Tuesday, October 22, 2013

My Memories giveaway for everyone

Apologies, people! I forgot to start this on Sunday.

Okay, if you have read my blog at all, you may have seen a few entries about My Memories digital scrapbooking software. If not, you can check here, here, here, here, here and here.

The good news today is that you can get it yourself FOR FREE. Just go to My Memories, create an account and click on the software link. You want to get MyMemories Suite, which is the main program. Click on Add to Cart.

You should see Enter Coupon/Promo Code. Use this code: FreeTreatEE148. Copy it from here and paste it, as it has to be exact. THIS CODE IS GOOD THROUGH OCT. 26, 2013.

You can click on Proceed to Checkout or go back to the main page and click on Free Kits in the Shop listing. There's a variety of free items, including fonts, quick pages, papers and mini kits. There are hundreds to choose from, which will give you quite a selection to add to what's already in the program.

The next screen after Proceed to Checkout will have your billing address information, which you can change at this point if appropriate.

Now you should see your Order Summary. Look it over and especially make sure the dollar amount is what you expect. For the My Memories Suite, it should be free if you used the code.

Click on Place Your Order. Make sure you click it only once. Now you will see your order number and a link to Access Your Downloads. Click that link and you can start downloading everything. The product key for My Memories Suite will be on this page.

Download and install My Memories Suite before installing any other downloads, as installing the program sets up the folders where the other downloads go.

Your download options for kits are Windows, Mac and general. General is for using the kits in other programs, like Photoshop. This list, including the My Memories Suite, will stay. You can download them again if needed, for example if you get a new computer or have to reformat your computer for some reason. I would suggest saving the downloads on an external hard drive, though, because that would be quicker than downloading everything again.

There are so many things you can do with this software. Yes, you can scrapbook, but you can do other things. I have made Facebook covers and profile pictures with it. They have templates for things like calendars, cupcake wraps, gift tags, chapstick covers, cards, party invitations, different kinds of gift boxes and more.

And that's it. There are tutorial videos on YouTube if you need instruction. I think it's pretty straightforward. I have been able to figure a lot out on my own.

The code is good through Oct. 26, so use it soon. Once you have gone through the checkout process, it's yours forever. Remember, the code to use after clicking on Add to Cart is FreeTreatEE148.

Disclosure: I received a copy of My Memories Suite v4 for free. I can earn money when people buy the software though my affiliate link, although I haven't yet. All of the kits and add-ons I have on my computer were either free for everyone or I purchased them. 

Friday, October 18, 2013

Happy Halloween giveaway: $500 KMart gift card

It’s Halloween Giveaway Event

Growing up, my sister and I didn't get to go trick or treating much. I only remember once that I was allowed to go. We lived in the country from the time I was about 3 until I was 14. Dad felt that it was "begging" like actual begging on the street, so that was pretty much not allowed.

I took my kids trick or treating, though. Amanda's first trick or treat night was when she was nearly 2 1/2, and we lived in Chicago. We went around a long block in our neighborhood. I was pregnant with Cayla and it was chilly and dark. On the way back home, we stopped at a house that had a porch light on (which was the sign where we lived in Iowa when I was younger that you welcomed trick or treaters). We knocked, a man came to the door. He looked surprised, but went away and came back with a tray of things like refrigerator magnets. There was a distinct smell of marijuana.

So, here's my tips for Halloween:
  • Don't smoke pot if you expect people to come to your door. Police officers take their kids trick or treating, too, and you certainly don't want to make them have to interrupt their kids' fun to arrest you. 
  • If you welcome trick or treaters, have a porch or outside light on. If you don't want them, make sure that light is not on. 
  • Be prepared for a variety of ages. 
  • Offer different things - make sure there is something that doesn't have peanuts in case there's a kid who is allergic. You can give out fun stuff like spider rings, plastic fangs, glow sticks or stickers.
  • Wear a costume if possible - it makes the experience better for the trick or treaters and for you. 
  • Have fun!
MPM Network Bloggers are super excited to share their Halloween Recipes, Crafts, Decor Ideas and so much more with you this holiday season. Make sure you take a peek at the fabulous posts below. Surely you will find something that makes you smile!

One lucky reader will receive a $500 K-Mart Gift Card!

Giveaway ends October 28th at 11:59 p.m., open to US, ages 18+. 
To enter please use the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure:Carol's Random Babble is not responsible for sponsor prize shipment. Please contact teri@mompoweredmedia.com with questions or to see your business or blog featured on the next big event!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


In response to this blog post "3 Ways to Increase Your (and Your Child’s) Creativity", I commented:

I never told my parents this at the time, but I gave up on being artistic in kindergarten. We made "Indian" clay pots and to my eyes, my little pot was misshapen and ugly, while it seemed that everyone else's pots were delicate and lovely. I felt that I could not ever catch up, so I gave up.

I'm still trying to overcome that.
It's been 47 years and that self-doubt, that self-criticism, still holds me back.

I try to get around it. I have scrapbooked, both physically and digitally. I have used Photoshop and Illustrator to create and manipulate images. I used to draw, a little, back in high school, but would never show it off. I have written (well, you know that, you are reading my blog) fiction, nonfiction, columns, blog posts, talks that I have given at church, a eulogy for my mother.

And yet I still don't feel good enough to say "I am creative."

If you tell yourself something for decades, it's hard to get out of that mental rut.

Yet, that's exactly what I must do. Especially considering that Mom died of Alzheimer's.

