Friday, February 27, 2009

Good grief, what a week!

I was going to post about some of this earlier, but this week just got away from me. Funny how that happens...even when you don't have much planned. So here are some things I've been up to:


1. Monday morning our friend called and asked if it was a good time to help with the bathroom. (Side note: we've been in the remodeling process for a few years now. All has been done, but the walls are not finished. Matt gave up on it and was ready to pay too much to hire someone to finish it.) Our friend loves doing drywall finishing, so he had offered to help before. I had nothing planned for that morning/afternoon, so he came over to work on it.


I watched his 2 year old daughter while he worked. She and Zachariah played together most of the time. They get along pretty well, but by the end of the afternoon they were pretty much fed up with each other. Neither of them had gotten naps, and they were finished.



I am so glad to have the bathroom almost finished. There are a few last minute touches that need done, then I can paint. After that Matt will be able to put up the remaining trim, and we'll finally be done!


While I'm happy about that, when our friend worked on the drywall it created a lot of dust. I had only moved the things that you can see out of the room. But we had a layer of drywall dust covering everything: inside the medicine cabinet, under the sink, and in the linen closet...not to mention every other surface that you could see. So I've probably spent 3-4 additional hours this week just cleaning the bathroom up. I am almost done now, but I need to take everything out of the closet to clean and wash. (And I haven't even begun all the dusting that the entire house needs now.)


BUT, the end is in sight, so I really haven't complained about all the work. I will be so happy when this is finally over.



2. This week was Missions Week at church. We have two missionaries who are around speaking at different events that are going on.


The lady who is here, we know personally. She was on staff at the church when we started attending there, and she was also in the first small group we joined then. Now she is serving overseas. It was neat to reconnect with her and hear about all that's going on where she is at.


Sunday morning one of the missionaries spoke, and we sat through both services. Monday night there was a leadership meeting that Matt and I attended (more about that later). Tuesday night was a men's dinner that Matt went to. Wednesday night was family night, so we all went to that. Then next Sunday it will be two services for us again, and then a farewell dinner afterwards for our missionary friend.



3. Monday night when we went to the leadership meeting, they didn't provide childcare. We had decided beforehand that we'd try to get a babysitter, but if that didn't work Matt would go alone. We felt one of us really needed to be there. But we have never left Zachariah home with a babysitter!


We called a girl who we know well. She has stayed here when her foster mom needs to go out of town overnight. She has known me for years through the center where I tutor. And she has known Zachariah since he was born. When she stayed here last time, I asked her if she ever babysat. She said she did, so I told her we'd probably call her sometime. She's a sweet girl, great with Zachariah, and we trust her very much.


So she was able to come and watch Zachariah for us, and Matt and I were both able to get to the meeting. Yeah. And Zachariah couldn't stop talking about the things he did with her. He loved it.



4. Someone remind me to share the cake recipe I made to take to that meeting. Sarah, it doesn't have dairy in it!



5. Zachariah's birthday is coming up very quickly. Next Tuesday to be exact. We're planning a party for next Saturday. Fortunately my parents are hosting it at their house. It's so much closer to the rest of the family to do it there, and they have a lot more room in their house. We did that last year, and it worked out really well.


My mom has offered to make the food for lunch. And I'm going to let her. That's a lot less for me to do.

Now I just need to get Zachariah to decide on a cake. I don't think he really cares too much. He wants everything he sees. So, I'm thinking about a doggy cake. He liked it, and I think it's cute. We'll see.


We'd also like to do something with him on his birthday. We'll probably take him out for supper. Last year I took him to Toys R Us to look around and play with the trains. Plus they give him a balloon and special cart on his birthday.


I also don't know what to get him. I think my parents are going to look for a b-i-k-e for him. I might do some arts and crafts things. And I want to look for some little Bob the Builder toys that he'd like.



6. I just got this package:




I need to host some DVD giveaways and soon! I have a bunch that need to go.



7. I know I had more to say, but I forget what. So, go! And have a great weekend.

Families of Costa Rica DVD Winner

Not too many entries this time. That's OK. I know the person who wins will enjoy it.

Oh, the only country I've visited (other than the USA, where I live) is France. I have been close enough, twice, to see Canada, but never officially stepped over.

And the lucky winner for the Families of Costa Rica DVD is

#1 - Cherish at A Girl and Her Blog

Congrats Cherish! I already have your address, so I will get this out to you soon. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

DVD Review & Giveaway: Families of Costa Rica


The DVD "Families of Costa Rica" is a great learning tool from the Families of the World series. The series explores families from different parts of the world -- their cultures, their lives.

