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Let's Chat!

Vineyard Chats is a blog created by the owner of Vineyard Farms and Vineyard Real Estate Group. Here, you will find product reviews for local and international items, and ways to give in your community and across the globe!

Monday, June 29, 2009

AMAZING Organic Body Care!! Giveaway!-ended- CONGRATS LILEARTHMUFFIN!!!

Long Winter Farm Organic Body Products GIVEAWAY!
Ok, you guys. Listen to me when I say ENTER this contest!


I received a gorgeously packaged, and very gracious product sampling from Long Winter Farm!

If you are unfamiliar with their products, be sure to click on their name above to read more!

In my sampling, I received the following products:

Vanilla Chai Latte Goat Milk Cold Processed Soap
Coconut Oval Lip Balm and
Almond Biscotti Skin Cream

The first thing I need to say is that I am allergic to EVERYTHING!!
But these products did NOT bother my allergies in the least!!!

The scent, of course, is heavenly! Read the names of them... They smell exactly as you would imagine (maybe even better)!

But here's the best part- the texture of them is PERFECT. The lip balm is silky, and absorbs perfectly. The cream is also silky, and not greasy. It penetrates wonderfully as well.

The soap is VERY moisturizing, and fabulous. And it... well, I do have one problem with the soap. Two of my kids tried to EAT IT! I am completely serious, here. I stopped them just in time. Then, we had to have a mother-child meeting about how NO ONE was to eat it, because it was not, in fact, a desert- even though it looked like one. :) It really is THAT pretty!

It is decorated just like a gorgeous slice of pie, or cake, or vanilla chai latte CAKE?!? Any way you slice it (no pun intended), this stuff is fabulous!

Don't miss out on this giveaway! These are AMAZING Christmas gifts! They come packaged beautifully, with gift tags attached, and the whole nine yards!
Each of the items below will give you one chance. If you do each of them, you will be entered SIX times!
1. Follow my Blog, and comment that you do
2. Retweet my giveaway tweet on Twitter. You can follow me by clicking the birdie in the right hand column. Comment below that you follow me.
3. Mention my blog and giveaway on Facebook, and comment that you did. I am at www.Facebook.com/Anna.Vaagen
4. Link to my blog on your site, and comment that you did.
5. Visit the Long Winter Farm site, and comment below which products you are most interested in!
6. Favorite this blog in Technorati by clicking the Technorati link in the upper right of this blog.

This giveaway will end on Saturday, July 11th at 6pm.

Good luck!!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

"Blue Like Play Dough" Giveaway!!-ended- CONGRATS SPACEGRRL!!

Hey all you Moms! This one's for you!

I am fortunate enough to have in my possession a copy of Tricia Goyer's new book, "Blue Like Play Dough!"

This book is a no-holds-barred account of Author, Tricia Goyer's journey through motherhood, while God makes appearances in some unexpected ways! You will laugh, cry, sympethize, and be surprised! Ladies, don't miss out on this one! And you KNOW you could use a little "reading time" in your life!! This is the PERFECT book for it! Enter today!

In order to submit your name for the drawing, do all of the following:
1. Become a follower on this blog, and leave one comment below stating that you did.
2. Leave another comment below about why you would like to win this book.
3. If you are on Twitter or Facebook, post the link to this blogpost on Facebook, or Tweet it on Twitter and copy me on it (my username is vaagen), and leave a third comment below that you did. If you are not a member of Facebook or Twitter, skip this step.
4. Visit the Author's website at: http://www.triciagoyer.com/ and leave a 4th comment below about which of her other books you might be interested in reading.

I will enter your name once for each comment you left, and I will draw a winner on July 9th, 2009 at 7pm! I will announce the winner here, and your book will be shipped to you!
Good luck!!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


OK Moms!

This is a FABULOUS giveaway that I am so excited to be conducting!!

Flowerz In Her Hair produces absolutely stunning clip flowers, hairbows, hair bands and even knit caps!

When mine arrived in the mail, I put them on my daughters immediately, and I have to tell you- I fell instantly in love!

Here are some pictures of two of my girls wearing the gorgeous products!