I can't afford not to use my brain in every way possible. I have to keep trying new things. I have to keep learning. I have to stretch my brain cells because that's my best way to avoid or stave off mental deterioration.

I guess my point is that there are things out there that people can do, and if they don't get them right the first time, don't give up. Keep trying. You will find something that you can do, or you will learn to do something better than you did it before.

And for inspiration, watch this video, because not only can you be creative, you can learn new things in a reasonable amount of time:

The video is "The First 20 Hours - How to Learn Anything": Josh Kaufman at TEDxCSU. I love TED talks - they are usually inspiring, and even ones I don't necessarily agree with will make me think.

So I'm going to try this. I haven't yet decided exactly what I will do for my first 20-hour experiment. I have been thinking about NaNoWriMo again, although I'm not sure how writing a novel fits with the 20-hour learning. But that method of breaking things down into easier parts should be applicable to the novel-writing process.

So, we'll see. I will try to learn a new skill, or write a novel (which could be a learning process).

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Good intentions

I'm at my most productive when I'm doing something else.

Actually, that should read I intend productivity when I'm doing something else.

In practice, that means that at 8:30 on a Tuesday night when I'm close to being done with work, I start thinking of all the productive things I can do at home, once I get there.

In reality, once I get home, it's off to the time vortex that is Facebook, games, emails and other time wasters.

I know I should cut myself off from these things, but I can't. Because they are useful. Even the games, in moderation.

But especially for doing family history and stuff like that.

So I need to retrain my brain, I guess. Start timing my unuseful Facebook time and get started on those projects I'm behind on.

Right after I catch up on my games ...

Sunday, September 1, 2013

To vaccinate or not to vaccinate?

You can read my post here or choose to go to Married to Medicine: Vaccination: A Layperson's Perspective. My post is my opinion,facts I found through Google, personal knowledge and a bit of family history. Married to Medicine has more facts and photos of actual people (mostly children) who caught diseases that could have been prevented, plus links to scientific articles about vaccination. To me, it's more important that you be fully informed (and hopefully more likely to vaccinate for your kids' safety and the safety of others) than whether you read my words or someone else's.

I chose to vaccinate my kids. I feel that the risk of a reaction from the vaccination (particularly since we don't have a history of problems) is much less than the possible risk of the actual disease.

I butted heads with a mom blogger a couple of months ago over her anti-vaccination stance. She recently posted in favor of no-peanut policy in schools because *gasp* allergic kids die of exposure to peanuts.

According to my brief research on Google, about 200 people die in the U.S. every year due to food allergies (not just peanut).

Here's what the WHO says about measles: In 2011, there were 158,000 measles deaths globally – about 430 deaths every day or 18 deaths every hour.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention asks What Would Happen If We Stopped Vaccinations?

According to the CDC, before vaccinations were widely available, about 2.6 million people died each year from measles.

I'm not saying that peanut allergies are inconsequential. There's a kid in my ward (church) who has a peanut allergy. We are all aware of it and keep an eye out. But an unvaccinated person who brings a disease into an unvaccinated group of people has more chances to kill by accident than a peanut butter sandwich in the wrong hands.

I worked as a secretary in a bank in Chicago in the 1990s. One of my co-workers caught whooping cough from another co-worker and her baby caught it from her, and ended up in the hospital. It was incredibly bad timing - my co-worker came back to work after her baby was born but before the baby got the Tdap shot.

My great-grandmother Augusta Meyn was 2 when her sister, father and two brothers died in about a 3-week period of diphtheria in 1879. There was an epidemic in the area.

We think that things like this don't happen any more in this modern era, but they do happen all the time, in places that don't have widespread vaccinations against the diseases that can be conquered.

There are those who say that the risk of vaccination is worse than the risk of not being vaccinated. I don't believe that. (Go back and read the CDC article about What Would Happen If We Stopped Vaccinations?) There are those who say that faith in God is all you need to stay healthy. (There's a megachurch in Texas holding vaccination clinics now because of a measles outbreak, but apparently they have been saying that all you need is faith.) I say that God gave people brains in order to figure out how to do things, such as scientists who research how to prevent diseases.

I'm done with my rant for now. It may not be my last word on the subject (or will if you are lucky). But we have the opportunity to learn from the past, and it's a shame if we don't take that chance. Vaccines save lives and save people from worse suffering from diseases that they don't have to catch.

Adding a few links I've come across lately.
Anti-vaccine body count
Penn and Teller on vaccinations (language warning)
Growing up unvaccinated
The toll of the anti-vaccination movement, in one devastating graphic
The Extent of America's (Totally Unnecessary) Whooping Cough Outbreak
I've Got Whooping Cough. Thanks a Lot, Jenny McCarthy.
Woman with flu miscarries, battles for her life

Friday, August 30, 2013

Ultimate Life Prize Pack

PinkMama’s Place and Carol's Random Babble are hosting "The Ultimate Life" Prize Pack.

Ultimate Life

Between the pressure of running a foundation started by his late grandfather, being sued by his greedy extended family, and seeing his beloved Alexia leave on an extended mission trip to Haiti, Jason Stevens' world is unraveling. But when Jason discovers a journal that his grandfather began as a Depression-era lad, his writings transport Jason on an incredible rags-to-riches ride. With everything he loves hanging in the balance, Jason hopes he can discover "THE ULTIMATE LIFE".

Opening in theaters September 6, "THE ULTIMATE LIFE" (the sequel to "The Ultimate Gift") reminds us some things are worth more than money! With "The Ultimate Life" Blog App, take the quiz to find out if YOU are Living Life to the Fullest! Read six great ways to start living the ultimate life NOW, as written by Jim Stovall, author of "The Ultimate Life" book. And watch the official trailer for this inspiring movie!

