Saturday, February 28, 2009

Six Ways to Teach Your Kids to Live Fearless, Authentic, and Wildly Successful Lives:

The Art of Parenting Non-Conforming Kids: Six Ways to Teach Your Kids to Live Fearless, Authentic, and Wildly Successful Lives

By Robin Fisher-Roffer,
Author of
The Fearless Fish Out of Water: How To Succeed When You're The Only One Like You


Parents take note: We're living in a time when being "different" actually pays off.
Here's how to nurture individuality in the formative years.

Few jobs are more daunting than raising well-rounded, happy, confident kids. On one hand, you adore what makes your child unique: your daughter's all-consuming love of science (she's bordering on nerdy!) or your son's quiet disposition and curious spirit. On the other, you worry that being too "different" -- too shy, too short, too tomboyish (or, in the case of boys, too sensitive), too
anything -- is a sure path to unpopularity and isolation. What's a conflicted parent to do? Urge your child to succeed within socially prescribed boundaries? Or let him or her break the (unspoken) rules and risk being labeled "weird"?

First, stop fretting. Your hand-wringing desire for your child to "fit in" is surely borne of love, but it's also misguided for an age in which diversity is celebrated. Even if your child does face a few bumps in the road, learning to be herself (or himself) will pay off in the long run.

Kids who are confident in themselves, their background, and their unique way of thinking, looking, or acting are more likely to succeed, not in spite of their differences, but because of them. The benefits of being a bold individual just keep on unfolding as your kids reach adulthood -- especially these days.
We are living in an era that celebrates uniqueness -- not for its own sake but for the tangible benefits it yields throughout life. There has never been a better time to be yourself. Embracing and nurturing your inner "fearless fish" brings far richer rewards than conformity ever could.

Your unusual personality, outlook, appearance, or background -- really, any attribute that sets you apart -- is not a liability but an asset. Being different gets you noticed, whether it's in the office, at school, or at home with your own family, and that is the first step to gaining influence with those around you.
When you refuse to hide or downplay your uniqueness, it makes you more authentic -- and people gravitate toward those they like, trust, and believe in. Take Barack Obama, for example. His entire campaign celebrated his differences and used change as a cornerstone for his message. Today, he's the President of the United States because voters saw that he was authentic and true to himself, and they were drawn to him.

Today's kids are growing up in a time of exhilarating change, an era in which they face more opportunities (and yes, more challenges) than any group before them. Read on to learn how to help them navigate the road before them by being a fearless fish out of water (just like you!):

Be a truly fearless leader. One of the most effective ways of teaching our kids is to lead by example. Our children look up to us and mimic the behaviors they see in their parents each day. If they see a person who is comfortable in her own skin, who dares to go against the flow, and most importantly, who is happy, they will learn to do the same for themselves. If this doesn't describe you, well, it's time to take a look in the mirror.

Your children are watching you, and usually when you least expect it. If you are an authentic person and you live your own life as a fearless fish, your kids will see that and it will serve as a powerful lesson for the people they will become. Make sure to be who you are wherever you go -- at work, at home, at your children's school -- and when they see the confidence you exhume and the respect you command, they will follow your lead.

Help your kids to fit in the right way. It's only natural for kids (of any age) to want to be like their peers -- and that's okay. The compromise to this scenario is to encourage your kids to associate with kids who are more like them. That way, they can feel accepted and part of a group while being themselves. Encourage your kids to join clubs or local groups that cater to their personalities and interests.

If your son is a music whiz, sign him up for a local music class so he can make friends with other kids who share his talent and passion. Or encourage your daughter to join the science club or debate team at school, depending on her interests. Find a place where your kids can still fit in and feel like part of the group, while at the same time fostering their individuality and unique talents.

Foster and encourage your child's unique gifts. Nobody knows your child as well as you do, which puts you in the perfect position to identify those qualities that will make him stand out from the crowd and pave the way to a successful future. Take a cue from Tiger Woods' father. When he noticed that his child was a budding golf prodigy, he saw the opportunity and ignored the odds stacked against a young, bi-racial golfer in a sport dominated by older white men. We all know how his story ended.

Every parent has a child who is an individual, who is unlike anybody else on this planet. You have known this person from his first minute in the world, and you know what makes him special. At a young age, children aren't in a position to leverage themselves in the real world like adults can -- and this is where you are their biggest asset. If you know why your kid is unique, don't just gush about it around the water cooler -- get your child involved in ways that will benefit him now and well into the future.

Teach him to use his differences to make a difference. Kids who learn to give back at an early age are that much more likely to do so well into their adult lives. Getting involved is a great life lesson, and a great way for you to spend time together as a family. Let your child pick a cause that he cares about, and then help him to use his differences to make a difference in the lives of others.

If your child is a star athlete, teach him to use his sports star status to raise money for a charity. You can ask the team's sponsor to help, or have fans donate $1 per goal to be donated to a good cause. Or does your daughter have a way with animals that reminds you of the dog whisperer? Sign up to be volunteers at the local animal shelter. Working together on a common cause can have only positive results. You get to spend time as a family and you get to help out the community -- all while teaching your future fearless fish an important life skill!

Let her change her mind. Nobody wants to raise a quitter, and sometimes that can mean we force our kids to stick with activities and hobbies that may not be right for who they are growing up to be. If Sally LOVED horseback riding last month, but this week she will absolutely die if she doesn't get to join the local 4-H, it can be enough to make your head spin, and your wallet shrink. While it's not okay to let kids have free reign over your schedule (or your budget!), it's important to pay attention to their changing interests and to encourage them to pursue different things until they find what suits them.

While the outlet for your child's passion may change, the root of who she is stays the same. Clearly, Sally has a passion for nature, and through different experiences she will learn to use that passion to stay relevant and current. As a fearless fish, you have to keep reinventing yourself, changing with the times and with the places you work and live, while holding on to the essential you. If your kids want to pursue something, let them try for a year. Once the season is over, if they want to move on, it's okay to let them. Forcing kids to stay involved in something they don't care about will only smother the fire in them that you're trying to stoke.

Know when to let go. It's inevitable: You can't protect your kids from everything, and sooner or later (and it's probably sooner!) they are going to be faced with a challenge that will rock their world. Maybe a bully at school has made Susie her new target, or Timmy didn't make the basketball team and all his friends did. For kids, upsets like these are devastating. But they are also perfect opportunities for them to learn how to overcome obstacles by practicing the ABCs for fish out of water -- action, belief, and courage.

