Sunday, October 31, 2010

Free VeggieTales Christmas Music

Just wanted to let all you Lovelies know about a great deal.

Get an entire VeggieTales Christmas cd on amazon for free! I have no idea how long this will be free so go get it. It's 16 songs. MP3 dowloads.



And now I will pray that God protect my sanity being that it is STILL October and I will be listening to Christmas music tonight because the kids saw that it was on the computer and they are anxiously waiting for it to be downloaded.


I typically don't listen to Christmas music.

EDIT: I just listened to the first three songs. The kids are loving it and I am laughing. Good stuff!

Friday, October 29, 2010

(Anonymous commenter please read.) The purpose of me posting the "wish list"

At least one person misunderstood the purpose of my posting "wish lists." I understand that calling it a wish list and writing why my kid would like that thing could seem like I am asking for others to buy my kids gifts.

I'm not.

I never do.

I made the list for myself. Things I intend to get my kids for Christmas.

I posted the list and will continue to post lists in the future because
1. I like to share my ideas with others and hopefully help them out with their Christmas shopping for their kids. That is why so much information, including cost was given. Basically some free advertising for some companies that put out cool things.
2. I would just be emailing the list to the Grandmas when they asked for ideas anyway. This way it's there, they can see it and if they are having trouble coming up with something then they can take something off my list before I buy it. Making their work easy.
3. I now have all my ideas in one place with links of where to buy them when I am ready to do so.

I called my mom yesterday and told here there is an idea list for Liza on the blog and her immediate response was "Oh good! I was going to call you about that soon. It's just so hard to wander through the stores trying to come up with something."

The anonymous comment that was left was hurtful. Not because of what it said but because it was only signed from "one of your family members." It wasn't fun to hear that I am disappointing because of a  misunderstanding. And it's left me in a tough place. I have no one to go to to clear up the misunderstanding. And my head is running crazy with curiosity and accusations as I try to figure out who has done this. I'm constantly having to remind myself "Don't go there Laura! You don't want to be falsely accusing an innocent person and walking around trying to figure out who it was during the holidays." But it's not long before my mind is running around again with thoughts like "Would one of my sister-in-laws have said that? I hope not! Or a cousin? There are a few cousins who I know read. I think an aunt or two may click over once in a while. Hmmm. Maybe it's a relative I don't even know reads it! Wait! Stop it Laura! You really don't want to go there."

What I would like to happen would be for the anonymous person to send me an email simply letting me know it was them. I have forgiven already and have no intention of yelling and whatever. I just want to put my mind at rest and stop being insecure when it comes to thoughts of my family. This would happen a lot quicker and more easily if I had an answer. And I promise to keep it just between me and that person and not go blabbing about who it was.

Anyways... all this has been quite exhausting and I plan to take a short sabbatical from the blog. See you in a few.

Christmas cards for blogging. Why not.

I have never sent out Christmas cards. Never. But for some reason this year I was thinking that maybe I should. (Someone call the doctor because something must be wrong with me!) I have a lot of people I want to get updated pictures of the kids to so why not just make it a Christmas card? Makes sense right?

That thinking was happening a few days ago as I started to think about Christmas and make lists and gather ideas.

Yesterday morning I woke up and was checking out some blogs when a friend posted that Shutterfly was giving 50 free Christmas cards to bloggers that blogged about their Christmas cards.

It was a sign. This year I will do Christmas cards for the first time. And I will use Shutterfly for the first time. (I hear lots of good stuff about this complany.)

Browsing through their Christmas card designs I saw many that I liked. Here are a few of my favorites…

I like the idea of the folded greeting cards so that Liza could actually sign her own name. She loves writing her name and I love Christmas cards with personal touches.

I'm in love with this card. I like the simlicity of the design. It's 5x7 and you can get it in the matte or glossy finish.


And the inside! Well they say it best so... "Share the happy highlights of your year. Inside this Christmas story card, you can add even more photos and family updates on colorful stripes. It makes a great alternative to a holiday letter."


On to the flat photo cards which are available in 4x8 or 5x7 size.

