Sunday, November 30, 2008

We did it, we did it, we did it, hurray!


Whew! It was a long month! It was fun though. Thanks for coming along on the ride with me. Come back later, I'm sure I'll still have more to say/post soon. (Funny that I still keep thinking about all the posts I can do.)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Just some stuff

*We could get our first "big" snow accumulation in the next few days. YEAH!

*I'm hunting for Christmas gifts and not having much luck. I'm looking for some specific type of items I want for me (from my mom). For instance new flour/sugar canisters.

*Why can't I shake this little cough? It's annoying. I'm tired of peeing a little bit every time I have a big cough. And it makes my head and neck hurt. Go away already, I'm done with it.

*I am excited about spending a week at my parents' house from Christmas to New Year's.

*I have a few more movie reviews I need to do here. No giveaways for now. I'm working on that though.

*Zachariah needs to be potty trained. I think he's really ready now. We just need to push him a bit. Ugh, I'm not totally looking forward to it though.

*I've slipped a bit on my 15 minute a day workout...and my 10 minute a day devotions. Time to get back on track.

*I love my house all decked out in Christmas stuff. Love it!

*I woke up Friday morning from a dream about my fish/tartar sauce craving. And it sounded really good when I awoke. This is what I first craved with my pregnancy with Zachariah. I told Matt maybe I should take a pregnancy test. (He wanted me to take one when I was nauseous on Monday, but it went away and hasn't happened again. So I haven't tested yet.)

*Only 1 more day left of NaBloPoMo. It really hasn't been that bad. I've enjoyed it. And I only have about 20 more posts before my 500th! So, I'm hoping to hit that before the end of the year. That means more posting for me in December too.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Now it's Christmas-time?

That's the question Zachariah has been asking me for weeks. So finally, I tell him, "NOW it's Christmas-time." He's been running around saying "Thanksgiving is over, now it's Christmas-time."

And just to prove it IS Christmas-time at our house:


Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

We are here at my parents' house until tomorrow evening...at least that's the plan for now. So many things happening today. My dad's family has a traditional family dinner at 1:00 at my grandparents' house. Then Matt's mom's family has their meal at 4:00 at his aunt's house. Ahh, 2 meals only 3 hours apart. I just pick and choose a few things to eat from each place, and sometimes I end up taking dessert home. (Matt's mom makes the best pies.) No kidding, I usually eat less on Thanksgiving than a normal day, because I try to pace myself and don't end up eating much at all. Oh well, I'm sure it's better that way.

I hope that you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day filled with love and family! Enjoy.
We will leave you with a copy of the cards that Zachariah and I made for everyone. He had so much fun, and each one he did for those people. So cute. I helped him write his name inside too (after I took the photo of this one). So, just pretend your name is Aunt Rachel or Uncle Jared, and enjoy this little gift from us to you.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Winners of the Strawberry Shortcake and Care Bears DVDs

I have one set of each DVD of Strawberry Shortcake Holiday Dreams and Care Bears Flurries of Fun. So there will be two winners.

Now to announce the winners from this contest, I will use the random number generator again.

And the winner for the Strawberry Shortcake set of DVDs is....

...............Carla!!


And the winner for the Care Bears set of DVDs is...
...............Mommy Brain!!


Congrats both of you. Please send me your mailing addresses, and I will get these out to both of you next week. Enjoy!

The rest of you be sure to come back for more DVD reviews and prizes!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

DVD Review & Giveaway - Care Bears & Strawberry Shortcake




Just in time for the holidays, here are two new DVD sets. Both Care Bears Flurries of Fun and the new Strawberry Shortcake Holiday Dreams Collection come with 3 full DVDs.

Care Bears Flurries of Fun comes with "Care Bears Oopsy Does It," "Grizzle-ly Adventures," and "Care Bears Ups and Downs." All the episodes are fun and cute. Zachariah loved all of these. But I did notice that none of them are winter or holiday themed, which seemed a little strange to me. But they still would be a fun Christmas gift.

The Strawberry Shortcake Holiday Dreams Collection DVDs are classic Strawberry Shortcake fun. Our favorite one is "Berry Merry Christmas" where Strawberry is choosing gifts for all her friends. Other DVDs in this set are "Let's Dance" and "Big Country Fun."

Both of these DVDs are great from boys and girls from 2-10. They are full of fun adventures and energetic songs.

You can find these DVDs on Amazon here and here or in stores. OR you can win one here. I have 1 of each set to give away.

All you have to do to enter is leave a comment (be sure your e-mail address is available or at least I have it from before). If you'd like a second entry, you can link to this post on your blog. Then come back here and leave another comment with the link to your blog post.

