Friday, March 29, 2013

Embroidery Floss Eggs

I have to thank my sister for sharing this idea with me from the Better Homes and Garden website.  She knows the oodles of floss that I have from all the cross-stitching I've done! ;-)
 
Embroidery Floss Eggs:
What you need:
*Water balloons
*Embroidery floss in desired colors
*corn starch
*water
*flour
 
First, I blew up the water balloons.  I tried using my own air until I turned blue in the face.  Then I turned to a foot pump that we have from an exercise ball, which worked wonderfully! 
 
Next, I combined 1 cup water, 1 tablespoon corn starch and 1/2 cup flour in a storage container.  I put the lid on and shook until there were no lumps.
 
The kids and I then picked out the floss colors we liked for each egg.  I cut 1 yard of each of four colors for each egg that the kids made.  (I think you could probably use another yard or two if you'd like.)  The floss then soaked in the flour mixture until the kids were ready to wrap them on their balloons.
 
Morgan carefully wrapping her balloon with floss.  As you can see, there are newspapers down as it gets quite messy!
 
The kids each made 3 eggs.  They had to sit and dry overnight.
 
The next morning, I handed the kids a pin and watched as they excitedly got to pop a balloon!
 
We then dug the balloon out of the egg once it was popped...
 
...the finished Embroidery Floss Eggs!
 
On the Better Homes and Gardens website they made garland, but I liked the idea of hanging them from our light fixture. :-)

The kids had a BLAST with this project!  They LOVE getting messy, especially right after taking their baths! :-/  (Mom isn't as big of a fan, though-lol!)  They LOVED popping the balloons and they absolutely LOVE their finished eggs!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Making Gardening Fun for Kids

Spring has sprung!  Although it doesn't feel like it here in Michigan, Spring is well under way and it has me thinking about gardening.  My love for gardening developed from all the time spent gardening with my mom when I was little and now I have the opportunity to pass that on to my kiddos.
Over the past couple years, since the kids have been old enough to help out in the garden, we've found some fun ways for them to help out that I'd like to share...

Fun Ideas for Kids in the Garden:

1. Have the kids help plant!  Kids love to play in the dirt, so let them!  Show them how to dig the holes for each plant and how to gently pack the dirt around them.  Have them help plant seeds too!  They'll learn what an inch (or 3 or 6 inches) looks like and just generally learn about spacing.  Also, it's pretty cool to see the tiny plants pop out of the ground later and know that they helped!

2. Have the kids water the garden.  ALL kids seem to love to play in water!  When it's 90 plus and they need to cool off, they might as well water the garden too!  Just be sure they do it when the sun is setting, so they don't burn the plants by getting water on the leaves.

3. Make a game out of weeding.  Weeding seems to be one of the most tedious parts of gardening, but not when the kiddos are helping!  Put one kid at the end of each row and let them race to see who can pull all the weeds in their row first.  (Make sure to point out what the veggie plant looks like before they start!)  If your kids are like mine, they LOVE to compete anyway! ;-)

4. Give the kids their own garden.  If you have a little extra space in the garden, mark off a spot for the kids.  Maybe give them a couple extra seeds or some flower seeds.  They will love having their own garden and it'll give them something to work on and to be proud of.

5. Plant veggies and fruits that the kids enjoy eating!  Over the next several weeks I'm going to go into detail on specific things we plant that the kids love to help with, but not necessarily love to eat.  (My kids are picky!)  Planting fruits and veggies that the kids love eating, though, is a great start to making gardening fun!

Stay tuned over the next couple months to read about specifically fun veggies to plant for the kids!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Mattie as the Monkey


Please excuse the mess!

For more Wordless Wednesday, visit Go Graham Go and the WW HQ.

Please be sure to enter my Current Giveaways. You can find the links in the sidebar! :-)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Beef Tortilla Soup

I created this recipe from a combination of a couple other recipes and then some of my own changes as well.  I LOVE making it because I LOVE to eat it!  Plus it's fun to have a recipe where I can use the veggies/fruit and beef that we grew and have it be super tasty too! :-)

Beef Tortilla Soup
1 onion, chopped
1 lb ground beef
1 quart canned tomatoes
2-1/4 cups water
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 bay leaf
1-1/2 Tablespoons dried cilantro
2 teaspoons beef bullion
2 cups frozen corn
1 (4oz) can chopped green chile peppers
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
             (Or 1 cup dried beans, but precook them!)

