And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children. Isaiah 54:13 KJV

Sunday, July 31, 2011

School Time!!!!

Our fall semester officially begins in the morning!!! We are all excited to use our new school room! We dabbled in there a bit last week but tomorrow will be a big day! As the teacher I am excited about new things, nervous about the logistics of having both kids working at the same time, and ready to begin! I'm all about ORGANIZATION this time! Look this week for a review of the Well Planned Day homeschool organizer! Can't wait to tell you what a difference it is going to make!!!

Speaking of organization, one of my goals this year is to make our lunches the night before. We have a specific time we are going to be getting up every morning and then a short morning routine before we begin school at 8 each day. This means we will be finished at lunchtime each day (I hope!) so rather than trying to run in and out of the classroom to make lunch or asking the kids to wait to eat, I would like to just walk in the kitchen and pull out our lunches! I also think this will be an economical approach because we will be more likely to eat leftovers and such. We have had the EasyLunchboxes system for over a year now and I LOVE it! Each container has 3 compartment one large, one small, and one extra small. They have a snap on lid (each lid is a different color) and for days we are on the go to a field trip or playdate we have a cooler bag to pack them in! We have really enjoyed these in the past for playdates at the playground. They are great for packing sandwiches, leftovers, etc. For tomorrow, Apple and Speedy have a hot dog (leftovers from tonight) and some of their favorite veggies all cut up and ready to eat! I packed a salad for myself complete with a small section of almonds and croutons!

Amazon.com now carries the EasyLunchbox systems! You can purchase a set of 4 containers for $13.95 and if you'd like to add the cooler bag it's only $7.95. The cooler bags come in a variety of great colors! We have the Aqua!

As we go through the school year I will post pics of any fun or really good lunches I pack in these. My friend Randa makes some AWESOME bento style lunches for her son to carry to school! I'll admit it, I have EasyLunchbox bento meal envy!

Goin to the Chapel.........

 My new favorite picture!!! I had the privilege of being the matron of honor at my favorite little cousin's wedding yesterday! My "mini-me" (as the family refers to her) made a beautiful bride! I was so honored to be part of her special day!!!!! Congrats Brandon & Ashley! May God bless your union!

Mid- Summer Moolah Winner!!!!!

Special thanks to all the blogs that participated!!!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Review: Harvest of Grace


The Harvest of Grace by Cindy Woodsmall is the third installment of The Ada's House Novels. I didn't realize this when I choose it. I generally prefer to read series in order. Thankfully Ms. Woodsmall gave a very handy history of the series at the beginning of the book. It was not hard to get into the story and get a good idea of everyone's history, but I look forward to getting the first two and delving into those.

I enjoyed this Amish love story. Sylvia leaves her Amish settlement and her family after a very difficult and embarrassing situation. Aaron has been away from his Amish family undergoing rehab for alcoholism and now he's ready to go home to help his parents. They find themselves together on Aaron's family farm. Sylvia is not a traditional Amish girl. She loves dairy farming and is determined to make the farm profitable. Aaron hasn't enjoyed farming in a long time and he wants the farm sold and a new path in life. Through ups and downs, ins and outs Aaron and Sylvia find some common ground in their uncommon lives.

I enjoyed this read. It was a good fiction story. There has been a recent crop of Amish documentarys, stories, and more recently. I am entrigued by the Amish was of life and enjoy reading about them in fiction and nonfiction form. If you love a gentle love story, pick up The Harvest of Grace!

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Apple's Own Style #jcpback2school

Apple certainly has her own sense of style! At 6 she is really into picking out her own clothes. Not only does she prefer to choose her own outfits each day but now she really wants to choose the clothes that we buy for her. Just a few weeks ago we took 3 outfits into a dressing room for her to try on. The first one I LOVED!!!! I just knew she would pick it. She tried on 2 more and picked the last one. It was very cute (otherwise we wouldn't have taken it to try on) but it was TOTALLY 80s fashion. A brightly colored scarf and lots of lime green, hot pink, and glitter!!! She really likes it and has worn it several times already.

She is OBSESSED with dresses. It is a punishment for her if we ask her to wear pants or shorts. She has always preferred dresses. I really thought by this age she would be over it but not even close! She wears dresses to play in the dirt, to run around the yard, to church, to playdates, everywhere. Most of her friends are into tshirts and capris but not this girl! The girlier it is, the more she likes it! Praise the Lord we have instilled a high sense of modesty in her. She still needs to wear shorts under her dresses when she is playing but she chooses clothes that are very modest. I appreciate that there is no argument over it, and I pray it will continue to be that way!

Of course she's a girl so she loves to add all kinds of accessories to her ensembles. Purses, jewelry, bright socks, and the perfect shoes. For some reason she isn't too into matching her shoes. She's pretty much into flip flops almost all year round and although she has lots of colors to choose from she tends to mismatch the shoes on purpose. In fact she doesn't match her socks either! She has some bright 80s style socks that she insists must be mismatched. She's all about one neon green with one neon pink! She does like her purse to match though. Although she doesn't feel the need to carry one all the time yet. She is a sight to see especially when she has a big bow or flower in her hair. It's all a part of her individuality I guess!

This girl is strong willed and confident in who she is. She isn't into the style of the moment or what her friends think is cool! THAT is one of the coolest things about my Apple!

“I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and jcpenney blogging program, for a gift card worth $50. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”

Fiber One 80 Calories Cereal Review & #GIVEAWAY!!!! #MYBLOGSPARK



This yummy little package arrived in my mailbox! I couldn't wait to try the cereal! First I read the label, only 80 calories in a 3/4 cup dry serving. Hmm....... I've had many Fiber One products before and they always taste great but with only 80 calories?? So I poured a bowl. First of all the flavor I received is Honey Squares. The delicious smell of honey greeted me as soon as I opened the box!

