Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!

The Lord bless thee, and keep thee:

the Lord make His face to shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:

the Lord lift up His countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.

~ Numbers 6:24-26

Friday, December 28, 2007

Vision Forum Overstock Liquidation Sale! -- Save up to 50%

Discounts range from 25%-50%. If you are the kind of person who likes to plan ahead for birthdays and special occasions, this would be a wonderful time to take advantage of this once-a-year sale which ends at midnight (CST) on December 31, 2007.

Again, if you click through to Vision Forum using the link above & make your purchase you will benefit our family as well as the company.
Thanks & God Bless!

10% off at

The 10% offer is good off any purchase amount and on every order placed before the end of the day on January 1, 2008. They have not had as many offers lately that I am aware of may want to take advantage of this.
usually has good prices. Discounted by 10% makes great prices. Their shipping rates are not exorbiantly high and they OFTEN have deep discount bargins - be sure to check those.

To take advantage of this offer:
1. Fill your shopping cart with bestselling books, inspirational home accents, worship CD's, and anything else you wish.
2. Enter promotion code 271835 as you enter the checkout process.
3. Repeat on every order you place between now and 11:59 P.M. Eastern Time on 1/01/2008 to save an extra 10% off!
Please note: This offer cannot be combined with any other offers.

If you are not already their affiliate, please consider using this link to make your purchase. You can use my link whenever you purchase from - you help out my family. Thank you.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007


Emmanuel, translated means "God with us". What a precious thought. What a reality. This name of our Lord, usually only comes to mind around Christmas when we reflect on the birth of Jesus and sing the songs of that celebration season.
Our Pastor reflected on this in his Christmas morning address, but he also went on to draw our attention to Romans 8:9-11 where the Word tells us that God is not only with us, but now through the provisions made possible by Christ's birth, then death, ressurection and eventual ascension, if we believe, God is IN US:

"But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you." ~ Romans 8:9-11

There is power in being a believer - the power of Heaven on earth - IN US!

Sears offer

Go here to print a coupon for $5 off a Sears craftsman tool purchase of $5.00 or more.

A great opportunity to stock up on tools to fill your son's and/or husband's tool chest.

After reading the fine print I see that this offer is only good for those who live in the U.S. The rest of us will rejoice on your behalf. I hope this benefits someone - let me know if you are blessed by it OK? I'd love to hear about it.

And the Winner is ...

The winner of the Gifts for Sons Contest is ... Vicki. Congratulations Vicki.

Thanks to all for stopping by & watch for more in the new year.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Gifts for Sons Contest

"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and cometh down from the Father of Lights..." ~ James 1:17

God gave the ultimate gift, His Son, Jesus to rescue us from our sins. Like Him, we share gifts with our loved ones.

I invite you to share with us your gift ideas for your sons of all ages.

Leave a comment to this post no later than December 20, 2007. Be sure to let me know how to reach you if you're the winner.

One of you that posts a comment will win this DVD:

The League of Grateful Sons courtesy of
Vision Forum.

Nothing Like ... Homemade Croutons

Not only are homemade croutons a great frugal trick they're a delicious gourmet treat! A healthy snack! An easy meal-maker!

Cube a couple slices of your favorite whole wheat bread. Toss into a pan with extra virgin olive oil. Add some of your favorite spices - ours are garlic salt, oregano leaves and chili powder. Toss and stir regularly as the croutons toast gently on low heat until the cubes are dried and toasty. Use immediately or store in closed containers until needed. Freeze in zip-locs if you're storing more than a week.

A big bowl of cesaer salad seems to be a repeated request - at home and to take along to gatherings. It is so easy & so good! ... and always gone!

Our favorite cesaer dressing is "Rene's".

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Blessed Again!

Last summer we had a hot spell. Not thinking, we left one violin on it's stand - of course, it was the best one we have, the oldest, the nicest sounding ... the one the boys pick up and play most anytime they stroll past it ... The heat caused the glue to release and with the tension on the strings the neck "broke" off. It was just another thing that went "wrong" for us at that time, but our long-term plan with that particular violin was to have it refinished anyway.

Well, to make a long story shorter, Ken took this broken violin to the man that first taught him and our two oldest how to make their first violin. Today, he called and Ken went to pick up the refinished instrument. It is absolutely beautiful! The flame shimmers nicer than ever and the sound ... is superb. Ah, just in time for Christmas. What a blessing!

