Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Pillow slipcover Giveaway!

My sister is a genius when it comes to shabby creations. In fact, she is also great when it comes to restoring and recycling old furniture, and some of my ideas on this blog were born because of her...

This week she is doing a give-away of a shabby pillow slipcover. Why not head on over and give her a comment, and get a chance to win it?!!! I think I might just do that....

Pioneer Mom

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

On Saving Money and Keeping House

Really, I could not figure out what to name this post. It includes the idea of saving money, organizing my home, having a yard sale, doing without a maid...I guess it all went together in this post...hope you make sense out of it!

Recently I told you about me having a yard sale. I had made a decision a while ago to organize our house, because I just realized I could not keep it organized the way I would like to; it seemed we never had enough closet space for all our things; everything cluttered so fast I could not quite keep up with it. I had read many times that in order to be less busy, one needed less stuff. I knew we had too much stuff.

I eventually had a maid to help me with keeping my house clean, because I thought I could not manage. But then. I started thinking. We are still in debt. And I think I can afford a maid? It only costs me 18 US. per day. (correction: I realized I had calculated this wrong. It's more like 15 US per day, which will change the numbers...)I had looked at the small picture, not figuring how much that money will amount to in 5 years!.. Hmmm. That is close to $8,000 Bze in 5 years.  Who can afford that anyway???  The prospect of having a yard sale really started looking good, because I realized I might ease up my time a little while organizing my home, and maybe even get rid of the maid, and who knows, maybe even make a little extra cash...

On the last day my maid was here, (before I knew  for certain I was laying her off that day), I sat down with my notebook and pen, and tried to figure out if I could make it on my own, with our children's help. I divided the work she did in one day over three days per my week, and came to the conclusion that, yes, I can do it! I can tell you it was a tremendous relief on my part to come to that decision. I told her that was the last day I had work for her, but for her it was no problem. She had other work waiting for her. 

I dove into getting ready for the sale. I started really looking forward to it, having never had a yard sale before. Because I was already in the money saving mood, I decided the children should try to sell cookies and lemonade for their upcoming Children's Bible Camp. They were so excited about it!

The yard sale day came. I was ready! I had rented the space for a small fee, but I expected to make enough to make it worthwhile. The location was prime. Unfortunately my grandfather passed away the morning of the sale, but since I had some volunteer help from my nieces I was able to leave in between. It worked out well.

Can you imagine I was happy when I counted the money at home, and found out we had made over $700 Bze? All that money for cleaning house! I was so happy that I had made this decision. It was worth all the effort and hassle.

One more thing I did to be able to organize my time was to make a homemaking binder. That is another subject I might cover some time, but for now suffice it to tell you that it has really helped me stay on track. Daniel enjoys coming home to a clean house nearly every day instead of only on 'maid day', and all that money in the new savings account from the yard sale and the savings from having no maid is a constant happy reminder that I made a few right choices. I am no longer dependent on the maid as I realized I had started to become.

I am not telling you all this to make you think I am somebody, and I know how to manage things. I am just trying to encourage you, as I have been encouraged by other bloggers. If I can save money, organize and de-clutter my home and free up some time, so can you! At one time I didn't believe I could, but then I read a post by Aunt Ruthie from Sugar Pie Farmhouse, and I took matters into my own hands and set out to do it! I have Aunt Ruthie to thank for inspiring me like she did.

Here are a few yard sale photos.

 Hi Lisa! Thanks for stopping at the sale! 

 All those nice girlie toys that my big girl had outgrown. It's almost sad to see some of them go, but I made sure that all the money that came from the things that belonged to them, they could have and do with as they pleased. I was happy when they both wanted their money put into their savings accounts. Perhaps they have learned a little about money already.


 I believe we did so well because we had quality things to sell, and most for reasonable prices. We made sure things were clean and packaged neatly. I noticed that all the little baggies of small toys that were a quarter or 50c were ALL gone at the end of the sale. Many of those small toys could have been thrown away and no one would have known the difference, but this way it all adds up. Don't take anything for granted! I had 10cents items too, and those are the things people buy.
(just to give you ideas if you want to make a sale...)

 Books sold very well. They are not as easily to come by around here so people always look out for a good deal, and they found it here.
No,  I did not sell the wallhangings and blankets, but I am not unhappy with the end result.

 Here are the little sellers. Lemonade did not sell too well, but cookies yes! 
I had them walk around with the cookies towards the end and they sold most of them. What they did'nt sell they took to daddy's work place some days later and sold there, along with some more lemonade. So far they made over half of what the camp costs them, and they are learning some very valuable lessons at the same time. AND hopefully some interactions skills as well, which are still sorely needed, them being so shy as they are. One or two more trips to the work place, and they should have done their duty for this year.

Friday, May 20, 2011

5 AM. Time to get to work!

 Tap, tap, tap. I turn in bed, vaguely wondering what that noise was. TAP, TAP,TAP,TAP. I look at the clock, it's 5 AM. What IS that noise? I open the curtain to peek out of the window, and through the early morning mist I see men on the church house roof. (We live right next to a mennonite church building) What better time to replace the old roof than starting at 5 in the morning?... After all, it's not hot that time of day. And most guys don't have to go to work before another few hours. I'll bet that breakfast at 7 tasted mighty good that the women folk cooked...



