Thursday, June 30, 2011

Blogging As A Business


Today, five friends and I are writing about how we fit blogging into various aspects of our daily lives. This is my part of the conversation (Blogging as a business); at the end of this post, I'll share my friends' links and their conversation topics for today. I hope you enjoy your time with us and are challenged by what you read!


For some women, the ultimate dream is to set up a blog, and within a few months time bring in several hundred dollars a month. Sounds nice, huh? I've learned something in the year and a half that I've been blogging now.

Blogging as a business is a perk.

Oh sure, it's nice to make the extra money, and I do make money each month off of my blog. But if the only reason you are blogging is to make money, don't expect to be able to keep it up, especially if you a homeschooling mother.

I'll be honest and say that the main reason I started this blog was because "everyone" told me that if you own a business, then having a blog to help promote your business is a must. So I started a blog thinking I would post about deals and specials that I had running on The Modest Mom, and to share new items. That idea lasted, oh about three weeks or so :) Then I realized that there were so many things I wanted to write about, so I started writing-ever so awkwardly.

Somehow I developed a following, and quickly fell in love with my readers :) The idea that anyone would want to read what I had to say was (and is!) humbling to me. I love the nervous feeling I get when I publish a post, and anxiously wait to see what the comments from you all will be. I love your encouraging words, and the fantastic tips and ideas you leave here. Blogging has turned into so much more than a business for me. If it didn't, I don't think I would be blogging anymore.

If you really want to have a successfull blog, you must have a passion for what you are writing about. You will quickly burn out if you are strictly in this for the money. Your heart needs to be stirred to serve your readers. And believe me, some days I feel like I am serving when I am writing a blog post, as there are other things that I'd rather be doing! But I press on, as I don't want my down days to control the content I share.

Nevertheless, I do own a business, and I do blog and make money from it each month. Let me be clear, compared to the large blogs that are out there (Money Saving Mom instantly comes to mind!) I make pennies compared to them :) But every little bit helps at our house, and currently every little penny I make is going to pay for my pregnancy care with my midwife! Since my husband is self employed as well, I love being able to assist him whenever I can in lightening his load.

So what are some ways you can make money with a blog? I'm going to share how I earn money off my blog, and be completely open with you on my likes and dislikes.

1. Own a business of your own and use your blog to promote it. One blog that comes to mind is The Vintage Pearl. They make adorable jewelry and their blog is primarily used to showcase the new pieces they come out with. I'm sure it helps their business a lot. Like I said above, this blog has turned into so much more than just promoting my Modest Mom business, so I don't primarily blog about my business (though I have to admit a post is coming soon highlighting some of our new products!).

2. Build a readership and allow sponsors to advertise on your site. This comes with its pluses and minuses (at least for me). It's wonderful to have sponsors who pay you to be able to have a button on your blog advertising their business. On the other hand, just be aware that it does take time to promote their business, behind the scene email correspondence, etc. I also feel more of a pressure to blog faithfully when I know that someone has paid me to advertise their business for them. I want to drive enough traffic to the blog to make their ad pay off. Sometimes that pressure is a good thing- it keeps me on track. Other times, when I have a lot going on in my family (like going through morning sickness) I don't like the pressure it puts on me.

If you are really interested in getting some sponsors, just email the company you would like to promote and ask them if they would like to advertise on your site! Starting out, keep your rates really reasonable, as the main goal is to get someone on your site and ensure that their experience with your blog is a profitable one. As your traffic grows you can up your price.

3. Sign up for affiliate programs. I had heard so many people suggest doing that, but for some reason it took me a while to actually follow through and start signing up! Taking that plunge was one of the best things that I did for my blog in terms of bringing in income.

Some of my favorite affiliates that I am signed up for are:

Vision Forum - I love a lot of their products, so I have no problem promoting them! You can read more here about their affiliate program and how to sign up with them. They are a very easy company to start with, and the affiliate links are a breeze to figure out. During the holidays you can make quite a bit of money with them!

