Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Thanks, Walmart!

Walmart gives out gift bags to employees at Christmas and some people win a big prize. My husband won a prize. (Some people have all the luck, huh?)

He brought home this big gift, all wrapped in paper, and told me that his co-worker said it was a toaster oven.

A toaster oven?

So, I listed to my husband the ways in which my crock pot was far superior to a toaster oven and that we didn't need it. Having expected this, he said we couldn't return it, so I set my mind to selling it on Craigslist.

I tore off the paper so that I could get information to list it properly only to find...

A roaster oven!

A roaster ovenis like a giant crock pot/mini-oven.

  • It is more energy efficient than an oven by up to 70%.
  • It holds more stuff than a crock pot, up to an 18 pound turkey, or larger if I hack the legs off first.
  • It fits all of the pans I own except my pizza pan, but I can cook a good sized pizza in it anyway. It also fits the car pan I got for my kids, so I won't have to turn on the oven to play with it.
  • It has the temperature control of an oven, with ranges of 150-450, plus a lower range for warming.
  • It has a rack that slides in, like the racks in an oven.
  • The enamel "crock" of it is removable for easy cleaning.
There is nothing I can't do with this roaster oven, except keep my counter clear. This thing is huge, about the size of my microwave, which is also huge.

My crock pot adventures have now turned to roaster oven adventures. I'm even thinking of figuring out a way to make cheese in it.


I'm Lori...and maybe I'm you, too. said...

I love my roaster. I use it all the time. It's fantastic for making stock. I've got my Christmas ham remnants cooking down into delicious soup as I type this, enough to can for later use. And when my husband makes his homemade sauce, he cooks it for two days, which can be a pain on the stove, but now that I've got him using my roaster for it, the whole process is much smoother.
But I also wouldn't scoff at a toaster oven, if I were you. Plenty of things that can't be done slowly in a crock could be done in a toaster oven without heating up your full oven.

Andrea said...

What a wonderful gift. I hope you get much enjoyment and use out of the roaster oven. Happy Holidays.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Emily! I'm glad you received something that will be even more useful to you at no cost. Have fun and be sure to post your adventures.

Upstate NY

Anna said...

That's awesome. No one else would have appreciated it as much as you!

We had a lot of little God moments like that this Christmas too. My husband has been wanting an old fashioned popcorn popping pan. But with no income to speak of, we decided against giving each other gifts. At a family grab bag, what did we receive...the pan he's been wanting for ages now! We also received a food dehydrator, which I have been searching high and low for at every resale shop around...for months. I wanted to attempt your crockpot method, but ours is not big enough and I couldn't even find a bigger crockpot at the resale shops. God is good. He provides for our wants and our needs.

Rachel in Florida said...

Emily, great gift! It sounds like you will get lots of use out of this roaster. I recieved a Magic Bullet. Not out of the box yet, and grandkids are here, so I have not even given a thought to what I can do with it.

Pam said...

Cool beans! I look forward to hearing your adventures with the roaster!

Lucy said...

How cool! I anticipate some great posts about your experiments with it.

Linda said...

Sounds like a great gift and one you can put to good use.

Diana @ frontyardfoodie said...

Congrats! How fun!

My husbands work didn't give out bonuses this year but still made things fun by doing a raffe with gift cards. We ended up with two $50 gift cards and a $25 gift card. Even with no bonus we felt like we hit the jackpot!

Michaela Dunn Leeper said...

What a cool gift! It's so funny how you frown only to come to find out it's something much better! Congratulations!

Jenny said...

We have a roaster too and it sure comes in handy! It frees up the oven for other things during holiday dinners, and we've taken it to church potlucks MANY times!


Minn said...

Yay! Enjoy the new roaster oven.

Dawn said...

Enjoy the new roaster. Maybe you can explore some healthy recipes with this that you weren't able to with the old crockpot?

This should be easier to keep clean too. If you wash it after every use right from the beginning the crud won't have a chance to build up.

Treva said...

Very nice! Now I want one! LOL Maybe next Christmas. This year I got the waffle maker I've been wanting for a long time.

Melissa said...

Congrats on the new roaster oven! I will be looking forward to reading and trying some of your recipes!

Anonymous said...

That is such the perfect gift! So glad you both received it!

Liz said...

I bet you were over the moon excited! I'm excited to read your adventures with your roaster, espcially the cheese. We go through so much cheese it'd be great to cut costs by making my own.

Kari said...

Congrats! My grandma and great aunts all had roasters (theirs were Nesco brand) and used them often - especially at large family gatherings.

I remember roasted turkeys and hams and pots of beans the most.

I'm looking forward to reading about your roaster adventures. :)

Bacon's Mom said...

How do you make toast?

Roxanna said...

That's a great gift. DH had a company party and they had a really nice dinner and DJ(ODS really enjoyed dancing!)We got a gift card from the raffle from there for a resturant in town and then he got a gift bag with a bottle of wine and some candies and a $1000 so it was nice.

I love those ovens for turkeys :)

Emily said...

Bacon's Mom, we have a toaster, which is different from a toaster oven. We don't eat much toast, but when we do, we pull out our toaster.

dfkwr said...

Congrats on the gift. I hope it comes in handy.

