Saturday, October 21, 2017

SixFlags HalloWedding - The Reception


I know you're probably tired of seeing pics from my vow renewal but, guess what, I'm not!

Six Flags was kind enough to hold a reception for the newlyweds, people who renewed vows, and everyone's guests.



Each couple had their own individual cakes with choice of bottle of champagne or sparkling juice (I went for the champagne!)  

Women who were newly married had black bouquets, and the vow renewal gals had purple flower bouquets.  

with my niece and great-niece

I sent what was left of our wedding cake home with my son to take in the house since I wasn't going home that night.  It made it as far as the front yard before the entire thing slipped out of the box and made a fantastic mess in my front yard.


Six Flags also gave each couple two free general admission tickets and passes for entry to their five haunted houses.  Guess where I'm going next weekend!

Man, I love this Halloween stuff.

Scratch & Create Enchanted Forest - Postcard Kit Review and Giveaway

I received products for review from Quarto.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

DESCRIPTION

Adult coloring books are so last year - Dive into the awesome world of scratch art! With the specially designed stylus we provide, you’ll etch and scratch your way through 20 delightful, original art postcards. Each postcard is coated with silver, metallic, foil, and as you scratch away, you’ll reveal the full-color art beneath. Each design is illustrated Kailey Whitman, and is the perfect, personalized, place for a note to someone special.

My Review

I don't necessarily agree that adult coloring books are so last year but I will agree that scratch art is another fun, therapeutic hobby.  The Scratch & Create Enchanted Forest postcard kit has been a relaxing form of art for me.  There are twenty postcards in the book that start out as silver, metallic foil with shapes and lines that aren't real visible.  When you use the provided stylus and scratch the foil, colors and pictures appear.  It creates a completed image.

There are two sides to the stylus - one thin and pointy, the other wider and duller.  I prefer the wider side because I can get more done quicker and it doesn't scratch up the paper.  I've found that, once in a while, you will want to wipe the shavings away from the image so you can keep track of where you've scratched.  The postcard paper is high-quality and perforated for easy tearing.  On the backside of each is a section for addresses and a small note, like any other postcard.  You can send your finished art to someone special or use it as a display.

 a finished piece


Win It!

One person will win a Scratch & Create Enchanted Forest Postcard Kit.

*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA and Canada.*
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Friday, October 20, 2017

Celebrate National Pasta Month with Cucina Antica

I received products in exchange for this post.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

October is National Pasta Month, and we’re celebrating all month long with Cucina Antica’s authentic, Italian cooking sauces.

These artisanal cooking sauces allow for the at-home chef to discover new pasta-bilities. Try their cooking sauces: Tomato Basil, Garlic Marinara, Puttanesca, Spicy Arrabbiata, Fresh Spinach, Arugula Marinara, and La Pizza!

Each handcrafted flavor is Non-GMO Project Verified, gluten-free, with no added sugar, no preservatives, made with imported San Marzano Tomatoes.

Visit https://cucina-antica.com/ for more information.  Click here to find out where you can purchase the cooking sauces.    

What's your favorite kind of pasta?
Which flavor of Cucina Antica cooking sauces would you most like to try?

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Power of Prayer Thursdays - Week 92

Photo by Louis Moncouyoux on Unsplash

I believe in a God that hears prayers and answers them. I've witnessed the miraculous gift of answered prayer. And, I want to pray for you. I've started weekly Power of Prayer post every Thursday. We are now on week 92. If you are needing prayer in an area of your life, please leave a comment and I'll commit to pray for your need or request. You can be as general or as specific as you like. Whether it be for healing, salvation, finances, emotions, or another area of life, I'd like to lift it up in prayer.

Malachi 4:2 

But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its rays. And you will go out and frolic like well-fed calves.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Six Flags HalloWedding - The Scare-amony


Screenshot of article on ABC News

No one ever accused our family of being normal!  And there was no reason to try to be when Jason and I renewed our vows Saturday.  Not only did I "remarry" the love of my life, I also witnessed my daughter get married to the love of her life.


with our officiant


Me and Jason with the other two couples who share an anniversary with us

Of the 13 couples who renewed their vows, there were two other couples besides me and Jason who were married fifteen years ago on the same stage at the same time.  It was great connecting with them and seeing how their lives have been since they were first married.  


A handful of people commented that they could tell who the renewals and the marriages were.  The people renewing their vows were chillax and loosened up.  The ones getting married were all nervous and serious.

Saying our "I boos" in this frighteningly fun way is a highlight of my life!

