Jun 112017

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To help make your June a little sweeter, Swagbucks is holding a fun team challenge to help you earn free gift cards!


Jack has been asking when the next challenge will take place; he loves seeing the teams’ totals increase and leaders change.  My participation level in the various Team Challenges in the past has depended upon what else is happening in life at that particular moment.  If not a lot else is going on, I am able to earn more points.  When I am called away from the house for hours each day, I am not able to do as much, though there is still a lot you can do in the evenings, mornings, or over your lunch break. 

Two weeks ago, George got out of school for summer break, and started his Summer (home) School routine. Jack started Term 3 for school, as we took off more time during the winter months to move and get established in our new community. Last week, we were gone to see family out of state.  Next week, we will be moving our stuff to our new house.

Currently life has something routine-changing going on every week, which throws my kids off and makes my life more emotionally and energy draining. (They do not do well with routine changes.)  I still have high hopes for the Team Challenge, as there are a variety of activities I can do to help reach the 400 Team Points needed to earn the Swag Up Rebate, as well as the personal goal I have set for myself.

One of the reasons Jack likes these challenges so much is that he gets to watch some of the videos as they play.  (Note: not each challenge has the same activities available to earn team points.)  He also “helps” with other Discover activities and is sometimes asked to participate in Surveys.

Some previous team members I have had were at home sick, making it possible to spend 8+ hours a day finding ways to earn points, called SB, while figuring out the most efficient way to do so.  Other members were parents who also worked full time.  They were only able to contribute a small amount of time each day.  The benefit of having a message board for each team is when other team members share what has worked for them and the fastest ways to earn Team Points (which are different than your personal SB earned).  By working together, everyone learns and is able to earn more.

Currently, I have a particular goal in mind, an item for our new house which I would like to purchase in the next week. I am currently 75% of the way to my goal and hoping this the Sweet Treat Team Challenge will help me get the rest of the way there. I find that having an earning goal in mind helps me stay focused and actually increases the SB I earn, and therefore increases the amount of gift cards I can redeem them for.

For those of you who don’t know what Swagbucks is, it’s a website where you can earn cash back on everyday tasks you do online like shopping, answering surveys, discovering deals, and watching videos. You can even earn for searching the web! If you’ve never tried Swagbucks before because you didn’t know where to begin, their Team Challenges are a great way to learn the ropes! Their latest, the “Sweet Treat” Team Challenge, begins Monday, June 12th at 8am PT.

Here’s how you can join the challenge and the site:  

1. Click here to join the challenge and be assigned to a team.

2. Starting June 12th at 8am PDT, in addition to earning SB you’ll contribute points to your teams total as you complete different activities on Swagbucks.

3. Check back on the page often to see the scores and what you’ve contribute so far.   

All members who participate and contribute at least 400 points to their team’s total will receive a SB bonus in the form of a SB Swag Up Rebate on their next gift card! 

Not only that, but if you earn 300 SB before July 1st, you’ll get an additional 300 SB bonus (as long as you’ve signed up under me)!

Members of the 1st place team will receive a 60 SB Swag Up Rebate, members of the 2nd place team will receive a 40 SB Swag Up Rebate, members of the 3rd place team will receive a 20 SB Swag Up Rebate, and members of the 4th place team will receive a 10 SB Swag Up Rebate, Your SB Swag Up Rebate will be made available on Friday, June 16th and will expire on Friday, June 30th at 11:59pm PT.

Oct 302015

Count Your Blessings is one of the hymns we are learning this upcoming month.  While I already knew this song, and have most of it memorized, hearing it every day has brought it to the forefront of my thoughts more often.  It is so easy to get bogged down by all that is going wrong, that it is hard to remember to actually “count your blessings”.  While I could go on and on with this list, here are a few that relate to our life this past week:

  1. The ability to grow tomatoes with no chemicals.  This make it possible for the kid to grab a tomato and eat it if they feel hungry while playing outside.
  2. Using curriculum/style of teaching that enable Jack and I to take school with us.  While we can not do everything away from home, it is very easy to grab the stack of read-alouds or the crate of folders and do school at other location – library, mechanic’s shop, etc.
  3. Having a friend who is a mechanic AND works a few miles down the road from our house.  It is also conveniently located just down the road from my husband’s work.  We were able to get both cars’ oil changed without my husband having to leave work, stop by afterwards, or make 2 separate, 1-hour round trips to Big Town.  I took my car in and sat in a side room working on school stuff with Jack.  When the car was done, we switched out cars for my husbands and drove the few miles back to the shop.  As these are country miles, versus city miles, it really did only take a few minutes.  We then sat and finished up school work while my husband’s car had its oil change.  We finished before the mechanic so Jack went out and played around the shop yard.
  4. Friends who are willing to pass along hand-me-down clothes, and feel comfortable doing so without even needing to ask you if it is okay.
  5. Other sources for reasonably priced clothes and items for the kids.  Whether it be online deals, local thrift stores, or garage sales, having searched out and tried various things has lead to saving a fair amount of money on items for the kids.  For the price of a new costume for the kids, I was able to find two for Jack and 2, that became one complicated one, for George.  My goal was to add to our dress up clothes/costumes as they have outgrown many of the things we have currently.clearance finds clothes
  6. Having a professional who can help me make sense of some of the behaviors we are seeings, as well as our reactions to them.  This does not mean we make no mistakes, but it does mean we are learning to do better. “Never stop learning” does not only apply to literature and math.
  7. I was reminded of how the many CPR and First Aid classes I have taken over the years made a difference a few years back.  Between high school P.E., Girl Scouts, and various work training sessions I often felt like I could almost give the class.  Maybe that was the point.  When things are so ingrained, you do not need to think too long when the information is needed immediately.  A memory is what brought this to mind.  We were visiting my in-laws years ago and were packing our bags to fly home.  My mother-in-law began calling my husband’s name over and over from downstairs, as if she needed him to get something from a high place or to remind him of something. As I was almost done packing my stuff, I went to see what she needed.  “Something is wrong with {father-in-law}.”  One look told me he was having a stoke.  All the training paid off.  911 was called and our flight was delayed several days.  Thankfully it was a mild stroke and he was able to come home after a few days.    This memory was stoked by two recent auto accidents in our area.  One my husband saw, as he was right there but was not directly the cause of, while the other had to do with a vehicle leaving the roadway and ending upside down in a pond.  “What would you do in those cases?” is something I ask myself when I hear of this.  “Should they  have done anything different?”  Why do I ask myself these things?  So that if I do ever end up in that situation I will not have to think too much about it, I have already worked through a similar scenario.  I might change how I respond, but at least I would have already put some consideration into it.DSCN7783
  8. Having a reliable car.  It may be over 15 years old and have 250,000+ miles on it, but there really are no major issues with it.  My thinking heads towards pessimistic thoughts every time I hear a new sound or am told xyz needs replaced.  To be honest, though, it is a great car and will likely last at least several more years.  Besides, all cars need new brakes/tires/belts/fluids at some point, right?
  9. Large windows.  Yes, this can be a blessing.  It allows bright sunlight to fill our home (we do not have to use electric lights very often) and for us to enjoy the views of the outdoors.  We enjoy this at all times of the year, but especially so in the middle of dreary months, like March and February.
  10. This last one is a bit more obscure than the previous ones.  We are blessed to be able to provide for our family.  Whether it be financially or through homemaking/parenting skills, the ability to provide for the needs of others is a blessing.  If you do not think so, then I urge you to ask those who may be out of work or physically unable to do anything on their own.  This really is a blessing.

What are some blessings you have experienced this week?  If you are willing to share, I would love to hear them.

Aug 182015

We all love going to the movies during the summer. Whether you prefer the biggest blockbusters or the sweetest romantic comedy, Swagbucks can get you into the movies for free! Swagbucks is a rewards site that gives you points called “Swag Bucks” for things like searching, watching videos & browsing articles. You redeem those Swag Bucks for gift cards to places like Amazon, PayPal — and yes, even to the movies.

 Swagbucks has paid for Christmas gifts, birthday gifts, cloth training pants, groceries from Amazon and even contributed towards a date night at the movies.  I love saving money on items and activities that we were planning on purchasing anyway.

Here’s how Swagbucks can help you can turn watching videos online into your watching movies in the theater for free: Earning 1,500 SB gets you enough for a $15 movie gift card from AMC or Regal Cinema! Whether you’re on the go, at home, or stuck at a desk, here’s how you can get your $15 movie gift card in just 1 week using activities that I have also found very integral in reaching my goals:

 SBTV mobile on Android & iOS: Earn up to 36 SB per day watching everything from food videos & news to Hulu clips & music videos – 252 SB

 Moviecli.ps app on Android & iOS: Get 18 SB per day watching the latest movie trailers – 126 SB

 EntertaiNOW app on Android & iOS (US only) – You can also earn another 18 SB per day checking out news on movies and TV shows, behind-the-scenes interviews and celebrity gossip – 126 SB

 SBTV on Desktop: Watch a little bit of everything, including Hulu clips & music videos, but with a higher earning cap of 150 SB per day – 1,050 SB

 When you have a specific SB goal (like a $15 AMC or Regal Cinema gift card) and a plan of action, you’ll get gift cards faster and check out the newest action-comedy or Oscar-nominated drama without spending extra money. There are even more ways to earn SB online, so take a look around and see what works best for you. You don’t have to wait until the next blockbuster comes out to start saving up with Swagbucks!

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