I like this one because the focus is on the photo and not so much the design. Also, people could simply cut off the Christmas design and have a nice picture to keep on their fridge year round. I'm practical like that.


And this one is great for people like me who look through the designs thinking "I could NEVER narrow it down to just one picture. I have so many I looove!" This card lets you use multiple pictures while still keeping a nice simple design.


Shutterfly has tons of options for you to choose from. In fact they have 188 different designs of flat photo cards for you to choose from starting at only thirty cents a piece. Be sure to check them out.

There are also tons of other fun gift ideas... like calendars!... and there is currently a deal going on for free shipping on orders over $30. (That's a money saver right there!)

For more info about the blog for fifty deal click here.

We have a winner!

Just a heads up that this is going to be a multiple post kind of day.

Now for the winner of the Bible giveaway... picked lucky number 1!
(Someone please tell me how to do a screen shot of that!)

The first comment was from my lovely friend Rainey who writes at Raineality. And how fitting that she should win since she is the one who planned my wonderful, most fun birthday party not too long ago!

Rainey said...
Oh, I am totally entering this giveaway. I have been thinking recently that I need a small Bible to take with me places... plus, favorite color is PURPLE!

I actually love the whole book of James, which excites me that we are going through it at church. 

Congratulations Rainey! I'll get it to you sooooon!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

My wish list

I was anonymously called a tacky gift grubber because of the post Liza's wish list which was basically a list that I wrote for myself and one that I would share with  her grandparents. That was the purpose. That and to share ideas with others and maybe get some more. Anyways... since I am being a tacky gift grubber I decided that I would post some of my own tacky gift grubbing for myself. Here goes...

For Christmas, would you, my readers, PLEASE buy me these things. I insist. I mean... you read my blog every day so I think you owe it to me. Right? RIGHT? I mean... I EXPECT gifts.

Ok. Since we are now in agreement I'll get on with my greedy desires.

First I would like a house. Not just any house. THIS ONE.

It's 4 bedroom, 3 1/2 bath in a great area. I need to raise my kids there. And speaking of bathrooms... check this one out! I'm sold! I hope you are too because I'm asking you to buy this for me.

 Love those shelves above. And the kitchen is immaculate. I think I could like cooking in it.

The best part is that the house is only $699,900!!

I don't really think that my second hand furniture that fills my current house would look too great in my new one so along with the house, furniture would be nice. But it is important that you get this couch on your list...

Cost is only $2526.60! Incredible deal!

A new camera would be AWESOME!

I would like the Canon EOS 5D Mark II. Cost $2499.00.


I need a new camera because I will be the wedding photographer for my sisters wedding in March... IN FLORIDA. Wait! Who wants to buy my ticket to Florida?

Speaking of Florida... I would also like a vacation somewhere tropical. Don't forget to also hire my nanny that will come along and watch my kids.
Throw in a few extra camera lenses while you're at it too. And I've always like 64 Mustangs. Convertible. Red interior. White exterior. Nothing else will do. It will fit nicely in my four stall garage that comes with my new house!

Ok... I don't want to ask for anything else for fear that it will appear that I am being a tacky gift grubber. I really hope that list is enough to get your started and let you know what kinds of things I like!
PS... I don't post rude anonymous comments. Even if they are "from a family member". And I would have dealt with this differently if I knew who to speak with. But I don't. And this is my venting space.

Regular programming will continue tomorrow with Jason's wish list. I'll also eventually share with you ideas that I have for teachers/babysitters/peoplelikethat and after November is over I'll be able to share a fun white elephant gift idea because that party will be over. I'd share gift ideas for grandparents but the kid's grandparents read the blog so those will have to wait till after Christmas and you can store them in your memory for next year.

I'm anxiously awaiting all my wonderful gifts from you fabulous people!

Liza's wish list.

Ok. Liza doesn't really know she has a wish list. But it is almost November and I kind of freaked out because I had no idea what to get ANYONE for Christmas this year! I only buy for my kids, my parents and my husband's parents. It's a short list. But being clueless as to what to get anyone is not a good thing. I like to get my shopping done early.

