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A Mom Having Fun!!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Extreme Couponing Airs Tonight on TLC

Don't miss Extreme Couponing - airing tonight on TLC at 8 pm EST.  This program will feature Mr. Coupon (Nathan Engels) and 3 other people.  Mr. Coupon is the owner of the couponing and affiliate site of We Use Coupons.  If you are not already a member of this site - sign up now!  This show is going bring a lot of attention to the site.

One of the featured people on Extreme Couponing with be Amanda who is part of the show FrugalTV - one of We Use Coupons YouTube channels.  We Use Coupons witll be uploading 20 new episodes/interviews to their YouTube channel today.

Here is a sneak peak at what will be included on the program tonight:  Mr. Coupon built something that was about 15 feet tall!! They filmed it's creation and it was almost entirely donated to local foodbanks!  TLC also filmed the giving aspect of couponing!!  During this episode they will donate around $6000-$7000 in product to a fantastic pantry!!!

We Use Coupons has and enormous database of coupons and offers a forum for tips and more.  We Use Coupons may be a little 'extreme' but their desire and hope is for families that need to save money will check out couponing!!!

Affiliate Participation

Also, if you are one who likes to take advantages of Affiliate programs - We Use Coupons has a wonderful affiliate program.  You earn $.03 on anyone who just clicks on your link and earn additionally if they sign up.  You also get a $3.00 sign up bonus!

Once an affiliate member you also get to access an affiliate site to track how many clicks you've received, if anyone has signed up as a member by clicking on your Ad and a lot of banners and text links to choose from for your own blog.

Don't forget to watch Extreme Couponing tonight on TLC at 8 pm EST...and check out the site We Use Coupons.

Wednesday Blog Hops

PhotobucketBlogging Hints Catch a Wave Wednesday

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Tuesday, December 28, 2010


I don't like to get preachy, or really discuss religion - especially in a public forum since everyone has so many different beliefs.  But I am feeling an overwhelming need to post something that actually just happened.

Something recently happened that has been weighing very heavily on my mind.  I tend to allow things to eat away at me, which is something I have been really trying to make a conscious effort to stop doing.  Letting things go is not easy for me, and this particular incident has been very bothersome.

A couple months ago I had signed up to get daily devotionals delivered via email.  I find my day gets fairly chaotic from the moment the kids wake up and I'm not good at just taking a moment to myself.  So I thought getting it via email would just give me that moment to just take a break from the craziness of life.  Well, in theory it was good and actually worked for a short while, but I now have not looked at the daily devotionals for at least a month.

Well, since this incident just occurred and I'm trying to find a way to get it out of my head and move on without it effecting me - emotionally or physically - I thought I should look at today's devotional.  Well, low and behold, today's topic is on forgiveness!  I am always amazed at how the exact words I need to hear when I am having a difficult time are just the words available to me when I decide to look to Jesus for guidance.

I tell our preacher at our Sunday how funny it is that 97% of the time his sermons happen to relate to what I happen to be going through at that very moment.  I still don't know if it happens to be a coincidence or if Jesus is really trying to reach out to me and give me the help that I so desperately need at that time.

Anyway - here is the gist of the devotional from today.  Living a life of forgiveness is an ominous task and not something that just happens.  It is something that we have to really work on and do with purpose.  And although there may be things in your life that you have worked on really hard to move beyond and forgive and have been successful at doing is a continuous process that will always help you grow.

I have forgiven in the past but want to continue to be a forgiver as I meet life's challenges.  Asking grace and inviting Him into the process has, once again, put me in a better place then I was an hour ago. Hurt feelings and bitterness can play such a strong part in stress and anxiety - finding a way to live a more peaceful life whether you are a believer or not is never a bad thing.

I hope everyone has a peaceful day.  :-)

Tuesday Blog Hops

Okay - so these are from Monday...apparently I am a day behind and very confused! :-)

Sippy Cups and Cloth BumsMingle Monday

The "Real" Tuesday Blog Hops!

