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Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas!!

Is anyone still out there?
I think about to start one of those cliched "sorry I haven't posted in so long" posts yet AGAIN

How did this happen? I don't know....My cup runneth over. I am so blessed an amazing husband, employment for him, 2 teen boys up until 2 am every night, a preteen daughter convinced that I hate her, 2 preschoolers in to EVERYTHING, an amazing rental home that causes jaws to drop....and along with that is so much responsibility and my head is spinning. I have a lot to fill my time and no time that is mine.

I probably should have posted my deep insight about the tragic shootings...instead I bawled my eyes out and talked to my kids.

I should have shown you our amazing Christmas trees (God is so good to me) but I couldn't catch my breathe....

The point of this post isn't to whine or brag but to check in and wish you all a Merry Christmas!

I have missed you and will be around a lot more in 2013:)

Monday, October 29, 2012

GDA: Liberty doll from Vision Forum!

 Today only Vision Forum is offering their adorable Liberty doll for $45! There are also deals on shipping if you buy a little more....

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Sweet Baby (the beauty of friendship)

You know those people who inspire you to become a better person? Well, I can top that: I have a friend who sees me now as the better person I could be and somehow I believe her. She has this way of seeing beauty and possibility and making them happen. She also has this insight into seeing what I need before I realize there is even a need.

The morning of my college graduation, she showed up with coffee and muffins and drove me to my ceremony. My wedding day, she was the one who made sure I was fed all day and had a cooler of snacks in our getaway car. Without her, I would eat but wouldn't feel near as special.
This girl has always had style and taste far beyond her years. While I wore the same pair of Doc Martens everyday, she would show up in pearls. Always appropriate, but so much better than I would have thought up.

Shelby took up sewing and I am so excited. She has such a great way of putting things together. She sees possibility in things as well as people.

This Summer, she took the day off work and made the more than a few hours drive to come and see us. AND she came with presents:

Check out some of her other projects HERE

My dear friend has opened an Etsy shop and I'd love for you to check it out! Let me know you're favorite item! Maybe we can twist her arm into a giveaway ;)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Saw it on Pinterest- regrowing celery

I realized the other day that I have a very active and well pinned Pinterest account but not many done projects. I am going to chronicle some for ya:)

I keep reminding you that I am not crafty. I am however very cheap and we do eat.

I saw THIS from Chickens in the Road pinned on Pinterest and it looked easy enough.

So I bought some organic celery:

cut off just the bottoms and soaked them in water:

and planted them outside.
They dried up and died. Apparently they needed more water
I started again and this time used little teacup/mugs; Because they looked cool on the counter. They stayed there until they REALLY sprouted.

Which got me thinking....if they like my nice sunny kitchen island, why move them outside? So now they sit on the island in a pot of soil. This picture is actually on the kitchen table. It moves, but continues to grow--I'll keep you posted:)

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Still Remember Me?

I have stuff to write about but it isn't getting done. Seems that a lot isn't getting done right now!

We were exposed to lice. I say exposed to because once we realized we were exposed we completely freaked out and sterilized EVERYTHING. It was a bit traumatic but I guess it was for good:) All better now. I did a ton of research and will write it all out so you don't have to go through the hours I did to find it.

We celebrated many birthdays (5 this Summer) that I want to share with you.

Today, my husband is at the Laundromat for the day and my oldest son is working on his Eagle Project. I kind of have a few free minutes and found some good deals I'll share with you in case you have some spare change you didn't just pour into a coin slot on a washing machine:)

Tanga has some great daily deals today. $5 for a wall charger that fuels 4 USB's...think Ipod/Iphone:)

 AND 12 issues of Whole Living magazine for $3.99

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Well Planned Day

Are you all ready for Fall to start and ready for everyone to head back to school? Soon will be gone the care free and easy Summer days! I am in no way "ready" but I have been praying and making lists and have my planner ordered and ready.

I know that I have told you before about the planner that I LOVE LOVE LOVE. 

You can preview the planner HERE

I have a confession: I am not a very planned out/organized/secretarial person. AT. ALL. I'm pretty much a hot mess with piles of receipts and pockets full of crunched up dollar bills. But with 5 kids in 4 different levels  and a home and family and......I NEED help keeping it all together.

