Monday, November 30, 2009

Thankful for My Blessings ~ Day 30

Today I'm thankful for .... EVERYTHING!

I really have a very blessed life. I have a husband who loves me, two beautiful (somewhat healthy :S) babies, wonderful parents and siblings, terrific friends (online and IRL). I have everything I need. I'm learning that no matter what life throws me I can handle it. I'm much stronger than I though. As long as I have God and my family ~ my life will always be perfect.


Homeschool Resource of the Day: The Boston Tea Party

The Boston Tea Party (PDF ebook)

Wonderful old time picture book telling the story of the Boston Tea Party, which occurred in December of 1773, exactly 236 years ago! Hugely enjoyable historical romp back to the events surrounding that milestone event in colonial America. Beautiful, witty illustrations and text in verse make this an absolutely delightful picture book your kids will truly enjoy - and learn a lot of history from, too!

You can get it today only at


Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thankful for My Blessings ~ Day 29

Today I'm thankful for a nice house that I can decorate for the holidays. I think I've said it before that I love love LOVE Christmas and I decorated right before Thanksgiving. Right now I'm looking at a pretty Christmas tree full of lights, lights on a mantle, a fiber optic snowman and angel...the only thing missing is Christmas music. ;)


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thankful for My Blessings ~ Day 28

Today I'm thankful for doctors. Even though I question diagnoses and sometimes talk trash. I am so grateful that I am able to take my kids to the doctor whenever they are sick and get them the care they need. Matthew has been fighting a cough since I first mentioned he was sick. I took him to his regular doctor and he said to just give him cough syrup and that should clear it up. Well, it seemed as if it was going away and then BOOM! it was back with a vengeance and a wheeze. I took him today to an express care place and the physician's assistant diagnosed him with an ear infection. He said most likely it was an upper respiratory infection that had gone untreated...ummm, I had him to the doc! Anyways, we have antibiotics and I'm hoping it will clear it all up. Prayers are always welcome. :)


Friday, November 27, 2009

Thankful for My Blessings ~ Day 27

Today I'm thankful for ESPN. LOL I love watching my boys (WVU Mountaineers) play ball ... even if they do make it a little stressful sometimes. :D


Stride Rite's Fan Celebration Day & Twitter Party

Monday, November 30th ~ aka Cyber Monday ~ is Stride Rite's Fan Celebration Day on Facebook!

Stride Rite Facebook fans are invited to log on Monday, November 30th
from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. EST for hourly giveaways with amazing prizes
including gift cards and gift bags! There will also be a fan-only coupon for Cyber Monday shopping on and a mystery prize valued at over $600 that fans can enter to win throughout the day! Not a fan yet? Hurry and go to Stride Rite's fan page now.

To kick-off the Cyber Monday celebration, Global Influence is hosting a Twitter Pre-Party Sunday, November 29th from 9 to 10 p.m. EST with their community manager, Shannan Powell (@slpowell). For an hour, we will chat about Cyber Monday shopping tips and preparing for the holidays in general using the hashtag #srCyberMon.

There will be seven (7) Stride Rite gift card winners and participants will be among the first to learn about the Fan Celebration Day on Facebook. To learn more and RSVP, please go to:


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thankful for My Blessings ~ Day 26

Today I'm thankful for being around family and having a wonderful meal. Sitting around talking and watching the kids play is such a great time. Would love to do it everyday. :)


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thankful for My Blessings ~ Day 25

Today I'm thankful for all those wonderful Christmas movies on Hallmark and ABC Family. I love love LOVE Christmas and I'm definitely getting in the mood. Ho Ho Ho!!!! :D


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thankful for My Blessings ~ Day 24

Today I'm thankful for some little strange kid. Ok, he's not strange, he's a stranger. LOL He rides Gracie's bus and every morning he waves his little heart out. He makes me smile. Such sweet innocence. I love it!


