"" Three Ladies and a Dad: 2008

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Merry Christmas?

Christmas was good, although I have to admit I have definitely had better years.

Christmas Eve was spent with my mom for lunch, along with my sister's. Christmas Eve night was appetizers at my dad's. (Still weird they are at different places.)

The next morning we opened presents at our home. Macie & Zoa loved every minute of it, as all children should. We then got ready to go to my Grandma and Pop's.

Within moments of being there, Macie asked me where Mama and Papa were. At this time, I excused myself to go to the bathroom. After I composed myself, I returned, avoided eye contact with anyone and made a small plate of food. My appetite was not there. Two small bites of turkey and two small snack things was all. We stayed about 30 more minutes. My mom showed up a few minutes before we planned to leave. After some small talk, we I decided to leave.

We went and hung out with Jeremy's mom until our movie started. It was just what we all needed. Downtime for the girls, less pressure on Jeremy to make me happy and a outlet for myself. It is something we plan to do every Christmas from here on out.

Christmas this year was good, but just not merry. Be thankful for what you have, because it can all change within an instant.

Off to work out...

XOXO

Monday, December 29, 2008

Spaghetti Arms

We started P90X again. I bought a pair of jeans Saturday and they were the smallest size I have ever bought since being a freshman in high school. (!) This is the greatest motivation to get even more lean and toned. It is my resolution this year so Jeremy is joining me. I asked if the bet was still on and he said yes. So, even better.

But, I am going to post on here the workouts for the week. Next week, I will post the workouts for that week, and so on.... We add more as time passes so for the first few weeks it will be different.

I am going to post a quick link in my sidebar for my reference. If you want to follow along, great. If not, my feeling won't be hurt.

Here's to '09!

(Heads up - the links I included to explain the exercise has sound.)

Week 1 - December 29-January 4
Today: Chest & Back & Ab Ripper, but we moved that to tomorrow due to lack of time.
Tuesday: Plyometrics, Ab Ripper
Wednesday: Shoulders & Arms, Ab Ripper
Thursday: Yoga
Friday: Legs & Back, Ab Ripper
Saturday: Kenpo

Week 2 - Jan. 5-10
Monday: Chest & Back, Ab Ripper (The worst is over...I am starting to look forward to working out now.)
Tuesday: Plyometrics
Wednesday: Shoulders & Arms, Ab Ripper (Jeremy was playing basketball until 9:45 so I did Cardio X instead. Tomorrow we will do Kenpo X in the morning and Shoulders & Arms & Ab Ripper tomorrow night. I want to start doing two-a-days anyways.)
Thursday: Yoga (This was so boring last week. Yoga is not for me. We will substitute cardio here.)
Friday: Legs & Back, Ab Ripper
Saturday: Kenpo X
Sunday: Off Day/Rest We may do Kenpo X again today.

Week 3 - Jan. 12-17
Monday: Chest & Back, Ab Ripper (Packing)
Tuesday: Plyometrics (Packing)
Wednesday:Shoulders & Arms, Ab Ripper (Packing)
Thursday: Yoga...yawn. Maybe some extra Plyo instead.
Friday: Legs & back, Ab Ripper
Saturday: Kenpo X
Sunday: Off Day/Rest (Which really means pack all day.)

Week 4 - Jan. 19-25 (Since Week 3 was little off, we are going to repeat it before we move forward.)
Monday: Chest & Back, Ab Ripper
Tuesday: Plyometrics
Wednesday:Shoulders & Arms, Ab Ripper
Thursday: Yoga...yawn. Maybe some extra Plyo instead.
Friday: Legs & back, Ab Ripper
Saturday: Kenpo X
Sunday: Off Day/Rest

Christmas...in short.

I'm alive and well, but still too exhausted to post details. Christmas was good great, the girls had a blast and the movie was hilarious! I highly recommend it. Yesterday was MJ's birthday also so we are really worn out. (Happy Birthday April!)

Here are few pictures from my dad's house...

Ethan, Zoa and Macie


Macie so excited...I love this picture!


And Zoa...posing as usual.

I hope you had a great Christmas!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Where is Santa?

Heads up Australia! According to NORAD, Santa is currently on your continent. You can also call 1.877.HI. NORAD to track Santa. The girls and I just did both.

Have a Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2008

The one where I would rather vacation.

This Christmas will be a bit different. The first year where my my parent's are not together. If it were up to me, I would do the un-Christmas Christmas. You know, a vacation. Right smack dab on Christmas Day. But, that is not possible with children and we will have to deal with it someday, so why not today?

Since things will be a bit different, Jeremy and I have decided to start a new tradition...the movies on Christmas! This will keep us a bit busy to where things are not too awkward. We plan on going to the afternoon show of Bedtime Stories. Hopefully, all four of us will enjoy it then we will move on to the evening festivities.

I still have Santa's presents to wrap and a few stocking stuffers to buy and I will be done! I am making some presents tonight for the grandparent's, great-grandparent's and Jeremy from the girls. It is so stinkin' cute and I will definitely let you in on the link after Christmas. Several family members read my blog, including some recipient's of the present so I can't go into detail. It will take a few hours to make and Jeremy works late tonight so it will work out prefect.

Our Christmas with our friends went great on Saturday. In fact, so great the kitchen was clean before I went to bed. (Who else despises waking up to a dirty kitchen?) We had a great time playing the Wii and just talking and relaxing. All of us agreed next year to do the same thing. Now we have to follow through...

That's that. Just a little update while I thought about it. In case I don't talk to you before the business of this weeks starts, I hope you all have a Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Hal Moose: A review and a giveaway!

Oh my. Can I just tell you how cute this Hal Moose from Build-A-Bear is? When I received this is the mail on Wednesday, I fell in love! It is so festive with the Christmas lights on his little antlers and I knew the girls would love it.

We also received the Holly and Hal Moose: Our Uplifting Christmas Adventure storybook. This set will definitely become a part of our holiday traditions. It is a "chapter book", as MJ calls it, so it could be read over the course of a few nights.

