Monday, November 30, 2009

Scared Awake

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A few weeks ago I broke a tie with something that I've had for the past 20 years. I'd been putting it off for months...okay, years really, and finally maneuvered my way around the aisles of Walmart to buy myself a replacement.

What did I hold so dearly? My alarm clock.

Dumb, I know, but I've had that clock since high school and sadly, it looked like it had been in my possession that long. Somewhere along the way pieces of it had broken off and it was really more of an eyesore than a working object.

The problem? I'm now under the firm opinion that Walmart needs to have a 'testing' area where you can try out a few of the clock's features before bringing home your new little one.

A few days ago I set the alarm for the first time and I'm not kidding you when I say that I almost fell out of bed when the alarm went off. I could seriously have the clock in our basement and hear it perfectly well when the alarm goes off. Even if all the doors were shut.

It is THAT loud.

Usually Rick wakes me up in the morning, but on the mornings when he goes into work early, I'm really not all that interested in being scared awake. Truly.

And if that isn't bad enough, the alarm has started going off even when it's not SET. It's all a little freaky if you ask me.

Apparently I wasted that whopping $5.97 that I spent. Before you say it, I know...I went all crazy-like buying the best, so what do I expect?

I expect I'll be taking another trip to the store today and finding myself a new addition for my nightstand....and probably spending a little more money this time around.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Bribery Will Get You Everywhere

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Despite the fact of being of sound mind, I am hereby admitting full guilt to the following: Outright bribery.

The reason? Possible tooth extraction

The culprit? Miss McKenna

The bribe? A doll

McKenna’s two front teeth have been very loose and she is unfortunately on the other side of bravery when it comes to wiggling and twisting. Her two permanent teeth were already coming in {and down} and due to lack of space were showing remarkable potential for some major future dental work.

The dentist gave us two options ~ two teeth out in a week by wiggling or schedule an extraction for both to the tune of $280.

Because I am cheap a smart mom, we opted the route of bribery and told her if she could get the two teeth out SOON, we’d take a trip to buy a lovely doll at Target.

The result? A savings of about $250 and a very happy, toothless little girl.

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Birthday Happiness

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This is from a few weeks ago, but I just uploaded all of McKenna’s birthday pics and found this one ~ and it was just too cute not to share!

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How can you not love that face?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Complimenting the Inner Mii

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The kids have discovered that they can change their Mii’s on the Wii console and have been having a blast changing everything on their little look-alikes and making them more like little wanna-be’s.

Laurianna was fiddling around with hers and the kids were ooh-ing and aah-ing over her choices. Zachary so sweetly said to Laurianna ~ “Laurianna, you look really pretty with eye shadow on.”

Just made me laugh out loud because it’s a Mii! :)
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Zachary came running into the kitchen the other day all excited.

“Mom! Did you know my underwear has pockets???”

He then proceeded to drop his pants and show me the ‘pocket’ in his underwear.

And I tried ever-so-hard not to laugh.

Especially since the boy has been wearing underwear for over TWO YEARS and just realized the ‘pockets’ were there.


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

Monday, November 23, 2009

Friend Makin’ Mondays ~ Thanksgiving

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It’s been awhile since I’ve participated in Friend Makin’ Monday, but I had a few extra minutes this morning and the topic was a quick and easy one. Can you guess? Thanksgiving!!

Amber at {aefilkins} is hosting and had a list of questions for us today.

1. Turkey or Ham?

Usually just turkey ~ and the ham is for Christmas. But I just got a phone call and apparently we’re having both this year. :)

2. Favorite side dish.

Hands down sweet potato casserole. With marshmallows. And chopped up pecans….why we don’t have it more often is beyond me.

3. Favorite dessert.

Pecan pie, but it’s not on the menu this year. Which is probably better for me anyway.

4. Black Friday: Are you going or not?

Absolutely not. I am not fond of crowds. Or fighting with people. Or getting up before the sun does. I try to get my shopping done over the course of the year.

5. If so, what's on the top of your list?

Sleep.

6. Going out of town or staying close to home?

Very close to home ~ my dining room.

7. Hosting or helping?

Hosting and happy to do so!

8. Name one family tradition at Thanksgiving.

Lately we’ve been watching the parade with the kids since they are fascinated by it. I plan to sneak a few games in this year too!

9. What do you do after dinner?

Does recuperate count?

