Monday, October 27, 2008

Monday, October 20, 2008

Sewing 101

Our third oldest daughter, Ashley, has once again remodeled her bedroom and has been working on a Chinese/Jungle Theme. It's an interesting theme to combine together, but it actually looks quite nice together. To add to the decor, she has been making throw pillows to go on her bed.

A Broken Arm?

Last night our oldest son, Zach, and I ended up taking Sheyenne, our youngest daughter, to the ER in Harlan last night. (Doug had taken nighttime Tylenol and was of little help by that point.) We didn’t get home and to bed until almost 1:00 this morning. They said that she did have a fracture, but that there was a blood pocket blocking the X-rays and so it was hard to see it well. So, they half casted it and put her arm in a sling. She was in terrible pain all night and she and I slept very little, if at all. They told us to just give her regular Tylenol for the pain. Well that wasn’t working, so while we were in Woodbine for the kid’s ortho. appointment, I stopped by Dr. Christy’s office and asked what else I could give her. I explained what had happened (as she hadn’t received the medical report yet this morning) and she said that for one, she would give me a prescription for Tylenol with Codeine for her. Then she said that she wanted to call an orthopedic pediatrician right away and get us in as from what I was describing, it sounded like it was over the growth platelets in her elbow, and that was serious! She wanted to be safe instead of sorry. The ER doctor had told us to just follow up with our regular on Friday this week. Well Christy got us an appointment at the specialist for 11:00 this morning. So, we had to go from Shelby to Woodbine (45 minutes), then back to Harlan to pick up her X-rays (about 35 min.), then to our house to get Shey (about 25 minutes), then to Council Bluffs to the specialist (about another 35 minutes), all by 11:00 this morning. Good thing we did though! Sheyenne has a severe break on the bone just above her funny bone. They had to cut off the half cast from last night, and put her in a full cast from her fingers to almost under her arm pit. She is to not play, go to school (which won’t be a problem with homeschooling), stay with an adult 24/7 to help protect her, etc. So, good thing we didn’t wait until this next Friday to take her in, or they would have had to re-break the break to fix it!! We have to go back in again next Monday and see how it is healing and what needs to be done from there. Poor girl. She really was in so much pain. And she’s still so tiny only weighing 35 lbs. And wouldn’t you know it...but that she is our only left handed child out of 10, and it is her left arm that is broken! She is happy this afternoon though because the neighbors sent down their daughter, her best friend Madison, to play with her here for a while. That lifted her spirits!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Quick Debt Attack Tips!

