Thursday, May 29, 2008

5 Minutes for Mom Photo Contest

In this photo contest, sponsored by Nestlé Crunch and their “For The Kid In You” campaign, 5 Minutes for Mom is looking for photos that show off “The Kid In You.”


This is my son, Nathaniel, and I at Old MacDonald's Farm, South Dakota. These "kids" were fun to play with, and they loved to jump on our backs. One of the goats peed on a little girl's back, and that is when Nathaniel and I decided it was enough! What a memorable day and time with my little guy. We laughed so hard at these little Billy Goat kids!

3 Peas in a Pod celebrate!

Three Peas in a Pod is celebrating their 500th Post! And in honor of that, they are going to celebrate and have a giveaway! Here is what I need to do to participate: answer the questions below accurately if I am a Mom. That is easy enough, and fun, too!

1. Typically, what time do you wake up? whenever my kids do, which is earlier than I would chose otherwise.
2. On a good night, what time are your kids in bed? we are pretty strict with bedtimes. Caleb is in bed at 8:00, Madelyn soon after 8:00 (she is still trying to be scheduled), and Nathaniel is in bed about 9:00.
3. How long have you been a mommy? I have been a Mommy for 10 years 5 months (that is time from conception of first baby).
4. How old were you when you became a mom? 22 years old
5. What is your favorite kids T.V. show? Tom and Jerry or Bugs Bunny & Friends. Those aren't on too often, so I will say Wonder Pets and Seasame Street.
6. What is your least favorite kids T.V. show? Teletubbies~they are not allowed at our house!
7. What is your favorite chore? Is this a trick question?

8. What is your favorite meal to cook? Lasagna and garlic bread
9. What is your least favorite meal to cook? I just don't like to cook when I am tired.
10. What is your kids favorite meal? Mac-n-cheese, or cheeseburgers & going out for Chinese.
11. What is your favorite thing your husband does with your kids? Plays with them, and cuddles them.
12. What are 5 things that make you smile when you are being a mom? My kids making each other laugh, hearing my kids laugh, when my daughter does/says something new, when my 3 year old says something funny, and when my oldest and I are joking around and being silly.

13. If you could take your kids anywhere, where would it be? To Walt Disney World in a couple years.
14. When was the last time you went out without your kids? Last weekend.
15. What is your favorite pastime/activity to do with your kids? We like to ride on the pontoon together, and go on walks.
16. Name one thing you said you would never say as a mother. I just didn't want to be a yeller~but it comes around now and then. It must be therapeutic, just kidding. LOL~
17. Name something you do, that your mom did. Spend a lot of time with my kids.
18. What is your favorite quality your mom has? She is a godly woman, and a prayer warrior!
19. What is your favorite kids book? Fox in Sox, by Dr. Seuss
20. What is your favorite advice for new moms? You are not perfect...let your kids know that. What you feel and think...even in the tough times, is NORMAL. Kiss those sweet baby feet, and it is OK to hold your baby all the time. They are only little for awhile.
21. What is your most heartbreaking moment as a mom? Hearing my son say that I hate him.
22. What is your most joyful moment being a mom? Hearing my kids say they love me, and I love their hugs...just for me!
23. When was the last time you told one of your kids you loved them? 30 minutes ago
24. When was the last time you were told? 30 minutes ago


Thanks, Three Peas in a Pod~ that was fun! Hey readers, play along! It is fun & she is giving away a great prize to one lucky Momma!

Good Manners

Yesterday, Caleb was sitting up on the window ledge, and I said, "Caleb, how about you get down from there." He said, "Mom, Can you please say, Can you get down from there please?"

Keeping it Clean with Clorox

Keeping the house cleaned up with kids can be such a challenge sometimes. They are spilling their drinks, leaving crumbs on the table...along with jelly and peanut butter, putting their hands all over the windows and sliding doors...etc. I love using the Clorox wipes for easy cleaning!
I really like that these wipes seem to wipe up hard, stuck-to-the-surface grime better than even a wash cloth. What also makes the Clorox wipes even more appealing than a wash cloth is that they disinfect the area wiped, too! I like the convenience of the wipes! I just wipe and let sit for 30 seconds to sanitize or 4 minutes to disinfect.
I really like that these wipes are so handy now that Caleb will be moving into "Potty Training" territory (hopefully). I can wipe his toilet with the wipe and sanitize it.
You can use these wipes on so many surfaces! Here are a few areas for example: Kitchen (Counter tops, Faucets, High Chairs, High Chair trays and Garbage Cans), Bathroom (Bathtubs, Counter tops, Faucets, and Toilet exteriors), Grocery carts, door knobs, keyboards, and telephones. For surfaces that may come in contact with food, a potable water rinse is required (like for the high chairs and trays). Not for cleaning or sanitizing skin. Do not use as diaper wipe or for personal cleansing.
I also like that I can use the Clorox wipes on glass and mirrors without streaking!
The Clorox wipes are effective against common bacteria such as Staphylococcus (Staph.), Salmonella, and E.coli*
The Pre-moistened disinfecting wipes kill 99.9% of germs including viruses that cause colds and flu (Rhinovirus and Influenza A2)*. I wish I would have had these wipes at the beginning of the year with how much my kids have been sick!
I was happy to be able to try the new fresh scent of Clorox Lavender wipes, and I suggest them for everyone!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: Friendship


Rebel Ink Baby~The Rebellious site!

Two parents. Two kids. All rebels.I enjoy putting shirts on my babies/kids that have fun sayings on them. It is fun to see people reading them, and waiting for their reaction!
Rebel Ink Baby is a great store, right here in MN, that offers fun shirts for babies and kids! I think the sayings are fun. I think these shirts can really be great conversation starters. I will admit, some of the sayings are a bit "risk-ay" for me. My husband really thinks this one is funny, but we aren't daring enough to get it. They also have accessories like their pacifier...which is black. The colors of shirts and onesies they offer are black, white, and now yellow. We have a onesie that says, "Pink and Blue, make me Spew." I know if Terry's sister ever gets married and has a baby, this is the store I will shop! We also got a toddler shirt that reads, "It ain't gonna change itself." That is so funny!
Rebel Ink Baby offers shirts in sizes 0-6, 6-12, 12-18, and 18-24 months for babies, and 2T, 3T, 4T, and 5T for Toddlers. Prices vary depending on shirt from $10.00-24.00. They also offer free shipping on order that total $50.00 or more!

ABOUT REBEL INK
Rebel Ink Baby was hatched in the liberal neighborhood of St. Paul, (that’s Minnesota) in 2004. A screen printer turned baby wear producer, we created our humorous black clothing line with the birth of our first child/model. Our dog had to resort to second chair.
Our ideas for the tees evolve through the daily insanity of child rearing. In 2006, model #2 made a splash, and what an inspiration she was. We then decided to expand our line to offer white snap suits with contrast stitching. As our family grows so will the silliness.
If you find yourself in the frozen tundra of MN, swing by our store and we’ll cook up some wackiness together. For those of you that remember Bartels & James, “Thanks for your support.”
Todd & Lisa
P.S. Our next top model is on the way.


Do you want to win a Rebel Ink shirt?? They have generously offered to sponsor a giveaway to my readers! Just go to their site, pick out your favorite onesie or shirt (it will be hard to just pick one), and then come back here and comment about it. Extra credits apply if you add my button to your blog, blog the contest, or subscribe to my feed. Please comment if you do the extra credit. Contest is open to bloggers and non-bloggers of the United States, and will end on June 6th, at 7:00 CST.


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Will the screaming cease?

