Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear.

And the angel said to them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.

Luke 2: 9-12, ESV

Tag! 73... I have a life *snort

SUPPOSEDLY if you have seen over 85 films, you have no life. Mark the ones you've seen. There are 239 films on this list. Copy this list, then, put x's next to the films you've seen, add them up, and let me know you played along.

Have fun and consider yourself tagged.

Life or no life... something to contemplate as you make your list and play along because you have nothing else to do considering today is Christmas Eve. :-)


(x) Rocky Horror Picture Show
(x) Grease
(x) Pirates of the Caribbean
(x) Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man's Chest
( ) Boondock Saints
( ) Fight Club
( ) Starsky and Hutch
( ) Neverending Story
( ) Blazing Saddles
(x) Airplane
Total: 5

(x) The Princess Bride
( ) Anchorman
( ) Napoleon Dynamite
(x) Labyrinth
( ) Saw
( ) Saw II
( ) White Noise
( ) White Oleander
( ) Anger Management
( ) 50 First Dates
(x) The Princess Diaries
(x) The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement
Total so far: 9

( ) Scream
( ) Scream 2
( ) Scream 3
( ) Scary Movie
( ) Scary Movie 2
( ) Scary Movie 3
( ) Scary Movie 4
( ) American Pie
( ) American Pie 2
( ) American Wedding
( ) American Pie Band Camp
Total so far: 9

(x) Harry Potter 1
( ) Harry Potter 2
( ) Harry Potter 3
( ) Harry Potter 4
( ) Resident Evil 1
( ) Resident Evil 2
(x) The Wedding Singer
( ) Little Black Book
( ) The Village
( ) Lilo & Stitch
Total so far: 10

(x) Finding Nemo
( ) Finding Neverland
(x) Signs
(x) The Grinch
( ) Texas Chainsaw Massacre
( ) Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning
( ) White Chicks
( ) Butterfly Effect
(x) 13 Going on 30
(x) I, Robot
( ) Robots
Total so far:15

( ) Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story
( ) Universal Soldier
( ) Lemony Snicket: A Series Of Unfortunate Events
( ) Along Came Polly
( ) Deep Impact
( ) KingPin
( ) Never Been Kissed
( ) Meet The Parents
( ) Meet the Fockers
( ) Eight Crazy Nights
( ) Joe Dirt
( ) KING KONG
Total so far: 15

( ) A Cinderella Story
( ) The Terminal
( ) The Lizzie McGuire Movie
( ) Passport to Paris
( ) Dumb & Dumber
( ) Dumber & Dumberer
( ) Final Destination
( ) Final Destination 2
( ) Final Destination 3
( ) Halloween
( ) The Ring
( ) The Ring 2
( ) Surviving X-MAS
( ) Flubber
Total so far: 15

( ) Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle
( ) Practical Magic
( ) Chicago
( ) Ghost Ship
( ) From Hell
(x) Hellboy
( ) Secret Window
( ) I Am Sam
( ) The Whole Nine Yards
( ) The Whole Ten Yards
Total so far: 16

( ) The Day After Tomorrow
( ) Child's Play
( ) Seed of Chucky
( ) Bride of Chucky
( ) Ten Things I Hate About You
( ) Just Married
( ) Gothika
(x) Nightmare on Elm Street
(x) Sixteen Candles
(x) Remember the Titans
( ) Coach Carter
( ) The Grudge
( ) The Grudge 2
(x) The Mask
( ) Son Of The Mask
Total so far: 20

(x) Bad Boys
(x) Bad Boys 2
( ) Joy Ride
( ) Lucky Number Slevin
(x) Ocean's Eleven
(x) Ocean's Twelve
(x) Bourne Identity
(x) Bourne Supremecy
( ) Lone Star
( ) Bedazzled
(x) Predator I
( ) Predator II
( ) The Fog
( ) Ice Age
( ) Ice Age 2: The Meltdown
( ) Curious George
Total so far: 27

(x) Independence Day
( ) Cujo
( ) A Bronx Tale
( ) Darkness Falls
( ) Christine
(x) ET
(x) Children of the Corn
( ) My Bosses Daughter
( ) Maid in Manhattan
( ) War of the Worlds
(x) Rush Hour
(x) Rush Hour 2
Total so far: 32

( ) Best Bet
(x) How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
( ) She's All That
( ) Calendar Girls
( ) Sideways
(x) Mars Attacks
( ) Event Horizon
(x) Ever After
(x) Wizard of Oz
(x) Forrest Gump
(x) Big Trouble in Little China
(x) The Terminator
(x) The Terminator 2
( ) The Terminator 3
Total so far: 40

(x) X-Men
(x) X-2
(x) X-3
(x) Spider-Man
(x) Spider-Man 2
(x) Sky High
( ) Jeepers Creepers
( ) Jeepers Creepers 2
(x) Catch Me If You Can
(x) The Little Mermaid
( ) Freaky Friday
( ) Reign of Fire
( ) The Skulls
( ) Cruel Intentions
( ) Cruel Intentions 2
( ) The Hot Chick
(x) Shrek
( ) Shrek 2
Total so far: 49

( ) Swimfan
(x) Miracle on 34th street
( ) Old School
( ) The Notebook
( ) K-Pax
( ) Krippendorf's Tribe
(x) A Walk to Remember
( ) Ice Castles
( ) Boogeyman
( ) The 40-year-old Virgin
Total so far: 51

(x) Lord of the Rings Fellowship of the Ring
(x) Lord of the Rings The Two Towers
(x) Lord of the Rings Return Of the King
(x) Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark
(x) Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
(x) Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Total so far: 57

( ) Basketball
( ) Hostel
( ) Waiting for Guffman
( ) House of 1000 Corpses
( ) Devils Rejects
( ) Elf
( ) Highlander
( ) Mothman Prophecies
( ) American History X
( ) Three
Total so Far: 57

( ) The Jacket
( ) Kung Fu Hustle
(x) Shaolin Soccer
( ) Night Watch
(x) Monsters Inc.
(x) Titanic
(x) Monty Python and the Holy Grail
( ) Shaun Of the Dead
( ) Willard
Total so far: 61


( ) High Tension
( ) Club Dread
(x) Hulk
( ) Dawn Of the Dead
(x) Hook
(x) Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe
( ) 28 days later
( ) Orgazmo
( ) Phantasm
( ) Waterworld
Total so far: 64

( ) Kill Bill vol 1
( ) Kill Bill vol 2
( ) Mortal Kombat
( ) Wolf Creek
( ) Kingdom of Heaven
( ) the Hills Have Eyes
( ) I Spit on Your Grave aka the Day of the Woman
( ) The Last House on the Left

( ) Re-Animator
( ) Army of Darkness
Total so far: 64


(x) Star Wars Ep. I The Phantom Menace
(x) Star Wars Ep. II Attack of the Clones
(x) Star Wars Ep. III Revenge of the Sith
(x) Star Wars Ep. IV A New Hope
(x) Star Wars Ep. V The Empire Strikes Back
(x) Star Wars Ep. VI Return of the Jedi
( ) Ewoks Caravan Of Courage
( ) Ewoks The Battle For Endor
Total so far: 70

(x) The Matrix
(x) The Matrix Reloaded
(x) The Matrix Revolutions
( ) Animatrix
( ) Evil Dead
( ) Evil Dead 2
( ) Team America: World Police
( ) Red Dragon
( ) Silence of the Lambs
( ) Hannibal

GRAND TOTAL: 73

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Way Too Much Time On My Hands

I seem to have way too much time on my hands lately. Enjoy the fruits of my labor. :-)


911 Math Emergency ~ Yeah, this might qualify.

Straight No Chaser - 12 Days of Christmas ~ Love this version.

Hat tip to Shannon for this final one - I think my wife is a Calvinist.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Seven Years Ago

Seven years ago, I became the mom to two boys. I was in disbelief that My Dearest and I had two boys. I thought for sure that our newest child was going to be a girl. She was going to be Audrey or Sophie.

Seven years ago, I did not know it would be two days after his birth before we learned his name, as My Dearest says.

Seven years ago, I hoped he would live up to his name and he certainly does. He laughs and certainly brings laughter into my life.

Seven years ago, I did not know that I would hear fun sentences as, "I'm half-Asian and half-Korean!" and "I need to lay such that I don't fall off the couch!"

Seven years ago, I did not know what a goof-ball he would be.

Seven years ago, I did not know what a love for God and Jesus he would have.

Seven years ago, I did not know how loving and kind he could be towards others.

Seven years ago, I did not know that he could frustrate me so fully and that I could love his so fully... at the same time.

Seven years ago, I did not know that my heart could swell to love both boys, plus My Dearest, and that my heart would still have room to love others.


Happy birthday, dear boy.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Happy Boys!

My boys are happy right now. Not because it's almost my youngest's birthday. Not because it's almost Christmas. They are happy because we just had our annual cookie exchange.

Eleven of us in our homeschool group make 7 dozen cookies each (or treats, as I made truffles this year which is not really a cookie) and we all received about seven of each item made.

