Monday, December 28, 2009

Happy New You!

I've said before that I'm not a big fan of New Years Resolutions.. It just seems like setting myself up for failure. However, a couple of years ago, I made a list of a sort of plan of directions and it's sort of become my reminder to refocus on life after the craziness of the holiday season. It's a great reminder to me that as a child of God, there is always something new to learn and for me to become. Soon after I made this list, we packed up and moved across the country and our lives were chaotic for a bit. But, all and all, I think I did incorporate quite a bit of it into our lives, though there is much to strive for still. So once again, here are my thoughts about the direction I would like my life to take as we approach this new year.

My prayer to God is that I will always be renewed. That I will never feel as if I've reached a plateau and that I will always grow enough that I look at myself the year before and think, "what was I thinking"? So far, so good.

So without further ado, coming to you from January, 2008:

Ok, I never make New Years Resolutions because I believe that New Years Resolutions are doomed to fail. However, I do make some sort of plan at the beginning of the year that is intended to get me back on track after the holiday season. I guess I believe that since I'm not calling this plan resolutions, somehow the name will help me succeed. Somewhere in my heart, I hold on to the idea that I'm different than other people. Just like all the other different people in the world. Well, as I was making the plan this year (get in shape, get the house organized, you know, the typical) something occurred to me... It's plans like these that keep me from doing the things that I actually enjoy. So, here is my revised plan for 2008.

I'm refraining from numbering because numbers often indicate importance and these are being put down simply in the order that they pop into my head.

*PLAY

* Make a new friend. You know one of those friends that comes into your life and you know that your life is better because of them. One of those friends that understands you without you having to explain yourself. And, it's not even that they love you even though they disagree with you sometimes but that disagreeing with you isn't something that they think to do. They just let you be just the way you are because that is you and they love you. I have a couple of friends like this but they are few and far between and everyone could always use another.

*Be the same kind of friend I've described above.

*Spend time with this friend above (even if it is in an unorganized house) because spending time with people like I've described undoubtedly makes a person better.

* Give more kissles. At our house, kissles are a mix between a kiss and a tickle. When they are given, the recipient squeals with delight and says, "quit kissling me, quit kissling me". Kissles are a favorite at our house for Emma and Chloe shows signs of loving them too.

* take more naps with Chloe on my chest and Emma cuddled beside me.

*have conversations with God like He's sitting in the chair across from me.

* kiss Adam often and sit close.

* laugh until I cry

* praise a lot and criticize little

* take walks... not because I'm getting in shape but because I love the sunshine.

* take time to let Emma (and soon Chloe) help me while I cook and clean. Because doing it perfectly isn't as important as doing it together.

So those are the ones that come to mind right now and I think I'll add to the list as I embrace the things that are important as I embrace an imperfect me. I must go now, I see a child that needs some kissling!

Love from above,
Dana

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Card

Since my spicy Christmas card got such a good reaction, I decided to attempt to make it a tad more Christmasy and send it out. I ended up getting them printed at Target. They were a glossy finish which isn't my preference but much better than the junk I got from Walmart. (Btw, I e-mailed Walmart and never got a response), I dropped them in the mail on Monday so they should arrive soon but, since my Christmas card list increased to over a hundred this year, I narrowed it down some with people that we might lose touch with without them at the top. If you didn't get a card this year, it's not because I don't love you but more likely because I'm cheap!



Oh and if you found yourself getting upset because it says holiday instead of Christmas, let me say that: holiday season in my mind is to include the whole season including New Years and the word holiday actually is derived from the words holy day. Oh, and you should read my post below for a different perspective on the issue.

Blessings,
Dana

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Letter About Christmas from Jesus

My father-in-law recently posted this on his blog. I love it. He received it from a friend after writing THIS blog post

And since we all know that I'm never short of opinions, my commentary at the end of course :).


Dear Children,
It has come to my attention that many of you are upset that folks are taking My name out of the season. Maybe you've forgotten that I wasn't actually born during this time of the year and that it was some of your predecessors who decided to celebrate My birthday on what was actually a time of pagan festival. . . although I do appreciate being remembered anytime.

How I personally feel about this celebration can probably be most easily understood by those of you who have been blessed with children of your own. I don't care what you call the day. If you want to celebrate My birth, just GET ALONG AND LOVE ONE ANOTHER.

Now, having said that let Me go on. If it bothers you that the town in which you live doesn't allow a scene depicting My birth, then just get rid of a couple of Santas and snowmen and put in a small Nativity scene on your own front lawn. If all My followers did that there wouldn't be any need for such a scene on the town square because there would be many of them all around town.

Stop worrying about the fact that people are calling the tree a holiday tree, instead of a Christmas tree. It was I who made all trees. You can remember Me anytime you see any tree. Decorate a grape vine if you wish: I actually spoke of that one in a teaching, explaining who I am in relation to you and what each of our tasks were. If you have forgotten that one, look up John 15: 1 - 8.

If you want to give Me a present in remembrance of My birth here is my wish list. Choose something from it:

•1. Instead of writing protest letters objecting to the way My birthday is being celebrated, write letters of love and hope to soldiers away from home. They are terribly afraid and lonely this time of year. I know, they tell Me all the time.
•2. Visit someone in a nursing home... Not just during Christmas time, but all through the year. You don't have to know them personally. They just need to know that someone cares about them.
•3. Instead of writing the president complaining about the wording on the cards his staff sends out this year, why don't you write and tell him that you'll be praying for him and his family? Then follow up. It will be nice hearing from you again.
•4. Instead of giving your children a lot of gifts you can't afford and they don't need, spend time with them. Tell them the story of My birth, and why I came to live with you down here. Hold them in your arms and remind them that I love them.
•5. Pick someone that has hurt you in the past and forgive him or her.
•6. Did you know that someone in your town will attempt to take their own life this season because they feel so alone and hopeless? Since you don't know who that person is, try giving everyone you meet a warm smile; it could make the difference.
•7. Instead of nit picking about what the retailer in your town calls the holiday, be patient with the people who work there. Give them a warm smile and a kind word. Even if they aren't allowed to wish you a "Merry Christmas" that doesn't keep you from wishing them one. Then stop shopping there on Sunday. If the store didn't make so much money on that day they'd close and let their employees spend the day at home with their families
•8. If you really want to make a difference, support a missionary-- especially one who takes My love and Good News to those who have never heard My name.
•9. Here's a good one. There are individuals and whole families in your town who not only will have no "Christmas" tree, but neither will they have any presents to give or receive. If you don't know them, buy some food and a few gifts and give them to the Salvation Army or some other charity which believes in Me and they will make the delivery for you.
•10. Finally, if you want to make a statement about your belief in and loyalty to Me, then behave like a Christian. Don't do things in secret that you wouldn't do in My presence. Let people know by your actions and words that you are one of mine.
Don't forget; I am God and can take care of Myself. Just love Me and do what I have told you to do. I'll take care of all the rest. Check out the list above and get to work; time is short. I'll help you, but the ball is now in your court. And do have a most blessed Christmas with all those whom you love and remember :

I LOVE YOU, JESUS



I must admit that I'm often frustrated by all the griping that goes on by Christians about the world. See here's the thing, if they don't know Jesus, then they don't have much of a reason to worship him or act like him. And if they don't know Jesus, then what is our job? Um, if I'm reading my Bible right, it's not to stay away from them because they are offending us. See this what I've realized, if I walk out the door, looking to be offended, it's going to happen. No doubt. But from what I read of Jesus, if He had worried about not going somewhere because he might get offended, well he probably wouldn't have achieved much.