This is my third year using the Well Planned Day Planner and I have another confession. this planner is so beautiful and so well organized that my first don't laugh..I didn't write in it. I was afraid of interfering with it's organization. How silly is that? The best thing about having a well planned planner is that it is a tool for you to use for YOUR life.

Not being a super organized person I really need the help BUT I dont need the pressure of feeling like I have to conform to being someone I'm not in order to thrive.  I found so much grace in the Well Planned Day planner.

It's helpful assets include:
-Full Year Planner: July 2012 - June 2013
-Home Management Helps with weekly cleaning schedule, monthly projects, greeting card registry, and monthly budgeting.
-Holiday Organization Section: Greeting card registry, activities and event schedules, gift giving, around town shopping, and internet shopping.
-Organization and planning for up to 4 children (I photocopy and add more)
-Four Student Class Plans: Schedule each student's class assignments.
-Four Student Time Schedules: Track each day by the hour.
-Weekly Schedule: Organize your week with class assignments, weekly priorities, prayer requests,  dinner menu, and notes.
-Month at a Glance: Plan field trips, enrichment activities and books to read
-Semester Attendance & Progress Reports
-Perforated Report Cards
-Menu Planning: Plan weekly meals and conveniently shop with perforated shopping lists.
-Family Worship: Read through the Bible in a year.
-Insightful homeschool articles and tips to inspire you throughout the year.

I don't use all of those features. Maybe I should but that's another post. I use what I need right now and do what I can do right now. Maybe in July of 2013 I will start using a new feature (like the Bible memory verses) and that would be great but I'm not obligated to. There is so much in there that everyone can find what THEY need help with organizing in one place.

***disclaimer: I was given a planner to review but was in no way influenced on what to say--all opinions are my own and should be considered just that. Links in this post do contain affilaite information and if you choose to buy through those links I will be reimbursed.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

GDA-Natural Health Magazine 66cents an issue

My apologies for being MIA this Summer--I seem to only show up with a quick tidbit. I have been pondering deep meaningful things but am not sure how to approach them publicly. I did attend a Pinterest party! More on that to come:)

I recommend you head over to FreeTail Therapy today
where this is more info, a link and discount code to get Natural Health Magazine for 66 cents an issue. It is one of my favorites:)

Sunday, July 8, 2012

GDA-Starbucks Coffee K-Cups free sample!

Not sure which variety we will be sampling but you'd better hurry because these go fast:)
Sign up to receive your sample or Starbucks K-Cups for your Keurig brewer HERE.

What is your favorite brand of coffee? Where do you purchase K-Cups for your Keurig? I have yet to settle on a great deal. Any suggestions?

Saturday, June 23, 2012

MOMumental (book review and giveaway)

I read a book recently that was worthy of much more than the few snippets of free time that I could give it. I know how important mothering is. I have read all the "how to" books my brain can hold and don't need to be told yet another time how I'm not doing it right. How refreshing to find:

MOMumental: Adventures in the Messy Art of Raising a Family by Jennifer Grant

It is a rare treat to find a book on parenting that doesn't leave you feeling judged, failing, and unworthy. Without demeaning the importance of motherhood, MOMumental: Adventures in the Messy Art of Raising a Family manages to meet you where you are and leave you feeling encouraged, uplifted, spurred on and not alone.

Jennifer Grant encourages you with a sense of camaraderie in this difficult yet beautiful gift of being a mother. With great insight and humor MOMumental: Adventures in the Messy Art of Raising a Family leaves you wanting to be honest about the struggles and accomplishments of motherhood and meet the fellow mom (yes, even the one with tantruming toddler, and spit up stained shirt) with a high five of encouragement. Because we all know what it is like and it can be better.

The irony of the "rough" and lonely times in mothering is that there is no magic wand or trick to make it all right and there is not much time to figure it all out before the children are grown. YET you can't just shrug it off because motherhood really is all as important as you fear.

A reviewer on Amazon summed up my thoughts:
"Motherhood can sometimes be a lonely job and any reminder that you are not alone should be grabbed at. This is one of those reminders."

