Guess Who Will Love Riding in the Car Now? $200 value

Bloggy Giveaways Quarterly Carnival Button

Okay, I’m done counting!  Whew!  Quite the workout.  The Tinkerbell Mix Max goes to D!  And the SpongeBob set goes to Shane!

Congratulations. Look for an email from me.
I don’t know how my parents did it.
Our summer vacations were dominated by road trips.  
One of my first memories is of a very long car ride to Disney World, back in the 1970’s.  It must have been in the winter because our little Ford Pinto didn’t have a heater and we kept warm with quilts. 
That worked out great until my twin sister and I decided to ‘play horsey’ with our older brother. We used his belt for the reigns.  
Around his neck.  Great fun, until he puked chocolate milk.  All over the blankets. That were keeping us warm.  My next memories are of a cold car ride to Disney World.
Because we entertained ourselves.
Not something my kids excel at on our road trips these days. We’ve got the whole audiovisual thing going on in our minivan and a plethora of travel paraphernalia. 
And I’m not about to change it. Because I like progression.
Call me a sissy.  A weenie.  Just don’t take it away. M’kay?
And because my Momma taught me to play nice and share, I want your last traveling summer getaway or trip to Wal Mart to go well.
I’m giving away TWO amazing prizes at a $100 value each!
I will choose two random winners.  One will receive a brand new Disney MixMax Video MP3 Digital Media Player.  Tinkerbell edition.  It holds 240 songs and plays 16 hours of video.  It’s rechargeable and comes with software, earbuds, and a wrist strap! Value $100. Perfect for those long car rides!
The other random winner will receive two $50 prizes, for a total value of $100.  Both of these items are brand new and made by Npower’s Nickelodeon line, Sponge Bob edition:  A digital music player (MP3) that holds 250 songs, comes with software, ear buds and is rechargeable AND a flash digital camera that holds approx. 79 photos.  It has sound effects, an LCD screen, software, adhesive skins, a wrist strap, cables and much more! Perfect for busy hands on a road trip. US shipping only.
So, leave a comment (ONE, Please) with your choice (tinkerbell or sponge bob) and you can get double entries if you add this button to your blog (because I’m not above bribery) or subscribe to my feed (let me know in your comment if you do this or already have):
Subscribe in a reader andGrab the button for your blog!

This giveaway will close on Friday morning 9 am (CST)

THAT Family Tree Society-Issue 2

We just returned from a fabulous week of Family Camp. We made our mark as THAT family, believe me. I’ll share the highlights later.

This week, I’d like to welcome the Zimmer Zoo to the Society! She submitted this post, Maggie’s First Hospital Visit, as her THAT family moment. And I can see why. I understand my friend. Really, I do.

1.What’s your blog about? My blog is about my life with 3.5 year old twins, a 10 month old baby, my husband, and everything that goes on around me. (I tend to leave my work life out of it though…) I initially started it as a way to write things down because I’m terrible at keeping a journal updated, but I’ve found that it’s pretty therapeutic.

2. How long have you been blogging?
I’ve been blogging for exactly a month now!

3. How would you define THAT family?

THAT family is the one who always has SOMETHING going on (usually bad/funny). The one that everyone around town knows about and can tell at least one story about. The one where when you walk into church you get “those” looks from everyone else.

4. When did you become a part of THAT family?

Depends…I’m pretty sure that I was part of THAT family growing up on a farm in Vermont in a family of 4 kids (especially when my parents were THE first to get a divorce in our town…)  …now, just having twins plus a younger singleton makes us THAT family around town. (I’m sure it’s more than that…but it’s too much to write about in a reply email ;) )

5. Where can we find your blogging home? 

Zimmer Zoo

If you’d like to join the THAT Family Tree Society, you can read all about it here.

DIYP #9- Creating Beautiful Files *Giveaway!

*Update*  Congrats to these three winners!  Email me your address and I’ll get the pretty folders in the mail! Cajungal01Mother Hen, and Anna

My kitchen is in the center of my home.

