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Our 7 Qtpies

February 28, 2009

Weight Update

I've been using Sensa for 5 months now and I have lost 18lbs. I can definitely feel a difference, just touching my face and my hips, and I do feel a bit more energetic. I am working hard at drinking lots of water now. I am going to try to work out on the Wii Fit a few times a week, too.

I love the way Sensa has decreased my appetite. I can't eat as much food as I use to eat. My stomach is smaller and my cravings are mostly gone. What I love is that my sweet tooth is gone! I am not tempted to go to the Dairy Queen all the time, which is 3 blocks from my house.

Right now, when I am not seeing continued weight loss, I am maintaining my weight and I know I am eating less, so I will at least slowly keep losing, and not GAIN.

I am still very happy with Sensa and hopeful to make the average weight loss of 30.5 pounds in 6 months. I have almost a month and a half left, I can make it! That is about 2lbs a week, just a little over. Very doable.

I highly recommend Sensa to everyone! I proudly talk about it when people see me using it and are curious about what I am putting on my food. I think that is one of the best times to get to tell people about Sensa. I talk about them on Facebook and my blog (obviously), leave info in comments and tell people in emails. You would think my friends would get sick of me talking about it, but they all want to try it. Could you imagine the people I would expose to Sensa at BlogHer '09?!

I believe Sensa can really help people lose weight. Even if you are on a different diet, Sensa can help you not feel hunger between those meals, it makes sticking to a diet easy! Because I don't have cravings, when I do eat I actually enjoy eating healthy food choices. I get more enjoyment out of broccoli than cheesecake, how weird is that?

Donnie lost 9lbs on his first month. Two of my friends have bought Sensa and both lost 5lbs on their first month. (one lost that even while not using it on a week vacation!) I would love it if one of you two would leave a comment here about how it is going for you now.

If you are interested in Sensa, you should buy now. The code ROCKETXL is good for 15% off and free shipping through June. That will get you a 6 month supply for just under $200! I think the portions are so generous that it will actually last you a year, or work for two people. Donnie is using my left overs. That is $33.33 a month if you only use it the one month and throw it out. It is $16 a month if you use it twice or for two of you. Can't beat that!

February 27, 2009

My minnow boy

Devon is the one in the green shirt. He actually won this competition. He rocks!

This is part of their youth group Fear Factor night. The kids love it!

Endless sources of amusement, these kids........

I know that most parents will confess that their children bring them great joy. You hear it all the time, and it is true. But it loses it's sweetness the more you hear it, right? I mean, a single person who is getting married and thinking about whether or not they'll want to have kids hears this over and over, and begins to think "Yeah, right, like it is that great."

The truth is, I don't want these days to end! I love having kids, even on the bad days. I can't remember a day that one of them hasn't made me laugh. That is 19 years of laughter, my friends! I don't even have to rent a movie or pay for cable, I have it right here 24/7!

Last night Sam was sitting on the couch watching a cartoon and had his knees tucked up to his chest and pulled his shirt over them. (remember when our legs were small enough to fit in our shirts while we were wearing them? Me, neither) Soon Sam starts hollering to Donnie "Stuck, dada!" Donnie looks over and there is Sam, one leg out of the shirt bottom and one leg sticking out of the neck. While it is still around his neck. Donnie tells Sam to come over to him for help. Across the living room. With one leg sticking out out by his ear. So Sam does it! He gets on the floor and sort of crawls to Donnie that way.

The tears! So funny! Sure, I thought it rather mean (lazy) to not go help him, but wouldn't that be hysterical to watch?

Later we swept under the couches and around the living room/dining rooms and got a pretty large pile of dishes, soda cans, toys, books and trash mounded up in the middle of the floor. Hope-Anne is sort of like Hammie, all distracted by the cookie and a tad hyper. She can't get it picked up. We are constantly reminding her to work. "But I like the cookie."

Donnie got a brilliant idea. He started getting Sam to recycle the soda cans, and that was good, but not quite brilliant. He got Trinity to try to beat Hope-Anne at cleaning! Soon Sam was in on the competition and they were fighting over brooms, Sam was hanging off Hope-Anne's "Mine! Leggo!" They were just a-racing along cleaning like maniacs. "Am I winning?"

The room got cleaned lickety-split and we wondered why we hadn't done this ages ago. We didn't know Trinity and Sam could clean!
We are on to them now...........

Then Drew called and got to talk to the kids, and he about died laughing at the vision of Sam in the shirt and Trinity's little Heaven talk. But then he talked to Sam. Sam chattered away, totally unintelligible between the "Hi, Dew" and the "Bye-bye" which immediately ended the conversation while Drew was still saying good-bye.

Devon soon called from swimming sections. He was so hyper and was talking higher pitched than normal (which means we could actually hear him for once, not that he sounded like a girl) and he was talking so fast I had a hard time deciphering what he was saying. But the gist of it was that he'd shaved 2 seconds off his IM and if one person gets sick he'll get to go to finals and the people who beat him got there by less than 1 second Cody beat 4 seconds off his best time even after losing his goggles, and if he hadn't lost his goggles he would have kicked butt royally and Devon's relay team is probably going to come in 8th which means a medal for them and they didn't want to leave the hotel but they were forced to go to Pizza Hut and it is closed now so they are sitting around bored but he is so happy and excited and he doesn't know why....... Yes, one long, hyper sentence, lol.

And then there was the teasing Kaytlin for talking on the phone for hours and hours. If just spent half that time cleaning, she could do everyone's chores.

And this all took place after 4PM.

Why don't people want their lives filled with this? Give me 10 more! (just not all at once, please)

February 26, 2009

My crazy boys

Devon and Cody are on their way to Sections for swimming. It is far from home, and I miss them. Sections brings out really weird behavior in already weird boys.
Case in point, the shaving. Last night someone shaved Cody's head. You know, so he could swim faster. And the entire team shaved their pits and legs, too. Gross me out!
Here is Cody with his intimidating new look. Would you be intimidated to swim against him? LOL Donnie put the tattoo on his head.It is a Tiger, and it says "Untamed."
Last night was also a very special night for Devon. He won at Fear Factor at youth group. I kind of forced him to go and to compete. It was more of a big deal to us than him, but still. He kicked butt! Since we forced him to go, shouldn't we get the $30 gift certificate to the movies?
He had to eat baby food, do some obstacle course, eat a vinegar/sardine shake, and transfer over 100 minnows by mouth. I don't know what else, but he won. I wish I had sent the camera, lol.
But then, when he came home, I had to force him to taste a ketchup chip. Like that would be torture after what he'd just eaten? LOL One kid even threw up at Fear Factor, so we know Devon is pretty tough.

Do the Potty Dance and win some prizes!

I am just going to start right out by telling you that this has to be one of THE weirdest things I have ever shared with you all, lol. This potty dance is a little bit, um, scary......... haha! But what won't we parents do to get our kids to use the potty? We have a potty dance, but I won't be showing mine. My kids, unfortunately, are all about sacrificing their desires to keep me from losing my baby and refuse everything we try to bribe them with to use the potty.

Kimberly Clark, makers of PULL-UPS, and M80 have give me the opportunity to tell you about a couple of contests they are having, and to have a giveaway here! I will be giving away a package of PULL-UPS and a package of wipes.

But first, let me tell you what they have going on.

They have made this crazy Potty-Dance video, which you may have seen on commercials. And you can make your very own video of your child's potty-dance and enter to win a $5000 Big Kid Room Make-Over! Stop over at the Potty Dance site and enter your video.

In conjunction with the Potty Dance, PULL-UPS® and M80 is hosting a contest called, The Potty Training Nightmare. All you have to do is tell us a comical story (which may have happened to you, a friend, or a family member) about a time when a child’s potty training took a turn for the worse.

You can post your story on your blog and leave your link HERE to be entered. You can win a six-month supply (6 packages) of Pull-Ups and wipes! You know I have potty training nightmares if you have read my blog for any length of time, so watch out, I think I will win.

