Friday, October 29, 2010

10 Parenting Mistakes You must Avoid with your Kids

My friend Vicki sent me this link and I really thought Jean Tracy had some really great parenting advice!

Click Here to see 10 Parenting Mistakes You must Avoid

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Godly Character Traits Educational Freebie

I was just talking to a friend today about how she was doing a study with her son on the character traits of God.  And then, I was on and found a educational freebie on this very subject.   Great timing!

Click here to go to and get the information

Another way to save a few hundred dollars :)

I just got my Home Owner's Insurance yearly policy renewal in the mail yesterday.  And of course, our policy went up a few hundred dollars.  Did you know they do that?  Every year insurance companies jack up the prices just a little hoping you won't notice or are too lazy to change policies.  Unfortunately for them, I am not to lazy and I am way to frugal not to notice.
So....if your new to all this.  Here is what you want to do.  Get out your current policy, hopefully you can find it.  Go to a website like NetQuote and fill out the form.  You will need information like, when was your house built, how old is your roof, do you have hurricane shutters, have you had a mitigation inspection and what is your deductible(usually it's about 2% of your home's value).

After researching for this year it turns out that my current policy even though it went up is still one of the lowest policies around.  If you live in South Florida I recommend checking out People's Trust out of Boca Raton. This doesn't have to be a tedious process the key is to have all of your information ready!

Monday, October 25, 2010

I am converting!

No, I'm still a Christian.  I am converting from an American consumer driven society to a minimalist lifestyle.  I have been inspired by Money Saving Mom.
After spending close to 1 1/2 hours a day picking up toys, I have realized that these "blessings" are actually a curse to me and my kids.  Not only am I tired of picking up the stuff, I am tired of nagging and yelling at my kids to pick it up.  This time I am wasting picking up toys could be better spent reading to my kids or picking up a book myself.
So I have taken at least half of our toys to Goodwill.
I also have gone thru all the medications and vitamins in our house.  It turns out that most of them have expired so I'm tossing almost everything.

Today my goal was to go thru our Tupperware and toss anything that doesn't have a match.  I also am going thru my tablecloths and cloth napkins which I NEVER use and loading them up for Goodwill.
This is my living room as I went thru the clothes my friends have generously given to me.

Join me in the converting to the simple life.

Click here to see the inspirational blog
Dealing with Toy Overload

Sunday, October 24, 2010

What a Mom will Do

Hi Friends,

  I just wanted to share with you what I did this weekend for my kids.  As I was gardening, which I NEVER do, I found a very, very large and very active praying mantis.  Cool Right?  They are great insects.  People love to have them around in their gardens.

  So, as any mother who wants her children to learn would do, I had my HUSBAND catch in on our bug collector.  Then we looked up what to feed it.  It only eats LIVE bugs, ones that are very active. 

  Out to my garden, again.  This time on a live bug chase.  I found a couple of worm like things and dropped them in the cage.  The praying mantis- no- I can't tell you what it did-  very PG-13.  So, so very gross. Then I searched my house- we had to have a few bugs somewhere (found a spider).  They can eat 12 crickets in a day.  I couldn't keep up!

   My husband had to remind me after church today- to change out of my dress before digging in the garden for more bugs.  Where are all the stink bugs now that we could use a couple dozen?  Finally, I broke down and bought some meal worms at the Seven Eleven and almost passed out when I opened the container.  So, so very gross.

  My boys filmed the battle between the praying mantis and the cricket.  The cricket didn't have a chance.
 One of my sons is studying insects at school (which is why we didn't let it go yesterday- he was sure his teacher would like it). His teacher said he could bring it in tomorrow .

We are all looking forward to tomorrow.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Progressive Phonics beginning readers and activity sheets free!!

I just saw this link on Money Saving Mom and checked it out.  What a great resource!
I wish I would have known about this before purchasing BOB books!
Click on the link below for free books and activity sheets!!

Progressive Phonics

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Which Foods to Buy Organic

I used to think that organic food was for people who had money to waste and a little bit to much time on their hands to think about that sort of stuff.  However, after reading an article on local migrant workers (picking fruits and vegetables) who were pregnant having babies with severe birth defects, I realized that I was completely ignorant and wrong in my opinions on the matter.  So without breaking the bank click here for a list of foods you should try to get organic.

My sister Jeanne told me about a great way to clean non-organic fruit.  Get a squirt bottle fill it up 1/4 vinegar to 3/4 water and spray the fruit to clean off the pesticides.  The fruit actually smells sweeter after being sprayed and rinsed!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Homeschooling Freebies

Happy Scribe Copybooks -Enjoyable Handwriting Books for your Children 
is giving away a free Happy Scribe Copybook

Click here to get your free materials

Everything is Negotiable ....well almost everything.