It is a hub of activity.
It’s where you can find me, Cooking blogging up a storm in my apron.  It’s also the place where everything lands:  bills, school papers, mail, magazines, coupons, books, etc
And it drives me crazy.
My hubby bought me this great desk.  But it’s stuffed full of crap, I mean, crafts. Freudian slip, there.  
And since I have a deep love for baskets and boxes and pretty things, I decided it was time to get organized in my kitchen.  Have you seen the gorgeous file folders out there?
I bought some.
I thought about attaching this to the wall in my kitchen:
Rubbermaid® Sensations™ Single Pocket Magnetic Wall File, Letter-Size
But it doesn’t give me that lovin’ feeling.  And so, I thought about sitting one of  these file holders on my counter. I love these:
Black ETC Wire File Folder Holders
Rose Lane Cottage
floral file folder holder
Anna Griffin
leather desktop file

The Container Store

But I have limited counter space, what, with all the cooking preparation.
This is what I came up with:
Because a $9.99 feed trough from TJMaxx, in the kitchen? Yeah, that speaks to me!
Where will you put your pretty new file folders?  Let me know, because 3 lucky readers will be receiving a set of them! I have some beautiful ones! Just leave a comment, one only please, and I will choose some winners Sunday at noon.

Are You Happy?

We live in a beautiful world that God created.  

But not everything is beautiful.
Our world is inundated with ugly things. 
I fear for my children  all while trusting God.  
I don’t think He intended those two things to be done simultaneously.
Some days, I do better than others.
After watching the news and reading about crime, sometimes I feel like our home, our cocoon, is being watched by a hungry predator.
And yet, I feel like we are overcoming the enemy of ungodliness.  
Because we are happy.
Sure, we have bad days.  Just read my blog awhile.  We aren’t perfect.  We argue, disagree, and make plenty of mistakes.  We crave material possessions and don’t seek God enough.
We don’t laugh all the time or smile constantly.  We’re just a pretty average family. But our happiness runs deeply because it comes from joy.  Joy grows from a deep contentment for the good and the bad because God is good.  All the time.
I ran across this article by The American Chronicle, titled, “Secrets of Happier Families.”
According to research that crosses socioeconomic lines, there are seven similarities happy families have in common:
  1. Priority is placed on the primary relationship
  2. Respect for children
  3. Time spent together
  4. Regular family meetings
  5. Open and honest communication
  6. Showing appreciation
  7. A spiritual focus
I don’t think this article was written from a Christian perspective and I would put them in a different order.  But aren’t these the reasons Christians should be happy?
The author ends with this, What these findings do tell us is what most of us on some level already know but do not consistently practice. Namely, that a cohesive family unit that is willing to work daily at creating a loving, respect-filled, secure, and mutually supportive environment for one another in spite of external pressures can thrive… even in today´s uncertain world.”
Many times, our happiness depends upon our situation.  Good day, things going our way? Happy face.  Crummy day? Happiness is out the window.  
I think perspective keeps our happiness level.
Are you happy? 
Food for the Soul:
James 5:13, “Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise.”

Sincerely ‘Fro Me to You-The Fun Run

Hello!  Glad to have your here this week for Sincerely ‘Fro Me to You!  If you want to join in, please read guidelines here.

I have always had an athletic build.
Let me rephrase that.
I had an athletic build, before three pregnancies left me with a dumpy athletic build.
Don’t wait for the punch line.  Because I’m not joking.
As a kid, I was muscular.  I had large thigh muscles and defined calves.  I had a runner’s body.
The summer before the  seventh grade, I aspired to join the jr. high track team.
So, I signed up for the Summer Fun Run.
Because I thought it would be fun.
Did I mention that it was a 5 mile run and I had never even run a mile?
Yeah, that didn’t seem to be nearly as important as my outfit. Does Jane Fonda ring a bell?
I remember being very concerned about what I wore.  I coordinated my top and shorts to match my brand new little white canvas sneakers (the ones WalMart sells for like $3 bucks).  
The idea of support never once crossed my mind, until I actually started running.
And then that’s all I thought about. My legs ached, my feet cramped. And the blisters were unsightly.
I remember thinking, “Fun run? You’ve got to be kidding me.  What’s so fun about this?”
My parents and siblings followed me in the car, screaming out the window, “Go, Kristen!  You can do it!”
I was dying.  Surely, this was death.
I’m not sure how I finished the run, but I did, dead last.  I learned something very important that day.  
I was destined to be a sprinter.
And just because the word ‘fun’ is in the title, doesn’t mean it will be.
But this?  Laughing at all of you? Now, that is fun.