Monday, September 29, 2008

Precious Parenting Moment

Ever have one of those precious parenting moments where everything you've done wrong raising your child flashes before your very eyes?

Last night I took my baby to a different church so he could start attending Awanas. And boy, was there such a mixture of emotions.

First, I felt like I was betraying my church when I walked into a different building ... and since half of my church reads this blog, please know that we would never, ever leave the church. I just need to get Hunter involved in something extra that is structured and more challenging for his age. Something that is not taught by me, if you know what I mean.

After I checked him in, we walked around to his class. A sweet friend of ours that goes to our church takes her child there too, so being greeted by a familiar face for Hunter was a plus. Once he got into the class, I sat back and observed. And it brought tears to my eyes.

It made me realize how behind my child is. He doesn't know what criss-cross-apple-sauce means. He didn't understand what standing in line means. He didn't know how to play "follow the leader" type games. In fact, I think it was the first time he played duck-duck-goose. I know I'm a new parent, but it made me feel guilty and sad that he didn't know these things. It also made me feel sad that he wasn't potty trained when fall enrollment came along for pre-school at the Christian Academy we want to send him to... at least until I found out that their age cut-off is birthdays ending on September 30. Then I didn't feel as bad.

Anyway -- they had a puppet show, and he sat still for the whole thing. Then at game time, they played a relay race where the children broke out in teams and they had to scoop up cotton balls onto a spoon without touching them. He had a blast! And he did really well, too -- considering that he is just turning 3 next week, and the rest of the kids are 4 and 5.

Then they had craft time. They passed out paper and had crayons on the tables. Then... one of the teachers mentioned glue... and you would have thought my child was presented with a five katrillion karat diamond. "Ooooooohhhhhhh.... GLUE!!!"

Stab me in the heart, whydontcha.

I was really impressed at how well behaved all the children were. They listened, obeyed, and were helpful and kind to each other. I really see the merit in having a badge and reward system with a children's program. In fact, I think its the longest Hunter has sat still in one evening! A record was set!!!

When we got home, we ate dinner, and he kept talking about "my class, my class." It was so sweet. We started working on his memory verses (he has to play catch up), and he was repeating them back to me.

Our church is just in the burgeoning stages of growth... and soon, we'll have a lot of kids where we would be able to offer this type of program for all ages too, and I can't wait. My friend has been working hard at having a mid-week program at our church similar to this one, and she's doing a great job. Our group of children present their own set of challenges, but I've decided to change the way I pray for them... because there is so much potential!! I see in them the future teachers and leaders of the church, which presents us with our very own missions field right before our very eyes. Its exciting, to say the very least!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Friday Finds #2: Cool Gadgets for the Crafter or Seamstress

Today, I have four cool gadgets that I absolutely adore, and thought would be perfect gifts for a crafter or seamstress.

I personally own all of these items, and they totally make my crafting life easier!

I hope you enjoy these little finds, and quite possibly, incorporate them into your crafting and sewing life, or gift them to someone who has a passion for creating beautiful things!

The first item is a Cut 'n Press Mat by June Tailor. This is perfect for the seamstress that quilts, or makes crafts from fabric.

Amazon's Description: One side is a rotary cutting mat with a unique surface that extends rotary blade life, and the other is a padded pressing mat. It is completely weather safe - will not warp. And you can store it practically anywhere! I only paid $19.99 for it at Wal-Mart, and it is worth every penny!

The second item I have is a Fringe Ruler. I know that sounds silly, but it is a great tool for cutting even, straight lines with a rotary cutter on fleece. I'm totally eating it up while I prepare a few things for my Homemade with Love, and it really helps makes cutting easy and quick. It cost me $24.00 at Joanne's, and while it is on the more expensive side than what I would like to pay for something like this, it is well worth it and would make a fun gift.

