Mini Van Dreams


Gutzy Gear Party!

Earlier this month, I was contacted by Gutzy Gear to host a Gutzy Gear party.  They sent me a big box of backpack straps and patches.  I had seen these on TV but had no idea what they really were.  They are backpack strap covers and patches.  The best part is you don’t have to sew or glue them… they just stick on, which allows kids to change them out, trade them, move them around, etc.
The kids (and parents) loved them… and as soon as I get to the store, I’m going to buy ME a set for my computer bag.  
Some pictures from our party:
Set of Gutzy Gear Strap Covers and Patches

All the patches available in Series 1.
There is also a Series 2 available with favorite
characters and sports teams!
Strap covers and patches on a back pack
More patches!

Even MORE patches!

These are super-cool back to school ideas.  They are available at K-mart, Wal-mart, Target and other stores.  Go check out Gutzy Gear’s Store Locator to find a store near you!

Now… for the best part?  I am giving away a set of backpack straps and patches free… PLUS, a bonus order form to receive a rare patch free through the mail!
Go to my  Gutzy Gear Giveaway to find out more and enter to win!  Also, check out my other giveaways on my Giveaway page!

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Rolling Ridge Ranch

If you are looking for an awesome place to take your kids– or yourself– and are within driving distance of Rolling Ridge Ranch in Millersburg, Ohio.  I highly recommend it.  

They offer two types of tours– one from your car and one on an open sided wagon.  Pay the extra for the wagon ride.  The wagons leave approximately every hour and are worth every penny.  (And, they are very reasonably priced… so, don’t take that the wrong way.)  They also have a petting zoo where you can walk through and pet the various animals, as well as enjoy exotic birds.

You sit down on the horse-drawn wagon and the driver takes you into a gated area where the animals come right up to eat out of the provided buckets of pellets.  It was the most awesome and amazing thing I have ever done.

My kids still talk about it and it was almost a year ago.  Definitely a highlight of that trip and a must-see for this year’s Amish Country trek.

These pictures below are from last year and are not zoomed in– the animals are literally RIGHT THERE.

Don’t remember what this one was.
White-tailed Deer


Brahma Bull






Don’t remember this one either.


We also suggest going to Hershberger’s Farm and Bakery while in the area also.  They too, have a petting zoo… and the kids loved it.  The vegetables and fruits in the market are out of this world.  I bought tomatoes last year that were literally the size of the kids’ heads!  They also sold “real” fry pies and had a food area where you could purchase grilled food to eat.
Truly, another place you should stop.


Morgan petting the baby goats at Hershberger’s


Troy getting kisses from a calf

Can’t wait until this year!  

Great Book Series- Dakotah Treasures

I have never been one to read through books that are part of a series.  Usually, I read the first book and I am either so bored by it or have no interest to continue following the story.  There are very few exceptions to this.  I tend to get hooked on a particular author, but not a series.


About three weeks ago, I was browsing for free books on Amazon for my Kindle.  I came across Ruby by Lauraine Snelling.  I decided to give it a try– not knowing at the time that it was one of four in a series.  I wasn’t even aware at the time that it was considered Christian fiction.  Not that it bothers me, but it was a little surprising after reading the synopsis of the book.


I immediately was transported to the wild west.  I traveled along with Ruby and her sister through their journey and the beginning of their new life in Little Missouri or Little Misery, as the locals call it.


I was hooked.


Each books builds on the one before– and most all the characters that are in the first book continue through to the end.  The story line is amazing… it wasn’t hokey or ‘preachey’.  It was very laid back, a well-written and well-rounded story.  The characters were very believable and it was refreshing to see them deal with life and struggle sometimes with their belief in God.  A few times, I actually looked up from my Kindle and was surprised to not find myself sitting at a table in the Dove House.


The characters– which had their own share of troubles– made you feel like you were old friends.  Friends that had perhaps written to you to tell about what was going on in their day to day lives.  The ending of Amethyst was so sweet and tear jerking… I’m glad I purchased and read the entire series.


Very few books make my “favorite books” category on my Kindle. But, these four did. These will definitely be revisited in the future.


If you are looking for a good summer read– you can’t go wrong with these four.