The Bulk Herb Store - Again, I like their products a lot (we have used their salve in our household for years and it's great stuff!) so I know what I'm talking about when I promote their company. I've found the affiliate programs I'm not so familiar with I don't do as well, simply because I don't have a personal knowledge of what I like about them.

Amazon - I think this is a well known affiliate program, but I only signed up for them a few months ago! The idea was overwhelming to me since Amazon is so huge, but I'm glad I did, as there are so many products we all use on Amazon.

4. Sign up as a consultant for a company like Scentsy, Mary Kay, Shaklee, etc. and put your button on your blog. I signed about six months ago to be a Lilla Rose Consultant, and that was the best thing I have done yet! Starting out the money was slow, but the past few months I have been very pleased with the check I have been mailed each month, especially considering how little time I put into it! You don't have to mail anything out, Lilla Rose does that for you. I don't hear this concept talked about much, but I personally think it is a great way to bring in some extra money if you like a certain company!

5. Write an eBook and promote it on your blog! I have yet to do this, but have some dreams that will hopefully become reality this year. Sarah Mae just released a new eBook called "How to Market & Sell Your eBook, everything you need to know to make money with ePublishing". She is selling it for only $4.99, so if you are interested in writing an eBook I would definitely grab this first before you start!

This doesn't even begin to scratch the surface of the business side of blogging. If you are interested in learning more, I would highly suggest taking the Wise Woman Consulting with Mrs. June Fuentes. I learned a lot from consulting with her! If you do a consulting session with her, please let her know I sent you along with high recommendations!

Also, if you would like to join a group of bloggers to have mentors alongside you, consider entering this giveaway to win a year's membership to Connection Network!


And before you start a blog, or venture into the advertising side of blogging, may I suggest you stop and pray about it first before plunging in? It's not a good fit for everyone, and if you simply enjoy blogging to share with family about your children, please don't start stressing about making a few extra dollars a month off your blog. Make sure this is a good fit for you, your family, and your blog.

Please click on the links below to read from four other bloggers concerning different aspects of blogging!

Like A Bubbling Brook - Blogging As A Christian
Far Above Rubies - Blogging As A Mother
A Wise Woman Builds Her Home - Blogging To Advance The Kingdom Of God

*There are affiliate links in this post!*

I would love to have you stay around and visit! Please consider following on Facebook!


















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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Biscuit Cinnamon Rolls Recipe


I will freely admit it. I am not that type of mom.

You know, the one who gets up at 4:00 am to make cinnamon rolls from scratch for her husband and children to eat as they come to the dining room table for breakfast. :)

When I make real cinnamon rolls, it's generally as a dessert for dinner. But I've been craving cinnamon rolls lately (among many other things!) so I pulled out this tried and true biscuit cinnamon roll recipe I've made since I was a teenager.

Biscuit Cinnamon Rolls

Sift together:

2 cups. w. w. flour (I use freshly ground pastry flour)
1/2 tsp. salt
5 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp. creme of tarter

Add to the flour mixture:

1/2 cup plus 1 TBSP butter
2 tsp. honey or brown sugar (or raw sugar would work also)

With pastry blender (or fork!) blend until course meal.

Add all at once:

1 cup milk

Mix with a fork just until moistened. Turn onto a lightly floured counter top. Kneed 15 strokes. Pat or roll 3/8 inch thick (make sure you have plenty of flour down so it doesn't stick to the counter) into a rectangle. Spread butter, brown sugar, or honey, and sprinkle cinnamon powder. Roll and cut as for cinnamon rolls.




Bake, cut side down in a well greased 9 x 13 pan for 12-15 minutes at 450 degrees.

Enjoy!

My children say they like American cinnamon rolls better ( I guess that is what they call the regular type of cinnamon rolls, so cute!) but I still hear plenty of cheers from them when I pull these out of the oven. I like that they are made with whole wheat flour, so I don't feel as bad about fixing them. :)

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Monday, June 27, 2011

Scentsy Giveaway!


