Friday, December 21, 2012

Wet Ones Sticky Situations Facebook Contest

Wet Ones has launched a Sticky Situations Facebook contest asking Moms to share their best helpful and creative tips on how to get out of a ‘sticky situation.’

For example, when I discovered my son had re-decorated his bedroom walls with my BIC permanent markers.

I was furious at first, but then took responsibility for leaving them out where he could get them.  I also realized that it was not the end of the world and I can re-paint his room, like I was planning to anyway.  My solution to this sticky situation is to ensure that my markers are put up where he cannot get them.  Another sticky situation I have found myself in was when my oldest daughter was little.  She had woken up before the rest of us and snuck downstairs to the kitchen.  She found my food coloring and proceeded to decorate herself, her baby sister and their bedroom to look like Easter eggs.  The kids were "stained" for several days but the walls stayed that way until we moved and they were re-painted.  My solution to that situation was to lock the pantry where we kept the food coloring.

When you enter the Wet Ones Sticky Situations Contest you have the chance at fabulous prizes! A brand new iPad Mini or one of three sets of Six Flags Tickets for Four! You have until December 28th to get your entry in so head on over and share your best tip!

*I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Wet Ones. I received a promotional item to thank me for participating and any opinions are 100% my own.

Product Review: Torani Syrup

You know those super yummy drinks you can buy at fancy coffee shops, the ones that are available in a gazillion flavors, like hazelnut, peppermint, and black cherry?  Sometimes they are hot drinks, like flavored coffees or hot chocolates, and sometimes they are cold, like milk shakes or Italian sodas.  I always enjoyed these flavored beverages, but the cost of them became prohibitive once I started having kids.  Now, you can make these drinks by yourself at home with Torani syrups.  I simply add 1-2 tablespoons of the Torani syrup to each cup of hot chocolate (or to my milkshake ingredients or seltzer water in the summer) and stir well. 

We also decided to try using these in our icing for our sugar cookies this Christmas.  We added 1 tablespoon of the syrup (I did both a Peppermint and a Vanilla Bean icing) to 1 cup powdered sugar and added milk until it was the consistency we wanted.  I am also going to use the peppermint syrup in a glaze for a chocolate bundt cake I will be making for Christmas.  I will then sprinkle crushed peppermints on yummy!

Here is a little about Torani:
Since 1925, 3rd generation family-owned Torani has been crafting great tasting flavored syrups that coffeehouses use to make their flavored drinks taste so delicious. With over 120 flavors in Regular and Sugar Free varieties, Torani flavored syrups are perfect for flavored lattes, mochas, coffees, cocoas, Italian sodas, teas, lemonades, cocktails and smoothies. Coffeehouse professionals choose Torani flavors because they are expertly crafted and made with the highest quality ingredients, like natural flavors and pure cane sugar. The Sugar Free flavors have no calories and are sweetened with Splenda. Now, Torani flavored syrups are widely available at retail so you can easily create authentic coffeehouse quality drinks at home.

Please share your favorite ways to use Torani syrups in a comment.  I would love to hear your thoughts!

I received two bottles of Torani syrups in exchange for this post.  Thank you SheSpeaks and Torani!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Book Review: Asher of Bethlehem: The Story of a Young Beggar, His Best Friend, and the Birth of Extraordinary Child

About the book
When he guides two strangers to the inn owned by his best friend’s parents, a 15-year-old beggar sets in motion events that place him in grave danger before putting his life on a dramatic, new course. Readers will meet exciting heroes and treacherous villains, while gaining renewed inspiration from the story of Jesus’ birth. People of all ages will enjoy this stirring account of the adventure-loving youth who was in Bethlehem to witness—and take part in—one of the most important occurrences in recorded history.

