Monday, May 31, 2010

Winners of all Oxi-Active

The winners have been chosen.  The winning comments were:

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:



Timestamp: 2010-05-31

Heather and Bermudaonion are the winners.  I will be emailing you for your addresses.  Thanks for signing up to win!  Watch for yet another giveaway this week!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

82 Days of Summer Fun

For the past few years, I have tried to make our summers fun with a little bit of routine so that our days don't get away from us.  With 3 children, I didn't want to hear the constant "I'm bored" or "What is there to do" from the kids.  So, I came up with the plan to number each of our summer days and after each day we write out what we did.  We also give each weekday a theme for us to focus on.  Of course these themes can be ignored if something comes up, but gives us a plan for the week, if we need it.  Some ideas that I have used are....

Movie Mondays  (watch a movie at home or go to the movies)
Tasty Tuesdays (try a new recipe or cook something with the kids)
Wild Wednesdays (anything goes)
Thinking Thursdays (some sort of school work....keeping our skills active)
Fun Fridays (anything goes, trip to the park, playdate with friends, etc)
Game Day Monday or any day (drag out all those board games and have fun)
Worship Wednesday (spending sometime with the Bible, some devotions and listening to Christian music)
Swimming Wednesday (going to the pool every wednesday)

A couple years ago, my summer ideas were featured in a popular parenting magazine.  So, I hope other families are finding my ideas make their summers more managable.

On top of these themes, I also have a list of chores the kids need to accomplish like making their beds, emptying the dishwasher, putting their laundry away, sweeping, and dusting.

Then the final thing I focus on during the summer is their reading.  I encourage the kids to read books at or above their level of reading.  I keep track of the pages they read and after they tell me about the book, I record their number of pages.  Then I record the number of pages.  Once they reach 500 pages, we go out for an ice cream treat, at 1000 pages, I give them $10.  Last summer we made it to the 500 page goal.  I also take them to Barnes and Noble to pick out a book after completing the Barnes and Noble Summer Reading program, which is reading 8 books.

We also take a vacation over the summer and get away for a week or two.  This year we have decided to head east.  So, we look forward to planning out our destinations over the next few weeks.  Before we know it, those 82 days will be gone and school will be starting all over again.  But, we will have a record of our summer and will we certainly make the most of our 82 DAYS OF SUMMER!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Schools Out For Summer

School was dismissed for the summer today at 1:00 PM!  I am usually not quite so excited about it, except this year I have been doing a long-term substitute teaching position for the last 6 weeks, so I was ready to be done!

Starting tomorrow we will have 82 days of summer until school starts again on Thursday, August 19th.  What will we do with those 82 days?  Stay tuned to find out!

Happy Summer Everyone!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Thought for the Day

Pray as if everything depended on God and work as if everything depended on you.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Frogs

For the past several nights, we have been able to sleep with our bedroom window open, which I love.  I love sleeping and feeling that gentle, cool breeze coming in.  Outside our bedroom window is our neighbor's back yard with a pond.  In that pond are a couple frogs (or toads...not sure of the difference).  Every night they have been singing me to sleep and I LOVE IT!!!!  As a child, I grew up on a farm that was right next to a river and I grew up listening to frogs at night and birds waking me in the morning.  A few years ago, my husband gave me a Spa Alarm Clock that has all these sounds built in like a thunderstorm, rain, the ocean, a rainforest, etc.  So, you can fall asleep or wake up to those sounds.  But, there is NOTHING BETTER than falling asleep to the real singing of frogs outside my window every night.  I should probably research what these frogs are singing about.  Are they mating, is this their way of claiming their territory, why do I only hear them sing at night?  If you know these answers, let me know.  Thanks to my neighbor, Don, for having the pond for the frogs to sing in each night.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

One More Week Until Summer

One more week until summer break for our family.  Just 5 more days of school for our kids!  Today I will be going along on a field trip with our 4th grader to several businesses in the area as part of our JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT lesson.  Then next week is full of Talent Shows, Spelling Bees, and another field trip.  Today was the senior's last day of school with graduation being held on Sunday.  Yes, school is coming to an end.

