Friday, January 30, 2009

Qlubb Review

Team Mom asked me to try out this new online service for planning and managing real life groups called Qlubb. Tonight I finally had a chance to sit down and look it over. I decided that I would use the service to set up an online site for my weeknight Bible study group. We are a varied group of women, some of whom work outside the house, some married, some moms, and some not. Email is usually the communication tool that we use, but that can be tedious and can clog up an inbox on an especially busy day.

With Qlubb you can:
Eliminate back and forth emails
Avoid reminding (nagging?) everyone about events and responsibilities
Easily delegate tasks to group members
Create a secure website for your group

I found the site very easy to maneuver. In no time I had created a site for us, made a calendar with our upcoming events (including a trip to the beach... woohoo), asked for volunteers to lead the next session, and invited all the other ladies to join our Qlubb group.

I think will truly simplify things for me as the group leader and person generally in charge of drafting and keeping up with the email strings before. I am eager to hear how the other gals enjoy the new system, and I'm excited about the fact that the site belongs to all the group members and we're all free to make changes as needed there.

Thanks Team Mom for the opportunity to test drive something on the web that may just simplify my life!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Mr. Random Says...

Commenter #3 penguinmom is our winner. Please email me at foursillysisters (at) gmail (dot) com by 5 pm Friday the 30th with your mailing address to claim your prize. Otherwise I will ask Mr. Random to pick again! Thanks for playing and enjoy reading National Security Mom.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

National Security Mom Book Review and Giveaway

Before strep throat descended on our house, I was almost finished reading a fabulous book by Gina M. Bennett. Now that the meds have kicked in and I no longer feel like I am dying by strep throat, I was able to finish it tonight. Thank you to the folks at Mom Select and Wyatt-MacKenzie Publishing for the opportunity to read, review, and give away a copy of National Security Mom.

I was intrigued by the title, and wondered really how interested I would be in anything regarding National Security. In fact, I only agreed to review so that I could have something new to discuss with my husband who is currently serving in Iraq.... he knows a thing or two about National security. On the other hand, I am someone who admittedly knows very little about current events, much less National Security and foreign policy. I can say that this book was incredibly easy to read and understand even for someone like me. I think it will appeal to all moms.

Here's the book's description from their website:

"How Do We Solve Our National Security Challenges? In the wake of the war on terrorism, it seems today’s parents are constantly bombarded with news of the latest threats and messages of fear. But how do we achieve national security or even protect our children when we feel so insecure?
National Security Mom, by 20-year veteran of the intelligence community and mother of five, Gina Bennett, answers this burning question through an insider perspective on national security and a unique “soft” approach to achieving it.National Security Mom examines how many of the age-old, practical lessons we teach our children, such as “clean up your mess,” “tell the truth” and “don’t give in to a bully,” apply to the covert intelligence approach to national security. Through these comparisons, Bennett empowers America’s parents to engage with confidence in the national security debate and reinforces the fact—true and lasting security is a nationwide effort that begins at home."

In her book, Bennett ultimately challenges us as parents to engage in action...whether just in the ways we teach our children at home or through the PTA, Home Owners Association, Mayor, City Council, etc, and teach our children to be good citizens thereby preparing them to be our nation's leaders.

The publishers have offered a hardcover copy of the book National Security Mom to one reader here. Just leave a comment by noon EST on Thursday January 29th on this post. Be sure I can reach you via email in case you are the winner. The book will ship out to the winner the first week of February. Good luck!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

No-Cry Nap Solutions.... Winner

The No-Cry Nap Solution is such a great book that I wish I could give copy to each of you who commented.... it's that good, really!

However, I only have one copy for one winner, and courtesy of Random Integer Generator that winner is:

Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers:9
Timestamp: 2009-01-22 03:27:44 UTC

Comment number 9 belongs to my friend and fellow baby buncher Lindsey! Her kiddos will be about a year apart once the new little gal arrives. Her oldest is not quite 9 months yet. It is of the utmost importance that big brother learn to be a great napper!

I am thrilled that Lindsey will now have the chance to read this awesome book and hopefully get some great ideas to help Luke become a champion napper before little Miss Nora is born. Congratulations Lindsey!

