1000 Follower Giveaway Party Sponsor Highlight

Texas Frugality has generously donated this Domestic Goddess Survival Kit.
Please visit her website today!
You can win this and 17 other fabulous prizes at my 1000 Follower Giveaway Party!
Hurry! Ends July 5th!

Mark Your Calendar


1000 Follower Giveaway Party Sponsor Highlight

KidWares has generously donated this Handmade oversized bubble-print bib and burp set. 
Please visit her website today!
 You can win this and 17 other amazing prizes at the 1000 Follower Giveaway Party!
The party ends at midnight on July 5th!

Need to Get Away?



Holiday Weekend Hopping

It's a holiday weekend and I've got four days off work. I am so excited!
Here's to free time!


Book Review: God's Love Letters to You

Book Review: God’s Love Letters to You

This forty-day devotional book by Dr. Larry Crabb is designed so the reader feels as though God is writing letters directly. Each short devotional is about a page in length and begins with “God says.” Each devotional is based on a different Bible verse and the series of devotionals reads in chronological order like the books of the Bible. Each devotional is followed by several reflection questions to help the reader find deeper meaning in the “letter” written by Dr. Larry Crabb in his interpretation of God’s words.  A short prayer follows each devotional so readers can draw closer to God through pointed prayer.

As I read through “God’s Love Letters to You,” I was struck by how directly the author made me examine my own thoughts and feelings towards my God. As a Christian, we can often get caught up in our beliefs and this book allows the reader to look at things from a possible perspective of God. I like how each devotional begins with “God says” because it reminds the reader that it is a personal letter from God. The author reminds us often of God’s love and at the same time challenges our love for God. The book is well-written and would be valuable to both new and seasoned Christians. I’m now intrigued to read more by Dr. Larry Crabb.

I recently joined BookSneeze. I can choose one book at a time to read for you. They send me the book at no charge and I post a review here, as well as on a book site. If you are interested in doing this, click the BookSneeze button on my sidebar. If you would like to purchase this book, you can purchase it here.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

New Coupons.com Coupons


In Defense of Blogger

I've been seriously blogging about three months now. In that time I have seen an exodus of blogs leave the Blogger platform for other various programs. I've remained patient as the upgrades have occurred throughout Blogger and I've really got to say that I'm thrilled with Blogger. It does everything I need it to do and it's so easy for a newbie to learn to use it. I know very little html but I can read the Blogger tutorials and figure out everything I need to know. I really love the drag and drop feature of designing my pages in a snap.

I also saw some bloggers saying Google getting the benefit of their hard work at the blogspot.com address and that was their reason for moving. I started to wonder about that, so I looked into it and sure enough I can have my own domain and still use Blogger. It took me a whole 30 minutes to figure out how to do it and then do it. It was so easy and quick. Now I get the benefit of lots of Google employees working on my Blogger platform, constantly improving it, while I get the benefit of being at www.weidknecht.com. No software is without challenges and glitches. So if you are stressing because you are seeing blogs running away from Blogger, I encourage you to sit back and see what Blogger can really do for you before you go.

Found an Opinion Group with Electronics Giveaways

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Free Contact Cards Friday Only


Gift Basket Winner Announcement

The winner of the GourmetGiftBasket.com Giveaway is......

Check your email katfam95!

Thank you to everyone who participated in this giveaway!
Many thanks to the sponsor for providing a delicious prize!


Freedom Giveaway Hop

240+ blogs in this giveaway hop!
Go win some great stuff!

Thursday Mail Call

My husband walked into the house this evening with his arms loaded up with mail and packages for me. My mailman is probably hoping for a great Christmas gift this year. I got coupons for three free Propel waters, four free Marcal recycled paper products, a free Swiffer duster, and the fabulous black suede jewelry box I recently won from the blog Trying to Keep Calm.
I also received a beautiful home decor product to review for you. Oh, and earlier this evening, UPS brought me a case of something delicious to review for you. Stay tuned because that means new giveaways are coming very soon! Don't forget to enter the 1000 Followers Giveaway Party for eighteen fabulous prizes. The deadline is creeping up, so get your entry in quickly. Blessings abound!!

1000 Follower Giveaway Party Sponsor Highlight

Heirloom Wooden Toys has generously donated this Handmade Wooden Fire Engine, which measures 13Lx6Wx6.25H. Please visit their website today!
 You can win this and 17 other amazing prizes at my 1000 Follower Giveaway Party, ending soon! Hurry and enter HERE.

