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A Surprising Way I Earned $600 Last Month

Uber

 

Uber!  Who knew!! Until about two years ago, I didn’t even know what Uber was. I only knew the word ‘Uber’ for when we used it in reference to something that was more than Super Great….like Uber Awesome!

But I learned about the ride share program, Uber, through our college age son who uses it to get around sometimes.

I’ve been blogging for a year now, and wrote a slightly humorous blog post here on how it’s been a huge challenge that I’m endeavoring to conquer.

As I communicate my heart and encourage about things that are important to life and living, family and relationships, I’m also trying to use this blogging as a tool to contribute to our family’s income and help in funding our ministry.

There are some who believe blogging is either a ministry or a way to make an income, but it shouldn’t be both.  I am not one of them.  I am unashamedly admitting that I am hoping that the work that I am doing in blogging will eventually bring in a part time income to help with our ministry.

In the meantime I had to temporarily stop putting as much into blogging as I wanted and do something else that would help our family be able to have food on the table now.

A friend told us about driving for Uber.  It caught both my husband’s and my attention….Uber? Hmmm, could this be something that the Lord would use to help us bring in money right now.

First, let me explain Uber just in case you’re not sure.  Uber is a ride sharing service; similar to a taxi.  But the difference is, Uber drivers are not employed by Uber.  They just sign up to drive for Uber, submit some documents, and wait for approval.

Once that happens they turn on the apps on their smartphones and wait for their first ping that signals someone near them has requested a ride through the Uber Rider app.  Uber sends that request to the nearest Uber driver with their app on.  The driver accepts the drive and then the app navigates the driver to where the rider is.  After the rider is picked up, the app then tells the driver where the rider wants to go.  It could be across town, or it could be just a few blocks away.  There is no money exchanged between driver and rider (unless the rider wants to leave a cash tip). Uber takes care of collecting the fees and paying the drivers all through the app.

Uber also works on a rating system.  The driver rates the rider 1-5 stars, and visa versa.  The drivers’ ratings need to stay at or above a 4.6 to continue driving for Uber.  That means, the driver has to go the extra mile on kindness, thoughtfulness, and smooth driving.

I like to have bottled water and a phone charger slot available, I sometimes open doors for the riders, and I base how much I converse with the rider on cues from them.

When I signed up Uber did a background check and looked at my driving history. We also had to have our car inspected.  The car requirements are that the car needs to be a 4 door, and it has to be 2007 or newer.  There are different requirements for different cities.  These are the ones for our city.

On October 30th, I turned on my Uber Driver app for the first time.  I was really nervous.  I got a ping about 20 minutes after turning on my app and my stomach lurched! Would I know what to do? Where to go? Would I be safe?

I picked up a sweet young woman and took her to where she wanted to go.  We had a nice conversation and I was hooked.  I love driving Uber.  I get to meet all different sorts of people, most of whom I have learned something interesting.

Not only do I love it, the Lord has allowed it to be a tool for ministry.  One young gal that I have picked up a couple of times has an elderly husband in ill health.  She is from another country, doesn’t have any family around, and doesn’t know how to drive.  Her husband’s health is failing, and he probably won’t be on this earth much longer.  I am pleased to have exchanged phone numbers with her and hope to get together with her and teach her to drive.

In addition to unexpected ministry, the Lord, through Uber, has supplied just what we need to take care of our family.  I have driven an average of 3 hours a day during the week and was able to contribute $600 towards our needs this past 30 days.  My husband has also gone out driving some and we now have a few dollars towards Christmas.

One thing I particularly like is that either Uber sends by direct deposit what you earn one time a week, or you can cash out at any time for a 50 cent fee. When they direct deposit, it hits your bank a few days later.  But when you cash out, it hits your bank immediately.

My husband and I decided that we’d each cash out once a week as that seems to fit what our family needs right now.

I plan to continue blogging in hopes that this will begin to generate a more passive income, but until that time happens, driving for Uber has been a huge blessing.

If you need some quick cash, Uber may be for you. First it takes about a week to sign up, then you can happily be delivering people or UberEATS for quick cash.

Check it out by clicking on this link.  

 

 

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When You’re Losing in the Blogging Business

When You’re Losing in the Blogging Business

Blogging-1  Me-0

Yep, that’s me right now.  I’ve read many great blog posts, some not so great, about how to make money in the  blogging business, taken 2 courses, read at least 3 books, and am currently reading one now.  I have made a big fat ZERO in blogging. 

make money blogging

 

You know it’s bad when Amazon kicks you off from being an affiliate because you’ve not met the required amount of conversions. TWICE!

