Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me!

Yes, I will admit it. I turned 30 today and I am not afraid to say so. LOL :-D I have seen people write about things they have accomplished or big events in their lives, facts about them, on their birthday posts. For instance, someone that turns 21 will list 21 things that have happened in their life. So, just for fun, I thought I would do that too. (Not in any particular order)

1. Gave my life to God on August 31, 1998. (Not something I earned...but a gift for anyone who asks)

2. Learned to play the piano (but forgot most of it)

3. Learned to play the flute (forgot most of that too)

4. Played varsity basketball my freshman year of HS

5. Played varsity volleyball my junior/senior year

6. Ran track in high school (Hurdles...and hated it...but at least I did it)

7. Got my driver's license

8. Learned to drive a stick shift

9. Lettered in Academics my freshman year of high school

10. Learned how to use a sewing machine (in High School)

11. Grandma Krumme taught me how to crochet a chain (not sure when, but probably middle school?)

12. Relearned how to crochet and actually made a blanket (my MIL "retaught" me)

13. Graduated from High School

14. Graduated from College (2000)

15. Married my best friend (2002)

16. Went to Israel in January 2000

17. Student teaching in January 2001 at Chinle High School in Chinle, Arizona (on the Navajo Reservation)

18. Saw the Grand Canyon on my trip to Arizona

19. Survived my student teaching at Centerburg HS (That was a long4 months) ;-)

20. Gave birth to 4 children

21. Graduated Magna Cum Laude from MVNC

22. Learned to cook many things from scratch and started the "tradition" of making my family's birthday cakes.

23. Did Electricity, photography, ceramics, and Foods for 4-H in Indiana. (one of the few girls to do electricity)

24. Sewed my first skirt/vest (for college class)

25. Learned/learning to cook gluten free

26. Learned the basics of knitting (well..still need to work on those)

27. Homeschooling my children

28. Learned how to hang drywall

29. Had a benign tumor removed from my left breast when I was a freshman in college.

30. Training my children for the Lord.

And here is a slideshow from my day. Blessings to all. I hope you enjoy

Monday, December 14, 2009

Keeping Busy

We are still alive and just like everyone else we have a lot going on. :-) But I wanted to share pictures for all of our family and friends that have been waiting patiently. (I Know...I know...I don't post enough.) First up is a picture of Special K of course! :-) I can't believe she will be 7 weeks old tomorrow!


"Yeah...I know I'm beautiful!" ;-)

And this is the time of year to buy things for the children that they don't normally get. One of those things are nuts in the shells. It is pretty interesting to watch. Just as long as you pay attention in case you need to duck. Many nuts went flying across the room. LOL Oh well...this only happens one time a year and they have a lot of fun with it. Plus they learn there are more than just one kind of nut. :-)

Next up is Little E as "Dee-Doe"

Can you guess what is going on in this picture?

Did you guess it?

Yes..I did give the children two bags of kisses to unwrap. I know..I am nuts, but believe it or not they didn't eat any. I ended up giving them two a piece, but since they knew they were for the gluten free peanut blossom cookies they did really good. (Better than I did when my Mother gave me the job.) LOL Plus it was much faster to let Big T, Sweet E, and Little E unwrap them all instead of having to do it myself.

And after all of that, the children got to make suckers too! Aren't the suckers cute? They are super easy. It's just two miniature candy canes placed together in the shape of the heart and heated in the oven until slightly melted.

Just remember to have the oven set at the correct temperature. Just ask me how I know....LOL

And lastly a video of our sweet, Special K. :-) Hope you enjoy. I know that it gets dark at one point. Somebody decided to stand in the way of the overhead light. ;-) LOL

My First Brainbox

I know...what a title to start off with right? I was lucky enough to do another review for Timberdoodle and this time it was for the "My First Brainbox" and a Hot Rocket. (***Disclosure: Mama Buzz and reviewers, received a complimentary copy of this game and rocket for review purposes.**)

Price: Brainbox- $17.00

From Timberdoodles Website:

Do You Have a Young Child?
If you have a young child, My First BrainBox should be in your home. With 55 sturdy picture/question cards, it will be a game that can be used for many years, in many ways.

Springboard to Developing Observation Skills

For a very young child each charming illustration can be a springboard to developing fundamental observation skills. If you don't know what to ask, use the questions on the back as your basic starting point. And because most of the colorful illustrations in My First BrainBox are of familiar scenes, the next step would be to have your children study the picture and tell you a story about it. This develops their imagination and logic skills as they strive to make sense of the unknown.

