Saturday, January 31, 2015

Roadmap Genesis Documentary Review and Giveaway!


"I say Genesis, you say......."  

This week, I'm excited to bring you a review on Roadmap Genesis, a Nolan Lebovitz documentary that questions the applicability of the Biblical book of Genesis to today's world, and poses the argument that Genesis can be used as a guide in solving the problems of today's soceity. Following a spiritual turning point in his life after marriage and the birth of his children, Roadmap Genesis takes Lebovitz across the country in his quest to answer the question, "Is Genesis still relevant."


During the film we see both believers, non believers, and people of different faiths, interviewed about their opinions of the book of Genesis, and what it means to them. In addition to that, Lebovitz utilizes these answers to lay the foundation that not only is Genesis still relevant today, but poses the suggestion that if we follow the stories found in Genesis, we would realize that it is through Genesis that we can rebuild our once bustling society to become a world leader once more. From Ken Ham to Mike Huckabee, to workers and partakers of a soup kitchen, all agree that the book of Genesis is as important today as it was eons ago.

Here is a screen shot of one of those interviewed:



Lebovitz does a fantastic job of inserting American patriotism. He shows a particular brilliance in the order at which he showcases the "on the street" interviews with by standers. He begins by showing those who are either non believers, or non-interested parties. Those who may or may not have read a little of the book of Genesis at some point in time in their lives-many who have not-are featured first. In the middle we get snippets of the same along with clips from news or home videos to illustrate his point, and interviews with leaders such as Ken Ham. He finishes with on the street interviews with those who have read Genesis or those who do believe that Genesis still plays an important role in today's world. All of this is wrapped up and mixed in with longer, one on one interviews, with researchers and clergy, along with news clips. The journey from negative responses to positive is pure brilliance. The way he intertwined people from varying faiths from Atheism to Judaism to Christianity is flawless. He takes 26 people of varying faiths and backgrounds, and films them in such a manner that they flow from one to the next seamlessly. The cuts from presidential speeches, and news clippings, further the point of WHY we need to pay more attention and do something now.

Simply stated, this film helped to strengthen my own personal beliefs. We sat down as a family to watch this, and I was getting a little bummed because my son was busy playing and my fiance was on the internet. About 5 minutes into the film I watched as my fiance slowly shut down his laptop, and my son forgot about playing. Both were glued to the screen. The film is engaging, interesting, and thought provoking. I truly never viewed the book of Genesis as applicable in the way Lebovitz has showcased it to be. He manages to hit upon politics, environmental causes, humanity and racism all in the same 1 hour and 17 mins, yet you don't feel rushed or led astray. You're left wanting more.  I pray Nolan Lebovitz continues on this project to further answer not only the question of is Genesis still relevant, but delve deeper into the stories of Genesis and how those stories can be used today. Lets hit each aspect, one by one, to go into greater detail. Lets dissect the story of the Tower of Babal to get to the root of Racism, lets talk more about being the caretakers of our garden and our world, and how we are destroying it. Lets talk more about God's creation and that of man, and how we need to humble ourselves to save ourselves. Each of these is touched upon, and done so very well. Now, I'd like more indepth coverage on each one individually. Nolan Lebovitz, challenge issued!

"I say Genesis, you say......." I say, I WANT MORE GENESIS!



Official Movie Trailer:



Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/roadmapgenesis

If you would like to watch this film for yourself, enter for your a chance to win a DVD copy of "Roadmap Genesis." The film can be purchased at, www.Roadmapgenesis.com
a Rafflecopter giveaway
"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. 
Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Friday, January 30, 2015

Fantastic Friday January 30, 2015

Today has been FANTASTIC! Afterall, it's FANTASTIC FRIDAY!

Today we started using a product that will be a future review. I can't give out too many details yet, but my son LOVES IT! It's a great science program, and he's loving it. So, today school was completed with no fuss, and with great enthusiasm! That's what has made my Friday Fantastic, what about you! Leave a comment about your FANTASTIC FRIDAY!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Wordless Wednesday January 28, 2015

I would like to start posting Wordless Wednesdays as a way to inspire! I will choose a picture that has great meaning to me at the time I choose it. I hope you enjoy!