I remember the trill the first time I ever negotiated a price at a garage sale.  It was a cute pair of pajamas, but they were missing a button.  So I asked the woman who was selling them if she would knock off 25 cents for the missing button, so instead of paying 75 cents I paid 50....
(I remember my sister Jeanne was with me, I think her face turn bright red....LOL)
Since then I have found that almost everything is negotiable.

After mowing our lawn for the first few years we lived in Florida, we finally broke down and hired a lawn service.  We decided only to hire them for the summer rainy season because the lawn needed to be mowed every week.  So after the first summer, I called the company we had hired and told them we no longer needed their services until the next summer unless they would lower their prices, then we would keep them all year round.  The owner of the company cut our bill 50% even in the summer.

Another example was at the Home Goods store, I saw a table that was perfect for our home.  It had a few scratches little scratches on the surface.  I asked to speak with the manager and he knocked $25 off the price.

Whenever hiring anyone to do work for you...ALWAYS get three estimates!  If you prefer one company or person over another ask them if they will do the work for the same price as the lowest estimate.

My favorite largest negotiation was when we bought our Honda Pilot.  It was in August, when the dealerships are trying to get ride of all their stock.  I got a list of all the dealerships here in south Florida.  I called each one.  One by one, they knocked off $500 every phone call I made.  Until finally, I knew I had the rock bottom price.  I think we saved about $8000 all together.

I know it's a little embarrassing to haggle with other people.  But come on don't you work hard to earn your money?

Sprung a leak

I heard a loud knock at the door, usually this is good sign, it means a package is being delivered.  However, when I answered the door it was not the UPS man but the man from the water company.  He asked if I had any water have a feeling this isn't going to end well.  
After turning  the water off to the house and the sprinkler system, we walked out to check the meter... the spinning triangle isn't good, is it?   So........ somewhere between the house and the meter we have a leak. 

So you may be wondering why I am posting this....

To make a long story shorter...our water bill for this month is rather large.   A broken pipe that you don't know about can cost you a fortune!
If this ever happens to you... here is a little tip

The water company will give you a break on your water bill once every three years if you have a leaking pipe.  They did ask me how long it took us to fix it and had me read the current meter reading to them before giving me the discount.  They subtracted $220 from our bill.  

Greek or Italian Chicken

I had totally forgotten about this recipe and then something triggered it in my mind.  This recipe is so easy and so delicious.  You can serve the chicken with a couple of side dishes or throw it on top of a salad.  Do yourself a favor and make it for dinner, you will not be disappointed!!

Cut off the fat and throw some chicken breast or other pieces in a ziplock bag.  
Pour in some Greek style salad dressing or Italian Dressing, enough to coat all the chicken.  Marinade it by sticking it in the fridge for a few hours.
I like to grill the chicken for easy clean up but you can also bake it.
Make sure that if your grilling it you use LOW heat.  Chicken dries out if  you grill it on high heat.  

Wonderful :)

Chicken Parts
Italian or Greek Salad dressing
ziplock bag

Friday, October 15, 2010

Raising Godly Tomatoes- Disciplining your Children

I don't know about you guys but it seems to me our generation has no idea how to discipline our children (myself included).  What we may think is common sense apparently, isn't so common any more.  God meant for us to enjoy and love our children, they are our inheritance from Him.

Proverbs 29:17
17 Correct your son, and he will give you rest; yes, he will give delight to your soul.

The opposite is true if we don't discipline our children.  I don't want to hate my children but if I don't discipline them and they are ruining my life that might be what ends up happening.

Proverbs 13:24
24 He who spares disciplining  hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him promptly.

With my oldest child only being six, I am by no means an expert in this area.  And from what I've heard from my friends every child is different in what method of discipline works.  I have referenced the website below called Raising Godly Tomatoes for some insight and found many of her ideas to work.  If you are struggling or just not sure what to do with your kids don't give up.  First of all PRAY!!  God made your kids, He picked you and your spouse to be their parents.  Don't ignore problems, they don't just magically disappear and remember the first thing LOVE is, is patient!

God's Plan For Raising Children- this is another really great study on what God has to say about raising kids.  

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Easy Experiment With Light Refraction

I don't know about you all but it seems we haven't had a lot of luck with our homeschool
experiments.  So now that we've had some success I figured I would share the wealth.

Fill a clear baking dish with water.  You will also need a little mirror.
This is one I broke off some old make-up powder that I had.
The mirror must be submerged in order for the rainbow of colors to appear.
Presto, the light is broken up in to a beautiful surprise.  Don' t you just love how God hid the colors in sunlight!
I do!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Pulled Pork Sandwiches

This is an incredible easy meal and fantastically tasty!!

Buy a Pork Butt
It's on sale this week at Target for $1.49lb
Get one as close to 5lbs as you can.
Now is the time to stock up while it's on sale!

Cut the Butt in to two Cheeks...LOL
Salt and pepper  sprinkled all over

Pour in 1 Can of Beef Broth into the crockpot and cook for 6 hours.