I wonder how many of my nightmares I can enter.............

Anyway, I bet you'd like to know how to get a package of PULL-UPS and wipes from me, huh?

How about you leave me a comment, not about that crazy dance, but about one of your finest moments in potty training. And by finest, I mean something bad or funny.

I'll go first: One day I was letting Sam air out and he was standing on the couch near me. He reached over and grabbed Drew's three ring binder, stuck it under his pee-shooter and used it to aim his pee right onto my back. Worked great..... for him.

The giveaway is open to the US, and it will end March 5th.

I'm off to work on my nightmare story........ which one? Which one?

Two of the greatest qualities in life

are patience and wisdom.





I hope I have them both.

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen things I would to get sponsored to go to BlogHer '09. I would love to pay my own way and have a blast, but after Donnie has been laid off for 3 1/2 months and his new temporary job has no health insurance or security, I can't put money aside for myself.

  1. I would be willing to write about your product/products weekly on my blog.
  2. I would be willing to wear logo'd clothing to show off your product name.
  3. I would be willing to link in my sidebar for a year or more. (lets face it, I wouldn't remember to take it down after a year)
  4. I would talk about your company on facebook.
  5. I would twitter about you as much as you want.
  6. I would write a crazy post for you.
  7. I would drag my friends and family into pictures and videos to make a funny post for you.
  8. I would love to give out samples to people and tell them how amazing your product is.
  9. I would love you forever!
  10. I would beg and bribe my blogger friends to post links, too.
  11. I would hand out swag at BlogHer to everyone I meet, and insist on meeting as many people as I can.
  12. I would bring and use your product at BlogHer '09 in front of people, if it is possible.
  13. I'd be open for other suggestions.

Newspapers are folding and blogs are growing. Bloggers are the new way to get your product noticed with the added benefit of the person actually having tried your product. Word of mouth advertising is key.

Totally not good for my diet

I didn't win the Label Daddy sponsorship to BlogHer '09. I am totally bummed! But they did pick two great winners. I loved their entries, too. Both of their's made me say that I wasn't going to win, lol, that is how good they are.

So, now I need to hope for a sponsor or give up health insurance so I can pay my own way.

In the mean time, I will try not to pig out too badly on this bag of Ketchup potato chips sitting next to me.

Thank you, my sweet friends and family, for helping me with the pictures for my entry. You guys rock!

February 25, 2009

There are no words.......

Trinity, Sam, Donnie and I are laying in bed last night and Trinity pops her head up and starts a discussion that we just couldn't shush, and I am so glad I didn't.

Trin: Will I have my same body when I am in heaven?
Me: No, you won't have this body in heaven, but one day there will be a new Earth and God will give us all new bodies.
Trin: I don't want a new body!
Donnie: You will get a new, perfect body.
Trin: I like my body.
Me: But your new body won't get hurt and won't get sick.
Donnie: And there will be no crying!
Trin: But I cry when I get spankings.
Me: You won't get spankings in Heaven, you will be good.
Trin: (maniacal belly laughing)
Donnie: Kids will not be naughty in Heaven, they will want to be good.
Trin: (more belly laughing) Kids are ALWAYS naughty!
Me: Why?
Trin: Because we want to do things that are not allowed.

I wish I could share the belly laughing. She really thought we were nuts for saying she'd be good in heaven and not get a spanking. We nearly died laughing when she said that kids are always naughty like we were stupid for thinking that was possible.

February 24, 2009

Sacrifices

Over the last 19 years I have successfully potty trained 6 children. Sometimes it took a looooong time to get it done, but we always got there. I am confident that Sam will get there, too. I don't stress too much about it.

But there are things I have learned about parenting through potty training. One of the big things I have learned is about self-sacrifice. Parents will give up about anything in their lives for their children. Most parents will sacrifice their money and pride in order to bribe their children into using the potty.

Bribing never worked for us. We'd get big jars of toys, or bags of candy to give them a treat for leaving a mess in the potty chair for us to clean up. We discovered the art of self-sacrifice through that very method.

Our children will sacrifice the joy of candy or a new toy in order to keep us from from getting what we want. They'll take one for the team and have poo in their pants before they will let us lose our "baby."

February 22, 2009

Quality time

With the kids, and us, being so sick for so long, we hadn't let Trinity and Sam out of the house much. I took pity on Trinity and decided we needed a date. She needs some special time out of the house.
Donnie encouraged me to take her to a movie. So we went to see Hotel For Dogs. Not exactly a little kid flick. It was good, clean stuff, but she was bored out of her mind after she got through half a large popcorn herself. So we ended up leaving the movie early.
Today was a youth fundraiser at church, a bake sale. Trinity was dying to get these super cute cupcakes, and I bought them for her. I thought she'd eat one, but she ate 3, or rather, licked the frosting off three. Then had a soda at the movie.
So she was a tad antsy.
I let her pick what she wanted to do after the movie. She wanted a treat. Se we head to the car and she says "I want to find a shooting star so I can make a wish." I asked her what she'd wish for. "A candy machine. In our house." Mmmmhmmm. That is her dream.

So, we head to Walmart to find her some candy and search the store, but what finally got her was the gum ball machines. I let her get one gumball, then we went to eat before she could eat it.

She wiggled through the whole supper. Non-stop wiggling. Like her upper body couldn't stop dancing.

My eyes were about twitching by the time we got home.

And you know, the funny thing is, I could have avoided all that and just brought her to the grocery store and bought her a gumball. She would have been ecstatic.

Kids will keep you humble

I got a cute little kids book on the mail to review this week, and it is kind of cute, but kind of disturbing. It is an I Love You book. "I love you when you are stinky. I love you when you are clean. I love you when you are naughty." Stuff like that. Hmm, I don't want the kids to know I love them when they do bad things, lol. (Ok, yes, I do, but not quite so chipper about it.)

So Trinity had told me that she didn't love me with this hair style.

Last night Donnie was baking a cake and talking to Kaytlin when Trinity walks in and says.....
"Dad, I love you fat."

Kaytlin started cracking up.

Trinity said....

"He looks good."

Nice, he looks good fat, and I don't look good with my trendy new hair cut.

February 21, 2009

Speaking of Cereal

Yesterday I was talking about cereal and vitamin D and calcium requirements for children. Big G cereals help us reach the new recommendations that pediatricians now recommend for children.

With that new information I was beyond thrilled to get to try the new flavor of Kix cereal. I love Kix cereal, and so do most of my kids. Some of them thought it was a bit bland before.

General Mills sent me a super fun box in the mail with their new Honey Kix, a cereal container to keep it fresh, two cereal bowls, an on the go container for milk (that keeps it cold), cereal and includes a spoon, plus a cute honey pot shaped like a bee hive. So adorable!
I opened the cereal immediately to taste it with a swarm of little children around me to get their first taste, too.

I am hooked! It is so delicious! It is Kix with a little hint of honey, not too sweet, and just right. I sat and snacked on it for a little bit, but I had to put it away for the kids to try in the morning.
I knew they would all love it, but Hope-Anne was skeptical, she isn't fond of regular Kix and didn't hold much hope of this being better. I made her try them and she liked them! Kix with Honey is one cereal that everyone will eat, plus is healthy.
Honey Kix is a good source of calcium, vitamin D, and fiber. It contains 16 grams of whole grains per serving, which goes a long way to meet the 48 grams recommended per day.


WIN IT!
I have 3 Honey Kix Cereal Snack Packs to give away to 3 lucky winners. This includes: honey jar, a set of cereal bowls, a container to take your cereal and milk on-the-go, a great container to keep cereal fresh at home, and a coupon redeemable for a box of Honey Kix.



To enter leave a comment about what you do to meet your children's nutritional needs.

For additional entries you can:
1. Blog about this giveaway, linking back to this post
2. tweet this giveaway
3. subscribe or follow my blog

Leave a separate comment for each entry.