Don't try to swoop in and make it all better. That may be the worst thing you can do. Instead, help your child equip himself with the means to solve his own problems. If Timmy didn't make the team, but you know he's a talented artist, encourage him to get more involved in the school's art program or sign him up for advanced art classes at the local community college. Or help Susie boost her self-esteem and confidence by enrolling her in a karate class or debate team; her bully will move on when she learns that her victim can stand up for herself.

There's a great bonus that comes with striving to raise fearless kids: In the process, you perfect and refine your own journey toward fearlessness.
Parenting is as much about your growth and evolution as it is your child's. As we teach, we learn. And there's no richer or more rewarding path than learning how to cast aside our fear and be true to ourselves. Living an authentic life successfully is fulfilling beyond words -- and an opportunity that no child should go without.

Copyright © 2009 Robin Fisher-Roffer author of
The Fearless Fish Out of Water: How To Succeed When You're The Only One Like You

Author Bio
Robin Fisher Roffer is the author of The Fearless Fish Out of Water: How To Succeed When You're The Only One Like You. An acclaimed speaker and CEO of Big Fish Marketing—one of the entertainment industry's preeminent brand marketing and digital advertising agencies—she fearlessly advises clients like A&E, Bravo, CNN, Comedy Central, FX, MTV, NBC Universal, and Sony Pictures. For more information, please visit http://fearlessfishoutofwater.com/ and http://www.robinfisherroffer.com

I'm a BabyBjörn Believer !!

I'm a BabyBjörn Believer !!

I have just signed up to be a part of this great group of BabyBjorn Believers. On my blog soon, you will be seeing posts about BabyBjorn products and giveaways !! I cannot wait to be able to tell you about my experiences using BabyBjorn products and reviewing all the latest and greatest products to come !! Keep your eyes out for a review and giveaway coming to this blog SOON !!! You won't want to miss all of the great opportunities to win great things and hear the latest news about BabyBjorn !

“Chicken Soup for the Soul: My Resolution,” - Tip Sheet

Here are 9 Tips for 2009 for surviving and thriving in turbulent economic times:

Simplify. As Mary Davis writes in her story “Resolutions for Sale,”
we all have items from previous resolutions that never panned out:
Exercise equipment still in its original packaging, organizational
gadgets collecting dust. So why not make a buck or two and have a
“Resolution Sale?” Sell all of your unwanted and unused items, make
some money, and simplify your life for the better.

Go green. When going green, little changes can make a big difference
for the environment -- and your wallet. Ashley Sanders writes in her
story “I’m Not a Dirty Hippie” that her husband was apprehensive about
going green at first, but got on-board once he saw the savings
benefit. “After a lot of testing and trying, we began to find
products that we could not only use, but that were more affordable
than the products we previously used,” Sanders writes.

Count your blessings. List-obsessed Sarah Jo Smith shares in her story
“A Daily Practice in Gratitude” how even the most sincere resolutions
can turn sour. “I planned to write down three things a day that
expressed my appreciation and love for the things and people around
me….[But] what started as a positive exercise turned into a mental
list of countless complaints and worries,” she writes. However, after
an emotional encounter with a stranger, Sarah realized there was much
more room in her life than she previously allowed for gratitude. In
the face of financial worries and other daily stressors, remember your
gifts – you’ll likely discover the strength you need in life’s
intangibles.

Don’t exceed your needs: Try downsizing! Chicken Soup for the Soul: My Resolution story contributor Harriet Cooper had a size problem – with her home. Saddled with double the house space she needed, she
realized there was a lot going to waste. Cooper was also unhappy with
her home’s “double identity” – one side that guests saw, and one side
that she actually lived in. In her story “One House, Two Faces,” she
writes about selling the house and moving into a smaller one. With
her savings, she bought herself two years of freedom to explore new
job possibilities. What’s more? Now, her guests get to visit a
relaxed hostess who is happy with her (smaller) home, just the way it
is.

Put the unnecessary items back. Single mom Rebecca Jay tried to save
money, but every month she was living paycheck to paycheck. So she
invented a game that she and her son could play to save money at the
grocery store. At the check-out lane, she and her son perform a
“Cart Check,” pulling out items they really don’t need. When her son puts
something back, Jay rewards him with the savings. In her story “Check
the Cart,” she recalls how this game not only helped rein in impulse
spending, it taught her son a valuable lesson on personal finances in
the process. What a great legacy to pass on to a younger generation!

Find financial peace. Kristine Byron likes to look at what she
spends, rather than what she saves. In her story “Spend, Spend,
Spend,” Kristine resolves to save money by cutting out certain things,
but recognizes all the ways she gets to “spend” time doing something
else. “As I have pledged to save on lavish meals dining out, I have
vowed to ‘spend’ more time entertaining at home,” she writes. When you
make resolutions to save, you can also resolve to “spend” more time
with your family and doing things that you love to do … for
free!

Work with those you love. Working with someone you love might seem scary at first, as B.J. Taylor describes in her story “A Leap of Faith.” But when her husband needed her to work at his company because
of financial setbacks, she stepped up. The two agreed to sit down and
talk every six months about what’s working and what’s not. Though
challenging at first, the couple has worked with each other now for 15
years. Could it be possible to go into business with your loved ones?

Give gifts of yourself. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on the
people you love, just spend time doing things with them. In his story
“A Commitment to Play Dolls,” Timothy Martin recalls his decision to
play with his four-year-old daughter for an afternoon. “I still
thinking playing with dolls is dumb,” writes Martin. “But my
four-year-old daughter, Emily, loves them. She plays with her Barbie
dolls every day. Since I want to be a good father, and because Emily
and I don’t get to spend much time together, I resolved to learn.”

Celebrate the old. While everyone else may be resolving to try something new, don’t forget to remember your old treasures. Dayle Allen Shockley writes in “Let’s Celebrate the Old” about all the many
items, principles, and people that she celebrates every new year. “I
enjoy making new friends, but old friends who have shared my pain and
sorrow, celebrated my joys, and remained steadfast when trouble came
knocking; they are the ones I will celebrate most in the New Year,”
she writes. In 2009, which old pleasures are you thankful for? Life
can be improved just by recognizing the wonderful gifts we already
have.


And remember, improving yourself is not exclusive to the month of
January; it’s a year-round opportunity.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: My Resolution(Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, D’ette Corona and Barbara LoMonaco) is published by Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishing, LLC. For more information, please visit chickensoup.com.

The kgb - A Wealth of Info. at your fingertips!

From their website :


We're turning information into knowledge. We're giving it to you anywhere.
kgb is better information, better served.

________________________________________________________________

kgb is a website where you can go to learn sooooo much information. It is like a reference book at your fingertips. kgb can be found online at kgb_web, but you can also get it onto your cell phone (at kgb_mobile)so you have it with you everywhere!

