All About Me
Dawn - edging ever closer to 30, although I still feel like I'm 21. :) I'm married to a youth pastor ('Big G'), and have THREE wonderful kids: a five year-old son ('Little G'), a just turned two year-old daughter ('A'), and our newest little girl blessing, Baby R, was born May 28/07!! They keep me hopping as I juggle them, my WAH part-time job as an accountant, being a pastor's wife, and of course hobbies like quilting, scrapbooking, and blogging!

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Callapidder Days
Rocks in My Dryer
Life in a Shoe: The Methods and Madness of One Family of 10

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You know it's going to be one of those days when.....
Tackle it Tuesday - the office!
First tooth!
Yes / No...Don't Know?
A digital photographer's best friend
Wordless Wednesday - ready for solid food?!?
It's not fair!
5 going on 25??
I've got the reading blues


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Wednesday, October 31, 2007
More contests!
As if you don't have enough to do entering all the great giveaways in the Fall Y'all Bloggy Giveaway - here's a couple more you might be interested in entering. If your hands aren't all cramped from so many entries already, you know.

Rookie Blogger is giving away $50 in Paypal credit - if you don't win them, you could buy some of those great products being offered by the talented ladies in the Fall Giveaway!

How would you like to win an iPod Touch, or a Dell laptop? Next2friends is a new social networking site set to launch in December - I don't think it will replace my beloved Facebook, lol, but with prizes like this, it doesn't hurt to register, right?

Enjoy the contest and good luck!


posted at 8:57 AM  

Tuesday, October 30, 2007
All grown up
Big G and I have recently come to the realization that with three kids, two vehicles, and a mortgage...we're, um, all grown up now! Sometimes it's hard to remember that we're not two carefree college kids anymore, and that we really need to be thinking about life insurance, wills, and the like.

I am fortunate that my parents took out a life insurance policy for me when I was born, so I have a fully paid up policy in my name worth a fair amount. Big G has a policy at work worth two years' salary, but we've gotten to wondering if that's really enough. That amount would just be enough to pay off our house mortgage, but if, heaven forbid, something did happen to him, we would need more than just the house paid off - I wouldn't want to have to go to work right away in order to feed our family.

We've started to look into the different options - whole life or term policies, what amount, and how to get the cheapest insurance rates. We're still looking around, but I feel like at least we're working on it. It's something that's kind of uncomfortable to think about, but if the unthinkable did every happen, we don't want to make an awful situation worse by the survivor having to worry about money.

Next up...wills. I have NO idea who we would name as guardians of our kids (parents too old, sister doesn't even have custody of her own kids, all our close friends have a lot of kids of their own, etc) so that's really the thing that's holding us up there.

This being an adult is hard work! ;)

posted at 8:49 AM  

Sunday, October 28, 2007
It's Here - the Fall Y'all Bloggy Giveaway!
(***Comments are now closed - watch for the winner announcement along with a special offer you won't want to miss!)***

This summer's Dog Days of Summer Bloggy Giveaway at Rocks in My Dryer was so much FUN, that Shannon is graciously hosting a fall edition of the bloggy giveaway carnival this week. When you're finished entering my drawing, go check out the rest of the amazing giveaways over at her site!

This is the Fall giveaway, but we all know that shortly after fall comes...Christmas!! So this time around I'm going to give away a custom-designed photo Christmas card, either 4x6 or 5x7! (This is something I love doing and hope to do more of as I have more time - birth announcements, Christmas cards, etc, so this will also be good experience for me!) I've included a few samples of recent designs I've done at the bottom of this post, but the winner's card will be completely custom designed.

This is how my drawing will work: I will notify the winner by email, and include a few questions to get an idea of what style of card he/she is looking for. The winner will then need to send me several high-quality digital images that they would like included in their Christmas card (the number will depend on what style of card they have chosen). I will work on a design for the winner based on their preferences. I will allow up to two 'change sessions' - where the winner can email me back with suggestions for a color they would like a little different, a change in the picture arrangement, etc. The reason I am setting a limit on this is so I don't get stuck adjusting a design 47 times over and don't have time to get my own family's Christmas card done, lol! When all the changes are made, I will forward your card design to you by email and you can get as many printed as you need!
This drawing will close Friday, November 2 at 11:59pm and I will draw a winner soon afterwards by random number generator. I will contact the winner right away, but I will be away for a few days next week so work will begin on your design when I return - that will give you some time to pick your favorite pictures! Since this prize will be delivered electronically, this drawing is open to everyone!
If you aren't lucky enough to be the winner on this one, but you're interested in having a Christmas card designed - contact me for a great deal!

Good luck everyone!

***Check back here Saturday for a special offer along with the announcement of the lucky winner!***


posted at 1:00 PM  

Saturday, October 27, 2007
Not my finest moment
We had a rough night last night. Big G was out for the evening and a combination of whiny kids, an overtired and preoccupied mommy, and trying to do too many things before bed ended in disaster. I'll spare you the details, but kids were crying, mommy was crying, and many apologies had to be given before finally tucking everyone in for bed.

At one point when I actually screamed into a pillow to try to release the frustration I couldn't seem to calm, I heard Little G quietly praying "Dear Jesus, please help mommy have patience..." I wasn't sure whether to cry that he felt I was so out of control that only God could help me, or rejoice that he knew to turn to the Lord in times of trouble.

At moments like that I wonder if I'm really cut out for this parenting gig. And I think I'm going to homeschool?!? I start to doubt how we have raised our kids so far - WHY are they so whiny and ungrateful 'all' the time? Behaviors that I logically know are just occasional problems blow up into massive problems and everything seems wrong.

