Friday, August 24, 2012

God Sighting: Homemaker & Secretary

"A man’s heart plans his way,
But the Lord directs his steps."
Proverbs 16:9
Taken from www.momlifetoday.com

Against my desires, I have a part-time job.

As our savings dwindled down to nothing, I knew I NEEDED to do SOMETHING, ANYTHING to bring in some income.  My retail gift shop, although successful, hadn't been enough to make ends meet.  And my direct sales adventure had not taken off like I had anticipated.  And we all know that getting a business off the ground usually necessitates more expenses in the beginning.  I have not given up on these two venues.

It was time to seek employment outside the home.  With each click of my mouse, visiting different employment websites, my heart felt squeezed, clenched tighter and tighter.  My eyes burned with tears.  It took every ounce of my being to continue this difficult task because it went against my will to do anything but be a full time homemaker.  Of course this could be debated if someone who is unfamiliar with such demands walked into my home!

What a blessing I have in my two year old son whom I have watched grow every minute of his life.  I have not missed one milestone yet.  He is MY responsibility to raise.  To instill Christian values.  To shepherd in this life.  To give endless amount of kisses throughout the day.  To teach.  To share.  To play with.  To cook for.  To wipe hineys.  I don't want anyone else replacing me!  I don't want to miss one single moment of this (except maybe the occasional middle-of-the-night awakenings!).

I closed my eyes and submitted my application to a temp agency for a part-time church secretary position.  The next day I was called in for an interview.  I drug my feet to get there, didn't prepare, and surely did not want to be there!  A big relief when I didn't have enough proper identification on me to have the interview!

Unawares, this was just the beginning of my God-sighting (a circumstance where God's hand is particularly evident).  I did reschedule the interview - a week later.  I took that time to cry and pray and cry and think and cry and worry and cry and mull things over and cry and debate with myself and cry and . . . .

Then I discovered PEACE!  It's like one night during my quite time with God that it just hit me.  Afterall I had envisioned, in years past, a church secretary position as ideal for various reasons.  And afterall I might could compromise part-time.

This was just the beginning of my peace.  The interview process at the temp agency went incredibly well.  I passed all those dreaded typing tests and Microsoft Office evaluations with a breeze, well exceeding the average percentage required (not to brag).  I connected with the lady, who was quite impressed with my resume, education and experiences.  And of course I easily passed my drug screening and background check.   I learned that I would not have to do payroll!  Although this cut my hours from 16 to 12 hours a week, I would not have to be away from home as much (nor be responsible for such reports!).

The peace completely settled in during the interview process with the church.  My supervisor harbored such sweetness and sincerity, easy to talk with and share concerns.  Why was I even concerned!  She had already thought about my gas mileage and instead of having to come in more days a week with less time each day, I'll come in less days putting in more time.  Freeing up more days to be with Little Jack and the most important day of the work week to take Little Jack to some social activities and for me to participate in a coveted Bible study!

Long story short - God calls and equips.  And now I have 3 part-time jobs - The Gift Barn, Verefina Independent Consultant, and church secretary - and 2 full-time jobs - marriage and motherhood.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Homeschooling Toddlers & Preschoolers

"Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one!  You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.  And these words which I command you today shall be in your herat.  You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit inyour house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.  You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates." ~ Deuteronomy 6:4-9
 
 I have become serious with my homeschooling research as of late.  I had decided to implement a few things since Little Jack seems to be absorbing so much and curious about everything.  In doing so I came upon the article below.  My heart was encouraged.  Without even realizing it, I've been homeschooling for 2 years (Little Jack is 26 months old.)!  So I really don't have to implement anything, but I am going to be more intentional in providing learning experiences for him to absorb and to satisfy his curiosity.



