Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Finished Basement

There has been a flurry of activity on my blog this week . . . you might have noticed.  I got behind.  Pretty much behind in everything.

Monday was spent catching up.  Numerous blog posts.  I still have more. 


This scrambling or rather thrashing to keep my head above water (behind the scenes) was due to a rather unfortunate event . . . one that I don’t have pictures of.

The clean-up . . . has kept us busy.

I just couldn’t bring myself to take a picture of the excrement.

Our basement drain decided to poop.  You might remember me mentioning this incident several weeks ago.


In addition to the brown backup . . . water was invading our basement and bringing unwanted visitors with it.  Rather, it aided unwanted bacteria to travel and set up shop in our walls . . . our carpeting.

Once again, I couldn’t bring myself to take a picture.


And I always take pictures.

We were given a quote that to fix our basement. 



You see . . . we pay cash.  (By cash, I mean that we spend ONLY what we have in the bank . . . making sure to leave plenty in the Emergency Fund.)


(By the way, the previous owner left the TV.  It is kind of . . . stuck.)

We agreed before we got married that we wouldn’t go into debt, besides mortgaging a house.  And for the past 12 years we have stuck to our guns. 

But when you have a serious sanitation issue, the possibility of roots in your pipes, and mold growing behind your walls . . . rational thought floats away . . . because at those moments you want to do anything you can to protect your children’s lungs. 


I diffused oils. 

The Engineer and I had long discussions.

Praise God that my man is soooooooo calm and level-headed. 

And handy. 


Let me introduce you to our new and improved basement.  Paid with money that we had in the bank . . . we didn’t borrow. 

Our friend, Tim from Amazing Drywall, did the (obviously) walls.  The Engineer fixed the gutter . . . rented an excavator . . . added dirt . . . and installed drainage tiles that lead away from the house. 

I painted, encouraged, and installed some of the carpeting.  And the kids helped. 

It was powerful.  Bonding. 


Now I am ready to tackle our bathroom.  It has a leak in the shower drain . . . that has proceeded to drip into the school room.  I have called 4 different contractors.  None of them have called me back . . . even when I have hounded them with emails politely emailed them. 

Looks like we may learn how to install bath tubs and sauder pipes.

I find this a little exciting.  But I haven’t convinced the Engineer that this too could be a bonding project. 

(There you go Melanie!)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Making Reading Fun

If you will recall, I met the creator of a certain homeschool curriculum.  (I would show you a picture, but it is frozen and lost forever on our old computer.)

Her curriculum has helped to capture cute pictures on my camera.


The cute pictures are due to a happy boy . . . who is learning to love to read.


So when this little boy is all done with his All About Reading Pre-1 . . .

He is going to move into All About Reading Level 1 – which is being debuted today. 

In honor of that Marie Rippel, aforementioned creator of All About Spelling, is offering a 10% discount until December 6 on her newly released All About Reading Level 1.

Wanna see it?


The Level 1 Kit contains:

1. Teacher's Manual  (sample)
2. Student Packet (includes Activity Book)  (
3. Run, Bug, Run! reader  (
4. The Runt Pig reader  (
5. Cobweb the Cat reader  (

Being a former kindergarten teacher, I appreciate the 5 components of All About Reading:

  • Phonological Awareness
  • Phonics and Decoding
  • Fluency
  • Vocabulary
  • Comprehension

My experience with any of the All About Reading or All About Spelling curriculums is that my kids gain mastery.  But this “mastery” of our language doesn’t come by force or the pulling of teeth. 

When Asher and Ezra do their “All Abouts” there are giggles, delightful sounds, and a begging of more . . . mommy more!


If you jump on the bandwagon (and order on or before December 6) then . . . you will also receive A Taste of Outer Space.

A Taste of Outer Space

It is literally a taste of outer space . . . but a fabulous way to blast off into reading.

Curious?  Go check out All About Reading Level 1! 

Oh, and I forgot to mention . . . there is a money back guarantee with this curriculum . . . you have up to a year to decide. 

Now that . . . says a lot.

Monday, November 28, 2011

40 Percent off Meal Plans

I’m always talking about my menu plans . . . well, today is the day to catch them at a great, reduced price. 

40% OFF

I started out using The Nourished Kitchen weekly menu plans soon after Naomi was born.  I didn’t have the time to scour my Nourishing Traditions cookbook.  I just wanted to be told what ingredients to purchase, when to cook it, what needed to be done ahead, and learn something new along the way . . . a new soup, ferment, or dessert.

Jenny’s meal plans fit the bill.  The majority of my recipes come from her menus.  (She said I could repost them.)

So . . . three dinners a week.  (Very little grain . . . but FABULOUS taste!) The perfect amount of food for us.  The perfect amount of time.


