Evil Joy Speaks

Spawning the next generation of evil genius, one misadventure at a time

Category: Humor (page 1 of 14)

Is Amazon Prints good for photos? YES it is! Plus $1000 of Amazon Gift Cards to be Won!

Amazon has launched a photo printing service that allows all customers to print their memories.  Prime members can upload images to their Prime Photos account, print the product of their choice, and receive free delivery. If you’re not a Prime member, you’ll receive 5 GB of storage free on Prime Photos and be able to print your favorite photos.  Prints start as low as $0.09.

Products and services available – but not limited to – Photo Printing, Photo Books, Photo Gifts, Printing Pictures, Photo Canvases. I’m ordering a canvas of the really cool picture of our snowboards from below while we were on the lift from spring break.  It’s going on my “My Happy Place” wall with the other snowboard photos!

One more time….with this amazing service there is

  • Free delivery with Prime
  • Prime Photos Benefit – As a benefit of Prime, customers get free unlimited photo storage with Prime Photos.  If you’re not a Prime customer, you can still get 5GB of free storage
  • Low Pricing (Prints starting at $0.09)
  •  All posts tied to current hashtag #AmazonPrints

Check out Amazon Prints here!

Thanks to Amazon for sponsoring this post and providing prizes for the giveaway!

Amazon, Fire and the Amazon Fire TV logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.

# AmazonPrints #Sponsored #Ad

 

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My Super Power

My super power is a big deal. I am DISHWASHER LOADING WOMAN. Hear me roar at my kids to “PUT YOUR DISHES IN THE DISHWASHER!” on a daily basis – feel the pppooowwwer. I had no idea as a child that there was such a power and that I would be gifted this responsibility as such a young age. (Shut up. I’m youngish.)

For a normal human – or person under the age of 17 living in my house – the distance from the counter to the sink must be expansive. And from the sink to the dishwasher – INSURMOUNTABLE. I simply cannot fathom any other reason for the repeated leaving of dishes next to the sink. Not even in the sink where they would be hidden from the mom-eye…but on the counter. In plain view. Cluttering up my kitchen (which equates with making me crazy!).

I alone possess the amazing ability to expertly cover not only the distance from the counter to the sink but – wait for it – the counter ALL THE WAY to the dishwasher.  I know, I know. Back the truck up. It is in fact possible for dishes to make their way from the table into a dishwasher while touching the hands of only one individual. Such skill must be a gift. A blessing from the dishwasher detergent people. Truly – a miracle – only only handed out to very few. This amazing talent has been granted to my husband as well – and goes well with his super power – Supper Power (this mama doesn’t cook).

But…I have found the answer – the key to transferring this power to my children. Using 12 short words, said in a staccato speech patter, I can make magic happen. I am able to control their movements with the words leaving my mouth. If you want to borrow these words, feel free. I don’t have them trademarked or licensed….and you’re welcome to send your children to my house when you use them.

“Put your dishes into the dishwasher or go pick up dog poop!”

TiffinTalk – Talk With Your Kids!

Device Overload. Everywhere you look, people are heads down looking at their phone, iPad, and/or iPod. The art of conversation –  face to face interaction – is becoming less and less prevalent. My children don’t like to talk on the phone, “It’s awkward! I don’t know what to say!” and yet they can text their friends faster with one finger than I can type with two hands. If speaking in person is hard now, how will we tackle the truly hard stuff that is a part of growing up?

Reading people’s faces and learning social cues can’t happen over text. We are creating – we have created – a world where everyone can be self centered constantly by placing their own take and emotions on whatever words appear on their screen. Maybe “Yes,” means Yup! or yesssss or YES! but we don’t know because we aren’t putting our devices down and seeing each other.

Enter Tiffin Talk.

“What’s Tiffin Talk?” you ask. The first thing I thought of when I received our Tiffin Talk boxes was the reading system I used during elementary school. Color coded, ordered folders in a little box. I opened each box (one for each age category of my girls) and dug in. The simplicity of the system is genius. A card. A question or prompt. And something fun on the back. Color coded by week and organized neatly.

