Showing posts with label thrift. Show all posts
Showing posts with label thrift. Show all posts

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Thrifty Thursday: Working at Home and Jobs for Teenagers

In the spirit of thriftiness, today's post is partially recycled from the past and contains some up to date information. 

I received an email from Rodney Bowen, who used to work for a blogger outreach program. He was gracious enough to include me in his review program. Working with Rodney was smooth, I reviewed great products and he was clear in his expectations. He has since then moved on to another adventure and shared with me his new web site. Now I don't know if he has made millions from working at home, but he has compiled some great information on his blog. Here's a little blip that I stole from his web site. I know he'll forgive me for stealing.

"Navigating the Web to find information you’re interested in can be overwhelming," comments Rodney Bowen, community manager. He continues, "Working to help my family and friends to find legitimate ways to work from your home, I created to post my findings with hopes that others may also discover a way to work from home that matches their interests, skills, and passion."

Now for my post from the past

Making money from home ads are everywhere. Who can you believe? How can you earn money while staying home with the kiddos? Here's a list of ways Terri G. has actually made money. I can honestly say I am not doing any of them now, but they have worked for me in the past.

  1. I have raised chickens and sold eggs.
  2. I went door to door in  my neighborhood selling Avon, pushing my baby in a stroller.
  3. I have decorated and sold wedding cakes, and lost my mind.
  4. I have hosted home parties and sold Discovery Toys.
  5. I have run a licensed daycare out of my home.
  6. I have answered telephones for a landscaper, very short-lived.
  7. I have set up appointments for Electrolux vacuums, another shot-lived job.
  8. I have sold Usborne books the year I first began homeschooling.
  9. I have filled out surveys in exchange for Border's bucks. You must be thinking, "she will do anything to support her book habit". Almost.
  10. I have sold clothes to a consignment store, my aunt would supply the clothes, I would wash and press them.
  11. I have sold things on eBay.
  12. I have sold books on Amazon,, and used homeschool curriculum sites.
  13. I have held a few yard sales.
  14. I have sold cookies in a jar.
My teenagers have done the following things to earn money:

  1. One is currently working as a busboy and a dishwasher, see paycheck above!
  2. Sell handmade sports pillows.
  3. Assist a quadriplegic man at scrabble and bridge tournaments
  4. Sell newspapers.
  5. Work as an electrical apprentice.
  6. Mow lawns.
  7. Sold donuts.
There is an interesting article from Bob at Christian Personal Finance on making extra money at home. I have tried a few of his ideas, in fact, I think I have been involved in about 7 of them. Stop by this website, it has oodles of great articles to encourage a thrifty lifestyle. On Fridays, they have a special feature, free stuff Fridays.

If this is something that interests you, stop by Rodney's site and find your new calling.

How about you? Do you have creative ways to earn money? I'd love to hear about it. 

Thanks for stopping by,

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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Thrifty Thursday: Why I never lose my phone.

I used to drive the Gman crazy. I would leave my phone at home or forget to turn it on at all. My theory was that if I needed to make a call, I'd turn it on.

Since the iPhone arrived in my life, the story is different. Do I really need my phone in the rest room? Yep. I can sneak a quick Words with Friends in, of course after washing my hands. While eating lunch, I reply to a few emails. It's my only camera that doesn't run out of batteries at each Kodak moment. Always having my Bible with search capabilities, gives me Christian super powers.

Just how was I surviving before this phone?

The cool thing about my iPhone is the free apps. Here's ten that I love, there are others:


  1. The Touch Bible. What I like best is the scroll wheel that can change the versions. I'm loving the New English Translation with numerous notes that enrich my study. I now have it for my iPad also, I call it my large print Bible. 
  2. Fooducate. Enter in the name of a product and you have information at your finger tips. Is this high in sugar, fat or preservatives? For lazy folks like me, scan the label and read the results. I just discovered that Trader Joe's Frosted Mini Wheats has a grade of B for better than average. The high sugar is what prevents it from receiving an A. I really could do a whole post on this cool app. 
  3. Stitcher Radio. Each night the Gman and I listen to a little Dave Ramsey. I get an hour a day for free. In the spirit of saving money, I can't possible purchase a paid subscription to a show about money. That would defeat the purpose. Stitcher has endless radio stations for any music or talk radio lover.. 
  4. Words with Friends. I love phone scrabble. This word game is at my finger tips any time I have a spare minute. Doctors offices, boring work meetings, being on hold with tech support or riding to church. I justify this by telling myself I am firing up my neurons and preventing early Alzheimers. The Gman thinks I am ignoring him. I'm keeping the brain sharp. He'll thank me when we are older.
  5. My online banking. I have no excuses for not knowing at any second what my balance is. Seeiing if a check has cleared does not need a phone call. Love it.
  6. Shop Savvy. This is a code scanner. I can scan any product barcode or qr code to find out what a product costs and where to purchase it at the cheapest price. It also directs me to websites as a qr code reader.
  7. Free Flashlight. This tool has made me look great on many occasions. I choose the pink one, because I'm a girly girl, sometimes.
  8. Trulia. In my opinion, the best real estate app. When walking neighborhoods, I love to see the details of homes for sale. This is much easier to use than Zillow or smarter agent.
  9. Scramble. For Boggle lovers, this is the app. I have decided that this app works better on a phone instead of the iPad. This game of 3 two-minute rounds of Boggle, is my favorite this week.
  10. Find iPhone. I've never needed it since having this great phone. But if I revert back to my old ways, the Gman will be glad I have it.
Don't hold back, tell me what your favorite iPhone app is. Even if it's not free.

