Birthday Freebies are coming in!!

Last year I decided to sign up for a lot of freebie things for my birthday, and was so happy when a week ago they started coming in again for this year. I also received some freebie things from the companies for signing up, and this past week I started getting "anniversary deals" in my email box as well. Here's this year's list of freebies!

  • Marble Slab - free small cone
  • Dairy Queen - BOGO Free Blizzard
  • Sonic - free medium Tots, a regular CreamSlush® Treat, or medium Soft Drink
  • Baskin Robbins - Free scoop
  • Backyard Burgers - Free Cobbler
  • Ruby Tuesday - Free Burger
  • Schlotzsky's Deli - Free small sandwich or pizza
  • McAlister's Deli - $5 off next purchase
  • Arby's - Free small shake
  • Chili's - Free Brownie Sundae 
  • IHOP - Free Rooty Tooty Fresh and Fruity
  • Disney Movie Rewards - 100 points
e-club Anniversary:
  • Cheddar's - Free chips and queso
  • Dairy Queen - BOGO Free Blizzard
  • Marble Slab - BOGO Free Shake
  • Arby - Free Roast Beef Sandwich
  • Chili's - Free Appetizer


Updates and Kids books

I could really get used to this "stay at home mom" thing. I've been able to take Cadence to camp, went with Amelia to Baby Bookworms at the library today, have had time to take care of little things, and of course, hang out with Maddie. Tomorrow I have my six week checkup, and it's reminding me that I don't have much more "stay at home" time left. That sucks. It's necessary, but it still sucks. Makes me really wish we were very very wealthy and I didn't have to worry about it! ;)

Cadence started Girl Scout camp yesterday, and seems to be having a blast. She's coming home really tired (even though she'd never admit it), and I'm worried that she won't be able to get out of bed by the end of the week! She's brought home photos of her artwork the last two days, and I can't wait to see the art show at the end of the week.

Amelia has FINALLY warmed up at Baby Bookworms, and actually interacted some today (and, of course, it was the last day of the summer session. It continues through the year, though.) She also "read" more than enough books for the summer reading program. She needed 20, and I think we ended with closer to 50. Her entire sheet was filled, and I've discovered some really great kid books in the process. Some of my favorites:

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone AppThe Baby Lit series A beautiful series of board books based on classic literature. So far we've read Alice in Wonderland (colors), Jane Eyre (numbers) and Pride and Prejudice (numbers.) There's also Romeo and Juliet and Dracula (both numbers) and A Christmas Carol (colors.) I love the Alice in Wonderland one so much that I'm tempted to buy it, tear it apart, and use the board book pages as the artwork in Amelia's room. They are that beautiful. Amelia adores Pride and Prejudice (she's carried it around all day while hugging it and saying "MINE!!") and Alice in Wonderland (she's insisted on checking it out of the library twice because she's seen it on the display and had to have it), and I'm pretty sure I know what she'll be getting for Christmas. 

PhotobucketThe Boy Who Cried Ninja This book is absolutely hilarious, and seriously, how can you go wrong with a book that contains ninjas, pirates and a time traveling monkey?? It is a funny story about how a boy's parents don't believe him when he says ninjas (and other various exceptional creatures) do different naughty things around the house, but he can't lie because that gets him in trouble as well. The end is great, and Cadence laughed all the way through this one.

PhotobucketRobot Zombie Frankenstein The title alone was enough to make me want to check this one out, and I wasn't disappointed at all. It's two robots trying to outdo each other by making themselves into bigger and crazier things, and it includes pie. Cadence thought it was funny, but with all the zombie craze at the moment, I think I found it funnier than she did. The illustrations are bright and colorful (and kept Amelia's attention), and the words are simple and very effective. Awesome book!

PhotobucketDinosaur vs. The Library  Dinosaur is on his way to the library, and challenges all his friends along the way. His huge ROAR allows him to win against everyone - except the librarian. This is a great book to introduce animal sounds, and to talk about inside/outside voices. Again, very bright pictures, and it's mostly animal sounds so very easy for toddlers to follow along. And seeing Amelia "ROARRRRRR!" with him was well worth it! And I just realized that they also have Dinosaur vs. Bedtime, Dinosaur vs. The Potty and in September, Dinosaur vs. Santa. I'm very excited.

