"As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."
Joshua 24:15

Friday, February 26, 2010

Are you in love with Gussy yet?


Now this girl is inspirational.

Best known as Gussy, she started sewing only a year and a half ago and already has a signature style that has caused so many to fall in love.

She calls it the "Gussy ruffle" and she puts it on everything!



Laptop bags...

Even notecards...

How adorable is this stuff?!?!

I'll take one of each please!

And to top it all off, Gussy has a beautiful heart and love for Jesus.

No wonder her business is taking off like a rocket!

So many reasons to be excited about Gussy, the last, but not least, being...

A Gussy giveaway RIGHT HERE! RIGHT NOW!

The prize: $25 shop credit to Gussy's shop!

I know you're dying to know how to enter, so here we go!

To enter, first visit Gussy's shop and let me know your very favorite item!

Then earn extra entries by...

1. Following Gussy's blog

2. Following my blog

3. Following Gussy on Twitter

4. Following me on Twitter

5. Tweeting about the giveaway -
Enter to win $25 shop credit with @GussySews from @elmusic4kids at http://www.homewiththeboys.blogspot.com/

6. Posting about the giveaway on Facebook

7. Blogging about this giveaway (leave the URL)

For extra entries, please leave SEPARATE COMMENTS for each or you will not receive extra entries. (Sorry, that was the teacher coming out in me!)

An e-mail address must be included in your blog profile or comment so I can contact you if you are the blessed winner!

This contest will run until Monday, March 1st at 9:00 PM CST!

Get your entries in now!
And THANK YOU Gussy for this fab giveaway!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

One Body

I have been connecting with many wonderful new people lately.

Through church, MOPS, blogs, Twitter...

They are moms, wives, writers, crafters and so on.

And the majority of them are fellow sisters in Christ.

I lay in bed last night thinking about this:

I read wonderful, uplifting, challenging posts, quotes and tweets daily from these women. Quite often, they are life-changing for me. God is using these women in powerful ways in their sphere of influence.

And I have never once wondered about their denomination or church affiliation.

TOTALLY how God wants it, in my opinion.

The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit.
1 Corinthians 12:12-13

Sure we have our differences - but we share the most important thing in common.

We are ONE BODY in Christ.

And I, for one, am enjoying the support and encouragement that comes with being part of that ONE BODY.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Worst Offenders

The sermon at our church this Sunday was all about judgment, based off of these verses...

If you judge other people, then you will find that you, too, are being judged. Indeed, you will be judged by the very standards to which you hold other people.

Why is it that you see the dust in your brother's or sister's eye, but you can't see what is in your own eye? Don't ignore the wooden plank in your eye, but criticize the speck of sawdust in your brother's eyelashes. That type of criticism and judgment is a sham! Remove the plank from your own eye, and then perhaps you will be able to see clearly how to help your brother flush out his sawdust.

Don't give precious things to dogs. Don't cast your pearls before swine. If you do, the pigs will trample the pearls with their little pigs' feet, and then they will turn back and attack you.

Matthew 7:1-6 (The Voice)

There is a lot to digest in there and a lot of points were made in the sermon, but I want to focus on one area.

And that one area is this: We MUST avoid a self-righteous attitude.

And as women, I think we are the WORST OFFENDERS.

Yes, I am making a general statement, but I am going to back it up with some honest confession here.

How many times have I watched a mom fail to discipline her child the way I would have and judged her for not handling the situation the "right" way?

How often have I heard another mom talk about her favorite soap opera and wonder how she could watch that trash?

And how many times have I judged another mom for giving their child pop at such a young age?

Does the Bible tell us ONE WAY to raise our children other than to train them up in the Lord?

Is the 11th commandment "Thou shalt not watch soap operas?"

Does the Bible teach us to not give our children sugary drinks until age 5?

No, no and no.

And I can guarantee, the minute I stood there judging another mom for something like this, one of my children was probably running off to get in trouble and I was missing it because I was focused on someone else.


I cannot get this quote from the sermon out of my mind...

"Every time we judge, we push God off the throne and assume His position, when in reality, there are NO VACANCIES in the Trinity!"