Thanks for stopping by,

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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Thrifty Thursday: Solving the Biology Problem

Paperboy has finished his Biology 101 course, in about 8 weeks. Before you gasp in wonder at how amazing he is, catch your breath. The truth is the course was way.... too....easy. I should have known when Little Guy, who is only in second grade, was enraptured by the movies. I'm all for enjoying the process of learning, but now we have a problem. He still needs a biology credit. I understand he won't need 4 years of AP science for his career as an electrician, but I must insist on two high school level sciences, one with a lab. So in the middle of his 10th grade year we are restarting Biology.

I was about to go online and order another program. The one I looked at may not be a right for him, so before I drop another penny on high school curriculum when I already own Apologia Biology, I decided to Google it.

I am amazed at the courses available online. For free. So many colleges are offering their courses on the web. Anyone can access these courses. They are not taught from a Christian perspective, but I am confident in Paperboy's ability to spit out the bones.

I discovered most of these at the Homeschool Diner. In 2007, Julie Shephard Knapp compiled an excellent list including some free resources. Five years later, there are many other free sites. Kahn Academy is one incredible site that has taken off in the last few years.For the self-motivated student there is the Online Biology Book from Michael J. Farabee, Ph.D of Estrella Mountain Community College. NROC has a great selection, while Hippo Campus has 3 Biology courses to choose from.

I have settled on this online Biology from Open Access. Here's the course description:
 The Biology course is a first-year course in biology at the high school level. The course emphasizes a multi-representational approach to algebra, with concepts, results, and problems being expressed graphically, analytically, and verbally. The course uses four themes to organize important concepts throughout the course: science, technology, and society; evolution; the relationship between structure and function; and science as a process.
The Biology course involves the scientific study of living organisms. The course considers the interactions among the vast number of organisms that inhabit planet Earth. It presents the basic form and function of these organisms, from cells to organ systems, from simple viruses to complex humans. It delves into interactions between organisms, and between an organism and its environment. It also looks into how biotechnology is used to improve our health and daily living.
Hopefully, this will not be the adage, you get what you pay for. In a few weeks, I'll let you know what I really think!
Thanks for stopping by,
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Thursday, February 9, 2012

Thrifty Thursday: The Birthday Edition

Last week, I celebrated my Birth Week. 

This is what the birth week means: I kick back! Meals aren't fancy, I socialize with my buds, I slack on my housework and I celebrate. I pull out my birth week card when the kids start bickering. My birth week commands peace in the home. We wouldn't want to spoil the moments with petty bickering, would we children?

My birth week is the occasion for everyone to be exceptionally kind to me. I skipped my work meeting, without any guilt. My manager was gracious, in fact, because I warned her, she wished me a happy birth month.

One of the benefits of birth weeks are the freebies. My favorite restaurant, which the Gman does not appreciate, is Not Your Average Joes. I love the funky food. They mix sweet and spicy together in so many cool combinations. My mouth is watering thinking of their buffalo mango pizza. Or their calypso shrimp. Or the bread with dipping oil. Or anything on their menu.

They celebrate my birth week also. I signed up for their emails and they sent me a coupon good for any entree and dessert. How sweet is that?

Of course, I went all out and ordered the grilled scallops over cous cous. YUM! Dessert was a sinful chocolate bomb thing. Not only was my delicious dinner free, I was with two very  special friends. It was a great way to kick off my Birth Week.

Is your birthday coming up sometime in the next year? Celebrate your day tightwad style. So many companies want to bless you and give you a birth week you won't soon forget. Stop by Frugal Living and choose your birthday blessings.

Thanks for stopping by,

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Thursday, January 5, 2012

Thrifty Thursday Homeschool Style: Selling Your Used Curriculum

If you have noticed on the top corner of my blog, there is a new bright yellow sign. I've linked up my homeschool supplies that I am selling. In my purposeful new year, I am taking a deep look at the homeschool supplies and asking what's the point of keeping this? Will I eventually need it? Do I really need so many books? Can I make enough selling it to be worth my while? My buddy Sharon and I have teamed up forces to rid ourselves of this extra baggage.

I have a little experience. I have been doing this on and off for about 9 years. I used to be the customer, but now I'm the sales lady. I have only been ripped off once. More on that later. I began selling and witnessing on eBay years ago.

