Our 7 Qtpies

April 30, 2008

Sam is talking!

Sam has been starting to say some sentences lately, so we are thinking he will start talking soon.
The other day he was displaying his edenic view of clothing (thanks, Babystepper!) and my mom told him "Go get your diaper!" to which he replied "do deh DOO dider!" (Go get YOUR diaper, in Sam speak)
That same day Sam and Trinity were running around and around the coffee table, minding their own business when Cody finally got annoyed at them and yelled "Knock it off!" to which Sam replied "Naah Ahhh!" while pointing at Cody.

Sam is also understand that you can talk with your hands. We taught him the sign for milk pretty early, and then we've watched some Signing videos with him. But the other day we asked him to "say please" for something and he started holding his hand flat up near his shoulder like he was shrugging, but then started wiggling his fingers. He consistently did that sign for please. We finally figured out that when he has something he shouldn't have we hold out our hand and wiggle our fingers and say "Give it to mommy, please!" Smart cookie.

(that other baby in the picture? Yeah, he was born the same day as Sam. Sam is taller now, but he is MUCH lighter to carry around!)

April 28, 2008

Cute or comfortable?

Here at the QTpie house we have had a raging debate going on for a few weeks. We need your help, Internets.
Last year I found the cutest pair of high heeled brown clogs. Oh, they are so cute! No one disagrees that they are cute. They were my size, so I bought them.
However, the leather cuts into the top/side of my foot and makes a blister, pops it, and then rubs my skin into a sore. Depending on how long I wear them, of course.

But they are so adorable that I wear them anyway!

It is worth it.

The guys and my mom think I am nuts. They don't get that a cute shoe is worth a popped blister for the right look with an outfit.

So, what do you think?
Yes, cute shoes are SO worth a little pain.
No, why torture yourself for a little fashion?

Help us settle this major debate once and for all.
(and for the record, even if I am wrong, I'm still wearing the shoes.) (Cause they're cute!)

I now love laughing mommy even more! Great ideas!

April 26, 2008

When it rains, it pours or Sam couldn't be topped by Drew

Those boys, so competitive. Sam must have been jealous that Drew was getting some blog time and he hasn't gotten any since Wednesday's poop incident.

Sam figured out how to turn on the bathroom sink in our upstairs bathroom today. It is a very tiny, very old sink with very old drain pipes that need to be replaced so that it actually DRAINS. He flooded the bathroom. How did we find out? Well, the rain coming from the ceiling was the first clue. Well, that was the only clue, really, then we kind of were sure Sam was up to no good in the bathroom. The water took a long time to do that much damage. First it filled the sink, then it overflowed and filled the giant litter box, and THEN it overflowed to the floor and seeped down into the cracks and filled the floor/ceiling and started pouring out into the hallway below.

And I wonder how people can stop having kids at one?

Speaking of which.....

My brother, Shane, and his wife Sam are having a baby! Her unofficial due date is December 25! We are so excited for them! They both have a son from a previous marriage. I can't imagine how excited they are.

Prom Preparations

It is Drew's senior prom today. You know, that special day with dressing up in tuxedos and spagetti strap dresses with open-toed shoes.
This is what the kids got to wake up to today:

The pool was out because it was 79 degrees on Wednesday and I took the little ones out to swim. (after carting 15 buckets of hot water outside so it was tolerable.) Do you think the girls planned for snow at the end of April enough to buy shawls? I'm thinking not.

But that was only the beginning of Drew's trouble.

He went to shave this morning and found his sister stole his razor and took it to Rochester with her so she can shave to swim at the hotel.

He bought new, white undershirts for under his tux shirt. Let's see how that turned out for him:

Um, yeah, medium isn't necessarily going to fit you when you buy children's med/6-8. You should have seen him trying to take it off, we may post the video later.

And then, I sent Drew to buy some snacks for us because it is snowing and we will be without a vehicle since he is taking it for prom.

He dropped my salsa on the parking lot tar and smashed it.

We have decided that Drew's goal was to see how many times he can make it on my blog during "Ignore your kids week."

I'm a winner!

I won these shells from Sand Between My Toes in the big bloggy giveaway. I was so excited about the shells that I forgot the shells weren't the prize, the dolphin bracelet and the sweet soap are. The shells are just a decoration to add to the package, lol.
We lived by the Chesapeake Bay for 5 years. Not once did we find colorful shells. Ours were nice shapes, but the were white and rough. These are smooth and gorgeous colors!
I want to go to Sanibel Island and just go shell hunting for a week!

Well, I'd say that I was pretty lucky this time! I seriously got two prizes that I was really hoping to win! In addition to the shells I won something practical that most of you wouldn't want. And Pastor Chad, this is where you skip reading.
I won some Luna Pads! Now I can stop worrying at that time of month. I dread it because I am allergic to most feminine products, and I have a titled cervix, so my brand new Diva Cup sits in the closet never to be used. But cloth pads will be great! I haven't invested in them because I am afraid that as soon as I spend the money I will be pregnant. Logically I know that I will need them 9 months later, but still, it keeps me from investing. I am thrilled to have won these from Darci's World!

I also won a box of personalized Fruit Roll-ups from one of my regular reads, Don't Give Him Crackers! I enjoy reading her blog, and she has an adorable little boy.

Wow! I don't know if I can keep up! I am super excited! I guess ignore your kids week is going to pay off, even for some of the kids!

I won a couple of books, Deceptively Delicious from Mama Saga, and Mommy’s Locked in the Bathroom! from Brag On Your Kids. And an apron with a bag of organic pomegranit candy from Mommysweetmom. Then I won a really cool "Mom of" notepad from Wilson Six. And then I won a really cute tutu for Trinity at Sarah Rose Tutus.

I am clearly super lucky this Bloggy Giveaway! (I also have the bestest bloggy friends ever, and my friend who won the Signing Times DVDs is trading me for some Amazon moolah I have that I don't use, win-win for both of us!)

April 25, 2008

Last Minute Bloggy Blast!

Updated** The winner is Chelsey! Congratulations, Chelsey! The gift card has already been emailed to you.

I decided to add one more giveaway to the last day of the Bloggy Giveaways. Just because.

I have a $20 gift card for a lucky commenter!

But, I also have a free $25 for EVERYONE! Really! I have heard they are not APO friendly, but they do have great customer service, you may be able to talk to them and see what the deal is.

Revolution Money Exchange works like Paypal, without the fees!!!

Why are they giving away money? Well, what better advertising than YOU getting the advertising dollars instead of the TV? I am advertising for them because they will pay ME $10 to tell you to go sign up!

Refer A Friend using Revolution Money Exchange

I have been doing this for a week and I have received my money, verified my account and effortlessly transferred it to my checking account. RM has more security hoops to jump through than Paypal, and I know Paypal is safe. But RM is backed by an FDIC insured bank, so you are mega insured. You know, in case someone is so desperate for the piddly amount in someone's checking account that they are going to spend a week or more trying to decipher your log in name, password AND the security question. I can guarantee that if they spent that long on mine, they would be pretty mad at what they'd be able to spend.