Busy Mom's Tips Tuesday Blog HopPhotobucketJust Married with Coupons


Sunday, December 26, 2010

Weekend Wrap-Up

First, I want to say I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday!  :-)  We had a great weekend, jammed packed with lots of fun family time.

Our Christmas started out on a not so good note on Thursday when my sister slipped on ice and broke her arm.  When my mom called to tell me my brother-in-law was taking my sister to the hospital I knew it wasn't good. But then when I told the ambulance was taking her I knew for sure it was bad.  My sister has a very high pain tolerance and would not got to even a doctor unless she had to or if she just had a regular appointment.  Shoot she suffered from what she thought  was heartburn her last 3 months of pregnancy with her oldest son - come to find out it was gallbladder attacks.  From what I've been told, they are extremely painful.  A week after my nephew was born she had to have emergency surgery to have her gallbladder removed.

It turns out she has a compression fracture in her upper arm of her humerus bone.  The bone is compressed so much that it actually has her shoulder dropped about 1 - 2 inches than the other shoulder.  She will have to have surgery on it, hopefully soon.  She would have surgery on it right now if she could so she could just get it over with.

We went to their house for Christmas - I am just in awe of her.  Even with a broken arm she is still hustling and bustling around.  Grant it, you can tell she is not herself and obviously has major limitations but she is not, in any way, just sitting around either.

For Christmas Eve we spent the day at my In-Laws.  Had a wonderful time there and had a lot of fun playing games with the adults.  My mother-in-laws sister brought this newer version of Uno so we had a blast playing that and then play Yahtzee.  I got Yahtzee two times!  :-)

IMG_3793 The snow started coming down pretty hard early evening so we headed home.  I had all the kids open one gift that evening - Christmas PJ's.  They all got jammies with monkey's on them.

Christmas morning was a blast.  The kids had an awesome time opening their gifts. In the afternoon we headed over to my sister's and spent the rest of the day their.  We had a great meal and totally wore the kids out.

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Today we went to church and then spent the afternoon sledding with our kids and my brother-in-law and their 3 kids.  My sister stayed home.  :-(

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I am totally exhausted but filled with a lot of joy.


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Book Review - If I Could Keep You Little...

I am so pleased that I was chosen by Blog PR Wire to review the children's book If I Could Keep You Little... by Marianne Richmond.  I have always said to my oldest child that she is growing up way too fast and I just want her to stop for a while.  I ask if I old on to the top of her head if it will prevent her from getting any bigger.  Of course her response is always, "Mom, I have to get bigger - it's part of growing up."  Such a mature response...

If I Could Keep You Little... is a beautifully written story about a parent wanting to keep his/her child little.  Each page that has a reason to keep them little has a corresponding page saying what they would miss out on if they didn't get bigger.  For instance, on the one page it says "If I could keep you little, I'd kiss your cuts and scrapes."  Then on the facing page it says "But then I'd miss you learning from your own mistakes."

I really love that this book puts into words what so many parents go through emotionally...watching their children grow up way too fast.  But I also enjoy that it illustrates what they would miss out on.  Something I don't always consider when I'm seeing my children do another "big girl" or "big boy" thing.

I read this book with my oldest daughter who really enjoyed the story and hearing why I say I want her to stay little.  The illustrations are very nicely done and are great at capturing all the milestones.  This is a great book for toddlers and young children.

About The Author - Marianne Richmond

While recovering from brain surgery, Marianne Richmond created hand-painted cards as individual thank you notes for her well-wishers, and from that small beginning started her own greeting card company, Marianne Richmond Studios, Inc.. Since then she has become a recognized creator of numerous books that celebrate milestones in life, memorable journeys, and relationships. Beginning with her first book in 1997, Gift of An Angel, writer and artist Marianne has touched the lives of millions over the past decade through her line of greeting cards and gift books. Marianne lives in Minneapolis, MN with her husband, four kids, and their beloved Border Collie, Clay. Find out more at her website


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Late Night Shopping

I did it...I went out at 10 pm to go Christmas shopping.  :-)  I am really tired right now, but really glad it got it taken care of.  At least now that is one store crossed off my list, as well as some gifts that have been taken care of.  I think tomorrow I will have one last store to go to and then I should be finished.  Well, actually I am stopping at my sisters as well - I am re-gifting a space ship for Anna and Ethan that they've never even seen.