You can find out facts, what something is made of, ask questions, and get so much knowledge, your friends will think your a walking encyclopedia !

Here are some questions you can get answers to :

How many songs can a 32gb ipod hold ?
What is the difference between white eggs and brown eggs ?
How many feet is in a mile ?
How tall is the empire state building?
How do cats purr ?
Why is yawning contagious?

Get the answers to these and so soo sooo much more at kgb !!!

Oh and if your wondering (like I was) what does kgb stand for ? It is Knowledge Generation Bureau.

go try kgb today and start boggling your brain with all the new information you will be adding :)

Save Time and gas with Nearby Now ~

With today's economy and gas prices so unpredictable and usually high, a tool you can use to save not only money but also your precious time is NearbyNow. It is a website tool that you can put in a product your looking for and it will show you the quickest,closest place to get it. It will even call ahead for you and make sure it is in stock !!!

It is a FREE online service that is sure to save you Big Bucks. NearbyNow lets you browse using product,brand, or retailers names. It will even show you SALES !!!

From the website :

NearbyNow’s mission is to enable anyone, anywhere to find the nearest place to buy anything.

___________________________________________________________________

~ and in today's world who doesn't need this service !!!

" In addition, you’ll receive directions to the local stores where these items are currently available (and the name of a helpful clerk), as well as the opportunity to feel and even try on the items before purchasing."

"The service is aimed at savvy consumers who enjoy using the web but who would also prefer to personally examine potential items at brick-and-mortar shops before buying them. By combining unique inventory search tools plus customer service associates who connect consumers with trusted retailers, NearbyNow.com eliminates the uncertainty of Internet shopping, as well as the sheer frustration that often results when local stores don't carry specific items and shoppers end up searching all over town."


Visit NearbyNow today and start saving time and money !!

Join Me in a 40 Days of Prayer Campaign

There is no question that 2009 will be remembered as a year of desperation. It’s still not clear if that desperation will turn God’s people to pray with persistence and hope. People need prayer in dark times with resolute hope for God to advance His purposes.

The Scripture says, "You have not because you ask not." Well then, let's ask...but not selfishly. Ask for God to send revival to our hearts and our church. Ask God to open our eyes to real ministry opportunities in our community. Ask God to help us to make changes in our lives that reflect a radical faith in a Jesus Who is real and present.

Just one more thing. I'd be remiss if I failed to mention the opportunity to fast. That's not something to parade and brag about. Remember Jesus' warning, "When you fast...don't make a show of it." But, He did say, "When you fast" implying that He expected us to include that in our life of devotion. You can fast for one meal a week, one day a week, one particular food that represents a sacrifice for you to go without. It's between you and God. Accept this challenge to do something you've never done.

Please join me in a 40 days of Prayer campaign. You do not need to do anything to apply to join me, Just Pray and do the fasting. I don't need to be the one who knows you are joining me, God will know.

God Bless,

Winner of Dan Zanes CD

Congratulations, the winner of the Dan Zanes CD is : #10 ~ CanCan from Mom Most Traveled !! You have 24 hours to get me your home mailing address so I can have this CD sent out to you :)
Thank you to everyone who entered my giveaway !!

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:

10

Timestamp: 2009-02-28 05:44:24 UTC


Friday, February 27, 2009

WINNER- Sikulu and Harambe giveaway!

Congrats! The winner of the Sikulu and Harambe giveaway is : #14 = tatortot374 !!!
I have emailed you and you have 24 hours to get back to me with your mailing address so I can have this sent to you ! Thank you for being a subscriber and entering my giveaway !!!

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:

14

Timestamp: 2009-02-27 11:06:17 UTC



THANK YOU to all who entered this giveaway !!!

The Story of the Most Magnanimous Mother

Once upon a time in a little town not too far away there was a baby girl born 62 years ago. The mother and father decided to name her Holly. Just Holly, no middle name, but a sweet simple single name. In the baby name book ~ Holly is Old English meaning, "Holly Tree". Little did her parents know at the time the life this little lady would lead. I know every parent has high hopes for their children, but I doubt they would ever have ever known what an impact their little Holly would have on the people she has touched in her life.

Holly was the youngest of four children. Although being the youngest, when she was old enough it is almost like she became the caregiver to her older sister and brothers and their families during rough times in their lives. Thus the story of a caregiver begins...

She was very young when he sisters and brother left home and got married. But even being a teen she would be there for them when she could during rough spots in their marriages and their lives. She would babysit for them after they had children, and when she got married at the tender age of 16, she would still be there and have their children over to her house if they needed her.

However, her care - giving didn't stop there. When she had her first born daughter, she took care of her and worked hard to provide for her and when her husband would be out of work, she had to care for all of them to make ends meet and keep the household going. She then had a second daughter for whom she would also care for, still all the while working. She could never have the "luxury" of being a "stay at home mom" because her husbands pay wasn't enough to cover the costs of the household.

Little did she know that the prior care giving she did was nothing compared to what was coming her way, but I think it was God's way of preparing her for what the devil had in store.
After being married for over 20 years and having 2 children, In 1984her devotedness was put to the most extreme test yet.

In 1984 her husband was diagnosed with fatal heart disease. He was told he wasn't going to get better and survival was slim. He was already a Diabetic, and never took care of himself well, so things were not good. He had to stop working and stay home. Around the same time this happened, Holly's now 16 yr. old daughter had found out she was pregnant, and Holly also had her 10 year old daughter to look after.

Holly was there for her husband, for every Doctor appointment, for ever test, for numerous stays in the hospital, and while he was ill at home. For more than 15 years she was there for him. He way outlived the doctors expectations (they had given him 5 years at best) but I believe ONLY because he had such a caring wife and family. His illness progressed to new heights, he eventually lost both legs due to the diabetes, had heart disease, and at the last year of his life he was in kidney failure and was on dialysis. This whole entire time Holly cared for him. She fixed his pills daily (he had over 15). She made sure he had handicapped accessibility in their home, she took care of him during his worst days. She cleaned his wounds after surgeries, and bandaged him up when necessary. She took care of him when even the sight of his amputations were too much for anyone else to bear.
The entire time, she worked 40 hour weeks to keep their home, food on the table, and the bills paid.

She helped to raise up her grandson, from her pregnant 16 yr. old daughter. He was about 5 by the time they left, when she finally got married and they moved. But while they lived there, Holly cared for him (the grandson). She took him back and forth to childcare on her way to and from work so her daughter could work and go to college. She made sure he was fed, and taken care of daily.

