Hello 2014! What will you bring?

Happy New Year from the Spink Family. We were blessed to all be together over the holiday season.


Hence the reason it has been quiet here. Family time couple with busy season at work has not left much time. I do have a schedule set forth for this blog and my local blog, so this brings excitement for 2014. Thank you all so much for your sweet comments over the years. It has been quite the ride since I started this little space on the web in 2005.

Here is a shout-out to one sweet and faithful reader, Sharon! This picture is just for you. The girls and I preparing Christmas goodies around the table.


We were without a table for too long and we are cherishing this table so much. 2014 will bring more dinners with with the family. I am pledging to create and/or find more recipes the family will eat. We are going to stick with eating out one time a month unless we do a fast food night such as pizza. We want to make sure we are all eating healthy and saving as much money as we can this year.

Another big pledge is taking time for my best friends. Since I started working out of the house, it has been extremely hard to keep up with my precious friends. I never want to take them for granted and I already have one BFF date on the calendar for January. A manicure and dinner out is just what a mom needs to start the New Year. Also, this month I start my pre-op appointments (more on that coming soon) in Raleigh so I am looking forward to getting together with my bestie in Raleigh. It has been way too long. My bestie in Texas who is always there day after day to brighten my day, I want to make sure we get in our skype sessions in with our families. Are you planning to take time with your best friends this year? I highly recommend it. It is good for the soul.

Game nights with the family is another big pledge for 2014. The girls received several new games for Christmas and we always just have so many wonderful laughs. It is good for the entire family to just take time and concentrate on the family. I want to make sure this is a weekly night for us. It will be fun to see how we mix up these nights as well.

Bible time is my biggest pledge for 2014. God has blessed us so much and I was so tied up in my new job that my bible reading was placed on the back burner. Don’t get me wrong, I still read my bible but it was not a fixed time everyday. This year, I am planning on making it a fixed time every single day. I yearn to grow more in my Christian life and understand his word even more.

Those are my pledges for 2014. It’s going to be a fantastic year and a year that I am very much looking forward too!

Simple Christmas Goodie Bags and Ornaments – WIN! #Crayola

Oh the weather outside is frightful, But the fire is so delightful, And since we’ve no place to go, Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!……

It was a cold and blustery day, so we enjoyed some great Christmas crafting. This is always a special time with the girls and I. Obviously with work being so busy right now, I want to spend every moment I can with my girls. Time is not slowing down anytime soon.

Crayola ask to partner with the girls and I to come up with some fun Christmas crafts.


The Christmas goodie bags will be passed out to my family members on Christmas morning. I plan to put in treats that they will enjoy. M and I took the Crayola Slick Sticks and made Christmas trees on the brown bags and then took the Crayola Glitter Glue to make yellow stars. So easy but yet so cute!



The slick sticks from Crayola are awesome at doing crafts such as these. It glides on so smooth as your are drawing.

Next we wanted to decorate our tree with some more ornaments. Half of our ornaments are packed up in storage so the tree was looking a bit bare. This is not the case anymore. I found Christmas scrapbook paper at the WalMart for only $5 for 50 sheets. SCORE. Then I grabbed Scotch self-laminating sheets for $5.88 and laminated the scrapbook paper. You do not need a machine to use these laminating sheets.

Once the sheets were laminated, I cut-out circles and made candy canes. The girls made their own designs on the ornaments with the glitter glue.


Once the ornaments were dried, I punched a hole in the top of each ornament and put a piece of ribbon through the hole. The ornaments turned out so cute and are hanging with care on our Christmas tree.



The ornaments will hang with care for many years to come. How would you like to do Holiday crafts with your children?


Crayola Holiday Crafting Essentials Gift Pack including:

§  Crayola Washable Markers

§  Crayola Colored Pencils

§  Crayola Glitter Glue

§  Crayola Model Magic

§  Crayola Slick Sticks

- A few crafty ideas from Crayola to serve as Pinspiration for your original creations

- $25 gift card to purchase additional Crayola items for your project

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Disclosure: I was provided a Crayola gift pack. All thoughts and opinions are of my own.

Did you know Santa can send your child a video?

Disclosure: I received complementary Portable North Pole products in exchange for this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Christmas is just around the corner. Obviously, my main thing during Christmas season is ensuring the girls know the real reason of the Season – Jesus!

We also still “believe” though and enjoy Santa showing up Christmas Eve when everyone is all snuggled and sleeping in their beds. Santa can send your child a video all the way from the North Pole. You can get a FREE personalized video message from Santa Claus filled with magic and exciting discoveries for your loved ones.