Do you like to have your house smelling pretty? Scentsy products will make it happen! And besides making your house smell wonderful, they have so many pretty options to choose from! You're sure to find one that matches your home decor.






They even make plug in warmers for those with limited counter space!


The Scentsy warmers come with a light bulb in the base of the warmer that slowly heats up the wax that is placed at the top of the warmer. Just plug in the wall, and let the beautiful aroma fill your home! You don't have to worry about a flame or smoke filling your home.

The choice of scents you can pick from are almost overwhelming! You can pick a bar with individual little blocks to pull out in a small size to find your perfect scent.



Then once you discover your favorite scent, you can purchase the brick, which is a larger size and is more economical.




With all of that said, would you like to win some Scentsy products? Toni Swayze, a consultant for Scentsy has offered to give away a $25.00 gift certificate so you can go shopping online and pick out just what you want!

To enter, tell me if you like candles, and what about Scentsy appeals to you.

For extra entries:

1. Sign up for the Scentsy Newsletter.
2. Follow Toni on her Scentsy Facebook Page.
3. Follow The Modest Mom on Facebook.
4. Blog, Facebook or Twitter about this giveaway. One entry for each thing you do.

This giveaway will end Tuesday, July 5th at midnight.


Friday, June 24, 2011

How To Spiritually Survive Morning Sickness In Pregnancy

Minutes after the birth of our fourth child

I am thankfully nearing the end of my morning sickness! I'm 13 weeks and it *normally* stops at 13 to 14 weeks, but then nothing has been normal about this pregnancy so we will see.

I've had morning sickness to one degree or another with all five of my pregnancies. Most of the time it's been difficult to endure, my first was probably my easiest. I only remember throwing up a couple of times with that pregnancy.

What I've learned is that while you are going through it, you feel like it will never end.

Seriously.

I've been dealing with morning sickness for almost 7 weeks now, and let me tell you it feels like it has been much, much longer than that. The days drag on and the nights are long. With this pregnancy I lay there trying not to despair, and fighting against feelings of guilt that I had to wean my 16 month old because my milk dried up and I couldn't nurse through the extreme fatigue I was experiencing. I felt guilty because I wasn't there for my children, my mother in law and sister were tending to their needs. My house fell apart, our food budget sky rocketed, and my husband's patience was tested as he was sent to the store on every little whim I had.

Spiritually it is a battle. I have learned that every pregnancy will test me spiritually, as they are difficult. I fight fears concerning labour, fears concerning hoping the baby will healthy, fears concerning how will I be able to handle ___ amount of children after this baby comes. I'll be honest with you and say when I'm going through the worst time of morning sickness, I wonder why did I ever want another baby. This is WAY to hard, I just want to lay here and shrivel up and die.

What helped me tremendously this time was a scripture verse found on the "31 Days to Clean" printout that I had hanging on my refrigerator. Before I found out I was pregnant I was doing the challenge. That came to a screeching halt as morning sickness discovered me at 6 weeks, but the challenge still remained in hopes I could resume it at a later date. There is a scripture verse at the bottom that stood out to me, and I said this scripture verse to myself daily.

"For I satisfy the weary ones and refresh everyone who languishes." Jeremiah 31:25

I was weary, and I was languishing - every minute of every day. But I clung to the hope that came from that verse. The Lord would satisfy my needs, and refresh me. That verse pulled me out of despair many times, and gave me new strength to make it through the next hour.

Strength also came from thinking of people who are chronically sick and lay in bed for months and years at a time with no hope of relief coming. At least I did have hope that at some point the morning sickness would go away. I remembered my Mom, and how she endured Lupus, Chronic Fatigue, and Epilepsy for many years of her life. The only time I remember her going through an extended period of despair over her illness was the first year she was diagnosed with Lupus. It left her so sick and fatigued she would lay on the couch or in bed for months at a time. Those were dark days for our family. But through that struggle, I watched my mother eventually submit, and learn to trust the Lord in a way that she had never been asked to do before. She came to be cheerful, and happy in the midst of carrying this heavy burden on her back for years.