Madelyn has been such a screamer the last few days (or has it been a bit longer?). She is working on her upper front teeth, and her bottom two front teeth. Finally she is getting some teeth (at almost 15 months old). She has been on the moody and ornery side with the teeth. Her nights have been interrupted with pain (I am sure) and it is making our nights "fun." I know I will have to ween her eventually, but I know during this teething time, I should let her be comforted with nursing. So...tomorrow is another day, but I have to get through another night, first.

The Fertility Journal: A Day-by-Day guide to getting pregnant

The Fertility Journal is a guided journal designed to help women understand and track their monthly reproductive cycle. I think this journal is a very helpful tool! I never really learned how to track my fertile times. I know it is different for everyone, too, so there is really no certain time that you can get pregnant...it all depends on your cycle.
It features a primer on fertility basics, helpful tips on health, exercise, relationships, sex, and nutrition, and space for women to record the daily statistics that will help them predict ovulation and get pregnant more easily.
A special section on assisted reproductive technologies includes a monthly tracker for women employing in vitro fertilization and similar procedures. With illustrations throughout and plenty of room to record the thoughts and feelings that go along with this exciting and emotional time, The Fertility Journal is an essential tool for creating a family.
I think this book is packed with very good information and helpful ways to prepare your body for pregnancy.
I was planning on using this book for the next time I was going to try to conceive, but I got pregnant before I even opened the book. So, I will either use this next time around, or give this journal as a gift to someone trying. I think it is a great journal to keep track of everything.

About the Author
Kim Hahn is the founder and CEO of Conceive Magazine, dedicated to fertility and adoption topics and based in Orlando, Florida. Named one of the 50 Best Magazines of 2006 by the Chicago Tribune, Conceive Magazine is read by 2.5 million women in North America, Europe, and Asia.
Dr. Geoffrey Sher is an obstetrician and gynecologist known for his groundbreaking work on in vitro fertilization. He is the founder of the Sher Institute for Reproductive Medicine, which has locations across the U.S.
You can purchase your Fertility Journal here.

Monday, May 26, 2008



Remembering to Thank those who have served or who have dedicated their life to serve. Thank you troops for protecting and fighting for our freedom!

You know your child is listening when....

Yesterday at lunchtime, Caleb asked Great Grandma a question. She was eating, and so she proceeded to answer his question. After she answered him, Caleb said, "Grandma, I can't hear you with food in your mouth!"

Opps...

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Caleb's 3rd Birthday party~

Saturday was a fun day for Caleb. We went to the city parade at noon, and he got to see the BIG FIRETRUCKS, the BIG TRACTORS, and the BIG SEMI TRUCKS! He thought the parade was super! He gets so excited to see the big vehicles! He really liked the motorcycles and trikes, too! Him and Madelyn got so much candy! They also got a Mr. Freeze and a Beer hat (to which we gave away). Oh, and they each got a Rice Krispie bar, too! Madelyn didn't even freak out from all the sirens and loud honks. I was impressed by that. We ate some hot dogs and chips at the parade since the parade started at noon.

After the parade we came home and had about 20 minutes before the party was going to start. So, Caleb didn't get a nap, but surprisingly he did great. He got some really nice presents (a lot of clothes)~thank you! Great Grandma made him the requested Batter Batter Baseball cake. He had told her he wanted the colors green, blue, orange and red. AND Sprinkles. That is what she did! The cake turned out great, even though she complained about it...Caleb loved it! We went out on a pontoon ride, and the little boys with Madelyn loved walking/crawling around looking out. They had so much fun. We even got to help out a boat that was not running, so we pulled it into shore. In the evening, my parents stayed for supper and it was great to visit with them longer, too. We had baked chicken, corn on the cob, potatoes and salad. It was delicious! Cheryl had brought a pie, so that was the dessert~thanks, Cheryl!

So, Today is Caleb's official Birthday! I remembered throughout the day where I was and what I was going through 3 years ago today. His birth wasn't the easiest out of the three, but he was so worth the pain! I had 3 epidurals with him, since the first two were put in wrong. I was also induced (and my body was NOT ready for labor). But, he did need to come out because the amniotic fluid was so low. I delivered him about 7:30 in the evening. So, the labor (after the Petocin was put in) lasted about 12 hours. Not too bad.

He was happy most of the day, but he is running a bit of a temp, has a cough and is complaining of his ears again. I hope he will just get healthy soon. Maddie has a cough today, too. It is hard to know if some of it is allergies or not. We went to church today, then had lunch at home. This afternoon, I got to lay down with Caleb for his nap. I didn't get much of a nap, but something is better than nothing. Then, this evening (after a tornado warning swept the area) we went to Menards to check out flooring for our dining/kitchen area, carpet for the store, and ceiling ideas for our hobby store. Then, we decided to grab McDonald's head home, and enjoy a picnic on the pontoon. It was such a nice night. Caleb had fun having a picnic on the boat.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Girls 'n Grace: Book Reviews and Giveaways

Contest is now closed! Winner is Stamped with Grace (how fitting)! I have e-mailed the winner! Congratulations! Thanks to everyone who entered!
Have you heard of the American Girl Dolls? I thought the American Girl series were great, because girls have a doll that can look like them and be a mini version of themselves. The girls can dress them and play with the dolls.

While working as the coordinator of an American Girl style show in Fort Worth, Texas, Pam Davis was stunned when news broke that the popular book and doll series had aligned itself with organizations that supported a pro-left agenda that included homosexuality and abortion. As a Christian and mother of a young daughter, this information caused her to consider the lasting imprint that “playtime” can really leave on an impressionable little girl. In that moment, she began to envision an exciting new possibility. With the right character as a role model, God could use those sweet afternoon tea parties, hours of make-believe, and sleepovers to sow seeds of faith in tender hearts. This concept became the foundation for the Girls ’n Grace products, a line of dolls and books designed to fulfill Davis’ dream of demonstrating to today’s young girls what it means to be girls of grace.

I was really excited when I heard of the new line that came out called Girls 'n Grace! I like what this company stands for: to let girls see they can live in the embrace of God's grace. I like how the books show girls how other girls turn to God and experience his grace and reap the benefits of following Him! The stories teach that through struggles, difficulties, hardships (etc.) the girls can draw on God's grace and experience Christ's strength, wisdom and courage. I would love to get one of these dolls one day for Madelyn.
The toys we give our children has such a great impact on them. I think these dolls and the books give such a great model to girls about God's grace and their self worth and image. The website also offers fun games and quiz's about the books for girls to participate in.
I was given the chance to review the first two books of the Girls 'n Grace series. The series follows the lives of several fictional young female characters as all facets of their lives, from their friendships to their goals, are affected by their walks with Jesus. Spanning contemporary history as well as the globe, the characters—and the readers along with them—will learn to depend on God’s grace, especially when their decisions to honor or trust Him are difficult ones. Of particular note are Davis’ frank depictions of the protests and prejudices of the civil rights movement, an era that has traditionally been left relatively unexplored in Christian children’s fiction. These books will thoroughly engage young readers and provide the perfect opportunity for moms and daughters to engage in meaningful conversation.
Sydney Clair’s Season of Change tells the story of a tenacious and curious ten-year-old trying to keep up with all of the changes around her. Sydney Clair Wilcox finds herself right in the middle of the historic events of 1965 surrounding the civil rights, women’s rights, and environmental movements. As her beloved sister leaves for college, Sydney realizes her world is changing. Along with Sydney, readers will learn how God wants us to show His grace to all people and how He gives us everything we need to face each new season in our lives.
In Mesi: A Girl ’n Grace in Africa, young Mesi is growingup in a country where the people’s beliefs are as diverse as the landscape. Her family’s well being is threatened by drought, disease, and war. Yet, despite her hardships, Mesi (pronounced Maycee) finds that God is so very near to her that He cares about every detail of her life. Along her journey
Mesi finds out about an inexhaustible treasure called grace.
Each doll from the Girls ’n Grace line comes with a mini Bible and a secret address code that acts as a key to a special online virtual world on the interactive website (http://www.girlsngrace.com/). The site includes links for moms, mother/daughter Bible studies, games, a book club, and information about the line of dolls.
Would you like to win the first two books?: Sydney Clair’s Season of Change and Mesi: A Girl ’n Grace in Africa
This contest is open to all readers (bloggers or non) that live in the United States. Just go to the Girls 'n Grace website and look around. Let me know in the comments what you liked about it.
If you would like extra credit, you can (a) blog this contest, (b) add my button to your blog, and/or (c) subscribe to my feed. Comment for each extra thing you do. Contest will be open until June 6th, at 7:00 PM CST.