The third item I have today is the Fiskars Scissors Sharpener. It is so easy to use, is light weight, and stores easily. It can be easily adjusted for either left or right handed scissors. I only paid $3.95 for it at Wal-Mart, and thought it would make a valuable addition to my sewing basket and worn scissors. I was right! My mother, who is an expert seamstress, is the one who introduced me to this little gadget, and let me tell you... it is worth its money and would make a great stocking stuffer!

The final item is a total lifesaver, and allows you to cut sharp, beautiful edges on both fabric and paper. It is a Rotary Cutter. I'm sure all crafters and seamstresses already know about Rotary Cutters, but I found this adorable set at Joanne's Fabrics, and thought I'd share it for gift ideas. It is a limited edition Kimberly Poloson tin in Robin's Egg Blue with brown vines and flowers printed on it, with a beautiful cushion grip rotary cutter in coordinating colors stored inside. I haven't been able to find them online, but Joanne's has them for $19.99, along with another Rotary Cutter in Robin's Egg Blue with Brown flowers and vines imprinted on it. Beautiful, functional, and a wonderful gift idea or stocking stuffer.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Where's My Left Shoe, Mommy?

So, I had planned on taking Thurs and Fri off this week... TO CLEAN MY HOUSE and try to organize one or two things... but Hunter spiked a fever yesterday and today, and since I value my son's health much more than the state of my house... the house will have to wait. AGAIN.

So, this morning, Hunter, who, by the way--is bored out of his mind while running a low grade fever now, is walking around with his left shoe on his right foot, asking where his left shoe is (meaning his right shoe, but he's confused).

I am, in fact, quite impressed that he is cognizant of the fact that his left FOOT is missing a shoe, even though the left shoe is on the right foot (and I don't mean the correct foot, either). So, I'm trying to direct him to his right shoe so he can put it on his left foot, and I'm pointing to exactly where it is, and yet, he's looking up in the sky, behind him, to the opposite direction ... oiy.

I can quickly see that if I were a stay-at-home momma, I would be bald.

And then it dawned on me... How many times do I ask the Lord where "my left shoe is," while it is on my right foot, and he points to exactly where it is, and I proceed to go in total opposite directions than where the Lord is sending me??? Of course, this is all figuratively speaking...

I wonder if Jesus is bald. Ehem...

Anyway, while all this brings up a great basis for discussion... I must now go. Because I have a sick son. Who is crawling all over me and wants to be comforted. And mommy being on the computer is NOT comforting to him. So, discuss away in the comments section, if you so desire!!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Friday Finds #1: Wireless Photo Uploading Card

I am sorry this post is up late. I am having problems with my blog.

Welcome to my first Friday Find! I'm so excited to share all the goodies I have for you -- I have many waiting to be shared, and they are all cool -- but I had to share this one first. And apologies ahead of time for the length of this post, but its all good.

Note: The purpose of this series is not to bring reviews but rather, share cool stuff I've found that you may or may not want for yourself! I haven't personally tried them... yet... but if all goes according to plan, I may have several of them in my possession after Christmas!

Now ... many of my regular readers may remember the Great Crash of '07 -- you know -- when I lost all my precious pictures of my baby (from birth through 1.5 years of life) after my computer crashed into oblivion??? Well, we have since taken corrective procedures so that never happens again... BUT ... had I known about this little gadget, it would have saved me a lot of heartache! This is SO on my Christmas list!!!

Allow me to introduce you to... Eye-Fi. Now, you can wirelessly upload photos to your computer and to your favorite photo sharing, printing, blogging or social networking website straight from your camera using one of Eye-Fi's memory cards!

CAN YOU BELIEVE IT??? Me either, but I saw it on Good Morning America a couple weeks ago and have been investigating it ever since. This is definitely a Friday Find for keeps!!!

WHAT IS IT: Eye-Fi is a memory card for your camera that is straight from heaven... Short of talking to you, it does it all with regards to saving photos, transferring to your hard drive, and uploading to your favorite on-line photo shop. In short, this is a "super-deee-duper" gadget that I can’t wait to get my hands on!

