Friday, December 30, 2011

Friday Confessional

Mamarazzi is back!  Link up at Dandelion Wishes for some Friday Confessions.

I confess...

I thought today was Thursday.  I was so disappointed when I was reminded that it is Friday.  I feel like I lost a day, and I am not ready to go back to work next week!

I confess...

It really bothers me when my daughter's director doesn't respect my time.  Practice is supposed to be over at 8:30.  It's at least 9 by the time she actually finishes up, and I am stuck waiting in the car for her for at least half an hour every time.  I could just show up late, but then I run the risk of her actually getting out on time and having to sit in front of school in the dark waiting for me.

I confess...

I also don't understand scheduling practice during the holidays.  She has to go to practice two days before school resumes.
I confess...

I haven't taken down one single Christmas decoration yet, but it needs to be put up this weekend.  Oh well.  Maybe later!

And I confess...

I felt some Christmas grinchiness this year.  First of all, it was so drawn out starting out on the 21st with a visit to my mom.  On the 22nd, we opened our gifts because our older daughter had to work on the 23rd.  The 23rd, we went to my sister's.  The 24th, we went to my step-son's house.  And then the kids' dad picked them up that afternoon.  Then my in-law's on the 25th.  Why couldn't we just all gather at one place at one time and "do" Christmas?  I am usually full of the Christmas spirit, but I have to admit, it was hard to feel it after the third, fourth, fifth day!

What have you got to confess today?

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Aloha Friday

Aloha Friday is hosted by Kailani at An Island Life.   In Hawaii, Aloha Friday is the day that they take it easy and look forward to the weekend. So, I’ll ask a simple question for you to answer. Nothing that requires a lengthy response. If you’d like to participate, just post your own question on your blog and leave your link here.

What is your best New Year's Eve memory?

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

A Christmas laugh for you...
Love those new reindeer names!

Wishing you and your family a very merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Thursday Thirteen

I'm linking up with Thursday Thirteen today.
I love the Christmas season! 
 Have you ever wondered how some of our holiday traditions came about?

1.  Santa Claus - This holiday hero had his beginning in the 3rd century with a man named St. Nicholas who lived in Patara (present day Turkey).  He made his debut in America in the 18th century. The name Santa Claus came from the Dutch nickname for St. Nicholas, Sinter Klass.  There is actually a whole lot to the story of Santa Claus if you'd like to read it.

2.  Twas the Night Before Christmas - This poem was written in 1822 by Clement Clarke Moore as a gift to his three daughters.  It was called "An Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas."

3.  Rudolph - The most famous reindeer of them all!  Robert L. May, a copywriter for Montgomery Ward (I remember that department store) wrote the story of Rudolph in 1939.  The store sold over 2 1/2 million copies of the story.  Years later, the story was written as a song recorded by Gene Autry and sold over 2 million copies.  It has been translated into 25 languages.

4.  Christmas Trees - The Germans get the credit for the modern-day tradition of a decorated Christmas tree.  It first became a popular thing to do in the 16th century among Christians.

5.  Wreaths - We have an evergreen wreath on our door right now.  It provides a festive atmosphere at Christmas time.  Long ago, people worshipped evergreen holly as a sign of eternal life.

6.  Stockings - In the days of the real St. Nicholas, it was said that he threw three coins down the chimney of three poor sisters.  Each coin landed in a separate stocking that was hanging by the hearth to dry.  Good fortune for everybody!

7.  Candy Canes - The first candy canes were actually sugar sticks that were bent to resemble the shape of a shepherd's crook.  In 1670. the choirmaster at Cologne Cathedral gave his young charges these sticks to keep them quiet during long ceremonies. What was he thinking? The red stripes and peppermint flavor weren't added until the early 1900's.

8.  Christmas Cards - The first Christmas greetings were written by boys who had to practice their writing skills, but Sir Henry Cole, director of London's Victoria and Albert Museum, is credited with the first actual Christmas card in 1843.

