Thursday, December 31, 2009

Elefun is NO fun!

So I decided to post this tonight (Happy New Years! everyone) because I suffered acute disappointment with a game that Hasbro produces called "EleFun".
This game has become the bane of my existence starting with Black Friday where I had to fight the crowds at three different stores in order to obtain the bloody thing, my theory being that "A" would have a blast playing this game on New Years Eve, which is what our family does. We all play games, eat junk, and talk trash on how awesome we are at playing said games, until midnight where we all "HAPPY NEW YEAR" each other & stumble off to bed, tired and satisfied (depending on if you won most of your games)
Well this year I thought "A", who is 2, could be included because we would have this amazing, super, wonderful game for her to play. Anyway - after getting it, I tried today to set it up, and found it didn't work. (bites) So I took it all the way back to the store (New years eve day, I might add, when everyone and their mother is out getting last minute goodies for the night) they then told me (by 'they', I mean the caring, customer minded workers at our towns Wal-Mart) that I needed to have my drivers license to exchange it (since when?) which of course I didn't have on me.
I then drive all the way home, back to the store (after stopping at a friends house to help her out with some stuff, so by this time it's getting late, I'm tired & want a quick game exchange, because I have everything I need to do it)
I get to the store, finally exchange it, after only waiting nearly an hour - (how fantastic is that! Only one hour!) So I finally get the game, which I've started to refer to as "IT" home, only to discover that IT's fan isn't powerful enough to shoot the butterflies up the trunk.
So now I've hyped my poor daughter up ("LOOK A! It's Elefun! Yay!! Butterflies - wanna play? I'm so excited to see you play it! Yay!") She was practically foaming at the mouth. What a disappointment! The first thing I did was cuss email Hasbro with a "Disgusted-IT-didn't-work-after-all-my-trouble" email, thinking it would help me to feel a little better. Which of course, it didn't, because theres no one on the other end telling me how sorry they are, how awesome I am for going to all that trouble for my daughter, how they'll do all my housework for the next week just for the inconvenience. But Then!
I check my emails - and I'd WON ANOTHER GIVEAWAY! (Ha! Take that Hasbro.) It was thanks to Dwana over at "A Bittersweet Existence", and it was a beautiful "Baby Emi" jewelery, those cute anklets with little bells for babies and/or moms? I'm psyched! So that at least perked my night up alot (thank you Bittersweet!) So now I'm not in a the-night-would-still-be-better-if-IT-worked! (I know that sounds selfish, I should be (and am) grateful to just be with my family, but really? After all that trouble, it just would have been nice if it worked!)
My husband made a great dinner of buffalo and killer potatoes (I won't touch the buffalo, but I hear it's fabulous) my kids are excited ("We get to stay up till WHEN?) And I've got my 'won a giveaway' glow. So all in all, things are looking up - I hope everyone else has a fantastic New Year - much love from the Degen family to yours. My new years resolution? Burn IT first thing in the morning and find another game to captivate my 2 year old - Take THAT again Hasbro!

As a post note, this was a giveaway I won from Aubut Family and an Etsy store called "Girlie Bows", which makes the cutest girls dresses! Well, I got my package today and immediately threw it on A who ADORED it, she was posing & grinning and telling everyone "Mine. no - MINE" when they tried to touch the bows, lol.


Well, that's it for me and 2009. See you next year! xx

Quick, late night post

It's a marvel to me how so many busy Moms can post little what nots, and I can't seem to find the time to even drop a few lines. So here they are - my few lines at 1:30am! My friend has gone to Texas for a week so I'm left here to hold down the fort with work, and just general drama with our mutual friends at least.
And my, oh my, do I get tired of the high school play outs. Honestly, sometimes I'm reminded of my 8 year old coming home & telling me about her "drama" filled day - and it sounds exactly like the junk that goes on with adults I know! Am I the only one who gets to that point of 'good grief, enough already!'?
I try to tell my husband about some of it - more to vent than anything else, and I watch his eyes glaze over & know I'm now talking to that infamous brick wall. He'll even go as far as to shut me down right as I mention maybe a name with a quick "Hold on, is this drama crap?" and my hesitation will tell him all he needs to know. (As in, he shakes his head & changes the subject with a pat on the shoulder or a quick hug)
It makes me think men may be onto something with the we-don't-need-to-talk-on-the-phone-for-hours-unless-theres-something-important-(hunting, shooting, fishing, hunting)-to-organize-or-talk-about.
Because he never seems to have the troubles I deal with. Hmmm .... I don't think I've ever said this ... but maybe he's right with how he deals with his mates .... hurry back K :D

Monday, December 28, 2009

What's going on for your New Year?

Where I'm from in New Zealand, I rew up having 'New Years' as almost a bigger deal than Christmas. You picked where you were going to celebrate it, with whom, doing what - and who would have your kids, because of course there would be much drinking.
My, how times have changed! Not only do I not drink, but New Years is more about keeping the kids up til midnight by playing a bunch of family games (Risk <--Husbands fave. Monopoly, or Video games that are two-player) then we all say "HAPPY NEW YEAR!!" & drag ourselves off to bed because we're dead tired & really have wanted to go to bed for about 4 or 5 hours.
Sometimes I miss the NZ way of doing it - it's a big party, and the whole country (& alot of people from other countries) are all there to help you ring in the New Year.
Nelson, in the South Island, is the first country in the world to see the sunrise. Which is cool, because they always do something really big and explosive - for this tiny wee town that otherwise, doesn't see much action, other than beachy tourists.

This year, we'll be doing much of the same as every other year - sitting around, playing games, enjoying each others company, drinking apple cidar (which my eldest son thinks is just too funny. He was convinced it was actual wine due to the bottle, and when I tried to give him some to taste, he looked at me as if I was Jezebel reincarnated! I had to coax him into it, he took a very small sip - with extreme distrust in his eyes (and where the heck did that come from? All of a sudden I'm going to do something that would be harmful for him, lol?)
Now he begs for it - I think he secretly pretends it's wine & he's at some fabulous party with grownups where he's allowed to drink. So I'll post some pics from  this years sitting around party, but I wanted to know what you all were doing for New Years (I wonder if we're supposed to be getting together at the Mother in Laws this year?? I'm always the last to know!!) But link me to your site so I can go check out your pics if you post any. (Also - At D&R do you think you can find a use for the gift we gave you? Like, a "real" use, not a "we-have-this-so-we'll-use-it" kind of thing. I hope so, but if you can't give it to someone who might!)
Til we meet again,

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Our Christmas Day!

We had an absolute BLAST with Christmas this year, the kids loved what they got (from "Santa" & us) they also loved the photo we caught of Santa leaving gifts under our tree :D
We had a great day - I may have gotten a little "snap happy", but in 20 years I'll be patting myself on the back, I know it!
Also, the "big" story of my day was my wonderful husband who had known for weeks that all I wanted was a "Cruicut" - an amazing tool designed for scrapbookers mainly, to be able to 'cut' cute pictures, letters, designs etc. professionally, easily & quickly - and you can also so vinyl letters!!!
I had gone on, and on and on for days, singing praises about how wonderful this machine was - knowing full well that if my hubby would get it for me, I'd be able to read his signs and signals. No matter how hard he tried to hide it. Well, bigger fool me - I was oblivious! I honestly got caught up in the rush of Black Friday, giveaways, coupons, getting a good deal - what my kids want as opossed   to what their friends have, and I forgot and honestly believed I was not going to get it. It was too much money, money that should be going on the kids, or neighbors - something else rather than "me". OMGOSH WAS I WRONG!
My husband set up a treasure hunt type deal, my brother & I used to do this when we were bored in New Zealand growing up - I've done it with my kids and passed the love of it along to them, and C knew how much I absolutely adore doing that kind of thing - so he set one up for me - and then took various pics of me running around the house in my p.j's searching for the hidden treasure! The 1st one is me looking by the encyclopedias! (Dig my purple jammies eh?)