There will be 3 winners, and each person can only win once on this giveaway.

Giveaway ends February 28th, 2009.

February 20, 2009

Clone of Devon

Trinity is so much like Devon. She hates change. It rocks her world. Almost as bad as Devon's. Devon hates change.
I walked in last night with my new hair do and Trinity was so unhappy.
"I don't like your hair, I like your old hair. Put it back!"

Healthy bones

Do you worry about getting osteoporosis when you get older? I do. I don't like milk so I have to get my calcium and Vitamin D other ways. I like to pretend that I get enough from ice cream and broccoli, but I probably don't. Anyone who knows me knows that I don't get my Vitamin D from sun exposure!
The kids do get outside and get lots of sun, and since I am not freakish about putting sunscreen on them constantly, I know they are getting adequate Vitamin D in the summer months. But in the winter in Minnesota? Not so much. Even if they did play outside, there is precious little skin showing to absorb any sunlight.

That leaves diet to get the calcium and vitamin D necessary to absorb calcium. The kids are all big milk drinkers, but broccoli and collard greens, not so much. I don't like using supplements too much.

I am so happy to find calcium and vitamin D in many juices and in cereals. Many Big G cereals are a good source of both, and my kids love cereal. General Mills has a great website about this issue called Growing Up Strong with Big G Cereals. I was surprised to learn that 3 out of 4 children do not get enough of the recommended amounts of vitamin D and calcium.

I was also pleasantly surprised to learn that cereal and skim milk have less calories than all the other breakfast choices that I provide for the kids. Even a bowl of Cocoa Puffs with skim milk holds less calories than a bagel and cream cheese! Can you imagine it compared to bacon and eggs? It is less than half the calories of bacon, eggs and toast! (and the cholesterol?)

Check this out:

Are you aware of the recommended amount of calcium and vitamin D your child
should get each day? Better yet, did you know the American Academy of Pediatrics
recently doubled the vitamin D recommendation for children? Approximately 75% of
kids today don’t get the recommended levels of calcium and vitamin D --
two key nutrients for bone growth.
Not to worry though — as a parent, you can easily help your child get more of these two nutrients by looking for calcium and vitamin D fortified cereals, milk and juice. All General Mills Big G kid cereals (including Kix, Lucky Charms, Trix, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and more) offer a good source of BOTH calcium and vitamin D in each serving.
Additionally, a recent report in a leading consumer magazine ranked kid
cereals by nutritional content, and all nine General Mills Big G kid cereals
included in the report were ranked in the top half. All Big G kid cereals have
at least eight grams of whole grain per serving (at least 48 grams are
recommended daily), and all have 12 grams or less of sugar per serving.
Cereal is one of the most nutritious breakfast options a kid can eat.
Most cereals have about 100 – 130 calories per serving and provide
at least 10 key nutrients. And, ready-to-eat cereal is the number one source of
whole grain in American diets.


I am so relieved to find out my lazy choice of providing cereal to the kids on school days is actually a good choice. Check out Grow Up Strong to get more information, recipes and coupons!

The day that wouldn't end.........

Yesterday should have been a relaxing, wonderfully lazy day at home. We were quarantined, after all. I had all the kids home from school so because we are not supposed to go anywhere until we've been on antibiotics for 24 hours. (Devon refused to take his yesterday, so he is home again, so are the other two who are still sick)

Kaytlin had a scheduled visit with Northwestern College for a special event for people who are thinking about going into education for a specialty. It couldn't be rescheduled, so we had to go. But Kaytlin lost the paperwork. We looked on the website and there was no information about times, just that it registration was over. Great. But there is one coming up for business majors, and that one had a time, so she figured it was probably the same time.
So, we got up early, and left the house just after 7am. It was going to be at 8:30 to 10am. No problem, we'd be home by noon! (it is 55 miles away)
So, we get there and there are no signs up to tell us which building to go to. Weird. (you know where this is going, right?) So we go to the normal events building and ask around. Noone knows for sure what time! Long story short, we found out it was at 7PM. Well, as long as we are there....... we got some work done, paid for her admissions fee and filled out her financial aid form and got to chat with her counsellor.
I had a coupon for free undies at Victoria's Secret with $10 off a bra, which we both needed, so we decided to go to the mall. Well, it was open at 9, but the stores weren't. Great.
So we went out to eat breakfast first. As we were sitting there Kaytlin saw David's Bridal across the street and we decided to go prom dress shopping, too.
We ate and talked to kill time. Then I looked up and saw this elderly gentleman getting up from his table and he gently helps up his very aged breakfast partner. I wasn't sure if it was his wife or his mother. They were both old, but she could have been older than him, so I am not sure. But my first instinct was that they were married. He was so patient and gentle and loving with her! He just held her arms secure for what seemed like ages to me while she got her balance. Then he lovingly told her to just stay right there and he gave her cane to her and went around behind her and helped her very gently put her jacket on.
By this time I was crying. Kaytlin was laughing at me. But wow, I just pray that Donnie and I have such a gentle and beautiful love and care for each other when we are old and frail. And I silently prayed for that for each of my children. What love!
Then the man was trying to put a scarf on her head, but he couldn't tie it. He looks over at me and asks me to come and help him tie it because his fingers just don't work like they used to.
I tied her scarf on her while tears streamed down my face.
Then the man says that he hopes to see me there next time they come in to eat, but I explained that I don't live nearby and wouldn't be back. And the woman starts talking to me in her very Russian accent about where I live.
Then he left, very slowly walking her out to their car. I just cried and cried.

Ok, now it is still only 10 AM. We head over to David's Bridal and find that they don't open until 11! Oh bugger! However, a gal sees us and offers to let us in an hour early! What a treat that was! And Kaytlin found THE dress, too. Gorgeous, the exact color she wanted and the size and the price was great! We were out of there with the perfect dress before they even opened for the day.

Now it is almost 11 and we find that this mall doesn't have a Victoria's Secret, so we head over to another mall. After spending some time getting fitted and trying things on we finally walk out with some great product. As we walked around the mall I decided to go ahead and get my hair cut. I am not sure that I like it. I'll try to get a different picture later that shows the sides.
I do like that I am getting thinner! That is me in my size 14's!!!!! Yippee!
And here is a picture of the highlights that I think make me look grey.

After all that, we were hungry. So we went to eat some lunch and it was almost 3 when we got done. Should we head home for an hour ride only to have to leave again at 6? Naw!

Kaytlin and I hopped across the parking lot and went to see a movie instead. We saw The New Town or whatever it is called. The movie about Minnesota with Renee Zellwegger. Super cute and funny! Pretty accurate, too. We do talk like that and are pretty weird out in the small hick towns.

After that we sat at Caribou and checked emails, well, I checked emails while Kaytin had about her 4th conversation with Peter all day. And not the last one, either.

Finally, we made it to the education event! Whew! I was so bored. It was so boring, Boring! But then I heard something and it made me think........... hmmmmmm. Kaytlin wants to do something with French, and she thought about teaching French, or teaching English in France. But she really feels led to be at Northwestern, where there is no French. And she can't get a dual degree with another school. So what did God want her to do? She has been looking into teaching English classes, but it didn't excite her at all. But, I wondered about something when they said they have ESL degrees. Hmm, they are not very strong on languages, but they have this degree? I wonder if you have to take a certain language for this. So, after the program we were able to talk to people in those areas. Kaytlin would need one year of college language, and she has TWO already! She would be teaching English as a second language to all sorts of nationalities, and the degree is so versatile that should could work with any age, and in any country. This type of degree even allows people access to countries that normally people can't get in to. She got very excited and has now found her career. We think, lol. You know college students, sometimes they change majors a few times.

Then we made the hour trip home, while she sat on the phone with Peter until her phone finally died. Then time with the family I hadn't seen for 14 hours and I fell sound asleep soon after.

See, the day that wouldn't end.

February 18, 2009

Whoa!