9.  The 12 Days of Christmas song - Apparently, Roman Catholics in England were forbidden from openly practicing their religion during the years 1558 to 1829, so the song was created with hidden meanings in order to teach their faith without being discovered.  Go here for the hidden meanings.

10. Gift-Giving - This custom most likely originated in ancient Rome and Northern Europe when people gave gifts during year-end celebrations. The exchanging of elaborate gifts began in the late 1800's.

11. Red and Green Christmas Colors - Green symbolizes the hope for eternal life that Jesus brings.  Red symbolizes the blood of Jesus and the sacrifice He made for mankind.

12.  Christmas Carols - Victorian England is credited with the revival of caroling which, for a long time, was repressed since Christmas was not a widely accepted holiday in England until Victoria came to the throne.

13.  The Nativity Scene - The story of Jesus' birth is recounted in the Bible in Matthew 1:18-25 and Luke 2:1-20.  But when did people begin creating the visual Nativity Scenes you see during the Christmas holidays?  St.Francis of Assisi is credited with creating the first Nativity Scene as a way to share the Christian faith with those who could not read.
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Click here to visit my Sister Schubert's Homemade Rolls Giveaway.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Sister Schubert's Homemade Rolls- Review and Giveaway

This giveaway is now closed.  Thank you!  Congratulations commenters number 1 and 2.

I have only recently been introduced to Sister Schubert's Homemade Rolls, and I am in love with them!  Last night, I served soft pretzel rolls.  Oh, they were good!  My son begged me to get more.  They have a slightly crispy outside, and a warm, soft inside that has a hearty, unique flavor.
A few nights ago, I served the Mini Baguettes.  They have a golden crust and a soft, airy center.  I loved having my own baguette to myself!  They taste like they came straight from the bakery!

Not only do these breads taste homemade, they are also convenient and quick.  They are sold in the frozen food section of select grocery stores for less than $4 per package.  Plus, they are ready to serve in 7-9 minutes!  You can check to see if they are available in your aread by clicking here.  There are also great recipes on the Sister Schubert's website.

How would you like to win a coupon for a FREE Sister Schubert's product?  Great!  Just leave a comment on this post telling me which of these two products you would most like to try.  If you would like an extra entry, tweet this giveaway and leave a second comment with your link.  Easy!  Please make sure I have your email address.  Deadline for entry is 11:59 PM CST on December 26, 2011.  Two winners will be randomly selected.  U. S. only, please.

I was one of the bloggers selected by T. Marzetti Company and Family Review Network to host a Sister Schubert’s Homemade Rolls giveaway. They provided me with product to test myself as well as prizes for my readers. However, my opinions are entirely my own, and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Friday Confessional

Today is Friday.  Time to confess!  Let's link up with Housewife Eclectic while Mamarazzi takes a break!

I Confess...
Yesterday,I ate a chocolate iced kruller for breakfast  AND a piece of turtle cheesecake for dessert at lunch.  I haven't had sweets like this but two or three times over the past three months in a quest to become healthier and lose some weight.  I felt a little guilty.  But they were both soooo good!

I Confess...
I addressed Christmas cards while my students were taking their nine weeks' tests.  Probably, this would be frowned upon by administrations, but it was the only time I could get it donw.

I Confess...
I just mailed my cards yesterday, and I sent fewer this year than usual.

And I Confess...
I have a slightly strange sense of humor.  For example, "What do you call a reindeer with no eyes?"
 "I have no idear!" 
And, What do you get when your cross a snowman and a vampire?"
"Frostbite!"  Hahahaha.  I teach sixth grade, so that's about the level of my own sense of humor.  I'm eaasily amused!

Have a great weekend!

Monday, December 12, 2011

My Happy List

Link up with My So-called Chaos while Mamarazzi takes a break.  Tell us what you're happy about right now!

First, I'm happy that my son is so enthusiastic about the rabbits.  We've had them almost a week, and I pray his enthusiasm remains.  We have five rabbits, and he will "show" three of them at the livestock show in five weeks.  I love that he is interested and responsible.