Garage Sale Day!

This weekend my Mother-in-Law and Terry's grandma came down for a visit and to celebrate Caleb's 3rd birthday. We had decided to spend the day on Friday going to garage sales. I was on a mission to find summer clothes for Nathaniel, maybe some swim trunks for him, and some PJ's. I wanted to find some summer clothes for Caleb, too. I walked away from a whole day of sales with a TV and a tube for behind the boat. However, my Mother-in-Law is a bargain shopper and really blessed us with clothes! She found Caleb PJs, shorts, pants, and shirts. She found some maternity jeans, slacks, sweats, and tops for me. She is so kind and generous! Thank you, Cheryl! It was a fun day. We went to McDonald's for lunch. It was comical watching this dad take care of his rambuncious boys. One of his sons kept bringing his drink up in the playset. His dad was so frustrated, and kept putting it back on the table. When the dad thought he had it all under control again, he looked over and noticed the cup was MIA AGAIN! The look on his face was priceless! It was really funny.

Friday night, Terry and I brought Nathaniel to go to his Dad's for the weekend. His Dad told me he was diagnosed with Melanoma Type A. Melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer, and that is scary! I am not sure what Type A is, and I can't find anything online about type A. He is not sure what all is going to happen, but he will find out more on the 16th of June. He wanted us to know about it before he told Nathaniel about it. I asked him to be careful with how and what he says to Nathaniel because Nathaniel is so sensitive to bad news...and he is a worrier like his mom. His Dad said he would be careful. I will be praying for his Dad...and that everything is ok with minimal spreading.
After we dropped off Nathaniel we stopped at a Hobby store so Terry could check out some products and pricing. Then we went to Karaoke at our church. It was a lot of fun! It is fun to get together with friends and sing some tunes, too. Terry was happy that Lisa's hubby was there. He sang, too! It was hilarious when he sang The Streak~ I have never heard that before! What a funny song!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Skid: Book review and Giveaway!

Contest is now closed. Winner is Mary, Congratulations! Mary, please contact me ASAP. Thanks to all who entered!

Blissfully unaware that Atlantica Flight 1945 from Atlanta to Amsterdam is about to make aviation history, First Officer Danny McSweeney focuses his energies on navigating the turbulent personalities of an eccentric female captain, a co-pilot with a talent for tactless comments and conspiracy theories, and a lead flight attendant with an outsized attitude that definitely exceeds the limits for carry-on baggage.On the other side of the cockpit door, the unscheduled in-flight entertainment includes a potbellied pig, a jittery diamond courier, and the recently jilted Lucy Meredith, whose personal mantra of “What Would Oprah Do?” will be challenged by the sudden appearance of her ex and his new traveling partner. On her left sits Hank Hazard, whose unusually polite but constant requests–prompted by his covert role as a spy for the airline–test the limits of the crew’s customer service. But as Lucy and the rest of the crew discover, Hank’s odd behavior is linked to a quiet faith that may play a key role in the fate of everyone on board. Especially when an unexpected traveler sets this already bumpy flight on a course toward the unfriendly skies.
I think this is a great read! Rene Gutteridge is a talented author! It is fun and entertaining to read this novel.

Rene Gutteridge is the author of twelve novel, including the Boo series, the Storm series, and the novelization for The Ultimate Gift, as well as Scoop and Snitch, the first two Occupational Hazard novels. She lives with her husband, Sean, and their two children in Oklahoma City.

You can purchase this book on Amazon, or

You can enter here to win a copy:

I am giving away a copy to a blogger or non-blogger of the United States! Just leave a comment. Please be sure to leave your e-mail address or blog address so I can contact you.

This contest is open until June 5th at 7:00 PM CST. For extra entries you can blog this contest, subscribe to my feed, and/or add my button to your blog! Please leave a separate comment if you do the extra work.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Thank you MotherTalk!


I won a great sounding book because of a "Dirty Little Secret" that I shared online. MotherTalk had a fun contest going on where mom's could share their secrets of what makes us a less-than-perfect mom. You can check out all the entrants here and read mine here.
Thank you MotherTalk for having a great contest and picking me as a runners up! I think this book will be fun to read!

Around the Table Games: Review and Giveaway!

Contest now closed! Thank you everyone who participated! The winner is Ribbon Rock Star! Congratulations!
I really enjoying playing the type of games where you can really get to know other people! I wish that I would have had something like this when I was young. As I get older the more I crave history from my parents and grandparents. I would love to know tidbits like, how did they meet? What is a fear they have? What was their favorite family tradition? It is fun to have this game: Family Talk. It is fun to hear what Nathaniel and Caleb respond with to the questions. Some of the questions they can't answer yet, but one day they will. It is fun to learn more about Terry with these questions, too. Family Talk is a series of games that is from the Around the Table games collection. In the Family Talk set, there are 100 cards with questions on them. Family Talk is so uncomplicated that you can play it almost anywhere-around the dinner table, in the car or anyplace your family or friends congregates. Just draw a card, read the question and let the fun begin! Diverse topics reveal surprising answers - even from hard-to-talk-to teens. And with Family Talk, everyone is a winner!Family Talk makes a great gift for family, friends, co-workers...just about anyone. Ideal for ages 4+ Cost: $12.95.
Creator and owner of Around the Table games, Beth Daniels was blessed to have her grandparents and great-grandparents in her life for decades. Over the years, she realized that the more she learned about them, the better she understood herself. As a result, she treats the stories they shared as priceless gifts that she is determined to pass on to her own children. As an Occupational Therapist, wife and mother of two, Beth understands all too well how active lives and busy schedules can prevent families from sharing the anecdotes and folklore that make a family a family. That’s why she created Family Talk and Grandparent Talk games as a fun way for families to reconnect. She also came out with Family Talk 2.
Would you like to win a game from the Around the Table games? You can chose Family Talk,Grandparent Talk, or Family Talk 2! This contest is open to bloggers and non-bloggers of the United States. This contest is open until May 31st, at 7:00 PM CST. Please go to the Around the Table Games website and pick out which game interests you most. Come back and let me know. If you want more chances to win, you can (1)blog this contest and link to me, (2) add my button to your site, and (3) subscribe to my feed. That is 3 extra chances to win! Just let me know you did the extra work in separate comments.
If you want to order a set, two, or all three...Beth has given my readers a special discount to receive free shipping on your orders! Just use the code: SSYFMT upon check out.

I am excited again!

