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Friday, July 31, 2009

ROAD TRIP? Dare I?

Hubby:  "Let's go somewhere this weekend."
Me:  "Where?"
Hubby:  "I don't know.... (pause) we need bar stools"
Me:  "Okay but where; we need a PLAN.  Not a four hour drive with kids in the truck to end up nowhere having done nothing."
Hubby:  "San Antonio."
Me:  "Okay. Hey!  We can see P.J. and the kids!"  (Now I'm happy about the trip).  Whatever shall I pack?  And, for me, for the kids... 
Fee up the guinea, feed up the Dulce, charge the G1Phone, charge Macxine (oh, who am I kidding -- she's always charged and ready -- I rarely close the screen! LOL!)
What to pack:
1) Macxine
2) GPhone
3) Cannon Rebel Digital
4) Charge cords
Since when did I become so "technified"?  I can't stand to be out of touch.  And, now that my Blog Buddy drug me (along with the rest of the world) to FB -- I have yet another addiction.
Did you know I can twitter, chat, text, FB and blog -- all from my phone?  And, while listening to music via headphones on the Gphone.  Sweeeeeeeeet!!
Oh, yeah.  I guess I need to pack some clothes for the kids and myself and maybe a snack and a pair of shoes...  Almost forgot the menial stuff...  :-D
I'll pop a photo shoot either from where we end up staying (hotels have wireless, not sure about my friends) or when I get back Sunday afternoon for sure.  Wait, I think I can send pics directly to my blog from my phone -- maybe I'll sport that camera a little more too!
Have fun Peeps!  And, don't forget my two giveaways going on right now:
Free copy of Precipice; adult romance novel written by my sweet friend, Lis!
Free copy of Dear Peppers and Pollywogs, the book everyone needs if you have kids and do their birthday parties, graduations, and other party type events!
Next week I have a giveaway of $100.00 gift certificate to Eye Buy Direct!  The frames are so great, even the stars are wearing them!  :-D

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Thursday, July 30, 2009

I'm A GUEST BLOGGER! @ Crafty Christy's place!

Christy was going on vacation and she requested bloggers to guest blog for her.  I was lucky enough to get to do this and so she published my craft at her place!  Go check it ME out and her blog as well!  
I feel so famous! :-)
No really!  I was crafty -- it's been awhile!
Thanks Christy!!

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You wanna' know how to do product reviews?

So, remember when I asked if y'all would be interested in me giving my personal opinion and review on products? That was when I first started doing the fun giveaway thing. It was typically for my favorite items (cleaning products) and I sponsored the giveaways myself at a minor expense. For the fun of it. Everyone needs something to smile about and winning definitely optimizes one's mood to the positive. :-) So, as I joined with twitter, and searched for products for Root & Sprout reviews and giveaways, I found new Mom bloggers who were doing fabulous giveaways and receiving sponsored products -- for their honest evaluation. Before I knew it, I was involved with multiple venues and having many of my own reviews sponsored in that the product was given to me for free -- for me to give my honest opinion. I've also been contacted by a couple of literary PR agents and so I have opportunities to receive many wonderful books of all sorts! Some I keep, many I giveaway because I love to share. :-) So, I was invited to be a review member at "The Product Review Place" during it's Beta release. The Product Review Place was started by Mom of 2 Boys, Wife to 1. I joined up happily and am thrilled that I did. Recently, they did a little diddy survey for those who review and those who want to review products. I thought I'd share. Why review? it's fun. You get free stuff. And, people appreciate a place they can go to and an opinion they trust. Here's what the experts have to say: The experts have spoken! The bloggers writing reviews at The Product Review Place were tasked with coming up with the most useful product review tips. These tips are designed to help those just starting out but can help even the most seasoned reviewers. Read on to learn what the product review experts had to say: I always try to get the company to realize the added exposure by offering a giveaway! If a giveaway is tied into the review ask sponsor to direct ship. I HATE going to the post office and it takes me FOREVER to ship winners their things. Not only is it time consuming, but it can be VERY EXPENSIVE! I am going Saturday to the PO to send off things and I know it is going to cost me about $50! Two words: direct ship Lisa from Mom of 2 Boys, Wife of 1 Be extremely organized. You need to keep track of items that come into your house and when you are going to post. I use outlook to keep everything organized. I organize all my e-mail into sub-folders and place everything I review on my calendar. Louise from Momstart Don't be afraid to ask! The worst they can do is tell you no, right? Angie Knutson from My Four Monkeys When I offer a giveaway along with the review, I always seem to get more hits on the post. If your not organized you won't know what product goes where or find your notes of what you planned on saying. Take notes on the product you are trying to review. Note everything, even if you don't think its important..you can always weed out your notes later. Ask the company if there is anything that they want the readers to know about the product..you never know what they might say. Jo from Jo's Blog Spot I think stats are important. They might want to know: how many people are viewing your blog? your google page rank or how many followers you have? Be prepared with this information. Jaqueline from My Lil Guyz Be detailed in your review. If your review is just 3 lines long with nothing more than general information in it, you're not helping your readers at all. Readers want to know more than what they can just read on the product's website. Plus, companies and PR folks will come back to you with other items in the future if they see you took the time to write a good review. Also, don't be afraid to post a negative review. Make sure you mention that it's your opinion only, but don't be afraid to say why the product didn't live up to your standards. Moms want to know if it is really worth buying, or if it is just going to gather dust or be thrown away! Storm from Confessions of a Psychotic Housewife DON'T BE AFRAID TO ASK. My first giveaways came from my persistence. I simply asked and I received. Keonte from The Verdict: Parenting on Trial When approaching a company, include why you're a good match for their company in your pitch. Include specific references to their company and products in your request so that it doesn't seem like a form letter. Katie from Katie's Nesting Spot Request a giveaway and explain that it improves visits to their site. Ask what link(s) the company would like for me to direct my readers to visit. I am always sure to send a link to the company once my post is up. I never, ever ship my giveaways unless I'm running them myself. I once did a week worth of them on my newest blog and let me tell you, I spent way too much money. The other issue I have now, but will soon be over, is that I don't have business cards. Sending items without them seemed so cheesy to me. Connie of Brain Foggles My best advice (and this may not be too popular with the PR people) is to be honest. If you didn't like the product, that doesn't mean you shouldn't do the review. Just give your open and honest opinion. Your readers are intelligent and can decide for themselves if they like it, especially if there is a giveaway attached. Adrienne of Adrienne's House Product Review Tips from the Experts courtesy of The Product Review Place. The Product Review Place connects bloggers and consumers with PR. The Product Review Place *** The Search is Over *** Reviews. Defined. Refined. Just thought I'd share!
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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Dear Peppers and Pollywogs... (WIN)

