Runefactory 2 Review

One of my Fave gaming series of all time is the Harvest Moon series, their farming sims. I know I know doesn’t sound fun right I mean farming? BUT the series is amazingly addicting fun and rewarding great for all ages. I received one of the newest installments for my DS Rune factory 2. Like all harvest moon games the core of this one is farming, unlike most harvest moon games this one has dungeon crawls and monsters. Keeping with the harvest moon series this game is mostly non violent yes you do whack monsters with a sword but you don’t kill them instead all weapons are enchanted with magic that returns monsters to their original home the forest of beginnings. Also instead of buying live stock you befriend the monsters to give you produce or help you with your farm chores. Also although you start out having to play as a guy after you get married and have a child you can choose to play as either a boy or a girl. Another new feature to the harvest moon series the story plays through two generations. And there is so much to do not just farming and dungeons but cooking item crafting making friends with the villagers quests(which really aren’t that special mostly fetch and carry but you do get good rewards from them) its bound to keep you busy for a while. Unfortunately there are a few things that keep this from being perfect. There are some graphical errors the game goes to a crawl if there are more then two characters on the screen. The music is fun and fits the scenes but gets annoying after awhile There is some voice acting in the game which is thankfully not used often. There are also some typing errors. My poor little girl keeps getting called Kyle. But nit picking aside this is a great game from a great series and I’m looking forward to the next installments.

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Random Ramblings

Devon is taking first year French and decided to do the Foreign Language Festival- She got 4 certificates, placed 2nd in speaking and is going on to state in 3 different categories (speaking, poetry, and reading). (They have to score 90% or above for this.) Yay, Geekazoid! Oh, and she is going to state with quizbowl so double yay, Geekazoid!

We thought Casey was getting used to her meds, but these last few days she's been getting tired and even dropping off in class again- teachers get kind of annoyed, but oh well, they will have to deal. It's the divas senior year for goodness sakes she doesn't want to miss out on everything.

Mama is moving to a smaller place- which I am very happy about. Since my nephew moved out the condo really is too much for her so she's getting a place one block from the ocean with a better view than she has now- it is on the third floor, there is an elevator right to her door and covered parking. There is even a tiny balcony which I cannot wait to drink my coffee on.
We have been chattering like magpies on the phone while she got everything straightened out (doing the inside work first then letting the Universe deliver).
We both cannot wait until my visit in April/May. It has been much, much too long.
I hope it is not too much longer before we find a way to be close to each other (and the ocean) all the time again.

Got the papers all faxed in and received official confirmation- Devon has been declared the winner for the Legoland trip, so we'll try to make that for Casey's graduation trip. Found out the Airport is San Diego so Ken will try to put enough back so that the girls and I can go to the zoo- something we've always wanted to do.

I know some of y'all don't do the whole convenience foods, but we do so and YUM did we find a good one- Toaster Strudels- okay what's not to love, right, flaky pastry and yummy goodness in and on top... our favorite was the cream cheese, but it now has a new rival- Boston cream. Delish!

All 4 of the girls went to see Coraline last night- LOVED, LOVED, LOVED it. Nothing but rave reviews. From Blondie- it's right up there with The Nightmare Before Christmas and she's never had this problem before.

Dawn very occasionally surfaces and she says Fallout 3 is one of the most awesome games ever- it has chainsaws. Her review will be coming soon (she actually has another review ready we'll get it on here eventually). Those of you with weak stomachs shouldn't read or play.

The dogs have been particularly cuddly and adorable, especially when it is colder (it goes between wear a t-shirt, wear a sweater and a jacket). I really need to get some pics of them on here- one of these days. I think we've got some pics we took for the blog still in the camera and I know there are some in Ki's but we just haven't.

The geekazoid was saying something about Mmm Bop a while ago so when I did a new playlist I got it to mess with her. Serves me right that the dang thing is now stuck in my head- that's okay, I made them listen enough it is frying their brains right along with mine.

