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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Big Brother is Watching!

GIVEAWAY: Enter to win a FREE canvas print from Easy Canvas Prints HERE! Giveaway ends Saturday night, so leave a comment! :)

Have you ever had that day when everything is rushed and you just can't keep up? Those days when you're late to everything, and "everything" is a long list of important appointments, activities, or errands? Well, that was a me yesterday, the day before, the day before that, and all the days before that day about a month ago.

It was a Friday morning, and I was running extremely late to my son's therapy appointment. Now, I have already had a situation being 2 minutes late, and was reprimanded by the receptionist about how my appointment would be canceled and rescheduled if I was late in the future. Yup, 2 minutes! I'm sure her chastisement had nothing to do with the fact that I had asked her to mind her mouth the week before. She's been totally unprofessional in the past, screwed up scheduling our appointments, and when we finally made it to the first appointment my boys had to listen to her drop the F bomb from her desk!

Ok, that's where I draw the line. I seriously do not know how some people have jobs in this economy. I kindly asked her to watch her mouth in front of my boys, and that we could hear her loud and clear from behind her reception window. I simply told her it was very unprofessional, and we did not want to hear that kind of language. I mean really! We're waiting to be seen by our therapist! She apologized.

After fighting with her over our appointments and reminding her that my children can hear her foul mouth, I'm sure she couldn't wait for me to be late. Then we were. BY 2 MINUTES! Needless to say she jumped at the opportunity to point it out to me.

So I vowed NEVER to be even one second late to these appointments. I really like the therapist. It's not his fault that she works there. So, I was running late when this happened...

Please click on this image, so you can be blown away, like me!
I ran a red light.

I remember running the red light, and saying, "Oh my gosh! I just ran a red light!"

I also remember NOT getting pulled over for said offense, and proclaiming how lucky I was to have escaped the law.

Then, about a week or so later, I got a lovely letter above in mail. With the picture!

Really?! You can get tickets in the mail?

Not only can you get a ticket in the mail, but you get pictures of yourself committing the crime.

There's even a link where you can watch yourself on video!!

So, $158 later, we were still late and I got the stink eye from the receptionist.

*I would like to point out that no one in my family or anyone's was injured during the making of this ticket. 
PS, I've since graduated to a level of civility with the receptionist. I love to win people over and show them that it stinks to be miserable all the time! It's a challenge I take on often. She's actually quite pleasant now.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I guess I'm not famous...

GIVEAWAY: Enter to win a FREE canvas print from Easy Canvas Prints HERE! Giveaway ends Saturday night, so leave a comment! :)
Remember the bank I told you I would NEVER step foot in again? Well, yesterday, I swallowed my pride and showed my face in there. Our bank had a summer reading incentive program. Read ten books, get a $10 deposit into a new junior account. Let me just tell you my little business shark was all over that!

A few weeks ago we were at the drive-thru ATM, because I vowed never to show my face in there again, and there was an ad for this reading program that, of course, my son read. He was all, "Mom that says I can get $10!"

Yup! It sure does, honey.

So yesterday, I did the walk of shame for my baby. Again.

 He proudly presented his reading certificate... 

...went over the details of his new bank account like a man,  

...and signed on the dotted line. 

Oddly, no one recognized me as the crazy mother I was a month or so ago. Huh? I guess it's not always about me. 

He is so proud of his new account!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Easy Canvas Prints Review and Giveaway!

I was recently contacted by Easy Canvas Prints to review a canvas print of my own. I love this picture of my boys I took a couple of weeks ago, and love it even more on a canvas print!

The process of uploading, ordering, and delivery was so easy. The site is more than user friendly, and I received my canvas in just one week! I love the product! It's kind of silly to take a picture of a picture, but I wanted to show you a shot of the canvas from the side. I love the wrap around effect that canvases have. So clean!
I couldn't be more happy with my print! 

Easy Canvas Prints is giving away one 8x10 canvas to one of my readers! 
What would you use the canvas for?
This is a great gift idea!

To enter: 
Mandatory entry: 
*Visit the Easy Canvas Print website for ideas and leave me a comment telling me how you would use a canvas print in your home.  

Additional entries:
Please leave a separate comment for each additional entry. 
*Like Easy Canvas Prints on FB
*Follow Easy Canvas Prints on Twitter @easycanvas
*Follow me with GFC. 
*Tweet about this giveaway: "I want to #win a #free 8x10 @easycanvas print with @adriennesfts! #giveaway"

I was given a free canvas print in exchange for an honest review of this product. All opinions are 100% mine. 
Contest will be closed on Saturday, September 3, 2011 @ 9pm Eastern. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Wordless Wednesday-Resting in His Promises!