Spotlight Blog on Cup of Joe Blog Hop

Many thanks to these wonderful blogs:
Yes I Have A Coupon
3 Princes and a Princess 2
The Thrifty Things
for inviting me to be the
spotlight blog of the week
for the Thursday Cup of Joe Blog Hop!
Spotlight Post and Rules posted here.


Last Day to Enter - Don't Miss Out

Enter Now!

Gift Basket from GourmetGiftBaskets.com

While you're here, fill out just one form for eighteen prizes!

1000 Follower Giveaway Party

Got time for one more? Win FREE eyeglasses or sunglasses.

39DollarGlasses.com Giveaway

Free Note Cards Thursday Only

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There is a Preschool App for That

As a childcare provider, I've always been a big stickler about children using "child powered" toys, which means there are no lights, whistles, or sounds. I prefer they use their imaginations instead of batteries. I do have a computer in my home daycare and I let the children play up to 20 minutes, 3 times a week, on software programs that I purchased (see this blog post for my preferred software for preschoolers). I recently decided to introduce some new technology into the classroom, under my close supervision of course since it's not cheap! I downloaded about 20 free preschool apps on my Ipad (that I won in a sweepstakes) and have allowed the kids to take turns exploring them. I started with the five year old who apparently already knows how to play Angry Birds (that's on there for me, not them). He worked through about five different preschool programs without any assistance from me.

When my four year old arrived, she settled right in next to the five year old and they worked together on the Ipad. Together, no fighting, no arguing, just together. I think I like this idea. This afternoon, the four year old got her turn to play and she was simply a natural with it too. Then I let the older three year old sit down with it. Apparently he plays Angry Birds on his gramma's Iphone all the time. Then the younger three year old wanted to watch him play the alphabet games. Here's a photo of them working together, spelling out words. Did I mention they are three years old?

Plus, I haven't heard anyone say today, "You can't come to my party!"

This Could Become My Favorite Online Store

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Brand New Blog Hop

My friend CC is hosting her first-ever blog hop. 
Let's go fill up her linky and share with our friends!
Just click on The Hangout Spot button. See ya there!

Those Annoying Telephone Surveys

Last night after dinner, I'm reading through my list of fabulous blogs that I follow, and the phone rings. My son brings me the phone because I didn't feel like walking five feet after working eleven hours with seven preschoolers. The guy on the other end obviously had a first language other than English. He asked for the man of the house to answer a few questions. I held the phone a few inches from my mouth, and yelled loudly to my husband sitting three feet away, "Hey, lover! Do you want to do a survey?" Um, nope, so I pass on that information. The guy asked if I was the lady of the house. I was tempted to say, "No, I always call my dad "lover" you idiot!" But I was nice and said yes.

He launched into a 30 minute survey. I had a blast. I love doing surveys. Over the phone, you can really mess with these people, and it's their job to stay focused on the survey and not deter from their script. It was about phone companies and my impressions of them and their ads. I had plenty to say. Way more than his little survey would allow. Poor guy was probably crying by the time I got off the phone. I wonder if he even took my number off their list? The worst part about phone surveys is that you get nothing out of it other than the wonderful satisfaction of annoying a total stranger who gets paid to buy people during dinner hour. I prefer the opinion sites that reward you to fill out surveys. I can earn money, products and sweepstakes prizes from some of them. These two are my favorites:

Eyeglasses (or Sunglasses) Giveaway


6/27: I received my new eyeglasses in the mail today from 39DollarGlasses.com. They shipped in a soft cloth, inside a hard shell clam case, inside a bubble wrap envelope. They arrived safely through USPS. Included in the package was a cleaning cloth tucked inside a little pouch with a tiny screwdriver and attached keyring. Nice touch!

Honestly, I was really nervous to try them on. After all, choosing glasses is so personal and I just wasn't sure this was something to do through a website. I took the new glasses and went to the bathroom mirror. I took off the glasses I wear every day and put on the new ones. The new ones were considerably lighter weight than my old ones. They were slightly loose at first and I kind of missed having an expert here to adjust them for me, but I managed to work the frames to a comfortable fit without much effort at all.

