Friday, July 31, 2009

Made Here, Baby! Giveaway ends tonight!

Don't forget that the giveaway for the Book: Made Here, Baby! ends tonight! To enter, go here.

National Health Care and Abortion

(I cannot believe I am going to write this post!!)

So, here it goes. I was just checking out a few blogs and after a few clicks, I came upon this article about National Health Care and Abortion. Well, after finishing it I was so upset and angry. I wanted to leave a comment, but I am not a part of that forum and I did not want to register just to leave a comment, so I am going to share my feelings here.

To give you a gist of the article, the person writing it was discussing how she wants to she NHC pass, and have it pass with abortion included, but fears it will not because of those opposed to abortion. The author shared her view that health care should not be limited because of those who feel abortion is morally objectionable. The article even included a line that stated "that is how a democracy works".

Now, if anyone has read my profile, you probably could guess that I am against national health care and abortion. I am staunchly pro-life. But, this aside, I want to share a few other thoughts on the issue that should not offend anyone. Keeping my feelings about abortion and national health care out of the issue:

1. First, we live in a REPUBLIC, not a democracy. And, anyways, latest polls show that the majority of Americans are pro-life.

2. No matter what anyone thinks about national health care, if national health care were to pass, I believe that national health care should cover:

1. Preventative medicine (routine physicals, vaccinations, teeth cleanings . . . . you get the idea)

2. Necessary medical treatments (cancer treatments, hospital stays, surgeries, births, etc). Now, I know that that may seem like a loose definition, and I could spend my day hashing it all out, but I think anyone reading this knows what I am speaking to.

Anything else, those things that are NOT necessary for preventative care or medical treatments that enable people to get better/ensure proper safety, should be covered by the person. That includes abortion and contraception as were covered in the article. I do not believe that tax payers should take on the burden of unnecessary medical procedures and treatments.

What if the person cannot pay for it?

An argument presented in the article was that those who are poor, who need an abortion, will not be able to get it. And thus, continue the cycle pf poverty. I have a few responses to this:

1. Sex, by it's very nature is procreative. You cannot get a way from that. A natural consequence of it, therefore is a baby. Don't want a baby? Do not have sex. OK, that may seem harsh, but that is how I feel. We are not "entitled" to have sex. God created us with natural desires, but also an intellect and a will to choose our actions. As a society in general, we are so self-focused and have this sense that we should be able to have what we want when we want it, to feel good, with no repercussions. (That is how we have gotten into the financial crisis we are in. ) But, that is not so. There are consequences to all our actions. And the faster we realize that as a society, the better off we will be.

A second part of this is that we are trying to fix the "problem" after it has already occurred. Why not focus our energies on abstinence training. Doing something before the procreative act (IE: sex) has occurred? On teaching the young in our society to wait? I know some, okay many, probably think that is a crazy idea, but I have a great deal of faith in humankind.

2. There are so many organizations that help those who are pregnant to find options. There are maternity homes throughout the nation that take in women who are pregnant, help them with heath care and give them a roof over their heads. If a woman wants to keep her baby, they assist her with that. If she chooses adoption they assist with that as well. There are other options other than abortion.

I feel better now! I just needed to get that out. Please feel free to leave a thoughtful comment. Any derogatory comments or comments that do not add to the discussion will not be published. (Of course, only 5 people actually read my blog, so I probably will not get any comments! ;))

Superhero Sleep

He goes to nap as K. He wakes up as . . .


Batman!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Way to Go, Mom!

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Here are my small successes for the week:

1. My hubby surprised me with a gym membership two weeks ago and this was the first full week I was actually home to use it. So, every morning this week, I got up EARLY and went to workout. I was home and showered before the boys woke up. Wow, that was nice . . . I see a new pattern emerging . . .

2. It was cloudy all day yesterday and was supposed to rain, so I had planned to take the boys to the free movie in our town. Well, I guess every day care and summer school program had that idea too (and a lot of other moms), because when we got there it was FULL. So, we came home, made popcorn and watched a movie together!

