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Monday, October 31, 2011

Husker Heroes 2011

Husker Heroes 2011 was fantastic!!!!
Above the kids & I pose with Herbie Husker, Lil Red and some of the dance squad.
Belos: Sean & the Dance Squad (aka: New Facebook Profile Picture)

One of the first athletes we met was a swimmer named....REBEKAH!! Spelled 'correctly' as Rebekah and Rebekah discussed. They had a mutual admiration thing going. Later, we read Rebekah Land's profile and discovered she also has a brother named Nathan. Wow!

Kids with the dance squad...possibly our Christmas Card Photo.

Another possible Christmas Card Contender. With the cheerleaders this time.

Nathan with Maurio Bondi, Place Kicker. He has the most stunning blue eyes!

Here's Tear'a Laudermill (Point Guard--considered one of the fastest in the nation) against Rebekah in a dribbling drill. Tear'a played a game yesterday afternoon then came out at night for the Husker Heroes Event. Rebekah thinks the game wore her out because, "I beat her 'cause I'm faster than her." 
You can read more about Tear'a and the entire event at the Husker Sports Website.

Nathan & Andrew decided to go up against each other. Andrew was leading until Sean jumped out at him and caused him to lose the ball. 

Nathan hitting softballs.

Rebekah crawled under the side-stepper instead of using it the 'appropriate' way.

Rebekah tackling.

Nathan & Andrew tackling.

Rebekah got a Lady Bug painted on her face.

Andrew kicking at the soccer station.

Nathan kicking at the soccer station.

With more football players.

Overall, we once again had an amazing time at this event. The athletes are so wonderful and they truly celebrate every achievement the kids make during the evening. It was a blast and we hope we can go again next year. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tips on Tuesday: Movie Night

Does your family enjoy having a Movie Night? With sunset coming earlier and temperatures getting cooler, I know Movie Night will be a regular winter event in our home. We turn out the lights (like a movie theater), pop popcorn and get some candy. The kids--or adults--enjoy snuggling on the floor with pillows and blankets. Family fun inexpensively done at home. And my favorite part---if a child needs to go potty, I don't have to miss any of the movie because I know how to use the pause button. 

And to celebrate the return of Movie Night, I have some deals and steals for you. First off is the deal. Through tonight at midnight, you can get a Groupon for 5 Blockbuster One-Night Movie Rental Codes for $2 (normally $5). Go to this link and purchase your certificate. Limit one for you, but you can give a gift to a friend. I love the Blockbuster Express codes because you can use them online to reserve the movie you want at the Kiosk you want. I love using these codes on new releases and knowing I won't be driving all over town looking for the movie. 

And here are some steals for you. Use these codes for free rentals through the end of October. These codes are good for $1 rentals and all but the last one expire on October 28, 2011. The last one expires on November 4, 2011.

39HLG2 (exp. Nov. 4, 2011)

Have fun and enjoy some movies with your family.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Review: My First Hands-On Bible

 Finding a good preschool Bible has always been a bit of a challenge for me. I've enjoyed the Bible story books we have had for our preschoolers, but the new My First Hands-On Bible from Tyndale Publishers brought some extra things to a preschool Bible that I fell in love with. 

First, Tyndale's new My First Hands-On Bible is an actual Bible. It's been abridged, but the scriptures are all from the New Living Translation (NLT). This book features 85 of the key stories from the Bible. I appreciate using true scripture because I think it's important for our children to hear scriptures, not a story-form paraphrase of scripture. When I showed this Bible to our Youth Pastors, they said right away that they love using the NLT because if you are struggling with a verse, it uses simple language to make the Bible passages easier to understand. 

Rebekah LOVED her new Bible from the moment she got it. In fact, she insisted on having her picture taken with her new Bible at church. Each story in this Bible has several hand prints in the story. Each hand print is a simple activity that helps bring the story to life. We also like Pockets (the Kangaroo) and Cuddles (the Lamb). Pockets has a prayer and Cuddles has activities you can do outside of reading the story. Finally, each story has a Jesus connection that helps your child see that Jesus is at the center of all Scripture--even if he isn't mentioned in that passage.

Rebekah loves reading her new Bible and doing the activities. She remembers to take it to church each Sunday. This hard cover Bible retails for only $16.99. We give it an enthusiastic thumbs-up. 

*This is a MamaBuzz Media review. The Bible was provided by Tyndale Publishers for this review. All views and opinions are my own.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Busy Weekend

Beyond State Music Festival, I've been working in Rebekah's room all week. I've moved out clothes that don't fit any longer (who knew there were still some 2 Toddler in the closet?!?!) and moving in the clothes that DO fit. 

Sean pitched in and helped me out for most of the day on Saturday. He helped me reorganize and clean out the baby toys that the kids don't play with any longer. 

