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Saturday, January 31, 2009

25 random things

It's been circulating on Facebook for over a week and I've been tagged at least five times. It's past due time.

1. I can't stand to be barefoot. I must always have shoes and/or socks on (except when I sleep - duh).
2. I love being outdoors.
3. I used to clog competitively.
4. I hate heat on my face.
5. We're taking the family to Orlando (Disney!) in June. It will be their first experience, my fourth.
6. I'm not pregnant (can you believe it?).
7. I was born in Mississippi, raised in Georgia, lived in Florida for two summers, went to grad school in Alabama, and have family in South Carolina. I've never been to Louisiana.
8. It's taken almost twelve years but I just paid off my undergraduate school loan.
9. I get irritated if I'm touched while brushing my teeth.
10. I'd rather vacation in the mountains than at the beach.
11. I'm not real crazy about cats.
12. I own a guitar I've never played.
13. I own a flute I can't find.
14. We own several toy instruments that I randomly step on.
15. I am married to the most wonderful man in the world.
16. I am a night owl.
17. My wedding dress still hangs on my closet door.
18. I hate decorating. We've lived in this house for two years and the walls are mostly bare.
19. I am addicted to a few TV shows: Lost, 24, American Idol, and few more that will remain nameless.
20. I love going "home" to visit my mom and sister.
21. I think my kids are amazing. I don't deserve them!
22. Macaroni-n-cheese from the box is my favorite food.
23. I hate, hate, hate going to concerts and watching award shows on TV.
24. I almost got a tattoo in the summer of 1994...I chickened out.
25. I want three more babies.

Winners announced

Congratulations to the winners of my two giveaways.

Amy, at Bailey's Leaf, won the Lysol Neutra Air starter kit.

Courtney, at Rants & Raves of a Twenty-Something-Year-Old Female, won the Fireproof DVD coupon.

I had fun participating in the Bloggy Carnival and can't wait to do it again next quarter.

Friday, January 30, 2009

A list of my favorite blogs

Thanks for letting me know the links weren't working!
They're operating NOW!

Most of you know I stay up waaaaayyyyy too late. Wanna know what it is that I'm doing up in the wee hours of the morning and why you get emails from me at 2:32 a.m.? Here's the (non-friend) long list.

Dealicious Mom

Five Minutes For Mom

All the Way Home

Art Project for Kids

Bargain Hunting Moms

Be Centsable

Blissfully Domestic

Christi's 2 Cents

Deal Seeking Mom

Dollar Store Crafts

Everyday Beautiful

Freebies 4 Mom

Getting Ahead

Grace Violet

Half Pint House

Handprints On the Wall

House on Hill Road

Hurrayic

Joys of Home

Kiddio

Let's Explore

Looking Towards Heaven

Money Saving Mom

More Than Enough

Nickles-n-Dimes

The Ramblings of a Crazy Woman

Salt and Chocolate

Stretching a Buck

Sycamore Stirrings

The Centsible Sawyer

The Crafty Crow

The Opinionated Parent

Thrifty & Creative

Today's Creative Blog

Unplug Your Kids

Yes, I know. It can be overwhelming. Start small. And to think I just went through my blogroll and purged.

RAMBLE

Got no time to kill -
I'm at a stand still.
Nothing in my head.
I want to go to bed.

Rising early is the plan.
Exercise waits for me to stand.
Separation anxiety here abounds -
Will we swap in taking rounds?

Friday is already here -
January is about to take a rear.
Five pounds have said goodbye.
Two more weeks and I'll say "Hi!".

Time to log off for the night -
Only sleep right now feels right.
My husband sits just feet away.
But neither can he stay.

This poem is entitled, "Ramble".
I like my yummy eggs scrambled.
I'm getting quite desperate here.
Searching for words, my dear.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

"Fireproof" coupon $5 off


It's another giveaway from me, inspired by the awesomeness of The Bloggy Carnival. I'm giving away a coupon for $5 off the newly released movie, Fireproof (DVD). The coupon expires on February 16.