Funny how when I first joined as an Amazon Affiliate I only had to make 1 conversion in 180 days.  I made that recently, a conversion for 28 cents, and was so stoked!! YaY! I’m IN!!

Only to get an email from Amazon stating that they had raised the bar to 3 conversions in 180 days. Third time’s a charm right?

I have this love-hate relationship with my blogging business.

One the one hand, I love the idea because I know blogging has the potential to be a partial solution to our need with the shortage in our ministry support, and a help with college for our kids.

(We’re missionaries currently living in the states-after living in Brasil for 10 years-taking short term trips internationally to serve alongside partners doing ministry in their own countries.)

On the other hand, I hate blogging because it is trouncing me.  Ok—well, that’s not completely true.  I’ve made that 28 on Amazon and $1.49 on Adsense . (Adsense only pays out after reaching the $100 threshold). 

My daughter is currently looking at me  like I’ve lost all sense of reason because of my laughing.  It’s ok to laugh at failure, right? I mean, what else can I do?

I have quit …..only to remember some frustratingly inspiring words that went something like….The only bloggers who aren’t successful are the ones that quit.  So I start up again the same day that I quit because I am stubborn, or something else. 

I’m not saying that the books I’ve read, or the courses I’ve taken weren’t worth it.  They totally were! 

But trying to make a living from a blogging business is not an easy thing.  I get frustrated…ok, I’ll admit it—jealous, when I read a blog post that makes it seem like making money blogging accidentally happened for someone.  Come on! Really?? Continue reading “When You’re Losing in the Blogging Business”

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When Missing Brasil Calls for Cooking!

cooking

Brazilian Bolinho de Batata (Potato Cakes)

This post contains affiliate links please see my disclosure page

A few days ago, my daughters and I were really missing Brasil.  (Yes, it’s spelled with an S).  We decided it would be a day that we would make some of our favorites and speak in Portuguese together.  As we thought about cooking a favorite recipe, we knew we definitely needed to make Bolinho de Batata or Potato Cakes.

It was more than a time of just cooking and eating Brazilian food that we miss and speaking a language we love.  It was a part of our grieving process; a time for us to bond with one another through our common hurts.

We just plain miss our life there sometimes.  Yes, we know that God brought us back to the states, and we are ok with that, but there are times that we get overwhelmed by the fact that we are no longer there.

When we do something together that helps us remember the 10 years we spent there it helps us all savor the life we lived in Brasil, as well as seems to help us settle into the life we live here in the states just a bit easier.

We are missing our friends there a little more, but at the same time learning to more fully appreciate our friends here.  It’s a mixed up life we live…..but we do it together.  🙂

So….we had fun cooking little potato cakes, speaking in Portuguese around people who had no idea what we were saying, and smiling at great memories.

Along with missing Brasil, we missed the ingredients that we could get to make a variety of fillings.  Right now, as we live in the US and operating in the US$ instead of the Brazilian R$, we’ve had some pretty big adjustments financially.

Groceries are the area where we tend to cut since it’s the easiest to adjust.  The electric company frowns upon not paying them each month…..go figure.  🙂

I stumbled upon a way to help us navigate this transition back to the states and be able to save on groceries.  It’s called Grocery University, developed by Crystal Paine from MoneySavingMom.com.  Stop by and check it out!

Ok, now to the recipe that is yummy delicious!

Making the potato cakes is a messy deal, but oh so worth it!  Here’s how.

The Ingredients you’ll need to make them are:

For the Dough

5 medium potatoes pealed and cubed
1/4 cup of flour (plus a lot more nearby)
1 tsp salt
1 egg yolk

For the Filling

8 oz ground beef
salt to taste
pepper to taste
onion powder to taste
garlic powder to taste
1./2 Knorr beef boullion cube
Grated cheese of choice

 

You’ll Also Need:

Oil for frying

 

potato cakes

Instructions

First you boil the potatoes in water until they are soft.  Don’t let them sit in the water after they are cooked.  Drain the potatoes and then put into a bowl to mash by hand. (Don’t use a food processor or they will become too runny).

While the potatoes are boiling make the ground beef filling.  Brown the ground beef, adding the spices and the bouillon cube to the meat while you’re cooking it. Allow to cool when browned.

Get a pan and add the oil into it to begin heating the oil.  If you don’t fry often, please be careful!

When the potatoes are completely mashed, add the 1/4 cup flour, the salt, egg yolk to the potatoes.  Mix by hand until the dough is thick, similar to soft bread dough, but stickier.  This dough is sticky, but it shouldn’t stick to your hands when they are floured. If it is sticky, add more flour and continue mixing and adding flour until you reach the necessary consistency.   