Yikes. Now there is a word picture for you. And if I really think about it, I don't actually want that kind of power. I feel much better letting God handle that.

Now, some people will take the verse "Do not judge" to the extreme and spew that line only any chance they get.

No, we are not to judge people based on "extra-Biblical standards," but if you see a fellow believer falling into sin, we are not to sit by and be idle.

Our pastor referred to it as "Biblical evaluation." And the difference between judgment and Biblical evaluation is all about the heart.

Do you see a sister in Christ struggling in the area of gossip? Is your desire to help her and build her up in Christ? Then approach her about it. Do you want to point out her sin to make you feel better about yourself? Go to the Lord and get the plank out of your own eye.

Like I said, this is a lot to chew on, but it is worth the time. I see more and more women that are withdrawn from other women because they don't feel like they are "good enough." It is almost always due to extra-Biblical standards that have been imposed upon them - either by themselves or by other women at some point in their life.

And those scars are hard to remove.

But not impossible. We serve a BIG God.

Women - let's provide empathy and support to one another. Share your failures and successes without jealousy or judgment. Pray for one another.

Know that it is a happier place to lean on one another and lift each other up than to push each other down - even if it is just in our own mind.

Monday, February 22, 2010

"Hear No Evil" Winner!

Yep, it's that magical time when www.random.org picks another giveaway winner!

Thank you for all the comments - you would all love this book!

By the way, I lent my copy to a friend and she texted me tonight to say that she laughed out loud through the whole first chapter! I think I did through the whole book!

Anyway, the random winner of "Hear No Evil" is...

#20 - Bobby

I love his musical memory:

Bobby said...
My favorite musical memory is of my college job as a server at Johnny Rockets, a 50's type diner where the servers sing and dance. I have no idea how I even got the job, being a horrible dancer and even worse singer, but I nonetheless found myself disco dancing to "Stayin' Alive" while customers pointed and laughed. While this was certainly not my favorite period of personal history, I always smile when I look back and think about my horrendous Johnny Rockets performances. :)

So fun!

Congrats Bobby! Please e-mail me your info and I will get the book sent to you right away!

More giveaways coming soon so stay tuned!

Fun Site to Browse!

I had never heard of CSN Stores before, so when I found out about their site, allmodern.com, I was in for a treat! I was especially intrigued that on this site that seemed to be furniture-related, they had lots of fun things for the kiddos! Things like some adorable toddler beds shaped like boats and fire trucks - both of which my boys would go crazy for - and other unique furniture and toys!

I love the modern look and feel of everything, and I am anxious to give the boys a shot at this toy and see how they use it in their creative play...

Stay tuned!

Music Monday

Been singing this song to myself a lot lately - hope it encourages you as well.

If you like what you heard here - we LOVE Seeds Family Worship and just bought all five CDs! - and want to get some for yourself, you can get 30% off your purchase at the Seeds Store from now until February 25 by entering the code ERIN2010!

Thanks for sharing the love with us Seeds!

Friday, February 19, 2010

What's Up with the Boys?

Our handsome boys.

Our crazy boys.

Our LOUD boys.

Our precious boys.

What are they up to these days?

Big J...

*Is signing "I love you" in the above pictures. These pictures were part of our Valentine's cards!

*Is obsessed with Buzz Lightyear. But you could probably tell that by my WW post this week. I actually used the phrase "Buzz Lightyear is downstairs watching Buzz Lightyear right now" this week. Wow.

*Is in swimming lessons and liking it for the most part. He hates floating on his back, but he LOVES jumping off the side into the pool. Strange, because none of the other kids like that part! I shouldn't be surprised though, because he yells "To infinity and beyond" as he jumps into my arms. Once again with the obsession.

*Walks around the house singing a song about Jonah ALL the time. Or should I say, when he's not pretending to be Buzz. And he is very picky about how the song is sung. He is three and is already concerned with dynamics. He also was giving "voice lessons" to his three-year-old friend at the the piano the other day and tried to explain the correct way to sing the song. Must be in the genes.