3. I cleaned our infamous back room . . . please tell me that everyone has a room that is messy 90% of the time . . .

Want to share your successes? Go to Faith and Family,Live!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Our trip to Buffalo

Last week the boys and I travelled to Buffalo to visit Grandma and Grandpa. Well, the purpose of the trip was to take our dog Cooper up so that he could go to his new home. Since I was travelling by myself with the boys, I was not up for a quick trip up and back, so we stayed the whole week.

We left early Monday morning and I planned for the 8 hr car ride. I had snack bags packed and ready to be tossed to the back of the van when necessary. I had movies at my finger tips when the ride got too long and the boys were in need of one. I had my own music selection close by, so I did not need to dig to change a CD. The ride to Buffalo went smoothly. The boys were good. A did not even cry once on the trip up! And I leaned that we can all fit in a small bathroom stall and I can use the bathroom while holding my 1 yr old! Who knew?!?

The first full day in Buffalo, Tuesday, we went to the Buffalo Zoo. The weather was cold (for this girl who has gotten used to the humid, mid 80's/90's). When we got to the zoo, it was already raining a bit. But, I must admit, it was so nice. Because of the weather, the zoo was not very busy, so the boys could run more than 2 feet in front of me without me worrying I would lose them. The boys liked the river otter the most (even though J kept on asking to see the Polar Bears).

Wednesday, we had planned on going to Fantasy Island, an amusement park with a big water play area. But, the weather once again was not ideal, so we went the the Naval Park instead. And, I must admit, I think we had more fun there than we would have at the amusement park. The Naval Park consists of three ships, the USS Little Rock, the USS Croaker (a submarine), and the USS Sullivans. We toured each of the ships. The boys loved seeing the guns, missiles, and the bunk beds, and they loved climbing up and down the narrow, steep stairways of the ships. I had A in my Beco Carrier on my back the whole time. I would not have been able to get through the ships with him any other way. The submarine was a bit tricky as it was very narrow. I had to have my mom watch me duck through the oval doorways to make sure I did not hit A's head on anything! Later that night, the boys enjoyed roasting marshmallows and smores!

Thursday, it rained all day, which was fine, because that was the day we had planned to visit Great Grandpa. This was my favorite day of them all. I miss getting to visit with my grandfather and Aunt on a regular basis. I also like that the boys get to spend time with their Great Grandfather. Family is so important. We had a nice visit. It was not as long as I would have liked; the boys can only go so long before a nap is necessary, so we went back to my parents' place for nap time.

While A and K were napping, my mom and I headed out to some of the local wineries. Over the last 10 years, a lot of wineries have sprung up just minutes from where I grew up. I really wanted to go to some of them this trip. I love wine and so I thought it would be neat to get a bottle that came from my home town. My mom and I went to three wineries and I did taste testings at each. I learned a lot about wines and grapes and what makes a good "year". I splurged and got a few bottles of wine too, so that I could share the experience with my husband.

Friday, we headed home. I was tired from the week, so I had a feeling that the trip would be long and I would need to stop a bunch. An hour into the trip, J had had too much water and needed to use the bathroom, so we stopped at the Abbey of the Genesse. The Abbey is a Cistercian Monastery. I went to college minutes from the monastery and have been there for several retreats. It is one of the most peaceful places I have ever been to. And the monks bake some of the best cinnamon raisin bread I have ever had, so I figured it would be a great place to stop. Before loading up again, we bought several loaves of bread.


The rest of the ride home was uneventful. And I was so thankful when we got home. I had a great time on our trip and was so thankful for the trip, the time with family, and my boys.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Brand of the Free T-shirt Review, Giveaway and coupon code!!

Giveaway is Closed

One of the great things about this journey of searching for products Made in the USA is the experience of finding great little companies that make cool products and getting to share them with you.

One such company is Brand of the Free, maker of organic graphic tees and totes. I stumbled upon them a few months ago and was immediately draw to their designs. I was sold when I found out that their products were eco-friendly and made in the USA.

All Brand of the free t-shirts are made from certified organic cotton (grown in Texas!!). The dyes used are non-toxic water based inks. What does this mean for the shirt? It gives the graphic a soft, pliable nature which you do not find on most graphic tees. The graphic ink will not crack overtime. The designs are thought provoking and unique. Some are subtle enough to get conversations going about our nation and government, buying local, and being environmentally aware. Brand of the Free has so many great designs, that I really could not decide which I liked best. Some of my favorites are: Birds on a Wire, Support Local Farmers and 100% Organic.

