Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween Traditions Countdown #5

The last of the Halloween traditions is to train your children about the important rules of Halloween. Yes, there are a few that cannot be's for the good of the family...actually the good of the community and possible the entire world as a whole.

THE #1 most important rule that I teach my children before they leave the house is to go for two things....the orange and brown.

I try and run through the scenarios they'll face as they approach each house. If they candy giver allows you to reach in the bowl yourself, easy! Simple....just glance quickly across the top for the orange, maybe take 1 or 2 quick swipes across the top to clear the top layer that may be hiding a few orange and brown below. Flash a quick smile, go for the orange first, then flash another smile and they should say...."go ahead and take two." Then go for the brown.....each child should grab quickly, wish them Happy Halloween and be on their way.

Now sometimes you get the people that like to pick your candy for you....those are a little more tricky, but with quick thinking you can win at these houses too. In order to avoid any mishap, always get a good look at the bowl as soon as it comes into view. When approaching the doorway if they begin to put their hand in the bowl immediately...and I mean immediately say, "oh, look my favorite!" That will usually pause them for just a second....which gives enough time for, "Peanut Butter Cups"....or "Snickers". There you go.....they reach down, grab what you asked for and once again you're on your way. As soon as the bag is about half full I allow them stop mom's mad search....but why do I do that anyway? Wouldn't it be easier to just go buy a bag at Walgreen's or Target? Yeah, I guess so, but not nearly as fun! It's all about the challenge...

And so once again, my kids think I'm coo-coo, but we managed to fill up a HUGE-HUGE bowl of orange and brown! Woo-hoo!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Halloween Traditions Countdown #4

Service Spiders??

I was brainstorming today and wanted to think of a new fun family tradition that I could start. We already have a few traditions for Halloween, but I wanted to think of something that didn't revolve around EATING, SUGAR...and more Sugar! So when my 6-year-old came home from school today with a plastic spider ring....I had this little vision in my head and knew exactly what we were going to do!

I dug through my box of "junk"...or treasures if you will, and we found a big bag of old spiders that were mixed in with the fake cobwebs. We pulled all the spiders out and found about 35 of them. I told him we were going to play some tricks on our family....but not the kind we normally do, this time we were going to play service tricks. I got the "Huh?" look and then I explained.

"We're going to go do some nice things for everyone in our family and when we're done we're going to leave a little spider." He just smiled, grabbed a handful of spiders and ran straight up the stairs. He already knew what he was going to do.....

I gave him about 10 minutes alone and then quietly peeked in on his service brigade. He was frantically making his sister's bed. It was so cute...a little uneven, but the pillows were piled high on her bed. I peaked in the other sisters room to find all her "make-up" in a nice straight line on her vanity...with a little spider sitting on her powder case. He finished up one bed, placed a spider on her pillow and then ran back to the other room to do a second bed.....and this continued on for about 30 minutes. I could hear the little pitter-patter of feet running around upstairs while spider after spider was left in secrecy. He even snuck in and cleaned my bathroom...that's another story. I think he left 4 or 5 spiders in there....

When everyone got home and saw the little black spiders everywhere, I could hear them giggling as they caught on to their little brother's service attack. It was fun to watch him light up as each one came down and asked who was leaving these scary little spiders all over the house. He just laughed and said, "I dunno!!" As I came here to write up this post I took a little detour to the laundry room to throw one more load in...and to my surprise found a basket of neatly folded towels with a little spider on top.

My Sweet Birthday Boy!

Happy Birthday to the coolest 6-year-old in the entire world!
Sweet, kind, warrior, video gamer, big bro/little bro, tough, compassionate, bestest friend, protector, spiritual, gifted, unique, loving, hugs, future Buc linebacker, helper, smiles, amazing!!

I luv you buddy-boy!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Halloween Traditions Countdown #3

Our favorite Halloween treat to indulge in is the famous Caramel Apple! They're a total mess of fun, super-duper sugar highs, and a few cavities, but so worth the gooey fight. Here's our favorite.....

Peanut Butter Crunch Apples
(I've been doing this one since I was a kid)
  • 6 Granny Smith apples
  • 6 wooden sticks
  • Plastic spoons, glass plate, 2 bowls
  • 14 ounce package individually wrapped caramels...make sure you unwrap them
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups of chopped Nutter Butter cookies
  • 4 ounces milk chocolate, chopped
  • 4 ounces white chocolate, chopped
First insert the wooden sticks just over 1/2 the way into the stem of each apple. Put apples on a cookie sheet covered wax paper or lightly-greased aluminum foil. Combine (unwrapped) caramels and water in a saucepan over low heat. Cook, stir often, until caramel melts and is smooth. Stir in vanilla. Dip each apple into the caramel. I have found that rolling the apples around insides of pan helps to even out the caramel. Run the bottom of the apple along the inside edge of the pan to remove the extra caramel from the bottom. Spread the chopped cookies out on glass plate. Roll caramel apples in the cookies and place on the wax paper. Put the milk chocolate and white chocolate squares into their bowls (microwave-safe). Heat in the microwave at 20-30 second intervals, stirring until melted and smooth. Dip a plastic spoon into each of the chocolates and drizzle milk chocolate over the apples, then the white chocolate over the milk chocolate. Refrigerate.