At the same time she still had her own other daughter to care for. Who was now a pre-teen to teen and those can be some of the hardest years to deal with. But yet, Holly STILL endured and did her best to take care of her. She was there for her when she was in the hospital for stomach ulcers.

After her husband passed away, Holly thought maybe that she may get a small break now since she didn't have a sick husband to care for anymore. This wasn't the case. You see by now, Holly didn't have just her two daughters and grandson. She now had her two daughters, their husbands, and 8 grandchildren. She was there through pregnancies, deliveries, to watch the sick grand babies, to help her sick daughters if they had the flu, or put their backs out and couldn't be there for their own kids.

She took off work (oh yes she still was working her 40 hours) and watched the grand kids when her youngest daughter underwent numerous surgeries for various things. She was there for her grandchildren tubes in ears, and tonsillitis, stitches, and other ailments. Holly was ALWAYS ALWAYS THERE. At the drop of a dime, if anyone ever needs her, she would call off work, even if it had to be unpaid, and hurt her being able to pay her own bills in the long run. She was always there to care for people. She never says NO, I can't be there.

Often times I wonder why she was never a nurse, but you know what, she WAS a nurse to her family and others. She just never went to school for it. She is not only a nurse, a caregiver, a daughter, a sister, a co-worker, a grandma, an aunt, but SHE ~ LITTLE HOLLY, is MY MOM.
The most caring, inspirational, loving, tender, person I know in the world.
She is ALWAYS HERE FOR ME and everyone. She is the best friend to anyone who knows her.
I am so proud to be able to call her MY MOM !

Mom,
You have had such a hard rough life, and have been through such hard times. But You still endured, and your still here, strong and alive ! You are such an inspiration to me, I can only dream to be 1/2 the mom you are to me. Mom, I love you so much. THANK YOU for all you do.

I am nominating My Mom ~ Holly for this :My mom just retired last week, and this would be the best gift I could ever dream of giving her, if she can be the winner of "the most caring person I know".She definitely meets all of the requirements, actually exceeding them. Please consider her to win, as this would be so nice for her to get away and enjoy HERSELF for once and relax and have a great time ! Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share this story with you.

To read more stories please visit www.ForAllTheWaysYouCare.com

Thursday, February 26, 2009

My Kind Of College - Website Review




My kind of College is an informational site with tons of drawings to teach college bound kids about college. It shows them what they can expect, what is expected of them, all the trials and tribulations that they may run into.

It is written by experienced college goers who have survived college and now are passing along the info. to try and help college newbies so they will know what they can expect before it happens.

This site is regularly updated with new articles and info. So the content is pretty "fresh" and keeps you coming back for more.

From the site :

So who are we? We are a site dedicated to helping you learn as much as you can about college and all of the wonderful surprises and challenges that it brings without having to suffer the learning curves that those of us who have already been through college had to go through. Our articles include the experiences of those getting ready to go to college, in college, and college graduates. In doing so we hope to create articles that provide helpful and practical advice. So feel free to check out our articles, they're here for you. We'll be adding more and more and more articles and you should come back and come back and come back again!


My review:
I personally found this site extremely easy to navigate, and fun with all of the cartoons. It is very informative and witty.I actually wish there was something like this to tell me about college before I went. I felt so out of the loop and had no idea what to expect. I really recommend that if you have a child that is college bound to tell them about this site and let them navigate the trenches online before they have to do it for real.


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Label Daddy is giving away a full sponsorship to Blogher - Here is my story on how I can use Label Daddy: WHO ARE YOU ??

I am a mother of 4 children, as most of you know, if your one of my followers/readers. If your new here, well, now you know too!
It can be stressful at times to be a mommy of 4, especially when things get chaotic in the house and I am all flusstered. Which happens a lot to a mommy of 4. The baby will be crying, an dthe dog barking, One son is asking about homework, the other will want to go to a friends house, and my daughter who is 3 wants me to come look at her "present" she left me in the toilet (yes we are potty training). All the while, something on the stove is sure to be burning , and my husband is calling me on both the cell phone and home phone to see how my day is... hummmph !
Well, as a mommy, you can imagine, how when all of this is happening at once, I seem to forget things, this is the part where Label Daddy can help me.....
You see, when all Heck breaks loose, I seem to forget my kids names, I call my 3 yr. old whose name is Yasmine - "Whitney" , the babies name, I call my son, (whose name is Xavier) James, who is my nephew, who doesn't even live here, I call my 9 yr. old Dwight (my husbands name, and his name is Zachary), and I call my dog, whatever name I can think of at the time, and my poor baby, whose name is Whitney, I call "Bella" (which is the dogs name). ~ I guess by now you are getting my drift ?
So a mommy can and need to use help A LOT !!! I would use Label Daddy to help me know who is who by putting labels on all of my children and the dog (lol), so I know what to call them.
This way, my poor 8 month old, wont be growing up thinking her name is Bella !
oh yea, and for my Husband who is on the phone... well, because I couldnt see a label through the phone, I guess the caller ID will help me remember who he is.
Please Label Daddy, get me this product before my children, dog, and I go insane, and forget who we are. And by the way,,,,, can you please get me a new name, so when they all start calling me at once, I wont have to answer ??
Or Better yet, PLEASE LABEL DADDY... TAKE ME AWAY.... to Blogher, so this crazed mommy of 4 can relax for a couple of days with real adults, whose names I will also probably forget, but at least They WILL have name tags on them :)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

"Finding Joy" DVD Winner

Congrats ! The winner of the "Finding Joy" dvd is #3 ~ Together We Save
Please contact me via my email, xbeth@yahoo.com within 24 hours and send me your home address so I can send this to you. I cannot find your email, so If you do not get back to me, I will be choosing another winner.

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:

3

Timestamp: 2009-02-25 02:23:20 UTC

Thank you all who entered !

Sunday, February 22, 2009

What do you think about a Plus Size Magazine ?

What would you think about a Plus Size Magazine ?
If you think this would be an awesome idea, or know of/have any ways you can help, please go to this website : http://www.acurvydiva.com/2009/02/22/plus-size-magazine-what-do-you-think/
and tell her what you think by leaving a comment. If you really like the idea, please consider stumbling it or sharing however you like.

I LOVE the idea. Since my readers might be interested, I thought I would share this with you all as well :) I too would like to hear your thoughts, so if this is something you would like, please leave me a comment as well ~ Thank You !

Spiritual Sunday: 2 for 1 Special !!!

Picture from : Anne Duplouy

The Strangers who sojourn with you shall be to you as the natives among you, and you shall love them as yourself ; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. ~ Leviticus 19:33-34

You shall neither mistreat a stranger nor oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. - Exodus 22:21


Have a Most Blessed and Relaxed Day ! God Bless You and Keep You !

