Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Get The Avengers 4-disc set for only $19.99

This is no longer the current offer.  The last time I checked the price it was up to $24.99.  I will not be updating the price beyond today, so you may find it to be more, or less, expensive than either of the prices I have it listed at.

I just wanted to let you know that you can get  Marvel's The Avengers (Four-Disc Combo: Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray/DVD + Digital Copy + Digital Music Download)for only $19.99 on Amazon right now.  It is also eligible for free shipping when you spend $25.  The cheapest I have seen it in stores is just under $25, so this is definitely a GREAT deal.

For those who are interested in the movie, but want to win it instead, be sure to enter the giveaway by September 30th.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Rafflecopter form for Avengers DVD/Blu-Ray Combo pack

You can now enter The Avengers DVD/Blu-Ray Combo Pack giveaway right here, without clicking through to Mommy Bear Media.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Giveaway Info: Win the Avengers DVD/Blu-Ray Combo Pack

I am now partnering with Mommy Bear Media to bring you family friendly movies.  Right now, on their blog, you can enter to win The Avengers DVD/Blu-Ray Combo Pack.  There are many ways to enter, and none are mandatory, but one of the easiest is to like my facebook page.  If you already like The Happy Wife on facebook, entry is even easier:)  Hurry over and enter, the giveaway ends September 30th and I would love if one of my readers won.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Family Friday: Themed movie night and Chore Points

4 years ago, I shared the idea of theme movie nights.  It is something we have occasionally done, but it is the new incentive I have to keep my kids on track with chores and school work.  Each week, I will put together a themed movie night.  The movie will be on Saturday and admission is by ticket only.    To get a ticket, each child must have all schoolwork done for the week, and have earned 30 chore points.  Chore points are awarded, 5 per day, when all expected chores are done for the day.  This allows each child a fair opportunity, by just doing what is expected of them, to attend movie night.  Additional chore points may be earned by doing extra chores on any given day.  When 10 extra chore points are earned, and the child's bedroom is clean, they will be given an additional ticket to invite a friend to movie night.  Additionally, extra chore points can also be spent in the "mommy store", where I have accumulated a variety of toys, stickers and such that the kids want.  The friend's ticket does not cost them any points, so the "mommy store" is an additional thank you for doing extra work. 

This weeks themed movie is going to be Rio.  For our activity, we are going to play soccer in the backyard, as my girls have been playing every day for the past few weeks and would love to get me out there more often.  Another idea for an activity would be to create your own Carnival costumes.  We are also going to have a Brazilian feast with Brazilian Black Bean Stew, over Brazilian Rice, with Brazilian Lemonade (similar to a frozen limeade) to drink and Brigadeiros (chocolate fudge truffles) for dessert.

I have already run this past the older girls, and they are super excited.  This particular movie night works out great for our homeschooling plan, too.  We will be studying birds next week and Brazil the following week, so this is the perfect movie to tie the two units together.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Craft Tutorial: Candy Apple for Teacher

My son started pre-kindergarten today and, just as when my daughter went to pre-k, I wanted to send a gift for his teachers.  I was inspired by something I had seen on Pinterest, posted by Cute As a Fox blog.  I highly recommend checking out her tutorial as well for other ideas and pictures of the various steps.  As much as I liked the craft I did for my daughter, there was little she could do to help.  These are much easier to do with a child, so they can feel like the gift is really from them.

What you need
- red ramekin (I picked up a 3-pack at The Dollar Tree)
- red candies (I used gummy raspberries, but you could also use jelly beans, M&Ms, or any other red  candy)
- a lollipop (I used a red Tootsie Pop)
- plastic wrap
- a brown marker
- green ribbon
- spray adhesive (regular glue will work as well)

1) Color the bottom half of the lollipop stick brown.  This is a great task for the child to help with.  I marked the line and had him color in from the line to the bottom of the stick.
2) After the marker has dried (they dry pretty quick), lay out a square of plastic wrap.  I used about a 10" square (I guestimated, no need for a ruler).  You will then put 1-2 handfuls of candy in the center of the square.
3) Take the lollipop and place it in the center of the candies, stick side down.  Then gently poke the stick through the plastic wrap.
4) Carefully gather up the edges of the plastic wrap, forming a ball.  Twist the plastic wrap so that it is tight over the candy and then place it in the ramekin, twist-side down.
5) Cut a 3"-4" piece of ribbon (longer if it is a thin ribbon or if you did not color far enough up on the stick), trimming the ends at an angle.  Spray the ribbon with the adhesive and wrap it around the stick, like the memory ribbons, so that the ends are not stuck together. (It is ok if the ends stick together, they just look more like a flag, than a leaf.  The one on the right in my picture is done that way.)  If you have white stick to cover, wrap the middle of the ribbon around the white part and then stick the ribbon together, like in my apple with the light green ribbon.
6) We did not include name tags, but you could easily add one by attaching it to the "stem"  or around the ramekin.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Goal update and goals for this week

Here is an update of last week's goals:

1) Make gifts for Cameron's teachers- When I gathered the stuff I needed, I realized I was missing one of the key ingredients.  I did do the parts I could and will finish these tomorrow evening.  I am taking them off the list, even though they are not done, because I NEED to finish them by Wednesday morning and, aside from going to the store, they will only take about 15 minutes (or less) to finish.

