Ready Set Remodel

It has been a busy weekend at our house. We finally started our project of remodeling our bathroom and putting down laminate floors in all 3 bedrooms.

Our bathroom still had the wallpaper and stuff that came in the house when we bought it so it was all overdue. The wallpaper that we had was white with big purple and blue flowers on it so after looking at it for over 13 years it is time for a change.

The carpet is also overdue, it is a light grey almost white so I usually had to have it cleaned every year and I have to admit it has stayed in very good condition over the years. We had the carpet in the dining room and living room changed out to laminate floors a while ago so the only carpet left in the house is the bedrooms and I am ready to see that go.

This is picture of our bathroom while remodeling. We had put the white primer and taped around things (which I do not recommend, it ended up pulling paint off).

TADA!!! Here is our new bathroom. It is so nice to finish a big job with such big change. Now its time for the floor, which will be in a few weeks.

Tiger decides to try out the new toilet.



You really dont hear that much about homeschooling on the news or in the movies (unless its bad) so for there to be movies out about homeschooling amazes me. My family has been homeschooling for almost three years and I would not have it any other way. I will admit that I did not start homeschooling because I just wanted to. I actually thought once the kids went to school then I could get a part time job and start working again. Well that just wasnt in the cards for me.
Some families homeschool because of religious reason others because of a problem with the school system (mine was the latter). After I started homeschooling my youngest was diagnosed with Autism so then I knew why I was led down that path because there is no way in this world I would ever put my youngest in public school. Do not get me wrong I have no problem with public schools for other families but it is just not what I want for mine (I wish other people would feel that way about homeschooling).
While surfing the web I ran across two movies about homeschooling and wanted share it with my readers.

The second one was HOMESCHOOLED? the movie

I think homeschooling is a parents right just as its a parents right to decide everything their child does until they are adults. What does it say about a country that TELLS us how to raise your children. In my opionion the government has manage to screw up alot of things and my children are not going to be one of them.
It is my responsiblity to keep my child safe and everyday I hear about something happening in schools, whether its bullying, kids bring guns to school, kids getting abused or left on school buses. If you have a special needs child, one that can not tell you what happened today, you think differently about leaving your child with others. Cause lets be honest, how well DO you know the people you leave your child with? Its not about me being a over protective mom either, until things are different in schools or my children are older this is what I choose to do. I am not anti-public school, I am just pro-homeschool.

This post is my opinion and is not intended to try to replace your ideas with my own.

Goldilocks Puzzle Book from Educational Toy Planet

Educational Toy Planet was generous enough to share the "Goldilocks Puzzle Book" with our family. This isn't the regular book you are used to, with this book you can create the story for your child. It includes 4 chunky puzzle pieces,(Papa Bear, Mama Bear, Baby Bear and Goldilocks) , a sturdy story book and a clear carry case.
Children put there imaginations, verbal skills, concentration and pretend play skills to work with this toy, so no feeling quilty about this one.

We had a good time with this story, my oldest actually enjoyed it more than my youngest. He decided he was going to put on a "show" for us. As I read the story he would use the puzzle pieces to act out the story. He said he really liked this book. It was great for me because we could use it for reading comphension, cause and effect and problem solving, anyway to stick some learning in works for me. The carry case makes it easy for on the go too. I think any child would be delighted to get this toy.

You can look at it on Educational Toy Planet website along with many other great puzzles while there look for more Language Development Toys .


{Hope's Cafe} Giveaways including Coffee Beanery, Speck Products and Tutortogs Woman Apparel

One of my favorite blogs has some great giveaways going on and I wanted to share some of them with my readers. Be sure to check out ALL the giveaways going on at {Hope's Cafe}

It no secret how much I love coffee, I would drink it 24/7 if I could. Hope Cafe is sponsoring a giveaway for Coffee Beanery. You could win a Sampler of Flavors Gift Basket with 6 great flavors.

To go to the giveaway to enter for your chance to win click here Hope Cafe Giveaway
Ends 1/29

Speck Products has a great variety of cases, covers and bags for Iphones, Ipads, Itouch and Laptops. You can also get a custom product. Hope's Cafe is having a giveaway for a free Speck product.
To enter this giveaway click here Hope's Cafe Giveaway
Ends 2/4

Tutortogs has Mom apparel that is just as much for your baby as for you. They have visually stimulating patterens that your baby will love looking at and can actually see. There is a page on their website that explains exactly what a baby sees and at what age.
This apparel also have a added bonus, a slimming effect, which is what I like most. The baby and the mommy are happy. Hope's Cafe is giving away your choice of Tutortogs shirt and design, To enter this giveaway click here Hope's Cafe Giveaway
Ends 2/4

PILLOW PET FEVER Giveaways Valentine Pillow Pet (Choice)

My List of Valentine Pillow Pet Giveaways

Aubut Life is also having a Valentine Pillow Pet giveaway to enter go to Aubut Life Blog.