Not all Wordless Wednesdays will be wordless. I'm just like that. This photo was taken Saturday, January 24, 2015 at Cathedral Falls in Gauley Bridge, WV. The falls sit in a huge bowl shape in the side of the mountain. They are literally off the side of Rt. 60. And yes, they are beautiful! One of the largest waterfalls in the state. I love waterfalls, and hope to do a photography project centered on Appalachian waterfalls one day. Please feel free to leave a comment!


For more blog posts like mine, and more Wordless Wednesdsays, check out Westword Blog!

Wordless Wednesday at Life at Rossmont

Saturday, January 24, 2015

2015 Goals Progress-update



This week I'm sorting through laundry. I'm washing up anything and everything that has gone astray, changing out sheets, bedding, and cleaning out those closets. All over the house. On top of that, I plan to reorganize my laundry room. If you don't hear from me in a week, send a search party! How are you doing on your 2015 Goals? Leave comment to encourage one another, and stay accountable!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Shopper's Cards: How We Save Money Series.

Shopper's Loyalty Cards

I remember that fateful day, standing in the Kroger check out line arguing with the cashier over a bag of chips. The price rang up over double what the sticker said, and I was not a happy girl. You see, I had missed that small print at the bottom of the price sticker that said, "Card price."Card price? What in the world? So then I went into a tirade about how that was sooooo unfair, I was NOT going to get a card to save money with it was obvious the store was just trying to dupe people into spending more....etc....etc....etc.  That, my faithful blog readers and friends, was my first experience with my best friend: The shopper's loyalty card. 

Shopper's cards are one of the ways we save money as a family. They track your most common purchases which lead to coupons for things you may like, and they track the totals spent which lead to huge savings in the long run. On top of that, as the story mentioned above, you get in on special card holder only pricing. Here are a few of the cards I use, and the benefits of those cards.



1.) Ollies: Ollies is a discount buyout store. Periodically we will get a coupon in the mail for 10-25% off a TOTAL order due to our shopping record there. I get household goods, pet goods, and they have a fantastic selection of books and homeschool material. Just the other day I got a post card in the mail for 15% off a total order. 




2.) Kroger card: I can't tell you how much I love my Kroger card. You get coupons mailed to you of the things you buy the most, you get special sales prices, and you get $0.10 off each gallon of gas for every $100 you spend in the month. These can be accumulated to add up to $1.00 off each gallon! On top of that, you always save $0.03 off each gallon at a Kroger gas station and some Shell stations.  That may not seem like much at one time, but over the course of several fill ups it really adds up. Just last night I checked out only to discover I had a 20% discount on my card that I could use. I ended up not only saving with the special sales prices, but I saved 20% off the grand total! All together my bill dropped from $107.00 to $71.00! AND I got enough points to get $0.10 off each gallon of gas! (My sincere apologies go out to that cashier from way back in 1999!)








3.) KMart/Sears Shop Your Way Rewards card: This card is fantastic! You rack up points for every dollar spent, and sometimes you get bonus points, or coupons for bonus points. A few times I've gotten coupons for 5-10,000 points for spending $30-50.00 on things I needed buy anyway. The points save up to be real money that you can claim in the form of gift cards or savings off your check out bill. Several times I've gotten free $5.00 gift cards just for spending $50.00 in one trip. I once I had $8.00 saved up on my card that I was able to apply at Sears to buy a dress. This card works at both Sears AND Kmart.




CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid: CVS card members have access to a coupon machine at the front of the store that spits out differing coupons that rotate daily and weekly. Combine these with your other manufacturer coupons, sales prices, and rebate cash and you can really save a ton of money! Walgreens has register cash. If you play your cards right (pun totally intended,) and arrange multiple orders to coincide with coupons and register cash you can actually end up having your register cash pay for your goods! I purchased over $90.00 and only paid a little over $30.00! Rite aid also has a similar program. 



There are more that I use, such as Sephora, Footlocker, Bare Minerals, etc. All of these track points and purchases for free gifts, coupons, discounts, and more. Loyalty cards are a fantastic way to save money for free.

Next week I'll detail Register cash, until then HAPPY SAVING!

Friday, January 16, 2015

2015 Goals progress

A couple of weeks ago I made a post about a 2015 Goals challenge over at Garden Grasses. So far I've been tackling these goals little by little. The other morning I woke a few hours before anyone else, so I came downstairs, tidied up a little that I wasn't about to do the night before, and relaxed doing my own thing for a while. I was so refreshed I woke up the rest of the house with breakfast cooking on the stove and laughs as I woke up my son. I felt like a new person!

