March Giveaway Winner

Photo: Terry, Shannon, Matthew, Jessicca, and Nathanial.

Hooray! Shannon from Boise, Idaho is the March giveaway winner!

The theme for the March Giveaway was “burdens carried”. Readers were asked to leave a comment about a physical or metaphorical burden that they have either had to carry or was carried for them.

She writes,

Praise God for the burdens he has allowed me to go through and has lifted for me. Every burden or need has always brought me closer to God, and a great way for me to teach my children Gods true love.

Our most current burden was our move. We moved to a new state with no friends, no family and no church. After a lot of prayer we had a very successful move, have made friends, and found a great church. What an awesome way to teach my oldest, who is 11, if we place our worries, concerns, and fears on God he will carry us through.

There has been many burdens in our family the past few years, yet each one has brought us closer to God. My husband and I are closer than ever, and my family is safe and healthy. I wanted to thank you for reminding me to Thank God for the burdens he lifted for me today.

After her oldest began to struggle emotionally over problems at school, she decided to teach her children at home. They are very happy with the decision.

My oldest was becoming physically ill from the stress of public school. He is such a kind boy that he was made fun of and developed such stress over being teased that he would get headaches all the time.

My daughter had a speech problem, the school’s answer was to put her in a speech class. I then found out she was being taught Spanish instead of actually working on her speech. After using a charter school for a year, she was finally tested and we found she has Dyslexia.

Now, she loves to read. Her speech is clear (except when she gets excited), and she is finally understanding why she was struggling.

We have been homeschooling for 4yrs now, and I would never trade the time I have had to show my kids there real potential.

When asked what she and her family are looking forward to this spring, she said,

Being in a new state there are many things we would love to do. Idaho is a great place for families who love to do outdoor things, we hope to do a lot of hiking, fishing, and some gardening.

As teacher, Shannon used the web as a resource. She highly recommends

Carried Away March Giveaway : Five Kawaii Japanese Canvas Totes

“Many hands make light work.” – John Heywood, English playwright and poet

Have you ever used your chin to hold onto a stack of library books? I have… and that’s when I’m just carrying my books!

With plenty of children who love to hear stories read, two of whom are avid readers themselves, trips to the library (on the base, two hours away) would be pretty daunting if I didn’t have my helpers!

Across the street from our house is a grocery store. Next door is a farmers market. How sweet it is to have children who help bring home food that will nourish our family!

More than moving items from Point A to Point B, having children help out in this way is good for their little hearts and souls.

Helping to carry things…

  • teaches them to lend a hand and to help others from an early age
  • gives them a job they can do (one or two books or a loaf of bread may be a light load, but it is important.. and they feel important carrying them!), showing them that they’re not too little to make a difference
  • teaches them how to stick to a task, one that builds character (it’s not always easy to carry things, and the distance isn’t always short!)
  • helps them to be responsible for the items in their care (like their library books) as they have to transport them carefully and not lose their bag
  • Burdens, or things that have to be carried, are also a great Biblical metaphor for teaching our children about entrusting Gods with the things in this life that weigh us down. This burden could be anything from sin, an illness, a difficult relationship situation, to a house that doesn’t sell.

    Trusting in Him gives us a soul-deep version of the feeling we get when the very straps of our heavy bags are cutting into our hands and dad comes along and carries it the rest of the way home.

    Psalms 55:22 Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.

    Matthew 11:28-30 Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

    This month’s giveaway is of five kawaii (that means painfully cute in Japanese!) totes so you can carry your things to and from wherever you need to go. There are four smaller totes, a pink bunny, an orange pig, a brown bear and a yellow lion, to encourage your helpers to lend a hand, and a larger tote for you!

    To enter, in the comments of this post, please leave a story about carrying something or something being carried for you. The burden could be a physical one or a metaphorical one. Please mention how carrying this burden, or having it carried for you, shaped who you are today. You must leave a pertinent comment to win!

    My hope is that this giveaway will encourage others to help bear one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2) and to trust that the Lord is carrying us through.

