Friday, December 17, 2010

New way to donate to the charity of YOUR choice

Hey, friends~

I recently joined a website that allows me to in essence create my own "Foundation" and give to the charity(ies) of my choice. helps individuals to choose their favorite charities, and donate to them online. What's different from writing out a check directly, you might ask?

Well, one thing is is that not only can you donate directly, but you can harness your online purchases to "Give Back" to the organizations of your choice. In addition, everyone who signs up (At the time of this writing), has some "Seed money" in the amount of $5 to give right away... at no cost to yourself.

Oh, and 100% of the money goes directly to your organization(s), not to, which is fully supported by sponsors. And those same sponsors choose organizations to give even more money to, so if you get involved, and become a vocal advocate, you could be responsible for even more money to advance the cause you are interested in.

Here's a good page to tell you how it works, in their words, which are more succinct than mine.

What I can tell you is who I have chosen to support in my foundation.
My first $5 dollars, that were waiting in my account went to Reece's Rainbow, an organization that promotes the international adoption and rescue of children with Down syndrome exclusively.

I have also added Shilys Promise Youth Ranch that helps troubled youth through work and therapy with horses. (Started and owned by a Five In A Row Homeschooling Alumni Family)

And at the moment the third organization that I would like to direct funds to is the Adoption Charity set up by Steven Curtis Chapman and his family, Shaohanna's Hope, Inc. Their mission is to come alongside families who are adopting and help reduce the financial barriers to adoption through adoption assistance grants.

There are so many deserving charities, and in my case, only a limited amount of funds, but this is one small way that my family and I can help to make a difference in someone else's life.

Here's a little more about

Please, in this season of Giving, and remembering the birth of a homeless child, think about checking out and setting up your own, personalized foundation to assist you in donating to the charity (large OR small) of your choice.


Addendum~ I was introduced to by being a member of . One2OneNetwork is running a promotion to bloggers to get the word out about Since I think it is a great idea myself, I am happy to participate.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Skateboarding anyone? (Gift Book Review)

Well, here's not a typical book review for me! My son is very interested in skateboarding, so when American Modern Books asked if I would like to preview/review a copy of photographer Hugh Holland's "locals only" I was very curious.

First a bit about the book~ "locals only"is a 76 page pictorial snapshot of the mid-1970's skateboard "Culture" of southern California. The photos focus on the years 1975-1978. When I read the interview with the author in the front-pages of the book, I learned some things I didn't know... a bit of the "history" of the start of modern skateboarding, before it became "Commercial." Drought, empty drainage bowls and swimming pools were responsible in part for the rise of skateboarding as a sport. My son was familiar with the names Dogtown and Z-Boys, but they were all new to me.

Here's a little more information from the publisher:
by Hugh Holland
edited by Steve Crist

One afternoon in 1975, a young photographer named Hugh Holland drove up Laurel Canyon Boulevard in Los Angeles and encountered skateboarders carving up the drainage ditches along the side of the canyon. Immediately transfixed by their grace and athleticism, he knew he had found an amazing subject. Although not a skateboarder himself, for the next three years Holland never tired of documenting skateboarders surfing the streets of Los Angeles, parts of the San Fernando Valley, Venice Beach, and as far away as San Francisco and Baja California, Mexico.

During the mid-1970s, Southern California was experiencing a serious drought, leaving an abundance of empty swimming pools available for trespassing skateboarders to practice their tricks. From these suburban backyard haunts to the asphalt streets that connected them, this was the place that created the legendary Dogtown and Z-Boys skateboarders. With their requisite bleached blonde hair, tanned bodies, tube socks and Vans, these young outsiders are masterfully captured against a sometimes harsh but always sunny Southern California landscape.

I was surprised when it arrived, in a rather large box. This book is "Coffee-table" style, at 16x12 inches, and 76 pages. Kind of hides my son when he's looking at it! ;)

Now... on to the photos~ My one concern before agreeing to review this book was the appropriateness of the photos for a young skateboarder. The cover is one of my least favorite, as we aren't keen on bikini-clad bodies at our home (My son is inclined to use a sharpie to make it more "suitable" to his frame of mind, but we haven't gone there yet. I'm more inclined to use post-it note style "cover-ups").
 Although there are a few photos that show kids making bad choices (like smoking and trespassing), by and large, I felt it was appropriate to use those photos as a "Conversation" starter, to talk about things like how a few bad choices can color a whole group's image ~ Explanations for why "No Skateboarding" signs are so prevalent.
(click picture to enlarge)Copyright: © 2010 Hugh Holland/Courtesy of 

It's very interesting to see how the photos progress from very informal skating without helmets, pads, or even shoes (!) to wearing more safety gear... another good learning point.

To sum up, if you or someone you love is interested in skateboarding and/or the history of skateboarding, "locals only" would make a pretty cool Christmas gift.  
Skateboards, sweatbands, streetwear and other relics of the '70s are perfectly preserved in Holland's action shots of rail-riding teens." —Time Out New York (review of Hugh Holland's 2006 gallery show)
If you don't care for "Skin" and boys without shirts, then this wouldn't be a good choice... it is VERY Southern CA....

"locals only" lists at $39.95, and can be purchased on, as well as, Barnes & Noble, and many other locations.

I hope you enjoyed this review of a not-so-typical book.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Monday, December 13, 2010

A Puzzling Good Time~ Review/Gift idea

My family and I were gifted with this Puzzle Book "Bible Jumble for kids" by Tyndale Publishing for the purpose of reviewing it. I have to say that it served up some fun alongside!

Both of my older kids enjoy puzzles, although I'd have to say that RJP (13) enjoys them the most, so we looked forward to the opportunity to check some jumbles out that have a Biblical perspective, instead of just your regular, everyday puzzles. This book is for ages 8 and up,

I have to say that some of the typical jumble puzzles have content that is beyond my children's scope  of interest (large amounts of Pop culture, etc...), so I figured this could be a good alternative. What I didn't reckon on was the amount of material that is beyond my children's current scope of familiarity with the Bible! BTW, I'm taking this as a GOOD thing! Each puzzle includes the Scripture reference for the specific topic or story, which is a great help if it isn't familiar.

There are 6 different Jumble Puzzle variations included~
  • Traditional Jumbles (Find the Mystery Answer)
  • Mystery Person Jumbles (Find the Mystery Person)
  • Jumble Detective (Find the answer to a Mystery Question)
  • Jumble Criss-Cross (Use the answers to fill out a Crossword-style Puzzle)
  • Find the Jumbles (Use the answers to complete a Word-Search Puzzle)
  • Bible Passage Jumbles (Similar in style to a Traditional Jumble, but with the Bible Passage printed on the page, rather than only the reference)

My children have enjoyed using this as a "Keep-busy-but-engaged" item for a few church services when  I felt it was appropriate. It has also been a "Travel" item. When there were some tricky questions, we enjoyed the opportunity to use the puzzles for "Family time" with Mom or Dad helping to look up the answers. I appreciate the ability to have a fun item to pull out for the kids that reinforces and/or teaches Biblical principles and stories. A+ in MY Book!

