Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Traveling with Cloth Diapers...Cloth Diaper Carnival #3

Welcome to the third installment of the Cloth Diaper Bloggers Cloth Diaper Carnival!!! We have been using cloth diapers since August of 2008, and believe it or not we have not done any traveling.

I have considered going away for a few days & do have a contingency plan. If we were going to be staying someplace where we would have easy access to a washer & dryer, I would definitely bring our cloth diapers, if we were only going to be gone overnight, I would definitely bring our cloth diapers regardless of laundry facilities. However, if we were going to be someplace for an extended amount of time (more than 3 days) & didn't have easy access to laundry, I would use disposables. Melanie hasn't been in a paper diaper since February when I spent 4 days in the hospital with pneumonia. When she sees one, she laughs at the idea of wearing it. They are not REAL as far as she is concerned, so I think that if we chose to have her wear disposables, she would be unhappy with the decision. She LOVES her clothdiapers & is at an age where her opinion about what is comfortable on her body also needs to be taken into consideration.

I will be testing the new Gro Baby disposable inserts soon, I haven't seen them yet, but from what I've heard they may be a very viable travel option. I expect Melanie to like them because they go inside her existing cloth diapers.

Visit Kim at Dirty Diaper Laundry to see all the Cloth diaper traveling stories for this months carnival.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Another Bumbleride Double Stroller giveaway!

Thrifty & Chic Mom is giving away a Bumbleride Indie Twin stroller. Marissa & Melanie fell in LOVE with this stroller the first time we saw a giveaway for one. They would be soooo thrilled to win this!!!

I just found out about this giveaway & it is ending tomorrow, September 30th!

Take me Back Tuesday...September 2007

I love this picture. We were waiting to pick up one of the older kids from an activity. Marissa really wanted to hold Melanie & once she got her wish, they both fell asleep.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Maggie probably has the swine flu

My daughter Maggie is 9. Several of her classmates & a few of the kids on her bus have recently been ill. A few of them have told Maggie it was the swine flu. Thursday of last week Maggie had a headache when she came home from school. Friday, she didn't feel great, but she didn't have a fever & she REALLY didn't want to miss school. When she came home she did have a fever & a headache & went right to bed. Over the weekend, she has been coughing & complaining of headaches off & on. Tylenol has kept her fever down and she hasn't been overly uncomfortable. Last night I decided that I would keep her home today & have her checked out to be sure she didn't have something contagious.

I really wasn't sure what resources were available for swine flu detection in our area, so I called the Health Department first thing this morning. I was very surprised when they told me that they are not testing for swine flu and that I didn't need to take her to the Dr at all unless she developed complications. I am to just keep her home, give her Tylenol for the fever & monitor her illness. She's not extremely sick, so I guess we will be waiting this out & watching to see who gets it next.

Music Monday--First Outdoor Concert, Mountain Aire Festival 1982

In the early Summer of 1982 I went to Mountain Aire in the California foothills with my Mom & her then boyfriend & my best friend. It was a typical outdoor music festival. The sun was blazing hot & we sat on the dead grass all day listening to band after band after band. These 3 were the most significant.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Stroller Giveaway & a Britax Giveaway

The Shopping Mama is hosting a giveaway for a Bumbleride double stroller. Marissa & Melanie would LOVE to win this!!!

The Shopping Mama

Jolly Mom is hosting a giveaway for a Britax Marathon CS. This is one of the safest carseats money can buy. Marissa & Melanie would probably fight over who got to ride in it if we comes in PINK. Jolly Mom is also giving away a Tike Tech City X3 stroller, since they one they are giving away is a single stroller, only Melanie would get to ride.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A Thousand Words Thursday....what a difference 4 months can make

Cheaper Than Therapy

This picture of Sheba with Marissa & Melanie & their friend was taken in May....Sheba was 5 months old
This picture was taken yesterday...Sheba sitting in her favorite chair on the deck. She is now 9 months old. She is a Borador (Border Collie Lab mix) and has the sweetest personality. She is an outside dog, but has almost no interest in the yard, she spends all her time up on the deck. I'm going to be bringing the dog house up onto the deck this weekend in hopes of getting her to start sleeping in it before winter arrives.
Since she is only 9 months old, I'm really not sure how much bigger she plans to get....Marissa & Melanie's favorite show is Clifford the Big Red Dog, so they have high hopes that she will just keep growing & growing & growing.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wordless/Wordful Wednesday

Mason was home from college for a visit over the weekend, we only actually saw him for about an hour on Sunday afternoon.