I was so relieved today to get the news that everything is looking great with the pregnancy so far! I called the clinic today around noon to see what the results were. The lady said that the NP wasn't in today, and she would be in tomorrow. So, I asked her as kindly as I could, "So, there is someone else that I can talk to and can tell me the results TODAY, right?" So, she said another NP would call me back. Within 5 minutes, the other NP called me and told me the results weren't in yet, and she would call me when they came in. So, all afternoon I waited, and waited, and WAITED. Then, when I got home at almost 4:00, I saw no one had called when I was gone, so I called the clinic again. The NP called back and said that the blood sample was sent a few hours away, and since my blood draw was at 5:00 yesterday (and the sample didn't have a STAT on it), I may not have the results until tomorrow! What?? Oh no, I really can't wait until tomorrow! She must have known I was anxious, because she said, if any results come in before 5:00 when she leaves she will call. Actually, she said she will call either way. At about 5:04 she called and told me the results literally just came in...and everything looks great and normal! WOO HOO!! My numbers of HCG was 9,563 on Friday, and on Monday they read 22,028! Yeah! Thank you Lord! I was so happy! Now, I can relax some, and enjoy the pregnancy again. I didn't even tell anyone at our stamp club last night, because I was worried I may have to retrieve my words. So, now I can shout it out again~ I AM PREGNANT! :)

I babysat today. I ended up going a bit late, because Madelyn fell asleep in the high chair during breakfast. She doesn't take very good naps, so I called to see if it was ok that I would be late. I wanted to let her sleep and get some good rest. She has been having such a hard time with her teeth coming in. She has been wanting to nurse constantly. I don't really know what to do anymore. I want to comfort her, but I don't want her to just suck on me all day! Poor little honey! I really hope these teeth come in soon! I know that nursing my little princess will come to an end sometime soon here with being pregnant. I know she will have a really hard time with stopping.

Caleb started complaining of his ears hurting when we were on our way home this afternoon. I am not sure if he is suffering from a sinus issue, allergies, or a cold/ear infection. I will have to see what tomorrow holds. I hope we can go babysit miss Claudia. I may have to bring Caleb in to the Dr. tomorrow if his ears keep bothering him. I want him to be healthy and feel good for his 3rd Birthday party this weekend! Yep, my little boy is turning 3 years old! I can't believe how time flies by! It is a sad moment, but a fun milestone, too. I hope it will be a fun day for him. Terry's Grandma makes cakes, and Caleb asked her if she can make a batter batter baseball cake for him. He is all excited about that. I am not sure where he got the batter batter part, but it is funny!

Nathaniel was out all day on Saturday with his friend Austin. Austin comes here to visit quite often. His Great Grandpa lives across the road from us, and so him and Nathaniel have become great friends. So, Saturday him and Austin were busy playing near the stream and by their "fort." One time during the day, Nathaniel brought home a 5 gallon pail with about 20 toads in it. It was gross, but totally a boy thing. Nathaniel has a pet Salamander that he took captive last fall, and has been feeding and caring for it since in his 10 gallon aquarium. So, he had "Sally" out for the afternoon. In this 5 gallon pail were all these toads and poor Sally being bombarded by over zealous toads. Terry and I told him to get Sally out of there, and she probably wasn't very happy with the toad parade. Anyway, Nathaniel had a great and grand day. He was even told he could make money by picking up golf balls. Austin's G. Grandpa owns a Driving Range.

Automoblox!

I was so excited to get our new Automoblox in the mail! This is such a great car! The car is made with such high quality and details! I really like that the wood is thick and smooth! The boys love playing with this car, and really like how it drives so fast! With this car they can totally take everything apart...
The people (with shapes on the bottom of them) come out, the wheels come off, the rubber around the wheels come off, the front and back come off, and the hood of the car comes off! I know my boys love taking things apart, and then putting them back together again. What a mechanical and technical toy! I love it! Caleb loves the shapes at the bottom of the people. The shapes fit into the shapes in the bottom of the car, so they have to fit in the car just right. Every time he puts one of the pieces together, it "clicks" so he knows it went together. The details are meant to give the child satisfying feedback as they set out to accomplish the task of creating a unique car.
What makes the taking apart even more appealing with the Automoblox, is that kids can put the car back together with other pieces/parts from other Automoblox! So, they can construct a new modern design of a vehicle.
Patrick Calello is the designer of this new generation of contemporary heirloom toys.
Automoblox, combines his passion for automobiles with his passion for great design, to create a product that will challenge the next generation of great thinkers.
Having designed everything from detergent bottles to high-end consumer electronics,
Calello who specializes in product innovation, holds dozens of US and international
patents. His industrial design expertise has been utilized by the likes of Pfizer,
Johnson & Johnson, Colgate-Palmolive and Kellogg’s with graphic
design work that has graced Broadway marques and the
covers of Columbia Records platinum albums.

We are very happy with our A9 Compact Automoblox car, and now we just have to get more to create new designs!
These cars range in price from $34.99-$39.99. You can buy them here.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Thanks for the prayers

I think we are on the mend from the weekend. Caleb was still running a slight fever this morning, but he is on the mend. He is loving his funny sounding voice right now.

I am feeling a little better. I got hit with the cold stuff this weekend, too. I had a fever, chills, and runny/stuffy nose.

Madelyn was a complete bear this morning. She was hard to manage, and she kept having tantrums. She just wanted to nurse all day, and we all know that is not a go....so, I put up with some screaming tantrums. I really don't like to do that, but I really don't want her just using me as a pacifier. I feel bad for her because I am sure her gums hurt, but nothing is as good as mom's place, I guess.

Tonight I got to go to my stamp club. We make cards and then make an order. I love going to this once a month. It is a great time to enjoy my hobby, make some great new projects, learn new ideas, socialize (WITH OTHER ADULTS) :) and increase my supply to feed my hobby.
I got to see my friend Naomi tonight, and she brought a friend that I haven't seen in a few years. It was fun to see them tonight. I also go to the club with my friend, Lisa, so it was great to see her and her mom, too!

I really need to get to bed. I know this post isn't a very detailed post, but I needed to get some information up. Thank you to everyone who said they are praying! I greatly appreciate and covet your prayers. I had a second blood draw this afternoon. I will find out some results tomorrow afternoon. I still have to wait for the ultra-sound next Friday (May 30th). I do appreciate the kind and thoughtful words. :)
I will try to write more tomorrow.
Good night~

A Big THANK YoU~~

Have you noticed my great looking new blog design? I have two wonderful creators to thank!

I won a contest from The Good Stuff blog: a Silver Design package from RS Designs. So, I chose a 3 column layout, a custom button, and a custom signature.

Didn't Linda do a great job?? Thanks Linda!

Then, I won a blog header, a blog template, and a custom footer from a cyber baby shower for Margie Gunn, sponsored by Shauna from See my Designs! She did a great job, too!

Didn't Shauna do a super job?? Thanks so much Shauna!

Considering a blog change? Check out these great places, and see what these gals can do!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Wall Candy Arts~ Time to add some fun!


I love making kid's rooms more enjoyable for them to be in! I love when a room is entertaining and helps create an atmosphere to let the imagination go. That is what I liked about Wall Candy Arts!

I picked out the Grazeland set to put up in Caleb's room. He loves having a farm in his room. His favorite animals are the chicks, really. I think I like the cows the best. Each kit contains 18' of grass, 16 trees, 2 barns with silos and 2 tractors to get around in. Plus 6 cows, 20 chicks, 8 pigs, 12 bunnies and 12 lambs. I just have a partial kit, but it was still plenty to put up around his room. I love how the Wall Candy Arts bring life to plain, and solid color walls. Wall Candy Arts have many different options to chose from when picking out a set for different rooms in your home:
chalkboard
nature
transportation
animals
abc & 123
off the wall

There are many different options, different sets, and the prices very. I think it is a great way to help decorate a child's playroom, or bedroom. I love that the set is easy to remove and re-stick to wear I want them. The stickers don't remove any paint either!