Usually as summer rolls around, I have some anxiety.  The kids will be home most of the time!  I have to FEED THEM 3 MEAL A DAY!  There will be daily/hourly arguments between them.  I will have to battle the constant, "I'm Bored, Mom" complaints.  The house will be messier.  The grocery bill higher.  But, then I realize the upside is all the baseball games, the theatre camp, the show choir camp, the football camp, the basketball camp, the family time, and the 2 week vacation.  Before we know it, school will be starting again.  We only have 82 days of summer and it will be over before we know it!

Next week I will share some thoughts on how I prepare for our summer and how I try to stay (somewhat) sane with 3 kids in the house!  I am going to cherish this last week (even though I have to work) and prepare my house and my mind for summer!

Monday, May 17, 2010

all Oxi-Active Review and Giveaway

For the last 2 weeks, I have been using all Oxi-Active laundry detergent for all my laundry.  I am not someone who usually tries new laundry detergent because I am afraid I won't like the scent or someone might have a reaction to the new detergent. 

But, when Mom Select approached me to try the new all Oxi-Active, I was intrigued by the thought that this detergent catches all those hidden stains.

With 3 children in the house, I have pulled a shirt out of the dryer only to find a stain left behind that I didn't know about.  If I spent the time going over each piece of clothing looking for stains, I would never get the laundry done.  So, I leave it up to them to let me know if there is a stain.  Well, I am sure you know how that goes.  I don't always find out about it.  Using all Oxi-Active these last 2 weeks, I haven't had a single stain left behind.  So, either my kids are being extra clean or all Oxi-Active is taking care of them for me!  I have been very happy with the way all Oxi-Active has been washing our clothes and I also like the fresh clean scent it leaves behind. 

New all Oxi-Active delivers a 2-in-1 advanced cleaning power and cleans better than the leading Oxi liquid detergent on tough stains like grass.  It also keeps your white vibrant and your colors bright.  all Oxi-Active is safe for both traditional and high-efficiency washing machines.  all Oxi-Active tackles your tough stains like grass, blood, wine, grape juice, coffee with milk, and chocolate ice cream.  all Oxi-Active is available in sizes ranging from 50 oz to 172 oz. 

For more information on all Oxi-Active visit or

If you would like your own opportunity to try all Oxi-Active, all you have to do is leave a comment here with your email address so I can contact you.  Mom Select will be sending out a bottle of all Oxi-Active to 2 of my readers.  This contest is open through Sunday, May 30, 2010 at 11:59 pm.  I will draw 2 winners using on Monday, May 31st. 

Thanks to Mom Select for this opportunity.  I was provided with one bottle of all Oxi-Active to try and 2 bottles will be sent to winner.  This review is my honest opinion.

Smart Charger Winner

Here are your random numbers:


Timestamp: 2010-05-17

Darcy is the winner!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


A couple weeks ago, I was responsible for giving the lesson at our Women's Circle at church.  I decided to give the lesson on prayer.  Prayer has become such an important part of my daily life, it seemed natural to talk about it with other women.  The following is the lesson....

The defination of the word PRAY is to offer a devout petition, praise, thanks, etc., to (God),

or to enter into spiritual communion with God, or to communicate with God.

Some form of the word “pray” is used in the Bible at least 500 times.

Some of those instances are:Matthew 21:22 If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.

Romans 12:12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Be joyful always: pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

James 5:13-16 Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. Is anyone of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.

Psalm 4:1 Answer me when I call to you, O my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress: be merciful to me and hear my prayer.

John G. Lake said, "There is a mighty lot of difference between saying prayers and praying."