I'm happy our tree is finally up and decorated.  It took long enough this year!  The mantle is also decorated, and the wreath is on the front door, but some decorating remains.  I'm happy we've made some progress.

I'm happy I've made some progress on my shopping.  I used to be the kind of person who was finished right after Thanksgiving, but the demands of life have slowed me down considerably.  On the good side, I am thisclose to being finished.  Better yet, my daughter loves to wrap presents, which frees me to do some other things!  Bonus!

I am soooooooooooooo incredibly happy we only have three and a half days of school until Christmas break.  It's been a long, busy semester, but there is a bright light at the end of the tunnel!

And I'm also happy because I think I got the perfect gift for my husband today.  I can't tell you what it is in case he's reading this, but I think he's going to love it!  Yay me!

And last, I am happy with the way my Shutterfly photo book turned out.  I hope my mom enjoys it as much as I enjoyed creating it.  (And if you scroll down one post or click this link, you can enter to win a free 8x8 photo book from Shutterfly!  What a unique gift!)

Lots to be happy about right now, but it's time for bed now.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Shutterfly Photo Book Giveaway

This giveaway is now closed.  Heather was chosen via . Congratulations!
Most of my readers know I love to scrapbook.  I enjoy taking pictures, and for traditional scrapbooking, I have my photos printed.  Shutterfly is  a great service!  They provide a quality print in a timely manner with competitive pricing starting at 9 cents a print.  They also have cards, stationery, and calendars.

But that is not what I want to focus on.  Recently, I uploaded photos of all my mom's grandchildren to Shutterfly, and I turned the photos into a beautiful 8x8 hardcover photo book.  I was so impressed with all of the custom background colors, photo frames, and embellishments that were available in every conceivable color, style, and type.  And, of course, you can add text boxes with a variety of fonts and colors as well.

It was so easy to make my photo book, too!  I used the "custom" template, but they also have a simple option that gets it finished in a flash. But even the custom book was so easy to create!  I know my mom is going to love it!  This will be the best gift EVER!  I'm super-excited!

NOTE:  My book came today, 12/14, just three days after I ordered it!  It is beautiful!  I am so happy with the way it turned out.
Shutterfly has generously agreed to give one of my readers a FREE 8x8 photo book (20 pages) and FREE shipping, a $35 value!  What a wonderful holiday gift for a friend or relative!

1.  Enter by leaving a comment on this post telling me for whom you would create your photo book.

Want another entry?  Do any or all of the following.  Please leave a separate comment for each entry.

2.  Tweet this giveaway.  Please leave a link to your tweet. (You may do this once a day until the contest ends.)
3.  Post about this giveaway on your blog. (5 entries). Please leave your link in the comments.
4.  "Like" Shutterfly on Facebook.  While you're there, you could send me a friend request.  Please leave your FB name in the comment.
5.  Leave a comment on a recent non-giveaway post from my blog.  Come back here to tell me which post you read.
6. Link to this post on your Facebook page.  Come back here with a comment to direct me to your link.

Good luck!  Please make sure I have an email address in order to contact you.  This giveaway is open to US residents only.  Comments will remain open until 10 PM CST on Wednesday, December 14.  The winner will have one day to contact me after receiving notification.  I want to help you get this before Christmas!  Winner will be selected using . 

This post was written on behalf of Family Review Network and Shutterfly who provided the product for review.  All opinions are 100% mine.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Friday, December 02, 2011

Friday Confessional

While Mamarazzi takes a blogging break, Friday Confessional is being hosted at Housewife Eclectic.

I Confess...
I'm a little later than usual getting this posted, but at least it's still Friday, and with the kind of week I've had, that's saying something!

I Confess...
All day Wednesday, I thought it was Tuesday.  Wednesday evening, when I realized it WAS Wednesday and not Tuesday, it was like... BONUS!

I Confess...
You know that commercial that says, "If you have headaches more than 15 days a month, you're only living a half life"?  That's me!  I have had a headache every single day this week, and most last week, and nothing works!  I'm tired of it!
And I Confess...
I have not made a huge dent in my shopping list this year.  Part of the problem is, I don't know what to buy for many of the people on my list.  What do you get the person who has everything?  What do you get the person who doesn't like anything?  I've got both of those problems!

