Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Here are your random numbers: 1
Timestamp: 2009-06-30 17:34:30 UTC
The free eBook By The Book: How To Take Care Of My Kids goes to:
This looks like a very helpful book. All of us tired, overwhelmed moms can use all the help we can get!
Congrats and I know you will find it very helpful.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
I just wanted to send a shout out to Jennifer over at Baby Makin(g) Machine. She kindly invited me to be the guest judge for her June Mommy Moment Contest, a regular feature she hosts on her blog. It's such a sweet, feel-good theme! She invites her readers to blog about their own personal "mommy moment" - whatever that may mean to them. After reading all the fabulous entries, I didn't know how I could possibly choose just one winner. They were all unique in their own way - I laughed and cried while reading them. I really want to thank everyone who shared their story. And, thanks to Jennifer for letting me be a part of the fun!
To read all the Mommy Moment Contest entries, click here. While you are there, say hello to Jennifer and check out the rest of her blog.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Friday, June 26, 2009
A big thunderstorm blew through last night with lots of lightning and VERY loud thunder. When I got up this morning, this is what I found in my living room -- all four kiddos must have gotten out of bed during the storm and gathered for a "campout" in the living room. I snapped this with my cell phone camera so the picture is a little fuzzy. They stuck together; two were on the floor, the other two on the couches. I love it!
It's real. They pay. You should check it out.
Click this link to sign up. My MeFile ID, alas3lads, in the "Referral Code" will tell them I sent you.
I haven't done Aloha Friday for awhile, so I figured it was time to get back into the groove. I'll post something quick and easy for you to respond to --
I'm a big magazine junkie. When I'm at the grocery or drug store, I can't seem to pass up the magazine aisle. I also subscribe to several magazines. My favorites are fashion/beauty/shopping/celebrity magazines (like Lucky, InStyle, and People), as well as home/decorating magazines (Traditional Home, Country Living). How about you?
~ What's your favorite magazine?
~ Do you subscribe to any magazines?
For more Aloha Friday, visit An Island Life
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
I was recently given an opportunity to review an eBook called By The Book: How To Take Care Of My Kids.
It's basically a manual that allows you to customize your child’s daily schedule/routine, habits, likes/dislikes, medical information, special needs, household guidelines and more. The book provides guidelines that let you pick and choose which sections are relevant to your needs. You can personalize pages for each of your children. Extra pages are included for you to update as needed. Here are just two examples of the pages found in the book: "Extra Curricular Details" and "What They Love, What They Hate".
There are many other useful sections as well, such as Daily Routine, School Information, Discipline Tools, Sitter Notes and more. I especially like the pages that let you record medical phone numbers and your child's identification information (physical description and finger prints). And, the authorization to treat a minor form is very important, as well. This book is full of so many helpful and necessary tools. Some of which you might not even think to address with your caregiver. For example, there is a page that outlines what to do if there is an emergency at your home (detailed escape plans, location of flashlights and batteries, fuse box, gas and water shut offs, etc.). Another section discusses what to do if something happens beyond your control. Maybe you have to send someone to the house unexpectedly to pick up the children to bring them to you and you can’t reach the caregiver. How will the caregiver know this person is for real? That it’s safe to open the door? You provide the detailed instructions so that your caregiver will know exactly what to do.
I was very impressed with the contents of this publication and would highly recommend it to any parent. I will definitely be using this for my family.
The creator of How To Take Care Of My Kids has kindly offered to giveaway a free eBook to one of my readers. A great thing about the eBook is that you are able to print out as many of the pages as you need. If you have more than one child and/or want to frequently update your forms, the eBook is perfect for you. For your chance to win, here's what you need to do:
To enter, you may do any of the following:
1.Visit the publisher's website and take a look inside the book (click under Table of Contents to see all sections). Then come back here and tell me a section that you think would be especially useful for your family.
2. Subscribe to my blog via email (see sidebar)
3. Follow my blog (see sidebar)
4. Follow me on twitter and tweet about the giveaway (leave link to your tweet)
5. Write a post on your blog about this giveaway, include links to this post as well as How To Take Care Of My Kids website (leave link to your blog post)
If you would like to go ahead and purchase By The Book: How To Take Care Of My Kids as a hardbound book, they have also generously offered my readers a 25% discount. Just click on the above link and use coupon code BTBK7757 (case sensitive). Remember, this discount applies to the hardbound book.
This giveaway will run until June 30th. At that time, I will choose a random winner.