I poured a bowl. I did use milk in mine which brought me up to 120 calories. That's still a great number if it tastes good and keeps me full!

The cereal is in cute little squares with the edges rolled up. There are two different colors of squares. Looks pretty fun for grown up cereal! Time for my first bite......... and it's AMAZING! The flavor of honey is right on. It doesn't taste artificial in any way. The squares are crunchy and satisfying! They weren't even hard to chase around the bowl! SMILE! I like it! It kept me full as well. Nothing is worse than being hungry for lunch and it's only 10 AM! That just doesn't work around here. With homeschool beginning again next week, I need a breakfast that's quick, easy, and will get me through at least 11:30. I'm sure this one will do it!

We eat A LOT of cereal in our house. It's a staple for the kids and I. I only buy cereal that is great tasting, and usually with a coupon and a good sale. Fiber One has coupons out pretty much every month and I have found some great sales on their products in the past. I will be stocking up on this!

Would you like to win a prize pack? Fiber One and My Blog Spark are generously offering one reader the same pack that I received! It will have a box of Fiber One 80 Calories Cereal, a terrific pedometer for keeping track of your steps, and an armband for your MP3 player or phone while you are on the go!



To enter you MUST be a Google Friend Connect Follower (click join in the box on the right siderbar) AND leave a comment below telling me your FAVORITE breakfast food! Be sure to leave your email address so I can contact you if you win!!!!
Entries will close at 10 pm CST on Wednesday, August 3. Winner will be selected by Random.org.

*Open to the United States only
*You must be a public GFC follower. If I can't verify that you are a follower, your entry will be removed!

Are you interested in learning more about Fiber One? Find them at




  • Fiber One’s Website http://bit.ly/FiberOne








  • Fiber One’s Facebook page http://on.fb.me/F180Cal








  • "Disclosure: Fiber One 80 Calories cereal, information, and giveaway have been provided by General Mills through MyBlogSpark."

    Monday, July 25, 2011

    Wii Console Deal

    We love our Wii! The 4 of us all enjoy playing games on it but even more than that we LOVE getting Netflix instant streaming through it! Long ago we cut our cabe down to the minimum and began enjoying instant streaming. We can also check the weather and the news on our Wii as well as use it for internet access! Amazon.com has a great bundle that includes Mario Kart for just $149.99!!! If you are looking for a birthday gift, back to school incentive, or doing some early Christmas shopping- look no further!

    Sunday, July 24, 2011

    Back to School at Walgreens

    I hit Walgreens this afternoon. I had $4 in RR that expired today so I needed to use them! I pretty much stuck to the back to school deals to restock the homeschool room.

    Carry Pouch .59 x 2
    Calculator $3
    5 tab Dividers .39 x 2
    Poly Binder .39 (I would've bought more but they only had 1 left!)
    Crayola 24 ct crayon $1- $1 RR= FREE
    Scunci Hairbands 2/ $3 - $3 RR= FREE
    Sinful Nail Polish 3/$4 w/ in ad coupon (I needed one bottle for a wedding this weekend and I let Apple pick a couple of bottles)

    Savings
    WAG COUPON SAVINGS $1.97
    WAG AD SAVINGS $9.19
    MFG COUPON SAVINGS $4 (RR)

    TOTAL SAVINGS $15.16 and I got back $4 more in RR!!

    Saturday, July 23, 2011

    Great Place for Coupons!

    When I do my matchups you will often see All*You coupon. These are coupons from All*You Magazine! This month's All*You has at least $59 worth of coupons inside! I'm cutting mine now and I've come across at least 2 - $5 coupons! I love the coupons and that's not all! Each month the mag is packed with recipes, tips, and more!

    You can pick up a copy at Wal-Mart every month for about $3 OR you can save a bundle and buy at amazon.com! 1 year subscription is only $19.95!!! This is an auto renewal price but you can cancel ANYTIME!

    I love getting my All*You in the mail each month! I don't go to Wal-Mart nearly as often as I use to so I enjoy the mag coming to me! Start you subscription today so you don't miss another month of coupons!

    Brownies

    Speedy and I have a few hours to ourselves tonight while Hubby and Apple help some friends load a trailer. Well I decided we better have some brownies! I love to use up things in the cabinent and usually I have great results!




    I made the brownie mix according to the instructions on the box. Then I spread half the mix in the bottom of a greased pan. I spread about a quarter of a large jar of marshmallow cream on top and then sprinkled chocolate chips and shredded coconut on top of that. I spread the rest of the brownie batter on and squirted a little Hershey's syrup on top. You can never have too much chocolate, right?


    Our results! Warm gooey marshmallow and chocolate goodness with a hint of coconut throughout! Glad there's only 2 of us here! And this is why it's important to stay stocked up on baking goods!

    Saturday Deal Hunt!

    I got up at the crack of dawn (literally) this morning to go to yard sales. Now I know some people look down on yard sales as buying other people's junk and I also know that it isn't as popular in some areas of the country. Here yard sales are big business. You have to get up EARLY (hence crack of dawn) and you need a PLAN! Yes a yard sale plan. Sit down the evening before and scout out the ads. Most newspapers are free online so that's where I start. I also always check Craigslist. (Side note when I have a yard sale I list it on Craigslist because it is FREE! The newspaper here charges a large fee to list a sale and it just isn't worth it.) So when you have your list of sales then you need to scan through them. If there are street names you don't recognize pull out a map or even better look it up on Mapquest.com. Make a list of where you want to start, group close address together, and make a note of the start time of the sale. Also jot down specific items listed that you may be looking for ie *girls clothes.

