Friday, December 24, 2010

Free Christmas Music

Christmas MusicImage by Chiot's Run via Flickr is giving free holiday music! Check out their 25 Days of Free.

Also in the MP3 Holiday Store -- The free Believe in Christmas music sampler

Merry Christmas!

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Monday, December 20, 2010

Giveaway from Tyndale House Publishers!

Cover of "NLT Study Bible (Bible Nlt)"Cover of NLT Study Bible (Bible Nlt) (May not be the exact prize given)
Hi everyone! I just got exciting news from Tyndale House Publishers about a giveaway sponsored by the New Living Translation. I love the NLT translation as it's easier for my kids to understand. Tyndale House Publishers is highlighting three ministries, Wycliffe Bible Translators, Oasis International, and The Dream Center, and by voting you’ll be entered to win prizes!

To enter, visit the NLT Facebook page by clicking here.

Here are the details straight from Tyndale House:

With the Give the Word Bible Contest and Giveaway:
    • Ministries win: Each time the NLT Facebook Page reaches a fan count milestone, votes will be tallied and the three ministries will receive cash donations from the New Living Translation and Tyndale House Publishers.
    • Everyone wins: Everyone who enters on the Bible Contest website wins a free download of Matthew West reading the Christmas story.
    • Daily NLT Study Bible winners: Vote on the NLT Facebook page and you will be entered to win two NLT Study Bibles—one to keep and one to give away. A new winner will be chosen every day.
    • Weekly Give the Word Locally winners: Tell us about a deserving local ministry on the NLT Bible Contest website and they could win five NLT Study Bibles and $250 worth of NLT products.
    • One Grand Prize winner will enjoy a unique trip customized just for them and their family (or three guests of their choice), to Wycliffe Bible Translators world headquarters and the WordSpring Discovery Center where they will experience firsthand the exciting world of Bible translation. The Grand Prize winner could also choose to donate the value of the trip--$2000--to Wycliffe instead.

Good luck everyone and thank you for supporting these ministries!

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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Check out this stunning Facebook world map

Check out this stunning Facebook world map: "A lone Facebook intern has created a world map built solely from 10 million friendship pairings. Not bad for a new guy.

Have you ever wondered what 10 million friendships would look like on a world map? Well, a Facebook engineer has the answer for you. The map below was made by Paul Butler, an engineering intern at Facebook. In a blog post, he explains how he created this visualized representation of friendships. His quest began when he became curious as to whether country or physical location had a big impact on friendships. In other words, he wondered if people had a lot of friends who live far away from them, perhaps around the world. So he took a sample of 10 million friendship pairs from the Facebook database and made this image."

Click the above link to view the article & image. Very cool.

- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Thursday, December 9, 2010

New research on the chemicals in Soaps & Plastics

Contains TriclosanImage by Jack Black's Stunt Double via Flickr
I've been leery of the antimicrobial chemicals in products -- especially when they started putting them in everything (hand soap, dish soap, waterless hand cleaners, cutting boards, highchairs, kids toys, etc). Now there's another study that says I might be right to keep away from them. In an article carried by NPR, "New Questions Raised On Chemicals In Soaps, Plastics", Allison Aiello, an associate professor at the University of Michigan School of Public Health is quoted saying "There may be such a thing as being too clean."

NPR reports, "Aiello and her colleagues published a study that suggests kids with higher exposure to triclosan — which gets into our bodies via everything from antimicrobial soap to toothpaste to cutting boards — may cause them to be more frequently diagnosed with allergies." Also, "adults exposed to higher doses of Bisphenol A (BPA), which is found in many plastics like the linings of food cans and baby bottles, may also have trouble with their immune systems."

I'm interested in what the FDA will say in light of this new study. Other countries have been banning these chemicals, but the FDA continues to say they don't have enough research. Because of my gut feeling about these chemicals and studies that have come out before questioning their safety, our family tried (and love!) the safer cleaners from Shaklee. We have seen positive changes in our overall health, and specifically our asthma, allergies, and ADD/ADHD when we use these cleaners; and they're actually more economical that store cleaners. When we run out and buy the safer things on the store counters, we start having more problems.

