Thursday, January 22, 2015

Custom Valentine's Day Pillow Giveaway


 Why not say "I Love You" with a pillow this Valentine's Day? This unique and creative gift idea is sure to produce a smile on that special someone's face! I just ordered mine and can't wait to share it with you when it arrives in the mail. I wanted to be sure to share this deal with you NOW so you can be sure to have yours ordered just in time for the special day! And, for a Limited Time (ending at the end of the day Friday 1/23) you can purchase your customized pillow for only $35 (Reg. $53.99). I wanted to be sure to share this awesome deal with you before you miss it!

I had a blast creating my pillow online because Collage.com makes it easy to upload and format your pics quickly and creatively. There are so many background colors and designs to choose from for the actual pillow itself, (I personally like the vintage prints). Even though it is Valentine's Day you don't have to have your pictures placed into the shape of a heart, there are piles of shapes to choose from! I'll be sharing my full review of my pillow once it arrives but until then, get one of your own for your Valentine or enter below to win one!

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How to Raise Money-Conscious Children


 The following is a Guest Post by Mark Smith




Every parent knows how hard and time consuming it is to raise kids. Getting toddlers to perform 

very basic tasks can be a nightmare. Every day brings a never ending battle to get a little older 

children to finish their food, pick up their toys, or keep the noise levels down. In the midst of all this, 

teaching kids about money takes a distant back seat in most homes. 


Many parents never even try to teach their kids about money. This is because managing money 

is tough enough for most adults, most of whom have to learn the hard way. However, there are 

simple ways to get kids to understand the value of money from a young age.


Here Are Some Tips on How to Raise Money-Conscious Children: 


Explain Money


It is easy to assume that kids understand money, but they actually do not. Parents should explain

what money is, where it comes from, and where it goes when you spend it. This will give them

a basic insight into the money cycle, and how it constantly comes and goes. You should also

talk openly about money in front of the children, without necessarily scaring them with complex

financial difficulties.


Set Spending Limits


Kids can be forgiven for thinking their parents have all the money in the world. This is because

parents never set limits when buying toys or other items for children. Tell your kids that they can

only spend a certain amount in a set period, e.g. monthly or weekly. When they ask for anything,

check the price and inform them when it is over the limit. Never adjust this limit to please kids,

especially when they throw tantrums at the supermarket.


Reduce the Frequency of Purchases


Kids who see their parents spend money frequently tend to assume its supply is endless. Get your

kids used to shopping once a week, or a few times a month. Explain that this is aimed at saving

money, or waiting for the next paycheck. This teaches kids that money is limited, and buying

choices must be carefully considered since the next purchase is weeks away.


Give Them an Allowance


Some parents may be opposed to this. However, an allowance is the only way kids can experience

firsthand the folly of spending all their savings. It also teaches them to manage their own

expenditure, and budget wisely.


Teach Them to Save


This is part of teaching kids the importance of delayed gratification. The best way to do this

is to buy them a savings jar, where they can watch their savings grow. Match their savings to

encourage them to reduce spending. Kids who learn to save will be reluctant to spend it all. This is

because they feel the pinch of waiting for their savings to grow.


Encourage Them to Look for Bargains


At the same time, teach them to try harder and look for better deals. You can even introduce them

to the notion of using coupons. If they learn they can use the money saved to buy something

extra, they will quickly learn that settling for what they find first is not always the best option. If they

are old enough and you let them spend time online, show them  services like Discountrue that

focuses on frugal lifestyle. It will do no harm to show them they can buy things cheaper if they

are willing to make an effort.


Teach Them to Respect Property


Kids can learn to value money if they respect their property and those of others. Take away their

toys if they misuse or damage them. This will make them value every purchase you make for them.

With time, they will make the connection between the value of money and that of property.


Be a Good Example


Children learn behaviors from their parents. This applies to money management as well. Do

not splash money when the kids are watching. This will only encourage them to spend money

unwisely. Show them how reluctant you are to borrow or let debts accumulate. Let them see your

frugality, and they shall learn to respect money too.


The current economic downturn is a great opportunity to teach kids that money actually does not

grow on trees. Every parent should therefore learn how to raise money conscious children. This

will ensure they grow up to be responsible adults with proper financial management skills.



Disclaimer: This has been a Sponsored Guest Post.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

2014 Homeschool Blog Award Winner

Thanks so much to everyone who voted for me in 
The Homeschool Blog Awards because 

Thrift Schooling Won

That's right,

 I won in the Best Thrifty Homeschool Blog category!

The Homeschool Post
There were 20 categories and I'm excited to check out the other winning blogs and see what they are about. One blog that I follow won as well, finchnwren. I love when their posts come to my inbox, a fun blog to follow! If you are looking for some NEW blogs to follow, NOW is the time, head over to the winner's page and get to following!

Thanks again for supporting Thrift Schooling!



Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Authority in Prayer: Praying With Power and Purpose by Dutch Sheets (Repackaged Edition)


Authority in Prayer: Praying With Power and Purpose by Dutch Sheets is a treasure that will be staying on my bookshelf right next to Intercessory Prayer! It's one of those books packed full of Biblical teaching and faith boosting testimonies that you will want to keep on hand as a reference book for just the right time! And I believe that now is the time. What perfect timing to re-release this book. Even though we have some time before the next presidential elections, I've really been pressed to begin praying, NOW! Sheets shares some powerful testimonies regarding praying for previous presidential elections and how God prevailed. This book is sure to boost the faith of young and seasoned intercessors alike, encouraging them to remember their place as watchmen on the wall and get praying!

For those of you that may be unfamiliar with Dutch Sheets you would probably want to know before reading this book that he is of the pentecostal mindset, so many terms used in this book coincide with those teachings. Which of course resonated with me since I too believe in prophecy, speaking in tongues and that God still speaks to us today. I wasn't raised believing these teachings, but, around the year 2000 God moved mightily in my life. Interestingly enough, when the change occurred, the college I was attending didn't support this belief system but God was moving on campus. After a wild turn of events, the school actually ended up sending and paying for the conference tickets for me and another girl to attend a Spiritual Warfare Conference! And guess who was one of the main speakers? Dutch Sheets! It was powerful and life changing. The prophetic words that came forth were intense. They weren't just over a person or church but many of the words that I still remember to this day affected a large part of the nation. Even last week (14 years after the word was spoken) I was driving through the area in Pennsylvania that was prophesied over and I physically saw the fulfillment of the word. It was powerful and something that no one could have possibly known in the natural so many years ago!

I share that to say that I agree with Sheets that there are different levels of prayer. First, we need to take authority in our own lives, then those around us and then nations. This is a Biblical principle and stated so well in this book. I highly recommend this book at this time for those who feel led to pray for this nation, and for those who don't because after you read this you will likely be inspired!


Disclaimer: Thanks to Bethany House Publishers for a copy of this book for the purpose of this review! 
All opinions stated are my own.

KJV Note-Taker's Bible {Review}



The King James Version Note-Taker's Bible is a large hardcover Bible with plenty of margin provided to take notes! You know, there is just something about that old raggedy Bible that has been with you through the ages. Personally, mine is a leather bound one that I have had for over fifteen years! It's highlighted, marked up, notes throughout the tiny margins and I'm pretty sure it's missing some pages. That Bible has been with me everywhere! Through Bible College, on the mission field, for the first nine years of my marriage and three kids! Even though I adore that Bible and it holds some precious memories, it is not the Bible itself that in reality that has helped me through but the power of the Word itself, the God of the Bible. So, with that said, I have decided to retire my old leather bound Bible and start fresh and anew with the KJV Note-Taker's Bible.

It's weird opening up a fresh new Bible with no highlighted verses or notes on the side but there will be plenty of time for that! I'm excited to begin using this Bible and marking it all up with new and fresh revelation. We like to teach our kids to take notes in church, and I love to do the same!

I personally like the King James Version and that is the version I have been reading for the past fifteen years. An interesting element that is different with this Bible than the previous one I owned is the dedication in the beginning! In the beginning of the Bible they printed out the dedication to King James that was presented to the King when he received this translation of the Bible! Quite an interesting read.

I'm excited to have a new Bible and hope this one lasts me another fifteen years, at least!


Disclaimer: Thanks to the Book Look Blogger Program for providing this book for this review! All opinions stated here are my own.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

The Identical {Review & Giveaway}



The Identical starring Ray Liotta, Ashley Judd, Seth Green, and Blake Rayne is a redemptive movie about a young man, the son of a preacher, who rejects his father’s desire for him to join the ministry and instead embarks on a career as a rock singer. As he struggles to pursue his dream and rise to stardom, he finds love, pain, success, failure and ultimately uncovers a hidden family secret that reveals who he really is.
Isn't it hilarious that I reviewed a movie like this? If you know me personally then your jaw has probably dropped to the floor. Okay. You can pick it up now! Listen, I will say this, I do have a very strong opinion about rock music and whether I think anybody is ever led by God to pursue it as a career. Because quite frankly, I don't. With that said, I went into watching this movie thinking the storyline was going to be completely different. I don't want to ruin the ending for you so I won't go into details but I will say this movie was not what I was expecting. 

I know though that rock music, both secular and "Christian," is an avenue that many people believe is their calling in life. And, I'm sure they have had much criticism from people like me and the pastor in this movie! So, if that is you, then you will indeed be able to relate to this movie. It's an interesting film with plenty of plot twists and turns that will keep you wondering what is going to happen next, for sure!

Curious about this movie? Check it out for yourself by entering below to win a copy!