Optional Toppings:
Cheddar or Taco cheese
Crushed tortilla chips

*In a stock pot, cook ground beef and onion until beef is brown and onion is clear. 

*Add in tomatoes, water and seasonings.  Bring to boil and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.

*Stir in corn, chiles and beans.  Simmer for 10 minutes.

*Ladle soup into bowls and add desired toppings! YUM!

I've linked up at Full Time Mama's Delicious Dish Tuesdays:
Full Time Mama

Monday, March 25, 2013

The Final Upwards Basketball Game!

When I posted about the Upwards Awards, I had forgotten I had these videos to share still! I promise this is the last Upwards post! ;-)
As part of the halftime break during the kids' last Upwards basketball game, they discussed the virtues the kids learned during their devotions at practice.  They had one child from each team come and read the verse that went with each virtue.  Morgan nervously read John 3:16 in front of all the friends and family of the four teams and one cheer team that was there!  I was very proud of her!


I'm also proud of this little guy (and Morgan's ability to film him!)  Blake came a long way in his ability to control the ball this year. :-)  You'll have to tilt your head to watch this one. ;-)

Friday, March 22, 2013

"Home Run", the novel, Review & GIVEAWAY! (4/3) *CLOSED*

About the Novel:
Baseball all-star Cory Brand knows what it takes to win in the big leagues. But off the field, with memories of his past haunting him, his life is spiraling out of control.

Hoping to save her client's career and reputation after a DUI and a team suspension, Cory's agent sends him back to the small town where he grew up. Forced to coach the local youth baseball team and spend eight weeks in the only recovery program in town, Cory can't wait to return to his old life as quickly as possible.

As his young players help him experience the joy of the game, Cory discovers his need to find freedom from his past and hope for his future … and win back the love he left behind. With this unexpected second chance, Cory finds himself on a powerful journey of transformation and redemption.

Based on thousands of true stories, HOME RUN is a powerful reminder that with God, it's never too late … freedom is possible.

See HOME RUN, the movie, in theaters beginning April 19!

About the Author:
Travis Thrasher is the author of more than a dozen works of fiction, including The Solitary Tales series, Isolation, and Ghostwriter. His writing is known for its honesty, depth, and surprising twists. Thrasher lives with his wife and daughters in Chicago.
 
My Review:
I wasn't sure how I was going to like this book.  I couldn't imagine a book being made from a movie being written well enough to do the movie justice.  Now, after reading the book, I can't wait to see the movie!  The book was written so well, that I'm excited to see how the actors portray the characters' personalities, thoughts and feelings.  It makes me wonder if all that I imagined while reading Home Run was what the author saw and portrayed so wonderfully in writing the book.

Beyond how well Home Run was written, there is a very important message that nearly everyone can relate to...addiction.  We may not all struggle with drugs and such, but I think there is probably a little something in many people's lives that they're doing to fill a void.  As Cory Brand finds out, it takes more than just willpower to overcome his addictions...only God can make us complete.
 
Please visit the following sites to learn more about this novel and the movie! 
 
Buy It!
Home Run, the novel, can be purchased online through David C. Cook for $14.99.

Thank you to FlyBy Promotions for the opportunity to review Home Run and for an extra copy for one of my readers to have the chance to win!
Giveaway:
Congrats to the winner, Pam D!
One of my readers is going to be blessed with their very own copy of Home Run, the novel! To enter to win, please leave a comment below. Please be sure to leave your e-mail address, so that I can contact you if you're the winner!

Extra Entries:
(1 extra entry per method. Leave a comment for each.)
*Subscribe to my blog in the upper left hand corner.
*Follow me through Google Friend Connect
*Follow me on twitter.
*Tweet this giveaway and leave the URL in your comment

Giveaway will end Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013 at 11:59 pm EST. Winner will be chosen shortly afterwards and contacted via e-mail. The winner will have 48 hours to respond otherwise I will have to choose a new winner.
 
*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Upwards Award Celebration!

