Friday, April 29, 2011


What is this? Two blogs in a row? Well, yes. I did not plan on this, but I feel I need to write about it so I am. As anyone who is close to me knows, our little Troy is a blessing through adoption. Lets go back to 2003. We decided we want to have more children, but there were obstacles in our way that meant we had to seek infertility treatments. InVitro Fertilization to be exact. Now, because of my beliefs (that life begins at conception) I had a struggle with this. Our decision was that we would never leave any embryo without a chance at life. Now, we never went back on that but the medical doctors, they are a different story. In our last IVF round, they "discarded" 3 of our embryos because they didn't like their quality, that left us with two. They did so without our permission and against our wishes. Hence why it was our LAST round. We did 4 rounds of IVF when it was all said and done. On the first round, we were blessed with a double pregnancy. Twins. We were thrilled. It was short lived when we lost twin A, and two weeks later twin B. The second and third transfers did not develop. The fourth, and final, we had two viable embryos and transfered both. We were delighted to learn that we were pregnant. Everything appeared to be going well, and things were progressing as they should. We passed the "danger points" and were preparing for our little Brody's arrival. Interesting fact about this pregnancy, I had a "pseudo sac" along with Brody. So, for the pregnancy I measured much larger that I should have because of the empty sac growing there too, presumably where the other baby attached but never grew. Anyhow, we were so excited and already in love with him. Then it happened. One day I couldn't get his heartbeat on my home doppler and it is then that we learned what real heartbreak was. We delivered our Brody that day, born so perfectly made but perfectly still. I struggled not understanding why he had to go be with Jesus before we even got to officially meet him. Chris' heart was broken. My heart was broken. It didn't seem at that time like we would ever be able to be happy again. We knew that we would never do IVF again, but still struggled with our empty arms. We grieved our son fiercely, and though we were shocked at how many people didn't even seem to care, there were many who showed an outpouring of love and support onto us. Oh how grateful I was for them at that time. Well, I am still grateful.

In July, Chris felt as though his heart was being led by God to adopt. Now, this was a BIG deal. Chris had not been open to adoption previously, but God changed his heart. Without going into a ton of details, I had a friend who approached us that week about adopting the baby she was pregnant with. It was such a God thing. Our son Troy was born August 4, 2005 just 9 weeks after we lost our Brody.

We agreed to a fully open adoption and to this day we are glad we chose this option. His unselfish and loving birthmom (whom I love very much) gets to see Troy as often as she like. He knows his biological siblings and he knows where he came from. I love that he has SO many people that love him.

After Troy's adoption, we wanted to adopt again. Well, that has proven to be a challenge. We have turned it over to God and his will. We have had 6 failed adoptions now. SIX. Six more heartbreaks. Just a little FYI, even though you are not carrying the baby, it still hurts when you are expecting and then it doesn't work out. You still grieve. It is still a loss. We did not share all of our adoption opportunities with our friends and family, because it is embarrassing and hurts worse to have to go say "well, once again...".

At this point we are not actively trying to adopt. We feel like if God led us to someone, or them to us, then if it is his will it will happen. If it is or if it isn't, we are happy with what we have. We certainly have enough and have been blessed beyond measure. Even though our family would think we were nuts for adopting again, we would welcome a new child with open arms. We will not seek one out though. We did enough trying to manipulate God's will before, and paid a hefty price.

Adoption is so beautiful. It is an amazing and loving option! I wish more people would chose it. I thank the Lord that we have a chance to experience what an amazing blessing it can be.


Planning is the easy part

When it comes to homeschooling, one of the most fun (and most difficult) decisions is in planning on which curriculum to use. Well, at least it holds true for me. First, I had to decide what our educational philosophy/style is. We started out very "school" like, and let me tell you...that did not suit any of us. I will say it is probably the most simple schooling method though, since many of us were raised in public school and that is what we "know" how to do. But, our intentions for homeschooling were not to be school, our intentions were to give our children the best CHRISTIAN based education that we possibly could. Enter finding "The Well Trained Mind" forum. I remember just looking for homeschool support and stumbling onto those boards. I was amazed at the wealth of information and immediately ordered "The Well Trained Mind (TWTM)" book.  Talk about a lot of information. I got the book in 2008, implemented some of it in 2008, some more in 2009, and reverted back to my "own" methods in 2010. Just FYI, my "own" methods were an epic fail! I am back to a literature based, full classical education.