It's really pretty easy.. If you're offended, don't be. Christianity doesn't offer us a life of comfort. It offers a life with a better way. A way that stands out, a way that makes us look like aliens. But here's the thing, to look like aliens, to look different, well, we have to be around some people that are different than we are.

So let's get off of this soapbox and choose a better battle. Let's pull back out that light that we learned about many years ago. Let's quit just taking it to the neighbors that think like we do and let's shine it ALL over the neighborhood.

Blessings,
Dana

Vitamin D

I recently came across a post written by a fellow mommy blogger about the issue of Vitamin D defenciency and nursing moms. I've been researching the Vitamin D topic since I began breastfeeding in 2003. Since I have moved out of the breastfeeding phase of my life (I loved, loved, loved breastfeeding my children and wouldn't trade the experience for anything but, can I just say that big boobs are highly over rated? I'm so glad to be able to run again). Anyway, since I've moved out of that phase in life, I don't think as much about it. But, I came across this post over at, Mommy Molecules and it has some great information in it.

Before I share that information. I want to be sure to say that Vitamin D deficiency is not only a problem for nursing moms but for 85% of Americans. I recently read an article that said that taking 2000 IUs of Vitamin D a day decreased the risk of certain cancers by up to 77%! It also improves energy and your immune system!

And Here is Muggs post:

Vitamin D and Nursing Moms

Today I got a call from my doctor about my blood test results for my annual physical. I am going to a new doctor who interestingly enough includes a Vitamin D test in the blood panel which I assumed I would ACE no problem living in Southern Arizona as I do and going outside for walks every couple of days. I was astounded when they told me I was Vitamin D deficient. The doctor told me to take 3000 units daily and get at least 10-15 minutes of daily sun on my arms and legs and then to get retested in 8 weeks.

Wow. How did that happen? I drink fortified milk, eat eggs, and get a good amount of sun, and take a prenatal vitamin. Hmmf. Well, I guessed it must be that I am still nursing our son who is now almost 15 months old but I thought I would do some research to share the recommendations for nursing moms.

I discovered that a study reviewed in 2007 found that nursing moms should be taking 10 TIMES the amount of Vitamin D Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for the average person. That amounts to 4,000 IU (International Units). The study researchers recommend a minimum of 2,000 IU but really push the higher dose saying up to 10,000IU is safe for up to 5 months just beware of toxicity of higher levels.

So, what are the health risks of low Vitamin D?

•Rickets (a bone deforming disease) if your baby is deficient
•Osteomalacia (bone thinning disorder in adults characterized by musculoskeletal pain, hmm, sounds familiar, that was a complaint of mine on this doctor visit)
•Osteoporosis
•Cancer
•Heart Disease
•Diabetes in adults
•Flu infections
•High blood pressure
•Autoimmune diseases
Who is the most at risk:

•The elderly
•Extremely Obese individuals
•Exclusively breastfed babies
•Those who get little sun exposure (Did anyone hear new or working moms who only get sun going from the car to work and back to the car?)
•Those with darker skin as it is harder to absorb sunlight
So what can you do?

•Get sun on your bare skin (more effective in southern geography)
•Take a supplement
•Eat these foods: cod liver oil, fatty fish, eggs, beef liver (eww), mushrooms, some meats
•Talk to your pediatrician about a supplement for your child
Doing this research freaked me out pretty well but really made me realize how serious this can be and that you should never assume you don't have a deficiency of Vitamin D. (Another important nutrient for pregnant and nursing moms is Iron by the way. I stopped my prenatal vitamin for awhile after I had my son and starting having dizzy spells, etc.)

The links where I found the information above are here if you would like more information:

http://newsletter.vitalchoice.com/e_article000724143.cfm?x=b76GVyV,b1kJpvRw,w

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/vitamin-d/NS_patient-vitamind

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitamin_D#Natural_sources


Thanks for sharing Muggs!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Recession Style Christmas Card...

I have had two failed attempts at a Christmas card.

Here is my first attempt. I had given up getting a Christmasy picture so I decided to throw out all Christmas colors and make an attempt to spot light their personalities. But, when I showed it to Emma, she said it looked more like an Easter card than a Christmas card. I decided that she was right and started once again, my pursuit of a Christmas picture.



And I got the picture below and made the following card. It wasn't my optimum photography skills as the picture isn't very high resolution but the girls looked sweet in it so I decided to go with it. I sent them to Walmart because I didn't have time to order the much better quality prints from Smugmug. When I got to Walmart, the guy was totally rude telling me that I needed the Copyright release. Which I found ironic since the photography quality stunk. But fine, I get that he needed to cover his tail. So I told him I didn't have a copyright release since I took the picture but I'd be glad to write him one. He handed me a form to fill out. But, when I asked him a question, he threw his hands up and refused to speak to me like he wasn't going to have anything to do with my criminal activity and would not speak to me the rest of the time I was standing there. Probably not the best call if it's your tail you want to cover but we'll see what your manager has to say about that. Then when I got to the car and looked at the picture, half of the writing was cut off the side. A far cry from what I would consider professional looking photography or professional behavior from a customer service associate. Once again, Walmart scores a BIG FAT F!!



I may give it a rest and sike myself back up and try one more time and I may not. So you should probably take a good look just in case. I have worked everything out for a stress free Christmas except for these stinking Christmas Cards!!

Deep breaths, deep breaths!

Blessings,
Dana



.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Swagbucks 101

Search. Earn. Spend.
Register for Swagbucks HERE


Several people have asked me to explain how Swagbucks works so I thought that I would do a post that I can refer people to for information. I have to admit that I was skeptical at first but since they didn't ask for a credit card number and it didn't cost me a thing, I thought I'd give it a try. So I clicked on a referral link like the one I posted above and signed up. When I signed up, I sent an e-mail to a couple of my friends and they signed up. I didn't even go back to the swagbucks site for a couple of months and when I did, I had 30 swagbucks. The reason that is, is that for every friend that you refer, for their first 100 swagbucks, you get them to0. So, I of course downloaded the swagbucks tool bar and started telling people to sign up. I just recently traded in 590 swagbucks for a $50 amazon card. So, I'm here to tell you from experience, that it does in fact work. Woo Hoo! So, for those of you that are curious, here are some swagbucks pointers.



So many ways to earn Swagbucks!

Search the Web
Shop Online
Trade-In Phones & Video Games
Refer a Friend
Submit a User Poll
Comment on the Blog
Much much more…

Swagbucks Tips from the Pros!
1. Install their toolbars and then make sure you do your internet searching through swagbucks.
Click HERE for that
2. Set Swag Bucks to your homepage
3. Send in old cell phones/mp3 players or old video games/consoles and they will give you Swag Bucks according to what you send
4. Take a picture of you with the prize and send it to them to earn even more Swag Bucks
5. Submit polls to Swag Bucks. If they use your idea, they will reward you with Swag Bucks.

