A New Find on Etsy!! Kidbiz 2010!!!

Oh my goodness I came across these I-spy bags and I swear I squeeled! (You can ask my daughter whom then started the "I want this one and this one and this one....")

I actually emailed to ask permission to post about their shop! I have never done that before but I am so in love with these bags! I love the laminated cards! Umm wait let me give a bit of information before I go on:

From the site: KidBiz 2010

A spy bag is a 5 inch square with a 2½ inch see through window in the middle. Inside we filled it with plastic beads and 20 tiny objects to find. Our mom watches us sew them so they are very secure (straight lines are not easy……we go very slow so they are perfect, lol). We sew them two times around the spy square and inside then on top around the edge….no way this thing is coming apart.We made a card showing the picture and name of the object. We didn’t know what to put on the other side of the card so we just added a couple different games to play using the spy bag. It is fun to play with in the car, at the doctors or just at home when kids are bored. Parents love them because they are quiet and don’t make a mess.

Here is an example of just one of their bags they have available: This one is called My Dog Spot Treasure Hunt with Picture List

Please check out their Bio you will find it extremely interesting at who this is and why they started:
Okay now on with where I was going with this. I absolutely love each and every bag. And they have such great cute names too. The fabric choices they use are fun and full of whimsy!
My top five picks would be
1. Jungle Babies Treasure Hunt with Picture List
2.A B C D E F G the alphabet is fun for ME Treasure Hunt
3.Monkey See, Monkey Do Treasure Hunt with Picture List
4.My Dog Spot Treasure Hunt with Picture List
5.Sparkly Glitter Butterflies Treasure Hunt

So please go check it out! Would make a great gift for under the tree this year for some lucky children.

Review: Heavens is for Real:A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back

Heavens is for Real:A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back

by: Todd Burpo

About the Book:
A young boy emerges from life-saving surgery with remarkable stories of his visit to heaven.

Heaven Is for Real is the true story of the four-year old son of a small town Nebraska pastor who during emergency surgery slips from consciousness and enters heaven. He survives and begins talking about being able to look down and see the doctor operating and his dad praying in the waiting room.

The family didn't know what to believe but soon the evidence was clear. Colton said he met his miscarried sister, whom no one had told him about, and his great grandfather who died 30 years before Colton was born, then shared impossible-to-know details about each. He describes the horse that only Jesus could ride, about how "reaaally big" God and his chair are, and how the Holy Spirit "shoots down power" from heaven to help us.

Told by the father, but often in Colton's own words, the disarmingly simple message is heaven is a real place, Jesus really loves children, and be ready, there is a coming last battle

At first I was not to sure I would enjoy this book, but I was extremely surprised that I did! It was a very quick read for me because I could not put it down. I must say this true story inspired me to believe. I was not sure before reading if God or Heaven really exisited BUT after I must say I really truely do believe. THe way things are described I have no doubt that this was a real experience.

I even handed this one off to a neighbor so she could read it. Honestly, I didn't think she would enjoy it as much as I did. But the next day she called to tell me all about it. And how she was so inspired she wants to have her church bible class read it as a group.

If you ever get a chance to read this I highly recommend it. You will get to the end with a whole new outlook on many things!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Review: First Things First by Kurt & Brenda Warner

First Things First

by Kurt & Brenda Warner

List Price:
24.99 Discount


July 2009 Status

From Amazon Website:

Kurt Warner is the two-time NFL MVP–winning quarterback of the Arizona Cardinals. Brenda Warner is an ex-Marine turned stay-at-home Mom who collects coats for low-income kids and rocks babies to sleep at a center for chronically ill infants. Together they’re the parents of seven children, going into their thirteenth year of marriage. Their formula for success? They put First Things First—faith, family, and giving to others—it’s their family motto, and it drives everything they do. First Things First is an honest, entertaining, and insightful look at life inside the Warner house. Kurt and Brenda speak candidly about their marriage, the values they’re working to instill in their kids, things they’ve done right, mistakes they’ve made, the importance of giving back, and the legacy they hope to leave behind. Kurt Warner fans will enjoy this behind-the-scenes look into the Warner family daily life. Includes 16 pages of color photos.

