Confession Time

What can I do to mommy today?
Sometimes as a mom we do things that we wouldn't want to admit to get through each day.  Here are my confessions:

1. Sometimes I am so tired that I go to bed without brushing my teeth.

2. I still have a few maternity shirts in my closet and I still wear them.  I haven't been pregnant in a year!

3. I have gotten dressed for church, had a baby throw up on me and I didn't change into a different outfit. I am sure that everyone could smell me a mile away.

4. I have used the TV as a babysitter so that I can take a shower.

5. I watch "America's Super Nanny" because it makes me feel like a good parent when I watch the parents on the show.

6. I have a favorite child each day- it changes all the time but at the end of each day there is always a clear winner.

7. I have been known to leave the kids' jammies on all day.  OK, truth is I have been known to leave mine on all day too!

8. By the end of the summer, I am so ready for school to start!

9. I dream about going on vacation by myself- no hubby, no kids!

10. When I am at the mall, I look around at the other babies and think, "my baby is so much cuter than those babies."

What mommy confession will you share with us?

Book Review and Giveaway

Today I am reviewing "Devotions, Advice & Renewal for When Motherhood Feels Too Hard." I was sent a copy to review by the author Kelly Crawford of Generation Cedar.

There are days that I am overwhelmed by motherhood.  It is absolutely exhausting to be a mom!  We wear so many hats: nurse, teacher, chef, cleaning lady, social director, taxi driver, ok you get the idea.  If you hear someone say that being a mom is easy, you are probably not talking to an actual mom!

It is the most difficult job out there but is the most rewarding.  I am truly blessed to have three wonderful children. 

"Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him." 
Psalm 127:3

Every night I try to get some quiet time for myself after the kids go to bed and before I am too tired.  I like to read my Bible and work on a Bible study.  This book, "Devotions, Advice & Renewal for When Motherhood Feels Too Hard," would be a perfect book to read after a long day as a mom.  

A few reasons why I think that moms would enjoy this book:

1. It is broken into short (less than 2 page) chapters that will only take a few minutes to read.   It is a short concentrated study that lasts 31 days.

2. It is written by a real mom (with 9 children) that understands how hard it is to be a mom.  She provides real encouragement based on the Bible and her own experience.

3. The price is very reasonable at a cost of $8.99 for paperback version, $4.97 for e-version and there is even a bulk rate available for a Bible study.

I have exciting news!  I am giving away my copy of this book.  You can enter the raffle below.  I will mail out a copy of the book to the winner.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And The Winner Is...

The Child Training Bible Giveaway has ended and the winner is 

Leah H.

Congratulations!!!  Email your mailing address to me at and you will receive your Child Training Bible Kit in the mail directly from the creators of the Child Training Bible.

For those of you that didn't win but are interested in purchasing a Child Training Bible Kit.  You can go to the Child Training Bible website.  You can read my review of the Child Training Bible in this post.

Be on the lookout for more reviews and giveaways!  So continue to follow my blog!

Best Friends...

My son and my daughter are 18 months apart.  I would never purposely have had my children that close together but God had other plans.  You can read about my daughter's amazing birth in this blog post.  I am so glad that the Lord gave us Ella.  Even though it wasn't what I planned, it has been such a blessing.  Being so close in age, my son and daughter have become best friends.  If they are in the same room, you can rarely see one without the other.  They are always by each other's side.

This is a video of Lucas and Ella during dinner.  I couldn't resist them so I had to grab my cell phone and video their exchange.  Be ready to watch it over and over because they are so endearing.

Frugal Finds- Listia

I got the outfits in this picture for Ella and it cost me nothing!  

How did I do that?  I got them through an auction style called Listia.

It is a website like Ebay but you aren't paying with money, you are using credits.  Many of the auctions offer free or low cost shipping.  When you sign up, Listia gives you credits to make your first purchase.  After that you can earn credits by auctioning off your unwanted items.  It is like an online garage sale.

I get most of my credits my auctioning off points like Pampers Gifts to Grow, Huggies Rewards and Coke points.  I save the codes from those items and list them on Listia.  Poeple that are saving up on those sites to buy something special will give you credits for those reward codes.  It does not requireme eto ship anything since the codes can be emailed.

I also sell off things that have low cost shipping like books.  They can be mailed through media mail and I offer free shipping to the customer and get tons of credits that I use towards "buying" things I want.

Here are some more things that I got on Listia and paid nothing for them...

Frugal Finds- A Dress Co op

Money is tight.  I think most families can relate to that especially with more tax money coming out of their paychecks this year.

I wrote in this previous post how I love to buy dresses for my little Ella.  I wrote about how I save tons of money by shopping at my favorite consignment shop.  Another way to add to those savings is to have a dress co-op.

My friend, Lindy, came up with the idea.  She and I were both pregnant at the same time.  We were actually due just a few days apart last spring.  Ella surprised us by arriving early so the girls ending up being a month apart.