Wordless Wednesday...20 Seconds in the car

20 Seconds in the car.....

20, 19, 18, 17, 16, 15, 14, 13, 12, 11......

10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2.....


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

My First Blog Awards!

I'm so excited! I've been given my very first blog awards!

My first award was from Katy Lin at The Great Adventure. I was so excited to receive this Kreative Blogger Award. I am supposed to share 6 things that make me no particular order.

1. My family...ALL 6 of them!
2. Watching my kids play sports
3. Chocolate & Diet Coke
4. Friday nights at home watching movies
5. Listening to my twins babbling to each other through the baby monitor
6. Church

The second award I just received today was from Shuana at Shuana Chambers

Thank you both!!!!!

Halloween Traditions Countdown #2

There's nothing more fun than a night of swapping scary stories, in the dark, outside, by a small fire....with your kids! Yes, we get a kick out of scaring our sweet's all in fun, but man, sometimes we get them good. Scary stories seem to be a sleepover tradition, camping tradition, and of course a Halloween tradition.

This past summer we moved and now have a place for an outdoor fire and plenty of room to share some stories. With Halloween falling on a Friday night, that leaves us some extra time to stay up late after trick-or-treating and have some family fun around the fire. Of course, they'll be some stories....scary ones. Not too scary that they'll have the bedroom and hall lights on for a month...just enough to get a fun little scream and maybe a giggle or two.

Unfortunately, I'm one of those people that hears a great story and when it comes time to tell....forget it! I can't remember the details, they're out of order, and the only thing scary is my memory! So I've found some great links that have scary stories for kids. It can't be too hard to print them and read them right?

Here's a little list of some fun ideas for the "after-party":

  1. S'mores
  2. Firepit, Chimnea, Ring, etc.
  3. Hot cocoa
  4. Blankets
  5. Scary Stories
  6. Flash lights
American Folklore
Printable Short Stories

Monday, October 27, 2008

Bloggy Giveaway #2 - Complete Story/Photo Book Package

Yeah! It's time for Bloggy Giveaway #2!! if you haven't seen Giveaway #1.... Check out it out here! I love the bloggy giveaway carnival! This is just too much fun! I LOVE giving stuff away...and this might be my favorite giveaway yet....

How would you like to create a beautiful hardbound book with your family's stories and photos weaving in and out of the beautiful pages? How about a book that holds your family's favorite memories and stories from the past year? And even favorite photos of trips you may have taken, first day of school, special birthdays or favorite family members. Well, if you said yes, then you've come to the right giveaway!

Through Cherish Bound you can create and design your own family storybook. I will help you through the entire process and you will have access to an amazing online publishing center FOR LIFE! Yes, you'll have lifetime access to your very own private publishing center with Cherish Bound. This giveaway retails at $46! You'll receive a gift certificate to publish a 5x7 hardbound story/photo book. The winner will also receive a Cherish Bound Story Starter of their choice. Story Starters are little booklet-like journals that have tons and tons of questions relating to a particular theme. They help you remember your stories and memories, organize your thoughts and images, are great for interviewing family and special people. Story Starters are retail value $12. So this entire giveaway is worth $58!

So how can you begin sharing your family's stories? Easy...

#1 You must leave a comment here about what story you would love to share. Maybe it's about your own immediate family, maybe it's about a family member or maybe you'd like to make it for a gift for someone special for the holidays. It doesn't matter who it's for. Just tell me your thoughts and ideas.

#2 For a second entry, subscribe to my newsletter over on the top right side

#3 And for a third...Find me on twitter and become a follower

Contest is for US residence only. Ends on Oct. 31 at 11:59 pm EST. Drawing will be on Saturday, November 1. Please leave your email in your comment if you don't have a blog or a way for me to get a hold of you.....or you will not be included in the drawing.

Halloween Traditions Countdown #1

Only a few days until the much anticipated day of Halloween makes its annual appearance! Halloween can be a time for fun, family and traditions. I'm excited to share with you 5 ideas for Halloween fun starting today! Check back each day this week to see a new idea and tradition that you and your family will enjoy.

The first fun family tradition for Halloween is one that our family LOVES! It's first on the list because we've had the most fun with it and we've received it as well...what is it? It's "Getting Booed!" Yes, it's "Booing" another family or "Getting Booed". You may have been "booed" before or even better, you may have started this tradition already. You leave fun Halloween/Fall themed goodies for the unsuspecting family, with a note/poem that tells them they've been "booed", instructions on what to do next and how to pass on the tradition. The kids love the doorbell ditching too!

