Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Arthur Christmas, Holiday Traditions and a Twitter Party

As I sit back and think about our holiday traditions, I realize how they’ve changed over time. How, some things stuck with me as I moved out of my family home and started my own life and with that new life started other traditions.
Christmas Tree
I don’t remember what I used to do for 4th of July when I was a kid. We moved so much, I don’t think we had a tradition. Here, every single year for the past 14 yrs, the extended family on the boys side comes up to Aitkin and we all spend a few days together. It’s awesome.

Christmas we either drive to Illinois or Virginia. It just depends on the year. In Chicago, we all open presents on Christmas Eve and stockings on Christmas Day. That’s totally different for me. We would always open one present from my dad’s mom and that was it on Christmas Eve. The next morning we all dive right in opening everything including stockings.

With our move to Virginia, we’ll start a whole new set of holiday traditions. We won’t be going to my Aunt B’s for Thanksgiving any more. We won’t be spending Easter with her. That will be tough, and I might have to intentionally bring the family out at Thanksgiving or Easter every year because we love the time we spend with her.

I think about down the road as well. What will happen if my family blends with another one if I ever remarry. What kind of traditions will they have that we’ll have to mesh into ours and will they be ok with the ones we enjoy? Blending a family takes a lot of thought and prayer.

I can tell you one thing I probably won’t be doing again after last year’s fiasco and that’s using a live Christmas tree. The one we had was brought to us by a friend who works at a local college and they’d had the trees up for weeks and they were giving them away. Well, the tree was absolutely dead! It was miserable to take care of and it was gone within 3 days! lol
Christmas Tree 2
I may actually want to have an artificial Christmas tree from now on. I know that’s what my parents do. Now, this isn’t written in stone. Next year I may want a live tree, because that’s just how I am!
The Arthur Christmas movie focuses on the importance of holiday traditions. It appeals to children ages 4-10. Arthur Christmas celebrates the charm of tradition even in the face of progress. The #TMOM Twitter party will focus on holiday traditions and moving into the new while still appreciating the old, which melds perfectly with Sony's campaign to get kids to write old-fashioned letters to Santa, but deliver them in the new fashioned way.

You can have your kids write letters to Santa here:
I hope to learn more about your holiday family traditions, past & present, at the upcoming Twitter party with Sony and 9-10 pm ET, on November 5, 2012. Follow @sony @ArthurChristmas and @travelingmoms and use the hashtags #TMOM #ArthurChristmas RSVP to

We’d love if you’d share about the Twitter party using this tweet:
Share your holiday traditions on the #TMOM Twitter party 9pm EDT 11/5. RSVP for prizes:
*This is a sponsored post by Sony and the The information above is my own. Hope to see you at the Twitter party!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Pumpkins

Pumpkin carving is fun for the entire family…mostly. Buddy and I dive right in while Doodle…he’d rather not touch the pumpkin guts. It’s rather amusing. Never in his 9 yrs has he ever liked the feeling. Of course that only encourages bad behavior from me and his brother. Ok, not this time from me, but teasing with guts from his brother. =)

pumpkin thick

I seriously had to use a HAMMER to get the top off of this thing. The knife just wouldn’t cut it…literally!

Pumpkin boys

Pumpkin doodle

Pumpkin Pearl

pumpkin clean hands

Doodle’s Hands

pumpkin messy hands

Buddy’s Hand

Pumpkin me

I had to come to the rescue so he could get to carving the pumpkin!

Pumpkin face

This is Doodle’s pumpkin. The left eye has a scar. =)

Unfortunately, we did one of those templates with Buddy’s pumpkin and pieces of it were so close it started breaking apart. His dad picked him up a pumpkin last night so he can carve it tonight!

Be sure to link up with Full Time Mama too!

