Thursday, June 30, 2011

Calling All Harry Potter Fans





OK~ Did you know that Universal, Orlando, has launched a "Share Your Story" tab on its official Facebook page? On this page, you can share your favorite memories or memories that you hope to make at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter!  And the really cool thing...NOW, through July 15, 2011~ Universal will be giving away two VIP trips each week...one to a guest that has experienced The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and one to someone who has never been!




Every U.S. resident who shares their story will automatically be entered to win a VIP trip to Universal Orlando resort this fall. So, if you love Harry Potter, want to check out Harry Potter....You better join in the fun! A fun time in an amazing park awaits some lucky people~After All, It's All In a Mom's Day, Right?

*I did not receive any compensation for this post. The opinions expressed here are mine and nobody else's.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I've Got a Lobster In The House

OK~ He won't even let me take his picture....but I do believe I have a 16 year old lobster in the house. Garrett spent a large part of this sunny summer  day fishing with Grandpa....and he has a little sunburn. Lets hope this little escapade doesn't lead to a Dr. visit. Well, with the frostbite we had no clue they were injured until the toes turned dark purple, at least with this.....we have the heads up!

I'm thinking we will have no issues when it comes to remembering sunscreen the rest of the summer! So, what's a Mom to do? Kick back, relax, pray and hope it all heals well! Hopefully the rosiness will calm down a little, as we have a family wedding to attend on Saturday! As for now, we will keep the lobster cool and comfortable!  After All, It's All In a Mom's Day, Right?

Monday, June 27, 2011

Grrr....Hate It When This Happens

OK~ I refuse to spend a ton of money on sunglasses. My theory is this: I will sit on them, leave them somewhere, lose them, or they will get broken; just like I always told my boys ( and still do) when they want to take nice things out and about!  Remember that last pair of sunglasses I had? Geeshe..I think they were like three years old- They were lost in The Return Of The Mummy attraction at Universal Studios. Well, much to my dismay--- these were three months old and I sat on them!



So, I had to buy a new pair! Oh well.....I hope this new pair goes a little longer than three months ~ although, this Mom is not counting on it! After All, It's All In a Mom's Day, Right?

*I did not receive any compensation in any way, shape, or form for the above post. The opinions expressed here are mine and nobody else's.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

An Affordable day with the Family-The Minnesota Zoo

OK~ It's summertime and it's time to get out and enjoy the great outdoors. We all know that kids of all ages absolutely love the zoo. The Minnesota Zoo, in Apple Valley, Minnesota, is no exception!  Here you can find a handy dandy map on how to get to The Minnesota Zoo. The signage along the way is very visible and the zoo itself is easy to find. Follow the signs and you will have no problem. If you have spent any time at the Mall of America, just head 10 minutes South on HWY 77 and you will find yourself at The Minnesota Zoo!




One of the most affordable ways to spend time at The Minnesota Zoo is to purchase a membership. This not only gives you admission to this zoo, but more than 90 zoos across the United States! This is a great way to plan a family vacation...If you are heading to the Omaha area, or traveling through...No problem, you can visit this zoo for FREE (call ahead to verify your benefits), because you have opted to purchase a zoo membership!

A zoo membership for your household will cost you $110 for one whole year. This includes a maximum of two adults residing at the same address and your dependent children 18 and under. Now, talk about value! Should you choose to bring a free guest with you each zoo visit, the annual cost is $130. Now, I was really impressed that a Grandparent membership is now available~ this just goes to show that zoos are welcoming families of all types. Grandparents play a major role in the lives of their grandchildren, and what better way to spend time~ Head to a zoo~ The Minnesota Zoo is a great place for grandparents to spend a day with their grandchildren. Oh, and the signage in the actual Minnesota Zoo itself is awesome.....



If you choose to purchase a one day visit at the zoo~ a family of four will be a total of $65.00 (tickets and parking). Kids 2 and Under are FREE! Remember that an annual pass for a family of four is $110- this is where it's important to consider if you will be coming back within the next 12 months (or even visit another zoo in the United States).

