Monday, September 30, 2013

#Free #LEGO Monthly Mini Build!

I honestly don't know why I'm telling you about this because that just means more people in the dang line, which is long enough already. But I like to share, and if that bites me in the butt, so be it. My karma will be intact.

The first Tuesday of every month LEGO stores do this thing called a free monthly mini-build. They give you a little package which contains all the pieces to make this tiny creation in the store. You don't grab it and go, people. They want you to build it there, fueling your already obsessive love of LEGOs and then peruse the other LEGO offerings in-store then go home $200 poorer.

But I digress. Here's what the boys and Callie build in July after their dad stood in line for a century. Sorry it's so tiny; blame LEGO because I got this off their site. It's a crab, people.
Here's what they built in September (we missed August and September): (it's a pirate)

If you miss one, you can download instructions for how to build it at home, but sometimes your kid might not have all the pieces. Bummer.

So when Michael kept asking about going again, AND MICHAEL NEVER ASKS FOR ANYTHING, I decided I was going to make it happen. It might entail paying a sitter tomorrow while I go stand in line with the 2-3 oldest kids, but I'm going. I'm camping out at the LEGO store so we can get that dang mini build witch, so there!

So here's the link to check these out in the future. Find your store to find out the exact times and all that.

See you in line! I'll bring the wine! (hey, that rhymes!)

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Callie, the American Heritage Girl


This is my little American Heritage Girl. It's like Girl Scouts only different. Meetings are held at the church where I became a Catholic and where Aron and I got married and where Callie was baptized. Her peers are other Catholic girls and homeschooled girls. I love how she is wearing zebra pants with her uniform! That's my little fashion baby! While she was in her meeting, here's what we did:

Sam played some b-ball cuz that's how he rolls.

Joel, Michael and Eva talked about Christmas lists

Later, the Littles got into some sidewalk chalk trouble on their faces!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Free 5-Week Trial of Reading Eggs Through 9/30 @readingeggs @usfg


I've heard so many great things about the Reading Eggs program, so when they asked me to check them out and offer my readers a free 5-week trial, I could not pass it up (this offer is only good until the end of September, then it's a 2-week free trial). No credit card required!

We are big fans of phonics around here and I taught my two oldest sons to read using that method. My daughter, however, is struggling a little bit so we're excited to try this program with her so she can learn to read and with my kindergarten-age daughter, as well. Here are some things to know:


This program has been developed by terrific team of teachers, educational writers, animators and web developers so it's perfect for kids and a lot of fun.

·         Reading Eggs focuses on a core set of reading skills and strategies essential for reading success and is suitable for children aged 3 through 12. (hey, my 5 kids are in that age range!)


·        Since launching in the United States and Canada in 2011, Reading Eggs has signed on more than 500,000 subscribers and presented more than 15 million lessons in North America.

     Here's a great press release about how great online games are for teaching kids how to read!

     Check it out! I'll be doing the same!



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Monday, September 23, 2013

Could You Survive on $30/Week for Groceries?

I found this blog called Money Saving Mom and I think I have a little Bloggy Crush. I have this Bloggy Crush because even though I'm working about 20 hours a week and bringing in some decent cash, it's disappearing. We don't live high on the hog or anything, either. We have home improvement projects that are eating the money, and then there are the groceries!!!

I know 80% of the problem is ME, too ... I like to grab fast food every now and then and have a nice coffee once a week or so and take the kids on field trips. I spend too much money even when I'm getting deals (like 50% off our recent trip to SeaLife).


So here's the post I was perusing. Someone asked about living on $30 per week for groceries as a single woman.

That would be $210 per week at my house, right? Since there are 7 of us, that's $30 times 7 = $210. And $840/month. Guess what? That's what we spend anyway on all food and household products.

So I'm doing great, right?

Not necessarily. I think I can do better. And if you figured in fast food and coffees, you would get a higher figure, friends.

I think the first step is realizing that just because your family brings in decent money doesn't mean you can spend it all. It means you have to set up some dreams and goals and then REALLY start saving for them, knowing that when you sacrifice that fancy coffee you should be putting 5 bucks into a Legoland vacation jar somewhere and NEVER TOUCHING IT.

Let's discuss.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

SeaLife Aquarium Today! Homeschool Week at Crown Center

I'm so excited! This is where we're going today: to the SeaLife Aquarium at Crown Center in Kansas City. Here's where I wrote about it in April of 2012 and we haven't been back since because usually it's EXPENSIVE!

Plus when it first opened it was nutty in there and we were hoping it would die down a little. We hope that by going on a Thursday in September we can really enjoy ourselves and I won't have to be all freaked out about counting my kids because they will all be within sight and not in a crowd.

