Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Happy Birthday to me!

So I am turning 29 this Thursday. Actually, that's not quite true, but I think I will start counting backwards for the next few years... :) The good thing about getting older is that I get more birthday kisses each year (29 this year...), and multiplied by the number of our children that is a lot of kisses.

Miriam is thinking that we are really still celebrating her birthday, so she keeps telling me "Thank you for having my birthday again today!"

John's gift was this funny picture of a princess in high heels. The caption reads "From John to Mom. This is who you are." or something along those lines - his phonics are still off, but he's barely five and I think it's hilarious.

All of the kids have been making me lots of little gifts and cards, but I would just like to highlight Isaac here today, because I don't blog about him as much as I would like to. Which is only because he doesn't like having his picture taken.

First, he bought me a bouquet of daisies at the store. He really wanted to get me tulips, but because we were at Whole Foods (i.e. overpriced flowers) he only had enough money for the daisies, which I think are absolutely beautiful. He regularly spends all his savings on flowers for me, in addition to the ones he picks outside, and tells me that that's what sons are supposed to do.

Then, he crafted a little mummy for me from aluminum foil, wood, and electrical tape. Not sure what gave him the idea, but it looks strangely cute.

Finally, he made a very sweet card that had wildflowers (aka weeds) from our front yard taped into it.

Then he asked me, in typical Isaac fashion: "Mom, what would you think if I made you a candle out of ear wax? Would you like it just because it was from me?"

Oh, I love this funny little boy. He is such a ham, and just all around lovable and sweet as pie.

(notice the funny gap in his front teeth - it looks hilarious in real life)

With kids like ours, I really do not need any other gifts on my birthday, but my husband gave me several really nice ones. His business has been going very well in the last couple of months, which is really a blessing because it takes a lot to feed and care for a large family on a single income (he does not take a salary from church at all, only from his business). After all the media attention last year, one of his major clients canceled all contracts with my husband, and we have had to make some cutbacks since then, and he has had to work a lot more hours to make up for the loss.

He also picked up some sweets from the Whole Foods bakery for me tonight because I got a sweet craving, and bought flowers and a card while he was there. I am very spoiled indeed. There has to be some advantage to getting older. Not hat 29 is old... ;)


  1. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! I would say Hope it's a good one, but from the sounds of it, it already has been/will be.

  2. Just be thankful for good health, and for each year God gives you and you will have a happy birthday. Age is just a number.
    Many people don't live to see their "29th" b/d. In our city, a mother and her 17 yr old daughter and 9 yr old son were buried last week; the only surviving passenger of this head on crash was the 17 twin daughter, and a husband buried his wife and two children. The 27 yr old driver of the other vehicle also died. Two infants have died in the last two weeks; victims of child abuse. A 13 year old girl wlll be buried today; she died from head injuries suffered in a "freak" accident.

    "In everything give thanks for this is the will of God concerning you in Christ Jesus." This includes birthdays!

  3. Oh the price of fame. If you had to cut back, how do you continue to shop whole foods and buy organic fruits and vegetables? They're very expensive in our area.

  4. HAPPY BIRTHDAY ZSUZSA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I know it is special because of your sweet family! You are not old yet!!!!! :) But next year the big 30- hehehehe.


  5. To the second anonymous: I don't know why you think our finances are any of your business, but I will answer your question anyway.

    We have cut back in areas of discretionary spending, not money we spend on groceries. For example, we have cut back on the number of trips we take. I did not renew our memberships to the zoo, botanical garden, etc when these ran out. We stopped eating out entirely. I have not bought any clothes for myself in at least 6 months (and already I only ever bought from thrift stores). I try to only run errands one or two days an week and make a gas tank last two or three times as long as I used to. Just the same things many other families are doing in this economy - things we don't need and hardly even notice that we no longer have.

    We do not just buy organic produce, but have actually switched to a 100% organic diet, and have also replaced other unhealthy items such as body care products, cleaning supplies, etc. with natural alternatives. Given the fact that conventionally grown food should not even be labeled as safe for human consumption (unless cancer and the whole host of modern ailments is acceptable to you), I do not consider this discretionary spending. Living a healthy lifestyle allows us to save upward of $15,000/year on health insurance for a family our size (premiums plus deductible). We pay cash when we need to see a doctor, which is almost never.

    Besides, this switch has not increased our food budget astronomically, as I buy most of our food from local organic producers and co-ops. Whole Foods and Trader Joe's fill in the gaps here and there. Between not eating out any more and stretching our grocery budget through more economic meals, we probably still spend less than the average family with two working parents spends per capita.

    For example, last week I made cheeseburgers and french fries, with a side of asparagus and Hollondaise sauce. There was enough to last for 2 meals (dinner that night, and lunch the next day), and the total cost was less than $15. We're not talking small portion sizes, either, my husband and the boys put away insane amounts of food.

    The beef was local, organic, range-fed. All the produce and other ingredients were organic and/or made from scratch. The cheese was made from raw (unpasteurized) milk. And yet this meal cost about $1 per capita per meal. Compare that to any one item on the McDonald's dollar menu, and we are not only spending much less right now, but we are also saving thousands of dollars in health care bills down the road.

    Another example is bread. I bake about 6 loaves/week, each for a total cost of about 25 cents (this includes the organic honey, oil, butter, and sunflower seeds that also go into it, not just the grain). You cannot find bread that cheap anywhere, and this is so much healthier. I grind the grain fresh right before baking, which means that the flour naturally contains 23 vitamins and minerals that the stale bread at the store (and ALL bread at the store is stale, even though it may not taste like it because of the preservatives and dough enhancers) does not have, even when it's been "fortified" with 5 synthetic vitamins/minerals.

    It is a common misconception that organic = expensive, although I can see why people would get that impression if they just look at the price tags in a store like Whole Foods. Most people who eat organic make everything from scratch, including items such as crackers, specialty meats and cheeses, etc.

    It should also be taken into consideration that a family in which the husband works 70-80 hours/week will and should have more money that the guy who puts in his 40 hours and then spends an equal amount of time sitting in front of the TV. I personally work from 6 or 7 am until 9 or 10 pm every single day, seven days a week, and God will and does reward hard work.

  6. Happy Birthday! I just wanted to say you've been a blessing to me this year. I am thankful to the Lord for His provisions in your family. We have prayed for your family through the rough times. I love to see the young families the Lord is raising up in his service. May the Lord bless you as you seek to serve Him.

  7. Happy Birthday! I hope it's very good, and that you got some nice things. Birthdays are good times to just do some things you like and hopefully get some great presents! :D


  8. Happy Birthday Zsuzsanna! It sounds like you added some wonderful memories to your 29th yr. of life.
    My husband started listening the your husband's sermon through a website called about 2 yrs. ago and we have been listening to them ever since. We have never heard a preacher who is so faithful to preaching the Bible and who has memorized so much scripture! We often listen to his sermons several times because they are so full of wisdom we want to hear it again to really absorb what he is teaching.
    we live in Tx. and homeschool our children too.
    Thank you for your ministry and devotion to the word of God.

  9. Thank you all! I had a wonderful day with my husband and children.

  10. I'm late! Still I wanted to wish you a Happy Birthday! Happy Happy Birthday :)



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