My thoughts
We enjoyed this fresh take on the Nativity story and I found it very easy to turn into lesson plans as well. (I will link to them once I get them all typed up.)  I read Asher of Bethlehem aloud to my girls, ages 11, 10 and 6 years.  They loved seeing Asher's internal strength to overcome the obstacles life had placed in his path and the level of his faith.  The story itself follows the Biblical stories of the birth of Christ, but the author used license to create several characters to give a different view of the way things were at that time.  The language used in the book is very descriptive, and allows the reader to expand their vocabulary in an easy way.  It makes a great family read-along, especially this time of year, but could also be read alone by an established reader (age 8+).
I received a free copy of this book from BookCrash in exchange for my honest review. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Book Review: Bible Detective- A Puzzle Search Book

This is I Spy meets the Bible who brought along a child's theology book.  Each of the 17 scenes represent a scene from the Bible.  The reader will find related Bible trivia, including scriptural references and dates, along with several items to seek in each scene.  I found some of the items rather easy to find and some rather difficult, but either way, the answers are all in the back of the book.  One thing I found a little confusing is the drawings that are shown near the words that tell you what to look for.  Sometimes, the drawings are very similar to the one you are looking for and other times they are very different.  The recommended age is 7 and up, but I used it along with my 4 and 5 year olds and they enjoyed looking for the items as well.  Readers could definitely use the book on their own or it makes a great family activity.  I would say that anyone who enjoys hearing Bible stories and/or enjoys seek and find books will enjoy Bible Detective: A Puzzle Search Book.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for my review.  My opinion is my own. 

Gift Idea and Giveaway: Find Me If You Can

Do you have a child, or even an adult, on your gift list that enjoys books like I Spy or Where's Waldo?  If so, they will absolutely love this personalized book by Bammco.  The book is titled, "Find Me If You Can" and stars your loved one.   The hard-covered book consists of 30 heavy duty, high gloss 8.5 X 11 pages with fun rhymes on each page.  The face of your child appears once on each of the pages, amid a sea of other sweet faces.  You also have the option of adding up to four additional photos, for an added cost.  The price for the book is $29.99, and well worth it, but I have a special coupon code for you which will allow you to save 10% on any purchase.  Just enter the word "buckethead" when you are paying for your purchase.  This coupon will be good for 7 days from today.

I highly recommend this book and I think it is the one gift I am most looking forward to giving this year.  My husband, my oldest daughter and I had a blast looking for my son's face on each page.  Some were easy to find and some were not, but I know my son will love all of the pages.

I also have a gift code to give away to one of you to get your own book.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received one of these books in exchange for this review, but my opinion is my own.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Book Review: I See the Sun in Mexico

About the book (From the back cover)
I See the Sun in Mexico is the fifth book in the award-winning I See the Sun series.  Luis' working-class family lives in La Paz.  His father is a cook on an excursion boat.  His mother makes the best tortillas in the city.  Today, Luis will spend the day on the boat, swimming with the tourists on the beautiful sea.  The clear blue water is a magical world filled with colorful fish and playful sea lions.  In the afternoon, the boat anchors and everyone goes for a hike.  The sandy trail, high above the shore, reveals snakes, lizards, cactus flowers and ancient rock drawings.  Lush illustration and a bilingual story in English and Spanish provide Luis' view of his beautiful country.  

My thoughts
We enjoyed this book, and I especially liked the pictures.  They use real photos that are then enhanced and have drawings of people and pets scrapbooked onto them.  I also liked that EVERY part of the book is bilingual, not just the actual story, but the dedication and acknowledgements pages, the back cover and the glossary are all in both languages.  It really helps to see how the language is used in non-typical settings.  The simple language used through the book makes it a great book for someone learning the Spanish (and I bet it works well for Spanish speakers learning English) language to see how the sentences translate, while also introducing them to a small bit of Mexican culture.  I also like that there are several other languages and countries represented in this line of books.  It allows families to choose which country or language they are want to learn more about.   I could not find a complete list of what is available, but I did find Afghanistan (great for anyone who knows someone who is or was deployed there), China, Nepal and Russia.


I recommend these books to anyone who has any interest in the daily lives of people in other countries and/or is learning another language.  The reading level is pretty basic, so if you are just looking to learn about the country, these are better suited for older elementary kids, but would be appropriate for any age if they are learning the language.

I would like to thank the publisher and One Media Squared for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for sharing this review with you.

