Friday, February 27, 2009

Shred What?

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I do believe that Jillian Michaels is out to kill me.



If I'm still alive after 30 days and able to move at that point, I'll let you know if the dvd actually accomplishes something other than a near-death experience.

Because after only the first level workout tonight I thought that I might pass out. I'm scared to death to watch the second two levels - even if I'm sitting down.

Do not be fooled by how simple it looks! It's simply deceptive. And even though your mind may be tricked, your body will be hating you.

And your legs will refuse to walk down the stairs to your basement. Making you wonder if you should just sit down and take the stairs on your bum instead.

But once you get to the bottom, how do you get back up?


Another Free Jonathan Park Freebie

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I told you yesterday that Behemoth.com is offering the first Jonathan Park album for free through this Saturday the 28th, and today only (Friday) they are also offering a free track from Jonathan Park Goes to the Aquarium as a FREE download.

I posted more specific instructions on downloading the first Jonathan Park adventure in yesterday's post - and they need to be followed exactly, or the download won't show up for free. :)

This audio series is a guide to 100 of the most popular marine creatures and has 100 2-minute segments that talk about some of the amazing features that the different animals have.

Quick! Hop over and grab that one too!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Not to Make You Jealous...

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Oh, really. Who am I kidding?

In just a few days I get to go on a business trip with my hubby. His business, not mine. I just get to tag along and enjoy the ride.

And two nights without children.

I'm not sure if I can handle it. Since having Laurianna almost 8 years ago...well, time away and longer than 24 hours just hasn't happened.

Since my parents are living with us at the moment we're taking FULL advantage of their generosity, and might just suck all their well intentions dry.

Because in 3 weeks I'm going to tag along to Puerto Rico. Sit by the pool all day and be gone for FOUR DAYS. My children may forget who I am.

I'm serious when I tell you that I'm already packing. I'm that excited!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

What We're Listening to...

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**Updated with coupon code for FREE download of Jonathan Park Vol. 1**

For Christmas we bought a cd series for the kids to listen to while we travel around town called Bible Eyewitness from Adventures in Odyssey - and they have loved it! It has over 14 hours of 'radio drama' that brings to life over 30 different Bible stories starting with Adam and Eve and finishing up with Philemon. There are 12 cds in the set...and the kids were literally begging for more and fussing when we had to stop the car!



The series does an amazing job with the acting and even Rick and I enjoyed listening to them (and some of the subtle humor that the kids couldn't pick up on).

Once we finished up that series (and we will listen to it again in the future) we started listening to Jonathan Park: The Adventure Begins, the first cd set in a radio drama series from Vision Forum that focuses on Creationism. We were a little worried at first that it might be over the kids head, but have been amazed at the questions and discussions that the series has brought up with our kids.



As a BONUS, today through Friday (February 27th) anyone can download the entire first album of Jonathan Park by signing up for a Behemoth.com account (it's quick and painless I can assure you). That's over 5 hours of some great entertainment for your kids - for FREE!

Here's the coupon code for this great freebie:

Jonathan Park vol. 1 coupon code: JONATHANPARK

Follow this exactly (trust me!!):

Once your account is created and you have logged in, follow these instructions exactly - without adding anything to your cart:
  1. Click on the "cart" link in the top right corner
  2. On the cart page you will see a field on the right underneath the "Redeem a Coupon" Heading
  3. Enter the code "jonathanpark" - without the quotes
  4. Enjoy the FREE Jonathan Park downloads that have appeared in your cart
The download is extremely popular, so the server might be a little slow, but keep trying. If you aren't able to download it right away, it will stay in your cart for you to download later. Behemoth also offers daily freebies, so be sure to check them out for other great products!

And to sweeten the pot even more, there is a contest for $50 in Behemoth products. You can read more about that at Life in a Shoe.

Just wanted to let you know some of the great resources that we've found and are really enjoying!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Eyebrows

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I refuse to show this to my kids, because I can just see what my upcoming days will be filled with...



On My Nightstand: February Week 4

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What's On Your Nightstand


5 Minutes for Books hosts a monthly meme called "What's on Your Nightstand?" so here's what is currently next to my bed, after the changeover from last week.