Why are we going this week? Have we won the lottery? Nope; it's Homeschool Week at Crown Center and they are BRILLIANT for doing this! Here's the link to Penny Pinchin' Mom's post about all the cool events that are going on through tomorrow AT A DISCOUNT.

So we got to go for about $38 last time, but that was a field trip rate and I didn't have a 12-year-old (the price goes up at 12 just about everywhere, boo). Today will be about $48. Normally it would cost $98 if we just wanted to trot our happy butts on down there and walk in the door.

Nope, having a slew of kids never stopped me from going to all the cool places in town (and in the United States, for that matter). Just gotta be in the know (and it never hurts that Tutu buys us a Kansas City Zoo Membership every year, which saves us HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS ... thanks, Toot).

I'm off. Gotta finish proofreading this really cool soup cookbook so I can have the funds to go on this outing.

Catch you in the next picture-filled post!


Saturday, September 14, 2013

Friday, September 13, 2013

Nine For Dinner!


This was taken the other night when we had our neighbor over for dinner and also our friend Julia. That makes a total of 9 people at our table. Check out the hardwood floors and painted walls and new back door! I'm really proud of Aron and how great he is at this remodeling thing. I think we'll start flipping houses. NOT! NEVER! NO WAY!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Are You Spending Too Much Time on Facebook?

My husband is going to love this one. He refuses to get a Facebook account, and I can't say that I blame him. Although I do find out cool things there; things that are useful in my homeschooling journey, encouragement, new friends, important life events of acquaintances when they are too busy to call every single person to say they are pregnant, for instance.


It's also a place where my heart has been broken with drama, whether I started it or not! The majority of my time spent on there can be quite annoying to many because I'm mostly on there to promote my blogs, my writing, my proofreading, my ebooks.

Today a friend posted this. Asked her if I could share and she said yes. Something to think about. I know it's going to be in my head all day long.

I've been thinking a lot about Facebook lately. At times it is an amazing tool to reconnect with old friends or a great way to share the everyday with loved ones. However, it also is a place I spend too much time, time I could be spending caring for my children or tending to my home or husband. I find it a bit lonely in the day to day real life b/c many of us don't reach out to each other as often b/c we can just "catch up" on fb. Birthday's have become a day when we get excited to get many fb messages but the phone is quiet. That makes me feel lonely. Pictures I see posted can produce a sense of insecurity or frustration and can effect my mood. That is crazy. I've also realized that I have never seen or heard of anyone coming to have a personal relationship with Jesus b/c of the quotes I post or the religious pictures I share. I've also never convinced anyone to see things my way in the political arena but I certainly have offended plenty with my own opinions. As much as I love showing off my kids to the world, I would rather spend real time with my friends and family, sharing real life, the good and bad.

With that said, I"m going to be closing down my fb account. Probably not deleting it altogether but downsizing it to almost nothing. It does not mean I don't want to be friends. It means I want to be real friends and spend real time with you. Please feel free to call me or better yet, stop by, even unannounced! You'll probably find me in the middle of a mess, chasing kids and wearing yoga pants.

I will be keeping up my business page so if you want to see what's going on in that avenue of my life, feel free to drop by there and like my page for updates. You might see pictures of my cute kids there. 

Life has gotten off balance and I need to take steps to reclaim it. This is a hard choice as I love fb and love staying connected. I hope to spend some time with you soon. 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Alphabet Flash Cards Review


I was so excited to give these alphabet flash cards to 5-year-old Eva when they came in the mail! She was excited to have them! She and Samuel, who is 3 years old but will be 4 in October (time to get crackin' on that reading, dude!), love to play with them.

They remind me of the super successful Hooked on Phonics system which I used to teach my older kids to read. They learn the letter first, then the sound the letter makes, then it's a natural progression to learning to string those sounds together into simple words.

These are a staple in any homeschooling household, and are great for on-the-go, as well!

And now a word about Alphabet Flash Cards sold by Educational Toys Plane
Involve your child in the joy of learning their ABCs. School Zone Alphabet Flash Cards bring skills such as memory, listening, and movement into each fun-filled lesson. Children will get to know phonics and be able to connect letter sounds with objects: K is for Kite, for example. They will also learn that each letter is a symbol that can be memorized. Offer this colorful world of letters to your child today.  


This item is located in their ABC toys section, and can also be found on their site in the following
categories: toys for 3 year oldstoys for 4 year olds or toys for 5 year olds.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.


#WorkoutsOnDemand Review



Workouts On Demand! Love, love, love this site! A membership is only about $13 per month, WAY less than a gym membership and you can do it in your own home and the variety is out of this world! You can download to your computer or watch instantly on your laptop or stream through your TV.

