Friday, October 29, 2010

Things I Love - My Husband

Things I love....................

This is my feature where I get to share something that I just love. Since you are my friends, I like sharing things I love with others. It could be anything from a new product, food, recipe, song, image, to a person and everything in between. This will be something I am completely doing on my own, without pressure or compensation from a company, author, PR/Marketing firm, friend, business owner, etc. This will just be something that makes me happy and I want to share it with you. Enjoy some love!

Today's love is..................................
My husband, Pat. 
This week he turned 40 and it was so fun to celebrate that with him.  He was 27 when we met.  We were so young and so full of dreams for our future.  We couldn't wait to get married and have children and start a life together.  When he turned 30, I threw a huge surprise party with his best friend's wife.  Her husband was also turning 30 and so we decided it would be easiest to have their surprise parties together.  Boy was it a blast, but also a lot of work.  This time, I decided to make it more manageable and more personal.  His birthday was on Monday, so we started celebrating on the weekend by going out to dinner with another couple friend of ours to one of his favorite restaurants.  Then Saturday night I invited his sister and family over.  This was when I revealed a slide show/DVD of his last 40 years.  I had scanned pictures from his childhood, pictures from our early life together and added in some of our family photos.  I sent them off to my cousin who then put it into DVD form with music and captions.  It was fun to see the finished piece and every one's reaction to the photos.  On Sunday, we celebrated here at home since Monday night was going to be hectic with basketball practice.  On Monday, I had told him I would take him out to lunch, knowing that I really wasn't going to do that.  I had arranged for people in his office to stick around for lunch on Monday.  I had also sent posters of some of the cutest photos of him to be placed around the office that morning announcing that he was 40 today.  I brought lunch in for everyone at the office.  Pat was truly surprised and it was fun to have all of us sitting around the conference table.  His sister even came in for lunch and brought a cake which was a nice touch. 
So, as you can see, I am truly in love with my husband.  I wouldn't know how to survive without him.  He is truly a "hands on" dad and husband.  No, he may not always put his clothes away in a timely manner or pick up after himself, but he is always willing to help out a neighbor, to get down and play with the kids, to help me with a craft project or a baking project, or to watch a girlie movie with me. 
I knew from the first night we met, that he was THE ONE for me.  We have made it through some tough times, and came through even stronger.  I can't wait to see what our future holds.  I look forward to celebrating and finding ways to surprise him for his 100th birthday!
So, today's love is a love only for me.  But I am so full of love for him that I had to share it with all of you, especially in honor of his birthday.  Happy Birthday and may there be many, many more!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Change Your Clock Change Your Battery Giveaway

The end of daylight savings time is just around the corner on November 7, 2010.  For 23 years the ENERGIZER Company and the International Association of Fire Chiefs (I-A-F-C) have teamed up to remind everyone to adopt their life saving CHANGE YOUR CLOCK CHANGE YOUR BATTERY habit.  When you change your clocks back one hour, you also need to check and change your batteries in all your smoke alarms.  This is a great way to also get your children involved as I am sure they are learning about fire safety just like my kids are.  Just as important as "Stop, Drop and Roll" is having working smoke alarms throughout your home/apartment.  Having a working smoke alarm can cut the risk of dying in home structure fires in half because the alarm can provide the critical extra seconds needed to escape the home.  Even though 96% of American homes have smoke alarms, many do not have ones that work because of missing or worn-out batteries.

Each year, ENERGIZER donates 200,000 batteries to fire departments nationwide.  Every year, our small town, volunteer fire department makes the rounds around town, testing alarms and changing batteries for those who leave their lights on.  What a great service to those in our community who are elderly or maybe can't afford batteries, or for those of us who just need a reminder.

This year you can help ENERGIZER double their battery donation by going to and click the CYCCYB tab on the ENERGIZER BUNNY FACEBOOK PAGE.  Just pledge to change your batteries, share the message with others, and create your family's home escape plan.  Each action triggers a donation of batteries.

