Free Kids Clothes (PLUS FREE SHIPPING!)

If you don’t mind used clothes, there is this AWESOME deal going on right now from an online used kids clothes site, Schoola! Here is how you can get free kids clothes…

1. Click my referral link here and sign up-you will receive $15 free credit! It’s added, don’t worry! You’ll see it when you check out. If you check out, I get $15 for my future orders! YAY!

2. If you shop quickly and order in 30 minutes or less, apply HURRY as the promo code during check out, you’ll get free shipping! Some people have even reported getting an additional 25% off their order but I didn’t see it before checking out. If you add more the $15, there is a possibility of 25% coming off!

3. Use your own referral link and share it with your friends to earn free money for clothes! It’s a win win win!

Yay free clothes! I scored some dress pants for my 7 year old! He’s so tall and growing so quickly!

God bless,

Essential Oils for the Budget Minded

I grew up one of nine kids so money never flowed freely in my house growing up. I am so grateful for this because I have always known the value of a dollar.


aaaand yes we were homeschooled. Be kind. This WAS the 90s 🙂

Now that I run our household, I try to coupon, price match with weekly circulars, stretch our food and toiletries, make my own stuff, etc. For the last year, I have heard a ton about essential oils and how much easier they can make your life! But the good oils are quite expensive especially when you are on a tight budget. SO I wanted to share with you three main ways to save money with essential oils: 1. Go with the good stuff 2. Stretch your Oils 3. Find your supplies at the right stores 4. You save in doctor bills and over the counter medicines. …   Go with the Good Stuff First of all, I choose to use Young Living essential oils because of quality, potency, purity, business practices and the integrity of the creators/owners. You get the best results with high quality oil like this! You would have to use much more off brand oil to get the same results. Read more on why I choose YL. everydayoilspic BUT, because of the potency of YL oils, I hardly ever (if ever) use it neat (which means without being mixed with a carrier oil). I almost always use my oils mixed with either olive oil or coconut oil. Carrier oils not only help your oils to last longer, but they help spread the oils to reach further.

Stretch your Oils Here are some roller bottles that I use-they save you money! So not only are you using your carrier oil to stretch your oh-so-potent essential oils, but the roller spreads it on evenly so it can spread the oil further (one drop of oil can be spread across 4 ft! I buy the tinted glass ones because the clear ones let UV light through, which can actually make the teeny tiny molecules of the essential oils (the ones that are small enough to penetrate and treat you on a cellular level) bigger and therefore less effective. I of course learned this after purchasing like 40 clear ones… oh well! I use these rollers for my allergy stick, sleepy stick, and calm down stick. They are great if you want to mix a few of your oils together, or just highlight one, like my Frankie stick. We love frankincense for so many reasons, but it is one of the most expensive ones, so we usually dilute it in olive oil to stretch it. Matt usually wears his as cologne or as a great mood booster.

S   T   R   E   T   C   H    YOUR DOLLARS!


Where to Shop for Supplies? It’s easy to get overwhelmed and spend spend spend on supplies for your oils. I would suggest starting small with a few rollers until you get the hang of things and see the health benefits of what you are doing. I use these rollers and I just use Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil . The thing with essential oils is, you MUST buy glass. This is because essential oils will eat away plastic-just watch what citrus oil can do to Styrofoam! Then I would purchase spray bottles and jars.  The cheapest place I can find for all my glass bottles, jars, etc is Abundant Health. And if you know other oil users or people who want to start-the best way is to buy in bulk! You can get some serious discounts and save on shipping!! Using coconut oil is a must for essential oils ‘creams’! If you have a Costsco membership, you can usually find it cheapest there. But if you are like me and spend wayyyyyy to much money when you walk in Costco, you can find it online here or if you participate in the food drop, Azure Standard, that is by far the cheapest route to go.  I cook with it too so we order a lot of it! For all the bottles, I wrap just plain ol’ masking tape around it and label the oil with a sharpie. Eventually you could order lip balm tubes, metal jars to sell or gift and make money that way! In fact, if you are interested in sharing the oily love with others, with Young Living, you can potentially get paid to use their oils. Unlike most companies, the more people you tell about your oils and get them to sign up under you, you can get a commission off of their mutual love for oils. You could potentially get your oils for free!