The Families of Costa Rica DVD tells of two different families living in Costa Rica. Estibaliz (10 years old) tells us her story of life in a rural setting. She tells about her daily routine, school, sports, foods, and traditions of her family and village. Then Jose (also 10 years old) explains all about a day in his life. He lives in the city and tells us about his day at private school, soccer practice, and playing with his dog.

This DVD is targeted at the 5-11 age range. I agree that it's a little over my 2 year old's head. But he still enjoyed seeing the kids doing different things.

I enjoyed watching this too. It was fun to see a different country and from a child's perspective. They told some neat stories and shared fun traditions.
As a teacher, I also really like that this is a great tool to use in the classroom. There are other DVDs as part of this series, and I think they would be a great addition to any school/classroom library. Other videos in the series include: Australia, Brazil, China, Egypt, France, Ghana, India, Israel, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Russia, Sweden, Thailand, the USA, the United Kingdom, Vietnam and Canada.

To order this video for yourself, call 1-800-765-5885 or visit their website www.familiesofthe world.com.
To win a copy of Families of Costa Rica leave a comment here. Be sure to include your e-mail address, if I don't already have it. And if you need something to comment about, tell me what countries you have visited. (Zachariah has lots of little toy cars that he plays with all the time.) For a second entry post a link to this contest on your blog, then come back here and leave another comment telling me that you did so.

This is a quickie contest. The contest starts now and will end at 10:00AM on Friday, February 27th. I will post the winners here and will e-mail you as well.

Good luck!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

How'd They Build That? DVD Winners

Sorry for the delay. There's been a lot happening here. I'll try to post about it later. But for now, the DVD winners.

Thanks to all who signed up for the How'd They Build That? DVDs. I have two copies to give away. How about the first winner to contact me will get to pick which one they'd like to have? Otherwise I'll just send you one of them randomly.

The lucky numbers/winners are:

#5 - Emily at Live with David & Katy

#3 - Devan at All D's

Congrats, ladies. I have a copy of "Fire Truck" and "Big Truck". First person who tells me there preference will get it. I will also e-mail you both now, so that will help.

The rest of you stand by, I do have some more DVD's I need to get out soon! Come back for more give aways.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

My Blessings: Dressed up




He had a sports coat on too, but he had just ditched that. He sure loves wearing a tie. And he's pretty cheesy too.
For more Blessings, go visit Devan.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

DVD Review & Giveaway: How'd They Build That?





Do you have a truck lover in your house? My son LOVES trucks, tractors, and all things that go "Vroom".


We loved this new series How'd They Build That? from Marvelous Media. These DVDs are packed full of detailed information about how trucks are made.


In "Fire Truck" and "Big Truck" they go inside the factories that make the trucks. They tell about how every little thing gets built in those trucks. From beginning to end, your children will know way more than you about building trucks after they've watched this one.

The part that I found most fascinating is the paint room. They show how they cover the parts of the truck that need covered. Then the trucks are custom painted for the company who ordered them. It's so neat to see those big sprayers go to work.


Zachariah is completely absorbed in these movies. Then later he'll give me step-by-step instructions on how the trucks were built. He enjoys seeing the real life actions in videos like this.


These DVDs are short (about 1/2 hour each) and informative. The price is quite reasonable at a SRP of $8.99 each. They are available for purchase from Marvelous Media, Amazon, and other online sellers.


**I have a copy of each DVD- How'd They Build That? "Fire Truck" & How'd They Build That? "Big Truck". I will give one to each of two winners.
To win a copy of How'd They Build That? leave a comment here. Be sure to include your e-mail address, if I don't already have it. And if you need something to comment about, tell me what toy your child loves most. (Zachariah has lots of little toy cars that he plays with all the time.) For a second entry post a link to this contest on your blog, then come back here and leave another comment telling me that you did so.
The contest starts now and will end at NOON on Monday, February 23rd. I will post the winners here and will e-mail you as well.
Good luck!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Sheer Exhaustion

What did you do this weekend? My parents begged to take Zachariah for a few days. Even though Matt and I didn't have plans, I didn't see any harm in letting Zachariah go. So off he went to stay with grandparents.

Matt and I ended up going to pick up my laptop (YAY! It's back!) and then stopped for a quick dinner. And since we had nothing to do after that we went out for ice cream. And Sunday we went out with friends after church (not something we'd do with a toddler who needs a nap).

Speaking of naps, I should be honest. The very first thing we did after my parents left with Zachariah was take a 3 hour nap! Boy, that was nice.

Monday we walked around the mall for a while and a few other stores. Then we just relaxed and enjoyed the quiet at home. It was nice to have a peaceful weekend. No one else to worry about. No children running around being noisy either.

