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Friday, May 31, 2013

The awards keep on coming...

This one is to toot my own horn. I had to miss the last PTO meeting of the year at elementary school because we were at the awards banquet for band (where Andrew double lettered). The next day, I got a cryptic email from Rebekah's teacher just letting me know there was a package left for me in the office at school.

My self talk (be frightened of my brain!):
A package...hmmm....think, think, think......did I order anything for school? Nope. Odd time to get something from Box Tops, but maybe it's summer coordinator info. Odd that they sent it to school instead of home, but that's probably it. Must be Box Tops stuff. Will go get after lunch.

I walked into the office and said, "Nice flowers! Who are those for?"
Answer, "You."

Who knew?!?! I was named Volunteer of the Year at Rebekah's elementary school. I'm very honored and somewhat amazed. Yeah, I volunteer every Friday, but I didn't make it to volunteer at any other evening event this year. Too crazy with a freshman in Marching Band--most events were on game night. So if I had to pick a volunteer of the year, I'd pick one of those moms who is at every evening thing. But they picked me--and I am humbled and still amazed. At first I put my flowers on the front porch by the door so the whole world could enjoy...but then I can't see them. So I made Sean move them to the back porch. Now I see them from my kitchen window, from the dinner table, from the stove. I LOVE my flowers...and the meaning behind them.

I didn't volunteer to 'get' anything out of it. I only wanted to help at school because I believe parent involvement is the key to a successful school...and I think I should put my money where my mouth is. I get paid a hundred times over in hugs, smiles and hearing my name called out from every corner of the room. I get paid when I get to watch a child who has struggled with a particular word or sound master it. Watching their success is worth all the time I spend with them. It was never my intention to get an award, but I was blessed by the honor.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

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

Is there anything more sexy than your husband vacuuming your house?
OK--maybe it's him doing the dishes. 
Love my hubby!!!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Mombo Nursing Pillow Review

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Comfort and Harmony for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

I was asked to review the Mombo Nursing Pillow. My children are beyond the nursing age, but I did successfully breastfeed three out of three kiddos so I know the importance of a good nursing pillow. I've been researching the Mombo and I liked what I found. First of all, I found the shape to be very unique and one that I believe would be very ergonomic and easy to use. One of my chief complaints with my nursing pillows was that it was hard to find a comfortable arm position. If you look at the unique shape of the Mombo, I think you can see what I mean when I say I believe it would be more comfortable for a nursing mom to use. 

The other feature that I found to be amazing is the two-sided design of Firm2Soft. One side is firm, to offer mom support while feeding baby. The other side is soft, so baby can be cozy and snuggle in the pillow. Mombo is also the only nursing pillow that offers a vibration feature. Turn on to give baby a soothing experience while reclining and lounging on the pillow. 

Mombo has lots of great products so be sure to check them out. In particular, you should see all the covers for the mombo. They have gender specific and gender neutral covers and even some with Taggies. You can purchase their nursing pillow at both Toys R Us and Babies R Us. Comfort & Harmony are the makers of Mombo. Be sure to check out and follow Comfort & Harmony on Facebook and follow Comfort & Harmony on Twitter



Visit Sponsor's Site

Monday, May 27, 2013

Happy Memorial Day!

Especially grateful on Memorial Day to those men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice of their lives. Without them, we would not be free. 
John 15:13 says, "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends." (NKJV)

As a friend of mine said, "Remember, folks, today is about more than a picnic."

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Free Pillsbury Newsletter and Freebies


Be sure to sign up before the big launch on May 26th. Pillsbury will be giving away thousands of free samples each month. Coupon savings and exclusive member offers.

I've signed up--have you? 

Andrew's Double Awards

And the awards just keep coming! 

Very proud of Andrew, who managed to letter twice as a freshman. He lettered in Marching Band and Concert Band. He was also named the Section Leader for the Frontline (Pit) for next year. 

We are waiting for the 'real' letters to arrive (there was a shipping delay). So at his awards ceremony his name was called, but we didn't get the letters just yet. So, I found a random 'N' on the internet and put it here for now. I'll get real photos as soon as I can.

Andrew hopes to add an academic letter to his credit next year. He discovered that freshmen can not get academic letters so he has his goal set for next year. He is enjoying high school and we are so proud of him and all he is accomplishing. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Michael Buble new album To Be Loved

What a fun review this one was! I enjoy Michael Buble's singing and this was a very fun walk down memory lane as I enjoy some of the oldies he covered on this album. He has quite the voice and is a true crooner--reminds me so much of listening to Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby. I'm a huge fan of the Big Band Era so this album was totally up my alley. I hope you have a chance to enjoy it as well. My favorite is "You Make Me Feel So Young." 