My girls love receiving a video from Santa each year. They wait eagerly to see what Santa has to tell them each Christmas season. He always makes sure to include their awesome accomplishments of the year such as no fighting with each other!

You can also have Santa call your family one evening while you all are just hanging out around your house. Do you have one evening the kids are acting strangely? No worries, have Santa give them a call and remind them he is on his way. They better be good! Portable North Pole’s Santa’s Phone Call is $3.99 for one call or $6.99 for three calls. Santa has a very important message for your loved one! He will pick up the phone and call directly to deliver his personalized message. Santa’s call will last approximately two minutes and you can choose between 14 message options.

Would you like a longer video from Santa? Portable North Pole has a premium selection. Premium videos includes almost 6 minutes of personalized video message from Santa Claus, features 3 additional photos and more personal details, a clip of Santa’s riding on his sleigh and even a personalized Christmas carol!

So many great options for you to spread some Christmas magic with your family this wonderful season. What are you waiting for? There is plenty of Christmas cheer to be heard!

Visit the Portable North Pole today and enjoy all the creative communications with Santa.

PNP donates 5% of all online sales to a Children’s Hospital close to the buyer’s location. PNP currently collaborates with over 40 regional Children’s Hospitals in the U.S.

You are Invited: Christmas at the Billy Graham Library

From now until December 23, 2013,  you and your family can enjoy a wonderful Christmas tradition.

Beginning at 5:00 pm each day, you will see the beautiful Billy Graham Library all decorated for Christmas. Your family can enjoy the live nativity scene that offers a glimpse into the first Christmas. The children adore the live animals and it is an opportunity to share how life was at the inn. You can arrive early between noon and 2:00pm to pet the animals.

Enjoy horse-drawn carriage rides ($7 for adults, $3 for children 12 and under) through beautiful light displays. (Begins at 5 p.m.) Listen to heartwarming sounds of joyful carolers and festive Christmas music and a delightful story time with the kids.

Christmas shopping at Ruth’s Attic with unique and meaningful gifts including exclusive Library ornaments. Holiday goodies, including Mother Graham’s pound cake, cinnamon rolls, pumpkin rolls hot apple cider and more on sale in the Dairy Bar.

Did you know that the Christmas at the Library was named one of the Top 100 Events in the U.S. by the American Bus Association (ABA) and a Top 20 event by the Southeast Tourism Society? It really is a complete Christmas joy and a must-visit during the Christmas season.

Parking is $10 per car after 3:00 pm. That is a small price to pay for a wonderful family Christmas-filled evening. For more information and directions, visit their website.

Christmas Traditions Includes Hickory Farms – You?

November and December and my favorite months. I absolutely love the holiday season and wish that these months could be spread out for a longer time period. The hustle and bustle of the season just warms my heart.

Some of my favorite Christmas traditions are the Christmas movies paired with hot chocolate with the girls. Cuddling up with the girls and watching movies such as Polar Express are priceless times. I hope the girls will remember this tradition when they grow up and are adults. Our red cups from Starbucks as a family is another sweet tradition. We treat Starbucks as a very special date. We do not go often but when we do, there is something magical and especially at Christmas time.


Packing shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child is another special tradition. The girls absolutely love doing this since they know it will go to a special child that would otherwise receive nothing at all. It is also an opportunity to help spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ!


All of these are traditions that I have created with my girls since becoming a mom. One tradition that I am passing down to my girls is delicious treats from Hickory Farms.

Hickory Farms Party Planner

For more than 60 years Hickory Farms gifts have been a classic holiday tradition that brings family and friends together. I remember as a young child my Grandma would have Hickory Farms on her  Christmas table, then my mom would have the same on her table and now I am passing the tradition on down to my girls as well. When the above party platter was delivered, my girls’ eyes both lit up and we were very happy to partake in the tradition early.

As with my recollection, many Americans have a distinct memory of Hickory Farms at their holiday gatherings; Hickory Farms is very proud to be a part of those nostalgic moments and continues to focus on and celebrate its long heritage of tradition and authentic holiday memories.

Hickory Farms not only embraces passing down traditions through generations of families, but also creating new traditions and sharing them with loved ones.

You are able to purchase Hickory Farms both online and in stores. You are able to grab your favorite Hickory Farm treats this year in 700+ Holiday Market stores and kiosks across North America, as well as in select retailers.


One lucky reader is going to win the above party platter so you can create memories with your family.

