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Friday, May 31, 2013

2013 Summer Bucket List

Last summer was probably the most boring summer ever for the kids.  I was very pregnant, and it was the hottest summer on record in about 50 years.  I made a point not to leave the house or even get off the couch somedays.  There were no fun trips, no getting the blow-up pool out, no going for walks.  The most exciting thing I did was give them an ice cream pail full of water to play with on the porch.  This summer, I'm not pregnant and the baby is old enough to get in on some of the fun so I'm determined to make this summer a fun experience for me and the kidlets.

So, without further ado, I give you...our summer bucket list!  *applause, applause*

  • Visit the zoo-Done!
  • Set up the inflatable swimming pool-this is a feat in itself because the electric pump I bought brand-new last year works about as well as blowing the thing up by hand, er, mouth.
  • Take the kids to each of the four playgrounds in town.
  • Visit the local Farmer's Market.
  • Catch fireflies-Done!
  • Take a walk on the bike trail while Princess rides her bike.
  • Visit the park in the next town over-it is seriously the coolest park ever.
  • Bake cookies to give to a friend.
  • Put shaving cream on the plastic slide and let the kids go crazy in their swim suits.
  • Make root beer floats.
  • Get a big cardboard box to play in.
  • Make "hugs" to send to relatives who don't live nearby.

  • Make crayon art

  • Work through this Noah's Ark preschool pack with Little Man and Princess.

I also have a list of goals for myself this summer.
My summer goals:
  • Teach Princess my phone number and our address.
  • Exercise regularly.  I've been too scared to do much exercise because I'd heard that it would make a diastasis worse and I was pretty sure I had one.  I checked and...no diastasis!  Which means no excuses! 

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Thursday, May 30, 2013


After spending 2 hours this afternoon coaching, threatening, and yelling at the kids to clean up their toys, I've decided I'm done.

I'm done with little random toys all over my house from one end to the other.  I'm done with trying to find space for all the toys.  I'm done with spending an hour and a half every week organizing toys.

That's right, I watermarked that mess.  Just so everyone would be clear that it belongs to me.  Because that's important.  *Sarcasm implied* 

It's time to purge.  Be afraid, little toys.  Be very afraid.

This weekend, I am going to send the kidlets off to play with cousins or relatives of some sort (I haven't decided who to beg bribe threaten nicely ask yet) so I can spend the day purging toys to give to Goodwill.  If it isn't educational, imaginative, or doesn't go with a set of toys the kids love, it's gone.  No more worrying about offending a well-meaning relative when they come to visit and that push-the-buttons-and-watch-me-light-up toy is gone.  I don't care anymore.  I cleaned off a shelf in my bedroom closet which will be used to store about half of the remaining toys.  And, FYI...that shelf isn't as big as you think it is...

But wait, why stop there?  If I'm going to purge the toys, why not keep going?  I decided to make a plan and of course, that requires that I blog about it.  Amiright?  So here is my official purge list:

Kids' coats and winter gear-No child needs 4 winter coats and 18 pairs of mittens.  It seems that the more mittens they have, the more they lose them.  The ones I do keep will have yarn sewn to each mitten to connect the pair so it threads between the sleeves of the coat.  Presto! No more lost mittens.

Hubby's farm gloves-seriously...three drawers stuffed full of ratty old gloves that he hasn't touched since we got married?  No.  Just no.

Dishes-There are dishes in my kitchen that I have never used.

Blankets-I swear they multiply when I'm not looking!

Bathtub toys and kids' towels-They play with the same 2 toys every time they get in the bathtub and I wash towels often enough that the bottom half of the stack hasn't been touched in over a year.  

My clothes-I'm hoping/planning/working on losing weight so I have a lot of clothes in limbo.  Seriously though, if I don't love it, it's gone.  IF I lose enough weight to fit back into the clothes I wore before getting pregnant with Princess, I will buy myself new ones.

Kids' clothes-They do not need 20 shirts apiece.  I do have a washing machine, and I wash their clothes weekly.  10 shirts is the maximum they need.  The same goes for pants.