10. What are you most thankful for this year?

More of our family is nearby this year which is a HUGE blessing. Every day I am reminded more and more of all that God has blessed our family with ~ especially these four little kiddos!

Be sure to visit Amber to hang out and make some new friends!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Book Giveaway: Dawn’s Prelude

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imageLydia Sellers was in what seemed like a hopeless situation ~ married to an abusive husband and surrounded by family that despised her completely. When her husband is killed in a carriage accident, a strange twist of circumstances leaves her rather wealthy ~ but still wanting to escape her current surroundings.

She secretly travels to the Alaskan frontier to live with her aunt, determined to put her past behind her and start fresh, only to discover that she is pregnant with her dead husband’s baby ~ something that promises to complicate things if his family finds out.

My Thoughts

I am always amazed at the books that Tracie Peterson writes…and always love them! Dawn’s Prelude had some great twists and is a wonderful start to the new Song of Alaska series from Peterson. She touches on several issues that people struggle with ~ why God allows bad things to happen to people, temptations for infidelity, and trusting in God. None of the issues are handled with an overly preachy manner ~ but rather in conversation and in little spurts throughout the book.

Another thing that I always enjoy about Peterson’s books is the historical aspect and the tidbits that she sprinkles in throughout the story. This book was set in Alaska during the 1800’s and tells of the treatment of the Tlinget people ~ in many ways so incredibly sad.

I know the next book in the series won’t be releasing until February, but I am excited to read that one too!

The Giveaway

If you'd like to win a copy of Dawn’s Prelude, just leave a comment on this post and I'll put your name in the 'hat'. Comments for the giveaway will be open until next Friday, November 27th, 2009 at 8pm. I'll randomly pick a winner and announce next Saturday. This giveaway is open only to US residents.

On My Nightstand

Be sure to stop by and visit 5 Minutes for Books and their monthly meme called "What's on Your Nightstand?" and also the Saturday Review.



I was given these products to review by Bethany House. I do not have to return the products.
I was not paid for this post. All opinions expressed in this post are mine.

Friday, November 20, 2009

HP TouchSmart Giveaway

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HP TouchSmart 600 Giveaway


Michelle over at Scribbit is having an AMAZING giveaway right now that is just TOO good not to pass along to you all ~ even though I know my chances lessen {grins}. So, don't stick around here...RUN and visit Scribbit to get all the details!

Non-Breakable Products Please Apply

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I'm beginning to think that Zachary's future is looking strong to be a product tester for 'how durable really is this product'.

Seriously.

If there is ANY way, shape, or form that a toy or other expensive product} can be broken, he is sure to find it for you in under five minutes flat.

We got the repair bill for our digital camera the other day and right now the big question is whether or not it's even worth repairing ~ or just upgrading to another camera. The bill was that lovely.

I came home from a trip with Rick to find that we have another broken Leapster courtesy of you-know-who.

Sigh.

Any toy companies looking for help? I have a very willing and able 5 year old to test durability of products. And he works quickly too!



Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Passing the Boogie Baton

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On the verge of her seventh birthday, McKenna informed us that she would no longer be picking her nose. In fact, she told us she really hadn't been doing it in quite some time.

Zachary thought this over for a second and then gave his two cents.

Z: "I've decided that I'm going to start picking my nose MORE!"

This was met by groans of disgust from the girls and Zachary was given a mini-lecture by McKenna {aka 'Reformed Nose Picker'} that all he needed to do was run to the bathroom and get a tissue.

Zachary said, "Well, sometimes I try to go get a tissue and then on the way the boogie just starts HURTING my nose and I just have to get it out without a tissue."

I know, I know...too much information...

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


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Cookie Clip on AFV online!

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For those of you who didn't get to see the clip that will be on America's Funniest Videos {we're still waiting to hear when!!}, you can view the clip online now!!




You can click on the picture above or click here to go directly to the clip!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Homeopathic Remedies & Options

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Once I started having kids, I really began to pay attention to the medicines that we were using to help fight different things: colds, ear infections, teething pain, and even bumps and bruises. I had some great friends who suggested various homeopathic remedies for me to try with our kids ~ things that were natural and safe to use on both ourselves and them. Basically, homeopathic medicines are made from botanical, mineral, or natural substances.

