Thursday, April 29, 2010

A Clean Giveaway

I've teased you long enough; the giveaway is here!!

It's hard to believe it's been over a year since I joined the blogging world.  I still remember my first comment from Amy.  (If you don't follow Amy, you should. She's crazy talented and inspirational.  I also happen to know her IRL so you can believe me when I say she's awesome.)  This past year has been one of major change for us, that included some valleys, but mostly a year of amazing growth for our whole family.  Thank you for sharing in our journey and I hope you'll stick around to see how God continues to work in our lives.  

To commemorate our blogiversary (and writing more than 100 posts), I'm giving away an amazing product to one of you.

Since we all love to clean...
What? you don't love cleaning? 
That's ok, you can still enter to win.  In fact, you may even find you enjoy it with this product!

A little history:
When Skylar was one month old (to the day), she had an allergic reaction to the chemicals in dryer sheets and actually stopped breathing.  Scariest moment of my life.  After that I started researching all the chemicals in the house and I was shocked by what I found.  Majority of popular cleaners contain carcinogens.  Also, one of the most caustic of all cleaners is laundry soap! If a child drinks laundry detergent, he/she will have 3rd degree burns within a matter of minutes.  I grimace to think that I used CLR with my kids in the house! (the fumes alone from that one can cause respiratory damage).  So we started using "greener" products and homemade concoctions.  The green products were expensive, but worth it.  The homemade concoctions just didn't work all that well.  (Peroxide just couldn't remove all the hard water stains on my shower doors).

Just recently I was introduced to a company called Melaleuca that is non-toxic, and affordable!

Rest assured I was skeptical because I thought it was just another Amway type of thing.  Now that I have used their products for 4 months, I can honestly say it's not.  I have been amazed by all of their products and I love that I can have the girls "help" me clean without worrying about the chemicals in the cleaners. I'm not interested in making it a "business" and getting folks to sign up.  I am, however, interested in showing folks a good alternative.

So- I decided to give away one of my favorite cleaners.  It's called "Tub n Tile".  It cleans our bathrooms like nothing I have ever used! The main ingredient is Citric acid so it smells like oranges. :) One person will get the Tub n Tile cleaner and spray bottle.  It's concentrated (just add water) so you are actually getting SIX bottles of cleaner!

How to enter-each item gets one entry:
1. Leave a comment telling me the thing you most dislike cleaning.
2. Follow our blog (or let me know you already do!).
3. Tweet about the giveaway.

Be sure to leave a comment for each one that you do.
Good luck!
I will choose a winner at random on Monday, May 3rd.

I am not being compensated by Melaleuca for this review and giveaway.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

out of the mouths of babes

The last few days have been spent tending to a very feverish 2 year old.  She was exposed to hand, foot, mouth disease so I'm pretty much waiting to see if this high fever turns into it.  Praying it doesn't.  I need to grocery shop and clean but she's clingy and wants a lot of mommy's attention so I'm perfecting my snuggling.  But that doesn't mean I can't blog :)

Here are a few fun things heard around our house lately:

Skylar: Mommy, you forgot to get me a straw.
Me: No, I didn't forget. I just haven't got to it yet.  I'm goin as fast as I can sweetheart.
Skylar: (pauses for moment) If you had roller skates on, I bet you could go faster.
(how do you argue with that logic???)

Bailey: (while staring out the sliding glass door) Mommy! Look!
Me: What is it baby?
Bailey: Jesus! He coming!
Me: (a little panicked and running to the door) I don't see anyone out there love.
Bailey: No see Jesus?
Me: No,  I don't see him.
Bailey: (looking outside again)...ooooh, no Jesus.  Jest a waget ("wagon" in Bailey-speak).

At the breakfast table:
Skylar: I had a bad dream last night and I was scared.
Me: Oh, I'm sorry.  But remember that we don't have to be afraid because God is always with us and He takes away all our fears.
Reagan: Yah Skylar.  Fear is sin.  You just need to pray and it will go away.
(Seriously...from the mouth of a 6 year old.)

While Bailey was resting on the couch next to me, I turned on Dancing with the Stars.  She perked up and said "Dancing uh Stars!" and then proceeded to dance around in front of the television while taking her clothes off.  Uh oh!

I hope your week is going well.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

I heart this smiling face

This week's challenge over at "I heart Faces" is simply "smiles."  My girls offer lots of smiles, but this one is my recent favorites, so i had to share.  I posted one similar to it on here last weekend, but this is the picture I took right after.  This is her "ok I'll smile for the camera, but this is as good as my smile is going to get mommy" look.  :D

Head on over to iheartfaces and see other "smiling faces"

Friday, April 23, 2010


I love the rain, but only because I get to see this after it passes:

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Thursday Tidbits

We went to the dentist today and all three girls did SO well! The hygienist said they were the best patients all week!  And there were no cavities so it was a successful visit.

