Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Pay It Forward!!

Six years ago, I told you about my precious Niece, Miss O. Since then she has gained a sister and two brothers. She's doing well! Talking, eating on her own, walking, even running! She is so sweet and loves everyone. Those first few years were hard on her mom and dad.  But they learned over time what she needed and have tirelessly taken her to her many therapy and doctors appointments. They let her experience life just like any other typical kid. And she's thriving because of their perseverance and her strong will.


Two years later came Miss A . A cutie patootie who loves all things sparkly and pretty. She's the dancer and fashionista. She's four going on 16! She loves her cousin, Tiger, and gets right in their with him, playing chase, Lego's, and dinosaurs. 

Next came, Mister C, just 15 months ago. He could not wait to see the world. So much so he decided to grace his parents with his presence one month early. He's a cutie too. Walking, exploring and moving and shaking. 

Along came Mister Z just two months ago.  This during a time when they got some shattering news. My brother lost his job. Desperate to find a new one fast, he put out his resume and had a few interviews but nothing ever panned out. He took some classes to better his chances of a greater paying job. But this time of year no one is hiring. His wife has even put her resume out their . No bites. 

It's been 2 1/2 months and no money coming in. It's now Christmas time and as a parent it is an emotional time. Not being able to buy your children presents, or make Christmas treats because you have no money at all is heart breaking.

Watching this all unfold,  is heart wrenching.  We have done what we could to help them. But it's not much. Six years ago, when they were in a very dark place, I asked my readers to send them Christmas Cards to let them know they were being thought of and prayed for. The outpouring of love and encouragement was truly awe inspiring. Now, I'm asking for your help once again. I want to surprise the whole family with funds to be able to give them a special Christmas.  

I know it's really late in the season, but will you help my brother and his family? If you can only spare a dollar that's awesome. Every little bit counts. 

Visit gofund.me/TheThompsonFamily to donate. Share the link to everyone!


Photo courtesy of http://carahnewmanphotography.com

1 Peter 4:10  As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace.



Sunday, November 30, 2014

Sol Republic Wireless Bluetooth Speaker Giveaway



These days a stereo has become obsolete in this house. We use our computers, phone, and tv as our music source. The phone is not loud enough, computer is mobile but too big and bulky to follow me around the house while i'm cooking, cleaning, and playing with the kids. The TV is loud but you can't take it outside. 

I have been looking for decently priced wireless speakers with great sound. When the folks at Sol Republic asked me to try out their wireless speaker called Punk, I was super excited to see how this would work for our family. 





The Punk Wireless Bluetooth Speaker comes in many colors to suit your creative style. You can charge it with your computer and it gives you 8 hours of battery life. That's 8 hours of following me around the house keeping me on a roll. 

It is water and dust resistant which is a must in my house. It's surrounded by a rubber casing which with 3 kids and two dogs is very important to me. You have no idea how many devices have been dropped or knocked over. The wireless range is 60' which is pretty darn good if I say so myself. 

We compared it to my daughters wireless speaker that was much larger to see if the sound differed in any way. WOW! The sound is way better. Right up there with all the pricier name brand speakers whom will remain nameless. I can clearly hear the music all the way in the kitchen even if the speaker itself is down the hall in my studio. 

I love the fact that the Punk Speaker will let you know when the battery is getting low. You can also still play music while it's charging. And it's super easy to set up right out of the box. Just charge it up, click on your bluetooth symbol on whatever you are pairing it with and click "Pair". So easy!




If you have a threading mount on your bike or other item you can easily attach your Punk Wireless Bluetooth Speaker to take with you while you enjoy your favorite activities!





Check out Sol Republic:

Instagram: http://instagram.com/SOLREPUBLIC

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/SOLREPUBLIC

Facebook:   https://www.facebook.com/solrepublic

With the Holidays coming, this little guy would make a perfect Christmas Gift. It retails for $69.99. And guess what??? I'm giving one away! You must be at least 18 years old and a resident of the U.S. or Canada. A winner will be drawn on December 12 at approximately 10pm EST.  





a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Random Facts about Moi!

