Stop Opening Every Jar of Peanut Butter We Own!

You may be a large family if every time you turn around someone has opened a new container of peanut butter…

or mayonnaise…

or [insert name of food that already has a full container sitting open in the refrigerator or pantry].

It’s maddening!

So, I got proactive and did this:

How to stop the kids (and dad) from opening brand new food containers when there is one already open |

X marks the spot!

This is the ONLY peanut butter jar that is allowed to be opened.  And if you can’t find the one with the X, you find mom and together the two of you will look for it before determining it is a good idea to open a new one (which will be promptly marked with an X by the way!).

This works for anything that tends to get opened without thinking.  Maple syrup, boxes of cereal, and yes, mayonnaise!

Sharpie marker saves the day!

Want to win $100 toward homeschool resources
so you can buy more peanut butter?

Click below!
Enter to Win $100 Towards the Build Your Bundle - Homeschool Edition Sale - Up to 92% Off!

Family Finds {Cookbooks, Free ebook, Translation Fundraiser} – May 17, 2014

Family Finds {Cookbooks, Free ebook, Translation Fundraiser} - May 17, 2014Busy weekend, anyone?  Seems like May is just crazy busy for most everyone!  I hope you are having a wonderful May so far!

The first Family Find of the day is a set of eCookbooks that I have really enjoyed!

The Sweeter Side of Candida Healing Candida With Food


When you order The Sweeter Side of Candida or Healing Candida with Food, you receive a FREE 1 Week Menu Plan to help you get started.  Whole Intentions also offers a 6 week menu planner for sale.  And while I know you may not be dealing with candida, the recipes and information in these ebooks are quite valuable and very compatible with eating a no-sugar, low-carb diet.  In fact, Gwen’s Nest has a FREE THM Type Guide for all the recipes on The Sweeter Side of Candida!  (you’ll have to scroll down a bit in the linked post, but it is worth it!)

FREE through tomorrow!

Homeschool Summer FREE ebook


Lee Binz is the author of Total Transcript Solutions (get some great FREEBIES from them when you purchase my ebook Large Family Homeschooling!)  She’s been sharing many of her short ebooks for free on Amazon.  Great resources and quick reads!

I mentioned Apologia last week in my Family Finds, and today I want to mention them again because they are offering a unique opportunity for you to get involved in!

Apologia Translation Fund Raiser

Last year a homeschool mom from Pennsylvania contacted Apologia about helping homeschool families in a Certain Large East Asian Nation (We’ll call it “CLEAN” for short). It seems that families in CLEAN have discovered the blessings and benefits of home education and, even though not “supported” by the authorities, they do it anyway, making the most of the resources available to them.

Apologia is kicking off a month long fundraiser to raise the funds to translate their materials in the native language, but each translation is approximately $8000!  They really could use your help!  And if you donate $5 or more (every little bit helps!), you are eligible to WIN A PRIZE!  See more info HERE!





Family Finds – May 10, 2014

Family Finds (May 10, 2014) - DrinkBands, BerkeysDrinkBands have been a staple in our household for several years now.  They are a great way to keep all those cups under control!  TODAY ONLY, you can get 20% Off DrinkBands in their Band Blitz Mega Sale!  Like their Facebook page and read the latest post on their blog for the discount code.DrinkBand Blitz 20% off!

For many years, we’ve been wanting a Berkey.  We aren’t exactly preppers, but we do believe in being prepared – especially if we can help others in a time of crisis.  Berkeys are tall, stainless steel water filtration systems that will take pond water and make it drinkable!  This is the ideal product for people who live in areas where the water is not of good quality or in case of a natural disaster.  The best part is, it doesn’t strip the water of the good stuff!

We chose to order through UES because they had a better in-stock selection, but you can also find Berkey at Bulk Herb Store.