Gotta Have It? Hal is only $12 and the storybook is $15.99. But when you buy Holly and Hal for just $26, you get the book for free! If you order before December 23, you can still get it in time for Christmas. (Check prices here.) All of this and more is available on Build-A-Bear's website.

Want to win one? Build-A-Bear gave me $10.00 gift card to giveaway to one of you! All you have to do to enter is leave a comment. Simple as that. If you want extra entries, you can:
1. Blog about this giveaway and link back to this post.
2. Twitter about this giveaway. My twitter ID is 3ladiesandadad. Just follow me and Tweet it.
3. Subscribe to my blog.
For each extra entry, leave another comment telling me you did it.

A winner will be chosen randomly on January 5, 2009. Please leave your e-mail so I have a way of contacting you. (Added: Sorry, I forgot to put US addresses only. )

Good luck!

Kreativ Blogger Award...

Jennifer also nominated me for the Kreativ Blogger Award. Thanks again. I am so glad I found your blog!

What are six things that make me happy?

1. My family, obviously. They bring a smile to my face everyday.

2. Vanilla scented candles. Yumm!

3. A good song at church on Sunday morning.

4. I love to cook. Knowing that I feed my family as healthy as I can makes me feel very accomplished.

5. Friday night home with Jeremy and the girls. We are either playing games or watching family movies. I love it.

6. Coffee and snow on the ground. It is so peaceful to me.

Once again, I am looking at so many new blogs now, so if you see this, feel free to play along! Thanks for the award Jennifer!

Tag-alicious...


Jennifer at This Girl Loves Pink nominated me to share our Christmas traditions. I actually might steal a few from you Jennifer! Thanks for the tag...

1. The girls open one present on Christmas Eve. It is always pajamas so they look festive for pictures the next morning. (I guess this one is pretty popular.)

2. This year we are starting a new one. On Christmas Eve morning, we are baking birthday cupcakes for Jesus. Hopefully, this will help them remember that it is not all about Santa.

3. We have done this before, then skipped a year. The weekend before Christmas, we spend with some of our close friends. We are having a few people up on Saturday for some relaxing before the bustle of the week starts.

4. A glass of wine, wrapping paper, presents and our basement. 'Nuff said.

5. Drive around and look at lights. This year, we are going in our pj's with popcorn in tote.

6. We bake cookies and leave some in the mailbox for our mailman, along with a card. This year we are adding hot chocolate and a mug. Did you know they make Christmas cards for mailmen?

7. The weekend before Christmas, we spend all day Sunday baking. The whole fam, in the kitchen. Makes for one heck of a mess!

8. And Jennifer, I am going to steal the one about exchanging present with the hubs the night of Christmas. What a great idea!

So, who is tagged? I really do not know who to tag! But, I would love to know if you are going to participate. I am always looking for new traditions!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

T.i.r.e.d.

This evening:

3:35 - Get off work.
3:45 - Pick up Zoa from pre-school.
3:55 - Get Macie from Grandma's.
4:15 - Arrive at Hobby Lobby.
4:17 - Start looking at Christmas trees. (Marked down to 50% off.)
4:18 - Find the tree.
4:21 - Realize I forgot my phone in my car. Headed to get it.
4:22 - Call Jeremy to get the okay to purchase it. Realize that he has the money with him.
4:23 - Wow...they have really cute ornaments too.
4:41 - Load the girls up in the car to meet Jeremy to get some moo-lah.
5:15 - Get back to Hobby Lobby with dough in hand. Start looking at Christmas decorations.
6:15 - Proceed to check out with decor and tree. No problem!
6:21 - Gentleman helps me load the tree in my car. Uh-oh.
6:40 - Realize the tree will not fit. Call back-up. (Thanks dad!)
6:41 - Head off. Grab some dinner at a drive through and get some gas.
7:15 - Dad drops tree off. Start to set up.
8:45 - Tree is done. Cannot figure out the lights. A nine foot tree means there are a lot of cords.
8:46 - Marvel at the tree. Dang, it looks good! I do need more ornaments though.
9:00 - Set up Christmas stuff and clear off some old things. Decorate kitchen table.
9:36 - Start to pick up. Someone is coming to look at the house tomorrow.
10:05 - Oops! The girls need a bath. "Girls! Bathtime!".
10:17 - Sit for a few. Really want a glass of wine but I need to go to bed. "Ohh! I'll check my e-mail and blog real fast!."
10:43 - Done blogging. Off to bed.

Pictures soon!

Wordless Wednesday: School Pictures



Would this count as a present for Jeremy?

This past Saturday, we had my work's Christmas party. The owner's did the games a little different this year. We had five rounds of questions. A few weeks ago, we were told to list two things about ourselves that nobody else knew. The first round was trying to put everyone with their two facts. I came in first at this round. So far, so good. Next, was the second round which involved questions about our office plus general questions about the company. The third round was to see how well you knew your bosses. Each person got $1 for each correct answer. I did not do so well in this round, but since I was in the bottom three, I was able to get a final question correct and come back up into the top three. The next round was asking more general questions about the company. I went on to the next round where the winners were guaranteed a prize. The final round asked one question, one that I knew nothing about. I looked back at Jeremy and guessed on the answer. And I won!!

I was so excited! I won a 32" LCD TV! Since we already have a 52" plasma in the living room, this will be going in our office. Not bad, heh?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Gap Holiday Sale

The Gap is having a huge holiday sale. Use coupon code GIFT to get $20 off a $100 order, plus free shipping. I am not sure when the sale is ending, but the code is only valid through today.

Last night, I bought $161.50 of clothes for the girls for $121.00, including tax. Hope this helps you finish up some of your Christmas shopping...

Sunday, December 14, 2008

(Almost) Done with Christmas Shopping!

Saturday, I enjoyed a full day without my wonderful husband or girls. I went shopping and loved every minute of it. Target, the mall, Hobby Lobby...it was pure bliss. I am almost done with the girls. I have just a few more things that I am buying on Amazon.