Bloggy Giveaways Quarterly Carnival Button

Leave a comment telling me why you are not going to grab your $25. Too rich? Or leave me a comment and thank me for the $25! And I will thank you for the $10 referral money! Oh, and if it makes a difference, my hubby is possibly going to be out of a job soon, so help me out, if you don't want the $25, get it and send it to my RM account. I don't turn down free money.

I will pick a winner on Sunday so all the people who have to work all week can still enjoy signing up for giveaways!

Oh the things that they say.....

Sometimes nothing goes on at the Qtpie house, and then at times it happens faster than I can blog it all.

Kaytlin and Devon are going out of town on a youth event this weekend. Drew is going to prom. (even though we want to beat him and lock him in a closet until the Army comes to get him in August)

Kaytlin was packing last night and asked her dad where his yellow gym bag is. He didn't know (not going to the gym??) but I did. Devon had it from a previous trip. So, she ran up the stairs with me yelling "Good luck!" since Devon was packing, too.

Pretty soon we hear a body hit the floor above us in Devon's room. Oh, no. I wonder who won? Wait, it's Kaytlin and Devon, she won.

Within seconds she comes running down the stairs with the bag.

Thankfully it wasn't a real fight, he slipped on his own messy floor.

Devon wouldn't let her have the bag and asked her what she was going to do about it. She said..
"Don't make me stab you in the gut with this pen."
he said in his deep slow voice....

"You know, you get more bags with not threatening people."

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April 24, 2008

How you know when you are a bit over the top

My mom and I were talking about benefits from a job she interviewed for and they said that life insurance was mandatory. And she said that she would get some sort of insurance for when she is old and needs to be in a nursing home so it isn't a financial burden to us. She said that she would just go into a state run nursing home so it wouldn't cost us. I kind of spazzed a bit.
"Aren't you worried they will mistreat you there?"
"You'll come to visit me often and check on me, and besides they will be too afraid of you to mistreat me."


In just a couple of days we've had enough happenings to cause quite a bit of stress.

Just a few things are:

Cody and his friend witnessed a boy being run over by a truck. That boy is in a medically induced coma after being airlifted to a better hospital. Cody isn't talking about it, and that is a concern of ours, it was quite a bad accident to witness.

Drew was busted disobeying and lying to us. Again. What do you do? He is 18, leaving in 4 months, but we have 6 kids to leave an example for.

Donnie's boss has been out to fire him for about 6 months. But each time Donnie has been able to dispute the lies/half truths he is using to make life difficult. Yesterday they ambushed him by telling him to stop in for a 1 on 1 and had several bosses in with a contract for 30 days before he is fired. Specifically for March's numbers. Donnie asked for proof, and the proof favored Donnie, so he has to get this documented with HR, but he already signed the contract.

It is frustrating, but what can we do? My mom hasn't been able to find a job in nearly 2 months. Donnie is about to be fired. And I can't work outside the house. Thankfully we have a home business that we are starting up that is very exciting and hopefully will take off fast, but we can't expect it to replace his income in a month.

I am busily working on some articles and getting them polished up for publication next month, and that will bring in a little money. Hopefully it will bring me more writing jobs, too.

Stressed out? Naw!!!

Kaytlin chewed me out for being stressed. "Don't you trust God? He won't let us be homeless! Don't you dare speak it into existance!" A balance between reality and faith is needed. Ignorance is not bliss.

Please pray for Cody and his processing of the accident. Please pray for Drew and how we should handle it, he has devastated his relationship with his sister and is breaking down our relationship with Devon. Please also pray for our business to grow and for Donnie's job.
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April 23, 2008

The dreaded beast!

I know there are a lot of things we don't want to deal with as parents, and right up there in the top 10 is Lice. No one wants to get that letter from the school that lice has been found in your child's classroom.
Next on the list is not wanting to use pesticides on our children! But what do you do? The lice must go, and go fast.

LiceMD is a pesticide-free way of getting rid of lice NOW. If I only had a choice between pesticides or drowning the lice in mayonnaise for days at a time, well, I'd probably go for the pesticides because who can do that when you have a busy life?
Now there is a choice. LiceMD also has other great features to offer! It is odorless, truly a miracle, isn't it? Isn't that enough reason to go this route? I thought so. But then I read that it also super conditions the hair, the main ingredient is used as a conditioning agent in many top selling shampoos and has a well-known safety profile. That makes it easy to apply to long and curly hair. LiceMD is non-irritating to skin and hypoallergenic.
On top of all that, you can reapply it, unlike most treatments.
LiceMD sent me a box to use if the dreaded beasts ever make another appearance at our house! I am keeping that in my closet for a great defence if we are ever attacked.

A run-down on the Bloggy disasters!

This week has been one thing after another to keep me from my goals of stopping by every bloggy giveaway on the list and to put them all in categories on my contest blog.

One blog kept crashing my internet. So I had to start over with listing each time.
I kicked the power stripe and shut down my computer and lost all my listings.
And then there was the whole gravy disaster with Drew.
My mother in law left her suitcases in my mom's car and we had to drive them to her in the cities. Then I took two wrong turns on a road I have been driving for nearly 6 years. Took all day.
So far today.....
I let Sam run around without a diaper but then forgot about him. I went to find him when he wasn't watching cartoons with his sister. I found him upstairs covered in poop. I went up to grab him and found that he was clearly eating the poop. And he looked at me and said "Mmmm."
Then I scrubbed the carpet.

April 22, 2008

Clearing my head a bit!

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If you are one of the few who has not gotten your free $25, go now! GO!! It is MONEY, people! This is a very secure site, with more security features than paypal, and I KNOW there are real people and they do answer the phone at customer service. It is definitely safe to put your social security number in there, and IF something COULD happen (a person with nothing to do but hack YOUR log in name, password AND answer to your secret question that would take weeks) they are backed by an FDIC insured bank and you would have your money restored. It WON'T happen though and they pay instantly. I promise! I have my money.

There is something that has always bothered me about my father in law. I love him, he is the sweetest, nicest guy in the world. Truly, the only argument he would ever have is over who should sit in a chair, and it won't be him, he will insist you take it! What bothers me is that when someone is talking about something he acts like he doesn't know anything about that topic, even if it were something he did as a career. He doesn't want to make someone feel like they are dumb, or he is smarter than they are or something. I don't get it.
My husband does it on a lesser scale. And that really drives me nuts. I think people don't get how smart he really is. I know it. But other people don't know.
He was offered a West Point scholarship, that he turned down to marry me. He was given the military career book and told to pick a career, anything he wanted at all. His scores were very high. And when he was accidentally sent to the wrong base in Germany, the base commander saw his file and saw his scores and MADE a spot for him at the base and refuse to let him go to the right base. Later they even had to petition Washington to make a spot for his MOS so that he could stay on for more years. In military intelligence. War game simulations.
He is very smart and I am very proud of him. He works really hard and makes more than enough money to support a family as large as ours. I appreciate him so much and I wish other people would know how smart he really is. But he doesn't want other people to feel that he is smarter or that they are not smart. He doesn't want people to know he is very smart, its a humble thing, I guess.
But it breaks my heart.