Affiliate opportunity for bloggers: Mommy Bear Media

Mommy Bear Media is looking for bloggers to be a part of their Premier Blogger Program.  It is free to join, a great way to monetize your blog, and a good way to increase your audience as they will help promote posts about them.  I was fortunate to host a giveaway for them back in November and they were great to work with.  When you sign up with them, they start you out with a $5 bonus.  For every new blogger you refer to them, you will receive another $5 bonus.  In addition, you will earn commission on every bought by one of your readers and you are paid for each click from your blog.  The best part is, you don't even need to do anything special for those things to happen, you just post the link to Mommy Bear Media in your post, and they know where the reader is coming from.

To get started:
1- Head over to Mommy Bear Media
2- Fill out the quick and easy form and go from there.

I would greatly appreciate it if you would put my id (TheHappyWife) as the referring ID, as I will get a bonus, but there is no pressure to do so :)

Review and Giveaway: Beanfields Bean and Rice Chips

gluten-free snacks

During the brief period of my life when I was eating gluten-free, I discovered aisles of food that I otherwise probably would not have known about otherwise and there is no rule that says you have to have a food sensitivity or allergy or a special diet in order to eat these foods. Beanfields Rice and Bean Chips are just one great food that those who only shop the regular chip aisle are missing out on.

Beanfields Bean and Rice Chips are not only gluten-free, but they do not contain any of the 8 ingredients identified by the FDA as causing 90% of food-related allergic reactions.  They are also vegan, even the nacho cheese flavored one.  The main ingredients are black beans, navy beans, and long grain rice and the chips are Non-GMO verified. Each 1 ounce serving provides 4 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein, making them a nutritionally balanced snack choice.  They even have an unsalted variety for those monitoring their salt intake.  Along with the unsalted flavor, you will find Sea Salt, Pico de Gallo, Salt N' Pepper, and Nacho.

Beanfields prides themselves as a company that does things differently from other companies.  They believe that great tasting snacks should also be good for you, good for our families, good for our farmers, and good for the planet.  All ingredients are grown in the USA and the products are also USA made.  Beanfields participates in local events by nonprofits, in addition to donating their time and products.  In addition, they share profits with their stakeholders and community.

The chips are available at over 520 natural, specialty, and grocery stores in 21 Western United States.  You can find a store near you, by using their store locator.  For those of you, like myself, who do not live near a store that carries them, you can buy them online at places like Amazon as well as on the Beanfields website.

You can find Beanfields online at their website, on facebook, and on Twitter.

My thoughts
Before I tried these chips, I loved them on paper.  I am all for Non-GMO foods and for tasty healthier snacks, but I also know that often these foods do not taste great so I was a bit concerned about how these would taste.  I am pleased to say that I enjoyed them very much.  They do definitely taste different than what you may be used to, but they are good.  I even liked the unsalted ones, which I was really surprised by.  Every flavor was enjoyable, but the Nacho flavor is my favorite and I am excited to share these ones with my brother.  His wife has a life-threatening allergy to milk and he has to go through an extensive routine before he can kiss her after he eats Doritos, and while these are not exactly like Doritos, they are pretty close, and I like them even better. The chips are easy to bite, but hold up well when dipped as well.

The giveaway
I am excited to be able to offer one of my readers a half case (6 bags)  of Beanfields Bean and Rice Chips.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Are you the next XSRE girl?

XSRE is the hottest new store opening at Destiny USA in Syracuse, NY and they are looking for the face that will represent the Destiny USA XSRE store.  Come on out on Saturday, December 1st from 2:00PM-4:00PM and have your photo taken by a professional photographer.  The girl that is chosen as the XSRE girl will be given a 6 month modeling contract, be featured on the XSRE website and in ads, receive an all-expenses paid trip to NYC for photo shoots, and receive a $100 XSRE gift card each month.  In addition to the chosen XSRE girl, all other entrants have the chance to win a gift card by receiving the most "likes" on facebook.  If you are not in the Syracuse area, there is also an event in Anapolis, MD the same day, and others coming up later in December.  Visit the XSRE facebook page for more information.  Each store will choose their own XSRE girl to represent them.  This is open to girls of all ages.  I would love to see one of my readers, or one of their friends, become an XSRE girl, so I hope that you will be able to make it to the casting call.