Global Influence Holiday Gift Guide


Holiday shopping season is here again and the Global Influence network has some great gift ideas for you, tried and tested by real moms. Click on the links to check out what our team of reviewers had to say about each of these gift ideas, and then take a moment to enter our fun giveaway and take a chance at winning some of these fabulous products.

Featured Reviews
pouchee Pouchees -

Busy moms need all the help they can get to stay organized and keep life as simple as possible. The Pouchee is the perfect solution to keeping all those little things together, putting everything you need, right at your fingertips.

duckhunter Duck Hunter -

Duck Hunter turns the excitement of the hunt into an activity the whole family can enjoy. Launch the duck in the air and try to hunt it down with the toy shooter as it flies freely in the air. A fun choice for those who love outdoor sporting.

cardstore CardStore cards

-Personalized holiday cards are an important item on everyone's to-do list and often a hassle to create and print. has everything from family photo cards to invitations for your big holiday party, simplifying your holiday season.

Great Holiday Gift Ideas
Things Remembered Custom Couture Jewelry
Just Elfin' Around
Card Cubby
Harumika By Bandai
Harumika Runway Showstopper Harumika Style Starter
Baby Alive Whoopsie Doo
Strawberry Shortcake Playset
Kota Monty Rex
Wall to Wall Basketball
Nerf Pocket Vortex
Busy Ball Popper
Talking Chuck Truck
Leapfrog My Pal Scout Leapfrog Tag Jr
Leapfrog Scribble and Write Animal Planet Polar Land Playset
Animal Planet Dinosaur Playmat Onionhead Adult/Teen Feelings Pack
OnionHead Children's Feelings Pack
Onionhead A-Z Feelings Magnet Set
MeTime Tees

Fun Holiday Giveaway! For this holiday guide, we want to share the love with the blogosphere! Some of our generous sponsors have donated prizes to be given away to lucky readers! To enter to win one of the following fabulous prizes, simply fill out the form here:

Prizes include: Things Remembered Custom Couture Jewelry Pouchee Elfing Around Harumika Onionhead Feelings Pack Nerf Wall to Wall Basketball Baby Alive Whoopsie Doo MeTime T-shirt Entries will close on December 6, 2009 at 11:59 PM EST. Winners will be contacted by email after the close of the contest.

Global Influence Member Guides
Need more ideas for this holiday season? Check out the guides that some of our Global Influence members have put together on their own sites! Thrifty Jinxy, Happy Healthy Hip , And Twins Make Five , Because Two People Fell In Love, Mommy Musings , Lipstick to Crayons , Bargain Briana , Mommy PR , Shop With Me Mama, Santa Picks, Rave and Review, Connected 2 Christ , 3 Boys and a Dog, The Classy Closet , Contest Corner, Lisa Reviews , A Giveaway Every Day, HulaHoopinMom, Spalibrations, High Impact Mom, From Cribs to Car Keys
All reviews listed in the Global Influence gift guide were product provided. Featured positions were purchased by sponsors. Member gift guides are not affiliated with Global Influence.


What are Your 5 Favorite Holiday Activities to do with Your Kids?

With Christmas fast approaching it's a great time to spend with your children. There are lots of activities you can do with the kids around this time of year. Here are five of our faves.

1. We love to do crafts around the holiday season. Santa faces on paper plates and cotton balls are a big hit. :) Can't think of any? Just Google 'kids Christmas crafts' - you'll be overloaded.

2. Baking Christmas cookies and decorating cake be lots of fun...and sometimes quite messy. But what's a little mess when you're having a good time.

3. Making salt ornaments. These are easy to make and are great presents from the kids.

4. Reading. We read a lot year round but now it's fun to read all the Christmas stories...and of course retell the story of Baby Jesus.

5. Watch Christmas shows. Each year we eagerly anticipate A Charlie Brown Christmas and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. The classics. But then they add new ones and we enjoy those also. This year we want to watch Dora's Christmas Carol Adventure which premieres on Nickelodeon on 12/6 @ 8PM EST and Santa Buddies, which comes out on DVD today.

What do you like to do with your children to celebrate the holidays? Want to hear what other families do? Check out TwitterMoms discussion on holiday activities.