I have decided that there are three levels of "play" that can occur with these puzzles, making them appropriate for a variety of skill levels.
  • Challenge (Just go to it, without looking at the hints)
  • Clueless (Needs those clues/hints to complete the puzzle)
  • Scrutinize (Making use of the Bible verses for additional research to help answer the questions)

This could be a great gift for the older "puzzling" child or adult. Bible Jumble for Kids can be purchased at the normal online outlets.  List price is $9.99, but you may find it for less at  places like and


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Tyndale  Blog Network. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

CSN GC Winner~

Hello, friends~

Sorry that it took me so long to get this post done.. we've had one small series of crisis after another at our house (Starting with the skunks next to our foundation... stinking up our house like you wouldn't believe!), a boy with a fever, and my only pair of glasses broke last night! But... before we  head off to the optometrist, I figured I should post~ chose number 16  by follower bridgestranslation.
(I've sent you an email~ Please let me know that you received it!)

Congratulations, and thank you all for entering! :)

Review of the cookware coming up, AFTER I get new eyewear and can see to type! :)


Thursday, December 2, 2010

CSN Store Preview~ and Giveaway

I promised to let you know what I was going to review from CSN Stores, and since I put my order in yesterday,  I thought I'd let you know what should be shipping to my house shortly! I'm excited to be trying out some silicon bakeware. I chose this set, Trademark Global Smartware 19 Piece Bakeware Set in Gray, in part because it is made in the USA, which I prefer to trust over "made in China" products. The only silicon products I currently own are some stand-alone muffin cups that I've been using, and have been impressed with. Now I  am looking forward to seeing how the pans and the mat perform. 

I'm also getting a new SMALL cookie scoop! I love my middle and larger-sized scoops, and am interested to see how this OXO grip scoop compares to them. 

Let the Christmas Cookie and Baking season commence!  :)

