Everyday Life & Practical Tips

Could You Pack Up and Move to Africa? For Coffee?

When you sip your morning java, do  you ever wonder where the beans for that coffee came from? Do you ever wonder about the farmer? I didn’t think much about it when I’d make my espresso and blend it up with some milk and ice…that is I didn’t until I met someone who does care about the farmer. And he made me think differently about it. Ben Carlson, a native of my little Wisconsin neighborhood has a passion for helping those farmers get paid what they deserve for their coffee beans. And he’s in Africa helping those farmers. But such […]

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Practical Advice on How to Clean Your Stove Top

It’s everyday Tuesday and I’d like to share a quick cleaning tip with you. If you’ve never taken  your stove top apart and cleaned it, I think it’s about time! Many people don’t realize that you can pull apart your traditional stove without damaging anything. I just finished canning the last load of tomatoes for the season and canning can leave a lot of icky stains on the white stove top. When I put the canner away at the end of the summer, I like to give a stove a polish and shine. That’s polish, not Polish, lest those of […]

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Happy Birthday to My Boys

Nineteen years ago today, I became a mother. Seventeen years ago, I became a mother again. Having two boys born on the same day has been a fun adventure. They are best friends and they get along so well. Even as teenagers, they’ve been fun to raise.  I know, that doesn’t even sound normal for me to say. But raising teenagers isn’t always as awful as it’s cracked up to be. Every so often, you’ll meet someone who says their teenagers are a delight. I’m one of them. Please don’t hate me. I didn’t do anything to deserve these sweet […]

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Celebrate the Little Things – It Brings Great Happiness

Sometimes, little things make me immensely happy. The other day, when I was freezing corn from the garden, I started cutting the kernels off the cobs with a big knife, but then I remembered a tool I had found at a yard sale earlier in the summer. I found a corn cob cutter slicer stripper knife (yah, I know it has a crazy long name) for 25 cents at a garage sale. This was the best 25 cents I’ve ever spent. within 15 minutes, I had a big pail of blanched corn off the cob. The cutter is designed to […]

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Freezer Meals- Does it Work?

Today’s everyday idea focuses on meal planning. Money Saving Mom has regular posts about “freezer cooking” where she makes up several meals worth of something all at once. Have you ever tried this? And did it save you time? I’m curious, because I’ve seen the posts and I’m considering it. Money Saving Mom has pages of info about how she does it, plus she has a bunch of recipes. The busier my schedule gets, the more I’ve realized I need to come up with a better system for meal planning. I know I can’t afford to buy pre-packaged foods. And […]

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Reclaiming Your Computer Time

For today’s practical, everyday idea, I’d like to tell you about some free software I’ve been trying out for the past few weeks. If you have trouble managing your online time, you might be interested in this software. It’s also great for helping kids manage their productivity while using the internet. Rescue Time is free time management software that shows you how you spend your time & provides tools to help you be more productive. I found it when I decided to search for something that would alert me, like a boss, when I spend too much time on something […]

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Life in An Estrogen Free Zone

I’m in the second week of the Beth Moore group Bible study on the book of Esther and it’s all about being a woman. Last night, during our group discussion the topic turned towards raising girls in our society and it got me thinking. That’s because I live in a virtually estrogen free zone, except for that which I supply. Life with three boys/men can get a little lopsided. But as I thought more, I realized that although I’m not raising a daughter, I am raising someone’s husband and someone’s father. My boys will grow up to leave home (hopefully!!), […]

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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. […]

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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 […]

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10 Ways to Be Prepared to Waste Time

Over the past few days, I’ve had several opportunities to waste time. No, I’m not talking about the mindless wasting of time vegging in front of the television. I’m talking about those moments when I’m waiting for someone else. Sometimes it’s a waiting room, and other times it’s when we’re on hold on the telephone. Sometimes I have just 10 minutes between my piano students, which isn’t enough time to start a big project. When I prepare for wasted time, it doesn’t feel as wasted. If you’re looking for practical ways that you can be prepared to waste time constructively, […]

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