What a wonderful Upwards season this was!  The kids had a GREAT time and were kinda sad to see it end.  Plus, for me, I had already mentioned the opportunity I had to be more involved by doing devotions and how nice it's been to meet new people!
 
As the end of the season was approaching, Rich and I were asked if we would be able to help set up for the awards program and help out during the one program our kids weren't in. (They hold two separate awards celebrations in order to fit everybody.)  Last year I would never have guessed how much planning and work was involved in any of it and I have to say that I am amazed by the volunteers who do so much to make Upwards such a special program for the kids.
 
I had the kids' picture taken together to save money and thought it turned out super cute!  The only trouble was that they were using the individual pictures as a project for the kids to do to decorate for the awards program...so they snapped a couple more pictures of the kids for us...
...and they made these stars after their last game with their teams.  One wall of the gym was covered in all the kids stars!
 
Another decoration they had for the awards program were action shots taken by the photographer during the game.  (From what I understand, he just does it out of the kindness of his heart and isn't compensated for these pictures.)  We were welcome to take the pictures from the wall after the second awards program.  Unfortunately there were none of Blake, but there were some awesome ones of Morgan!
 
For the awards program to come together, the stage needs to be set up, 420 chairs put in place along with 15 tables for the kids to eat their ice cream sundaes.  A tunnel with flashing lights, and smoke was put in place for the kids to run through with music playing and everyone clapping in unison during the program.  I already mentioned a couple of the decorations.  There were also tables set up with cookies and punch for the families that have come to watch.  Programs were made up for each award program and door prizes were given out to some lucky people who filled out questionnaires.
 
Here are the kids accepting their awards.
They also received special gifts for participating this year.

Rich and I helped out in one of the rooms that the kids wait in until they're ready to accept their awards.  We mostly made sure they stayed put and were in the right order when they left the room.  I won't go into details on that portion of time, but 22 kids in a small room with nothing to do can get a little crazy! ;-)  After the awards, we went and helped serve the ice cream sundaes, then were back in our room to hand out basketballs to the 3 teams we helped watch during the program.  Since we helped at the second award program, when it was done, it was tear-down time!  I was amazed at all the people that stayed to help and how quickly everything came down!

I think I'm as sad as the kids to see this season come to end, but we have next year to look forward to!  For now we're going to enjoy our break from sports! :-)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Wordless Wednesdays: What Blake Thinks of Salads


For more Wordless Wednesday, visit Go Graham Go and the WW HQ.

Please be sure to enter my Current Giveaways.  You can find the links in the sidebar! :-)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Special Pork Barbecue with Onion Sandwich Rolls

I received Gooseberry Patch's Homemade Christmas Cookbook two Christmas's ago from Rich's aunt and have enjoyed the Special Pork Barbecue recipe from it several times since.  It's something Rich and I look forward to savoring each time I make it!

Special Pork Barbecue
2 to 3 lb pork roast
2 t oil
2 to 3 cups water
1 c. onion, diced
1 c. celery, diced
2 T. vinegar
1 T. lemon juice
2 T. brown sugar, packed
1 t. salt
1 T Worcestershire sauce
1 c. catsup

In Dutch oven over medium-high heat, brown pork in one teaspoon oil.  Add enough water to cover roast.  Reduce heat to medium-low.  Simmer until roast is tender and falls apart easily, about 2 to 3 hours.  Or, place roast in a slow cooker with 2 cups of water; cover and cook on low setting for 8 to 10 hours, until tender.  Drain, reserving one cup cooking liquid.  Shred roast with 2 forks and set aside.  In a large saucepan, saute onion and celery in remaining oil.  Add reserved cooking liquid and remaining ingredients.  Cook over low heat until hot and bubbly.  Add shredded pork to saucepan and heat through.  Serve on hearty rolls.  Serves 6.

We always hit up a local grocer's truck-load meat sale and buy our pork roasts, which are much larger, so I usually double the recipe...and I also double the rolls. We get closer to 24 servings with the size the rolls are and it lasts us a few days, at least, in leftovers!  Which I love, of course, because it gives me a break from cooking! ;-)


Onion Sandwich Rolls
1 envelope onion soup mix
1/2 c. boiling water
1 T butter
3-1/2 to 4 c. all-purpose flour, divided
2 packages quick rise yeast
1 T sugar
1 cup warm water

*In a small bowl, combine soup mix, boiling water and butter: cool to 120-130 degrees.  In a large bowl, combine 1 c. flour, yeast and sugar.  Add warm water; beat until smooth.  Stir in 1 c. flour.  Beat in onion soup mixture and enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.