*Is the best snuggler - we sneak in a nap together every once in a while - and tells us he loves us out of the blue. It's a beautiful thing being a parent.

And as for Little J, he...

*Is blowing you kisses right now.

*Loves Buzz Lightyear as well - but he hasn't told me how much.

*Copies just about everything his big brother does. I'm just waiting for him to fly off the couch.

*Loves the freedom of going up and down the stairs as much as he wants. I love this freedom as well.

*Wants to know what EVERYTHING is. Testing my patience, but in a good way. We love watching him learn!

*Is obsessed with pulling things off the shelf. I have lost track of the number of times I have had to put the ALL of the DVDs or ALL of the books in their room back on the shelf. I would have him help, but toddlers aren't great at making lots of objects fit back into a space very well. We've tried.

*Gives us the best hugs and smiles - the dimples in those chubby cheeks just light up my day!

And now writing this post has made me all mushy, so I'm going to go give them each a big mommy squeeze.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

One Week Ago

Things looked really bad one week ago today.

My friend and former student Savana was in a horrible head-on car accident.

On Friday night, I went to the hospital thinking I was saying goodbye to her.

But that night, Savana's prognosis started to turn around.

In the past week, a Facebook fan page was set up to pray for her and a Caring Bridge page was established to update us on her progress.

There are over 2,000 people on the fan page and her updates have been viewed over 14,000 times. People have been praying, including some of you. It is amazing.

And I am so happy to share the latest update from her family with you...

Wonderful news! This morning Savana's mother was sitting by her side and she asked Savana to squeeze her hand if she could hear her. Savana squeezed her hand. This is just incredible. The staff is going to change the PIC line. Savana does have a fever again. Plea​se keep up the prayers. A week ago this morning Savana's life was forever changed. It has changed me as well. How about you?

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.

1 Chronicles 16:34


He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.

He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear
and put their trust in the LORD.

Blessed is the man
who makes the LORD his trust.

Psalm 40:2-4


So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Isaiah 41:10

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Hear No Evil: Review and Giveaway!

Christian non-fiction is hit-or-miss for me.

I've reread Blue Like Jazz three times, but many others have been tossed aside before I'm halfway through!

Hear No Evil was not one of the tossed aside variety - I couldn't put it down!

Hear No Evil, by Matthew Paul Turner, is a light-hearted, but honest, look at the intersection of faith, music and life for the author. Everything from growing up fundamentalist to his calling to be a Christian Michael Jackson. The book follows his journey from childhood, through college and into fatherhood.

I laughed out loud throughout this entire book. At the image of Turner's family covering their ears at Sea World when Michael Jackson come over the speakers. At his reference to the I'd-rather-be-dating-Jesus Pentecostal women. At God's voice telling him to rewrite the lyrics to George Michael's "Faith" to make them holy. Even his deep love for Amy Grant. I seriously could go on and on.

And in the midst of all this laughter, Turner sneaks in some great spiritual truths and deep conversations. One of the most memorable for me was a conversation with a friend who had just confessed a hidden sin to Turner. I love this excerpt:

His face blank, Shawn looked down at the table. "I've made God look pretty stupid, haven't I?" He wiped a tear from his eye with a napkin and tried to smile. "A slob even. I've made God look like a slob."

"I guess we've all made God look like a slob at some point," I said, tracing a finger through grains of sugar on the table. "But I don't think we do that by being human. I think we do it when we pretend we're not."

Wow. That has really stuck with me.

The humor and honesty of this book really reminds me of Blue Like Jazz, and of course, I loved the musical theme of the book. It is a fabulous read.

I will be passing my copy on to a friend tonight.

*This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.

And thanks to WaterBrook, I am passing a copy on to one of you as well!

To enter, just leave a comment about your favorite musical memory from growing up - Christian or not!

For extra entries you can...

1. Tweet about this giveaway - leave the link!

2. Follow @JesusNeedsNewPR (Matthew Paul Turner) on Twitter

3. Follow @elmusic4kids (me!) on Twitter

4. Become a follower of Home with the Boys
5. Post about it on Facebook

Up to six entries per person! Make sure to leave a separate comment for each entry and include a way to contact you if you are the lucky winner!