I dig the Express Workout section, where I can do a quick workout with my son, who is going for his Personal Fitness badge in Scouts. I can try Yoga when the house is quiet. I can go all-out on aerobics when I'm feeling energetic.

And I must mention that one of the Low Impact Aerobics classes is taught by a woman who is my size (meaning, about 20 pounds overweight by the USA's standards and yet she is totally healthy). It's nice to see someone teaching a class who is my age and my size instead of always watching stick-thin instructors, if ya know what I mean! No offense to the skinnies, as I may be one of them someday; I'm just sayin' it's refreshing, that's all.


Follow them on Facebook here. If you LIKE them, you can download a FREE exercise video!

Here's their main site.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.


Castle Rock Resort & Waterpark #Branson


Castle Rock Resort and Waterpark is located in beautiful Branson, Missouri. They offer a 30,000-square-foot indoor waterpark and 10,000-square-foot outdoor waterpark. They also have an on-site restaurant, a 24-hour arcade and gift shop, and day spa & salon.

The resort features 98 Tower rooms connected to the Waterpark through interior corridors and 102 exterior entrance rooms in the two Atrium buildings located approximately 50 yards from the Waterpark. Each Tower room has a built in Kiddie Cove (6' x 4') with a bunk bed and 19” flat screen tv.  The Tower room accommodations boast 2 double beds or 1 king bed, 32” flat screen tv, mini fridge, coffee maker, iron, ironing board, and hairdryer. The newly refurbished Atrium rooms boast 2 queen beds, or 1 king bed, a 32” flat screen tv, coffee maker, iron, ironing board, and hairdryer.

Castle Rock offers one of Branson’s best attractions right on-site with our 30,000-square-foot indoor and 10,000-square-foot outdoor waterpark.  The waterpark features 150,000 gallons of splashtacular fun with two, 500-gallon dumping buckets, multiple indoor and outdoor kiddie pools with rain showers and waterfalls and more! Enjoy a swim in the indoor lap pool or play basketball in the indoor activity pool. Loop and dip through 2 large three-story thrill slides, kick back for a ride on the lazy river, play on themed water slides or relax on the multilevel sun deck. 

Special Offers: 

Big Savings Weekday Special - Book your reservation online and receive 30% off your entire stay! Valid on new reservations only.  Not valid in conjunction with any other offers, discounts, promotions or packages.  Blackout Dates: 10/13-10/17, 11/28.  Offer Expires: 12/19/13

Wet & Wild Weekend Package - Includes 2 nights lodging, waterpark access, breakfast each morning for 2 adults & 2 children, VIP coupons, 1 water blaster, 2 adult & 2 children Branson Wild World VIP admission (includes animal adventure tour, arcade, and mini golf).  Package starts at $268, 25% off.  On new reservations only.  Not valid in conjunction with any other offers, discounts, promotions or packages. Blackout Dates: 8/30 - 8/31, 10/18 - 10/19 Expires 11/2/13

Call 1-888-273-3919 to book or visit http://www.castlerockbranson.com

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Pleygo: Like Netflix for LEGOs! #Free First Month!

I think I'm in love. You know how expensive LEGO sets can get, right? And then the LEGOs are ALL. OVER. THE. HOUSE.

As is common at The Kerrie Show, I have a fabulous life solution for you!


Pleygo is a Netflix-like service for Legos!  Subscribe, rent, play, and exchange sets of LEGOs unlimited times per month.  Shipping is always free both ways and sets are sanitized when returned.  They offer a convenient, quick, and inexpensive solution that relieves clutter and saves space at home while saving money.  Co-founded by influential parenting blogger and creator of A-List Mom Elina Furman, Plegyo is the perfect way to supply your child with endless developmental tools and allow for that much-needed quiet time at home! 


There are three levels of subscriptions starting at just $15 that allow you to find the plan that best suits you.  They offer credit toward your account for sets and mixed bricks that you donate to them, and they provide the shipping label too!  Pleygo is a perfect gift for a family friend, loved one, or birthday party.  Purchase a gift subscription and send it with a special message from you!  They are constantly expanding their inventory with more sets!


Receive your First Month FREE here or directly at www.Pleygo.com to register!

Check this out. Even a one-month subscription would be a perfect gift for Christmas from a grandparent!

Living/Dining Room Remodels Almost Done (with Photos!)

Ding dong, the nasty pink carpet is dead! Check out our remodeling progress. Or, should I say, Aron McLoughlin and Sons remodeling progress, since they are the ones who rocked this out!

BEFORE, nasty carpet that needed to be cleaned all the time

The view of the "L" from the front door

Aron ripping up the carpet on Friday

This might have been Saturday before he started the tedious sanding proces

AFTER, looking toward the front door

AFTER, looking toward the back of the house
Now the question is: do we want to move after all since the house is looking so nice?

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