About Wall Candy:

Wall Candy Arts is the manufacturer and distributor of the product Wall Candy, which is reusable wall stickers and wall art. Wall Candy is the most innovative way to decorate nurseries, kids' rooms, play rooms, and rooms for teens and adults. Create a unique atmosphere, enhance any living space and do so with the ease of a peel and stick application. Once installed, Wall Candy can be effortlessly rearranged or removed and used again without leaving any marks on the walls. Wall Candy is savvy design for the design savvy.

Allison Krongard, is the founder of Wall Candy Arts, LLC, and Dana Berk (cousin of Allison), is the Marketing Director of Wall Candy Arts, LLC.

Check them out, they have great specials going on right now!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Friday

Well, yesterday, Madelyn was a bear pretty much all morning. She wanted to be held constantly, so I know she really wasn't feeling well. I think mostly her teeth are really bothering her. I really hope they burst through this weekend.

Caleb started a cough and a "headache" in the earlier afternoon, just before we headed out to go to the ultrasound. So, I gave him some Tylenol, and we left. I knew he was tired, too, and the timing of the drive was perfect for him and Maddie to sneak in a nap.

I went to pick up my friend, Lisa, because she offered to come with me. I wanted someone to be with me for two reasons, for support, and also to help with Maddie and Caleb if need be. So, she was willing to come. I am so glad she was with me.

The news from the ultra-sound was disturbing to me. It was calculating the baby to measure at 5 weeks and 3 days. I am still trying to figure out if that is possible, just for peace of mind. The tech saw the yolk sak and what looked like a possible lining starting. BUT, she didn't see anything else. No little baby, and no heart beat. It is possible that my timing is way off, and everything is normal for the pregnancy, but I am not so optimistic. I do want to say, that I am at peace with whatever the outcome is. It would be sad to not be pregnant right now, and not be adding on to our family at this time. However, I know that EVERYTHING is in God's timing, and HIS timing is perfect! If we don't have a little one on the way, I just need to remind myself that God has a plan, and He knows what He is doing. I will still pray for our little baby, and that he/she is healthy and growing.

On the way back from the ultra-sound, Lisa dropped me off at the clinic so I can request a blood draw to check the HCG levels. When a pregnancy is progressing normally, these numbers increase (basically double) daily. So, I had a draw on Friday, then I will have a re-draw on Monday morning. The NP informed me that everything is normal, and I really shouldn't worry. She was trying to talk me out of doing a blood draw, because she said the numbers can be deceiving. The numbers may or may not go up, but it really doesn't verify the progress. She said the best identifier would be the ultra-sound. I do have a re-check on the early ultra-sound for 2 weeks away. At that time, if everything is all good and normal, we will see a heartbeat. So, I will do my best to not worry or stress about what the results may be.

Another thing that happened on Friday....when Lisa dropped me off, she went to get Nathaniel from school. I gave her misleading and wrong directions, and she got lost...ended up at the wrong school, and we were all worried. Nathaniel's office called our house to see what was up, and since there wasn't an answer, she tried my cell phone. My cell phone went through the wash machine a couple of weeks ago, so that didn't work either. Then, they called Terry at work. Since he was 45-50 minutes away, he asked if someone could drop Nathaniel off at home! Oh what a mess! Fortunately, the Principal was willing and able to give him a ride. Lisa was a bit frantic, and she did catch up with them. After about 30 minutes of waiting, I got concerned and I called home. They were there, filled me in on what happened, and then Lisa came and got me. I feel terrible about giving her wrong directions, having Nathaniel waiting and worried, and having the school upset with me. That just added to my sad afternoon. I do thank Lisa for being willing to get Nathaniel, and for all her trouble. So, thank you Lisa!

Caleb was running a pretty good fever last night, has a nasty cough, and a really runny nose.
So, Now that Caleb is sick, I am dealing with either a cold or allergies and Maddie isn't 100% we decided to just stay home this weekend. I am sad we couldn't go up to see Terry's Grandma and Mom...and our other family. But, I do think it is wise to stay home to let our kids get over another round of the sicknesses.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Think Blocks

Nathaniel loves products that stretch his mind, and gets him thinking creatively. He was really impressed with the new product called ThinkBlocks. He had fun stacking, sorting, arranging, mixing, and organizing these magnetic shapes. He loves any kind of thing he can build and create. He has excellent math skills for his age, and so he loved figuring out new steps and ways to use these ThinkBlocks.

Everyone needs to think in order to thrive in life. ThinkBlocks teach fundamental thinking skills that are as relevant:
to the auto mechanic as the quantum mechanic;
to the preschooler as the PhD;
in homeroom, the college classroom, or the executive boardroom.
Wherever ideas are being made, ThinkBlocks are there for thinking about any topic you can imagine.
ThinkBlocks are used in elementary schools, high schools, and college and university classrooms, as well as in the professional fields such as conflict resolution, counseling, human development, and by organizational leaders and teams. ThinkBlocks are a fun, educational tool for young children ages 4+, but they can also scale up to adults and help to teach thinking skills that are just as relevant to the pre-schooler as they are to a PhD or a corporate executive. ThinkBlocks have no gender, age, cultural, language, skill-level, or subject barrier. They can be used by anyone, anywhere to tackle virtually any topic or discipline. This new tactile educational tool is backed by years of empirical research conducted at Cornell University by scientists who are also parents and teachers.
Here is what is in each ThinkBlock set:
Each ThinkBlock kit retails for $79.99. Contents include:
Owner Support: Free email support for owners as well as online access to Tutorials, Research, and Resources through our expanding knowledge base, "Thinkipedia"
16 Small ThinkBlocks
8 Medium ThinkBlocks
2 Large ThinkBlocks
1 Get Started Guide
1 ThinkTiles Starter set (6 tiles)
1 Dry erase marker

Ergo's Lab is packed with ideas on how to use the ThinkBlocks. There you can access the online video tutorials, expert talks, testimonials, guided tours, blogs, and other activities.

My little girl~ and other info.

I brought Madelyn to the Doctor on Wednesday to get her checked out. The doctor said her ears and lungs were clear. (Thank God!) So, she is fighting some kind of virus. Since she did have a croupy sounding cough on Tuesday night, he said that she could have croup. It is harder to diagnose that, and he could put her on steroids. The side effects aren't fun, though. It would be like giving her caffeine. So, we decided to not put her on anything right now. Her weight was only 17 3/4 pounds, and she is 28 inches long. She is such a little person! I am anxiously waiting the day when she will reach 20 pounds, and then I can officially get her into a front facing car seat!

I had my first baby appointment on Wednesday afternoon. I had 6 vials of blood drawn! That is crazy! The most I have had in the past was 4 vials! They test everything with those. Then, because my mom has diabetes, I had to do an early glucose test. I have never done this test so early before. It was perfectly fine, though. I haven't had gestational diabetes with any baby (yet) and hopefully I won't with any baby. My urine test revealed that I am POSITIVELY pregnant. Then, I talked with the NP about my history with pregnancies, and my miscarriage. Then, we scheduled an early ultra-sound for TODAY! I am excited to see how far along I really am. I am also looking forward to seeing that little heart beating. According to the clinic, I would be due on December 18th, but I know I am not a 28 day cycle. I am at least a 31 day...so, at the earliest I would be due on the 21st. I am thinking it will show me due more around the 26th, though. I guess we will find out soon enough!