Here is a picture of a feminine ensemble you could put together while you are there.

This post was compensated by The Blogger Connection.  All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Review: Pine Bros softish throat drops

Pine Bros

About the product
From Pine Bros: "Ulysses S. Grant was President, the population of America hovered at 39 million, and the telephone was still a pipe dream, when in 1870 J. Herman Pine hung out a confectionery shingle on 8th Street above Walnut in Philadelphia and, along with his brother, sold their first batch of what they called 'Pine Brothers Glycerine Tablets.' In an attempt to relieve his own sore throat and those of his family members, Mr. Pine, a former German confectionery maker, determined that by combining the soothing natural qualities of glycerin with the healing properties of gum acacia, he could sooth and mitigate the mild discomfort of a sore throat. Add in some natural flavoring and a sweetener and voila, Pine Brothers Softish Throat Drops were born. "I have discovered something," Pine wrote, "which will give quick throat relief to thousands afflicted as I was." He added,"Perhaps I won't make much money out of this. But I can make people happy, and that's more important than money." Mr. Pine was being unduly modest, as his "discovery" would become one of the most successful, most delicious and most unique throat lozenges in the world. Nor has the recipe changed appreciably since it was first introduced to the public over 140 years ago.
In 1930 Pine Brothers was sold to the Life Savers Company and continued to flourish. Known for its 'soft drop consistency,' Pine Brothers lozenges became a favorite of adults and children alike. The product, which attracted healthiest sales in the eastern and northern states, due to its icy winters, reached its peak popularity in the 1970's. The company was sold by Life Savers, and then, having been re-sold and acquired a number of times, found itself essentially rudderless and under appreciated; this despite a legion of loyal consumers. Cost cutting changes were made to the original recipes, packaging became stale and marketing non-existent; Pine Brothers began to be made overseas. Sales declined.
Recently, Pine Brothers was acquired by the creator and former owner of Airborne, Victoria Knight-McDowell, for her new company 3 Sisters Home Products™. Much time and effort has been spent locating the original Pine Brothers recipes, redesigning the packaging, and creating an exciting yet classic new look. The natural product is once again being made in America, and is launching nationally in fall 2011. At which time old Mr. Pine, will succeed once again in "making people happy." God bless him!"
Pine Bros

My thoughts
I received both the cherry and honey flavors to sample and the timing of the shipment was perfect.  Everyone in my house had recently come down with a minor cold, with an accompanying dry throat. All the kids (except the baby of course, who obviously did not try them), my husband and myself loved the cherry flavor, and all except my husband also enjoyed the honey flavor.  The cherry flavor is similar to a cherry flavored candy, while the honey flavor has a flowery flavor, with honey undertones.  The drops work best if you let them dissolve in your mouth, but I admit it takes some self control not to chew on them as they dissolve.  They are pretty chewy so it still takes some time to break it down by chewing it.  I also like that there is no artificial colors or flavors in these and they are free of high fructose corn syrup (though they do have regular corn syrup).

These worked well for treating our dry throats.  They are not medicated so they will only help a cough that is caused by a dry throat, but sometimes, as with the cold we all just had, that is all you need.  You can find these at CVS stores nationwide and I also found them on  They are also available in Lemon Citrus and Black Licorice flavors.  You can get them in a fun, re-usable puck which comes with 26 drops, or a bag which holds 32 drops.

You can find Pine Bros online at their website, on facebook, and on Twitter.  They are currently running a contest on their facebook page for a $500 CVS gift card.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Review and Giveaway: SafeSkin Kids Antibacterial Gel

With 5 kids, I have seen my fair share of scrapes, cuts, and burns.  When it happens to me, I worry about infection, but as an adult, I have a bit more control when it comes to keeping it clean.  However, with my kids, I worry even more about infection, and with things out there like MRSA, I worry even more.  So when I recently had the opportunity to review SafeSkin Kids Antibacterial Gel, I was happy to do so.  Of course, during the weeks I have had the gel here, there have been no injuries that required it.  Not that we have not had injuries, just none that broke the skin.  So, I decided to use the gel myself.  Even though it has Kids in the name, does not mean it won't work on adults, too.  I especially like that it is not greasy and allows for a bandage to still stick to the skin.  It provides 48 hour antibacterial protection and provides a barrier to MRSA.

