allyberg’s blog

a simple life

Secret pleasures! February 10, 2009

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So this weekend Blake gave me some alone time!  And since I am an introvert, it is alone time in every since of the word!  There are times that I really want to go out with the girls, and then there are time I literally don’t want to have to talk to any one!  🙂 And Sunday afternoon was one of those times!  One of my secret pleasures is going to thrift stores!  My sweet mother in law, Drexell, is a pro at finding great deals at thrift stores!  So I have had the joy of getting to go to these stores with her over the years!  Blake went to thrift stores growing up!  So we have gone to them often!  When I first started going, I was kinda taken off gaurd by the “organized chaos”, but over time have grown to appreciate it!  I enjoy looking at all the dishes, home decor, games, appliances, and clothes that people have considered “junk” and thrown into their Goodwill piles to get rid of.  I am one of those people as well.  And ya know what…when you buy something like a coffee pot from a thrift store and only pay a buck fifty for it…you don’t feel near as guilty about throwing it out!  So anyway… back to Sunday…there are several thrift stores on the main street close to our house.  So I decided to go spend some time pleasuring myself with other peoples junk!  The last store I went in was kinda overwhelming.  It was really messy, the music was blaring, and for a Sunday afternoon it seemed REALLY busy!  (especially for a thrift store)  But as I proceeded to shop…and I found a treasure!  I found a khaki colored denim jacket for $1.08!   Absolutely nothing wrong with it!  Not one thing…except that it smelled like a thrift store!  So you better bet I bought that jacket right there! A DOLLAR and a DIME later…I had a myself a really cute jacket.  I came home, stuck it in the washer, and like a little girl with a new shirt, wore my jacket to Bible study the next morning!  I love it when I find great steals! I am sure there aren’t many of you out there who enjoy thrift stores the way my family does, but if you are one of the few…I would love a buddy to go with next time!

So tell me…what’s a secret pleasure you have?


Are you ready for this! February 6, 2009

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Alright…so I have to let you all know how my grocery experience went this week!  I only did a few things different, and turns out-it REALLY made a difference!

First of all, and I have done this since the birth of our third daughter, I wrote out a two week menu and corresponding grocery list!  This time, cause I really wanted to spend the least amount possible, I did things like tacos one day and then a few days later, taco soup with the leftover taco meat.  I also did chili and then a few days later, frito chili wraps.  This probably made a difference in the amount that I spent.

Then, I decided to switch to dry milk.  We are not huge milk drinkers.  I use milk in recipes, and the fam uses it in their cereal, but that is about it!  So I decided to try it, and the fam didn’t complain!  I personally haven’t tasted it, cause milk doesn’t agree with my body!  But the rest of the family was okay with the switch!  A box of the powder was about $5 and I have a feeling it will last our family about two weeks!

The thing I did that made the biggest difference was doing majority of my shopping at ALDIS!  This is a small grocery store where you have to bag your own groceries and pay a quarter ( that you get back at the end of your shopping experience!) to get a shooping cart.  Also, if you plan on trying it out…bring your own grocery bags or you will pay six cents a piece for theirs! What I couldn’t get there I bought at Kroger…who knows if I had gone to Walmart!!!  🙂

So here is the grand total!  For two weeks of groceries, including fabric softener, detergent, paper towels, and dishwasher tabs…I spent $160!!!  That would be $85 a week, $12.15 a day, $4.05 per meal!  And that is for a family of six!  WOW!  I must say…I am very proud of myself!  If you all are interested…I will post my breakfast, lunch and dinner menus (snacks too if you are interested)!

I am still reading all of your ideas as you send them to me!  This is almost like a gme for me!  I am going to continue to try to see how cheap I can shop for and still eat as healthy as we possibly can!

I can’t believe my whole family can eat for so little…makes me convicted to spend less so we can give more!  We use to spend around $150 a week.  We could take almost half of what we have budgeted per week for groceries and give it to someone who needs it more!  Wow…I am excited!


