Teach Your Kids to Save Their Pennies The Old School Way

Save Your Pennies Old School

When I was younger, I remember my grandmother would put her pennies and extra change into these little paper cylinders and then stack them up in a box. I was always astonished at how quickly a few pennies could add up!

Teaching kids how to save their pennies is one of the most empowering skills to instill in our children. Learning the value of a penny will go a long way. So, I decided to bring back my grandma’s good old fashion way of saving! Anya and I have made a pact to be intentional about saving our pennies and loose change. Just from emptying my purse and car, we already have about $25.00! Can you believe I had $25 extra bucks just hanging around and didn’t even know it?

I was also inspired by listening to a podcast from Donna Otto. She started saving pennies and eventually saved enough (over a 100,000 pennies) to pay for her daughter’s wedding dress! That’s amazing! So, we decided to save all our loose change until Anya graduates from high school which is another six years. We haven’t decided on how to use the money, but some ideas have been to put the savings toward a European mom/daughter trip, a cushion for her to use at college, or a mission trip.

Wrapping your family’s pennies is a fun way to collaborate on a project together that not only teaches them the value of saving but saving and reaching a goal.

Here are 5 Simple Steps to Get Started:

  1. Purchase Some Coin Wrappers: We bought an assorted bag from Walmart for about $1.50. You can find them at the Dollar Store,  Target, or office supply stores.
  2. Go on a Change Hunt! When you first start saving go on a fun change hunt with the kids! Look everywhere for loose change, the car, purses, under the bed, in the couch, in coat pockets, or anywhere you can think you can find some pennies!
  3. Created a Designated Change Jar: After your change hunt, put all the change in one jar. Make it a practice every day or at the end of every week for everyone to put their loose change they have or find in the jar.
  4.  Insert the Change in the Wrappers: This is the fun part! Give everyone some change and let them put it into the wrappers!
  5. Decide on a Family Goal: What will you spend the money on? This goal should be agreed upon by all your family members and motivate you all to get saving!

Keep a running tally of how much you save every month on a chart so you can measure your progress. This will keep everyone inspired and excited. Not only will your kids get into the habit of saving money, work toward a family goal and learn the value of a dollar or should I say penny!

Happy Saving!

Daily Dose of Scripture: Who is Guiding Our Footsteps?

Jeremiah 10-23

 

Every day we are inundated with choices and paths that we can take. We always have a choice to choose the direction toward. But, which path is the best? The Lord’s path will always be fruitful, not saying there won’t be steep hills to trek up or some rough terrain, but it is a path that is protected by our Sovereign God. When left to our own devices without God’s guidance we may instinctively veer toward the path that seems clear and easy, but that way comes with its snares and is usually deceiving. Who better to direct our footsteps than our Creator, the Author, and our Father?  Keep walking with God as your compass and you’ll end up in a field of righteousness!

Dragging? Try These 10 Simple Steps to Boost Your Energy!

-my mother used to tell me that all the time.it was the best advice i ever got.-allie chardin

Are you dragging yourself out of bed in the morning? Or is it the afternoon slump that hits you hard? I’ve experienced both and on the same day! Life is busy as a single mom! You don’t have to feel depleted.

Try these 10 Simple Tips to Boost Your Energy!

  1. Make a Date with Jesus- When our spiritual life is out of whack we lack energy. The very first thing you should always do is have a little talk with Jesus! When you dive into the word and get spiritually fed it carries over to every area of your life.
  2. Sleep! Consistent shut-eye can do wonders. If you’re staying up until the wee hours of the night and waking up exhausted you’re doing some serious damage to your body. Get a good night sleep, ideally 7-8 hours, but if you can’t figure out the amount of hours you need to sleep to not feel like a zombie the next day.
  3. Exercise– When you start physically moving all kinds of endorphins are released that make you feel good! There are gyms such as Planet Fitness that are $10 a month that make it incredibly affordable. Not a gym gal? It’s okay! You can get exercise simply by walking or even jogging in place. Try to make exercise a part of your daily routine and not only will your health improve, but so will your energy levels.
  4. Feed Your Body with Healthy Food- If you feel your body with junk you feel like junk right?Try to incorporate as many fresh fruit, veggies, lean meat, and grains. Instead of grabbing a sugary donut for a snack opt for some pre-cut veggies and fruit. Prepare small baggies so you can just grab them on the go.
  5. Stay Hydrated-When you’re dragging it can simply be because your dehydrated. Drink water. It’s that simple.
  6. Take Vitamins– Ask your doctor about the vitamins they suggest you take. Most common are a multivitamin and a B12, but you may be lacking a certain vitamin that has your body completely out of whack.
  7. Stay Away From Emotionally Draining People– This isn’t meant to come off harsh, but there are people who literally drain you until you’re a puddle on the ground. Try to keep a healthy distance from people who are negative and live in a place of stinking thinking. It’s contagious so the most effective antibiotic are boundaries.
  8. Talk to Someone Who Is Uplifting! We all need those friends who can pick us up and when necessary whip us into shape. They are energy boosters! Maybe it’s your parent, a friend, a minister, whoever it is have a good old heart to heart, you’ll walk away feeling a whole lot better.
  9. Take a Time Out– When everything is spinning out of control, chances are you are too. Sometimes you have to get off the crazy train and take a time out. You don’t have to hop on a plane to a remote island (although not a bad idea!) but you can create some serenity by simply taking a step back. Maybe your time out place is your bathroom, a closet, the back porch, or your parked car. Find a place to unwind and take a breath.
  10. Do Something You Enjoy– When we’re happy, engaged and passionate we have boundless energy. When you’re feeling low go back to your sweet spot, that happy place and do what it is that you love! It will give you the boost you need.