He is no longer living in temporary housing & is officially all moved into the dorm, his classes seem to be going well. We're hoping to go up for Family weekend in 2 weeks, but only if we manage to get the van running.

Visit 5 minutes for Mom to see more Wordless Wednesday and 7 Clown Circus for Wordful Wednesday.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Cloth Diapers I'm trying to win this week....have you entered?

Dirty Diaper Laundry is hosting a giveaway for a $20 Gift Certificate to the Dapa Diapers store, I had never heard of Dapa before, they carry 2nd quality new diapers at GREAT prices. Kim also has another giveaway running for 2 Kiwi Pie one size Fitted Diapers.

The First Time Around is having a Fluff Butt event. I'm hoping to win another Gro Baby shell set.
Both the Kiwi Pie and Gro Baby are from the Natural Baby Company

Three Green Peas Reviews is giving away a GadBaby!! These are seriously cute! I bought Melanie one in Ocean with the bamboo lining & hemp insert we both LOVE it!!!

Diapers & Dimples is giving away a Softbums AI2 Bamboo Basic pack.

Gro Baby is trying to reach 1000 twitter followers (they are at 910 right now)...when they reach 1000 they will be giving away more than one Gro Baby Experience packages to random twitter followers (not sure how many chances there are to win, but it's a GREAT prize).

Brand new....check out this Snap EZ eco giveaway that has been added to The First Time Arounds Fluff Butt event!!!

Just for You and Me is giving away 2 one size Fuzzibunz!!! I love the perfect size Fuzzibunz & would LOVE to try their one size!!!

Serendipity Mommy is also giving away 2 one size Fuzzibunz!!!

The Cloth Diaper Experiment is giving away a Haute Pocket sponsored by Cuddlebunz
I've never tried Haute Pockets but know a lot of people really like them.

Family of Cloth is giving away a DryBees Fleece Overnight diaper!!

I'll be adding more links to this post in the next few days so be sure to check back!

Domestic Dork is giving away a $20 Gift Certificate to Wee Essentials Etsy store
Oh Baby O is giving away a One Size Fuzzibunz!
The First Time Around has added another giveaway to her Fluff Butt Event....3 One Size Fuzzibunz!!!

Music Monday--Seasons in the Sun

September is a THEME month for Music Monday!!! Themes are so fun!!!

Sept. 21 - Four Seasons....I've always LOVED this song & it was the first thing I thought of when I heard what this weeks theme was.

Next week: Sept. 28th - First Concert

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Car Update

So far I am surviving without my van. I missed something important at Church yesterday & we missed the first day of Sunday School today. Mason got the battery out of the van & I took it to the auto parts store to have it checked. Unfortunately, the battery is fine (it's under warranty, so they would have replaced it for free). They suggested I check the starter's kind of like a fuse. It looked bad, so I bought a new one. We now have a very fast loud clicking noise when I try to start the van as opposed to it doing absolutely nothing, so I'm thinking it needed that new relay. It probably needs a new starter. I have no money & no way to get it to a mechanic, so the current plan is that on Hubby's next payday (in a week) we will buy a starter from the auto parts store & try to replace the starter ourselves. My Hubby is probably one of the least mechanical people on the face of the planet, so more than likely I will be trying to do this while he is at work next weekend. Wish me luck surviving for a 3rd week with no transportation!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Gimme Pleez Review

Have you heard about Gimme Pleez? I hadn't until recently. What is it? Well, Gimme Pleez is: "A social networking site that helps you save for the things you want, the things you need, and the things you dream about!" (from their website).

What exactly does that mean? I was confused at first too. When you join the website (it's FREE), you create a profile and then set up goals that you want or need to save for. Once your profile is set up you can share your information with friends and relatives who might be interested in helping you reach your goals.

During this time of financial uncertainty wouldn't it be nice to be able to ask Aunt Sue to contribute to your car savings for Christmas & your birthday instead of buying you a sweater you might never wear. Since profiles are public, anyone can donate to your cause. While it was a little disconcerting to me at first to think total strangers might read about what I want to save money for, I like the idea of being able to read about other peoples goals. The openness of the site makes it really easy to perform small random acts of kindness, just click on somebody & if you identify with their goal, donate a small amount....every little bit helps when someone is saving for college, a car or their wedding.

When I was first asked to check out the site, the name actually put me off a bit, gimme doesn't seem like a very nice way to ask for something, but I've been seeing the term a lot lately & I think it must be current slang that I'm just not familiar with. I don't think it is meant to be disrespectful, although that was the first impression it gave me. I initially signed up about a month ago & hadn't done much with my account. Recently I actually set a goal and uploaded some pictures, it was super easy. The entire site has a very friendly inviting atmosphere. My son Mason now has an account too, he's saving for his living expenses for next semester. The Gimme Pleez site will make it easy for me to help him with his college expenses.