I wonder when the FDA will have enough research to be able to say these chemicals aren't healthy?

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

beagle thanks

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Free download: Veggie Tales "The Singing Christmas Tree" album

Click to download the Veggie Tales album "The Incredible Singing Christmas Tree" FREE! :)

Merry Christmas!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Randomness and Schedules

for CORE blog postImage via Wikipedia
So, I haven't posted in a while. It's been soccer season. And birthday season. Seriously. Four birthdays in our extended family from Sept 1 through mid-October. And we have a new foster beagle that's needed more attention that others. So that's what I've been doing along with the normal school, work, etc stuff, and why...

I'm tired. Not in a "I need to get more sleep" way (which I do need), but as in "I'd really like at least 3 days to sleep and get those things done that are hanging over my head." I had Monday off. Didn't do anything I wanted to do but did finish a big job that needed to be done. Why do 4 day weeks take so much longer to go by than 5 day weeks?

We're working on a new afternoon schedule. The 2 younger kids are fighting it at every turn. I asked their advice for an afternoon schedule ('cause you know they'd just come home from school and play computer games or watch tv or play until dinner). Then I took some of their suggestions and made a compromise afternoon schedule. And they still play when they get home. Then at bedtime, they say they need to do their homework. And I say "No, homework time was earlier." And we have meltdown. I would have thought that after 3 nights it would have gotten easier, but not so much. With the youngest being 9, I think they should be old enough to follow a schedule and get their homework and chores done. I still allow time for rest and fun, but I'm getting tired of telling them to do their homework and then they complain at bedtime that it's not done and it "HAAAAASSS" to be done by morning. Seriously. And I'm tired of bedtime when I "remind" them 5 times that they should be in bed. Or heaven forbid they should need a shower first.


So, I'm eagerly looking forward to them getting used to the schedule and actually following it. Hopefully I can last that long. Maybe this is why other attempts at schedules have all fallen by the side of the road...

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Friday, September 24, 2010

Student Rocketeers Wanted For World's Largest Amateur Launch

Defense Secretary Robert Gates shaking hands w...Image via Wikipedia
Registration for the 2011 edition of the world's largest rocket competition is open now through November 30. The Team America Rocketry Challenge will accept up to 750 student teams in grades 7-12 from any U.S. school, home school, or non-profit youth organization. The annual rocket contest, sponsored by the Aerospace Industries Association, challenges teams of three to 10 students to design and build a rocket that will climb to 750 feet with a raw egg payload and stay aloft for 40 to 45 seconds. The egg must then return to earth unbroken.

"The Team America Rocketry Challenge is a vital part of our industry's outreach to young people," said Marion C. Blakey, AIA president and CEO. "TARC provides a great opportunity for students to work with scientists and engineers and learn in an exciting and fun environment." The top 100 TARC team finalists will be notified April 8 that they have earned a spot in the May 14 competition just outside of Washington, DC. Student participants compete for $60,000 in prizes, scholarships, and a trip to the 2011 international air show in Paris for an international "Fly-Off" with student teams from France and the UK. AIA sponsors TARC with the
National Association of Rocketry, NASA, the Defense Department, the American Association of Physics Teachers, and AIA member companies. The contest is in its ninth year and is proving to be a catalyst for generating student interest in math and science. The 2011 contest rules and registration information are available at

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Thursday, September 16, 2010

To Your Dog's Health! by Mark Poveromo

To Your Dog's Health!: Canine Nutrition and Recent Trends Within the Pet Food IndustryTo Your Dog's Health! Canine Nutrition and Recent Trends Within The Pet Food Industry
by Mark Poveromo
Poor Man's Press; February 2010

When I was given the opportunity by the Online Publicist to review To Your Dog's Health! I jumped at the opportunity to learn more about dog nutrition. If you've ever talked with me about my dogs, you've probably heard that we don't feed kibble, and we have raw fed for 6 years. Coming with the research I had done before beginning to raw feed, I was interested in what Mark Poveromo would have to say.