At work, inside burning buildings, Capt. Caleb Holt lives by the old firefighter's adage: Never leave your partner behind. At home, in the cooling embers of his marriage, he lives by his own rules.

Growing up, Catherine Holt always dreamed of marrying a loving, brave firefighter...just like her daddy. Now, after seven years of marriage, Catherine wonders when she stopped being "good enough" for her husband.

Regular arguments over jobs, finances, housework, and outside interests have readied them both to move on to something with more sparks.

As the couple prepares to enter divorce proceedings, Caleb's father challenges his son to commit to a 40-day experiment: "The Love Dare." Wondering if it's even worth the effort, Caleb agrees-for his father's sake more than for his marriage. When Caleb discovers the book's daily challenges are tied into his parents' newfound faith, his already limited interest is further dampened.

While trying to stay true to his promise, Caleb becomes frustrated time and again. He finally asks his father, "How am I supposed to show love to somebody who constantly rejects me?"

When his father explains that this is the love Christ shows to us, Caleb makes a life-changing commitment to love God. Andówith God's helpóhe begins to understand what it means to truly love his wife.

But is it too late to fireproof his marriage? His job is to rescue others. Now Caleb Holt is ready to face his toughest job ever...rescuing his wife's heart.

In order to be entered to win this coupon, just leave a comment telling me one, two, or three of your favorite movies. I'll pick a winner (random.org) on Saturday around 12:00 noon and will announce the winner later that evening.

Siblings

Can't say enough about how much I love these three children. I'm thankful they love one another, too (well, most of the time).

Can you tell we just finished eating a spaghetti dinner? Bath time was right around the corner.


Wrestling on the floor led to them all in a huddle to catch their breath.

Hey, you!

Mommy let me play with the markers today. She says it was a mistake and I'll have to wait til I'm a little older to do that again. She said I should "take a walk in her shoes" one day. It's really not that hard.



Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Free stuff today!

Go visit Mommy Snacks to see what all you can get for free today!

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Giveaway: LYSOL Neutra Air kit


The Bloggy Carnival has started and I am once again giving away some sort of smell-good item. Last quarter I gave away a flameless candle so I thought that this go-round I'd give away something similar (but different) - a LYSOL Neutra Air Treatment Fresh starter kit.


You can win this kit by simply leaving a comment on this post telling me where in your home, office, classroom, etc, that needs this starter kit the most. A winner will be chosen this Saturday at 12 noon, EST.

Happy hunting for all those freebies!

Loves her babies

Abigail is all girl. She knows how to sign "baby" and will gather them all up in her lap to give them her love. P-R-E-C-I-O-U-S!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Giveaways Galore

Shhhhh....there are goodies galore being given away!

The Bloggy Carnival started today so you MUST visit and see what you could can win - absolutely free (shipping is free, too!).

Also, The Giveaway Gathering has a mighty fine long list of goodies being given away.

Both of these blogs offer a lot of giftcards to Target, Walmart, Walgreens (my favorite), and CVS. I don't know about you but my wallet could always use some help when purchasing groceries and diapers, yeah?

Today's REDBOX code

Yes, I know it's late...it's 6:30 EST as I post this but I may still be able to help a few people get a free movie tonight. Especially for my friends who don't live in my time zone!

REDBOX code good til midnight
57VH9L

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Free coffee at Panera Bread on Wed. 1/ 28


Stop by Panera Bread on Wednesday, January 28, for a free cup of coffee (and some free pastry samples). Click here for the proof.

Friday, January 23, 2009

100 free photo prints


Wow.....wow...wow. There is an awesome deal at SeeHere.com where all new members receive 100 free prints! This is a company of Fuji Film so you know the quality is gonna be good!

Again, Heather at Freebies4Mom shared this information on her blog so I'm gonna send you back to her site to read the fun details.