That being said, I really struggled to decide which curriculum we were going to use. I do not go by TWTM completely. I use it as a guideline to creating my own system. For example, in the book it is recommended that we do physics this year with Michaela. Umm, no. We'll hit it hard in high school. This year, we are taking her love of animals and doing a pre-veterinary program as our science. She will also be going to a school to learn equine massage. Not in the book, but for this child, vital to her continued love for learning.

Like I said, nailing down all of the different curriculum sources was the easy part. Now comes the part I dread, PAYING for it all. As it is with most things in this life, I tend to chose things that cost more than other things. For example, we will be using Tapestry of Grace. Without buying the books, it is still a significant investment. I see that a lot of people have many young children when they start using ToG, so the investment will certainly pay off in the long run for them. Me? I have TWO children that will use it. One only once, the other just beginning so he will cycle the 3 times. However, I will have to add on every time because he will be older and need a different level. It would be so easy to go with something "easier" and cheaper, but it would not give me the satisfaction that it was the *best* option for us. I would always feel like what we were doing was inferior, and I would not be happy. (Because I know myself...I would get discouraged easily.) Move on to the grammar program I have chosen and there is yet MORE expense than I even dreamed I would choose. Again, I feel it is the best choice for my children and their learning styles, and will benefit them better in the long run than anything else I have run across. NOT that I am discounting the fact that something else may come along. I am always on the lookout for something that will work well for us and make learning more fun!

I am working hard at my home business, Celebrating Home, so I can apply all my profits to the purchase of curriculum. My husband is supportive of homeschooling, yet he certainly dislikes the fact that we pay school taxes and still have to spend a large chunk on their curriculum. Realizing this, I will do all I can to make sure that our home budget does not reflect the strain of those costs.

I will be the best steward of our money, getting what I can for the best price possible. I scour classified adds and watch sales. I look for discounts anywhere I can. The cost is worth the benefit though. I am sure of that, though there is no evidence to support my claims at this point.   Photobucket

Thursday, April 28, 2011

My heart is breaking...

I am so upset about the devastation by the tornadoes in the south. Alabama's state emergency management agency said it had confirmed 162 deaths, while there were 32 in Mississippi, 32 in Tennessee, 13 in Georgia, eight in Virginia and one in Kentucky

Many of you know I am a big fan of the University of Alabama. The home of UofA is in Tuscaloosa, which was the hardest hit by the storm. Please join me in praying for all of those effected by the storms, and for those who are going to do relief work. 

Please donate if you have the resources. You can volunteer your time, your money, and even your blood. They are saying there is a dire need for blood. Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox asks for volunteers to call 205-561-4169. You can also text "GIVE" to 80888 to make a donation to the Salvation Army's tornado response if you want to help the victims.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Help wanted:

Do you have more energy than you know what to do with? Do you love to see things neat and organized? Do have that special attention to detail? Are you a self starter who likes to do things alone without the assistance of others? Have others often comments on your level of astounding cleanliness? Do you have an interest in volunteering your time to assist a mother who wants to dedicate more of her time to doing things with her children and less time focusing on the drudgery of the daily grind? If so, have I got a job for you! I am accepting applications for a housekeeper, on volunteer basis. Your title would be the cleaning fairy, and you would be very well appreciated.



Review of the "E-Book: The Curiosity Files™- Cicada-Killing Wasp”