If you want to try this yourself, you can click for a $1 coupon and/or you can enter to win a free tube in the Rafflecopter form below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received a free tube of SafeSkin Kids Antibacterial Gel and a giftcard from Safeskin and BSM Media in exchange for this review and giveaway.  My opinion remains my own.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Gift Idea: Pinypon

I recently had the opportunity to host a party for PinyPon.  So what is PinyPon?  They are small dolls, about 3" tall, that you can interchange the pieces, creating your own unique dolls, and changing them when you feel like it.  Here is a picture of 3 dolls as they came from their packages.
 The kids decided they all wanted to pool their pieces and build new dolls so we separated each doll into its various parts.  Some of the kids wanted to keep certain parts of their dolls so this is not all the dolls we had, but here is the pile we ended up with that the kids got to choose from and a close up of one doll, broken down into it's components.

As you can see in the picture, there are several small pieces, so these are not recommended for children under the age of 4 years old. I also have to note that while our guests were mostly girls, the sole boy, enjoyed playing with them as well, and particularly liked that there were boy dolls in our pack. All of the kids got a kick out of the caravan as well, with one of them especially thrilled that she won one of her own to bring home with her (Yay Maya!). 
I have to say the caravan was pretty fun. The kids enjoyed finding all the small details that made the caravan had. The top flipped off and turned into a fun boat.  One wall turned into a bath with a showerhead that really sprays water.  I liked that there was plenty of spots to store all the little pieces that came with the caravan.  I also appreciated that the caravan was fun and ready to play with right out of the box, but there are also stickers you can add to enhance the look.  For the party, I did not apply the stickers, mostly because I did not open the box until just before the first guest arrived.  I also left all the little pieces in the box so that they would not get lost.  We now store them all in a resealable bag in the small box that holds the dolls. 

I think these would make a great gift for the younger girls in your life.  My older girls, ages 10 and 11 years, played with them and enjoyed them as well, but I think they would grow out of them rather quickly.  They were perfect for my almost 6 year old and the other girls who were here, ages 4-8 years, all enjoyed them immensely as well, along with the 4 year old boy who played with them.  You can also buy these individually or as part of a set.  You can buy pets, the caravan or an apartment for them. along with other accessories, making this one of those gifts that you can add to at other times of the year.

At the end of the party, in addition to awarding one of the caravans to a guest, we also were given a doll from Nenuco to award to a guest:
You can find PinyPon and Nenuco online at their web pages, as well as on facebook (PinyPon, Nenuco) and Twitter (Piny Pon, Nenuco)

I received a party pack, from Mommy Parties, that included several dolls, the giveaway prizes and gifts for myself in exchange for hosting this party and sharing it with you.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Giveaway: Snuza go!

I am teaming up with S.O.S. Mom, Baby Costcutters, and Life With Two Boys,and some other bloggers to bring you a giveaway to help bring peace of mind to new moms.

Whether you're a first-time parent or welcoming your third one, the safety and well-being of your little ones is always a priority on your parenthood list. Truth be told, we rely on any kind of product or item to help us through the journey and make our job a little easier. And perhaps a giveaway could give you a hand with your baby needs. S.O.S. Mom, Baby Costcutters, and Life With Two Boys, along with the very generous sponsor Snuza are spoiling two families with a mobile baby movement monitor... to make those nights a little easier on you!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Book Review and Giveaway Info: Courting Cate

Amish fiction

About the book

When This Couple Gets to Courting, Sparks Will Fly!
In Paradise, Pennsylvania, Cate Miller is known more for her sharp tongue and fiery temper than her striking appearance. Her sweet and flirty sister, Betsy, on the other hand, seems to have attracted most of the bachelors in Lancaster County!
But the sisters' wealthy father has made one hard-and-fast rule: older Cate must marry first, before younger Betsy can even start courting. Unfortunately, untamable Cate has driven away every suitor-until Pete Treger comes to town, that is.
Prodded by the men of the area, Pete turns his attention to winning Cate's hand. But is his interest true or is there a scheme at play?