    I haven't been as many times this season as I normally do. Last Saturday we got out late without a written plan and I didn't buy anything. My mom did get some great lamps though! The kids seem to be outgrowing their clothes so I was determined to go again today. So glad that I did! I got several great items and all for less than $20!!!! Clothes and cleats for Speedy, a few clothing items and a purse for Apple, soccer socks for both, dress up clothes, and even a scarf for myself! I was even able to pick up a few onesies for a friend.

    Look in this economy every penny counts. Children outgrow clothing quickly so many times its barely been worn. They also go through interests quickly whether its certain toys, books, or games. You can buy multiples at a yard sale for cheaper than what you would pay for 1 new. We always have a sale or two every year also to get rid of clothes, toys, books, and shoes that we are no longer using.

    Do be careful and look over the items thoroughly for stains, rips, broken zippers, or missing buttons. Also eyeball clothes because sizes can vary greatly especially after being worn. When buying toys make sure all the pieces are there. Never be afraid to ask them to make you a deal. Most folks are just wanting to get rid of the items (but I DON'T recommend trying to rip people off). If it's marked $15 ask them to take $12. If it's clothing items and you want several ask them to come down a little.

    Enjoy yard sales! Take your spouse or a friend! Don't forget your coffee and cash!

    Welcome!

    I was so excited to wake up this morning and see all the new followers! Welcome to each of you! Glad to see you are all enjoying the Mid- Summer Moolah event!

    Carter Chaos is a fun mix of couponing, deals, book & product reviews, and homeschooling info. Most of the time my blog is as chaotic as my life! I'm glad to have you here and hope you enjoy the blog! In the next couple of weeks I have some exciting reviews and more giveaways coming!

    Good luck to everyone! I'm off to find some good deals at the yard sales!

    Friday, July 22, 2011

    Mid-Summer Moolah

    Welcome to Mid-Summer Moolah!

    hosted by Formula Mom



    As the heat of mid-summer takes over, wouldn't you like to win some cash (or Amazon gift code) to buy yourself a little something

    special this summer? Well, here is your chance!

    41 blogs have come together to offer one winner $410 cash paid via Paypal or $410 in an Amazon gift code (winner's choice)!


    Each entry is another chance to win, so check out the Rafflecopter form below and get clicking to visit all of the amazing blogs

    participating in this event! You will be able to enter until 11:59pm on Saturday, July 30th. Following the conclusion of the event, a winner

    will be drawn and notified via email. The winner will have 48 hours to confirm their win or another winner will be drawn. Thank you for

    entering!

    Thursday, July 21, 2011

    Mid-Summer Moolah #giveaway



    The Mid-Summer Moolah event will begin at 12:01 EST on July 23!!!! This is going to be an easy contest to enter because it is a Rafflecopter form! I am so excited to be teamed up with Formula Mom and many others to offer this $410 prize!!!!! I'd would LOVE to see a Carter Chaos fan win this one! So come back from July 23-July 30 and make sure to get all the extra entries!!!!

    Wednesday, July 20, 2011

    Oh Sweet Sanctuary!


    Earlier today I finished the BEST fiction novel I have read in a long time. Sweet Sanctuary is written by Sheila Walsh & Cindy Martinusen-Coloma. Sheila Walsh's work has been in our home for a long time! Apple loves Gigi God's Little Princess movie and she has How to Be God's Little Princess and God's Little Princess: ICB Devotional Bible. When I saw a this Sheila Walsh adult book up for review, I jumped at the chance. Boy was I glad I did!

    Sweet Sanctuary is the story of Wren and her son Charlie. They haven't had it easy. Their lives have led them through a series of events that have left them estranged from all other family. Wren and Charlie have never really put down ties anywhere and they are on the verge of another move. Charlie has been praying that God will help his mommy be happy again. God works in mysterious ways, as we all know, and Wren's life begins to crumble around her. I've certainly had those times when nothing is going my way! In the midst of adversity, Wren turns to God. As He breaks down the walls and barriers she has built, things begin to fall into place and His plan becomes evident.

    I don't usually delve into personal topics when I review a book but I have to tell you that this book was personal for me. The first thing to pop out at me was the details about Wren and Charlie's sensitive natures. Speedy and I can certainly relate to them and their struggle to embrace their own personalities without discounting those that are different from them. In our home Apple and Daddy have similar natures and sensitivity and emotion fall somewhere else on the scale for them. It feels like the 4 of us are constantly adjusting and striving to understand each other better so I certainly felt a kinship with Wren. Also Wren really struggles with worry. She over and over imagines these horrible scenarios! Oh my goodness, I totally do that! The whole book she is reminded again and again that worry is no use to us. Our faith and trust should be in the Lord and there's no place for anxiety and worry in that faith. I loved watching Wren's walls come down. God spends lots of time showing me mine and gently steering me towards ridding myself of them.

     I tend to figure out the path of books very near the beginning and that can make books a bore sometimes. Sweet Sanctuary had none of that! I was holding my breath until the very end to see how it would all play out! I got very involved in this book and read it in only 2 days because I needed to know the ending! Sheila Walsh and Cindy Martinusen-Coloma get a A++++++++ on this one!

    Sweet Sanctuary

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

    Tuesday, July 19, 2011

    2011-2012 Curriculum

    I have updated our curriculum page above. The main resources we will be using for this school year are listed there for each child. I have put a lot more time into planning for Apple this go round. I still don't feel totally prepared because all of our tools are new for she & I this time! In her case the comfort of Hooked on Phonics and giant workbooks are gone.

    Our main selections with her will be Math U See Beta and textbooks! I ordered many textbooks to supplement extra subjects with her. Math U See is new for us this year but I am excited about it! She does so well with video format and because it is not a spiral curriculum I think she will do well! We are also going to be alternating Living Literature Grammer and Language Arts (Click for my review) and the Little House on the Prairie series. She's already begun Little House in the Big Woods. For the first few chapters I had her give me an oral synopsis at the end of each chapter. Now she is writing 2-3 sentences about each chapter in her notebook.