I can personally attest to the fact that teens and grandparents can even enjoy the zoo.


On our visit to the Minnesota Zoo, it was myself, my Mom, and my two boys, who are 16 and 20. And my 16 year old is still working on a smile now and then. This Mom is slowly working on that! We had an awesome day~The exhibits were educational, entertaining, and fun! Many exhibits at The Minnesota Zoo are indoors, so even on a cold, winter day~ it's a great place to spend time with your family. The Minnesota Zoo~ an affordable day for you and your family. We loved the zoo and will definitely go back! After All, It's All In a Mom's Day, Right?

This is the 3rd of 3 Posts......A fun zoo to visit with the family!

*My family received four complimentary zoo passes for one day. I did not receive any monetary compensation for this post. The opinions expressed here are mine and nobody else's.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

A Boy And His Dog

OK~ Wally took a cruise with Garrett on this three wheeler....He enjoyed it A LOT!

Garrett & Wally are best friends......it's obvious from this little excursion that they took around the farm~ Wally liked it so much, he did not want to get off of it!



 Gotta love a boy and a dog......After All, It's All In a Mom's Day, Right?

Friday, June 24, 2011

What a Fine Supper Conversation

OK~ Summertime is kind of laid back here. The quietness of the Iowa countryside was taking over. Here's our conversation at supper tonight-

Garrett (16 years old):  "I can't watch this!"

Todd:  "Oh yeah, kittens in a few weeks!"

Me:  "Cats, out of here!"

Garrett: "I wonder how much inbreeding we have around here?"

Geeshe......I'm thinking we are true hillbillies....This conversation is just not right. So the conversation continued- So, Isabel, Fluffy, Susie (male cat), Pirate, Ernie, Gray, and Tree Cat are all related...You gotta love life in the country. The weather was perfect - calm winds so we were able to eat outside- I'm wondering if it really was the best thing to do...An interesting conversation.....After All, It's All In a Mom's Day, Right?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Home Made Ice Cream

OK~ We have a really, really old crank ice cream maker. This past week-end, we tried it out! With a lot of turning....we had home made ice cream. Now, we did not use any fabulous, extreme difficult recipe~ We used the one on the box of the Morton Ice Cream Salt Box.

We followed the recipe......and things began to look like this!

Once we followed all of the instructions (the best that we could) it was time to head outside!

Yep......this is our handy,dandy ice cream machine!

With a 16 year old boy to turn the crank....it's all good!  And it was good....Here's what we had!

Now to convince Garrett to crank that machine again~ the black berries are all ripening....Wouldn't fresh black berries on top of this be ~ oh so sweet? After All, It's All In a Mom's Day, Right?

*I did not receive any form of compensation for this post. The opinions expressed here are mine and nobody else's.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

What's a Mom To Do........

OK~ Summertime is here~ which appears to mean~ no set bedtime! It's interesting how on nights when I'm ready to crash early, Garrett is up playing with the dogs, video games blaring, AND eating! On sunny days and evenings (which we haven't had a lot of) I'm all for lounging in the hammock and star gazing. But, on these cloudy, cool evenings I'm ready to call it a day by 9:00 p.m......

Mr. Skunk has kept our household busy with lots of summertime baths for Wally & Skipper. I am thinking they will appreciate the cold of January when it rolls around next year....What is it about baths and dogs?

I'm thinking back to my teenage years. I do believe midnight was early in the summer, and sleeping till noon was all the rage! But, there were many mornings that I was up and at 'em by 6:00 a.m. ~ cruising through those bean fields. Lots of bean walking~ not sure if teens of today would have a clue what that is.

What's a Mom to do?????

Oh well, I'm kicking my feet back~ making my own sunshine~ and being thankful for the crazy summer time fun that a teenager in the house brings......After All, It's All In a Mom's Day,Right?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Light or Dark...

