Character Badges Back to School Sale Is Here!

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Character Badges Back to School Sale!

It’s the Character Badges Back to School Sale!!

For most of you, the new school year is just around the corner and many of you have already begun! (yay homeschooling!) We’re just as excited as you are, and to celebrate we’re having the biggest sale we’ve ever had!

Academics are the primary focus of any school year, but character training is just as crucial to the future success of your child. We designed Character Badges to help children build habits of sound character and to help parents be more consistent and creative in how they train their children. It’s a fun and effective addition to any school year!

Character Badges is a creative child training program

That said, there’s never been a better time to incorporate Character Badges into your classroom. Our back to school sale only comes once a year, and this year the entire store is 30% off!! Charts, stickers, coins, even complete sets – its all 30% off. Just use the offer code BKTOSCHOOL at time of checkout and enjoy some great savings!

This sale runs from today (7-20) through Saturday (7-23) at midnight, so hurry to take advantage of the biggest discount we’ve ever offered! Character Badge complete set

 

Working from Home as a Stay at Home Mom

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Are you a stay at home mom who is discouraged, thinking you could never earn any sort of income while staying home with your children? This series is for you! I have a heart for women who desperately want to earn some sort of income, while still being a homemaker, and even a homeschooling mom! It’s not easy, but thanks to the internet, we live in a generation where it is possible!

Is it possible to stay at home and earn an income, while also being a busy mom? This four part series will go over how you can earn money from home!

This series is going to be broken up into 4 parts: 

Should I Work From Home?

Blogging For An Income

Direct Sales for the Stay At Home Mom

Owning Your Own Business

Let’s dive in and get started with the first topic! So…should you work from home?

Some questions to ask yourself…

Do you have your husband’s blessing? Trust me, this isn’t optional. It’s a necessity. You must, absolutely must have your husband’s support and blessing before you start working from home. When dinner is running late, or you are up burning the midnight oil, you need to know that your husband understands, and is supportive of you.

Is your health strong enough to handle working from home? Be honest with yourself. The first five years of our marriage, my health could never have handled me working like I do now. If you barely have any energy to take care of your home, children, and husband, unless your family is on financial disaster, don’t take on another job!

Are you wanting a job only to prove your worth to people? Being a stay at home mom can be hard. Sometimes it’s a job that people make fun of, because they don’t see the worth of you being home. Don’t start working from home only to show others that you can be a supermom.

Why should you work from home?

There are numerous reasons why a mom should work from home. You want to stay home with your children, you want to homeschool them, or be there for them when they get home from school, you don’t want to put them in daycare, or maybe you just like the idea of being a homemaker!

Financial reasons play a huge part in why you might want to work from home. Your family could be in money troubles, or you might just want some extra spending money. The reasons behind why you need to earn money will greatly affect what type of work you do, and what effort you put into it.

Think Through Your Interests and Passions

This is the fun part. At least to me it is! Sit down and brainstorm about what you might be interested in doing. When you work from home, you need to have a huge passion for what you are doing! If you are self employed and working from home, it takes more energy out of you than just showing up at work and doing whatever you are told. Having an interest in what you do is another absolute must!

Write down on a piece of paper

What you can talk about over and over again, without getting tired of it?

What do you think about during your spare moments?

What gets you excited?

What do you believe in? Are you a firm believer in helping others, or teaching children to read, do you love fashion, or herbs? Would you love to be a doula, or do you love accounting type work? Everyone has a type of work they strongly believe in, and you need to find what that something is for you!

You might end up with more than one thing. For example, I love homeschooling, books, Jane Austen, music, and modest fashion. I also love flowers and pretty houses.

Even though I like all of those things, I’m not a good fit to have a business in each of those interests. For example, I love flowers, but I don’t do a good job of growing flowers and vegetables. Having a greenhouse and selling flowers wouldn’t be a good fit for me.

I also love pretty houses, but organizing and even decorating sometimes doesn’t always come easily for me. Just because you love something doesn’t always mean you have a talent in that area.

Once you have it narrowed down to a few interests, then stop and think through how popular those interests are. A niche is a good thing, but if it’s a really small niche, you won’t have a large audience to market a business to.

Finally, look at how feasible it is to grow a business from home with the interests you have left. Is it something you can do from home? Ask yourself all of these questions before you jump into working from home.

Once you have all these things done, stop and pray about the decisions ahead of you! Ask God to give you peace and clarity about working, and if this is something that He would bless you in!

Part two coming tomorrow….

 

 

 

The Ultimate List of Podcasts for Homeschooling and Homemaking Moms!

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If you haven’t jumped on the podcast wagon, you might not realize how inspiring they can be, especially for the stay at home mom!  I started listening to podcasts when I was getting outside to exercise, and I realized just how much encouragement I had been missing by not tapping into the exciting world of podcasts!