I also surrounded myself with people who would encourage me. We purposefully did not tell anyone that might not welcome this pregnancy with excitement until I had gotten through the worst of my sickness. Emotionally I just couldn't handle the negative comments that might come. Our church family was told, and I had many, many prayers said for me. I also had offers of help, and one woman from church came one day and brought me lots of groceries, and stayed all afternoon to do the dishes and visit with the children. I texted, emailed and called my midwife who gave me great encouragement even though she just had given birth to a new baby herself! When you are going through severe morning sickness, the last thing you need are negative comments, or people telling you that you are nuts to be pregnant a fifth (or ninth, or ___ ) time.

I do not look back in reflection and say I mastered the art of submitting to the Lord through trials, and that next time I will be perfectly at peace. Life is a refining process, and I'm still being refined. :) But I am grateful for the lessons I have learned, and hope to cling to them the rest of this pregnancy.

Next week-How To Physically Survive Morning Sickness


*Have you visited The Bulk Herb Store? It has excellent resources available to help you through pregnancy, breastfeeding, and beyond! I have learned a lot just reading through the articles on the website, and the pregnancy tea I ordered is the best I have ever tasted! I actually like it, and that is saying a lot since I don't like tea of any sort!

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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Winner of the Plain Jane Giveaway!

I'm sorry I'm late in posting the winner. My husband and I took a short trip away to attend a homeschool conference by ourselves. I missed the children a lot, but it was wonderful to have two days alone with my husband! We left refreshed and encouraged to keep applying ourselves to raise godly men and women for the Lord!

The winner of the Plain Jane giveaway is: MemoriesMama! There is not an email address connected to the comment, so if I don't hear from you in 48 hours I will have to pick a new winner. Email me @ Caroline@themodestmom.com to send me your mailing info.

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Monday, June 20, 2011

New Maternity/Nursing Dress!!




I posted on Facebook that I had found a fantastic new dress online and received requests to see the dress! So here are pictures. :)

The dress was from Target (available online only) but you can actually buy it cheaper on Amazon. I had some Target gift cards which is why I went ahead and bought it from them.

I seldom buy clothes online and let me tell you, I felt for you ladies who purchase skirts from The Modest Mom and have to figure out your measurements and hope you are choosing the right size! I was nervous to pick a size, but went with the size small and it fits just right!


12 weeks pregnant!


The dress is a maternity/nursing maxi dress, which of course is advertised as wearing the dress without a shirt under it. :) I think it looks fine adding the shirt, and I don't think it will be hard to nurse in it if I wear a light weight top under it. The gathered layer pulls up over the bodice, revealing nursing openings. But nobody even guessed it was a nursing dress until I told them. Love that!! I don't like wearing nursing clothes that scream at people *I NURSE IN THIS!!* It's embarrassing to me. :)

I hardly ever wear a dress while nursing, so I'm thrilled to have found this! It was super comfy to wear all day, and I still have plenty of room to grow in it as my tummy gets bigger!

You can get the black color here, or the grey color here. The grey is quite a bit cheaper right now, so it might be a good one to pick if you are not sure you will like the dress! Also, the dress is really long. If you are shorter, you will need to have it hemmed. I'm 5'5", and it is almost to long on me!


My sweet husband and I on Father's Day!

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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Last Day to Save 10% at The Modest Mom!


Today is the last day to use the coupon code raisingarrows to save 10% off of your orders of $25.00 or more at The Modest Mom! Pick out your favorite skirt, and save a little bit of money while you are at it!


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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Our 2011-2012 School Year Plan!

We start educating our children young! Ha! Who needs preschool? :)
(Totally kidding)


Somehow the thought hit me while I was laying in bed with morning sickness (as sick as could be), that I must start planning out next school year! My plan all along has been to start our 2011 school year on July 1 as this is the first year I have to keep track of hours homeschooling in Missouri. We are required 1000 hours, 600 core and 400 non-core. It sounds like a lot for a 7 year old boy who loves to play outside in the dirt : / So I want enough time to get in all the hours, and also be able to take time off after the baby comes in January.