Kids' shoes-Going on the same theme as the clothes, they simply don't need 12 pairs of shoes apiece.

Books and movies-I'm having a hard time fitting them all on their shelves so it's definitely time for a purge there as well.  Most of them, I can get at the local library so I don't need my own copy.

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

My Favorite Place to Buy Fabric

*Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.  I was not asked to review fabric.com and all opinions are my own. 

I live 45 minutes away from the closest fabric store so I order most of my fabric online.  My favorite site to order fabric from is fabric.com.

Free Shipping on orders $35+

I love the selection and prices, and the free shipping for orders over $35 is an awesome deal!  Plus, I am usually able to find a coupon code online which knocks another 10-15% off my order.

So what can you find at fabric.com?  Well, for starters, there's quilting cotton, fashion fabric, knits, sewing notions, laminated fabric, ruffle fabric, patterns (including some free downloads!), yarn, and so much more.

You can also earn frequent shopper points for each of your orders which can be redeemed for coupons.  For 300 points, you get a coupon worth $5, for 500 points, you get a coupon worth $10, 950 points equal $25 and 1500 points equal $50.  Let's just say that I've gotten a lot of free product that way...

One time, I ordered the wrong fabric by mistake and was pretty bummed about the money I'd just wasted on fabric I'd never use.  I emailed fabric.com to see if there was anything they could do and they sent me a shipping label to send it right back, no questions asked.  

So what are you waiting for?  Head over to fabric.com and browse their awesome collection! 

Orders of $35 & up Ships Free.

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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Little Man - 3 Years Old!

Age: 3 years

Weight and height: 29 pounds and 37" tall.  He's in the 20% percentile for weight and the 36% percentile for height. 

Wearing: Size 3 clothes. 

Likes: Playing tractors, anything that has to do with music or instruments (especially stringed instruments), singing at the top of his lungs, farming with Daddy, playing with his sisters.  He's somewhat of a Mama's Boy, but not in a bad way (or at least I don't think so, lol).  If I've been gone for a while, even if it wasn't very long, he'll come running to give me a hug when I get back and repeatedly exclaim, "Mama!!!  I missed you!"
Dislikes: Being told no.  His tantrums have gotten better in the last year, but there are still usually several screaming fits a day.  He also hates naps.

This was my favorite picture from his portrait session
Sleeping habits: He needs an afternoon nap at least several times a week, but doesn't always take one.  He can fight sleep like no other!  Lately, he's been putting his pillow and blanket on the floor in his room and sleeping there.
Milestones/Accomplishments: His language skills are really good.  He knows all his colors and most of his shapes.  This summer, we'll be working on recognizing letters and numbers.  I am also thrilled to say that sometime after he turned 2, he finally started eating!!  

Other: He still has a heart murmur, but our family doctor isn't concerned about it and thinks he will outgrow it as he gets older.  He is very pigeon toed and will often trip over his own feet, especially when he runs.  He'll see a pediatrician soon to see if we need to do anything to correct that. 

Here are Little Man's birthday questions for the first time this year!

Q: How old are you?
A: 3 (holds up 4 fingers)

Q: What is your favorite color?
A: Orange. I like a orange.
*Orange has been his favorite color since he was less than 2 years old.

Q: What is your favorite toy to play with?
A: A tractor.

Q: What's your favorite fruit?
A: 'Nacks (as in fruit snacks) and apples

Q: What's your favorite vegetable?
A: pickles
*I googled it-pickles count as a vegetable!

Q: What's your favorite tv show?
A: Barney
*He's actually completely obsessed with The Fresh Beat Band and Bob the Builder right now.

Q: What's your favorite thing to eat for lunch?
A: Chicken

Q: What is your favorite thing to wear?
A: A shirt and socks
*No pants?  Really?

Q: What's your favorite game?
A: A dinosaur one on the 'puner (computer)

Q: What's your favorite snack?
A: Dinner
*Hahahahaha!!  What can I say? The kid loves to eat!