I have been reading your blog and Dan's blog and Dan's Twitter account and I must admit that I am quite concerned about the future of your family. Dan's blog posts, when you write them, are informative yet still quite well below a college level of writing. The themes are quite elementary and there seems to be a real lack of original thought. Mostly, it is a recitation of facts as opposed to a thoughtful essay relating ideas. When you do not write for Dan, they are impossible to read and well below the reading level of a high schooler. How, may I ask, does a man with such limited ability plan on completing college and/or leading a church?

While I don't agree with your religious beliefs or your lifestyle choices, I find you to be a kind and sincere young lady and I worry that you are going to continue having child after child with someone who communicates very much like a child himself. Please think twice about continuing down the path of poverty you've chosen. Face facts that the janitorial staff at Wal-Mart may be the best Dan can muster and do not have further children that will eventually be uncared for as he cannot be of much help.

Take care and good luck.

Anonymous said...

How do I find Dan's blog? I have been trying to find it with no luck..

Stacey said...

It makes me sad to see a beautiful, intelligent, mature young woman being submissive to her "leader" husband--a man who, by all evidence, does not have the capability to do better than a wal-mart job. You can write, think, and do circles around your husband, Emily, and he does seem like an all-around douche bag (i.e. "needing" Fox radio above health insurance or DENTIST VISITS for his kids??!).

Not frugal, just a bargain hunter. said...

It seems like a toaster oven would make perfect sense in your situation- it uses less energy than an oven and can bake things for real, not pretend baking in a crock-pot. Let's face it- you can't roast veggies in a crock-pot. You can't broil in a crock-pot. I'm not a crock-pot hater, I happen to have several of them and use them several times a week, but they do have their limitations and can't do everything.

Anyhow, back to the toaster oven idea- it's a double-tasker: it can take the place of your current toaster and stand in for the oven that you loathe using. I'm surprised you even own a microwave: my vote considering your limited space is to ditch both the microwave and toaster for a good quality toaster oven.

As a matter of fact, as soon as I get paid tomorrow I'm going out to buy myself a toaster oven; a gift to myself with the money that I've earned at work. I've been researching consumer reviews for the past week and decided exactly which model is going to provide the best quality for the price. I'm looking forward to using it for efficiently heating leftover casseroles and other such things for easy lunches with the kids, warming just a few rolls for dinner, heating my own homemade frozen burritos, etc.

Anita said...

There is so much you can do with a toaster oven. Bake cookies, pies, cakes,etc. You'll love it.

Erin T. said...

Emily, that is an AWESOME gift! I would be excited too!!! Looking forward to seeing what you make in it. Anon, Dan's blog is rantofdan, but it isn't a frugal blog, if that's what you're looking for.

Gizmola said...

Dan's Blog

It's very obvious when Emily "writes" for him - it's legible and pretty literate. When Dan "writes" it's scary - scary because he's the supposed "Head of the Household" and the writing skills are very coarse and on par with a fifth grader. (in fact, one person actually used Microsoft Word to gauge the grade level and it came back as 5th grade).


Meg said...

How awesome! What a great Christmas surprise!

My mother has one that I think she has used only once or twice in the 4 or 5 years she's had it. But now that I see all the nice features maybe I will have to borrow it from her. ;)

Lyndsae said...


You've stated many times that one of your primary motivations for blogging is to help your family reach long-term financial goals. I'm concerned that you're not fully condiering the possible implications of yours and Dan's blogs.

One side of my family is composed of at least 3 generations of conservative (some fundamental) Christians, including several Pastors and Pastor's wives, some being ordained ministers, some lay. I know that when a pastor is being evaluated for a job, the curch not only judges him, they also judge his wife and family. After all, the pastor's wife will have a specific role in the church, and his children are a direct reflection of him. The congregants' general impressions of the pastor's family, home, lifestyle, history, and general demeanor are just as important as his education and preaching experience, if not more important. If Dan makes it through school and goes on to interview for Pastor jobs, the churches will most certainly find this blog and Dan's personal blog. Considering how judgmental people really can be, do think that calling people lazy and bragging about voluntarily keeping your children in poverty will create a favorable impression? Do you believe that Dan's blog, considering his current writing level and critical thinking skills, would speak favorably of his abilities? Believe me, people will not give you a break just because they're supposed to be kind, compassionate Christians.

Unfortunately, the scrutiny will not end once he takes the job. My Dad and aunts were Pastor's kids, and their family lived under intense scrutiny from their church members for their entire lives. People criticized EVERYTHING about their families, including the way my Grandmother kept house, how much money they spent or didn't spend, how they dressed, the kids grades in school, their friends, whether or not my Grandmother wore makeup, and anything else you can possible think of. It seems that the level of scrutiny increases according to how conservative the church is. Considering how defensive you seem to be toward strangers on your blog, do you think you can handle that sort of opposition from your church?

I'm not suggesting that you change or remove your blog. I'm simply suggesting that you step back, look a the bigger picture, take the viewpoint of an outsider, and give the whole thing some serious consideration.

Lyndsae said...

BTW, do you have the option to disallow "anonymous" commenters? If a person is too cowardly to at least give their first name, they really shouldn't be posting comments.

Commenters: When you select profile, choose "Name/URL". Type in your name, leave the URL blank (if you don't have one) and click "Post Comment". It's not that hard.

Roxanna said...