So, first, God has used this man to bless our family through his generosity - leading us into violins, both making and playing, and now he's blessed us again by putting his professional touch on a treasure that needed restoring.

God bless you, Abe! Your gift for His glory!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Gifts for Growing Boys

Through the years, my husband & I have tried to give our sons gifts that match their personality, their unique gifting from the Father.

Here are a few ideas:
- their very own Bible. By age six each son has had their own. By then they are able to read a little on their own already and when the family reads these little ones feel so VERY important to be able to read a verse out loud right from their own Bible, the same as everyone else. It is well worth it. One additional note - we have found the giant-sized print Bible makes it easier for little eyes (same as older eyes right).
- Bible cover
- Lego
- meccano
- drawing/sketch sets
- musical intrument
- music accessories: violin stand, harp stool, music stand, music case,
metranome, etc.
- yoyo
- harmonica
- skates
- hockey stick
- shovel
- snow scoop (child size if need be - but buy quality, you won't regret it)
- flashlight
- tool box
- tools: hammer, measuring tape, pliers, etc. - they may come in handy "Boy" (pun-intended :-) - do their little hearts swell when they can help out Daddy with their stuff ...
- cordless drill: our eldest son's cordless drill is used up in his service to the family (or at least the batteries are worn our, even though it is a DeWalt, but it will cost just as much to buy new batteries as a new drill). The purchase has still been worth it though, had the drill been Dad's, it wouldn't have given the character benefits of ownership. Son #2 is now asking/waiting for his drill ...
- fishing rod & tackle
- sleeping bag
- life jacket
- huge bath towels (different colors for each - but colors that co-ordinate in your bathroom). Eventually, they'll take these with when they leave - depending on how long it is until that time ...
- desk lamp
- wallet
- watch
- games: Cashflow 101 by Robert Kiyosaki - teaches accounting/real estate by "osmosis" = FUN!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Best Toys for Boys

Have you every noticed that the best toys don't cost anything at all?

Boxes are the best! Big boxes make great houses, tunnels & nap rooms. Box cars, box boats, box-trains are all so-o fun.

Bubble wrap takes a close second and doubles as a distraction while traveling (more for the big littles, if ya know what I mean) - but, please do watch and do not give the bubble wrap to littles that put it in their mouth. Play team games with similar size pieces of bubble wrap - see which team pops all their bubbles first. Alternately, let them jump on the wrap to burst all the bubbles...ideas are endless.

So... let them take out frustration or fill the boredom void - with bubble wrap - recycled, of course.

Sticks and stones are not long forgotten around here. This summer our eldest sons picked up a new hobby (well, new to them) ... rock hounding. Their Great-Grandfather was a rock-hound and when we stopped by one of his favorite quarries on our vacation it was an instant hit with out guys too.

Then, there's the sticks: this fall they came up with wood-burning as their art of

It's really just like Crystal said on her blog today. And as you can see from Crystal's picture post ... it's not just for boys.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Birds of a Different Feather

Life on the farm is always interesting. Today's episode began when Ken went to the barn to collect the early morning eggs ... he found birds in the barn. That's not so strange, you may think, except that one was a Great-horned OWL.

It's likely the owl had entered through the little chicken door as his tracks were in the snow outside. It must have seen a free meal just inside, within his reach - and having caught his prey ... didn't know how to get back out (no chickens out there in the freezing cold dark to lure him back out). We keep the little chicken door open year-round so the hens can get fresh air and sunshine whenever they choose. Never before has there been a problem - a wire mesh deterent will keep Mr. Owl at a distance from now on.

Of course, having checked the chickens in the evening, no one went out to the barn until the morning. How long Mr.Owl sought an exit we are left to wonder. Though it seemed the owl dined on only one poor hen, he sure did frighten the whole flock ... they cowered in the corner suffocating 33 of their own in their panic, evening laying their eggs, when nature called, on top of the deceased.

Replacing the birds is not an option as ready-to-lay hens are not to be had this time of year in our area, chicks take 5 months to raise to laying stage and an established flock does not accept new members well - there's always residual problems happening with such an attempt.

