Friday, February 27, 2009

My Husband Rocks ♥ Thank Yous

It's such a blessing to have a LIST of reasons why a husband rocks. I do have a list. But this just happened this morning and it's fresh and I think I may still have a tear....

Yesterday was his birthday. No day off for him...he thinks he's worthy of holiday and actually so do I, but no day off. And on a side note, I do not know how he puts up with all his stress at work...amazing! Because its totally crazy! Anyway, it was normal day at "Kingdom Chaos"...up at 5am, hurricane and tornado destroying everything in their path, buses not picking up kids at the bus stops, kids forgetting homework, soccer games, practices, errands, and my own work....and the list goes on.

I knew there was no way we were going to go out for dinner or do anything big because work would be keeping him until 9pm. So that gave me and my older girls a few extra hours to bake his favorite double layer chocolate cake, make some cards, you know...the cute homemade birthday. Kids ate dinner early and waited for him so they could have cake. It's was absolute chaos when he came home...I knew he was tired, it was his birthday, but there was nothing calm or orderly about our house at that moment.

I had dinner for just him and I ready...I was trying to plan for a quiet dinner for two, but two quickly turned into seven. I made sushi and had all the fixing from our favorite sushi bistro down the street and chop sticks, and the cute little wasabi dishes....I could tell he was excited to eat and a little shocked. So we sat down among all the chaos. Twins on top of the table. T-Rex trying to get homework done with an excessive amount of drama, Coop having computer problems and needing them fixed right away, Z-man totally exhausted, crying for no apparent reason and wanting chocolate was NOT romantic and I was getting frustrated! Finally after an hour or so the little ones went down, life quieted a bit and then we both just passed out until the alarm went 4:55am.

I felt bad it was such a crazy and rushed night...another CRAZY morning to start today off...which deserves its own blog post... (tomorrow) And I jumped on my email this morning after everyone left and hurricane and tornado were in their cages and found this email from him...

Thank You!

"Just wanted to say thanks for dinner last night. I'm completely okay with the kids being up and the fact that it wasn't perfect.........we don't have perfection. We have a busy, hard working, fun, crazy, and loving family and I love it..........every minute. I'm grateful that you are the mother of our children and my wife.

Thanks for all that you do........"


For more My Husband Rocks Visit Katy Lin's Great Adventure! and My Husband Rocks Blog Roll

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I'm An Author Giveaway!

If you haven't heard me yap about Cherish Bound's I'm An Author program yet...

Take 4 minutes...okay 5 minutes and watch this YouTube video of our I'm An Author Program.

IAA is a children's writing and publishing class that was created and put together by an amazing team of teachers, storytellers and Cherish Bound. The IAA program gives children confidence through written and oral storytelling as well as a creative artistic outlet. The class is beautifully simple and so rewarding for children and the Cherish Bound consultant.

At the end of the session, children receive their books and put on a wonderful and exciting culminating event we call "The Author's Fair". You'll see it in the video!

IAA has been taught in schools, after-school enrichment programs, homeschooling programs (co-ops and in-home), summer camps, weekend retreats, gifted and talented programs, etc. If you're interested in learning more about the I'm An Author program please let me know. All active Cherish Bound consultants can teach this class, which is a great source of income for anyone looking for some extra cash flow. Please let me know if you're interested in getting it started in your area by emailing me or commenting. the video! And then check out the giveaway below...


This great little Author's Gift Pack is sure to bring out the storyteller in any child! You can see a sample of one of my little author's books (not included). Your children will love the fun little compact art set, deck of Child Chat Cards and a "My Adventures" Story Starter. $35+ Value!

To enter giveaway....

1. Leave a comment on a story your child, niece, nephew, grandchild, etc....would love to write... and/or leave a comment letting me know if you'd like to learn more about the program and receive info to start the program or have your children be apart of IAA.

2. Tweet about it! of Course! Come back and leave a Separate Entry!!

3. Blog about it on your blog for 10 extra entries! Come back and leave the link in a separate comment.

Of course always make sure I can contact you via email or through your blog bio. US residence only. Giveaway will end on Sunday, March 8th 9pm EST.

