Tuesday, November 30, 2010


...our winner!  Congratulations, Amma Elf!  I'll be emailing you with the code to redeem your 500 free bids.

For the rest of you, remember to use code FERRYFTW if you want to purchase any bid packs, and you'll get 100% more bonus bids!  Thank you to BidBlink for such a generous gift!

Giveaway Tonight!

Be sure to leave a comment under this post to be entered to win 500 free bids over at BidBlink!  The winner will be selected tonight at 9:00 pst.

If you've never even heard of penny auctions, it's a fun way to get gift cards, gadgets, and other stuff for really discounted prices.  By winning 500 free bids (a $200 value), you can win a ton of auctions for free!

Here are a few more specifics:

Each day there are new auctions, so I check out the days offerings and pick something that I want.  There's no shortage of great options, with giftcards to stores including Target, Amazon, and Costco.  You'll also find iPods, iPads, Nintendos and more.

Click on the item you are interested in winning to see more details about that auction. Prices typically start at 90% off retail price and go down for each bid placed. The timer will show you how much time remains until the auction ends. Now all you have to do is click the Bid button!

If the time remaining is less than the specified maximum seconds (generally 30 to 45 seconds), then every bid placed extends the auction by 15 seconds. This prevents anyone from "sniping" an auction at the last second.

If you're the last bidder when time runs out, you win! After winning, pay the final price plus shipping.

Here's the great part:
If you don't win a Buy Now auction (auctions with the Buy Now icon), you have 12 hours after it ends to purchase the same item for the retail price minus the value of the bids you placed (discount is 40¢ per bid). Bonus Bids placed cannot be used towards your discount. For example, let's say you placed 20 bids and 5 Bonus Bids on an item that has a retail price of $50.00. Your price is $50.00 minus $8.00 (20 bids x 40¢), for a total of $42 plus shipping and Buy Now fees. The price cannot be discounted to less than $0 and shipping cannot be discounted. There is a Buy Now fee of 7% (up to a maximum of $19.99) of the retail price for all Buy Now opportunities. However, if you Buy Now within 30 minutes of the auction ending, we'll waive the Buy Now fee!

So you're usually paying a couple of bucks for a $50 gift card if that.  Sometimes the auctions go negative and you even get bids back! 

It sounds much more confusing than it is.  So enter the drawing, win the giveaway, and rack up tons of stuff for holiday shopping and gifts. 

Monday, November 29, 2010


It was a busy day at the Ferry House today.  I kissed Michael goodbye at 8:00 this morning and pretty much stayed on my feet until he arrived home at 5:30.  Oh, the things I accomplished!  It was like a little elf workshop here today, all because my wonderful mom came over to help with the boys.

I was serious when I said it was an elf workshop here.  I finished my first prototype for the little pinecone elves I found on the Martha Stewart website.  The result is cute but flawed, but we'll get to that later.  First, I sewed tiny hats, scarves, mittens and slippers.

I was feeling really good at this point, because seriously, how cute are those?  But when it came time to assemble, I realized my pine cone was a bit too large.

Cute in theory, not in actuality.  His enormous body leaves his arms and legs all out of proportion.  And in San Diego, what is a girl to do?  With a short supply of coniferous trees, my cone options are as limited as you might imagine.  Even our local craft store only carries the larger versions.  I'll triumph in the end, I'm sure, but for now, our little elf friend will sit in lopsided solitude.

Instead of letting the elf mishap get the best of me, I moved on to more tested, more successful homemaking operations.  These will be my Christmas gifts to give to friends and neighbors this year, so if you think you might get a gift from me, stop reading if you want to be surprised.

Costco has the best deal on nuts.  Of course, take that with a grain of salt... nuts are not cheap... Costco is not cheap.  The last time I was in, they tried to get me to upgrade to an Executive membership because I spend so much money there.  In fact, they were kind enough to have an employee at the checkout who told me the number of thousands of dollars I've spent there over the past year... in front of my mother.   Big mistake, Costco.  Thank you for shocking me and my mom with my own spending habits.. I will try to buy a considerable amount less from you next year, even if only to save myself embarrassment in front of my mom.

Okay - side story over - back to the Ferry Christmas Workshop.  We'll be making:

Sugared Pecans!  (I hope this is not a secret family recipe)

Here's what you'll need:

1 pound pecan halves
1 egg white
1 Tablespoon water
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon

I forgot to take a picture of the salt, but there's salt in the recipe, too.  Or maybe it's just hiding behind the sugar...

And now for the details.

Preheat the over to 300 degrees.
In a small bowl beat egg white with the water into a front.
In a large zip lock bag, combine sugar, salt, and cinnamon.

Dip pecans into egg white.  Then place coated pecans into the zip bag containing the sugar mixture.  Shake, coating them evenly.