I’m so very thankful I’ve had the opportunity to use Tiffin Talk with my girls. At first, my oldest thought it was cheesy. (I’m being completely transparent here.) She rolled her eyes when I asked for her phone, handed it over with a huge sigh, and said, “Okay – let’s do your thing.” It was slightly uncomfortable at first and felt like we were doing homework. But then the magic happened. After day four, she got day five out herself. She read the card in the morning and when we drove to softball that night, she got in the car, turned OFF the radio, and started talking. Willingly. To me. And it was awesome.

 

My middle daughter takes cues from both her older and younger sisters. She forges her own path but is always watching, aware of what’s happening around her. I put her Tiffin Talk card in her lunchbox the first day. She quietly asked if I could just slip it in her planner. She is still finding her way with her lunch crowd and didn’t want to pull it out at lunch time. I understood her needs and anxiety and started tucking the card, with a note, into her backpack each morning. She is my chatty one. She’ll come find me while I’m folding laundry and plop down and listen to whatever music I have playing or watch whatever show I have on in the background. Now…we turn off the television or streaming music and talk. She has always confided in me and this is reinforcing our connection.

 

And my baby. She is all in for this. ALL IN! She makes sure I didn’t forget to put her Tiffin Talk card in her backpack. She loves the facts and tidbits on the back of each card. Even those tidbits have spurred conversation. One card had translations for a few words. I took Norwegian and Russian when I was a kid so I struggle pronouncing French words properly. I asked my husband how to say a French phrase and all three girls were surprised to learn that Daddy took French and Spanish! We had a fun few minutes talking about college and high school with our children.
One of the coolest side effects of using Tiffin Talk is hearing the girls ask each other about their cards – seeing the oldest help the youngest with questions. Having the middle give her unique take on her sister’s cards. And watching them interact, smile, even disagree. They didn’t break down into arguments when they had different opinions, but LISTENED to each other. Not only are we talking more, we are all becoming better listeners.

 

I love one on one time with my children. It’s hard when there are four of them, one of me, and only 24 hours in each day. At first we were conscious and I ‘scheduled’ time to make sure we did this. Now…we are grabbing extra minutes to talk each day. I’m so very thankful.

Check out TiffinTalk today!

You can find them on Facebook and Twitter!

#RealityRocks
This is a sponsored post. I received Tiffin Talk at no charge.

When You’re Not ‘That’ Mom

When you’re not ‘that’ mom. The thoughtful, caring, happy-go-lucky, laid back mom. I’m not that mom. I’m the – I expect more, expect you to expect more, do your chores, suck it up and figure it out mom.  I don’t love sitting and chatting constantly but I do love hearing what you have to say. However if you start whining with zero intent of finding a solution – – this mama ain’t got time for that.

Often I observe other moms super excited to be at every single practice, every school event, every playdate. Even planning events or activities for said play dates on a  regular basis. I am not that mom. I’m too blunt. I enjoy my children’s activities but have a hard time hiding when I’m done – over it – or annoyed. I feel that by being authentic, I’m showing my children that it’s okay to be human. Demonstrating that that while I’m in love with being their mom, at times my brain is seeking something other than what we’re doing at the moment.

Even shopping. God. I HATE to shop. Recently I took one of my girls bra and underwear shopping. Most moms would bond over this. We did the first time – I think. I know she wanted to  – and I tried but —- but —- PICK A COLOR ALREADY. I don’t want to spend 45 minutes in a store stinking of perfume while you decide between blush and baby blue. Because child – that bra will be under a shirt and if anyone can see any part of the baby blue or pink, you’re not wearing the shirt properly….or out of my house!

I get jealous of moms that take/get such immense joy from each and EVERY LITTLE FREAKING thing their children do. I exist. I get through. I survive. I endure.

I don’t always enjoy.

However I do find pleasure in a lot of things. Seeing my children succeed, smile, laugh, and yell with glee. These things make my heart SING.

