Friday, February 29, 2008

Extra, Extra

Today is Leap Day. Happy Leap Day!

We get one once very four years. One more day to live for God. It is an extra gift.

So, since today is an extra day. Do something extra!

- Spend a little extra time in God's Word.

- Pray for an extra few minutes.

- Give extra hugs or extra every one you love!

- Clean a closet.

- Make two casseroles instead of one - one for the freezer or one for a needy person/family.

- Have an extra person in for supper with your family.

- Read an extra book to the littles in your life.

You get the idea... Go out of your way to be an extra special blessing for your Lord.

And please do take an extra moment to leave a comment, sharing with us what you did to make this day extra special.

God Bless You!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Join in Prayer

Confessions of a CF Husband is a blog that I've come across recently. It truly touches my heart.

Nathan and Tricia are a young couple with a new-born premature baby girl, Gwyneth Rose - isn't that a lovely name they've chosen? Their story is rather unique though in that they discovered they were pregnant just days before Tricia was scheduled for a lung transplant. Tricia has been expecting this, waiting for the transplant most of her life. She has cystic fibrosis.

These people are strangers to me, yet because of our mutual faith in Jesus Christ, we are related. Thus, their burdens have become mine as I can join in to help carry the burden, praying on their behalf for God's glory in and through their lives.

Nathan has a gentle persuasive way with words. Calm and confident, real and respectful.

To read all about their victorious journey together through this valley of shadows I encourage you to go read their blog.

I trust you'll be blessed by your visit. Impressed by their faith and burdened to join the throngs at The Throne on their behalf.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Spelling Quiz

Just for fun!

Only great minds can read this...

This is weird, but interesting!:

Fi yuo cna raed tihs, yuo hvae a sgtrane mnid too!

Cna yuo raed tihs? Olny 55 plepoe out of 100 can.

I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid..... Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno't mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whotuit a pboerlm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Azanmig, eh? Yaeh, and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt! If you can raed tihs forwrad it (olny if eonjy diong so)!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Planning A Grad

Homeschool Graduations can be so unique. Individualized to suit the graduate, the schedule, the season (which can be anytime - whenever the graduate completes their course of study), or whatever.

We've come to that point in our homeschool journey and we need ideas to make this a memorable milestone marker.

So far, one thing I'd like to do is have the occasion engraved onto fieldstone, a permanent yard ornament for our son. We'll have it made on a stone that is not too large, something that can be transported as he moves in life. We started this little tradition when he was baptized upon confession of his faith in Jesus a couple of years ago. It will be nice to continue this for each memorable milestone marking the occasions in the lives of each of our children.

This was done amateurly, at home using a Dremel with diamond bits. It would be nice to get it done professionally.

Would you share your favorite activities, entertainment, foods, keepsakes etc. that you used in your graduate's celebration?

Friday, February 22, 2008

"2 for 1" Deal on Shampoo

We choose to use an expensive shampoo from our local Health Food store. The expense is our decision, but I still find it hard to pay so much for shampoo.

We like it though and feel good that the ingredients in it are not as harmful to our family health as that in many other shampoos readily available for way less.

One way that I have found to make it lather and last - longer, is to divide one bottle of shampoo into two bottles.

Then fill each bottle with water.

Shake and use as usual.

The result is great. Perhaps even better than before.

And the shampoo lasts longer. I promise.

It's like getting two bottles for the price of one.

Ah, spoken like a true frugal twofer lover, don't you think?

Making History in Saskatchewan

History was made in Saskatchewan this week and though it was rather obscure it marked a step in the progress of our advancement into the frontier.

This advancement came in the area of education.

CLEP services are available in nearly every locale south of the border, but until February 2008 only Calgary and Vancouver offered the CLEP testing sites in Canada.

CLEP stands for College Level Examination Program. It is a little known fact, available to everyone as an option in higher education. It has been around for decades, but particularly in Canada, it is not widely known.

On February 20, 2008, the first CLEP test was written in Regina, at the Wascana Institute.

This is a noteworthy advancement for people in Saskatchewan. No longer do they need to consider the cost of driving to Calgary or into the States in pursuit of their dreams, it is available to them right in our home province.

It has been well over a year now since a few of us Saskatchewan home-educator parents, first began the process to bring CLEP testing closer to home. Though Regina is still 3 hours away, it is closer than our options before. and it is still a possibility that the other community colleges around the province will add the CLEP testing service to their centers once the college in Regina has set precedent & proven the viability & need of just such a service.

We count it a privilege to have had our son, Corbyn, be the first student to write a CLEP in Saskatchewan. Here is a picture of him taking that historic first test:

Yup. He passed. His first 6 college credits to his name.

With distance learning fast becoming a viable option for education since the introduction of the Internet, the venue is changing.