Ashlyn loves that the knit cap is so soft, she can barely feel it! You can also weave a ribbon through the edges of this cap for a different look- you can see that idea on her website!

Avery loves the hair accessories SO MUCH that she asked me to do something similar with her American Doll's hair. I suppose I should start ordering 2 of everything!

The items come beautifully packaged, and they ship very fast! They would be perfect for a gift!

Flowerz In Her Hair is offering for giveaway a $20 giftcard!! You will be able to choose whichever items you would like from their store!! And the items are so reasonably priced, you will really have a lot to choose from!

In order to participate in this giveaway, please do each of the following:

1. Become a follower/subscribe to my blog (click the follow button in the upper right corner and fill out your info. No information will ever be shared or sold.) Leave one comment below stating that you follow my blog.

2. Visit the www.FlowerzInHerHair.com website, and leave a comment below about why you would love to win.

3. Leave one more comment below telling me which are your favorite products from the www.FlowerzInHerHair.com website.

BONUS: If you are on Twitter, Tweet your friends "Flowerz In Her Hair Giveaway!!" with a link to this post (http://vaagenfamily.blogspot.com/2009/06/flowerz-in-her-hair-giveaway.html), and you will be entered an extra time!! You will likely have to shorten the URL to make it fit on Twitter.

By doing all of these, you will get THREE entries in the contest! If you complete the BONUS, you will be entered four times!

A winner will be randomly drawn Tuesday, June 30th at 6pm.

Good Luck!!

(Keep in mind, it will take a moment for your comments to show up, as they are moderated first.)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Our Homeschool Room

I've been meaning to post some pictures of our updated homeschool room, but I just got the chance to do so today. We had a couple of dilemmas. First, we wanted the homeschool room in the basement, because then, we can be away from other daily distractions. I also wanted it in where we used to have the playroom, because there is plenty of natural light there. It used to be carpeted, but we wanted hardwood... but that was a little pricey, and I thought the kids might destroy it, so we went with pergo, which we installed ourselves. The largest dilemma of all was that the room was a playroom when I started homeschooling, and with two of my kids still being very young, I didn't want to sacrifice the playroom. The solution to that was to make it a multifunctional room!
I'll try to take you on the visual tour here:

This is the hallway at the bottom of the stairs leading into the basement. The entire wall is a chalkboard (created with the chalkboard paint you can buy at any Walmart, Home Depot, etc). We also have the little ones' toy piano here, because it was too loud for the homeschool room! :)

I did all the muralling in the homeschool room. I did it in a Dr. Seuss theme, because I've always been a fan. Here is my son working at the desktop computer in the room. Inside the computer desk is all the software we need for classes, plus the kids' computer games.

To the left of the computer, you will see my daughter sitting at her homeschool desk. Her 3-ring binders are in her desk, along with all her markers, rulers, pencils, highlighters, bookmarks, etc.

...and here is where the play part comes in... Behind the school desks, you will see my baby girls' doll station. The door leads to a full bathroom. On the wall, you will see the Lorax, the Truffula Trees, and the Barbaloots in their Barbaloot suits. :)

On the next wall to the left, Horton! :)
I have placed some more doll toys, a rocking chair for yours truly, some maps, an alphabet chart for my youngest ones, and to the left of that...

A reading area and more young child toys, all on a comfy, furry rug. I love my Melissa and Doug calendar above the sitting area, because it is magnetic and super-customizable. There are more maps here, as well.

To the left of that area is the door leading back to the chalkboard wall and the stairs going up. I love the baby kangaroo, who loved to say, "Hmmph too!"

