Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Frugal is VOGUE!

After reading a great post from LIST MAMA about living frugally,
I started thinking about how the whole country is now trying to
live smarter & cheaper... stuff that I've been doing for 41 years.
(Well, my parents were PRO's at saving money & living on little,
so they started the whole thing, then I took over after about 18 years.)

After all these years it's FINALLY cool to be FRUGAL! Sweet!
Although I never really cared that other people thought, it IS
really wonderful that there's ideas & encouragement everywhere now!

Being frugal - "sparing, simple & plain, costing little"

BUT,the thing that keeps it from driving us crazy is ATTITUDE!

If I look at saving money as my sport... it's fun!
(and it's a sport that I can WIN! a rarity indeed! ha!)

If I look at living with less as a discipline that has eternal value...
then my family & I are better for it!

If I look at frugal living as an avenue to greater creativity...
then it becomes more fun, more colorful, more enjoyable!

If I revel in the face that the rest of the country is just starting
to learn what I've been doing my entire adult life...
then I can smile to myself! (and why not, I TALK to myself
all the time anyway! ha!!!!)

And, special thanks to my Mom (and Dad)
who lived on less,
loved A LOT,
from whom I learned how to do/make much on my own,
and always filled our home with lots of LAUGHTER!
That's what I remember.

It's cool to be FRUGAL!
I'm so VOGUE! :)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Amazing Weekend!

This weekend was AMAZING!

Thursday night-
Chilly & I were treated to a night at
a bed & breakfast. This was a gift from our kind
friends at Auburn Hills Christian Center.
THANK YOU! We relaxed, ate a great meal, slept
a ton, ate a great breakfast and had some wonderful
time away!

Friday evening-
We just popped into a furniture resale shop
and found a much needed little, sturdy
old desk. Just a few weeks ago I asked Jesus to help
me get order in some areas of my life, and really
felt that a desk was His answer.
So I asked Him for one.
AND... the money used to buy this sturdy, antique desk
(that was 1/2 price)was Christmas money from Chilly's
parents that we hadn't spent yet!
Thanks, Jesus!
Thanks, Mom & Dad C!

My long awaited computer
power cord arrived!
Now I can really get some
work done on my new desk!!!

(Special thanks to my friend, Kari, who loaned me
her cord for a week... that's friendship!)
some things around the house were fixed, repaired
and better than new, thanks to our friend, Zach!

true to my commitments in my new year of life,
I've managed to crank out some whole wheat pasta
that my entire family enjoyed! The first attempt
last week was, um... weird & mushy.
But I adjusted by whole wheat to white wheat
ratio and only cooked it few minutes!
(some good advice from our friend, Jumpy!)
It was yummy...& got thumbs up from everyone!
(And at our house, "everyone" is a lot of people!)

Before it's cooked!

Homemade w. wheat
pasta with a creamy
garlic & spinach
chicken sauce.

Both Saturday night & Sunday AM my husband rocked
it with the final sermon to the "Whisper" series.
(you can find it free on www.itunes.com search Chilly Chilton)
He used some little grass seeds as an analogy to the parable
of the sower & four kinds of soil. At the end we passed
around little tiny saucers of seeds for people to take a
few to keep or plant as a reminder. As I handed the
tiny plate of seeds to a sweet older man who speaks
very little English he quickly took a pinch and popped
"OH, you don't wanna eat that!"....
too late
Well, I guess time will tell if some springtime grass
is now beginning to grow in his tummy!
Only in Hamtramck! I love it!

What a great weekend!
Thank You, Jesus, for sending me to Detroit!
Thank You, for giving me the greatest Man on earth!
Thank You for my family & friends....
Thank You for friends who share & help us,
and Thank You for all the kind people who read this
and share the details of my life with me!

Happy Week!

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Thank you to all who read my blog!
We have a winner of the book "Don't let me Go" by
David Pierce.....


Next week I wanna write about the books that have
been most helpful to me in my nearly 17 years of
parenting so far... besides the BEST... The BIBLE!
(go head... sing it.. you were thinking it...
"The B. I. B. L. E., Yes that's the book for me!")

Happy Weekend!

(One of my more
mature moments
of parenting!)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Parents, Be Encouraged!

A couple of thoughts that were inspired by an
email "conversation" with my friend, Sara,
who is wife & mom of two little girls.

Be Encouraged!

Stubborness is strength!
It's our job to properly direct it.

Our weaknesses are just the flip side of our strengths!
And so it is with our children.
Help them flip it around the right way.

Be careful not to take our childrens' outbursts too personally.
If we do, we're sure to regret our own actions/outbursts.

Pause occasionally & look into their eyes & faces!
This is especially helpful when we're frustrated.

