We knew from the beginning that I would not be working outside of the home while Sam was in graduate school. He would be receiving a small stipend, but it wasn't enough to cover the expenses of a growing family throughout the 5 years we would be living in Houston. We had a strong desire to get as few student loans as possible, so we lived very frugally.
I taught piano lessons to earn extra money, we had a $5 limit for gifts, and I scrounged at garage sales for clothes for the boys. Sam even taped his glasses back together when the ear piece broke off and didn't get new glasses for months! And when things got really tight, I gave up my cell phone and used a landline instead that would cost only $30/year.
We never shared the details of our financial circumstances, but little miracles occurred regularly. We were constantly being given items from ward members, family members, and neighbors that were just what we needed at just the right time.
One day, I walked outside to get the mail and found, to my great surprise, an envelope labeled "Brady Family" with a significant amount of money in it. And by "significant," I'm talking many hundreds of dollars! I was shocked. I was touched. I was humbled. If our extremely generous anonymous benefactor is reading this now, please know how grateful we were for that gift. Not only did it help us in a time of financial need, it showed us that Heavenly Father was aware of our circumstances and He inspired others to be His hands to help us.
We have been so inspired by the thoughtfulness and kindness that was shown to us during those years, and the kindness of others has given us a great desire to be benefactors to others in a like manner. To all those who have shown us such kindness, your actions mean more to us than I can express.