To the right is the toychest, the play kitchen, and more charts and maps. Straight ahead is our loving lizard, Romero :), and a bookshelf containing the majority of our curricula. And how could we forget the Cat in the Hat?? He's juggling quite a few things, which I think is appropriate for this room! In the cloud, it says, "The more that you read, the more you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you go." - Dr. Seuss

Another look at the play area (and the star-bellied Sneetches!) :)

A further out view

The bottom line is, when you fully embrace homeschooling, you must accept a little chaos. I have decided the best way to multitask effectively is to contain the chaos to the best of my ability. I think this room keeps everything in a specific place, keeps everything within close reach, and most importantly, keeps everyone entertained, during the day!
Thanks for stopping by!! :)

Homeschool Supplement Review

I came across a product I really love, and wanted to share it with you!
I have 4 children in very different stages in Math, and in school in general! My daughter is focusing on memorization of multiplication and division facts, and my son can always use a brush up on them so he can answer faster. My 4 year old is learning addition and subtraction, along with the value of money. All 4 of my kids are learning states and capitols.
Can you believe I found a product that will help all of them with all of this?!?!You buy the hot dots pen for about $9, and then you buy each group of flashcards for $9-10 each. The pen talks and makes fun noises to let the child know if they have chosen the proper answer. My kids are all techies, and this turns the mundane task of studying flashcards into a technological treat!
To order, click here:

Homeschool Calendar Review

As a Mom of a 10 year old boy and 8, 4, and 2 year old girls, I have spent some time in teaching dates, calendars, months, seasons, and scheduling! One product I really love is Melissa and Doug's Magnetic Calendar!

This was given to us by my parents one Christmas, and we hang it in our homeschool room. At least once a week, we go over our schedule and apply the proper magnets to the proper days!
To order, click here:

Some recent pictures...

Puppy Love for Ashlyn!

Group hug from Ashi!

Alex caught a fish in the neighborhood pond!

Dan and I speak at Alex's graduation... He's SO big! :)

I put Mosby's bed up on the coffee table so I could polish the floors... and he jumped up there to sleep!

And Stonewall the Chihuahua takes a nap in a doll carrier! :)

Yummmmm! Ashi enjoys a Bruster's Icecream!

Avery looks either excited or cold... :)

We hope you enjoy your summer, too!!

Looking for Followers!

Hi Everyone!

I am trying to gain more followers to my blog so I can have more give-aways on here! Please take a moment to follow me on my blog, and you'll be the first to know when I give something away!
Thank you!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

"...But take heart! For I have overcome the world!"

This morning, I awoke early to have a private devotional time. I was feeling down because my 8 year old has had a fever since last Thursday, and I really thought it would have passed by now. That kid must have an immune system that takes a lot of vacations. She catches everything coming and going!

I went to my seat, and opened my computer. I wasn't fully awake enough to plunge into the Bible yet, so first, I checked email and Twitter on my laptop.

In my Twitter updates, there was a blog from a man to whom I am connected. I don't personally know him, but at some point, we connected on Twitter- I have no idea when or why. I clicked on his blog updates, and 5 minutes later, my blood was boiling. There were many political posts on there (any of you who truly know me, know I am NOT a fan of Barack Obama), and most were about as far left as you can get. I've heard it all by now, as most of us have, but I was sitting there with my mouth hanging open.

This man actually wrote a letter to unborn babies, telling them how lucky they all are going to be in life, because Barack Obama was elected President. This disturbed me on a number of levels, the least of which is certainly NOT the fact that, because of Obama, all the young, uninformed, misled, stressed out mothers-to-be, will have an even easier time murdering their "unwanted" babies. I instantly wrote this man a novel in his comments section, with many of my thoughts on his post. Another thing that bothers me is the ideal that man should go through life without "leaving his mark" on nature (Don't misunderstand...I agree that we need to take care of the treasures God has given us!). But then to praise a man who stands firm in his belief that a woman should be able to choose whether or not she allows her own child to live. Do you see double standards here??

After I left my very long comment for him, I just had to "x" out of the blog. I really just couldn't see any more of it. I prayed that God would really speak to me in my devotion to Him this morning, and I opened my Bible randomly. I always think of our Pastor when I do this. He said, "you have to be careful when you ask God to lead you to a part in your Bible that He wants you to focus on- it can be dangerous!" This morning, for me, it was.

I turned straight to John 16:16, where Jesus is preparing his disciples for the day they will no longer be able to dine with Him in person. The verse that jumped out at me was, "I have told you these things so that you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! For I have overcome the world!" John 16:33

Now, I have read this verse a hundred times. But have you ever noticed that on a different day, a different verse will speak to you in a different way?? That's what happened to me today.

