Thursday, November 29, 2007

Make Up Mirrors

Are you looking for a fabulous gift for a lady in your family? My mom is one that we are working on right now. She's pretty easy to buy for since she loves to pick up things at thrift stores and redo them. When we were at her house over Thanksgiving, I noticed she had some lighting issues in her bathrooms. The main bathroom that everyone uses is pretty small and it is kind of dark. It makes it hard to go in there and put on your makeup without coming out looking like a clown. The problem seems to be that her mirror is too far away from the light fixture. I've even heard her complain about it on occasion. I'm thinking if she had one of these makeup mirrors , she (or anyone else) would not have trouble seeing in there anymore. There are tons of different kinds of mirrors but I love the ones that mount to the wall and you can pull out. It's perfect. She could install it beside her normal bathroom mirror and just pull it out whenever she needed to see better to "put her face on", as she says. There are so many choices and while I'm at it, I should pick up a mirror for our shower. My hubby is constantly talking about how he could save time by shaving in the shower, if only he had a mirror.

I'm off to do some browsing. These will make perfect gifts!

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A Troll In My Vacuum

Today was quite a day. I had to go to the doctor early and then stop by Walmart for several things we needed. I really dislike Walmart this time of year. It's always so busy and it seems they never have enough people on duty. It's crazy. Anyway, the girls were home doing chores and schoolwork and by the time I got home, it was after lunch. I jumped right into grammar with Caroline and Logan went to another area to work on her math. After I had gone over the grammar lesson with Caroline, I grabbed my laptop and tried to check my email. I was getting caught up when my internet connection went down and I finally gave up. I'm very impatient where the internet is concerned. That's another whole post.

I thought I'd get some chores done myself so off I went. I started to vacuum a rug and noticed that my almost dead Hoover was not picking up. I decided to flip it up and look underneath to see if there was a problem. I wish I had taken a picture of what it looked like. Honestly, I thought I had sucked up a troll. There was so much hair and other stuff wrapped around the little brush thing that I just sat there for a minute, taking it all in. I took the bottom part off so I could remove the brush and I started cleaning it off. It was nasty. Are you supposed to clean this thing regularly? I never hear anyone talk about that. I don't know but obviously I don't clean mine. I really think I could have made a wig out of the hair I pulled off of it.

If that wasn't fun enough, the kids informed me that one of our kitties had made another mess that I just had to see. This particular kitty has issues. Mental issues. She has a bad habit of playing with the toilet paper roll in our master bathroom. I'm not sure what she finds so fascinating. She doesn't just play with it. She demolishes it. You'd think that Edward Scissorhands had been in there! The kids told me that they just couldn't clean it up until I saw it. I have to admit, it was funny. The problem is that this kitty does this quite often and it wastes a lot of tissue. I try to remember to close the door but I forget. A lot.

Don't let her cute face fool you!

The pile of demolished tissue

This is her trademark

Everything is cleaned up now and it's almost time to start supper. I'm off to make some beef ravioli with tomato cream sauce and a nice salad. I hope you've had a nice day. I'm looking forward to the weekend. Our UT Vols play LSU for the SEC championship on Saturday. That should be interesting. On Sunday night, we are off to Knoxville to watch the Lady Vols play North Carolina. That should also be a very interesting game. What are you doing this weekend?

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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I Admit It, I'm A Neat Freak

I was browsing the daily questions over at That's My Answer and I couldn't resist one question from today. Here's the question:

If you came to my house for a friendly visit, perhaps a cup of coffee and a game of Scrabble, and noticed that the picture on my wall was crooked, what would you do?

I have to tell on myself here. I am a bit OCD and things like this bug me in my own house. If I were to notice this in the home of someone else, I would most likely just let it go. I would try and forget about it but would probably glance at it several times during the evening. I would not try and fix it unless I were at Jenny's. I'd have no problem straightening it in her house. She just makes a gal feel so welcome that sometimes I think I live there.

My husband loves to play little games with me. I cannot stand to have a rug messed up or a book out of place at home. He loves to walk through the house and flip up a rug or make something crooked. He loves me that way! When I create a mess in the house, I try to make sure it is all in one room. However, once I have a room cleaned, I like it to stay that way. Well, that is impossible because we live in our house! It's crazy for me to think I can keep things perfect and why in the world do I want to? I have no idea but I blame my mother! Growing up, my mom was a real stickler when it came to having a neat home. Even today, she lives alone in a three story house. She currently has six bedrooms (I think the house actually has nine but the bottom floor is used for storage right now). The place is spotless. Every time we've ever been up there, not a crumb in sight. Nothing is out of place, until we get there :-o) So I think I have a valid reason to blame dear ole' mom (love ya mom!).

The past few years, I've really tried to work on this. As long as things are somewhat orderly, I am happy. How about you? Are your habits similar to mine or are you totally opposite?

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Things I Don't Like To Deal With

I am not an insurance person. It confuses me and makes me feel silly. My hubby has always dealt with those types of issues and I am thankful for that. I remember talking with our insurance guy as he tried to explain the types of life insurance policies they offered. My mind was spinning, trying to remember the differences between whole life and term life insurance. At some point, my brain shut off and I just let hubby work it all out.

Many people purchase whole life policies because they mature over time. When they reach 65 years of age, they can draw money out or they can continue having the insurance without paying the premium. The policy would be paid in full at that time which allows for these options. Some opt to buy whole life and then when they turn 65, they switch to a term life policy. I'm not sure what the best route is but I do think it's wise for a man to have life insurance. Since I am a SAHM, it makes sense for my hubby to have insurance to cover expenses should something happen to him. Obviously, our church would support us but having the insurance would help pay off our home. That would be a huge burden lifted.

If you are looking into life insurance, shop around and get a term life insurance quote to see if it will fit your budget and your needs. This is just one more way that families can be proactive when it comes to dealing with matters of this magnitude.

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Ten On Tuesday ~ Best Games Edition

(Board games, video games, card games, etc.)

I couldn't pass this one up because we love games. We haven't played a lot lately since we've been busy with other things but in the summer, we usually try and play each Friday night with my BIL and his kids. It's a great way to spend a Friday night!

Here's a list of favorites:

  1. Scattergories - I love this board game. It's great for quick thinking.
  2. Pictionary - Who doesn't love this game! I am the worst drawer in the history of the game but somehow my wonderful hubby still manages to guess well!
  3. Scrabble - I love this game. I've really love to have the deluxe version for Christmas.
  4. Phase 10 - Wonderful card game that I've only played a few times. I love it though and it takes a long time to play a game if you have lots of people.
  5. Imaginiff - Great for the kids but there needs to be plenty of players so that it doesn't get boring.
  6. Rook - My FIL is a master at this game and I love playing it. I usually have him as a partner and since I'm not the greatest at this game, he gets to give me lots of pointers. He usually does this in a manner that makes me never want to partner with him! LOL! What can I say, he's passionate about this game!
  7. Trivial Pursuit Genius Edition - I have always liked this game.
  8. Fact or Crap - We got this game for Christmas a few years ago and I enjoy it. We've played it several times and just writing about it makes me want to get it out and play it.
  9. Super Mario Bros. - I haven't played this since Nintendo first came out. My brother and I had it as kids and we loved playing it together.
  10. Pac-Man (or Miss Pac-Man) - My most favorite video game in the whole world. I would love, love, love to have one of those old arcade versions in the house! I don't think I would ever get anything done!

**I'd like to give Donkey Kong honorable mention. I also loved it very much as a child. Also, Cranium is another of my favorite board games.

For more TOT's, go here.

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Digital Frames Are Cool

Several years ago, we started using a digital camera and storing all the photos on our computer. I love being able to store so many pictures this way but it's hard for me to adjust to not having my film developed and the pictures in my hand. I forget about having certain photos and then I have to search through folders to find the one I want. The other day, I was in a store and happened to see a digital photo frame. They are fabulous! What a wonderful gift this would make.

Since there are many digital frames on the market, I would have to do some research to figure out which one would work best for gift giving. I am thrilled to see that they come in different sizes. The smallest digital picture frame I saw had a seven inch screen while the largest had a fifteen inch screen. That's as big as my laptop screen! I love that most of these frames come with a remote control and they display as a slide show. You could display all sorts of neat photos. During the holidays, you could display various holiday photos. If someone has a birthday, display birthday photos from years past. Very neat! Maybe I need to drop a hint that this would be the perfect gift for our home!