The 2nd one is in the kitchen, and the last one was in his garage (well, his side of the garage, it was hidden under a mexican blanket he brought when he was down there and I COULD NOT believe he had gotten it for me - I was so focused on everyone else, I forgot about me. 2 seconds after this shot, I burst into tears and snuggled into his arms to cry openly!
Here's some more of our fantastic day!
 1: Ava & Daddy, opening "Tink" as she calls her - a Tinkerbell toy.
2: Jahmal with his bulletbike, he found it for sale in our old neighborhood, worked for the money, & a friend of mines husband worked on it until it worked!
3:Aliya with her "Are you smarter than a 5th grader?" game - she was dying to play this, and being a 3rd grader is bound & determined to beat this game!
4:Quintyn got his Lego Rockband ... which was confusing to him as we didn't have a PS3 (whoops on Mom for that one!) I played it off as a "Oh, I though it was for the Ninetendo! I'm sorry" so that's the "Gee Thanks Mom" look on his face :D
5:Quintyn, Aliya & Gracie lined up with some gifts
6:Gracie showing me a trick her gift does
7: Ava playing with a "giveaway win!!" the Plan Toys Duck - she LOVED it - at first the 'quack' gave her a fright, but as soon as she got over that, she was quacking all over the house amid our calls to "Open another gift Ava!" The only time she put it down was when I distracted her with cookies, and Craig grabbed it and hid it, lol
8:Craig with his gift from me. A Photo book of our beautiful family!
9:Ava opening a ballerina dress from Old Navy, which is something she was really coverting! She also looks adorable in it, so I'll have to snap some pics of her in that too!

All in all, we had a wonderful Christmas, we should have put more Christ in it - I'm sad we didn't do that, we did have a family feel Christmas though, so that makes it worth it! Next year, we will be doing more for others (secret Santa type stuff) & definitely more Christ like things. I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas though, like we did!
Now for the New Year .... I need to start thinking of some resolutions ... so I guess my first one is "Next Christmas I will make it more about Christ, and less about Commericial junk"
Let me know if you have any good ones!

And this is, of course (albeit part of my last post) the infamous "Santa caught" picture! Although my kids wondered why he's smiling (Shouldn't you have been asleep Mom? Why is he smiling at you?) We told the kids it was Dads motion camera used for hunting, and that he was smiling because he knew full well it was there & decided to 'humor' us all. Looks great though, the people at "Capture Santa" do a great job I think!

How was your Christmas fallout?

Well, it's done. Another year has passed into memory & i for one, had a blast this year! Not only did I win fabulous prizes that I now have to look forward too (& there's still more giveaways throughout the year), my children seemed quite contented with their gifts from PS3's (mainly my husbands idea) to the Elefun game (definitely mine) they loved it. The only thing now is the Wiggle Board my 2 year old got is SUPER loud on our house of tile floors! But if she's happy ....
My mother called from New Zealand to let me know (they have Christmas the day before, which is the 25th for them) their day went, and my brother got a RipStik made from Canadian wood! (wow!) My little sister was graced with a haircut of her long, beautiful hair, which she has told her father (my step father) "I want to cut it, but Mummy won't let me" a wake up call for my mother if ever she's heard one, except, I'm doing the same thing! I want my little girls to have long luxurious locks - but they don't. It gets in the way of 'playing'! Ahh well.
We also went to our mother in law's Christmas day, (I mainly slept, being sick and 'flaring' up, but still) and those Ebbelscebers were tasty!
We then spent the night playing "Rock Band" and I tell you what - my voice isn't as awful as I though. I managed to "AWESOME" songs - so there to everyone who ever said "Good grief! Is that you singing or a cat in pain??" So we all stayed up until 3 in the morning wailing away, rocking out on guitar & drumming. It was a blast! Today we'll do nothing but get to know our presents, intimately (I GOT MY CRICUT!! so that's me alllll day! Mwahahah) and pig out on leftovers, cookies, peppermint bark, anything we feel like - yum!
On a more jolly note - we actually did catch the fat man himself in our home! We had set the camera up at a 30 degree angle on the target (the Christmas tree) set it for motion detection, and voila! We snapped ole Father Christmas, who was gracious enough to smile for us, with his load of goodies as he was about to place them under our tree for the kids to find the next day! And here he his!

Of course, the kids were thrilled, if not suspicious (Why is he smiling at you if you caught him Mom? Shouldn't you be asleep?)
Mainly that's because when I picked a photo to add (Catch Santa) the ones they had weren't suitable for how we had our house places - I mean, they may have worked, but I also wanted the kids to know it wasn't "Dad" dressed up in a suit, putting on a show.
The things we do for our kids!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

It's nearly here ...!

Well, it's nearly "that" night again. The one where even as an adult, you still get excited, there is definitely something magical about Christmas Eve, and then Christmas Day. If you're a parent, or in a relationship, or if there's just you - this time of year holds a special feeling, and the closer it gets to the actual day - the 'softer' we all feel inside. Or at least I like to think so. We're more giving, feel more loving, want more for others. Christmas music is all you can hear in our house this time of year - I think up Christmas activities for my kids to do, watch movies related to Christmas - Christmas, Christmas, Christmas.
But at the heart of it all, I sometimes forgot who this is all about. A line from "The First Noel" '...and with His blood, mankind is bought...born is the King of Israel..' How can you even begin to give thanks for that great man who gave all, for each of us? Incidentally, here is a link for a free download from The Fray - a band I adore, singing 'The First Noel'. Fitting for this season, it's beautifully sung, soft - not a lot of instruments drowning out the song. Just mostly singing - it's beautiful.
I also wanted to add, while I'm posting, a quick "thinking of you" to some friends of ours who received some awful news, for which I'm so very sorry. Know that there is someone waiting for you - & it will be all the more special when they get here, because you are having to fight for them. There is no greater love than that. I'm praying for you guys to be comforted this season, we're thinking of you and I wish there was more I could say that didn't sound so 'trite', but, as C said, (or to the tune of) When they get here, because you fought so hard - it makes you a better you-know-what (I don't want to post it, because it's private and then everyone reading this know your business, even if you're anonymous) All our love you guys. xx

Also I want to send some thanks out to some special Moms who place time & energy into posting a thing I go on and on about - giveaways. Basically (for those not in the know) it's a company seeking out a blog site and asking them to review a product they have, and they usually give one or two to the Mom to pass on to what is called a "follower", someone who actually clicks a link on the site and does follow their site. There are criteria to entering, it's posted under the part where the Mom will say "Want to win it?" after she's given her review.
Anyway - it's a lot of time, effort, time away from being "mom" or "the Mrs.", then you have to pick someone (usually done via. email them, make sure they answer you in the allotted time, etc. etc.etc.
And at this time of year - ladies it's a lot to ask for the time you give up. I thought it was cute, MommyDaddyBlog host posted (not in a giveaway, just a post) apologizing for not having gotten to her giveaways yet, her "family life" was taking priority number one at the mo', and I thought it was not only appropiate, but very cute.
Well, my thanks (after much rambling! I'm just in one of those moods tonight. To chat and chat) go to 2 sites that I won AGAIN!!
I tell you, someone is watching over me, because the giveaways I've won are super freaking fantastic, and so needed right now!
The first was from a site called "Abut Life" and it's this cute site that has just the most adorable giveaways, the header picture is what I love the most - the Mom is Cassandra (available on her about me page - so I'm not posting anything personal) & the pic is of her two children and it's beautiful - anyway! I won a gorgeous dress from GirlieBows - which is an etsy store (closed for the holiday, but will re-open on the 3rd of January, and go take a look, they're a great Boutique!) And the dresses are not only adorable - they're very reasonably priced!