I do have to agree with Lyndsae on many levels my Great Uncle was a pastor of a large church he held to BA's and a Master degree and my Aunt and cousins were under a lot of criticism good and bad but mostly the last. They will exam every aspect of your life good and bad and this blog will most likely come up. I do agree with you DH spelling and grammar and him wanting to run a church I would just have him look twice before posting because it doesn't look good and I am honestly NOT trying to attack you. The twitter is very bad and if you look at some other pastor's that do have twitter they are put together better.

One thing that I wanted to add was that most churches I know of and also my Uncle the church provided them with housing(and very nice house) that was included in their salary. My Great Uncle had a very beautiful and large home with a beautiful basement office that was also used for church business. A friend of mine growing up friend was also a pastor and had a nice home attached tot he church. Hopefully Dan will get a deal like this and you wont have to worry about housing.

Happily Frugal Mama said...


I tried to convince my husband to get me one before Thanksgiving... he's not buying it... doesn't think a turkey will turn out as well. I told him that my Mama has been using one for about a zillion years and the turkey (and everything else) is fabulous.

I'm loving the mental image of you "hacking" the legs off a turkey.

Clisby said...

I have to agree that if I wanted to cut back on countertop clutter I'd ditch the toaster and microwave and get a toaster oven. I realize some people use a microwave a lot more than I do, though.

Anonymous said...

I am so happy you received a roaster! I have one and I have only used it a couple of times for turkey's. I have considered getting rid of it but now I will wait for you to tell me what to do with it!

Thank you for enriching my mind with your "crazy" ideas. This week I have decided to start a price chart and a menu plan! Today I even made tortillas -something I haven't done in a couple of years. In the last few months my grocery budget has sky-rocketed and I'm sure I can get it back to normal with my new plan.

Fellow Readers,
Many comments are reminding me of high school -I didn't like the catty girls then and I still don't. As members of the Human race, we are to build each other up, not tear one another down.

I have looked at Dan's blog and his writing is poor. Have you ever thought why it may be like that? He could be dyslexic, nearly blind, typing on a small device in a moving bus, he can be very intelligent but communicate poorly, or maybe he has health issues. Whatever their situation is, it is theirs to deal with.

I am quite impressed with their choices. While going to school, Dan is still providing for his family. Emily is thrifty and doesn't take from the government even though our country will provide. They take medicaid (I think) for the welfare for their children until Dan is working full time and can provide it on his own. God Bless America that we still care enough for the individual to help them reach their goals.

The way I see it Emily, is that you and Dan are working very hard for your family's future. Thanks for sharing your lives with us.

You have in friend in Nebraska,

Anonymous said...

I didn't know a roasting oven was so useful. I have a more shallow version. I need to begin experimenting with that thing more. -Cris

Gizmola said...


I think what you miss is that those of us you deem "catty" are quite concerned about why Dan communicates so poorly, a problem that may prevent him from reaching his goal of being the head of a church, which could plunge the family further into poverty. Is it a learning disability? If so, is he getting help? If not, if it is due to being a lazy typer, then it doesn't bode well for his future success.

They are barely making it as it is on a salary that may not increase considering how unlikely it may be for Dan to gain better employment with his limited skills. And it concerns us that they plan on having more children when they cannot adequately care for those they have presently. Not having regular dental appointments indicates to me that they cannot adequately care for their existing children.

It has nothing to do with being catty and all to do with concern. Concern for the children who are going to be caught in a spiral of poverty. How are Dan and Emily going to send their children to college, to further their education? What happens if Wal-Mart closes and Dan's job is eliminated? It's not as if he could teach to earn money. What happens if she has an illness or a difficult pregnancy? Do you read about the Duggars? She had pre-eclampsia and their daughter is a mirco-premie now in the NICU. How would Dan and Emily even begin to pay for such care? They can't. They would have to take government assistance.

Their diet doesn't indicate many fresh fruits or vegetables, only processed meats and carbs. Where are the oranges, bananas, grapes? Fresh salads, tomatoes, etc.? Children need more than dollar store sausage and crockpot cream cheese to "graze" on during the day.

These are real concerns, not idle sniping because we have nothing better to do. We sense a disaster in the making and it's contrary to good sense to say nothing.

Anonymous said...

Those roasters were on sale for 20 right before Thanksgiving. They had way too many which is why they gave them out to employees.

Dan's blog is nothing compared to what he is up to with the trampy women on his High School website. Love the pole dancing pictures!

Anonymous said...

I would be doing some serious thinking about the direction my life was going if I spent hours editing my husband's blog so all of the internets didn't realize how stupid he is...

AT said...

Oh please, cut the crap. Those of you who are claiming to be so "concerned" about Emily and her family are clearly only concerned about one thing, maintaining a poorly disguised sense of superiority and smugness that is most likely way out of proportion to your actual positions in life and your positive contributions to our society.

You may be fooling yourselves but those of us who have true respect for Emily and her right to make her own choices see straight through you and we know better.

Satin said...

How long did it take you to create all those posts for Dan's blog?

I'd seriously reconsider the quiverful thing if I were you. Having Dan for a husband is like having another child, one you will always have to clean up behind, write essays and blog posts for, and eventually you will be stuck supporting him and a bunch of children because tehre is no way he is ever going to progress beyond Walmart janitor.

Do you have a college nearby that offers academic upgrading? Does his current "school" even look at his essays, or are they jsut looking at his tuition check?

Satin said...

