Showing posts from August, 2011


For all information on our son and our loss, please visit:

Circle Of Catholic Women

Circle Of Catholic Women by Karen Pavlicin

About The Book:
Circle of Catholic Women is a journal series tailored to Catholic women seeking deeper spiritual connections and life balance. Through personal journaling and group sharing, women explore prayer, rituals and traditions, relationships, spiritual role models, their values and beliefs, discernment, and more. Each journal in the series includes: *sections on prayer, traditions, relationships, role models, values, discernment, and life balance *Bible verses and references to Catholic documents and teachings *journaling prompts to encourage deeper personal reflection and application to daily life *group discussion questions and suggestions for group leaders *separate facilitator guide for added guidance and ideas for program leaders The series is nonsequential so participants may begin with any journal in the series. Journal One topics include: *personal prayer practices *family traditions for Catholic holidays *seeing J…

Deployment Journal For Kids

Deployment Journal For Kids by Rachel Robertson
About The Book: Deployments are hard! Deployment Journal for Kids is a great way to express how you feel when someone you love is deployed. Created especially for military kids, this journal is a special place for you to record your feelings and events during a loved one's deployment. Contains calendar pages, writing ideas, interesting facts about common deployment locations, military definitions, and a pocket to keep mementos.
My Thoughts: Journals like these are amazing for kids who are going through the deployment of a parent. It is like something personal between them and their parent, because when writing in it the child can feel connected to their loved one. I like the section on ideas for letters and packages to send to your loved one, because you always want to send something special. This is just a great resource for military kids!
About The Author: An author and educator focused on child development, Rachel Robertson combin…


Some posts are scheduled, so you might be getting giveaway posts and stuff. Please keep entering. It just may be awhile before I announce winners.
Also any authors and anyone expecting Book-Tober.....I will get to it, I will keep my commitments, but it just may not be in a timely fashion.
If you would like to keep up with our Caring Bridge, please visit:

Back to School Shopping

It's that time of the year again, huh? Whether you're shopping for a young grade schooler or an older college student, this time of the year can get rather hectic and expensive. Fortunately, there are many ways you can save time and money during the back to school shopping season. With some proper planning you can make this a worthwhile experience for you and your family.
Start Early Don't wait until the week before the shopping season to start listing down the things your kids need for school. If you wait until the last minute, you'll most likely miss out on the best deals on school supplies and you'll probably end up with the leftovers - ugly colors, lower quality products, and whatnot. Obviously, you don't want to disappoint your kids. Once you have your list prepared, you can start looking through the weekly flyers in your newspaper for deals or you can even turn to the internet for some of the best deals around.
Coupon and Deals Sites If you handle this shoppi…

Enter At Your Own Risk

Enter At Your Own Risk by Stacy Tornio
About The Book: When Henry’s homerun ball lands in Creepy Cathy’s yard, he and his buddy Andy go after it, despite their friends’ warnings they might not come out. The boys search through Cathy’s animal garden, discovering that things aren’t always what they seem. Kids love finding the hidden animals throughout this vibrant picture book. An included flower guide and planting zone map give children tools to create their own animal gardens. - Entertaining plot Introduces children to many different kinds of plants. - Included flower guide and planting zone map make it easy for kids to create their own animal gardens. - Animals hidden throughout illustrations keep kids' attention. - Expertise: Author is editor of Birds & Blooms magazine and a certified Master Gardener.
My Thoughts: I adore this book. It is unique and I've never seen a children's book like it. I like the fear of the kids entering the gar…

SunRidge Farms

"SunRidge Farms is a true innovator in organic and natural bulk and packaged nuts & seeds, dried fruit, candies, and snack & trail mixes. Our commitment to natural ingredient development means nutritional products that are free of unhealthy refined sugars, hydrogenated oils, artificial colorings, and preservatives. Within each of our snack categories we offer a wide variety of naturally flavorful ingredients to satisfy every taste."
We got to try two of the new mixes. SunRidge’s new Milk Chocolate Rainbow Drops - An industry first, all natural Milk Chocolate Rainbow Drops are packed in SunRidge Farms solar powered facility, the new addition features natural premium quality chocolate with real vanilla in a cane sugar shell. Rainbow drops come in seven colors each derived from vegetable juice, rather than food dye and titanium dioxide, which are commonly artificial and potentially carcinogenic. Great for kids with food dye allergies! Also, SunRidge Farms Berries and Ch…

