Wednesday, September 30, 2009

SpellQuizzer Giveaway Winner!!!!

That's right....I have a winner! Thanks to each of you for participating in my very first ever product review and giveaway!

And thanks to www.random.org, I have a lovely winner. A real winner!

Enough already, right??


The winner of the SpellQuizzer spelling program download is.......

Heather D.

Thanks, again ya'll!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

The source of my monstrous Mondays! Does he look guilty or what?!?!

To Do Tuesday List 4

Crazy Adventures in Parenting To-Do Tuesday

Busy, busy, busy. <----------- That's me this week.

I have SO much to do! My blogging may suffer a bit (the horror!) and I've already ditched Tech Tuesday today. I'm thinking I may ditch it permanently, adding an occasional tech blog to Misc Saturdays. That way I can focus on finding really great techies that are relative to blogging.


Back to my busy week. Here's my list:

  • WRITE! (I am working on a writing job-31 articles)
  • Blog (fit it in when I can----working on balance)
  • Clean this house
  • Pull out the long sleeves and jackets-it's that time again!
  • Declutter and organize the kitchen pantry and 'junk drawer'
  • Continue the daily walk! (I'm up to 2 miles a day. Yay, me!)

Okay, now it's your turn! Do you have a to do list for this week? I'd like to hear what you're doing. Post your list in my comments or go over to Lisa's place and add your to do list to this week's McLinky.

*Note! Lisa's to do list isn't up yet. She was one of the lucky attendees at the TypeAmom conference this past weekend. She's probably regrouping. Heh heh. We'll give her a break. You can add your list any day this week

Monday, September 28, 2009

What is it with Mondays?!?!


Wouldn't it be great to just go ahead and work on Saturday and then start the weekend on Sunday? Church on Sunday and then sleep late and take it easy on Monday? Can't we change things?

If you were here last Monday, then you know that we had a little excitement involving the dog, the cat, and my purse. Today's version of Monday started on a similar note.

I really thought we were doing well for a Monday morning. Everyone was up and on time. No one was crying. Even I was holding it all together!

The little one's bus comes first, then the 2nd grader's bus about ten minutes later, which gives me just enough time to leave with the middle schooler to get him to school on time. But today, things were different. As I walked out with the little one, I heard a bus. It was the 2nd grader's bus. Early. I ran back to the door and hollered for the 2nd grader, he ran, and then he was gone. Just that fast.

After a few more minutes of waiting outside with the little one (no bus, mind you), the middle schooler strolls out and yep. There. goes. Dawg. Like he'd been shot from a cannon. I briefly considered throwing my purse at the cat but he was busy chasing a paper wad down the street. Which was really a sight. The little one laughed and giggled. The only other time we've seen the cat in motion was last Monday. (I know what you're thinking! Yes, we DO have weird animals, ya'll!)

I stood there watching Dawg as he ran a zig zag pattern up the hill from house to house. The little one was licking the van. Don't even ask.... The cat was still chasing the paper wad. The middle schooler was sulking. Where is the bus?!?!

I finally snapped into action. I loaded the little one into the van and used my shirt and some hand sanitizer to remove the van dirt from his face and hands. I pretended that the dog running loose was not mine. I told the middle schooler to get.in.the.van. And off we went. I admit I was mumbling a bit about taking the little one to school. There's no way we could make both schools in time. And being late means.....going inside and filling out the tardy slip. Without hair and makeup. *SIGH *

We pulled out of the driveway and made it about 50 feet before the bus came around the corner. I quickly turned around and pulled in behind the bus thinking there is NO way the middle schooler is going to make it in time. Can't we just go back to bed?!?!?

As I opened the side door to remove the little one, Dawg came running around the bus and jumped into the little one's car seat. Now I had Dawg, the little one was on his bus, and we were on our way to the middle school.

And we made it with five minutes to spare. Whew!

I sighed with huge relief as I stepped out of the van and walked up the sidewalk. I turned around and saw that Dawg was hesitating. I showed him my purse, called to the cat (Here, Kitty, Kitty....) and kept walking.

He slinked into the house on my heels.

Heh heh.

Medical Monday: Daily Blog Review

Is there a doctor in the house?


Actually, there are doctors in the house. The blogging house, that is. It is becoming more and more common to see medical professionals put fingers to keys and blog about their personal and professional lives.