Rebekah has insisted on keeping her crib up so she can have a 'sleepover' each Friday with one of her brothers. She doesn't sleep well in the crib, but refuses to give up sleepovers. Last week, she chose to sleep on the floor instead of in the crib. So we asked about getting rid of the crib and if her sleepovers were not in jeopardy, she agreed.

It was very bittersweet. After 14 years of having and using a crib, we have finally taken it down and packed it away.  

We've had storage bins under the crib and bed that can now be stacked up. We cleaned out the closet and moved toys in there. 

The dollies have a sleeping area, too. And there is room for her art table.

We moved the crib mattress under her bed with another sleeping mat. Now all three can sleep in there together for their "Sleepovers".


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Guess who got Superior Rating at State Music Festival?

 Headed out to State Music Festival today. It's a competition against yourself. If you get a 1+, a 1 or a 1-, it is a Superior Rating. Superior Ratings earn you a trophy. The boys started working on their piano pieces in July.

So I'm pleased to announce a Superior Rating was received by...


And also by Nathan!

Monkeying around at the statue. 

My TWO winners!

We are all so proud of them for all their hard work and dedication. It's a long road to state and we are so proud of them for all the hard work they did. 

Congratulations Andrew & Nathan!!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Life is not measured
by the number of breaths we take,
But by the moments
that take our breath away.

Saw this on Facebook and wanted to share. 
It makes me think of all the special and unique children out there (all three of mine included) who are a genius in their own right, but might not be able to climb that tree.
"Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid."  
~Albert Einstein

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Tips on Tuesday: October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I think everyone is aware that monthly self breast exams and getting a mammogram are the two key components to early detection. It seems that many of my friends are very committed to regular breast self exams, but when I ask them about their yearly mammograms, they can't quite 'get around' to going in.

As a woman whose baseline mammogram detected an anomaly causing me to be rechecked every six months for a while until it disappeared, all I can do is to urge you to make you appointment and go. 

I see mammograms like Geico with a twist, "Fifteen minutes could save your life." 
Do your health a favor, go.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Two Hot Deal Alerts: TP and M&M's

While it might not seem related, both Charmin Basic Toilet Paper and Peanut M&M's are on a HUGE sale at (Not found in store, must order online.)

There is free shipping on all Staples orders through 10/15. This automatically shows at checkout.

For the Peanut M&M's, go to this link and add to your cart. One 27 oz. bag is $9.99 and two or more bags is $5 each (or $10.00). So one bag is $9.99 and two bags is $10.00. For the penny, I'm just thinking you should buy two or more. I know I did!!!

For the TP, go to the Charmin Basic TP link. You need to add 3 to your cart to make this deal work. It's a case of 20 Double Rolls, so it's like getting 40 rolls per case.

  • Once you've added both TP and M&M's to your cart, click on the "Add/Edit Coupons" button at the bottom of the cart.
  • Enter the coupon code 31958 to get $5 off a purchase of $25 or more
  • There's an additional $15 off coupon that is automatically added if you purchase three cases.
  • Checkout--but be aware that the discounts don't show until you get to the "Review & Pay" screen.

The final cost for 60 double rolls (like getting 120 single rolls) is only $21.97. That makes each double roll $0.37 so it's like getting a single roll for $0.185 or 19 cents. It's a deal I can't pass up. 

So enjoy your M&M's and Toilet Paper!!

From the Heart...Cheryl St.John: Rebekah and Her Bible

From the Heart...Cheryl St.John: Rebekah and Her Bible: This is Rebekah. She is proud of her new Bible!

Cheryl has a great photo posted of Rebekah with her new Bible. I'll be reviewing this Bible later in the month...but it came in the mail yesterday and she couldn't leave home for church without it today. How do you think I'll review it?!?!?

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Life is not measured
by the number of breaths we take,
But by the moments
that take our breath away.

Trying to clean Nathan's face (as Rebekah kisses him)

Then I got a kiss...

Finally a photo of us in our matching spirit shirts for school.
I'm at school so much the students think I work there. Ha! So I try to wear spirit wear when I go on Fridays.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Tips on Tuesday: Never, Ever Give Up

If you would have told me six years ago--or even two years ago--that I would be posting the following, I would have been literally rolling on the floor laughing. The following was so unattainable and so far out of reach that I would have considered you a prime candidate for the looney bin.

But, here I am. I am stunned, amazed, overwhelmed, and most of all BLESSED! While I know that I have three absolutely amazing kids and each one of them is a precious gift from God to us; I also know we've faced a few obstacles in their lives. Sometimes, it seems like the most insurmountable obstacles are those associated with Autism.