OK~ It's pretty obvious...I love my new walls...What do you think?

BEFORE


AFTER


I think my new walls look pretty darn good...After All, It's All In a Mom's Day, Right?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Gotta Love Duct Tape...

OK~ It's a hot, steamy, summer day...MY 16 year old son is sporting the raggediest jeans he can possibly find. BIG hole that streaks down the top part of his leg. We are in the car, riding to town...I glance over~ and think, "Wow, am I really living this life?"  I gotta give him credit, he was self sufficient. He used duct tape to close the tear on his favorite pair of jeans. I asked him why he didn't wear shorts on such a hot day. His response, "I couldn't find any clean ones." Well, I'm thinking, "It might help if you actually opened up a dresser drawer." Seems to me that if his clean, folded clothes are not on top of his dresser, they do not exist. Yep, we ventured into a store with the duct tape on the jeans and all. For a moment I thought I should not claim him. But then again, I thought~ Who doesn't love a creative kid? Thank God for duct tape! After All, It's All In a Mom's Day, Right?

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Three Things I Learned Today

OK~ A fairly quiet day.......I DID learn three things today~ Here they are:

  1. This family CAN actually grow a garden. The peas, radishes, lettuce, cucumbers, watermelon, and green beans are all showing growth~ Yeah
  2. We can have a cloudy, humid day in Iowa without any rain~ Yep, this is possible. 
  3. My new washing machine is so stable and boring~ it does NOT walk like my front loader did!
All in All...A wonderful day! A nice, simple day never hurt anyone....just one little cut from that crazy knife that got me while slicing up a watermelon~ Oh well, other than that, a GREAT day!  Loving summertime and all it has to offer~ After All, It's All In a Mom's Day, Right? 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Summer is Just Kicking In.....

OK~ Summer is really just kicking in~ at least here in Iowa!  More than two weeks ago I noticed a sign in front of a large local retailer, "Summer Patio Furniture- Clearance Sale." I thought to myself, "Wow," as I looked at my attire- jeans and a sweatshirt. Today I noticed several "Back To School" items in a store...Mind you, school starts for many the middle of August. Oh well...I guess if I'm thinking I will be needing a new swim suit, better get on that hunt now. I'm sure the parkas, snow boots and winter gloves will be easy to find once the 4th of July hits!

We all live in such a fast paced society...and our local retailers don't help our mind set. In our world today it is nearly impossible to enjoy the season at hand, as we always need to be thinking of what's coming next! I'm not sure how it was 30 something years ago when my parents were Back To School Shopping, but I really don't think my parents were thinking of Back To School in June! Our family was getting our 4-H projects ready for the county fair, we were walking beans, picking up rocks..and were thankful to get to the local swimming pool on an occasional hot summer evening.

How life has changed! This Mom will not be doing any Back To School Shopping until August~ as she's going to try and enjoy the season called Summer! After All, It's All In a Mom's Day, Right?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Kids Of All Ages Love The Minnesota Zoo

OK~ When you hear the word zoo most of us think of little kids and cute animals! Well, this Mom experienced the Minnesota Zoo from a totally different point of view. A Grandma, Mom, 20 year old and a 16 year old....AND a great time was had by all! Sure there were play areas built specifically for little kids, such as Replay Park.....



But, this Splash Pad......I know little kids love this area, but my big kid loved it as well.




The Minnesota Zoo has a wide array of animal species......From camels, grizzly bears, to dolphins, this zoo has it all! The one thing I found very helpful was the signs near each exhibit. The signage described the animal, in what part of the world it resides in, and other interesting information!




Due to the fact that Grandma was in need of a wheelchair, we were impressed with the wheelchair rental service that the Minnesota Zoo provided. The employees were very helpful, courteous, and understanding when it came to rounding one up.




If you are visiting with a stroller or wheelchair in tow, I highly recommend that you seek out the family restrooms. The regular restrooms are not designed very well for strollers and wheelchairs. You can get in/out of them, but it's difficult to maneuver around.