To get Simple Meal Plans click here.  Be sure to enter the code BLACK40 . . . to receive 40% off the already reasonably priced Simple Menu Plans.


But then I discovered that perhaps our family needed to do some serious healing . . . we were showing some signs of a stressed out immune system. 

To reboot our bodies, heal and seal our gut linings, we began to use Cara’s GAPS diet Monthly Menu plans

My body thrives on this menu plan . . . as does Ezra’s system.

Grain Free Meal Plans- Click Here to Learn More!

Be sure to enter BLACK40 at checkout!  Today only!

By the way, there are affiliate links in this post.  But I do use these menu plans on a regular basis. 

Free Tea (if you read this blog post)

As I type out these words, I am heating some hot water.  Heating it to 195 degrees and then I will steep the tea for 2 minutes.

A spot of tea in the afternoon.  A lovely respite.  I have my time in India to thank for this habit. 


Today my tea will be perfect . . . in my new mug. 


A Vortex mug . . . that is unique to the Humboldt Tea Company


The Engineer won it for me at a tea tasting party.  Just like wine is best when sipped from a glass designed for its taste and smell . . . tea also adores the appropriate cup. 

The Vortex Tasting Cup is an exclusive design to Humboldt County Tea. This cup produces a richer, deeper taste from the 'Vortex' action created by its inverted design, concentrating the aroma and taste at the nose and mouth.

Tasting the same tea from the same teapot sipped from an ordinary teacup and the Vortex Tasting Cup will demonstrate quickly the difference proper design creates for the tea drinker. It literally tastes like different tea, just from the vortex action of our cup.

These cups are hand-crafted exclusively for The Humboldt County Tea Company, and are limited in quantity. Priced $8 each, 2/$14 or4/$24.


But I’m not writing this to tell you about my tea.  I’m writing to tell you about your tea. 

It has free shipping right now.  Until Midnight at the Humboldt Tea Company(Shipping is $2.99 normally BUT free on orders over $25.)

And Dan, the owner, he left a little message on my blog . . . if you tell him that “Jodi sent you,” he will send you a tea sample.  Be sure to mention what your taste buds are curious about!

I have tasted these Humboldt Tea Company teas . . . and liked them.

  • Naptown Snoozer ~ it will seriously relax you and put you to sleep for the night if you allow it to steep long enough.
  • Iron Goddess of Mercy ~ a fabulous tea if you would like to loose weight without changing your eating habits too much.
  • White Peony (Bai Mu Dan) white tea ~ has less caffeine than green tea.  Additionally, this tea is laid flat to dry . . . so that it does not begin the fermentation process of its own accord.
  • Moonswirl White Tip


Let me know what you get!  I’m going to go enjoy my tea now!


The Birth of Jesus Giveaway

I’m giving away Jesus . . . a Jesus Bible study that is! 

We are going on our third year with Grapevine Studies . . . and the more we use the Grapevine Bible curriculum . . . the more I like it.

However, I hate to call it curriculum. 

It’s a Bible study.  It’s an interactive opportunity.  A precious time in the Word with my kiddos.

During the month of December, the boys and I will be drawing stick figures depicting the Birth of Jesus.  I haven’t decided if we will do the Beginner lessons (which contains 7 lessons), 

Beginner Birth of Jesus Student

or the Multi-Level study (consisting of 5 lessons).

Mutli-Level Birth of Jesus Bloggers

Asher (7) and Ezra (5) would do well with the multi-level study . . . but Gabe (3) soooooooooo enjoys doodling with us, that I imagine we will use the beginner Birth of Jesus lesson plan.  There is less drawing . . . and the student pages won’t be as overwhelming to my little guy.

Which one would you choose?

WIN a set of teacher and student Birth of Jesus print books or ebooks.  Your choice!!!!

Mandatory entry:  Click on the sample page links I have provided for you.  What age level would you like to use in  your home?

Optional Entries:

  1. Like Grapevine on Facebook.
  2. Follow Grapevine on Twitter.
  3. Visit the Grapevine Studies website and tell me another study you would like to do.
  4. Tweet about the giveaway.

Contest ends December 5rd! 

Want to start sooner?  Use the discount code  Advent11 and your will receive 20% off on any item not already on sale from now until December 31!  (By the way, all the curriculum from Grapevine Studies is ALREADY reasonably priced . . . so the additional 20% off is . . . fabulous!)

And . . . stay tuned for an interview from Dianna of Grapevine Studies and the release of their 10 foot Bible Timelines!!!!