Spray a shallow baking sheet with cooking spray.

Place pecans on prepared baking sheet.

Bake forty minutes or until egg whites have dried.  Stir every ten minutes while baking.

They're delicious, I promise.  But don't make them yet - first wait to see if you get some from me.

Next up:  Dinner.  Coconut curry chicken with jasmine rice and snow peas.  Delicious comfort food after a big day of projects.  I won't put the recipe up for this one.. this post is long enough.

 Looks yummy though, doesn't it?

Thank you to my mom who kept the children occupied as I did all of this today.  Had you not been here, there is almost a zero percent chance that any of this would have happened.  Or, it would have included a lot of tears... from everyone.

Phew.  Are you still reading?  Then be sure to leave a comment on the previous post, so you can have a chance to win my giveaway!  It's a great prize, I can't even tell you how fun it is.  I'll be talking about that more tomorrow.   Be sure to check back, as I'll be selecting and announcing the winner of the BidBlink Bid Pack tomorrow evening at 9 PM PST.  See you here!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving! (and a giveaway!)

Apparently I've been keeping myself too busy eating turkey and all the other deliciousness that accompanies it to blog.  Thanksgiving was a big success here.  Michael took a few days away from his dissertation to hang out with my family. 

His help is so appreciated - having him around full time makes me realize how chaotic things can be without him.  That extra set of hands is invaluable, like when he helped to dress the baby.  We may do things a bit differently, but no one said it's wrong to button your baby's onesie on the outside of his pants...  that bit of 80's aerobics flare that it adds is enjoyable for everyone.

On Thursday, we headed up to my mom's house for a feast.  Thomas was a champion through the entire day, and enjoyed showing off his new crawling skills.  Let me tell you, that baby can shimmy along with the best of them.  He relished the larger crowd, beaming his toothless grin at everyone he wiggled past. 

When dinner time came, we feasted.  And feasted.  And feasted.  But I'm a nursing mom, so I need those extra calories, right?  Who cares if my seventh month old baby is already twenty-two pounds and is in no way hurting for extra nourishment.  What can I say, I sacrifice for my kids, and if that includes stuffing large portions of stuffing, I will do whatever it takes.

Looking for pictures of William?  The poor guy missed the first Thankgiving he would have actually been able to enjoy the food at.   With all the extra excitement and company, he got so burned out that at eleven in the morning he begged to take a nap and slept for three and a half hours.  He got some leftovers when he woke up.

Friday morning we skipped the shopping and went back to my mom's for some Christmas decorating.  Neither of us are typically day after Thanksgiving decorators, but we were both in the mood, so we went with it.

William liked the gingerbread man, but refused to take a picture with him.  William likes to be the man behind the camera.  What he often ends up as is the man at his momma's feet begging for the camera.


We came across this little guy while trimming the tree.   At first I thought it was the ugliest ornament I had ever seen, but he's grown on me since.  By the time the tree has to come down I'm sure I'll be sad to see him go.

So with our trees up and ready, I'm set for the beginning of Advent tomorrow. My hope is to get the "work" of the season out of the way so I my mind can be free of all those details and I can just be still in waiting to celebrate the birth of Our Lord.  To be a Mary and not a Martha is my daily struggle, and one I hope to work on this Advent.

But as an early Christmas present for all of YOU, I'm announcing my first giveaway!  My brother Jonathan over at BidBlink has been so, so, SO generous in donating 500 free bids that I get to give away to a reader, which is a $200 value!  Leave a comment in this thread one of them will be randomly selected for the prize. Winner will be selected and announced Tuesday, November 30th.

In addition, all of you can use code FERRYFTW to receive 100% more bonus bids on your first bidpack purchase. This is a great way to stock up on gift cards for gifts or holiday shopping.  You can score some incredible deals.

If you're not familiar with BidBlink, here's a blurb from their website about how it works:

On BidBlink, you can win brand new products and gift cards for up to 99% off retail prices. Like a traditional auction, the last bidder that bids before time runs out, wins. But on BidBlink, each bid lowers the price of the item. To offer this discount, we charge a small fee per bid, for each bid placed.

So check them out, leave me a comment, and have a Blessed Advent. 

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Making it Count

Yesterday we went back to the lake to feed the ducks.  My mom is on vacation this week, and I wanted to do this activity with her and the boys so she could see the pure joy on William's face as he heaved scraps of bread at the begging fowl.

As we neared the bottom of the bag of bread, I said, "This is the last handful, William.  Make this one count."

And he did.

He clutched the bread in his fists as he stood at the water's edge.


I couldn't figure out why he was doing this at first, until I realized I had told him to make it count.

He screamed as he released the last of the crumbs into the water, pelting a duck on the head. 

