Bowling Fun!

Have you heard about the “Kids Bowl Free” deal that is being offered at bowling alleys around the nation? You can sign your children up for 2 free games each day, any day, all summer long. Or to make it a family event, you can buy a family pass for just $24.95 – a one time payment – and each member of the family can bowl 2 games free each and every day this summer. All you pay for is shoe rental. You can find out all of the information and sign up here –

Jeff heard about this and signed us up for a family pass a few weeks ago, and we’ve already started putting it to use. Here are a few shots of the kids bowling –

We had a great time, and two games took us about two hours, which was just about right. The bowling alley we went to added a new dimension to our fun when about halfway through our second game, the bright lights went off and the fluorescent lights came on making our pins, balls, and even our shoes glow in the dark – the picture doesn’t really do it justice –

We plan on taking advantage of this deal all summer long. Be sure to check it out – cheap summer fun is always welcome around here!

Be back soon ~


Fall Bloggy Giveaway Winner!!

Well, what a week it has been! I have been overwhelmed with the responses to the giveaway and so much wish that I could give something to all of you! I appreciate all of your sweet comments so much!

I am happy to announce the winner of my Fall Bloggy Carnival Giveaway is –

Carolyn Sharkas!!!

Congratulations Carolyn! I will be e-mailing you as soon as I get this post up.

Thank you, again, to all of you who took the time to enter this giveaway and to leave such lovely comments – your words have been such a blessing to me!

The next Bloggy Giveaway Carnival is set for January, so be sure to check back next time around!


Bloggy Giveaway Time!

Bloggy Giveaways Quarterly Carnival Button

Wow! It’s already time for the Bloggy Giveaway Carnival again! Are you ready? Are your fingers ready? It’s time to spend the week running around the blogsphere, visiting many wonderful blogs and turning your fingers to mush signing up for giveaways.

If you’re new here, I’m so glad you stopped by! I hope you’ll come back to visit when it’s all over and the feeling comes back to your fingers. I am a Christian, home-schooling mother of nine and I enjoy sharing about our life on our rural 2 1/2 acres here. Whether it be a laugh, some inspiration, a new recipe from the kitchen or a little encouragement, I hope that I can add something in some small way to your day. And now, on to the giveaway . . .

I am giving away this seasonal basket of goodies. Included in the basket are 6 Yankee Candle votives in the following scents –

Spiced Pumpkin
Sparkling Cinnamon
Farmhouse Apple
Autumn Leaves
Home For the Holidays

Also included are 2 hurricane glass votive holders, Swiss Miss Milk Chocolate Cocoa, Celestial Seasonings Gingerbread Spice Tea, Cinnamon Swirl Guest Soap, Pumpkin Pot-holder and the November issue of Country Sampler filled with lovely Christmas decorating ideas. The berry garland surrounding the basket is also included for adding a beautiful touch to your home.

Do you get the picture here? Some cozy afternoon or evening during the upcoming weeks, you light some seasonal scented candles, pour yourself some delicious cocoa or tea (use your pot-holder so as not to burn yourself!), and snuggle down with this beautiful magazine to dream for a little while. On second thought, maybe I’d like to keep this basket myself! No, I won’t . . . but, you can be sure I’ll be spending some time like this myself in the next few months. . . and enjoying every minute of it! Won’t you join me?

Here is a close-up of the goodies in the basket –

All you need to do to enter this giveaway is to leave me a comment on this post. That’s all . . . nice and simple. All entries need to be in by 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, November 1st. I will draw a winner using the random number generator and post the result on Sunday. Due to the cost of shipping, I’m sorry, but I must limit entries to the continental U.S.

This giveaway is open to bloggers and non-bloggers alike, but if you don’t have a blog, make sure to leave me your e-mail address, so that I can contact you if you win.

To find the exciting and ever-growing list of blogs hosting giveaways (I think it’s up to 800 now!) click here to visit Melanie at the Bloggy Giveaways site.

Have a fun week and come back to visit soon!


Great Garage-“Sailing”

Last weekend’s garage sale was a success on both sides of the fence – coming and going.