In order to help get the word out, ENERGIZER is offering a giveaway on my blog for one lucky reader.  The lucky reader will receive a FIRST ALERT Smoke Alarm and a 2-pack of 9-VOLT ENERGIZER MAX Batteries.

All you have to do is visit and "like" them.  Then click on the CYCCYB tab and help donate extra batteries.  Leave me a comment with your email address saying which of the ways you donated batteries.  This contest will run through Sunday, November 14, 2010 at 11:59 PM.  I will chose a winner using on Monday, November 15, 2010.  This contest is open to US residents only.

This post is made possible by ENERGIZER.  I will receive one smoke alarm and battery set for personal use and one set to give away. 

Thought for the Day

The only courage in life that matters is the kind that gets you from one minute to the next. 
Mignon McLaughlin

Sometimes whatever we are going through is so tough, that we can take it only minute by minute:  waiting for the doctor's office to call with test results, waiting for your child to arrive home safely from a night out with friends, waiting for a phone call about the job you just interviewed for, or maybe dealing with the death of a spouse, parent, or child.  Just getting through each moment can be unbearable.

If any of these examples fit your life right now, or if you are in a crisis, take a deep breath and remind yourself that you just made it through this moment reading my blog and you will make it through the next moment.  Just take it one at a time.  You do have the courage and strength to make it.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Things I Love - Scrabble

Things I love....................

This is my feature where I get to share something that I just love. Since you are my friends, I like sharing things I love with others. It could be anything from a new product, food, recipe, song, image, to a person and everything in between. This will be something I am completely doing on my own, without pressure or compensation from a company, author, PR/Marketing firm, friend, business owner, etc. This will just be something that makes me happy and I want to share it with you. Enjoy some love!
Today's love is..................................SCRABBLE!
If you know me at all, you know that I LOVE to play Scrabble!  I play scrabble nearly everyday. I love to play Scrabble as a board game.  Whenever my mom's side of the family gets together, you know there is going to be some Scrabble being played.  My mom and her sisters can play Scrabble for hours and now my cousins and I like to get in on the action.  We love to try and beat our moms/aunts because they were our teachers!
Once I joined Facebook and realized I could play Scrabble with my friends and family on Facebook, I was super excited.  I usually have anywhere from 7-10 games going on at once with different people on Facebook.  Now that I have an iTouch it has even become easier to log on and play my Scrabble word in my Facebook games. 
Scrabble is a great way for me to use my brain and is something that I can play fairly quickly.  Depending on who I am playing with, I may only play one word a day or with someone else, we may play our words all day long. 
I can also visit and log in and play Scrabble with the computer if I am really needing some Scrabble in my day.
I feel very fortunate that my mom taught me how to play this game and gave me a love for word games.  There are plenty of other word games out there, including Bananagrams, Scrabble Apple, Scrabble Slam, Chicktionary, Bookworm, etc.  I am grateful that my children enjoy playing these word games as much as I do.  I can often find our 5 year old daughter, playing Bookworm or Chicktionary on my iTouch and this is something I can definately be proud of.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Tell the Truth Thursday

This is my chance to tell you the truth about a topic that was originally posted by  To see other answers to this and other questions, check out the above link.

Today's questions is...........

How does your ideal bedroom look? What kind of furniture, window treatments, knick knacks, colors, etc. would you use?

First of all, there would be no JUNK in my bedroom.  It wouldn't be the catchall for all the extra stuff that appears in our house.  Second, there would be a king size bed with LOTS and LOTS of pillows.  There would be the fluffiest of all down comforters and a handmade quilt layed across the bottom of the bed.  Maybe something like this.....

The colors would be warm and soft with lots of natural light coming in.  Of course, outside my bedroom window would be the mountains and they would face east so I could see the sun rise over the mountains each morning.

In the corner of the bedroom would be a big, soft, cozy chair to snuggle up in with a good book.  Maybe something like this.....