That night, we had our work Christmas parties. First, we went to mine where I won the grand prize, which retails for about $500.00!! More details on that to come. Jeremy's party was next, followed by a trip to Taco Bell. Good times, good times.

I am starting my menu up again. Can you believe we have not done any serious grocery shopping in over a month?

Off to eat some food and look at the ads from the paper. Hope you had a great weekend!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Almost forgot...

The winners of the PGC giveaway are Michaela and Danielle. You should have received an e-mail from me. Congratulations and thanks for entering!

I have another giveaway in the works so stay tuned.

Oh, and continuing from my sushi post below, the girls tried an eel roll and loved it! They both kept saying, "I like eel. Sushi is yummy!". I would bet all Whitney's money she won at the casino they do not know what en eel looks like, but they know sushi is raw fish.

In case you were wondering, it is okay for kids to eat. I checked with their doctor and they said it's fine.

I love free gift cards!

I know I have told you about a few different surveys companies offer for free gift cards. Recently, I have gotten two $10.00 gift cards to Amazon in my e-mail . Today, I took advantage of them and did a little shopping.

I planned on buying myself a few things. Instead, as all moms do, I decided to buy a few things for all of us:

First, a Christmas present for the girls. We saw Horton Hears a Who and loved it so hopefully they will like the game too. And it seems somewhat entertaining so Jer and I might actually enjoy it with them!
Next, was something for [Jeremy and] I. I am all about board games lately. We do not have this classic and it is good for two players. Now, if I can tear him away from his chair (which we got on clearance for $74.00!!).

Next, was something else for all of us. We have recently started a movie night each week where we all watch a family movie. I have never seen this, believe it or not, and will be looking forward to watching it these last few weeks before Christmas.

The best part of all is all of these were qualified for free shipping so after my gift cards I was only charged about $6.00. I love it!

If you are unfamiliar with Amazon, you really should sign up for their 'Movers and Shakers' (to switch categories, click on the list on the left sidebar). I can't remember who, or should I say, which blogger, told me about it, but it is items that are very quickly selling. Most of the time means that they are super-cheap. You can sign up here for notifications here.

Tomorrow, I am off to do some more Christmas shopping. A-l-o-n-e. I am so excited!!

Oh, and about the big reveal - no, I am not pregnant. I repeat, am not pregnant. (Do I look prego?) Hopefully within a week or two I will show you.

I'm off to switch out laundry before Jeremy gets home. I have to make him think I actually did something - he is bringing home sushi! G'Night loves!

Parents Architecture ABCs: A Review

I know everyone has heard and read about the toys made by Parents. They never fail to make great quality toys at a reasonable price. They are also super safe and 100% phthalate free!

I recently have had the opportunity to review the Architecture ABCs blocks made by Parents. My girls are bit too old for blocks, but they had a great time building arches with all the pieces. The difference between these blocks and the traditional wooden blocks are that these are squishy, soft, and flexible. (Think chewable for babies!) They are easily squeezable and I wouldn't think they would cause any bumps or bruises. (Something our family knows all about!) When squeezed, they also let put a squeak that will entertain your baby. On each block is a letter and an animal that corresponds to the letter - "C" has a cow on it, "L" has a lobster, and "F" has a fly on it. All 26 pieces can be grasped easily by little hands and fingers.

As soon as I opened and reviewed this product, I knew exactly who would love it. After shopping at Target, it is now under the tree for our nephew. It is something that can grow with him with the different shapes, animals and letters. I have no doubt he will love it.

Gotta Have It? Parents Architecture ABCs are recommended for children 6+ months and are available at Target for $19.99.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

An Open Letter

Dear Obnoxious Offspring,

How many times must I tell you to be quiet while we are in a waiting room? Is it really necessary to loudly dump all the blocks out on the floor? Even when I told you to listen and be good before we even walked in! Must you really keep talking loudly when I am ssshhhh-ing you for over one minute? Do you really need to talk so loudly to each other and run around like wild lions? I don't care if we are friends with the doctor and you know him personally. That does not make it okay. What don't you understand?

I know I have not raised monkeys. I know you have manners because I pound them into your super-absorbent mind. What happens? Do they go into one ear and out the other? You behave great at school but I think sometimes you two have a quiet contest between yourselves about who can make mom more irate. Seriously.

Your mother needs a wife who will do everything so I can enjoy the evenings. I need a mom that successfully teaches you how to behave like little girls. I need one day of silence. I need you to be perfect angels for one entire day. Anything from just getting up in the morning, to putting your shoes away without complaing to going to bed when told to do so. I would greatly appreciate it. I just need a glimpse of hope that it is possible. I need a husband who does not love sports so dang much and wants nothing more than to be home with his constantly-on-the-edge wife. Why doesn't he?! Hmmmmm.

Don't think next time we go to that office you won't be apologizing. No missy. You will say your sorry to the nice girls at the desk and LIKE IT! If not, your mom could become a bitter ole' lady. And I know neither of you don't want that.

I really do love you. And I want people to see what great little girls you are. So, for Christmas, mommy wants you to just listen. Really.

I got nothin' but love for ya,
Your Basket-Case of a Mom

Fine Print:
(I really do love my girls. Please don't criticize this letter and call me a bad mom for writing this. If you have lived this week in my shoes, you would be proud I am writing instead taking it out on anyone. And girls,I know when you become a mom you will understand these feelings all too well. Why? Because I remember my mom saying things similar to this to me and I never really understood. I still love you and your dad more than you can ever begin to fathom. )

Delgo: A Review

Hitting theaters tomorrow, Delgo is a movie that involves many aspects of a movie. Fantasy, love, action, family, and about any other emotion you could imagine. I have not seen the movie itself, but the trailer looks like a great movie for Jeremy to take the girls too.

Delgo is a young man who loves in Jhamora, which is consisted of two divided cultures, where one part is ruler of the skys, and the other is ruler of the land. Delgo, who is part of the rulers of the land, and Klya, who is a ruler of the sky, form a friendship that is not in any way approved of. They ultimately work together toward the same goal - to calm the hostilities between the two cultures.

