A Conversation with my Soldier Prince Alligator Boy (His official Title)

Mom Stop!

Babe, you have to move out of the way. The other carts can't get by.

But the Macamodi is on sale.

Macaroni and Cheese isn't really on our list this week.

But Mom! It's on sale. We have to get some.

Okay, we can get some. But just a few.

One, two, three...

That's probably good.

four, five, six...

okay, we don't need any more.

Mom. It's on sale. seven, eight..

Nine, Ten. We're done. Now let's get some peas. We can't have macamodi without peas.

I have created a monster...


Stocking Up

So we got sick any way...

But even then it was an amazing answer to prayer. It all started around 3 AM. I was the first to go. Twenty minutes later it was Hubby's turn. In the morning we discovered that my mom, visiting from California, started around 4 AM.
That's right, we got the stomach flu.
We don't know how, or when we got it, or why the kids didn't get it, but we did know that we were glad we had the extra help, no sick kids, and a stock pile of easy to make comfort foods.
There is nothing like macaroni and cheese and canned soup when you are sick.

Stockpiling seems to be quite popular right now. I want to share with you some reasons for stockpiling that go beyond just saving money.

Stocking Up to Save Money
Buying food when it is on sale, saves money over buying food when it is not on sale. It is hard to argue with that. But time and space may put a limit on how this can be practical. You have to prioritize what you buy and how much.

Stocking Up on Seasonal Items
Some foods go on sale at certain times of the year, but there are other foods that are pulled from the shelf when they are out of season. There is a certain Mango flavored iced tea that I love, but after about September, it cannot be found on any shelf but my own pantry. If I want to enjoy this year round, I have to stock up in order to make it last.

Stocking Up for an Emergency
keeping basic food items on hand is a good idea no matter where you live. Even if you are not susceptible to seasonal storms like hurricanes, a power outage like was seen on the east coast not long ago is a good example of when having food on hand could be crucial. When preparing for an emergency always think ahead to what you might need to prepare the food. Do you need a heat source, a can opener, or clean water? Do you have food that you can grab and go, if you need to evacuate?

Stocking up for Lean Times Ahead
If your income fluctuates, or a job may be in jeopardy, stacking up on food may give you peace of mind to face the coming months. Many rash decisions happen when parents are stressed out about putting food on the table. Ease this worry by having things on hand that can carry you through several months.

Stocking Up for the Holidays
being prepared for last minute "bring a snack" parties, or hosting those drop in relatives, makes you thankful you thought ahead and stocked up on some crowd pleasing basics. To some people that could be a bag of chips and salsa, while others must have the cheese ball. I say break out the OREOs and we'll call it a party, but I am easy to please. What do you have on hand to serve unexpected guests?

Stocking Up for Giving
This is often the time of year that food is collected to give to needy families. Planning ahead for this kind of giving allows you to teach your kids how to be happy helpers. They see you shopping wisely for others, and not desperately digging in the cupboard for food no one else wants.

Stocking up to Save Time
What could you do with an extra hour or two every week? Well stocking up so that you don't have to go to the market as often may give you that extra time. It may take you a bit more planning time, but the time saved out of the store more than makes up for it.

Stocking up for Health Reasons
Last week, while we were sick, we went on voluntary quarantine. Nobody left the house. I was so glad that we had food on hand. Nobody felt like shopping, and trust me you did not want us out spreading our germs. But not every body does this. And they go shopping while they are sick... So one less trip to the store during flu season is okay with me.

Stocking up for Peace of Mind
Money is the usual motivator for stockpiling, but I think this may be realist. Whether your peace of mind comes from knowing you won't have to deal with a melt down when the Cheerios run out, or that you could survive an Alien Attack just by hiding out in your bunker, keeping food on hand may give you that peace of mind. After all, you can't eat money. But remember, that food is not the source of peace. That can only come from God.

What are your favorite things to stock pile?

This is linked up with We Are That Family on Works for me Wednesday.


Job vs. Chore - In the Bathroom

If you would like to read about the other rooms in this series Job Versus Chore click here.

This week we are braving the bathroom. The Bathroom is a room in the house that is generally shared by many people. It also needs to be cleaned often. I usually err on the side of If Everybody Uses It, Then Everybody Cleans It. But how you decide to delegate chores is up to you or a later blog post.

Chores for the Bathroom might include:

  • Cleaning the Toilet
  • Cleaning the Sink/faucet
  • Cleaning the Bathtub / Shower
  • Cleaning the mirrors
  • Putting away Bath toys
  • Putting away personal care items
  • Wiping/mopping/vacuuming the floor
  • Shaking out rugs
  • Cleaning Windows
  • Putting towels / wash cloths away
  • Emptying the trash
  • Freshening the hand towel

Since this room is usually shared by so many people, you could easily make everything a chore and not have any jobs. But these are things that I would consider paying someone to do:

  • Changing Light bulbs

  • Cleaning Light fixtures

  • Changing batteries in Fire detectors

  • Cleaning vents

  • Changing/ cleaning shower curtain and/or liner

  • Refilling soap dispensers

  • Taking inventory of personal care products and 1st aid kit

In our house, we don't have a separate Master Bathroom, we have an upstairs bathroom, and a downstairs bathroom. But many houses do have a Master Bathroom, or even a guest bathroom that is not shared with the general house. I think it would be completely appropriate to consider those chores as potential jobs, or at least possibilities for chore trading.

(Chore trading is when one person may have all of chores of a certain category, i.e. washing mirrors, that he does through out the house, even in rooms that he does not use. In exchange, I or another member of the family may have the chore of cleaning all of the toilets. You can divide the chores up this way, or see how your kids barter and trade based on their likes, dislikes and skills.)

Many of the skills listed under Jobs, could be considered chores, but since they are not regularly done, I think I would prefer to hire them out to a kid that had the initiative.

But teaching your kids to have a daily cleaning routine in the bathroom will save them money in the future.

New Identity Theft Scam

I just heard a piece on the radio put out by Crown Financial Ministries. They have a radio ministry helping families get out of debt and be good stewards. The information they shared today was about a new identity theft to be aware of. Here is how the scam goes:

  • You get a call from "your credit card company"
  • They are warning that your account has been "flagged" by their fraud dept.
  • They know your name
  • They know your address
  • They even know your account number
  • They want to send you money to reimburse you for those "fraudulent charges"
  • They just need to verify that you still have your card in hand
  • So you give them the 3 security digits on the back of the card


That is what the whole call is about. They just wanted those three numbers. They already had the other information, likely purchased from some data mining source. But they didn't have the security digits to easily make online purchases. Until now.


  • You are not worried about your account because your "Credit Card Company" is already on the case.
  • You don't check for fraudulent charges
  • You don't call to make a claim
  • Mr. Identity Thief has several days to go on his shopping spree

Many credit card companies are quick to resolve Identity Theft claims. They don't want you to stop using your card, after all. However, every time a thief gets away with his crime he is emboldened to do it again. And to brag to all his other thieving friends how easy it is.

Even though you may not pay for those charges out right, we all pay for it. The money comes from somewhere, usually in the form of extra fees hidden here or there.

If you choose to use credit cards, it is key that you teach your kids some of these basic safety measures:

  • Never give out information to people who call you
  • Always go to a statement to get a phone number and call them back
  • Keep cards and statements secure - at home, stores, restaurants
  • Check statements regularly for fraudulent charges
  • Try to use other reputable sites, like Pay Pal, when buying from an online source

You don't have to be afraid of online shopping, but you do have to be careful. Your example will go a long way to teaching your kids about money.