I will be drawing a winner on Wednesday, November 26th at 11:00 PM EST and announcing the winner here. Best of luck, and stay tuned for more DVD reviews and giveaway.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Apparently I can't catch a break

I spent most of today on the couch. Last night I could not fall asleep. And just as I dozed off around 12:30, Zachariah woke up coughing. So I got up to get him water, then couldn't go back to sleep. I got up for a while and headed back to bed about 2:30, but it was after 3:00 before I finally fell asleep. But I slept like a log until almost 8:00 after that.

I woke up with a killer headache, light-headed, and a queasy tummy. Yuck. I could not shake it. I made breakfast for Zachariah and tried to eat an egg and toast myself. I got a little down and then had to lay on the couch for a while. About lunchtime I felt like I was going to be better. I got a shower, but then got right back into my comfy clothes. And I called my friend to let her know I would not be tutoring this afternoon.

I still feel generally icky tonight, but mostly it's been the stomach thing. I did eat a little bit for supper, but it didn't help or hurt. I sure hope this goes away quickly. What a way to spend Thanksgiving, huh?

Oh, but I did want to stick to my 15 minutes of exercise, so I pulled out the Yoga DVD today. It was relaxing for a little bit, and I'm glad that I did something.

Come see me...

Did you know that I'm blogging over at Losing it All and More too? I posted before, but I didn't know if any of you had a chance to check us out (or at least bookmark it or add it to your RSS reader).

SaLy got it started, and I haven't posted anything yet. Well, I just put up a fitness challenge there. I'm hoping some of you will join me. We can encourage each other.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Now this is the life


What other way would you spend a lazy morning? This was Zachariah's idea of living it up on Friday morning. We built a "tent", threw in a pillow and blanket, crawled in and watched a movie. Fun!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Just what the doctor ordered

I think today was just what I needed. We were lazy most of the day, and everyone enjoyed each other's company. If only all days could be like today.

I'm still not feeling great, but I've been able to rest a lot today. I think it's just a cold right now, and it's not terrible. I am hopeful that this is the worst of it and I will begin feeling better soon.

Score #1 today was Matt getting up IN THE MORNING with Zachariah. I was just waking up, but Matt popped up out of bed. That NEVER happens. Wow. He got Zachariah up, then told him that he was going back to bed. He told Zachariah to play quietly in the living room then crawled back into bed. I was awake and heard it all. I thought it was hilarious. Matt came back to bed with a smile on his face, he knew chances were slim that Zac wouldn't come in our room and get us. He didn't. I got up after about 3 minutes because I had to pee so bad. When I came out of our room I peeked into the living room, and Zachariah was standing by the couch coloring nicely in his book. He came over and said "Mommy? You supposed to be sleeping." SO sweet. But he was happy to see me. Then we all got up and Matt made breakfast (Score #2).

Score #3 was Matt going to the grocery store and getting frozen snacks to bake for "meals" today. We knew we'd be staying home and watching football all day, so he wanted something fun to eat. He got taquitos, chips and dip, boneless wings, and chocolate for me (Score #4).

Score #5 was getting to watch the OSU vs. Michigan football game. (OSU won 42 - 7) We expected that to happen, so it was good. And it was nice not to worry about the possibility of seeing them lose. Plus, you know, we had fun snacks to eat too. And Zachariah took a nap at about halftime, and Matt put him down (Score #6).

Actually Matt was generally very helpful with Zachariah today which was nice (Score #7).

So I really got to rest and relax and not worry about much today. That was so nice. There should be more days like this...when I'm NOT sick too.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Because it's NaBloPoMo and I have to post

That's the only reason I'm posting this right now. I almost forgot that I have to post today. I have a cold and don't feel the greatest. Matt even let me "nap" in the chair after supper and entertained Zachariah. Then he completely got Zachariah ready for bed while I vegged out. That doesn't happen very often, but I'm glad for the little bit of rest. And I'm happy that we don't have a ton of things going on this week.

Of course tomorrow we'll be watching the Ohio State vs. Michigan game. Woot!

Sunday I will be at church early, because the choir is back on each week from now until Christmas. Then Sunday evening we have a community Thanksgiving service that our church is involved with. It's usually pretty neat, and we do a combined choir thing.

So, I need some ideas about what to post over at Losing It All and More. I was going to challenge myself to get moving at least 15 minutes a day each and every day for the rest of the year. Then I got sick. Ick. Well, I still want to do that challenge. What else would you like me to talk about in relation to exercise/health/eating better? Any ideas?