Q: What's your favorite animal?
A: Brown Bear 
*That would be Brown Bear from the Eric Carle book.

Q: What's your favorite song to sing?
A: Jesus Loves Me This I know
*I recorded him singing it and set it as my ringtone.  Too cute!

Q: What's your favorite book?
A: Brown Bear, Brown Bear

Q: What's your favorite thing to drink?
A: Water
*Yup, he really does love water.

Q: What do you like to sleep with at night?
A: My Brown Bear (the book) and my pillow and my John 'Neere blankies and my elephant blankie.

Q: What's your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?
A: Dinner

Q: What do you want to be when you grow up?
A: Be a farmer with Daddy

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Monday, May 27, 2013

Random Monday-May 27, 2013

Happy Memorial Day to you all!  Hubby and I watched the annual Memorial Day concert on PBS last night.  I really enjoyed it although it made me miss my Grandpa Herb.  He served in WWII  and was an Air Force Engineer who built airships behind enemy lines.  He was also a nose gunner in a B-52 which was very dangerous since so many of them were shot down.  Unfortunately, he didn't tell us much about his time in the war, but we do know that he was a POW in the Santo Tomas Prison in the Philipines, which was known for its inhumane conditions, and that he liberated some missionaries imprisoned there.  Grandpa Herb passed away November 15th, 2003 and we all miss him very much.

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Friday, May 24, 2013

Being 22

I read this blog post over at Tiny Blue Lines about Taylor Swift's song "22" and it got me thinking.

When I was 22, I was married and having my first baby.  I was paying bills, cooking, cleaning, working, and overall, behaving like a mature responsible adult.   

Here's what Taylor Swift and a lot of other people in their early 20's are doing. 

I don't know...it kind of strikes me as sad.  For them, life seems to be all about having fun and partying.  It's not about growing up and becoming an adult because being an adult is boring.  Maybe it's just me, but making life all about having fun and all about yourself seems shallow and empty.   

Life takes on meaning and fulfillment when the focus is off of Numero Uno and on someone else.  That someone else can be a spouse, child, or even a complete stranger who you demonstrate an act of kindness or charity towards.  The point is to put someone else's needs before your own.  

I've seen marriages fail because of this.  People are so focused on "what's good for ME" and "how can I make ME happy", that they don't put their spouse's needs first.  A good marriage is one in which each person puts the other person first.  This extends into being a parent.  As a parent, you'll put your child's needs before your own even if it's to your own detriment.  I know a lot of parents today who don't do that, and it's so harmful to the children.

So where is this self-centered, "life is all about having fun" attitude coming from?  It's simple.  A lot of it comes from us, the parents.  Many parents I know make keeping their child happy their main goal as parents.  Kids are not given many responsibilities and are handed things they want instead of being made to earn them.  Parents are too focused on the here-and-now of parenting instead of focusing on the long-term goal which is turning children into functioning, mature, responsible adults.  Think about how a behavior or attitude in your child translates into adulthood.  For example, you're busy writing your latest blog post (or maybe that's just me? haha) and your 3-year-old son starts throwing a tantrum because he wants a snack.  You drop everything (don't drop the computer though! That won't end well.) and jump up to get him a snack.  How does this translate into adult behavior?  For starters, you just taught your son that if he wants something, he'll get it and he'll get it immediately.  Instant gratification is a huge problem with children and young adults today and, among other things, leads to unsatisfaction in life and debt problems.  You also taught him that his needs (ahem, wants) should come first which leads me back to the paragraph above this one about marriage.              

I checked this book out from the library and am about halfway through it already.  It's very insightful about the problem with the newest generation of kids which the author has coined "Generation iY"  and outlines how to deal with the problem, starting with your own kids.  If you have kids or are planning to have kids, this book is a must read as it really deals with the issues facing kids today.


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Monday, May 20, 2013

Random Monday-May 20, 2013

Star prefers to feed herself bottles now.  It's cute and makes things easier somedays, but it also means I get less cuddle time with my cutie :(

We went to a parade on Saturday. 