I find the medical field especially interesting. And since most of ya'll have children, what could be better than a pediatrician's blog for today's Medical Monday?

Dr. Gwenn, of Dr. Gwenn Is In is a pediatrician who desires to bridge the gap between parents and their pediatricians. (Great idea!) She has blogged about many hot topics related to the medical field and children, such as autism, H1N1, women's health, and community health. (Check her right sidebar for additional topic links.)

Dr. Gwenn also has several podcasts entitled A Dose of Dr. Gwenn.

Visit Dr. Gwenn's blog today and see what she has to say about some of those hot topics I mentioned. You may learn something new!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Spiritual Sunday: Daily Blog Review~A Touch of Devotion...

Sometimes we need a little push. A nudge. Words from someone who knows where we are and what we're going through.

Sometimes we need to hear an encouraging word. A voice of truth.

Sometimes we need to listen to God's message in the form of music. Upbeat, Christian tunes.

Sometimes we just need something other than our own thoughts to hang onto. We need a break from thinking. Rest.

These are all reasons I had for choosing today's blog, Everyday Christian Mom, created by Amber Vlangas.

Amber uses everyday situations (like parenting) to encourage other Christian moms on their daily journeys. She also has an awesome Contemporary Christian playlist on her blog. I hung out there for a while today just to hear the music! I especially enjoyed the devotional category.

Amber is also the founder of Everyday Christian Moms, an online community where Christian moms can fellowship, learn, and connect.

I hope you have a happy Spiritual Sunday~

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Breaking News!!!! The SUN is shining!!

I interrupt this regularly scheduled blog to bring you this shocking and amazing news.....

The SUN is shining!!!

Yes, it is hard to believe. It has been raining and cloudy and grey and bleak for days and days and DAYS. However, I have proof that the sun is indeed shining.....




What can I say? It's been a while.

Okay, back to your blogging, ya'll!

Daily Blog Review: Misc Saturday or More Decorating, Anyone??

It's the weekend again and there is this strange and vaguely familiar yellow light flooding the windows....NOT!!! Will we ever see sunshine again?!?!?! It's been days and days and days....

*Sigh* Can you say Seasonal Affective Disorder? Early?

Well, I'm still on my DIY/decorating kick. Blogs, that is. Although I did pick up a couple of paint color sample chip thingies yesterday. I do have a few projects in mind and I'm hoping to actually accomplish a couple soon. (Like the coffee table and the TV armoire....)

So, today's blog is another shabby chic/diy blog. And I love this one! Whitney and Ashley are two sisters who blog together at Shanty2Chic.

Lots of pictures! Step-by-step instructions! Like this, for example...

And this. (which.is.awesome.)

Take some time to visit Shanty2Chic today (and in the future) for some real DIY inspiration. They have tons of great posts. And you can find them everywhere! Just check out the "Featured" section on the sidebar. Go ahead and visit those links, too. Let's spread the DIY bloggy love all around!


And once, again and I know you are tired of reading this....but don't forget to sign up for my first-ever giveaway. (Especially if your kids could use some help with spelling.) You can enter here.

Friday, September 25, 2009

It's Virtual GNO Time!


Have you ever heard of a Virtual GNO?

Ann Again...And Again is the home of the Virtual GNO or, Girls Night Out. It's a virtual party! Because it's Friday. No better reason than that, right???

Like any other party, Ann is offering a drink and a game. I am not a drinker, so I'm stickin' to my Coke Zero, thankyouverymuch. (But it's okay if that's your thang....)

Today's game:

"Would you rather...?"

Here's a bit of a Truth or Dare. Answer this question...Would you rather
be able to read your husband's (spouse's) mind? Or have them be able to read

Hmmm.....I've gotta say that I'm not too crazy about the concept either way. Everyone is entitled to a little privacy, ya know? If I had to choose.... Hmmm... I'd want to read his. And I'm pretty sure he'd want to read mine!

Well, I'm gonna go join the party. Wanna come? Go on over to Ann's place and link up, and then hit Twitter with #VGNO. I'll see ya there!

Giveaway Reminder!!!

Don't forget to enter to win a full version of

SpellQuizzer spelling program download!

I'm not sure if I mentioned this, but....

It's my very first giveaway!!!

(Maybe I did mention that. Oh, well. You get the picture.)