Thankfully, I don't get like this very often, but when I do it makes me question everything I normally think and feel about parenting. I wish I knew how to avoid these meltdowns - are they an attack from the enemy or just a normal thing that all mothers experience??

posted at 1:20 PM  

Thursday, October 25, 2007
Somebody wants to homeschool!
Little G said to me this weekend "Mommy, do you think someday we could live in a different house?"

"Why do you want a different house, honey?"

"Like one that is a house and has a school in it too, like [friends of ours who homeschool]."

:) I told him that perhaps we could someday have a school in the house that we have now, and he got all excited about deciding where we would put the school part.

I think Big G would assume I had brought it up if I told him this story, but it's pretty cool to know that Little G thinks homeschooling is so COOL he would change houses!


posted at 8:22 AM  

Wednesday, October 17, 2007
WFMW - cloth diaper stains

Hmmm, anyone else notice that a lot of my posts recently are about laundry stains of one sort or another?? Clearly I'm doing way too much laundry these days. :)

We have used cloth diapers (mostly just chinese prefolds and Prorap covers) at least part-time with all of our kids. I'm all for the convenience of disposable, but I just can't handle spending that much money on things that literally just get thrown away within a few days.

Starting back before Little G was born and I was doing my research on cloth diapers, I remember reading that sunshine was great for removing set-in stains. At the time I remember thinking how silly that was that plain ol' sunshine could get something out that my stash of laundry soap and pre-treaters couldn't.

But you know what??? It's true! I'm embarrassed to admit that it took me until my THIRD child to actually try it, but I've been line-drying Baby R's diapers lately and within a few hours of being out in the sun, they look cleaner than they have in years!

It works for me - don't wait as long as I did to try it! :)


posted at 9:13 AM  

Saturday, October 06, 2007
Oh, dear.
I've discovered Web Sudoku. I may never leave the computer again.

Completion time: 8:57. 81% of players are faster than you.

81%?!?!? Must practice more.

posted at 8:45 PM  

Friday, October 05, 2007
The Abs Diet for Women
Anyone read this book? I reserved it from the library after a recommendation for it...somewhere (probably from one of you!) and finally got it last week after the other 16 people in line ahead of me got their turn with it. :)

The book claims pretty amazing results in six weeks, and includes many testimonials of women that have indeed had great results (as well as some with what appears to be minimal weight loss, but success in firming up their abdominal region). Six weeks doesn't seem like a lot of time, and I'm skeptical of any program that promises incredible results that quickly, but I think if you went into it with reasonable expectations, you would do well.

I haven't read the whole thing yet, but it seems like a pretty reasonable and well-balanced plan. The food component consists of eating six small meals a day, with each meal including at least two of the 'power foods' - things like almonds, beans, eggs, berries, lean meat like turkey, etc. It seems pretty high protein, but not to the extent of really limiting carbs, just that by eating some of these power foods at each mini-meal, you will feel fuller (more full?) and be less likely to crave the carbs. One meal each week is a cheat meal to eat anything you want, and once you've achieved your goal, you can have one full day a week where you eat whatever.

There is also a specific exercise component to the program, involving light cardiovascular exercise and weight training/ab exercises on alternate days. There are instructions given for all of the exercises, and variations for home use if you don't have access to a gym. The author discusses how building muscle can give your weight loss a great boost due to the fact that muscle burns more calories even at rest.

I'm not planning to follow the diet strictly, partly because I just don't have the time/discipline right now with three little ones to eat differently than the rest of the family, and partly because I'm still nursing and am a little wary of 'dieting' while breastfeeding. I am trying to add in some of the power foods to my diet each day - and the six small meals is pretty much how I eat anyway, so no problem with that! I am doing the weight routines, which are pretty easy to fit into my day because I can just grab my dumbbells and the book and do it while the kids play around me.

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a fairly easy diet/exercise plan, particulary if traditional 'diets' have failed for you. The book doesn't recommend calorie or portion control, so I think you would be able to follow it for some time without feeling really deprived.

Has anyone else tried this method? What did you think?


posted at 8:44 AM  

Tuesday, October 02, 2007
WFMW - Kids' clothing stains

I guess this is sort of 'DOESN'T Work for me Wednesday' this week over at Rocks in My Dryer. Instead of offering advice or tips on something that does work for us, this week all participants will be asking for advice from the collective blogging community on something that doesn't work for them.

I am asking you all for your advice on dealing with laundry stains. We are blessed with an active five year-old who comes home from kindergarten most days with a combination of grass stains, paint, and markers on his clothes; a two year-old who ends up wearing the majority of what she eats; and a four month-old who, like most nursing babies, has the occasional blowout diaper. Add it all up and you get a lot of clothing stains!

What seems to end up happening here is all the clothes get thrown in the laundry basket, and by the time I get around to doing laundry (probably once a week), I have totally forgotten which clothes have stains. So I have to spend a lot of time in the laundry room inspecting each piece of clothing carefully for any stains. And since my laundry room is downstairs, the children could be getting into who-knows-what while I'm down there examining their pants with a magnifying glass. Of course I miss some the first time around, so I repeat the examination as they come out of the washer. And somehow I'm still surprised by a couple of set-in stains when the load comes out of the dryer.
I don't want to pre-treat the stains with spray n' wash as soon as the kids take them off, because it very well could be several days before I wash them, and I think stain remover eats or stains your clothes if you leave it on that long. So what do I do? Wash a load every night with the clothes they've worn (and dirtied) that day? What is the best way to get stains out consistently (and with the least intervention on my part) - OxiClean? soaking?
I'm looking forward to hearing what Works for YOU!


posted at 8:42 PM