The Ultimate List of Podcasts for Homeschooling and Homemaking Moms!

While every mom is busy, you still have a lot of opportunities to turn a podcast on. Washing the dishes, folding laundry, making beds in the morning, nursing the baby…just slip your headphones on, or put your phone on a speaker system and receive some instant encouragement!

Here are some of my favorite podcasts I’ve listened to, and then I’ll share some other podcasts that I’ve heard really good feedback on.

Cultivating the Lovely – Mackenzie Monroe makes me laugh, because she is in the mom trenches like I am. I can relate to her periscope because you might find her children crying, or a sudden emergency bathroom break in the middle of the show. Her show is on finding the lovely in everyday life, and topics such as organizing, homeschooling, mothering and much more! (FYI, Sean and I will be on her August Podcast together!).

At Home With Sally – Sally Clarkson is the Titus 2 Mentor we all wish we personally knew! I was thrilled when she started a podcast, and have been blessed by her encouragement many times. This is the podcast I listen to early in the morning while I exercise, and it helps me have the right mindset for when all six children wake up. 🙂  You can also find her podcast on her blog.

Read Aloud Revival Podcast

Read Aloud Revival – Sarah Mackenzie has become a very popular name in the homeschooling world, and it’s for a good reason! Her podcast is all about reading to your children. I have pretty strict standards for what I allow my children to read, so not all of her podcasts appeal to me (we don’t do science fiction, Harry Potter, etc.) but I’ve certainly found many to enjoy.

Your Morning Basket – Oh the morning circle time. Whether you have all littles, or you are a homeschool mom, the morning time can be such a valuable time. I really enjoy Pam Barnhill and her thoughts on Morning time (check out her Your Morning Basket ebook).

Your Morning Basket Podcast

The Homemaking Foundations Podcast – A really good blogging friend, Jami Balmet, puts this podcast together. She has some excellent topics on the podcast for busy moms who want to be a good homemaker.

The Inspired to Action Podcast – I’ve listened to a lot of these while walking, or working out at the gym. She has some excellent people on her podcast, and they are really encouraging!

Other Podcasts I’ve heard are good, but I’ve not listened to are:

Homeschooling Podcasts

Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network – I’ve seen this one advertised at homeschool conventions. There is a wide variety of topics on this podcast!

Mason Jar Podcast

The Mason Jar by Circe Institute – I have NO clue where I’ve been! This podcast looks amazing, and it’s first on my list to start listening to! Cindy Rollins is the host for this podcast, where everything Charlotte Mason is talked about!

The Homeschool Snapshots – Do you wish you could sit and just chat with other homeschooling moms about different topics? This is the podcast you should listen in on! Pam Barnhill interviews different homeschooling moms about various topics, such as large families, the only child, teaching children to appreciate reading, character, etc. This is on my list!

Podcasts for Christian Women

The Busy Mom – Anything from spiritual living, homeschooling, marriage or motherhood can be found. The fantastic Heidi St. John does this podcast. I’ve had the chance to meet her and had such an encouraging talk with her!

Revive Our Hearts – Popular author Nancy Demoss Wolgemuth hosts this podcast where she addresses topics on the Christian walk for women.

Podcasts for Homemakers

Domestic CEO – This is another one that looks really good, so I’m going to start listening to some of them! Whether you are an experienced home manager, or living on your own for the first time, the Domestic CEO has easy tips on keeping your home in tip-top shape. The Domestic CEO will explain everything from how to decorate your house on a budget, to organizing a playroom, so that you can make your home life the best it can be.

The Simple Show – From the description “The Simple Show is a podcast where we explore unconventional ways of living and making the most out of things like work, travel, and family. I talk shop with other people about what that looks like for them—food, travel, writing, books, parenting, work, fashion, and everything in between. It’s fun!”

a slob comes clean podcast

A Slob Comes Clean – This is a super popular blogger who blogs and podcasts all about keeping up a house. The topics on this podcast are very practical issues that face every homemaker.

The Mom Hour – I know nothing about this podcast, but the topics look interesting. I’m not sure if this is a Christian podcast, so I’m putting it under this section. It’s hosted by two moms of 8 children total.

Homemakers By Choice – Again, where have I been? This looks like an amazing podcast with topics that will encourage the christian homemaker.

There you go! This is enough podcasts to surely keep any mom busy for awhile, and hopefully you will receive plenty of encouragement! I’d love to know if you have any favorite podcasts yourself! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Using Airbnb for your vacation lodging!

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When we started going to homeschool conventions this spring, I was really unsure of how it was going to work to book hotels everywhere. We already knew that we didn’t really want to stay at the hotel connected the convention, as they normally are higher priced hotels at really nice convention centers. If we were just going to one convention as homeschool parents, it’s a fun splurge. But when you start traveling quite a bit, the extra cost really adds up.