This is a great way to get those holiday photos printed without paying full cost. You'll end up saving $12 and only pay around $5 for shipping. That beats any local one hour developing deal!

BIG LOTS 20% off coupon


Do you like BIG LOTS? I love perusing through the paper & office supply aisle to find scrapbooking treats. Here's a coupon for 20% off any purchase at BIG LOTS, good from Saturday, January 24 through Sunday, February 1.

You can also click on the coupon image to print it.

One coupon per guest.

(6) Free photo valentines


Need some valentines for the upcoming day of love? Stories By Everyone is giving everyone six free photo valentines by February 1. I just completed my order and the total was $0! There's no shipping fee either. It was very easy to do but I think Heather at Freebies4Mom does a far better job of explaining the process than I could. Go get yours now!

Best Buds

These two have known each other since birth (well, AC is three months older than Luke). They really are best friends but I've witnessed them fight like brother and sister, too! Love abounds and we smile when we watch them take care of each other, whether it be at school or church. AC's mom and I joke around that they will one day marry....wouldn't that be neat?

Read, read, read...and then read some more

They are watching. They love their routine. They also want to switch roles from time to time.


Don't stop reading to them once they get older! Reading chapter books together is a good tool for older children. I have a friend who encourages his high school and college aged sons to read a book with him over the course of a few weeks or months (they each have their own copy) and they discuss it during some one-on-one time. How meaningful! Gosh, this friend has seven sons so that's a lot of reading!


Listed here are a few benefits from reading with your (younger) child:

1. Reading encourages family bonding. For many children "love" is spelled “T-I-M-E” and reading together requires good quantities of time! Reading will also promote communication between parents and children.

2. Routine - Regular reading contributes to predictability and routine in the home. If children know that every evening they will share a bedtime story or every morning a Bible story, they become secure in knowing what is expected at different times of the day.

3. Tradition - Another benefit of reading together is the establishement of a much loved family tradition.

4. Common experiences - Reading provides a family with shared experiences and a rich reserve of common knowledge from which to draw.

5. Teaching moments - Children can learn many lessons about how to function in the world from stories that they enjoy, especially if a parent discusses the issues that arise

6. Facilitates difficult topics - Reading carefully chosen books may facilitate communication about topics that might otherwise be difficult to broach.

7. Reading expands children’s horizons - Children can learn about other people, places and times through the reading of stories.

8. Healthy family entertainment - Reading aloud together introduces children to books as a form of entertainment and enables families to entertain themselves with topics of their own choosing, instead of being at the mercy of the television channels!

9. Develops discerning readers - Another benefit of reading is that introducing your children to good quality stories from a young age will help them to become discerning readers with a taste for good literature when they are older.

10. Sparks life-long interests - Reading aloud may seed a child with a life-long interest in a particular field.

11. Develops attentiveness - Reading aloud teaches children to pay attention, focus and concentrate.

12. Reading aloud develops auditory perception – the skill of hearing and understanding what has been said.

13. Reading develops vocabulary and pronunciation skills. Children will be exposed to words they would not normally encounter.

14. Aids deciphering new words - Having a wider vocabulary will enable a beginner reader to decipher new words more easily as he already understands them and knows how to pronounce them.

15. Models good language - Reading good written text provides a model of good grammar and sentence structure which will promote good language skills, both oral and written, in children.

16. Links written and spoken language - Reading aloud helps young children understand the relationship between written text and the spoken word.

17. Stories feed the mind as food feeds the body. Children have a hunger for good literature.

18. Develops cognitive skills - Reading aloud develops children’s imaginations and creativity.

19. Increases IQ -Reading aloud has been shown to increase cognitive ability and IQ scores.

20. Develops curiosity - Reading stories develops children’s curiosity about people, places, motives and more.

21. Enjoyable learning - Reading together enables children to learn about subject matter that might be dry and boring in other formats. For example, a story set in historical times will make learning about that time period far more interesting than just reading the dry facts in a text book.

