Friday, April 29, 2011

Fixing up a raincoat for Megan

We have a friend from church who is very generous with giving up hand-me-down clothes and things she finds when going to garage sales and thrift stores. Something that she had given us this year was some short sleeved jackets (pictured above). When I looked them over more carefully I realized that they were of the material for raincoats- you know, nice light-weight, fabric raincoats. I have no idea what prompted the designer to make them short-sleeved but they did. Anyway, we didn't have any use for short sleeved raincoats and though these were women's sized I already had a raincoat but Megan did need one. So....

 I decided to fix it up! My original plan was to combine both raincoats to make one but as I was getting started on the blue coat which I had decided would be the main color, Aaron came down and said "Can't you fix up the green one for me?" so I decided I would find some other fabric to add to the blue so I could use the green one for him. I will have to do a bit more adjusting on his so that it doesn't look feminine.

The steps that I took to fix it up were:
  1. Cut off the hood, cut it smaller, put elastic in the casing instead of ties, re-attach it to the jacket.
  2. Cut the side seams (especially under the arms) smaller.
  3. Cut the ruffle off the sleeves (basically cutting the sleeves in half horizontally) so that I can re-attach it below as a cuff.
  4. Cut fabric to go in between the two sleeve sections and sew it in place. I had some nylon fabric that my grandma had bought and made some tablecloths out of. I don't think it is really waterproof but it is probably at least resistant. I was also just realizing that I have some waterproofing spray so perhaps I will try that on them.
  5. Sew the side and sleeve seam.
That's all there was to it. It was fast and simple. It isn't perfect but Megan likes it and it seemed to work well for a walk in the rain. It is still a bit big but that means it will last her a while and so I don't really mind that.

She seems to kind of like it over her eyes.

She was happy the sleeves were long enough to go over her hands to keep them dry.

As you know I love these projects where I can use up what I have and make something useful.
Have you been making anything lately?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A raggedy scarf

I have been working on a rag rug lately using up my old curtains from my living and dining rooms. To make the strips I like to tear them instead of cutting. It is much faster and fun too. Anyway.... while I was tearing them I was looking at the strips and I thought they looked kind of cool....What if I made them into a scarf?

So I took around 5 of the strips and knotted them together on  both ends and "Tada! A scarf! "

I think it is kind of cool looking but it is also very raggedy looking and I am a little uncertain about it. So before I really wear it out in public I want your opinion! Don't be afraid to hurt my feelings by saying it is really weird. I am looking for honest opinions so I won't make a dreadful mistake (sarcasm here) of wearing something totally horrid out in public.
 So what do you think? Is it neat or just weird? Would you wear it?
I am linking this up to Tea Rose Home.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Coconut oil for your hair and skin {Review and Giveaway}

A while back Tropical Traditions sent me some coconut oil that is special for using on your hair. It has a higher protein level than their normal Virgin Coconut Oil. I tried it out pretty soon, I rubbed it all over through my hair, let it sit for 30 minutes or so and then washed my hair (following the directions on the back of my bottle). Then I proceeded to have some very greasy looking hair for several days! My hair was probably feeling very renewed but I was feeling greasy!

  I decided I had better do some more research! I think part of the problem the first time was that I used to much. People of some races might need more but my hair already leans toward being greasy. Since then I have rubbed it on my hands and then lightly rubbed it on the ends of my hair and through it a little bit and that has been much more successful.

  I sometimes have problems with little hairs sticking up and looking frizzy along my part line, I used to use gel to make them behave. I have been using coconut oil lately and it works just as well and it is much more natural and smells good.

  That is what I has been working for me as far as using it in my hair is concerned but I have enjoyed using it in some others ways as well.

  Last week I tried making deodorant and I used a little bit in it. Coconut oil is a great addition as it is good for you skin. So far that is working very well and I am excited to have been able to make it myself with natural ingredients.

  I have also really been liking to use the coconut oil on my skin. If my skin feels dry, I just rub some on. If I want to rub on some essential oil (like to help a sore neck) then I put the coconut oil on first and put the essential oil on top (otherwise the essential oil can be a little hard on the skin). Using it on your skin works great!