Mark does a great job clearly outlining the health needs of dogs (and cats) in this book. He walks through the different types of nutrition such as grocery store kibble, holistic foods, home cooking, and raw. He gives great advice and recipes for home cooked meals, meals for dogs with kidney disease or cancer, and what to look for in kibble.

His one chapter on raw feeding was a bit of a disappointment compared to the amount of time he spent on other subjects. While he went into great detail on kibble, home cooking for your dog, supplements to use, recipes, and things to keep in mind for certain health issues, he spent only one chapter on actual raw feeding and did not discuss how to do it yourself. He mentioned that there are good raw food manufacturers, but did not discuss how to balance your dog's meals if you don't buy a prepackaged raw diet. I would have liked it if he went into more detail in some areas, including this one. I found this lack of information especially odd in light of the last paragraph of the chapter on raw feeding where Mark Poveromo said, "For the record, I have been feeding my pets a raw diet for about seven years now, and have had tremendous success."

However, there was a wealth of information about vitamins, enzymes, carbohydrates, and vegetables, that I still came away learning a lot. Based on this information, I will try changing up our dogs' diet a bit, but I will probably also consult some other raw diet resources before making a final decision.

I was delightfully surprised that he wrote a chapter about vaccines and other treatments. I must say I found his thoughts on that subject well balanced and helpful.

I do recommend this book for a quick, easy to read overview of dog nutrition. In fact, despite my disappointment with the raw food chapter, I found enough good information in the book, that I am keeping it on my shelf to read again. There are various facts in this book that more pet owners, and some vets, need to know. One such fact is that the protein in most kibble is from rendering facilities. These facilities take leftover animal pieces (meat, fat, blood, bone, and feather) and render them down to be included in kibble. These are the animal pieces that are not sold in grocery stores because they are not fit for consumption! And because of this poor protein quality, we are seeing increased incidents of health issues in our pets.

Just like humans, our pets are what they eat, and we owe it to them to make sure we give them the best nutrition possible.

Learn more about Mark Poveromo
See a preview on Google Books
Buy To Your Dog's Health! now on for $10.17 (sponsored link)

I received this book free from The Online Publicist. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own

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Saturday, September 11, 2010

I will never forget...

Tribute in Light, 9/11/03Image by Brendan Loy via Flickr
Nine years ago today, our country lived through events that we had never seen so close to home. Without a second thought, our fire, police, medical, and military rushed in to help. Today I remember those we lost, and we honor those who continue to put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe. Thank you for your dedication and sacrifices.

I remember...
I was at home with my 2 boys -- ages 3 and 1 -- and exactly 1 week from delivering our daughter. My husband was at work at a CVS/Pharmacy in Massachusetts and called to tell me what his customers were telling them. I tried to sneak peaks in between kids TV shows to know what was happening without alarming the kids. If I heard something, I called his store. They then found a radio and everyone sat around it in the stock room. His coworker called to tell me not to go into labor that day; that it wasn't a good day to give birth. I thought, this sounds like the perfect day to give birth to a new life! Every year, when I think back I can feel being pregnant and wanting to protect my kids and family.

What were you doing? Do you remember?

Related sites:
National September 11 Memorial & Museum
Days of Terror: A Photo Gallery

These photos I saved to include in our family scrapbook right after this happened. I have given credit where possible.

Click the picture to see the caption.

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And the winner is...


Friday, September 10, 2010

Book Giveaway Closing Soon!

This is the last day to enter the giveaway for Stephen R. Lawhead's wonderful new book (published 9/1/10) The Skin Map. Click here for my review and to enter!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

School food -- Feedback needed

School lunchImage by chidorian via Flickr
Shared by request of Healthy Child Healthy World
What do you think about the food served in schools?