Honestly, I would love to hand each of you this book. Please enter below and win one or order one for yourself:)

MOMumental is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and wherever books are sold.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

GDA: Sonos Hifi Wireless System (Fathers Day Idea)

Have you heard about the power of Sonos?

•Hear every song you have and discover more with access to over 100,000 free radio stations and shows worldwide.

•Sonos connects directly to the Internet, so you can blast a universe of music in every corner of your home.

•Control from anywhere with your smart phone or tablet - works with Android, iPhone, iPad, and Sonos controller

Very very cool ....allow me to show you rather than tell you:

How cool is that? I *still* have a stack of CDs in my kitchen cupboard and a skipping CD player on my kitchen counter:) When I go into my little boys room to supervise play I have to run back out to the kitchen and search for CDs. My older kids move my CDs and scratch them.

Wow. Didn't even realize this was possible. Sonos is AMAZING! Definitely a Fathers' Day present for the whole family.

If that weren't enough to get you on board--Target has a great promotion going on right now:

Through June 16th Target is offering a$30 Target gift card with purchase of Play:3 unit

and Free $40 Target gift card with purchase of Play:5 unit purchased either in their store or at

*** I was not paid to tell you about this and wont receive anything if you purchase this item. I will however show off about how cool my friend's Sonos system is. I participated in this campaign as a member of One2One Network and I'm eligible for a prize drawing. All opinions stated in the post are my own.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Educational Planning and

Ah..Summer sunshine. Kids looking for adventure. In between turning on the sprinklers, refilling bottles of bubbles and cleaning up ice cream, I've been  thinking through our curricilium choices for next year. It may seem a little early, but I have found that it takes me a while to find the best possible deal.

I'm looking into a new resource this year and wanted to share it with you:

Typically, I invest in books for my oldest and they become the curriculum for the next child on down.

There are times however when opportunities present themselves. A once in a lifetime chance at a Biology co-op? Where do I get $80+ for a book that we look at once a week and are done with in 4 months?

Curriculium isn't always one size fits all and needs arise for one child that don't for the other four.

Remember buying used books in college and selling them back? It was a lot of work. is the answer to each of these situations.

AND for those books that we thought we'd use because everyone else is a huge fan--we can sell them to How is that for a great idea? Postage is even prepaid.

The program is PERFECT for college students. However, I see a lot of potential for home educators on a budget.

There are many book rental companies out there right now. The difference I found in is their longevity (you can work out a lot of kinks in 5 years) and their availability by telephone. Add in free shipping and a huge selection and they are definitely worth looking into. What do you think? Let me know what you find and how it works for you.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

What's in my Bag

 I have been going through the links on Sugar and Dots and am feeling very inspired. I am also feeling a little nosy and thought that maybe I should share the insides of of my bag.

Be warned: I am not organized. I have a friend who used to come visit every few months and while she was here, she would organize my purse. Then she got married. And then she had twins. My bag has never been the same, apparently she found more worthy places to use her organizational skills.

Another friend came to visit and brought me this bag:

I love it. Truth is I don't change it very often. It doesn't match much or blend in at all. But here we are.

Let's look inside:

Scared yet?

here is my wallet: bought it at Goodwill awhile back:

Here are my attempts at primping, just in case I cam across an occasion worth primping for.

Here is where I keep all my store cards and ocasional gift cards. Bought at GoodWill:

Same friend who brought me my beloved bag also brought me some Juicy sunglasses. I wore those things to death and they finally cracked in half. Yet, the case still lives in my bag and sometimes hold a $5.00 pair of sunglases from Ross:

BUT I do have two pairs of cute little boys' glasses fro two cute little boys:

Then there is a roll of packing tape that my teen son decided I might need:

I finally broke down and put a tape measure in my bag in hopes of avoiding all those times when I buy things that dont fit into our vehichle or the room they were bought for. It hasn't worked so far:)

Here is the bag I keep my receipts and coupons in. Also purchased from a thrift store.