Ten things I have learned about buying and selling homeschool books online:
  1. My favorite places to sell are homeschoolclassifieds, Amazon, Well Trained Mind forums, and Ebay. There are pros and cons to each site.
  2. Homeschool Classifieds is the easiest to shop. They list things by publisher and alphabetically. The sellers are given feedback and it is free to list items. There is a limit, but you can earn credits by posting local field trips or activities. You hammer out the details after contacting the seller. They also have a curriculum wanted section. I do contact shoppers about their wanted items. I find 70% of the time they are not willing to pay enough for the item to make it worth my time, effort and shipping fees. If I after selling, I end up with a few bucks, it would be more ideal to donate it at our local used homeschool sale.
  3. Amazon can be very simple, but they take a larger commission. What I love about Amazon is that you enter the isbn # and they already have a photo, reviews and prices of the book. Some items list high there so I always check first. They deposit money into my bank twice a month. Their system is easy to navigate.
  4. Ebay is the best place to sell Teaching Textbooks and other choice curriculum. Just do a completed listing search and see what the going prices are. Math-U-See sells high there too. I chose not to do eBay this week because I don't want to post pictures and write ads. Check prices there if you are buying and selling. Be sure to watch out for high seller shipping charges, my pet peave.
  5. The Well Trained Mind forums can be a great place to buy. Unless you post frequently, it takes a while to post 50 conversations and be eligible to post in their for sale forum. That does weed out the scammers because you can check out the sellers posts and see if they are really homeschooling. They have an extensive wanted list also. Anyone can view that.
  6. If your local homeschool group hosts a sale, that is a good place to start shopping. I have found that I end up pricing things low or giving them away because I know the families. I do however have the chance to swap with others or share why I loved or hated a curriculum. It is a lot of effort pricing and preparing the books.
  7. Postage can eat your profits really quick. I will give you an example of how I just took a hit. I usually ship items media mail to an US address. The price is between $1.70 and $5.85. I just sold some blocks which do not qualify for media rate and shipping was over $15. So after paypal fees and shipping, I only made about $20 for an item that cost me over $45.
  8. Paypal fees. Paypal does take a small handling fee from transactions. I think it's better than waiting for someone to mail a check and wait for it to clear. But consider adding and extra buck or two if you accept paypal.
  9. As a strict policy, I do not deal with selling or buying anything out of the country. The only deal that went sour was from our fine neighbor to the north. I was out fifty bucks. Now, that being said, if a deal sounds too good to be true, it may be a scam. Also, when posting a looking to buy ad, be careful. Dishonest people scan the ads and offer crazy deals. It doesn't always happen, but be careful. In my communications with buyers or sellers, I use my blog site in my signature. That way they can read who I am and know, I'm a little odd, but not a thief.
  10. Buying used curriculum can be a great way to save money. I have tried expensive programs, decided I hated them and resold them easily. Make sure they are from a non-smoking, non-pet home in case you have allergies or just serious sensory issues like myself. 
I'd love to hear your tips or experiences in buying or selling online. If you have any questions, I'd be happy to answer them in the comments.

Happy Thursday!

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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Thrifty Thursday: Christmas and Thrift, Ten Things

If you were able to stand yesterday's post and my whining about Christmas, thank you for returning. Thanks to Little Guy, who has been singing real Christmas carols non-stop, I feel better already. My home is decorated and I am a little more encouraged about Christmas approaching.

Ann Voscamp wrote another great post yesterday. It has encouraged me to get over my ego, my mice, and my clutter. I encourage you to head over there after you read this post.

I'm a person who learns by mistake, so I am well-schooled in today's topic. Let's talk about Thrift and Christmas. I thought I'd post ten ways not to be Thrifty this Christmas. And Yes, I am guilty of all of these. I've gotten overwhelmed by the Christmas Animal at times and forgotten about Jesus.

Ten Ways To Not Be Thrifty For Christmas

  1. Tell yourself it's Christmas as an excuse to overspend, just pull out the credit card.
  2. Buy gifts for co-workers, co-worshipers, or neighbors that will end up donated or at the next yard sale.
  3. Get your kids the latest electronic gadgets, that are unwanted in few months.
  4. Purchase convenience foods for each of the parties you will be attending.
  5. Hide the gifts you bought earlier in the year so well that you can't find them on Christmas Eve.
  6. Neglect to teach your children the true meaning of Christmas and train them to be receivers.
  7. Buy all of your relatives gifts because you don't want them to think you are cheap.
  8. Procrastinate mailing gifts and end up paying 3 times the cost of the gift to mail them.
  9. Forget to buy for someone and find yourself in a stupor, shopping on Christmas Eve.
  10. Decorate your home with the latest trendy seasonal decorations. Reindeer are so passe. Light your home up with a gizzilion lights that are not LED and don't forget a few blow-up lawn decorations.

Do you have any tips for wasting money this year? Please share!

Happy Thursday!

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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thrifty Thursday and the Feingold Diet

Any time I discuss the Feingold diet with others, inevitably the high cost of food comes up. With a little creativity and work, one can easily implement the diet without over-spending.