That's just Plumm sweet!

Do you remember back when we were kids when you could sit down and watch a movie together as a family and you didn't have to call your friend's parents to be sure their kids could watch this material? Back in the days of Old Yeller.
What happened to a good old fashioned family-friendly movie? Even Disney has questionable things in their cartoons targeted at children under 10!

Well, I am tired of it. A movie can be good without the swearing and nudity and sexual innuendos. A good way to show Hollywood that good, clean family films are wanted and needed is to support one when it comes out.

I was lucky enough to be able to get a preview copy of A Plumm Summer to review with some friends. This is a true family friendly movie and it is based on a true story.
I got together with a group of 4 other women to preview A Plumm Summer and let you know what we think of it.

We were all thrilled to see Henry Winkler starring in the flick. He did a great job portraying a kiddy show host who is head over heels for his marionette, Froggy Doo.
Rocky Plumm (probably named Rocky because his dad was a boxer), played by Owen Pearce, is a 5 year old boy who is a big, big fan of Froggy Doo. His brother Elliot, played by Chris J. Kelly, is made to bring Rocky to see a local show put on with Froggy Doo. But the show is cancelled when Froggy Doo is Marionette-napped!
Oh the anguished kids! It would be like Barney disappearing! (Yes, us moms would love that!) The story is about Elliot and his quest to find Froggy Doo and gain his dad's affections. His dad is a washed up, drunken boxer.

I just have to say that all 5 of us women were just in love with little Rocky! Owen Pearce is a super cute little boy and melted all of our hearts from the start. The entire movie is worth seeing just to watch him!
We all loved the relationships the bloomed, and the restoration of others.
We did not all like the name calling between the brothers, which was excessive, though clean. But it was pretty realistic of siblings. However, in the end they really showed how much they really love each other, and it was sweet.

My mom and Sarah cried a bit, and Jody cried through the whole second half, but she is pregnant, so it goes with the territory. Jeannie and I didn't cry, but were certainly touched. We all liked it and would watch it with our kids. Sarah would keep her 2 year old from watching it because of the name calling because he picks up EVERYTHING right now.

We all recommend A Plumm Summer.

What can YOU do to support this film? Well, I'm glad you asked! A Plumm Summer is starting out in select theaters in four states this weekend, and you can go and support them to show Hollywood that this is what we want to see more of. Check out the trailer at their website. If you live in California, Alabama, Montana, or Minnesota you can go see A Plumm Summer in theaters starting April 25th. The theaters are listed on the website.
I promise you will get some giggles, fall in love with a little boy, have your heart touched, and enjoy your evening with your family.


Oakdale 101188 Helmo Avenue North Oakdale, MN 55128

Lakeville 18Country Road 70 & 35W Lakeville, MN 55044

Eagan 16 2055 Cliff Road Eagan, MN 55122

Eden Prairie:
AMC Eden Prairie 184000 Flying Cloud Drive Ste 2400 Eden Prairie, MN 55344

Coon Rapids:
Showplace 1610051 Woodcrest Drive Coon Rapids, MN 55448

Inver Grove Heights:
Showplace 165567 Bishop Avenue Inver Grove Hts., MN 55076

Pure Bliss!

I have a hard time with eating healthy or losing weight with 7 kids around. Between being busy and having snack food around, I just snack a lot. Donnie's 20th school reunion is coming up this summer and we want to look a bit more in shape, or a bit less round would work, too.
But do I give up snacks? Chocolate? NOOOO!!!!
Kellogg's Special K to the rescue! Kellogg's has become my new best friend. They have been sending me some yummy things and this was just the thing for me. Special K Bliss Bars! Kellogg's sent me a box of raspberry and a box of orange to try out.
They are only 90 calories, but they are packed with delicious flavor! The raspberry has more of a hint of dark chocolate, but the orange is divine! Orange and chocolate? I wouldn't put them together, but they are amazing!
Now I can have that snack without guilt. Well, maybe a little guilt for hiding the box in my desk so the kids don't find them, but not much guilt. I am not left needing more like I am when I grab a handful of chips and soon find myself finishing off the whole bag.

Go check out Kellogg's Special K and give their Bliss bars a try. I promise you will like them and will feel satisfied after eating one.

April 21, 2008

The first day of Bloggy giveaways is down, 4 to go!

Around here we call the Bloggy Giveaways "Ignore your kids week." Everyone knows I am not cleaning, cooking, LISTENING or otherwise being a good mom. I do change diapers and make sure little mouths are fed, even if it is just a Special K Bliss bar.
Monday's are Drew's night to cook. (mine is Friday, so I am good for the giveaways!) Drew was being a general pain in the butt about cooking. He knows it is his night. He knew it months ago, he knew it last week. He knew it last night. He knew it this morning. Did he plan? No. Did he take anything out to thaw? No.
What he did do was to suddenly decide that TODAY he needed to get his car battery changed and that supper was going to have to wait or not get done because he had to do it today. The argument from me that it did not matter if it was today or not because the battery is not the reason the car doesn't run, that is the fuel pump, and the car is not insured so can't be driven anyway, didn't seem to sink in. Drew really felt he needed to work on that car! I said he needed to do his supper.

Finally I convinced him to make hamburger gravy and potatoes, but he switched to rice for some reason. I told him to fry the hamburger and to mix it with water, some flour and salt and pepper for the gravy. He said no problem.

A while later, you know, when I was busy entering giveaways and putting them all in categories on my giveaway blog, Drew starts asking where more flour is. I told him to check the pantry. He pulls out a ziploc bag of flour that my mother in law sent over. He asked if that was flour. By now I have moved on from his first asking about flour or that he needs it for gravy and I tell him it is flour, cake flour. And I go back to entering giveaways. He stops bugging the snot out of me.

So, we sit down to the table to eat. Apparently cake flour is quite sweet. And apparently Drew doesn't know that gravy only uses a couple of teaspoons of flour and is not so thick you can pick it up in hunks.

The "gravy" tasted like a combination of hamburger and Rumegrot. Rumegrot is a sweet milk soup-like dessert. Very good. But not with meat. Hamburger gravy is quite delicious, but not with sugary sweetness. Did you know that salt brings out the sweetness of sugar? Salting didn't work.

There was the first major mishap of the week. For me it was about the 5th of the day. One site I was on kept crashing my internet and I would lose all my lists. Then I stretched out and hit the power strip with my foot and shut my computer off, again losing my list. And then the internet cord fell out but my computer said I was still connected to the internet so I had to restart the computer before I found out that the cord was out.

