Saturday, February 28, 2009

February Reading List

Umm, I find this hard to believe, but I only finished one book this month: Babbit by Sinclair Lewis. I found it fascinating. Set in the 20's, I realized that human nature is human nature -- it's only the technology that is different. He was worried about his children, frustrated with his marriage, struggling with relationships and dedicated to his job and friends. I don't know that I've ever read Sinclair Lewis before, and his writing style didn't make me want to run out and read more, but I'm glad I read this classic.

I do have quite the pile on my bedside table, though, including a fun craft book that I will be reviewing soon. Hopefully March will be a better reading month for me.

It's been a crazy month, and just when I thought we were leaving illness behind (illnesses that started around Thanksgiving, going round between my sis, me, my kids, my husband -- and different illnesses! It's not like we've been passing the same bug around! Stomach bugs, bronchitis, pneumonia, colds, kidney infections, colds) C has a rotten sinus infection and I've managed to completely lose my voice. I'm hoping that resting it completely tomorrow will bring it back because I have to teach on Monday, and then again Thursday and Friday.

I'm hoping to be back to regular blogging this week, but I can't make any promises. DH picked up a 2nd job, I am teaching more, I have more writing assignments, and these pesky kids want to be cared for on top of it all.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Changes Happening

Please be patient for the next few days as a new blog design is installed and I fill up the side bars again! I've got more giveaways to post once the changes are complete, so keep an eye out!


I sit at my computer, plug in my headphones and put iTunes on shuffle when I am working. It helps muffle the noise of my family, and helps me concentrate.

But, OH, the memories that some of these songs bring! I transferred much of my music to iTunes and sometimes as I'm working I am literally transported to a completely different time and place.

Right now, I've got Sophie B. Hawkins singing in my ears and I am driving down snowy roads in my little blue Escort with no heat -- headed to The Stuffed Mushroom for Ladies Night, or to meet up with a college boyfriend at his house (full of roommates and . . .) There's a palpable ache in my chest when I hear this music and remember the emotions and freedom and loveliness of that point in time.

And, next I've got There Might Be Giants singing "Clap Your Hands" and I can see my boys as much younger versions of themselves dancing, clapping and laughing in our living room. And that ache from earlier loosens a bit, but is replaced with a different kind of emotion and longing.

If Sting sings "Wrapped Around Your Finger" next, I'll be thrown back to high school and memories of my first kiss.

Oh, my, maybe this isn't the best way to concentrate after all. Time to create a playlist that is all about NOW and getting things done :)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Dole Fruit Parfait Giveaway!

We recently had the opportunity to try Dole's Fruit & Creme Parfaits. They come in 3 flavors -- apple, peaches and pineapple. Each flavor has chunks of fruit and a smooth, vanilla creme with the fruit. The boys didn't care for them, but my sister and I enjoyed them very much!

My sister was especially happy because there was a pineapple version (she's allergic to peaches and apples) and there is no added glycerin to the product (she's allergic to glycerin, and you would be surprised at how many packaged foods have glycerin as an ingredient!) The information on the website said they tasted better chilled, but they didn't have to be chilled before eating.

I took them as part of my lunch the last few days I've taught and they taste just fine at room temperature. I have also eaten them as a late night snack from the refrigerator and they taste fine that way, too!

The creme is not quite like pudding, but it has a nice, light flavor that mixes well with the fruits. I think they should add a mandarin orange parfait, since I think it might taste like creamsicles!

I have FIVE coupons for FREE packages for commentors on this post! Just leave me a comment telling me which kind you'd like to try, and I'll do a random drawing next week (February 28) for the winners. Each winner will receive one coupon.

In addition, visit the Dole website for information about a big giveaway! Enter the Dole Sweet Treat Spa Giveaway for a chance at a 3 day / 2 night luxury spa vacation. You have to upload a picture of yourself enjoying a Dole Fruit Parfait to be entered into the giveaway. The prizes are:
  • The Grand Prize is a three day/ two night luxury Spa Retreat Getaway for two at the 27-acre Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort and Spa at Gainey Ranch in Scottsdale, AZ., set amidst flowering cactus and framed against the majestic McDowell Mountains. Here, breathtaking desert vistas blend with intriguing Native American culture and pampering amenities. The prize includes airfare, accommodations, $500 gift certificate to the Avania Spa, a one-of-a-kind, holistic, total-immersion experience that is synchronized with the body's changing rhythms and requirements. Also included in the prize is a $750 VISA gift card to cover your meals and other hotel amenities you feel like taking advantage of including, championship golf, water playground or tennis.
  • Five First Prize winners will receive a Homedics Personal Massage Lounger valued at $100 to have a relaxing moment anytime in their home.
I am familiar with that resort, and it is gorgeous!! So, leave a comment so you can pick up a pack of creme parfaits for free and then enter this contest! If you win, I'll stop by the resort to say Hi!!

