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One Year of Done for You Meal Plans!

Have you heard about the new feature from Build a Menu?

I have always loved using Build a Menu because it gives me the freedom to pick and choose what meals I want to make as it simultaneously creates my shopping list and estimated grocery total for the store of my choice. (ALDI included!) (You can see how it works in detail if you'd like.)

But they've added a new feature that I really like too - the DONE FOR YOU menu plans -- and for a limited time they are free when you buy the regular meal planning service (regular price = $30!)

So, what you get is:

    1. Access to the classic menu planner as I described above, where you can pick and choose which meals you want to make. There are options for every kind of diet needs (Trim Healthy Mama, Gluten Free, Paleo, Normal People :), etc. )
    1. Pre-made menus delivered to your inbox each week. If you happen to be disorganized one week and don't log in to create your own meal plan, you've automatically got a pre-made menu arriving as a a back-up! AWESOME!

I got the Done4U plans several months ago, and I'll admit that I rely on them much more often than I should! But as long as my family is getting fed I shouldn't feel guilty that someone else is planning my menus, should I now?

Buy the classic plan now for $35, and get a full year of Done for You Menus FREE!  (Be sure to use the coupon code BAM12for35 when you check out!)

The $35 price and free done for you menus are only available through January 31st, so don't delay!

Update: Although this particular sale deadline has passed, you can try it free for 2 weeks by going through this link.  If you love it as much as I do, you'll be able to take advantage of the next sale that comes along! ​

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Don't forget to use the coupon code BAM12for35 when you check out!

Free Mrs. Meyer’s Cleaning Kit! (Limited Time)

It's the new year, which means we're all thinking about getting our houses all de-clutterified and spic and span clean.

I'm super excited that ePantry has created an amazing offer just for my readers!

So, here's the deal:
When you sign up for ePantry using my referral link, you’ll get a free Mrs. Meyer's Cleaning Kit.

 

(IMPORTANT UPDATE: THIS OFFER HAS SOLD OUT!  However, if you follow the links, you'll be directed to a new offer that includes almost everything the first offer did.  So I would jump on it before they're completely out of free products to give away!)

Mrs. Meyer's Cleaning Kit

Oh, how I love Mrs. Meyer's products!  They smell sooo good that they actually make cleaning (almost) fun!

Want to get your Mrs. Meyer's Cleaning Kit and see why I love ePantry so much? Here’s how it works:

1. Sign up for ePantry through this link. You’ll receive the Mrs. Meyer's Cleaning Kit free when you sign up!

2. Answer a few quick questions about your family and how clean you keep your home (be honest!). This takes under 30 seconds and ePantry uses your responses to customize your first basket.

3. Once you’ve answered the questions, you can finalize the basket of products to suit your needs by adding or removing items.

4. To receive this offer, your order needs to be a minimum of $20. Choose the combination of products and scents you want to receive in your first box.

5. You made it! Click finish & pay and place your order.

(Have you already signed up for ePantry before?  They've been nice enough to extend an offer to existing customers as well! Existing customers click here to get 50% off the Mrs. Meyer's Cleaning Kit with your next order.)

Don’t forget this special offer is only available until January 17 or while supplies last.

 

If you suffer from decision-making paralysis like I do, you might want to copy this shopping basket.  It will get you close to the $20 that you need for your free cleaning kit, and it's a great deal besides!  If you priced this all out at a store it would cost around $70!

epantry basket

 

 

 

Free Coconut Oil From Tropical Traditions!

Free Coconut Oil from Tropical Traditions!
Every year at Christmas, Tropical Traditions offers a free quart of virgin coconut oil with any $19 purchase.  This is a fabulous deal since the coconut oil is normally much more expensive than that on its own!  It's the highest quality coconut oil I know of.

This offer is good today only!

I would combine it with current sales to get the best deal.

As one idea, their raw honey (it's absolutely amazing! — unlike any honey I've ever had!) is 50% off.  So you could order 2 honeys at $10.99 each and pay a total of $21.98 for 2 jars of honey and a quart of coconut oil.  (Plus shipping.)

Those would normally cost you $61.99!

To get in on this deal, just go here and you'll see the offer for the free coconut oil on the right side.  Add it and $19 worth of other stuff to your cart and it will show up as $0 in your cart.  (Don't forget to add the free coffee mug to your cart too!)

Let me know what you get!

My Favorite Resources for Christian Parents

I've been asked by a couple different readers about some good resources to help direct them in their quest toward Biblical parenting.

 

My Favorite Resources for Christian Parents | @mbream

First and foremost, if you want to parent Biblically, the very most important thing you can do is get to know your Bible better! 

Study what the Bible says about the parent/child relationship.  While books are very helpful, it's even better to know for yourself exactly what the Bible says; not just what someone said the Bible says.

Study what the Bible says about Christian living.  We can't teach our children properly if we don't know for sure what God says about how we should live.

I cannot stress enough how important it is to spend the majority of your time in the Bible and not reading man's words.  He has truly given us all things that pertain to life and godliness.