DAN ZANES ! - Festival Five Records - Review/Giveaway !!!

If you have children and have ever watched The Disney Channel's Playhouse Disney on television, then you HAVE to know who Dan Zanes is ! He sings the famous,"Catch That Train"(which won Grammy award), "Let's Shake", "House Party Time", "All around the kitchen", "Malti", "Hello", and "Smile, Smile, Smile" ~ just to name a few.

Dan Zanes sings to many audiences and sings in a multitude of languages and folk songs from a plethora of backgrounds and nationalities.

This is music that my 8 month old daughter moves along to, as well as my 3 yr. old daughter, as well as myself ! I can share the love of music with my family with any of the songs Dan Zanes sings, because we ALL enjoy it.

His Music is moving, and fun, and has meaning. His songs are inspirational and bring back old memories as well as hope and spirit of the future.

He has worked with many cultures and prestigious people. His music can make you laugh and get crazy, or make you think about the world and wonder where the paths of our future lies ahead. His music helps get into your soul down deep and moves you. It is like an earthquake of your soul which then takes over your body.

A lot of Dan Zanes albums are benefit albums where proceeds go to a variety of causes. This factor just makes Mr. Zanes that much better of a musician because he CARES!
He has had albums that benefited Children in Crisis and The New Sanctuary Movement.

Quoted from his website : (Within Dan Zanes Music you can find) ~

"a sea shanty, a West Indian waltz, a few woody tunes, a Jewish wedding poem set to music, an old time nonsense number, a lyrical rock and roll song, an updated spiritual, a couple of forties pop standards, and many more melodic moments. "
"is filled to the brim with dance songs, sing along songs, funny songs, emotional songs, and others that may be stuck in your head for days at a time (as they were in mine)."
"acoustic cd of handmade songs for the all-ages underground will fill the air with lyrical, organic, sounds and songs."
" a natural blend of folk, rock and roll, fiddle tunes, a capella, hip hop, and dancehall."
"children's music with the raw spontaneity of early rock and roll, the handmade traditions of American folk and the breezy soulfulness of old time West Indian music,"
"North American gospel traditions"

I quoted his website, because I couldn't have described his musical reach any better myself, as he describes his music best.

Dan Zanes has won many Parents Choice Gold Awards and his albums have been Parents' Choice Approved.

I feel so honored to have been given the opportunity to review 2 of his newest Albums :
"Dan Zanes and Friends - The Welcome Table" ~ "Songs of Inspiration, Mystery, and Good Times". This album supports the NEW SANCTUARY MOVEMENT.
***Please consider buying this album to help this wonderful cause !*** - $12.98
My Review: It is a wonderful album that is so moving, as is any of his albums. This one truly makes you think about how it feels to be treated as "second class" and how we should treat everyone of every nationality and culture equally. Not any one people are above any other. I would have to say the gospel song "By and By" is my favorite, although I love the whole album.
I am just very into gospel music that moves me. My children love this up beat gospel song as well. I also love Father Goose and he is in this song, his voice just tingles my entire body.

The second album I was given to review is : "¡Nueva York! " ~ $15.00 value (an independent music awards winner 2009!)

From Website :
“This CD is the sound of my band and I working with our Latino friends here in Nueva York. While the conversations about who should and shouldn't live here in the USA rages on, we’re having a 21st century party celebrating some of the amazing culture that’s come here from various parts of Latin America. The spirit of collaboration and friendship has made this for me the most emotional and exciting of the Dan Zanes and Friends CDs. Did I mention that we ate great food and laughed a lot?”

“Friends” for this musical party include Zanes' group Colin Brooks, Sonia De Los Santos, John Foti, Saskia Sunshine Lane, and Elena Moon Park along with ranchera and jazz singer Lila Downs, singer and actress Daphne Rubin-Vega, Mexican trio The Villa-Lobos brothers, frequent Zanes collaborators The Rubi Theater Company, avant-garde guitarist Marc Ribot and Afro-Colombian roots ensemble La Cumbiamba Eneye making ¡Nueva York! a wild, 21st century party of the sort that is sure to be springing up more and more as musicians and their friends build musical bridges with songs that can connect us all.
¡Vivan las canciones del mundo de habla hispana!

MY REVIEW:
Dan Zanes never ceases to amaze me. He once again has put his all into this wonderful album. It is almost as if he can read into my heart and feelings when he sings. His lyrics are so dear in my heart. My feelings and my life's work is just as his, only he sings it. I am only writing a little blog in my part of this world, but if I can make one difference in the world, I would feel so Blessed for it. I KNOW that Dan Zanes is making a difference. His music being listened to by children all over this wonderful Earth is a wondrous thing in itself.

From the very first VERY UPBEAT song - El Pescador to (what sounds like a lullaby to me)Mi Luna (the last song of the album), this CD keeps you going. If you don't desire to dance and be happy with this CD, it is my opinion that something is very wrong with you !!!
After all, I am a very depressed person, and I was movin and groovin!

"¡Nueva York! " has music from Colombia, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Dominican, and Nicaragua to name a few. My favorite song on this album is "Pollito Chicken", I love the children singing in it, and I just think it is such a cute song. "Mi Luna" is a beautiful song. I am VERY unfortunate that I do not speak nor know any Spanish or Portuguese, so I don't know what they are saying, but It is so soothing and lovely, and their soft voices are soo sooo sooooo nice to listen too. I like to listen to this song when I am putting my babies down for a nap, and when I get some quiet time. It unstresses me and makes me feel so warm and cozy all over.

Well, as You can probably tell by now, my family and I LOVE Dan Zanes, and like I stated in the beginning of my post, when I said I am totally HONORED to review these 2 albums I meant it.
This is some of the finest music I have heard in a long long time. I like all genres of music, but there is just something about Dan Zanes and Friends that touches my heart like no other.
I think this music comes totally from the heart and you can "FEEL" it in each and every song.

Giveaway - Well, the absolutely fabulous people at Festival Five Records are letting me give to one EXTREMELY lucky reader of my blog the "¡Nueva York! " CD !!!
Here is how you can win:

1. You MUST agree to leave me your email address, which will be sent to Festival Five Records to be added to the Dan Zanes mailing list. (This is the MANDATORY step in this giveaway to enter)

BONUS ENTRIES :
1. Comment and answer to me, Where is Dan Zanes originally from? (2 bonus points for correct answer)
2. Follow my blog (just click follow and it is done)
3.Register via RSS feed or by email to my blog (2 bonus points) ~ you just have to click on my zebra at the top left of my blog, it is that simple.
4. Comment and tell me another blog that you think I should check out, we are spreading bloggy love, so please do not leave me your own blog
5. post my blog button to your blog and comment and let me know and where on your blog it is so I can find it.

