10 Ways To Serve Part 2 – Academics Are Not Perfect Religion

10 Ways To Serve Part 2 Academics Are Not Perfect Religion
Yes, knowledge is good. Yes, we want our children to be educated to do what God has planned for them. However, reading, writing, and ‘rithmatic is not what the Bible refers to as perfect religion.

What the Bible does refer to as perfect religion: “Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.” James 1:27 (NASB)

The Second In Our List Of How To Serve

Do you know a widow? How about a single mom who has been abandoned by her husband? I have seen the Bible define an orphan as one without a father, not just children w/o any parents. There are also 1000’s of children in the foster care system that one could consider an orphan, even if the parents still live.

This is where our time should be spent. This is where our heart should be. If you homeschool, you most likely have the time to adopt at least one family or one child to bless. They need you more than you need to complete every page of that workbook. It could be something as simple as taking their children once a month so that mom can have a day to herself. If you have ever spent a few weeks with your children w/o a spouse and/or grandparent to give some time, you will understand what I am saying here.

Maybe they need some supplemental food or household necessities each month. Maybe they need your families hand-me-downs. Maybe they need help with their homeschool. Maybe they just need a few people to understand the challenges they face.

In the end, although we want to be diligent to educate out children, God has made it clear what really matters.

If you know of a widow or single mom who homeschools or wants to homeschool and needs help, contact the HSLDA Ambassador Program or the HSLDA Widows Curriculum Fund. If you know if any other resources for widows and single moms, please let us know in the comments.

Follow the entire 10 Ways To Serve series.

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10 Things To Do This Summer Under $10: #5 – Play In The Sprinklers!

10 Things To Do This Summer Under $10 Part 5

As I have been working on this series, I have been thinking back to my childhood – what things did I enjoy that cost very little or nothing (as least as far as I knew)? One memory that came to me was my parents turning on the grass sprinklers and running through them. I remember two different kinds of sprinklers: the one with lots of holes that the water came straight up through and the other one that came out two ends of a little rod and spun around.

In my child mind, this activity was free, since my parents had already purchased the sprinkler for the grass and they needed to water the grass anyway. But now that I am an adult, I do understand that there is a small cost involved.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. 

These days, lots of creative toy sprinklers are now on the market. The one that we are using the in the photo came from Walmart and I think we paid more than $10 for it, so I don’t actually recommend it. In fact, the whole toy sprinkler market almost seems a little overpriced.

If you want to find a good, old fashioned sprinkler, check out some thrift stores or here are a couple from Amazon:

Gilmour 876R Rectangular Pattern Spot Sprinkler
Orbit Metal 3-Arm Lawn Watering Sprinkler
Gilmour Circle Pattern Twin Spot Sprinkler 875

What is your favorite childhood summer memory?

Don’t forget to visit the previous posts in this series. They are listed on the Saving 101 Page.

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WAHM: 50 Ways To Make Money Working From Home – Part 4

WAHM_50_Ways_4

I apologize – it has been a few weeks since the last post in this series. But I was doing something very important to the Work At Home Mom – I became a mom (again). Now that I am getting into a little bit of a routine with the baby and my other children, I am writing the 4th post in the 50 Ways To Work At Home Series. If this is the first time you have seen the series, be sure to read the other parts, as they all contain great ideas.

Here are 5 more businesses or jobs you can do from home!

Disclose: This post contains affiliate links. 

Social Media Manager – This is becoming quite the hot job in this internet age. Every business should be online and almost every business needs someone to manage their social media and social media marketing. This isn’t just for large corporations, or online only companies, but your local market, coffee shop, and boutique all need a quality online presence and a way to connect with current and potential customers. They also don’t have a lot of time or the knowledge, and will usually outsource this work.

I recently came across a gal from New Zealand that was selling a “how to become a Social Media Manager” training course. She stated that she made over $100,000 a year as a Social Media Manager, but I would take that with a grain of salt, as the cliche goes.

If this is something that you would like to do, I would recommend starting with a quality social media blog / online magazine (I subscribe to the Social Media Examiner) and finding a book or two on Amazon.

Personal Shopper – There are millions of elderly and disabled folks who need help either getting to stores to purchase stuff or sending someone to do their shopping and purchases for them. There are also a lot of executives and other very busy folks who simply don’t have the time to run all the errands in a week that they need to. This opens the door for women to do what many love most – shop!

You can find clients by placing ads and networking with friends and family. Obviously, you will need transportation and you will have to go out of the house to do the actual work, but you could find clients who don’t mind if you take you children with you. Start by reading a book or two about how to get started in the business.

