Just For You Review Link-Up

I don’t know about you, but I sure do love hearing other people’s thoughts about a product before I commit to buying it. You know, real people, sharing their real thoughts, instead of superstars paid for their endorsements. That is why I am teaming up with a great group of bloggers to bring you this product and book review link-up.
If you are a blogger and have a product or book that you have reviewed on your site recently, come add the post to the link-up and get the word out about what you loved (or didn’t love) about it. Then check out some other posts. Maybe you will find that must-have Christmas gift…or maybe you will discover that something you thought you wanted wouldn’t be a great choice after all. Go ahead and link-up giveaways, too. Anything goes, just please keep it family friendly! Thanks for stopping by, enjoy the reviews!


Melissa Say What?


Along with The Fibro Frog blog are hosting a Product/Book Review Link Up.


Tweet it! Share it on Facebook!  Give it a post on Google +!  Anything you can do to get the word out.  


Link Up your review post below.  For now we will not be limiting the posts and review/giveaway combo posts are perfectly fine.



Black Friday Essential Oils Sale!


This is such a great deal, I can’t even believe I am offering it! I wish this deal was around when I had signed up and ordered my oils! Even so, I couldn’t imagine my life without them, and that is why I want EVERYONE to experience these awesome oils for themselves, which is why I’m doing this.

On Black Friday, if you sign-up and order a Premium Starter Kit from me, this is what you will get (almost $50 worth of freebies!!!):

Almost $50 worth of freebies when you order on Black Friday!

Almost $50 worth of freebies when you order on Black Friday!

This offer is only available for orders placed on Friday, November 28 from 12:01 am to 11:59 pm. Don’t miss out on this awesome deal, I don’t know if I will ever be able to offer it again! If you order, make sure you email me at [email protected] to let me know that you are taking advantage of the Black Friday special.

For more info about Young Living Essential Oils, visit my page here. (<—Click!)

And if you are ready to order, here is the link that will take you directly to Young Living. Just make sure you choose Wholesale Customer and keep my Sponsor and Enroller # in the correct spots.

Young Living Ordering Page

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving! Also, if you aren’t already an Amazon Prime member, they are offering a FREE 30 day trial. Just in time for Christmas! With Amazon Prime, you get free 2-day shipping on thousands of items (I haven’t paid shipping on anything in over a year!) plus you get free streaming movies and tv shows, similar to NetFlix, and you can borrow Kindle e-books for free! Amazon Prime has been a great resource for our homeschool! If you are going to take advantage of the Black Friday oils deal with the $20 gift card, might as well sign-up for the free trial, so your $20 can stretch farther! If you want to, just click this box here:

Handling Birthday’s During Holiday Season


photo credit

We are very blessed to be expecting baby #5 in early December. I love this time of year, with all the decorations and festive spirit and Christmas music playing every where I go. I enjoy the cold weather and bundling up to go outside. It makes me happy to have a fire going to keep the house warm, and to have our tree all lit up with lights. I especially love how easy it is to talk about Jesus at this time of year without getting sideways looks from people.

What I wasn’t sure about was having a baby at this time of year. Would my child feel like their birthday was always overshadowed by the season? Would we never be able to have a party because everyone is so busy with everything else? Would we even be able to afford to make a special deal of birthday’s in December with Christmas right around the corner?

Luckily, I know the answer to most of those questions, or at least answers that work for my family. You see, this is our 3rd baby to be born at this time. Our 4-year-old was born a day after Thanksgiving (in fact her birthday is on Thanksgiving this year), and our 2-year-old was born on December 20. So we do have a few years practice at dealing with birthday’s during the holidays. And so far we have managed to make each one special. I will give you some pointers and ideas that have worked well for us.