Little Man insisted on wearing these glasses to the parade.

Princess rode on the VBS float for our church which she enjoyed (probably because she hasn't figured out yet that it means she gets less candy.)  I tried to get a picture of her on the float, but she was on the opposite side of the float then we were so I barely caught a glimpse of her as she tossed a handful of tootsie rolls.

Star LOVED the parade.  I was worried that the loud noises would scare her, but she couldn't get enough.  She watched the floats intently, clapped almost constantly, and laughed frequently.

Standing with a little help from my sister to watch the parade

Little Man got right into the candy collecting and waved happily at every float that went by.

Little Man and Hubby watching their favorite part of the parade
My nephew and Little Man with their buckets of candy after the parade

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Friday, May 17, 2013

Star-7 Months

Age: 7 months

Weight and height: Not sure since she doesn't have a doctor's appointment this month, but I think she weighs around 15 1/2 pounds.

Wearing: Size 2 diapers and 3-6 month clothes.  The 3-6 month clothing fits her very well now and I even noticed a few pieces getting a little snug.  I finally got her to keep a pair of shoes on for church a few weeks ago!  That was her first time wearing shoes because everytime I'd tried before, they'd fall off or she'd kick them off.  Some of the size 1 shoes she has are too small, but the size 2 shoes are way too big yet. 

Likes: Sitting on the floor playing with toys, standing, bouncing, eating, the jumperoo, animals

Dislikes: baths with her siblings

Eating habits: Star eats 4-5 ounces of formula every 3-4 hours during the day.  She eats about 3 tablespoons of cereal for breakfast and 4 ounces of food each for lunch and supper.  She LOVES eating solid foods and for the first time, I'm actually a little nervous of overfeeding a baby which is so strange for me since the older two kept me on my toes trying to make sure they ate enough. 

Sleeping habits: Star takes 3-4 naps during the day and usually one of those naps is several hours long.  She goes to bed between 7 and 8 pm and is up between 6 and 6:30 in the morning.  Lately, her napping has not been going well during the day.  Because of Princess's preschool schedule, I often have to wake Star up from naps to do preschool drop-offs and pick-ups which throws Star's schedule off.  Also, Little Man has discovered how much fun it is to go into my room during naps or after bedtime and wake Star up to play with her.
Milestones/Accomplishments: She's sitting like a pro!  A few days ago, she happily sat on the floor and played with baby toys for an hour and a half. 

Miscellaneous: No teeth yet and no signs of any, but I was 10 months old before I got my first tooth so it could be a few months yet.  When Star is on her tummy on the floor, she squirms and kicks and tries to move around on the floor, but so far she hasn't figured it out yet.

Comparison pictures from 6 months to 7 months:

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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

What it Means to Be a Work At Home Mom

When I first became a mom, I worked outside the home at a B&B and would bring Princess to my sister's house while I worked.  Then, I was offered a babysitting job a few mornings a week by a friend and jumped at the chance since it would un-officially turn me into a stay-at-home mom.  I say un-official because I took my kids to her house instead of the other way around, but it was good enough for me!  Then, I started my boutique in August, 2010 and became a work-at-home mom.

Having been in all three mom "situations" (working mom, stay-at-home-mom, and work-at-home-mom), I can say that being a WAHM mom has been the hardest for me.  When I worked outside the home, I could leave my work at work, plus no one was at my house messing it up while I was working.  When I was a SAHM, I was able to do my housecleaning and errands in the morning, relax during naptime, and play with the kids the rest of the day.  However, being a WAHM means that I'm always working or thinking about the work I need to do, the kids are home all day to make messes for me to clean up, and I'm constantly trying to simultaneously parent while working.