22. Promotes lifelong learning - Children learn that much of the answers they need can be found in written format.

23. Reading aloud with your children will do all of the above for you, the parent, too! The benefit of reading is not just for your children.

Small group

For our small group time each Sunday evening, we rotate a "study night" and "play night". When we study, we discuss the book we're reading, God's Big Picture: Tracing the Story-line of the Bible...but, when we play, we laugh hard! A few weeks ago, we played Cranium together. We found out that alot of us can't hum a tune, some can't draw blindfolded, a few are really bad actors, some have tons of useless information stored in their brains, and others can't spell forwards or backwards. You can click on any picture to make it larger.

Joe trying to act something out. I don't think he won this round.


Alec and Rosie laughing at their attempt to spell backwards.

Allison, Kelsey, and Joe are listening
intently to the group question.

Andrew doesn't like to be left out.
Elizabeth and Ira don't seem to mind.

Yeah, watch out Amelia. Luke is getting used to MC!


Abigail and MC are becoming fast friends!
They had fun laughing with us big folk.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Interesting differences

Headlines On This Date 4 Years Ago:

"Republicans spending $42 million on inauguration while troops Die in unarmored Humvees"
"Bush extravagance exceeds any reason during tough economic times"
"Fat cats get their $42 million inauguration party, Ordinary Americans get the shaft"

Headlines Today:

"Historic Obama Inauguration will cost only $120 million"
"Obama Spends $170 million on inauguration; America Needs A Big Party"
"Everyman Obama shows America how to celebrate"
"Citibank executives contribute $8 million to Obama Inauguration"

Thanks, Melissa.

Name writing

Andrew knows all the letters in his name and can write them all by himself. The only thing he has to have help on is getting the letters in order. As we were making family valentines last week (yes, it's early), Andrew surprised me by writing his name correctly by himself for the very first time. He was so proud!

Pots & pans

Wouldn't you know it...just as I began preparing dinner, this is what my children decided to do. So, as I continued in my duty, I endured a noisy kitchen....but my heart swelled with love knowing that they long to be together and always at my feet.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

A trip to Callaway

Since Callaway Gardens is free all of this month and next, we decided to spend the holiday frolicking around, especially since this beautiful place is only 25 minutes from our town. The kids were the most excited about the butterfly house where they were able to touch cocoons, see butterflies and moths flutter around their heads, and listen to our friend, Jennifer, read a story. We all enjoyed walking the trails and skipping rocks. Visit Callaway Gardens when you get the chance! Although it's not spring time and the flowers/trees are not in bloom, you won't be disappointed with the amount of things there are still to do.










Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Maria's Big House of Hope

Emily Chapman has written an encouraging post about the new orphanage in China named in honor of her sister, Maria Sue. I think it's incredible that Emily and her family have shown the love of Christ to orphans and pressed forth proclaiming the gospel after such heartbreak and tragedy.


Go read the article and be encouraged! The orphanage is HUGE!

I've lost it

I just realized (thanks to Sara Z.) that I posted yesterday's RedBox code today! Due to yesterday's holiday, I've been living today like it's Monday!

Going crazy, I am.

More from Piper

I was moved to tears this morning as I watched the presidential inauguration on television. It was certainly a historical moment that I am thankful to be witness to. Although Obama wasn't my choice of president, I congratulate him and will pray for him as he leads our country.

So, having said that, remember when I said I was a single-issue voter (and proud of it)? John Piper has written more on the issue of being a pro-life christian under a pro-choice president and I wanted to share it here with you.


Being Pro-Life Christians Under a Pro-Choice President

That is the title of a sermon I preached January 17, 1993 three days before Bill Clinton was inaugurated president. It is just as relevant—or more—today.

The text was 1 Peter 2:17, “Honor the king.” I closed with eight ways to honor a pro-choice president. The seventh was this:

We will honor you by expecting from you straightforward answers to straightforward questions. We would not expect this from a con-man, but we do expect it from an honorable man.