I have also gone through my kitchen cabinets, tossing out old plastic containers with missing lids or imperfections, donating things I no longer need/want or use, and organizing them to be more accessible and function in a better way.

Next up.....closets. I dread this one!  But, like my word of the year says, I CAN do it!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

How We Homeschool: History


Ahhhh History! One of my favorite subjects! Sadly, it's one of my son's least favorites. You see, with autism, often times there needs to be a reason to do or learn. He needs to know why he's asked to do something, and if the responding answer doesn't please him...well...all bets are off. Just learning history for the sake of fulfilling requirements isn't enough, he needs a reason. Of course, we all know the important of learning our history, where we came from, etc. We learn about the past to protect and preserve the future, and to quell our own curiosity. But, for a child who is a literal and concrete thinker, and who gets very bored very easily, I've had to become quite creative with our history lessons.

First, The Complete Book Of.....books are great!






 I know, I know...I mentioned last week about dividing and conquering, and not using large books. The thing with this book, though, is it is dividing into time periods. And each lesson is very short, and it is accompanied by an activity. You can easily mark the pages so that anxiety and stress is reduced, and use the lessons as points to expand upon should an interest be developed. Most of the topics and pretty short and sweet, with fun and easily completed activities that shouldn't take much more than 30-45 minutes from start to finish. This is great since you don't have to fight to maintain attention, etc. The lessons are well written, easily understandable, and the graphics are engaging. When he takes an interest in a topic, I find more resources and we stay on it for a while. When he doesn't, we zoom through it with ease. These aren't in print any longer, but you can still find new and good used copies from Amazon and other online retailers. Sometimes, I've even ran across them at bargain outlets! I believe I paid around $10.00 each for ours, so they are also affordable.



When he really gets into a general topic, like this year's Revolutionary War obsession, I go to Homeschool in the Woods and to their Time Traveler's series. These are CD-Rom disks that include lessons, a teacher's guide, and a ton of printable projects to create a lap book that is nothing short of a work of art! Break out the printer, cardstock, glue sticks and colored pencils because you're going to need them!




These are FANTASTIC sets that are fun to do, and feel more like arts and crafts than history lessons. I even get into them, and find I have to remind myself to stop doing his project! I posted this photo of The American Revolution, but there are many more sets from which to choose. This year we focused on the Revolutionary War, and we even took a trip to historical Colonial Williamsburg, Yorktown, and Jamestown. Each set is designed to take around 8 weeks to complete, but you can tailor it to fit your own needs and stretch it out longer if you want/need. I personally spend longer on each topic since we expand so much. You get a text based narrative that covers details and the history itself, then a variety of projects to reinforce that history lesson. With the Revolutionary War, for example, we had a tea cup cutout that we used to make a booklet with the events that led up to the Boston Tea Party. These sets can be purchased online through  Homeschool in the Woods.


In addition to that, we go on field trips. Everywhere we go, we try to find interesting points of interest to visit. We were in Princeton, WV not long ago and found a historical home that had no admission fee. While my mom was conducting some personal business, we walked over to the house, took a private tour, and had the caretaker tell us all about the McNutt House that served as a hospital for both the Union and the Confederacy. It was a great experience that helped to spur an interest in the Civil War.

We also use a variety of workbooks from Teacher Express through scholastic, as well as books on a variety of historical topics that are of interest at the time. We watch a lot of documentaries, and different shows to reinforce the interest he takes. Sure, the show Gold Rush may not be a great show for history class, but it reinforces his desire to learn more about the Gold Rush, so we use that as a catalyst.


So there you have it, How We Homeschool: History! We use a variety of books, field trips, and hands on projects to have fun while still learning! I hope you find this of benefit to you and your homeschool! God Bless!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

How we save money.

Special needs require special purchases that usually hit the bank pretty hard. How do we manage to make ends meet? Well, I'm a frugal queen, that's how!

Here's a quick list of the main ingredients to my frugal lifestyle:

Clearance:

I'm a bargain hunter! I rarely, if ever, buy anything that is not on clearance or deeply discounted. I shop for Winter clothes at the beginning of Summer when department stores are trying to clear their shelves to make room for Summer and Fall. I shop for Summer clothes in the Fall when they go on clearance. I can usually get the best deals at the more expensive children's stores thanks to clearance and shopper's "bucks" like Crazy Cash or Gymbucks.