Yup. My boys are very happy. My Dearest included.



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Monday, December 08, 2008

Little Baby Boy

Go see this fabulous video of the Little Baby Boy!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

To Taste

I have always enjoyed cookbooks - reading for fun or education and using them for actual cooking. Some of these recipes I would probably never make (never say never, I know) as I think some are too "gourmet" for me, too simple, or not quite healthy enough for us.

Years ago, I received a fabulous breakfast recipe (Egg Casserole)and shared it with my sister. In the recipe, it calls for pepper and salt to be added to the egg mixture "to taste." (Actually, if you click on the link, I omitted salt and pepper entirely from the recipe. I think the sausage contributes enough salt and pepper can be added at the table to each person's own liking. In the original recipe it called for salt and pepper to be added "to taste.")

My sister commented on the directions and said something like, "How do you add 'to taste' if it is being added to an egg mixture?" In all of my perusing cookbooks, this had never stood out to me.

Now, every time I look at a recipe, I notice funny directions like this. I wonder, "How does one taste seasonings if they are being added to an egg or raw meat mixture?"

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Forgive me for not posting lately. I've been having a difficult time with my children and fighting an allergy/cold, due to something one of my children did.

Last week, one of my children decided that as I was in the shower, it was the perfect time to spray my Cool Water perfume all over my bedroom. As I got out of the shower, I thought I smelled Cool Water but thought it was from the bath gel that I didn't use. Yeah, I wasn't quite thinking straight. When I went into my room, it was ... overwhelming, which doesn't even cover how strongly it smelled. I thought about having the offender sleep in my room that night as My Dearest and I slept elsewhere, but I was more concerned about what else he might find to do.

We vacuumed with backing soda, opened windows, and lit candles but it was still smelling strongly when the windows closed and the room warmed again. Due to the irritation, my sinuses started draining down the back of my throat. I thought I could beat it on my own, but my symptoms worsened and it was Tuesday morning, which meant if I had to see my doctor, it would have to wait until Monday, as they are closed on Wednesdays.

My Dearest is also suffering the same symptoms. I talked to him on Tuesday morning and told him I made a doctor's appointment, at which time he said that he also was contemplating making an appointment. We have the same doctor so I told him that I would make an appointment for him and he could meet me there. I called, made the appointment, and called my Dearest to tell him what time. He told me that it was too early and he had customers at work; I told him he could call and reschedule for when it would be convenient for him, as it would be easier for both of us.

I got to the doctor's office, and there in the parking lot was my Dearest's car. What happened to "too early?" It turns out that he thought he was meeting me at the doctor's office to watch the children while I had my appointment. But he still canceled his appointment.

Thankfully, since we know the staff well, they squeezed him in and we both got our meds. We are on a nasal spray, an anti-histamine, and magic pills. All thanks to our fabulous doctor.

So, now we are ready to continue on the Thanksgiving road. The pumpkin pies, cranberry bread, and stuffing were made last night. The stock is simmering; the turkey ready to be stuffed and roasted. Potatoes and veggies will be done while the turkey roasts.

Here's our menu:

Awesome Tangerine-Glazed Turkey
Awesome Sausage, Apple, and Dried Cranberry Stuffing
Mashed Potatoes
Green Bean Casserole (my sister's favorite side dish, but she's visiting in-laws)
Baked Sweet Potatoes
Pumpkin Pie
Cranberry Sauce

May we be especially thankful this day for the many ways God provides for us, not just enjoy the food and football.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Re-Introducing...

Every so often, (or more often than not), we come to the point when we parents are trying to encourage the children to take some responsibility for their actions and for maintaining some semblance of order with their clothes. So far, they take their folded clothes and "put them away." Oh, you parents get the quotes, I know you do. I KNOW I'm not alone in this. At least, I sincerely hope I'm not.

The clothes end up in the dresser, but not folded any longer. Nor are the clothes in what I would call the "Proper Place." At one time, the drawers were labeled with what belonged in them so that when one child claimed that he couldn't find anything to wear, I could direct him to the proper drawer to find something on his own without needing too much hand-holding from me.

Yeah.

The drawers are a jumbled mess now. The clothes are shoved into any drawer that seems convenient at the moment. No rhyme or reason. Sometimes, if the child planned well, whatever is hanging out of the drawer can be claimed and worn without even opening the drawer to root around for clothes!

Of course, this child may not even notice that many of the clothes in the drawer do not fit or haven't fit for a long time now. Sometimes he decides that it still fits wonderfully, despite the fact that he has to manipulate the shirt collar and possibly his head to get the shirt on, let alone off.

One day, we decided it was time for an intervention; basically we reset some guidelines, re-introduce the dresser to him, and basically help the kid out.

As we dumped out all of his drawers, My Dearest pulled out a pair of jeans in a size 104 (I don't know...we just pulled them out and read the tag). They were boys jeans (I double checked) and were cut for supremely skinny legs, hips, and waist. Yikes. I don't know how we ended up with this pair of jeans or how they migrated to the top of his pile. Actually, I do; he shuffled around enough that it rotated it's way up naturally.

Anyhow, as I we looked at them in disbelief, My Dearest exclaimed, "I don't know what planet these were made on!"

For those who might have been searching high and low for a pair of jeans like this, I'm sorry, we tossed them into the "donate" pile.

We finished the intervention and restocked his dresser with clothes that actually fit him. Now that another load of laundry has been done, we'll see just how long this re-introduction to the dresser lasts.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

15 Things About Me

I was tagged via Facebook, but I thought I'd play here.

Here are "15 Things About Me."

1. I love God. His Son, Jesus, died for my sins. His mercy, love, sovereignty, and forgiveness amaze, overwhelm, and comfort me.

2. I enjoy cooking.

3. I would paper craft all day if I could.

4. I just recently re-learned to can and am looking forward to next summer so I can can some more! :-)

5. I recently opened a store on-line - PaperCrank

6. I am security conscious, but not like H.D. :-) Love you, girl!

7. I always look forward to seeing my sister and singing with her. We harmonize really well together.

8. I don't really enjoy Korean or Chinese food ... once per month or two is plenty enough for me.

9. I would paper craft all day if I could. Oh, did I post that one already? I enjoy sweets, but not usually chocolate.

10. I am homeschooling one year at a time.... you can read more here. :-)

11. I enjoy camping... about once per year... for about five days. Only.

12. I am married to a wonderful man. He bought me my first (and only) pair of Converse. (that one's for you, J.B.!)

13. I am close friends with my siblings. I hope my sons will enjoy the same closeness with each other as I do with my own siblings. That doesn't mean that we didn't have our moments, though.

14. I enjoy reading all different types of books and revisiting those places and characters, a.k.a. I re-read books.

15. It was much harder to think of 15 things that I thought.


Now, I'm supposed to tag 15 people. If you'd like to play, leave me a comment so I can come check out your 15 Things!

Oh, come on and play; it'll be fun!!

Friday, November 14, 2008

One Year at a Time

When we started our homeschooling adventure three years ago, we decided to homeschool one year at a time and by the grace of God.

When we meet new people, they often ask how long we plan to homeschool. Our answer has always been that we'll take it one year at a time, re-evaluating as necessary, as we continue.

This past spring, I tutored a friend, a college gal, in Chemistry. I have fond memories of my high school and college chem classes. The funky, oh-so-stylish goggles, watching and creating reactions, balancing equations, and titrating (my favorite experiment!). We got together every week for about 4 or 5 weeks. I had a blast and enjoyed helping her, even if some of the concepts were a little rusty for me. Overall, it must have helped, as she got a A in the class!

This year, we decided to start a history curriculum. We settled on - The Mystery of History after much discussion, viewing lots of other curricula, and headaches from trying to keep it all straight. Ad plug for my friend who owns Soli Deo Gloria Homeschool and Christian Resource store; she is very knowledgeable about homeschooling curricula. I'm blessed to call her a friend. Go shop at her site and tell her Julia sent you!

We started MoH, Volume 1 Creation to Resurrection this past fall. I realized (during the selection process) that this is a multi-volume, cummulative program. This is not really a stand-alone program. Although I suppose it could be.

Anyhow, my mind started whirring along. By the time we finish the five volumes (two of which have not been written yet!), my oldest will be in 8th or 9th grade. Then, we can whiz along with American Revolution, Civil War, World War I, World War II, and whatever else he would like to study.

The refresher in Chemistry and tutoring my friend was eye-opening and I look forward to teaching my boys Chemistry, then Physics!

Squeal!! (Those would be my brakes.) What happened to homeschooling one year at a time? All of a sudden, I've planned through high school!

Yup, I need to relax and go back to my original plan... taking it one year at a time and by the grace of God alone. I'm still looking forward to high school for my boys, through whatever method we decide to school our children.