*This post is an entry into a TwitterMoms Dora's Christmas Carol Adventure contest*


Monday, November 23, 2009

A Taste of the West Sweepstakes

Challenge Dairy, the largest selling butter brand in the West would like to
invite you to tell all of your readers about the sweepstakes we are
currently running! You can enter now for a chance to win A Taste of the
West during a 7-day/6-night trip for 4 people to the incredible Mountain
Sky Guest Ranch in Montana’s Paradise Valley, just North of Yellowstone
National Park. For more information, please visit us at

In addition to world-class fine dining, the guest ranch features cozy
accommodations, horseback riding, hiking, fishing, rock climbing, clay
shooting and much more! Revive, rejuvenate and reconnect with a variety of
activities for everyone in this $17,000 luxury getaway.

But that's not all! We’ll also be churning more good luck with an $850
kitchen package from Spice Islands and OXO.

This sweepstakes ends on December 31, 2009.


Kmart Blue Light Specials are back!

Blue Light Specials are back, and to celebrate in style Kmart is giving shoppers on Twitter a chance to win a $50 gift card everyday! In addition to the chance to win daily, everyone following @KmartDealsnNews on Twitter will be automatically entered for a chance to win a $500 Kmart shopping spree!

Winning couldn’t get easier - all you have to do is follow @KmartDealsnNews on Twitter from your personal Twitter account and issue a Tweet everyday using our hashtag: #KmartBLS. Each day is a new opportunity to win, so the more often you tweet - the better your chances are to win a Daily prize!

For more info on sweepstakes details, check out:, and for Official Rules:

The sweepstakes runs until December 23rd.


Review & Giveaway: Relish!

Recently, I was contacted by a representative from Relish!. They offered me a free month membership to their website for review and if I liked it I was allowed to giveaway a free 1-year subscription (valued at $58.80). All I have to say is somebody's gonna get lucky! ;)

It's such a cool site! Relish! makes meal planning easy. And who doesn't want to make it easy? This is a great website for busy families who feel as if they are stuck eating the same things over and over again.

How does Relish! work?
* Each week you choose five entrees to make for the week.
* All dinners are kitchen-tested (no more disasters) and take 30 minutes or less prep.
* The comprehensive grocery list makes grocery shopping a snap.
* 5 dinners and sides cost less than $85 per week at the grocery store. You will notice substantial savings by sticking to a list!
* A Relish! subscription is only $7 per month.
* Monthly freezer menus are included in the subscription, plus much more

Sounds great, huh? You can check it out here.

Would you like to WIN a subscription to Relish!? All I need you to do is leave a comment below telling me why you need Relish! I'll pick a winner on December 7th @ 11:59PM EST using

Photobucket Coupon Code

I'm so happy to be able to share these great discount codes with you!! is a place where girls create & wear their own designs! At, young fashionistas can create and build their own fashion collection complete with a personalized label!

Girls can share their designs with friends and family, order their clothes, and have their unique creations shipped to them!

Personal expression is so important to young girls and lets them choose from a collection of high-quality base garments (like shirts, dresses, skirts, jackets and even hair bands & bags) in various colors and then customize them with ribbons, ruffles, graphics, buttons, appliques and rhinestones. is offering One2One Network Members and their Friends & Family:

* $20 Off your first purchase by entering ONE20 at checkout
* This offer includes $20 Off of gift certificates too!

Perfect for the holidays!!

Thanks to One2OneNetwork for sharing this information with me!


Recipe for Joy

Help donate 1 million meals to the hungry this holiday season. Simply send FREE holiday
e-cards from American Greetings to your friends and family. For each card sent, Kraft Foods will donate 10 meals to Feeding America.*

Visit and send a FREE holiday e-card today and every day through December 31, 2009!

For more information about Feeding America, visit

*Meals are used for illustrative purposes only. Kraft Foods has set a goal of donating the monetary equivalent of 10 meals for each e-card sent, up to a cap of one million meals. Feeding America's meal conversion is effective until 6/30/10.