A Little Pre-Prep Makes Healthy Eating Easier!

There is not one time that I ever ate healthy that I’ve regretted it or didn’t feel well. When I’m just grab the first sugary thing on the shelf, or decide to go through the fast food line because of poor planning my body and energy level take a hit. It’s so easy to eat unhealthy when your schedule is busy and your starving. But, with a little pre-prep and forethought healthy eating is doable. I’ve been hitting the gym while Anya is in a summer intensive ballet class and with every drop of sweat I’m reminded of the consequences of not being mindful about what I put in my mouth. I want to encourage you to pre-prep your veggies and fruit so that you can quickly grab them as a snack or add them to a meal. It has made a definite difference for me lately.

Veggie Pre-Prep Tip!

Cut your veggies as you as you get them from the store and put them in a ziplock baggie or container. You may want to write the date on them if you’re like me who always forgets about the produce in her fridge!

Putting the veggies in a container makes it super easy to either eat  them whole or grab some out to prepare. One of my favorite ways to eat veggies is to add a little olive oil, sea salt, and pepper and put them in the oven at 450 for about 10 minutes. There still crisp and really flavorful! Then I just add it to shrimp, chicken, or I eat them right out of the oven!

A Little Pre-Prep Makes Eating Healthy a Whole Lot Easier!

10 Minute Meal

What’s Your Narrative as a Single Mom? Create The Story You Desire!

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I’ve had women approach me and say, “you seem really happy,” or “you make being a single mom seem not so bad.” In fact for the most part I am happy. I’m content and I got my groove down as far as the single mom part goes. It doesn’t mean I don’t experience my share of struggles and trials. I’m just like every other woman who is raising children, because let’s face it whether you are a single mom, married mom, whatever your status is…parenting is serious and sometimes scary business and we all got the scars to prove it! For me, arrving at a place of contentment was and is an intentional journey that I work on because I refused to accept a story that didn’t fit the life I was living, so I changed it.

I can genuinely say that I do feel complete and so does my daughter. She doesn’t feel like she’ from a broken family or a statistic. She feels loved, secure and part of a family regardless of the size. When I first became a single mom I worried about creating a sense of family in our home and at times I allowed outsiders to shape the narrative of my life instead of creating my own. What a disservice we do to ourselves and our kids when we permit others to tell us what’s going to happen in our lives. What’s dangerous is when we start believing them and our actions and thoughts begin to reflect this preconceived notion of what is most likely going to happen to us as ‘single parents.’ If you’re struggling with insecurity about being a single parent, ask yourself if you’re creating the narrative you desire for your life or are you allowing the whispers of naysayers and to take root and wrap itself around your family.

Only you are responsible for creating the narrative of our life. You are planting the seeds of what you want to cultivate in your garden. If you believe your family is broken then it is! If you believe your children are lacking, they will be! If you rely on feeling whole by your marital status instead of on your relationship with God then you will always feel a void, regardless if you’re single or in a relationship. You are the storyteller of your life so don’t leave it in the hands of another narrator or in the shadows of the past.

A major stumbling block for single moms is refusing to let go of a life that no longer fits who they are  instead of embracing what remains. They keep trying to breathe air into it and in turn they get breath sucked out of them. Trying to relive an old story never works. It’s like quick sand, every step you take sinks you further in, putting a halt to your progress to move forward until it eventually suffocates you. God doesn’t want you to sink, he’s reaching out his hand to pull you out of the quick sand of an old story because he wants you to rise to the purpose he has in store for you as a woman, a mother and a child of God. He wants your narrative to be based on his truth for you not in the lies of Satan.

God can redeem and restore any situation. Do you think God looks at you and your family as being incomplete? I don’t believe that for a minute. God doesn’t work that way! Step into the narrative God has for your life. Let your story be filled with pages of grace, determination, endurance, love, forgiveness, laughter, family and purpose.

How do you perceive your story? Are you relying on someone else to write the pages? Do you have confidence in who you are as a mom? Are you happy with the family dynamic you’re choosing to create? If you aren’t then change the narrative, it’s your choice. Speak to yourself differently, create another vision for your life, and think about years from now when you look back, will you say your time was well spent or did you spend a lot of time trying to live up to a narrative that was never yours in the first place? If you live in a place of I can’t instead of I can then you won’t.

I believe from the bottom of my heart that God has a purpose for you, but your narrative has to match what a child of God deserves. It isn’t always easy because you have to change your thought and belief pattern, but it is possible. Maybe it requires healing, forgiveness, or something only God can do, but go to him in prayer and ask him to change your story. God is listening! Know that you are capable of creating the life you desire in God’s will, but how you view and speak of yourself and your family will determine if you get the life you want or you settle for less. We only live once, live well!

June Series on Cheap Summer Fun: It’s S’more Fun Under the Stars! Try Backyard Camping!

Camp In Your Own Backyard!

 

Who doesn’t enjoy sleeping under the stars? Setting up camp in your own backyard is a simple and inexpensive way to have fun with the kids this summer. A few years ago I invited a couple of Anya’s friends over for a campout. I grilled out, made some fruit kabobs, fresh lemonade, threw up a tent and squirted them with the hose. We painted, told stories, and made yummy smores over the fire-pit.

If you don’t own a tent, no worries! Ask to borrow one from a friend or neighbor. Bring board games into the tent and be armed with a few stories to share. If you live in an apartment ask a friend or family member if you can use their backyard and invite them to join in on the fun.

It's S'more Fun When You're Under the Stars