    For Speedy the main goal will be letter and number recognition and beginning writing. He has worked on some of his Hooked on Phonics PreK this summer and he will continue with it (hopefully at a faster pace). We will also reinforce phone number, address, colors, shapes, and beginning addition and subraction. I am hoping he will get interested in writing! Thankfully his work does not require much planning at this point!

    Are you excited about any new curriculum you will be implementing this year?

    Review: Plugged-In Parenting



    Plugged-In Parenting by Bob Waliszewski is a look at parenting in the midst of technology, television, movies, and music. Waliszewski gives practical advice on raising Godly children with media discernment. He uses verses straight from the Bible to remind us of God's view on what we see, hear, and engage ourselves in.

    This book totally reinforced the practices my husband and I already are using. Although our children are only 4 and 6, we are very aware of the shows they watch, the music they hear, and the games they play. Just recently a family member asked me did I like a new song. I told her I hadn't heard it. She looked confused and said "But it's country!" I told her we don't listen to country. "Well what do you listen to?" "We listen to KLove." "What is KLove?" "Contemporary Christian. She said, "Oh well there's nothing wrong with country!" We went on to converse a little more. I don't have anything against country in general but some of those songs have lyrics just as bad as the newest pop songs. I use to flip around to a couple of low key stations more but I soon realized those songs and lyrics didn't sound nearly as good coming out of my baby girl's mouth. She loves to sing and will sing anything she hears. We choose a long time ago to carefully screen their music. They have heard some songs other than Christian but not many and not repeatedly. Our kids watch television too but it is carefully monitored. I like to think we are at a happy medium. Not too strict forbidding everything (I have seen the kind of rebellion that can lead too) but certainly restricting things that do not correlate with our beliefs.


    In this book he covers many topics including ADD/ADHD, movies, gaming, texting, and more. He gives in depth information about how to reverse your family's media practices if you haven't been restrictive before. He gives wonderful advice on typical scenarios that may arise with your child as they get older. The book is also informative on how to use technology to assist you instead of working against you.

    All in all, whether you are a Christian or not, if you are a parent you should know that movies and songs affect you and your child. I clearly remember leaving the theater after watching Mortal Combat as a teenager. I was ready to FIGHT anyone that looked at me wrong. The movie had me ready to take on anyone! So as a parent surely you are seeking good morals and good behavior in your child. Plugged-In Parenting is for all parents!

    I received this book from Tyndale Publishers for the purpose of review. All opinions are my own and not influenced by outside sources.

    Sunday, July 17, 2011

    And the gift card goes to..........


    # 21 Donna said...


    I am now following you on twitter
    Thank you to everyone that entered and watch the blog next week for the Moolah giveaway!!!

    Bridal Shower

    My sweet cousin Ashley, affectionately known as my mini me, is getting married in 2 weeks! We had a terrific bridal shower for her yesterday afternoon. There is nothing like getting together with all the women in our family. All I can say is it's loud and filled with laughter and even though we aren't Greek someone always ends up quoting a line from "My Big Fat Greek Wedding." "Whatdya mean you don't eat no meat? That's okay I make a lamb!" But I digress.......

    So Ashley got some great gifts for her birthday. My mom had a local bakery make a beautiful cupcake cake for her and they did a great job! With colors like malibu and silver it hasn't been easy to match everything but thankfully Ashley is no bridezilla (although she has potential!).








    Since it was mid afternoon we had a terrific selection of food! I mean what women don't wanna eat when they get together?
    We played a couple of games. Let's just say that Ashley and I did our own renditions of "Wind Beneath My Wings" and "I Think We're Alone Now" during a game about love songs. HA!
    Ashley received some great gifts to assist her in her new season of life. She is very domesticated like me (told you she was a mini me) and she really enjoyed her knives and other new household items!
    We also were all pleased to enjoy a special element to this party. As a member of Team Brew Crew I was able to bring a special Coffee-mate party pack to the gathering. Ashley and her fiance Brandon love coffee and I knew she would appreciate this special element to the party.
     Our party pack included napkins, cups, and 4 bottles of liquid Coffee-Mate creamer! We sampled Vanilla, Italian Sweet Cream, and Hazelnut. They were all so good and I was able to share with the guests that Coffee-Mate is for more than just coffee! It can be used in tea and many recipes too!
     Ashley received a Coffee-Mate bag clip/ spoon as one of her gifts!


    See how excited she was about her Coffee-Mate products! A special thank you to Coffee-mate for their contributions to the special day! Check them out on Twitter, Facebook, and http://www.coffee-mate.com/ for more information on products, recipes, and more!

    It was a fun day and I look forward to sharing some pictures of the wedding soon!

    Review: The Family Illustrated Bible



    The Family Illustrated Bible arrived at our door last week! My kids squealed and grabbed for it as soon as I opened the package! Our children LOVE LOVE LOVE to receive new Bibles. They get passed back and forth between their rooms as the fight over them. It's one thing I'm glad they are both eager to get their hands on!

    Speedy loves the illustrations in this Bible. From the front cover to the resources in the back the pictures draw you in. There are a variety of styles from cartoon to realistic and color to black and white. Even the gold gilded page edges invite you to read the passages and relive the stories.

    Apple is enjoying the words and reading. From highlighted verses to historic facts to well known and loved Bible tales, this beautiful book contains them all. There is a table of contents, an index and a section of resources including People of the Old Testament and People of the New Testament.

    I enjoy Bibles like this for day to day Bible reading and for homeschool. Apple and Speedy have their own devotional books that we use during school time but I love to pull out devotional Bibles and children's Bibles to change things up a bit or to explore more about a specific verse or story. I like that the Bible references are right at the top of each page for reference purposes.