You can enter your quiz info below in comments:

Carol's Random Babble Quiz Results:

CONGRATULATIONS! You know how to LIVE to the fullest! You know that LIVING life is not about possessions but people.

PinkMama's Readers~ Official Ultimate Life Prize Pack to award one lucky reader!

The prize pack contains:
• DVD of "The Ultimate Gift"
• "The Ultimate Gift" book by Jim Stovall
• "The Ultimate Gift" charm bracelet
• "The Ultimate Life" leather-bound journal

Please enter the Giveaway Form below: a Rafflecopter giveaway

The prize will be sent via FedEx or USPS. No P.O. Boxes please. Thanks to "The Ultimate Life" for sponsoring this wonderful giveaway! If you would like to host a giveaway event with PinkMama's Place please contact her at pamallen68 (at) gmail(dot) com.

Disclosure: PinkMama’s Place and Carol's Random Babble are not responsible for sponsor prize shipment. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, or Blog lovin. We hereby release Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, or Blog lovin of any liability. Winner(s) will be contacted by email and will have 24 hours after the giveaway ends to respond before another winner is selected. All entries will be verified.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Blogger op: "Ultimate Life" prize giveaway

BLOGGERS: Pink Mama's Place is hosting a giveaway and there's still time to get in for a free link.

Calling all BLOGGERS- would you like a FREE Link on the “Ultimate Life” Prize Giveaway - starting tomorrow?  All she asks if you please share on your blog (not required but you can) and your social media outlets.

Official Ultimate Life Prize Pack:
The prize pack contains:
• DVD of The Ultimate Gift
• The Ultimate Gift book by Jim Stovall
• The Ultimate Gift charm bracelet
• The Ultimate Life leather-bound journal

Please fill out form here.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Blogger op: It's Halloween

Bloggers: Here's an opportunity to be involved in a giveaway. These are great for increasing your readership.

It’s Halloween Event

Organized by: Mom Powered Media

Grand Prize: $500 K-Mart Gift Card
Event dates: 10/14 - 10/28
Open to US
Referral prize: $50 Amazon E-Code or Paypal Cash

Bloggers: Sign Up HERE

Please say that Carol's Random Babble referred you.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Tired and crabby

When people ask me, "how are you?" I usually say "tired" because it's almost always true.

Don't get started talking about how it's probably depression because you're probably right but there's not a whole lot I can do about it right now.

So, between 11 a.m. Tuesday and midnight Wednesday, I had about 3 hours of sleep. Not consecutive, either.

I had insomnia, then after getting up for a bit to go on the computer, when I laid back down, I couldn't breathe very well. That problem is actually the reason I sleep with a body pillow crossways on my bed, around my rib area. It seems to help, although the pillow is getting pretty flat.

But I had to get up at 6 a.m. so Cayla could get up at 6:30 to be at the Civitan meeting at 7 to report on the youth leadership conference she attended that the local Civitans sponsored.

Only, when we got there (across town), she discovered that they want her to come next week. It was a scheduling error on the part of her advisor. So I get to do that over again next week - hopefully without the insomnia.

Then I had to go spend 5 hours at the library as a volunteer for the Webster County Genealogical Society. Which isn't a bad gig, but it helps to be well-rested.

Then back home, where I stayed awake to take Cayla to band camp, waited for her to be done (had my Kindle Fire with me) and then took her to church.

I had asked Cayla to do a load of laundry for me. She couldn't do it before band camp and church because the one working washer was occupied. So after church, she started it. She did get it in the dryer (after I reminded her) but said she was going to bed and I should wake her up when it was time to check the dryer.

Which meant that I finished it myself. I didn't dry the load a second time because it was close to dry and it was late at night (can't disturb the neighbors with laundry sounds, right?).

Cayla brought home a sheet for me to sign with dates of home football games. They want all the band parents to volunteer at least once for working concessions. Every one of those games is on a Friday night. The one person who could take my place working on a Friday night goes on maternity leave today or tomorrow. The other options are Saturday band contests, which I suppose I could do a couple of hours, but would have to go home and rest/sleep before going to work. And I don't want to think about how much pain I'll be in with my feet and knees after being on my feet for even a couple of hours.

The rolling garbage bin for our building hasn't been emptied since Aug. 5. It's always been emptied on Mondays since I moved in, 13 months ago (except for holidays). Apparently now the pickup date is Thursdays. Only here it is Thursday and it hasn't been picked up yet. (Update: The garbage was still there when I got home around 11 p.m., so it is officially - as opposed to actuallly - late.)

Does this seem right to you?

I originally posted this in a hurry and didn't notice that I posted to the wrong blog. So this is late to Carol's Random Babble and I'll have to delete it from the other one, which is where I plan to post writing stuff, not my usual complaining. (I wondered why this didn't show up on the Facebook page. Now I know.)

So here I am. There are a couple more things going on but it's family stuff and I don't want people getting all snippy with me for airing our communal dirty laundry. Suffice it to say I'm not just tired - I'm tired and crabby.

I have my reasons.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Winning and losing

Yesterday, my father-in-law was in town.

My situation is kind of confusing. I've been separated since October 2008, but not divorced. No plans to get back together - ever. Much happier this way.