And now
~~~ The Giveaway~~~
CSN Stores has provided me with a $30 Certificate to give away to one of my readers, just in time to do some Christmas Shopping! (Sorry that this is running too late for Hannukah~ But I hope that my Jewish friends and readers have a wonderful Celebration of Light!)

Mandatory~ (two parts) 
  1. Publicly follow my blog, and leave a comment telling me how you are following, (If you already follow, please note that in your comment)
  2. AND visit CSN Stores , then tell me what you think you might use your $30 for if you win the give-away.  (Leave both comments at the same time, in one comment box)
Extra entries:
  1. Leave a comment telling me where you heard about the giveaway (1 entry)
  2. Follow my homeschool reviews blog, Acorns, or Homeschooling Nuggets of Gold  (1 entry) (if you already follow, please note that in your comment)
  3. Post an extra comment with your favorite Christmas Cookie Recipe (Limit 1 per person)
  4. Post an extra comment telling me who you plan to bake for this December(limit 1 per person)
  5. Post on any non-giveaway post with a "thoughtful" comment  (come back and tell me which post you commented on, so that I can include it in my "random" number draw) (now, wasn't that clear as mud??? ;) (1 entry per comment per post)
  6. Blog about this giveaway  (1 entry) and leave me a comment with the link to your post.
That gives you 7 opportunities to be entered in the draw for this giveaway! Comments will be open for a week + a day.  Entries must be in by10pm EST on Friday, December 10th.
(Here are some of my favorite giveaway site, if you'd like to check out what else is being given away in the Blog-O-Sphere  Contesting Monday, Frugal Living and Having Fun, and Money Saving Mom )

Looking forward to Blessings!

Disclosure: CSN Stores provided me with the opportunity to write this post, and offer a $30 certificate to my readers. I was not required to write any of the above!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Jesus Calling Winner~

Hello, there!

I did my drawing from the 28 qualified entries today. Congratulations to the winner, Our Homeschool Reviews,  with comment # 9, telling me her favorite Bible verse, John 3:16 . Our Homeschool Reviews, I'm sending an email to you~ please reply within 2 days with your mailing address.

Keep your eyes out here for a few more reviews, "Gift List Ideas" for 3, 10, and 13 year olds (As well as a few others thrown in for fun~ and even a few more drawings~


Friday, November 26, 2010

A CSN Stores Review/Giveaway coming up!

Now that Thanksgiving Day is behind us, it is time to focus on Advent and the Joy of Celebrating the Light of the world! I have some plans to share a fun review and giveaway from CSN Stores with you SOON, that may help with the "Joy of Giving" aspect of this season. Keep watching here, to see if I'll be reviewing something from  Sling BackpacksBaking Mats, Building sets, or something else from any one of the 200+  CSN stores.

Hope you all are having a fun Black Friday, or Decorating for Christmas, or just hanging out on your birthday day, like me!


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Black Friday Homeschool/Family-Friendly Style (Shop from your seat!)

I thought I would post a bunch of the homeschool related Black Friday sales that are actually current NOW! Hope that they are helpful!  

The Old Schoolhouse Magazine~
By now you probably know that I like this magazine, the support and encouragement received quarterly from the likes of Ruth Beechick. I also appreciate "Chapel" time, as well as the variety of articles included in each magazine. Although I don't spend quite as much time scrutinizing the new product reviews, now that I get some of them to review myself, that was one of my favorite features when I first subscribed to TOS. I like to see what new things the homeschool community is producing (since many of these products are the brainchild of current and/or former homeschoolers).
So... on with the deal~
The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine is extending an extraordinary subscription offer to homeschool families. U.S. and Canadian residents can receive
  • a one-year print subscription and a
  • FREE Homeschooling with Heat tote bag,
  • FREE Schoolhouse Planner of your choice, and
  • FREE E-Book: Cranberry Christmas for just $19.95.
One-year subscriptions start with the winter issue. It makes a perfect gift for yourself and a friend. There are a limited number of tote bags available from November 24 through midnight on November 29-once they're gone, they're gone! Hurry and grab this tremendous value today! It's over $80 in free gifts--one of them the gorgeous Cranberries & Cream tote bag.
While you are at the store, make sure to check out their Black Friday "Sales" and doorbusters (They will be changing regularly, with savings from 10%-70%). 
  • Lapbooks from "In the Hands of  Child"
  • Language software  from Auralog
  • Books from Creation Ministries International 
  • Draw and Write through History(These look neat!)  
  • and heaps and scads of e-books. 
BTW, if you are wondering about the ebook phenomenon, here is... well.... a free  ebook that will "educate you on the many advantages of E-Books". I'll mention one last great Freebie offered by TOS (There are more...)~ The 176-page 2010 Digital Holiday Supplement It is packed with all new content for 2010 and takes you around the world to explore Christmas in other lands. Inside you'll discover festive ideas, fun crafts, special recipes, and activity pages for your children. Plus, as a special bonus, they've included articles full of homeschooling advice and encouragement from their 2010 Fall Schoolhouse Expo speakers(Linking to the "Expo To Go" page in case you want to check it out)
Plus, one family is going to win a getaway package to Great Wolf Lodge! Join in the savings and fun-- Check it out! 

Currclick Is not offering their amazing Black Friday Freebies as in years past, but they ARE having a "Season of Giving Sale" with items discounted up to 70% off, and 5% of proceeds being donated to World Vision. 

Homeschool Library Builder has all items on their entire site on sale for 25% off through November 30. This is a great place to pick up used books for a variety of curriculum, and you can even search by curriculum.These ladies give great service, and I've been happy with all the books I've purchased from them (And they've saved me a bundle!).

Vision Forum has a sale going on from now through midnight, Saturday, November 27~ mix and match any two items*  and receive a third item of your choice absolutely free!* Your free product can be any item* that is equal to, or less than, the lowest price of your two purchased products. There is no limit to the number of free items you can receive during this mix-and-match sale — every third item is free!*

Salem Ridge Press is offering  a sale through Tuesday, November 30~ Buy 5 books, get the 6th book free as well as free shipping. on orders over $30. They mostly reprint books from the late 1800's to early 1900's, with Philippians 4:8 being the standard they use to choose (And lightly edit) their books. 

Franklin Springs' Black Friday sales start now! For your holiday shopping needs, they are making available a special 35% off coupon code  ALLFILMS35  good toward any purchase at Franklin Springs*. In addition to that they are also offering FREE SHIPPING on orders of $50 or more.* (Note: Our HAH Library owns George Washington Carver and the Stonewall Jackson story)
Timberdoodle has a 5 day sale going on (Ends November 27) with some great deals to be had, and some FUN stocking stuffers! 

Amanda Bennett is offering a  $5 Unit Study Sale (3 different unit studies on sale each day through Friday). I have enjoyed using the units that we have purchased from her, (Today...Thursday, she has the Digital Photography unit that I purchased, and plan to have Oldest use as we go through "School Light" in December)


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Giveaway~ Jesus Calling 365 Devotions for Kids

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I have an extra copy of "Jesus Calling 365 Devotions for Kids" that I am going to send, at my expense, to one reader of my blog. (I'm keeping my own copy, though... we are enjoying using it with some modifications)

Entries~ Leave a comment for each one.(US only~ Sorry that I can't send internationally)