Tuesday was a rather busy day, again.  Seems to be a common theme lately in my blog posts!  The morning was spent at Anna and Ethan's preschool.  Ethan was student of the month so I went there for the morning and ended up helping them get things together for the Preschool Christmas party which was later in the day yesterday.  Since Megan is home from school now for Winter Break she got to go with me and help out as well.  I got to read a book to Ethan and his class.

It was very interesting to see Anna and Ethan "in action" at their preschool.  Ethan loves participating and is very enthusiastic and Anna really withdraws when she is at preschool...or really with any crowd.  It's so strange to see her so withdrawn since she is such the opposite of that at home.  Hopefully that is something she will grow out of.  I feel like they don't even know her personality (or her for that matter) since she never says anything while there.

Later yesterday afternoon we went back for the Christmas party, which was a lot of fun.  The kids put on a little show for us which was an ensemble of different Christmas songs.  All the kids performed very well - with no break downs!  There was a lot of food there which, of course, was great since then I didn't have to make dinner and they were also given some really wonderful presents.

Wednesday Blog Hops

Its Hump Day!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Shopping And Potty Training

So while in my stressed out state this morning, trying to coordinate getting some necessary work done with my business plus freaking out that Christmas is at the end of the week and I have a LOT that still needs to be done my daughter (Anna) starts using the potty!  I am so glad she has finally started showing an interest in it.  The one thing is - she needs to "go" all the time!  :-)  Well, at least she thinks she does.

Thank goodness my husband was home to sit with her in the bathroom while I tried to figure out what the heck I was doing today.  I think sometimes I get so overwhelmed with what needs to be done I just kind of freeze and don't know where to even start.  I decided to actually block some time out for each of the things I had to do.  Since I have to work and I have to finish shopping - then I need to do some of both.

My husband and I decided to take the kids to the mall.  He said he could drive - first time since breaking his big toe a little over two weeks ago, then I could make calls for work. And once at the mall he could take the kids to the play area while I got some shopping done.

It drives my husband nuts, but it seems we can never get out of the house until 10 am or later these days.  But there is always so much going on with the kids that it is hard to get things done that have to get done and move everyone forward in a time matter.  Now with Anna using the potty, it does add even more time on to it since we want to be really overly enthused that she is "using" the potty.

The mall was a bit of a bust.  I did get some things that I needed for stocking stuff, but I really got things that were a bit more pricey then I wanted.  I really need to get my mom her yearly wall calendar - Garfield.  She loves Garfield, but I can't seem to ever find the calendar anymore except online...but now I've waited too long to get any free shipping.  And to get delivery by the 24th then it's like buying 2 calendars!  I'll decide on that one later.

After doing some shopping we all went to the food court and my husband told me that Anna needed to use the potty while in the play area.  He ended up taking all the kids to the bathroom...only once there she couldn't go.  Her diaper was dry though.  (We did put one on her for the mall.)  When we were done eating she said she needed to use the potty but by time we got there she had already gone in her diaper.

After we got home I put her in underwear again and she was good all afternoon and evening!  Tomorrow she will be going to preschool in her underwear...I will pack extra cloths.  :-)  I love that she is getting potty train - but the last minute bathroom runs, especially with other kids is a bit of a challenge.


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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Weekend Roundup

I can't believe another weekend has gone by - this year is coming to a quick close.  Pretty soon we will be bringing in the New Year.  Actually I will wake up the morning of and think hmmm, 2011.  :-)  Don't you wish time could just stand still for just a little bit?  My In-Laws came by today after church to use our Deep Fryer for a chicken they bought.  I sat down on the couch with my father-in-law and I thought wow, this is the first time I just sat down and relaxed in a LONG time.  It felt so good to just sit and do nothing.  That seems like an impossibility these days.