But it makes talking about the man I married confusing. He's not actually my ex-husband, since we're still married. And I do and don't consider myself married. I don't in the sense that I don't have a "married" emotional attachment to him any more. But I do in the eyes of the law and am not free to consider dating or anything of that nature.

But back to the father-in-law visit.

He lives in another state, but comes back to Iowa from time to time. He came up to visit Kent (my future ex-husband - see how awkward that is?) and took the girls and me out to lunch, as well.

During lunch conversation. I asked him if he ever considered writing his life story. I think he confused my intent with family history, or genealogy. (And I'm interested in that, too.) He didn't think he has anything interesting to share.

So I asked him a question. From what I knew, he was born in Pennsylvania and his family moved to San Diego when he was a kid. So I asked him why.

He talked about that for a couple of minutes, and I found it interesting. I asked Cayla later (she's the "family history is boring" girl) and she said it was "kinda" interesting. I don't think my father-in-law thought that it was anything spectacular, but I consider that a "win" on the family history front. He gave a glimpse into the history of the family, of himself, and that move was what brought him into contact with Pauline, the girl he later married and raised four sons with.

When he brought us home, I tried to find the box of photos we got when Pauline died in 1997. I know exactly what that box looks like, but I couldn't find it quickly enough (I think it's in another box, and I'm not sure where that is). When I do find it, I am to scan any photos of him with his car(s) that I can find. I've got at least one from the 1950s, when they were dating.

The losing side of the day was much later, after coming home from church. I asked Cayla to do a load of laundry, which is mostly her stuff plus the pants I wear to work. She put the clothes in the washer, but then she won the game of "who gets to finish doing laundry" by falling asleep at the kitchen table, leaving me to bring the clothes down to the available dryer and run them through 2 cycles. Which kept me up to 11 p.m. or so, and still I didn't go to sleep.

As I write this, I'm planning to take a nap. But Cayla is still asleep, as she has been since about 10 or so last night.

I wish I could sleep for 12-14 hours straight ...

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Buzzworthy iPad Mini giveaway

When it comes to summer reading indie authors offer a refreshing alternative to predictable plots from big name writers. Here’s a list of ten titles from emerging indie authors, pick your favorite and vote on Facebook for a chance to win an iPad Mini!

If you enjoy the office intrigues of The Mad Men and the love story in The Notebook you’ll like this book.

More About The Book 
"Set in New York City in the late 1950s, this love story takes you into the heart of the advertising world. The office politics and drama are equal to that of the series Mad Men.  I could not help but fall in love with the main characters, Jay and Joanna. Their story is a lifelong love affair of twists and turns with a dramatic ending that I did not see coming. A book to enjoy." Published by Deerfield Park Books
Special Must-Read Price Cut! Paperback: $11.66 Kindle: $7.99 

If you don't like just plain old vanilla and want something different, Reluctant Gods is a series that transcends fiction fantasy by crossing genres into romance, humor, science fiction, and mystery and is sure to entertain while you enjoy the best of summer.

More About The Book 
“A.J. Aaron is a genius. I loved this book! It had fantastic images but the real story was about Sevilen accepting his power. I understood that everything is as it should be but the author's depiction of this concept is exceptional. The laid-back dialogue and cool characters mixed fantasy with what is usually considered a serious, esoteric subject. Leyna's mindset and sexual exploits are tastefully done. Quotes from Einstein, Toffler and Drucker reinforced the message. This book is highly recommended for teenagers and adults.”

You can find more about A.J.  Aaron on his website and on Amazon, and his publisher.
Special Must-Read Price Cut! A special promotional price of $.99 on Kindle and $8.99 in paperback for this 62,000 word 250 page novel.

A mechanic's life is turned upside down when he learns of his father's top secret past, causing him to team up with a beautiful CIA agent and two beyond-gifted teenagers, to try to stop the Russian mob from deploying a futuristic weapon of mass destruction and a pending alien invasion of Earth. You can purchase the e-book here and learn more about the author on his website.

This summer, see Australia ... on the run from a sociopath! Take a heart-thumping tour with Jo as she searches for her father's murderer while fleeing from a killer sent by a future society to bag her.

More About The Book 
Play or Die is amazing. Be prepared for tension that you have never experienced before as Jo tries to evade the psychotic Hunter determined to kill her. The book alternates between nail-biting suspense, action, and stuff that really gets you thinking. Visit the Jen Cole's website for more information.

This novel is a mock epic, a satirical, and an allegorical view of a dictator and his evil influences. Two friends share their manuscripts describing one of the first European settlements in the Americas; the finding of the original Journal of Christopher Columbus; the development of a cruel dictator; his extravagant wedding; the struggle of a hero against the dictatorship; and the end of it caused by the destruction of a great tsunami. It is a description of the struggle between good versus evil. This book will be perfect for anybody interested in reading literature: historical fiction, magic realism, religion, mythology, folklore, etc. because of all the entertainment and humor involved in it.

True story novel - building a new life from scattered and dangerous pieces.

More About The Book 
"Mr. Anka has truly penned a wonderful novel. I have always been a fan of real life stories, and this one is exceptional. The author has been through so much, and to share his experiences with pen and paper is a remarkable feat. This book is definitely worth a read." Be sure to like Mike Anca on Facebook.

"Taking into account terrorist activities of the United States and overseas, Foley explains how the pentagons and rectangles became a part of our past by premeditated terrorist acts. His writing style is intricate and requires the reader to delve deep into each word for clear understanding. His detailed account of how each formation appears structurally and by date is commended. It is an eye-opening view of a different perspective on world and terrorist events with both religious and nonreligious undertones." Read more about Mike Foley on Create Space

Master of Plagues is a must-read since it captures and holds the reader's attention from beginning to end.

