Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Amazing Giveaway!

What could bring me out of a blog sleep of over a year & a half??? The chance to win my very own Silhouette!!!

All you have to do is head over to iheartorganizing - my new FAVORITE blog - to learn all the details! The best part is there are 6 different ways you can enter. With this post I'm eligible for them all!

So what exactly can you win? 1 Silhouette SD, 1 Package white flocked heat transfer material, 1 package teal smooth heat transfer material, and 1 package dark pink smooth heat transfer material! Just make sure you enter before 9:00 p.m. central time Monday, May 23rd. The winner will be announced on iheartorganizing on Tuesday, May 24th! Good luck!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Why haven't I been posting????

This post is WAY past due but once I explain you'll understand why I've been MIA for so long. So, drumroll please...

we are now a family of FOUR!!!

After years of hoping and praying to add to our family through adoption, our dreams finally came true! On August 7th Emilea Nicole was born and was lovingly placed into our arms and hearts forever! As you can imagine it's been an exciting, emotional, and exhausting 2 months. (Actually, it's been 4 months - we were "picked" in the middle of June.) Dave, Lexie and I are so happy - we still can't believe how blessed we are! God is SOOOO good!!!

And now for more pictures...

Friday, July 31, 2009

Funny YouTube Video

It's been a pretty busy summer so I haven't had time to post like I thought I would. But I thought I'd share this video a friend of mine posted on her Facebook page. I think it's hilarious!!! Hope you enjoy it.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Please pray for Kate

I was so moved by this post I saw over on Blessed by 3 Miracles. I can't even imagine what the McRae family is going thru. Their 5 year old daughter Kate is at Phoenix Children's Hospital fighting a brain tumor. I'm just glad they have faith in God. I'm joining them in praying for a miracle for Kate. Please watch the video and then say a prayer for Kate and her family.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Slice of Life Friday

Fridays I'll fill you in on what we've been up to over the last week (or longer). As you may have noticed, the last 2 entries have been a day late. That's because the past few weeks have been really crazy around here. Here's just a little of what we've been up to (at least the stuff I took pictures of):

1. Lexie lost tooth #3 (she was playing dress-up with her cousin)

2. We brought the class pet (a guina pig named Cookie Dough) home for a weekend

3. Lexie got to play catcher again - her favorite position

4. Lexie and I visited a bunch of garage sales. Here are my great finds (After getting rid of the iron, I plan on painting the bench black - it cost me $2!!!)...

and Lexie's purchases (all made with about $9 in change Daddy gave her)...

5. Lexie learned how to ride a bike without training wheels and got a new bike. (Yes, it's the one she wanted. Was there ever any doubt we'd get it? Target only had one and it was kindof dirty so when we went to check out I asked the girl if we could get a discount because of that and she gave us 10% off! It's always good to ask.)

6. Lexie's class went on a field trip this past Wednesday to a place that had bounce houses and put-put golf. She actually got a hole in one on the 4th hole!!!

Wednesday night we went to Lexie's end of the year program then on Thursday we went to her 2nd to last T-ball game. Then yesterday (Friday) was Lexie's last day of school (I was there most of the day). They walked to the park around 11am, played, ate lunch, played more, ate ice cream, played even more and finally headed back to school after 2pm. At 5pm that night we went to Lexie's teacher's house for a pizza party. It was such a nice way to end the school year but Lexie and I were REALLY tired by the time we got home. (Dave didn't go because he went to game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals. Unfortunately, the Red Wings lost but it was still a cool experience just to be there.)

So now school's out and we have 2 1/2 months to relax, have fun outside and just enjoy being together. I'm definately ready for summer vacation, especially after the busy week we've had. The thing I'm looking forward to most is sleeping in! Yeah!!! (Did I mention I resigned from my job at the library? My position had a "set schedule" and with Lexie on vacation I couldn't work those same hours. I'm hoping to reapply in the Fall.)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Review Time Thursday

On Thursdays I'll review a book or movie that I liked (and maybe even warn you about a few I didn't like). Since it's summertime and the kids are home wanting stuff to do I thought I'd dedicate today to kids' books. As you know Lexie is 6 1/2 (actually it's more like 6 3/4). She LOVES to read and began reading on her own when she was 4. She's read so many differnt kinds of books over the years but this year she's really gotten into chapter books and series. She likes the same ones most little girls her age are into like American Girls, Rainbow Fairies, Junie B. Jones, Judy Moody, and Hannah Montana. However, she has a few other favorites that you might not have heard of.

