About Me

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Thanks for visiting! My name is Lori and I am married to my high school sweetheart and have 2 beautiful girls. What is 'Life With Sugar & Spice'? It's a blog where I will share everything from my faith in Jesus Christ and my girls (sugar and spice) to thrifting and decorating! I started it as a way to showcase our everyday life to family out of town!
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Monday, September 26, 2011

A Journey Through Unemployment, part 3

A continuation on our Journey through Unemployment.(since I do not know how to link to a prior post, click on the label unemployment on the right to see other posts)

Last week, I discussed our infatuation with Dave Ramsey and today I'd like to share some additional ways in which God provided financially through couponing and odd jobs.

Prior to unemployment, I began couponing.  I learned to score deals by doubling coupons with store sales, stockpiling and playing the drugstore game.  Some might even say that I became quite obsessed with the process.  I would have to admit that I did.

I scoured blog world and followed sites such as moneysavingmom.com and southernsavers.com.
Couponing helped me stretch our food and household necessity budget further.  I was able to stock up on basic cleaning supplies, toiletries and food items. I found coupons not only for necessities, but for splurges as well.  It's amazing how many free or nearly free meals we scored at restaurants as well as miscellaneous things such as coffee, movie, and gifts. Most of all, I learned how to spend less and spend wiser.  All skills I would need when our budget was dramatically decreased.

God provided a part time job for me.  A few months before the job loss I began substituting at the girls' school for something to do and some extra money.  I say God provided the job, because during the next school year I worked as much as possible.  It didn't bring in a large amount of income, but it helped.  The crazy thing is, that if I hadn't started working in the school prior to the job loss, I never would have had the opportunity to work the following school year.  You see, the county had major teacher lay-offs and did not hire additional substitutes for an entire year!

God also provided numerous opportunities for Kyle to work odd jobs.  He would do anything asked.  He hung lighting for a church ministry, ran wires for another, remodeled a bathroom, layed tile, screened a pool room, and so on.  He never turned down an opportunity no matter what the pay was.  He worked hard and took every odd job as a blessing. 

Just when we thought we couldn't make it, God would provide something for us.

In my next post I will share some of our blessings and struggles.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Baby Turned Eight

This sweet baby of mine turned 8 this week.  I sometimes have the habit of taking a trip down memory lane each year when my girls have a birthday.  I think about being pregnant with them.  I think about the joyful day they were born.  I think about how quick the years have passed and wish I had really savored them.  And, I think about how I wish I could freeze time.

My dear Rylie came into this world 3 and a half weeks early.  She has been full of spunk and spirit from day one.  She is silly and outgoing.  She can be serious and goofy at the same time.  She is our family free-spirit and reminds me to slow down and at times, live for the moment.

I'm so thankful for a child that is so different from myself.  God gave me this sweet girl to make me less serious (at times) and make me take the time to "smell the roses."  I love this little chicka-doodle with all my being.

Happy Birthday Rylie Grace!

Monday, September 19, 2011

A Journey Through Unemployment, part 2

Last week I shared that in May 2010, my husband lost his job.  I wanted to continue that post and tell you how God prepared us for the 10 and a half months that were to follow.

Most people always want to know how in the world we made it so long without losing our house, our marriage or our sanity!  The most honest answer I can give is because we had faith in GOD!  Whether you want to believe that or not, it was him.  Without God's grace in our lives, his guidance and overflowing blessings, we may have lost all three things mentioned above.  In all seriousness, we survived because we planned financially for a lay off.

I will first say that we are die hard Dave Ramsey Followers.  It totally sounds like a cult, but I swear the man has it going on!  Two years prior to the dreaded phone call (i.e. honey I lost my job), a dear friends of ours invited us to attend Financial Peace University (FPU) at church.  That's where in 3 short months I struggled through my love-hate relationship with Dave Ramsey.

My husband became infatuated with the man and his principles and I had to institute the "no Dave in bed" rule.  Ok, let me explain that one.  We would lie in bed and he would say, "ya know what Dave said today?"  And after a few months, I had enough of Dave.  So, that's where the rule came in.

Back to FPU....we learned amazing money principles in that class.  We learned how to work off of a cash budget, save for annual expenses and wisely plan for retirement.  Sounds basic, but it's not.  At least not to us.  We didn't have any debt (other than the house since we had previously paid off some credit card debt and student loans), but we weren't saving anything besides what Uncle Sam gave us back at the end of the year. We wanted to make the best decisions we could with the income God had given us.

In short, in about a year and a half we were able to fully tithe to our church, save up 6 months of living expenses in an emergency fund, save half the amount budgeted towards our new car fund, and stick to a cash budget (well, mostly).  We tried to live modestly and make wise financial decisions.

By learning to stick to a cash budget, keeping our Dave cars (a.k.a. very old vehicles that were paid for) and having zero debt we knew we could survive IF, and I say IF, my husband lost his job.  We weren't perfect by any means and we still purchased things we didn't need, however, we felt we had truly grown in the are of learning to handle our finances.

