Archive for the ‘Giveaway’ Category

Giveaway Winner, On Being Sick, and Fiction Friday   Leave a comment

#1 – We have a giveaway winner! I’ve already sent an email to the winner.


#2 – We had two things happen this week. A) We officially started Kindergarten (which means I had a cute little Teach Me Tuesday planned). B) Everyone in the house got sick. The kids didn’t seem much affected. Runny noses and crankiness and that’s about it. But my husband and I both have the same thing happen when we’re just getting started being sick. We get super tired. Ridiculously tired. How the heck are my eyes open right now tired. Which means that neither of us was really able to handle the kids alone for a full day. And that meant that neither one of us could really get the sleep our bodies were asking for and thus we are both much harder hit by the sickness. Basically, I didn’t get much done this week (though we did get Kindergarten accomplished, for the most part).


#3 – While looking up a first line that I loved greatly in order to enter it for a first line contest, I rediscovered my failed 2006 NaNovel. Now, this novel was only a failure in that I didn’t make it to 50,000 words. I have very little clue now as to why that was, since I had no kids and no job, so I could have written the whole darn 50k in the first week if I’d really applied myself. But I was spoiled, thus lazy, and I was lured away by the distraction of online roleplaying (I’ve learned to budget my roleplaying time much better these days). However, in rediscovering, I have a new desire to finish it. It won’t be 50,000 when it’s done, most likely. One of my demotivating factors was that the plot was progressing far too fast to reach such a large (ha!) number. But I’ll finish it. And when I do, I’m thinking I’ll figure out how to put it up on Facebook as a freebie for my Likers. At this point, I have no idea how to do that, but I know it’s do-able, and I’ve learned most things in my life on an as-needed basis. So I’m not worried about that part. First comes the finishing. But, for those who weren’t around in 2006, some stuff to entice you.

I can’t find the sweet little animated graphic that I used as a signature on the NaNoWriMo site back then. But the text was “5 Days, 4 Marks, 3 Million Dollars, 2 Assassins, 1 Love.” It was apparently cool enough that the ML was excited to meet me when I finally made it to the group gatherings the next year. I wish I knew where to find it (I’m sure it’s on the internet somewhere). However, I do still have pictures of my two main characters.

India is a freelance assassin with the ability to erase herself from the memory of those around her. She can also erase all physical traces of herself from a crime scene, and wipe out any trace of herself in technology (like security tapes). The government knows her as Forget Me Not, though, really, they can’t even prove she exists.

Arthur is a government science project. With enhanced strength and speed, he can pretty much take on a train and come out on top. Which makes him quite the force to be reckoned with. The government has dubbed him Slice, on account of his love of using knives.

And, for those who haven’t read any portion of it before, a teaser.

WARNING: While I generally do my best not to swear in my normal life, many of my characters do not have that same attitude. Keep in mind, this is a novel about people who kill for a living. I’m pretty sure they don’t do any major swearing, but it’s in there. And since it’s in this short sample, I figured I should warn everyone.



It really puts a damper on a relationship when your boyfriend starts trying to kill people in the living room. Especially when he does it all wrong.

“Shit! India, I shot him! Shit!”

India rolled her eyes.

“Michael, you missed all his vital organs, where exactly were you aiming?” She tossed her clothes into a duffelbag. She knew everything would fit. It had all fit several times before.

“I wasn’t aiming. I panicked.” Michael paced the room, grabbing his hair in frustration. “What am I going to do, India?” She turned to him and smiled.

“You’re going to forget me.” Her face began to glow and she laughed at the look of pure fright on his face.

“What the hell is going on? Why is your face glowing like that? India?” His voice neared panic until her mind gripped his. She searched it quickly, finding it just as malleable as it had always been. She surveyed the situation and swore.

“Michael, I’m afraid I have to kill you now.” Mechanically, she directed him into the living room to retrieve his gun. It was nice. She wished she could keep it. But it was tainted now. She continued to pack as Michael turned the gun on himself. She didn’t even flinch as the sound resounded through the small apartment. She finished her packing and headed for the door, giving the place a good mental wipedown. She had never existed here.


We Choose Virtues: Review and Giveaway   Leave a comment

For the last year (at least), I have read every review I came across for We Choose Virtues. I entered every giveaway. I tried hard to find a little extra in the budget so I could buy some of their stuff. And I would spend hours on their website, reading product descriptions to try to figure out which item I should buy first. So, as you can imagine, I was over the moon when I was given the chance to receive some of the products to review.

