When You’re So Proud of Your Friends (+ enter to win a copy of God Made Light)

God Made Light

I’ve been acquainted with Jessica and Matthew Paul Turner for a few years, but it’s only been since we’ve moved to the Nashville area that I’ve really gotten to know them well. And let me tell you, these two are the real deal.

They’ve loved on us, invited us into their home multiple times, asked us to come with them to events, listened to us, and gone out of their way to truly welcome us to Tennessee. Their friendship has been a gift to us and has been an answer to many prayers we’ve prayed for authentic friendships and community.

You know how there are people who just make you feel so special and loved and cared for? That’s the Turners.

And I couldn’t be prouder of them today as they are launching their brand-new children’s book called God Made Light. They have poured years into this project and have funded it with a significant portion of their savings.

This book is a playful, whimsical adventure through the creation of light. It encourages children to remember that they were created for a purpose — to shine and make a difference in this world.

I am really hoping that this is the first of many children’s books they produce because it’s beautiful and so meaningful. The pictures are very well done and its rhyming lyrics make it so fun to read!

God Made Light

This book would make a great gift for Christmas presents this year. Plus, DaySpring has partnered with Matthew and Jessica to produce a line of adorable products you can purchase in addition to the book. My favorite product was probably the encouragement cards, but my kids thought the puzzle and night light were the best. :)

You can get free shipping from DaySpring if you purchase $35 worth of God Made Light products and use coupon code SHIPLIGHT at checkout.

You can read more about the book, the message behind it, and see pictures of the inside of the book over on Jessica’s blog. Also, be sure to check out Matthew’s post on What Happens When 11 Publishers Say “No”.

To purchase a copy or read reviews from others, you can head over to Amazon here.

Win a Copy of God Made Light!

I know not all of you can afford to purchase God Made Light, so I wanted to buy 10 books to give away to readers here. To enter to win, just leave a comment on this post telling us who you would give this book to if you win a copy.

I’ll choose 10 winners on Thursday and will notify the winners via email.

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How I Saved Today: A Laundry Party while listening to the free Psalty album!

Laundry Party

This was actually from last night, but I wanted to share it anyway. :)

Remember the free Psalty album download I posted earlier this week? Well, we downloaded it and listened to it during last night’s Laundry Party. It was so fun to introduce my kids to songs from when I was a little girl.

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Also? Laundry parties are one of my secret house-cleaning tips. We have so much fun and get so much done when we all work together. And when Mom’s excited about it, the attitude is usually contagious! :)

Laundry Party

Want to see a video clip of my girls jammin’ and foldin’? Here you go. Notice their outfits? Cracks me up how two girls in the same family can be so, so different from each other! :)

Oh and thanks for your Swagbucks tips yesterday. I was excited that we earned 55 Swagbucks today — with very little extra time or effort. I scored 11 Swagbucks on my first search try and that helped bump up our total!

How did YOU save today? Did you have any frugal fun at your house?

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My Completely Honest Review of Our Experience With Kiwi Crate

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A few weeks ago, I posted about a sample box that Kiwi Crate was offering. I’d heard a lot about Kiwi Crate before, but I’d never signed up for it.

Kiwi Crate is a monthly subscription service that offers kid’s educational projects, crafts, and activities on different themes. It’s typically $16.95 per month for the box — including shipping. This box will include 2-3 projects, all the materials to complete those projects, plus hands-on learning activities and more.

They recently launched monthly crate subscriptions for various ages: Koala Crate is for ages 3-4, Kiwi Crate is for ages 4-8, Tinker Crate is for ages 8-14+, and Doodle Crate is for ages 9-16+.

Since the Kiwi Crate sample box was only $3.95 and a friend had highly recommended it, I went ahead and posted about it and signed up for a box. {Please note: The Glowworm Sample Box offer is currently not available, but there is a fun Lantern Sample Box available.}

My Completely Honest Review of Kiwi Crate

We got the box within two weeks and I was very, very impressed with what we got for $3.95 (that price included shipping, too!)

