Monday, February 27, 2012

Gearing Up for Camp and Weekend Wrap Up

Well Happy Monday to all!!
My weekend was filled with fun as I was asked to shoot an event this past Saturday.
I had the pleasure of being the photographer at a Blue and Gold Banquet for a local Boy Scout pack. I tell you they had SUCH cute ideas on table decor I had to snap away!
I'll be posting them soon so you can get some ideas in case you're in charge of Scouts ;)

So anywho, this Spring we are all getting geared up for Summer. This year is going to be a wonderful year. I am determined it will be SO much different than last year. No more brain hemorrhages for me!! No sirree Bob!
It's all about fun. 
First off, like I've mentioned before, we are sending our boys off to camps this Summer. 
It's the first time for both to be away at sleep-over camps and they are REALLY excited!
Me....not so much :(

But I digress. It's not about me, right?
So here's a list of 7 reasons to send your kid away to camp:

1.     Going to summer camp allows your child to unplug from technology (benefits of being outdoors).  Quite possibly the biggest benefit to an outdoor summer camp is shutting off your cell phone, close your laptop, and get away from technology.  At Camp, Facebook turns into real faces and authentic human interaction, something we all desperately need.  A recent study by Neilson Media Research showed that teenage girls send and receive an average of 4,000 texts per month.  Also, according to Nielsen, kids ages 2-5 average more than 32 hours a week in front of a TV.  This is a bit scary considering that the U.S. Department of Education found that academic achievement drops sharply for children who watch more than 10 hours a week of TV.  Camp is a instant remedy to this ever growing "technology epidemic."  At Camp Huawni, things like cane pole fishing are an integral part of what makes Huawni special and non-techy.
2.     Going to summer camp allows your child to be around positive role models who have a substantial impact on your child's decision making throughout the year.  How many times do you wish your oldest child had an older sibling to encourage, guide, and mentor them?  Better yet, how many times do you wish your older siblings would actually invest emotionally into their little brother and sisters as opposed to being "too cool?”  One of the biggest benefits to summer camp is having positive high school and college-aged counselors who play a vital role into pouring their time and love into the kids.  Even though summer camp usual only lasts from one to six weeks, those few weeks of getting to hang out with a positive role model can have a huge impact throughout the year.  In fact, the U.S. Department of Justice found that when youth had role models, such as in their Big Brother/Big Sister program, their chances of initiating drug use dropped by 45.8% and their tendency to lie to their parents dropped by 36.6%.  At Camp Huawni, we make it a point to keep our camper to counselor ratio low (3 campers to every 1 counselor) so that our counselors can invest more time and make this difference.  In fact, a good number of our counselors keep in touch with campers throughout the year, continuing to pour into the kid’s encouragement and guidance. 
3.     Going to summer camp allows your kids to enjoy the simple things in life.  One of Camp Huawni's core values is "Simple fun is the most fun."  You would be amazed at how much fun kids can have mud sliding, eating and being submerged in watermelon, and diving head first into a plate of whip cream and pickles.  Big, new, and state-of-the-art activities are great, but over the years I've come to observe that simple things with people you love end up being the most fun.
4.     Going to summer camp allows your child to spread their independent wings.  Last summer we had a seven-year-old boy who was away from home for the very first time.  In fact- he still slept in the same room with his mother.  The first few days of Camp were tough for him- he was super homesick.  Thankfully we've had nearly 50 years of alleviating homesickness, so after four days we helped the little guy kick his homesickness.  Over the next several days, we literally saw the boy transformed; he engaged new kids in conversation, he became willing and excited about contributing to his Tribal Competition team, and you could see his spirit take on a big dose of independence.  When his mom showed up on closing day, he exclaimed, "Mom, I want to come back for two weeks next year.   And- can I stay in my own room?"  This was a huge first step in growing his independent wings.  
5.     Going to summer camp allows children to experience nature in a whole new way. How many days do you spend each year watching a sunrise or sunset?  How many times do you just sit on a hill and feel the breeze cross your face?  How many weekends do you take out of the year just to be alone in nature?  For those who do this or have done this- you know how special this is.  At Camp Huawni, one of our core beliefs is that true personal growth begins and ends with our Creator.  At Camp, just being in nature allows us to see and hear God so much clearer.  
6.     Going to summer camp allows your children to grow closer to their siblings.  At Camp Huawni we have a traditional ceremony at the end of Camp where kids get to speak their heart.  Tears are shed, smiles are had, and you leave that afternoon feeling lighter and full of joy.  Without a doubt, every year a brother or sister will honestly and openly share their affection for their siblings.  Many times it is the first time they've openly told their sibling that they love them.  This is such a special moment for the kids, and as siblings return to Camp you see them growing closer and closer.  