Howdy y'all!  Time for another sweet Giveaway!  
I was given the opportunity to review a copy of Dear Peppers and Pollywogs....  What Parents Want to Know About Planning Their Kids' Parties while writing another article for Root & Sprout.
Lisa Kothari, the author and founder of Peppers and Pollywogs website has compiled everything and anything you need or want to know about planning parties for kids.
The book is lined out by topic but also in a question and answer type format -- which I love because it's great as a little reference to go back to when you have questions or concerns pop-up such as:
  • My child is so excited about his party that he invited his whole class and everyone from his extra-curricular activites?  Help?
  • What is some language I can use that states that presents aren't necessary?
  • Do I need to entertain/feed the parents who stay at the party?
  • Do I have to provide goody bags at my kids' party?  If so what should I put in them?  What is an alternative to goody bags?
How about the more perplexing and sticky situations that question how to tackle relatives who tend to get out of line?  Or, those neighbors or people who invite themselves? Does your child have a birthday that falls on a holiday and is often shadowed over?  
Dear Peppers and Pollywogs is a fabulous book that provides wonderful advice and party tips on all this and more.  
And because I am so generous (and somewhat of a child party expert after hosting nine of my own for my kids) I am offering my review copy of "Dear Peppers and Pollywogs...What Parents Want to Know About Planning Their Kids Parties" to all of you!
What to do to win?
1 entry) visit the site and tell me something you love about it Peppers and Pollywogs (be sure to bookmark it for future party ideas and questions as well)
1 entry per Tweet) tweet this giveaway as many times as you want; BUT, you must comment here with the link to the tweet for entry purposes
1 entry) follow my blog; let me know if you are
2 entries) join me at Grow Together -- a fantastic parent networking site.  Be sure to make me your friend (Farmers Wife)
2 entries) grab my badge for your blog; let me know you did so I can visit you. :-)
4 entries) blog about this giveaway and link me back to check it out!
GOOD LUCK!  If you have children or know someone with children this is a great book to have!  Normally, I'd keep a book like this.  
I almost forgot!  This giveaway ends on August 12th, 2009, at midnight and I'll do the drawing and announce the winner within a day or two after that! :-)

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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Win a copy of PRECIPICE!!!

So, many of you know Lis wrote a book.  [FYI, that link is to her blog; she's blogging again!] ;-D
The book is an adult romance novel.  And, I was lucky enough to be one her shadow readers.  I fell in love with the characters almost immediately.  The story captured my attention very quickly.  And, I found myself nagging her for the next chapters as soon as I had read what she had already sent me.
It was a fabulous ride to be a part of.  I must say, I miss the characters and think about them sometimes. That makes it a pretty good book, in 'my book.' :-D
So, I told her that I wanted to purchase a copy to giveaway on my blog!  She had a code that I could use to give to one winner to download the entire book for FREE!  So, as much as I loved being a part of this AND reading this book (I have the final copy ready to read again as she added and built upon the draft chapters she previously submitted to me) I want to share with YOU!!
Here is a little cover excerpt:
Julia Becker is a 25-year-old elementary school librarian who lives in upstate New York with her successful journalist husband, Jim. Up until the moment Jim is involved in an accident while away on business, Julia’s life is comfortable, secure, and hardly exciting. While tending to Jim, however, Julia uncovers some hard truths about herself, her husband, and their marriage. And when a new teacher begins at Cooke Elementary, Julia finds her allegiance to both her husband and her best friend, Kris, being put to the test. This is Lis Garrett’s first adult fiction romance novel about love and betrayal.
This doesn't nearly do the book justice.  You need to click to the site and review the first chapter -- THAT does the book justice. :-)
Thanks Lis for hosting my giveaway!!!
TO WIN:
  • 1 entry) Tell me your favorite type of book and/or favorite author
  • 1 entry) Tweet this giveaway; unlimited entries for tweets but you MUST comment with the link to the tweet here so I can talley)
  • 3 entries) Click HERE to preview the first chapter and come back and comment something you liked about it.
  • 5 entries) Blog about this giveaway!
Be sure to comment separately for each of these things you have done to win!  Good Luck!
I'll keep this open for two weeks!  The giveaway closes out on Tuesday, August 11th, 2009 at midnight!  Be sure I have your email or can find your blog to let you know if you WIN!
[Editors Note:  Just a reminder that this is an ebook.  You can download to your computer, kindle, I think smart phones, etc.]

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Monday, July 27, 2009

P!$$ & Moan, Farmer's Wife is in a rut???

Yep. Typically, my glass is more than half full. But, today? I kinda' need someone to fill me up -- alcoholic content would be a nice touch. Things come and go, life changes, we gain and lose friends, jobs, stuff... Life wouldn't be worth living without the lows. Because we would never realize when we were in a high. I'm blessed that typically, I can find a bright spot in a cesspool. But on occasion, Super-Mom is infected by a virus that disengages her super powers. As a Farmer*sWife an ice cold beer or two usually diminishes the damage. But, today -- I return home to see my dog still starving himself to death, lying as comfortable as I can get him with iced water by his side and a bowl of soft, canned food I'm begging him to eat. But, he doesn't want to be here anymore. Unfortunately, the vet said his lungs and heart are strong. 12 years. Yep. He's lived the maximum capacity of a Weimar. And, he's decided -- he don't wanna' do it anymore. The kids are kind of okay. Lil'Gal said a prayer on the way home that the Lord would take Blue to heaven where he could have anything he wanted and God could play with him. [Did your heart just break a little?] And, on another note. It's out there and I've been dragging my feet to share it -- though, I totally understand and am completely supportive... Root & Sprout is closing this chapter. Lis is moving on. She's not abandoning her dream, just changing the direction? Maybe some what? Grow Together will remain in tact and is growing strong. Lis has built a wonderful community of wonderful parents and people. I told her yesterday, that in a way, "Grow Together" is her dream and Root & Sprout. Lis shares HERE more about all the reasons that collaborated to bring out this decision. And, let's face it. It is tough to start up and maintain your own business, and a family, and -- well, a life! LOL [Hey look, I LOL'd.] So, I'm a little down and out today. I've tipped the glass back and am draining it (hey? where's that vodka tonic? anyone?) But, y'all know me. I bounce back. And, even in the swallow I can find a four leaf clover. I will say, that thanks to Lis and the opportunity she provided me at Root & Sprout, I now have full confidence (and relearned proper English) to write for other venues. And, as the Lord does, I already have one article submitted to a digital magazine out of Austin, TX: Austin Family So...it's all good. I just need to put a board under my tire so I can spin out of this rut. Thanks for listening to my P!$$ and Moan... FYI? I have some great review/giveaways coming! And, the next giveaway to be posted is for a copy of Lis' new book!!!! PRECIPICE! Happy Monday.
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Sunday, July 26, 2009

FIT-FLOPS Feel FAB on my FEET!