Redeem!
This is the most exciting part!
I’m shocked at how quickly my Swagbucks add up and it doesn’t take a ton to make a prize purchase.

So what are you waiting for? Click HERE and start getting stuff for free!



Blessings,
Dana

Monday, December 07, 2009

Christmas Can Still Change the World..

Last year, we started a new Christmas tradition. We gave no gifts and filled the days leading up to Christmas day with activities: crafts, baking, games and scavengar hunts. Much of our family joined us and gave us money instead and we were able to send money to Living Water International towards putting wells to provide clean water to a whole city in Rwanda. You can read about it HERE and HERE. After Christmas, we took a much needed vacation to Disney World. This year, we knew many people closer to home that were in need of financial help so we kept our charity closer to home. Since a Disney World vacation isn't in the budget every year, we have elected to give the girls one present each (more on that later). It is our desire that we teach our children that Christmas is a time to focus on relationships and others, because of our relationship with Jesus, rather than getting all the stuff that they want and don't actually need. Will you join me this year in sharing a much better story with our children?



Friday, December 04, 2009

And the winner is...

Thank you all for the overwhelming participation in the hopper dog giveaway. I wish I was like Oprah and could give one to everyone. But since I don't have enough hopper dogs to go around, the results of a random drawing using www.random.org chose:

Stephanie over at GraphicI. Stephanie does photo greeting cards and has some great designs. If you're wanting a greeting card, you should check her out because since I can no longer get my favorite program for my new computer (Microsoft Picture It 99. I know that's old but it worked the best.) I'm closing shop in the greeting card designs.

If you would like to order a hopper dog, then hurry on over to Bella's Toy Shop on ebay. She was planning on selling out before Christmas and everywhere else I had found were sold out. Or, you can skip the middle man and e-mail the seller directly at sboatwright7@comcast.net.

Blessings and a Merry Christmas to all!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Little Froggie

Everyone I know is having babies these days. This is my friend Mandy's sweet baby. He was two weeks old when these were taken. I'm still hit or miss and lighting is everything.. This particular day, the lighting was just perfect in my upstairs room and I was really happy with how these came out.. Still, my consistency needs improving. I win a few, I lose a few.. But I'm only going to show you the winners of course.

Mandy is one of those smart mommies that came up with nicknames for her children and doesn't use their real names. Whoops, didn't think of that. I don't guess it matters much as both of my girls have names that half the little girls their ages have. For the record, Emma is my grandmother's name. I had it picked out long before the tv show "Friends" named their baby Emma.. Just for the record..

Anyway, you can check out little Froggie over at Life's about a Dream

Such a handsome little bundle of joy!!









Blessings,
Dana

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Giveaway-- Hopper Dog

The other night, we went into Learning Express. Chloe immediately spotted this little bouncy dog, ran over and hopped on and went to town. She bounced all of the store chanting "this is fun, this is fun". I started looking around for the box they came in and found the price tag of 49.99. Now these things are the cutest things I've seen in a while but, me, being the cheap person that I am decided to wait until I got home to see if I could find them cheaper on the internet. So I began my search and found a seller on ebay selling them for 27.99. Then I had this thought.. Hey, I've been doing reviews on my blog. Maybe this lady would want me to review a hopper dog for her. So I emailed her and told her that I was going to buy one anyway but was wondering if she was interested in doing a review and sent her a link to my blog. Her reply, if I bought one, she'd send me an additional one to giveaway.. Fair enough.. But, since I wanted one for my neice Wynn and Chloe and still wanted to be able to give you a chance to win one, I ordered two, and got one free. What can I say? I love you guys!

So, now is your chance to see your kids bouncing and having a ball just like my kids are in this video:



But, if you know that you've just got to get every little person on your Christmas list one of these adorable puppies, and you don't want to wait to see if you won one, then you can e-mail Susan at sboatwright7@comcast.net and tell her what you want and she will send you an invoice for your order.

So how to win: Same as before, for one entry, leave me a comment telling me who you want to have the hopper dog and for five additional entries, post my giveaway on facebook, twitter or your blog. The winner will be chosen via www.random.org and announced on Friday, Dec. 4th (wow, how crazy is that? We're almost in December!)..

Merry Christmas!!!

Blessings,
Dana

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

And the Winner Is....

The winner of the Crayola Color Explosion Glow Dome is KRISTEN!! Congratulations Kristen!!!

Check back soon for a chance to win a HOPPER DOG!! If you haven't seen one of these, they're the cutest thing ever!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Black Friday Shopper's Guide

Still trying to decide if I'm doing the Black Friday thing.. Guess it depends on what my Thanksgiving visitors want to do. But, since I know that so many of my blogger friends are doing Black Friday shopping and all my coupon resources are flooding my inbox with Black Friday information, I'm going to try to compose them all in one place. I will add to it as I receive them. If you know, of something not listed, by all means, share please!

So here is a list of links that you might find valuable in your Black Friday preparations. Some of these sites are so busy that they're timing out. If you have a hard time getting into them. Try checking back during a time that isn't primetime.

Black Friday Explanation and Tips

Black Friday Complete Store Flyers
-- Go here and you can see the Black Friday Ads.

Black Friday Buying Guide
-- Find out which store has the best deal on the item you want.

Walmart has a Canon Rebel deal online right now (1:40 p.m. 11/24) for $499. Don't know how long it last

Black Friday Store opening times-- Different stores have different opening times. Find those here

Black Friday Coupons:
Bath and Body Works Free item with a ten dollar purchase.

Gap-- 20% off. Now through 1/30/09

Old Navy
-- $10 off $50 or more (THURSDAY ONLY)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Bitterness-- Wishing for Another's Harm while Drinking our own Poison

This is something I've had on my mind for a while. There are so many people that I know that are hurting.. Things from their past... things from now. And often forgiveness is hard to find. Bitterness is by far the most harmful of emotions. It leads to so many other things.. anger, hate, need for revenge. It grabs our own sense of reason and distorts it in way that justifies actions that we could never otherwise justify. It is a wedge between us and God. It is a roadblock on the path to us becoming what God wants us to be. It becomes our master, and us, it's slave..

I've mulled this over in my head for months now. I have no eloquent words of inspiration. But, perhaps the words that broke my heart on this matter will do so for you too. The video clip that I'm posting is divided into two segments. Together, they are around 15 minutes. That's a long time to spend on a blog post.. I know that.. But it is my prayer that if you are struggling with bitterness towards someone, that you will find a quiet 15 minutes to watch and listen with an open heart.. It may change your life. It did mine.





May our hearts be open to give the forgiveness that Jesus so freely gives to us.

Blessings,
Dana

Friday, November 20, 2009

Crayola Giveaway!

You might imagine that when I opened an e-mail from Myblogspark and they were offering to send me these three crayola products review that I didn't have to think twice.






We are always looking for ways to explore our artistic creativity that doesn't involve my walls at the Ellis household. So I jumped on the deal just as fast as I could.