I also LOVE the Bink and Gollie books that Cadence has been reading. There are only two out at the moment, but she devoured both of them and is (not so) patiently waiting for more to appear. I'm on the lookout for more books like that for her, so if anyone knows of any, please share! And thanks to Bink and Gollie, Cadence met her reading goal for the library as well. The end of year carnival is Thursday, and I'm glad we were able to stick with it and both girls finished the program.


Books 17-19 of 24

This should catch me up with the ones I've read, and I'm only 5 away from my goal! Not bad since I still have over 5 months to go.

17) First Bite: The Wicked Queen's Tale by Laura Briggs & Sarah Steinbrenner
PhotobucketI enjoyed this book, but it took a little while to get into it. The book starts out explaining a lot of back story, so it took a little while to piece it all together. But once the story got going, it was excellent. I really enjoy reading different variations of the most popular fairy tales, and this was a great twist on Snow White. I also started reading it while I was watching Once Upon A Time, and there are similarities. I was impressed with this one, and have started the second book in the series which is about Hansel and Gretel. There is also a third about the Fairy Godmother. I'm eager to see the twists that they put on these as well.

I gave this 4 books

18) The Priest's Graveyard by Ted Dekker
PhotobucketThis was a really dark Christian fiction book about a guy who sees his mom and sisters raped and murdered while living in Bosnia, and he then kills their killer. He comes to the US as a priest, but does more than just help in church. He also tracks down the scum of the earth and takes them out. It was more graphic than what one would usually expect from Christian fiction, but I really enjoyed it. It went into some dark topics, and did a great job covering them and making a completely believable story from them. I've missed having new Ted Dekker, and have two more sitting in my "to read" pile. I really hope they are as good as this one was.

I gave this 4 books

19) The Film Club by David Gilmour
PhotobucketSomewhat depressing, but so so so good. It's a story of a guy who has a son that is getting in trouble in school, and he lets him drop out on the promise that he'll watch at least 3 movies a week with his dad. It covers the movies they watched, what was going on in their lives during this time (the good and the bad), and was a great parent/child story. A lot of things his son said and did reminded me of Cadence, and I just hope to be as understanding and loving if (or when) we face hard teenage years. It was excellent, and I'm so glad that I picked it up on a whim at the library the other day.

I gave this one 5 books.

Busy week next week

Next week will be crazy, but will be a great test run in getting the girls up and out the door on time every day. Cadence is going to Girl Scout camp, and has to be there at 8am every morning. I also have my six week check up next Wednesday, and then on Thursday I have to take Jonathan to the airport and am going to see Singin' In The Rain with Sarah that night. In the last six weeks I haven't had more than a day at a time that I needed to be somewhere at a specific time, so next week will definitely be a challenge. 

I think Cadence has everything ready for camp, and she's really excited. I hope she enjoys it as much as I think she will, and I really hope it's the start of many years of great Girl Scout memories.


Cadence has a blog!

I've helped Cadence set up a blog, hoping that by having a "cool" place to write things down, maybe it will help with her temper. I'm going to try my best to not give her ideas or take it over for her, and I have a feeling she may post more than I do!

If you want to visit, she has her first post up. She has decided to call it "A Made-Up Fairy Tale," and I know would love for people to visit.

Books 8-16 of 24

I realized that even though I haven't been reading like a crazy woman (like I hoped I would during maternity leave), I'm still ahead of my "2 books a month" goal. Problem is, I haven't talked about the last 12 I've read. So, here I go, but it may take a few posts.

8-9) Catching Fire and Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
I will admit, I didn't love these two as much as the first one, and by the end of Mockingjay, I was reading just to finish the series. I liked the story (as much as one could, considering the plot), but my main thought was that somewhere along the way, Suzanne Collins replaced Katniss "Girl on Fire" with Bella Swan "Girl who Whines Too Much and Can't Make Decisions On Her Own." By the end, I was actually hoping she wouldn't come out alive, and I really really didn't like the "tied in a neat little bow" ending. They weren't awful, but Hunger Games was definitely the best of the three.