WHAT DOES IT DO: Eye-Fi wirelessly connects to your home Wi-Fi network and uploads your pictures automatically from your camera to your computer. When your computer is turned on, the Card delivers your pictures to the assigned folder on your computer, or depending on the card you purchase, directly into a large selection of online photo destinations such as Wal Mart, Costco, Shutterfly (more listed below).

OPTIONS: The Eye-Fi people provide three options, from "basic" to "so many options I don’t even understand them all but I’m sure they are great."

    1. The first option, and most simple one, is called "Eye-Fi Home," and wirelessly connects to your home Wi-Fi network and when your camera and computer are both on, uploads your pictures automatically to the assigned folder on your computer. This won’t help if your computer crashes, but WILL help keep you organized and on top of uploading your pictures!
    2. The second option is called "Eye-Fi Share" and does everything the Eye-Fi Home does, but using its "Smart Boost" capability (I personally NEED Smart Boost), the Card will determine the most efficient path to upload pictures, going quickly to your computer if it’s on and then from there to the web if you've elected to share online, or going straight to the web if the computer is off. The photos will be stored securely and delivered to the computer the next time it is turned on. Some of the photo sites Eye-Fi Share will automatically upload to include: Wal Mart, Costco, Shutterfly, Picasa, TypePad, Snapfish, Photobucket, Flickr, Facebook, KodakGallery, and more (you select which one you want). It’s as easy as turning on your camera. No cables, cradles, or hassles. This option WILL help you out if your computer crashes and you loose all photos on your hard drive, as they have all been automatically uploaded to a photo site of your choice (for me, it is Costco because they are affordable, close to home, and on my request will burn my photos onto a CD – and I always request it!).
    3. The third option is called "Eye-Fi Explore" and does everything option 1 and 2 do, as well as two new options: geotagging, and support for Wayport hotspots (free for a year). I have no idea what that means – but I’m sure its all good. This option is for those who tag or organize, for those who blog or share in real-time, for those who need to upload here, there or somewhere else, and all the rest who are simply passionate about managing, sharing and saving their memories. Eye-Fi Explore also automatically adds geographic location labels to your photos and allows you to upload from more than 10,000 Wi-Fi hotspots across the nation. Your memories will be easier to search and more fun to share with geotags, and you’ll be able to upload them on the go. Those are not my words, but theirs -- simply because I haven't a clue what geotagging or wayport hotspots means... nor do I want to know... but if YOU know, then chances are that this is the card for you!

WHAT YOU NEED TO DO: Eye-Fi users need to run a setup on their computer that guides them through adding Wi-Fi access points to connect to as well as determining where they can upload photos – either your computer and/or a slew of online photo-sharing sites (some listed above).

COST: 1) Eye-Fi Home sells for $79.99; 2) Eye-Fi Share sells for $99.99; 3) Eye-Fi Explore sells for $129.99.

THE LINK(S): 1) Eye-Fi Home; 2) Eye-Fi Share; 3) Eye-Fi Explore

WHERE CAN YOU GET IT: Wal Mart, (SALE prices at Amazon!); Costco; and many other places.

WRAP UP: Be sure to check out the links… not only do they explain things in great detail (a lot of it is already above), but my word … they have diagrams! DIAGRAMS! Women are visual people, and diagrams help me understand the process so much better. I HEART diagrams.

I hope this was helpful for you. I know it will be on MY Christmas list! (I want the Eye-Fi Share)

WHEW! I hope they ALL aren't this long!!!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I'm Guest Posting Today!

Good morning, y'all! I'm guest posting today about infertility at Shannon's blog, Rocks In My Dryer. I hope you can join us!

If you popped over here after reading my post, then welcome to Kisses of Sunshine! I'd love to hear from you!