With us both having girls so close in age and size, she suggested that we share the dresses that each bought- a dress co-op.  It has worked out really well so far.  

Ella wearing the dress for Christmas 

Today Emily wore a dress that my sister had hand smocked for Ella.  My sister made it roomy so that we could get some use out of it.  Since the girls both have the same first initial, my sister can even monogram a dress for my little E and Lindy's little E can use it too.

Emily wore the dress to church today.
When money is tight, you have to get creative!  Even if your financial situation is comfortable, why not save some cash by starting a dress co-op of your own?

I Hate the Girl Scouts!!!!!

OK, I don't hate the actual Girl Scouts.  I hate their cookies.  Ok, I don't hate their cookies.  I hate that I LOVE their cookies. 

I have been trying to lose some of the weight that I gained after my hysterectomy.  You can read about my surgery in this blog post.  I have been trying to cut out all of the sugary snacks and I have even cut down on my Snapple habit!  

At least the Snapples don't come knocking.  The Girl Scout cookies keep showing up at my front door!  How are you supposed to say no to the cute little girl scout standing out there in the cold with her cute little badges on?

Once the cookies are in the house it is all over.  I can't resist them!  When is the cookies selling season over?

Organization Challenge Day 3- YUCK!

You can read about my 30 Day Organization Challenge in this blog post.   You can read about Day 1 in this blog post.  You can read about Day 2 in this blog post. 

I completed Day 3 this afternoon.  Day 3's assignment was to clean and organize the fridge/freezer.  This time I kept my "assistant" in her high chair and let her supervise the job!

Here is the before picture.  I decided that it might be best to wait until this little "helper" was in his crib for a nap before I started the clean out.

I took out each drawer and shelf and wiped them out completely.  They were so disgusting!!!!  Yuck!!!!  I am so glad that I included the fridge in this challenge.  

This is all of the expired food that I found in the fridge.  Yuck!!!!

This is the finished project!! All clean and organized!!

Ella's New Sweater.... from 1975

My mother likes to save things from our childhood in her attic.  Some would call it hoarding.  Last weekend she ventured up into the attic with my brother to find all of his old baseball card collections.  While she was up there she found some of my old baby clothes.

This sweater was mine when I was a baby.   I had to remind Sydney that, yes they had sweaters in the "olden days."  After a wash with Dreft, the sweater lost the "I have been in the attic for 37 years smell."  The sweater even has all of the buttons.  It is actually pretty cute!

My next task is to find an outfit in Ella's closet to pair with this sweater or maybe even splurge by heading to the consignment shop for a "new" dress.  You can read about my favorite shop in this blog post.  I wonder what other treasures I can find up in my mother's attic, well, that is for another blog post!

Organization Challenge Day 2- Out of the Closet!

You can read about my 30 Day Organization Challenge in this blog post.   You can read about Day 1 in this blog post. 

I completed Day 2 this morning.  Day 2's assignment was to organize the closets in the playroom. As you can see in this picture

It is not always easy working with an assistant.  She is so curious.  That stockpile of toilet paper was just too tempting for her.

The closet on the left is Aaron's closet.  It contains some of his tools and the overflow small kitchen appliances that don't fit in the kitchen cabinets.  It doesn't look too bad.

The middle closet was organized last week.  You can see all of the before and after pictures in this blog post.

The closet on the right is for large toys overflow, extra blankets and my toilet paper and paper towel stockpile.  You can see my assistant hard at work.

My Mama Bear Came Out!

 Sydney was bullied for the first time a few days ago.  I know we are fortunate that it has taken 7 1/2 years for that happen.  When I found out about it, my mama bear came out!  

This bully girl sees a strong, confident 7 1/2 year old when she sees Sydney. She sees this Sydney:

Sydney with the mayor of Old Bridge

When I see Sydney, I still see my little baby girl.  I see this Sydney:

Sydney's First Birthday (May 2006)

So when I heard that a girl was bullying Sydney, I jumped in to Sydney's defense.  My mama bear came out, claws and gnashing of teeth!  It took everything in my power not to go and discipline this girl.  I was able to calm myself down and I analyzed the situation.  This little girl has a mom that is the adult version of a bully.  She is the same way.  When I looked at it from that perspective I couldn't blame the little girl for acting that way.

I wanted to talk to the girl's mother but I realized that would only make the situation worse for Sydney.  So she and I had a talk about it and decided it was best for Sydney to play with other kids for awhile and to try not to let this girl bother her.  I also reminded her that if she sees this girl teasing or bullying any other children that Sydney should be kind to the victim and show them love.

Luke 6:31
"Treat Others the same way you want them to treat you."

  I hope that since now Sydney knows what it feels like, that she will be more sensitive to others that are bullied.  I also hope that these hurt feelings will prevent her from being a bully herself.