Apparently you can have strep throat and not have a sore throat!
That is what has been going on here for weeks on end. Some people have had a sore throat off and on, but mostly it has been nausea and bad stomach pains, headaches, etc. We never suspected!
The entire family is on antibiotics now, and hopefully we will be good as new by the weekend.

Cody and Hope-Anne are being tested for some respiratory problems and going to go to an allergist to see if we can find out if there is a problem with the school. They both get sick in certain rooms in the school, and I want to be sure that it isn't going to cause asthma, or other major problems.

The school is having a mold test done today, but who knows how that will turn out. We have a report that shows there is mold on the walls that is visible, but the school blows that off as EVERYONE has mold, that isn't a big deal.

Kaytlin's Surprise

Kaytlin went away for the weekend and came home to a surprise. She didn't know that Donnie had finally gotten a job. For Christmas on our kids' senior year we give them a laptop to help them with their schooling in college, military, wherever they go. But Kaytlin had to wait because we didn't know when Donnie would be hired.
She was very gracious and unspoiled about it. So we were very happy to get her one as soon as we could. Here is a video of her coming home and putting her stuff in her room and finding the laptop.
Count how many times she says "Oh my gosh!"



Is this my third post today? LOL Oh my gosh!

Wordless Wednesday ~ Swim Team Craziness

I have come to the conclusion that our swim team is a bit crazy. All the boys are nuts. But it is cute.
Here is one of my swimmer boys. I just happened to catch this on camera. I didn't even see him doing it, lol. He just does this every time he is on the platform. The next craziness is that we have a fund raiser called Chuck a Duck. You pay for the privilege of throwing rubber ducks into a life saver ring in the pool, whoever gets it in the ring gets some money.
Well, last night was Chuck a Duck at a Senior Night. All the seniors had to make rings out of their arms and get the ducks thrown at them. There was a LOT of money made from that. Devon alone bought 24 ducks to throw, lol.
Tell my hubby with his new awesome job he should buy me a great camera, would ya?

The early quiet of the morning

As I sit here curled up on the couch drinking my coffee and reading emails in the early quiet of the morning, I just soak up the silence. The sun is streaming in the kitchen window and shining through the hall all the way to warm me in the living room. My coffee is sweet and delicious and makes me feel pampered. MMMM, white chocolate caramel.

Soon the day will hold no silence anywhere. The children will be woken up and my day will have started as "Mommy." The children will swarm around me like little baby birds chirping for their food. Once they have received their food they will leave it sit somewhere for the dog to eat. Then they will start their random destruction. Tearing games out of the game cupboard is Sam's new obsession. He tried writing on the wall this week, but I made him clean it up. He did clean it, but he didn't seem to enjoy it as much as the other children, and I am hoping that he is the one that learns not to write on the wall.

My day is also going to be full of fighting. Fighting for our health. I am taking Cody to the doctor to start finding out why we can't get over this flu and if there is mold in our environment. I am also going to find out why the kids get sick in certain rooms in the middle school, what is going on, and what should I do about it? I have air quality papers that prove that there is still water damage and "visible growth" as of this past summer.

I will possibly be fighting with the middle school about what to do with the kids and their schooling.

So, for now. For the next few minutes. I am going to enjoy the quiet. Relax in the joy that I have now that Donnie is employed and we found that we will have some health benefits through the recruiting agency. (don't know how good of benefits, but we will have something!)

Peace and Joy. Peace and Joy.

Then it is time to wake the kids.

February 17, 2009

Why do teenagers think they know everything?

I am getting so sick of teens thinking that they know more than adults do. Come on! We WERE teens and "smarter than our parents" at one time, too. I think we know what we are talking about. Plus, we have many more years of life experience. We probably have many more years of trusting God, and Bible study than they have had, too.

Ugh! It makes parenting so much fun, though.

But, since my kids' friends read my blog, I am respecting my child's privacy and can't publicly blog that person's unbelievable stupidity, lol. Or other teens, too.

I can blog my childrens' school's unbelievable actions, though. I think I shall, too. I just need a few more facts, but it looks like there is mold in the school, and they know it, but are lying about it. I believed the principal saying that they had fixed everything and had mold testing that came up normal. (everything has a certain amount of mold) However, a friend got the districts test results from last year and there are possibly 3 major problems that were supposed to be immediately fixed that were not.
In the meantime, I am not sending my kids to that school until I find out if our sickness is caused by the school's issues. I have tests scheduled for tomorrow. Cody and Hope-Anne both say that in certain areas of the school they get sick, light headed and such. They have had frequent headaches, too. Another boy in the school was found to be full of mold in his body yesterday. But because I am keeping them out of school until I can rule out an environmental cause, they won't let Cody swim tonight.

They are calling in mold specialists for testing and allowing the other parent to have her own specialist come in and test.

I am waiting on some more information.

February 16, 2009

It is OVER!!!!

Donnie's 3 months of unemployment are over! He got the call at 8:30 this morning. He is going to be working for Wells Fargo starting Monday. It is great pay, really great pay, but it is only a contract job through June. So, it is temporary, but it is a JOB! They also usually hire their contract workers. But, at least for the next 4 months we don't have to worry about income. We couldn't survive on unemployment.

I am so relieved.

So, how should we spend Donnie's last week at home? I'd like to spend it having fun, but we are spending it with the 4th or 5th week of the flu. Donnie wants to go get a couple of hotel rooms and air the house out. I think we should clean it, sterilize it, get all the bedding clean first, then sleep somewhere while it airs out.

February 15, 2009

Label Daddy BlogHer '09 Sponsorship

Once upon a time, there was a mom who had it all together. She never mixed up the children's clothing or lost sippy cups.
Um, yeah, right! Let's see how things REALLY happen.



Lisa smiled as she checked the labels on her children’s clothing while folding laundry. It wasn’t always such a joy to do laundry, and she will never forget how life changed so drastically.

(cue cheesy flashback music)


Piles of folded clothes covered the top of the couch as Lisa tried to keep on top of the laundry. Her husband, Donnie, was laid off of work so he pitched in to help. Between them they still had a difficult time keeping track of seven active children’s belongings.

Who does this belong to?As you may expect, there were many mishaps with children wearing clothing that did not belong to them. Sam and Trinity ended up with clothes too big for them, Devon and Cody clearly couldn't wear Sam or Dad's clothing, and Kaytlin and Hope-Anne didn't like getting clothes that were obviously too small for them. Lisa and Donnie were greeted with unhappy faces on laundry days.

The problems did not stop at the laundry either. Shoes were often the target of what seemed to be some secret exchange program. A friend of Cody’s discovered that he had left with one of Hope-Anne’s by mistake, and they were not even the same size! Even the oldest of the children stumbled into a similar situation even though the shoes of his friends were not the same color.

Then a solution was discovered: One fateful day Lisa came across a website that held the answers to their dilemma!
Label Daddy made personalized labels for all of the children’s clothing and shoes! The labels did not come off through normal wear-and-tear, washing or drying! Life would never be the same!

The children were happy once again and looked good in their labeled clothing and shoes. Lisa and Donnie were no longer yelled at by angry kids.Lisa was so happy to find Label Daddy that she started telling everyone she knows about them. She told them how their laundry problems and lost item issues could be solved.

Label Daddy liked the extra business that resulted from Lisa’s referrals so much that they decided to give her a Label Daddy BlogHer '09 Sponsorship and send her to BlogHer ‘09 all decked out in Label Daddy advertising to help inform the other mom bloggers how they, too, can enjoy doing laundry again.

February 14, 2009

The Love Dare

The Week of Love ends with a dare...........

The Love Dare, that is.

The Love Dare by Stephen Kendrick and Alex Kendrick is based off the book used in the Fireproof movie. The book brings you through 40 days of dares to change your marriage, good or bad marriages.

The book is laid out each day with 3 elements:

1. a unique aspect of love is discussed.

2. a specific dare is issued for that day. Some are easy, some challenging.