So, what are you confessing this week?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thankful Thursday Thirteen

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

Life is not perfect; it never will be.  But I'm happy, and I realize that I have so much for which to be grateful.

1.  I'm thankful to live in the United States.
2.  I'm thankful for entertainment:  Movies, theater, music, television.
3.  I'm thankful my mother is still alive to celebrate thanksgiving with me.  She has been through two successful cancer surgeries, a knee replacement, a nasty broken wrist, and a hard fall on the concrete that damaged her teeth and mouth.  All this within the last five years.  Thank you, God, for giving me such a strong woman with a fighting spirit.
4.  I am thankful for the youth leaders in my church who guide my children when I am not there to do so myself.
5.  I'm thankful for the memories I have of my dad.  I miss him so much.
6.  I'm thankful for a husband who is good to me in all ways.
7.  I'm thankful for my children.  They are turning out to be such awesome young adults!
8.  I'm thankful for the Internet.  Yes, it sucks my time like crazy, but that is my choice, so...
9.  I am thankful I can CHOOSE (lots of things, how to spend my time, what career I want, where to live, and so on.)
10. I'm thankful for friends who enjoy spending time together, socializing, having fun.
11. I am thankful for pets.  All my fur-baby has to do is purr, and my spirits are instantly lifted.
12. I'm thankful I have a good job, a car, and a home.
13.  Most of all, I am thankful that God loves me.  I'm grateful to have a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ.  That is the biggest blessing of all.
Undeserving Grace
Wishing you a warm, safe, happy Thanksgiving!
Visit Thursday 13 here and Thankful Thursday at Undeserving Grace Here.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Aloha Friday

Welcome to this week’s edition of Aloha Friday, sponsored by An Island Life. In Hawaii, Aloha Friday is the day that they take it easy and look forward to the weekend.
Therefore, I’ll ask a simple question for you to answer. Nothing that requires a lengthy response.

If you’d like to participate, just post your own question on your blog and leave your link here.

I was summoned to jury duty on Monday for an aggravated robbery case.  I wanted to get selected, simply to avoid a crazy week at work, but I wasn't chosen.  I've served on one jury before, a civil case.

My question is... Have you ever served on a jury?  If so, what kind of case was it?

Autumn Swap


Oh, boy, did I receive some awesome Autumn goodness from Jolene at With a Little Help from my Friends. Before I even go on, let me just say, if you've never checked out her blog, please do yourself a favor and click over there!   I was happy she was my partner.  We have so much in common.  I hope we can meet in real life one day!

First, my goodies were wrapped in bright yellow paper with autumn leaf stickers and two huge autumn leaves.  I hated to tear the paper, but it had to be done.

 A package of scrapbook paper in fall colors!  I can definitely use this!
A sweet & spicy jar candle.  Mmmmm!
A Candle holder and shade in the perfect style!  So cute!
An autumn throw blanket.  So soft and pretty!
A scarecrow welcome sign.  This is hanging by my front door now.
A rattan decorated pumpkin.  How darling!
Bulletin Border.  She knows I'm a teacher.
Fall stickers, 2 packs.  She knows I love to scrapbook.
A magnetic notepad.  She must also know I make lists.
A beautiful homemade card. (Puts mine to shame!)
And best of all, a jar of homemade apple butter.  That made my day!

Wow!  That's all I can say!  Jolene, thank you so much for everything.  I love it all!  Mamarazzi, thanks for hosting such an awesome swap!

Here is her post about the package I sent.  I hope she liked it!  I'm going over to read her post now.

Monday, November 14, 2011

My Happy List

Link up with Mamarazzi to share what's making you happy right now!

My daughter, a sophomore in high school, made the Varsity Winter Guard team!  She worked so hard, and I am so proud of her!  Winter Guard is a performance that combines dance, flags, rifles, and sabres set to music in a choreographed routine.  I'm just so happy for her!