Stop. Take a deep breath.
Everything we need to parent is IN us... JESUS!

(Click here for book give-a-way)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Last week my little boys passed the stomach virus
back & forth for 6 days.
It went North & it went down south, with a vengeance!
Many diapers were purchased & used up quickly.
(if you know what I'm sayin'!)

Laundry piled high.
Toys set up new homes in corners.
We nearly forgot what "outdoors" looked like.
(too cold to go out anyway...sigh!)

BUT... yesterday! It changed!
Not the weather, but the climate of our home!

The boys are feeling better & I left the house! YIPPEE!
Nothing too exciting except that simply walking outside
and driving somewhere was wonderful!!!

I got groceries... Aldi (with a pre-stop at Walmart, where
we recycled 410 cans! That's $41 in Michigan! Paid for
more diapers! and etc...)

But, as great as "getting out" can be, I'm reminded of the
greater moments I had while inside with my sick little boys-
cuddling & snuggling, getting to read even more books
and catching up on all the kids shows we don't usually watch.

Diapers... lotsa money
Generic Pedialite.... not as much thanks to coupons &
our friend, Crystal
Extra Snuggling Time Together... PRICELESS!

And hey, I'm giving away a book tomorrow. Click here to

Happy Tuesday!

Friday, March 20, 2009

"Don't Let me Go!" Book Give Away!

It's amazing how much you can
accomplish when you just do a little bit
everyday! (Please tell me this principle works with
exercise, too??? But that's besides the point!)

I've been reading several books at once-
sorta doing things the hard way, but it's working. Amazingly I'm
actually getting to the end of them, too :)

This book, "Don't let me Go" by David Pierce, has been an easy read.
The author tells about the true experiences of he and his teenager
daughter. He's funny, honest and shares some of his own childhood
and how he now sees it connected to his parenting abilities... and
what he does because of it and in spite of it.

He & his daughter hike mountains & run marathons as he attempts
to answer her unspoken question of, "I'm growing up. What are you
going to do about it?"

I'm one chapter shy of finishing it... but will do that this weekend.
The publisher's have given me an extra copy to give away...
maybe to YOU!

It's easy to read. Not super deep, but a nice way to prompt thought
and consideration about my own parenting choices and uses of time.

If you'd like this FREE copy, simply leave a comment that's finishes
this statement,
"When I hear the phrase, 'growing up fast' I think of..."

I'll give the book away on Thursday morning, March 26th.

Happy FIRST day of SPRING!
(And, hopefully if everyone stays healthy,
we'll be heading out later to enjoy our annual "First Day of
Spring" ritual: "The buying of the yearly FLIP-FLOP!")

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Keep or Catch?

While thumbing through this wonderful little
cleaning book in an attempt to get inspired to
really do some serious housecleaning this spring,
I ran across this oh, so inspiring quote...

It simply said,
"It's easier to KEEP UP than to CATCH UP!"

Wow, can anyone feel the inspiration?
I can!
Totally inspired to fling this peepy little book across the room...
(the somewhat messy room that is!)

I didn't throw it...
it's a library book.

It's bummed me out for a couple of days, though.
Even brought me to tears yesterday... made my sweet husband
start wracking his brain for the logical reason for my tears.
Tears, yeah.
Logical, not really?

You know, after two days of semi-panic, and the self-destructive
"I-am-a-total-failure-of-a-mom-and-wife" thoughts, I finally heard
the gentle voice of Jesus.
(Why does it take me TWO entire days to shut up & listen!? ...
DO NOT answer that!)

Jesus kindly pointed out that the truly important stuff in my
life was working, was daily and was not behind.

The eternal stuff like
-spending prayer time daily with Jesus
-reading, memorizing & studying the Word of God
-building an ever-stronger relationship with my Husband
-enjoying & teaching our children
-loving on the family & friends He's given to me
-loving on the church family & other ministry friends in my life

Yeah, so my house, basement, closets and corners are in serious
need of some CATCHING UP... but I refuse to do any "catching up"
that would screw up the healthy, growing parts of my life that are
already "KEEPING UP!"

God knows what I can handle, and perhaps this spring & summer
all those corners will get caught up. Until then, I'll focus on the
lasting stuff.
It's more FUN anyway!

Oh, and the book is good, full of ideas for homemade cleaning
products that aren't all full of weird ingredients! I just may
buy a copy for myself after I return this one to the library!
(or perhaps just renew it a few times until my limit is up
and then pay a small fee... as usual!)

Monday, March 16, 2009

This year of life I'm ...

