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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Andrew is 14--Check out the Bashes

Andrew got to have the annual tri-fecta of parties. We went to Pizza Hut when Tio & Tia were in town for pizza partying with family. My BFF made the yummiest cupcakes!

Then on his birthday, we went with Poppa & Grandma to a steakhouse. He had a big steak dinner and got this yummy dessert for his birthday. Brownie, ice cream, chocolate drizzle. It was good!

But what birthday would be complete without a party. He had four of his friends come over AND two of his teachers. We had pizza and fellowship before we went to play Lazer Tag and video games at a local arcade. I'm not sure who had more fun--the kids or the adults. I laughed harder than I've laughed in years.

Back to the ranch for Oreo Blizzard Cake and a sleepover for the boys. Although why they call it a sleepover is beyond me. Andrew crashed around 5am, the other boys around 6am. They all got 3 hours of sleep. Crazy kids!!!

Happy Birthday, Andrew!! Hope your day was as awesome as you!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

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

Check out this video:

If you know how much our family loves eating at Taco Bell, you will understand why I included it on a Wordless Wednesday even though it's a song full of words. :-)

Thank you to my dear Nathan for sharing this with your family. We can all sing quite a bit of this song to you. And, we can tell approximately how old the video is based on the items no longer available at a Taco Bell. Yes, we DO eat there that often. 

So, come Sunday, if you want to find us after church, make a run for the border and check out the Taco Bell. We'll be in the corner, and we'll welcome you to join us.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

CLOSED: Prefense Alcohol-Free Foaming Sanitizer Review & Giveaway

Sponsored by
I'm so excited to have the opportunity to try out Prefense Foaming Hand Sanitizer. With three kids in school, keeping germs at bay is a priority around here. I admit I was a bit skeptical when I first heard about this product, but I've been pleasantly surprised by it.

I didn't think anything could last through hand washings, but reading through their online information, I've been convinced. I like to use this on the kids if we are heading to museums or other hands-on places. Then they are protected--and so am I. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by the way it helps moisturize your hands when you use it. 

I've been putting this in my car so we have it available when we are out and about. I've been working at a consignment sale and I use this before going in to handle all those hangars and toys and items brought in by the moms. While I know the literature says one pump lasts all day, I admit to using it when I leave even though I don't have to. I think that's the hardest part of using this versus alcohol-based sanitizers. I have trouble not reapplying all day long. It's been a pleasant change of pace.

I used it at a kid party as well. It was nice to be able to put on their hands and then let them eat their food without worrying about them ingesting the alcohol-based sanitizer. 

From the manufacturer:
Why our hand sanitizer is superior to others on the market!
  • No alcohol! Prefense is made of all-natural ingredients and has absolutely NO alcohol in it!
  • Our technology protects you for 24 hours or 10 hand washings!
  • Prefense is non-toxic and safe for kids! It will not hurt you if swallowed!
  • Prefense is silica based which means it doesn't dry out your hands like traditional alcohol sanitizers. It actually smooths and softens your hands. You can totally see this when you apply it!
  • Prefense protects against staph, strep, E.coli, drug resistant MRSA strains, and more. We fight germs that other hand sanitizers can't.
  • Because "one spray lasts all day" our 1.5 oz Prefense Foaming Hand Sanitizer offers 120 applications, costing only $0.08 per day, compared to $1.20 per day with alcohol hand sanitizers.
Where to purchase?
You can purchase at a discount through the Prefense Website. Or you can purchase through Amazon to get super saver shipping.

Would you like to win a 1.5 oz. Prefense Foaming Hand Sanitizer? 

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Comment on one thing you like about Prefense from my review above.
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@Coolestmommy has a  #giveaway of @Prefense Foaming Hand Sanitizer you can  #win.  Ends 10/3 

•Giveaway ends Monday, October 3, 2011
•Winners will be chosen via Random.Org. and contacted by email
•Winners will have 48 hours to respond to the email or another winner will be chosen
• Open to addresses in the United States.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

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

Do you see the breakfast plate as half happy or half sad?

And yes, we sometimes let the kids play with their food.

Rebekah's creation is up top and the Andrew/Nathan team did facial hair.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Water Slide Conquerors

Long story short, but we had three different hotels with water slides on our trip. Nathan had put on our Summer To Do List that he wanted to go down a water 
slide. So when I saw the slide available at our first hotel, I paid the extra $10 for that particular hotel and water slide. It was one that is totally enclosed and goes outside of the building and back in. 

When at that hotel, it was dark in the pool area so my photos are so-so. This first one is Andrew getting out of the ending trough.

Then Rebekah wanted a turn. She's officially too short, but that didn't stop her for long. She convinced Dad, Mom & Andrew to let her go down with her brother. (He helped keep it slow with his hands and feet.)

Here is the dynamic duo.

Then Dad took her down the slide. 

After that, she figured out how to go on her own before we could join her. Stinker.

Here's the picture they got of me coming down the slide. Sigh.