Taste of Home Tuesday: Cheeseburger Soup

It has gotten very chilly here in Minnesota. In fact, it’s snowed twice at my house! Yes, snowed at the end of October. Thankfully there was no accumulation. This cold weather has me seeking out some warm dinners to make!
Cheeseburger Soup Ingredients
I decided to have a can of soup with dinner the other night. It was a creamy potato broccoli one. Sounds good, right? lol I barely ate any because it didn’t taste good at all to me. I can’t tell you how excited I am to be making my own meals from scratch! When I went to my Taste of Home Best Loved Recipes to find a soup, the one I finally went with was their Cheeseburger Soup. It wasn’t an easy choice since there were SO many too choose from!
Cheeseburger Soup Collage
Starting to cook from scratch means I’m having to buy less and less ingredients such as spices and other ‘extras’. I’m trying to keep what I would consider ‘basics’ around for any recipes I might decide to make.
Cheeseburger Soup cooking
Ok, so when I got to the step above, I was just plugging along following the recipe. I poured the potatoes into the other ingredients and I was supposed to let it cook about 10-12 minutes. I went on to the next step and once that was done (about 3 minutes later) I poured the mix in and let it cook a few more minutes. Needless to say, my potatoes weren’t cooked all the way through. =/ My bad!
Oh, and I’ve NEVER used processed cheese in a block form ever in my life. I’ve never even touched the stuff. That is some seriously FUNKY stuff!
Cheeseburger Soup
You’ll be interested to know how this tasted. lol It reminded me of Hamburger Helper. The funny part is, I’ve always wanted to make that stuff, but not from a box because I figure it’s full of preservatives! Here I am, making it on my own. I scarfed this stuff down and had it again the next day. It’ll be my lunch tomorrow, too!

I was so bummed to walk back to my pan to put the rest away for left overs because I noticed I forgot to add the sour cream! UGH! I was so hungry I just finally scooped it into the bowl and started chowing down! I was glad I noticed it because I added it to what was left. Sigh…one of these days I’ll do a recipe completely as it should be!
Cheeseburger Soup Recipe
Be sure to link up your recipes with the ladies at Delicious Dish Tuesday! So many great recipes to try out there!
Full Time Mama

Monday, October 29, 2012

Swag Code Haunt

For all of you fans of Swagbucks, this Monday will be a terrorizing treat: an all-day Swag Code Haunt where you can get multiple codes that add up to 70 reward points that you can use to get free stuff on The fun begins at 4am PT this image above - it's got a bunch of hidden images that will serve as clues to help you get codes all day long. New to Swagbucks? Enter CODEHAUNT during sign up to start with 100 Swag Bucks! Happy Haunting...

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Keurig Platinum Brewer Weekly Giveaway Coming Up!

Get ready to win one of my favorite products on the market! I'm so excited to be part of a fantastic group of bloggers giving these away! 

 Have A Keurig Holiday Event

Hosted by Mom Powered Media and Iowa Mom

Prizes: Keurig Platinum Series Quiet Brewer + K-Cups {4 prize packages = 1 a week}
Event dates: 11/2-11/9 and 11/9-11/16 and 11/16-11/23 and 11/23-11/30

Free Blog Event! Sign-up here, BLOGGERS WANTED

Friday, October 26, 2012

Daisy BB Guns ~ A Family Affair #Cbias #bb4me

Daisy Header

I don’t know about you, but I didn’t grow up ever touching a gun of any kind. My boys on the other hand have shot bb guns at their grandparent’s house for the last couple of years during the summer with their cousins. It’s become somewhat of a ritual and one of their favorite outdoor family activities while up north.

I never had a problem with it because there was always someone supervising and the uncles that were up there are avid hunters!! The kids were only allowed to shoot at cans or milk jugs strategically placed along the ditch by the creek that ran alongside the house.

Daisy Red Ryder BB Gun

When I found out I was going to have the opportunity to purchase a Daisy Red Ryder BB Gun for our family I have to admit, that even though there was a sense of apprehension (since I’d never owned a gun before), there was also a lot of excitement.

It’s almost like a stepping stone for my boys. Last year, a friend of ours offered to take Buddy hunting this year if he wanted to go. I was actually surprised Buddy wanted to! That would definitely mean gun safety classes, which he is now old enough to take here in MN! Hunting as well as fishing is a way of life here! People hunt for purpose more than sport.

bb options

Having never shopped for a bb gun, I wasn’t sure what to expect when I went to Walmart to find the Daisy Red Ryder BB Gun. I went to their sporting goods section, was able to pick it up along with some bbs and off I went. I was surprised to not see any age requirements anywhere.

Saturday afternoon, after I had gotten back from a friend’s wedding, I got Buddy (who’s 13) to hang out with me for a little bit as we went over the safety instructions. It was extremely important to me that we both knew what the expectations were from Daisy and me. There was no way either of us were going to handle a gun, yes a gun not a toy, without learning about the safety side first!