Here's what my day usually looks like:
I wake up with Star and feed her breakfast.  When she's done, I turn on the computer and start answering emails, checking on my websites, updating listings, writing, etc.  The older two kids wake up and I stop to feed them breakfast, then it's back to the computer.
Around 9:30, I'm done with computer work and ready to start housecleaning, but wait!  Another customer has a question about a custom order and I need to check availability of fabric and search for it online so I can order it and get started on the custom order right away.  Meanwhile, the kids start fighting over a toy or someone throws a tantrum.  When I'm done on the computer again, it's time to run to town for errands such as buying groceries, mailing packages, etc.
Back home and back to housecleaning around 11.  Whoops, never mind, I've got to start lunch for the kids and Hubby, if he's home that day.  I feed the kids again, clean up the kitchen, and lay them down for naps.  Lunchtime for me usually consists of a few wolfed down bites of food while I check emails again. 
During naptime, I check my order list and work on any outstanding orders.
Around 3, the kids get up and I realize that I still haven't started any laundry or done much housecleaning except for a quick clean-up of the kitchen after lunch.  But now it's time to feed Star again and give the big kids a snack.  After snack, I get back to work with my sewing even though I'm interrupted every 3.8 minutes to deal with the kids.
This continues until suppertime at which point, it's back into the kitchen to make supper for the kids and feed them.  After supper it's baths and bedtime.  After I put the kids to bed, I get back to work.  You would think that since they're in bed, I'd have time to work un-interrupted, but Little Man fights sleep tooth and nail, and Star usually wakes up once after she goes to bed and needs to be soothed back to sleep.  Around 8:30, I start supper for Hubby and me.  Hubby gets home between 9 and 10:30 and we eat together.  I spend some time talking to him about the day unless there's a rush order I need to finish, in which case, he watches tv by himself while I sit right behind the couch at my sewing machine so he can't hear the tv.
Then it's finally time to go to bed so I can get up the next morning and do it all over again.
Keep in mind that if I'm babysitting that day, all of the stuff I would usually do in the morning gets pushed back until after lunch.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining.  I love love LOVE my job and wouldn't change it for the world!  Here's the thing that bothers me...many people assume that because I'm home all day, that it means I'm free to pack the kids up for an activity or do a favor for them.

I'm not.

Just because I'm at home does not mean that I'm not working.  I may not punch a time clock, but my job is still important to me and my family.  My sewing is not just a hobby, it is a business with real customers who pay real money and who deserve quality customer service.

I found some shirts on Pinterest that I need to add to my wardrobe: 

Source: zazzle.com via Hannah on Pinterest

So next time your WAHM friend says she can't make it to playgroup because she has to work, don't think she's just trying to get out of it.  She really does have to work.  At her job.  Or when she complains that she's so tired that she can't even see straight, don't ask her why she doesn't go to bed earlier or rest when the kids nap, because those are her prime work hours.  Instead, offer to take her kids for a few hours occasionally or do a babysitting swap.  Give her encouragement and tell her that, even though this is incredibly hard, she can do it.  Take her work seriously, and please, please, please, don't tell her that it's nice she has a little hobby to keep her busy. I've been told this before and it really kind of makes me want to tap into my crazy scary lady side. 
After all, no matter what kind of mom we each are, we all struggle sometimes.  Can we please just support each other here?

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Monday, May 13, 2013

Random Monday-May 13, 2013

Last week, after bedtime, when he was supposed to be sleeping, Little Man took his dresser drawer knobs off and came out in the living room to give them to me.  Let the dis-assembling of all household goods begin!

Last Tuesday, Princess and I each had appointments with our allergy specialists.  Mine was first, and although I don't get any shots at mine, Princess thought I did so she offered to help hold me down for my shots.  Such a thoughtful child.

I had Princess fill in the blanks on some "Mommy" sentences.  Princess's answer is underlined for each sentence.

My mom is 2013 years old.
She likes to sew and work on the 'puter.
The best thing she cooks is pizza
Her favorite food is pizza.
Her favorite thing to do to relax is read books.
We like to play outside together.
She is really good at the doctors. (She must have thought I meant good as in behavior, lol)
My mom is special because Jesus made her.  (Heart melting!)