I got some more Christmas shopping done this weekend (yay).  Not too much more to get.  I'd like to have it all done within the next couple of days.  Otherwise, we had a really nice weekend.

On Saturday we went to a friends for a Christmas party.  I have gotten together with this same group of friends for this Christmas party for over 10 years - it is such a treat to see them and spend time with all of them.  Everyone has children and it's really hard to coordinate time with everyone's schedule and children's activities.  There were 12 kids and 13 adults - kids range in age from 3 all the way up to a sophomore in high school.  We had a gift exchange for the kids and then the adults did a $10 grab bag.  We did have a rather late night so thankfully the kids (except Ethan) fell asleep on he way home.

On Sunday (today) we had church in the morning in which my 7 year olds second grade Sunday school class were singing.  There were actually several different groups singing today...for Christmas.  My In-Laws and my mom joined us for  Christmas and then we came home.  Okay, I think I should go to bed for the night – I actually just fell asleep while writing this post.  I think I am a little tired!

Sippy Cups and Cloth BumsMingle Monday


Friday, December 17, 2010

Finally Finished Decorating

It has been a really crazy past couple of weeks.  Ever since my husband broke his big toe things have been very hectic and just a little insane.  Since he can't drive or really do much of anything I've now added to my "to do" list all the running around and even the little household stuff such as taking out the garbage.  I don't think I realized until this happened how much of those things he does really add up.  It has definitely given me a new appreciation for him and what he does to help run the household. 

I still have plenty of Christmas shopping to do...although it will be on a small budget given the fact that my husband has been unable to work his second job due to his toe and that was all the extra money we used for supplementation.  I think I'm starting to learn and appreciate a little more about frugal living...although I have a lot to learn.  I'm always amazed at how people can find such awesome deals!

The weekend we got our Christmas tree we did start to decorate it with all the kids.  I quickly realized what a bad idea that was...not that having the children involved was bad, it was just having my children involved with the type of decorations we have was not good.  My mom likes to start people out on ornament collections.  For instance, my sister collected the 12 days of Christmas from Waterford, so a new ornament for the collection came out every year.  Well, I would say 95% of our ornaments are very fragile and not very child friendly.  Given my collections and those started for all three kids.  I've always had these types of ornaments but, until this year, never had an issue with them.  Megan never touched anything the whole time she was growing up.  Anna and Ethan had a really hard time controlling their need to mess with the tree ALL the time.  The night we started decorating we actually didn't get very far until I put the boxes out in the garage and just decided we were going to make due with what was on the tree already or decorate at a later date.

Well, two weeks later - nothing else has been done to the tree or the inside decorations.  Between my obligations, taking on what my husband did, the kids and all the holiday activities the days just have not been long enough.  Megan has been really wanting to get the stockings up so last night I just needed to stop and take the time to do that with her (after Anna & Ethan were in bed).  We had a lot of fun putting up the stockings and decorating the stair banister with lights and garland - something we both have always loved because of all the lights.  It was so nice just taking that time and doing that with her.  Since Anna and Ethan have gotten past the newness of the tree and no longer bother it I told Megan if she wants to help me finish putting more decorations on the tree we could finish that tonight.  We did!  :-)  There are a lot of ornaments not on the tree, but with only decorating the top half...the space got filled up quickly.

The tree and the house look so much better and definitely more ready for Santa.  I think we get so busy and caught up in the things we have to do that once we stop and take the time to do those other things we do find a new appreciation for them.  I really need to work at just making myself stop and appreciate those moments, because you don't always get another opportunity for those to come again.

Weekend Blog Hops

It's OK to follow... it's the WeekendPhotobucket

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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wednesday Hops and Giveaway Reminder!