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Disclaimer: Compensation and products for review were provided by Hickory Farms via MomTrends. I received a free sample of the product for the purpose of this review and to facilitate a giveaway. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions of Hickory Farms.

The Love Connection (Pampers Giveaway)

As we all know, we have a special love connection with our children. This time last year, our family was leaping into new territory. My stepdaughter welcomed Baby J into the family. Would I be able to love him as much as I do my own girls? There was an immediate love connection when we met Baby J in the hospital.


My husband and our girls had this immediate undying love for our sweet Baby J. God’s sweet miracle was introduced into our lives and we definitely were swept off our feet. This grandparent gig is one of the sweetest gig’s that I have been blessed to take part of. As soon as his eyes catches our eyes, he immediately starts smiling and kicking his feet. He may not be able to carry on conversations with us, but the smiles and kicks are all the communication that we need to know. There is a deep love between us all.


A baby’s love is so sweet and I know I want to cherish every minute and create as many memories as we can create. Time truly goes by too fast as M and L are 9 and 10.

Even though my stepdaughter has the most fashionable cloth diapers on the market, there are times that we need to let Baby J wear non-cloth diapers. BabyCenter welcomed me to partner with them on their latest campaign with Pampers Swaddlers. I was thrilled to join in the campaign.


First off, Pampers have changed so much since the girls were babies. See the yellow strip going down the back of the diaper? That is the neatest little strip. The strip is called a color-changing wetness indicator. Smart move Pampers.

The Swaddlers are very soft and contour to fit the baby well since babies are always on the go with either crawling, scooting or even walking. Again, another smart move with the softness factor.

Did you know Pampers are #1 worldwide diaper brand serving 25 million babies in more than 100 countries around the world? Pampers is committed to make your baby happy and loves to hear from families all over to hear their feedback. Due to the feedback, Pampers made their Swaddlers diapers available up to size 5.

Each diaper includes an absorb away liner. Check out this short clip to see the new and improved Swaddlers diaper.


3 WINNERS will receive one month’s supply of diapers and wipes (in the form of coupons).

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Disclaimer: This post is part of a sponsorship on BabyCenter. I received a free sample of the product for the purpose of this review.

Pack a shoebox with Si Robertson

Christmas is just around the corner.


My mom and dad have always taught me that it is better to give than to receive. I didn’t fully understand this phrase until I became an adult. Since beginning my job at Samaritan’s Purse, I didn’t realize the impact that a simple shoebox made to kids in third world countries.

This past shoebox season, we reached 100 million shoeboxes. Here is a video that gives you a look into how a shoebox impacts a child.

Let’s take a moment with the VeggieTales and see how to pack a shoebox. Grab your kids and let them enjoy this short video too!

Bless a needy child by participating in this exciting project! Your child is able to possibly interact with the child that receives their shoebox by filling out this coloring sheet and putting it inside the shoebox. National collection week is November 18-25th. You have time to pack your shoebox and drop it off at your nearest drop-off location. Just put in your zip code here and it will tell you the nearest locations.

I will leave you with one more video and if you are a fan of Si Robertson from Duck Commander, you will love this one. Happy packing!

The Holidays are HERE!

We are finally back online and thriving. We moved and my laptop crashed. Thank goodness we had the desktop still in storage. Cleaned up the dust and we are back in the technology world. I know I will miss my laptop though. Anyone bought a new laptop lately?  Reviews?

The Holiday season is officially upon us! I am so excited. I made my first holiday goodies tonight for work tomorrow and had my first red cup latte from Starbucks.


Are you excited about the Holidays?

We had a great Halloween night. A fall festival at church and then a few door-to-door trick or treating in the neighborhood. Baby Jackson enjoyed his first Halloween so much. He would get so excited as we would go up to each door. His bucket would be out before we even reached the door. He would jump up and down. So smart and so cute.


Looking forward to sharing with you all and catching up with you all.

My Baby is 9 years old!

I cannot believe that I just wrote that title. Let me pause for a moment. I need to grab a tissue.

How can my baby be 9 years old? I have been requesting for time to slow down for years, but for some reason the time just continues to speed to a faster rate.