I was so excited to receive the box with our goodies inside complete with batteries taped to the boxes! These people know the way to a mom's heart! They couldn't have come at a better time as we were plotting through the stormy days we experienced when hurricane Ivan was coming through. It was just perfect that I was able to pull out the Crayola Color Explosion Glow Dome on a yucky day when Emma came in from school. We were definitely impressed. Though it comes with templates, my little artist decided to march to the beat of her own drum and draw hearts and stars.. It has a piece in the middle that she colored and then she colored the outside dome . Once the dome was put in place, we flipped this little switch and the light show was just what we needed to brighten up our gloomy afternoon.






And as for what my girls thought about the other two items, I'll just let you see that for yourself:



All of these items would make wonderful gifts for the artist in your life. And here is your chance to win one of them. Crayola and Myblogspark were so kind as to also share with my readers and are allowing me to also give away one of the Crayola Color Explosion Glow Domes.

To enter, simply leave me a comment telling me what little artist you have in mind as recipient of your gift. For five additional entries, share about my giveaway on your blog, or facebook page or twitter. Giveaway will end Wed. Nov. 25th.


You can also visit HERE and register to win all 6 of Crayola's new holiday products and a Caribbean cruise!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

And The Winner Is....


Brianna at Castleberry Tales. Brianna, e-mail me at everythingpictured.gmail.com with your mailing info and I will send it on to Zondervan.

For those of you that wanted to purchase the book, you can do that HERE.

And check back soon for a chance to win the Explosion Glow Dome, courtesy of Crayola and Myblogspark.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Maybe it's the Hopeless Romantic in me...

Though it's been repressed, there is a part of me that still believes I can make a difference.

I'm still thinking about the Donald Miller clip that I posted a couple of weeks ago. If you didn't see it, You should. It's effected every action I make with my children.




I began to think about how Miller's thoughts applied to me and I recalled a time when I was a teenager. I was sixteen years old and was working as a waitress in a little small town diner (side note: waitresses have possibly the worst job in the world. Tip them well. You have no idea the kind of crap they've put up with that day. And no, dirty old man, I will not "stick my finger in your coffee and make it sweeter") Anyway, when I was working at this little diner, a man came in on a particularly slow day, allowing for more conversation than was usual. After talking to the man for a few minutes, I learned that he had contracted AIDS through a blood transfusion and that he was working heavily on a campaign to raise money for a cure. It wasn't long before the impulsive passions that control teenage actions was evoked in me and I was working on a plan of my own to join him in his endeavors. I just knew that I could make a difference. I knew that I could take my little envelope to church and to my teachers and guidance counselors and that the world would be changed, starting in a small town of Springville Alabama.

I wish more than anything that I could tell you that I am one of those dynamic personalities that can sell ice to eskimoes. That I was a vibrant motivator that could just naturally pull out the goodness that, in my heart I know, lies within each and every individual and help them forget their inhibitions and the times that they were told that they couldn't make a difference, make them forget the moments in their own lives that made them cynical.. I wish I could tell you that that was the turning point in my life that made me realize that God put me here for something much bigger than myself. But in reality, it was a different defining point all together. As you might have already imagined, my efforts were not greeted enthusiastically. And, for a cause as taboo as AIDS was at that time, not only were these efforts not well supported, they were mocked with questions like, "well how did he get AIDS"? I remember knowing I was being seen as naive as I argued in defense of this man that I didn't even know, but was so actively playing a role in the shaping of my heart. And I know now that the question of whether or not this man had done something to deserve to contract AIDS was not a good one.. Was actually a horrible one. Quite contradictory to any question that Jesus would have asked.

My mom drove me to meet up with the man and I ashamedly handed him my envelope with a measly $50 in it (tip money and money given by my mom). And I began to buy into a lie that the best thing for me to do was to look out for myself because that is what human nature does, becomes a rat race to get to the top.. A dog eat dog world. One where everyone believes that the hand you're dealt is the one you deserve.. Until it's one's own hand that is and that, is where the story almost always changes.

By the time I graduated high school, I had diluted Christianity to a set of rules. A check list of rules that made me cringe at the thought.. A set of rules lived by people that I didn't much care for. A set of rules lived by people that looked miserable and looked bent on keeping everyone that they came into contact with miserable as well. A set of rules I could never check off of my list. And being convinced that I could never be good enough to be accepted by that God, I determined that I might as well make it good because I was going pay for it when I died. And maybe, if I was lucky, I could say that magical prayer on my way down that asked God for forgiveness for all my sins and then God would have take me. Thus, saving me from that burning fire that I had been so commonly threatened with.

I haven't said all of this to tell you how horrible the adults in my life were. I have wonderful parents that love me and support me. I had wonderful teachers that constantly demanded better from me. I had wonderful friends come into my life that I now know were praying for me continuously. I have in-laws that prayed for me even before I was born. And somewhere something stuck because God continued to knock and since knocking wasn't enough, he rang the door bell by having me fall in love with a youth minister. And if him being a youth minister wasn't ironic enough, he was/is a man that loves me more than I ever knew possible. So much more than I ever deserved. And slowly but surely, I've let those childish dreams back in.. And I do believe that God has chosen me.. He's chosen me as my husband so often says, "to partner with Him in his dream for the world". He's chosen me for an abundant life.. Not just later on but for now.. And I truly believe that if I follow Him, not in proving my point or that I'm more "spiritual" than others but by actually dreaming something better for this world and refusing to accept anything else. If I forgive others of their sins as Jesus does me.. If I love in a way that others don't understand. If I stand for the least and defend the defenseless. If I feed the poor. If I truly walk the direction that Jesus walked, then I'll experience what it was that God wanted for us when He put this whole thing in to play. It won't be money or fame or power.. But more likely a security of not needing money or fame or power. It will look so different than the way we've always pictured Joy to look. And that is why it will be more wonderful than anything we could possibly imagine.

Do you know that passion that is so difficult to deal with in children? Yeah, that passion.. The thing that leaves them crumbled in the floor in a fit? The thing that causes them to run and throw their arms around us and sob when we're leaving? The thing that makes them burst out in song as they're playing in the bathtub? The passion that we spend most of our adulthood wishing we could get back? Well it's there in our children.. It's there in the lemonade stand. It's there in the tower of blocks. It's there in the bouquet of weeds that they pick. It's there when they want to stop to pick up the trash that someone else threw down. It's there in the dollar store beads they give us for Mother's Day..

Lord please forgive me for the times when I've made small of their passions. And as they get older and become more passionate, please help me to help them keep that passion and to have it too.. And please teach me to guide them to use it in the way you want them to..I'm so gratefully yours.

Blessings,
Dana

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Along Came You-- Review and Giveaway


Since it's nearing Christmas, I am receiving a lot of opportunities to review products. I've had some questions as to whether or not I would save the products for Christmas gifts for my girls. While it would be very nice to get my girls Christmas presents in this way, the whole point of the reviews is that companies can hopefully sell these products for Christmas.. So, we've gotten busy trying these things out..

Zondervan Publishing is one of my favorite companies that I've worked with. Adam has been doing reviews for them for a while. He slipped his contact my blog address and I got an e-mail from her saying, "just go to our site and let me know what books you're interested in and when you read them, let me know if you'd like to do a giveaway". Um, AWESOME? I still find myself asking, what's the catch? Am I going to get a charge on my credit card if I don't return it within the 60 day trial period? But, no charge. It still blows my mind that companies give me things just for me to give them my opinions on them. It's like a marketers dream. Anyway, This allows me to pick out, up front, books that had topics that I was interested in and could be pretty sure I could give an enthusiastic review. So I picked out three books and got them just a couple of days later.