Monday, June 22, 2009
We are into our third week of summer break (our kids are ages 8,11,12,16). It's been extremely hot the last several days - in the 90's and even hotter if you factor in the heat index. Our air conditioner is not working very well. We are all hot and tired and cranky. I know I should overlook some of the general grumpiness and moodiness. But, today, my kids have done nothing but complain, argue, backtalk, and fight with each other. It's like they are on sensory overload or something - they think they must constantly have a friend over or be at a friend's house. That they must constantly be entertained. They've told me all day how I'm "so mean" and all I do is "say no". They've griped and complained because all the "good food" (a.k.a. junk food) is gone. I know they are good kids, but, right now, they are acting so spoiled and selfish.
I've taken away privileges for the day - no playing outside with friends, no friends over, etc. They've been sent to their rooms. I've talked and tried to explain how upset I am about their behavior. Currently, all is quiet on the homefront. Hopefully, things will be better tomorrow. I really just needed to vent a little bit. Thanks for listening.
Friday, June 19, 2009
News Around The Blogs said...
follow on twitter
June 14, 2009 3:50 PM
I will contact you via email to get your mailing information. Congrats!
The correct answers are:
1. The Princess Diaries
2. The Goonies
5. Pretty Woman
6. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
9. The Lion King
10. The Godfather
11. The Sound of Music
12. Pretty in Pink
13. The Patriot
14. Valley Girl
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Me: "It's about time to start getting settled in for the night, you need to take a bath."
Zachary: "I already had a bath at bible school."
Me: "Oh really?"
Zachary: "Well, we had a water-gun fight....that's pretty much like a bath."
Uh -- no. Not so much. Good try, though.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
For me, blogging has turned into such fun and I've "met" so many great people. I appreciate everyone who stops by to read and comment on my blog. So, to celebrate, I've decided to host a fun little game of Movie Trivia. All participants will be entered in a drawing for my 300+ Posts Giveaway Prize. You do not even have to answer all of the movie trivia questions correctly - you will be entered just for playing along (see how easy-going I am).
1. Submit your answers by commenting on this post
2. Submit your answers by Thursday 6-18-09 at 11:00 pm EST
3. I will announce a randomly selected winner on Friday July 19, 2009
4. Make sure I have a way to contact you in case you are the winner
5. Sorry, you must live in U.S. to be eligible for the prize
After you have submitted your trivia contest answers, you may do the following for extra entries (leave a separate comment for each thing you do):
1. Follow my blog or let me know if you are already a follower
2. Follow me on twitter and tweet about this giveaway
3. Write a post on your blog linking to my movie trivia contest and giveaway
4. Grab my button and place it on your blog sidebar
5. Subscribe to my blog via email (see my sidebar)
$30 Target Gift Card
Thanks for playing and good luck! The movie trivia contest starts now....
You must identify the name of the movie for each of the following 14 pictures:
Friday, June 12, 2009
Image via Wikipedia
The kids and I were out running errands today. We came to the end of our exit ramp off the expressway and were stopped at the red light. Immediately to my left was, what I assumed to be, a homeless man. He was standing right on the edge of the road, holding a sign that read something like this: "Traveling need money God Bless". He was an older gentleman; somewhat dirty and scruffy, a duffel bag sat next to his feet. In our little corner of the world, we are just far enough from the city that we don't usually encounter homeless people. Sitting at the traffic light, we were close enough to him that we could probably open the window and reach out to touch him. My kids' reactions were varied. My daughter (12) barely gave him a second look. My 10 yr. old son immediately called out "there's a hobo" and nervously checked to see if our doors were locked (I'm sorry, I know that's probably so politically incorrect, but, that's just what came to his mind I suppose. He really wasn't trying to be mean). My youngest (Zachary, 8) asked me if I was going to give him any money. I instructed them not to stare and told my son that no, I would not be giving him any money. We had just eaten lunch at McDonald's and still had our drinks with us in the car. Zachary then said "I could give him my drink". Such a sweet and innocent thing to say.
As the light turned green and we drove away, we talked a little bit more about the man. Where did I think he was traveling? Couldn't he go get a job? Did I think he was on drugs? These were just a few of the questions they asked. I explained how we don't know what situations led him there - something really awful could have happened in his life. We just don't know. Even though we weren't actually giving him money, we could still feel for him and try not to judge him. On the other hand, I told them, he is a stranger and we have to be wary of him. I'm feeling pretty good, like we're having this big discussion on compassion and life and what-not. Then, my 10 yr. old son comes out with this....
Well, I think he would get more money if his sign said 'I need money and I'm not going to kill you'
Errr....so much for our deep, philosophical discussion.