I hope the rest of you have a great weekend. Mine will be much better if I can kick this cold.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Shaun the Sheep Winners

This morning I'm not feeling well. I started crocheting a new scarf and relaxed in the big comfy chair for a while. Then I decided I better check my e-mails and other online addictions. I haven't read any blogs yet today, and I don't know how likely it is that I will right now (like I usually do). But I did remember that I have a contest to close. I also got 2 new videos to giveaway in the mail yesterday. Yeah!

So without further ado, the Shaun the Sheep DVD winners are numbers: 10, 3, and 11. Thank you random.org.

Congrats to
Tracy
Kelli at Big Fat Secret
and Carrie at The Q Collective!

Ladies, if I don't already have your e-mails, please e-mail me (mommydaisy at gmail dot com) and get me your mailing addresses. I'll get these out soon.

Thanks everyone for entering. Come back soon for another giveaway.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I'm It

I got tagged by Pam at Life with Our Lads for a meme. I'm supposed to post 6 random things about me (and I'm including my family). Then tag 6 people to do the same. So, here goes nothing.


1. I taught myself to crochet about two weeks ago. I'm doing well, and have made different scarves for family for Christmas.

2. My husband is so awesome! Seriously, I feel like I don't deserve him. (And I don't think I say enough nice things about him here.)

3. Zachariah has started calling my "honey" or "hon". It cracks me up each time he says it. That's what Matt and I call each other ALL the time. And sometimes I call Zachariah that too, but not often. I'm sure he's picked it up from Matt and I calling each other "honey".

4. My son doesn't pick his nose (I know some kids are bad about that), but he'll use a tissue or if that doesn't work I pick it for him. I know, eww, right. I promise I put it into a tissue and then go straight to wash my hands.

5. I'm taking part in a 4 week challenge with my small group. We are committing to 10 minutes a day of Bible reading and devotions. So far, so good for me.

6. If I can think of what to say I'll be blogging with some other great ladies at Losing It All and More.



I'm going to try and give the ones who are doing NaBloPoMo something to do. I tag Ashley at Splendid Substance (since she's having a hard time posting...maybe you can make this food related), Jana at Dress-up and Diaper Changes, Alli at Adventures in Imperfection, CP at 3 Giraffes, Cherish at A Girl and Her Blog, and YOU!

Anyone else who'd like to do this, go ahead. I don't know who else to tag right now, and I usually end up tagging the same people. Also, I can't think of who else is doing NaBloPoMo at the moment.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Shaun the Sheep DVD Review & Giveaway

Here is a DVD that's not just for the toddlers. Shaun The Sheep: Off The Baa! is on DVD for the first time. Shaun the Sheep is a character from Wallace & Gromit. This DVD has 8 short episodes of Shaun the Sheep's videos.

I was not familiar with Shaun the Sheep before I saw this video. I've heard of Wallace & Gromit, but it never seemed like my thing. I know that my sister and her husband love it, so they will probably enjoy this DVD too.

After seeing this DVD, I can see why people think it's so funny. The press release describes it perfectly as "combining slapstick humor and classic silent comedy". I enjoyed Shaun the Sheep's funny antics. And Zachariah loved the goofy characters in these videos.

The great thing about this is that parents, children, and toddlers can all enjoy the DVD together. I think it reaches all ages.

You can find this DVD on Amazon.com or Target.com or in stores. OR you can win one here. I have 3 copies to give away.



All you have to do to enter is leave a comment (be sure your e-mail address is available or at least I have it from before). If you'd like a second entry, you can link to this post on your blog. Then come back here and leave another comment with the link to your blog post.

I will be drawing a winner on Wednesday, November 19th at 11:00 PM EST and announcing the winner here. Best of luck, and stay tuned for more DVD reviews and giveaway.

Monday, November 17, 2008

A "no toy" Christmas

So, Matt and I have been truly frustrated with the overwhelming toys in this house already. We were really starting to dread Christmas. We know that Zachariah will receive lots of toys. And we usually find a few things that we can't help ourselves and buy for him too.

Not this year. The more we talked about it, the more we realized that buying more toys will not help. (I mean, duh, of course buying more toys isn't going to help a toy problem.) What I really mean is this: we know he will get toys from grandparents and aunts and uncles who adore him. So why add to that mix.

Here are a few ideas that we have.
1. A big boy bed - It's about time for one anyway, and my sister got one from a friend that we can have for free.
2. Sheets for the new bed - Something fun that he'll love
3. New pillow
4. CD player for his room - His is done. And we'll probably get a shelf to mount this on too.
5. Storage shelves for toys - Hoping to help the clutter a bit
6. Books
7. CDs
8. Puzzles
9. Bubble bath - He loves it and I rarely spend money on it.
10. Stocking stuffers - Not sure what all to include...maybe some craft supply things.