The kit came with:

  • All the materials to build your very own glowworm
  • Set of fabric markers to decorate your snuggly friend
  • One-of-a-kind glow in the dark sock
  • Bonus firefly foldout project with set of glow sticks
  • 16 page explore! magazine filled with puzzles, DIY activities and kid-friendly recipes

My Completely Honest Review of Kiwi Crate

The instructions to complete the craft were very detailed and organized. For a non-crafter like me, this was especially helpful!

My Completely Honest Review of Kiwi Crate

Silas has an absolute blast working with me to create his glowworm.

My Completely Honest Review of Kiwi Crate

I loved seeing his focus and determination!

My Completely Honest Review of Kiwi Crate

He decided to name his glowworm “Billy Butler”, after one of his favorite Royal’s baseball players. :)

My Completely Honest Review of Kiwi Crate

While he worked on his glowworm, I read to him from the accompanying book.

My Completely Honest Review of Kiwi Crate

I thought there was a lot of value in this booklet. Not only were there short stories, a poem, a number of activity pages, but there were also some fun additional related projects.

My Completely Honest Review of Kiwi Crate

They gave you instructions on how to make your own FireFly Paint Jar — which looked cool.

My Completely Honest Review of Kiwi Crate

There were also pages you could cut out to make a Glow-in-the-Dark FireFly using the patterns and the glow sticks they gave you in the kit.

My Completely Honest Review of Kiwi Crate

Silas got to practice his cutting skills on this project!

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After he finished his FireFly, he went back to decorating “Billy Butler.” :)

He was so proud of his finished product — and especially excited that it actually glowed in the dark when he took it into a dark room. He asked if he could sleep with it tonight before he went to bed.

Why I Can’t 100% Endorse Kiwi Crate

Honestly, I wanted to give Kiwi Crate a huge standing ovation in this post… because clearly, the sample box was a HUGE win at our house!

But here’s the problem: I can’t.

You see, I ordered the sample box and was unsure as to whether or not I’d continue my subscription. While I was waffling over it, some of my readers commented on my post about the sample box saying they were having trouble getting their subscription canceled.

They couldn’t get ahold of anyone at customer service and their card had been charged for a crate that they didn’t want — after they had requested for their subscription to be canceled.

Because of this, I decided that I personally wanted to try canceling my subscription to see if I had trouble getting it to work. I followed the instructions they outlined on their site to cancel my subscription: I emailed customer service within the time frame allotted.

And I never heard back. What’s worse, about 10(?) days later, I got an email saying that my card had been charged for the next crate and it had already shipped.

What?? I had emailed customer services DAYS before to request that they cancel my subscription and I was well within the time frame stated on their site for when to cancel and not get billed for another month.

To say I was a bit frustrated is an understatement. Not so much for myself, but for my readers whom I’d introduced to Kiwi Crate. I felt so badly that a deal I had posted was turning out like this.

I emailed customer service again and reached out to them on Twitter. {I’ve learned that Twitter is often a very effective way to actually hear from companies when email doesn’t seem to be working.}

Would you know it? I heard back from them via Twitter within 30 minutes. They looked my order up and canceled my subscription. I received an email apologizing to me and confirming my subscription cancellation. They also asked they I relay to my readers that if anyone is having trouble getting your subscription canceled, you should contact them through Facebook or Twitter.

They were very gracious about it, which is a big plus. But I still have reservations about fully endorsing this company. I think the sample box was every bit worth the cost, but I’m not sure it was worth the hassle I had to go through to get my subscription canceled. So if you’re thinking of trying it out but think there’s a good chance you might cancel, be aware of this.

That said, I still was very impressed with the box. In fact, we loved it so much that we are thinking that our Christmas gifts for the kids this year will be a subscription to Tinker Crate for Kathrynne, a subscription to the Doodle Crate for Kaitlynn, and a subscription to Kiwi Crate for Silas.

We got the full Kiwi Crate in the mail (the one that I had tried to cancel but got billed for) and I’m planning to try it out with Silas soon and will report back to you on what we think of it. We’re going to make our decision about whether or not we’re going to subscribe after I’ve gone through and completed the projects with him from that full crate.

