Muted Monday – Photo of the Week

Burkes Pond on a Still Autumn Day – Photo by Michelle Rayburn
Muted Monday- Where the photo says it all.
Michelle

Trash to Treasure Decorating
View the full post at http://www.trashtotreasuredecorating.com

Happy Thanksgiving!

What Are You Thankful For Today?


Since today is my husband’s birthday, it’s appropriate to say I’m thankful for nearly 21 years of marriage to my best friend. He’s truly a treasure from God and a man who is very patient with my shortcomings. I’m also thankful for our two sons who will be off to college faster than we can blink!

Me and my guys

How about you? Please share your gratitude in the comments section below. And have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

What Are You Thankful For?

Instead of my usual What Would You Do Wednesday, today I’m asking, “What are you thankful for?” Since it’s Thanksgiving, let’s pause to express our gratitude.

WAYTFW – What Are You Thankful For? Wednesday


Since today is my husband’s birthday, it’s appropriate to say I’m thankful for nearly 21 years of marriage to my best friend. He’s truly a treasure from God and a man who is very patient with my shortcomings. I’m also thankful for our two sons who will be off to college faster than we can blink!

Me and my guys

How about you? Please share your gratitude in the comments section below. And have a wonderful Thanksgiving! I’ll be taking a little blogging break to spend time with my family for a few days.

Michelle

Trash to Treasure Decorating
View the full post at http://www.trashtotreasuredecorating.com

Swagbucks- A Practical Way to Earn Internet Cash

I Love Swagbucks!

I’ll admit, I was a bit skeptical when I first heard of Swagbucks. In fact, I ignored the information for a long time. But recently, I received another invitation to join and I decided to check it out. Turns out, it really does work!

I joined just a month ago and I’ve already earned enough points to cash in for $15 in Amazon gift cards. Considering I’m earning those points by doing something I already do on the web, shopping and searching, I think it’s super. And this week, they’ve added even more ways to earn points. Haven’t checked it out? Here’s a link to get you started.

I’ve found the best way for earning points is using the toolbar which I installed using the link on the Swagbucks Website. The great news is that the toolbar has not increased the spam in my inbox or raised any spybot red flags. The toolbar has a search box similar to Google and Yahoo and just by using that for my regular internet searches, I receive points randomly throughout the day.
The other way I have earned points is by shopping. Most of my favorite retailers are listed on the Swagbucks site. Just as it works with your frequent flyer miles for an airline, if I begin my online shopping by clicking on the retailer on the Swagbuck’s site, I will earn 2 swagbucks points for every dollar I spend. 
The special offers also provide points. For example, I earned 500 points for a $18 purchase on Vista Print because it was a special offer. And just this week, Swagbucks added a coupon feature. There are coupons to print and take to the store and users will receive 10 points per coupon when they are redeemed. 
There are many other ways to earn points including daily polls, surveys, watching videos similar to something like YouTube and much more.
I’m thrilled to earn bucks for what I’ve already been doing on the web. How about you? Ready to try it? Follow any of the text links or pictures in this post to get you connected to Swagbucks
Search & Win
Have questions about how it works? Just leave a comment and I’d be happy to try to answer them or point you to the page on the website that answers your question.

Need Some New Ideas?

Are you looking for new ideas for old stuff? You’ll find a lot of inspiration on a new list that Alex just published on “Associate Degree.”

Photo from Associate Degree

Just found out my Trash to Treasure Decorating blog is listed on the Top 50 Blogs for Yard Sale Aficionados. Fun! If you’d like to check out the list, you’ll find me at number 12. There are links to some great blogs on there and I know I’ll be visiting a bunch of those links.

Now is the time to transform all that stuff you purchased over the summer during yard sale season. 

Michelle

Trash to Treasure Decorating
View the full post at http://www.trashtotreasuredecorating.com