THANK YOU SO MUCH for entering my giveaway and for reading my blog, I really appreciate all your blog love and I totally am excited you are walking with me on my blog journey, my readers mean so much to me.
Have A Wonderful Day and GOOD LUCK to you !!!

This giveaway starts immediately and will end on the last day of the month February 28th at 2pm. Winner will be chosen by Random.org. Winner will have 24 hours to get me their home addresses so I can have their CD sent to them. Winner will be emailed by March 1st and will also be posted on this blog.

*** I also wanted to let you all know that Dan Zanes and Friends are going on tour this Spring, and I have included some tour stops and dates below, if they are coming to your city or even nearby, you WON'T want to miss this fabulous show, A GREAT outing for your whole family!***

saturday, february 28 princeton, nj mccarter theatre center

sunday, march 1 montclair, nj the wellmont theatre

saturday, march 7 richmond, va modlin center for the arts

sunday, march 8 gainesville, fl phillips center for the performing arts

thursday, march 12 santa barbara, ca lobero theatre

saturday, march 14 los angeles, ca royce hall

sunday, march 15 los angeles, ca royce hall

thursday, march 19 manama, kingdom of bahrain spring of culture festival

friday, march 20 manama, kingdom of bahrain spring of culture festival

friday, march 27 independence, oh independence middle school

saturday, march 28 columbus, oh mershon auditorium @ wexner center for the arts

sunday, march 29 ann arbor, mi rackham hall

to see more tour dates please click HERE > DZ TOUR DATES

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Winners of Breakfast Gift Basket from Cheerios !

Congrats you 3 ladies :) You have all won the banana tree w/fruit basket, the loaf pan, the 2 cereal bowls, last but not least, The coupon for the FREE box of banana nut Cheerio's !!!
Have a YUMMY Breakfast ! You have 24 hours to get me your mailing info. So I can have the company ship these items to you.

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:

12
5
28

Timestamp: 2009-02-22 04:51:37 UTC

12~That Girl

5 ~ Ashley

28 ~ daytoncat

ENJOY!!!

Thank you to everyone who entered.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Winners of "Preacher Creature Strikes On Sunday" book

Here are the 2 winners of the "Preacher Creature Strikes On Sunday" book.
#3 - Kaye
#7 - MJ
CONGRATS ! ENJOY !!!
Please contact me within 24 hours via email and let me know your mailing address, so I can send these to you ASAP !
Thank you everyone who entered !!

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:

3
7

Timestamp: 2009-02-20 23:20:55 UTC

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Sikulu and Harambe - Children's Book Review and Giveaway

Via the website http://www.sikulu.com/shopping.php



Sikulu & Harambe by the Zambezi River
An African version of the Good Samaritan Story

Suggested retail price (U.S.): $14.99
ISBN-13: 978-0-9777382-4-3
Pub date: 07/2008
Type/format: Picture book / Hard Cover
Age range: 3 yrs - 8 yrs
Number of pages: 32
Size: 8.5” X 11”
Grade range: Preschool - Grade 3
Binding Type: Library
Author: Kunle Oguneye

This is the first in a series of adventures that follow Sikulu the spider and Harambe the Hippo as they travel to different countries in Africa. In this story, they are in the village of Sioma where they encounter an old woman in need of help. The other animals all have convenient excuses for not helping while Sikulu & Harambe are the only ones who do.

Based on an actual folktale, it is a great story that reinforces the beauty of kindness to young children. The book also offers a glossary of terms and weaves information about Zambian culture into the story. Children and adults alike come away better informed about life in Zambia.

About the Author
Kunle Oguneye was born and raised in Nigeria. He has lived in the United States for the last thirteen years, spending the last four of those years in the Puget Sound Area. He left a career in technology in order to pursue his love for children’s story-telling.


MY REVIEW :
My daughters loved this book, we read it over and over again. They had a lot of questions about, why were the names so funny sounding (which I was so pleased that the book shows pronunciation, so I could say them correctly). They also asked me how the lady in the story carried her basket on her head ? The quality of the book and the bright and colorful pictures are beautifully done. They really captured my children's attention.

As a mother and not only do I read to my children as much as possible, but I also encourage reading as much as possible in my home, I was also extremely pleased, to see that not only was I able to read this story to my children, but because there is a wonderful Glossary and more facts and information in the back, they were able to learn even more from this story than they usually do with a book.

I love books that are based on morals. What an awesome way to teach your children morals, without them even knowing :) In this book, there are even questions you can ask your children to make them think about the moral of the story even more.

This book also teaches about Africa - Zambia to be exact, There is a picture in the back of the book of the Zambia flag, and also a map of Africa that points out exactly where Zambia is located in Africa. - What an awesome way to also incorporate some Geography into this children's story.

I am very happy that my children enjoyed this book so much, as it is jammed pack with learning throughout. The Wonderful Story is just the beginning. It makes me feel good when they or I read a book that they love and I know as a mom they are learning too.

I would highly not only recommend this book for your children, but I recommend the entire series. My children are 9 (boy), 3 (girl), and even my 9month old baby(girl) kept her attention focused on the colorful pictures of this book.

After visiting the website, my daughter who is 3 now wants more books and also the cute stuffed main characters of the book.

Please visit www.sikulu.com and http://www.sikulu.com/shopping.php
HINT: On the one site, you can even view a video with the book for yourself to preview :)

GIVE AWAY !!!!
I am giving away 1 copy of the book Sikulu & Harambe WITH the adorable stuffed SIKULU and HARAMBE !!!! ($34.95 value)

Here is how you can enter :

1. YOU MUST BE A SUBSCRIBER to my blog, either by email or RSS FEED. (can click on my zebra at the top left of my blog to subscribe)
2. YOU MUST FOLLOW MY BLOG (click on FOLLOW to follow my blog)

BONUS ENTRIES :
1. Follow me on Twitter I am @plussizemommy (or you can just click my twitter bluebird to follow me)

2. Go to the www.sikulu.com and go to the reviews, and comment your personal review of the book (watch the video first) http://www.sikulu.com/reviews.php
Video - http://www.sikulu.com/sikulu_book.php
Comment to me that you did this.