Living Things and Nonliving Things: A Compare and Contrast Book - Review and Giveaway

I received book for review from Arbordale Publishing.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

Book Overview:

Using a wide variety of stunning photographs, author Kevin Kurtz poses thought-provoking questions to help readers determine if things are living or nonliving. For example, if most (but not all) living things can move, can any nonliving things move? As part of the Compare and Contrast series, this is a unique look at determining whether something is living or nonliving.

My Review:

With amazing realistic pictures, this book isn't filled with a lot of words but gets children thinking about how living and non-living things are both alike and different.  For instance, we know that all living things do grow and change.  But the book shows beautiful pictures of nonliving things that grow and change too, like icebergs and clouds.  This compare and contrast book opens up discussions and makes kids think.

The 'For Creative Minds' section in the back of the book encourages further learning with a glossary and a Living or Nonliving Checklist.

Living Things and Nonliving Things: A Compare and Contrast Book is a Fall 2017 release from Arbordale Publishing.

Win It!

One person will win Living and Nonliving Things: A Compare and Contrast Book.

*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA.*
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Cute Bunny Craft with Elmer's Disappearing Purple Liquid School Glue

I received products for review.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

As the champion of creativity, Elmer's is dedicated to developing products that make it even easier for moms, teachers and children to create the perfect project.  This year the company launched Elmer's Disappearing Purple Liquid School Glue.

The new glue goes on purple but dries clear, so kids know exactly where they're gluing and when it's dry.  This glue is excellent for little ones who are just learning how to use glue and creating projects with a variety of materials such as foam boards, wood, and felt.

Elmer's Disappearing Purple Liquid School Glue is available at popular retailers such as Target, Wal-Mart and Amazon.  It retains between $0.99 - $3.99

If you're looking for a fun and easy project, try a hand at the Cute Bunny Craft:

Supplies Needed

1 paper plate
pink and white card stock
scissors
googley eyes
2 black pipe cleaners and one pink pipe cleaner
cotton balls
Elmer's Disappearing Purple Liquid School Glue


Directions

Cut two large oval ears out of the white cardstock and then two smaller oval ears out of the pink cardstock.  Then cut a small circle out of the pink cardstock for the bunny's nose.

Use the Elmer's Disappearing Purple Liquid School glue to attach all your cotton balls to the paper plate.  Do this until the plate is completely covered.  (Watch how the disappearing purple liquid glue changes from bright purple to clear!)

Glue the pink oval onto the white oval to make the ears and then glue to the ears onto the back of the paper plate.

Criss Cross two black pipe cleaners to make an X and add a bended pink pipe cleaner to the center, and shape it to look like a mouth.  

Attach the googley eyes, pink circle nose and pipe cleaners with the glue.

So cute and so simple!



Monday, October 16, 2017

Have a Happy Halloween with Hopster: One-Week Free Trial

I received product for this post.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.
Get ready for Halloween with a special collection of Hopster’s spooky preschool episodes. In the child-friendly, safe and educational app little monsters will be entertained by a selection of wicked kids shows, music and games that will be guaranteed to get them excited about the big day.

In the special Halloween area little ones can get costume inspirations from Max and Ruby, join Franny and her friends at a costume party in Franny’s Feet and learn how to draw a bat and a witch with Learn to Draw Minis and Louie.

Hop into the app to meet some friendly ghosts and learn a fun trick-or-treating song that you and your kids can sing along to. Then have monstrous fun with Monster Match, a wicked game that helps children recognise and match shapes.

The Hopster app is free to download from the App Store and Google Play and is also available on Roku and Apple TV. After a complimentary one-week trial, the cost of a subscription is $6.99/month. With one subscription, families will get access to 1000s of preschool episodes, songs and educational games on all their devices all year with special themed areas and new content added regularly.  Try Hopster now!

Featured episodes:

Moshi Monsters

Franny's Feet - Halloween Harvest S03E26

Max and Ruby - Max's Halloween/Ruby's Leaf Collection/The Blue Tarantula

Learn to Draw Minis - Bat

Hilltop Hospital - The Ghost of Hilltop

Louie - Draw me a Ghost

Maggie and the Ferocious Beast - Three little ghosts

Louie - Draw Me a Witch

64 Zoo Lane - The Story of The Monster in the Forest

Super Simple Songs - Halloween

Two Minute Tales - The Nice Old Witch

Monster Match game

The Nightmare Before Christmas Returns to Regal Cinemas Halloween Weekend

I received no product or compensation for this post.  This post is in partnership with PR firm.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.
Halloween weekend, Friday, October 27th – Tuesday, October 31st, you can celebrate the Halloween holiday with Jack Skellington, Sally, Oogie Boogie and more as Disney’s beloved classic THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS returns for a limited engagement exclusively in over 300 Regal cinemas locations nationwide.