AT, you don't think it is possible for people to be concerned about children? If Emily and Dan were choosing to live like this on their own without involving children, I don't think anyone would give a rat's ass what she did. But their choices unfortunately do involve children, and they plan on having more when they can't even support the ones they have.

Someday all three of those boys will be teenagers all at the same time. Teens eat a lot of food. There is no way they can afford to feed three teens a healthy diet on her current grocery budget. I've read comments where Emily's supporters defend her by saying that their income will go up as the kids get older, but that is highly doubtful. Have you read Dan's blog before Emily rewrote it for him? Have you read his twitter? This is a man that is not destined to ever earn more than minimum wage. And Emily herself has said that she fully expects their income to go down when Dan gets a pastor job. Thankfully that isn't likely to happen, so at least they will hopefully always have the Walmart income.

Our Family Is His said...

How sad that people dig, hurt, hurl insults, and are just plain nasty under the guise of "concern". Not much that was shared was actual concern. Most of it was not so subtle digs and attacks.

I, for one, enjoy her blog. I don't agree with her on everything. But I find the little peek into her life quite interesting, and I have learned a few things. Step back and look at your words of "concern", they do not look very compassionate at all.

dust in the wind said...

Yay! Congratulations Emily! Looks like a great blessing :)

Cori said...


Have you ever used raw milk? I am interested in making mozzarella cheese and was wondering if you had any experience in that...

Elizabeth said...

None of you are concerned about the children. You are concerned with making Emily feel low. Those boys are eating perfectly well and healthy eating has nothing to do with money. I know several middle/high income families that eat at McDonalds and eat pizza rolls and junk food for the majority of their meals. Yes, those boys will be eating a lot more when they are older, and I am sure by that time Emily may have a huge garden that can feed them, and may be making a lot more off her blog that offsets that rise in cost.
Get a life people. For some reason you don't like seeing a woman with not a lot of money but a whole lot of spunk. She has something that money can't buy, and that is a sense of satisfaction in what she does have and a loving and healthy family. If you don't like her, don't read her blog and don't comment on her postings. If you are so worried about "poor children" then do something to help the ones in your areas by visiting homeless shelters, donating your money to causes, and getting your hands dirty by actually helping someone. You all are doing nothing by henpecking someone who obviously has a very solid homelife and takes care of her children.
Go ahead and complain about those who get food stamps but are able to afford cable, better cuts of meat, manicured nails, and fancy cars. Complain about those who take advantage of disabilty payments who aren't really disabled. But Emily is not abusing the system, she is making do with what she has and doing a great job of it.

Anonymous said...

Elizabeth it is not the system Emily is abusing. You are making excuses for her not raising her children the best that she can.
Molly Klein

Satin said...

Elizabeth, I think it is quite presumptuous of you to assume I don't get involved in my community. I volunteer at the food bank, teach life skills to youth, work with the homeless (warming room, raising awareness through events) and volunteer at an agency that provides a safe environment for non-custodial parents to visit their children. In the new year I'll also be starting a volunteer position at the prison helping inmates get ready for parole.

What do you do?

Georgi said...

Can someone tell me why some of the people who comment here are so mean and nasty? No one forces you to read this blog, if you do not like it, go read another one or do one of your own. I cannot believe that some of the people who comment here have said so many evil things, and continue to say them. You have insulted Emily, her husband, and even her children at times. I think this has gotten way out of control and some people need to step back and re-read what they have written before it is posted.
The kids look healthy to me, and they do not seem to be little weaklings, so back off and go try to do some good in the world instead of being so mean and petty.
BTW, I do not know Emily and her family personally, but I have not seen so much meanness in the blogging world as I have seen here; the worst part is that you are not attacking her writing, but her belief system, which is personal and should be beyond attack by strangers.

Angel said...

Wow...amazing. First congrats on the prize. It sounds like it will be well used in your home.
Second....Oh my word people. Its a post about a roaster oven for petes sake. Get off your moral high horse. I don't think this woman deserves all of your nastiness. How quickly we go from Peace & goodwill towards men to downright spitefullness.
I have a thought...close your mouths, hug your kids, & pray. Pray for forgiveness for judging someone you don't even know. How sad your lives must be. If you don't like the way she lives then don't live that way. Its your choice just like hers is hers.
And if you don't like my post & really want to write back then email me personally. I am arebelmomma on aol you can find me there but be warned....I am honest & don't hold my tongue on so called do gooders just getting their jollies being mean.

Anonymous said...

Georgi, maybe she shouldn't post her beliefs all over the internet if she can't take criticism for them, you know. She started a blog about her lifestyle, which ties deeply into her beliefs. And other people have the right to come to a public blog and say "sorry, you're a nutcase who is abusing her children." if in fact she is. And she is.

Really, I'm interested to see how long till CPS really DOES get called. Maybe in another child or two when they're really ignoring occupancy laws ?

Anonymous said...

I love your blog, very interesting and I am learning alot. I do have one question that has never been answered. You say that your family must rely on the government for healthcare. My stepdad is a general manager of a Walmart. He told me that even part time employees are eligible for health insurance. Why don't you take advantage of this?

Emily said...

Anon, it's on the FAQ page. It will be dealt with on an FAQ Friday at some point.

Guinevere said...

Congrats on the roaster oven win!

Carol said...

Now I want a roaster oven. I have a little convection oven that I got at Walmart and I love - it even has a rotesserie in it, we do a lot of baking in it. Have you checked out thermal/hotpot cooking? What about pressure cookers? I love my pressure cooker!
I fnd your blog very inspiring, as it is easier on the Earth as well as the pocket book.