Since we had learned those things, we had a savings from which we could draw from monthly for expenses.  We also had practice in suppressing our wants and focusing on needs.  It wasn't easy and we caved on some things, BUT we had a foundation.  We were so thankful that God had given us wise friends that led us to learning how to handle our finances.  We were thankful that even though we were given zero severance we had some money to live on for however long it took to find employment.

So....if you don't know anything about Dave Ramsey, go to his website right now.....daveramsey.com!

In my next post I will share some additional ways in which God provided financially....

Monday, September 12, 2011

A Journey Through Unemployment

I'm sure you can name at least one family affected currently by a job loss.  You may even be able to name several.  So many families around us have gone through job losses.  It's something you think could happen, but you never really think it will.

In May of 2010, while working at the girls' school I received the call that my husband had lost his job. The fear of the unknown lay in front of me and I couldn't see past it.  God was all ready working, but in that moment it was hard to imagine the blessings that would follow.  It was hard to imagine that we would spend nearly a year - 10 and a half months - unemployed.  It was hard to imagine that God was going to make changes to our family that would bring us closer.  It was hard to imagine that we would emerge stronger in faith than before.

I can't honestly say that I would do it over again. I can't say it was the best time of our marriage.  What I can say is that I'm thankful for the lessons learned and the amazing ways in which God revealed himself.  I'm thankful that I learned a little more about being content.

God prepared us for the journey and helped us through that season of uncertainty and I hope that our experience may help someone else.  In the coming weeks, I will share how God prepared us, the struggles along the way, and where we stand today.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Wheres the Beef

Cheesey title I know, but I couldn't resist.  Our family has begun a healthy food journey that includes changing the type of meat and poultry products we eat.  That being said, sometimes it's just plain ridiculous to not accept something based on what we'd prefer to eat. 

The Hubs' uncle is a truck driver and often has opportunities to purchase large quantities of items at really low prices.  We don't see him often, but when we do he typically has something to deliver to us.  This last visit it was 93 percent lean ground beef.  While it may not be our preferred grass fed beef, it was nearly free to us so to not accept it would be silly.  Especially since we just emerged from 10 plus months of unemployment and 40 pounds of beef could make a ton of meals!

So, here's the beef, packaged up into about 40 ziplock bags!  Some we kept, some we gave away.

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Great Science Project

Here it is....the Greatest Science Project ever!!!!!!  The Pufferfish.  Yes, the Pufferfish.  Rylie and the Hubs worked all weekend creating a paper-mache pufferfish. I must admit that I'm impressed. 

What impresses me most is that my husband dedicated the time to helping Rylie research her animal, figure out how to make it and walked her through the process.  He was just as excited as she was.  He was genuinely interested in her school work.

Yes, my Hubs rocks....and here's the Pufferfish to prove it:

Friday, September 2, 2011

First Cheer Game and a Little Starstruck

It's hard to believe that we have completed 4 weeks of school!  Wow, to say it has flown by would be an understatement.  Anyhoo, Chloe is cheering for the school flag football team and last night was the first game.

I first must admit how big of a dork I am in that I had no idea she would be cheering for anything at all.  I thought it was just a club.  Why, would I think this?  Well, cheer is an elective class we pay for her take just like say, PE.  So, yes when I got the email that we would cheer at 5pm and again at 6pm I was a little shocked!  That would mean not only would I work at the school all day, but stay until almost 7:30 pm!!!!!!! And my friends got a good laugh as they asked what exactly I thought the girls would learn cheers for if they weren't cheering for a team.  Again, yes, I'm a dork!

Any rate, it was a fabulous crazy day and Chloe did very well and I was so proud of her.  She just "fit" right in with all those girls.  Those girls that for some, had been at the school for years.  For some, that had known each other a long time.  She was comfortable, relaxed and truly happy. 

Watching her cheer, seeing her gorgeous smile, and her sweet laugh showed me that we made the right choice in changing schools.  Seeing her happier than she had been in awhile meant more to me than anything I could ask for. 

Ok, so as I hold back a tear, let me tell you why she was star struck. So there's this guy who is a Christian singer.  And well, his kids attend our school.

Here's a picture of him (and if you still don't know who he is his band starts with a T___ and a D______)

When Chloe saw him she had this look of amazement and I must admit so did I.  She giggled and tried so hard to act normal, but she just couldn't contain her excitement. And I missed a great kodak moment...erg!

What was neat for me was to see this amazing Christian artist as just a normal dad.  Watching his son play football.  And his wife....simple too.  Just ordinary folks with an amazing GOD given talent.

And no, I did not take a picture of him.  That would be totally ridiculous and rude.  But, I wanted too :) Hey, I am human ya know!

So in honor of being startstruck, here's a song from said artist:

post coming soon

Ok, so since I can't seem to figure out how to get the emailed pictures from Hub's phone to my blog I'm gonna have to wait till Hub comes home.  So, I promise by midnight, I will have something for you :)