Photobucket & a Simply Cookie Coupon

Have you heard about It's a new website where General Mills has posted more than 25,000 of its best kitchen-tested recipes, all in one place!

Tablespoon features simple recipes from well-known brands like Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Bisquick and Progresso. It´s easy to find a recipe - you can browse categories (course, ingredient, occasion or theme), get recipe recommendations, check out popular recipe collections, or use the easy search filters to find the perfect recipe.

You also can tweak any recipe on the site to make it your own and then share it with friends. Plus, you can often find more than $100 a month in grocery coupons and sign up for a weekly email newsletter.

Also, this month, Pillsbury is helping you celebrate National Peanut Butter Lovers Month with a tasty deal on its new Pillsbury® simply...™ Refrigerated Peanut Butter Cookies. Nothing makes a house feel more like a home than the aroma of cookies baking. Fresh-from-the-oven cookies are the perfect treat for an after-school snack or an impromptu visit from friends.

The new simply...™ cookies are made with simple ingredients and nothing more. They contain zero grams of trans fat; no high-fructose corn syrup; and no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. The cookies are made with wholesome ingredients such as flour, sugar, eggs, vanilla and peanut butter — just like you would make cookies at home.

Refrigerated simply...™ cookies are ready to bake with no messy preparation. When looking for simplicity in the foods you serve at home, try simply...™ cookies for warm treats from the oven in minutes.

The new simply...™ cookies package is white and uncomplicated, for easy reference. Each package makes 12 cookies. Just place the cookie dough on a cookie sheet, bake and enjoy.


UP! Activity Sheets & Night at the Museum Coloring Sheets

I have some fun coloring and activity sheets for the kiddies.

UP! which was recently released on DVD - I can't wait to see it. I've heard it's really good. Click here and here for the UP! activity sheets.

Another movie that looks kinda fun is Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian which will be released next week on December 1st. Click here for the coloring sheets.

Hope you enjoy!

Thanks to for sharing these with me!


Review & Giveaway: Kiss Me Again

Many married women genuinely want to feel more desire toward their husbands. But while sex before marriage was hard to resist, now resisting seems like all they do. In her new book, Barbara Wilson shows how couples can suffer for years from the “invisible bonds” of previous relationships without even knowing it. Hidden emotions of distrust, shame, and resentment can sabotage even the most loving marriage.

In Kiss Me Again, Wilson:
· Shares her own story of healing and renewed desire

· Helps women forgive themselves and their husbands for past choices

· Shows readers how to break free from “invisible bonds”

· Explains God’s plan for helping a husband and wife to re-bond

· Includes conversation helps for both wives and their husbands

· Helps couples reignite the passion that they thought was lost

With assessment tools, write-in exercises, and gentle guidance, Kiss Me Again offers a biblical plan for rekindling the closeness and passion women long for in marriage. Because no past is beyond the reach of God’s healing touch.

I think we all want to be close with our spouse. But sometimes it's easier said than done. Kiss Me Again is a wonderful resource that allows us to look into ourselves and if needed change our ways to help us overcome the obstacles that prevent us from connecting with our loved one. Even if you don't have problems with intimacy in your marriage, I would recommend this book. I think that no matter how close we feel or how perfect we think our relationship is ~ that it can always be better.

Think this is a book you could use? I would love to help one of my readers out! I'm going to giveaway ONE copy toone of you! All I ask that you do is leave a comment below telling me why you think you need this book. I'll pick a winner December 5th @ 11:59PM EST using

*Disclaimer: I was provided copies of this book for free for review and giveaway. The above opinion is my own.*


Review: White Picket Fences

Amanda Janvier’s idyllic home seems the perfect place for her niece Tally to stay while her vagabond brother is in Europe, but the white picket fence life Amanda wants to provide is a mere illusion. Amanda’s husband Neil refuses to admit their teenage son Chase, is haunted by the horrific fire he survived when he was four, and their marriage is crumbling while each looks the other way.