Perch, Mrs. Sackets, And Crow's Nest

Perch, Mrs. Sackets, And Crow's Nest by Karen Pavlicin
About The Book: When 10-year-old Andy Parker reluctantly goes to Grandma's house for the summer, all he can think about is how much he misses his dad in heaven and his best friend Anthony, who moved away. What will he do in this sleepy small town for the entire summer? But it turns out even cow dung can be interesting and something wonderful can come from rotten apples. From the back cover: Mom called this my Summer of Courage. She said that when you need courage the most is when you realize what's happened in your life and you decide to get up the next morning anyway. Mom and I did our best to keep going, to have courage. We prayed a lot. Sometimes I wondered if God ever listened. I prayed real hard for my dad to get better, but he died. I prayed that Anthony would be my best friend forever, but that was going to be harder now that we didn't live next door to each other. And I prayed …

Simple Gifts By Sharen Pearson

As a mother of five and now grandmother of seven, I’ve planned my share of birthday events. I am a creative person, so my problem is “going over the top.” My expectations supersede those of the birthday child. So, I have to step back and say, “Whose birthday is it anyway?” And, therein lies the key to a successful birthday party.
I recently assisted with my grandson, Waylon’s party. He was reaching that big-boy age of 5 years. He knew what theme he wanted: Herbie the Love Bug. He wanted a backyard campfire and a cake with Herbie on it. Simple—Herbie, campfire, cake. Got it! My daughter complied. She invited a few families from church that Waylon knew well and was comfortable around. Since entire families were represented, parents were there to help with crowd control. Bowls of chips and dip provided a place to gather around as people arrived. Children scattered to play in the back yard, parents grouped to watch and chat. Easy, huh? Daddy lit a small fire in the campfire ring in the yar…

Dry As Rain

Dry As Rain by Gina Holmes
About The Book: From the bestselling author of Crossing Oceans comes a powerfully moving story that tests the limits of love’s forgiveness. Like many marriages, Eric and Kyra Yoshida’s has fallen apart slowly, one lost dream and misunderstanding at a time, until the ultimate betrayal finally pushes them beyond reconciliation. Just when it looks like forgive and forget is no longer an option, a car accident gives Eric the second chance of a lifetime. A concussion causes his wife to forget details of her life, including the chasm between them. No one knows when - or if - Kyra’s memory will return, but Eric seizes the opportunity to win back the woman he’s never stopped loving. The book releases in September.
My Thoughts: This is an amazing story. At first, you really dislike seems he is going to deceive his wife twice! But when you get more and more into it, you realize how much he loves Kyra and wants things to work out. The author is a brilliant storyt…

My Very Sick Little Boy

My baby Mason has had an awful accident and is on life-support. Here is the link to his CaringBridge page, please visit for updates, and pray!
Please forgive any blogging absences on my part.

The Good Fire Helmet

The Good Fire Helmet by Tim Hoppey
About The Book: The Good Fire Helmet is a story about being brave in everyday life and believing in yourself. Ten-year-old Tommy and six-year-old Christian treasure the firefighter's helmet that once belonged to their dad. The chaplain had told the boys, "If you just touch your fingers to this fire helmet, its courage can be given to you. A good fire helmet has been known to do that." Christian believes the helmet makes him brave when he gets a shot at the doctor's office and wards off scary shadows at night, but his big brother isn't so sure. Tommy's real test of courage comes the day Christian falls into the creek and is swept downstream, along with the helmet. Tommy draws on memories of his dad - and the courage he finds inside himself - to rescue his brother.
My Thoughts: This is such a touching and heartwarming story. It is about a brother's love, bravery, and courage. It's about remembering a parent. It&#…

Surviving Deployment

Surviving Deployment by Karen Pavlicin

About The Book:
As part of today's active duty or reserve forces, your loved one may be called to war, peacekeeping missions, anti-terrorism campaigns, field exercises, disaster relief, and many other duties far from home - and you. Surviving Deployment is your personal guide to turning an otherwise lonely and challenging situation into a positive experience. Learn what to expect, how to prepare, and how to personally grow as individuals and families. Your survival gear will range from a sturdy toilet plunger to the fine art of letter writing. You'll manage financial changes, help children express their feelings, and discover a renewed appreciation for everyday life. Solid information. Practical checklists. Personal stories from hundreds of families.