  I am very thankful to have been able to try out this product. I might not use it completely as directed but I certainly will put it to use!! It would of course be great to use when making soap which I hope to do someday!

 Do you think you would like to try this multi-purpose oil too?
 If you would like to buy it you can find it at Tropical Traditions where it is selling for $19.95.
 Someone will get to win a jar of it as well!

If you would like to sign up to win.....
  • Leave a comment telling me why you would like to win this. Be sure and also leave contact information in case you should win (I cannot choose a winner that I can't get in touch with).
  • If you would like an additional entry: Subscribe to Tropical Traditions E-mail Newsletter.
This giveaway will go through May 5th.

Disclaimer: I received this product at no charge from Tropical Traditions so that I could review it, I was not required to write a positive review.

Happenings on our Homestead

 I love Spring! The excitement of things growing again and it being almost time to garden again is so fun! I love the wildly variable weather, the sunshine and the rain and even the occasional snow. I am so glad God gave us seasons.

I have been having fun lately doing springy activities. Last week I finally planted my seeds -the ones that need to be planted ahead of time inside.
 I planted tomatoes, peppers, watermelon, cantaloupe, stevia, some flowers, broccoli, kohlrabi, cabbage and probably some things that I can't remember now. I also repotted my aloe vera. I had four little plants in a little pot. My sister Anna and I have been learning how good they are for you and so I want to encourage mine to get bigger so that I can really use them. I also repotted my banana tree that was desperately needing some new dirt and a new pot. I am hoping they all grow and flourish!
 I decided to set them up on top of my fridge to sprout (I did have to do some stacking to make them all fit but as soon as they get very big I will move them to a southern window). I discovered that a few of them have already sprouted. I love it when they are quick like that!
 Another of those Spring jobs that needed done was turning my compost pile. Here is the "beautiful" collection from the winter. I have two bins (that I made from pallets) side by side so I just flipped it over into the other one, while adding some rabbit droppings (Clover is gracious to supply those) and other natural matter from our garden cleanup.        

Aaron helped me work on the compost bin. His motivation was the fact that we get to babysit a baby goat next weekend and we thought we might be able to turn the empty bin into a temporary shelter.
 I love the concept of composting  because God turns our yucky scraps and the weeds we pull up into good rich dirt. We like to use that dirt on our garden and to put around our fruit trees.

Speaking of fruit trees, The plum trees which my Dad ordered for me along with his order came on Thursday. We planted them in our yard. Now we have 3 apple trees, 2 cherry trees, 2 plum trees, a grape vine,a couple of wimpy blueberry bushes, a few raspberry bushes and strawberry plants which feed the chipmunks. We aren't getting any fruit yet -except a few raspberries last year and there were two apples on one tree last year but some animal ate them before we could- but there is a lot of potential and I am excited about the possibilities!

 Another "homesteading" (?) project was our venture in making candy from our maple syrup. A neighbor came over and we had fun messing with a couple different recipes. It all tastes yummy but not everything sat up properly. Oh well, live and learn. This recipe did work well.

And as far as this picture.... We are so enjoying the pussy willows we picked some to have inside. I love the way they look and the natural rustic feel they add to our home.

I am linking up to:
Homestead Revival

New Life on a Homestead
The Prairie Homestead

Sunday, April 24, 2011

He has risen!

Happy Resurrection Sunday to you all!

  We are at the time of year in which we celebrate the anniversary of Jesus' death and Resurrection. This event is so important, so life changing if you allow it to be. I hope that it is something you think about far more than this time of the year.

  It is so hard to believe, so amazing, almost more than we can comprehend, that God was willing to send His Son, Jesus, to come to earth for us. He is called Immanuel, which means "God with us". He came to earth to live a normal life and then not only be the greatest example ever but to become the needed sacrifice for our sins! He took the burden of our sins to the cross- suffering all the way and then He was put to death for us.
 "For you have been called for this purpose,
since Christ also suffered for you,
leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps,
"who committed no sin,
nor was any deceit found in His mouth:"
and while being reviled, did not revile in return;
while suffering, He uttered no threats,
but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously;
and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross,
that we might die to sin and live to righteousness;
for by His wounds you were healed,
For you were continually straying like sheep,
but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls."
1 Peter 2:21-25

   But that wasn't the end of the story. He was taken down from the cross and buried in a tomb but He didn't stay dead. He came to life again! That makes all the difference in the world. We do not serve and worship a God who is dead, He is alive! Death has no power over Him!