First, the going. We are always happy if our garage sale brings in at least $100., and while we didn’t have a whole lot of traffic, we did hit that mark, making the sale worth all the trouble. We were left with a bit of “stuff”, but that has all left for it’s new home at Goodwill, so that is also considered a success – less stuff in the house and a little cash in the pocket. It was a lovely day for the sale, which made it pleasant, too. We set up our tables (thank you, family!) under some trees and it was a nice spot to spend the day.

Now, the coming. We actually managed to not bring as much “stuff” into the house as we had going out – which says alot when you are taking 7 children (and me!) to garage sales all around the neighborhood. All but the littlest children had to spend their own money, too, which helped them to think twice before plunking it down on junk.

I was disappointed to find out that my primitive-loving neighbor did not set up a sale this year. However, I did find some treasures at another neighbor’s sale, and at exceptional prices. First I came across two wonderful ladder back chairs, which turned out to be $10. for the pair! I didn’t have to think about that. I placed one on my front porch by the front door, which I love –

The other is sitting by the “fireplace”, which is really nice, too –

Here is my best and favorite treasure of the day -I had noticed a nice pine armoire entertainment center, but assumed it would be more than I had to spend. As an after thought, when paying for the chairs, I asked what the price was for it and was told $20. – yes, that was “twenty!” I have been wanting one for quite awhile for our bedroom, but hadn’t ever found one for the right price – well, this was definitely the right price! I paid my neighbor and told them I’d be right back with the van to pick it up. It is so pretty and is just exactly what I’ve been looking for! It will be housing the t.v. as well as some of my quilting projects and fabric. Here is a picture –

At this same sale I also picked up 9 of these pretty glasses for only $1.00 –

A little closer to home, my neighbor across the street had a few treasures for sale, also. I bought 4 of these pretty soup bowls and saucers for one dollar each. I can just picture French Onion Soup in them this winter –

I also found these two apple bakers. The blue sponging on them is beautiful –

We were all very exhausted at the end of the day, but were glad that it turned out so well. And we’ve even gotten the house back in shape from the weekend – just in time for the septic system to back up last night and put our bathrooms out of commission! The service man is supposedly on his way – I hope so – 9 people in a house with no flushing toilets is not a pleasant place to be. I guess we need these little reminders along the way, so that we don’t take our conveniences for granted. It’s working – I will really appreciate it when this one gets cleared up!


Autumn Giveaway Winner!

I have had such a delightful week reading all of your lovely comments on your favorite things about Fall!  They were so wonderfully descriptive that I felt like I was surrounded by the beauty of the season – it’s sights and smells and sounds!  You have all blessed me enormously.  

I wish that I could send something to all of you!  – but, I had to pick just one.  So I headed over to and the trusty number generator this morning and picked a winner.  And that winner is . . .

Judy Melgar  

Judy’s comment included this beautiful poem, written by herself –

“When at last I took the time to look into the heart of a flower,
it opened up a whole new world….as if a window
had been opened to let in the sun of fall.”

Congratulations, Judy!  I hope that these items will bless you and help make your Autumn cozier!

I will be holding another giveaway in October as a part of the Fall Bloggy Giveaway Carnival, so be sure and check back then for another chance to win.

Now, I think that I will turn some attention to decorating my home for the season – I’ll post a mini-tour as I get things set up.  Thank you again, all of you, for your beautiful comments this week!  Please visit again and share your thoughts with me!



Autumn Back-to-School Giveaway!!!!

This giveaway is now closed.  Thank you so much for all of your wonderful comments!  I have so enjoyed reading each and every one!  I will be posting the winner of this giveaway later today – so be sure to check back!

In celebration of this wonderful time of year, when we turn our thoughts toward Fall and getting back into our regular schedules with school starting, with all of the promise of new and exciting memories to be made, I have decided that a giveaway is in order. I have put together a package of goodies that might help you out a little with your enjoyment of this lovely time of year.

Here is what you’ll find in the package –

A Back-to-School clipboard designed by Susan Winget for keeping all of those notes and activities close at hand as you go about your days, as well as a package of computer paper, also designed by Susan Winget in a beautiful back-to-school theme. I love to use decorated computer paper for my grocery lists – it’s just so pretty to look at as I shop.