The second is from a new site I found TODAY!! (thanks to another Mom on twitter), called Blogger Mommies and from what I understand, they're a bunch of Moms who ave a store called "A Baby Store Plus" which is an actual store in Colorado! So thanks to these ladies I won a Buddy Top Hat (for kids) !! The cutest dang things you will ever see - my favorite was "Chip, the Chick" - honestly, when I was entering, I could not take my eyes off it!
So thank you and Merry Christmas to both sites - AND! On top of all this, while I was posting the UPS man drops a package off, and I was thinking it must be some of my winnings (*grin*) and it turned out to be this site for the magazine Self, that at one time had a post about people who wanted to join to try out new products - I joined forever ago and guess I just thought they forgot about me, or picked someone else - well they send you products to try, (I received 4 full size, expensive branded) products to try (hair treatment, face cream, girly stuff :D), then I submit my opinion by a certain date - and if that wasn't cool enough - if I do it within the time limit - I am then entered into another "lucky you" type deal where they will draw a winner for the entire series with a value of $2000!!  I tell you - my luck is just looking up!! A Big Seriously HUGE Thank You to all who strive to make (and have made) my holidays just fabulous this season (and that includes my friend Katie who goes above and beyond)
I'm just floating - and what rocks? Watching my kids enjoy the magic of this season also!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Sealy Posturpedic Matress giveaway from MommyMandy!

How great is this?? Mandy is giving away a very supportive, very cool " Sealy Posturepedic Signature Series bed" for those of us who (ME!) don't have such a luxurious bed!
It's almost too easy, go to her site MommyMandy
and do what you need to, to enter this super exciting giveaway! It's so easy, and the features of this bed are amazing - the one I like the best is the fact that it has edge support, so for people like me, who end up sleeping on the edge of their bed - theres still a great amount of support for your back! Go now - do your thing and if you win, I suggest sending Amanda a HUGE box of "THANK YOU'S!!"

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Santa magic

Today we decided to take the kids (minus J, who had had a sleepover & was more than willing to "skip" seeing Santa to hang out a little longer with his friends) to the Boulevard (a local furniture store in our area) to see Santa fly into the parking lot via helicopter to go sit inside & have his picture taken with the waiting (very excited) kids.
I'd never done (or really even heard) of this before a friend of mine had told me about it, and her son will not let her miss a year now - and I know why!
It was a definite kick watching Santa land, exit the helicopter and make his way down the line smiling & shaking hands.
Our 2 year old is just beginning to grasp the whole *Santa* thing, and is very much in love with the idea that this big guy in a red suit brings her treats! At first, after the helicopter had landed and we were waiting for Santa to get out, the force of the wind from the helicopter scared her, and (she started out on Daddys shoulders) she wanted the safety of arms immediately, but after he got out & they turned the whirly bits off - she lost her mind! She started yelling out to him & leaning forward to wave so he would see her, and C and I were just so delighted. She was all "Tanta!! Tanta!! HI TANTA!!" and had a grin that would melt a snowman. Of course I documented the whole thing!

Waiting for Santa

Sitting on Daddys shoulders & still waiting - at this point you can see the helicopter flying in.

Santa lands!

"A" loses her miiiind!

After she's been waving & calling out to "Tanta" she realizes he's getting out and coming over!

Santa says "Hello!"

It was honestly the best experience I've had this Christmas regarding the magic of Christmas for my kids. I do have to insert more "Christ" into "Christmas" for her, but as she's so young & not quite able to grasp the true meaning of Christmas, for now this will definitely do. It was fanatastic - my friend who we met there said she was only sorry she wasn't quick enough to record her with her camera that records video so my Mum in New Zealand would've been able to see just how psyched she was. It absolutely brought a tear to my eye.
This next shot is "A", my friends daughter, waving away to Santa as he lands.
Her cousin "L" is holding her.

These are some shots of my other daughter & my friends son "C" playing around after all the excitement has died down & Santa has made his way inside, & then my daughters pleasure at the day when I asked her "How was it?"

All in all, it was a great day. I then got to go hang out with the girls & watch a movie (Couples Retreat) so that was relaxing, and after that I got to hunt for a possibly dead, but certainly M.I.A kitten (which is a story in itself). And the last BIG news for the day - I WON ANOTHER GIVEWAWAY!!
Seriously, my luck could not BE any better! This time it was the very cool "Catch Santa"or "Capture the Magic", which I so wanted to do this year - if you're not sure what it is, go check it out because as far as 'magic' for your kids - this is it. You take shots of your home, then you can "add" Santa pics (you can choose from several) & it looks absolutely authentic, so I canNOT wait to do that - especially after the day my youngest had with the whole Santa thing! This was a giveaway I won from the always fabulous Blog Mom site "Mommy Mandy" (whose button is on the right. If you didn't get it before - I can't say it enough - follow, follow, follow these Moms - they have some very cool giveaways, reviews & tonnes of tips, experiences - some sad, some funny, always helpful, it's really a big Mom community where you can read about other Moms & their parenting adventures, the good the bad and the ugly. Basically - everyday stuff we all go through, the bonus is just that there happen to be giveaways attached. Sweet no? So a massive THANK YOU to Amanda, it's so very appreciated (Katie - I'm sorry. Don't worry - you can rub it in my face when you win the "BIG" one, ok?)

My night is made!!
(The following picture is taken from the website "", it's an example pic from their website, and the link is here

Neat right? It looks so real, and I know my kids are going to get such a kick out of it - and what I love most is that my older kids who are "non-believers" or "starting to question" are definitely going to 'think twice'! That just makes it all so worth it!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Lively Links

Here's some more links I received today, you may want to be quick as they may not last long!

Free Pampers Potty Training Kit - This would be perfect if you have a child about to hit that terrible stage that every parent dreads ... (DUN DUN DUNNNN) the Toilet Training Stage!

This is a free sample of food for pets from (I think the brand is called 'Lifes abundance') As it states on the website - make sure this is the kind of food your pet could tolerate, as they do have sensitive stomachs!

This is a free sample for Whites Premium Dog Food, a natural type of food for dogs.

I also received a free $10.00 Gift Card from Totally Kids, Furniture & Toys. What I had to do was Facebook Fan "Totally Kids", comment on their wall (at their website) which 2 products I loved, then send my name & address to, easy peasy! Deal Seeking Mom also has the complete details on her website here

So that's me for my Lively Links for today, I hope these help in any small way. I also need to post I WON ANOTHER GIVEAWAY!! Can you believe it?!! I'm so very psyched, my luck has proven to be just fantastic this Christmas season, & again, I want to thank all the wonder Blog Moms who spend their days bringing amazing deals, reviews & giveaways to all of us who anxiously await them!