"For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received,
that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
and that He was buried,
and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures."
1 Corinthians 15:3 & 4

Jesus did this for us because he wants us to die to sin and live to righteousness. He did this so that we could get rid of our burden of sin and have a new life with the promise of eternal life with Him in heaven.

Last week was a pretty exciting week for us because Jonathan and Aaron after several months of thinking and visiting decided that they were totally ready to make the decision to follow Christ and make the full commitment to having a changed life. Both boys are fairly young (7 & 9) and so I was hesitant in them making this decision but they were fully convinced that they were ready to do so and so I am rejoicing in that. They were uniting with Christ in His resurrection and death as it speaks of in Romans 6.

"Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus
have been baptized into His death?
Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death,
in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father,
so we too might walk in newness of life.
For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death,
certainly we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection,
knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him,
that our body of sin might be done away with,
that we should no longer be slaves to sin;
for he who has died is freed from sin."
Romans 6:3-7

May you have blessed day remembering what Christ has done for you!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

A fun and productive day.

 I loved today! It was one of the first Saturdays for quite a while that we have all been able to just stay home (well I guess Ken and the girls did make a trip to the hardware store but that went pretty quick). It was a a lazy day in some ways like sleeping in, rainy weather, some time online and reading but parts of the day were very productive and we had a lot of fun too.

 Because I enjoyed it I decided that I will create a Journal entry of it here. This may be long and not so interesting to you (you don't have to read it if you don't want to) but maybe you would like to have a glimpse of a Saturday at our house. If so read on.

 On Saturdays Ken and I give ourselves the okay to sleep in. We often stay up rather late on Friday nights and don't mind getting some extra sleep on Saturday mornings. The kids (especially the boys) tend to get up even earlier than usual on Saturdays. I find that funny since I have to encourage them (well not usually Jonathan, but the other three) to get out of bed on school days but on Saturday they are up and busy around 7 am. The kids generally just play in their rooms Legos or geckos are fun and Mara likes to lay in bed and read, this morning they had the train set spread all over when I got up there. Their rooms are above ours and so I start hearing them and slowly waking up but we didn't actually get up until around 9 am.

After getting up I had my prayer and bible reading time while Ken exercised and showered. Then we had breakfast of sausage (that is a treat and the kids were excited!) and a Serbian Pancake. I had found the recipe in the book that we recently read about Serbia. It is rather like a Crepe and we enjoyed them with raspberries and powdered sugar.

 Ken took a quick trip to Ace to get some parts for putting in my new kitchen faucet (the old one had a bad drip problem). Mara went with him (later he had to make another trip and took Megan- he prefers to take one child at a time on shopping trips so that he can still think). Ken and Jonathan worked hard and got the faucet installed and I am so delighted! I love the way it works. The sprayer is the end of the faucet so you can pull it out and have the same pressure as the normal faucet but you can reach up high enough to fill a large kettle or five gallon bucket. There is also a handy dandy soap dispenser which looks so classy for holding my dish soap. :-)

 Ken is not all that fond of plumbing but I am so thankful that he is able to work at it and get it done. We are hoping that Jonathan might take a liking to it (Ken thinks he has a knack for it) and before long he can do all the faucet replacing and such that needs done.

Some of the other things we were able to get done today were:
  • Aaron and I cleaned up the compost bin. I was working on it in the rain and having a ton of fun which Ken found very humorous. He has a hard time understanding how I can enjoy tossing old egg shells, peelings, dirt and manure around. I just love knowing the potential of helping my garden that it has and I am so enjoying getting to work in the garden again!
  • The kids and I also worked at cleaning up the garden in a beginning preparation for planting.
  • Jonathan and I cleaned the bathrooms.
  • Ken fixed the bathroom closet door.
  • Ken and Jonathan replaced the toilet seat.
  • I swept and mopped our very dirty floors.
  • Mara worked at sewing a raincoat for her doll.
  • Megan cleaned her room.
  • I worked at cleaning up and out the files on our computer.
  • Ken worked on some business on his laptop.
  • I answered some e-mails.
  • I cleaned out the cupboard under the sink.
Besides the fun working we did together we also did some fun playing together.