I'm hoping tomorrow is a better day! I'm only on the 250th giveaway! I need to kick butt tomorrow to keep up.
Refer A Friend using Revolution Money ExchangeIf you are one of the few who has not gotten your free $25, go now! GO!! It is MONEY, people!

Mamma Rock Rules!

I am so happy to have this book! Mama Rock's Rules Ten Lessons for Raising a Household of Successful Children is written by Rose Rock, the mother of famous comedian Chris Rock, of Everybody Hates Chris fame. We love that show! Rose Rock raised a houseful of successful kids, so she certainly can write a book about raising successful kids!
Most people think we are super strict, but really we don't have a lot of "rules" but we do expect a lot, maybe.
One of the things that I related to and will probably print and frame is
Rule #1: I am the parent. I make the rules.
Rule #2: You are the child. You follow the rules.
Rule #3: Any problems, refer to Rule #1.
Oh, yeah! Get tough! I am not quite that tough, but I used to be, before being done having kids and then starting over in my 30's. This book is just what I need to stop being my kids' friend and to get in touch with my Big Bad Wolf!
This parenting book published by HarperCollins is great for any parent. Balance discipline with love and common sense.
Book Info:
"To be a parent is and should be a calling. There is absolutely nothing as great, challenging, or rewarding as raising a child." So says Über-mom Rose Rock, who has raised 10 children in addition to caring for 17 foster children in her 40-plus years as a mother.
As a mother who does not shy away from the hard conversations, Rose isn't afraid to present strong ideas about boundaries, discipline, choices, and consequences—and she tells it like it is. In Mama Rock's Rules, Rose shares the funny and highly practical lessons she learned both as a parent and an educator, while offering strategies for teaching a child to be self-reliant in this world.
Written with a kicky blend of maternal spirituality and a "don't mess with me or you won't get old" sense of authority, the book spotlights 10 vital rules, each tackling a specific parenting issue. From "I Am Your Mama, Not Your Friend," which helps parents regain their authority and establish respectful relationships with their children, to "Don't Lie Down with Anything You Don't Want to Live with Forever," which takes a different approach to the often tricky conversation about sex, each topic is lovingly explained and bolstered by stories from Rose Rock's own childhood and parenting experiences. We will also hear from her own kids, as they share memories and anecdotes about what it was like to grow up in the Rock household.
Rose's heartfelt and no-nonsense advice—delivered with a dose of wit and homespun humor—will resonate with thousands of parents and will inspire them to teach their kids right, whether their brood is one child or ten.
Want to read an interview of Rose Rock?

Hey, Bloggers! Clean out those ears and listen up!

Updated** The winner is number 7, Mamacita! Congrats! I am contacting you. If I don't hear back in 3 days I will draw again.

I am so glad you stopped by on your massive giveaway entering! There is a requirement to this giveaway, but it is easy, trust me!

Dr. Mom made this incredible ottoscope that is so durable and so easy to use for us parents! It is metal, so it is heavy duty and not going to break in a couple of months! Besides it is guaranteed. It also sports an LED light that eliminates the yellowy light in normal home ottoscopes AND lasts and lasts and lasts! (again, guaranteed!)

My ottoscope has helped us so much in the couple of months we've had it. I caught an ear infection before it burst! I have found wax problems that cause hearing loss. (no more excuses that the kids didn't hear me! I know their ears are clean now!) My husband is dealing with a chronic hearing loss due to wax buildup and fluid build up and I am able to monitor things at home.

I really can't rave enough about this ottoscope. You would not believe the cost to have this wonderful tool. Wouldn't you pay the price of a co-pay or two to know whether that crankiness was an ear infection or not BEFORE you go in? $20 and you will know.

I did a review and giveaway recently and the response was so wonderful that Dr. Mom sent me some more to give away! I want to give them the same response as last time, lots and lots of visits to their site!
To enter:

1. Go visit Dr. Mom and tell me something that surprised you or that you didn't know, or that grossed you out. Something that tells me you were there.

2. Leave your comment with a way to contact you.

3. U.S. and military only, please. I would love to ship all over, but can't right now.

4. Giveaway ends April 25th and I will announce the winner sometime over the weekend when my family forgives me for ignoring them for the Bloggy Giveaways all week.

Happy entering and good luck, everyone!

Bloggy Giveaways Quarterly Carnival Button

Do you want $25? for free? You can sign up for this service, like paypal with NO FEES, and they will pay you $25. Just for signing up. You don't have to stay with them, you don't have to buy something, you don't have to use the account, you don't have fees. Just sign up and you will immediately be paid $25! I have mine, I have referred many people and they pay fast. Everyone that has done it has thanked me! Go get your money!

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The Change and Cherish series~ A Bloggy Giveaway!

Update** A winner has been chosen! It was #6 on the random number generator! Congratulations, Sandra! She has been emailed.

Have I ever mentioned that I have the best job in the world? I get to stay home with my 7 kids AND review books and products! I am so glad to have the Bloggy Giveaways going on to share this book with you.

A Tendering in the Storm is the third book in the Change and Cherish series by Jane Kirkpatrick. The day the books got to my house I holed up in my room and started reading. My family was getting quite peeved because I could not put the books down! I was so emotionally vested in the life of Emma Giesy, a feisty pioneering woman. The books are based on the real life of Emma Giesy who grew up in a commune and then helped lead the way for the commune to move out west. She struggled with the sharing everything with the commune over the years, but her husband was quite devoted to it in the beginning. In the end, Emma found a way to live there but to still keep a piece of herself.

The first two books were tear-jerkers and very exciting. I could not wait to devour A Mending at the Edge. In this book you found relationships restored, and peace found. Not that Emma had complete happiness, but she found a way to be happy with the way her life was.

A Clearing in the Wild
Spirited young Emma Wagner chafes at the constraints of her 1850s religious community, which values conformity over independent thought, especially in women. Skeptical of the colony’s growing emphasis on preparing for “the last days,” Emma clashes with their increasingly autocratic leader—and faces the unexpected consequences of pursuing independence.

A Tendering in the Storm
This lyrical novel, based on an historical figure of the 1800s, follows the spirited and intelligent Emma Giesy, who achieves her goal of separating her family from the repressive religious community in which she grew up. But unexpected and dire consequences leave her family—and her faith—struggling to survive.

A Mending at the Edge
This richly textured novel, the third in the acclaimed Change and Cherish series, follows the historical figure of Emma Wagner Giesy, who chafes under the restrictions of her 1860s religious colony. When her bid to belong in her unique way unravels her most precious relationships, she seeks new ways to stitch meaning into her life.

Author Bio: Jane Kirkpatrick is the best-selling author of two nonfiction books and fourteen historical novels, including the popular Kinship and Courage series. Her award-winning writing has appeared in more than fifty publications, including Sports Afield and Decision. She’s won the coveted Western Heritage Wrangler Award, an honor shared by such writers as Larry McMurtry and Barbara Kingsolver. Jane is a licensed clinical social worker as well as an internationally recognized speaker. She and her husband, Jerry, ranch 160 acres in eastern Oregon.