(Note~ Comments are being moderated currently due to spam and obnoxious comments~ Thank you for keeping your comments family friendly and "clean")

Mandatory~ Publicly follow my blog, and leave a comment telling me what YOUR favorite "kid-devotional" is that you've used so far, or what you think you will enjoy most about "Jesus Calling". (If you already follow, please note that in your comment)

Extra entries:
  1. Leave a comment telling me where you heard about the giveaway (1 entry)
  2. Follow my homeschool reviews blog,: (1 entry)
  3. Post an extra comment with one of your favorite Bible Verses (Limit one per person)
  4. Post an extra comment completing the phrase "I am thankful for ______"  (limit 2 per person)
  5. Post on any non-giveaway post with a "thoughtful" comment  (come back and tell me which post you commented on, so that I can include it in my "random" number draw) (now, wasn't that clear as mud??? ;) (1 entry per comment per post)
  6. Blog about this giveaway  (1 entry) and leave me a comment with the link to your post.
Entries must be in by10pm EST on Monday, November 29th.
(For more interesting Contests, check out Contesting Monday )


GratiTuesday~ Kids, Savings, and a Book

Oh dear, I am a day late AGAIN!!! But here is my list  for this week! 

  1.  Little boys who say "Thank You!" with great feeling, for even the smallest actions(like covering their chilly toes with a blanket while mostly asleep)
  2. Young ladies who ENJOY peeling potatoes! 
  3. CVS' "Extra Care", and Rite Aid's "Wellness" programs, which help save $ on regular purchases, especially when combined with coupons. 
  4. Tying in with the previous item... sites like which let me sort the sales at drugstores and even some grocery stores by percent saved.... makes it easier to make a "smart" purchase. :) 
  5. Challenging and eye-opening books like Safely Home
Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!

    Tuesday, November 16, 2010

    Jesus Calling: 365 Devotions For Kids By Sarah Young (Review)

    Our school day "Starts" with "Bible Time". I find it rather humorous that my kids get their spelling and sometimes their math done before breakfast, but they consider our devotional time to truly be the start of our day. They have even been known to ask if we were ready to "Start our day yet?" when other things get in the way, like doctor or orthodontist appointments. This is a good thing, I think.

    This year we have been using, among a couple of other items, the book "Jesus Calling: 365 Devotions For Kids." It is adapted from the adult version of the book by the same title, written by missionary Sarah Young, based on her written prayer journals through the years.

    Each page is dated, given a topic, with scripture at the beginning and the end of the devotional.(See widget below for a look inside!)

    Powered by Ingram Digital
    • The devotions are written in the "voice" or from the perspective of Jesus, speaking directly to the reader. This is an interesting concept, but one that I found disturbing on a daily basis. I understand the intent, but  I felt that what God may have been saying to someone else isn't necessarily what He would be saying to me or my kids (Certain devotions were too "Specific", and didn't apply to my children or our circumstances....).  I have changed the "voice" to  third person upon some occasions.
    • We also found instances where the scriptures used to back up the devotion were taken out of context, which is not a practice I am fond of. 
    • That being said, we were amazed the number of times that the devotion correlated to the sermon on Sunday, something else that we were reading during our devotion time, or some other thing we had read about or heard that week or even day. 
    • The scriptures are one of our very favorite parts of the day, as I have turned them into "Sword Drills" for my kids... they race to see who can find the reference the fastest. They like the competition, and I like that they are learning to find their way around the Bible quickly and easily.
    • Although not fond of the consistent use of the first person, I have appreciated the commitment to showing my children that God does use His Word to speak to us on a daily basis if we will only hear Him.
    This might be an excellent choice for a family Christmas Gift. I personally would recommend using it as a read-aloud, vs individual devotions, due to some themes that may not apply to every family. (not bad... just not applicable).

    "Jesus Calling" can be purchased from a variety of booksellers, including, Barnes & Nobles, Borders, Family Christian, and others.

    List price is $14.99, but I found most of these booksellers are offering it for an average of 20% off.

    I hope that you enjoyed this review.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

    Monday, November 15, 2010

    2+2=$10???? (TOS Subscription Special)

    Um.... 2+2=10???? Well, it does if you are interested in a subscription to the  Old Schoolhouse Magazine, and are quick about it! ;) Click on the banner above to go right to the TOS site right away, or continue reading to get the details. The Old Schoolhouse Magazine is one of my favorite sources of encouragement~ Articles include the practical ( Ruth Beechick),  the Spiritual (The "Chapel" column), and a variety of different topics in each quarterly magazine. I kind of consider this magazine my answer to the public schools' "Teacher Training" days, and a "Teachers' Lounge".

    Here are the details~

    On Monday, November 15, the price for a one-year U.S. or Canadian print subscription to
    The Old Schoolhouse Magazine® Magazine is $10.

    On Tuesday, November 16, the price goes to $12.

    On Wednesday, November 17, the price is $14.

    Each day we add $2 until Saturday and Sunday, when the price is $20. At midnight PST on Sunday, November 21, the price goes back to its regular level.

    Plus, every 12th customer to purchase a subscription gets a tote bag. (These are really nice! I like the ones I own!)
    Every 14th customer to purchase a subscription gets a copy of the E-Book: The 2010-2011 Schoolhouse Planner.

    Every 16th customer to purchase a subscription gets a $25 gift card to the Totally TOS category in the Schoolhouse Store. This excludes Molly Green and Download N Go™.

    As an added bonus, the highest ticket of the day on Monday, November 15 through Wednesday, November 17, will win a $200 gift card to the Schoolhouse Store. This can be used for any company in the Store,except Download N Go™.

    So, put 2 and 2 together and shop early! The earlier you grab your one-year new or renewing
    subscription, the better the price you'll pay. Plus, you could receive one of the bonus gifts. Or, you might be the highest ticket of the day! Click on the banner below to get started!
    Put 2 and 2 together and save up to 60% on a one-year sub

    If you are eligible for a bonus gift, you will receive an email from a member of the Schoolhouse Store team.


    *Note~ My "Extra-curricular Activities  budget" that pays for Irish Step Dance and Sports Activities appreciates your purchase through my affiliate links.

    Wednesday, November 10, 2010

    Some Potentially Overlooked Good Children's/Young Adult Fiction Reads

    OK, So I haven't made good on my promise to create our own "Top 100 Children's Books" list yet , but We'll be working on it. In the meantime, in honor of "Works For Me Wednesday", here are some books that I pulled out from the library bookshelves for RJP to read in the past few months , that subsequently received good reviews from her...(Although they aren't written for the most part... sorry)
    Project Mulberry  Time Cat: The Remarkable Journeys of Jason and Gareth  Kildee House (The Newbery Honor Roll) Love from Your Friend, Hannah  Miss Pickerell Goes to Mars  Swallows and Amazons (Godine Storyteller)Christopher Mouse: The Tale of a Small Traveler [CHRISTOPHER MOUSE -OS]Christopher Mouse, the Tale of a Small Traveler by William Wise  ~  The story of a mouse who begins his life in the home of a woman who breeds mice for scientific research and pet stores. His adventures range from a pet store to being a pet to running loose at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This is probably a great read-aloud for boys or girls aged 7 and on up to "Filler" for your pre-teen/voracious reading teen.

    Hope these work  for you this Wednesday, to give you some new ideas for good wholesome  tween/teen reading... I'll add more as I get to it~