It is so easy for me to think the world is falling apart under our current administration. Every single day, as I read the news on my computer, a few minutes later, I walk away out of depression. I honestly am standing with my mouth open many days, unbelieving of what I am reading- whether it be laws that are passed, comments that are made, terrible incinuations in speeches, or just the gall that comes with all of it.

But after reading my verses this morning, I came to realize one thing. He really DOES have the whole world in His hands! How terrible must it have been for those disciples once they REALLY realized what Jesus was trying to tell them on that day? The SAVIOUR of the entire planet was getting ready to be brutally "murdered" right before their very eyes! GOD!! Our KING!! Jesus Christ, our only hope, was getting ready to be nailed to a slab of wood, tortured, mocked, and KILLED!

I truly cannot imagine what the disciples must have felt that day! They must have known that the world was coming to an end. They must have thought the sun would never have the audacity to shine again-- how could it!? How could life go on after such an event???

But, even knowing what was to come, Jesus assured them, "...But take heart! For I have overcome the world!" Jesus is saying to them, "Don't get down about all the bad things that are going to happen to you- I am WAY bigger than any of it!!"

Now, don't misunderstand me... Is it important to fight for what is right? Of course!! Must we stand firm in the face of evil? Absolutely! Should we "turn the other cheek," even as those in the White House seek to create an abortion "easy street?" No way!!!!

But can someone as small as a President of the United States undo a promise that was given to us a couple thousand years ago by our Lord, the God of all Creation? Ha! Not a chance.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Faith Like a Child

The Bible tells us that we should have faith like a child. Have you ever really thought about what that would look like?

This morning, in considering my hectic and frustrating day yesterday, I thought long and hard about what having faith like a child would encompass.

Yesterday, I was trying to revive two computers that had crashed, I had lost a software disc that I paid a fortune for, and I was cleaning my house from a dog who had a stomach issue (I'll spare you the details, my friends...), all while navigating a stack of laundry taller than me and being a nurse to my second oldest, who has a 102 degree fever.

Many times throughout the day, my youngest two daughters would come to me and ask if I would hold them. At least a few times, I told them, "I will in just a minute...", but I would get distracted by some other project, and it wouldn't happen.

My girls would preoccupy themselves with eachother, a toy, a cartoon, or a drawing. Maybe an hour or so later, they would patiently come back and ask again. When I was able to put my work aside for a few moments, I would either hold them or sit with them. They would laugh and giggle, joke about silly things, play recklessly, hug and kiss me freely... always without a care in the world. They could have easily said, "I waited for you to hold me for a couple of hours, and all we're doing is sitting on the couch. Can't we do something more FUN??" But they didn't.

All they wanted was my time. The love that I have for them is all they desire. And even when they don't physically FEEL it (because I'm engrossed in a project, etc), they still know it's there, and they still know I haven't forgotten them. They have 100% trust in me that I will take care of them and love them, and they don't go out looking for someone or something else to sustain them.

This morning, in remembering the events of my day yesterday, I couldn't help but think- what if we lived our lives this way?

What if, when we asked God for something, we waited on HIS timing, instead of demanding things RIGHT NOW when we think we need it?

What if, when we were given the chance to love, we loved freely, openly, and without reservation?

What if we didn't have such high expectations in men, and enjoyed all the little treasures God gives us along the way?

What if we relied 100% on HIS love for us, knowing no one, and nothing else could fill our void?

What if, today, you focus on knowing He is there, wanting you also, instead of thinking God is some untouchable, unreachable and distant being?

Jeremiah 31:3 (New International Version)
3 The LORD appeared to us from afar, saying, "I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness."

Thursday, June 4, 2009

A Woman Inspired

Have all you Blogging/Tweeting/Facebooking/Social Networking ladies signed up for "A Woman Inspired" online conference yet??

If not, be sure to! There's a link on the side of my blog! It's going to be AMAZING!!!
"See" you there!!!