This win was curtesy of Here and There and it was a (shhh! Because this is going to "J" and it matches something we already got him that he really wanted) Slingz, this cool way of carrying your skateboard or RipStik, it slings over the shoulder & makes it super easy for the 'boarder' in your life to move around when he's not skating! So very cool, (& of course, I'm so very thankful!) Truely, you all need to  get out there & follow those fabulous Blog Moms who go out of their way to PR & bring these to all of us - it is absolutely NO scam, and just so fun!

Also, as a side note (last - but certainly NOT least) our family is sending out prayers & heart warming thought to 'Shellie Ross' & her family having had tragedy strike them in the worst way possible, the loss of their son, Bryson, who was 2 & drowned in the family swimming pool. There may be controversy surrounding this awful event, but at the end of the day, a little boy was taken from his family during the Christmas season, and I can't think of  a worse thing to happen to anybody. My heart goes out to them all, I hold my kids alittle closer today, and give thanks to my Heavenly Father for blessing our family with safety, and sincerely pray he sends comfort & peace to Shellie, her family, & those EMT responders that had to be on call that day. We all need to think twice about how lucky we are, and Shellie, my heart bleeds for you, I'm so sorry.
Rest In Peace Bryson, and may he watch over his family from heaven.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Obsession, Christmas lights & too much cocoa?

So it's nearly Christmas, and to all those of you who haven't received our family card yet - it is coming - I'll try & get those out tomorrow, lol - 8 days before Christmas. Typical Joe style!

Does anyone think it's weird that my daughter whose 2 is almost obsessed with the movie "Coraline"? She will literally watch this 3 or 4 times a day, if I let her. She's always asking to watch it, gets ticked at the other kids if they turn the t.v on and don't start playing her DVD, quotes lines from it & will have a heart attack if she can't find the DVD cover to look at in her wanderings during the day.
Have you seen the movie? It's scary as all heck! Especially at the end when the belle dame has shown her true colors & is chasing her up the web, and then screaming as she's running back up the web tunnel! Yet, she can watch it with big, round eyes - but those eyes are absolutely fearless. She gets more "Yeah! Run, run" type of attitude to it. She does enjoy more age appropiate movies & cartoons - but I wonder about this particular one, which scared the living crap out of my 6 year old (who now refuses to watch the "scary" parts!) Well, who knows - hopefully it will be another 'phase' that ends ... reasonably soon. Preferably next week ;)

Today was pretty uneventful. I was supposed to work, but the door to this gorgeous house that I sometimes get to clean was gone, so the trip out was a waste (I think I'll get paid for time, but still. A long drive for nothing) Tonight we were going to go back, but my friends 2 year old took a swan dive off the kitchen counter at her house & was acting lethargic enough to worry her mother into taking her to the Instacare (as every mother now reading is like "yep - been there. Woulda done that too" is now thinking)
Thankfully she was just fine.

Then my wonderful husband decided to hook up the house lights, and as he got to pick the color this year, he was very excited about it. He also managed to finish his "guys hangout pad" in his part of the garage (which Katherine was nice enough to say that my side was cleaner than his, haha Craig!) so we lost the t.v out of the dining room, which I only allowed (or at least didn't argue my piece) because he claims that way he will actually get those 'projects' done that he needs too, because he'll be able to watch his History channel, Glenn Beck / Fox News and other 'guy' type programs while doing his thing. So for a few weeks, I'll be pacified.

Last day of school tomorrow! That's a double edged sword isn't it? It's fabulous to not have to do hair, pick clothes out, bundle kids up & all that, but then there is the problem of possible 'cabin fever', arguing & just general sibling stuff that goes on when they're here & its 8 hours more a day. Hopefully the excitement of Kris Kringle will be enough to wipe those habits out, at least for a few extra days!
Speaking of the jolly fat man, my shopping is nearly done!! I've won a bunch of giveaways (for which I am eternally grateful. Getting something for nothing is always such a bonus - but around Christmas time, it;s almost a high!) I only have a few more little things (and one big thing for Q, who was horribly run over, braved it out, deserves something special, then lost his cat.) So more work tomorrow.
I also need to get in to see my doctor as my back has decided to ache whenever I'm sitting down, standing up, walking or even thinking about it. So that's been a blast! There;s probably not much that can be done about it though, which bites, I'm just hoping it isn't a "Lupus" thing.

Well, everyone here has hit the hay, I had to finish up the 'Hot Chocolate/Peppermint" jars that we're giving to neighbors & family for Christmas this year, although the kids helped me when I was measuring out the HC, so I'm alittle concerned that the 'taste' might be off? So if you get one that is a bit on the 'grit your teeth to drink it' side, I apologize. That most likely was one where G and Q argued over who had put the last HC in the last jar and who had done the powered milk, & possibly slipped more in to spite the other. (I caught them doing this at least twice, and remedied it as best I could, but you never know)
So I'll hit the hay too, but a big Merry Christmas to all those who I know & love, and those who I don't!

 (Also, as per reading Jens blog, I learnt that I need to give props to where I got my images from, although I don't know if this applies to ones that are 'free for all'. However - just in case, & not wanting to be one of "those" people, as per her post, these images were uploaded from Photobucket, and here are the links Coraline, Merry Christmas - and thank you to those people who allowed me to use them!)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Well, I'm still no good at Twitter parties, hopefully I can find some kind of tutorial that can explain it in laymans terms, although I doubt that will even help.
So I'm writing this post today to give props to a friend of mine, my best friend actually, who has gone above and beyond for years for me nd my family. This is someone who is constantly giving to other people, while expecting nothing in return. She's the kind of person who will surprise you with something that you may have mentioned at some random moment that you liked and will turn up with it out of the blue.
Everyone has had this type of friend at some point in your life, the kind of person that you'll always remember, whether or not they're still in your life now or not, you never forget this type of person, you end up calling them your 'best friend'.
That person for me is Katie.
She has 2 kids, works to suuport her family, and is always remembering someone elses ails. But she rarely has anything given to her that leaves an impression of "thanks", so for me, this is my small attempt for her to let her know how much I love her and how much I appreciate everything thing she does for me. She's amazing.

They ought to have some kind of ceremony that you can submit someones name so they're given the key to the city, type of thing! So Katie - this is my key for you. Thank you for everything you've done for me & my family. Without you, living in a strange country with no family (other than my husbands family, who are also everything to me) would be harder. Love you.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Too much Christmas??

Does anyone else ever get what I dubb the "Holiday Blues"? I don't want to drag this down, but every now and then  it's almost like I get blah. In my mind I'm trying to perk myself up, but I just can't.
There's the Christmas present buying, hiding, then wrapping. There's getting that person something because they got you something, there's the school friends gifts, the teachers gifts, the bus driver gifts! It never ends! Then there's your neigbors and the cookies that go with that - and then theres your extended family!!!
Good grief, its enough to make anyone run and hide for the month!
And on top of that, there's watching someone else who may be better off financially, buying things left, right and center! I tell you, some days I want to curl up on the couch, throw in a movie (and maybe it won't be all Christmassy) and just veg out. Not clean my house, not decorate my stuff - just an average nothing day.
Does anyone else ever get that? If you have kids of course - you fake it. You can't very well snap when you hear for the 40th time that "Brittney's mom said Santa might get her the Bratz LapTop she wants, do you think he'll get me one if I'm good?"
And then the questions about Santa when they hit that age where, they are starting to not believe ... but don't dare voice an absolute opion on "NO", just in case. So you have to hear the "trip up" questions. "But what if you move?", "What if you've really been mean - but he didn't see it?" "How does he fit in the house since we don't have a chimney?"
Some days it gets overwhelming and (yes, I'm going to say it) annoying! Then what? I find this helps, but sometimes screaming into a pillow does wonders! How about you? Any "remedies" for days like this? *sigh* I guess I'll trudge on and plaster a smile on my face, while I fake a 'Ho Ho Ho' and see what happens ....