I took this last week when we went for an evening walk on the beach with the boys. I cannot tell you how peaceful I felt when I saw this. I felt like God had scooped me up and wrapped me in His arms.

God is so good, and I'm resting in His promises!

Joining Create with Joy, and Seven Clown Circus today for Wordless/Wordful Wednesday!
Wordless Wednesday at Create With Joy

Monday, August 22, 2011

Toilet Paper Roll Octopus Craft

Sometimes we get crafty!

My six year old still watches Nick Jr. It's all "preschool on TV", but he still loves those shows, and I'm in NO hurry for him to graduate to Cartoon Network! I love all those sweet shows, even if they are for preschoolers!

He loves to do what the people on TV tell him, and check out the website for ideas and crafts!

There are those bad days that I cringe when he comes running asking to get all the ingredients out for the most recent creation he found clicking around.

But, then I stop what I'm doing or thinking about doing, because my time with him is so precious. There will come a day when he isn't going to want to make things with me anymore.

When I step out of myself and have fun, we end up doing this...

Cut and paint toilet paper rolls.

Cut felt into 8 strips, and glue poms poms.

Yes! I have pom poms, felt, and all other sorts of nonsense just hanging around!

Because sometimes, we get crafty!

...and, he smiles...

It's so worth it to stop and do something you don't have the time to do.
Those are the times that you'll make a memory your kids will never forget.

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Carbonite: Protect photos, music, and more!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Carbonite for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

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What do you do to keep your photos and blog post safe and secure? Many of the posts I write I don't want to loose. I will often type them into a Word doc and save the file outside of Blogger. After all, what if Blogger looses my posts? I would be devastated!

When I received an offer to tell you all about Carbonite, I immediately thought it would be a great way to save photos and files. Even though I I save these precious memories to my PC, I know how bad it stinks to loose your work when your PC dies.

A few years ago we got the blue screen of death and lost hundreds of photos! I wasn't very disciplined in computer backup, and I was so upset to loose these these photos. Many of which were from a recent snowboarding trip we had gone on.

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Back to School with TracFone

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of TracFone for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

How do you stay connected with your older kids during the school year? TracFone is a great option!
 It costs very little to provide your first timers with a cell phone. I know as a parent of a teenager, the last think I want to do it sign a big contract, have texting overages, and regret getting a phone for him when the bill comes. With TracFone you can pay as you go. (HE can pay as he goes!)

I like the pay-as-you-go option for my son, because he can earn his minutes. I checked out the TracFone website when I received this offer, and I noticed they offer triple minutes! For every minute you purchase you receive three minutes! Nice! That's a great way to offer incentive to my young man!

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Pouring a Glass of What I've Learned This Summer

I'm so sad that the summer is rapidly coming to a close. We have had one eventful summer! It began with some very unexpected challenges with my son, we had fun in spite of those challenges, and it is coming to a close with the perfect ending. He's making a ton of progress, and I couldn't be happier or more proud of him!

We're in a state of denial and still trying to soak up as much sun and sand as we can before this coming Monday.

On Monday I woke up, made my coffee, looked out the window at the blue sky, and knew I would have to drop everything and take the boys to the beach. My mind clipped to that long list of back-to-school items I needed to cross off, calls I needed to make, appointments I needed set, but instead I loaded the kids up and threw them in the car!

I did not bring my camera.

I left my novel at home.

I grabbed their boogie boards, sand toys, shovel, and our chairs.

I didn't want to be distracted by anything. I wanted to soak up my children and nothing else.

We ended up having such a peaceful morning. We talked, laughed, was wonderful.

They didn't argue. We boogie boarded, layed in the sun, dug in the sand, and enjoyed the morning.

I've been thinking about school starting. Naturally, since I have to plan the lessons, and get ready, but I'm talking about the big picture. What do I want for my boys? What do I want our year to look like?

I find my answer in this passage...

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you wake up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and your gates." ~Deuteronomy 6:5-9

That is my goal for the school year. Of course, there are the things that go without saying. Education is extremely important to us. Preparing my boys for the world, middle school, high school, and college are always on my mind. I do not take the job of educating them lightly. But, in the end I want this passage for them. No matter where they are in life, because I know that if I teach them to love God with all of their heart, mind, and soul, they will not stray from His path.

Yes, they'll make mistakes. They will screw up, make the wrong choices at times, but rooted in God's word will enable them to always find their way back.

I've spent hours purchasing, organizing, and planning our curriculum. I've spent hours upon hours over the summer planning lessons. But, God will be at the center of it all! That's how I can expect success for my boys.

What I've learned this summer is this...