I remember the first time we got "Booed" was about 8 years ago and to this day I have no idea who did it, but it was so fun to get a cute bucket of goodies, a fun little poem and the challenge to pass on the "booing". We couldn't resist and ever since we've been a family of "booers"! It's fun to take it out and about the neighborhood and watch as each front door begins to hang a "We've Been Booed" sign.

Here are some ideas for "booing" your friends, family and neighbors.

  • Leave a Halloween trick-or-treating bag filled with candy
  • Leave decorate a pumpkin made by your family
  • Beach bucket of homemade treats....our favorite Chex Cereal Muddy Buddies
  • Gift basket of Halloween "movie" treats...scary movie, popcorn and soda
Here are some fun links to get riddles, poems and "Boo" signs:
Skip To My Lou here you'll find a great PDF download a poem & some great pictures!

More Giveaway Winners!!

Jen over at What's Shakin? won the Muffin Pan giveaway!!

And Carrie over at Buzzings of a Queen Bee won the Recipe Story Starter and publishing Coupon!!

Congrats girlies!! Don't forget to email so I can send you your prizes! Thanks visiting my blog!

Friday, October 24, 2008

I Won! I Won! I Won!

I love to win....put it this way....I hate to lose more than I love to win.

And so I humbly celebrate my win of a BEAUTIFUL necklace over at Jenny's blog "The Sounds You Hear is....Living"! She had a giveaway for her 100th post and she picked me! Thank you Jenny! Here's a picture of 6-yr-old son kindly took a snapshot of me enjoying this darling necklace! Thank you!

I'm An Author - Children's Writing, Storytelling & Publishing Program Part 2 & GIVEAWAY!

As promised on Wednesday, I'm going to tell you more about the I'm An Author program Cherish Bound offers....of course I said I'd tell you more on Thursday, but you was one of those days. So today I'm going to fill you in on a little bit more of this amazing writing, telling & publishing program for kids and the giveaway!!

The Power of Story Starts in the Family...of course!It is the Golden Thread that binds us together. What stories are you sharing with your children?

Stories In Children
They learn some of life’s Greatest Lesson. It's a Powerful Medium for parents and family. Stories motivate, inspire and give children the confidence they need.

“Stories told by you are the gifts that last a life time”

What is the Program?I'm An Author is a two-part literacy program consisting of wiring and publishing workshops. It teaches students how to find, capture, and share their personal stories. Cherish Bound story consultants all over the co
untry are help students generate ideas and through cooperative learning techniques, help them develops those ideas into a fully written final product. One of the unique features of this workshop is its emphasis on oral storytelling.

This program supports the language arts core standards in the following area:
Oral Language
Written Expression

Additional Skills your students will develop:
Multimedia authoring, presentation web tools, digital cameras, and scanners

How will it Impact your child?
Power to inspire, encourage, teach, connect and excite! Confidence from becoming a “published author".

I'm An Author is a fantastic program of inspiration, story and creativity. Unfortunately I can't giveaway the I'm An Author curriculum and lessons plans; only trained active Cherish Bound consultants are allowed to have it. But I am going to share some of the great products we use in the class! So I'm giving away a mini Children's kit!
Your children will love the fun little compact art set, a deck of Child Chat Cards and a "My Adventures" Story Starter. This great little gift pack is sure to bring out the storyteller in your child. You can see a sample of one of my little author's book in there too... (not included) So how do you win it?? Leave a comment telling us what story your child wants to tell. That's it!! If you want a double bonus, put a post on your blog linking back and share this amazing program with your friends and bloggy followers. Giveaway ends November 7th @ 11:59 Est.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Benefit Concert For Nie Nie in Mesa, AZ

Most of us in bloggy world know about Stephanie & her husband Christian who were in a plane crash in August and both were badly burned. This story pulls at my heart strings and I can't help, but pray for this family every single day. I've never met Stephanie or anyone in her family....I just know her though this amazing world of blogging! What I do know is that she and her husband must be an amazing pair of fighters as they have fought their way through these past few months. I also know there is Heavenly Father that has more love than we know for each and everyone of us. I know that faith and the power of prayer can bring miracles. Please read this story....and see where you can help. The Nie Recovery.

If you live in the Mesa, AZ area you're in for a treat! Mindy Gledhill, will be performing a concert on October 25, 2008 at 7:00 PM in Mesa, AZ. The performance will be at Mountain View High School. 2700 E Brown Rd. Mesa, AZ 85213. Tickets are $15 and 100% of all ticket and CD sales will benefit Nie Nie and her family!

I'm An Author - Children's Writing, Storytelling & Publishing Program

Since Cherish Bound officially released "I'm An Author" just over 3 years ago, children, schools, home schools and families all across the country have been immersed in the amazing power of story...told through a child.

The "IAA" program is an inspiring and life-changing program. I've personally witnessed children find themselves through story, gain confidence, and connect with others as they find, capture and share their stories. Children have so much to offer the world, but more often than not they're sweet voices are not heard. Children do have an amazing power and through story they create a self-confidence and begin to realize how amazing they really are.