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Thursday, February 26, 2009

When Was The Last Time You...

Today I had a conversation with an amazing lady! I'll tell you more about her and what she's doing later. After we got off the phone I had this overwhelming feeling that I needed to challenge all of you!


When was the last time you asked your parents or grandparents or great-grandparents or anyone else significant in your life to tell you a story about themselves? Tell you something about their past? A lesson learned? A simple memory or moment they cherish?

Do me a, NOT tomorrow or next week, or next year, ask one of them to tell you a story! Something that you can save, preserve and cherish for yourself and pass on to your children. Don't wait...

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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Do You Know What's Vanishing From America?

I couldn't believe this list when I saw it...I have to say...the last one on the list made me tear up. I'm so sad...I don't want some of these things to Vanish. There are a few I can do without....but there are many that make my heart break.

Here's a few off the list that caught my attention...they all did, but these stuck out in my mind!
  • Yellow Pages - I can do without!
  • Pit Toilets - Haven't used one in awhile....
  • Ash Trees :O(
  • "The Swimming Hole" have to read the reasons why. It'll piss you off!
  • Hand Written Letters... That's sad! I think we should start a campaign to keep this alive!
  • Wild Horses - That's just not okay...staggering numbers! Beautiful animals!
  • Drive-In Theaters - I think we need more of these...a great place for families to go!
  • Honey Bees!!! WHAT???
This one made me cry....this is one that IS AMERICA! It's who we's what made us what we are!

And # 1 on the list
The Family Farm

Photo by: Tom Graslish, Philadephia Inquirer / MCT

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Tuesday Tradition #42

First off I want to announce the winner of my Scrabble Tile Pendant giveaway from last week's Tuesday Traditions post....the winner was picked using and picked comment #1! Abby!!!

So I'm not sure if you think this is a tradition or not....but I do. It's a tradition I completely ignored while I was a child...okay teen and into my early adult years. My mother was obsessive compulsive about this "tradition"....I thought it was just lame and complete nonsense...waste of time. Want to know what I'm talking about....

Making the bed. Having a Beautiful bed.

I was thinking about my Tuesday Traditions post last night and I was so out of sorts and tired and complaining...and I found myself gravitating to my bedroom and kept thinking to myself, "Just go make your bed and you'll feel much better." And that's when it came to me...That's a tradition. It's a simple one, but think about it...I know how un-done I feel and the slight agitation that I feel when my bed is all messed up, unmade, blankets twisted, pillows on the floor. And I also know how amazing it feels to walk in and out of my bedroom and see a beautiful, comfy, welcoming bed...

I've tried to teach my kids this "tradition" because I remember the stress of being in high school and tired and overworked, busy...and then coming home to a messy room. It sucked. My daughter was telling me how she really wants to work on keeping her living space clean because she feels so much more productive...hummmmm....and that her bed should be made when she leaves in the morning so she has a place to come home to that's just her own comfortable space.

Oh Sweet Mary...I think I might be making progress as a mother!

So as you can see, making the bed is a tradition. It creates a comfortable, clean, cozy environment. It's yours. It's the once place you can pretty much control. At least in my house it is...My hubby and I have a little rule...last one up makes the bed. ♥ Thank goodness he's a good bed-maker!

PS...this post gives you permission to go purchase the bedding of your choice. Your excuse if you're questioned...."I'm creating new family traditions and a space of comfort and joy." Who could put a price tag on that?

Hugs ♥

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Monday, February 23, 2009

Family Yearbook Challenge 2009 - Week 6

Did you get caught up?? If not or if you're new click HERE and get some stories and photos organized! I can't believe February 2009 is almost over! We've had our share of cool days in Florida, and I've loved every second of it...but I'm really looking forward to Spring. Spring...not so much the sticky summer...but I love the beach so I guess I'm in a good place.