Would you like to win a copy of A Mending at the Edge?

Please leave a comment if you are a U.S. resident or military APO, FPO. (sorry internationals, look at my header, I have 7 kids, they eat all our money!)
I will close comments late Friday April 25. I will announce the winner over the weekend. You know, after I make up for the week of ignoring my family because I am entering 889 giveaways or so.

April 20, 2008

I've clearly been living in a hole!

For some reason I have not been following giveaways lately.

I know. Odd.

And then my good friend Michelle started asking me weird things, like if I was getting my typing fingers all practiced up for tomorrow. Now what on earth is she talking about? Oh, she about flipped! I hadn't heard that the Bloggy Giveaways are resuming tomorrow! How could I not know that? OK, I am done with my crazy ignorance of the bloggy giveaways. I have had my break of not entering and winning. I'm back! At least for this week.

Now I have to go get my act together and see what I am going to give away! Oh, I know!

Bloggy Giveaways Quarterly Carnival Button

Don't forget to go check it out all week! Tons and tons of things to enter to win! I don't know if I want one massive give away, or if I should do several smaller things that I have been storing up for just such an event as this.

Thanks, Michelle! I love you!

So much competition, not enough money

Today we had a baked goods auction fundraiser at our church. I made a cake for it.
Yesterday was Earth Day, and even though we are not "environmentalists" we did make an Earth Day cake. Kaytlin was making it for a friend of hers because they always eat cake on Earth Day, just because. Her friend ended up stuck in another town, so we went ahead and just did the cake for us. It is chocolate with gummy worms in it, you know, for the dirt and worms in the earth. It was ugly, but fun. Devon sat and critiqued my lack of perfection on what continent was which shape. If he is so smart, he better start bring home better grades.

This is the cake I made for the auction. I love the cake. It is so pretty, and so fancy, but it is SO easy to make. But for me, it has a story.
When I was pregnant with Trinity I was sure she was a boy. God had told us we would have a son, Samuel, and we just assumed it would be our first reversal child. (never assume) So when I kept saying "he" my doctor called me on how I was so sure. I said I was so sure that if I was wrong I would make all the birthday cakes for his family that year. His birthday was the next month, so he ran out of the room and grabbed the ultrasound machine. And he proved me wrong. So he ordered a chocolate cake with chocolate icing. I can't do plain. It isn't in me. So I found this Chocolate Explosion cake in the Wilton cake book and made it for him. It has almost been 5 years and he mentioned the cake when I was in a couple weeks ago, lol.
Pastor Chad was so disappointed not to win this one today. Most people said they couldn't eat it because it was so pretty, and others said it just didn't look real. But Chad said he'd have no problem eating every bite. He's turning 30 soon, so he'll get his cake.

This pie is one of the two things we won at the auction. It is so HUGE! I didn't know pies came in bigger sizes than normal, but it works for us. I put a knife on the pie to show how big it is. That is a normal size steak knife.

I was bidding on (3) a pecan cream pie. I have never heard of that, but I had to have it. Had to. But so did several people. I didn't bid on one of them because one guy started the bid at $20. But when the other two reached $20 I went after Todd's pie. And I did it towards the end of bidding, and he was nowhere in sight. I walked off to check on kids. Big mistake. Todd somehow managed to escape his meeting to check on his bid and bid $25 and I had no idea, so I thought I had it.
Now I have to find a recipe. It looked to-die-for good.

If only we had more money left to have bid higher. Can you believe the support we got? That is one table on the left and 5 tables on the right side! We had 60 desserts to bid on! I can't wait to find out how much money we raised for the youth to go on their trip this summer.

April 19, 2008

Mamma Mia! Contest!

Calling all stars who are 40+ women! Pond's has partnered with the big screen remake of Mamma Mia!, starting Meryl Streep and coming to theaters this summer. Women 40 and older are invited to form a singing trio with two of your friends to perform your own take on the classics "Mamma Mia" or "Dancing Queen" and submit videos of your performance via the Pond's website. You can find downloads of the music and lyrics at their website.
Submit your video by April 30th or attend the live audition in New York City on April 28th. To reserve a time slot, call 866-99-DYNAMO (39626).
The winning 5 videos will be on the website to view and vote on starting May 23rd.

I am not over 40, so I don't have to admit that I can't sing.

So, you think different is safe?

Read this entirely in yelling. And I am not proud of it.

Me: Someone used my toothbrush!

(just long enough later that I had toothpaste on the brush)

Drew: That's MY toothbrush!

It's MY toothbrush!

No, I bought it myself.

I bought this toothbrush and brought it home a month ago!

No, I bought that one with the tongue cleaner so it would be different than everyone else's!

No, I bought this one myself, it is a cheap Top Care one with PINK grippers! And I had to fight with Kaytlin over which pink grippers were hers, and this one is mine!

No, I bought it with the tongue scraper!

Well, I have news for you, we've been sharing a toothbrush for a month.

Well, its a good thing I don't brush regularly, so mostly you have been using it.

I'll go buy a new toothbrush.

I toured Northwestern College and all I got...

besides a $108,000 college bill, was this coffee cup and ink pen.
Kaytlin has been dreaming about Northwestern for about 4 years now. Even though it was a LONG day, and I walked and walked and walked, I am glad I went. Kaytlin will really fit in well there. She is still going to look at a couple of other colleges, but I know this will remain her top choice. We walked into the Nazareth Chapel and I said out loud "Wow!" and the usher laughed and said "We get that all the time." It is GORGEOUS! I was so peeved at myself for not bringing my camera! You cannot even imagine the splendor of it. The architecture is gorgeous. It used to be a Catholic boys school, so it is heavily influenced that way.
Everyone is so nice, and SO happy. You didn't see students walking around with a frown, or hurriedly rushing from place to place. Across the board they were happy, relaxed, comfortable. Yeah, right, huh? But they were! Another set of parents didn't believe it, so they snuck off the tour and started questioning people and couldn't find anyone that didn't love it there.
Kaytlin loved the dorms, the campus, the cafeterias. It is the college of her dreams.
I wonder if it isn't because she dreamed of Northwestern, all the things she has heard from people that go/went there, so it is exactly what she expected. I am thrilled because it is so close to home, and it takes Donnie 10 minutes to get there from work!

April 18, 2008


I have a busy day and weekend ahead of me. Today I am needing to start on a cake for a bake sale on Sunday. I have someone coming to meet our dog this afternoon and I have a business meeting tonight.
Guess what happened last night? Kaytlin decided to invite me to go with her on a college visit today. Donnie offered a long time ago, but she turned him down. Now she wants me. With no notice.
Pain in the butt!

So, I'm off to 8 hours of walking around college and taking financial aid classes, then rush home from the cities in rush hour traffic to meet the people who want to take our dog, and then somehow get dressed up and off to our meeting.