Ten ways I purchase approved foods without going broke:
  1. When a Feingold food item is on sale, I hoard. Because the products are not full of preservatives, this works best with frozen items, like our favorite ice cream. Also pantry items that are sealed can be bought in bulk. I have been spotted with a cart full of cereal. I'm not ashamed, just thrifty.
  2. Shop fruits and vegetables in season. Sorry son, we only eat watermelon in the summer. Spending 89 cents a pound for bland watermelon just doesn't work here.
  3. Health and beauty products are great for stocking up. Especially sun screens at the end of the season. Our pale white bodies go through sunscreen faster than it can expire.
  4. Baking my own cookies, brownies and cakes is always cheaper than box mixes or store bought. I freeze individual cookies, rice crispy treats, brownies and cakes for lunches.
  5. I shop at different stores for certain items. This is never convenient, but knowing where to find each thing at the lowest price helps.
  6. Occasionally, I make a pilgrimage to Whole Foods. I have to put on blinders and avoid all of the tempting displays. They carry many store brand staples that are reasonably priced. While there, I stock up on chocolate chips, marshmallows, hot chocolate, peanut butter and waffles. I have been known to put in an order with my fellow blogger, Vika, who shops there regularly, that eliminates all of my impulse purchases.
  7. Trader Joe's has made our life incredibly easier. I find their cereals are consistently low priced and without the added BHT in the packaging. Did I mention the fun Little Guy has finding the crab? This creative trick traps mothers in Trader Joe's until their kids scour the entire store looking for the plastic crab. That calls for my secret weapon. STICK TO THE LIST. 
  8. I plan ahead. Anytime I leave the house for more than a few hours with Little Guy, I have a lunch box packed with acceptable foods. Running into a convenience store to find a chemical free snack is an unpleasant experience. Now that Frito Lay will not co-operate with Feingold in filling out food questionnaires, I can't fall back on our old time favorite, unnamed corn chip.
  9. Keeping up with the new items and re-reading my food lists. I will discover some foods that I didn't realize were acceptable. Fortunately, companies are realizing that consumers don't need or want chemicals in their foods and are responding to that.
  10. I order some groceries online. This is where the man in the brown truck shows up, drops a few boxes and I have to resist my urge to hug him. Did I ever confess how tired I am of grocery shopping? The Gman is the only one to get my hugs for his weekly Trader Joe's trips.

But here is where the shameless advertising comes in. I shop at Vitacost every few months to stock up on vitamins, snacks and cereals. They have the best prices and usually free shipping. Of course, I google a coupon before I check out. If you have never tried Vitacost, this is your chance to save $10 on your first order. I promise you, you will have to exercise self-control, when the man in the brown truck delivers your groceries to your front door. Please save your hugs for your beloved. We don't want the neighbors to talk.

Thanks for stopping by,

This great kid has been on Feingold since 2008
If you are wondering what this Feingold Diet is all about, read my experience here and see my other posts where I sing the praises of Feingold. 

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Sunday, October 9, 2011

Working and Homeschooling...Ten Things

Three Thinking Mother's discussed working while homeschooling. Because I worked this week, I am a little late jumping in. Stop by and see how other's live, survive and thrive as a working homeschooling parent.

I sell real estate for a fantastic company. I am a new agent with one completed sale, a few listings and a few buyer clients. So far my clients have been very flexible and I have been able to work around our daily schooling.

This topic is near and dear to my heart. As a homeschooling mom who has recently started working, I don't have years of experience working while homeschooling, but I have a few months under my belt. And a few thoughts about it. Like ten. That's why it's called ten things. It's not that I don't have 11 or more, it's just a way to stop myself from rambling.
  1. If you don't have to work while you are teaching your children at home, find your husband, give him a big kiss, and thank him. I did not realize how great I had it until it was gone. I look back at my past schedules with jealousy: Bons bons, history read alouds, phonics, field trips, and fun. And more bon bons. 
  2. When you have to work, it forces you to manage your time more effectively. Staying up late reading or blogging will leave you too tired to cope with the extra pressure. Bedtime is my welcome friend now, while my blog is oft neglected. I have cut back on outside commitments, I don't jump in to volunteer as quickly as I used to. And I don't feel guilty about it either. 
  3. Since my boys are older, they know the drill. Wake up, begin their independent work. As soon as I return from my morning meetings 2 to 3 days a week, they make sure they ready to work with me. If we don't begin a subject until 4:30, we don't sweat it. We work odd hours now.
  4. I think it has been a blessing on our grocery budget. I have less time to run out to the store. Less time in a store has proven to cost the consumer less money. Unless the Gman goes shopping, we make due with what we have.
  5. It is possible to do both well, but you must overcome the mind battle. I constantly would like to do more at work, but I force myself to stop and go home. I am faced with the choice of wanting to be the best Realtor, but I know, there will be a time for that later. I'll do my best while I am at work.
  6. One lifesaver for our homeschooling this year is Monarch. Random is taking 5 classes and I can remotely monitor his lessons and correct it from any wi-fi spot. Rosetta Stone is another.
  7. Most of my client research and prep can be done at home. Many days, I am working at the kitchen table, while available for the boys.
  8. I confess, I am insanely jealous of the moms who work at libraries. They have my dream job.
  9. As soon as I started working, the Gman has stepped in to do so many things. Grocery shopping, driving kids and kitchen duties don't threaten him one bit.
  10. I can't say I have made a ton of money yet, but with the Gman's support, I hope to grow this business slow and steady. One happy customer at a time. Do you want to buy a house?

Thanks for stopping by,

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Thrifty Thursday: The habit of thrift

I recall last year when I was awarded the Thrifty Homeschool Blogger Award from one of my favorite blogs, The HSB Post. I haven't written much about thrift lately, but since I just actually met Dave Ramsey while I was in Arizona, I'm fired up again.