And for those who are struggling from infertility, the crazy range of emotions from it, have questions about specific procedures, or are struggling with heart-healing or grief over infertility, I'd be happy to email back and forth with you, or even talk on the phone! You're not alone!

On a side not, be sure to join me tomorrow for my first Friday Finds, and check out a really cool "Find" you might want to add to a Christmas list!!!

Also, I'll be hosting Homemade With Love again this year on October 27, so if you would like to add your link with a great homemade gift idea to my Mr. Linky, please come back and join in on the fun!

And, Shannon ... thank you again for asking me to guest post about a topic near and dear to my heart... Infertility. Girl, you rock!

For now, I ask that you excuse me. I have to go find out why my Mr. Linky's on my past Homemade with Love, and honestly -- there were some fantastic ideas that others have shared! They can't possibly have disappeared for good! No way! Gotta have the linkys!

Have a blessed day, and I'll see you tomorrow...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Coming Soon to a Blog Near YOU!!!

I HATE making Christmas lists... so, in light of my own difficulties in decision-making, I've decided to host a new weekly feature called "Friday Finds" where I'll feature things that I think are really cool -- products that you may or may not be interested in -- whether a gadget, a gift item, a new techno thing, something to help you crafting, and well, other stuff.

Hopefully, it will help you with Christmas lists, if you know what I mean!!!! (either for yourself, a "difficult-to-buy-for person, a teenager, etc.)

I'll keep a running list of all the cool things I feature on this post, and I'll have a button on my side bar so you can easily get to it.

This feature will run each Friday from September 19, 2008 through December 19, 2008!

I hope you'll join me THIS FRIDAY for your first look at "a really cool thing!"

Monday, September 15, 2008

Homemade With Love

"It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year. With the kids jingle belling, and everyone telling you "Be of good cheer" ... It's The Most Wonderful Time ... Of The Year!"

Or not.

Because when it all boils down... there really isn't anything wonderful, or happy about going into the Christmas season penny pinching, dollar scraping, and fretting about what to give for Christmas!

I have long been a proponent of homemade gifts, because in my mind, it speaks of tremendous love and care -- something from your heart to the gift recipient -- and I know many gift recipients often prefer homemade gifts.

But realistically, when bills just keep rolling in like the ocean's waves -- fuel, electricity, mortgage, phone, cable, food, gas for the car, child care -- sometimes, Christmas gifts might seem like an afterthought.

So each year, I have hosted "Homemade With Love." It is a "carnival" that offers many ideas on homemade gifts that you can make economically, easily, and beautifully. I will have a slew of ideas for you, then I'll post a Mr. Linky so that others can share their great homemade gift-giving ideas. Hopefully, we'll have several people participate so we can have a wonderful selection of gift ideas for people of all ages.

Most importantly, this is for those who ARE crafty, and those who are NOT crafty; those who LOVE to cook, and those who HATE to cook; those who CAN make an heirloom out of a toothpick, and those who CAN'T.

So pull out your thinking caps, check your past blog archives, and earmark some ideas you'll want to share with others. I personally will be sharing numerous ideas I have come up with on my lonesome, as well as ideas I've gotten from other peoples crafty-craft blogs... people with far too much talent on their hands!

P.S. - I can't get my code box to work.

P.P.S. - I'm freaking out because I haven't received my Heather Bailey Fabrics yet... and time is ticking away! (as if anyone cares.)

When: Monday, October 27, 2008 -- All Day Long!
Where: Here!
Who: Anyone with a really great homemade gift idea
Snag the button:

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I am NOT happy about this.


Because whoever you were... I'm sending all the monsters my son thinks are in his room to YOUR house and see how you like it.

S.E.R.I.O.U.S.L.Y!!! Three year olds shouldn't even know that word or that it has a meaning!


Something ELSE I have to deal with... and that not only includes erasing the thought that there are monsters in his room from his tiny (although genius) brain, but re-training him to sleep in his own room... AGAIN... including staying in his own bed and not crawling to the door and sleeping on the floor close to mommy and daddy's room, or crawling into our bed in the middle of the night. It also includes falling asleep at bed time (in his own bed) instead of having mommy or daddy stay in the room until he can't hold his eyes open anymore.