We are starting to plan Reagan's birthday party.  She wants to have it at the same place we had Skylar and Bailey's party last month so it makes the planning easy.  She wants to invite her entire class so we are working with her on dwindling the list. It's hard to believe she's going to be seven.

This week Reagan brought home a sheet of paper with "tips to keep up with learning through the summer." Seven more weeks!! Come on Summer!!

You wouldn't know Summer is on it's way by the weather we have had lately though.  It's been FREEZING (yes, I understand I'm a Californian and "freezing" might mean something different for you, but "freezing" for me is mid-60's and lower).  We've had a few days of rain and I would be lying if I said I wasn't enjoying it.  I know the Summers here are dry and hot so I'm soaking in the rain (pun intended) as much as I can.  There's just something about the sound of rain that soothes me.  Don't get me wrong though...I couldn't live in the NW.  I enjoy the sunshine after the rain even more.

Bailey has started talking in her sleep. It's seriously funny to watch! Last night she sang almost the entire ABC song!! Wish I had videotaped it.  She's pretty cute singing it without being asleep so maybe I will record that instead.

Our garden is growing!!! We are official farmers! (I know, those of you that actually live on a farm or near one are laughing right now).  This whole "growing" process is fascinating for the girls (and me too!).  I accidentally decapitated one of our pea sprouts the other morning so Brian has officially declared that I should just "leave the gardening to him." :D  Gladly.

I have a giveaway coming but I need to wait until closer to the end of April. But I promise it's coming.

Tomorrow is Friday and I'm so excited! This week has been a whirlwind and I'm ready for a weekend to recoup!

I hope your week has been blessed!!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

a little perspective

Let's face it.  Not every day as a mom is sunshine and roses.

My kids make messes.  Lots of them.  They also change their clothes frequently, cover their bathroom with toothpaste, forget to flush, forget to share, ask for snacks all too often....(I'm sure you get the idea).  There are days where it can feel overwhelming and I feel underappreciated.  Not that we do anything for our families out of a desire for appreciation, but sometimes it's nice to hear that our hard work is recognized.

The last few days I was ready to hand out hats to anyone willing to join me at my pity party.  Bailey has discovered how to scream.  Loudly.  Whenever someone (Skylar) tries to take a toy from her hands.  She's also figured out how to whimper like a puppy when she is told 'no.'  It's lovely.  Really.  Skylar has decided that picking up toys is "too hard" so she cries every time she is asked to clean up the playroom (and has almost completely given up naps).  Reagan keeps "forgetting" things.  Like brushing her teeth and putting her shoes away (among other things).

Even though there are times when I feel like crawling under my bed, it's in those moments when God sends a little perspective my way.

A friend of mine posted on facebook this week: "Complaining is literally fuel for the devil's fire."

Then, another friend gave a sermon about complaining and tweeted about "choosing to find the joy in your day."  (This is the same friend that also reminded me of a great quote regarding raising children: "The days are long but the years pass so quickly.")

I got to be part of another friend's journey toward helping a cause close to my heart (literally and figuratively). :D

A relative of mine has been dealing with a chemical addiction and this week she started to break free from it.

The world is bigger than the walls in my house.  And I'm blessed.  So even though today was not all sunshine and roses, and the girls went through nine outfits combined (5 of those were Skylar), I didn't get all the laundry done that I wanted to, nor have I showered, and it basically took a hazmat team to get the girls' bathroom clean, I choose joy.  I choose to focus on the fact that my girls are incredibly healthy and creative (see the "water" slide below).  I choose to find joy in the fact that my almost 7 year old picked out her own bathing suit while shopping today and picked one with Minnie Mouse on it (she's still a little girl, yay!).  I suppose I can also find joy in the fact that she somehow convinced me to buy a second bathing suit for when the "first one is drying or dirty."  Gotta love those bargaining skills.  I found joy in my girls playing together so nicely (until Reagan dumped the watering can full of water on her sister "on accident").  I find joy in their silliness of just being little girls. I found joy in the little things (like my husband bringing me an afternoon cup of coffee).

Today, I chose to thank God for the sunshine.  And the roses.

Probably my new favorite picture of Skylar.  I see this expression multiple times a day!

Roses from our yard

I hope today you found joy.  If not, stay tuned because I'm going to have a giveaway soon and who doesn't love THAT?!

Friday, April 16, 2010

There's always time for Cinnamon Rolls!

Recently a friend of mine tweeted that she wished there was an "app" that could take all the blog post ideas in your head and write them for you.  In a dream world, wouldn't that be awesome?!

We've been busy with life and enjoying our spectacular weather, but I wanted to share another recipe with you all.  We had some friends that were in town recently and we invited them over for breakfast.  I made my homemade cinnamon rolls (that my family LOVES).  They got rave reviews and now I'm getting requests for the recipe.  So, here it is! Enjoy!!