But honestly, there are times I cannot take sitting through one more..practice…concert…play…whatever.

I wonder – what am I missing? What am I missing out on by not being ‘that’ mom? I worry I’m lacking something – that my children will grown up wishing they’d had someone else as their mama. Am I enough as I am?

Then I remember. I’m the best me I can be. I’m working on being the most I can be. I’m the mom I am and I love my kids deeply and with an unwavering intensity. I love them in my authentic way.

 

my way

The Tree That Shed….

This year we had the tree that shed….all of its needles.

Our family tradition has been to drive to a local, nearby tree farm, cut down a tree, and drive it home. Drag it inside, set up it, and by then my family is over helping with the “experience.” Asking, pleading, and prodding ensues in order to get the lights and ornaments on the tree.

This year amidst the hustle and bustle we decided to stop at a big store and buy a precut tree. After a movie we walked among the cut trees.  They looked fine. They looked okay. The two Littles gravitated towards a particular type and we chose one they were in love with.

At the tree farm, the employees tie the tree to your vehicle. At this place, WE tied the tree to the truck. And it was comical and took about 15 minutes to make sure it was secure and wasn’t going to fly off and cause a Griswald kind of Christmas experience. We got it done and headed home.

I noticed immediately the tree wasn’t “shaken” as they do at the tree farm. A few more needles than we were used to fell as we set up the tree and let it sit for a bit to settle…and to make sure it wasn’t going to fall over. Our stand is a little …. lacking.

Success. Onto adding lights, ornaments, tree skirt, and train underneath…because we’re all cute like that.

It started slowly. The needles fell in small waves.

Check out this video I took of the noise it makes…. Stick with the video to the end…….

And by the time we got back from Bridger Bowl, the sad tree looked like this…..droopy and forlorn.

After we removed the lights…..it became the epitome of sadness.

And the death zone of danger was created for anyone not wearing shoes.  Note my carpet is beige.

 

Next year we shall get our family fresh cut tree from the tree farm.

 

 

Elevate The Season with Bulletproof Coffee

Winter is upon us here in the midwest. Snow is coming and the colder temperatures along with it. While many dread winter, I love winter above all other seasons. For me winter means layering up in snuggly clothing, warming my feet and hands by the fireplace, seeing holiday lights twinkling through the snowfall….and of course, snowboarding.

My family plays together in the winter in ways we don’t the rest of the year. We ride in the snow and bond over tough mogul passes, laugh with each other during epic wipeouts, and help one another through difficult passes in the trees.

As ‘snowboard season,’ as we call it, approaches, it’s easy to forget about self care. I pick up an extra job, continue to work hard, and play harder than I do any other time of the year. This year I’m making a point of meeting my needs. I’m going to take time to ride and work on skills I want to work on…not just the ones I need to work on. I will rest when I need to, remembering to feed not only mind and soul, but also my body.  I’m going to #ElevateTheSeason.

I snowboard to fuel my soul. I drink coffee to fuel my body. Until three years ago, I didn’t really understand or ‘get’ the love of coffee. I started out by drinking ‘foo-foo’ coffee as my friends called it – drinks loaded with sugar and flavorings. I essentially had a small bit of coffee product with my creamer and additives. As the years have passed, my tastebuds have grown up.

As a type ll diabetic, I’ve made a commitment to being healthier. For me that means paying attention to what I eat and where the food I choose comes from, including the coffee I drink. I learned about adding butter and other things I wouldn’t normally add to coffee from a neighbor and had to seek more information. To be honest, I wasn’t sure I’d even like it. The thought of butter in my coffee seemed….wrong. But I tried it. I brewed whatever coffee I had in my cabinet, took a dollop of random, grocery store stick butter and a scoop of coconut oil and threw it in my blender.  It was okay. I ended up adding honey. It couldn’t be what I’d be hearing about. I decided I needed to know more.