Book 1 in The Courtships of Lancaster County series.

My thoughts

 I enjoyed this book, but found some of the characters a bit irritating.  Cate seems to have trouble trusting others.  I know people like Cate, and some do have very legitimate reasons for their mistrust, but the things that Cate has faced in her life that caused his to lose faith in others, particularly men, is not that different from things that we all face at some point in our dating lives.  Without giving to much away, Cate seems to mistrust men because the one guy she ever really courted, had supposedly only done so for a reason other than to build a relationship.  We never learn exactly what happened that led her to believe that he had other intentions, but I would question if it wasn't Cate's overactive mind causing her to believe that he had other intentions.  I also found Betsy to be a bit annoying as well.  She seemed really sweet in the beginning, but as the book went on, her true colors came out.  You can tell she loves her sister, but she is also incredibly selfish.  She does not care about how her sister feels, as long as she gets what she wants.  The character of Pete, I had a hard time disliking, even though I wish he would have insisted on communicating more with Cate, particularly in the latter half of the book.  It is not that the characters are not well written, it is just that some of them were a bit unlikable.

Aside from the characters, I enjoyed the rest of the book.  This is the first piece of Amish literature that really addresses the financial differences among Amish families.  I honestly did not think that there was a difference.  I guess I just never really thought about it, because they all seem to live to simply, but in Courting Cate, we really get to see how a wealthy family's daily life differs from a very poor family's daily life.  It really made me think about how even the things that I consider to be so simple and basic, are still a luxury to some people, Amish or otherwise.  

The storyline is different from the many other romance books that are out there.  This was more like a forced romance that blossomed into something more.  There are a few tender moments, but it is more about the emotional growth that the characters have to go through in order to mature.  I also like that all of the characters grow in some way by the end of the book.  The author did a good job of developing most of the characters, and explaining why they behaved in certain ways.  The only one I would like to have known more of their history is Cate.

I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a love story, but can handle it not being a lovey-dovey romance novel.  I am told it is a re-telling of Shakespeare's the Taming of the Shrew, but I have to admit, that I have never read it (gasp! I know.) so I cannot compare it.  However, if you enjoy the Taming of the Shrew, you may find this to be enjoyable as well.

About the author

Leslie Gould is the co-author, with Mindy Starns Clark, of the #1 bestselling The Amish Midwife and The Amish Nanny. She is also the author of numerous novels, including Garden of Dreams, Beyond the Blue (winner of the Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice for Best Inspirational Novel, 2006), and Scrap Everything. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Portland State University and has taught fiction writing at Multnomah University as an adjunct professor. She resides with her husband and four children in Portland, Oregon. 
Learn more at

About the giveaway

A retelling of the Taming of the Shrew! Leslie Gould is celebrating the release of Courting Cate  with a fun Kindle Fire Giveaway and a Facebook Author Chat Party (11/20)!

One lucky winner will receive:

  • A Kindle Fire

  • Courting Cate by Leslie Gould

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on November 19th. Winner will be announced at the "Courting Cate" Author Chat Facebook Party on 11/20. Connect with Leslie, get a sneak peek of her next book, try your hand at an Amish trivia contest, and chat with readers just like you. There will also be gift certificates, books and a Book Club Prize Pack to be won (10 copies for your book club or small group)!

So grab your copy of Courting Cate and join Leslie on the evening of the November 20th for a chance to connect with Leslie and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book - don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun, RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 20th!


Thank you to Litfuse for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for this review.  As always, my opinion is my own.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Melissa & Doug giveaway

Remember the Melissa & Doug Terrific Twenty Holiday List and Giveaway I told you about yesterday?  Well, I have a been given the opportunity to offer you one of the gifts from the list, the Melissa & Doug Rattle Rumble Push Toy, a $69.99 value!  You can enter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Melissa & Doug are providing the prize for this giveaway and are also providing me with the same prize in exchange for sharing the information about the Terrific Twenty Holiday List and hosting this giveaway.

Are Mormons Christians?