Homework Feb 23 - 28:

1. Plan to have a family picture taken and get it done by the end of March. If you have kids get a family picture taken with them. If you don't have kids, plan to take a sweet picture w/ your man. Maybe plan for an outdoor picture, somewhere that has some meaning or history for you. You may want a professional or just have a friend that can work a camera take the pictures for you. But whatever you do, don't do the timer thing or have your hubby hold the camera out with his long arm and try and take the doesn't me!

2. Describe your weekends. What do you like to do in your weekend time alone, as a family? What do your children do on the weekends? Sleepovers? Movies? Sunday Dinners? Sports? Yard work? Whatever it is, tell about it. What fills up your weekends?

3. Monthly Events: Birthdays, Anniversaries, Births, Deaths, etc.

Let these questions prompt you into writing whatever comes to your mind.

Be Creative! Let the stories flow....

After you're done collecting this information and it's typed into a Word doc, save it in your FYB_2009 folder under February and name it Feb 23-28.

Now COPY and paste any photos that you have that go with these events and questions into the January folder. If you'd like to rename the photos you can with Feb 1, Feb 2, Feb 3, and so on and so on. If you have any memorabilia that is NOT digital, scan and save as a jpg. minimum 300 dpi to your February, named and labeled.

There is no WRONG way to do this challenge, except to not do it at all...

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Saturday, February 21, 2009

Kingdom Chaos - Weekend Edition 1

I'm so proud of myself...I remember to post "Kingdom Chaos" update this weekend!! Yes, it's my weekend update of our chaotic family's weekly adventures. Busy-busy-busy week! Actually, lots happening in the past few weeks, so family, I want to catch you up on our excitement...

Two Birthdays in January...well, 3 birthdays but 2 days of celebrating. Twins turned 2...OH MY GOSH! Can't believe it. Where does the time go? We had a fun little party for them with a few of their friends...I called it a "Drive-by" birthday and out in 90 minutes. It was fantastic.

Coops birthday was a SURPRISE! One of her best friends begged me and begged me to have a party for her...I caved and let her best friend, her best friend's sister and T-Rex plan a 60's-themed Surprise party! It was a blast!

And we have real life happening as well....Little buggers got into the fridge while I was busy doing laundry...4 minutes...They're not called Hurricane and Tornado for nothing!

And a few more things...

**T-Rex got her "Letter" in soccer as a freshman! Woot-woot!

And her soccer team one the Score at the Shore soccer tournament. She's a defender and they did not allow ONE goal the entire tournament!

**Coop and Taylor both dyed their hair....dark brown! Yes, my dirty blond girls finally look 100% like their mama! Coop also had opening day for softball and is EXTREMELY excited about getting the season out for this may see them in the World Series this year!

Z-man is gearing up for baseball season...while Shrek is getting his coaching skills oiled up. This is going to be an exciting and interesting season.... ♥ But he's been shooting some hoops up!

Other than was great the past few weeks...I've realized that I have about 2 pictures of my oldest three kids to every 100 pictures of the twins...gotta work on that!

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Friday, February 20, 2009

It Got 'Em Through The Depression....

"Don't underestimate the power of storytelling. It got folks through the Depression. It can work now, too."
- Ann Banks

A powerful statement and true. I consider myself "young" but I have heard my share of "Depression Stories".

I remember sitting on my Grandme's porch during the summer nights or around the dinner table at holidays and such and listened to her stories of survival, hope, family, and simplicity. At the time I didn't know how powerful they were, but as I've grown up and started a family of my own, I now see them as a treasure. My other grandma told me many stories as well, and I always remembered her telling me about how hard they worked, how happy they were, and how much they loved each other during the Depression. Both of them told me how their families would gather around together and tell stories. Because that's all they had.

Families had nothing....but each other. They learned from each other. They were humble. Teachable. They continued on through horrific circumstances and still managed to prevail. And they had stories. Stories were free. Stories would give them permission to continue to dream, escape, and remember. Stories were their connection to the past, future, and present. Stories were a lifeline between generations.

