Thursday, October 27, 2011

For Now A Two Pet Family

So I have one of my readers send me a message and threaten me about not updating my blog enough lately.     Yes, I have been kind of a slacker.    It has been kind of crazy around here and my blog is not the only thing that has gotten neglected.    

The boys and I started the school year early thinking that if we had any interruptions then we would already have a buffer built in and wouldn't get behind.   Somehow that only works in theory.    It doesn't matter how well you plan, if your schedule gets interrupted then no matter far ahead you are you manage to fall behind.     This doesn't seem to stress us out as much as it did in year 1, but it does still stress us out a little.     Big Guy has a much heavier academic schedule since he has started high school.   One of his greatest lessons so far doesn't seem to be academic as much as it seems to be time management.    

As hard as we work during the week, we try to enjoy the weekends.    Hubs and Little Guy are still enjoying lots of bicycling.      Big Guy is


Being a part of 4H is wonderful because they give us a lot of advantages.   One of those advantages is getting tickets to big events.    They sent us tickets to the MS State Fair.    I am not a fan of the fair.    It just creeps me out on so many levels.    Our local news station did a story on the safety of the rides.     When they were showing the story, I nearly gagged.   I told my husband, "Forget how safe they are.   Look how completely NASTY those things are!    I would have to Clorox that before I could touch it."      Add to that the smell of all those foods and animals.    It is a nightmare to me.    So all that to say that I did NOT go, but hubs was sweet and took the boys.    They enjoy it much better when I am not there say, "Please don't touch that."

Here are a few pictures that he sent me....






The last picture you see is of the boys throwing ping pong balls into fish bowls.    Yes, the boys won a goldfish.    They named him Tommy.    He is now happily swimming his life away.     The last time the boys got a fish I thought it wouldn't last but a few weeks, but we had that fish for four years.    So who knows how long we will have Tommy.    But for now, we are a two pet family.    A cat and a fish.... what a combo!

Winners of the Shutterfly Christmas Card Giveaway!

Congratulations to...
Jennifer
Elysa
Gail

You have won
25 FREE Christmas cards
from Shutterfly!

If I have not contacted you, please send me your email address!

I hope you enjoy them!

Deanna


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Time to Decide on A Christmas Card (and a GIVEAWAY!! NOW CLOSED))


I've been checking my Christmas "To Do " list.    I like to have as much of my Christmas done before Thanksgiving arrives as possible.    That includes shopping, baking, wrapping, decorating, party planning, and definitely Christmas cards!

Last year, I found Christmas cards I LOVED from Shutterfly.    They are so easy to deal with, have beautiful card selections for every occasion and always have prices that fit my homeschooling mom budget.  

While watching a little SEC (read into that ALABAMA) football, I decided to browse their Christmas card options for this year.     Last year I had a great advantage when shopping for cards because Frick Frack Foto had take such incredible photos of the boys that I could visualize what pictures were going on the cards.   This year, not so much.    I have no idea what pictures I am going to be using.    We are going to Gatlinburg for Thanksgiving and I am sure we will take beautiful photos there, but that breaks my "be done by Thanksgiving" rule.      I guess I guess I am going to have to add "get photos made" to my "To Do" list this month. 

When I opened their section labeled "Christmas Cards" it had 928 items.  WOW!  That is a lot of options.   Narrowing it down was difficult, but here are some of my favorites. 

I immediately found myself gravitating towards very simple designs like the ones below.    So classic and pretty.





Then these caught my eye.   Still simple with a little more adornment.




 And of course, these are just beautiful...




 
No doubt I am going to be partial to cards that allow me to keep CHRIST in CHRISTmas!








As I was shopping, I realized that Shutterfly had an entire section labeled "Holiday Cards" which listed 918 options.     I can't imagine anyone not being able to find the PERFECT card here.

It has been a while since I have looked through Shutterfly's new offerings so I browsed their greeting cards.   Thanksgiving is just around the corner.     What nice cards to invite someone to come over and join you for Thanksgiving dinner or to invite guests to your church's Thanksgiving dinner.   Little touches like this mean so much!





A few years ago I used Shutterfly to make a DVD of the year's photos for my sweet husband.  He took it to work and loaded it onto his computer to run as his screensaver.    He loved having that DVD.    My boys still love watching that too.   Since I have become such a slacker on scrapbooking, I browsed through their photo gifts to make sure they still offered that service.   Whew!   They do!

