Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Drive-Thru at the Festival of Lights

For several years, our town was host to the Avenue of Lights, an animated light display over 1.5 miles long.  Due to budget cuts, it was put on hiatus for a few years.  We were lucky enough to have it come back last year, renamed as the Festival of Lights.

obligatory selfie

The night after Thanksgiving I hopped in a car with one of my sons, a friend, and my niece to check out the displays.  It didn't disappoint!

Admission to Festival of Lights is $15 a carload and it takes little over half an hour to drive through the entire park.

Adam's entry/exit driving skills were a little off!

We watched in awe at the animations, laughed till we cried, and even created a little confusion when we couldn't find the exit and Adam weaved his way around other cars to get us out.  Good times!

Did you check out any Christmas lights this year?

Friday, December 17, 2021

Blessed By These Babies

This last year has blessed us with babies...and more on the way.  

Our first grandson, Henry, will be 1-year old in January.

Henry praising the Lord that he made Santa's nice list!

Our second grandson, Waylon, is almost 3 months old.

Waylon posing in plaid

My nephew, Brandon, just turned 1-year old in November.  I'm lucky enough to get to babysit him every Wednesday evening.

Brandon in his 1st birthday outfit.

After 17 years, I no longer work full-time as a 9-1-1 Dispatcher.  I went down to part-time (still raking in a lot of hours) and babysit for my supervisor's little one, Jonathan.  He is 3-months old.

Jonathan wearing a onesie made for his older brother almost 17 years ago.
(Yep, you read that right. Almost 17 year age difference between Jonathan and his older brother.  It's like starting all over again!)

Logan holding his first baby's ultrasound pics

AND (drum roll please) Logan is going to be a first-time daddy.   He and his lady are due in early July.  Yay, another grandbaby on the way!

PAW Patrol: Pups Save the Alien! - DVD Giveaway

Even aliens from outer space sometimes need to “Yelp for help;” good thing the PAW Patrol is ready for the rescue in the brand-new DVD release, PAW Patrol: Pups Save Alien! Available now, this DVD features eight out-of-this-world adventures from the hit preschool series PAW Patrol, produced by Spin Master Entertainment and airing on Nickelodeon. The PAW Patrol is ready for blast-off as they rescue a stranded extra-terrestrial, repair broken spaceships, meet alien doubles, and more!

 PAW Patrol: Pups Save the Alien is available as of December 7, 2021, rom Paramount Home Entertainment and Nickelodeon Home Entertainment.

PAW Patrol: Pups Save the Alien episodes:

Pups Save the Space Alien

Pups Save a Space Toy

Pups Save Floating Friends

Pups Save a Satellite

Pups Save a Space Rock

Pups Save an Antarctic Martian

Pups Save a Rubble-Double

Pups Save a Glow-in-the-Dark Party

PAW Patrol: Pups Save the Alien synopsis:

Join the PAW Patrol on some out-of-this-world adventures! An alien spaceship crash lands at farmer Yumi’s! Now it’s up to the PAW Patrol to help out the stranded little extra-terrestrial by fixing his ship and getting him back to his home planet! Then Ryder and the pups need to repair an aliens’ spaceship to get everyone back to earth!

 PAW Patrol: Pups Save the Alien fast facts:

Street Date: December 7, 2021

Running Time: 1 hr 36 min

Win It!

One person will win PAW Patrol: Pups Save the Alien! on DVD.

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

I received no 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.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Check It Out: Savings.com #GilletteGiftsForHim Giveaway

Win a $50 e-gift card to spend at Gillette!

 Savings.com is giving away five $50 gift cards to spend at Gillette!

Giveaway ends on Thursday, December 16th at 11:59 PM PT.  Five (5) winners will receive a $50 gift card to spend at Gillette.

While you're waiting to see if you've won, shop Gillette and receive $3 off your first order with code SHAVEOFF3.


This post contains affiliate links.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Heck Of A Holiday Gift Guide for Kids - 2021

I know that many people have started shopping for the holidays.  Here are a few items I've been introduced to and recommend for the kids and tweens:

Welch’s Fruit Snacks // Limited-Edition Fruit ‘n Yogurt Snowballs

America’s #1 Fruit Snack Brand, Welch’s® Fruit Snacks, has launched limited-edition Fruit ‘n Yogurt™ Snowballs® just in time for the holidays!

