Confessions of a Nesting Pregnant Woman-“Mary Organizes” De-Clutter Challenge Week 1

24 Aug

It’s been a while since I wrote a post. Let me give you a quick update on what’s been “goin’ on ’round here”. We found out a new little itty bitty teeny weeny mini farmer is joining the family! And….we just found out that the itty bitty teeny weeny mini farmer is a boy. We are thrilled and nervous at the same time….5 kids….well, let me rephrase that, 5 kids in 6 years. So…..there ya go. Our little bundle is due just after the new year so this Christmas I’ll probably be enjoying the holiday festivities sitting in my favorite chair and watching everyone scramble around the house. Don’t be surprised if I decorate the house for Christmas in October…I want to enjoy these decorations and not be too miserable. So, if you see my house looking like Christmas before Halloween…just go with it.

We purchased a bull for the ranch! That was a pretty exciting leap for us. I guess I can officially call The New Farmer a real cowboy now….because owning a bull makes you 100% cowboy. You didn’t know that? Well…it does.

With my previous pregnancies, it brought on an overwhelming desire to nest and organize and clean and purge and organize and organize……and I’m finding this pregnancy is no differnt. I’m not sure what it is about being pregnant and creating a list so long of “to do’s” that you can’t possibly even reach half of those goals, but it happens and again I say, “just go with it”.

I have literally sorted this house 6 times for a rummage sale and children’s consignment sale, and put everything back where I grabbed it. Who does this? Last night I informed The New Farmer that I was going to sort again and this time, I was going to actually go through with it. I think he cried a little. It drives him a little nuts when I sort the whole house, price it all for a rummage sale, and remove the price tags and put it all back. Seriously, if I could stop this madness I would. My excuse is for the simple fact that I’ve had “preggy brain” for almost 7 years straight. How does one recover from that?

I stumbled across an awesome blog a few months ago and it’s an encouraging blog giving ideas and suggestions on how to organize and declutter your home. The writers name is Mary and right now she’s hosting a 91 day declutter challenge…Yes…..I’m participating. The goal is to be finished before Thanksgiving….perfect! For Week 1, the focus is your living room. You can find her post here.

This brought instant gratification to me because my living room is the ONLY room in my house that doesn’t need de-cluttered. So…I could mark that room right off the list without breaking a sweat. Yay!

This room is by far my favorite room in the house. It’s always simple….always clean….it brings me peace.

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The drawers in my tables are all empty. There’s no “hidey holes” I need to purge…done, done and done! The ONLY issue I have with this room is the playhouse toy thing over to the side….and that my friends, is a whole other situation wracking my brain: toys.

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Right before we moved out of my previous home, I purchased a playhouse toy just like the one I just showed you. The kids enjoyed it, played the heck out of it….and then we moved. The New Farmer stuck it in storage during our move, and it was forgotten. We discovered it didn’t survive storage, and for some silly reason when we moved to the ranch it was put in our horse barn instead of being tossed….so occasionally I’d see that toy…just sitting there….all heart-broken without children playing with it.

About a month ago, I began a big purge of the barns and house…..you know….one of the 6 already this year. There was the toy….the heartbroken toy. The New Farmer tossed it and it triggered something in me. The search for a replacement was on. And, with technology as it is today, my search was pretty fast. They don’t make this specific playhouse toy anymore so I couldn’t just click on Amazon and get a new one…it was an Ebay search and “Yay!”, one shipped to my door.

It arrived, I felt fantastic, the kids were thrilled….and then “Day 2″ came and I became annoyed with the toy…it’s in my peaceful living room….making….”noise”. So….the great toy debate officially begins. (What stays, what goes?!) In hopes to create “peacefulness” and “calmness” throughout the whole house, I’m participating in Mary’s 91 Day De-Clutter challenge….I can do this, I can do this, I can do this!

Larsen Toy Lab Product Review and Giveaway-“Sticks and Stones” Set PLUS Free Monogram!

2 Jun

There are a few companies that show up now and then that really peak my interest. Like…so much that I’ll wake up at 2 a.m. and think “Man….I really hope this company flourishes!” Larsen Toy Lab is one of those companies that kept me up at night. When I first heard about Larsen Toy Lab, they were in the beginning phase of creating their company. I’m not even sure how I stumbled across the site, but they were wanting to launch their business and when I saw what they were offering, I KNEW they’d be successful. They had just started advertising what they were going to be making. I wanted so badly for them to be able to follow their dream.