3. Comment and tell me what animals Sikulu and Harambe are ?

4. Comment and tell me anything you do with your children that teaches multiculturalism.

This giveaway begins immediately and will end at 7pm Eastern time on Thursday February 26th, 2009. Winner will be drawn using random.org. Winner will be contacted via email (so please make sure I have it) by Friday Feb. 27th and the winner will also be posted on this blog by Friday the 27th. Thank You for participating and GOOD LUCK !!!

WINNER of THE LEARNING TOWER - From Little Partners, LLC

CONGRATS ESTELA !!! You are the winner of THE LEARNING TOWER as selected by Random.org. You have 24 hours to contact me with which color you would like and your home address so we can have this shipped to you :)

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:

77

Timestamp: 2009-02-19 20:41:22 UTC

THANK YOU TO ALL WHO ENTERED !!!!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Welcome to BRAG STREET.....




Brag Street is a Social network for family and kids. It is FREE, safe, and private.
Brag Street is a family-friendly, safe & private alternative to MySpace. It is a site geared towards families such as ours with a feel similar to MySpace and Facebook without the obvious predator and privacy issues.
BragStreet.com is a private Social Network where families (including youth) can create profiles with blogs, photos, etc., etc. However - the profiles are private unless the profile owner sends an invite to other friends/family. The profiles are not viewable in any way unless you invite that person.

It is very easy to use. You can invite Friends and family, and even import people from your facebook,myspace, and plaxo accounts.

There is a place to write Brag Books, Blog, Make and Take Polls, Plan Events, and send and get messages.
You can also find and follow Brag Street on Twitter, they are = @BragStreet

To start using this social network now please visit BragStreet and sign up today !
You can connect with and invite your friends to join too.

"Finding Joy" DVD review/giveaway

Finding Joy - Rated PG

This Independent Feature Film is about a woman who lacks self confidence, and has very low self esteem. She wants to be a singer, but she cannot sing !
She then takes in a stray dog, named Raffi, and he life changes right away. Her best friend moves in with her, and then she meets a man. The man encourages her to perform with him at a local pizza place.
She takes him up on the offer, but uses masks and wigs to hide herself, as she is still learning to sing.
Despite the singing, They fall into a relationship which has many ups and downs.
This movie takes place in an artsy country town where folk music is popular.
This is a very inspiring romantic comedy that builds upon the themes of friendship, love, self esteem, and finally the love of dogs !

You can see more at : www.findingjoy.com

Billie Dean and Andrew Einspruch are the actors.

I found this movie to be very inspiring, as a person with low self esteem myself, I really like how this all came together and gives hope to people like me. Since I am a Spiritual person, this aspect of the movie moved me as well. And the fact that is is REAL.
If you are an animal lover, you will also find this to be a wonderful, moving, funny, movie.
I really enjoyed watching it, and Now you can too.

Giveaway: "Finding Joy" DVD

How to enter:
1. Sign up to follow my blog via feedburner either through email or readers. (you can do this by clicking on my zebra in the upper left corner of my blog, or simply enter your email in the box)

2. Leave a comment telling me how a pet inspired you, or helped you.

3. Tell me about your favorite pet in my comment section.

4. Follow @
einsprunch on Twitter

5. Visit www.findingjoy.com and comment to me what their vision is

This giveaway starts today and ends on 2/24/2009 at 7pm eastern time.
Winner will be selected by Random.org. ---- GOOD LUCK !!!

***WONDERFUL OPPORTUNITY***
If you are not selected as the winner Mr. Andrew Einsprunch is such a wonderful man, that if you go to his site and make a purchase, he is donating 10% of the sales to the charity of my choice, which I am making my charity be where a fellow twitter,mommy blogger, woman business owner, and friend, has told me about. You probably may have heard of her or her website Skimbaco LifeStyle ? and Her name is Katja Presnal. She is also one of the Walmart 11moms, so you can also find her there.

If you go to Katja's blog and click on Beagle Diary, you will see and "feel" her love for dogs. You can read about how her adopted from a shelter (Humane Society) "4- legged son" Frank meant so much to her, and his travels with her and what a faithful friend he was, even though he was a little silly too.
And how sad it was when he passed on and how they wanted another dog so badly but had hardships and where she lives dogs are expensive.

You can then read how her families very special Christmas wish was a new puppy and how it was granted to them from some very special people.
Now she rescued another dog from the shelter and his name is Austin and he is a Beagle. And now on her blog she tells about his adventures with her and her family and how much they love him. He is a very cute pup, I must say !!!

I am so happy for Katja and her family and I am so happy that they rescued their dogs from Shelters. For this I am naming the 10% donations which Mr. Einsprunch is passing along to my choice of favorite animal charities on to the charity which is the shelter where they adopted Austin from. It is called the http://www.arfbeacon.org/
The donations will be in the memory of Frank, the dear 4-legged son they lost's name.
Please help by making a purchase and helping Frank to be remembered and also to help the shelter, therefore helping even more and more animals find great homes and live out happy lives. And more and more pet adopters can FIND THEIR JOY too !!!
THANK YOU !

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Resourceful Mommy: Meet the Type-A Mom Panelists

Type A Mom is holding a resitewarming party and your invited!! It is going to be held by the great Twitter online site warming hostess Resourceful Mommy. Please follow the link below to see more about how to be there at the #typeamom "rewarming" and to see who else will be there, on the panel. I think this is going to be a wonderful Twitter Party, as usual. I always have a blast when Resourceful Mom is hostess. So come and join us, and maybe you will get lucky and win a doorprize or goody bag prize !! --Good Luck !!
Resourceful Mommy: Meet the Type-A Mom Panelists

fractured toy: The Greatest Show on Earth... and in Town!

FUN FRUGAL TIP : Below you will find the link to the Circus that is coming to town. Did you know that EVERY CHILD in AMERICA - INCLUDING HAWAII AND ALASKA gets a FREE ticket to the circus ??? I got all 4 of my children one. They can use it at anytime. There is a link within this post where you can go and sign up your children (do not have to be babies, in case your just finding out about this) and you will get vouchers for each of them to go to the circus FREE whenever they want to !!!
What a great way for you and your family to enjoy a night out, for FREE !! (well, plus all the food and souvenirs, IF you are one of those people who buy them, I don't.)
Click the link below to go too Fractured Toy's blog and then click to get your FREE tickets today!
- Also there are some specials right now from Mom Central where you can get 4 tickets for just $44 , which is only $11 per ticket , THAT is a great deal for the circus !!!
ENJOY !

fractured toy: The Greatest Show on Earth... and in Town!