Do you have a goal you need help saving for? Check out Gimme Pleez!

Friday, September 18, 2009

I'm ready for the rain to stop anytime NOW!

It seems like all it has done is rain all Summer and now we have definite signs of Fall, but it is still raining. Right this minute it is POURING. I was hoping to work on my van today. Fought with it a little bit, went to the auto parts store & bought more tools, then the sky got black & it started to POUR.

It's rained so much that my clothespins are turning moldy looking in their bag. I can count on one hand the number of times I've been able to dry my cloth diapers outside in the last 2 months.....I'm just really tired of RAIN!

Please please PLEASE can we have some sunshine & mild but not too cold temperatures before Winter arrives? I'm sick of rain, I'm sick of humidity. I've heard we are in for a hard winter, I'd really LOVE to have a few weeks of NICE weather between now & then.

Ten Chances to Win a Leapfrog Tag Reader!!!

You can enter to win a Leap Frog Tag Reader on all of these blogs:

Blogging ‘Bout Boys
Frisco Kids
Blog Salad
Confessions of a Mean Mommy
Ready Mom
The Adventures of Supermom
3 Carnations
My Semblance of Sanity
World of Weasels
Parenting by Trial and Error

Most of the giveaways end on September 24th or 25th but a few don't end until the 30th.

Friday Photo Flashback--1977

Somebody I don't remember uploaded this picture to facebook & a friend tagged me. This is my 6th grade class picture. My memory is not the best, but I think this was a 5th/6th combination class & I think that some of those tiny people down at the bottom were 5th graders. I am in the top row, third kid from the left. I'm really glad that I have so many people standing in front of me, the outfit I'm wearing had pale green polyester pants and even then I was embarrassed to be seen in them. Isn't it funny the odd details we remember? I don't remember most of the kids in this picture, but I remember every detail of that outfit & even how difficult it was to get my hair to curl with hot rollers for picture day.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Things I LOVE Thursday....My Secret Circle Review

A few weeks ago I signed up for The Product Review Place, it is a Ning community for bloggers interested in doing reviews. They have message boards with posts about companies looking for bloggers to review their product. In the past, I've reviewed mostly cloth diapers, but the older kids are always asking me to look for reviews they can help with. My Secret Circle jumped out at me as something that Maggie would absolutely LOVE. Maggie is 9 and started 4th grade in August. She is a total Tween. Just after school started she asked if she could have her own Facebook page. Hubby & I talked about it and decided that we were not ready for her to have access to an all ages social media site.

My Secret Circle is the perfect answer. We were sent a Best Friend pack that included two special keys, one for Maggie to keep and one for her to give to a friend. Maggie has a ton of friends and had a hard time choosing which friend to invite. In the end we picked a friend who has her own computer and who's parents were ok with her joining an online social media site. All the software is contained on the USB drive, which I really like. It is very simple to use. We insert the key into a USB slot and it instantly opens the program. The first time, we had to set up the account, but every time since it just opens Maggie's page for her. I like that there is no password to remember. As soon as Maggie's page was set up we were able to get a special access code that allowed Maggie's friend to connect with her on the site. There doesn't seem to be any limit to the number of friends in your circle, but unlike Facebook or My Space the account is totally private, people can not search for you and request to be your friend. Maggie has printed out special invitations from the site and if any of her other friends have My Secret Circle she can give them one of her invitations that has her code on it.

The site is a lot of fun for Maggie. Her favorite features are the Journal (I LOVE that it encourages her to write), the ability to IM (instant message) with her friend and the ability to send notes to her friend if she is offline. It is also nice that she can make a photo album to upload pictures and share them with her friends. When we first got this product Maggie & her friend were in the same 4th grade class, since then Maggie has been moved to a new class. This product has really helped Maggie through the transition. It is also nice that even when Maggie's friend is not available to chat with her on the site, Maggie can still enjoy other features of her page like journaling and working on her photo album.

My Secret Circle will soon be available online from their website and it is sold at Justice. Maggie & I went to our local Justice store to see if they had it in stock and were pleased to see both the single pack and the Best Friends pack. The single pack would be a perfect gift for a child who has friends who already use My Secret Circle, it sells for $19.90 ($11.94 with 40% off coupon). The Best Friends pack gives two people access and sells for $29.90($17.94 with 40% off coupon). Right now you can get 40% off on the Justice Website! This would make a GREAT Christmas gift for girls from 8 to about 14...the website says up to age 12, but honestly I don't think I will be ready for Maggie to be on a public social media website until she is in High School. My Secret Circle is NOT a subscription plan, there are no other fees, you simply buy the key & have full access.