Make it count?  Did he ever.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Holiday Prep

We recently had family photos taken by a dear friend of ours.  We had a blast taking pictures, and I was so happy to see the results.  If you are friends or family, you'll probably be getting a print in the mail next month.

Check out our photos, and check out Erica while you're over there.  She is so talented, so fun, and has really reasonable rates!  If you're in the San Diego area, you definitely won't want to miss having your pictures taken by her...  Thank you Erica for capturing our family once again!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Budding Photographer

When I was sick I gave William my camera to play with... anything to keep him busy for a few minutes while I rested.  Most of his shots weren't great, but he did a nice job of capturing his brother in a couple of photos.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Movers and Shakers

We've been doing lots of growing over here.  Thomas is huge - nearly out of his 12 month clothes - and moving like crazy.  He can roll and scoot and pull himself up to standing.  When we are out at the playground he swings right alongside his brother, and when we do chalk on our patio he wants a piece, too.

M&Ms are one of William's favorite things to have drawn outside

William is doing his fair share of growing, too.  It was a strain to get his old tennis shoes on, so we had a morning out at the mall and picked up some new sneakers.  The amazing, and slightly painful part?  I didn't get to pick them out this time - he did.  Of course he picked the shoes I would not have chosen...  they're called "slimers" and have pockets of slime in the front and on the sides.  I went with it, though, and I have never seen a boy so happy to have new shoes.  The best part?  They were on a great sale because really, who besides a little boy would choose slime shoes?

These two littles are growing up so fast!  I'm sure before too long these shoes will be Thomas' and William will be in school.  These tiny moments are fleeting and I'm so blessed to be able to take the time to savor the small things.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Dinner Disaster

It's good to learn to roll with the punches.  Like when William helps to unload the groceries at 4 pm the night of a dinner party, and the sweet potatoes end up all over the floor.  A pretty dirty floor, because the vacuuming was being saved until riiiight before the guests arrived in hopes of minimizing toddler crumbs (which are much grosser than regular crumbs).  And so, rather than serving delicious roasted vegetables that just wouldn't be complete without those delicious orange spuds, we raid the freezer to see what else is available.  And those frozen tater tots we had instead?  Stupendous.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


The pastor at our church gives amazing homilies.  Take a few minutes to listen to his most recent one... you will be blessed!


Thank you Amma and Doo Dah for the wonderful book from Hawaii.  We are having so much fun learning about a new place, and can't wait to go there someday ourselves! 

Monday, November 15, 2010

Friday, November 12, 2010

Shout it out

I hide a lot of things.  Isn't that what I'm supposed to do?  Perform acts of charity, but keep them hidden.  Give gifts to my husband, but don't tell him what they are.  Pray for family and friends, but don't publicly reveal my plea to God on their behalf.  Of course, these kinds of secrets are good to have.  But sometimes?  Sometimes I want to shout out all the awesome gifts of love I've given from the top of my lungs. 

Sometimes it's good for friends, or children, or husbands to know they're getting something amazing in life.  Especially husbands :)  Because let's be honest, most of the time, our darling husbands don't necessarily notice everything on their own (and neither do us wives).  We get so fixated on our daily grind that we can't even see when someone else has gone out of their way to make life brighter.  If someone gives me a gift, I certainly want to be aware of it so I can at least express my appreciation.  Pointing out a gift you've given can help the recipient: 1) actually notice the gift, 2) say thank you, 3) restore bliss to a relationship.  Isn't that easy?  So speak up!  Toot your own horn a little bit - not just for your benefit, but so that those around you can hear the beautiful melody too.

And Mr. Michael?  You have one of the best Christmas presents ever coming your way this year.   54 days in the making, it is my most generous gift this year.  Love you!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Beautiful Things

I finally finished my quilt top.  I wanted to get it done before the end of Fall so we can enjoy it.  I think it will be well loved.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

William Heise County Park

We're now two for two as far as successful camping trips go. 

Having amazing friends with us certainly helped the fun-o-meter shoot up extra high.

Even our 1/2 mile nature walk worked out.  This was no walk in the park, let me tell you.  Yes, it's true that I'm not much of a hiker, but I was impressed that we made it around the loop with no tears.. not even from me.  We found deer and bobcat prints along the way, and Michael convinced the older kids that a piece of wood was a tooth from a prehistoric land shark. 

Camping with the kids is a lot of work, but roughing it in the woods is a great way to relax and recharge.  And by roughing it, I mean in a six person family tent with air mattresses that we inflated at an RV hookup about a mile away from our campsite.  You do what ya gotta do, though, and so we did. 

Despite the cold night temperatures, high kid to adult ratio, and a few scrapes along the way, we all managed to leave with smiles on our faces.  We also looked into tent trailers as soon as we got home.