Florida Vacation Day Three

Saturday morning, mom and I got up early, ate breakfast, and headed to the Red Barn Flea Market.
We picked up some very nice melons. LOL. The flea market had so many booths that we easily lost track of which aisles we had already gone down. I still don't think we saw everything.
Then we stopped by to see Shirley. She is such a big sweetie. She is my mom's mother-in-law. I wasn't sure she would remember me because she only met me once about two years ago. She is such a sharp lady and she knew immediately who I was, even before she saw my mom with me. 
Then mom and I headed to the indoor mall. It was getting hot and muggy, so the cool air conditioning of the mall felt so good to us. We walked the entire mall, commenting sadly about how empty it seemed of both people and stores. We found this train and since my daycare is All Aboard Daycare, I had to get a photo!
I'm loving the trees and plants here in Florida. The climate is very similar to Texas, but they have different vegetation than we do. I've noticed many different birds here too. No armadillos though! One more vacation day, then back to Texas.

On The Fence

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Florida Vacation Day Two

On Friday, we went to Anna Maria Island. This is the marina where million dollar boats are docked. That big yacht to my left? That's mine. I claimed it. I couldn't find the keys though.
Here's mom and Helena taking a nice picture since the last one they were acting so silly, and Helena's daughter wanted a proper photo of the two of them. Rotten Ralph's is the restaurant at the marina.
Mom said I wasn't allowed to look at the menu, that I would be eating Rotten Au Gratin. Since I always listen to my mom (haha) I let her order for me. It was crab and shrimp covered in cheeses and baked in a shallow dish. It was one of the most amazing meals I've ever eaten. My diet is trashed.
Here's our photo shoot in front of the Historic Pier on Anna Maria Island. The weather has cooperated wonderfully and the salty-smelling sea breeze was sweetly cool when we were there. We did get some rain Friday evening, but we had already settled back in at her house. It was so relaxing to stretch out in the recliner with a cup of coffee and my laptop, with the rain dancing on the roof.


Florida Vacation Day One

My mom on her new daybed, acting dignified.
Her husband (aka dad) in his dinner clothes.
Mom and her friend Helena before our dinner at a yummy restaurant. I got the Shrimp Scampi and it was absolutely delicious. Seafood in Florida is scrumptious!
Three crazy ladies about to have margaritas!
Their margaritas are not mini sized at all! Dinner was so much fun. I feel so sorry for the waiter that got stuck with us for the evening!

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My family was supposed to attend a wedding in Branson, Missouri this weekend, but my husband's job just could not let him go. They are in the middle of some huge computer transition and he's an integral part of it. Since I'd already closed the daycare for two days, I decided that I'd take the four day weekend and visit my mom in Florida. So I bravely left my husband and two teenage boys to their own devices for the weekend and hopped on a Delta flight from Austin to Atlanta to Sarasota. By the way, Delta was AWESOME with on time departures and early arrivals. I'm currently relaxing in a recliner in mom's Florida room, in the shadow of a waving palm tree. I've got my camera and laptop handy so I can share with you. Stay tuned!


I'm the co-host for the Thursday Blog Hop

I was so thrilled to be asked by Savannah from Ramblings of a Christian Mom to co-host her Thursday (Almost Friday!) Blog Hop! Please come join us!

A Visit from UPS Today

I received two packages from UPS today and I was so excited because the UPS Guy did not arrive in the middle of the kids' nap-time! The smaller package was my prize from A Frugal Single Mom Blog, a Daisy Blue Naturals soap bar in Simply Lavender.
I also received a big surprise! I won this awesome set of Wusthof Classic Knives with Block (ARV $300.00). The box arrived with no prior notification and no note inside. I had to decipher the packing slip and I finally figured out it was from the ReadyMade Slice It and Dice It Sweepstakes. A very sweet prize!

Find a Blog Hop Here

Here are a few Wednesday hops to try out:

Currently Seeking Sponsors

I am currently seeking sponsors for a Christmas in July Blog Hop Giveaway Event. 