My Arizona trip was all about thrift. Some passive and many active thrift activities.
  • Helping my dad clean out some things from his garage, I found some great clothes for my boys and the Gman. Pops has some stylish cast-offs. I needed to go to a thrift shop to buy a small suitcase on half price day for $7.00 to get the loot home.
  • When my dad needed a bathrobe and I discovered they weren't in season at Walmart or Ross, I scored one for a whopping $2.50.
  • We didn't go out to eat much, so there was some thrift. Pops treats so he was the one benefiting from our staying home.
  • I didn't pay for the Entre Leadership seminar because I didn't want to be out all day. I was able to catch the last hour for free as I waited for the book signing.
  • I bought my son Entre Leadership by Dave Ramsey, which is in essence an investment in my future.
  • No souvenirs, but a gift for the boys who stayed home. Socks and a bathing suit, just the necessities. There is healthy competition in the Chandler area. I was able to pick up these things for a fraction of the cost here in my tourist location.
  • We took the bus home from the airport. With the cost of gas, parking and wear and tear on the car, it was the thriftier choice. We could have hitch-hiked, but that would have been insane thrift.
Once I was home, I was in full gear.
  • Borrowing the geometry teacher's book and DVD from my Bestie.
  • Combining my real estate appointments to save gas.
  • I enjoyed dinner on my boss for our monthly pizza night. Great Mediterranean pizza, and because I don't drink, my tab for a sprite didn't break the bank. I love soda with pizza, but switched to water after one.
  • I attended a free self-defense class offered by our local real estate organization.
  • I gave up cream in my coffee. After a few days, I don't notice the difference anymore. Maybe, I'll shed a pound by this tightwaddery.
At the grocery store, I wasn't so successful. Has anyone else noticed the insane prices? Four bags of groceries for $40, Yikes!

What have you done to advance thrift in your life this week? I am always looking for more creative ways to part with less money.

Happy Thursday,
Terri G.
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Thursday, September 1, 2011

Irene and I got along fine, Thrifty Thursday, and the Winner

Hurricane Irene didn't disrupt our lives too much.

We spent time at home together.

The Gman was very prepared.

Daddy taught paperboy how to hook up a generator to our electrical panel.

The sticks and debris were cleaned up quickly.

Life is back to normal.

Some of my thrifty actions last week:

Thrifty is not shopping before the hurricane. No chance of food getting spoiled.

Thrifty is winning Red Sox tickets by calling the radio station. Of course, including prayer, faith and singing: Take me out to the ball game. Thanks to God, for my son's birthday gift!

Saying yes! to turkey. My overachieving friend, Jan, dropped off a turkey since she had lost power and had no generator. I'm not crazy about turkey, but anything with enough gravy is awesome! Homemade gravy is easy and cheap!

Cancelling the second Xm radio subscription is thrifty. Our first subscription was a lifetime membership which has more than paid for itself. During the attempt to reorder, the call was dropped and the restart never happened. We decided we could live without a second radio.

As I promised last week:
The winner of the Grace Card Movie is:

Entering contests is a great way to be thrifty. This movie could be a great date night movie for the winner and her hubby. Congratulations to the guinea pig! Shirley, who is very thrifty.

Look for more upcoming give-aways here.

Thanks for stopping by, Terri G.
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Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Grace Card: Review and Give Away!

Thrifty Thursday: Win a Free Movie

I was given the opportunity to review the movie The Grace Card. This movie is produced by Affirm Films, the same company that gave us Fireproof and Facing the Giants. Over the years, I have endured hokey Christian films that have some silly scenes which can be too distracting to portray the gospel message effectively. This film was a breath of fresh air...

What it is all about.......
Everything can change in an instant ... and take a lifetime to unravel.
When Mac McDonald loses his son in an accident, the ensuing 17 years of bitterness and pain erodes his love for his family and leaves him angry with God ... and just about everyone else.
Mac's rage stonewalls his career in the police department and makes for a combustible situation when he's partnered with Sam Wright, a rising star on the force who happens to be a part-time pastor and a loving family man.
Mac's home life is as frightening as anything he encounters on the streets of Memphis. Money is tight and emotions run high as he constantly argues with his wife and his surviving son Blake, who is hanging with the wrong crowd and in danger of flunking out of school.
Sam Wright also never expected to be a police officer. He has a calling—to be a minister like his Grandpa George. But leading a small, start-up church doesn't always put enough food on the table for a young family, so Sam doubles as a police officer. With his new promotion to Sergeant, Sam starts questioning if his real calling might actually be police work rather than the pastorate.
Can Mac and Sam somehow join forces to help one another when it's impossible for either of them to look past their differences—especially the most obvious one?
Every day, we have the opportunity to rebuild relationships and heal deep wounds by extending and receiving God's grace. Offer THE GRACE CARD ... and never underestimate the power of God's love.

What I thought about the movie...............

I rate a movie by it's ability to keep me engaged and awake. My attention can only be held by a lot of action, drama and captivating plot lines. The Grace card had the ability to keep me awake long past my bedtime.