Family Friday: Daily Blog Review

I just had to do it. I know this is going to tempt a lot of ya'll, but I couldn't help it! This blog is just so....sweet. Literally. Family blogs can be many things, including sweet and chocolate, don't ya think?

Lisa at Stop and Smell the Chocolates blogs about, well, chocolate! My kinda gal.... Lisa's goal is to share her faith, mom stories, and recipes, (Oh, the chocolate!) while getting tips from the blog world on how to be a better Christian wife and mom.

Lisa's blog is all about tea and chocolate and family and chocolate and homemaking and chocolate.....Well, you get the picture!

The thing I like most about this blog? The chocolate, of course! But, I really like the other posts, too. And I love that Lisa is not afraid to share her faith. If something is important to you, you should be bold, right?

Now, I think I'll settle in and

enjoy my coffee with

this yummy goodness-

Nestle's Coffee-Mate
in Belgian Chocolate Toffee (So good!)
while I browse this week's Chocolate Friday.

I can't wait to see all of the chocolate links Lisa gets today!

(Not to mention her chocolate recipe for the day....)

Happy Chocolate Friday!!

PS~ Don't forget to enter my very first giveaway! SpellQuizzer spelling program download-great for all spelling programs and students in any situation-homeschool, public school, private school..... Click here to read and enter!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Time Out for Theta Mom Thursday!

My friend Theta Mom hosts "Time out for Theta Mom Thursday". Each week, Theta Mom encourages us to take a break and do something just for us. Isn't that sweet of her??

This week I've spent some 'me time' doing something that I hope to continue and expand upon. I've been walking. We have a very nice walking track right here in our community that sees very little use. It is scenic and quiet and calm. Well, except for my heavy breathing. Ha! (Hopefully that will get better as I continue.) I wasn't able to walk everyday because it just will.not.quit.raining. Days and days of rain, rain, never-ending rain!

Anyway, I hope to continue with the walking and make it a habit and a time out just for me. It should help my mind, spirit, and body, right? That one contestant on the Biggest Loser, what was her name? The one that missed last week because she was hospitalized? Well, she wasn't cleared to work out and all she did this week was walk and swim. And she lost 10 pounds! In one week. Now that's motivating!

So, that's how I spent my Theta time out this week. What about you? Did you get a time out? Want to share? Go visit Theta Mom and link up for Theta Mom Thursday. You can click here or click on the button at the top of this post.

PS~ Click here to read my very first review and enter my very first giveaway.....SpellQuizzer spelling program....It makes spelling lessons fun!

Tasty Thursday: Daily Blog Review

What are ya'll hungry for? There are so many food blogs out there--it's totally overwhelming! Everything from home cooking to gourmet meals is represented in the blogosphere. I start looking at the food blogs on my list and just get carried away...desserts, breads...oh, I could go on and on!

I settled on today's blog because of the wide range. This blogger covers a little bit of everything. The creator of Finding Joy in My Kitchen has a real love for scratch cooking, using the freshest ingredients. This unnamed blogger (as far as I can tell) has even given her readers some guidelines for stocking a kitchen, along with her own cooking philosophy.

And the recipes! (Here are her 'top 10' favorites!) Oh, and the photos.....

This blogger is a very talented cook who, no doubt, stays busy finding joy in her kitchen every day. Just look at all the things she can do with apples. Yum. Amazing!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Homeschool Wednesday: Daily Blog Review---With a Twist! (And My First Giveaway!)

I am SO excited!

As ya'll know, the Daily Blog Review is a daily post highlighting a specific blog in a specific category. I usually choose a blog that I've found and write a short review with links so I can share my find with all of you. I call it "link love gone mad".

On Wednesdays I highlight a homeschool blog. These blogs are very inspiring for those of us who homeschool and even for those of us who don't. After all, most of us have to deal with homework and that can be a source of frustration. We can all use a few tips to make things easier, right?

With that said, today's Daily Blog Review has a new twist. It's a product review! My very first! And a giveaway! How awesome is that?!?! And while this product can be very useful for homeschoolers, it is equally useful for children in other school situations.

For the past two weeks we have been using SpellQuizzer. SpellQuizzer is a computer program download that enhances any spelling program. It's extremely easy to use and get this....it's fun!