So, what do you think? Any more ideas for me? I'd love to hear them. I am officially declaring it our Christmas with no toys. (Besides his birthday will be coming in a few short months after Christmas.)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

DVD winners

For the 5 Preschoolers Learn Spanish DVD I used random.org to draw my 5 numbers. There were only 13 entries, so you have pretty good odds of winning.

Here are your random numbers:13, 8, 3, 12, 7
Timestamp: 2008-11-17 04:39:17 UTC

And the winners are

Alli at Adventures in Imperfection

Melissa at Complimentary Chocolate (it was the second entry that won :) )

Sarah at No Whey, Mama

Shelly at Scenic Overlook

and

Heidi at Mommy Doesn't Live Here Anymore!

Congrats everyone! I'm happy to be giving these away to my faithful readers. If I don't already have it (Shelly- I have yours), I will need you to e-mail me your address. I'll be sending you an e-mail about this too.

And if you didn't win this time, never fear, I have 3 DVDs here that I'll be giving away this week! Hurray! I love all these just in time for Christmas gifts!

Yes, it did!





This is what it looked like yesterday afternoon. Most of it melted today. But we got another small layer of snow this evening. We didn't even know it was snowing, and when our friends went to leave after small group Matt saw snow on all the cars. Strange.
Our forecast for the next 10 days shows a chance of snow for 7 out of 10 days. And the temperatures in the 30s most of the time during the day. Yikes. This seems more like Christmas. Now it will probably be 50 degrees for Christmas, and we'll be upset there is no snow.


Saturday, November 15, 2008

Say anything

*It snowed today. I mean really snowed. I took pictures to prove it to you all, but I haven't loaded them on this computer. That will have to wait. I can't believe we actually have snow on the ground in the middle on November, and it has stuck around all day. Crazy. I kind of love it.

*My sister, Rachel, called me yesterday to tell me that she and her husband found a house. They have been living in a studio apartment (of you want to call it that) adjoining the pizza shop they own for the last 2 1/2 years. Their kitchen is the pizza shop. Their bathroom is through the pizza kitchen. It's pretty crazy. They have been looking for a house for a while now. They've had a really hard time trying to get a loan from the bank. They have 20% already saved up, but they have no credit therefore no credit history. And the way our economy is right now, it's been even harder for them to get one. Well, they heard about a rental house that an old friend owned...totally coincidence that they ran into him. And they saw it and loved it and just moved in today. I'm so happy for her to finally have a home. She works strange hours and really needs somewhere to relax and sleep when she wants.

Rachel didn't call me until Friday afternoon, because they knew Matt and I would want to help move them. Fortunately Matt already had plans, so we won't be able to help anyway. But they didn't want us to have to drive up there just to help move. They were supposed to have plenty of help. I'm hoping that we can get up there soon to see it, and maybe I can help arrange furniture and decorate a bit. She doesn't have much to work with but that's OK.

*Zachariah has been crazy and silly lately. Well, he always is but it's hilarious now. He'll run around a room just to run around. Then he announces "Zac's a silly boy". He has developed some crazy new dance moves too. The funniest is the "one two cha cha cha". Hilarious, I tell you. I wish I could capture it on a good video to share. So far I haven't. Today at one point he ran around in circles in the middle of the living room with his arms behind him. Matt asked what he was being. Zachariah said "I being a 'mingo, Dad"...a flamingo. So he did it over and over again telling us about him being a "mingo". Cute little guy.

*All our Saturdays and Sundays are now occupied with football. On Saturdays it's college football, then pro football on Sundays. I'm starting to get tired of football. Although I'll take that back after Ohio State is done for the season (only one more game and a likely bowl game left). I don't mind watching football. I guess what's getting to me is that it all starts at noon Saturday and doesn't end until Sunday night. Ugh. It does get a little old. And the sad part is when Matt goes to bed, I sit up and watch the exciting conclusions of the games.

*I loved all the popcorn talk. Now I want to try all your suggestions. And yes, I do like that popcorn is a healthier snack than, say, chips. And it IS a whole grain, so that's a bonus too. It's also funny that Zachariah doesn't get to eat popcorn that much, because I only make it in the evenings after he's already in bed.

*I have thought more about Christmas. Actually, I've got a great head start on things. I don't think it will take long to finish up gifts. And those that I need to get, I have a good idea for most. It feels much better now.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Snacking

Oh I know I should not be snacking as much, because I really need to lose weight. I can't help myself in the evenings. While I'm watching television I will often snack.