So you see there's lots of reasons for kids to attend summer camp.
This particular camp is nestled in East Texas, which is GORGEOUS!
I've heard nothing but good things about this camp and this is one of the reasons we are sending our little guy there.
If you are looking for a great summer camp, please check out

Have a great week! And don't forget to check back to see all the cool pics of the Blue and Gold Banquet :)


P.S. This post is sponsored by the good people of Camp Huawni.I have not been paid for this post but I may have received a free product for my post. Nevertheless, all opinions are my own.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Hot Deals-Wednesday {Free American Express Gift Card, Brother P Touch and Adobe Photoshop Sale}

Everyone loves a bargain! That's why I have decided that every Wednesday I'll have Hot Deals Wednesday from now on!
I'll scour the web to find special deals I know you will love if you are a follower of my blog ;)
First off the mother lode!
I was browsing around and happened upon this awesome code for   80% OFF ADOBE PHOTOSHOP CS5 STUDENT/TEACHER EDITION!! USE CODE SAVE80EDU
Now you must act fast because this will expire at any moment! You must either be a student of an accredited institution or a teacher or work at an accredited institution that grants degrees or a registered home schooler. For full details see the website. I got mine for $39 via my daughter who is a college student ;)

click on the student/teacher editions

  Then I found this nice little gem-the Brother P-touch PT-1290 label maker for $9.99 at staples! Ahhh!! Labels!! You can be super organized with one of these :)
 Pick it up at the store to save on shipping.

And last but certainly not least, how about a free $25 American Express Gift Card?
Go to Amex Link
here's the deets :)
AMEX prepaid card. Get $25 gift card after 1st reload  

Limited-Time Offer: Receive a $25 Gift Card.*
The American Express® Prepaid Card is a reloadable Card that's a safe, easy way to pay - in stores or online. There is no credit check to get the Card - so it won't impact your credit history.

To claim your $25 American Express® Gift Card, simply:

Enter promo code AEPC25 when you order the Prepaid Card.

Load the Card within 45 days (prior to April 30, 2012).

Loaded with benefits. Not with fees.

No monthly, overdraft, or purchase fees.

Access to world-class Cardmembership benefits, like Purchase Protection1 on eligible purchases, Roadside Assistance2, Fraud Protection, and Global Assist® Services3.

No overspending: Only spend what you load on the Card.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Super Duper Organization-Plum Life Calendar

If you are like me, you probably have a lot going on in your life and keeping it all organized in one place is a feat in itself!
I have been looking around for a place to keep me organized from home organizers and calendars to online and phone apps, nothing comes close to this:

I tell you this calendar and organization system is amazing!

Not only does it keep tabs and track of all your appointments, your family's appointments, due dates and whereabouts!! (more on this) but it can be accessible from anywhere you are! 
That's right. You can even import your work - Outlook- calendar into this thing. 
I've been using it for about a week and it has already simplified my life so much.
I can type in the address of where I have a meeting and my family can know instantly of where I am at. It also helps to plan your day, days ahead. Take a look at this video:

{mapping features in plum life}

Here's an overview video of what it does

The Plum Life organizer not only lets you see your calendar but you can create calendars for all the members of your family even your ex's, parents, co-workers, employees, and it's all on the cloud. Nothing to download! So that you can co-ordinate your life better :) 
Plum Life even sends you a reminder email. I like that if I have to have my daughter pick up my little guy from scouts, I can schedule it on her calendar and Plum Life will send her a reminder complete with the address and directions! How simple and awesome is that? 
So no more missed soccer practices or playdates. With Plum Life you'll be living...well.. a plum life :P

And as a treat to my readers Plum Life is offering you, my dear, a free sign up to use Plum Life. Simply go to and enter code

Aaaand just for doing that you will be entered to win a $25 gift card to the Container Store!!
Aaaahhh! I love that place. Organization or what?!
To be entered to win this prize you must go to and sign up to use it by putting in the code PlumLife9
follow plumlife on twitter
like plum life on facebook
and post on there why you like
Follow me on facebook by clicking on the icon >>>

Subscribe to my blog via email and with google friend connect on the right hand side.>>>>

Make sure you come back and let me know how you're using Plum Life to simplify and organize your life.


This promotion ends on March 19th at 11 p.m. CST
All signups thru this blog to Plum Life must be completed by then. Plum Life is the sponsor of this post and the giveaway. Plum Life will pick the winner at random and I will announce the winner here. 
I have received a free signup myself to Plum Life and have not been compensated for my opinions or review.

Linking up to:
Cedar Hill Ranch


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