However, there is a time and place where books written by men are appropriate.  When men are putting forth Biblical truth and helping to explain what God's Word says rather than just spouting their own ideas, that is good and helpful.  When they give practical ideas for applying God's Word to everyday situations, that is very helpful also.

I know there are many, many books about Christian parenting out there, and I surely haven't read all of them.  I'm sure there are some really good ones that are not on this list.

But…I have read a lot.

This is one of our bookcases.  The top 3 1/2 shelves contain books about marriage, parenting, and the Christian home.  I haven't read every single one of them yet.  (Side story: we walked into a thrift store one day, and there was a sign that said ALL of their books were FREE.  They had a book section the size of a real bookstore!  And the limit on free books was one full cart.  Oh my!  Talk about the need to say, “Pinch me!  I think I'm dreaming!”  So we went 2 different times and brought home boxes and boxes of books!  That was several years ago, and I still haven't read them all.  I'm gradually working through them and weeding out the ones that are no good.)

Books!

Anyway, all that to say…out of all the books on Christian parenting I have read, I've whittled my favorites down to the best of the best, and here they are:

Update January 2020: This post was written five years ago, and as I hope is the case with you too, I have grown and changed over those five years. Unfortunately, due to things the Lord has taught me over those years, I can no longer wholeheartedly recommend a couple of these books. I will add some notes to each resource I have listed.

1. Shepherding a Child's Heart

*Update: I no longer recommend this book as of January 2020. In spite of the fact that I thought it was teaching to reach the child's heart, and yes, there are some good nuggets in there, there are subtle concepts in the book that actually focus on controlling a child's outward behavior more than truly teaching a child how to develop his own relationship with the Lord. Additionally, there are things that I have come to know about the author's personal life that trouble me enough to no longer be comfortable recommending this book.*

I was introduced to this book long before I was married or had children, and I'm so glad I was.  It really helped give me an understanding of the need to reach the heart of the child rather than just making sure their outward behavior was right.

Buy Here

 

2. Training Your Children to Turn Out Right

*Update January 2020: I have not read this book in a very long time, so I can't be sure whether I would currently recommend it or not after that radical shifts that have taken place in my thinking. As with any book, exercise your own discernment.*

Another very Biblical and practical book offering insight from an experienced parent.

Buy Here (They don't currently have them on sale from Amazon, but you can purchase it from a 3rd party seller.)

 

3. Motivate Your Child

This books gives lots of practical advice for reasoning with your child Biblically.  Since younger children do not have the reasoning capability of an older child, it seems a better choice for older children. (My oldest is 7, and I feel he is old enough to understand the concepts presented.) I don't agree with all of the ways the material is presented, but I do agree with the big picture philosophy behind it.

Buy Here

 

4. Motivate Your Child Action Plan

This book made me excited to put its ideas into action!  It not only gave me hope that we could work through some of the seemingly insurmountable issues one of my child is dealing with, but it gave a step-by-step plan for doing so!

Buy Here

 

Bonus: This one isn't for the parents, but for the children…

5. Because I Said So

This is a study for children on Biblical obedience.  It teaches children to obey for the right reasons by teaching them biblical truth.  As your children learn about people in Scripture who struggled with obedience, they will learn for themselves HOW, WHEN, and WHY they should obey.

Buy Here

 

Like I said earlier, I surely haven't read every book available, and I'm sure there are some gems I haven't even heard of.  Please feel free to share your own suggestions!

 

To the Policeman Who Endangered My Life

To the policeman who endangered my life - this may not be what you think it is | @mbream

 

Important note: Please read this post in its entirety before reacting.  The background must be laid and that cannot happen without the opening paragraphs, but the message I hope to convey lies at the end.

 

Dear Mr. Policeman,

I began writing this to let you know how concerned I was that you  put my life in danger. You were driving so fast that I didn't even have time to hear your siren before you were on me.  I was being even more careful than usual to be aware of my surroundings  that day, and you seemed to come out of nowhere.   When you flew past me on the shoulder of the road, you startled the daylights out of me.  Cops don't usually pass on the right, and especially not on the shoulder of the road.  I instinctively swerved to the left to get out of your way, but afterward realized how dangerous that was. If there had been a car coming toward me you may have been abandoning your urgent mission to deal with a head-on collision.
If I had heard your siren and pulled to the right like every driver knows to do, I would have side-swiped you, most likely injuring you and me both.

I know you must have needed to get where you were going in a hurry since I was driving 55 mph on a straight stretch of road and you were out of sight within seconds. When I saw a second officer come through the next intersection going just as fast as you were I knew there must be something extremely urgent that needed your attention.

I knew that someone's life might be in danger at your destination. Perhaps it was one of your fellow officers who desperately needed backup. But I didn't want you to endanger more lives on your way to save lives and I wanted to express my alarm at the not-so-safe way you were driving.

Before I left the house yesterday, I had determined that if I saw a policeman I would thank him for putting his life on the line every day to protect the citizens of this country. Instead I was surprised that the only one I encountered endangered my life and I wanted you to know that I was concerned.