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Monday, November 26, 2007

Why I Love Football

I know I probably drive some of you nuts with my football speak. I just love it and get so excited about it. Who wouldn't love SEC football? I mean, did any of you watch my Vols play Kentucky on Saturday? What. A. Game. That's all I can say. It was amazing. It took four overtimes for us to prevail! Our team blew a 17 point halftime lead and by the fourth quarter, I was writing them off. Who blows a lead that big? Somehow we managed to get back into it and I had to sit through all of those overtimes biting my nails. My stomach was hurting and I covered my eyes sometimes. I just knew we were going to get beat. Then big Dan Williams blocks the game winning field goal and our hopes were alive again! It was awesome! If you didn't see it, you missed a great one. It was almost as good as that LSU/Arkansas game last week. The Vols will head to Atlanta this week to take on LSU in the SEC Championship game. LSU is a great team and I hope we can hang with them. I'd love to see another nail biter. I wish I had tickets to that game. That would pretty much make my week!

I hope all you football fans enjoyed your week. I had a good week since my Colts and Cowboys won on Thanksgiving Day. The Vols game topped it all off. This week promises to be just as exciting with our Vols playing for a championship and Dallas playing the Packers this week. The Packers are playing great and you gotta love Brett Favre. He's just a swell guy and looks like he's having so much fun playing the game. I usually pull for them but since they are playing Dallas this week, I'll be cheering for T.O. to put a hurtin' on Green Bay. Hey, you don't have to like him but you do have to applaud his talent.

Did I mention that it is also basketball season? The Lady Vols are ranked #1 and we'll be taking my FIL to watch them play North Carolina this Sunday night. We take him every year for his birthday and I am so glad we started this tradition! Our oldest daughter has started going with us too so it's a fun trip. The Vols mens basketball team is ranked #7 and we are hopeful for their season. We'll take FIL to watch them play in February. While many are out shopping and enjoying their December that way, you'll find me wherever the sports are! That's how we roll in this house! LOL!

I'm going to leave you with a question. Concerning the NFL, how do you feel about excessive celebration penalties? Last night, I was watching the Bengals play and Chad Johnson (Ocho Cinco) did his normal excessive celebration thing. He ran up to a camera and started pretending to film. Harmless. Of course he was flagged for it and his team was penalized. I understand how this could hurt the team if it were a close game but my question is really whether or not players should be flagged for excessive celebration in the first place. I'm remembering how psyched I was while playing a great basketball game or winning a track or cross country meet. You get pretty excited. I can even understand if the players were taunting each other but this is rarely the case in the NFL. Usually it's just a player scoring and then doing an end zone dance or some other little funny. What do you think? Should players be flagged for excessive celebration for end zone dances and other things like that?

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Sunday, November 25, 2007

Progressive Dinner

I'm trying to get back into the swing of things as far as working on our house goes. Back in the summer, I started painting all of our trim inside the house white. I didn't get very far because it took at least four coats of paint to cover. I finished our living room and started on the hallway. That's when I stopped. It was so much work and I just got burned out quickly. I haven't touched it in months. In fact, there's still blue painter's tape around some of the doorways.

A lady in our church decided to organize a progressive dinner. These are fascinating but I've never been to one. The concept is really cool. You have three courses; appetizer, main meal, and dessert. You have each course at a different house. As she is working out details, she's been looking for volunteers to open their homes for one of each of the courses. Our house is fine to accommodate a small group so I volunteered. Great, right? Ah yes, if you like animals, you don't mind blue painter's tape on the walls, and you don't mind being squished together (the rooms in our house are small). Still, I am willing and would love to host the appetizer or dessert course. Having said that, I know I have to get myself in gear. I don't have to have everything perfect but it would be nice for the house to have an intimate feeling for this dinner. I don't think blue painter's tape will add to that affect. LOL!

So, now starts the task of getting things in some kind of order. The cats are going to be kicked out more often so they will stop thinking they own the furniture. I would love to have a plasma tv on a plasma stand, with one of those videos of a roaring fire going. That would make things feel very cozy. There are lots of things I need to do and I need some great ideas on how to make things feel more cozy. This event is for adults only so I want to make sure the adults have a great time if they do come here for one of the courses.

Have you ever participated in a progressive dinner? Did you enjoy it?

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Surgery for BIL

My BIL just called to let us know that the transplant is a NO GO. He's been at the hospital since 10am this morning, in a private room, waiting to get word concerning the condition of the pancreas and kidney. Since a liver is so hard to come by, it takes priority over the pancreas or kidneys. So, during the surgery to remove the liver from the donor, the pancreas was damaged. It cannot be used and the kidney was given to the next person on the waiting list. My BIL needs both organs. His daughter is a match for a kidney but he really needs to get both organs from the same donor. He is disappointed since this is the second time he has received the call for possible transplant. Thanks to all of you that took time out to send me an email. I really appreciate that!

My BIL called at 8am this morning very excited. He received a call from his transplant team and there is a kidney and pancreas in Knoxville that he will get if things check out. His doctor is heading down there this morning to check it out around 10am. If they organs are not damaged, the doctor will bring them back up here and my BIL will go into surgery. It could be as soon as 1pm today. He is very excited since he has been very sick for a long time. Please pray that things go well; that the organs are in good shape, the my BIL handles the surgery well, that he will not suffer organ rejection, and most of all, for the family who lost the loved one that will be my BIL's donor. What a wonderful gift that we are most appreciative of!

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Saturday, November 24, 2007

It's Time for a Dyson

Well, it is time to start comparing vacuum cleaners. Mine seems to be biting the dust. It is not picking up well at all and it feels broken. I want to invest in a really good one this time around so I am looking into buying a Dyson. A friend has a Dyson Root Cyclone and I've used it a few times. I love it. The thing I love most about this vacuum cleaner is that it never looses suction. It is also approved for allergy sufferers, which is perfect for our house. My oldest daughter and I have allergy issues and we need all the help we can get! It has a five year guarantee and Dyson has just added a parts and accessories section to their Web site. This is perfect since our vacuum tools seem to disappear every time I turn around. I'm sure my kids have no idea about that though! One tool I would invest in right off is the mattress tool. I'm constantly reading about dust mites and having this tool would help me sleep easier at night. Crazy, I know, but I don't like bugs. Especially the ones I can't see!

How about you? Do you have a Dyson or are you planning on buying one? What is your opinion? If you are thinking of buying one, I would suggest checking out the Dyson Web site to read up on all the details. It is very easy to navigate and full of useful information. You'll find everything you need to help you make an informed decision.

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Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving Funnies

I found this laying around at my mom's house and got a good laugh out of it. I hope you enjoy it and I hope your Thanksgiving is wonderful!

How To Bake A Turkey

Step 1: Go buy a turkey and a bottle of whiskey or scotch

Step 2: Take a drink of whiskey

Step 3: Put the turkey in the oven

Step 4: Take another two drinks of whiskey

Step 5: Set the degree at 375 ovens

Step 6: Take three more whiskeys of drink

Step 7: Turn oven the on

Step 8: Take four whisks of drinky

Step 9: Turk the bastey

Step 10: Whiskey another bottle of get

Step 11: Stick a turkey in the thermometer

Step 12: Glass yourself a pour of whiskey

Step 13: Bake the whiskey for four hours

Step 14: Take the oven out of the turkey

Step 15: Take the oven out of the turkey (LOL! Yes, it's supposed to be listed twice)

Step 16: Floor the turkey up off the pick

Step 17: Turk the carvey

Step 18: Get yourself another scottle of botch

Step 19: Tet the sable and pour yourself a glass of turkey

Step 20: Bless the saying, pass and eat out

Shooting the Thanksgiving Turkey

Last year, I had my chance to do the traditional thing of shooting my own turkey for should have seen the people scatter in the meat department.