1. My expectations are not always God's vision for our lives.

2. Things are never what they seem or what you think.

3. I need to breathe, slow down, and focus.

4. I need to continue to take care of myself. Physically, mentally, and spiritually.

5. I need to have more fun! Time is too precious!

6. I need to die to myself everyday, ask the Lord to fill me up, and equip me.

Because he will!

God has an awesome year planned for us. I just know it!


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Let's Talk Curriculum!

Well, it's that time! We start school on Monday. We've had a blessed summer and some much needed family time and rest.

I have a love/hate relationship with choosing curriculum for the boys. In the past it's something I've tortured myself over. There are so many choices!

But, this year I really have a peace about everything we're using, and I'm so excited to see what God has planned!

I thought I'd share our curriculum choices with you, and I'd love to hear from you too!

There are so many choices out there! What homeschool curriculum do you use and why? What do you love about it? What curriculum have you tried in the past that you didn't find worked for your family. what have you fallen in love with?

Share your thoughts. Any thoughts! Let's talk curriculum!

So without further ado...


We're starting the year with this 12 week study.
The Young Peacemaker:Teaching students to respond to conflict God's Way!
It's a 12 week study with 12 workbooks for each week's lessons.
My boys are at that stage where they bicker and argue about anything!
It's the perfect time to hear what God has to say about all that fighting.

I also have individual devotionals for each of the boys.

For my youngest I use Explorer's Bible Study.
This curriculum is broken down into 30 weeks, 5 lessons a week.
Even though my son is going into 1st grade, I use the first set designed for ages 2-6. (He is 6!)
The lessons are totally adaptable!
 I use this curriculum as a guide and extend the lessons for more enrichment.
It was more important to me to go with the younger level and make sure he gets the fundamentals rather than worry with what grade he should use.
I find it's a great way to teach the basic foundations and plant seeds!

For my oldest I found what looks like a great devotional for teens.
The daily devotionals are short and introduce Old Testament people while teaching character lessons.
It's a 48 week, 5 day a week devotional. Perfect for the school week!
No, we do not do 48 weeks of school! But, he can continue to do it over the summer.

Now onto 7th grade...

Math-U-See is awesome!
Last year I made the switch from traditional math techniques mid year.
I took him back to where I found his struggles took root, and began Epsilon.
He'll be completing the end of the Epsilon workbook, and then moving into Zeta.
Math has been a struggle for him until we started using this!
 I highly recommend it for any child who struggles learning math the traditional way.

Instead of going with a general Language Arts curriculum, I decided to piece together a set of subjects I think will be best for him and his learning styles.
Spelling Power and Easy Grammar Plus look awesome!
I cannot even begin to explain the Spelling Power system, so you MUST check out the website!
I can't wait to see how he likes them!
Wordly Wise is pretty traditional and easily done independently.

We're going to being using Progeny Press for several book studies this year.
Progeny Press offers study guides for literature from a christian perspective.
We're going to work through the Chronicles of Narnia!
Beginning with book 1, The Magician's Nephew.

I love book studies because there's so many directions you can go.
We will study the author, compare and contrast the books and movies, study the historical backgrounds and settings, and so on.
It should be a lot of fun!
***2nd Semester Updates***
At the beginning of the year we had the chance to see A Wrinkle in Time live in Orlando. I decided to put Narnia aside and take full advantage of seeing classic literature come to life. We began the year with the novel by Madeline L'Engle, and worked our way through the Progeny Press book study.

It was great to read the book, see the play, and compare and contrast. My son loved the novel, however, The book study was rather long. I still have the study above on The Magician's Nephew, and will still use it, but I think I will use it more for a guide to study rather than working through the whole thing page by page. 

We are currently reading Number the Stars by Lois Lowry. 
We'll be doing a unit study on the Holocaust and visiting the Holocaust museum in Orlando. 
I have some book study aids I found online and Scholastic I will be using along with it. 
We're taking a break on Progeny Press for this one. 

numberthestars.jpg (78657 bytes)


General Science 2nd Ed. Exploring Creation with 2-Book Set
This will be our first year using Apologia. It looks great!
16 lessons designed to complete in 28 weeks.


LIFEPAC® 7th Grade History & Geography Set
We're giving Alpha and Omega Publishers a try this year for History.
Their LifePac sets include 10 workbooks for the year.
 Each workbook is completed in about 3 weeks.

We're enrolled in our fist online class with Florida Virtual School.
Totally free for Florida residents and Florida homeschoolers!
He will be taking their Business Keyboarding course.
I'm curious to see how he does with the online environment.
I think he'll like it, and we may add more in the future.
***2nd Semester Update***
The online class went so well last semester that we signed up for a 2nd one. 
This semester My oldest will be taking Critical Thinking and Problem Solving. 
Hoping it grows those exact qualities!