Ian is at the cutest stage ever. OMG that boy is just such a doll and almost always happy and just a real piece of work. Man do I love that boy. And his mama.

I haven't been able to keep up with everyone, what's going on with y'all? Are you as ready for spring as I am?
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Octo-nightmare, why can't I let it go? rant

I consider myself a fairly liberal, live and let live type of person and try not to judge harshly, I mean, God knows I've made my share of mistakes and have some colossal screw-ups to my name.

Most people consider me an eternal optimist- no matter how bad things get I will try to look for the good.

The octo-nightmare continues to haunt me, though, and I am not quite sure why I just can't let it drop.

I don't consider myself perfect or always right or claim to be the world's greatest mom but I know I don't deliberately harm or endanger my children.

My beliefs are just that, my beliefs and for the most part I genuinely believe people are doing the best that they can in any given moment.

I just can't believe that in this case, though, so maybe if I write through it I will figure out what bothers me so much and will be able to occupy my mind with things I choose to have in my life instead.

Okay, so here's what I know so far.

Ms. Suleman was a single mother of six living with her parents in a 3 bedroom home. (Hello, where do you think you will fit 8 more cribs, high-chairs, baby equipment, etc...)

Ms. Suleman has been living off of disability since 1999, claiming near total incapacity due to a back injury. (Umm sure and how exactly does one get a doctor to consider IVF for even the first child when you can't do for or help yourself let alone take care of a child. This one really, really bothers me as so many people with legitimate medical complaints can't get any assistance and yet here we can have these expensive voluntary medical procedures again and again and again. I really, really hope that this is looked into- disability fraud, last I heard, was not something that is taken lightly.)

Ms. Suleman has had multiple cosmetic procedures as evidenced by before and after photos. (When one is a parent living on student loans, disability payments and food stamps I'm not seeing where this fits into the grand scheme of things as this isn't what the intention of ANY of her income sources is for.)

Ms. Suleman has insisted she is not on welfare, yet the SSI she gets for her children and the food stamps are exactly that by definition. (Hello, money that you get from the government that is not earned is welfare in anybodies book. Now, I am not saying it is something one should be ashamed of when it is a temporary thing but when you are obviously milking the system...)

Ms. Suleman gets disability for 3 of her children because one has autism, one is slow and one has adhd. (HOW the frack does she do this??? I have friends and relatives that their children have SERIOUS, REAL medical issues such as needing braces and therapy and.... and they can barely get help if any. Sorry, but if those children get help it should be counseling not cash so mama can get a nose job or lip augmentation.)

Ms. Suleman insists she is not in it for financial gain yet she has hired a publicist, set up a website soliciting donations, gotten around the not getting paid for interview stuff by getting paid for the pictures and on and on. (Did you hear that food stamps and SSI people? Ms. Suleman got paid a LOT of money for those pics, are you counting those as income and reducing those benefits?)

Ms. Suleman has already gone on record as saying she wants her own reality show as a parenting expert and a hefty 2 million dollars. (OMFG *pauses a moment to hold her guts in cuz she's laughing so dang hard* Please, please, tell me no one is stupid enough to believe that this woman is an expert on anything but milking the system.)

Ms. Suleman has stated that she had the IVF again not so that she could have multiples (yeah, right) but because she was lonely. (Give me a break, anyone with 6 kids who is lonely is obviously so far off the deep end she doesn't need to be influencing any children... with only 4 fairly well spaced out children there are times I feel like I don't get a half a minute to myself.)

Oh, and food stamps and SSI go by income so how the heck did she manage to save up the massive amounts of money it takes? Somebody didn't tell the truth somewhere along the line and I hope they investigate and arrest her. (She didn't even tell her parents about her settlement just sponged off them like a blood-sucking leech.)

Oh, and I have heard the argument all children are a miracle and gift from God and blah blah ad nauseum, but there was NOTHING natural about how she conceived so this was science and medicine so it's not flying here.