More and more parents are expressing deep concerns about the quality of food being served in schools. And, many are still unaware that there might be anything to worry about. Healthy Child is taking our Eat Healthy program to the next level by joining forces with Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution and MomsRising to help propel national efforts to improve school food. Are you interested in helping?

The first step is helping us determine what the main concerns of parents are and how to best empower them. We've developed a very short survey and we need to get as many people as possible to fill it out to help guide our campaign and make it as successful as possible. Will you please fill it out and share on your blog and with your social networks?

You can find the survey here:

Jamie Oliver's team is hoping to get feedback within the next week or two, so we'd really appreciate your immediate help spreading the word and encouraging people to take 2 minutes to voice their concerns (or lack thereof - whatever the case may be). Please let me know if you have any questions or if you're interested in participating in our Eat Healthy program in a deeper way.

Thank you!

Janelle Sorensen
Chief Communications Officer
Healthy Child Healthy World
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Thursday, September 2, 2010

Seeing Obstacles through God’s Eyes

This devotional comes to my email box every day. Not that I read it every day, but I try. This one comes at a perfect time.

Seeing Obstacles through God’s Eyes

From InTouch Ministries
Thursday, September 02, 2010

Read | Joshua 2:1-24

Jericho was the first city that the Israelites needed to conquer in their quest for the land of Canaan. When Joshua sent a pair of spies to check it out, he probably didn’t realize that he would receive a glimpse of God’s  impressive behind-the-scenes activity.

God wants us to look at every obstacle through the lens of His unlimited strength and resources. Anything that appears to block His plans is an opportunity for Him to demonstrate His sovereign power. Just because we don’t see anything happening, that doesn’t mean He’s inactive.

Always remember that God is at work on the other side of our obstacles, arrang-ing the details and bringing His plans to fruition. When the spies returned to Joshua, they reported that the people of Jericho were scared to death. Having heard about the Jews’ deliverance from Egypt and the parting of the Red Sea, they were gripped by fear of the Lord.

The stage was set for the conquest, yet by that point, Joshua had done nothing. Sometimes we think we need to be involved in the solution to our problem, but God is not limited with regard to whom or what He can use to accomplish His will. In this case, He worked in the hearts of the enemy by instilling demoralizing fear.

For Christians, great obstacles need not be reasons for discouragement. Although much of the Lord’s activity is silent and invisible, we can be sure He is dynamically working out His will for our lives. When the pieces of His plan are in place, He will move us on to victory.

Gordon Dam, Southwest National Park, Tasmania,...Image via Wikipedia
When I'm looking at things from my perspective, I have no idea how our plans are going to work out. I keep telling myself they will, that God can do it, but it's hard to really believe. I try to visualize the analogy of the dam. We can't see the water rising on the other side, but eventually the water will reach the top, and we'll see it overflow. I need to remember to keep reading about what God has done before to help me really KNOW that He can -- and will -- work it all out for good.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28

We will remember, we will remember
We will remember the works of Your hands
We will stop and give you praise
For great is Thy faithfulness

When we walk through life’s darkest valleys
We will look back at all You have done
And we will shout, our God is good
And He is the faithful One 

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Giveaway & Review: The Skin Map by Stephen R. Lawhead

Kit Livingstone has been invited on the journey of his lifetime - of any lifetime. A quest to find a map that turns into a greater treasure quest than anyone can imagine. The Skin Map  is the first book of The Bright Empires Novels, a new fiction series from Stephen R. Lawhead, author of the King Raven trilogy, the Song of Albion trilogy, the Dragon King trilogy, and the Pendragon Cycle series.
      My Thoughts:
      This book was a fantastic journey that was hard to put down. It combines science, history, mystery, and alternate realities. The first sentence of the first chapter draws you in:
      "Had he but known that before the day was over he would discover the hidden dimensions of the universe, Kit might have been better prepared. At least he would have brought an umbrella."
      The day that Kit meets his great-grandfather, his world is turned upside down. Or inside out. Or maybe sideways. Lawhead is able to weave a story that draws you in and takes you on a journey. This particular journey leads you in imagining the possibility of "ley lines" that allow you to travel from one reality to another - from one world to another. What would happen if there were streets that you could walk down and travel from your world into another world? Dropping you into a reality that is slightly different from your reality - or a reality that occurred in ancient history? And imagine that there was a map, a Skin Map, that had the directions to take you back home. But you had to find that map in the various realities - and before the thugs find it.