I'm a lucky Gal! See this? I have a pair just like it. In fact, I'm wearing them right now. I wanted the coral or pink but they are selling so quickly my size wasn't available the day I ordered them.  And, I WANTED them immediately, ASAP, instant gratification-ly wanting. ;-) So, I ordered the blue one's. When they came, I immediately took them out of the box. My MIL was there when I opened them and she inquired. I let her feel them and even try one on. She has a lot of trouble and often pain with her right foot. These babies would be perfect for her.
FYI, they do have them in some designs for men... Why are they called a "Fit-Flop" you ask, when they look pretty much like a fancy flip-flop. Well, it's in the engineering.  They are made with what the company defines as a MicroWobbleboard.
The firm toe area promotes faster push-off to maintain your walking speed.
The Multi-density midsole extends the amout of time that the slow twitch muscles are engaged during each step.
Dense EVA heel strike point provides heel cushioning providing the ultimate comfort and a workout while you walk.
Studies show that regular walking in "FitFlops" can help:
increase leg, calf and gluteal muscle activity (this is good because my back with a crack has dropped below my butt-bone.  Not very comfortable and I keep having to 'tuck-it' back up. LOL!)
improve your posture
mimic the gate of walking barefoot but with more muscle load
improve muscle tone
strengthen muscles in the feet, leg and buttocks.
Bottom line (no pun intended) they can help minimize your buttocks and firm and tone your legs.  After two days of wearing these puppies I could feel my calves.  We did a little tourism while Daddy was here and I wore these the entire time.  Never once did I have to do the 'my back is tired' squat thing I often do with a lot of walking.
I like ALL of the above; but to me?  Those are just the 'perks'.   See, I've never really been a flip-flop wearer.  Down here in South Texas with the heat and summer running about nine months out of the year, flip-flops are a big foot staple.  But, I've just never considered a piece of foam with a plastic toe divider a shoe.
I've come to acknowledge the fancy, healed and dazzled up ones more like a sandal -- acceptable for fashion wear in public.  And, I did break down and purchase a really cute pair at Walmart before our river trip this past June.  These also, were cute and dressed up and had a wedged heal.  They were also soft and squishy which is really why I purchased them -- comfort to my heels.
When offered the chance at a free pair of FitFlops to try out and review -- I jumped at it!  
See, I'm a stander.  I stand mostly while at the Laptop.  I stand when I fold clothes.  I stand when visiting.  I stand -- a lot.  Just my nature.  I'm not a big sitter.  
This can cause my feet to hurt (along with varicose veins).  I also have issues with my lower back, but believe it or not, wearing a high wedged shoe helps.  I don't know if I stand more erect or why, but it helps.
THESE FITFLOPS are SO COMFORTABLE.  They are awesome.  Well fitting, just the right support to sqoooshy ratio. Now, I would just love, LOVE to offer a free pair to some lucky winner.  But, I was only funded for one pair.  I did however, also purchase a 2oz bottle of lemon+sage shower gel -- but, I'm keeping that too because the smell is divine.  I know, bad blogger FW... :-D
I would highly recommend that you visit BlissWorld.com and see all the awesome stuff they have there -- in addition to the fabulous FitFlops.
FYI, click the title to this link and it will take you to the FitFlop section.  They are having a sale on many of the FitFlops in stock.  My pair was normally $49.00 but I got them for $39.00 (the reason why I was able to also purchase the shower gel - also on sale).
I was talking to a friend about these who also has a pair and is familiar with Bliss World.  She loves her's so much she is going to purchase another pair.  There is a pair in a tennie shoe that looked at me wantingly.  I'll have to save my nickels and dollars :-)

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WINNERS: Expo Markers

Howdy y'all,
Super sorry about the extra long delay in getting this done -- I had article deadlines and my Daddy came in and my birthday and yada-yada here I am.
So, there were two prizes up for grabs.  The seven count multi-colored pack and the three count multi-colored pack.
By my fancy, tech method of paper slips in a lidded jar -- shaken, not stirred -- the winners are by random drawing:
7 pack = The Queen!
3 pack = Kcinnova!
Congrats Ladies!  Email me your addresses (again) so I can get these shipped out this week!

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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Pretty Tosies!

Adendum  to the previous post, I present Birthday Toesies!
Guess which toesies are mine?

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The Birthday Post! Photo Shoot!