They sent me the Virtues poster andVirtues flashcards. Then I went ahead and got the Virtues teaching cards. I’d already snagged the coloring book when it was offered free, and I made sure to get theiron-on t-shirt transfer files while those were free as well. Armed with these items, I began incorporating We Choose Virtues into our day with my daughter, and into my Sunday School class at church.

Elisebeth is only 4, so there were a few activities with the flashcards that we just couldn’t do, since she can’t read. The same went for the poster. It wasn’t a good reference material for her because she couldn’t read it. However, she quickly learned the stories that went with the virtues and we had a lot of good discussions. We talked about not just the scriptures listed on the teaching cards, but I also have a Child Training Bible and we were able to use that to quickly look up other scriptures on the same topic. While we still have issues with certain areas, she’s learning the vocabulary of virtues. And that’s the first step to learning how to live them out.

Things were a little different in my Sunday School class. I teach 3rd and 4th graders. We have an interesting situation though. My class consists of 3 children. One of them has divorced parents, so at most, he’s there every other week. One is adopted and doesn’t always get a ride to church because of the living situation there. And the third one just doesn’t always make it for Sunday School. So, in order to make sure that they all got to participate as much as possible, I decided to discuss each virtue for two weeks. The first week, we talked about the virtue, read the story, and colored that page out of the coloring book. Then the second week, we’d do an activity from the teaching card, discuss it a little more, and then play a flash card game.

It took a while for the kids to realize that the Virtues poster had all of the virtues on there with the catchphrases. When we played games, they didn’t realize they could use it as a reference until we’d done it a couple times. So the poster was an item I probably wouldn’t have bought (remember, my daughter is only 4), but was happy to have once the kids figured out how much information was really on there. The flashcards were awesome. Because we’re only doing one Virtue every two weeks, it means we’re getting through them very slowly. But I wanted a way to start to get the kids familiar with the virtues we hadn’t covered yet, too. The flashcards are perfect at this. First, we played a game where the cards were all laid out with the Virtue side up. I read catchphrases and they figured out which virtue went with it. The next time, we flipped them the other way and did it opposite. By the second game (even though only one of the kids was the same), they were guessing a lot less and actually figuring them out (not to mention using the poster to help them). A few more weeks of that and I think they’ll at least have an inkling of what all the virtues are, even if we haven’t gotten to them yet.

Other things that I found/made: Somewhere on Pinterest or Facebook I found someone with instructions for making your own scratch-off cards. I made a few different versions of a card that contained butterflies, magnifying glasses, and caterpillars (these are icons that We Choose Virtues uses) and turned them into scratch-offs. Whenever I “catch” the kids practicing the virtues we’ve studied, they get to scratch off a square and when they reveal 10 butterflies, I’ll make them a Virtue kid t-shirt using the iron-on pictures. Even the kid who is normally very apathetic about everything seemed interested in getting a t-shirt.


We Choose Virtues is letting me give away a Kids Virtues Poster. As I said above, I probably wouldn’t have bought one of these, because my daughter can’t read. But I am so glad they sent me one. So if you think you won’t use it, think again. Now that my kids have figured out how to use it, I’m coming up with new games that I could play with it to make it even more useful. Just follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter widget below (which, by the way, how handy is Rafflecopter?!)

If you can’t wait to win one, or you want to get some of the other items, there are a few promo codes you can use right now (only one promo code per order).

START25 gives you 25% off kits valued at $99.00 and up. This is designed to be used by teachers who are bringing We Choose Virtues into their classrooms.

SHIPFREE for free shipping

VIRTUE15 for 15% off your cart

FLASH35 for 35% off a set of Virtue Flash Cards (I love these things so I totally recommend you use this one while it lasts).


Disclosure: I received items for free in exhange for my honest review. All of the opinions are my real opinions and were not affected by the free product. Also, I do have an affiliate account with We Choose Virtues, however, I’m not sure if the links within my post will trigger it. In order for me to make money off of orders made through this post, you would need to use the ad in my sidebar. I appreciate anyone who does that, but I’m not reviewing this item in an attempt to make money, so feel free to use the other links or to go directly to their page without using any of my links.