Are Mormons Christian

I am not one who typically discusses religion (or politics for that matter) on my blog, or elsewhere.  It is not I am ashamed of my beliefs, it is just that I prefer to avoid contention, and religion and politics are probably the two topics that can rile up the most people.  Having said that, my religion is a major part of who I am and there are lots of misconceptions out there as to what my religion teaches.  I am planning, over the next several weeks or so, to address some of the various things that I have heard about my church and my beliefs.  While I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, I am not a spokesperson for the church.  You can learn more about the church's official beliefs at their website,

The first thing I want to address is the idea that Mormons are not Christians.  I will agree that Mormons are not Protestant Christians, but they are most definitely Christians.  I was not raised a Mormon.  I grew up attending various Protestant churches and spent my freshman year of high school at a Catholic all-girls school.  I have studied many different religions and Christian religions tend to fall in one of three categories: Catholic, Protestant, Mormons.  Here is my brief synopsis of how they differ: The Catholic church was first Christian church.  Protestant churches in all their forms (Baptist, non-denominational, Presbyterian, Episcopal, etc) branched off the Catholic church, typically due to a difference in one or more tenets.  Mormons believe that Christ came back and re-established his gospel on the earth.  Not one of these groups are more Christian than another.  What they have in common is that they ALL believe that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world and that he died for all of our sins.  The definition of a Christian is one who believes in and follows Christ.  This is why it really irks me when others, particularly other Christians, try to tell me that I am not, nor are any Mormons, Christian.  I am okay with the fact that we have different fundamental beliefs and I understand that there are parts of my religion that you do not agree with, but to tell me that I do not believe or follow Christ is A) judgmental and B) just wrong. 

So often, those who do not believe Mormons are Christian like to focus on how we are different, but I like to focus on our similarities.  First, is our shared belief in Jesus Christ, His death and His resurrection, as I stated in the previous paragraph.  Second, we all believe the Bible to be the word of God.  Mormons do also hold the Book of Mormon to be scripture, as another testament of Christ.  We use the Book of Mormon in conjunction with the Bible, not instead of it.  Third, we all believe in the divine nature of God the Eternal Father, His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.  Fourth, we all believe that as followers of Christ, we are to love our neighbors and obey the commandments given to us.  This means providing service to others, regardless of their beliefs and withholding judgement of those who believe differently than us.  Members of the LDS church, as well as the "church"  itself, have been the first to arrive in many disasters that have struck around the world, often arriving before the government and other service groups.  I am not saying they are better than others, I am just sharing that they are definitely loving their neighbors and serving others, regardless of race, religion, etc. 

I encourage you to explore the website, to learn more about what Mormons believe.  I also encourage you to ask any questions you may have and I will try to ensure that it gets answered, either through a blog post or directly.  Also, if you are interested in receiving a copy of the Book of Mormon to read for yourself, please let me know, either by a comment or a private e-mail, and I will send one to you free-of-charge.  It will arrive in the mail and I will keep your information confidential. Unless you request to speak with members or missionaries in your area, your information will not be given to anyone else.  As for comments on this post, or any of the follow up posts, I am only going to publish comments that are respectful of others.  This does not mean you cannot disagree with me, or other commenters, I just ask that you are not inflammatory.  I appreciate your understanding on this.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Getting rid of lice

Back in July, we discovered that the girls in our house had lice.  We are not 100% certain how we got it, but we have our suspicions.  Apparently, one of my girls had it for several weeks before we discovered it and her scalp was covered in black/brown stuff.  Another daughter had several bugs and nits and my youngest daughter and myself had a handful of bugs and nits.  I believe that I got it due to the girls using my hair brush, a practice that has since ended.  If you think you may have lice in your home, you can check out these photos to compare.