Safety instructions

Out of the blue, just as we were heading outside to set up a target, I got a call from my friend, Karen. Our families go to church together and she shaves Doodle’s hair. Knowing he wanted it shaved, she wanted to see if we could come over. I explained to her what we were about to do and she told me to come over since they had targets set up. Now here’s the bonus, her husband is a detective! I think he was a trooper at some point, but I can’t remember.

Safety List

So, I loaded up the van and headed over to their house. Thankfully, they’re just a few minutes away. They have 4 kids just like I do. Their oldest and Buddy are the same age, then they had another son, and then twin girls that are the same age as Doodle. Oh, I’ll have to share the story of the two of us being pregnant together sometime. =)

Ready to shoot

We headed out to the backyard and told the girls and Doodle they weren’t allowed to come down near where we were shooting the guns. They were totally fine with it and played some soccer while the rest of us set up shop. It was fun to find out they had a Red Ryder as well!


I have to admit, keeping all of the safety tips in mind while standing around a lot of people and trying to learn how to use the gun isn’t easy! I was still learning how to load the bbs into the gun and made somewhat of a mess of things. I need to find a funnel to load the bbs!

Since Buddy had shot bb guns before I figured he should go first. He put on his fine safety glasses and started shooting the gun…errrr…tried shooting it. I forgot to tell him ne needed to have it click 7 times and that would mean it was engaged! He had a go at it for a little while and then I think Karen wanted to give it a shot.

Boys shooting

heh heh heh get it? “give it a shot”? I know, I kill myself!

While she was shooting, her oldest son, also 13 went in search of his gun. He found it and both boys were shooting at the target. I was happy to see him come out with his own pair of safety glasses.  Can I just admit that at this point I was chomping at the bit to give it a go.

Mimi & karen shooting

When it was my turn I realize right away that my posture was all goofy. I was leaning really far back for some reason. I think it was because the target was a bit low. I actually got 2 out of 3 shots! Yes I only shot it a few times because I wanted to allow the kids to shoot more!

To be perfectly honest, I could’ve gone through the entire container of bbs because I enjoyed it so much. I got a stack of targets and think having them set up at our house would give the boys and I something to do together on the weekends or in the evening after school.

getting buzzed

After we all had our fill of shooting our Red Ryders, Karen, Doodle and I headed inside so he could get his head buzzed! That’s why we headed over there in the first place. He loves his head shaved! I love feeling it shaved, too, although he runs away from me when I try to swipe my hand over his head!

After we left their house, as we were headed home, I remembered the other plans I had for the afternoon, which was them picking out pumpkins at the local pumpkin patch! We headed out and started our search.

Fairhaven Farms

Unfortunately it was a bit cold so we kind of hunted for the pumpkins rather quickly and didn’t do anything else. Not that there was much more to do. It was later in the afternoon. The carriage ride was coming back from it’s last trip and the only other thing to do was a corn maze. I was too cold to do that maze so we paid for our pumpkins and headed home.

Pumpkin patch

Man, it was a long day! Long, but good.

Now, make sure you check out Google + for my entire shopping trip when I bought my our new Daisy Red Ryder BB Gun because there are more fun pics of us at Karen’s place, too!

Don’t forget to follow Daisy on Twitter as @DaisyOutdoor and Facebook. They’ve got a hashtag #bb4me that you can follow as well to keep up with them on their social networks!

Take Pride It's a Daisy
I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and Daisy. #CBias #SocialFabric”. All opinions are my own and never influenced by the company.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

It’s Time to Spill the Beans

Today’s writing prompt is to write a blog post in 12 lines. I’m going to have to get creative with this one! lol I’ve been waiting to share so here it goes…


Dad and his crazy huge computer!

1. My boys and I will be moving in December from Minnesota to Virginia to live with and near my family which I haven’t done since I was 18 (25 yrs ago).

2. I didn’t think it would be that hard to leave because I hate Minnesota weather, but it turns out that Minnesota has become home to me over the last 14 yrs.

3. It wasn’t an easy choice to decide to move away from everything that’s become familiar to me and my boys, where they’ve been born and raise for 13 and 9 yrs.

4. I’ve never lived somewhere for so long in my life.

5. My oldest son has been asking various people, including my oldest daughter, if they will let him live with them or in my daughter’s case, if she would move home so he didn’t have to leave.