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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Unveiling of Santa

As a child, my husband was a firm believer in Santa. Imagine the shock he suffered when, at the early age of 8, he discovered his parents had lied to him. When he found out that there wasn't a hefty old man climbing down the chimney delivering toys, he was crushed. He shared this story with our children and he vowed never to lie to them about things like this. Before he discovered the truth, he had fun writing and receiving Letters From Santa , leaving cookies out, and getting up early on Christmas morning. We don't celebrate Christmas like we used to but we enjoy it all the same. Now, we enjoy each other, good food, our extended family, and all of the wonderful blessings God has bestowed upon us. It's a different way of celebrating but the celebration is so much more sweet; knowing that we have a merciful God providing for our every need and watching over us with every step we take.

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Sounds of the Season

We are going out the door and heading to West Virginia to spend the next few days with my mom. She and I will be in the kitchen early in the morning preparing the 22 pound turkey I bought. I can hardly wait! I had to run a few last minute errands before heading out and I found several stations on XM radio that were already playing Christmas music. Bonus! Thank goodness my hubby talked me into XM. It's wonderful!

As I was driving around, I was flipping between the three stations playing the music. That's when I was faced with the ultimate dilemma. Bing Crosby was on one station, Tony Bennett on another, and yes, Dean Martin on the third station. I wanted to listen to all three simultaneously. What?!!! I have to choose one. "How is it possible", I thought to myself. I settled on Dean Martin since I knew I'd be playing lots of Bing and Tony over the next month. It was a tough choice though. If that wasn't enough pressure, as I pulled into our driveway, the Carpenters were coming on. Now come on!!! Y'all know that no woman sings Christmas like Karen Carpenter! Of course I did what any sane person would do. I sat in the car in our driveway until the song was over! LOL!

So I have to wonder, who do you listen to when it comes to holiday music? The artists I mentioned are not the only ones we listen to. We have A LOT of holiday music. Of course hubby has to have Mannheim Steamroller, we have Alabama, several bluegrass artists, and one of the kids favorites, The California Raisins! What fun that cd is. Hubby usually has a rule that we can't listen to any holiday music until Thanksgiving Day so I can't wait until tomorrow to pop in the Raisins while we eat!

I hope your Thanksgiving is absolutely wonderful! I also hope you listen to lots and lots of holiday music.

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Web Site Design

For various reasons, I am going to be moving to a dot com address soon. I've been thinking about it for some time and I have even registered the domain name. It'll have the same name but the look will probably change. My husband created my blogspot template and I would love for him to create a new one for my dot com. However, he is insanely busy with projects right now and this just isn't going to happen. So now begins my search for a web site design company .

I think the way a Web site looks is very important. I visit many places on the internet and I'm drawn to the ones with really good design. Having said that, I look for the same thing when looking at companies who design Web sites for a living. I've seen some pretty scary ones out there! Designing has become a pastime for many people and they have good work. However, I can tell the difference between someone who does it as a hobby and the professionals. If I were to start a business, I would definitely want a professional to do it. I wouldn't take any chances there. For me, having a dot com is just as important. My blog, or any other Web site I have for that matter, reflects me. If people come to my site and have a hard time finding things, they will not come back. Since I love socializing so much, I want people to come back!

I'll keep you posted on my move to a dot com and then you can come tell me what you think of my new design. I'm excited just thinking about it!

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I ~Heart~ Michael W. Smith

mws banner

Jenny tipped me off to this one so you'd better hurry. If you love Christmas music and Michael W. Smith, then you'll want to get a free CD. Hurry up! What are you waiting for? Get over there now and reserve your copy!


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Spring Training Anyone?

When I was a kid, I was fortunate enough to go to several professional baseball games. I remember seeing the Braves play and seeing the Reds play. It was always a lot of fun. I haven't been to a game since then but I hope we can take the girls to a game in the future. I think it would be really neat to go to spring training. I can't think of anything more interesting than getting a sneak peek of a team before the season begins.

I was very impressed watching the World Series this year. I was excited to find out that you can purchase Spring Training Tickets for the Red Sox . I'd love to see how the world champs prepare for the upcoming season. I am certain that I would learn a lot about the players and how they prepare themselves to play their individual positions. Just imagine me sitting in the stands while the Sox take batting practice. Ramirez steps up to the plate and blasts one out into the stands. Of course I'd be prepared. I'd have my glove ready to catch that ball! I would have to come home and tell all of my friends what an awesome experience it was. Then maybe I would sell the ball on Ebay for a small fortune. No way! I would have it encased so that I could set it on top of our bookshelf and it would be a constant reminder of how awesome the game of baseball is.

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I'm Such A High Schooler!

I saw this while reading over at what if this is as good as it gets and tried it. At first I felt a little silly but then I realized that the high school rating is ok. This is suppose to measure your readability. So, high school is actually good. That means that people can easily understand me. LOL! At least I hope that's what it means!

cash advance

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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

It's How Small?

Y'all know I mentioned that our oldest daughter is saving her money to purchase a laptop . She uses a computer a lot for school and wants to be able to be mobile if she needs to. I think it's a great idea and she has to save her own money to buy it. It will be her first big purchase and I think she will learn a great lesson about savings.

Anyway, I've been doing some research on different laptops and I found this really cool one that weighs only two pounds! It has a 7" wide screen. It's made by Asus and is adorable. It's too small for her but I thought it was the neatest thing I'd seen in a long time. I was unaware that a laptop that small even existed. When you have time, Google Asus Eee PC and take a look for yourself. It's just one more reason that I continue to be amazed by how quickly technology changes.

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Tuesday Twosome

I ran across Tuesday Twosome and thought it would be fun. The theme this week is Thanksgiving Twos.

What two things come to mind…

1. Thanksgiving Day Parade: The two things that come to mind are Macy's and the floats in the parade. When Jeff and I were in NYC last December, we walked down to Macy's. It was neat to see the Thanksgiving Day Parade mural painted in the street. We enjoy watching the parade each year and I love to see the Snoopy and Charlie Brown balloons.

2. Thanksgiving dinner: Turkey and stuffing. Enough said. It's hard to pick only two things on this one! I can think of at least ten dishes I love to eat on Thanksgiving!

3. Black Friday: I think of the lines in the stores and all of the good deals going on. I remember one year not so long ago, I got up at 4am and went shopping by myself. It was so terribly cold! People were acting crazy, pushing and shoving. I vowed to never get out into that mess again!

4. Fall weather: I think of sweaters and hot cocoa. I love wearing sweaters and I always look forward to dragging them out come October.

5. Thanksgiving holiday/vacation: I think of being curled up in a blanket with a good book and football on Thanksgiving Day. This year, my favorite team (the Colts) just happen to be playing. I can't wait to eat until I can't hold anymore and then curl up on the couch to watch the game! We usually always go to the movies on Thanksgiving night. We always try and see a Christmas movie if there's one showing.

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Monday, November 19, 2007

Just Freeze It

My husband has always been a baseball player. He has played since he was a young boy. He played baseball in high school, as well as football for a short time. The struggle of being involved with two sports finally caught up with him and he gave up football. Baseball was his passion and he loved his position as catcher. Over the years, it really took a toll on his ankles and feet. He spent most of the time in a squatting position so you can imagine what that must have done to his feet over time. Even now, he still suffers from muscle and joint pain. Many times when he is walking, I hear his hips pop. It makes me cringe each time I hear it. As he gets older, it seems to get worse. I recently heard about something that could be of great help to him.

Freeze It Gel is a combination of Aloe, Vitamin E, pain reliever, and an herbal extract that you rub on your muscles and joints. It is used to treat muscle strains, arthritis pain, and can even be used before bedtime to relieve pain or discomfort. It can also be used to help with rehabilitation or training. If you use it during your cool down period, it will help lessen next day pain. You simply rub it on the affected area and it starts to work almost immediately. One thing I especially love is that you can get it in the standard squeeze tube or opt to get it in roll on form. No more greasy hands! You can find Freeze It at CVS, Walmart, and Rite Aid, as well as many other chains. I'd love for my husband to win a year's supply of it so that I wouldn't have to listen to his hips pop for at least that long! I would also love to try it on my achy joints! Being an athlete myself, I have the same sort of joint and muscle pain. I spent many years as a runner and the impact has really taken a huge toll on my knees and ankles. In fact, if my hubby were to win a year's supply of it, I'd probably stash a few tubes of it for myself! If you suffer from muscle or joint pain, arthritis, or painful movement, I urge you to check it out.


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Blog Friends Rock!