The Not So Blog Valentine Pillow Pet Giveaway Ends 2/11
Ends 2/28
Home Grown Families Pillow Pet (Ms Ladybug) Giveaway
At The Fence Blog Pillow Pet Games ends 2/11
Just a mom's take on things blog Valentine Pillow pet ends 2/12

For More Pillow Pets go to Pillow Pets website.
I will be adding more links as I find them to Pillow Pet giveaways.

{Cake Mom} Giveaway Miche Bag ends 1/23

Cake Mom Blog is sponsoring a giveway for a Classic Miche Bag and a Hayley Shell. Ends 1/23

Click here to go to the giveaway Miche Bag Giveaway

BOOK REVIEW "All I Can Handle I'm No Mother Teresa" by Kim Stagliano

Kim Stagilano has written a book that every family should read if they have a special needs child. I am not only talking about autism. I was lucky enough to get one of these book in a contest I entered and since I have never heard of Kim I did not realize how good this was going to be.
This is a memoir of her life with 3 daughters all diagnosed with autism.

From the Cover of the book
So begins Kim Staglianos electrifying, hilarious tale of her family's journey raising three daughters with autism. With her funny, startling, and illuminating first book, Stagliano joins the ranks of bestselling memoirists like David Sedaris and Augusten Burroughs. With her willingness to lay everything on the table- family, friends, and enemies to basement floods to birthdays to (possible) Heroin addictions-she eviscerates and celebrates the absurb.

I thought this was such an uplifting, funny story. You would never think anything in your life would be funny raising three children on the spectrum, well she managed to find it.

I would recommend this book to any family, I laughed so hard but also cried at time, but one things for sure it made me feel better about the hand I was dealt.


Corn Palooza

Our family meets late for Christmas on one side of the family so tonight was the night we had dinner. It took me a few days to decide what to cook because I like to cook things that we like to eat later. My kids love corn, it is one of the only vegetables they will eat. So it was Corn Spaghetti and Corn Pudding.

First I made the Corn Spaghetti which take an hour to cook. This is one of the easiest recipes to make and the kids (and adults) love it.

In case you would like to try this here is the recipe
1 Can Corn (with liquid)
1 Can Creamed Corn
1 Cup of Mozzarella Cheese
Small Box Spaghetti (broken into 1/2 pieces)
4 Tbsp Butter (melted)

Mix All Ingredients together in a 9x13 baking dish, mix well, cover with foil, bake at 375 for 1/2 hour then uncovered and bake for another 1/2 hour. DONE

Finished Corn Spaghetti, now for the Corn Pudding which is more like dessert than a vegetable.

Ingredients for Corn Pudding are

1 cups sugar
1 Tbsp of Flour
2 Eggs
1 Tsp Vanilla
1 Cup Milk
1 Stick Butter
1 Can Corn

Mix Sugar and Flour well, add eggs and mix well cut do not beat. Add remaining ingredients. Pour into baking dish. Bake 375 for 45 minutes.
Finally I made a actual dessert, Caramel Cream Cake, a caramel cake with vanilla frosting topped with white chocolate chips and homemade caramel sauce.


How many GB, best processor, high RAM you might as well be talking Chinese

I know you all have went through the grueling task of buying a new computer, I have done it a total of 3 times and everytime it gets more confusing. There isnt anything major wrong with our current desktop but it is a little slow and we have almost filled it up with pictures and homeschool stuff. We have a laptop that my son uses for school and it is twice as fast but of course it is brand new. We are looking at the refurbished ones and they have some great deals but I just dont know if they are REALLY good deals. Everytime my husband gets on the phone with someone they change his mind about what computer to pick so we keep going back and forth. It kinda reminds me of buying a new car!
Computers can be so easy to use but sometimes things happen that I just have no idea what to do with. Take for instance, with this new blog, I still have alot of learning to do. I know that there are settings and options that I have no idea about. I still cant figure out how to customize my Header on my blog.
My kids on the other hand are better than I am. My youngest who is six and has autism can get on the computer and do almost anything he wants (if allowed). He can search for what he likes, save things on the favorite list (this is why I have a list of games), and do other things that blow my mind. You have to be careful he not around when you type your password in cause if he sees you he can remember.
Well hopefully we can find a nice computer that will do what we want at a good price. What do you look for when buying a computer? What is the best brand that you found so far?
Maybe you can help me find a great deal.