Contest closes Monday, February 22 at 9:00 p.m. CST. The winner will be chosen by random.org.

Wordless Wednesday: To Infinity and Beyond!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Jewelry on a Mission: Now ONLINE!

Not too long ago, I posted about a friend's mission to help out a community in Mexico through the skills of some its citizens.

Ana Patricia Jewelry is an amazing thing.

Did you know that between 80% and 100% of EVERY sale goes directly back to the community to some of the very projects I mentioned in the previous post? THAT is an incredible figure.

Great jewelry. Great cause. Perfect combination.

But up until now, it was only available in this area.

Good news world: Ana Patricia Jewelry now has an online shop!

Nothing big, but enough to get you involved and help you look great in the process! And I have the pleasure of managing this store! I love being a part of this!

Currently, there are ten items and sets up for sale on a first-come-first-serve basis. With handmade jewelry, each piece is one-of-a-kind, so once it's gone - it's gone!

I would love to have you go check it out and let me know what you think!

You can also:

*become a follower of the shop to be notified when a new item is for sale

*become a fan on Facebook to hear all of the latest Ana Patricia news!

*and follow Ana Patricia on Twitter as well to be in-the-know!

And there is a possibility of a giveaway at some point... You wouldn't want to miss that, right?!

Let me assure you, this isn't a new, unestablished endeavor. Nancy, Patti, Jon and the crew at Ana Patricia have been running this "business" (doesn't seem like the right word for this group so focused on the Lord and helping pull others up) for several years now and the community has benefited greatly from it.

Won't you get involved too?!

Now have fun shopping!

Music Monday: Tear Down the Walls

I would say this is somewhat of an anthem at our church right now and I cannot stop listening to it and singing through it in my head.

So powerful. So inspiring. Truly the cry of my heart.

The lyrics are below as well if you want to follow along.

Tear down the walls see the world
Is there something we have missed
Turn from ourselves
Look beyond
There is so much more than this

And I don’t need to see it to believe it
I don’t need to see it to believe it
Cause I can’t shake this
Fire burning deep inside my heart

Look to the skies hope arise
See His majesty revealed
More than this life there is love
There is hope and this is real

Cause I don’t need to see it to believe it
I don’t need to see it to believe it
Cause I can’t shake this fire burning
Deep inside my heart

This life is Yours and hope is rising
As Your glory floods our hearts
Let love tear down these walls
That all creation would
Come back to You
It’s all for You

Your Name is glorious
Your love is changing us
Calling us
To worship in spirit and in truth
As all creation returns to You

Oh for all the sons and daughters
Who are walking in the darkness
You are calling us to lead them back to You
We will see Your spirit rising
As the lost come out of hiding
Every heart will see this hope we have in You

Cause I don’t need to see it to believe it
I don’t need to see it to believe it
Cause I can’t shake this fire burning
Deep inside my heart

This life is Yours and hope is rising
As Your glory floods our hearts
Let love tear down these walls
That all creation would
Come back to You
It’s all for You

Your Name is glorious
Your love is changing us
Calling us
To worship in spirit and in truth
As all creation returns to You

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Prayer Request Update

Savana continues to hang on, which was not expected 48 hours ago. God is not done there yet.

The swelling in her brain needs to continue to decrease, but there has been a little movement and some other encouraging signs. She is definitely not out of the woods, though.

There is now a website set up to follow her progress. If you are interested, you may go to her Caring Bridge site to get the most up-to-date information and how to pray for her.

I believe strongly in the power of prayer and thank each of you from the bottom of my heart for lifting Savana up. Each of you are such a blessing to me!

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Faith Like a Child: UPDATE

UPDATE: Please continue to pray for Savana as they really need the pressure in her head to come down. When there are more details, I will write a new post to fill you in. If you have a prayer chain at your church, would you please pass her name along? Thank you again.

Thank for those of you who have been praying for Savana. You can read what happened here if you haven't already.