A little Giveaway Win to pick up my spirits ...

Well! I didn't check my emails first thing, which I usually do, & I had to come home early from church because my back is killing me again (of course) & I've been feeling badly about Toombes, & my best friend keeps buying gifts for my family, which makes me feel guilty (cos I can't return the favor) and then this afternoon I checked annnnd ... voila! I WON ANOTHER GIVEAWAY!
Can you believe that! After all my rotten luck lately - I won something! I wonder how many times you can win from the same site before they ban you from entering ...?
So this gorgeous giveaway was for a Belly Charm Braclet, which uses swarovski crystals in most, or all of their products - they're adorable! I highly suggest a look see if you're yet to finish your holiday shopping, because they're reasonably priced, they look amazing, and I'm psyched I got one - so the 'receiver' in your life will be too!

And who do I have to thank for the obnoxious smile plastered all over my face?? Why - Felicia, over at Go Graham Go, (look to the right because her button should be right there. Click it, go look around her site - make sure you follow her, get email subscriptions, the works!) I'm very excited to get this, if the pictures are anything to go by, this gift will be my most favored yet!

And on the note of receiving, I did get both my winning gift from "Audreys Country Crafts Giveaway" & "Christies Cottage" (they teamed up together if you remember my previous blog about the huge giveaway) So I got the knitted cuff with this adorable button, 2 Christmas Tags for baby, 2 Christmas cards and the knitted (or knit felted) coaster or candle mat. All handmade, all very cute! I could not get Ava to give them to me (she fell in love with the cards - you would not believe how much she howled when I finally got close enough to grab them, and do it without her tearing them in her death grip!)
The following is a depiction of her with the goods, then when I got them high enough so she couldn't reach - she stands there pointing at them. :D

[I had to remove the picture with Ava pointing to her goodies because my husband was uncomfortable (and I see his point) as she was in a diaper, she had taken her jeans off already, lol, she usually does. Anyway, she had a pitiful look on her face while managing to look desperate)
It was good to see her fascinated with some handmade, and not commercial & spat out by a machine, in the end, the cards went to her friends, Autumn and Keegun, lol.

I also received the Plan Toys duck that I won with Piera at Jolly Mom and that bad boy is going under the tree last minute as a "Santa" gift, for 2 reasons. 1:  It's gorgeous, I don't want to wrap it - I think it will look perfect with a huge bow stuck on it and 2: I can't wait for her to see it. We used to have one for Quintyn, and he was in looove with his, (we got it from Ace Hardware) & when it finally had to be retired, he cried. I never thought to replace it with any of the girls, it was always "Quintyns toy", so now, I can't wait for Ava to see it!!

So thank you to all the ladies who really go above and beyond to post tips, helpful advice, what to do if's and giveaways. Also their experiences - as a Mom that can be incredibly helpful, I know I appreciate the time that goes into it - the giveaways for me, are really just a 'bonus', I go more for the "This happened to me, here's what I did, make sure you're not caught unawares" type of stuff. But I have to admit - I do love winning! It's such a pleasant surprise, I squeal, I call someone, I immediately go to the page where I entered to 'ooh and ahh' my new prize, honestly - its like Christmas for me.!
So a big Thank You to all the Ladies (and their families who have to share their Mom for a bit while she does this)
Merry Christmas to you all!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Twitter parties for twits ...?

So I'm offically a complete novice when it comes to Twitter parties! I've tried 2 now and failed spectacularly! I finally had to admit defeat and find a 'How-To', and possibly have it sorted out. Fingers crossed!
I chowed down most of the Cinnamon buns Donna was kind enough to bring (me) us, so thank you for that. Craig is considering telling you to next time, make (me) us a separate plate, and one for the kids :D

I have a quick link tonight, nothing grand, just a e-book Gifts in a Jar type of thing, you enter your email address, and voila! Ideas for Christmas gifts! Here

So this is a short post tonight, we have a guest sleeping over tonight (trial) a cat, who doesn't respond to her name, so we can even name her and she's not quite kitten, definitely not cat. She's playful, affectionate and loving. She's even surviving Avas constant attention and demands of "NO Kitty. Mine", whilst carting him her all over the house.
We'll see how tonight goes and then decide if shes a keeper, or a giver-back.

The kids are all over her though. It may become a case of 'if we say 'no' Mom and Dad are the bad guys'. Great. This Christmas so far has shaped up to be ... meh. And I hate that - time to kick it up several notches eh!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

You Will NOT Believe This

Our family has had a rash of horrid luck lately, though on a scale of world-wide tradgadies it may seem small, to the members of my family - this was catastrophic!
Last night I went to visit my best friend, hang out and gossip, play on her computer ... girl stuff. So around, I think, 10 or so, I decided it was time to head home.
As I opened the garage door, I see my husband and kids, standing in a cluster, concentrating on the small area that our cat, (affectionately named Toombes by my husband, because when I first bought the cat home, he made the comment (a line, from the movie 'Riddick') "Skittish, Tombs. Very skittish", and thus, our cat had a name) slept. I stopped the van & walked over to see our cat lying awkwardly on his blanket, tears in the eyes of my children and Craig wit ha grave look on his face. "There's something wrong with the cat," was all he said.
I hunched down & inspected our poor cat, who was limp, his back legs at an odd angle, with pain filled eyes. "We think he was run over - or maybe a dog got him" was Craigs explaination.
We moved him (pillow & all) into the laundry room, where it was warmer. I set myself up beside him (Craig bought me a pillow to sit on, and a blanket) and I tried mothering our cat, who was very obviously dying.
His pitiful meows whenever someone tried to move him, his nips at my wrists when I tried to lift him gently to look at the damage. He was hurt, and he was dying.

Then my son tells me when I was leaving (to go to my friends house) as the garage was closing, he saw the cat run out from behind the van as I was backing down the driveway.
I had run our cat over!
My heart sank, I hadn't even noticed or felt anything that may have been a cat. But there was no denying, I was responsible.
I sat with the cat for a few hours, the kids all came in and said their goodbyes. Our 6 year old, who was closest to Toombes (he would play forever with her. When he was a kitten, he used to jump out & tackle her because she's so small, and for him, was an easy mark. They both loved each other very much) sat by Toombes for a bit, and he kept reaching his paw out to touch her whenever she stopped petting him, so of course she was a mess.

He survived through the night, and in the morning he was still hanging on like a trooper. Around mid morning I called Craig at work and told him he needed to 'do something' to end the cats suffering. He, valiantly, agreed and came home from work. I took the baby and left (after much crying and saying my goodbyes, and sorries)

When I came home, the cat had passed, and we will be burying him tonight. He will be missed.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Lively Links!

Time to update with some Lively Links after yesterdays horrific event, and to add a BIG HUGE THANK YOU to Piera from Jolly Mom, who graciously 'randomed' my entry post and I WON a "Plan Toys Push Along Duck"! I tell you -  people, I am on a roll!! So that's another gift for Ava to go under our tree, and it's just so darn cute, I'm very excited! Thanks again Piera! Now, on to the links for free stuff ...