Even if one bought Ms. Suleman's story that she only expected/wanted one more when she knew there were that many she had to have known (or been informed by her doctors) that there was no way in HE double hockey sticks that those children would be born at term and without medical and more than likely mental issues. Who, may I ask, since she is single and *cough cough hack hack* unable to work due to her severe disability is footing not only the birth and their initial hospital stay which is not exactly affordable, but the undoubted continued care they will need once they are released? The California taxpayers? Aren't they like issuing IOU's to those who are getting a state refund because they are broke? Umm yeah, if you have to pay for this lunatics poor judgment, I can see why you can't afford it.

I am not even able to comprehend how one person could feed all those children let alone change diapers and have all that so called quality time Ms. Suleman insists she is able to give each and every one of them each and every day. (And all this while going to school. Apparently I did everything wrong and suck as a supermom cuz even with a second parent and supportive friends and family I just don't see how it is possible.)

It baffles me how people can say she's a good mother and just wants love.

I feel sorry for her, I do.

I feel even more sorry for her children, all 14 of them.

But when even your own mother who was doing most of the raising of the 6 children you have says you are an irresponsible and mostly absent parent you aren't selling me your load of manure.

Then you have the doctor- what oh what was that doctor thinking? That he'd have a little piece of that multiple miracle moolah action, is my guess, because it certainly wasn't giving an infertile person or couple a child to love and cherish and care for. One with 6 children, no job, claiming she's too disabled to work living with her parents and off of the system... UMM WTF??? Yeah, right, I am thinking you won't be lasting long as a fertility specialist at least not in this country where some of us still care about things like ethics.

The publicist who is OUTRAGED at the backlash this lunatic has drawn and the lack of support from big sponsors and the public. HAHAHAHAHA talk about ambulance chaser for the pr crowd.

I could go on and on but I am going to leave it here before it gets any more depressing... well, one final thought.

I will not, nor will anyone I know, knowingly support or do business with any company who has the poor sense to reward this woman's cold calculated scheming. I will neither watch a show featuring her nor will I buy a product advertised on said show if anyone ever tells me who the advertisers are. She is no expert, she is an obviously mentally unbalanced woman who needs help, not children.

Ugh I don't know if this helped me any to get it out of my system, but I will post it and hope y'all will share your thoughts and opinions. I'm willing to look at all sides and hope I missed something because I really do want to believe the best of people, but I just can't and don't right now.
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$25 Build-a-bear GC winner

True Random Number Generator Min: 1 Max: 166 Result: 68
And the lucky winner of a $25 Build-a-bear gift card is trishden who said...
I'm now a blogger follower!trishden
Congratulations. I will be emailing for your address and sending the gc as soon as possible.
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Fabulous things going on around here.

Things have been going pretty darn well here- Cas is getting used to the meds, Dev's been placing in her competitions, everything falling into place for my trip to mama's.
Our taxes aren't going to kill us near as much as we thought.
OT has picked back up some at Ken's work.
Ex's layoff was short lived and only 2 messed up paychecks.
Today we had some awesome news- Dan (Dawn's bf) is coming for a month at the end of May!!! to say we are excited is putting it mildly.
Well Dev has been a little freaked by all her commitments- she's in a lot of the pre-ap/advanced class and a lot due in the next few weeks she had a mini-meltdown but nothing major and it is now under control and she's feeling a lot better about things. (And not just because I told her she could take a mental health day off tomorrow.)
Anyways- she was up a bit late and checking her email- she WON A GRAND PRIZE TRIP to Legoland California for 4. She just had to send my (a parents) mailing info and I imagine we'll get the official paperwork sometime within the next week or so.
What's funny is I was talking to Dawn about us winning another trip soon - hopefully in time to make it a graduation trip for Casey before she starts Massage School.
While it may be geared to younger kids they could enter up til 16 and Dev was only 15 and I can assure you we aren't to mature to enjoy ourselves. ;-)
Dawn, Casey and I have been to Cali but it will be the first time for Dev- and the first time for any of us to this part.
Ken bless his heart will work and pay the taxes but miss out on all but knowing he makes it possible for us to have a good time... if he wanted to go I am sure we could pay for an extra but it is not his kind of thing, and he really is happy for us.
Life is good and keeps getting better and better.
So, what's going on in your neck of the woods?