And FWIW, I am a Unitarian Universalist who may not agree with your beliefs, but defend your right to make the life choices you do.


brittany said...

How do you make cheese in an oven? I thought cheese was just taking milk and...letting it sit around or something? Ha, I guess I don't really know. Something to do with curds and whey. :)

Emily said...

brittany, you have to heat the milk to precise temperatures, and this oven has more temperature control than my stove top, so I think it will work perfectly. I have to do some testing, first. A regular oven doesn't have as precise of temperature control for lower temperatures and woudn't be good for cheese.

Halo said...

Emily congrats on the roaster. What a perfect gift for you!

And to the people that are defending Emily, I understand defending her...but really some people are concerned not only for the kids but for her. I have read Dan's blog and twitter and see his high school classmates page. If I hadn't read that I might be a little concerned but not much. Now that I've seen what type of man Dan is, I and many others feel very concerned for Emily. Emily I hope he realizes you are a quite a catch for him and treats you accordingly. Many women would become resentful and you have been able to make the best of the situation. I applaud you for that. Just make sure there isn't more that can be done for your children and yourself. Good luck

halo said...

oh and maybe you already do this but you can sign up for freecycle to get free stuff. I signed up recently although I haven't given anything away or taken anything yet.

Anonymous said...

Her belief system is no longer private when she puts it out on the internet on her blog. I think she likes the attention, personally, and likes the traffic it brings to her blog.

Her kids look dirty and sad. Her apartment is dirty and sad. Her husband can barely string together a sentence and receives half naked fairies from other women online. I think she is in deep denial and is a little girl playing house. I really feel sorry for her children. You can write it up as "I'm happy to live like this" all you want, but when large groups of people think there is something wrong, maybe you should pay attention.

I find it hilarious, by the way, that people who are getting their panties in a wad about people judging Emily and making sweeping generalizations about those posters. Hypocritical much?

Anonymous said...

Can you add to your FAQ Friday a plan that you and/or your husband have if either one of you were to become disabled or die? In any situation it would be a hardship for any family but becuase you cut it so close to the bottom line I am intested in seeing any backup plans you have made.

The reason I am asking is becuase I recently lost a childhood friend. He was 32 and left behind five children. They had no back up plan except that he would work until he died and his wife would stay home and take care of the kids. His wife is now struggling with losing her husband and raising her children by herself, and has the added pressure of now having to find out how they are going to make it fiancially.

Emily said...

To my husband stalkers, you obviously aren't even doing a good job at stalking him. If you were, you would notice he set up his yearbook page ages ago and rarely posts anything on it. So, yes, people are inappropriately spamming his page, but I do not think that having people spamming his page is any true reflection of his character.

Elizabeth said...

One thing I would recommend, as the poster above mentioned, is that there should be a backup plan in any family, whether they make $100,000 a year or $15,000. We have a small savings and live on a limited income but we do both have life insurance. It is just $22 a month (would be less if hubby can get his blood pressure in check) we have piece of mind. That is $22 worth spending for us.

Claire said...

I think the thing most people have a problem with, is that while she claims to be "happily thriving", she's: #1. a hypocrite, or she wouldn't be making money off her blog for "more", and #2 awfully self righteous and not the least bit humble.

Anonymous said...

Where's the yearbook page?

Amber said...

I love my roasting oven! I got it for Christmas last year and it's been invaluable ever since :) You will love this!

Be careful though... I prefer my oven for many things because it has a digital thermometer that I set. With the roasting oven I have, the temperature gage is a dial. If anyone bumps the dial (which is really easy to do!), the temperature is changed. It has happened to me more than a few times!!

Stacey Lee said...

To the commenter who is a mandatory reporter... I can tell you that by using a few critical thinking skills, I just returned Emily's full name, home address and phone number via a google search. The pieces are all online, if you want to find them.

To Emily: Perhaps you should rethink the information you and Dan post online. Although separately you have done a good job of protecting yourselves, combined I was able to put together all of the pieces to obtain your personal information. Obviously there are a lot of nutsos on the internet. Please protect yourselves and your children.

thelittlegreenhouse said...

Re: walmart insurance: Sure, you can get it. But they've recently changed it and it suuuuucks. We pay an arm and a leg for...basically nothing now. I hope we never get sick, because we can't afford it.

I don't understand why people are so concerned with the nutrition of her boys when most people I know eat worse, much worse, than her family. My son, who is 4.5, has LITERALLY not had a vegetable since he was one year old. The only fruit he will eat is bananas. Am I starving him? Hardly. My 2 year old daughter eats anything that isn't nailed down, including every piece of fruit or veggie she can get her chubby little hands on. And guess what? Neither of my kids are sickly. My son isn't sick more often than my daughter, and in fact, it's rare that either one has so much as a cold. Yes, nutrition is important, but it is not the end-all, be-all for children's health.

Honestly, I disagree with a lot that Emily posts, particularly on a religious level. Also, the fact that she likes walmart, even though her husband works there. ( :p, after 5 years of my husband working there, I HATE them and think they are the worst company in the world!) I admire her willingness to save money, even if sometimes she chooses things that I wouldn't be willing to do/don't think are particularly effective. I also get a LOT of good information from her!