6. I don’t handle change very well so it’s going to be an adjustment for all of us, and my moods lately have been swinging all over the place.

7. The hardest part for me will be leaving my daughters who I never thought I’d ever live away from, especially here in Minnesota where people rarely leave.

8. My ex husband will be moving into the house so if things don’t pan out the way I’m hoping they will (to be able to stand on my own two feet financially), I will be able to move back to the house and start all over again.

9. I will give it until or through the summer to see how things go because if is too much of an adjustment, we can just as easily pack up and move back to what we know and go from there.

10. I won’t be telling my boys about the “opt-out” plan because my oldest could intentionally make it absolutely miserable, whereas my youngest son’s biggest concern is “do they have WiFi and do you know the password?” because he wants to be sure he can still used his iPod.

11. I have a huge 5 bedroom house that I’ve lived in for 6 yrs (we only moved about 5 miles from our previous house we’d lived in for 8 yrs) and all of our belongings to pack ON MY OWN and I’m not doing a great job at it since I’m trying to do a little bit at a time, but time is seriously picking up speed and I only have two months before we start our drive out East.

12. If anyone one has any suggestions on how to get this all done and not be an emotional wreck, or wants to come help me pack, I’ve got a couple of bedrooms you could use while we get it all done, because I’m afraid I’ve bitten off more than I can chew!

Mama’s Losin’ It

Writing Prompts:

1.) Write a post in just 12 lines.
2.) Book Review time! Recommend a great book, perfect for these stormy fall days!
3.) Tell us about something that fascinates you.
4.) Write a list of 10 things you have said to your kids that other moms might not say.
5.) Halloween is coming! Show us what your kids will be wearing.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Arby’s Grand Turkey Club Sandwich

I have to admit, I love when I get to work with a company that I actually use on a regular basis. This is where Arby’s comes in! My boys and I used to eat at burger joints if we went out to eat, but I’d say about 2 yrs ago we started going to Arby’s on a regular basis. I just wanted something healthier than a greasy burger for my boys to eat.

We typically eat off the Value Menu, but I’d say in September when I was going through the Arby’s drive thru by myself, I happened to notice their new Grand Turkey Club. I had been getting their Jr. Roast Beef sandwich with fries and a soft drink. Then I started cutting out the fries, but was always still hungry.
Arby's New Grand Turkey Club
I love…LOVE…club sandwiches and figured I’d give this one a try. Not only was it delicious, it filled me up, which is also what I was looking for. Since August, I’d say I’ve had about 5 of these sandwiches and that’s my go-to sandwich now.

In fact, when I was in Virginia last week I was tooling around with my brother and he asked me where I wanted to go for lunch. I told him I didn’t care and HE suggested Arby’s. Of course, I ordered, yet again, the Grand Turkey Club! It’s just as good in VA as it is here at home in MN!
Arby's Grand Turkey Club
Wonder why I like the new sandwich? First I love that it’s a warm sandwich. Fall is in full swing here in Minnesota and I have craveable food on my mind! I think homemade chili, hearty homemade chicken soup, and pumpkin pie. Now I’ve got the new Grand Turkey Club to add to the list since it has craveability! =)

I also love that it’s on a Harvest Wheat bun! So glad I don’t have to sink my teeth into another white bun! The only bread I bring into my house is 100% Wheat so getting a wheat bun while eating out is a bonus in my book!

Next, and quite honestly, this should’ve probably been point number ONE, it has bacon! Bacon makes everything better, but this pepper bacon adds just the right flavor. This is actually a sandwich my boys would probably like more than their typical Jr. Roast Beef! Of course, I’d have to subtract the mayo, lettuce and tomato for each boy, but they’d like the rest, including the melted swiss cheese!

When you go to Arby’s what’s your favorite item on the menu? Have you tried the new Grand Turkey Club? If not, you should give it a go. You won’t be disappointed!
This blog post is part of a paid SocialMoms and Arby’s blogging program. The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: A Trip to Virginia

I headed out to Virginia during Fall Break here in MN. My mom’s side of the family lives there: my mom, dad and brothers. It was a good trip. I’ll explain more about my trip on Thursday!

I went to Virginia Beach where it was around 78° and I was dying in the heat since I’d had just flown in from Minnesota where we are living in about the mid 50s. Needless to say, I wasn’t dressed appropriately.
Virginia Beach Statue

Virginia Beach
Then my family and I went to Colonial Williamsburg where we hung out with Fred! It was a beautiful day to say the least!