The outlook for her from a medical perspective is not good at this point. I was in tears as we drove home from MOPS this morning. Jeremiah asked why I was sad.

Me: "Savana is still hurt really badly. We need to keep praying for her."

Big J: "It's ok, Mommy. God is fixing her."

Me: "That's right, He is."

Big J: "What is wrong with her?"

Me: "She has some bleeding in her head."

Big J: "Maybe she needs some band aids."

If only a band aid was enough.

But his words touched my heart.

Lord, please help me to have faith like a child.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Urgent Prayer Request: UPDATED

UPDATE: Savana is still in critical condition, but they have been able to stop the swelling for now. She is currently in a medically-induced coma to help with that. I will let you know when I hear more. Thank you for your continued prayers.

This is a picture from my last year of teaching.

Love these girls.

Savana, on the far right, was Dorothy that year. Gorgeous voice. She was also in our youth group at the time. And now she has graduated and is a fantastic youth sponsor alongside us.

This morning, she was in a head-on collision and is currently in critical condition.

She has bleeding in the brain and several other serious issues that are complicating things.

I am asking any of you that read this to please pray for this lovely young woman.

Please pray for miraculous healing and strength for her body, for guidance for the doctors, comfort and peace for her family, fiancee, and friends, and in any other way you feel led to pray.

Thank you so much and I will try to keep you updated.

Stretch out your hand with healing power; may miraculous signs and wonders be done through the name of your holy servant Jesus. Acts 4:30

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Love Your Heart Winner!

I told you it would be a short contest!

And I am here to announce the winner already!

Each one of you made me want to send you a copy of this book, but alas, only one winner this time. But don't fret, I have some WONDERFUL giveaways lined up in the future!

Anyways, the winner as selected by random.org is...

#6 - Corina, who said...

I would love to give this book to Jeff to read to Mylee. There is just something about the bond between a daughter and a father, just like a mother and her sons, especially when they are the one staying home and taking care of them from 6wks on. *Corina

Congratulations Corina!

Stay tuned for more fun giveaways in the very near future!

Love Your Heart: Review...and a little surprise!

Love Your Heart by Tim McGraw and Tom Douglas

Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Ages: 4 - 10
Price: Hardcover $16.99

To see a flip version of the book, visit here.

The second book in Tim McGraw’s My Little Girl series is a heartwarming story of a little girl’s selfless act of kindness.
Tim McGraw and songwriter Tom Douglas once again join forces to write another book about the precocious Katie and her dad. Katie has many talents, but she wonders which one will win her school’s talent show. With the help of Dad and her faithful dog Palio, and after several amusing mishaps, Katie finally chooses one talent that includes Palio. But at the talent show, she decides to drop out of the contest to help her friend, showing kindness is the best talent of all. Katie’s proud dad reassures her that she did the best thing and that while he loves many things about her, he loves her heart most of all.

Tim McGraw is: dad of three daughters, husband to Faith Hill, Country music superstar, Grammy Winner, American Music Award Winner, People’s Choice Winner, highest grossing tour in history (with wife, Faith Hill), and has sold more than 35 million albums. Yet, beneath all the accolades beats the heart of a dad who immensely loves his family.

Tom Douglas is a singer-songwriter who graduated from Oglethorpe University and received an MBA from Georgia State University. He is the writer of hits "Little Rock" by Collin Raye, "The Gift" by Jim Brickman, "Love's the Only House" by Martina McBride, and "Grown Men Don't Cry" by Tim McGraw. He and his wife have three children.

A little strange to be reviewing a girls' book on a blog entitled "Home with the Boys", isn't it?

Stick with me...especially if you have girls...you'll be glad you did!

Let me first say that this is a gorgeous book to look at! The illustrations are colorful and full of life. And we all know how much good illustrations can draw a kid into a book!

Even though it is a story about girls, the message of kindness is one to be shared with all children. Obviously, with a girl main character, it will appeal more to them, but my boys didn't mind a read through of it!

What I love about this book is the father-daughter relationship that McGraw has lots of experience with! How sweet that he is doing this project with his girls in mind!

The price may be a little much for a children's book, but it is beautiful and would be treasured by any girl!

