Friday, July 31, 2015

9 Simple Tips for Saving Money with PaperBack Swap

Trade Books Online - PaperBack Swap.

PaperBack Swap is a great way to get books for next to nothing! It's easy and fun.

I’ve been swapping books since August of 2006. I’ve participated in 660 transactions now. That means I’ve either sent or received a total of 660 books! No wonder I can't catch up with my reading!

9 Simple Tips for Saving Money with PaperBack Swap.

1. Getting started is easy. Sign up and choose a free or premium membership. They've got an easy to follow instructions. I have the free membership, so I pay Paperback Swap forty-nine cents and one credit for each book. You earn credits by sending out books. There are other options explained on the site.

2. List every book that you are willing to send out first. After you list 10, you get 2 free books and 2 free swap fees!

If a book doesn’t have an ISBN number, you can follow the instructions at the bottom of the posting page. Don’t forget textbooks. They go great this time of year. You also can post older vintage books. Just check the posting requirements and read what a “good” condition book is.

3. Next, put every book that you know that you want on your wish list as soon as you think of it, read about it, or hear about it. You can wish for up to100 books or audio books with a free membership.  They're offered to you as they become available in a first wished first served order.

4. Put other books you’re not sure you want but want to remember on your reminder list.

5. Now, start listing all of your other books that you own on your TBR pile list. That’s your To Be Read list. If someone is wishing for one of those books, there will be a big W on the right side. This may help you decide the order that you read your books in. If someone’s wishing, and you decide to post the book, the wisher will be contacted immediately. That can be a quick way to pick up some more credits.

6. To help you build your wish and reminder lists, you can look at the wish lists of your buddies and people who request books from you or send books to you.

7. Look at what they have to offer, too. You may find something you like.

8. If you want to receive something from a certain person, request it while you’re on their books listed page.

9. If you want to send a book to a certain person, post it from their wish list page. It will be offered to them first.

I do not participate in the forums. I don’t know what they’re like. 

If I can help you in any way, please let me know. Also, let me know what your user name is so that I can take a look at what you have and what you’re wishing for. Who knows, I may have something that I can post for you.

My user name is lauraofharvestlane.  If you sign up, please list me as referring you.  I'll get a free book. I get no other benefit. I am just writing this because I enjoy the benefits of using PaperBack Swap.

Please just click on the PBS banner above or go see my list of books available here. Don’t forget to tell me your user name so I can look you up on PBS!

May God bless you,
Trade Books Online - PaperBack Swap.

May I suggest?

Thursday, July 30, 2015

A Great Storyteller Teaches American History—Dave Raymond's American History

Dave Raymond's American History Review
*Disclosure:  Compass Classroom affiliate.  See why below.

I really like listening to Dave Raymond teach American history.  He's a gifted storyteller. He explains things from a Christian perspective showing in detail how Christianity influenced American history. He's got incredible insight.  He's unapologetic about sharing that insight into how God worked things together for the good.  He's the kind of guy you'd like to invite to dinner. ~smile~  I just cannot say enough good things about this product.  Best of all, my kids enjoy these lectures.

Each lesson has five days of short lectures, reading assignments, and weekly quizzes.  During the second semester, students will write a research paper. Extensive instructions about choosing a topic, format, how to write it, and how to grade it are included.  Mr. Raymond takes the scary out of it.

My kids used American History I at ages 16 and 14.  They were able to do the work primarily independently.  After the fact, because I had a crazy semester and forgot about it, I realized that I missed one of the neatest activities.  The students were supposed to make an illustrated journal of different parts of American history to go along with the lessons.  It's sort of like a scrapbook of their year.  It encourages them to dig a little deeper into the things that interest them along the way.  Oops! 

There are 26 weeks of lessons.  Each week there are five 10-minute lectures, daily tasks, readings, and weekly exams.  The students also keep a year-long journal.  A Student Reader is included on each DVD.  You get everything you need for one year of high school History credit. 