The girls and I had a fun walk in the rain down by the swamp. It is pretty full right now and looked pretty in the rain. The girls were looking pretty too! The picture of Mara at the top of this post is from when we were down there.

The real treat of the walk was getting to see a beaver. Mara noticed it swimming and eating and alerted me to it and then it came over fairly near to where Mara was up on a log fallen into the swamp (I wish she would have had the camera) and it got up on a log too and did some eating/cleaning up there. It was so cute. I did take a picture but my zoom didn't really allow me to capture a very good picture. You will have to work hard to see him in the photo below.
We had lunch (leftovers) at around 2pm and then I read to the kids though the boys skipped out on some of it to go outside and play catch with Ken. The girls and I had a fun time reading the Keeper of the Bees together and then had a quick nap.

We worked on more of the stuff I mentioned above in the afternoon and then I made a beef stew and biscuits for supper.

After supper the boys really wanted to play a family game of baseball. The girls weren't interested (Mara wanted to sew and Megan wanted a bath) but Ken and I did join them. Megan did end up watching from the living room window. She told me she was on my team and she cheered and danced quite enthusiastically! We had fun hitting some balls and running around the bases. It was good exercise and quite a  bit of fun. I was amazed at how much the boys have improved. They have been practicing a lot lately.

Tonight was when I finally mopped. It was nice to get that done. The whole day felt very satisfactory as far as getting things done. There are still oodles of things that could be done (the windows are really dirty, the living room needs vacuumed, there are a few dirty dishes on the counter) but I am so thankful for what God did help us to do and am looking forward to more fun days of work and play next week.

 What do you usually do on a Saturday?

Friday, April 22, 2011

Turning a dress into a skirt

 A friend had given me this green dress along with some other things when she was moving away. I really liked the color and thought it was pretty but when I tried it on the sleeves were too short and I could tell it wouldn't be something that I would wear that often. I just don't wear dresses that much, I generally prefer skirts.

So I decided to make it into a skirt. This was one of those really quick (To be totally honest I did it one Sunday morning before church) easy projects. I decided I wanted this skirt to be a nice long one. So I figured out the right length and just started cutting. Because it is made with two thin layers that are wrinkly I cut each one separately.

After cutting I sewed on a strip of some other fabric I had one hand (some soft green flannel) at the waist and made a casing for the elastic out of it. It doesn't show as it is tucked inside the top of the skirt. I measured the elastic around my waist and then threaded it through the casing and sewed it in place. Quick and Easy and it was ready to wear!
It is quite comfortable and I like it much better than a dress. :-)
I am thankful that my mom taught me how to sew so that I can take something I wouldn't use and make it into something useful to me. Even if your mother didn't teach you how to sew I encourage you to give it a try. Start with simple projects like this one and you will find how rewarding it can be!

I am linking this to Jackie's Fix it up Friday:

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

April in Minnesota, anything could happen...

One thing fun about April here in Minnesota is how many varieties of weather we can have. A couple of weeks ago we had a very rainy Sunday complete with thunder. We have had some very warm weather where it basically feels like summer and then we have our snowstorms. This past weekend we got 8 inches of snow but some years it has been a lot more than that. The weather can change from day to day.


from hour to hour or minute to minute, like today. This morning I think we had a few flurries early on and then the sun came out and before lunch the boys were actually out playing baseball in the yard. Then a bit later it was snowing, then sunshiny again, then raining, then snowing again- huge flakes that Mara thought looked like little white fairies floating down, then it was sunshiny again and then the sleet came down fast and heavy. I couldn't keep track of quite all the changes that happened. Though we were feeling ready for "Spring" (read warm) weather we sure had fun watching to see what would come down next today!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A Pretty Purse for a Pretty Sister

 This past weekend we were able to make a quick trip down to visit my older sister and her family. Anna's birthday was this month and I thought it would be fun to make her a purse as a present.
 I started looking through my fabric stash and I saw this wool orange and green plaid (In it's former life it was a skirt).  Anna likes bright colors and fall colors and I thought that might fit with her tastes. I decided to tone the bright colors down a bit by adding some cream in as well.