April 17, 2008

Snack Attack, anyone?

Keebler sent me a box of TownHouse Flip Sides Pretzel Crackers to try out recently.
FlipSides are half pretzel, half cracker. Honestly, I have no idea why they did that. Ruined a perfectly good cracker. They were edible, in my opinion. My mom, however, absolutely loves them. She says they are especially good with dips.
The rest of my house was mixed. Donnie and I were both kind of turned off by them, but then they grew on Donnie. The kids mostly liked them, but one was off the wall in love with them.

My family gives FlipSides a thumbs up, I'm more on the "whatever floats your boat" side.

If you like pretzels a lot and like crackers a lot, you will probably like these. I'm not a big pretzel fan, but I didn't realize how little I liked them until I tasted these. I'd listen to the rest of the Qtpie house on this one and give them a try.

Have you tried them? What did you think?

Do Hard Things!

When I started doing reviews on my blog, I never expected it to do more than bring me enjoyment and free books. But now I have read a book that is changing my life. And the funny part is that the book is meant for teens, not middle aged moms.
When I heard that this book was written by the brothers of the guy who wrote "I Kissed Dating Goodbye" I was thrilled to review it. Then to learn what it was about, I got excited about it. But reading it is hard. I keep crying! I have not finished the book because I keep crying. Not because it is sad, but because I am so moved. I am so excited about what God has done in these boys' lives. I am excited about what God is going to do through this book and the conferences Alex and Brett Harris are doing. And I am excited about what God is doing in MY heart through this book.
Do Hard Things is about teenage rebellion. Not new, huh? Well it is! It is about teenagers rebelling against low expectations. They call it the Rebolution. Society does not expect teens to do more than party and rebel and mess around for these years. This book challenges that thinking and even shows how new that line of thought is. The word "teenager" just came about in the last 75 years! Before that teens were expected to be pretty much adults.
A couple of things really hit me. The boys were running, yes RUNNING, a campaign at age 17. Part of their campaign included having someone make a lot of phone calls, among other things. They assigned a girl to do it, but they mistakenly assigned her sister to do it. Well, that sister did not like the phone, even to talk to her friends. But she did it. And she did an amazing job. Only later did they discover that it was a 17 year old girl. And they were amazed that they had done that to her, until they realized that they were also 17. The EXPECTED her to do the assignments, and she lived up to that expectation. Teens are capable, we just don't expect it, and they live up to that lack of expectation.
Another thing that affects me, personally was a story they told about elephants. Adult elephants are strong. Really, really strong. But a tiny piece of twine tied to their ankle and staked into the ground will hold them in place. They could easily pull it out and be gone, easily. But they don't. When elephants are young they are shackled to trees with chains. They fight hard against their constraints, to the point of cutting into their legs. Eventually they accept that they are shackled. Later, any amount of shackling will hold them because they are shackled in their MIND. We can all do things if we only believe we can. We have to pull free of those constraints in our mind. God will strengthen us and equip us, we just have to do it!
Every teen, pre-teen, parent of a teen, and youth worker must read this book. We have to raise our expectations of teens.
Buy this book for your church, for teachers, for parents of pre-teens, teens, grandparents, friends!
Also, check out the Harris' conference schedule. We are so excited to see that they are going to be in Minneapolis in June!
With over 10 million hits to their website, Alex and Brett Harris are leading the charge in a growing movement of Christian young people who are rebelling against the low expectations of their culture by choosing to “do hard things” for the glory of God. Written when they were 18 years old, Do Hard Things is the Harris twins’ revolutionary message in its purest and most compelling form, giving readers a tangible glimpse of what is possible for teens who actively resist cultural lies that limit their potential. Combating the idea of adolescence as a vacation from responsibility, the authors weave together biblical insights, history, and modern examples to redefine the teen years as the launching pad of life and map a clear trajectory for long-term fulfillment and eternal impact.
Written by teens for teens, Do Hard Things is packed with humorous personal anecdotes, practical examples, and stories of real-life rebelutionaries in action. This rallying cry from the heart of revolution already in progress challenges the next generation to lay claim to a brighter future, starting today.
Author Bio:
Alex and Brett Harris founded in August 2005 and today at age 19 are the most popular Christian teen writers on the Web. The twins are frequent contributors to Focus on the Family’s Boundless webzine, serve as the main speakers for the Rebelution Tour conferences, and have been featured in WORLD magazine, Breakaway, The Old Schoolhouse, and the New York Daily News. Sons of homeschool pioneer Gregg Harris and younger brothers of best-selling author Joshua Harris (I Kissed Dating Goodbye), Alex and Brett live near Portland, Oregon.

Roaaaarrr! What's for breakfast?

Isn't that a familiar cry? My kids find breakfast very important, and they are quite vocal about it.

They want to eat yummy food, and I want healthy food. They want fun, I want nutritious. Who am I kidding? I want them the shut up and let me sleep!

Kellogg's and Animal Planet teamed up to make this delicious cereal and to get the word out about ROAR, Reach Out, Act and Respond. They sent me a box of Wild Animal Crunch to try out and sent me a DVD of Meerkat Manor, which my kids are nuts about now! They watched both discs in one day.

The cereal, Wild Animal Crunch, is vanilla chocolate flavored, but don't let that fool you, it packs in 14 grams of whole grains AND 3 grams of fiber! All the kids like the taste and have asked me to buy it again. But they also enjoy the great pictures on the box. My geeky family also enjoys reading all the information on the box. The love the fun facts and the games on the box.

You should give Wild Animal Crunch a try, it is tasty, nutritious, and a pretty good value at Walmart.

April 15, 2008

Free shipping?

I needed to order some more grad pics for Drew to hand out. So, I went back to to order more. I got great pics at a great price, so I wanted to repeat that.
I get everything ordered, added some new pics to print out, also.
My total is $18. For free in-store pick up the total would be $23.54. To get it shipped to my house it was $23.69. How is that "free" shipping? It was barely more to have it shipped than to get the free in store pick-up! Why would they add $5 for "free" shipping? The little more it cost for shipping to my door more than makes up for the gas to get there.

Aww, so sweet!

You know that feeling when someone you love says something that makes you so proud that you just have to grab them and kiss them? Well, that happened this morning.

Last night poor Samuel learned what happens when you throw yourself around during a tantrum. He hit his head on my head board instead of the pillow that he must have been aiming for. I was very worried that he'd have a concussion. He couldn't even get that horrid, high pitched scream out that kids do when they really hurt.
Here is what he looked like this morning.....

If you look right between his eyes you can see the swelling.
I was checking him out this morning and said to Donnie "He looks like a Bajoran." Donnie walked over to me almost with tears in his eyes! He had to kiss me right then and there. "I can't believe you know what a Bajoran is! That is so sweet!"
He was proud of me for being a geeky Trekkie.
And, yes, I know he doesn't have the ripples of a Bajoran nose, but he still resembles one. I may not know how to SPELL it, though, lol.
Last week I went and visited my new neice. Samuel was playing with his cousin's toys while I drooled over the baby. Sam was laying on the floor playing with Austin's ball and gave it a good squeeze. And it sprayed water right in his face! I was cracking up! He was laying there blinking at me in shock! It was so comical. Apparently, Austin's dad just emptied the tub of toys real quick and doesn't understand about toys holding water and then molding inside. I got a good laugh, so I'm happy.