For example,

  1. Are you willing to explain why a baby's right not to be killed is less important than a woman's right not to be pregnant?
  2. Or are you willing to explain why most cities have laws forbidding cruelty to animals, but you oppose laws forbidding cruelty to human fetuses? Are they not at least living animals?
  3. Or are you willing to explain why government is unwilling to take away the so-called right to abortion on demand even though it harms the unborn child; yet government is increasingly willing to take away the right to smoke, precisely because it harms innocent non-smokers, killing 3,000 non-smokers a year from cancer and as many as 40,000 non-smokers a year from other diseases?
  4. And if you say that everything hangs on whether the fetus is a human child, are you willing to go before national television in the oval office and defend your support for the "Freedom of Choice Act" by holding in your hand a 21 week old fetus and explaining why this little one does not have the fundamental, moral, and constitutional right to life? Are you willing to say to parents in this church who lost a child at that age and held him in their hands, this being in your hands is not and was not a child with any rights of its own under God or under law?

Perhaps you have good answers to each of these questions. We will honor you by expecting you to defend your position forthrightly in the public eye.

You have immense power as President of the United States. To wield it against the protection of the unborn without giving a public accounting in view of moral and scientific reality would be dishonorable. We will honor you by expecting better.

B&BW coupon FREE item


Bath & Body Works' products are now in new packaging. Therefore, the company is trying to quickly get rid of their Signature Selection line contained in the original packaging. This coupon is good until January 25 and will give you any Signature Selection product in the original packaging (up to value $12) for FREE with the purchase of anything in the store, no matter what the cost (I suggest purchasing the trial sizes that are marked down to $1).

Thanks, Tasha, for this info!

RedBox code

RedBox code today; good til midnight.

K6W3G4

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Giveaway Gathering

Click here to view this week's Giveaway Gathering on Deal Seeking Mom.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Article by John Piper

On the Desiring God blog today:

How Barack Obama Will Make Christ a Minister of Condemnation

At Barack Obama’s request, tomorrow in the Lincoln Memorial, Gene Robinson, the first openly non-celibate homosexual bishop in the Episcopal Church, will deliver the invocation for the inauguration kick-off.

This is tragic not mainly because Obama is willing to hold up the legitimacy of homosexual intercourse, but because he is willing to get behind the church endorsement of sexual intercourse between men.

It is one thing to say: Two men may legally have sex. It is another to say: The Christian church acted acceptably in blessing Robinson’s sex with men.

The implications of this are serious.

It means that Barack Obama is willing, not just to tolerate, but to feature a person and a viewpoint that makes the church a minister of damnation. Again, the tragedy here is not that many people in public life hold views (like atheism) that lead to damnation, but that Obama is making the church the minister of damnation.

The apostle Paul says,

Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves , nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

What is Paul saying about things like adultery, greed, stealing, and homosexual practice? As J. I. Packer puts it, “They are ways of sin that, if not repented of and forsaken, will keep people out of God’s kingdom of salvation.” (Christianity Today, January 2003, p. 48).

In other words, to bless people in these sins, instead of offering them forgiveness and deliverance from them, is to minister damnation to them, not salvation.

The gospel, with its forgiveness and deliverance from homosexual practice, offers salvation. Gene Robinson, with his blessing and approval of homosexual practice, offers damnation. And he does it in the name of Christ.

It is as though Obama sought out a church which blessed stealing and adultery, and then chose its most well-known thief and adulterer, and asked him to pray.

One more time: The issue here is not that presidents may need to tolerate things they don’t approve of. The issue is this: In linking the Christian ministry to the approval of homosexual activity, Christ is made a minister of condemnation.

Friday, January 16, 2009

C-O-L-D

I get some of my best posts from JT. I'm glad he doesn't mind me cheating and copying his stuff.