 I made up a pattern. I wanted there to be a convenient cell phone location as I don't like having to dig for mine in my purse, I like to have an inside zippered pocket and I decided to add a pocket on the front as well.
I lined the purse (which made it pretty easy to make the inside pocket) and I made it zip closed on the top. After that was done it looked like the picture above.

I thought it needed a little more so....
I made some flowers from some lining material where I melted the edges. Then I made a ball of the wool for the center of the flower. Then I decided to use some glass beads we had and I sewed them on to look like leaves and a curly stem. That was actually a fun project that I finished up as we traveled. (I know, I tend to be pretty last minute- I am trying to get better but it is hard!)

 Anna said she liked the purse. I hope it works well for her! Now I want to make myself a new one!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Making my own deodorant!

 I don't know why I get quite so excited about figuring out another way to buy less and make it myself instead but I do! Today's project of making deodorant was one I had looked into quite some time ago but I still had deodorant on hand so I hadn't tried it. Maria from My full time life had sent me a recipe quite some time ago and I just now tried it out. And it was so simple!
To make the deodorant you need:
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch (I believe this helps to absorb moisture)
  • 1/4 cup baking soda (and this absorbs smell)
  • 2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil (this binds everything together and it good for your skin as well)
  • Essential oil or your choice (Optional- I used peppermint oil today and Maria said she used tea tree oil but I want to make a batch of unscented deodorant for working with the bees.)
  • A cleaned out deodorant case to refill and use. Screw it down all the way so you can put the deodorant in.
Mix the cornstarch and baking soda together. Add the essential oil (up to 20 drops, to make it as strong as you desire). I softened the coconut oil a little by putting the measuring cup with it in it over a bowl of warm water and then I mixed everything together. I started mixing with a spoon but ended up finding it worked out better to do it with my hands. Then I started filling the old deodorant stick up. The mixture fit almost perfectly in the one container. I had just a little extra to put in another one.
 It smelled really nice and looks pretty nearly just like the stuff you buy at the store. I think it will work well. I did try it out (oh the things we will talk about on our blogs!!!) and it felt just like any other deodorant.

   This was a very good deal for me as I used coconut oil that Tropical Traditions had sent to me for reviewing, I had won the essential oil on a blog giveaway and the other two ingredients are quite cheap. And as far as packaging (because that matters to me) I will recycle the two boxes when they are empty, I will reuse the coconut oil jar and the other jar is very tiny (and probably can be recycled too).

  I am so happy to have one more thing that I can make myself. I probably won't save a ton of money as I don't go through deodorant that quickly (I think maybe I use 2 sticks a year) and normal stuff is pretty cheap (a dollar or two) but I like natural deodorant (In fact I paid over $6 for a stick last year at the health food store) and so am quite pleased to be able to make my own!

   Do you make any of your own toiletries products? I would love to hear your thoughts!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Speaks to me Sunday

I thought I would quickly share with you tonight some verses that always a good reminder to me of how I should be living. They are encouraging and motivating to me- I hope you find them that way too!

"In the same way, you wives,
be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them
are disobedient to the word,
they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives,
as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior.
Your adornment must not be merely external-
braiding the hair and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses;
but let it be the hidden person of the heart,
with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit,
which is precious in the sight of God."
1 Peter 3:1-4

May God bless you as you strive to walk with Him!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Getting Motivated!

This Spring I have had some times of struggling with motivation. My house has been not so clean, there are things that should have gotten done but sometimes I just didn't feel like it. One week not so long ago, I was having to get up pretty early in the mornings and so I kind of gave myself license to be a little lazy the rest of the day. That actually didn't work so well and so I started thinking about ways I could work on being more motivated.