Do you have a favorite snack? Healthy or unhealthy, doesn't matter. What do you like?



Popcorn is probably my favorite thing to have. The problem is I can eat half a bag of microwave popcorn in one evening (or sometimes the whole thing). But I do like a bit of buttery popcorn.



The popcorn makes me want chocolate. So the best way to eat it is with M&Ms or some other little piece of chocolate. I know this comes from my family. My mom would often make popcorn and fudge when my grandparents were over. And I believe that it started with my great-grandmother. She always served popcorn with fudge when my mom went there as a kid. So I always crave chocolate with popcorn.



I don't really have a big favorite brand of popcorn, but I do really like Orville Redenbacher's and Act II. Have you ever had the Corn on the Cob popcorn? That's pretty good for something different. I haven't had it in a while, but I found it on our grocery store shelves again recently. I need to try some soon.



A few years ago Matt and I found cinnamon roll popcorn. Now Matt does not normally like popcorn, but he wanted to try this. It was really good. It had cinnamon in it and a separate little bag of icing that you pour over the top. We can't find it anymore, but it was yummy. I did recently discover buttery cinnamon popcorn. This is pretty good too, but I feel like I need that extra icing with it. So I make my own little dipping icing and just dip a tiny bit of the popcorn in it. Wow! I know it probably sounds odd, but it is great.



So now I want to know, if you do like popcorn what brand/kind do you like best?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

In the last 10 years

In no particular order. Here are some random photos of myself over the last 10 years. Just thought you might like seeing another side of me.

Senior picture

About 5 months pregnant for Zachariah
Engagement photo
Just after Matt proposed to me on a hike
Thanksgiving, 6 months pregnant for Zachariah




Wednesday, November 12, 2008

42 days!

If you've started your Christmas shopping, you are better than me. I can't believe there are only 42 days left for shopping. I have a few small gifts bought/made for family members, but I haven't even really thought about what to get my husband or son.

Seriously though, what do you get a 2 1/2 year old who already has WAY TOO MANY toys? And you know that he will be spoiled by grandparents, aunts, uncles, great-grandparents, and great-aunts/uncles. He is the only grandchild still in both my family and Matt's family. And I don't even know what to tell them to get him for Christmas. Eeee.

For Matt I think I will just let him pick out something that he'd really like. I do like trying to find something for him, but I don't want to waste money on something he didn't really want. Or let him get something he really really wants instead of just something he likes. You know what I mean?

Our Christmas budget is small, but it's enough to get a few nice things. Luckily we don't have a lot of people to buy for. And I have been crocheting scarfs for my sisters/sister-in-law.

I guess I need to get my act together and start watching ads. I hate waiting until closer to Christmas to shop, but it looks like that's what will happen this year. I don't like all the crowds and traffic and pushy people. I'm sure I'll get it all to work out with Matt's help.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Taking it easy

Can I just say, you all are cracking me up with your baby's first words comments. And the fact that some of you simply don't remember, makes me feel better as a mother. Sound strange? Well, my son's baby book still isn't finished. I don't know for sure what is in there and what is not. I know I added some milestones, but at some point I gave up trying to document everything. I hope that my son doesn't feel left out some day because of that. But you know the next child will have it even worse, so maybe it's OK that I didn't set high expectations with this first child.

How are gas prices there? I am loving being able to fill up my car for only $15.00 again. That feels great, and it sure helps our budget too. We're seeing prices at $1.87 near us, and my parents saw one station on the other side of town at $1.79 last Friday. Nice!

We were so spoiled the last two days. Matt's dad had bought a big gift certificate for a nice restaurant a while ago. It was a complete dinner for 8 people. It ended up being Matt's parents, Matt & I, his sister, my sister and her husband, and my mom (my dad was out of town), and Zachariah of course. We had wonderful appetizers, salads, expensive steaks and seafood, then delicious slices of pie and cheesecake. Zachariah enjoyed tasting a little bit off of everyone's plate. And I brought have of my meal home, so it will be a really yummy lunch some day.

We stayed overnight at my parents' house after that dinner, so we didn't have to drive all the way home. Matt had today off for Veteran's Day anyway. Then we helped my mom with some Christmas decorations this morning. And she needed some furniture moved around. (Yes, she's starting early because she's participating in a Christmas walk open house thing.) Then we went to lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings with my sister and mom. Mmmm, and I brought half of that meal home and finished it for supper. Matt had eaten so much that he was never hungry for supper. Wow, I've had it easy.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Giveaway Alert!!