It's only 20 degrees at its coldest here where I live. Some of you live in much much much colder areas. I mean, we don't get snow in my town and some of you are battling the shovel and ice pick. Well, I'm just glad I don't have to live through what this girl demonstrates.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

School, school, school


Thank you, Megan.

List of freebies


It's time for a freebie round-up, thanks to Happy To Be At Home.

Click here for a list of links to current freebies!

Family Worship

James Grant has written an excellent article entitled, "Three Main Steps to Starting Family Worship". I would encourage you to read it when you get the chance. Go ahead and open the link in another tab now so you'll have it waiting for you!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Free full size bottle of Suave shampoo


Want a free full size bottle of SUAVE shampoo? Suave is encouraging you to live beautifully for less (Thanks, Suave. I was desperate and really needed you to help me understand that...ugh) and are therefore giving away their shampoo by mailing you a coupon after sign-up.

This offer is only good TODAY, but the coupon is redeemable until February 28.

Click here to fill out the form.

Pocket stuffings

Luke likes to cling to a few items he deems important (at the time). He'll soon misplace these items over the course of a few days and he'll then gather new trinkets to satisfy his hoarding tendency.

Currently, you'll find these items in his pocket:

  • golf tee
  • chapstick
  • frog pencil topper
  • striped birthday candle

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Free photo calendar at Shutterfly

Shutterfly is offering a free photo calendar and all you have to pay is the shipping charge. This offer is for new and existing members. Remember, if you sign up as a new member, you'll also get some free prints!

Click here to begin.

Offer ends January 18.

Definition, by Crissy

Definition of IRONY:

(1). incongruity in a situation
or
(2) when your father-in-law brings a deer carcass by on his way to the butcher at the same time that your only vegan friend is at your house. Hmmmm.

Crissy, you're a hoot.

Germiest places we encounter

Germiest places we encounter:
  • Purse & wallet
  • Remote control
  • Telephone
  • Carseats
  • Elevator buttons
  • Door knobs
  • Shopping cart handles
  • Keys
  • Toys
  • Computer keyboard and mouse

No matter what list you read the suggestions are the same:

  • Frequent disinfecting of the area
  • Vigilant hand washing (by you & your children)
  • Keeping your hands away from your face

With cold season upon us it is probably a good idea to take a few minutes and assess what the germist places in your house might be. Once you locate them, clean them!


Thanks, Blissfully Domestic!


Reading time

Last night, Luke wanted a book read to him but I was in the midst of changing Abigail's diaper and Mitch was cooking dinner. Andrew noticed and piped in, "I'll read you one".

So, he did.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Callaway Gardens is free during Jan-Feb.

If you'd like to visit Callaway Gardens, this is the time! Admission is free during the months of January and February!

Click here for the proof!

Redbox code for today

RedBox code today only, good til midnight:

H48MX2

Washing dishes

I couldn't help it. I had to take a picture of Abigail with her Gami while helping one another wash the dishes. I have many pictures of myself, at this same age, washing dishes with my own mother.

Jumping night

When younger, I remember taking the cushions off the couch so my siblings and I could run on them, jump, flip, wrestle, and fight. I always won....right, Stuart?

Last night, Andrew took his turn.
Click on the collage to make it bigger.

Notice Mitch in the background....on Facebook. How funny is that?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Pres WIC

Just returned home today from an overnight stay in Macon where First Presbyterian, PCA hosted our annual ladies WIC meeting. Again, I had so, so, so, so much fun. I love being around these women and meeting other ladies from the other 17 churches in our presbytery.



From left to right:
Heather is super friendly, organized, funny, and has an amazing singing voice.
Mary Ellen is genuine, caring, informative, and has a heart for the lost.
Missy is warm, sincere, hilarious, and simply fabulous!
Debbie is a lady of prayer, thanksgiving, and praise.
Sheila is the best hugger, a true lipstick queen, and life of the party (she's the cheerleader).
Susan has a contagious smile, a humble spirit, and a giving hand.

Thanks, Mom, for driving up to keep our children so we could both scoot away for the night!