I have told you all about Shutterfly's great cards and products.   How would you like to experience their Christmas cards for yourself?      Look through the cards and leave me a comment telling me which card you like and whether or not you do your cards ahead of time or wait until the last minute.   Shutterfly has generously provided three of my blog readers with codes to receive 25 FREE Christmas cards!     Winners will be chosen October 24th. NOW CLOSED!

In Addition....Guess what?     Are you a blogger?  Want a chance at 25 free cards this holiday season? Register here: http://goo.gl/DDw7Q

Friday, October 14, 2011

Attracted to Fire

Special Agent Meghan Connors’ dream of one day protecting the president of the United States is about to come true. Only one assignment stands in her way. After the vice president’s rebellious daughter is threatened, Meghan is assigned to her protective detail on a secluded ranch in West Texas. Unfortunately, working with Special Agent in Charge Ash Zinders may be as tough as controlling her charge. Ash has a reputation for being critical and exacting, and he’s also after the same promotion as Meghan. But when the threats escalate and security on the ranch is breached, it becomes clear this isn’t the work of a single suspect—it’s part of a sophisticated plan that reaches deeper and higher than anyone imagined. And only Ash and Meghan can put the pieces together before it’s too late.

Follow DiAnn Mills on Twitter

Find DiAnn Mills on Facebook


Book Review

I LOVE this type of book.  I highly encourage you to read the first chapter here.     When I am reading a book and am constantly telling my husband, "Oh! You are going to love this one." he comes to check the author.    When he saw that this was written by DiAnn Mills he said, "Hurry!   I loved her last two (Breach of Trust and Sworn to Protect)."  

Attracted to Fire centers around two special agents who are assigned to protect the vice president's daughter.   She has been sent to Texas because of a threat against her life from a drug lord.     The vp's daughter has been entangled in drugs and is suffering from withdrawals.     As if this assignment isn't difficult enough.   Special Agent Meghan Connor's partner seems to have a big issue with working with a female.    His persistence in not wanting a female partner only makes Meghan dig her heels in and want to prove that female special agents can do the job just as good as males.    This provides a great undercurrent of tension.

Ultimately the goal of this assignment is to find out who the stalker is and eliminate the threat to the vice president's daughter.    However, Meghan will find that threat is closer than she ever thought.

This book is a page turner.    Starting it at bedtime was such a mistake because I couldn't put it down until I finished it and wound up having to drink a LOT of coffee the next morning to be able to stay awake to teach.    Who am I kidding?   I would do it again.


I received a free copy of this book from Tyndale Publishing in exchange for an honest review.   Receiving the book did not obligate me to publish a positive review, but only my open and honest review.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Whole New World

What's a Southern girl raised on fried chicken, mashed potatoes, biscuits and gallons of sweet tea to do when she is told that she has developed a condition called candida albicans.     Yes, it is as weird as it sounds.     Basically my body has once again decided to revolt and my fibromyalgia has caused a yeast overgrowth in my body.     Like fibromyalgia, candida albicans can cause fatigue, headaches, and digestive problems.    However, unlike fibromyalgia, candida albicans can cause death.   

So, I have been been on the candida diet now for a little while.     I can sum up the candida diet pretty easily for you.     If it tastes good... don't eat it.   

What is off my food list....

No yeast. 

No wheat. 

No sugar. 

No vinegar or pickled items.   (This includes condiments.)

What I can eat...

Meat (as long as it is not processed)


Lots of Vegetables

Gluten free grains and pastas

Lots of water and green tea

Nuts (but NO peanuts or pistachios)

Low-glycemic fruit – grapefruit, green apples, avocados, tomatoes, grapes, pears, lemons, limes, strawberries, blueberries   (only a couple of times a week)

The first couple of days of this diet I cried... a lot.    I just wasn't sure I was going to manage this diet.   Discipline is NOT my strong suit.    Plus it is hard to feel positive when you are so hungry.     Fortunately, I asked a couple of people to pray for me that I would stick with it.

My sweet boys and husband have been amazing.   

And I guess I have decided to share this complete CRAZINESS with you so you can pray too.  

Welcome to my whole new world!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Have You Discovered Pinterest?


I am addicted.   I can't stop pinning.   I find an awesome wreath.   Pin it.   

I find an art project that would work great in our homeschool curriculum.    Pin it.

Ideas to decorate my house for fall?   Pin it.

It works just like a bulletin board.    I am telling you that if this were a real bulletin board, it would be complete chaos.   However, it is all so neatly organized and just speaks to my OCD tendencies!

I found all these great things to pin...

















And SO MUCH MORE!    

Are you hooked yet?   If you have logged on and started pinning then you are hooked.  

If not, join me today!