***Edited to add- There is something weird going on with Blogger and the time stamp. The time is now 10:50pm on my computer (and watch), but the time stamp for blogger says 7:28. I don't know what's up, but I just wanted to clarify that I did wait until 10pm to stop comments and go to for our winner! Sorry for any confusion. Anybody else noticing weird things with Blogger tonight?

Friday, January 16, 2009

No Naps, No More- No-Cry Nap Solutions Review and Giveaway

It's no secret on our family blog that the trio has not been napping well. In fact, I'd done nothing productive during the daylight hours for the past, oh two weeks, I'd say because of the fact that I was exhausted. It's not that they weren't sleeping at night, it's just the incredible energy zapping affect that their constant whining, crying, and tearing the house down like little cyclones between the hours of their supposed "rest time" and bed time was having on me.

We used to have a great schedule. The girls would all four go to bed between 7 and 8 pm and sleep until around 7:30am. Just before Christmas everyone got sick, and good sleeping was a thing of the past! Then after they recovered we still had the crazy holiday hours to contend with, and then weeks after said holidays we had still not quite gotten our groove back.

My typical MO for fixing things where the girls are concerned is to read everything I can get my hands on and then to meld all the information into a plan that I think will work for us. After simply reading Elizabeth Pantley's newest book, the no-cry nap solution, I had enough ideas and resolve to put down the books and get to work, already.

Hers is not a book full of puffed up "you have to do this or else...", but instead a gentle, real-life mother of 4, who knows from reality that what works for one kid or family may or may not work for another. I really appreciate the fact that she encourages people to choose some of the suggestions to begin working with, stick to them for a while, and then evaluate if it is working FOR YOUR FAMILY. If not, try something else. It's that simple.

In a sleep deprived parental state, it is often easy to overlook basic things that might be keeping kids from sleeping, so to have this book as a resource has been very handy. Since Ella was an infant I've been reading everything I could about children and sleep. A great deal of this info has not exactly been intuitive for me.... many of the principles I've had to see happening to believe. For example, when my girls go to be later than they should, they almost always wake up even earlier than normal. Does this make sense to me? No. Is that how it always happens here? Yes. And then there's the overtired= can't get themselves to sleep because they are too tired scenario. I would never have believed either of these had I not lived them first hand. Re-reading some of the basics about children and their sleep requirements was all the encouragement I needed to forge ahead and fix my current problem: Three two year olds in the house and not one of them was napping.

I was able to use the chapter on Nap Resisters- children who need a nap but won't take one, and discover why they girls weren't napping , make a plan with the suggestions provided, and then follow through until they are now all three napping again! Nothing short of a miracle if you ask me. I hesitate to even type it for fear of jinxing myself, but today was day 3 of a good 2 hour afternoon nap for Maggie, Kate, and Sarah.

If, like me, you are struggling with one (or three) two year olds who are prematurely trying to give up naps, or even if you just have children and want easy to read, good information about their general sleep requirements, I highly recommend Elizabeth Pantley's No Cry books. You can buy them online at amazon and Barnes and Noble.

...... and because I got so many comments and emails from commiserating moms of multiples when I began mentioning our nap woes, I asked for an extra copy of this book to give away to one of you lucky readers. Just leave me a comment on this post telling me a little bit about your successes or failures with getting your kiddos to sleep if you want to enter. I'll let choose from among the entries at around 10pm on Wednesday the 21st. Be sure to leave a valid email address in case selects you. The winner will receive an autographed copy of the No-Cry Nap Solution directly from Elizabeth Pantley.

Sweet dreams,

Friday, January 2, 2009

We Have a Winner

Wow, I win the most terrible blogger award over here... it's been 2 weeks now since I posted this contest, and I almost forgot to go to to pick the winner today!?!?

I said, almost...

The winner of the $10 Bear Bucks Gift Card is commenter number 9, Janelle.

True Random Number Service
Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers:9
Timestamp: 2009-01-03 00:22:37 UTC

Janelle, please email me at foursillysisters *at* gmail *dot* com with your mailing address so I can get your prize to you. I realize that you have email in your blogger profile, but I'm having some technical difficulties.