Taking that need to know more, I started educating myself. I quickly determined “Bulletproof Coffee” was the thing I needed to understand. To begin my research, I looked up ‘ghee.’ I had no idea what it was although I’d seen it in stores and in the homes of multiple friends. It’s clarified butter and Bulletproof Ghee is this amazing, grass-fed, unsalted butter. Then I educated myself on Brain Octane Oil. What is this stuff? By definition Brain Octane Oil is a a purified form of medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil. There are these things called carbon tails on MCTs. Brain Octane Oil is a pure C-8 MCT. This means it is nearly odorless and tasteless, it can be quickly be converted to energy giving you a boost, and it helps burn fat. It’s one of the main ingredients to the perfect Bulletproof Coffee.

Next up, coffee beans. I didn’t know anything about how high quality beans different from lower quality beans. Low toxin, high performance coffee beans are key to healthy coffee.  Bulletproof Upgraded Coffee Beans are carefully grown, harvested, processed, and roasted to ensure the best possible quality. Lesser quality coffees may contain mycotoxins – damaging compounds created by molds which grow on coffee beans (and other things as well). I searched mycotoxins (you should too!) and now that I’m aware of the difference in coffee beans, I’ll be paying attention! Anxiously, I started checking the mail for my shipment of coffee.

My Bulletproof Coffee arrived. And grass-fed ghee (aka the clarified butter I mentioned above). And Brain Octane Oil. I made the coffee per the directions, added the appropriate amounts of Bulletproof Ghee and Brain Octane Oil and put it in my blender. No sugar, honey, or cream. Just those three ingredients. It frothed up and was gorgeous looking – all creamy and latte like.

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It tasted amazing. My husband wanted to try it. He took a drink and walked away with my coffee! I had to make more …. for each of us. I’ve taken to waking up each morning thinking about my coffee. Today I added a high quality cinnamon and it was just lovely. I faced a somewhat dark, gloomy morning with a smile on my face and happiness in my heart. The snow hasn’t arrived just yet, but it will come. This morning I was able to see the beauty in the clouds and rain, relax and simply enjoy my coffee while my family started their day.

I’m looking forward to taking my Bulletproof Coffee, ghee, and Brain Octane Oil with me to the mountains next month. I can’t wait to wake up, see the amazing sunrise, and sip my coffee while preparing to snowboard in an breath-taking place. I will do my utmost to Elevate My Season and Bulletproof Coffee will help me along the way.

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Below are links for you to use. Check them out. Read more about Bulletproof Coffee. Educate yourself and jump in. There’s a starter pack that is a great way to try it all out. It would make a great gift for someone special in your life! Or #elevatetheseason and buy it for yourself!

 

Find Bulletproof Coffee on the web, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!

#elevatetheseason

#bulletproof

#bulletproofcoffee

 

 

This is a sponsored post. I received Bulletproof Coffee, Ghee, and Brain Octane at no cost.

 

Bumpy Days….

This time of year is full of bumpy days. I haven’t written much about it this year (year 5) because I don’t know what to say. Most days I’m totally fine and then something will smack me in the face – a sneeze, a siren, driving by Regions – and make me cry. But those things are fewer and further between than they’ve been in the past few years.

Life is so good. Life is awesome. I’m so very lucky. 

So this year rather than trying to explain my feelings – good and bad – I’m going to tell you what I’m thankful for. If Brent hadn’t gotten sick, this whole thing wouldn’t exist. I wouldn’t have met so many amazing people – Teri, Jennifer, Beth, Alyson, Molley, Jessica, Jen, Anne,…the list is endless. ENDLESS. I wouldn’t know about BlogU and the wonderful experiences to be had there. I’d have never run a half marathon – flying out to meet a woman I hadn’t met in real life (I won’t say I didn’t know because by then Teri and I were fast friends) – on the East Coast. I wouldn’t have run a marathon with Brent – he asked when I was still in the “I’M THANKFUL YOU’RE ALIVE AND I’LL DO ANYTHING YOU WANT TO- INCLUDING RUNNING A FULL FREAKING MARATHON” stage. I wouldn’t be a published author. I wouldn’t have snowboarding.