Sweet lil' Jenn over at Enjoying the Ride gave me this sweet friend award. What a wonderful treat as we approach Thanksgiving. I love this time of year and it really is a wonderful time to put things in perspective and voice your appreciation for those special people in your life. I've met so many wonderful people here in bloggy land. I feel like I have more friends than I've ever had in my life. It is such a thrill to get up each day and check in on all of you. As I've recovered from having my wisdom teeth cut out, I've gotten so many sweet emails and comments of well wishes. It truly has been a wonderful blessing.

There are many of you out there that I consider friends. I'm sure I'll miss somebody so forgive me ahead of time. I especially want to thank Annie for her encouragement in many things, Amberly for being such a cool, homeschooling mom, Carrie for being another homeschooling mom who has some of the most awesome recipes ever, Coach J because she's so darn insightful and we share the love of football, Lauren for all of the great book reviews, Shawna because she keeps me in line, and Jenny because she's the best RL friend a gal could have! There are many others I'd love to name but I'd seriously be here all night. I love you all and I'm very thankful for each of you. Now, go bless your friends!

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But She's Only Thirteen

Our oldest daughter has been doing some housekeeping for a lady we met through a local clothing sale. The woman has rheumatoid arthritis and so help with the housework has been a huge blessing to her. She's good to our daughter and has been good about compensating her. The issue now is that our daughter has built up a small stash of cash. Since we don't want cash just lying around the house, we're faced with what to do with it. She's only thirteen but very responsible. We thought about putting it in a savings account but we want her to be able to use the money when she wants, within reason :-o) We're now looking into checking accounts . Washington Mutual offers free checking and free checks. That's pretty neat since she's just starting out. We've used WaMu for several things in the past and we trust them so I think that's the way we're going to go.

Do you have a similar situation with your young teenager? What was your solution? I think it's very important to teach our children how to manage money at an early age. I believe they will learn to appreciate it more if well instructed. I have to say that I'm new at this. I didn't earn money when I was a teenager and never cared to. I simply went to my mom and asked, repeatedly, for money to do this or that. She would never have dreamed of letting me open an account when I was thirteen. My daughter never asks for money. She is quiet and content with all she has. I believe she'll do well with her very own checking account.

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Saturday, November 17, 2007

Gross Kitty Stuff

** Warning, the next few lines will contain details that are, well, just gross!** A few days ago, I mentioned that I had to take one of our kitties to the vet. Tuesday night, we noticed that this particular kitty had a swollen place on her jaw. It looked like she had a golf ball hidden under her skin. I rubbed it but didn't feel anything. I started to think it was sort of tumor that had grown overnight (yes, I know, dramatic....that's how I think!). I told hubby about it and he agreed that we should keep an eye on it. Before bedtime that same night, we noticed that she had scratched and there was a very small patch of hair missing. By morning, she was scratching more and eventually I noticed blood on the carpet. I searched for her and sure enough, when I found her she had scratched a much larger place and now there was blood and other "stuff" all over the fur on her face. When I looked closer, I could see flesh. It was so nasty. I got a rag and dabbed her face with it and I could tell that whatever this was had infection in it. As my hubby would say, "gag a maggot off a gut wagon".

I called the vet up and I was on my way within fifteen minutes. When we got there, he showed me that she had a small hole, the size of a pen tip, in that area. Apparently she was poked by another one of our cats without our knowledge. There were no scratches. Just this tiny hole. He explained that it was abscessed and that's why all of the beautiful yellow stuff was coming out. I think I just threw up a little in my mouth. The vet shaved the hair off her jaw and split the wound open wider so that it would drain more. As in drain more yellow stuff....and blood. Insert gagging noises here. He gave her a shot of penicillin, washed the wound with peroxide, and applied antibiotics directly onto the wound. Lucy, the kitty, didn't fight him at all. This is huge since she obviously has mental issues. She is very scared of people, besides us. Sometimes she's scared of us. We have no idea why because she was born inside and has always been able to do what she wanted.

The best part? Well, the wound could not be covered. The vet also said it would look much worse before it started to heal. Great. Not only do I have to deal with blood and yellow stuff getting in the house, but I have to look at this nasty thing too! Wonderful. Forty-five minutes after we arrived at the vet's office, we were home and Lucy found a spot and went to sleep. By Friday, the wound had scabbed over so I'm not cleaning up nasty stuff. Yay! The funny thing lies in the fact that we have come to accept. Our home is a magnet for strange, homeless, under fed, deformed cats. Seriously. We have five cats. Only one is truly ours (we bought that one) and it is the only truly normal one. She is cute, has all of her tail, and has no mental disorder. Of the other four, three are bob-tailed cats. The one that does have a tail has constantly runny eyes. Apparently that's common for a wild cat. To prove my point, you'll remember that a sixth cat showed up here about a month ago and he has absolutely NO tail. Where do they come from???? Is there a colony of funky tailed cats out there somewhere? How did they find their way to our house? How can we make them stop coming?

I really don't exaggerate these stories. You would have to see these misfits to believe how unbelievable it is! It's pure madness, I tell ya!

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Friday, November 16, 2007

Fundraising Ideas

At some point in our lives, each of us have probably been involved with fundraising events . I remember having bake sales as a way to earn money for little league uniforms when I was a child. Those of you with children in public school know all too well about fundraising. Your child comes home several times each year with some sort of fundraising paper.

As an adult, I've always felt the urge to do things to benefit others, especially during the holidays. I've always felt so blessed with family, friends, and financial stability. When I found these wonderful ideas for Thanksgiving fundraisers, I was tickled! What a wonderful thing to get the kids involved with. I especially love the idea of donating food to our local food bank. I was shocked to learn just how many people visit one particular homeless shelter in our area. Thanksgiving Day is a huge day at the shelter as many come to eat a Thanksgiving meal. We can help just by donating a turkey and some canned goods. Simple, affordable, and beneficial to many.

Another wonderful idea I found was for charity fundraisers. There are many wonderful things to get involved with such as breast cancer awareness or Locks of Love. One interesting fundraiser I found was a shave your head for charity fundraiser. I saw a video of a teacher who encouraged 120 of her students to donate $2.00 worth of pennies to cancer research. In return for their donations, the teacher shaved her head.

These are only a few of the ways we can become involved in fundraising. Not only does this benefit people in need, I believe it teaches us a lot about giving and humanity.

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Ron Paul 2008

There are many reasons to vote for Ron Paul for president. This video shows only one. I know many people think that he is crazy and that he cannot possibly win the election but I think otherwise. If one takes the time to listen to his positions, you'll see that he is the most constitutional candidate running for office. He is consistent and his reputation speaks for itself.

Here's a link to Ron Paul's page where you will find another write up in which Paul praises homeschoolers.

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Unique Gift Idea

While searching online, I came across this neat company that makes sun visor organizers. The company is called Get Stuck Up and they have some really cool frame and palette options. You can choose pictures and text to make them unique. I think these would make wonderful gifts because everyone needs a little organization in their car. These visor organizers are perfect for all your little gadgets, like your blue tooth headset. Many people use those because they are safer than having your phone in your hand while driving.

You can change the look of your organizer as much as you want. Choose a frame you like and then choose from the many palettes available and you're all set. One you install it in your car, you can start to stick your accessories to the palette. The palettes last for up to six months and then you can purchase a new one. No more digging around in your pocketbook for your phone, mints, or bluetooth. Simply stick it to the palette and you'll always know where to find those things. Since my niece recently got her license, I think this will be her Christmas present. We all how teenagers like these sort of things. I'm all about unique gifts and I definitely think this qualifies. Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got some shopping to do!

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Thursday Thirteen...Southern Sayins'

Thirteen Southern Sayins'

I saw these in a local newspaper and wanted to share some of them with you.

  1. As welcome as a skunk at a lawn party
  2. Tighter than bark on a tree
  3. You can put your boots in the oven, but that don't make em' biscuits
  4. She could talk a coon right out of a tree
  5. Fine as frog hair
  6. He broke his arm patting himself on the back
  7. Too dumb to get in out of the rain
  8. As mean as a snake
  9. Skinny as a rail
  10. He ain't the sharpest tool in the shed
  11. As bright as a burnt out light bulb
  12. Cool as a cucumber
  13. Hotter than Georgia clay

For more TT's go here.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Almost Tree Time

We normally get our Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving. We spend the rest of the weekend decorating it and our home. The kids really get into it and love to help me put the Christmas lights on the tree. This usually takes a long time because we have to sort the lights, change the bad bulbs, and then string them on the tree. I get really tired of having to replace bulbs each year. This year, I think we are going to invest in LED Christmas lights.