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April 13, 2008

The Last Day of our 19th Year of Marriage

Yes siree, after today we are on our 20th year. We've been married for 19 years.

To celebrate we decided to go to a very special restaurant. One that is only open on Sunday's for a champagne brunch. (we won't even discuss the price, because I would never pay that much, even if the food was excellent) We went to Windows On Minnesota on the 50th floor of the IDS Tower. Great view!
This pic has the IDS Tower in the middle, and we were on almost the top floor, there are 51 floors on the elevator.

The happy couple!

You know it is a big building when the elevators are divided up by floors. We went on the elevator that only went on floors 39-51. And it moves FAST! Our ears were popping, and on the way down we were pretty sure eating before riding was a bad idea.

I debated posting this, but I am all about honest blogging. And I am a newb. Sorry, but I even photographed the fancy bathroom, including the toilet paper that was folded all pretty. And they do keep it that way, I returned to the same stall later and it was refolded.

The bathrooms were really gorgeous and the pics do not do it justice. Gorgeous tile, beautiful wood doors, shining brass fixtures.... Super luxurious. I was spoiled, for sure!

Here is a view of the bridge that collapsed. It is starting to be rebuilt. You can see the supports going up in this pic.

The food was not great. I had some Salmon, duck l'orange, curry lamb, and some salads. They were passable, and the salmon was actually pretty good, but not excellent.
However, the Mimosas and the desserts made up for it! Oh, that adorable little shot glass with the white stuff topped with some sort of raspberry gelee stuff was amazing! It is called Panna Cotta. Oh, it is amazing! And our waiter, Beta, was wonderful. He took the picture of us.

After brunch we went to a movie. There is a new Keanu Reeves movie out now, and my friends know that was a treat for me! It is called Street King. I do not recommend it, despite the eye candy. It was a good story, but predictable mostly, and loaded, LOADED, with the f-bombs. If the f-bombs were not there, I'd say wait and rent it. Even though Keanu is in it. Rent The Lake House and enjoy the eye candy without the language.
So, tomorrow is our actual anniversary, but we had a great day today to celebrate.

April 12, 2008

I can't stop giggling!

It was Ladies Night Out last night. And we played Quelf, of course.
And I am still giggling nearly 24 hours later.

I got a crazy card that I had to shout "I NEED MY PILLS!" whenever I wanted to take a drink. Poor Anna. She was sitting next to me. The first time I did it, everyone stopped what they were doing and stared at me and then busted up laughing. The pause was just long enough for me to get a good mouth full of soda. And what do you suppose happened when everyone started cracking up? Yes, I did, too. And spewed my soda all over Anna. Every time I yelled after that she would jump out of her skin.
I had to be careful when I took a drink the second game, too. Because Anna had a card that made her translate everything she said into a foreign language, real or made up. She doesn't know a second language. So she had to make one up. And we were dying.
I have a picture of Cindy that I need to download. She had to make a snorkel and wear it the rest of the game. She is quite creative.

Laughter is the best medicine, I tell you. I feel great inside after all that laughing!
I think Quelf is the best game I have ever purchased.

April 10, 2008

Where is your father?

Recently there has been a new song stuck in our heads at the Qtpie house.

Where is your father?
Where could he be?
He's not in the closet, not in the hall.
Where is your father?
Where could he be?

It does go on from there at least another line, but that is all Trinity knows. She interchanges it with Mother and brother, too. Where did this come from, you ask? Well, it is sung to a tune on a Donkey Kong game. Hope-Anne made it up. Trinity loves it. The rest of us were freaking out trying to figure out where it came from.

The other day Trinity was singing it at lunch and she sang it a bit "off."

Where is your father, where could SHE be?

So I said to my mom "That could be the song to that baby being born by her dad!"

He's not in the closet....

My mom says "Yes, that really could be that poor child's song."
He/she is NOT in the closet now, that is for sure!

April 09, 2008

Life is backwards

My oldest 3 children have buried more friends in high school the last 4 years than my aging parents have buried family and friends combined.
Yet another teenager, a girl who was Kaytlin's friend, died this week. I was not home yesterday, so I don't know what happened yet, but it was possibly a suicide. Kaytlin was a bundle of nerves yesterday, Donnie said. She sounded horrible when I called her, but she wouldn't talk about it.
Kaytlin is 16 and has lost more friends than I have at 36. I think I have 2 friends who have died. One was a classmate that I wasn't close to, and one was a good friend from high school who died a couple of years ago. And then my husband's brother died, I knew him, but he was much younger. I was dating Donnie when his brother committed suicide.

I can't even give an accurate count of Kaytlin's friends who have died, maybe 4 personal friends and several other kids who she knew from school? Drew and Devon have lost either classmates, acquaintances or their friends' siblings have died.

I can't even imagine.

My heart just aches for these parents. I know my children are the Lord's, but if they aren't? How do you go on?
Please pray for the teens in our town. They have gone through so much in the last few years. Please pray for the parents of this girl.

April 07, 2008

Dare to Wear White!

Do you remember in high school when you were afraid to wear white because you knew you might leak through your pad and that would be so embarrassing?

Do you still worry about it? Do you worry more now than back then?

Many women get abnormally heavy periods, so bad that they go through pads faster than 1 an hour, and have large clots being passed. Heavy cramping, and sometimes the cycles last for longer than normal.

An aunt of mine would have cycles so bad that she would just sit on the toilet because it was no use even getting up, she'd have to come right back and change her pad.

For many women the "help" has come in the form of hormone pills or hysterectomy.

I don't want either for me if I were to go through this condition called menorrhagia.

Dare to Wear White is a website created to support women who are going through this. Stop by and take the survey at Mom Central if you have very heavy periods and are done having children, the first 250 women who take the survey will earn a $10 gift card.

Dare to Wear White is promoting a new procedure to eliminate the menorrhagia without hormones or hysterectomy. It is called NovaSure. It is a quick, out-patient procedure that will lessen or even eliminate periods. But you will still have your uterus and not be forced into menopause. NovaSure uses some type of energy to remove the lining of your uterus. So it is not applicable if you are not done having children.

Don't forget to do the survey if you have menorrhagia, the first 250 get a gift card!

Kids are so incredibly funny sometimes!

Trinity has been on a roll lately. Not that Sam hasn't been a little amusement box himself.

At church last week, Trinity fell on the stairs. Grandma went to comfort her and Trinity said "I will get better, Jesus makes me better." Isn't that sweet??? Then she went on to say "Jesus doesn't like spankings, Jesus didn't like my mom when she spanked me."