BIRTHDAY!!!  YAY!
For my birthday, my Fab MIL brought me my present"s" early.  Two gift cards to specialty shops to shop for some nice, non-housewife clothes.
Hubby kept the kids so I could go and shop.  Made out like a bandit!  That was super fun!
Meanwhile, Wonder-Mom busted pie finishing up the furniture she gave me for the playroom (gave me, painted, redecorated and revamped into the perfect 'barn' look for the playroom).
My birthday present"s" from her.  [I'm seeing a pattern of plurals :-D ]
She made the pillows to match the color scheme and steamed the rug the night before we brought all this out.  YES, she gave me the rug too.  Someone had given it to her and in her 'decorating' frame of mind, she knew it would be great for the kids to lounge on while watching movies.
Here's a somewhat better view.  Media center in back, craft space with table and stools (her hubby made those, also the day before she came out.  They are perfectly awesome little benches.).  And, to the right, the puppet theater.
Can you say, AWESOME???  The Puppet theater she made from an old, solid door.  she made the curtains to match the rest of the color scheme. Then, as an added plus (I did not know this until I saw it completed) she added the two side panels and painted them with chalkboard paint.  
Now the kids can announce their show times, or play store and list what is on special that day, or just color with chalk!
"What do you want to do with the table? "  She asked me.
She'd just made this fabo hinged board for her little son with a boxed type pattern.  I thought this would be neat for the little table she pulled out from storage to accessorize our room.
We came up with the quilted idea.  Each square is 'stitched' with a different pattern in a silver stitch.
See the patchwork quilt?  Quilted with Love.  ;-) Here's "Baby Segie" on the barn bench. There are also some fab curtains for the 'barn' window that bring all the colors and fabric textures together. All I have left to do is make a couple of tube pillows from an old pair of Farmer, Jr's jeans and two denim tie backs for the curtains.
While waiting for Daddy and everyone to come in, Hubby, Farmer, Jr, and Lil'Gal gave me my birthday present"s" from them. I was really surprised! I received a windmill charm, a camera charm, and a Texas charm with a heart cut out for my charm bracelet.
ON my birthday Daddy gave me a trip to the mani-pedi place.  Sweet D met me there and we were pampered together.  (Daddy also stayed back and kept the kids since Hubby was working. Three children and an 18 month old toddler) :-)
Sweet D had much better pictures of our toe art, but I couldn't get them to save from the text messages so I could email them to download here... We'll work on that.
Oh, the shoes?  Fit-Flop I got to order for free to review.  The review will be coming and I tell you -- these things ROCK.  I've worn them non-stop -- and I don't really like to flip'a flop.
After our mani-pedis, Sweet D took me to lunch at Outback.  
I got this blue cheese crumble candied pecan something or other salad and it was the BEST salad I've had in ages -- better than mine!  It totally hit the place, as the collegiate said when he was a kid. (Oh, and those are Mexican Martinis, I believe that we are drinking) :-D
AAAAaaand, she also gave me a charm for my charm bracelet!  I'm so super set!  It was a pair of cowboy boots -- to remind us of the good'ol days when we would literally two-step the nights away! Farmer, Jr. entertained all the ladies with 'tractor' rides:
Hubby and Daddy offered to take us all out to eat for my birthday but I opted to stay in and in true fashion, entertain. I marinated and grilled fabulous pork ribs, made a big'ol pot of beans (Daddy loves my beans. Everyone loves my beans. And, I'm not trying to be vain...). I made pico, my famous hot sauce and we had some salad to boot. YUM! Kids tore it all up! They even ate green beans for a veggie, in honor of me! Maybe they were just really hungry; or, maybe it's because they all wanted cake.
Guess who blew out ALL of her candles?? I pulled this sucker out to cut the cake more quickly and evenly as it was a round cake. It make it easy to cut the cake into evenly sized 'pie shaped' pieces.  My other cake server was currently in the dishwasher.  Sweet D about had a panic attack! LOL!
Excuse all the mess and cr@p.  Typically, I would have been picking it up constantly but it was my birthday, and I was enjoying multiple glasses of wine (over time)....
(If you look to your left you will see a glimpse of Macxine and the brand new speakers Daddy got me to go with her -- Macx and I were jammin' that evening!)
Here's my Daddy! He's helping clean up the kitchen so I can go outside and just chill and visit. Everyone gathered around and I ended up telling ticket/get out of ticket stories; how did we get on that?
[Pssst, I let it slip about the one my FIL got me out of.  So, Hubby now knows.  But, he wasn't so concerned since we didn't end up paying for it -- Whew!]
Mr. Cuddles, feeling much better now that his two, top front teeth grew back in -- was ready to join the fun.  FYI, he loves to play in the 'salad' yard.  Mr. Cuddles just loved Daddy -- I think it's that burley-man deep voice.  I don't know.  Of course, Daddy often reminds me of Grizzly Adams with that touch for animals.
Well, I have several more pictures of Daddy, Aims and I and the kids on an outing the day before they left.  But, I'm afraid blogger might not let me post many more to this post.  Also, I've been attached to the LT for quite awhile uploading and resizing pictures and all.  Time to go check on our Blue-Boy.
FYI, he had to go to the vet today.  He's down to barely 74 lbs, 12 years of age, and just not eating well at all.  So, we are spoiling him and feeding the dickens (when he will eat) to fatten him back up and rebuild his energy.
Happy Saturday!  I'll be on later with the winner of the EXPO giveaway -- sorry, it took me so long!

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Friday, July 24, 2009

WORD? Dude. No. Word. No Word? Dude.

Daddy and the gang left this morning.  We had a fabulous visit.  My birthday was a favorite in years.  It was perfect, fun, enjoyable with friends and family -- oh, and presents. :-)
I have TONS of pictures to share.  From the wonderful furniture and decorating that Wonder-Mom kicked pie to finish and help me put up in the playroom in time for Dad's visit to the charms for my bracelet, my green toe nails and cake!  Oh, and Daddy got me speakers for Macxine!  Whoop!  She really JAMs now.
But, I was unable to visit all this with y'all today because my Word program locked up.  I think I know the issue but I emailed Bex and the Mac-Meister as he is the "Alpha" of computers and software.  [I know, I'm lucky.]  He's also SUUUUuuuper busy with so many things your mind would tangle if I tried to tell you...
Anyhow, no Word means -- no work.  GASP!!  Two articles still due!  One for Root & Sprout and one for Austin Family...  This is my first one for Austin Family.
It's amazing what all comes to a crashing stop when you don't have a word program to do all you need to do.  Thank goodness after suffering through text editor and then hauling me and Lil'Gal to the farm office and working between Macxine and Hubby's PC with Word -- I figured out the perks of "Google Docs." 
So, with all of that just about finished I'm hoping to load up the pics for my 'Birthday blog' for y'all so you can celebrate with me vicariously.  [Sweet D says I get to celebrate through the weekend!] :-D
Until then, I will be back.  Word?  Word.