    Note: I used affiliate Amazon images because it was super easy to add the books this way. I appreciate any purchases made through the links, but please note that at least one of the books is not available for purchase... Check out your public LIBRARY! :)

    GratiTuesday, on Wednesday~ Take 10(or more)! Kids/Veterans/Bargains

    I am a grateful person, however, I don't always find time to write a post about it!

    Because  I missed last week, I'll add 10 things I'm grateful for~In no particular order....
    1. Little 3 year-old boys who randomly start singing portions of  "He is Mighty to Save", and "Why Should the Devil Have All the Good Music?" as well as "Jesus Loves Me", and "Jesus Loves the Little Children" 
    2. A sister who "likes" rainy days so she can spend time with her brother (Who would otherwise be outside skateboarding with his friends)
    3. Children who are maturing and "Serving" when asked, even if they don't care for the task, without grumbling! WOW! I've been waiting for this! :) 
    4. Friends who bless us with music that is (mostly) just our cup of tea Wow Hymns
    5. A Cortisone shot that hurt like crazy on Friday, but improved hand mobility by Sunday! (Now praying that it continues to be efficacious for awhile) 
    6. Some "Freebies" offered by giant corporations(Amazon in this case)~ For my kids~ (Veggie Tales Singing Christmas Tree Download) and for me ( Randy Alcorn's "Safely Home" Kindle version downloaded to my itouch) (You might want to pick these up for yourself!)
    7. Experimenting with recipes that turn out yummy! (Apple Pie/Crisp with a Cheesy Brown Rice Crust)
    8. In honor of our Veteran's, I am so thankful for all those who are serving or have served, so that we can be free 
    9. I am thankful for those who have made the ultimate sacrifice
    10. I am thankful for the families of those in the military who sacrifice "life with mommy or daddy" on a daily basis
    11. And an extra... Thankful for those who support and show "kindness" and "respect" to those who protect our nation, and ultimately, our freedom.
    So, there you have it... my  list for this week and last.... :)

    What are YOU Grateful for this week?  If you want a little more inspiration, check out the other posts linked up at Heavenly Homemaker's GratiTuesday .


    Tuesday, November 9, 2010

    CSN Stores~ Review~ Finally!

    Remember back in August I mentioned that I was going to get something from CSN Stores to review?? Due to my  computer/camera combo not playing nicely together it has taken me far too long to get this review written. However.... Here is what we chose:

    See these nifty chains! The lovely yellow swing ($27.99)with the coated chains:

    This is GREAT! Not only are the chains "no pinch", due to the rubbery coating, they are long enough that littlest can just about get on by himself. He likes "his" swing, and I'm happy that he isn't sitting on slippery hard plastic any more!(Now I'm not afraid that he'll fall off every time I give him a push, because the swing hugs his bum.) BONUS~ The seat fits mom, dad, our neighbor 'C' (who is much taller than I).. one at a time of course... :)

    Jumping good fun~The other item that we picked up to review was the Crescendo Fitness 36" Mini Jump Trampoline.  (The version we got had a blue cover which is no longer available. However, I expect the black cover to perform the same as the blue... ;) )  The trampoline is a HUGE hit here! This is going to be a super item to have in the house this winter when I need kiddos to burn a little extra energy. $39.95 is a small price to pay for the convenience of expending that energy inside! I also understand that "Rebounding" can greatly benefit your immune system. I plan to look into that more!

    I'm very happy with how sturdy this unit seems to be, and I really like the fact that the legs screw off, so that the whole unit can be stored easily. Littlest has decided that this is his "stage", and he'll happily bounce "around" in circles, changing his expression each time he comes around. VERY fun! Eldest and Middlest enjoy it as well, and if we leave it out,  I frequently find someone SITTING on it, reading a book! (Yes... we are seriously lacking seating in our home!)

    I will say that I was careful to choose items that were listed as in stock and shipping within 3-5 days, and CSN delivered as promised. All in all, I was very happy with the entire process.

    Convenience!Oh, I would be remiss if I didn't mention that I was able to add another item to my order that I paid for myself~ A folding chair with attached cooler underneath ($16.99). We haven't had opportunity to use this yet, but expect that it will come in handy as extra seating when Eldest goes Feis'n (Irish Step Dance Competition).

    So there you have it! Stay tuned~  I may have something else interesting coming up from the wealth of products that CSN provides soon! :) 

    Disclosure of Material Connection: CSN Stores provided the Swing and Trampoline free of Charge. I was not required to post or to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

    Tuesday, October 26, 2010

    GratiTuesday~ Children , Shoes, and Real Friends

    Continuing to count my blessings(5 at a time)  on GratiTuesday~ because, as I said last week~ His mercies are new every morning~ it is good to acknowledge it... ;)  This week I am thankful for:
    1. Last Gasp of "Summery/Fall" days, filled with sunshine and warmth, and "School" on the front porch, since it's so pleasant outside. 
    2. Brand New hard shoes for our Irish dancer-girl. This is one of those things where I am ever so grateful because this is the first time in 5 years of dance that we've had to pay that Brand New price tag! This ties into my next item~
    3. Children who are growing steadily(hence the need for those clothes and shoes, etc...), and are healthy. 
    4. Children who are learning how to quickly find their way around the Bible. We've incorporated "Sword Drills" into our daily devotions, and it has been so fun to watch them improve in their speed and knowledge.
    5. The Blessings of cyber-friends who join together to make a positive impact on the lives of people that they may have never met "in real life" Read here to get a glimpse into the world of my "Five In a Row" (FIAR) sisters~ I am so grateful to have been a part of this group of ladies, reaching out to touch a hurting family~
    What are YOU grateful for this Tuesday?
    You can reply here, or link up your own post at GratiTuesday~ hosted by Heavenly Homemakers.

    Tuesday, October 19, 2010

    Gratituesday~ Because they are new every morning....

    Hey~ This is a new (To me) meme that I thought I might try to take part in on a regular basis... after all, nothing grows a spirit of contentment and peace more than an attitude of gratitude, right?

    So~ Today, I am grateful for many things~ I'll limit myself to 5 per post, some mundane, and some less, so that I actually get the post published! :D
    1. My children~ who while they occasionally drive me nuts, more regularly amaze me with their words and behavior~ I DO love my kids, but I also LIKE my kids! 
    2. My husband~ who is so thoughtful and caring~ who willingly does the dishes every night, and spends time with his kids~ (He likes them too! :) )
    3. For the amazing palette of color that God uses on His creation every Autumn.... from the leaves to the surprise late flowers to the apples of many hues~ often with a brilliant background of bright blue sky~ He is definitely an Artist, who caters to our souls just because He loves us. (No other reason for all that color, right? )
    4. I am grateful for a house with a heating system that works when the chilly breezes blow.
    5. I am grateful for the ability to put tasty, nutritious food on the table to keep my family fed and healthy. 
    So, there you go~ 5 reasons to be grateful this Tuesday~ If you'd like to be inspired by other's please visit Gratituesday.


    Monday, October 18, 2010

    Pork Stoganoff(?) Cranberry Chicken, and Curried Carrot Soup to name a few....

    Monday, Monday! What meals to cook??? Monday, Monday~ Menu Plan Monday, Let's take a look~

    Monday~ a Pork Stroganoff sort of dish that I'm planning to make up to use left-over roast pork, served over egg noodles, with possibly green beans or broccoli on the side(All depends on what comes home from the grocery store!)