Clep testing gives credit where credit is due - if you write a college test and pass it, you get the credit.

Students attending a brick & mortar institution write the same test and get credits if they pass.

It is possible to pursue most degrees virtually, with a few exceptions.

Do your due diligence as it pertains to your chosen field of study.

If you wish to pursue a combined CLEP and traditional courses to get your degree, be sure to check with the institution through which you would like to receive your degree as to their preferences regarding which CLEP tests they accept - institutions vary.

But be assured, there are Colleges that will award a full bacholer's degree using CLEP testing, life experience, and/or a minimal number of online courses.

So folks, consider this an option for you. Challenge a test, many tests.

Get the credit you are due!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Take Ten Dollars Off at Canadian Tire

Time for a little pick-me-up? Canadian Tire has just what you need for that extra winter boost. To show our appreciation to customers, from February 22 to March 2, 2008, you can save $10 on any in-store purchase of $40 or more.*

1 - Go to for all of the great products you want from Canadian Tire
2 - Print out the TAKE $10 savings coupon
3 - Take the coupon into any Canadian Tire store and you'll get $10 off any
purchase of $40* or more


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Yellow Page Savings

DH let his fingers do the walking one day last week.

He was planning for spring when it will be time to start the broiler chicks.

His efforts paid off, at least potentially. The new place he called sells day old chicks at half the price of what we paid last year somewhere else.

At least if we purchase the larger number of chicks that we had planned on this year.

That savings will help to off-set the huge increases we're seeing in feed costs ... and gas expenses etc. etc.

Happy chicks. Aren't they cute?

It's starting for feel like spring!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Family Ministries

Family ministry is opportunity to reach out and touch lives with love and the Gospel of Jesus.

Here are a few ideas that we've been a part of:
- visiting seniors in Care homes, often playing instruments for them
- sending out tracts through Western Tract Mission.
- ministry in our local Church in various capacities
- Ministry to widows: visits, cards, sharing meals etc.

Do you have ministry ideas? Tried & proven? Or fresh & new? Or what do your friends do that you can see works for them as a viable ministry?

We'd love to hear from you what you do with your family to share God's love with your world. Please leave us a comment.

Edit note: Just after putting up this post I noticed that the Maxwell's of have a new CD available for purchase called Family Evangelism—Effectively Sharing Christ and Loving It. That would likely be exactly what this post discussed.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Frugal Sweet Treats

Have you ever done this?

Shopped for valentine's candy after Christmas?

Easter chocolates after February 14th?

Dipping/baking chocolate after Easter

...and Christmas candy after October 31?

After Christmas, at the clearout sales in the candy isle, I purchased Lindt chocolates @ 75% off. I saved them until February 14th when I shared the sweet treats with my husband and sons.

We're not big on candy nor chocolates (two chocolates each), but even a little bought at 75% off is a frugal saving. Then buying the expensive selection is extra special in my mind.

My life has not offered a reason to go to the city and pick up a stash of clearence bargins this time, but there may be some out in your stores today yet. By Monday, I'd expect those deals to all be snatched up by other bargain hunters. In which
case, I guess you'll have to wait until after the next big seasonal blow-out.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Vinegar, Solution to Stains

Laundry stains are an unending challenge. Especially in a house full of boys - or do girls get dirty too?

I read somewhere that vinegar is a great laundry stain remover … I had just the challenge to try it on.
Two favorite white t-shirts and two favorite orange t-shirts were all stained with fresh cherry juice since last summer AND they’ve gone through numerous washings. I had relegated these favorites to home use having tried time and again with various solutions and never able to remove the stains.

So, I mixed up a vinegar solution 1/1 in a spray bottle. I have now successfully removed the stains out of the two white t-shirts and one of the orange. Repeated spritzing seems to be working on the second orange "T" until the stains are gone. The orange t’s are not loosing color either, PTL!

Our 3 yr. twins just love our cherries and, of course, they get some stains. Last summer, whenever we couldn’t find the two of them we just had to look in the orchard. The funny thing is that these cherries don’t stain everything – sometimes I can just wash it out of the fabric, other times not. Kitchen clean up after the cherries is a breeze too. It’s uncanny!

… but getting back to the laundry stain removal. I am excited about that!!!!!!!! I had planned to make the two orange "T’s" into pillows for the twins when they grow out of them giving them the long-term benefit of the Scripture message, “Behold God is … mighty in strength of understanding.” Job 36:5

Thursday, February 14, 2008

A Love Like No Other

Farm List of Income Streams

Here is a peek into the inner workings of our farm. I thought I'd just jot down a list of our current farm income streams in case some of you are interested:

- organic eggs - producing, cleaning, grading & marketing of eggs from our flock of 299 layer hens plus cleaning, grading & marketing of the eggs from two other 299 layer flocks that we have under contract producing for our markets.