It's getting late, and I haven't posted yet. I haven't been on the computer much today, and now I'm at my mom's house. We will head home tomorrow after lunch, it was a quick trip. I can tell you about that later. And I have a cute video of Zachariah to share, but I can't get it off their camera right now. I'll have Matt try in the morning, then I can upload it from home.

Anyway, I have a new DVD giveaway. Saturday I posted a DVD review of Preschooler Learns Spanish. We truly love this DVD. It was fun and a great learning experience for Zachariah and I. We'll keep studying up on our Spanish with this one. Please go back and read the review if you haven't. I just found out that I will be getting 5 (five, yeah!) copies of this to give away. Hurray! So, I will go ahead and post the contest now.

*****There will be 5 winners, so please enter. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment (be sure your e-mail address is available or at least I have it from before). If you'd like a second entry, you can link to this post on your blog. Then come back here and leave another comment with the link to your blog post.

If you need something to comment about, tell me what your child(ren)'s first word(s) were. Zachariah's first word (other than mama and dada) was AMEN. He has a little Precious Moments baby doll that says a prayer, and it says "amen" at the end. He listened to that so much, it didn't take him long before he was saying it too. So cute! And to make it even better (since we're talking about learning Spanish), Zachariah would only count in Spanish before he even counted in English.

I will be drawing the 5 winners on Sunday, November 16th at 11:00 PM EST (or whenever I get around to randomizing a name) and announcing the winner here (probably the next morning). Best of luck, and stay tuned for more DVD reviews and giveaways.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Contentment

What a great weekend this has been. It's been a little busy and crazy at times, but this wouldn't be my life without a little crazy in the mix.

Just to clarify, crazy to me can be going from one function to another and not much time at home. I tend to be a bit of a homebody, and after having so many things to do I long to just sit in my chair and relax most times.

Friday was a good day to relax. Matt ended up coming home early from work to rest. We went to lunch with my parents (on their way home from vacation), then Matt pretty much slept the rest of the afternoon. He had just started his prescription for L1p1tor and thinking that had him worn out. But having some time to spend together as a family and just relax was a good thing.

Saturday morning there was a "debriefing" meeting for the missions team Matt went to Mali with. It was nice to hear more stories and thoughts that different team members shared with each other. They really clicked well with each other as a team, and I can see that lifelong friendships were formed. The rest of the day I got to stay home and loved it. I cooked a very big dinner and enjoyed doing that for my family. So often I try to simplify meals with my tutoring schedule in the evenings Monday - Thursday, it's tough to put a big meal on the table. I made Matt's mother's recipe of Beef Steaks with Mushrooms, mashed potatoes with gravy, and homemade biscuits. It was a good comfort food for a cold day.

Today we woke up to snow flurries. It has "spit" snow all day long. I don't think the temperature got any higher than 38. Brrr! But I am enjoying the cooler weather. I love wearing sweaters and dressing Zachariah in warm snugly things. We had leftover Swistle's Autumn Soup for lunch, and that was great on a day like today too. Tonight we attended another small group meeting that gathered several groups together. It was nice to see everyone from our group, but it was even better that two couples from our past small group were there. We see them briefly at church, but it's been a while since we've gotten together. We decided we need to do that more often. There were friendships forged there that we've neglected. All in all today was great.

I'd say after my bad mood the other day, this weekend felt great. And we have some fun things in store for the next two days as well.

What did you do this weekend? I hope you enjoyed yourselves.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

DVD Review: Preschooler Learns Spanish

The Preschool Learns Spanish DVD put out by Galloping Minds was a surprisingly good hit at our house. I didn't even watch this DVD right away when we got it. Honestly, I thought it would be rather dull.

It's not that this video is terribly exciting. But the way the movie is done, I think preschools really CAN learn to speak Spanish. In fact I'm afraid that Zachariah will be studying it when I'm not paying attention, then I'll have no idea what he's saying when he says things in Spanish.


The DVD is broken into 8 segments, such as "Family", "Action Words", "Numbers & Colors", and more. I think these groupings are an important part of the video's layout. It helps learning Spanish make more sense.

The idea is simple. There is soft classical music playing in the background, then pictures appear on the screen. After that a narrator says the word for the picture in English then twice in Spanish. The words in English and Spanish for the picture also appear on the screen. The general idea is that the child watching will see the picture, hear the word in English, relate to the word in Spanish, then repeat the word back in Spanish.

I thought the first time I showed it to Zachariah he would just watch a few minutes of it, then get bored. Boy did he surprise me. He sat right down and paid attention. With the first picture, he was repeating words back in Spanish. Pretty well, too. He didn't sit through the entire 30-some minute video, but I was impressed. He did like it too. He has watched it a few other times and seems to like it.

