get a class or two under my belt before we had a baby, and now I feel like I am going to graduate and still not be a mum. The seasons are passing, and it feels like they are speeding up. Soon any babies we have will be born in 2012.

I feel like it's so easy to fall into wishing our lives away as we dream of our family.

Living this way we are never going to feel content. Together, J and I are trying to refocus on today and to better appreciate all we have, especially our marriage.

It is easy to get distracted by what we don't have, or consumed by struggles and fear. It is great to feel support from others, but no one else can really understand the path we walk and we have to turn to one another and to God to find the best source of strength and hope.

After some fun dinner conversation with our good friends a few weeks ago a seed was planted for a trip to Hawaii this spring, and now just a couple of weeks later we are almost ready to book flights. I really hope it comes together because it would be great to have some sunshine and relaxation to look forward to; and romance is easy to come by when you are listening to the waves crash on sandy beach!

We have a trip to Napa in the works, and my parents are visiting soon as well as other fun adventures coming up this spring and summer. We are trying to live for today. Making plans for the two of us, not waiting any longer in case we are pregnant. We hope that making our plans we can help us put control back in God's hands and once again submit to His perfect timing.

I am tired of waiting for life to begin. We have so many things to celebrate today. We will never loose our desire to parent, but while our grief will always be with us somewhere, we can live fully in the love and strength of Christ today.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Hello Spring!

On the sickness front, the snot is still refusing to leave but my head is feeling much clearer today.

This weekend the first signs of spring really showed themselves. Yesterday Seattle was sunny and warm, Jeremy and I took a walk around the lake, coffee in had and watched the crew boats that were racing in a regatta. It was lovely. Then home to give our garden some well needed love! J mowed the lawn, and I pruned some of the bushes and roses. We have lots of weeds and getting rid of them is still on the to do list, but I am hoping for some more sunny days this week to get thing a bit more under control! I also have some bulbs that I am excited to plant and care for, and hopefully they will reward me in a foe months with glorious blooms.

I have one last final tomorrow, and it might be a doozy. It is a 5 hour long exam but I am hoping it won't take that long!

Then I have some Spring Break-ing to do! This will include, but will not be limited to painting (ceiling, kitchen & TV room), scrapbooking (only a couple of years behind now!), Vacation planning, spring cleaning - especially my windows (I love the spring time clean feeling!) and weather permitting being out in the garden planting bulbs, weeding and making things look pretty, planning our Easter menu - this will be my first gluten-free holiday, and I am up for the delicious challenge.

In other news, J and I do not function well on little sleep. This morning for church was an early one and we are both pretty grumpy and ready for a nap!!

Hope you have all had a lovely weekend - and are celebrating the start of spring!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Still sick - non-interesting post alert...can you tell I am bored?

Being sick with this cold has knocked me for six. I have reading to do for my classes and finals to prepare for but a pounding headache makes staring at print for too long painful.

I am not someone who likes to be alone, and not being in communication with people for the past couple of days has been tough; fist I had no voice, and now I have 40-a-day smoker voice but now my chest is so painful when I am coughing or sneezing ...or breathing! And I think I should put some warning tape around the perimeter of our house so I do not share this with any one else.

I have to say, as miserable as I am feeling my hubby has more than risen to the occasion of being my nurse.

He came home from work last night, and made dinner. Scrambled eggs and bacon for me and waffles for him...not that he was taking advantage of the situation to eat his favourite food! But bacon and scrambled eggs is my favourite so I am not complaining. And to top it off, when I went down stairs this morning to refill my tea cup I noticed that the kitchen was cleaned up - he had done all the dishes! He knows the way to my heart.

Speaking of which, after dinner I had a hankering for chocolate and there was none in our house. Trust me I searched for it. Nothing. Nada. He went out to the store and picked up a few essentials like OJ that we were needing and threw in a bag of Cadbury's mini eggs.

Sadly after I ate one, and couldn't really taste it, it didn't sound so appealing. And the fact that most of the bag is still left, sitting very close to me, is a sign of just how yucky I feel. Yesterday, I still had an appetite but today it's gone.

Hope you are all keeping healthy. I sure hope this thing starts leaving soon, because then I might be able to have a clear enough thought to blog about something more than how sick I feel!

On the plus side I did shower today which s something I have not had the energy or desire for in the past few days so things are looking up!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Cough! Sneeze!

There is nothing like the hum of your husband sleeping soundly beside you while you cough and splutter through the night, tossing and turning so congested you can't sleep to make you really bitter!

I am over it now,'s 3pm.

I am still in Pajamas under a blanket trying to blog and struggling because my eyes are watery from this cold.