Last night she was playing some sort of Donkey Kong game and she is pretty good, but she wanted help with some robot alligators or something. Then she asked me to get her past that part.
me~ I don't know how to play that.
Trin~ You push the green button.
me~ Trinity, I don't have a clue.
Trin~ I gave you a clue. Push the green button.
Later, when Hope-Anne took over just before I killed off her guy following that clue, Trinity asked Hope-Anne for a clue, lol.

A few days ago Samuel was fussing in his sleep and started scooting down the bed. Then he flipped himself off the bed! Drew happened to be standing outside our room and he picked him up and handed him back to me. Well, Sam was mad. Really, really mad. I think he was cursing out the floor.
"Ah dadada, da dadada. Dada dada DA! Dadadadada, dada dada dadada!" We were cracking up!

And last night at bedtime I took him upstairs to say goodnight to Grandma. I teased him and put him down in grandma's bed and tucked him in. He grinned and started pretend snoring, lol! He is such a little ham bone.

April 05, 2008

Now I become a critic

A movie critic, that is. I've always been good at criticizing things. And movies in particular. It drives Donnie nuts. However, I must review the last two movies I went to. The Superhero Movie and The Bucket List.
Donnie and I had seen the preview for Superhero Movie and it looked kind of silly and fun. And we are quite the comic book hero family. (you have NO idea!) We bought our tickets and our popcorn and Twizzlers and took our seat for a nice evening of laughing.
And we sat and we sat and we sat. Waiting for the funny part in the parody of Spiderman. The film the movie was made on was worth more than any part of the movie. It was the biggest waste of my life. Seriously, take your $7 and flush it down the toilet; that will be more fun to watch than the Superhero Movie.
Was I clear that the movie was not funny?

Oh, but the Bucket List! I think that was one of the top 5 films I have ever seen. I can't even think of one that tops it right now. OK, The Lake House was pretty near the most awesome movie ever, but I think The Bucket List is actually better. Not because they are not both great, but because The Bucket List is for everyone, not just romantic saps like me. I laughed and laughed through the movie. And then I cried. And then I laughed while crying. I laughed because I was crying. Then I laughed until I cried. This movie is worth paying double price to see. It is a must-see for everyone.

I went to see it with my mom and my friends Jody and Jeannie. We all just loved it. Between the four of us, that is 8 thumbs up, my friends, 8 thumbs up.
Maybe some of the joy was from our fun sneaking candy and soda into the theater. We bought a 2lb bag of Twizzlers, 3 movie size boxes of candy and 4 20 oz bottles of drinks. Now how were we going to get those into the theater? Jody barely carries more than a wallet. I just switched to a smaller purse, but I was able to fit 3 boxes of candy in there after I emptied the contents. Jeannie didn't have a big purse either. My mom, however, has a deceptively enormous purse. We fit 2lbs of Twizzlers and four 20 oz bottles in her purse! LOL The check out lady at Walmart got quite a kick out of our planning.

April 04, 2008

My Dad, The Great White Hunter

As promised, here is a guest post from my very own father, Allen, about his buffalo hunting trip that my brother, Ricky, won and gave to Dad.

My son, Rick, bought a hunting magazine and of course there was a contest to enter. He won a buffalo hunting trip for two. He asked if I wanted to shoot it. Being the great white hunter I keep thinking I am, of course I said yes. Now, being able to shoot anything from rabbits to deer, a buffalo should be a piece of cake!!!

Not owning a high powered rifle I decided to use my muzzle loader. Just as well do it the old way. Well, after using many different amounts and kinds of powder and different weights of bullets, I found the right combination. I found out not to shoot too close to garage if you have vinyl siding. With a full load of powder and an over sized bullet and it being cold outside, the blast will put a nice hole in the siding!!! Well, I have summer to repair that.

In spite of hole in siding and a sore shoulder the date is coming up fast. Of course it always helps to look at a book to find the right combination of powder and bullet. Next is the right sights. A red dot scope is perfect. When you look through a scope it really makes a rabbit look big!!!!

Rick's 11 year old son, Damien, went with us. He has been deer hunting with us for a while. The guides had never had a 3 generation hunt before so they were excited to have one to put in their web site. When we got there, of course we sat around talking with them. Being the great white hunter that I am, I mentioned that it should only take one shot anyway. Not being real up to date on buffalo hunting, I find out they like to charge you after you shoot them, and it doesn't involve money either!!! I was told I better know how to load a muzzle loader real fast. No wonder nobody else wanted to shoot it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! To top it off they wanted me to shoot a cow that has been fighting with the rest of the herd and had left. Well I thought it would be better to be trampled by just one buffalo than a whole herd.
We found it out in the sticks some place. I had no idea where we were. Some place in a 5 mile by 7 mile area. We seen her way off and she was coming our way so we got set up. Shannon, one of the guides, said she would come up on the back side of some trees. So I got set up ready to shoot and she came up on our side of the trees. Well with her standing 10 yards from us Shannon kept whispering not to shoot. I think it had something to do with a one second charging time and my thirty second loading time. Huh, there was that charging thing again!!!! Well, it took off running and we couldn't see her now.
While we were figuring out what the next move was she came back and stood about 80 yards from us through some trees. I didn't like the looks of the shot so held off. She stood there for a while looking the other way but did turn and come our way. Don't know why because she knew we were down there.
She came down the tree line and I sighted in on her, now if you think a rabbit looks big in a scope you haven't seen anything yet!!! When a buffalo gets with in thirty yards of you, all you can see is brown. I moved the sight in front of her and brought it back to her chest and shot. Now through all this talking we had done with the guides, we expected this thing was going to run 100 to 150 yards if I hit it right the first shot, which they said never happens. All the hunter sees is brown and they shoot and a wounded animal is on their hands. Huh, how I can relate to that!!!!!!

It was at 25 yards when I shot and it just stood there lifting one front leg. Lets see 25 yards 2 seconds, not enough time!! Ever wanted to hide behind a tree and the only one is behind you and only a sapling!! I didn't move and noticed nobody else did either. It finally walked about 5 yards stood there and fell over. Shannon said "Did you put a hurt on her!!!!!"

Allen and dead bully buffalo.

Things learned:
1. Hole in siding, too much powder.
2. Sore shoulder, too much powder and too heavy a projectile.
3. Leave scope at home, buffalo get too big when seen at 30 yards.
4. Do not have head mounted and hang in bed room. (Will be sleeping alone.)
5. Do it again? HEAVENS, YES!

Allen, Rick and Damien with dead bully buffalo.

April 03, 2008

He listens well, my son.

So, I'm working on some potty learning with Samuel. I know, he is young, but he has been using the potty since maybe 4 months old. He is getting less and less cooperative, however.

So today, when he woke up dry I knew he would need to go potty. I took him in the bathroom and told him to sit down and go peepee.

Sam squatted on the floor and peed.

Next time I need to mention the potty chair.