Friday, July 30, 2010

The next giveaway ... a little Yada Yada?

Pin It Finally found the rest of the set!

Next item up in the nightstand clear off:

All seven of the Yada Yada Prayer Group books by Neta Jackson.
- The Yada Yada Prayer Group
- The Yada Yada Prayer Group Gets Down
- The Yada Yada Prayer Group Gets Real
- The Yada Yada Prayer Group Gets Tough
- The Yada Yada Prayer Group Gets Caught
- The Yada Yada Prayer Group Gets Rolling
- The Yada Yada Prayer Group Gets Decked Out

I know, I know, the stellar photography itself, complete with my shadow, makes you want these books.

These are all pre-read, but I think only one of them was read more than once. Maybe some dog ears, but no writing or anything bad.

Here's my review, such as it is. These books probably won't change your life. They are fun reads though. You won't get bored with them, and they will likely challenge you spiritually in some areas. The characters are the same in each book, so you really get to know them, and chances are, you will relate to at least one of them. Chances are, you will wish for a Yada Yada prayer group of your own. I think I read all of these while Jim was gone, and they were a nice diversion. Not obsessive-you-can't-put-it-down books, but good reads anyway.

The versions I have of these books are different. The first three are the smaller versions, maybe they're the bargain books. I don't know. Books four through seven are larger, and four, five, and seven are the "party edition" and have some recipe and celebration ideas in the back.

Interested? If so, just leave me a comment. :) Again, if you're local, I'll deliver them to you. If you're not, I'll ship them to you. Easy peasy. I have a busy weekend ahead, so I'll leave this open until Sunday night and will choose a winner on Monday.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

An award!

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Thanks so much, Judith!

Judith at A Homemaker Speaks gave me this award. :) Y'all go visit her blog! You're sure to be blessed by it.

Now I'm supposed to tell you seven facts about myself, then pass the award along.

1. I *never* go barefoot. Never ever ever. Right now I'm sitting here typing on my bed, relaxed, with shoes and socks on. Flylady would be so proud of me.

2. Over the last year, I have become a toy person. Never would have thought that would happen. I'm loving my phone, and my newest toy, my nook. I really do play with them like toys. Who would ever have imagined that!

3. If I wake up and there are dirty dishes in the sink, it starts my whole day off in a bad way. If I wake up and there are both dirty dishes in the sink and laundry piled up to be folded, it would be best for everyone in the house to just stay in bed. All day.

4. I'm a "save it all up and do the laundry on one day" kind of person. Because it really does take an entire day to do it all, if for some reason I can't get started in the morning, I put it off until the next day. We are nearing a state of laundry emergency right now.

5. I just realized that I haven't ever completed a self-help book. I buy them with great intentions (and trust me, this self could use some help!), but I can't think of a one I've read all the way through. Maybe someone should write a self-help book about how to read a self-help book.

6. I absolutely love the show Psych, and especially love it when Wednesday sneaks up on me and I realize I don't have to wait too long to see it again. I really miss the days when Monk and Psych came on back to back.

7. Our summer lack of a schedule is grating on my nerves. I put together our schedule for the start of school and I am so looking forward to it. I'm not looking forward to school nearly as much as I'm looking forward to schedules and routines.

And let's see who I can pass this along to ...

Lizzie Ann @ Housekeeping In Progress

Kristin @ Life's Small Moments

Rachel @ My Life, My Love(s), My Passion(s)

Wordless Wednesday and the Winner

Pin It I know I've mentioned before how close my oldest and youngest are. Except when he's mad at her and calling her a breadcrumb, of course. Oh, and when he screamed out that he wasn't going to marry her anymore. Okay, and when she made a sign for her door that said "NO BOYS ALLOWED" and he responded with a picture for his door with a girl and a big ole' X through her. (That's some fabulous blog fodder right there. Really wish my scanner worked!) ANYWAY ... other than those times, these two little darlings are really pretty close. It's quite sweet, actually. So, last week she went to camp. While the moms were hugging their babies and sending them off, Brendan got really quiet and kind of disappeared. I saw him just sitting on the step watching and looking sad.

This post really needs a picture of my middle one happy dancing as the van pulled away. hehe. Even she missed her sister and was ready for her to come home though. And within about ten minutes of them getting back, she was ready for her to leave again. Love the sisterly bond.

(aren't you glad this is a WORDLESS post? Can you imagine how wordy it would be if I hadn't put wordless in the title?)