      Many of you have known me for years. I am always on Facebook and Pinterest.  After all social media is my job. I grace the world with my Internet presence everyday, whether it is for me or my clients. But do you really know me?? Do you know my pet peeves, likes, dislikes, my compassions?

      As I was pondering what I should write about today the song, Secrets, by Mary Lambert came on the radio.  It got me thinking that we do tend to keep a few things about ourselves not necessarily a secret , but omitted is a better word to describe this phenomenon. 

       My blog post was born! Here are some very random facts about me. 

1. I am mildly OCD.  I like to stay in the same lane while driving to a place I have been before.  Once I get to where I'm going (the exact same way and lane I always go), I have to park at or near the same parking spot. I have the same thing for breakfast every morning (bagel and tea). I have no earthly idea where that came from. 


That would just make my day!


2. I have gone to my neighbors house when she wasn't home to use her hose to rinse out the dye in my hair. Oh, YES I did!  Our water shut off in the middle of me adding color to my hair (never did figure out what happened to the water). I had no idea what in the world I was going to do. I actually tip toed across the lawn.  So glad no one saw that.







3. I am 100% completely gray. YUP My hair is all gray under all those low lights and dark hair. 

4. I am a HUGE nerd. I'm a Mac person. I didn't used to be . I was resistant to the change, but my husband didn't give me a choice. One day he came home with a Mac and told me this is yours. He promptly set it up for me and put my PC in our computer graveyard. I have not missed my PC at all! I love Sci-Fi (yes I am a big Dr. Who fan). 

5. I have always wanted to work for the CIA! Being a mom has made me super observant and sneaky. I can open a candy bar noiselessly, and tell my son not to sniff the dogs butt when my back is turned all at the same time.
    
                                  Go Ahead, Say it!
         
                                     I'm Talented!

6. I was born with a hole in my heart. Doctors used to say my heart was twice the size of a normal adult. Guess God had big plans for this big heart! I now sport a zipper scar from my navel to my chest. It's quiet becoming, if I do say so myself. 

7. I can't stand the sound of knuckles cracking. It makes my skin crawl. This coming from someone who used to crack her knuckles as a teen. I'm getting more finicky the older I get. 

8. I am the crazy gift bag, tissue paper, and bow hoarder your mother warned you about. I have a closet full of used gift bags, bubble wrap, tissue paper, and bows. If you need it, just ask I have it. You should see me at Christmas!



9. My name is Tiffanie Doyle and I have a Dr. Pepper addiction. The first step is admitting it. I'm doing good. I just can get past that first step. 

10. I am overweight. YUP, I have all those jiggly parts and extra boobs, and my triceps wave at you. I blame it on number 9. But in my defense, I am walking and exercising everyday. I actually have muscles in my shins! I'm getting there!!! 

11. I am a speed reader.  I can read a 400 page book in 5 hours . If I actually had five hours to sit down and read. Which almost never happens. 

12. I don't eat pizza. *gasp* I do not like pizza sauce.  Although you might catch me consuming one piece of white pizza. 

13. I'm not a huge chocolate fan. Unless it's Chocolate with Salted Caramel. 

14. This one is put here because I can't just leave this list with an uneven number. 

There ya have it! Random facts you didn't know about me. 






Friday, October 10, 2014

Food, Food, Glorious Food

I came to the conclusion a few months ago that menu planning makes life so much easier.   

              I know, I know, I'm a little slow to get on the bandwagon. 

Don't judge me. 

Not only does it save me from scrounging around at the last minute making "fake it" dinners, it also eliminates the wondrous question we all hear as soon as the man comes home. 

What's for dinner?

Or my personal favorite . . . . 


MOM, MOM, MOM, What's for dinner?!?!?!?! 
(repeat 50 times)

Mr. Right and I have vowed to keep our business paper free as much as we can. And in keeping with that theme, I like to keep our home paper free as well. Except for our big boxes of the kids projects and pictures). Because of that I don't keep recipe books in my kitchen. 

None. 

Pinterest is my best friend!