As a child, I only remember praying at the dinner table, the same prayer every night, “Come Lord Jesus, Be our Guest, Let this food to us be blessed.” Amen

It was just something said from memory and didn’t really mean much to me at the time. I don’t remember ever really praying with my parents at bedtime or being led to pray together as a family. As I got older I remember praying things like, “Thanks God for getting me out of that mess”, or “God, please don’t let me fail this test”. But, what I didn’t realize until much later in life was that that was only one small part of prayer. Prayer is an actual intimate conversation between God and me. I may be asking Him for something, or I may be sharing my thoughts about the day, or I may be thanking Him for my many blessings, asking Him to be by my side, or sharing my fears with Him. But, prayer isn’t just about me either. Many of my prayers have to do with others. People I know and love, people I know about through someone else, people I have never even met before. While praying together as a family at the dinner table one evening, Reagan even added, “and bless all the people in Haiti.” That certainly warmed my heart to know that already, at age 5, she was thinking of others. 

Then as my life got busier, it was harder and harder for me to find quiet time to pray. If I waited until bedtime, I would fall asleep mid prayer. If I did it when I woke up I was always interrupted by a child or a husband. Sometimes the only place I had peace and quiet was in the van while driving or…in my bathroom. My bathroom has become a peaceful place for me. I don’t have to share it with anyone as the kids have their own and Pat has his own. The kids have to ask permission to use my bathroom. I have numerous Bible verses posted in my bathroom to remind me of things or to calm me. And, this is where I pray. I don’t think it matters where you are when you are praying as long as you are giving your attention to God.

I recently read the book “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett. In this story, Abileen, a Southern black maid in the 60’s starts a prayer journal. She writes her prayers every night as a way to practice her writing skills. Some nights she writes pages and pages of prayers for many people she cares about. This is her conversation with God. This is how she remembers everyone she needs to pray for. Abileen’s prayers were said to go straight to God, so she was often asked to pray for others and her writings could keep her up pretty late.

Last year I purchased my own prayer journal that I used at my Bible Study. After our discussion, our group goes through their A.S.K’s, which stands for, Ask Seek Knock, taken from the verses:
Matthew 7:7-8 and Luke 11:9-10, Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
So, each week, I would write these A.S.K’s in my journal. Then as I did my Bible Study each week I would go through the names to remember who pray for. The other important part of these prayers is that they were specific. Not just to pray for Susie’s mom who is sick, but asking for wisdom for the doctors, strength for the mom, guidance for the family, etc.
Then earlier this year, one of the pages of my calendar gave the following idea for prayer.  I liked it because it helped me make sure to remember all those extra people I need to be praying for.
The Five-Finger Prayer

Thumb: Pray for those closet to you.

Pointing Finger: Pray for those who point the way

Tallest Finger: Pray for those in leadership

Ring Finger: Pray for those who are ill or troubled

Pinky: Pray for yourself

This was such a simple way to remember all those people I should be praying for without leaving anyone out.

I have found how important prayer is to my life. My conversations with God help calm me, remind me of my blessings and my faults and give me a chance to think of others.  Some of you may be pros at prayer and have your own system for praying.  If so, I'd love for you to share it here. 

Al Scalpone said it best I think, A family that prays together, stays together.

I am grateful that my children are comfortable, already, praying to God and I hope they are seeking his comfort often.

In closing, I want to ask you,
Is prayer your steering wheel or your spare tire? -- Corrie Ten Boom

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Recipe: Rhubarb Berry Crisp

I LOVE Rhubarb and anxiously await its arrival in the spring.  Unfortunately, due to my schedule, it took me until yesterday to go out to my neighbors patch and pick some.  I couldn't decide what to make as I have so many good recipes, but I knew that I wanted to make something that included the raspberries and strawberries that I had bought the day before.  This was what I came up with.

4 cups rhubarb, diced
1 cup strawberries, sliced
1 cup raspberries
1 cup sugar
1 1/3 cup flour, divided
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup quick or old-fashioned oats
1/4 tsp nutmeg

In a large bowl combine the rhubarb and berries, white sugar, 1/3 cup flour, and cinnamon.  Transfer to a greased 9x13 baking dish.

In another bowl, combine remaining 1 cup flour with the brown sugar, oats and nutmeg.  Add butter and blend well to create the streusel.  Sprinkle streusel over rhubarb mixture and bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Kids Take Charge and a Giveaway

ENERGIZER has been doing so many great things lately and I have another great program to tell you about this morning.