Cheaters Never Prosper! Day 1

I challenged myself and any readers that want to join me to a 30 Day Organization Challenge.   When I wrote the challenge, I cheated a bit.  I made the first day an easy one.  I knew that organizing under our beds would be quick and simple.  There is really only one bed.  The babies are in cribs and there is nothing under them and Sydney has a bunk bed so there is nothing to organize there.  That leaves the bed in the master bedroom. 

Our bed is a king size so there is tons of room to hide things away under there.  I started by removing the things that had made there way under the bed.  I found a pair of Crocs, a stray throw pillow, a ball, a Woody from Toy Story doll and some lost socks.  So that is where all of the missing socks go!

I then started vacuuming all of the dust that had built up under there.  I guess I missed a sock because the vacuum suddenly lost all suction.  There seems to be a sock stuck in the vacuum hose.  I tried a wire coat hanger and a broom handle but I can't get the sock out!

Now I have to wait for Aaron to get home to see if he can get the sock out.  I hope that it doesn't mean that we need to buy a new hose or even a new vacuum.  I guess that I can declare Day 1 as a failure.  That is what I get for cheating!

Review of the Child Training Bible and Giveaway

If you are a parent and want to guide and discipline your children according to the Bible then you need to put together a Child Training Bible!

What is a Child Training Bible?

The Child Training Bible is tool that allows parents and children (and anyone that loves the Word of God) to go directly to the pages of Scripture for instruction in 20 key areas with a complete section dedicated to the gospel. 

The CTB was designed with Colossians 3:9-10 in mind.  “You have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self.”  The Scriptures selected for the CTB teach why we are to “put off” certain behavior and what godly behavior we are to “put on” instead.

What is included in your CTB kit?

You will receive 1 key and 3 laminated cards

What else did I buy to complete the CTB?

A Bible

I purchased this hardcover ESV version on Amazon.  It is selling for $10.87.  It works well because it is hardcover and the exact size that is needed to fit the key inside the front cover. I taped a picture of our family on the front as a reminder that God's Word is for the entire family.

Highlighter Set

I bought this set on Amazon for $12.80.  It is not necessary for you to purchase this exact set.  If you already have highlighters to use, you can use them.  I made the purchase because I wanted to make sure I had the colors that were needed to match up with the key.

Post it Flags

I bought the Post It flags on Amazon for $8.73.  You don't need these specific flags but they work really well since they have the colors to match the key and the highlighters. 

If you purchase the Bible, highlighters and post it flags on Amazon, you will reach the required amount to receive free shipping.

How do you make a Child Training Bible?

I will not lie to you, the CTB takes a while to put together but it is worth every minute.  It helped me to put it together myself because I was able to reacquaint myself with the verses that I would need to train my child.

This is what my completed CTB looks like
I have read the Bible through from Genesis to Revelation several times but I still needed to be reminded of these verses.  By taking the time to tab and highlight them for myself, I was preparing myself for when I would need to use these verses with my children.

The kit comes with instructions and there is also a video tutorial on the Child Training Bible Website. The explanation is very clear and easy to follow.

How does the Child Training Bible Work?

When your child is having difficulty, you look at the CTB key card that you have taped in the front of your Bible.  Let's say that my Sydney is being disobedient.  I open to the key and find the word Disobedience.  I then follow the tabs that I marked which lead me to all the verse in the Bible that discuss children and obedience.  Sydney is old enough to read it aloud but if you have a younger child, you can read it to them.

The laminated cards also come with discussion questions to use with your child.  There are also sample prayers to get you started on the right track!

Are you ready to get started?

You can order the Child Training Bible Kit for $9.00 plus shipping from the Child Training Bible Website. You can read more reviews on their Pinterest page.  

The creators of the Child Training Bible were kind enough to offer a free kit (key, 3 laminated tabbing charts and instructions) for me to giveaway!  If you win the raffle, the creators of the Child Training Bible will mail you a kit!

Enter the Raffle Below:

Disclaimer:  I was not compensated in any way, this is an honest review of the product.

A pricy start to a second term

  Isn't our national debt over 17 trillion dollars?  If our country is in that much debt, why are we spending millions and millions of dollars on a party for the president's second term?

When a middle class family has a mortgage,  car loans and credit card debt, do they go out and spend more money on a giant sweet sixteen for their daughter or huge 50th anniversary bash for their parents?  No, people in debt watch their spending.  They make cuts like no vacations or weekly dinners out.  They certainly don't charge a party on their already debt riddled credit cards.

I think that having a simple inauguration without all of the hoopla would have been appropriate in this current economy.  While Americans are staring at their paychecks wondering why even more money has come out in 2013 than in 2012, the government is throwing a lavish party.

Whether the inauguration was for a Republican or Democrat, it just makes sense for the administration to restrain themselves and keep the celebration modest.
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