Can I get an AMEN??!?!?!

So, today, I'd like to share with you a few of my favorite go to recipes on Pinterest. 

Ready?

Set? 

GO!!!!

1. Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken by Six Sisters Stuff



2.  Mississippi Roast by Table for Two



3. Garlic Parmesan Chicken by Creme de la Crumb



4. One Pot Wonder by Apron Strings



5. Chicken with Red Thai Curry Peanut Sauce by Kalyn's Kitchen




6. Shepherd's Pie by Four Generations One Roof



All of these have been made in the Three Peas house and they are delish!!!

Do you have a favorite recipe you found on Pinterest? Share it below so we can try it out!!

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Pearson Answer Keys - How Accurate are they?

So, as I was enjoying my decaffeinated tea this morning, I came across an article in the Washington Post about a mom who just happened to very quickly go through her daughters "Thursday's Folder" and noticed a problem on her daughters math test that she got wrong.  

After doing the word problem several times herself, she discovered that her daughter had actually gotten it correct. She then proceeded to contact her child's teacher as most of us would.  The teacher explained that the Pearson answer key was wrong and fixed the grades accordingly. 

This mother then brought up a valid point. If the Pearson answer key is wrong what other Answer keys are wrong?  The people who wrote this curriculum and tests spent a ton of our hard earned money to it's editors to to make sure that everything was correct. 



In a world where our kid's graduation is determined by these testing scores, those answer keys HAVE to be correct.  Teacher's don't do the grading of the high stakes state testing. How can we know if their score is accurate? They go by what's on the answer key assuming that it's correct. 

So it makes me wonder, are my children's testing scores accurate? Testing is not always accurate with special needs kids already. They may be
having an off day and they just don't want to cooperate. Instead of putting it off a day when they have noticed this, they mark it that my child doesn't recognize his letters or can't comprehend word problems. When in reality he does, he just doesn't want to perform that day. 


I'm all for being an advocate for my kids. I will stand up for them always. I can't check the state tests answer keys. That's just not possible. But I will be checking my kids school work just to make sure what was marked wrong is truly wrong and not a Pearson Answer Key error. 

What are your thoughts?






Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Risen from the Dead

My blog died . . . 

I doubt any of you have noticed. 

But it did. 

Life Called. 

For almost two years.

 There is a time in a mom's life where so many things are going on at once. You feel overwhelmed, burnt out, and tired. It was then I realized I needed a break. That it was OK to say "NO" and to weed out some items that were taking me away from my family.

Over these couple of years, my husband and I made a big leap of faith. He quit his job to start a Web Design/Development Firm. And with all big leaps we jumped in whole heartedly with both feet and our hearts. I handle social media management and he's the designer. 

Times were tough but we prevailed and God took care of our family. After that huge endeavour our youngest was diagnosed with Autism. Which absolutely floored me. If you have been reading my blog the past 7 years you know about that all of my kids have special needs and learning disabilities. 

Each one has a unique gift. I say gift because that's what Autism is to our family. It's not a disease, or a disability. For us Autism is a new way to looking at our world. And each child of ours has their own way of interpreting their environment. 

Some days it's very challenging. Those are the days I want to hide or never get out of bed. But most days, their discoveries of life astound me. They way they learn, the look on their face when they figure things out, the way perceive the world around them. It's truly amazing!

We have dealt with the Big C in our family. With lots of praying, surgeries, and chemo. Days that make you want to be angry with God and days that make you Praise His Name from the mountain tops. Days we needed to rally around my mom for support. To be a shoulder to cry on, an ear to listen, and arms to wrap around my parents and let them know how much they mean to us.  I'm happy to report that our family is Cancer Free now!!

There comes a time in ones life when we need to slow down. To really contemplate what is truly important. For the last two years, my family needed me. And I chose them. They are my world. End of story. 

Things are slowing down, we have learned a lot about our kids this year. They are doing awesome in school and have all come such a long way on their Autism journeys. 

Life is good and now I'm finally ready to join the blogging world again. 

Hello Bloggers . . . 

I'M BACK!!!!