ETA: I just found out that Dole DOES have a mandarin & creme version, it's just not on the website yet! I haven't seen it locally, but will keep an eye out for it.

ETA2: Comments are now closed for this entry. The coupons are going out in the mail! Don't forget to enter the sweepstakes!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Broken Toe

We topped off a busy and hectic week with a trip to Urgent Care. N was in our backyard and a piece of flagstone fell on his foot. There was blood and tears as I quickly loaded all 3 kids into the van for a trip to Urgent Care.

Thankfully, it was at a time when my sister was heading home from work, so she met us at Urgent Care. We switched cars and she brought C & L home while I stayed with N.

He was pretty hysterical, so they took us back right away and started taking care of him. I have nothing but good things to say about the NextCare in Apache Junction! They were wonderful with him - very gentle, kind and caring. Another staff member came with me to fill out the paperwork, so I didn't have to leave him alone.

The nurse practitioner that treated him was fantastic. Instead of a wheelchair, he just picked up N and carried him into the x-ray room. The x-ray showed a break, but it's not displaced and no chips were seen.

His toe was taped up, and I have a referral to a pediatric ortho next week to take another look at his toe. He was very brave through the whole thing, and was in great spirits last night. Until he realized that he won't be able to finish soccer and that was very distressing.

The pain set in during the night last night, and he had a very fitful night. This morning, he's in pain, taking medication, and watching shows. I was worried about keeping him quiet for a few days, but I think it'll be easier than I thought.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Small Successes (2)


Danielle, over at Faith & Family Live, is hosting the fifth week of Small Successes. It's a way for moms to remember to count the little things that keep our family moving forward.

1. I remembered to pack everything necessary, and got it done the nights before, for both the kids and me when I taught two days this week. I packed lunches, diaper bags, wrote assignments, packed backpacks and organized clothes.

2. I cleaned out a small corner in our garage.

3. I bought a bottle of Benadryl BEFORE the current bottle ran out, which is good because all 3 kids are sniffly and congested.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

catching up

N took this picture of C on our trip, and it cracks me up. They are such silly boys!

Our trip was good. I wouldn't say it was relaxing because it's actually more tiring doing all that is necessary for 3 kids when in a hotel . . .but it was a nice time away. We stayed at the Bellagio, which was beautiful.

There are a variety of un-bloggable things going on, so I'm trying to figure out how to get started again while continuing to filter that which needs to be filtered. Hmmm, that sounds cryptic, doesn't it? I don't mean to be cryptic, it's just that recently there seem to be lots of things happening that I won't blog about.

I have pictures to go through and post, work to catch up on, work to look for, a house to clean, and a variety of other things to do this week.

Valentine's Day was low key, which was fine. DH brought me some beautiful flowers and yummy chocolate, then we went out to dinner (without the kids!)

Right now, I need to get ready for church, but I wanted to throw up a quick post letting all know that I'm still around and will get back to regular blogging soon!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Vegas Fountains

We had the opportunity for a fully-paid vacation to Vegas this week, so that's where I am! Just in case anyone has been trying to reach me, I wanted to let you know that my internet access is spotty and I'm not able to regularly check emails.

So far, the kids' favorite thing has been the Bellagio fountain show. Lydia started clapping at the end, which was adorable.

We're lucky that we have family in town, so we're off to a family dinner in a few minutes. We haven't seen many of them for many years, so it'll be a fun get together.

I'll be back next week and expect to catch up with everything then!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Review: Green Works Cleaning Wipes

I've reviewed Clorox's Green Works products on my site before and have always been happy with them. I love these bio-degradable, natural cleaners that work well! When Mom Central asked if I'd like to try out the new cleaning wipes, I couldn't wait until they arrived!

I do try to use cloth rags whenever possible for cleaning, but there are times when a pre-moistened, disposable wipe is convenient and hygienic. These bio-degradable cleaning wipes smell good and work great. They rip easier than traditional tubbed wipes, but I didn't mind.

I've used them to wipe down the washing machine, chair legs, the inside of our new-to-us dryer and the interior of our van.

Like the rest of the Green Works line, they are not anti-bacterial, but they do a nice job of cleaning.

I will buy these again, and want to thank Clorox & Mom Central for giving me the chance to try them out!

In addition, the Green Works team wants to nurture your eco-friendly project with green! Through its new "Green Heroes Grant Program," the brand team will award five grants of $10,000 each to eco-friendly community projects across the nation. Check out the website for all the details.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

St. Brigid's Feast Day

Today is St. Brigid's Feast Day. She's a famous Irish saint, who was strong, kind and charitable. A couple years ago I blogged on her day and posted a prayer she wrote.

Here's a prayer to her that especially spoke to me today:

St Brigid, Mary of Ireland
Ask for us all today
The courage to do God's bidding
Whatever the world may say
The grace to be strong and valiant
The grace to be firm and true
The grace to be faithful always
To God, God's mother and you.

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