Homeschooling Recommendations for Toddlers and Preschoolers

by Shannon White
  1. Read to your child daily, for at least half an hour. Break this into shorter time segments if attention spans are still short. Choose quality storybooks. Toddlers often land on one particular story that they want to hear over and over, which is great for them if you can stand the repetition!
  2. Talk to your child throughout the day, while you are going about routine tasks. Listen attentively to your child, even if he or she is just jabbering, and respond.
  3. Hug, kiss, cuddle, wrestle-play often during the day.
  4. Let your child help you with household tasks when you can. Give your child simple chores that he or she can do on his own.
  5. Encourage your child to explore by providing books, blocks, play dishes, washable markers and paper, a doll or stuffed animal, puzzles, etc. Interest is often renewed if toys are made available on a rotating basis. Too many toys, especially non-creative ones, just overwhelm a child and encourage greed.
  6. The early years are an excellent time for memorization. Even at age two, children can learn to recite their parents’ names, their phone number, their address and Bible verses. Spend maybe five minutes a day learning something new or reviewing memory work.
  7. Include music in your life. Sing to and with your child; listen to child-friendly or even classical CDs. Choosing Christian music is a wonderful way to emphasize your Christian values as well.
  8. Keep the TV off. Numerous studies have shown that even the best videos may be harmful to your child, and that interactive play is always to be preferred. Make carefully chosen videos a rare treat, if offered at all. I know this is radical!
  9. Limit sweets. Kids and adults alike are healthier and learn better if they have wholesome meals and nutritious snacks as a lifestyle. We've had a hard time getting to this point, but I'm glad we have.
  10. If you want your child to learn a foreign language, start early. Studies show that younger children learn faster than high school aged teens. Of course, live interaction with a person speaking the language is best, but CDs also work fine. Ones that include music will heighten interest.
  11. Don't worry about socialization. Children need to interact with Mama and Daddy. They really don't need all the pressures of a group of peers for many years to come. Socialize by serving others with your child (visiting an elderly relative, for example) and by inviting another family to your home for a meal or for a play date.
  12. Most importantly, pray for (and with!) your child daily and teach the truths of the Christian faith as you go through the day and in special devotion times.
  13. And of course, have fun! Enjoy these precious days with your child. Remind yourself on bad days that this time goes by so quickly, and savor it! Choose laughter!
Shannon White and her husband, Gary, have always homeschooled their six children. Shannon strives to follow her own recommendations, with both successes and failures on any given day.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Cloth in the Kitchen

"The wise woman builds her house...." 
Proverbs 14:1


Who uses a whole roll of paper towels in a day?!?

Anyone with a 6 month old who is just beginning to explore food! 

We had been purchasing our Bounty select-a-size paper towels at Sam's Club.  So we were saving money buying in bulk and with the half size sheets.  However, at the rate we were going, we would be spending over $20 every week or so!

So the Moye's adopted the principle of a paperless kitchen in 2011.

You may be saying, by the time you add the cost of enough towels and wash clothes for a few days and detergent and water and electricity to laundry them it would be $20 a week.  I would have to disagree.  I did repurpose plain white hand towels and wash cloths, which saved on that purchase.  But you can purchase in bulk for real cheap.  Besides, bath items are popular at thrift stores and yard sales.  Or just use an old t-shirt or other fabric to serve the purpose.

We already had to do laundry for dish cloths and kitchen towels.  Why not add several more to the load?  No extra time.  No additional hassle.  And not that much more detergent.

Our water bill increased about $3.00 for the month.  But we also began cloth diapering about this time too.

Yes, they do get stained.  But I'm not serving up a 5 course meal with dinner guests.  I do a rinse cycle before the wash to remove some of the stain.  And every once in a while I do an oxy-clean or Clorox presoak and sanitary wash in extra hot water.  Other times I just do a cold wash and extra rinse.  I wash everything with an extra rinse cycle because I have a front loader washer.  I can hardly wait to use up my current detergent, liquid County Save, which is good, to use Green Earth Natural's laundry detergent, which has worked great on cloth diapers for HE washers.

I use to fold them up nice and neat to display them in a lovely homemade basket made by my mother-in-law at More Than Baskets.  Now I just throw the hand towels in one end of the basket and the wash cloths in the other end.  Who has time to be organized and neat with a toddler (and husband ;) )?!?

Once dirty I have been throwing them into a Thirty-One cube (thanks Chad and Natalie Guffey!) I have on top of the washing machine, which is a short distance from the kitchen.  However, a mesh or breathable container would probably work better, reducing the potential of mildew from being wet.   Something total different may be needed if there's a distance between the kitchen and laundry room.

A paperless kitchen has not been nearly as dreadful as I had thought.  It's quite simple actually, with many more benefits:
  • wash cloths clean up dirty toddler faces SO much better
  • and you can use that same cloth to wash the sleep out of their eyes as well as clean up the table
  • cloth towels are so much more absorbent (especially if you do not use fabric softener in the dryer)
  • less waste (less trash for your husband to have to take to the dump; therefore, less nagging for you!)
  • more frugal (more money to spend on things that really matter!)