  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 (3.4 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon white or brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups bread flour
  • 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • For the filling:
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans
  • For the Icing:
  • 1/2 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons milk


  1. If you have a bread machine you can just put it in there: combine water, melted butter, vanilla pudding, warm milk, egg, 1 tablespoon sugar, salt, bread flour and yeast. Set machine to Dough cycle; press Start. And then skip to step 4.
  2. If you do NOT have a bread machine, then you need to combine the water, and melted butter with the tablespoon of sugar and the yeast package.  You need to "foam" the yeast.  Mix it well and cover it with plastic wrap while you combine the milk, pudding, and egg together.  (if it does not "foam", you need to start over with another yeast packet).
  3. Add your foamed yeast to the milk and pudding mixture.  Then add the four cups of bread flour.  It's important to use bread flour because it has extra gluten in it necessary for the good "dough-y" cinnamon rolls.  Mix until you have a ball of dough. Set it in a clean bowl in a warm place (microwave or under a towel) for about an hour to let the dough rise.  
  4. Then, turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a 17x10 inch rectangle. Spread with softened butter. In a small bowl, stir together brown sugar, cinnamon and pecans if you want them. Sprinkle brown sugar mixture over dough.
  5. Roll up dough, beginning with long side. Slice into 16 one inch slices and place in 9x13 buttered pan. Let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes. While rolls bake, stir together cream cheese, softened butter, confectioners' sugar, vanilla and milk. Remove rolls from oven and top with frosting.


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Sharing my Winnings!

A while back I said I would highlight some of my amazing blog giveaway wins.  I've been SO blessed and love when I find a great product (and a great deal).  Here's another one! I won this super sweet dog collar from Amy over at Priddy Creations. (She's crazy talented and has a great etsy shop herself, but also hosts some amazing giveaways from other etsy shop owners). I was lucky enough to win one!

This is our sweet little rescue pup Sophie.  (Isn't she so cute?!) She is nine years old (but we have only had her for 7 years), and she has always hated collars.  She used to run and hide when we wanted to take her on a walk.  She would scratch at the "webbed" collars (and even get her claws stuck in it!).  But when I won this awesome collar from Tiffany at Bailey Brooke Designs (how can you not love something with the name 'Bailey' in it?), we decided to give it one more try.  

She. Loves. It.  

It's made from pure cotton with a ribbon sewn on for sweet detail.  Our groomer took it upon herself to match Sophie's bows to her awesome collar.  We love it so much we had to order a second one for our other pooch, Cali.  

If you have a need for a great dog collar, go visit Tiffany! Great products at a great price (and great customer service!). 

Saturday, April 10, 2010


It was warm yesterday.  Not the crazy hot that we will see in a few months, but certainly warm for this time of year.  

We planted a garden.

The girls played with chalk

And ate popsicles

and watched them melt

But this face....

and this face

and this face...

....make me melt...

Hope you are having a great weekend! 

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter Weekend!! aka...a really long post with lots of pictures

Wow! What a weekend! Sadly it went too fast, but we are so grateful that it was filled with fun and family!

Saturday was our city's annual Eggstravaganza!! Last year the girls were freezing in their pretty little dresses so this year they wore long pants and sweatshirts (and of course it was warm so they started shedding layers almost immediately).  And of course we forgot our egg baskets AGAIN so they had to use their bike helmets.  They didn't seem to mind.  They had one thing on their minds....candy!

They are divided by age group which works out well for a mom-tographer like myself.  I was able to get pictures of each girl separately.  It's a bit of mayhem for about 34 seconds.  They drop the rope and the kids run onto the field, gathering as many eggs as they can.

Here's Skylar with the "fours"

Reagan with the "sixes"

And Bailey in the "two and under" area 

On the way home we stopped at the creek and the girls played for a few minutes building a "dam." 

We colored eggs at night and the girls had so much fun! We even let Bailey drop (literally drop) her eggs into the dye cups.  

(check out that sassy look! she cracks me up!)

Easter morning arrived and the girls found their baskets on the table.  

In the afternoon we headed down to my parents house for lunch and another Easter egg hunt.

Reagan picking oranges off the tree.

Bailey REALLY wanted to go swimming in the neighbors pool.

Bailey waiting *ever so patiently* for lunch

Enjoying some sweet tea!

READY for the egg hunt!!

Mostly they all just ran in opposite directions (that's my niece Sydney with Bailey).

After they all opened their eggs, we busted out the bubbles and let them run off some of that sugar.

What most of my pictures look like from that day....the back of the girls!

All in all, we had a wonderful weekend celebrating the hope we have in Christ. Yes, we ate chocolate bunnies, and wore pretty dresses, but we also made sure that we told the girls about why we even celebrate Easter.  They know that the tomb is empty and Jesus is alive! 

It also seemed very appropriate that on "that day" over 2000 years ago, the Bible says "the earth trembled and the stone was rolled away" and we too had our own "earth trembling" moment with a 6.9 quake on Easter afternoon.  

I hope your Easter was blessed as well! 


Blog Archive