Thursday, September 18, 2008

family, food, and editing

Family: Life finally slowed down for us a bit this week. Phew! Chase's brother and sister-in-law are coming to town this weekend which I'm really excited about for several reasons. I haven't seen them in almost 3 years, since our wedding!!! Yikes. They live in a land far far away so the only time we would normally see them is at Christmas. Chase's bro was serving in Afghanistan the last time we went to Idaho for Christmas and just got back in May. I'm also excited they are coming because it is forcing us to get the second bedroom together. Got to love deadlines!

Food: Todd, our pastor at Watermark, gave a message called "Why Storehouses are Stupid" this past Sunday. It was a good one and if you missed it, I highly recommend you listen to it. The gist of it was on giving and our heart behind it. Chase and I absolutely LOVE to give. Many times we have the "what if we won the lottery" conversation and dream about how we could give. We love to give things that are important to us, like date nights.

We re-evaluated our budget about a year ago and had to make a really hard decision. We have a TON of student loans...and when I say a ton, I mean a ton. Think of a really big number and add some more. We saw that our giving was actually pretty large but our debt payments weren't much more the minimums. All that to say, through much agony, prayer, and counsel we decided to significantly reduce our giving so that we could make larger debt payments.

After Todd's message on Sunday, Chase had a great idea. We could reduce our grocery money to next to nothing for one month and use that to give. We budget $250 a month for groceries which I'm normally able to do for even time I'll post about all the grocery stores I go to to save money. So our goal for one month would be to live off of $50 for all our groceries. This would mean a lot of oatmeal, beans, and rice. Don't worry, we'll take lots of vitamins to get our needed nutrients.

The reason why I'm even sharing this here is that I need some good beans and rice recipes. Do you have any you can share with me? Or another recipe idea that is really really really cheap to make.

Editing: I've never edited my photos but I'd like to start trying. I don't want to purchase anything yet so photoshop is out. If you know of a free editing website I'd love for you to share that with me.


Lori Motl said...

You can try GIMP.

I've used it for a couple of things. I've heard good things.

Shane said...

I was going to say GIMP as well. Lori beat me to it.

Danielle Kanka said...

James and I are huge picasa fans it's great what it allows you to do editing wise, you can add blur, tilt, glow, and a bunch of other stuff. It also helps you sort and manage your photos. They recently just updated it with face recognition so you can look for your photos by person. I also like how it meshes so well with all the other google apps like gmail, blogger, etc. Check it out and the best part is it's free!!! :)