Click here to purchase

This is a review of the E-Book: The Curiosity Files™- Cicada-Killing Wasp”, provided by "The Old Schoolhouse Store". It is a neat little unit study about the cicada-killing wasp (obviously). It is rated for ages 8-13, but I used it with my 13 & 5 year olds and they both enjoyed it. Truth be told, I learned as much as they did and enjoyed it.
My 5 year old is a non-reader, so the material was above him on that level. However, my 13 year old is a fluent reader. At first glance, she thought this unit study was “beneath” her maturity. Because she was obviously hesitant, I asked her to review it and “teach” it to her little brother. I did request that she complete the stuff that was too old for him. I am proud to say that after two weeks of working on this, my non-reading 5 year old can proudly spell cocoon, prey, gnaw, and stinger. He also understands what these words mean, and has incorporated them into this vocabulary. My hesitant daughter also completed the stuff that was on her age level, like the math plotting and the grammar practice, without being told to do so. She was enjoying it so much she just got engrossed in the material. 
The crafts are numerous, and in this short time period we decided to do the cicada wasp pencil toppers. I would love to post a picture, but my memory card in my camera decided to stop working correctly so it is not possible at this point. The activities are so easy but educational and fun. We also put an insect trap in the little yard outside of our condo. Every day we check it and have fun researching what we "catch". So far we have caught several different beetles and a scorpion. Not so fun on him, but was education none the less. 
My daughter did indeed get sidetracked into learning about the “WASPs” (Women Airforce Service Pilots ) and this has spurred her having an interest in World War II. I love this part of homeschooling, where studying one thing births a new interest in a child and allows them to go further exploring and learning! 

Before we got this unit study, we had NO idea what a cicada was or that there was a wasp that killed it. We have seen cicadas and heard them sing, but always just thought they were locusts. The timing of this study was also wonderful, since we are heading into the season where the stinging creatures are out and we can appreciate them for the reasons God created them.

Everyone in our home learned from the study. We attended a gathering the other day and in a group of the attending children, we overheard our kids educating the other kids on the cicada killing wasp and they had an intrigued audience. I would certainly call this product a success.
If you are interested in getting this unit study, please head on over to “The Old Schoolhouse” store and get you a copy. The price is a mere $1 if purchasing alone. You can also get it in packages along with other Curiosity Files. I can imagine the others are just as educational and fun as this one was.
The the “E-Book: The Curiosity Files™- Cicada-Killing Wasp” is a complete stand alone unit study with math, grammar, history, art, science, spelling, and music included. It is an amazing value at $1, and can be used with many ages


Sunday, April 24, 2011

He's Alive!

My favorite Easter song is "He's Alive" as sung by Dolly Parton. It always gives me chills and brings me to tears. Amazing Love our God has for us.



The gates and doors were barred and all the windows fastened down
I spent the night in sleeplessness and rose at every sound
Half in hopeless sorrow and half in fear the day
Would find the soldiers breaking through to drag us all away

And just before the sunrise I heard something at the wall
The gate began to rattle and a voice began to call
I hurried to the window looked down into the street
Expecting swords and torches and the sound of soldier's feet

But there was no one there but Mary so I went down to let her in
John stood there beside me as she told me where she'd been
She said they've moved him in the night and none of us knows where
The stone's been rolled away and now his body isn't there

So, we both ran toward the garden then John ran on ahead
We found the stone and empty tomb just the way that Mary said
But the winding sheet they'd wrapped him in was just an empty shell
And how or where they'd taken him was more than I could tell

Oh, something strange had happened there just what I did not know
John believed a miracle but I just turned to go
Circumstance and speculation couldn't lift me very high
Cause I'd seen them crucify him then I saw him die

Back inside the house again the guilt and anguish came
Everything I'd promised him just added to my shame
When at last it came to choices I denied I knew his name
And even if he was alive it wouldn't be the same

Then suddenly the air was filled with a strange and sweet perfume
Light that came from everywhere drove shadows from the room
And Jesus stood before me with his arms held open wide
And I fell down on my knees and I just clung to him and cried

Then he raised me to my feet and as I looked into his eyes
The love was shining out from him like sunlight from the skies
Guilt in my confusion disappeared in sweet release
And every fear I'd ever had just melted into peace

He's alive! Yes He's alive! Yes He's alive
And I'm forgiven, heaven's gates are open wide!
He's alive! Yes He's alive! Yes He's alive
And I'm forgiven heaven's gates are open wide!
He's alive! He's alive! Hallelujah He's alive!
He's alive and I believe it! 
He's alive! Sweet Jesus!


Friday, April 22, 2011

In flight safety...good advice for life

When you take a flight, shortly after embarking on your journey the flight attendants do a spectacular presentation on what to do in case of an emergency. Of course, one of those emergencies is a drop in cabin pressure, in which case 4 oxygen masks will drop from the ceiling. In this, they tell you if you are traveling with children to take care of putting the mask on yourself and THEN take care of the children. Now see, to some people that confuses them. Our instinct tells us to sacrifice ourselves before children. However, in this case you will not be able to help that child if you have not made precautions for yourself.

