Still not the same

When I was growing up, the 4th of July was the holiday. We had BBQ’s, friends, family, pools, drinking adults, unsupervised kids, the lake, and fireworks. Oh the fireworks! The bigger, louder, brighter the better! We lived near a Native American Reservation. Do you know what that meant? Not only did we have fireworks, but we had illegal fireworks and lots of them. None of that “Safe and Sane” crap for our Fourth. We had the kind of fireworks that could blow your hand off. If by some chance we ran out of fireworks, we made our own out of gunpowder and aluminum foil. What? You mean you didn’t? I couldn’t wait to recreate these fun times with my own family.

(Hmmm, now that I’m looking back on this, maybe all that wasn’t such a great idea)

Fast forward 30 years and I am now a mommy to a special needs child. She does not like any bright lights or loud noises. Crowds and “different” foods are triggers of a meltdown. She doesn’t even like being outside for very long. The last time we celebrated the 4th of July was right after she was born, before her aversion to all the above became so apparent.

Our current celebration consists of BBQing at home and sending the older children to various places where they have a chance of seeing fireworks. We try to put Faith to bed early before the loudest BOOM‘s start so she does not get overwhelmed. Then hubby and I sit on our porch and hope for glimpses of other families fireworks.

How have your holiday celebrations changed from what you remember as a child? Any holiday at all. What do you do differently?

Let’s do this – DS game giveaway

********WINNER********

 

Want ’em? I got ’em. Let’s do this…

Ends Monday, and if the winner sends me their address by 9pm,  I’ll send them by Priority Mail on Tuesday, should be there by Friday. (wink, wink)

Mandatory Entry 

Tell me in a comment below who the lucky-ducky is that will be getting these games. Or are they for you? :)  (One entry per person)

Extra Entries

“Like” Mommy Rambles on Facebook then leave me a separate comment below telling me you did so. (one extra entry per person)

“Share” this giveaway on Facebook or Twitter using the buttons below. Then leave me a comment below telling me that you did. (one extra entry per person per day)

This giveaway is open to US addresses only and ends at noon 12:00 EST on December 19th, 2011. I will use Random.org to chose a winner from all comments. Winner will have 48 hours to contact me or a new winner will be drawn.

“Games have MSRP of $60 and were generously provided to  Mommy Rambles by Activision. However all opinions are my own”

It’s beginning to look a lot like… #Cbias #Searsrealcheer

Several years ago I found an amazing artificial Christmas tree at an after Christmas sale. It was 7 ft tall and so life-like. And it was 75% off. It was poofy and full and green and I love it! At that time we had a house with a huge living room. The tree worked beautifully.

Then we moved. The tree wouldn’t fit in our other house’s living room. But the library! It worked wonderfully there. It fit and looked amazing.

Then we moved again. No library. Our living room is open but oddly shaped. We still made it work by only assembling part of the tree and placing it in a corner. But…it felt pretty cramped and it didn’t look as pretty. We made this work for 3 years.

But this year, I’m just not feeling it. We have to make a change. I usually put the tree up the day after Thanksgiving. We usually all pitch in and decorate together reminiscing about the ornaments as we hang them up. It is now mid December and it’s still not done. My motivation has left the building.

We looked at narrow/slim Christmas trees. They look like they would work, but I don’t really want a second tree. I love the one we have, it’s just not working for us right now. We also know this is our last Christmas in this house. I don’t want to buy a tree to fit here, when I know next year we will be living somewhere else.

I have also been missing South Carolina quite a bit this year. I’m missing warmth, and white sand beaches. When I spotted this, I KNEW what we were doing this year!

I’m going in a whole new direction this year! And I can incorporate this palm tree into my year-round decor. Score! But….I need decorations. Not my usual ones. This tree calls for new ornaments. Happy ones. Maybe pink, green and blue. And more lights!

One thing I just found out is that Sears has a huge holiday decorating section. Did you know that? I didn’t. They are also having some amazing sales right now! I also learned about  this Sears website, http://realcheer.Sears.com. It has great inspirations for Christmas decorating. You can even upload your pictures to help inspire others. They have fresh, live trees and greenery and they even have a new Platinum shop that has amazing, unique ornaments.

I’m really excited to get some new and happy decorations for this palm tree. I’ll post again in a week or so to show the final result!

{This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias. #CBias All thoughts and opinions are my own.}

Sharing a cup of joy and a giveaway #PeetsCoffee #Cbias

A few weeks ago I was given the opportunity to try Peet’s Coffee for the first time. That stuff is GOOD! Now, just in time for the holiday and for gift giving, I thought we would give Peet’s Holiday Blend a try.

You can follow along on my shopping trip HERE.

Once I had this yummy coffee in my hands, my next mission was to try and figure out for whom to make a gift of coffee.

You know how I love my coffee.

And I love giving gifts.

Giving the gift of coffee? Yes please!

Gosh, who can I chose to give a gift of coffee to? I want to give the gift of Peet’s Coffee to more than just one person.

What if instead of giving the gift of coffee I gave the gift of something made with the coffee? Then I could give the gift to many people!

Yes!

I am going to make Peet’s Coffee shortbread cookies. Can you say yum???

I have all my ingredients, ready to go.

Look at this amazing Peet’s Coffee! I wish you could smell this!

Have you ever tried the ziplock method? Talk about easy!

Cut into cute squares. The coffee is so aromatic, it really smells amazing while baking.

Cooling. It wouldn’t hurt to sneak one… Or two….

Packaging up, with cute ribbons.

I can’t wait to hand these out! Peet’s Coffee makes more than just a great cup of coffee, it is perfect to cook with!