    1.  We don’t do birthday parties every year. This isn’t just for our children born during Christmas, it is also for our 2 children born in the summer. Our birthday party years are 1, 3, 5, 7, 10, 13, 16, and 18. We’ve only gone up to 13 so far, but 16 and 18 are the plan for the future. As a family we decided that these are the “special” years. Don’t get me wrong, we still celebrate our child on their birthday each and every year, they just only get a party with friends on these years. On the “off” years, we still have a special dinner and cake with just family, and we either go somewhere fun, like the beach for our summer babies, or I take the birthday child on a special shopping trip where they get to pick out their birthday present (within a given budget.) Our children have always felt super special and enjoyed these years just as much as the party years, and it has saved us the time and money it takes to throw a party. And I think it makes the birthday parties that much more special!
    2. We combine parties. I’m sure there are some people out there that think this is a big no-no, but it has worked surprisingly well for us. Our girls are only 2 years apart, so they have many of the same friends, or at least family’s with their children spaced 2 years apart as well. And they have many of the same interests (Disney Princesses!) so throwing a combined party just makes sense. Another idea is to have a Santa Claus party for a child whose birthday is in December. We did this for one of my daughter’s one year. My dad dressed up like Santa and handed out little gifts to all the guests, and the children got to decorate a miniature tree. And for my Thanksgiving baby, when it isn’t a party year we combine her birthday with Thanksgiving dinner, that way family only has one event to go to. We just throw in an extra cake. Who doesn’t want extra cake at Thanksgiving anyway, right?

Santa Claus , Picture,

  1. We move the parties up a few weeks. Since we know everyone will be busy Thanksgiving week, we usually have our turkey baby’s party a week or two before. And the same with our December 20 baby. If we aren’t combining the parties, hers also gets moved up a week or two so it isn’t so close to Christmas. If we are combining their birthdays, we will usually move our Thanksgiving baby’s party back a couple weeks and have the double party right in  between both their birthdays.
  2. We don’t go crazy with birthday gifts. Our children usually only get one gift from us on their birthdays. Especially if it is a party year, because we know they will be getting gifts from their friends and family as well. Their one gift is something that they want, not something that they need, so that makes it special. And like I mentioned before, when it isn’t a party year they get to choose the gift themselves. This saves us money, especially for the birthdays around the holidays, because we don’t have to buy a ton of presents so close to Christmas. Our children get spoiled enough by grandparents that they don’t even notice if we got them one or five. Even if they didn’t, getting one gift they really want makes them appreciate things more than if they got a bunch of stuff, in my opinion, and makes it more special.

This year is a little bit different though. It happens to be a party year for both my turkey baby and my Christmas baby, and I am due with another little bundle right smack dab in the middle of their birthdays! I really want them to still have their parties, but I don’t want to schedule them and then have to cancel because I’m in labor. I also don’t want to host a party shortly after I have given birth, not only because I will be recovering but because I really don’t want any germs our guests might bring over, making my newborn sick. So this year they are having a combined party the weekend before Thanksgiving. Sure, it is a whole month before my December 20th birthday girl, but I don’t think that will make much difference. She is only turning 3, after all.

I hope some of these ideas were helpful to you. Let me know in the comments if you have any holiday babies in your family and how you handle birthdays.

linked up at The Modest Mom Blog,  The Weekend Brew,  Fellowship Fridays,  Serving Joyfully,  Whole Hearted Home, Wedded Wednesdays, and  So Much At Home

Free Homeschool Field Trips

Hang on to your money with these free field-trip ideas for your homeschool.

Hang on to your money with these free field-trip ideas for your homeschool.

photo credit-© Andres Rodriguez | Dreamstime Stock Photos

This year in our homeschool we are doing something new. Every month we meet with a couple other homeschool families from our church and go on a field trip together. It is a great way for our children to build friendships and to have some fun. Combined we have 14 children, so keeping our outings free or at least very frugal has been important. I’m going to share some ideas for some of the outings we have done so far or have thought about doing in the future, with the hopes that you can use some of these ideas for your family or co-op, or at least get some ideas for what would work for you.