Altered Corkboard

I've had some time to play and here is the fun 3D item I've made:



The Altered Corkboard measures: 5 7/8" x 11 7/8" x 1/4"

Cork area measures: 4 7/8" x 4 1/8"

Ribbon measures (from apex of ribbon to top of corkboard): 8 1/4"

I love this paper. In my opinion, it features the perfect shades of blue. There are enough lighter colors that the darker blues are not oppressive and the overall combination is calming.

Wouldn't this be lovely hanging in your craft area, kitchen, computer area, or teenager's bedroom?

It's in my shop now.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Cinnamon!

Last night, I whipped up a batch of Applesauce Dumplings (from Zonya Foco) while we were finishing dinner. (Did I mention that it's a quick recipe?) The boys didn't know what I was making, but as it simmered along on the stove, my youngest exclaimed, "Mom! I think I smell something that tastes like cinnamon!"


Here's the recipe:

Combine the following ingredients in a non-stick medium-sized pan and heat to med-high heat:
3 cups unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup water
1 tsp. cinnamon

Meanwhile, combine in a medium bowl and stir until just moistened:
1 cup baking mix
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk

Drop dumpling batter onto boiling applesauce mixture (six mounds). Cover and let simmer for 12 minutes. No peeking!! Remove from heat and let cool (optional, but highly recommended as a burnt tongue hurts... yes, I know from experience). Serve with vanilla ice cream, if desired.

See more of Zonya's recipes here.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

New Bloggy Give-Aways Winner Announced

Sadly, I didn't hear from my first winner so I have had to pick another one.

My random number generator generated ... number 11... Tami! Congratulations on winning the Fall cards! Please email your address to me so I can mail your cards.

Congratulations, Tami!!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Up, Up, and Away!

Well, I've done it now. I've launched my store. Remember? I was telling you about it here.

My shop is starting to live and breathe. The first item is in the shop tonight.

Want a preview? I thought you would. ;-)

It is a set of four standard size cards (4.25" x 5.5") and envelopes, blank inside.



Go have a look. More items will be in the shop this week.

Here we go!

Bloggy Give Aways Winner!

First of all, thank you to all of the entrants for the cards for your kind words regarding my card-making ability.


Secondly, according to my random number generator, number 36 is the winner ... Pamela S! Congratulations, Pamela!! Please email me (jscrappymom (at) gmail (dot) com) with your address so I can send you your cards. If I don't hear from you by Tuesday at noon, I'll draw for another winner.


Thirdly, if you are not Pamela (or even if you are) and would like to purchase your own handmade cards, tags, or other paper goods, please visit my Etsy store.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Interesting Election Reading

Just wanted to pass along an interesting article and website.


Don't forget to turn your clocks back an hour tonight.


Be sure to tune in tomorrow to see who wins the two fall cards I'm giving away!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Hummus Recipe

This is my recipe for Hummus, which I adapted from here. This one's for you, Jane! :-)

I use:

3 - 15 oz cans of garbanzo beans (chick peas), drained with juice reserved
3 T. tahini, or to taste
4 T. lemon juice, or to taste
2 - 3 garlic cloves, or to taste
1/4 c. olive oil, or to taste
1 T. sesame seeds (optional)
a shake or two of salt

Blend all ingredients in food processor, adding about one-third to one-half of the reserved juice to make hummus creamy. Taste and adjust seasonings to taste. Refrigerate one hour to blend flavors.

Play around with it and adjust as you like. I like mine lemony and creamy so I think I add extra lemon juice and olive oil than the recipe states. I don't usually measure ingredients, I generally pour right into the food processor. If in doubt of my measurements, use the reference recipe. :-)

Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Bloggy Carnival Give Away

Bloggy Giveaways Quarterly Carnival Button


Here is what I'm offering for the Bloggy Carnival - two handmade fall cards and envelopes, perfect for giving as a Thank You or Thinking of You card.



Leave a comment to win these cards! Please be sure to leave your email address so I can contact you if you win. This offer is valid for United States mailing addresses only. I will be drawing a winner on Sunday, November 2 at 4 pm, EST; comments will be closed at 3 pm, EST.

Be sure to see what else is being offered over here!


Note: This give-away is now closed. Thanks for entering!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Shop Talk

I've decided to sell my handmade cards and other paper goods online. My give aways have always had people interested, but perhaps only because they were entering for a chance to win it for free? Here is an example of what I've made and what I'll be selling in my shop!

Stay tuned!

Look Up!

Gas prices are falling remarkably! I filled up our vehicle on Wednesday for $2.59 per gallon and was thrilled it was so low. Now, I find that it's $2.45 per gallon. I hope this trend continues and it falls below $2 per gallon again!

*sigh. Remember the days when $20 would fill up your car and you would get change back?

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Product Review: Ore-Ida Steam n' Mash Potatoes

From time to time, I'm asked to review a product. What better place to post my thoughts and ideas about the product?

I recently was given an opportunity to review Ore-Ida Steam 'n Mash Potatoes. They are available in four flavors: Russet, Sweet, Garlic-Seasoned, and Three Cheese. These potatoes are different than the flakes of old. These are honest-to-goodness potatoes: washed, peeled, and cubed. To prepare them, one microwaves it in the bag; lets it rest for two minutes; pours the contents into a bowl; mashes; adds butter, milk, sour cream or whatever else one likes in mashed potatoes and voila! mashed potatoes without so much work involved.

I bought the Garlic-Seasoned Steam 'n Mash potatoes last week looking for the perfect opportunity to use them. I was making Chicken Marsala tonight, sauce courtesy of my favorite Joe, and thought some garlic mashed potatoes would be a wonderful addition.

The cooking process went well, nothing blew up in my microwave or smelled like burning plastic (I actually used the alternate directions and microwaved them in a ceramic casserole dish). I let them rest and then proceeded to mash them, quite easily with a hand masher. I added the 1/3 c of milk (rice milk), which the recipe recommended. It looked so smooth and lovely with the flecks of green in it.

I served it to my family. My boys enjoyed it; I thought it was extremely salty, as did my Dearest. He did add that it wasn't so bad when he mixed it with his extra Marsala sauce. He also commented that it must be difficult to produce a product that must have a relatively long shelf life that still tastes good. We generally eat quite a lot of fresh produce or freshly prepared foods, very few processed foods.

So, for about $3 a pop it's worth a try, but I don't think it's worth the shortcut.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

TV and Movies

These are my opinions.

Let me repeat that. These are my opinions. I don't care what you do with your time or money; it's your business. This is how I feel about my time and money.

Having said that...


I don't know about you, but I'm finding some fun TV shows out there. One of my problems is, I don't have time to watch all of them either because I am too busy to sit down at the designated time to watch or I am still putting children to bed and cannot plop down in front of the TV to watch.

I realize that there are things like DVRs, Tivos and perhaps even still some VCRs, with which to record and watch later.

I personally refuse to pay for cable/satellite/dish or whatever to get gazillions of channels. In my thinking, if I have to pay for TV, I had better get my money's worth so I had better watch lots. If you follow this logic circle completely, by me doing so, I feel that I would be wasting my time since I wouldn't be doing the other necessary things that need doing. Again, this is my opinion.

I actually know how to program my VCR and have successfully done so. I just forget to insert a usable tape or I insert a tape that has previously recorded something that I knew I wanted to keep, but I forgot to label the tape so I have no clue what it's contents are, and the tab-thingy hasn't been removed or removed and covered with tape so it must be a usable tape! Only to find out that it was a Super Bowl game between the Patriots and Colts that my Dearest taped or something I haven't watched yet.

I think I've found an almost perfect solution on Hulu, though I don't remember where I first heard about it. It is an ad-supported streaming video (online) site (a few :30 commercials scattered throughout the show) available currently in the States - sorry my foreign friends! Many of my favorite shows are there and have full episodes available which I can watch when I am able, which for me is usually stamping or scrapbooking late at night.

Hulu also has movies. Some of my favorites include: Sense and Sensibility, Jonah: A Veggie Tales Movie, and Spy Game.

Enjoy!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Boys: Bumps and Bruises

Quite awhile ago...

When a toddler boy is rushed to the pediatrician's office because the brother of said toddler boy did not notice that said boy's wee hand was holding the door near the hinges, and this brother decides to close the door, it's very little consolation that the pediatrician turns to the mother and says with a sigh, "Well, they are boys. I think we may be seeing more of your family in the near future."


Fast forward a bit in time...

This same boy, aged two now, loses his first tooth, a front tooth no less, by a Lego board, thrown frisbee-style into his mouth by his brother. The mother can only hope that this will be the last time such an event will take place.


Fast forward to present day...

A young elemtary age boy carrying a table top (1.5 ft in diameter) up the stairs decides that it looks an awful lot like a steering wheel and decides to play with it as such. He loses balance and bops himself with the edge of the table top in the mouth, knocking out the other front tooth.


Pause.

Yes, I am the mother; these are the stories of one of my sons. The first two instances happened years ago. I cannot believe that it was so long ago. I thank God that the boy in the "stories" is healthy and fine today.