*Turn onto a floured surface: knead until smooth and elastic, about 6 minutes.  Cover and let stand for 10 minutes.  Divide dough into 12 portions and shape each into a ball. Place on greased baking sheets; flatten slightly.

*Place two large shallow pans on the work surface; fill half full with boiling water.  Place baking pans with rolls over water-filled pans.  Cover and let rise for 15 minutes.

*Bake at 375 degrees for 16-19 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from pans to a wire rack. Yield: 1 dozen.

I've linked up to Delicious Dish Tuesday.
Full Time Mama

Monday, March 18, 2013

St. Patrick's Day 2013

We didn't do as much for St. Patrick's Day this year as we've done in the past, but the kids still had a fun time celebrating.

My mom and Morgan made this shamrock barrette together.  Morgan was so proud of it, she wore it every day last week!
 
The kids also made it to our local St. Patrick's Day parade with my in-laws.  Rich and I had a prior commitment during that time and were unable watch it this year.  It's strange the difference in temperatures from year to year.  Last year the kids went with their grandma to get ice cream after the parade because it was 70 degrees...this year they went for hot cocoa because it was snowing!  LOL!
 
On St. Patrick's Day the kids woke up to Leprechaun being in our house.  Blake set his trap and caught him this year!  He cleaned up the trap before I could get a picture of it, but it was cute...basically we set out "gold" and a sign that said "Leprechauns a loud" (yes 'a' and 'loud' were two separate words).  Then he set up a little pit that he covered for the leprechaun to fall into.  Unfortunately the leprechaun got caught in the trap before he could set out the clues to find his pot of gold, but the kids were still able to find it on their own. (It was in the media cabinet on top of the TV.)
 
We ALWAYS have at least one craft for each of the holidays, so thankfully I had seen one that looked like fun that we could throw together after church.  It's called Swinging Shamrocks from the FamilyFun Magazine.
 
All you need to do is flatten a 4 inch toilet paper roll, cut it in 1/2 inch strips, then cut on one of the folds on each strip.
 
Next, start forming the shamrock by gluing (or stapling with a small stapler like I did.)  Make three heart shapes and one triangle shape for the stem.
 
Then, just glue, or staple, them together.
 
Put the kids to work painting their shamrocks.
 
Isn't this fun!?
 
And these are the cute shamrocks you'll end up with!  Since they're suppose to be swinging, I think you just hang them from some fishing line, but we didn't do that.
 
We also made Corned Beef and Cabbage (with potatoes, carrots and onions) for the first time ever!  Rich had one of our last steers' brisket made into a corned beef (for only $5!) and it was the perfect time to cook it.  I know it isn't pretty, but it was DELICIOUS!!!  (I can't emphasize the DELICIOUS enough...Rich said it was one of the best meals I made in a long time...of course he meant that in a good way-lol!)

How was your St. Patrick's Day this year?

(Please take a moment to visit some of our past St. Patrick's Days: 2012, 2011...and more!)

Friday, March 15, 2013

Our Possible Home Renovation

We're currently in the beginning stages of planning a home renovation.  We've known that we'd need to make changes to our house for a long time.  Before Morgan, we thought we could live with two bedrooms, but then Blake was born and we knew that a boy and a girl in one 10x10 bedroom without closets just wouldn't work forever.

We've always known that the kitchen needed to be bigger.  There is very minimal storage and only three full grown people fit comfortably at our table...luckily the kids are small and we can squeeze them in right now to fit four. 

The only closet in our whole house is in Rich and my 10x10 bedroom, which also has the door and stairs to access the attic in it creating limited places to put furnishings.  (Two doors, one window and a closet taking up the already small walls doesn't work so well.) 