When I hear about young entrepreneurs, I can’t help but be their cheerleader! I was in a class in highschool where we had to come up with a product, create it, market it, and actually sell it to people! I LOVED this class. It really imbedded the desire to be my own boss some day and create a product of my own. Shortly after highschool, I started a little mini business of my own and my profits helped me pay for college. Since then, I’ve done a few things here and there.  I think I’ll always be an entrepreneur at heart….even though it drives The New Farmer insane sometimes….sorry….can’t help it……the drive is there buddy….

Larsen Toy Lab is Co-Founded by siblings; Courtney and Alex. Their story starts with their dad….and I think it’s just amazing they want to bring their passion for high quality toys alive for so many! They strive for “Unforgettable toys that will last for generations”…and honestly, I think they’ve done just that!  Please read their “About Us” section on their website and learn about their story.

So, what does Larsen Toy Lab offer? American made blocks that go with books or games. Did you read that sentence clearly? These products are made in America!!!

I contacted Alex several months ago and asked if he’d be interested in partnering up with me. He has been such a pleasure to work with, and in a moment I think you’ll agree he’s been very generous as well!

Let me tell you a little about what Larsen Toy Lab offers.They have Toys with a Story, Games and Puzzles, and Classic Building Block Sets. Alex sent us the “Sticks and Stones” set to try out. The story coincides with the blocks. Meaning, you can create the same buildings as Leif, the Viking boy in the story. My kids absolutely loved this set. The blocks are high quality, definitely safe and nontoxic (and if you know me and The New Farmer well, you know we are all about NON-TOXIC with our family). Alex actually wrote the book and his mom illustrated it!

 

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The set comes in a canvass tote (SO CONVENIENT!), so I pulled everything out for the kids to see. They grabbed the book (which Alex also provided an updated digital version for me to use), and off they went creating and building right alongside Leif from the book.

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My oldest 3 Mini Farmers are ages 6, 4 and 2. They worked together  and it was so fun to see them spark up when they created the same object that was pictured in the book. Mini Farmer #3 (he’s 2) was in awe of the whole thing and of course, Mini Farmer #1 and #2 were not surprised at all that they could create these works of art. HA!

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Mini Farmer #1 (he’s 6) read the story to the younger ones and they all quickly reached for the needed blocks to create their next masterpiece. It was teamwork at it’s best.

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The quality of this set was what I was really putting to the test. The 4 Mini Farmers are…..um….for lack of a better word….the perfect testers for toy quality control.  If it can pass through the hands of those busy little Mini Farmers and survive, then you indeed have, really good quality. This Larsen Toy Lab set is not only durable, but I know it will last for a very, very long time. I’m even envisioning my little Mini Farmer Grandkids playing with this. And that right there almost makes me want to cry, because, well….time goes so fast. True Story.

I hope you take the time to visit the Larsen Toy Lab website. They have some excellent products, and I have my Christmas and birthday lists already made out. They offer their book/block sets but they also offer games that I can’t wait to try out!

Something new to hit the Larsen Toy Lab website is the availability to create your own project! You can create the story, choose blocks, the add-ons and activities and submit it! This is in the beta phase and is a brand new offering from them. How exciting is this?!

The gang at Larsen Toy Lab is giving away the very same set that I tried out! This is a 20 piece block set, with a book and canvas tote and retails for $45-$50! One of my readers will win their very own monogrammed “Sticks and Stones” 20 piece set and I can’t wait to see who the winner is!  To participate in my giveaway, you’ll need to go to my Facebook page and enter the Rafflecopter Giveway, (located in the “giveaway” link at the top of my page).

Good luck!

Love,

The New Farmer’s Wife

Jamberry Nails Product Review and Giveaway

22 May

Have you heard of Jamberry Nails? They are all the rave right now and I’m excited to be hosting a giveaway for a set of  “Cup of Tea” Jamberry Nail wraps. Lets first chat about how this product review came to be. A friend of mine, Heather Deal is a Jamberry Nails Independent Consultant. She first started offering Jamberry nails as a little hobby that quickly turned into a successful job! What’s funny is, the very first time I met Heather, I noticed her nails. She had on a pair of Mint Green Chevron nail wraps and I couldn’t stop staring at them! (True story Heather….I didn’t know a thing about Jamberry even exhisting, but when I saw your nails I couldn’t stop staring at them!!)