My son and I attended a rabbit clinic last week and learned a lot about raising show rabbits.  I'm happy that he is involved in this activity!  We are getting five rabbits in less than a month, and he will have six weeks to get his rabbits ready for show.  Best of all, he is learning responsibility, discipline, and the importance of hard work and dedication.

I am absolutely ecstatic that I finally caught up with my email.  I have been behind in reading messages for weeks now.  What a burden lifted!

And you know what really makes me happy?  Clean sheets!  There isn't much better than climbing into a bed with freshly laundered sheets, especially if they have been spritzed with some lavendar pillow mist. Heaven!

What are you happy about today?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Jury Duty

How do you feel when you see that jury summons in your mailbox?  Most people grumble, and in a way, I do, too, but I'm serving jury duty today, Monday, and I'm actually glad to be going.  I haven't been chosen in a long time.  I have sat on panels, but I was always far enough back not to get selected.  The one trial I served on was rather boring, but I still got about a week off work.  It was a trial in federal court because it involved the international television rights to soccer broadcasts.  There were companies from the US, Mexico, and Brazil involved, and MILLIONS of dollars at stake.  But it was terribly boring!

I got called for jury duty a couple of years ago, and I was so glad not to be chosen.  Why?  It was a gang related murder trial.  The defendent was a 15 year old female.  It involved one of the more violent gangs.  And one time I sat on a panel of a custoday case.  The child in question was severely disabled but technically an adult, and neither parent wanted custody.  It was so sad, so not getting selected for that was a blessing.

My husband served on a medical-related trial for about three weeks last year.  He said it was pretty interesting.  I won't mind if I get selected today, as long as it's not too boring.  I would welcome a week off work right now with Thanksgiving coming up.  (crazy kids!)  When was the last time you were summoned?  Have you ever served on a trial?

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

My Happy List

Join Mamarazzi to talk about all the things that are making you happy right now.

My children's high school band (on which my daughter is a member of the color guard) placed 7th overall (out of 32 bands from Texas, Alabama, South Carolina, Florida, and Georgia) in the southwest region at a competition in Atlanta last weekend.  Yippeeeee!

I'm also happy that my husband brought me flowers tonight - pretty, white lillies.  I love them!
I am extremely happy there are only 8 more school days until we are out for a week at Thanksgiving.  And one of those days, I get to go to jury duty instead of teaching.  Woo hooo!

I took my test for English as a Second Language certification today.  I'm happy it's over!

Why are you happy today?

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Autumn Swap

I am so excited to participate in Mamarazzi's latest swap - All things Autumn!  I love fall - the sounds, the smells, the colors. And I can't wait to make some new friends!  This is going to be a great swap!

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Puppies vs. Babies

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Puppies vs. Babies for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
I got an email from a friend a few days ago that said it would rev up my "awww-meter."  It's one I'd received before, of course, with adorable photos of puppies - puppies sleeping, puppies playing, even a puppy in a hot dog bun!  I never get tired of those emails because puppies are just so darn cute!
Isn't our Rocky sweet?

Then again, I love photos of babies, too.  I can't get enough of my stepson's boys!
Precious, right?

Which do you prefer?  A sweet, cuddly baby that giggles, smiles, and coos (a sound you definitely want to record because it's the sweetest sound ever), or a curious, playful puppy that gives you  wet doggy kisses and loves you unconditionally?
The debate is on at the Puppies vs. Babies online contest

You've really got to check out these adorable, squeezable, loveable photos and videos!  Get your vote in now, before it's too late!  You get to help select the winner of $5.000.00.  So, don't just sit there.  Get over to Puppies vs. Babies and vote now!  Finalist photos are up, and the contest will end on November 23rd.
Let me know your opinion in the comments.  Which are cuter?  Puppies or Babies?
Visit Sponsor's Site

Konsyl Review and Giveaway

Fiber.  It's not the most pleasant topic in the world, but it's one that is often necessary, particularly for women.
We all have suffered from diarrhea or constipation at one time or another.  Doctors usually recommend a psyllium fiber supplement.  Konsyl Original is the #1 doctor-recommended brand of fiber supplement.  Fiber can also help lower cholesterol, my main goal.  Fiber can help maintain or lower cholesterol thereby reducing your risk of heart disease.  Fiber actually has numerous health benefits.  So while Mary Poppins might have suggested a spoonful of sugar, I'm suggesting a spoonful of psyllium fiber.