I had the opportunity to review the Lasting Liberty tee. When I received it, the first thing I noticed was the color. The colors were very earthy and natural. The shirt is super soft and very comfortable. Although I read about how the dyes would make the graphic soft, I was a bit skeptical. The graphic on the Lasting Liberty tee is so large that I thought that the shirt graphic would feel stiff. But, it does not. In fact, I really could not feel a difference between the part of the t-shirt that contains the graphic and the rest of the tee. The women's tees are stylish, with an athletic, fitted cut; not boxy like most tees. The t shirt is tagless, so there is no tag scratching you or flipping outside of the shirt.

Just a few notes about the shirts: If you are buying a women's shirt, I would recommend buying a shirt two sizes larger than what you usually wear. The Brand of the Free website recommends ordering one size larger, but, if you like your shirts loose fitting, you may want to get one that is two sizes larger. I normally wear a size medium and I got a large in this tee. It fits snugly, which is fine, but I might even order an xtra-large the next time. Also, FOLLOW the WASHING INSTRUCTIONS. I hand washed my tee and noticed that the tee color did run. The tee itself did not fade, but, I think, because of the nature of the dye, that it probably normally runs.

Finally, Brand of the free works hard to be environmentally conscious. Not only do they produce eco-friendly products, but they work to reduce, reuse, recycle in every aspect of their company. The orders are even sent using 100% recycled envelopes! The Brand of the Free website also has a great article on why to buy American made tees. Please check it out.

Want One?

*Buy It: Joe, from Brand of the Free has graciously offered all readers 35% off their orders! To order go to Brand of the Free. When checking out use coupon code: GOGREEN35 (good until the end of the giveaway)!

*Win It: One lucky reader will win the tee of their choice (subject to availability)

To enter:
1. Go to Brand of the Free and then come back here and tell me which tee you would choose if you win. (The first entry MUST be completed in order to get extra entries).

Extra Entries: (please leave a separate comment for each entry):
2. Follow Me on Twitter and Tweet about the giveaway. You may use the following:

Brand of the Free t-shirt giveaway and coupon code! http://bit.ly/uRXbP Organic, eco-friendly, Made in US tees! Cool, trendy designs!!


Please leave Twitter ID and Tweet url address in comment.

3. Follow me on blogger.
4. Grab my button.
5. Follow Brand of the Free on Twitter
6. For TWO extra entries: Blog about the giveaway. Link to this post and to Brand of the Free. (Leave a link to the post in the comment).
7. For 5 extra entries: Place an order with Brand of the Free!!! (Don't forget the 35% off coupon!!).

Giveaway ends August 15, 2009 at 11:59 PM. You do not have to have a blog to enter. Please leave your email address in the comment if you cannot be contacted through your profile. Winner will be chosen via random.org and will be notified via email. Winner will have 72 hours to respond.
Good Luck!


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Praying for Stellan


Prayers for Stellan


Praying hard for this little boy! Click on the button above to read what is going on.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A New Family Favorite Recipe: Pita Pizzas


Since starting the Transformation challenge, I have been working hard to eat healthy and make meals that the whole family likes too. I have found a recipe for Barbecue Chicken Pita Pizzas and Buffalo Chicken Pita Pizzas. Even the boys LOVE them. The recipe is based on one from Eating for Life.

What you need:
-Whole Wheat Pitas
- Barbecue Sauce (I make my own to avoid High Fructose Corn Syrup and anything artificial and to limit sugar)
- Part Skim Mozzarella Cheese
- Fresh Cilantro
- Cooked Chicken Breast, diced
- Onion
- Turkey bacon (cooked and crumbled)

All you need to do is spread the BBQ sauce on and then add cheese, chicken, turkey bacon, onion and cilantro. You bake in a preheated oven at 425 for 8 minutes. They come out yummy and crispy!

For the Buffalo version, I substitute Buffalo sauce for BBQ sauce, eliminate the turkey bacon, and add reduced fat blue cheese as well. These are yummy too!