I think it's good to have some great educational videos around. Entertainment is fun, but when you can put learning and television together, you get my two thumbs up.

This video is meant for children ages 1-5, but I think even kids/teens who are older can learn something from it. It's less exciting for them, but it's still a great learning tool. This has been a good refresher course for my 3 years of high school Spanish that I hardly remember any of.

This DVD is already out for sale. The only place I can find it online is at Galloping Minds page. Here is the link. They have it on sale right now for $12.99 with free shipping. I think that's a great price. Maybe you know someone who would appreciate this for Christmas. Now is a great time to start thinking about that.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Leaves

The other day I raked a small pile of leaves for Zachariah to play with. He was thrilled.

Uh oh, I think this is his ornery look. Watch out!
Yep, here he comes! Yes, he did throw those leaves on me.

And then when he laid down, I threw these leaves on him! Ha!



And finally a cute pose for a photo. At least the only one that didn't turn out blurry. He just can't hold still. ;)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Can I vent?

I can vent here, right? It's my blooooggg, and I'll vent if I want to.... Sorry, I'm done now.

1. Matt got a call from his doctor's office this morning. He had his cholesterol re-checked recently for a health program at work. He was borderline high before, and he's joined the YMCA and working out regularly as well as watching what he eats more now. His levels went up. The doctor has advised him to keep doing what he's doing, but to also try medication. So, he's going to try the meds for 2 months. Matt was pretty depressed about this, which made him a little crabby tonight. Ugh. He wasn't bad, but he wasn't fun to be around either.

2. I read something about cholesterol not changing after diet and exercise can be a sign of hypothyroidism. I read that to Matt. Bad idea, now he's worried about that. And he said that could be why he can't get me pregnant. His words, not mine. But it revealed to me that he blames himself when I can't get pregnant right away.

3. Matt and I were finishing up emptying a wading pool last night after Zachariah went to bed. We did a lot of yard work yesterday preparing for the cold weather coming this weekend. The gate was open to the front, and I was trying to keep an eye on the dog so he didn't sneak out. We got distracted and about 5 minutes later I looked over at the gate and realized the dog was gone. Oops. We looked around the back (it was pretty dark) and just knew he wasn't there. We checked the garage and the front yard. No dog. Greaaaat. We always keep him in the backyard, on a leash, or right with us on the rare occasions the he's out front with us. (He does roam free at my parents' house out in the country, but he never goes far from the house. He would rather be indoors anyway.) We looked around and kept calling for him but heard nothing. On impulse I went to the neighbor next door who has dogs. I didn't see Chip out front. I was about to turn back home, when I realized I couldn't see their front door from where I was. He would likely go to someone's door. I went about 2 feet forward and saw him sniffing around on their front porch. Silly dog. He came running when he saw me. Matt would have been really grouchy if we'd lost the dog. And I don't want to think about explaining that to Zachariah.

4. Zachariah went to bed early last night, because he refused to pick up toys after repeated chances. I think he needs to go to bed earlier anyway. He's been getting up a bit earlier since time changed anyway.

5. Stressful afternoon with kids at my tutoring center.

6. Matt was working on the budget/bills tonight. Made him a bit more cranky.

7. There might be more. I can't think anymore now.

So, here are the good things.
*My parents are stopping sometime tomorrow on the way home from their mini-vacation.
*Tomorrow is Friday.
*Cooler weather. (I know, I know, but I'm ready for it.)
*I've been able to take a few naps this week. Laying down for an hour some days is my saving grace.
*Matt is taking Monday off, and I'm not tutoring. We're having a nice dinner with his parents. Matt is also off on Tuesday for Veterans' Day.
*Yummy Swistle's Autumn Soup, garlic bread, and dessert (WOO! DESSERT!) for dinner tonight.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

DVD Review: Billy Blue Hair and Me


Billy Blue Hair and Me is a personalized DVD series. You can have your child's name inserted into the movie, and it is also printed on the outside of the DVD. It's a fun learning DVD.

We got to preview Billy Blue Hair and Me- "Why Do Giraffes Have Long Necks?". It was all about different kinds of animals- some quite exotic. But they are pretty informative about these animals.

Zachariah has always been a kid who just soaks things up like a sponge. He is very observant and has a great memory. All these fun facts in this video are right up his alley. He pays much more attention than I do, then he comes out with these amazing facts later. It's shocking sometimes.

I can't tell you whether or not the personalization is a big deal or not. We previewed a version that had the name "Joseph" on it. Zachariah didn't really seem to notice it. But I think if it had said his name, he would have loved it.