Encouraging Visual Memory
Then, as your child matures, he will be ready to develop both his short and long-term memory, so challenge him to recall the details after he has studied a My First BrainBox card for 10 seconds. A die is rolled, and if your child can answer the corresponding question on the back of the card, the card is his. This will encourage his visual memory and even his auditory processing skills. You know how deficient young children can be in both arenas, and you will be hard-pressed to find another program that addresses these needed proficiencies in such an effortless manner.

Designed for Pre-readers and Beyond

Designed especially for pre-readers, there are no words on the fronts of the cards, just child-friendly images, so My First BrainBox is suitable for any child, even those as young as 3. My First BrainBox is a delightful way for your child to attain so many vital skills

Game Includes:
  • Total of 56 durable cards in a sturdy box
  • 55 picture/question cards
  • 1 rules/information card
  • 6 questions per card
  • 1 sand timer
  • 1 eight-sided die

    Manufacturer's Information
    Manufacturer: MindWare
    Made In: China
    Ages: 3+
    Players: 1 or more
    Time To Play: 10 minute

  • I was interested to see how well all three of the older children would take to the game. And...I was presently surprised! I should say that I tried it out on Beloved and myself first. I was surprised at some things I missed on a few of the cards. I had to focus more on all aspects of the picture and not just the "obvious." And when we brought it out for the children ...they had a ton of fun with it. I should probably clarify how it is played a little more...shouldn't I? The person picks a card out of the box, you set the 10 sec timer and they study the picture for those 10 seconds. Then the card is handed to someone else and the individual (who was studying the picture) rolls the dice. You roll the dice to find out what question is to be asked. Sometimes...it's something like... "How many fish were in the picture?" You would be surprised what you remember and don't remember.

    Anyway, the children were arguing over who's turn it was. The nice thing about this game is that you can play by the rules given or you can alter them. Sometimes instead of rolling the dice to figure out which question to ask we would just ask all of the questions to see how many they could correctly answer. Another plus is that this can be a very quick game or you can play it for a long time depending on the age of the participants. Sometimes you just don't want to play a game that will take an hour...you know? :-)

    Oh...and then there was the Hot Rocket! Let me just tell you....everyone had a TON of FUN with it. :-) Myself included. LOL But you do have to be careful with it. Little E got himself in the nose when he let go of it. But it didn't stop him from trying it again and again. I ended up making it a toy that they could only play with when Beloved got home from work. I couldn't keep up with the three older ones wanting to play with it (and reminding them to take turns) and Special K. I think they have played with it every day since it came in the mail.
    Price: Hot Rocket- $1.95

    Once again I can not say enough of how much I enjoy just browsing the
    Timberdoodle website. Plus right now they have flat rate shipping of $5.95 for orders over $25. Timberdoodle is giving all my readers a coupon code. Anyone who uses the code "cfreerocket"and orders within a week (by 12/21/09) gets a free Hot Rocket! Isn't that awesome? You just need to add the Hot Rocket and the coupon to the order or you can put it in the "comment" section of your order and they will take care of it! Just remember that the rocket can not ship media mail. Come on...who wouldn't love a free rocket. Even if you can't think of a child that would want it...I bet you could think of plenty of adults that would like one. LOL

    Remember too that they have a wide variety of educational games. Beloved and I are thinking of ordering one or two of the other BrainBox games for the children in the future and I am looking at the possibility of other games to add to our "arsenal" for school and rainy days. They also have homeschool curriculum for those of you trying to find something that would work for your family.

    Sunday, December 06, 2009

    Need Coffee

    I found this video while I was looking through old posts....still just as funny. :-)

    Wednesday, December 02, 2009

    Fun and Family

    Boy...once again I do have a lot to catch up on. So I will make this as short as possible. :-) First up...instead of calling the newest addition Baby K I am now going to call her "Special K." Her uncle started calling the sweet one that and I think it's a good idea. :-) So, first up are a couple of odds n ends pics. I just can't get enough of Special K. She is absolutely adorable and it's even cuter to capture funny pics of her. ;-)

    Sweet E.....still as sweet as ever. :-D

    Little E usually has his Dee-Doe (Diego) backpack on these days. He enjoys looking at books too.