I held off on posting this because I wanted to be certain that the lice was truly gone.  All it takes is ONE nit to start an infestation again.  I can happily say that I am confident that we successfully eradicated all the lice in our house and on our heads from the infestation and we did it without the commercial lice treatments.  I would want to avoid those treatments anyways, but due to nursing a newborn, I wanted to avoid them even more.  Plus, we had 4 people to treat and it was going to get expensive very quickly to buy all those treatments.  So how did we do it?  I am going to list the things we did, but please note, I cannot credit any one thing, nor can I promise that they will work for you.  I researched online how to get rid of lice and then tried the things that made sense to me.  Here are my tips:

- Removing the nits is the absolute most important step in getting rid of lice.  Commercial treatments do not kill or remove nits.  The only way to remove the nits is to either let them hatch and remove the bugs, hoping you catch all of them before one is ready to start laying eggs again, or remove them manually with a comb and/or your fingernails.  We started with some good quality metal combs
, but did not get rid of the last nits until we switched to the Terminator comb.  What makes the Terminator so much better is that it pulls each strand of hair around its' teeth, shredding any eggs that it does not remove.  You can find the comb in stores, but we bought ours on Amazon.  Here is a picture of it so you know what you are looking for:
   - As we started combing through our daughters' extra thick hair, we realized how much easier it was going to be to just cut it.  These were "rough" cuts, mostly to just make it manageable to get the combs through.  I tried to leave some length so that a hair dresser would be able to fix it afterwards and in every case, they were able to.

    - Protect yourself as you comb through someone else's hair.  My husband thought the bugs would attach to his shirt so he did it shirtless and while the bugs did not stick to him (body lice is different from head lice), they did bite before they dropped off of him.  If you have long hair, pull it up into a tight ponytail, or even better, a bun.  You can also buy a shield spray to protect you.

  - I had also read that Medicated Denorex will kill any live bugs and alter the DNA of any viable nits.  I do not know if this is true, but due to the amount of dandruff we were also dealing with, we decided it wouldn't hurt to try it.  It is a chemical and there is some question (in the online community) as to its safety, but it rinses out much sooner than the other lice treatments, so we chose to try it.  If you do try it, it must be the Medicated Denorex, not the extra strength or therapeutic.

    - We bought a black light to help us better see the nits and bugs.  They fluoresce under the black light.  The problem is so does dandruff and other bits of lint that may have collected in the hair.  Who knew how much stuff we had on our heads day-to-day?

    - For my daughter that had so many bugs in her hair, and the thickest and curliest hair of all of us, we also decided to coat her head in olive oil and put a shower cap on it overnight.  The idea is that the oil smothers the bugs and the shower cap catches them.  She absolutely hated this and, while it did catch a few bugs, I would skip this step in the future unless nothing else was working.

   - It is also very important to keep up with vacuuming and laundry, especially of bedding, towels and shirts.  We vacuumed the girls' bedroom, my bedroom, the living room, the couches, and the mattresses and pillows every day at least once and every time we combed through someone's hair, we vacuumed that area as well.  We also washed all stuffed animals and dolls that they had in their room.  They were okay with all but one of them being put away until after the lice was eradicated so daily washing was not necessary.  The one that we could not put away, was washed daily.  When washing, use detergent and HOT water.  If there is anything you cannot wash, put them into a black garbage bag, close it securely and set it aside for several weeks.  This will kill off any bugs and nits that may be on them.  We also dealt with ours in the summer, so if it is colder weather when you are dealing with the lice, be sure you wash hats and coats daily as well.

   -  This will not help you get rid of the lice, but it is an important note.  Be sure you tell anyone whose home you have been in, who has been in your home for an extended amount of time, or who may have otherwise been able to pick up any bugs.  By letting them know, they can catch it early if they did in fact pick up any bugs.  Plus, let's face it, having lice can be embarrassing, and not something people want to talk about.  If you let them know you have had it recently, they are much more likely to let you know that they have it, allowing you to make an informed decision when it comes to visiting them or having them visit.  Having said that, lice is not forever and you do not need to isolate yourself until you are 100% certain it is gone.  Use your judgement and react in a way you would want others to react if they were in the same boat.  You may want to avoid sleepovers for a while, but attending a picnic would be fine.

I am curious to hear if any of you have had to deal with lice and what worked, or didn't work, for you.

While I do have some affiliate links in this post, no company sponsored this post in any way.  I did not receive any products, cash or otherwise in exchange for this information.  Everything I wrote above is exactly what we did to get rid of the infestation we had.