Yeah, I'm so past the "trama" of turning 40... that's SO last year!
(and any "post-trama" that may have existed from turning 41.
In recent weeks I've made some slight & gradual changes.
Drastic changes don't usually stick. Slow ones do... and
have been so far!

This new year of my life I've started...

-cooking with more whole grains
(my new pasta maker attachment is gunna work GREAT!)

-making most of our bread
(I don't have a bread maker, but it's not hard to do)

-exercising 5 mornings a week
(It's only been 15-20 minutes so far, but hey, it's a start!)

-verbalizing positive things

-keeping my mouth shut about negative stuff

-doing somthing about the things that I used
to just complain about

-working harder at making everyday moments special
(Here's a fav site for silly fun everyday!)

-finishing projects that I've already started

- spending less and appreciating more!

Lotsa small things add to something BIG!

Hap, Hap, HAPPY!

Celebrated Max's 4th B-day
*Enjoyed the special exhibit at Detroit Science Center
*Made a cake that had CARS stuff on it
*Made "puppets" out of photos & popcicle sticks
and did puppet shows! So funny!
*Had a blast watching him jump & laugh as he opened presents!

Celebrated my B-day on Sunday!
*Didn't cook all day (can't remember when that's happened!)
*Received lotsa cards, flowers, balloons & hugs!
*Got a pasta maker attachment for my Kitchenaid Mixer!
*Got a Book from Zoe with one thing she loves about me for
each letter of the alphabet! So sweet! a true Keeper!
*Got a song from Zoe about how I love to smile! I love it!
*Homemade brownies!
*Lunch with a friend from outa town!
*Received so many kind words & wishes via FB, emails & phone calls!


I've been thinking of some happy moments from memories past, too.
It's funny what we remember... and it encourages me to take the extra
effort to do things for others... they're remember more than you may think.

B-day #9...
Tons of friends from church slept over (Missionette group) and I
helped my Mom decorate my own Raggedy Ann Cake!

B-day #15...
Surprise! My "adopted older sister, Vicki K" hosted a small surprise
party at her apartment. It totally scared the waz-zoo outa me when my friends
popped out from behind stuff in her funky livingroom in that old house.

B-day #16...
"Silly Supper" dinner at my house hosted by my parents and
fun games provided by my cousins, Marilyn & David. We were eating
spaghetti with only knives and dessert before the appetizers. FUN!

B-day #22...
My newly-wed husband was in Argentina on a mission trip and I was
in our new place of ministry in western PA. A wonderful group of new
friends took me to Pittsburgh for a day of shopping and dinner at the
restaurant that spins around and overlooks the three rivers! So kind!

B-day #24...
Our wonderful Pastors, the Grabers, and many other friends kinda
surprised me at "Grinders" restaurant after church on a Sunday night
and blessed me with gifts, cards & happy fun!

B-day #26...
REPO! My first b-day with this crazy awesome force of teenagers.
They & my husband & daughter (only had one then) gave me a new
sewing machine! (May sound boring to you, but I had been using
my Mom's old one from the 1960's, and this was before it was cool
to have "vintage" stuff!)

B-day #30...
Several hundred teenagers wore ALL BLACK to the Sunday night
REPO service! I never suspected it. They treated me like a queen...
an old one! But a queen, none the less!

B-day #33...
Living in Philly, had a nasty case of bronchitis and couldn't go
out to celebrate. So, my man, three daughters, brother-in-law
and two sister-in-laws brought the celebration to me. Chilly grilled
steaks and they all cooked the meal & cleaned it up, too!
I coughed and SMILED all night!

B-day #37...
I was in the hospital in a Detroit suburb holding our new baby boy!
He had just been born! My "sister-in-law" brought me a giant size
Diet Coke and some chocolate and hung out for a while. Later my
fam came in and we enjoyed baby #4 together! What a b-day gift!

B-day #40...
Everyone at Real Church wore ALL BLACK without me having any
clue that they were gunna do it! Silly & fun! Memorable!

B-day #41...
Well, see the top of this post! Thank you! To those of you who
took the time to bless with me notes, hugs, etc....
And to my fam... who made sure that I got a sweet LONG lap (3 hrs!)
and didn't let me cook or prepare any food.

I plan to make this year more more meaningful & deliberate
than any years past. More on that tomorrow!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Totally New Old Thing

This isn't a cooking blog.
But it does involve my kitchen,
food, and the infamous crock pot!

Growing up we used to make a skillet hamburger/potato casserole
we called, "Hamburger Harvest." (I think it might've come
from my parents' friend who traveled the mid west/western
states with their gianormus combine machines!)

Today we had that same SKILLET recipe BUT in the crock pot!
(and it was better than ever!... Chilly's opinion, too!)