I was amazed to find out that LED lights use 90% less energy than regular bulbs. Wow! We usually keep our lights up from Thanksgiving to the first week of January. Imagine how much energy I'll be saving in these few months just by switching to these type of lights. Another thing that amazes me is the bulb life. Normal lights have a bulb life of 1500 hours. LED lights last for 50,000 hours! These lights also remain cool which makes them much safer than incandescent lights. LED lights are more expensive but if you compare the price over time it balances out.

I'm very excited and can't wait to drag out all of our Christmas decor. I'm looking forward to putting out all my little snowmen and putting lights all over the outside of the house. If I'm not decorating, you'll find me cooking. How about you? Do you like to decorate your home for the holidays? Do you use LED lights and if so, what do you think of them?

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Freezer Cooking Group

Today was a lot of fun. I got to spend some time with four other ladies and we talked about food and cooking for two hours. It was great! My friend Jenny decided to pull a group of ladies together to do some freezer cooking and sharing. She got the idea from Freezer Chicks and I am so glad she did. It was a blast. Here we are:

(From L to R: Heidi, Kristen, Laurie, Jenny, Me)

The girls and I got up this morning and quickly started in on our chores and school work. My duties halted when one of our kitties started to bleed from her jowl (that story will come in another post!). I rushed off to the vet's office and the girls continued to clean up and work on their math and grammar. When I got back, we quickly loaded up and headed over to Jenny's. Right now, there are five of us in the group. We cook a meal that will freeze well for each person in the group. I made loaded potato soup and each batch contained 6 adult servings. The idea is for this to be the entree and you can cook whatever you'd like to go along with it. So, I gave each person a batch of potato soup and when they decide to have it for supper, they can make corn bread or french bread to go with it. You get the idea. Anyway, I came home with some pretty tasty looking stuff. The meals I received were overstuffed burritos, quiche in a bag, chicken a la king, and spaghetti pie. We at the burritos for supper tonight and they were a huge hit!

We really enjoyed ourselves and we'll continue to meet once a month. I think it's wonderful because I come home with four days worth of meals. Plus, I have a batch of the recipe I cooked for everyone which gives me a total of five meals. That means that one week out of a month, I am doing very little cooking. My main entree is already done! It's great fun. It's also a great opportunity to try meals that you may normally not make. For example, I've never made quiche so I am looking forward to having that meal! It's great fun and if you ever have the opportunity to start a group like this, do it. It's wonderful!

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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Holiday Cards

It is hard to believe that the holidays are so close. Next week is Thanksgiving and we will be traveling to West Virginia to spend it with my mom. Mom is a decorating nut when it comes to holidays. Another thing she always does super early is send out Holiday Cards . I think I'll suggest that she and I sit down and do our Christmas cards after we've eaten Thanksgiving supper. I know she'll love this idea and it will be awesome to get my cards done early.

I love sending out cards. I try to find unique ones to send out at Christmas. While I was visiting Vista Print today, I found so many wonderful choices. They have folded cards, postcards, foiled cards, and my favorite, caricature cards! You can customize your cards by uploading your personal photos or you can choose one of the many designs already available. You can also customize the text and it is so easy to do! I usually just go to Walmart and get photo cards done but they are so limited in their selection. I'm very excited to have found Vista Print and I can't wait to get started on my cards! Another great thing is that you can order online and receive your order in as little as three days! This will give me just enough time to get my order in and receive it so that I can go to my mom's fully prepared for an evening of fun!

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Post-Op Update

I had my post-op visit with the oral surgeon this morning. I didn't actually see him, but his nurse. That was fine by me since I was all about getting out of there as quickly as possible. Anyway, she and I were talking about the numbness I still have on one whole side of my tongue. Now, why is this a big deal you may ask. It's a huge deal because I can only taste food on one side of my mouth. This is tragic! I love food. This week alone, I'm making two new recipes. I made one last night and couldn't even taste it. Such a pity. Later this week, I'm making a new recipe for empanadas and I really want to be able to fully enjoy those. Looks like I'm just out of luck.

You see, anytime they surgically remove your wisdom teeth, there's a possibility that you will have nerve damage. It really depends on how far down they have to go in order to remove the tooth. They make you watch a video about nerve damage and have you sign a release so that you can't hold them liable if you are permanently damaged. Since I had no alternative but to have these two wisdom teeth removed, there's nothing I could have done to prevent their removal or any damage done. I could not leave them. The nurse seemed surprised when I told her I still had numbness and I also explained that my bottom teeth were also still numb. I can't feel them when I brush or eat. It's very strange. She told me that sometimes that is normal. Some people will have numbing for longer periods of time and that slowly the feeling usually returns. She also assured me that they have never had anyone who suffered permanent damage. Great. But I'm a little worried. I don't have tingly sensations. It feels more like a sunburn on my tongue.

As far as everything else is concerned, I'm good. Stitches are gone and I'm healing nicely. I'm very thankful for that. It's pretty amazing that in two weeks time, I'm well on my way to full recovery. Medicine fascinates me in that respect. Now the holidays are approaching and I'm looking forward to that. Thanksgiving is my favorite time of year. There's nothing like turkey, dressing, gravy, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, pumpkin rolls, and chocolate pie! Oh yeah, and yeast rolls! There's nothing like watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade and football all day long. There's nothing like being surrounded by your family. There's nothing like playing board games until you are so tired you can barely hold your eyes open. I can't wait! I just hope I have working taste buds everywhere!

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Monday, November 12, 2007

To Mulch Or Not To Mulch

I've wanted to landscape around our house for two years. Our current landscaping consists of some white rock and a few hostas. I'd love to get rid of the white rock and go back to mulch. However, my hubby won't go there. He's afraid of drawing termits to the house and doesn't want to risk doing that. I've been reading everything I can, in hopes of talking him into using mulch. Our house is brick and vinyl siding so I'm thinking it would take awhile before we'd have any real problems. We've never had problems with them in this house. We did have a problem with them when we lived in a house years ago that had all wood siding.

While doing my research, I found some interesting things about termites that I didn't know. They will eat books. That makes sense because books are made with wood. I just thought it was creepy though. I could be sitting around one day reading a novel and turn the page only to find a huge termite. That's just gross! Maybe I'll change my mind on our landscaping situation. Especially if I keep dreaming about finding termites in our house!

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Menu Plan Monday ~ Week of Nov. 12

I haven't done this in about a month but I'm trying really hard to be consistent with it from here on out. My good friend Jenny recently started a freezer cooking group and I'm looking forward to having those meals as part of our menu. Since this week is full of dental and doc appointments, my theme will be easy meals that require only a little prep. I'm also trying a new recipe so I'll do the prep work for it the night before. Here goes:

Monday: Soup beans, cornbread, hotdogs w/cheese (just split the hotdogs and put velveeta down the splits, broil the until the cheese melts) Jeff gives bagpipe lessons on Mondays so I have to make a meal that I can clean up before his student arrives.

Tuesday: DiGiorno pizza (Jeff has bagpipe practice so the girls and I always do frozen pizza. For those of you that asked, the bacon and cheese pizza we usually have is frozen and made by Fruschetta. It's hard to find but it's so yummy. Instead of red sauce, it has an alfredo base. I love it!)

Wednesday: Empanadas, 7-layer salad, frijoles rancheros (The empanada recipe is new and I got it from Family Circle this month. The frijoles rancheros is a new recipe for me too. If they turn out well, I'll share the recipe)

Thursday: Chinese orange chicken, rice, egg rolls, shrimp sauce (The orange chicken recipe came from Carrie)

Friday: Eat out

Saturday: Will be visiting my grandmother so I'll eat there

Sunday: Burgers, fries

For more MPM's, visit Laura.

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Decisions, Decisions....