    On Thanksgiving day we headed down to my parents home. It was so good to get to see my Sissy (I have only seen her 2 times this past year) and her Fiance (and it had been about 2 years since I have seen him!). This picture leaves much to be desired. Half of us are in the shade and the others are stuck "squinting" in the sun. Won't even go into how bad I look......so...next pic please.... ;-)

    It's pretty hard to hold on to a sleeping baby and not fall asleep yourself...let alone after eating Thanksgiving dinner. :-)

    They both found something amusing.

    This is a much better pic of my Sissy and her Fiance......I can't wait for them to have some babies. (My children need some cousins!) My Sis is gonna kill me for saying that. LOL But Sis, when the time comes....you know your babies will be beyond adorable! ;-)

    Then the following Saturday was the Christmas Parade. It helps that the parade route is only a few blocks South of us. Perfect walking distance! So...here they are patiently waiting.

    Sweet E is ready! Her bag was pretty full by the time we got home.

    Here they come!

    Recognize anyone Marci? ;-)

    After the parade was Thanksgiving Dinner with Beloved's family. I think they put something in the food because a lot of them got pretty goofy after dinner. Here is Sweet E dressed as Grandpa. LOL If you know him...you will understand completely! :-)

    Special K even joined in on the game playing.

    And then she decided to try and blend in with the toys. :-)

    As you can tell...we had a lot of fun over the holiday weekend. :-) Praying you all are having a great week. Blessings to all!

    Tuesday, November 24, 2009

    Baby Girls All Around!

    I just had to say what a wonderful time of year. Not just because the holidays are coming up, but because of all the new baby girls (and a baby boy too!) First was Beloved's cousin...she had a little boy two days before Baby K was born. Then yesterday a friend had her first baby (a girl) and her cousin followed suit about 3 hours later! Just many more things to be thankful for. Oh how fun it would be to get all those babies together, but sadly we all live in different states. God is so good! I just had to share that. :-) I should add that while Baby K is my fourth child this is the first for the other three Mamas. May the Lord bless you all on the wonderful journey of Motherhood that is ahead of you. :-)

    Monday, November 23, 2009

    She's beautiful

    Of course you all already know that. It is hard for me to believe that she will be 4 weeks old tomorrow. It has gone by so fast and they only stay this small for such a very short time. And can you believe I have taken a lot of pictures of Baby K since she was born? I know...it's hard to believe isn't it. LOL But I wanted to show some pictures that are not necessarily the best ones, but they are pretty funny. At least they are to me. :-)

    And then we have a pic of Papa with his pretty girl. :-)

    And one of Little E because I think it's funny he fell asleep on the dining room table. :-)

    I forgot something.....see if you can see what is wrong in the pic of Little E. :-)

    Timberdoodle: Puzzleball Globe

    Puzzleball Globe

    96-Piece Children's Globe

    For children in the early grades, consider the 96-piece Puzzleball Globe. Large pieces and child-friendly graphics make this a perfect puzzle for a six-year old.
    PuzzleBall Globe
    Bright, colorful, and adorned with animals, your young students will get a kick out of assembling and reassembling this puzzle.

    Why Give Your Child A Puzzle To Teach Geography?
    Puzzles can be educational in so many ways because they stretch your child's brain and improve the way his mind solves problems. While he's solving a puzzle, he's really teaching his brain to work in new ways. As your child solves a geography puzzle he is mentally drilling himself with physical facts, such as what country goes next to the one he has just completed. Unconsciously he is making a number of associations as he searches for the next piece.

    More Realistic Than A Flat Puzzle
    Flat puzzles of spherical items are easier to assemble, but what if you could hone your geographical skills on something more appropriate, more true to life? Now you can with Puzzleball Globes. These sturdy plastic 3-D puzzles come in different levels suitable to be used with beginners or for a refresher for both your pre-teens and older children.

    No Glue Required!
    Each Puzzleball Globe comes with beautiful, vibrantly-colored, and perfectly-crafted curved puzzle pieces that allow for an exact fit and are easily assembled with no glue required!! A stand is included to display your work of art, but you will have so much fun putting it together that you shouldn't be surprised if the stand gets little use!