Also included in this giveaway is a copy of Elisabeth Elliot’s “Keep A Quiet Heart” for some wonderful reading in that cozy reading corner or snuggled up on the couch with a blanket and a cup of tea. If you want to nibble on a tasty morsel, you can whip up something from this Gooseberry Patch “Fall Favorites” Cookbooklet, full of lovely Fall recipes to enjoy.

Now about that cup of tea – you might enjoy sipping this while you’re relaxing – Celestial Seasonings Cinnamon Apple Spice tea. And while you’re at it, be sure and light a candle for coziness. I am including a small Yankee jar candle with the scent of Vanilla Caramel to fill your home with a delicious Autumn aroma.

For some fun Fall crafting, I have added several scrapbooking type embellishments which can be used to make cards, scrapbooks or to decorate whatever you may choose to. Finally, I am including the lovely red berry garland that you see in all of these pictures. It will be a nice addition to your Fall decorating.

If you would like a chance to win this giveaway, simply leave a comment on this post telling me one of your favorite things about Fall. If you would like to be entered twice, write a post about this giveaway on your blog, linking back here. If you do this, please leave me a second comment so that I will know to enter you a second time. Due to the price of shipping, I am going to have to make this one open only to the continental U.S.

I’m going to run this giveaway for one week – it will end at 11:59 pm on Friday, September 5th. I will pick the winner on Saturday and put up a post to announce who won! Sound good? Okay, so let’s start thinking Fall and get ready to cozy up and enjoy the season!


Ohhhh, So Much Fun!

Yesterday I went to a Used Homeschool Curriculum sale. This is the first year that this has been held here, and the first one I’ve ever been to. It wasn’t huge, but as you will be able to see, I found plenty of treasures.

I found books for reading, language arts, history, science, art, music, government, cooking, geography and just plain old fun. I even found a book that tells us how to raise chickens (which we are thinking of doing in the near future). Some noteworthy items (of course, they’re all noteworthy to me, but I would hate to bore you by listing them all) are –

-A lovely copy of “Wind and the Willows”, which I will read aloud to the children this year.

-“A History of the United States and It’s People” (a reprinted book from 1888.)

-Gary DeMar’s “God and Government” volumes 1-3

-“Spiritual Lives of the Great Composers”

-A small set of reprinted “Dick and Jane” books (I have a number of the old original textbooks, but these will be nice to take along in the car with us – while the originals stay home in safety.)

-“Mrs. Katz and Tush” – to help complete my Five In A Row Collection.

-“Teach Your Child To Read In 100 Easy Lessons” – I’ve heard so many wonderful things about this that I just had to grab this copy at such a great price!

-An adorable set of early reading books from long ago, featuring classic stories like “The Little Red Hen”.

-A few “Seasonal” planning books (I don’t have to tell you how much I love these!)

-A set of neat storybooks that explain nouns, verbs and adjectives in story form – easy, natural learning.

-“Quiddler” – a fun card game where you make words out of the letter cards in your hand.

-A nice big cookbook called “Gifts From the Christmas Kitchen”, full of delicious recipes for breads, sweet treats and other such lovely things to bake and give away as gifts.

-Various American history storybooks and picturebooks, including colonial and pioneer periods (my favorites).

I know it seems like it, but I really didn’t list everything.

I didn’t set up to sell at this sale – I couldn’t stay for the whole time, and so decided just to shop this year, and maybe next year I will set up a table and actually earn some money to pay for all of the ones I buy. Probably not, but every little bit helps.

Oh, I just have to share one last treasured find –

These are a year’s subscription of “Animal Baby” put out by the National Wildlife Federation. They aren’t all in the picture because some of them have already been carried off by children to enjoy. I can’t wait to spend time snuggled on the couch with the littles reading these.

Anna went with me and we had some nice girl time together, which made the trip even more delightful. We started our outing with a drive-thru lunch at Chick-Fil-A, where we were generously showered in chicken strips (one of the perks of being Mom to two of their favorite employees), and ended up our trip with a chocolate ice cream cone for Anna and a lemon slush for Mom (not to mention the half-price slushes I carted home for the rest of the kids).

Sweet company, shopping for school books and delicious treats – yes, it was a very good day.


Summer Bloggy Giveaway Winner!