I give them both 3 books, but only because they helped complete the series.

10) Zombie Cinderella by Kevin Richey
PhotobucketYeah, I like zombie stories, and love fairy tales, but wasn't that impressed with this one. The Snow White zombie book I read earlier was really good - gory, but not too gory, funny but not stupid, and very readable. This one, however, was gory just for the sake of gore. I don't watch horror movies that are excessively gory, and this would definitely be in that category if someone made it into a movie. The storyline is decent, but there were parts that were just gross.

For that reason, 2 books.

11) Wildflowers of Terezin by Robert Elmer
PhotobucketSo, so good! It's about two people during WWII, one a Jewish lady and the other a Lutheran pastor, who's lives get intertwined because of the Germans deporting Danish Jews. It's a great story that shows the struggles of the normal people during that time - the ones that knew what was going on was wrong, but were scared, worried, and just downright terrified of getting involved and getting themselves in trouble, too. It does a good job of showing some of the horrors of concentration camps without getting extremely graphic, and I loved the ending. It was a great book, and one that I had problems putting down.

I gave this one 5 books.

12) Michal: A Novel (The Wives of David) by Jill Eileen Smith
PhotobucketI really enjoyed this one as well. I've read lots of Christian based fiction, and some of my favorites are the ones about women in the bible. This one is about Michal, one of the wives of David, and talks about her life before and after they were married. Jill Eileen Smith did a great job of making me connect with her, and there were a few times that I was on the verge of tears or laughing out loud. Michal became a real person, and it was a great story. I believe that there are a few more that Smith has written, and I'm eager to read them as well.

I gave this one 5 books.

13) The Big Read Button by Bob McClain
This is from the same guy that wrote "Snow White and the Seven Deadly Dwarves," and it was short and sweet. It was a great little suspense/horror story, and reminded me of some of the Stephen King short stories I've read. It wasn't extremely gory, and left some things to the imagination. I really liked it.

I gave this 4 books

14-16) Fifty Shades of Grey, Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed by EL James
PhotobucketWow. I will admit that I didn't have a clue what these books were about before I started them, and read Fifty Shades of Grey on the recommendation of a friend. By halfway through the first book I was laughing hysterically at all the sex scenes. By the second book I was skipping them altogether. There is just so much in those scenes that is so completely improbable, and it made them SO funny to me. I also noticed by the end of the first book that there were A LOT of similarities between it and Twilight - Overbearing, controlling boyfriend, same area of the country, family size is similar, Mary Sue girl and super hot guy - the list goes on. The only difference is where Twilight didn't have any sex at all (until they were married, that is), this had so much it became a joke. I will say, the story in the later two was better than in the first, but I still didn't get the lust rush that is seems the majority of American women seemed to get.

I gave all of these 2 books. Only because of the comedic value. 

I have 3 left to go before I'm caught up with the ones I've read, and I'm currently sitting on my couch with 5 more books that I checked out today and 3 or 4 on my kindle. I'm not sure if I'll get them all read, but I'm going to have fun trying!


One Month Old

I can't believe it. Saturday my tiny little baby turned a month old! I took her in for a weight check, and she's now up to 8lbs 13oz (she gained over a pound in two weeks.) She's starting to stay awake more, and smiling at us (mainly the girls, but I've gotten one or two!) She's such a good baby, and it's hard to believe she's been in our life for a month already!

I love you sweet Maddie Pearl, and can't imagine our life without you!

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App


Want ALL the crayons!

The girls and I spent about 2 hours wandering around Target today, and I found the coolest things. Crayola now has a set out that is exclusive to Target called "Pick Your Pack." You choose a box to hold your crayons that you can decorate yourself, and then you pick and choose from 8 count packs that have different themes. Some of the options are "Cupcake My Day," "Glitterati," "Sports Fan," and "Pirate Treasure." I will admit, I want them all. And I won't even pretend they are for the girls. They would totally be all for me.




Images are from Target.com