It should come as know surprise that Cherish Bound, the leader in family story, has developed such an amazing program. Our consultants are out in schools, camps, home schools, in-home workshops, and various other places, all across the US, teaching and inspiring the little souls of our nation...teaching them about story and showing them how to write and publish their tales.

I feel so blessed to be apart of such an amazing thing. The impact it has had on me as an instructor and mother has not only brought a smile to my face and a tear to my eye, but it has given me the reassurance that this generation of children rising up are here for a purpose. They have strength, imagination, and the ability to do ANYTHING!

I've been wanting to share IAA for awhile on my blog, so now I've decided it's time to spread the word. I'm going to post about IAA in a 3 part series. Tomorrow I'll give you some more information about the program itself and how it works and then Friday I'll share with you how to get it started in your area. Of course I'm always up for a GIVEAWAY!!!!!!!!!!!!

Stay tuned for the giveaway on FRIDAY! You don't want to miss it....your kids will love i! (wink-wink)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Tuesday Tradition #31 - Simple Autumn Joys Idea Jar

Once again, I stumbled upon another amazing bloggy mom with another amazing idea! I loved this idea from Heather at A Place of Quiet Rest. It's called "Simple Autumn Joys Idea Jar". I saw her blog today and thought that this idea was so cute, but also great for the entire family!

It's a cute little jar with a lid that she and her family filled with ideas of things to do in the Autumn. They wrote their ideas down on a little slips of paper and put them in the jar. They take the time to pull an idea and as a family and enjoy the many Autumn blessings that arrive during this beautiful season. Heather said, "This is our attempt to keep the season well- to intentionally make memories that will last!" What a great tradition and one that her children will be able to do and pass on to their own families. Go check out her post to see a picture of her jar and three simple steps to start this great tradition in your own family!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Dinner Blesings & Celebrate Fall Extravaganza with....RECIPES & 2 GIVEAWAYS!!!!

Dinner Blessings will be tied in with Tiffanie's Fall Extravaganza!! I love the fall, I especially LOVE the food....and I really love the crock pot! It gives me more time with my kids in the afternoon and evening. The crock pot relieves me from having to scramble around and throw dinner together the last minute....not to mention that the crock pot puts out some yummy grub! So enjoy these recipes and your family tonight!

But wait!!! Lots of prizes going out today!! 2 ways to win Cherish Bound goodies!! Just one post and you could win my prize and Tiffanie's prize over at Three Peas in a Pod. Just post on your blog your favorite Fall recipe(s) and link back to my blog, comment and add to Mr. Linky. I'll pick a winner next Monday, October 27th...and the prize is a Cherish Bound Recipe Mini Story Starter and a $12 Designer Coupon towards the new Cherish Bound Recipe book!

Second way.....
Go see Tiffanie and Three Peas in a Pod and link your recipe and her cute little button on your blog linking back to her Fall Extravganza. Read through her post and follow her guidelines and you'll be entered to win.....yes, more Cherish Bound goodies!! Her drawing is TONIGHT!! You only have until MIDNIGHT tonight to enter her drawing for the Cherish Bound giveaway!

Tiffanie's first Celebration of Fall is a recipe exchange!! I have about 15 or 20 fall favorites! Hum....what should I share?? I'm going to with the warm comfort food of homemade Chili! Now I have two of I'm going to share both because I can't decide! So hope you enjoy these yummy Crock-pot chili recipes that everyone will love!!

White Chili
1 lb cooked chicken cut into cubes
1 med. onion (or equivalent minced onions)
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 T veg. oil
2 15.5 oz cans Great Northern Beans
1 14.5 oz can Chicken Broth
1 4oz can chopped green chilies
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (I use half the amount)
1 tsp. ground Cumin

Cook chicken in pan with onion, garlic powder and veg. oil. Add chicken, drained and rinsed beans and the remainder of the ingredients to the crock pot. Cook for about 4 hours. Just before you serving, add 1 cup sour cream and 1/2 cup whipping cream stir well and serve immediately.

Tara's Famous Chili
(Can't remember who gave it to me...So I'm claiming it!)
1 1/2 lbs of lean ground beef
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 bay leaf
2 TBLS chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder or 2 cloves fresh (minced)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
1/2 cup BBQ sauce
16 oz can tomato sauce
28 oz can stewed tomatoes (chopped)
15 oz can black beans - drained & rinsed
15 oz can kidney beans - drained & rinsed
1 tsp cayenne pepper...or spice it up as you wish!!

Brown beef with garlic and onion. Drain fat, add to crock pot. Add rest of ingredients except for kidney and black beans. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours. Add beans about 1 1/2 hours before serving.

Fall Extravaganza Starts Today @ 3 Peas in a Pod!