Red Box Code: BREAKROOM, DVDONME, Gants9

Apple Bottoms, by Nelly perfume sample This site is slooooow to load, so each step takes about 2-3 minutes, the entire process takes approximately 10 minutes. Hopefully it smells good enough that the wait is worth it!

This link is thanks to 'For the Mommas', whose site I subscribe too, she has fantastic ideas on how to save, links & some giveaways! Anyway, this is an idea for that sports fan in your life, a free personalized ESPN poster! You upload your photo & pick the template you want then ESPN will ask for your email address & send you the link for your new poster! If you don't have a photo printer, you could always go to Kinkos, access your link and professionally print it out from there, or, copy from the link, upload it to your SD card & head over to Costco, Walmart or Walgreens and have it printed out there. This would make a great stocking stuffer for that future athlete!

This link is for a free Canvas Portrait from Canvas People, (you do have to pay shipping at $14.95), but it's a savings of $49.99! Also, it's canvas! How cool would that be?

That's all I have time for considering it's late, I still have a redbox movie to watch, a friend to help move tomorrow AND a doctors appointment! Then we're decorating our tree tomorrow night, so lots to do, lots to do!


Saturday, December 5, 2009

We ran our kid over!

Nope, that isn't an attempt at humor, we literally ran our son, Quintyn, over when we were on Cedar mountain looking for a tree today!
The day started off wonderfully, Jahmal made some pancakse (he's turning into quite the chef!)
He made his apron himself - a huge BYU fan, (of course I'm proud!)

So anyway, he made breakfast and we all piled into the van & started the trip to the mountain. Everything was great - Mom & Dad were discussing politics, the kids were being too loud, coloring and munching on Chez Itz.
We get up to the mountain, and start the hunt for a tree - mind you we had to hike a mile from the road before we hit any trees - but it's all part of the fun , right?
So we're looking away, the kids gave up and started sleding down any hill that looked halfway promising, C and I eventually decide there's no hidden gem of a tree that we're going to find, so we might as well head to a different area.
So we're all back at the van and C starts tying the sleds to the back of the van - we've done this a thousand times before. Once in our old house it snowed here in town (a miracle in itself!) so we tied the sleds to the back of the truck and went zooming around the neighborhood, the kids had an absolute blast!
So Aliya and Quintyn happily volunteer to have the 'first turns' in the sled, even amid my "It's going to be cold" warnings - (which of course doesn't even come close to the prospect of sledding behind the van!) I think they'd brave hypothermia if it meant 5 minutes in heaven, sledding at 10 miles an hour!
Well, everything was going wonderfully. Jahmal and I were sitting in the back with the door up so we could yell to C, who was driving, and constantly remind A & Q to "HOLD THE ROPE!" and make sure there was no 'goofing off', such as "ramming" or trying to "flick" snow at the other. So I start clicking away.
Then C notices that A & Q need to switch sleds
something about weight dynamics ... things I don't even take into consideration - but thank goodness that they switched ... or who knows how much worse things would have been! So, they switch, and we continue.

The last picture is where things started to go very, very wrong. We had turned down onto a hill. C had started slowing down, as if he was unsure, or had a premonition, (who knows) but it wasn't enough to stop what happened next from happening!
Q and A start picking up speed, & when I realized what was happening, my stomach dropped and I went cold all over. I started yelling to C to "STOP, STOP, STOP!!!!" and Jahmal beside me realizes what's going on, and he too, starts yelling "DAD STOP! DAD!!" over & over. I  see C turning to meet my eyes in the mirror as he's slowing down and they're filled with as much dread as mine- but it's too late.
First A disappears around the right side of the van amid my screams of "STOP!!" and then Q disappears, right as the van is slowing down.
The next thng I know, Q is screaming and Jahmal has jumped out of the van about a split second behind me, and at first I can't understand what I'm looking at. Q isn't under the van or anything, but he's screaming and holding his leg and Jahmal drops beside him & starts literally screaming so loud I had goosebumps "DAD MOVE THE VAN! YOU'RE ON HIS LEG!! DAD MOVE HE'S HURT!!!!" While Q is screaming, I drop beside him and start screaming at my husband to "MOVE THE F'IN VAN!!!" (I cussed in the heat of the moment, and even with as bad as things were I remember thinking "Geez - I hope the kids didn't catch that", I think it's a 2nd sense that parents have when they do something wrong, no matter how bad the situation is.
Well C , opens his door, leans out and asks me "WHICH WAY?!!" And I immediately knew he was asking, 'which way won't hurt him more?' (it has to be a married-for-long-enough-we-have-esp thing, whatever it is, I'm grateful!) So I tell him to "Go back", but when he tries to, the van won't do it, not without alot of revving and possible damage.
So he drives over his leg - much to our disgust. Q starts sobbing and C jumps out of the van and grabs him up while we clear space. I'm sobbing to myself (and, ashamedly, very very mad at my husband) and poor Q has gone white.
We do a quick check of his legs for anything sticking out where it sshouldn't be - the rest of the kids are hysterical at this point. I remember turning to Ava & forcing a calm demeanor & saying "Yes, Quintyn got an owie huh? Let's get him to the doctor, can you give him loves?" This relieved her, but I was a mess all the way down the mountain. And then when we get into town - of course they're having a parade! So traffic is backed up, slow and we're not sure what roads are closed in a town we barely know - luckily we lucked out & made it to the hospital in under 5 minutes!
So he was checked out, I also found coming off the mountain, that asking Q about his favorite shows (Ben 10, Dinosuars, Pokemon, Bakugan) and the story lines, toys and books you can get (for Christmas went unsaid - but I think he got the gist) helped keep him focused, calm and panic free.
He had his x-rays and we made them do his foot (to be sure. He had a suspicious looking lump, which we are told is normal. LOL, he has a huge lump, and it's normal! But thank goodness, he's only bruised.
It hurts him (we've given him medicine) but luckily, it's not worse. And I definitely thank Heavenly Father for this, I remember praying on the way up toward Cedar, because we had forgotten to pray before we left (we usually do) so I said one, an it was more involved because we had missed saying one as a family. I'm so glad I did! Because it could have been worse, what if it was Aliya who got run over? She wouldn't have come out of it with bruising. Or what if Q had gotten sucked and turned around and ended up head first under the wheel? I hate to think about it, but I know I'll be playing the 'What if' game for at least a week! But, he's okay now and my heart rate is nearly back to normal. Needless to say we stopped at Wal Mart and let Q pick out a tree! So that's the story of how we ran our child over! Good grief ...

Friday, December 4, 2009

"RIGHT ON THE WALLS" giveaway!

You have to go to this site My Organized Chaos, the host of this FABULOUS blog find of mine is hosting a giveaway for a site that is new to me, "Right on the Wall", you SO HAVE to check this out! As you know (or at least, my family readers, who have yet to FOLLOW me *hints*) I'm a huge fan of vinyl and Wall lettering, and I thought I had found the best website to get this type of stuff and I was wrong!
This site is amazing - their clocks are fabulous, I want one, they have a huge selection, they're innovative, original and cute!! I am literally going to bug Craig if I don't win the giveaway at My Organized Chaos.
Go and see what they have, there's a huge selection! And definitely go to My Organized Chaos and enter her giveaway, she has a bunch too, so you might as well follow her and sign up for all the gives that interest you!
Yay on finding this, I'm too excited!

Props n Loves!