Ok, I keep looking at my Kitchen Cabinets and the more I look at them, the more space I realize I need. Cabinets are expensive and if I can salvage these, I'm going to. However, I realize that if I do that, I still need to add a few more cabinets to give me the storage space I need for my countertop appliances. I'm trying to figure out just how to go about this. The first thing I have to consider is price. We are a one income family so price is very important. The second thing I have to consider is construction. I want cabinets that are made well. I hope to purchase cabinets that are all wood. They will be more durable and last much longer than cabinets made from particle board. I also have to consider what type of wood the cabinets are made of. We have walnut cabinets now and they're nice. I like the grain of the wood. If I keep my existing cabinets, I'd need to get walnut cabinets to add on. If I change them all out, I think I'll go with oak. Oak is the most affordable type of wood and it will probably fit our budget best.

If all of these decisions weren't enough, I still have to figure out what color of stain I prefer for new cabinets. Since the stain we have now is dark, I think I will go lighter. I've thought about painting them but I really like the personality that wood cabinets bring to the kitchen. As you can see, there are many decisions to make when planning a kitchen remodel. We will be doing a lot of things to our kitchen including cabinets, countertops, floors, and extending the counter space. Because the average kitchen remodel takes 3 to 6 weeks, it's very important that everything is planned ahead of time. You'll be able to make changes as you go but it will be much easier to do that if you have a well thought out plan. If you're planning a kitchen remodel, plan everything down to what kind of knobs you'll put on your new kitchen cabinets. You'll be glad you did!

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Saturday, November 10, 2007

What's Your Rating?

I found this over at Working At Home Mom and thought it was pretty neat. I wonder what one would write to make a blog PG? I'd love to know how people come up with things like this. What are they sitting around thinking about when they create it? These are just a few of the many questions I ask myself on a daily basis. I'm ok, really I am :-o)

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Friday, November 9, 2007

Buy A City Pass

Last year when Jeff and I were getting ready to visit NYC, we tried to prepare well in advance for the many things we wanted to see. We made a list of all the things we hoped to see and then listed them in order of importance. Because two days of the trip would be work days for Jeff, I knew I would spend those two days doing the things that he didn't care to miss. Being the frugal gal I am, I did a lot of research to figure out how to see the most for our money. A lot of our trip was so uncertain that it made it hard to pre-purchase any attraction tickets.

Now that we've been there and know the layout of the city, we know that we could see more for our money by purchasing a New York CityPass . This pass allows you to see six attractions for half the price of buying each ticket individually. The pass includes the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Guggenheim Museum, Museum of Modern Art, American Museum of Natural History, a trip to the Empire State Building Observatory, and a trip on a Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise. You'll also get a map and insider information which shares the best times to visit these places. Now, I can attest to the fact that this is an excellent deal because I took a cruise on the Circle Line and went to the Empire State Building Observatory and paid more than if I'd purchased one of these passes. These also happened to be my two favorite attractions this time around. The lines were not bad because we went in December. However, with this pass, you bypass all the lines. That's a wonderful selling point in my book.

If you know someone who will be visiting NYC, the city pass would make a wonderful gift. If they will use the pass after December 15, they can take advantage of the winter special. This makes the pass valid until March 15. So, if they go up in December and can't see all of the attractions in the pass, they can make a return visit before March and still be able to use it to see the attractions they didn't get to previously. Since December seemed to be a great time to visit because the crowds were low, we will probably make a return trip during that month. Don't worry, this pass will be on my Christmas list as soon as we decide to go that way!

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Mayor Update

I made it to the library yesterday to hear my friend's talk on homeschooling. See this post to get details. This is a particularly small library and not one that I use since I do not live in this county. It is a neighboring county though and the library is within twenty minutes of our house. When we arrived, we noticed a packed out parking lot and saw WCQR's (our local Christian radio station) van among the cars. My oldest daughter and I headed into the library, to a small room that was filled to overflowing with people. I grabbed a seat in the back and recognized many local homeschooling moms in the crowd. There was some local media there doing their reporting.

The topic for the program was homeschooling methods. Sonya did very well covering the Classical, the Charlotte Mason, the Montessori, and the Eclectic methods, along with talking about unschooling. It was very informative, even for someone like me, who has homeschooled for several years. It's always good to reevaluate. She also did very well keeping the crowd under control and not letting discussions, debates, or comments get out of hand or carry on forever. There were a handful of people there who did not currently homeschool but were looking into it. Questions were asked and answered for them and it was very successful.

I have to admit, I am thankful that the local media has been involved in this situation. Many people have such misconceptions about homeschoolers. I think this has been a wonderful opportunity for much of that to be clarified. Another thing is that this has exposed a government official who tried to use his power to infringe on the constitutional rights of citizens who just happen to homeschool. Also, the statement the mayor made about the public schools "loosing" money for each child who is homeschooled just blows my mind. It seems simple to me. How do they "loose" it if it was never given to them in the first place? Maybe the mayor needs a lesson in logic...I'm just sayin'. Sonya also made this statement. There are roughly two million kids that are registered as homeschoolers in the US (there are many more that are not registered). If it takes $7000 to educate a child (more in some states) and you multiply that times two million, you learn that it would take an ADDITIONAL fourteen billion dollars to educate them. Where's that going to come from? Aren't we saving the school system and our government money? Let me also make clear that homeschoolers pay taxes and we also purchase books for our children. We DO NOT get any kind of tax break, credit, or reimbursement for books, supplies, registration fees, etc. We don't get free lunches. We are absolutely ok with that. It's a very small price to pay for the enormous benefits we receive. It's just a fact that not many people are aware of. The money comes from our pockets.

Anyway, I can't wait to spend next week talking about this and using this as a lesson with my children next week. I'm hoping to pull together a little unit study on the First Amendment and how this situation relates to that. I also want to throw a few facts out to you. Sonya pulled these together and I believe they apply nationwide. I believe these statistics came from NHERI.

Homeschooling grows at a rate of 7-12% per year in the US.

65.3% of homeshool students watch one hour or less of television per day.

1.6% of homeschool students watch 4-5 hours of television per day, as opposed to the nationwide average of 19.5%.

In a study of over 7,000 students who were homeschooled, NONE were unemployed and NONE were on welfare.

In closing, I just want to say that I know many of you have children in public school. That was your decision. At one time, our oldest was in public school (for kindergarten). It was there that we noticed the decline in the public educational system as a whole. From there, we prayed and studied which led to our conviction to homeschool. It was a spiritual decision. Our lives changed forever with that decision. We went from being a two income family to one. Looking back, that was such a minor adjustment to all of the things we've gained. My kids are at my side 24/7 and I love, love, love that. I know they're safe. I know they are learning. I know they've been given many opportunities and avenues to explore that they normally would not have had. I know that I am fulfilling my role as a parent every single second of my life. Are there days when I'm tired? Of course. Are there days when I feel inadequate? You bet. Are there days when I feel that someone else could teach them better than myself or my husband? Absolutely not. God gave us these two beautiful girls. He trusted us to raise them and teach them His commands. The best thing I can do to honor God is to do exactly what I am doing. I hope I never live in a world where that is compromised.

Proverbs 6:20 My son, keep your father's commands and do not forsake your mother's teaching. 21 Bind them upon your heart forever; fasten them around your neck. 22 When you walk, they will guide you; when you sleep, they will watch over you; when you awake, they will speak to you. 23 For these commands are a lamp, this teaching is a light, and the corrections of discipline are the way to life....

Proverbs 17:6 Children's children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children.

Proverbs 22:6 Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.


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Thursday, November 8, 2007

Stephen King Flicks

One movie that I enjoyed watching a few years ago was Storm of the Century. I was shocked to learn that Stephen King wrote it. I'm not sure how I missed that but I didn't realize it until today. The movie had a sad ending but overall, it was an enjoyable movie. I liked the suspense in the movie and the courage of the captain of the ship. Of all the things King has written, that's probably my favorite one. I remember watching Pet Sematary many years ago and it scared me to death. It gives me shivers thinking about it now because we have 5 cats and in that movie, the family cat was killed but came back to life and was not very nice. I also remember reading Thinner at some point in high school.

I mention all of this because I was watching the movie trailer for The Mist by Stephen King earlier today. I guess I should also say that these types of films are hard for me to get into. As a kid, I was totally fooled. As an adult, I tend to laugh at the creatures in sci-fi movies or thrillers like this one. I do enjoy the suspense in these types of films. The Mist looks like it may be entertaining but I'm a little worried about the lady in the trailer with the Bible. She seems to be portrayed as being a little "off her rocker". I'll be interested to see how her character is played out. If you like these types of films, go check out the trailer to see what you think.