Quick Debt Attack Tips
By Herald & Cindy Rushton

Do you just HATE debt?
Has it ever felt like a noose around your neck? Ready to come away from the slavery? Here are some quick tips to help you attack that debt and find the freedom that you are longer for!
What's in Your Hand? Yep! What do you have in your hand to battle that debt with? Do you have a skill? Do you have stuff? Do you have a product? Do you have equipment? Want your dreams to come true? Well, offer up those "fish and bread" in your hand to the Great Provider. Watch Him do a miracle! He may ask you to use your skill of cleaning to begin an office cleaning business--talk about a great business model with a very limited investment. Maybe you have tons of old books that are just collecting dust--hear the call to sell on Ebay? What about those purses that you make...or books that you have written...or even parts from that junk car in the yard--sell it on Ebay! What about that lawn mower...or that bobcat? Put that ad in the paper and offer up what you have in your hand. Watch God bless!
Stop the Leaks! If your money bucket is leaking quicker than you are filling it up, stop everything right now. Find a way to stop the leak! Write down every penny you spend for a week. Shock you? Little things will make a HUGE difference. Just cutting out soft drinks for our family of four saved us hundreds of dollars. Don't believe it? Just do a bit of math--
Family of 4 drinking 2 soft drinks per day--1.25 each--$10.00Hummm..7 days a week all month---$310.00JUST ON SOFT DRINKS! That doesn't count the calories or the health problems!
MAKE a budget and LIVE the budget! First, write down all of your necessary expenses--tithing, housing, utilities, gas, food, financial commitments. Decide which part of the month you will need to pay each. Next, look at all of the other things that you spend money on-- Find any of the leaks on your budget and apply the money from those leaks to get rid of debts one-by-one. Not enough money for all of the month? Take a look again at what is in your hand--what can you do to make more money? Nothing? How about looking around you for an extra job--we can truly testify that we always need help with our businesses but few people genuinely want to work hard for money. Debt hurt bad enough? It only takes a little while to catch back up and be free. Find that extra job. Or get rid of of those extras for a little while. There may be things that have to be set aside until the debt is retired. More than likely just using a budget will help to give the accountability needed to get rid of most debt and debt problems. My favorite resources for figuring up a budget (and all of the incidentals) can be found here: Dave Ramsey's Website or at Living On a Dime's Website.
"Live like no one else today so you can live like no one else tomorrow!" Anyone know who says that one? Yep! My favorite writer and speaker, Dave Ramsey. Dave is SO right! If we will just tighten our belts for a little while, in only a little while, we can have our dreams! I don't know about all of you, but I cannot stand being in captivity to the debt taskmasters. I want to go for all that God can give me in this life. I cannot do that if I am serving the master of debt too. I remember the day that Harold and I with our children decided that we would commit to live like no one else for a period of time so we could live like no one else later. The dream of having daddy home with us is worth it! The dream of having a business that our children can have as a heritage is worth it! really only takes a little while!
Don't presume upon the future. This is one HUGE lesson that God spoke to my heart about my debt. He let me go through a period of not having "enough" to pay off the debts that I owed. It was a long, stressful, frustrating time. At any time, He could have removed that "thorn" from me. Yet, He didn't. He left me in the wilderness--in the heat of the journey. Talk about one I do not EVER care to go through again! If He spoke this word to my heart once, He spoke it a million times--no exaggeration there! Really any debt is presuming about our future. It assumes that we will have another heartbeat--we will have another chance. It assumes that the check will be here. It assumes that the needs for tomorrow will be less than the needs of today--unlikely! Boy! That will bite us! There are no guarantees. Even when people owe us money, there are no guarantees that *they* will be able to pay us--not even employers. We just cannot commit to spend tomorrow's money until it gets here and God gives us a clearance to spend that money. God is so very faithful. I have not finished my study through the entire Bible on money and debt (that is what I am studying right now). However, the very first thing that I remembered being taught as a little girl was to pray that God would give us our daily bread. Remember that? Jesus taught us to pray that request. However, it was not to pray for next year's daily bread so we could have extras today. That is just not how it works. We have to learn to use great self-control with our finances. Every single need will truly be provided faithfully by our Heavenly Father. out! Faithfulness also brings His lavish blessings upon our household. He is certainly our good Master!
Hit Debt Bit-by-Bit! Got debt? Want out, but have no idea how to begin? Beloved, first know that it won't take but a little while! Hate the debt and hit that debt! In a little while you are going to be free from the shackles. True Freedom! Get started by stopping the leaks to your finances. If you are going further and further in debt each month, take a long hard look at your finances. Are there things that really need to go? Soft drinks? Eating out? Lessons for the kids? Cable TV/Satellite? Cell phones? Telephones? Those car notes (sell and buy a cheap, good vehicle)? Going too much? Cut those extras! Add up how much all of those things are costing you. For a season, fast from those things. It won't take long and your debt can truly be mastered. Also, simplify everything! Cook meals in bulk--we always save tons with crock pot meals, staples like red beans and rice or soups, and eating sandwiches. We also save on entertainment by checking out videos for free from our library rather than renting, paying extra for cable/satellite, or going out to the movies. Really those things are great money savers, but they also save the family life--you can make sweeter memories with your family all together. What a perk! Finally, also write it all down--be accountable on paper. Every single penny should be logged. Let the whole family see the expenses. Talk about accountability! The kids have helped me to see the waste in Latte's and how much nicer it is to be able to exercise and afford regular family memories every single month with that one commitment!
Get God's Vision! Lastly, we want to encourage you to look past the debt for a little bit. Look past the hard times and the struggles to get past this desert in your life. Think about the joy set before you! Can you imagine the difference in your family life? Can you see Daddy coming home for his dream business? Can you see that monthly income without all of the envelopes and threat letters in piles? Can you imagine the joy of seeing your children build their own homes and have their families without all of the debt? Can you see your children's children walking in freedom and liberty? Yes! It is worth it today! This is truly only a small period of time for you. It will be the thing that will make tomorrow a joy and delight. Read Deuteronomy lately? I have been camping there myself this past few months. I have been studying several things in depth in that book. One thing that is an underlying theme of that book of the Bible is God's plans for us financially. They are good plans! He wants to lavish us with blessings. He wants for us to pass on a legacy to our children that distinguishes them among our culture. He wants for us to be the lenders and givers to those who are in need--not to be the ones in need. He has chosen us to be His precious children--ruling and reigning in dominion over the world we are in. And...great news! He has a wonderful plan, complete with how-to's for how we are to get there! So, grasp for His best! Get a vision of all He desires and go for it! You have treasures awaiting you!
Need MORE Help? Need more help??? Join us for our NEW Talk-a-Latte Seminar with Leslie Valeska, A Simple Journey to Debt Free Living! Learn more and grab your ticket here:

Friday, October 10, 2008

On My Mind...

