Monday, February 25, 2013

A Birthday Bash At Swagbucks

Search & Win

I've talked before about using Swagbucks, but I just wanted to let you know about their big birthday bash today.  They are sharing lots of codes to get points added to your account.  If you haven't already signed up, go HERE and start an account.  I really think Swagbucks is a great thing.  You get points added to your account for things like searches, watching short video's, answering survey's, and more.  You can then use those points to get things like gift cards or money added to your paypal account.  You can't go wrong~~it's a win~win situation!

How much can you earn today?


Friday, February 22, 2013

Hospitality~~Does It Matter Anymore?

I know a couple of women from church who are a great example of hospitality.  One even built their home around the kitchen and dining area, because they knew that these two rooms were going to be the hospitality center of their home.

We've been watching the Walton's series, and it struck me how hospitable Mamma Walton is.  Everyone who stops over at their house is asked it they would like some coffee, or supper.  She even invites the junk salesman in for supper!  The were a poor family without much means, but they were willing to share what God had blessed them with.

Am I like that?  I'd like to say YES!, but in reality, I know I'm not!  There are all kinds of excuses I could put up as reasons, but they are just that~excuses.  I do enjoy when someone comes over to our home.  But I'm usually too busy obsessing about the condition of the house to just sit and enjoy the company.

As we prepare to move into the house hubby grew up in, I have a lot of reminders of hospitality there also.  Hubby has told me many stories of Sunday visits after the evening service~where his mom made homemade donuts and coffee.  The adults sat and talked and the kids played.  He remembers very few Sunday evenings where this did NOT happen and he really looked forward to it.

I'm praying that this tradition will continue with me.  Somewhere on the road of life, we stopped inviting other's over.  Whether it's for a meal, coffee, or sitting on the deck with lemonade.  Inviting someone into your home and visiting shows you care.  Taking time to slow down, and just chat is also good for the soul.  It's good for our kids to be involved with other families, and it is good for us too!

So after we get the boxes unpacked, I'm planning on inviting other's into our home on a regular basis.  Who wants to be the first over?


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

When you give a 3 year old a camera, I guess you find out where he's been!!


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Family Ties

This weekend we had a family birthday party for a couple of our kiddo's.  Some of us were sitting together and started talking about loved ones who are no longer with us.  (I know this probably sounds morbid for a birthday party, but when you're talking about beloved family members and remembering the good times with them, it really was a blessing to share those memories!)  I carried some of this discussion with me as I opened my bible for my devotions the next day.

My bible was given to me by my great grandparents when I was 16.  It is a treasure to me, especially as my great grandma had written on the front page of the bible.  I sat staring at the words in her handwriting, and sat remembering.  As I was walking down memory lane in my mind, thinking of not only my great grandparents, but also my grandpa who died when I was a senior in high school, and my grandma who left us 10 years ago,  I started thinking...

What made them so special?

None of them ever made much money.  They were not famous in the eyes of the world, and hardly even in the little county they lived in.  They possessed very few talents that would make other's think they were grand people.  They did not own fancy houses or expensive cars.  And yet, I think they were wonderful people.

What made them special is just the people that they were.  Humble servants who loved their families and loved the Lord.  What talents they had, they passed those loves on to their children and grandchildren.  What time they had, was spent caring for and loving their families.  When you were with them, you knew that you mattered to them.  They were not perfect, but they loved and were loved.

I pray this is the legacy I am leaving for my children.  I am not a perfect person.  I don't have much money, very few possessions anyone would consider worthy, and will never entertain others with a great talent.  But I do love my children, and they have my heart.  I pray that someday they will look back at their time with me with the same fondness I have for my loved ones.

 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,  not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. Philippians 2:3-4
Those family ties will never be broken!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Moving With A Large Family


One word.....


I must get organized with this move. 

We have started packing up boxes.  All are labeled with what is in them, and what room they are going into at the new house.  If there is something breakable in them, the word FRAGILE is in BIG letters on the box (our 6 year old can now read this word effortlessly!).  Good thing I happen to love the scent of magic markers!

We have a plan for the week of moving.  Since we are moving to my in~laws house, and since they (gratefully) have less "stuff" than us, we are able to move a few things in early.  We are taking the kids' beds down early and moving them in the new house before the big move day.  They can sleep on sleeping bags on the floor (they will love it, they'll make a campout of it for sure!), and this way their beds will be ready for our first night in the new house.

We will make sure each child has their special items with them.  You know, the beloved stuffed animals and blankets they can't live without.  I don't want a first night in a new house without their beloved things.

The kids are helping.  Our oldest son has his room practically all packed up already.  The older kids are packing their own room boxes and helping the little ones as well.  It takes the entire family to make this move happen (rather) smoothly.

We have lots of help.  Since this move is actually switching homes (we're moving to their house, they're moving to ours!), we needed double the crew~one for their house and one for ours.  We "plan" to have a crew at each house packing into trailers, and then moving to the other homes with that same crew (we're praying this will workout!).  We have family members, friends, and some strong willing men from church.

I'm making a list and checking it twice.  I've written down what I want cleaned before we move, what needs to be repaired, what is staying and what is going, and what I want accomplished before the moving day.  Checking things off a list just makes me feel like we're getting somewhere.

I'm (trying to ) extend grace.  I know that things are not going to go as smoothly as planned.  However,  I'm trying to keep my cool and know that it will all work out in the end.  I don't need to get crabby at everyone or everything in the process.  It will serve no purpose and just make things worse.  Prayer is getting me through this phase as only the Lord can provide me with peace in this area.