Don't toss that toy!

It looks pretty tossable, would'nt you agree? My little boy loved that toy, and it didn't matter to him that the cab was off, and it was very rusty and worn... And then, I got this bright idea to restore it at least to some extent. I bought some spray paint for a few bucks, sanded the rust off that old yellow paint, and painted it. I also broke out the side windows to make it look newer. It was Daniel's job to attach the cab, which happened some time after the painting was done, and here is the result.

You just can't come by these sturdy tonkas so easy anymore, so fixing these toys is, in my opinion, a good option. Hmmm, I believe I have another tonka toy somewhere that looks pretty old...

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

What's happening

For a few days I have been very quiet on my blog. One reason is I was busy with the yard sale, the other is that my Grandfather passed away last Saturday, and the funeral was on Monday. I have enjoyed going there lately and reading to him to help him pass his time. It has been a blessing to me and I hope to him as well.

And now, my parents are here as they came for the funeral. I will be busy trying to spend time with them, but I will still have time for you all, don't worry!

Here is a picture of my grandparents. Thankfully I still have Grandmother.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Bible Camp

video

 Now that the time to have children's bible camp is almost here again, the excitement is mounting at our house, and I was reminded that I have been wanting to upload this video from last year that I never got to before. Since the words are not that clear on the video, I have written them down here. O, and please ignore the fact that my boy is one of the worst-behaved of the bunch. :) 

Daniel prayed, Darius gave
And the people's hearts were brave;
Many went back home 
So God's promise could be fulfilled;

We can go, we can pray
And our money send that way
For your house O Lord
To recover, restore, rebuild.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Let's have a Yard Sale!

Lately I have been delving into organizing our home and my time, and came to the conclusion that 

WE HAVE TOO MUCH STUFF!!! 

So, I decided to make a yard sale (this Saturday). After making that decision, I flew through the house, piling the sofa with things we don't really need, or have extra of (we lived in the US too long ;) and I couldn't believe how fast the pile grew. Daniel said he was behind me all the way...:) 

This is my first yard sale ever, so I am very excited about it. The children are too, as they want to sell lemonade and cookies to raise money for Bible Camp this year. 

Hope to see you there!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Sprinklers!

 What's a mother to do when it is over 100F, like, say 105, and the children want something fun to do to keep themselves cool, but she doesn't want to spend too much money? 
How about building a sprinkler...I remembered the good one we used to have years ago, and was thinking how nice one would be... Once the idea crossed my mind, it took only a matter of minutes to make one out of a soda bottle. Actually I made two, because the first one was an experiment that turned out to be a failure...

Take a small plastic soda bottle.
Take a small nail, (and make sure it is small because I found out big holes don't work) and heat it up, preferably holding it with a locking pliers, and melt holes into the bottles only on one side, making sure the some are pointed sideways.
I had a broken hose (one with the end cut off) and I don't know if this is something everyone has, but if you do, here's what to do... Take a big rubber band or two, and wrap it around the end of hose. Fit it into the bottle neck. Turn on the sprinkler, and fire away! Let the fun begin...

Mother's Day

Here is a rose Jessica and myself embroidered on a tea towel for my dear Mother this Mother's Day. (My mother lives in Canada, and when my sister from there visited here, I was able to send it along.)
 Happy Mother's Day, Mom!

We had something very special happen at our farm this Mother's Day. Jessica's cat had kittens! For the very first time she became a mother of five little kittens. That is quite a handful! This is also the first time we have ever had kittens born on our farm, so it is an exciting event.


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Anouncing my new Blog!

I am excited to anounce my new blog that I am working on! I have a huge selection of recipes that are too good to not share, so I have decided to publish them all. Here is the description of the blog, which I will reveal some time soon. I hope to add one recipe a day or a few a week, let's see how it goes!


When my husband was in university and I was a Stay-at-home Mom, I looked for ways to save money, and realized one of the best ways was to make as much food (and other items) from scratch as possible. Here is the result of years of collecting. These recipes replace most storebought items, and are guaranteed to save you money while making your food taste better than ever, plus giving you the peace of mind that you are cooking without preservatives, MSG and other additives.
It is my hope that these recipes will be as useful to you as they have been (and still are) to me!

My favorite meal recipes are still going to be posted on this blog. The new recipes will replace items like salad dressings, sauces, mixes, cereals, crackers, condiments, soups, laundry recipes, insect repellents, cough medicines, tooth care, hair care and and so on!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Shampoo is in the Fridge

You know how those shampoo companies that make kids' shampoo ALWAYS make the holes too big for the shampoo to flow out, and your kids end up wasting lots of it because they can't control it? I got so sick and tired of it, and couldn't believe how fast one bottle emptied. All it takes is a few drops at the most to get one hair washing done. So, I decided to do something about it. I took a small empty mustard bottle, and cleverly filled it up with shampoo. The first time we wanted to use it, it was not around! I immediately call in the youngest, who is famous for schlepping things like this all over creation, and demanded to know where the shampoo had gone. He wasted no time in leading me to the refrigerator, and sure enough, there sat the mustard bottle of shampoo...

Have a great sunday! ;)
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