And just because I feel like it, here are three things I love about each of my kids.

Princess: I love when she randomly comes over to me, stands in front of me with her arms outstretched, and says with a big smile on her face, "Hug?"
I love the way she makes her baby sister laugh.
I love that she's such a good helper and usually does her chores around the house cheerfully.

Heading to her allergy appointment last week.

Little Man: I love the way he says "Bless you!" to himself when he sneezes.
I love how he's so tender with anyone who's upset.  If he takes something away from Princess and she's crying over it, it hurts his little heart and he'll give it back with a "Here you go. Don't cry."
I love how he compliments people all the time.  "I like your haircut." "I love your jacket." "I like your shoes."

Cool dude!

Star: I love how she grabs me and laughs when I pick her up.  It's like she's so happy to see me that she just wants to climb right into my shirt so she can be as close to me as possible.
I love the way she laughs all the time.  About anything and everything.
I love how she eats!!  Having a baby who actually enjoys eating is awesome!

Pretty much always happy!

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Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all the other mommies out there!  Today is kind of a double whammy for me because it's not only Mother's Day, but is also my birthday.  I was born on Mother's Day and every so often, my birthday falls on Mother's day again.  So...in honor of my mom and the day she became a mother to her favorite child (right, Mom?), allow me to introduce you to the best mom in the world.

My dad holding me, my mom, and my older sister
She homeschooled me and my four siblings throughout most of our school careers.  Even though we didn't have much money, she made every penny count and we never felt poor or deprived of anything.  Even though she didn't have a working washer or dryer half the time, she cloth diapered all of us.  I remember watching her wash dirty diapers by hand in the bathtub as a child.
Making lefse

She read her Bible every single morning (still does) without fail before getting out of bed to start the day.  Seeing that as a child had a big impact on me. 
Holding Little Man when he was brand new

Even when my dad was out of town for work (which was often) she got all five of us kids ready for church and had us there on time.  We were never late for church.  If you have one or more kids, you know what an accomplishment that is.  Did I mention that my dad usually had the family car at work with him?  My mom had no mode of transportation except for her own two feet.  We walked to church, we walked to the grocery store, we walked to the library.  When I was having problems with my asthma and needed to see a doctor, she put me in our little red wagon and pulled me to the doctors' office.

Reading a story to Little Man and Princess before bed.
She has always believed in me.  She encouraged me to reach for my dreams and told me that I could do anything I really wanted to do.  When I was 7 or 8 and wanted to be a truck driver, instead of telling me what a ludicrous idea that was and how that was possibly the worst job ever for me, she encouraged me to find out more about it and told me how fun it would be to travel all over the United States.  When I told her I wanted to be a writer, she gave me a notebook and encouraged met to start writing.  

Her favorite instrument-the upright bass

 My mom is a librarian and a bluegrass musician.  You can usually find her at the local library, at a bluegrass festival, or a bluegrass jam session.

She also plays mandolin, guitar, and a little fiddle. Picture by Emily Anderson Photography
She has gotten 10 (soon  to be 11!) grandchildren in 5 years time.  If I need advice to handle my kids or anything else, I know I can turn to her, but she's careful not to give unasked-for advice or interfere.  

Playing the electric bass
Happy Mother's Day to an awesome Mother and Grandma!

One more thing...I saw this on Facebook and thought it summed up Mother's Day pretty well.

Original source: Butt-Ons Cloth Diapers

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Thursday, May 9, 2013

How to Keep Kids From Using Too Much Toilet Paper

Kids (and some adults) are notorious for using too much toilet paper.  More than once, I've caught Princess happily unrolling about 2 yards of toilet paper for one wipe.  That's kind of a money waster.

To save money on toilet paper, I could do what this lady did and switch to reusable toilet paper aka family cloth.  But since that idea appeals to me about as much as sticking a screwdriver in my ear, I thought I'd go a different route.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Random Monday-May 6th, 2013

Don't forget about the giveaway for the free "Ring the Bell" dvd!  You can enter here.  Also, if you're interested in entering any other giveaways or have one of your own you're hosting, there is a link-up here for giveaway that are running in May.