 This is still a work in progress for me, but things have been going a bit better and here are some things that work for me in helping me feel motivated:

  • Pray! Ask God to give you strength. I'm not wonder woman, your not wonder woman. The only way we can accomplish anything is with God's help.
  • Get enough rest but set your alarm so you don't oversleep. If you have trouble getting out of a warm bed like I do, set your clothes or robe right next to your bed so you can slip them on immediately.
  • Drink plenty of water. We are more energetic if we are properly hydrated.
  • Wear tennis or walking shoes that make you feel like doing something.
  • When you feel overwhelmed with your dirty house or some big project make yourself get one area or part of the project done. That really helps to make me feel motivated to do more.
  • Set some limits for yourself with time wasters. I can sometimes have trouble with to much computer time. I reminded myself that I only should be online (for fun instead of business) after the kids are in bed and then up to one hour during the day. Period. (That is my current rule and it seems
  • Put on some lively music to work to.
  • Get your children to work with you. Working together is much more fun.
  • Sing!
  • Smile!
  • Get some fresh air.
  • Work fast and energetically. Your will accomplish more.
What helps you to be motivated? I would love to hear your tips!
Visit  We are That Family for more Works for me Wednesday tips.

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Final Summit by Andy Andrews {Review}

"The Final Summit" is a sequel to "The Traveler's Gift". I did not have the opportunity to read the first the first book but both books are about a man named David Ponder who has been selected to be a Traveler. In "The Final Summit" David Ponder is an old man who's wife has died and he feels all alone. The Angel (Or Archangel as he often corrects people) Gabriel comes and summons David Ponder to a summit where they have a quest to find the one principle that will save humanity. The rest of the book is the discussion that is had at the summit.

  I was pretty excited about reading this book as I had read another of Andy Andrews books (The Heart Mender) and really loved it. Unfortunately this book did not live up to my expectations. I think a lot of the reason was simply that this book wasn't my style. I like reading about reality. I have never really enjoyed fantasy or any books that waver from known reality. And this book does that. Gabriel (who, just for the record, is very real- we simply don't have many facts about him) plays a huge part in this book and I guess I struggle with the way he is portrayed. Also most of the book deals with people after their death. I am not that found of that sort of story either.

  There were some things I did enjoy about the story however. I liked ready about some historical people and hearing more of their stories. A couple of them I had never even heard of before and I really enjoyed learning about them. Andy has apparently done some thorough investigating of his facts and I enjoyed these tidbits of history. I did also enjoy the thoughts on what might be a principle that humanity needs. I am not sure if I perfectly agree with the end conclusion but I enjoyed how the book really made you think.

  I doubt I will ever reread this book but I can think of other people in my life that I think might enjoy it. I think it is worth recommending, it just might never be their favorite book. And then again maybe it will be somebody's favorite- somebody with a different reading style than I.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com  book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Starting a Micro Business {Review and Giveaway}

I was recently asked to review "Starting a Micro Business" by Carol Topp. It is an extremely practical book for teens that want to earn some money and would like to learn and grow. Running their own business can be a great learning experience, one that will be very practical when they reach adulthood and Carol Topp gives some great easy to understand advice in doing that.

  Both my husband and I own our own businesses and so from that vantage point I can see how extremely useful this book would be.  Here is some more information on the book:


ISBN: 978-0-09829245-0-1
Retail price: $9.95
(Cincinnati, OH) With unemployment rates high, the teen population is finding it harder and harder to find work. Adults are competing for the same minimum wage jobs. But there’s an alternative—starting a micro business. What is a micro business? It is a very small, one-person business that you can start easily and quickly with what you already know or own. No money needed, low risk and no debt! Students can spend as much time running a micro business as they wish and can even close it down during busy times. The best advantage for teens to own a micro business is that it not only brings in extra cash (often more than imagined), but students end up learning a great deal about business, money and themselves. It may lead to an entrepreneurial life or at the very least, prepare students for higher learning opportunities.
Starting a Micro Business will help teenagers earn money while learning how to start their own business. A micro business is simple to start, usually home-based, low risk, educational and easy for a busy student to run. This book offers ideas, a business plan, starting with no debt, pitfalls to avoid and resources to get a teenager started making money running their own micro business.