*Click here to watch the trailer, download free sample lessons, and see a list of lessons.
Dave Raymond's American History

  • Formats: DVD, Download, Streaming
  • Lessons: 26
  • Addl Mtls: Student Reader, Teacher's Guide, Weekly Exams (PDF)
  • Credit: 1 HS
  • Age: 13+
  • Teacher: Dave Raymond
  • $89 

  • I really like the guarantee offered by Compass Cinema:
"We Like Kicking Tires.  We bet you do, too. It's such an annoyance to buy something when you're not sure it's a good fit.  To help you out, we've put complete sample lessons and downloads of full lessons for every product on our new site.  Furthermore, if you ever buy anything from us that you don't like or don't use, just send it back for a full refund.  Finally, we try to keep all our products on sale for you since we understand you may have limited resources. (Our wives homeschool, too.)"
Read my review of Volume One.  The two volumes have now been combined into one.

Compass Classroom makes video curriculum that's fun for kids, smart for moms, and easy for everyone.
*Disclosure: This is a rewrite of a previous review. At that time, Compass Classroom sent me a free DVD of their American History Volume Two lessons in exchange for an honest review.  I am affiliate with Compass Classroom.  If you should choose to purchase an item after clicking the photo link above, I will get a commission.  Your price will not change.  I am affiliate because they produce excellent products that I really like.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

My Daybook... July 26, 2015

Read other daybooks.
 My Daybook
July 26, 2015

Teddy Roosevelt spoke these words of encouragement.

Outside my window... It's hot and sunny. The shadows are beginning to lengthen.

I am thinking... about cutting out my new dress. I finally figured out how to fit all the pieces onto the fabric and began cutting yesterday. I ran out of time and had to pack it all away. Maybe I can do a bit this evening before bed.

I am thankful that... I am a blessed woman. I have a husband who washed my feet in front of our congregation this morning at church. He and the men of his discipleship group all did it for their wives. I cried through it. To think he loves me that much....

From the kitchen... I had cottage cheese with sliced frozen strawberries and almonds. THM friendly.

I am wearing... my green floral dress.

I am creating... a new dress. Women's Panel Dress from Common Sense Patterns. I've also begun working on preparing photos for Christmas posts.

I am going... to run all over creation tomorrow. I'll take my husband to work, go to the bank, take my daughter to her art class, my elder son to a chiropractor (please pray, he's hurt his back badly), take him to work to pick up his paycheck, take him home, grab some lunch, pick up my daughter again, go to a nearby town to pick up my younger son, then go back and pick up my husband. Supper, then I'll stay home tomorrow night while the family goes to classes. I was taking the line dancing class with them, but had trouble with my foot, so I dropped out.

I am reading... several books including Until My Name is Known.

I am hoping... to wrap up the 2014-1015 school year this week. I need to start planning for next year. It will have to start in just 2-3 weeks.

I am hearing... the air conditioner and fans.

Around the house... puppy just asked me to give her attention.

One of my favorite things...  lunch with a friend. This week I'll share lunch with Lanita.

A Few Plans for the Rest of the Week... work, school records and plans, cut out my dress, maybe paint the hallway ceiling, catch up laundry, and driving.  ~grin~ Same as last week. I didn't get it done last week. I wonder if I will this week?

From the Board Room...
Follow Laura's board Homeschooling on Pinterest.

My Picture Thought.... 

Now go check out the other Day Book entries at our hostess Peggy's blog, The Simple Woman.

God bless!


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Good Morning!

Good morning! It's not July 7th, but I thought this was a cute photo one of my kids made. I'm moving slowly this morning.

I was up late listing some items in my Ebay shop. There are some vintage items and some books.
I also updated my listings at Homeschool Classifieds.
I was too tired to check on my Etsy shop.

Why stay up so late?
I'm trying to earn some money for school books and for Emily's college dual enrollment tuition. It seems I'm always busy with my kids, my husband, the restaurant, or the house and can't get much else done during the day.

This is a delicious Sweet Coconut Chai Tea from Celestial Seasonings. It's spicy sweet with a spot of cream and  a sprinkle of stevia.