I have an issue with a couple of families in our neighboring town. Perhaps I am taking it too personally as I know that they do not know me from the man in the moon, but to me, as a Christian, it offends me greatly! As you know, we (Christians around the U.S.), just recently had "See You at the Pole" where those who are Christian can meet around the flag pole and pray for those that lead us - those who run our country, those who are running in this election, etc. I realize that this is not the only time that we can pray for those in need, but it is something that many find very important because it is still something that is allowed at most public schools when normally we are coached, prompted and encouraged to separate 'church and school' now-a-days. Well these families, in the town next to us, have taken to poking fun at this blessed right that we have, and have chosen to put "creepy ghosts in a circle, hand to hand, bowing up and down to their flags as they move round and round the flag pole!" This bothers me. And like I said, I should not take it so personally, but every time I drive by there, which is several times weekly, I see this and think how sad it is, how much it bothers me, and how I feel it is poking fun at Christians, like myself, who truly believe that prayer is essential for so many, many reasons. So, I am left with what to do about this. I have several choices... 1.) Do nothing and ignore it the best that I can. 2.) Write an anonymous letter voicing my thoughts (in which it will more than likely only provoke them to anger). 3) Pray for them, for their salvation, and let God take the lead here. So, I am choosing the third choice as this is what I feel is best. So, be with me in this if you will, and pray for them. Maybe then God can do a work in them.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

More Pictures From Lewis & Clark State Park

A few weeks ago, we finally took our raft out to a lake and actually used it! What a novelty, huh? We had fun though and it was quite educational for the kids as we went to the Lewis & Clark State Park while we were there.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Landon and Alona

This is Landon on the left, tickling himself, and Alona on the right in her Johnny Jump-up. She loves that bouncer!! These two kids are our oldest daughter, Niki's, two kids. They are the happiest little kids, and they just crack me up sometimes!! Landon has quite the sense of humor and can keep his mom and I in stitches for hours!!! With so much going on the last several weeks, we can use the laughter!!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Type 2 Diabetes

Many of you have been praying for my husband, Doug. We really appreciate that so much!! He has been so sick for weeks now. First it was Bronchitis, then it was pneumonia, which put him in the hospital for several days. Well we thought he was on the mend, but over this past weekend, he got worse again. He just can't seem to shake this being sick. So on Monday this week, I took him back in again to the doctor. She drew blood again and sent it to the lab. The fear was that he may have mono now. Well the test for the mono came back negative, PTL!! However, what they did find is that he has a serious problem with Type 2 Diabetes! His levels were sky high! They started him on Insulin immediately yesterday. PTL that our doctor is so awesome and knows that we don't have insurance, so she has been getting our medicines for us through a grant that they have. I can't tell you how much that has helped! So, now we are in for some big changes around here!! For those who know my husband, he is the king of snacks! He is also a Pepsi-holic from the word go. He gets up in the morning, grabs a Pepsi, and never allows for his cup to be empty until he goes to bed at night. He drinks a good 2 - 3 2-liters a day, if not more. I used to be the same way, but after having gestational diabetes with 4 of our children, being on insulin myself for two of them, and now having Pre-diabetes, I can't do that any more and have become the Diet Pepsi Queen! :+) My husband has had to "mostly" stop drinking Pepsi for the last couple of days, stopped snacking, is checking his blood sugars 4 times a day or more, and watching every bite of everything he eats. The diabetes is why he hasn't been able to get better over the last several weeks. He comes by it naturally as his dad has had it for years, has had his eye lashes frozen, a couple of toes amputated, etc. Doug does not want to go through that! So, we are meeting with our doctor again next week, plus a dietitian, and making some major changes. Please say a prayer for us as we go through this tough transition!

On another note...our oldest son Zach DOES have mono though, and is very sick as well. Please pray for him too! And on same note, our oldest daughter miscarried their baby this past weekend. They are both devastated by this! She does have two other beautiful children, but this baby was loved already in their hearts as well.