    As far as for other families, this Bible is aimed at older children. The stories are fairly verbose and the language isn't going to be exciting for your toddler. New readers woud have some difficulty studying these passages on their own. However this Bible is fabulous and I would recommend it! I remember having a HUGE Children's Bible at my Grandma's house when I was a little girl and I would flip through it often. The drawings in this Bible remind me a lot of the ones in my old one. This would be great for a grandparents or favorite aunt's house as well!

    I received this book from New Leaf Publishing for the purpose of review. All opinions are my own.

    Do you like Moolah?



    I don't know about you but I like to win Moolah! I'm joining a group of bloggers in the Mid Summer Moolah event! This is a Rafflecopter giveaway that will begin on July 23!!! Don't miss it cause you could be the big Moolah winner!

    Friday, July 15, 2011

    Girly Movie Time

    Apple had her best friend sleep over last night. It had been several months and they were SO excited to have a night together. Bestie came over and brought 2 of her favorite Barbie DVDs. These girls have enjoyed Barbie movies since they were 3! They never seem to grow tired of them even though they have watched them over and over again!


    If you're looking for some movies for your little Barbie fan, amazon.com has some great deals! Here are some of Apple & Bestie's favorites!

    Barbie as The Princess and the Pauper

    Barbie Fairytopia

    Thursday, July 14, 2011

    Guess What?

    Does anyone remember my post here about Hayneedle.com's Backyard Escape Facebook promo? If you do, you're doing better than me! I had actually done the post and entered the Facebook promo and then forgotten all about it! Well about 2 weeks ago, I got a pleasant reminder because I WON one of the blogger grand prizes! I got a $500 shopping spree to Hayneedle.com!!!!! Yowza!

    Let me just tell you it took me awhile to decide on my products! Hayneedle has a little of EVERYTHING! I could spend days scouring their site! I did finally decide however and let me just tell you their shipping is lightning FAST! I had most of my products within 3 days and the other came within about 7! So you wanna know what I choose?

    Well I told you here about our fabulous new schoolroom. Well those desks that are so cute and matching..... yea they came from Hayneedle! They are terrific! They have lids that open up, chairs, and a pencil inset. They are roomy and both kids fits into them very well. They were on sale for less than $100 each! They were partially assembled when they arrived and it only took the hubby a few minutes to put the remaining pieces on! The kids can't wait for school to start back and I have caught them in there several times enjoying their new desks!


    I also choose a rice cooker and a Rachel Ray pan. I have been enoying both of them! The rice cooker is terrific! It also steams, doubles as a fondue pot, and even came with recipes for making chicken and soup dishes with it! We've used it a couple of times and it's a breeze to use and clean! Rice and veggies or rice and stir fry are often on our dinner menus and this will make dinner a cinch! The Rachel Ray Yum-O pan is great! It's versatile and cleans easily!

    Okay so for the grand finale......  my biggest selection was a GAS GRILL!!!! I cannot tell you how excited I am about this grill! The hubby has a nice grill but it's a charcoal one. I love the taste of food grilled over charcoal but I am just deficient when it comes to preparing and lighting a charcoal grill. I have tried over and over and I just can't seem to do it right. However with this HUGE 4 burner with a side burner Char Broil gas grill, I can just turn on the gas and give the starter a little click, and I'm ready to go! Each burner lights individually so if the kids and I just want a couple of hot dogs or hamburgers for lunch, I only need to turn on one burner. When we are having a party or get together we can easily fire up all 4 burners and put some beans on the side burner! It really is a great grill. We've already used it several times and we love the results! It cooks fast and evenly. It cleans well and it has wheels so we can just roll it right back to its spot when we are through. At less than $300 it was priced just right! Hayneedle has a HUGE selection of grills to choose from to meet your family's needs.




    So as excited as I was to have WON such a terrific prize, I also want to tell you about their service. When the grill arrived the box was a little damaged. When hubby opened it all up and began to put it together, our grill had some shipping damage. A small dent on the back and a small piece was bent. We weren't sure how the company would handle it, and we were ready to grill so he went ahead and put it together and we snapped some pictures of the damage. A few days later I contacted the representative at the company that had been assisting me with my prize. She was fabulous and got me right in touch with someone in customer service. Let me tell you they did a great job to get us satisfied! They gave us a couple of options and we were able to choose the one we were the most comfortable with! We now have a store credit to compensate for the damage to the grill. I am very pleased with the professionalism that the issue was addressed with (special thanks to Angela and Jordan!). I would recommend Hayneedle.com to anyone! You also will be impressed with their prices, customer service, and quality! Thank you Hayneedle for this fantastic prize pack!

    Celebration with a **HOT** Giveaway!!!

    Carter Chaos hit over 100 Twitter followers today!!! Let's celebrate!!! How about a $10 Amazon Gift Card? Easy peasy! All you need to do is be a public Google Friend Connect follower and leave a message with you email address as a comment (MANDATORY! 1 entry)!!!!

    Want more ways to enter?

    * Follow us on Twitter- 1 entry- leave a comment with your Twitter name & email address
    * Follow us on Facebook- 1 entry- leave a comment with your Facebook name & email address
    * Recommend us to your friends. Leave a link where you have done a blog post, tweeted it, or a Facebook post to recommend Carter Chaos to your friends! 1 entry for each link!!!


    This ends Sunday night at 10 pm!! Winner will be choosen by random.org. All entries will be verified!

    I am personally sponsoring this giveaway.

    Wednesday, July 13, 2011

    10 Tips for Making Life Easier and More Efficient #officiallatte

    So who doesn't need to save time? Time is valuable and at an all time demand! Our lives have been so CRAZY and hectic this summer that I have come up with several tips for saving time and especially adding to your efficiency in the day!