I have not been this sick in a very long time. I woke up a few days ago with a nasty sore throat, and by the end of the day thought that was the end of it and carried on as normal besides consuming gallons of hot water with lemon and honey. But I woke up every day to the same sore, sore throat. Then last night I was so congested I couldn't sleep at all. Coughing, sneezing, unable to breathe through my nose. It was a sad state of affairs.

I finally got a few hours of sleep this morning but woke up feeling sick to my stomach because of all the ick I had swallowed! Plus my head had begun to pound. And I knew in that moment that this day would be a right off.

I have the hardest time doing nothing. It drives me crazy. I always have multiple projects on the go, not to mention homework, housework. I like to keep my hands busy. But today I have no energy and no desire to pick up any projects. I have finals for my classes on Monday so I have a lot of last week homework and revision to do...but my weeping eyes are making it hard to focus on that too!

This morning I did set some small goals. I had a few bills to pay so I called and took care of those. Good thing too because my voice has since left me to fend for myself!

So I will just accept this is about all I have in me today. I am trying to find beauty, inspired by a friend's blog. The love cup I have been drinking from for the last few days, a special gift from my friend Anjie, beautiful tulips and hyacinths from the farmer's market this weekend, the ice cold fresh pineapple I have been devouring and the beautiful fireplace that my hubby was working on all weekend.

Even in this foggy headed state there is so much that brings me joy.

Now I am going to find the Real Housewives on my DVR (not sure there is much beauty there) and hey, don't judge me, I 'm sick!!

Stay well friends x

Friday, March 11, 2011

Prayers for Japan

I cannot believe the pictures and videos that are coming from Japan this morning. Such devastation. Earthquake and tsunami, hitting with such force.

It is looking at pictures of such disaster that I am thankful to be able to pray, because I am so aware of my inability to do anything to help, or know what the needs of the people in Japan are.

I know God's heart is broken for the pain and suffering in Japan, and I trust that He hears our prayers, and their prayers, and that he will be moving through the bleakness, bringing hope into a situation that looks hopeless.

The huge scale of this natural disaster reminds me that the sore throat that I have had for the past couple of days is a minuscule glitch and does not warrant the attention I have been giving it! I am blessed to wake up in a home that still has a roof and four walls.

Today and in the coming days and weeks let's continue praying for those affected by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. For those in power to have wisdom to know how to begin to rebuild from this, and to lead their nation in this time of fear and crisis.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Making room for Lent

Yesterday was Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. This is the lead up to Easter, and a time to realign our hearts with God, reflecting on His character and on our faith walk.

Many people chose to give something up for Lent, as a reminder of this season. A way to be reminded of all the Jesus did for us in dying on the cross. I think this is an important ritual and each year I spend time considering what I should give up for Lent. In previous years, I think I have tried to take out things I enjoy, like chocolate or sugar and tried to 'suffer' through Lent, and then binge on Easter day. While I have certainly had times of intimacy with God through those Lent seasons, I also believe there can be something added to our lives in the season of Lent as a way to celebrate.

This year, I am doing a few smaller things to draw me closer to God's heart - I am going to keep those just between Jesus and I. But as a couple Jeremy and I have decided that during this season of Lent we want more time together, to pray, to laugh, to read the stack of marriage books we have on our shelves, to know one another better. We believe that our television has become an easy way out of conversation, and a wall to intimacy in our home.

One night a week, on Thursdays we excitedly gather around our TV to watch a few of our favourite shows; Bones, The Office and Outsourced. My darling hubs and I do not have much crossover in our TV enjoyment, so this is a sweet time of laughing together. But otherwise, our TV watching is a pretty solo experience, and it keeps us from having quality time together. We use it as a filler, not switching it on for a specific show, but rather having it on and then finding something that can keep our attention for the next 30 minutes.

We are giving ourselves Thursday nights (in lieu of Sundays) but otherwise our TV is not going to be on in the evenings. We want anything we watch on the television to be adding to our lives not taking something away.

Last night was day one. And it was wonderful. It took my mind a while to get used to the lack of stimulation. When I was writing an email, I was only writing an email. It was weird.
We were tooth brushed, PJ-ed and in bed at a decent hour, without the distraction of the box.
We read to each other from a book that we are studying with our friends and then we had a really good prayer time before we fell asleep...earlier than we have in a long time.

It was such a sweet time and I am so looking forward to the next 40 days of un-distracted evenings. I know that it will strengthen us, and I pray that we will grow in intimacy in our marriage as well as our relationship with God.

I know it will give us time to get on with the things we have had on a list of 'when we have time we will do it' projects. Things we want to do or learn together. I am really looking forward to this season, and hope that God changes our hearts as we make room for Him.

Are you doing anything for Lent this year? Have you done anything that really blessed you in previous years? I love that this season can be such a personal time of reflection and faith.