I'll admit that I was a little bit skeptical at first, but over the years there have been more products added to my list {and medicine cupboard} that I would prefer to use. One of my favorite products has been Arnica Gel from Boiron, which helps lessen bruising and other 'trauma' ~ perfect for a family of over-active kids who bruise easily! It has really made a difference in the healing time of bruises ~ I'm serious!

With cold and flu season coming up, I want to have things on hand to use if our kids start getting sick. Last year I was so frustrated with the confusion on what could/couldn't be used for kids, especially since we had two that were younger than age 4. Boiron has a line of new homeopathic children's products ~ just in time for the cold/flu season.


We're fortunate to have a great health food store that carries a wide variety of homeopathic remedies and I know that there are some other major chains that carry various products. There is also a coupon for $1.00 off any of the above homeopathic medicines if you are interested ~ I know it's something that I will be putting in our cabinet to have on hand this fall and winter!

Just wanted to pass along a little something that is Working for Me!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Blog Awards Voting Time

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I was blown away today going through the different categories and seeing my blog in the hat with some other AMAZING ladies. Thank you all so much for those of you who nominated me!!The nominations for the Homeschool Blog Awards are tallied and the polls are open for voting.

This blog was nominated in the following categories:

~ Funniest Homeschool Blog {and I do think my kids are hilarious...}
~ Best Cyber Buddy Blog

Homeschool Creations
{my other blog} was nominated too!

~ Best Homeschool Mom Blog
~ Best Blog Design
~ Best Crafts, Plans, and Projects Blog
~ Best Super-Homeschooler

Totally Tots also made the list!!

~ Best Family/Group Blog
~ Best Curriculum Blog

I'm excited to go vote and visit around to some of the different blogs! Have fun browsing some great sites!!

The Lawn Ranger

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The kids have been watching episodes of the Lone Ranger lately and Kaleb and Zachary both have some handy holsters and cap-guns that they have been playing with.

Kaleb had his holster and guns on the other day and literally swaggered into the kitchen. He looked up at me and said, "I'm the Lawn Ranger." He then pulled one of his guns out and shot it up into the air.

I fell down to the floor, groaning in mock pain.

Kaleb rushed over saying, "No, Mommy! You okay! There are no meatballs in it. See?"

I am so not understanding how meatballs came into the picture, but he is convinced that's what goes into the guns...

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Rick and I were driving in separate cars from homegroup, and Rick had Zachary with him. At one point they passed us when there were two lanes and the girls were yelling for me to catch up and not let them win.

I was closing the gap between us and said, "We can't let the boys beat us!"

Kaleb piped up from the backseat and said, "Mommy, I can't beat you. I don't know how to drive!"

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


Saturday, November 7, 2009

Blue Like Playdough {Book Review}

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From the Publisher

In the everyday stretch and squeeze of motherhood, Tricia Goyer often feels smooshed by the demands of life. In Blue Like Playdough, she shares her unlikely journey from rebellious, pregnant teen to busy wife and mom with big dreams of her own. As her story unfolds, Tricia realizes that God has more in store for her than she has ever imagined possible.

Sure, life is messy and beset by doubts. But God keeps showing up in the most unlikely places–in a bowl of carrot soup, the umpteenth reading of Goodnight Moon, a woe-is me teen drama, or play dough in the hands of a child.

In Tricia’s transparent account, you’ll find understanding, laughter, and strength for your own story. And in the daily push and pull, you’ll learn to recognize the loving hands of God at work in your life… and know He has something beautiful in mind.

My Thoughts

There are very few books that make it to my "keep it for a very-long-time" shelf and this is one of those books that I will keep to read a few times more. Tricia's writing style flows so easily and before you know it you are several chapters into the book, nodding your head in understanding, and encouraged beyond measure. The book has such a depth and realness to it ~ which I loved. Tricia is very open in so many of the various situations that she uses as examples, but it gives the book an even deeper level of meaning because of it!

I used this book as a 'Bible study' of sorts with a friend of mine and we were able to read it together in just a few weeks and both of gleaned some great little tidbits and encouragement from the book. Here are a few of my favorite quotes:

"We can add God's Word to our day, but it does not spread and expand unless we put it to use. When something happens that makes me angry, I remember, "In your anger do not sin," and so I hold in what I want to act out. That is the kneading." p. 96

"The hard stuff isn't easy. And seeing God mold our kids often hurts even more than feeling His hand on us. But it's also through the hard stuff that we see God in different ways. We discover an element of His goodness that had before been unknown. Undiscovered." p. 141

"Yes, my play dough may still get crumbs, but it's not my job to hide them or even to pick them out. God is faithful in doing that. It's my job to be truthful about the dirt that still lingers and to hand myself over, plopping my blue, pliable self into His hands." p. 60

If you would like to get a peek at the book, the first chapter of Blue Like Playdough is available online for you to read. The book is also available for purchase through Amazon ~ and I would highly recommend it!!



