Saturday, August 29, 2009

I like Google

I remember back a few years when I balked at using Google's search engine. I always used Yahoo! and I thought it worked just fine. Then slowly, I started to be turned. Jonathan started using some of Google's services and really liked them. Then one fateful day my Yahoo mail account started dropping emails. And they switched interfaces, and I didn't really care for the change. So I made the switch to Google mail, and I haven't looked back. I really enjoy Google mail, and I have started using some of their other services.

Google Reader: Once again, I was a little wary of this at first, but I've really come to enjoy it. Basically you enter all the Blogs that you read and when they are updated you can read the updates all on Reader, instead of going to each of the blogs separately. The downside, of course, is that you don't get to see the layout of each blog - but if you click on the name of the blog, it will open in a new tab. In the picture below I have it showing all items, but usually I just have it show new items. I just didn't have any new ones when I took the screen shot.

Google Documents: Another great product. Here you can save documents, spreadsheets, or presentations. You can share these documents with anyone else with a google account, and give them set permissions within each file. Jonathan and I use a shared spreadsheets for various different things. I keep my Christmas Card list with addresses on there. We have a spreadsheet with a list of all the places we would like to visit. I have a spreadsheet of what articles of clothing I have for Ohlen for the next couple sizes so I know what I still need to get for him. The nice thing is that I can view those documents from any computer I sign on to.

Google Calendar: This is one that I really like, but don't use as much as I should. It's very easy to input activities onto the calendar. You can enter detailed information about where the event is taking place and how long it will last. There is also a gadget in Google mail that inserts a box on the right hand side that will show the next several upcoming events. This makes the calendar even better, as I don't always go to Google calendar everyday, but I do check my mail every day, so I always see what is coming up on our schedule. I have a feeling this will be really nice once we start having the kids involved in more activities.

You should be able to find all these products, and more at There are many more products, but these are the ones I use the most.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Blog Hop - Funny Videos

These are old news, but two of my favorite You Tube gems. Both induce giggles. (In me anyways.) Enjoy.

MckLinky Blog Hop

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Look a Likes

One of the fun things for me as a parent is to compare my own baby pictures with my kids. And then to watch as they grow and change. Ohlen looked alot like me and my dad before he turned a year. Now that is is almost 3 he looks much more like his daddy than me. And Noah is starting out the same. He especially has my hair. After it is nice and clean and dry it will curl up on the sides, and on the top, much like mine used to. Here's some fun pics to compare. :)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Blog Hop - Favorite Recipe

So this week's Hop is another Recipe hop.

My current favorite recipe isn't for something to be eaten. It's all about playtime. It seems that every time my son plays with Play-Doh there is always less and less of it. So I found this recipe online somewhere (Wish I could remember where to give credit to someone, but I really have no idea). He loves playing with it!

Homemade Play-doh

2 c flour
2 c warm water
1 c salt
2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
1 Tbsp Cream of Tartar
Food coloring

Mix all, except food coloring, and stir over low heat. Dough will begin to thicken. Cook until dough pulls away from sides and isn't sticky. ** Make sure that the whole ball of dough is cooked, otherwise the play-doh does turn out a little sticky**
Turn dough onto clean counter and kneed vigorously until smooth. Divide for coloring **I usually make three different balls** Make a hole in the center of each ball and add food coloring. Experiment with different dye mixes to get some fun colors. :) Work dough until the dye is worked through the whole ball of dough. ** If you are me... this can get really messy...**

MckLinky Blog Hop

Friday, August 14, 2009

My Growing Boys

My boys are getting so big, time is just slipping by. I recently took milestone pictures of them both. I have yet to take either of them to a professional photographer, so I figure, why start now. :)

Ohlen Paul

Almost 3 years old

Right around 30lbs and 3ft. (wow quite the time for threes)

Loves: Playing with the neighbor kids, riding Uncle Royce's tractor, Daddy's motorcycle, playing with Play-Doh (brand new love that will be awesome for this winter.), applesauce, being read to, asking Why?, asking any other questions, his little brother Noah, his Grandparents, his aunts and uncles, going to church, riding his "big red bike", taking baths, hot dogs, and Chocolate.