Tickets are now on sale at select Regal theaters. Participating theaters include locations in Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and the District of Columbia.

For tickets and information, visit: http://regmovi.es/beforexmas.

Additionally, members of Regal Crown Club and Disney Movie Rewards loyalty programs can get rewarded for seeing Disney movies at Regal theaters when they link their accounts. Members will receive 25 Disney Movie Rewards bonus points for linking. Join Regal Crown Club and Disney Movie Rewards today to get all the benefits of seeing Disney movies! For information on Disney Movie Rewards linking with Regal Crown Club loyalty program visit www.DisneyMovieRewards.com/LinkMe

My daughter and her now-husband are fans of The Nightmare Before Christmas and dressed up as Jack Skellington and Sally for their themed wedding.

Spookley the Square Pumpkin - Blu-ray Combo Pack Review and Giveaway

I received product for review.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.
THIS HALLOWEEN SEASON, DARE TO BE SQUARE WITH
SPOOKLEY THE SQUARE PUMPKIN

AS SEEN ON DISNEY JUNIOR

BRING HOME THE BELOVED ANNUAL TELEVISION SPECIAL,
BASED ON JOE TROIANO’S BEST-SELLING BOOK,
NOW AVAILABLE FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER IN HIGH DEFINITION!

NEW on Blu-ray Combo Pack | Also Available on Digital HD

Everybody’s favorite square pumpkin is now the “Pick of the Patch” this Halloween season. For the first time ever, SPOOKLEY THE SQUARE PUMPKIN can be yours to own in High Definition – available in a new Blu-ray Combo pack and on Digital HD from Cinedigm. 

SPOOKLEY THE SQUARE PUMPKIN, written and created by Joe Troiano, tells the story of a square pumpkin living in a round pumpkin patch on Holiday Hill Farm. Although Spookley initially faces ridicule from his fellow patch-mates, he goes on to save the day during a terrible storm. As a result, all the pumpkins in the patch learn that the things that make you different make you special.

The animated television special, based on the bestselling Spookley book series, has been a long time Halloween tradition for families, and will once again be broadcast this October on Disney Junior.

This year, Spookley the Square Pumpkin also returns as the "Official Spokes-Pumpkin" of National Bullying Prevention Month through a partnership with PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center. PACER, a non-profit organization based in Minneapolis, provides innovative resources for students, parents, educators, and others, and recognizes bullying as a serious community issue that impacts education, physical and emotional health, and the safety and well-being of students.  For more information on Spookley’s activities with PACER, visit: www.PACER.org/Bullying/

PROGRAM SYNOPSIS

In a world where the only good pumpkins are round pumpkins, Spookley is teased because of his square shape. Shunned by the other pumpkins, Spookley is befriended by Edgar, Allan and Poe, three hilarious spiders, who convince him that, square or not, he has a right to be the Pick of the Patch. But Big Tom and Little Tom, the pumpkin bullies in the patch, continue to tease and taunt Spookley. Encouraged by kindly Jack Scarecrow and his bat sidekicks, Boris and Bella, Spookley tries his best, but he isn’t sure he has what it takes until a mighty storm threatens Holiday Hill Farm. When the storm blows the round pumpkins across the patch towards the raging river, Spookley realizes it is up to him and his square shape to save the day.

BLU-RAY COMBO PACK BONUS FEATURES INCLUDE 5 EXCLUSIVE VIDEO PICTURE BOOKS:

The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin
The Legend of Beacon the Bright Little Firefly
The Legend of JellyBean and the Unbreakable Egg
The Legend of Lyla the Lovesick Ladybug
The Legend of Mistletoe and the Christmas Kittens

My Review:

If  your child watches Disney Junior, then you might be familiar with Spookley the Square Pumpkin.  I admit that I've heard of Spookley before but had never watched it until receiving the Blu-ray Combo Pack.  I can now see why it's popular.

Spookley the Square Pumpkin has somewhat of a Halloween atmosphere but I think kids would like it any time of year.  This film is about 45 minutes long and will keep children entertained with fantastic animation and musical numbers.  The Transylvania Twist was among one of the favorites, and my nieces were dancing along with it.

Spookley the Square Pumpkin tells of a pumpkin that is square rather than round.  He is made to feel like an outsider because of his difference.  Two pumpkins in particular (one a big oaf and the other a small pumpkin with mighty words) make Spookley feel inadequate.  Jack, the scarecrow, encourages Spookley when feelings and events make the square pumpkin feel sad.  Spookley gets to redeem himself and show that it's okay to be different when he saves the pumpkin patch from a storm.