Tally and Chase bond as they interview two Holocaust survivors for a sociology project, and become startlingly aware that the whole family is grappling with hidden secrets, with the echoes of the past, and with the realization that ignoring tragic situations won’t make them go away.

Readers of emotional dramas that are willing to explore the lies that families tell each other for protection and comfort will love White Picket Fences. The novel is ideal for those who appreciate exploring questions like: what type of honesty do children need from their parents, or how can one move beyond a past that isn’t acknowledged or understood? Is there hope and forgiveness for the tragedies of our past and a way to abundant grace?

This book was AMAZING! I loved it. Some of my favorite books are family dramas and I really enjoy history. Let me tell you this book has it all! This is a great book that really makes you question just how secrets effect people. What lies beyond that idyllic white picket fence? I also loved how this was a very Christ oriented book. Throughout the story, the characters are asked to put their faith in God. Can they give up their control and as the saying goes "Let Go and Let God"? You can get your own copy of White Picket Fences here.

*Disclaimer: I was provided a copy of this book for free for review. The above opinion is my own.*


Faith & Fangs Blog Tour & Giveaway

Ok, I'm a few days late on this. I have SO many books to read and review. It just caught up with me. I'm sorry... :( What am I apologizing for? Cause I'm going to try to overload you with reviews today. :D

We all know right now that vampires are the new "in" thing. New Moon *screaming like a teenage girl* was released just last week on November 20th. It's all very popular. Many people are worried though about the affect of this phenomenon on their religion, how it will affect their children and so on. Many Christians have boycott the movie and you can find MANY blogs that cover this topic. To me it's all entertainment ~ I like the Twilight series. I don't feel as if it reflects my beliefs. I'm not a devil worshiper or secretly in a Wiccan cult. But I respect others thoughts and I'm sorry if we can't agree on this.

The first book in this tour is called Touched by a Vampire: Discovering Hidden Messages in the Twilight Saga by Beth Felker Jones.

People around the world are asking the same question, enraptured with Edward and Bella’s forbidden romance in the Twilight Saga, a four-book serial phenomenon written by Stephenie Meyer. The bestsellers tell the story of a regular girl’s relationship with a vampire who has chosen to follow his “good” side. But the Saga isn’t just another fantasy–it’s teaching girls about love, sex, and purpose. With 48 million copies in print and a succession of upcoming blockbuster films, now is the time to ask the important question: Can vampires teach us about God’s plan for love?

Touched by a Vampire is the first book to investigate the themes of the Twilight Saga from a Biblical perspective. Some Christian readers have praised moral principles illustrated in the story, such as premarital sexual abstinence, which align with Meyer’s Mormon beliefs. But ultimately, Beth Felker Jones examines whether the story’s redemptive qualities outshine its darkness.

Cautionary, thoughtful, and challenging, Touched by a Vampire is written for Twilight fans, parents, teachers, and pop culture enthusiasts. It includes an overview of the series for those unfamiliar with the storyline and a discussion guide for small groups.

This book is really good for those of you that have heard both the good and bad about the Twilight series. It will help to guide you through the process of deciding whether or not it's something you feel comfortable with watching or reading.

The second book is called Thirsty by Tracey Bateman.
There's no place like home, they say.
"Hello, I'm Nina Parker…and I'm an alcoholic."
For Nina, it's not the weighty admission but the first steps toward recovery that prove most difficult. She must face her ex-husband, Hunt, with little hope of making amends, and try to rebuild a relationship with her angry teenage daughter, Meagan. Hardest of all, she is forced to return to Abbey Hills, Missouri, the hometown she abruptly abandoned nearly two decades earlier–and her unexpected arrival in the sleepy Ozark town catches the attention of someone–or something–igniting a two-hundred-fifty-year-old desire that rages like a wildfire.

Unaware of the darkness stalking her, Nina is confronted with a series of events that threaten to unhinge her sobriety. Her daughter wants to spend time with the parents Nina left behind. A terrifying event that has haunted Nina for almost twenty years begins to surface. And an alluring neighbor initiates an unusual friendship with Nina, but is Markus truly a kindred spirit or a man guarding dangerous secrets?