I can't even imagine the pain and horrible living conditions many lived day in and day out during the Depression....but what I'm intrigued by is how they made the most of it with NOTHING. Many became strong, closer, and loved more. And stories helped get them through it. When they were though it, stories helped them teach. And as the years went on their stories gave strength and connection.

Listen to stories and tell stories. Listen and learn from those who lived it. Tell stories now to give your family something to hold on to. Even though the world may be shaking and crumbling outside our front door, we don't have to allow it to bring our families down. Story is a gift we can give to our children and it's real piece of us that they can hold on to...and it costs nothing.

To read Ann Bank's article "Storytelling in Tough Economic Times" Click here.

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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Shabby Baby Girl Contest

So I do believe my little lady, AKA: Hurricane, is the "Picture Princess"...

She's the next "Shabby Baby Girl" least I hope so.

The Shabby Apple is having a little contest to find the next "Shabby Baby Girl"! I'm biased yes, but come on...look at her!

Princess? She thinks... Baby Girl? Oh, yes, all mine!

Now I'm not a very good photographer, so unfortunately I can't say that my skills have done her any justice at all. So this baby girl is on her own....mama can't take pictures or edit them, so she's going to have to win this all by herself. No specific reason why I picked those 3 pictures except for her her eyes...and hair...yes, she has great hair! and her cheeks! Her is just sweet as pie...but behind all that she's a fireball! Sassy to the T and can walk in heels! Yes, the girl can actually jog in heels. My heels. Size 9.

She's our #3 girl, a twin to her little bro, and we can't get enough of why not slap her adorable face all over the Shabby Apple...I would bet sales would rise at least 300% and people will just buy the dang stuff cuz she's waring it. I'm serious....

Shabby Apple has BEAUTIFUL clothes...modest too for moms and girls! I have a few...and a few more on my birthday and Mother's Day Gift list. You have to check them out... but click here to see "Little Girls and Girls Dresses from Shabby Apple". I love them all, but my favorite for my girl would be Canary...can't make up my mind! She'd be adorable in all of them. ♥

So bloggy friends...leave some comment ♥ for my little Hurricane. So maybe when the Shabby Judges drop by they'll see that I'm not a crazy stage mom...and that there are 1000's of people out there who agree with me...

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Storytime ♥ Reading To Babies

Here's another fantastic guest post from Heidi Rosenberg about

Reading To Babies

I started reading to my eldest child the day I brought her home from the hospital. There was nothing I enjoyed more than sitting down holding my new baby and reading to her, it’s a great way to bond with your child, and your child will get your full attention which of course they will love and in turn will develop a love of reading.

Reading to babies is a fantastic way to immerse them in the sounds of rhythm and speech, which is crucial for their language development.

For infants under 6 months old, reading is more about the tone of your voice and the cuddling into you for the bonding experience. It is not very important what you read, you could even read adult material at this age.

If you pick a children's book it would be best to pick a book with highly contrasting big pictures, because the child's vision is still developing at this stage. The text could have few words or even no words at all, you could even make up the words to the pictures, to develop a story just for the two of you. For this age group a board book, would be best as they tend to pull at the pages and could ruin them.

The Cleo the Cat series of Books, written by Stella Blackstone make a great introduction book and can be used throughout the first few years. They have simple rhymes and bright bold illustrations.

Babies aged 7 months to 1 year are beginning to understand the meaning of words, so reading reinforces what they have already learned. It is still best to keep to simple books with not too many different images or text on a page. Word books are great, while reading point to the picture, say what it is, act out what you read with your hands, face and voice, this will teach them the basics of language and how words are used to emphasize. Let the baby hold the book, turn the pages when he wants to and babble back. They will feel important and proud to be “reading” to you! Still keep to board books at this age, your baby is probably destructive, board books can even take limited amounts of chewing! Keep to simple words, animals, colors. Alphabet and number books are always good as they tend to be simple and truly are a great starting point.