To Be Loved, released on April 23, finds the Grammy winner covering songs by Frank Sinatra, the Bee GeesElvis Presley, as well as collaborating for a duet with Reese WitherspoonIn the mix of standards are four original songs co-written by BublĂ©, dipping into his personal life for inspiration.
 "I want to take you on a wonderful journey about love—all different kinds of love," he says. "The album swings big time: it rocks, it’s soulful, it’s happy, sometimes a little sad. It’s romantic, it’s yummy, and it’s heartfelt."
And if you need a little eye candy in your day, check out these pictures of Michael Buble in a suit. 

Wordless Wednesday - I'm looking over...

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

Look at what Nathan found. I was so excited--believe it or not, I've never seen an actual four leaf clover before. I've got it pressed in wax paper in a heavy book trying to preserve it. Way to go, Nathan!!! (But you know I've been singing the song ever since he showed me--right?)

I'm looking over a four leaf clover,
that I've overlooked before.
One leaf is sunshine,
the second is rain,
third are the roses that grow in the lane.
No need explaining the one remaining,
she's somebody I adore.
I'm looking over a four leaf clover,
that I've overlooked before. 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Nathan's PE Student of the Month Award

Very proud of Nathan. He was named the PE Student of the Month for his grade. This award is given not based on your PE skills, but on your positive attitude, can-do spirit, and never giving up. 

We are so proud of Nathan. It was only a few short years ago that he had to have weekly Occupational Therapy because he didn't have enough muscle strength to hold a pencil, sit up for more than a few minutes at a time, nor could he balance to ride a scooter or bike and he couldn't throw and catch well. 

Now, he can run the mile--not the fastest, but he completed it--and he is able to play basketball with the kids up and down the block. He can ride a bike and a scooter. And in PE Classs, no matter how hard it is, he always keeps trying. We are happy that his PE teacher (who has about 300 students) recognizes that at the end of the day, Nathan keeps on trying and keeps a smile on his face. 

Congratulations, Nathan!!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Mustache Cookie Cutter Review and Giveaway

This one was for the kids. I don't understand the theory, but mustaches are big in the high school circles right now. They find a mustache to be cool. Again, I don't pretend to understand, I try to accept. It's my job as mom of a teenager.

I can't tell you how thrilled my teen was when I was given the opportunity to review these mustache cookie cutters. He's already making plans to give mustache cookie gifts to his friends. (I think my summer is going to be filled with  mustache cookie shapes.) I also got a mustache button that was immediately taken and put on his lanyard for school. He's now a mustache hero. Go figure.

This cookie cutter set comes complete with three different mustache cookie cutters. All are made of 100% stainless steel and measure about 4" wide and 1.25-1.5" tall--it depends on which shape you are using. I found the stainless steel was easy to clean after use. You have to adjust baking times a little bit to make sure your mustaches are cooked without burning them. Overall, a really cute and fun cookie cutter. 

Great news--one of my readers will get a Mustache Cookie Cutter set of their own. Enter using the Rafflecopter form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received the product mentioned above for free using I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Review & Giveaway - Undipads

Undiepads are a new product in feminine hygiene. It is a pair of disposable underwear with protection built in. These panties are designed for women's heaviest days and nights. There are some plusses and minuses with these.  I liked how UndiePads have a built in pad so you have leakproof protection since the pad is built in, it can't slip. These come with toss and go bags so you can easily dispose of them. 

I thought it was a great idea, but I would only use at night since you have to get totally undressed and redressed as you change underwear each time. I like the extra long coverage and how everything stayed in place. 

From the manufacturer:
UndiePadsTM Patented Technology Disposable Panties With Built-In Menstrual Pad are the newest, freshest and most stylish way to make “those days of the month” a whole lot easier. They look and feel like your regular panties, provide gentle control, extreme coverage and long-term absorbency with advanced leakage- and odor-protection. UndiePads completely eliminate the dangers of Toxic Shock Syndrome and combine new fabric technology with cutting edge design for a menstrual product that’s so complete, so comfortable and so fresh, you can forget you’re wearing them.

The UndiePads team has agreed to give away a box of UndiePads to one of my readers. Enter using the Rafflecopter form below.