"Along Came You, did not disappoint". This truly may have become my favorite children's book of all time.. Except, I'm pretty sure that it's benefits are more for me than my children. It is definitely my favorite parenting book of all time. I don't know about you, but in a world where success is often measured by dollars, I sometimes need reminded of the value of the job I'm doing. While I do think that this book serves the purpose of helping children see the sacrifices a parent makes, more importantly, it was reminder to me of the priceless benefits that come from doing such a sacred job that pays in love. The book's only downfall is that I can't seem to read it with out becoming a big emotional mess.

It's beautifully illustrated pages along with the author's fresh perspective of being a mother left me with a reminder of the amazing joy that being a parent provides and a heart much bigger than, before children, I ever felt capable of having. In "Along Came You", The writing clearly illustrates that often, simple phrases carry such great meaning: "Before you, my home was decorated in style. After you, my home is decorated in love. Before you, the biggest thrill at the amusement park was riding the roller coaster. After you, the biggest thrill is seeing your face when you are finally tall enough to ride. Before you, I slept all night long. After you, I wake to watch you sleeping.

But, you really can't get the full impact that book presents without seeing the words along with the illustrations. So click below to see a sample.



Now, for your chance to win a copy of your own. To enter, simply comment, leaving a way to contact you in the case that you win. For an additional entry, blog about the giveaway or post it on facebook and come back and leave a link to your post. The giveaway will end on Wed. Nov. 18th. The winner will be chosen at random using www.random.org.

Blessings,
Dana

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Deals and Matchups

To inserts in today's paper (1) Red Plum (1) Smart Source

CVS
Rite Aid

Walgreens

http://www.southernsavers.com/2009/11/kroger-weekly-ad-118-1114/

Publix
Publix penny item: Publix Oatmeal.




Also, for you Black Friday shoppers (which I AM NOT), here is a link to all the ad scans that have been released as of now.

Black Friday Ad Scans

Listed so far, Kohl's, Kmart, Lowe's, Old Navy, Sears and Toy's R' US.

Thank you Lynn for this information. I'll send you my list and save myself a nervous breakdown. :).

Monday, November 02, 2009

October Family Photos

My computer cord had one too many pulls from my kids and now it won't come on. I will be limited for a few days to computer use in the mornings and evenings which really isn't that bad of an idea anyway.

We had a great Halloween. Chloe refused to wear her costume but you'll see from the photos that we came up with a pretty creative idea of how to deal with that and we now have a great picture to put in her senior ad when she graduates high school.

Emma had a different idea of a character that she wanted to be every day for about a month but she finally landed on Pippi Longstocking.

Since Adam needs to get off to work, I thought I'd quickly throw up a link to our October photos in my smugmug account. I think I need to start watermarking my photos anyway, considering there is a painting of my children being sold on ebay. You can see that here: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&Item=300362744554&Category=60437 weird...

Edit: The auction has been ended on ebay. You can still see the painting if you click on the link and scroll to the bottom. For those of you that wanted to know how I knew about it, Adam's mom had posted the picture on her facebook page. The lady messaged Lynn with the link to the auction and told her not to feel obligated to buy it but of course, Lynn did so she made bid on it. When I told Lynn that I thought it was unethical if not illegal, she messaged the girl and asked her to remove it and she was very kind and removed it, no questions asked. I don't think I would have minded so much if she had done a private auction but I didn't like it so much that Lynn was trying to buy a painting of my girls to keep someone else from buying it. But the lady is an artist and she's saw an opportunity and acted before she thought about it. People are hurting right now and sometimes, desperate times push people to desperate measures. All is well, no one was hurt.

Until we meet again, enjoy the pictures. Perhaps I'll get some extra things done around the house.





Click Here to see all of Octobers photos

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Train a Child in the Way He Should Go?

Proverbs 22:6 Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.


A common scripture that Christian parents of small children cling to. I write this post as I'm listening to the cries of my two year old in her bedroom. She made it until just over two years before we converted the crib to a toddler bed. But with her new realization that she can now escape her imprisonment, my security (IE climb out of the crib), we opted for a conversion that would allow us to keep her in her room where she can put herself back in bed when she finally surrenders to the nap that she so desperately needs. Is this the right thing to do? I HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA. But for now, it's the best I've got. And so I cling to the thought that if I teach her to be the person that God wants her to be, then when she is old, she will have what she needs to be that person.

A wonderful assurance! If I don't think of the people I know that this scripture doesn't seem true for.. Because I know of several wonderful parents that are great people that have been devastated by watching their children walk away. So, I make up excuses so that I don't feel helpless with my own children.. Things like, "well it says OLD.. They aren't OLD yet".. And I turn it over and over in my mind with a constant fear that my children will some how grow up to walk away from their faith because of some choice that I've made. And the truth is, I have absolutely no idea how this job that I'm doing, being a mom, the most important job of my life, will come out for at least twenty years, maybe longer. So I'm left to observe the people that I know and rely on my own experiences and the one thing I can truly control, my ability to throw myself at the feet of a God that can give me the wisdom to do something I can not do on my own.

And I feel like in bits and pieces I get that direction. The other night, Adam and I were having a not so uncommon conversation about how to make life turn out the way it should for our girls. And here was my clueless response, "I don't know, but I know one thing, as big of helicopter parents that we are, we have to let them go on mission trips. Because out of all the kids that we know that have a faith that is real and is strong there is one thing that they all have in common, they were involved in mission work". I know that this realization is anemic. Obviously, this is not an A+B=C equation. Sending a child on a mission trip alone is not going to automatically equate to a life long faithfulness that can't be rocked. And obviously, there are faithful Christians that have never been out of our country. But still, at least in my experience the correlation is there. And so I being the person that I am analyze and analyze and analyze some more..

And last night, I feel like I got another small piece of this enlightening little puzzle when Adam showed this clip at church:







I'm still trying to sort my thoughts on this out.. Could it be that we have diluted the story of Jesus to much less of a story than God intended it to be? Could it be that maybe I'm telling my children but not training them? God please show me the way to not just say what they need to hear but be what they need to be.

I am now hearing only the blissful sound of my fingers clicking on the keyboard. And the picture inside the bedroom of that precious little ball of fire God has entrusted to me?



Lord if I warped her for life by giving her no other option but to turn to Mickey for comfort, please give me grace.


Blessings,
Dana

Miracle Walk



I've had a lot of questions about whether or not I raised my money and what shirt I wore for the breast cancer walk.. Well, I sort of raised the money. On Thursday before the walk, I had about half of the money raised so I hadn't ordered the shirt. I decided that I didn't want to suffer the shame of not meeting my goal, so on Thursday, I searched down for a Ta Ta's shirt.. I found them at a local graphics store for 5 dollars a piece.. Except, the writing was on the back. But, with a little of Pam's creativity, we made a view adjustments, I wrote a check for the remainder of the amount and Pam and I followed through with our commitment. I've still had a few donations trickle end and I just decided that what ever I ended up giving was what God wanted my contribution to be.