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The Mayor Is Knee Deep In It

A friend of mine wrote a wonderful homeschooling book recently. I was hoping to finish reading the last part of the book so that I could post a review about it. I think it's a wonderful resource and as soon as I finish reading it, I'll tell you all about it and how you can purchase it. If you homeschool, you'll want a copy of it. I felt I should write and tell you of the challenges this friend has faced this week because she homeschools her children.

My friend and I share the same name. She has five children and has written several books about local places. She started writing this homeschool book some time ago but recently it was published and she started doing things around town to promote the book. One way she does that is by holding book signings at various locations in our area. She's done them at the local homeschool bookstore, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, and the public libraries in surrounding cities. She had a book signing and informational meeting planned this week at a local library near her home. Some time during the week, she received a call from the librarian telling her that the program had been cancelled. When she inquired as to why, she was told that the city mayor suggested the library to cancel it. She was outraged and proceeded to call Home School Legal Defense to ask about the legality of such an act by the mayor. She also contacted a local newspaper to get the word out. Once the local paper did an interview, other news stations in the surrounding area started to call her for an interview.

Basically, the mayor told the public librarian that they shouldn't sponsor programs that did not support the public school system. The librarian says that the mayor suggested the library cancel the program and that's what the library did. Now the mayor says he never meant for the library to cancel. He just suggested they think about their sponsorship of programs like this. He went on to say that the local county school looses $7000 a year for each child who is homeschooled. We are all baffled at that statement since the school system was never given money for our children in the first place. That money is never on the table because our kids have never entered the school system. So, how do you lose something you were never given? Go figure. And what do they do with $7000 a year? If I were to purchase a full curriculum homeschool package for BOTH of my children, it would only cost around $1100 for the year. Since we never purchase full curriculums, we spend around $500 for both children each year. You see my point? Where does all that money go? Further more, it's a public library, for use by everyone. It's paid for by taxpayers, like you and me, no matter the school status of our children.

To sum it all up, the mayor is trying to back his way out of this one by saying he didn't imply this or didn't mean that. He would not speak on camera with local news crews and his comments came via the local city attorney. Funny if you ask me. The program was rescheduled and is on for today. Alot of us in the homeschooling community are hoping to show up in support of our friend. We want to show the library that we appreciate their sponsoring programs of all sorts that many can benefit from. Not just as homeschoolers but as citizens. So, off we go in a few hours to show our support. It should be an interesting meeting and I can't wait to see the community turnout. I'll leave you with a link to one of the interviews my friend did with our local media.

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Another Dental Story

Since I've been on a dental kick lately, I may as well tell you about another dental mishap I had several years ago. I was eating one of my favorite snacks, tootsie rolls. I had a tooth that started bothering me a little but I didn't think much of it. I continued eating a few more tootsie rolls until my tooth starting hurting so bad I couldn't bite down on it. I put my snacks away and went to take some tylenol. A few hours later, the pain was so bad that I could not even fall asleep. I tried everything and suffered through the entire night. The next day, I got ready and went to work. The pain continued until I finally had to leave work and seek medical help. The local dentist's office wasn't open so I headed to the ER. At this point, my head was throbbing, my tooth was throbbing, and I felt like I needed to go to sleep for a very long time. I was miserable. Upon seeing the ER doc, I found that the filling that used to be in my tooth was no longer there. I was shocked. Apparently, while I was eating the tootsie rolls the night before, I lost my filling. My nerve was exposed and air was hitting it. That's one of the worst pains I've ever felt. If only I had known that Dentemp OS would have solved all of my problems.

Dentemp OS is a 60 minute solution to many common dental problems. It provides fast, temporary relief of pain and discomfort. It serves as a replacement for a lost filling or for crown repair. It comes in an easy to use plastic vial and the best part is that you can eat on it 60 minutes after setting. I would have loved to have had this product when my mishap occurred. It would have saved me a lot of pain and a trip to the ER.

I think the wise thing to do would be to buy a vial of this and keep it in my pocketbook. You never know when I'll have another mishap and need temporary dental repair!

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Sense & Sensibility Patterns

Many of you may already be familiar with this website but I wanted to share it with you anyway. Being a huge Jane Austen fan, I started looking for dress patterns to copy some of the dresses from Pride & Prejudice. I was so happy when I stumbled across Sense & Sensibility Patterns. I wish I could sew well because I'd love to go get material and start making these right away. Since I've never learned to sew clothing, I've enlisted my aunt's help. Hopefully she'll say yes to teaching me how to use these patterns to make some lovely dresses for myself and the girls. I love the elegant yet simple charm of these dresses. Have any of you ever used these patterns? Do you sew clothing and if so, what's your favorite thing to make? Do you make your own clothing? I know Gail can so maybe I need to enlist her help on this project as well:-0)

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National Alzheimer's Awareness Month


My grandmother turned 84 this year and her mind has always been as sharp as a tack. She has grown a little slower at recalling things as the years pass but she remembers. She has been blessed in this sense. For many, remembering does not come easy. Alzheimer's has taken those memories hostage. The disease has locked them away. It has stolen the memory of those we love; but there is something we can do about it.

Memory screening is a useful tool in detecting early signs of Alzheimer's. It consists of a series of questions and tasks that will help assess thinking skills. November is National Alzheimer's Awareness Month. As part of that, November 13 has been set aside as National Memory Screening Day. If you know someone who could benefit from screening, be sure to locate a screening site in your area.

While finding a cure for Alzheimer's is a top priority, we can't forget to provide the best practical care for our loved ones who might suffer or already do suffer from this disease. One way we can do this is by helping them to follow successful aging tips. A few of those tips include visiting the doctor regularly, managing stress, and making sure they participate in activities that will stimulate their brain. Games are a wonderful way to practice this. Not only will this help your loved one, but you will be able to spend precious time with them making new memories.

This is a cause we can all be involved in. If you haven't already, consider contributing to the Alzheimer's Foundation of America. You can make a contribution that memorializes, celebrates, or honors someone affected by the disease. Consider giving a holiday gift in support of the foundation. Every single one of us can help fight this disease by doing so.

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Thursday Thirteen...Thanksgiving

Thirteen Things I Love About Thanksgiving
  1. Preparing a meal for the family
  2. Spending quality time with relatives
  3. The yummy turkey and gravy
  4. The even yummier dressing
  5. Watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and football all day long
  6. All things pumpkin....pumpkin rolls, pumpkin pie
  7. Board games we play
  8. Making a plan to get our Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving (we often drive to a tree farm in North Carolina)
  9. The usually crisp weather
  10. Listening to hubby, my BIL, FIL, and nephews play music
  11. Sharing Scripture before the meal
  12. Singing "We Gather Together" before the meal
  13. Munching on all the leftovers until the wee hours of the morning

For more TT's, go here.

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Wednesday, November 7, 2007

The Bathroom Sink

On a recent visit to our house, my mom decided to paint my main bathroom vanity. Not one to argue, I let her do it and all I had to do was put the doors back on. First, I needed to buy new hardware to mount them back on with. Guess where the doors to the vanity are? Yep, still laying around the house, waiting for me to get to Lowe's.

The fixtures in the house are from the 80's and as I cleaned the bathroom sink this morning, I thought, hey, I should buy a new faucet for this freshly painted vanity. Some of my favorite faucets are made by Price Pfister. I'm thinking that it would be an injustice to put new hardware on the vanity doors and not replace that ugly old faucet. Y'all know I'm right! So I'm going to go look around to pick out a nice, cool looking faucet with a nickel finish! Then, and only then, will I put the bathroom back together :-o)

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Crazy 8's Meme

Jenn over at Enjoying the Ride tagged me for this one.

8 things I'm passionate about
~Being a wife
~Being a mother
~Being a keeper of my home
~My faith
~My friends
~Growing in all of the above mentioned things (except the food....don't need any help "growing" with that one!)

8 things I say often
~I love you
~Are your chores done?
~Are you finished with your school work?
~Did you feed the kitties?
~Did you brush your teeth?
~Where do you want to eat honey? (It takes us a long time to decide because we want the other to decide)
~Call me if you need me
~No way! (Every night before bed, Caroline tell us "don't let the bed bugs bite". She loves to hear us yell "no way" to that.....I'm not sure why, she's 8!)