Our whole house is wired terribly, the basement is wet 90% or more of the year, all the drywall is old and starting to tear away and there is NO insulation in our walls....and we can't forget the non-existant septic field...really probably not too bad for a house built in the 30's with very little updates! ;-) Actually the newest things are our five new windows and the bathroom that we've had put in, or remodeled, within the last 6 years.

We had a reputable contractor out last night who looked our house over and confirmed that we could do what we want to do, but it's going to be very pricey. Without going into too many details, the work could very easily be double, if not more, than what I was planning. We still need to meet with a friend at the bank and see what we he suggests, then we'll probably have a better idea of what the next steps will be.

I remind myself daily how blessed we are to have a roof over our heads (that we found out is sagging-lol!), food on the table and plenty of loved ones.  God has truly been amazing to us!  One of my favorite verses is Jeremiah 29:11:

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

I don't know the plans God has for us right now, but I know He loves us and is looking out for us, so we're currently praying for wisdom in the decisions to come....


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Stylin' with Silhouettes!

Towards the end of last year, I was fortunate to win a giveaway on Momtrends for two pair of glasses from Silhouette...one pair for Morgan and another pair for me.  The most concise way of sharing about the win is to share the testimonial I sent to Silhouette:

"Being the winner of the Silhouette glasses on Momtrends was exciting in itself, but the experience that followed was even better than I could have imagined. Even though the prize was to be for me and my daughter, the PR person, Michelle, happily allowed my husband get a new pair of glasses instead as he needed them more than I did. The sales representative, Lisa, was very sweet and extremely helpful in making the right choices to fit my husband and daughter. Now that my family has their glasses, they really enjoy wearing them. The glasses look great on them and they're so lightweight that they hardly know they're wearing them. Thank you to everyone who made winning the Silhouette glasses such a wonderful experience and thank you to Silhouette for the stylish and quality made glasses!"

The before and after pictures of Morgan:

Before
(I didn't ask her to make this face, but I thought it was fitting!  LOL!)
 
After
 
Don't the new glasses look great on Morgan?!  Rich's look nice on him too, but he's not as willing to have pictures taken ;-)  I have to say that the options available through Silhouette are seemingly endless.  For each style of glasses, there are several color options as well as several lens shape options.  If it wasn't for the sales rep, I really don't know if we would have ever made up our minds, which I think is great because they have glasses that will fit anybody!  Morgan's glasses are especially cool, because they are hinge less and, being that they are rimless, they can grow with her with larger lenses!  She'll say they are cool because they are "Candy Pink", though. ;-)
 
If you are need of new glasses be sure to look into Silhouette!  You won't be disappointed!!
 
*Disclosure: I was in no way compensated for this post.  I just wanted to share what a great winning experience this was.  All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: An Ice Sculpting Treat!

 
On Valentine's Day, a local ice sculptor came to the school and treated the kids to an ice sculpting show! Spiderman stood watch at the school up until recently...it's been a little too warm for him ;-)

For more Wordless Wednesday, visit Go Graham Go, Energizer Bunnies' Mommy Reports and the WW HQ.

Please be sure to check out my Current Giveaways in the sidebar!  VERY LOW entries! :-)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

JJ Heller's "LOVED" album Review & GIVEAWAY (3/27) *CLOSED*


 
About JJ Heller's LOVED
When JJ Heller and her husband/co-writer, Dave, began writing for their sixth studio album LOVED, life looked a few shades darker, more painful and confusing than it had during the work on their work of the recent past. Over the past few years, the duo steered much of their material toward the whimsical and simple joys of life, love and new parenthood. But, when confronted by illness, death and broken marriages within their community, the Hellers chose to stay true to the weight of their season of life when crafting lyrics this time around.

Songs on the album, LOVED:
1. If You Fall

For You
.Redemption
Loved
Create In Me
Stay
Better Things
Come Back To Me
Who You Are
I Believe

My Review:
Lovely!  I'm really enjoying listening to JJ Heller's sweet and calming voice in her album, LOVED, that releases today.  Her music is full of faith and is truly inspiring to listen to.  Read some of the lyrics from "Create in Me":

I don't want to be rescued
Oh I want to be redeemed
Won't you break me
And remake me
Create in me again
Create in me again

The song goes on then she sings:
Build something beautiful
Don't leave until you do
I'm tired of the old routine
Make me new

I like to listen to these lyrics and actually imagine God doing just that in me.  All of JJ's songs are just this powerful...inspiring the listener sit back and think about how God is working, or can work, in their lives.