Hates: Coming in from playing with the neighbors, getting splashed with water, not being able to "openin the band aid", and being woke up before he's ready.

Noah Reuben

A little over 3 months old

Right around 12.5 lbs and 23 inches

Loves: Playing with Daddy, being tickled by Mommy, smiling at Ohlen, his nippy, sleeping at night, and colorful links.

Hates: Wet diapers and being offered a bottle when he isn't hungry enough. :)

And an extra picture of them both. :)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Recently I discovered a site called It is a site where you can buy household products, like cleaning supplies, cosmetics, hair care, baby items (diapers, food, etc.), pet supplies, stamps, and more. Best part is that shipping is always free.

So for the good points of the site. Before I used the site I did a recon mission to Walmart to get a good price comparison. I found that in most things they were pretty close in price. was actually cheaper on most Gerber baby items, name brand cleaners, and some name brand hair care supplies. They also sell stamps with no mark up price which just saved me a trip to the post office.

The package got here in about 2-3 days - very quick I thought. Everything was packaged nicely. They put a strip sticker over the lids of all the liquid type containers and put them in a plastic baggy together. They send along a packing list that also includes the price you spent on each item.

Coupons: Usually I will clip some coupons, but I usually forget to use them - or there just aren't any for what I usually buy. Plus we don't get a Sunday paper where most of the really good coupons are. gets coupons from the companies and automatically applies it to your purchase. I love that part! I got some Aussie shampoo for a little over $2 because there was a $1 off coupon for it. And there were lots of products that had coupons.

The site is also very easy to use. I didn't have any problems navigating, ordering, or paying.

The downside. If you usually go with store brand purchases, those will still be much cheaper. For example, I use store brand formula, which is about half the price of the name brands - this still holds for the site. Now if you are buying Similac anyways, then it would be a great place to buy because I'm pretty sure the price between site and store are just about the same. There are some items that are more expensive on the site - you have to do some research to figure out your best deals. I guess you also have to figure in the cost to drive to the store, and how much the convenience of shopping from home is worth.

Also, you have to order 6 items (except for your first order) at a time. This might be a downside if you really only need one or two items, and you need them pretty soon.

Some other features of the site. There are some other features that I really haven't used much. There is a tab that will show you how much of your money has been spent on a certain category of items, eg. baby items vs pet items. The site will also remind you to purchase items on a regular basis. You set up the time frame when you order the item. Most of my items defaulted to 4 months, except for the diapers which wanted to be set at 2 weeks, I think. You have complete control over how long before you are reminded.

So to summarize. I really love this site. If you usually shop for name brand items, this site could really be a time saver for you, and maybe even a money saver. I love that they apply savings directly, without any effort from you.

Oh and in case you were curious, my first order included: Pledge, Windex, 2 packs Luvs Diapers, Aussie shampoo and conditioner, Suave kids shampoo, mousse, 3 rolls Paper Towels, Stamps, Gerbers Rice Cereal, Ritz crackers, Comet, index cards, envelopes, Always pads, and Arm and Hammer Toothpaste. My total (before tax) came to $59, with $6.65 coupon savings. I figure that's pretty good, especially considering that the stamps and diapers make up almost half the cost. ($25)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Blog Hop - Wiener of Density

Today's Blog Hop mission is to post some favorite pictures. I decided to go with 2 more my favorite pictures that involve a story about Kaiser, our wiener dog. He's been called the Wiener of Density. :)

When we were in our first house Kaiser was just a puppy. We also had a black lab, Amy, who was an inside/outside dog. One day she was inadvertently left inside while I was at work. And this is what I came home to....