I received this book from Tricia Goyer to review. I was not paid for my review. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Have I Mentioned I'm Distractable?

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This week I have tried ever-so-desperately to stick to a list. Believe me, I've created more lists than I care to mention, but those lists are going a little crazy, and unfortunately I'm not quite following the list.

For instance, I made a great list on Monday of all the things that REALLY needed to be done this week before I head out for the weekend ~ the blog posts that I have due for other sites, school stuff that needed to be made, reviews I have coming up, etc... I even numbered my list in order of priority and based on when it was due.

At the end of the day I'd somehow managed to do number 4 and 10 on my list {'cause I'm apparently not able to go in numerical order...}. So I renumbered my list and then I lost it.

Which is really helpful when you are trying to follow a list, you know.

I made a new list on nicer paper and came up with a better organizing scheme, got online to do some of the stuff that was on the list and then...
  • got distracted by these cute little fish
  • realized I still haven't mailed my camera off {ahem}
  • forgot to add 'packing' to my list
  • found out Chic-fil-A has peppermint shakes again {thanks to a tweet that someone sent me}
Apparently I need to take a road trip in a bit and distract myself some more and then tape the list to my forehead since it wandered off somewhere around the house again.

I'm not as organized as you all think.



Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Yes, He's a Boy

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When I first held Zachary in my arms a little over five years ago, I never envisioned some of the things that would come out of his mouth just a few years down the road.

You know, the ones where you are involved in a serious conversation with a friend on the phone and there is something that desperately needs to be said to you ~ because it's VERY important!!! Something like this...

"Mom! Mom!"

Please wait!! Mommy is on the phone.

"No, Mom ~ this is so amazing! I went poop in the potty and one was this big {holds hands up very tiny} and one that was THIS HUGE {showing something so impossibly large it was comical}!"

I'm so very, very proud.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Blizzards Protect Your Skin

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We were on our way through some lovely farmland last week and I had the windows cracked open for the boys. It was definitely farm-fresh smelling.

Zachary was making hilarious sniffing and gagging noises in the backseat and then said, "Ewww!! That cow maneuver stinks!"

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Zachary burned his hand last week on the stovetop ~ obviously so, because he had the lovely ring-shaped blisters on the palm of his hand to prove it. Getting him NOT to pick at them was a little difficult and I tried to explain to him that the blisters protect his new skin underneath.

A little later in the day he was staring at his hand and examining it and asked me, "Mom? How do blizzards help your skin grow?"

It was just so sweet...

Head on over to Mary's at Not Before 7 for some more Tiny Talk Tuesday!!
She's got a great new look today too!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Why I Have Two Blogs

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A reader emailed me recently and asked why I have two blogs and truthfully, it's a really good question.

And one I sometimes ask myself....

When I jumped into the world of blogging a little over a year ago, my main focus was just keeping up with what was happening in our family, having an online 'journal' of the crazy things happening in our house, and using it as an outlet of sorts. I was homeschooling, but for some reason didn't feel that it 'fit' on this blog.

I know, I know...I could make it fit, but it just didn't feel right to me.

I started Homeschool Creations primarily as an online record of what the kids were learning every week and never expected any one else to be interested in what was happening. Apparently I was very wrong on that front. Which just cracks me up to no end.

Is it hard keeping up with two blogs? I'll admit it ~ there are times that it is, but I've also learned that generally I am the one putting pressure on myself to do 'this' on a certain day and have posts going constantly. If I'm keeping it fun and doing what I want to do, it's not pressure at all. If I miss a day, I discovered that the world doesn't end {shocking revelation...who knew?}.

Basically, each blog is an extension two parts of me ~ the 'mommy/wife me' who likes to read and tell funny stories that will haunt my children for years to come and then the 'teacher me' who has an outlet to share a side of my creativity in a different way.

Either that...or I just have too much free time on my hands.


 

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