Now available on Target, this festive variety features a soft and delicious Real Fruit Strawberry center, surrounded by creamy Yogurt for a mouthwatering, melt-in-your-mouth treat, making the perfect stocking stuffer this season!


For Keeps doll line

The dolls promote Inclusivity, Love, Acceptance, and Self-Empowerment, and each doll comes with interchangeable outfits, a secret positive message tee, and an autographed photo. They also come with a cupcake-style stashbox and a 20 pack of affirmation stickers!


Eco Lips Candy Cane Organic Lip Balm

Christmas is just around the corner! And in case you’re looking for more sustainable ways to celebrate the season, Eco Lips has the answer for you.

The certified B Corp, also known as the nations' largest independent organic lip balm manufacturer, has recently announced the upcoming launch of its 2021 Holiday offering--Candy Cane Organic Lip Balm line. Bursting with deliciously sweet minty flavor, this quintessential holiday lip balm flavor features invigorating peppermint, which leaves a pleasant tingling sensation, and warming vanilla to comfort and soothe dry lips.  It makes for a perfect stocking stuffer or holiday gift for yourself or loved ones.

As with other Eco Lips products, Candy Cane Organic Lip Balms are made with certified organic beeswax combined with hydrating Fair Trade Certified™ coconut oil to nourish, moisturize, and restore lips back to health. They also come in the brand’s revolutionary Plant Pod, a patented 100% plastic-free, plant-based packaging that looks and acts like a regular tube. 


A new way to play freeze tag! Vikings search for hidden glowing crystals to restore a magical scepter while Ice Dragons hunt them down, trying to freeze tag them all into wintery frozen statues
All ages play together: Ages 5+, 3-10 players
Includes a magical medieval scepter, glow-in-the-dark gems, and special player powers
Inspires creative gameplay for kids who love Halloween, fantasy, cosplay, and live-action roleplay
Winner of a 2021 Parents' Picks Awards 
Affordable and reusable, $34.90, all batteries included


To create a safer and healthier space for the kids without interrupting the fun that every kid deserves, the American Bubble Company came up with the first-ever eco-friendly sustainable bubble system that uses a non-toxic bubble solution made in the USA - The Bubble Tree. A brand dedicated to changing the way we play with bubbles forever. In addition, the refillable bubble system saves parents money by not having to repurchase a bubble wand and container when they run out the first time.

Bubble Tree's packaging is made from aluminum, the most recyclable and sustainable material on earth, and 100% recyclable corrugated. By eliminating single-use plastic, they are helping the environment reduce plastic pollution. Bubble Tree Bubbles can be purchased online (www.bubbletreeusa.com) and in retailers across the country. 

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.

Friday, December 3, 2021

The Jesus I Know - Book Review

On Sale: 2021-11-30

Pages: 224

List Price: $26.99

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Kathie Lee Gifford talks faith with celebrities, entertainers, and spiritual leaders in new book, The Jesus I Know, now available for purchase.

Former Today show host Kathie Lee Gifford has, for decades, had deep conversations about her faith with anyone who is interested in talking about it. What she discovered early on is that most people want to talk about Jesus: atheists, agnostics, Scientologists, Catholics, Baptists, Pentecostals, Sikhs, Buddhists, and Hindus alike. While some do not share her belief that Jesus is the Messiah, they nonetheless have a universal fascination with Him.

In The Jesus I Know: Honest Conversations and Diverse Opinions About Who He Is, Kathie Lee has assembled a diverse collection of conversations about Jesus, ranging from avowed Christians to those more casually interested in Jesus’ example of living. She begins The Jesus I Know by sharing her earliest memories of Jesus’ role in her life, and often returns to the topic as she asks artists, actors, and faith leaders about their relationship with Him, including such names as journalist Megyn Kelly, actress Kristin Chenoweth, and musician Brian Welch.

“Many are still struggling, just like I am, to overcome our weaknesses, unhealthy dependencies, bitter memories, or deep- seated disappointments,” said Gifford. “Some have suffered through trials and tribulations. Others have dreams that have not yet come true, and many of their questions remain unanswered. No matter where my friends are in their own spiritual journeys, they joined me in my favorite cozy chairs while I asked them, ‘What does Jesus look like to you right now?’”