In-home Caregiver – Keeping with a similar theme as the previous job / business as a Personal Shopper and taking care of the elderly and disabled, we have the business of being an in-home caregiver. I know a couple of people who have done this successfully. The have an extra bedroom in their home and take care of an elderly person. Although the woman (mom) is the main caregiver, in one case, the children help out too with meals, cleaning, and such. For many folks, the cost of this is less than a nursing home and preferred to the somewhat stale environment of most nursing homes.

Clients usually come through word of mouth, but can also be found through some online sites (Craigslist comes to mind). Again, the best way to get started is to find a book by folks that have run such a business.

Transcription – Work from home transcription has been around for a long time. Unfortunately, so have a lot of scams. To avoid the scams and find some legitimate jobs, check out the job postings at Rat Race Rebellion.  BTW, I do not make any money or get any kickbacks from their site, I share it because it such a great resource and I really want to help you find the right work for you.

Artist – I am amazed at the opportunities available for Artists today. Not only the field of Graphic Arts being huge, but animation, book illustration, comics, and much more. Plus, I have seen web sites where one can sell their paintings or turn their artwork into posters, T-shirts, accessories and more. I sincerely wish I had artistic talent!

There are also some opportunities on my favorite web site for work at home jobs.

If you haven’t found the right job or business, yet, let me know. I would love to help you! Plus, stayed tuned. I still have 6 posts left to write!

Join my Work From Home Moms Who Want More Than Spam Facebook Group to learn more about working from home and the opportunities available.

 


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A Simple Truth – I Have To Face My Giants To Inherit The Land

A_Simple_Truth_Inherit_The_Land

Our family devotional today was from Exodus – the story of the 12 spies who went into Canaan to see what it would take, to take the land. 10 spies return with all the bounty, but also with fearful stories of the strong people in the land and even stories of giants! 2 of the spies, although agreeing that the people look tough to battle, believe that the Lord brought them this far and will continue to provide and take care of them.

This story was an allegory for our family today. My husband has lost his job in healthcare (as a CNA) and does not want to go back. He has entered the world of sales, marketing and business management. He loves it. But it is very hard work and so far, he is making as little or less than he was in healthcare. There are many giants in the way of him and success and more giants trying to keep me in fear and control.

So we are making a choice today. We feel that God brought us here, just as much as when we fist felt we should allow ourselves to have children and as when we first felt that we should move from Washington to Idaho. Therefore, we are going to be like the 2 spies – we are going to enter the land, face the giants, do the VERY hard work, and trust God to do what He has always done.

What are your giants you are facing? Are you standing and fighting and trusting the Lord, or are you ready to turn and run?

 

 

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Learning Toys That Last + 50% Off Learning Toy Coupons

Learning_Toys_That_Last

This post came about today because of my observation of my children. Today is a Sabbath, rest day and the children have a couple of hours of free play time. My 7 year old daughter proceeds to bring out a stack of toys – she loves learning toys. As I watch her, I realize that most of the toys are Melissa and Doug toys. Toys that we have had since she was a baby, originally purchased for her older sister. And I observe that the toys are still in great shape, still usable, and still interesting, even though she has had access to them for many years. Her 4 year old sister frequently plays with them also.

Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links. 

If you can’t see too well in the photo, the toy that 7 year old T is holding is MelissaAndDoug – Snap and Sort. The other toys in the the stack include the cutting board (not sure of the exact name) and the Birthday Party. They still have all or the majority of their pieces, and they are all very sturdy and interactive.

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The Snap and Sort teaches art, colors, sorting, dexterity and creativity. The cutting board teaches the real act of cutting with the wooden simulated fruit, bread and veggies. The girls love to play Master Chef Jr. with the set.

Lastly, the birthday party allows them to create their own cake and party and they play birthday all the time. Someone at this company really got into the heads of what kids would love and continue to use, year after year. When I am asked by family what to get for my children for a birthday, MelissaAndDoug toys are always a suggestion.

Coupon / Deal: I have to state that I am not getting paid for this post – this is a “real life and I love these products, we really use them” review. However, I do have a couple of 50% off Melissa and Dog Coupon Codes for you and if you use it, I do get a small percentage of the sale.
– Buy One Get One 50% Off On All Classic Toys At MelissaAndDoug.com! Use Code: CLASSICBOGO At Checkout!
– Save Up To 50% On Select Toys Now At MelissaAndDoug.com! Click Here!
– Free Gift With Purchase: #8593 Shape Sorting Clock with A $40 Order Minimum At MelissaAndDoug.com!

What are your favorite learning toys?

Save On Melissa & Doug

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Simplifying: How Do You Want Your Closet To Look?

Do you want your closet to look like this or this?

Do you want your closet to look like this or this?


Can you walk into your closet right now and, with a 5 second glance, find a great matching top, skirt and sweater? How about being able to find your best dress for church or a date with your spouse? Or do you stand there, overwhelmed and unable to find anything that goes together, at least with out digging through for minutes or more? Maybe you are somewhere in the middle?

