Buying presents on the Internet was the only option for Noelle Buscho this past Christmas. Besides having an active two-year-old, she found herself on bed rest months before the birth of her second child in January.

Her husband, Alan, was too busy selling corn and managing their Faribault, MN, hog operation to even think about Christmas shopping.

So Buscho got herself online and ordered toys, books and clothing through the Internet.

"I even paid a few dollars more and got the presents wrapped," she says.

She dealt only with secure Web sites before ordering. If she was nervous about whether a site was secure, she used its 800 number and called in her order.

Toy prices were comparable to the local stores' prices, and she paid shipping and handling of $1 for every $10 ordered. "And there was no tax because I ordered out of state."

Buscho has used the Internet to look up businesses selling products needed to finish the family's newest farrowing barn and has ordered airline tickets for her parents. She's also selected livestock and even resubscribed to Soybean Digest online.

"It's more convenient for me. And I can do it with my feet up, on bed rest and in nasty Minnesota weather."