Welcome to this week’s edition of Aloha Friday.
In Hawaii, Aloha Friday is the day to take it easy and look forward to the weekend. So on Fridays I will take it easy on posting, too. Therefore, I’ll ask a simple question for you to answer. Nothing that requires a lengthy response.
What is your favorite breakfast food?
Mine would be biscuits and gravy. No, wait. Biscuits and honey. Or, maybe grits. Or bacon. Hmmmm...I think I like just about all breakfast foods, LOL!
For more Aloha Friday, visit An Island Life.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
I'm so excited to be participating in the Take A Chance Challenge hosted by Jenners over at Find Your Next Book Here. She has come up with 10 fun and clever tasks that involve books, reading, and even a little writing. This is my blog entry for Challenge #1.
Here are the instructions for this particular challenge:
1. Random Book Selection
Go to the library. Position yourself in a section such as Fiction, Non-Fiction, Mystery, Children (whatever section you want). Then write down random directions for yourself (for example, third row, second shelf, fifth book from right). Follow your directions and see what book you find. Check that book out of the library, read it and then write about it. (If you prefer, you can do the same at a bookstore and buy the book!)
I went to my local library and followed the directions listed above. The section I chose was Biographies. After making up some random directions for myself, I ended up at the book Down Came The Rain - My Journey Through Postpartum Depression by Brooke Shields. I was immediately pleased with my find because I have always been a fan of Brooke Shields. She is beautiful, smart, funny, and just seems like a really genuine person.
The book details Brooke's journey through her difficulties conceiving a child as well as her extreme emotional struggles after her baby was born. The story unfolds as if you are having a conversation with one of your girlfriends. She is frank and direct. At times, however, you see her sense of humor come through. Never having experienced postpartum depression myself, it was scary to learn how unexpectedly it can develop (and, how crippling it can actually be). Here, in this excerpt from the book, Brooke describes how she simply did not feel a connection to her baby girl:
"I knew deep inside I must love her. She was my daughter, after all, but it didn't seem to make any difference. I just didn't feel anything for her. In addition, I felt such hatred and sadness for myself. It was impossible to understand or grasp."
Happy Birthday, little rocker!
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
One2One Network recently gave me the opportunity to review the new CD by Diane Birch, Bible Belt. Her debut CD was just released on June 2nd. You may remember me blogging about her a few weeks ago when her single, Rise Up, was the featured free single of the week on ITunes.
Diane Birch Bio:
"For singer-songwriter Diane Birch, music was a refuge. Although Diane was born in Michigan, her childhood was spent on the move as the daughter of a preacher, living between Zimbabwe, South Africa and Australia, before her parents finally settled in Portland, Oregon. When she was in her early teens, Diane absorbed a unique and cosmopolitan perspective on life that shines through her music and makes a simple categorization of it impossible.
The result? Diane Birch sounds like an old favorite, with all the sparkle and magic of a breakthrough talent. People says she sounds like a combination of early Carole King, Linda Ronstadt and Stevie Nicks, with a little Joss Stone and Cat Power mixed in. Bible Belt is only her first record, but it’s one of the most accomplished albums you’ll hear all year. From the opening track “Fire Escape” to the closing “Magic View,” Diane’s stunning voice is mesmerizing.
Written entirely by Diane, Bible Belt was recorded in New York City and New Orleans with an impressive team of Grammy-winning producers: S-Curve Records founder Steve Greenberg, soul legend Betty Wright and Mike Mangini, in their first project together since producing Joss Stone’s first albums."
Link to MP3 of ‘Fire Escape’
I listened to the CD a few times from beginning to end. Then, I went back and picked out my favorites and gave them another listen. Although this is not the typical kind of music I would seek out, I must say that I really like it! It's very rare that I find a CD that I can truly say I enjoy each and every song. But, with this one, I can. If I had to pick favorites, I would choose: Don't Wait Up, Mirror Mirror, Fools, and Ariel. I've found myself playing those songs the most and singing right along. Diane is both an amazing singer and songwriter. Her voice is beautiful - sultry, soulful, even a little folksy. And, I especially love the piano in her songs. If you enjoy gospel, blues, folk music, or even soft pop, I think you will like Bible Belt.
