Sunday, June 30, 2013

I'm Not Crazy, I'm On Lupron, A journey through infertility

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Some of you may know Stacey Rourke from her Gryphon Series - The Conduit, Embrace and Sacrifice, as well as The Sidekick Chronicles (A Gryphon Series Novella). Today Stacey takes us in a more personal and different direction - infertility. Regardless if you are male or female, have had or are having issues with infertility, know someone who has or not, this book is for you!


Stacey Rourke lives in Michigan with her husband and two beautiful daughters that she knows are nothing short of a blessing from Heaven. She took a break from working on her young adult fantasy Gryphon Series to share her story of infertility with the world. 

According to CDC, infertility effects 11% of women in the US. Author Stacey Rourke shares her own journey in her new book:

Basal body temperatures. Hormone injections. Invasive procedures - that leave no room for modesty. Tips on “effective positions” from well-meaning grandparents. 

When the natural way fails to work these are all added to the so called “fun” process of making a baby. Walk this rocky path to motherhood with author Stacey Rourke as she openly and honestly shares every good, bad, and awkward step of her three-year long journey. Using humor to break through the perils of infertility, she gives the lowdown on all the strange, embarrassing, and heartbreaking aspects. Stacey guides us through an unforgettable path that ends with a kid on each hip and hope for all those suffering with infertility. 

BONUS MATERIAL: “Morsels of Hope”
Success Stories from Infertility Survivors

Buy I'm Not Crazy, I'm on Lupron: A Journey Through Infertility now!


If you are facing your own struggles, Stacey wants you to know you aren't alone.

Chat with Stacey Rourke
Wednesday, July 3 at 11:00 am eastern
Twitter: #Infertility


             BLOG ♦ WEBSITE 

Enter the giveaway

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For more information about infertility visit these sites:
Resolve: The National Infertility Association -
International Council on Infertility Information –
American Fertility Assoc. -

Disclosure: A GWR Publicity event paid for by Anchor Group Publishing. Giveaway is sponsored by the author who is responsible for the delivery of prizes. MARIETTA HOMESCHOOLING ZOO received no compensation for this post.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Another Hospital Stay!

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This is Poppy just a week and a half ago when I took her to the ER. She was really faint, pale and just couldn't stay awake. Once in the ER she was immediately hooked up to an IV of fluids, they drew blood and began to monitor her blood pressure since it was 83/30 in triage. An hour or so later the doctor comes back in and says that her Hgb has dropped since her last lab workup and they'd like to admit her for observation at least overnight.

Although, Poppy was always my sick baby up until age one, this was her first hospital stay. She was diagnosed with asthma at 4 weeks and had RSV when she was  weeks old. At 9 months she got a bad case of bronchitis and was put on steroids. When she was 11 months old I was using the attachment on the vacuum to clean up the inside of Owlet's closet, she had spilled Chex-Mix in her toy box. I heard Poppy crawling down the hallway towards me but before I could get out of the closet she had knocked the vacuum over and grabbed the brush under the vacuum. She sustained some very bad burns to her hand that looked liked you had actually taken a melon baller to her fingers. Luckily, it did not do any serious damage, however she still has the scars from it.

They continued to monitor Poppy's blood pressure through the night and by morning there was no change, so the doctor scheduled her for an echocardiogram. Even though our hospital specialize in heart and vascular, they do not have a pediatric cardiologist and therefore had to send her echo off to be read.

By the next morning we had the test results back. She did in fact have mono, her hgb had dropped again, her echo came back fine, her BP was beginning to get close to normal again, she was able to stay awake with very few cat naps and she was getting her color back! Her nurse upon intake our first day said she looked like a totally different kid on the day we where released, and I gotta say I agree!

So while school may be out for summer there is certainly something new to learn everyday, and of course we turned this into an educational experience. While the girls know what an echo was, Owlet and Poppy had one when they were younger, we did research about the different types of echo. We researched hgb, mono and anemia. Poppy is certainly doing much better but we are taking it easy, getting lots of rest and fluids. 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Mike's Inspiration Station: 12 DVD Boxed Set - 64% off + FREE SHIPPING

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This set is being discontinued! Get it while supplies last!

These 12 art instruction DVDs retail for $79.90!

YOUR PRICE is $30.00 - 62% off & includes *FREE SHIPPING! ~ While Supplies Last!

*Free shipping applies to USA orders only.

Let your child's inner artist shine with this exciting series of instructional DVDs created just for kids! Featuring 26 projects spread across 12 volumes, Mike's Inspiration Station: 12 DVD Boxed Set will draw out the budding artist in every child with fun and nicely-paced lessons in traditional mediums like drawing, painting, and sculpting, plus unique activities like making clothespin puppets and fridge art.

Geared toward ages 8-13, the series encourages kids to craft right along with host Michael Cariglio and his biblical buddy, Booker T Bible, a talking, animated Bible who offers creative inspiration with Scripture references. Let Mike's Inspiration Station inspire your child's creativity and get some fun art project ideas and fridge art in the process!