These Billy Blue Hair DVDs are available at their website. They cost $29.95 for this particular personalized DVD. You can also get them at Amazon.com for about half the price right now for the non-personalized version, but there aren't many left. And for the same price as Amazon, here at Film Baby.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I did


I'm wearing my sticker proudly today. This is the first beautiful election day we've had in a long time. It always seems to be rainy and dreary here for elections (even this spring).
I was well prepared on all the issues and elections on our ballot today. It went quickly once I finally got to the voting booth. This is the busiest our polling place has ever been, but it still went well. And it would have gone much faster for me if there weren't problems with 3 out of about 5 people who were in front of me to sign their name before receiving their ballots.
All that aside, I'm happy with how it went. I will be anxiously and prayerfully awaiting the outcome tonight (or tomorrow or next week or whenever we actually find out). (Yes, I think it will be that close again.) I hope that you had a good voting experience too.

Monday, November 3, 2008

We DID go trick-or-treating

OK, I'm a little behind, but I did take Zachariah trick-or-treating. No one trick-or-treats here in our neighborhood. There are no sidewalks, the houses are more spread out, it can be a busy road, and there aren't many kids who live around. We have lived here for over 7 years now, and we've never once gotten a trick-or-treater at our door...even though I usually have some candy just in case and I leave the porch light on.

I still think Zachariah is too young for all out trick-or-treating, so going the the local "Mall-oween" trick-or-treating is an easy solution. He gets more than enough candy there, and I can use the stroller in case he gets tired.

He dressed up as a royal knight this year. I gave him several options for costumes I could make him, and this is the one he chose. I think he looked adorable in it. He told any one who asked that he was "an knight!" My mom helped me make the costume, and it was a lot of fun to put together. Who knows what he'll want to be next year.

Zachariah was so cute the whole time. He told everyone who was handing out candy "trick-or-treat" and "thank you". He loved all the fun and is still enjoying the candy (a piece or two at a time).






Sunday, November 2, 2008

Unexciting events

It hasn't been a really exciting weekend. Matt has been going to bed early, sleeping in, and taking 3 hours naps. And I even snuck in a nap on both Saturday and today. Yeah. And I'm pretty tired tonight. I think the daylight savings time change is catching up with me.

We had a meeting at church tonight and a bonfire in the woods afterwards. That was a lot of fun. There were a few too many people for my liking, but it was nice once it cleared out a bit. We had our small group go to that instead of our regular meeting, so it was fun chatting with them.

I need to do some meal planning and make up a grocery list. We are short on quite a few things around here. And now that Matt heads back to work tomorrow, he'll need some times for lunch.

I've been in the mood to bake lately, but I've held off so far. I love to bake, but we so don't need to eat all the sweets I'd like to make. So I really don't bake very often. It will be nice to make some things to take to holiday gatherings. Ohhh, speaking of holiday things, I just got my Kraft Food & Family magazine and it is full of yummy looking recipes.

Tomorrow I need to get my house back in order. It was spotless on Friday. Then Matt came back and brought all his luggage with him. What a difference that makes just having him home. The bad is I now have one more messy person to keep up with. The good news is he's home, and I love it.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

He's back & Here I go again

He's hooooommme! I'm so happy that my love is home! Matt arrived safely in Ohio last night and half an hour early too.

Yesterday morning a couple from our church asked if I would be interested in riding along with them to the airport. We had already arranged for Matt's mom to spend the night here in case I had to go get Matt from somewhere when he got back. And since his flight came in pretty late, I wanted to be able to leave Zachariah in bed.

Anyway, so I jumped at the chance to go meet Matt at the airport. And his mom did not mind spending the evening alone with her only grandchild. Matt did not know I was coming, so it was a fun surprise. He was happy to see me, and I was thrilled to see him again.

I'm glad to have him home, and it's been fun to hear his stories and experiences. I know I will hear many more in upcoming days. Right now he's just trying to get him body readjusted (thank goodness we have an extra hour of sleep tonight). He brought home an outfit for himself and a wrap-around skirt for me. And he got a bunch of hand-carved ebony toys for Zachariah. He also purchased two African drums that I'm sure we'll always treasure. And Zachariah and I got necklaces with miniature African drums on them. They are really neat. I'll see if I can get a picture sometime.

I know that my husband left part of his heart in Africa, but I'm glad the rest returned home to me.


*****
On a completely unrelated note, I gave in. Did you too? It probably means I'll do more posting than commenting this month, but that's OK. I need to get back to that anyway. So, let's go NaBloPoMo.