More About The Book 
Master of Plagues is a dazzling journey of magic, redemption, and forgiveness through super powers. Learn more about the book on D.B. Reynolds' website and watch a video about it on YouTube. Also, be sure to check out a great review of Master of Plagues.

Special Must-Read Price Cut! Originally pried at $8.00, Master of Plagues is now available on Amazon Kindle, Nook, and Kobo for a special low discount price of 0.99 cents.

“Lunch with Lucille” whips up a delightful dish of entertainment and inspiration, served by a fun-loving, sassy, female character who has a message of hope and optimism – a message all women need to hear. 

More About The Book 
"Lunch with Lucille" by Annarose Ingarra-Milch is overflowing with humor and entertaining throughout. Lucille is quite the character and her sage advice will whet your appetite for more encounters with this unusually colorful lady. She has lived a rich, full life, and gracefully shares her adventures in an inspiring way.
The reader is treated to simple, practical solutions to some prickly issues such as aging, confidence, self image, and achievement. This fast-paced novella is thought provoking and leaves you eager for the next installment.
Keep up with the latest book news by Liking Lunch With Lucille on Facebook and watching the Novel Trailer on YouTube

This saga promises action, adventure, history, politics, magic,mythology and twists while transferring the reader into a fantastic realm where anything is possible.

More About The Book 
One great aspect of D.K. Cherian's novel is the excellent integration of background information about the Egyptian Gods without overpowering and deterring from the wonder of the novel. All of the characters are well-rounded, likable, and entertaining. The author does a wonderful job of drawing the reader into the world of Ancient Egypt with his mix of seriousness, humor, action, magic, and adventure. A truly engrossing fantasy adventure, this book is a must-have for any readers who enjoy mythology, magic, time travel, and page-turning plots. Be sure to like Godwar Hell Rising on Facebook!

Ready For Your Chance To Win?
Children Teaching Mama is excited to offer your chance to win this amazing prize sponsored by Reader Spoils
Enter To Win an iPad Mini 
One winner will be chosen at random from all valid entries to receive a 16GB black iPad Mini valued at $339.99! To enter, complete the tasks on the Rafflecopter form below. Don't forget to vote for your favorite book! Good Luck!

Open to U.S. Residents Only
Ends on August 14th at 11:59pm. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: Carol's Random Babble is not responsible for choosing a winner or supplying the prize to the winner. Carol's Random Babble did not receive any products or financial compensation in connection with this giveaway. Reviews of the featured books were not written by Carol's Random Babble, but were provided as part of the giveaway.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Blogger op: iPad mini giveaway

Welcome to the Buzzworthy Books of Summer iPad Mini Giveaway Event sponsored by Reader Spoils. This giveaway will begin on Wednesday, July 24th at 12:01am and ends on Wednesday, August 14th at 11:59pm. One winner will be randomly selected from all valid entries to receive a 16GB black iPad Mini valued at $329.99!

  • Each blogger receives 1 free link of choice (Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram)
  • Additional Links can be purchased at $3 each. These links can be Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and/or Pinterest.
  • We have 4 co-host spots available for $12 each. This includes 2 links for the giveaway event, a back link to your blog on the giveaway page and a page for you to host during the event.
  • The giveaway html will be sent out by Sunday, July 14th and posts must be live by noon on Friday, July 26th. We will send out reminder emails for those who forget to post.
  • Payments can be made via Paypal to childrenteachingmama@gmail.com
(YOU can win prizes, too!!)
  • The blogger who refers the most bloggers to sign up will win a $15 Amazon gift card! Announcements are not mandatory, but are a great way to increase sign-ups so you can win. If you'd like, feel free to cut/paste the event details above as your own announcement post with a link here or to the sign-up form. 
  • An additional $15 Amazon gift card winner will be chosen from the bloggers who post an announcement. So, post an announcement on your blog and you have another chance to win!
Please say that Carol's Random Babble referred you.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact  the giveaway administrator at childrenteachingmama@gmail.com.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Blogger op: iPad giveaway

Bloggers sign up

Come and join us on this great giveaway.

July 29 to Aug. 19

We are giving away an iPad with Retina display 32GB color Black
 value $599.00

We will have a max. of 200 bloggers for sign up, it will be a big giveaway.

The RC is not long because each co-host has their own RC with their links.

Here are the details to sign up:

-Free Link (Twitter or Pinterest)  
The first 50 bloggers to sign up will get a link free with announcement. 
Announcement is required or you have to pay a waiver fee of $5.00
(Please read the sign up form on the top to know if we still have free space available)

-Link/ or extra links $4.00 each (if the free spots are gone, to be part of this giveaway you will need to pay $4.00 for each link you want on the giveaway)
Announcement is require or you have to pay a waver fee of $5.00.

-Co-Host $20.00
The co-host get 2 host page.  
10 links on the RC.
No announcement required.

Please send payment to melisurveys1978@gmail.com as a gift.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

So you want to be a blogger

I got started several years ago. I blogged as a way to keep family informed, and really just as a way to get my thoughts out there. It's my way of keeping a journal.

I never really expected anyone to read my blog, and it still kind of surprises me when someone comments or tells me about something that I read.

I don't have high expectations for my blog because I haven't put a lot of effort into making it make money.

But here's the thing: You get out of it what you put into it.

And here's another thing: You can get help getting started with your blog.