Look closely at the photo of the two closets? Which does yours look more like? A pile of clothing, all shoved together with no order? Or an ordered set of clothing with room in-between each thing so the clothing can “breathe?”

Now, you might be saying, the disorganized closet looks like men’s clothing and the organized one looks like women’s clothing. Yes, you are correct. One is my stuff and the other is my husband’s. But this post is not to dis on my husband. He likes his way of doing things and that is fine. BUT if you would like to be more organized, here is your chance to learn how. I have laid out three simple tasks that will get your closet in order quickly.

If You Can’t Fit It In, You Have Too Much Of It

Task #1: Stand back and look at your clothing. Is it all smashed together, almost on top of each other (see the photo below)? Unless you have a very small closet that more than one person is trying to use, you probably have more clothing than you need. If you really want a simpler life, you don’t want to have more than you need and more than you have room for. Decide what you want to get rid of, then what you should get rid of. Task #2 might help you clear more stuff out.

Is your clothing all smashed together?

Is your clothing all smashed together?

If You Haven’t Worn It, You Don’t Need It

Task #2: Go through every item in your closet. Have you worn it in the last 6 months? No? It is a seasonal item (i.e. only for winter or summer)? No? Then sell it or give it away. Do not hold on to it with the thinking, well, I might wear it again or I need to loose 20 pounds to wear it, etc… If you haven’t worn it, and it isn’t the wrong season, then you aren’t going to wear it! It is causing clutter and excess that is not helpful to you.

If It Isn’t Organized / Ordered, It Will Be Harder To Find It

After sorting through and eliminating some of your clothing, you then need to organize your clothing so it is easier to find. Looking again at what not to do (above), here are two photos of my closet:

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Ordered and organized

Ordered and organized

The first photo is my skirts and dresses. They are organized by color – brown, green, blue, purple, pink, off white, white, grey, black. The second photos are my tops and sweaters. They are also organized the same way. I can look in one area, see that I have a black top with some print, then turn around and look at my skirts and see that I have a solid black skirt available. Time – 5 seconds. If it is cold, I can turn back to my tops and see that I have a solid black sweater available.

It is so quick and easy to find my clothing every day!

Let me know if I can help you more or if there is anything in this post that you aren’t clear on.

Save more at Get Organized-Shop our Clearance

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10 Ways To Serve Part 1 – Have We Pushed Aside Service In Our Homeschool

10 Ways To Serve Part 1

So you are a homeschool family. You have your curriculum, your field trips, your schedule, your co-op, maybe some housework or Home Ec, and maybe some devotionals. Your kids are learning and loving it, and that is good. Then your elderly neighbor falls and injures her hip. You take her a meal. But she needs a whole lot more help. You have a schedule to maintain, goals to be met, extra curricular classes to take, and you just don’t know how to fit in the time to do anything else for her.

Have You Lost Purpose In Why You Homeschool

Does this sound familiar? Have you lost the ability to be available and be in service to others because you have gotten caught up in the school in homeschool? Have you even lost some of your purpose along the way?

I am not here to condemn, but to remind at least some of you as to why you are homeschooling – to teach your children God’s ways and to teach them to be in God’s service. Yes, many of us are doing a good job of teaching them to serve their family in the home, but I believe that God wants much more of us – He wants us to serve our community. This includes our church and our “neighbor.” He wants us to make serving a priority, not something we fit into our schedule, if and when we can.

Our family has setup our homeschool to school year round. The main reason we do this is so that we can be available to help and serve others, if called to do so. If we need to, we can take a day or even a week or month off of schooling and not be bothered by it. The school will eventually get done and the children will actually get more, grow more and learn more from the service, than they will from the academics.

A Couple Of Ideas For Service

If you are needing some ideas for what your family and/or children can do to be in service to others, the rest of this blog series is going to cover 10 ideas for ways to serve and will ask the readers to also contribute what their families are successfully doing to serve. Subscribe now to get notified as the rest of the series comes out.

Service #1 – Bringing Meals To The Sick And Elderly

Although I mentioned earlier in this post that bringing a meal to the elderly neighbor was only a small part of what she needed, it was not meant to diminish the act. In fact, the past 4 months, I have been the recipient of meal service a couple of days a week, and it was very, very helpful and I was very grateful for it. I was on bed rest, light activity only for the last half of my pregnancy, after having two threatened pre-term labors at 19 and 23 weeks an having hot, healthy meals help me be able to follow orders and not overdo. I also received meals for about two weeks after having the baby. Again, a great help so I could rest and recover.