Heather came to me and asked if I’d do a product review post and giveaway for Jamberry Nails. I hopped on board the minute she asked because I had been curious about these nail wraps for a while! She supplied me with “Gold Leopard” and provided “Cup of Tea” for the giveaway.

Let me say upfront, that I have tried nail wraps before from regular stores and was so disappointed because they only lasted a day on my nails. I don’t have much luck keeping my nails looking pampered and pretty. There’s a “slight” chance it has to do with all those diapers, laundry, dishes, and all the “ranchy stuff” I do on a daily basis. I kept hearing from friends and fellow facebook peeps that Jamberry Nails were super easy to apply and lasted quite a while. So I was really hoping these would work for me! They run about $15 a set and that will do every nail on your body. (Fingers and toes ya’ll!….for $15!!)

I don’t have much free time around here. With 4 little ones, homeschool, naps that I have to beg the youngest 2 kids to take, home life and chores on our ranch, the availability of “ME TIME” doesn’t really exist. I picked the “perfect” time to apply my set of Jamberry Nails….and by “perfect” I mean, I had 4 screaming children, it was storming, we lost electricity and I was using an iron as my heat source because, hey…I was ironing and that seemed logical at the time. (It wasn’t logical…don’t even pretend to go along with me…..but this is how I operate….it is confusing to be me sometimes…)

There’s lots of videos and “how to” tutorials on how to apply Jamberry Nails, but here’s the one right off the Jamberry Nails website. You basically need a little warmth, a file and a pair of scissors to trim them to size.

When I got the first fingernail covered…I have to be honest, there “may or may not have been” a happy dance taking place for two reasons:

1) I did it! Dare I say more?

2)They looked AWESOME!

It has been quite a while since these ranch hands looked perky….it was time to do the rest of those nails and “get the spunk back in my junk”…..or…..maybe saying, “put the pep in my step” sounds better? I don’t know…either way, I was excited.. let’s just go with that.

Mini Farmer #2 had a complete meltdown during my “I’m super excited to be doing this and my nails look fabulous, and please quit crying kids because mama is feeling spunky for a minute and let’s not ruin that” moment I was having with my Jamberry Nails. She felt left out. She didn’t understand why on earth mama was getting pretty nails and not her. She’s my “roll in the mud but look pretty doing so” kind of gal. But good news! Jamberry Nails has “Mommy & Me” sets and Jamberry Juniors!!!All is well with the world!

I’m probably the hardest product tester for these Jamberry Nails because it was gardening time and we also had an addition of 16 ducklings that needed nonstop care. Talk about fully testing out a product! I told Heather I’d be planting garden with these on my nails and she wasn’t worried a bit! In fact..she was pretty dang confident I’d still have gorgeous nails afterwards.

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We planted 28 rows of vegetables in our mammoth, gargantuan garden. Over 100 potatoes, 100 sweet potatoes, and every other veggie you can imagine. My wish is, after this 2 week process of planting, I desperately hope those veggies actually grow! The kids had a blast helping me plant, so if nothing else, we can say we were happy doing it. But…….I really, REALLY hope our veggies grow!

After several days of digging, raking, planting, burying and watering, my Jamberry Nails still looked good as new. They were soaked, caked with dirt, scrubbed on, and all the in-between’s and they lasted the whole 2 weeks! I couldn’t believe it! So even though I felt exhausted, completely dirty, and soaked with water, I had awesome looking nails. Talk about the best $15 a gal could spend!

There’s tons of styles to choose from, so if you like animal print, chevron, stripes, french tips, solid colors, or any other design you can think of, they’ll probably have it.

Jamberry Nails was created by sisters Lyndsey, Christy and Keri, and Jamberry Nails are also non-toxic (a HUGE plus in this house). Would you like to win a set of “Cup of Tea” Jamberry Nails? I’m hosting a giveaway and it’s easy to enter!

Click here to enter the giveaway! Winner will be chosen in a few days! Best of luck! Visit Heather’s online Jamberry Nails website! You’re not only supporting a wonderful lady but she’s a mother to 3 sweet kids and they homeschool as well!

Love,

The New Farmer’s Wife

How A Duck Met A Cow….

18 May

The New Farmer had an idea. And that usually means there was countless hours spent behind this idea surfing the web for resources and what not.

