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Miscellany | Lisey’s Birthday, Tithing, and Chocolate Play-Doh

A Few Birthday Pictures

The friend Lisey had over for her birthday is a snake fan (she owns Zelda, whom you may have seen on Joshua’s 365 blog). So, Lisey thought we should have snake rolls.

I usually make uncoiled snakes (like the one on the right), but this time I made a few in a coiled shape, and it worked out pretty well (I used my basic roll recipe to make these)

We wrapped Lisey’s presents in our cloth gift bags, which are made from old clothes. For some reason, unbeknownst to man, Joshua decided to use a Christmas bag for his gift.

She didn’t mind the Christmas bag, though, because it contained the present she wanted most…a stuffed guinea pig from Joshua and Sonia (the pearls she’s wearing are from Zoe, who bought them for $1.20 at Goodwill).

Tithing in Hard Times

The other day when I wrote about coming up with our bare-bones budget, I caused some confusion of the topic of tithing, and though I addressed it in the comments, I’m still getting confused comments about it. So, here are some words to clear it up. 😉

I do believe in tithing in the best of times and in the worst of times. No matter what our financial situation, we give 10% of our gross (i.e. pre-tax) income to our church. We did this when we lived on a teeny warehousing salary, and we do it now. And if Mr. FG hadn’t found a job, we’d have continued to tithe off of whatever income I was bringing in.

We tithe off of income, great or small.

I was not saying that we should tithe only when things are good.

What I was saying is this:

Let’s pretend that I have an income of $2000/month (just because $2000 is an easy number to work with). To keep things simple, I’m going to ignore taxes and other paycheck deductions.

I tithe $200 every month, and put $200 in savings every month. The other $1600 goes to bills.

This means that when I try to figure out how much I should save to cover my expenses each month (for a hypothetical unemployment scenario), I should save $1600, not $2000.

Because when you’re living off of your savings, you obviously don’t need to put money into savings (that wouldn’t make any sense).

And when you’re living off of savings and have no income, there’s no income to tithe off of (the money in the savings account has already had tithe taken out).

I hope that explains my thoughts better. 🙂

Edible Chocolate Play-Doh

Well, actually it’s cookie dough. But you do get to use it kind of like Play-Doh!

It’s become something of an annual tradition for us to make these chocolate cookies when Lisey’s birthday rolls around.

The recipe is not hard to make, and I have yet to meet a kid who doesn’t enjoy playing with the dough, making the cookies into shapes, and eating the results.

I highly recommend giving it a try. (The recipe is in this post from two years ago. Please notice how little Sonia looks….totally gave me a case of the “aww…”s.)

Have a lovely Tuesday!


Today’s 365 post: I didn’t decorate this one

Joshua’s 365 post: Look what we found!

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Friday 1st of April 2011

Firstly and most importantly - Happy Belated Birthday Lisey! :-) Kristen I just wanted to let you know that this post has totally answered a question for me. I have been pondering (worrying!) about how much info I put on my blog. This post made me realise that the blog is a wonderful way of recording my families life for me and them - it was when you commented that you had looked back at a post you wrote two years ago, how lovely. Thank you


Friday 1st of April 2011

It IS kind of like an online scrapbook...especially the 365 stuff, since that's not all specifically about frugality.

And considering my real life scrapbooks are kinda behind, it's good the pictures are being organized somewhere! lol


Wednesday 30th of March 2011

I love the idea of using the cloth bags for gifts...I am definitly going to do that in the future.



Wednesday 30th of March 2011

I just LOVE the photo of Lisey with her guinea pig. That may be the happiest I've ever seen her. Incidentally, I know you're not big on pets (other than the reptilian variety), but we had tons of little critters growing up (hamsters, rats, gerbils, and guinea pigs) and they are very sweet creatures who are affectionate. They're not as smart and fun as rats (I'm not joking, rats are the best) but they are pretty easy to keep.

I also want to say it warms my heart that you are raising children who appreciate such simple gifts and enjoy choosing their own dinner as a treat. In Los Angeles, we are exposed to many (not all) children who will accept nothing less than expensive electronics and it's not a nice quality parents are instilling in them.


Wednesday 30th of March 2011

Mr. FG and I actually owned a guinea pig before we had kids. His name was Owen, and he died when Joshua and Lisey were fairly little (he was a good old age for a guinea pig by then). Mr. FG's sister is allergic to most small critters, unfortunately, so we've held off on getting any more.

I am so very grateful that my kids enjoy simple things. I think it's partly because of the culture of our home, and partly because they don't end up spending much time with people who are heavy consumers. Children are so malleable and easily influenced, especially when they're young, so if they spend a bunch of time with people who are very consumer-driven, it's no wonder they end up being little consumers themselves.


Wednesday 30th of March 2011

Just had to say thanks for the great gift wrapping idea. I'm cleaning out clothing to give to our church clothing drive, but there are some items that have just been worn too often to expect someone to continue to use them. Voila! Another recycling tip. Thanks.


Tuesday 29th of March 2011

It is great she had so much fun. What cute clothes she has too. Take care.

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