Building a Swingset, but not Just Any Swingset

We are busy here working on building a fantastic swingset. When I arrived off of the plane from NYC the plan was already in place. We would head to Home Depot over the weekend and get the lumber that we needed to add on to our current stand alone tower with slide.

As you can see the boys were just overjoyed about going shopping … NOT! The lumber was purchased and combined with our old lumber.

The plan was put in place but first the boys must consult each other in a private meeting to make sure us parents are doing what is needed to ensure they have a swingset.

Okay the meeting went well and they came back to inspect all of the pieces for high quality assurance.

Once the boys went through and inspected all of the pieces they gave their Dad the okay to move forward and up went the first tower.

More to come on this story of building a swingset, but not just any swingset.

 

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CLOSED VTech and @Chuggington Team Up for Kids Learning Laptop Review & Giveaway #giveaway #win

My children have fallen in love with the VTech Chuggington Laptop and I bet yours will too! This adorable learning battery operated laptop is something special for sure! My three year and my five year old just adore their VTech Chuggington Laptop so much that it has a home in my van where they share it for any daytime errand running rides or while at soccer events for their sister.

Message from the manufacturer …

Calling all chuggers. Put your wheels to the rails and chug your way through games that teach letters, numbers, words, counting and more on the Chuggington Traintastic Laptop from VTech. Children ages 3 and older will have fun with their favorite characters from Chuggington as they choose from 40 learning activities. Your child can play as one of their favorite trainees in Adventure Mode, where they’ll earn badges for proving their skills. Or if your child wishes, they can also play in Exploration Mode where they can learn about letters and numbers at their own pace. With the Chuggington Traintastic Laptop, your child can be a trainee, too. 40 learning activities that teach letters, alphabetical order, letter case, words, numbers, number order, counting, shapes, memory, matching and more. Choose from 5 modes Letters, Numbers, Logic and Games, Exploration Mode and Adventure. Exploration mode gives kids the freedom to learn as they explore the letters and numbers. Adventure Mode allows kids to play the game as one of their favorite characters. Features the favorite Chuggington characters including the trainees Wilson, Brewster and Koko.

We are a Chuggington family, the boys are just head over heels about Chuggington and this laptop has helped them learn some awesome skills. I love that the boys have a great time playing with this Chuggington laptop yet are learning while using it! This is definitely a win/win for any family with young children!

Enter to win VTech Chuggington Laptop

Entering is pretty easy, as with all of my giveaways you can simply just leave one comment and/or complete all of the optional entry options listed below.

If you won this or win this on another blog – you can’t win here and the sponsor will let me know and have me randomly choose another winner.

Giveaway will end at 11:59pm EST on October 5, 2011 at 11:59pm EST

Winners will be chosen using Random.org & Announced live on Site in addition to having an email sent to them directly.

Winners will have 72 hours to respond to my initial email or else another person will be chosen.

HOW TO ENTER: Complete any or all of the following:

  • Leave one comment on this blog post {1 entry}
  • Subscribe to Happily Blended Blog updates via email or RSS. {2 entries} Leave TWO comments.
  • Join this site with Google Friend Connect (right hand sidebar) publicly. {2 entries} Leave TWO comments stating your GFC username.
  • Subscribe to Happily Blended’s Newsletter. {2 entries} Leave TWO comments.
  • Follow @brandyellen & @Chuggington on Twitter.{ 2 entries} Leave TWO comments below telling me your Twitter username after you follow me.
  • Tweet once daily about this giveaway using the Retweet button at top of this blog post.
  • Subscribe to Happily Blended’s YouTube channel. { 2 entries} Leave TWO comments including your YouTube Username.
  • Leave a comment on a non giveaway blog post here at Happily Blended. {2 entries} Leave TWO comments telling me which blog post you commented on, one comment on one other blog post is acceptable daily.
  • Like Happily Blended and Chuggington on Facebook. { 2 entries – leave two comments with your Facebook username}.

Have fun and Good Luck!

Disclosure: I am a Chuggington Conductor and received this product for free. All opinions based on that of my own experience with the product.

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Does Financial Aid Cover Online School?

Even though online schools are becoming an increasingly popular avenue for individuals to get a quality education, there are still some basic misconceptions about these types of programs. Even though they’re becoming more widely used by people and accepted by employers, people often think that they don’t work the same as traditional brick-and-mortar universities. Many also wonder whether or not financial aid and student loans cover the cost of an Online School education.

It’s important to note that there’s very little difference in the education that you get from a traditional school and an online degree. Both institutions must go through the same accreditation process and the only difference really comes in when you look at the vehicle in which you’re receiving your education. As you would expect, online classes are taken remotely, online, through web based avenues. You can apply for funding for your education just like you would with a traditional school. It’s important to note though that not all online schools are accredited. You need to check some of the sites out there that will tell you whether or not the school is legitimate.

You can apply for financial aid the same way you normally would. If you’re filling out a FAFSA, you can either fill one out by hand and send it through the mail, or you can fill out one of these forms online and electronically submit it. You can also apply for Stafford Loans or apply for other student loan programs. These types of loans will cover various costs such as tuition fees, books, rent and housing, living costs, and transportation. One of the benefits of getting an online degree is that many of these costs aren’t necessary because you’ll be doing all of this from home or from another remote location. Even still, It’s always important to get a good idea of how much you’ll need so you don’t end up borrowing more than you’ll actually need.