I signed up for a free online class from Blogelina last year. The classes were on Tuesdays and I work Tuesdays, so I didn't get to participate much, but I did get an email with a PDF of the information that was in the class. In addition, I got a year's free hosting at GoDaddy.com.

Blogelina also has video tutorials and Facebook groups where bloggers can come together to support each other. Community is a big thing in the blogging world. You don't have to figure everything out on your own.

You can sign up for the blogging class here:

{FREE} 4-Week Profitable Blogging For Beginners Class

That is my affiliate link and yes, if you sign up, I get paid. Here's the third thing: You can sign up as a Blogelina affiliate, too, and if you get people to sign up, you can get paid as well.

Here's the scoop:

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The class is free, and you can decide if this is the way you want to go. Good luck!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Accidents happen

They do.

They really do.

And you try to prepare and teach your child this and try to get them to be cautious and everything.

But accidents happen.

Tonight, Cayla experienced this and she doesn't like it. She was at an intersection and realized if she turned the way she was going, she would be going the wrong way on a one-way. So she backed up a little ... into another car.

There's a crack about 8 inches long in my van's back bumper. She said the other driver said he didn't have enough damage to report. She didn't get his information, but he did get hers.

I called the police non-emergency number and an officer came out to look at our van. He isn't filing a report because there's so little damage. I also called our insurance company.

Cayla is still shook up. I'm just glad she's not hurt (or anybody else).

And I hope this lesson is all it takes. It's so hard for a teenager to hit that balance between caution and initiative.

We had a car (an Escort wagon) that I was driving when it was hit - two separate times. The first time, I was driving through my bank's parking lot when someone backed out from a parking space into my car. That took months to get settled with their insurance. I think the driver delayed filling out paperwork with her insurance company.

Another time I was driving to work and a driver pulled out from a stop sign in front of me. I was looking to the right for a couple of seconds and the driver came from the left. I didn't see her and my car hit hers. But I had the right of way and she should not have been in my path. That also took months but eventually we got a final check (the car was totalled this time - I clipped the rear corner of the minivan and it put a sizeable dent in the front of my car, as if it had hit a tree).

So, things could be much worse. Cayla is okay, nobody in the other car claimed to be hurt, there isn't much damage and hopefully the other driver won't make a claim.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Wedding pictures!

My niece Jessica Sanchez married Eric Tilton on Saturday, May 4, 2013 (Star Wars Day: May the Fourth be with you). Here are a few photos from the rehearsal and reception.

Rehearsal on Friday night. Daniel (far right) was standing in for Eric's brother Justin, who had to work.

Working out the procession order at the rehearsal.

I don't have pictures of the wedding. Donna, Jessica and Cayla were late, and Cayla left my camera in Donna's car, so I didn't get it back until Donna and Cayla came to the reception. I took pictures with Jessica's camera, and she said she would share some with me.

The happy couple enters the reception hall.

Bridesmaid Cayla gives her toast.

Cutting the cake.

First dance as husband and wife.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

A nice day for a white wedding

My niece Jessica is getting married today.

It was supposed to be a nice day in May, and there were supposed to be flowers in the garden at the historic church where the wedding will take place.

Instead, the high will be about 54 degrees and there is currently still snow on the ground from Thursday's snowstorm.

You just can't plan everything.

I'll probably do a longer post later tonight, when we get home from the reception. I took pictures at the rehearsal last night and at the reception site where family members were decorating. But I need to get a little bit more sleep before getting on with the day.

My schedule:
  1. Get up and dressed. Cayla get up and shower and dress, then we go to Donna's apartment, where Cayla will work on the signs and I will peel potatoes. 
  2. When the potato salad and Watergate salad are made, I go back home and wrap the gift that my friend Mara and I bought together. This is when I take my shower and take a nap, not necessarily in that order.
  3. Cayla goes with Donna and Jessica to get makeup and hair done, then they all go to the church together. I want until Cayla's boyfriend Daniel gets off work and gets ready to go.
  4. We (Daniel and I) drive up to the church. The wedding happens.
  5. Cayla and Daniel and I drive to the reception. The reception happens.
  6. We drive home. I go to bed.

That's pretty how much my day should turn out. Photos to come.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Photo ready giveaway

It's been awhile since I've been part of a big giveaway for a variety of reasons - mostly that my life has been a bit more chaotic than usual the past few months. But I really like this prize and wanted to be part of getting the word out.

I tend to favor giveaways with prizes that I would like to win - and this is no exception. My little point-and-shoot is cute and all, but doesn't do everything I want it to (although, to be honest, if I would read the manual, I know I would get better photos).

So here's your chance to win a Canon EOS Rebel T4i digital camera. Just imagine how great your photos would be if you had this.

Welcome to the Photo Ready Giveaway Event

Organized by: Mom Powered Media

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Now let's talk about the fabulous prize package which includes:

Canon EOS REBEL T4i 18.0 MP CMOS Digital Camera with 3-inch Touchscreen and Full HD Movie Mode (Body) - Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II SLR Zoom Lens - Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 IS Telephoto Zoom Lens - Telephoto & Wide Angle Lens Set - 3 pc Filter Kit: UV/ Polarizing filter/Fluorescent correction & Case - 32 Gigabyte SDHC Secure Digital Memory Card - Secure Digital USB Card Reader - Universal Memory Card Wallet - Pack of LCD Screen Protectors - Additional LP-E8 Rechargeable Lithium-ion Replacement Battery Pack - Well Protective SLR Camera Gadget Bag w/Pockets & Strap - Full Size 59" Tripod W/Case - Focus DVD Guide to Digital SLR Cameras - Focus Digital Grey Card Set for color correction - Focus 5pc Deluxe Lens Care & Cleaning Kit - HDMI cable

One lucky winner will receive the Canon EOS REBEL T4i Prize Package {detailed above}!