Right next to my cozy chair would be my bookshelf with all the books that I want to read.  Of course there would also be a soft, fluffly blanket to cuddle up in.  Oh, and maybe a Keurig coffee maker in my bedroom so I can make a fresh cup of coffee as soon as I get out of bed!

It's fun to dream, isn't it?  But, the main theme of my dream bedroom would be cozy, warm, and relaxing!

Thought for the Day

"What fools we are for letting an addiction to work shortchange our quality of life."
Ita Buttrose

I wouldn't say I had an addiction to work, but I did let it invade the rest of my life the last 6 weeks.  It was a very stressful time and when I came home from work, I was nearly useless to my family.  The stress of the day carried through and presented itself as stress at home.  Why did I let that job shortchange my quality of life?  Did I do it for the money?  Did I do it because it was a challenge?  Did I do it because I thought I didn't have a choice?  Yes, yes, and yes.  But, now that I am done and can look back on my last 6 weeks, I have realized that yes, it was a challenge, yes, the money will be nice, yes, I really didn't feel like I could quit, BUT I can learn from it.  I need to find ways to leave the stress out in the driveway.  I need to find a balance and get done what I NEED to get done and let the rest roll off my shoulders. 

I've been out of the workforce for 10 years.  There is going to be an adjustment period.  So, next time, I am going to remember the quality of life of my family and those close to me.  I am going to remember MY quality of life, and not get so wrapped up in the work.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Book Review: NIGHT ROAD by Kristin Hannah

Jude Farraday is a happily married, stay-at-home mom who puts everyone’s needs above her own. Her twins, Mia and Zach, are bright and happy teenagers. When Lexi Baill enters their lives, no one is more supportive than Jude. A former foster child with a dark past, Lexi quickly becomes Mia’s best friend. Then Zach falls in love with Lexi and the three become inseparable. But senior year of high school brings unexpected dangers and one night, Jude’s worst fears are confirmed: there is an accident. In an instant, her idyllic life is shattered and her close-knit community is torn apart. People and Jude demand justice, and when the finger of blame is pointed, it lands solely on eighteen-year-old Lexi Baill. In a heartbeat, their love for each other will be shattered, the family broken. Lexi gives up everything that matters to her, the boy she loves, her place in the family, the best friend she ever had, while Jude loses even more. When Lexi returns, older and wiser, she demands a reckoning. Long buried feelings will rise again, and Jude will finally have to face the woman she has become. She must decide whether to remain broken or try to forgive both Lexi and herself.

I received an ARC of this book from  NIGHT ROAD is set to be available to readers on March 29, 2011.  For more information about Kristin Hannah, check out her website at

As soon as I cracked open the pages of this story, I could NOT put it down.  I became enveloped in the lives of the Farraday family and of Lexi.  As the story progressed and I new the traumatic event was coming, I still was shocked and intrigued with how Hannah played out the storyline.  Because I don't want to give away any part of the twists and turns, I will speak in general about the story.

I think this is Hannah's best novel yet. She has taken on several tough topics, such as the foster care system, helicopter parenting, and teens and alcohol, as well as others that I don't want to give away. Everyone has different ideas on each of these topics and how to handle them.  What I liked is that Hannah doesn't tie up all the events with a pretty bow and make everything a happy ending.  She doesn't make the struggles look easy because in real life they are not.

The teenage siblings in this story came from very privileged lives and then befriend one who grew up with no privileges at all. As unrealistic as this might seem in our world of social status importance, Hannah made their friendships very believable. Even though the setting was again, in Hannah's favorite Northwest, this story can play out in the midwest or anywhere.

While reading, I was frequently looking at my parenting and thinking about those teenage years in my future and how I would handle certain situations with my children. The mom in this story was very believable and struggled with being a parent, being a friend, being "popular" and being tough. All things that every mom struggles with at some point.

There were many times I read this book through teary eyes. You can feel the emotions throughout the pages. My heart ached for Jude and then for Lexi and then for Grace. Their pain jumped off the pages and reached right out to me. I will be thinking about these characters for a long time.