And the screaming.


Fear is an awful thing in a three year old's brain.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

WFMW: Invisible Kool-Aid & Cool Splenda Packs

Works for me Wednesday is hosted by Shannon over at Rocks in my Dryer! Head on over for other valuable tips!

So, who hates those red or blue or green stains on your kitchen counter, tables, floors, carpet, clothing, and faces??? I know I do! AND... There is nothing more frustrating than trying to make a pitcher of Kool-Aid only to have powder residue floating all over the counter, cabinet, wall, or anything else close to the pitcher. It is really annoying.

The remedy??? New Kool-Aid Invisibles.

Okay, maybe they aren't all THAT new ... but they are to me! I accidentally got a couple packages thinking they were the ones that change color when you add water, and when I went to mix it, NOTHING HAPPENED. It remained clear. It sort of confused me, because I was expecting a color change... until I checked the packages and saw that the mixes I got were indeed... INVISIBLE!

The smart people at Kraft have removed the dye from some of the Kool-Aid mixes, and as a mom of messy-Marvin, let me just say... Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!! And not only does it make less mess, but I don't have to worry about the hyper-causing affects of red dye any more. Whew! Some of the flavors are: Watermelon-Kiwi, Grape, Cherry, Lime-Kiwi, Strawberry...

And for those of you that are shocked that I allow my son to drink Kool-Aid ... relax ... I don't use sugar in the drink mixes. I use Splenda, and the nice folks at Splenda have created a "Quick Pack" for "use with your favorite Kool-Aid flavor"! It is the same size as a Kool-Aid Pack, and can be found right next to them! Love it.

And while we're talking about Splenda... check out these adorable Splenda packet holders! They would make an adorable stocking stuffer, don't you think?

So let's recap: No faces to scrub. No shirts to soak. No drips to contend with. No hyper child. No sugar highs and crashes. No dye residue... no stains... no mess. this combination sure makes me happy, and TOTALLY works for me!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Hair Again...

Okay ... I need to acknowledge something to all of you...

The other day, I may have published a s@xist remark... and in order to keep things fair... and to prove I'm NOT a s@xist, or anything like that...

Could some one please... PLEASE ... tell me ... for the love of everything good and fashionable ... PLEASE tell me HOW Joe Biden does his hair?!?

I shan't be labeled anything but fair and impartial.

Thank you...

And as a woman, take a moment to compair...

Which hair style would you prefer to have?

Mmm-hmmm ... that's what I thought.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Shameless, Shameless, Shameless...

Those are the words my husband was muttering to me when he came in to our bedroom a short three weeks ago (August 18th), carrying a tray of brownies (still warm from the oven) and a pile of delicious Hershey's Dark Chocolate Bliss.

You see, I was recovering from having my gal bladder removed... and in a lot of pain, because I didn't follow the doctors prescribed dosage of pain killers. Basically--I was stupid.

Anyway, the last lines of my post on August 17th were (and I quote): "Where's the chocolate? Anyone? Anyone???"

It was really rhetorical, but a sweet friend of mine rushed to put together a batch of brownies and some Hershey's Bliss bars and brought them over to our home. I was so touched at her thoughtful gesture... especially when she has three children -- quite a handful! It made me feel so special, so cared for, so thought of... but mostly, loved.

Small gestures such as that go a long way towards making someone feel better -- emotionally, spiritually, and physically. It wouldn't have mattered if her gift of love was a bag of chips -- the fact was, she sacrificed the precious time out of her very busy life and brought me something wonderful!

My husband is an excellent cook, so when others offered to bring us meals, we graciously declined, because we thought we'd be okay in that area -- but chocolate? Bring it.