Publishers Weekly notes that, “Gifford emphasizes the individuality of each person’s story and stresses the diversity of God’s kingdom. She discusses with architect Roger Charles how his  attempts to affirm atheism led to a surprise faith, how ‘trying to keep God in my life’ allowed Kris Jenner to overcome the death of her husband, and the long-term process of healing from sexual abuse with actress Cynthia Garrett. Gifford’s probing interviews consistently surprise, entertain, and do a great job of locating themes of personal faith among figures working in industries known for secularism.”

In The Jesus I Know, Kathie Lee presents captivating conversations about a singular Man who lived more than two thousand years ago, never traveled more than one hundred miles from where He was born… and yet managed to change the entire world in His short thirty-three years of life.

“These are people God brought into my life, and they mean a great deal to me for many reasons,” said Gifford.  “Each one has a profoundly personal and powerful story to tell about Jesus, a story that cannot be tied up neatly with a bow. Why? Because their stories aren’t finished yet. Neither is mine, and neither is yours. If we are still breathing, we’re not done yet; it’s as simple as that!”

My Review:

I remember watching Katie Lee Gifford alongside Hoda Kotb when they cohosted the Today show.  I can't say I was a fangirl, but respected both women for their entertainment value.  

I was excited to read Kathie Lee Gifford's newest book, The Jesus I Know, and had it finished in just a few days.  I liked how the stories were done in interview form, with Kathie asking the questions and people answering them.  In this book, Kathie talks to 23 people and asks about their journey in faith.  She delves into the topics of how someone was raised in the church, what moments made them question or firmly believe in their faith, personal hardships a person has went through, and more.  Each story is almost like sitting in on a conversation between two people and learning more about them.  People of different professions and different walks in faith are featured in this book.  Kathie does a good job of engaging conversation and I enjoyed learning about each person's version of Jesus.

I received book 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.

Monday, November 22, 2021

Get Meats, Seafood, and Sides Delivered To Your Door with Crowd Cow

I've tried a handful of food delivery subscription boxes in the past and I've been happy with all I've received so far.  One that I recently came upon is Crowd Cow, a food delivery company that offers over 600 meats, seafoods, and sides.

I found out about Crowd Cow via an ad on Facebook.  We all know those ads aren't always on the up and up, so I did a bit of research before ordering.  Turns out, Crowd Cow is legit. 

Customers can confidently purchase meat and seafood from the very best independent and sustainable sources with Crowd Cow’s flexible, completely customizable recurring shipments.  The company offers beef, pork, chicken, seafood and wagyu from sources personally known with the highest regenerative and ethical standards. Every product on Crowd Cow is raised without unnecessary antibiotics or any added hormones and is taste-tested by experts.

Every customer gets the option at checkout to make their box a recurring delivery or get it one time.  So, you can get a box of food every month or make it a "one and done".

I like seafood but am not great at cooking it, so I didn't purchase any from Crowd Cow.  And, to be honest, wagyu is a little above my spending budget.  So, for my food box, I ordered ham, chicken, beef, and sides.  Jason and I have thoroughly enjoyed the food and consider it to be high-quality.  I'll definitely be ordering from Crowd Cow again!

If you're interested in ordering from Crowd Cow and discovering a variety of good meats and meals, you can receive $100 of free meat plus free shipping.  I will receive referral credit for it.  I tried the offer myself and was able to get a good amount of meat and sides at a great price.  

For the first box you order, you will receive $50 of free food.  The second box after will get you $30 of free food, and the third box gets you $20 of freebies.  You even get to choose what you want.  For instance, I created an account and added a little over $100 of food to my cart, and the discount then automatically applied.  I seriously recommend it; I don't think you'll be disappointed!

This post contains a referral link.  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.

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Check It Out: Savings.com #MacysForTheHolidays Giveaway

Win a $100 e-gift card from Macy's.

Savings.com is giving away five $100 e-gift cards to spend at Macy’s!

Giveaway ends on Sunday, November 21st at 11:59 PM PT.  Five (5) winners will receive a $100 e-gift card to spend at Macy’s.

This post contains affiliate links.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

Halloween Weekend at Woodyz Acres

 Sad to say, Halloween weekend was the last for the season at Woodyz Acres.  The campground is closed down for winter season and we won't be going back until April.  I've made so many friends and memories this past year, and I can't wait to do it again in 2022. 