One tenth of the flock, gone in one fell tenth of the year's income. A call to faith for the family as we look to God to work His good for us:

"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28<

"2 for 1 Deal": Toddlers begin Printing

One thing I do as a homeschool Mom is to help my toddlers learn printing by dotting the letters for them to trace.
We usually begin with their name. Help them sign their name to their artwork by dotting the letters for them to trace ... eventually, as they get more confident and want more, I add some numbers (1,2,3 ...) and then phrases. The best phrase we use is "Bronlin (child's name) loves Jesus" and it's variation, "Jesus loves Benjamin" (child's name)- teaching them spiritual truth along with practical fine motor skills.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Market-Evaluation Customized

One thing I've done periodically in the past and again recently was to write a letter to a company to let them know if I like or dislike their product. Since becoming a paid mystery shopper I've come to realize that taking such pro-active action is really beneficial to the company. It is for that reason that they will usually send a coupon for free product.

The address for each company can be found on the package/container. I suppose a Google search could also give online access to this process... Has anyone tried this avenue?

The rules I follow are to:
2. Be honest.
3. Be factual.
4. Be helpful by providing product information like UPC code, size,
expiry ... whatever could help them. Even offer suggestions you would like to see added.
5. Be concise.
6. Use correct letter format, spelling, grammar as best you can. Present it professionally. Typed or hand written are both acceptable.

This last item was for a toilet bowl cleaner that I felt did NOT do the job as well as its other variety of the same brand. The company sent me a generic coupon that had printed on it a list of many/all the various items this company offers - I could choose which item I wished. So I choose one that I use a lot ... which ended up being one of the most expensive on the list, but one of the only ones that I wished to buy as I certainly DID NOT want to buy another of the "faulty" product. The cashier just filled in the purchase price of my new product.

So in essence, you could create your own mystery shopper position writing many companies to let them know your opinion of their product. It takes a little time, but it is beneficial to you & others. Plus you get the remunieration of the coupons.

Now, that said. I know I have sent praise of product in the past and not received a coupon, just a thank you response, but knowing you've blessed someone gives a good feeling too.

Also, I have not yet tried this method using the internet/email method. Instead, I 've chosen to date to do this using snail mail, believing this may leave a more sincere message with the manufacturer. Granted, then you also incur the expense of postage.

Has anyone else had experiences like this?

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Gift to Help You be a Godly Wife

A free ebook by Lylah is yours by posting a comment on her blog: Money Making Mamas. The book is called Power Prayers for Your Mighty Man. Check it out. See if you don't stand convicted and find encouragment to be more the woman God desires you to be.

Frugal Deal: Free Quaker Granola Bars

Check you local grocery store shelves for specially marked boxes of Quaker granola bars. The Quaker Crunchy, Chewy Yogurt, and Chewy Trail Mix bars have a coupon printed inside (boxes indicate a coupon inside). The coupon is a 2 for 1 deal - you buy a box and get one box free. Buy two or three boxes, then take them home and cut out the coupons. These coupons are then "proof of purchase" for having bought those 2-3 boxes. Use those three coupons to go back to the store and pick up two or three more boxes - being careful to pick the variety again that has more free coupons for more free boxes.

Storage tip: We have extra freezer space, now that our pasture-raised poultry is all sold, so I am storing these treats in the freezer to keep them fresh longer.

Variety tip: Check all local stores for the possibility of more variety of flavors. I have found that some locations only carry one ... and variety is rather nice!

Canadian Shopper: Free turkey + $25 gift card

Anyone can get a free turkey + a $25 gift card with a grocery/household Christmas order at the Real Canadian Superstore - with a $300 order. For those of you doing your Christmas order this week, this would be a nice bonus.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

"2 for 1" Deal: Spry Gum

Here is another "2 for 1" deal that I have come across: Spry gum and/or mints. Spry is sweetened with xylitol which is a 100% natural sweetner that is endorsed by the Dental Association to also be an anti-plaque agent inhibiting the formation of cavities.

The gum is in chicklet format and made without color. Therefore all the flavors are white. They use oil to add the flavors of cinnamon, spearamint, fruit flavor (much like "Juicy Fruit") and peppermint. Both the flavor and texture are lasting.

Our family has been without gum and candy for nine years - ever since one of our ds came down with Diabetes Mellitus, Type I. However, the xylitol sweetner, in small amounts at least, does not affect blood sugar levels.

So there you have it, Spry offers a treat that is good for your teeth and good for blood sugar levels - how cool is that?!

Oh, and speaking of cool ... xylitol itself has no after taste, but rather a pleasant "cool" taste/feeling in your mouth.

Spry can most often be purchased in local Health food stores.