Hope you have a really good day today!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

My Daybook July 21, 2015

Read other daybooks.
 My Daybook
July 21, 2015
I enjoy this view from my computer desk.
Outside my window... Dark blue gray clouds. It's supposed to be rainy and stormy this afternoon. We shall see.

I am thinking... about cutting out my new dress. I started last night, but found that the amount of fabric called for was inadequate. It's going to be quite a puzzle making all the pieces fit. I don't know if I can get more fabric, so I'm going to keep puzzling it out.

I am thankful that... I am a blessed woman. I have food in my kitchen, clothes in the closets and laundry pile (not feeling so blessed about the laundry ~grin~), a van that works hard and carts our family wherever they need to go, a home that keeps us safe, and three air conditioners.

From the kitchen... After being on the go all last week, I've got to inventory and see what I can make this week. School expenses are coming up, so I'd like to keep grocery expenses down if I can.

I am wearing... comfy clothes.

I am creating... a new dress. Women's Panel Dress from Common Sense Patterns

I am going... to take my son to the dentist.

I am reading... several books including Trim Healthy Mama.

I am hoping... to be more organized this year. I'm going to try to use my Well Planned Day Planner better! Click the link and check out the giveaway ending 7/26.

I am hearing... water running in the bathroom, the hum of the fridge. I've been listening to the Dolly Parton station on Pandora this morning, but I haven't heard her sing yet. It's got lots of country oldies. I made an Olivia Newton-John station last week and found myself lost in the '70's and '80's memories of my childhood. Aw, piano practice just started!

Around the house... everyone getting ready for what they need to do today.

One of my favorite things...  my Kindle Touch. I don't think they sell them anymore. I believe they were replaced with the Paperwhite.

A Few Plans for the Rest of the Week... work, school records and plans, cut out my dress, maybe paint the hallway ceiling, catch up laundry, and driving.  ~grin~ 

My Picture Thought.... 
Waiting for Christmas
Now go check out the other Day Book entries at our hostess Peggy's blog, The Simple Woman.

God bless!


Saturday, July 18, 2015

Just the Two of You

Find some time this weekend for just you and God. 
Be refreshed by the Holy Spirit!


"And you will seek Me and find Me, 
when you search for me with all your heart."
Jeremiah 29:13

Monday, July 13, 2015

A Thrifty Week at Harvest Lane Cottage #42 Catch Up Edition

Summer is in full swing now. We're still finishing up school. I'm beginning to wonder how much summer break we will have. I've been a bit remiss in keeping track of my thrifty and frugal activities for the last couple of weeks. I'm going to hit some highlights.
  • Do gifts count as thrifty? I received two very nice gifts recently. First, some awesome clothes pegs from my friend Mrs. Olson. Second, a portable air conditioner from my step-dad and his friend Ronny.
  • I received a $10 rebate check from Lowe's for some ceiling paint I purchased a couple of months ago.
  • We had friends over for a simple sandwich supper Sunday evening. They brought the salad and some fireworks to add to our celebration. We had s'mores using the ingredients my daughter gave my husband for Father's Day.
  • I found two lawn chairs at Academy for $5 each for our girls.
  • Tuesday was in the sixties! I turned off my air conditioners for major savings!
  • We returned some gym shoes to Academy that had worn out. We'd bought them three months ago. They gave full credit toward another pair for my husband.
  • Lots of library usage!
  • I received another DVD for review.
  • I received my homeschool planner free for review. I've used the same kind for years. I can't wait to show it to you. Plus, I get to give one away this year as well! Yay!
  • I sold something on ebay. It was a little bit to help me buy school books, etc.
  • I spent nothing on fireworks. My kids spent very little. 
  • My husband added a simple phote to his cell phone plan for me. Not really frugal—but $20 a month isn't bad for peace of mind and to keep me available to him and to the kids. I am the designated driver after all. ~smile~
Sometimes I just forget to write things down. Can you relate? What have you been up to?

Go ahead! Talk back! I won't tell your mama!


Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Fitting a Long Time Wish into a Thrifty and Frugal Budget

Dear Reader,

 Once upon a time, long long ago, when I was little, we had a Dachshund named Greta. She was my constant companion from the age of four until I was thirteen. I just adored her. Ever since then, I wanted another Dachshund. A couple of years ago, I began looking. I was unable to find one locally, so I searched on-line. I hunted for months but didn't find any puppies within a couple hundred miles. The ones I found in distant places were upwards of $800!

 Yikes! That wouldn't fit into my thrifty and frugal way of thinking or into my budget—no matter how long I'd been wishing and waiting! So, I started looking at other puppies. I wanted my children to have the puppy experience. Believe it or not, there just weren't many puppies available during that time in our area. So, I decided to go to our local animal shelter. By local, I mean just across the highway. I cannot tell you how many times I visited looking for just the right baby. I even got to know the director by first name.

 After several times visiting, she started letting me go back into the small dog room by myself. Be still my heart—one day I found a mama Dachshund with milk! I rushed out of the room and said, "Where are the babies?" Sure enough, there were several babies. I begged, and they let me in to see them. They were adorable! They didn't know who papa was, but I decided that a pound puppy would be just fine for my mindset, my budget, and my family. I called back often during the next few weeks to check on them. I wanted a red girl puppy, and there were only two or three.

 Finally the day came, suddenly and without warning, just like having a baby! You know it's coming, but sometimes you're surprised when it happens. I dropped everything and made my husband take a couple of hours off work. You cannot adopt without your husband, can you? I spent over an hour praying and playing with the two copper red girls. Finally we chose Olive. She was smaller but really spunky.
Penny 8 weeks
 It was about five o'clock Wednesday evening. We had no food, no leash, no kennel, we just weren't ready at all. We had to drop our three children at church (12, 14, 16), and go to the pet store for supplies. I cuddled her in my arm as we shopped. She was just two pounds. That night, we put her in her kennel in our room. She didn't even whimper. She was home. We renamed her Penny.

 As she grew, I found that Penny wasn't like my Greta. She's not affectionate and can be quite strong-willed. In fact, from four to ten months, I wanted to give her away she was so frustrating! 

There were four reasons I kept her. 
  • When we get a new pet, it becomes part of our family,
  • Our youngest daughter begged in tears to keep her,
  • I had prayed for her,
  • and I was afraid someone would just tie her up outside and leave her. This Mama's heart just couldn't stand that!
Penny 1 year
 When she was about ten months old, she started to settle down a bit. Now that she's about fifteen months old, I am glad we kept her. Here are some of the things I've learned.

  • A friend told me that when her sister was frustrated with her new husband, she told her, "He's not the cake you wanted, but he's a good cake." It applied to Penny, too.
  • Puppies are individuals with their own personalities. 
  • I've had to learn her "language". She doesn't communicate the way our previous dogs did. She doesn't even like to be scratched and loved on the same way.
  • Sometimes, a growly voice gets her attention if she's disobeying. I learned that from my adult strong-willed son. He told me I had to show her I was the leader of the pack. ~grin~
  • Her way of showing affection to me is different than to anyone else. My husband and kids get licking and excitement when they return home. She's glad to see me, but I'm the mom. I'm expected, I guess.
  • She likes to lie beside me. That's her way of showing that she likes me. She also likes to play with me.
  • Different words work with her. She's finally come to obey some commands most of the time. If it looks like play, all the better. 
  • I don't plan to get another puppy. They're a lot of trouble for all their cuteness. They need the energy of children to wear them out!
  Penny and I have come to get along pretty well now. She's found her place in our family, and we love her. I think in a few years, when she's getting older and calmer, she'll make a good companion for me as our nest is emptying. She's not the cake I wanted, but she's a good cake. 

Have a wonderful day!

Monday, July 6, 2015

My Daybook July 6, 2015

Read other daybooks.
 My Daybook
July 6, 2015
Outside my window... Cloudy skies... still waiting to see if it's going to rain.