Oh, and one more thing.  We're praying for good weather.  March can be iffy here in Wisconsin.  We can expect snow or expect 70 degrees.  I'm praying more for the latter, but know that God is in control.  It will all work out!

Now if I could just wake up and it could be June!!


Thursday, February 14, 2013

MAKING Money Throughout The House!

Save Money Around The House

I've already told you ways you can save money throughout the house, but now I'm talking about Making money!  I'ts always nice to add a little to our income.  I certainly don't add a lot, but if you can make a little and save a little it could add up to a lot!  (That's my theory anyway!!)  Here's a few things I'm doing....

Swagbucks~  This is a great way to earn free things just by using them as your search engine.  You can earn gift cards (e~cards) to many different stores and restaurants or choose money sent to your pay~pal account.  They also have surveys, short video's to watch, and many other ways to earn a few Swagbucks.  This really is an easy way to earn a few extra bucks!  Even our kids get into using it and get excited when they earn a few Swagbucks!   Register HERE and earn 30 Swagbucks just for signing up!

National Consumer Panel:  National Consumer Panel (NCP) is a program where you track your purchases via a scanner they provide and then transmit them to NCP by phone.  Each time you transmit your purchases you will earn points.  You will also earn points for answering surveys.  You then use those points to "purchase" gifts from their catalog.  All your equipment is provided by the company, and the gifts are also shipped free.  I have "bought" Christmas gifts for our children and families this way!

Inbox Dollars:  You will get paid to read e-mails and take surveys.  It isn't much money and won't make you rich by any means, but you do have the possibility of making a bit through out the year with this company.  They also have coupons that you can print out and you'll get another 10 cents added to your account for every coupon redeemed.  There are various other ways to earn money, and after your account reaches $30, you can request a check.  I have never had a problem with them~I've always gotten the money credited to my account, and have received and cashed the checks without problem. 

Sell Something!~  Anything!  Have a garage sale, sell on e~bay, list something on Craigslist.  If it's lying around and not being used anymore~it's time to sell it and make a few bucks. 

Use Your Gifts and Talents!~  If God has gifted you in a certain area, use that to your advantage.  I love to sew rag quilts, so I have opened an ETSY shop to support my love for sewing!

Pray!~The Lord will lead your steps if you let him, and He might just lead you to bring in an income in other ways!

Have a great day!


"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God"
1 Corinthians 10:31

Monday, February 11, 2013

Getting Kids To Do Chores

In our house, everyone has chores to do.  The older kids have daily chores like helping with dishes, and the younger kids have chores they do weekly like emptying garbage cans or dusting.  It's funny how the younger kids want to do chores, while the older ones sigh when they have to do theirs.  How do you get the kids to continue their enthusiasm for helping out around the house?

A BIG mistake I made with our older kids was to squelch their desire to help out.  They weren't doing it the way I would, or it would just be easier to do it myself.  As we added children to our family, I realized that I couldn't do everything myself and needed help.  The older kids didn't have chores to do when they were younger, so when they were older and I was asking them to do things, it really WAS a chore! 

The biggest way I've learned to help our kids retain the enthusiasm for helping around the house is just to let them.  Our 6 year old recently wanted to help fold her clothes.  I gave her the washbasket and she folded them all.  They were far from perfect, but they were folded(ish ☺).  I gave her lots of compliments and praise, and we put them in her dresser together.  She was glad to help out and was satisfied that she did a good job.  With our older kids, I KNOW I would have refolded them and crushed their hearts and desire to help out again.  My heart hurts knowing that I did just that.

Let your kids work side by side with you.  It won't be perfect, and probably won't be pretty.  But as they grow and learn, you will be happy to have their help~with glad hearts.


Friday, February 8, 2013

The Best Laid Plans.....

 You know the plans.  You have people to see, places to go, things to do.  Then... IT.... happens.


The real stuff that gets in the way of my plans.

For me the past two weeks it has been pneumonia.  It has knocked me out. I've spent a lot of time this past two weeks on the couch, meanwhile my house is a disaster, laundry has barely kept up, my kids have suffered accepted less than perfect meals, and hubby has been gracious enough to pick up the pieces of chaos.

I've learned (the hard way at times) that even though something didn't get done my way, be thankful that it got done.  I've learned how helpful my kids really can be when they need to step up.  I've learned to lean on others to do things I'd much rather do myself.  And I've learned that I really don't like coughing anymore!

I'm thankful that I'm on the mend.  I'm thankful for hubby and our kiddo's.  I'm thankful for my health.  And I'm thankful that I can make plans for the upcoming week (Lord willing!).

Have a great weekend!


Friday, February 1, 2013

He Knows My Name

"But now thus says the Lord,  he who created you, O Jacob,
    he who formed you, O Israel: Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
    I have called you by name, you are mine."  Isaiah 43:1
We have a 3 year old who likes to come up to us and say "I love you, Mommy (Daddy)".   How we respond to this makes a big difference to this child.
If we just say "I love you, too", he will look at us and say "No, say I Love you too, Sunshine".  (Actually he uses his real name there☺)  He insists that we use his name when we say that we love him.  He does this every time!  He loves to hear us to call him by name.

I imagine this is how it will be when I am face to face with my heavenly father.  I will say "I love you, Daddy", and he will reply with "I love you too, Jessica".  How I will love to hear Him call me by name.

He knows your name, too!  And He loves you, too!

Have a great weekend!