Happy Happy New Years!

December 31, 2011 by  
Filed under Our Life

I think we had a pretty good 2011 all in all! Some things that stand out to me (sure I’ve missed a ton of good ones but thats what happens when I don’t sleep enough):

  • 2011  included a lot of silliness, potty talk, geocaching, Lego building and doll playing. Oh and beyblading (which terrifies our dog Casey!).
  • Jillian seemed to make the leap from baby to big girl.
  • Our kids went from being 2,4,6&8 to 3,5,7&9 (doesn’t have the same ring to it!).
  • For Easter Ben lost 4 teeth and Ethan 1 tooth in 5 days (and 2 of those teeth were Ben’s front top). Super sized marshmallows seemed to help the teeth out.
  • 2011-the year the girls decided to start cutting their own hair (Jamie maybe 5 times and Jillian once).
  • Jamie graduated preschool.
  • Our quirky but wonderful 12 year old dog Reuben died.
  • Our first trip to Maine as a family of six! It was the highlight of 2011 really and we plan to go back in 2012 and hopefully many more years.
  • Also our first summer that we did not go to Lake Champlain. John’s first summer not going there since he was born 🙁
  • The girls moved upstairs to their new big-girl room. Leaving their old room to turn into an office (still a work in progress).
  • The 3 big kids played soccer.
  • In September Jamie started K and Jillian started 2 mornings of preschool! The boys started 2nd and 3rd, and both made huge leaps with reading.
  • Ben started boy scouts and Jamie daisy girl scouts.
  • In October Grandma and the uncles made a huge move to NC and Grandma Penguin had a knee replacement.
  • 2 weeks before Christmas Jillian took a big spill and got a bunch of stitches on the bridge of her nose.


Enter the Challenge Butter ‘Real Heritage Recipe Contest’ (HUGE prizes so enter before it ends 1/3/12)!

December 29, 2011 by  
Filed under Contests

Challenge Butter has launched their ‘Real Heritage Recipe Contest’!  4 Grand Prize Winners will win a Good Cook Ò cookware valued at $500 as well as $2500 CASH!  12 additional Finalists will also win $250 in Good Cook Ò cookware!

“Are you making your traditional drop cookies this season to share with family and friends?  What about the big holiday dinner for the family? What are YOU known for?  We want to know the best recipe in your recipe arsenal!”
I have a few special cookie recipes that I can’t live without making each year and I definitely will be entering this contest! I can’t tell you how much butter I go through this time of year!  I wish Challenge Butter was an east coast company BUT that doesn’t mean I can’t enter and spread the word! As a thank you, Challenge sent me some Good Cook Ò cookware to try out and some free Challenge butter coupons (which I was fortunately able to send to my west coast friend).

Even if you don’t have a recipe that you want to enter, its worth going to the site to view all the great recipes others have submitted! They are even divided up by category so its easy to find something new to try.

*You can submit entries by visiting: www.Facebook.com/ChallengeButter.  Challenge Butter is regionally distributed, you can use this link to see if it is available in your area: http://challengedairy.com/where-to-buy .  The deadline for the submissions is January 3, 2012.

Win a $25 gift card to Burger King!

December 27, 2011 by  
Filed under Contests

Apparently my kids had never been to Burger King before so I thought it would be fun to participate in this review and give it a try! We combined a BK drive through experience with a drive around to see Christmas lights (and a surprise Christmas Carousel ride) about a week ago. It was a great night, something different and fun since our kids all love burgers and fries! John and I couldn’t remember the last time we’d tried BK but we both thought our burgers tasted great. The boxes and crowns were a big hit too and I think the new style crown is much cuter than the ones I remember. I suppose the only issue was that Ethan is not a fan of sesame seed buns but that just reminded me and John of “2 all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun”. Oh well Mr Picky can’t always win! Here is some info from BK and then my contest to give one of you your own $25 BK gift card.

ENTER TO WIN A $25 Burger King gift card:

  • Leave me a comment telling me who you’d share your BK gift card with (or any BK related comment will do)!
  • Contest open to US mailing addresses only
  • Hurry CONTEST ENDS 12/29/11!!!


Disclosure: The BK CROWNTM/MC Program prize pack, information and coupon have been provided by Burger King Corporation through MyBlogSpark.


ho ho ho Green Giant! (hurry contest ends 12/29/11)

December 27, 2011 by  
Filed under Contests

Another just before the deadline contest post! This computer is so wonky, this is now my second attempt writing this today because firefox froze up and I needed to force quit.

Anyway on to the Green Giant! I think the only vegetable that I don’t like is beets but the rest of my family is much pickier! Luckily for me a few of them eat broccoli because I love it in pretty much anything. I can’t think of many easy things I like better than macaroni and cheese with broccoli. Now its even easier (for nights that are not so easy) with Green Giants Valley Fresh Steamers.  I try to always have plain broccoli, corn, peas and spinach in the freezer because they are the basics to me but some ready made side dishes like this are nice for dinner emergencies! Clearly I am one of those moms that have dinner emergencies fairly often. I think something like this would be great to have on hand for single people and the elderly as well, I think most people feel better when they have some back-ups waiting in the freezer!




I have received the following and will pick a winner to get the same prize:

  • a free coupon to try the new Valley Fresh Steamers
  • 2 Green Giant placemats
  • Broccoli stress reliever (a huge squishy hit with the kids)
  • 32 oz. serving bowl
  • Surprise face serving spoon (very cute from Zak)



  • Leave me a comment letting me know your favorite veggie!
  • Contest open to US mailing addresses only
  • HURRY CONTEST ENDS 12/29/11!!! (I need to submit winner’s info 12/30/11)

Disclosure: Green Giant Valley Fresh Steamers with Pasta, information, and giveaway have been provided by General Mills through MyBlogSpark.

Hope you’re having happy holidays! (now with pictures!)

December 27, 2011 by  
Filed under Our Life

I think we need more than 7 school days off! Seems this holiday vacation is flying by and not quite as planned but all in all the kids are good and mostly happy! As it seems to have been for most of 2011,  I have unwritten reviews and excuses why but I will be better with this poor blog in 2012! (as long as I don’t kill this Mac! it is so not cooperating and gives me the rainbow wheel for just about anything I do)

ANYWAY here are some pictures… well maybe soon (think its close to 1/2 an hour trying to get them off camera and into this post so I’ll publish and try later)! from Christmas eve! The kids wanted to all wear the matching PJs that they all wore the last THREE Christmases (I had bought huge when I was pregnant with Jillian but only certain pieces still worked). Note to self: buy or make matching PJs for all of them BEFORE next Christmas eve!