Brandon and Dalton 
(aka, Gucci and Gnomie)

Amanda and her "date"

The 30th, several campers got together to celebrate Halloween festivities at the campground.  We dressed up, handed out candy to over 300 kids, and gathered for a community wienie roast.  

Just some of the loot I handed out.

I ended up grabbing a hot dog stick by the metal prongs and burnt the hell out of four of my fingers.  They finally healed up just a few days ago.  (Don't try that one at home, kids!)

Jason sat on the back of the golf cart during trick-or-treat time and scared the bejesus out of several people.

Me dressed up in a mish-mash of clothing.

Two of my sisters even came to stay Saturday night at one of the cabins.  It was fun having them around to hang and play. 

Sister, Sandy, dressed as a scary gnome.

sister, Traci

an inflatable that I found for a great price on Amazon

Until we meet again Woodyz Acres....Until we meet again.

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Miss Olive Finds Her Furever Winter Wonderland - Children's Book Review and Giveaway

Book Synopsis:

Miss Olive Finds Her Furever Winter Wonderland continues the story of a little Italian Greyhound with three legs who is adopted by a loving family in the first book in the series, Miss Olive Finds Her Furever Home. Her adventures continue in Miss Olive Finds Her Furever Friends, where Miss Olive encounters bullying and learns that her superpower is kindness and finds true friendships. In the third book in the trilogy Miss Olive Finds Her Furever Winter Wonderland, Miss Olive wonders about the true meaning of the holidays, discovering the greatest gift of all is the joy of being with her “furever” family and friends and sharing the joy of the holidays with others. Miss Olive is delighted to discover that she not only has a “furever” home with “furever” friends, she also learns the true meaning of joy during the holidays.

Written by Susan Marie, this book is the third in the Miss Olive trilogy in The Doggy Diva Diaries, which is recommended for ages four through nine.

My Review:

I was introduced to the 'Miss Olive' books in 2019 when the first one was released.  Back then, I was impressed with the illustrations and writing style.  The same can be said for the second book, and now the third.

A hardcover book with cutesy illustrations, Miss Olive Finds Her Furever Winter Wonderland is the third book in the series.  It's a perfect read for the winter/Christmas season.  Told in rhythmic form, Miss Olive Finds Her Furever Winter Wonderland tells of Miss Olive being excited about the holidays and all the joy it brings.  Miss Olive and her mommy decide to take special gifts to the animals at Hannah's Loving Pet Rescue, where Miss Olive herself was rescued.  Miss Olive is oh-so-happy to bring joy to the other animals, and even happier when she knows she will always have a "furever" family.

Learn more about author Susan Marie, Miss Olive, and Miss Olive's book trilogy by visiting https://www.thedoggydiva.com.

Win It!

One person will win a hardcover book copy of Miss Olive Finds Her Furever Winter Wonderland.

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

I received book 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.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Fright Nights for Honor Flight

My sister was very crafty and turned ordinary objects and dolls into scary props.

My great-niece, MaKynzee, took her role of zombie quite seriously.

During one of the weekends in October my sister turned her backyard into a Yard of Horrors, as part of the Fright Nights for Honor Flight.  Fourteen houses in town participated.  Spectators could drive by and see the scenes, then put in a donation to go towards Honor Flight.  My sister upped the ante by allowing people to walk through her yard for extra scares.  

Great-nephew, Harley, also played the role of a zombie.

one of the backyard scenes

one of the many animatronics on display

I helped by dressing up as a zombie and walking the sidewalk, encouraging people to stop and enter.  For those who dared, they were greeted with scary scenes and props.  They were also chased by zombies and men with chainsaws.  There were quite a bit of screams!

a table set up with scary props

me in full makeup

Fright Nights for Honor Flight has become an annual event to raise money for Honor Flight.  The mission of Honor Flight is to transport America’s veterans to Washington, D.C. to visit the memorials dedicated to honoring those who have served and sacrificed for our country. ​Our community is very dedicated to making sure our area veterans are able to participate.

My oldest daughter stopped by to see the scenery.

My favorite holiday + Getting to scare people + Helping a good cause = One ghoulishly fun night!