Friday, July 31, 2009

A Little Science Lesson

"I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works;..." Psalms 139:14

I have a point to this post, which I'll share a little later. Right now, let's refresh our memory at what happens during the first stages of conception and pregnancy. I understand the terms blastocyst, embryo, and fetus are "scientific", but they sound so inhumane. I believe we can call it a baby from the moment of conception.

The following was taken from Merck.com. You can read the full article here.

A baby goes through several stages of development, beginning as a fertilized egg. The egg develops into a blastocyst, an embryo, then a fetus.

Fertilization

During each normal menstrual cycle, one egg (ovum) is usually released from one of the ovaries, about 14 days before the next menstrual period. Release of the egg is called ovulation. The egg is swept into the funnel-shaped end of one of the fallopian tubes.

At ovulation, the mucus in the cervix becomes more fluid and more elastic, allowing sperm to enter the uterus rapidly. Within 5 minutes, sperm may move from the vagina, through the cervix into the uterus, and to the funnel-shaped end of a fallopian tube—the usual site of fertilization. The cells lining the fallopian tube facilitate fertilization.

If a sperm penetrates the egg, fertilization results. Tiny hairlike cilia lining the fallopian tube propel the fertilized egg (zygote) through the tube toward the uterus. The cells of the zygote divide repeatedly as the zygote moves down the fallopian tube. The zygote enters the uterus in 3 to 5 days. In the uterus, the cells continue to divide, becoming a hollow ball of cells called a blastocyst. If fertilization does not occur, the egg degenerates and passes through the uterus with the next menstrual period.

Development of the Blastocyst

Between 5 and 8 days after fertilization, the blastocyst attaches to the lining of the uterus, usually near the top. This process, called implantation, is completed by day 9 or 10.

The wall of the blastocyst is one cell thick except in one area, where it is three to four cells thick. The inner cells in the thickened area develop into the embryo, and the outer cells burrow into the wall of the uterus and develop into the placenta. The placenta produces several hormones that help maintain the pregnancy. For example, the placenta produces human chorionic gonadotropin, which prevents the ovaries from releasing eggs and stimulates the ovaries to produce estrogen and progesterone continuously. The placenta also carries oxygen and nutrients from mother to fetus and waste materials from fetus to mother.

Some of the cells from the placenta develop into an outer layer of membranes (chorion) surrounding the embryo. An inner layer of membranes (amnion) develops by about day 10 to 12, forming the amniotic sac. The amniotic sac fills with a clear liquid (amniotic fluid) and expands to envelop the developing embryo, which floats within it.

Amazing, isn't it? More to come next week.....

Friday, July 24, 2009

Freebie Friday


-Make any purchase at Bath and Body Works and you can use this coupon for a free travel size item of your choice, up to $5. Offer good through July 29, 2009. No minimum purchase required.

-Get a free subscription to American Baby here.

-Every Monday, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., you can get a free Iced Mocha or Hot Mocha at participating McDonald's! Yummy!

-Participating Arby's locations offer a free item with purchase every Wednesday. I found a calendar inside the restaurant with the scheduled free foods. This past Wednesday, the offer was a free Roastburger with purchase of a drink. Not too shabby!

-Go here and login to print coupons for $1/1 Chef Boyardee coupons. You should be able to print these twice per computer. Most grocery stores have Chef Boyardee cans for around $1, so this would make them free. If you have a Publix nearby, they have them on sale for $.85, so you would actually make money! Sweet!
Note: These coupons must be printed in Internet Explorer.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

We're On Our Way!

I'm really excited about some financial changes we're making around here and wanted to share with you. Austin and I are striving to become debt-free! Yes, that's right, debt-free! Last year we purchased Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover and have started implementing the steps in the program.

I don't know about you, but it seemed like we were just getting by from paycheck to paycheck and never really getting ahead. It was so frustrating and discouraging for us. We began to see the bondage that debt has on us.