Head on over to Three Peas in a Pod for the kick of the Fall Extravaganza!! Today's prize is..........from ME!! Tiffani will pick a winner, tonight at midnight and the winner will receive A Recipe Mini Story Starter from Cherish Bound and publishing Coupon for our newest Recipe Book!!

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Sprague Lab....NEW CLASS and Jessica ROCKS!

So I follow Jessica Sprague....on Twitter, I love her blog, her now I should be a pro at Photo Shop, but I'm scared to death and just don't know where to begin....i take that back. Yes, I do know where to begin...with her class! I just need to get started and she's the perfect I'm going to do her Photo Shop Class...but that's another story. ANYWAY........

I just saw on her blog about a new class she's teaching.....ah! You have no idea how excited this makes me! I mean, this class is so up my alley! It's just awesome! It's called Stories in Hand. Go read her post and you'll see why I'm bouncing around in my seat!! I can't wait! Her work is amazing, but to know that she has such a deep passion about story and the important parts of why we scrapbook/memory keep or even attempt to just makes me love her more! No, I'm not a stocker, and she doesn't even know I exist, but I think she's there!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Cherish Bound's Newest Member of the Family.... "Our Favorite Recipes"

Cherish Bound's new book, "Our Favorite Recipes" will be ready on Nov. 1, just in time of the holidays!! This adorable 5x7 designer book is perfect for Christmas!

Prize Winners!!!

Prizes for Giveaways are going out in the mail! Congrats to the following bloggy friends!

Rachelle: Won a Top Ten Mini Story Starter from Cherish Bound (sorry it took so long...)

Lyndsi from Organize My Life: She won the 100 Days of Christmas giveaway worth over $90 of Cherish Bound goodies!!!

Recipe Girl: She won the Cherish Bound Family Chat card from the Dinner Blessing's Post!

Still more giveaways to be won....

Once Upon a Time....A Strong Sense of Self

Fireproof: Changing Lives and Marriages

And last day for the muffin tin giveaway!!

Once Upon a Time...A Strong Sense of Self ***GIVEAWAY

Cherish Bound has supported and embraced the art of storytelling since Day 1. Cherish Bound has promoted and said repeatedly, "there is no substitute for the power, simplicity, and basic truth of the well-told story." Cherish Bound has found a way to bring story back to its roots, the family.

Cherish Bound now has an brilliantly laid out special interest page on our website all about storytelling. Click here to view the Storytelling Page. Learn about story and family and how putting Storytelling into your family will bring rewards beyond measure.

Storytelling is for everyone. For many years storytelling has been overlooked and assumed only for a certain crowd or friends, that's not so. Storytelling is where brilliant life is shared. I've heard and listened to many storytellers on the stage. It's an incredible experience to lose yourself in story. Something this special is not just for the stage and's for individuals, children, parents, grandparents, families...and the list goes on. Many of us may never take the stage, but we can most certainly take center stage in our own living rooms.

Cherish Bound has featured Syd Lieberman on this new special interest page. I've had the privilege of sitting in a room with him and being personally instructed on the power of story. I've been blessed to hear his tales and learn about life. Check out his website and his newest CD, Abraham and Isaac: Sacrifice at Gettysburg. If its anything like his others, you will be swept away. I can't wait to hear it! ......and I'd love to give one a way!!!!!

Please take the time to read through this Storytelling page. The information is beautiful and real, and is exactly what Cherish Bound is all about. If you'd like to win a copy of Syd Lieberman's CD, Abraham & Issac, leave a comment and post about storytelling in your family with a link back to my blog and Cherish Bound's Storytelling page. Winner will be drawn November 13th!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Wordless Wednesday...Hum...You think we look alike?

Me (left) daughter (right)
ignore the dates...that's us now.

For more Wordless Wednesday visit

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Dinner Blessings #3

This past week has been a whirlwind for my entire family. When mama is occupied things tend to go a little sideways. So our normal dinner schedule was thrown up in the air....and shattered into a few pieces, but we're picking the pieces up and getting back on track. Tonight was one of those nights that makes a mama smile.

My hubby is traveling this week, so aside from his absence all 5 kids and I we actually home together all afternoon and evening. It was nice to not have to run anyone around from here to there. We were able to make a hodgepodge dinner and sit around and enjoy each other's company. But that wasn't the best part.

My oldest daughter (almost 15) has been studying the New Testament in her morning church class. My little man (almost 6) asked her about what she learned today at school in his manly little voice. I was expecting to hear about how hard her math test was or about her soccer tryouts, but that's not what she talked about. She talked about the parables that Christ taught and about the 100 scriptures she's trying to memorize. She talked about how she enjoys reading about Jesus Christ every morning before she goes to school because it just makes her feel safe and better and gives her some peace. I just sat back and listened to her share this with her other siblings and couldn't help but smile.

It was a wonderful moment at the dinner table...that was a true Dinner Blessing that I will never forget.

Share your Dinner Blessings with us and tell us about a sweet moment that happened at your dinner table.

Monday, October 13, 2008

I'm Back!