Okay, the So Long Insecurity winner!! This didn't get many comments. I figure either everyone already has this book, or y'all are like me ... a little overwhelmed by it. ;)

I am ROFL'ing at your comment. So, from my piled up nightstand to yours, enjoy some Beth Moore! :)

It's Wednesday? I'll gather up the bookS, yes plural, for the next giveaway and will post it either tomorrow or Friday. :) Thanks for playing!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Book #2 ... Feeling a little insecure?

Pin It Okay, here it is. The lovely nightstand.

I TRIED to not straighten it up before taking a pic and found that I was completely incapable. I promise that all I did was straighten up the piles ... and maybe remove a toy or two ... and throw away a bit of trash that was up there. I did not add or remove any books. Do you see the problem? Thing is - some of them just can't go anywhere.

I go through spells where I read the photography books, then get overwhelmed and put them down for a while. There are a few homeschool books on there too, as I'm still in the planning phase of the 2010/11 school year. There are a couple of magazines and cookbooks because I'm always planning a menu.

Some of them CAN go though, which brings us to the next book.

So Long Insecurity: You've Been a Bad Friend to Us by Beth Moore

Mine is hardback with the dust jacket. Unfortunately I can't give you much of a review of this one. I was too insecure to read it. :-P I did read some of it. I have several Beth Moore books and I have loved them all. I'm certain that this one is fabulous as well. It was requiring more of a time and effort commitment than I was willing to make at the time I bought it. It's been sitting on my nightstand for several months now. I'm certain that I WILL want to read it at some point, at which time I will add it to my nook.

Same rules apply. If you're interested, leave me a comment. This is open until Tuesday night and I'll choose a winner on Wednesday morning. If you're local, I'll deliver it to you, if not, shipping is on me.

Oh ... and just a preview ... like Christian fiction? That's what's next. Possibly a seven volume set, and I know you can see one or two of them in the pics. ;)

Not Me Monday

Pin It I've written up a new book giveaway and will post it later today. There are a few things I couldn't possibly have done this week, so I thought I'd share them with you first.

First of all, after almost 41 years of life, I am not still totally in denial about my awesome ability to sunburn. I did not go swimming with *only* spf 50 sunscreen applied twice. You know, as if sunscreen would suddenly start working for me or something. After 3 1/2 hours in the sun, I'm not completely red and sitting here in pain.

Here's an fyi though. Apparently ... ahem ... *older* skin does not peel as readily as younger skin. It just wrinkles. Awesome.

My child did not remark to me that I get in a very bad mood when I have a sunburn. I did not wish to thump her in the head. Her remark did not follow a conversation in which I stated "these are your options for lunch. Period." and she certainly did not reply "or this. How about this? Don't we have this?" and I did not get angry and state "THESE ARE YOUR OPTIONS FOR LUNCH. PERIOD." Because I would never argue with my children over meals. hm ... maybe the fact that my face is so burned that it hurts to smile HAS put me in a little bit of a grumpy mood. Nope, couldn't be that.

And I did not at all make a list of the contents of my freezer with the intention of planning a menu from it, and then sit down to make a menu and decide that I didn't want any of the stuff in there and couldn't think of a thing to make from it. Nope, not me, because it is full-on hurricane season, and after trashing the contents of my freezer several times now, I'd never enter August with a full freezer with no plans to use it all up.

(So if you see me, feel free to ask me the condition of my freezer.)

And that's it for this week! Stay tuned, I'll post the new book giveaway in a bit.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Crazy Love Winner!

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Congratulations Rachel!

I'll get in touch with you to get your address.

Stay tuned. I'll pick the next giveaway book today or tomorrow. Not only that, in the interest of "the first step is to admit you have a problem," I'll include a pic of my nightstand. That's some bravery right there!

Thanks for playing!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

A *Crazy* Giveaway

Pin It Alternate title: Only YOU can help prevent landslides.

I have a bit of a book problem. Some people might call it a hoarding problem, but I would probably roll my eyes at those people, and possibly stick my tongue out as well. Because I'm really grown up and mature like that.


My nightstand is starting to resemble a mountain already, and I just cleaned it off a couple of weeks ago! The books, they are taking over. I am afraid that if they banded together, and enlisted the help of the cat, they could take me out one night while I slept. (And hello? Have you met the cats? One would be an eager participant out of spite and the other out of clumsiness. Yes, I have a clumsy cat. Didn't think that existed, did ya?)

Oh. Hm. Did I have a point here? Oh yes, I did.