The roller ball on my Blackberry died a few days ago so I ordered a new phone.  I REALLY wanted an Android with the touch screen so I ordered a T-Mobile G2 with Google.  I got my new phone yesterday and LOVE it.  I'm a tech geek and, unfortunately, could spend hours "playing" with this new fun little gadget.  I have to come back down to earth and concentrate on business.  The last thing I need is yet another distraction.  :-)  Although, it is fun for those mental breaks!

Please enter my Giveaway for the Old El Paso Family Taco Night!

Blog Hops I am hopping with today:

Blogging Hints Catch a Wave Wednesday

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Monday, December 13, 2010

Weekend Round Up

We had an excellent weekend...and actually had some time to relax.  :-)

On Friday, my husband and I had his Christmas party from his work to attend for the Fire Department.  We had a really nice time, the food was excellent...a restaurant owned by one of the firemen he works with, and it was great seeing all the "guys" Rob works with.  A few hours before the event I remembered we had to bring a $10 gift for a toy collection they take at the party so I had to run off to Target.  Just before leaving the house I found that my Blackberry roller ball no longer allowed me to roll down, which I quickly realized is a major hindrance, especially when trying to use the Address Book.  So I multi-tasked...on the way to Target I called T-Mobile and, since I qualified for the full discount, I ordered a new phone!  I am soooo excited!  My first Android - a T-Mobile G-2 that has the Google applications.  I should be getting it in the next couple days.

Saturday was a fairly quiet day, we ran a few errands with Anna and Ethan while Megan stayed behind at a friends house to play.  It was funny though because before we left Rob told the kids we were stopping at Home Depot (his favorite store) and Anna said "Yay, Home Depot" and Ethan said "I don't like Home Depot".  This is the kid who last weekend wanted nothing to do with getting a Christmas tree either.  So on the way home from Home Depot Rob said something to the effect about having fun at Home Depot and Anna said "YES" and Ethan said "I did not have fun at Home Depot and I did not have fun at Pet Smart (the other errand) - I do not like Home Depot".  He has gotten so funny in the way he expresses adamantly his like and dislikes.

On Saturday I was also able to spend a lot of time on my business.  I have not been doing a whole lot with that lately...I've truly been letting excuses get in my way and, well, let's just say that no one wants to hear excuses.  You either do what you say you are going to or you decide if it's truly what you want.  My mentor, who I love dearly and my husband both got pretty tough with me on Friday.  Although what came out of that was not only my husband actually taking "over" the kids so mom could go work (which he's never done) and me truly loving what I am doing again!

Sunday...another good day - we had church, ran to Trader Joe's and then went to a local scrapbooking store for the kids to have their Silhouettes done.  The artist who cuts out the silhouettes by hand was at this location for two of the last of these   
artists around.  He did amazing work with just a pair of scissors and paper.  It's the classic black silhouette on the white background.  Each silhouette looks exactly like the child, unbelievable.  We then went out to lunch, came home and I got some more work done.  When we were a Trader Joe's we bought a Ginger Bread Cookie making kit so after dinner all the kids took part in decorating (and eating) the ginger bread cookie.


We are now in the bitter cold weather of Illinois.  We will be having wind chills of 10 - 20 degrees below 0 for the next two days.  It really does make it difficult to even want to step foot outside.  This type of cold weather is really odd this early in the season.  Usually our coldest time is in January/February - really worries me how bad it will get during the "bad" time.

Don’t forget – if you haven’t already – Join my giveaway for Old El Paso Family Taco Night.

Hops I am participating in:

B&B ButtonMingle MondayJust Married with Coupons


Question of the Week: What material thing is on top of your holiday wish list?