As everything she loves hangs in the balance, will Nina's feeble grasp on her demons be broken, leaving her powerless against the thirst? The battle between redemption and obsession unfold to its startling, unforgettable end.

This has been described as an excellent Christian alternative to the mainstream vampire novels. And I have to agree this is a really good book. At first I couldn't get into it. It seemed like it was going to be a hard one to read. As I continued on I really started to enjoy it. This might be an alternative for some of you out there.

Both of these books are great reads and you should definitely check them out. And right now I'm going to give you a chance to WIN one. I'm giving away ONE copy of Touched by a Vampire: Discovering Hidden Messages in the Twilight Saga. All you have to do is leave me a comment below telling me why you want it. :) A winner will be picked on December 2nd @ 11:59PM EST using

*Disclaimer: I was provided copies of these books for free for review. The above opinion is my own.*


Thankful for My Blessings ~ Day 23

Today I'm thankful for those quiet moments when all I hear is the sound of soft snoring coming from my little man. :D


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Thankful for My Blessings ~ Day 22

Today I'm thankful for lazy days and enjoying my babies ~ even when they are ornery!


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Thankful for My Blessings ~ Day 21

Today I'm thankful for kickbutt movies like Twilight and New Moon! I <3 'em!! Stephanie Meyers rocks the vampire scene! I am soooo ready for Eclipse now. :oD I've read all the books and that's what makes me want to see the movies so bad.


Friday, November 20, 2009

Thankful for My Blessings ~ Day 20

Today I'm thankful for the internet and Facebook and all the wonderful folks I've met because of it! :o)


Homeschool Resource of the Day: Making the Holidays Family Friendly

Making the Holidays Family Friendly (PDF ebook)

Penny Raine brings us this excellent guide to planning holiday times for your family so they are nurturing, memorable celebrations instead of unrealistic, high-stress occasions. Don't miss this!

You can get it today only at


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thankful for My Blessings ~ Day 19

Today I'm thankful for a nice warm, COMFY bed to crawl into after a long day. That's where I'm headed now. Goodnight!!! :o)


Homeschool Resource of the Day: Let's Sing About Thanksgiving

Let's Sing About Thanksgiving (MP3 audio & PDF lesson guide)

A vintage Thanksgiving-themed music lesson from back in the day when rural schools got their music lessons over the radio. Learn some simple songs about Thanksgiving, and hear a short story about the Pilgrims.

PLUS: An extra classic Thanksgiving Audio program for your listening pleasure!

You can get it today only at


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Thankful for My Blessings ~ Day 18

Today I'm thankful for PEACE of mind. So glad to finally know for sure what has been wrong with Gracie (it's the flu - ick!) and hoping she makes a speedy recovery!


Homeschool Resource of the Day: Joyful Momma's Guide to Christmas Gingerbread & Other Holiday Treats

Joyful Momma's Guide to Christmas Gingerbread & Other Holiday Treats (PDF ebook)

This little ebook is all about Gingerbread and other Christmas treats, including instructions and patterns for making a gingerbread house, some great recipes for Gingerbread, Venetians, Turkish Delight and
some favorite hot beverages your family will enjoy around the holidays.

You can get it today only at


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Thankful for My Blessings ~ Day 17

Today I'm thankful for PATIENCE. :o)


Homeschool Resource of the Day: How to Avoid the "Embarrassed Parent" Syndrome this Holiday Season

How to Avoid the "Embarrassed Parent" Syndrome this Holiday Season (MP3 audio)

In this concise audio seminar, Cindy Carrier shares some practical training strategies and tips that can help make your holiday season more peaceful as you deal with parties, over-indulgence, selfishness, and more. Great tips and training suggestions!

You can get it today only at


Monday, November 16, 2009

Thankful for My Blessings ~ Day 16

Today I'm thankful for BEAUTIFUL fall days. :o)