Here's proof that kids of all ages are just as curious as little, adventurous kiddos~



We had an enjoyable day at the Minnesota Zoo. And I can honestly say that a zoo is still one of the best places to take the family for a visit. And, this family is living proof that kids of all ages really do enjoy the zoo! After All, It's All In a Mom's Day, Right?

This is the 2nd of 3 Posts....I've got more information to share....A fun zoo to visit with the family!

*My family received four complimentary zoo passes for one day. I did not receive any monetary compensation for this post. The opinions expressed here are mine and nobody else's.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Laundry 101: Back To Basics

OK~ About seven years ago I decided that I really, really needed one of those WONDERFUl front load washing machines. Well, $1,100.00 later I had one! I'm sorry to say that this was one of the most regretful purchase this household had ever made. Many dollars in repairs later AND after I had donated my 17 year old washing machine, (which, by the way, worked fine) to charity. My front load washer decided to bite the dust at 7 years of age.......I must say I never did like that thing....Here's how my clothes looked 99% of the time when they came out of it....


And our clothes always smelled funny...But this seems to go with the territory of owning a front load washing machine....Anyway, this Mom is happy to report she has purchased a $325.00 (sale priced) top load washing machine from Sears and she loves it. Yep, that 17 year old top loader that I dearly loved was from Sears, AND that front loader was also from Sears. I'm giving this another try. Maybe we just had some bad luck, but I really, really like this new washing machine! Isn't it crazy how a washing machine can make a Mom so happy?


If this washing machine lasts 1/4 of the time that my front loader did, I'm money ahead! Our clothes are clean, they do not smell funny, and I can get a nice size load in here............So, it's Back to Basics- this Mom may be old fashioned, but she sure likes her new top loading washing machine! After All, It's All In a Mom's Day, Right?

*I did not receive any compensation if any way, shape or form to write this post. The opinions expressed here are mine and nobody else's.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

My "Find" Of The Day

OK~ It's Sunday~ gotta love those Sunday newspapers and all of those coupons! I thought this was a deal that I needed to share.......Walgreen's has Dial Body Wash on sale for $2.99 (16 or 18 oz). And MOST Sunday papers have a $2.00 off coupon~ thus, Dial Body Wash is on sale at Walgreen's for 99 cents! Can't beat this deal........I had some register rewards to use, which made this deal extra sweet- FREE!  I kind of like the Sunday newspapers when I can find a deal like this! After All, It's All In a Mom's Day, Right?


*I did not receive any compensation of any type for this post. The opinions expressed here are mine, and nobody else's.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

June In Iowa

OK~ I'm glad I have been patient! All of those Spring Iowa High School Trapshooting Meets that were held in mud, rain, and COLD......It's all been worth it....I just love this...Iowa in June! Life doesn't get much better than this. After All, It's All In a Mom's Day, Right?

Friday, June 10, 2011

Moving Out~ Moving Back In

OK~ As a Mom to a 20 year old, I am all ears when parents talk about moving their "kids" all around....Well, we officially joined that group about a month ago. Blaine decided he was ready to move into his own place, with someone else. Within this two week time frame, he managed to lock himself out of his apartment (Day #2) and locked his extra set of keys in his car....Yeah, you read all of this right....

We moved him out AND then we moved him back in. You know how we Moms have instincts...I knew he had to try it and I also knew it would just not work. He's back home and really maturing and trying to figure out his future plan......Thankfully he has two jobs, works hard, and is really fitting in with our family.  Young adults do drift at times....It's fun to see that he wants to spend time with us..yep, that includes grandparents and cousins as well. Your family is who will always be there......It's so important for our young people to see that!