WoW! I've missed my blog like a bad habit! These past few days have been so exciting, busy, and 110% exhausting. I attended the Southern Women's Show in Orlando as vendor with Cherish Bound. What an amazing 4 days!! I can't stop smiling!

It was incredible to see how many people connect with Cherish Bound. I met some of the most amazing women. Women who love story, who adore their families, who support WAHM's, women who want to make a difference, women of all ages, ethnic was a melting pot estrogen...but in a very good way.

It never ceases to amaze me how exhilarating sharing Cherish Bound's message is. I guess because I live in it from the second I wake up to the second I go to bed. I take it for granted. I guess it's because I think everyone knows how they change their lives and families and I forget that nope, not everybody does. Not everyone knows about Cherish fact most don't! So when I'm standing in my 10x10 space, with rows of books and a display that stops everyone for just a split second to catch the beautiful pictures I get to see time and time again the "First Impression" of Cherish Bound. It gives me chills to think that 1000's and 1000's of people, unsuspecting women, found Cherish Bound for the first time in the last 4 days. For some it was an answer to prayers, for others it was a relief that there really is an easier way to "scrapbook" and for most they were so taken back by the concept of actually finding and sharing their family's stories.

If I think I'm exhausted now...huh! Just wait for the next few days. The hard work begins now. The follow-up process of re-connecting with all these ladies again starts now. I'm excited to call them and chat with them and for those that are joining our Cherish Bound family, I can't wait to help you get started with a business that will change your life!

I just want to shout out I "HEART" Cherish Bound! I really do! For all that it is in my life, for how it's changed me and so many other women. I'm so blessed to be able to share something so special and I love that I get to meet so many amazing beautiful women and help them find a way to change their families and communities!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Wordless Wednesday...Weird Talents?

For more Wordless Wednesday Visit

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Fireproof: Changing Lives & Marriages Bloggy GIVE-AWAY!!

Bloggy Giveaway Carnival Has arrived!!! Woo-hoo! Here's my first giveaway...

(Don't forget the other ones... #2 Complete Family Story & Photobook

My husband and I went out on our monthly...or quarterly date. (Yes, we need to get out more, but it's been crazy) Anyway, he's been working so many hours and we haven't been able to spend much time together lately...alone...without our sweet blessings running around our ankles or are beautiful drama-filled teens giving us a rundown of their personal dramas and disasters. So I took it upon myself to take my hubby out on a date. We went to dinner and then to the movies...

I had no idea what I was about to see. I had no idea what Fireproof was about except for the fact that it was supposed to be great movie for husbands and wives to go see together. Hum...okay. We'll go. There isn't much out there worth seeing nowadays, and a husband-wife film rated PG?! Woo-hoo! It's about time.

I honestly don't even know how to explain what I felt during the movie, after the movie and even right now, 3 days later. Part of me wants to tear up and another part of me wants to yell out a loud AMEN! I want my hubby to come home right now so I can give him a hug and tell him I love him. There's another part of me that's a little sad...sad because I wasn't prepared for the life-changing counsel I was about to partake in that night. It's like it came, hit me over the head and then I had to take it all in with no warning. I want so bad to go back and do it all over again.

This movie is inspirational. A masterpiece about life and marriage. It has captured marriage in a reverent and beautiful way. It provides direction and hope for all who will just put their heart, soul and mind in Jesus' hands. It's a simple, but profound message of love and hope. It reaches deep in the soul and reminds couples of the covenant they took upon themselves at marriage and the sacredness of it.

The message Fireproof offers will change lives. Fireproof will change marriages. Fireproof will bring people unto Christ and bring back those that are lost. Marriages and families will be strengthened. Hope will find its way into despair-filled hearts. I can promise you that you will not leave this movie the same person you were when you walked in. It cannot happen.

When the movie ended the entire theater broke out into the loudest applause. I have never witness an applause at the end of a theater movie. I think it took about 30 seconds for the applause to stop and for everyone to start standing up to leave. As I went to stand up my husband grabbed my hand and pressed his check against my head. At that moment my heart skipped a beat. I turned to look at the crowd and I stopped dead in my tracks. Husbands and wives were standing and hugging, tears of joy and hope were running down faces of both men and women, some still sat almost too overwhelmed to move, and others stood and stared not wanting to leave the spirit that filled this theater. I too did not want to leave. I had forgotten I was in the theater and when the lights went on it was actually a disappointment.

Please go see this movie. Make it a point to go with your spouse or fiance. Open your heart and mind to the beautiful message.

I just purchased the "Fireproof Couples Study Kit" and 2...yes TWO, of the "Love Dare Books". I don't need to copies do I? No, I only need one. So I would like to give one away to you! All you need to do is a leave a comment with your email and/or a post on your own blog about marriage, family, the movie Fireproof, your spouse, anything to do with good happy marriage thoughts. Leave the link in the comment section. Ends Oct. 31 11:59 pm EST, and I'll draw a winner on November 1. US residence only.