But what I take offense at are the comments that because she and her husband are low-income, that they must not be taking good care of their children, and that because he works at Wal-Mart, he is not a good provider. And yes, I take offense to this because my family is low-income and my husband works at Walmart, and it is the sole income for our family. Believe it or not, it is actually possible to be poor and happy, strange as that may seem.

PS: Emily, I'm so jealous!!! My husband's warehouse didn't give out gift bags, nor do drawings for prizes. Grr.

ayjay said...

People, lay off of Dan's poor spelling! While I do worry about this in his planned career as a pastor, being a poor speller does not mean someone is retarded or learning disabled! My husband makes $60K/year as an electrician, has a college degree and he can't spell worth a flip!
When he needs to, he asks for my help or uses a dictionary. My hubs doesn't do a lot of writing for work, though, and doesn't blog or tweet. Dan obviously just doesn't care.

Melissa said...

I would like to point out that the fact that a person can have poor spelling skills and still be an intelligent person. My husband has horrible spelling and he has a great job working as an accounting rep. Numbers are my husbands strong point and spelling is his weakness.

I am sure that Emily's husband has his strengths and weaknesses just like any other person. It is easy to tear apart someone that we "know" online. We are not there everyday to recognize the strengths that I am sure Emily's husband has...just like the rest of us. Nobody is perfect in this world!

I am sorry that you have to deal with all of the negativity regarding your husband, Emily. I know it must hurt to read all of that about someone you love!


Lynn Clark said...

Here's the thing: He is a poor provider for his family, plain and simple. Any man who chooses to lead a patriarchal family life and desires to be quiverful but only works a low-wage part-time job is doing his family a disservice.

Being poor is not a crime, nor is working a low-wage job. Morally though, as the leader of the household, I think it is sad that he doesn't step up to the plate. Work more hours. Get a night job. Get a second job. Sure- it sucks, but that's life and these are choices that they have made for themselves, not a situation that they just suddenly found themselves in. Many, many people manage to hold down a full-time job, go to school full-time and juggle a family. Of course it's hard, but that's something they could have thought of ahead of time.

I can identify with being a low-wage earner; I myself don't make very much money at all. That's what happen when you chose to work in social services. I work evenings/nights so that I can still be home with my children during the day and I only work when my husband is home. It makes for a hectic schedule at times, but we do this because it's important to me to be able to buy high-quality groceries without having to worry about how to pay for them, it's important for us to be able to maintain medical and dental coverage and to send them to private school (and I've actually considered homeschooling instead of private school, but even so I want a reasonable amount of money available to be able to do it properly. Books are expensive and my vision of homeschooling also involves lots of day trips to museums, science centers, music lessons, art and drama classes, sports teams, and as they get older classes at the community college or private tutors for subjects such as higher level mathematics, foreign languages, etc.)

Anonymous said...

Honestly, I think that this woman is sharing her life and family experiences with us and we shouldn't judge but just appreciate the information or the knowledge. And if we don't like it we don't have to read it. I live in NYC, have plenty of money, am not a Christian, and I like the tortillas and I love my crock pot although I do use the oven and my heat. If there are issues and responsibilities for Emily and Dan they are theirs to worry about and not ours beyond simple human kindness so no need to snark on spelling, grammar and lifestyle choices. Kay

Me said...

I would be worried if I were Emily. There are too many people here who seem to want to do honest harm. It is easy enough through their blogs and google to figure out everything about them (and anyone else in the world) with a few keywords. It took me one search to find out everything any one of these nuts would need to make a false CPS report. I don't think they are neglectful or abusive. The only thing that concerns me is the lack of health insurance and some idle comments on her other blog about how cosmetic surgery and heart medication both alter the way God intended you to be.

I hope Emily is able to supplement the family's income. It is a clever means in which to do so. she doesn't have to leave her children and work outside the home.


Cate said...

I have to ask about the lack of dental care thing. If your child had a cavity or chipped a tooth or had a toothache, would you take them to the dentist?

I'm asking because, even though we had dental insurance growing up, my mother was anti-dental care for whatever bizarre, unjustifiable reason. Shortly after she died, I went and got a dozen fillings and three teeth pulled (I was 17 and hadn't been since I was probably 7). My dentist actually said to me, "you should thank god you didn't get an abscess and die." Interestingly, a couple of years later, we had a patient in the hospital where I worked that did die from an a tooth abscess. He was in his mid-30s and supposedly in good health other than that.

I brushed my teeth and did what I could, but a decade of neglect made its mark. My brother, on the other hand, is 24 and still has never had a cavity and went for years straight without brushing his teeth (I know, eww, but he has some problems).

And if you answer this at all, please spare me a reply like "of course" or "it should be obvious" because it is not obvious to expect from someone who describes dental care as a luxury.

Captain Cleavage said...

#1) I am so jealous of your new kitchen gadget! I would looove a roaster oven (although our kitchen is small as well so goodness knows where it would go!LOL)

#2)Why is everyone so concerned about the mans spelling? I will admit I am dyslexic and i do try very hard to make sure My spelling is correct before I post something or turn in paperwork...but if he doesn't care...why should you?

3)Emily seriously you need need need to do something about the info people can get online for you and your family. TRUST ME. What will you do when CPS shows up at your door because some nut case online submitted an annonymous "tip" abouot abuse or neglect in your home.