Fun? School work? SPELLING?!?! Yes, fun. Here's how it works. You download the program from the SpellQuizzer website. The program comes with a few preloaded graded word lists, but it is very easy to create new lists. As you create your list, you just click a button to record each word, and if tells you if you have misspelled a word. Meaning...your kids can create their own lists. Less work for mom...fun for kids. After the list is complete, you just click "Quiz Me" to be tested. A few minutes on Monday creating a spelling list means complete independent spelling study all week for your student. How great is that?

I used SpellQuizzer spelling program with my two public schooled boys. We recorded the word lists each week and spent maybe five minutes reviewing and quizzing each day. Two 100/A+'s later, we're SpellQuizzer's biggest fans!

We also used this program to study for a science test. How? I recorded brief test review questions on the audio recorder, and then typed in the answers as the "spelling words". Worked like a charm. When my son missed the answer, the SpellQuizzer spelling software flashed the correct spelling (aka answer) to the question.

The SpellQuizzer website is easy to navigate and is packed with helpful information. There is a page specifically directed towards homeschoolers. There is also a community forum for SpellQuizzer users. And the extensive help file will answer all of your questions. You'll even find directions to help you optimize your computer's microphone. (Don't have a mic? You can pick up a USB microphone for under $10.00 at many department stores.)

Be sure to check out the testimonials and download the free trial. We really had fun with SpellQuizzer and I'm sure you will, too. We will be using this program indefinitely.

Now for the good stuff.....

One lucky reader will win a full version SpellQuizzer

spelling software download!

Oh, this is FUN!!!

To win your own SpellQuizzer download (currently selling for $29.95)

  • leave a comment and let me know if you'll use SpellQuizzer to enhance your homeschool, public school, or private school, etc. Be sure to leave your email address for notification and delivery of prize.

For extra entries (post a separate comment for each):

  • Become a follower of this blog
  • Become my follower on Twitter (see sidebar)
  • Tweet about this giveaway
  • Re-tweet for an extra entry

This giveaway ends at 7:00pm on Tuesday, September 29th and the winner will be posted on next week's Homeschool Wednesday: Daily Blog Review.

Okay, so that's it for my very first giveaway! Help me make it a big success by spreading the word!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

So....Did you guess?? (A reveal!)

As a refresher....here's the picture I posted yesterday:

And here's the same photo with a 15 oz can of vegetables as a size reference:

Ta-da!!!! (Sorry for the really bad webcam photos...)

My first haircut in a VERY long time. See profile photo in the sidebar? That picture is about a year old-no haircut since that photo.

No more blow dryer and flat iron! Ah....the freedom! (Unless I *want* to straighten it, or course.) Heavy, thick, and all one length curly hair is not pretty when the top layer just frizzes. Or, mine wasn't. It was just....big.

In the above new style photos....WASH and WEAR! Just pull up the bangs in a clip and scrunch. I'm.so.happy. Butterflies, daisies, and little white bunnies happy.

When the newness wears off and I get sick of the curls, maybe I'll post a photo of the straight version.

My daughter is a natural. She loves hair. LOVES it. She'll be starting at Paul Mitchell soon. (Thank you, Sam!)

So, as far as the guesses.....if you guessed that Sam was practicing her 'mad cutting skilz' you were right. AND, if you guessed Locks of Love, you were partially right. The longest sections are just under the LoL minimum length. But. I think I'll send it in anyway. I read on their website that they sell the donations that do not meet the minimum length requirements to help cover their operating costs.

Now. Is that an amazing mass of hair on the stairs, or what?!?!

Wordless Wednesday

Making the most of yet another rainy day.....

Take a Guess.....And Something New Coming Up....

If you came by today looking for Tech Tuesday, well, I'm sorry to disappoint. I decided to skip the Daily Blog Review today.

Yeah. I'm a real rebel.

But, this is my blog, so I'm free to change things up a bit....

I will tell you that the Daily Blog Review will be back tomorrow. BUT. It will be a different type of review---a product review.

And a giveaway. My first!

You'll have to come back tomorrow and check that out.

Here's a photo for you. Take a guess at what it is and what it means. I'll be back later to expand....

Room a Month Makeover

My friend Sheri at The Shades of Pink is hosting the Room a Month Makeover. The object of ROMM is to encourage even the tiniest changes to make a difference in your home. Think DIY, cheap chic, etc. It proves that you can truly make big changes in a room by making tiny, inexpensive changes over time.