After the first two instances and a relatively long lull, I thought we were over such boisterous boyish behavior. I realize now that I must have lost touch with reality when I thought that. I realize the bumps and bruises won't stop any time soon. However, I do hope that I've seen the last of teeth being knocked out.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Motivations

I'm a list-maker and love to cross items off of my list. However, for better or worse, I'm an externally motivated person. If it benefits others I am much more easily motivated to do it, because it benefits, you know, them... my Dearest, children, sister, brother, friends. If it's for me, it is much more difficult for me to gather up the motivation. Perhaps a drawback of being an ESFJ?

Having a creative hobby/job, like being a scrapbooking and stamping consultant, is definitely interesting in regard to my list-making tendencies and motivations. Here, my list-making tendencies do not necessarily mesh with my creative muse. What should I create for my next class, workshop, Totally Creative Tuesday get-together, or unit meeting? My list-making tendencies help keep my business on track, but right now, it's seriously wreaking havoc on the fun, whimsical, creativity side of my business.

I have been reading various very creative blogs and find myself wondering when I'll have time (or make time) to play with my stamps, inks, and pretty papers, not to mention the fun accessories!

It is definitely time to carve out some creative play time for myself and not get bogged down in just what needs to get done. I'll be sure to add "Play time with stamps, inks, pretty papers, and fun accessories" to my list.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Welcome back to school!

I just realized that tomorrow is Tuesday and boy, it sure seems like it's been a long week. I suppose it might have something to do with the fact that we started school today. By the carrying on of the boys, perhaps it seemed like I was dropping them off the side of the boat into the depths of a shark-infested ocean without a life-jacket or survival boat.

I'm hopeful for tomorrow. Welcome back to school.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Potato Soup Time, aka The Start of Football Season

My Dearest found a Potato Soup recipe at Allrecipes and made it his own. I don't remember the original name of the soup, but around our house, it's called 11 Potato Soup... because it goes one higher.

We made the first batch last week for a couple of reasons: it was finally cool enough and it sounded good. We realize now that it was a trial run to warm us up for dun, dun, dun, dun.. dun, dun ... Football Season! (Did you hear the football theme song, even though it isn't Monday night?)

Last year, it became our Sunday-after-church-Football-thing. I should clarify that my Dearest is the one who prepares and cooks it. I usually peel and chop potatoes or onions, but my Dearest is the brain behind the whole operation. I mostly take up space in the kitchen. Tonight, I'm in charge of making the soup. Uh-huh. We'll see how it goes.

Who are your rooting for tonight? The New York Giants are hosting the Washington Redskins. Kick-off is at 7 pm, EDT on NBC.

Game on!

Aunt-hood

We went to visit my sister, brother-in-law and their adorable three month old son this past weekend. Can I tell you how much I LOVE being an Aunt? I enjoyed being an extra set of arms (and legs) for my sister, to make dinner (even though my parents prepared it and sent it with us), set the table, clear and wash dishes, push Caleb in the perambulator, which is one of my favorite words, and of course hold Caleb while she napped or just relaxed a bit.

I really enjoy children, especially young ones, but after I had my own, I was not sure if I'd feel the same toward other children as I do my own. Nephews apparently hold a very special spot in my heart as I feel the same towards Caleb as I do my own.

Now, if we could do something about the distance between our families...



Thursday, August 28, 2008

Snaps and Clanks

During the last few days before school starts, My Dearest and I are trying to organize our basement and get rid of those items we haven't used in a LONG time. I guess it's our version of Spring Cleaning, but called, "End of Summer Cleaning."

We are also preparing for my sister and her family to visit with a possible stay at our house so we're re-organizing the Classroom, which doubles as a guest room, as well.

Yup, it's a good ol' End of Summer Cleaning session at our house. We are getting quite a bit done, too; the "Donate" pile is growing and the "Toss" pile is... well, let's just say that I'm very thankful that our trash day just passed! We live in a small-ish house and we put a sizable amount of trash by the side of the road this past trash day.

As we're going through boxes of items we've moved from apartment to apartment to house, I realize I'm not nearly as sentimental as I think I've been in the past. When my boys were younger, I felt that I wanted to keep some of their clothes FOREVER, or at least until the grandkids arrive (yes, I realize that I'll be waiting for quite a few years, thank you!). Now, I'm in purge mode. My rationale at this point is that I've probably taken pictures of my boys in the so cute/just darling/cute-as-a-button shirt/pants/sleeper/outfit in an adorable/serious/funny/silly pose so I don't need to keep the actual outfit.

Since my sister has a little boy, I picked items that would probably fit him and put them in the wash so they'll be ready for my sister to look through during their visit this weekend. As I listen to the dryer, I realize it's been a very long time since I've heard the onesie snaps and adorable little boy overall fasteners clanking around in my dryer. When else can you wash nearly an entire wardrobe and perhaps even fit the bedding into one wash load?

What are you doing with these last few days before school starts?

Monday, August 25, 2008

Can't Wait!!



Only three and a half weeks!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Baby Boy!

I know I forgot to update you on my sister's pregnancy... She had her baby, a boy, in early June! He was a good sized little boy, 8 pounds 8 ounces and 21" long. They are all healthy and doing well.

We are anxious to see them, but because we live in different states, and our schedules don't mesh just yet, we haven't gone to see them. Yet. :-) In the meantime, I've been able to figure out how to Skype and use my webcam in order to see them. I took a screen capture from the video and cropped it down to a picture of my dear sweet nephew.

Isn't he adorable??



Can't wait to see you, dear Sister, Brother-in-Law, and Nephew!!

Sonic!!

I have read about Sonic over the last year and a half or so on various blogs, names and address of which I cannot remember. On those various blogs, I read about these tasty-sounding drinks and afternoon specials that sound so fun. Now, I find that there's one relatively close to us! So, now I ask for your advice... please tell me what you love best at Sonic so I have some idea what to order first! :-)

Friday, July 04, 2008

Happy Independence Day!

This is from my friend Mary, who makes everything so much FUNN!

Thomas Jefferson, our 3rd President, author of the Declaration of Independence, among other incredible things such as being one of my most favorite Founding Fathers, may have been a scrapbooker - at least of sorts.

Here are some of my reasons.

1. He organized his writings and books, isn't that what we do? Yes, we organize our writings and scrapbooks!

2. He was a prolific writer with 20,000 letters in his lifetime. Just imagine what he would have done with emailing and texting!

3. He doubled the size of the United States! Isn't that what we do? We start with just a small box of craft products and then double and double and double!?!

4. He wrote down every little detail, "I'm making the world a better place by doing this."

5. He kept detailed records of his trips such as to France and Italy and shared with others in Philadelphia when he returned.

6. He enjoyed the arts.

7. He was a designer. OK, so he designed larger items than scrapbooks such as the Virginia Capitol, the University of Virginia, and his home Monticello (which is worth learning about on its own)

8. He even invented a lap desk. Wow, we are still trying to invent the perfect lap scrapbook desk!

9. He invented the coolest bookshelf that swiveled, so he could turn to the book he wanted to - I assume he would turn it toward the light source. See a photo in the link below.

10. Every generation since has relied on his wisdom and every American has enjoyed his "journaling" (and I mean not to trivialize) of the Declaration of Independence.


Some habits I want to adopt that were Thomas Jefferson's include:

1. Working in long stretches of time without interruption.

2. Mix my day with mental exercise, physical exercise, recreation, family and social activities.

3. I want to live to improve myself and so that my life will help others, as well.

4. I want my scrapbooks to be more than records of events (even though that is fine), I want my scrapbooks to be records of discoveries all done up in a pretty package.


So I'm pretty sure Thomas Jefferson.was a scrapbooker in his own wonderful way.

Here are some neat links:
Thomas Jefferson Quotes
Revolving Book Stand
Monticello
The Declaration of Independence

Have a safe and meaningful Independence Day.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Clear It Out! At Least Some of It...

Clearing out clutter is not one of my strong suits. I am proud to say that I am not quite the pack-rat I once was; though, I still have a ways to go.

BUT!! I took some action!!

As you might have read in my "About Me" section, I am a scrapbooking and stamping consultant. When I saw how many retired stamp sets I have, I decided enough was enough... I listed some stamps on eBay and some on Craig's List.

Navigating the step-by-step process to list the first item was something I viewed with a bit of trepidation. The second one was much easier for me to post.

Now, the waiting and watching of the bids! I try to be a patient person, but this is very clearly not happening with my listings. It doesn't help that one of my listings is ending sooner than the others. Of course, a watched pot doesn't boil, neither does a watched listing generate bids; there are no bids on my listing! There is clearly a big goose egg where I would LOVE to see that someone has bid on my item! Then, I notice there is a Watch This Item button; sadly, no one is watching either.

My friend Mandy is a seasoned eBay seller. She advised me that the last day and particularly, the last moments are those that really matter. So, now I patiently wait on pin and needles waiting to see what kind of bids roll in.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Boys, boys, boys....

I happened to catch Jay Leno last night and saw his videos on-line segment, and how these videos are usually of cute little children or of stupid things older children do. My Dearest and I looked at each other and waited to see just how cute and/or stupid these videos would be.