Pinching Pennies! January 27, 2009

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So I am motivated to have the cheapest grocery budget ever!!!  I know with four growing children and two adults I might be unrealistic, but I am going to try anything!  (even baking my own bread!)  I am not a baker, but I am going to give in a shot!  I figured I get to stay at home and be with my family all day, I can do something to help out!!!  So I am asking you all out there…what does your monthly grocery budget look like?  Tell me on average what you spend and how many are in your family!  I want to cut it down to maximum $100 a week!  Feel like it can happen, not sure how!  Thanks in advance for any advice you might have for this “tight-wod” mom!!!


Don’t Give Up! January 21, 2009

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So nine months ago Blake and I stepped out of full-time ministry.  We had been through a very tough season in one of the churches we served in, and needed to take a break and do some healing!  During that time, God showed us many different things about ourselves, and about our circumstances and our dealings with them.  At the end of it we realized we ARE made for ministry.  Blake and I have a calling on our life that we can run from but will never be able to ignore.

So, God gave us a new and fresh love for His bride.  The passion we had when we first jumped in to ministry was restored and fresh.  He called us to a thriving, exciting church body, and gave us another opportunity to do His work in the body of Christ.  And I am so thankful.  Blake has only been on the job for two weeks, and this is really his first week to get to do pastoral things.  So I wanted to share a story that happened yesterday.

Blake gets the privilege of writing a hand-written personal note to all the first-time visitors.  This past week there were 66 people who worshiped with us for the first time.  As Blake began to write these letters, he asked the Lord to show him who he should call.  He came upon a woman who was from Mt. Juliet outside Nashville, and he felt led to call her.  She began to share with him how she had just moved out here from California and doesn’t know a soul.  Her mother had just passed away and she was really torn up about it, but wanted to move away from everything and start over.  She asked to be placed in a small group, as this would help her connect with people.  She was very thankful that he had called her.

Blake then preceded to write more letters, praying once again that God would show him who to call next.  Another card came up with a woman’s name on it from Mt. Juliet. (same town as the last girl he talked to)  He called the woman on the card, and began to hear her story.  She and her brother were looking for a church home and her heart’s desire was to pour in to younger women.  SO…Blake gave her the first woman’s number and asked her to call her and invite her to come with her to church and we could all go out for lunch Sunday after the service.  God gave Blake exactly who He wanted to connect.  I love His intentionalness (is that a word) in our lives.  He cares about every detail.

For me though, oh, how it fills me up to see my man being used by God in the giftedness that He has given to him.  I am so excited to see how God uses us for His kingdom’s sake here at Crosspoint.  We are so blessed and honored to be a part of such a great body of believers.

To anyone out there who has been hurt in ministry…I say don’t give up.  Rest if you must, counseling is always good, journal your journey, but don’t give up!  That’s exactly what Satan wants you to do!  But the battle is ours to win!  God is soveriegn.  He knows you and loves you…remember it is Him you are serving…not any man!  That might make it a little easier to press forward!  And God is still sowing seeds!  Even in the midst of  the hard season you might be going through!  Who knows what will be reaped if we don’t give up!  (Gal. 6:9)


We are HERE!!!! January 12, 2009

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Alright…so I fell off the blogging planet for a few weeks!  I had a few things to do…pack up all our junk…find a house to rent…put all our junk in a u-haul…get the flu the day we’re moving…unload all our junk…unpack all our junk…arrange all our junk…and then…feel like we are home!  WOW!  What a crazy few weeks!  Here’s what I have realized.  We have so much stuff…and honestly-I am one to get rid of things easily.  How is it that every time we move, we get there and get rid of stuff…then when it comes time to move again…we still fill up the uhaul full?!?!  I have a dear friend, Anne, who moved from Oklahoma a few months ago and only had like 38 boxes.  Now granted, she and Chris have no children, but come on…I wished this past  week we didn’t have so much stuff.  We can’t take it to Heaven with us…so why do we continue to haul it all over the country?