Spiritual Sunday - A little late

With My blog going haywire on me, and then the Internet was done a few days because of the weather, I am late getting my Spiritual/Inspirational Sunday post up. I think I missed the last one too, so I wanted to be sure not to miss 2 in a row, because I certainly love this post, maybe most of all. Sundays are always nice and by honoring God by keeping it my day of rest, I am still trying VERY hard to stick to that.

Anyways, without further ado, here is the Late Spiritual Sunday post:
I believe in Christianity as I believe the sun has risen, not because I see it, but because by it, I see everything else.

C.S. Lewis

I think this one was worth the wait !!!



Resourceful Mommy: Share Our Strength: Operation No Kid Hungry





Resourceful Mommy: Share Our Strength: Operation No Kid Hungry

Donate to the cause by texting "SHARE" to 20222 on your mobile device to donate $5. AT&T will match all text donations up to $100,000. Help them meet this challenge grant.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day - Review/Giveaway

I rarely get to eat breakfast, and I must say, it isn't my favorite meal to eat. Although every once and a while I will eat breakfast for dinner. The kids love when I switch around the day and do this.

My children, however, love breakfast, and I think if they could eat cereal for every meal, they would.

We recently had the opportunity to try a new product from Cheerios. It is Banana Nut Cheerios.
Let me tell you, I love it, and so do my children. It tastes like banana bread in milk, mmmm, so tasty and good.

This cereal was a big hit in my family, and I must say, I am glad, because usually my kids want all these sugary cereals and this one is a more healthier choice. So, as a mom, who cares about the foods my kids eat, and I try hard to have them eat healthy food everyday. Especially as a plussizemommy, I think I try extra hard to feed them carefully, so they wont be overweight.

(compliments from Cheerio's)
Banana Nut Cheerios® combines the whole grain goodness of Cheerios® with the great taste of real banana - a breakfast your whole family will love! Even better, Banana Nut Cheerios® cereal is a good source of calcium and Vitamin D, and is made with whole grain. It may reduce the risk of heart disease as part of a heart healthy diet.* Visit www.banananutcheerios.com for discount coupons, great recipes and additional information.


We enjoyed this cereal so much, I would like to share it with 3 of my lucky readers. Not ONLY will you win a coupon for a FREE box to try, but you will also get a prize basket consisting of a banana tree with fruit basket (and don't make the mistake I did thinking it was a real banana plant, lol) It is a hook to hang your banana's on attached to a basket to hold fruit at the bottom, 2 cereal bowls, and you will also get a pan to bake your banana bread in, YUM ! This is a wonderful prize pack, and REMEMBER 3 of my lucky followers will win it !!!

HERE IS HOW YOU CAN WIN :

1. YOU must follow my blog to enter, once you follow, please comment and tell me. - THIS STEP IS MANDATORY TO ENTER !!!

2. You will get another entry for subscribing to my blog via feedburner.

3, You will get 2 entries (please leave each one separately) for A. Comment and tell me your favorite things to add into your cereal (fruit,warm milk, whatever) and B. Tell me your favorite recipe you can make using cereal.

4. write about this awesome giveaway in your blog, and link back to me :) (THANK YOU)

This giveaway begins immediately and ends on Saturday Feb. 21, 2009, at 7pm. Winners will be chosen by Random.org, and will be notified via email (so make sure I have it), a post will also be done announcing the winners by Sunday the 22nd.
THANK YOU for Entering and GOOD LUCK !!

"Preacher Creature Strikes on Sunday"- By Mike Thaler - Book review and giveaway !!

This is one of the books we reviewed in keeping with the "spending time with my family" on Valentines Day. My children loved it. It is a very humorous but all so true book. It is difficult as a mom to get my kids to church, especially as they get older. It is more and more challenging every Sunday. This is a great book based on what your child's perspective might be. You never can tell what they might be thinking and how they are perceiving things.

We really enjoyed this book. My husband was laughing all the way through. We read it as a family, and that was a great idea! What a fun book.


Courtesy of :Phenix & Phenix Literary Publicists

Getting kids excited about church is no easy feat. Antiquated language, esoteric readings, dizzying sermons and stiff pews aren't enough to capture the attention of today's generation of digitally-charged kids.

Moms who are met with complaining kids on Sunday mornings will thank Mike Thaler as he playfully takes on many of the potentially baffling church traditions in his new book, "Preacher Creature Strikes on Sunday" (February, Zonderkidz, $4.99, Ages 6-9)," one of the first titles in his new 'Tales from the Back Pew' series.

Twenty years ago, America's classrooms met the fabled Mrs. Green - a veritable monster teacher in Thaler's acclaimed "Teacher from the Black Lagoon." Today Thaler and illustrator Jared Lee, whose beloved "Black Lagoon" books have sold more than 12.5 million copies, keep the punches rolling to teach kids invaluable lessons with humor and wit. This time, "Black Lagoon" goes to church!
appeals to kids' unique view of church, using Thaler's signature off-the-wall story-telling:

"There are very long songs with a thousand verses, and just when you think you're done, they go back to the beginning and start all over again. And you have to stand the whole time. It's sort of like the Pledge of Allegiance…only longer. And then, instead of paying you for singing, they collect money..." ["Preacher Creature Strikes on Sunday"]

Still told from the point of view of a child, the new generation of "Black Lagoon" emerges this month with four titles, including "Preacher Creature Strikes on Sunday"-- "Easter Egg Haunt," "Church Summer Cramp," "Mission Trip Impossible."

The author of more than 200 books, Mike Thaler is also known as "America's Riddle King." Parents and children also remember him as the creator of the "Letterman" character for PBS' "The Electric Company." Teamed with Lee for nearly 30 years, the two have been called "The Court Jesters of Children's Literature" for their collaboration on more than 70 hilarious books. Since becoming a Christian at age 60, Thaler says "life has gone from black and white to glorious Technicolor." Today, his knack for imaginative story-telling is helping spread the love of Jesus to children everywhere. Learn more at www.mikethaler.com.

***THIS NEW PART OF THE SERIES IS COMING OUT THIS MONTH !!!***

BUT the wonderful people at Phenix & Phenix Literary Publicists are letting me give 2 copies away !!!! You and your children will love this book. So, I wish you all the best to win one of the copies !!

Here is how you can win :

1. Visit Mike Thalers website, and come back and comment to me one other book (not mentioned above) that he wrote.

2. Use feedburner and subscribe to my blog.

3. Follow my blog

4. Follow me on Twitter, I am @Plussizemommy

5. Tell me your funniest story that happened to you while with your children to church.

This giveaway is starting immediately and will end on Friday - February 20, 2009 at 5pm Eastern time. GOOD LUCK !!!

Each Comment = 1 entry and remember there will be 2 winners, which will be chosen by random.org