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

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Tips on Tuesday: Reading with your child

Since schools across the country are winding down for the year, I wanted to share the single greatest secret weapon you have to retaining knowledge and learning over the summer....

Read with your child.

No magic formula, no worksheets or textbooks or tests. Just read. Keeping the printed word in front of your child (or reading to those too young to read for themselves) does more to boost academic achievement, improve test scores, retain information learned over the past year and it also increases vocabulary. And we aren't talking major amounts of reading. If your child is preschool aged or younger, 15 minutes a day will do. For elementary children, 20 minutes. Middle school and high school 25-40 minutes a day. 

And for the younger ones (and early elementary), I ran across an article based on the Johnson & Keier book, "Catching Readers Before They Fail," that gives some excellent insight into ways to boost comprehension and reading skills. 

Ask questions about what you just read. If you don't know what to ask, try some of these questions:

  • Does this book remind you of anything?
  • Were there any parts that surprised you?
  • What have you been wondering as you (I, we) read?
  • What did you notice about the story?
  • Does this book make you think of anything else you've read?
  • What was your favorite part?
  • What are you going to read next?
I firmly believe in the power of reading. According to Child Trends Databank, young children who are read to regularly by family members...{have} boosts in literacy development, as well as social-emotional gains, and increased likelihood of later overall school success. We've heard it said that Readers are Leaders...and I believe it's true.

Do do yourself and your children a favor. Over the summer--read. Need motivation? Check your local library to see if they offer a summer reading program. Also, be sure to check out the Barnes and Noble Summer Reading program to find out how to earn a free book. 

So get ready, get set....READ!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Harlem Globetrotter Summer Skills Clinics

A little over a month ago, we had the fantastic opportunity to see the Globetrotters live. It was one of the most amazing shows that not only promotes physical fitness and basketball, but humorously shows how teamwork makes the game fun. Now I have learned that that fun and spirited teamwork is being taught with basketball skills all across the country at Globetrotter Clinics. 
The Harlem Globetrotters have teamed up with 24 Hour Fitness to bring Summer Skills Clinics to numerous locations nationwide. Keep reading for all the information and make sure you register by 5/31 using the code USFAMILY in order to receive $10 off. I thought the clinics would be very expensive--but they are only $59 ($49 with the discount code) and one of the things your child receives is a voucher worth up to $40 to get a free ticket to a game in the 2014 Harlem Globetrotter National Tour.
Now everything awesome - kids, basketball, teamwork, and having fun – comes together at destination awesome: Harlem Globetrotter Summer Skills Clinics, the ONLY clinics coached by stars of The Harlem Globetrotters!
Everyone loves The Globetrotters, the stars who always put smiles on kids’ faces. At Globetrotter Summer Skills Clinics, our stars coach kids in limited size groups and bring laughs, encouragement and high fives for everyone! Globetrotters direct, motivate, inspire AND entertain, keeping it inclusive and fun for ALL boys and girls, aged 6-12, of ALL skill and experience levels. Each session is $59 and includes a free ticket voucher to see the Globetrotters live in 2014!  But you can save $10 with promo code USFAMILY! Code is valid through 5/31.
Each child will receive: 

  • A free ticket voucher (valued up to $40) to see the Globetrotters during their 2014 World Tour
  • Autographs and photos with the stars!
  • Official Globetrotter certificate of completion wi th a personalized Globetrotter nickname

Clinic Locations: (These are just the clinics - the games for your tickets are in 200 cities)
Save $10 on registration! Enter the Coupon Code USFAMILY on the cart page after completing your registration 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day

To all the moms out there--

Happy Mother's Day

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Cub of the Week/Month

Very proud of Rebekah. She has been working very hard on her self-control at school. She's a bit chatty (no idea where she gets THAT from) and sometimes a bit impulsive. 

The day before the autism walk, she had a big day at school. Lost a tooth at school (so you get a treasure chest to bring it home in) and she got Cub of the Week. 

Then this past Friday, I show up to read with her class and she had something new to show me--a Cub of the Month for RESPONSIBILITY. She's been working very hard and it has paid off for her.

Check out that smile!! Way to go Rebekah. 

Friday, May 03, 2013

Ring the Bell DVD Review and Giveaway - open worldwide

It's not very often that I find a truly family friendly film that my whole family can enjoy together. "Ring the Bell" is one of those movies. We had a very enjoyable family movie night. I'll admit my youngest (age 6) was a little bored at times, but she stuck with the film. I think the older kids got more out of it. But, it's one we'd all be willing to watch again so as she grows up, I think she will grow into the movie more. It was also nice to have a movie the boys were interested in. That's not always easy to find. 