Last week we went from shorts and sandals to full winter gear just 2 days later.  You know, last week as in the beginning of MAY.  We had a blizzard in May, people.  I wouldn't be honest if I didn't tell you that I didn't start checking out real estate in Florida by day 2 of the snowmegeddon.  I didn't get any pictures of the snow, but here are some from other people in the area.  On Thursday and Friday, school was cancelled and on Thursday, the post office did not deliver mail.  Remember what the USPS's motto is?
"Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds"     
I beg to differ.

I love getting deals.  Really, who doesn't?  I found this brand new with tags Luli and Me smocked romper at the local consignment shop for only $5.  It retails for about $56.  I've been dying to get one of these for Star to wear this summer, but couldn't afford one.  I may or may not have screamed in the aisle when I pulled this off the rack and saw the price tag.

We celebrated Little Man's third birthday on Saturday.  Actually, the spoiled little kid gets two birthday parties this year so this was just the first one.  The second one is next Saturday and will be a joint birthday party for Little Man, my sister's son, and my brother's daughter, who are all turning three within less than 3 weeks of each other.  The one this last Saturday was for Hubby's side of the family so, of course, we went with a John Deere theme.

I made this shirt for Little Man to wear to the John Deere party.

I made this cake for Little Man's party.  He was very annoyed that I put his toys ON the cake.

In the morning, while I was cleaning the house and getting ready for the party, my sister and her husband decided to go garage saling and asked if I would be interested in renting their three oldest kids for the morning.  I declined to pay them money for the opportunity, but offered to babysit instead.  As you can see, the morning went very well:
Princess is standing.  Little Man and my oldest nephew are on the floor.
 Even though I had 6 kids in my small house all morning and some of the afternoon, I still managed to get the house cleaned (it was like brushing my teeth while eating oreos, but I did it!) and get ready for the party.  Little Man basked in the attention, sang along when we sang him "Happy Birthday", thanked everyone for coming (including me) and was overall, the perfect birthday boy.

After he got over his chagrin about the toys on his cake, he loved it.  As you can see from his face, we had pizza for his birthday supper.

Princess caught a cold that started on Sunday and is having problems with her asthma.  At home, I'm pretty confident in being able to handle the nebtreatments and watching her activity level so she doesn't stop breathing or something "fun" like that.  But today, she had preschool.  Leaving my wheezing child with people who aren't familiar with how she works when she's having asthma issues or who don't understand how serious an asthma attack can quickly become, was hard, to say the least.  Maybe I'm paranoid, but I think the paranoia is pretty justified.  I have asthma and have had multiple hospitalizations (including one which involved me being in a coma for 5 days) and have nearly died from asthma attacks many times.  Maybe Princess's asthma isn't as bad as mine, but I'm not taking any chances since I know first hand how quickly things can go downhill when a person's lungs are closing up.  Asthma related deaths are MUCH more common than people realize, but it's incredibly difficult to get people to realize just how dangerous the disease is.  This is one of the things that scared me most about Princess going to school.       

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Thursday, May 2, 2013

"Ring the Bell" Movie Review and Giveaway

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Ring the Bell giveaway

Website: http://www.ringthebellthemovie.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RingTheBellTheMovie

About Ring the Bell:
"Ring the Bell" shares the story of a slick, big city sports agent Rob Decker who seems to have it all.  But on his latest mission to sign a high school baseball superstar, Rob becomes stranded in a small town where the simplicity of life--and the faith of the people--stand in stark contrast to his own fast-paced, win-at-all-costs mindset.  Torn between these two worlds, will Rob have the courage to let faith transform his life?  This heartwarming story of redemption is sure to entertain and inspire the whole family.