And here's a chance for YOUR little girl to treasure it!

To enter, just leave a comment below about the girl or girls in your life that would treasure this book! Only one entry per person this time around!

I would love to try to get this book to you by Valentine's Day if you win, so this is going to be a short contest - get your entry in NOW!

The giveaway will be closed TONIGHT (February 10th) at 10:00 p.m. CST!

Good luck!

Disclosure: I was provided a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes. Thank you to Thomas Nelson!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Please forgive...

I realize I have had a lack of pictures lately.

My deepest apologies.

Between snow, cold temps, slick roads and illness, we haven't been out of the house much.

Or out of our pjs.

And while we've been having fun cuddling, playing and trying to stay warm, there aren't many photos to document us in our homebound-state.

I am trying to remedy that - more pictures of our everyday life.

Even if we ARE in our pjs.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Music Monday

We listen to a LOT of children's music and I hardly get a chance to listen to my favorite stuff, so I have decided to start trading off with the kids - one CD for them, then one for me. Sounds fair right?

So I want to know...

What are the last five non-children's CDs you have listened to?

Here is my list:

1. Plumb - Beautiful History
2. Hillsong United - Across the Earth: Tear Down the Walls
3. American Idol Mix CD from last season
4. Mercy Me - Undone
5. Hillsong United - All of the Above

Sunday, February 7, 2010

You Alone

Thank you Lord, that your love went deeper still...

Friday, February 5, 2010

My Former Self

Have I ever mentioned what I used to do before I was "home with the boys?"

I thought I should touch on that. Wouldn't that be fun?

First of all, I have a bachelor's degree in music education.

Yep, I was a music major - hours of practicing, recitals, conducting lessons, ensembles (like marching band, as I mentioned before) - that was college for me!

And after graduating, I took a job in a small town as an elementary music teacher.

There I am in my early teaching days. Directing a Christmas program.

Music programs were a big part of my life back then - five a year plus assisting with the high school musical. Lots of planning, organizing, rehearsing, painting sets like these...

But I loved it. Halfway through my time there, I started doing a Veteran's Day program every November with the fourth and fifth graders...

Every year, we invited veterans and military men and women from the community to attend and honored them with song. It was one of my favorite parts of my job. The gratitude and pride those men and women exhibited was enough to make me cry EVERY time. So cool.

Another highlight of every year was helping with the high school musical. This year was my favorite...

We always had a fun "reveal" party in December to let the students know what the spring show would be. "Seussical" was a particularly fun party...

I don't think I could teach high school students, but I LOVED working with them on the musical. We always had a blast.

So what else filled my time as an elementary music teacher?

Directing my after-school elementary choir...

(Yes, that is me wearing reindeer antlers as we carol at the nursing home - I was full of Christmas spirit!)

Choreographing and coaching the flag line...

Taking the fifth graders to the symphony...

Putting up bulletin boards...

And organizing the elementary talent show, coaching some junior high volleyball and teaching piano lessons here and there, just to name a few other things.

Yes, I was busy.

But that was part of teaching in this small town and I LOVED it there. The town, school district and community hold a very special place in my heart. I was spoiled with fantastic administration, wonderful teachers around me and very supportive and involved parents.

When I decided to stay home, I had people asking if I had received a better offer from another school district. I told them that was impossible. Sure, I could have gotten more money and less responsibilities somewhere else. But I can't imagine myself teaching in any better place than where I was.

I am fortunate enough to substitute in this district every once in a while and be reminded of what a great place it is.

No, I do not want to go back to full-time teaching, but if I ever did, I would want to go right back to being my former self...

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Our Little Perch

Yesterday was Big J's first day of swimming lessons! (His class is the Perch class)

The boy loves the water, so that was not a problem at all.

Following directions, however, was not on his agenda at first. Until mommy mentioned a snack afterwards if he did all he was asked to do...

Works every time :)

He was blowing bubbles, learning to float on his back and tummy, and fearlessly jumping off the side into my arms...all because of bribery. Proud mommy moment.

His buddy Z is in the class as well...