What a great post Heidi! I have treasured the sweet moments of cuddling with my little ones while reading to them. Heidi has offered a 10% off coupon to use to purchase any Barefoot Books. Visit Heidi HERE or email her at

10% Off

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I Love Quotes!

I'm a quote junkie! I love them.... I like the long ones, short ones, sappy ones, but lately I'm loving the not-so-serious-laugh-out-loud ones....Just need some extra laughter, you know??? So here's one that I love and wanted to share with my friends and I'm not sure who to give credit to for this one either...

"There is no problem we cannot ignore, confront, plot against, drown in chocolate sauce or run over with the car."

Hummm...I think I may have done all of those....

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Wordless Wednesday - Cake Eating Contest!

For more Wordless Wednesday Visit

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Tuesday Tradition #41 - Crafts & a Giveaway!!!


The dictionary says "craft" is a "skill, art, trade..." but most of my crafts are just humble little wannabes that most people would secretly mock. But I love them...

I think it's the thrill of the shopping trip that gets me all excited. I love laying everything out on my table and checking out all the goodies I've got...and I even love the little collection of "crafting supplies" that are slowly building up. So yes, I ♥ crafts! Most of the time I love my finished projects...MOST of the time. But not always...sometimes I secretly enjoy them and then hide them...and wait for the next community garage sale.

Anyway.....crafts are traditions. I've seen so many crafts passed down in my family (LOL!!) woo-wee....and I've started new ones too. I'll be honest though, I really miss sitting around the big table with my grandma, aunts, mom, and cousins while doing some holiday craft, laughing, jabbing funny jokes at grandma....that was a good time. I miss it dearly. It makes me sad to think that those days have passed, but excited to know that I can continue that tradition with my own family.

The past month I've mentioned a few times that I'm in serious crafting mode. I've made quite a few little things...Daisy and Sunflower hair clips for my little girl, Wooden words, decorated picture frames....and THE SCRABBLE PENDANTS!

These were not only easy, but turned out so adorable! I can't stand it! I'm hooked...I've made about...14 so far. Anything I can cut and paste is going on a scrabble chip.

Here's my first batch...

I gave my oldest daughter the one in the middle and my other daughter got the one of her playing softball! How cool is that???? Mom...if you're may have an idea of what you'll be getting for Mother's Day...and yes, you'll get Cherish Bound book too.

I'm giving away the cute one up there to one of you!! Here's how you can win!

1. Leave a comment telling us about your favorite craft. If you can, please leave a link to it if you have it on your blog. We'd love to see.

2. Sign-up for my newsletter (top right corner) and leave a separate comment.

3. Follow my blog and leave a separate comment

4. Follow me on Twitter @cherishbound176 and tweet about - leave a separate comment

Don't forget to leave your email if you don't have it listed on your profile!! Open to US residence only! Giveaway ends Monday, February, 23 @ 11:59pm. Winner will be announced on next week's Tuesday Traditions. Winner will be chosen using

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Monday, February 16, 2009

Family Yearbook Challenge 2009 - Week 5

What a beautiful weekend it has been. The weather here in Florida has been a dream...beautifully perfect! I love longggg weekends because I love the short week that follows it. I love having my family home with me...I love the company, but I really love the extra day to get chores done.

Our 5th week of the Family Yearbook Challenge is here and I'm hoping you're all moving along at a good pace. This week, we're going to recap the 4 weeks we just went though. I'll try and give you come "Catch-Up" time every 4 to 6 weeks. We have a lot of new people joining us weekly, so this will give our newcomers some time to get caught up and if you've found yourself a little busy lately this will give you some extra time to catch up.

Homework Feb 16 - 22:

Week 1: Click here

Week 2: Click Here

Week 3: Click Here

Week 4: Click Here

Use this next week to catch up any missed events, organization of photos, scanning of memorabilia, etc. But if you have a specific event, story or just a simple little moment take the time to add it in now. Take the time to check spelling, grammar, type it into a Word-type document and save it in the correct files. By next Monday, you should be entirely caught up, on the edge of your seat....waiting for homework. ♥
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Saturday, February 14, 2009

Meet My Family....The Cast of Kingdom Chaos!