Delgo and Kyla are played by Freddie Prince, Jr. and Jennifer Love-Hewwitt. There are many actors and actresses that are well-known that play a part in the movie. Kelly Ripa, Val Kilmer and Burt Reynolds, just to name a few. It
is getting great reviews; CNN is saying it is, "perfect timing". Animation Magazine said "...doing the impossible".

Like I mentioned above, this is a fantasy movie. Jeremy loves movies like this and I think it would be a great movie that he would enjoy with the girls. I am not too keen on fantasy movies, but this one looks like it is a bit more than that alone, which when all is said and done, I might end up seeing with them.

Delgo, produced by Fathom Studios, has a running time of 90 minutes and is rated PG. To see if it is playing near you, please visit Fandango.

Monday, December 8, 2008

"Hey! How are you?"

Friday was our much anticipated Christmas shopping adventure. We went to eat at Shogun's and split a HUGE platter of sushi. It was so good - of you have not tried sushi, you really should. Then, we went off to Sears. If you remember a while back, I posted about free gift cards to Sears. We ended up using them for Christmas. (Have you heard about their KidVantage program?) We got a few things for the girls - jeans for Zoa and a sweater for MJ.

At Target, we got a lot done but not as much as I thought. We ran into everyone!! Walking through the movies, games, toys and clothes, we saw so many people. Hence the name of the post. And the funniest thing of all, is nobody had kids. They were all doing the same thing we were - Christmas shopping! We checked all the nieces and nephews off the list and got a decent start on the girls' there.

Yesterday, I drug Jeremy to Old Navy while the girls' were at AWANA. We got the cutest clothes so I highly suggest you check out their clearance section.

Saturday, we took the girls to see Madagascar 2. It was not the good in my opinion. Maybe I would have felt differently if I had seen the first one, but I'm not sure...

I also have a big reveal that should happen soon. I will keep you up to date!

Have a great Monday!!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Whew...

As I sit here, MJ is wrestling with my loud and rambunctious husband. All I want is silence, but I guess in a house with two small girls and a husband like Jeremy, times like that are few and far between. I am trying to count my blessings!

This week has been a fast and busy one. We hired a new girl at the office (Hi Em!) and I have been training and teaching her computer programs, the daily grind and the ins and outs. On top of that, the end of the year is fast approaching so it is time to move out old files and bring in the new. So, deep cleaning is in full force. It's nice though. At least I have someone hil-arious to chat with all day. She keeps me smiling!

Tomorrow is date night and you want to know what we are doing? First, we have dinner planned at Bella Italia. Yum! Have I told you how much I love pasta? Good thing I started my Herbalife again this week! I plan on gorging myself with pasta and Italian cheese. Followed by a glass of wine. :) And I will love every minute of it.

Then we will be off to do some Christmas shopping!! We are the type of people who usually just wipe it out in one shot, or at least 85 % of the gifts we buy. But I love every minute of shopping so it is right up my alley. We will hit up the mall, a little Tar-jay, Sears, Toys R Us and countless others. The smell of the mall is so exciting. Yes, I think the mall has a smell. Ahhhh...

I also have to get a few things so I can start some new traditions with the girls. I am so excited about them and will let you know once we do them. But, on to another subject I have been wanting to tell you...

A few weeks ago, while the girls were at AWANA, Jeremy and I went a saw Fireproof. Oh. my. goodness. The acting was not Oscar worthy by no means, but the message is great. It really made me think about our marriage, in good ways and ways that can be improved. Once we got back to church to get the girls, I was talking with a friend of ours and he told me they actually do make the book, The Love Dare, that was featured in the movie. It is something I plan on buying as a present to myself, just to stash away or secretly complete the book for Jeremy. It would be a great book to buy for something you know who may be struggling with their marriage. I can't help but think, if I only saw this movie and knew about the book a few months ago...

If you don't already know, the people who made Fireproof is a church in Albany, Georgia. You can view their other movies here. They try to stay low-budget and focus on the meaning of the movie. The cast are members of the church and all proceeds from the movie go towards the next production they will make. Pretty neat, huh? I don't know about you, but this makes me want to support them even more. (And how romantic is this little fun fact?!)

But, that's all she wrote! I am off to baths and bedtimes, followed by myself hitting the sack.

Oh...and go wish my sister, Whitney, Happy Birthday! It is today and she needs some uplifting thoughts!

xoxo

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday: Zoa's Birthday Party

Once again Zoa, happy birthday to you. I hope you had a great 4th birthday party.

p.s. Did you notice my new hair? (My back is in the picture when Zoa is opening her presents. I have a black sweater on.)

It is not Jeremy's color of choice, but I love it!

(Thanks goes to my dad for about 100 pictures of the party.)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today means good food, lots of family time, and relaxing on the couch after you have eaten too much. Granted, I am thankful for all of these wonderful indulgences, but if I really think about it, I have so more more to be thankful for...

...a husband who still loves me, despite all of my imperfections.
...our two lovely little ladies, who allow me to still act like a child.
...my family, who has really displayed the meaning of family these last few months.
...great friends, who I know I can call at 2 a.m. if I need them.
...a warm, cozy bed that is perfect for snuggling.
... a full belly, which can sometimes get too full.
...a job. These days people would love to have a job.
...a great God to worship.

Now, back to all those indulgences...

...Diet Coke, how I love thee. Zero calorie goodness.
...Outback caeser salad. 'Nuff said.
...the internet. Look what all I would be missing without the internet!
...my skinny jeans, who have stuck it out with me, all up there lonely in my closet. It is great to be seeing you again.
...Victoria Secret dress pants. Why? They come in a 36'" inseam - which is prefect for heels. (They should be delivered today.)
...quiet time in my car, which only means the girls are riding with Jeremy.
...pasta. My favorite food of all time.


That about wraps up this Thanksgiving post. I just have to try and remember these things the rest of the year.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Birthday Jeremy!

Jeremy,

Happy Birthday hubs! I love you more and more each day! You have been so great these last few months, considering, and for that I will be forever grateful. You are an excellent daddy and the girls are so lucky to have you.