Yesterday morning we had momma goose and daddy goose in our backyard with their 12 little babies! They were helping mow our lawn and leaving little treasures for us. They were so cute! I can't believe how many babies there were! Caleb wanted us to keep a little baby chick. I told him that the baby's mom and dad would not be happy if we took their baby. I said I wouldn't be happy if someone took him away from me either!
Last night we went on a pontoon ride. It was super fun to be out there enjoying nature and God's creation! Madelyn had fun walking around, and peeking down at the water. When we got back, Caleb was walking off the dock. I didn't really notice what he was doing, but I heard him say, "It's a marshmallow." I said, "What?" And he said, "It is a marshmallow!" OH NO~~ I said, "Oh no, Caleb, that is not a marshmallow, that is goose poop! Did you touch it?" He said, "Yep!" Oh that was so gross!!

This weekend we are heading to Terry's Mom and Grandma's for the weekend. Terry's sister's birthday is on Sunday, so we will celebrate her b-day. I am looking forward to seeing family, and seeing Caleb play with his cousins. It is suppose to be a nice weekend, too! So, I will probably not be online at all this weekend. I hope everyone has a great weekend! :)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

“CAHOOTIE”: Bringing back good things! AND A CONTEST~

Contest is now closed! Congratulations to Katie and Daisy who one their own Cahootie! You can go to the site and download the directions to make your own, too! Or, you can buy them! They are a lot of fun!!
Do you remember when you were a school girl and making a great paper invention where you picked a color, and then picked a number, then, you saw the revealing information underneath the flap? I loved making these games and playing with my friends! We found out all sorts of information hidden in secret under the flaps of paper!
Toy company Green Rock Entertainment (GRE) predicts that hi-tech schoolgirls will thoroughly enjoy the old-fashioned paper game totally updated and called Cahootie. The modern twist on the beloved game features 40 repositionable fortune stickers, award-winning designs, laminated paper, and six themes – allowing any game play to constantly change and surprise players. With an interactive website, http://www.cahootie.com/, this classic game encourages creativity with thought-provoking questions and challenges that players randomly select.

Jeffrey Jurgensen, GRE founder, knows a thing or two about what today’s kids want in entertainment. He wrote a script about a teenage spy, Agent Cody Banks, which spawned two hit movies and millions in DVD and theatre sales! Jurgensen is blessed with the soul of a child, so creating a company for his true passion, toys and games, was a dream come true for him. His line of hip illustrated Cahootie toys is already proving to be popular with specialty toy retailers, parents and tweens. The line also won the spring 2008 National Parenting Center Seal of Approval.

Recommended for children ages 7 and up, the six current Cahootie themes range from Sporty Girls to (mom-approved) Truth or Dare. Priced from $5.95, these games make a perfect add-on to a birthday gift, sleepover favor or good report card treat. And just in time for the Presidential race this November, Cahootie offers both Republican and Democrat games that are filled with political trivia (with answers) that showcase your American history knowledge. Consumers can currently choose from: Wishes & Dreams – look under Money, Love Letter or Fame and you might uncover, “You’ll go to a top university! Study up!!!”Birthday Wishes – look under Piñata, Balloons or Cupcake and you might reveal, “What famous person would you invite to your party?”Truth or Dare – lift the flap on Truth or Dare and you might be asked “Using your toes, write your name with a pen!”Sporty Girls – flip the flap on Pitch, Ribbon Dance or First Place and you might read, “Who makes you nervous when they watch you play?”Democrat – calling all Donkeys to choose Swing State, Jefferson or White House and ponder “True or False – the First Lady is paid a salary of $50,000.”Republican – Elephants can pick such topics as November, Constitution and Senate to answer “What does GOP stand for?”

What makes Cahootie even better than its homemade inspiration is the rip-resistant paper, 40 reusable stickers and a keepsake display case. Since each game comes with 40 peel-and-stick fortunes, the game can be constantly refreshed. This high-quality, social-interaction game allows tweens and teens to be surprised with what’s revealed at the end of each round of play. Cahootie is 100% made in the U.S. and sold at more than 600 retail outlets nationwide.

The eye-catching packaging won the American Package Design Award for its retail category. Each see-through box includes game instructions, helpful tips, peel and stick fortunes and a durable Cahootie.Directions lead players to the interactive website where everyone can join Club Cahootie.

Of course, Cahootie’s designers understand that girls may still want to make a homemade game, hence they offer a free download template to design their own theme. The Cahootie website encourages young artists to photograph their creations and submit them online to be shared with other Club members.

Watch for new designs throughout 2008 and beyond. For more information, click on http://www.cahootie.com/

Do you want to win your own Cahootie? Just go to the Cahootie website, and pick out the one that looks the most entertaining to you. Come back here and comment about it, and I will randomly pick two winners on May 26th at 7:00 PM CST. This contest is open to bloggers and non-bloggers of the United States. If you want extra entries, you can grab my button and blog this contest. You can come back everyday and add another comment about something in my blog, too. Good luck!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Healing Promises: A Review

Facing a new threat. When FBI Agent Clint Rollins takes a bullet during a standoff, it might just save his life. But not even the ugly things he’s seen during his years working in the Crimes Against Children Unit could prepare him for the overwhelming powerlessness of hospital tests revealing an unexpected diagnosis. If only Sara weren’t retreating into doctor mode…he needs his wife now more than ever. Frozen in fear. Sara Rollins is an oncologist with a mission–beating cancer when she can, easing her patients’ suffering at the very least. Now the life of her tall Texan husband is at stake. She never let the odds steal her hope before, but in this case, the question of God’s healing promises is personal. Can she hold on to the truth she claimed to believe?
Faith under fire. As Clint continues to track down a serial kidnapper despite his illness, former investigations haunt his nightmares, pushing him beyond solving the case into risking his life and career. Clint struggles to believe God is still the God of miracles. Especially when he needs not one, but two. Everything in his life is reduced to one all-important question: Can God be trusted?
Amy Wallace is the author of Ransomed Dreams, as well, a home school mom, and a self-confessed chocoholic. She is a graduate of the Gwinnett County Citizens Police Academy and a contributing author of several books, including God Answers Moms’ Prayers and Chicken Soup for the Soul Healthy Living Series: Diabetes. She lives with her husband and three children in Georgia.
You can purchase the book at Amazon.com by clicking here!

Wordless Wednesday: Train Ride









Teeth? Or Sick?

Madelyn is really working on 4 (her first four) teeth. Her gums are bulging, and I can see the whites of teeth under her gums. She has been pooping more, like 5 diapers a day. Her poor little heiny! Well, last night she had a higher fever. During the night, she started a barking cough. Then, this morning (at 5:40 A.M) I woke up with her super hot!
I gave her the Motrin, and checked her temperature. It was 101.7 under the arm. We aren't even sure our thermometer is right on, because it takes forever to get the results! Poor little girl! Her cheeks were flushed, and when she was sitting on my lap...I could feel her hot little bottom! ~That is how hot she was!
So, with having such a high temperature, and that cough, we will be making a trip in to see the Dr. this morning. I am pretty sure it is just her teeth, because she no longer has the cough this morning. Plus, she has no other symptoms. She is happy, smiley, and playful. So, we will see. Maybe I should cancel her appointment...I hate to bring in kids just to hear, "They are fine...or it's just a virus." And~pay $25.00 to hear them say it.


I have my first "baby" appointment today. I have to do a verification test~ pee in a cup. Then, I will be talking to the CNP about a health questionnaire, I believe. I am sure we will schedule an ultrasound to make sure all is good with the baby. Due to a miscarriage 2 years ago, I am in a greater risk category. So, I look forward to the ultrasound to see that little heart beating.

Baby Bistro Brands! Review and Giveaway!

Contest is closed~winner is Mom2boys! Congratulations! Since she didn't leave an e-mail address and her blog doesn't allow comments, I can't contact her. If she doesn't contact me by 5/29, I will pick a new winner. Thanks for all who entered the giveaway!