      This book was wonderfully written. The scientific explanations were written to be easy to understand, and the descriptions of ancient history brought this alive. This left me wanting to read The Bone House, the next book in the series, but I'll have to wait until September 2011!
      Giveaway Rules:
      I have been given a hard cover copy of this brand new book to give away to one of my readers! When leaving comments below, please be sure that either your Google profile or your comment contains your email or blog address. The giveaway is open until Saturday, September 11th at 8am. If I don't hear from the winner within 3 days, I will pick another winner. Here are ways to earn up to 3 entries:
      • First entry: Leave a comment on this post.
      • Second entry: Subscribe through Google Followers, RSS, or email and leave a comment on this post.
      • Third entry: Share this giveaway with your Facebook friends, Twitter friends, or on your blog. Come back and leave a comment on this post with a link to your post. (Click the icons below to share via Facebook or other media.)
      Suggested Tweet: Book giveaway by @MindyAumann - The Skin Map by Stephen R. Lawhead. Enter at - Ends 9/11.

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        I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
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        Great Parenting Show Teleseminar

        Shared by request of Jonathan at No Excuses Workouts.

        Jonathan here: I am excited about this unique opportunity as the FlyLady, Dinner Diva (Leanne Ely) and Pam Young are also participating!

        If you're like me, you've spent a lot of time trying to answer life's big questions:
        • How can I create a joyful connected family?
        • How can I raise self-reliant children?
        • How can I help my children contribute to the world?
        • How can I heal and become the parent I want?
        • How can I balance my work and my family?

        That's why I want you to join me in this fantastic teleseminar series I'm in – and the best part is, it won't cost you a dime!

        It's called Great Parenting Show Teleseminar and it is produced and hosted by Jacqueline Green. With over 10 years experience in parenting education, Jacqueline Green is a sought after parenting educator in her own right, as well as a powerful force putting the top parenting experts in reach of all parents. Her passion for helping parents comes from turning her own personal struggle with parenting to a transformation of all aspects of her life! Jacqueline has worked with and learned from many of the top parenting educators in the world. Her mission is to help millions of parents by helping you to find the right expert for your unique parenting situation and concerns. Watch Jacqueline's cool video and sign up here.

        Jacqueline will be interviewing me and 23 other of the world's top thought leaders about how to achieve the relationship you've always dreamed of having with your children. Here is a sampling of the amazing experts who will be a part of this series...

        The FlyLady, Marla Cilley
        Marla is the bestselling author of Sink Reflections, co-author of the New York Times Best Seller Body Clutter, syndicated newspaper columnist, radio show host and mentor of millions as the FlyLady. With her southern charm and inspirational emails, FlyLady guides those living in CHAOS (Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome) and clutter. She has her own Blog Talk Radio Channel, weekly syndicated column in over 250 newspapers around the world and she has been featured in numerous major magazines and newspapers and tv, including: CNN and The Today Show.

        Hal Runkel LMFT
        Hal Runkel, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist has dedicated his life to helping families stay calm and connected. He is the best-selling author of ScreamFree Parenting and sought-after international speaker. Hal is also the founder of The ScreamFree Institute, a not-for-profit organization working to build-up a worldwide network of certified leaders, each reaching countless families with the generation-changing ScreamFree message. He is active in training and equipping these leaders around the world, in addition to his counseling, speaking, and writing activities. Hal and his wife Jenny have been married for 17 years, and they live with their two children in the Atlanta area.