My sister gave me a copy of The Duggars: 20 and Counting for my birthday. They are completely debt free (with 18 kids!) and they talk about that process in their book. There were so many illustrations where they saw God work in miraculous ways to provide things they needed/wanted. It was so encouraging and uplifting.

I think that's when the wheels really started turning for us. Austin started working on a plan to pay off our debt and to put us on a pretty strict budget to accomplish our goal. It will take discipline and a little creativity, but I'm positive that with the Lord's help, we can do it.

I'll keep you updated on our progress, as well as some ideas and tips for saving money!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Definition of Embarrass

The following definition is from yourdictionary.com:

em·bar·rass (em bar…ôs, im-)

transitive verb

  1. to cause to feel self-conscious, confused, and ill at ease; disconcert; fluster
My definition:

When the cashier at Kroger tells you that your balance is $42 and you only have $33 in cash and NO, may I repeat NO, other form of payment because you left your purse AT HOME!!! So then you have to start taking stuff out of the cart because you are short $9 and change. And there are three people behind you, rolling their eyes, staring at the pregnant lady with three kids under the age of four, who can't even remember her purse-or so she says. And you've already made them wait while you gave the cashier all your coupons. And your oldest child is almost in tears because he doesn't understand why we are giving our groceries back. Then you give back the sour cream and have a credit, which you can't do, and have to figure out a less expensive item to swap it with. And when you finally leave, everyone starts clapping. Okay, not really, but I'll bet they wanted to.

I was self-conscious, confused, ill at ease, disconcerted, and flustered. Yeah, I'd say that was embarrassing.

In answer to your unspoken questions-
1) Yes, I knew my purse was at home. I just forgot about that small detail when I was shopping. I knew I was over my cash on hand. I was thinking, "Oh, I'll just put the ten bucks on the debit card." Pitiful; just pitiful.

2) The reason I had cash, even though I had no purse, was because I had our grocery money envelope with me. What's ironic is that I went back into the house before we left for the store, specifically to get the envelope because I had forgotten it.

3) Our grocery budget is more than $33. I had already been to Publix. You were either impressed by my seemingly ingenious frugal menu planning, or thinking about dropping off a box of groceries at my doorstep.

Feel free to leave a comment with an embarrassing moment so I don't feel like such a weenie. :)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Please the Lord Now

Do not let your growth in holiness depend upon surrounding circumstances, but rather constrain those circumstances to minister to your growth. Beware of looking onward, or out of the present in any way, for the sanctification of your life. The only thing you can really control is the present--the actual moment that is passing by. Sanctify that from hour to hour, and you sanctify your whole life; but brood over the past, or project yourself into the future, and you will lose all. The little act of obedience, love, self-restraint, meekness, patience, devotion, offered to you actually, is all you can do now, and if you neglect that to fret about something else at a distance, you lose your real opportunity of serving God. A moment's silence, when some irritating words are said by another, may stem a very small thing; yet at that moment it is your one duty, your one way of serving and pleasing God, and if you break it, you have lost your opportunity.
~H. L. SIDNEY LEAR~

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Thrifty Mama



Last week I cooked a big pot of pinto beans in the crockpot, fried up some potatoes and onions, and made a cake of cornbread. Yummy! We ate that for two nights! Talk about a frugal meal....just pennies per person.

At any rate, a small bag of pinto beans can go a loooonnnngggg way, 'cause we're having them again tonight! I had about two to three cups of beans left so I am jazzing them up for dinner. Here's my plan:

Drain beans and mash them up.
Add chicken chunks from the freezer, about 1 cup.
Add 1 can of Ro-Tel chilies (mild-cause of the kiddos).
Add 1 cup of cheddar cheese.
Mix ingredients well and then roll the mixture into flour tortilla shells.
Place the rolled up shells into a big baking dish and then bake for 25-30 minutes on 350.

Oh, and of course sprinkle more cheese on top of the shells before baking. One can never have too much cheese. Well, okay.....unless your allergic. Major bummer for you.

So that's my plan for dinner. Who knew that a $.99 bag of beans could feed our family of five for three nights? Gotta love beans! :)