If you don’t currently have a group or ministry at church that does this, you could start one – just ask around who in your community is having a baby, is on bed rest,or who has limited physical ability. Then, you can find out how many meals a week they can use, what their dietary restrictions are, then coordinate a rotation of people to bring them a meal in the afternoon or evenings. The lady that coordinated the meals for our family used an easy, free app called Take Them A Meal.She had about 10 people in the rotation, so no one got burnt out.

If your family has incorporated service into your homeschool, would you please share in the comments below.

Hip Homeschooling
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Simple, Healthy, Cheap! Recipe: Bean Burritos

Another recipe from "How To Feed Your Family For $60 A Week: Spanish Week"

Another recipe from “How To Feed Your Family For $60 A Week: Spanish Week”

There aren’t many meals that I can think of that are as inexpensive as bean burritos, especially if you are making your own tortillas (although I confess that I am not). If you add some lettuce and tomato, or other veggies, they are a super healthy meal, also. The addition of cheese does increase the cost a bit, but I have a hard time enjoying them without the cheese. So without further commentary, here is the super simple recipe.

Ingredients

  • 8 to 10 Tortillas
  • 4 cups beans (cooked) – black, pinta or combine them
  • Salt, pepper, chili powder
  • Shredded cheese
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Tomatoes and/or Salsa

Instructions

  1. If using dried beans, cook according to package directions.
  2. Take the beans and add salt, pepper, and chili powder to taste and cook for a few minutes.
  3. Assemble burritos – 1 tortilla + 1/4 to 1/2 cup beans + a pinch or two of cheese + a pinch or two of lettuce + tomatoes and/or salsa.

Yes, they are really that quick and simple. We have a couple of children that like them with ketchup! These are the kinds of meals that we have in our monthly meal rotation. You could also add re-fried beans and/or Spanish rice as either a side dish or add them directly into the burrito.

Search Coupons.com for coupons for any of the ingredients of this recipe or any other recipe you are making today.

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Simple, Healthy, Cheap! Recipe: Breakfast Burritos

Another recipe in the "Feed A Family For Less Than $60" Spanish Week Series"

Another recipe in the “Feed A Family For Less Than $60″ Spanish Week Series”


First of all, they might be called Breakfast Burritos, but they can be eaten any time of day. We usually have them for lunch. In fact, we have these for lunch on average of once per week – they are inexpensive, filing, relatively healthy, and a family favorite. So here is our family’s recipe for Breakfast Burritos.

Ingredients

  • 8 to 10 Tortillas
  • 6 cups Hash-browns
  • 10 to 12 pieces Turkey bacon or Turkey sausage
  • 6 to 8 Eggs
  • Condiments: Salsa, ketchup

Instructions

  1. Add oil to medium heat and cook hash-browns until cooked / browned.
  2. In another pan, start cooking the turkey bacon or sausage until cooked through.
  3. When hash-frowns or bacon/sausage is done, remove from pan and cook eggs (scrambled).
  4. Heat tortillas if you would like.
  5. Make the burritos by putting 1 – 2 pieces of bacon or sausage, a couple of tablespoons of hash-browns, a couple of tablespoons of eggs into a tortilla and add condiments.

Seriously, this recipe is that easy! Some variations include adding fresh tomatoes or avocados, adding southwestern seasoning, adding cheese or using diced potatoes instead of hash-browns.

What is your favorite, comforting, easy to make recipe?

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Simple, Healthy, Cheap! Recipe: Haystacks

Haystacks Recipe

One of the free recipes in the “Feed A Family For Less Than $60 A Week: Spanish Week” Menu


I originally learned this recipe from a frugal family of 12. They especially like to serve this to guests, as it is easy to make, allows people put their own combinations together to suite their own tastes, and is inexpensive.

Ingredients

  • Tortilla Chips (2 bags)
  • 2 tbl oil
  • 1 onion (optional)
  • 1 lb ground meat
  • 8 to 10 cups cooked beans (black, pinta or 1/2 and 1/2)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • chili powder
  • cheese
  • lettuce
  • tomato
  • salsa
  • ranch dressing

Instructions

  1. If you went for the optional onion, dice it, then heat oil on medium and saute the onion for a few minutes.
  2. Add the 1 lb ground meat and brown it over medium heat.
  3. Add the 8 to 10 cups cooked beans and stir. Add salt, pepper, and chili powder to taste.
  4. Cook until meat is cooked and beans are hot.
  5. Shred lettuce, dice tomatoes, shred cheese, set out salsa, ranch dressing, and tortillas.
  6. Serve by setting a base of tortillas on a plate. Add a scoop or two of the meat and bean mixture. Top as wanted with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, salsa, ranch, etc…
  7. Should make 3 meals for a family of 5. Stretch to 4 meals by serving Spanish rice and/or re-fried beans as side dishes.

Let me know your favorite Simple, Healthy, Cheap Mexican recipe.

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