There was a video of two boys who gave a third boy, who was a willing participant! a wedgie by hanging the back of his boxers from a 6' ladder and laughed as he screamed and swung from the ladder.

Another video featured a boy who stood on a step-stool or chair and fell onto a cacti garden, after which he started screaming for help getting up out of the cacti on which he had landed.

The last video had a young boy, perhaps four or five, sitting on a chair cuddling with his younger brother, who was perhaps two. The younger brother bit his brother's finger and then the older boy put his finger back in his younger brother's mouth! The younger brother bit down harder and harder, then laughed as his brother screamed.

Yup, these were pretty stupid. The thing I noticed right away was that these videos were all of boys doing these crazy things! Now, as a mother of two boys, about 18 months apart, this scares me and has me on my knees praying for their safety almost every moment. And then it got better. My Dearest started telling me stories.

My Dearest works with a guy.... let's call him Chip. Chip has a twin brother, I'll call him Dale (get it? Chip 'n Dale?). When they were young, they were in a dry field near their house, that they were not supposed to be in, launching rockets. As they watched the rocket sail through the air, they heard crackling behind them. A small patch of the field had caught on fire! Chip 'n Dale took their shirts off and started beating at the fire. Chip ran home and got a blanket to try to beat the fire out. A neighbor ran over with a garden hose to wet down the field so that the fire wouldn't spread so much. Chip ran back home to tell his mom about the fire and she brushed him off, preoccupied with her phone call. Then, he heard the fire engine sirens and a neighbor girl said to him in a sing-songy voice, "You're in truh-bull!!"

The next year, Chip 'n Dale were experimenting with short-wave radio and thought that if they raised the antenna, they could get better reception. They had a radio antenna that they raised on a weather balloon up into the sky. Do you recall anyone famous in a story about metal, a balloon and perhaps lightning? Yup, Dale was hit by lightning and rushed to the hospital. He was fine, but had to have some surgery. One of the paramedics saw Chip and said, "Hey, aren't you the ones who set the field on fire last year?"

When my Dearest tells Chip about things our boys are doing, Chip says it reminds him of him and his brother growing up. Of course, if the boys were as mischievous and curious as Chip 'n Dale were, our boys should have set at least one fire, by now... that we know of. Thankfully, that hasn't happened.

As I was thinking about how difficult it is to raise boys, I received an email about the differences between boys and girls, plus a link to a CNN article, Is it Harder to Raise Boys or Girls?

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Happy Father's Day!

The Patriarch

More noble than the valiant deeds of shining knights of yore,
More powerful than earthly plights that make the rich man poor,
More kingly than a royal throne or a lion with his pride,
Is he whose babes sleep well at night sure Daddy will provide.

There is a spirit in this land and Jezebel's her name.
She's calling you to leave your home for power, fun, and fame.
She wants your wife, your children too — she'll never compromise,
Until your house is torn in two by listening to her lies.

But though a hundred thousand million men may fall prey to her lures,
And wives en masse leave home in search of "more fulfilling" chores,
Though preachers praise, and friends embrace, her pagan plan of death,
Stand strong and quit you like a man with every blessed breath.

Stand strong and rise, O man of God, to meet this noble call,
The battle is not new you see, it's been here since the Fall.

Your wife is your helpmeet, my friend, and not another man's,
So care for her and keep her far from Mistress Jezi's plans.
Protect, provide, and give to her your undivided life,
This is the dear one of your youth, your precious bride, your wife.

And rally to those tiny ones who trust you for their care —
A lifetime spent discipling them's a lifetime pure and rare.
For when they put their hand in yours and know a Daddy's love,
You're showing them a picture of the Father from above.

Look not toward worldly goal or gain, or for your liberty,
Look only into their sweet eyes to find your ministry.
Devote your heart and sacrifice and make your manly mark —
There is none so great as he who finds his call as patriarch.

—Douglas W. Phillips

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Movement

According to Inch-AWeigh.com, four out of five American women say they're dissatisfied with the way they look and on any given day, almost half of the women in the United States are on a diet.

I wouldn't say that I'm on a diet, per se, but I'm definitely not happy about the way I look. I started to blog about "Movement" and sort of tracking what I was doing, but quite frankly, I wasn't doing much! Then, after my sister's baby shower, I saw what I looked like in photos. Not what I pictured in my head! Yeah, the mirror isn't helpful for me - for me, it's in the harsh reality of photographs that I can no longer deny what my physical condition is.

Seeing pictures of myself has motivated me to start moving again. I seem to do this in fits and starts, but never really end up making it a habit or getting into a comfortable groove. I'm happy to say that with Leslie Sansone's DVDs, I've been walking fairly consistently about twice a week for about a month. This week, I've stepped it up - Four Mile Super Challenge! I'm seeing results now so it's motivating me to keep "moving."

I really like that these DVDs aren't boring, annoying, or just laughable to me! She motivates me to walk. She keeps the pace up, says encouraging words right when I''m ready to quit and I can hear her voice in my head when I really don't want to walk. "Muscle burns more calories!" "Do I have time to exercise? Yes, I do! It's over in a snap!"

If you're discouraged by the way you look or just need some fitness in your life, try one of her DVDs! I think you'll really enjoy it and start seeing results.

I just read about her 10 Day Challenge and I signed up. I'm really excited. Since I've started to see some results already, I think this is the next boost I need, plus I think it'll be fun. Did I really type that? I'll see if I can remember to post in 10 days. :-)

Happy "Moving!"

Blogging Hiatus

I'm not quite sure how I got so busy that I stopped blogging. Every few months I realize I haven't posted anything in quite awhile. I think about blogging quite often... it's the execution that I find difficult.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Dry Ice?

Recently, one of my sons asked for ice water. No problem, I can assist him with that, thought I. When I reached into the ice bucket, here's what I found:







At first, I couldn't figure out what had happened. Our freezer wasn't old enough to start malfunctioning; we had just bought our refrigerator last July. The ice cubes were actually not melted; that is, they were whole, but all stuck together and frozen into a single block. When I asked the boys if they knew anything about it, one boy told me that the ice was dry and needed to be wet. He had added water to our ice bucket, then stuck the whole thing back into the freezer so we wouldn't have "dry ice." *sigh. Oh, how I love that boy.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Status: Nursery and Greenhouse

Steady yourselves... It is open!! It's not very busy because no one knows it's open...at least until I blogged about it! :-) Rows upon rows of greenhouses are open, filled with growing and blooming vegetation.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The One Laptop

Well, it happened! I picked one and am using it as we speak... so to speak.

I ended up with a laptop that has 3 gigs of RAM, a 250 gig hard drive, an AMD Turion 64x2 chip, 2.0 gHz processor, a webcam, a NVIDIA graphics card, 1600 mHz bus and a 17" screen. Woohoo! More power than I need or know what to do with... for now! I'm looking forward to getting over the learning curve of Vista, then look out World!

A friend has asked me to help get her business off the ground but she's moving several states away, so I'm hoping that the web cam will be very handy for us. I just need to figure it out! Aahhh, the learning curve again.

My sister mentioned we could skype as well. So many new gadgets! :-)

Now, I must begin the process of transferring data from the old desktop to the new laptop, along with updating my preferences. Aahhhhh. I could be playing with this new fab toy all day! Oh, I suppose I should make lunch and dinner...and teach my boys... and fold laundry... and play with the boys... and other stuff. I guess I'll have to move in spurts in the Laptop World.

Happily entering the Laptop World after two weeks of researching, test-driving different models and driving sales people nuts by asking them to print up spec sheets for me.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Status: Nursery and Greenhouse

Nope, not yet... BUT! All of the construction barrels that were blocking the entrances have been moved. My guess is that they will open tomorrow!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Status: Nursery and Greenhouse

Nope. Not open yet. :-)

Ah, the World of Laptops!

It's crazy out there! Since I posted about beginning my Laptop Adventure, it's been kinda frightening. Thanks to my friend Val, my brother-in-law, and other friends, it's not so scary.

Val works at a company that does IT support for small to mid-sized companies that don't have their own IT departments. Since she talks "Computer" all day to both consumers and IT personnel, she was fab about answering my questions and decoding "Computer." She started with the basic "What do you do on your computer?" question to answering my questions about spec sheet items like frontside bus (FSB), hard drive speed, processor speed, and more. I really liked how she let me explain it back to her, just to make sure I understood it.

My brother-in-law gave me more specific info about models, info on what his friends use, what they like, and we went to look at some laptops. He pointed out what could be better on one model versus other models and helped me compare info.

I also posted my dilemma on my stamping/scrapbooking team board I and got more fab advice.

One of the best pieces of advice I got there was to try out the computer, keyboard, mouse, etc. before purchasing. Candi S. said that if I don't like the keyboard, I'll just end up hating the laptop. I never would have thought about that.. until I got the sucker home and realized I didn't like the keyboard or something.