Carol Topp, CPA advises teenage business owners though her Micro Business for Teens book series. Carol’s day job is accountant to business owners, and she enjoys teaching teenagers to succeed beyond their dreams. Students appreciate how she shares what they need to know in clear and helpful lessons. Her website is



Spring Cleaning: A Time For a Teenager to Make Money

by Carol Topp



Here are some ideas for a micro business a teenager can start this spring:
• House cleaning: Offer to tackle large jobs like washing windows, moving furniture, etc. Many people are grateful for a young, strong teenager to help them with heavy lifting. What is easy for you might be very difficult for them, especially if they are an older person.

• Routine house cleaning: Some customers need regular house cleaning and may hire you on a weekly or monthly basis. Don't wait for them to ask: offer to come weekly or twice a month and see what they say.

• Attic cleaning: Offer to help people do a job that they put off, such as cleaning an attic.

• Garage cleaning: A big job that can earn you big bucks!

• Yard cleanup: Offer to trim bushes, pull weeds, plant flowers and spread mulch to spruce up a yard.
• Car and van cleaning: People spend a lot of time in their automobiles and their cars and vans need frequent cleaning. Melissa gladly paid to get her van cleaned inside and out every week because her four children could really make a mess in it. You can make some cash by offering to clean a van inside and out.

• Organize. Organize a house, playroom or garage. Charge the customer for any bins, tubs and labels that you purchase for them and then add on the value of your time. Take before and after photos to use on your advertising fliers.

• Declutter: Do you love HGTV shows on organization? You might be able to find someone to hire you to declutter their house like you see on TV.

• Garage sales: Advertise, organize and run a garage sale for your neighbors. Get several neighbors to participate together and really earn the bucks!

• eBay sales: Offer to sell your neighbors' stuff on eBay and take a cut for yourself. Combine the decluttering, garage sale and eBay tasks into a full package to help your customers profit from their excess stuff.


All who comment on this post will have their names entered into a drawing for this blog tour (That means it will be a combination of several blogs). The winner will recieve not just the book mentioned but rather
The Complete Set of Carol Topp's Micro Business for Teens Series

  • Starting a Micro Business 
  • Running a Micro Business 
  • Money and Taxes in a Micro Business 
  • The Micro Business for Teens Workbook
So start commenting! Please leave contact information. And be sure to comment before April 20th.




Sunday, April 10, 2011

He is Able

Psalm 104

1 Praise the LORD, my soul.

LORD my God, you are very great;

you are clothed with splendor and majesty.

2 The LORD wraps himself in light as with a garment;

he stretches out the heavens like a tent

3 and lays the beams of his upper chambers on their waters.

He makes the clouds his chariot

and rides on the wings of the wind.

4 He makes winds his messengers,

flames of fire his servants.

5 He set the earth on its foundations;

it can never be moved.

6 You covered it with the watery depths as with a garment;

the waters stood above the mountains.

7 But at your rebuke the waters fled,

at the sound of your thunder they took to flight;

8 they flowed over the mountains,

they went down into the valleys,

to the place you assigned for them.

9 You set a boundary they cannot cross;

never again will they cover the earth.

10 He makes springs pour water into the ravines;

it flows between the mountains.

11 They give water to all the beasts of the field;

the wild donkeys quench their thirst.

12 The birds of the sky nest by the waters;

they sing among the branches.

13 He waters the mountains from his upper chambers;

the land is satisfied by the fruit of his work.

14 He makes grass grow for the cattle,

and plants for people to cultivate—

bringing forth food from the earth:

15 wine that gladdens human hearts,

oil to make their faces shine,

and bread that sustains their hearts.

16 The trees of the LORD are well watered,

the cedars of Lebanon that he planted.

17 There the birds make their nests;

the stork has its home in the junipers.

18 The high mountains belong to the wild goats;

the crags are a refuge for the hyrax.

19 He made the moon to mark the seasons,

and the sun knows when to go down.

20 You bring darkness, it becomes night,

and all the beasts of the forest prowl.

21 The lions roar for their prey

and seek their food from God.

22 The sun rises, and they steal away;

they return and lie down in their dens.