My mom returned Zachariah on Monday afternoon, so I spent the rest of the day playing with him and talking about all the fun things he did without us. And after supper this is what we had:






One tired kid! Just for the record he has never fallen asleep like that. This kid only sleeps in his bed and once in a while in the car on a long ride when he's really worn out. All I have to say is this was pure exhaustion.
After taking pictures of him falling asleep at the table, I picked him up and rocked him for an hour and a half (bottom picture of him in my lap). I thought he'd wake up a bit before bed, but he really didn't. So Matt helped me get him dressed and we just put him straight to bed.
Poor kid was whipped!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Strawberry Shortcake Winners

Sorry that I didn't get winners posted yesterday like I was supposed to. I have been sick for several days now. Today I finally feel good enough to get up off the couch/recliner/bed. That's a first since Sunday afternoon. Yesterday I never even turned the computer on...that's how bad I felt. Anyway, I'm a little more functional today, which is a good thing because we have a guest coming to stay from tonight until Sunday. I still need to clean up this office, so she has room for her things (office is also our guest room).

Thanks to everyone who signed up to win the new Strawberry Shortcake DVDs. And I will go draw 3 numbers now.

The winners are........

#8 - Melissa at Complimentary Chocolate

#7 - Karin

#13 - quitecontrary1977 at Now Entering Momville


Congrats. I'll be sending you an e-mail. I will need to get your mailing addresses ASAP (Melissa, I have yours).

So sorry that the rest of you didn't win. If I'd had 14 copies of this one, I would have been happy that you all could have one. But I do have some more DVDs that I need to review and giveaway. Some are new, and some I've been hanging on to for a while. So I really need to get busy. Keep checking back for new ones. Thanks for entering.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

DVD Review & Giveaway: Strawberry Shortcake


I'm so happy to tell you about the newest Strawberry Shortcake DVD: Strawberry Shortcake Happily Ever After. My son is a big Strawberry Shortcake fan. (Proves she's not just for girls.) And I happen to like Strawberry Shortcake too, so it's a great video that I don't mind watching with him.
Zachariah pretends that Strawberry, Custard, and Pupcake come visit him. Should I be concerned or just say he has a great imagination? (I lean towards the later.)

In this new DVD Strawberry Shortcake Happily Ever After Strawberry and her whole gang explore the adventures of fairy tales. They re-tell the stories in their own versions, such as Sleeping Beauty and Rapunzel.

I like that all the Strawberry Shortcake characters become characters in the story. And the story always has a bit of a different twist to it. It makes it fun and something new to enjoy.

The videos are being billed as "Princess themed", I'm sure for all the little princess loving girls out there. Honestly it's a fun video for everyone. Zachariah has probably watched it 5 times already, and we've only had it for a week.

Along with the DVD comes 3 Valentine cards to give away. That is why I am running this contest now. I have 3 copies of this DVD to give away. They will be shipped overnight to you, so that you have them in time for Valentine's Day.

To win a copy of Strawberry Shortcake Happily Ever After leave a comment here. Be sure it includes your e-mail address, if I don't already have it. And if you need something to comment about, tell me your favorite Valentine Treat**. For a second entry post a link to this contest on your blog, then come back here and leave another comment telling me that you did so.

The contest stars now and will end at NOON on Tuesday, February 10th. I will post the winners here and will e-mail you as well. Just remember that I'll need a quick response with your name and address, so this can be sent out to you right away.



*I have a downloadable sheet of Strawberry Shortcake valentines and a Strawberry Shortcake coloring sheet. E-mail me if you'd be interested in either of those.

**My favorite Valentine Treat is a cookie cake OR chocolate truffles. Mmm.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The one where I talk about girlie things

You read the title, you've been warned. If you don't want to hear about women's periods or ovulation or planning pregnancies, then just leave now.

Are they gone now?

OK good, let's talk ladies.

What do you all think about the concept that women who are around each other a lot will be on the same schedule? They will all start their periods about the same time each month. I have heard of this before, and it sometimes seemed true when I was younger and living at home. I guess living in a house with 4 women will lend itself to that. It never failed that myself, my mom, or one of my sisters would always have their period together.

My poor father. Really. There are many times I've felt bad that he was the only guy in the house. But I think I made it better by giving him a boy for his first grandchild.

I know when I was in high school I noticed that same phenomenon. It never failed that when I had my period at least one of my friends did too. Or they would start theirs, and the next day I'd start mine.

That's the last I've really experienced of this on a regular basis. Anyone else ever have this happen?

It's pretty rare that I'm around a group of women regularly. I don't have any really close groups of friends that I do things with a lot. I do things with my mom and sisters, but we're not together often.

I have noticed that when I'm at my parents' house (which means I've probably been around my mom and sisters too) for an extended period of time, I will often start my period. It's strange. It happened when we were there for a week at Christmas.