So last night I went to Toys R Us and walked around looking at all the toys and made a list for Liza and Jason. I'll share hers today and Jason's another day soon.

175 Piece Trifold Double Sided Easel Art Set
Or something similar. Liza loooves being artsy fartsy. This one is about $30. I can't tell if it is the same one I saw at Toys R Us or not but I can not for the life of me find it on their website.
(When did the names of things become so complicated!)


What's included?
 48 oil pastels, 48 crayons, 24 color pencils, 18 watercolor cakes, 12 broad markers, 10 sheet white paper, 4 large clips, 3 paper clips, 1 paint brush, 1 paint palette, and 1 sponge


Just Like Home Deluxe Cleaning Set
It's time she learned! Just kidding. Kinda. Whenever she makes a mess she tries to sweep up with the big broom but it's just too big for her to do a good job. Cost is $15.


Doug and Melissa Responsibility Chart
I have been looking for something like this. I know it may seem like a strange Christmas present but hey... that's how we roll here. It has things to work on that are perfect for Liza's age and it is something that she can be hands on with. Cost $20.


Crayola Dry-Erase Activity Center
Liza loves practicing her letters. I think she would like something like this. Cost $15.


My First Mosaic
I loved the idea of this. It comes with five different ones. The papers have squares that are outlined with the color that needs to go there and the squares are stickers. Liza loves stickers and she loves art so it's a good combo. Cost $12.


Some kind of Play-Doh set

Like this one... cost $20


Or this one... Cost  $23


Or this one... cost $13


Well that's all I've got for now. I'm not buying it all but I thought I would put it in a list on here since her grandma's read my blog and they are usually asking for suggestions. Those are my suggestions. I will buy her some of it. And I am open to other things... do you have a little girl and some good ideas of what she might like? Liza is 4 so keep the recommended age in mind.

What are you getting your daughter for Christmas?

Better left unsaid.

Last day to enter my giveaway! I'll pick a winner tomorrow.

Every once in a while some one says something to me and I think to myself "that would have been better left unsaid."
Something like...

When you run in to a group of friends while out and one says "OH! I thought about calling you."

Yeah well you didn't. And now I know that you actually thought about it and decided to leave me off the list. Probably would have been better left unsaid.

I hear that one a lot.

I don't like it.

Think before ever saying that to someone what it might sound like to them and then just shut your mouth so you don't have to stick your foot in it. :)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Some cute videos of the kids.

I love the new children's program at our church. It was good before but this new program is over the top. Liza is learning so much and she always comes home with something to talk about. They also send her home with papers telling the story that they did that day and the memory verse for the month. We've been working on it.

Here is Liza telling you  her Bible verse. "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid. Deuteronomy 31:6"

We watched How to Train Your Dragon the other day. Jason now insists that he is Hiccup... the main boy character. It's also a little look in to what I deal with every day. Kids.

And here is Jason counting... two, fwee, four, five, six, seven, eighteen. It's a good start.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Ariel Take 2

I already did some senior pictures for Ariel but that happened on a gloomy, rainy day. I wanted to get her some that were a little brighter. She IS my sister-in-law and she does babysit a ton. She can have five shoots if she wants.

A while ago I had mentioned that it might be fun to take her keyboard out in the field next to her driveway. So we did that today. It was a tricky shoot for me because it was really different than what I normally do but I had fun and I learned. It's good to get out of the box and challenge myself from time to time... no one else is going to challenge me. I'm on my own. My own teacher. Stretching is good.

The pictures didn't turn out quite as I had imagined in my mind. Her keyboard stand was different than I had envisioned so that changed some things but oh well. We had a good time and these probably won't be her senior photos but they will be photos that she will keep and appreciate because music is her love.

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 After finishing up in the field we took just a few more pictures around the house. Ariel wanted one with her Letter jacket and trumpet.

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Just for fun...
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She's so pretty!

Favorite Fall Recipe

Make sure to check out my giveaway!

It's another Girl Talk Hop and today we are sharing our favorite fall recipes.