I was the youngest child in our family, so by the time I reached high school my Mom had been through the whole curriculum switch several times. She started out in A-Beka, and quickly figured out she didn't like that after one year. This was back in the '80's when there was not much curriculum written for home schoolers yet. We did a lot of unit studies when my sister, brother and I were all in school together. By the time they graduated, my Mom had learned a lot about Charlotte Mason and fell in love with her teachings. So I did a lot of copywork, nature studies (but my nature study book is hidden from the world. I'm a TERRIBLE artist!), narration time, etc my last few years of school. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and have incredible memories of the time I spent alone with just my Mom.

My Mom and I at my Home School Graduation. We both shed tears on that day. Departing that time in our life was bitter sweet. :)

Fast forward to today, and you have a young home school mama who is quite experienced with the whole home school movement, but still testing the waters when it comes to how I am going to teach my own children. I always assumed I would use the Charlotte Mason approach as well since I loved it so much. What I didn't factor into that decision is:

1. My mom is no longer here to assist me in this (she passed away last July) and all the plans we had of her doing nature studies and art appreciation, etc. etc. to help me are now gone. Also, the knowledge she had of how it was supposed to look greatly helped me. I could keep going on if this was my only obstacle but on to #2. :)

2. I didn't stop to think that my home school might be forced to look a little different based on the fact that I have lots of little ones to teach, something my Mom did not have.

Now for those of you who do Charlotte Mason with lots of children and love it, I am NOT saying it can't be done! I'm just realizing here that I can't do 100% authentic Charlotte Mason with soon to be five children under 8. I need my children to learn a few subjects through *gasp* workbooks. :)

This was a hard decision to make. One day I would feel like throwing up my hands and buying Bob Jones for every subject, and the next day I was pouring over the Simply Charlotte Mason website! But I think I've found a middle ground for our family, one that still resembles some of the way I was taught, and a new way that should prove to be a better fit for our family.

So, after all that rambling explanation, here is my plan!

Mosiah- Going Into Second Grade

Math- Math U See Beta (he has about 30 pages to finish up of Alpha that we are trying to get done this month, but if not we will finish up Alpha and then move to Beta. We had to totally stop Alpha for a while when it came to subtraction. I *think* it finally is all making sense to him!).

Handwriting - Italics book C, and copy work of scripture passages.

Science- Apologia Astronomy (we need to finish up the book before we move on) and Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day. Can I make a confession here? I own the elementary Botany book, but I DESPISE botany, always have! I just couldn't bring myself to teach it this coming year! So we are going to wait until the boys are a little bit older, and then tackle it! :) On another note, I just LOVE Apologia Science!

History- A Child's History of the World by Hillyer. I'm going to be skipping the first three chapters of the book. This was my hardest subject to decide what to do. I honestly have no clue what I'm going to do next year, and I desperately need to sit down and map out a 12 year history plan so I have a better idea of where I'm going in history. Ambleside online suggests this book for second grade and I've had a friend recommend it so I'm going to try it. I will read it out loud and have Mosiah narrate it back to me.

Reading-Christian Light Education. This is our biggest change, we are switching to CLE for reading and language arts. My son has grown by leaps and bounds in his reading skills, but still has a lot to learn. I'm actually going to have him go through the "Learning To Read" program to make sure he understands all the phonics concepts, and then hopefully cover the first grade and possibly second grade this school year. I'll be happy if we make it through the first grade, and elated if we make through the second grade reading book! I know he will "catch up" and I'm not terribly concerned, I just need to stay on top of him practicing. Lack of interest and not wanting to apply himself to something that comes a little harder for him is the main problem here. :) I did hear him in the living room reading out loud a "Dan Frontier" reader book yesterday, and let me tell you, my Mama heart did leaps for joy! He was so excited to be reading to himself!