I was musing over all the giveaways I've entered this holiday season, and I definitely have my favorite sites, but I wanted to post some love to those sites that I've won on - the entire time I've been blogging and entering giveaways. And I'd like to add that Kat, over at "For the Love of Chaos" and "My 2 Cents", did a giveaway for a Samsung camera last night via Momtv, which you had to be present for to win (Congrats again to Laura C, I'll admit I was seething with jealousy - but that's the luck of the Random!) and I loved the way she did that! It was fun not only to see her in real time and interact via chat with all the other hopefuls, but for some reason it made it all that more exciting! It was a great idea I think. Anyway -
Props & Loves(´¯¨`·´¨¯`)

Alicia's Reviews & Giveaways - my first ever win, and I owe it all to you Alicia! Thank you!
STL Mommy - For a great read, the book was fabulous and is now making the rounds around my friends. Thank you!
My 2 Cents - I'm so excited to see what Habitwise has in store for my weight! Thank you!
Deal Seeking Mom - My husband was so excited about this giveaway - he loves Pears! Thank you!

When they're all lined up like that, it looks alittle suspicious, lol - it's really the luck of the Random, and I'm so grateful for everything I won, because, I mean, lets face it - it was free, and it's always grand to win something unexpectedly!

So, tomorrow, we have our "Breakfast with Santa" with our ward (we're LDS) and it should be fun, mainly because we're new to this ward, and haven't yet made a very big splash in the way of people getting to know us.
Somehow we always manage to be the family that's referred to as the 'how many kids you don't want" as in "You guys are having another one? Wow - you'll end up like the Degens" lol. The only thing is, in this ward, we're not so much a side show family as we are the norm because everyone has a small army around here! It makes a nice change!
So I was reading a post by Janice, over at "5 Minutes for Mom" and she was relating a story about how she nearly lost her little girl while at the skating rink, and the horror and emotions she felt while going through this horrid event (her daughter was fine, FYI - you can read about her Happy Ending here) and in this months issue of Family Circle, theres an article about paranoid parenting, and it got me thinking about my style of parenting and if I go 'overboard'.
I know I worry all the time about abductions and missing kids stories break my heart, and while I could probably do without the 'I meet the families before letting you go play-date' (or ... could I?) I think all in all I do an okay job.
Sure, I make mistakes, who doesn't, but all in all, I think I do just fine.
Anyways, theres my 'Props n Loves', I really am grateful to ALL you wonderful blog hosts who make giveaways possible, I tell everyone I know about getting involved in them, how worthwhile they are, and to not forget to link whenever possible!

The beautiful Degen kids!

WIN with Amanda!

I had to blog about this, Amanda (Mommy Mandy) is hosting a great giveaway from American Express for gift cards, valued at $50.00, there's a plethera of ways to enter, so head on over to: AMANDA - A STAY AT HOME MOMS POINT OF VIEW and enter into the giveaway. You can follow her blog, email subscribe, or RSS Feed subscribe, follow her on Twitter and tweet (she has a tweet for you to copy and paste) and follow her on Facebook. Easy!

There's also another way to enter - you can tweet this:

"Hey @americanexpress. I have _________ on my holiday list. Pick me! #amexgiftcard."

Of course you will have to be Twitter following American Express but you can do this every business day until December 15th where they will randomly choose a winner to win a gift card with a $100.00 value! Not bad huh?
But don't forget to go to Amandas site and enter her giveaway for more chances to win a gift card - it's easy, and in fact she has a bunch of giveaways (at the top of her site is a button labeled 'Giveaway', or click that link :D
Go to it - it's well worth it!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Lively Links

I haven't posted anything great to link to (as in, "Lively Links", not the sites I've linked to!) So I figured I'd post some today, but some are time sensitive, so you will have to get them today & soon! And as I was saying yesters. enter some giveaways hosted on the blog buttons to your right, it's definitely not a scam, they really give away great prizes! J. Leigh Desigz is hosting a giveaway for a Karito Kids Doll, which are great - I saw these a few months back, or heard about them rather, they come with a book which tells about the doll you buy. So she has a history, which is fabulous!
5 Minutes for Mom is hosting a huge Christmas, 2009 giveaway, with 38 different giveaways! That's amazing!! They all end Friday - so hurry!!
So definitely go ahead and enter some giveaways - you may win (like meeeee!!) and what a great gift idea!
On with the links:

This one is for the movie "UP", which is one of my favorites, today ONLY, you can get a free download of the soundtrack by entering the code: latmisdisney. The download is in .zip format, so very easy to get to your media player. (If you have trouble, email me and I'll guide you to the right place!)

This link is for a  free Aveeno tote bag! Just fill in the information, and voila! As long as there's some left, supply wise - you're golden!

This link is for a free sample of Benefiber Orange Sticks, from Walmart, so if you're not signed up with them you will have to do that first!

This link is a cool one. It's a free video message from Santa thanks to Disney Family, which you have to register with in order to do this. You upload a picture of your child, enter their name and have them come watch as Santa sends them a personalized message. My girls got a huge kick out of this and even my 8 year old started second guessing herself on whether or not Santa is real. (She's bounced back & forth for a few weeks. A girl at school told her! *grrr* to that!!) So I was thrilled when her eyes got big & wide and I could see the hope come back to her, it's a treat for all!

This link is for a free sample of "Total" cereal, from Quality Health, you have to be registered with them, answer a few questions, and you're all done!

This is for a "Right at Home" Giftbasket! There's a limit of 2000 participants, BUT they run this every week, so if you miss out this week, theres always next!

Redbox Codes: (I haven't tried these personally, so I can't vouch for them) DVDATWAG only works at Walgreens, DVDONME and BREAKROOM. When I get more, I'll post them, but these were for you (Ry) ;)

So thats all for now at least, I may come on later and add some more, but have fun!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Can you believe the odds on that??! I won again! I'm so excited, maybe I should head down to Vegas and push my luck some more eh?
This time I won a giveaway from the wonderful blog site "AUDREYS COUNTRY CRAFTS", she has some really cute items on her blog that you should definitely go and check out, there's several things I want (hint hint @ my family) What I won was actually from a store called "CHRISTIES COTTAGE" (I will find her link and link you to her!!) who participated in a giveaway that Audrey put together with a bunch of etsy stores, it was great - and I was lucky enough to win!! I'm glowing, just glowing!! I'm also being kicked off the computer right now, so I will be back!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Christmas Traditions!

I was reading Felicias, over at Go Graham Go!, blog and she had posted a thing called "Christmas Traditions", and I thought it sounded fun, and as we have a few "Degen" traditions, I figured I'd put them out there.
Every day after Thanksgiving, we head up one of the mountains nearby (usually Cedar) and brave the cold, we load up with sleds, snow-boards and other snow toys, and we hunt for the perfect Christmas Tree!
My husband will cut it down, and the boys will all drag it back out while the girls play in the snow (lol, including me). We tie it to the van when we're done taking pictures and playing, and off we go. We always stop somewhere for hot chocolate (or sometimes my in laws and family come along, in which case my mother-in-law, who is ever prepared, has hot chocolate on hand!).
It's the same every year (we missed this year though due to a BYU game. We're going next Saturday though)

We also, every Christmas day, head over to my mother-in-laws for a little breakfast tradition. She will make these things called "Ebberscebers", I can't ever get the spelling right on that! They're basically German type pancakes, rolled into a ball with something in the center. Like, bananas, cherries, or when they try to trick my husband - something awful. (One year I think it was soy sauce!)

