Thursday, April 30, 2015

Last Day for Giveaway Entry and a #TBT Cupcake Recipe

Today is the last day to enter this giveaway for a free copy of the fun children's eBook "Candy and the Cankersaur"!  This is a low entry giveaway and I have 10 copies to give away.  

Entering is easy - just sign in to Rafflecopter with your email address or Facebook account.  Then you have up to 5 options for entering - pick one or enter multiple times.  Options include visiting author Jason Sandberg's Facebook page, visit the author's Goodreads page, tweeting, following me on Twitter, or leaving a comment on this post.  The winners will be announced tomorrow - good luck!!

My kids have now read this book multiple times and my son still giggles every time he reads it.  The colorful illustrations look great on our Kindle and, unlike many of the books we've downloaded, it is clear time was taken to proof-read and make sure the layout was as nice as a printed book.  You can see my previous review here.

And in honor of Candy and her Cankersaur's preference for cupcakes, as well as Throwback Thursday, here's my recipe for Triple Cherry Cupcakes.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Children's eBook Review & Rafflecopter Giveaway!

I've got 10 free copies of the adorable children's ebook "Candy and the Cankersaur" to give away!  This cute tale of a bored little girl, her busy dad, her jealous neighbor and her pet dinosaur was a big hit with my 6 year old son.  He loves using the Kindle and reading things with his big sister so he was super excited to check out a new story.  While some of the words were a little complicated for a kindergartner on the first pass through, he thoroughly enjoyed the entertaining story and bright illustrations.  

The story begins with a sweet little girl who desires the attention of her busy father.  Her father feels bad and buys her a dinosaur as a special gift.  Children will love this mischievous green dino who has a knack for chomping on things he shouldn't like a naughty puppy.  This earns him a firm scolding from Candy about "No Biting!" which elicited giggles from my little monster every time.  The jealous neighbor kid steals the Cankersaur and sells him to the circus but later sees how sad this makes Candy and they get her father to help retrieve her beloved pet.  There are several valuable lessons worked into this story.

I highly recommend this book for young readers and especially liked the ebook format (a lot of ebook for kids seem to have spelling errors and typos galore and this one was very well done).  Even my 11 year old very advanced reader was curious enough to sit through the whole story and giggled a few times.

Author, Jason Sandberg, was generous enough to grant me 10 free copies to gift to you! Just complete as many steps as you wish through Rafflecopter below to earn entries to the giveaway.  This giveaway ends at 12:00 a.m. on Friday, May 1 - good luck!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, April 13, 2015

That Chronic Condition Called “Busy”

Please can somebody play with me?” came a sweet, soft little voice from below me.

It had been a really hectic day.  
The kids and I had been late getting out the door that morning and as soon as I dropped them off at before-school program I was stopped on the wrong side of the tracks by a really long, slow train.  
That’s about the time I realized I didn't have enough gas to get to work.  
A full day of meetings and the phone ringing off the hook at work so of course I didn't get out on time.  
I had a list of things to get done at home – laundry, dishes, dinner, ironing.

And now my little man wanted me to play.  

In my cloud of frustration I tried to temper my voice a bit
 as I ground my teeth and sighed 
“Honey, can’t you see I’m busy!?”

That small chin quivered.  
Big hazel-green eyes filled with tears.  

“Everybody’s busy a lot and nobody has time to play with me.”  

He didn't say it in a whiny voice that surely would have ground my last nerve.  
He just said it very quietly and sadly and went to sit on the couch.  

That…made me stop in my tracks.

He was right.  

We are chronically “busy”.  

It’s a real problem.

And as I walked over to give him a hug and ask for my best biscuit cutter 
(and fellow Food Network junkie) to come help me with the dinner prep, 
my mind ticked through the number of times 
I’d said the word “busy” in the past few days.

It had become my go-to answer when anyone asked how I was doing.  

Which really showed how out-of-touch I was with everyone 
because they didn't ask me what I was doing 
or to quantify just what I had been up to 
and justify why I hadn't done more.  

They were asking about how I was doing – as a person.  

And I no longer knew how to answer the question because there wasn't time to think about how I felt or what I wanted.  Only time enough to measure how many things I’d cross off the list or boxes I’d check-marked. 

I won’t say that I don’t fall back into that habit because I do.  

But then I have those sweet, sensitive children who remind me often 
that their favorite part of the day 
is when we are driving home and I ask them to tell me the best part of their day 
and the little routine I have with each one as we say goodnight 
the same way each night. 

It’s not all the things we did during the day that are their favorite.  

It’s the feeling in those moments when we are not stressed and hurried 
and we just enjoy those few moments being together.