Save on co-pays and pharmacy! Certain times of year are the WORST for your bank account because your kids bring home any and every virus, flu, cold, pink eye, etc that’s out there! Read about our “sickagedon” last fall. We spent over $2000 over Sept and Oct in co-pays ($20 each time!), medicine and a hospital trip for my poor, de-hydrated Mikey! To think of the money we could have saved (and trauma avoided!) using EOs…. Since we have started using oils, we have not gone to the doctor once. Not once. Well yes, once-but that was for a well visit and we didn’t have to pay for those! We have seen EOs help with stuffy noses, headaches, respiratory probs, and dropped a few fevers and are in the process of helping a UTI and sinus probs for the hubby! I have banished my plantar wart (ew!), helped with sleep for all of us, my heartburn, headaches, Matt’s snoring, anti-itch for bug bites, healed bruises overnight and the list. Goes. On. So that’s it! That is how I actually SAVE money using Essential Oils, PLUS I feel better giving my family safer and more natural ways to heal.

So What Now? Order a starter kit! It is very easy to get started. My enroller and sponsor number are already typed in so I am the person you would come to with questions or help to get you started! If you would like a step by step document to walk you through signing up, click here. I highly recommend the Premium kit because the value is unbeatable! For the oils alone, it would cost over $150-plus you get a diffuser and membership (which is like taking 24% off the rest of your future orders). The upfront cost is $150 (remember the investment is so worth it!).

The Basic Starter Kit is $40 and contains their product and business package, which
includes Essential Oil Sample Packets, all-new product and business literature, and other popular product
samples. This will also come with 24% off future orders, because you will be a member!
The Basic Plus Starter Kit is $75 and includes everything in the Basic Starter Kit, plus an easy-to-use Home Diffuser
The Premium Kit is $150 and includes everything in the Basic Starter Kit, plus a Home Diffuser and an
Everyday Oils collection. Plus a 5ml bottle of Stress Away blend!
After you order your kit, I would seriously consider the Desk Reference Guide-which will help guide you on how to use your oils! It is so so helpful!
And a few roller bottles to get you started. Please feel free to contact me ( for any support you would need!

St. Joe’s Religious Ed Program (REP) Theme for 2014-2015

REP Theme 2014-2015: Recipe for Joy

Each year, REP has a theme, something to keep as a guideline in our prayers as a community. My first year it was, “Cultivating Christ” using plants, soil, water, son, etc as metaphors for the Gospel message of God’s love for us, our prayer life, going to church, etc. We had sprouts and watering cans on our nametags and each child’s name was written on a little sprout in a row of brown construction paper soil for our Door Tags.

The following year, our theme was, “Shine Christ’s Light.” We discussed light and how important it is in our lives-that we need light for so many things! Our opening night prayer, we had the church dark/dim until a certain time where we talked about how light helps us see clearly, feel safer, etc. Then we turned a lamp on and took off the lampshade. We told everyone that we are called to be like lamps without lampshades-shedding the light of God’s truth and love to a sometimes dark world. Then we passed out little finger flashlights at the end of the prayer service as reminders.

We had light bulb shapes for adult’s name tags and a huge light bulb shape with little lightning bolts with the student’s names written on them for the door tags.

This year our theme is: The Recipe for Joy! We will talk about how each of us, young and old, have a desire for joy and happiness. Many of us search for happiness in food, or video games, or popularity, or clothing, etc. But God gave us a recipe for joy in the Bible. He gave us the Beatitudes and have taught us to pray. We will discuss the “ingredients” for a joyful life (going to Mass, praying by yourself and with others, learning about our faith, being kind to others, etc).
Our Prayer Kits will be used every week, giving the children a hands on opportunity to grow in their relationship with Christ.

The door tags will be a large mixing bowl and each child will be an ingredient shape (egg, measuring cup, spoon, etc). The catechists and volunteers will where name tags with spatulas and whisks on them.

I will be posting pictures of what we come up with when that time comes! Keep this upcoming year in your prayers as I will keep you in mine!