Make sure you have tissues, because it can be a tear jerker.

My favorite feature of this film was the numerous themes running through the movie. It multi-tasked with it's themes. The issues that were addressed while entertaining the audience would speak to any one's heart. Prejudice, bitterness, unforgiveness of others and self, teenagers, financial pressures, and marital strife. It was able to portray these themes while still interjecting humor and even some great music.

The way things were wrapped up at the end was a little incredible, nevertheless, it was a great drama. It was not based on a true story, but many of the characters has striking similarities to people I know in real life.

The movie will strengthen your faith, challenge you and entertain you.

If you want to read more about The Grace Card visit their web site here.
Good News!!!!

You can win your own copy of the Grace Card.

The first entry is mandatory:
Just leave the word Grace in the comments with a way to contact you.

The rest of the entries will increase your chances of winning. Just leave me an extra comment for each one.

  1. Be one of the over 50,000 people to like the Grace Card on Facebook. #/thegracecard
  2. Follow the Grace Card on twitter, #/#!/gracecardmovie
  3. Tweet about this giveaway using the the following tweet.
  4. Follow my blog on GFC.
  5. Subscribe to my blog with feedburner.
  6. Tell me when you first have experienced grace in your life.
I will draw one winner on Thrifty Thursday, September 1st.

On a side note...
And now to satisfy the ever increasing need of the government to control our free speech:

"Disclosure of material Connection: I recieved the movie listed above for free in hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and beli8eve would be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC's 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and testimonials in advertising."

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Friday, July 29, 2011

Free Homeschool Magazine

It's no secret how much I love the Old Schoolhouse Magazine. I hoard my old issues and I'm not ashamed of it. If the thought of reading an old dusty magazine makes you sneeze, I have the remedy. The Old Schoolhouse digital issue is now available for free. Just click on the image below and start reading my favorite magazine.  Because it includes hyperlinks to all of the advertiser's web sites, you don't even have to type in the web addresses. This is a lazy online shopper's dream.

Read It Online Today!

Some things about the digital edition that I appreciate:
    1. I can make the print larger.
    2. I can share it with all of my friends.
    3. I can click through to the web sites, not just to shop, but to access many excellent resources.
    4. It doesn't clutter my already busy coffee table.
    5. It includes Brain Ray's research and statistics about homeschoolers. My geekiness is is satiated.
    6. The price is right, FREE!
Let me know if you get a chance to read it and what you like best about it.

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Monday, May 30, 2011

Kahn Academy: Free Online Classes

It seems like I am always the last to find out about so many excellent resources. Perhaps one person who reads my blog, will be introduced this most excellent site. Below is an overview of the Kahn Academy.

Random and Paperboy will be spending time this summer on this site. Since Random has discovered he loves online learning, thanks to Ten Marks, he was excited when I shared this with him. I like the idea of short videos, they are 10 to 20 minutes long. Just enough time for the brain to absorb the concept, but not to start the eyes glazing. I'm learning about the banking system and I haven't dozed yet.

This is not just videos, there is an area on the website where student can practice concepts, receive badges, while being tracked by their coach, me. As the coach, I can even see exactly which problems they struggled with, needed more help, and how much time they spent on it. Knowing exactly at what point in the math lesson the student begins to struggle, is invaluable as their teacher.

The instructor Sal Kahn began Kahn Academy, accidentally, by tutoring his cousins. He created videos to enhance his lessons, posted them on YouTube and it grew into an amazing library of instruction. He realized there was a need for this type instruction. Now he shares all of his lesson for free at his website. His story is incredibly inspiring.

One thing that really impressed me is the equipment he uses to produce these videos only cost him $280. The potential to help others is priceless.

Let me know what you think of his tutoring. So far, I love it. In case you are wondering, this isn't a paid review. It's just a really great website that you need to know about.

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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Thrifty Thursday: Homeschool Conventions for Less

Attending a homeschool convention can be a burden to many families that are already feeling the squeeze. When Momma is teaching her little ones, chances are, she may not be earning any money. How can you attend a conference, pay for a hotel and purchase curriculum while stretching your homeschool budget? I'd like to share with you some of the ways I have enjoyed the homeschool conferences when things were a little tight.