  1. Back to School Picnic at the Park- This was the first activity we did this year. When school started we all met at a local park for a picnic. Everyone brought their own sandwiches, and then we brought snacks to share with everyone, pot-luck style. One of the mom’s planned some PE-style activities, and then after we ate everyone played on the playground. Us mom’s used the free play time to plan out some events for the future and to iron out the details of our emerging co-op.
  2. Tour at the local Fire Station – Not only was this free, it was educational! Our children learned fire safety, got to see all the inner workings of the fire house, saw a fireman slide down the pole, watched a fire fighter get dressed all up in her fire gear (over her clothes, of course), learned about all the equipment on the fire engine, and even got to go inside the engine! My son still talks about this field trip. Most fire stations would be happy to give you a tour, just call and check their availability. The local police station might be open to giving tours to homeschoolers also, it’s worth a call!
  3. Seasonal Outdoor Activities - This month we went to a pumpkin patch. Many pumpkin patches can be on the expensive side, but some can be very frugal. The mom in charge of this month’s event called all the pumpkin patches in our area and found one where EVERYTHING was free except the pumpkins! There was a hay-stack maze which was perfect size for the little ones, a bigger corn maze that we all went through together and then let the older ones run through again, and a hay ride on a big tractor. All free! And since we all had already gotten our pumpkins from other places, we were able to spend a fun morning at the pumpkin patch for just the cost of our picnic lunches. Other seasonal activities to look into would be going to an orchard and picking apples. We are looking forward to going to a local Christmas Tree farm in December that has complimentary popcorn and hot cider around a campfire as well as sleigh rides from Santa and a life-size, walk-in Nativity set up in a tent. And in the Spring, a kite-day is a fun outing where you can include contests for highest flying kite and physical activities like foot-races, plus you could include a book reading on wind currents to make it educational as well.
  4. Local Candy Factory - Next month we are taking a free tour at the Jelly Belly Factory. Call around to see if there are any candy factories within driving distance, and if they give tours. Bonus-you’ll probably get samples!
  5. Bakery Tour - My husband works at a grocery store, and they are happy to give behind-the-scenes tours to school groups. The children can see the inner workings of the bakery, meat-deli, and more. There are also plenty of family-run bakeries in town that would probably be willing to have a school group come in and learn about their business. All it takes is a phone call to find out!
  6. Historical Buildings - We are lucky to live in an older town, so there are plenty of historical buildings to choose from. There is a house here that is still completely fashioned on the inside and outside with the original decor from the 1800’s, including clothes line and washing area in the backyard, and the bedrooms are all decked out in the latest fashions from that era. There is also a 1 room school house in town that enjoys hosting field trips and leading the kids in a lesson and outdoor activities from way back in the day. Even if your town isn’t quite as historically oriented, check around. There may be some hidden gem somewhere just waiting to be found out! Museums are also likely to give discounts to big school groups if you call and talk to them.
  7. In-Home “Parties”- Last year before we got our co-op going, we had one party together and the children had a blast! It was a Valentine’s Day party. All the children decorated shoe or cereal boxes and then passed out Valentine Cards to each other. We had a heart shaped cake, a heart shaped pizza, and red jello and red strawberries. I totally took a page out of my public school education for this one, because I remembered how much I loved these parties as a kid. You could also have a Christmas party where the children decorate a tree and/or have a small gift exchange.
  8. Visit Local Landmarks - Do you live near an ocean? The mountains? Good hiking terrain? Use the land that God blessed us with to explore. Children LOVE most anything that has to do with the outdoors and a change of scenery every once in a while can be both refreshing and educational!

I hope these field-trips have given you some ideas that you can use in your own homeschool or with your co-op. Can you add any others to the list?

linked up at Family Fun Fridays,  I Choose Joy,  Whole Hearted Home, Messy Marriage,  Time Warp Wife,  Teaching What Is Good and Rich Faith Rising


Save Money by Staying Healthy!


photo credit

Nobody likes being sick. And what makes it worse is that being sick isn’t cheap. Check out this post from Charlee at Humble in A Heartbeat about just how much it costs to get sick, plus a way to chart exactly how much being sick is costing your family:

The Costs of Getting Sick

Wow! For her family it costs them over $400 for one incidence of illness! Imagine that times 3 or 4 or even more times getting sick per year. It sure can add up.

She has some great ideas for keeping your family healthy. And here is another one: Young Living Essential Oils. These oils are pure, therapeutic grade, and have tons of immunity boosting properties. My family has not been sick once since we started using them. And trust me, with my husband working in a grocery store, we are exposed to plenty of germs.

The best part? The Premium Starter Kit is only $150. If it prevents your family from getting sick even once, it will more than pay for itself. Hop over to my Essential Oils page to learn more and to find out how to order. And check out the Monthly Special I have going on for the rest of October.

Healthy Living to you!

linked up to Christian Mommy Blogger