We ordered the Big Berkey with 2 black filters.  You can buy an additional 2 for faster filtration.  We have a family of 9 and filling up the Berkey at every meal is a must.  If you want to be less “tied-down,” buy a bigger one, but consider your counter space.  They are big, but well worth the investment.

UES Water

Homeschool Foundation

If your family is looking for ways to help others in the homeschooling community, or perhaps need help yourselves, take a look at the Home School Foundation (the charity associated with HSLDA).  They help homeschoolers in all sorts of difficult circumstances – from the recent tornadoes to single parent homeschoolers, families with special needs, and military families.

Speaking of military families, did you know that Apologia (one of our favorite homeschool curriculum companies!) gives a 40% discount to military and missionary families?!

As you think ahead to the new school year, I wanted to remind you of some of the goodies contained within the pages of my newest ebook LARGE FAMILY HOMESCHOOLING!

Large Family Homeschooling eBook | by Amy Roberts of

You can receive 3 months FREE of Scholaric – the online homeschool planner we use.

FREE GIFTS from Total Transcript Solutions & NotebookingPages.

Discounts on NotebookingPages, The Homemaker’s Guide to Creating the Perfect Schedule, Paperless Home Organization, Simplified Dinners, Finding Joy in Depression, Circle Time, DrinkBands, & 28 Days to Hope for Your Home!

All this + 170 Pages of practical homeschooling help for

Only $7.99

Add to Cart


Learn more about Large Family Homeschooling here!

Have a blessed weekend!  I’m heading to my mom’s for tea. :)

Family Finds – May 3, 2014

Family Finds {Little Girl Stuff & Giveaway of Large Family Homeschooling} |{affiliate links included}

Have you heard about Little Deborah?

Deborah & Co. has come out with a new line of girls toys, books, and so much more!  Right now, they are having a Mother’s Day sale ending TODAY, Saturday, May 3rd! 

Save 10% on all items at Deborah & Co. AND Little Deborah!  

Use code:


Find it on Kindle HERE!

Want to win a copy of Large Family Homeschooling?

Giveaways on Apron Strings!Linda at Apron Strings and Other Things is having a Blog Anniversary Giveaway!  You can win my book and many other great giveaways!  CLICK HERE TO ENTER!  Ends May 4th.

Have a blessed weekend!

Frugal Ideas {Welcome Home Wednesday}

Frugal Ideas {Welcome Home Wednesday Homemaking Link Up on Raising Arrows}

Last week on the Welcome Home Wednesday Link Up, I ran across some really great frugal ideas that I wanted to share with all of you.

First up is a series from SewMona on extending the life of your kids’ clothing.  She shared how to transform long sleeves into short sleeves and how to revamp kids pajamas.  I actually just threw away a pair jammies with holes in the knees.  OOPS!  Should have listened to SewMona!

frugal pantry

From Aspired Living comes a REAL frugal pantry solution.  I love this!  She gives suggestions for using the things you already have rather than buying all sorts of cutesy containers and such.  We’ve been doing this a lot in our new home.  I don’t have a lot of drawers in my kitchen, so I have created “drawers” by putting things in open boxes that I can slide in and out of cabinets.  Works great and is oh so frugal!

Laura from At Home in the Wilburness shared how she keeps baby socks on her little girl’s feet. Really cute idea – and really cute baby!

The most clicked post from last week was from Sweet Country Roots on birth control.

Now, it’s your turn!  Link up as many as 3 posts from your blog and enjoy the other links left here!  {If reading via email, please click over to see the links and leave yours!}

Welcome Home Wednesdays
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Christian Healthcare Ministries as an Alternative to Traditional Insurance

Christian Healthcare Ministries

Referral # 112373

A few years ago I wrote briefly about Christian Healthcare Ministries and how much we appreciated all they had done for us during Emily’s illness and subsequent death.