The last few years have forced me to grow up. I had to face the potential of life as a single mama of four. But I didn’t have to face that reality. What I had to reconcile is the guilt that comes from the fact I considered that as a possibility (and as sick as Brent was it was a very real possibility). And that after all was said and done I realized I’d have been okay. There is guilt in that – for me – anyhow.

I learned to say “no.” I learned to stand up for myself, navigate all the parts of being adult I avoided. I learned to be honest and forward – not all the time – but I’m working on it. I learned who my family is and how friends become part of your family.

Back to snowboarding for just a minute. By now if you don’t know I LOVE IT – you’re either new here, you’re a bot, or you just don’t care. I’m not great at it. I’m competent. I have a lot to learn, but guess what? I will learn it. I’ll keep working at it and working on myself along the way. Riding has been a huge source of self discovery for me as I push the edge of my fears almost every time I go out. (Breaking multiple bones my first ride may have a tad bit to do with that.) Watching my kids master a box or new trick inspires to me push myself on the skills I need to learn.

I wouldn’t have any of this if Brent hadn’t gotten sick.

Life is full of twists and turns. Ride it out because the other side of each one holds something amazing if you look for it.

The new Prime Photos Family Vault makes it easy for family members to store and share their favorite moments! Plus an opportunity to win a $500 gift card provided by Amazon.com

We take a lot of pictures. That is probably the understatement of the year. Individually, each of the six of us take several pictures. Combine those photos together and you have…..countless photos. Now there is a way for us to easily combine, organize and share those photos with each other.

Prime Photos – free for Prime members!

We can pull up those pictures from that snowy day where we rode trees or from that amazing 14 mile hike this summer quickly and easily.  On our next adventure we no longer will worry about running out of memory when that one photo opportunity presents itself! You can free up space on your phone using Prime Photos. As a Prime member there is free, unlimited photo storage,

Amazon has launched an all-new Prime Photos experience with Family Vault. Now, Prime members can share their benefit of unlimited photo storage with up to five family members or friends at no additional cost. Prime Photos is free for Prime members and makes it easy for family members to safely store and share all their favorite photos.

Additional new features include: Image Search, People view and Places view.  I love that photos are organized by location – we have so many adventures that the locations and exact times sometimes run together. I can quickly locate a photo and determine if that was from spring break or holiday break.

Prime members can now order photo prints, cards, photo books, and calendars directly from their Prime Photos account. I can’t wait to make gifts for family and friends from our pictures!

Download the new Prime Photos app here: www.tinyurl.com/PrimePhotos

 

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This is a sponsored post but all opinions are my own. Amazon.com is providing the gift card prizes. Thanks to Amazon for sponsoring this post and providing prizes for the giveaway!
Amazon, Fire and the Amazon Fire TV logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.

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Use Your Words – November Style…sort of…

Today’s post is a writing challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now……..At the end of my post, you’ll find links to the other amazing posts. Check them out. Some pretty amazing people let me participate in this challenge and I’m always excited to read what they write.

I had a post written 7 days ago for this challenge. It was scheduled and ready to go. This morning it didn’t post and I can’t find it. So …..I give you the following from my brain. I can’t seem to form coherent thought structures this week. So come along with me on some stream of consciousness writing…….

On a typical day, anyone that knows me well knows I may well be at “0 miles to empty” in whatever vehicle I’m driving. I know exactly how far it is to the nearest gas station – 2.56 miles – and how far it is to my gym – 5.65 miles (and there are two gas stations right along the way to the gym.) Keep in mind that I live where the temperatures can reach a balmy -15 degrees Fahrenheit for a HIGH in the winter. With winter’s approach eminent, I promise, on the threat of having to sit on bird poo daily, that I will not let my gas tank go below half full for the next 5 months. (But as there are few birds around that leave much poo in the winter, and most bird poo is semi-snow colored, I anticipate it will be difficult to follow through on my self-imposed threat because the reality is I’ll be lucky to keep it up above a quarter tank.) Because running out of gas in the winter in Wisconsin is a tad different than running out of gas in Texas. I’ve not ever hit that point….(searching for wood to knock on….)