I walked out of the bathroom with my new discount eyeglasses on, to see if my husband noticed. He didn't notice and neither did my son, because the frames are very similar to the ones I already had. My old glasses are a little over a year old and I recently noticed the transition film is peeling off (which is a real disappointment). The new glasses are bifocal, like my old ones, but this time I chose not to get the transitions lens. I can actually see more clearly through the new lenses, even with the same eye prescription (I know the lenses look like the bottom of an old Coke bottle because my eyes are so bad). The old glasses cost over $450 and I actually had to return them twice to be redone because they were poorly constructed. The new ones cost about $75, which is more than their signature $39, but my need for bifocals increased the cost. I've now had them on about two hours and I think I really like them so far. I am anxious to see how they hold up to a busy day of daycare. I might miss the transition to sunglasses part during outdoor time. More tomorrow!

I chose the Italia plastic frame.

6/28: I wore my new eyeglasses all day today and I am absolutely thrilled with them. I didn't miss the transitions (from my old pair) outside, even on a 100 degree sunny Texas afternoon. I did notice these new glasses are miraculously lightweight, which makes for a much more comfortable wearing. The bifocal lens was constructed perfectly and it was so easy to adjust to the new pair. I'm so impressed. These are such a great value! Hooray for 39DollarGlasses.com!!!

6/29: I also want to brag a bit on their ordering process. When I filled out the online form with my eye prescription, I put a question in the notes section. I got an email and a phone call first thing the next morning from the company to make sure my questions were fully answered. The construction of my glasses was completed promptly and they were shipped to me quickly and safely. I give my highest recommendation to 39DollarGlasses.com and they will absolutely get all my future orders!

39DollarGlasses.com has offered you a 10% discount if you use the code PLANETW to order within the next two weeks.

Want to win a free pair? 39DollarGlasses.com is generously allowing me to give away one pair of discount glasses to a reader (up to $75 value)! You can choose prescription eyeglasses or even just a great pair of sunglasses!!

Mandatory Entry:
Be sure to include your email address so I can let you know if you win!

  • "Like" 39DollarGlasses.com on Facebook and leave a comment below saying you "like" them on FB.

Bonus Entries (may be completed only after mandatory entry):
Leave a separate comment for each bonus entry.

  • Choose a frame you like and leave a post on their Facebook wall (ie. "I love the Italia frame!").
  • "Like" Planet Weidknecht on Facebook.
  • Follow Planet Weidknecht via email, RSS, or GFC (one entry each).
  • Vote for me on Picket Fence Blogs.
  • Share or tweet this giveaway and leave me the link where you shared.
You can enter until midnight on Sunday, July 10, 2011. I will select the winner via random.org, email the winner, and provide winner's contact information to the sponsor. Sponsor will then contact winner to arrange for the order.

Many thanks to 39DollarGlasses.com for sponsoring such a great giveaway and for making my fabulous new eyeglasses!
Disclosure: I received my eyeglasses at no charge to review them for you, but my opinions are 100% true.

Free Tote Bag Wednesday Only

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1000 Follower Giveaway Party Sponsor Highlight

Easy Sales Shop has generously donated an Orange and Yellow Beaded Jewelry Set that includes a necklance, bracelet and earrings. Please visit their website today!

You can win this and 17 other super prizes at my 1000 Follower Giveaway Party!
One simple entry form. Time is running out to enter.

CSN Giveaway 4 Tote Bags for the 4th of July

Win one of four Tote Bags for the 4th of July!

Hot New Deal Website

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Preschool Science Ideas

Today my daycare kids learned about the science of color mixing. They donned their art smocks and mixed blue and red paint together to make purple. Science plus art equals fun!

Ten Easy Science Lessons for Preschoolers (never leave young children unattended):
  1. Play with ice cubes on a table to learn water can be solid and liquid.
  2. Use an eye dropper to drop food coloring into clear cups of water.
  3. Mix equal parts of cornstarch and water for a goopy play substance.
  4. Make a collection of rocks or leaves for comparing and contrasting.
  5. Put different scented items in baggies and let children guess the smell.
  6. Use sense of hearing to guess what outdoor sounds are around the neighborhood.
  7. Make sugar disappear in water by stirring with a spoon.
  8. Use flashlights to make hand shadows on the wall.
  9. Use a bowl of water and assorted items to learn what sinks or floats.
  10. Make a windsock from crepe streamers and hang outside to see wind effects.

Paradise Galleries Offers Extended

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Did you get the news?

Don't miss a thing!

1000 Follower Giveaway Party Sponsor Highlight

Sublime Stitching has generously donated a pattern of winner's choice and a pair of beautiful Owl scissors for YOU to win! Please visit their website today!
You can win this and 17 other amazing prizes at my 1000 Follower Giveaway Party! You can enter for all 18 prizes on one simple entry form!