  • When reserving a room, the earlier the better. Last year, when we were attending as a family, we opted for the hotel without the pool. The offered free breakfast for me and the guys. Based one the amount of food my teens eat, I am not sure if they made any money off our room.
  • Some years, I share a hotel room with other ladies. Not only is this a great time, my hotel ends up costing about $25.00. This is always a time of fun and great conversation. 
  • This year, my friend Shirley has offered to drive us there. We will all share the gas expenses and I know the ride will go quickly with all of the chatterboxes going.
  • The first day, I bring a sandwich and snacks from home. I have to eat them outside, but so far, the weather has been agreeable.
  • Take advantage of restaurant deals. Our hotel is located near the Ninety-Nine restaurant. Last year we ate there with coupons. On top of that, the Red Sox won the night before, so our kids ate for free. I'm not looking for fine dining, just a good meal that someone else has cooked is sufficient.
  • Eat creatively. There is a hospital cafeteria nearby. They have a large variety of foods and a terrific salad bar. Hint, time your visit, the lines can be crazy. Cafeteria food = Cheap. 
  • Fasting and praying can save you a few bucks. Actually, I'm kidding. You need to eat well and be alert. You will want to absorb all of the great information, without dreaming of a cheeseburger.
  • Research now the curriculum you are considering. Have your list ready to visit the vendor booths. Do this early on so you will have time to do more research/shopping in case you change your direction in teaching.
  • I do buy some things and pay full price at the conference. Gasp. Some of the vendors are homeschooling families that have continued to offer excellent products at reasonable prices. Two vendors that I look forward to shopping at are The Book Peddler and Schoolhouse Publishing. The Book Peddler has a great bargain bin, offers their own books and I love their booth. Susan Kemmerer of Schoolhouse Publishing is a real homeschooling mom, a serious 'boy mom. She graciously shares work samples from her children using the products. If you are not going to the convention, you have to request her free magalog. Their store offer discounts for new customers here. She freely shares her magalog at the convention and will spend time with you as you shop her booth. (Disclaimer, I am sharing my personal experience, I do not receive any compensation for sharing my love for either of these companies.)
  • If you are unsure, wait. Maybe you can find what you are looking for at your local homeschool used book sale, check Ebay, or sites that sell second hand curriculum. 
  • Purge out the old books. Just this weekend, I sold a math program on Ebay for $120. Perhaps you have curriculum you can sell now, to pay for next year's books.
  • Friends don't let friends overbuy curriculum. Shirley and I shop together. Sometimes when I am going to buy something, she stops me and let's me know, she will lend it to me. Or vice versa. I'm looking forward to borrowing her Biology 101 movies next year. Thanks, Shirl.
  • Many of the vendor booths offer scratch and dent products. You may have to search through boxes, but you will be in good company. I am sure that my kids won't care that someone dropped their grammar book. In fact, I'm sure they purposely do this. 
  • Don't be wowed by new and shiny. At our homeschool used curriculum sale each year, I notice some things. There are expensive boxed curriculum selling for deep discounts. Many times they were abandoned after only a few weeks of use. Really consider or sleep on the decision. I have bought things and second guessed it the next day.
Can you tell I am getting excited about the convention? I have been talking about what to wear and why to go. Is there anything I have missed? If you are going to MassHope, let me know. I'd love to meet you and talk homeschooling. If you have any other thrifty convention tips, please share.

Don't forget to enter my give away for The Crossmaker. Winning homeschool products is very thrifty.

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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Thanks, But No Thanks, Pouring My Heart Out

Things I Can't Say

Today I am linking up with Shell at Things I Can't Say. Stop by and see where bloggers enjoy group therapy. I feel better already.

This is not a pity me post, let's get that out of the way. God has shown Himself strong in my life at this time. I have a joy right now that I can only be explained as God's grace. I haven't felt the need or want to verbally vomit my problems on my friends, I love them too much for that.

If you know me in person and you happen to know my current situation, I need to inform you that you are being a colossally rude when you invite me to your home party to buy books, jewelry, kitchen products, and candles or any other overpriced items.

I am going to assume it must have slipped your mind. You didn't remember. My husband is in the middle of a career change which involves no income for a few months, while dealing with major medical issues. You're asking me to leave him home alone with the kids for a night, so I can buy ridiculously expensive things. So in turn, you can get free stuff that you don't really need.

I'm happy for your home party fun, but please leave me out. My feelings won't be hurt if I found out what an excellent time you had without me. In fact, you inviting me, makes me uncomfortable. It makes me wonder if you know me or what my life is all about right now.

When I do feel like loosening up my purse strings, I'll head down to the Christmastree Shop and drop $2.00 for a really nice smelling candle. I'll have to pass on the $30 one right now.

Another thing, I promise I won't invite you to my home party, because I don't inflict them on my loved ones. I repented of that years ago.

Tomorrow, we will return to our regularly scheduled cheery blog.

Actually, this post fits in nicely with Thrifty Thursday. I may just repost it.

Thanks for listening.

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Sunday, March 27, 2011

A sweet way to earn money at home?

There is still time to enter "the Crossmaker" giveaway. 
Click here for details. I will be drawing the winner on Friday, National Atheist Day.

This post is part of The Christian Home, an online magazine hosted by Mrs. White at The Legacy of Home. Please visit her site to read more of The Christian Home.

I wrote a few weeks ago about the ways I have earned money at home. This can be both a blessing and a curse, since many of my 'jobs' have taken their toll on our family and my peace of mind. I've come to the conclusion that sometimes the best way to make money at home is to avoid parting with the income you already have.

Proverbs 14:1 
The wise woman builds her house,
but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.

Today, I will share with you something that did not work for me. Will you join me for a trip down memory lane? Fasten your seatbelt for a ride down Terri G.'s Rocky Road to income from home.

Cake Decorating or 
My recipe for disaster

When I only had one child, this seemed like a fun way to bring in a few dollars. My friend and I attended the Wilton cake decorating classes at the local craft store. I was eager to try my newfound skills. I am not crafty, I just have the ability to read and follow directions. Paired with a steady hand, cake decorating can be successful.  For me it was, somewhat.