This weekend we are taking our oldest to a Hawkeye ballgame – I think….. I’m mentally preparing for the traffic jam that will occur while we try to find parking. There will be a bazillion people there and it’s pretty awesome. There will be food vendors galore, merchandise to shop, and of course FOOTBALL. There’s something about a night game in Iowa City at the stadium. As a kid, I spent a lot of time there and I love it deeply. I got engaged in Iowa City on the bridge and love visiting that spot. But now I’m not entirely sure which combination of people will be going….keep reading…..

Going to football implies we’re heading to my parents’ house. My mom always buys the kids all the foods I don’t buy for home. There will be Eggos and syrup. Fruit Loops and juice. I am just hopeful we don’t have the same thing as last time….my OLDEST spilled maple syrup and my YOUNGEST walked through it and tracked it all over the wood floors. Luckily I’m good at cleaning so……

 

Right at this very moment I’m craving some comfort in some form or another. My dog had diarrhea all the way from the spot in front of my son’s bedroom door, through the family room, the base of the steps, all up 8 steps, on the landing, and up all remaining 8 steps to the main level. As I cleaned it up, my Littlest started throwing up. So there’s that. I’m not really hungry because … gross .. at the moment … but comfort food like clam chowder bread bowls … implies warm, cozy, barf free situations. And calm. All the calm. And no bad smells. (enter me, standing in tree pose – something I do when I’m just overwhelmed…..)

Is it too early to have an adult beverage?

 

 

——

My words : Run out of gas ~ spill maple syrup ~ ballgame ~ traffic jam ~ sit on bird poo ~ clam chowder bread bowl

They were submitted by: http://thethreegerbers.blogspot.ch

Links to the other “Use Your Words” posts:

 

Baking In A Tornado                        http://www.bakinginatornado.com

Southern Belle Charm                            http://www.southernbellecharm.com

Not That Sarah Michelle                         http://notthatsarahmichelle.blogspot.com

Spatulas on Parade                               http://spatulasonparade.blogspot.com/

The Bergham Chronicles                         http://berghamchronicles.blogspot.com

The Diary of an Alzheimer’s Caregiver        http://www.thediaryofanalzheimerscaregiver.com/blog.html

Dinosaur Superhero Mommy                    http://dinoheromommy.com/

Climaxed                                         http://climaxedtheblog.blogspot.com

Confessions of a part time working mom     http://thethreegerbers.blogspot.ch

On the Border                                        http://dlt-lifeontheranch.blogspot.com/

Evil Joy Speaks                                     http://www.eviljoyspeaks.com

 

 

Blessings of Change

I haven’t written a poem that has the seen the light of day in YEARS. YEARS. But today, fueled by a friend and her challege, here goes …. but first – here are the links to the other participant’s poems. If you didn’t figure it out already, the theme for this month is very fittingly, Blessings.

Enjoy….

 

Karen of Baking in a Tornado : Blessings

Diane of On the Border: Blessings

Lydia of Cluttered Genius : Hidden Blessings

Jules of The Bergham Chronicles : Blessings Overflowing

 

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Blessings of Change

If you can find the sunshine in the dark – you can find the happy in the sad.

If you search for the sparkle in the mud – you can find beauty in the mess.

If you seek joy in the tears – you can reap thankfulness in the end.

When the days were dark I found people to lead me by the hand – kicking and screaming the entire way – to a brighter place.

As the days were less dark I began to find my way to that brighter place a little more easily – taking the offered hand – showing me how to get there.

Then the days became brighter and the place I found myself going to each day glowed with brilliant light.

I didn’t need anyone to show me the way, I found it.

Changes happen swiftly and loudly. And quietly and slowly. But they happen.

Be ready to find the blessing in the change.

 

 

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