Look at that sweet face. Oh I miss the baby stage so much. She just warms my heart and soul so much. The one bright spot is L is still very much attached to her mommy. I need to be in her presence, especially at night. She still loves to play with my hair. My hair has been a lovey ever since she was a baby. She use to play with my hair while she was nursing and then moved on to playing with my hair while she was trying to fall asleep.

mommy and L

She is such a blessing. This past year has had lots of ups and downs. The downs include her multiple hospital stays and so many worries about her health. It is my prayer that she will have a better year this year. We give God the glory for bringing her through all she has been through. One of the awesome ups is L asking Jesus into her heart. This was on July 28 and that evening will forever be etched in my brain. She came to me all on her own to say she was ready to ask Jesus into her heart. I immediately stopped what I was doing and went upstairs to be with her and pray. We asked Daddy to join us so she could tell the great news to him. We are such a proud mom and dad of our L.

L is thriving so much in school as well. She did miss over 30 days of school last year and we thought this may hurt her academic wise. It is quite the opposite. Her teacher tells me that she is very involved in class and always wants to help others. L has such a giving spirit about her. There are days that she will wake up and just want to do something to help others. Beautiful spirit indeed. I, as an adult, am learning so much from her personality. Always giving forward to others.

L has a mild addiction, or should I say major addiction to mine craft. The online architecture building game. Anyone else’s child addicted to this game? We have to put time constraints on her technology time as he would sit and build all day long. Offline, she is in love with LEGO friends. It is amazing what she can build with each package she receives. I can’t wait to have an open desk for her so she can show off her artistic building capabilities. L is very artsy and loves to draw. My plan is to have a whole shelf dedicated to all of her art supplies. Art supplies were first on her list when she was asking for birthday gifts. She is going to be one amazing girl when she grows up as an adult. I know God has great plans for her. I can wait for a long while for that though as I just want to keep her as my sweet precious little girl.

L loves to sing as well. I am still trying to get a video of her beautiful voice. As we are driving to school each morning, she will sing at the top of her lungs to our Matthew West CD. The tune she carries is amazingly beautiful too. I just know God is going to use these wonderful talents for good will.

Pet lover is still a great name for L. She is on a huge kick about wanting a bunny. We are trying to steer clear of this request. Animals just bring out so much happiness for her and still will tell you her favorite amusement park is SeaWorld because of all the animals. Be still my heart.

Mommy, cannot believe you are 9 L. I could not be more proud of you though and I want you to keep being YOU. Reach for the stars and look to the Good Lord for guidance in your life. Mommy and Daddy will always be behind you as your biggest cheerleader.

Happy Birthday L!!

VTech® InnoTab 3 Learning App Tablet Review and WIN!

Let’s face it, technology is only going to get stronger as the days go by. We can either embrace it or turn away from it. My view is to embrace it but set limits. This is what I love with the VTech InnoTab 3. You are able to set limits for your child. We were so excited to receive this tablet to review.


I asked my girls what they loved best about this tablet. M responded with:

She likes having separate accounts. Her sister can have her favorite games, pictures and music while M has her favorite files. M really liked the option of making your own greetings. She was able to personalize it to her own style.

L responded with:

She loves you can take pictures with the 180 degree rotating camera. Also, she is able to read e-books.

•The InnoTab® 3 combines educational games, creative activities and reading skills in a child-friendly, multi-function, touch screen tablet to make learning fun.

•Compact and lightweight design with 4.3” color touch screen, new directional pad and tilt sensor

•2.0 megapixel, 180° rotating camera with more than 55 photo features and special effects

•Your child can even embark on fun, educational adventures with their favorite characters such as Doc McStuffins®, Sofia the First® and Jake & the Never Land Pirates.

The size is another great feature it is great for our grandson (almost 1) to hold in his hands. Also, the outer shell is great for the unexpected drop accidents.

The tablet comes with 16 different apps and then you are able to more downloads from the Learning Lodge. Also, since we are huge music lovers, we were able to import our music onto the tablet and L plays the music at night as she is going to sleep. The tablet helps with all subjects which is a plus for parents. Kids are playing but learning as well.

Two stylus’ are included with the tablet. This allows you full function with the apps.

You don’t have to worry about running through lots of batteries as you have a choice of AC adapter or rechargeable battery pack.

Even though lots of learning is involved with the tablet, the apps allow for your child to be creative. The WonderCam includes over 55 photo effects. The girls spent an hour over the weekend being creative with pictures. You are able to download the pictures via a USB cable, so you don’t have to worry about losing their beautiful artwork.

Overall, I was impressed with all this tablet can do and for the price. It’s available for $69.99 on the VTech website. A price point that will not break the bank and comes packed with so many features. This would be a great birthday or Christmas gift!

You could WIN one now!

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Disclosure: VTech gave us an Innotab 3 in order to facilitate this review. All thoughts and opinions are of my own.

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