    1 Peter 5:6-7 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.

    * * *

    Want to improve your chances of winning? Add these skills to your giveaway repertoire to gain up to three bonus entries:

  • Add your blogroll and leave the link to your blog with your comment
  • Write a post about this giveaway and leave the link to your post with your comment
  • Tweet about this giveaway (via @mrsalbrecht) and mention it with your comment
  • Please leave your comment and complete bonus entries by 9PM EST, Friday, March 26, 2010.

    The winner will need to provide their mother’s maiden name, social security number, and a valid US credit card number + three digit secret code. JUST KIDDING! I will, however, need their name and mailing address which will be kept strictly confidential.

    If they’re agreeable, I’d like to interview the winner and feature them in a future post. I would consider including links in the post to the winner’s blog, favorite cause, home business, etc.

    Winning contestants may not enter my subsequent monthly giveaway contests for a year following their win. In other words, if you win in March, 2010, you cannot enter again until March, 2011.

    Best wishes! :)

    January Giveaway Winner

    This post wants to be longer, but I’m writing from a hotel room and I’m short on computer time!

    Shauna’s name was drawn as the January Tamagoyaki Perseverance Giveaway Winner!

    This past year has been a hard one for their family, but she is always smiling and handling her circumstances with grace. Her faith remains strong. Shauna has been of great encouragement to me both on Twitter and at The Homeschool Lounge.

    Here is her winning comment. :

    We’ve been through a rough time for the past several months and even before that because of the economic downturn; my husband lost his job last fall and was unable to find another until just this week (praise the Lord!!!). In the last month, I have moved to another state, enrolled my daughter in school, and started a new job. None of these things would have been my preference, but sometimes you have to persevere and make the best of your situation. My daughter enjoys school so far and seems to be adjusting well, and I like my new job and am settling into new routines. Would I rather still be a stay-at-homeschooling Mom? Yes, and one day maybe that will be an option for us once again. In the meantime, I will continue to move forward, persevere, and take advantage of new opportunities instead of lamenting what I don’t have any longer.

    Please follow Shauna on Twitter@shaunarum and check out her lovely blog, Treasure Seekers.

    Congratulations, Shauna! You and yours are in my prayers as you adjust to this new adventure!

    December Giveaway Winner!

    I was so excited when I saw Christine’s name on the scrap of paper Thomas pulled out of our red, green and white pasta dish!

    She is an online friend of mine who is also a fellow homeschooler, proponent of natural birth, and wife to a geek ;) She loves the Lord and her family very much, she has been an encouragement to me. When she writes, her posts and comments for others are always helpful, uplifting and thought provoking. There is comfort knowing that there are women like her, who are doing their best and being a light in their corner of the world!

    Christine and her husband Stephen are parents to Lily, Stephen, Anastasia, and baby #4 who will be arriving soon!

    Christine loves living in the balmy south, sipping sweet tea, where she calls North Carolina home. She shares her passions for natural birth, scrapbooking, healthy living, home education, and frugal living on her lovely blog, Lily of the Valley. You can follow her tweets @christinemary on Twitter.

    * * *

    Here are the readers’ blogs that were linked in the comments to Winter Blues and Things To Do post. Please stop by for a visit and let my readers know how you heard about them:

    Susan – Imagine Creative Name Here

    Tamara – Brand of Wisdom

    Tara – Considerable Grace

    Laura – The Joyful Mom

    November Giveaway Winner / My Lost Passport & Wallet Story

    Elizabeth Hull from Binghamton, NY, is the winner! Congratulations!

    She is a mom of four, ages ranging from 15 to two newborn twin daughters. Her husband both plays guitar and sings in the band Old Friends. Elizabeth occasionally lends them her vocal talent.

    Elizabeth is currently on hiatus from her job as a nurse practitioner as she cares for her new babies. She recently decided to take up blogging and her debut posts at In Heaven, I Want to Be A Cowgirl are about the natural full-term homebirth of her twins!