God bless,


Journey. I love the word. I especially love when it applies to one’s life. I like it because there is a beginning and eventually an end (which provides me with a much needed sense of control or order)… but SO MUCH lies in the middle. Journey also implies that life. goes. on. Even after the hard times…

The month of October has been just that for the Halbach House. We have endured virus after virus, sleepless night after sleepless night. First, Ben got up in the middle of the night, came in to our bed after asking so politely if he could. After snuggling my sick boy, he puked all over me and our bed (and new sheets!). Like a virus, it spread to the other boys leaving a poop and puke trail behind it… Well because boys are pretty gross even when they are heathy, this virus must have felt at home because it didn’t leave. it just hopped from boy to boy for over 10 days. Which means, for 10 days, there would be at least one of our previously kissable boys, covered in puke or poop (OR BOTH!) at 3am. Every. night.

It finally left our two younger boys and spent all of it’s time with Mikey. Poor Mikey was really struggling to fight it off, so much so that he needed to be hospitalized, even overnight! But 5 popcicles, 3 chocolate milks, and 1 Octopod later, he came home and was now healthy enough to kill that nasty virus, once and for all!! And that he did 🙂

But our sorrows/frustrations did not end there. That Tuesday, only 3 days after bringing Mikey home from the hospital, I went to my first midwife appointment. I was so excited to hear that quick pitterpatter of a heartbeat and after waiting in the waiting room, reciting my medical history and stripping down/wearing my paper skirt, the moment finally came! First, the warm gel they put on your belly, then the mini microphone thing, next heartbeat right? Not today. My poor midwife tried and tried, pressing here and there, but just could not find the heartbeat for the life of her.

I am not the kind of person to freak out. So I just took deep breaths, preparing myself for what could happen next. Preparing myself for the possibility that the little butterbean growing inside me stopped growing inside me…. My awesome midwife told me that sometimes this happens but not to freak out until we know something for sure. So she rushed me in for an ultrasound. I was waiting in a new waiting room with women and their joyfully swollen bellies, suddenly jealous of each and every one, clinging to the hope that mine would grow to be that big in 6 months…

And again, stripped from the belly down, donning a paper skirt, I finally saw the proof of my worst fear. My baby had stopped growing, stopped moving, stopped…. living…

My worst fears were still hidden. The words of my loss had not been spoken yet. So I did what I was formed to do, I hoped. I hoped with all of me that the baby was just small, just sleeping. But after the too-long ultrasound was over, the ultrasound tec pointed out what blood flow looked like and that was not any blood flow in my baby. She then said with such compassion, “I am so sorry.” Just as the life was taken from my baby, breath was taken from me. I just cried. A lot. But? How? Why? I’ll never hold you! I’ll never see you! You will not get to meet your awesome brothers? Cried some more. Achy heart grew heavier…

I thanked the tec for her compassion and went home to cry in my husbands arms. We had no idea that that day would end up that way… but it did. This was October 15th, 2013, the National day of remembrance for miscarriage and infant loss.

Because we told everyone and their mom about our pregnancy, we decided to do the same about our miscarriage. We had no idea how many people would put fourth their prayers, kind words, empathetic stories, etc. To read more about my post-miscarriage, life-giving moments, read here.

After the miscarriage, Matt and I were as strong as ever… this strength was so needed to endure the next trial of October, which was strep. For all three boys! We caught it early and got them on antibiotics. Mikey’s strep was of course a super strain because it was not responding to the antibiotics, so one call from the school nurse, one pair of pukey jeans, and one stronger prescription from the doctor later, he was as good as new.

Then I got walking pneumonia!

So what have I learned throughout this month? A few things… mainly that life. goes. on,

Also that cleaning up poop and puke off the carpets and tiny bottoms count as a prayer, so I shouldn’t feel guilty when I haven’t set aside ANY time to pray or be with God during those dark times.

And that the resurrection of Jesus brings hope to me during this time.

And that I have three beautiful boys and an amazing husband who are alive and kind of healthy 🙂

And that each of us are on a journey. Today, for most of us, is not the end. There is tomorrow. This too shall pass, right?