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Monday, July 20, 2009

Full Circle

So, my mind wakes up at 5:am and tells me my bladder needs some attention.  I'm sleeping with Lil'Gal who is grinding her teeth -- OUCH!  Yes, I fell out tucking her in...kinda' intentionally though.
Farmer, Jr. is in our room since he and the Hubster are waking at the butt-crack of dawn to head out for duties to combine some grain for some fellow farmers.  Yeah, there's a few fields that made it through the drought.  Not to say they are worth a D@mn but they are there and need to be cut. 
We have three, which I think are all cut out.  So Hubby and BIL got lucky enough to cut for someone else and bring in a little $.  Thanks Lord, that's always nice.  :-)
Oh, FULL CIRCLE.
Now, seein' as I'm awake so early during the summer I could be responsible about it.  I could add the two last sources (one response came via email yesterday -- FYI, I LOVE her book) to my last article due this week for Root & Sprout.  [BTW, today Root & Sprout published a new giveaway -- does your child/spouse/dog like Bob The Builder???  Yeah, Baby.  Bob be building Sky Scrapers.  Go Check it out!]
Where was I?  Oh, yeah.  Then, I could preheat the oven and make the 'boys' piggies in a blanket.  Then, I could scrub all the toilets in the house while Lil'Gal is still sleeping and then finally tackle the windows.  That would leave me with ceiling fans, bissell mopping the floor and fresh crisp sheets on all the beds.
See, Daddy and a friend are coming down for my Birthday (Wednesday) and are now set to arrive Tuesday about lunch time.  You know me, I like to present my castle with white-glove-test ready.
FULL CIRCLE....
So, yesterday morning I dawned my camo-knee pads hubby purchased at Home Depot for me at my request.  Their snazzy.  I tackled the baseboards and the window sills as they all go together.  And, in tackling the baseboards kids are SO hard on a house!  How does a beverage end up on a window sill miles away from the kitchen and dinner table -- the only place drinks are to be drank? I tackle whatever else is in the way.
I'm in our Master Bath.  Preparing to run the Roomba in the bathroom (it's currently covering our Bedroom) --  I know, I'm spoiled.  I love that Little thing.  So, I realize I need a broom to tend to the 'potty closet.'  I head for the broom but it's not in the Pantry.
Where's the broom?
I find it in the Utility Room.  I take it and then sweep the utility room after swacka-chaca pulling out my paintbrush to dust all the baseboards in there as well.  Now, I need the dust buster.
Where's the dust buster?
I head back to Farmer, Jr's room where I was doing his baseboards and in dusting his closet baseboards I realize it needs a super good sweep before I can dust bust the 'dust'.
Where's the broom?  Oh, yeah.  In the Utility Room.  I grab the broom and remember I needed to dust bust the pile in the Utility Room.  I think the dust buster is back in Farmer, Jr.'s room.
Back to Farmer, Jr.'s room.  I complete the dusting of baseboards and the under the bed mess and sweep everything into a nice neat pile.  I still don't have the dust buster.
Oh yeah.  It wasn't in Farmer, Jr.'s room because I had to recharge it after doing Lil'Gal's room. I head back to the Pantry where my sweet, awesome dust-buster awaits it's now fully charged battery.
On the way, I realize I don't hear Roomba running.  "Oh, yeah.  I need to start her in the Master Bath".  I walk into the bathroom and see the open potty closet and --
Oh, yeah.  I need the broom.    FULL CIRCLE.  Ever done that?  :-)
WAIT, THERE'S MORE.
Can you take a little more of me?  Today I have to finish the house and all and hopefully my articles if I get my response for my 1st article due for Austin Family.
But, Wonder-Mom is coming out and we are going to put in all the great furniture and stuff we/she decorated for the play room.  She even made the curtains for the little school house looking window up there.  Did I tell you she can do amazing things on a nickels' worth of pennies?  She totally can.
So, lazy me is thinking about tucking Macxine in for a battery charge and taking me a mini-snoozer before I start the busy day.  But, Smart me is saying to go preheat the oven for a hot breakfast for the 'boys.'  Hmmmm....  Which one will win....
Happy Monday!  [Psst, two days until my Birthday!!!!]

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Friday, July 17, 2009

Trouble with Blogs:

Howdy Y'all,
I know over the past several months there have been issues with bloggers reading some blogs.  Mine has been hit by this issue and I work to try and 'mix-it--up' now and again to try and change some stuff so that it will open easier.
For example, yesterday, I changed my blogs per page from 10 to 5.  But, now if you pop in and I've been an active blogger that day, you might miss stuff from two days before because I've posted 2-3 times on that random day.
Another change I made (also not crazy about) was to change my comment box to a page view and comment.  I don't think that made a difference except that if someone is having trouble loading the page - then, forget about the comment box opening for you, right?
I know, because I have an issue here or there with another blogger on a rare occasion.
Anyhow, I was reading Stacys Random Thoughts, and she has readers who encounter this too.  According to a little button on her blog, it's due to the fact that IE doesn't get along with blogspot so well anymore.
So, her button also has a little link to FireFox 3.  She swares this works and fixes the problem.  So, if you want to try it?  I'm just here to help and share. :-D  Y'all love me, dontcha!
Anyhow, I don't have her cute little button for it but I can give you the link to download it:
Good luck and don't forget about my EXPOse Dry Erase Marker giveaway!  And, don't forget you still have time to enter to win a copy of Monopoly Town -- the game for younger children!  Just comment HERE to enter to win.  YEP!  It's THAAaaaat Easy!
Happy Bloggin!  Happy FWFD!!!

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I caved to "The In Crowd..."

So....  I did it.  I feel quite guilty.  Like the last of the non-conformists who finally gave in.  I held my stance but they (y'all) weighed on me heavily.
I was close a week ago and then I decided, "Nope.  I'm stickin with my double barrels and holdin' the FB free fort."
You read me correctly.  I.   Now.    FB  (a slew of gasps just blew through the internet audience).
I'm sorry to those whom I've let down.  I'm sorry to my Sweet D as I never MS anymore.  
FB comes with some pluses.  That are good for friends and profession.
Tell me?  Do you FB?  Have you Faced -- the Book?  Well, if you have you will now find me there.  I'm not all out for being searched for.  And, I'm not crazy about the 'hooken' up with old friends' as I've kept up with most of the ones who matter.  And, if you are one of my former stalkers from 20 years ago?  Go AWAY.  Far.  FAR. Away!
But, if you blog me you may now FB me.  [You know I like attention that way.] <3
Just don't leave me here alone in blog world.  This is my favorite of all venues.  I heart my bloggies and my friends.  This is my home.  FB is a merely trip down the block to borrow a cup of sugar (or a glass of wine).  :-D
Kay?  FYI, 5 days till my birthday and 3 days till Daddy comes down!  Sweeeeet!