So, you know there's a bible lesson involved here, right? You didn't think I was just going to brag on my sweet friend and that would be all, did you?

In Galatians, Paul said that we should "serve one another in love" (Galatians 5:13) and to "Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ" (Galatians 6:2). Wow.... WOW! Many people think they find great satisfaction when they receive... but I'm willing to bet that my sweet friend received tremendous satisfaction when she brought that tray of luscious chocolaty goodness to my home!

Personally, I enjoy being there for others when they need help. Whether its a hand-delivered home cooked meal, a platter of cookies (or brownies, or a basket of chocolate bars), some homemade preserves, a hand being held in a time of need, a hug and a prayer over a sick loved one, a ride to the doctor, children being watched, laundry being folded, or a bathroom being cleaned -- these are all ways I enjoy serving others in their time of need... To serve others is to be like Jesus to them, to give our lives meaning, and to find tremendous satisfaction! Serving is its own reward.

So ... can chocolate really be a love language?

And... in my defense, I wasn't really askinganyoneforchocolcate. Oh, okay. Maybe subconsciously, I was. But it made me feel so special, and I just wanted to thank my friend.

What are some ways you serve others?

"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves" (Philippians 2:3).

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Sarah Palin

On Fire.
Next Vice President.

Those are just a few words that come to mind with regards to Sarah Palin...
If you missed the speech... go HERE and listen to it. It will blow your socks off. then come back and let me know what you think -- good or bad -- just keep it clean, and civil please.

Now, I just have one, burning, urgent question... One that needs to be asked, and I'm sure many women have thought it, but haven't had the courage to ask it for fear they may be politically incorrect. No worries. I will take on those tough, dicey questions.

Could some one please... PLEASE ... tell me ... for the love of everything good and fashionable ... PLEASE tell me HOW she does her hair?!? I LOVE it. I must do my hair like that. Both the way she wore it last night, and the way she wore it last week at her announcement speech.

I really need to know. REALLY need to know. Don't you?

I wonder if Bill O'Reilly could ask her? Because I just need the NO SPIN ZONE answer on hair fashion.

Anyone?? Anyone??

Also... did anyone else think that Sarah Palin's youngest daughter, Piper, is just the cutest thing ever??? Did anyone catch the shot of her holding Trig and licking her fingers to smooth his hair out? Or the adorable way she just waved, and waved, and beamed both in her seat and on stage??? So cute. She "had me" at the wave.

FYI: Tonight on the O'Reilly Factor, Obama will be interviewed -- 8:00 p.m. -- Fox News -- Don't miss it!!

Bill O'Reilly has put out a statement acknowledging that it may be somewhat inappropriate to air the interview right before McCain takes the stage, but also stated that it may be his only chance at an interview with Obama. Let me just say ... I WILL be tuned in. AND... I hope O'Reilly has the courage to ask the tough questions and NOT back down. This should be really, REALLY good.

Edited to add: Thank you, Anonymous, for the comment you left about Amy's comment. I was taken "aback" by her comment, and didn't really know how to respond. When it comes to politics, I'm pretty certain that not everyone will necessarily agree with every little minute detail that your party's candidates stand for... and I'd go as far to say that she may not have had anything to do with putting that into place. I'm always open for political discussions, but this is a FAMILY FRIENDLY blog, and that comment could have been shared off-line.

One more thing: I'm pretty sure no one wants that to happen to any of their kids. I think that goes without saying.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Freakish Ears

I must have freakish ears. They don't stick out oddly, in fact -- they look rather small and normal.


I can't wear ear buds without my ears KILLING me, and at work, I NEED to wear ear buds to listen to KLOVE or any political interviews.

So I switched to a pair by Philips that has "surround sound" and has these a soft rubber caps that are supposed to fit in your ear. In fact, I have two sizes... and the right ear fits perfectly... but yet, the left ear??? That stinking ear is so small that the smallest ear thing still kills my ear.

I told you.


So if you have any suggestions... I'm all ears.