And…when an idea comes to The New Farmer….well….you best just plan on letting him do it. Because, you know….the countless hours he spent researching “said idea” means you pretty much will hear about this “said idea” from mornin’ til dawn until you give in.

Last month, his idea was to purchase ducks for the ranch. They help with keeping fly population down ya know. And we’re not talking about just any ol’ duck. No….we’re talkin Muscovy ducks…and we purchased 16.

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Ain’t they cute?
Little fluffy, tiny ducks do pull at my heart strings. They waddle. They “quack”. They’re yellow. I mean come on….they’re so cute that it hurts.

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The kids adored these ducklings the moment we brought them home.

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And, ok…..I kinda adored them too. Just a little. I only carried one around while doing housework for just a bit. I couldn’t help it. He needed me to hold him. What was I to do? Ignore a baby ducklings need? No thank you.

Well….much to my surprise, these ducklings grew fast. Like, super hero fast. So our sweet ducklings were itty bitty no more. I almost felt cheated.

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This is how our story of “How A Duck Met A Cow”, all began.

It started with The New Farmer asking me to help him gather the ducks. I should have known what would happen because, well, when I’m around to help he usually ends up with trouble. It is a trait I carry well.

My sweet ducklings turned into mean little boogers with sharp claws, and me crying, sobbing, yelling, requesting to the ducks that they get some composure of themselves and let me gather them.

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But that face doesn’t seem interested in composure, huh? And my hands look less then appealing after dealing with highly ticked off ducklings, who actually growled at me….true story.

This story only gets better, because you see, it involves me and The New Farmer brainstorming…..together…..

The result was laying the water and trays on the trailer so the ducks would sit still like good ducklings while the trailer traveled from one side of the 80 acre pasture, thru the corral gate, and over to the other side of the pasture. It…was…brilliant.

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It was brilliant, until we actually took off. These ducklings did less then perfect with sitting still. So, my job was to grab ducklings that decided to jump off the trailer and stick them back on the moving trailer at lighting fast speed, while sitting with the other ducks (who didn’t actually sit, but nosed around the moving trailer at rocket speed) and beg, plead, bribe, convince them that we knew what we were doing and hang tight because, by golly, you’re almost to the other side of the pasture.

After that exhausting jaunt, it was time to introduce these little fly eaters to their new friends; the cows.

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It was a friendship from the start. A few “quacks” and a few “moos” and we have a wonderful partnership.

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A duck met a cow, they’re all friends, and I don’t have to do this traumatizing duck gathering ever again. Brilliant. I love The New Farmer’s ideas.

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Love,
The New Farmer’s Wife

Giveaways coming up…

14 May

Hi friends! I’ve got several posts coming, and wanted to give a little sneak peak at what product reviews and giveaways I’ll be posting in the next couple of days.

Have you heard of Jamberry Nails?! I’ll be doing a product review and giveaway for those spunky nail wraps that have become very popular!

Larsen Toy Lab has fantastic book/block sets that we have been trying out and my kids love! I’ve partnered up with them to host a giveaway for a personalized set!

Child Training Bible is another excellent product I’ll be reviewing and giving away!

These posts are coming up VERY soon! Please check back often!

“We Choose Virtues” Family Kit Winner Is Announced!

3 May

What an awesome giveaway week! I had over 900 entries for this set! I’m so excited and thrilled that I was able to partner up with Heather; the creator of “We Choose Virtues”. The winner of the giveway will receive the Family Kit, and let me just say, we have this same kit and absolutely love it! Numerous times throughout the day my kids refer to the characters used in We Choose Virtues. They catch themselves (or their siblings!) misbehaving and they quickly point out, “Be like Oboe Joe!” or “What would Feather Heather do?” It’s pretty neat to see the connection. This is what the winner will receive in their Family Kit: (and as you can see, it’s quite a lot!)

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The set is priced at $69.99 and it is worth every penny. So…..without further ado, let’s find out who the winner is! I use rafflecopter to choose the winner…drumroll please…….

CONGRATS Beth Lepich! You will enjoy this set! You’ll be receiving an email from me with details!

Blessings!
Love,
The New Farmers Wife

P.S….I have some great reviews and giveaways coming up! A Larsen Toy Lab book/block set, Child Training Bible set, Jamberry nails, and a few more! Check back for details!!

We Choose Virtues Review and Giveaway!