Nitty Gritty

I was not paid for this post.  All opinions are mine.  When I post about it again . . . like when I share about using it in our school room . . . I’ll be posting because we are actually using it.  Giveaway winners will be chosen by  Giveaway winners of the ebook can live anywhere in the world.  Giveaway winners who choose the print book will need to live in the United States or Canada.

A Meaningful Gift

I had written a post.  A post filled with gift ideas.  But I knew if I hit the send button . . . I wouldn’t be able fall asleep tonight. 

I want to tell you about a meaningful gift

An eternal gift.  Full of good tidings.

And I won’t earn money off of it by telling you about it. 

OneVerse Blogger

Consider giving a Bible verse this year. 

Or 12 of them.  Start a monthly habit.

My goal? 

Should the Lord tarry, I want to decorate next year’s Christmas tree with the verses that were translated in the  Vidunda language.  Verses that the Granola Mom 4 God blog paid for . . . and your verses . . . my readers verses. 


Join me.  Let us begin a monthly link up . . . starting in January. 

Each month Granola Mom 4 God will be donating $26 towards the Vidunda people group.  Every time you click on one of my affiliate links . . . and I make money off of it . . . know that I am going to tithe that earning.

If 250 people decide to support the translation of the Vidunda people group for 3-4 years . . . the entire New Testament Bible will get translated.

Consider what the Duggars are doing . . . (they made a sweet video).

Gift-A-Verse . . . it’s something immediately tangible and beneficial.  Here is how it works . . . you donate $26 and choose what people group you would like to sponsor.

You can donate the verse in honor of someone.  Or not.  It makes no matter. 

In return you will receive a Christmas card (click here to see what your choices are).

Within that Christmas card will be a message AND the code that you (or the recipient of your card) will need to unlock the VERY verse your donation translated.

Very cool.

OneVerse Blogger

Be sure to place your order before December 12th, especially if you want to mail the Christmas Card and verse to a designated person. See the FAQ page if you have more questions!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Tidings Eternal

He asked me what tidings meant as he hung the angel he had decorated last year on our freshly cut tree.


And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.  (Luke 2:10)

These days, Ezra asks a lot of good questions.  Observant questions. 


Tidings.  Tiding is usually found in the plural.  It is defined as a “piece of news.”


I thought that our deviation from an artificial tree to an evergreen that would assault our senses with its fragrant essential oils would be a blessing this year.

Much to my surprise and dismay, our green boughs brought discord . . . and tears.

“Mommy, I don’t want it to die!!”

But Asher, it will die eventually.  We are all dying every day. 

“I don’t want to get rid of our old tree.  Don’t throw away the box.”

I’m not going to throw the box away.  Daddy and I thought it would be a fun treat for you kids to experience a real Christmas tree.  One that God made and grew. 

A tree that truly reminds us of Jesus.

A cross . . . made of wood . . . wood that pressed against our Savior’s skin so that later we would celebrate His birth and rejoice in His rebirth.

That is why . . . before our tree has a hint of tinsel . . . we remember.

We remember what the tree stood for . . . and who was on that tree . . . Jesus. 

The nail . . . it reminds us.  It is hung as close to the tree trunk as possible.


Like Jesus, Asher, the tree had to die.  There is no way to avoid it.  Sure, the world could stop selling fresh Christmas trees. 

The tree would still die.

But this tree . . . this tree that we have here in our family room was probably planted the year you were born. 

It was planted by a person who intended for the tree to bring joy.  To one day travel to our house, to shelter your three gifts until the appointed day. 

Christmas morning. 

The tree is part of a larger story.  A plan.  It was purposefully planted in a spot where it could grow, spread out its limbs, only to be cut down.  Once it was cut it lay flat for many days until we brought it home.

And it became part of our story.  It found its purpose.  The reason for its life. 

Likewise, God designated each of us to live at a certain time . . . to be born, to live, to serve, to know Him . . . to be a part of God’s story . . . His plan – so that all may know . . that He is the Christ. 

He is the author of our story . . . we are a chapter in God’s giant book . . . the best one ever written. 

Like Jesus, our tree lived to die.  And in that . . . brought us joy tonight as we prepared a place for it in our home. 


It brings good tidings.

A reminder . . . of Jesus.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

From our family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving.


I adore this photo. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Christmas Ornament Exchange Alert

It’s happening again.  An ornament exchange.  From your family to another family. 


Remember last year’s ornament exchange?

christmas crafts 043

Welcome to this year’s ornament exchange.

Please read my sister’s blog post over at Hi Mamma Designs regarding this sweet, inexpensive tradition she has started.

She needs to know if you are interested by December 2, 2011! 

Christmas Ornament Exchange Alert

It’s happening again.  An ornament exchange.  From your family to another family. 