My friend Hope and I are really enjoying the book Finding Favor with the King (Tenney) and working through the chapter-a-week together. I've temporarily 'shelved' all of my fiction because I'm feeling a little more pinched for time, working on lesson plans and reviews, and trying to focus on getting ready for some upcoming trips with my hubby...with the intention of saving books to read while we're on our trips.

I've decided it's time to empty some long-overdue books from my nightstand (and return them to friends), so in the next month I'm determined to read some (if not all) of the following books:

  • Blue Shoes and Happiness - Alexander McCall Smith (plane read hopefully)
  • The Lucky One - Nicholas Sparks
  • The Choice - Nicholas Sparks
  • A Bend in the Road - Nicholas Sparks
  • Bringing up Boys - Dr. Dobson
  • Grace Based Parenting - Dr. Tim Kimmel

Here's the current stack next to my bed:

  • The Mentoring Mom: 11 Ways to Model Christ for Your Child - Jackie Kendall
  • Finding Favor with the King: Daily Inspirations- Tenney
  • Finding Favor with the King - Tenney


42 Muscle Bumps

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Zachary is a little infatuated with muscles at the moment - his own to be exact. It is not uncommon to find him wandering around the house, shirtless, showing off all those 'muscle bumps' (as he calls them).

He stood in front of me the other night, bulging those biceps, and after admiring his arms I asked him how many muscle bumps he had.

"Well, three. Or maybe 42."

I'm sure it's somewhere in that vicinity...
______________________________

Kaleb can be such a little goof lately and I am constantly telling him he is a little monkey. When I was changing his diaper, he kept saying "Not poopy" - which he was.

I laughed at him and said, "You are too! You are such a turkey!"

He shook his head and said "I not turkey! I a MONKEY!"

And that he is!

Head on over to Mary's at Not Before 7 for some more Tiny Talk Tuesday!!


Sunday, February 22, 2009

Algebra Tutor Giveaway

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If your child struggles with Algebra, be sure to check out my post about Math Tutor on my homeschool blog. I'm giving away a copy of their Algebra Tutor dvd this week!

Friday, February 20, 2009

White Cheddar Mac and Cheese

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Maybe it's because I was raised up North, but I thought that all cheddar was white for a very long time. I love cheese and to me there is nothing better than a hunk of extra sharp white cheddar.

And while I also love macaroni and cheese, it wasn't until I fiddled around with several recipes and came up with this that I was really in love with macaroni and cheese.

Lick the plate in love.

Many of our local grocery stores carry a pitiful showing of white cheddar (if any at all) but we are blessed that Costco carries a few different varieties of Cabot white cheddar. And if you're going to try and say it more 'northern like' you best be saying it 'chedda'. *grins*



Sauce and Macaroni
  • 2 C uncooked macaroni
  • ½ C flour
  • ½ C butter (1 stick)
  • 1 lb. white cheddar, shredded
  • 4 C milk
  • salt and pepper
Bread Crumb Topping
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3-4 C coarse fresh bread crumbs

To make bread crumbs:

HEAT butter and oil in a 10-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat until foam subsides, then cook garlic and bread crumbs, stirring, until crumbs are golden. Transfer to paper towels to drain and season with salt.

Make macaroni:

COOK macaroni according to directions. Melt butter in large saucepan, whisk in flour and slowly add milk. Stir over medium-high heat until thickened. Add cheddar and stir until melted. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

PLACE macaroni in 9x13 dish and pour cheese sauce over top. Stir to mix. Sprinkle with bread crumb topping.

Optional: If you prefer not to make the bread crumb topping, you can also crush a sleeve of Ritz crackers and mix them with 1/2 stick of melted butter and sprinkle that on top.

BAKE at 350° for 30-35 minutes, or til bubbly and golden.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Being Cheesy

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We had a 'play date' with some friends this week and I brought my newest lens along for the trip to take some pictures of her kids. This is my favorite one from our visit.

Just makes me laugh every time I see it!




Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I Have a Dream...

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That somehow, someway my email would just sort and delete itself appropriately.

It's overtaking my inbox.

I do try to go through it often and delete, sort, etc...but I'm somehow getting ridiculous amounts of email (and I love each and every one of you).

But I need some suggestions.

How exactly do you sort and manage the ferocious beast? Do you thrive on having it completely empty. Have over 500 emails?

Share your tips - please!!


Sunday, February 15, 2009

He's a Wild Man

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We had a friend over this weekend and Zachary cuddled up next to her on the couch for a bit and then casually said to her, "You might not want to be around me too much."

'Cause I'm WIIIILLLD! (said in the goofiest voice while rolling his eyes around).

Yes, he most definitely is a wild little boy, but we got a good laugh out of it!


______________________________

And I seriously wish that I could find a way to videotape Zachary during his rest time when he starts singing praise/worship music - without him being aware of being taped. I just sit in the living room, sometimes shaking in laughter at how he sings and other times almost in tears because of the songs that he makes up on his own. It can be the sweetest, most hilarious time of my afternoon. I just want to 'capture' those moments!

Head on over to Mary's at Not Before 7 for some more Tiny Talk Tuesday!!


Might I Just Say...

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Rick took a vacation day on Friday and we decided to go see this movie...



Might I just say that I wish we would have saved our money (especially on the popcorn and soda purchase to boot). I'm apparently getting old because there was just way too much of a LOT of things in the movie to be PG-13. And it just left me irritated.

The next night we watched this together...



So much better! Actually an encouraging and uplifting movie. Fireproof most definitely has my vote of the two.

Friday, February 13, 2009

On My Nightstand: February Week 3

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What's On Your Nightstand


5 Minutes for Books hosts a monthly meme called "What's on Your Nightstand?" and here's what is currently next to my bed...sitting on an end table...hidden high up away from sticky fingers...

The sickies were running rampant through our house last week, so finding a spare moment to read was a little difficult, what with cleaning up yuckies and all (thank the Lord for my Mom who helped me wade through the gazillion loads of laundry that were necessary). My weekly phone call with my friend was postponed until this week and we'll just do a two-week summary of Finding Favor With the King.

I'm continuing to read The Mentoring Mom
, but the style of writing is a little difficult for me...not quite structured (I admit I'm a structured girl), a lot of bouncing around from topic to topic, story to story and not a lot of "hands-on" stuff...and I'm looking for concrete at the moment. But it does ask some deeper and thought-provoking questions, so I'm sticking with it at the moment. :)

I did finish reading The Apothecary's Daughter by Julie Klassen and loved it. Klassen has a unique way of 'teaching' about a particular time/trade in history - this time obviously about the apothecary business. I loved her first book Lady of Milkweed Manor ... and now have two books that I'd like to add to my 'collection'.

Lawana Blackwell has a new book out The Jewel of Gresham Green that I picked up from the library this week and am anxious to get started on - love the cover! *grins*


Here's the current stack next to my bed:

  • The Mentoring Mom: 11 Ways to Model Christ for Your Child - Jackie Kendall
  • Finding Favor with the King: Daily Inspirations- Tenney
  • Finding Favor with the King - Tenney
  • Blue Shoes and Happiness - Alexander McCall Smith
  • The Jewel of Gresham Green - Lawana Blackwell
And truthfully...there are other books that I somehow managed to accrue and pile/stack next to my bed, but we'll just 'pretend' they aren't there at the moment and focus on the ones I want to focus on, k?





Thursday, February 12, 2009

Conversations with a 4-Year-Old

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Zachary sat down with me and about two minutes into our fairly one-sided conversation I was trying so hard not to laugh.

Because he was so completely random...and it was just so sweet.

Here's a little peek into our conversation:

Z: (While looking at some dried roses hanging on our wall)...Mom? What are those flowers on the wall?

Me: Daddy gave them to me when we were dating.

Z: Before you were MARRIED? They are brown. And old. And dried. You should paint them yellow. You need to help me pick flowers when I get married. I'm going to marry Katie (who is seven years older than him).