It's OK that is does happen, because my periods are very irregular. (That might answer some of the comments from this post about what Matt said.) I've always tended to have light, shorter periods and longer between each one. I've had some missed ones off and on for a while now. It has gotten even worse since having Zachariah. I think last year I only had my period 4-5 times during the whole year. I'm not complaining too much, but it does make it hard to figure out my cycle (not really one) or to chart or GET PREGNANT. Grr.

Blah, blah, blah, all that to say I started my period last night. :D I was hoping I was pregnant, because I was pretty sure I could tell when I was ovulating last month. But having two periods in a row is a good thing, and it will help me better predict my cycle for this month.

And I was with a group of ladies from church last night having dinner. It was so much fun. I enjoyed getting out of the house, talking to friends, and meeting new people. When I found out later in the evening that I'd started my period, it got me thinking that maybe I need to surround myself with women more often. Maybe it would help my regularity.

Thoughts?

Also, you better believe that we'll be trying everything possible to get pregnant this month. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Recipes- I have two & I need one

We had a Super Bowl party on Sunday night at a friend's house. It was a lot of fun. My friend is vegetarian and her husband makes a really great vegetarian chili. So since he made that for the party, I made corn muffins (because every one likes them with chili there). I didn't know what everyone else was bringing and I wanted to make sure there was enough food, so I did what I always do...I went overboard. I don't think I did it too badly this time, but Matt still teased me about it. I was going to make BBQ chicken legs, but that didn't work out (see my question below). Instead of that I made a Cheesy Ranch Chex Mix that turned out pretty good. I think it's missing something, but I haven't decided what yet. And I made Berry Fruity Pebble Treats. So here are those two recipes that you might like. They both went over well.



Fruity Pebble Treats
1 box of Fruity Pebbles (or I used Berry Fruity Pebbles) - 13 oz
1 bag of mini-marshmallows - 10.5 oz
3 Tbsp. butter or margarine (plus a little extra for the pan)
1. Butter a 9 x 13 baking dish.
2. In a large pot on the stove melt butter and marshmallows completely.
3. Take off the heat and add cereal.
4. Mix together well and pour out into buttered dish.
5. Let cool, cut & eat!
These are just like Rice Krispie Treats, but they are sweeter. We liked the fruity taste with them though. Colorful and fun to make.


Cheesy Ranch Chex Mix


9 cups Corn Chex®, Rice Chex® or Wheat Chex® cereal (or combination) (I used Rice Chex.)
2 cups bite-size pretzel twists (I used pretzels sticks, because I already had some.)
2 cups bite-size cheese crackers
3 tablespoons butter or margarine (Next time I will add more like 4-6 Tbsp.)
1 package (1 oz) ranch dressing and seasoning mix
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. In large microwavable bowl, mix cereal, pretzels and crackers.
2. In small microwavable bowl, microwave butter uncovered on High about 30 seconds or until melted. Pour over cereal mixture; stir until evenly coated. Stir in dressing mix and cheese until evenly coated.
3. Microwave uncovered on High 3 minutes, stirring after each minute. Spread on waxed paper or foil to cool. Store in airtight container.

**********
OK, there are some recipes for you to enjoy. Now I need your help. I have 4 lbs of chicken leg quarters that I thawed and need to use. I thought there were only drumsticks, so I was going to make something with them. Then I realized that they are drumsticks and thighs...attached. First of all Matt won't eat them, so I can do whatever I want to them. I was hoping to find something that I could just make with them as is. But I could cut them up and use them separately, if I can cook them at the same time that is.

Ideas? Great chicken recipes that will work for this? Help!

Monday, February 2, 2009

A new path in life

For years now I've known who I am. My whole life I've been a woman, a daughter, and a sister. Almost 9 years ago I learned what it was to become a wife. And I've been a mother now for almost 3 years. All these things about me define me and have made me who I am.

Last night I learned something new. There is a new journey that's going to happen in my life. I'm going to be an aunt! I don't know what it's like to be an aunt. To see your nieces/nephews grow up before your eyes, but yet you're not the parent. This will be a whole new experience for me.

It will also be a new experience for my sister, Rachel, as she begins to learn what being a mother is all about. I am so happy for her. She and her husband couldn't be more thrilled.

I can't wait to see what being a great aunt is all about. I've had a great example in Rachel. She's always been the best aunt to my son. I hope I can be the same for her child. And in the same respect, I hope that I can help her along this journey of being a new mom. Maybe she can learn from me too.

There are so many things I want to share with her. There are so many great things that she'll get to experience. So many memories are already being made.

The next 8 months and beyond will be a great journey for us. I can't wait to see what it brings.

Sunday, February 1, 2009