For my, somewhat healthier version, I add less BBQ sauce, cheese and turkey bacon than I add to the rest of the family's.

This is such a great, easy recipe and goes great with a nice salad.

Enjoy!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook- The Abridged Version


Today's Daybook is going to be short and sweet. We are travelling to Buffalo to visit Grandma and Grandpa P and to take our dog Cooper to his new home.

I will be gone for a few days, but have some posts scheduled and will check in from Buffalo. Have a blessed week!

Pray for safe travels for us!

For other Daybooks, go here.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Just Jump

It is truly funny how life works.

Today was the last day of swim lessons. J got to jump off the diving board today. I was poised with my camera to take a shot by shot view of him jumping into the water. Well, the whole process took quite a while. After I got home and looked at the photos, I realized there was a lesson in it for me too!

Just Jump



How many times in life does God ask us to try something new, something unexpected? We say, OK Lord, I will "jump". We get to the end of the "diving board". Ready to jump. Suddenly fear sets in.


Can I do this? Wait, I am not sure I am ready. I am here, ready to act, but I am afraid.



How far do I have to go? What do you want me to do again, Lord? OK, I think I can. You would not ask me to do it, to get to the end of this "board" and turn around.



Fear seizes you. Suddenly,there is someone there telling you, "You can do it." It would be OK too, if you turned around and did not jump. But you know you have to jump. For yourself. Jump. People are cheering, waiting. What will you do? Will you jump or will you walk away, and not even try? You know you would be upset at yourself if you did not jump, so . . .



You get ready.
Just Jump!



JUMP!!!
And once you have jumped, the fear is gone. You have won the battle! You have done what you were not sure you could do!


And when you are done, you can cheer on the next person who jumps!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Way to Go, Mom!

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Here are my small successes for the week:

1. Can I count getting my kids to swim and tennis lessons everyday this week as a success? Please say, yes!

2. I am still managing to keep on track with my exercise and eating program. I feel great and have lost weight. I have decided though, I may throw out the scale . . . it gets discouraging to see that numbers fluctuate so much. One week, I have lost 12 lbs overall, the next it says only 6lbs????? Oh, well, I feel great and am going to stick with it!

Going along with this one: One day this week, I took two of the boys with me for a 3.5 mile brisk walk (they were in a stroller). We had a great time . . . I even slowed down enough to go by a small pond and allow the boys to get out of the stroller, run around and get Lily pads!

3. I was able to get several items listed on ebay this week.

What are your small successes?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Born in the USA, Baby!: Planet Wise Wet Bag Review and Giveaway

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I have been cloth diapering for three years now and I love it. I have not always loved using cloth diapers and, to be honest, I almost gave up. About a year and a half ago, I realized two things:

(1) I had to keep on trying different diapers until I found the ones that worked for both me and my boys. As much as others could make recommendations, I needed to find what I liked best.
(2) Cloth Diaper accessories are essential. For me this included two things. A diaper sprayer and the right wet bag.

The Planet Wise Wet Bag

I have tried a few other wet bags, but I fell in love with the Planet Wise wet bag right a way. I bought it because I loved how cute it was, but I use it all the time because it is a high quality, well designed wet bag. I have the medium wet bag that I carry in my diaper bag. It is the perfect size for quick trips out and easily holds 1-2 cloth diapers.

Some of the Features of the Planet Wise Wet Bag:
- It is made with colorful, trendy prints and a coordinating inner water proof layer
- The inner layer is sewn and sealed so it will NOT leak!! I have put this to the test and this bag
truly does not leak!
- Zipper closure
- The inner water proof layer is PVC free
-Machine Washable and Dryable
- Resists most odors and stains

This bag is great for cloth diapers, but also can be used for soiled baby clothes, or even as a cute cosmetic bag.

I also own the Planet Wise Hanging Wet Dry Bag. I have had this bag for several months and it has now replaced my diaper pail and pail liner as the main dirty diaper receptacle. The Wet Dry Bag has the same great features as the Planet Wise Wet Bags. But it also has a convenient "dry zippered pocket". This pocket is ideal for storing dry clothes or diapers. My favorite feature of this Bag is that you can hang it. I hang it on the back of my bathroom door. We have a small bathroom, so this bag is a great space saver and does not take as much space as a traditional diaper pail. Like the wet bag, the Wet Dry Bag is also great at controlling dirty diaper odor. It holds approximately 20-24 diapers.