Me: What about Callie?

Z: No. She's too little. She's a baby. Katie's pretty. Mom? Did you know that turtles walk like this? (proceeds to crawl around my bed showing me) And when they are happy they look like this (insert goofy face here). There is a new kitty something available for purchase now.

Me: What are you talking about and where did you hear about it?

Z: Playhouse Disney. Can we go buy it now? (pause while looking over the side of the bed) You really need to clean these (digging through a bag of Goodwill clothes). You need to wash these clothes.

Trying to keep up with the quickly changing thoughts of a 4-year-old can be tiring...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The New Color of Love

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Wandering around Target today I came across these in the Valentine's Day aisle...



And per the warning label on the bag:

"Consumption of The Green Ones® may result in elevated romance levels. If you experience this effect, contact your significant other immediately."
Of course I immediately bought a bag. Wouldn't you?

Removable Chalkboard Panels

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Right around Christmas I visited a friend who had a beautiful chalkboard that she made all by herself using some lovely chalkboard paints and excess molding and all that great stuff. And I was all ready to make one for myself.

Except that I didn't want to be a crazy-crafty and all.

Instead I found some LOVELY Peel & Stick Chalkboard Panels from Wallies. And they are WONDERFUL!! There are 4 in a pack and each piece is 9" x 12". You can put all four together in any direction/shape you want and make your own chalkboard. I bought two packs so that I had a total of 8 panels to work with.



The best part is they are removable, reusable and will stick practically anywhere. On the fronts of cabinets, walls, etc... They don't leave any residue on the walls and if you get tired of them, you can move them somewhere else without having to repaint or patch holes. I am loving them.

*** A little update for you all - a few people have asked if there is residue left over on the squares when you clean them. There isn't! :) I've just been using a dry paper towel and wiping them clean with that - haven't even used water yet. Hope that answers any questions!***

And not painting or patching or being crafty? That works for me!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Like Old Socks

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Those deep theological discussions are happening all over our house lately.

Between the kids, that is. Occassionally they ask me my thoughts, but it's comical to hear them talking about things and hear the answers they come up with...and then step in. :)

Zachary asked why we have to die. My simple answer to him was that eventually our bodies just get old and we can't live forever. They just "wear out".

Laurianna was listening and piped in, "Yeah. Just like old socks."

Ummm...exactly.

______________________________

The kids were looking through some books on the solar system and talking about God and how big He is.

M: "He's bigger than the whole world, Zachary."

L: "He holds the whole world in His hands, just like this (cups her hands together). The earth is like one little red bouncy ball."



Head on over to Mary's at Not Before 7 for some more Tiny Talk Tuesday!!


Monday, February 9, 2009

Tales of Glory: Noah's Ark

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Recently One 2 Believe sent me a great BIG play set of Noah's Ark to review (this is the same company that also makes a super-cute nativity set). It has been a toy that has been well-loved (and much fought over...ahem) in our house.



The moment it came out of the box, our kids had so much fun reenacting the story of Noah. One 2 Believe took the 'big' ark very seriously - it's over a foot long and 10 inches tall. The set comes with Noah, the ark, and 14 animals: elephants, lions, ostriches, monkeys, donkeys, camels, and rams - a male and female of each creature. The top comes off the ark so that animals all store inside when the kids aren't playing with it. The set also comes with a little story book and also a list of "Spiritual Stepping Stones" that help a parent mark their child's spiritual development.

We've had animals parading around our house for weeks and last night had far too much fun playing with it in the tub. It FLOATS too! Animals were lining up along the edge of the tub, waiting to jump on the ark and be rescued from the deep bubbly water.



One 2 Believe offers a range of other great Bible inspired toys, including Proverbs 31 dolls, Spirit Warrior action figures, and other Bible characters. You can order the Noah's Ark set directly from the one2believe website ($29.99).

For Ages 3+.


Sunday, February 8, 2009

Winners of Total Money Makeover

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Congratulations to Erin @ Finding the Funny and Brenda from The Tie that Binds! They were the winners of Dave Ramsey's book The Total Money Makeover.


 

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