I am so excited about being pregnant again! I am really excited to try out my new Baby Bistro Brands Box! The Baby Bistro Brands Box, now in its second edition, provides up-to-date nutritional information you need to feed your baby for the first twelve months. It includes safety rules, shopping tips, numerous recipes, and prenatal suggestions. The recipe card format allows you to find the information you want, when you need it, and then take it with you! The box is fun to read, and is inviting to look at with its soft colors and artwork. Here is what a sample card looks like:

This amazing recipe box is geared toward the 0-12 month babies. I love how the recipe cards go in order staring at prenatal! It is a great resource to have when I don't know what to eat (with pregnancy), or fix for my little newborn. The categories are in separate tabs: Starters(Pre-birth help and tips), First Course (all the safety tips/food allergies/educational), then entrees 0-4 months, 4-6 months, 6-8 months, 8-12 months. The last two tabs are for A La Carte (supplements for pregnant mom, nursing moms, and babies) and Desserts (helpful resources, and a note to appreciate your baby). What a helpful informative box for the first year, starting with pregnancy!

The retail value of this great educational and helpful product is $27.95~ click here to purchase one!

Christina, M.S., Nutrition Educator, is the founder of the Baby Bistro Brands box! Here is what Christina says, "In 2001, I graduated with my masters in nutrition and my sister had a baby. Everyone loved the joy of a new baby, and realized how many questions tired new mothers ask. I understood from my sister’s and girlfriends’ questions that there was a lot of confusion about infant nutrition among mothers. We all agreed the more accessible the information they needed, the better. So, we formed BBB, our baby, to help you raise your babies!"

WANT TO WIN A BABY BISTRO BRANDS BOX??

Christina has generously offered to sponsor a giveaway here on Sassyfrazz! You must be a resident of the United States...blogger or non-blogger. Go to the Baby Bistro Brands site, and look around. Find another product that Christina offers! Leave a comment on this post telling me if you would use this for yourself, or who you would give it to. This contest will be open until May 23, at 7:00 PM CST.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Last Night at MOPS

I absolutely love being a member of our MOPS group! I have been in this group for 3 years now. I was in MOPS when Nathaniel was younger at my home church, too. I think MOPS is a great place to connect with other moms, learn from them, talk about struggles, share experiences, pray for each other, and learn new ideas. It is also a great night out to fellowship, mingle, hear a great speaker, EAT, and make crafts. MOPS is for Mothers with kids from pregnancy-age 5! Since I am newly pregnant, I will be in it for quite awhile yet! Yahoo~

Last night, we had a leader from the local Moms In Touch group to speak. She was very encouraging and full of great ideas. I know that praying for our children is so crucial! We live in a tough world.
The main idea behind MIT is to gather (as moms) together to pray scripture over our kids, teachers, schools, bus rides, etc. They have a set plan with scripture, and blanks in the spots where you insert your child's name. For example, "May You fill________with the knowledge of Your will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And I pray this in order that_______may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please You in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of You." (Colossians 1:9b-10).
Our speaker talked about the Basics of Prayer, which is communication. Communication involves talking, listening, getting to know God (through His scriptures), and sharing my heart with Him.
She also touched on Why we should pray...and Why don't we pray. Why should we pray? To see God's will done on earth. We are following Jesus' example~ He always went to his Father (God) to pray!
PLUS~ we don't have to carry the "load of worry around on our back," because HE WILL CARRY IT FOR US! There are 3 other good reasons to pray:
1. Because God knows more than we do! 2. God desires our companionship! 3. God's Power is released when we PRAY not when we think/talk about praying. When we pray, we are inviting God's presence.

I was very encouraged to pray daily for my kids, my husband, and so much more. My daily time with God is lacking right now, and I really need to just make the time for HIM! He craves our attention, and He is begging me. Prayer is His GIFT to us! A beautiful, daily gift...and he will bless us for praying! When I need peace...he will supply! When I need Joy, He will supply! When I need comfort...He will supply!
We have an enemy (Satan) who doesn't want us to pray...and he (tries) to keep us from Prayer~
(John 10:10).

I need to make a plan...what can I do? How much time can I start with?
I need to set apart a time (morning/evening).
I need to pick a special place of refuge.
I need to have a plan to read the scriptures, get a prayer journal to write down my requests and praises!

I was very encouraged and excited about this topic covered in MOPS last night. MITI is a great ministry, and very effective!
Do you have a daily devotional time with God? When do you do it? What helps you stay focused and committed?

See Me Read: A Review

With looking into products to get Caleb ready for home school, I have come across a great website called See Me Read! I really like the concepts behind this company to help promote early reading.
The See Me Read Early Childhood Literacy Program helps introduce young children to the concept of language and encourages early reading. See Me Read uses personal photos of your child interacting with familiar items so that whole-words are reinforced visually. Your child's photos in our one-of-a-kind personalized labels, reading cards, books and writing pads will make learning fun.
Because not all children learn to read the same way or at the same rate, See Me Read helps them get the best of both learning methods as they develop early literacy.
See Me Read encourages early reading through the physical labeling of familiar items, people and animals in a child’s world and supports these labels with reading cards and books using the same words and visuals. The key element involves using personal photos of the child interacting with the familiar item on the labels, reading cards, books, and writing pad so the words are reinforced visually. For a child, recognizing a specific item (his ball, her doll) will quickly and clearly attach the specific word to the object. The See Me Read products are different than currently available books and flashcards, which often have pictures that are hard to interpret and don't allow a child to easily connect a familiar item with the word that describes it.

There are different Kits you can put together through the See Me Read site: The See Me Read™ Kit - #1: $49.99 (personalized Labels, Reading Cards and a Level One Book, all of which include photos of your child interacting with his or her favorite objects, people or animals).

The See Me Read™ Kit - #2: $34.99 (a Level Two Book and a Writing Pad, both of which include photos of your child interacting with his or her favorite objects, people or animals).

Lori Abert Luke, is the talented woman who created the See Me Read program based on learning tools and techniques she developed for her own son, Carson, when he showed signs of wanting to learn how to read at a very early age. Lori partnered with two of her friends, Lynette Frenette and Donna McDermott, who have been instrumental in getting See Me Read up and running.
I am excited to put together a set for Caleb. I am hoping to get the whole set. I really like this product line, and I know Caleb is ready for learning!
To make/create your own kit, Click HERE! Lori, the founder of See Me Read, has offered to give a special discount to all Sassyfrazz readers! You can use code SSSY2008 during checkout and get 20% off your order!
Thank you Lori!

How cute!

When we were on our day trip Sunday, we were heading to WI, and we didn't eat lunch yet. We were waiting until we got to Oseola. So, the kids were getting a bit hungry, and Caleb looks over at Madelyn and says,
"Madelyn, do you want to eat at McDonald's?"
Then, he says to us,
"Madelyn says she wants a small french fry!"

Think-ets: A Review

I really like games and products that encourage kids to use their imagination and creativity. Our world focuses so much on TV and electronic gaming entertainment (not that it is always bad) but there are more products out there to spark the thought process in our children. I was impressed by the new think-ets pouch of trinkets by Think-a-Lot Toys. Nathaniel is really liking this new way to be creative. He is at the age where he gets "bored" easy, and this is a great product to keep his hands and mind busy.