Okay…enough of my tangent-we are here…God gave us a great little rental right around the corner from the church.  It is a cute little house, built in 1930!  I love it…can’t afford to buy it…but love it!  I’ll try to post pictures later!  Thank you all for praying us here…and continuing to pray that we settle in quickly and the girls make friends!  We went to dinner at one of the pastors’  houses Saturday.  They have three daughters our girls’ ages, and they homeschool.  The girls seemed to click easily.  It made going to church the next morning less nerve-racking.  They had familiar faces to look for!  It blessed this mother’s heart!

So I will try to do better with this blog thing.  Our pastor really hit home yesterday about the fear of failure.  I feel really inadequate to write anything worth reading…and had just yesterday told Blake I thought I was in over my head with this thing.  But Pastor Pete reminded us of the Scripture in Exodus where God tells Moses that he will never leave him and is holding his right hand.  So, as incapable as I feel, I think this is out of my comfort zone and I need to do it for that reason!  I will never know if I don’t try!

SOOO…bear with me…thanks for leaving comments and encouraging words!  If I don’t respond it is because I am still trying to figure this thing out!  I am not the most technically literate person on the planet.  So, come take this adventure of new beginnings and new challenges with me!  It could be fun…especially with God holding my right hand!


Favorite Christmas Memory December 23, 2008

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201_4370Things are going to be a little different this year for Christmas.  You see, we decided to live communally for a time, and we moved in with Blake’s brother’s family.  They too have 4 kiddos.  Yes, you read that right!  There are 12 of us all living under one roof.  That’s for another blog though.  So I was thinking about this Christmas and the memories that will be made. It will be a Christmas they will never forget.  Then I started to daydream about our Christmases past.  I don’t know which one my family would say was their favorite, but I know which one is mine!

Last year, our church was giving away Lifepacks to the foster care system.  It’s like an angel tree.  Same idea.  So Blake had this idea to ask the girls if they wanted to give up one of their presents to a child who would probably not get one this year.   Without hesitation, Moriah, piped in and said, “I’ll give two of mine!”  Now, this was a big deal!  You see, we only give our kids three gifts each for Christmas.  So for Moriah to say she would give two…that would mean she would only get ONE present.  To my surprise, the other three immediately responded as well…two gifts sacrificed a piece!  Moriah then says, “Dad, if those kids are only going to get one gift, then I only want one gift!”  Who is this child?  Mother Teresa?  I was so proud of the girls for giving up their own wants so others could have the joy of opening one gift as well!

It was final!  Blake came home the next night with EIGHT bags to fill with presents!  Each bag had the child’s name, age, and wish list on it!  We chose bags our kiddos’ ages so they would feel like they were giving to a friend.  Then my amazing husband, who is very creative- and intentional about living in the moment, had the girls do something special.  Each one took a turn laying their two bags in front of them and praying over the child to whom it would be given.  WOW!  They did it!   They prayed for each little child and their circumstances, whatever they may have been! I couldn’t have been more content than in that moment!

So Christmas Eve came.  We all sat around the tree, Poppy read the account of Christ’s birth, and we sang a couple of songs.  The girls opened their gift (that is when we do it), and then we spent the rest of the evening playing games with Nana and Poppy!  We had the most fun, laughing and building memories!  I have to say…that one is at the top of my list of favorites!!!!

What is your favorite Christmas memory?christmas-ornamentchristmas-ornament1


the waiting…dreamhouse? December 20, 2008

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okay…so i am feeling a little antsy!  we are looking at housing in Nashvegas!  do we rent?  do we buy?  do we buy to invest and then sell?  aahhh…it all makes me want to just get there and be settled!  i have never been very patient in the waiting.  i frustrate myself.  what do i want?  a little 1600 square foot house with a front porch and a couple acres…a low monthly payment so we can get out of debt and bless others in the process…i just want to be wise with God’s money!  that’s all!!!!  and truthfully, i am not one to enjoy the bigness of a house.  i LIKE little houses.  i know that is probably weird, but i feel closer to my family when there aren’t so many walls (not to mention, I don’t really enjoy cleaning all that much!)1_cottage_outside.

what is your dreamhouse?