3. there is a journal space to log what you do and learn and how your spouse responds.

What I love about the book (besides the fact that my husband secretly bought it) is that it explains about love being a decision, a choice that you actively make. You don't follow your heart, as the world proudly proclaims, you need to LEAD your heart. If you are following your heart, that means someone else is leading it. The Bible says "the heart is more deceitful than all else" Jeremiah 17:9, and it will always pursue that which feels right at the moment.

This book dares you to think differently and to lead your heart to what you know is right, not what feels good for the moment.

He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, but he who walks wisely will be delivered.
Proverbs 28:26

February 13, 2009

Aloha Friday


In Hawaii, Aloha Friday is the day that Hawaiians take it easy and look forward to the weekend. So Kailani thought that on Fridays we should take it easy on posting, too. Therefore, I’ll ask a simple question for you to answer. Nothing that requires a lengthy response.
You can play along or find others at An Island Life.
What is your all-time favorite marriage book?
Mine is Love and Respect. Very good book! At least for couples to read together. But even if only one person reads it, it is great.
For women to read, it is Creative Counterpart by Linda Dillow. Hands down.

For Couples Only~ a review

The Week of Love is coming to an end........
For Couples Only: Eyeopening Insights about How the Opposite Sex Thinks by Shaunti Feldhahn and Jeff Feldhahn is a companion set of books; For Men Only and For Women Only.
They are both great books, and what a better way to boost your marriage than to work together to learn more about how your spouse works?

For Women Only goes through the things about men that they wish we knew, and the truth about what they think and feel about things.
For Men Only goes through the things that men need to know about women, and it is funny! I read through some of it and just laughed and laughed! Because it is so TRUE, and they just don't know this stuff. Both books are based off of surveys of women or men to show how they, as a group, really think about the things they do or feel. Very insightful.

I think this set would be a great wedding gift for any couple. Or better yet, and engagement gift. But if you are already married, these books will still teach you some things, I promise. I've been married almost 20 years, and we both learned some things from these books.


Summary: Since their debut, these revolutionary guides have sold well over a
million copies, been translated into fifteen languages, and sparked much
fascinating water-cooler conversation around the country. Now together in the
For Couples Only boxed set, these books provide the perfect resource to help you
understand what you never knew about the woman or man in your life.
Each volume is based on input from more than a thousand members of the opposite
sex—including an unprecedented nationwide survey and hundreds of personal
interviews. This innovative approach yields candid and surprising answers about
everything you don’t “get” about your significant other—even what that person
deeply wishes you knew. It also produces simple but groundbreaking awareness of
how you can best love and support the one who is most important to you. [Part of
me wanted to make this paragraph past tense—yielded and produced—because of the
first paragraph, but that took away some of the immediacy of what the books
offer. I’ll leave that up to you.]
So whether you are newly dating or have been married fifty years, get ready to know each other in a whole new way. The adventure is just beginning!

You can find For Couples Only: Eyeopening Insights about How the Opposite Sex Thinks by Shaunti Feldhahn and Jeff Feldhahn for $15.56 on Amazon.com.
Also look into For Men Only Discussion Guide: A Companion to the Bestseller About the Inner Lives of Women by Jeff Feldhahn and For Women Only Discussion Guide: A Companion to the Bestseller about the Inner Lives of Men by Shaunti Feldhahn.

February 12, 2009

Apparently I am too famous

Do you ever wonder what life is like in a family with a famous parent?
Famous sports player: "Hey, kids! I won a gold medal in the race today!"
Famous singer: "Hey, kids! My song is going to be played on a TV show!"
Famous writer: "Hey, kids! My book is on the best seller list!"

What do their kids say? After awhile do they stop getting excited? Do they care anymore?

I got a taste of that today.

"Hey, kids! I am going to write for a Minnesota newspaper online!"




Kaytlin said "Oh, that's good." Cody and Devon said NOTHING. They didn't even acknowledge that I had spoken. Hope-Anne asked me what I would be writing about.

Wow.

I asked the boys why they didn't even respond.
"The whole blogging, writing, being on TV stuff is getting old."

Hmm. So are your swim meets.

Hope-Anne loves me. She cares. I think I am going to buy her a present.

Hodge Podge, Mish Mash, Whatever post

Last night I was laying in bed with Trinity and Sam, normally bedtime is just laying in bed until they are asleep, I don't read in bed or get drinks. I am strict and mean.
Last night Trinity said "Mom, I normally get stories at bedtime." Um, no you don't. But fine. I'm feeling generous.
So I decided to tell them stories, not read books. I started with Goldilocks and the 3 Bears. Oh, the giggles! They loved the voices.
So I went on to The Three Little Pigs. The huffing and puffing and bbbbbbblooooowwwwwwwwwwwwing tickled Sam's funny bone! He wouldn't let me turn my head away from him! He held my head facing him so he would get all the huffing, puffing and blowing on his face, lol.
Trinity was bummed that Sam won't share his mom. But I didn't let him get away with it. She got equal huffing and puffing and the blowing always lasted long enough for both faces. I just had to fight Sam's hands off of me.

That was fun. I think I may keep doing it. Their giggles are just too irresistible.


We are beginning to think that Donnie's former supervisor, the one who has been trying to get him fired for over a year, is giving bad references. Donnie has asked the recruiters, but can't get an answer. Every other reference is fantastic and raving, but this guy has had it out for Donnie since before he was a supervisor. I'm not sure why.
I want to find out for sure, but Donnie is letting it go. "Revenge is Mine, saith the Lord."
The guy isn't even a supervisor anymore. Yep, he was THAT good, but is out for Donnie. I need to start praying for Mark.

I won a great necklace to give away at the Women's Retreat that we are having in March! I can't wait to get it in the mail! It is from Baby Tea Leaves' Etsy store Inspire Me Chic.
I also won a set of Softlips chapstick from Peanut Butter and Pickle Reviews. They always have giveaways going.

The sickies are still winning over here. Hope-Anne is starting to feel better after her puking in her backpack episode yesterday. Trinity is still sluggish, and Sam acts like he is better, as far as moving around, but he is clingy and whiney and won't eat. No fever or puking now, but still not better. I am still not better. I feel better, but lets just say that I don't want to go to work. Though getting paid to sit in the bathroom is better than sitting at home not getting paid, but still........... my bathroom is right in the middle of the offices. Nope, not going.

I am off to try a new review product that I think is AMAZING!!!! I tried it a little and I am so impressed that I am even going to take pictures of my nasty hard water problems in my bathroom!

Oh, and PLEASE, Can you take a minute (literally, one minute) and Go Vote for Polliwalks! You don't have to sign up, just go there, hit vote and you are done! You can vote once a day. Polliwalks are amazing, and the people behind them are amazing. Please vote! Thanks!

My Super Star!

Not a great pic, but I captured Cody playing with his new ribbon when he didn't know I was watching. Devon has been a big encourager to Cody this year, pushing him in swimming and to get his school work done. Well, Cody is finally coming around, ever so slightly, on the school stuff. But the swimming is really kicking off and giving him confidence!
This week there was a JV meet with several schools. Cody was in 4 heats, he came in 1st on 3 of those heats and 2nd in the fourth heat. So, over all, he came in 4th place out of all the schools in that race!
Cody may give Devon a run for his money soon!

I Do Again ~ A book review

The Week of Love continues.....
I Do Again: How We Found a Second Chance at Our Marriage--and You Can Too by Cheryl Scruggs and Jeff Scruggs is a book about a real-life couple whose marriage is torn apart by lack of emotional relationship, leading to adultery, which led to divorce. A spiritual awkening led them to reconciliation and re-marriage. They founded Hope Matters Marriage Ministries and have been sharing their story with audiences across the nation.

This book can be an encouragement for those who are in a troubled marriage, or going through a difficult divorce/separation. It also shows couples the importance of communication and love in a marriage.