This is a story that should be read by every mother. I can also see this novel appealing to the young adult as well. There are mature themes, but themes that our young people are facing today.

Hannah has given us a story that we won't be able to forget. You must pre-order this book and open it as soon as it lands in your lap!

Thanks to for a ARC of this book.
I received a free advanced readers copy (ARC) of this book in order to provide my review.  I was not compensated in any other way for this review.  This is my honest opinion.  I wouldn't review anything that myself or my family couldn't appreciate or benefit from.

Monday, October 11, 2010

An Update

I want to apologize for my lack of postings lately.  My life has been especially crazy AND I was gone all weekend, so no time at all to catch up.  I have some deadlines looming in front of me for some things that I committed to.  So, until I can get caught up and get some things done, some things have to take a back seat, including blogging. Next week, my life will be a lot easier and things can get back to normal...I hope!  Thanks for being patient and missing me! :)

Monday, October 4, 2010

10 Day Give - Days 2, 3, and 4

As you know I've been participating in the 10 Day Give again this year.  On Day 2, Saturday, our family attended our daughter's soccer game.  Then I had some time alone in the house while Pat and the kids ran some errands.  I cleaned the house and set out all our fall decorations.  I also spent a lot of time working on a "top secret" project that is a gift for my husband.  He will be turning 40 this month and so I have to work on it when he isn't home.  So, even though, I won't be giving it to him for a few weeks, I gave up some free time so that I could work on this project with him.  Then once the kids got home, we played some Wii, I helped them pick up their rooms, and then hung out the rest of the afternoon and evening.  So, it was mostly a day of giving of myself to my family.

On Day 3 our family attended church where I gave our tithe and gave quarters for our Heifer Project tube.  We also had a visitor in our church who I went up to and welcomed in our church that day.    We then attended our sons football games.  This day was actually my birthday, so I was the receiver of gifts and love today.  I received over 75 greetings on my Facebook wall recognizing my birthday.  What a lovely gift that was.  We had lunch with my husband's sister and her family and I made a phone call to my parents.

On Day 4, I decided to treat the students in my classes at the highschool.  I took a big bag of M & M's and put some in a cup for each of the students to enjoy during class.  They were all shocked that I would bring in candy for them and let them eat it during class. 

Again, none of these giving days are anything huge or life-changing.  It is just my small way of saying,"hey, I care about you, I appreciate you."

Friday, October 1, 2010

10 Day Give - Day 1

Today is the first day of the 10 Day Give.  I decided today that I was going to give words of encouragement today.  Since I work at a high school, there are many, many frustrating days after dealing with students, with other teachers, with schedules, with parents, etc.  So, today I decided that I would try to give words of encouragement to others that I felt needed it.  I praised other teachers by saying what I admired about them, or thought they were doing well.  I praised students that I had felt worked hard on assignments or were being good role models.  I praised our administration whom I know, deal with a lot of "crap" day in and day out.  Some of those that I praised today, were embarrassed and some were appreciative.  I think the students were the ones who really appreciated the praise the most.  It felt good to share positive words of encouragement and I know I need to do that more often. 

Things I Love - Pumpkin

Things I love....................
This is my feature where I get to share something that I just love. Since you are my friends, I like sharing things I love with others. It could be anything from a new product, food, recipe, song, image, to a person and everything in between. This will be something I am completely doing on my own, without pressure or compensation from a company, author, PR/Marketing firm, friend, business owner, etc. This will just be something that makes me happy and I want to share it with you. Enjoy some love!

Today's love is................. PUMPKIN!

I love anything with pumpkin in it:  pumpkin pie, pumpkin bars, pumpkin bread, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin spice latte, pumpkin spice creamer, etc, etc.

I just found out this week that the Pumpkin Pie Spice Creamers are in at Target.  I have been waiting and waiting for their arrival and I stocked up, buying 4 of them!  So, this fall, I plan to enjoy my share of pumpkin flavored foods!