I had my heart set on a particular model and when I tried it, I really didn't like it one bit. The mouse was centered in the base, but the way the rest of the keyboard was configured, the track pad was under one of my hands so as I typed, the bottom of my thumb/palm kept bumping it and blasting out parts of things I was typing. This particular model didn't have any office software on it, but it was connected to the internet. I was typing "bestbuy.com" in the address window and after I hit enter, I found I was searching for ".com" which happened again after I tried to go to the google page. I looked in the address history and apparently ".com" was a popular page on that model even before I got there! Not a good sign.

Tonight, we went to look again. I thought a different particular model was going to be coming home with me tonight. Nope. The keyboard was fine. It was the texture of the mouse/track pad. It felt a bit like textured plastic. To me, it just didn't feel right or comfortable. Just gritty.

I did test drive one model that I hadn't looked at before. I think this might be a winner. I'll sleep on it and test-drive it again to make sure. I'm a little excited because it has more than I was expecting! A fast processor, lots of RAM, oodles of hard drive space, a webcam (a nice add on I wasn't planning on getting), and a 17" screen.

I also found another one I really liked, though. I think my Dearest just wants me to pick one. I'll get there! Hopefully before the weekend.

Thanks to you everyone who gave me advice!! I appreciate all of your help.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Spring!

Spring is such a fun time of year! Trees are budding, bulbs start to bloom and grow, and everything comes alive again.

The other fun thing about this time of year is that I start getting my annual "Spring phone calls." We live close to a popular nursery/greenhouse that many people expect to be open. I get phone calls from friends who live a bit farther away, "How are you? How're the children?" A bit of a pause, followed by, "Are they open yet?"

This year I have also received emails, along with the phone calls. I should clarify that I don't mind the phone calls or emails at all. In fact, it's amusing for me and I just count on hearing from these people once or twice a year (later in the summer, they have produce and a farmer's market). I just need to pay attention to this nursery when I drive and am running errands.

There was quite a bit of activity this past week: hi-lo's moving stacks of something for the garden, stacks of soil and/or fertilizer bags shrink-wrapped together and waiting for eager gardeners, employees' cars in the parking lot... BUT the barrels blocking the driveway entrances are still there.

Nope, not open yet.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

ISO Laptop Advice

My Dearest just proclaimed that I could pick out (and purchase!) a laptop... within reason. That MacBook Pro will just have to wait, I guess.

I started doing research and have found that I'm just in over my head! This laptop business is just confusing and a bit intimidating. Apparently, my computer knowledge is current... for 6 years ago! I rarely wade into the computer-buying realm. The last time I was here was about 6 years ago when my computer crashed the night before Thanksgiving. We were hosting Thanksgiving that year. All of my recipes were on that computer. We survived and everything was delish. Oh yeah, nothing like going out in style, baby!

I digress... There are so many things to consider... RAM speed, portability, Intel v. AMD processors, processor speed, hard drive size, DVD burner or just a DVD Rom, built in web cam or not, Vista or XP (since Macs are out of my price range right now *sigh) ... ARGH!!!!!

Here's where I need some advice! What are the pros and cons of your laptop? Any particular brand you recommend over another, Macs excluded? What type do you have?

Any helpful tips or hints would be much appreciated!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Is it Spring??



The temperature has climbed into the 50s! It's lovely and sunny. I love all of the fabulous mud pits in my backyard with a small bit of snow clinging to the hope of winter returning. (Did you hear the sarcasm?) I don't like to get my hopes up so I'm waiting for another snowy day or two.

In the meantime, I give you this fabulously fun website (that I found over at Altogether Too Happy) that will help you envision Spring, even if it isn't Spring in your part of the world yet.

The screen will be black and blank; click where you like and create your own Spring picture!

Michael???

Sadly, we missed the first 10 or 15 minutes of the show last night! We got home a bit later than we intended and started taping soon after the first commercial break as we readied our boys for bed. I caught up this morning on the ABC website.

Okay - now I'm caught up... WOW!! I liked this episode better than the Desmond episode last week or was it the week before? Anyhow, I was surprised to see Michael again, but then I remembered from the ads that we were going to see someone we thought we'd never see and then I wasn't surprised, but glad it made sense. How did he get a job on the ship? Obviously, he has an alias as Kevin, but how did he get that? Where is Walt? Who has Walt? Is Walt being held to make sure that Michael keeps Ben informed?

I don't think that Michael will be one of the Oceanic Six.. So far, we have seen Jin, Sun, Jack, Kate, Hurley, and Sayid in the future. That's six! But then, there's Ben, who makes it off the island, as Sayid is working for him. Hmmm... I wonder if Michael gets caught spying or decides to go back to the island.

I'm glad that Sun had her baby and that they're both alive, but what about Jin?? Obviously (or just obvious to me) is that he's in Korea working for Paik Auto, buying a Panda, and then Sun goes to Jin's gravesite. I think I would have thought it was a flash-back, except Jin looks longingly into the delivery room where the Ambassador's child just delivered a baby boy. Did he fake his death?

What's going on with Ben, Charles Widmore, and the plane crash cover-up?? ARGH!! So many questions! I guess we'll just have to see what happens next week!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Scranton.... I miss you!



Thanks to Shannon , where I first saw this!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Homeschool Ruling in CA

Would you please sign the petition concerning the State of California Homeschooling ruling? You can read more here and here.

This decision could possibly effect my freedom to homeschool my children.

Whether you think homeschooling is a good idea or not, shouldn't it be the parents' decision to choose what is best for their own children?

Please go to HSLDA and sign the petition. Thank you very much for taking the time to do this, not only for me, but for all homeschooling families across this great nation of ours.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Abundantly Blessed

There are some times when my family has seen God's sovereignty so plainly. Like the day I got married and the weather was perfect that morning, then rain just poured from the heavens after I got to the church (with my hair done) and continued to rain the rest of the day. I admit it, I was a little vain about my hair. Dare I admit that I still sometimes am?

Then there was the time that I went into labor with my second child. It was December and we weren't ready. At. All! We went to my Dr's appointment, found out I was at 3 cm and that jarred us into action. We took our oldest and went to the grocery store because whether or not we went into labor soon, we had to have food in the house! We also went Christmas shopping. Our oldest child was a little less than a year and a half old, why not shop right in front of him? I knew it wouldn't last forever. :-)

My Dearest packed our hospital bag that Tuesday evening. If we had to go tonight, what would we need? He packed it all. I had had a discussion with my mother-in-law earlier that week, who mentioned that since we moved and had to take a new route to the hospital, there was no direct exit to our hospital off of the freeway we were planning to take to the hospital. We had to exit either a mile before or after the hospital.

My Dearest had to be at work the following day (Wednesday) at 5 am and when he came to kiss me good-bye, I told him he wasn't going to work. We needed to get to the hospital. As he had slept, I paced the apartment and counted minutes between contractions. Right when he was supposed to be leaving, my contractions were about nine minutes apart. We called my mother-in-law; my Dearest got the car ready, and notified my doctor and hospital that we were on our way.

The weather was not icy nor snowy, just misting rain... in December! Traffic was relatively clear for 6:50 in the morning. We arrived at the hospital safely and I delivered our youngest later that morning.

This past week's events will be another one of these stories. God's providence so clearly seen.

Earlier last week, my Dearest noticed a lump in his mouth. Not really painful, just there. On Tuesday or Wednesday, I noticed that our 'Check Engine' light had come on... again. We have had some difficulties with our EGR valve, which makes our 'Check Engine' light light up.

My Dearest went on Wednesday to the auto parts store he frequents and bought the part just in time. The owner was going on vacation starting on Thursday morning and the shop was going to be closed for 10 days.

Thursday, my Dearest took the van to work so that one of his colleagues could clean and replace the EGR valve that evening as my Dearest worked overtime. I had the car and would run errands that afternoon with the boys. The lump in my Dearest mouth had started to hurt more and swell... to the point that he felt compelled to see our family physician, who had just returned from a 10 day vacation. Sidenote - what is with these 10 day vacations sprouting up everywhere? Anyone??

My Dearest called me about mid-morning and told me about the upcoming appointment and that it was also 'Leave-your-wallet-and-work-keys-at-home day.' Could I bring his wallet and keys (along with a check for his co-pay) either to work or the doctor's office? Well, one of my errands was only a mile or two south of the doctor's so I fit this into my errand list.

The boys finished school lunch and off we went to run errands. I was so organized and together! I had a list of everywhere we needed to go, what things were to be dropped off where, to whom, and at what time. It was a beautiful thing. We left the house and went down the street and the brakes felt quite a bit slow to respond, which I chalked up to getting used to the car's brakes versus the van's. I changed that story as I slid farther into the intersection than I would have had the brakes not felt 'mushy.' We turned the car around and went back home and thankfully so, as the brakes at that point the brakes failed. We stopped just in time and we were all safe.

I phoned the doctor's office and talked to my Dearest, mailed the co-pay check, and phoned everyone I was planning to see.