    Tuesday~ Stealing the idea from my friend Lori(Thanks for posting  on Menu Plan Monday, early! I needed some "inspiration"!), I'm also going with  No-Bean Chili. I will use basically the same recipe, except that I will add green chiles, 2 cans of hominy, and Worcestershire sauce to the mix. Hmmm.... is this becoming my own recipe? Not sure about that at this point, but should be good. :) (Also thinking of doing it in the crockpot, but we shall see)
    Wednesday~ Chicken Crockpot dish~ probably cranberry-ish (my recipe is fromFix-It and Forget-It Recipes for Entertaining Cookbook   , but it's basically the same as the recipe I linked if you use the "Suggestion" ) and salad.
    Thursday~Curried Carrot Soup (This is similar to the recipe I'll use)with crusty bread~ YUM!
    Friday~ Left-overs or "Left-over Pizza".... something QUICK! I will definitely be using my favorite pizza crust recipe, tho'.

    Whew! Now that I have that written down hopefully my week will go smoothly! :)

    Edit: This just in~ The Chicken will move to Thursday and Wednesday will be Soup Day, with a Broccoli soup utilizing left-over Broccoli from tonight~ LOTS of broccoli! YUM!

    Saturday, October 2, 2010

    The Old Schoolhouse Magazine~ Cranberry Christmas Subscription Sale

    Receive a free cranberry and cream Homeschooling with Heart tote bag and a 2-year subscription to The Old Schoolhouse Magazine for just $19.95--through October 2, 2010.

    Hey, Friends~ Can you believe the holidays are just around the corner? The folks at The Old Schoolhouse Magazine have been getting ready for months to create this offer for you. I'm sorry that I missed getting this information out to you as soon as I heard(What can I say... it was Tuesday or Wednesday, and we had grandparents visiting, so I have a little excuse), but it is good through Saturday, October 2~

    TOS is offering a great bargain. You can receive two years plus the fall issue of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine.  Packed with more than 200 pages, it is a resource homeschoolers treasure. Subscribers will also receive the Homeschooling With Heart tote bag (I LOVE my TOS Bags! They are sturdy, and come with me just about everywhere!) and a copy of the E-Book Cranberry Christmas, available for immediate download. You’ll get all of these inspirational, festive, and fun goodies for only $19.95. This price is good for new subscribers, renewals, gift subscriptions, and U.S. or Canadian customers. The sale lasts just through Saturday, October 2. 

    However,  if you couldn't get to it by Saturday, there is still a good deal~  October 3 through October 5, even though the sale drops down to a one-year subscription plus the fall issue, you still receive the tote and the e-book Cranberry Christmas.  

    Here is a little more information about Cranberry Christmas. This is a great  “idea book” to get your family ready for the upcoming holidays!

    The staff and friends of The Old Schoolhouse® have come together to share their favorite family traditions, recipes, and more with you.

    It’s your FREE gift!

    WOW . . . a gorgeous holiday/Christmas digital magazine filled with inspirational and “how-to” articles, along with a fabulous lineup of planning, recipe, gift, and craft ideas you’ll love. 

    If you’re familiar with The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, you know what an inspiring, incredible resource it is. This digital holiday supplement is our gift to you—a unique way to support, encourage, and inspire you and your family during this wondrous time of year.

    This 100-page digital holiday magazine is not your typical E-Book. Because this supplement is created with the same high-quality format that’s used in the digital version of our print magazine, you can even “turn” its lavishly illustrated, full-color pages. And we hope you will enjoy this timeless, practical, and beautiful resource for years to come.

    Its seasonally rich content will boost your creativity and show you how to make the most of the holiday season! Dive right in and start using the wonderful new craft and recipe ideas to enhance your family's holiday experience.

    Will you bring back old traditions or start some new ones? We’d like to help you plan some meaningful holiday memories that the whole family will enjoy.

    Get a free limited edition, cranberry and cream, Homeschooling with Heart tote bag and a two-year subscription to The Old Schoolhouse Magazine for just $19.95. Offer good only through midnight on October 2, 2010.

    Monday, September 20, 2010

    Old Standbys, and eating out...

    OK, I've been rather absent posting these lately, but thought maybe I'd take a shot at it this week...
    Now things are a little "in flux" because we have company (My dad and his bride) coming this week, but I'm going to do my best~

    Monday~ Pizza with Pesto and Sausage, and Pizza with Pesto and carmelized Onion
    Tuesday~ Tuna Salad Sandwiches and Salad!
    Wednesday~ Airport pick-up.... probably dinner out
    Thursday~ Maybe... possibly....hopefully.... Seafood! (Possbily Lobster, steamers, Corn on the Cob, and Potato Salad... maybe even Watermelon! ;) DH cooks the seagood, I'll make the Potato Salad )
    Friday~ French Fry Soup and Salad before our first AWANA club meeting of the year~ it's a family affair at our house! :)
    Saturday~ Dinner with both FIL's... likely out (Or carry out), and based on what I know of both fathers.... Seafood again! :)
    Sunday we have a double digit birthday boy, and he'd like to go to Texas Roadhouse. I'm going to try to dissuade him, and suggest a nice picnic instead, but we shall see.... birthdays only come once a year.

    YIPES!  Dinner out possibly 3 times??? EGADS! However, this is what often happens when famly visits infrequently... should be fun! :)

    Be sure to check out lots of other menu plans by clicking the picture/link at the top of my post~ Blessings~

    Wednesday, September 15, 2010

    Homeschool 2010~ (or Ode to the Mighty Glue Stick)

    Just thought I'd try to keep a little record here of what we're doing this year. My fingers aren't so grand at typing right now (Have a "Ganglion cyst" at the base of my right wrist that is causing me some trouble~ going to see a hand/wrist ortho guy on Friday...), and adding pictures is a little difficult, but I will make an effort. ;)

    Today we started by reading an overview of Gladys Aylward in Dave and Neta Jackson's Hero Tales: A Family Treasury of True Stories from the Lives of Christian Heroes** . I am looking forward to this series, which will I will use to incorporate Bible, history, and Character education. Very Cool!

    Both kids whipped through their spelling, and math. While Middlest was still at his math, Eldest read Littlest his Before Five In a Row (BFIAR) book with him, and started on his first lapbook (from the Homeschool Share site). Excellent! He is soooo loving this! Then Eldest went right to work on her science, and Middlest was working on his writing.

    After 1.5 hours of paining my right wrist(grrr.... printer cover is too heavy!), and trying to get my printer software and my computer to cooperate, I finally was able to reproduce some timeline pics (legally allowed) from Ultimate Geography And Timeline Guide** (my understanding is that the newest printing of this book includes the images on CD-Rom... YAY!) , and finally get to History. We just decided on what course to do today, so how is that for last minute? The kids wanted to actually go through a complete era in History for a change (instead of our patchwork history via reviews for the TOS Crew the past 2 years), so we are just "Reading" in Story of the World Vol 1 to catch us up to where we left off in Mystery of History Vol 1. We then plan to combine the two together using this schedule (BTW, that site, Paula's Archives" has a wealth of information~ I often forget to check there, and then slap myself upside the head when I finally remember! ;) )

    So that was it for the day, time to eat a quick bite and get Eldest off to Irish Step-dance, for her first class of the week. Then to the voting booth, and a quick run to CVS and Market Basket.

    One most excellent benefit to the start of the "official school year"  that I am noticing right away, is that Littlest isn't clamoring for PBS television right off the bat, and Eldest isn't trying to use it to "Babysit"... everyone is too busy! :) 

