• 29Nov

    I’ve had my own share of financial mishap when I was single and very much carefree with my shopping sprees and general expenditures for that matter. I would ran away from The Credit People and would turn off my phone when I know it’s that time of the month and I need to pay the minimum balances of the credit cards I have maxed out! Yikes! Those were my bad days and seriously, being the gullible person that I am, I had nightmares too. Read more »

  • 29Nov

    In connection with this entry and despite Christmas means receiving gifts to little children, we must not forget to give them these 35 gifts everyday.

    1. Affirmation. Sometimes one simple word of affirmation can change an entire life. So make sure your children know how much you appreciate them. And then, remind them every chance you get.
    2. Art. With the advent of the Internet, everyone who wants to create… can. The world just needs more people who want to…
    3. Challenge. Encourage your child to dream big dreams. In turn, they will accomplish more than they thought possible… and probably even more than you thought possible.
    4. Compassion/Justice. Life isn’t fair. It never will be – there are just too many variables. But when a wrong has been committed or a playing field can be leveled, I want my child to be active in helping to level it.
    5. Contentment. The need for more is contagious. Therefore, one of the greatest gifts you can give your children is an appreciation for being content with what they have… but not with who they are.
    6. Curiosity. Teach your children to ask questions about who, what, where, how, why, and why not. “Stop asking so many questions” are words that should never leave a parents’ mouth.
    7. Determination. One of the greatest determining factors in one’s success is the size of their will. How can you help grow your child’s today?
    8. Discipline. Children need to learn everything from the ground-up including appropriate behaviors, how to get along with others, how to get results, and how to achieve their dreams. Discipline should not be avoided or withheld. Instead, it should be consistent and positive.
    9. Encouragement. Words are powerful. They can create or they can destroy. The simple words that you choose to speak today can offer encouragement and positive thoughts to another child. Or your words can send them further into despair. So choose them carefully.
    10. Faithfulness to your Spouse. Faithfulness in marriage includes more than just our bodies. It also includes our eyes, mind, heart, and soul. Guard your sexuality daily and devote it entirely to your spouse. Your children will absolutely take notice.
    11. Finding Beauty. Help your children find beauty in everything they see… and in everyone they meet.
    12. Generosity. Teach your children to be generous with your stuff so that they will become generous with theirs.
    13. Honesty/Integrity. Children who learn the value and importance of honesty at a young age have a far greater opportunity to become honest adults. And honest adults who deal truthfully with others tend to feel better about themselves, enjoy their lives more, and sleep better at night.
    14. Hope. Hope is knowing and believing that things will get better and improve. It creates strength, endurance, and resolve. And in the desperately difficult times of life, it calls us to press onward.
    15. Hugs and Kisses. I once heard the story of a man who told his 7-year old son that he had grown too old for kisses. I tear up every time I think of it. Know that your children are never too old to receive physical affirmation of your love for them.
    16. Imagination. If we’ve learned anything over the past 20 years, it’s that life is changing faster and faster with every passing day. The world tomorrow looks nothing like the world today. And the people with imagination are the ones not just living it, they are creating it.
    17. Intentionality. I believe strongly in intentional living and intentional parenting. Slow down, consider who you are, where you are going, and how to get there. And do the same for each of your children.
    18. Your Lap. It’s the best place in the entire world for a book, story, or conversation. And it’s been right in front of you the whole time.
    19. Lifelong Learning. A passion for learning is different from just studying to earn a grade or please teachers. It begins in the home. So read, ask questions, analyze, and expose. In other words, learn to love learning yourself.
    20. Love. …but the greatest of these is love.
    21. Meals Together. Meals provide unparalleled opportunity for relationship, the likes of which can not be found anywhere else. So much so, that a family that does not eat together does not grow together.
    22. Nature. Children who learn to appreciate the world around them take care of the world around them. As a parent, I am frequently asking my kids to keep their rooms inside the house neat, clean, and orderly. Shouldn’t we also be teaching them to keep their world outside neat, clean, and orderly?
    23. Opportunity. Kids need opportunities to experience new things so they can find out what they enjoy and what they are good at. And contrary to popular belief, this doesn’t have to require much money.
    24. Optimism. Pessimists don’t change the world. Optimists do.
    25. Peace. On a worldwide scale, you may think this is out of our hands. But in relation to the people around you, this is completely within your hands… and that’s a darn good place to start.
    26. Pride. Celebrate the little things in life. After all, it is the little accomplishments in life that become the big accomplishments.
    27. Room to Make mistakes. Kids are kids. That’s what makes them so much fun… and so desperately in need of your patience. Give them room to experiment, explore, and make mistakes.
    28. Self-Esteem. People who learn to value themselves are more likely to have self-confidence, self-esteem, and self-worth. As a result, they are more likely to become adults who respect their values and stick to them… even when no one else is.
    29. Sense of Humor. Laugh with your children everyday… for your sake and theirs.
    30. Spirituality. Faith elevates our view of the universe, our world, and our lives. We would be wise to instill into our kids that they are more than just flesh and blood taking up space. They are also made of mind, heart, soul, and will. And decisions in their life should be based on more than just what everyone else with flesh and blood is doing.
    31. Stability. A stable home becomes the foundation on which children build the rest of their lives. They need to know their place in the family, who they can trust, and who is going to be there for them. Don’t keep changing those things.
    32. Time. The gift of time is the one gift you can never get back or take back. So think carefully about who (or what) is getting yours.
    33. Undivided Attention. Maybe this imagery will be helpful: Disconnect to Connect.
    34. Uniqueness. What makes us different is what makes us special. Uniqueness should not be hidden. It should be proudly displayed for all the world to see, appreciate, and enjoy.
    35. A Welcoming Home. To know that you can always come home is among the sweetest and most life-giving assurances in all the world. Is your home breathing life into your child?