I wash the Hanging Wet Dry Bag with my cloth diapers every other day. I hang it outside on our clothes line with the inner water proof layer out and separated from the outer fabric and it dries up so quickly, that I can use it right away again.

Although I have yet to use this bag for anything other than cloth diapers, this bag would also make a perfect laundry bag for vacations, or for the kids' rooms at home.

Planet Wise, the Company

Planet Wise not only makes great products, it is a great company.

Planet Wise, Inc was founded by wife and mother Nicki Maynard who was later joined in the business by her husband Jesse. The products are MADE IN THE USA!!!!! Planet Wise is focused on supporting families and the community and that is clear in their work policies. Employees are given flexible schedules so that they can work around family time and school schedules. Planet Wise even allows employees to bring their children to work! All the products are made in a locally women-owned facility.

Impressed? Want to get a Planet Wise Product? Go to the Planet Wise site to check for retailers.

Or,
Win It!!
Nicki has generously offered a large Wet Bag in Outer Space Print as a giveaway!!
To enter:
1. Go over to Planet Wise and come back here and leave a comment telling me which of their products you would most like to own. Include what print you would want it in!

Extra Entries:
These can only be completed after you have done your first entry.

2. Follow me on Twitter and tweet about the giveaway. Include Tweet URL. (You may copy the following)
Planet Wise Wet Bag Giveaway http://bit.ly/Xa5zG
3. Grab my button and put it on your blog.
4. Follow me on blogger.
5. Enter the Made Here, Baby! Giveaway
6. Blog about the giveaway. Please link back to this post and to Planet Wise.
Giveaway ends August 8, 2009 at 11:59 PM. You do not have to have a blog to enter. Please leave your email address in the comment if you cannot be contacted through your profile. Winner will be chosen via random.org and will be notified via email. Winner will have 72 hours to respond.
Good Luck!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook - July 13, 2009



From the Simple Woman's Daybook.

Outside my window...
Beautiful and sunny. It will be a warm week!

I am thinking...
About family stuff. Trying to iron out vacations and visiting family. We are getting rid of our dog Cooper. It has been a long time in coming. My parents were able to find a good home for him. He is a good dog, just not a good fit for our family. He is 95 lbs and knocks the boys over a lot (and uses them as chew toys). So, I am thinking about how to get him up to NY and how to organize my workouts too while I am there.

I am thankful for...
My husband and having him home all weekend. I love when he does not have to work on a weekend!

From the learning rooms...
Lots of summer reading. Trying to convince J that reading on his own is not as bad as he thinks it is.

From the kitchen...
Still have not planned out the menu . . .

I am wearing...
Shorts, black t-shirt and bare feet. (I must like this outfit on Mondays . . . I have worn it the last three Mondays!!)

I am creating...
Nothing really. I have lots of things I want to create, but have not started any.

I am going...
To the pool after this. We are in week 2 of lessons. I will be glad when they are over!

I am reading . . .
Putting a concerted effort into finishing Dressing with Dignity.

I am hoping...
The pinched nerve in my neck will get better! I must have slept the wrong way last night, because, boy, it hurts!

I am praying . . .
For some friends.

I am hearing...
The boys riding their bikes on our back deck.

Around the house...
Boys are playing outside right now. The house is somewhat in order. Our poor back room needs a good cleaning this week.

One of my favorite things...
Lectoring at mass.

A few plans for the rest of the week:
Tennis and swim lessons for the kids. Cleaning the back room. Whittling away at the rest of my to do list . . . it is taking a long time to get through it right now!

Here is picture thought I am sharing...
Cannot get one up right now, I have a baby screaming at my feet!

Go here to see more Summer Daybooks.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Cool Catholic Clothing

I found this site called Romantic Catholic through another blog. They have some really neat, trendy t-shirts, all Catholic themed. Go check them out, they have some really nice t-shirts.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

My Mass Kit Giveaway Update


To all those who have entered, or are interested in entering this giveaway-

Please let me explain why the giveaway is "closed".