Once the consistency is reached, spoon about 1/8 of a cup onto the palm of your floured hand and flatten into a round pancake.  Continue adding flour to the top of the pancake to allow you to work with the dough.  Keep your hands well floured.  When it is about 1/4 inch flat, add a small spoonful of the ground beef mixture and a pinch of grated cheese to the middle of the pancake that is in your palm then begin folding the edges closed and shaping it into a football shape.  You will get the feel for how much filling you should add the more little cakes that you make.

Once they are closed and shaped well, add them carefully to the hot oil and fry until golden brown.  Remove with slotted spoon and put onto a plate with a paper towel.  Allow to cool and then enjoy with ketchup or dipping sauce of your preference.

Enjoy! And don’t forget to check out Grocery University!

For more

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Training vs Discipline-The Parenting Dilema

 

parenting

When I thought about raising children in the beginning of my parenting journey, I thought I knew what to do when a child misbehaved.

I had learned from my parents, watched other parents discipline their children, and felt confident of what I would do or not do, depending on the example I was given.   What I hadn’t factored in was….. maybe there was more to parenting than what I had observed.


As our first son began to need his behavior corrected, I only focused on discipline. It was only a little bit later that I learned there is actually something that comes before discipline…. Training.

Let me explain. Continue reading “Training vs Discipline-The Parenting Dilema”

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How to Teach Your Children to Get Along

 

Summertime is arriving, and with it comes fun activities in the warm weather, late relaxing evenings around a backyard campfire……. And then all the in between times. It’s those in between times where boredom pops its head up and my kids begin to bicker and squabble more than normal; they don’t get along. I don’t view conflict as a negative thing. Kids need to learn healthy ways of resolving conflict, but bickering and squabbling is not what I consider healthy. Continue reading “How to Teach Your Children to Get Along”

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Monday Night Huddle–What Works For Our Family

www.connectingstronger.com

We started something that we still like to do with our family.  It’s one of those things that stuck because we realized we were on to something good. We started meeting together weekly as a family, thus began our “Monday Night Huddle.”  

Funny thing is we didn’t even always have it on Mondays.  But the main point is that we found it important to meet with our kids regularly so they can have an opportunity to talk about things, anything. It is important for us too.  We come prepared and with a mind ready to listen.

It’s a time where they know they can come and say anything, even hard things.  Not that they can’t at any other time, but this just gives that specific time where they can bring anything to the table.  Here are some things that we do at our Monday Night Huddle. We don’t do all of these all of the time because we like variety: Continue reading “Monday Night Huddle–What Works For Our Family”

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How to Plan a Family Purity Retreat

 Family Purity Retreat

He ran in from playing outside and shouted, “Mommy? How did Daddy get his seed in you?”  Oh boy! That’s a doozie of a question!  I’m sure my eyebrows shot straight up.  

In fact, I’m pretty sure I immediately picked up the phone and called a friend for help.  

Up to this point we had  been able to answer questions that fit with his age, but my son wanted to know more and since he was our first, I had absolutely NO experience in talking with kids about this topic. We were pregnant with son #2 and our first had a need to try and make some sense of it. Continue reading “How to Plan a Family Purity Retreat”

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How to Be a Close Knit Family

We had the privilege of living in Southern Brasil for 10 years.  It contributed to our being a close knit family. Our family experienced challenges and grew during our time there.  Yet, one of our struggles was in finding consistent ways to connect to each other. There were so many distractions and important things that vied for our time. Continue reading “How to Be a Close Knit Family”

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Connecting Through Critters???

 

Have you ever thought that getting critters would be useful in connecting with your child?  We recently had a “connecting through critters” experience that, although not so funny at the time, certainly was later.  Who knew that connecting through critters could happen?

We just moved back to the US after living in Brasil for 10 years as missionaries.  We had to leave our dogs and that was hard to do.  Our girls miss our dogs and both have their birthdays in October. 

We’re not quite set up to get a dog yet, but they both wanted these little critters called Sugar Gliders.  They spread the word to family and ended up with enough money to purchase them and fly them in from Houston. Continue reading “Connecting Through Critters???”

Creative Mind

The Struggle of Raising a Creative Mind Child

My husband and I are raising the last 2 of our 5 kids.  We have immensely enjoyed raising them.  That doesn’t mean that it has always been easy, in fact, most of the time it hasn’t been. Our second son presented some unique challenges with his creative mind, but we don’t choose to look at hard as equal to bad or something not enjoyable.

One of our particular challenges in raising our second son was his wildly creative mind. While my husband and I have windows of creativity that open and close….more often closed than open, The Lord blessed us with this incredibly gifted son who challenged our parenting in a way our first hadn’t. Continue reading “The Struggle of Raising a Creative Mind Child”