The music in the film was AMAZING and we all liked the songs. If you enjoy a good family film where you don't have to worry about language, nudity or sex, this is a great choice for you. And...keep reading to find out how to get a copy for yourself.  

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. 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.
About Ring the Bell:
Ring The Bell shares the story of a slick, big city sports agent Rob Decker who seems to have it all. But on his latest mission to sign a high school baseball superstar, Rob becomes stranded in a small town where the simplicity of life—and the faith of the people—stand in stark contrast to his own fast-paced, win-at-all-costs mindset. Torn between these two worlds, will Rob have the courage to let faith transform his life? This heartwarming story of redemption is sure to entertain and inspire the whole family.

Ring The Bell features a host of well-known Christian music artists, such as Mark Hall along with his band Casting Crowns, Steven Curtis Chapman, and Matthew West, all who play a role in this inspirational drama. Several former and current Major League Baseball all-stars are also featured in the film: ESPN analysts John Kruk and Rick Sutcliffe (a former Cy Young Award winner), along with Ben Zobrist.
This family-friendly movie was produced by Mark Miller, Beach Street Records' founder and Casting Crowns’ producer. Miller, who is also the lead singer and founder of country music group Sawyer Brown, co-wrote the script with Thomas Weber and Weber directed the production.
Ring the Bell is available on DVD for only $19.99 

DVD Special Features:

The Heart of "Ring the Bell"
Casting Crowns “The Well” Music Video

On Set with Casting Crowns
Famous Faces

A Very Special Movie

Ringing the Bell

I'm thrilled to announce that I get to give away a copy of the DVD to one lucky winner. This giveaway is open worldwide and will end on May 24. Enter using the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck!!!

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Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - Rebekah's Note

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

Something that made my heart smile. 

I'm working on cleaning up my house now that our autism walk is over for this year. I ran across this note from Rebekah to her friend Abby.

Dear Abby,
What mackes you special is...
You are the best friend...
You make me smile when we play

I'm touched that she spends hours a day at her 'art table' creating pictures and notes for friends. She has a gift for art---and for encouragement. I hope the rest everyone knows how lucky they are if they know her.

Hey God, I've got some guy... Book Review and Giveaway

OK--I don't know about you, but check out the title of this new children's book, "Hey God, I've Got Some Guy Names Jonah in My Stomach and I Think I'm Gonna Throw Up." Just reading the title I knew I had to get my hands on this book. And it was worth it!! My kids and I laughed our way through the whole book...while they learned. 

I love when authors take a unique look at a Biblical story and teach the story in a way that engages children. Kudos to Troy Schmidt for doing such a fantastic job. I'm also glad that there is a parent guide on the back cover to help us all learn and be able to teach our children with even more depth. 

I can't wait to see the other books in this series. We loved learning about the most famous whale in history!

From the B&H Publishing
On sale May 1, 2013
Cost $9.99
Author Troy Schmidt

About the Book: 
Oh sure, we've all heard the story of Jonah and the Whale a hundred times. But have we heard it from the perspective of the whale who experienced that history-making event?
Hey God, I've Got Some Guy Named Jonah in My Stomach and I Think I'm Gonna Throw Up! imagines how that great sea creature from the incident might tell his side of the story, helping kids ages 4 to 8 discover a creative way of learning about that guy who was supposed to go to Ninevah.
The "Parent Connection" feature (inside the book) will help moms and dads take the story further with scripture references and tips on how to talk with their children about what really happened. 

About the Author: 
Troy Schmidt has writing and video production credits ranging from assignments with Disney (The Mickey Mouse Club) and Nickelodeon to Max Lucado's Hermie franchise. He is currently the lead writer for The American Bible Challenge hosted by Jeff Foxworthy on the Game Show Network. Troy and his wife have three sons.

The series:  This is just the first in a series!  Other books available include Hey God, Can You Stop the Rain so I Can Get off Noah's Smelly Ark? and Hey God, I'm Having an Awful Vacation in Egypt Thanks to Moses!

If you are as excited as I was about getting a copy of this book, have I got an opportunity for you. Enter my giveaway using the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck! Contest ends 5/17. 

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Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a review. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own and receiving a copy does not influence my review. 
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