Cheap Ways to Survive Summer with Kids

When school is out, parents often hear "I'm bored!" from their school-age kids. Here are some tried-and-true ways they can keep busy with old-fashioned fun without spending tons of your money.
  • Take all the cushions off the couch and chairs and build a fort with them.
  • Make stilts out of cans and string.
  • Make a telephone from paper cups and string.
  • Play in the water sprinkler in the backyard.
  • Make orange-sicles by pouring juice into ice cube trays, covering with plastic, and inserting toothpicks.
  • Collect nature items from the yard (sticks, pebbles, leaves, flowers) and glue them on an old tissue box or cigar box.
  • Make tree bark rubbings with paper and the side edge of a crayon.
  • Tape one end three long strings together to a table and learn to make braids.
  • Make a long paper chain by cutting paper into strips and gluing them into looped circles.
  • Have an alphabet scavenger hunt and find 26 things in the house that start with each of the letters.
  • Cut food pictures from old magazines, glue on paper, attach pages with brads, and make a pretend cookbook.
  • Make necklaces with dry elbow macaroni and yarn.
  • Create a chart of squares and track reading to 100 books by coloring in each square.
  • Spread a blanket on the floor and have an indoor picnic for lunch.
  • Paint a shaded patio with water and a paintbrush.
  • Put a large bed sheet over the kitchen table to create a clubhouse.
  • If all else fails, tell them you'll play hide and seek with them, and tell them to hide until you find them. Then go have a cup of coffee and relax in peace for a few minutes.

Four Great Giveaways Ending Soon

Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce - Two Winners - Ends 6/12

$25 Sears Gift Card - Ends 6/13

Snorg Tees T-Shirt - Ends 6/13

CardMeKelly Design - Ends 6/13

While you're here entering these awesome giveaways, please feel free to enter your giveaway links into the Planet Weidknecht Spring Giveaway Linkup!  There are over 50 great prizes listed there for you!


Tips for Loving Art with your Preschool Child

  1. Have a water source nearby for easy cleanup.
  2. Focus on the child's own creations, rather than a specific art project.
  3. Encourage the process of art, rather than worrying about the product.
  4. Provide a wide variety of art materials to your child, one or two at a time.
  5. Allow your child lots of time and don't rush them through their art.
  6. Provide positive reinforcement, not suggestions on how they can do it "better."
  7. Never do it FOR your child.
  8. Teach your child the care and use of art materials.
  9. Try to relax while they create freely, but supervise nearby in case of a major spill.
  10. Don't overreact if the art area becomes "messy."
  11. Display completed artworks at the child's eye level so they can appreciate it too.
  12. Encourage the little artist to "sign their name."
  13. Document the child's thoughts about the creation on an index card and display them together.
  14. Keep flat art creations in a folder, with dates, to see how your child's skills progress over time.
  15. Remember that even Picasso started out scribbling!

3 year old's art

4 year old's art

Wobble Over Wednesday Hop + BONUS

How exciting! I received an email that I have been randomly selected by My Life with Rats and More...for the #2 spot in her Wobble Over Wednesday Hop and a FREE week of advertising on her sidebar! Thank you so much Amanda!

Mom Ideas Needed - Money Available

Are you a mom with a great idea? Would you like $15,000 to grow your idea? Go now to the Huggies MomInspired Grant Program to see if you qualify! There are only 23 days left to submit your ideas, so don't delay. Your idea could the "next big thing."

Thank you to Maria Bailey at MomSelect for sending me this fabulous information!

Hopping Around on Tuesday

If you were a girl scout, you'll remember this:

Make New Friends,
But Keep the Old,
One is Silver
and the Other Gold.