I am thinking... I feel like we're finally settled in our home. What did it take? Putting the flag pole that we received as a gift nearly 14 years ago from my dad (Thanks Dad!) in the ground in concrete. We've moved so much that I never felt settled. The irony is that we've lived here over five years, and we're renting.

I am thankful that... We live in a country that still has more freedom than any other. Yes, we have some poor leadership in our country right now. Yes, we have a lot of sin being idolized right now. Yes, we are still one nation under God. Pray for repentance among God's people. Don't be afraid to go first!

From the kitchen... Celestial Seasonings' Decaf Sweet Coconut Thai Chai Tea with cream and a little stevia, hard boiled eggs, and toast for the kids.

I am wearing... my black dress and glitzy sandals.

I am creating... I finally washed the new fabric my husband gave me for our anniversary. I found all the pattern pieces yesterday. Today I'm going to iron the fabric. Five yards takes awhile. ~smile~ I'm going to make a new dress. I've been waiting for a big chunk of time to work on it; it's not going to happen. It's time to follow my own advice.

I am going... shuttling son and husband to and from work. I also have to go to the library and to classes tonight. Believe it or not, I'm going to a line dancing class at my church. We're going to have once a week beginner classes in July. There's a place in Joplin that opens on Friday nights for homeschoolers and others to learn to dance. My friend, Regina, who attends is teaching our class.

I am reading... several books including Beyond the Ashes.

I am hoping... to work a little on my dress each day.

I am hearing... the hum of the air conditioner and fan.  I need to turn on some music! Ah, there. I'm shuffling Jim Brickman, David Nevue, and Paul Cardall, and Tim Janis on Pandora. I enjoy soft instrumental music.

Around the house... It's quiet. Some of the kids are still in bed.

One of my favorite things...  

Coconut Meringue Pie

 A Few Plans for the Rest of the Week... work, catch up laundry, sewing, and driving.  ~grin~

My Picture Thought.... Sometimes, love is saying yes to your teenage daughters.

From the Board Room...
Follow Laura's board Fun! on Pinterest.

Now go check out the other Day Book entries at our hostess Peggy's blog, The Simple Woman.

God bless!


Saturday, July 4, 2015

It's Not Just About the 4th of July!

 Happy Independence Day!

We are a blessed nation still.

2 Chronicles 7:14 gives the solution to this nation's troubles.

It all depends on us.

"If my people, which are called by my name,

shall humble themselves,
("having or showing a modest or low estimate of one's own importance)

and pray,
(just talking to God)

and seek my face,
(worship, Bible reading, prayer, quiet listening)

and turn from their wicked ways;
(What are you watching on t.v. or movies? What are you reading? Is it wholesome? Are you seeking a clean pure heart? Kind to others, even those in your home? Honest? There are all kinds of sins that some Christians overlook. We need to really seek the Lord and ask him to reveal those to us. We need to be different than the average American.)

then will I hear from heaven,

and will forgive their sin,

and will heal their land."

Let's do our part!
Thank you God!

From the National Archives

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Meet and Greet Laura Lane of Harvest Lane Cottage

I am a big city girl gone small town gone country.  I live just a few miles from Joplin, Missouri of tornado fame.  I met Jesus at fourteen and met my high school sweetheart husband at sixteen.  I've been married 29 years and homeschool three of my four children. My eldest lives on his own now.  I enjoy my Jesus, my Bible, my family, reading, writing, quilting, sewing, baking, knitting, crocheting, making soup, and talking. 

I've been writing here at Harvest Lane Cottage since the end of 2007.  I like to encourage others in their walk with Jesus, making it through hard times, homemaking, homeschooling, and reading. My most popular posts are usually focused on being thrifty and frugal. It's something I know a lot about since we've been a one income family for well over twenty years. 

I've found that we don't really need all that we think we do.  It's more about being creative with the resources we have, praying for God to supply our needs, and being thankful.
In the end, it's all about loving Jesus and loving others.

May God bless you!

Now, please talk back! Tell me a little about yourself!

Blessed to be a Blessing