I think we need to apply this concept in other areas of our life, both spiritually and physically. How can we lead our children to live a Godly life where they are prayerful and seeking him in everything, if we ourselves are not doing that first?

Then there is another issue...our bodies. What service are we doing for our children if we do not take care of our bodies? Do they not deserve to have us with them as long as possible? Of course they do. I do not know one person who says "Oh, I don't care if I live to see my grandchildren".  I guess there are those bent on self-destruction that may, but for most, we want to be there for our kids (and grand-kids and to live to a rightful old age). Problem is we allow everyday duties to be put in front of caring for ourselves and therefore we are hurting our children (and ourselves).

So, remember, to properly care for children you need to first take care of yourself!


Friday, April 15, 2011

Just Testing my new siggy line

How does it look?


52...The number of followers I have

It is also the number of playing cards in a deck. I am so proud that my reader base jumped like it did with the "give-away", but I would love for it to jump more. I think for one I need to make my blog prettier. I look around and these people have these gorgeous blogs. Although I like my design here, I realize I need so much more.

If you have suggestions, I would love to hear them. I am always up for some education and constructive criticism.

Thank you much, and God bless you all!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Going "Under the Knife"

I will be having my bowel resection on the 2nd of June. I am going to have it in Houston instead of in Midland where we live. I was thinking of having it in Midland, since I have so many friends there and I think they would help me during my recovery. However, after I found out that my doc here is one of only 3 in the nation that do the procedure in this minimally invasive way, and that he is also the NASA doc, I am sticking with him. Also, after the horrible way the hospital in Midland was when I had my hysterectomy, I am scared to go back there for care.

I will be in the hospital for about a week, and then then two weeks rest at home (well, my Mom's house). Then I will go back to Midland to complete my recovery.

I am kind of scared to do my two weeks here, but I think Gwen will come some, as will my friend Cari.

I am just kind of scared of the surgery, but not as scared as not doing it and then having to have it emergently and ending up with a colonostomy.

So, over the next few weeks I will be working on getting into better shape ASAP. I found out my triglycerides are high as is my A1C. I am NOT diabetic yet, but getting too close for comfort.

I am actually scared about those things more than the surgery, but I know my recovery will be lots better if I get the weight off and strengthen those muscles I need for recovery.

I have 6 weeks...I gotta get busy!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The beauty of a woman

This is going to be short and sweet, but I need to talk about this. I was at a doctor's appointment this morning, and they had that show "The View" on the television. They were talking about how inappropriate/shocking it was that an actress was talking about how "pretty" she was. How we all want to feel like we are pretty, but it is altogether different to tell others of your beauty. Now, I do believe there is a certain humility that should be involved, but all women should know they are indeed BEAUTIFUL.

So, to you all you ladies, I say this: Know that you were created just the way God intended for you to be. You are beautiful. Be the most beautiful woman you can be, and beam with radiance.

I caution us all to be confident, be self assured, but do not be arrogant or vain. When one is arrogant or vain, it inspires negative reactions that will cause one to be looked upon just as the ladies on TV were looking on this woman.

Friday, April 8, 2011

West Texas...

These two pictures, take a moment to reflect on the stark differences between the two. The one above is East Texas, the piney woods, where I am "from". That is home to me. Below is where I live. The dusty plains. Plain is right.

We moved here one year ago. There is something I am STILL having trouble understanding, and that is the price of real estate here. Seriously, it is asinine! I can live in the Piney Woods for half of what it would cost for the same caliber place here. Well, land/house wize. Land here will NEVER be the caliber of East Texas land. Yet, it is so much higher to have the barren land.

I continue to be astonished at the price of Real Estate here in the West Texas area. It is RIDICULOUS, especially if you want to rent or lease. First of all, you are lucky to find anything to rent/lease, and when you do, it has an enormous price tag. Take for example this house here. It is a townhome with only 2 bedroom and 2 bath. It is old. It is not in the nicest part of town, but it is in an "okay" area. The elementary and junior high schools are not desirable, but the high school is (if you want your children in public school). They want $1,900/month for this place. They will get it too. My guess is it will be leased before the day is out.