The DVD that I am giving away contains over 85 minutes of bonus content including “Making The Identical,” Behind the Scenes, and Deleted Scenes!


Official Facebook

Official Twitter



"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Adventure Bible: A Father's Love by David Miles


The Adventure Bible has now developed these lovely I CAN READ readers geared towards new and emerging reading children! There certainly are an abundance of readers at the library that my children can use to practice their new found reading skills but I prefer stories that are Biblically based. A Father's Love by David Miles is a wonderful version of the story of the prodigal son. My third grader was able to read this level 2 book with ease to his younger siblings. My first grader was the most engaged in the story. One thing that my children are good at are comparing stories to what the Bible actually says. After reading this book we had to go and read the actual Bible reference because my boys had so many questions. "I don't remember a famine," my one son said and we looked it up and sure enough there was a famine in the land when the son was forced to eat with pigs.

 "I thought the dad killed an animal for the feast!" said my other son. This part was left out of the book and when we looked it up, sure enough my son remembered correctly. What an awesome teaching tool! I love resources that direct my children to the Word of God. I also like that they won't take a book at face value but makes sure it lines up with Scripture. This book sticks to the Biblical parable of the prodigal son which I certainly appreciate. I look forward to reading more readers from The Adventure Bible!

Disclaimer: Thanks to the Book Look Blogger program for providing this book in exchange for this review.

Word of 2015



WORD of 2015
Worship

Worship. A word that I have been wrestling with this past year in reference to the worship of God. What does it mean? What does it look? What does the Lord require and desire when it comes to worship? My hope for 2015 is to develop a deeper understanding of Biblical worship as it relates to the Lord.

The dictionary's definition of the verb worship is; to show reverence and adoration for a deity.
According to Strong's Concordance, the Hebrew word shachah that means worship in the Bible is literally translated as "to bow down," (Gen. 24:48, Gen. 27:29).
One Greek word for worship, found sixty times in the New Testament, is proskuneo and literally means, "to kiss the ground when prostrating before a superior."

Wow. Is this what I signed up for when I became a Christian? To kiss the ground while lying down before a superior! Actually, at the time it didn't seem so bad. The experience I had fifteen years ago when I got saved was real and powerful. Jesus showed himself to me in a loving and strong way showing me that He indeed is God and that He in fact could rescue me from my sinful ways and transform me into a godly woman. Submitting to Him as having all authority and power through worship and adoration at the time was easy because the revelation was new, precious, fresh. 

So what happens when the excitement of the experience of salvation fades away. This is when the rubber meets the road and our Christian walk is put to the test. Will we accept the good and the bad? The trials along with the joy?

My concern with the popularity of modern worship music is the lack of the adoration of a superior (God). Rather, it seems to focus on the worshipper, their feelings, emotions and experiences. Yes, God is an experiential God, but is that the heart of true worship? True worship is bowing down to God, laying prostrate before Him and focusing on WHO HE IS, who He always has been. 

If someone in royalty were to walk in the room right now, all respect and honor would be given to them because of their title and position. It should be the same with God. Whether we are at home with our family or at church within the congregation, the focus needs to be on Jesus and not us.

I'm not going to quote certain songs because if you pay attention next time you listen to them it will become very obvious to you. Some songs confuse me because they aren't even directed toward God but it is singing about God, so, who are you singing to? Yourself? Everyone else in the room? This is not worshipping God. It might have motivational and encouraging lyrics but it is NOT worship. Some songs even start to worship to God then it veers off and I don't even know who we are supposed to be singing to! 

My biggest concerns are the worship songs that aren't even Biblical. Like one that says certain Biblical historical figures said and sang things they never said. What is this teaching our children? The power is in the Bible, not some hopeful Midrash of what COULD have possibly happened.

Okay, as you can see I am honestly distraught over this subject and am praying for answers, resolution and understanding through the power of God. God is God and rules over the affairs of man. I hope that I can worship him the way He deserves!

Are you a blogger who has written about your Word of the Year 2015? Then come link up here!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

The Thrifty Schoolroom



 The Winter Edition of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine is out with piles of encouraging and inspiring articles! Hear from Heidi St. John and Todd the Family Man (two personal favs of mine!) Check out the product review section and hear what Crew members thought of the homeschool materials they have been working with lately! And, while you are there, be sure to read my article entitled The Thrifty Schoolroom encouraging homeschool parents to stay within their budget while providing a memorable and foundational space for learning and growth!


The Thrifty Schoolroom by Heather Vogler


For those of you not familar with The Old Schoolhouse Magazine I'll fill you in! It's a FREE homeschool e-zine with a print issue available once a year. FREE apps are available on the site so you can download and view each issue as they are released on your iPad, e-reader or other device. You also can simply read as a PDF online if you want. I personally favor the app because in addition to the magazine TOS provides encouragement through The Homeschool Minute which often speaks to me right when I need it!