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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Pandemonium (and a few jokes)

So, what is it?  What' all the pandemonium about?  (Good word, huh?  SAT word!)
Donde' Esta me Peeps?  Where or where for out my bloggies?  I know I've been super-fried busy (hence the pandemonium title and, well, I just felt like using that word a lot today), but I seem to have no ego poofs.
Sure, I get emails.  I've even made a little mad money here and there via blog and the internet.  But still?  I'm all lonely in here.  
I even offered a freebie! A Giveaway!  And, not.one.comment or entry?  Okay, so not EVERY-1 likes dry erase markers or has a dry erase board.  But, you do have glass and mirrors?  Just sayin' something could be done with that.  Or, they could be donated to the local church or school.
Hmmmpft.  Maybe, I'll just keep'em. :-)
Nah, I'm not so selfish that way.  Oh, I know.  I haven't shared a whole lot of funny around here.
Is that what you need?  JOKES?   Kay' folks.  Just for lil'0l y'all....
Why was the library so tall?
Because it had too many stories.
Why are frogs always so happy?
Because they eat whatever bugs them.
Why can't Dalmations play hide and seek?
Because, they're always spotted.
And, my personal favorite:  
Why does a cow wear a bell?
Because it's horns don't work.  :-D
Okay, so can I get an ego stroke now?  Please?  Look at me.  I can sit.  I can stay.  I can beg, beg, beg ask really nicely with sugar and chocolate covered cherries on top.
NEWS:
I've been super-dee dupery so busy because I have three articles due for Root & Sprout by next week; but Daddy is coming in on Monday which leaves me until....  manana.  [Two are already pumped out and in submit mode!]
Theeee-EEEEEEN, guess what!?  Okay, I'll tell you!  FW landed a new publication to write for!!  Yippee!  My Blog Buddy: who started this growing addiction/obsession hooked me up with the contact and writing for Lis this past year hooked me up with the confidence!  
The new Editor emails me the article idea she wants me to write and she requests that I send her my outline of how it's going to come out by the 24th.  COOL BEANS!  
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Wait, no frijoles frio... 
Daddy and his friend and the little one's will be here next week for the whole week.  So, that means -- Super-Mom in super action-paction!
In the words of Arnold Swh(however you spell it), "I'll be MAC..."  I mean, "I'll be back!!!
FW sits upright begging for comments and attention and a pat on the head and maybe a tummy tickle

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

EXPOse this GIVEAWAY!!!

Howdy Y'all! I've got a giveaway for you TODAY! YAY!! video So, there will be two winner for this giveaway! AWESOME, right? Here are the rules: 1 entry) Comment here about what you would do with these markers (or, the fact that you want to win them) :-) Additional entries: 1 entry) Follow me! If you already are, remind me! 1 entry) Follow me on Twitter: @Glass_Half_Full Gal (comment that you are) 1 entry) Follow @ExpoMarkers on twitter (comment that you are) 1 entry) Tweet this giveaway; you may do this three times a day -- (comment here with the link, please) 2 entries) Tweet a "Thank You" to @ExpoMarkers for being so generous! (comment the link here) 5 entries) Visit Root & Sprout and comment on that day's article! You can also do THIS one daily!!!!!
This giveaway will close on Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009 at Midnight!  You can be a winner on my Birthday!!!!!  :-D Thanks Y'all and Thanks to ExpoMarkers! My Daddy is coming in with some friends for my birthday next week and these markers will be great to play some Pictionary with!!!!

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Monday, July 13, 2009

FREE MONOPOLY TOWN GAME!!!

Howdy All! Guess what?! I got to review a copy of the Monopoly Town game with the kids! They LOVED it and I loved it because it was simple enough for them to play on their own. To read my full review, click here! ;-) Guess what's BETTER? Root & Sprout is giving a copy away! Just click this link here: Root & Sprout: Giveaway Monopoly Town! All you have to do to enter to win is comment. Yep! That's it! AT Root & Sprout Lis likes to keep things simple and fun! So go comment! Send your friends to try and win too (they can comment for themselves for for you! LOL!)! If you Digg this and you DIGG ME, then please be sure to click the Digg This button above this blog post! The better my stats, the better stuff I receive to giveaway! ;-) Thanks and good luck WINNING!
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Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Cuddle-Meister, an update

So, remember back at the end of May when we 'adopted' a 9-10 month old guinea pig named ""Cuddles"? Well, he's still here. Wonder-Mom's Lil'Gal babysat while we were on vacation since we had just gotten him and he needed a lot of one on one attention and socializing. The kids have grown quite fond of him and he has grown quite fond of... ME. Yep. Apparently, he has decided to be MY pet. Sure, he's fine with Farmer, Jr. as he can be calm. Lil'Gal? I feel so bad for her. She loves him so much but anytime I come around he runs and hops up in my lap. And, he squeals at her. One morning I had him in our bathroom so he could run around (without being hounded by excited children) and he wandered here and there. Suddenly, he squealed a little as if to say...well, to say something guinea pigs say. I sat down about 2 - 3 feet from him and put my hand out and patted the floor, "What's a matter big guy? Come here big guy..." He ran right up to me and hopped in my lap. *sigh* Poor kids. I've explained to them that I'm the Mommy and the pets know it just like they do. TWO DAYS AGO: Cuddles is very irritable with Lil'Gal. He tolerates her but he doesn't seem to want he lettuce. Usually, if he's a little anxious he wont eat until he the kids calm down. So, I figured this is what it was. Later in the day Farmer, Jr. and the cousin want to get Cuddles out to pet him. So we do (Cuddles is still agitated) and we get some apple. Cuddles loves apple. He won't touch the apple. ????? Lettuce. He seemed to want to eat it but it was more like he was playing with it. Yesterday I called the vet as I could tell he wasn't eating well. I mention that I think it's an issue with his tooth/teeth. (Their teeth grown continuously and if they don't constantly widdle them down by gnawing they can get abscessed). Three vets later, I find one who will treat guinea pigs. However, the 'exotic' vet comes in on Monday and charges a $49 exam fee. Not including treatment; just assessment of the problem. *sigh* That's more than it costs to buy a new guinea pig! I make the appointment with the notation that I can call and cancel if Cuddles seems better over the weekend. [This is a 24 hour veterinarian office.] So, a little internet research and an examination of Cuddle's mouth on my own -- I diagnose the problem. He's lost his front top two teeth!!!! OMG! This is no bueno; I don't know what it means but I know it isn't good. So, I educate myself some more thanks to google and come to find out his teeth should grow back in within a week. All I have to do is be sure he eats which requires hand feeding as he can't pick up the food without his front top teeth. So, he's had tons of lettuce which I have to serve to him in little strips that will fit in his mouth so he can chew them in. And, today I picked out the nuts from his guinea pig "trail mix." He won't touch the pellets though. *sigh, again* The kids tried to feed him a little today and he took a piece or two from them. But, he prefers me...alone...in a quiet place.
He's a little less cranky, though maybe somewhat humble? The things we Mom's do for the love of pets and family. ;-)