 The best time to purchase holiday items are right after the holiday ends. Walmart almost always discounts all of their bath sets and other holiday special sets by 50% starting on Dec. 26th, as well as all of their holiday merchandise. I typically do half of all my Christmas shopping the day after Christmas. I get gift wrap, decor, gifts, etc.

Coupons:

Coupons are fantastic, but there are a few "rules." First, don't buy something just for the sake of using a coupon. Some people use coupons and buy things they wouldn't normally use, and end up throwing away. Only buy the things your family normally uses. Cross reference your coupons with store specials and price matches. That is the ultimate way to stretch your dollar. I often pair coupons with register cash and price matches to get the bottom price. Sometimes the off brand is still cheaper, so that is something to keep in mind. There are loads of Facebook pages and websites dedicated to teaching you how to coupon. I typically get mine online or out of the Sunday paper. BUT you have to be careful! Some online coupon sites are havens for spyware. Here is a great link to help you learn the couponing ways: http://www.familyfriendlyfrugality.com/strategic-shopping-how-to-use-coupons-effectively/

Shopper's card:

I LOVE points cards and shoppers cards that reward you with extra discounts. I have a Shop Your Way rewards card from Sears/K Mart, and I've gotten several free gift cards just from buying what I normally would buy. Plus, I get coupons for extra savings! And always check your sales receipt. A lot of times coupons will be printed on the bottom, or you can get free gift cards or coupons for completing short surveys. Just today I got a $5.00 off a $25.00 purchase this Saturday only at Dollar General!

Special Today:

I always check the meat department for daily specials. Often times, these are items that have a sell by date of that date or the next. I once stocked my freezer with 20 pounds of various cuts of chicken for less than .99/pound! I always buy the larger family packs when they are on sale, then I break them down into individual meals and freeze in smaller portions. I always cross reference the freezer and pantry to see what I need in relation to the meals I have planned. (MEAL PLANNING IS AWESOME!) I save a lot of money this way. I set up a monthly menu, go through the kitchen to see what I need, and what I have on hand, then I create a shopping list. I try to get as many of the non perishables as I can. The less frequently you go into the store, the more money you save due to the lack of impulse buys. I found that one carton of eggs would end up costing me $30+ in impulse buys!Here is a link that will show you How to Meal Plan.

Special sales:

I hit up special sales and stock up on frequently used items. Back to school sales are the best! I load up on crayons, markers, pens, pencils, paper, etc. with these sales. I get enough to last through out the year, and even enough for spur of the moment gifts. I am a crazy Black Friday shopper. I start scanning popular sites such as www.bfads.net at the end of October to see what will be on sale. I am conscience of how much I will truly be saving. I purchased 1600 legos a Walmart for only $30.00, this was a great buy. But some others aren't that great, so be mindful of what you actually need. I scored HUGE cans of BIG SEXY HAIR hairspray at ULTA beauty for only 6.99, again a huge savings. I also think ahead. I found some leftover Black Friday goodies this week at Walmart marked down. So that color lab that was $8.88 was marked down to $5.00, so I grabbed one to put back for my son's brithday in JUNE. It's only $5.00, it's a great gift, so my pocketbook is happy!

Gifts: Speaking of gifts, I tend to keep a few things on hand for those moments when you've forgotten about a birthday, or you get a surprise gift. I get these when they are on a deep sale or clearance. I keep a small supply of candles, bath goods, children's art and books, and the like. This way if someone has a birthday and funds are a little stretched I can easily throw together a gift bag of goodies that make a really nice gift! I had a few unexpected gifts to buy at Christmas, and I used items from my gift stash to fill the gaps. I also periodically go through the clearance aisles and get little things here and there. I got my mom, sitter, and niece some great things for Christmas from a 90% off spring items sale! .30 for a gift, not too shabby!

Save the Gift bags! When someone gives you a gift in a gift bag, save the bag for another gift! YES...I re-gift them! Why throw them away????

These are just a few of the ways I run our household on a frugal dime. I find deals, I only take in cash, and I set a budget that we stick to. Next time, I will show you how to entertain and go on vacation in a frugal lifestyle!

If you would like to read more great tips on living frugally, check out some more great blogs from the Schoolhouse Review Crew! Just click the banner below! And don't forget to check back weekly to my Blog here at The Open Window for more great money saving tips! If you haven't already, please click on the Facebook banner above and join The Open Window Facebook blog page for great tips, helpful advice, and conversation!