Language Arts-Christian Light first grade language arts. The beginning books will be really easy for him, but he will learn a lot of new things towards the end. Dare I admit as a blogger that grammar was not my strong point?

Art- (when we get to it) will be the art lifepacs that Rod and Staff sells. They do lots and lots of coloring, drawing, cutting and gluing, so I'm not as stressed about getting official art time in school. But in order to make up our hours this school year we may need to make sure and do this.

Music-we listen to classical music all the time at home, and he already knows the names of several composers. I'd like to study Bach this year using the book "Sebastion Bach: The Boy from Thuringia " I just need to buy the book still!

Israel-Kindergarten/First Grade??

Israel will be six in October, and I'm really not sure where to place him in school. I think time will tell. He will sit in with us for History, Science, and Music, just as he did this past year. That is a big reason I went ahead and chose to do those subjects as read alouds so he can be present and learn. Also, Mosiah loves history, and so to switch him to a social studies type approach that the younger grades in CLE use would bore him to tears. Possibly, when he gets older, we will use the CLE history program (when they start covering real history).

Math- Israel is half way through Primer (Math U See), and loving it. I'm sure at some point in the year we will start Alpha, I'm just not sure when that will be.

Reading- Learning To Read program from Christian Light Education. The boys will go through this together, but I'm expecting Mosiah to get through it a lot faster.

Handwriting- Italics A


Carrianna - Three Years Old

She adores workbooks, and does a pretty good job of tracing in her Kumon workbooks. I think later in the school year, as she is closer to three and a half, I will start her in the Christian Liberty Press Preschool book. I was able to use it with Israel and, hands down, it is my absolute favorite preschool workbook! We just loved using it, and it is very teacher friendly. I never even used the teacher book that goes with it! I just can't handle preschool programs that require lots of cutting, crafts, glue, gathering materials, baking letters in the oven, etc. :) As fun as it sounds, it just wouldn't happen around here.

Olivia- 1 years old (she will turn two in December right before the baby is born). I pull out magnetic paper dolls, wedgits, board books, etc. for her to play with during school time. I must admit, it is a constant struggle to keep her busy and happy without tearing the house apart. She is at the age where she makes quite a mess! Part of this will be resolved if I purge the house even more than I have. :)

So that is what I have come up with. A mix of workbooks and "living" type books. A blend of both worlds. :)

Here is an excellent blog post I read about using workbooks with large families. As I've said, I will cling to as much of a Charlotte Mason approach as I can make work for our family, but I appreciated reading her thoughts.

Some books to help you with your school planning are:








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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Household Drudgery or Eternal Worth?


Three Mothers

"Once a woman came upon three mothers at work.
'What are you doing?' she asked of them.

" 'I'm doing the weekly washing', answered the first.

" 'I'm doing a bit of household drudgery", replied the second.

" 'I'm mothering three young children who some day will fill important and useful spheres in life, and wash-day is a part of my grand task in caring for these souls who shall live forever,' replied the third. Only she had caught a vision of the great work she was doing."

From the book "Soul Sculpture" (what you owe to your child) by E.F. & L. Harvey


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Monday, June 13, 2011

Plain Jane Giveaway!




Plain Jane Candles & Soap is run by a very sweet homeschooling mommy who makes a large assortment of items for her Etsy store. She sent me a sweet gift box full of items to try, and I've enjoyed getting to use some of the items!



The items included in the gift box were:

Chapstick

One of my favorite items that were included in the gift box was the laundry detergent. I had previously been using a laundry detergent ball, and I haven't been pleased with how it was cleaning. Getting to try this laundry detergent was wonderful! It actually cleaned really well, and took out the yucky smell my clothes had been having. I've tried some homemade powder that I have made myself, and this one worked far better!