I really do understand now when a person says they get closer and closer as marriage moves throughout the years. I feel we are as close as we have ever been and we definitely keep each other on our toes.

I love you!

Love,
A

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Precious Girls Club: A Giveaway!

I know you have heard me talk about the Precious Girls' Club. I still believe it is a great series and an online virtual world for little girls. Macie loves it!

I received a package in the mail containing some of the items from the online store owned by Precious Memories, the creator of the Precious Girls' Club. I was shocked at what all I found in it:

A Package a Three Friendship Bracelets - Remember when you were a little girl and had friendship bracelets? It is a great feeling re-creating that with my daughter.

Charm Bracelet
- This is so cute! It seems as though it would be very durable for kids. It comes with a rainbow for your beginner charm. You may add more charms as you please that are available in their online store.

Patches - If you are familiar with PCG, you know who Patches is! He is Katie's pet dog and this plush version of him has not left the girls' arms since we got him!

Faith Musical Waterbowl - Katie's dad gave this musical waterbowl to Katie to remind her to embrace the gifts God gave her. This is your classic waterbowl and plays You Are My Sunshine. (I'm winking at you Ashley!) If you look at the picture, you could use this is a little boy's room as well since it does have a blue base.

So, what's in it for you? I am giving away two of these items: The Charm Bracelet and The Faith Musical Waterbowl! There will be a total of two winners.

To enter, all you have to do is leave a comment! If you would like to earn additional entries, you may do so by doing the following:
1. Subscribe to my blog.
2. Twitter about this giveaway (Let me know your Twitter ID)
3. Post about this giveaway on your blog and link back to this contest.

If you do the additional entries, please post a comment letting me know what you did. For each additional entry, post an extra comment. It is very important you add a comment for each entry.

Please make sure I have a way of contacting you, either by e-mail or blog.

Now, for the fine print:
This contest will close on December 12 at 12:00 p.m.CST. The winner will have 48 hours to reply to me. If you fail to reply, a new winner will be chosen. For shipping reasons, this contest is only open to US residents.

Good luck!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Menu Plan Monday


Review: The Shepard's Pie was great...it was a very easy and basic recipe. The Chili Topped Potatoes were good, but next time I will make sure I have everything I need to make the chili!

Here is week two of "Eating out of the Pantry":

Monday: Whatever I can manage to find??
Tuesday: Green Eggs and Ham with Toast
Wednesday: Stuffed Shells or out to eat - Happy Birthday Jeremy!!
Thursday: THANKSGIVING FOOD!!
Black Friday: Breakfast - Frozen Waffles I made a few weeks back
Lunch and Dinner - Leftovers
Saturday: Breakfast- Eggs and Toast
Lunch and Dinner - Ham and Beans in the Crock-Pot ( I completely forgot about these last week!) Happy Birthday Zoa!!!
Sunday: Breakfast - Cinnamon Toast
Lunch - Ham Sandwiches and Fruit
Dinner - Grilled Chicken, Mixed Veggies and Rice

Snacks: Cheerio Bars - I forgot to make these last week.

All we have to do is pick up a ham, which Jeremy has been wanting, and some eggs. This week is a lot harder than last week to plan!

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Secret Mountain Book Collection: A Review

Books are officially a hit in our house. Zoa loves to pretend to read, Macie just plain loves to read now and I...well, I only have time for magazines. However, when I received not one but three books from The Secret Mountain I was excited. Why? Because they have CD's to accompany them! If you have children, you know that kid songs are a huge help on car rides.

I reviewed three books:
Down at the Sea Hotel - A book with a good poetic story. The CD is a great for bedtime because it is very soothing and comforting. It will be played at bedtime from now on!

Dream Songs, Night Songs- This multi-language book explains to children that no matter where you are when you fall asleep, you can go anywhere in your dreams. It serves as a great explanation of the songs on the CD.

A Duck in New York City - Oh my goodness. I could sing every one of these songs to you right now if I had to. 'Laundry Bag' is Zoa's favorite and 'Seed in the Ground' is Macie's favorite. My sister and I was seriously laughing out loud to 'Belly Button'. (I guarantee she is laughing now reading this.) The title tells the story; it is about a duck who dreams of going to The Big Apple, aka New York City. He finally gets the chance to make his dream come true.

All in all, this was a fantastic set that won my girls over. The books are short and sweet and therefore you, as the reader, do not lose their attention. They are beautifully illustrated and have vibrant colors and bold lines. The CD's are great because they are a mix of fun and relaxing. This means they have a new CD for the car, bedtime and just anytime. The singers are very 'kid-friendly' as well.

To purchase any of these books and view the rest of The Secret Mountain's collection, just check out their website.

Jump on Over

Remember when I went to Build-a-Bear? Kim from Jumping With Faith was also there with her daughter.

Little did I know how much her life has changed this last year. (Watch the video here.)

Please keep Kim in your thought and prayers today. I could not begin to fathom how she must feel.

Fabulous?!

I just received my first award from Kara. She thinks my blog is fabulous!


I have to admit, I just come here and type what I am feeling, sometimes wondering if I should event hit the 'Publish Post' button. Ssometimes I wonder if people think, "Why is she posting that?".

So, thanks Kara...you giving me this award makes me feel like I am not as big of an idiot as I sometimes do! Ha! Ha!

Anyways.

I must pass this award out to six people. So here we go, in no particular order:

1. Whitney--You deserve a smile. (And you need to share your news with everyone. I am so excited for you guys!) Your blog is fabulous, but would be even more fabulous if you became a regular. Hint, hint.

2. Drea--I love your blog. And your photography is stunning! I only wish you lived closer to me so I could take advantage of your talent!

3. Girlymama-- Your blog always brings a laugh. I think we would get along great, and if I knew how to sew, it would be that much funner. And I would definitely help you with the kids so you could sleep.

4. $5 Dinner Mom---She post great recipes and budget friendly meals. I have several planned for my menus and the ones that I have tried are successes in our home!