To remedy the potential landslide issue, and quite possibly SAVE MY LIFE, my sweet husband bought me a nook. I am really enjoying it! (Although, Barnes and Nobles COMPLETELY tricked me into reading a book I would not ordinarily choose to read, and now I'm so into it and can't wait to see what happens, but I'm still a little annoyed that I'm reading it in the first place. Well played, B&N.)

I keep forgetting the point. Perhaps I should not be allowed to blog before 7 am. Perhaps I should not be allowed to be AWAKE before 7 am. Isn't that why I homeschool? So I can sleep late and stay in my jammies all day? Plus it's summer! And Brendan sleeps for 10 hours no matter what time he goes to bed, and he went to bed after 10 last night because of a power nap, so he has AT LEAST another hour to sleep, and Gabbi is at camp, and Madelyn ... giggle giggle ... she wakes up at the crack of 10 am, so I have QUITE a while with her.

See, there I go again. THIS is what it's like in my brain. Scary place.

SO ... clearing out some books. (See, I do remember the point of this post. You were wondering, weren't you?) Some of the books I love, I'm planning to purchase as funds allow to put on my nook. Which means that the actual book can go. They're going to go to various places, but I'm setting aside several to give away on my blog. I'm kind of inspired by Pioneer Woman's closet clean-out. Wonder if I'll get 3,000 comments. Haha. :-P

Book #1:

Crazy Love by Francis Chan

This is a fabulous book! It will change your life, change your perspective of God. This, so far, has been the only book that I've put on my nook that I already have. If you haven't read it, you need to. This copy was read by me. I know I didn't write in it, but it's possible that it has a couple of dog ears.

So, just leave a comment if you're interested. I'll pick a winner on Saturday, so you have today and tomorrow to comment.

(The "for extra entries do this, this, and this" thing drives me crazy, but I will let you know that I'm making a stack of books to give away through the blog, so if you don't already follow, you might want to so you don't miss something you might like.)

So, thanks for considering my giveaway! I know you'll love this book!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Random Day in the Life

Pin It I had a fun day yesterday! After being rained out on Monday, a couple of friends and I were able to dash off to Houston yesterday to sell some homeschool books, buy some new ones, and just have fun visiting for the day. Oh, and La Madeleine. Pardon me while I drool for just a moment.

The find of the day? Teaching Textbooks math for half off! Woot! Okay, the find of the day was a total toss-up between that and the tiramisu at La Madeleine. Just keeping it real. The math won out by a very small margin. Something about the saving $75 just barely won out over the tiramisu decadence. Barely.

My friend's kids kept my kids. Apparently mine had a group grumpiness thing going on. We weren't even out of the driveway before it began. "I didn't want to tell you this, but SHE ..." (If you REALLY didn't want to tell me, perhaps it could have waited for more than FIVE SECONDS after seeing me!) This was followed, of course, by the obligatory "Well, SHE ..." This went back and forth for a couple of minutes, then naturally, "and then HE did ..." Poor little Brendan was buckled into his carseat, minding his own business, and was dragged into the girls' argument. He of course added his thoughts on the matter. And then promptly went to sleep. Oh how we love the power naps. :-/

So evidently my children, all three, were little terrors yesterday. Fabulous. Makes me can't wait to have another Mom's Day Out.

One leaves for camp today. The house is going to be so very quiet while she's gone. The funny thing? She's the quiet one. It cracks me up that the child who really is quiet will be gone for a few days and the whole house will be quieter. Part of that will be the constant running Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber soundtrack will be off for a few days.

Oh, and while she's gone? The house will be having some vampire extermination. I gave in a little, and they seem to be taking over. Camp can clear her mind of such things, and I'll take care of clearing the physical space of them. Your book? Why no, hon. I have no idea. Well, yes, I did do some light cleaning in your room while you were gone because I missed you and wanted you to come home to a nice, clean room. Because I love you. I'll let you know if I come across that book though. ;)

Will her brother survive without her here? I told him last night that she was going and the boy got teary. Seriously. He drew her a picture - in which she was pregnant with a cat. Not sure what THAT'S about, but I packaged it up to be delivered to her at camp.

Her sister on the other hand, has been dancing around with glee and offering to help her pack. I'm sure it's all an act. ;)

The real question? How on earth will my big girl survive without her cell phone and music. Stay tuned, I'll keep you posted.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Not Me Monday

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Mckmama- Not Me Monday

I've done some really REALLY dumb things lately. I know I wouldn't hesitate to share if my kids had done them, so in the interest of full disclosure, let me share the dumb things I have done.