So, for now, he's back home! In due time I do know we will be moving him out again~ It's that roller coaster of life...Hop on and enjoy the ride~ After All, It's All In a Mom's Day, Right?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Minnesota Zoo~ An Overview




OK~ We had a wonderful summer day at the Minnesota Zoo. If you have not visited this zoo for quite some time, it's definitely worth a visit. From the parking lot to the Northern Trail, there is something for people of all ages. That's the one thing I love about zoos~ kids of all ages love a zoo! From toddlers to grandparents, this zoo is welcoming to everyone. The one thing I noticed upon entering, is that the Dr. Seuss theme is all around. Gotta love Dr. Seuss!



If you are a lover of aquatic animals, this zoo is rockin'. From the walleye, dolphins, to sea dragons~this zoo has 'em all. Discovery Bay is home to many different aquatic species. I highly recommend making a stop in this building, as this is where you will experience a lot of what is found in our oceans and more.



The Minnesota Trail is home to many species that are unique to Minnesota. The beaver dam put on quite a show, as well as the coyotes. If you have never seen a curious coyote up close, this is the place to see one. Here you will also see many fish that are native to Minnesota as well.



The Tropics Trail is a trail that is home to several different colorful species of animals. Here you will see red pandas, African fruit bats, komodo dragons, and tree kangaroos. This is just a small sampling of what is offered along this trail, which is all indoors.


Heading outdoors to Grizzly Bay.......Here you will find Brown Bears, Grizzly Bears, Sea Otters, and mud pots. This area is very unique, as it is the start of the Northern Trail......gives you a sense of what live is really like along Russia's Grizzly Coast. This is an outdoor trail, with small hills here and there.


Continuing on the Northern Trail you will find bison, camels, gazelles, and wolves. Along the trail there are many fun areas to stop with the kiddos.  Replay Park is about 1/2 way from Discovery Bay to The Farm. This is a great stopping point for a snack, break for the youngsters, or just a little bit of time for some rest and relaxation.




Once you arrive at the grain elevator, you can hop on a wagon that will transport you and your family back to The Farm. Hint: Plan your visit so you can see the milking of a cow while back at the farm. This is why it's important to get a full schedule of the day's events upon entering the zoo. Here's one of the amazing animals you will see while visiting the Minnesota Zoo!



This is the first of three posts~ I've got much more to share....The Minnesota Zoo is an affordable place to take the family and this family is proof that kids of all ages enjoy zoos!  Rain or Shine....this zoo is clean, has some awesome attractions, and is a great way to spend a day with your family! After All, It's All In a Mom's Day, Right?

*My family received four complimentary zoo passes for one day. I did not receive any monetary compensation for this post. The opinions expressed here are mine and nobody else's.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Business Cards~ Just in Time for Blog Conference Season

OK~ So, if you are a Blog Conference Newbie like me, this IS information you need! I attended my first Blog Conference in May, and I did not have business cards that I was proud of. The answer to my problem is at hand, Tiny Prints.  If you are heading to a Blog Conference, have business cards in hand that you will want to share! Your experience will be just a little bit better because you will be prepared.



Tiny Prints provides stylish, modern and unique stationery that covers all your paper needs. You'll find party invitations, personalized greeting cards, thank you cards, business cards, and even custom wedding invitations. Come try the easy card personalization, powerful preview engine and top -notch customer service and paper quality for yourself! With Tiny Prints by your side, commemorating every holiday and momentous occasion is a cinch!

I'm heading to a Blog Conference in July and I'm very excited to share my business cards!  From logo business cards, custom business cards, to modern business cards, AND more...Tiny Prints has you covered!

If you are a blogger and wish to be considered for a business card review, head on over to Tiny Prints, you might be chosen to review these fun cards! After All, It's All In a Mom's Day, Right?


 * A special Thank You to Global Influence and Tiny Prints. I will be compensated in the form of 50 free business cards for this post. I did not receive any monetary compensation and the opinions here are mine and nobody else's.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Spiders........

OK~ For whatever reason our 20 year old son has never like bugs, any type of bug!  Yep, from a house fly to a wasp. He nor I ever recall that he has been stung....This was the wonderful note that I woke up to today......