22 Apr

I’m excited to be hosting a product review and giveaway for We Choose Virtues. As a mama to 4 little mini farmers, I find it extremely important to encourage positive behaviors and guide our children in the path that God has for them.

As you may have read in a previous post, I started hosting reviews and giveaways for products that I enjoy and I feel would benefit my readers. I know several mamas who want to instill good character choices and behaviors in their kids and want a creative way to do it. So, the story for this giveaway began…..

I contacted Heather from We Choose Virtues. She’s the creator of this wonderful program! And I must say, she is absolutely wonderful. She supplied me with the Family Kit. She is giving away a Family Kit to the winner of my giveaway and is also offering a 20% discount to my readers for this same kit. *AWESOME*!! Extremely generous!

Let’s start by learning a little about Heather. After reading her “About” link, and finding out how We Choose Virtues all began, I became extremely grateful to this woman and her dedication for instilling virtues in children! She started right at home, with her children. That’s what drew me to her product. She’s a mom to 4 kids, just like me and knew the importance of good behavior and good choices in kids. After realizing her method was working, she encouraged others to use her program. Please take a moment to read her page!

The day our package arrived, I sat my kids at the dining table so we could spread everything out. They were more than thrilled to see the wonderful drawings and color! Here’s what you’ll receive in the Family Kit:

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You’ll get a set of Parenting Cards, Virtues Flash Cards for Families, Kids Virtue Poster, and the Three Rules Poster. They’ll also supply you with downloadable Butterfly Awards, Family Character Assessment and Kids of VirtueVille Coloring Pages. This is a $69.99 set and it’s worth every penny! As a reader of my blog, if you’d like to purchase this kit, you’ll receive a 20% discount when you enter the code FAMILY20

Let’s talk about how my family uses this set, shall we? Once I received the downloadable files, I printed off 3 sets (Itty Bitty Mini Farmer #4 is a wee bit too young for paper and pencil/crayon. But, she is with us as we go over these virtues, so she’s learning!) I have a Proclick binding system, so I created a workbook for each child. (Have I mentioned just how much I LOVE that machine?!)

Here’s a peak at their workbook.

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The workbooks start with the coloring book cover. They personalized their workbook and wrote their names (you know….we are all about labeling our items at this stage..haha!). The next page is the Family Character Assessment page. I chose different color sharpie pens because as time goes by and we learn more about each virtue and character trait, I want to go back and assess each child again, using a different colored sharpie to keep track of improvements. Hopefully by the end of our lessons, I see a bunch of “10’s” circled!

Now, the next several pages follow the same order. The Butterfly Awards are printed 2 per page, so what I did was insert 2 character trait pages, then a sheet of 2 awards, then 2 more character trait pages, then a sheet of 2 awards until all the character traits and awards were used. As we progress through the workbook, if I find them consistently showing that virtue or character trait, they will get that award filled out and it remains in their workbook so it doesn’t get lost. Then, once our workbook is all complete, they can go back and see when they received an award for each trait.

We have several Bible lessons throughout our day, but I always start our home school day with a devotion for kids (more on that at a later post) and we then cover a new virtue or review the current virtue (I stick to 1 virtue a week so they really absorb what it means). When a new virtue is taught, they color the page in the workbook and date it. We’ve got a “We Choose Virtues” wall area by our calendar, that way the virtue cards, and the other virtue posters provided are always in sight and I can run and discuss a virtue any time I need it throughout the day…you know…when someone might not be very content, or gentle….I walk them over the designated wall area and we discuss what we need to improve.

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I have to add, the day we received our kit and looked it over, Mini Farmer #1 said, “Mama…I need to tell you something. You know my spelling test I took this morning and got 100% on?” I answered with, “I sure do! I am so proud of you!” He had a disappointed look on his face and said, “Well, I need to tell you something. I wasn’t being “HONEST” (one of the traits in the We Choose Virtues kit). I looked at the sheet with my spelling words on it when you weren’t looking. I’m being HONEST now, so I hope you can FORGIVE (another virtue discussed in the kit) me.” Wow……just like that he understood how to use these virtues in every day life. I was thrilled to see this little lesson already affecting him!

I’m so grateful Heather partnered up with me to try out her product. We are loving it, and I know you will too! The giveaway for the Family Kit has now started and will run until May 03, 2014. And remember, if you don’t win the giveaway, use the promo code!

Go to the giveaway here, and visit my Facebook page often!

Good luck!

Blessings!

Love,

The New Farmers Wife

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