Note: Since a subscription is rather expense, this also might be a great gift idea to pass along to Grandma & Grandpa for Christmas this year. I love that it’s mostly consummable, very educational, hands-on, and a gift that would keep giving all year long!

Have you tried Kiwi Crate before? Have you tried canceling your subscription? If so, what was your experience?

Note: This post contains my Kiwi Crate referral link. If you click through and decided you are willing to risk it enough to sign up for a subscription, I will receive a referral fee if you sign up through one of my links in this post. If you don’t feel comfortable doing so, you can go to KiwiCrate.com to sign up directly.

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HUGE List of Free Homeschool Curriculum & Resources

This is the weekly list of Free Homeschool Curriculum and Resources compiled by Jamerrill from FreeHomeschoolDeals.com. If you aren’t a homeschooler, but you’re a parent, teacher, babysitter, or nanny, you’ll probably find at least a few useful freebies in this list. You may also want to go through the Educational Deals and Freebies from earlier this week for more.

This week’s list is full of great educational resources as well and fall favorites, and a substantial list of popular themes and characters that your kids will love! Start off with this Learning with Pumpkins: Free Pumpkin Printables, Crafts, Recipes + More! list as is has everything you need to jump into fall.

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More Fall Goodness

If that huge pumpkin list wasn’t enough, here is more fall fun:

Apples

Fall and Autumn

Pumpkins and Turkeys

Popular Themes Printable Activity Pages/Packs

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Any little girl would live to learn with this Hello Kitty Subscriber Freebie, a FREE My Little Pony Printable Pack, these cool 20+ FREE Disney Frozen Printables, or this LaLaLoopsey- Inspired PreK Printable Pack {Subscriber Freebie}.

And for the boys, here is a FREE 73 Page Pirate Pack or a Giant List of FREE Star Wars Themed Printables!

Math

Is your little man into learning about the war? Here is a Fraction War Game Freebie that will be a favorite, while your girls will love this FREE Frozen Math Unit Study.

Here are FREE 2nd Grade Math Worksheets for extra practice.

Preschool and Kindergarten

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Practice letters with these FREE Apple Letter Printables , a FREE Apple Letter Sorting Printable Game, or this FREE Printable Animal Alphabet Flashcards.

Reading, Writing, and Spelling

Wondering what to give your third grader to read? Here is a FREE Printable Reading Lists for K-3rd Grade Boys, and a FREE 100 Books to Read Printable.

Practice short vowels with this FREE Instant Download: Short Vowel Word Search.

Bible

Don’t just memorize the ten commandments, teach your child all about them with this 10 Commandments Mini Unit Study Freebie (75+ Pages!).

This interactive study will get your child outside and into the Word. This Falling into the Bible {Subscriber Freebie} Biblestudy combines the best of both worlds.

Health and Science

This Handbook of Nature Study {Subscriber Freebie} gets your child into your back yard, learning , studying nature, and writing.

This FREE First Aid Training Class is a complete First Aid class with a printable certificate at the end!

Social Studies

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This FREE Coffee Unit Study with Printable Pack contains word searches, mazes, and activities that teach your child how to research and where coffee grows and how it looks when it grows.

Teach your child all about their community with a FREE Community Helpers Printable Pack.

Homeschool Planning

Do you use Netflix in your homeschool? Here is a FREE Unit Study Planning with Netflix Worksheet that will help you organize your Netflix school planning.

This FREE Charlotte Mason Style Planner is super versatile. it is a great way to plan, and keep record of what your child is learning.

Click here thousands of homeschool freebies!

*Don’t forget! If you are looking for additional free homeschool resources please check the huge growing list of free homeschool curriculum and resources on MoneySavingMom.com!

Jamerrill is the homeschooling mother of a large and growing family. After seasons of spending $50 or less annually to homeschool her children, she started Free Homeschool Deals in 2012 to help all families afford the homeschool life. You can follow the homeschool goodness on Pinterest and Facebook.

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