I'm sure that you are very busy, what with keeping up with inventory, straightening things up around the store, working the cash register, and just dealing with the public in general. But, really, is it too much to ask that you remember to remove the security device from the article of clothing that I am purchasing? Surely that was one of the first things they covered during your training. I thought the whole purpose of the security device was to set off the alarm if someone exited the door while carrying something with the security device in their bag or on their person. I'm here to tell you, that little security plan is not working so well for you. You see, five times in the last six months, I have been to a store, purchased clothing, exited the store and went on my merry little way to my home. Only to discover, once at home, that my clothing STILL contained the security device. And, there were no bells or whistles when I walked out your doors. None. I am then forced to drive all the way back to your store so that you can remove the security device. Because even though my husband swears he can remove it himself, I don't want to take the chance of ruining the new piece of clothing. We've all heard those rumors about people trying to remove the security device themselves, only to have ink spill out and damage the clothes. Maybe it's my own fault. By now, I should know to check the items myself before leaving the checkout line. Then, I could kindly remind you that you forgot or overlooked the security device. So, let's work together on this, can we? Together, I know we can create a much more enjoyable shopping experience.
Somewhat Disgruntled-But-Willing-To-Work-With-You Shopper
The Horse Boy
A Father's Quest to Heal His Son
by Rupert Isaacson
I discovered this book through my local library e-newsletter - they send daily emails with book recommendations. Had I not seen it mentioned in the newsletter, I probably would've never even known about this book. And, I would have definitely missed out on a great read. It's not the usual type of book that I read, but, something about the story really seemed to call out to me.
The Horse Boy is a true story based on Rupert Isaacson's experience with his autistic son, Rowan. He describes the amazing journey that he and his wife embarked upon to try to heal their son. Isaacson, a lifelong horseman, discovered that when his son was in the presence of horses, he became more coherent and responsive. He realized that there was some kind of special connection that Rowan shared with horses. He began to come up with a plan - what some might call a crazy, impossible plan. He wondered what would happen if they took Rowan to a place in the world where horses and healing could come together. What came next is an adventurous trek through Outer Mongolia. A quest, which in part, took place on horseback, to find the traditional healers, or shaman, that might be able to heal Rowan. This voyage was filmed to be made into a documentary. See below for a clip from the filmed footage.
I have to admit that I know basically nothing on the subjects of horses, autism, Mongolia, or shaman. That made every aspect of this story truly fascinating to me. The things that this family went through, in search of a way to heal their son, are a testament to their love and devotion to him. Rupert and his wife, Kristin, are incredible people; strong and brave. It is a heart-warming story that leaves you with the feeling that anything is possible. It certainly made me a believer. A believer in the power of love, the power of animals, and the powers of unknown (such as with the shaman). I highly recommend this book to anyone. Be sure and watch the clip below. It is such an inspiring story!
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Monday, June 8, 2009
I don't know about you, but, I would be absolutely thrilled to win this gorgeous refrigerator. For your chance to win, and to help a wonderful charity at the same time, visit Electrolux and open your own virtual lemonade stand today.
Sunday, June 7, 2009
If you read my previous post, you know that I was in a dilemma about my kids wanting to have sleepovers with their friends all the time. I appreciate your comments and after debating the subject some more, I decided that one sleepover per week is plenty. When I told the kids, they were not thrilled, but, that's just something they will have to deal with. Because their best friends all live on our street, they are able to play together just about all day, every day. Sleepovers every other night are just too much.
My daughter had to have two teeth pulled Friday (as part of her orthodontic treatment). I was really dreading it (I'm weird about anything to do with teeth - the thought of pulling her permanent teeth freaked me out). But, everything went very smoothly and she is fine. She also found out that she made the All-Star team in softball so we are very proud and happy for her.
Booked hotel and flights for Chicago next month. I'm going for an RN refresher course and taking my friend along for a little girl's R & R trip. Any recommendations for things to do while we are there?
I just realized I've surpassed 300 posts on my blog! I think I will do some type of giveaway to celebrate. Keep watching for details.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
1. Food Porn Daily - Click thru these scrumptious food pictures and you will be drooling.
2. Paperback Swap - Are you already a member of this site? If you like to read, it's a great place to swap books.
3. Eight Letters In Search Of A Word - this is a quick and easy online game that can be a little addictive.
4. Foodgawker - Feast your eyes on some more awesome food pictures. Can you tell, I really like to look at food. I really like to eat food, too. I just do not really like to cook/prepare food, LOL!
5. Celebrity Baby Blog - I like to peek into the lives of celebrity parents and their little ones.
6. Hostess with the Mostess - Lots of party planning ideas and themes; beautiful pictures; and some cool giveaways.
7. Go Fug Yourself - You see the good, the bad, and the ugly of celebrity fashion - and they hold nothing back when they dish on the ugly (a.k.a. the fugly). I get a real kick out of this site.