Taking in the Gettysburg battlefield site

 by Rodney Eakes
There are all kinds of historical things across our great country that I still want to go and see. I've seen quite a few historical things in my area but I want to see so much more! I decided that I would go and do that some this summer, but I had to decide where I would be going next.
As I was doing research and seeing which historical site I should go and see, I ran across the website HEARINGAIDSReviews.com. Once I read through it some, I decided to get some hearing aids. They're something I've been considering and honestly needed in a while, and they'll probably help me enjoy my vacations and outings even more now!
After a few hours of research and reading some travel blogs and reviews, I settled on visiting the Gettsyburg site this summer. But I don't just want to go to the park. I'm going to visit a lot of things in the town there and learn all about the fight there, which I think will add a few more dimensions to what happened there.
sponsored publication

Free Stickers Today 6/28 ONLY

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We have another Winner

Congratulations to Jessica (Mom4Real), the winner of 250 Stickers of her own design, sponsored by UPrinting.com. Thanks to all who participated and to our generous sponsor!


Happiness on a Monday

I had another good mail day today! My prize from the Mission Montana blog arrived. I won a Thirty One zipper bag and flip flop travel tag. Aren't they cute? I also received a book to read and review, as well as a pair of glasses to try and review.

Tonight, while running errands, I found a new weekly desk calendar, a spiral from Barnes & Noble; I get the same one every year and I prefer the school year style since I have teens in school. I also found the Parker pens I like and can seldom find, so I bought all six that were hanging there. Even better, they were pink and benefit breast cancer. So I had a really good Monday!

Save $20 on Bikee until Thursday Only

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My Child Won't Eat

Dear Lisa, 
My 4 year old son won't eat anything except peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. It makes me crazy. He is refusing anything else I offer him. What can I do? Please help! 

Dear Jan,

Over 25 years of working with preschoolers, there are a few things I have learned about children and food. First, as the adults in their lives, we have to provide them with the right foods. If you feel your child is eating too much of one food, stop buying that item at the store. Second, if your child won't eat anything else, then he obviously isn't hungry enough yet. I'm not suggesting you starve your child. I am suggesting you provide him with a plate of healthy foods. Let him choose to eat or not eat. Don't force him to eat or try anything. Just provide it. Continue to offer only the foods you want him eating. When he gets hungry enough, he will eat.

A healthy meal for a child should consist of child-sized portions of meat or meat alternate, a fruit, a vegetable, a bread, and liquid milk (as suggested by the USDA Food Program). A healthy snack should include any two food groups in child-sized portions. Don't allow your child to overeat. Provide enough food on his plate to be satisfied, but not stuffed. Offering seconds and thirds can easily set up a pattern of overeating in one food group to compensate for lack of another food group. Think about it, if he can fill up on three servings of pasta, why bother to eat the green beans? Three well-balanced meals a day, plus a morning and afternoon snack, is more than enough food for any child.

Meals are best in a family setting, with a pleasant atmosphere. Anger and yelling should not be a part of meals. If a child cannot be pleasant at the table, they should be removed from the table until they say they are ready to eat without being ugly. Examine your own attitudes towards food as well.

As parents, it is our responsibility to teach our children to make good choices. We can do this by shaping their environment with only preferable choices. A choice should include only two options, for example, "Do you want the apple or the orange?" This gives him some control, but not all control. If he says neither, then you choose what to put on his plate. If he becomes defiant and throws his food, simply say, "You throw it, you lose it," and take it all away. Start over at the next meal.

By purchasing only the foods you want your child eating, you will also be modeling good eating habits because you will be eating only what is in your house too. As a side note, make sure your child is playing outdoors at least one hour (preferably two hours) every single day. This can be as simple as playing in the backyard.

If your child refuses to eat completely, regardless of the many healthy choices you offer to him, put a call into the child's doctor after a few days. There may be another underlying medical issue that needs to be addressed. Let me know how it goes!


New Week New Hops

New Week New Hops

Making Goals Monday

1000 Follower Giveaway Party Sponsor Highlight

Expressionables has generously donated a personalized calendar for YOU to win!
Please visit the website today!
You can win this and 17 other wonderful prizes at my 1000 Follower Giveaway Party.
One simple entry form.

The Winner of The Orange Owl Giveaway

You are a Winner!
#49: Erin (erin.sidmore@...)