As I get more & more comfortable with my slow cooker,
I am more willing to step out. Try something that I don't
have an actual recipe for and see if it'll work.
Today it did! (Honestly, you can hardly go wrong!)

My life is like my crock pot experiences....
not slow moving... it's actually speeding by quite quickly.
But more like this:

Jesus has developed areas of my life & ministry over the years
and they're working pretty well. I'm good with it! Comfortable.
Then He busts out the crock pot!
He takes those skills & ministry tools and starts asking me
to use them in different ways.

And shock of shocks......... It WORKS!
Better than EVER!

(duh, it's God, Netta!)

For example, years of youth ministry that included:
really caring,
gently leading,
planning memory-making moments,
sharing others' joys
carrying others' burdens

Then Jesus plops us in the city (NOT the suburbs!)
and puts adults... GROWN UPS... in my path.

And so, for 4 1/2 yrs. I've been using the same ministry recipe
in a whole new kinda way. Same basic principles apply.
Yes, the setting is different, the ingredients are slightly varied,
but the bottom line is that PEOPLE ARE BEING SERVED!

Jesus doesn't just throw us from what's comfortable into
something completely new! If we stop to think about it,
there's probably many things He's expecting us to continue
doing, just in a slightly new way (even if it's in an entirely
different setting!)

Relax. When God asks us to do something completely new,
we've already been prepared for it.
Take a deep breath
and do what we know how to do,
and He'll teach us the new stuff we need to know
and give us courage to plug in the crock pot.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

The Point is Mute, Idol

"We can do it!"
"We can take this city for Jesus!"
"We can make this happen!"

All true... and yet such a LIE!

God can do anything! NO DOUBT!
He choices to work through us. TRUE.
But WE cannot do anything on our own....
except maybe mess it up!

You & I have learned over the years how to "minister" and
"do the work of the Lord," by clicking into our
"smile-hug- be-interested-in-others-&-tell'um-about-Jesus" mode.
But if that isn't fueled by true, daily relationship with Jesus
then it's just a "mode" that's fueled by an idol... ourselves!

I said "IDOL"... but not the show! The "worship thing!"

2 Cor. 8:11 says to finish the work God has called us to do
with a completion that matches the willingness we started with.

Back in verse 5 (2 Cor. 8:5) it says we must
GIVE OURSELVES TO GOD first! THEN, do His will & ministry!

LOVE GOD! Be with Him, talk, listen, read, pray!
You know...the stuff we teach everyone else to do!!!

We can become our own idol, made by our own hands
as Ps. 115:4-8 states, if we try to do it ourselves.

If we minister under our own strength & ideas then we're
just like an old wooden idol because....

1. We only have our own strength... nothing more
2. Our words are mute! pointless!
3. We're blind to the real needs & situations around us
4. We're deaf to the real cries for help
5. We are without true senses and feelings (kinda numb)
6. We & our ministry will do no where; it's without legs

Continue to love Jesus!
Continue to wake before your family/roommates to be with my JESUS!
(or whenever you can be alone with Him!)
Choose His strength & plan, not your personality,
to do the work He's called you to do.
Continue to place your relationship with Jesus
above ALL else.

Don't be your own idol or your efforts are mute.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Burnt Out?

Are you?
Just plumb tired of your everyday responsibilites & jobs?
Worn out.

Our Pastor... who just happens to be my Husband, just
shared an amazing message on this very thing.

I'm posting a link and several quotes. But...

WARNING: if you're not interested in change & would
rather "waller" in your self-pity, then don't read this and
certainly don't listen to the sermon - which is a free download
on itunes. Click here and then click on the ear buds on the
right side of the page!
Or just go to itunes and search ichilly.

So, if you're still reading.... here's the quotes:

"When we exaggerate our problems & everything that's
wrong, we ignore what's right in our life."

"Complaining brings Numbness!
Numbness brings confusion!
Confusion brings doubt... making us wonder if God's still here."
(FYI, God doesn't move!)

"I am NOT responsible for other peoples' response,
I AM, however, just responsible to tell the truth" (preach it, teach it,
live it, etc).

"When we allow ourselves to start questioning our purpose we
start wanting to to control people, situations, problems, etc."
(FYI, remember, this is the job of the Holy Spirit, not ours'!)

"When we stop doing what we're created to do
we come up with all sorts of reasons why 'He's not there'."

"We can't control the feelings that pop in our heads,
but we CAN control our commitment! We stick to
it because we are committed to Jesus!"

And my own note to some of my friends who are tired & worn out
in their ministry.... DELEGATE!!!
We need it and other people need the opportunity.
Stop controlling & let the Spirit lead you AND them!

Be Encouraged, My Friends!
Do everything as unto the Lord!