Just to reiterate, Big J is the short one, but he IS one week older - I swear.

In the class of five kiddos, four of us knew each other, which always makes it fun. And easier for us moms to wear our bathing suits in front of each other. (Sorry, no pictures of that - you're welcome ladies!)

Speaking of bathing suits, did you see the length of Big J's shorts here?

He insisted on wearing the new swim trunks I bought for this summer. I guess as long as they don't fall off, it doesn't really matter.

At the end of class, all he wanted was to know how soon we could go back (good sign) and "A towel, please!!!"

I think our fishy is ready for next week!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Spelling Lesson

Thanks to "Toy Story," Big J is suddenly interested in spelling :)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Review: Words that Rhyme with Orange

This is a Mama Buzz review. The product was provided by Ross King for this review.


Words that Rhyme with Orange, Music CD for children

Age Group This Book/Product is for: 2-12

Put out by: Ross King of Ross King Music

Price: $12.00

Buy Cd and listen to a sample

Purchase at itunes

Purchase at Amazon.com

Note: Ross King Music is independent and “self-produced, which means this product in only available online and not in stores.

From my post yesterday, you now know that I have a background in music. More to come on that later this week. But hopefully that information will give me a little more credibility as I review this children's CD by Ross King.

We are a music family. And the kiddos LOVE listening to "their" music in the van as we run errands and such. We usually end up stuck on one CD for several days as it plays over and over again, much to their delight.

The CD that has been in our van for the past few WEEKS is Ross King's "Words the Rhyme with Orange."

King's CD is an eclectic mix of children's songs - from manners to silly songs and touching love songs to our kiddos. There is a little bit of everything. And it is all very clever and entertaining. Some song titles include:

Happy to Be Me
Learning My Alphabet
The Sound of Whining

And our personal favorite...
Don't Do It - a song about not eating your boogers

Don't you love that?!

When it comes to children's music, there is the truly annoying, the tolerable, and the stuff even adults enjoy. And judging by the fact that my hubby and I have been singing songs from this CD around the house, I would say it falls into the last category.

The songs are very catchy - constantly being sung by Big J - and well-sung, and there are even some instrumental tracks as well. Such a wonderful combination of music put together by King!

This is truly a delightful CD that I believe any family would enjoy.

Thank you so much to Ross King for providing our family with this CD!

Monday, February 1, 2010

We're With the Band

As you all know, we're big Husker fans around here.

But what you might not know is that my husband and I met at the University of Nebraska.

In the marching band.

And I am very proud of that.

Yep, that's us. By the time this picture was taken, we were both drum majors (conductors) for the band and we were engaged.

If you've never been to a college football game, the drum majors usually have to do some sort of pageantry during the pregame ceremonies. Ours involved walking from the corners of the field to the middle "N," leaning back and kicking our legs as high as possible as we walked.

Thankfully I have no pictures of this. And yes, it was as painful as it sounds.

We also conducted the band on the field and in the stands for every home football game.

Lil' Red decided to help me out here.

Marching band was an amazing experience. I played clarinet for three years before becoming a drum major. Stephen was on trombone before three years as a drum major. It's a miracle that we ever got married - brass and woodwinds don't often mix :)

We traveled all over the country to bowl games, including the National Championship at the Rose Bowl. We even made it to Ireland to march in the St. Patrick's Day Parade in Dublin. We started dating during that trip. On St. Patrick's Day. Isn't that cute?!

So when we go to games now, sure I take pictures of the team and the crowd - because the Sea of Red is an incredible sight - but I always have to take some pictures of the band to remember the days of...

playing the National Anthem...

forming the Nebraska "N"...

spelling out HUSKERS...

making the "tunnel" for the team to run through...

and playing "There is No Place Like Nebraska" after a touchdown...

all in front of 80,000 people.

Oh and by the way, the first time I ever went to a game was also the first time I ever stepped foot on the field as a member of the marching band. I couldn't hear anything over the roar of the crowd. I didn't play my instrument through all of pregame. I didn't want to miss my spots on the field. Talk about intimidating!

And totally awesome. Every minute of it.