Need more reasons to go see the movie? Visit the Fireproof Blog for 12 more Reasons!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Muffin Tin Meals

Let me just set the record straight real quick....I wish...I wish I was this creative enough to think of such a brilliant idea! So no, it's not my idea, but I just discovered it this weekend on one of my FAVORITE blogs "List Mama Blog" Jen always has such great lists and ideas and this one is by far a favorite! She had a guest blogger Katy Hanson from "Sycamore Stirrings" that shared the idea! It's an entire carnival or meme or whatever you want to call it! It's just adorable! So I thank them both for passing it along because this will make my life easier!

The twins are board out of their minds with food and I can't seem to find anything that will hold their attention long enough to get them to just nibble or take a smell before the food goes flying across the kitchen....sometimes landing in the family room. So this looks like such a great idea! My 5-year-old is going to love this too! How fun for him to come home from school to a surprise muffin tin of healthy and fun snacks! Check out the great pictures at Flickr too, just for Muffin Tin Mondays!

So click her to go to Jen's Blog "List Mama Blog" and check out the great list of ideas for muffin tins! I'm so excited I think I'm going to start collecting muffin tins....Actually, I'm so excited that I'm going to give-away a Muffin Tin! Yep! This one.... Beautiful Silicon Muffin Pan! So just leave a comment with your email and I'll draw the lucky winner next week!

Dinner Blessings #2

Another Monday has arrived and another "Dinner Blessing" idea is waiting for you. This is a favorite for our family because we're HUGE sports fans and Monday nights bring us football during the fall and winter. So occasionally we'll do a fun "theme" dinner! And yes, tonight is MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL night!

Out here on the east coast football starts a little later then the rest of the country.... 8:30pm! So dinner is the "appetizer" to the football game. And obviously it's a school night so bedtime for the little ones is at kickoff. But that doesn't stop us from having a fun Monday Night Football Dinner! Here's a list of ideas that you can do for a sports-themed dinner. And doesn't have to be about football. Maybe you're celebrating your baseball team's playoff game, a basketball teams opening night, or your family's favorite NASCAR race. It doesn't matter....just do something fun with the family!

  • Use decorated place mats made by the kids. My son likes to take the big white construction paper and makes everyone their own football places mats. Easy, fun, quick and can be thrown away when dinner is over.
  • Serve dinner outside and let the kids in the back of the truck....good ole tailgate party!
  • Put the drinks in an ice chest
  • PAPER PLATES! Woo-hoo! No dishes tonight. Green paper plates or even football plates are fun. I always buy the clearance plates and napkins after the Superbowl each year...maybe spend 25 cents a package! Or you can always use your favorite team's colors.
  • If dad's home in time, we BBQ hot dogs or hamburgers with all the fixings.
  • Our favorite: The Nacho Bar! Crock pot cheese, chips, chili, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, sour cream, avocado, salsa.....just a big giant nacho bar! Everyone loves the nacho bar. The kids think it's so much fun to make their plates and pick what they like.
  • Buffet style finger food with chicken wings, chicken strips, interesting dipping sauces, Swedish or BBQ meatballs, mini egg rolls, an assortment of sandwiches made on mini buns.
  • Another fun favorite food...Pigs in a Blanket or little smokies in the crock pot with apricot/pineapple jam. Yes, sounds weird but it's incredible!!
  • Creative Desserts! We love the "Football Cupcakes" or you can always make brownies or cookies cut out in the shape of footballs. Desserts are a great way to get the older kids involved.

It's no surprise to have one or two kids show up with their favorite team jersey on and I can recall at least 2 times when one showed up with a painted face! That's an entirely different story....but no matter what, find something fun to do with your family at dinner tonight. Whether it's swapping stories, celebrating an accomplishments among your family, or having a Monday Night Football doesn't matter! Just make some memories!

Leave a comment with your email or add your link with Mr. Linky to enter a drawing to win a Sports Story Starter from Cherish Bound! Winner Announced Next Monday!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Confessions of an Ex-Scrapbooker #22

Today started out like any Friday...alarm buzzing at 4:55 am, out the door by 5:40 am, morning jog, one kid out the door, two kids out the door, three kids out the door.....and then....two more left at home. Yes, the twins (20 months old) fast asleep in their beds....or so I thought.

The monitor had been turned off (what the heck?) and so I didn't hear anything, right? It's 8:30 am! They're still sleeping. Unusual? Yes. Usually they're bright-eyed and bushy-tailed by 7:00 am...but it's Friday. We had a long to bed late every night, so I figured a few extra hours of sleep was probably overdue. Humm.....

For those of you who have multiples you'll know my'll know exactly what I'm talking about. There's this wicked adorable laugh twins have when they're doing something bad...and then there's this demonic wicked laugh when they're doing something really, really bad. I decided to turn the monitor back on while I was cleaning up the disaster in the kitchen when I heard it. Yes, the demonic-wicked-twin laugh.