Living Frugally

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Italian Potato Soup


As a homeschooling mom with a child with autism, I need a few easy recipes that the family will love. This Italian potato soup is one of my favorites! My niece loves my Italian potato soup, so I always fix it when she's going to be coming over, and we rarely have left overs since we love it that much! I ran across the recipe on Pinterest or another blog a few years ago, and I've done my own versions here and there.



What you need to make Italian Potato Soup:

4C water
2C heavy cream
5-6 potatoes, cubed
1 roll Italian sausage
1 table spoon bacon grease OR 5 slices of crispy bacon
2-3C chopped kale greens, no stems
32oz Chicken broth
1tsp crushed red pepper
Onion powder
Garlic powder
Salt

The order really matters here. My niece tried to make this same Italian potato soup recipe, but she did not follow the proper order and it didn't taste quite right. So I highly suggest following this same order.

1st, combine the chicken broth and water, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, and potatoes-boil until tender. While that is cooking, brown your sausage with the crushed red pepper. When the sausage and potatoes are finished, drain the sausage and add to the potatoes, add the crispy bacon. Continue cooking for about 15 minutes. Add in your kale, continue to cook for another 5 minutes. Add in your cream and again, cook for another 5-10 minutes or until kale is tender. I usually serve with croutons. ENJOY!

Vegetable Beef Cabbage Noodle Soup

Growing up, I LOVED my Mamaw's vegetable soup. She would make it every month or so, and it was just a hodgepodge of goodness. As I got into my teen years, she taught me the art of making her super easy "Everything" veggie soup. I have since tweaked it a little, and I call the creation, "Vegetable Beef Cabbage Noodle Soup."  It really is the perfect comfort food on a cold day, or any day for that matter!


1 packet Beefy onion soup
1 can tomato sauce
1 small bag frozen mixed veggies or 2 cans of mixed vegetables
3 potatoes, cubed (or 2 cans)
1 bunch broccoli
1 bunch cauliflower
1 small head cabbage
1 pound ground beef ( I use ground round generally)
Homestyle or Amish style egg noodles
Water to fit the needs of your soup (around 3 cups + or -)
Onion powder to taste
Garlic powder to taste
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste.

Admittedly, I never measure, so you can tweak the amounts to fit your needs.

Season with onion and garlic powder, salt and pepper, and over-brown your ground beef and drain. Add in one can of tomato sauce, with 1 can of water. Add it all of the veggies and the noodles. Stir and simmer until everything is tender. Taste. you may need to add a little tomato sauce or some salt. It really is THAT easy! It is even better the next day.

I hope you enjoy this easy everything soup as much as I do! Let me know what you think!

Break Down and Conquer-How We Homeschool Series.




How We Homeschool Series will be a periodic blog series on the methods, products, and routines of our daily homeschooling. It is difficult to find help/resources/advice when it comes to homeschooling and autism, so I hope to provide all of that and more! This week's topic, Break down and conquer. How to handle your child who may feel stress with larger texts.


I frequently get asked what methods are best, or what products are best, for homeschooling a child with autism. And the answer is, there isn't just one method or one product that is all inclusive. Over the years, I have found the best thing to do is breakdown and conquer.


Stress is a major actor when it comes to school performance and autism. One major issue I discovered was my son would get very anxious and shut down when I took out the large, county supplied texts.  A lot of curriculum sets are made of one large book, that is broken down into chapters-Text books. Often times, children on the autism spectrum are such literal and concrete thinkers that they think they must complete the entire text book at one sitting. By eliminating these large books, I eliminated his stress which greatly improved his performance.

How to do this:

I have a lot of workbooks in PDF format. The Teacher Express side to Scholastic is a great resource for these. They offer periodic "Dollar Deals" sales where you can get PDF books and workbooks for just $1.00, or you can shop anytime. These are great because you can download the book, and then print only the pages you want.

I also use consumable workbooks and materials. We are very blessed here with a close knit homeschool community, and we have used curriculum sales as well as biannual free swaps where we can take in materials we no longer need or want, and "shop" free materials. This is great because I often feel bad for writing in the books!

With these workbooks, I tear out the pages and create packets. This way, he doesn't feel like he has to complete the entire workbook. I make daily packets that he has to do each day. These will have sheets for math, science, social studies, language arts, and reading. He does a packet a day, no matter what. These packets may have a mix-match of topics, so if he shows a great interest in one of the topics we go into detail with it, and study it for the rest of the day/week.