DVD Special Features:

The Heart of "Ring the Bell"
Casting Crowns “The Well” Music Video

On Set with Casting Crowns
Famous Faces

A Very Special Movie

Ringing the Bell

The Artists and Music of "Ring The Bell"

I was pretty excited about receiving this dvd to review as it looked like a really good movie.  The storyline was inspiring and sweet and I liked that Steven Curtis Chapman and Casting Crowns were in the movie as well.  Being from a very small town, I wasn't keen on some of the stereotypes I saw, but overall, it was a good movie and one I plan to watch again.  Because of his crazy work schedule, I haven't had time to watch "Ring the Bell" with Hubby yet, but I know he'll enjoy the movie too, especially because of the sports aspect. 

Want to win your own copy of "Ring the Bell"?  Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for a chance to win!

*The giveaway is open to US residents only.  All entries will be verified.  The dvd will be mailed to the address provided by the winner.  The winner will be announced on the Rafflecopter widget below and emailed.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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May Giveaways and Contests Linkup

Welcome to this month's giveaways and contests link-up!  If you have a giveaway or contest that you are currently running, link it up!  If you're just stopping by, check out the giveaways and enter any that interest you. 

giveaway, contest, link up, blogging, freebie

You can link up your giveaway or any other giveaways you find online!  Of course, use common courtesy and ask the host of the giveaway if you can link it up here first :)

If you're linking up your giveaway or contest here, feel free to grab my button!

Supermommy!...Or Not.

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The only rule is that any linked giveaways or contests must be family friendly.  Please include the date the giveaway ends in your title.

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Scary Morning

What a morning...

I got up at 7:30 to feed the baby breakfast and Little Man got up shortly after that.  At 8:30, Princess still wasn't up so Hubby went to check on her.  A minute later, he comes back in the living room to announce, "She's not in her bed."

Okay, she must have gotten up already and was curled up on the couch or under the kitchen table.

Nope.  Vague concern quickly turned into sheer panic as we went from room to room searching for her to no avail.  We checked the garage and upstairs where the landlady lives.  She hadn't seen her, but we searched her place too.  Little Man trailed along behind me, calling her name, and thinking that we were playing a game.

I threw some shoes on and ran outside in the snow in my pajamas to check Hubby's truck and walk through the snow drifts to make sure she hadn't somehow escaped outside even though that was totally not in character for her and the doors were still locked from the inside.


It had been almost 45 minutes by now and it was like she had vanished in thin air.  So many child kidnapping stories start that way: "Child vanishes in thin air from bedroom" "Child disappears from shopping mall"

Sobbing, I called the police who assured me that a squad car would be headed our way shortly.  I called my mom because when something is wrong, just hearing my mom's voice helps.  I called our Pastor and his wife to ask them to start the prayer chain.

Hubby left to drive down to the farm which is only about a quarter of a mile from our house.  Princess had asked last week if she could walk down there by herself so maybe...

I checked her room for the 8th time, calling her name and begging her to answer me.  Even though I'd already looked under the kids' bunk bed several times, I decided to pull everything out from under it one more time.  I was just about to give up and walk away when I caught a glimpse of blue Hello Kitty pajamas in the darkest, farthest corner under the bed and heard a little sniffle. 

I don't think I've ever army crawled under a bed faster or hugged Princess harder.

Hanging onto her tightly so she couldn't disappear again, I called Hubby who came running back inside since he was still searching snow drifts out by the driveway, then I called the police to tell them she'd been found.  Hubby and I passed her back and forth for hugs while I called my mom and our Pastor to tell them the good news.   

It turns out that she had overheard us talking about her allergy appointment next week which she knows involves lots of needles and decided to hide so she wouldn't have to go.  Her fears of the appointment are, in my opinion, kind of justified.  My brother-in-law goes to the clinic for his allergy treatments and has told me that the multiple needles they inject under the skin are more painful than a regular shot.  I don't blame my 5 year old for being terrified of going back there.

We had a long talk about how even if you're scared of something, you STILL HAVE TO ANSWER MOMMY AND DADDY WHEN THEY CALL YOU!!

Anyways...I think I've had my heart attack and adrenaline rush for the year. 

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