Today, I want to tell you a little more about how this Christian Cost-Share ministry works.  Please note, this information is specific to Christian Healthcare Ministries.  I have no experience with any other cost-share program.  We have been with CHM since 2006.  They have seen us through major medical bills and the death of our daughter, 4 live births (including a c-section) and 2 miscarriages, as well as ER visits, blood tests, and a heart echo.  While I do not claim to be an expert, I do feel like I can speak to how we personally handle using this kind of program.  Any specific questions you have will need to be asked of the helpful people at Christian Healthcare Ministries


 Referral # 112373

No matter how many people are in your family, you never pay for more than 3 UNITS of coverage.  Each unit has a specific level – bronze, silver, gold.  You can mix and match these.  I am on gold because I am still of child-bearing age and we birth in a hospital.  Everyone else is on silver.  We pay $320 a month for coverage for all 9 of us.  (There is catastrophic coverage available through a program called Brother’s Keeper.)

Every month we pay in to an account that is then divided up amongst the needs of others in the program.  We have the opportunity to pray for others and give more than our allotted amount.

When we have medical bills of our own, here is how we handle them:

1.  We tell the hospital/doctor that we are self-pay.   Christian Healthcare Ministries is NOT insurance.  We are the ones responsible for our bills.  You do not want to tell hospitals/doctors that this is insurance because it cannot be filed as such.

2.  You try to work to reduce your bills.  We ask for discounts for being self-pay (many offices have significant discounts available).  If we can get a significant discount for paying some up front, we will do that.  CHM will also work with you to get your payment quickly if you need to make a lump sum payment to get a large discount.  Any discount you get goes toward your “personal responsibility”.  More often than not, you reach this amount without ever paying a cent.

One thing to remember here is that medical markup is HUGE.  Sometimes hospitals mark up services/supplies as much as 700%!  You are NOT asking for anything that the insurance companies are not already receiving.  You CAN negotiate as an individual!

3.  Set up payments if need be.  Some offices will put your bill on hold knowing you will be paying within a few months, but others will need to have a payment plan in place.  We always ask to pay the least amount possible just to keep everyone happy until the shared amount comes from CHM, and then we pay the entire bill off.

4.  Keep a file for each incident with careful records.  I have an envelope for each medical incident we incur.  I label them and then put every bill, notification, etc in that envelope.  I’ll explain more about how we notate these bills here in a moment…

5.  Submit bills to CHM for sharing.  For every incident, you will need to fill out some general information for CHM to start processing bills.  Those papers can be found here.  As soon as you have an itemized billing from the incident, you should make a copy and submit it for sharing.  You DO NOT have to wait until you have every bill from the incident in hand before submitting the incident.  As you receive bills, simply send them in as Add-Ons.

6.  Make notes and file.  Every bill that comes, I make notes on.  I write Submit to CHM if I am needing to copy and send.  Once a bill is sent, I put a checkmark beside that notation and mark the date sent.  I write any payment plans on the bill, I make note of the names of people I’ve spoken with about the bill and the date I spoke with them.  I also note any discounts received.

7.  When payment is received, pay off bills as needed.  Checks from CHM are made out to you.  If you have already paid the bill in full, then you simply pay yourself back.  If you have an outstanding bill, you deposit the check and pay off the bill from your own account.  Keep track as you go with your file of bills.

When we first joined Christian Healthcare Ministries 7 years ago, payment took about 7 months.  There are so many people with CHM now that payment is most often received within 3 months!

We tell everyone about CHM because it has been such a great way to handle medical costs without paying into a system that encourages sickness and immoral decisions.  This type of program may not be for everyone, but if you think it might be for you, I’d encourage you to get a Free Information Packet.  And if you choose to go with Christian Healthcare Ministries, I’d be grateful if you would use our referral number


If someone we refer joins CHM, after 3 months, we receive a free month!

And in case you were curious, CHM does qualify as an eligible option under the Affordable Care Act.  I really do hope you will take a serious look at cost-shares as a way to handle your healthcare if you find yourself wanting or needing something besides traditional insurance.