For me, fall is a time for soups and stews and cooking in the crockpot. Just the other day we made this really simple stew that took no time at all and was really good. (My kind of recipe!)

1 pound potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 pound baby carrots
1 large onion chopped or 1 package (10 ounces) frozen peas and pearl onions
2 pounds beef for stew
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 can condensed French onion soup

Place potatoes in bottom of slow cooker; top with baby carrots and onion. Place meat on top. Pour soups over top. Cover; cook on LOW 8 to 10 hours.

Makes 8 servings.


I love crockpot recipes and have a few posted on my blog in the past. THIS LINK will take you to all of the crock recipes I've shared including vegetable soup, broccoli soup, double thick baked potato cheese soup, chicken and stuffing and other.

Monday, October 25, 2010

It's a Giveaway!

Hey readers! I've got another giveaway for you.

I've been having fun reading my Bible lately. I'm currently in 2 Corinthians and my BBFF Melissa has been reading it with me. It's fun to have a friend reading the same thing so we can share with each other what we are learning. I've been getting double out of it this way! And it gives me some accountability.

I have a little Bible that I love because it is small. When you have two kids and you have all their stuff to carry around the last thing you want in your purse is a big fat Bible. The one I use is just the New Testament (which works well since that is what I am reading right now and my Pastor is preaching from the book of James) and it's small and light and fits in my purse so I can take it anywhere I want. Whenever I get some time where I am sitting around I can pull it out and read it. It's convenient.

The last time I was at Family Christian Stores my order came to something close to $27.50 and I had a coupon where I could get 25% off my entire purchase if I spent $30. So I threw in another Bible just like mine because it was only $5. It dropped my total purchase to $25 and one of you will be a lucky winner of the Bible.

It's NIV and purple.


To enter the giveaway just leave a comment with your favorite Bible verse. Haven't been reading the Bible lately and don't have a favorite verse but want to win the Bible so you can start reading? That's fine... just share that.

One entry per person.
You do not have to have a blogger account to enter but you will want to leave your name so I know who you are if you win.

Winner will be announced this coming Friday.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Fun on the farm

I've been asking around, looking for a good pumpkin patch to take the kids to. I've never done anything like that before and I had no idea where to find a good one. I asked a lady at Story Time at the Library and she told me about one and said her whole family loves it and goes year after year. The week after she told me about that she asked if I had gone. I said not yet and she said "Oh good! I would have felt so bad. We showed up and were soooo disappointed because there was NOTHING there this year. BUT, we found another really great one and the kids had loads of fun for HOURS." She told me where it was and that is the one we went too.

It was only fifteen minutes away which was perfect for us since Jason still needs his afternoon nap and it closed at 6:00.

We went to Reichhold Farms and while they didn't have a real pumpkin patch where we could go pick our pumpkin they did have plenty of other fun things for us to enjoy and the kids had an absolute blast. I have a ton of pictures and instead of making a mile long post I decided to put them in to collages.You'll thank me because even with the collages it's going to be long.

We showed up, paid the $7 per person (which wasn't bad because everything was included except refreshments.) Jason was free since he is only two. We immediately got on the hay wagon and were taken back to the farm where everything was going on. The hay ride gave us a tour and we had a worker telling us of all the things we could do. The kids LOVE hay rides. And I'm not gonna lie... I kind of love hay rides too.


We tried to get some pictures in the wooden thingies with the circles cut out for heads. Jason didn't really get it for a while. Liza cracks me up how she always has her hands out. It was insanely hard to get the kids looking out the holes at the same time but we had fun trying.


Jason mostly insisted on sticking his head out of the tall one. I laugh at these photos because we are dorks and half of Jason's little head popping out is just too funny.


We then headed to barn to check out the pony rides. Liza was super excited and she didn't hesitate at all when we asked if she wanted to ride. She smiled big, said YEAH!, and walked right over to the pony and the workers. She got on and enjoyed her ride like such a big girl.