8 books I've read recently
~Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas by James Patterson
~Big Stone Gap by Adriana Trigiani
~Big Cherry Holler by Adriana Trigiani
~Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
~Every Though Captive (the last two issues)
~The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace
~The Complete Book of Soapmaking
~The Soapmaker's Companion

8 things I want to do before I die (in no particular order)
~Visit the Grand Canyon
~Go to Scotland
~Learn to knit well
~Learn to crochet well
~Learn to sew clothing well
~Witness the marriages of my daughters
~Go white water rafting
~Live a more agrarian lifestyle

8 songs I can listen to over and over again
~Pachelbel's Canon in D (my favorite piece of music)
~It Is Well (With My Soul)
~Whate'er My God Ordains Is Right
~How Can I Keep From Singing by Chris Tomlin
~The Voice of Truth by Casting Crowns
~O Sing A New Song (Psalm 98) This is one of the most amazing songs ever. We sing the version from the Cantus Christi.
~Home by Michael Buble
~Come Away With Me by Norah Jones

8 things that attract me to my friends
~Their faith
~Their desire to grow more Christ-like each day
~Their affection for our family
~Their hospitality
~Their example
~Their joy
~Their honesty
~Their generosity

8 things I've learned in the past year
~The method of square foot gardening
~That having wisdom teeth cut out is no piece of cake
~That I really could watch football seven days a week
~That I need to be more organized
~That it is devastating to see someone you know lose a child
~If you overlook the simple things in life, you miss the most important moments
~That we have way too many cats
~That it is very important to never get your oil changed at Walmart.....Incompetence there is rampant

8 people to tag
8 people who want to participate

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Memory Foam Rocks!

I mentioned recently that my hubby and I went into a local mattress store and tried out all the tempurpedic mattresses. We ended up buying one and we've slept like babies for the past two weeks. We wake up talking about how comfortable it is and how we don't want to get out of bed because of it. It was quite an investment but one we're happy with.

What really interests me is that NASA did the research to produce a material to relieve the g-force pressures felt by astronauts. From there, scientists perfected this material to make the mattresses put out by Tempur-Pedic and Angel Beds. I can't tell you how much difference there is in memory foam mattresses and regular spring mattresses. There is no comparison. The memory foam mattress conforms to your body shape and you are instantly comfortable. I'm an extremely light sleeper and I toss a lot on spring mattresses. Since getting our new one, I've laid down in one position and woke up the same way. It's amazing. My hubby opted to get a memory foam pillow too. I blew that off thinking there was no way I was going to spend that much money on a pillow. However, after sleeping on his while having my wisdom teeth out, I'm kicking myself. I don't have to fluff it. It conforms to my head and I'm asleep within five minutes.

I say all of this to stress a point. If you have trouble sleeping due to discomfort, you should try these products. You'll be amazed. I know I am. Angel Beds seems to have considerably lower prices on their mattresses too. I've never tried one but if it's the same material as Tempur-Pedic for half the cost, then that's a great deal. If I had known about them before we purchased ours, I would have definitely tried them out first because of the excellent prices. If you're in the market for a mattress, check them out. You'll never sleep the same again!

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Tuesday, November 6, 2007

A Few Random Thoughts

I'm really trying to stop whining over this oral surgery thing but I am so ready to be back to normal. I'm still not able to chew food and half my mouth is still numb. I was freaking out so much yesterday that I called the oral surgeon's office to see if this is normal. All of my bottom teeth, half of my tongue, and my left jaw is still so numb that if I try to chew, I bite myself. Honestly, I was ready to have a break down yesterday. I wanted to cry. My diet has been so pitiful since having this done. It's been either a liquid diet or mushy food. I hardly remember what meat tastes like. And it's starting to get to me. Especially since Tuesday nights are cheese and bacon pizza night for myself and the girls! We've started eating this every Tuesday night for supper since hubby is away at bagpipe practice. I R~E~A~L~L~Y miss that yummy pizza. What makes it even harder is that I have one in the freezer that is ready to be put into the oven and gobbled up. After all, it is Tuesday. Sigh....

Maybe I could have let it all go if I hadn't got up this morning to find that we have no water. None, nada, zip. In fact, it's almost 5pm and we still have no water. Have you ever gone all day without a shower? It's not a nice feeling. Apparently there was a main water break nearby and that's why the water is out. Most conveniences I could do without, but water, that isn't one of them. It's amazing how much you need water when you don't have access to it. I never realized how hard it is without it.

Since I've been out of commission, so to speak, for the past week, I've found it really hard to cook a meal. It's mostly because I can't taste much. It doesn't give me much incentive to want to make a meal because I know I'm not going to be able to eat it. The girls have been helping me in the kitchen during this time and our oldest has taken up most of the slack. She doesn't "really cook" many things and that's my fault. Most of the time, I'm more worried with keeping things cleaned up than I am about teaching my daughters to cook a meal. I have a system and it works well so it's hard for me to stop being so picky and let the girls have free reign to create their masterpiece of a meal. This is something I'm working on and I know it's a huge sin that needs to be conquered. After all, my goal is to teach my girls to be keepers of the home. I was thrilled when I found a wonderful series on this very thing over at Kathy's place. She has since turned the series into a wonderful e-book that is very reasonably priced. I found it very helpful and very convicting. What did I learn? I learned what I already knew but needed to hear from someone else. My biggest problem is my attitude. Why would I expect my girls to enjoy being in the kitchen when I have a terrible attitude? If things aren't done a certain way, I complain about it. I know better than to do this but many times it comes out of my mouth before I even know it. Sin is funny that way. Just when you think you have a handle on it, here it comes as strong as ever. So, what do I plan to do about it? I'm going to take Kathy's advice and be deliberate about having the girls help me where meals are concerned. I'm going to take the time to show them how to make a few of our favorite dishes and the most efficient way to do so. I'm going to stop worrying about having a tidy kitchen all the time because after all, who am I trying to impress? My family sure won't mind the mess if it means that they'll be able to sit down to a delicious meal that we've made together. In fact, I think I'll go get started on this now......if we have water.

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Garage Flooring

Our garage is in real need of an overhaul. It's piled high with lots of junk right now. Our old mattress set is right in the middle of the floor and I've got a host of stuff that needs to be hauled off to our local charity store. I'm not sure what one does with a garage when you don't park your car in it. I imagine that it turns into this large area that continues to collect junk, just as ours does. I think we might be able to make it more useful if it looked less like a garage. If it were more organized and neat, maybe I wouldn't be so horrified when someone walks through it. I don't think it would take much to do that either. We could put down some nice garage flooring to hide the crack in the concrete. Then all I'll need to do is find a way to get our dryer vent run to the outside so it'll stop blowing lint all over the garage!

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Saturday, November 3, 2007

And The Winner Is.....

Wow! That's all I can say about the fall bloggy giveaway hosted by Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer. Over 650 people participated and I find that amazing! There were tons of wonderful prizes up for grabs and I hope each of you were able to win something. There were 106 wonderful people who entered my giveaway, which totally shocked me. I had to use a random number generator to pick the winner so without further delay, the winner is:

Commenter # 78, Eden at Once Upon A Dream. Congratulations Eden! I'll be emailing you soon to get your snail mail address and get your book set out. Thank you to all of you who were kind enough to stop by and enter my drawing. I hope that I will be able to visit each person who entered. I am excited to learn more about each of you!

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Fall Bloggy Giveaway

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I've very excited to be a part of this since I haven't had a real opportunity to have a giveaway to this point. So, without further ado, here are details to my giveaway.

I'll be giving away a copy of Martha Peace's book The Excellent Wife, accompanied by the study guide and a few other goodies (including soap from Bath & Body Works). The book and study guide are personal copies and have been read, however, both are in good shape. I enjoyed this book very much and the study guide was a great compliment to the book.

Please leave a comment on this post in order to be entered. I will draw a winner on November 3rd at 3pm EST. You do not have to have a blog to enter. If you do not have a blog, please leave your email address in the comment so that I may contact you. Good luck and Happy Fall Y'all!

**This is a sticky post. Scroll down for current posts**

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