    1. Lay out clothes, shoes, and items you need to take with you the night before. I put out outfits down to the shoes for myself and Apple and Speedy. I also have a central location where I keep my purse, library books, mail, or anything else that needs to leave the house with me.
    2. Keep your coupons organized! Pick an hour or so each week to cut coupons, organize them, and check ads. That way you can see what you have right away!
    3. Make a list. Make a list. Make a list. Make a shopping list, a meal list, an errands list. Sure it takes a few minutes to make a list but it will save you TONS of time in the long run.
    4. Use your calendar. I use the one in my smartphone so I don't forget anything I need to do! Otherwise I'd miss all my doctor and hair appointments and then I'd have to waste time making new ones!
    5. I also have a list for chores. I rarely have a whole day to clean the house so I have broken down my daily cleaning chores so that everything gets clean at least once a week! Ex. Monday-Vacuum & Dust, Tuesday- Sweep & Mop, etc.
    6. I live on the outskirts of town so I lump all my errands together as much as I can. We drive to the main part of town on Wednesday nights for church so I hit Target or any other places in that area before church. Less trips= less time
    7. Decide what's really important. The best way to save time is to cut down on your activities. Are all those committees and meetings still important to you or have you outgrown them? Learn to say no and to prioritize!
    8. Relax..... seems like it doesn't fit in this list doesn't it? But it does. If you are always rushing and always distracted you will be totally inefficient and everything will take twice as long! Carve out a little time each day to sit down, put your feet up, and read a book, chat with your spouse, or watch a favorite TV show. You will do better than if you work 24/7!
    9. Organize! If you can't find the dish you need or your favorite top, you are going to waste time looking. Take time to put everything in its place and it will save you lots of time.
    10. Utilize the internet to do your banking, pay bills, or shop. This will help you to save time in the car, or errands, or running around trying to shop with kids! Use the internet to its full potential to save more time!

    One more way to save time, try Seattle's Best new canned coffees. Grab a latte from the fridge on your way out the door! No lines, no waiting just flavor and portability! Try them now with this Save $1.50 on a 4 pk today! coupon!



    “I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Seattle’s Best Coffee blogging program for a gift card worth $30. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”

    Tuesday, July 12, 2011

    Kroger Deals- See what I saved!

    I was able to do another Tuesday evening Kroger trip so I again double dipped in the savings! Last weeks Mega Sale buy 10 save $3 was still on and this weeks new buy 10 save $5 was beginning! Even better when I got home I realized that all of them gave my the greater savings of .50 per item! I ended up with 40 Mega Sale items!! Here's a list of my biggest savers: (Due to the way it rang on the receipt, I'm unable to specify between last week's sale and this week's SORRY!)

    Golden Graham bars $2.29- .50 MEGA- .50 SCPN- .50 DCPN= .79 x 2
    OM Hot Dogs $1.79-.50 MEGA= 1.29 x 2
    Grands Biscuits $1.29-.50 MEGA= .79 x 2
    Kraft BBQ Sauce $0.99- .50 MEGA= .49 x 2
    Totino's Pizzas $1.29-.50 MEGA= .79 x 5 - $1.25/5 KCPN= 5/$2.70
    Pringles $1.49- .50 MEGA= .99 x 3- $1/3= 3/ $1.97
    Lean Cuisine $2.49- .50 MEGA= $1.99 x 4- $1/4= 4/ $6.96
    Gorton Fish Sticks $2.99-.50 MEGA= $2.49 x 2 -$1/2 SCPN=2/ $3.98
                                                                   $2.49-.75 SCPN= $1.74
    Tornados $1.99-.50 MEGA- $1 SCPN= .49
    El Monterey Snacks $4.99-.50 MEGA- $1 SCPN= $3.49 x 3
    Kraft Dressing $1.99- .50 MEGA= $1.49 x 2- $1/2 SCPN= 2/ $1.98
    Bumblebee Tuna $1.39-.50 MEGA= .89 x 3
    Krusteaz Pancake Mix $1.99- .50 MEGA= $1.49
    Eggo Waffles $2.29-.50 MEGA= $1.79 x 2
    Tropicana OJ $2.99- .50 MEGA= $2.49
    Coffee-Mate Creamer $2.99- .50 MEGA- $2.49 FREE MFG CPN FROM COFFEEMATE BREW CREW= FREE x 4

    Other Deals
    Pepperidge Farm Melts $2.29- $1 SCPN= $1.29
    8 OClock Cofee $5.99-.75 SCPN= $5.24


    Okay now for the savings:

    MFG CPN $22.71
    DBL CPN $1.00
    KROGER PLUS SAV $53.50

    Total Savings $77.21 for a total of ...........51%!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Laying on the sand watching the surf roll in...... #VirginiaBeach

    Sigh...... I wish I was back at the beach! I love going early in the year to beat the crowds but by midsummer I'm longing to be back in my beach chair! After checking out http://www.visitvirginiabeach.com/visitors/ I'm longing to be in Virginia Beach! I've never been but this looks like a fabulous family getaway!

    • The beautiful water and long stretches of sandy beach look amazing! What a great place to play in the surf, take in the sun, relax and enjoy some laughs with the family. Making sandcastles, flying a kite, shooting water guns, they can all happen at Virginia Beach!
    • There is a fantastic looking aquarium there! You know I am all about sneaking in some homeschool everywhere we go and Virginia Beach would be no exception! Aquariums are a great place to get some science knowledge up close and personal!
    • I found another homeschool field trip to sneak in as well! There is a Military Aviation Museum! Now that would be right up Speedy's aisle and they wouldn't even realize all the social studies they would be learning!
    • I've wanted to take the kids to a water park now that they are older and Ocean Breeze Waterpark sounds like a winner! What kid wouldn't love a four slide complex overlooking the beach?
    • Mini golf all around! Always a perfect distraction in the middle of vacation!
    • There are boat tours for fishing and dolphin boat cruises! The fishing would keep hubby happy while a dolphin cruise would be another terrific lesson for Apple and Speedy!
    • I don't know about you but I love to shop on vacation! I wouldn't be disappointed in VA beach!
    • Fantastic accommodations whether you want a condo, a hotel, or a house to rent they can all be found in VA beach. We usually choose a condo at the beach so we can all be comfortable and we aren't disturbing someone next to us or under us like we would in a hotel.
    • Really exploring any new place is always an adventure. Just going to a new city and seeing what they have to offer is half the fun!
    • My friends Betty and Rusty are from there. I'd love to go with them and get a real tour of the area! Betty says the area is fantastic and I trust her judgement! I'm sure she could show me some fantastic local restaurants to try!