There was a dog bed that was destroyed. There were at least 2 spots of pee. 2 or 3 gaming controllers were chewed up. A skein of yarn was tore apart. I think there is more... but all I know is, Kaiser was trying his hardest not to look guilty...

MckLinky Blog Hop

Thursday, August 6, 2009


Last weekend we spent every day at Jonathan's grandma/uncle's place for a family camp out. Ohlen slept with his grandpa in a camper all weekend, while Jonathan, Noah, and I came home. We had a great time and were completely exhausted at the end of the weekend. I think we were all still recovering on Monday.

Jonathan made the comment that he wished all families could have the kind of weekend we did, and I couldn't agree more. While we aren't all super close, or hang out all the time - I think we all had a great time. There were lots of laughs, and lots of good conversation. It was so much fun to see the members of the newest Troyer generation playing together.

I overheard a cousin saying their dream is to have family - like Grandma does. I have really been thinking about that lately. It's no secret to most people I talk to that the newborn stage is not our most favorite stage that our kids go through. So there are times, especially now, that I wonder why we want to add more. Then I remember. It's all about having a big family. To grow old with my husband watching our children grow into adults and start having families of their own. To hold our grandkids. To host large get togethers where we can watch them all interact and laugh together. It's what I've always wanted.

Not that we are just trudging through these younger years. Most of the time I love it. And sometimes there are bad days, and sometimes I'm afraid I am scaring our friends currently without kids. :) But the good times heavily out weigh the bad times. Those little gummy smiles and coos can cure just about any form of the bluhs. And the things that can come out of an almost 3 year olds mouth... priceless. These are the days. I wouldn't trade my life for anyone's.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Blog Hop - Encouragement

This weeks blog hop is all about encouragement. I find that when I am in need of some lifting up I tend to turn on my Pandora station to the one with praise and worship songs. Two of my favorite songs are Glorify Your Name by Darlene Zschech and Cry out to Jesus by Third Day. Actually both of them usually bring tears to my eyes, which might seem the opposite of encouraging, but I think the depth of the promises they are singing about is what causes the tears.
I think especially in the first song I always am encouraged by the phrase "gave me wings to fly" I think I discovered this song right around the time we miscarried and I would listen to it over and over.
Third Days' song is one that with the first line always reminds me of my grandma. She was a constant source of encouragement to me and I miss her so much. Also the phrase "He'll meet you where ever you are." always hits home to me. He's always ready for us to turn to Him; just waiting where ever we are.

Darlene Zschech - Glorify Your Name

Jesus Jesus
Holy One, God's precious Son
You gave

Jesus Jesus
On the cross You took my shame
Forever from my heart I'll say

I live to worship You, Lord
My King of glory
Brought me to life
Gave me wings to fly
You are holy
Heaven and earth declare Your praise
Both now and evermore
I glorify Your name

Jesus Jesus
On the cross You took my sin
Forever from my heart I'll sing

You are holy
Glorify Your name
Jesus Jesus Jesus
I glorify Your name

Third Day - Cry Out To Jesus

To everyone who's lost someone they love
Long before it was their time
You feel like the days you had were not enough
when you said goodbye

And to all of the people with burdens and pains
Keeping you back from your life
You believe that there's nothing and there is no one
Who can make it right

There is hope for the helpless
Rest for the weary
Love for the broken heart
There is grace and forgiveness
Mercy and healing
He'll meet you wherever you are
Cry out to Jesus, Cry out to Jesus

For the marriage that's struggling just to hang on
They lost all of their faith in love
They've done all they can to make it right again
Still it's not enough

For the ones who can't break the addictions and chains
You try to give up but you come back again
Just remember that you're not alone in your shame
And your suffering

When your lonely
And it feels like the whole world is falling on you
You just reach out, you just cry out to Jesus
Cry to Jesus

To the widow who suffers from being alone
Wiping the tears from her eyes
For the children around the world without a home
Say a prayer tonight

MckLinky Blog Hop