This is a plan-ahead, but Home Depot's kid's workshops always fill up really quickly. The little ones can build a cute message center for free--perfect for back to school! www.homedepot.com to find your location and sign up.
Erin (and sometimes The Todd)
...I used to have either money or time: so, with one or the other, things got done. With our current economy, I'm pretty sure that none of us have money OR time. You'll find piles of goodies, giveaways, expert advice (not mine, real experts) and family activities here. Look for the "Sneaky Inside Tips" in red to get the most out of the post! I try to update free-bees and coupons every day. Check back. PS: Comments and feedback very much appreciated. I like to know what's useful and what's making your finger blur on the scroll button.
Giveaways from That Went Well...
Lowe's apparently likes us for all the Kid's Workshop mentions--they've graciously agreed to be our donor this week for a $50.00 gift card. You could get rid of that vile lime green bathroom sink...dress up the living room with some big fancy plants...buy a cute rug and nightstand for your kid's room...
The choice is yours! Please add your name in the "shoutbox" option below. I'll draw a winner next Tuesday, 9.15.09 Good luck!
I tricked the world's most amazing man into marrying me. We have glorious twin boys who are long and gangly, just like their daddy.
I've never eaten a birthday cake I didn't like. I spend most of my waking hours trying to be ingratiating enough to keep people listening to our radio show--we're "Todd and Erin" on B98.7 in Salt Lake City. We stay employed only by making our Evil Corporate Entity enough money to keep us.
You can also check out toddanderin on Facebook and ToddandErin on Twitter. Same great taste, less filling.
Leeann Whiffen: she looks like a sweet little Idaho buttercup, but she's got a backbone of steel. When her son Clay started disappearing into the black tunnel of autism, she dug in and dragged him back out. Now, she spends her time helping all the other autism moms do the same. (Editor's note: if you haven't read her incredible book "A Child's Journey Out Of Autism," get it NOW. It's incredibly inspiring for every parent.)
Shantel the Angel Lady: you meet a lot of 'psychics' in radio. They're eager to get on the air with you and read a few auras, make a little cash... It soured me on the whole thing until I met Shantel. We took a call on our radio show from a grandma who wanted to know if her little grandson with autism--who couldn't speak--was happy. Shantel's face lit up like a thousand candles, and tears poured down her face as she talked about the little man's love for his dog (Editor's note: Shantel accurately described the dog, the boy's room, even what kind of cheese he liked on his sandwiches) and the little pleasures of his life. A Nana hung up, weeping with joy in her relief. We wept with joy for the happiness of a child who couldn't speak but could still share.
Allison Rogers: it took me a while to realize what animal Allison is--a hummingbird. She darts about in her brilliant plumage and dips her clever beak into one life and then another, spreading joy like nectar. She is my Zachie's and he is hers.
Mandy Johnson: while Mandy is sleek and deliciously feline, she is no cat. Cats are selfish. Mandy's quiet care and iron-clad consistency show the strong core of an incredible woman. Ballads will be sung around the campfire about Mandy.
Mary Helen Parsons, my mom. The woman rocks. MH is in her early 70's, looks 20 years younger, has traveled to Russia, Fiji, China, Israel (DURING the recent shelling) and most recently Peru. The Peru trip was especially entertaining to me because I caught her packing bribes for the border guards so that she could get medicines into the orphanges. My MOM is bribing border guards! Mary Helen=rocks. Sorry, have to say it.
Karen Streeter, she was Z&M's first grade teacher. She believes in my boys. She would race out when I picked them up after school to tell me of their latest triumph. If your heart is not tearing apart with appreciation for the sheer amazingness of Karen right now, then I SHUN you.
Karen Paulsen, ever met one of those people who were exactly as they seemed to be? Neither have I, until Karen. She is honest, sincere, courageous, and ALWAYS Karen in good times or bad.
Barbara Zocco. My best girl. Period. She knows the dark recesses of my human heart and I know hers. And we still love each other.
Lori Cain, who is fierce! Not like, Tyra Banks fierce which is really creepy and seems to involve wigs and a lot of makeup, but fierce like "I will do anything to save this kid with special needs no matter what it takes" fierce.
Jacey Walker, still the pushiest broad I know. But, you should really read bossymommy.blogspot.com if you know what's good for you. Plus, she's pretty.
Jen Collard, my school teachin', Rekii doin', tractor drivin' sister-in-law who is one of the tiniest, toughest, tenderest broads alive. Plus, she has two new titanium hips! She could crush you with one snap of her thigh...
Sharee Gallivan, whom we call "Martha" behind her back because her taste is so perfectly perfect in it's perfection. She manages to be graceful, charming and kind without making me feel like an utter buffoon by comparison.
Ysa Pitman, my horrifyingly clever niece who lectured me on prosbiscus monkeys at the age of 3. Talk about feeling inadequate...
Jenne Parsons, exquisitely beautiful, exquisitely talented, and mean enough to tear your head clean off on a bad day. I ADORE her.
Eliza McKay, who has a howling laugh that you can hear clear back in Chicago. She is effortlessly cool and has merry brown eyes.
Kristy Custer, who can burp like a man. She is the Dark Mistress of Nutrition and bends stubborn children to her will.
"Miss" Virginia, my mother-in-law. I was too scared of her at first to call her anything else. She's got a queenly elegance and an almost terrifying sense of cool. Case in point: you do not start her fires in her massive Colonial-era fireplace with wadded-up newspaper. You start them with dried lavender twigs from her garden, wrapped neatly in raffia. See what I mean?
Kim and Katie Tucker, Katie is a tiny buttercup of a thing who will one day rule Hollywood with an iron fist, Kim is the woman who, like the multi-armed Shiva, raises Katie, dispenses pharmaceuticals, participates in every charity known to man, and still attends hockey games to throw things.
Jenny Ulvestad, who does not know yet that she is exquisitely beautiful and brilliant. WHY can't you force a teenage to see themselves the way you do? Shouldn't there be a magic mirror that shows the painfully unsure how beautiful they truly are?
Jen Burnazos, since the first day she walked into my living room and pretended to be a frog, she has been the sister of my heart, if not my blood. Everything MacLean is, is half her. She is blindingly beautiful with blue, blue eyes and almost spitefully unlined skin.
Karen Hansen, a sweet Scandinavian type gal with big blue eyes. She's an accountant, for heaven's sake! But everytime she pops up with a massive tub of hash browns, she has some bizarre adventure involving gothic vampire writers...Hawaii...jewelry...she's like some sort of insane secret agent. In fact, the chances are excellent that she IS.
Stephanie Rawson, who turned out to be even better than we all planned--and believe me, we had some REALLY high expectations. Unfailingly generous, unrelentingly kind, and startlingly clever.
Patti Stith, you want tickets to the Fray on Saturday? She's got 'em. You want a distributor who can give you 300 guavas by Monday? She's got 'em. You want a shoulder to cry on when your heart is breaking? You got her.
Mary Helen Pitman, with her clever smile and secretive little face, she always looks like she's thinking, "I could get away with that..." And dangit, she's so cute that she HAS.