We had a ball at the walk. And I'm sad to announce that I have no juicy comments to present about the shirts. We got absolutely nothing but compliments and interest in where we got them. It's so amazing how small trivial things seem when everyone has a common goal for the better good.

Thank you all for your donations. I know that times are hard for a lot right now. For those of you that supported me in this, it means so much.

We're already making plans to do it next year. With a pink glittery sign and pink feathered boas for our group. Why don't you go ahead and make plans to join us..

Blessings,
Dana

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Where have I been?

Taking pictures of course!




You can see some more of these adorable little boys and their beautiful momma HERE

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Deals and Matchups

Two Inserts 1 Smart Source, 1 Red Plum

Couponing: Last week, I bought all of my families grocery needs for $45. I feel certain that if I put in the time and effort, I could have probably done it for $20. The question becomes: How much is saving that extra $25 worth to me? I have been couponing for about a year and a half now. This has freed us up to do other things with our money. We will soon pay off our van, making us debt free again (having equity, I consider our home an asset, not a debt. I'm also scared to say this because every time we get both vehicles paid for, another breaks) Anyway, my efforts have definitely been worth while.

But, even saving money vs. spending is your goal, it is still a delicate balance to find a place where you are ruling your spending instead of your spending ruling you. Today I'm up at 5:00 a.m. to get this done. But on some Sundays, I've started allowing myself to sleep in when I need it. I really like what the Southern Saver says HERE on Couponing Burnout. It was worth the read for me.

May you find the money saving balance that is right for you!



Drugstores

Great Week at the Drugstores for Stocking up on over the counter medicines
CVS
Rite Aid
I haven't done Rite Aid in a long time because I'm not a huge fan of their rebate system where I have to put the money out up front. However, my friend Amy and Lauren got such great deals there last week that they have convinced me to try it again. Thanks Amy and Lauren!
Walgreens

Grocery

Bi Lo

Kroger

Publix
Penny Item: Publix Bagged Candy

I don't think anyone was using the out of area posts. If I'm missing something that you were previously using, let me know. I certainly don't mind putting them up.

Blessings,
Dana

Friday, October 16, 2009

Emma's Blog

As a way to help Emma strengthen her writing skills, she and I together have built her own blog page. I invite you to stop in and encourage her to keep writing.

Hope for the People
The much more interesting than her mom's life of a first grader

PS: Don't forget to check out the family update below.

Family Friday

I'm getting requests from grandparents and aunts for pictures and updates of the kids. Imagine that, they want what they really come here for.

So, I thought I'd share a couple of funny things that they've said here lately along with some non pouting pictures that I've taken of them recently. It's likely that you've seen these things here and there on facebook, but for record keeping sake, I must compile them all in one place.

Emma

A couple of weeks ago, our friends George and Jay came with there daughter Sarah Jane so George could run in a marathon that is held in our town. I failed to get a picture of Emma and Sarah Jane but here is one that Jay took the last time they visited.



All in all, they did a great job since we were all together for the whole weekend but without the normal sleep.. However, since they were sleep deprived six year olds, there were a couple of moments where we had to all turn our heads to snicker until we could compose ourselves and be responsible parents.

Setting: Our living room

Enters Sarah Jane in a pretty pink sequin dress.
Next enters Emma in a white angel costume
Emma: We're having a contest. Who can wear the prettiest WHITE dress.

Setting: Our living Room
Enters Emma and Sarah Jane

Emma: Mom she hit me.
Jay: Sarah Jane, did you hit Emma
Sarah Jane: No, she hit me back.
Me: Emma did you hit Sarah Jane?
Emma: No, I missed.

We did sit them in time out for this one but I'm pretty sure they both are smart enough to know we found it amusing.

To hear it from Jay, this trip resulted in some funny moments for George and Jay after they left. Jay, feel free to comment :)

In the news: Emma finally lost her first tooth. This issue has been an issue of stress for Emma since she was the only kid in her kindergarten class that had not lost a tooth when Kindergarten graduation came around. She was very distraught when she had to start first grade, with all of her baby teeth still in place. So she worked and wiggled and at last, her daddy pulled the first of many..

I had my parent teacher conference with her teacher today. She's doing very well. She's doing better than very well. Now comes the challenge of keeping her challenged. Thank God that he blessed us with the perfect teacher to do that. If I became a billionaire, I would give all the teachers in the world a huge bonus because they are severely under appreciated and underpaid! Anyway, her teacher always tells me little bits and pieces of things that Emma says. She said that earlier today Emma raised her hand and said, "Mrs Bradley, don't you think it's time we tell them about adjectives"?




And here are some recent portrait shots







Before I move on to our Chloe girl, I will leave you with a funny from Emma. Sunday night after church, we went out to dinner with some friends. Sleep is crucial for my children and since they got to bed a little later than normal, by Monday afternoon, they were spent. Adam went to a meeting with a friend so I was all by myself. After more whines than I can handle, I opted for an early bedtime. Emma let out the whine that was the straw that broke the camels back. I told her to go put on her pajamas, brush her teeth, pick out a book and get in bed and wait for me to read her story. I went through all the bed time rituals with Chloe and went to read Emma's story and She had picked out the book "My Dad is Great". And yes, we do also have the book, "My Mom is Great". Smart alecks run in the family.

Chloe



*The other day, Chloe brought a hanger to me and said, "this is my dress handle".

*We've been bike riding during the day. Chloe sits behind me in the baby seat. Every time I go to stand to get up a hill, Chloe starts kicking me in the rear and yelling, "SIT YOUR BOTTOM DOWN"!

*On the way to church last night. Emma looked at Chloe and said, "She's so cute" Chloe said, "I know I'm cute"

*The other night, I was getting her ready for bed and she was singing, "oh, oh, oh, oh put a wing on it". I was trying to hard to figure out what she wanted to put a wing on when Adam came in and heard her and started singing Beyonce's "Put a Ring on It". Chloe turned and pointed at Adam and said, "YEAH, that's a good song".



And now, our weekend begins. I will see you all with coupon links on Sunday.

Have a fabulous weekend!

Blessings,
Dana

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Hello, My name is Dana Ellis and I have an addiction..

I live inside my blog.. I just can't stop. My fellow bloggers might understand. My children's grandparents are thankful. But for the rest of the world, I feel that quite often, someone turns and rolls their eyes after I say, "you know, that's funny, I just wrote about that on my blog". I imagine that they have conversations with their husband's that go something like, "If I have to hear one more thing about Dana's stupid blog"..

Maybe all bloggers aren't like this but I know I'm not the only one. I've heard others.. Comments like, "I met her through my blog", "she's a blog friend", "she's an amazing blogger", or, "this is so going on the blog". We have various blogger relationships. There are those that come for informational purposes only: the coupon blogs, the photography blogs, whatever your hobby. Even this is a compliment because these readers believe that you have something to offer. There are your most loyal blogging friends. They visit your blog regularly and leave a comment even when they don't have anything to say but they just want you to know you're not alone. You may have never even met these people in life but somewhere in your heart, you know that you are kindred spirits connected by cyberspace. There are your blogger friends that you do know but are also weighted down by their own lives and only get a chance to connect during nap time. You've tried to get together. But you ended up spending your time breaking up fights between your children and trying to yell over the children so you can hear each other. There is the relative or friend from sixth grade that sets up a profile just for you so that they can leave you comments. They have no interest in having a blog of their own but if it's important to you, it's important to them. These are friends worth holding on to, friends worth fighting for. There are friends and relatives that tune in regularly but don't leave comments. Maybe they don't know how, maybe they're afraid they'll say something stupid. But regardless, they genuinely care about your life and have nothing to gain from being there.