Be sure to visit TheDiaper Diaries for more Things I LOVE Thursday.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Win 6 Free Cloth Diapers!!

Check out Cloth Diaper Tips to win 6 Bum Genius One Size 3.0 diapers. These have velcro, not my favorite, but they are a very highly rated diaper that I've never tried. They retail for about $20 each.

Lily Turns 2...Wordless/Wordful Wednesday

My Granddaughter Lily turned 2 on Monday!

Visit 5 minutes for Mom to see more Wordless Wednesday and 7 Clown Circus for Wordful Wednesday.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Music Monday---Heartbreak

September is a THEME month for Music Monday!!! Themes are so fun!!!

Sept. 14th - Heartbreakers
Sept. 21 - Four Seasons
Sept. 28th - First Concert

1982 was a year of MAJOR drama in my life. This was one of my favorite songs & while everything worked out in the end, there were definitely days I felt like I was living the lyrics of this song.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Car Troubles

It has been a week of car trouble. Tuesday I planned to do some errands, but when I tried to start the van, its battery was dead. The van is known for being temperamental, so I really didn't think too much of it & figured we would just need to jump it. There was a lot of corrosion on one of the battery terminals, so I cleaned that off with some baking soda, that didn't help. The jumper cables were no where to be found so I had to wait until Friday to buy a new set.

Wednesday night Mason called....his Subaru won't go in reverse & he is pretty sure the transmission is gone. He is 100 miles away at college. He had to change his schedule at the last minute because he now can't get to the Craft Center where he was supposed to be taking one of his classes. He's not happy at all about being STUCK at college with no way to get anywhere else.

Friday morning I went out to start Hubby's car & it's battery was dead too. ARGHHH!!!! This was the final straw for me. I ended up calling our son Marvin & getting him to come over with his jumper cables after he got off work. The battery on his car is not very suitable for jumping another car with....the battery itself is inside a casing & can't be accessed. We tried to jump the van, but it didn't seem to be getting any juice. Next we tried jumping Hubby's wasn't easy, but we did eventually get it started. Yay!!! At least Hubby has a way to get to work!!!

I went to the autoparts store & bought a new set of jumper cables. I tried to jump the van with Hubby's car, but no luck. Now I'm thinking that either the battery is totally DEAD or we have a bad fuse or relay. Unfortunately we don't know anyone who is mechanical & don't have the money to have it towed someplace & worked on. Hubby works Saturday through Wednesday, so on those days I will either have to take him back & forth to work to use his car or I will be stuck at home with no way to get anywhere.....and his car only really seats 4, so we will have to take multiple trips if we all need to go someplace.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Remembering year later

I just went back & read what my friend Kirsty wrote last year about Stacey's life, I cried. Then I felt peace knowing that nothing can hurt Stacey anymore & she is surely watching over her children from heaven. It is hard to believe that it has been a whole year. Her children are frequently on my mind and in my prayers. We will never forget you Stacey!!!

Light pink roses are associated with gentleness and admiration, and can also be used as an expression of sympathy. These are the flowers I would put on her grave, to show my admiration for her & express my sympathy for her children & her mother.

Happy Pink Saturday!!! Be sure to stop by How Sweet the Sound to check out all the links for Pink Saturday & say Hi to Beverly, our lovely host.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday at Truth 4 the Journey

Today I'm linking up with Sonya @ Truth 4 The Journey for "Thankful Thursday." All you need to do is list five things that you're thankful for this week! I'm excited to do this because I have not done a thankful post in awhile. If you want to participate, just visit her blog and link up!Here are my five!!

1. Things seem to have fallen into place & Mason is doing very well at college.
2. While money is still very tight, we are managing to pay the bills, put clothes on the kids & buy groceries.
3. We are all healthy.
4. School is going very well for Morgan & Maggie.
5. The hot humid days seem to be over. Fall is my favorite time of year!

A Thousand Words Thursday

Cheaper Than Therapy

in 4 years...WOW!!!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Wordless/Wordful Wednesday....don't blink

This is what I get when I remind Marissa to keep her eyes open while I take her picture.

Visit 5 minutes for Mom to see more Wordless Wednesday and 7 Clown Circus for Wordful Wednesday.

I've been blogging for a WHOLE year!!!