Benefits of Blogging

I guess I'm still considered a newborn when it comes to blogging. I've only been in the blogspace about two months now and I've learned so much. My husband chuckles at how excited I get when I figure out something new about coding. It's been fun contacting companies, blog hopping, and reviewing products. The best benefit of all is the new friendships I'm forming. I've met so many wonderful people in blogspace and I'm so thankful for all the help I've received along the way. I hope I can bless as many people as have blessed me! ~ Lisa


My Monday Mail is Delicious

Thank you to Hershey's, who sent me the prize of a $50.00 Gift Code to NCAA.com from their "Your Ticket to the Game Sweepstakes."

Thank you to Borden for the coupon for a free package of cheese.

And thank you to the Homemaker By Choice Blog for sending me my giveaway prize of a Scentsy circle in Flutter and what I think was a candle tart sample in Cherry Limeade that didn't quite survive the 100 degree Texas afternoon in a metal mailbox, but it sure made my mail smell delicious!

I Am Featured

A little toot of my own horn...
My blog is a "featured blog" on Skinny Scoop this week! 
What an honor! Go check it out!

Monday is a Good Day to Hop

Come hop around and make new friends!


Link up YOUR Giveaways!

Join the Spring Giveaway party going on
over at Planet Weidknecht!
Link up all your giveaways, enter for great prizes,
and make some new friends!
Over 50 Giveaways already listed!
Just click HERE.

Giveaway - CardMeKelly


One of my lifelong dreams was to have a backyard pool. A couple of years ago, I convinced my husband that we desperately needed to put in a pool. I told him we could have pool parties and invite daycare families so that I could write off the cost of the pool on my taxes. So every summer, we have several Saturday parties where we invite all my past and present (and sometimes future) daycare kids and their families over for a couple hours of fun in the sun.

When Kelly from CardMeKelly offered to make an invitation design for me, she said I could make it pertain to absolutely anything...wedding, birthday, graduation, baby announcements, etc. The first thing that came to mind was those pool parties and those cheap little paper memos I had to type up to let everyone know we were having one. The challenge for her was to do this was no specific date, so that I could use them over and over. Kelly was fantastic to work with on the pool party invites!

She asked me if I had a photo in my files that I might want to use as a background, so I found a great one of my dog at our pool. Really, my dog refuses to get in the pool, but he'll put his front paws in so he can get a drink. I snapped this photo of him last Labor Day weekend. She made an awesome generic pool party invitation that I just love! She loved the photo of Buddy and asked if she could put him in her example cards, so now I can say my dog is famous.
To sweeten the pot even further, she also offered up a design for me made from her own graphics in her files, so that I would have two options. Take a look at this adorable flip flop design pool party invitation!
You can see all her amazing designs over at her Etsy Shop. The images I received are high quality, high definition and I can use them forever, as I now "own" them. I can print them anytime I have a party on my own printer or I could take them to a photo store or kiosk. I printed them at home on cardstock and they turned out great. I printed them again on photo paper and they look fantastic. Another great thing about having a digital file is that if I want to be "green" I can just email the cards out to everyone!

Kelly is so sweet to sponsor a giveaway on my blog for one lucky reader. She will let me choose a winner, who can choose any card design from CardMeKelly, and she will customize it for you FREE OF CHARGE to keep as your own. All you have to do is complete one or more of the tasks below, leave me a comment for each one you complete, and each comment will count as one entry. I will take entries until midnight on 6/13/2011 and let random.org choose the winner. If you complete all the tasks, you can get 8 entries in today.
  • Visit CardMeKelly on Etsy and tell me a design you like.
  • Follow CardMeKelly on Facebook and tell her Planet Weidknecht sent you.
  • "Like" Planet Weidknecht via GFC.
  • Follow Planet Weidknecht via RSS.
  • Follow Planet Weidknecht via Email.
  • "Like" Planet Weidknecht on Facebook.
  • Share this giveaway post your Facebook wall, using the "f" button below this post.
  • Vote for Planet Weidknecht on Picket Fence Blogs.
A huge thank you to Kelly, whose creative genius just saved me from another summer of cheap little paper memos to parents about pool parties!!

Disclosure: I received a product/service at no charge for this review. Opinions are truly mine.