ENERGIZER is introducing the new ENERGIZER RECHARGE SMART CHARGER by getting people like you involved in a video campaign to drive donations to their favorite charity.  The "Kids Take Charge" video campaign asks families across the country to post a video of their child explaining the mischief they can get into when the toys that keep them occupied run out of battery power.  The top ten creative entries will receive a portion of the $10,000 donation - based on an online poll - for their charity.  Parents can get inspiration from the online ad campaign by viewing kids talking about having tantrums to telling some family secrets, each closing with a "Try the Smart Charger....or Else" message.  These videos can be viewed at

The first 250 people to enter a video will receive a free ENERGIZER RECHARGE SMART CHARGER.  ENERGIZER will select ten finalists based on originality, humor, and alignment with the "Kids Take Charge or Else" Theme.  Consumers can help determine the amount of money each charity receives by voting for their favorite at The funds will be allocated based on the percentage of views that each video receives.  All videos must be entered before May 17, 2010.

This new ENERGIZER RECHARGE SMART CHARGER can make your lives easier by making sure your cameras, hand held gaming systems, toys, flashlights, radios, baby swings, etc are always charged and ready to go.

The new ENERGIZER RECHARGE SMART CHARGER was developed in response to consumer interest. Consumers wanted to know the charging status of their batteries and if they will last for as long as needed.  This new SMART CHARGER has
-A countdown clock with large LCD numbers to show how much charging time remains. 
-A fuel gauge showing the current level of power in the batteries.
-A bad-battery detector to alert you if the battery is no longer useful.

There is nothing more frustrating than taking my camera to a sporting event for my kids and finding the batteries die after the first picture.  This charger helps me know more about the charging process of the batteries.  This new charger also has a slower charge rate which extends the number of life cycles of the battery.  Typical charges can take approximately 6 hours.  This charger also allows you to charge AAA or AA batteries and either 2 or 4 of them.  This SMART CHARGER is available now at all major retailers for $19.99.


Lucky for you, I have one ENERGIZER RECHARGE SMART CHARGER to give away to one of my readers.  I have been very happy with mine and I know you are going to love it too!
1. Tell me in a comment what item you are constantly recharging or replacing batteries for.
2. Be sure to leave your email address so I can contact you if you win.
3. All entries must be in by Sunday, May 16, 2010 by 11:59 PM
4. Winner will be chosen by on Monday, May 17, 2010.

Thanks to ENERGIZER for providing one Smart Charger for me aswell as one to giveaway to a reader.

Safety Kit Winner selected my winner this morning.

Here are your random numbers:


Timestamp: 2010-05-10

Patrice, you're the winner.  I will be emailing you shortly!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

What Kids Say About Moms

This is taken from the book WHAT A WONDERFUL LIFE FOR MOMS: CELEBRATING THE WONDER AND JOY OF MOTHERHOOD.  I found this funny and wanted to share it with you today, for Mother's Day.

Life is wonderful because of the innocence and honesty of children.

How did God make mothers?
-He used dirt, just like for the rest of us.
-Magic plus super powers and a lot of stirring.
-God made my mom just the same like he made me.
-He just used bigger parts.

What ingredients are mothers made of?
-God makes mothers out of clouds and angel hair and everything nice in the world and one dab of mean.
-They had to get their start from men's bones.
Then they mostly use stirring, I think.

What kind of little girl was your mom?
-My mom has always been my mom and none of that other stuff.
-I don't know because I wasn't there, but my guess would be pretty bossy.
-They say she used to be nice.

If you could change one thing about your mom, what would it be?
-She has this weird thing about me keeping my room clean.  I'd get rid of that.
-I'd make my mom smarter.  Then she would know it was my sister who did it and not me.
-I would like for her to get rid of those invisible eyes on her back.

What is the difference between moms asnd dads?
-Moms work at work and work at home, and dads just go to work at work.
-Moms know how to talk to teachers without scaring them.
-Dads are taller and stronger, but moms have all the real power 'cause that's who you got to ask if you want to sleep over at your friend's.
-Moms have magic - they make you feel better without medicine.