When I started this blog, I really had no intentions of opening it up to reviews and giveaways. I began it because I wanted to have a place where I could write and share pictures of the family so that my extended family could know what we were up to. About 8 months ago, I felt like God calling me to begin "something" that had to do with products that are Made in the USA. After a lot of searching and prayer, I settled on reviews and giveaways for products Made in the USA.

I saw an article in the Franciscan Way about Wee Believers and decided that I wanted to help them promote their product. So, after a conversation, they sent me a My Mass Kit to review and we decided to have a giveaway as well. After my boys tested out the kit and I began to process a review in my head, I felt strongly that my blog was NOT the place for the giveaway. For several reasons: (1) I was veering off the path that I felt God was calling me to and (2) There were better places to get the word out about Wee Believers. So, I felt that I should contact Faith and Family, Live! to see if they could host the review. After about a week, I had not heard anything, and, in my impatience, I posted the review and giveaway on my blog.

Well, late one night, just a few days later, I got an email stating that they would host the giveaway on Faith and Family, Live! I was excited, but, to be honest, felt very stupid for doing what I had done. I was impatient and even though this may sound silly, I was not waiting on the Lord and what I had felt He was saying about this whole situation.

So, to make this story a little longer . . . . the My Mass Kit Giveaway will be on Faith and Family, Live! sometime next week. Please look for it. For those who have entered on my site, I will double check and make sure you get entered at Faith and Family, Live! Thank you for your patience with me!

Way to Go, Mom!

FaithButton


This week is a hard one. I do not feel like I have gotten much accomplished, but, here we go:

1. I actually set up A's crib in his new room. Since the Great Room Change, he has been sleeping in a Pack n' Play. I thought I would move him into the room with the big boys once he started sleeping through the night, so I just left his crib in that room. But, he has been sleeping so well on his own, I have decided to leave him in the room by himself. So, I finally took the crib down and re-set it up in the other room. Why don't they make cribs that fit through doorways?

2. I started weeding my flower beds. With all the rain we have gotten, there are more weeds in the flower beds than flowers. I have filled one garbage can with weeds and I still have more to pull.

3. I finally filled out the census form that came. I got a second copy of it in the mail yesterday because I had not filled the first one out within the required 30 day time limit. They gave me 10 more days. It is against the law NOT to fill it out. So I did it this AM. CEO's of large corporations can cheat people out of money and Cabinet appointees cannot pay their taxes and nothing will happen to them, but I would probably get sent to jail (or at least pay a fine) for not filling out a census ;)

What are your Small Successes for the week? Share them at Faith and Family, Live!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - They actually look alike!


These two never seem to look alike, but on this day, in this photo, I think they look a lot alike!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Wedding Bells


8 years ago today wedding bells rung for me and my husband. It was a wonderful day. The weather was great, except for a passing shower. The wedding mass as beautiful. The music amazing. The reception was so much fun; surrounded by friends and family. I enjoyed every minute of that day.

And as great as that day was, every day since then has increased the joy of that day (Yes, even the really hard ones). It has been a wonderful 8 years. I am so thankful for my husband, so thankful for my boys, and so thankful for all of the blessings that have come our way because of our wedding eight years ago.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook - July 6, 2009



From the Simple Woman's Daybook.

Outside my window...

I think it is going to be a hot one today!

I am thinking...
I need to hurry up with this post and get back to the pool . . . we had tennis at 8 AM and then swim lessons start at 10:50 AM.

I am thankful for...
That God is patient with me . . . I am a slow learner!

From the learning rooms...
Lots of summer reading.

From the kitchen...
Asian Beef Stir Fry tonight!

I am wearing...
Shorts, black t-shirt and bare feet.

I am creating...
A new cover for the cushions on our worn out rocker.

I am going...
To spend a lot of time at the pool for the next two weeks; lessons, lessons, lessons.

I am reading . . .
Twilight . . . . Yes, still reading it.

I am hoping...
To have a great Anniversary day tomorrow!

I am praying . . .
For some friends.

I am hearing...
The boys eating their second breakfast . . . I have a house full of Hobbits!