Summary: With their professional success and adorable twin daughters, Jeff and
Cheryl Scruggs looked like the perfect couple. But their polished facade concealed a widening chasm between two people unable to connect on an intimate, soul-deep level.
After years of frustration, Cheryl’s desire for emotional fulfillment led to an affair
and, finally, divorce. Yet, incredibly, seven years later, Jeff and Cheryl once
again stood at the altar, promising to “love, honor, and cherish” one another. A
new and vibrant love had risen out of the ashes of this family’s
pain.

I Do Again details the fascinating real-life story of a couple whose relationship
seemed shattered beyond all hope until a spiritual awakening led them to
reconsider their definitions of “happily ever after.” A riveting account of the
power of prayer and redemption, this remarkable book offers renewed hope for
even the most troubled marriages—and reveals why the rewards of restoration are
well worth the wait.



You can find I Do Again: How We Found a Second Chance at Our Marriage--and You Can Too by Cheryl Scruggs and Jeff Scruggs and Amazon for $11.19.

February 11, 2009

What Happened to Freedom in the United States?

The United States was founded by Christians who were searching for freedom from religious prosecution and to be free to make choices based on your beliefs.
That is our RIGHT as Americans. When did the government start to think that it could remove the very foundation that allowed them to even become part of the government?

Soapbox time. Sorry.

Some NY parents followed the law and did what was required of them to get a religious exemption from vaccinations in order for their children to attend School. The school decided that they needed to come in and answer some questions with their lawyer first. The lawyer GRILLED them about their religious beliefs and then denied them their exemption! http://www.onenewsnow.com/Education/Default.aspx?id=415952

There are videos of the grilling on Youtube. (Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3) (view all three parts).

The lawyer is trying to force them to reconcile their statement that using vaccines is fear based and not trusting God to HIS statement that God gave man the wherewith all to make vaccines to prevent diseases. They can't reconcile their statement to HIS statement because they didn't make his statement. He was out of line and very, very hostile.

Why the parents wouldn't just say that yes, they feel that God told them not to immunize is beyond me. End of story. I don't know why they seemed unwilling to just say that.

I don't feel that immunizations themselves are evil, however, I know that they are not as helpful as they claim to be, and they ARE harmful and have caused great harm in mass numbers. For me, God said don't do it. Through the Holy Spirit I was led not to continue before I knew that you could refuse them, before I knew that they were not all safe, before I knew that one of my children was injured. And I don't have a problem saying that yes, God told me not to do it. And I won't do it to my young children. My teens can make their own decisions, and in fact, both Kaytlin and Drew have been immunized this past year.

I will be jumping on the vaccine soap box a bit more. Right now I have to go work on cleaning puke out of a back pack, mathbook, homework, lol. Nasty! But she didn't want to get puke on anyone, so Hope-Anne so graciously did it in her backpack. Twice.

Wordless Wednesday ~ Snoccer!



















These great pics are taken by Laura Clawson. She is amazing! They kids were playing Snoccer, a weird combination of soccer, hockey, football, broomball, all on ice. My daughter Kaytlin is in the white coat with the orange and black scarf.

Love as a Way of Life Devotional ~ a review

The Week of Love continues.........

In his new bookThe Love as a Way of Life Devotional: A Ninety-Day Adventure That Makes Love a Daily Habit by Gary Chapman and Elisa Stanford will rouse a desire to let love guide the way you respond to others in every situation. These ninety short devotionals—perfect for reading on your own, with your spouse, or with a friend over coffee—deliver the insight and motivation needed to make love a lasting habit.

This devotional book corresponds very well with Chapman's book Love As a Way of Life that I reviewed in July, so reading them together is easy and a great way to help you learn and apply what you read in the book. The devotions are very short and fit well in a busy schedule or as a couple's devotional in addition to what you already do for your own spiritual growth.



Summary: In his book Love As a Way of Life, best-selling author Gary Chapman shows readers how to cultivate a new lifestyle built around the seven characteristics of authentic love. Now in a companion devotional, he provides ninety inspirational readings to help Christians consistently live out the characteristics of love in every relationship.
Each devotional entry showcases biblical truths that guide a life of love, offering fresh insight and
practical guidance in how to make love a lasting habit. Over the course of three
months, readers will learn to follow God’s lead as they practice the characteristics of a loving person: kindness, patience, forgiveness, courtesy, humility, generosity, and honesty.
The Love As a Way of Life Devotional makes an ideal gift for the holidays or for any special occasion. Couples, parents, new graduates, and anyone celebrating a milestone in life will welcome this inspiring daily guide to richer, more satisfying relationships.


You can find The Love as a Way of Life Devotional: A Ninety-Day Adventure That Makes Love a Daily Habit by Gary Chapman and Elisa Stanford on Amazon for $11.19.

February 10, 2009

Want some Yandy for Valentine's Day?

**Warning, this review is for married women only, not teens and NOT men**

The Week of Love continues......

Yesterday I shared a book review about being a creative and sensuous lover, and that being God's will for everyone's marriage. That is a gift for us, and something we can give to our husbands.
In the spirit of being sensuous I am reviewing Yandy.com to bring the SPICE into your bedroom.
Yandy is the place to go for Valentine's Day Lingerie as well as for pajamas and robes. (warning, there are very graphic pics on the site, and I would not let my husband go check it out)
Lingerie is a great way to spice up the romance department! Yandy has everything that you could look for. I am not going to put pictures up that I wouldn't want my boys or husband to see because I am a family blog.

I love Yandy's Soybu robes! They are organic material made from soy and bamboo. "Wrap yourself in exquisite luxury with our super-plush SoyBu Cushion Knit Robe. This calf-length robe is made from our signature SoyBu that uses soy and bamboo fibers to create a silky, environmentally friendly and durable fabric. Experience the spa at home with the plump weave that cushions your skin and boasts details like over sized pockets and a shawl collar.
This Organic Super Plush Cushion Knit Robe is $89.95, which to me is expensive, however, don't turn away, because the rest of Yandy is extremely affordable!















I also love their selection of silky smooth robes nightgowns, too. Yandy has many, many choices of attractive and sexy outfits in ever size, even plus sizes. I really appreciate that they would understand that all women can be sensual.
This Plus Size Charmeuse Low Back Sleepwear Babydoll And Matching Robe is only $19.95! Could it get any more affordable than that?










The Valentine's Day Lingerie selections are so cute! Well, some are cute, like this adorable t-shirt and pants set. Most are quite sexy. Gotta love it! But we mom's still need to have something to wear that the kids can see when we make middle of the night trips to their rooms for nightmares and drinks of water.
I love their cute jewelry selections, too. They are adorable and extremely affordable! Their Rhinestone Heart Anklet is only $7.95, and it is very cute.
I also like their Bed of Roses set, which is a shower of 100 scented silk rose petals, four tea lights & a special invitation card for $12.95. That is much less expensive than real roses, and they don't wilt, so you can use them again and again.
I was very impressed with Yandy's great selection and their affordable prices. But their shipping blew me away. It was FAST and the packaging was tasteful and private. Donnie knew I had ordered lingerie, but didn't know that was what was in that package when he got the mail.
I am looking forward to the Day of Love getting here so I can wear what I ordered! (and I am not telling what that was, lol)

Do you ever miss it?

When I was in school I hated lunch most days. But we always looked forward to pizza day! It was always cheese pizza, but it was good. Well, good for school food, not good compared to Papa Johns.

But I kind of miss school pizzas. Those rectangular soggy pieces of red sauce and gooey cheese. Always served with corn. Right?

Now-a-days, our high schoolers get pizza from Pizza Hut, yum! I guess I could go visit the kids at lunch and get my school lunch fix. But Hope-Anne is the only one who would welcome me, lol. I'll have to check their menu plan and stop in and visit her since Donnie is still not working and can watch the little kids.

February 09, 2009

Word World ~ Early Literacy made fun!

The Week of Love for kids......