Now how about my 1st grader...


My youngest is more of a traditional learner.
So far it's not nearly as challenging to find curriculum that works for him.
We love Saxon Math!
 It's comprehensive, thorough, and the spiral review is excellent!
I started with him in preschool so he'll end up completing Math 2 this year.


Hooked on Phonics worked for me!
We started with the preschool set a couple of years ago, and he's learned so well!
We use this for phonics and read whatever else we can get our hands on!

I'm actually thinking about doing some book studies from Progeny Press with him too.
I just haven't decided on the books yet, but I'll keep you posted!
They have an excellent selection for lower elementary.
Storytime is our absolutley FAVORITE  time of day!
He will complete the Hooked on Phonics 2nd grade set this year!
Good for you, honey!

Zoology 1 Exploring Creation with

Bob Jones is also pretty traditional.
One of my favorite things about this publisher is how the teacher's guides are set up!
They really take the guess work out of lesson planning!
*** 2nd Semester Update***
I recently added Apologia Zoology 1 to our science lessons. 


Each of the 5 daily lesson works up to a Bible verse at the end of the week.
Love that!

We also enroll in a homeschool P.E. course at the local YMCA. 
The boys go twice a week.

My youngest plays piano and takes lessons once a week.
My oldest started guitar last year,
but took a break when he began having struggles over our move.
I'm praying he will pick it back up!

I'll be sure to share about field trips, activities, and everything God has in store for us this year!

Hip Homeschool Hop Button


Monday, August 15, 2011

My Summer Fun Show-Off

Thankfully there's a special blogger out there who always keeps me posting. Shell at Things I Can't Say has built one of my favorite blog communities, and her link ups never dissapoint! This one couldn't come at a better time for me!

I've completely neglected my blog this summer (in a good way), and this Summer Fun Show-Off is a perfect way to show you just a few reasons why! Thanks for another great link, Shell!

What have you been up to this summer! Link up your Summer Fun pics for a chance to win prizes from Ubisoft!

I've got water babies, so we've spent most of our time at the beach or pool! Our summer has been blessed with family, friends, and great memories! Here's a peek...

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Enter for a chance to win Express Jeans!

REROCK FLARE LEG JEAN - LIGHT WASH at Express This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Express for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Express jeans is giving away 50 pair of jeans! Enter to win the giveaway on their Facebook page for women's jeans!

From boot cut to flare to jean leggings, Express has the denim essentials you need! For a limited time, enter for a chance to win a free pair of jeans! The giveaway is limited, and they are only giving away 50 pairs! So go enter now!
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I love jeans! I live in them. My personal favorite is a flare leg. I'm short, and the flare leg gives me some fake height that I need. They are the most flattering fit for me.

How about you? Do you love jeans? What's your favorite fit?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A Glass for Grandma

My grandmother just celebrated her birthday this past week.

For the past ten years (at least!) she's been telling me that 86 was her number. She wasn't "gonna make it to eighty-seven". She had a dream years ago that she was dying, but that my grandfather told her that it wasn't her time to go yet, and he was coming back for her when she was 86.

I cannot tell you how many times I've heard this story!

Call me silly, but I believed it! As much as I didn't want to, I expected to say good-bye this past year.

Last year when we celebrated her birthday I thought it was going to be her last. You can't help but think that way when someone you love so much is getting this old. You cherish the birthdays, because they might be the last.

My grandma last year on her 86th birthday!

When I went by the nursing home to bring her a new nightgown and matching robe (it was pink with yellow butterflies), and wish her a happy birthday, it was hard for me to be happy. How do you wish someone a happy birthday when you know all they really want is to not have one?

I helped her open the package and held up the gown and robe before I hung them up in her closet. She loved it!

I think she was disappointed. Not about the gift, but her birthday in general.

She's been in a nursing home for over 6 months now. Since she moved there her health has deteriorated very rapidly. Not that she isn't getting great care, it's just the timing of it all, I guess.

When she first moved there I was heartbroken. I wasn't ready to let her get so old. I wasn't ready to say good-bye. I thought the nursing home was just the beginning to the end.

But, now that I see her there sitting in her chair, doing nothing all day, withering away, I wish she could be comfortable. I haven't prayed that the good Lord would take her if it be His will, because I think I'm afraid he'll answer my prayer.

I think she's miserable and lonely. When I visit her, I wonder what it's like to be her.
Even though she's got family and loved ones who visit everyday, I don't think it's the company she desires.

It's like she's just waiting to leave this earth. To be with friends and loved ones she's waited years to see again. She's even out lived a son. I'm sure she'd like to see him.

I hate seeing her like this. But, I love seeing her.

This glass is for you, Grandma! Happy 87th birthday!