Giveaway ends May 14th at 11:59pm, open worldwide residents, ages 18+. Residents outside of the US will receive a $750 Amazon GC instead. To enter please use the Rafflecopter form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I received no compensation for this publication. My opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own. Carol's Random Babble is not responsible for sponsor prize shipment. Please contact teri@mompoweredmedia.com with questions or to see your business or blog featured on the next big event!

Friday, April 19, 2013

A good cause

I have a friend who is a Child Passenger Safety Technician. She is passionate about car seats and making sure children are safe in cars. This passion helped her a couple of years ago when her family was involved in a terrible rollover accident - because all three of her children were in the proper car seats and all three were rear-facing (even the six-year-old!), the worst injury was a broken leg. It could have been much worse.

My friend is promoting the State Farm Neighborhood Assist program on Facebook. One of the causes that is seeking votes is called Safe and Green.

Here is the summary at the Facebook page:

What is the mission of your cause?

To reduce the number of deaths and injuries of children in car crashes through education & advocacy.

How would you use the $25,000 to address an unmet need in your community?

We would use this grant to expand a pilot education and recycling program for unusable safety seats in communities from Long Beach across Los Angeles County. Staff time would be used to approach local businesses, community groups, family agencies, and environmental groups to generate participation in the network. We would develop educational materials to teach parents how to assess their children’s safety seats to ensure that their children are riding safely in the car. We would then put together a media and publicity campaign to promote the messages of safe car seat use, safe disposal of unusable seats, and recycling. We already have received considerable interest in the concept of enhancing safety through promoting recycling from Los Angeles media, making it a newsworthy way to promote protecting kids in the car. We would work with organizations that provide free or low-cost new safety seats to help low-income families find safe alternatives and avoid old, risky seats.

Each person can vote 10 times per day. It's as simple as clicking. Do you have a few seconds to vote? It may not be in your neighborhood (and you can check at that page for causes that are), but it can potentially save lives.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Perspective and the elephant

This is most of the text of the talk I gave today at my mom's memorial. I improvised a little while speaking and those thoughts are not included. I paraphrased the elephant story here because for the talk I copied it from an online site. But it is an old legend.

Once upon a time there were six blind men in a village. One day there was an elephant and they wanted to find out for themselves what it was like. Each one touched the elephant.

One man said, “the elephant is a pillar”
Another man said, “no, it is like a tree branch.”
The man who touched the tail said it was like a rope.
The man who touched the ear said it was like a huge fan.
The man who touched the side of the elephant thought it was a wall.
The man who touched the tusk said it was like a solid pipe.

The men started arguing about which one of them was right. A wise man passed by and asked them what was the matter. They told him what they each thought the elephant was like. The wise man explained that they were all right, but the elephant was the combination of what they had each discovered. The men were happy.

My purpose today is to share my perspective on the life of Janice Burrell Snyder. I can only share my perspective because I have mostly known her as my mother, but somewhat as friend and sister in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Now, all of this is pieced together mostly from my memories of what my mom told me. So it is a mixture of her perspective and my perspective. Other people who were involved have their own perspective.

For the purpose of being clear, I'm going to say Janice rather than Mom, because most of you knew her as Janice. And I sometimes called her that – mostly in public when we were shopping and if she heard “Mom” she didn't think it was for her, but she would answer to “Janice.”

And now, part of the story of Janice Burrell Snyder.

Once upon a time, there was a man named Arthur and a woman named Florence.

Arthur and Florence fell in love. They wanted to get married, but her parents didn't approve because Arthur was about 9 years older than Florence. Nevertheless, they did get married.

Arthur and Florence had three little girls: Janice, Diane and Nancy.

Janice was born May 30, 1938, in Chicago. That is the traditional Memorial Day, no matter that now it's celebrated on the last Monday of May. She told me that her mom's doctor was determined that she be born on Memorial Day. He wanted her sister Diane to be born on the Fourth of July, but he didn't get his way that time. I really have no idea why he was so fixated on holidays.

Arthur held a variety of jobs and the family moved around a bit. They lived in Dixmoore Village in 1940, according to the census. That's next door to Harvey, Illinois. Janice said she had a pony when she was little. I believe the pony was traded in for a younger sister, Diane.

They lived in Chicago and also Fort Dodge. Janice went to elementary school at Hawley, where the Hawley Lions park is located today. When in elementary school or junior high, her plan was that when she grew up, she would be an old maid. She and her best friend would adopt kids and kittens and raise them all together.

Later on, her plan was to have four kids and when she and her husband retired, they would live with each kid for three months of the year.

The family moved to Gowrie, and she went to high school there. I have recently been in contact with her boyfriend from high school, and he gave me a new perspective on her – the high school girl with younger sisters who teased her about kissing her boyfriend.

Janice's dad, Arthur, was Gowrie town marshal for awhile. He resigned from that job and they moved to Aurelia during her senior year. She worked at Cherokee as a nurse's aide, while her parents worked there. They moved to Chicago some time after she graduated.

Her uncle worked for the Fort Dodge police department. When they moved, there wasn't room for her to travel with her parents and sisters, so she was to take the train by herself from Fort Dodge. Her Uncle Walter escorted her to the train depot, in his police uniform. She said that she felt like a scarlet woman being run out of town on a rail.