The second I heard "it" I bolted up the stairs. I knew there was trouble, but had no idea the extent of it. I assumed it was the old "let's dump our last 1/2 ounce of milk out on the carpet" or throw the blankets over the edge of the crib....huh-uh. No. That's not what was happening at all. It was better than that. They were having a finger-painting party. FYI: We don't have finger paints in our house. Yep, you got it! There was a party going on and mommy wasn't invited. It was quite the smelly party too....OH MY GOSH!!!!!! EVERYWHERE! Hair, toes, walls, more hair, face, carpet, beds, pillows, ears.....EVERYWHERE!

Try getting two poo-covered twins out of the room and into a bath and not leaving one unsupervised while trying to wrangle the other one. So the mess of course trailed down the hall, down the stairs, to the big bathtub where some serious soaking could go on. The drama slowed down a bit as they frolicked in the bath and I re-ran bath water about 3 times....sorry, no saving water today in this house! They were clean after an hour or so, dressed and off to play. However, my work was not done....there's now laundry that needs to be done...quickly.

So off I go to get the mess upstairs and begin the cleanup process...I honestly wanted to call John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson to see if they could do one of those crazy Pulp Fiction cleanups they did in their movie....wouldn't that be awesome?!! Anyway, I proceeded to sanitize and decontaminate the area. I rolled out the yellow caution tape to spare any one the pain of what had happened. I took a load of laundry down the stairs and to my, not to my surprise there were NO twins. WHAT?? Where did they go???

And then I heard it again....the demonic-wicked-twin laugh. With a little teamwork they realized they could stand on their little push cars, open the bathroom door, go in and wreak havoc on another unsuspecting room of the house. I can't be certain the toilet was flushed...we have 7 people in this house. But what I can be certain of is they were wet. The toilet brush was out, magazines were in the toilet, the TP was all over the floor and wet, and they were having fun! Fun! They heard me coming and bolted out the door with a
demoniacal laugh that would send chills up your spine. I proceeded to chase them back into the other bathroom so we could bathe once again.

After this entire drama was over....they were actually tired. Hum...go figure. They'd been up for who knows how long finger painting and had exhausted themselves...or so I thought. I put them in their new clean beds and decided I needed a shower. It's only been 3 days so I figured it was my turn. I waited until the monitor went silent and I could hear the steady breathing of the two angels....and I ran to the shower.

So I'm sitting here now, in my towel, hair not washed, slightly damp recording this story....why? Because somehow they managed to get out of their beds and paid me a visit while I was in my "Calgon" moment. They had a box of crackers and an apple as they greeted me at my shower door. All smiles of course because once again, they had won. I had hoped they would sit by the door and eat the little treasures they had found....but within seconds they were up and running out the door...laughing.

You may be asking why this is this post is under "Confessions of an Ex-Scrapbooker". In my old life I would have maybe thought to grab the camera and get one or two blurred pictures...and then hope to scrap them in their baby books. But not today. Today I realized that it's stories like this that need to be recorded, in my version, so that on their wedding days I can read out loud to the 100's of guests that fill the reception hall about how wonderful and amazing they were. They can read about their fun little mishaps and adventures as twins. They'll more fully understand the paybacks of parenting when they're parents themselves. But most importantly, this moment will now be capture forever, in words. I can sit on my porch in 50 years with my husband and grandkids and great-grandkids and read to them about what life was like with twins 2008.

"My Husband Rocks" Fridays! #3

He's such a good guy! He's had a long rough week at work and put in about 300 hours and still comes home happy to be daddy and hubby. But this week he rocks because he actually asks me for Fantasy Football help! Yes, he loves me that much and trust my "football" knowledge enough to ask ME for help on who he should play, who he should sit out....I love it! I don't know how many hubbies would ask their wives for football help, but mine does. Even though I'm sure he could figure it out and he has other "guy" friends that could give him some tips, he still comes to me! Ahh, he's so cool. He rocks!

For more "My Husband Rocks" visit The Great Adventure

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

BIG CHERISH BOUND Giveaway over at 100 Days To Christmas!

Don't miss out on winning $90 in FREE Cherish Bound goodies! From Story Starters to publishing credit and even a beautiful photo bracelet. Go check out 100 Days To Christmas! There are only 85 days left and today's tip from Jen helps you officially kick off Halloween...yes, it's OCTOBER already! Woo-hoo! Catch up on the last 15 days of great advice that will keep you organized, prepared and ready to celebrate ALL the holidays in the next few months. Jen has ideas, lists, and details for all your holiday needs. So go see what she's up to and join in on this month's prize package... "A Treasure Trove of Cherish Bound"!!

Wordless Wednesday...The Glory Days

Yes, that's me! Found these newspaper photos while rummaging through some old boxes. I was a star at one town icon!
I can't stop laughing...
(sorry this wasn't "Wordless", but it's just funny!)

For more Wordless Wednesday Visit