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Wow Wow Wow FABULOUS NEWS & another giveaway!

UPDATE Entries closed and winner will be chosen using randomizer with 166 comments.

Guys, I am so freaking excited I can hardly stand it.

Remember my post here about our experiences with Build-A-Bear and how I put my money where my mouth is with a fabulous company and was going to give one of you, my lucky readers a $25 e-gift card?
If you didn't read my review, you really should- I know I am gushing but you just don't find many companies willing to go so far to keep their customers happy.

Are you ready for this?

Thanks to that post I was offered a Beary Limited® edition Hugs Fur You Monkey Collectifriend® (and OMG she's so cute, her name is Amelia- and totally Kyra's taste so of course she called dibs) well HAHA on her!

Ian fell totally in love and won't let her go!

Well when he is doing something else he has us hang her on his trampoline. (Guess who's at Gigi's house today?)

Not only that my friends, Build-A-Bear very generously sent me a $25 gift card to give to one of you.

I am so excited, I really am. Now two of you can make your own special friends.

For this giveaway, I am going to do things a little differently.

Since Build-A-Bear has been so generous here's what you need to do for this one.

Go browse around Build-A-Bear and tell me something fun or interesting about the site- it can be anything, but let me know you actually went there so we can show them our appreciation. Sorry, but enter me and I want to win won't cut it for this one.
This MUST be done for your other entries to count.

For an extra entry- tell me what your Valentine's Day plans are.

For another extra entry- twitter this giveaway and put the link in the comments.

Yet more entries- follow me- here or twitter or both.

Make sure you leave a separate comment for each thing you do.
This giveaway will end at 11:59 pm on Valentine's Day and I will notify the winner on the 15th.
Good luck and thank you all so very much. I appreciate each and every one of you who takes the time to enter our giveaways or read our blog or comment.
Make sure to show Build-A-Bear your love. They ship super fast and come in cute little box- houses and have sweet little adoption papers so you've got time to get your order in for the big day.
What better way to show your love than with an adorable furry friend they will keep for their entire lives? (Seriously, these are the kind and quality of stuffed animal that your kids will bring with them wherever life takes them.)
UPDATE: Blatant Bribery here: I found out a new recipe we were messing around with over the holidays is in a contest that is partially judged by how popular it is. Every one of you who votes 5 stars for our Super-Fluffy Shortbread Cookies and comes back and lets me know will get an extra entry.
Thank you, thank you, I love you tons and tons and bunches and bunches.
Oh, and if I do happen to win I will do a super-special additional giveaway!
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Chi Baby

Last night we were at my mom's, it was well past bedtime and Monkey was EXHAUSTED... but he did NOT want to go home. My pathetic attempts to tell him the sooner we go home and go to bed the sooner we have breakfast with Gigi fell on deaf ears. Finally I decided to try something... it's worked twice before, surely it wont work again. "Ian, we need to go home so you can say goodnight to your baby" I held my breath and waited for the squalling rebuttal...
"Otay, home baby!"
at which point Dawn asks who his baby is...
"Chi baby"
No, it's not one of his baby dolls, bears, dinosaurs, giraffes, trains, elephants or other stuffed animals. It's his kitten, and I had nothing to do with it.

Chi is one of our two rescued cats. The first, Newbie, was saved from the side of the road when Ian was about half a year old. She's sweet now, but she started out nothing but spastic and a little mean... turns out she just needed a friend. We got Chi this summer... or maybe she got us. I first saw her at a friends house, she was hosting a baby shower, an Ian walks up "Kitty! Moma kitty!" holding this tiny grey ball of fluff... upside down. She didn't scratch or bite, just kinda went with it like it was the most natural thing. Ian set her down and she ran off... he was heartbroken. For the all of two minutes before she came back to see him again. It turns out someone had dumped a whole litter at my friends house after a storm, and this spunky girl was all that was left. Later, after Ian had gone home, I was informed(as kitten was sleeping on my lap, no less) by my friends father that if someone didn't take the kitten home THAT NIGHT, well... there would be no more kitten. And he wasn't bluffing... I took proof of this in the bunnies everyone else had for dinner... I think I'll stop that detail there. (I may never recover from the mental scarring!)