    So if you haven't been on vacation this year and you are looking for a great family getaway, give Virginia Beach a try! If I haven't convinced you, check out the tourism website at http://www.visitvirginiabeach.com/visitors/!





    “I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Virginia Beach Tourism blogging program, for a gift card worth $40. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”

    Sunday, July 10, 2011

    Introducing Our New Schoolroom!!!!

    I've pondered if I should be calling this our "classroom" but we don't have a class..... this room is for our school so ta da! Our new schoolroom!

    Teacher's seat and art table

    Speedy's Corner and bookshelf 

    Apple's corner and the storage closet

    Other side of the teacher's seat and posters


    I just can't tell you how excited I am! It's a clean, open, dedicated space! The hubby worked so hard to get this together for us in plenty of time before school begins! Our home is older and was added onto a couple of times before we got it. Most of the rooms in the house are all purpose, they can be used as bedrooms, living areas, etc. This room began more than 7 years ago as my office, then it was Apple's room, then it was an "office"/ BIG GIGANTIC JUNK room, ahem....... and now it' our dedicated school area.

    I will be telling you more about their new desks in an upcoming post........

    If you've been following us for awhile you'll know that this is our 3rd attempt at finding just the right school space. Apple and Speedy (like most kids) are easily distracted (and so am I) so we really need an area just for school. We began in the kitchen our first year, then moved to a large square hallway area. That was going pretty well for awhile, I enjoyed having things out of the kitchen. Unfortunately all of our school supplies spilled over to the laundry room, dining room, and my closet. Also the light wasn't really bright enough in that area and we eventually migrated back to the kitchen. Soon we had our big dry erase board and ABCs all over the kitchen. Not my favorite thing. I love to cook and I really consider the kitchen my domain and frankly I don't like sharing! Next month we will begin our new semester and I'm looking forward to utilizing every inch of this schoolroom.

    Each child has a desk and a bookshelf for themselves. Apple has a empty organizer ready to be her workboxes. She loves to have a outline of what she needs to do for the week so she has a dry erase wallie on her side of the closet to write out her assignments for the week. My good friend DeeDee alerted me in the Spring when Target had the dry erase wallie that came with that nifty dry erase calendar on the front of the closet (they were SUPER cheap on clearance)!

    Now that the room is ready, I am waiting on the last curriculum item to come in the mail so I can make out their goal outlines for the first semester! If you look back on my older homeschool posts you will see that I learned last year that organization and preplanning makes ALL the difference for us and our homeschooling success. I'm a little nervous this year since Speedy will be joining us more for his PreK. It's going to be a trial and error process in the beginning to find the balance that works for us!

    3 weeks of summer left.....

    Walgreens Trip

    Whew it's been a few weeks since I've been to Walgreens! This week they have some great deals and I was excited to have a good shopping trip!!

    RR= Register Reward= Coupon printed at the end of your transaction valid for your next purchase at Walgreens
    ICPN= Internet Printed Coupon
    SCPN= Sunday Paper Coupon
    InAdCPN= In Ad Coupon
    InStCPN= Coupon from Store's monthly booklet, available in store

    GUM Floss $2.00- $2 RR= FREE

    Playtex 18 ct $3.99- $1 RR- $1 SCPN= $1.99

    Finish $3.49- $1 RR= $2.49

    Sharpies 12 pk $3.99- $1 InStCPN= $2.99

    Expo Washable Markers $7.99- $3 InStCPN-$1 ICPN (no longer available)=$3.99

    Penway 2 pocket w/ prongs folders 8/$1 w/ InAdCPN

    100 count Index Cards .39 ea w/ InAdCPN x 2

    Starburst & Skittles 2/ $4-$1/2 InStCPN= 2/ $3

    Duffel Bag $3.99 on sale (Perfect for a soccer bag for Speedy!)

    Wal-Zan 2/ $7.99

    I had a store credit of $3 I used.

    Paid $33.04 OOP, got back $4 RR for next trip!

    WAG CPN Savings $5.72
    WAG Advertised Savings $25.57
    MFG CPN Savings $10.00

    TOTAL SAVINGS $41.29

    Pretty SWEET! :)

    Friday, July 8, 2011

    About.me



    Have you head of About.Me? This is an all new online tool that can be your personal splash page or online business card! Basically About.Me gives you a personal page to link to all your other online profiles. It only takes minutes to start and set up your page! Basically you need a background, I think that a personal picture or business image looks best, and then you just link Twitter, Facebook, and any other online sites you use. You can change the colors and font on your page and there is a great box for a description or blurb about yourself. You can easily send out a referral link to all your friends so they can find you on About.me. For you bloggers or online business owners, About.me keeps excellent statistics on your page views! This is a great way to keep track of who is seeing your product or information!

    It's fast, it's easy, and it's FREE! Sign up today at About.Me. You can also sign up for a FREE pack of business cards from MOO. All you pay is shipping and handling! Your card will be the same design as your new About.me splash page!



    You can see my page at http://about.me/edit/carterchaos!


    I tested this product as a BzzAgent. I did not receive any compensation and the opinion is entirely my own.