Not every school, including traditional education institutions, costs the same. The amount of aid you receive or qualify for is based on how much you make and how much you need. Basically, it factors in your total cost of attendance, which includes your tuition and other fees, and then gives you a base amount that you’ll receive for your schooling. In most cases, you’re going to receive less funding with an online degree but that’s because it costs less, on average, to go to an online school.

Depending on your need and specific circumstances, you may be eligible for other costs to be paid for. You might be able to get money to cover your rent and other living expenses, depending on your level of need. However, you’re going to get far less money if you’re only attending part-time. This usually means that you have to hold about 15 credit hours in classes per semester. Usually, if you’re taking less than 12 credit hours, you won’t qualify for the full amount of funding.

If you’re not sure how much money you’re going to receive, or that you’re missing out on a possible grant or award money, you can always contact your school’s admissions and financial-aid departments. They are well versed in working with these organizations and can direct you accordingly. Remember, they work with this every day and even online schools can help you with this process. Just make sure that you have a very clear idea of what it is you’re trying to accomplish with your degree program and how much you can afford. Going back to school is never something that you should take lightly, so you should do a lot of research before you make an final decision.

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No More Pool Days? No More Tanning? Please Say It Isn’t So

Are the days of care free over? School has started and Summer is coming to an end, NH is getting cold at night to a point that heat must go on and days are getting shorter. Is it true that Winter is on it’s way and we will get a visit from Jack Frost before we know it? Please tell me this is a lie, that we will have just one more month of Summer weather, because I can’t imagine the days of eating fresh veggies directly from the garden being gone.

Is it really true that we won’t be mowing the lawn much longer?

And please don’t tell me that my pool days are already long over with…

No more sun tanning with dark tanning oil?????

Please oh please tell me that Summer isn’t almost over? Please tell me we will have some more random days of picking up orange newts outside…

I must admit, I am a New England girl by birth; born and raised. Lived in New Hampshire my whole gosh darn life, but every year when Summer is over and Fall approaches my mind instantly goes to the dreaded thought of that pretty snow that I refuse to go outside in. Well hey, one great thing about Summer being almost over? It will be Ki’s and my birthday soon!

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CLOSED My Pet Firefly Review & Giveaway #win #giveaway @GemmyUSA

My children we so excited when this box arrived and I said “ooo I know what’s in here. It’s our new pet”. Of course the kids are used to my silly antics but this time they were rather curious as to why a new pet was arriving in a cardboard box. I laughed and when I opened it up I had the blue version of this …

My kids were excited about this new “pet”, we had ourselves a new Gemmy Firefly pet. This has been a really neat toy to have around, although it’s not what I consider a toy. Glass jar with kids = no toy, but my kids have actually been really good playing with their pet firefly without a problem, yes even the three year old!

From the folks who brought BIG MOUTH BILLY BASS, FRANKIE THE FISH and BUTTERFLY COLLECTION to a waiting world, here’s the latest innovation from Gemmy that’s sure to light things up — MY PET FIREFLY — a fun-time lightning bug in a jar!

Using patented technology, this comically-styled firefly flits and flies around in realistic action whenever you tap the jar.  True to its name, MY PET FIREFLY also glows to create an eye-catching light effect that’s sure to delight kids and adults alike.

Available in Pink, Blue and Green.  Suggested retail is $14.99, and available at all Cracker Barrel (June) and Kmart (July) stores nationwide.

This really has been a great idea for kids, although I am an adult and love having it in my office.  Since I love this product so much I decided to get permission to giveaway one Gemmy Firefly to one lucky person who wins randomly by entering below!

ENTER TO WIN ONE GEMMY FIREFLY

Entering is pretty easy, as with all of my giveaways you can simply just leave one comment and/or complete all of the optional entry options listed below.

If you won this or win this on another blog – you can’t win here and the sponsor will let me know and have me randomly choose another winner.

Giveaway will end at 11:59pm EST on October 4, 2011 at 11:59pm EST

Winners will be chosen using Random.org & Announced live on Site in addition to having an email sent to them directly.

Winners will have 72 hours to respond to my initial email or else another person will be chosen.

HOW TO ENTER: Complete any or all of the following:

  • Leave one comment on this blog post {1 entry}
  • Subscribe to Happily Blended Blog updates via email or RSS. {2 entries} Leave TWO comments.
  • Join this site with Google Friend Connect (right hand sidebar) publicly. {2 entries} Leave TWO comments stating your GFC username.
  • Subscribe to Happily Blended’s Newsletter. {2 entries} Leave TWO comments.
  • Follow @brandyellen & @GemmyUSA on Twitter.{ 2 entries} Leave TWO comments below telling me your Twitter username after you follow me.
  • Tweet once daily about this giveaway using the Retweet button at top of this blog post.
  • Subscribe to Happily Blended’s YouTube channel. { 2 entries} Leave TWO comments including your YouTube Username.
  • Leave a comment on a non giveaway blog post here at Happily Blended. {2 entries} Leave TWO comments telling me which blog post you commented on, one comment on one other blog post is acceptable daily.
  • Visit Gemmy.com and have a look around. Come back here to this blog post and leave a comment of one thing that you like other than the firefly. {2 entries – leave TWO comments}
  • Like Happily Blended and Gemmy on Facebook. { 2 entries – leave two comments with your Facebook username}.

Have fun and good luck!

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