The meat is done when it separates with a fork.  At this point take out the meat an put it on a cutting board.

Separate the fat from the meat.  Return the good stuff to the crockpot and dump in some BBQ Sauce.
My personal favorite is Bullseye Original !
Mix it all together. 

Serve on the bun of your choice!  Pour some extra sauce on top!

Ingredients    Makes about 8 servings
5lb Pork Butt
1-(14.5ounce) can of Beef Broth
1 bottle of your favorite BBQ Sauce
Hamburger buns



Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Minimalist Wardrobe

Money Saving Mom is one of my favorite websites.  I am so inspired by her youtube post.   She has a very small wardrobe, just a few items that she switches around.  I think it's time to follow her lead and clean out my closet :)
Just click here to see it 

Monday, October 4, 2010

Favorite Music

Hi Folks,

 This is my first post ever!  I am Lindy's sister- Jeanne (aka Angela) - and I live in Maryland.  My hubby and I have 3 boys ages 10, 8, and 4.  I wanted to share some of our favorite music that we found at the library and love to listen to often.  Before I share it, I want to let you in on a little secret- my kids play longer with their toys, color longer, and playdough longer if they are listening to music (actually so does their mother).

  We love Beethoven's Wig- esp. volumes 1 and 4 (see below).  It takes classical music and puts really funny words to it.  For example, "Beethoven's Wig, is very big" to Beethoven's 5th symphony.  They all laugh and laugh in the car.  They have become very familiar with the tunes and recognize them by their name when they are on the classical music station.  The albums also have the music without the word at the end of the CD.

  My youngest son and I really have great memories of listening to "Under A Shady Tree".  I'll sing to him, "Under a shady tree" and he will sing back to me, "you and me".  We often will sit under a tree in our backyard, with a blanket spread out, and a snack, and a pile of books to read- so the song brings back those memories (especially when it is cold outside and we are stuck inside).

Sometimes, we just put on the classical music station while we go about our day.  Now the boys put it on their radios when they go to bed at night to help them fall asleep.  Try it and see what you think.

Beethoven's Wig: Sing Along Symphonies

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Want to save money? I mean BIG money

Stop what you are doing,


Right Now...  find your last mortgage statement.

Now take a much money are you paying in principle?? 
Now, how much are you paying in INTEREST! (YIKES) 
I know it's horrible isn't it!!

Let's say you owe $200,000 on your principle balance at 6% interest rate with a 30 year fixed loan.

If you never make an extra principle payment you will be paying an extra $231,677.05 in interest.    That doesn't sound like 6% to me, it sounds like 130%.

That home you thought you were paying $200,000 for is really costing you 431,677.05

Did you know you can do something about it?  
You can pay down your principle balance and decrease the amount you pay in interest.  

Now let's say you don't have a lot extra cash to add to that principle balance only $100 additional a month. 
 Over the next 30 years you will have saved $62,463.88 in interest and decreased then length of you loan by 9 years 10 months.
Isn't that ridiculous, everyone tells you 6% is a great rate, but really is it?  
There is a great calculator online that can show you how much you can save by prepaying your mortgage principle.

Simple ways to save on groceries.

First of all saving money on anything requires a certain amount of humility.   Repeat after me, "A penny saved is a penny earned" if Benjamin Franklin was willing to pinch a penny then so can I.

1. When items that you frequently use are Buy One Get One Free (BOGO) stock up!
I am finding that Walmart isn't really the cheapest place to buy food.  Publix is much less when items are BOGO.  Sure the regular prices at Publix are more expensive than the regular prices at Walmart however, when Publix has BOGO you really save big!  Especially if you have a coupon and they let you use 2 coupons for the BOGO.

2. Know the price for items you buy frequently so when you see a good deal, you know it!
We drink Folgers coffee everyday, usually it's around $10-12 so when I see the sale price at Publix drop down to $7 a can I buy 5 cans, my bill may be temporarily high but in the long run I am saving.

3.  Shop at multiple stores- I have 3 stores I shop at Publix, Super Target and Walmart Grocery store certain items are lower at certain stores.  I am still trying to figure out which items cost less at each store so I am making a list of what cost what where.  

4.  Try not to go out to eat.  I LOVE eating out but, boy, is it expensive!  We try to eat healthy but I do keep some quick not so healthy meals at home to avoid going out to eat.  For example, we have frozen hamburgers in the freezer, going out to eat you pay about $8-10 for one meal.  You can buy a whole package of burgers for the same price and it will probably last you 2 meals.  And if you do go out to eat drink water!  Do you realize that you are paying $2.50 for a soft drink?  You can get (2) 2 liter bottles for that price, suck it up, swallow your pride and order water!  

Click here for some more ideas for saving at Publix

Share some of your favorite money saving tips and leave a comment ! :)