Today is my one year Blogoversary!! When I started, I had no idea how much I would enjoy blogging. I had actually been resisting the trend for a couple years, but when I found out that I could start a FREE blog on blogger, I had to give it a try. Click HERE to see my very first post!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Take Me Back Tuesday--Summer 2004

This picture of Maggie was taken on a camping trip to the Sierra Nevada mountains during the summer of 2004. Maggie had turned 4 in June. This was the last vacation we took while living in California.

And the Winner is...... has selected: 108

Jess said... 108
I follow

August 22, 2009 10:26 PM

Jess, you've got 48 hrs from when I get the e-mail to you to respond with your address. If Jess does not respond, I will select another winner on Thursday.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Music Monday.....This always makes me want to Dance

September is a THEME month for Musical Monday!!! Themes are so fun!!!

Sept. 7th - Song You Love To Dance To
Sept. 14th - Heartbreakers
Sept. 21 - Four Seasons
Sept. 28th - First Concert

This is a GREAT video, it starts out with the ending of another Joan Jett song I like.

Link up with Diane & Jori for Musical Monday & come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. One simple rule, leave ONLY the actual post link here. You can grab this code at LJL Please note these links are STRICTLY for Music Monday participants only. All others will be deleted without prejudice

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Wow, what a GAME!!! I'll bet you can guess where I live...

The UT Vols won their season opener 63 to 7...even if you don't watch football, you have to realize that is a HUGE score. Just imagine how many times this song must have been played in the stadium today!!!

Looks like we may have a very exciting season this year!!!

Pink Saturday--Princess

Happy Pink Saturday!!! Be sure to stop by How Sweet the Sound to check out all the links for Pink Saturday & say Hi to Beverly, our lovely host.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Friday Photo Flashback

This is one of my favorite pictures of Marissa from 2007. I think it was taken in September or October.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Things I LOVE Thursday...Really cool multi-rider bike

I came across this contest yesterday. Madsen makes these really cool bikes with a cargo bucket on the back. The bucket comes with one seat that has two seat belts and an additional seat can be added so that the bucket can safely seat up to 4 kids. The maximum weight capacity is 600 lbs. Every Wednesday they will be giving away one of these GREAT bikes (I couldn't find an end date on the giveaway, but I'm thinking that it is at least through the end of September). Click on the button to go to their site & see all the easy ways to enter.

Madsen Cycles Cargo Bikes

I have not actually tried this particular bike, but Hubby & I rented a bike at the beach one year that had a little bench on the back for the kids, it was a TON of fun!!! We have some really nice bike trails here & I think this bike would be perfect for taking Marissa, Melanie & my Granddaughter Lily on rides. I'm pretty sure Morgan & Maggie are too big to ride in the bucket, but they have their own bikes & could ride along side.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Saving Money on College Textbooks--Works for ME Wednesday

Mason started college on Monday!!! He was supposed to start last year, but decided to take a year off. He didn't actually tell ME that he planned to go this year until July, so we had to really scramble to get him accepted, registered, enrolled, etc. Financial aid was one of the BIG obstacles...we didn't fill out his FAFSA until sometime in July. He was very fortunate, Tennessee Tech University has a wonderful financial aid department & they got everything processed in plenty of time!!

Mason was disappointed that he only received enough financial aid to cover his tuition, room & board. Even though he has been working for the whole year that he took off from school, he didn't have any money saved to pay college expenses. College books are VERY expensive!! After he registered for his classes we looked up all his books, 4 classes that need books over $500 from the bookstore. This was not feasible for us, so I started looking for options. I personally have taken several college courses without buying the textbooks, but those were community college classes. Mason NEEDS his books. I looked on Amazon & found used books, still over $350 for the books he needs. I kept looking. I found Cheapest, they search all the online textbook sites & give you a list of places that have your book (s). From Cheapest Textbooks I found Chegg!!! Chegg actually RENTS college textbooks!!! I don't know about anyone else, but I know that when I was in college it seemed like the bookstore NEVER wanted to pay me much for my textbooks at the end of the term. Many times I hardly used the book, but the professor was planning on using a different addition the next term or worse a totally different book, so my EXPENSIVE textbooks were worthless. The rental prices for the books Mason needs were almost half the price of a used book. I ended up renting his Algebra book & a 2D design book, I saved over $100!!! This totally Works for ME!!! Do you know anybody who needs college textbooks? Pass along this coupon code to get a discount: CC102837

Our next obstacle....either getting his non-working laptop fixed or finding him a new one.

To see more Works for Me Wednesday visit We are THAT Family.