5. THAT Mom-- Hilarious stories that real families can relate to! And a weekly Thursday post that is sure to make you laugh!

6. Amy-- This blog has anything you might need. It's a great tool for moms!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

*Cough*

Macie has had a cough for about a month now. At first, I thought it was what was going around. Just a cough...a friend of ours is a kindergarten teacher and I usually ask her what is going around. She said it lasts for about two weeks. The cough was all, with no other symptoms. About two weeks into it, I called the doctor and asked them to prescribe a stronger cough medicine than just an over the counter one. I just wanted something to nip it in the bud. They did, and told me to call back if it does not go away.

After one week since being on the medicine and she still had a cough, I took her into the doctor today. Bronchitis. She is now on Zithromax (Which is the best antibiotic ever! Once a day for five days. Can it get any better than that?!).

I remember when I had bronchitis and I felt like someone used my ribcage as a punching bag. Literally, Jeremy could not hug me. My lungs were so bruised from coughing so much. The only relief I got was from an inhaler.

I don't think she has had bronchitis the whole time. I have asked her if her chest hurts or if anything else hurts. She said nothing hurt. No runny nose. No fever. No sore throat.

Moral of the story: Don't think a cough is just a cough!

(Photo via.)

Wordless Wednesday: Sisters

Myself, Whitney and Tara

For more Wordless Wednesday, visit 5 Minutes for Mom.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Secret Keeper Girl Series: A Review

I recently had the opportunity to review book series for Tweens - Secret Keeper Girl. The Christian author, Dannah Gresh, focuses on issues that girls may face in their late childhood - early teenage years. She puts a great deal of emphasis on relationships between mother and daughter. The are four books that I reviewed were:

Just Call Me Kate - This book deals with 'boy crushes'.
Yuzi's False Alarm - This books deals with moving with your family and false accusations
"T" is for Antonia - This book is about believing in yourself and being happy with who you are.
Danika's Totally Terrible Toss - This book deals with popularity among girls.

Her philosophy's on what a Secret Keeper Girl should be is one that...
"values modesty, she surrounds herself with wise friends and she embraces Godly beauty. But, the most important thing for you to know is that a Secret Keeper Girl is a masterpiece created by God.”

Sounds about right to me!

One thing I found different in these books is that the back of each book has a small section called Girl Gab that you can look over. It ask questions on how you can relate the story in the book to your personal life. It is a great way to build a relationship with your daughter and ultimately, strengthen your relationship with God.

After looking at the books, I found them to be a bit too old for Macie to read. After all, she is only (almost) 7. But I will definitely save them for her! I love how it is still fun for girls to read, not too boring for them and teaches the same thing I teach my daughter. Hopefully, hearing the resolutions found in the books will have an impact on Macie when she meets the challenges that are associated with that age.

There are many other books related to this series I discovered while researching this book. I am going to get a few of them for Macie for her birthday so I recommend you check out all of their work!

The recommended age for readers to be is between 8 and 12 years old. The Secret Keeper Girls books are available from Amazon for $7.99.

My Husband: The Dork

A little back story to the picture you are about to see:

Whitney just got married about a month ago. The photographer wanted everyone to look at Adam and Whitney while they kissed. The guy in the back next to the groom is the groom's brother, Aaron. Aaron and I could only see the back of their heads because of where we were standing. So before the picture, we were all laughing. I leaned in to be able to see them. But look at Jeremy's face...the guy - my lovely husband - at the far right. He is looking at them like he has never seen anyone kiss before. I love it! I laugh every time I see it.


Whitney, I will
take a 16 x 24 of this picture, please.

Seven (more) Random Things

Sarah tagged me for Seven Random Things. Here you go again:

1. I am a very determined person. If I want something, I find a way to get it. (This can be good and bad.)

2. I finally got all my coupons organized. These last few months, I slacked on clipping. I finally did it all Sunday night and it is a huge load off my shoulders.

3. The busiest time of year is approaching our family. Besides the obvious holidays, we have birthdays. Between Thanksgiving and December 28, we have Jeremy's birthday, Zoa's birthday, Macie's birthday, and my sister Whitney's birthday. Can we say broke?!

4. You know how I say I never sit down anymore at home? How all I do is clean? Well, I have lost 10 pounds in the last month, which I chalk up to that. Nothing else has changed in my lifestyle but that. I'm not complaining though!

5. I have been in a baking mood. Maybe it's the cold weather, maybe it is because it gets my mind off everything..I'm not sure why. I have never been a baker because you have to use measuring cups and I don't cook with measuring cups. But I like baking now!

6. I am addicted to chapstick. (Just ask Whitney or Tara!) Blistex is my favorite but anything will do. I am seriously wondering what I am going to do all day because I forgot mine at home this morning. I guess I will have to try lip gloss instead, but I bet you I will end up buying some Blistex later.

7. I have finally started singing in front of Jeremy. I am not a good singer, but I get all into it with the hand motions. It started a long time ago with my friend, Jaime. It just sorta continued with me a Jeremy. We laugh until we cry when I sing.

So, who am I tagging? Shannon (Who is a new blogger...go see her!), Whitney, Julia and The Flip Flop Mamma (Even though her computer is temporarily dead. I'll be patient).

If you want to participate...let me know!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Britney Chic

Saturday, we went on a shoe shopping expedition. Macie and Zoa both needed new tennis shoes. Jeremy just so happened to find a pair of new gym shoes. "Should I get them?", he asked. Suuuuurrreee!

Needless to say, he got new shoes so I get new shoes.

(Photo via.)

However, I refuse to pay for real Ugg boots. I just can't bring myself to spend more than $50 on anything that is 'trendy'. If it is a classic piece, then, umm, yeah - sign me up.

But, back to the shoes, I love them! Jeremy told me he is just waiting for me to be spotted doing the 'Britney chic'. For those of you wondering what Britney Chic is...well, you know, the sweatpants and Uggs look.

For example:

(Photo via.)

or

(Photo via.)