The story of this film is entertaining and there's even some humor.  Some of the behavior from the bullies isn't very nice but it's not over-the-top and, in the end, it's shown that doing those things is no way to treat someone.  The bottom line it tells is that bullying is not okay, and there's nothing wrong with being different.  We all have our own special talents and abilities.

Win It!

One person will win a Spookley the Square Pumpkin Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack and a Spookley the Square Pumpkin Plush.

*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA.*
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New Product Alert: DreamCatcher Prevents Crib Fall Injuries

I will receive products in exchange for this post.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

A special infant safety product will be hitting the market soon called DreamCatcher by pNeo, the creator of the widely popular Baby Shusher and the Tumzee. DreamCatcher was thought up by a mom whose baby fell horrifically from his crib and became injured. Made of 8 inflatable sections, the cushion design easily adapts to any nursery layout.

Before DreamCatcher hits store shelves, an Indiegogo campaign has launched to raise the last phase of financing for production.

The DreamCatcher will:

Provide a softer place to land in the event that your little adventurer climbs out of their crib.

Reduce the likelihood of severe injury for children who climb.

****************
About Dream Catcher

DreamCatcher is cushion designed to reduce the severity of an injury if a child climbs out of their crib and falls. Eight inflatable sections enabling the product to be configured to any nursery layout, especially if the crib is placed against a wall (or two).

Fall injuries are the most common type of injury that children experience. Almost 80% of serious injuries in babies are caused by falling, with many of those falls occurring where you believe your baby is safest: in their crib. The inventor of DreamCatcher checked on his son, only to watch in horror as he climbed up and over the railing of his crib. Before he could get to him, the baby had fallen to the floor, landing on his face and leaving large bruises.
What do you think of the DreamCatcher concept?  Is it a product you'd purchase?
Has your child ever received injuries from falling out of the crib?

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Six Flags HalloWedding - Before the Big Event


Friday the 13th holds no back luck for me.  Especially this year.  I'm Mrs. Terra Heck....again!

Jason and I were married at Six Flags Fright Fest 15 years ago and had the opportunity to renew our vows this year.  The entire event was absolutely amazing.

Me and Jason

Six Flags St. Louis held a contest on their Facebook page for 13 couples to get married and 13 couples to renew our vows.  There were over 1700 entries.  We were selected as one of the lucky couples to do the renewal and, wildly enough, my daughter and her fiancee were selected as a couple to get married.  

Me, Jason and Shelby 

It's hard for me to wrap my head around having a son-in-law.  It's just weird to say the words.  But, I gotta say, I like the guy she picked and I'm super happy for them.  Besides, I don't have to help plan a big wedding now!


Note to self:  Next time you purchase a costume, pay attention to all the details.  Jason didn't think about the bottom half and had athletic shoes on.  They weren't on par with the rest of the get-up.

Each couple getting married or renewing their vows got to select 13 guests to come along with them, for free.  Between me and Shelby, we had 26 friends and family there to witness the event.  

getting my makeup done

Shelby and George were a big hit.  They dressed as Jack and Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas, and they were interviewed by several news stations.  Including Good Morning America!  The show followed them around most of the time, chronicling the whole thing.  All four of us were also interviewed by local TV stations.

Mr. and Mrs. Waid-Johnson
(Shelby kept her maiden name and had it hyphenated with the married one.)

Makeup artists were on hand to fix up our faces.  They were on point.

I want to remember this day forever.  It was an absolute blast.  I renewed vows to the love of my life, and I gained a son-in-law.

Let the festivities begin.
(See what I'm saying about Jason's shoes!)

Amazon Prime Video Criss Crosses the US with The Grand Tour- #TheGrandTour Giveaway

I received no product or compensation for this post.  This post is in partnership with PR firm.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

Amazon Prime Video, who will soon be kicking off a never-before-seen cross country caravan to promote their hit show, The Grand Tour.

Amazon Prime Video is really excited to involve their fans around the country in this unique, immersive experience. This nationwide journey will be comprised of drive-in screening experiences, cars & coffee breaks, and a culminating party at the famed Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, Calif. The Grand Tour is a hilarious new global adventure from the Amazon Originals slate.