Needless to say, kitten came home with me. Also needless to say, Ian was thrilled. Now she just needed a name... Hubby and I went back and forth with all kinds of names, from ones for her looks such as Ashe, to geeky names to match Newbie like Leet and pwn. Then Ian started calling her Chi. Don't know where he came up with it... just did. It's the first time he named anything on his own... and what better name for a hyper kitten then something that means energy?

Not long after we had Chi, Ian who was still completely enamored with her started calling her his baby. Again, all on his own... we never called her a baby at all let alone his. He also tried to carry her in his little box he uses for special treasures... that one was cute too but I don't think Chi appreciated it so much. It's amazing how much he loves her, the whole way home last night he was saying "Chi baby, see Chi baby, Chi baby bed time, ninight, love my Chi baby"

Anyways, I just had to share that bit of cuteness!
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Build-A-Bear Review & Giveaway UPDATE


I love a company that stands behind their products.

What about one that goes above and beyond?

I am totally in love with Build-A-Bear.

Not only do they have the cutest stuffed animals that you can customize with clothing and accessories, they go out of their way to make sure you are happy.

The animals are made from quality materials and stuffed with love and all sorts of other goodies. We own several, and even after repeated loving they are in excellent shape.

We did have one tiny little mishap. That was completely our fault. Well, Dude's fault.

One of Devon's Build-A-Bears, Carrie, a koala, was minding her own business when Dude (the villain of this story) decided to have a little fur-covered snack.

He literally bit her nose off. Yes, it was a tragedy and Dev was devastated.

Offers to replace Carrie weren't good enough (yes, I had a duh mom moment) so Dev took it upon herself to write to Build-A-Bear to see if they could repair her. (We of course were willing to pay whatever it took to have a beloved family member restored to health.)

Not only did Build-A-Bear refuse payment, they covered the shipping, repaired Carrie good as new and sent her home in a brand new outfit.

We were totally overwhelmed- as I am sure you know, this is NOT the norm for companies today.

We can highly recommend Build-A-Bear with no reservations whatsoever.

That being said, I've decided to put my money where my mouth is.

I am offering one lucky reader a $25. Build-A-Bear e-gift card so you can create your own furry friend.

This giveaway is open to anyone who can shop online at Build-A-Bear... I don't know what countries they ship to, but if you can receive it and/or find someone to give it to, you can win it.

You need to work a little bit for this one- head on over to Build-A-Bear and tell me your favorite furry friend. That's it, easy peasy.
You can get one entry per day - additional daily entries don't require this step.

Optional Entries: Please leave additional comment for each.
1) Tell me about your (or your child's) favorite toy or stuffed animal.
2) Follow me (see right sidebar) (current followers leave comment for your extra entry)
3) Follow me on Twitter (see right sidebar) (current followers leave comment for your extra entry)
4) Tweet about this giveaway and leave url in comment (can be done daily).
5) Add my button to your sidebar (see right sidebar) (If you already have it up make sure to leave me the url for your extra entry.)
6) Add My Loonyverse to your blogroll
7) Stumble me.

The giveaway will run from now until February 28 at 11:59 pm CST.

A random winner will be chosen and I will email them the GC on 3/1.

UPDATE: Blatant Bribery here: I found out a new recipe we were messing around with over the holidays is in a contest that is partially judged by how popular it is. Every one of you who votes 5 stars for our Super-Fluffy Shortbread Cookies and comes back and lets me know will get an extra entry.
Thank you, thank you, I love you tons and tons and bunches and bunches.
Oh, and if I do happen to win I will do a super-special additional giveaway!
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