    (The best part of the monthly giveaways for me has been getting to know my readers!)

    After the drawing this morning, I decided to share a “bonus” story about my passport and wallet — which were lost (and found) the night before my solo trip to meet Tom in Tokyo. Enjoy!

    Finders Keepers November Giveaway : Hello Kitty Flags, Chopsticks and Tote

    The Kiddyland in Harajuku was one of the highlights of our trip to Tokyo a few years back. It was the children’s first trip to Japan, and each of them was allowed to choose a souvenir.

    After a day of sightseeing on foot, the children were tired. We walked from the toy store to the Meiji-Jingūmae Station to take the train back to our apartment.

    As we organized our belongings into backpacks to prepare for the train ride, Tabitha began to cry. Her newly purchased pink vinyl Hello Kitty wallet was missing. She tearfully said that she had set it on the floor while looking at some dolls, and had forgotten to pick it back up.

    Tom sat down on a yellow, metal platform bench with our four other pumpkins. “The kids are worn out,” he said. “You take Tab and I’ll wait here.”

    I nodded. The trains ran every few minutes. If we missed one, there would be another.

    Taking Tabitha’s hand, we headed back for the store. We rode the escalator together and then exited the station out into the busy sidewalk. To move more quickly, and so as not to lose her, I picked her up and carried her.

    “Will they still have my wallet, mom?” she whispered right into my ear. The windy night breeze whipped her curls.

    “I don’t know the answer to that question, Tab,” I said skeptically. “I hope they do!”

    With hope, we went entered the beautifully bright, loud Japanese toy world.

    As smiling lady in a Kiddyland uniform walked right over to us, as if expecting us. She was holding a familiar blue bag. “Hai! Dozo!” she bent down and gently handed the bag to Tabitha, who opened it and looked inside.

    “It’s my Hello Kitty wallet! My favorite!” Tab shrieked happily.

    I bowed and thanked the lady.

    As Tabitha and I ran back to the station, she said, “I just knew it would be there, mom. I prayed and asked God to help me get my wallet!”

    Do you have a favorite story of finding something you thought was lost forever? Maybe you found something and helped it find its way back to its owner. I want to hear about it!

    Please share your story in the comments of this post to be eligible to win these eight, really cute Hello Kitty flags (approx. 12″ x 18″ ), a red tote just the right size to store the flags, and three sets of Hello Kitty chopsticks!

    The flags say “Open”, “Yakisoba”, “Takoyaki” (one of my favorite “junk foods” – see the little red octopus peeking around HK’s hat?), “Ramen”, “Bath Room”, “Closed”, “Thank You Always,” and “Udon”.

    From the list of comments (and yes, you have to leave a pertinent comment in order to qualify!) my children will draw the winning name.

    My hope is that this giveaway will inspire others to be honest and to do the right thing when something that doesn’t belong to us is found. I would to hear some great stories to pass on to my children — who have a bad habit of first saying, “Finder’s keepers, losers weepers!” … but are always sad when someone says that to them!

    BONUS: If you mention this giveaway in your blog (send me a “proof” link) or Tweet (via @mrsalbrecht), you will get ONE extra entry. (C’mon! I know some of you get a little carried away with this stuff and I can’t keep track of THAT many tiny pieces of paper!!) PLEASE do me a small favor and post a “proof link” or copy of Tweet so I’m sure to not to miss your extra-entry qualification. (Thanks!)

    Please leave your comment by 9PM EST, Friday, November 30th.

    The winner will need to provide their mother’s maiden name, social security number, and a valid US credit card number + three digit secret code. JUST KIDDING! I will, however, need their name and mailing address which will be kept strictly confidential.

    If they’re agreeable, I’d like to interview the winner and feature them in a future post. I would consider including links in the post to the winner’s blog, favorite cause, home business, etc.

    Winning contestants may not enter my subsequent monthly giveaway contests for a year following their win. In other words, if you win in November, 2009, you cannot enter again until November, 2010.

    Hello Ohashi



    kitty case