We live in a condo here. It is brand new and we are loving it. We miss living in the country, but this will have to do for now. We would love to buy, but the housing market is just not high in the rental department, it is high in the selling department too. It amazes me that here you pay aprox $115/sq ft (more in the nicer neighborhoods) and back "home", you could buy out in the country for $75ish a sq ft, and have land to boot!

Besides the fact that the landscape here is UGLY (see above reference picture), there is no water for recreation and it is so hot in the summer it is miserable. It is "spring" now and yet we have already seen 100 degrees. It has not rained in many months. The ordinarily drab and dry landscape is even more so without the rain. And please don't tell me about the "dry" heat. Hot is hot. I would take the humidity with beauty over the scorching flat-lands anyday!

All of this being said, I am happy enough here. For the most part the people are great. I long to go back to east Texas, with the trees and water. A place where real estate is reasonable, and most of all...a place that holds the majority of those I love.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Thoughts on those who read

I learned to read at an early age. I am not sure when, maybe Mom will comment and let you know. I have always loved books. Even as a little girl, I would have them with me everywhere I went. This picture above is me, circa 1979 (I was 3) and do you see my hands? My most prized possessions I am guessing. I have my kitty blanket there (my constant companion that I absolutely LOVED) and I have books. I am holding so many books I look like I am about to drop some. I don't remember that day, or those books. I do remember my kitty blanket and to this day I still wonder who took that thing and threw it in the garbage. Yes, I still miss it. Anyhow, back on track...I remember in the third grade I checked out a novel from the school library. It was somewhere between 250-350 pages of fine print. Anyhow, I read all day after schoolwork was finished, and then from the time I got home from school until it was finished. When I went to return it the next day, the librarian was very ugly. She told me there was NO WAY I had read that book, and that I would not be allowed to check another one out for two weeks. I was crushed. I wanted to read more. I remember crying and feeling so hurt that she didn't believe I had read it. I remember telling my grandma what the meanie librarian had said, and how upset my grandma had gotten because she KNEW what a vehement reader I was, and had seen me reading that previous evening. I think that is when she started taking me to the used book store and buying me more novels.

You know, there is just "something" different about a person who reads. I seem to understand better those that read. It is a camaraderie that is not found with every person. Even if their pleasure reading is of a different genre, a mind that reads on a regular basis is a different sort. Not that non readers are bad, because I happen to love one VERY much. But they do not look at the world the same way. It is refreshing to have those who don't, and exhilarating to be able to talk to others who do.

I married a "non-reader". He just does not get how I can stick my nose in a book so much. He is an intelligent man. He knows so many things that I don't. However, there is one major thing I have that he doesn't. That is a vocabulary with a wide range. Basically, I know big words that he doesn't and I use them. It's no big deal, he can get his point across without those words. He doesn't know how a book is ALWAYS better than the movie, because he never reads. He claims he has read one full novel in his life. I wish he knew what pleasure there was in reading. I wonder why for some people reading is a form of torture.

I know some people who like books, but in audio form. For me, that is torture. It takes away what my mind likes to imagine for itself. It gives a voice to characters and I cannot delve into the words. I cannot re-read to make sure I get the right meaning from a sentence. I cannot read a paragraph over again just to enjoy the beauty of the words. More than that, there is so much "noise" in the world, that I cannot bear to hear anymore. Reading is my escape from the noise. It is my escape from stress. It is my joy and my pleasure. It has been for MANY year. I found this next picture and it could of been of me, if I had lived back then. I LOVE BOOKS!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Re-drawing for my give-away...

As I posted, if the previous winner did not claim their gift card, I would redraw. The gift-card is unclaimed, and I had a new "drawing"

And the new winner is...



I went BACK to, put it 1-51, and generated a new winner. I used the original list (see previous winner post) and used those number. Congratulations Michele! You have 5 days to get me your info so I can mail you your card. If you would rather have an online GC to something, we can do that too. Just let me know. :)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Which kind of FROG are you?

In life, daily, we are faced with choices. This morning my Bible reading in Proverbs: 4 took me through the contrast between light and dark, good and evil, the wise and the wicked. We are told to depart from evil, to recognize it for what it is, and to not be drawn into it.