My Dearest came home after his appointment so he could rest and have his prescription filled. Since he still didn't have his wallet, I took his prescription to be filled and took care of my errands. It turned out my Dearest has a blocked salivary gland and was prescribed antibiotics, along with sour foods to get his salivary gland to produce saliva and help the gland along the way.

On Friday or Saturday, I learned that my one of my parents was going out of town on business for the week and my other parent will be leaving town later this week. They decided we could use their van while our car gets fixed and the second parent will leave their car at the airport. The first parent will pick up the car at the airport and we will pick up the second fly-ee when they return from out of town. Complicated, perhaps, but God has provided a car for us while ours needs repairs this week!

It's amazing to see how God has planned all things for his glory. How has God been working in your life?

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen. Phil 4:19-20

Thursday, February 21, 2008

GiveAway Follow Up.... Thoughts about Lickety Split Meals

After 123 people were interested in the Lickety Split Meals for Health Conscious People on the Go Give Away I had last month, I contacted the people at Zonya Health International (ZHI) and asked if they would be willing to give a discount of sorts to you who wanted the book, but didn't win it.

Here's what I pose to you ... Would you rather have a discount on the book or a Zonya CD freebie with purchase of the book?

Leave me a comment with your preference and I will forward the info to ZHI so they can put together an offer for you!

Monday, February 18, 2008

LOST!

Well, it's taken this long to digest what happened on LOST last week. Sayid is one of the Oceanic 6, apparently. So far, that's Jack, Kate, Hurley, and Sayid.

Does Ben count as one of the Oceanic 6? Obviously, he made it off the island, but he had the ability to do so before Locke blew up the submarine. He wasn't on the plane when it crashed. He does, however, have a secret closet, in which he has a stash of passports, various currencies, a respectable wardrobe and more. Hmmmm..... more questions!

In the future, I cannot believe that Sayid is working with Ben. Sayid says, while they're still on the island, that he would would rather sell his soul than trust Ben. Obviously, something significant happens that would put the two of them in this type of relationship. What happened to Sayid that he's now working for Ben?

Over the last few days, I have talked to more people who watch LOST and they are rather bothered by the fact that the show doesn't seem to answer as many questions as it raises. I think that in this age where plots seems to be so predictable, I find LOST so refreshingly suspenseful.

The show doesn't follow the typical hour long mystery format: The first 5 minutes acquaint you with the characters. The next 5 to 10 minutes show you circumstances of the crime or murder. Then the next 30 minutes deal with chasing clues and finding who dunit and the final minutes deal with explaining how they found out who dunit and everyone marvels at the ability of the solver.

I find this show is so refreshingly atypical. It doesn't bother me that more questions are raised every week. Now, when the series ends and all of the questions aren't answered, then I'll be very peeved, but right now, I look forward to my weekly dose of LOST.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Update on "We've Moved!"

Well, apparently I did not articulate our fish's thoughts very well in my post titled, "We've Moved!" It's not that we have moved, but rather that our fish have moved. Instead of writing about our tank leaking from our point of view, I thought it would be more fun to write about it from their point of view. Sorry about the confusion.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

We've moved!

We saw the smallest one come and peek into our room and home very early this morning. He peeked and left quickly.

About two hours later, we saw the biggest one enter our room. We noticed that we couldn't swim as freely as we once did only hours earlier. The biggest one peered into our home and moved our filtration system out of our home. He also cleared off the flat surface that has four sticks that touch the floor where the two smaller ones do something with paper, plain and colored sticks of sorts, and bound paper. This is where he put the things he took out of our home. What's going on?

After the biggest one cleared surfaces and moved things out of our home, the world started shaking and moving and we could see things that we hadn't noticed before. The next thing we knew, we were put upon a slightly squishly surface in a room with squares on the floor, a cabinet, a huge floor to almost ceiling length cloth, and a looming white stool or chair of sorts.

We saw the long-haired one go into our previous room and she used this large barrel-shaped thing on wheels with a long hose, which she moved across the carpet. It was very noisy. The biggest one was no where to be seen. After awhile, the smaller ones looked at us and they seemed confused and groggy. It seemed we were in a room we weren't supposed to be in.

The noise died down and all four of them came into our view. The biggest one lowered a large vessel into our home and tried to catch us. We eluded the vessel and the bigger one by separating and swimming away as best as we could, though our water level was down to 3 inches now. He caught two of us, then the other three and put us into a smaller home with not nearly enough room. As we adapted to our new home, we realized that gravel was raining down into our home! We dodged the gravel as best we could.

Our much smaller house started shaking again and we were set upon a blue surface in a room with a large water source and shiny receptacle; a big surface, out of the top which fire leapt and the front had a large door with shelves inside; and we could see the biggest one and the two smaller ones eating something, but they didn't eat right out of the water like we do. Nor did they eat while they played or chased each other around the room. They ate out of these concave shaped things with shiny things in their fins, but they didn't really look like our fins.

After relaxing most of the day and adapting to our much smaller home, the biggest one took us through a door and boy, was it cold! We went to a building nearby and are now in a house that is much larger and we have more friends here. We hope the furry, barking thing on four legs and the furry, slinking thing that looks at us won't disturb us, but the thing that levitates around the room makes us very nervous.

Please don't send any house-warming gifts. Our home is well stocked. We hope to see the biggest one, the long-haired one, and the two smaller ones soon.

Is it a cold or allergies?

It has been a crazy sort of week. I've been fighting a cold for about 4 days and this past Sunday night, it hit me. HARD. Of course, if one stays up until 4 am on two consecutive Friday nights, then gets up at 6:30 am to work an All Day Crop or a Unit Meeting for my scrapbooking and stamping business, then stays up for most of the rest of the weeks until 2 am, the cold that's been hovering is going to hit and it will probably hit hard.

Yup, that is mostly what happened. Throw in a late night watching the first two discs of LOST (Season 3), cutting more paper for a workshop, and taking the whole family on a sleepover to our friends' house for more LOST after we put the boys to sleep.

So Monday comes and I wake up with a full-blown sore throat, coughing, and sinus pressure. I supervised school from my prone position on the couch. After school and lunch, I put in both discs of Pride and Prejudice and intermittently slept and watched both discs. I don't think I made dinner that night, I think we ate something my Dearest whipped up.

On Tuesday, I realize I cannot remember the last time I was sick. Two years ago? Three, or was it four? I almost feel like I'm dying. In addition to the sore throat, coughing and sinus pressure, now I have other symptoms. My nose is alternately running and stuffed. Breathing through my mouth is difficult and drying my throat.

My brother told me about grapefruit seed extract pills* and their ability to cut short the duration of a cold. I also read that cod liver oil* or more specifically the vitamin A & D also help with lessening the duration of a cold. I started popping pills to see if this will help.

By Wednesday, I realize that I'm acting like a typical male who is sick. Oh, you know what I'm talking about. I realized the reason I was acting this way was because I don't normally get sick! Usually, everyone else in the family gets sick and I don't.

Could it be my spring allergies are acting up and it's not a cold? We have had very interesting weather here lately - 40 and 60 degree days, then plummeting into the teens, plus lots of rain, sleet, snow, and every so often we had a dry day.

Something else to ponder as I try to breathe through my mouth until my nose clears and not make my sore throat worse.


*I make no claims about the efficiency of either grapefruit seed extract or cod liver oil capsules to lessen the duration of colds. I am not a doctor nor do I have medical training. Contact your family physician or herbalist for more information.

Why do they want Ben??

Please don't read any further if you haven't seen LOST yet; there may be questions I pose that spoil the episode for you. If you don't care, read on!











Nobody likes Ben. Why do they want him?? Who does he have on the boat? What kind of information does he have that could be helpful or useful for these people? What is the original pilot of 815 doing piloting a chopper back to the island? What are a physicist, "soil sample analyst" or medium of sorts, pilot, and anthropologist doing together? Not to mention that it sounds like the beginning of a joke.

On the other hand, I'm glad they answered the question of why they're on the island - to get Ben. But why? Questions, questions, questions. Looking forward to next week!

Friday, February 01, 2008

Bloggy Winner Announced!

Thank you to everyone who entered my Giveaway for Zonya Foco's book, Lickety Split Meals for Health Conscious People on the Go!

Congratulations to number 100: Mo! Email me your address so I can have the book shipped to you! If I don't hear from you by 7 am (EST), Saturday morning, I will choose another winner.

Congatulations, again, Mo!

LOST Season Premiere

We really enjoy LOST and have been waiting anxiously since the finale last season. But the questions they raise! So many questions! Who are the "rescuers?" Why is the freighter near the island, if not to rescue the survivors of Oceanic 815? If Hurley didn't choose to go with Jack, how does he end up off the island? Who are the other 3 who make it off the island (Hurley yells, "I'm one of the Oceanic 6!" when he's being arrested)? Who chooses to stay on the island?

So many questions and I can't wait to see the rest of the season!

What do you think is going on?

Monday, January 28, 2008

Bloggy GiveAway!!