I may keep too many receipts. You know all those things you mean to return and don't? I really do. You know all those surveys at the bottom of receipts that you know are a waste of your time? I complete them all. I have yet to win anything for it. When my daughter got her first purse (around 2-3) she stuffed it full of scraps of paper because that was what Mommy's purse looked like. EEEKS! So, I bought this little bag and I shove them all in there and zip it up and feel a little better.

Yet, here is pile of things that didn't make it into my nifty receipt/coupon holder.

There you have it. You really should head over to Sugar and Dots and see all the cute and organized bags there--Thanks so much for humoring me here with mine ;)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Boardgames and Family Time (a Morphology Review)

 I always wanted to be a family that got together and played board games each evening. People would drop by to bring us fresh baked goods and come join in the fun. I like the camaraderie and classic feel of board names and welcome the lessons in civility and graciousness they bring.

Then I got married and had a husband who comes home from work tired and we had kids (and I seem to have lost the majority of my brain cells) and we committed to Bible Studies and evening activities. Then we stopped and looked around and our children had lost all the pieces to the board games I'd stocked away and they were at all different developmental stages.

STILL this is something that I really wanted so I worked at it and worked at it and THEN was given the change to review the board game Morphology.

The game itself intrigued me right off. Many games feel like you're playing down to younger ones (Love Chutes and Ladders but I can only play sooo many times) I'm trying to accommodate 7 people: some of us are great artists, some of us not so much. This game held up for all of us with our vast ages, intelligences and life experience. Pretty big shoes to fill.

You can tell a lot about the depth and intellectual appeal of the game when hearing the idea behind its creation:

"The idea for Morphology first emerged during a snowstorm in Minneapolis, MN. Morphology inventor and recent Macalester College graduate Kate Ryan Reiling and two of her friends were stranded in their apartment and decided to play a board game.

They wanted to do something creative (and help their friend learn Spanish) so they opened a Spanish-English dictionary and built words using Jenga® blocks and Pente® pieces. Inspired by how much fun they had and how amazed she was at what they could build, Kate spent the next years prototyping what would soon become Morphology"

I hear that there are plans for a Morphology Jr. in the works--get in on the excitement now.

Definaltey one you want in your game repertoire. And hey, if you are ever in the neighborhood, or state, stop by and join us for a game. We can pull off that hospitality, right?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


 It's no secret that we live well on very little money. Most of it is completely God's Grace and nothing smart or clever on my part. I guess though, that He has taught me a few things along the way. I'm also a little quirky, was raised by people who survived and thrived in the depression and 'm very very cheap. I'm not going to judge you for using paper plates, or paper towels or disposable anything. I hadn't realized though that people do laugh at my quirky ways.

One of those is not using disposables. Now, I do sell Tupperware. BUT I did these things before I did. I wonder too, if I sell Tupperware because if these ways. Any which way.

These are loose and not hard and fast rules but we store left overs in Tupperware or glass.

When we take lunch somewhere, my husband brings two sandwiches in a Tupperware sandwich keeper set. If we are bringing lunch for all of us: we make sandwiches, cut them in half and put in a container and then bring plates for each of us. Sometimes I just bring peanut butter, honey, bread and a spreader and we make sandwiches where we are:)

When I started making meals for the freezer, I slowly invested in freezer storage. I couldn't stomach the extra pennies to store each meal that I was making to save money. That was 15 years ago and I'm still using the same containers. Those pennies added up.

I have a chart showing the cost of disposables vs Tupperware. It is helpful having someone do the math of how muich one sandwhich bag 5 days a week costs in one year.
***The chart is a PDF file and I can NOT figure out how to share it here. If you know how woudl you email me? Eller at i love Jesus dot net. If you'd like your own copy of the nice chart, email me and I will email it to you:) **

Back to the chart: Honestly, they spent more than I would. For instance they give the cost of the Sponge bob Sandwich keeper set. I would have bought the neutral set, on sale. Again I'm not judging:)

I am joking about the judging, because who would? But I am also reminded of how hard we can be on ourselves. You have been sick in bed on bedrest and rech for disposbale diapers, feed your kids on paper plates and order take out. Are you a bad mom? Not in my book. You use paper plates and show up to the park with Happy Meals while I am making our PBJ on the parkbench, I dont judge. There are many seasons and many different ways to do things. I share these habits, maybe quirks of mine in case they can help in some way. If they don't, you're welcome to laugh at me.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Parenting is so humbling

 I have been worn out and spread too thin for awhile now. It has boggled my thinking. I want to fix it. I want to find the right book or the right advice or the right Biblical wisdom and have everything returned to joyful. That isn't happening.