I guess my son is now an official bug hating tired person......Oh the joys! After All, It's All In a Mom's Day, Right?

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Thinking.....

OK~ Do you ever just think? I'm thinking that I would love to move my little office outside. But reality quickly sinks in when the wind is whipping my window coverings around. I'd probably do more chasing than actually working. Papers would be flying everywhere. I think I will stay inside.

I'm thinking that God blessed us with a wonderful weather day for Iowa High School Trapshooting yesterday. A normal day to begin with~ a thunderstorm in the early a.m.~ but then things turned around! We all joked that it wouldn't be a normal meet without rain.

Thinking that Skipper is adjusting to being on a tight leash....he's not being allowed to galavant. This Mom will not find him with that miniature whatever it is AGAIN! Geeeessshhheee........

I'm thinking that some of our summer fun family events have already happened, with more to come! We've had a bridal shower for a niece, attended a high school graduation reception for a niece, and enjoyed watching Garrett and his team mates at the Iowa High School Trapshooting Meet.  Thinking of what is yet to come........End of year Banquet for Trapshooting, bridal shower for niece, high school graduation reception for nephew,  Bloggy Conference in Ohio, and 2 nieces weddings.......So, a lot to think about and a lot going on in this short, summer season in Iowa...I guess I'll stop thinking now and let it all happen!

After All, It's All In A Mom's Day, Right?

Friday, June 3, 2011

3 Things To Do On A Hot Summer Day

OK~ Here's my list of three things to do on a day like today~ It's a whopping 97 degrees with the winds howling around 35 mph+.........A bad hair day seems to be a daily occurrence if you live in Iowa! The winds just keep a blowing.

  1. Enjoy the heat-  Remember how cold January was? 
  2. Find a shady spot, roll out the hammock and break out your E-reader
  3. Have a big bowl of ice cream!
Seriously, if you do these three things, life will seem pretty good! As far as the body aches, no complaints on those today.......I'll take this heat over those cold, dark days of winter anytime! And look what the heat brought today-


After All, It's All In a Mom's Day, Right? 

Thursday, June 2, 2011

BBQ Potatoes

OK~ Another simple side dish...If I can make this, you can too!

Potatoes
Onions
Olive Oil
BBQ Seasoning (Whatever one you like) My family happens to like Grill Mates Barbecue Seasoning.

Cut up the potatoes and onions.


Toss them into a bowl......with the BBQ seasoning and olive oil.


Wrap them in foil........Non-stick works best or spray the foil with non-stick cooking spray. Place them on the grill and in about 20 minutes~ look what you have!


The smaller the potatoes and onion, the less cooking time you will need. The perfect side dish to that meat you have ready for your grill. After All, It's All In a Mom's Day, Right?

*I did not receive any product or monetary compensation for this post. The opinions expressed here are mine and nobody else's.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Life Is Fun When Your Kids Find Their Passion

OK~ I must share........It has been such a fun High School Trapshooting season in the state of Iowa, and I'm kind of sad to see another successful season wrap up at the Iowa High School Trapshooting meet this Saturday in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Trapshooting is a passion for our 16 year old son. Do your kids have a passion? If they do....it's important to let them experience it!

Trapshooting has given our son a ton of confidence AND he feels good about himself! All kids do have something that they do enjoy....Let them jump in and see how it feels! 90% of our high school trapshooting meets have warranted long underwear and winter coats~ BUT, it's still been a successful season. The whole team has learned to roll with the weather conditions, after all, Mother Nature has her own calendar.

Tonight was a great way to finish the high school trapshooting season at our home...the last practice and Garrett shot his first 25 straight!  Yes, this is a BIG deal in the sport of trapshooting........ And it was time to shoot up his hat!
AND....Here's the results!


A boy and his passion~ This Mom loves this! After All, It's All In a Mom's Day, Right?