2) De-clutter and organize "my corner". -I failed on this one as well, but I did get it half-way done.  I will carry this goal over to next week.

3) Finish cleaning out and organizing the medicine cabinets.-

4) Take the kids to the science museum and planetarium.

5) Complete 2 lesson plans.- I didn't even get 1 completed, but I am going to work on them tonight until I have both done.  I am removing this from the goal list, but it may come back another time,

6) Finish reading Inescapable .- Read the review here.

7) Read Asher of Bethlehem: The Story of a Young Beggar, His Best Friend, and the Birth of an Extraordinary Child with the kids.- I decided to create a lesson plan to go with this book, so it is taking us a bit longer to get through it.  We are half way done now and I will be carrying this goal over to this week so we can get it done.

8) Finish reading The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands.

9) Continue cleaning out my e-mails.- I cleared out a ton of e-mail.  I still have a bunch to go, but I am making progress.  Some have asked why I don't just delete the whole bunch of them.  Here is why: this week, I came across an e-mail from October 2010.  It was payment for a blog post I had written and then forgot about the e-giftcard they were supposed to send.  It was for a significant amount so I am glad I did not just do a mass delete.  This will also carry over.

10) Bake 2 loaves of bread this week.- I did not get this done in the manner I wanted, but the dough is rising now for 2 loaves and I will bake them this evening.  I had hoped to bake the 2 loaves on different days, but this works for me too.  I can't cross the goal off yet, but it will be done by tonight so I am not carrying it over.

Now for this week's goals:

1) De-clutter and organize "my corner".- See note above

2) Finish reading Asher of Bethlehem: The Story of a Young Beggar, His Best Friend, and the Birth of an Extraordinary Child with the kids and finish the lesson plan to go with it.

3) Read The Proper Care and Feeding of Marriage.- This is also a book by Dr. Laura and I am reading it in the  perpetual effort to improve my relationship with my husband.  This is not to say we have a bad marriage, just that I think there is always room for growth, even in the best relationships.

4) Write 4 non-sponsored/non-review blog posts.- This may seem lofty in light of the lack of posting I have done over the past several months, but I think I can do it.

5) Take the older girls to the local library for geocaching.- Ok, technically it is not geocaching, but that is what the library calls it.  It is really a scavenger hunt, but I think the girls will enjoy it and it will help them to learn where everything is in the library's new building.

6) Take a walk with the kids 3 times this week, weather permitting, or go to the YMCA if weather is not conducive to walking.-  We all can use the exercise and if we end up at the Y, the kids can exercise there too.

7) Write up a class description and biography for continuing education courses I want to teach.- I am still putting thought into this so I do not want to mention what I am thinking of offering.

8) Continue cleaning out the e-mails.- I think it will take another 2-3 weeks, but I made siginificant progress this week.

9) Clean and out and declutter under bathroom sink.- I am working on decluttering the bathroom, one step at a time.

10) Make a special lunch for my son's first day of Pre-K, and the girls' not-back-to-school picnic.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Book Review: Inescapable

About the book
Lizzie Engel is used to running away. At eighteen, she left her Mennonite hometown, Kingdom, Kansas, with plans never to return.

But five years later, the new life she built is falling apart. Lizzie knows she's being followed, and she's certain the same mysterious stranger is behind the threatening letters she's received. Realizing she'll have to run again, the only escape Lizzie can manage is a return to the last place she wants to go.

Once she arrives in Kingdom, Lizzie is confident she'll be safe until she comes up with a new plan. In reacquainting herself with the town and its people--especially her old friend, Noah Housler--she wonders if she judged her hometown and her Mennonite faith too harshly. However, just as she begins to come to terms with her roots, Lizzie is horrified to discover the danger she ran from is closer than ever.

No longer sure who to trust and fearful for her life and the lives of those around her, Lizzie finds she has only one place left to run--to the Father whose love is inescapable.

You can see a video trailer for this book here: 

My thoughts 
Inescapable is quite possibly, my favorite piece of Mennonite/Amish fiction (I realize these are 2 different religious sects, but in my mind they belong in the same genre).  That may be due to my other literary love of mystery books and this one marries the two genres perfectly.  Unlike many books I have read, mystery and non-mystery, it is really difficult to predict the events in this book.  I threw hypothesises (is that a word?) around in my head over and over and still could only come up with general predictions.

Mystery aside, I also enjoyed watching Lizzie return to her roots and see things differently.  The changes she saw, were in part due to actual changes in her hometown, but I also think some of them came from her maturing as well.  I loved the reunions with her old friends and her family and I loved watching as she re-built the relationships she had abandoned years before.

The book is the first in the Road To Kingdom series and includes an excerpt to the next book, Unbreakable, due for release in spring 2013.  After reading this book and the excerpt, I am anxiously awaiting this release.

I recommend this to anyone who enjoys Mennonite or Amish fiction, and those who enjoy mystery novels as well.  It is also a great book for anyone who has ever left home and was hesitant to return.  If you have returned home, you will understand Lizzie's experiences better and if you have not returned home, you may just decide to give it a try after reading this book.

About the author
Nancy Mehl, the author of 12 books, received an ACFW Carol Award in 2009 for her novel For Whom the Wedding Bell Tolls . She has a background in social work and is a member of ACFW and RWA. She writes from her home in Wichita, Kansas, where she lives with her husband, Norman, and their puggle, Watson. Visit her website at

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