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RECIPES! Baked potato french 'fries'

ProHomaker requested that I post this simple recipe awhile back; I finally took time to load photos to Macxine so I can post with this recipe.
It's very simple and an extremely healthy alternative to frying your french fries.   My kids love them, hubby loves them and no one wonders where the grease is. ;-)
Baked Potato French Fries:
Take your typical russet potatoes.  And, slice into french fry sized strips:
Spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray (don't leave this part out or you will end up with potato fries stuck to and totally baked on your sheet).
Spread your 'fries' over the baking sheet.  They can be squeezed in tight and touching.  Sprinkle seasoning over the fries.  I prefer to use "Nature's Seasoning" by Morton (it's in the picture above).
Turn your oven on broil.  My oven has a high and a low broil.  Typically, on low broil, these fries will be ready in about 20 minutes.  Perfect to start them and then put your burgers on the grill and set the table while they broil. ;-)  Be sure your rack is up to the closest rung in the over to the top element/broiler.
Place seasoned fries in the oven on top rack.  Broil about 7 - 10 minutes.  Pull them out and check them.  If they are getting toasty and bubbly looking on the top then pull them out and flip them over. 
This time, spread them out a little (they will have shrunk some in the oven due to the loss of water in broiling).  Season again if you like.  Place them back in the oven on top rack.  Check in about five minutes; and do this until they are to your liking.
If your fries are finished but dinner isn't quite ready, then place them back in the oven (broil still on) on a lower rack.  This will keep them pretty crisp without burning.
I like the soft/soggy fries and Hubby likes the crispy.   The kids like both so we all do well with this easy, 'peasie' recipe!  Enjoy!
Next recipe will be my easy 'peasie' shrimp stir fry!!  Yum! Yum!!

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Thursday, July 9, 2009

Cleanse from Within...

video Yeah?  I know. What happened to the rest of it?  Moody again, Mac-xine?  That's my only peeve with her.  Something glitchy with her camera.  Or, maybe it's the content of what I'm vlogging.  Ya think?  Cuz' she does wonders when she wants to! LOL!
Anyhow, yes.  I've started a Whole Body Cleanse.  I've just been BLAH with myself and feeling frumpy.  I was running errands yesterday with Lil'Gal and a notary job, etc.  I noticed that everyone around me looked 'cute' and I looked...well....  not cute.  And, I'm going to be 37 in 12 days.  
This past year, my metabolism has gone on vacation or maybe retired to the assisted living community -- because, it hasn't been much help or very active for me.
The age factor is kicking in.  Poo.  [That's a really funny post, y'all gotta' pop in and read it!  You'll giggle your pie off!]
Anyhow, when I looked down and realized that I was not wearing a fashionable cute top, but a fashionable cute T-shirt -- it was decided.  [The T-shirt IS cute with faux embroidered John Deere and all] :-D
So, I popped into the health store and discussed my 'ring around the waist-line' with the Gal there and whala!  I'm feeling motivated. [Ha ha!  That's funny, get it?!]  Also, I'm going to get back on my treadmill regimen.  I just wish I had a stand that would hold my LT while I walked so that I could catch up with stuff! *snicker*  I know, I need to put a little more speed in my work out.
Oh, and I told the Hubby I'm giving up meat at dinner time for at least the next seven days.  That comes as advice with the body cleanse.  Well, it doesn't say at dinner time.  It says to cut back in general during this 'process'.   But, if I eat big at dinner I'm left feeling overly full, listless and uncomfortable.  
I shall keep y'all posted should anything exciting occur with this mission.  Let's see how far I can get before Daddy comes down to see me for my birthday!  That's 12 days away; ten days till he drives down! ;-)
I also shared lots of new goodie stuff.  But since the vlog cut off; I'll just let you read and reap the benefits as they are posted! :-)  Yep; some good stuff!
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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Cover me with Color!

Howdy Y'all!
I vlogged (twice) but for un-named reasons neither was completed.  And, now I have to get this done so I can get to the grocery store and back before Sweet D comes out after lunch.
Kids are still waiting to finish the round of Monopoly Town that I'm reviewing at Grow Together for (shhhhh, a giveaway at Root & Sprout.  Don't tell Lis I let the cat out of the bag early.)  :-D
Anyhow, I recently joined up with BzzAgent.  A place where you can apply and sign up to review products, comment on products, websites, and venues, etc.  You fill out surveys as sent to you and then BzzAgent contacts you to review products that fit your interests.
COOL, HUH?  And, Freebies to boot!
So, I received and email and shortly after a pretty little box in the mail.  It held within some information, a brand new tube of Cover Girl Lip Stain.
Like I said, I tried to vlog the whole 'before' and 'after' of the lip(stain) application but it just didn't pan out due to interruptions.
Anyhow, I did manage to capture a before and after photo with and without lip product. A few neat things I love about the color stain: It's water based; so it's not drying to your lips It's paints on like a marker to your lips; quick and easy If you want more color; wait a few seconds for the stain to set, then re-apply a second coat (Obviously I love the fact that) It lasts forever on your lips! You an add a little shimmer stick or lip gloss on top if you choose
For the last five or seven years, I've used CoverGirl Outlast all day lip color.  My friends are always complimenting and questioning how I keep my lip color on all day without re-applying. It's the product.
Both are excellent products; though, during the lazy days of summer I've found a new lip friend in Cover Girl's Outlast Lip Stain. I wish they'd offered me an extra tube to give away. They DID send me an envelope full of $1.00 off coupons. I'm encouraged to share with friends! ;-) So, I'm going to keep one or two for myself, hand one or two out around town, and if you want one? Comment and leave me your email address so I can contact you to mail out your coupon! FYI, Cover Girl is so awesome, that they left the coupon open for "any" Cover Girl lip product! So, you can try the lip stain, the Outlast Lip Stick or other lip product of your choice! The first five participants who are interested will receive a coupon from me, in the mail! I'll be back later with more updates and stuff!