The Grand Tour will bring their own take on the classic drive-in movie theatre experience in six territories, where fans young and old will be thrilled by a double-feature screening of a classic car film and an episode from the hit series. A must-see for families, guests will be welcomed by a custom built-out marquee sign (perfect for taking photos!), gifted branded blankets, air fresheners, and snacks from the concession stand as they enter this immersive drive-in experience.  Amazon Prime Video will also be tapping auto buffs by hosting grass root samplings at regional cars & coffee events.


The Sampling Tour will round off with a special party,  open to consumers, families, and auto fans alike at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles on November 12. Through a partnership with the museum’s “cruise-in” group, attendees will enjoy a specialty car show atop the floor of the venue. The Grand Tour Fans will be given the ultimate VIP experience with a custom step-and-repeat photo moment as they enter the venue, and a gifted The Grand Tour Tool Kit, which they can have custom engraved on-site. All guests will be granted free admission to the museum and The Grand Tour party, where they will learn about the automobile industry and screen episodes of The Grand Tour.

ABOUT AMAZON PRIME VIDEO’S ORIGINAL SERIES THE GRAND TOUR

Season two of the record-breaking The Grand Tour will see presenters Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May embarking on their most extensive Grand Tour ever, traveling through more locations than before and attempting to avoid any further mishaps and injury along the way. The trio will spend over 100 days across five continents, racking up more passport stamps from Croatia, Mozambique, Dubai, Spain, Switzerland, Colorado, New York and many more exotic locations around the world.
picture of prize pack

Win It!

One person will win an Amazon Prime Video prize pack that includes a blanket, snack holders, air fresheners and a limited edition Grand Tour book.

*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA.*

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Celebrate Halloween with Gimbal's Gourmet Jelly Beans

I received products for review.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

October is here, which means a sea of orange, black and pumpkins is upon us!

Gimbal’s Gourmet Jelly Beans is the perfect treat for crafts and parties during this haunted holiday. The jelly beans are free of a lot of major allergens including gluten, peanuts, dairy, tree nuts, egg and soy, making it safe for many to enjoy.  

With just tulle, pipe cleaners and delicious jelly beans, you can create yummy pumpkins that are sure to bring a smile to your trick-or-treater this Halloween season.

Jelly Bean Pumpkins

Items needed:

1 package of Gimbal’s Gourmet Jelly Beans
1 spool of orange or white tulle
1 package of green pipe cleaners
1 package of small rubber bands

Directions:

Cut a piece of tulle about 6 inches long (the bigger the tulle, the bigger the pumpkin)
Open up your back of Gimbal’s Gourmet Jelly Beans, and pick out all of the tangerine flavors (or whatever flavor you want your pumpkin to be)
Place your jelly beans on the tulle, wrap up the jelly beans, and tie up the top with the rubber band
Wrap up the top of the tulle starting at the rubber band with the pipe cleaner
Cut off any access tulle – you have your pumpkins!

Three More October Winners

A few of my giveaways have ended and the winners have been randomly drawn.

The winner of the Paper Mate giveaway is #55, Eyreka.

The winner of the Precious Moments: Little Book of Bible Stories giveaway is #68, Shea =).

The winner of the Gobi: A Little Dog with a Big Heart book giveaway is #18, Edye Nicole.

Congrats to the winners and thanks to all who entered.  Be sure to check out and enter all the current active giveaways I have going on right now.  They're listed at the top left hand side of the blog, and there's no limit to how many you can enter or how many you can win.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Ecuador - Living Conditions


I've officially been to the depths of poverty.  It's scenes I can't erase from my mind and my heart breaks for these people.  I'm humbled because I live a life of luxury in comparison.  And, although they have very little, they are still very thankful and God-loving people.


Where clothes and dishes are washed


Wash basin for the clothes is at the bottom, with a few of the clothes hanging on the roof.

I don't have to walk down a dirt path to get to my house.  I don't have to wash my clothes outside and hang them to dry from the roof or window slats.  I don't have to take a shower in a concrete slab blackened by dirt and mold.

Inside of a kitchen

I don't have animals I call "pets" that would be better off dead.  Their suffering rivals an ASPCA commercial.  I don't have to live in a house built entirely of concrete, brick and dirt.

Dirt walkway leading to the homes

I don't have a 200 foot cliff as my front yard.  I don't have to worry about falling to my death.  I don't have to share one sleeping room with seven people.  I don't have to shield myself when it's raining because the wet drops are leaking through my roof.

"front yard"

This isn't to paint a sad picture.  But it's reality.  We don't all have luxuries.  Yet, we are all God's children.  And the children I met there have extraordinary faith, even when they aren't given all life's luxuries.  Think on that next time the baristas get your Starbucks order wrong!

hanging clothes to dry