Considering Our Creator

When I Consider
Have you ever wondered why the earth wasn’t square and plain like a big box? What if it was more like a giant racquetball court or a gymnasium? Just six boring walls. Imagine a flat and two-dimensional world with little color or variety. No flowers. No trees. No hills or mountains. Could it have been this way? Sure. God could have created anything he wanted. But that isn’t what he did.
Sunset at Denver International Airport
Instead, he created geography that blows my mind. I’ve flown over the Rocky Mountains at sunset and driven to the top of Mount Baker in the state of Washington. I’ve been to Pikes Peak and the Garden of the Gods in Colorado. I’ve traveled the shores of Lake Superior and hiked the trails along swift rivers and peaceful streams. Not one acre of land is exactly like another and the contrast in the contour of mountains and valleys is almost more than I can fathom sometimes.
It isn’t just the magnificent formations that grip my thoughts. I’m amazed at the fine detail that God didn’t overlook even in my own back yard. As I meander my garden I see intricate flowers and a glorious display of color. As hummingbirds buzz around me and the blossoms bend and sway in a strong breeze, I can’t help but wonder, “God, how and why did you create this world with such attention to detail?” 
Those are the moments when my heart sings with the words of David in Psalm 8. “When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers…what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?” It makes sense that David would say, “O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth,” when he stopped to consider what God created. When I stop to think about why God didn’t create a giant racquetball court of a world, I can see several reasons, as if my little mind could even begin to understand the mind of God.
I think one reason he created the world with immeasurable beauty and awe is that it reflects his own beauty and awe. I’ve traveled so little in my lifetime, yet I’ve seen enough to make me realize that it must surely be a tiny sample of the glory of God.
In addition to reflecting his own glory in his creation, I think God created the earth the way it is simply because he enjoyed creating it. As an artist, I thoroughly enjoy the process of creating and designing a work of art. I can almost imagine God forming the world like a potter forms clay and splashing it with color in flowers and trees. His artistry shows in thunder and lightning, snow and rain, sun and blue skies. I imagine his satisfaction when he stepped back and he “saw all that he had made and it was very good” (Genesis 1:31). As a gardener, I understand his delight when he “planted a garden in the east, in Eden…and the Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food” (Genesis 2:8-9).
He made it pleasing to our eyes too, not just his own. Surely, he created it for our enjoyment. For the sense of peace and joy we receive when we spend time hiking in the beauty of rocky hills, canoeing the wilderness, flying into a sunset in an airplane, and resting by the side of a peaceful lake.
As if all of these weren’t reason enough, I think God created this world in such a way that not one human being could say, “I did this.” If the world were flat and square, we’d have less reason to believe in a creator. We wouldn’t be blown away enough. We’d believe that a random accident created the box. Although many still refuse to believe in God the Creator, I find it impossible to believe that a random accident made life sustaining water, photosynthesis for oxygen, and vast amounts of plants, animals and fruits for food. How could our round earth spin on a perfect axis, orbit the sun, and change seasons in order without a perfect creator?
As I consider the wonder of creation, I can’t help but think that if God created something so splendid in seven days, what will heaven be like?
Reprinted from Michelle’s “Habits for Quality Living” column in the September 2010 issue of Wisconsin Christian News.

Have You Heard of Swagbucks?

I Love Swagbucks!

I’ll admit, I was a bit skeptical when I first heard of Swagbucks. In fact, I ignored the information for a long time. But recently, I received another invitation to join and I decided to check it out. Turns out, it really does work!

I joined just a month ago and I’ve already earned enough points to cash in for $15 in Amazon gift cards. Considering I’m earning those points by doing something I already do on the web, shopping and searching, I think it’s super. And this week, they’ve added even more ways to earn points. Haven’t checked it out? Here’s a link to get you started.

I’ve found the best way for earning points is using the toolbar which I installed using the link on the Swagbucks Website. The great news is that the toolbar has not increased the spam in my inbox or raised any spybot red flags. The toolbar has a search box similar to Google and Yahoo and just by using that for my regular internet searches, I receive points randomly throughout the day.
The other way I have earned points is by shopping. Most of my favorite retailers are listed on the Swagbucks site. Just as it works with your frequent flyer miles for an airline, if I begin my online shopping by clicking on the retailer on the Swagbuck’s site, I will earn 2 swagbucks points for every dollar I spend. 
The special offers also provide points. For example, I earned 500 points for a $18 purchase on Vista Print because it was a special offer. And just this week, Swagbucks added a coupon feature. There are coupons to print and take to the store and users will receive 10 points per coupon when they are redeemed. 
There are many other ways to earn points including daily polls, surveys, watching videos similar to something like YouTube and much more.
I’m thrilled to earn bucks for what I’ve already been doing on the web. How about you? Ready to try it? Follow any of the text links or pictures in this post to get you connected to Swagbucks
Search & Win
Have questions about how it works? Just leave a comment and I’d be happy to try to answer them or point you to the page on the website that answers your question.
Michelle

Trash to Treasure Decorating
View the full post at http://www.trashtotreasuredecorating.com