Alan & Sarah

Alan & Sarah

Chris & Laura

Chris & Laura

A colonial man

Colonial Williamsburg


picking out a few good men

Shooting Rifles

Fred & Mimi

Hanging out with Fred

Be sure to check out Full Time Mama and her WW post, too!

Iron Man 3 iTunes Trailer

I'm so stoked to see the new trailer for Iron Man 3 that comes out next Spring! I'm not typically a super hero fan, but Iron Man has me AT the theater when it first comes out!

Marvel’s “Iron Man 3” pits brash-but-brilliant industrialist Tony Stark/Iron Man against an enemy whose reach knows no bounds. When Stark finds his personal world destroyed at his enemy's hands, he embarks on a harrowing quest to find those responsible. This journey, at every turn, will test his mettle. With his back against the wall, Stark is left to survive by his own devices, relying on his ingenuity and instincts to protect those closest to him. As he fights his way back, Stark discovers the answer to the question that has secretly haunted him: does the man make the suit or does the suit make the man?

Starring Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, Rebecca Hall, Stephanie Szostak, James Badge Dale with Jon Favreau and Ben Kingsley, “Iron Man 3” is directed by Shane Black from a screenplay by Drew Pearce and Shane Black and is based on Marvel’s iconic Super Hero Iron Man, who first appeared on the pages of “Tales of Suspense” (#39) in 1963 and had his solo comic book debut with “The Invincible Iron Man” (#1) in May of 1968

Visit the website: 
“Like” IRON MAN 3 on Facebook:
“Follow” IRON MAN 3 on Twitter:@Iron_Man

Taste of Home Tuesday: Farmhouse Pork and Apple Pie

I went to Virginia this week to spend a few days with my family and got a lay of the land. Did some sight seeing (which I’ll share pictures from tomorrow). To top things off, I made dinner for the family.

I wanted to find something that I thought we would all like and puuulease, the first ingredient is BACON! Going through the Taste of Home Best Loved Recipes, I found this one in the Grand-Prize Winner section! I have to tell you, the aroma in my mom’s kitchen was fantastic!

Farmhouse Pork and Apple Pie ingredients

Now, I have to say, this is a long process. The prep time is 70 minutes! I hadn’t noticed that part initially. On top of that I was in an unfamiliar kitchen. Oy vey. I know that my mom needs some more tools in her kitchen! =)

There were a lot of ingredients for this one and the amount of boneless pork made it pretty spendy. This is a recipe I’d probably do once or twice in the winter.

Farmhouse Pork and Apple Pie Collage

So, I had dinner ready for my parents when they got home. I had already eaten since the boys and I try to have dinner done by 6pm and my parents aren’t even close to home by then.

I have to tell you, I was extremely full by the time I finished my serving and it wasn’t a big helping. It smelled so good I wanted to go back for seconds, but it filled me up SO quickly! My brother said he wondered if the recipe could be made in bulk for the army because it totally sticks to your bones and would be much better than what they eat now.

Farmhouse Pork and Apple Pie Ready for the oven

My parents came home from work saying how good the house smelled. I was thrilled to have dinner waiting for them after such a long day at the offices! They both were picking through it trying to determine what was in it, asking me all kinds of questions as they ate. My dad and I didn’t taste the apple, but my mom definitely did. I also want to note that I didn’t add nutmeg because I’m just not a fan of the taste.

Farmhouse Pork and Apple Pie Mini Collage

No one went back for seconds, it’s as simple as that. My dad came upstairs a couple of hours later saying that the meal had settled like a rock in his stomach. Now, in my defense, they eat out all the time. I don’t think they have a home cooked meal often and it was very heavy. Meh, I took it as a compliment.

Farmhouse Pork and Apple Pie On Plate

This is one recipe I’d like to make for the boys and I. I would put half in the fridge and on our plates and the rest I’d freeze! No way could the boys and I eat a whole skillet full of this!

I hope you try it out this winter and that it sticks to your bones!

Farmhouse Pork and Apple Pie

Farmhouse Pork and Apple Pie Recipe

Full Time Mama

I’m linking up with Delicious Dish Tuesday! Be sure to stop by and check out all the yummy recipes!

Creative Commons License
Woven by Words by Mimi B is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.