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Sunday, July 5, 2009

I'm Alive!

My brother, The Teenager, shared this with me today.
I was going to embed the video, but, um.  Well, that whole embedding disabled thingie again!
CowPatties!  Chicken Biskets!
Anyhow, click this link:  FlyLeaf and, tell me what YOU think? So, lookie there.  Farmer*sWife goes rock?  mix?  new age? wait, ....um, what kind of music is this?
Happy Sunday!
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Saturday, July 4, 2009

Living the Dream....

Happy 4th of July everyone!  I hope your day is swell, whether you have big plans for a 4th of July Bash or just a low key bar-b-q around at the casa.
We had some friends come out after swimming yesterday and the hubby's came too and it was a wonderful visit and meal to boot!  Krishna (my BB), Miss Les, and the kids all headed over and we had a fun, good time!
We are going to have to do that more often. ;-)
Anyhow, I was cleaning my house today and looking around and watching hubby work on the back porch and the new drive that is going in (all in time for the big "surprise" YAY) and it just hit me.
I'm living the Dream.  Really.  I mean sure we all have little gripes here and there and nothing in life is perfect, yada-yada.  But, overall?  In my life....it's pretty swell and pretty well close to the "P" word (perfect, not the nasty one).
Sometimes as I'm walking into my house or cooking something in the kitchen, it hits me.  "We are living in our dream home!"  After 12 years of saving and cramping the four of us in our little old house we are finally here.  The same thing happens sometimes when I'm watching my children play, or they say the sweetest something or I'm tucking them into bed with sweet little words it hits me again, "I'm a MOM!"  "I'm married, to a great man!"  
When I get together with the girls that came yesterday evening, it reminds me that I have some really great friends.  Friends that would drop what they are doing if I needed them.  Even though we sometimes go for months and months without an actual conversation.
I have friends and family that loves me.  I'm a SAHM (Stay-at-Home-Mom), part time WAHM (Work-at-Home-Mom), loving writing and am filled with passion about Lis's Root & Sprout.
I'm a lucky Gal, and a winner, and a product reviewer.  I'm an involved parent, and crafty, and thrifty.....  I live in a castle and drive a chariot.  I have brother's that are awesome....  In-laws that are also awesome....
I'm a lucky Farmer*sWife...
And, I'm living in a country that while not perfect -- is one of the best places to live -- there are others far worse with war and violence in the streets daily.  Not that we don't have our own issues with crime, and gangs, and poverty, healthcare and economics.
But, I wouldn't want to live anywhere else.  
Happy 4th of July and may life treat you well.  May you fill your mind and heart with happiness and optimism and may all good things follow suit and come to you. :-)


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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Stuff and Surprises.....

Before I typeth, I must share.  This Sunday's newspaper will have the PG Savers coupon Booklet, which will total savings in the amount of $55.00!
So, you totally want to buy the Sunday paper this weekend.  The odd thing is that, typically on a Holiday weekend there are NO coupons.  Yeppers.  Something I've just learned in the last four months or so...  And, I confirmed with Pro HMKR to be sure it wasn't a 'coupon-hater's' lie to sligh us all away from the sunday clippings.
Alas, tis true.  But not THIS holiday weekend!!!
True, you may not be a super savy coupon combiner, or your stores may suck and not let you do so.  (For Shame On Them!)
And, you may not like aaallll the products that there are coupons for.  But, a little newspaper coupon booklet with $55.00 in savings?  I'm thinkin you could work $10.00 or more out of your spending.  And, um....  That kinda' pays for the paper, right?
OTHER THINGS TO DO WITH THE PAPER (Besides coupons, and reading it):
1) save it for shipping packages, makes great filler
2) line the bottoms of your wastebaskets with it; you know, for when the trash bag leaks, ew!
3) shred the black and white to line your 'guinea pig' cage with and make the bedding last longer
4) let your kids make paper airplanes
5) cover tables/counter tops when assembling messy meals; throw away the mess!
6) use it in place of paper towels or cloths to clean your windows
7) cover your floor mats if you are taking your vehicle (and messy friends) to the beach
8) line the cat litter box so dumping is sweet with nothing to be cleaned from the box
9) feelin' really crafty?  make paper mache'
10) roll it up and swat flies.... or friends... or gripy significant others.
:-D
I had more for y'all tonight but the sun has just set and my brain is so full of everything!  I've got some new giveaways (sponsored, unpaid) and, more books to share between here and Grow Together, and a game review (for a giveaway at Root & Sprout -- be watching for that!.
And, with all that, this has been a busy summer, which was not what I had planned.  So, NEEEXT week will be a slow down...  NO. I mean it.  For real.  For 'reals' real. :-)
Farmer, Jr is thrilled because Daddy purchased an awesome new lawn mower.  This baby is the bomb (did you expect less from Hubby).  I sware I'm so tight and save the nickels that he happily expends on big toys and big additions and fruition's on the house.
Makes me proud though.  Because, he loves and recognizes how tight I am.  We know peeps who spend the nickels like they are dollars.  And, sure, live while you are living...but what about when the money doesn't flow that week, month, year?
So we do fine, but he secretly loves my 'tight' @$$, LOL!  For two of two reasons, though only one is tight now days.  *giggle*
But, we will be getting the rest of our back porch and probably some grass for that shortly there after....  within the next few days and weeks.
Here is the kudos to that Happenin!!!
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Hubby will be 40 this year.  His birthday is in September.  And, I want to throw him a bash.
He will be thrilled that he had the backyard put in before this even takes place; though, he doesn't know it's taking place - at our place. ;-)
With his college friends and buddies he sees far and few between that he's known for so long -- it will be hard to make in in September as we all have kids in school and activities and all that that goes with.
So, I'm going to do it in August.  Which gives me, what?  Short diddle and a fiddle to pull it off? AND, as a surprise party???  (He'd gripe the castle wasn't perfect if I told him I was doing it; and I've seen the look on his face when he's surprised with friends and family -- he'll have a better time if he doesn't know it's coming!).  So, I will do it and I will pulled it off; though, y'all gotta keep your oral assets to a whisper, LOL!
So much more to come...  But, kids are fighting and I think... I heard one is biting, and Hubby's temper is ignighting and so, I must be flighting!
Happy Hump-Diggity!


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