    HOMESCHOOLERS- I am looking for...........UPDATED

    I am looking to purchase the Math U See Beta edition. I'd like the whole set. If you have the set or parts of the set to sell, please contact me at carterchaosblog AT gmail DOT com. I'm feeling frustrated that every used set on Amazon and Ebay is the same price as a new set!!!! I've already purchased Apple a math program but I feel like she needs some additional curriculum to go along with it. I've also checked several homeschool used curriculum sales sites but I haven't found a set (also those are typically only 10% off of a new set and I think that's still too high for a used item). Thank you so much!!!


    **UPDATE** I found everything I needed at http://www.homeschoolclassifieds.com/!!! I got all 4 parts of Math U See Beta from 2 separate sellers for a total of $40 shipped!!!! That's a great pricesince new the package totals $65 plus close to $20 in shipping!!

    Exclusive Offer: Parents Magazine for $4!!!!

    Parents Magazine is a terrific resource for information and fun ideas! Purex is offering an exclusive price of $4 for a 1 year subscription to the magazine! To order go HERE and you must have the promo code PX2194!!!!!! This will only be available for a short time (until July 22) so act now!!!!


    I wrote this post as a member of Purex Insiders.

    Kroger Mega Sale Deals

    I saved 40% again yesterday! I LOVE the Mega Sale at Kroger. Remember you mix n match Mega Sale items in quantities of 10 for .30 off each item! It's just a great time to stock up! Here's what I got:

    Bounty Towls $6.99-.30 MEGA- $5 Bounty Q (FB PROMO)= $1.69 for 8 rolls!

    Capri Sun $1.99-.30 MEGA= $1.69 (there was a FB Q for $1/3 yesterday, not sure if its still available)

    Betty Crocker Fruit Snacks $2.29- .30 MEGA- .50/2 SCPN= $1.49

    Dannon Yogurt $1.99- .30 MEGA= $1.69

    Grands Biscuits $1.29 x 3= $3.87- .90 MEGA- .40/3 SCPN- .40 DCPN= 3/ $2.17

    Fritos and Cheetos $1.99-.30 MEGA= $1.69

    Hormel Compleats $2.29- .30 MEGA-.55 SCPN-.55 DCPN= .89

    Oscar Meyer Sandwich Meat $2.99 x 2- .60 MEGA- $1/ 2 SCPN= 2/ $4.38

    Oscar Meyer Hot Dogs $1.79 x 2- .60 MEGA- $1/2 SCPN= 2/ $1.98

    SCPN= Sunday Paper Coupon
    DCPN= Double Coupon Value (Kroger in our region doubles up to .60)

    Also got some good coupon matchup deals on Sausage, Pepperidge Farm Cookies, Oscar Meyer Combos, and more! Happy Krogering!

    Tuesday, July 5, 2011

    WINNER!!!!

    The winner of thecopy of  How to Market and Sell Your eBook from this post is # 4 Tammy!!! Winner was choosen by random.org. Your copy of the eBook will be on its way to your email soon!!!!! Thanks to those that entered!!

    Friday, July 1, 2011

    Some of my Favorite Things.......

    You may notice some new things around the Chaos! In order to make blogging more feasible and to ensure that the time I put in it is worthwhile, I'm trying some new ways of "monetizing" the blog. You will see some ads and some sponsered posts. I will be diligent in making sure they are worthwhile and not abundant or annoying in nature! If you find them distracting or an issue, let me know! This blog is for you the readers and I want you to be satisfied!

    I've teamed up with Amazon.com so let me tell you about a few of my favorite things they have available!

    Smokin' Seventeen: A Stephanie Plum Novel Janet Evanovich has the terrific Stephanie Plum series! They start with number 1 and go all the way to the newest 17! The newest hit iss "Smokin Seventeen." It continues the story of bounty hunter Stephanie Plum and follows all her wacky adventures with the men in her life Ranger and Joe Morelli. The Plum series are all books full of humor and entertainment! Start with Seventeen today and see what you think!











    Musically speaking I tend to stick to contemporary Christian but every once in a while a new singer comes out in another genre that I just can't resist! Adele is one of those! The entire 21 album is amazing! I love it and my kids love it! Her sound is soulsy and intriguing. She's intense and unique! "Rollin in the Deep" will be a new favorite of yours from the first time you hear it! I dare you not to sing along!






    Over 30

    There's just nothing like aging. I really panicked last year right before my birthday because I was turning 30. Well I lived through it and thought I'd be okay for another decade but as my birthday is approaching again, I feel this dread about being OVER 30. A recent trip to the dermatologist didn't help either. I just was having some moles checked out. No biggie right?

    • I don't like needles so I was on the verge of a panic attack for 24 hours before until 15 minutes AFTER the visit was over.
    • When I walked in EVERYONE else was over 70.
    • The oldest lady sitting directly behind me was attempting to cough up a lung on the waiting room floor.
    • One unwashed young lady came in (evidently a driver for her grandma) and proceeded to take up 2 chairs and literally lay down and nap.
    • All the magazines were AARP and Healthy Senior.
    • The doctor commented on how cool and collected I was. Do I have kids? Evidently old folks are a rowdy bunch if she thought I was cool and collected!!!
    • The picture of the beach on the ceiling was actually relaxing. And it was quiet in there.......
    • As long as I wasn't looking at the needles, I had no desire to pass out. I just stared at the beach the whole time. I was a little disappointed when it was over.
    • While the three biopsy spots are a little sore, they aren't any worse than the normal aches and pains I have from 2 kids jumping all over me.

    So while I am apprehensive about another birthday, maybe it won't be so bad. Maybe like my trip to the doctor, the anticipation will be worse than the actual event. Maybe I'll appear cool and collected even if I don't feel that way on the inside!