My Thoughts:
I think this is an excellent book and I wish I would have known about it for my many separations from my husband while in the Army. This book is a great book for all branches of th…

Finish This Book Review & *Giveaway*

Finish This Book by Keri Smith
About The Book: Dear Reader, One dark and stormy night, author Keri Smith found some strange scattered pages abandoned in a park. She collected and assembled them, trying to solve the mystery of this unexpected discovery, and now, she's passing the task on to you, her readers. I collected and assembled them, trying to solve the mystery of this unexpected discovery, and am now passing the task on to you. Your mission is to become the new author of this work. You will continue the research and provide the content. In order to complete the task, you will have to undergo some secret intelligence training, which is included in this volume. Since no one knows what lies ahead, please proceed with caution, but know...this book does not exist without you. Yours truly, Keri Smith
My Thoughts: I love these kinds of books. Just really fun books to doodle in and be creative with. I've always loved Keri Smith since her Wreck This Journal. This book could be for a te…

The Wishing Tree

The Wishing Tree by Mary Redman
About The Book: Amanda understands her dad is making the world a better place, but it doesn't make his deployment any easier. After mulling over ways she can support her dad, Amanda creates a small wishing tree in her room, writing her hopes and prayers on yellow ribbons that she ties onto the branches. As Amanda wishes for her dad to enjoy good meals, make new friends, and return safely, the little tree comes to life with yellow ribbons of hope. 
My Thoughts: I love this book! I wish I would have thought to make a wishing tree for my husband while he was at NTC for the Army and I was pregnant with our first son. He would have loved it. The story in this book is great, and the illustrations are amazing. I think this is a book that all military children would enjoy and cherish.
About The Author & Illustrator: Mary Redman has experienced many joys and challenges as a military wife and mother over the past 20 years. She has managed pack-outs, give…

When You Don't Like Your Child's Teacher

You're hoping, praying and crossing your fingers that your child gets Mrs. Smith for 2nd grade. You've heard so many wonderful things about her and you just know that is the best teacher for your child.
However the notice comes home that next year your child is assigned to Mr. Jones' class. Ugh! That's not what you wanted. You just don't think your child will be as happy in that class. Before you decide that second grade will be a horrid experience, let's examine your feelings toward your child's new teacher.
Is it that you really don't like your child's new teacher? Or is it that you like the other teacher better? Do you have any first hand knowledge or experience with either teacher? Sometimes it's easy to be fond of one particular teacher, either because of the good things you've heard or because your older child had that teacher. But is that fair to the new teacher?
Did you have a bad experience with the new teacher? Or did some of …

Ladybug Jane Lip Balms

I love lip balm. I'm a balm-a-holic. I probably have collected more lip balm than I will ever need, but when I saw the lip balms from Ladybug Jane, I just had to have some!
"Ladybug Jane offers a new perspective, a "bugs perspective", to helping us make more informed choices about our health and the health of the planet. Ladybug Jane is all about having fun, spreading joy, and making a difference one step a time. Ladybug Bug Jane wants to help you and the planet stay balanced and healthy. Make the Choice, Take the Step, Be the change. Ladybug Jane is here to connect us to nature's magic, brilliance, beauty, and wonder! Flavor balms are better than any other lip balm you have ever tired. The flavors are amazing. Are you ready for the yummiest funniest way to moisturize, and protect your lips? Not to mention they are free from petrochemical, beeswax, and nuts. They are 100% vegan, and made with only the finest natural and organic ingredients." Ther…

Little Bit Of Faith CD

Little Bit of Faith sung by Karen Pavlicin is about love, loss, hope, and grace. This 12-song lyrical collection blends blues, folk, and jazz influences with pure vocals for true inspiration. The label, Andermax Records, donates 100% of profits from this CD to cancer research. 
The songs are very soulful and mellow, and it is easy listening. I really enjoyed this music and even Callan just kind of sat there and bobbed his head slowly to the beat. You can listen to clips of some of the twelve songs at Little Bit Of Faith. This is not a religious CD, though you get the same type of inspiration and hope from these songs as you might a Christian CD. To learn more about the singer, whom is also an author and public speaker, please visit her website at Karen Pavlicin.
I received a complimentary review copy of this CD from Elva Resa PR. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Bully Proof Your Student