Araminta Spookie Books by Angie Sage
There are 5 books in total and they are suggested for children grades 2-4. The School Library Journal published this review: "Araminta Spookie lives in a sprawling haunted house. She spends her days hunting for ghosts, avoiding her cranky Aunt Tabby, and helping her nocturnal Uncle Drac. In the first book, her aunt wants to sell the house and the little girl does all she can to scare away potential buyers. Things turn out better than expected when the ghost-loving Wizzard family shows interest but decides instead to move in with the Spookies. In the second book, Araminta and the Wizzards' daughter find themselves in danger when they try to retrieve a sword from a cave for the house ghost's 500th birthday... Kids who use "weird" as a compliment will delight in the charming details of Araminta's life. Trapdoors and secret passageways get her into forbidden places. Frogs, bats, and ghosts are part of the family..." Amelia Jenkins, Juneau Public Library, AK (Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.)

The Frog Princess books by E.D. Baker

There are six books in the series and they're suggested for children grades 4-6. Here's a review by the School Library Journal: "In E.D. Baker's twist on the classic fairy tale (Bloomsbury, 2002), Princess Emeralda has quite an adventure when she kisses a prince-turned-frog and everything goes terribly awry. The book follows her exciting quest, along with the frog prince Eadric, to transform themselves back into their human selves. The text itself is weak, with poor story logic, many fruitless tangents, and excessive detail. However, the dialogue between the perky princess, her valiant but foolish prince, and some of the other odd characters they encounter is often genuinely funny...This romantic comedy and non-violent adventure would appeal to youngsters fond of twisted fairy tales, but some of the jokes and sophisticated vocabulary will be beyond the intended audience." by Jenna Innes, Edmonton Public Library, Alberta, Canada (Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.)

The Sisters Grimm books by Michael Buckley

There are 7 books in the series which is suggested from readers Grade 4 to 6. Here's the review from Booklist: "After their parents disappear, sisters Daphne and Sabrina Grimm are placed with a grandmother they have never heard about. Sabrina, the eldest, is highly suspicious; why didn't their parents mention Granny Relda? She grows more concerned once they arrive at Relda's home in the New England town of Ferryport Landing, where Relda serves emerald-green meatballs in rooms lined with books about magic. Then Relda reveals the truth: the Grimms are descended from the famous storytelling brothers, and Ferryport Landing is a magical town, populated with "Everafters," characters straight from fairy tales. After Relda goes missing, it's up to the girls, and their new magical friends, to rescue her and stop a corrupt politician--a well-cast Prince Charming. Buckley's debut novel gets bogged down in labored world building and sometimes stilted prose, but the wild parade of magical folk in the gleefully fractured fairy tales (Snow White teaches school; the Three Little Pigs are policemen) may draw some fans." by Gillian Engberg (Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.)

Some of the reviews weren't that glowing, however, I can tell you that Lexie absolutely LOVES all three of these series. Since she's a kid, and I assume the reviewers aren't, I'd encourage you to try these books out. I hope the kids in your life enjoy them as much as Lexie does!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Family Life Wednesday

Wednesdays are all about "family life" - I'll probably write about things like parenting, our adoption journey, marriage and my faith. Today I thought I'd share a recent strategy we've been using for discipline.

You may have noticed the recent additions to my reading list - Kid Cooperation, The No-Cry Discipline Solution and She's Gonna Blow! (That last one was for me.) I suddenly found myself dealing with a teenage attitude from my 6 1/2 year old and I didn't know how to handle it. Everything was suddenly "I don't care" and "I don't have to" and "So what." Then there was the yelling and the hitting and the kicking. Lexie became this little monster (not like herself) and I didn't know what to do. (Dave has been traveling a lot lately so I think that may have contributed to the behavior but it's still no excuse.)

Of course I never really had time to read the books but what I did read at least gave me comfort knowing that I wasn't alone. (I'll have you know, I took a quiz in one of the books to see what kind of parent I am. Turns out I'm a "Balanced Parent," the book even said "why are you reading this book?" That made me feel a whole lot better.) The books also reminded me of the importance of being consistent, something Dave and I always try to do but it's much harder when there is only one of us around.

Lexie has always done better with positive reenforcement than with punishing bad behavior. When we reward the good things she does she wants to do them more and I think she focuses more on being good. However, if we yell or take something away, it's like a downward spiral and the behavior stays the same or may even get worse.

With this in mind, I created a REWARD CHART for Lexie.
This is something we started a couple of years ago when we wanted Lexie to start helping around the house more - make her bed, clear her dishes, keep her room clean, etc. I updated the form and started using it about 3 weeks ago and it's already worked wonders. She doesn't get second chances, if she yells once, she doesn't get a sticker on that square; if she doesn't make her bed in the morning, she doesn't get a sticker; if she yells at me, she doesn't get a sticker. It works so well, I wish I'd started using it sooner. Now don't get me wrong, I'm NOT saying Lexie's behavior has totally changed. (Just check out the first 3 behaviors - we've still got some work to do!) However, she knows that if she acts correctly she can earn daily and weekly rewards. (Click on the picture to get a closer look at her possible rewards.)
The first week she earned $1, the second week she got $1 plus she got to bake with me and the third week she earned $1, baking with mom plus a playdate! I'm really proud of her progress and the best part is I don't feel like I'm "gonna blow" anymore! :)