Around the house...
Still cleaning out. I still have stuff that I need to put on ebay . . . it has been going slow. Someone gave me a new weight bench. It looks great, but is in pieces and I have no directions to put it together . . . that should be an interesting project!

One of my favorite things...
Avocado . . . there is nothing that tastes much better than fresh Guacamole right now!

A few plans for the rest of the week:
Tennis and swim lessons for the kids. Celebrating our 8th wedding anniversary tomorrow. Getting more posts scheduled for my Born in the USA, Baby! feature.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...
I posted some really cute pictures of the boys from the weekend here.

Go here to see more Summer Daybooks.

Born in the USA, Baby!: Made Here, Baby! Book Review and Giveaway

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When I started this journey to find products for moms, babies and families that are made in the USA, I was lost on how to begin. I spent hours on Internet searches and contacting companies (when the website did not list where the product was made). Just recently, I found the perfect resource for any mom who is looking to buy American made baby products. It is a book called, Made Here, Baby! by Bruce Wolk. I wish I had this book from day one.

Made Here, Baby! contains a wealth of information. The book starts off with a brief introduction about why the book was written and why someone should consider seeking out products made in the USA. Each chapter addresses specific product categories such as products for infants, children's clothing and accessories, children's furniture, sports and fitness equipment, and toys and games. The information is well organized and very easy to read. What I really like too is that Mr. Wolk also includes an interesting fact about the manufacturer. In the financial climate today where we are often so concerned about the lowest price, it is refreshing to see what good manufacturers are doing and what our money, when we choose to buy a product produced in the United States, which is often a higher priced item, is supporting. The book ends with indexes of women-owned or founded companies, green companies, and companies that have been in operation for over a century. This book is loaded with valuable information for any parent who wants to buy high-quality American made products.

This book is an invaluable resource and I am so thankful to Bruce Wolk for his hours of dedication in compiling the information so that parents can easily find products for their family that are made in the USA.


If you would like to purchase, Made Here, Baby! You can purchase it through Amazon for $12.21.

or,

You can win it!

One lucky reader will win a copy of Made Here, Baby!, signed by author Bruce Wolk!

To enter:

1. Leave a comment telling me why you would like to win this book.

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Saturday, July 4, 2009

My Lil' Patriots




Happy Fourth of July!


On this Fourth of July, I think it only appropriate to study the document that is the reason we can celebrate this day today.

Have a Blessed Day. May you remember all of the Founding Fathers so that worked and fought hard so that we may live in this great country today.

The following text comes directly from the National Archives and Records Administration.
http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/declaration_transcript.html

The Declaration of Independence: A Transcription


IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.


The 56 signatures on the Declaration appear in the positions indicated:

Column 1
Georgia:
Button Gwinnett
Lyman Hall
George Walton

Column 2
North Carolina:
William Hooper
Joseph Hewes
John Penn
South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge
Thomas Heyward, Jr.
Thomas Lynch, Jr.
Arthur Middleton

Column 3
Massachusetts:
John Hancock
Maryland:
Samuel Chase
William Paca
Thomas Stone
Charles Carroll of Carrollton
Virginia:
George Wythe
Richard Henry Lee
Thomas Jefferson
Benjamin Harrison
Thomas Nelson, Jr.
Francis Lightfoot Lee
Carter Braxton

Column 4
Pennsylvania:
Robert Morris
Benjamin Rush
Benjamin Franklin
John Morton
George Clymer
James Smith
George Taylor
James Wilson
George Ross
Delaware:
Caesar Rodney
George Read
Thomas McKean

Column 5
New York:
William Floyd
Philip Livingston
Francis Lewis
Lewis Morris
New Jersey:
Richard Stockton
John Witherspoon
Francis Hopkinson
John Hart
Abraham Clark

Column 6
New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett
William Whipple
Massachusetts:
Samuel Adams
John Adams
Robert Treat Paine
Elbridge Gerry
Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins
William Ellery
Connecticut:
Roger Sherman
Samuel Huntington
William Williams
Oliver Wolcott
New Hampshire:
Matthew Thornton



For a historical background on the Declaration of Independence and the signers of it, go here.

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