Great Wolf Lodge Williamsburg VA, Homeschool Discount Code 2011

Great Wolf Lodge, Williamsburg Va announced their discount dates for homeschoolers.
They are as follows
No Minimum Stay
Febuary 27 (arrive) - March 4 (depart) Book Code 0211HOME
September 11 (arrive) - September 16 (depart)
September 18 (arrive) - September 23 (depart)
Book Code 0911HOME
Limited number of different types of rooms
*$139.00 per night
Call 1 (800) 551-(WOLF) 9653 Ask for Homeschool Experience
Book online at http://www.greatwolf.com/ and use the above codes.
Each room will receive two 20% off coupons to use for dining at any other lodge's food outlet.
*Room Rate does not include 10% tax, $2.00 occupancy and $10.99 resort fee per night. Offer valid only at Williamsburg Va location*

{GIVEAWAY} $20 CSN Stores Modern Bar Stools Gift Certificate

Winner is #122
Please contact me by 11:59pm January 27 or I will have to pick a new winner.

CSN Stores is a online shopping network with over 200+ stores one of which is All Modern bar stools where you can find just about any type, size or price bar stool you are looking for. CSN Stores contacting me with a gift certificate to either use to buy a product to review or offer to my readers, I decided to offer it to you.

AllModern.com is one of their unique stores that offers a wide variety of modern bar stools in many different styles and sizes of bar stools to pick from. They have leather, fabric, wood and metal stools from 18" to 36" and even custom sizes, prices range from $19-$3549. You are sure to find the perfect fit for your home or office.


One lucky winner will receive a $20 Gift Cerificate to use at ANY CSN store for ANY item of their choice. Gift Certificate can NOT be used for shipping charges but CSN Stores has 100's of items that ship for free.


MANDATORY- Visit Modern Bar Stools

pick out your favorite item, then come back here and leave

a comment below telling me what you picked. You need to be a follower of my blog to enter. (1 entry)

Be sure to leave a comment for each entry.


1 entry- Follow me on Twitter

1 entry- Follow CSN on Twitter

1 entry- Like CSN on Facebook

1 entry- Tweet about this giveaway with a link back to this post. You can use this link
http://bit.ly/hCihCi or the share button at the bottom of post.
Leave a link so I can check
1 entry- Share using any of the OTHER share buttons (Facebook, Google Buzz, Email etc.)at the bottom of post.

3 entry- Post this giveway on your blog with a link back to this page.
Must be its own entry with links to this post and the sponsor.
Be sure to leave a link so I can check.

1 entry- Leave a comment on any other post. (this can only be done once)

Giveaway ends on January 25th 2011 at 11:59pm EST. Winner is chosen using Random.org. Winner has 48 hours to respond to the winning email or another winner will be picked. I did not receive any compensation for this post. The opinions are my own.


Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bar (My Style)

This time of the year my favorite place is Starbucks, they have their special Cranberry Bliss Bars and the Kids favorite Polar Bear Cookies. I decided I would attempt to make the Cranberry Bars, hey how hard can it be. I thought I would sort of mix a couple of recipes together to get what I want. I used the recipe for the cake part from the Ooey Gooey Butter Cake (see below) and then for the frosting I used a recipe from a coconut cake I made a Christmas. First I made the cake part:

1 box of Yellow Cake Mix

1 stick of Butter

3 Eggs

1 bag of White Chocolate Chips

Combine the first 3 together and mix well, spread into a 9x13 baking pan. Sprinkle with a few White Chocolate Chips. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30-35 minutes.

While that is cooking mix up the frosting:

1 8oz pk of Cream Cheese (softened)

4 cups of Powered Sugar

1 Tsp of Vanilla

Mix all these together and blend very well.

After cake is cool, spread frosting over it. Sprinkle with White Chocolate Chips, Dried Cranberries and Drizzle with Melted White Chocolate Chips.

After the family taste test the results are in-- It taste VERY VERY good but not exactly like Starbucks. I really did not expect it to. As long as it taste good and looks good I am happy, and you have to admit it looks good. So now I going to make me a cup of hot coffee and sit down and pretend I have Starbucks!!

GOT Milk and Bread??

This has been a busy winter for snow and this coming week is not different. Ever since I was a little girl when the weatherman even said the word snow everyone would rush out to the store to get milk and bread. I personally do not do this, dont we need other things to live. I have never figured out WHY everyone buys milk if you are stuck up in the house for a few days you may what something better th9:an milk to drink plus if the power goes out then you have to make sure you keep it cold so it doesnt spoil.

I get the bread thing since you may not be able to cook you may want some sandwiches. I usually have enough bread for a few days and dont need to go buy extra. Maybe everyone likes to eat French Toast when it snows (:

The other day I went out to the store to pick up somethings not thinking we had just had a "SNOW SCARE" and there was NO milk and NO bread.

Maybe some of you can give me some insight on why this is a tradition.


My Four Monkeys: Product Reviews & Giveaways For the Family

My Four Monkeys: Product Reviews & Giveaways For the Family

Click the link above to enter a giveaway for a TASSIMO T20 Brewer from Bosch
I am a lover of all coffee so I am also trying to win one of these. During the winter time
I could drink coffee all day, so luckily it doesnt keep me awake.