        Leanne Ely
        Leanne Ely wrote the New York best selling Saving Dinner series. She's been on several national television shows, including HGTV's Simple Solutions, ABC Family's Living the Life, Ivanhoe's Smart Woman, Small Talk for Parents and Talk of the Town. She has guest chef-ed on the cooking show, Carolina Cooks and has taught cooking classes all over the country for Bloomingdale's. In addition, she is a seasoned radio personality. Leanne's current show, Saving Dinner with the Dinner Diva airs each Wednesday afternoon on and is one of the top ten shows on that channel.

        Dr. Michele Borba
        Michele Borba, Ed.D. is an internationally renowned educator, award-winning author, parenting expert and child and adolescent expert. She is recognized for her practical, solution-based strategies to strengthen children's behavior, character, and social development, and to build strong families. Dr. Borba is an NBC contributor who has appeared over 80 times as parent expert on the Today show as well as countless talk shows including: Dr. Phil, The View, The Tyra Banks Show, Fox & Friends, Geraldo & Friends, The Doctors, CNN American Morning, Countdown, and The Early Show. She appears regularly on Fox Headline News and CNN Headline News to discuss late-breaking news and has been interviewed by numerous publications including Newsweek, People, U.S. News & World Report, Reader's Digest, The Globe and Mail, and People.

        There are 24 speakers in all including: Pam Young, Rhonda Ryder, Dr. Kenny Handelman, Leanne Ely, Tom Hoerr Ph.D., Terri Amos-Britt, Josh Shipp, Shari Criso, Nancy Gruver, Deborah Critzer-Fox, Jennifer Kolari MSW, Claire Mysko, Shelly Lefkoe, Carolyn Ellis, Dr. Lynne Kenney, Dr. Daniel Siegel, Dr. Vicki Panaccione, and more. Wow!

        We'll be sharing the best of the best strategies, tactics and processes we know to help you get from where you are to where you want to be faster and easier than ever before.

        Please take advantage of this unique opportunity and reserve your spot.

        After you register, keep an eye out for Jacqueline's email with your details for listening in on the calls.

        Also, be sure to click on the special link in Jacqueline's email and grab your bonus gifts they have especially for you. They're all yours to keep just for enrolling in this free series.

        Take care.
        Jonathan – aka “Your Biggest Fan”

        P.S. The event starts today! The FlyLady is being interviewed at 1PM EST and you can listen to the replay for free for 48 hours post-interview.

        P.P.S. By the way, if you can't make the LIVE CALLS Every Tuesday & Thursday 1:00 PM Eastern starting Tuesday August 31, 2010, DON'T WORRY... we've got you covered!  These calls will be recorded and will be available after each show for 48 hours so you won't miss a thing. Make sure you sign up now to get these free recordings. 

        Mindy's Disclaimer: I am not running this teleseminar, and I do not know all of the speakers involved. This does not constitute an endorsement of anyone involved in the teleseminar series.

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        Monday, August 30, 2010

        Job LOL

        Love this!

        job lols - The Days Of Yore
        see more Monday Through Friday
        (For those non-geek types: These are keyboard shortcuts for cut, paste, erase.)

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        Saturday, August 28, 2010

        Out of the Mouths of Children: Oreos

        a Oreo cookie broken in half with a stack of O...Image via Wikipedia
        I shared this as a Facebook status today, and thought you folks might like this, too. :) The kids & I spent the afternoon school shopping, soccer shopping, and grocery shopping. I knew that in order to make it through all of that, I would need to provide snackage and beverage. While grocery shopping, I picked up Oreos to make the trip home happy bearable.

        I give them each 2 cookies, and there's sweet silence for a few pleasant moments. After a while, I hear my daughter in the backseat: "Whoever made Oreos is a wonderful man... Or woman."

        Very true, young one. Very true.

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        Is your dog cool?