Author Bio:

Kurt and Brenda Warner met when she was a divorced mother of two, living on food stamps and putting herself through nursing school, and he was a college student. Kurt and Brenda married in 1997 and Kurt adopted Brenda's two children. Since then, they have added 5 more children to their family. After graduating from Northern Iowa in 1994, Kurt was signed by the Green Bay Packers, but was cut during training camp. He returned to Northern Iowa to work as an assistant football coach, working the night shift at a local Hy–Vee grocery store to support Brenda and her two kids, until he was signed by the St. Louis Rams in 1998. Kurt went on to lead the Rams in two Super Bowls, winning two NFL MVP awards (in 1999 and 2000). In 2008, Kurt joined the Arizona Cardinals, and led the franchise to their first playoff appearance in 10 years, and their first Super Bowl appearance. Kurt and Brenda are strong Christians, and the founders of First Things First, a foundation that promotes Christian values, helping the less fortunate, and encouraging others to put faith and family first. They live in Phoenix, Arizona.

I loved reading this because I have as odd but interesting connection to Kurt Warner that I came to learn because of this book! Way back I lived in Cedar Falls, Iowa and just down the street was a grocery store and guess who worked there! Yep Kurt. I love that I got to experience a personal connection to the story-that made it different from any other book I have ever read.

Even without that this was a really good read. I loved some of the disciplin techniques used. Especially the hold hands,cheek to cheek, lip to lip. I laughed so hard but then thought what a creative way to do things. And now I plan on using it with my kids.

I love the way this book is written. It is so down to earth. Struggles and triumphs. I love how it is told from both sides-two different views. I also liked the inclusion of personal pictures. Makes them true to life people not just a bunch of hype.

I hope that you all get a chance to read this book. I really enjoyed it.

To comply with new regulations introduced by the Federal Trade Commission, please mention as part of every Web or Amazon review that Tyndale House Publishers has provided you with a complimentary copy of this book or ARC.

A Few Questions about PR/Giveaways & Such

I have began wondering about how some of these Blogs I read approached the concept of Giveaways a PR stuff. Can you tell I am not even sure what I am talking about. I am wondering did you just contact the company and say "Hey"? Were you approached by the companies? And if so how? Did you start our blogging for personal stuff and then fall into givaways and reviews?

I guess I am just trying to figure out some stuff-I am interested in possibly doing reviews and such but have no clue if it is right for our family or how to go about doing it.

I have a million questions such as what made you decide to do it? Has anyone ever reviewed a product and wrote a less than shining review?

I have posted a few posts that are sortof along the lines of reviews but really it is just my personal feelings and wanted to share. If anyone reads this post and maybe can give me a heads up in understanding this whole concept that would be great.

Please keep in mind that I am just curious at the moment and full of questions. I honestly am not even sure anyone reads this blog so more than likely I am just typing to myself (which might be along the lines of a mental condition-ya know like talking to yourself, I do that too)

Thanks in advance if anyone responds I truly appreciate it.

Giggle Junction on Etsy & DIY: Make Own I-Spy Bags

I have seen these on Etsy (and even tried to win one in a giveaway with no luck) Remember now I know these are not a great expense buying them but for our family it is!So I did a bit of research on possibly making my own, we have lots of scrap material around here. I seem to go to thrift stores, bargain bins at stores, and garage sales and pick up fabric I never seem to use. So as it is collecting I figure I should make use of it. ( I am not even going to talk about the fact that I recieved a brand new sewing machine last year as a gift because they thought I would use it- it also sits in the closet with the fabric not having sewed one stitch.)

Here is the wonderful store on Etsy that sells them called Giggle Junction!!

I love these things and would love for my youngest to be able to play with them. Keep in mind this is only the one that I Favorited on Etsy, I have not looked to see if they are being sold elsewhere.

Giggle Junction on Etsy

These are a few favorites from her shop that I really like. I love the Spikey Dinosaur and the Turtle. But she has so many different themes and varieties available I really suggest taking a look. I admire her work- these I-spy bags are non-toxic and hold 30 items inside for children to find. And one of the best features is that they are washable per her instructions.

The cost of these 7x7 bags is extremely reasonable at $15.00. And she also has a couple of party packs available for sale as well. Again I would really like you to head over to her shop and take a look at her sensory bags or I-spy bags.

And now on to the DIY- for the crafty ones. I plan on giving it a shot.

I Spy Bags are a really cool activity/toy for a preschooler. They are also super easy to make. It is almost as easy as making a simple pillow. The vinyl window adds a little challenge, making this a good project for an advanced beginner.Basically, an I Spy Bag is a bean bag with a viewing window. It is filled with poly pellets and novelty buttons and small objects. A child (or grown up!) can sift through the bag, looking through the window, and find the hidden objects. You can make a no-sew I Spy bag using a ziploc bag filled with rice and small objects.