4)To anyone who would use this blog as proof and call CPS on her. Nice way to waste the time of people who are overworked and underpaid and a lot of times underfunded. They are here to help children whgo are being abused and neglected not for you to use as a scaretactic. If you really trully honestly belive her children are suffering then fine but I can tell you aftr working with kids who were in that situation I see no sign of abuse or neglect going on here.

Emily said...

Captain Cleavage, I'm pretty sure someone has told CPS about this blog. They came, poked around and determined what any honest reader would: there is nothing to be concerned with here. They sent me some info on some resources available to me, like the fact that state health insurance includes dental.

I freely admit my husband has horrendous spelling and typing skills. But his biggest problem is that he was never taught the importance of proofreading. It drives me nuts, so he often dictates blog posts and school papers to me and I type. It's easier for me than me proofreading his stuff.

Maria said...

Hey, Emily! Congrats on the roaster! My grandmother gives one to each of her grandkids when they marry. It's a rite of passage thing.

Just wanted to add that I do sometimes read your posts and scratch my head at some of the choices you make. But then I try to remember that the choices I make for my kiddo and our family would probably make your toes curl, lol. We all do what we think is best for our families.

I will say that I do think you should do whatever you can to keep the best health insurance policy possible for you and your kids. Why? Well I just had a baby with Tetralogy of Fallot four months ago. ToF is an incredibly complex heart defect (four defects, actually) and it's been hell on our finances.

Prior to becoming pregnant, Dave and I paid off almost all of our consumer debt. We live very simply and frugallly. I clip coupons. We have no TV except the free stuff you ge with those neato rabbit ears, Hulu and Netflix. We had a sizeable cushion in our savings.

I had an uneventful pregnancy. I was actually planning a homebirth but couldn't find a midwife with an opening so I stayed with my low intervention OB. In the end, it ended up being a stroke of luck or maybe fate. If I'd delivered at home, my baby probably wouldn't have survived her first night of life. I'm still pro-homebirth for most people...but I always tell them to be cautious. They could be me.

Anyways. Nyx spent 10 days in the NICU (50K right there) and then was rushed to Houston for emergency heart surgery when she was 14 days old. That little adventure cost us another 300K. She sees a pediatric cardiologist every month and that runs us about 3K per visit. There are also well baby visits, immunizations, and medications. We have another open heart surgery in six weeks or so. That will probably cost us a million smackers easy.

But we have insurance. It's high deductible with an HSA but it's saved our butts. We've spent just about every penny of our excess savings and my royalty income to clear our out-of-pocket maximum but it's worth it. My baby is alive and will live a wonderfully normal life after her next surgery. I thank God every day that we had a good insurance policy in place. We don't have to worry about whether or not Nyx can see this doctor or that surgeon. We just go and let the insurance companies sort it out.

The odds of Dave and I having a ToF baby were less than one-half of one-half of a percent--and yet it happened. Please keep in mind the ugly realities of genetics as you plan for your expanding family. You just never know what will happen. My family is proof of that.

Our Family Is His said...

anonymous said: "but when large groups of people think there is something wrong, maybe you should pay attention."

Yes, that's a GREAT gauge on how well you are doing. Hmm, my sons get nasty looks in every store, we get eye rolls, I have been told so many times I have lost count that I should parent my children and a "good swat on the butt" wouldn't hurt them either.

Why, you may ask. Because of their behaviors. What the world sees as a brat, the informed community sees as Autism, SPD, and hypotonia with seriious feeding issues.

The majority of the world thinks it's a bad idea to homeschool children with special needs. REALITY is that it's the absolute best things for my children, confirmed when time was spent in a public school and every medical professional we have said, "stop public schooling immediately".

The majority of the world doesn't matter in most cases. You do what you need to for your family and ignore the "majority". They know nothing of a family's needs, even a family that blogs.

Satin said...

Emily, are you saying that CPS came to your house?! Or that they supposedly just read your blog?

Either way, I'm glad that they will be able to provide help for you and your children.

Amber said...

Emily... your husband's writing is more than just mispellings. Part of going to college is writing your own papers, not having someone else write them for you! His words are not spelled wrong, they are jumbled and incoherent. He needs to be tested and evaluated so that he can get the help he needs for his learning disability.

Here's a recent twitter: "i am pro jkv not kjv only. i dont agree toaily with you but gre with you on plnaed berenhood"

Bad spelling would be saying "totily" or "perenhood." but the spelling mistakes he makes show a deeper problem. It's not the proofreading that he's not doing, it's a real problem.

He can't have you writing for him for the rest of his life. I know that if a college professor at my alma mater found out that someone else was typing my papers to cover up my awful spelling/grammar/punctuation, it would be seen as cheating, and rightfully so.

Leslie said...

There's a great difference in being a bad speller vs being functionally illiterate.

And because Emily's blog is in front of us, are concern rests with her family, her children, and whether or not they're being cared for properly. I know of a lot of children who are picky eaters, have food aversion, whatever, but they still have healthy foods offered to them. I'm not seeing where Emily's boys have a choice. This is why we're concerned. Yes, I'm sure there are other families who have it worse, but they aren't in front of us. Emily's family is.

Anonymous said...

Some of you need to concentrate more on your own lives and less on this one. How she chooses to live her life is her business. It is sickening that someone would read an online blog and then make threats to call CPS. Sickening. It is obvious this woman loves her children and is doing the best she can to provide for them. If your glass house is so much nicer, stay there.

connie said...