It probably started in preschool when your son was playing with the truck and a big mean four and a half year old just came over and stole that dump truck right out of your sweet innocent little man's precious little hands. How dare he?!
The fact is, kids can be mean. Shoot, adults can be mean too. Why do you think someone created the bumper sticker, "Mean people suck"? You can't be with your child 24/7 to protect him from the school bully. You can't control what other children do; but you can control how your child reacts. Or at least hopefully you can bully proof your student.
For starters you want to ensure your precious baby isn't on the giving end of the bullying. Not only is it rude and wrong, it could land your assertive child a suspension. (Assertive sounds so much better than aggressive, don't you agree?)
You would do well to explain the psychology of a school bully before your child is faced with a situation where he (or she) is the one being …

Byron Bay Cookies

"At Byron Bay Cookie Company, cookies are our life. We would love to hear your cookie moments, favorite cookie flavors or new flavor ideas. We hope you continue to enjoy our cookies as much as we love baking them for you. We bake a range of award winning delightfully decadent, deliciously different cookies (including Gluten Free varieties) in Byron Bay, Australia."
We recieved some crispbread and some of the cookie bites. The kids demolished that box of crispbread in one day. I would venture to guess they liked it! And I love that, because it is not a cookie or a chip. It is something more healthy for them, and they loved it! Yay! As far as the cookies, well those were mine, and only mine! Hee hee. They were so smooth and delicious, and not too sweet or decadent. Just the perfect little bite of cookie to satisfy that sweetness need! Very delicious!
Byron Bay Cookies have a variety of products and gifts, not just crispbreads and cookies. Check out all of their products at

Making It Work - The Mix

Being in the military, coming in as a soldier's new wife and beginning a dramatically new lifestyle. I had left my home state of Minnesota, and loaded mine and Jason's worldly possessions into semi-trucks and watched as they drove their trucks to my new home in Killeen, Texas, about 5 minutes from the Army Base. Jason and I drove ourselves and made it there in record time. First thing we did was check out my new home. It was perfect. But our belongings were not there yet, so it would be awhile before I could put anything away and do some decorating.  The first day of arriving in Texas I met another Army family Blane and Lucie Karter. Jason had had the option of meeting them before, since he went to BCT with Pv Blane Karter. I agreed that they seemed like a great couple. And so Lucie became on of my closest friends and confidants.
There are, of course, plenty other military familes we have encounter during our time living at Fort Hood. I think it would be an excellent fun thig t…

Wordless Wednesday - Stop To Smell The Roses


Snot Your Average Kid

If your kiddo is between 2 and 10 and is amazing and has positively impacted someone's life or your community, then enter them in the Snot Your Average Kid contest, and let the world know! Your kiddo's picture will end up on the new 90-count tub of Boogie Wipes!
Go enter the contest, and write why your kid is snot average, and share a photo, and maybe a YouTube video! You can get all the official rules HERE. This contest ends on December 31st. Visit Boogie Wipes on Facebook to learn more!

A Stress Free Morning Routine for Back to School

Let's go! Let's go! Come on … you're going to miss the bus! I don't know where your favorite jeans are; it's not my responsibility. What do you mean you still have homework? Did you brush your teeth yet? Let's go! I'm leaving… NOW!
Oh I hope your mornings don't sound like that above. If it does, it's not too late to turn that ship around. The key to having a stress free morning routine is to have a smooth bedtime routine. Remember, a routine is something that is followed regularly, standard procedures. Without the consistency you will have an uphill battle.
Here are some tips to a stress free morning routine: • No yelling. Raising your voice, albeit frustrated, is only going to escalate matters. • Early to bed, early to rise. That one is simple. • Showers and baths should be taken at night. You think you'll have time in the morning, but you rarely do. • Look over all homework for completeness before bed; don't assume it's finished. • Before bed…

Softy Soakers Review & *Giveaway*

Aurora Gifts has so many great products. You can find a little something for every kid - or kid at heart - from Aurora. "Aurora World, Inc., celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2011, is a leading manufacturer and supplier of high quality, competitively priced plush toys and gifts. Aurora's name reflects its extensive product lines and growing influence in the worldwide marketplace, as well as its international manufacturing, R&D and distribution resources. Founded in 1981, the Korean company with headquarters in the United States, United Kingdom, Hong Kong and Germany, has ascended quickly to become a respected leader in the world's toy and gift character and contents industry. Aurora created the international plush toy phenomenon - YooHoo & Friends™ - and its corresponding free, interactive web site (, appealing to young children and tweens alike. The company sells its products via a wide variety of retailers including major zoos…