Download the COMPLETE Supply list containing master for all 12 DVDs as well as broken down by lesson.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Save 20% - 40% off at Green Kids Crafts

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Save 40% on fun and educational activities from Green Kid Crafts

Have you tried Green Kids Crafts yet? If not you are definitely missing out on some awesome crafts. Not only does your little one get the joy of receiving mail and making wonderful crafts, they will also learn about recycling. Each kit comes with 3-4 crafts with directions and practically everything you'll need for each craft. Kits are geared towards ages 3-8 years old. Sign up now through July 1st and save 40% with coupon code save40.

This past Monday, June 17th, Green Kids Crafts launched eight additional single Discovery Boxes to their existing line-up! Coupled with their still-new single activity kits this means that Green Kids Crafts is your source for fun and educational activities all summer long, with or without a subscription. These single activity kits are greats for birthday parties, get together and general boredom busters. Now through August 31st use coupon code fun20 to save 20%.

Save 20% on fun and educational activities this summer!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Chasing Invisible Book Blast, Review & Giveaway

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Could you handle life in the spotlight?

Julia Alexander is a quite girl from a small town. Content to spend her days with her small group of friends and a pile of books, Julia thinks her future is set. When she unexpectedly meets Chase, a fellow college student and budding musician, she is unaware of just how drastically things are about to change.

Suddenly thrown into the limelight, her life is no longer her own. Relentlessly followed by the paparazzi, Julia is forced to make tough decisions about fame, love, family and relationships. But just how much will Julia have to sacrifice to become invisible...


Karen Pokras Toz, recently discovered her love for writing. Karen writes middle grade and adult contemporary fiction. Her middle grade children's novels have won several awards including the Grand Prize in the 2012 Purple Dragonfly Book Awards and First Place for a Global E-Book Award for Pre-Teen Literature. Karen is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCWBI). A native of Connecticut, Karen now lives outside of Philadelphia with her family. For more information visit her website.

Have you ever attend a twitter party? While they can very fast paced and hectic at times, they are always so much fun. Be sure to stop by tonight at 8 pm EST to help Karen celebrate the release of Chasing Invisible, and be sure to tell us HI! (@MariettaHSzoo). You can follow along using Twubs


June 18th - In the Land of Dreams - Excerpt
June 19th - Tyrneathem - Top Ten List
June 20th - Cu's e-Book Giveaways - Character Guest Post
June 21st - Muddying the Waters - Review and Author Interview
June 22nd - Rayborn Rambles - Review
June 23rd - The Journey Continues - Review and Author Guest Post
June 24th - The Book Connection - Review
June 25th - Pavarti K Tyler - Excerpt
June 26th - Library Girl Reads and Reviews - Author Guest Post
June 27th - Lubs Book Chatter - Character Guest Post
June 28th - Fiona's Book Review Blog - Interview
June 29th - Kats Read - Author Guest Post
June 30th - From the Bootheel Cotton Patch - Book Promo
July 1st - fuonlyknew - Excerpt
July 2nd - Fresh Pot of Tea - Excerpt
July 3rd - Lindsay and Janes Views and Reviews - Review and Character Guest Post
July 4th - Girl Who Reads - Tips on Thursday
July 5th - The Avid Reader - Book Promo
July 6th - Lissette E. Manning - Review and Author Guest Post
July 7th - Ohana Day Academy - Review
July 8th - Ali's Bookshelf - Review






I was given an advance copy of Chasing Invisible before we left for our camping trip 2 weeks ago for the purpose of this review. I am a member of Karen's Street Team, and therefore I have been aware of Chasing Invisible for sometime now. I've been extremely eager to read Chasing Invisible so I was beyond stoked when it finally arrived in my inbox. I completed Chasing Invisible on the last night of our trip as I sat around the campfire with the girls. I tried to playing my crying off at the end as smoke in my eyes, but I don't think anyone bought it! 

Although this is a new genre for Karen, you certainly could not tell. Karen has a way with words that pulls you in and never lets you go. One of the biggest things that I loved about Chasing Invisible was that I could see Karen in Julia in certain ways. Her love for books and desire to help get books out to everyone. For me, it just connected me to Julia all the more. 

I have to admit that at first I did not care for the back and forth in the timeline. It wasn't until all the pieces of the puzzle started to fall into place that I understood the back and forth in time. Of course had Karen written every detail of Julia's life, not only would have taken forever to read, I'm sure it would have just been to much and likely boring. However, Karen was able to add just enough details of Julia's past to make us understand why Julia was so hesitant to date, as well as an understanding of her relationship with her parents.

All Julia's life she has poured herself into books and her studies. Her Mother doesn't seem to understand her, and is always telling her how she should be living her life. Her Father on the other hand always has the right words for her. 

When Julia comes home from college for Christmas break her friends, Mother and Father all have words of advise on how she should be enjoying college. Julia tells them she is enjoying college and goes on about how she loves all her classes. Her Father tells her there is more to studying all the time. That she needs to get out, make friends and have fun.

When Julia's friend Robyn, who she meet in her junior year of college, invites her out to listen to a band, she is hesitant.  After some begging she finally gives in but just for a few hours, or so she thinks. Robyn drags her to an after party so she can hang out with one of the band members that she has a crush on. When Julia steps outside to get some fresh air she runs into another band member Chase. 