While Liza was riding and I was taking pictures, Mike was talking to Jason and trying to convince him it would be fun. Jason eventually agreed to give it a go but when Mike started putting him on the pony he freaked out a bit. Mike just put him on anyways and once he was up there he was just fine. I'm glad Mike handled it like he did because I would have just let Jason grab on to me and we would have walked away. But he was a big boy and so cute on his pony ride.


There were lots of little festival type games for the kids to play. They had fun trying to bowl but they weren't very good at it. The balls were softballs and bocce balls and the pins were pretty heavy. Liza and Jason had a hard time pushing the balls hard enough. Liza was able to knock some pins over but Jason just told me "I can't do it."


They also like "fishing". If they found the pumpkins with a smiley face on the bottom they were to take it to concession stand to get a prize. Jason found one right away and we knew that we couldn't have Jason win a prize and not Liza so we had to stay and keep trying to find another smiley. We did. They won a little tiny of thing of bubbles. They love bubbles. They were happy.


There were some other fun games but I didn't get any good pictures of the kids doing them because they were in a dark barn. But fun was had and prizes were won!

Next up was the face painting... or hand. We go with the hand. The kids can see it and they like that. Liza again didn't hesitate at all. She loves this kind of stuff. Jason almost cried when I tried to put him in the second chair. I think he just didn't know what was going on and there were strange people. But after watching Liza he was ready to get a pumpkin on his hand too.


I think one of our favorite things was the ball pit. This is what the ball pit was in...

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The kids could have played in this thing all. day. long. They LOVED it. Seriously... I think they just loved everything that they got to do today. It was all happiness and fun and laughter for all of us.


The ball pit was so much fun for them that we had to go back a few times. I didn't mind because there was some hay bales around the edge that made a good seat for Mike and I while we watched the kids have fun.


The big giant spider was an amusing site. Liza and Jason were cute checking it out. I was able to get them to sit down and act like they were all scared of the spider. My kids are cute.


The little hay maze was another place where the kids could have run around all day. It's funny how something so simple can amuze kids for such a long time. But it did. Back and forth. In and out. It was also attached to a little play house and Liza and Jason spent lots of time in there and peaking out the window. They figured out the maze all on their own. Smart little ones. :)



We of course had to stop off and visit Frankenstein for some more ridiculous pictures. (Of course I'm the only one that looks ridiculous. Everyone else looks cute.)


Pumpkins were covered in our entry fee so we each got one and sat down and colored for a little while. If you are wondering about Mike in the pictures he had decided to draw on a nice little feminine face on his and post with his kissy lips.

And just so you know... markers and pumpkins isn't a great idea because the marker just wipes off. But it IS fun. AND if you use marker you can draw on the pumpkins again and again and again. We will be coloring them again tonight.


The hay tunnel was super cool! Pitch dark. But super cool. It was about ten or twelve stacks high and you had to crawl through it. Thankfully they had a few flashlights for us to use. Liza just kept going through it over and over. Jason went through it a few times too. Mike and I did our best to follow them but since Jason could basically stand in it... well the kids were a lot faster than us old people.


One of the last things we did was the corn maze. I was a little bit scared to go in it with the kids because I hear stories of people getting lost in corn mazes for hours. I just saw a nightmare coming ha! But this one wasn't too big and we easily found our way through it. We let the kids lead the way and kept telling them "Don't pick the corn. I said don't pick the corn!! We aren't allowed to pick the corn!"


When we finished it still wasn't 6:00 yet so we decided to go back around and do some things again. Just before 6:00 we caught the hay wagon back to our van.

I loved this place. It was perfect for the age that the kids are at and I didn't think that $7 a person was too much for the amount of stuff and fun that was available. We could have spent hours there just letting the kids play. The staff was really friendly and just seemed to really enjoy putting on the event.

When we left my heart was full from good, quality family fun. I am certain that we will be heading back to this farm again next fall.

(If you want to see any of the pictures bigger just click on them. That will take you to my flikr account where if you hoover over the photo you will see a magnifying glass. Click the photo. Then in the top right corner where it says something about sizes just click the largest box and the collage will come up a larger size.)

The end.

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