Yet, here we are. Friday found Nathan giving a speech to two classrooms in his school. He chose to run for Student Council--knowing he had to answer essay questions and give a speech. This from the kid who refused to speak until he was 2, mumbled his way through school and has only given one speech in his life--and that was an assignment last year that we worked on for over a month. So in one week's time, he wrote and delivered a speech. Honestly, I never saw this day coming until it arrived. 

The election was Friday and the announcement was made yesterday afternoon. I was afraid he'd be nervous if I came to hear his speech, so his wonderful teachers arranged to video tape his speech so I could see it.

Nathan dictated his speech to us to type. He came up with this all on his own. It gave us insight into how he thinks and what he thinks. 

Here's the text of the speech:
We the people of the United States… (breath)  why is my copy of the Preamble in here?
La da da, bada bing bada boom,
Ah!  Here we go.

Hi my name is Nathan Roberts and I am running for student council. 
I am very creative so I can think of many new ideas to help make the school a better place.  I see everyone as a good person and see the differences in everyone, mainly because I have two disorders.

I have super sensitive hearing which means I hear better than most people but it also means things get really loud really quickly.  And due to my other disorder, sometimes I feel very stressed out in very loud places.  Don’t worry, I try not to do it very often.

My other disorder is autism which makes people do unusual things.  For instance thinking about doing something unusual or unwanted.  Sometimes I get more emotional than normal.  Sometimes when I see something I get distracted and like to do something with the cool thing I see.  Don’t worry, I try to keep it under control.

Even though I have these two disorders, I can do many good things with them.  For instance, for Halloween, I could find pictures and cut them out to make a holiday scene.  Sometimes I can also think of things that other people don’t think of.  Like if we do a lesson on safety, I could suggest to follow each rule the first time it’s given.

If I have a task to try to do something I will do my best to fit in many kids’ opinions for as many things as possible.  Everyone has their opinions and if there are ideas unlike each other I could use my differences and my creative mind to find a way to connect those ideas.

Our school already rocks, but vote for me and it will rule.

Truly, I never cared if he made it or not. The competition was pretty fierce and every kid that ran would have been an excellent choice. I thought I couldn't be any more proud....then he got in the car today after school and announces, "Guess what? They told us about Student Council--and I'm on it." 

This was such a victory!!! And not just for Nathan. There are so many teachers, friends, family members, therapists and more who have encouraged, coached, worked with, prayed for and loved Nathan for who he is and have challenged him to grow into who he is becoming. I see this as a win for everyone who has touched Nathan's life--and for everyone whose life has been touched by Nathan.

So he goes off to school today in the shirt I normally lay out for him when I need a little boost. A dear, sweet friend sent him a UConn shirt that says "Born to Win!" When I put it out tonight, he got a huge smile on his face and told me, "Nice one, Mom." 

Congratulations, Nathan! 
We know you will do great things!

Monday, October 03, 2011

WINNER! Prefense Sanitizing Foam

Congratulations to the winner of the Prefense Sanitizing Foam. 

It's #12, Selah. 

Congratulations! Be on the lookout for more giveaways coming soon.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Blue Angels

Some days it pays to be a volunteer. Getting tickets to the VIP showing of the Blue Angels was one terrific payoff. I can't even begin to describe how cool it was. We went to the preview day which was their final "dress rehearsal" for the weekend airshow. We were in the VIP tent and just mere yards away from the planes parked on the tarmac. 

Thanks to my dear friend who loaned us her awesome camera, we were able to get the best photos. Sean clicked off something like 900 pictures in the 2.5 hours we were there. Here are some of the best of the best. 

Sean managed to get the Blue Angels passing each other. They are turned so they are a mirror image and we see the bottom of one and the top of the other. 

Here's that same photo enlarged to see the planes. I'm so impressed that Sean caught them 'kissing'. 

The kids were in love with the Fastest School Bus in the World. It has a jet engine in it. There was a state trooper at the end of the runway with a speed gun and this bus was clocked at 325 mph.

The parachutes looked beautiful coming down.

Nice landing.

Can you see the vapor trail?

This is the Heritage Flight.

Photo proof that I really attend these events.

Can you tell Rebekah was tired? Look at that sour-puss face. This shows how close we were to the planes. We sat in the 3rd row of chairs. It was incredible!

Here's the Blue Angel's supply plane, Fat Albert.

The Blue Angels.

Waving to us on takeoff.

Perfect formation.

This was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. I am so blessed that we were able to get tickets and go. Makes some of those nights away from my family worthwhile. The kids loved the show (and getting out of school early). We decided it was education of a different kind to see this show. And we did talk a little bit about physics and aerodynamics...just to make sure we were educational. 

While it was an incredible show, we still want to thank those men and women who serve in our armed forces. Without them, we wouldn't be able to have a snow such as this one that celebrates our Armed Forces and our freedom.
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