Please visit the following sites to listen to some sample songs, watch music videos and just learn more about JJ Heller and her new album!
 
Buy It:
LOVED releases TODAY!  It's avaible at JJ Heller's Online Store for $9.99 plus FREE shipping!
 
Thank you to FlyBy Promotions for the opportunity to review LOVED and for an extra copy for one of my readers to have the chance to win!
 
GIVEAWAY:

Congrats to Sandra Davis!

One of my readers is going to be blessed with their very own copy of JJ Heller's "LOVED"! To enter to win, please leave a comment below. Please be sure to leave your e-mail address, so that I can contact you if you're the winner!
 
Extra Entries:(1 extra entry per method. Leave a comment for each.)
*Subscribe to my blog in the upper lefthand corner.
*Follow me through Google Friend Connect
*Follow me on twitter.
*Tweet this giveaway and leave the URL in your comment

Giveaway will end Wednesday, March 27th, 2013 at 10:00pm EST. Winner will be chosen that night and contacted via e-mail. The winner will have 48 hours to respond otherwise I will have to choose a new winner.
 
*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising

Monday, March 11, 2013

Return to Nim’s Island Premiering on the Hallmark Channel & GIVEAWAY (3/20) *Closed*


Return to Nim’s Island, the sequel to Walden Media’s 2008 box office hit Nim's Island, picks up the story a few years later with 14-year-old Nim (Bindi Irwin) more determined than ever to protect her island and the animals that call it home. With ruthless resort developers and greedy wildlife poachers threatening the existence she loves, Nim realizes she and her animal pals can’t defend their home alone. To save her island, she is forced to combine forces with an outsider: Edmund, a runaway from the mainland. Only with his help does she stand a chance of stopping the villains from dismantling her world.

Return to Nim's Island marks the debut of Walden Family Theater, presented by Walmart and P&G. The new destination for family entertainment, exclusively on Hallmark Channel.
PLUS! You can pick up your copy of Return to Nim’s Island on Blu-ray & DVD exclusively at Walmart Stores just 4 days after the premiere.


Check out the Blog App above to watch the trailer, take a quiz to see which adventurer you are (I'm Felix), check out some family activities and more!  Then, be sure to tune into the Hallmark Channel on March 15 at 8/7C to watch the movie!  It looks like a fun one that even the kids would enjoy!  Again, I only have basic television, but I wanted to share this with you and you can tell me what you think if you watch it. :-)  Plus, I get to share a great giveaway with you too!

Giveaway:

Congrats to the winner, cassandra!
 
One of my readers is going to win with their very own copy of Return to Nim's Island Blu-ray Combo Pack! To enter to win, please take the Discover the Adventurer You Are quiz and leave a comment with your results OR tell me why you're hoping to watch this on March 15th! Please be sure to leave your e-mail address, so that I can contact you if you're the winner!

Extra Entries:
(1 extra entry per method. Leave a comment for each.)
*Subscribe to my blog in the upper lefthand corner.
*Follow me through Google Friend Connect
*Follow me on twitter.
*Tweet this giveaway and leave the URL in your comment

Giveaway will end Wednesday, March 20th, 2013 at 10:00pm EST. Winner will be chosen that night and contacted via e-mail. The winner will have 48 hours to respond otherwise I will have to choose a new winner.
 
*Disclosure: The information in this post and the giveaway were provided by Walden Media & the Hallmark Channel.  I was not compensated in any way for sharing this information with you. Any opinions are my own.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Meet Our New Puppy, Mattie!

We decided on a puppy!  We actually have had her for nearly a week now.  The first couple days were rough with her as she cried through the night, but now she is doing much better and we can actually sleep until sometime between 5:00 and 6:00am.  She is doing well housetraining.  Of course I feel like I'm constantly taking her outside to go, but it has definitely cut back on the accidents there could have been.  I'm having her ring a bell each time she goes out, so hopefully she'll catch on and start letting us know when she needs out...may be wishful thinking, but I'm trying! :-)
 
This is from when Mattie was just a few days old...she's on the far right.
Mattie at 3 weeks old.
 Mattie at 6 weeks old.
 