My strangest blogging experiences have been when someone approaches me that I know but didn't know follows my blog.. I instantly try to replay everything I've ever posted in my head and see it through their eyes. IE: Wow, how she take what I said on that day? I wonder if it offended her when I said that.. I never used her as an example did I? Oh gosh I hope she didn't think I was talking about her when I said this because I so was not..

Granted, not all the experiences are positive. There is the person that comes along just looking for a disagreement. And there is the wonder of what caused someone that used to read your blog regularly to stop. The funny thing is, I know that when this happens to me, it's simply because I got busy. There is also the person that you know has been lurking about for years but they never chose to say something until they disagreed with you. Disagreeing is okay. As a blogger, I like to hear opinions different than my own. They help me to grow. But disagreeing only is generally frowned upon. But, at least for me, for the most part, it's simply a circle of friends that I love and enjoy. And if I'm being truly honest, these people that live inside this world have become an important part of me.

So, how is it that this real yet not tangible experience can become so much a part of our lives. Maybe it's my need to finish a complete thought when my kids aren't there to disrupt me. Or maybe it's because I can have my kids disrupt me and go back and find my place and finish the thought. Maybe it's my need to express myself to someone other than a two year old. Maybe it's my need to feel that I can still use my brain for something other than remembering where I put the wipes. Maybe it's because I usually get low on minutes on my cell phone about half way through the month. Maybe it's my need to be able to think something through and re-read it before I put it out there. Maybe it's simply a need to be heard.. I'm sure it's a mixture of a lot of those things and more but I'm having a hard time putting my finger on it..

So what about you? Do you blog? Do you read blogs? Why? What is it that so entices you as it also does me. Please help me shed some light on the mystery of the blogging phenomenon.

Blessings,
Dana

Monday, October 12, 2009

I Saw That Look...

....as I was taking my screaming, kicking two year old out of church on Sunday. Actually there was a variety of looks. There was the one of sympathy from the mother who has finally gotten her child raised. There was the one from the grandmother that said, "oh, just let her throw Cheerios all over the church, it's so cute". There was the one of relief from the mom who was wondering last week if she was the only one. There was the look of deep thought from the newlywed as she tried to remember if she took her birth control yesterday. There was the look of fear for the mommy-to-be as she was questioning if she had made the biggest mistake of her life. And though I couldn't have possibly have seen this look, just in case there was someone there that took just a slight bit of joy over my misfortune, to you my friend I say, YOUR DAY IS COMING! ..



So the plan was to make Chloe sit on the bench out in the foyer because I certainly couldn't remove her for her behavior and let her play. But, as the screams began to escalate, I took her to the bathroom in an attempt to mask her screams from the congregation. I accessed the situation and soon decided that despite my efforts, we were being well heard. So, I opted for a trip to the car in which I wrestled her into her car seat while I was saying, "you have the right to express your feelings but if you don't do it in the right way, no one is going to listen to you" and then shut the door and stood outside until I heard the surrendering little sobs of "momma, I'm sorry" about ten minutes later.. She then returned to her angel little self (with big puffy eyes) and went on to Children's Church ..

The comments I got after were quite entertaining as well. Things like, "I'm impressed you didn't kill her". "Is shes cutting a molar"?. "You're kidding me, Emma acted like that too? She seems so sweet". "Is she not feeling well"? To which I replied, "no, she's just feeling two". Okay, so maybe this doesn't happen with every kid. But, just in case you are one of those moms that is lucky enough to experience the terrible twos with all of your children, I like what Dr. Greene says, " Ideal parenting does not prevent the "Terrible Twos" -- it helps children navigate them." And, I will also say that the struggle for independence pays off. For the most part, Emma is pretty well behaved though she still has her moments and she's fairly responsible for a six year old. She evens sets her own alarm clock and gets herself up for school. Some adults haven't even mastered that skill. So to you I say, persevere, this too shall pass and the rewards are splendid.

But, to make sure, I did go back and check to make sure that Emma did in fact experience these crazy fights for independence. And seriously, deja vu'.

I now give you, my very first blog post ever (almost exactly 4 years and 3 months ago when Emma was the exact same age).. The inspiration for this blog, because it's cheaper than therapy.

Terrible Twos



Ok, Emma has officially hit the terrible twos. In the past week my little angel’s body has been invaded. I think I will refer to it as her first adolescence. She is definitely wanting to state her independence. She’s not quite big enough to slam a door or roll her eyes but she can sure put out a mean scream. After two big battles today, both about going to bed, one for nap, and one for the night, she is quietly laying in her bed looking like my little angel again. All of the sudden, she wants to do everything by herself, get into everything she’s not supposed to, and really let me know about it if something doesn’t go her way. Today, she wrote on her dresser with a Sharpie marker (yeah, those Mr. Clean magic erasers aren’t quite as good as they say) To go anywhere, I have to allow an extra hour to get there because she wants to pick out her own clothes, put them on herself, put on her own shoes, turn out the lights, open the door, get in her car seat, shut the door, and buckle herself in the car seat, all by herself. None of these things she can actually do by herself so I have to wait until she actually tries it and sees that she can’t do it alone, and she surrenders to needing my help. And, we have done this repeatedly. Even after all of this, I still have this over whelming love for her and I know my life is so much more wonderful than it was before she was in it.


There are quite a few lessons I could take from this. One being humbleness, yes, I had heard other mothers talk about temper tantrums but since my little Emma had always pretty much pleasantly obeyed, I thought we were above that (man I knew better than that). But, what I’m really wondering is, how often do I seem like a two year old to God. Running around messing things up, trying to handle things myself and then whining to God when it doesn’t go my way. And what’s worse, I do these things over and over again. All the while, God is standing there patiently waiting for me to figure out that I need to surrender to him and give him the control. Then, he picks me up, pats me on the head and lets me rest in his love.

God thank you for showing me in such a wonderful way my need for you. Please help me to rely on you!

One thing is for sure, I’ll be resting in his love tonight. After wrestling with a two year old all day, I’m too tired to do anything else.

~~Dana~~

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Coupons and Matchups

Coupon Inserts: 10/11 1 Red Plum, 1 Smart Source, 1 Proctor and Gamble

CVS

Rite Aid


Walgreens

Kroger

Publix
Will add penny item when I get it.
Penny Item: Publix Coffee

Blessings,
Dana

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Is it Christmas?


You may remember the post I did of the pictures I hung in my hallway and told how I used the Latitude level I received in the Mom Select, Swag Suite. that . You can see that post HERE. Well, not long after I made the post, I got an e-mail from either the designer or owner of the company (someone that had the say so) saying that she was tickled by my post and that she was sending me the rest of the tools.

Great I thought, my very own tools and they're great quality and well made. So, I was very excited when I got my box of tools and opened it to see this:




Score! Yay for me! But, as I started examining the tools, I was struck by how brilliant the designs really are.