    Thanks to http://www.becomingminimalist.com/.

    and here’s A Tip Sheet for Owning Fewer Toys:

    1. Be convinced that less is better.
    2. Fewer toys is different than no toys.
    3. Analyze your own motivation for purchasing toys.
    4. Choose quality over quantity.
    5. Purge often.
    6. Set a confined, physical space for toys.
    7. Limit your purchasing with a budget.
    8. Don’t give into fads.
    9. Keep a healthy, realistic attitude toward toy companies and toy stores.
    10. Avoid duplicate toys.
    11. Find a local toy library.
    12. Watch less television.
    13. Don’t give in to temper-tantrums at the store.
    14. Equip your children to make wise choices.
    15. Teach them to value other activities.
    16. Limit your toys too.

    Source: http://www.becomingminimalist.com/2010/08/27/a-parents-tip-sheet-for-owning-fewer-toys/.

  • 29Nov

    Yesterday’s sermon was all about new beginnings. It’s never too early to start your 2011. I shall write my 2010 thank yous and will start my 2011 bucket list. Have a blessed week everyone!

    Message from God

    On this day of your life, Ms. Kitty, we believe God wants you to know … that yesterday is a thing of the past.
    Do not be hard on yourself about things you cannot change. The past is past and it’s time to move on.

    “If you have made mistakes, there is always another chance for you. You may have a fresh start any moment you choose for this thing we call ‘failure’ is not the falling down but the staying down.”

    ~Mary Pickford

  • 29Nov

    P365-MMX:0402: To Do List.

    I take budgeting this year very seriously and I am proud to say that I pay my bank account first before anything else. Although, I must admit that there are times I still find it hard to do this and feel like I could enjoy more shopping money but I have to financially mature and stick with my priorities. Maybe in 2011, I’d be an expert in budgeting and saving. It takes a lot of practice and discipline. You see, when I got my iPhone from TGL, I started to look for a free budget software that is user friendly and would not intimidate a non-budget-accustomed-person like me. So I discovered this MINT app with a simple Mint budget calculator. I swear to you that I have tried as many budget calculator, requesting friends to send me their sample budget excel reports, and even bought a lot of notebooks and post-its. But I think the key here is to centralized all money documentation into one. This is what I love about iPhone, I can do so much in just a small gadget. If you are interested but do not have an iPhone, you can install the MINT software in your computer and you can use this Dell home coupons to avail of the software. Let’s all thread the path to financial freedom.

  • 28Nov
    Guest post written by William Cunningham

    This year, my sons and I plan to go into the woods of Iowa to see if we can catch a special Thanksgiving dish. Deer isnÕt a traditional Thanksgiving meat, but it certainly stands out from the typical spread. Read more »

  • 27Nov

    I should stop shopping for T-O-Y-S! right at this minute. The last cart I checked out at Walmart.com and ToysRUs.com should be the very last!!! You see, starting January of this year, TGL and I told MLS that he will only receive toys during his Birthday and Christmas, no more, no less. So he knows that each time we visit the toy store, he would just tinker on them but he should not even attempt to say, buy me this or I want this. Even our friends and families know this rule and if someone could not resist giving him something, I set it aside and the gift should be opened on Christmas Day or his Birthday.

    You see, toys here are so affordable and accessible. MLS being the only kid, makes it so much easier for us to buy this and that but we gotta stop ourselves before it’s too late. We do not want to create a materialistic monster in the family. So far, this practice has been so good that MLS gets to appreciate his old toys.

    Now the thing is, the spoiling mom side of me was activated last Black Friday and continues till this Cyber Monday. I just realized how good MLS is this year that we have to give in to all of the toys he listed in his wishlist. :P . Good thing as my Brother, K will take care of all the Action Figures in the list, particularly new Transformers, Revenge of the Fallen 2 toys which saved me a huge amount of money. On the other hand, my mom was insisting on giving MLS a PSP for the second time around but I had to stop her because his Xbox360 is more than enough. He has school that he needs to attend to. So what did I, TGL and Santa got him for Christmas?

    Let’s begin with this Crayon Maker. I always make sure that he gets at least 1 crafts and art gift. Originally, I was thinking of giving in to his wish of receiving a Crayola Glow Explosion but after reading the reviews, I guess it was a waste of money. This Crayon Maker would be so nice to recycle his old crayons.

    Now, here’s where I splurged the most, LEGO! He just loves them to bits. He has the firetruck station already when we went to Legoland last September (yes he gets to buy at least 1 toy when we go out on trips, this would be his souvenir toys) and now he wants everything in the Police collection plus the LEGO Starwars Clone Troopers.
    Whew! That’s a lot of LEGO to assemble. I pity TGL hahahah! He will suffer the most. Anyway, I also shop for him a couple of PJs from Walmart, a pair of suede RL shoes, 2 RL jackets and lotsa winter shirts from RL. My boys love that brand. So now you know why I gotta stop. RIGHT NOW!

    Oh and yes, we got him a new Xbox 360 game too :P . He has been playing this at GameStop when we’re at the mall.