This "method" does demand more time and planning than a boxed set would require, but you'll find your child is much less stressed, and work is completed with a greater amount of ease. In addition to that, my son went from needing near constant prompting to completing his tasks on his own.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Tackling those goals, part I

Do you all remember my 2015 Goals post? If not, scroll on down and read it because I'm going to be blogging about my progress with these goals. Starting tomorrow, I'll be posting what I'm doing, how I'm getting it done, etc! So go on and catch up on that Goal post, and let me know if you have specific goals you want to accomplish!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Molly Green Shops: Great for the Homeschool Mom!

Press Release:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Reclaim Family Home-Based Living with Molly Green

Gray, TN – December 28, 2014 – Today’s family schedules are so full of activities that people are often away from home more than at home. There’s a feeling that we’re missing something important in our achievement-driven culture, and many are longing to recapture the simpler days gone by. 

Paul and Gena Suarez, the founder-owners of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine (TOS), have launched the solution. On December 15 final beta testing of the completely revitalized Molly Green Magazine website (www.MollyGreen.com) began. The Molly Green, LLC, brand encompasses several offerings to meet the needs of modern families looking for a home-centered lifestyle.

1. Subscribers to the free digital edition of Molly Green Magazine at www.MollyGreen.com/Subscribe get resources covering the four pillars of home-based living: HOMEsteading, HOMEkeeping, HOMEschooling, and HOMEindustry. This is a beautiful 80+ page digital magazine packed with articles to educate, enlighten, encourage, equip, and inspire readers! It can be enjoyed online or as a free mobile app. Free back issues are available atwww.MollyGreen.com/Mercantile.

2. Membership at www.MollyGreen.com/Join is only $3.95/month or $39/year. Members receive access to practical resources including: 

•   Community – Connect with people who share your home-based interests on the MollyGreen.com social networking platform. “Friend” people, chat in the forum, start your own groups, send private messages, and post status updates in a more private environment! 
•   Meal Planning Resources – Keep meal preparation and shopping streamlined, organized, and easy. Get free access to Build A Menu’s “Dine-on-a-Dime” menu and a discount offer for their full membership.
•   Unlimited Access to a Growing Collection of eBooks, planners, and printables to help you manage the home front.
•   More members-only items will be announced soon in future press releases.

3. Digital products like eBooks, printables, planners, and more are for sale at www.MollyGreen.com/Mercantile. Shoppers will find a variety of professionally produced resources to help them enjoy their at-home lifestyle. 

4.  Lastly, Molly Green is proud to offer Cottage Shops at www.MollyGreenShops.com! This is where Internet technology meets the main street farmers’ market and is an experience like nothing the Internet has ever seen:
   
•   Sell goods from your very own Cottage Shop. For the low price of $15.95/month or $175/year, users get their own website with WordPress and WooCommerce-driven e-commerce shopping carts. Sell crafts, eBooks, local goods, services, and more! Users can also blog, build their direct sales business, or even do affiliate marketing. The best part is that users pay no listing or selling fees because transactions are fully kept on their own websites with their own PayPal accounts. To top it off, Molly Green will be promoting the Cottage Shops to our entire audience.

•   Visit www.MollyGreenShops.com to explore and shop the specialty items sold from our users. Molly Green encourages homesteaders to support one another in a community of buyers and sellers. 

The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine invites everyone to visit www.MollyGreen.com and www.Mol
lyGreenShops.com  to explore all that Molly Green has to offer. 

Terrific Tuesday

Terrific Tuesday

Today I want to spotlight something TERRIFIC that has happened. It can be something small, average, etc....but terrific none the less! Tuesdays are now TERRIFIC TUESDAYS!

Today, my son did his school work...all of it....with no complaints! He answered in very lengthy and well thought out responses, and I am so proud of him!

With autism, this doesn't always happen. Critical thinking may come easy, but expressing those thoughts can be quite difficult. Sometimes I need to nudge a little, or throw out prompts to remind him I've asked a question that needs a verbal reply. But today, we beat autism! Even if only for the day, I call that TERRIFIC! 

Friday, January 2, 2015

My tribute to a life taken way too soon.