As Christians, how are we so often led away by the evil? Is it because we purpose to let our guard down? No, I do not believe so.

Did you know, that if you put a frog in a pot of boiling water, it will jump right out? However, if you put the frog in tepid water, and slowly turn the heat up, the frog will stay there and allow itself to perish under the heat. Why? Because it adjusts to the heat as it increases and it doesn't even realize that it's complacency is allowing it to be destroyed.

I think *this* is the biggest stumbling block for Christians. We do not purpose to allow wickedness to seep into our lives. However, we are so immersed in it that we slowly allow sins to creep back into our lives. Things that were once a shock to us and our sensibilities are now common-place. We become like that frog and sometimes are totally oblivious to the evil that has permeated and in return we reflect that evil and live it. Maybe it is in the way we dress. Maybe in the way we speak. Maybe it is in which TV shows we indulge. Whatever it is, if it is not good, it is bad. God does not say there is a way of the wicked and a way of the righteous and a way of the in between. As a matter of fact, we are told in Revelation 3:15-16 that God wants us to be either hot or cold for him, because if we are lukewarm he wants to spit us out of his mouth.

Proverbs 4:20-27 (King James Version)

20My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings.

21Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart.

22For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.

23Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

24Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee.

25Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee.

26Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.

27Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.

We are guided to purpose our steps. to keep our feet on the path and do not look away from it. You see, God expects us to PLAN out our days and our ways. He is telling us that failing to plan is planning to fail (no, this is not a scripture, but it is a good summary). We should be prepared to battle evil. We need to have his word DEEP in our hearts so that we can effectively "jump out" of any pots we stumble on, be they boiling or tepid. We are expected to not be the frog in the pot, but the other kind of F.R.O.G. The "Fully Rely On God" frog!

So, what kind of frog are you?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The heart, not the hemline...

Here are two excellent videos on modesty...

Since I am raising a teenage girl, I know I needed this. I know *she* needs to hear this.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Thoughts on Ruth

The other day as I began my morning Bible reading, I opened up at the start of Ruth. Confession time here. I have never read the Bible in it's entirety. Yes, it is on my "goal" list and I am planning to embark on the next "Read your Bible in 90 days challenge". Anyhow, I had never heard much about Ruth, but I decided to read the book of Ruth that morning. I was (and am) astonished at the level of sacrifice and commitment that Ruth had to Naomi. Her trust in the Lord. I thought, how can we live to be more like her?

This morning as I was chasing squirrels through blogs (that is what I call it when I link from one blog to another to another to another) I found this blog: Living the Ruth Life in an Eve World. This looks like a great little "study" to do.

Also, I found this blog, and I found it beautiful and definitely though provoking. I guess that is why she has named her blog "Thoughtful Spot". I enjoy this one so much, not only did I subscribe (because I cannot find a button to follow), but I also added it to my top of page bookmarks in case the subscribe doesn't come through for me. I do not want to miss any of this.

I love the insight of others into the word of God. I like being challenged to think more thoroughly, to dig digger, to seek that discernment that God wants for us to have. As a matter of fact, as I was reading Proverbs 2 this morning, the following really stuck with me in relation to what I am speaking (eer, typing) of today.

Proverbs 2:1-5

1My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee;

2So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding;

3Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding;

4If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures;

5Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.

Friday, April 1, 2011

And we have a "WINNER"

First of all, thank you to EVERYONE who participated. You all rock, and I wish you could all win. That be said, the Winner of my first ever give-away is...

Jennifer from "Butterflies in the City" blog!!!

Jennifer, you have 5 days to contact me and get me your mailing address. If you do not respond within 5 days, I will have another drawing on April 6. If another drawing takes place, the 5 days will begin again for the next winner. I am copying from the original post the following:

If you are the winner, I will announce your name April 1st on my blog, and you must contact me within 5 days to give me your address and accept the "prize". After 5 days, a new winner will be drawn.

I did not end up using "The Hat" application as it did NOT want to cooperate. I used I entered all of the names in the order they entered, with multiple entries for those who had them. Then I randomized the list. It looked like this:

Next, I used the random number generator and entered 1-51, and allowed it to generate a number, and the winner was number 9 on the list.