    Price: $12.75

    Put out by: Timberdoodle (Publisher: Ravensburger)

    ***Disclosure: Mama Buzz and reviewers, received a complimentary copy of this puzzle for review purposes.

    Big T was so excited when this came in the mail! He wanted to tear into it right then and there. But being a Mama to 4 young children (one of which isn't even 1 month old yet) I wasn't ready for the task. But we let Baby K pose with the puzzle. :-)

    I absolutely loved this puzzle. The pieces are plastic (which is the greatest idea every) and you don't need glue. Plus for someone like me trying to help Big T it was great that the pieces are numbered. Not only are they numbered but it even tells you were to place the next piece by looking at which way the arrow points. (I need to add that the first puzzle piece is located by itself in a separate plastic bag. So you don't have to hunt for it! Isn't that awesome?)

    Big T really enjoyed putting this puzzle together. He would sometimes try to find the next piece by looking for the image and sometimes he would use the numbers.

    Once we completed the puzzle he wanted to take it apart and do it again. Sadly for Big T...Mama said no. I needed to take care of the other children, but I know it will be dismantled shortly and put together again. Once he masters this one I know we will probably purchase one of the large ones to continue to challenge him. There are many Homeschool Supplies that I would absolutely love to get from Timberdoodle. I have a list started already. :-) You all should check it out. Even if you don't homeschool there is a lot of cool things that your children would love. :-)

    Tuesday, November 17, 2009

    The Story of Christmas

    Photobucket The Story of Christmas by Gwen Ellis
    Illustrated by Steve Smallman
    Ages: 4-7
    Put out by: Thomas Nelson
    Price: $10.99

    ***Disclosure: Mama Buzz and reviewers, received a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes.

    The first thing my children noticed was that the book came with a DVD. The y then promptly proceeded to watch the DVD. LOL Honestly...it was much better than I thought it would be. I think they watched it at least two times. The illustrations and writing are like what you find in the Read and Share Bible. (Well, it's not like it, it is from the Read and Share Bible.) The description from the back cover says:

    Young hearts will love the delightful art and simple retelling of the events surrounding the Christmas story. With angels, shepherds, wise men, and Baby Jesus, this book is sure to be a perennial favorite.

    The book starts out with the story the angel appearing to Zechariah, the birth of John the Baptist, the angel appearing to Mary, Joseph marrying Mary, birth of Jesus, the wise men, fleeing to Egypt, and their return home. I think our family's favorite part of the book is actually the last 4 pages. They have taken 3 to 4 pictures for every page, from the previous stories, and jumbled them up. The children then study the pages and retells the story by saying which picture happened first. It's fun to watch the children sit and think about what was read to them and how they retell the stories are cute and interesting.

    Thank you to Thomas nelson again for allowing me the opportunity to review this children's book.

    Monday, November 16, 2009

    Yes, we are still alive

    Believe it or not I am still alive. I know alot of people are surprised since I am doing my best to heal up, take care of a newborn and the three older children. LOL But....trust me... I am not doing it alone. I have had a lot of help. Praise the Lord! Anyway, you know the first thing I have to show are some pictures of Baby K. She is just the sweetest thing ever! Just don't tell me other children that. LOL :-)

    My Grandpa and Step Grandma were able to come up to see Baby K (and the other children) on Sunday. I was so glad they were able to come. The family Christmas was Saturday but we couldn't go because of the Upward Soccer award presentation for the children. Anyway. Here is a picture of Grandpa with his newest Great- Granddaughter. :-) ( Edited to add- My Mom came up on Sunday as well...don't want to leave her out)

    Do you know how hard it is to get 4 children to sit still for a picture...let alone the rowdy great-grandparents?

    You can tell they are all wondering if they are done yet.

    Plus the children had a good time trying to figure out what in the world Great-Grandpa was carrying around with him. They liked to listen for the noise it made. :-)

    I almost forgot to show pictures from the soccer awards program this past Saturday. I don't have any good pictures. The lighting...and sitting further back in the sanctuary made it hard to get a decent picture. I can't remember the details of the lady that was there except that her last name is Yoder, her husband is a cabinet maker in Plain City, she is originally from South Dakota and the youngest of 12. She did all sorts of tricks and things with basketballs. Big T even got to spin the basketball on his finger. She tried to have Little E do it too, but he moved his finger and he got hit in the face with the basketball. :-( Oh well...they all enjoyed it. She pulled a lot of people from the audience to do some of the tricks and stuff with her.

    Because I couldn't figure out the right setting for the camera I didn't get a picture of Sweet E's team (half weren't there) but I did get this picture of Big T and his team at least.

    Ever since seeing Mrs. Yoder do tricks with basketballs on Saturday Big T has spent majority of his time outside the past two days getting better at dribbling and trying a few tricks of his own. :-)