My family suffered a great, and unexpected loss on Dec. 31, 2014. Sometime between 3am and 7am, my young 34 year old cousin, Laureena, died. She leaves behind a husband, a toddler daughter, a mother, a father, a brother, a nephew, grand parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends...people who loved her and will forever miss her contagious laugh. Her nickname was Sunshine, and for good reasons. I posted this post, at 1am while I couldn't even think about sleep, on my personal Facebook page. It touched a number of people, so I thought it fitting to share it with the rest of the world. May others find comfort, peace, motivation, and all things positive from it. Please share this message with everyone who may benefit.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Many thanks to my friend Miguel Pimentel for this amazing graphic. I am humbled, my friend. 


2015. I wish I could make a jovial and happy go lucky post right now. But I just can't. 34 years old. She was 34 years old. 3 months younger than me. How many of us go on about or day to day, making plans for next week, next month, next year, etc. How often do we make obligations, etc. while having the mindset of the promised tomorrow. Annie lied folks. The sun doesn't always come up tomorrow. We are not promised a tomorrow, we only have right now. We can't say that we'll take care of things later, when we get older, etc....because we may be gone before that later ever arrives. I know it's not pleasant to think about, but we have to think about it. Don't put off until tomorrow the things that need done today, right? Well...there are many reasons to live by that rule.

 Forgive. Stop holding grudges! Why are you really mad at that person? Is it worth a lifetime or more of anger and resentment eating away at you? No....it's not.
 Be happy. If you aren't happy, CHOOSE to feel happy. Fake feeling happy until you do! If you need a reason to be happy, call me. I can show you plenty. 
Take a risk. Life is painfully short, and it's too short to sit by and watch your dreams float away with out ever actually TRYING! And if you fail, GREAT! You've learned another way that doesn't work, and you are closer to making that dream come true. 
Be kind to others. Smile. Have a few good belly laughs on a regular basis.
Don't judge others based on what you THINK or what you have HEARD. Live your life in such a way that when you leave this world others will remember you in a good way. Live your life so that others will WANT to remember you. Bruce Lee said the Key to immortality was to live a life worth remembering. That's so very true. Live your life in such a way that the preacher won't have to grasp at straws at your funeral. We are not promised tomorrow. The Bible teaches us that we are all appointed a time to die, and we don't know when that time will be. Be ready for that time. Be ready in all aspects. Live your life so that when you are on your death bed you won't think back over the years and think of all the regrets, but instead you will look back with fondness at all the memories that were made. And at the same time, live your life in such a way that on your death bed you are at peace with your soul, because there are no do overs. When it's over, it's over and it's too late.
If you are a non believer, please note: I respect your beliefs, as you all know. It is your choice. I do not harp on you, I do not blast you, etc. Please be respectful of my post. I know a few of you do not agree with my statements, and that is ok...again it is your choice, but at the same time I hope that I have earned the respect I seek.
With all of that said, I do hope everyone finds happiness in 2015. We have all suffered great loss, sadness, sickness, hostility, anger, resentment, betrayals, and more negatives than I care to think of at 1am. Those things have happened in the past, let them stay there. Move forward. Forgive those who have hurt you, and ask those whom you may have hurt for forgiveness. This is a new year, a blank slate....make it a good one. To ALL of my friends and family, I am so sorry for anything and everything I have knowingly and unknowingly done or said that has hurt or angered you in anyway. I do ask for your forgiveness, and I offer up the same forgiveness in return. Life is too short to harbor ill feelings. I want to let those feelings go, I want a reset.
I appreciate all the kind words, prayers, and thoughts that have been directed to my family at this time. Please keep Laureena's immediate family in your thoughts as they face this time. I can't even begin to imagine their pain and anguish. Again, thank you.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

2015 Grateful Journal



My friend over at Ben and Me created this fantastic 2015 Grateful Journal. It's a really nice way to keep a record of everything you have to be thankful for in the new year, and anytime. It's so easy to get in a slump and succumb to Pity Partydom, but with this journal you can literally flip through your blessings-from big to small-to remember you have a lot for which to be thankful.

My family was hit with sudden and unexpected tragedy this week with the loss of a great family friend AND the untimely death of a young, close family member who was in the prime of her life. Even with this sadness, there are still many blessings to appreciate.

Again, this 2015 Grateful Journal is FREE, so show some Open Window love to Ben and Me, and check it out for yourself.

Love and prayers to you all for a happy and blessed 2015!