The company uses SHALOM Denver to assemble their product. SHALOM Denver provides employment, training, and job placement opportunities to people with disabilities. Rather than placing orders for new items to be made to create the Think-ets collections, the company painstakingly sources “tiny treasures” to avoid cheap plastic items that exist the world over—and that contribute to our world’s trash heap. Think-a-Lot Toys doesn’t believe in games that are bought one day and tossed the next.
For example, the pieces from Mexico (the copper ladles, copper pitchers, copper chalices, copper cups, glazed ceramic mugs, wire “batidors” [beaters], wire potato mashers, colored-fiber pot scrubbers, cheese graters, straw hats, breads and pastries) are hand-made by artisans working in villages throughout Mexico. They work under humane conditions and get paid enough to make a living in their country.
Think-ets have won several awards! Among the awards is the iParenting Media Award Winner 2008 -iParenting Media “HOT” Award Winner 2008 -The Toy Man™ Award of Excellence -and The Toy Man™ Editors Choice Award.
About Think-a-Lot Toys
Think-a-lot Toys is a Boulder, Colorado company founded in 2005 after Randy Compton, the “Inventor,” came up with an idea of putting miniature items into a pouch and turning it into a fun and entertaining game for kids and parents.
Julie Lake, the “Duchess of Doodads” and Randy's good friend, searched the world over for ideal collections of miniatures for the game. They soon realized the enormous appeal of Think-ets and began the process of starting a company that would realize their dreams of taking it into the world.
At this time, Think-A-Lot Toys is working towards getting Think-ets into specialty toy stores and catalogs around the nation. If you have any ideas or feedback, please contact them.
Think-ets are available at specialty toy and gift stores nationwide and have a suggested retail price of $9.99. They are recommended for anyone between the ages of 8 and 108. For more information call Think-a-Lot Toys at 303-449-2737 or visit their website at http://www.think-a-lot.com/.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Such a great weekend~

Happy (Belated) Mother's Day to all of you! I hope all you mommas had a wonderful day with your families!
Nathaniel surprised me with a carnation flower (he purchased himself) from school on Friday. He is such a thoughtful and generous kid! He was so excited to give it to me, too. He made sure I didn't pick him up from school that day, so I wouldn't see his surprise.
Friday evening, I got together with my dear friends from High School! It was great to get together and just talk! We went out to eat at our favorite Chinese Restaurant! It was tasty! We had 4 hours (almost) of uninterrupted chat time! It was just great! Of coarse, we could have been there all night. I miss our night time visits to Perkins...where we would be there for hours on end...just talking!
Then, Naomi and I went to Ladies Night Out where we played the famous LNO game "Quelf." This game is so fun! You can read so many posts about the game over at my friend Lisa's blog! We had endless laughter, as always! What a great and therapeutic night! It was great to get together with "the gals" again! I also made the announcement (with wearing a sticky note on my shirt) that I am prego! Yep, we are due for another baby in December! I hope the baby makes it for a tax break! :) LOL~
Saturday, I went to our Ladies Brunch at church. It was a great time! We had the author of Love Letters to your Child there to talk about her book and inspiration! Tracey Finck is an amazing, and talented woman! I was really touched and moved by what she started! I would love to do this for my children. The idea is to write down things your kids say, or achievements they do, or anything that pertains to your child that lifts them up. I love this idea of a "brag book." What an encouragement to our kids! I think this is such an important and POSITIVE thing to do for our kids. I really had a hard time with Nathaniel this morning, and he made the comment that I hate him. This is devastating to hear as a parent, because it makes me feel like I am failing him. I know if I had a special book just about him, I could pull it out, and show him all the ways I am proud of him, and he would have written proof of my love and adoration of him. It is one thing to tell your child about your love, but another to have it in writing! That is something that Tracey said, and I agree!
After the brunch, I rushed home to get ready for a day trip. We went to a train show about 2 1/2 hours away. It was such a rainy day out, so we decided to head out. It wasn't a big train show, so that was sad, but it was fun to just have a travel day. Nathaniel picked out a train accessory for Terry, and bought it with his money. He loves to give gifts. We went out for supper at Old Country Buffet. It was fun to go out, and I like that restaurant. I ran into a girl that I graduated from High School with. It was fun to see her again. I haven't seen her since High School. She is married now, with 3 kids. It was fun to catch up again.
When we got home that night, we got the kids to bed and I went to get a movie. We watched Rendition with Reese Whitherspoon. It was a disturbing movie, and kind of hard to watch. It was about a man that was accused (wrongly) of being apart of a terrorist attack. I know this stuff happens, but it was still hard to watch him be tormented. I think if I knew now (before watching it) I don't think I would have watched it. I had a terrible dream Saturday night because of what I saw. It wasn't the worst movie I have seen, but not a good feeling movie.
Sunday morning, I was told to stay in bed longer. Nathaniel and Terry brought me breakfast in bed. It was very thoughtful. Nathaniel had made me a special card in school, and he gave that to me as well. It was my first breakfast in bed. I did end up bringing it down stairs, so I could eat with Terry and Madelyn. Then, we went to church, and the service was great. 2 girls did a special music with their flute and violin, and that was sweet. After church, we went home for a quick change of clothes, let Lena out, and get diapers changed. Then, we went to Oseola, WI to ride the train. It was so much fun! The kids were so excited. Caleb and Nathaniel had no idea where we were going, so it was fun to surprise them. Terry was asked my the engineer if he and the boys would like to ride in the engine on the way back. Of coarse, he couldn't turn that question down! They had so much fun. The views from the train was amazing. We saw natural springs and waterfalls. Maddie did so well, too! Can you believe we forgot our digital camera!! So, we had to spend $1o.00 on a disposable. Terry really didn't want to spend that on a disposable (neither did I), but it was the very first time the kids were going to ride a train! So, we had to have the pictures. I really hope they turn out for us! After the ride, we went to the DQ and then, we went down on a hike in the valley where there was a big waterfalls. It was so beautiful! I really hope to go back again this summer. Even though there were uber amount of stairs, it was worth it. Then, we headed for home. I gave Nathaniel a much needed hair cut last night, and we all got to bed relatively early. It was a great Mother's Day. I love spending time with Terry and the kids. I know my house was hurting from not being cleaned this weekend, but it was so worth it!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Swaddle Designs: A Review



I was so excited when I got my products from Swaddle Designs! Their products are made with such great quality! I got a swaddling blanket, 2 burpies and a Baby Lovie soft security blanket. Madelyn loves the soft Baby Lovie! She snuggles it! It is the perfect size to keep in the diaper bag for journeys away from home. She loves holding it when we are in the car. There are three different Lovies from Swaddle Designs: Polka Dot, White Fuzzy and Fuzzy. The colors of the Fuzzys are Pink, Blue and Green. Maddie has a pink one.

I love the thickness of the burpies! Madelyn doesn't use burp cloths anymore (being 14 months),
but I have a new baby on the way, so this will be so great to use them! I know my babies spit up a lot, and they need thickness! Swaddle Designs offers eight different designs for the burpies: Polka Dots, Mod on White, Solid Pastels, Fresh Pastels, Baby Cheetah, Dots Collection, Little Hearts, and Little Stars.
I am really excited to use the Ultimate Receiving blanket! What I love about the Swaddle Designs Swaddling blanket, is that the directions are sewed right on the blanket. This is Swaddle Designs' exclusive 123 Swaddle Tip Tag! So, it really makes it easy to know how to swaddle your baby! Babies love being snuggly, and swaddled! They had that comfort in the womb, and I think the swaddle blanket from Swaddle Designs is great for swaddling! Swaddle Designs offers six different blankets: Polka Dots, Dots Collection, Mod on White, Organics, Fresh Pastels and Solid Pastels. The Burpies, Receiving blankets, and Lovies all match. So, it is great that you can have your essentials coordinate with each other! Or, you can mix and match.
Lynette Damir is the founder of Swaddle Designs. She is a RN and mother of two young children. She created Swaddle Designs from the inspiration of Motherhood and from the benefits and reasons for swaddling babies.
Click here to purchase your own set of Swaddle Designs, or to get a great Baby shower gift!