    On the other hand, I may have to buy stock in one adhesive company or another.... I put a glue stick in each child's new school supplies~ we've frequently had glues sticks dry up at our house from lack of use, so I only bought one package when they were on sale at Staples. Major miscalculation! Littlest does NOT follow his siblings inclination to keep their fingers clean! It's only "Day 2", and he's gone through a half a stick of glue! Yikes! (At least "some" of it was used very purposefully on the lapbook, but this kid just loves to cut scraps of paper, and then glue them in stacks... piece on top of piece....)

    So... on with the adventure~ we shall see what tomorrow brings, as my plans are laid as we walk through this week. (Next week should go MUCH more smoothly from MY perspective at least.)


    Tuesday, September 14, 2010

    The First Day of Homeschool Year 2010-2011

    Well... FINALLY~ Monday we started off RJP's 8th grade, JDP 1's 5th Grade, and JDP 2's Pre-K3 grade of school!

    The kids took their traditional photos on the front steps,

    1st day 2010

    Friday, August 13, 2010

    MyBlogSpark~ A Surprise Dinner!

    Well~ I suppose that this could apply as a Frugal Friday post in some ways, and not so much in others... ;)

    I have enjoyed trying out various products and reviewing them, so I thought that signing up with would be a good idea. Imagine my surprise when I received the following email:

    "Dinner’s on us, you deserve it! As a thank you for being a member of the MyBlogSpark network, we would like to treat you and a guest to a night out.
    You and a guest are invited to a special dinner at Myers + Chang in Boston where you will have the chance to meet other local members of the MyBlogSpark network. The exclusive dining experience includes a special four-course dinner and drinks for two (limit of one alcoholic drink per person) as well as a $50 gift card to cover any incidental costs such as transportation or parking. Guests must be 21 years of age or older."

    I mean... really?? I hadn't had the chance to review anything for them yet, and they were taking me out to dinner??? That's awfully nice! :)

    I invited my friend and next door neighbor to come with me for a "Girls' Night Out", since our hubbies were willing to get kiddos to and from their various activities. Then it was time to RSVP and  mapquest the directions to Myers & Chang.

    Most of our "Adventures" related to actually GETTING to our location... (Who knew that there is a "U-turn" on the Mass Pike in Cambridge for those who mistakenly got on in Boston because the signs are seriously lacking!!!) but thankfully parking was a breeze, and we ended up less than a block away. :)

    When we arrived at Myers & Chang, we were welcomed by members of MyBlogSpark, and given a seat at a table near the window. the table was set with a cute silver fortune-cookie place card, holding our special menu choices. The waiter took our drink orders (WOW! House-made Sodas... lychee-vanilla  was far and away my favorite, although the mint lime rickey was good as well ~ @ $5 a pop, this would be the part that is NOT so frugal... but oh the yumminess!).

    We started with mama chang's pork dumplings, followed by wok-roasted lemongrass mussels and thai ginger chicken salad with rice vermicelli. We then had a choice of about 8 entrees. We decided to go with the Shrimp Lo Mein and the Orange Chicken.

    All during dinner there was a film crew roaming and videoing various tables and diners (And their dinners). They didn't stop at our table, but it was fun to watch.

    Finally, round about dessert time (coconut cream pie with lime whipped cream and chocolate and cocoa nib terrine with vietnamese coffee sauce), the MyBlogSpark folks started handing out fortune cookies~ and therein lay the second surprise~ our entrees were not crafted by Myers & Chang (I have to admit to having been surprised by the "Typical-ness" of the options, but didn't really think about it at the time), but were frozen Wanchai Ferry dinners! Hello! I didn't expect that curve ball! I have to say that while the sauces were rather more sweet than spicy, overall the dishes were very good, and I wouldn't have guessed that they were frozen dinner kits. I am pretty sure that my boys would enjoy the orange chicken, and the shrimp lo mein was VERY good (the shrimp was delightfully tasty and tender, if just a little saltier than I like), and would be a hit with the other seafood lovers in my house.

    We WERE interviewed after the surprise was revealed to find out what our reactions were... fun~ fun~ Hope I don't end up on TV in a Wanchai Ferry commercial!

    As we left the restaurant we were each given little plastic chinese take out containers in which were enclosed coupons for 3 free Wanchai Ferry dinners. I contemplated doing a give-away for these on my blog, but my DH convinced me that he would like to have the opportunity to try the shrimp lo mein as well, so we're keeping them to feed the family one night. However, if YOU are interested in trying them out, I have noticed a number of coupon sites with printable Wanchai Ferry coupons. Check it out the next time you're in the mood for Chinese at home! :) (Hence the frugal aspect of this post)

    Disclosure of Material Connection: MyBlogSpark provided the dining experience, $50 gift card, coupons, and  the  fortune cookie place card holders. I was not required to post or to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

    Thursday, August 5, 2010

    CSN Stores~ Sets~ Dining, Swing, Bedding and more!

    Remember the $40 Gift Certificate giveaway I did a few weeks back from CSN stores? Well, I've been offered the chance to review an item for them, so I've been perusing their site(s). With over a million products to choose from, it's difficult to narrow down my choices. They have dinnerware sets(The holiday dinnerware caught me eye, and they are all on sale right now for 20-50% off! Time to start thinking about Christmas! :) ),  swing sets (yup.. still looking at those swings~ and trampolines, too!), and bedding sets!

    Stay tuned to see what I picked to review, and go check out their stores... you will be amazed at the variety offered. :) Right now looks like a good time to shop, too, because many of the CSN stores are running sales right now, AND there are promotional codes for various categories.

    Oh, and I have to mention... they are also offering a bunch of Hatch a New Habitat contests... from bedrooms (Closed to entering, open for voting Here's my cyber-friend's entry If you want to vote for her, click "rate this item" at the top, and give her some stars. :) ), to bathrooms to backyards... I might have to think about entering one of those, too! ;)

    OK, time to let you get back to your important web-work/browsing/playing, and time for me to get back to my kids and the real world. :)


    Busy summertime~ Cultural Exchange!

    Fun Presents!Welcome!Hey~ have you all been wondering where I've been for awhile? Well, in addition to New England actually benefitting from real "Summery" weather (hence... outdoors, not inside at the computer...), we are once again hosting a Japanese exchange student.

    This year we have a sweet 13 year old girl named Yukino, from the Yamaguchi province (Southwestern tip) of Japan. She is quiet and shy, but gets along well with my crew. So far Blokus, Dutch Blitz, Uno and drawing with colored pencils have been the most regular, DAILY, activities.

    Sunday, July 18, 2010

    Wanderin' In the Desert~ What's in the Bible? (DVD Review)

    "Wanderin' in the Desert"  is the 3rd volume of Phil Vischer's (Creator of Veggie Tales) new series What's in the Bible (With Buck Denver). Being great fans of Veggie Tales, we were happy to have the chance to preview this series. 

    Just a little background on the series to date. 
    The first two DVD's in the series cover some foundations (What IS the Bible?" , "Who WROTE the Bible?" and some Basic Biblical vocabulary, as well as giving kids the "Big picture"  of, well... What's in the Bible! (Genesis and Exodus, to be precise) The Volume that I was sent to actually review was volume 3, which continues on through Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy~ to finish out the Pentateuch. The plan is to have 13 DVDs in the series that will walk the younger generation through every book of the Bible, to give them a general overview of the entire Bible. (Each DVD retails for $14.99)

    Wednesday, July 14, 2010