Well, another bloggy giveaway week has come and gone! It was a fun week and I found many new blogs to visit and now that I can slow down, I am going to go back and check them out more thoroughly. It was so much fun reading all of your comments all week – there are a lot of scrapbookers out there and even more lovers of chocolate – both near and dear to my heart!

And now, on to the winner!! I strolled on over to and revved up the Random Integer Generator, inputted the numbers 1-161. In a matter of less than a second, the winning number (or integer!) popped up. It was number 131!!! And commenter number 131 turned out to be Susan!!!!!!
Congratulations Susan!!!! I have sent an e-mail out and look forward to hearing from you!!

I wish that I could give you all a prize! The next bloggy carnival will be in October, but I’m thinking up a possible Back to School giveaway before then – so be sure and look for that!

Thanks to all who participated and visited this past week, and an especially big thank you to Melanie over at the Bloggy Giveaway site for hosting this amazing colossal event, which ended up with over 1000 giveaways this time around!!

Bloggy Giveaways Quarterly Carnival Button


Summer Bloggy Giveaway Time!!!

Bloggy Giveaways Quarterly Carnival Button

Yes, it’s that time again! Another fun-filled week of zooming around the blog world, visiting hundreds of blogs, signing up for giveaways and finding new friends out there to inspire and encourage us!

In keeping with the summer timing of this bloggy carnival, I will be giving away this lovely Summer Scrapbooking Package –

This package contains a dozen sheets of 12 x 12 scrapbooking paper in summer patterns and colors, embellishments including various summer die-cuts, Paperkins swimming paper dolls, summer phrase stickers, patriotic die-cut squares, Disney swimming stickers (Mickey & Minnie), 4 page toppers (Fourth of July, Lazy Days, Picnic, and Summer Days) and 4 yds. of beautiful ribbon to round out the package. Get ready to scrap away those summer vacation, pool, beach and cook-out pictures! As a special bonus, I am throwing in this –

Yes, that is chocolate! Something sweet, smooth and creamy to delight your tastebuds as you’re working so diligently on all of those scrapbook pages! Scrapbooking and chocolate – it doesn’t get much better than that! (unless, of course, I could include free time in this giveaway, so you’d have time to actually indulge yourself – if this is your situation, you can always shelf the supplies for a rainy day and go ahead and enjoy the chocolate now!)

So, here’s the complete package the winner will be receiving! –

Now for the rules – to enter this giveaway, all you have to do is leave a comment on this post. That’s it – simple. This giveaway is open to bloggers and non-bloggers alike – just make sure to include your blog address or an e-mail address so that I can contact you if you win!

I will take entries until midnite (Central time) Saturday night, August 2nd. I will then pick a winner using the Random Number Generator and will announce the winner on Sunday, August 3rd. All shipping costs will be paid by me, and international entries are welcome.

To find the exciting and ever-growing list of participants in this Bloggy Giveaway, please visit Melanie at the Bloggy Giveaways site, and be prepared to ice those fingers down when they start aching from all that blog hopping! A journey well worth the price, filled with new friends just waiting to be found!

Have a fun week, and be sure to come back and look around when you get a moment – I’d love to visit with you!


“Gotta Love Relative Discounts” . . .

This is a quote from my son Matthew earlier this evening. It was spoken shortly after he and his brother Ryan carried a rather large television set down the stairs from Ryan’s room and into Matthew’s room.

You see, Ryan came home earlier today with a huge box which the two boys carried up the stairs to Ryan’s room. The contents? A new wide-screen HD television set.

Not that either boy will actually be watching t.v. on their t.v.’s – we don’t have cable, satellite or any antennas for picking up local channels. When we moved to the country three years ago, we made the decision to not have t.v. This, of course, doesn’t mean that we don’t own any television sets – in fact I think we have about 7 of them now – they are used only for watching DVD’s and videos or for playing video games, which believe me, is probably still more hours than I’d like it to be, but at least it’s controlled viewing.

So . . . Matthew made a deal with his brother to buy his old t.v., which I think originally belonged to his oldest brother, Robert, hence his oh, so true words – “gotta love relative discounts!”

Come to think of it, the living room t.v. was originally Robert’s, too. I think I would definitely have to agree with Matt on this one.