Thanks to Family Review Network and WordWorld we got a sweet WordWorld video to watch.
WordWorld is a great animated program that teaches children about words and spelling. Everything in WordWorld is made up of letters. The animals are characters, but their body is made up of the letters that spell what they are. So the children learn the word association so much easier because they see the duck and see the spelling of duck each time they see the duck. In the shows they cast has goofy problems to solve that always end in spelling a word to make an object.

WordWorld is starting their second season on February 13th with a sweet Valentine's episode. The February 13th program features two episodes with a musical short in between.


Episode details:
1. My Fuzzy Valentine: When Sheep decides she wants to make a special Valentine song for her friend Bear, she runs into trouble finding just the right rhyming word. With the help of Fly, she discovers the perfect ending to her song and gives Bear a special Valentine’s Day gift.
2. Fruit Cha Cha: short musical number with Crab and Duck singing a song to Shark about choosing healthy foods as snacks.
3. Love, Bug: Bug wants to sign his name on his Valentine to his special WordFriend, but he doesn’t know how. With lots of help and encouragement from Frog, he learns how to trace letters to spell out his name, and surprises his special WordFriend with a signed Valentine.











Look at the results of this study:

New York, NY (December 11, 2008) - A U.S. Department of Education funded study
found that WordWorld, an Emmy® winning PBS KIDS series, significantly
strengthens early literacy skills in preschoolers, providing the building blocks
essential for learning how to read. The study is part of the Ready To Learn
Initiative that examines the effectiveness of various technologies being used to
enhance the literacy skills of young children. The initial findings conclude
that regular exposure to WordWorld resulted in children experiencing significant
increases in oral vocabulary, reading and recognition of words featured in the
show. WordWorld brings words to life through a patent-pending methodology that
embeds words into the objects they represent, crystallizing the connection
between letters, sounds and words.Overall gains from the study demonstrate that
regardless of demographic, children developed important early literacy skills by
watching WordWorld during the trial period.

Key findings include:

· Children doubled their oral vocabulary skills of words featured in WordWorld

· Children tripled their ability to read specific words featured and built in WordWorld

· Children in disadvantaged households where English is a second language showed
gains in phonemic awareness, as well as oral vocabulary and reading words
featured in WordWorld.

Oh, Sam, you make me happy!

Sam is just the cutest thing ever! Yes, he is also the grossest kid I've ever had, but he makes me laugh so much!

Last night Donnie and I took Sam to bed with us, he hadn't really been acting right, and with all the sick germs floating around, it seemed he could be sick.

Donnie and I were talking in the dark room and Sam got still and his breathing deepened. I couldn't see his face well, so I asked him "Sam, are you sleeping?" He started very vigorously nodding his head up and down! LOL Donnie and I just cracked up!

Then a few hours later the poor baby started tossing and turning and wimpering. Then he started puking in my bed. We went through 3 episodes of that by 7 am. I'll be washing bedding all day. Hopefully I won't be getting more sick than I have been.

Donnie has to take his dad to the doctor today. He has an infection on his elbow and it has swollen to the size of a golf ball with a walnut sized opening that burst last night. His arm is swollen and red from elbow to wrist, too. Donnie doesn't know how he is able to stand the pain that must be causing. It must be bad because he is actually agreeing to go, but only if Donnie takes him, noone else. Someone has to go because he doesn't hear things right and exaggerates some things, so we don't know what is really going on if someone doesn't hear it from the doctor.

Drew has gone 2 full days without calling home now that I have finally mailed his package to him. So I guess the everysingleday phone calls from early January to early February were just to bug us to get his package mailed. I feel so loved. I should text him and tell him I didn't get it mailed, lol.

My favorite Pampered Chef stone baker broke last night. I am so bummed. It is an essential tool in my kitchen. Nothing else holds a meal that feeds my family. I am really sad and dissapointed. The cupboard was packed with pans half-hazardly and the stoneware was on top cock-eyed. Donnie opened the cupboard and out came a ton of pans, glass lids and my pan.

I better go wash some laundry and go love on poor sick Sam.

Intimate Issues~ A book review and giveaway!

Have you ever read a book and loved it, and then later found out that God was using the book to prepare you for something life changing? I have. That book was Creative Counterpart by Linda Dillow. I will never forget that book, or give it away. It will always be special to me.
And that is partly why I jumped at the chance of reviewing this new book Intimate Issues: 21 Questions Christian Women Ask About Sex by Linda Dillow and Lorraine Pintus. Anything by Linda Dillow is a must read by me.
I was not disappointed. Intimate Issues is a great guide for women who are confused by what is OK in the bedroom. Many Christian women find it very confusing to figure out what God would or would not approve of between a husband and wife. I found the answers to be very Biblical and very helpful. I wish this book had been around 10 years ago!

I loved how the authors went through Song of Solomon in depth and showed how God approves and designed us to love pleasing our husbands in creative ways. He designed us to be sensual lovers and to make our husbands satisfied, no, THRILLED with us.

There were some things that I learned that I just couldn't believe and I confirmed with my husband, and it just blew me away! Great, great information in this book!

I think every wife should read this book and take the lessons to heart to be a creative and sensual lover, no matter how you feel about your body. This book with help you with feelings of inadequacy.

About the book:
Intimate Issues answers the twenty-one questions about sex most frequently asked by Christian wives, as determined by a nationwide poll of over one thousand women. Written from the perspective of two mature Christian wives and Bible teachers - women who you'll come to know as teachers and friends _ Intimate Issues is biblical and informative: sometimes humorous, other times practical, but always honest. Through its solid teaching, warm testimonials, scriptural insights, and experts' advice, you'll find resolution for your questions and fears, surprising insights about God's perspective on sex, and a variety of practical and creative ideas for enhancing your physical relationship with the husband you love.

With warmth and wisdom, authors Linda Dillow and Lorraine Pintus speak woman to woman: examining the teachings of Scripture, exposing the lies of the world and offering real hope that every woman's marriage relationship can become all it was intended to be in God's design.


I am giving away one copy of this book in honor of The Week of Love. One very lucky reader will win this book, the rest of you should quickly click over the Amazon and order your copy! This is a must-read book! (also available at Christianbook.com )

To win the book leave a comment. That is all. You need be a US resident, sorry!

To gain extra entries you can be a subscriber to my blog for one extra comment, and/or blog about this giveaway and book and link back to this post and leave 3 more comments.

The giveaway ends on February 14th. I will email the winner on the 15th and give him/her 3 days to respond before picking another winner.

February 08, 2009

Sam and the nap

Samuel is not a fan of taking naps. Indeed, he is very much opposed to them. But Daddy has decided that Sam needs naps every day just so that Daddy can have an hour when Sam is not destroying the house. This is essential to Daddy's state of mind being halfway sane.

Daddy has been putting Sam down for naps. After one afternoon of attempting said naps, Daddy felt he was an expert and glibly gave Mommy advice on how Sam will cry for 10 minutes and then give in. For Mommy, though, it is rarely 10 minutes of crying. Soon after, Daddy discovered that it was a fluke for him, and now Sam screams for at least 30 minutes at naptime. After he runs away and Daddy has to catch him for the nap. But for Mommy it is different.

Sam still runs when nap time is announced, and he still cries when Mommy lays down with him. He fights Mommy, won't allow her to rub his back or put covers on him, but he has to be touching her with his feet or butt. Soon the crying stops. Then the cuddles start.

After crying, Sam's nose runs a bit and he grosses Mommy out by playing with the snot. So he stops. Then he takes Mommy's hand and goes from finger to finger to find just the right one to hold. And then takes that finger and tries to pick his boogers with it.

No, sir, that is NOT going to happen!

So, he rolls over and wipes his nose on the pillow case. Good night!

The Week Of Love Kick Off! Love and Respect

To kick off The Week of Love on my blog I am going to repost what I wrote last year about the single best book for marriage ever written outside of the Bible. This is not a review book, I bought this book a couple of years ago and I have gone to a conference on it. Boy, the conference was HARD! There was a night that I wasn't even speaking to Donnie, and I was glad to have a couch in the hotel room! But in the end, it was amazing, and I think every couple needs this book above all others.