There is always a competition on who can devour the most, my husband claims to hold the record at 35 (?), while my all time best is a whooping 6. They're really filling!

But I do love, love LOVE this time of year and cherish the traditions that we have, I know it will seem almost lonely when my kids are grown up and gone, so I will enjoy them while I can!

Now, to earn extra entries to the "Here comes Santa Claus" giveaways hosted by the ladies from Go Graham Go! and Jolly Mom, blog about your own Christmas traditions, and make sure to link back to those two (not mine) websites. Then go here and comment, with a link to your own post. You then gain 3 extra entries to any of their fabulous giveaways, as long as they're "Here comes Santa Claus" giveaways, by simply writing "Christmas Tradition" on your entry posts, 3 seperate times.
It doesn't get much easier than that!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

I thought I'd post a little something tonight as I enter my many, many giveaway oppotunities, which I love doing. I won something last night (Fabulous!) and I love that you can enter these giveaways and if you win, there's another great gift for someone, that I didn't have to buy. Mind you, I always read the reviews first, because even if it's something you like, you never know a "CON" that someone else may have. (Or a benefit). It always pays to get a few opinions before buying, so why not with a giveaway? Another thing I love is sometimes there's a giveaway that you absolutely adore, so you end up buying the item if you don't win.

Anyway ... I have a friend who is moving soon, but other than that, there's really no big news in my life, at the present (and touch wood, cos no news is good news ... right?)

Well, I'll turn in, just leaving alittle note to acomplish my 'don't-forget-to-post rule. :D


I had to post something really quick before I head off to bed, but I was quickly shutting everything down on my computer and my Twitter name caught my eye and it was from 'My 2 Cents' on twitter (obviously not her twitter name) and it said the following
CONGRATS to @JDmalicious - you're the winner of the @Habitwise giveaway!!!! 
Thats right folks - I won something - and something fabulous too! You now have to absolutely follow this site as I've just proven to you cynical pessimists out there what a scam it isn't!
Thank you especially to the wonderful owner of the site "MY 2 CENTS"!!
I am so, so excited right now, I'm waking Craig up to let him know of my good fortune!

Another fine site!

I found a FANTASTIC site that has some amazing giveaways for Christmas. It was really thanks to 'For the Love of Chaos' that I found it, but it's called "5 Minutes for Mom" and they're twin sisters who are SAHM's. Well, they have awesome giveaways for this month, (check out their button to the right) This is their link : 'Christmas Giveaway' , thats actually for their 'How to post for the Christmas Giveaways' section, but they have their individual giveaways linked down below.
DO check them out, they have some great giveaways (including a very cute 'Jesus is the Gift' giveaway, I entered that about 1st I was so excited!)
If you don't blog, you can still gain an entry by spreading the word for a certain giveaway via Twitter or Facebook, but it's absolutely worthwhile. Check these ladies out!
p.s If you can't figure out what the "rules" are, email me, I know I had to read and re-read a few times to make sure I got it right!

They also have this thing called "Under the tree" which is gifts for families who are in need. I KNOW RIGHT!
Please read this page and what these ladies are trying to do, you may know of someone who needs help this Christmas, or let me know and I'll petition on your behalf. But it's definitely worthwhile and such a blessing!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

GREAT giveaway!

I don't usually blog about giveaways, or rather, a particular giveaway, but this is definitely worth it! So the site is called "For the love of 2 cents" (which is a mix of "My 2 Cents" and "For the Love of Chaos") & it's a new one I found today.
The giveaway is for a Samsung Touchscreen Camera, with a bunch of very cool features, all of which you can view here: Samsung Imaging this link will take you to the 'digital camera' part of the Samsung website, but browse around and look at all the things you want and drool over! The actual giveaway link is here: My 2 Cents! and be sure to check out all her cool giveaways, they're worth it! I would recommend email subscribing to this site, because it gives you more entry chances, also twitter follow her, (I would leave her twitter name here, but go get it from her website while you're there)
Oh - and You're Welcome for the tip :p

Lively Links

A few links to celebrate Christmas!

Heres on for a free christmas ornament. Just leave your information.

This is for a free printable personalized letter from Santa
and theres more here, although these aren't personalized. This is thanks to Freebieblogger.

This is another ornament for the NLEOMF (Law enforcement supporters)

So the infamous "Black Friday" has come & gone and if you were one of those brave enough (or desperate enough) to venture out, I commend you! I went. My husband decided to come with me, and I met up with one or two friends while out.
I did get all those door busters I wanted (the game from Old Navy, the candle votives from Tai Pan and even some great things from Krumpets!) I also really wanted the 'Elefun' game for my youngest, and while I missed it at the first Wal Mart (thanks in part to my husband who absolutely refused to get his head in the game and 'be aggresive', I still managed to procure it from the other Wal Mart here in town.
In fact, that was my 2nd stop, my friend and I went over there, leaving my husband to stand in line and purchase our goodies, but the line there was also horrendous, so we actually stashed the things we wanted and raced to another store. When we came back, the line was gone and we got our stuff! I recommend doing this next year if you're trying to get to three or four different stores!
So now there's nothing to do but wait for Christmas. And I love this time of year. The christmas carols, the holiday excitement, celebrating the birth of our Savior.
I play Christmas music all through the coming weeks until the Big Day. But - the classic Christmas songs. Frank Sinatra, Perry Como, The Andrew Sisters (email me for a full list. When I heard the songs from the movie 'Polar Express' I went nuts trying to find the original singers etc. Now I have the names and songs, so if you want it, let me know!)
I love decorating my house too. And thanks to my best friend, I have a TONNE of stuff to put out and get everything all Christmassy. It's great.
The one thing I do have a gripe about is the commercialization of Christmas. The 'what can I get' and the 'How much can I get's. It's not so much about giving anymore as getting, and that saddens me.
I like to dorrbell ditch people and leave gifts or cookies on their steps. This is something we try to do every Christmas. Or the 12 days of Christmas, where every day for 12 days you leave a piece of a nativity set on their doorstep and on the final day, you leave baby Jesus. We had it done to us one year, and I'll never forget how excited the kids and my husband and I were, how loved we felt and how amazed we were that someone would go to all that trouble for us! So we try and pull that off every year too.

This year, (again) I can't be with my family in New Zealand, and every year I miss them more. I remember Christmas' past where we would open our gifts and spend the day doing nothing but enjoying each others company, and around lunch time, afternoon, my Mum would make a roast with all the trimmings, and her homemade gravy, and we'd pig out until we felt sick and satisfied.
I took all that for granted, and when you don't have it anymore, it's pretty rough. My Mum started the tradition of filling our stockings (or bags, usually) with little gifts and setting them at the end of our bed. These were 'Santas' gifts. And we'd wake up, excited, aand open them up. I would always set my things out and take a picture, and my brother would do the same. Then we'd go and see what the other got. Then we'd go open the 'big' gifts. So I do that with my children now, and although that's not exactly the tradition my husband grew up with, as I don't get to see my family on Christmas, we do it every year.
Then we go to his Mums house and partake of 'Ebbelscebers'. I know I misspelt that, but its basically a german pancake type thing that you need a special pan to cook them on.
Every year there's a competition on who can eat the most. (He claims to hold the record). My best is 6, lol.
This year is our first Christmas in our new house, so I'm very excited. I'll post a pic when we get the house all prettied up. But to my family:


I miss you all.
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