What does your mom do in her spare time?
-Mothers don't do spare time.
-To hear her tell it, she pays bills all day long.

I hope this gave you a chuckle this morning and remember.....

God could not be everywhere, so he made mothers.  Jewish Proverb

Happy Mother's Day to my mom and to all the mothers out there!  Thanks mom for teaching me the most important lesson, about being generous...with my gifts, with my time and with my love for others.

Friday, May 7, 2010

A Friday Chuckle

One day a little girl notices that her mother has several strands of white hair sticking out in contrast to her brown hair.  She looks at her mother and inquisitively asks, "Why are some of your hairs white, Mom?"  Her mother replies, "Well, everytime you misbehave, one of my hairs turns white."  The little girls thinks about this revelation for a while and then asks "Momma, how come all of grandma's hairs are white?"

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Missing My Friends

Six years ago tonight I lost my "friends".  I am talking about my "friends" from the hit TV show "FRIENDS".  Tonight, back in 2004, I was watching my "friends" say their goodbyes, laughing and crying and wondering how such a great show could come to an end.  After ten seasons, they had become such a big part of my regular TV viewing.  My husband and I still like to say Joey's classic phrase to each other...."How YOU doin?".  I was always envious of Rachel's hairstyles and her fashion.  Of course, I have benefited from numerous reruns over the years, but they aren't on quite as often as they used to be.  But, whenever I did catch an episode, no matter how many times I have watched it, I was always guaranteed a good laugh!

A couple weeks ago, my husband surprised me with "FRIENDS: THE COMPLETE SEASON" DVD Set.  It was something he had been wanting to get me and just decided to order it.  Unfortunately, I haven't had the time to watch any of it yet, but I am soooooo looking forward to starting with the first episode and working my way though all ten seasons. 

So, six years ago tonight, were you one of those 51.1 million people who tuned in to see what was going to happen to Ross, Rachel, Chandler, Monica, Joey and Phoebe?  You know I was!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Be Prepared and a Giveaway!

This is our 6th spring in our home and community.  In those 6 years we have had hail damage twice, straight-line winds damage our pool in one storm and our swingset in another, and 2 tornados have hit just outside our town.  I feel like we are in "storm alley" here.  So, when ENERGIZER contacted me about their new KEEP SAFE KEEP GOING Public Safety Campaign, I definately wanted to help out.

The International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), ENERGIZER, and the American Meteorological Society (AMS) are working together to help families prepare for whatever weather situations spring, summer and hurricane seasons might bring their way.  Storms can lead to power outages and can put families at risk for potentially harmful and serious outcomes.  One simple way to prepare is to have an emergency power kit ready before any blackout occurs.  In a era where families are so dependent on technology, this kit helps you stay connected just when you need it most.

The IAFC stresses the importance of using flashlights and lanterns instead of candles during power outages.  "An emergency power kit can literally be a beacon of light in a storm and can help prevent needless home fires caused by candles," stated President of the IAFC, Chief Jeffrey Johnson.  To reach more communities with tips and tools to stay safe , the AMS has joined the efforts this year.

Some items to include in your Emergency Power Kit:
>Battery-powered radio or crank radio
>Plenty of extra batteries
>Flashlight for every member of the family
>Battery-powered cell phone charger
>Extra speciality batteries for health needs such as hearing aids, blood pressure monitors, and blood glucose meters.
>Nonperishable food
>Copies of important documents such as medical records and insurance papers
For a complete list of tips, visit

To help you prepare for storms, ENERGIZER has offered a safety kit for one of my readers.  This kit includes a flashlight, battery operated radio, battery-powered cell phone charger, and lots of extra batteries. This kit has been a great addition to our emergency planning.  If you would like to receive this kit to help you add to your emergency planning, please leave a comment below.  Include your email address so I can contact you if you win.  This contest is open until Sunday, May 9, 2010 at 11:59 PM.  I will select a winner on Monday, May 10, 2010 using

ENERGIZER provided me with 2 of the emergency kits, one to keep and one to giveaway to a selected reader.