Remember last year’s ornament exchange?

christmas crafts 043

Welcome to this year’s ornament exchange.

Please read my sister’s blog post over at Hi Mamma Designs regarding this sweet, inexpensive tradition she has started.

She needs to know if you are interested by December 2, 2011! 

Steeped in Tea

I discovered why I truly love tea.

It ferments. On its own. 

Do I need to say more?

If you know me . . . you know that I love tea (and fermenting). 

You might think that I like coffee more.  But then you would be wrong.


I heart tea. 

If it is steeped correctly.  Which I am horrible at.

Tea . . . has class to it.  Tradition.  Endless flavors.  Stories.  People. 


I am sure that coffee does too.  In fact, the art of making a great latte . . . could stand alone as a thick book.

But tea . . . it just has that special “je ne sais quoi.”


Maybe I’m drawn to it because I visited a real tea plantation when we lived in India.  And that momentary life we lived in India. . . was powerful. 

That is where my love of tea . . . of chai began.

Anyway . . .

We received an invitation.  A webite launch.  It MUST be celebrated!  We made a date.  We learned a lot.

Humboldt Tea Company

Seriously, this is good tea. 


(Hint . . . hint . . . this tea . . . Humboldt County Tea . . .  would make for a great Christmas present . . . stocking stuffer.   Let me know if you need some suggestions.  Because I have some opinions.)

Just sayin’.

Meet Dan. 


He is the man behind Humboldt Tea Company.  (By the way, Humboldt County is in California . . . not Indiana.  There isn’t a Humboldt County in Indiana.  But there is a tea company.) 

I’m so glad we didn’t have to travel to California for our tea date.

Nor do you.  You don’t even have to come to Indiana.

Dan will ship it to you.  I’m sad you may not meet him . . . because he knows a lot about tea . . . and he shares his knowledge without luring you to sleep, unlike Naptown Snoozer, a blend unique to Humboldt Tea Company.

When you receive your tea, here are some brewing guidelines – these temperatures will make it or break it . . . seriously.

  • White Tea -- 160F
  • Green Tea -- 175F
  • Oolong Tea -- 195F
  • Black Tea -- 208F
  • Herbal Tea -- 212F

And then there is the steeping time.  That largely depends upon the tea. 

I’ve only touched the handle of your tea cup.  There is more tea learning to be had! 

But I must go to bed.

Please support my new tea company.  When you go to Dan’s website, shoot him an email about his Vortex Tea Mugs (I won one!) . . . he designed them.  Tell him to put them in stock! 

P.S.  I am blogging about this . . . because I like tea.  I don’t have ANY affiliate links.  I just had a fun date with The Engineer.  I wanted to share!

Saturday, November 19, 2011


It’s not a donkey.  (Toy Story yjolk if you didn’t catch that!)

It’s breakfast.


It never looked particularly appealing to me.  And then I tried it.  It is one of the Engineer’s egg specialties.  (You should taste the omelet's he makes!)


The boys . . . well Asher likes it for one reason.

It sounds like a gun had to be involved.  A rifle.


This is a quick breakfast . . . with protein and good fat.  But you need to eat grain.  So . . . I don’t often have this cowboy breakfast.

Simple ingredients. 

  • egg
  • slice of bread
  • butter or coconut oil
  • salt and pepper

Simple directions. 

  • Heat butter or oil in skillet on high.
  • Cut a hole in your bread.
  • Once oil is sizzling, place bread in the skillet.  Add cracked egg, being careful to leave the yolk in tact.  Fry little bullet wound, too.
  • Lower heat to medium.
  • Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste.
  • Flip after approximately one minute.
  • If you like a runny yolk . . .


--then watch your egg closely that it doesn’t get over-cooked. 

  • Transfer to a plate and top with the bread hole!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Five Minute Friday: Grow


I’ve had all day.  It is the final hour.  11:46 PM.


Grow.  All I could think of was mold.  Or babies.  The time on the computer. 

But then . . . we got excited.  The Engineer and I.  We went downstairs.  To that place.  That place where I thought monsters lurked.  Organisms that would attack my lungs.  Blackness. 

I exaggerate.  My mind embellishes.


Our hand was forced.  The pipes . . . they pooped. 

The outside . . . forced itself in. 

And we . . . we sought advice.  We cleaned.  We waited. 


A plan formed.  A revised plan that fit nicely in our wallet and actually bought comfort and excitement.


A fresh place.  A knowing place.  Walls that are clean.  Floors that are scrubbed.

A soft place to land.


And a carpet that is growing.  I can’t wait for the boys to wake up in the morning.



Ah . . . I can breathe.  Hooking up with my sweet Lisa-Jo . . . so thankful I was given the chance to write tonight.