We had a rough ending there. Nathan worked up his courage for over 45 minutes wanting to go down the slide. But, we didn't realize they close the pool daily from 10-1. Checkout is 11 and the pool shuts down at 10. That stinks!! He cried and cried because he felt like a failure and because he was trying so hard to go down and then we just had to leave the pool. (For those of you wondering, I do not recommend the AmericInn in Rapid City because of this pool closing issue.) Part of how we ended up with three hotels is that I refused to stay there again because pool maintenance should be done during pool closed hours--not during the middle of every day.

The kicker to the whole thing was when Nathan announced that he didn't mean this kind of water slide. He said this one was cool, but he wanted to put a pool at the end of the slide off of their playground in the backyard. That's it?? I could have done that months ago.

We ended up at a hotel with an outdoor pool (not my favorite, but beggars can't be choosers). We told the kids there would be no water slide at this one. It wasn't shown in the pictures so don't look for it. Thanks be to God because when we pulled into the parking lot, the first thing everyone noticed was the slide...

And Nathan went down this slide over and over and over again. He is a winner and an overcomer. It took a little while to get him to try it out, but once he went down, there was no stopping him.

Rebekah wouldn't be outdone so she had to follow Nathan down, too.

On our way back home, we were blessed to stay at an amazing 5-star hotel for less than 50% of normal price. This hotel had a water slide, too. It's the longest one in the area at 130' and is known as one of the fastest. We talked Nathan into trying it with his dad. He wasn't too sure about it, but headed up the stairs.
He didn't want to go down but Sean shoved off. When he got to the bottom he said, "Dad, you and mom were right. I DO love going down this slide."

After that, we couldn't keep him off the slide. 

This gives you and idea of how big it is. And it was lighting fast!

Everyone had fun going down. Here's Rebekah (holding her breath). And notice she took off her life vest after a while. She has been taking lessons and is brave enough to go without. She could dog paddle her way to the steps to go again and again and again.

Here's Andrew.

Here's Sean.

Nathan & Andrew ended up making a train and going down together. They had fun for almost 3 hours going down that slide. Makes my legs hurt to think about how many stairs they did. 

Here they are in the water. 

What can I say? I'm so proud of Nathan for facing his fears and overcoming. I'm so proud of Andrew for all the big brother help he gave us. I don't think Sean & I could have gotten Nathan down that slide without Andrew's help. Rebekah made me proud of her courage and fearlessness (although that same fearlessness causes me to panic at other times). Sean & I both know how blessed we are to have such amazing children who are kind and care about each other. 

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Story Book Island (South Dakota)

When in Rapid City, I find Story Book Island (public park) to be a must-see on the list. When I was a little girl about Rebekah's age, I remember the magic of the stories coming to life as park rides and statues. That original park was flooded out, but nostalgic folks couldn't let the magic die. They got land from the parks department and created a newer, bigger and better Story Book Island. 

It's still free to go to because it is a public park. There's no food allowed inside, but we had a lovely picnic outside at the picnic tables. The magic is still there--and not just for Rebekah. Even the boys (Sean included) admitted that it was more fun than they thought it would be. Ha!

 Rebekah with the Crooked little man and his Crooked little house...

 All three riding the crazy teacup like ride. They were soooo dizzy!

 Rebekah loved the unicorn

Noah's Ark

This is a remake of the original phone from the original park. Somewhere there are pictures of me inside this phone...I think we'd be surprised at how much they look like this photo.

Smokey the Bear & Nathan

Rebekah sliding...

Down the Hickory Dickory Dock Slide--one of the original pieces saved after the flood. The clock is striking one and you are by the mouse sliding down... 
Nathan takes a turn on the slide.

So many memories revisited by me. We didn't have too much time to spend there, but we managed to see every single exhibit in the couple of hours we were there. The kids all had fun and it was a great way to burn off some energy after sitting for hours in the car. 

Thursday, September 01, 2011

More from our SD Vacation - The Corn Palace

What trip to South Dakota would be complete without seeing the Corn Palace? You have to admit, to see so much corn stapled and glued to a building is stunning. Ok, it might be 'corny'--couldn't resist that one--but we had fun and enjoyed our time there.

We got to have our picture taken with the official corn mascot. Woot Woot!

Here's my family being corny. 

My inside photos turned out better than the outside. Here's Mount Rushmore.

Outside was Uncle Sam.

I had to get the theatre masks for Sean & I.

We had a fun time and while it was a quick stop on our LONG DRIVE, it was still a fun stop. We got to see them working to replace the corn on the buildings and it is much more fascinating than you'd imagine. 

Bounce It Off Millions Sweepstakes

Bounce takes Facebook interaction to a whole new level with a new initiative called Bounce It Off Millions, and they want you to get involved.

First, Bounce asked people to make a choice between sheets or bar, and now Bounce is offering a chance to have millions of Facebook users help you decide on a choice of your own.  Still stuck on the final two baby names?  Need advice on whether to go to Mexico or the Maldives for your honeymoon?  How would it feel to have millions help you decide?

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Bounce fans can also enter in sweepstakes for the chance to win two Bounce Dryer Bars—one to keep, and one for a friend of your choice. 5,000 winners will be chosen. For complete listing of rules and details, please click here.

Disclosure: I participated in this campaign as a member of One2One Network and am eligible for a prize drawing.  All opinions stated in the post are my own.
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