I also really liked the homemade soap that we tried. Personally I prefer lye soap over glycerin based soaps. My husband is prone to poison ivy and his occupation is lawn care. Whenever he comes home feeling "itchy" I would tell him to make sure and use the lye soap, as I've always heard it was good for your skin if you thought you ran into poison ivy! The soap lathered up very well, and a small bar lasted a long time!


Here is what Karen had to say about why she started her business:

"A few years ago we started a tradition on our family, that we would only give homemade gifts for Christmas. Let me rephrase that a little bit - I give homemade gifts to the mommies and girls, daughters and grandchildren. My husband gives Walmart cards to the daddy's and older boys :) I usually knit them something, but last year I wanted to do something different. I remembered that I used to make soap and how much we loved it. We were already making our own laundry soap and loving it, so I devised a gift basket with some handmade soap, chapstick, candles, and a few other things, and gave those to the ladies in our family and they were a big hit. After they used them up, they wanted more! So, with one thing leading to another, you know how that goes, I ended up making lots more and opening an Etsy shop. It's nice to bring in a little bit of extra income and it's something my husband can help me with, which leaves me lots of time to sew, which is my first love in the crafty world. We'll usually set aside a day and make several batch's of soap and candles, body butter and sugar scrub. When I make Chapstick and Owie Stuff, I normally make about 50 at a time, so that lasts a good while."



Karen has graciously offered to send one of you a gift basket containing all of the same lovely items she sent to me! To enter the giveaway, tell me which you would be most interested to try!


For extra entries, share on facebook, twitter, follow the blog, etc. Leave a comment letting me know what you do!


This giveaway will end Saturday, June 18th at midnight and a winner will be announced on Monday.


*Please note, I was not paid to write this review. I did receive products to try, but these thoughts are all my own.*


Thursday, June 9, 2011

A Very Special Announcement!

You may have noticed that the blog was more quiet than usual for a few weeks. I honestly just couldn't keep up on it for a while. I was busy doing something else.....like......

Growing a baby!!! :)

We are expecting our fifth, due January 9th, 2012! Cheers of joy are going up at our house, and the children are so excited! My morning sickness started at six weeks, and it's still not totally over now at 10 weeks. It was the worst I have had yet - I lost 10 pounds from not being able to keep anything down and the toilet became my new worst friend. :(


My two little girls trying to snuggle with a sick mama


I spent a lot of time in bed, and let me tell you it was hard sometimes to stay focused on why I was going through this. On top of the morning sickness I experienced strep throat for the first time in my life, and the combination totally wiped me out. I thought of my Mom a lot as I lay in bed with fatigue so bad I didn't even want to roll over, and wondered how she managed to stay cheerful and strong all those years of battling fatigue with her Lupus. The memories of how strong she was kept me going in my weak moments, and I praise God for her example and strength even after she has left this earth.

We were incredibly blessed with a Mother In Law who came over about every other day to keep up on the dishes and laundry, and make sure the children didn't turn into wild Indians while I lay in bed. :) My sister also came over and helped. Today my husband is blessing me with having some mother's helpers come and scrub the floors and bathrooms. My energy level is still pretty low, so I'm excited to have some clean floors again!

We will have 5 children 8 and under when the new baby is born! I have spent a lot of time re-evaluating our homeschooling methods, and what exactly will work with so many little ones. I *think* I have come up with a good fit for our next year, and I can't wait to finish up this year and start on the new books! We are not going to take much of a summer break, as I want to be able to take off plenty of time when the new baby comes.

In the next few weeks look for posts on dealing with morning sickness, homeschooling methods and what we have chosen, and in the next few months you will start seeing posts and pictures on being modest while pregnant! :)

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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

She Wears Skirts-A week in skirts and a link up!


I really hope that this series has been a blessing for someone. It's time to wrap it up, and I hope you all have been snapping some pictures and you can join in the linky!

I will admit that I only took two recent pictures! The rest are some that I choose from different seasons of life. You will notice that all of the skirts I'm wearing I sewed myself. I *do* have a few skirts that I have bought, but since I sew it is a lot easier just to make them myself. I also recently cut my hair - 11 inches of it! I donated it to locks of love, and I don't regret doing it at all! It's nice to have a change as most of my life I've had really long hair.