Your husband is illiterate, whether you face it or not. Convincing yourself that "he's just a bad speller" is blind thinking. I'm not trying to take a jibe at you or your family. If it matters to you, seek help and persuade him to take it. He can do better.

liveoncejuicy said...

It's ignorant to assume that you can tell from someone's ability to write whether or not they can read. He may be functionally illiterate, but to believe that you KNOW is just silly.

My 16-year-old is dysgraphic. He's brilliant. He has wonderful ideas that he can verbalize with creativity. But his actual writing on paper is like a first grader. Because he doesn't write much, even his typing is like maybe a fourth or fifth grader. He also has Asperger's Syndrome, which makes him super socially awkward. He spends alot of his time fending off idiots like you who assume they know him based on surface stuff.

Calling someone illiterate, and then saying it's not a jibe is--ridiculous.

Our Family Is His said...

Exactly liveoncejuicy. People who assume to know anything about someone, especially someone they have never met and chatted with in real life, is ridiculous and the highest form of rudeness.

Betsy said...

First time commenter here.

That's awesome! My Finance are very big into small appliances (right now, at least) that are more efficient than the dinosaur of an oven that was left in my house when I bought it. My parents got him a huge slow cooker along with a CrokPot cookbook for Christmas. He plans on cooking his way through it (mulled wine in a slowcooker? really?). I plan on eating what I can, being vegetarian. I'm excited to use it tomorrow for veggie "meat"balls. So until we're financially able to replace our oven, NuWave & CrokPot will be getting quite the work out.

Have fun with your new cooking adventures! I'm looking forward to reading about them!

Losers said...

DOWN with Syberbigmouths.com ;) Why are they all typing 'anon?' anyhow? I thought Sybermoms.stupid.com were all about being loud and opinionated. haha I guess it's only when they're on their own turf and got back up. LOL

Congrats on your roaster Emily, it looks awesome!!

Meesh said...

Emily, Cate brings up a really good point on the dental care. My father was very poor growing up, no dental care, and lost all of his teeth to gingivitis (sp?) at the age of 34. I have a dentist friend who provided care to low-income people in rural parts of our state in exchange for forgiveness of student loans and she performed full-mouth extractions on SEVENTEEN year olds! Do you think about things like that? That's what I don't understand about the quiverfull thing. I want my children (all hypothetical at this point) to be WELL taken care of, not just have very basic care, like a roof over their head, and hopefully turn out ok. I'm not trying to beat up on you here, I'm seriously inquiring.

Also, the abscess thing is a very real threat. There was a story in the national media not long ago about a low-income child who died of a tooth abscess. Here is a link to that story:


I will say I don't think twice yearly cleanings are absolutely necessary for children with baby teeth, but once they get their adult teeth you have to get them some dental care, or else it will be your children who will suffer the life-long consequences (or worse).

mamamoomoo said...

Emily, I think you're great and you inspired me to start my own frugal living blog. (I currently have a livejournal one but its not paid and its not dedicated solely to frugal living.)
I get similar comments and I think its terrible that people are judging you badly.
My husband also works a minimum wage job and i'm a stay at home mom who babysits some extra kids in my at home day-care but that barely makes any money.
Neither my husband nor myself have very marketable skills; my husband doesn't have a high school diploma and i don't speak the language of my country well enough to get most jobs...
And getting retrained while you're already married with kids is a big issue... You need to stop working as many hours so that you can go to school, in addition to paying for the schooling. Its not so simple. My mother harps on me again and again how my husband needs to get some sort of degree to improve our finances, but he doesnt have the pushy personality required for most jobs, and his math skills are pretty terrible as well as his spelling and grammar in writing. That doesn't make him stupid. He happens to have quite a high IQ and is gifted, but one can be gifted and learning disabled at the same time.
I think its pathetic that people are telling you to be on birth control. G-d gives us children and its up to us to use our resources to the best of our ability to provide for them.
I don't either use birth control. I am 22, have 2 kids, my husband has a minimum wage job, but we're quite happy.
If anyone would have the nerve to suggest that i'm doing a terrible thing by not being on birth control- then i really have no comment to them because they don't understand that G-d decides when people will have children- even birth control can fail, and someone with no birth control can take a while to get pregnant.
All that is required of us is to do the best we can to help ourselves- and thats what you're doing by not spending wrecklessly. Good for you!

Just a suggestion about getting more fruits and vegetables into your diet-
I havent been reading your blog for enough time to know details about where you live and your life, but is there a farmer's market near you? Or does your grocery sell seconds on vegetables, produce that are almost at the end of their shelf life that you can get for cheaper than the usual cost?

Anonymous said...

Emily probably believes that her lifestyle will protect them. I know a 5 year old boy who ended up having emergency oral surgery for an untreated dental abcess when he spiked a 104 fever. He lost several teeth and part of his jaw. Parents claimed he never showed signs of any problems.

Anonymous said...

Sweet deal for you, Emily! I have a roaster that sits in my cupboard unused - maybe you can teach me a think or two!

For what it's worth, I LOVE my toaster oven. I bake just about everything in there so I don't have to use my big oven.


Tree Huggin Momma said...

I've had one of these for years and I absolutely love it. Mine came with three dividers in addition to the large pan so I can cook three things at once (so long as they use the same temp), just realized I could probably cook bread in it. Three large sandwich sized loafs!

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