Konsyl comes in a variety of supplement types from powders to capsules.  They also make gluten free and sugar free supplements.  I tried the Konsyl Orange Sugar Free.  It provides 6 grams of psyllium fiber per teaspoon does, which is more than other brands.  It's a smooth, easy to mix powder, and the orange flavor makes it easier for me to drink.  I also tried the Konsyl capsules, which are the easiest way to add fiber to your diet.  The capsules are both sugar free and gluten free.

If you can benefit from adding some fiber to your diet, this is the giveaway for you.  One winner will be able to select one Konsyl product to try.  All you need to do to enter is leave a comment on this post.  If you choose a powder product, you will also receive a shaker cup.  If you would like a second entry, tweet this giveaway and leave a second comment with your tweet link.  It's that simple!

Giveaway is open until 10:00 PM CST on November 11. (US and Canadian residents, please) Winner will be notified immediately and will be required to respond within 24 hours.

This post was written on behalf of Family Review Network and Konsyl who provided the product for review and giveaway.  All opinions are 100% mine.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Aloha Friday

I'm linking up at Island Life for Aloha Friday.  In Hawaii, Friday is a day to take it easy, so I have a simple question for you.
  • Do you prefer chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry milkshakes?

Can't wait to find out!  And why don't you come over to Island Life and link up?  It's fun!

Friday Confessional

Time to link up with Mamarazzi and let it all out... confess!  It feels good.

I confess...

I have stayed up far too late twice in the last four days, tonight being one of them.  I have no idea how I'm going to function on 5 hours' sleep!  Guess I'll find out!  And when things are finished for the evening, I can't just go to bed.  I have to wind down, which usually means playing a Facebook game, writing a blog post, or both!

I confess...

When we were gone to Atlanta, I missed my cat!  She's laying on me right now.  It's such a stress-reliever to pet a soft kitty.

I confess...

I am getting annoyed with a few teachers at school.  Some are acting in very unprofessional manners while they are out in the hall during class change.  One incident yesterday should have been down-right embarrassing for them!  Glad I wasn't involved.  And these are women who have been teaching a while and should know better.

I'm also perturbed by a couple of our younger teachers who have opinions about everything and feel the need to share those opinions regardless of whether they may offend someone.  A few days ago, one of them added, "no offense" after a comment about pregnant women.  I'm not pregnant, but I once was, and I told her I found her remark offensive.  I just couldn't hold it in any more.  She seemed to take it in unabashed stride, though.

And I confess...

I am taking my ESL certification test next Tuedsay, and I don't feel prepared.  I've studied some, but not enough.  I guess I will have to hit the books this weekend!  (If I pass, it will be my fourth certification.)

What are you confessing today?

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

My Happy List

I have so much to be happy about and so much to be thankful for right now.  We just returned from a 4-day driving trip to Atlanta, Georgia to watch my kids' high school band and color guard compete with 32 other bands.  My daughter is part of the color guard (the girls who twirl the flags, spin rifles, and dance with other props as part of the half time show with the marching band). 

First, the four buses carrying the band and color guard made it there and back safely.  So did my husband, my son, and I in our car.  It was a 13 hour trip up and 13 hours home, and we all still love each other!

Second, not only did the team make finals, they won 7th overall!  They put on a great show!  I'm so thankful I was there to see my beautiful daughter perform in the Georgia Dome!

What else makes me happy?

The World of Coca-Cola.

The Hard Rock Cafe.

The two men in my life.

And reading.  I  read John Grisham's new novel, The Litigators, on our trip.

I've had an amazingly happy time the past few days.  I hope you have, too!  Link up with Mamarazzi and tell us all about it!


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