I can promise you, that is one look this momma won't be sporting. I'll just stick to wearing them with jeans.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

Jeremy challenged me last week to see if we could go without grocery shopping the rest of the month. I got to thinking about it and now I want to see if I could do it! Obviously, we will need to pick up a few staple items: milk, coffee (yes, that is a staple in our house!)...things like that. I have stockpiled on pasta, spaghetti sauce, chicken breast ($1.77/lb. at Sam's!) and ground beef. We also have a ton of frozen veggies and bread in the freezer. So, the next few menus may not be the most creative, but I know we have everything we need right now to make it.

As far as the reviews from last week's menu, the Crock-Pot Chiken Chili was great! I doubled it and we munched on it during the weekend. So, it will be added to our list of favorites. The Crock-Pot Fried Rice was a little mushy, but still tasted okay. And the Spiced Pumpkin Bread, well, just read my review here. I couldn't wait to tell you about it! We also used Amy's taco meat recipe, which is now the recipe I will use for all of our tacos. And the Bruschetta-Stuffed Chicken is Jeremy's second favorite meal. I guess it was a good week!

Without further ado, here is my menu:

Monday: Shepard's Pie and Green Beans
Tuesday: Chili Topped Potatoes and Corn
Wednesday: Sloppy Joes, Mixed Veggies and Oranges
Thursday: BBQ'd Grilled Chicken, Mashed Potatoes and Broccoli
Friday: Spaghetti & Homemade Garlic Bread
Saturday: Ham & Beans in the Crock-Pot with cornbread. We will munch on this all day.
Sunday: Leftovers

Snacks: Peanut Butter Crackers, Leftover Oranges & Cheerio Bars

Need some recipe ideas? Go to Laura's for more Menu Plan Monday.
Want to start Menu-Planning? See the details here.

Sunday Night Snapshots

Jeremy is at his championship flag football game. I am so happy the season is over, although I know he gets bummed about it. Oh well!

Macie, Zoa and I are just doing whatever at home while he is gone. Macie has been on the computer, while all I hear from Zoa is, "You get the beeeeest of both worlds...". That should be enough to tell you what she is doing.

I checked on Macie a few minutes ago, and before I snatched the computer up from her, we put the 'ole camera to use...

Look at the camera and smile...


Put your head up!


What happened to your smile?


Funny faces!!


Not too sure what happened, but Macie moved!


A lot of laughs and fifteen minutes later, we have a keeper!

Hope everyone had a good weekend!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I need....

...to just for one whole day, have my house spotless. No random pile of papers, no pile of clothes in the girls room that won't fit in their dresser, no nothing. Just clean.

...to go to Target tonight to get items for Macie's shoe box for Operation Christmas Child.

...to do some more reviews.

...to start Christmas shopping. And birthday shopping. And shoe shopping for the girls.

...a vacation. Just Jeremy and the girls and I, go somewhere. Relaxing. I can't wait for another vacation.

...just one day that I don't think about everything going on. Just one day to ignore it all.

...a new phone. (Hey, he offered.) My Palm died.

...a manicure and my eyebrows waxed. And my hair trimmed and colored. I am going to do something new to it! Come to think of it, Macie and Zoa need their hair trimmed too.

...to set up a Flickr account.

...to be more thankful and in the moment. Not always think about what I have to do after I do what I am doing.


This idea was taken from a Growing up Mo'. Feel free to chime in but let me know if you do! What do you need?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Spiced Pumpkin Bread

Oh my gosh...I just have to tell you how good Amy's recipe for Spiced Pumpkin Bread is. Monday night, I baked and pureed pumpkin. I made around eight cups and stuck it in the freezer. I'm warning you, it was a lot of work, but worth it to me because I know it is pure pumpkin.

Anyway...last night I baked the bread. I baked four loaves and put three in the freezer for snacks later. After it cooled off, Macie and I cut ourselves a piece. It was great! I felt so relieved because I spent so much time on the getting the pumpkin ready. It has a little pumpkin flavor, but not as much as I thought it would. It is now a hit in our house and will become a great snack for the girls! It would also be good for the holidays coming up.

Thanks Amy for the great recipe!


Here is a link to start getting Pillsbury's newsletter. I have been on the e-mail list since I started Menu-Planning and have found some good recipes from them. Just click on the banner for more information.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Shaklee Tea Sample

Get a free sample of Shaklee Energy Tea! You have to take a short survey, but I just finished it in under a minute. Enjoy!

This sample is now expired.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Do you want to participate? You know you do!

Hey locals! I plan on sending out my package for MomAdvice's Big Give project this week. My sister, Whitney is adding some things to to it as well. (Which is awesome considering everything that she is going through now.) If you think you might want to add anything, let me know! We could meet somewhere and I could pick it up and take care of sending it out. You can read more about what is needed here.

If you could afford to, the only thing in addition to what you are donating would be a few dollars for shipping costs. If that would prevent you from donating anything at all, I will take care of the shipping costs. Not a problem at all!

Thanks!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

Last week's Baked Potato Soup was great...highly recommended! I did add a few tablespoons of Whole What Flour to thicken it up a bit, and plan on adding even more next time.

Monday:
Slow Cooked White Chili with Chicken
Tuesday: Hamburgers and French Fries
Wednesday:
Never got around to Crock Pot Fried Rice two weeks ago. It looks good here.
Thursday:
Homemade Burritos using this taco meat recipe.
Friday:
Bruschetta 'n Cheese-Stuffed Chicken Breasts & Broccoli
Saturday:
Lunch - Grilled Cheese and Apple Sticks Dinner - Out to eat
Sunday: Leftovers

Snacks: Spiced Pumpkin Bread & Fruit (Come back on Tuesday...tomorrow night I am making Pumpkin Puree, with pictures. I am using this puree for the bread.)

Need some recipe ideas? Go to Laura's for more Menu Plan Monday.
Want to start Menu-Planning? See the details here.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The other side of a giveaway...