Monday, March 7, 2011

When we have no words

I had known for a little while that our Pastor was going to be teaching a sermon on Hannah's prayer, with a focus on the issue of infertility. [sidenote: I truly appreciate that even though our church is over 2000 people on a Sunday (in all locations) the staff still made time to reach out to those of us they knew would be impacted by this message so we could prepare our hearts.]

The message was titled, 'From Barren to Blessed' and although I heard the message in the context of our struggle to have a baby, it also had a broader message. The promise we can trust is found in John 15 and it says, "Abide in me and you will bear much fruit." As we come to God in prayer we build intimacy, abiding in Him, we can trust that our lives will bear fruit.

However, this does not mean we will get everything we want, in the time we want it. It is a tough balance of trust and faith. Making space to celebrate the blessings we have and when necessary, grieve the things that are not yet here...knowing they may never be.

I have never had an issue sharing my heart about our struggle, but I was cautious of going forward for parer at the response time in the service. I was unsure how emotional I would get, and was also cautious about pushing Jeremy to an uncomfortable place. We are in this season very much together but it is hard, and we carry the weight of this in different ways.

We had some very good friends who were able to come with us to the service up north and i know their presence made our experience better. Sharing with a church community is good, but sharing with close friends is even more healing.

When the time came for response during the final time of worship I felt a strong pull to go forward for prayer. Jeremy was more hesitant, but said he would go with me if I wanted to go. After singing for a little while, I knew God was asking me to come forward. So Jeremy took my hand and we went. With each step, my broken heart felt heavier and heavier. By the time we reached the prayer team, I had no words. I opened my mouth to explain our situation and ask for prayer and all that came out were sobs. I actually dropped to my knees with the weight of the emotions I was feeling. I wept and wept, and then all of a sudden i realised that the tears splashing on the ground were not just mine, but they were Jeremy's too. In some ways that broke my heart a little bit more - but at the same time it gave me the hugest sense of peace to see his heart in that way. We have prayed so much about this, and in this moment all we had were tears, and they were our prayer, speaking loudly and honestly about what our hearts are feeling.

The prayer team were not scared off by our tears but instead prayed God's fruitfulness over our lives and his strength to sustain us. Our friends prayed God's grace and hope in our hearts. It was an amazing, healing, and life-giving time.

It feels like it has been a while since the raw emotions of our loss have been on the surface but this reminds me that infertility is a part of our lives, it will always be a part of our story, and it is changing us. This is not the journey we would have chosen, and yet we are able to find blessing and see the fruit in our lives when we look.

Of course, the cry of our hearts is that God will bless us with a child, but I am aware that I do not want to become so burdened by this sense of loss that I am unable to live well. It is not something that will stop being a desire of our hearts, and not something we will forget about. But we can also let it be something that draws us close rand closer to God, in a way that builds our intimacy with Him, and allows our lives to be even more fruitful.

EDIT- Here is the link to the sermon

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Financial Peace?

Jeremy and I recently went to session 3 of our Financial Peace University class. We have wanted to take this class since before we got married, when we realised that we had very different relationships with money. Neither good or bad, but just different.

The class is a tool to help people get out of debt, make good investments, preparing fro the future and being in a place to give big in the future - or at least that is my paraphrase.

Our church offers the course frequently, but it was always in the time slot that meant Jeremy would not have been able to go because of worship practice and/or church. When we started going to the North campus in the morning we freed up our evenings to be able to learn about getting our money in order!

I love, love, love the teachings of Dave Ramsey and truly believe his principles will bring more peace into our home surrounding the issue of money. The class helps guide our conversations, and is allowing us to realign our terms of having our money better reflect what we say is important to us.

So far our homework assignment shave been pretty easy - but this week we have to work on a budget. This is not a budget for the faint-hearted it will mean that each month we give a name to every penny we are going to earn. Every single cent will be accounted for before we ever see it.
We have always been careful with our money but this way, we will be able to assign it in a way that means we will have to have conversations about how much we will spend on gifts (my guilty pleasure) and gadgets (Jeremy's guilty pleasure) as well as making sure we have a proportionate amount on groceries and our house.
I am really looking forward to feeling more in control of our money in a way that gives us the power to do more with it.

In other news, our new church location and time has meant we are getting up and attem' early enough that we can make real plans because we are out of church before 11am (If you would have told either of us that this would be our schedule, we would have told you you were crazy - we were sleeping until at least noon on Sundays for years) This week we got out of church in tome to see the $5 early show at the movies. We saw 'Hall Pass,' not Probably going to be on the Oscar list next year but we laughed hard and it was good to be in a room that was dark and loud enough that we couldn't hear the torrential rain outside!

Here's hoping the class truly leads us to financial freedom, we'll just have to make sure to allocate enough in our budget for more $5 Sunday movies!


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