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Today is the start of Bloggy GiveAways hosted by Rocks in My Dryer!

I'm giving away an autographed copy of Zonya Foco's Lickety Split Meals for Health Conscious People On the Go! This is one of my favorite cookbooks and I know you'll LOVE it!

This cookbook has the following sections in it: breakfast, "Appeteasers," 1 minute mini meals, 5 minute meals, 15 minute meals, 30 minutes meals, oven-exercise-eat, pasta, pizza, stir-fry, soup, slow-cooking, salad and sides and sweet things. All of the recipes are do-able and taste FABULOUS!

Some of my favorite recipes are: Unstuffed Peppers, Cranberry Pork over Noodles, Beef Stroganoff, Beef Barley Soup, Parmesan Turkey Cutlets over Angel Hair, Salmon Burgers, Creamy Chicken Dijon over Noodles, Breakfast in a Cookie, Oatmeal Cookies.... My family, including my 6 and 7 1/2 year old boys, love EVERYTHING I've made out of this cookbook.

This drawing is open to bloggers and non-bloggers alike. Please make sure you leave me an email address so I can contact you if you are the winner! Please note that you must have a U.S. mailing address to win this prize. I will use a random number generator to choose a winner on Friday, February 1 at 3 pm, EST.

Be sure to click on the button to see what else is being given away this week!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

One Week!

January 31 is only a week away!! That means LOST is premiering in one week! Are you as excited as I am??

Who are the people from the freighter? Who was Naomi working for? Who leaves the Island? Who stays? How do they leave? Why are people coming to the Island, but not coming for the survivors of Oceanic 815? The answers start coming in one week!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Bloggy GiveAways!!

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It's that time again! What to give away?? Hmmm..... Hand-made cards? Scrapbook layouts? Other crafty things? Recipes? Hmmmmm..... Stay tuned and check back on January 28th to see what I'm giving away!!

Winter?

Well, apparently 60 degree days in January in one of the Mid-West states isn't meant to last. It has been cold for the last week and I'm really looking forward to Spring, or at least consistent 50 degree weather. It snowed Monday night and Tuesday early afternoon. It's so cold, our snow is all powder, which is fine for all of you snow-sports enthusiasts, but it's not suitable for snowballs or snowmen. We shoveled it the best we could; as it is powder, it just kind of blows all over with any amount of wind.

What have you been doing and how is the weather where you are?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Walking Speeds and "Movement"

I have resolved that I need to start moving regularly. Of course I move from one room to the next, but by move, I mean exercise-types of movements. I haven't exercised in a quite some time and it's time to do something about it!

I used to run track in high school and can remember I used to be able to run 5 miles without being very winded and now... let's not even talk about how far I can walk now! Although, I can still walk quickly, I just need to work on walking longer than through the mall or grocery store.

My friend Monica is tall, about 5'9" or so. I am 5' 5" so for me, anyone over 5' 5" is tall! Anyhow, when I was at the Barry Manilow concert last month (I hear some of you people laughing already!) my friend Monica had trouble keeping up with me. She has had people (and her own family) complain that she walks too quickly and could she please walk slower. It was a treat to find someone who can and enjoys walking quickly.

When My Dearest and I were dating, he had a dream he was chasing after an Asian girl through a mall because I walked so quickly when we met.

Now, all of this changed when my children were born. They surely couldn't learn to walk when I was walking so quickly. Now that my youngest is 6, I can start to walk a bit more quickly.

All of this is to say that I need to start exercising, but I'm going to call it "Moving" and "Movement." Quotes included. Do you want to play along? Join me over at ScrappyMom Movement. I'll be moving my Recipes of the week over there, along with my movement progress. Perhaps we can inspire each other along!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Coffee-Mate Give-Away

How do you take your coffee? Cream? Sugar? Flavored creamer?

For all of you who like creamer, flavored or otherwise, Coffee-Mate is giving away coupons for free creamer! This campaign is called Stir Up Something New. Enter your info and they will send you a coupon for a free bottle of Coffee-Mate creamer.

Do I need to tell you how to use it? If so, use it to try something new, your trusted standby or pass on to your coffee-drinking friend. :-)

Enjoy your cup of coffee!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Wouldn't you just know it?

Of course after yesterday's dreary weather post, today is a "yummy, sunny day!" The temperature has dropped back into the "normal" range of 40s, but it's clear and sunny outside!!

Have a great day!

Balmy Weather & Spring Cleaning

Monday and Tuesday were downright balmy here! Now, if you live anywhere in the Mid-West and especially near the Great Lakes, you know that "January" and "balmy" generally do not go together, but I swear, we had fabulous temperatures! It topped 6o on Monday and almost reached 60 today. Now, perhaps you noticed that I wrote "temperatures" and not "sunny." Nope. We had fabulous temperatures.

See, here in the Mid-West, we get dreary winters. Very little sun once January hits. Somehow, November and December don't seem nearly as dreary. We generally have cloudy skies, bone-chilling damp weather, and SNOW. We rarely see the sun, not until March or April at the earliest or so it seems. A dreary, rainy January 60 degree day was most welcome.

This sudden burst of warmer temperatures reminded me of Spring. It sparked my creativity and compelled me to do a bit of pre-mature Spring cleaning!

On Monday, I threw open the windows to air out the house a bit and give us some much needed fresh air. I noticed several of my neighbors did the same. I'm taking full advantage of warm weather while it's here! My creativity ran wild as my boys were playing outside in the mud building forts, fighting some sort of storm trooper or another, and yelling like banshees. I cleaned out all of the newly retired stamp sets in my collection (32!) and then decided that it was time to move furniture in our living room.

I had moved a couch, coffee table and emptied a bookcase to move when I received a phone call from my Dearest who was leaving work. I told him I had a surprise for him and hoped it would be ready when he got home. He paused a moment and said, "I'd like to eat dinner tonight." I started brown rice in the rice cooker, then I scrambled to finish moving the couches, bookcases, and re-shelve the books. I didn't dare move the TV, entertainment cabinet, and various other TV paraphernalia.

He snuck in through the back door, but he liked what I had done. So far. He came up with the idea to keep moving furniture. We rearranged a bit more and are happy with our fresh, new look. Just in time for "Winter" to arrive... again.

By the way, we had salads, seasoned Mahi-mahi, asparagus, and brown rice for dinner, to my Dearest's joy.


For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven...Ecclesiastes 3:1

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Expecting!!

Not ME, you sillies! I had you going, didn't I? :-)


My dearest Sister and Brother-in-Law are expecting their first child. They broke the news over Thanksgiving, but seeing as I've rarely blogged since... well, before Thanksgiving, I thought now would be a good time to share with the world.

No, they're not going to find out before hand what gender their child is.

She's due in early June.

She's feeling well. Not much (morning) sickness at all.

(Yes, I can hear all of your questions now.)

Sadly, I've been bugging, I mean prodding, I mean encouraging my Sister and Brother-in-Law to have offspring for quite some time. Granted, they've been married for about 3 1/2 years. In some circles that's seen as a long time. In others, it is seen as no rush, no fuss. I mention this because my Dearest and I got pregnant on our honeymoon. We are of the view that they were taking a long time, only because of our own circumstances.

Our children are 6 and 7 1/2 so we (okay, I) have been encouraging my Sister and Brother-in-Law to have children, because after all, our children need cousins on this side of the family!

Now that they are expecting and we own a mini-van, the talk has come full circle back to us. Our child will need cousins his or her own age! You could have more children. Don't you need a girl? You have three empty seats in your mini-van, ya know! and every other conceivable reason why we would need more children. No pun intended!

Tonight, at dinner, as talk turned to meatball cannons, Legos, cars, and other boy-ish topics, I felt it again. Acutely female in an almost male-dominated home. This time, instead of just grinning at the "boys will be boys" behaviour, I mentioned it to my Dearest. I laid my head on his shoulder and said, "I feel acutely female."

His way of comforting me was something like this:
"Well, if we were to multiply, there's no way to determine the gender."
I answered, "I know. We could have more of this!" nodding my head at the boys.
"Your Sister and Brother-in-law have no way of knowing either. If we did, we wouldn't know until the birth* anyhow. We don't know if the genders will be compatible or not."
(I think he meant similar. tee hee hee)
He continued with, "Well, it's best not to try."

*We are some of those people who chose not to find out the gender at the ultrasound. We like being surprised at the actual birth. For me, it's remembering my Dearest looking at me with such emotion on his face as he announced that we had a son or another son. Memories I'll cherish in my heart forever.

Anyhow, those of you who know my Dearest know that he's always said that whatever God has planned for us will be and who are we to stay God's hand? If it happens, we'll love that child as much as we love the ones we have now. If not, then not.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Football Results

The end of the regular football season is over. For the football widows out there, I'm very glad for you. All you must endure now is playoff season. It will officially be over on February 3 ... about 10:30 pm.

Here is how our Pigskin Pick'em team did:

I am so excited to say that I placed first in our group overall. Yay!