November 30, 2011

An Honest Christmas Letter

You know how everyone sends out Christmas letters about their families talking about everyone's special accomplishments and achievements during the previous year?  I've been tempted to write an every-day "real life" Christmas letter for my family. It would go something like this:

Merry Christmas from the Brooks Family!

Sarah, former valedictorian and summa cum laude graduate with a double major in Mass Communications and Christian Studies/Missiology emphasis, spends most of her time wiping bottoms and preparing meals (although not necessarily in that order). On special occasions she takes a shower before noon AND fixes her hair and puts on make-up.

BJ works full-time and takes masters level classes part-time in the evening. He is also an amazing dad to two little boys, which means he is super busy from sun up to sun down.

Ben loves to eat cookies and candy, spin in circles, and color on the wall behind mommy's recliner. Sometimes he listens to mommy and daddy, and sometimes he doesn't, it depends on whether he wants to or not. He has a fun personality and is full of energy.

Andrew is our newest arrival. He gets a kick out of watching Ben run around. He dislikes every green vegetable but loves sweet potatoes. He has a sweet smile and laid back personality, a perfect balance to Ben's exuberance and strong will.

All kidding aside, I have the world's most precious family, and I am blessed beyond words to get to be a full-time parent. I just love my Brooks boys. We may not have a whole lot of accomplishments to speak of, no big honors to brag about, but I'm thankful for this stage of life.

Maybe one day I can say that my children are all on the Honor Roll and are the star athletes in their sport of choice, that I have a novel on the bestseller's list, and that my husband just received a doctorate; But, the things we do right this second are special too. They may not get a lot of "glory," but they matter (trust me, people would notice if I stopped changing diapers). They may not be impressive, but they are important.

I have to remind myself regularly, that what I do as a stay-at-home mom is significant. I'm investing in my children's future; I'm providing a safe place for my husband to rest and be renewed; I'm making our home a place of refuge and security.

Sometimes I have to put some of my own dreams and ambitions on hold for a while to tend to other people's needs. I may not be teaching orphans in a foreign country, but I can teach my sons that God loves them. I may not reach a broad audience with my writing, but I can share my thoughts through my blog and through Facebook. I no longer have any impressive accomplishments of my own -no prestigious awards or sought-after titles . . . I take that back. I'm a Mom, and if that's not a well-earned and accomplished title, I don't know what else is.

November 21, 2011

(In)spired deals review - Give Thanks Wooden Caddy

Each November we gather as a family to share what we are thankful for. Tonight as I was tucking my two-year-old into bed we talked about what we could thank God for. He listed off the expected things: mommy, daddy, books, friends, and then he caught me a little off guard. He said, "Dear God, thank you for God. I don't see Him, but He's nice." My little boy is just learning how to put sentences together. Each day his vocabulary grows a little bit more. I love to see the boy he is becoming. He's no longer the same little baby I brought home twenty-seven months ago.

 What am I thankful for? My family, my friends, my home. I'm also thankful for a God who is nice, even though we can't see Him. My little boy mentioned that God doesn't fall down either. It's a good reminder.
The Give Thanks Wooden Caddy is a visual reminder throughout my day to give thanks. Even though it's intended for cutlery, I've actually decided to use it to store my family's remote controls. It sits in a prominent position on our entertainment stand.

It's nice and sturdy and is quite beautiful. I'm super excited to use it this Thanksgiving. I love that the handles on the side make it easy to transport the caddy from the kitchen to the table or buffet. It will be great when we have our friends and family come over and visit.

If you order it by Nov. 28th you can actually save 60%, making the caddy only $9 (it regularly retails for $29.99). You can definitely use this piece all year long in a variety of ways (both silverware and remote controls).


I received a complimentary product from Dayspring to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed are my honest thoughts of the product. 

November 1, 2011

CouponCabin's 25 Crazy Dayz of Giveawayz!

Welcome to CouponCabin’s 25 Crazy Dayz of Giveawayz! This multi-blog event is hosted by Simply StacieMakobi Scribe and Sassy Mama in LA and is sponsored by CouponCabin. This is the biggest event the blogosphere has seen with over 400 giveaways each at $25 value or more plus a huge giveaway with some major prizes like a MacBook Air, iPad2 & Visa Gift Cards. 

To find a complete list of participating blogs, check out one of the host blogs, Simply StacieMakobi Scribe and Sassy Mama in LA. There are tons of prizes available from the various participating blogs. 
Stop by Simply StacieMakobi Scribe and Sassy Mama in LA to enter the giveaway. Let them know that "Mommy's Minute" sent you. Enter just one, or enter at all three to increase your chances of winning one of the big prizes! 
Check out these awesome prizes from CouponCabin:
  • Grand Prize: MacBook Air (11-inch, 128GB; ARV $1,199)
  • 2nd Runner Up: iPad2 (16GB, with Wi-Fi +3G; ARV $629) & $200 Visa Gift Card
  • 3rd Runner Up: iPad2 (16GB, with Wi-Fi +3G; ARV $629)
  • 4th Runner Up: $300 Visa Gift Card
  • 5th Runner Up: $200 Visa Gift Card
  • 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th Runner Ups: $100 Visa Gift Card each
I am offering my readers a fantastic prize from a local artist in my area: Carly's Homefront! She has a super cute Etsy shop and offers custom signs, jewelry and much more! She has a fantastic assortment of products for those serving in the armed forces and for their friend and families!

Carly is a military wife and creates some great products to show support for our troops

Check out her facebook page for pictures of some of her work as well as information about her business on Etsy!  

Enter to win a custom sign for you or a loved one:

The Handy Dandy Housewife
Do you ever have a hard time finding your keys in your purse? Is it difficult to juggle your cell phone, your purse, your bag, AND your keys. These handy, dandy keychains from the Handy Dandy Housewife are a fantastic resource for busy women of all ages. 

The 10" ribbon slips comfortably onto the wrist, leaving your hands free to do other things. As a mom, these types of keychains are ESSENTIAL! They help me hold onto my children's hands instead of fumbling in the depths of my purse for my keys! 

They make fantastic teacher's gifts or affordable gifts for friends and co-workers. They are only $6, and definitely worth the money. 

The Handy Dandy Housewife is offering EVERYONE a 10% discount on any purchases made during the Blog Hop (Nov. 1-25). Simply enter the code "BLOGHOP" during check out to receive your discount!

Keep in touch with the latest discounts and products by visiting our Facebook Page

Pampered Chef
I'm an independent Pampered Chef Consultant, and I'm throwing in a few items just for kicks. I'll be giving away a copy of the 2011 Fall/Winter Season's Best Cookbook!

Enter using this simple Rafflecopter form! Good Luck! Don't forget to stop by the other participating blogs on the hop!!

**Rafflecopter has been a little quirky on my site lately, if the form doesn't look right, try hitting f5 to reload the page. You may have to click on the actual blog post instead of just viewing it from the home screen**