Free T-Shirt this Monday ONLY

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Thinspiration Sunday

Well, I'm still not going to post my weight yet, but I will say that I ate well today. Breakfast was black coffee during church. Lunch was a six inch Subway sandwich (free with my gift card from the sweepstakes). Afternoon snack was pretzels with honey mustard dip. Dinner was one Tilapia fish, little red potatoes fried in virgin olive oil, fresh blueberry n raspberry n blackberry fruit mix, and one hard boiled egg. I also took the dog and the husband for a brisk walk around the block (1/2 mile). Drinks today included diet soda and coffee.

I Have My Own Domain Now

 Planet Weidknecht has its own address!


is now


Family Vacations on a Budget

I am so glad I spent time in Florida this spring with my mom. I'm already wishing I could go back. I've been drooling over a website I found that rents vacation homes, condos, and villas at Siesta Key Beach (recently named #1 beach in America by Dr. Beach).

My sister just got back from a family vacation where they rented a place and they were just steps from the beach. Initially I was thinking it would be so expensive to rent one of these, but I was reading over the reviews and the blog on a super website and found out summertime is actually their off-season, which means huge discounts this time of year. This website at www.FindSiestaKeyRentals.com shows lots of photos of the different places you can rent, including some places that will let you bring your pets to enjoy a beach vacation. And the videos posted on the website actually give you the feeling of being there.

I got some more information from Holly, who told me their family-owned business in the Sarasota area encourages vacationers to book now for winter and next year's spring break, since those rental times go first. Siesta Key Beach looks like a great place to take the kids, stay in one of their amazing rentals, and be close to the beach, shopping, and other great amenities (which helps you save on gas money too).

If you stay in a rental, you will have a kitchen and can also save money on food by preparing your own meals instead of constantly eating at restaurants. You can choose a place for your whole family to stay or a romantic little place for just you and your spouse. I also found a Facebook link and a Twitter link, so you can keep up with the latest news on deals at Siesta Key Beach.

Even in this economy, I really believe it's important to take a break from real life and go on vacation. Finding ways to save money is worth the time to research. Hopefully these tips will help you plan your family vacation on a budget. I'm going to go drool over some more Florida condos now.

Disclosure: I will receive a free beach t-shirt from Holly for sharing my thoughts with you.

God Smiled at Me Today

This morning, while I was standing in my church, hands raised, eyes closed, singing praises to God, I felt a light hit my face. I opened my eyes and as the clouds were floating by overhead, the sun peeked out from behind a cloud and streamed through a stained glass window to illuminate my face. It really made me smile because it felt like He was smiling directly at me. I had goosebumps all over my arms. As we sang through our worship songs this morning, the clouds kept moving across the sky, continually changing my own personal little lighting system. It was amazing and I could really feel the Holy Spirit this morning. Thanks God, I love you too.

It's Back! Planet Weidknecht Sunday Hop - 6/26

Week 8 - Planet Weidknecht Sunday Hop - 6/26

Please follow the HOST and FEATURED BLOG STAR, link up your main blog page, and have fun hopping around meeting new folks!

Meet our FEATURED BLOG STAR this week:
Debbie from Teachermum
"In the real world I am a mum, a wife and a special education teacher (And lots of other things, but I’ll just stick to those three for now.) In my fantasy world, I am a guitar playing rock star and a famous artist. In my spare time I …um… I…um… Okay, so I don’t have spare time. But I do like to think I invented the idea of the mum’s “Crumple Effect.” It’s that feeling of exhaustion you get after a long, hard day when that never-ending list of nightly chores still lies before you. It’s that feeling when you would just like to crumple into a tidy little heap on the kitchen floor and stay there for a while. No movement, no thought, just a crumpled (little) mass on the floor. Ah yes…welcome to the Crumple Effect. During those moments when I am not crumpled on my (very old) kitchen floor, I blog about practical ideas I have come up with and come across as a special education teacher focusing on language and literacy. But wait, there’s more… I love to share some of my useful parenting tips and ideas - particularly those relating to cultivating great routines and habits at home for successful learning. I am the teacher at school and the mum at home, but if I stop and listen really carefully, it is the children who teach me, inspire me and guide me towards those answers I am always looking for. Those are the answers I wish to blog."

Would you like to be the next FEATURED BLOG STAR?  Next week’s STAR will be chosen at random from the comments section, so be sure to leave me a comment!

BONUS: Share this blog hop with your blogger friends! If 100 or more blogs link up this week, I'll choose one blogger at random to win a $10 Amazon Gift Card. Hop closes at midnight Sunday CST.

If you host a blog hop, please enter it into The Big Blog Hop Library. Feel free to take that button with you, too. It's a great one stop blog hop shop!

Ready, Set, Go!