Jim has had this really nice plasma TV for a couple of years now. It was a gift from his mom. Shortly after installing it, we upgraded to HD cable. For some reason, the oh so lucky cable guy had to deal with me rather than Jim when he came out. This was pre-Army, so Jim must have just been at work or something. So, the cable guy shows me how to operate the TV by using a sports channel, it looked fabulous, and he left. He had probably not even started his car before I took it off the sports channel and the super sharp HD'ness went away. I complained to Jim and to other people that the quality on this TV wasn't really any better than the old, little TV in the bedroom and that I couldn't understand why the TV was rated so well. (Yes - there was much studying of consumer reports - by Jim - before the TV was purchased.)

Now let's fast forward two YEARS. We switched from DSL to cable for our internet, which meant that the cable guy had to come out again. The words "you're putting it on the HD channels, right?" never came out of anyone's mouth.

Um ... let's just say it was NOT ME who never even realized that the HD channels weren't just the regular channels. There's no way that the regular channels have regular programming, and to see nice, sharp, HD pictures, you must actually change to an HD channel. Nope, not me. I'd never be so technologically challenged that I wouldn't realize that I needed to just change the channel.

There haven't been any minor issues about the phone not working because it wasn't plugged in, either.

And I never once had to ask my 11 year old to help me figure out how to do something on my phone. Or my computer.

Nope, not me.

(and to the child who once told me that I teased her on my blog ... see, I use myself as blog fodder sometimes too. We're even.)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Over-Protective or Under-Vigilant

Pin It Oh my heavens, it's hard being a parent!

I remember my friend Di saying "little people, little problems. Big people, big problems." At the time I had a toddler and an infant and hadn't slept in six months and giggled thinking that parenting would be so much easier when there were no more diapers in my shopping cart and I could be reasonably certain that I could leave the house without spit-up on me anywhere.

Then the toddler became a little girl and the infant became a toddler. I think it DID get easier, at least a little. Or maybe it was just that I could sleep every now and then, so my outlook improved.

Then the little girl became a big girl, and the toddler became a little girl, and we added another infant. And subtracted a lot of sleep. The big girl did become more independent, which sounded like a good thing at the time, but really wasn't. She became more social with more influences, and really wasn't content to sit and watch Sesame Street anymore. The little girl was at the mostly easy phase - potty trained and sleeping on her own, but no independence yet. Diapers were in the cart again and the lack of sleep circles appeared.

Now we have a big girl who can't wait to be a teen, another wanna-be big girl who is in the in-between stage, and a little boy. Everyone handles their own potty needs. Everyone sleeps in their own bed. Two of the three can even fix their own meals. But, life has not gotten easier.

Now, I understand what Di meant. I suspect that I will understand it better over the next few years. Now it's not the question of "should I just put them in my bed so I can get some sleep?" and "WHY OH WHY did nobody tell me I had spit-up in my HAIR?" and "Diaper blowout? Again?" Oh no. Now it's "OH MY HEAVENS SHE WANTS TO HAVE A BOYFRIEND. And read Twilight!" and "should we just implant that phone into her ear?"

I don't want to be the over-protective mom who has the kid like one of my college roommates, who wanted to have every single experience she felt like she had missed out on in her first month of college. Neither do I want to be the under-vigilant mom who has the kid who grows up knowing way much, or without defined rules.

I'm discovering more and more that moms just spend a lot of time walking a tightrope. What works for one child, or one family, will likely not be the best choice for another one. (LOL Have you met my daughters? Night and Day?)

All of this to say - Di, you were right. The little people problems really were easier. Give me spit up in my hair over deciding which text package to choose, please! And the funny thing? I'm sure in a couple of years I will be saying give me "is Twilight appropriate?" over whatever life is going to look like then.

I'm having continual prayers for wisdom to make the right decisions, and for mercy and grace when I don't. And for reminders when I look at my children and don't have the first clue, that the Lord loves them even more than I do, and that not only is His grace sufficient for me, it is sufficient for them as well.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Not Me Monday

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Mckmama- Not Me Monday

Let's jump right in!

It is not me who is waffling yet again about our choice for English/Language Arts curriculum for Gabbi for next year. I had it all planned out AND BOUGHT and I've looked at the table of contents and it's ... um ... intimidating, so I'm thinking of looking at something else.

Oh, and it's not me who would ever be intimidated by a table of contents. Ahem.

It is not me who has been researching cameras lately. I didn't decide that I needed to do this when one small feature on my camera stopped working. Oh, and that small feature? It didn't take a five minute google search to fix it. So, of course, when my camera was fixed, I immediately stopped my camera search. I didn't get excited to see that an upgrade for the model I wanted is due out soon, and I didn't think about how that might lower the price on the model I want. Nope, not me. I'm CONTENT with what I have. (Oh, and there is NO WAY that every time I pop on to Amazon, the camera stuff is there waiting for me.)