Posted July 6, 2012 by Maidenfine in Church, Giveaway, God, Homeschooling

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Giveaway Winner and Facebook   Leave a comment

Thank you to everyone that entered my first giveaway.  I think it went pretty well. And the winner of the Frito-Lay Variety Pack is Emily. I already sent you an email to get the details worked out. I hope you enjoy the chips, and I hope to host another giveaway soon.

I also set up a Facebook page for the blog. I’d really love it if everyone who likes my blog would Like it there. Even with the site stats that I can look at with WordPress, I don’t know if it’s the same three people visiting, or new ones (obviously, at least 7 different people read it when I had the giveaway). I think having the Facebook page could be a real encouragement for me. I added a box to my sidebar to make it easy, even.


Posted August 25, 2011 by Maidenfine in Giveaway, Randomness

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Tastes From Home (Giveaway)   7 comments

When I was in middle school and high school, my chore around the house was cooking dinner. Most nights, that meant something out of a box, but every once in a while, I got creative. Particularly when we got closer to grocery day. The less food there was in the house, the more creative I had to get in order to put a meal on the table. On one occasion, I tossed some chili, corn, and noodles together to create what I have ever since called MaCornoChili. Terrible name, I know, but I was only 14 or so. These days, I don’t buy canned chili unless it’s for chili dogs. So I present to you an updated version that includes my recipe for chili.


  • 1 Can Diced Tomatoes & Chilis (the can in my cupboard right now just says “Chili ready tomatoes”)
  • 1 Can Beans (I’ve used black, red, and “Chili Starter” beans, so get what you like)
  • 3 Slices Jalapeno
  • 1 Lb Ground Beef
  • 1 Tblsp Chili Powder
  • 1 16 oz Bag Macaroni Noodles
  • 1 Can Corn, Drained
  • 1/2 Cup Water


Brown ground beef with jalapeno slices; Drain. Combine all ingredients in crockpot and cook on low heat for at least 4 hours.

It’s a simple recipe, but whenever I make it, I feel like a real cook, because I come out at the end with this meal that tastes delicious and didn’t come from a box. It makes me think about how resilient I am and how I learned growing up that there’s nothing life can throw at you that you can’t handle. Or, as my mom always puts it, “God doesn’t give you anything you can’t handle.”

And now for the part of my post that I’m most excited about. My first giveaway ever! I want to say, as my first giveaway, I may not do it like other people do. But it’s my first, and I don’t have a super huge following, so I’m expecting to have a relatively small pool to pick from. If my d20 can’t handle the job of selecting a random person, well, I’ll figure out how other people do it. There’s always my d% to fall back on and I can’t imagine my first giveaway attracting more than 100 people.

On to the giveaway. Frito-Lay is hosting a contest for bloggers called Tastes From Home. This blog post and recipe is my entry into it. For participating, I will receive a surprise package and could potentially win some nice prizes. In order to get more attention for the contest, Frito-Lay is providing me with a Variety Pack of Lay’s Regional Flavors chips to give away. What are Lay’s Regional Flavors you ask?

These chips were inspired by popular American regional cuisine and include:

    • Northeastern U.S. – Lay’s Honey Mustard
    • Midwestern U.S. – Lay’s Creamy Garden Ranch
    • Northwestern U.S. – Lay’s Balsamic Sweet Onion
    • Southwestern U.S. – Lay’s Chipotle Ranch
    • Southeastern U.S. – Lay’s Cajun Herb & Spice

All of the Lay’s Regional Flavored potato chips are made with all natural ingredients and cooked in healthier oils, like corn and sunflower oils, which contain 80% or more of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat – the “good fats.” They also contain 0 grams of trans fats per serving!

There’s also less sodium in them than you might think – a 1-oz serving of Lay’s Regional Flavored potato chips contains less salt than a plain bagel!

They all look pretty delicious to me. I can’t wait to try the Creamy Garden Ranch, since I love pretty much all things Ranch. The Chipotle Ranch sounds pretty good too. And just because my brother-in-law has lived in the Northwest for the last few years, I’m probably going to try the Balsamic Sweet Onion.

For an entry in the giveaway, leave a comment stating which flavor you’d most like to try. Leave your entry by 11:59 pm CST on August 23, 2011. I’ll pick a winner on the 24th.