This is the single most effective marriage book ever! It is probably the only book men will enjoy reading to improve their marriage.
Its about giving the love she desperately needs, and giving the respect that he desperately needs. Its a cycle, without love, she acts without respect, without respect, he reacts without love, and on and on it goes. But if you go out of your way to show respect, not love, to your husband, he will MELT with love for you over time. Really! When I tell my husband how much I appreciate his strength and ability to move things I can't move, and how much I admire him for going to work every day if he feels like it or not just to be able to keep me at home with the kids, his chest just puffs right up! And in turn I get lots of love from him, doing those things I hate to do and repairs around the house, and more sweet foot rubs and on and on it goes.
Emerson Eggerichs explains how we hear and see in pink, and men hear and see in blue. I won't ruin his further explanation of that, because it is one of "Oh, wow!" reaction!
I lend my book out all the time. I buy this book for people. I recommend this book and conferences to everyone.
One of my favorite things he says is "My response is my responsibility. Sarah doesn't CAUSE me to be this way, she REVEALS the way I am."
You can see many clips from his conferences on his website loveandrespect.com. This book is worth way more than the cost.
Two years ago for V-day I bought a heart box of candy, and I took out all the candy, and I even ate lots of it, haha. I cut out a colored paper heart for each candy spot and wrote 3 categories on them: things I love about him, things I respect about him, and some coupons for free time on the the computer without nagging, etc. I rolled them up and tied with ribbon and put in the candy slots. Almost a year later he still had some of them! He loved it! And the kids and I enjoyed the candy, lol.
Show your husband respect every day from now until V-day, and watch him melt with love for you!

If you do nothing else for your marriage this week, spend $16 and get Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs by Emerson Eggerichs from Amazon.com. It will change you.

We're In This Boat Together~ leadership book review

Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?
Examining leadership transition within the multi-generation workplace

Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX—George, Brad, Brianna, and Nate are connected by their jobs; the four of them make up the IT department at Handover Corporation. They also represent four distinct generations: The Silent Generation (1925-1942), Boomers (1943-1960), GenXers (1961-1981), and Millenials (1982-2002). They all have their own specialties, and when the day is done they go their separate ways—that is, until the company sends them on a white-water rafting trip to encourage team building. Surviving the rapids, they return to work to discover that their CEO is stepping down, sending the company into a tumultuous transition. They rely on the skills they just learned in order to survive and remain in the boat together.

This scenario serves as the plot of a unique new book, We’re in This Boat Together: Leadership Succession Between the Generations, by Camille Bishop, Ph.D. A career educator with thirty years of international teaching experience, Dr. Bishop knows exactly why the average business book fails to resonate with readers. “So many business books are full of great information, but they’re boring,” she comments. “I wanted to write something that was interesting and would grab people’s attention, but would also present good information.” The result is a business book that is as engaging as it is informative.

The transfer of power within an organization is rarely easy; however, in light of the looming economic crisis, more American companies have been forced to make difficult decisions regarding personnel. The face of leadership is changing in companies across America, and the stakes have never been higher. In light of these events, this book could not have been better timed.

“As diversity in the workplace increases, with four generations firmly represented, evidence indicates that there are differences in leadership behavior between the generations. And those dissimilarities create turbulence in the workplace like that found in white-water rapids,” Dr. Bishop points out. “But there is a way to navigate through them! We’re in this boat together, and diversity doesn’t have to mean disaster. In fact, appreciating diversity and learning the skills necessary to dialogue with one another can bring the generations together, allowing for tremendous unity and strength to tackle the white water of leadership succession.”

In a crowded business genre, this book is truly a standout from the rest, both in content and delivery. We’re in This Boat Together draws on three solid years of research and on Dr. Bishop’s own perspective as a Boomer who is constantly interacting with members of the other three generations, and she has crafted a cast of interesting and believable characters. As readers observe their interactions and eavesdrop on their mental processes, they will come to appreciate the distinctive strengths and weaknesses that each generation brings to the table.

This book was written to help leaders of all types of organizations—nonprofit agencies, small businesses, large corporations, law firms, clinics, schools, or churches—and those who teach about organizational development in a university setting. The principles in this book are relevant to any reader who can benefit from a greater understanding of others and a framework for dealing with change. In the wake of an historic and divisive election, that includes all of us.

We’re in This Boat Together: Leadership Succession Between the Generations by Camille Bishop, Ph.D.
Authentic Publishers - August 2008
ISBN-13: 978-1-934068-37-3/203 pages/softcover/$14.99
http://www.authenticbooks.com/
We're in this Boat Together: Leadership Succession Between the Generations by Camille F. Bishop is available at Amazon.com for only $10.35.

Qtpies update

The Qtpies house is officially germ infested.

It is driving me crazy! We are constantly sick. One after another. It isn't even the same sickness over and over, so I don't know what is going on. It will not end.

The other day I went through with Clorox wipes and tried to get germs off of all the surfaces we touch. Nothing was safe, even the wood furniture. But still, I got sick again. I'm trying not to lose my coffee this morning. I think Sam is coming down with it, too.

We went to a play land yesterday, so they are bound to get sick this week anyway. That always happens.

Starting tomorrow it is The Week of Love here on Our Seven Qtpies! I have reviews lined up all week, including a giveaway, of books to make your marriage better, and two reviews for spicing up the bedroom! What? If you are married, you should be looking to keep that area interesting and not be ashamed of it. Once you have children, that area gets a little routine "get the job done" kind of thing. Gotta stop that attitude!

I am looking forward to The Week of Love here, and seeing what other people have going on for Valentines Day. I'm not big on the holiday myself, but I think it is a good idea to take a time of year to reflect on your marriage and do something to make it better, and/or spicier. Forget the Hallmark cards, get yourself something that will grow your marriage.

On the job front, one somewhat possible temp job for Donnie, but nothing full-time on the horizon at the moment. The temp job would at least help for a few months! It could also lead to a full time job, two people who used to work with Donnie work at that company now, and at least one works remotely. If Donnie could work from home it would be fantastic! He has his own little room that he could turn into an office easily.

Drew has called us everysingleday since he left after Christmas. Without fail. Every day. "Have you mailed my box yet?" Every day. Friday I mailed the box. Saturday I didn't hear from him. First time since Christmas vacation.

I am very excited about a project I am working on to earn a trip to BlogHer '09! I just have to get the kids to agree to cooperate with it. Or find some kids who want to be on my blog and become famous pretending to be my kids.

Would you vote for Polliwalks to become one of the Leading Moms in Business winners? They are so creative with their shoes and they are very environmentally conscious in their business practices. Go Vote for Polliwalks! You can vote once a day.

February 07, 2009

Vote for Polliwalks!

I love Polliwalks shoes, and so do Trinity and Samuel! Trinity got two really cute pairs to review recently and we are so happy with them! Samuel loves Trinity's pink puppy shoes, so I've been really wanting to buy him a pair of gray puppies to have for his very own. But with Donnie being laid off I have to put it off for a while.

I went to Polliwalks website today and found some adorable new styles that are coming out! I was thinking maybe Sam would like these pull on puppy shoes instead, since it will be warmer out when I can afford them. But then I saw that they are coming out with T-rex shoes! Sam would flip out for those! I can't snag a pic from their site to show you so you'll have to go HERE if you want to see them.
One of the cuter pairs that are out for spring are fireflies! I love the light up tail!
Then there are the amazing, and incredibly adorable Penguin boots! Tell me you don't want a pair of these for your kiddo! They even come in pink! PINK!!!


This totally unsolicited post is to let you know that you should vote for Polliwalks to become one of the Leading Moms in Business winners. They are so creative with their shoes and they are very environmentally conscious in their business practices.

Go Vote for Polliwalks!