Morgan holding Mattie when we decided on what puppy we wanted.
The night we brought her home!  She had a bit of a rough start here since she got car sick on the ride home, then poo'd in the mudroom as I was trying to get her cage ready.
 
Morgan reading to her to help her get settled in. ;-)
 
After having Mattie here for a few days she started to enjoy hanging out in her kennel when we weren't playing with her.

So far she's spending the evenings reading with the kids and I for bedtime.  It seems to put her to sleep for the night, except for one more potty break, so we'll keep that up!  She's also really LOVING going outside and likes to play when I want to bring her in.  She may end up on a leash soon...definitely when she starts wandering beyond the current area she's been staying in....don't want to chase around the WHOLE yard! ;-) 

I love her coloring, but I think she'll end up mostly white or cream-colored since her undercoat is very light.  She's a Morkie, but 3/4 Maltese and 1/4 Yorkie, so she'll probably end up looking more like the Maltese.

Mattie is so sweet and fun and, of course, she is cuter than cute!  We're spending some extra time with her right now and enjoying her as a puppy as it won't last long. :-)

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Melissa & Doug Easter Shop and Giveaway


 As many of you already know I really like Melissa & Doug toys!  The kids have several of them and play with them on a regular basis.  So of course I'm excited about the giveaway they have going on to win $200 worth of their toys from their Easter shop!  I'll be entering and best of luck to you if you enter too! :-)

Click on the picture to enter.  Ends March 20th, 2013.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Veggie Tales: The Little House That Stood DVD Review & GIVEAWAY! (3/20) *Closed*


About The Little House That Stood
"When the Three Little Pigs roll into Cabbageville looking to build some new houses, they meet one builder with a plan and two without a clue! Larry builds with hay, Mr. Lunt with bricks, but only Bob builds his houses on a firm foundation - following the wise plans from the Master Builder's Handbook! Will the Little Piggies make the right choices when it comes to building their houses - and their lives - on solid ground? Find out in this parable that shows kids when they follow God's blueprints, then can stand strong when the storms come!"
 
My Review:
The Little House That Stood is just as cute as all the other VeggieTales I've seen...and I've seen a bunch!  I enjoyed how they combined the parable of the wise builder with the story of the Three Little Pigs and made it a memorable lesson for kids...and adults!   Of course this episode has all the silly antics that I love in watching VeggieTales too!

The other feature on the dvd is The Good Egg of Gooseville.  This one is a cute retelling of the nursery rhyme, Humpty Dumpty, that includes characters from several other classic nursery rhymes.  Another great lesson about caring for our neighbors.  With Easter quickly approaching I can't help but think of how this episode would make a great teaching moment for the kids.  God cares so much for us that he sent Jesus, His son, to die for our sins. The lesson could go on about how we are to live our lives so that people can see Jesus through us...one way would be by caring for our neighbors.  Of course the 'egg' in the feature fits into Easter as well! ;-)

The DVD also includes several bonus features that young watchers would enjoy, like several sing-alongs! :-)
 
Please take a moment to visit the following site to learn more about this dvd:
Website: http://veggietales.com/littlehouse/
Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7K65sINFgro&list=UUhddokv0fxIN3BS-KZpxFfA&index=2

Buy It!
The Little House That Stood DVD is currently available to purchase at the VeggieTales online store for a special price of $11.99 (regularly $14.99.)
 
Thank you to FlyBy Promotions and VeggieTales for the opportunity to review The Little House That Stood and for an extra copy for one of my readers to have the chance to win!
 
Giveaway:

The original winner never got back to me, so random.org chose comment #1 the second time around, which is Alexis!  Congratulations Alexis!! :-)

One of my readers is going to be blessed with their very own copy of The Little House That Stood! To enter to win, please leave a comment below. Please be sure to leave your e-mail address, so that I can contact you if you're the winner!

Extra Entries:
(1 extra entry per method.  Leave a comment for each.)
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Giveaway will end Wednesday, March 20th, 2013 at 10:00pm EST. Winner will be chosen that night and contacted via e-mail. The winner will have 48 hours to respond otherwise I will have to choose a new winner.
 
*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
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