I didn't completely cave and do a total about-face regarding a thing Gabbi wanted to do. Nope, no bowing to pressure here. Because I had to preview this thing before considering it for Gabbi, I didn't spend the last two weeks of my life with my nose in a series of books and watching an incredibly cheesy movie that has a huge following that I don't completely understand. I also did not underestimate my daughter, figuring that she would see that said book has 500 pages and thinking she would be intimidated by that and not follow through. Sigh. It took her less than a week. I am not currently being pressured (by her) to allow the rest of the series. (For this, I will be standing firm. It's a definite NOT YET! Not for a couple of years, anyway.)

And now, because I have a to do list a mile long, and a firm case of the "don't wannas" but I've lived in that land way too much this summer, I'm going to run and get busy!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Women of Faith Wednesday -- Beating the Heat

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(Yes, I'm aware that it's Thursday. LOL)

It's been a few weeks since I've done one of these. I've been lazy or something.

Question of the week:
Whew, it’s hot outside! How do you beat the heat?

Seriously? Mostly I complain about it. Sigh. I realized yesterday that I complained about both the rain and the sunshine. Apparently there is no pleasing me. But moving right along to answer the question ...

We spend as much time as possible in water. That, and we really enjoy the air conditioning. I try to do errands early and if we have to spend time out of the house mid-day, if there's not water involved, then there is certainly air conditioning involved. Mainly we look for water though!
Some days we hang out at the splash park.

Handy dandy slip n slide

Some days are just turn on the hose days.

Sometimes we cool off in the water and then sit and text our friends.

We go swim at friend's houses.

We go to the local public pool.

So basically we just, if we have to be outside, spend the time being as wet as possible!

So, how about you? Got any "beat the heat" tips for me?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The lazy hazy RAINY days of summer

Pin It Be warned in advance. There is nothing but rambling and perhaps a bit of whining in this post. Proceed with caution.

Okay, so it's rained 4839724 days in a row. In normal climates, this may cool things down. Here? Notsomuch. It just serves to make steam. Because what is more fun than going outside after a nice refreshing rain and seeing steam coming off the road? I looked at the ten day forecast this morning, and hey guess what? There's rain in the forecast for every one of those ten days. I'm sure there's rain for the 75849375 days after those ten days too, they just don't want to tell us that yet.

You know what's really fun? Wearing glasses in this weather. For those of you who don't wear glasses, do this. Go turn on your dishwasher and let it get all hot and steamy. Then open in and stick your face in there, with some sunglasses on. Oh the fun and joy. Now add a few kids to laugh at you because apparently fogged over glasses are loads of hilarity.

Oh the gloom and doom. I really am a regular ray of sunshine these days.

Well, while I'm on a roll, let's see what else I can complain about.

- the sunburn I got in the ten minutes of sunshine we had last week is now peeling. That's really an attractive look. Especially when part of said sunburn is on my scalp.

- I DESPERATELY need a haircut. Because we have ten minutes of sunshine every week, my scalp gets burned every week. Then it peels. It's just plain gross and I can't bring myself to subject any person to that. Maybe that's the good part of all the rain - maybe I will be able to go a week without burning my scalp so I can have a week without peeling so I can get a haircut.

- My house is out of control. The good thing about Jim being back home is that I go to bed much earlier. This really is a good thing. The bad part though - while he was gone, I used the time at night when the house was quiet to clean. At least I think that's it. It could just be that Jim was the messy one all along. ;)

Okay, so now that I've brightened your day immeasurably, we're going to run and hunt for rainbows. There MUST be one out there somewhere.

eta -- found a rainbow!! Not a literal rainbow, but one I'll take happily! For the past week or so, the pop-up flash on my camera hasn't been working. I noticed that I'm approaching the "click limit" on it, so I've started a bit of research in case it needs to be replaced sooner rather than later. Well, today I decided to search the flash problem. Turns out there's a teeny little button that can get pushed down when the external flash is hooked up. Then occasionally when the external flash is taken off, the button doesn't pop back up. I pushed the teeny little button and viola! I'm back in flashy business! Awesome!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Fourth of July!

Pin It (alternate title ... Melanie had some fun playing with the camera.)

Jim made circles.

Gabbi made a heart.

um ... mirror image, hon

Much better!

We tried REALLY hard to get an "M" but this is as close as we could get.