While I'm not necessarily focusing on a specific room each month, Sheri has motivated me to make small changes when and where I can. I have big plans for a TV armoire and a freebie coffee table. And since I actually made a couple of small changes in my bedroom a couple of months ago, I thought I'd share those today.

First, I found a very nice chocolate brown polished cotton (sateen) tone-on-tone striped duvet cover set that was originally $80.00 marked down to $9.00. I'm pretty cheap (and finances are always an issue), so this was just the inspiration I needed. I decided to go with the trendy brown/blue scheme, but I went with turquoise instead of the ice blue. (I'm not sharing pictures of the entire room until it's complete-which may take quite a while. We still have a crib in there!)

On eBay, I found a remnant of upholstry fabric in a brown/turquoise print for only $1.99 with free shipping. I'm not sure what it is, but it is similar to a chenile. It was just enough to make a very nice throw pillow. The turquoise pillow was made from a crib sheet, believe it or not.

You can't see it, but my husband (who happens to be an ace at finding bargains at Walmart) found a bed skirt in ocean blue for $3.00. And everybody knows queen bed skirts are very expensive! That was a steal...

As the color scheme developed, I decided I would try my hand at creating some art for above the bed. I had purchased two pieces of used stretched canvas at a thrift store for $2.00 each. I primed them over and dug through my bag of acrylic paints. This is what I came up with.....

I used white, cream, caramel, sky blue, and royal blue. The outer edges are painted dark brown.
I love them!

I also have 4 gallons of brown paint that I picked up from the clearance aisle at Walmart for $4.00 a gallon. They are not the same shades, but all are in the milk chocolate to deep chocolate range. (There may be some mixing going on...)

I haven't painted yet because I can't decide if the brown walls will be too much, too dark for me. The room is not large... I'm just not sure yet.

So, that's where I am on my Room a Month Makeover challenge.

Why don't you join us?

Blog about your DIY decorating projects and then go to Sheri's blog and link up! And tell your friends!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Chain of Events...

We have a dog that likes to run. And when I say run, I mean he likes to run out the front door when you open it. And he just.keeps.running. It can be very embarrassing. Not to mention, totally annoying. It doesn't matter how hard you try to hold him back, he keeps wriggling until he's free, and no amount of hollering will deter him from running. He. Is. Gone.

Dawg! Uggghhh!! #%%$%!!!

You get the picture.

One morning last week, Dawg ran out when the little one's bus arrived. Yes, he did. He ran right down the drive way and right up into the bus. The preschool bus. Thankfully, only one small child was terrified in the making of that morning. Geeesh..... I'm really irritated that we sold that shock collar on eBay....

After several such episodes last week, Dawg met with an unrelenting newspaper that seemed to do the trick. We even left the door open to bring in groceries one day and he stood looking all forlorn in the open doorway. But he did not take one step outside! We proclaimed it a miracle and credited it to the newspaper beating. (Come on. I know what you're thinking. But, it was a newspaper, ya'll! It didn't hurt. It wasn't the New York Times; it was a weekly edition from a county of what? 6,000? Ten, fifteen pages, maybe? So, no calling the law!)

Anyway, we thought all was well and that Dawg was happy and content to taking his outside time in the fenced backyard. I'm here to tell ya, we were dead wrong. He tried his wriggling escape act this morning and it led to a most interesting chain of events.

First, he knocked down son number 2. And he's not a little kid. We're talking middle school. As he lay sprawled on the front porch, I saw Dawg running past me and felt totally helpless. #$%$#!!!

In a split second I saw the rest of my morning: take kid to school and come back to hunt the neighborhood for Dawg, catch Dawg, and beat him with a newspaper. Doesn't sound like much fun for a Monday morning. (A Monday morning that promises no rain for the first day in about 10 days, but there is still no sunshine! )

OR....I could take action on the front end.

So, what did I do? I threw my purse at him. Hard. And I'm not a fan of huge purses, so my nice little bag is stuffed like a football. It spiraled like one, too. Only....I missed. And hit the cat who was nonchalantly strolling up the sidewalk after an all-nighter. Hard. Cat hissed and spat and attacked the closest thing he could find. Yep, he attacked Dawg. Full force. Every move Dawg made brought on another hissing attack from the cat, and it wasn't long before Dawg was howling and begging to get back in the house. And my purse was totally unharmed. And my boy was okay, too.

It turned out to be a fine morning after all.

And now I know exactly what to do when Dawg runs out....Throw something at the cat!

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