A screwdriver with a metal end that doubles as a hammer.. Seriously, tell me how many times you have turned your screw driver over and tried to use it as a hammer. I do it all the time. Or rather did it all the time :)


A hammer, with a rubber piece that stores in the handle that converts the hammer into a rubber mallet! Clever!



A small screw driver for small screws. You know those kind that every children's toy has? I can't tell you how many times I've fished through my kitchen drawer for the right sized screw driver from a little kit. This screw driver has 8 different heads that are stored right in the handle of the screw driver. Brilliant!

And there are many more tools that you can check out on their site by clicking HERE. They can also be found on FACEBOOK They are currently having a sale. And do you know what my husband said as I was bragging to him about my new tools? "Are you sure a man didn't design these"?.. Just like a man... No Adam Ellis, I'm pretty sure that the only kind of person that could come up with these types of designs would be one that can brush her teeth while she's breastfeeding the baby, carry an infant in one arm while she carries a child with a broken leg in the other or, one that can fix lunch at the time same time she reviews spelling words and soothes the colicky baby all while she's on the telephone helping her sister-in-law figure out what to do about her baby's rash. Yes, this brilliance no doubt has the touch of a woman..


If only these tools had existed when we were given our tool and gadget party so many years ago. That party would have so been for me. They would be the perfect addition to any bridal registry. Which by the way is possible since they are available at Target.com.

Thank you Latitude tools! I will use my tools with pride!

And since the power of suggestion worked so well in this case... Now, if I can only find a way to get someone to pay my mortgage ;).

Blessings,
Dana



Sunday, October 04, 2009

Deals and Matchups

Look for three sources of coupons in today's paper.

2 Smart Source
1 Red Plum

CVS

Rite Aid

Walgreens

Kroger

Publix


Penny Item Publix Sandwich Bread
http://www.southernsavers.com/2009/09/publix-weekly-ad-930-106-or-101-107/

Blessings,
Dana

Friday, October 02, 2009

Wow... What a Week..

I have typed the first sentence to this post at least ten times and deleted it.. I haven't been able to sit down and write this week because I can't organize the thoughts in my head.. So many conversations this week about God and spirituality.. There are so many "untouchables" that I feel need to be "touched" but I can't figure out how to begin.. It would be really easy to sit in my own little world with my loving husband and my healthy children when my life isn't being challenged and feel like I've got God figured out, if I could only keep my family and my friends from being touched by pain, I could keep up that charade.. It's easy to do when everything is bright and sunny and we appear as God's "chosen ones".. But then, there is the friend who's child is sick and the medical bills are piling up, and the friend that lost his job, the friend that wants a baby, the friend that is in constant pain with no identifiable reason, the friend that is staying in an adulterous relationship for the sake of her children, the friend that just could not, and oh God forbid I say it, the friend that is gay and didn't ask to be (btw, I don't think anyone does). All of these people are real in my life and all of these people are some of the best people I know and all of these people, I have had real conversations with recently and as my world view changes and I begin to realize that God lies in other places than just a conservative little church in the Bible belt, it's difficult to hold onto some of the beliefs that I've had in the past when these real people exist and I love them.. TREMENDOUSLY...

The point of this post is not to convince you whether someone is born homosexual, or they ate something that made them homosexual or if their mother dressed them in the wrong clothes when they were a child; whatever your conception of homosexuality might be.. We can have those conversations all day long.. It's a great distraction from what we should really be discussing.. It's a huge mis-judgement on my part.. but, I have almost started thinking of the word "homosexual" and "atheist" as interchangeable. Don't get me wrong.. I know there are athiests that aren't homosexual and that there are homosexual's that believe in God.. But I do believe that we are often displaying a version of God that is simply unbelievable to those that don't fit into our little idea of what the package of Christianity should look like and leaving those people that don't fit into our packaged ideal no other path to take. By the way... Do you know how easily you and I could fall outside those ideals? Oh yeah, you're right... Your child could never be gay, you're too holy...

I like to write little sweet posts that make you want to go hug your children.. But, I'm afraid that this one can't be wrapped up and tied with a pretty little bow.. I would love to have lots of healthy conversation on this subject. But here is the thing... This is my blog... I have access to this little feature called comment moderation... I think we've done enough damage to Christianity with trying to do God's job of judging the world.. And I can assure you that a comment that would hurt these people in my life that I love so much will not be posted here.. With that said:

Open for discussion...

Still left to be discussed and even harder to tie with a pretty little bow. From a dear friend, a question I'm still mulling over, "we been told that God is not vengeful. What have you seen to support this?".. Wow!

Blessings,
Dana

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Deals and Matchups

Three Coupon Sources tomorrow
(1) SmartSource
(1) RedPlum
(1) Procter & Gamble

CVS
Rite Aid
Walgreens
Publix
Penny Item: Publix Bottled Water (Sports top)

Other Areas:
Kroger Central Region

Kroger Texas Region

Food World

Friday, September 25, 2009

Infant and Children's Tylenol Recall

Posted Thursday, September 24, 2009 7:50 PM

Tylenol has recalled some lots of Tylenol infant and children liquid medicine for infant and children because they may be contaminated with Burkholderia cepacia (B. cepacia) bacteria which has been known to cause pneumonia in those with weaker immune systems!

Please check you medicine cabinet right away for the following and discontinue use. Call the number below and you should be directed what to do to receive a new bottle.
List of 21 recalled Infant and Children’s Tylenol products:

* Children’s TYLENOL Plus Cold MS Suspension 4 oz. Grape
* Children’s TYLENOL Suspension 4oz. Grape
* Children’s TYLENOL Suspension 4oz. Strawberry
* Children’s TYLENOL Suspension 4oz. Bubble Gum
* Infants’ TYLENOL Suspension 1/2oz. Cherry
* Infants’ TYLENOL Grape Suspension Drops 1/4oz.
* Children’s TYLENOL Dye Free Suspension 4oz. Cherry
* Children’s TYLENOL Suspension 4oz. Cherry
* Children’s TYLENOL Plus Cough & Runny Nose 4oz. Cherry
* Infants’ TYLENOL Suspension Drops 1/2oz. Grape
* Children’s TYLENOL Plus Flu 4oz. Bubble Gum
* Children’s TYLENOL Plus Cold Suspension 4oz. Grape
* Children’s TYLENOL Plus Cough/ST Suspension 4oz. Cherry
* Infants’ TYLENOL Suspension Drops 1oz. Grape
* Infants’ TYLENOL Dye Free Suspension 1oz. Cherry
* Children’s TYLENOL Pediatric Suspension 1oz. Cherry
* Infants’ TYLENOL Suspension Drops 1oz. Cherry
* Children’s TYLENOL Plus Cold/Allergy 4oz. Bubble Gum
* Infants’ TYLENOL Grape Suspension Drops H/G 1/2oz.
* Infants’ TYLENOL Drops 1oz. Grape
* Children’s TYLENOL Suspension 4oz. Cherry, Hospital Govt.

More specifics on lot numbers recalled HERE:

McNeil Customer Care Center at 1-800-962-5357.
Posted by Bump Shannon
Filed under: recall