Well, my blogging days started out with a private family blog only and then this one (my baby) came along and I completely abandoned the family blog and immersed myself I decided a few weeks ago I need to combine a little bit of my crazy family AKA "Kingdom Chaos" into this blog. And of course...I totally neglected doing that as well. But thank goodness for second chances...and third chances and...we'll I'm sure I'll need a few more. Needless to say, I'm going to officially introduce my little family to the world. My goal is to have my weekend blog posts be all about us, my family, Kingdom Chaos....

I'm going to tie this in with my Family Yearbook Challenge as well. Then my family, and mother, can see what's going on in our world, 2000 miles away. They can get a peak, I can stay on task with my own challenge and you can find comfort in knowing that your family is very, very, very normal. So it's a win-win-win situation for all parties involved.

The King - AKA:Shrek

This is MY man! We've known each other for 25 years and have been in love for a LONG time...

He's my Champion BBQ'r and fried-chicken cooker and a big lover of sports, the outdoors and his family.

The Queen - AKA: Fiona (pre-ogre)

You've been getting to know me pretty well....I'm the one in the middle. ♥

T-Rex - Our oldest & Saving Grace

15 Yrs. about 5'11", Class Clown, Funny-Funny-Funny, Drama Queen, Athlete, spiritual.

Coop - 1st in Command & Future Attorney

13 Yrs. Creative, EXTREMELY smart, Helper, Athlete, Strong-willed, loyal, intense.

Z-man - Everyone's Best Friend

6 Yrs., compassionate, Happy, smiles all the time, loves fishing, friends, video games and sports.

Hurricane - Twin #1 - The Boss

2 Yrs., loves flip-flops & high heels , cookies, mommy, bubbles and speaks her mind...often

Tornado - Twin #2 AKA: Charlie Brown

2 Yrs., loves tackling, wrestling, running, jumping, climbing, and anything that requires the use of a basketball, soccer ball or football.

Welcome to Kingdom Chaos. For those of you who don't know us you can take a peak on the weekends to see how our crazy world rolls and for our dearest can keep an eye on the monsters you've created.

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Friday, February 13, 2009

Confessions of an Ex-Scrapbooker #28 ♥ Spend Your $ Wisely

I can come up w/ reasons every week why I'm an "Ex-scrapbooker"....this one is really good! Spend less on scrappy and put it towards this....

I've been introduced to an adorable, brilliant, east-to-follow, exciting "thing"....

I've had lots of anxiety lately about not having enough food storage, being prepared, being self reliant, frugal and independent. I have NO reason to not be prepared! I want to be, but for the last few years it's been really weighing on me and knowing that we have 7 mouths to feed is an added stress. If we were to have a disaster, job loss, or tragedy, we couldn't take care of ourselves. At least not with food, emergency necessities, etc.. We've been blessed to put a little money away, but gees...right now, is money really worth anything...and if you can't get to it does it really matter? So the past few months, in my search for personal PEACE, becoming all those things listed above as been a top priority. One of my bestest friends shared with me this amazing blog and "sister" blogs that work together to make preparedness COOL!

The Fun With Food Storage Network!

Jodi and Julie help you plan it.

Shauntell helps you buy it.

Chrystal helps you eat it.

These girls are so organized and filled with TONS of information. I could spend hours in there...just like I do at Etsy! So much to learn...and I made a comment the other day that if my family of 7 were to come at you for your last bucket of could be scary.

I don't want to have to raid my neighbors in a time of need...and I'm too proud to ask for help. And I would hope to be in a position to help others. So there...

Plus it's a good way to teach my children about what's important. They need to learn the importance of being self reliant in a world that encourages material things, debt, and over indulgence. I can't control what's going on outside the four walls of my house...oh, how I wish i could...yes, I'm a control freak....but I can control what goes on in my house.

So Go check out these awesome girls and see what they have to'll love them!

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