I honestly can't think of anything truly "material" I want this year...everything I really want is just practical. I really want a good electric hand mixer and I'd really like some nice rimmed baking sheets. I suppose the only material thing I'd like is a pedicure! I do love remote starters too though...I had that on an old car and I do miss that. Although, it helps now that I'm home with the kids and the car is in the garage. :-)


Friday, December 10, 2010

Old El Paso Family Taco Night (Review & Giveaway)

I was very excited about being this review and giveaway from MyBlogSpark.  I love Mexican food and was very excited about the idea of having Family Taco Night. Old El Paso  sent us a "Family Taco Night" prize pack which included a packet of original Old El Paso Taco Seasoning, a Cactus Chip & Dip Serving dish, a set of 3 Fiesta Chili Pepper serving dishes and a $10 gift card to purchase our taco fixings. With the $10 gift card I was able to purchase the soft flour tortilla's, refried beans, mild salsa, and Mexican Cheesy Rice...and of course tomatoes, shredded cheese, and sour cream.

Old El Paso offers a variety of seasonings, sides, sauces, and meal kits as simple solutions for a night of catching up with the family over a delicious taco dinner. To satisfy your Mexican style cravings, the Old El Paso line up of products includes chilies, dinner kits, dips and sides, enchilada sauce, refried beans, seasoning mixes, shells, taco sauce and salsa. The Old El Paso taco seasoning mix selection includes flavors like Burrito, Cheesy Taco, Chili, Fajita, Taco, Mild Taco and even a seasoning with 40% less sodium. For a fun twist on Taco Night, be sure to try one of the delicious recipes below.
  • Double Layer Tacos
    • Old El Paso Favorite Recipe! Layered taco shells and tortillas create the "double" in beef- and bean-stuffed tacos.
  • Chicken Ranch Tacos
    • Need a new idea for a 30-minute dinner? Here's a twist on tacos using precooked chicken.

Also, keep your family laughing at the dinner table, have some fun with El Tacodor™, the world’s only Family Taco Night Game. With El Tacodor, your family can share a special night at home by challenging one another to quick fire trivia, wordplay and pantomime. Visit today to download instructions, a score card, and a challenge sheet for even more fun on Family Taco Night!

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I know we will be having a family taco night at least once a week now, it was a really great, easy meal that was enjoyed by the whole family!

Please print off the coupon that is being offered to everyone - $.60 off any two products. 

Now here is where the real fun begins - thanks to Old El Paso and MyBlogSpark...

One lucky person will win an Old El Paso Family Taco Night prize pack including a packet of Old El Paso Taco Seasoning, a Cactus Chip & Dip Serving dish, a set of 3 Fiesta Chili Pepper serving dishes and a $10 gift card to purchase taco fixings!

To enter to win: Tell me what you might do to make "Family Taco Night" a special occasion in your house OR which night of the week might you designate for this fun meal.

Extra Entries (available after the mandatory entry above is completed; please leave a separate comment for each entry in order for them to be counted).

1 Extra Entry if you follow me on Twitter and tweet about this giveaway by copying and pasting the tweet below and leaving me the link. Tweet daily for an extra entry every day!

#WIN a Family Taco Night prize pack of Seasoning, dishes & a $10 Visa gift card! #safemamma #giveaway #myblogspark

2 Extra Entries (for each follow method) if you follow me with Google Friend Connect, subscribe to my RSS feed, subscribe to A Mom Having Fun!! by email or become a fan on Facebook.

3 Extra Entries if you put my cute button up on your blog. Please leave an address where it can be found.

3 Extra Entries if you blog about this giveaway linking back to A Mom Having Fun!! and Old El Paso. Please leave an address where it can be found.

Giveaway will end on December 31st at 12:00 pm CST. Do me the favor of leaving an email address or making absolutely sure it is visible in your profile, I have to have a way to contact the winner. The winner will be chosen by and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to contact me or respond to notification or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.

This Giveaway is now closed - the winner will be announced in the next 48 hours!  Thank you to all who participated!

A big thank you to MyBlogSpark and Old El Paso for providing an Old El Paso Family Taco Night prize pack for me to review as well as for one lucky giveaway winner. The opinions shared are my own and honest or you can click on my disclosure.

Winner Results:

True Random Number Generator 
Min:  1
Max:  189
Result: 156 
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