Would you like to win a Peet’s Coffee gift pack worth $75?? I thought so….

Mandatory Entry

Hop on over to Peet’s and then come back here and tell me what blend of Peet’s you would most like to try. (One entry per person)

Extra Entries

“Like” Mommy Rambles on Facebook then leave me a separate comment below telling me you did so. (one extra entry per person)

“Share” this giveaway on Facebook  using the buttons below. Then leave me a comment below telling me that you did. (one extra entry per person)

This giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on December 9th, 2011. I will use Random.org to chose a winner from all comments. Winner will be contacted. Even though there are several #PeetsCoffee giveaways are running right now, each person can only win once in the #PeetsCoffee Holiday giveaway.

“This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias. #CBias However all opinions and yummy cookies are my own”

My John Hancock

Holiday sendCheer(ios) – part 2

I found them at WalMart!

After learning all the details of the Cheerios sendCheer campaign, I knew we would be participating. We headed out to our local Walmart to try and find them. Our first stop was in the cereal aisle. The specially marked Cheerios boxes were right on the bottom shelf. They were at a great price also, $3.00. Think about that for a moment. By spending $3.00 on a great big box of Cheerios, and sending in the postcard, Cheerios will donate $1 to the USO! That is awesome!

We also found them on the end of an asile.
Cutting this out takes less than a minute!
Easy-peasy!

I asked for the kids help. I wanted to know what we should write to another military family. I think we came up with exactly how we feel, and we let Faith choose some decorations. :)

Ready to go!

If you missed my first post and are wondering what this is all about, here is the quick rundown:

This fall, Cheerios® and the USO are partnering to send “Cheer” to military families to thank and encourage them for their commitment to our country.  Specially marked boxes of Cheerios cereal will feature “Cheer” postcards, which can be cut out and mailed to military families through a partnership with the USO.  Even more, for each postcard received, Cheerios will donate $1 to the USO to help support programs for military families.  Cheerios has already donated $150,000 and will donate up to an additional $100,000 based upon the number of postcards received by November 30, 2012.

I had planned on coming up with a fun recipe to make with the Cheerios. Maybe cookies? Granola? Energy bars?

Riiiiiiiiiggggggghhhhhhhttttttt.

Do your kids do this?

Cheerios don’t last long in our house. But usually they make it longer than two days. Sheesh. Do your kids do this?

Pretend this is a picture of cookies!

If you would like to find out more about this awesome campaign and find out more about Cheerios and the USO, click below! Keep your eyes open at your local Walmart and pick up a box! Bring a smile to a military family’s face. Do it!

This post has been compensated as part of a sponsored charitable opportunity for Collective Bias. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Sick of Summer.

Remember how when you were a kid, summer seemed to fly by. It was gone almost before you even realized it was here. How come now that I am the grown up, it feels like it has been summer forever? Add in the fact that we have not really had summer here in PNW yet, and it equals a cranky mommy. It seems very unmommylike to admit this but….

I can not wait for school to start back up!

All I keep thinking about is everything I’m going to be able to do once school starts again.

Watch soaps? Nope.

Eat Bon-Bons? Nope.

Sleep in late? Nope

Party? Nope.

I will be able to clean my house.

Really, really clean my house. My heart starts going all a-flutter at the thought of it. Sparkling bathrooms, shiny kitchen floors, perfectly straight vacuum lines in the living room. (At tleast until the kids get home from school.)

Are you looking forward to school starting? Or are you in the “not wanting summer to end” camp? What is the one thing you are looking forward to doing that you can’t do with the kids underfoot?

My John Hancock

Things I have learned this week

We took a short road trip this past week. It was about a 5 hour trip each way. Not too bad right?

We passed amazing sights.

 

Mt. Hood

We did amazing things

 

Look! I'm on a boat!

We spent time with amazing people.

 

The most beautiful woman in the world. My Grandma Kitty.

Sounds like an all around amazing trip right? Nope. I learned two very important things this week when it comes to road trips and autism. 1) Never leave home without the full prescription of valium. Even if you are SURE you will only need two pills. Change is not good when it comes to autism. I can not stress this enough, bring the whole dang bottle. 2) I will not attempt a road trip, or any trip for that matter, ever again until we own an iPad. With a really, really good case. Maybe even one that can bounce.

What have you learned on a road trip?

My John Hancock

 

Not quite the same.

When I was growing up, the 4th of July was the holiday. We had BBQ’s, friends, family, pools, drinking adults, unsupervised kids, the lake, and fireworks. Oh the fireworks! The bigger, louder, brighter the better! We lived near a Native American Reservation. Do you know what that meant? Not only did we have fireworks, but we had illegal fireworks and lots of them. None of that “Safe and Sane” crap for our Fourth. We had the kind of fireworks that could blow your hand off. If by some chance we ran out of fireworks, we made our own out of gunpowder and aluminum foil. What? You mean you didn’t? I couldn’t wait to recreate these fun times with my own family.

(Hmmm, now that I’m looking back on this, maybe all that wasn’t such a great idea)

Fast forward 30 years and I am now a mommy to a special needs child. She does not like any bright lights or loud noises. Crowds and “different” foods are triggers of a meltdown. She doesn’t even like being outside for very long. The last time we celebrated the 4th of July was right after she was born, before her aversion to all the above became so apparent.

Our current celebration consists of BBQing at home and sending the older children to various places where they have a chance of seeing fireworks. We try to put Faith to bed early before the loudest BOOM‘s start so she does not get overwhelmed. Then hubby and I sit on our porch and hope for glimpses of other families fireworks.

How have your holiday celebrations changed from what you remember as a child? Any holiday at all. What do you do differently?