I quickly was able to sell my cakes, please brides and the word spread. I charged about $1 to $2 a slice and did wedding cakes while charging between $120 to $450. It sounds like a large amount for just making a cake, but in reality, it wasn't.

Because I have never functioned well without adequate sleep, I always paced myself. My weeks with cake creations looked like this:
  • Tuesday purchase all of the supplies.
  • Wednesday, bake and trim.
  • Thursday ice cakes.
  • Friday decorate cakes.
  • Saturday, pray while you drive with the precious cakes, deliver and assemble, and stress over if the bride will love it.
During cake jobs, my family ate poorly and I was a grump. Pizza had to be ordered by Friday night. My back was sore from hunching over the cakes. Weather hampered decorating. Weekend traffic freaked me out. I was a slowpoke menace on the roads for fear of stopping short and ruining my creations. And these were the easy times.

See the pregnant lady with the fake smile? She spent the morning abusing her husband.
Then enter the blessing of new babies, Paperboy and his brother, Random, seventeen months later. The home is no longer a great setting for a bakery.

I remember my last wedding cake. 

The one in which I lost control. The one for the lovely couple who had married in Paris and wanted their perfect stateside family wedding, near the ocean. The cake with little shells on the sides. I had broken a few rules. I took an order over the phone. I envisioned what they wanted. I had hoped my vision was theirs. There was a nagging feeling the whole time, I think this is what they wanted. The weather was 80 degrees and humid. The frosting disobeyed. The cake didn't fit in my refridgerator. I had to air condition my bedroom just to keep it fresh. That probably cost me half my profit in electricity. 

The morning of the wedding, I had found myself screaming at the kids, again. "Stop running by the cake", "You're making the whole house shake", "You'll have to wait for breakfast." Didn't they care? At that point, I was possessed.

The final straw came when it was time to load the cakes in the car. When I looked at one of the layers, I wanted to cry. "What was this stuffed dinosaur doing in the cake?" This was not the bride's vision. My vision began to blur through angry tears.

Thankfully, Paperboy has blotted out this memory of his scary mommy. Paperboy, at two years old, survived my temporary insanity. Only because God in His grace had made him the second born. There was a witness to my meltdown. As my temper tantrum was in full force, I realized my oldest son was watching me screaming, while contemplating hurting my toddler.

What am I doing? This is insane, he is a two-year old and it's only a cake.

I was frightened at how much rage had gotten a hold over me. I was taking my stress out on my family. What if I had acted on my feelings and struck my son with that angry spirit on me? I am thankful to God, that in my terrible state, I was able to hear His voice. I was able to repent, in time. 

I repaired and delivered the cake. No accidents, no ordeals. 

The bride loved it, she begged me to stay for the reception.

I had to decline, my family needed me back.

Even though I was at home all week, they missed me.
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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Thrifty Thursday: Something free, that I paid dearly for

There was a time when I used to enroll my children in numerous home school enrichment classes outside the home. I suffered from "Mommy Guilt". I believed that they must be exposed to every activity available. I spend hundreds of dollars, and wasted tankfuls of gas forcing my kids to attend classes that they were minimally interested in. I have an announcement to make.

About the guilt.

"I'm over it."

I'm telling you this so if you are homeschooling little ones, you can get over it earlier than later. Choose your extras wisely. Now, my kids have to beg me to do something, I want them to really invest themselves into it.

I'm having flashbacks of when they took sign language at $120 per child for not that many weeks. I think they just liked going to the library where the class was held. There was a great selection of science DVDs available there.

Back to the sign language and Thrifty Thursday. Don't pay an instructor until they have mastered some of the free information on the internet. If they show a genuine interest and love for it, then by all means, hire a professional.

This was in my email the other day, I won't bore you with the whole email but here's the gist, with my commentary in red:

Dear Terri,
..... we came up with a simple free collection of resources aimed at facilitating the learning of baby sign language. This is a non-bloggers way of saying Free Sign Language Stuff.  Various studies show that baby sign language provides children with an edge in learning and developing verbal skills. There is also evidence of increased cognitive abilities. Get those kids some smarts.

This sentence below brought back fond memories of sitting in church with my darlings.....

In our case since we don't have infants any longer we use sign language as a discreet way to convey a message to our kids calling their attention to be polite or grateful etc.

I remember when Random and Paperboy were little.  I used a few signs. I only recall thirsty, hungry and commanding them to sit down. The 'sit' sign was used almost every church service in conjunction with the sideways, you are in trouble look.  

Try this with your kids when they are trying to do jumping jacks between the seats at church or in a restaurant. It works, and it's free. This lady below obviously forgot to include my most effective sideways look.

Back to the email..... offers a bundle of free resources including the following: 
  • Printable wall chart.
  • Printable high resolution flash cards.
  • Video dictionary
  • Quick reference tools
I visited the website and yes there are free resources. I think the blog has two authors, it's hard to tell. I have to include a disclaimer that I am not endorsing the blog. There are some things over there that I am not wholly in agreement with. I am encouraging you to stop by and and see the resources if you are interested in introducing your children to sign language. If your children are ready for more, check out You Tube, Google or your public library.

Before you waste money, like the Old Terri G.

Happy Thrifty Thursday! 

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