Sunday, September 28, 2008

What's Your Carpet Stain Story?

Once I had planned a fun activity to do with the kids. I bought a white sheet at the thrift store and laid out plates of different colored paint. My idea was for the kids to dip their feet in the paint and then run all over the sheet--decorating it with their cute little multi-colored footprints. Sounds cute, right? Well, I guess I didn't explain it fully to the little ones because as soon as my little girl stepped into the blue paint...she took off running across the sheet...and into the living room, which was carpeted in a nice, pale shade of beige. There they were--little blue footprints all over the carpet. It took everything in me not to react, but to respond with kindness. "Oops! We were supposed to just run on the sheet!" Inside, I was thinking, 'how in the world am I ever going to get those footprints out of that carpet?'

If only the Bissell ProDry carpet cleaner had been around at the time. But, now I've got one and am SO GLAD that I do. I don't need to fret the spills, stains, and messes. I just whip it out and clean my carpet. And it really works with a busy household, too. Fortunately, the carpet takes only 30 minutes to dry so we can get back to real life. I love it! And I've got a special surprise for you. Tell me your funniest carpet stain story. The winner gets a brand new Bissell Pro Dry carpet cleaner. I've already got it packed up and ready to ship out. So give me your stories! Just post them here. But make sure you e-mail them to me as well. I want to make sure I know who to contact when we have a winner: This give-away is open until 10/10/08. I can't wait to hear from you!!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Playground Mania

We went to the playground the other day for a picnic. As usual, my kids drew attention to themselves by hamming it up. Fortunately, I had my camera with me so I got to catch them in the act.

Check out Korben and Karis turn a fight into a dance-off! That is, until Kyler broke it up (quite literally!).

Monday, September 15, 2008

Karis's Invention

I love teaching my kids! Today, I took a three-minute break to answer the phone and both Karis and Korben abandoned their school work and changed a cardboard box that they found in the trash into a "mind machine." They even made a remote control for the thing! Forget the spelling list---these kids were getting a true education in the art of creativity. I love it! Their mind machine could make someone smart, stupid, or turn them into a knight (I'm not too sure where that last option came from. I just report the facts). Check out this three-part video series titled, "Karis's Mind Machine."

Part I:The prototype was evidently still in the development phase...

Part II: Korben turns into a knight...

Part III: "E equals M..C..What?"

The Forgotten Art of Play

Do you ever feel like we live in isolation? Especially if we have little kids! Moms have a tendency to stay in their own worlds with their little ones while there is a big, beautiful world to play in. And sometimes just a trip to the park isn't enough to do the trick.

Play is important! Don't forget it! I talked with a wonderful man not too long ago who understands this completely. As a matter of fact, he has made it his career. He and his family had such a wonderful experience with their child's play group that he decided to start a website to help other people in the local area find their own perfect play group. Well, this little hobby grew and grew and grew. Evidently, he wasn't the only one who appreciated a good day of play! Now he runs a cool website called playgroupsusa ( You've got to check this out if you have little ones. Through this website, you can find a local playgroup and jump in. Remember, kids aren't the only ones who benefit from some good old-fashioned play. Moms have a blast as well.

What are you waiting on? Let's PLAY!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Survived the First Full Week of School

What did I say? Survive?? I mean THRIVE! Yes, it was tough, crazy, and bumper-to-bumper demands, but isn't that what keeps us going in the first place? Kelsey and Katie are now enrolled in a "homeschool" college prep school in Richmond where they go three days a week. Kyler is doing 7th grade online at Morningstar Academy (so far I love it, and he does to). Now I'm teaching Karis (5th), Korben (2nd), and Klara (Kindergarten). Of course, Kenna is doing her fair share of puzzles and workbooks, too. It's been a blast!

The one area I struggle with, like most moms, is keeping the momentum going. Sometimes around week 23 we just kind of want to coast along and scrape by. This year, I've decided to plan my school schedule ahead 12 weeks at a time. I'll let you know if it's working. But one thing I do know is that failing to plan is planning to fail. I want to encourage you this year to PLAN AHEAD!

* Have a spot in your home to put everything that needs to go to school, and put it here before you go to bed.
* Use a checklist to make sure all courses are covered.
* Reward the kids for keeping up with their assignments (I'm still a die-hard dollar store freak).
* And probably the best tip of all--Make sure they do their homework BEFORE the computer, the telephone, or the video games get used.

Hope this helps! Remember, we're in this together and I've got your back!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

What the? Man eats 23,000 Big Macs in 36 years?

Let's of the top stories today was that a man ate his 23,000th Big Mac. This is news? Reading the article, I found out that this Big Mac habit is fueled by his obsessive compulsive disorder. In the past 36 years, there were a few days in which he wasn't able to eat a Big Mac. So now, he stores some in the freezer just in case he gets snowed in or something.

Go ahead, you can laugh.

But the reality is that we all have a little O.C. in us somewhere (that's obsessive compulsive, not Orange County). There are habits that we hold on to that are just as unhealthy.

How many times do we whip out that credit card when we know that we are already on the brink of broke?

How many times do we let anger take over and rob us of our right to joy?

How many times do we procrastinate over the housework, knowing full well that it's not going anywhere?

How many times do we nag someone thinking that this time, maybe this time, it will actually change the behavior?

Just like eating a mountain of Big Macs, these habits are damaging to us. We know this but we let them persist. Step back and take a deep look. Turn on the bright lights and really scrutinize your behaviors. Take these behaviors and start changing them today. Take measures to become better, fuller, richer, more abundant. Your life can be everything you dream it can be. But just like that Big Mac, we have to take it one bite at a time!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Back-to-School Campfire

We do it every single year--our back-to-school campfire. It's been a tradition for nine years now. The evening before the kids go back to school we all gather around the campfire and roast marshmallows. Of course, nine years ago I didn't have so many kids. Marshmallows were a lot easier to roast. But, as they say, necessity is the mother of invention. Check out this clever way I discovered to roast marshmallows for a crowd.

Super Sluggers

OMG! This game is awesome! My son, Kyler, got this game to try out and was hooked! instead of just throwing pitches and running bases, pretty much anything goes in this game. We quickly decided to turn this Wii game into a family championship so that everyone could get on board. It finally narrowed down to me versus Kyler. Kyler played the character of Diddy Kong and I was Donkey Kong. It was the bottom of the ninth, I threw a big barrel (yes, you can pitch barrels...) at him, but he slammed it out of the park and ran a home run to win the game.

Super Sluggers totally rocks. Check it out!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Korben's Joke Hour

I think every boy goes through a phase of telling jokes straight out of those books that he checks out of the library. Korben is in that phase right now. Today he came in the office to tell me some more one liners and I managed to catch them on video....well, that and a lot more!