I have grown up without a mother, without parents, without family. I am fine. I beat cancer. We survived having no income for over three years. We have home schooled through it all, thrived as a family through it all. Things are great right now. From the outside looking in we are picturesque at the moment:  great kids, great life, husband working full time, living in a mansion while many are losing their homes. So why is it hard for me now? Why is it now that I feel a true struggle?

I sat down desperate and in tears and tried to figure out the "problem." I have a headstrong teen who will be a great leader someday but right now I really don't appreciate his strong personality. I have two preschoolers who need to be watched. Every second of every day. Except for two in the morning when the teens need to talk. I have a young girl who a few months ago was a sweet sweet girl and is now trying to figure out what being a young woman is. That is heavy stuff. There is no problem to fix or a person to eliminate. It's just all too much all together. It's not that I don't have time for each of my children or the laundry and meals for 7 people and cleaning a 3,500 square foot home, and planning, and replanning and praying over the education for 5 people. ALL of my time goes to these things. I don't want a "break" from it all. This is my life. The life I have prayed for, the life carved out for me.....Then why is it is tiring and confusing and draining? Am I doing something "wrong" if it isn't simple and easy and there aren't fireworks whenever people look in on our lives.

I don't need strokes and affirmation from outside people. I'm not looking for it. Yet, people sure like to offer their opinions. I have NEVER claimed to have this together. Why must people point out to me that I don't? You need to tell me that my 14 year old son isn't mature think yours is? You haven't noticed the binge drinking and casual sex in the Facebook pictures of your own but can see every flaw in mine? I will revert my eyes back to my own issues and be quiet.

Sometimes I do long for someone else as involved in and invested in my children as my husband and I, to bear the "burden" and share the praying. The people who want to jump in really dont know what they are jumping into. No my kids aren't perfect. I need to stop pointing that out to people. This is their story too. Parenting is so humbling.

I have good kids. No major sins or law breaking. Yet there is so  much to be worked on. My olders know. They have been taught right from wrong they know what they should be doing. Yet they are children and I find myself following them around and managing them. We somehow get this false idea that if we just train our children properly and follow some formula everything will be perfect and joyful. But really? The kid in Juvenile Hall wasn't told to share and not steal? My child just hid and ate all the ice cream for my birthday because we didn't have proper rules in place? Maybe. Maybe Not. These kids are flawed and sinful and will make mistakes, some can be blamed on me some not. They have been taught and trained by sinful and flawed parents. They have seen the Grace that God has offered those parents too. I can only trust that God has a plan for them and a plan bigger than their flawed character.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

40th Birthday Bash recap

 It has arrived!! In honor of me turning 40, today begins the Birthday Bash at Having a Hallelujah Good Time! Lots and lots of giveaways for you to win! In case you missed anything....

Let's count up our party loot and all the great chances to win:

Someone is going to have a new party dress,

A Fabric Tie Dress from the PinkaDink:

Your choice of corsage from The Vanilla Tulip:

Your choice of felt hat from Let 'em Be Little:

A georgous Infinity Scarf from Something Diane Made:

Your choice of charm from The TinkerBBoutique:

A copy of For Instruction in Righteousness from Doorposts:

A $50 gift certificate to Lisa Leonard Designs:

A $25 Gift Certificate from the Pleated Poppy:

We'll clean up the festivities with:
A bottle of Basic H from Simple Nutrition:

AND, from Stephanie's Scentsy's shop, new Washer Whiffs and Dryer Discs in Coconut Lemongrass:
 A new blog header, grab button and layout freshening ($50 value) from:

A handmade Pom Pom garland, similiar to this one in Kimmie's newly revealed kitchen:

and ad space on her blog:

AND because more is merrier you can have an extra entry into EACH giveaway by posting this button on your blog!