The weeks following Chase is outside almost everyone of Julia's classes, always asking her out. After several failed attempts Julia finally gives in. It isn't long after Chase and Julia are in a serious relationship when his friend sends a tape of his song to a producer. Chase quickly climbs the ladder to stardom and Julia's private life is no longer so private. Will she be able to handle to paparazzi constantly hounding her every move? Can she accept that they will do anything to get a picture of her children? Can she protect them? Will she ever be able to be invisible again? If so, to what length must she go to get out of the limelight?

WARNING: The end is a real tear jerker so have the tissues on hand!

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DISCLAIMER: A GWR Publicity event paid for by the author. Giveaway is sponsored by the author and is responsible for prize fulfillment. Marietta Homeschooling Zoo received no compensation for this post.

Monday, June 17, 2013

SONY Cyber Shot DSC-HX200V Giveaway

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Come and join us on these great giveaway.  

One lucky winner will take a

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX200V

US Only

June 17 to July 12

Enter below

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Disclosure:  Marietta Homeschooling Zoo is not responsible for prize.  If you have any questions about this giveaway please send an email to  All entries are optional, if you do any of the tasks you can collect the entries, even if you do one entry it will be counted on the giveaways as you did all of the tasks on that group, but if the winner tasks is a tasks you did not complete, a second winner will be chosen.  If the winner tasks is the one you did you will be the winner.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Bloggers Wanted - 'I'm Not Crazy, I'm On Lupron; A Journey Through Infertility' Book Blast & Giveaway - June 30th

This post may contain affiliate links.You can read more about affiliate links under my disclosure policy tab, or by clicking here.

You may know Stacey Rourke from her wonderfully witty Gryphon Series. In I'm Not Crazy, I'm on Lupron; A Journey Through Infertility, Stacey uses her humor to break through the perils of infertility as she gives the lowdown on all the strange, embarrassing, and heartbreaking aspects. Stacey guides us through an unforgettable path that ends with a beautiful baby on each hip and hope for all those suffering with infertility.

Each participating blogger will receive an HTML formatted announcement to post on their blog on June 30th, along with the Rafflecopter for the sponsored prize pack of a $25 amazon gift card, signed paperback and rack card.  

Be sure to come back on June 30th and enter to win, along with a date for my review.

A Camping We Will Go & Hearts At Home Curriculum Giveaway

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While the weather certainly says that it is summer, there are still a few more weeks until it is officially summer. Due to hubby's heath issues we needed to beat the heat and go camping now, and what better time than fee free weekend! We've spent the last 5 days camping in the beautiful Wayne National Forest. We are very fortunate to have such a beautiful and historical park so close to us. In 1833 the Vesuvius Iron Furnace was built, and by 1875 southeastern Ohio led the nation in iron production. So of course as a homes educating Mother of 3 we not only enjoy the beauty of the forest, get in tune with nature, we also look at all the history around us everyday.

Packing for 6 people for 5 days and 4 nights not only takes lots of planning, but it also LOTS of space. I ended up having to make 2 trips to fit everything. Luckily, it's not far from home. There is not a lot of room for Yang to ride her 4-Wheeler at the house (or at least that I am comfortable with letting her ride) so her Power Wheel 4-Wheeler and Poppy's bike took up a lot of space on the second trip. It was so worth it though. She had that thing such a muddy mess by the time we left that I had to lay plastic down in the back of my van!!

Our first night around the campfire was eventful! As the girls and I sat there laughing and chatting we heard a growl. Of course everyone gets super quiet as I shine the flashlight towards the woods, I see 2 little eyes peaking out from behind their black mask. I quietly tell the girls to slowly get up and walk behind me. See, earlier in the day it had started to rain and in our mad dash to get into the tents the dog food bowl got spilled. I did my best to pick it up but since it was water logged it was not possible to get it all. Of course the coons were very happy about it but were not happy about sharing what little bit was there with the each other! Needless to say they are a little to fearless for my liking, as they where less than 10 feet from us, so we all headed to bed.

A few days before we left I began going through the different pages I had pinned on my Pinterest Camping Board for meal ideas. Since we were planning on being there for 5 days I knew hot dogs would get old, and quick! Luckily there is so much more than hot dogs and s'mores that can be made over a camp fire! Our first morning we had sausage and egg bowls. I bought a 1.5 - 2lb package of fresh ground pork the day before and Yang fried it up in one of my cast iron pans. While she cooked the sausage I scrambled the eggs in a bowl and got everything out. Once the sausage was done we added the eggs to the pan and mixed everything together. You could easily add onions and/or bell peppers before adding the eggs, my kids just don't like them. Just dice them up at home and store them in a Ziploc bag or a small Tupperware container.

Poppy has been hosting a flat traveler from Texas so we hit the trails to show her all the beauty southern Ohio has to hold.


All in all, despite rain off and on for 2 days, one chilly day, 3 teens and a sensory kiddo, we had an excellent time. Can't wait to do it all over again in 2 weeks with my sister-in-law and her two girls!

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Ends 6/15/13