Every Monday, Money Saving Mom puts up a Mr. Linky to share with her readers all of the giveaways floating around the blogosphere. (You can view the current one here.) Each week, I try to read through them and enter while at the same time, find new blogs to enjoy. I am posting this to tell you about the Mr. Linky at Money Saving Mom and to post a thank you to some things I have won recently:

A Buy One, Get One Free
coupon for Sensible Sippers from Sarah at SassyFrazz.

A Boca Beth Grande Bag from Christy at Shake the Salt.

A $25 Gift Card to Shutterfly from Candace at Mamanista.


A cute little Halloween Pumpkin Candle Set from Carey at Frugal Fulfillment.

Thank you to everyone for hosting the contests.
The prizes are wonderful and our family loves them all!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Target vs. Chuck-E-Cheese

Last night, Whitney and I went to Target with the girls. We spent ten minutes in the $1.00 section before making our way back to the food for what I needed. I needed one thing and Whitney needed a few things. While we were browsing for some cheese sticks for a snack, this is all I heard:

Mom, I'm hungry.

Macie is being mean.

Mom, go back!

Go baaaaaack!!!

Uuuughh!

Zoa won't let me have this!

No, I don't want it now. *Pouty face*

I DON'T WANT IT!

Finally, I just left. I made a mad dash to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription for me. (I should have asked if they sneak me a couple of anti-insane pills in there!) Whitney and I check out and I walked out of there, with nothing but a prescription for me, a can of Pringles for the girls, and three $1.00 notebooks for the girls.

On the way back home, Whitney said, "I can see why you dread shopping."

To put it bluntly, I do.

I explained it this way to Macie when we got home:

"You know when we go to Chuck-E-Cheese? Now think about if we all went in there and I told you that I wanted you to come out to the car with me, or I made you go grocery shopping with me instead of playing, or if I told you you could not play in Chuck-E-Cheese because I needed you?" "Tell me how that would make you feel? TELL ME!!!" (Just kidding on that part!)

I asked her if she understood what I meant and she said she did. Now if she understood enough to be more patient when we shop, only time will tell. I plan on having the same conversation with Zoa.

Am I wrong for wanting them to be this way? I am all for buying them things, but if I want to make a quick run to Target, or just look around for that matter, is that too much?

I understand they are children. Their attention span is next to nothing. But also, they are getting to the age where they should be more patient, learn respect, take turns...etc. I just don't want to have that kid.

They are perfect angels when I have them one on one. Fun, patient and really a blast to hang out with. But it is when you get them together, it is as if their goal is to break down mom.

I am truly exhausted. Any suggestions?

Ideal Bite

If you have read my blog for a while, you know that I am all for being 'green'. I am trying to be more green and have looked online for little reminders. One that I like is Ideal Bite.



Ideal Bite sends you five e-mails per weeks (Monday-Friday) about little ways you can become more green. They give you small daily tips and fun little facts. I like it because it is not overwhelming information that I feel I will never be able to do. Just small steps...that's all we need to change.

If you want to join Ideal Bite, just click the graphic.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Gap Coupon Code

I have signed up for Gap e-mail news because I tend to go there for the girls' jeans. I mean, look at these. Are they not so stinkin' cute? Plus, Zoa can now wear the big girls' jeans as long as we get the slim fit. And they fit Macie so good. We have yet to find a brand that fits her better the The Gap's Long and Lean Style.

I wanted to share with you a code I received for being on their e-mail list. The code is EXTRA25 and is good through November 11, 2008. From my understanding it is only good on sale merchandise which is not a bad deal at all. You can use it at The Gap, Kid Gap or Baby Gap. (I read the fine print and it states nothing about sharing it. If you see otherwise, please tell me immediately.)

Plus, if you shop through MyPoints which I told you about here, you will earn points on your purchase.

You can sign up to receive Gap offers like this here. When I initially signed up, I also got a coupon code for $15 off a $75 purchase. If these can be combined, you might be able to score some quality jeans at a reasonable price!

Free 'Stranger Safety' DVD

When you join One to Grow On's Birthday Club, they send you a free gift. At this time, the free gift is a DVD titled, 'Stranger Safety'. When I receive free things like this, I like to pass it on to someone else that can use it when we are done with it. (Friends, teachers, etc.)

You can read more information on the DVD here.


Expired!

Days Without Daddy

Jeremy has been gone for a few days now and "I miss daddy' is a phrase that can be heard frequently in our house. I talked to him for a few minutes last night and he is having a good time. Having Whitney stay with me is making being a single parent much easier.

Jeremy should get back home late this evening so the girls Macie will be ecstatic in the morning when she wakes up. Zoa, on the other hand, is NOT a morning person. That girl will be the last one up at night and will sleep until 10:00 on the weekends. She was such a good sleeper when she was a baby and thankfully, she has not outgrown sleeping in!

Ironic. I thought I would have a hard time getting everyone dressed and out the door in time this week. But, your subconscious is a funny thing. Knowing I didn't have the option of sleeping in, I have been up at about 5:50 everyday so far. I am not a morning person either. I never hear my alarm. But for some reason, this week I have. I even did some laundry and dishes before leaving my house at 6:45! This is 10 minutes earlier that my normal schedule!

But tomorrow, knowing Jeremy will be home, I'm sure it will all change. But I hope not. I kind of like it not being so fast paced in the morning and I am sure I seem like a much happier mom whn I am not running around yelling, "Where are your shoes!?!?" at 6:54 in the morning.

Oh, and I have been locking the doors the same. Because once I lay down without them all locked up, I think, "Tonight will be the one night...". Dang hubby made me paranoid.

On a bit of a heavier note, today marks one month without Jessie. Please keep Whitney and Jessie's mom in your prayers. I know it will be a tough day for them. If you live around here, you know the weather today doesn't exactly scream a pretty day. And Whitney, if you read this, you must share the signs you have seen. I know you are supposed to blog today.

Until later...

One Month

We miss you Jessie.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Free Samples

These are still around if you are interested! I received the Betty Crocker Potatoes, which was a full size package! It served our family of four for dinner one night.

Have a great evening!



ChexMix

Fruit Roll-ups

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