- pasture-raised organic poultry - we're planning to increase from 550 to 1000 birds this summer.

- organic SK. Carmine Jewel sour cherries - 1400 lbs. last year, our first year of production. This year there will likely be more, barring inclement weather. This new product is gaining a great local following quickly, though there is also the reality of a glut on the market in the forseeable future because so many orchards have been planted in recent years that will soon be in full production.

We pitted the cherries last summer using a commercial pitter, got that done in 1.5 hours and then we spent the rest of that morning packaging the pitted cherries. We took them home and froze them, so we've been selling them frozen throughout the winter. The last 250 lbs. were just spoken for by a local resturanteur yesterday.

- farmer's market - we started with the local Community Farmer's market late last summer. My loveable Farmer & a couple of our sons really enjoyed this venue selling extra organic eggs, fresh & frozen cherries plus baked goods using the cherries and my organic whole wheat bread.

... and some possibilities for the future:

- market garden produce

- pastured beef

- pastured lamb

- pastured turkeys

- bees 'n' honey

We may add more, as God leads us along this agrarian entrepreneurial journey.

What kind of income streams do you have? I invite you to share ideas with everyone reading this by leaving a comment? Thanks.

And may God add His blessings to you as well.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Behold the Art

There is beauty even in the cold.

Snow crystals hanging from the entrance to the snow cave our boys have dug this winter.

Our Creator is at work doing something He loves - creating - beauty for all the world to enjoy.

We see it in the art work on the window pane - art that is only possible due to the bitterly cold temperatures outside this winter. Do you see the horizon filled with spruce trees? (click on the picture ot enlarge it)

We see the beauty in the sunrises ...

And we see God's hand in the sunsets.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Re-cycled Money

This may be so basic you have figured it out long ago, but just in case ...

Way back when I first began teaching money concepts to my oldest when he was little I counted the cost of purchasing a set of play money with which he could learn to count money - I realized then already that I could just change that amount of money (I think it was around $10.00 back then)into small coins and keep it in a special money jar.

Periodically now, our littles get out the money jar and learn sorting skills first, then coin values and eventually they're learning to "give change".

One frugal benefit is that when we're done with needing coins for counting we can just use them - without taking a loss. In fact, it even keeps up with inflation (that's a concept for us adults, of course).

Friday, February 8, 2008

Vision Forum Coupon Offer

The folks at Vision Forum have an offer for you and everyone you know this week. The offer is good through Saturday, February 9th.

Take advantage of this yourself (even more than once if you like) and share this link with everyone you know so they can benefit too.

To God be the glory,
...who loves to share a great offer.

Note to Farmers: This is the place where we have purchased our selection of books and the DVD by Joel Salatin featuring his own farm, PolyFace Farm.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

It Was THE Perfect Day to Start Farming

Seven, in Scripture, is the number of perfect completion.

In six days, God created the universe, the world, and all that is in it, Genesis 1.

On the seventh day, God rested from His work, Genesis 2:2.

Ever after, sevens are deemed the perfect number.

Last July, was also deemed to be perfect because it's numbers were a complete series of sevens: 7-07-2007. The seventh day of the seventh month of the seventh year in the 21st century.

As I was pondering that thought, recalling a babe I know that was born on that special day and reflecting on the numerous events planned specifically for that special day ... it suddenly dawned on me that inadvertently our first day into full-time farming was exactly that special day - you guessed it, 7-07-07!

All Praise and glory to God who has us in His perfect plan!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Farmer Freebie

For everyone with a hankerin' to be a farmer, the Western Producer has an offer out for one month of subscriber level access, absolutely FREE!

Explore the Western Producer website while you can ... use Coupon code 653FFB3B79.

Free Creation Videos @ AiG

Answers in Genesis has posted many of their most popular creation videos for your viewing pleasure on their site at no cost to you.

Of course, the same videos are also available for purchase.

These videos could be useful for:

* Homeschool studies
* Personal studies
* Group studies
* Instilling a Biblical Worldview

Check it out and pass it on ...

Daytipper Pays for Your Thoughts

Daytipper adds real meaning to the phrase "a penny for your thoughts."

They want you to submit helpful hints and handy tips. They'll even pay you 300 pennies for your thoughts - at least for every one they publish.

Any topic qualifies. Jennifer from iMommies said it best "...from saving money to spending money, from raising kids to raising goats (pun intended), from cleaning house to throwing parties…and everything above, below, and in between." Thanks for the heads-up on this one iMommies.

Each tip needs to be 500 characters or less (note: that is characters not words).
That's not long at all - in fact it shouldn't be long. So for a little bit of writing you can get paid to share your thoughts.

The stats indicate that one out of ten tips submitted are published.