    Making the internet "work" for you

    Hey, I figured I ought to send out a post about some of the money-saving aspects of the internet that I have benefited from. Some of these programs DO have referral benefits(Signified with a **) , so if you haven't signed up, I'd really appreciate it if you used my referral links. Others are just great ideas~ So, here goes:

    Tuesday, July 13, 2010

    Book Review~ Somewhere to Belong

    Somewhere to BelongHere's another Bethany House Christian Fiction review. This time it is a novel by Judith Miller : Somewhere to Belong : Daughters of Amana #1

    This was a pleasant read that I could recommend on more than one basis~
    • Historically: I learned about  the Amana colonies, a religious colony/commune similar in some ways to the Amish, but very different in others~ (Ever heard of Amana Radar Ranges? So, they don't show up in this book, but there is history here)
    • Relationally: There are a number of great lessons to be drawn from this book, from parent/young adult to "seasoned" marital/emotional bonds
    • Character-building: Again, some great action/consequence type lessons with themes like honesty and responsibility.

    Monday, July 12, 2010

    Menu Monday~ Pizza, Quiche with Rice crust, Popcorn Chicken (links)u let's see what we're going to think about eating this week~

    Monday~ Salad and Pizza (Using leftover crust I made on Saturday, topped with onions and zucchini)
    Tuesday~ Quiche with a rice crust ~I made something along these lines a couple of weeks ago, but with different "fillings', and it was YUMMY! I used advice on this website for cooking the rice a little more quickly that the typical 50 minutes.
    Wednesday~ Didn't get to this one the last time, so I think I'll plan for it again! Popcorn Chicken
    Thursday~ Pork Tenderloin and rice
    Friday~ Taco "Something"... either "traveling" or pasta, we'll see what we feel like.

    We've been enjoying fresh cherries, watermelon, and some delicious plums that my daughter and I have dubbed Plumbanapples because they have flavors reminiscent of those three fruits~ And Youngest son has declared a need for carrots by his continual snacking on them! :) (Not a bad thing)

    Be sure to check out Organizing Junkie for hundreds of other families' menu plans for this week if you are looking for some inspiration. :)


    Thursday, July 8, 2010

    CSN Stores Giveaway~ We have a winner!

     First~  thank you all for entering my give-away, and I'm happy to say that most of the entries followed through the two-step mandatory entry process. :)  There were only a couple that I would have had to disqualify if they were chosen by, but thankfully, that scenario didn't come up! :)

    SO....... I am delighted to announce that the winning number, picked by was number 17, which corresponds to Beverly's entry telling me what she would like to apply that $40 certificate towards.

    Beverly, I am sending you an email to get contact info. Please reply within 48 hours, and CONGRATULATIONS!


    Friday, July 2, 2010

    CSN Stores~ $40 Gift Card Giveaway~ How DeLIGHTful! :)

    Now this is fun! I have won a few little giveaways over the past couple of years, so it is really nice to be able to offer one to my readers! :)

    The folks at CSN stores (There are over 200 different stores! WOW!)  have an incredible number of items and options to browse through, and their prices seem reasonable as well(in fact, some of them are most excellent!). I was checking out their solar lights , since our neighbors have installed some great lighting in their landscape.
    Solar+Charged+FlashlightLook at this fun little item that caught my eye ~  could be great for camping! I mean... wouldn't the kids get a kick out of a solar charged flashlight? (It claims to hold a charge for 3 hours... I wonder if that would be just about right? )


    Tuesday, June 22, 2010

    Simple Woman's Day Book

    Simple Woman's Daybook

    Outside my window... chattering birds, breezy leaves
    I am thinking... that I wish I had more hours in the day
    I am thankful for... the hours that I have
    From the kitchen... Pasta will be steaming soon for cold pasta salad
    I am with white polkadots, and a "creamsicle" jean skort
    I am creating... order out of chaos..(? I hope!)
    I am going... shopping soon for 13th birthday party foods
    I am reading... my computer and many blogs
    I am hoping... that I am done with what needs to be done by tomorrow
    I am hearing... basketballs bouncing, children's footsteps
    Around the house... still too much chaos, but it's getting better
    One of my favorite things... making breakfast cookies and smoothies
    A few plans for the rest of the week: finish preparing for the party, and then~ BREATHE!
    Here is picture for thought I am sharing...
    For more "Simple Thoughts"~

    Monday, June 21, 2010

    Menu Monday~ 6/21/10

    Well~ I'd better make this quick, because this week is crazy/busy, just like the last few weeks when I've been MIA with menu-planning~ Here's my hopeful plan for the "work week". :)
    • Monday~ left overs from dinner out yesterday, and a big salad~ no outside plans, thank goodness~
    • Tuesday~ Little League playoff game~ pasta salad(Maybe a curried tuna or swordfish pasta salad)
    • Wednesday~ sleepover birthday party~ Tortilla Chip Casserole, chips & salsa, and Chocolate Suffle' Roll for cake
    • Thursday~ Breakfast for the girlies~ maybe pikelets, maybe muffins(pumpkin chocolate chip  if I can find the canned pumpkin~ apparently it is strictly "Seasonal" in some grocery stores :/)       Dinner~ I'm thinking hot dogs before the hopeful Championship Little League Game. Potato Salad if I get the potatoes...
    • Friday~ Hmmm.. this looks interesting! Looking for a good idea for our night with no major outside plans...  Popcorn Chicken
    Be sure to check out Organizing Junkie for hundreds of other families' menu plans for this week if you are looking for some inspiration. :)

    Oh, and visit Heavenly Homemakers for some cute, free, printable "summer themed" menu planners and grocery lists~ I like the beachy theme at the bottom! :)


    Monday, June 7, 2010

    Character Classics Winner

    I have a  winner for the Character Classics Books and Music~ The Burkherts had comment # 12 :)

    Congratulations and Blessings!

    Thursday, June 3, 2010

    Book Review~ She Walks in Beauty

      She Walks in Beauty, Siri Mitchell, 978-0-7642-0433-3

    Now that the 2009/2010 year of TOS Crew reviewing has come to a close, I have a little bit of time to do some recreational reading and reviewing.

    Thanks to the good folks at Bethany House, I have received a copy of Siri Mitchell's novel She Walks in Beauty for review.

    She Walks in Beauty is set in 1891.  In this novel, Clara Carter, a physician's daughter, would rather be studying her books and conducting experiments, with an eye to attending Vassar College. However, it is her father and aunt's wish to see her poised to be the season's most desirable debutante, with the goal of snagging the most coveted heir in the city "To restore the family's honor".

    The "Gilded Age" of New York was a time where your entry to fashionable society was dictated by the gloved fingers of the Vanderbilts, the Asters, and their like. As is still the case, sometimes it's who you know, or WHAT(about others) you know that seems to matter more than who you ARE.  I appreciated that the most impoverished and the most wealthy can both feel like so much "merchandise", but the reality is that God loves us, and knows each one as an individual who matters. This did come through in a few parts of the book, without being "preachy".

    I would consider this a "light reading" book, with a few moments that gave me pause to ponder. In addition to being an easy read, this book gives an interesting (and educational) insight into exactly HOW those famed 18-inch hour-glass figures were formed, as well as a brief look at the corruption of Tammany Hall. I felt that this book would be most particularly interesting to an older teen/twenty-something, as they deal with the expectations of today's society.
    You can find She Walks In Beauty at Bethany HouseAmazon**, CBD, and other book sellers

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this/these item(s)/service for free as part of the Bethany House Book Reviewers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising." 
    ** affiliate link