But lest those who are reading this open letter are finding themselves nodding their heads in hearty agreement, wagging their fingers at the horrible way you did your job, or lest you continue reading flabbergasted at my audacity, will you allow me a moment to drastically change the course of this letter?

You see, while it probably appears at first glance that I am irate at the potential danger you caused, I am in actuality hoping this letter will encourage those who would want to agree with it to stop and give you the benefit of the doubt instead.

I want everyone to remember this:

Heroes are still human.

 

Perhaps you had already visually cleared the left side of the road and knew it would be okay if I swerved over there (although I don't know why you wouldn't have just passed on the left if that were the case.) Perhaps you knew that you were driving so fast that you would be past me before I even had time to pull to the right. Perhaps you had factored everything together in the blink of an eye and you knew that there wasn't as much danger as it felt like to me.

But what if you hadn't considered the danger to me?  What if you didn't know whether the left side of the road was clear or what if you didn't think about what would happen if I had pulled to the right?

Does that make you a jerk who doesn't care about people and who was probably only driving fast because you thought it would be fun or because Dunkin Donuts radioed and said they had a hot batch of donuts coming out of the oven?

Of course not!

I know that if you were called to a dangerous situation you must have had adrenaline coursing through your body.  Out of curiosity I looked up how adrenaline affects a person's cognitive ability, and do you know what I found?  I found forums where policemen and firemen and EMTs were discussing how they sometimes have a hard time driving safely when they're headed to an emergency situation.  The adrenaline gives them tunnel vision and they can't think clearly.  Everything is happening so quickly and yet they must focus on so many things at the same time that it's impossible for the human body to do a good job at all of it.  And as I read the discussions on these forums I saw that the policemen were torn up about endangering the lives of other drivers on the road.  When the dust of the day had settled and they mentally reviewed the things they had done, they realized that their driving was not the greatest in the heat of the moment.  And they wished they would have done better.  And they wanted to learn how they could keep their mind from shutting down when the next adrenaline-inducing situation arose.  As a citizen, I appreciate that.  It's nice to know you're not being flippant about your job and that you want to do it well without endangering anyone more than is necessary.

So, Mr. Policeman, once again I will remind myself and the other readers of this letter of the simple fact that heroes are human.  I can't expect your human body to function any differently than mine.

But the difference between my human body and yours is that yours has the word hero attached to it.

You've undergone intensive training that most people would not be willing to undergo.  You put your life on the line day in and day out to protect people who only turn back around and tell you how badly you did your job.  You endure disgraceful treatment by the citizens of this country, yet you continue to serve them.

 

No sir.  I'm not calling you out for endangering my life, I'm doing what I started out to do yesterday – I'm thanking you.

 

I can't think of any better way to end this than to share Paul Harvey's thoughts on “What is a Policeman?”  I think it expresses my thoughts better than I can say them:

Thank you for all that you do.

 

 

Final note:   These days it seems that so many people hate cops and every move a policeman makes is suspect.  Sure, I was alarmed that the policeman drove unsafely, as would most people.  But that is exactly why I am pointing out that even though he made a mistake that could have been costly, let's remember that he lives inside a human body and appreciate the fact that our policemen are trying to do all that they can to make sure those types of things don't happen.  Let's be thankful for these heroes who put their lives on the line day in and day out.  In this day when hatred toward our police officers seems to be the popular attitude, let's instead give grace when we don't perceive a policeman's actions as perfectly executed.  Let's be grateful for what these officers do rather than critical of their every move.

Pre-Made Menus for Disorganized People (Cough…That Would Be Me)

Have you heard about the new feature from Build a Menu?

Pre-made menus in your inbox
I have always loved using Build a Menu because it gives me the freedom to pick and choose what meals I want to make as it simultaneously creates my shopping list and estimated grocery total for the store of my choice. (ALDI included!) (You can see how it works in detail if you'd like.)

But they've added a new feature that I really like too – the DONE FOR YOU meal plans — and for a limited time they are FREE when you buy the original menu planning service (reg. $30!)

So, what you get is:

  1. Access to the classic menu planner as I described above, where you can pick and choose which meals you want to make. There are options for every kind of diet needs (Trim Healthy Mama, Gluten Free, Paleo, Normal People :), etc. )
  2. Pre-made menus delivered to your inbox each week. If you happen to be disorganized one week and don't log in to create your own meal plan, you've automatically got a pre-made menu arriving as a a back-up! AWESOME!

 

I got the Done4U plans several months ago, and I'll admit that I rely on them much more often than I should!  But as long as my family is getting fed I shouldn't feel guilty that someone else is planning my menus, should I now?

 

Buy the classic plan now for $35, get the done for you plan FREE! (make sure to use the coupon BAM15_Classic when you check out.)
(This is for a full YEAR's worth of menus!)

 

P.S. This sale is only going on until September 21. After that the service goes back up to full price and the Done For You plans are NOT included.

https://sheilawraygregoire.thinkific.com/pages/affiliates?fbclid=IwAR0aCpdRU-J7BcKePidq1qlLwEjIjILJSIvHrlE4ToV9zCDqPvMXnt-VLjo