Right before we went to our first convention, an online friend told me about Airbnb. I had never heard of it, but I’ve since heard it’s super popular! I might be the only one out there that was unfamiliar with it, but if you haven’t heard of it either, read on to find more about this amazing website!

Using Airbnb for your vacation lodging needs! It's perfect for a large family wanting to travel on a budget!

Traveling with a large family is difficult. Trying to find a hotel room that will accommodate a family to stay together requires extra work, and sometimes you can’t even get it to work. Then you have the expense of two rooms, when you can often make one room work. Our children are still young enough that we can fit into one room, if it’s suite. However, we have found a better solution!

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Airbnb is a website where people offer homes, apartments, or just a room in their house for rent, for a day, two days, a week, or longer. This service is offered all over the USA, and you can find little houses, big houses, plain houses or fancy houses!

So…what did we think?

We have used Airbnb three times now. The first time we took our two oldest boys, went to Nashville and got an apartment for $62.00 a night. It was actually basement apartment at someone’s house, but it was a separate entrance with no way to get upstairs from the apartment. It was not fancy, but we were able to save money on food by bringing along food and using the fridge and freezer, and I even brought my instant pot along and had dinner waiting for us in the evenings! For a business trip, it was perfect.

We used Airbnb on our Florida trip and absolutely loved the houses we rented!

A house we rented in Florida from the Airbnb website! It was the perfect vacation home!

The first house was a 4 bedroom, 3 bath house with a pool behind it that was just for us to use in Orlando! We were pleasantly surprised that the dining room table even fit our family (our current table is a really tight squeeze now). The house was clean, and had the basics we needed. It was in a gated neighborhood, and we felt totally safe there! We paid around $150 a night for this house, which I thought was an awesome price!

Kitchen and Dining room in a house we rented in Florida. It was the perfect vacation home, and we found it through Airbnb!

The second house was a block away from a beach a few hours away from Orlando. It was a smaller house than the previous one, officially it was just a 2 bedroom, 2 bath house, but they had a couch bed in a little room off the living room that we used. Even though this house was smaller, it was probably my favorite because the decorating style was exactly what I love!

A lovely distressed looking desk that worked as an office, or to put makeup on in the morning!

Everything was shabby chic looking, in whites, grays, and vintage style. It was so adorable!

Simple but clean bedroom with throw pillows, a nice coordinating bedspread and curtains.

This was the master bedroom, I spent as much quiet time in here as I could, just relaxing after the convention. The guys watched a sports game together, and I think I came in here one night and watched a movie by myself. It was wonderful. 🙂

Kitchen tools kept in one spot, and organized!

Part of the kitchen! It obviously had plenty of kitchen tools provided!

Grilling dinner at the vacation house in Florida!

The boys found these hats in the shed, so they thought it was great fun to wear them while grilling dinner. 🙂

We loved our Airbnb experiences, and definitely plan on using them over and over again when we travel! If you have a larger family, it especially makes sense to check into this, or if you just want more privacy, the enjoyment of an actual house over a hotel room.

Here are some things you should know before going to an Airbnb house. 

  1. Normally the host communicates with you really well on how to get into the house, check in and check out times. We only saw our host at the apartment we stayed at, a lot of the people that own these homes don’t live locally. I prefer to just be left alone, but I had to email the owner a few times and she always got back with me quickly, to answer my questions.
  2. Every house we stayed at had dishes provided to eat on, and silverware. The kitchen in Orlando had quite a lot of kitchen items provided (pots and pans, a blender, toaster, etc). However, only the basics are normally provided. I would suggest bringing along a can opener if you are planning on cooking, as 2 different times I really needed one, and it wasn’t there, or it wasn’t working well.
  3. You are responsible for providing your own toilet paper, paper towels, laundry detergent, dishwashing detergent, and trash bags. I suggest bringing your own from your house, instead of going out on the trip just to purchase these things. One of the houses provided trash bags, the other house did not. It’s just easiest to bring these things along, because you never know exactly what will be provided. All of the houses had an iron and ironing board, so I could have left my iron at home. Yes, I travel with my iron!
  4. While you have to leave the house in a clean and orderly fashion, a cleaning person is always hired to come in and clean after you leave. You don’t have to wash sheets and towels, or scrub floors before leaving.
  5. Make sure and read all the reviews before booking a house! Even if it’s a 5 star review with no negative feedback, you might find out helpful information about the house or area.

When you join Airbnb through this link, you automatically get a $25 credit to use towards your first trip! If you are traveling this summer, it’s a great option! We are already looking forward to the next Airbnb house we stay at!

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