23 Then people go out to their work,

to their labor until evening.

24 How many are your works, LORD!

In wisdom you made them all;

the earth is full of your creatures.

25 There is the sea, vast and spacious,

teeming with creatures beyond number—

living things both large and small.

26 There the ships go to and fro,

and Leviathan, which you formed to frolic there.

27 All creatures look to you

to give them their food at the proper time.

28 When you give it to them,

they gather it up;

when you open your hand,

they are satisfied with good things.

29 When you hide your face,

they are terrified;

when you take away their breath,

they die and return to the dust.

30 When you send your Spirit, they are created,

and you renew the face of the ground.

31 May the glory of the LORD endure forever;

may the LORD rejoice in his works—

32 he who looks at the earth, and it trembles,

who touches the mountains, and they smoke.

33 I will sing to the LORD all my life;

I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.

34 May my meditation be pleasing to him,

as I rejoice in the LORD.

35 But may sinners vanish from the earth

and the wicked be no more.

Praise the LORD, my soul.
Praise the LORD.

We were singing the song " He is able" (you can hear it in the video above) at church tonight and I was just reminded again of how great of God we have. How big and mighty He is. How He can do anything! And how much He cares for each one of us. I don't know your situation, but I hope you are remembering what a great God we have!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Sweet stuff at our place and I am so excited!!!

 This has been an exciting week at our "homestead". I have mentioned before on here my dream of keeping bees. I have wanted to do that for several years and I have done some reading up on it but it still continued to feel like a dream. I just didn't quite have the confidence to go into it. I could read books but in this sort of thing I do much better with hands on or visual learning and I was a little afraid to just jump in and do that.

   There was a class on bee keeping offered locally by the academy of life long learning- which is free of charge and usually attended by a bunch of retired folks but my kids and I have had fun joining them a couple of times now. It was on Tuesday morning and we went, me with notebook in hand and a plan to learn just as much as I possibly could.

   There were two beekeepers doing the talk (one of them was the guy that I actually buy our natural beef from but we had never met in person before, just talked on the phone) one has kept bees 4 years and the other 19 years and both of them love it. They brought a hive for us to see and showed us how to put it together. They showed us the equipment that we needed and told us a lot about bees and their care.  Afterwards we visited with them a lot and I told them that I would really love to raise bees and asked if they knew of any disease free used equipment for sale. They weren't sure but Les took my number. That afternoon he called me up and said he had found some. Yesterday the kids and I went and picked them up.
Our beehives!
 The bees are also ordered (Beekeepers in our area order through Les and we all go to get our bees at one time) and we will be picking them up the first week of May. The bee hives are currently stacked in our garage as I need to get a good foundation made and put up an electric fence. My Dad had extra fencing so that was a huge blessing. I had hoped not to fence ( for aesthetic reasons )but it is pretty important in our area for keeping bears and skunks away from the hives.

  This whole experience is pretty unreal to me as this went from being a dream to reality in just a few short days. I am learning so much right now too. There is a whole new set of words that go with bee keeping and I am trying to learn them. Such as a hive/frames being "drawn out". The frames that I got area which will give the bees a huge head start. That means that they already have the beeswax cells on them. (See picture below)
 I also feel so very blessed because both of the beekeepers (older gentlemen) that taught the class have just taken me and my kids under their wing and are very gracious to help and answer any questions I might have. We got to go and explore Les' beekeeping shed and even saw a few hives that he already has going this year. My Dad has also been very helpful with fencing, a smoker he had on hand and other ideas.

 Other sweet stuff around here has included canning Maple syrup. I have 16 jars all sealed up and ready for using on our pancakes and waffles this year. It looks like our season might be pretty much over. The nights have been staying too warm. We had hoped we might get a bit more than we did but we will be thankful for what we do have!!
  My parents have also been getting a bunch of milk which they have shared with us. This week I made yogurt and quick and easy cheese.

Have you ever kept bees? I would really truly love to hear your thoughts on bees or any of the other things I mentioned in this post!

I will be linking this to:

Also... Don't miss out on a giveaway of 2 Imagination Station books! (I will post the winner on Monday)


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