My Four Monkeys: Product Reviews & Giveaways For the Family

My Four Monkeys: Product Reviews & Giveaways For the Family

The Wylds on DVD -Inspired by The Pilgrims Progress {Giveaway}


Hocker (spelling ??) Down for MORE SNOW

The weatherman is calling for yet some more snow. We are just now getting rid of the last snow we had at Christmas. We are suppose to get about a inch tonight and then on Monday and Tuesday they are calling for a pretty big one. Dont get me wrong I would love to get a big snow but I dont like all the little snows. I remember back in the late 90's we had a BIG snow and we could not get out of the door. That was before my boys were born so I would love another one like that so they could see it.
Last year I dont think we got hardly any snow and this year it seems to be a little every week, maybe this week we will go ahead and get the big one out of the way! A girl can hope.

Good Week Blogging

I have had a pretty good week blogging so far I have won a ITouch Case, NC BBQ (Sweeps4Bloggers), a Pillow Pet and some Softlips (Sugar Pop Ribbons). I have enjoyed entering all the giveaways, its so fun to see the UPS man now.
I wish I knew how to host a giveaway on my blog but I am very new at this and have no idea how to get companies to let me review their products. I dont know how to tell if someone is trying to scam me either. I did get a email from CSN stores about a giveaway but when I ask for more info I never heard back.
If anyone can give me some advise or info about doing reviews and giveaways I would truly appreciate it.
Thank you to all the bloggers that do have giveaways. I enjoy reading your blogs and learning about new products plus it gives me something fun to do on the internet.


What is wrong with this Story?

I recently read a story on the local news website about a little boy who attends public school and his parents were forced to homeschool him due to the fact they were not allowed to walk him to his classroom.

If you would like to read the whole story click HERE.

The boy was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome and also ADHD. He developed severe separation anxiety when getting dropped off at school so the teacher suggested the parents walk him to class to help him make the transition. It was then approved by the principle. After a month his anxiety improved and all was well UNTIL some of the parents complained.

The principle then told the little boy's parents that they were no longer allowed to walk their son to class due to school security issues. The parents abtained a letter from the boy's doctor and presented it to the principle, who still refused to change the decision.

The parents decided to pull the boy out of school and homeschool him. (GOOD FOR YOU)

First of all, SHAME on the parents that complained. Why is this YOUR business? Was this hurting you or your child? I can not think of any reason why someone would see a problem with a parent walking their special need child to class. I understand the security issues but their are ways around this, even if the parents of the little boy needed to check in at the office every morning, it should be a middle ground.

Second, what about this childs rights? If walking to class alone was a health or safety issue for this child it is the schools responsiblity to accomodate him. If they do not want the parent in the school then they need to have a teacher or aid at the car to meet him. If the parent was unwilling to help they would complain about lack of parent participation.

All children are not the same, some need help in one area while others need it in others. It is his right to be safe and healthy at school.

This story is a prime example of the reason I homeschool my children. You not only have to deal with school systems that totally do not understand autism as a disorder but the other parents can be worse. I have had my own experience with people that are selfish and lack compassion, understanding, or patience. I feel like sometimes people do not put themselves in others shoes to understand why things are as they are. I promise I would not wish my child to have a disorder but that is what it is and I do the best I can and sometimes YES we have to have different (or special) treatment. The same would be for someone that had a disorder such as a wheelchair. Would you make someone with this problem wheel their self or would you help by pushing them? I know there are people out there that will disagree with me and you are allowed your opinion but if you do I can almost bet you do not have or know someone with a child or family member with special needs.
I dont know what this world is coming to when grown people can't look at this situation and see that there is something really wrong with our society.

My point is people do not think of others anymore and I truly believe in KARMA.

Is there help out there???

The start of the new year as brought some unwanted changes in our home. Daddy's job changed due to the company decided to hire outside for his position, which caused him to basically have to change the company he works for or lose his job. The new company isnt really bad but he already had 11 years in AND he had a good retirement plan (and other benefits). If you do not already know my youngest (I call Pooky) was diagnosed with autism when he was 3 and we have to take him to OT and Speech Therapy every week. Our old benefits allowed for 60 visits per year but now we are only allowed 50 visits per year. If you know about autism you know this is not nearly enough. I can not figure how an insurance company can limit your treatment as long as a doctor refers you and you pay your premiums. I know there have been laws in the making to help make sure insurance company do not limit treatments for certain disorders but they seem to be at a stand still (my son will be grown before they get past).

So now we are left with a decision on whether to pay for therapy out of pocket or just take what we can get and do some extra at home. We are already a homeschool family so I guess we will have to be a hometherapy family too.

I just wish the new year could have brought GOOD news instead and I wish there was help out there for those of us trying our best to provide.