Making cookies with my girls. :) Long ruffle skirt with a zip up top from Kohls.


At a church camp with my good friend. I'm wearing a homemade long jumper.


This was taken yesterday! I'm wearing a ruffle skirt with a blouse from Marshalls. I went to a homeschool used book sale last night, which is why I had a white shirt on. I don't normally wear this shirt for everyday at home. :)


Ruched skirt from The Modest Mom, the top is from a local consignment store.


I had to throw a pregnant picture in here! My husband took this picture of me and he loves this picture. :) I'm wearing a ruffle maternity skirt and a maternity sweater.


Homemade skirt, everyday outfit.


My sister (on the right) and I in matching women's ruffle skirts (notice a theme here?!). Yes, I love wearing the ruffle skirts!

Now it is your turn! I would love to see any pictures you have taken recently, or just grab some older pictures and post those! The linky will be open for an entire week, so you have time to link up if you don't have a blog post together yet!

And after you link up, make sure you go look at Amy's pictures from Raising Arrows. She also is hosting a skirt giveaway compliments of The Modest Mom and New Creation Apparel! Make sure you enter to win a women's skirt!! There is also a coupon code available on her site to use at The Modest Mom. :)

Also, you won't want to miss the blog post tomorrow. There will be an exciting announcement!!

**Vision Forum just announced FREE SHIPPING on their facebook page! Use coupon code FACEBOOK to receive free shipping at checkout through June 10! (This offer does not apply to the 70-volume Henty Set or other "Specialty" or "Drop Ship" items.) This is a great deal! Order the brand new Duggar book and receive free shipping on it!**


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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Heat Is Here- But Press On!

We have a heat advisory in effect where we live for several days. It is HOT here! I long for Summer to come, and when it does come I wonder why I wanted it!

When it comes to dressing modestly, the heat can do some people in. Even I have compromised my personal standards at time. Two years ago when I was pregnant with Olivia, we went to the zoo and the heat was so bad I wore a sleeveless dress all day. While not a huge deal to most people that's not my top choice for modesty.

At the zoo with Carrianna in 2009

I want to encourage you to develop a standard for modesty and stick with it. It is so easy to compromise, and if you don't have a clear plan in place for what you personally feel comfortable wearing, it will be easy to flounder in uncertainty.

What are some ways you can stay cool in the summertime?

*Wear Cotton! I love wearing a light weight cotton dress or skirt that blows in the warm wind during summer. I still wear polyester in the summer, but not everyday. If you need a slip underneath, a really light weight cotton slip is best.

*Go barefoot in the house or wear sandals. I don't like wearing tennis shoes during the summer, and only wear them if I'm going on a long walk, or to places like the zoo where my feet might really start hurting. It is so much cooler to have sandals or flip flops on.

*Stay inside! This might seem obvious, but on really hot days, why even try doing fun things outside? I have friends who start their school year July 1 each year, because they want to be done when Spring comes so they can play outside when it is nice and cool. Of course, this is only helpful if you have an air conditioner.

*Wear a cold washcloth around your neck. When we were first married our air conditioner did not work very well. Then we moved to an old farmhouse with no air conditioning. Yikes! Our landlady finally bought us a window unit when she found out I was expecting, but I will admit it was hard to survive the heart. I walked around many days with a wet washcloth on my neck to cool down.

What are some ways you stay cool while wearing a dress or skirt in the summer?





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Do You Need Encouragement?

The Duggars new book, "A Love That Multiplies" is now available to order!


I am going to place an order today, as I need a good dose of encouragement right now! Even if you don't aspire to have a large family, the Duggar family has so many helpful ideas on raising children, and running a household. I'm eager to learn more from Michelle through reading this book. I especially need tips on keeping my children's hearts. They seem to have done a wonderful job of that.

You can order it from Amazon or Vision Forum.

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