1 piece fabric, folded in half to desired size

1 bag poly pellets

assorted novelty buttons and items

1 small piece clear vinyl


sewing machine


Cut your fabric to the desired size. Make the bags roughly 8" x 8", so cut a piece that is about 18" x 9".Cut a square in the center of the fabric. Square should be slightly smaller than the desired window size. Windows are 3.5" x 3.5", so generally cut a 3" square. Then cut small diagonal lines at the corners to open up the window.Cut your clear vinyl much bigger than the hole

Lay vinyl on wrong side of hole and fold "flaps" (created by diagonal cuts) under so they are "trapped" by the vinyl. Pin vinyl to fabric outside of where you are going to sew. You do not want to put additional holes in the vinyl and fabric at the edge, where you will sew.Sew around window opening, stitching vinyl and fabric together. Use a narrow double needle for extra reinforcement. Hold the vinyl and fabric up off the machine, as the vinyl tends to stick which can ruin your stitches.

Make sure your stitches leave no openings!! Trim vinyl down so only 1/4" to 1/2" remains outside seam.Make sure wrong sides are together, and sew around edges, leaving a small (2-3" opening for turning. You can use a double needle if desired, but you will topstitch which will add reinforcement.Turn fabric right side out. You should now have an empty bag with a small hole in the top. Choose your novelty buttons and items to go inside bag.

It doesn't matter if you fill with buttons or poly pellets first. When you fill with poly pellets, I would suggest using a funnel and pouring over a cookie sheet or large rubbermaid lid, because poly pellets make a huge mess when they spill.After your bag is filled (use your own judgment on how full to stuff it), topstitch around the edge, closing the hole and reinforcing the outer edge.

Help! Looking for a Extensive List of Good Books

I am looking to make a extensive list of great books. And when I say extensive I mean HUGE! I am looking for any help on great reads for kids. Ages range from 3 months to teenage years. I have been trying to compile a list but since I have not read a lot of them I figured no harm in asking!

I know that I could just go off the award winners lists but I am thinking that so many great books go unrecognized and I would like to expose my children to a wide aray of reading material.

So any help would be greatly appreciated. As time goes on here I will post some of the ones we really enjoyed. And hopefully in exchange for you helping I can benefit your families reading list.

RandomLine Review (Well more of a Website Review)

A while back I won a giveaway and recieved a game from RandomLine. I have not been able to play it yet because I am giving it as a gift to my kids. But I won the Hurry Up Dice Game! After recieving it in the mail I decided to check out their website a bit more thoroughly and I have to say I had a lot of fun doing it and was amazed at the content.

RandomLine has drawing and activity pads as well. But while I was there I fell in love with their Squiggle products. I became obsessed with all the demos they have for their Squiggle activity books. And spent more time than I probably should have playing the demos.

RandomLine also has a game on their Facebook page called The Daily Squiggle and on Sundays you can even win a prize! I can not wait until they start up again after the holidays so that I can try my hand at it, it really seems to be much more challenging than it sounds.

Anyhow about the game I won, here is some information about it from their website:

Hurry Up is a fast moving dice game. Players compete to get the highest scores, but they better Hurry Up because the clock is ticking and everyone is screaming . . . "HURRY UP". Each player has only 30 seconds to complete each challenge. There are 6 challenges in total. If a challenge is completed successfully, that player receives the challenge card points, plus they add up the points on the dice for their total score. If time runs out, they fail the challenge and get no points! The blue "wild die" adds some spice to the game!

2nd Chance Card: There is one 2nd Chance Card that a player can earn . . . if they're lucky! A challenge has to be completed on the very first role of any challenge to earn this card. It will come in handy when a player fails a difficult challenge later in the game, because they will have a
2nd chance to complete it.

Hurry Up is a fun dice game you can play just about anywhere
I really plan on purchasing more of their products. I am really addicted to the squiggle line and hopefully someone will be nice enough to get it for me for Christmas this year so I can play with the kids.

Hope Everyone has a Wonderful Thanksgiving

I know that this year I have a lot to be Thankful for. Especially my kids and the new addition to our family. I am extremely thankful this week because I recently was admitted to the hospital and then later released. I was having a terrible time breathing and now out of nowhere I am on a inhaler for the rest of my life. BUT I am thankful that it did not turn out worse.

I plan on making dinner for the whole family tomorrow so the stress is really starting to mount, which I am sure it is for everyone. Everyone has to have their favorites and almost everything from scratch.

I do hope that everyone has a great Thanksgiving and count all the blessings in their lives.