Janice had met and dated Bill Snyder while still living in Iowa. I don't have all the details of their courtship, just that she worked in a cafe and he was driving a truck. I do know that they were married in Chicago.

They lived in Des Moines, where Bill was going to college. He transferred to Iowa State University and they lived in Pammel Court – the married student housing. It consisted of trailer homes and quonset huts. This is where they lived when I was born. My earliest memory is like a fuzzy black and white snapshot. I was being held by one of my parents by a quonset hut, at night.

When Bill graduated, he got a job teaching vocational agriculture in the Van Buren School system at Keosauqua. This is where Donna was born. We joke that my dad was a student and her dad was a teacher.

The family lived in several homes in the Keosauqua area. There was one farm house, then another – we called this one Little House on the Prairie. The neighbors had pigs that would get out from time to time. My Aunt Nancy blamed me for causing Mom to go into labor – she said I let the pigs out and Mom had to chase them down. What can I say? I was three years old. If it is true, I think I have the excuse of not being old enough to know better.

I need to backtrack a little here. While the family was still in Ames, Janice was visiting one of the neighbors in Pammel Court to bring over extra tomatoes given her by Bill's mom. She noticed that the woman was coloring in her Bible. She was curious about this and asked. The neighbor explained about marking scriptures for studying, and invited her to go to a weekday women's meeting – Relief Society.

While at the church for this meeting, Janice met and shook hands with two men who were there. She said that she felt something was very different about them and she wanted to know more. She started investigating the church.

It took some time for Bill to accept the gospel, but he did while they lived in the Keosauqua area. They were baptized in January 1964, in the swimming pool at the Ottumwa YMCA. The family was sealed together in the Salt Lake Temple in 1967.

The other two homes the family lived in near Keosauqua were an old farmhouse that burned completely down in February 1966 and another home that was rented by the same landlord.

Bill got a different teaching job – this time for the West Marshal school district. The family moved to an old farmhouse just outside Rhodes. This is where I attended school from second grade through eighth grade.

Janice went to Marshalltown Community College and received an associate's degree. Bill left teaching to take a truck driving job for Umthun Trucking in Eagle Grove, and the family moved to Fort Dodge in 1975.

Janice moved out in 1978 to take an apartment at the Warden. She was still around for a while, but eventually moved to Chicago, where she lived with her sister Diane and her family. You will have a chance to hear about that perspective from my cousin Neela, Diane's oldest daughter.

Bill and Janice divorced. She never remarried. He did remarry, and I assume happily – it appears so from my perspective.

Janice's mother, Florence, died in 1979. Her father, Arthur, died in 1981. One thing that made her happy was a mistake she made in June 1981. She gave her father some books – Westerns, that she knew he would enjoy – for Father's Day. Unfortunately, it was one week early. She took some ribbing about that, but her dad enjoyed the books for a week before he died.

In 1982, Donna and I both moved to Chicago at different times. I got married to Kent, who I had met in Iowa. Donna married Elias, who she met in Chicago. They produced four grandchildren for Janice. Kent and I produced two grandchildren for her.

Janice loved to babysit her grandkids. When she would visit Donna when Alex was little, at parting she would go to the door in preparation to leave. She would say “1, 2, 3” and Alex would run the length of the apartment to jump into her arms for a big hug.

Sometime after Donna's divorce, she moved back to Fort Dodge. In March 1996, Kent and I moved to Fort Dodge, as well. Janice moved back to Fort Dodge later that year to be with her grandchildren. And, I suppose, her daughters as well.

In Fort Dodge, she became a Foster Grandparent. She loved her first assignment, in Mrs. Duffy's kindergarten class at Hillcrest. Unfortunately Mrs. Duffy died and Janice was reassigned. She didn't find as fitting an assignment at the other schools she went to. Eventually her physical condition caused problems – she had both knees replaced and some other surgeries.

The last few years she lived at Garden Village in Fort Dodge.

These things tell part of the life of Janice Burrell Snyder. But there is much, much more.

Her favorite flowers were lilacs and lily of the valley.

Janice loved to read. There was hardly a time in her life that she wasn't involved with books. She enjoyed a wide variety of genres like fantasy, science fiction, mystery, certain romances, and one of her favorite authors was Betty Neels. I have quite a collection of Betty Neels books at home now. I also have her collection of church books. She loved the scriptures and read them daily as long as she was able.

She liked to watch some crime dramas, science fiction and history on TV. She enjoyed the classic Doctor Who, but I couldn't get her interested in the current episodes, unfortunately.

Janice enjoyed participating in a couple of online forums. She liked the people there and they liked her. She did gain a certain amount of expertise in being online and emailing, although sometimes we got a little exasperated when things didn't go well and she called us for tech support.

Janice loved the church. She believed in the gospel. She held many callings throughout her life. Her death is a separation from the things and the people she knew, but we hold on to the belief that we will be reunited some day. I take comfort in the timing of her death on Good Friday. I will remember the resurrection when I think of her and hope that we will have a sweet reunion.

I have told you a part of the story of Janice Burrell Snyder. But like the blind men and the elephant, there is only so much that I know.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Blogger op: Photo Ready Giveaway

Photo Ready Giveaway Event

Organized by: Mom Powered Media
Prize: Canon EOS REBEL T4i 18.0 MP CMOS Digital Camera Prize Package {RV$950+}
Event dates: 4/23 - 5/14
Please say that Carol Foltz (Carol's Random Babble) sent you.